Science, Meditation, and the Kundalini
The Dalai Lama loaned some fifty year old senior monks to medical psychologists to have their brain scanned and compared to beginning meditators and normal people. Big surprise the senior monks had a major gamma wave advantage over the students and normals. It shouldn’t be a surprise. Back in the 70s with less sophisticated equipment they found a hierarchy of alpha wave generation at the Tibetan monasteries. Older monks in senior positions could generate better than the lower ranks.
Dzogchen is sometimes referred to as mind science which is what the Hindu sage, Patanjali, the first psychologist, called his analysis of mental development through meditation thousands of years ago. In the 80s Daniel Goleman published The Meditative Mind: The Varieties of Meditative Experience. He described and shared the research concerning Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Sufi, Christian, Jewish, Tantric, American Indian, Transcendental, Tibetan, Zen, Mindfulness, and those techniques developed by Krishnamurti and Gurdjieff. In the nineties Glenn Morris published his research and experiences of the techniques used in Japanese Budo and Ninpo. In this century Susan G. Shumsky published a promising cookbook and analysis of transcendental meditation as well as ancient yoga. Back in the 40s Swami Sivinanda published Science Mind—Its Mysteries and Control. This is still one of the best books on mental development if you can wade through the religious slant and get your mind around the Sanskrit.
You may notice the practice of meditation is usually associated with a religion. Even budo and ninpo are considered warrior religions if becoming a better person, or enlightened, is part of your definition of religion. This is fair because many of the experiences of people who meditate are similar to the founders of various religions and meditative experience creates a bond of similar experiences across religions and cultures that are usually referred to as the essential mystery or esoteric core of all religions. Scientists and medically trained psychologists classify this esoteric knowledge as being more of a biological process usable by all human beings as opposed to being the property of a particular religion or mystery school.
Meditation is not just simply sitting. Simply sitting is the basic first step; a lot more can go on when someone is meditating properly. Research has shown that meditators consistently score ten to twenty years younger on tests of aging and interestingly ten to twenty points higher on IQ tests. Healthy mental factors such as insight, mindfulness, modesty, discretion, confidence, composure, nonattachment, non aversion, impartiality, flexibility, and proficiency have been shown to increase when one meditates. Meditation has been shown to reduce criminal and schizophrenic tendencies in some small uncontrolled studies. Jung, Rogers, and Morris published works suggesting that through meditation one could enter the collective unconscious. Maslow before his death wrote an essay on “Theory Z'' where he attempted to describe the social reality of the self-actualized or enlightened.
Benson, who taught meditation as a form of relaxation, found he could control mild hypertension (HBP), relieve suffering from angina, arrhythmia, and lower blood cholesterol. Surwit found it helped with adult onset diabetes, and Lehrer found it reduced symptoms of asthma. Kabat –Zinn reduced the use of painkillers with meditation and yoga in his patients. Kundalini meditation is considered by many to be the highest form of transcendental meditation and in religion is associated with sainthood and in secular training with enlightenment and healing.
The joining of science to meditation has usually shown that meditation is not only beneficial but superior to many chemical healing processes and costs nothing to the patient but patience. To wax cynical a moment that is probably why it is not universally touted by the medical profession. The other reasons are simple lack of understanding and ethnocentrism.
Science includes replication or repetition of the effect through experimental design. The Kundalini Awakening seminars follow a scientifically tested model in which the participants go through a well tested process that has been refined through over twenty years of experimentation by Dr. Morris. If you want to experience a safe kundalini awakening you simply follow the process that is taught.
Frauds or Conversion Techniques: Things to Add to Your Selection System
Preachers and hypnotists train to speak in what is called a voice roll, using the same beat but emphasizing key words for greatest effect. In the military this is called “the voice of command.” Today we have the technology to hide the process of altering mental states in the sound system and the lighting to help the congregation into that suggestible state of alpha that is also associated with feeling good and creativity. The appropriate beat or sound/vibration and dimmer lighting are of primary importance in inducing an altered state where the average human is about twenty five times more suggestible. A company in Los Angeles designs sound and lighting technology specifically for churches. Technicians who install these sound and lighting systems claim the congregation and monetary income of the church will double if the minister follows their suggestions. (Time to pass the plate and thank you, Brother! Relatively harmless? Just good salesmen setting up the marks?) Well it does stretch the envelope where ethical communication resides but this is nothing in comparison to some human development groups like EST, or big rich congregation/cults like the almost Christian Korean Moonies, who have a major toe hold on the Republican Right. How do they work the Pavlov?
It usually takes about a week to break someone down so you have to separate them from their usual herd and increase their tension which alters their body chemistry. Separation is relatively easy, a meeting hall, farm house, church camp, any place free from interruption by the outside world. There is often a talk about finding “one’s purpose and living up to one’s word.” EST trainers were famous for increasing tension by locking up the bathrooms. The tension can be raised higher by having people, not smoke, drink, or eat except at breaks and the breaks are short. They are given tasks that cause some mental and physical fatigue, but no time for reflection. Tension is built by bringing participants to the “stage” where they are humiliated to increase their fear as public speaking is the most common fear, sometimes these humiliates are shills. Vicious language is used to upset the sensitive. When tension becomes high enough the convert slips into alpha as the body releases endorphins to protect it from damage as the body’s flight/fight mechanisms are in a part of the brain that is as old as dirt and can’t tell the difference between physiological and psychological attack without special training. (Read chapters two and six.) This form of induced alpha makes the subject from 25 to 200 times more suggestible which is a lot of suggestion. You know you have them when their eyes dilate and they get that feel good sappy smile. (Bully for the limbic/semiotic nervous system.) New jargon is often introduced here to create a difference in mental alignment as well as creating a feeling of special knowledge and community for the new convert. People make agreements to go find new converts before leaving. Celebration and then go get your buds. “Sell it by Zealot. Get ‘em while they’re hot.”
Being aware of how conversion techniques take advantage of the targets once again pushes the ethical communication envelope but to be quite frank this is usually addressed around politics and advertising, not religion. We have freedom there in America or used to, but giving a fool a rope doesn’t necessitate self-lynching. Attending a religious or EST meeting armed with this knowledge of how tension over twenty minutes or so results in a suggestive state (Time to run, kiddies.) or what Sutphen calls a brain phase will not lessen the effect. In fact anger, and you should be, increases tension and almost assures a conversion state. You may wake feeling all squeaky clean reborn with an empty wallet. Special training in detachment helps. Those of us who enjoyed Basic Training in the military or were raised in evangelical religious traditions can associate with the process made more real.
Be alert to changes in diet to reduce alertness. There are many ways to reduce alertness and a big influx of sugar is one of them. The brownies don’t have to be doped and a glass of Kool Aid has enough sugar in it to stun a horse. When I took my children with Linda off sugar they went from very distractible mediocre students to A students in a month. “Spiritual Diets” are a major tip off that you are being groomed for cannon fodder or at least worker bee status. Without the grounding of grains, nuts, seeds, dairy products, fish, and even red meat (buffalo is great) people tend to get “spacey” or “air headed” losing attention to detail, particularly when combined with long hours of intense physical activity. My friend Esly Caldwell went to the wrong guru in India and his introduction to their brand of karma yoga almost turned him into a quasi-Mennonite veggie farmer and cave dweller to be allowed proximity to the “god on earth.” He was a sincere fellow and they set the hook with followers swooning when the guru approached and other easily staged opportunities for the guru to strut his stuff. Rather like a Christian preacher smacking people on their forehead (Ajna) to stop brain function in the hope that the somatic shock will erase psychosomatic symptoms. Nobody had ever told Esly about the dark side of religious manipulation. He was and is a nice guy. It took a day or two of playing with his friends to break the hold. He isn’t stupid. Not every one who owns an ashram or temple has your best interest in mind. Back to the brain and conversion techniques.
Once you have that monkey mind slowed down, confuse the suckers with bunches of new information, lectures, encounter groups, and diary writing. This is called decognition or programming confusion. If you keep them busy enough reality and illusion can merge and rather odd logics become more acceptable which allows you to introduce Pavlov’s phase three where the dewy fresh converts learn to pray or meditate in ways that allow the mind to go flat or stop thought so you can put in what the convert “should think about.” Thirty years ago I thought the concepts around Bandler’s NLP were pretty simple minded. Well I was wrong. It is more than a tool to seduce the stupid stolen from the great hypnotist Milton Erickson. You can start your very valuable education in his sales techniques with the Richard Bandler book in the bibliography.
Twenty years ago, 1984, researchers noted that watching TV put the watcher into a more suggestible state, doubled right brain activity, and in children’s brains alpha waves dominated after thirty seconds. Alpha waves usually dominate when you are asleep or your eyes are closed. Hmmmm? Alpha waves are associated with both creativity and suggestibility. Commercials or suggestions are more likely to be accepted by the no longer alert. Studies at Purdue found that 90 percent of the audience missed over 25 percent of questions about a show within minutes of having seen it, suggesting they were slipping in out of a hypnotic state. It’s a given that there is a lot of easily forgettable TV fare and the attention span of the average TV viewer is twenty seconds now. Forty years ago, when I was an instructor in the Army, I was told the average attention span was about fifteen minutes. When you consider subliminal visuals, subliminal messages in the music, sustained musical beats at trance inducing paces, spaced picture flicker rates, television and the internet become interesting tools for conversion. Faster beat creates greater excitement. Why do you think so many products now advertise with a rock musical background? There are a lot of powerful people out there who have plans for you and there are no laws against any of these techniques. Pay attention.
When I worked for General Motors in the 80s and 90s I tried to convince some executives that their advertising needed better targeting, particularly the “Cadillac Style” campaign. I worked for the Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac platform’s engine division. The response to my complaint was the typical buyer was sixty-five and the car was a reward for a life well spent. I thought they should target people about twenty-five years younger and sell that reward three or four times. The ads now look a lot like I wanted then. I guess some folks had to retire.
Anyway, back to conversion. I’m not saying that some people don’t go on this conversion trip willingly. Eric Hoffer, who wrote The True Believer research on mass movements before the global village, indicated about thirty percent of the population are joiners and followers. They want to give up their personal power and have someone else do their thinking for them. Hoffer indicated true believers are not intent on self-advancement but crave renunciation of the self and were eternally incomplete and insecure. They are groupies. They don’t have much of that American independent thing going. They want a rule book and someone to tell them how to live. I think the numbers these days are closer to fifty percent from simple observation of the Presidential election.
At their worst these are very dangerous people looking for a holy cause to die for. Hitler’s Brown Shirts were true believers. The Moral Majority identify as true believers. Wahabi Islam’s baby bombers are obviously true believers and caught young. All cults are composed of true believers that follow a charismatic leader. True believers can be found in politics, churches, businesses, and social causes. They are good haters and keep a sharp eye out for the people who don’t share their passion so they can round you up and get you headed in the right direction, or a lot worse. At their best they are just Fred and Mary who live down the street, keep to themselves, tithe regularly, and hope to get on the school board so they can put an end to teaching meditation, “Values,” or “evil-lution.”
Meditation without special belly breathing and keeping your tongue up can result in a permanent state of alpha that is rather nice if you avoid the suggestible effect. Being mellow is one thing, being everybody’s favorite gull is another. Being in a permanent state of alpha ain’t samadhi but it is nice, and you can only get it if you spend a lot of hours in pretty deep meditation way beyond what most westerners and people from Asia are willing to try. It is pretty rare that a guru actually does the work if we use Osho or the Rajneesh as a typical example. Real enlightenment has more to do with chi kung than simple sitting, spinal twisting, or dancing. Andrew Newberg, M.D. is a student/friend of Eugene D’Aquili whom I mention in Shadow Strategies with some regard. Dr. Newberg is studying the effect of prayer and meditation on brain waves and blood movement in the brain. He is well regarded as a neuro theologian and posits that the human urge toward religion is biological. Thus Freud was wrong to prophesize that as people become more educated and thus more aware religion would be replaced by science. Like most prophets outside of Nostradamus and the futurists of the Holy Books Freud’s prophecy would seem to be wide of the mark. People like to interpret biological states as GOD. The kundalini becomes Moses’s burning bush and the flaming cross logo of Methodism. Newberg’s description of limitless input of sensation when you cut out the newer areas in the brain fit with intuition as a feeling mechanism for water bound creatures to me. See Chapter two. Religion lodged in the reptile/snake brain with breathing…. Interesting?
Real religious experience, visions of light, flights of ecstasy, etc. can be experienced by modern people. Prayer is very similar to meditation. Regardless of the nature of the actual practice, prayer has long been an unambiguous feature of every living religion. In Islam, prayer is the foremost act of adoration and the salat is offered five times a day while facing Mecca. The Hindus use daily liturgical prayers spelled out in the Vedas. In Buddhism monastic prayers are practiced morning, noon, evening, and midnight. Tantric explorers are producing literature to rival the patriarchs of old. Shirley Maclaine, the actress writes of her journeys into mysticism with a wide eyed freshness that is compelling. Her pilgrimage at seventy of the Camino Real is an interesting adventure that many younger people would falter. Da Free John like the Rajneesh has provided us all with the spectacle of how delusional the guru can become when encouraged by the worship of his flock. Rajneesh who reinvented himself as Osho after his fall into paranoia was a skilled plagiarist and much of his written work is useful.
Lifted from Quantum Crawfish Bisque for the Clueless Soul by Glenn J Morris.