Evidence
AFTERLIFE SCIENCES
Different Areas of Evidence for the Afterlife
Science
.

Return to
A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife
.


<< Return to Evidence Index

Experiences of Oneness

Poets, mystics and spiritual teachers have been talking about states of oneness - also called mystical experiences, higher states of consciousness, transpersonal experiences, non-dualistic experiences, transcendent experiences, peak experiences and quantum consciousness - for centuries.

They claim that in our normal state of existence we only see a tiny fraction of reality but with disciplined spiritual practice of paths such as yoga, meditation, chanting, drumming and with ritual use of psychedelics we can "expand" our consciousness to take in more. They call this process "lifting the veil" or "breaking through the illusion" or "transcending the ego".

Many studies now suggest that these experiences are so common as to be considered normal- and up to 40% of people have them at some time in their life. (Back and Bourque, 1970; Greeley, 1974, 1987; Hay and Morisy, 1978; Hood, 1974, 1975, 1977; Thomas and Cooper, 1980- see bibliography)


RUPERT SHELDRAKE AND MATTHEW FOX ON MYSTICISM



Dr. Robert Crookall collected hundreds of accounts in his book The Interpretation of Cosmic and Mystical Experiences (1969).

Kevin Williams has collected a number of cases where various triggers have created an experience of expanded consciousness. These include: Surgical procedures, Dreams, Psychedelic drugs, Extreme stress, Extreme gravity, Brain stimulation, Extreme meditation, Deathbed visions, Relaxation, Seizures, Psychic visions, Coma, Astral projection, After-death vision, Trance, mirror gazing, Eye movement, Falling, Alien abduction, Sexual orgasm, Mental illness.
Read more...

Dr Charles Tart reports that over the years he has had hundreds of fellow scientists from all sorts of fields quietly come up to him at meetings to tell him about their unusual experiences apparently going beyond everyday reality, challenging their concepts of what the world is.

To provide a safe place for scientists to share these experiences he created T.A.S.T.E. - the Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences which now contains account of almost a hundred such experiences.

It is surprisingly common for people to report having experience like the following:

" After a while I realized that I had expanded. I was no longer a small discrete consciousness located in my head - I encompassed the whole valley. I was HUGE. I was part of everything - or rather everything was part of me. I was ancient and unbelievably powerful. It was wonderful."
TASTE submission 000001

or this one:

" At this point, I merged with the light and everything, including myself, became one unified whole. There was no separation between myself and the rest of the universe. In fact, to say that there was a universe, a self, or any ‘thing’ would be misleading — it would be an equally correct description to say that there was ‘nothing’ as to say that there was ‘everything’."
TASTE submission 000004


Several astronauts had unitive experiences when viewing the earth from space:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d56dwSm2YQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OsuiRmexWk

Mainstream psychiatrists for a long time regarded these experiences as indicating psychiatric illness but psychologists, beginning with Maslow, are realizing that they are healthy, life enhancing, and promote development.

Recent quantum physics discoveries of the connectedness of all things at the sub-atomic level suggest that these experiences are glimpses of the reality that spiritual teachers have taught for centuries underlies all things.


Deepak Chopra on Oneness


Dr. Stanislav Grof, M.D., is a psychiatrist and one of the leading researchers into non-ordinary states of consciousness. He has a theory of consciousness
based on these non-ordinary states.

It assumes that consciousness exists as an electromagnetic field outside the body. The brain functions as a "reducing valve" which reduces the amount of input of the cosmic energy that our brains can cope with.

When the reducing function is altered (through various triggers such as drugs, psychosis, psychic ability, etc.) or even shut down completely (producing a NDE), the cosmic energy and input that once made up our consciousness is then free to expand. This expansion is what explains these various types of mental visions.


Evidential Transpersonal experiences

Every spiritual practice in the world has developed methods for helping people to have these kinds of experiences in rituals. Most common are chanting, repetition of prayers or mantras, controlling the breath, rhythmic dancing, drumming, fasting, long periods of isolation and the ritual use of psychedelic plants and substances.

Dr Stan Grof studied these for more than forty years. (Grof 1998, p. 7).

Using both LSD and holotropic breathwork, the technique he developed, he routinely witnessed people being “flooded with new information on a variety of subjects...(including) profound psychological insights concerning our personal history, unconscious dynamics, emotional difficulties, and interpersonal problems…(and) extraordinary revelations concerning various aspects of nature and the cosmos that transcend our educational insights and intellectual background.” (Grof 1998, p. 7).

On the basis of his research he reached the conclusion that:
“…Our universe that appears to contain countless myriads of separate entities and elements, is in its deepest nature just one being of immense proportions and unimaginable complexity.” (Grof 1998, p. 39).


GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS

Many people, like Dr Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in the video below, have claimed a connection between these experiences and growing movements toward global consciousness such as ecology.



ERWIN LASZLO
, the recipient of the highest degree in philosophy and human sciences of the Sorbonne, the University of Paris, as well as of the coveted Artist Diploma of the Franz Liszt Academy of Budapest. His numerous prizes and awards include four Honorary Doctorates.He is the author of 69 books and over 400 articles and research papers including
New Concepts of Matter, Life and Mind
Here he talks about the impact of the new sciences.





THE MONK AND THE RABBI- MYSTICISM AND THE PEAK EXPERIENCE




THE PRIMACY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Presentation given at "Physics of Consciousness" conference, Virginia, 2004, in which Peter Russell explores the mystery of consciousness from both scientific and mystical perspectives, showing how light is intrinsic to both, and giving a coherent argument as to why consciousness is fundamental essence of the cosmos. (Includes beautiful graphics and images.)


PROFESSOR AMIT GOSWAMI on THE SCIENCE OF QUANTUM CONSCIOUSNESS

Online resources

Jayne Gackenbach
Childhood Experiences of Higher States of Consciousness:
Literature Review and Theoretical Integration

Stanislav Grof The Cosmic Game ( soundstrue book)


Stanislav Grof: The Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness


The Institute of Noetic Sciences



Sophia University


California Institute of Integral Studies


Erwin Laszlo: New Concepts of Matter, Life and Mind

 

<< Return to Evidence Index

 



 

.