Originally Posted by Solipsist
Someone I read recently (though I can't remember who--I've done alot of reading in my time) said, "you'll know the Truth when you hear it."
Whenever you hear the Truth, something resonates in your very being, and you are highly attracted to it, because it's Who You Are.
That's my own observation, anyway.
But wouldn't that approach get people stuck in half-truths? So many people think they have the truth simply because they have heard it and it agrees with them. That's how fundamentalist Muslims, Christians, Hindus, or whatever operate. They think they already have just about all the facts but from an outside perspective, their views often look childish, incorrect, and at least lack completeness.
Originally Posted by Solipsist
I've had experiences, and know a few others who have had experiences that I can relate to.
I would say, first, that whatever experiences one has, that they determine whether or not they are genuinely metaphysical. Some time ago, (when I was exploring religion), I watched a man on television relate a vivid dream he had of hell, as God Himself had shown it to him. I took it seriously, at the time, but realized later that a dream fails to qualify (at least in my world) as metaphysical. Also, after a number of years under the influence of drugs, I recognize now that anything experienced in such a state cannot be relied upon to be authentically metaphysical.
Second, whatever experiences you may hear of, the only one that matters is your own, if you are sincerely looking for what you hold to be True. The "Kingdom of God," if such can be used as a barometer of Truth, "is within." You really can't trust anyone's related experience any more than your own.
To clarify, the point is not that all people must be on some external substance to have an experience. My point is merely that in some cases something so mundane as a chemical or hypnosis can give someone a powerful experience that they believe is spiritual.
As some of my examples show, one does not need an external substance all the time. Some Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns in the study could practice and create such feelings on demand, internally, but those feelings were ultimately involved with brain chemistry and were measurable. The other example demonstrated that a person with a set of mentalist abilities can convince a room full of atheists that something divine is in the room and that they can feel it.
People that can develop such emotional highs are enviable in my opinion, but my point is to showcase the awesome power of the mind and that since it has such power to give some of us extraordinary experiences in very mundane ways, I don’t see how it’s possible to conclude with any degree of certainty or near-certainty that an experience was actually supernatural.
I mean, to put it in context, if I would have had my marijuana experience happen to me without marijuana, I would have likely continued to believe that it was indeed supernatural and that I now have information regarding certain aspects of the metaphysical universe, when indeed such an experience is directly possible by mundane brain chemicals. If this hypothetical situation were to occur, what I view as factual could easily be wrong. I’m a left-brain individual myself, so apparently I require some sort of external substance to have this sort of experience, but some others apparently do not.
Originally Posted by Alan1986
Be present in the moment of Now, rather than be carried away by your mind, your ego. I think this is one of the best way.
I see how such exercises are useful for people that are prone to having so many distractions, but I don't see how they are beneficial to everyone.
What is so special about this moment right now? It seems mundane to me. If I focus on the moment right now, I simply notice how mundane it is, which seems unhelpful.