Don't Hindus require a 'pefect living master' that by chance they're supposed to encounter on their life journey?
From the point of view of the teacher however, I can understand why someone would want control over a student. In my own life I find there are so many conditions that influence a person, that to really teach what I know, I would need to control a student's lifestyle, diet, etc. If you read the reddit forum on meditation, you see there are posts by many, many people who can't sit still to meditate for even five minutes. Someone like that would be able to make more progress at an ashram where their daily life, diet, and practices would be closely controlled.
It's frustrating because there are people to whom I want to say, "I could turn your life upside down and crack open your skull - give you a red pill - if you would give me one month!" They think they want the pill but they don't have the month. And I don't have a month to give them either so I don't make the offer.
I wonder if Jeffery's studies included personality profiles of the interviewees? I'm curious if certain personality types are more inclined to enter PNSE. I would guess introverts are more inclined to have this experience.
But even if there is a correlation between PNSE and personality type, it doesn't tell you anything about any possible causal relationships. PNSE might be facilitated by a certain personality type or it might cause a certain personality type.
Ego Development Stage Does Not Predict Persistent
Jeffery A. Martin
A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the California Institute of Integral
Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Transformative Studies
California Institute of Integral Studies
San Francisco, CA
Non-symbolic experiences have been reported for millennia and generally
attributed to spiritual and religious contexts, although atheists and agnostics also
report them. Popular terms for them include: nondual awareness, enlightenment,
mystical experiences, peak experiences, transcendental experience, the peace that
passeth understanding, unity consciousness, union with God, and so forth. Most
are temporary, but some individuals report a persistent form of them. Some
scholars have argued that these experiences represent advanced stages of human
development and placed them atop existing levels in various domains of
developmental psychology such as cognitive or ego development. There is little
evidence for this view. Moreover, several problems with it are pointed out in the
The primary goal of this study is to test the above taxonomy by comparing
ego development and Mysticism Scale measurements from a diverse population
of individuals who report persistent non-symbolic experience. This investigation
first hypothesized that individuals who report persistent non-symbolic experience
would exhibit a range of psychological developmental levels, specifically tested
here as a composite, ego development, using the Washington University Sentence
Completion Test (WUSCT). Second, it hypothesized that individuals who report
persistent non-symbolic experience would score higher on Hood's Mysticism
Scale than those who do not report such experiences. Third, it hypothesized the
absence of a simple or linear relationship between scores on the WUSCT and
Mysticism Scale for those who report non-symbolic experience.
These hypotheses were examined in 36 adults (F=9, M=27) reporting
persistent non-symbolic experience. The first hypothesis was supported: ego
development stages ranged from 5 (Loevinger and Cook-Greuter's "Self Aware"
stage) to 10 (Cook-Greuter's "Unitive" stage). The second hypothesis was also
supported: average and median Mysticism Scale scores notably exceeded those
reported in studies of other populations. The third hypothesis could not be
adequately tested because the Mysticism Scale score distribution was strongly
skewed upwards, making most statistical comparisons unworkable. Overall, this
study provides the first strong evidence that persistent non-symbolic experience
does not represent higher levels of ego development.
This video by Dr Martin discusses the question further.
The playlist containing that video has interesting background on PNSE
I disagree... I'm still grinding on #234. Big blindspots like this trouble me... make me question what else the person is missing. At the end of the day I know Rick will figure it out, but his "Republican v. Democrat" paradigm makes me question some of his underlying assumptions.
This is why spiritual teachers should never comment on politics. It leads their followers to the idea that people who hold one belief are good and people who hold another belief are evil. A spiritual teacher should only ask his adherents to pray for the "highest good" - or something equivalent in their belief system - never for any particular outcome. This way everyone on all sides ends up with their intention supporting each other rather than pulling in different directions.
You can work for social change and political causes, but do it separately from your practice of spirituality.
Spiritual teachers are no different than any other person. They have an area of expertise and may have a lot to tell others about that subject. But they are not ethically or morally superior to other people (look at all the sex scandals involving spiritual teachers) and they are no authority in fields outside their area of expertise. When students get hurt by careless spiritual teachers, some of the blame usually belongs to the student as well as the teacher because part of the problem is that people like to fool themselves into worshiping idols. The student mistakenly cedes power to another equally fallible human being. This is one reason I think the enlightenment movement is fundamentally misguided. It elevates the teacher on a false pedestal. What does it tell you about enlightenment when an enlightened teacher misbehaves sexually?
Buddha taught meditation to the monks but when he spoke to householders, he spoke on morality and ethics. If they heeded his words, householders would be protected from enlightened teachers.