Today I pulled together three thoughts that before I had recognized separately
- All mystical traditions and many moderns who report on psychedelic experiences tell us that we are one. But individuality is such a powerful illusion, if illusion it be. How to make sense of this unanimity on the subject of oneness in light of the fundamental fact of our senses: that we each experience free will with regard to skeletal muscles of one individual human only?
- Thoughts from moment to moment are mostly out of our volitional control. Anyone who tries to meditate learns this. Maybe I shouldn't say "tries" to meditate, because this is meditation's central message. One becomes aware that whoever "I" is, this entity is not in control of the thoughts with which "I" is so identified.
- Experiments in telepathy show a consistently positive statistical effect, but famously unreliable, inconsistent, out of control. Telepathy is not a modality we can count on to deliver a message, but in a well-designed experiment with just a few hundred trials, we can be confident in seeing the statistical fingerprints of telepathy. There is certainly an influence of one mind on another, but it is mostly undirected and beneath conscious awareness.
Tentative synthesis: My thoughts have control over my body, but "I" have only partial control over my thoughts. This is what it feels like to be a part of the universal consciousness. These thoughts that come unbidden to my mind are the universal mind of which my conscious awareness is just a part. One function of my brain is an antenna which receives thoughts and images from people I am close to, but also from anyone who directs attention toward me, and in part from a larger sphere of humanity or all life and all nature.
Old mystics, shamans, acidheads agree
Connection universal binds us all
The I that seems so separate and small
Is but conceit, conditioned vanity.
My mind in meditation doth defy
My will, assimilates unbidden thought.
Thus meditation's lesson aptly taught
Asks who, if not my neurons, am this "I"?
Our science if more honest, would concede
Statistics show telepathy is real,
Though not a force we hear or see or feel.
From what source do its messages proceed?
From psi research and from my meditation,
The mystics' message earns consideration.
- Josh Mitteldorf