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Date Posted: 19:24
Author: Eponymous - 10Dec01
Subject: Re: An SRF research department
In reply to: ketch - 9 Dec 2001 's message, "Re: An SRF research department" on 19:23

I really wonder, Ketch, whether anyone who practices kriya (or any other spiritual discipline) does so with the belief that the "spiritual advancement" attained thereby has no manifestation other than in "the depth of his bliss in meditation"; when motivated to show that there really is something to this meditation thing, kriya practitioners will frequently point to alleged physical phenomena (corporeal incorruptibility, transmigration, breath/heartbeat/pulse cessation, materialization, etc.) that, as they see it, demonstrate spiritual advancement.

Now, these are straightforward, empirical phenomena, open to rigorous scrutiny by anyone who would care to apply it; for any type of event that admits of regular, ocular observation, a test should be cheap and easy to design. [n.1] And since almost all of the phenomena routinely trotted out as putative evidence for a given yogi's spiritual excellence are so observable, the sober kriya investigator should have no trouble [n.2] finding out whether the ostensibly distinctive effects of their favored spiritual discipline exist outside the netherworld of meditational bliss. [n.3]


1. Example - a proposed research protocol for investigating whether breath cessation is an authentic phenomenon: Immerse a putative master of breath cessation under water for, say, an hour. (No need for complicated blood oxygen measurments or atmospheric monitoring equipment, that way.) To control for secreted methods of oxygen intake (i.e., fraud): make sure to video tape the subject, and make sure the subject's entire facial area is clearly visible to the camera during the test.

2. Of course there may be the issue of getting a claimant's cooperation for a test. But then where a claimant is averse to a test, we should accordingly discount his claim.

3. My guess, though, is that most kriya practitioners will shy away from inquiring into questions that can be answered. I think the ethos driving this taste for the inscrutable was summed up well by Burt Reynold's character in the film "Mystery, Alaska": "Two things we’ve always had in Mystery - our dignity; and our illusions. I suggest we cling to both."

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