Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Spectrum
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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 12th, 2018, 12:55 am

Frost wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 12:44 am
In the Gita, liberation is not a psychological state at all. Once a person returns to normal consciousness from realization, there are psychological manifestations, but realization itself is nothing at all psychological.
I meant psychological in general because the brain/mind literally is still involved because the person is not physically dead.
In a way I agree a 'liberated state' is not the typical psychological state because there is no "I-ness".
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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 12th, 2018, 1:05 am

Spectrum wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 12:55 am
Frost wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 12:44 am
In the Gita, liberation is not a psychological state at all. Once a person returns to normal consciousness from realization, there are psychological manifestations, but realization itself is nothing at all psychological.
I meant psychological in general because the brain/mind literally is still involved because the person is not physically dead.
In a way I agree a 'liberated state' is not the typical psychological state because there is no "I-ness".
Liberation is the same process as death. That's why realized persons were called "twice born." The realization of the Absolute has nothing to do with psychology or any cognitive processes. With the return to regular consciousness, there are psychological effects, of course, but liberation itself is not psychological. I think westerners have taken liberation to be a type of psychological freedom, which does occur, but that's not its about in Advaita Vedanta because liberation is the realization of the Absolute (atman = brahman).

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 12th, 2018, 1:13 am

Frost wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 12:14 am
Count Lucanor wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 12:02 am
Self-actualization is not mysticism. As we can see in the texts you quote, Maslow is actually reducing religion to its basic psychological constituents and the last quote is particularly revealing about its nature: there are "peakers" and "non-peakers" and they all belong to the same organized social practice of religion. If mysticism was an essential part of religious experience at the level of individuals, then you would expect all religious members having mystical experiences, but that's not the case. So, self-actualization might translate mysticism in psychological terms, but it will do the same with other forms of enlightenment, not necessarily related to theistic views, because what matters for Maslow is the psychological experience itself, from which the content can be "peeled away".
Perhaps you are right on the psychological aspect, although I would honestly have to reread his books. He is a psychologist, after all, but that's also not to say that he may think those experiences are merely a matter of psychology. If that is the case, then I disagree with him since those experiences are not reducible to psychology and I think the Indian hierarchy of life values is more complete.

However, when you say that one "can do without the mystical aspect," this may be true once the religion is established, but since it is the very basis of the religion, if you do without the mystical revelation, you do away with the religion in the first place.
Maslow is a psychologist so his studies has to be confined to psychology thus the exclusion of mysticism [the mysterious].

I have read Maslow's "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature" and his approach tend toward the attempt to be more objective. Based on the principles he expounded we can expound them more objectively when the Human Connectome Project reaches a certain critical stage of progress.
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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 12th, 2018, 1:25 am

Frost wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 1:05 am
Spectrum wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 12:55 am
I meant psychological in general because the brain/mind literally is still involved because the person is not physically dead.
In a way I agree a 'liberated state' is not the typical psychological state because there is no "I-ness".
Liberation is the same process as death. That's why realized persons were called "twice born." The realization of the Absolute has nothing to do with psychology or any cognitive processes. With the return to regular consciousness, there are psychological effects, of course, but liberation itself is not psychological. I think westerners have taken liberation to be a type of psychological freedom, which does occur, but that's not its about in Advaita Vedanta because liberation is the realization of the Absolute (atman = brahman).
  • Psychology is the science of behavior and mind, including conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as thought. -wiki


In general as long as the person is still alive and his brain is still active [conscious or unconscious], I believe in accordance to the above definition, it is covered within psychology.
Even with your "realization of the Absolute" by a person who is alive, neuro-psychology can come into the picture by studying the brain patterns and neural activities of that person using fMRI imaging or other advance machines. Also note the Human Connectome Project which can facilitate such psychological studies.

However, on the subject of so claimed life or activity after physical death of the soul, yes I agree that is not psychology.
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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 12th, 2018, 1:34 am

Spectrum wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 1:25 am
  • Psychology is the science of behavior and mind, including conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as thought. -wiki


In general as long as the person is still alive and his brain is still active [conscious or unconscious], I believe in accordance to the above definition, it is covered within psychology.
Even with your "realization of the Absolute" by a person who is alive, neuro-psychology can come into the picture by studying the brain patterns and neural activities of that person using fMRI imaging or other advance machines. Also note the Human Connectome Project which can facilitate such psychological studies.

However, on the subject of so claimed life or activity after physical death of the soul, yes I agree that is not psychology.
While I agree one can apply neuroscience to mystical experience, as Andrew Newberg has done, from the first-person perspective it is not a matter of psychology or neuroscience. Realization is neither conscious nor unconscious, nor even a non-conscious process. The brain being active does not mean that there is an active experience. It appears most likely that deafferentation occurs in which the mapping of the state of the organism is decoupled from the environment and its organism and progresses through increasingly purified states of awareness. There are processes going on in the body, but there is no experience of it whatever. True realization transcends experience itself.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 12th, 2018, 3:12 am

Frost wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 1:34 am
Spectrum wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 1:25 am
  • Psychology is the science of behavior and mind, including conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as thought. -wiki


In general as long as the person is still alive and his brain is still active [conscious or unconscious], I believe in accordance to the above definition, it is covered within psychology.
Even with your "realization of the Absolute" by a person who is alive, neuro-psychology can come into the picture by studying the brain patterns and neural activities of that person using fMRI imaging or other advance machines. Also note the Human Connectome Project which can facilitate such psychological studies.

However, on the subject of so claimed life or activity after physical death of the soul, yes I agree that is not psychology.
While I agree one can apply neuroscience to mystical experience, as Andrew Newberg has done, from the first-person perspective it is not a matter of psychology or neuroscience. Realization is neither conscious nor unconscious, nor even a non-conscious process. The brain being active does not mean that there is an active experience. It appears most likely that deafferentation occurs in which the mapping of the state of the organism is decoupled from the environment and its organism and progresses through increasingly purified states of awareness. There are processes going on in the body, but there is no experience of it whatever. True realization transcends experience itself.
I believe the confusion is a case of semantics and sets.
I agree Spirituality is not equal to Psychology totally and vice-versa in term of their specific set.
But both do overlap in many areas.

Cannot find an exact image example, here is how Spirituality is not religion but they overlap. If you replace the 'religion' circle/set with psychology, that would be my point.

Image
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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 12th, 2018, 11:39 am

Spectrum wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 3:12 am
I believe the confusion is a case of semantics and sets.
I agree Spirituality is not equal to Psychology totally and vice-versa in term of their specific set.
But both do overlap in many areas.

Cannot find an exact image example, here is how Spirituality is not religion but they overlap. If you replace the 'religion' circle/set with psychology, that would be my point.

Image
I guess I take issue with the superficiality of the categorization of religion and spirituality. They come across as merely a matter of morality and psychology. I come from the Advaita Vedanta tradition, and from there, spirituality is about finding your true nature, which is the true nature of reality itself. Certainly the questions in the chart are involved, but to miss out on this most important point is to miss the entire point of spirituality and religion.

I guess coming from the tradition I do, the distinction between spirituality and religion is also rather strange as well. Spirituality and religion pretty much go hand in hand. While there are some that are spiritual without being religious and some are religious without being spiritual, they are rather strange. If you are spiritual but have no practice, then it's difficult to consider this truly being spiritual, and if you have a practice then this involves some sort of religious tradition. If you are religious without being spiritual, then it is mere dogma.

Perhaps this is why I tend toward the Indian purushartha system, since it is a harmony of all intrinsic values and acknowledges the highest reality. The psychological aspect is just one element in a much larger hierarchy of intrinsic life values.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Dark Matter » March 12th, 2018, 1:21 pm

Everything is psychological. The prospect of having to answer to a higher power than one’s self can create psychological angst in a person to such an extent that the only way of dealing with it is to find every excuse and every little piece of information that can be imagined to be evidence against the higher power and use that to weave a security blanket of lies, distortion and misdirection behind which they can hide.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 12th, 2018, 3:40 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 1:21 pm
Everything is psychological. The prospect of having to answer to a higher power than one’s self can create psychological angst in a person to such an extent that the only way of dealing with it is to find every excuse and every little piece of information that can be imagined to be evidence against the higher power and use that to weave a security blanket of lies, distortion and misdirection behind which they can hide.
The realization of one's true nature is not psychological in any way shape or form. There are psychological effects upon returning to normal consciousness, but realization itself is nothing psychological.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 12th, 2018, 11:41 pm

Frost wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 11:39 am
Spectrum wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 3:12 am
I believe the confusion is a case of semantics and sets.
I agree Spirituality is not equal to Psychology totally and vice-versa in term of their specific set.
But both do overlap in many areas.

Cannot find an exact image example, here is how Spirituality is not religion but they overlap. If you replace the 'religion' circle/set with psychology, that would be my point.
I guess I take issue with the superficiality of the categorization of religion and spirituality. They come across as merely a matter of morality and psychology. I come from the Advaita Vedanta tradition, and from there, spirituality is about finding your true nature, which is the true nature of reality itself. Certainly the questions in the chart are involved, but to miss out on this most important point is to miss the entire point of spirituality and religion.

I guess coming from the tradition I do, the distinction between spirituality and religion is also rather strange as well. Spirituality and religion pretty much go hand in hand. While there are some that are spiritual without being religious and some are religious without being spiritual, they are rather strange. If you are spiritual but have no practice, then it's difficult to consider this truly being spiritual, and if you have a practice then this involves some sort of religious tradition. If you are religious without being spiritual, then it is mere dogma.

Perhaps this is why I tend toward the Indian purushartha system, since it is a harmony of all intrinsic values and acknowledges the highest reality. The psychological aspect is just one element in a much larger hierarchy of intrinsic life values.
Noted your points above.

My original point is;
Spirituality is not Psychology and vice versa. They are separate sets.
But they do overlap like the example given above.

Btw, I was into Advaita Vedanta for a LONG time then I 'graduated' to Buddhist's philosophies without being a Buddhist i.e. not conforming to some specific school of Buddhism.

Advaita Vedanta is very sound, strong and has good philosophies and practices but I do not agree with its ultimate, i.e. Brahman and the merging of Atman with Brahman. Psychologically there is a sliver of reification of what is essentially mere thoughts only.
Note the thread on DMT where the participants report their experience of going beyond 'somethingness' into absolute nothingness.
If one is in a state of absolute nothingness, why still have "somethingness" in terms of Brahman.

Buddhism emerged from the Vedas but did a 180 degree paradigm shift with a full focus on 'nothingness' (neti-neti) i.e. sunyata.
In Buddhism, even 'nothingness' is nothing, like even 'emptiness' is empty.

In Advaita Vedanta, there is the transcendence beyond which is nothingness in reference to materiality, but that nothingness-re-materiality is reified [subsconsciously] as a 'somethingness'-re-ultimate-reality.

I believe the person's inclination to either Advaita Vedanta or Buddhism at the highest level of consideration is dependent on one's psychological state leveraging on the existential crisis within at the bottom of the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 13th, 2018, 12:04 am

Spectrum wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 11:41 pm
Note the thread on DMT where the participants report their experience of going beyond 'somethingness' into absolute nothingness.
If one is in a state of absolute nothingness, why still have "somethingness" in terms of Brahman.

Buddhism emerged from the Vedas but did a 180 degree paradigm shift with a full focus on 'nothingness' (neti-neti) i.e. sunyata.
In Buddhism, even 'nothingness' is nothing, like even 'emptiness' is empty.

In Advaita Vedanta, there is the transcendence beyond which is nothingness in reference to materiality, but that nothingness-re-materiality is reified [subsconsciously] as a 'somethingness'-re-ultimate-reality.

I believe the person's inclination to either Advaita Vedanta or Buddhism at the highest level of consideration is dependent on one's psychological state leveraging on the existential crisis within at the bottom of the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
The "nothingness" is a description of what comes along the progress toward self-realization. I think that is the fundamental mistake of Buddhism (not of Buddha, he was self-realized), where it seems to many have stopped at the void and went no further and did not achieve realization.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 13th, 2018, 12:29 am

Frost wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 12:04 am
Spectrum wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 11:41 pm
Note the thread on DMT where the participants report their experience of going beyond 'somethingness' into absolute nothingness.
If one is in a state of absolute nothingness, why still have "somethingness" in terms of Brahman.

Buddhism emerged from the Vedas but did a 180 degree paradigm shift with a full focus on 'nothingness' (neti-neti) i.e. sunyata.
In Buddhism, even 'nothingness' is nothing, like even 'emptiness' is empty.

In Advaita Vedanta, there is the transcendence beyond which is nothingness in reference to materiality, but that nothingness-re-materiality is reified [subsconsciously] as a 'somethingness'-re-ultimate-reality.

I believe the person's inclination to either Advaita Vedanta or Buddhism at the highest level of consideration is dependent on one's psychological state leveraging on the existential crisis within at the bottom of the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
The "nothingness" is a description of what comes along the progress toward self-realization. I think that is the fundamental mistake of Buddhism (not of Buddha, he was self-realized), where it seems to many have stopped at the void and went no further and did not achieve realization.
The Buddha was originally into Vedas-based-Hinduism and tried many other spiritual approaches. So the Buddha was aware of what was in his perspective, the limitation of the highest level of Hinduism and thus overcame that limitation and introduced Buddhism.

The crucial difference between the philosophy of Hinduism and Buddhism is that of atman versus anatman [annata] which was propounded by the Buddha.
Since the existing Buddhism philosophy is still centered on anatman [annata], the present Buddhism's core principles did not deviate from that of the original Buddha.

Btw, have you done a thorough research and analysis to understand [not necessary agree] the difference between the Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism-proper.* This would be a very interesting exercise if you are into detailed research.

* note there are many schools of thought within Buddhism, those in the Pure Land School even believe in the idea of heaven akin [not exactly] to Christianity. Thus the need to understand Buddhism-proper is substance not its various forms.
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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 13th, 2018, 12:45 am

Spectrum wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 12:29 am
The Buddha was originally into Vedas-based-Hinduism and tried many other spiritual approaches. So the Buddha was aware of what was in his perspective, the limitation of the highest level of Hinduism and thus overcame that limitation and introduced Buddhism.

The crucial difference between the philosophy of Hinduism and Buddhism is that of atman versus anatman [annata] which was propounded by the Buddha.
Since the existing Buddhism philosophy is still centered on anatman [annata], the present Buddhism's core principles did not deviate from that of the original Buddha.

Btw, have you done a thorough research and analysis to understand [not necessary agree] the difference between the Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism-proper.* This would be a very interesting exercise if you are into detailed research.

* note there are many schools of thought within Buddhism, those in the Pure Land School even believe in the idea of heaven akin [not exactly] to Christianity. Thus the need to understand Buddhism-proper is substance not its various forms.
I have not done an in-depth comparison of all the Buddhist schools with Vedanta, although I am familiar with the various schools of Vedanta.

I'm not sure I follow you on the interpretation of Buddha with respect to Indian religion. In his time, the Vedas were already ancient, and there were surely many Vedantas. Buddha was rejecting the dogmatic orthodoxy of Vedic religion which had degenerated into caste by birth. This was a major part of the Dhammapada that went on at length about what truly constitutes an Arya. However, the Vedanta existed, and Buddha fulfilled the Vedanta while rejecting the ritualistic dogmatism that arose from the karma kanda portion of the Vedas. In this way I see him as fulfilling the scriptures that already existed, in the way Jesus fulfilled Judaism.

The Advaita Vedantic interpretation of Buddha is that indeed there is no self, but there is also nothing but self. This is the fullness, the purna, of the Absolute. It is empty because there are no attributes, but it is full because it is the potentiality of universes. The blankness of apparent void is along the path to realizing Saguna Brahman (pure awareness), but this must also be transcended to Nirguna or Para Brahman, the Absolute, which is neither existence or non-existence, neither awareness nor non-awareness.

Not that I have experienced these :) But that is my understanding from reading more books than I should on the subject which should have been spent actually practicing :) By the way, are you familiar with Shankara's arguments against Buddhism? His was an interesting time, where Buddhism almost overtook India, but Shankara traveled the country debating different schools, bringing back Vedanta by introducing the Upanishads to the masses and taking the Gita out of the Mahabharata for spiritual study.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 13th, 2018, 1:10 am

Frost wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 12:45 am
Spectrum wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 12:29 am
The Buddha was originally into Vedas-based-Hinduism and tried many other spiritual approaches. So the Buddha was aware of what was in his perspective, the limitation of the highest level of Hinduism and thus overcame that limitation and introduced Buddhism.

The crucial difference between the philosophy of Hinduism and Buddhism is that of atman versus anatman [annata] which was propounded by the Buddha.
Since the existing Buddhism philosophy is still centered on anatman [annata], the present Buddhism's core principles did not deviate from that of the original Buddha.

Btw, have you done a thorough research and analysis to understand [not necessary agree] the difference between the Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism-proper.* This would be a very interesting exercise if you are into detailed research.

* note there are many schools of thought within Buddhism, those in the Pure Land School even believe in the idea of heaven akin [not exactly] to Christianity. Thus the need to understand Buddhism-proper is substance not its various forms.
I have not done an in-depth comparison of all the Buddhist schools with Vedanta, although I am familiar with the various schools of Vedanta.

I'm not sure I follow you on the interpretation of Buddha with respect to Indian religion. In his time, the Vedas were already ancient, and there were surely many Vedantas. Buddha was rejecting the dogmatic orthodoxy of Vedic religion which had degenerated into caste by birth. This was a major part of the Dhammapada that went on at length about what truly constitutes an Arya. However, the Vedanta existed, and Buddha fulfilled the Vedanta while rejecting the ritualistic dogmatism that arose from the karma kanda portion of the Vedas. In this way I see him as fulfilling the scriptures that already existed, in the way Jesus fulfilled Judaism.
True the Buddha did not agree with the caste system but the core of Buddha's philosophy goes far beyond from Theravada to Mahayana to Vajrayana. Buddhism at its ultimate core [re anatta and sunyata] is totally different from Hinduism.
The Advaita Vedantic interpretation of Buddha is that indeed there is no self, but there is also nothing but self. This is the fullness, the purna, of the Absolute. It is empty because there are no attributes, but it is full because it is the potentiality of universes. The blankness of apparent void is along the path to realizing Saguna Brahman (pure awareness), but this must also be transcended to Nirguna or Para Brahman, the Absolute, which is neither existence or non-existence, neither awareness nor non-awareness.
In Buddhism there is no self all the way, i.e. from anatta to sunyata and no atman merging with Brahman at all.
Not that I have experienced these :) But that is my understanding from reading more books than I should on the subject which should have been spent actually practicing :) By the way, are you familiar with Shankara's arguments against Buddhism? His was an interesting time, where Buddhism almost overtook India, but Shankara traveled the country debating different schools, bringing back Vedanta by introducing the Upanishads to the masses and taking the Gita out of the Mahabharata for spiritual study.
I have read the counter arguments by Adi Shankara and others against Buddhism. The levels debated rise to very refined levels but I don't see those arguments overcoming the Buddhist's views.
Many reverted to Hinduism from Buddhism but it is not because they understood the essence of the arguments but due to various reasons, e.g. personal preferences to rituals, idols, etc.
Note Buddhism proper do not emphasize on rituals, idols, ceremonies, etc. but they have to compromise on this to meet the needs of the layperson.
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