Lately I’ve been regaining an interest in meditation. I used to think meditation and all the things that went along with it were just strange, foreign religious practices. But, I’ve come to realize that ancient teachings on meditation and alchemy are actually the earliest forms of psychology and the earliest sciences of our endocrine system… and beyond.
The wise and ancient instructions on how to enter into a meditative state always start with a focus on the breath. I wonder who it was that first sat there and started contemplating this life-giving force of breath. What was it like as they began to focus on the air entering their lungs and then floating back out of their mouth as they fell into a trance-like state for the first time? Any of us who’ve experienced a deep meditation, can all agree that this sensation feels quite nice.
I imagine this new experience must have sparked more exploration into focusing on the breath and encouraged experiments with various breathing exercises. These new ventures would’ve taken this ancient person deeper and deeper into trance states.
This scenario I imagine could be seen as one of the first psychology experiments into the deeper psyche. The numerous ancient writings on chakras, sitting positions, mantras and the like could be considered some of the first documents of scientific experiments into this strange experience of meditation. Before Newton contemplated gravity, ancient man was developing sciences to explore the greatest mysteries of all, the mind and the self.
Being in a trance state takes one into the depths of the mind. It makes one more aware of the subtleties in their own psyche and in the things around them. The mind is a delicate thing and the entities that psychologist Carl Jung called “archetypes” are the same things that ancient people called “angels and demons”. Whether these strange forces are actually intelligent entities or not is beside the point.
The point is that ventures into trance states can sometimes create strange or frightening experiences. One of the most commonly reported visions from meditation is seeing disembodied faces swirling in the ether. I imagine experiences similar to these would’ve made ancient peoples drive these scientific discoveries into secrecy. Hence “the occult”.
This completely natural act that relies on zero technology was shunned by science in the past and grouped into a religious practice. But, the truth is that although meditation is now a widely studied medical phenomenon, it is also still a spiritual act, because it makes one realize that we as humans are much more than we typically realize. A successful meditation opens one up to the experience that there is much more in the Universe than what can be perceived with our mere five senses.
Russian cosmonauts have discovered something remarkable clinging to the outside of the International Space Station: living organisms.
Jurassic Park is about to be real.
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