Peter Montgomery wrote:
> Techniques of meditation in particular have a lot in common.
This is one of the features of mysticism which is easily explained
through vulgar reductionism. There is an unending supply of purely
physical tricks which will "separate" one from immediate reality. Last
summer Jan & I travelled from Chicago to Seattle by train. As we were
going through central Montana the loudspeaker announced that someplace
in Idaho a freight train had derailed, and that the tracks would not be
cleared in time for our train to proceed on to Seattle. Hence, from some
town in Montana (I forget the name) to Spokane, we were transferred to
buses. (It was a 6 hour trip, from 9pm to 3am.) The transfer to buses
was handled badly, and Jan and I ended up sitting in the rear seats, the
backs of which would not recline. I suffer from various back and neck
discomforts (price of aging and, to some extent, bifocals), and I
seriously doubted I could tolerate the trip, until I remembered a little
trick that someone had recently described. Place your tongue on your
lower teeth, let your jaw sag as completely as possible, and roll your
eyes backwards to focus on whatever you see. First time I'd ever tried
_any_ meditation trick, & it worked beautifully.
Most mystical experiences seem to be merely another way of paraphrasing
some particular set of facts.
There is a social club in Tokyo that goes camping on a mountain once a
year to give themselves serious sensory deprivation through cold,
hunger, thin air, etc. They get a psychotic experience out of it. If
they wanted to they could probably call it a mystic experience.