Trancendental Meditation

Discussion in 'Modern Religions' started by iBrian, May 12, 2004.

  1. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I have family in Ilkley, but don't recognise the name Oglesby. :)
     
  2. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    That was a zen arrow. shot blindfold. Hit the town but missed the bullseye. But at least gave me the opportunity to let you know that I a spent many a pleasant hour in the East African bushveld enjoying Yorkshire's brand of humor - and yorkshire pud with venison, baked over an open fire.
    I would like to make a further important point that we have both over-looked uring this discussion on metaphsyics. Hopefully it is taken it in the same spirit it is given. If, for instance, as a scientist, you had posted a thread that took Christian prayers to task, bluntly stating that they had no proof of their efficasy outside of the individual or group trying to transmit them, one can only imagine the uproar your post would have caused. Stirring the pot again, I know - but with friendly intent.:rolleyes:
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I believe there's some good scientific research on the use of prayer, so hopefully we'd have a wider range of context to work with. :)
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I think this is what absolutely befuddles me. Are you indicating you think prayer works on externally..outside of the individual praying as in on prayed for individuals or circumstances....yet TM does not?

    Is this semantics...is not TM a form of prayer or prayer a form of TM? Is not prayer focused thought and energy?

    Our thoughts are prayers..
    and we are always praying..
    Our thoughts are prayers
    take charge of what your saying
    seek a higher conscousness
    a place of peacefulness
    for everythought becomes a prayer..
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    No - it's that the TM movement continues to post "proofs" that the Maharishi Effect exists. I was critical of that before due to the lack of references to peer-reviewed studies.

    With Christian prayer at least, I'm under the impression there are possibly more peer-reviewed studies on that subject, hence any such discussion of the issue can be more properly balanced by different studies and arguments.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    One thing about a lot of studies and peer review is the nature of the task....can you tell me who else has an interest in funding TM studies? It is liike herbal studies...they rarely exist as herbs can't be patented....so unless you have some specific man made combination patentable product you can't reap the rewards of the money it costs to make the study...

    Christianity has its supporters have their fingers in enough places and enough money to fund all sorts of studies...

    One of the issues on the studies that Christians and their denominations have issues with is that doesn't matter whether you are Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or use TM, prayer works...

    The DC TM study is what I here both touted and derided the most.
     
  7. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    Well said.
     
  8. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    That's something of a cop-out, though - peer-reviewed science isn't an inaccessible world, and it shouldn't be too hard for the TM movement to offer a post-graduate grant to prove their points.

    Instead, we get the TM movement posting their claims regardless, and claiming scientific validation - when it is nothing more than their own groups proving their own ideology.

    Perhaps there are peer-reviewed studies into the Maharishi Effect - but without them as reference points, it's impossible to provide a balanced argument on the subject.

    There's nothing to stop the TM movement funding studies outside of themselves, to validate their claims regarding the Mahirishi Effect. Personally, I'd say if it was as easily provable as they state, then the benefits in terms of credibility would be enormous for them.
     
  9. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    Perfectly valid point. And it would be a good idea for them to do so, if they have not already. However, in terms of simple social courtesy, if Christains have already proved their point, and you more or less accept their findings, then, I take it, we have agreed to some extent to agree on the existence of a compassionate overs-soul, by whatever name we give it. If this is so, even without outside validation, why would we assume that the same compassionate spirit does not listen to all sincere pleas? Could we not at least accept, in principle, that the TM studies, though self-serving, do not insult our common sense and are not unduly flawed?

    Perhaps this whole argument could be cleared up and ease your feelings of scientific trespass, if you got hold of one of their studies and critiqued their methodology point by point.
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I haven't though. :)

    My position is neutral - simply that I'm aware that some peer-reviewed studies into Christian Prayer have been conducted, and while I'm aware that there may be some that support such a phenomenon, I would also expect there to be other studies unable to find it. The balance of the argument would be in being able to take information from both to form an opinion with.
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    One could look here

    http://www.istpp.org/crime_prevention/

    Now of course the data collected was DC and FBI crime statistics...

    And I remember the Police Commisioner have some fun quote about the likelyhood of decreasing crime in DC in the summer like snow in August...
     
  12. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    Helpful post. I am sure I Brian will agree. Thanks for taking the trouble to research it. :)
     
  13. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    It's a TM movement site, though - the contact e-mail on the left is for the main TM site.

    There's every attempt to look like third-part validation - one might even suggest they were trying to hide the fact that they are a TM website.

    There's no further info on the study to show how the researches used the data, and what flaws may be in the experiment, and there's no reference to publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

    These omissions are critical, as it's pretty easy to make flawed assessments using statistics that simply won't hold up under peer review. I see no attempt to claim peer review there.

    Looks like an aggressive attempt at propaganda, not science.
     
  14. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    I must salute your stand on scientific principles. The honorable Lodge of Science would not have risen to the heights it has, without its knights defending its basic tenets. So, until such time as your critera is met you remain technically correct.

    I would have left this debate remain there for future resolution, except for the fact that you have seized upon the example you were given and once again implied unethical conduct, thereby continuing to cast a shadow on the character of a minority group of fellow citizens, who, from my experience have not only sincere intentions at heart, but also have an extremely valuable contribution to make in our understanding of the human condition.

    As far as your above statements are concerned, the mayor and police department of Washington D.C. have not claimed that the metaphsyical experiment to reduce crime in their city was an invalid self-serving propaganda effort by the TM movement - or that it had no significant impact on the crime rate. I am not trying to be exclusively personal with you on this issue. It is only personal for me to the extent that I have eight children of my own and as a practicing metaphysician, I am naturally concerned about the ethical nature of the future world they will live in. I do not feel that our Christian culture, which continues to refuse to turn the other cheek when challenged, is being true to a basic Christian tenet. And therefore any other concerted effort to seek a more peaceful path has my sympathy at heart.

    From the start this argument has been patently larger than both of us - and because it is on a public forum, we both have a civic duty to keep it on a level keel. The subject we are debating, you from a scientific standpoint and I from a metaphysical position, is over a very serious national issue. It underlines the confusion our children are facing over religion and science in the classroom today. I am deeply respectful of the values science brings to our world in terms of technologial advancement, but even more concerned at the loss of ethical standards it has brought in its wake by taking too rigid a stance on recognizing the vital importance of metaphsyical instruction. The robotic view of Newton as been invalidated by the Nuclear Theorum, and it is time that all scientist's take to heart the metaphsyical implications that experiments in sub-atomic behavior imply.

    As we all step into an entirely new paradigm, extreme caution should be exercised by all of us in how we deal with the inexplicable anomalies that are being reported by particle phsyicists. Heisenberg has already proved that what we "think" we see is not determinable. It is not merely co-incidental that physicists are using words like charm, strangeness, beauty to describe the reactions they are getting from sub-atomic experiments. These are the very same words metaphsyical researchers have intuitively used themselves for millennia, when delving into the into the invisible emotive effects of atomic behavior that is sensed to be radiating from bones and stones and metals used as charms to ward off illness and ill-will.

    There are millions of westerners. scientists included, who are taking a serious look at ancient metaphysical practices that evoke intuitive insights into the the invsible attributes that underly the atomic nature of reality. The TM movement has put nearly forty years of serious contribution into our over-all undertanding of metaphsyical phenomena. Their claims are difficult to substantiate to be sure. They are trying to articulate that which, to quote Heienberg again, is essentially unknowable. It is not entirely unreasonable to ask ourselves to keep an open-mind as we move into a new era of human understanding and to some extent, exercise our faith in our common sense of decency - and not simply blackball any effort that falls outside the realm of conventional practices. The Lodge of Science would do well to recall its own difficulties in the early days of trying to establish the validity of its own reasearches in the face of a too-rigid religious orthodoxy, and not fall into the same false power trap itself.
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I don't think it's so much a point of making ethical judgements - it's simply seeking balanced argument.

    It applies regardless of the faith making claims for testing.

    What is a genuine shame is that it appears difficult in this thread to find that balance.

    Until such point, it is difficult to take a single organisation's claims of its own abilities - where they directly apply to science and scientific method - without the relevant testing and review of such claims.
     
  16. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    I am sorry, but I cannot accept your reply to my previous post based on the merits you mention. It would be okay to do so, if you had not made the earlier claim that something underhand is going on and leaving that charge still pending. Seeking a balanced judgement is ethical in itself. You cannot say that you have done that. There can be no wrong in questioning whether TM acheived balance, but you have to ask yourslef why your tone keeps the subject unbalanced - by tagging on unnecessary derogatory comments. In my judgement you again crossed an ethical line, not so agregiously as before, yet I must continue to defend it and ask for redress.

    As it is you are complaining that science is being trespassed on, and insist on defending the line. I gave you that point, and was prepared to let it ride there. I think it only fair that you make an effort recipricate and agree that metaphsyics has being unduly trespassed upon

    The geniume shame is that nobody can explain how difficult it is to supply balanced evidence on what is - by its very nature, unquantifiable - even though, as in the case under examinantion,(regardless of who validated it) there is clear evidence to suggest that crime did indeed decrease. I was hoping that as a scientist you might feel qualified to comment on the underlying problems between physicists amnd metaphsyicians, which I was at pains to lay out. If we all keep waiting for a case of perfect balance (which claim will always be challenged by someone) the world will remain lop-sided forever. I am trying to make that effort to reach across what I perceive to be an unbalanced artificial divide myself, and am prepared to give ground where it is appropriate to do so, I feel it would be beneficial if a scientist played by the same rules. I can make plenty of damagiing remarks against scientific method should I chose to do so. The reason I do not is because it would serve no constructive purpose. See no evil. Hear no evil Speak no evil. In the long run, if we have faith in man, (which I have in abundance) that is the best policy.
     
  17. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    You seem to push past the subject to attack the motivations of the questioner - it doesn't make for healthy discussion at all.

    The point is, the TM movement makes claims that the Mahirishi Effect is a scientifically studied phenomenon.

    If that is the case, then their claims should stand up to peer-reviewed scientific studies.

    Perhaps some exist to shed some light on the issue - but in their absence on this discussion thread, it's impossible to take the fairly impressive "scientifically valid" claims of an organisation about itself and its practices seriously.

    It's not a question about whether scientific method is right - the TM movement implies that scientific method can measure the effect, so it would be great to see third-party validation of the claims.

    As before, I find it rightfully questionable if *any* religious group makes claims of it's own ideals and principles being "scientific" - if those claims are not subjected to actual scientific process. As a general point, it seems that some groups feel that without claiming "scientific validation", then their claims are without validation at all.

    If someone tells me they can heal the sick and stop death and crime, I should reasonably expect them to hold themselves to scrutiny on their claims, nothing less.

    There seems to have been a presumption in this thread that I may be a Christian, or may be a Scientist. I am neither. I am simply questioning.
     
  18. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    Wow! Total turn around! Now I am the one who is being unhealthy, when I thought it was you all along. Common I, Brian! The subject has been moot since the beginning. You have not budged an inch. It was continued in defence of what I thought was an on-going unecessary unhealthy attack on TM's motivations by you - after you had already admitted that your initial comments were defaming. Please explain how I got it so wrong.
     
  19. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    The topic is about scientific validation of TM claims, such as the existence of the Mahirishi Effect - something the TM movement appears to claim is easily validated scientifically. That's what I'm trying to keep to.
     

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