Michael Sternbach

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About Michael Sternbach

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  1. simplify

    Totter lemon
  2. Chakras can be useful for understanding Daoism

    Try these then... https://tasty.co/compilation/red-blue-pill-cocktails I bet they will be conducive to the flow of consciousness. 😉
  3. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    1. This is a course in miracles. ²It is a required course. ³Only the time you take it is voluntary. ⁴Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. ⁵It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. ⁶The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. ⁷It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. ⁸The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite. 2. This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way: ²Nothing real can be threatened. ³Nothing unreal exists. ⁴Herein lies the peace of God. (ACIM, T-in.1:1–2:4)
  4. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    The mind that is inherently dualistic and yet perfectly still and clear is the balanced mind.
  5. Well, if you wish to understand advanced concepts of physics, you need to learn the terminology too 🤷‍♂️
  6. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    Hmm. On the one hand, our senses are designed to accurately locate and identify the source of their input. On the other hand, they are prone to deception. I learned that lesson already in my early teenage years, when I was once anasthetized with laughing gas for a dental treatment. My already fairly developed rational mind told me that it was highly unlikely that the dentist was pulling faces in front of me, accompanied by carneval music - yet that's exactly what my senses were telling me. Yes and know. I have had many experiences of melding with things and beings and actually honed that skill in order to gather information about my clients when working as an alternative medical therapist. For that matter, trust me that, once you walked around with someone else's backache all day, you will appreciate having your boundaries up and running most of the time. 😅 This happened unwittingly during a phase of intense meditation. During that time, once when I was out in the city, I felt some of my mental barier melt away, and the sensory input from my surroundings became so intense that it made me head for a nearby coffeeshop, so I could sit down and wait until the sense of overload decreased. It was then that I realized how much of the available sensory information my mind is usually filtering out - and for good reasons! Much later I learned that this was actually a well known fact in neurophysiology. Well, I am familiar with so called eagle vision from my practice of internal martial arts. Actually, they generally do (as long as I am not under the influence of laughing gas :D). While I am writing all this, more and more, I am wondering if you aren't actually barking up the wrong tree. In a sense, it seems like my lesson was to learn dualism rather than non-dualism. I remember reading that non-dualism is an infant's original state of perception. I assume that, with some, it stays more than with others. Indeed, my sudden awareness of the "thinking" of the Sun is best termed a spiritual or cosmic experience. And I would say it was also a non-dualistic experience, as my mind kind of melded with the Sun momentarily. This was accompanied by a lucid and awe inspiring sense that the Sun was as much aware of me as I was aware of him - just like he is aware of every little thing that exists in the solar system. It could even be described as an act of communication - only, to my regret, I couldn't understand the 'words' the Sun was uttering (they went way over my head, so to speak :D) - all I captured was their general intent. It stands to reason that this kind of mystical experience formed the background for the ancient belief that "the Sun sees it all" - for instance, when Demeter was desperately trying to locate Persephone (which had been abducted by Hades), she asked the all-seeing Sun to enlighten her on her daughter's whereabouts. Sure, if you have been following my posts for any length of time, you will be aware that I am a representative of the scientific approach to spirituality - or the merging of science with mysticism. Commenting on your allegorical story: Milinda: “Or perhaps the nails, teeth, skin, muscles, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, serous membranes, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, stomach, excrement, the bile, phlegm, pus, blood, grease, fat, tears, sweat, spittle, snot, fluid of the joints, urine, or the brain in the skull – are they this ‘Nagasena’?” Nagasena: “No, great king!” Milinda: “Or is form this ‘Nagasena,’ or feeling, or perceptions, or impulses, or consciousness?” Nagasena: “No, great king!” I would say that the sum total of all that constitutes Nagasena is indeed Nagasena, while his identity also lies encoded at the core of his every cell. The conclusion that, since there is a certain fluidity to what constitutes the whole of Nagasena at any given time, there would be no Nagasena in the first place, is a non-sequitur IMO. And not a very easy one to answer, I am afraid. I would say that some of my insights, and their associated state of mind, respectively, are tantamount to a permanent awareness. Others can be induced at will. Others again were experiences that came out of the blue and lasted for a certain amount of time. My pleasure, Stirling. And, BTW, just call me Michael.
  7. Chakras can be useful for understanding Daoism

    Hi Awaken, I doubt that the TCM system is essentially different from what is used in Neidan, since both are dealing with the guidance of qi. However, your statement I quoted above is interesting. Could you please explain in detail what the seven equivalents to the chakras in Dan Dao are? I understand that these things come down to practice and personal experience, after all. But theoretical discussion of the underlying concepts has its place and is useful as well. Thanks in advance.
  8. Chakras can be useful for understanding Daoism

    The chakras and the dantian are not the same thing, but they are closely connected to each other. A direct equivalent to the chakras can be found in the "gates of the body" of qigong and TCM, however. These are major Xuéwèi (穴位). https://sheltonqigong.com/seven-gates-of-the-body-according-to-chinese-medicine/ The Indian and the Chinese system may not seem like direct equivalents at first, but in fact they are. Even the Indian system recognizes many more chakras than just the seven major ones. The only real difference is in regards to which energy centers are considered to be the most important ones.
  9. Chakras can be useful for understanding Daoism

    That could hardly have been the case. Unlike many other mercury compounds, cinnabar is neither water-soluble nor particularly unstable, therefore it's relatively harmless. This is not to say that external alchemy (including its Indian and Western brands) never uses potentially hazardous substances - however, proper alchemical processing renders them non-toxic and beneficial for health. Of course, tragic accidents may occur when those same substances are handled by ignorant and/or inexperienced practitioners. Cinnabar is a compound of mercury and sulfur, which are considered two basic constituents of matter in Western alchemy. Only that in the latter context, generally reference is made not to physical mercury and physical sulfur, but to their subtle equivalents (of sorts). As Western alchemy has much in common with Chinese alchemy, I would assume that Neidan practitioners (borrowing their terminology from Waidan) simply employed these terms to identify corresponding aspects of human subtle anatomy.
  10. Chakras can be useful for understanding Daoism

    I would say that LDT ties in more with the Muladhara chakra and especially with the Svaddhistana chakra.
  11. Chakras can be useful for understanding Daoism

    🤔 Would you happen to have a reference for that?
  12. Vedic Christianity

    That sounds a bit like the making of a homeopathic remedy! Actually, the analogy is not a bad one... Taking the essence of a system, not the form - and potentizing it. For a form is subject to change and adaptation, while the essence it contains may always stay the same.
  13. Vedic Christianity

    There are those of us (including yours truly) who are of the scientific mind set. We do like to identify underlying patterns and try to see the bigger picture in all we study... It is our very way. Is it a "new age" kind of thing? Depends on what you mean by that. I do believe that, as a species, we are heading towards a blending of science, philosophy, and religion. In fact, this will be crucial to our survival and spiritual evolution. However, the syncretistic approach as such is not really something new. Pretty much every religion or metaphysical doctrine in existence today is the result of a revision and amalgamation of previous systems. Such is the nature of human creativity. 🙂
  14. Vedic Christianity

    This is actually an excellent example. From the esoteric perspective, Christ stands for the Inner Self, which I think every religion has some concept of - whether they call it Atman, Buddha Nature, Shen, Fravashi, Aumakua, and so on. Moreover, most religions go back to a historically more or less identifiable avatar who had a realization of this Inner Self and gave it tangible expression in the mundane world. When Jesus said: "I and the Father are One", no doubt it was that kind of realization he was trying to put in words. Alas, most of his listeners took his words - ignorant of their esoteric meaning - as a monopolistic claim, inducing either devout reverence, or contempt for his apparent blasphemy. What do you think Jesus meant when he said: "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these ... " You are quite right, Hinduism is more tolerant than many other religions - because it is more attuned to mystical experience even in its popular form. What sense could it make to object to people that are subject to the same universal principles, just employing a different terminology and following different rituals? And the same can be said of some pre-Christian religions of more Western origin as well - for instance, the ancient Greeks readily identified their deities with those of the Egyptians, and vice versa. They understood that they were both talking about the same spiritual forces or entities - only using (to one degree or another) different symbols to refer to them.
  15. Vedic Christianity

    As it happens, new Denisovan fossile remains have been found even further down the map just a few days ago, in Laos. http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/laos-denisovan-10814.html Of course, we already knew that the Denisovans must have spread all over Asia in time immemorial. Remarkably, the people with the highest percentage of Denisovan genes today are from Oceania. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aad9416