2 The self-help technology
2.1 Meditation: its uses and benefits (below contents)
2.2 What being set face to face with reality brings to your life.
2.3 The simple meditative technique:
2.3.1 the role of intuition in meditation
2.3.2 the practice of meditation
184.108.40.206 the framework within which meditation unfolds:
the link between thought and breathing
220.127.116.11 how to concentrate the thoughts on the flow of breath
18.104.22.168 the problems of distraction, and their cure
2.3.4 how to measure success in meditation
2.3.5 the transformation of consciousness
2.3.6 the key to enlightenment.
2 The self-help technology
2.1 Why should anyone bother to practice meditation?
The practice of meditation has been a prime feature of many models of reality. In Eastern cosmologies or worldviews it is a practice of paramount importance; in our Western models of reality it features either directly as meditative practices or indirectly as a highly focused form of prayer. In both Eastern and Western models, meditation and what we in the West know as prayer are often closely intertwined.
Clearly, in the past, meditation and prayer have been highly significant and valuable forms of activity when operating within the context of a given model of reality. The committed Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or Christian has had meditative or prayer practices to turn to as a support in the difficulties of living. Our late-twentieth-century Western culture, however, is primarily secular in nature.
The vast majority no longer acknowledge the power and authority of the mainstream religious models of reality, yet a phenomenon of recent years has been the successful import into our Western cultures of meditative systems from the Eastern models of reality. Many have turned to meditation seeking simple benefits such as release from the stress which is such a major feature of our lives, or as a form of self-healing. Many turn to meditation within the context of a specific model of reality in an effort to understand the meaning of their lives.
All of this is a testament to the enduring power of meditation or prayer in people’s lives, but it does not explain why, in a secular culture, one should bother to practise meditation.
The majority of people in our culture do not accept the comfort of the existing models of reality. That is to say, most people cannot relate the teachings of the major religions to the deep and unarticulated core of their lives. In general, our lives are lived and understood within the impoverished framework of our mechanistic worldview.
To provide purpose and meaning in our lives, a way must be found to learn to understand the true nature of how we each interact with reality. This is the purpose and function of implicate technology. It is a practical self-help technology, available to anyone in any circumstances.
To ask why one should bother to practice meditation is to ask: what is the relevance of implicate technology for me?
We live in a culture which places us increasingly under stress. The forces which shape our lives are moving increasingly out of the individual’s control. We are all, to a greater or lesser extent according to our individual life circumstances, subject to the power and influence of politicians, unions, corporate and state institutions, terrorists, etc., a vast complex of social, economic, political, moral and personal pressures. We each need to learn to accept, to endure, to change and to effect change according to our circumstances.
In addition to these forces, we are subject to natural laws. Some of these laws, such as the law of gravity, are well understood by our explicate science; others, although well understood and expressed in Eastern models of reality, are barely glimpsed by our explicate sciences. Each of us must live our lives subject also to these forces.
Within this vast network of implicate and explicate forces, we each must act out our lives. None is exempt from this. These are the forces which comprise both our day-to-day lives and the deeper context which many of us intuitively sense is reality.
Within this context, we each must live out our lives and face our deaths. How does one make sense of one’s individual life? How does one gain sufficient independence from these apparently overwhelming forces to live out one’s life with a sense of freedom?
The purpose of implicate technology is to equip the individual with the skills necessary to attain this degree of freedom, and the understanding of how to use them. This is a state of freedom in which one has the capacity to remain clear, serene and quietly joyous regardless of external circumstances. This is the state of mind in which one is set face to face with reality.