I had a chat with Daniel Ingram on April 28th and it was a great conversation. Among other topics, He did ask me if I wanted to be a research subject and that seems validating in a way.
I don’t know how much data they have and of what type so I’m still learning about all of this through his site. But some questions that come up for me include- what is the potential benefit and pitfalls for those around me if I was to go get studied- would it lead me toward a net benefit to myself and the beings around me? Or a net negative? My mind can be very logical and analytical also, so naturally I think in terms of things like social capital, networking, potential but as-of yet unacknowledged value in having that kind of scientific validation of my skills in meditation, and what that would mean in terms of social and ethical responsibility to teach others, for example, or to continue to be a research subject, or what kind of social and professional credibility that could impart – potentially new industry based on meditative type results and monetizing and commoditizing them. There are a lot of mixed feelings and contradictory notions about this and I’m not exactly sure how I feel about any of that. It seems like it could be ripe territory for very dubious shadow aspects of self to manifest.
Seems like a well-intentioned goal, but potentially quite disruptive to mental peace. And also the sense I get from this is an undercurrent of worship of phenomenology and materiality, subtle mental states is that it’s slightly deluded – almost like the tension of the Anagami. It seems really odd to me that these phenomena- these transient subjective mind phenomena- are being worshipped like gods- literally faith being put into sensations and quantized points of data, as if there is salvation in the phenomena themselves or the subtle mental planes themselves. Up to a certain level of practice this is an ok assumption- but when I was explaining this to Daniel Ingram- the aspect of seeing through this baseline assumption that there actually exists some objective reality “out there” happening to a me “in here” and I kind of pointed out how the flip happened after breaking that assumption.
I am not sure how Daniel feels about these things, we will speak again I’m sure. I could sense this tension he felt with relating to the phenomenology and trying to explain things scientifically. I think he also sees through that but he is trying to bring it down to the level of where people who haven’t had these attainments would understand and have it be functional and scalable in a way that made sense.
I am engaging in ongoing dialogue with serious practitioners and I like what Daniel is doing.
See his project site: