Is There Bliss in Enlightenment? Or Is it Brain Damage?

I personally think this is one of the most important unanswered question about enlightenment this is why I decided to write a seperate article about it.

Most Ancient Traditions Equated Enlightenment With a Constant State Of Bliss

For them it was kind off like constant orgasm, only spiritual. The association actually kind off makes sense because in spiritual experiences a person very often experiences extreme sensation of bliss. It’s something that’s attainable by most meditators without PTSD and by most people who ever tried psilocybin or LSD. By this definition  enlightenment is nothing more than a good trip forevah. And some modern more commercially minded teachers (most notably osho) also like to use the description of ‘bliss’, because that’s what most people want. As I described in the previous article enlightenment really is not something that most westerners would even WANT, and everyone likes bliss so let’s just focus on the good features to sell it! This article presents an alternate theory to that of Todd Murphy who in his book “Sacred Pathways” linked enlightenment directly with the attainment of constant bliss [Tweet “Enlightenment is extinction. It’s a loss, not a gain”]

Todd Murphy shows that the constant state of bliss supposedly experienced during enlightenment is the result of controlled brain damage

Todd’s theory could be summarized like this: The right amygdala is responsible for negative emotions, while the left is concerned with positive ones.  In enlightenment a connection between the right and left amygdala called the anterior commissure is  essentially damaged  in such a way that it’s harder for the brain to send signals to the right (sad) amygdala, and it’s easier to activate the ‘good’ left amygdala, and as such  the things that would usually turn on the right amygdala turn on the left one. Which leads a state in which everything induces a positive experience.

The neural event happening with the Buddha’s enlightenment would have consisted of a dramatic spillover from the right amygdala to the left. So dramatic that synapses operating to inhibit communication in that direction were overloaded and dropped out. Thereafter, ALL right amygdaloid activity is shunted over to the one on the left. All experiences evoke positive emotions. And, because of our postulated hippocampal information embedded in the blast of amygdaloid activity from right to left, we’re forced to draw a conclusion. The dropout of right-left inhibition will also have facilitated right to left hippocampal communication (intercalation), but not in the opposite direction.

You can read a far more detailed version of Todd’s theory on his site   And although Todd won’t use the phrase ‘brain damage’ because of it’s negative association it’s essentially the same thing (I myself find it to funny NOT TO USE IT! It’s like the ultimate joke- let’s call the ‘ultimate’ state in all religions something negative and see how peeps will react)

The Buddha’s limbic system now lacks some of the valves that limit the flow of activity from the right amygdala to the left. The other direction now has much lower thresholds. All events now have a positive emotional meaning, or at least no longer have negative ones. With no significant use of the right amygdala, crucial in the maintenance of fear, there is literally nothing to be afraid of.

Although i8t is very important to note that Todd Murphy’s hypothesis is just that – a hypothesis. It’s no a fact. It’s one biological explanation for the phenomena of enlightenment. On this site I’ll show you numerous alternative hypotheses for the same thing. One thing one has to understand that whenever there’s something that’s just not fully explained there are numerous conflicting hypotheses for it and all are equally likely. What is known however is that enlightenment is a biological change of the brain just like PTSD. And I actually think that Todd Murphy’s hypothesis is probably true, as he does acknowledge that that enlightenment involves a continuum of ‘bliss’ and not ‘just bliss’. He also acknowledges that it involves  a change in the sense of self

The theory that enlightenment is brain damage makes sense since it’s considered to be permanent.

The thing is that neurons do not regenerate, and as such the kind of small neural destruction that Todd Murphy describes in his book “Sacred Pathways” would be absolutely permanent.  Additionally such a drastic change in the brain is the only probable way in which someones experience of the world would actually change. [Tweet “Every real change is a brain change”] [Tweet “Brain damage is permanent, so is enlightenment. Coincidence? “]

Evidence That Enlightenment Is NOT BLISS

If Enlightenment Is So Fun, Why Did Osho Do Drugs?

Yes. It’s a fact that osho did LSD all the time. And not only that. He also used:

  • valium
  • nitrous oxide
  • and numerous other fun drugs

LSD can produce the very same consciousness as that of a buddha. And while in the beginning of his career Osho did claim that LSD ‘produces a false samadhi’ after actually using LSD he quickly changed his mind and admitted that ‘you are nothing but chemistry’ and that the experiences given by drugs are just as legit  and valuable as those given to you by meditation (Osho actually sure changed his mind a lot for being infallible) Additionally, Osho claimed (and he was right) to be in the same state as the buddha. So why did he have to do drugs? Christopher Carter, a former follower of osho provided the answer that enlightenment provides peace (which I say is the true thing that enlightenment is good for. There is a difference between peace and bliss/orgasm) not bliss, and Osho ultimately became bored of it, and used his immense amount of money to get thrills through LSD. Just like every superstar ultimately would.

[Tweet “U.G. Krishnamurti was enlightened. And he was one angry dude!”]

Enlightenment is Not An Experience.

Meditators, including myself, very often experience ‘orgasmic energetic feelings’ in their body during meditation. (Which are actually very similar to those you experience in your penis during sex- just a note. Those experience are actually one of the roots of the concept of ‘energy’, about which I’ll talk more in future articles so subscribe if you’re interested) But the thing is that those experiences are well… like orgasm. They only last for a few seconds. Here’s what U.G Krishnamurti says about bliss:

Your natural state has no relationship whatsoever with the religious states of bliss, beatitude and ecstasy; they lie within the field of experience. Those who have led man on his search for religiousness throughout the centuries have perhaps experienced those religious states. So can you. They are thought-induced states of being, and as they come, so do they go. Krishna Consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, or what have you, are all trips in the wrong direction: they are all within the field of time. The timeless can never be experienced, can never be grasped, contained, much less given expression to, by any man. That beaten track will lead you nowhere. There is no oasis situated yonder; you are stuck with the mirage. – U.G. Krishnamurti

At the same time enlightenment is not a state of ‘ultimate knowledge’. It’s a state of LACK of knowledge.  Of purity. It’s a state in which you’re free from the autobiographical aspect of your sense of self, and through this you experience pure consciousness.

This state is a state of not knowing; you really don’t know what you are looking at. I may look at the clock on the wall for half an hour — still I do not read the time. I don’t know it is a clock. All there is inside is wonderment: “What is this that I am looking at?” Not that the question actually phrases itself like that in words: the whole of my being is like a single, big question mark. It is a state of wonder, of wondering, because I just do not know what I am looking at. The knowledge about it — all that I have learned — is held in the background unless there is a demand. It is in the ‘declutched state’. If you ask the time, I will say “It’s a quarter past three” or whatever — it comes quickly like an arrow — then I am back in the state of not knowing, of wonder.- U.G Krishnamurti

You can never understand the tremendous peace that is always there within you, that is your natural state. Your trying to create a peaceful state of mind is in fact creating disturbance within you. You can only talk of peace, create a state of mind and say to yourself that you are very peaceful — but that is not peace; that is violence. So there is no use in practicing peace, there is no reason to practice silence. Real silence is explosive; it is not the dead state of mind that spiritual seekers think. “Oh, I am at peace with myself! There is silence, a tremendous silence! I experience silence!” — that doesn’t mean anything at all. This is volcanic in its nature: it’s bubbling all the time — the energy, the life — that is its quality. You may ask how I know. I don’t know. Life is aware of itself, if we can put it that way — it is conscious of itself.

The natural state is a state of great sensitivity — but this is a physical sensitivity of the senses, not some kind of emotional compassion or tenderness for others. There is compassion only in the sense that there are no ‘others’ for me, and so there is no separation.

When there is no co-ordinator, there is no linking of sensations, there is no translating of sensations; they stay pure and simple sensations. I do not even know that they are sensations. I may look at you as you are talking. The eyes will focus on your mouth because that is what is moving, and the ears will receive the sound vibrations. There is nothing inside which links up the two and says that it is you talking. I may be looking at a spring bubbling out of the earth and hear the water, but there is nothing to say that the noise being heard is the sound of water, or that that sound is in any way connected with what I am seeing. I may be looking at my foot, but nothing says that this is my foot. When I am walking, I see my feet moving — it is such a funny thing: “What is that which is moving?” What functions is a primordial consciousness, untouched by thought.

So in short enlightenment could be understood as a change of your sense of self. The destruction of the autobiographical part of your sense of self in favor of the ‘pure’ one, about which I’ll talk in a future article. Please subscribe if you’re interested.

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About the Author ()

Hello I’m Matt Pepliński, the lies in alternative medicine have literary given me psychosis and as such I created this site to take the pseudo out of pseudoscience to make it actually useful in your life.