I wrote a few years ago about 'mindfulness'* - and that kind of empty meditational practice; which is at best an analgesic, but is probably being pushed by The Establishment for much more malignant reasons.
This came to mind in watching one of John Butler's recent videos. I find him interesting because he exhibits the best and the worst aspects of the (Hindu/ Buddhist-derived) perennialist oneness spirituality as it affects the Western mind.
JB says much that is wise and valuable in the early part of the vid - and then towards the end demonstrates a stunning lack of discernment that comes through in supporting the vacuous 'mindfulness without God' fad, and references his dumb-evil belief in CO2-global-warming-totalitarianism that nowadays goes with New Agery. And the equally dumb-evil assumption that the rise in billionnaire-funded, mass media and state bureaucracy supported, mindfulness-training and climate-hysteria are steps in the right direction, that JB personally supports!
I mean, how unwise, how dense, does someone need to be to suppose that anything good for people, good for the planet, would really be emanating from such people and sources?
(The chap who interviews JB - Phil Shankland - is an Extinction Rebellion activist, who can be seen on his Facebook pages taking part in demonstrations. So much for the spiritual benefits of knowing and spending loads of time with a contemporary wise man, and meditating for hours every day - plus an active life associated with a liberal-'Christian' church!... JB himself - in other videos - apparently takes for granted the validity of Warmist claims to be able to predict and control the world climate by a - necessarily totalitarian - global government; empowered to monitor and control all human activity.)
Of course, if a oneness, Nirvana seeking, anti-ego meditator were trying to be consistent; he would have no political views at all; and no interest in other-people or the way that things apparently happen in this - by definition illusory - mortal life. He would have No Morality - because morality is regarded as just as much part of the illusion of This Life as is everything else we think is real.
However, in practice, such folk mostly seem to be on the stupid and ranting extreme of Leftist moralistic posturing; and when followed-up through time (which, in theory, they also regard as illusory) exhibit a stunning inability to learn from life experiences.
That is what oneness spirituality seems to do to Westerners - it makes them indifferent to personal experience, and indifferent to the truth (i.e. indifferent to the maya / illusion of this changing mortal life) - but just to a sufficient extent to prevent them from taking life seriously enough to learn from the experience! Just to a sufficient extent to reject the reality of traditional sexual morality; but not quite enough to reject the moral imperatives that justify the ever expanding claims of the modern sexual revolution.
Somehow the effect of oneness and loss of ego is never quite enough to induce them to set-aside mainstream, approval-seeking, virtue-signalling, fashion-dominated Leftism...
I would say that meditation does indeed begin with self-remembering, being here-and-now; knowing the 'presence' of God. So far, JB is valuable, helpful. But meditation then should - instantly - move-on-to being aware not of God as a diffuse omni-presence (analogous to our immersion in the sea, or floating in air); but to knowing God as a person: indeed knowing God as our loving parent (here, now, with-us)...
(Knowing, that is, God as a Being - not an abstraction.)
And meditation should not be seeking to annihilate 'the ego' or 'the self', nor to dissolve it into the abstract one-ness of deity - but to bring forth our true and divine self.
(What would be the point of God creating mortal life if its purpose was to annihilate the body and the self? Better not have mortal life in the first place! No - the purpose of this our mortal life is to experience and learn from temporary incarnation and self-hood, so that we may be able to choose - or reject - Christ's offer of immortal incarnation and divine self-hood.)
And meditation should be about our true-self meeting-with a Being: such as our Heavenly Father; or other divine, spiritual or other presence - perhaps the beloved dead.
And why should we meet such? Not for happiness, coping, to kill pain or reduce anxiety - But through love; that's the proper reason. It is indeed the proper reason for meeting anyone. Love of that person, or love of of God's creation.
And inter-personal love - between Beings; not love understood as a kind of gas, force-field, or high frequency vibration!
Also, meditation should Not be about trying to sustain itself as a solid lasting state; but about (when needed, at will) touching-base with this underlying reality to reorientate ourselves in life.
We are not - clearly, from the design of this world - meant to spend our lives suspended in a static-state of meditation or prayer; but (mostly) in loving and creating. And meditation is in order to make this possible, set us on the proper direction etc.
What I (personally) aim-for: is to be able to meditate and pray often, on demand; but not continuously. As Arkle says; God does not want us to be thinking about Him most of the time; but God wants us to do what we are here to do; live in the way God wants us to live (roughly: loving and creating).
Broadly; we best serve God by doing what God wants us to do (and that is an unique destiny for each person), not in continuously contemplating God.
Meditation and prayer are therefore best 'used' as ways of reminding our-selves of this situation; and of clearing away that evil addiction to fear that JB so well describes early in this video.
To leave aside fear is necessary; but not an end in itself. Unless detachment from the temporary and irrelevant concerns of worldly angst is only a first step; then meditation becomes just a drugless Valium.
Context is everything; the meaning of meditation depends absolutely on the spiritual, religious, metaphysical assumptions that are used to understand it, and its purposes.
We ought then to move straight-on to consider this mortal life in terms of our faith and hope of immortal resurrected life, through following Jesus.
*Note: Mindfulness is meditation without religion, without God. Mindfulness is thus meditation embedded-in an the assumptions of mainstream,
materialist, Leftism. It is meditation
reduced to pure technique. Hence mindfulness is directed merely at human happiness in this
mortal life, to the individual in the present moment. This amounts
to, as I say, merely a non-drug form of painkiller, anxiolytic or
antidepressant. It is a way of 'coping' with the incrementally-escalating psychological evils of totalitarian
Leftism - which then, of course, is able to grow unopposed and