The approach of western science is usually totally mechanical. So the inclusion of that which is not tangible is often excluded. Neuroscience delves into the brain’s pleasure points according to what areas “light up” in the brain during sex and during meditation.
So far and yet so close
This type of research tends to oversimplify meditation while honouring sexual pleasure as an ultimate attainment. However, some writings from that quarter of neuroscience do acknowledge that meditation practiced regularly is a more pragmatic practice for steady mood enhancement and opening to pleasurable moments in all facets of life.
The brain and the mind. But does this imply pleasure is derived from brain function? There are those who would argue that the brain is not the mind, but cellular switchboard connecting subtle realms to physiological activity. In other words, they consider the brain to be a physical manifestation of the mind, which is not material.
Some adventurous scientists do get into subtle energy, especially with energetic medicine. Tough often applied with contrived technological apparatus, they do usually appreciate that they are taking a western approach to what Eastern health practitioners and mystics have understood centuries.
Furthermore, there have been studies performed by western scientists who have gathered information from so called near death experiences. Many are actually bodily death and returning to a re-enlivened body experiences. Those who had the experiences accurately reported what they were seeing from outside the body.
Out of body experience
A woman was pronounced dead in an operating room while heavily anesthetized. She was brought back to life and was able to accurately describe everything that had gone on in the operating room, to the doctors’ and nurses’ astonishment. She had calmly observed it all, including her lifeless body. These can be considered inexplicable, even fictitious. Many materialistic scientists bring it down to chemical reactions and neurological electrical activities in the brain.
Those who describe witnessing other parts of the physical universe or experiencing a blissful eternal light that touches the source of all life are dismissed by materialist scientists as having hallucinations from within the brain. Yet those who have those experiences from near or actual death come back with a sense of inner calm and renewed purpose. All this came from the fatty cells, nerve synapses, and electrical currents within the brain? Eastern mystical and spiritual masters say no, we are not our bodies.
Out of body experiences (OBE) and near death experiences (NDE) indicate this. We are souls temporarily in bodies to experience and live out karma. Many who constantly pursue the pleasures of sex come to realize there’s more pain and angst than pleasure in that pursuit. The orgasm comes and goes. Then it’s time to play games again instead of pursuing something more productive. That creates more karma.
Marriage traditionally involves the duty of creating offspring while hopefully enjoying a physical relationship with the spouse. Then comes the challenge of child rearing in an ever increasingly dangerous and unhealthy world. Meditation practiced daily is available to help one experience a calmer mind and mood with a happier heart for dealing with life’s travails. You don’t need a cooperative partner, and by meditating well often you’ll be creating less karma.
The ultimate meditative experience is blissful oneness with the source of all life, regardless of what you name it. All religious labels refer to this same awareness, according to a few western philosophers, scientists, and mystics both western and eastern. Meanwhile, we mortals can carry on better by meditating often to unravel some karma toward the ultimate goal of enlightenment, if not this life, then maybe a later one.