this is one of the most comprehensive books on your topic
- Most of the science behind meditation, including effects in long-term practitioners - some of whom, presumably have attained stream entry - has been very well researched and reviewed in the book Altered Traits.
- Musings on awakening is a nice essay by pragmatic Dharma, TMI teacher Tucker Peck that includes his views on the "real life" effects of stream entry and 2nd path.
OP appears quite happy with his current situation but FWIW it is always nice to refer back to this very short essay by Thanissaro Bikkhi: No-self or not-self?There are too many great points he makes in that essay so I'll just mention two:
- The Buddha categorically refused to answer the question of whether or not there is a self. Not-self/Anatta is a practice, its purpose is to outgrow itself. It is not a teaching on "ultimate truth".
- A unitive state (being identified as "everything") is still a self to cling to. If one is to realize complete liberation in the Buddhist sense, the Buddha suggests there's still work to be done.
I am all for scientific research related to meditation (I'd recommend Altered Traits for a summary of what has been done so far), but we have to recognize the limitations involved. A big one is the degree to which the researchers themselves the phenomena they are studying. The above excerpt is a good example of completely uncalled for speculation.
Good intuition, and now we have hard scientific data to support it:
Please note I am using a somewhat more general meaning of the word "happiness" than usually understood.
Also, in your statement I would replace "same manner" with "similar manner, opposite direction" or something like that.