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November 01, 2005

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Hi,
If you're interested in spiritual freedom, having meaningful personal spiritual experiences and understanding and designing your own spiritual path to God, while having the availability, on your terms (you have to request guidance and your choice to accept or reject it is respected and expected), of a dependable personal spiritual guide that can go with you as far as you want, then check out www.eckankar.org. While there, find out about the spiritual exercise HU. It's a technique you can use to enhance any experience. If you're interested, there are ECKists in more than 110 countries who are willing to help you learn more, but we don't push it. So, you will have to ask and let us how we can serve you. There are groups in Salem and other areas of Oregon. If I can be of service, my name is John Marikos and I'm in the phone book.

John, thanks for the advice. I'm sure you sincerely believe in your chosen path, but Eckankar would be just about the last place I'd look for spiritual freedom.

If it works for you, great. However, I advise that anyone considering Eckankar persuse such sites as this: http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/eckankarsurvivors/

It doesn't bother me so much that Eckankar is a "cult." That word can be applied to lots of spiritual groups. But Eckankar was founded by a plagiarist, Paul Twitchell, so that makes it a dishonest cult, in my opinion.

Check out David Lane's Eckankar plagiarism page for clear evidence that Twitchell borrowed his teachings from others without attribution:
http://vclass.mtsac.edu:930/phil/center.htm

If anyone wants to join a group with that kind of history, be my guest. It's not for me, though.

Well, Brian, I can't speak for Paul Twitchell, but I can tell you that I and tens of thousands of people from all walks of life, from all religious backgrounds, from all ages, from all cultures are having meaningful spiritual experiences that are leading to greater spiritual understanding and application of spiritual principles in our lives. I can also tell you that I remember studying the ECKANKAR teachings many thousands of years ago, long before any of the writings that are around now existed, and they are the same as I'm experiencing now. So who is borrowing from whom. ECKANKAR is based on knowing and experiencing. Skepticism is healthy and encouraged in ECKANKAR as a step towards gaining personal proof. For those who are concerned about Brian's comments, take a look at http://www.eckankar.org/Masters/Peddar/writings.html#compiler and make up your own mind. Try some of the spiritual exercises and see what they do for you.

What I like about ECKANKAR is that I do have a Western mind, as described in one of the postings at this site. I came to the teachings of ECKANKAR through an understanding of nuclear physics and a strong, determined search for a religious/spiritual teaching that matched what I already knew to be true. And I wanted to expand that understanding. That was more than 32 years ago and I'm still learning, I'm still growing, I'm loving my Western life more every day, I constantly gain understanding of how I cause things to occur in my life and how I can fix or prevent those that are not so pleasant. I gain insights without the slow, plodding, time-eating, ultra dependent rigor of the logical thinking process. And when I get those insights I can see the logic of them--how they fit into the greater whole. Logical thinking is wonderful and has its place, but it won't gain you the highest spiritual heavens. That's because sooner or later the tool that is the mind drops away with everything else and all that is left is Soul, a divine expression of God's love. Soul is capable of being a coworker with God and as such has no limitations, if it can only learn more of its nature. ECKANKAR has been showing me how to make use of my Soul abilities. That in itself makes for a very fulfilling life. What I also like about ECKANKAR is that I have the benefit of a highly qualified spiritual guide--the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master--someone who has thoroughly explored the spiritual worlds and deals with everyday life like the rest of us. The Mahanta aspect of him as no limitations, unlike the human aspect. So it can guide me, with my permission, according to my needs and understandings and abilities. The respect, the trust, the spiritual freedom, the divine love, the good advice--sometimes followed and sometimes not, the comfort of a friend who lives the truth that Soul equals Soul--all of this and more have been a part of my ongoing relationship with the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master. And I haven't had to be a vegetarian or dress funny or do really bizarre things. I'm just a regular guy trying to learn how to serve all life better, one step at a time. And I'm doing it my way, the best way for me at any given moment.

What's really wonderful to me is that there are billions of people on this planet and they are all doing it their way--experiencing God in a way that they can accept at this time. If they're happy, they will continue as they have. If they're not, someday they will move on to find something that works better for them. If you are one of them, I wish you the best in whatever you choose. If you're happy where you are--wonderful--something is working for you. Those of you who would like to try something new, I give you the love song to God, the HU. HU is an ancient name for God. The HU has the ability to make you more and more aware of yourself as Soul and more aware of God and ITs heavens. You close your eyes, remember a moment when you experienced wonderful love, inhale gently and while letting your breath out you sing HUUUUUUUU (with the long vowel sound of the letter u) until it's comfortable to stop. Then you do that again and again for about 15 to 20 minutes, watching the screen of your mind, and later, the experiences in your life that follow. I don't know what you will experience, because we are all unique in our lifetimes of experiences. But if you stick with it, you may see something you wouldn't want to miss. Have fun. John

I just spotted the way these comments are going and thought I'd mention that I've recently got a book from the local library called 'Exploring New Religions' by George Chryssides. It looks some of the many New Religious Movements (NRMs) that have sprung up over the last few decades. Some are what would be called 'cults', others 'sects'. I haven't started reading it yet, but from the Introduction it looks like it will be pretty interesting reading. Just thought I'd mention it!

secret knowledge of music throughout the ages baby

"...........but I can tell you that I and tens of thousands of people from all walks of life, from all religious backgrounds, from all ages, from all cultures are having meaningful spiritual experiences that are leading to greater spiritual understanding and application of spiritual principles in our lives."

---Notice the words, "meaningful" and "greater" being used with spiritual understanding. When the 'understanding need' of the mind goes into the spiritual realm, it goes relative. Nothing wrong with the relative, it's just another part of searching and seeking.

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