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July 17, 2006

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Brian:


There always exists the possibility that we HAVE experienced some things in meditation ---- and that somewhere in the sequestered pleats of our neural cortex may sit memory of what we experienced in meditation, as well as dreams. Hey, maybe we can't bring it on to the screen. IMO, memory is a most mysterious and terribly unreliable thing. Much of what we think we know in any area but hard science is swinging on pretty fragile hinges.

I try to stop and acknowledge the fragile nature of the human BRAIN and its ability to assemble past experiences accurately and put them into words. (And why not include the reassembling of a meditationally procured mystic transport experience? After all Swami Ji had to RE-CALL what he had experienced in meditation in order to express it to his disciples.) Of course rumor is some gurus relied on what THEIR guru supposedly experienced and taught, or maybe even what their guru's guru experienced and taught.

An old and worn example: Imagine a piece of pie. A tiny slice is what one knows that one knows. An (only slightly) larger piece is what one knows that one does NOT know. But perhaps 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 percent of the pie is what one does not know that one does not know. But religious people think either (1) they know all that is important to know or that (2) they know somebody (some Saint, or some Avatar, or Messiah, or Mystic or Guru) who they believe knows. For example they BELIEVE Guru KNOWS they must meditate to be liberated from the cycles of birth and death. But maybe their guru does not KNOW much more than they know in the big pie of things.

As for RSSB and your book? RSSB is a religious institution that promotes a particular point of view. You are not promoting their point of view but are questioning it, Given that fact they are not really interested in cooperating with you. Why should they be? Seems logical to me that they'd put ya out to pasture. (smile)

Brian, I guess you've been promoted (or demoted) from regional speaker to parochial blogger.
If it weren't for your writing these damn books...
At least there hasn't been a book burning (has there?)
I'm going to hide my copy of God's Whisper where no one can find it.

SeekerX, I like the pie analogy. It's one damn huge piece of pie, the part we don't know enough about to know that we don't know it.

Regarding being put out to pasture, naturally I respect RSSB's right to do that. What bothers me is that the dedicated, devoted translator of my book has been shooed out along with me--as regards this seva project, at least.

In my admittedly naive and Pollyannish view, an organization is nothing more than a collection of individuals. I mean, organizations don't make decisions. People do. Organizations are lifeless.

When I see someone selflessly putting in countless volunteer hours on a project like this, hoping only that the fruit of his effort can be tasted and enjoyed by his spiritual brothers and sisters, I feel admiration and compassion for them. I want them to succeed. I don't want their work to go to waste.

It bothers me when the leaders of RSSB act so heavy-handedly toward a member of the organization. I thought that years of meditation and spiritual practice was supposed to make your heart more open, not more closed.

Yet my experience, and that of quite a few others with whom I've communicated, is that those who have risen the highest in the RSSB hierarchy are just as ego-driven and self-centered as the rest of us.

Which leads to the question: If this is the result of being intimately tied-in to the center of the RSSB faith, including a lot of face time with the guru, can we have confidence in the RSSB practice as a means of spiritual realization?

It's a question. One worth thinking about.

Just because the intent is beneficial, (provide translation of book) doesn't mean that there is no ego drive or self-interest behind it, as much as the action that seems detrimental, (denying the publication).

This is not a judgement on you or your friend's intentions: I do not know you. But it is an easy intuition to see any act of self will.

I don't experience directly any generalizations: "religious people" "the organization" or "the leaders". And observing actions doesn't get me intentions.

Can you go out on the limb of assuming knowledge because of past experience? That would eventually lead to a belief system.

Brian:

You wrote that organizations do not make decisions, people do. Which people? Has the decision making and therefore responsibility been delegated to ordinary, ego-contaminated people (smile) in RSSB publication's department, or are the people in the publication's department really surreptitiously conveying decisions made by the guru (i.e., are they being his hatchetmen)? That is important to know.

As for people close to the guru (RSSB heirarchy )being more spiritual? Maybe it is the other way around? Maybe he keeps them close because they are such a hopeless pile of dangerous losers. Heck, if one wants to indulge in good speculation --perhaps you graduated and were tossed away from the loser pile?

In Chicago in the early 1990's, I heard the guru comment (paraphrased) that people often wonder why those closest to the guru often do not act or seem to be especially spiritual. He then commented that often the greatest darkness is found closest to the light. They are on a short leash. You must be deliriously overjoyed to be off the leash. Yipee!!

Edward, I agree that more is going on behind the scenes of intentions and actions that we are aware of. But I've come to the conclusion that second-guessing ourselves, or others, doesn't make sense--since we can't answer the second guess. Or the third. Or the fourth.

I have a history of experience with RSSB. That's a fact. I wrote a book that was translated into German. That's a fact. I was told that RSSB won't have anything to do with the translation because of my blog. That's a fact. I don't agree with that reason. That's a fact.

Put all these facts together (facts for me, not anyone else) and they result in an intuitive reaction on my part. That's what I wrote about. It isn't the rock bottom reality of the situation. I don't think anyone knows what that is.

But it is my reality. And I trust it for what it is. I'm finding in my Tango classes that my biggest problem with this challenging dance is thinking too much about what I'm doing. I do much better when I just dance, as contrasted to dancing while thinking about how I'm dancing.

Same principle seems to apply here. I could introspect about my motivations and intentions, then introspect about my introspections. Seems a lot simpler to just write about how I feel and skip the feelings about my feelings.

Though I'm doing just that right now. Rules are made to be broken.

SeekerX, I like your hypothesis. Particularly since it puts me more in the light than the dark, and more in the winners pile than the loser's pile. Keep those ideas coming.

Brian, that's a stance of convenience. Religious belief and faith do not exist beside or outside of our daily doings. The trigger for me is disagreeing with a decision - I will expect that I probably don't know what is involved.

Not liking something is different from disagreeing. To disagree, you need an opinion. To have an opinion, you need a preference. To have a preference, you need to know the consequences of choosing.

That is all easily done with a belief system. Without a belief system, I suspend judgement.

It is a conundrum to me: how to not know, when there is all of this surety lurking around in my every move. I am these details, in all I do, more than I am the pretty pictures of my superstitions.

Good for you for publishing the book in German.
It's been obvious to me since childhood that people in the pound-seats tend to be self-serving. But did you realize the RS people in power were schmucks when the venerated you, or was it easier then to overlook it? It is fascinating to see someone with eloquence challenge the smug. On a blog. They all secretly read it, and then leave with all sorts of justifications why they are not having inner experiences, like it is there but it is being saved for them. Couldn't possibly be because they lack love. When you see kindness and humility in an individual they are more connected to God than a person who holds themself to be a great sevadar (as long as it is important seva - not the toiletcleaning kind) and devotee. Would the smugs be so lucky as to start doubting themselves.

Yogaschmoga:

What is a pound-seat? And hey look, what does *love* look like to you that the lack of it would translate into not having spiritual experiences?

I know non-Satsangi meditators who are having or have had spiritual experiences. Big deal. They still ACT like the bottom end of a horse that has bad gas. And a few ran on out and started their own ashram thinking their experiences qaulified them to set up shop as a guru.

Consistent compassion, humility, sweetness and generosity, these qualities, it would appear, are as much in short supply as closing the eyes and getting sucked into neural phantasmagoria* (*thank you Faqir Chand for that great word when speaking about inner experiences).

(2) And Brain:

Did people really use to venerate you? How did that feel bro!

Brian;

I like your blog. I come in here to read it practically every day. Thanks for the ideas and thoughts.

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