« I go to a Hollywood medium, Marcel Cairo | Main | We are all atheists »

September 27, 2006


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

You say that “It's good to be disillusioned.”

I think that you are saying that you as many of us are perhaps at a similar place on a natural “growth curve”.

I think that disbelief in Sant Mat or some other “ism” is like the skin of a snake. When the snake is ready to slough it off, it will do so, but not before; and if one tries to strip the skin from the snake before it is ready to lose it, the snake becomes very angry.

Disillusionment is as normal as a snake shedding an old skin, and yes that is very good.


Hi Brian;

Enjoyed your friend's discussion on Sant Mat. He finalized, with the statement,"It's good to be disillusioned."

That statement made me put on my "Discovery" cap again. It's a curse of mine.

I think, I remember, one of your discussions
regarding your former RSSB group, and the current guru. The current RSSB guru's name is Gurender (sp?). I think, I remember your concerns with the G person and his short comings. His poor communications skills or something?

My question, "Was his disillusionment based on the current guru, Gurender?"

Again, no big deal, I just didn't notice any reference to the G person in your friend's discussion.

Finally, I was being my silly self when I described my wildside in Vegas. My wildside is rather tame.

Such personal and yet understandible for many of us, thought is really good. Its probably why I am so happy with this site. Both my parents, in fact my whole family is satsangi; with all their ups and down, doubt and faith. The good thing to be born in this family is that I grew up with both Eastern and Western thought, types of faith and philosophies. Ofcourse, as one has it, its also the difficult aspect of my life.What your friend wrote is not only helping in giving words to the doubts; its also a very emotional help, because apart from the clear thinking these things seem to sit deep on an emotional level. Its sometimes like screaming; like what the '#_:+*! bleep, bleep, is going on here!!!!!!!

Roger, I can't speak for my correspondent. But I don't think Gurinder Singh had much to do with this person's evolution toward a more doubting Sant Mat practice.

That just comes from my reading of the messages. Buddhist to begin with; then a Sant Mat overlay; followed by, as ET said, a shedding of the portions of the Sant Mat skin that felt superfluous, unnecessary, extraneous.

As a mother, this discussion brings up the most questions in my heart and mind... is there a way to guide your child to the haven of Creator/All That Is/God that does not lead to disillusionment?

I have equated God with "Santa Claus" but that is frankly what my son now has concluded God is, in fact. Not Santa as in a crass symbol of commercialism (that would be his father and mother's internalization of "st nick") but Santa as in the unique internalized self that humanity seems to share for a few fleeting weeks every winter. Even people who do not celebrate Christmas seem to have a bit of "Santa", or a component of their personality that chooses to be altruistic and generous... even to the point where Santa exists because we each play the role for one another. He does not see God as real but as a psychological extension of humanity's best intentions.

This is what my son believes God is, a facet inside each of us, a choice to have the highest and best interests of everyone uppermost in mind and action. I'm trying to verbalize what he seemed supremely content with, a concept that was communicated to me using the emotional shorthand we seem to employ a lot lately.

So have I instilled in my child a weak, tepid faith? Is his personal concept of God, so different from mine, proof of a fallible and incompetent mom? I really wonder sometimes, if I had been more militant and rigid about churches, religions, less tolerant and more sure of things perhaps he would be safer? Have I failed him?

Then I recall giving a circumstance that seemed especially intractable over to Spirit, after all the footwork was done that possibly could be. I told my boys not to worry and meant it, "if it is meant to be the phone will ring and someone will be able to help, all we can do is trust that things will go the way they are supposed to" and within 30 seconds the phone rang and the help we needed was immediately offered. They were delighted and frankly a bit spooked, how does Mom DO "that stuff" -- as if I caused the telephone to ring? when all I have is the knowing that if I need it (or in this case if THEY need it, it will be there, period) I have to say, things like that happen in my house a lot, at least once a week, of course spontaneously.

I know we all shed our illusions, I hope that my resistance to burdening them with my conceptions has not lead them to being out there with little or no skin to begin with. Is it possible to teach faith? Is my imperfect attempt at just sharing my own spiritual journey enough? Or will they seek out a fundamentalist mindset later in life so they can later shed it on their own?

Times like this, it is hard when the phone is silent and I have to trust that things are as they need to be.


Jeanine, your trepidations as a diligent parent are quite understandable. I raised my children with a philosophy of life similar to your own. As you, I also asked myself:

“Is my imperfect attempt at just sharing my own spiritual journey enough?”

I think that the answer to your question is an emphatic ‘Yes”.

Furthermore as our children grow up and begin to follow their own unique life paths we have to shed the skin of our own attachment to them so that we do not hold them back or interfere with their grand adventures in life, which will no doubt include some disillusionments.

I agree with your conclusion [that at] “Times like this, it is hard when the phone is silent and I have to trust that things are as they need to be.”



As before, I thoroughly enjoyed your comments. There is that "human" quality to each one that is so inspiring. Your comments are like the "phone ringing", however, the phone in here is setup with a message recorder. Oh how glorious the statement, "Leave a Message at the Tone."

So here is where the concept of karma falls apart for me. We make decisions in our lives that deeply impact the lives of our children. Between the necessary attachment and the necessary disillusionment, are we primarily living our paths, or are we primarily participating in their paths?
Or is there a meta-karma that assumes both life paths into itself? Or is this the kind of attachment that gets you back on the wheel? (But only as a parent, because everyone is a child, and that would mean escape would be impossible.)

If the karmic choices are made outside of time, then it can not properly be called karma, because of the extant predestination to which that would reduce.

Or is karma not analagous to the individual life, but to all lives in a sort of tapestry of paths, so we can not say "this is my karma, that is your karma."

I am not getting this one, and the discussion of raising children reminds me that the concept of growth over time is deceiving.


Sorry, for being a persistent, question asking, pest. It is a curse of mine.

May I ask, "Was your friend willing to open up regarding his years of meditations. Did he discuss any observed; Visions or Sounds?"

If part of his disillusionment came from the lack of visions and sounds, that is ok.
No big deal, however, if so, I can then just "close the page," on this story.

Thanks for your reply,

Jeanine, perhaps my english isnt good enough to grasp some 'between the sentence stuff', or simply misinterpretate. Also I dont know how you grew up; anyway, being a son of parents who are spiritually in a deep search I can say that how your boys seem to feel God, as a facet of themselves, is simply great! Disillusionment is part of life, but thats allright. My parents 'made' me sensitive towards Being, God , whatever. My questions are my questions. My parents cant change that and they are not suppose to. As Roger sayd; Leave a message at the tone...

Edward, do I understand you well that your question is in fact that of choice 'versus' karma? And this in relation towards eachother instead of karma 'versus' I, as in 'free will'?

Roger, I don't believe this person's disillusionment had anything to do with not experiencing promised phenomena, like lights or sounds.

Buddhism puts little, if any, emphasis on stuff like that. And this person's basic outlook on spirituality is Buddhist. Enlightenment doesn't have anything to do with seeing light.

That's outward. My understanding is, you seek to become light, not to see light. What good does it do to experience another transient bit of phenomena, when the point is to realize non-phenomenal truth?

Dear Brian,
"[T]o realize non-phenomenal truth"; does that equal "becom[ing]...light"? And - since you have expressed your fear of "death" (as per "this" life, at least), why think it can occur before one's "death" to "this" life?
Robert Paul Howard

spooky - more simply, am I answering your question to work out my karma, or your karma? Is my continuing to learn my karma or my childrens' karma? If these are intertwined, when did that happen? If it happened before our birth, does that make it necessary, or predestined?

Edward's discussion on karma, made me think of my thoughts on karma too.

My uncle "Roger" on my father's side, was born into the world and lived for one month and 22 days. My parents, at my birth, had every intention to name me "Larry." At the last hour, my parents decided to change my name to Roger. They decided to make the change in honor of my uncle.

Through the years, I have wondered why my uncle (Roger) came into the world and only lived for one month and 22 days.
Was this short life predestined? Was this some karmatic total that added up in some strange fashion? What was the reason for such a short life?

This is no big deal. However, in years past, I have wondered why?

In a possible similar manner, I wonder why Edward has ponderd the subject of karma, etc? Maybe, Edward knows of a loved one or someone close, that has encountered something traumatic, or came to some tragic end? Again, no big deal, I'm just thinking.

What a lovely surprise to encounter today! Lots of insights and people who took the time to respond to me. I was feeling that I have been speaking too often and too much... once again I am reminded that my brain is almost always never right about these things.

A dear friend always told me "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous." He also used to say "our arms are longer than our ears for a reason"... I rediscover all the time that while listening is important, action demonstrates value.

I can only do my best and every so often I have a full scale crisis of faith: Am I Too Wierd To Do Good? Then I go back to being content. As for karma, I keep things like that pretty simple. If it involves my suffering, it is karma, and I must endure it and try to squeeze every drop of knowledge I can from it. If it involves anyone else's suffering, then it is a call to action (that sleeves/earring thing again) that I can answer or not. The more I am able to suspend the idea that "your" suffering is acceptable, and at the same time the more I am willing to let go of my own egocentric obsession with my own burdens, the better I become.

Don't bother asking me Roger, I can hear you already..."What do you become?" well, I don't know... I guess "-Er"!! As in real-Er... light-Er... sane-Er... aware-Er... sturdy-Er... happy-Er... jeanine-Er.

Peace and thanks for the wonderful insights.

Roger, I get here this way:
there's no past or future worth living in; there is one creator that is perpetually creating; as discovered by Wen the Eternally Surprised, there is only participation in immediate creation. Um, now.

And... there is no separation among us; there is an Anima Mundi and I am not alone in the face of omnipotence if we all participate in creation equally.

So... there is no distinction between your dharma and my dharma; there is dharma, and we work. Similarly, I am supposing that there is no distinction between your karma and my karma; there is karma, and we strive.

For some reason you are Roger. Doesn't that mean you are also not Roger? I am not sure that my ignorance has a lot to do with me.

Oh, and my life is probably most remarkable for its lack of trauma. Abnormally nice family, the occasional loss, but I am usually wondering what all the fuss is about.

To Jeanine;
As stated before, I love the "Human" quality of your comments. Keep writing, when you desire to drop in. Over time, as I grow, my questions will be more specific to specific issues.

To Edward;
I think, I am beginning to understand your "Point of View." I enjoy your discussions. There is something in each one to, "Study and Search." In addition, to "words," to look up. I read up on "Anima Mundi," loved the topic. I am having trouble finding more info on the "Wen." As I learn and grow, I wonder, in the years to come, will I turn into a walking breathing, "Conversational Piece?"

Robert, non-phenomenal truth does seem akin to "becoming light." By which I mean, becoming the consciousness that is trying to know non-phenomenal truth. Becoming One, in other words.

A phenomenon needs some place to manifest itself. Hence, duality. This may also be the case with consciousness--perhaps we have to be conscious of something in order to be conscious at all--but mystics hypothesize that there is such a thing as pure consciousness.

So it seems worth inquiring into, this prospect of "becoming light." It sure would relieve, or eliminate, the fear of death if we knew that our essence was pure consciousness, not complex matter.

It's probably true that only bodily death will reveal what, if anything, lies beyond what we know now. There doesn't seem to be any definitive proof of the hereafter from those who are still alive.

We'll all find out one day. Or not, one day.

Dear Brian,
Thanks for your replies.
So: the "light" you wish to "become" is "pure consciousness" - the nature/quality of which lies beyond/superior to our ordinary sort(s) of "consciousness" (although it apparently has given rise to us as [more limitedly] conscious beings).
Ought I infer that you are not convinced that "our essence...[is, in fact] pure consciousness"? Some of your (alive [and incarnate]) correspondents certainly seem to think they "know now" that their "consciousness" (or "awareness") is ever-presently eternal. You appear to doubt such an assertion.
Robert Paul Howard

Robert, of course I doubt such an assertion. Just as I doubt the assertion that Jesus saves, that the Tooth Fairy exists, that Guru is God, that Allah rewards martyrs with 72 virgins, that Zeus casts thunderbolts upon those who meet his disfavor, that the moon is made of green cheese.

To name just a few "that's." Reality is really important to me. Once we begin to substitute fantasy for reality we lose what makes us distinctly human. This is my opinion, at least.

I've got hypotheses about what ultimate reality might be like. Consciousness is a part of that. I readily admit that this could be wishful thinking, because I want my own consciousness to live on after death.

But so far this is just a hypothesis. It may always be.

Dear Brian,
Thank you for your quick response.
It appears to me, however, that - anthropologically and historically speaking - it is more "distinctly human" that most folks/peoples/cultures, around the world and through time (including the "here-and-now"), do "substitute fantasy for reality." I believe Sam Harris might agree with this opinion. I actually think you agree with this too.
Robert Paul Howard

Robert, you're right. Harris does recognize this. As do I. The problem isn't that humans fantasize. They always have. They always will.

But human culture has evolved to the point where it's time to distinguish between innocent and dangerous fantasies. Religious fantasy falls in the latter category, for various reasons Harris discusses.

Here's a quote I liked:

"The truth, astonishingly enough, is this: in the year 2006, a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get seventy-two virgins in Paradise. Western secularists, liberals, and moderates have been very slow to understand this."

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.