Here's a mildly-edited email message that I got from a self-described Radha Soami Satsang Beas "agnostic." Like me, this person had started meditating many years ago with high expectations.
The experiment of meditation was performed just as instructed. Only problem was, the predicted results weren't forthcoming. Yes, as the message starts off by saying, we're on a parallel journey.
I especially enjoyed some lines near the end: "I still have a lot of respect and admiration for Charan Singh and Gurinder Singh [past and present RSSB gurus]. They may not be who we thought they were, but they are damn good at pretending to be who we thought they were."
Nicely said. Here's the message:
I have been reading your blogs now for several years and have been on a parallel journey on and off the path. I often need to read your blog to hear verbalized what I am thinking/feeling. Thanks for doing that and I appreciate your faithfulness in chronicling your journey.
I had a spiritual crisis about three years ago which caused me to doubt the legitimacy of the path and the divineness or lack of divineness of the Masters. I struggled with it for a year or so trying to give the path a second chance but finally decided that I just don't know what is true. Now I don't think about it much except to read your blog, like I said, to find out what I am currently thinking.
The major sticking point for me is like you said in a recent post—that this was supposed to be a science and if you do the experiment you are supposed to get the results. I would have settled for a few flashes of light or anything tangible that I was on the right track. I am always willing to concede that the fault lies with me and I am doing something wrong.
But if this was a true science then you would think that there would be some sort of feedback and correction mechanism to put one back on the right track. I suppose when Charan Singh was still alive we could have written and gotten an answer, but the reality now, with so many disciples, is that written communications are out of the question.
Come to think of it, I did write a few letters and got responses but they were pretty general and didn't really address what I specifically needed to do to make progress.
There is also a lot of stress on the need for a living teacher to guide you and that makes sense when there are only a few hundred disciples. But when you have a few million disciples and there is still only time to interact on a personal basis with a few thousand at most, it means all of the others aren't really getting any tangible benefit from that living Master.
It is amazing that once you stop having 100% belief in the program, how all the little inconsistencies that you were willing to overlook before make you wonder how you ever believed any of this stuff. Of course the reason was we wanted to believe it because we wanted it all to be true.
I still want it to be true. I think that is why I am still following the vows for the most part and meditating some – I am still hoping that Master will finally realize that he overlooked me someday and drag me inside.
Anyways, I have no regrets about the last 35 years and feel that I am better off for being on the Path.
When I think back to the beginning I have to admit it was the inner region travel that was the big draw along with the science part. I thought that when I was initiated that I would be going inside or at least be seeing some light or hearing some sound. So I was a bit bummed out when nothing happened.
Then later when I went to Dera [RSSB headquarters in India] I thought for sure when I saw the Master for the first time I would see or feel something.
Disappointment again, and again I rationalized the fault was mine. As time went on and life went on the expectation of something happening kind of faded and I went into kind of a routine. I was very consistent in doing my meditation every day for some period of time, but that time would vary.
I remember hearing Master saying once that if a disciple were to sit in meditation for two and a half hours every day for six months he would see some progress. During that time in my life it seemed like an unreachable goal. Then I retired and had no excuse.
So for eight years I meditated for two and a half hours or more every day. Still no visible inner signs of progress. Then I had that crisis where doubt finally was able to wedge itself firmly in my consciousness and I am now firmly in the agnostic satsangi group.
I still go to Satsang [meetings] occasionally hoping to be inspired, but am mostly just bored. I still have a lot of respect and admiration for Charan Singh and Gurinder Singh. They may not be who we thought they were, but they are damn good at pretending to be who we thought they were. Of course they have never claimed any powers for themselves. They have left that for our imaginations to fill in.
Sorry for this disjointed rambling but that is how my mind works these days. Thanks again for providing a forum for the not-so-bitter doubting satsangis. That ex-satsangi message board is a real downer.