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July 28, 2008

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Roger:

According to RSSB, the sound current is not a sound heard with the physical auditory equipment. Rather, it is "heard" with the attention. Initially it is said to be experienced as ringing, whistling, crickets and later as various sounds like bells, thunder, flute, bagpipe or other sounds. Ultimately, the experience of it is said to be indescribable.

One time while meditating there was a thunderous blast something like hitting the E string on an electric bass only magnified in volume to an incomprehensible level. It was stupendously loud yet was not uncomfortable in any way. This came out of the blue and did not appear to be the consequence of anything voluntary on my part. Accompanying this sound was a radiance like a star that seemed to expand to enormous size with the sound. There was no transformation or dramatic insight as a result of this experience. It was more of a flash than something of long duration. I atttach no particular significance to it other than "Wow". While I have had other "inner" experiences, this was a one-time deal. I got up and went surfing after consuming an organic mango/banana smoothie and a handful of blanched raw almonds.

To BRAD,

I was so damn right about you... you really are a very very arrogant and narrow-minded individual, and one who is really rather negative and unhappy underneath your pretense of holiness and devotion.

Not to mention the obvious fact that you don't know what the hell you are even talking about - both spiritually, and also in regards to myself and to others here who see a much broader and grander view than you do, and who (unlike you) don't profess to have any ultimate certainty about anything.

People like you don'treally belong here. No one asked to to come here. You came here of your own accord, and you brought your sant mat dogma with an attitude of extreme self-righteousness and attacking and judging others whom you obviously know nothing about, either spiritually or otherwise. And yet you have the unmitigated gall to condemn other initiates, philosophers, and sadhakas opinions and critical thinking, in favor of your own brand of narrow sant mat fundamentalism and rudeness.

Your rotten arrogant ptight attitude speaks louder and reflects much more critically of sant mat and radha soami than any critics ever could. You are making a fool of both yourself, as well as of the RSSB and other radha soami followers.


You accuse me and others of "doing their damndest to promote confusion and lack of life purpose." But that is exact opposite of what I and others are saying. Therfore, your utter ignorance and incomprehension about what is being discussed here (and has been discussed long before you ever came here), and your apparent intent to twist and distort the views of others, reveals you to be a very negative and debvious person. Not a good reflection of sant mat at all. Many years ago I discussed many of these issues at length with Charan Singh on a number of different occasions, and his attitude was diametrically opposed to yours. In fact he encouraged open-mindedness, self-inquiry, and critical thinking and serious questioning of dogma. But not YOU. You are the epitamy of self-righteous religious fundamentalism.

It is YOU who has the "need to stroke your ego". And it is really YOU (thou) "who protesteth too much". YOU are the one protesting the critical opinions of others here. YOU are the one who protests any and all critical thinking. And YOU are the one who understands little or nothing about the deep spirituality that underlies much of the critical thinking that is presented here by those whom you deem as your enemies and enemies of sant mat. And it is really YOU who is the enemy of sant mat and true spirituality.

You assert that I and others "are scared to surrender to the grandest design of the universe and submit themselves to the simple duty of meditation and devotional practice".

-- But you know nothing about me. You know nothing about my spiritual sadhana during the past 60 years, or now. You don't know where I am at at all, and you haven't bothered to find out. You are simply a bunch of ignorant narrow-minded hot-air.

Brad said: "they have to give up some kind of control they believe they have".

-- I never said aything about having control over anything. This is why I say you don't know shit about what you assert regarding others.

Brad said: "silence is golden, that those who truly know - dont have to say a word"

-- And yet it is YOU who has been fussing and fuming about those who have a different take on the subject of RS Mat than you do.

Brad said: "some things (...) dont need to be proved, but require experience and surrender to discover their inexorable reality"

-- And yet you show no experience of or surrender to reality.

Brad said: "sacrifice is needed to make progress."

-- You know absolutely nothing
of the sacrifices of myself, or the sacrifices of any others here. Zero. Nada. Which tends to make you rather a hypocrite.


Brad said: "sacrifice, dedication and focus they label as fundamentalist and criticise as pointless and naive."

-- It is definitely "fundamentlist" when one has the kind of attitude that you exhibit here.

Brad said: "When Brian starts off a post like (.......) you can be sure you are reading the words of a very confused person."

-- It is the overwheming opinion of most (if not all) here that you are the confused person. Shall we take a poll to find out how many think you are confused, as compared to how many think Brian is confused? But then Brian admits uncertainty anyway, when it comes to the big questions. Nevbertheless, you are just blowing smoke because you have nothing of your own to put on the table.

Brad said: "instead of looking at the largest star orbiting our planet and simply enjoying its rays, they choose to enter a dark and dusty...(etc etc)"

-- For YOUR information Mr Brad smart-ass, there is NO such star "orbiting our planet" (earth). The earth (a planet) ORBITS THE SUN (a star)... not the other way around. This is just yet another obvious indication of how very little you know about what the fuck you are talking about, and how much (if not all) of your rhetoric is nothing more than stale hot-air.


In conclusion Brad, I would suggest that you go do some serious study of the great spiritual traditions beyond of the confines of your narrow version of sant mat. And even more importantly, that you might wake up and abide in the Reality of your life in the ever-fleeting opportunity of the living moment... not in some mantra meditation mumbo-jumbo or mystical mythology.


Tao

The way your conversation trails off into aggressive expletives, and your need to keep your yes-men at your side ("People like you don'treally belong here. No one asked to to come here"), to the exclusion of dissenting opinion is so ridiculously American its to be expected. Its the George-Bush way or the highway.

Unlike Hines and others, I did my homework BEFORE committing to Santmat, so I have no need to flip-flop between philosophies, or to verbalise any inner experience for the sake of my ego or beliefs. Unlike Hines, I find the EGO something to fight and resist rather than to worship.

Tao - or whatever you name is - I have no problem with different views on Santmat. What i have a problem with are people who are so insecure with themselves and the poor decisions they have made in their lives that they have to deride ANYone, or ANY group who sincerely practice their belief.

I can only smile at all the words you spray on this site. They are a clear reflection of your mind and manner.

I do not need the endorsement of your cronies to validate myself, or to read the entire history of this website to get the gist of the state of play.

The core community here are disgruntled Santsangi's who gave up on their promise that they made at the time of their initiation, and this willy-wally forum is an obvious effort to coagulate like-minded individuals to justify their sad actions.


Well put Brad.

Brad, it is a good thing that you have people who criticise the RSSB organisation. You have to understand that in criticising things that we feel are wrong in RSSB we are not against spirituality as such but against it's distortion. Spirituality is not something that is in the domain of one religion or system of thought, that is why we criticize behavior which tries to monopolize it. Why you find agression in words directed towards you is because you do not seem to be here for dialogue but instead some of us feel that you are here to proclaim one system of thought as better than others. You may have a strong opinion about spirituality but when you close yourself to other opinions you cannot participate in dialouge. And without dialogue every person looses something - reflection of his own thinking. If one does not reflect his beliefs and ideas one is a slave to his beliefs and ideas. So you see, dialogue, intellectual reasoning and thinking is not aimed towards confusion and does not lead away from spirituality but is actually an integral part of spirituality as through practising these things one frees himself from being enslaved to systems of thought. It is not your thoughts and your mind that one should battle, it is ones enslavement to these things.

Tucson,

Thanks for the reply,

".....I got up and went surfing after consuming an organic mango/banana smoothie and a handful of blanched raw almonds."

---that glorious statement made me race to the refrigerator and engage in a 'tasting" experience. Haha...cool way to end a comment.

"According to RSSB, the sound current is not a sound heard with the physical auditory equipment. Rather, it is "heard" with the attention. Initially it is said to be experienced as ringing, whistling, crickets and later as various sounds like bells, thunder, flute, bagpipe or other sounds."

---hmmm....."heard" with the attention. Sounds interesting. Could that mean, sounds created by the imagination? The list of known sounds, seems to suggest that. Does RSSB or some other group try to explain that statement further?

Just some Monday morning questions to ask. I'm now running back to the refrig for more experience.
Thanks,
Roger

Roger,

If you are not tuned into a radio properly then you can't hear it properly. If your tuned (i.e. attention is there), then you can hear the music.

You should read a sant mat book and you will find the answer it there.

Anon,

Thanks for your comment.

You stated,

"If you are not tuned into a radio properly then you can't hear it properly. If your tuned (i.e. attention is there), then you can hear the music."

---I agree with you. I didn't tune into the radio, however, I did push a few buttons. You are correct, I can hear the music. I hear the sound of Larks Ascending.

Thanks for the tip,
Roger

Roger said: "Could that mean, sounds created by the imagination?"

--Possibly.

"The list of known sounds, seems to suggest that."

--The sounds do not necessarity have a known equivalent. Known equivalents are used in an attempt to describe a phenomena that is difficult to describe. If I say alligator tastes like chicken, it doesn't really taste like chicken, it tastes like alligator. Chicken is used to give an idea of it.

By the way, I don't know what alligators taste like, and even if I did I probably couldn't convey the flavor to anyone in words. Has anybody here tried aardvark? I've heard the flavor is a mixture of squirrel and coati mundi.

Brad,

I see you're still posting the same sort of nonsense as before.

Btw, I need so such "yes-men"... And if you don't believe ME, then you might try asking anyone else thats been hanging around here for a long while.

When I said that "people like you don't really belong here", I wasn't trying to suppress your commentary, but only to point out that this blog is not at all oriented towards the narrow and dogmatic and ratrher hard-line stance that you take regarding sant mat and RSSB.

There is no "exclusion of dissenting opinion", other than your own exclusion and rejection of anyone who does not agree with your schtick and your version of RS/Santmat.

Furthermore, your underlying anti-American vibe is pretty lame as well.

And as far as you are concerned, it's the RSSB way or the highway.

You say that you did your "homework BEFORE committing to Santmat", and that you "have no need to flip-flop between philosophies" and you have no need "to verbalise any inner experience". But it's pretty obvious that you know little or nothing about other philosophical/spiritual traditions. So just what "homework" DID YOU DO. if you don't mind telling us?

YOu say that you "find the EGO something to fight and resist rather than to worship". But that is exactly what I was pointing out... that you and your pseudo-mysticism is life-negative & self-negative, meaning you are antogonistic to the very thing (ego) which causes and allows human beings to achieve and to progress. Your mysticism is a sickness and a blight upon humanity.

You say that you "have no problem with different views on Santmat". -- That isbasically a crock of shit. You clearly have a huge problem with those who have different views, or critical views, on Santmat.

You say that what you "have a problem with are people who are so insecure with themselves and the poor decisions they have made in their lives". -- But I have not seen anyone here who is all "insecure" about their spirituality other than you... nor have any such "poor decisions" been made, and especially not by Brian or Tucson or myself. You would not be reacting t critics so much if you were really secure in your own spirituality.

And no one here is against those who "sincerely practice their belief". You really got that one wrong. It is not practioners, but all manner beliefs in general that are in question here.

And your words are a "clear reflection of your mind and manner", a reflection of your extreme narrow-mindedness and philosophical immaturity.

I doubt you have even scratched the surface of the "entire history of this website", nor do you "get the gist" of it.

There are no such "disgruntled Santsangi's" here "who gave up on their promise that they made at the time of their initiation". At least I can definitely say that for myself, and perhaps my friends Brian and Tucson as well. I made no such promises, and I am certainly not "disgruntled" about anything. Again, like the rest of your mistaken assumptions, you have absolutely no idea about where I am at spiritually, or why I passed through and on beyond RS. It had nothing to do with being "disgruntled".

So Brad, like someone else recently pointed out, if you were really here for the purpose of engaging in sincere dialog, you would surely not be making such ignorant assumptions, and you would not be taking the tack that you have so far. You should wise up and realize that you are not fooling, or impressing, anyone here with your antics.

To Brad,

I wonder if you missed tAo's post above and if you would provide a response?

Several issues he raised...

1) "There is no "exclusion of dissenting opinion", other than your own exclusion and rejection of anyone who does not agree with your schtick and your version of RS/Santmat."

2) "Furthermore, your underlying anti-American vibe is pretty lame as well."

--Brad, you said: "The way your conversation trails off into aggressive expletives, and your need to keep your yes-men at your side ("People like you don'treally belong here. No one asked to to come here"), to the exclusion of dissenting opinion is so ridiculously American its to be expected. Its the George-Bush way or the highway."

3) "So just what "homework" DID YOU DO. if you don't mind telling us?"

4) "YOu say that you "find the EGO something to fight and resist rather than to worship". But that is exactly what I was pointing out... that you and your pseudo-mysticism is life-negative & self-negative, meaning you are antogonistic to the very thing (ego) which causes and allows human beings to achieve and to progress. Your mysticism is a sickness and a blight upon humanity."

5) "I doubt you have even scratched the surface of the "entire history of this website", nor do you "get the gist" of it."

6) "There are no such "disgruntled Santsangi's" here "who gave up on their promise that they made at the time of their initiation".

--I will speak for myself here. I am in no way a disgruntled satsangi. My association with RS began in 1968, with initiation by Charan Singh in 1970, and ended in the early 90's. It was a gradual process of perceptual change that could be called a metamorphosis or shedding of an old skin that led to my dropping that path. It was no longer applicable or relevant. My current commentary on the subject is simply a result of my experience with it.

7) "You came here of your own accord, and you brought your sant mat dogma with an attitude of extreme self-righteousness and attacking and judging others whom you obviously know nothing about, either spiritually or otherwise. And yet you have the unmitigated gall to condemn other initiates, philosophers, and sadhakas opinions and critical thinking, in favor of your own brand of narrow sant mat fundamentalism and rudeness."

8) And finally my remark: "There is no staircase to climb to Reality for it would be the Reality that is climbing. What you seek is what you are. The glasses you are looking for are on your nose."


Hi All, I'm a bit of a latecomer but "Is this a private fight or can anyone join?" I think this was credited to being an Irish saying from the Bill Moyers inteview of Joseph Cambell "The Power of Myth."

I have enjoyed the critisms and wanted to offer a couple of words of my own as a Radha Soami follower, initiate of Gurinder Singh and do hope that tAo doesn't think that I've done a "shit-and-run" posting but such is life. No disrespect is intended for either perspective and these views do not necessarily reflect nor are condoned by the Radha Soami (RS) organized faith. They are a few thoughts from a "friggin naive goofball dumb-ass follower who is an incredibly stupid goon" providing his interpretations and understandings of RS :) No matter, I don't look at these boards much but saw Brian Hines name and Radha Soami and was curious - so here I am.

I enjoyed Mr. Hines' (Brian's) book "Return To The One". I've read little else about Plotinus except to learn that he was very obscure and difficult to understand. "Return to the One" was excellent and I do recommend it to any RS follower. It doesn't follow the same style that many of the RS historical translations of mystic teachings follow. These teachings get tiring and pendantic after a while. "Life is Fair" wasn't as enjoyable for me and I plan on reading "God's Whisper, Creation's Thunder" (love the title) after a list of other books I accumulated when I started this spiritual quest thingy.

Frankly, I am tired of reading Sant Mat books. They are simply not enough to stimulate intellectual vigor. (Pardon me if I refer to myself as an intellect - my degree is in engineering and I think a lot.) The RS Master is outwardly boring compared to cool movies like "The Matrix" or "The Forbidden Kingdom." Sitting in 2 1/2 hours of meditation is not as enjoyable as these movies are to me. Most of the time in meditation seems to be spent in thinking about one's daily problems, how good the meditation is going, or feeling various body twitches and itches. When the lights do appear they aren't very heavenly, at least in my experience and not much worth talking about anyway. Listening to the very low intensity sound that one can't quite be sure is real sometimes gets annoying. Sitting quietly in the bathroom, you realize, there it is and why here and is He watching all this? No kidding! But it doesn't pull you inward or upward and so the work of meditation goes on-and-on and seems to provide virtually nothing for the effort. Maybe there are thousands who are ascending to the Lord as we speak on the Radha Soami (RS) path, but I don't get it yet and anticipate a great deal of work in letting go before I do.

A surprisingly large number of comments posted here strike a solid note of reason in the core of my understanding about the path promoted by RS.

My stepping back from (not out of) Sant Mat has allowed me a better perspective on what RS is rather than what someone has preconceived for me. I don't attend satsang. Of the few I have attended, some seem as dry as any religious service when there isn't a sense of love coming from being there. I only saw the present living Master once. There is no burning desire to follow him around and I don't feel any guilt for that. I do know however, that it is the deep inner love which is the "true" aim of this practice. This is the same Love described in sufism, zen, or any other spiritual teaching. They all begin to sound alike and rather droning when it is just concepts. The flavor of the spirit isn't in the words and it isn't in the concepts. So how would I know what the spirit is and how can one base an arguement with such an assertion?

I'm not suggesting hinduism is "it" either, but I very much enjoyed Joseph Campbell's Mythological explorations of these mindsets and see that the same historical quibbling over dogma takes place in RS as well. Joseph Campbell provides exhaustive pedagogical examples of how the "inflections of time" have affected our perspectives of the transcendent and that it is not these perspectives but the transcendent which is the essence of ALL these teachings. I think he says something to the effect that Mythology without the transcendent is ideology. This is the same with RS if we wish to elevate the RS Master to some idolization of an incarnated God. We do this in order to personally possess our idolized god and claim we are better because we have something others don't. This is not right thinking for Sant Mat.

Recently, I am finding there are or have been contemporary mystics which offer spiritual paths to follow for others, not attuned to the RS methods. A sheep knows its master's voice - cliche. RS doesn't speak to everyone and is not for everyone. It is only for those to whom the teaching makes sense for as long as it makes sense. When one think's they own the right to God, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Sufi, even RS, then they have missed the point of spirituality which is not recognized through words, concepts or forms. Then we just want to bust heads and kill people because they are wrong and we are right and our god is stronger than your god.

Some spiritual teachers appear more enlightened than others and some are just facades. Even the coming of Jesus wasn't recognized by educated comtemporaries and he was supposed to be the "Dude," according to the prophecies. It is said in Sant Mat that only a true master can recognize another master. Essentially this says that I wouldn't recognize a true master even if one bit me in the ass. Why would it be right for me to push "my master" on any poor soul who would be duped into following me. That would be "the blind leading the blind" cliche.

If practicing meditation in loving devotion to RS for 30 years turns up nothing "significant" spiritually, RS becomes an increasingly hard position to defend - particularly when there is no proof to be had in the outside world and no sense the inner world is opening.

I have only been "initiated" for 5 years and expect it will take a significant amount of grace before the darkness lifts. The pre-initiation experiences of earthquake-like rumbling and the pail multicolored vision of the "lotus" beyond the very black quiet region behind the eyes as well as the upward pulling sensation were what drew me to follow this path. They are consistent with the teachings. My parents were initiates as well but they never pushed it, preached it, or talked of inner experiences. I just wanted to do astral projection so I could go to cool places but I could never find an iota of objective scientific proof once I became critical of spiritual claims. It wasn't until I went broke and could no longer figure out the solution to the problem of wanting to know everything when the mind just stopped in dualistic argument. Not as profoundly as Echart Tolle reports but it was enough to buckle me into re-evaluating an existence based in reason of mind.

It quickly becomes a poinless world where eventually EVERYTHING is taken from you and you die, so you don't even own yourself. That's hell. That was a hard place to be.

The few experiences I had before initiation seemed to be enough to draw me along. This is Grace, as subtle as it was. Now I'm just struggling to get back to even those nominal experiences before initiation to that peaceful void where the outward vision stops in a singular blackness behind the eye center, dead, at peace. Just a teasing muddled glimps of that inner light refusing to emerge from the "veil" which is nothing more than the clutter and clatter of mental activity. Many talk and write electronica music about it, set up yoga meditation programs and make very nice decorative objects designed to bring peace of mind as if they know what they are speaking about and what they are doing as if they are masters of this divine light. Those who haven't seen it may think of it as some symbol like so much else in spirituality. RS hasn't always been clear on this path. I think primarily because most of us who are followers wouldn't know what to do with the concept if we were told. In fact, we are told but don't realize the truth in what the masters say. I've read perhaps a couple dozen of the RS books and frankly, the words are just words. Some masters have a "better" or more controversial popular delivery than others. I get much greater delight in hearing the new popular translations of Hafiz and Rumi with a sensuous, lusty God. It's delightful as long as one doesn't become debased in it! Even so, I revere the RS teachings and recognize that I just don't get it yet.

So, I know enough to say that this condition is ours with which to deal and RS isn't God's gift to all mankind and needn't be because that love is deeply personal. That love is for those it speaks to and when it becomes just another religion you need to re-examine why you started on that path in the first place. If we love the RS Master then follow what he says. Many of us love a good fight and like to side with the "right" side. I think we ARE God - but most of us are just too dirt dumb by this material existence to truely know it even if we mouth the words like I do here. But then how would I know?

Anyway, all due respects to each of you. I'm not sure how often I may return here but I do strongly recommend Brian's book "Return to the One," even for tender footed RS seekers. It really is a good book to read and is well written. It provides a very nice palatable introduction to Plotinus.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jayme.

Please do come back & tell us if that rumbling sounds ever takes you to sach khand :)

Jayme, great comment. And not only because you said nice things about my book (though that sure helped make it a great comment).

I like how you're able to take a step back and look at the "path" and yourself through quasi-scientific eyes. With some detachment, that is. Which, after all, is one of the goals of meditation and awareness practices.

There's something real and wonderful about Sant Mat, just as there's something real and wonderful about everything in existence. The mystics you mentioned, Hafiz and Rumi, point to this -- once you get beyond the religious interpretations of their poetry and prose.

Taoists like Chuang Tzu too. He's asked, "Where is the Tao?" Gives several answers. Finally says, "It's in shit and piss too."

Is there anything more spiritual than that answer? Is there anything else to understand?

Jayme,

First, I hope you haven't departed yet. And since you are an RSer (even a relatively newer one) I do chope you come back and stay for awhile and join the discussions.

You should also understand that in the past I have only called some posters "naive goofballs" or "dumbass goons" because of the rather stupid (imo) things they said. But your comments seem to be both sincere and thoughtful and more open-minded and not so dogmatic. So... you're cool with me.

I don't have any problem with people like yourself who are exploring and learning. But I do have a problem with people who rigidly believe stuff that is irrational and dogmatic, and especially when they come around preaching it as though it is the the only truth or the only way. And I've been pretty harsh on them at times. But I've mellowed out... mainly because I just don't give a shit anymore.

Now I don't go along with some of the stuff and assumptions that you have bought into and believe and practice, but thats just part your journey. However, I would definitely encourage you to deeply examine anything and everything that you currently assume and believe, and everything that you have acquired or have been told by RS literature, by RS gurus, or by other RS satsangis. Not all of it is bad, but most of it is predicated upon some core assumptions, beliefs and myths that are erroneous (imo).

You seem like an intelligent person who is searching, and like many of us, you have got yourself entangled in the RS cult. But I think you would be wise to "stand back" even further and take an even more objective and rational view, and not be fooled by those who advocate and rely on nothing more than 'blind faith'.

And the best advice that I can give you is maybe to read the book that Brian recently presented and suggested in his Nov 13th article titled:

"Beyond Awakening: The End of the Spiritual Search" by Jeff Foster

But to really 'grok' the meaning of the book, you will probably need to set aside your RS views temporarily... and that may be difficult for you. But perhaps reading this book will give you a start.

Good Luck.


What is all this fuss about Radishes and Salami (RS) anyway?


Hi Manjit,

Discussing these things does make them go away as the Master says. It has a lot to do with the mind activity. Sach Kand is here and now but can't be seen through all the mental activity (veils), though there are moments of satori when the mind becomes still. Then, the simplest things bring bouts of laughter and joy. Maybe you've already experienced this :) I do know that once you get beyond that black region where stereo vision stops, as the Master says, there is a pull and a deep centering that will take place. I've felt this pulling but was unable to hold it. So, I am still on this side of self-delusion and so you shouldn't believe much of what I say without experiencing it yourself.


Thank you Brian,

Yes - there is nothing more spiritual than the realization that the Way is in "shit and piss" too. We just don't see it and that is the fatal flaw that makes most of us miserable in our suffering (speaking of myself).


Thanks Tao,

RS "myths" can be difficult to pierce through to their spiritual essence. Again, Joseph Campbell said it very well when he said that Mythology without the transcendent is ideology (i.e. dogma). Our culture does not have an effective mythology which reveals the transcendent to us. We are a melting pot of confused heterogeneous states of being trying to make sense of a broad spectrum of broken mythological symbols. We conceptualize our identities through possessions or memberships such as "I belong to RS." Ultimately, we lose that singular essence through all this 'divisitude' (a made up word) that tells us "you are not me and I am better than you because you are not in MY group." I think a great portion of RS followers become filled with the concept of Master-as-God and lose contact with their own essence which is God. I think this fits into your "cult" definition for those who would concretize and idolize Master-as-God. Sometimes we need a "short, sharp shock" in these ego driven mental states to keep us from decending into our self contrived reality. It becomes a great blessing when men in such positions as the Master do not seek willful harm. Not all are so good. Unfortunately, not many of us are Awakened and in groups we tend to preach rather than be what we are preaching. We end up in the conflagration rather than the still point of spiritual enlightenment. It is good to have iconoclasts.

As for not "giving a shit anymore" that becomes a good place to be from my experience. Not so much as a state of not caring but moreso as a state of submission to this world in which we all find ourselves. Make a difference where possible but otherwise, why worry?

I will look at "Beyond Awakening: The End of the Spiritual Search." As far as I can tell, RS is a reference to the Way that has appeal to certain mind sets (mine being one of them presently).

Joe Miller said something to the effect that if you wish to see a rose bloom, it is best not to take a screw driver to it and force it open. I think spirituality blooms in its own time and to get stuck in any organized religion (even if it is under the guise of RS) misses the transcendence of the spirit and substitutes rituals and artificial hierarches of service and servitude for spiritual purity and selfless action. It can be a miserable life. During the RS Masters' question and answer sessions, the Master seldom uses the greeting "Radha Soami." It seems to have become a profanity in the way we (followers) use it. It has become meerly an outer greeting for something we don't understand to a man from whom we want to be given something we already have. We "talk-the-talk" but don't "walk-the-walk," so to speak. As for seva (service), this can be a greed mechanism to get close to the master for some personal gain without earning the spiritual through personal merit. I don't know this man and have often wondered what the proper way to treat him would be. Even the Master says if you don't believe he is the master then don't believe him and look to the inner master. That's my kind of Master! Now if I can just get through 2 1/2 grueling hours of monotony...every day! There are seeming contradictions within the RS dogma but mostly we get stuck in the words. So am I a RS follower? I've never been big on church and am certainly disappointed in a great many who would pass themselves off as having direct contact to God and guilt people into sending them money for god knows what? Proper selfless giving - sure, but this kind of prostitution - no. I suppose this idea RS adheres to, that "God doesn't charge for spirituality" resonates in me. The concept of a Master, though helpful as a guide, can become a barrier if worshipped as the final deity. Is this RS? I don't know, but it seems right for me at this time.

I am a proponent of rational thought and solid scientific reason but not as a superficial replacement for the transcendent mystery which is THE foundation of all foundations of Truth. Kuhn has shown that science has periods of revolution in which overthrow of old mental structures occurs in the expansion our "knowledge" of the universe. So we live in a field of the collective unconscious which defines our ethos - for better or worse. Our faith founded in reason undergoes failures when reason becomes discordant with the observed facts of the natural world. I haven't read much Jung but perhaps this collective unconsciousness can be equated to the interaction of mental aspirations with the natural world. The discordance of our soul with the collective unconsciousness and ultimately discordance with our natural being produces these longings to return HOME where reality doesn't constantly shift and drift in endless complexity and confusions of endless desire and pointless action. When this longing is satisfied, the mind is at peace, the knot is untied, the Soul dissolves into the unstruck sound, and the our being expands into that sublime state of spiritual Oneness along with a few interesting sights and sounds along the Way... all-the-while going no-where and replacing faith with the primary experience of spirit.

So, having said all that mumbo jumbo - I will take your advice Tao and put the book on my list. Thank you.

Kind regards all and take care.

Jayme, interesting thoughts. Nice blend of skepticism and belief. Like you said, there's nothing wrong with Sant Mat or Radha Soami Satsang Beas that a good strong (metaphorical) whack on the side of the head with a dogma-destroying stick wouldn't cure.

What's strange, but I fell into this for a long time myself, is something I keep harping on here: so many would-be mystics who talk about "going beyond the mind" are very much attached to mental concepts.

Such as, "guru is God." "Shabd/spirit is ultimate reality." "Matter is illusion." The experience isn't there, but the ideas sure are. They don't see the contradiction, the hypocrisy even, just as I didn't.

So, like you said, it can be helpful to speak strongly and carry that big B.S. whacking stick. My wife beat me over the head with it for quite a few years after we got married. She kept asking, "But what makes you think this is true?"

Eventually I realized that my RSSB beliefs were just that, beliefs, and I was just as much a religious believer as a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim. It's refreshing to be back in the cool waters of not-knowing now.

Pathless Path

Hi Brian,

I ran across a couple of quotes in my reading list over the past couple of days which seemed to express this universal recognition of a "pathless path". You have probably run across them before. I thought they may be pertinent to the topic of "RS foolishness." You seem to be recognizing this same Truth and tAo pretty much says the same thing.

I thought I'd pass these along as affirming points of reference for this discussion topic. I hope this doesn't violate copyright law.

In the first chapter of Thomas Merton's "The Way of Chuang Tzu", shambhala library, (c)2004, Thomas Merton comments that:

"Chuang Tzu's paradoxical teaching that "you never find happiness until you stop looking for it" must not, therefore, be negatively interpreted. He is not preaching a retreat from a full, active, human existence into inertia and quietism. He is, in fact, saying that happiness can be found, but only by non-seeking and non-action. It can be found, but not as the result of a program or of a system. A program or a system has this disadvantage: it tends to situate happiness in one kind of action only and to seek it only there. But the happiness and freedom which Chuang Tzu saw in Tao is to be found everywhere (since Tao is everywhere), and until one can learn to act with such freedom from care that all action is "perfect joy because without joy," one cannot really be happy in anything." p20

When we identify with the dogmatic aspects of the Radha Soami (RS) cult as our end state of being we lose our Joy. Our Joy is only realized when we see past the cult of the RS dogma. The cult of RS dogma is another representation of social ego or culture which eventually ends up as "just another religion" if we don't see through the symbolism being proffered by the teachings of the saints (Sant Mat) or RS. We get enamored with the surfaces which is the death of joy and brings a heavy darkness over our True Lord of the Soul. Then we even realize the spirituality in "shit and piss" too. If only it were so easy to pierce through all these concepts.

There is also reference to 'Lao Tsu's Wake' in this book which "critisizes ... artificial attachments formed by a cult of the master as Master. The "tao of discipleship" is for Chuang Tzu a figment of the imagination, and it can in no way substitute for the "Great Tao," in which all relationships find their proper order and expression." p23

So we see, with this reference to the imagined "cult of dicipleship" which is related to no path and no belief. The practice of meditation is designed to destroy the dogmatism and cult by destroying the concepts we create in our outer satsang (true company). The RS Master tells us that the real Satsang is inside. Again, if we fail to recognize what Sant Mat teaches, we end up in gossip sessions and lose the spiritual value of outer satsang.

And in "Great Song, The Life and Teachings of Joe Miller," Maypop,(c)1993, Krishamurti is paraphrased as saying "as soon as someone has a good idea, the devil sidles up and whispers in his ear: "Let's organize it." p 224 and Krishnamurti is quoted as saying

"I maintain that truth is a pathless path, and that you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized." from Krishnamurti's Candles in the Sun, p. 25.

I like the teachings of Eckhart Tolle who puts everything in the Now. Where is "The Path" if we are "Now?" We are on it and always have been on it - only didn't recognize it because we were too busy looking for it. Meditation can help stop the mind if it is working. For an energetic mind it seems even 2 1/2 hours isn't enough. I like the answer by one of the masters, when he says (paraphrasing) "if you can't bring me your successes, then bring me your failures." These physical masters are "only" teachers or touchstones that allow us to check ourselves against someone who is awakened. The RS literature and pedagogy can be good for someone that needs something to hold on to while their mind spins around their still, unchanging center. Eventually, the meditation should allow the mind energy to dissipate; then enlightenment happens and there is no point in seeking an external master when the internal Master is there. So, the outer rituals and gatherings we participate in should always be of a spiritual nature if possible, otherwise we get stuck with the concepts and lose our present Joy.

So, I think the general topic exposes excellent weaknesses within the blind pursuit of RS through rote ritual and it would be improper for RS followers to deny any cast, creed, sect, color, race, or religion of their faith by proscelytizing a rigid set of their own RS codices.

If I'm not mistaken, this is what tAo and Brian have been saying.

RS isn't any better or worse than any other belief system. The master says this in answer to a diciple's question which says that RS diciples feel blessed and because we have been initiated into RS by an enlightened master, we are somehow better than others. The master tells us this is unfortunate because the worldly problems of RS diciples are no different than those for the rest of the world. Joseph Campbell noted that the basic desire of most religious deciples is "health, wealth, and progeny." These are all lower desires, not spiritual at all. So, when you gather at a RS organized satsang (I attend very few), ask yourself what is this meeting all about? Remember, the radha soami organization isn't the lord of your soul, only the True Lord has such rights and that Lord is in you and can be found nowhere else.

I was told by a Christian at work that he always asks a person what the Number One most important thing in their life is. At that time, I was more peaceful in my mind and was more attuned to God and so I said "God." I made a Christian friend. However, his point was that when asking most people, you will get very strange answers such as my motorcycle, or my car, or my kids, or my family, or my football team ... These number one's in our lives are our gods and we cannot move beyond our lowest god. If we deify a mortal man (our RS master) rather than listen to his teachings and go inside as he tells us, eventually we end up stuck worshiping his decaying body, a pile of dust, or a picture. So, if your Number One is the inner Master then may your Lord be my Lord.

Now everybody get back to your meditation - only 2 hours and 15 minutes more to go ;)

Respects.

Jayme, great thoughts. I was planning to share some of my own along the same lines later today, in a post about breaking down barriers.

Often we exchange one belief-corral for a somewhat more expansive one and come to believe that we're free, instead of just being in a different enclosure.

So, nice timing. I'll try to build on your cogent comment.

Inner and Outer Paths: What Goes Around Comes Around

Thank you Brian. Once in a while there's a coherent thought that passes through my head... but then I recover.

What follows is just a clearing of debris in my mind which is based on my simple experiences (inner and outer). I think others have said essentially the same thing from their experience. I suppose all the talking gets old after awhile.

The primary thing that seems contra-logical in Sant Mat to me is that - when one returns to God and IS God (Return to the One) - one is ultimately back where they started. So if you are trying to escape from the problems of the world through spiritual realization - you never can. The Master never answers the disciple's question, "Why did we ever come to this world away from God in the first place?" The master simply tells us that "only He knows" and that we should go inside and "ask Him."

In my comparatively anemic spiritual experiences, the benefit in what RS and other faiths allude to is that, in enlightenment (i.e. Sach Khand or whatever term one wishes to use), life becomes perfect rapture even though nothing has outwardly changed in the world. Only our perspective has changed; from separated outward dualistic being to a centered inward unity.

In what tucson's says in item 8) (August 12, 2008 at 12:11 PM), we are the self same reality we seek. It is merely a perceptual shift from the outer to the inner that Awakens us and that is all there is to it. Literal interpretation of the RS Master and written teachings say that all we have are concepts of this reality. Even the RS words are concepts and even the perception of the master himself - both inner and outer. This has to be the case because eventually, there is only One and no other. I can't speak from personal knowledge.

RS will only remain a vital organization as long as there are sufficient members who are genuine in their devotion and Love. Kumbayah :) This isn't surprising.

I appologize that I can't speak authoritatively to Manjit's or tAo's comments nor any who describe their inner spiritual or even their extensive outer RSSB experiences. You appear more aware than I am. I do know that paranoia and fear of death comes in some of the meditations but I don't think this has been as profound as what is described in this blog. Buddhism seems to indicate this quite clearly as the passing beyond the "door guardians." The Buddha of enlightenment sits just beyond saying "don't be afraid, come on in." Sounds easy... but I've got a long way to go. If you guys are that far along hallelujah, praise the lord and pass the ammunition, were going in :)

I do feel blessed regardless of the medium for the transformation. RS has been a good touch stone for me. The external failure and subtle inner experiences did seem a better fit to RS than trying to figure out the biblical interpretations. As I said, I stepped back from but not out of RS but I don't consider myself any less a RS follower than any who attends all the satsangs and who have read all the books. I don't consider myself any more a RS follower than those who have left the organization for various reasons. What does that make me? Nothing I suppose.

I think Brian indicated for himself (I don't recall where), his essential thoughts about spirituality did not significantly change before and after Sant Mat. It was this way for me. The RS organization provided a venue that was away from contemporary social pressures so that I could re-establish my bearings. Now that my bearings are somewhat working "correctly," it is wonderful to experience the "cool waters of not knowing" - with or without the interesting experiences described in this blog.

I have not formally computed the number of souls that should be returning home but it always seemed that "four lifetimes" does not add up. Being on "the path" is not being perfect until that time when "we leave this world and arrive in the world and know it for the first time" - and 'round we go.


Best wishes

Dear Jayme,

I read your post with interest and my response as a disciple of Gurinder Dhillon would be to offer this:

I meditate; I very seldom read Sant Mat literature - I am most ignorant in this regard and couldn't tell you who said what; I only pay attention to what I have heard Gurinder Dhillon - my spiritual teacher - say in person, and I only take note of what he writes directly to me in response to my questions. I remain a vegetarian and try to live ethically.

I never debate Sant Mat with fellow Satsangis and I don't discuss my spiritual beliefs and experiences with anyone else ... When I go to satsang I arrive, I sit down and listen, and I leave. I never socialise and I doubt my presence is even noted ... Thus, my approach is exceptionally 'low key' and very personal. However, I find it sustaining and untroubled.

If one lives like this it's simple and uncomplicated and, dare I say it, much more conducive to happiness.

However, you're absolutely entitled to your views and thoughts. As a RSSB practitioner I'm simply sharing what absolutely works for me.

Good luck on your way :-)

With kind wishes, C
Catherine Muller

Yes. That is the right way Cathrine.

There is no outer satsang within hundreds of miles of me and so most of my lessons have been through the reading. I saw Master Gurinder Singh once amid a crowd of 8000+. I've considered sending questions but have found that the books and tapes answer practically all I had to ask. The mental demands of my job are high but for me there is really nothing more to do other than meditate.

It truely isn't complicated and I do appreciate knowing people like you are around.

Bless you.


Jayme.

Jayme,
you write:

"As I said, I stepped back from but not out of RS but I don't consider myself any less a RS follower than any who attends all the satsangs and who have read all the books. I don't consider myself any more a RS follower than those who have left the organization for various reasons. What does that make me? Nothing I suppose."

I'm in the same boat. I go to satsang occasionally but mostly stay home and meditate and try to enjoy life otherwise. After having spent a lot of time on this blog, and becoming VERY familiar with tAo and Tuscon's critiques of Sant Mat, and finding myself agreeing and disagreeing with them at times, I have come to the point where I hardly care to talk about or even think about Sant Mat. I don't really care about the words "Sant Mat" at all, to the point that if I hear it insulted, I hardly feel any defensiveness at all. I just want to do the meditation because I believe it works. There has been a lot of discussion on this blog about what it means to say "meditation works." For me it is very simple. I think anything we do makes a groove on the mind. SM Meditation is making a groove on the mind to be still, concentrated, and be in touch with the sound. I believe that meditation makes this groove happen, whether or not I perceive "internal experiences." I have faith and some experience that this particular groove leads to greater connection with soul/shabd/underlying energy/etc. and greater peace and happiness. That's enough to keep me going.

Amen aDam.

From my experience, the meditation does indeed "work." The habit forms, even if there are no experiences.

As you know, one can't "think" their way on Sant Mat to Radha Soami. RS is only found by "walking the walk" of sound and light. Words and concepts just get in the way.

A clarification of one remark I made: In my opinion, the Master's purpose in providing conceptual answers such as the "four lifetimes" answer is intended to let us know that there is absolutely nothing to worry about and simply do the practice. Worry distracts us from our goal and the concern over the numbers is ultimately unimportant. Only the authenticity of our devotion.

Keep up the good work.


Regards

I have often thought this, that the reason RS masters give these dogmatic, conceptual, theologic answers to big questions is to placate the masses with some sort of answer they can understand and hold on to, knowing that in time their understanding will mature.

From what I have heard, the current master Gurinder Singh is not giving these types of answers to the big questions. He is saying throw away all these old concepts and even says some of them aren't literally true, like the four lifetime thing, or all these different inner regions being merely symbolic and all that.

Fine, maybe the masses are ready for a more here and now, amorphous type of spirituality where concepts are seen as irrelevant and misleading.

Still, the old books are regarded as gospel and the old concepts prevail. Why does Gurinder continue to allow this to go on? Is it because he can't openly admit the former masters were disingenuous, or at the very least patronizers of the simple minded and unsophisticated, or were they even fakes who had no true insight themselves? Is he caught in a bind where he can't say the former approach was deceptive, even if out of necessity, and risk chaos in the organisation? Or, is the presentation of Truth really evolving as the masses are ready for it?

Will the next master sit still and say nothing at all and let Truth, as it is, prevail?

Tuscon writes:

"the current master Gurinder Singh is...saying throw away all these old concepts and even says some of them aren't literally true"

AND

"the old concepts prevail. Why does Gurinder continue to allow this to go on?"

It seems Tuscon is contradicting himself. It would seem that is Tuscon's first point is correct, then Gurinder is not allowing the old concepts to prevail.

For me personally, the old or new concepts are of little importance. I have already been convinced that SM meditation, as I say above, makes a groove on my mind that allows for me to live more consciously and joyfully.

Tuscon, based on many other comments, seems to believe that there is "nothing to do" and that meditating (as it always involves getting somewhere , as Tuscon points out) is delusional.

I doubt "four or five" lifetimes can change either my or Tuscon's beliefs about meditation at this point.

Hey Adam,

What I meant and was not made clear in what I wrote is that when Gurinder is questioned personally on these issues he has dismissed former concepts and modified others, but he still encourages reading the books which state what he has dismissed or modified. Since I am no longer affiliated with RSSB, I am going on what current devotees have told me. I have no direct experience or knowledge of this and may be mistaken.

I was invited to and attended a satsang a couple of months ago. First one for me since the early '90's. Nothing had changed. The satsang could just as easily have been in 1978 as 2008, but Gurinder was not doing the talking.

There is nothing "you" can do, in my opinion, but things may be done by the apparent entity known as you. This may seem to be a contradiction, but from my perspective it is not. It is a matter of being lived, rather than believing one (you) does the living. I find this to be true whether we are speaking of the spiritual or mundane which to me are one and the same.

Meditation is simply an action. If one likes it, why not? The delusion is believing that there is an independent entity that needs to be or could be realised or enlightened by their apparent willful action via meditation or any other activity. Recognition of This may occur while meditating or while slicing an apple. All the same thing in that regard.

mr brian,

tell me one thing,if a person is unsuccessful to pass a degree in 30 years due to his insincerity in studies or bad luck or bad karmas of past lives,should he inspire others not to study at all. as a preacher,you must be knowing that sant mat is meant for the good of soul and it may take 4 births too. so i suggest you sincerely to start practising surat shabad yoga.believe in christ's teachings-worship of spirit pleases the father,no other worship pleases the father.sin against the holy ghost can never be forgiven.in the beginning there was word,word was with God and word was GOD.

dd bhatia, you say that it can take four births to reach the Sant Mat goal. So what's the problem if someone doesn't achieve this in one birth? Have YOU achieved the goal of Sach Khand? Do you know for sure that anyone else has? If so, please describe how you know this.

Also, how do you know that the practice of "shabd yoga" is the best means of reaching ultimate reality? Have you tried all of the other means? Have you practiced Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and the rest? Have you followed the tenets of each religion for many years, experimenting to see which is best?

If not, how do you know that your chosen religion of Sant Mat is the best and should be followed for one's entire life? How do you know that I, for example, am not on a more direct path to ultimate reality through my current spiritual practice -- which I'd loosely describe as Taoist mixed with some non-dogmatic Buddhism and a bunch of "whatever"?

You make statements that, in my not very humble opinion, you can't back up, and can't be sure about. So why did you say what you did in your comment? Does it feel good to feel superior? Sure, it does. But are you really superior to me, or anyone else? If so, I keep asking: how do you KNOW that you are on the best path to ultimate reality, and I, or anyone else, is not?

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