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August 13, 2008

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Dear Brian

Great to see you enjoying your alternate Simran.

Here are some answers to your questions.

I know how they will help you categorise and label things. very useful for you on the wayless path of non-judgment and non-labeling? (tic - tongue in cheek)

Anyway, here you are:

Question 1. do I believe that I know the truth about the cosmos? Or at least, that I am on a path leading to knowledge of this truth? (yes, no, don't know)

Reply>

No I dont believe I know the truth about the cosmos, but Yes I believe I am on A path leading to truth.

Of course Brian, you are a more spiritual (but definitely not humble - by your own admission of having an "enormous ego")seeker of truth that will prefer to sit on the fence and say "I dont know".

Question 2. if I answered "yes" to 1, do I believe that other people could find this truth in different ways?

Reply> Yes, I believe people can find the truth through other paths (but not other ways).

All roads do not lead to Rome.

Those other PATHS that lead to the Ultimate truth will still be governed by the same METHOD or WAY - simple truths that have been taught by God Men and God Women since the beginning of time. Each of these Masters "is the way, the truth and the light', and "no one cometh unto the Father" but through them. In each age or time there may be more than a single perfect living master, but there is always at least one.

Many Masters, One Way.

I believe I lucky to be drawn to the path which is lead by a perfect living master. I do not KNOW. That would imply too much for now.

But I am sufficiently convinced through life experience and enquiry - of the merits of this path (for me. it may not be for others).

Question 3. Do I believe that a cosmos-truth seeker would make an unbroken progression toward knowing this truth, or would the path to truth take unexpected twists and turns, impossible to predict in advance? (unbroken, unexpected, or don't know)

Reply>

broken AND unexpected AND i dont know

Spiritual progress - and any commentary on it - is between the disciple and their Master.

Life and the life path of a soul are 100% dynamic and changing.

I never for 1 minute believed that you could leave the path, because you understand the message as taught by the Masters. What is difficult for me to digest though is:

1. the motivation for you slating the path and labeling its followers as narrow-minded fundementalists
2. the motivation behind facilitating and in turn encouraging the vitriol of confused individuals like Tao, Tucson et al.

So you can call me and any Satsangi narrow-minded or fundamentalist. However you have chosen a fundamental "fence sitting" position right now, that is convenient for positioning you as this Tao-Buddha whatever gent.

What lurks in the shadows though is a hairy beast called the Brian Hines Ego, which condemns any sincere and disciplined follower of any belief (more often than not rssb)to your "the dead zone". These "zombies" and "fundamentalists" are conveniently "sorted out" by a few questions and power-labels of your and your congregation, so the Hines-flock can feel safe and above all else - PROUD to be free of anything that requires a bit of dedication.

I can only guess that your ego was so stung by being retrenched as a public speaker, that you have now sought to build your own platform to stroke your ego. Thats ok. But it shouldnt be at the expense of someone else or some other organisation or belief system.

Hello Brad, I notice many profoundly flawed, extremely limited & naive lines of thinking throughout most of your posts, but such is the human condition. No biggie.

Just one (of many, many) point that I feel needs correction. You state Brian was 'so stung' by being retrenched as a public speaker that he sought to 'build' his own 'platform'?

I'm afraid this is completely mistaken. He had already built this 'platform', and it is precisely because of his HONESTY of his unknowingness of many RS concepts that RS banned him from giving satsang. You know, that ol' censorship thang? They clearly prefer people who PARROT theology without either an inkling about the relative truth of that theology, or enough humility to admit it. Egotisitical bullshitters, apparently, is what RSSB wants as it's official speakers? I don't feel Brian fulfills that criteria, which is why he was fired, imo?

Anyhow, all the best to you on your true path Sir. May you glance down on us poor suffering souls in chaurasi with compassion, when you reach your Sach Khand.

PS Brad - you have repeatedly mentioned confusion and paranoia that is generated by Brian and others on this site?

Are you familar with such psychological concepts as transference and projection?

Are you reframing YOUR confusion as the confusion that Brian et al is generating in others?

Maybe, deep down, you know RS is a crock, and you are unable to face that traumatic conclusion face to face, hence your appearance here to deride everyone? That's one way of dealing with fear & confusion, anyhow....just not very constructive....

Anywhos, seeing as you started it, I thought I'd also join in with the pop-psychology ;-)

Tao, Tucson, Brian, Manjit, et. al.,

Brad stated,

"In each age or time there may be more than a single perfect living master, but there is always at least one. Many Masters, One Way."

---Is that your understanding of Santmat, would a perfect Master accept the existance of another "current" perfect living master? Hopefully, I have crafted my question correctly. An example, during the life time of Charan Singh, would he acknowledge the existance of a (co-existing) living perfect master?
Not necessarily as a competitor, just an additional perfect master.

Thanks for your replies,
Roger


Roger inquired if a current "perfect" master would accept the existence of another one.

Yes. During Charan Singh's time he would occasionally share the dais (speaking platform) with a master from another RS branch. Mutual deference and respect was shown.

I agree with Manjit's "pop psychology" regarding Brad who repeatedly is the pot calling the kettle black.

There seems to be a philosophical chasm at play here that is difficult to bridge. I think some of us understand the perspective Brad is coming from, but he has no clue regarding what we are trying to express to him.

This is not to say that Brad is unintelligent, but rather the stubbornness he exhibits appears to be, at least in part, due to an impasse caused by ignorance of other philosophical (non-dual) viewpoints, or acknowledging the possibility that there is no factual viewpoint.

Hence, he makes the statement: "2. the motivation behind facilitating and in turn encouraging the vitriol of confused individuals like Tao, Tucson et al."

What are we confused about, Brad?

Also Brad, how does one determine if the master is indeed perfect? What if it turns out he is imperfect after a lifetime spent believing he is perfect? Wouldn't that be a bummer?

I mean, the average imperfect Joe can't go down to WalMart and buy a "Perfect Master Test Kit" to determine the validity of his guru.



Oh my God, Brad! You're right!

umm... now what?

Brad, thanks for your honest response. Just as I thought, it tells us a lot about where you're coming from -- personally, spiritually, philosophically.

Your way is your way. Follow it with passion.

All I can suggest, based on my own experience, which includes being married to a wise woman/psychotherapist/best friend who believed much differently from me when we met nineteen years ago, and who helped me recognize the blind spots in my view of ultimate reality, is that you listen to yourself speaking and writing about your own beliefs, substitute another creed for those beliefs (such as "Jesus saves, having died for our sins") and consider whether, while the thoughts may be different from yours, the religious attitude is the same.

Maybe this is what you aspire to. In my case, I came to see that there was a disconnect between how open and accepting I thought I was of other people's views, and how narrow and judgmental I really was.

It's only in challenging dialogue with others, from my experience, that we can be led to examine this sort of stuff. Otherwise we end up going around and around in the self-justifying circle of our own minds, which usually is exacerbated by an organized belief system whose purpose is to reinforce its own dogmas.

What I've just said probably won't resonate with you. That's fine. It just needed to be said.

Brad, a P.S....

I feel entirely justified in calling you a fundamentalist because you didn't answer a genuine "yes" to question #2. Your contention that there is only one Way but various Paths demonstrates this.

That is, you allow that a person can have various choices as to which Perfect Living Master to follow. But the only way back to God is through the intercession of such a being.

Fine. That's your belief. It used to be mine also. All I'm saying is that this fundamentalist belief (defined as "only one way") is no different from a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or other fundamentalist belief.

There's no evidence that any religion is correct. So beliefs have to be taken on faith. I've got no problem with faith, so long as it remains personal. But when someone tells me, "I'm right and you're wrong, because you don't believe like I do," that's when faith becomes destructive.

Many of the world's problems are caused by this sort of exclusivity and "I'm holier than thou" attitude.

You're wrong in implying that agnosticism, doubt, and questioning are a belief system. That's ridiculous. To equate "I know..." with "I don't know..." is just to play word games.

Brad stated,

"What lurks in the shadows though is a hairy beast called the Brian Hines Ego, which condemns any sincere and disciplined follower of any belief (more often than not rssb)to your "the dead zone". These "zombies" and "fundamentalists" are conveniently "sorted out" by a few questions and power-labels of your and your congregation, so the Hines-flock can feel safe and above all else - PROUD to be free of anything that requires a bit of dedication."

--Are there examples of the Hines-flock engaged in other spiritual blogs, and engaging in such mean-spirited dialog? I can not imagine the Regulars here, marching over to other Blogs and dishing out such meanness. The need to attack others in other religious/spiritual blogs is not what I could imagine our Regular group, engaging in.

--Brad, you came to this blog, with your own free will. No One forced you to immerse yourself in this Hines blog.

--I don't see any "sitting on the fence" mentality among the Regulars. The Regulars here, (IMO) are all independant thinking individuals.

Roger,

Brad had stated previously: "In each age or time there may be more than a single perfect living master, but there is always at least one. Many Masters, One Way."

Consequently you have now asked: "would a perfect Master accept the existance of another "current" perfect living master?"

-- Provided that there actually is such a thing as "a perfect living master". But I suspect that you are probably referring more specifically to the branches of Santmat gurus? However, since you did not limit your question to them alone, I have this to offer you:

There have been many gurus down through history that were considered to be "perfect masters by various camps. If you are asking what their followers thought, then it was generally likely that the followers/diciples believed that their own guru was THE only perfect master. However, very few, if any of these gurus themselves ever asserted that they themselves were the ONLY so-called "perfect master" existing in the world.

One example (among many others) that comes to mind would be Meher Baba, who himself claimed to be not olny a perfect master, but also the one same avatar of all times... but he also recognized that there was always a number (several) of other sat-gurus (perfect masters) existing in the world at any particular time.

Another example would be Sri Ramama Maharshi who himself made no such claims at all, but whose followers undoubtedly regarded him as being a true Sat-Guru. But Sri Ramana himself indicated in various ways that any number of other realized beings could exist at any one time, and that there was no limitation at all. And that all realized (and un-realied) beings were, in reality, none other than the ONE SELF.

In any case, the list goes on and on... and very few, if any gurus down throughout history, even if they had regarded themselves as being a more superior perfect master, ever placed any limitations upon the existence and number of other realized beings - jivan muktas, or sat-gurus (perfect masters).

That being said, the real issue here (imo) is that of this notion of a supposed "perfect master". What (or who) actually determines that someone is "a perfect master"? Who determines - who judges, and what is the determinant factor?

All of this talk of "perfect masters" is merely predicated upon nothing more than an idea - some dogmatic notion in the minds of the ignorant... in people like Brad. No truly realized/awakened being would ever have any reason to believe or to assert that they were the only living sat-guru, or that there could not be other realized beings, other buddhas. But remember, in reality, there are no individual "realized beings". There is only primordial awareness embodied in myriad life forms.


"Charan Singh, would he acknowledge the existance of a (co-existing) living perfect master? Not necessarily as a competitor, just an additional perfect master."

-- I am sure that Charan was smart enough not to stick his neck out and make such an absurd limitation upon the existence of other "perfect masters"... But you also have to remember that he never claimed to be a "perfect master" himself. He always deferred to his own guru Sawan Singh. If he was pressed to, would he have acknowledged the existence of any other masters? I am sure he would have, and would have been open and humble to any such possibility. But then he made no claims for himself either (none directly anyway).


TAo-o, tAo-o
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
TAo, me say tA, me say tA, me say tA
Me say tA, me say tAo-o
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.

Work all night on a drink of rum
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
Stack banana till de mornin' come
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.

Come, Mister Tally-man, tally me banana
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
Come, Mister Tally-man, tally me banana
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.

Lift six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.

Tao, me say tAo-o
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
TAo, me say tA, me say tA, me say tAo
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.

A beautiful bunch o' ripe banana
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
Hide the deadly black tarantula
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.

Lift six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.

TAo, me say tAo-o
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
TAo, me say tA, me say tA, me say tAo
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.

Come, Mister Tally-man, tally me banana
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
Come, Mister Tally-man, tally me banana
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.

TAo-o, tAy-o
Daylight come and me wan'a go home
TAo, me say tA, me say tA, me say tAo
Me say tA, me say tAo-o
Daylight come and me wan'a go home.


http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8OH05VgGaM0

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=uX5mNnJUcRY


Tao,

Thanks for your reply. My "perfect" master question comes up when the topic seems to resurface in comments here, from time to time. I know, you know, where I am coming from.

My question, regarding the perfect master, was intended to lure you into writing another one of your fun and informative replies. I think, I accomplished my task.

Well coming from a totally different place than most who post here, my thoughts are very different. I do not believe we need a priest, a perfect master, a pastor, a mentor, or a teacher. They are all nice if they actually do have spiritual depth (sometimes they do, sometimes not) but we find spiritual truth on our own and even if we lived as a hermit with nobody around or whether it was in the heart of a city constantly bombarded by the words of others.

Being a neo-pagan (label I just found thanks to Brian's link to belief net test), I believe nature can be our teacher. Life can be our teacher and if we are watching what happens, there is no need for any perfect master. I don't think we have to know what the cosmos is all about because it's finding out what we are all about that is our life task.

I am not into joining into groups anymore and maybe it's a factor in my thinking; but even when I was in the Catholic Church, it didn't make sense to me that god designated the Pope was the only one with a direct line to spiritual truth or right living. In the Evangelical Church, it wasn't even suggested the minister had a divine head start for good reason as many often proved their human failings.

There is value, in my thinking, to go into religions for a time, learn basics, learn what others think, but I honestly think real spiritual growth happens when we accept responsibility for ourselves, not following what someone else found worked (even a master).

The thing is (again my opinion) the most complex thing in life is also the simplest-- love. All of it boils down to that one word and learning the fullest meaning of it and nobody can do it for you. So you could learn the tricks of a wizard, the spiritually most profound words but it's the love that you can't get from someone else but only generate within yourself.

Rain, nicely said. Congratulations on Belief O'Matic terming you a neo-pagan. That's what I want to be.

Neo-pagan conjures up an image of dancing around a fire in the woods naked ("pagan") while making a video that you can instantly upload to You Tube ("neo").

My Unitarian Belief O'Matic rating, on the other hand, is more in tune with gray haired baby boomers sitting around sipping de-caf coffee and talking about world peace.

Hey, maybe I can be both! A neo-pagan Unitarian! Just need to adjust my Belief O'Matic answers somewhat. (and lose a few pounds, so I can be proud of my naked dancing video)

Brian,

I am a tantric pagan, and yes I like to dance naked around a fire - especially if there are some female tantric pagans there to dance around naked with.

So as a fellow pagan, I'd like to share something to help you to get in really good shape, naked neo-pagan wise that is. And then you'll be dancin naked around that fire in no time. Of course you'll need a few other naked dancing pagans as well.

This is a real nice site created by a Bro named Scooby that gives you all the pratical info and tips and guidance you need to create your own home gym, and do it extremely inexpensively. Scooby also has a whole selection of great home-made body-building workout videos on his YouTube channel as well. Here are the links:

Scooby's Home Bodybuilding Workouts:
http://fitness.scoobysworkshop.com

About Scooby: http://fitness.scoobysworkshop.com/aboutme.htm

Scooby's Vegetarian Body-building: http://fitness.scoobysworkshop.com/veg.htm

Scooby's YouTube Videos:
http://uk.youtube.com/user/scooby1961


Additional Good Books:

http://www.amazon.com/Mens-Health-Muscle-Authoritative-Building/dp/1579547699

http://www.amazon.com/Mens-Health-Home-Workout-Bible/dp/B000RGSUKE

http://www.amazon.com/Mens-Health-Ultimate-Dumbbell-Guide/dp/159486487X

http://www.amazon.com/Strength-Training-Anatomy-Frederic-Delavier/dp/0736063684


(1) Do you believe that you know the truth about the cosmos? Or at least, that you are on a path leading to knowledge of this truth? (yes, no, don't know)

YES and NO and I DON'T KNOW

(2) If you answered "yes" to 1, do you believe that other people could find this truth in different ways? (yes, no, don't know)

YES, even those who follow the same path find truth in different ways, that is assuming there is one truth to find.

(3) Do you believe that a cosmos-truth seeker would make an unbroken progression toward knowing this truth, or would the path to truth take unexpected twists and turns, impossible to predict in advance? (unbroken, unexpected, or don't know)

Nothing goes as expected, that is the true magic of life.

Just took the Belief-O-Matic quiz, here are my top six:

1. Theravada Buddhism (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (90%)
3. Secular Humanism (84%)
4. Mahayana Buddhism (81%)
5. Liberal Quakers (80%)
6. Taoism (75%)

Which is weird because in the past I have identified most with Lao Tzu.

Tao, I go along with your 'Perfect Master' answer. The concept behind the two words makes very little sense to me these days. I see religion for many people as a very necessary framework to use to handle life and create a community. As for the bodybuilding sites; my preference, after joining an excellent gym for four years and not attending once, is for exercise with less rigidity.

Brian, surely Sant Mat Simran in it's standard form including the image of Charan, dominates your meditation no matter how much you try other methods.

Spirituality is as simple as 1 2 3 reminds me when Bulle Shah went to his master to ask as to how he can meet God. The master was sowing sibblings of onion. He replied Bulleah "Rab da ki pana , adhrohn patna adharh lana" i.e. one has to transplat one's attention from wordly things to spiritual one.

But it looks like a hell out of it.

Following a spritual path is a journey and not a destination. One has to tread it throughout life. Like education in any field on this earth has no end.

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