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January 08, 2009

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Hi Brian,

I have to be honest, this may just be the most 'incoherent' blog from you I have ever read!

Using intellect to dissect a non-intellectual event that one hasn't even 'experienced'??

He he.

It's like the person who has never felt 'love' in their life, dry & barren, condescendingly taking down to those steeped in it!

Those who know, know.

Others merely cast speculations based on intellectual assumptions. Good luck with that, sir!

Manjit, you shared some words, but not any meaningful communication. What bothered you about what I wrote? What do you disagree with? And why?

Speak from your experience if you like. I'm interested in how it's possible to lose one's self selflessly.

Hello Brian,

To answer the question of whether this merging with the cosmos shenanigans is desirable, I don't know. I think I would desire to know the truth. I would not like to be left in ignorance.

As for the title of the post, I would not agree with such a blanket statement. With 6 billion people currently living, it would seem to me that there would most likely be some of them trying sincerely to depress there ego. I think the only way to lessen the ego through spiritual practices without actually inflating it would have to be if you could practice without wanting to succeed or not. That would beg the question, however, why are you practicing in the first place if you don't care if you succeed? hmmmmm.

I like the first Baggini excerpt, but as for the second I disagree with her logic.

"A further problem with this idea is that it suggests the meaning of a person's life is not to have a life at all. You reach your highest potential by losing your sense of self altogether -- in effect, by ceasing to exist. We end up with another impressive-sounding paradox: the meaning of your life is for you to lose all sense of that life. Well, that can be arranged -- it's called death."

This makes sense if at one point there is a self's life to have meaning to, but i think that most people who believe that there is a merging with the cosmos would also say that the individual is illusory to begin with. And there can be no meaning to something that does not exist.

Tucker, you seem to agree with the idea that not existing is preferable to existing. Logically, anyone who felt this way should commit suicide, which seems rather depressing.

I'm not saying this is your view. But if the individual doesn't exist, then why not really not exist and die, becoming truly nonexistent?

On the other hand, if merging with the cosmos means that the individual still exists, and is aware of existing (which comes to the same thing), then this isn't a genuine merging.

That's Baggini's point, which is unarguable in my opinion. If you know that you're one with the cosmos, you aren't -- because there's the cosmos and also you being aware of being one with the cosmos.

Been looking for this elusive so-called "ego" for a very very long time... but still have yet to find it.

A lot of people do talk about it... but when it is sought, it is not to be found anywhere.

So if anyone can show it, can reveal it and show where it is located, where to find it, please do.


THE SIX VAJRA VERSES:


The nature of phenomena is nondual,

But each one, in its own state, is beyond the limits of the mind.

There is no concept that can define the condition of "what is",

But vision nevertheless manifests: all is good.

Everything has already been accomplished, and so, having overcome the sickness of effort,

One finds oneself in the self-perfected state: this is contemplation.

------------------------------------


The Six Vajra Verses:


The nature of the variety of phenomena is non-dual,

Yet each phenomena is beyond the limits of the mind.

The authentic condition as it is does not become a concept,

Yet it manifests totally in form, always good.

All being already perfect, overcome the sickness of effort,

And remain naturally in the self-perfected state: this is contemplation.

-----------------------------------


The Six Vajra Verses:


Even though the nature of the diversity (of all phenomena) is without any duality,

In the terms of the individuality of the things themselves, they are free of any conceptual elaborations.

Even though there exists no thought or conception of what is called the state of being just as it is,

These various appearances which are created are but manifestations of primordial awareness.

Since everything is complete in itself, one comes to abandon the illness of effort

And thus one continues spontaneously in the calm state of contemplation.

----------------------------------


The Six Vajra Verses:


Although apparent phenomena manifest as diversity yet this diversity is non-dual,

And of all the multiplicity of individual things that exist none can be confined in a limited concept.

Staying free from the trap of any attempt to say "it's like this", or "like that",

It becomes clear that all manifested forms are aspects of the infinte formless, and, indivisible from it, are self-perfected.

Seeing that everything is self-perfected from the very beginning, the disease of striving for any achievement is surrendered,

And just remaining in the natural state as it is, the presence of non-dual contemplation continuously and spontaneously arises.

I like the idea of whittling away or lessening the ego in your post. It has been stated by the greatest Saints (Kabir, Paltu, Nanak, Sawan, Soamiji Maharaj, etc.) that "ego is the root of all evils". You may not believe this statement but I certainly do. But here is the dilemma: Even if one has the foresight and insight to see the truth that ego is, indeed, the root of all evils, one is incapable of defeating the ego by the use of the ego. To attempt to do so would only embellish that which one is attempting to minimize or eliminate. That is why "service" is so very important. Dylan had a tune years ago that refrained "You gotta serve somebody", and the verses went on to describe the various types of service which he observed in this world. It is a truism: if one is alive, one is serving...something, someone or some activity. Any desire, narcissistic or philanthropic, is service, for it demands an expenditure of energy. However, it is rare to find service which produces and engenders humility. Most service which we observe in the world only exacerbates selfishness, arrogance and vanity. Humility, in its true form, is such a fine and tender quality that all life is astonished by its appearance. How little humility we see on TV, on the Internet, in our very lives! People are consumed by vanity; is it not so? Therefore, the highest and most developed human beings that I have read or had the fortune of associating with have all stressed the dire need for humility. In its core and deepest essence, humility is Love. It is on account of the deepest humility that souls, encased within the cage of the body, have attained the highest in consciousness. It is the realization that there is a Supreme Being Who is naught but Love and Mercy and Who is prepared to shower Mercy in abundance to those who inwardly express a scintilla of humility. It is humility and yearning that eventually bring one to a True and Perfect Saint. A Saint will tell you outright: "Every Saint has His past...and every sinner has his future." Blessings to all in 2009.

A clarification, is requested, regarding;

"One finds oneself in the self-perfected state: this is contemplation."

---this self-perfected state, is when:
There is no need to reject or appropriate anything, or to refute or establish any position, because reality (the cosmos) is what it is?
---how is the the word, "contemplation" being defined, when used in this passage?

Thanks for any replies,
Roger


Albert, there's nothing wrong with reducing the ego (assuming such a thing, ego, exists, as tAo properly questioned).

But your thoughts point to Baggini's wise observation: those who pursue ego-loss and humility are doing so with a purpose, and seeking benefits. So they're just as much out to serve themselves as everyone else is.

They simply seek spiritual goodies rather than material goodies. Yet goodies all the same.

Here's what true ego-loss might be like: perform an act of selfless service, like dying to save someone's life, with no expectation that you'll get any benefit from it.

No life after death. No feeling of satisfaction at the moment of dying. No posthumous recognition or awards. No anything. Just an act that benefits another and hurts you, by cutting short your one and only life.

I call that act hugely, immensely, incomparably more admirable and virtuous than the life of any saint, guru, or mystic who loves God and serves humanity because such leads to peace, bliss, and enlightenment.

A few statements, for analysis,

"In its core and deepest essence, humility is Love. It is on account of the deepest humility that souls, encased within the cage of the body, have attained the highest in consciousness."

---what happens to a soul, that doesn't understand humility?

"It is the realization that there is a Supreme Being Who is naught but Love and Mercy and Who is prepared to shower Mercy in abundance to those who inwardly express a scintilla of humility. It is humility and yearning that eventually bring one to a True and Perfect Saint."

---how does One engage in this "realization" process or event?
---what or how is the "Supreme Being" term being used here?
---if One gets misdirected on my humility, does that mean One would be; a partially true and somewhat perfect Saint?
---any examples or names of living persons, that match the Saint description or requirement?

OK, OK, so i'm asking a lot of questions.
None of this is a big deal.
Roger


Regarding Albert's comments:

"the idea of whittling away or lessening the ego"

-- That is complete nonsense.

"It has been stated by the greatest Saints (Kabir, Paltu, Nanak, Sawan, Soamiji Maharaj, etc.)"

-- Who says those are "the greatest Saints"??? You say? And what do you know? Not much apparently.

"ego is the root of all evils". You may not believe this statement but I certainly do."

-- This is what fools that are not very wise or intelligent think.

"one is incapable of defeating the ego by the use of the ego."

-- Nonsense. There is no such ego. Just where is this "ego" that you mention? Show it.

"That is why "service" is so very important."

-- "sevice" you say?... By whom, and for what?

"It is a truism: if one is alive, one is serving...something, someone or some activity."

-- Bullshit.

"Any desire, narcissistic or philanthropic, is service, for it demands an expenditure of energy."

-- More bullshit.

"Humility, in its true form, is such a fine and tender quality that all life is astonished by its appearance."

-- You obviously know nothing about humility.

"Therefore, the highest and most developed human beings that I have read or had the fortune of associating with have all stressed the dire need for humility."

-- Genuine humility can NOT possibly be contrived. So there is NO reason whatsoever to talk about it, or to have "stressed the dire need" for it. Only poseurs talk about it. It is not something to self-righteously banter about as you are now doing.

"It is on account of the deepest humility that souls, encased within the cage of the body, have attained the highest in consciousness."

-- More pseudo-spiritual bullshit.

"It is the realization that there is a Supreme Being Who is naught but Love and Mercy and Who is prepared to shower Mercy in abundance to those who inwardly express a scintilla of humility."

-- Flowery pseudo-spiritual bullcrap.

"It is humility and yearning that eventually bring one to a True and Perfect Saint. A Saint will tell you outright: "Every Saint has His past...and every sinner has his future."

-- "True and Perfect Saint" my ass. What utter holier-than-thou garbage. Go stick it up your pseudo-mystical ass, you dimwitted religious-cult freak.


Roger asked:

"this self-perfected state, is when:
There is no need to reject or appropriate anything, or to refute or establish any position, because reality (the cosmos) is what it is?"

--No. The self-perfected state is inherent in awareness.

"One finds oneself in the self-perfected state: this is contemplation." -- "how is the the word, "contemplation" being defined, when used in this passage?"

-- It was more or less self-explanatory: The self-perfected state is true contemplation.


Brian said:

"....... more admirable and virtuous than the life of any saint, guru, or mystic who loves God and serves humanity because such leads to peace, bliss, and enlightenment."

-- I would also add that it matters not if some "saint, guru, or mystic" loves God. And WHAT IS "serving humanity" anyway??? Who's to say what serves humanity. And what makes prancing around like some fancy guru and collecting a bunch of disciples, any service to humanity?

The people who are really and truly serving humanity are the ones who are feeding the poor, who are healing the sick, who are freeing the oppressed.... NOT some guys in turbans pretentiously posing as mystics or sadgurus to a bunch of naieve and gullible narcissistic religious cult fools who are looking for some savior.


I like tAo's six vajra verses.

To address Roger's inquiry about "contemplation" as used in the verses: I think contemplation in the sense used in the verse is really a non-contemplation. In other words it is perceiving without an identified perceiver. Just leave the 'someone' out of the perceiving and you have contemplation. We do it all the time but when we do we don't know it, like when the Zen archer releases the arrow, or when you flip the pancake to the correct spot on the griddle without thinking about it. This is all there is to It, but the mind grasps at the idea "I did the flipping" and it slips into duality. Rather than grasp, just let the next phenomena/action come to pass without the idea of an 'I' that is letting it pass. It just passes and there is no 'you' in the equation. It is "abandoning the illness of effort", of ownership or self-direction, a slipping into Being without effort.

It is knowing the observed has no existence apart from the observer and knowing that the observer has no existence apart from the observed. Thus divided mind is re-united. Then there is no other, so there can be no self. Without a self there can be no other.

Without extension in space and duration in time, in mind that is whole, there is no being but a beingness. Gone is ego and volition as well as mind as a concept. Pure noumenality and none to conceive it, untrammelled and radiant is all that 'we' are.

The Great Liberation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e2FpwPs0oc


After 20 years of wasting time in a dark room with my thumb in my ear seeking self induced sounds and sights as proof of spiritual progress, a series of events revealed the obvious for me. Debating unverifiable abstractions as a way to test the authenticity of the so called ‘Masters’ and their doctrines is a circular waste of time.

One need go no further than ‘follow the money’. The Dera is structured as feudal work farms where the serfs, the impoverished underclass of India, provide legions of labor, including child labor, for example the ongoing construction projects, the vast agricultural enterprises etc in exchange for the Darshan of the Master and a few bare necessities in abject poverty.

There was a Radhasoami Satsang Beas book ‘Origin and Growth’ (that Gurinder asked to have removed from circulation) there is a hidden principle which states “it is the basic principle of Sant Mat and especially of the Radhasoami faith, that the Satguru, being God Incarnate, has absolute authority and power to deal with His Parmarthi (religious) property of every kind in whatever way He likes. All Bhaints (offerings) made to Him by His followers and all properties inherited by Him from his Satguru become His personal properties and His power to use such properties is not restricted in any way.”

In reality, beneath the charade of modesty and simple tastes these ‘Masters’ have built billionaire fortunes largely at the expense of those most desperate and vulnerable and by perpetuating a cynical fraud that has been especially exploitative toward India’s underclass and harmful to many in other walks of life.

As for the meditation, an ex representative explained it best: ‘I think it is heartless to delude people into imagining that a neural show represents the experience of God. The emphasis in the Indian spiritual tradition is finding out who you are at the core, not getting caught up in specific experiences. Zen clearly advises against the mental hallucinations during meditation.

RSSB has a good marketing program going.

Promise what is tantalizing but unattainable. As long as people are caught in tantalizing images, there will be no dearth of customers.

Not only does the RS Guru play upon the natural human fear of death but also entices blatantly by promising company on the ‘inner spiritual journey’. When the seeker is hooked and enters the fold, he or she finds innumerable qualifications which make the experience of ‘the inner spiritual journey’ with ‘the Master always with them’ almost unattainable. Then starts the push to alternative group highs in ritual meeting and project activities”.

Unknown,

Thank you immensely for saying what really needs to be said. Somehow you have cut to the chase and captured the real but somewhat hidden truth about the RS path and the RSSB so very concisely and right to all the core point/s.

Yours is perhaps the most candid and astute critique of RS to ever appear here. In a simpe direct and articulate manner, you have assembled and exposed all the important probelmatic issues that make RS one of the most fraudulent, deceiptful, and exploitative spiritual guru-cults to come down the pike of eastern religion. RS is an ink spot on the panorama of the great tradition of genuine eastern philosophy and vedanta.

Thank you again for saying with such unabashed clarity, directness, and common sense, that which I have tried so many times before to say, but have somehow always fallen short of articulating.

If you don't mind, I shall copy your gem of a comment and save it for my future reference.

I don't know much about the structure of the RSSB. It is interesting to read this.

unknown says: "Zen clearly advises against the mental hallucinations during meditation."

-- There may be specific passages that one might get caught up with but I have never gotten the impression through either the books or the tapes that the neural light show was of interest in Sant Mat. My understanding is that they should be ignored.

Respects,

Tucson,

"I think contemplation in the sense used in the verse is really a non-contemplation. In other words it is perceiving without an identified perceiver. Just leave the 'someone' out of the perceiving and you have contemplation."

---exactly, the dictionary definition of contemplation is different, as is used in the verse. That is the clarification, I was looking for. As ususual, I know a word can take on many definitions, however, there is conversation going on. I choose my interpretation. No harm done, and no big deal.

Unknown, thanks for the mostly right-on thoughts. I agree that RSSB has become a vast organization where the spiritual side is inextricably mixed up with the business/money side.

This is the case with all religious groups, of course, and there's nothing inherently wrong with mixing money and mysticism. However, RSSB claims that it isn't a religion. Yet it sure acts like one in this regard.

Jayme, I'm not sure what Sant Mat you're talking about. The RSSB version often is called "the path of light and sound." Seeing inner light and hearing inner sound is the essence of the meditation approach. How can you say that light and sound are to be ignored?

Attending to these inner phenomena is what Sant Mat meditation is all about. Other spiritual systems also have the same teaching, so this isn't anything unique to RSSB or Sant Mat.

Jayme,

I totally agree with Brian. Shabd yoga is ALL about meditating upon the light and sound current.

So for you to say that the light and sound "should be ignored" is definitely NOT at all the teaching or the practice of Santmat/RS.

The so-called "neural show" that Unknown referred to, and that you also mentioned, IS in fact the very same identical so-called 'light and sound current' of the Santmat shabd yoga meditation system.

So perhaps you somehow did not understand that???

Either that, or else you have an entirely different understanding and practtice of shabd yoga than Santmat and the RS teaches.

To say that the light and sound "should be ignored" is NOT at all the shabd yoga that Santmat and RS teaches, and the shabd meditaion that all initiates practice.

So I really don't know where you got that idea, or how you came to that conclusion... because its absolutely wrong.

All I can say is that you must have misunderstood what was meant by "neural show" and "self induced sounds and sights".


To further clarify on a few points re: RSSB deceit: The Radha Soami ‘Masters’ are very skilled at avoiding the public relations pitfalls of many Guru’s who publicly indulge themselves which has made the scam/charade much more deceptive.

As with any cult, when the mind is trained to gymnastically avoid rational critique it always lays the groundwork for abuse and crimes against humanity and creation. Cognitive dissonance makes mankind a dangerous animal and religion, with its subversive power agendas, is always cultivating that fatal human flaw in addition to primary primordial motivators of the human psyche…the need for meaning and security. If nothing else, a careful reading of history documents mankind’s horrific tradeoffs and abdication of personal responsibility in exchange for a sense of ‘meaning and security’.

Specifically, in supporting RSSB, or ‘looking the other way’ in choosing not to address the feudal system impacting many thousands of India’s underclass and other gross exploitations, one is choosing a feel good panacea to prop up a superficial spiritual self image instead of honestly addressing the obvious.

Earlier posts regarding the utter self absorption and counter productiveness of this kind of ‘spiritual progress’ caught my attention. It is so true. Consider the hierarchal nature of Sant Mat, specifically RSSB. The more Seva you do, the more exposure to intimate audiences with ‘God Incarnate’ you are eligible for which feeds your ego….hence ‘I am special, I’ve had a semi private audience….etc’ It becomes a game of ego gratification masked as spiritual progress, climbing the ladder and politics in direct correlation with how much work you do or how much you donate. I have a great deal of personal experience on this subject, it is not speculation. But if one is observant and not disconnecting rational critique, it is easy to see.

A very high ranking ex-representative intimately connected with Charan Singh made this account:

“RSSB-House of Sawan”

“About a year ago, I was reading a report on the Net from a newspaper in Pakistan.

The report said that an NGO (non-governmental organization) engaged in teaching good health habits to women and children and encountered a lot of difficulty in a particular village when they tried to speak with the women in their home. The women were afraid and did not wish to have anything to do with them.

When the NGO women persisted and tried to find out the reason for this unusual behavior, they learnt that the families lived in homes which were on land belonging to a Feudal Landlord. They labored in his fields and houses, but if they displeased him, they would be forced to leave their homes but they had nowhere to go. So although they would like to learn good health habits, they were afraid that by talking to outsiders they might incur their Lord’s wrath and be out of hearth and home.

They said that when their families first started working for the Landlord, he had told them that they could build their homes to live there but if they left the place or were forced to leave, they would have to leave their houses behind but could take only their portable belongings with them.

Then it struck me.

Had I not seen similar rules somewhere else? And I remembered the booklet, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Origin And Growth. I looked it up and saw in the copy of Great Master’s Will, 1937:

“A number of satsangis have built houses in the Dera Baba Jaimal Singh with my permission and on land belonging to me and in my possession on the condition that they and their descendants can reside in the Dera only as long they have faith in the Master…and are considered to be suitable persons for residing in the Dera, otherwise they have no rights to live at the Dera and I or my successor shall be authorized to eject them any time we liked In the event of their ejectment, the satsangis concerned or their assignees will have no right of any sort to the land or materials of the building.

I am the sole owner of the Drea and all properties connected therewith…”

Sd. Sawan Singh reference: ex-representative, intimate of Charan Singh


For anyone who had not been to Dera or heard first hand accounts; it is vast almost beyond description….it is now a city with hundreds thousands acres agricultural lands, railroads transporting legions of indentured servants (who have built their impoverished huts on Dera lands and have nowhere else to go or are slaves for Darshan) to agricultural and construction projects…..all profitably benefiting a hierarchy of astronomical wealth. Grinder’s investments are now worldwide including large commercial projects in Mumbai (Bombay).

In order to understand these points, one must abandon insistence on a quaint version of the humble Guru and energetically scrutinize, logically evaluate. It is interesting that the seeker and initiate is assigned to be at war with and to disregard his own mind, when in reality one is completely ensnared in charade once bereft of our mental faculties.

Thanks Unknown. Carry on. Thank you for the specific information. I'd like to hear more.

Brian & tAo

Thank you for correcting and clarifying. I accept this.

I am probably reading more into the teachings of Sant Mat than most. I read that the sound and light are the means not the end: not to be ignored but not important in themselves, other than as a vehicle. However, "Clear Light" is probably something more akin to the "Inaccessible Region" or "Nameless Region" in Sant Mat. I don't think Sant Mat is explicit about this. Perhaps the method of Sant Mat is not the most efficacious or complete teaching method.


tAo - I enjoyed the video by Ram Das.


unknown - I can't assess what you say from personal experience but I accept what you offer on face value. My concern is mostly in regard to whether the method of Sant Mat does work to bring peace. It seems to have value but I couldn't say how effective it is with regard to other methods.


Generally, the whole notion of "Teacher" or "No teacher" has bothered me as well. This may already have been posted by someone else but addresses the pedagogical relationship. The link below is talk 1 of 4 by Krishamurti at San Diego 1970. It addresses what a teacher is and other questions. It is 1 hour long if you have the bandwidth and time.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5658879053168344235

Respects,

Hello Brian,

I'd like to fully answer your question, but there are far too many perspectives from which to deconstruct your blog, and it would take perhaps volumes of writing to clarify my comments!

However, to briefly surmise the viewpoints:

Firstly, your entire blof was full of 'loaded' words, such as 'ego', 'self' or 'soul', then, it is also loaded with concepts such as 'cosmic bliss' etc. First thing to notice is that YOUR understanding or definition of these words may not actually be what those who claim 'losing the self' define them as.

Secondly, you have an intellectual assumption that losing your self somehow means 'death'. Again, a purely intellectual assumption/speculation that may not neccessarily relate to the phenomena as experienced itself.

The truth is, there is no 'self' even now, yet you continue to 'live' and to experience. There is merely the mental/linguistic/conceptual *appearance* or illusion of an idependant, constant 'self'. From the most recent and up to date scientific neuro-biological research, this appears to be confirmed. There is no ghost in the machine). Also, paranormal sceptic extraordinaire Susan Blackmore, in her book the Meme Machine, devotes an entire chapter to losing one's 'self'. Is she also mistaken, and mixing up propping up the self with losing it?

What about the centuries of reports of those who claim to have lost the 'self'? Are all these people actually mistaken, and are rather waxing their ego-centricity?

Or perhaps you don't understand what they are talking about, dealing instead with erroneous conceptual representations of 'no-self', a kind of 'straw man' against which you argue? Is it possible?

Isn't this a bit like all the posts we read on this site questioning how many RSers actually hear Shabd, see radiant forms, have inner experiences etc? Somehow implying that *our* lack of experience or understanding is representative of everybodies experience?

You know, not too long ago the scientific community used to view claims of lucid dreaming with mockery and disdain, proposing numerous theories for why people were *deluding* themselves into believing they were aware during dream consciousness. Clearly such claims were preposterous, some kind of self-deception, or creative imagination at play. Only when MRIs and such like were invented, very recently, were they able to prove, scientifically, that this was a fact. 2 things, 1- all along the people who were able to lucid dream *knew* that it was a fact, and that it was purely the limitation of science that caused their short-sighted and erroneous view, and 2- even though science has now confirmed it is true, it is *still* merely a concept for any scientist who hasn't experienced it first-hand. Scientific proof is a pale & irrelevant issue when it comes to actually experiencing the *reality* of astral projection. And so it is with the very real phenomena of those who say they 'lose their self'.


Etc etc. I am at work now, but may try to expand on some of this later.

Peace.

Hello all,

After 20 years with RSSB and shortly after Gurinder was appointed myself and spouse left the path in disgust after a series of events revealed the crass deception of it all. The arrival at ‘eureka’ also enabled us to finally articulate what had become a subliminal discomfort with the whole Sant Mat agenda and nagging inconsistencies which ultimately take a toll on one’s ‘life force’. Because if the integrity doesn’t resonate with you on a deep level, then you are simply going thru the motions or trying to keep yourself psyched up and enthused with group highs (Bandaras, pep rallys and the like) which provide temporary elation produced by group psycho dynamics only and all charlatans/illusionists know the simple tricks of orchestrating group highs and ‘sleight of mind’ which are powerful temporary deceptive techniques. Or worse than constantly trying to keep oneself motivated and enthused by trekking to group highs and work camps, many blame themselves for the lack of ‘inner experiences’ during meditation….the promised Shangri-La accompanied by your ethereal guide bla, bla, and fall into depression, despondency and harsh self criticism.

My spouse and I consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have left RSSB undamaged after such a length of time because we know a good number of people whose lives have deteriorated at great deal in attempting to climb the ladder in a corrupt cult organization.
And some people who were merely eccentric in early years, with this predisposition have become totally dysfunctional in mainstream or the world at large in their later years with the cult.

Tragically, we have seen much worse than that too. A number of individuals have taken their own life as a direct result of Sant Mat influence and despondency over lack of attainment. The specifics of the cases and the suicides are very dramatic, and well known to a large Sangat, involving individuals who were pillars and long established, but due to privacy of surviving relatives, it’s best not to be more descriptive.

Suffice to say, it is recklessly irresponsible and in fact criminal to advocate for anyone susceptible to disorders such as clinical depression or schizophrenia to practice a 2.5 hour daily assignment of sitting in the dark internalizing and trying to conjure inner lights and sound, hallucinations and delusions. It is criminal to prescribe that and especially unsupervised.

Does anyone really think that Gurinder or any of these ‘Masters’ could pick out their initiate from a supermarket check out line?? Much less be supervising them on the inner planes as an inner guide and directing their karma??? It’s all a delusional fantasy, like ‘my imaginary friend’ of childhood. And yet with those who are prone to mental instability, promoting these delusions can be deadly.

We have a folder of accounts from a very high profile representative in the 80’s (anonymous), an Indian who is also the son in law of an individual, now deceased, who was one of highest ranking within the organization and was known to all and who disavowed RSSB prior to his death.

As this site is exploring the subjects in intelligent fashion, I’d be glad to email more of the documents to Brian to be offered for discussion because the ex-representative’s writing style, knowledge of Indian spiritual culture and ability to get to the essence is so compelling and would be possibly productive for those trying to evaluate Sant Mat.

He did post briefly years ago at the ex-satsangi site under the name ‘Waking Now’ but later requested his posts be deleted. Here is one of his posts addressing the Guru delusion.

Re: A look into the Beas Dera culture
Gurudom, the feudal kingdom of the Guru in which his subjects (mass-initiated disciples) have a real teaching relationship with him is fundamentally dishonest. The relationship is one of power but the marketing words suggest a real (fantasy) spiritual one (love, they say).

Gurudom has appropriated the benefits extolled in poetry of the wonderful Indian tradition of learning in which a small number of students (chelas) have the intimate company of their teacher (Guru) for a number of years and learn ways of being to allow them authentic expression, and converted that hallowed tradition into a Mass movement.

The masses are inducted into the Gurudom through a psychologically stressful initiation ceremony and encouraged to develop fantasy relationships with the Guru Emperor to project specific mental states touted to be godly ones with little or no real formation of character other than that of slaves.(I will write about this later)

And what do the masses need to be kept in line, bread and circus as the French say, for which ample opportunity is provided in food services, construction projects coming to fruition and choreographed mass meetings for continued indoctrination.

Dear 'Unknown', Brian, Tao, Catherine etc.

I have read much praise of Unknown's posts.

here's a question:

Do you guys believe that RSSB and other RS gurus sole & consciously intentional *motivation* for the whole RS phenomenon is *purely* that of charlatanism, fraud, deception etc etc?

There is not the slightest trace of a genuine human belief & 'spiritual' aspirations expressed through the organisations?

Incredibly monotonous & myopic, if you ask me.....

Unknown,

You stated,

"After 20 years of wasting time in a dark room with my thumb in my ear seeking self induced sounds and sights as proof of spiritual progress,...."

---Did using your thumbs, provide any special meditation experience, as apposed to the index fingers? Is this a special shabd meditation technique?
---Why 20 years to reverse your course? In your own words, and personal meditation experience, explain what really went wrong.

You mentioned,

"Great Master’s Will, 1937"

---Is this Sawan's will?
---Assuming so, did Sawan have his Will (1937) registered with a local government? Or, presented as a legal document, privately?
---In 1937, how would Sawan know who his successor would be?
---Did the Jagat(?) thru Charan gurus, provide a Will of Inheritance, stating a continued (succesor guru) owership of the Dera properties?
---That is, how does the next unknown guru gain legal owership?
---Surely, any modern home construction, on the Dera, would require some building permits, and other legal contracts.
---I can only guess, many of these RSSB devotees, simply donated their home to the Dera, and lived in it until their death.

I'm not finding fault with your comments. Much of what you have discussed, is not really that new. I began an internet study of the RSSB, roughly 2 years ago. Initially, found it rather interesting, however, after a number of months of internet questioning, didn't continue to find it that particularly interesting. My exposure has been internet only.

Anyway, best wishes to you.
Thanks for any replies,
Roger

Hi Roger, et al,

Gurinder requested 'Origin and Growth' be removed from circulation but as public record it came up on google and addresses some specifics of RSSB administration and Great Master's will.

It is notable that throught the documents it makes it clear that all religious and ancestral properties is owned by him. It also references that certain activities be conducted for the benefit of the Sangat. The context is it is a religious family business (hense no non-family member is appointed Godman). Any board or committes serve entirely at the pleasure of the Master and a dissenter can be dismissed at any time.

I may have some information on the arrangement by which homes are built on Dera lands Primarily it is a life estate (it the occupant continues to serve and have faith in the Master) and the property reverts to the Dera. As for the impoverished shanty towns built on Dera Lands to serve agricultural and construction needs and other tenants....they are basically indentured servants and vulnerable often with nowhere else to go.


http://www.geocities.com/rssbdata/oag.htm

Manjit, I think you're overly complicating what I was getting at, which still seems virtually unarguable.

Regardless of what the "self" is, either an entity (1) is conscious of existence separate from the entirety of the cosmos, or (2) it isn't.

With (1), there's necessarily what I call an "ego." Namely, separate awareness (meaning, awareness that isn't godly, universal, omnipresent).

With (2), the entity is dead. Or, it's God.

Pretty simple. It just takes some clear thinking and dumping religious conceptions that sound nice, but don't have a connection with reality.

Again, if some entity is aware, it either has an all-encompassing awareness (in which case it's God) or it has a separate limited awareness (in which case it has an "ego," a sense of existence as a separate entity).

This shows that there's no way to lose a sense of individuality without being dead, or being God. Since someone who claims ego loss obviously isn't dead, and they're obviously not everything/God, this claim is invalid.


Unknown,

Thanks for your reply and the link.

Reading through the document, I can see how the executive committee and patron would control the flow of ownership. Sounds like a standard document for any non-profit religious ministry. This should (imo) be made public. All this is, imo, the commercial side of a religious or spiritual movement. Nothing, I find interesting.

Regarding your 20 year meditation experience, do you have any experiences, that you would like to comment on? Would love to read more, in that area.

Again, thanks for your reply,
Roger

Hello Brian,

Thanks for the amusingly dualistic reductionism of your argument!

You should be made aware that there are plenty of 'conceptions that sound nice, but have no connection with reality', but that are NOT religous. Would you agree?

Next step?; realising your reductionist, linear & dualistic 'either, or' argument is potentially one of them! (indeed, quite ironically/humourously, your 'either, or' argument contains within it a reference to one such 'religous conception', ie 'God'!!)

And no, no I don't believe it is virtually unarguable! I sincerely believe your 'either, or' argument has been misplaced, and is actually entirely irrelevant to the subject matter.

Much like saying 'God? Either it is a male, or a female' (read meaningless!)

Just like to point out that, generally, I really do appreciate your posts. But every now and then.......the reductionism speaks more about YOUR limitations, rather than the subject matter. A bit like Unknown's 'right-on' posts which rather one-dimensionally reduce the entire spectrum of RS phenomena to a 'family business'. Imo, this is preposterous reductionism which, imo quite obviously, is rather a reflection of our current mind-state's/paradigms LIMITATIONS. In this case, anti-RS fever.

All the best sir ;-)

Oh, PS, yes, as Tao said, many have searched for this 'self' you speak off, and I don't think, as yet, anyone's found it.

Manjit, pardon my bluntness, but you have a way of using a bunch of words that don't really say anything.

You didn't respond to my comment. Instead, you went off on a rant, the purpose of which is unclear.

One more try...

I'm not talking about the reality of a "self." What I'm getting at is the seemingly self-evident fact that conscious entities like you and me exist.

We're aware. We communicate. We sense. We get on the Internet and post blog comments.

Some people (not me, but maybe you) believe that it is possible for such an entity to become one with the cosmos, to lose a sense of separateness.

I say, this isn't possible. That state of complete merging either is (1) death or (2) God. Since the entity making such a claim, or in such a state, is neither dead nor God (meaning the totality of everything in existence, or the creator of such), losing one's self or ego can't be done.

If you disagree, do so. I'd just appreciate a discussion of this subject that stays on track, rather than veering off into attacks of one sort or another.

Errm, okay Brian, it seems I have disgruntled you. No worries, lets try another tack.

Firstly, perhaps my words are actually saying something DIRECTLY to your point, but you are not grasping it? Perosonally, I think your are well and truely entrenched in the limitations of dualistic linguistics, and the subject you're discussing extends beyond such, and I was merely pointing that out to you. You however, apparently not understanding that, insist on resolving your question on a purely intellectual or semantic level.

Rant? Okay, but isn't that what we're ALL doing here, including your original blog?

Secondly, I notice the direction of your post has changed , (from losing self selflessly, to can the self merge with God or some such) as if simply to evade my points, but you clearly disagree, so disregard that.

Yes I disagree with your points, because they are based on linear, linguistic, highly limited conceptual arguments & arbritrary definitions that bear no relation to the reality of the subject. What is unclear about this clear, unambiguous retort to your blog? What is 'off-track' about it?

Let me make it clear(er) for you? You wrote & my comments inserted:

"I say, this isn't possible. That state of complete merging either is (1) death or (2) God. Since the entity making such a claim, or in such a state, is neither dead nor God (meaning the totality of everything in existence, or the creator of such), losing one's self or ego can't be done. "

In essence Brian, your argument is an entirely FALSE one, and one that bears no relation or resemblance to the actual EXPERIENCE of all those who make these claims in the first place. You misconstrue, misunderstand, misinterpret etc the words of those people, and then deconstruct it using your linear, linguistic, reductionist arguments.

You create a conceptual phantom in your mind, and with great aplomb and pomp you deconstruct it!

It's intellectual masterbation.

Manjit, I understand you better now. It seems to me that you are coming from a traditional religious point of view. Since I reject that (this is a churchless blog), it's no wonder we aren't communicating.

You want me to believe that some people (you don't say who) have had an actual EXPERIENCE (so profound you put the word in CAPS) that has to be accepted on faith.

Well, that's what religions do -- profess a dogma with no evidence to back it up. Sorry, but we differ here.

To me, "intellectual masturbation" is making a dogmatic assertion, such as you've been doing, without engaging in open and honest dialogue. It's purely internal, one-sided, no give and take with another person (which is why it's masturbation).

As I often say, if you want to believe in non-duality, or god-realization, or whatever it is you believe in, that's fine. But if you want someone, like me, to consider your beliefs as actually reflecting reality, you have to present some evidence or reasons.

Simply saying that people have experienced some ineffable state that you can't describe is exactly like Christians saying, "Have faith that Jesus saves."

Back to our discussion, if you were discussing...

I say that if someone is engaged in a spiritual practice with the aim of achieving some elevated state, or a preferred level of awareness/consciousness, this is a self-centered act -- since the goal is to experience a better state of being.

Apparently you disagree with this contention. I gather that you don't believe the "self" exists. Well, if that's the case, then there's no problem and nothing to do. There's nothing anyone can do to be closer to reality, so there's no experience anyone has had that is different from what I'm experiencing right now.

Yet you also seem to believe that I'm deluded, and other people with that EXPERIENCE know the truth about the cosmos and I don't. If that's the case, then these people have changed their awareness, self, or whatever you want to call it.

Which sure seems to imply that they have a self. And wanted to enjoy a different state of awareness. Thus my perspective is correct.

If you disagree, tell me why I'm incorrect.

Brian,

If you aren't interested in how religious property is held (in the case of RSSB the Master is the sole owner of all religious property and offerings; and to do with as he pleases as repeated many times in the document link) or care about accountability, then you would make a perfect cult member and follower. It is this attitude that makes these deceptions so lucrative.

I probably won't post anymore, as re-defining the obvious becomes tiresome and time consuming with other priorities at hand.

Unknown, what do you mean? A few hours ago I emailed you the following message, asking for more information:

"Sure, I'd be interested in seeing the RSSB-related documents you mentioned in your comment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Gurinder Singh and RSSB. Most interesting.

If you don't mind (and I'm confident you wouldn't) I'm leaning toward consolidating your comments into a blog post. This would give them more visibility.
--Brian"

Why do you think I'm not interested in the subjects you've been leaving comments about?

Hi Manjit,

I don't think I'm part of this discussion, but not sure if I fall under the "...etc." portion of your question addressee list above [Posted by: manjit | January 12, 2009 at 08:56 AM], so I am answering your question.

Manjit asked: "Do you guys believe that RSSB and other RS gurus sole & consciously intentional *motivation* for the whole RS phenomenon is *purely* that of charlatanism, fraud, deception etc etc?"

-- No - not *purely* fraud, charaltanism, or deception. I withhold comment on "etc etc." :) This is only my belief.

Hi Brian. First of all, something very strange happened to my last comment here yesterday, I had inserted comments into your copied paragraph, and they all disappeared. The rest remained the same. Very strange indeed!

Now.....Wow. Brian, what are you on about here? THIS post read like the rant you mentioned earlier!? Please excuse me if I insert an ad hominem and say this read like an overly defensive, badly thought out, irrelevant and irrational response? Okay, to which post should I respond? Your original blog that mentions if that it is not possible to lose the self selflessly? Or the 2nd post where you unequivally (dogmatically?) assert to lose the ‘self’ you MUST either be dead or God? Or this post, where you, quite incongruently, state that I am stating dogmatic religious belief?

Okay. Losing self selflessly? What is this ‘self’ you state cannot be lost selflessly? If you cannot find or pinpoint it, your entire point is meaningless, no? For if there is no-self, then EVERY action is selfless. The most recent scientific research (your do-it-all tool to unravel all mysteries of creation, consciousness & existence....an unproven, dogmatic belief, btw) clearly implies there is no ‘ghost in the machine’. Other research also demonstrates that our conscious awareness appears to be a sub-sequent by-product of various neuro-biological mechanisms. This has been demonstrated in experiments where biologically a decision is made a split second *before* we are consciously aware of it. This implies no free will. It also implies the mere *illusion* of doership. Applying this scientific data to this discussion, it applies that even the *appearance* of ‘selfishly’ trying to attain’no-self’ is actually a mere illusion, a post-rationalisation of our innate biological nature/imperative. And so it is *experientially* (a word you don’t like? Wonder why....). It is not a case of the self struggling to achieve self-less-ness, but rather our original nature, that of no-self, trying to shrug off the illusory appearance of self. Hence, the entire endeavour of human to attain self-less-ness is implicitly a self-less act. It is a mistaken identification with our limited concepts, our thoughts or boundaries that creates the illusion of a doer taking steps towards self-less-ness. But, there was no self all along, so in truth and ultimately, it is a self-less movement. This can get quite complicated , however, for those who are merely trying to comprehend this intellectually. To simplify, and posit in a scientific model; science says there is no self. Therefore, how can *any* act be self-ish?

Your 2nd point, that to lose ‘self’ you MUST either be dead or God. As I stated in a previous post you managed to misunderstand, first what is your definition of ‘God’ to make any sense out of this dogmatic statement?

Ramana Maharshi used to use the question of ‘Did you have a good sleep?’ If, as most people do, they answer either yes or no, he would ask ‘How do you know’, implying that if they had no ‘self’ in sleep (which the vast majority of people don’t), how can you ‘know’ it was a good or bad sleep? Was you dead or God in your sleep? And how do you know if it was good or not, if you had no-self? Now, most people cannot comprehend the simple, yet profound implications of this question. ‘Knowing’, or ‘being’ may have more ‘layers’ to it than your dogmatic ‘either, or’ arguments.

Your 3rd post. Huh? I am stating dogmatic, standard religious beliefs? Brian, chill for a moment and re-read & reconsider what I have written. In your zeal for materialistic, reductionist, pro-atheist speculations, you have in response to my comments made some highly irrational and absurd assumptions. Imo, you appear to have lost yourself in your conceptual models.

Are you not aware that declaration of an EXPERIENCE is not a dogmatic religious statement? There is *absolutely no* theological or metaphysical implications or speculation *anywhere* in what I wrote. The mere recollection of experience is not a ‘belief’. You somehow expect me to ‘convince’ you that people experience these things? Brian, it’s YOUR PREROGATIVE to believe or not believe what people share. There is *no* metaphysical implications whatsoever, nobody mentioned ‘truth about the cosmos’ (what?). If you cannot grasp the difference between the accurate descriptive expression of an experience with no metaphysical implications whatsoever with ‘Jesus saves’, then you have become so cynical, so jaded that you have rejected truth in favour of your wishful thinking.

You ask for proof of ‘experiences’, as if people are lying (again, NO metaphysical implications whatsoever). However, I have already brung up a supremely relevant example of lucid dreaming and the scientific community. Case in point, sir. Your incredulity, scepticism, lack of experience, errrm, basically ignorance coupled with arrogance is on a precise par with those whose inability to comprehend the lucid dreaming state. How could the actual experiencers actually prove it? It took decades for science to catch up with what was a self-evident TRUTH to whomever experienced it. The experience of lucid dreaming exists; fact. No metaphysical claims. No magical implications.....but it SURE does exist......whether YOU believe in it or not.... now, with all your reductionist pomp, can you at least admit the LIMITATIONS of science and the scientists EXPERIENCE was what prevented them from accepting the possibility of a phenomena that was subsequently PROVEN?

Take a moment and think about it. You do it also with Shabd, radiant forms & inner experiences. For those who HAVE experienced these things, those critics who claim not to have seen them, thereby implying they don’t exist at all, it is simply seen as the critics problem with no relation to their reality whatsoever. You are not criticising ANY aspect of their experience, but rather critiscising the limitations of your OWN experience.

This could go on for pages. I guess you will defensively retort with another irrelevant post without actually acknowledging that all your points have been systematically deconstructed here. When one’s i-dentity (Brian Hines, great anti-RS presence on the web, rational scientist bringing sanity to the world of the deluded ‘mystics’) is threatened, that is a natural response.

I hope you can get back to a more sincere ‘unknowing’ stance in your posts, rather than the reductionist dogmatism you have displayed recently.

And, quite sincerely, all the best to you.

Manjit,

Are you stating, that there is a relationship between Shabd, radiant forms, etc., and lucid dreams? I'm guessing, this connection is independent of a guru like figure and an initiation event.

Some info off the internet,

"A lucid dream is a dream in which the person is aware that they are dreaming while the dream is in progress, also known as a conscious dream. When the dreamer is lucid, they can actively participate in and often manipulate the imaginary experiences in the dream environment. Lucid dreams can be extremely real and vivid depending on a person's level of self-awareness during the lucid dream.

A lucid dream can begin in one of two ways. A dream-initiated lucid dream (DILD) starts as a normal dream, and the dreamer eventually concludes that they are dreaming, while a wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD) occurs when the dreamer goes from a normal waking state directly into a dream state with no apparent lapse in consciousness. Lucid dreaming has been researched scientifically, and its existence is well established."

Sounds like an interesting topic,
Roger

Hi Roger,

It is indeed an interesting topic, but there is no general consensus.

Personally, I am absolutely certain that some aspects of the RS phenomena, such as radiant forms, inner paradises, experience of past lives etc, are a variation of the 'lucid dream' phenomena. Shabd, personally, I do not believe is related directly though.

If I was giving advice to someone about how to generate 'inner experiences' of almost any mystery school, the 'secret' is to fall physically asleep whilst retaining consciousness. There are many techniques, and it's not too difficult, imo, if one knows how to go about it.

Call me a religous dogmatist, but I can assure you/anyone that worlds upon worlds upon worlds of magic & mystery CAN open up. And, *experientially* they seem MORE real, vibrant, beautiful etc etc than ANYTHING possible to experience through the waking bodily senses. I can only speculate this is because the mind is no longer bound by those limitations in creating 'inner worlds', the potential is infinite?...

PS, yes, lucid dreaming is *certainely* possible without initiation or a guru figure.

As is, in my very personal opinion, the entire gamut of RS phenomena.

No, I don't believe the guru does anything special or magical during initiation, it is, imo, merely a physical, symbolic event that merely helps in generating the desire/juice to self-generate these experiences.

Humans need symbolic rites and rituals.

I mean, what is a funeral pyre or grave other than a rationally meaningless rite & ritual?

Manjit,

If you desire, write a comment, regarding a particular technique, that One would use to generate an experience, whilst retaining consciousness. Is this particular experience, of this kind, (non-waking thru bodily senses) reproducible or shareable?

Manjit, thanks. You've done much better in this comment in explaining yourself. This really was all that I was after: a more direct, honest, and straightforward explanation of what you believe.

What irked me -- and I feel justified in my irkedness -- is when you would call questioning of your previous comments "mental masturbation," as if I was doing anything different from what you were.

Namely, using words and thoughts to communicate. I had the clear impression that you were putting down my words and thoughts, while you were elevating yours into the realm of unquestionable ineffability, as in "Brian, you just haven't experienced what I have, so you can't know what I'm talking about."

Well, this is the case with everything. That's obvious. I taste a strawberry. It's my taste, not yours. Everything we experience is our own awareness, not someone else's.

This is an evident given. So understand that when you kept saying that others (gurus, mystics, saints, I assume) have experienced something that can't be put into words, I'd just think "Well, naturally. Nothing, even eating a strawberry, can be put into words."

The difference is that with this comment, you made a good effort to use words to share your beliefs, rather than just putting me down and discounting my own intuitions. So, thanks for that. That's pretty much all that we're doing here: practicing how to communicate with each other, and playing around with interesting ideas.

Manjit wrote:

"Dear 'Unknown', Brian, Tao, Catherine etc.
here's a question: Do you guys believe that RSSB and other RS gurus sole & consciously intentional *motivation* for the whole RS phenomenon is *purely* that of charlatanism, fraud, deception etc etc? There is not the slightest trace of a genuine human belief & 'spiritual' aspirations expressed through the organisations?"

-- You can't really be serious.

First... I can't speak for the others, but NO I myself do NOT believe that the SOLE AND CONSCIOUSLY INTENTIONAL MOTIVATION of the "RSSB and other RS gurus", for the whole RS phenomenon, is PURELY that of "charlatanism, fraud, and deception".

I don't "believe" that at all. But there are likely some other different motivations.

And second... I also don't recollect anyone here saying anything like that either (ie: that the SOLE & CONSCIOUSLY INTENTIONAL MOTIVATION for the whole RS phenomenon is PURELY that of charlatanism, fraud, and deception).

This question of yours looks a bit like a loaded question or a straw-man arguement to me.... and especially in view of all your subsequent comments and reactions to and fro and about Brian. And actually, I really don't see what the big fuss you are making is all about.


Hello Roger, Brian Tao - some responses:

Roger - I was a little unclear on your question sir? Is it reproduceable ot expressable? It is certainely reproduceable! And you can express it to a certain extent! If you are really interested, I would strongly suggest reading the 2 books by Stephan LaBerge, and if more interest arises, perhaps some of the literature available on Tibetan yogas of dream & sleep.

Techniques? Wow, that would be a long post! Okay, here's the thing. The most vital ingredient for 'success' is intense desire to succeed! So, even simply hearing about lucid dreaming, or reading a book/website about it increases your chances a million percent, if your interest has been aroused.

Next, rather than jumping into more difficult (advanced?) areas of LD by attempting wake-induced LDs (WILDs), start of with dream-induced LDs (DILDs), where one's conscious awareness is awoken from *within* a normal dream. Here's the basic steps: Keep a dream diary, upon waking immediately make notes of all your dreams. Take especial care to notice the feelings, sights, sounds etc, as well as any unusual or unique features of your dream content (flying or being naked or whatever....these are called your 'dream signs', things which tend to re-occur in your dreams). The point of this to become *familiar* with your dreaming-mind, to bring that state of experience into your conscious awareness. Also, throughout the day, make regular checks to yourself to see if you are dreaming there & then! Ultimately, you should be able upon waking in the morning to recall between 3 - 7 dreams a night in detail, and be familiar with recurring dream 'signs' or themes.

At this point, which could take as little as a day or so to reach (!!), you may experience a spontaneous lucid dream (by asking yourself in a dream 'am I dreaming', or by noticing a recurring dream sign and saying to yourself 'hey, I'm dreaming!'

One important thing; some people have partial, or fuzzy lucid dreams (you can actually dream that you are having a LD!!). These are good, great indicators of progress, but shouldn't be mixed up with full-blown 100% clarity LDs. The 'litmus test' is that a 'proper' LD world should feel more 'real' and colourful and vibrant than waking reality! (literally).

The above is all indespensible for having regular LDs. Once you have experienced an LD several times, a funny thing happens, you become familiar with that state of consciousness, and it becomes much easier to re-enter LDs. Much like with any meditation practice experience, once an altered state is experienced, re-experiencing it becomes exponentially easier. Once experienced, you can move onto the more interesting & 'powerful' wake-induced LDs, which however are more difficult to acheive.

Secret is to fall asleep physically, whilst retaining a vestige of conscious awareness. This can be done in several ways. One is to wake up at around 4 am (the beginning of the REM cycle), and then drift off back to sleep whilst focussing on retaining awareness or remembering you are going to be dreaming in a short while! (Stephen LaBerge calls this MILDs).

Another way is to drift off to sleep whilst engaging in a imaginary journey/movement, such as walking down a road, flying or going up a light of stairs etc Continue doing until you find yourself in a dream! (may take months to get the knack!) Or, hold a visualisation or thought/idea in your head whilst drifting of with the resolute intention to retain the thought/visualisation in awareness. You will find yourself holding that thought/visualisation.....in the middle of a dream world in the blink of an eye!!

Hope that answers some of your queries?!

Dear Brian - thanks for your post. I apologise if I came across as too confrontational. I guess what happened here was that I wrote a throw-away comment in response to your blog, which you quite rightly said had no substance to it. Which, in turn frustrated me because to get a valid point across I would actually have to start thinking ;-) As an aside, a link to the below was in my email this morning, and I think it is very relevant to our discussion? What do you think?:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-harris/a-contemplative-science_b_15024.html

Tao - C'mon dude, leave it out. Don't, out of a misguided sense of group comararderie, criticise my post with such weak & misplaced arguments. You may well find yourself in a discussion you can't handle.

Straw man? No Tao, not even remotely applicable. Just repeating terms willy nilly doesn't make them valid!

Loaded question? Well, I think it is yours, Unknown's and Brian's viewpoint which is inherently 'loaded'. I'm just striking a match near the fuse.

Charlatans, frauds, conmen etc? Some guy who went to meditate in an uninhabitable jungle by his self some 100 years was a charlatan, fraud, conman? Or maybe Sawan was, noticing the great family business it would make?

Let's be blunt, this whole point is absurd, and has no reference or acnknowledgement of the *sincere* human spirit of spiritual endevour (whether misguided or not) these gurus and disciples *no doubt* have, on at least some level of their being.

Lastly - what all the 'fuss' is about? Huh, what fuss? Everything you or anyone else ever posts is a 'fuss', is it not? What's THAT all about?

You may not notice it Tao, but I actually have a soft-spot for you (despite your often extremely abusive manner), and feel I have been incredibly 'lenient' in not questioning you on your numerous dubious claims & inferences here & elsewhere. Let's not go there ey? And not for my sake....

Cheers.

I may even discuss Dzogchen with you.

Then what will you do?

:o)

Manjit,

Thanks for your LD comment.

You mentioned,

"Much like with any meditation practice experience, once an altered state is experienced, re-experiencing it becomes exponentially easier."

---Are you aware of someone that has accomplished an experience of an "altered" state? And, the re-experience ability?
---Could this particular person, describe in words, one of their particular "altered" state experiences?
---If so, would the visualizations, sounds, and feelings, be similiar to awaken, non-dream state objectifications?
---If not, does the "alter" states become simply ineffable?

Thanks for any continued replies,
Roger

Hello Roger -

Yes I am aware of somebody who has experienced an altered state!! Haven't you?!?!? :-O And, yes, to re-experience it at will too. I believe that is one of the main objectives of any sort of meditation which attempts to access these altered states. Not only is it possible, I believe there are hundreds of thousands around the world who do it daily!!!

It is possible to describe in words, but they are always a very, very pale reflection of the experience itself. If you took the MOST indescribable, most euphoric or amazing whatever sensation in your entire life, and multiplied it by 1 million, it still wouldn't compare, imo. Take it or leave it, that's literally how it feels.

Only in the most mundane of experiences would they be similar to 'non-dream state objectifications', the full range of experiences possible are, imo, infinite. So you can start on a spectrum of mundane 'world-like' experiences, to visions of inneffable heavens that cannot be described in any linguistic model.

:)

Manjit,

Thanks again for your continued replies,

---No, I am not aware of such person.
---Could the person, you know, write some sort of beginning description (visual and sound) of a particular "altered" state LD (re)experience?
---I wonder if that person understands the mechanism of such "altered" state's origin?
---Surely, One that has had such experiences, over hundreds of times, can possess an understanding that goes beyond visuals, feelings and sounds. Such as, is there a unique purpose, or meaning for LD, that humanity would receive possession?

Anyway, as stated before, sounds interesting for conversation purposes.
Roger

As usual Manjit, you're using vague innuendos and other puffed-up bullshit to say nothing... such as:

>> "Don't, out of a misguided sense of group comararderie, criticise my post with such weak & misplaced arguments. You may well find yourself in a discussion you can't handle.

--[ a "sense of group comaraderie"? "a discussion you can't handle" you say? Its terribly funny how pufed up and full of yourself you are.]

>> "Just repeating terms willy nilly doesn't make them valid!"

--[ You mean like calling a straw-man arguement for being what it is?]

>> "I think it is yours, Unknown's and Brian's viewpoint which is inherently 'loaded'."

--[ Oh really? And do tell... just what "viewpoint" is that?]

>> "Some guy who went to meditate in an uninhabitable jungle by his self some 100 years was a charlatan, fraud, conman?"

--[ FYI, I never mentioned (or implied) anything whatsoever about any such "guy". So therefore, this is another one of your straw-man.]

>> "this whole point [...] has no reference or acnknowledgement of the *sincere* human spirit of spiritual endevour [...] these gurus and disciples *no doubt* have, on at least some level of their being."

--[ Again, FYI, I never said that they did not (have a "sincere human spirit of spiritual endevour").

>> "what all the 'fuss' is about? Everything you or anyone else ever posts is a 'fuss', is it not?"

--[ Oh is it now? Why that's awfully funny... considering its coming from you.]

>> "I actually have a soft-spot for you (despite your often extremely abusive manner)"

--[ "extremely abusive manner"? That's even funnier considering its coming from you. And apparently you still haven't noticed that this site is not the same as RSS.]

>> "I have been incredibly 'lenient' in not questioning you on your numerous dubious claims & inferences here & elsewhere."

--[ "lenient" you say? Thats funny. And btw, exactly what "dubious claims" or "inferences" are speaking of? And also btw, you do seem to be getting a bit too full of yourself again.]

>> "Let's not go there ey?"

--[ "not go there"? All I can say in response to that is: put up or shut-up. The thing is, you typically make these rather vague innuendos, but there's nothing specific there to respond to. Its kind of a similar type of game that you play with Brian. Until you actually present something concrete, its only mere empty bullshit. So if you have something valid, then put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, there simply is no fact or substance to discuss. So if you are going to bring something up, it would help if you would be far more specific about exactly what it is, ratther than just vaguely alluding.

>> "I may even discuss Dzogchen with you. Then what will you do?"

--[ You've got to be joking. What will I do, you say? Well I am certainly not holding my breath. The thing is my friend, I am not really intereted in discussing dzogchen... not with you, nor with anyone. Its just not something that I care to discuss - no more than just a brief mention - and especially not here. And even here, I have only just briefly mentioned the subject in passing a couple of times, and that was only as a response to some other commenters and/or different issues. Also, I myself have no reason to discuss (or debate) dzogchen with you or anyone. I have already become very well acquainted and experienced with dzogchen directly through my own dzogchen teacher Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. So my discussing it with you is quite unnecessary... and I am also not into any sort of debating about dzogchen with you either, if thats what you are inferring. However, if you do feel and wish to learn more about dzogchen, then you are certainly capable of pursuing that on your own.


At 9:58am on Jan 12, 2009 - Losing your self is so Egotistical - UNKNOWN inserted - http://www.geocities.com/rssbdata/oag.htm. On a previous blog tAo has put http://www.geocities.com/rssbdata/
where there has been stuff written by John E Range (the name has now been taken off). Do the math - John E Range is tAo aka unknown.

Only in your dreams seeker.

And btw seeker, that geocities "rssbdata" site is well known to many others besides myself.

So your speculation about me is totally off the mark... including also: "the name has now been taken off" which is also totally erroneous.

And btw, you really ought to find something more productive and real to do with your time, besides indulging in such absurd and unfounded illusions as this.


Hello Roger.

Any understanding beyond 'visuals' etc, would be non-linguistic/conceptual, hence not apt for any kind of description whatsoever :)

As for a beginning description? Here's the first description from Stephen LaBerge's 'Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming' book. It is actually quite appropriate, for a blog associated with shabd yoga:

"I realised I was dreaming. I raised my arms and began to rise (actually I was being lifted). I rose through black sky that blended
to indigo, to deep purple, to lavender, to white, then to very bright
light. All the time I was being lifted there was the most beautiful
music I have ever heard. It seemed like voices rather than
instruments. There are no words to describe the JOY I felt. I was very gently lowered back to earth. I had the feeling that I had come to a turning point inmy life and I had chosen the right path. The dream, the joy I experienced, was a kind of reward, or so I felt. It
was a long, slow slide back to wakefulness with the music echoing in
my ears. The euphoria lasted several days; the memory, forever."

Exploring the WOrld of Lucid Dreaming, Stephen LaBerge, page 1.

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