Shin, whose email to me a few months back was shared in "Good questions from a Sant Mat truth seeker," is still questioning.
Good for him.
What's especially interesting about this interaction is that one of the parties, Gurinder Singh, is considered to be God in Human Form (GIHF) by RSSB devotees. So to a believer, what the guru says is the gospel truth.
Or the divine truth, since Sant Mat is far removed from Christianity, except in the sense that the GIHF guru is viewed, like Jesus, as having been sent to take fallen souls back to God.
Shin addresses this notion of a "fall" in his questions. If God is perfect, then why was an imperfect physical universe created?
And what's up with this game God is said to be playing? Souls fall from heaven, or are kicked out, and then need to make the right moves to return to their previous exalted state.
What's the point?
This assumes, of course, that a fall occurred, that God exists, that a savior is needed to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. Sant Mat, like Christianity, claims that these things are true. But no evidence is provided to back that claim up.
So it's natural to question. The following interchange occurred during a question and answer session following a talk at RSSB's headquarters in England (Haynes Park) earlier this week.
What surprised me is that this Q & A session reportedly included advice from Gurinder Singh not to question or use one's intellect after being intitiated into the RSSB fold.
Except, that is what everybody who comes to the microphone in a Q&A session necessarily does. Including the guru, who uses his intellectual capacities to answer questions, just as members of the audience use theirs to ask them.
I've never understood this fear of questioning, or of using one's god-given (rather, evolution-given) mental abilities. It seems to relate to the whole Fallen thing -- where humans are believed to have descended from paradise because they thought, questioned, and learned too much.
Theologically, this doesn't make sense. Psychologically, this dogma sets religious believers at odds with themselves.
As Shin notes, people productively use their intellects in every area of life, but are told to shut their intelligence down when it comes to their religiosity. One is drawn to wonder: is this for the benefit of the believer, or for the religious organization?
I wish to share the following with your audience on the Church of the Churchless site.
The Master [Gurinder Singh] was at Haynes Park (3 day visit) over the weekend 2nd, 3rd & 4th of May. I did not attend until Monday and went to ask a question my daughter and others wanted me to ask, so here goes:
Question: "As you stated on Saturday (to another enquirer) and confirmed to me a couple of years ago when I asked...
Answer: "Do not take everything I say as literal and it may just be expressed in jest! Anyway it is not imperfect up there/in there and you will not be sent back."
My thoughts: Why were we sent here from Perfection? Does not make sense and can only imply a game or a form of entertainment for the Creator. The Masters cannot explain why we are here but can categorically state we will not be sent back!
I challenged the Master once more towards the end of my questioning and asked if he could say "without question this is not a game."
Answer: "You can if you want, take it as a play or performers performing on a stage."
My thoughts: What's the difference?!
My second question, following on from the first:
Question: "This game is fundamentally the Creator experiencing Itself through each individual soul. Therefore he is experiencing all the good, all the bad, and evil through us as a part of this game?"
Answer: "No, the Creator does not need to experience good or bad, he does not need to."
My thoughts: The Shabd [Spirit] or Creator is within every living organism. In fact the satsang [talk] prior to the Q&A session was presided over by an American who categorically stated "every hair follicle and every amoeba has the shabd resounding within." Therefore the Creator MUST be experiencing all that happens and if he IS NOT why on earth can he JUDGE?!
Finally I asked this of him: "Do you believe in the Law of Confusion and the Veil of Forgetfulness?"
Answer: "There is no Law of Confusion!"
My thoughts: Well, I think 99.99% of us are indeed confused when it comes to religions and faiths. The ones who claim not to be confused are the "sheep" within these faiths. How can there be no confusion as the Masters themselves state we are not to know our previous lives and hence be able to stop from making the same mistakes?!
The Master more or less ended with this comment to me: "Once you have been initiated you should not question and use your intellect."
My thoughts: Use your intellect in everything you do in life but not on this faith. You cannot question at anytime in your life as you mature through it. You question everything as your perspectives change!
In October 2008 the Master said: "I believe you if you have doubts but will not if you say you do not!" Another contradictory statement.
During the Q&A session a lady stood up and made the following statement: My friend (or it could have been a relation, could not quite hear) was initiated recently but now claims he feels MORE confined now he is on the path."
My thoughts: The problem I feel with all faiths is though they claim to free you, you are in fact going from one prison to another.
At the end of the Q&A's, as I walked to my car, a couple of people congratulated me on the question while one laughed it off and insisted he did not have any. Obviously this person forgot what the Master said in October -- another sheep!
On returning home and over the next couple of days i had three intense phone calls all insisting that I DO NOT USE MY INTELLECT!!
"The Leader is Great...Great is the Leader....Never Question the Leader"....a familiar Simpson's episode to many.
The family know my thoughts now and I suppose will shun me in the future. Though my brother agrees with virtually everything I have said and read on this blog he states he cannot leave the Master! I feel behind this sentiment is a feeling of fear, which is echoed amongst many followers of religions and faiths.