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March 22, 2010

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Interesting as I have not known much about such beliefs. My own craziest thing was that it was okay when Abraham was ordered by god to kill his oldest son. I think now what was I thinking???

Brian, you can add to that the RS theory of the ' marked souls ' or the ' chosen ones ' who have a ticket to heaven - Initiation.

That's the craziest thing I've ever believed !

A crazy belief that I cannot seems to shake is that Life is actually something other than what it appears to be.

Perhaps the craziest Sant Mat belief to me is that the master is able to manipulate, distribute and partially eliminate or modify his disciples' karma (metaphysically stored results of the disciples' previous actions in this and past lives) in such a way that is most advantageous and expeditious for the disciples' spiritual progress.

Believers think that the master, at any given moment via some mystical power, is able to be simultaneously aware of all his millions of disciples' karmas and perform this task. In other words the master is supposed to be able to control the destinies of millions of people, many of whom have never met him or even been in his presence. Yet he knows all about them.

Pretty far out, don't ya think?

tucson, that's a good one. You may have beaten me on the crazy scale (though your crazy and my crazy are related).

Since there supposedly can be two or more "perfect masters" in the world at a time, I wonder what happens when -- in a marriage say, where each person's karmas are being controlled by a different guru -- one perfect master wants to change the couple's karmas in one fashion, and the other perfect master wants to do something different.

Probably a true believer would respond, "All perfect masters are the same." OK, so this means there is only one force guiding events in the cosmos. Which is pretty much what both science and monistic philosophies like Taoism and Buddhism say. So where's the need for someone to come between you and the One?

I used to believe my toys came to life when I left the room - a common one, picked up on by the Toy Story films. I have to admit I'm not quite sure I still don't believe it!

@ All ex-satsangis,

That the RSSB Guru is God-incarnate. He is only pretending to be human so that the 90 percent of the unmarked souls are misled.

Though the RSSB logic is flawed, I believed them for almost 10 years.

If we only attack our own admitted limited understanding of an intellectual 'concept', can we fairly assume that there exists no empirical 'reality' upon which the concept was allegedly originally based?

E.g. If you place any number of buckets of water out in the sun, the reflection of the sun can be witnessed in each bucket.
But how many suns in reality exist?

Can it fairly and accurately be suggested (as you have done) that the someone who had placed the buckets of water in the sun must "have the power to place a doppelgänger" sun in each of the many buckets?? :-o

Well.... you COULD express it like that, but if you took that too literally then you would be misunderstanding what had actually happened.

The idea of creating "doppelganger" suns in buckets of water is certainly a crazy idea.

But arguing against the REALITY of buckets of water containing a visible reflection of an 'IMAGE' of the sun due to applying a too literal understanding I would say is to apply logic unintelligently.

I wonder if the case is similar in your blog entry above.

Mysticbumwipe, I'm not sure what you're getting at in your comment. The sun is real. Buckets of water reflecting the sun are real. We can see them. People can stand around them and agree that they see them, regardless of their religious belief system.

When the sun sets, the reflections disappear. So it's obvious that they aren't conceptual. The word "reflections" is conceptual, a product of human language (like "magnetism"), but it points to a demonstrable reality.

But where is the evidence that either (1) the "sun" of a guru's radiant form exists, or (2) which is dependent on (1), "reflections" of that "sun" exist?

This is a concept, an idea, an imagination, that isn't connected to demonstrable reality. The human brain can imagine many things that only exist in our own minds. The neurons that produce those imaginings are real, but the imaginations themselves only have a subjective reality.

So I don't understand your logic. Real buckets of water showing a real reflection of the sun is a whole different thing that imaginary copies of an imaginary radiant form.

Hi Brian,
You wrote:
"I don't understand your logic. Real buckets of water showing a real reflection of the sun is a whole different thing than imaginary copies of an imaginary radiant form."

I agree.
But I did NOT make that comparison.

And do you agree that "...imaginary copies of an imaginary radiant form..." is merely your own wording and interpretation of the concept under discussion.
That is only an 'opinion' of yours, isn't it?
Many people have claimed to have seen and/or spoken with a radiant form including Kirpal Singh, Sawan Singh, David C Lane and many others. What they actually were experiencing is up for debate. But do you deny their testimony?

You also wrote:
"I'm not sure what you're getting at in your comment."

I agree with you here also. I don't think you are "sure what I'm getting at". ;-)

So let me try again.
This is what I attempted to suggest to you:

"arguing against the REALITY of buckets of water containing a visible reflection of an 'IMAGE' of the sun DUE TO applying a too literal understanding I would say is to apply logic unintelligently.
I wonder if the case is similar in your blog entry above."

The key words were:
"...due to applying a too literal understanding"

and

"...I wonder if the case is similar in your blog entry above."


Basically I gave you a PHYSICAL example and showed how that could be misunderstood DUE TO a too literal understanding of the way the concept was verbalised. I am suggesting you could be doing something similar here with something mental/metaphysical*.
(*choose your own preferential interpretation)

Mysticbumwipe, lots of people claim to have had lots of metaphysical experiences. The number of people who claim to have seen the radiant form of a guru is dwarfed by the number who claim to have seen or sensed the presence of Jesus within them.

So am I supposed to believe that Jesus is real also? Along with all the other angels, departed souls, ascended masters, and such that people say they've perceived in their psyches?

I still don't understand what you're getting at. I stick by my assertion that there is a big difference between (1) demonstrable objective reality that is publicly agreed to exist and (2) unprovable subjective reality that is only a private experience.

I assume you agree that (1) and (2) are different, so I think we're on the same wavelength on this. But I don't get what you mean by "applying a too literal understanding." Speak more directly and maybe I'll grasp your meaning better.

You seem to be saying that I should seriously entertain the possibility that the guru has placed his radiant form in disciples because some people claim they've seen this form. I'm saying that people claim to have seen all kinds of things in their minds -- Jesus, angels, the devil, Krishna, and so on -- and it doesn't make sense to accept those claims as being objectively true without solid objective evidence.

Sure, I'll accept the claims as subjectively true, in the same way I accept peoples' descriptions of their dreams. I can't say they're wrong, just as they can't expect me to believe they're right.


Mysticbumwipe, you said:

"Many people have claimed to have seen and/or spoken with a radiant form including Kirpal Singh, Sawan Singh, David C Lane and many others." "...do you deny their testimony?"

-- Apparently you seem to think that the claims of seeing some so-called "radiant form" made by those people, somehow carries weight? As if just because some guru or some meditator says that they perceived some sort of phenomena, that that automatically makes their supposed experience valid and objectively real? Who knowes what they experienced. It could very likely be simply their imagination. So it doesn't matter what some people may claim to have experienced. This is quite elementary. Its ridiculous to posit a few people's odd claims as having any significance whatsoever. So then why even bring it up? I guess you think that if some supposed guru says that they experienced it, then that makes is real? Thats nothing more than your own personal belief.

So I definitely agree with Brian where he says: "You seem to be saying that I should seriously entertain the possibility that the guru has placed his radiant form in disciples because some people claim they've seen this form." "...people claim to have seen all kinds of things in their minds [...] and it doesn't make sense to accept those claims as being objectively true without solid objective evidence."

Therfore, I also do not get what the point is that you are trying to make here. Claims of inner (subjective) experiences are merely just claims, no matter who makes them.


Dear Brian,
Perhaps my approach is too alien to your own way of thinking for you to grasp.

And perhaps you are discussing with me based on an assumption that you think I'm a 'true believer' and that I am trying to defend the 'radiant form' concept?
I am not.

And I am not saying "...that [you] should seriously entertain the possibility that the guru has placed his radiant form in disciples..."

Again that is YOUR expression of a concept which I thought you had admitted you had no experience of and which, by your repeatedly phrasing it in these terms, I think may demonstrate that you perhaps have got stuck with a very narrow and literal understanding of the concept.

"PLACED his radiant form IN disciples"
as a way of explaining it, I suggested can be equated with someone saying
"placed replica suns in buckets of water" as the only way of explaining THAT example.
I myself would say it is not a good way of explaining either. And I suggest that your rigid application of the verbal expression of this RS concept is perhaps equally so,

Although the examples are not equal in an empirical sense, the approach to understanding them in your blog entry and in my example I am suggesting is.

WE both now seem to agree that people see 'Radiant Forms'.

How that works and what those are is obviously open to debate, but that would be a different conversation. ;-)

I leave you with how I started this conversation:
"If we only attack our own admitted limited understanding of an intellectual 'concept', can we fairly assume that there exists no empirical 'reality' upon which the concept was allegedly originally based?"

Dear Tao.
I am NOT saying
"...just because some guru or some meditator says that they perceived some sort of phenomena, that that automatically makes their supposed experience valid and objectively real?"

Huh? :-o
How can you misread me so badly?! :-o

Brian wrote a blog article in which I think he oversimplified the admittedly problematical component of RS Teachings, viz. the Guru's radiant form.

I think in that article he merely over-simplified what he admitted is for him just a concept, and then he rubbished his over-simplification/distortion of that concept (therefore NOT the actual concept itself).

If I am correct in this assessment of his article then he applied what has been called a 'strawman' argument and I find these are rife in internet discussions.

Erm... (cough, cough) ...you have also just been guilty of the same (arguing against a misrepresentation (or 'strawman') of what I actually wrote. ;-)

My point was that people DO experience 'radiant forms' so that is NOT just an 'idea' or 'concept' as Brian maintained.
And I qualified my meaning by writing:
"What they actually were experiencing is up for debate"

Mysticbumwipe, I think you're confused about how "concept" relates to "reality." Here's what I mean.

Every word you have written in your comments, as I have, is a concept. A concept stands for something else. It's an abstraction or a representation. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concept

In the case of a "radiant form," we both agree that these words are a representation. People claim that they experience an image of a guru that is made of radiant light, not physical matter.

The question is, what does "radiant form" actually represent? What do these words point to? My hypothesis is that it is imagined by people -- a product of extreme devotion, or a dream, or some other subjective image in the psyche.

For some reason you keep criticizing me for using "radiant form" as just a concept. Well, that's what words are: concepts. Again, they can't be anything else.

I think you need to think more clearly about words and how we use them. I've never said that people don't claim to have experiences of a "radiant form." But I don't see any evidence that "radiant form" refers to anything but a subjective reality. If you have such evidence, please share it. (Subjective statements don't count, of course.)

Also, I haven't over-simplified the concept of "radiant form." I understand it very well, having been an active member of a group that puts a big emphasis on this concept for about thirty-five years, and having read every book published by that group during this time.

We agree on this: what people actually experience when they claim to see a radiant form is up for debate. That's what I've been doing in this post, and what we've been doing in our comment conversation. Thanks for taking part. I continue to view "radiant form" as akin to "vision of Jesus," nothing else.

mysticbumwipe writes:

"Dear Tao [...] How can you misread me so badly?!"

-- i don't think i misread you at all. i came to the same conclusion about your position as Brian did.

in your own words, you stated your position as being this: "that people DO experience 'radiant forms' so that is NOT just an 'idea' or 'concept' as Brian maintained."

i disagree. the so-called "radiant form" is most certainly a concept. and it matters not what some people may have experienced.

we don't know what they experienced. you say that people experience "radiant forms". you believe that they do, but how do you know that?

this so-called "radiant form" is just a term, which represents a concept, which has been presented by sant mat and RS to symbolize some supposed inner experience.

it is a concept which represents something that is supposedly experienced during meditation. but all such meditation experiences are subjective, so there is no actual proof that any "radiant form" exists in reality. it is virtually the same as a dream.

thus, who knows what another person perceives during meditation. so for all intent and purposes, it is merely due to imagination. so therefore this "radiant form" is really nothing but a concept, and not an actual objective reality.

you seem to think that just because some people report having experienced what THEY call "the Guru's radiant form", then that means that it is more than a concept. but that is wrong. their experience is entirely mental and purely subjective, so therefore it is only a concept.

you seem to think that since people use the same term ("the radiant form") for this supposedly perceived inner phenomena, that it is more than just a concept.

no, it is still not more than a concept... because it is not an objective reality.

"I qualified my meaning by writing: "What they actually were experiencing is up for debate""

-- it doesn't matter what they were experiencing... their experience was entirely subjective, so therefore it remains merely a concept.


Furthermore, as Tara indicated in another thread, there is abosolutely no evidence that anyone in Sant Mat (RSSB) has ever had any kind of spiritual experience as described in the literature, including the sat guru himself, except for anecdotal reports.

Sant Mat wants you to believe the guru is God in human form. Maybe he is, but to someone who decides to commit their life to this discipline it would seem to be reasonable to ask, "Where's the beef?" Is there really a tofu cutlet in the sandwich?

I can say that I once perceived some light or sound, but so what? What does that prove? How does that help anyone else? I had an experience. Big deal..maybe to me, but that's about it. As far as anyone else is concerned I may have been hallucinating. Sitting motionless cross-legged in a soundless dark closet for several hours might have that effect on anyone, initiated or not.

This does not mean that there are not inner regions to experience, or light, sound, radiant forms, etc. But what if there aren't? What if Jesus did not rise from the dead or die for our sins? What if there never was a Buddha who became enlightened? What if Mohammed wasn't Allah's messenger? What if the angel Moroni never left any golden tablets for John Smith?

Pick one. Believe what you want, but we have no way to verify any of these things. All we can know is this immediate reality, right now. What is the intrinsic nature of this present moment we are perpetually in? Perhaps this is the only thing we can really know.

tucson,
i agree with most of that, but i slightly deviate with your last paragraph.

you seem to believe we can only know immediate reality or the present moment, but again this appears to be a subjective perception, which cannot be validated. the person whose just popped his clogs on magic mushrooms might think he's on peter's pan ship bound for neverneverland, meanwhile he in the here and now, in his den bound for a slap from his old lady.

in any event, you seem to be in good company, i think kant would have approved of your views, but i on the other hand think there are things or objects which are knowable at least to a certain degree, independent of our mind;s limited perception thereof, or perhaps put another way, we seem capable of extending our knowledge of things than our senses natually allow.

Hi George,

you said: "you seem to believe we can only know immediate reality or the present moment, but again this appears to be a subjective perception, which cannot be validated."

--Yes, even that is subjective. I am just suggesting that perhaps the only thing that is real is this moment.. in the sense that anything else is a memory or a potential and therefore purely conceptual. The past and the future exist only as ideas. This very instant between the thoughts without concept...see what is there. Isn't that all there ever really is? We can't capture it but it seems to me we are IT.

george, you said to tucson:

"you seem to believe we can only know immediate reality or the present moment, but again this appears to be a subjective perception, which cannot be validated."

-- how is that? the present moment can indeed be "validated". forinstance, if you and i are in close physical proximity, and there is an apple tree there in the yard, both you and i can see and touch that apple tree. that apple tree is the "immediate reality". it is perceived objectively, and we can both agree to that, so therefore it is validated.

you seem to be assuming that "immediate reality means something abstact or subjective. thats not what it means, as far as i am concerned. to me, "immediate reality" means the here and now, the space and objects and light and sound etc that we perceive around us through our sensory perception. thats all we really now.... what we perceive. the rest is just abstact thoughts and ideas.

you even said it yourself... that the "here and now" - the "slap from his old lady" - is the actual immediate reality... not the fantastic imaginary inner world of the mind.


Generally when we perceive an apple tree together we can agree about certain objective aspects of the apple tree such as the color of the fruit and the leaves, its position relative to other objects, etc. But this occurs in the context of time and space although some may call the seriality of our mutual perception the present. But our actual experience of the apple tree, such as the intensity of the perception of it in the moment, in the instant, is unique and subjective to our individual perceptions.

What I am trying to indicate is just the presence of this very moment, the awareness. In that instant who owns that awareness? Where does it originate, when does it begin and end? What are its boundaries? This cannot be conceptualized or known. One thought about it objectifies it and duality manifests. But in the stillness of the moment is vast potentiality from which all perception springs and yet, as it is, it is no thing at all.

That is why the sages have said we are unborn and thus undying and from the beginning not a thing is.

Man Tao you are getting old ...
After struggling following the stream of thoughts of Mysticbumwipe (which is relatively clear I must had) you continue having some difficulties ...
When George mentions validity he refers to the fact that Tucson affirms: "we CAN ONLY KNOW immediate reality or the present moment"
Tucson made a universal claim (that is, applies to every case) about knowledge (being tied to the immediate reality) which cannot be validided by any experience, whether you call it present moment or immediate reality ...

Reading Tucson I have the impression that with that kind of attitude you can kiss goodbye to mathematics, sciences, technology, progres, culture, etc. all the products of our own simple desire to go beyond our own existential ignorance and struggles ... (unless of course Tucson had non-euclidean geometry for dinner; or may be he has a tree where the numbers 2,3 and the infinity symbol grow as fruit!)

Here is a hypothesis: what if the drive to go 'beyond' (but not apart) our immediate experience and conditions is 'builded' or integral to the unfolding of the immediate present itself? That seems consistent with the 'facts' (while the stillness and oneness Tucson evoked do not seem to be (what is the difference between someone's Jesus and Tucson's Oneness?) "supported by the 'facts'" to quote Brian)

Then is it no you who refuses to accept reality and the 'present moment' when denying that drive? And all this mysterious paradoxical claptrap by Wu Wei Wei is only a way to refuse to accept the immediate present of his experience and that of others?
Just a hypothesis ...

TITLE: 'Placing' radiant suns 'in' buckets of water? Part1

Dear Brian
Actually I am sure we have been using the word 'concept' in exactly the same way.

And I think now you are now rather condescendingly attempting to move the goalposts.

You originally wrote:
"...where is the evidence that... the 'sun' of a guru's radiant form exists... ...This IS a concept, an idea, an imagination, that ISN'T connected to demonstrable reality." [my emphases]

But you now write:
"The question is, what does 'radiant form' actually represent? What do these words point to? My HYPOTHESIS is that it is imagined by people.".

So... your new goalposts:
are ALL such RF experiences ONLY 'subjective' (emphasis on the word 'ONLY')?
Or can ssome be demonstrated to have some 'objective' reality?

I maintain that you don't know, yet you have been making statements as if of verifiable act that they definitely do not.

NOW you are more self-aware and say it is only your "...hypothesis".

Good. Then we are in agreement.
But can you admit that you have moved your position only without acknowledging it. ;-)
I would appreciate it, if you could acknowledge that.

TITLE: 'Placing' radiant suns 'in' buckets of water? Part2.

Also, in the beginning the discussion was ALL ABOUT you using an over-literal expression of the concept and then rubbishing your simplification of it.
You've dropped that discussion altogether now haven't you? (moving the goalposts, do y'see?;-).

You originally wrote of:
"..the power to PLACE a doppelgänger of himself IN each of a million or so disciples..."

And I suggested that was an oversimplification equal to saying
"...the power to 'PLACE' replica radiant suns 'IN' many buckets of water..." regarding my own example.

Well. Moving on to your new goalposts (i.e. away from the subject of my initial response to your blog article)
It seems we now agree that a whole host of people HAVE 'experience' of what has been verbally represented as an "inner radiant form" (RF), so it clearly does “exist” in some sense.
So can we agree then that it is not JUST "a concept, an idea"? (emphasis is on the word "JUST").

That was my point to you which you now attempt to parry by educating me on the meaning of the word 'concept'.)

So, the question of whether that is a 'subjective' or 'objective' experience…

You wrote:
“people claim to have seen all kinds of things in their minds -- Jesus, angels, the devil, Krishna, and so on -- and it doesn't make sense to accept those claims as being objectively true without solid objective evidence.”
I agree with you.
As RS makes a distinction between these types of ‘visions’ and what it classifies as a ‘genuine’ experience of the RF of one’s guru, can we agree that it would help to keep to the subject under discussion, viz. the RS definition of the ‘radiant form’ (RF) experience only.

TITLE: 'Placing' radiant suns 'in' buckets of water? Part3

If you seriously want to discuss the RF concept then one potentially confusing aspect of this RF question, that needs clarification as I see it, is this describing of it (the RF) as ONLY an illusory mental projection.

Potentially confusing because even according to RS philosophy it IS said to be illusory. It being an axiom of RS philosophy that everything within Brahmanda is to a lesser or greater degree illusory (reflections of reflections) and filtered through our own mental projections.
It has even been said that ALL that we experience within Brahmanda IS our own mental projection. That apparently is the very nature of Brahmanda.

So, IF everything that an RS practitioner experiences in meditation, before removing the veil of universal mind, is illusory, then the only distinction that is being claimed in RS philosophy would be that the RF comes from and leads you to something outside of the illusion.

You haven't addressed this in your original article or subsequent replies.

This is problematical if you really want to test the RS hypothesis because
A.) how can anyone judge unaided - from an RS perspective - between:
1. what is a negative unedifying illusory RF experience and
2. a genuine salvific illusory RF experience.

It becomes a similar question to:
B.) how to judge between 1.a true guru and 2.a false guru.
Apparently we can’t accurately judge that. There are only rules of thumb.

There is of course the 5-name ‘simran’ test for judging between RF experiences (A1. and A2).
But the efficacy of that apparently depends on having correctly chosen a Sat Guru (B.)
Soooo... Yes... Problematical… :-/

But the point I want to make is that I think it is equally problematical to say that ALL visions of ALL radiant beings 'within' are purely subjective and illusory imagination.

TITLE: 'Placing' radiant suns 'in' buckets of water? Part4

Anyway…
The bottom line for me still remains the question of how can you (or anyone) say with such certainty that ALL ‘radiant form’ experiences are merely "... an imagination, that isn't connected to demonstrable reality..."?

Maybe it IS correct to say that.
But surely we must also agree that maybe it is not.
I think we can only say with certainty that it is ONLY and in every case ‘imagination’ IF we have tested that empirically and publicly.
Has anyone done that?
Would you not agree that that would need to be done before you can make such absolutist statements as if they were of tested and verifiable fact.

TITLE: 'Placing' radiant suns 'in' buckets of water? Part 5

It wouldn't be so hard to make such a test for someone who has access to the radiant form and whose guru is alive.
The problem as I see it is, that on a 'path' of 'devotion' and 'surrender' who would be up for that?
And would any RS guru want to 'prove' (if they could ;-) the objective reality of the 'inner' shabd guru PUBLICLY?
That would rather go against the stated aim of RS philosophy (i.e “ONLY for each guru's marked souls”).

I have actually discussed this with my own guru’s successor in private.
And I said that is why I feel that pushing the 'Science of the Soul' name in English over and above the more traditional (and more accurate?) 'Surat Shabd Yoga' name has been regrettable. The claim to be a ‘Spiritual Science’ - if it was ever accurately representative - seems to me to have become more and more of a misnomer the bigger the various RS sangats have become.)

Finally... (yes, sorry. I'm a long-winded bar-steward) the only evidence in the literature that I am aware of that appears to show some objective and shared reality going on regarding a Master's radiant form and the disciples inner experience of it, can be found in the book:
With the Three Masters: Volume Three, by Rai Sahib Munshi Ram.
Pgs. 28-29. 2nd edition, 1974

Admittedly, it is only anecdotal. But IF it is an accurate account it then it at least points to something objective occurring.

You can read it here:
http://snipurl.com/w6511

The craziest thing I've ever believed was when I bought this thing called a TeeVee. The person who sold it to me said that someone had placed millions of doppelgänger people and places in this TeeVee. Whole countries and other planets and all kinds of wierd stuff.

He claimed that if I made some sort of cable or wireless connections (whatever that is) and 'tuned' it in I would be able to see all that, and even navigate my way around all these doppelgänger people and places.

It wasn't very clear where or how this magic act was performed. But this was a central aspect of the belief system that I subscribed to for a long time, until I couldn't believe in it any more.

I suppose it's possible that someone could have the power to place a doppelgänger of many people and places in each of a million or so TeeVees. But now this seems like a deeply weird and exceedingly unlikely possibility.

I never thought much about how this whole TeeVee thing worked, maybe because it's difficult (if not impossible) to come up with a coherent explanation of how a human being could manufacture non-physical carbon copies of himself at will and place them within selected other people.

etc., etc., etc

mysticbumwipe, I haven't changed my position at all. And you still don't make any sense. Television is objectively real. So is the reflection of the sun in buckets of water. The "radiant form" isn't. There is no demonstrable evidence for it being anything other than a subjective phenomenon.

I don't understand why you can't see this simple fact. I guess blind faith prevents having a clear viewpoint of reality.

Here's another good argument against believing that the guru places a copy of himself in every disciple. Unlike the sun reflection and television examples, which are produced by well-understood laws of nature (electromagnetism, optics, quantum mechanics, etc.) there is no theory that explains how the guru could do what he does.

Of course, mysticism is supposed to be mystical. But one would think that if the guru has this radiant form power, no matter how that power is produced, he also would have other powers.

After all, electromagnetism can be used to "power" all sorts of phenomena other than sun reflections and television. Yet there is no evidence that the guru has any kind of unnatural powers. So why should people believe that he has the "radiant form" miraculous power when no other miraculous guru-produced phenomena are evident that can't be explained by natural laws?

Television is objectively real. I agree.

So is the reflection of the sun in buckets of water. I agree.

The "radiant form" is not proven to objectively real. I agree.

There is no demonstrable evidence for RF being anything other than a subjective phenomenon. I agree.

I don't understand why you can't see these simple facts have NEVER been in contention.

I guess blind faith in the superiority of one 's own understanding prevents from having a clear viewpoint of reality. ;-)

Excellent, we agree. Thanks for agreeing that you agree with me. Hope we find more areas of agreement on other churchless subjects. I hope you'll also agree that you sure sounded like you were defending the notion that the guru's radiant form is an objectively real phenomenon, not a subjective experience. To do that, there would have to be some reason for believing that notion is a reasonable hypothesis, which you agree it isn't. Other people got the same impression from your comments, so it wasn't just me.

Well, Brian, regrettably I do not agree that "I sure sounded like I was defending the notion that the guru's radiant form is an objectively real phenomenon". Not at all. Sad, as I guessed at the outset that you had erroneously assumed that. And I think its a shame that you have continued to argue against that despite all my efforts to clarify.

In fact I made that extremely clear at the outset and then frequently and repeatedly afterwards.
E.g. I wrote near the beginning:
"...perhaps you are discussing with me based on an assumption that you think I'm a 'true believer' and that I am trying to defend the 'radiant form' concept?
I am not."

Strange that you missed that :-S

It seems to me also that only you and Tao were unable to get what I have been saying. Elephant wrote: "...the stream of thoughts of Mysticbumwipe (which [are] relatively clear I must [add]..."

And it appears that after all my efforts you still haven't understood what I have been attempting to explain.
As in: "you still don't make any sense."
Oh well (sigh) :-(

Oh, and Er... Brian, did you actually read anything I just wrote? :-o

You replied: "...there would have to be some reason for believing that notion (the guru's radiant form is an objectively real phenomenon, not a subjective experience) is a reasonable hypothesis, which you agree it isn't."

Huh? I very clearly did NOT agree that. No no no.
So did you actually read anything in my 5 part reply?

Did you even check out the link I provided?

Your ability to repeatedly misunderstand and misrepresent a very simple argument I find quite surprising.

Mysticbumwipe, yes, I did read everything you wrote. You say that I should be open to the possibility that the guru's radiant form is a genuine phenomenon, even though you also agree with me that there is no demonstrable evidence of this (a story in a RSSB book doesn't count as evidence in support of the Sant Mat teachings, just as stories in the Bible don't count as evidence in support of Christian dogma).

You're asking me, and others, to interpret this radiant form claim within the context of the RSSB philosophy -- not in terms of the everyday reality that we all share. Saying that the radiant form is an illusion, just like everything else in the lower regions of the cosmos is an illusion, leaves us in an abstract purely conceptual hypothetical quagmire.

If nothing is real here in the physical world, then it doesn't matter whether something is "true" or "false," because it's all illusion anyway. None of us really lives in this fashion, since we behave as if some things are real, and some aren't. So this is why I'm not sympathetic to your "nothing is real" argument.

This morning I came across a passage in a book that debunks Christianity which reminded me of your comments on this post. Here it is:

"Christians continually want to talk about what is possible rather than what is probable, and they resort to this standard far too many times in defense of their faith to make their faith probable."

As I frequently observe on this blog, anything is possible. But not everything is probable. Science knows nothing with 100% certainty. Nor do we. It's possible that we're in a computer simulation run by an advanced alien civilization, a.k.a. The Matrix. Without any evidence of this, though, it is just a possibility.

You keep saying that it is possible the guru's radiant form is a genuine (albeit ultimately illusory) phenomenon that isn't just imagined by disciples. And I keep saying, "There is no proof of this, so it's just a belief, a possibility -- just as it is possible that Jesus appears to his Christian devotees and talks to them."

I think I've stated (and refuted) your argument accurately. If you disagree, then state your argument more clearly. You don't seem to be disagreeing with what I'm saying, but how I'm saying it, which is an overly abstract argument for me to deal with.

mysticbumwipe,

There is no point in arguing the existence or non-existence of the radiant form. Neither can be proven to anyone else.

The only thing anyone can know is if they experience it themselves. Why not put full effort into the spiritual practice and experience the radiant form for yourself. Then please report here what the experience was like. It won't prove anything but it will be much more interesting than the current discussion.

mysticbumwipe,

what the hell is your problem dude?

i can only conclude that you are crazy. you unecessarily post numerous multiple confusing comments, then you make vague undemonstable suppostions, then you agree there is no evidence, then you disagree and contradict yourself, then you say there is evidence of the radiant form located in some book, and then you say... why don't we understand you? understand what? you are going in circles.

and why are you posting so many multiple comments (parts 1, 2, 3 4, 5 etc)? there is no reasonable limitation on the length of comments here. you can post a long comment if you need to.

anyway, why don't you make it simple. just post ONE single comment (of any length) and tell us exactly what it is that YOU think what YOU believe, and also what is your evidence - if you have any.

in other words, WHAT are you trying to say?? leave out all the extraneous, unnecessary, confused and convoluted nonsense... and just simply SAY whatever it is that YOU are trying to say about the supposed radiant form. then we can proceed.


Its really quite simple.
1. Brian over-simplified a mystical concept and then rubbished his over-simplification of it.

2. He then showed himself unable to understand a simple comparison attempting to show how we can oversimplify a subjectively real example and make that sound ridiculous and crazy too.

3. He then claimed dogmatically and without anything other than his own opinion as support that the RF is just an "idea" an "imagination" and he questioned whether it even exists.
He wrote: "where is the evidence that ...a guru's radiant form exists?"

4. When he expressed ridicule of his oversimplification of the RF concept he did so he said because he had no idea of the "magic" of "how it worked".
Er... So ...if we don't know how something works it is therefore worthless??! :-o
And thus my TEEVEE parody *
(*see n.b 4 below)

5.IF Brian had written that as he finds no evidence for the RF experience as an objective reality, he therefore assumes it to be merely a subjective 'imagination', that would have been honest and more self-aware and there would have been little further discussion.
But, he didn't initially. He categorically stated that it IS an illusion, it IS an imagination, IT is just an idea, a concept.
My replies followed because I think that is not a statement of 'fact' but of 'opinion'.

6. Brian's saying the RF is "an illusion" does not show the idea to be "crazy" as Brain originally suggested. Thus I brought up the fact that within a mystical paradigm everything that we experience is alleged to be an illusion.
Well, perhaps the cosmological philosophy of Plato and Advaita Vedanta and Taoism seems like 'crazy' logic to some. But I do not think so. And I believe I am in good company.
E.g. "While Heisenberg was working on quantum theory he went to India to lecture and was a guest of Tagore. He talked a lot with Tagore about Indian philosophy. Heisenberg told me that these talks had helped him a lot with his work in physics, because they showed him that all these new ideas in quantum physics were in fact not all that crazy. He realized there was, in fact, a whole culture that subscribed to very similar ideas. Heisenberg said that this was a great help for him. Niels Bohr had a similar experience when he went to China" -- Fritjof Capra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tao_of_Physics

7. It was not and is still not clear whether Brian accepts that in some cases of advanced practitioners, the RF experience is based on a real, personality changing, positive and enlightening experience, though one that admittedly at present has no proof for it being anything other than a subjective experience.

8. Brian has NOT been able to acknowledge that the relatively recent, 'non-proof' anecdote regarding Jagat Singh's RF does (if its an accurately reported anecdote) at least point to the possibility of something objective occurring.
(I.e. if a+b=y then y-b=a)

9. Brian appears in this discussion to have never entertained the cardinal and essential RS idea that there can be many many different types of inner visions experienced in meditation and that it is essential to correctly differentiate between them.
He has repeatedly claimed that ALL visions of "Jesus, angels, the devil, Krishna" and the RF experience are equally illusory and therefore presumably he means worthless also. Yet he curiously "...still invites the guru to show himself inwardly, though..."

Thank you for your attention :-)

MBW

- - - - - -

* N.B. 4.
To give just one example of closing our minds to avenues of experiment and hypothesis because we don't know how they work:
Michael Polanyi’s research-findings of long-chained molecules of high molecular weight which was REJECTED and scorned as "Polyani's mistake" in 1921.

His findings were shown to be correct and accepted fifty years later.
Why?
Because it fell outside the then-accepted knowledge of other scientists.
I.e. they didn't know how it worked.

"What matters in a scientific community’s attribution of scientific discovery and scientific originality, Polyani suggested, is not simply experimental or logical plausibility, but intrinsic INTEREST at the time within the scientific community. For Polanyi, science remains objective, not in the detachment of the knower from the known, but in the power of science to establish contact with a hidden reality based in the skills and commitment of the knower (e.g., Personal Knowledge, pp. 299-303, 311).

CORRECTION:
I meant to write:
2. He then showed himself unable to understand a simple comparison attempting to show how we can oversimplify an OBJECTIVELY real example and make that sound ridiculous and crazy too.

Chris, gosh, I barely recognized what I actually said in this post in your twisted description of my words. Let's return to what I wrote, not what you claim I've claimed:
------------
"And I suppose it's possible that a guru could have the power to place a doppelgänger of himself in each of a million or so disciples. But now this seems like a deeply weird and exceedingly unlikely possibility."
------------
Yet you said: "He [me] categorically stated that it IS an illusion, it IS an imagination, IT is just an idea, a concept."

No, Chris, that's not what I said. I said the notion of a copy of the guru inhabiting the psyches of millions of disciples is a deeply weird and exceedingly unlikely possibility.

Strangely, you criticize me for being open at all to this possibility when I sit down and meditate every morning. Huh? So which is it? Am I too closed or too open to the possibility of metaphysical realities?

In my opinion, I'm nicely balanced in this regard. I'm happy to examine, or experience, evidence that a radiant form or any other purported metaphysical truth is really true. But until that evidence is evident, I no longer can embrace blind faith.

You don't seem to recognize the difference between (1) not knowing how some phenomenon is manifested, and (2) not knowing that the phenomenon even exists as some sort of objective reality. For example, science doesn't know how quantum mechanics works deep down, but quantum phenomena are clearly evident and highly predictable (in a probabilistic sense).

So before getting into a debate about how the guru's radiant form manifests in a disciple, we need to make sure that this phenomenon is something other than subjective imagination. How would you suggest we do this?

Here's a few ideas: The person in contact with the radiant form, which is God in another guise, should know things that aren't possible to understand with an ordinary mind/brain. So if you are such a person, you should be able to convey information that is "miraculous" in nature. Has this ever been done? Is there any proof of this ever happening?

Maybe there are other ways to show that the radiant form is really real, not just subjectively real. If so, I look forward to learning about them. And then having them tested. Until then, I stand by what I've written: anything is possible, but not everything is probable.

your comment was quite reasonable and clearly expressed Brian.

and i honestly still have no idea what MBW is actually trying to say about the supposed radiant form.

Hi Brian.
"until that evidence is evident, I no longer can embrace blind faith."
Right on bro. No problem with that.
(Look. We are not in disagreement again ;-)

But that's interesting that you don't recognise your own words back at you.
Did I get something confused in what you intended with them?

Here are the words of yours I was referring to in their full sentences:

"But where is the evidence that either (1) the 'sun' of a guru's radiant form exists, or (2) which is dependent on (1), 'reflections' of that 'sun' exist?
This IS A CONCEPT, AN IDEA, AN IMAGINATION, that isn't connected to demonstrable reality."
-- Brian Hines

And then there was this one:

"Real buckets of water showing a real reflection of the sun is a whole different thing that [sic] IMAGINARY copies of an IMAGINARY RADIANT FORM." -- Brian Hines


You write: "Strangely, you criticize me for being open at all to this possibility when I sit down and meditate every morning."

No. I did not criticise you for that.
I do not mean to criticise YOU at all.
For me we are only discussing different ways of seeing and understanding something.
I request you read point 9. again to see in what context I wrote what I thought was "curious" about that.

Look, I think I've been exhaustively clear, especially, in my previous post to this one, of what was my intended meaning, and what in your article and replies I felt was off the mark, AND in where I think you have repeatedly missed my meaning.
I start to feel we are going further and further away from what I originally felt like contributing to the discussion.
And I feel like you don't really address my points even after all my efforts, yet still argue back against something I'm not and never have disagreed with.
So forgive me if I bow out now.
Thanks for chatting with me.
Best wishes
Chris (MBW)

To try and make it simpler it might help to ask the question:

Is it accurate to say that it is claimed in the RS teachings that an RSSB guru can and does "have the power to place a doppelgänger, non-physical, carbon-copy" of an alleged inner locality named as ashta-dal-kanwal "within each of a million or so selected other people/disciples…"

In other words, does the RS Philosophy state that the Guru creates "carbon copies" of "inner REGIONS" within initiates also?

My understanding is that it does NOT.

And THAT is why in my opinion I think you Brian have oversimplified (to the point of distorting) the RS Philosophy regarding the RF concept when you wrote that it can be accurately summarised as "…the Guru creates 'copies' of himself” and "places them within" disciples.

Here is why I believe that is so…

If we both accept that the RS philosophy states that:-
1. these ‘inner regions’ exist separately and independently of individualised consciousnesses (jivatmas),
and also
2. if it claims that the Shabd exists within EVERY individualised consciousness whether initiated or not,
then it follows that
3. the Shabd which allegedly manifests as the Radiant Form ALREADY exists independently of anything the Guru is “doing” (or not doing).
Therefore NOTHING is being “created” as a “carbon copy” and then “PLACED WITHIN” anyone. That all already exists.
It is only ‘how’ that is experienced when the disciple reaches a spiritual ‘location’ called ashta dal-kanwal which differs.
I.e. the difference claimed for initiates is only in what form that which already exists is experienced (or how it is "projected") when a certain level of advancement is reached.

This is why I have consistently maintained that saying"…the RSSB guru, could manufacture non-physical carbon copies of himself at will and place them within selected other people…” is therefore an oversimplification that gives (and in this case appears to be based upon) a false understanding of the RS concept.

Chris, I'll repeat my response to the other comment that you left on this subject:

"Chris, you'd be great at formulating a theory that explains the formation of unicorn horns. Something has to be objectively real before we can get serious about discussing what it is like.

You're really into examining the intricacies of a Radha Soami Satsang Beas concept regarding the guru's radiant form. This reminds me of all the debates in the Catholic Church about the nature of the trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

People got accused of heresy for taking the "wrong" position on whether Jesus is identical with God, or an equal partner of God, or a subset of God, or whatever (I'm vague on the details, because I find the subject as interesting as unicorn horns...irrelevant).

This is also how I feel about the theology surrounding the guru's radiant form. Uninterested. When there's demonstrable proof that it exists, then this subject would be more compelling."

Firstly we’re given, as Chris said: "an oversimplification that gives (and in this case appears to be based upon) a false understanding of the RS concept".

This happens all the time on this blog, comments are made about RS with a misleading spin and then when someone tries to have a reasonable discussion its back to the typical cop out from Brian… "When there's demonstrable proof that it exists, then this subject would be more compelling".

So side stepping who brought up the subject in the first place… with the usual spin ... then not willing to openly debate or discuss so fall back into the same argument... must have proof, knowing full well that no-one can prove to another what can only be proven to one’s self.

What is really happening here is that ex-satsangis are failures because they haven’t been able to prove the existence of anything more than “this is all there is” and deserve pity more than the derision that they dole out to the believers.

There is a more balanced and middle of the road attitude but this is ignored, rather it seems that mud slinging is preferable and this just shows how bitter and twisted some ex-ers have become. There is no open-mindedness here amongst the cult of the “churchless” ex-ers unfortunately.

Jen,

first of all, are you the real Jen? because you don't sound like Jen at all. are you somone else using Jen's name? it seems that way.

if you are the real Jen (and not an imposter), then i have this to say to you:

i think you're incorrect... because you seem to be a little confused about a few things.

you said: "we’re given, as Chris said: "an oversimplification that gives (and in this case appears to be based upon) a false understanding of the RS concept"."

-- what "oversimplification" are you referring to? Brian has not oversimplified the radiant form idea at all. and Chris has clearly misrepresented Brian. Brian never said that the radiant form was a "region". Brian simply stated the same basic premise or idea that the RS doctine teaches: namely that the master (supposedly) places a subtle form of himself into the disciple, which the disciple (supposedly) can then contact, interact with during meditation, and receive guidance from during soul travel through the inner planes.

you said: "This happens all the time on this blog, comments are made about RS with a misleading spin..."

-- i may have to diagree. it depends upon what & who are you referring to. if you are saying that Brian and other longtime RS initiates (like tucson and myself) are putting "a misleading spin" on the RS teachings and doctrine, then you are absolutely wrong. so what are you referring to?

"...and then when someone tries to have a reasonable discussion its back to the typical cop out from Brian… "When there's demonstrable proof that it exists, then this subject would be more compelling"."

-- thats is not a "cop out" at all. it is a very reasonable and rational response on the part of Brian. so how do you derive merely asking for some "demonstrable proof", as being a "cop out"?? how is asking for reasonable proof, a "cop out"??

"So ... then not willing to openly debate or discuss so fall back into the same argument... must have proof, knowing full well that no-one can prove to another what can only be proven to one’s self."

-- huh?? what?? you're not making any sense here. first you say that "no-one can prove", and then you say it "can only be proven to one’s self". i don't get your point. can you be more specific? look, so far, no proof has been forthcoming. and it doesn't really matter how it appears to "one'self", to any one person. why do you have a problem with this fact?

"What is really happening here is that ex-satsangis are failures because they haven’t been able to prove the existence of anything more than “this is all there is”..."

-- the burden of proof is not upon ex-satsagis to prove anything. the burden of proof is upon RS and especially on those who make various claims, such as 'the radiant form is real' etc. so you're obviously mixed up. and also, things that are actually real [re: “this is all there is”], can be proven to be real. its the things that have not been proven, that demand proof. so again, you're mixed up.

"...and deserve pity more than the derision that they dole out to the believers."

-- "derision"?? its the believers who are the ones that tend to be doling out derision.

"There is a more balanced and middle of the road attitude but this is ignored..."

-- well then, what is that?? please enlighten us. i personally think that reason, rationality, logic, and attention to facts... is a very balanced approach. so if you have a better approach, then please share it.

"...rather it seems that mud slinging is preferable and this just shows how bitter and twisted some ex-ers have become."

-- please give some specific instances. because i don't see any ex-ers here that are "bitter and twisted". but i have seen belivers that are that way.

"There is no open-mindedness here amongst the cult of the “churchless” ex-ers unfortunately."

-- i have to disagree. one, this is not a cult. its just independent people and their opinions. two, there is a great deal of "open-mindedness" on the part of so-called "ex-ers". thats generally why they are ex-ers... because it takes an open mind to go beyond RS dogma and RS guru authoritarianism.

So... i still have to wonder if you are the same "Jen" who usually posts comments here?

why all of the sudden the big attitude change? why all of the sudden are you attacking reason and rationality and commone sense? why all of the sudden are say that Brian is putting spin on the RS teachings, when he is NOT?

so then, what is your trip Jen? i'm rather curious. why are you, all of a sudden, defending believers and their irrational and unsupported beliefs and claims (including your own mixed up ideas and assertions)?? whats the story Jen?


Jen, what's the "middle of the road" between demonstrable reality and non-demonstrable reality? Semi-demonstable reality?

I'm not sure what you're trying to say. This blog is called "Church of the Churchless." If you're looking for blind faith, you've come to the wrong place.

True believers get challenged here. If someone claims to know some metaphysical truth, they're told "Prove it." This is entirely reasonable.

As i frequently say, there's a difference between claiming something is subjectively true ("I like the taste of strawberries") and something objectively true ("Strawberries are the best tasting fruit").

There's no way to challenge an "I like..." statement. But if someone says "I know..", they need to provide some evidence to back up that claim.

Jen wrote:
"What is really happening here is that ex-satsangis are failures because they haven’t been able to prove the existence of anything more than “this is all there is” and deserve pity more than the derision that they dole out to the believers."

---I feel a sense of relief, freedom and "success" that I awoke from the snare of the beguiling RSSB...a wolf in angel's clothing, imo, although the wolf is not so subtle these days it seems.

Even so, taking the RSSB route, or any route (route 66?), could lead to what I experience now as truth. This is because the intrinsic nature of things is always present and available. So, quite unintentionally the wolf can be an angel.

And there is quite alot in "this is all there is" the experience of which requires no pity because:

I understand everything is a manifestation of my mind. I am unborn, so I neither prevail or disappear. (How could the moment of my birth have ever arrived? How could yours? Go deep into that.) I feel the egolessness of the world, its objects and beings. I have come to understand what Self-realization is by what it is not.


"But if someone says "I know..", they need to provide some evidence to back up that claim."

Can you provide evidence to back up your claim that this physical existence is all there is, that the metaphysical world does not exist?

Jen, you've got it backwards: the person who makes a positive claim about reality is the one who has to provide the proof.

No, I can't prove that Santa Claus does not exist. Or God. Or the Tooth Fairy. Or the little Green Men who make the flowers in our garden come up.

I've never made a claim that the metaphysical world does not exist. What I and countless others say is that there isn't demonstrable evidence that a metaphysical reality exists.

If you've got that evidence, you've likely also got a Nobel prize waiting for you. Or at least an appearance on the Oprah show.

Jen, another thing...

you said: ""What is really happening here is that ex-satsangis are failures because they haven’t been able to prove the existence of anything more than “this is all there is”..."

-- "failures" at what? failures at proving the existence of what? if you have been able to prove the existence of a metaphysical or spiritual relity, then lets see it. i haven't failed at anything. i never claimed there is a metaphyscial or spiritual reality. the onus is on the believers like yourself to prove that. believers are the ones who have failed, not ex-ers. ex-ers aren;t claiming anything. and i never said that a metaphysical reality doesn't exist. there simply just isn't any proof.

so like i said, i think you are a bit mixed up. i think that you don't understand what the issue is. you are repeating the same nonsense that other believers have. it amazes me that you have been here for so long and yet you have still not understood. saying that ex-ers need to prove that the metaphysical or spiritual dimensiuon does not exist, is absurd. there is yet no proof that it does exist. the burden of proof is on those who claim that it does exist.

if you want to beluieve that it does, then thats your prerogative. i can't say for sure. i have no proof that it exists. i have had all sorts of seemingly metaphysical experiences, but i have no proof, and neither do you. but i never made any claims about the existence or the reality of the spiritual, the metaphysical, the supernatural. so whats your point?

i think you really don't know what your point is. frankly, i think you are just lashing out at people (so-called "ex-ers") who choose not to believe blindly as you do. but thats the same blind faith and narrow-minded attitude evidenced by most other RS believers and followers.

you ignored the previous commment i made to you. so are you going to ignore this one as well? there is no derision here. if you wish to believe in something that has no proof, then thats your choice. just like its my choice to say that i don't know because there is yet no proof. do you undertstand that? its really very simple.


I have now demonstrated by appealing to pure logic where your version of the RF concept does NOT fit with the actual RS concept.
If you could show me where that logic has failed, I would be grateful.

I thinks its a shame that you have chosen to not even address that.

Instead you have again shifted the whole discussion back to something which between us has never been in disagreement (and which I have repeatedly made clear is not in disagreement).

So when Jen commented:
"...NOT being open-minded...
misleading spin and then when someone tries to have a reasonable discussion its back to the typical cop out from Brian… "When there's demonstrable proof that it exists, then this subject would be more compelling.
So side stepping who brought up the subject in the first place [that would be you Brian]… with the usual spin ... then not willing to openly debate or discuss, so fall back into the same argument..."

...I could resonate with ALL of that. :-)
(Thanks Jen)

A friendly suggestion of what you could instead take from Jen's comments is don't filter out everything other than the ability to provide proof or not.
(That seems to me like a convenient red herring to distract from everything else Jen or I have written).
How about you try taking Jens response as mainly a pointer to your modus operandi of discussion here; i.e. the pretence of open-minded and fair debate.

MBW, you're much more interested in the subject of the radiant form that I am. I think we've each stated our positions on it as clearly as possible.

Discussions have a natural end. Since we've been going around in circles, each of us restating what we've already said, let's move on to other things.

Jen (and this applies to MBW also), in my experience discussions -- on blogs and elsewhere -- go best when people focus on a subject of common interest, not on the personalities or motivations of the discussants.

Suggestion: focus on a subject, some issue that I've laid on the discussion table in a blog post. Forget about the other people around the table. Talk about how you feel about the subject, your understanding of the subject, the evidence that you can bring to sway people to accept your feelings and understandings (assuming you care about swaying).

I've taken part in a lot of discussion groups over the years, both professionally and personally. I'm married to a (retired) psychotherapist who had a lot of counseling/communication experience. I've got a master's degree in social work myself. I haven't found it useful when people focus excessively on the "messenger" rather than the "message."

I realize that this is a frequent preoccupation on the Internet. People love to engage in "you suck!" "no, you suck BIGGER!" repartee. I find that boring and useless. Especially when no one really knows the other person.

I lead a happy, productive, and satisfying life. I assume you do also. Great. This blog is a small part of my life, as it is yours (even smaller, for sure).

If we can entertain ourselves with some interesting interchanges, terrific. The best chance of this happening is when commenters focus on an interesting subject and share their views about it, not about each other.

MBW, you say:

"I have now demonstrated by appealing to pure logic where your version of the RF concept does NOT fit with the actual RS concept."

-- you have demonstrated no such thing. YOUR version of Brian's "version" is NOT Brian's version. Brian's version of the concept was made very clear, and it is in no way different than the "actual RS concept". moreover, YOUR version still remains unclear.

"If you could show me where that logic has failed, I would be grateful."

-- what logic? you have shown no logic.

"I thinks its a shame that you have chosen to not even address that."

-- Brian has already addressed this multiple times. so you are in denial.

"you have again shifted the whole discussion back to something which between us has never been in disagreement"

-- then why are you still arguing? its because you are trying to say that Brian's concept (of the radiant form) is wrong. but Brian's concept is the same as the RS concept. simply saying that Brian's comcept is incorrect, does not make it incorrect. and you have not shown how or where it is incorrect. so the fact remains that Brian's concept or "version" is the same as the RS doctrine.

"So when Jen commented: [...] I could resonate with ALL of that."

-- Jen is clearly very confused. Jen thinks that the skeptics should prove that the metaphysical world does not exist, and Jen ignores the all-important fact that there is no evidence that it does exist. and you agree with that? then you are quite confused as well.

"A friendly suggestion [...] is don't filter out everything other than the ability to provide proof or not."

-- you mean just entertain any and all sorts of imaginary conjecture and fantastic nonsense. no thanks. this shows what your problem is... you don't see the necessity and value of proof.

"seems to me like a convenient red herring to distract from everything else Jen or I have written."

-- what has Jen written? nothing. its like Jen wants other people to prove that unicorns do not exist, and says that they must exist unless we can prove that they don't. that's absurd. there is no evidence for unicorns. Jen is confused and backwards.

"a pointer to your modus operandi of discussion here; i.e. the pretence of open-minded and fair debate."

-- the debate IS open-minded and fair. but YOU are not dealing with the facts. and you are misrepresenting Brian. that is not "fair". you seem to have an inability to be rational in terms of addressing the facts, and you are twisting and distorting Brin's position. thats wrong. you (and Jen) can believe whatever you want about the radiant form etc etc, but that doesn't make any of it true. its only your beliefs.


Dear all,

I admit to being confused, it’s a confusing world! Okay, let me try to explain how I feel. Firstly, I am interacting here with some powerful intellects and I am more of an intuitive type of person. Yes, I know that intuition can lead one astray and that is why I try to be discerning and question everything, especially any metaphysical experiences that I have.

So, back to the subject of the radiant form of the Master. For example, if I see within a form that looks like the Master who initiated me, Charan Singh, I know I have to continue my practice to confirm this, as in a scientific experiment, to either prove or disprove through repetition of the same method. I have many doubts and wonder if I am being fooled by my imagination and I try to practice with no expectations and have let go of many of my belief systems.

I think my frustration comes from the fact that no-one can ever prove to anyone else that the inner planes exist and that metaphysical experiences can seem very real.

I also think being too skeptical and allowing the intellect to completely deny the existence of anything other than the physical is closing oneself off too much.

Good comment, Jen. I enjoyed reading your comments.

I have no reservations about describing certain "inner" experiences I have had. After all, they are just experiences no more significant or less significant than any other experience such as seeing the dog crap on the soccer field for example. The whole of eternity is contained in that moment of tongue wagging, slobbering, panting, convulsive, peristalic release and the resulting steaming, fetid mass. Try it sometime yourself with full awareness present. Feel the Kundalini surge. A universe is born. But I digress.

Anyway, in Sant Mat you are supposed to have visions of the master's radiant form. Well, I have yet to see Charan Singh's radiant form, but I did see something like his representative's (the late Roland deVries') radiant form.

I had a vision that I was in a large room like an auditorium. There seemed to be a good number of people present around the perifery. Roland deVries was standing near the middle of the room. A multi-faceted ball like one of those disco mirrored dance party balls appeared above his head and became his head. Each mirrored facet began to radiate different colored light beams. The whole thing burst into a very bright star. I felt a great pressure in my forehead and suddenly found my awareness shooting through the universe at incredible speed. I have no way to convey what this speed was like. Maybe the speed of light gives some idea, but it was more like instant transport across vast expanse. I passed through various scenes like gardens with colors I had never seen before like from another spectrum. I became overwhelmed by what was happening and at that moment I snapped back into normal bodily awareness with a jolt.

Did this seem real? Yes, vividly real.

Was it my imagination? A product of mind? Of course.

tucson,

"Was it my imagination? A product of mind? Of course."

So, "of course", very definite then, you know exactly what it was, no room for debate, there could be no other possible explanation, everything is mind, imagination. No possibility of your soul separating itself from your body and experiencing this flight?

Have you ever experienced stepping out of your body?

Wish I hadn't posted that last comment. This is not the place to discuss OBE's! I will now politely withdraw... lol

Jen,

there is nothing wrong with being "an intuitive type of person". i am fairly intuitive as well. also, i don't necessarily feel that intuition leads one astray.

if in your meditation you see a form that appears as Charan Singh, i don't know that you have to "confirm" confirm that, or prove or disprove it. its just an inner vision or image like thoughts and daydreams. so i think you are investing too much concern about that. visoons and images come and go. this is generally due to sankaras (impressions) and the subconscious mind and imagination. its no big deal. its just meditation. you should not worry or have doubts and wonder about being "fooled". in the mind, thoughts and images come and go. don't be attached to any of that. there are deeper levels. let the thoughts and images go. don't hold on to them. its not important. then gradually (or suddenly) and eventually you will reach a deeper level.

and yes, "no-one can ever prove to anyone else that the inner planes exist and that metaphysical experiences can seem very real". so why worry about that? what is important, is simply whatever is meaningful to YOU. it doesn't matter what other people believe or experience. your life is unique. you don't have to follow anybody else's ideas.

however, unlike you, i don't think being skeptical is bad. you seem to think that it means accepting only the physical. thats not true. for instance, i myself am certain there is more than what is experienced as the physical world... but i cannot prove it. but thats ok with me. i am fairly certain that there is alot more out there than just the consensus reality. i have experienced other worlds. but i don't expect other people to believe that. why should they? they haven't experienced what i have.

the one thing i so know above all else... is that i don't know anything for sure. thats the crucial difference between me, and a believer. i am not "closed off" at all. imo, its generally the believers who are closed off. the believers are the ones who seem to be so sure and so rigid in their beliefs.

for me, i simply don't know. and so i remain open-minded. anything is possible imo.

so i hope this helps explain how i look at things.


Jen asks: "Have you ever experienced stepping out of your body?"

--I have had OBE's. No big deal. Many have. There is nothing "spiritual" about them to me, at least not any more spiritual than anything else. They may be whoppers, the universe at a glance and all that, but what is present, truly present, here there or anywhere, never changes regardless of circumstance. It has no body, no dimension. What we really are already is formless. No body. Nobody else.

Regardless of what is happening our intrinsic nature is present as the background or screen, or matrix upon which, from which, all appearance manifests. So, it is not experience of visions or radiant forms and enchanting objects that the seeker of truth wants. What they want is what is present when there is no other in the fullness of silence. In the space between thoughts, where is your location, its beginning and end? In this space the universe is you and "you" are not.

So, when you ask, "So.... very definite then, you know exactly what it was, no room for debate, there could be no other possible explanation, everything is mind, imagination. No possibility of your soul separating itself from your body and experiencing this flight?"

--There is no soul, as an object that I possess separate from what I am that goes to some special place. That special place is always here where I am. No matter where I go, there I am. All is contained, so to speak, by what I am and what manifests is I. But really there is no "I" that is. "I" is just for communication, language.

I don't expect anyone to accept this. I just write what comes to mind.

tAo and tucson,

Thanks guys, I enjoyed your replies. I wish I had the confidence that you both have. I seem to be too concerned about what other people think.

Cheers

Wow. I am 6 years late to join this conversation... but then I just happen to find this blog 2 days back when I was looking for "experiences of meditators" and reached a post where Brian was stating his disappointment after not seeing anything post 30 years... i read few posts and then came here ... the big question of RF :) who would not want to see that? Man 30 years, 2 1/2 hours every day in lotus position??? clap clap clap hats off man !!!

Let me tell all you ex-ers and current followers, what ever is happening on this blog, discussion, debate etc etc... is allllllll a form of Simran, for Simran is nothing but remembering someone, and all those who did post comments and debated are remembering Satguru in some form or fashion... thanks to brian :)

now the big question of RF... well i have not seen it, i have not even been through fraction of what people here have seen / experienced in meditation... I witness pure darkness and a lot of wandering of my mind... but i dont care. For i KNOW that once i am to leave this body, my master will be there to take me and guide me through the journey there on.

The idea behind Sant Mat is not to give us some jolly experiences and trips internal to have fun, it is for a much much larger cause, to take the soul back home... (not immediately though... the journey is long)

Yes I am a believer. I believe in RF and I also believe that a lot more people see it than you think, but they dont go about announcing it, for once you reach that stage, all of this does not matter, this seem so trivial. Imagine the bliss there and triviality of the topic here? How and why will a person who has found the master within care to come here and participate in this debate or try to prove a point. That person is one with the master... he / she just does not care what we or anyone think !

Btw i am not a RSSB follower, i am initiated by another perfect living master of Sant Mat. (before you jump to conclusion : )

Just to let you know, Tiya, Brian was officially declaired a living saint by the CoCSaBL (Church of Common-Sense and Bike Lovers) whoms founder personally send a note to him that said:

"Brian, if you wanna be a saint, feel free to consider yourself a saint."

So, there goes your "living master" saint Brian.

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