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May 13, 2010

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This post is like a bolt of thunder from a clear blue sky... :-D

Why are you asking for something that is impossible to prove? Radiant form is a concept for most people, imagination for many, and seems to be some strange albeit highly subjective reality for others.

It is only worth trying to explain if you actually experience it and are sure you are experiencing something other than imagination.

Have you?

Joe, I sure haven't experienced the guru's radiant form, even though I diligently did my several hours of meditation a day for about thirty years.

I disagree that the phenomenon is impossible to prove. The radiant form is supposed to "talk" (not in a physical way, obviously, but psychically) with the disciple of a guru. The disciple can ask the radiant form questions, and get answers.

One would think that if the radiant form is a divine being, then some sort of other-worldly knowledge would/could be communicated. There are stories of the radiant form warning of dangers, if I recall correctly. And of telling the disciple of his or her upcoming death.

If this is true, then it should be possible to document instances where a person has known something that couldn't be known by his or her own mind. If enough instances of this sort came to light, there would begin to be some supportive evidence that the radiant form is real and not just imagined by the disciple.

I agree with you that explanations are only necessary if a phenomenon appears to actually exist, and isn't just imagination. But I also think it is reasonable to wonder how a guru would manifest a million or so copies of himself and how those copies would communicate both with the physical form of the guru and the physical form of the disciples.

Actually Brian I think you are engaging in a bit of snide side-swiping here.
This article is actually aimed at me isn't it.
First I do not see myself as a "defender".
Second I never wrote that 'Radiant Form' concept was "like" anything else.

Yes, you kept saying, there's no evidence that a guru is able to put copies of himself (his "radiant form") into the psyches of millions of disciples.
I have never argued that a guru can.
I merely kept replying that in my OPINION that's an oversimplification and thus a distortion of the concept.

You write: "In response, a defender of the faith speaks of how the sun can be reflected in many buckets of water. "

That saddens me that you resort to ad hominem and then further deceitful distortion.
The point was that I showed how you could oversimplify the example of suns reflecting in buckets of water and make make that sound ridiculous too.

THAT is what the e.g was about: you oversimplifying and thereby in my opinion distorting a concept in order to make it sound 'crazy'.

And what about my very clear nine point clarification without simile or metaphor?
You never responded to those? :-(

If you are genuinely interested in furthering your understanding of an alternative viewpoint I challenge you to honestly and fairly respond to each point without obfuscation or misrepresentation.

"God is like..." "The guru is like..." "Soul is like..." "Heaven is like..." Stop! Shut up! Lose the "like"!

exactly, now imagine replacing the word 'like' with 'not' - then you will see my frustrations.

i also dont think you are understanding what bumwipe is saying. at least lets give everyone a fair shout, this is not some raving lunatic fundemantalist, he has put forward his position clearly and without dogma in many cases.

I second what George wrote at 2:55am.

Brian, perhaps you are right when you are guessing/speculating that Bumwipe may adhere to the ideas of RSSB (or whatever it is called). He has shown a knowledge of the organization and literature that only someone interested in it one way or the other would have. However, that does not mean that you cannot look at his arguments, narratives, and points for their face values, putting aside any consideration of the motives behind them. You could have been justified to do so if his arguments and posts were rambling crap – but no … I think he made a clear effort (just to get chastised by Tao – such reactive attitude is surely a good way to foster more open discussions … what a joke) to lay down his case and arguments. It looks to me you were just never really listening.

It looks like you got stuck on your guesses about his underlying motives and never really understood his points and arguments. What I have seen from you and Tao indicate that he never received a fair treatment of what he had to say. He tried to highlight some inconsistencies of, over-simplifications and the habitual sloppiness in your positions and thinking (which are common: that is why I like to say that you are not the sharpest tool in the drawer :) ) with a simple case: you never got to answer his remarks. You directed instead the discussions into secondary issues.

The funny thing is that in the end you and I would not disagree much about the 'nature' of the ‘radiant form’ 'experiences' once we clean up your thinking and expose from some of their biases and sloppiness.

Look Brian you lived for more than 30 years with obvious blind spots ... you now believe you 'saw through' some of them. Perhaps you just replaced your former blind spots by new ones ... The same basic naivety but now just directed elsewhere …

40 years of adventures and all the wisdom you end up with is ‘you will probably be better off if you are more flexible in and with life …’ Gee! You could have got that one from a Chinese cookie 40 years ago …

mysticbumwipe and his defenders: I still can't understand what point he is trying to make. And that's the point of this post.

Instead of talking about reflections in buckets of water, and television sets -- rather than the radiant form directly -- I wish mysticbumwipe would clearly and simply state the facts, or the lack of them, regarding the radiant form hypothesis.

Like I said in this post, conversations go better when we speak as honestly and directly as possible.

I no longer believe in the reality of the radiant form. I don't see any demonstrable evidence that the guru places copies of himself in millions of disciples. I consider that people who claim to see the radiant form are having a subjective experience in their own minds.

There. Three simple sentences about the radiant form.

Now, it'd be nice if mysticbumwipe (and others) would do the same. Write three simple sentences about the radiant form. Not about me. Not about buckets of water or TV sets. About the reality, or lack thereof, of the radiant form.

I notice that sometimes commenters on this blog end up criticizing me, and my way of thinking/writing, rather than focusing on the subject in a post. This seems to happen when the subject at hand is uncomfortably threatening to the belief system of those who turn the focus to me rather than the reality of some cherished philosophical, spiritual, mystical, or religious concept.

Just an observation.

the elephant, you speak of my "blind spots" on this subject. In your own three simple sentences, hopefully you'll cast light on what they are. Again, I really don't understand what sort of "sloppy thinking" I'm guilty of in my writings about the radiant form.

To me, either it is an objective reality, as RSSB teaches, or it is a subjective creation of a disciple's mind/brain. mysticbumwipe (and maybe you) seem to want to make this question into a highly abstract philosophical debate about the nature of reality and the illusory existence of the physical universe.

I've watched The Matrix. I know that this could be a computer simulation. Or a projection of maya. Cool ideas. Which are just ideas. I'm more interested in whether the radiant form is real.

the elephant makes some very good points, as per usual, as does Brian mostly, however we all have blind spots, this is the power of exchange in a blog or otherwese.

i too do not believe in a radiant form, but mystic bumwipe has tried to put forward a position different from our own which is largely devoid of antagonism and dogma - its only correct that his viewpoint is not misrepresented.

George, I'd appreciate it if you'd summarize mysticbumwipe's viewpoint on the radiant form of the guru in a few simple sentences. I haven't been able to figure out what that viewpoint is. Even though he has written many words on the subject, they haven't coalesced into a clear perspective for me.

My best guess is along the lines of, "When disciples perceive the radiant form, this might be really real, and not just subjective imagination." To which I've been responding: "Well, visions of Jesus might be really real. Or visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy. But unless there is evidence of this, it doesn't make sense to believe in it -- or else we'd be forced to believe in every unlikely possibility."

Still, maybe I haven't understood what this alternative viewpoint of the radiant form is. So if you can share your own understanding of the Mysticbumwipeian and The Elephantian perspectives on this subject, that'd be great.

Relating this to nonduality...

I find it easier to believe in the possibility of a broad shift in how the physical world appears within our consciousness, than in metaphysical realities.

For me, it's sort of like the image that can either look like an old lady or something else that I've forgotten, depending on how the brain interprets the image. You look and look at it, seeing only one thing. Then suddenly -- pop! -- a fresh way of seeing bursts into consciousness.

I don't think objective evidence for a "fresh way of seeing" is likely when the subject of this change in consciousness is the entire world -- subjectivity itself. (I'm not saying that such a change actually is possible, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility, for sure.)

The situation appears different when we're talking about specific metaphysical objects that supposedly appear within a person's psyche while existing as a physical brain/mind. Such as the guru's radiant form. I think it's reasonable to ask for some evidence that a god-like being communicates with a disciple and guides him/her on a vast spiritual journey through higher regions of reality.

Again, many Christians say that Jesus is a living presence to them. This is no different from believers in the divinity of a guru saying that Master X is a living presence to them. We have to apply the same level of skepticism to both claims. Along with claims that any other disembodied consciousness can communicate with a physical human being.

Brian

I believe what he is trying to say is that your interpretation of specific teachings might be in certain cases too literal, and that another interpretation, is actually meant.

His point (as i understand it) is that your interpretation that the RS guru places a doppelganger radiant form of himself in each of his disciples (consciousness), is too literal and misses the point.

He tries to show this with the analogy of another radiant form which is real, i.e. the sun, whose reflections in a bucket of water may be interpreted misleadingly as being an actual sun placed in a bucket of water, whereas the sun is actually not in that bucket of water, much as the guru;s radiant form is not actually in your consciousness, only a reflection of it.

Hope thats correct and not too many sentences.

it seems to all boil down to perception.

the RS fellas appear to believe they've found the actual 'sun' in their guru, the nondualists believe their actual sun is oneness (or 'not twoness') and the scientists apparently believe the 'sun' shines out of their arses. its quite confusing.

I agree with Brian on this radiant form issue. There may or may not be a radiant form. The thing is, RSSB expects you to have complete faith in its cosmology and obey four vows for the rest of your life...10-20-50 or more years on the say-so of the master and/or the RSSB literature and his representatives.

These vows are significant:

1. 2 1/2 hrs. minimum daily meditation for the rest of your life. This is tough. Try it for a month.

2. strict adherence to a lacto-vegetarian diet that prohibits eggs or fractions thereof in food items and cheese made with rennet (a commonly used animal source coagulant). No exceptions for the rest of your life.

3. no intoxicants including alcohol, weed, LSD, etc. You are not allowed one beer, for example, for the rest of your life.

4. a moral, honest life including no sex out of wedlock for the rest of your life. No sampling the merchandise before you buy it, ever.

This is a lot to ask on the basis of someone's say so without any observable evidence that the cosmology is really real. RSSB teaches that if the vows are followed properly the truth of the teachings will be revealed. The catch is that it may take more than one lifetime. That's right, according to the teachings a follower may not have any spiritual experience for up to four lifetimes due to heavy karma.

So, you may have to wait 3 or four lifetimes doing all this discipline to find out if the radiant form of the master is really real. What if in your fourth lifetime the radiant form still doesn't show up and you find out the radiant form isn't really real?

It's kind of a big gamble on a long shot, imo.

George, I think you did a pretty good job of summarizing the Mysticbumwipian viewpoint. We're back to my central point:

The sun is objectively real. Buckets of water are objectively real. Reflections of the sun in buckets of water are objectively real.

Question is: is the metaphysical radiant form of a guru objectively real? If it isn't, then the "reflections" in the minds of his initiates are subjective products of their own psyches, which is what Faqir Chand said, to my understanding.

If you are correct in your restatement of Mysticbumwipe's viewpoint, then he believes that the guru really does have a radiant form, and the reflection of that form appears in the consciousness of initiates.

OK. I still don't see any evidence of this astounding metaphysical assertion. It doesn't matter if there is one radiant form reflected in a million disciples, or a million radiant forms present in a million disciples. We're still supposed to believe in the objective reality of a radiant form.

Which I can't do without more evidence than just "believe."

Yes. If someone tells you that a guru is from the highest region and can place his radiant form in millions of people and simultaneously administer their karma in such a way that their progress to the highest region is expedited, then it would seem to me that a reasonable person would want some evidence of that capability before devoting their life to that premise.

It would be different if gurus were racehorses. If someone tells you that guruhorse #6 is the fastest guruhorse you can watch the race and see it win. Then you at least have some reason to place a bet on that guruhorse.

RSSB neophytes have no such evidence to go on. Why do they believe? Because they want to? The cosmology sounds really cool? Family tradition? Culture? Hope? Despair? Desperation? Naivite'? Free meals at the langar? Good vibes?

Tucson,

i am in full agreement with you, that those requirements sound ridiculously onerous and like mindless dogma to me, but i guess this is the thing with fundamentalism.

what i would also want to know is what about our forebears or current ppl who could not chose a vegetarian lifestyle and where meat on the hoof was all there was - are these humans excluded souls? humans do not have herbivorous digestive tracts.

or those born in cultures where sex is not a taboo and males and female procreate freely and at will in line with their biology.

Brian,

I guess what mysticbumwipe is saying, and i dont want to second guess him too much, is that the reflections (in the bucket of water) are down to different perception. Some might mistakenly percieve the reflection as being the real thing, rather than only a reflection.

This seems to be the whole idea behind mysticism and even nonduality, which i consider to be at the root of mysticism and neoplantonic thought - which is that the world of forms is a reflection or illusory distortion or maya of an ultimately reality which is supposedly One. Is this not what plotinus was all about?

George said:

"I believe what he [mysticbumwipe] is trying to say is that your interpretation of specific teachings might be in certain cases too literal, and that another interpretation, is actually meant."

-- are you familiar with the RSSB teachings? have you read the RSSB literature? do you know what the RSSB says about the so-called radiant form? the RSSB teachings & literature are quite literal, especially when it concerns the meditation and the master. the RSSB teachings are specific and not open to variable "interpretation". so with all due respect, before you go speculating that "another interpretation" is meant in regards to the supposed radiant form, you should look at exactly what the RSSB itself says.

"His point (as i understand it) is that your interpretation that the RS guru places a doppelganger radiant form of himself in each of his disciples (consciousness), is too literal and misses the point."

-- that is not what RSSB says. RSSB teachings clearly say that the master literally places his (the master's) radiant form into the disciple.... and that the disciple then meets and converses with that radiant form of the master during meditation and during any subsequent travel through the inner planes. there is no room for interpretation here. this is clearly explained to the disciple at the time of initiation and also in the literature and satsangs.

"He tries to show this with the analogy of another radiant form which is real, i.e. the sun, whose reflections in a bucket of water may be interpreted misleadingly as being an actual sun placed in a bucket of water, whereas the sun is actually not in that bucket of water, much as the guru;s radiant form is not actually in your consciousness, only a reflection of it."

-- thw RSSB teachings do not say that the radiant form is "a reflection". the RS teaching says that it is the actual presence of the master. but like Brian rightly said, there is no evidence of any radiant form, whether it be just a "reflection" or real. there is no substantive evidence of any radiant form whatsoever.

"I guess what mysticbumwipe is saying, [...] is that the reflections (in the bucket of water) are down to different perception. Some might mistakenly percieve the reflection as being the real thing, rather than only a reflection."

-- but the thing is, those are REAL reflections of a REAL sun,both of which we know are there because we can see them... whereas the supposed "radiant form" has no evidence whatsoever of either being real or a reflection of an original that is real.

"This seems to be the whole idea behind mysticism and even nonduality, which i consider to be at the root of mysticism and neoplantonic thought - which is that the world of forms is a reflection or illusory distortion or maya of an ultimately reality which is supposedly One."

-- that may be what mysticism says ["that the world of forms is a reflection or illusory distortion or maya"], but non-duality does NOT say that at all.


In conclusion, i am in definite agreement with Brian where he says:

"I wish mysticbumwipe would clearly and simply state the facts, or the lack of them, regarding the radiant form hypothesis."

--and--

"I no longer believe in the reality of the radiant form. I don't see any demonstrable evidence that the guru places copies of himself in millions of disciples. I consider that people who claim to see the radiant form are having a subjective experience in their own minds."

--and--

"about the radiant form. To me, either it is an objective reality, as RSSB teaches, or it is a subjective creation of a disciple's mind/brain. mysticbumwipe (and maybe you) seem to want to make this question into a highly abstract philosophical debate about the nature of reality and the illusory existence of the physical universe."

Also, in case anyone wants to know how i feel about the radiant form issue, i very much agree with Blogger Brian's comments that he posted on:

May 14, 2010 at 08:02 AM
May 14, 2010 at 10:40 AM
May 14, 2010 at 12:39 PM

tAo,

have you read the course of this thread?

Brian asked me to provided a concise explanation of what bumwipe was saying, and this is what i gave, not a treatise on RS teachings.

you seem to go off point alot.

you guys seem more intent on backslapping one another, surely you realise the points that others are making here?

yet you seem to absolve yourself from addressinng them directly as if it shows some sort of weakness to your supposed gravitas or something.

i mean do you guys ever actually disagree with one another? surely you've gotta appreciate what others are hinting at from time to time. you seem to take any sort of disagreement personally or some sort of canniving troll attack. i find it bizarre, esp from intelligent ppl, its almost paranoiha.

George,

YOU were the one who said the following:

"I believe what he [mysticbumwipe] is trying to say is that your interpretation of specific teachings might be in certain cases too literal, and that another interpretation, is actually meant."

"His point (as i understand it) is that your interpretation that the RS guru places a doppelganger radiant form of himself in each of his disciples (consciousness), is too literal and misses the point."

"He tries to show this with the analogy of another radiant form which is real, i.e. the sun, whose reflections in a bucket of water may be interpreted misleadingly as being an actual sun placed in a bucket of water, whereas the sun is actually not in that bucket of water, much as the guru;s radiant form is not actually in your consciousness, only a reflection of it."

"I guess what mysticbumwipe is saying, [...] is that the reflections (in the bucket of water) are down to different perception. Some might mistakenly percieve the reflection as being the real thing, rather than only a reflection."

"This seems to be the whole idea behind mysticism and even nonduality, which i consider to be at the root of mysticism and neoplantonic thought - which is that the world of forms is a reflection or illusory distortion or maya of an ultimately reality which is supposedly One."

... and so THAT, is what i was referring to and commenting on, not your synopsis or "concise explanation" of mysticbumwipe.

furthermore, i don't see that mysticbumwipe has made any valid point in his rambling comments. so i have to think that he is confused about the issue regarding the supossed reality of the radiant form. there is no evidence of the radiant form, and he has not produced any evidence... regardless of what he thinks or believes. and THAT is the problem that he, and his defenders (like you), continue to miss or avoid.

until he actually produces some real evidence of a radiant form (not mere claims in books or speculations), then it remains a dead issue.


my thoughts:

i thought about all this for awhile today, and i am left with the feeling that this whole discussion seems to be going nowhere.

Brian sees and understands. i see and understand. but some others fail to grasp the obvious.

i really don't see what their point is. i agree with Brian about there not being any evidence for this supposed radiant form. and i don't know why some people are trying to complicate and cloud the issue with all sorts of "highly abstract philosophical debate about the nature of reality and the illusory existence of the physical universe".

people either believe (that there is a radiant form), or they don't. even if someone somewhere claims to have experienced something like that, its only within themselves (as dreams are). so whats all the big fuss about that coming from the believers or the semi-belivers?

if you want to think that the radiant form is a reality, then no one is stopping you.

on the other hand, if you don't find any reality or sense to it, then whats wrong with being skeptical?

nobody is going to settle this one way or the other, unless they can prove that the radiant form (and most the claims associated with it) is real... and that just hasn't happened yet. so it seems pretty unlikely.

i seriously doubt that any further wrangling and bickering is going to solve anything, or make anyone right.

personally, i don't see this supposed radiant form being anything other than what it actually is imo - a dreamlike apparition or projection of the mind.

the whole idea of the guru placing some living astral holographic projection of himself into the mind and soul of the disciple, is utter fantasy hogwash imo. but it no doubt attacks gullible seekers to become initiated disciples and support the guru-cult.

anyway, before i fade away from here, i would like to set a few things straight for anyone who cares to know where i stand:

i am not a believer.
i am not a mystic.
i am not a non-dualist.
i am not a disciple.
i am not religious.

i am just an ordinary human being,
who is sometimes a philosopher,
very possibly a shaman,
and perhaps a tad strange and paradoxical to most folks.

that being said, i will leave you all with the following, which is the epilogue from:

The Knee of Listening - The Life and Understanding of Franklin Jones

[i suggest that you copy it, save it, contemplate it, meditate on it occasionally, and hopefully you may gain some bit of real understanding.]

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

The Man of Understanding

(by Frankin Jones)

"The man of understanding is not entranced. He is not elsewhere. He is not having an experience. He is not passionless and inoffensive. He is awake. He is present. He knows no obstruction in the form of mind, identity, differentiation and desire. He uses mind, identity, differentiation and desire. He is passionate. His quality is an offense to those who are entranced, elsewhere, contained in the mechanics of experience, asleep, living as various forms of identity, separation and dependence. He is acceptable only to those who understand.

"He may appear no different from any other man. How could he appear otherwise? There is nothing by which to appear except the qualities of life. He may appear to have learned nothing. He may seem to be addicted to every kind of foolishness and error. How could it be otherwise? Understanding is not a different communication than the ordinary. There is only the ordinary. There is no special and exclusive communication that is the truth. There is no exclusive state of truth. But there is the understanding of the ordinary.

"Therefore, the man of understanding cannot be found. He cannot be followed. He can only be understood as the ordinary. He is not spiritual. He is not religious. He is not philosophical. He is not moral. He is not fastidious, lean and lawful. He always appears to be the opposite of what you are.

"He always seems to sympathize with what you deny. Therefore, at times and over time he appears as every kind of persuasion. He is not consistent. He has no image. At times he denies. At times he asserts. At times he asserts what he has already denied. At times he denies what he has already asserted. He is not useful. His teaching is every kind of nonsense. His wisdom is vanished. Altogether, that is his wisdom.

"At last he represents no truth at all. Therefore, his living coaxes everyone only to understand. His existence denies every truth, every path by which men depend on certain truths, certain experiences, certain simulations of freedom and enjoyment. He is a seducer, a madman, a hoax, a libertine, a fool, a moralist, a sayer of truths, a bearer of all experience, a righteous knave, a prince, a child, an old one, an ascetic, a god. He demonstrates the futility of all things. Therefore, he makes understanding the only possibility. And understanding makes no difference at all. Except it is reality, which was already the case.

"Heartless one, Narcissus, friend, loved one, he weeps for you to understand. After all of this, why haven't you understood? The only thing you have not done is understanding.

"You have seen everything, but you do not understand. Therefore, the man of understanding leaps for joy that you have already understood. He looks at the world and sees that every one and every thing has always understood. He sees that there is only understanding. Thus, the man of understanding is constantly happy with you. He is overwhelmed with happiness. He says to you: See how there is only this world of perfect enjoyment, where every one is happy, and every thing is blissful. His heart is always tearful with the endless happiness of the world.

"He has grasped it, but no one is interested. He is of interest to no one. He is fascinating. He is unnoticed. Since no one understands, how could they notice him? Because there is only understanding, he is beloved, and no one comes to see him. Because there is only truth, he is likely to become famous. Since there is only joy, he will not be remembered. Because you have already understood, you find it necessary to touch his hand. Since you love so much and are not understood, you find it possible to touch his ears. He smiles at you. You notice it. Everything has already died. This is the other world."

--end--


Radiant Form:

If you see it, if you have personal evidence of it you can conduct your own personal tests on the reliability of that form - you can see if you can change it or warp it, which would be evidence it is your imagination - or the degree to which it is unchanging and astonishing, which might be evidence that it is something else.


If it makes you feel better to gaze upon it and listen to the uplifting sounds of Shabd, then who else can possibly enjoy that but you?

If you feel an overwhelming tidal wave of peace and love that culminates in a vision of brilliant light, the center of which is your Master, well, it's a gift.

Try to explain love in biochemical terms. You might do so accurately, but it would be an entirely useless explanation to someone trying to understand the experience of love.

If you have known and loved someone with Alzheimers then you understand at least two tragedies. First, that everyone they knew was just a construction in their mind, one easily swept away. Second, that everyone we know is just a construction in our mind, and quite vulnurable to our limited understanding. It isn't just God whom we construct but each other.

The idea of spirituality is to witness reality directly instead of through flawed biology.

These are not transferable experiences. And if you have them, and you want to continue having them, then you respond in kind to the love and peace they bring with thanks. That is all hardwired into our biology as well. So, we can just be what we are: grateful, devoted - these are very wonderful attributes with their biochemical corolates.

If you don't see it, then it's just a matter of whether you choose to believe in it as a scientist in order to set up the experiment (uh oh, a metaphor!) and do the requisite work or not.

How can the radiant form be placed into everyone? That is a scientific and technical question. How can an infinite number of television sets tuned to the same channel see the same image? The number of TVs is not the issue at all. It is a matter of which TVs are tuned to that channel.

If ten people look at the Master, they have His form in their imagination immediately. They can recall that form from their intellect.

Billions of people have images of Obama, Clinton, Bush Jr in their heads - it's recall.

As for the Shabd form, well, "it is like..."

The force of life that animates everything in this universe operates at something like a wave / like a particle (uh oh, similes) but every other wave / particle, and their fields that constitute what we call matter are derivative from it, and if you are tuned to it you have access to whatever is showing on that primal "channel".

But couldn't it all be just imagination? Only the person experiencing it can run the tests to distinguish that reality as more constant than any other perception or imagination.

But unless you can conduct the experiment and have that "form" available to "test", it is all just hairsplitting projections, guesses. Intellect is fine, if you use it to pursue something with conviction. But if you are just tearing down the same wall over and over again, why? If you believe there really isn't anything there, then go with it. Why do you need to keep tearing the same wall down? Maybe something keeps drawing your attention to it......?

i dont actually understand what you are arguing about.

do you guys ever disagree?

tAo,

Thanks for the allegory, but as defenders of the truth in Brians' words 'Just the facts. Drop the similes'

Spence, I don't give much (if any) time and attention to Sant Mat other than the occasional instances when I write about it on this blog. My thirty five years or so of experience with RSSB give me a lot of examples to use in writing about churchlessness. If I was a long time Christian who got deconverted, I'd be writing about Catholicism, or whatever.

You just used your "intellect" (mind/brain) to write your comment. Was that a bad thing? Should you have been meditating on formless spiritual energy instead? Whatever your answer is to these questions, it should be the same answer to the question of whether it is useful to discuss spiritual/mystical subjects, as you are doing.

George, I certainly don't agree with everything tucson and tAo say. I guess I'm more inclined to comment on our points of agreement. I'm open to the possibility that there are ways to alter our consciousness, or experiencing of the world, that lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.

There are "western" and "eastern" approaches to this. Philosophically, I'm more attracted to Taoist and Buddhist outlooks, especially now that I've gotten into Tai Chi. So when I read a comment that reflects these perspectives, I'm inclined to resonate with it.

george,

first, i'm neither a "defender of the truth", nor a religious believer. and i didn't offer any similies.

apparently, what i posted about myself, went right past you. all i said was: "i am not a believer. i am not a mystic. i am not a non-dualist. i am not a disciple. i am not religious. i am just an ordinary human being..." and that is all a fact... so where is the allegory or similie?

also, the essay "The Man of Understanding" that i included is neither an allegory, nor a simile.

an allegory is a figurative mode of representation conveying meaning other than the literal. allegory teaches a lesson through symbolism. allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation.

a simile is a figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often introduced with the words "like", "as", or "than".


here are some some talks in video format for other commenters and readers to perhaps consider and contemplate upon:


What Is Always Already The Case:

http://www.youtube.com/user/delphiyes#p/u/2/M3JURIY_KMQ


The Heart-Breaking Truth:

http://www.youtube.com/user/delphiyes#p/u/4/ptpHIGKr2cQ


1. The "Bright" Beyond the "God" Idea:

http://www.youtube.com/user/AdidamVideos#p/u/4/UNNJv_U45-g


2. Is 'God' the 'Creator' of Conditions?:

http://www.youtube.com/user/AdidamVideos#p/u/3/VjOsz4BDkCE


3. You Can't Get There From Here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/AdidamVideos#p/u/2/ig4SnQ8htno


4. The Essence of the Way:

http://www.youtube.com/user/AdidamVideos#p/u/0/vTq0bFnr2Vo


Thanks to The Elephant and George, first of all.
I appreciate your intellectual support. :-)

Brian forgive me but as you have left the actual conversation with me and as yet not responded to my challenge, therefore I respond to The Elephant and George and their questions/thoughts. This will involve talking about you in the 3rd person.

Here is what I think has been going on...

And I see a great irony here.
My point to Brian was just that I think he misrepresented the RF concept and then criticised his own misrepresentation of it so he did not not accurately criticise the concept itself.
Da-dah.
There it is in one sentence.

Here is the irony that I see:
In reply to this suggestion of mine to him, I think he has merely misrepresented my point and then criticised his own misrepresentation of it.

Erm... Anyone else see a pattern emerging... ;-)

If he did once it could be understood as a misunderstanding. But he has done it over and over again despite all my attempts at clarification
...and is still doing so. :-o

My point to him initially was about his modus operandi in discussing the RF and was NOT about the RF.

My analogies and examples were all to show how I think he was approaching the issue in an intellectually sloppy way and were NOT about the issue he was approaching so sloppily.

A better way of getting across what my point was, might be to explain why (after I have repeatedly written that I do not see myself as a defender of the RF concept) I am think I am even discussing the issue.

Here is my answer...

It is because I have a weakness.
Which is I that have an intolerance to what I see as people talking with certainty about things that are NOT certain;
of people stating as fact that which is really only their own opinion;
of people talking as if knowledgeably about things of which they demonstrate they in reality have but limited knowledge;
Satsangi, ex-satsangi;
defender, attacker;
true-believer, non-believer;
whatever... whoever.
Let's deal with what we KNOW and be humble and honest enough to admit what we do NOT know.

Basically I come from a position which can be summarised as:
"I don't know, but you don't either."

Many years ago I stayed in a Christian Eastern Orthodox Ashram/monastery in the mountains of Kerala, (Vagamon, Kottayam).
I read something in their library that struck me as a great truth at the time and the longer I live the more I think it has proven to be an accurate observation of human nature and our alleged quest for meaning and 'truth'.
It was a quote from the original Desert Father Saint Anthony and it was something like this:
"Men hold to their opinions not because they are true
but because they are theirs"

The nine point (no similes JUST FACTS) challenge: respond without obfuscation or misrepresentation.
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 an objectively 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?"
"...IMAGINARY copies of an IMAGINARY RADIANT FORM."
"This IS A CONCEPT, AN IDEA, AN IMAGINATION, that isn't connected to demonstrable reality."-- Brian Hines

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 TEE VEE parody.

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. (see above Pt.3)
My replies followed because I think that is not a statement of 'fact' but of 'opinion'.

6.If we say that the RF is "an illusion" this 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 and may indeed be only that.

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)
http://snipurl.com/w6511

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 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 :-)

Come on, halothumper.
Don't mince words or attempt to spare his feelings. Tell us what you really think... :-!
Not.

Er...I am not a great fan of ad hominem.
And it can very easily be argued that Brian has achieved a great deal to his credit. E.g. not many people can get published nor have many created such a well-visited blog.

What do you think of the argument on each side?
I'd be interested to hear

Wow, Mystic Bumwipe: I must have really hit a nerve in you when I questioned the reality of the radiant form. Seemingly you also have doubt in this regard, or you wouldn't be so obsessed with parsing my post and comments on this subject.

Here's what you keep missing in your eagerness to make some obscure criticism of my writing style (which I still haven't been able to understand):

I never said it's 100% certain that the radiant form is pure imagination. I said there's no convincing evidence that it is objectively real, so likely it is imagination. A possibility isn't a probability, those were my words.

You ascribe a closed-mindedness to me that isn't justified. I suggest that you keep re-reading my original post until you grasp what I said, not what you assume I said.

Or, you can keep on believing in what you believe I said, just as you can keep on believing in your belief that there's a good chance the radiant form is real. I realize that beliefs are difficult to change. We get attached to them. That's why evidence is the best antidote to false beliefs about objective reality, a point you find difficult to understand.

Recently, I was sitting in the grandstand at my son's track meet with a few thousand people around many of whom were shrieking like banshees as if their favored athlete could distinquish their shriek from the myriad of other shrieks, and as if it would make any difference even if the athlete could. Having been an athlete at one time I know that when you are in the zone of intensity in a race you don't hear the crowd anyway. It is just backgound noise like the clatter of dishes and conversation in a crowded restaurant. You are focused on the effort at hand.

Anyway, in the midst of this environment (I was not exactly cloistered in a dark closet) when it was time for my son's race I started to focus on him in my mind trying to send "good energy", so to speak. As I visualized this energy it suddenly expanded into a vast field of light with him at the center. His form was no longer "corporeal" but rather it was radiant, a concentrated source from which the vast field emanated. Further descriptive embellishment is difficult and unnecessary. Was this my son's radiant form? Was a copy of this form available to all the people in the crowd, or, was a copy of their athletes' radiant form available to everyone in the crowd and possibly all humanity beyond? I think if some people focus on their poodle the right way its radiant form may appear.

As far as I know my son is not a param sant sat guru, nor am I a spiritual adept (as if I needed to tell you that). I do know that our imaginations, our minds, are capable of producing visions some of them spectacular and revealing. It all comes from within ourselves, as ourSelf in the larger sense.

So, Brian. I see you still till haven't been able to bring yourself to accept the challenge? Hmmm? Revealing.

And I just explained why I "parse" your post.

And I have demonstrated to you three times now your quote where I understood you DID claim as fact that the RF "...IS a concept, an idea, an imagination, that ISN'T connected to demonstrable reality."
Yet now you write: "...you can keep on believing in what you believe I said..."
Huh?! :-o
Do you deny those are your words then?
I didn't take you to be dishonest person Brain.
But how else to understand your curious denial-upon-denial behaviour here?
I confess I am surprised at you.

I know you later changed your expression to "hypothesis" when challenged by me. But that came later.

And you still haven't accepted that I never made any "similes" about the RF, but only made parodies showing methods of ridiculing objective reality due to faulty understanding. ('Teevees' and 'suns in buckets')

What strange behaviour you display here and over such a trifling thing.
Is it so hard for you to admit a misunderstanding or an error? :-=

"...there's a good chance the radiant form is real..."
Who has said that in this conversation? :-o
Yet MORE strawmen arguments?

Tsk, tsk. Brian. Very bad behaviour.
I think I will have to send a note to your guardian.

Mystic Bumwipe, as I suspected, you didn't go back and read my original post. I haven't changed my opinion. You've tried to change the subject. For your edification, here's a link. And an excerpt.
http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2010/03/the-craziest-thing-ive-ever-believed.html
------------
"I give this my uber-crazy award because some other RSSB teachings, which fall under the general rubric of Sant Mat, continue to strike me as being relatively plausible -- though not probable.

It's possible there are realms of reality beyond the physical universe. It's possible that human consciousness can extend beyond the brain's confines. It's possible that ultimate reality is a nameless, formless, mysterious all-pervading energy.

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."
----------------
I keep on saying what I said: when somebody shows me some convincing evidence of the radiant form, or any other metaphysical phenomenon, I'll alter my view of how possible it is.

Until then, I'll stick with my conclusion of "deeply weird and exceedingly unlikely."

i would like to say a few words on Brian's behalf. but first, i am going to assemble (list) several of Chris Crookes (aka mysticbumwipe) statements as background info:

Chris Crookes (aka mysticbumwipe) wrote:

* "My point to Brian was just that I think he misrepresented the RF concept and then criticised his own misrepresentation of it so he did not not accurately criticise the concept itself."

* "I think he has merely misrepresented my point and then criticised his own misrepresentation of it."

* "My point to him initially was about his modus operandi in discussing the RF and was NOT about the RF."

* "My analogies and examples were all to show how I think he was approaching the issue in an intellectually sloppy way"

* "I have a weakness. Which is I that have an intolerance to what I see as people talking with certainty about things that are NOT certain; of people stating as fact that which is really only their own opinion; of people talking as if knowledgeably about things of which they demonstrate they in reality have but limited knowledge"

* "Basically I come from a position which can be summarised as: "I don't know, but you don't either.""

* "I read something in their library that struck me as a great truth [...] it was something like this: "Men hold to their opinions not because they are true but because they are theirs"

* "So, Brian. I see you still till haven't been able to bring yourself to accept the challenge? Hmmm? Revealing."

* "I have demonstrated to you three times now your quote where I understood you DID claim as fact that the RF "...IS a concept, an idea, an imagination, that ISN'T connected to demonstrable reality."

* "Do you deny those are your words then?"

* "how else to understand your curious denial-upon-denial behaviour here? I confess I am surprised at you."

* "What strange behaviour you display here and over such a trifling thing.
Is it so hard for you to admit a misunderstanding or an error?"

* "...there's a good chance the radiant form is real..." Who has said that in this conversation?"

-- Brian said that about YOU. but YOU failed to include the entire context of his entire statement. this is what Brian said, quote: "you can keep on believing in what you believe I said, just as you can keep on believing in your belief that there's a good chance the radiant form is real." ...and i agree. it does seem that you do believe that the radiant form is real. do you or don't you? because if you don't, then what are you fussing and arguing about these past few days?

As far as the rest of your statements above goes... why don't you simply SAY what you do believe? why do you keep playing these games?

Brian has been very straightforward from the get-go. YOU have not. you still have not said what it is that you do believe (or do not believe). you keep trying to create a false arguement with and about Brian. Brian clearly stated that he finds the whole supposed "radiant form" thing to be imaginary. it is YOU who is the one who is creating a bogus strawman, and then beating around the bush about it. YOU are the one who keeps dancing around the issue of the radiant form, with all of your convoluted nonsense.

look... if you don't think that the radiant form is real, that it is imaginary, then what the hell are you arguing about? you are trying to make Brian out to be something that he is not. he said where he was at. YOU, on the other hand, have not.

frankly Chris, you are really full of shit. its so damn obvious. YOU are the one with the questionable "modus operandi". YOU are the one who is misrepresenting. YOU are the one who is "intellectually sloppy". YOU are the one who is being rather devious and dishonest. YOU are the one who displaying the "strange behavior" and then trying to pin your antics on Brian. so i think you are an asshole. seriously. you are here to fuck with Brian... trying to pin a bunch of bullshit on him. your comments are confused rubbish.

as for your ridiculous "9 point arguement", i will dissect and critique all that crap later on. i am not going to waste the time now to deal with such garbage. but you can be assured that i will be tearing it to shreds later on. unless you drop all this crap in the meantime.

until then, why don't you just come clean and tell us what do YOU think and believe about the radiant form? that would resolve alot and make this debate a lot clearer and simpler.

and why did you not do that from the very get-go (like Brian did)?? you have been posting all this confused bullshit... but about what? about Brian? Brian made it quite clear and exact where he was at with this issue - with the (supposed) "radiant form" idea. but YOU... you have not done that at all.

so YOU are the one who is the problem here, not Brian.

furthermore, Brian never said with any "certainty" that he "knew" anything for sure. all he said was that he felt that since there was no demonstrable evidence, that the radiant form was probably imaginary. thats all. so stop making all these false accusations and false claims about Brian.

bottom line: just tell us what do YOU think about the (supposed) radiant form. period.


That Brian produces a good blog is not in question, otherwise we would not be interested in reading and discussing his thoughts.

However, when ppl put forward a viewpoint, albeit different from our own, and do so civilly and without resorting to profanity, then the very least one can do is repond as logically possible or not at all - but to misrepresent it and then belittle the misrepresented point by a point-by-point deconstruction taken out of its orginal context or meaning does no-one any good, and fuels much of the frustration from those who feel the high priests of the churchless sometimes appear to have a tendency of closing ranks and narrow-mindedness.

just my 2 cents, take it or leave it.

George, I'm curious: what has been misrepresented? The way I see it, my simple and clear position has been, which I'm able to consistently state in three simple sentences:

(1) I consider that the guru's ability to place a non-physical copy of himself in millions of disciples is possible, but highly improbable.

(2) Thus it appears that when people claim to have seen the radiant form, this likely is their subjective imagination at work.

(3) If demonstrable evidence comes to light that the radiant form is objectively real, I'll change my opinion.

I don't know how I can be any clearer. But for some reason Mystic Bumwipe keeps saying that I'm saying something different. Since I respect truthfulness, I have to keep reminding him that he's wrong.

If I thought tAo's summary of this debate also was wrong, I'd say so. But I don't, so I won't.

What is curious is how difficult it is for some commenters on this blog to say what they mean, concisely and directly. As tAo noted, if people interested in this issue would simply state how they see the reality of the radiant form, it'd be easier to have a cogent discussion.

Like you I get tired of discussing a discussion, instead of discussing a substantive subject. But if people keep talking about how I talk, rather than what I'm saying, this is what will happen.

Mystic Bumwipe/Chris, I just had a great idea: You should write up your take on the guru's radiant form, how you view this phenomenon. No references to me or how you think I see this issue. Make it 100% your viewpoint.

Then email it to me and I'll publish it in a blog post. That way we'll know exactly what your position is regarding the reality, or lack thereof, of the guru's radiant form. And people can comment, if they like, on your perspective.

Tucson, did your son win? Do you think your concentration on him to that effect helped him in any way?

George has got it. Thank you.

Hey Brian
Well... He he.
That doesn't really strike me as a "great idea" and guess why.
I haven't been discussing the RF so much as what I regard as your misrepresentation of it and then subsequent critique of your own misrepresentation. (Jeez. How many times?)

I have also written an exhaustive reply detailing where we differ and where I see you've gone wrong.
(9 point challenge. Remember that?)
Saying you don't understand me and trying to change the subject won't work.

We've had a conversation.
You wrote some stuff.
I've quoted your own words back at you numerous times and to deny you wrote them or duck the issue by pointing me back to your original article strikes me as dishonest.

You DID state opinion as fact.
You HAVE repeatedly misrepresented my point to you.

You got stuck high and dry, caught in a lie,
the only way down is to eat humble pie.

Catherine,

I think the visualization process helps me more than him. It gives me something to do when I'm nervous before certain races. I'd prefer to pace around, but the people in the grandstand get mad when I step on their feet and kick over their drinks. No, he did not win this particular race. In fact, he had a sub par performance. However, he did win another race the previous day when I didn't do the visualization thing.

Mysticbumwipe, thanks for confirming my blogger intuition, which after many years of direct experience with comment conversations (making me a Blogger Guru!) allows me to know when someone is interested in discussing a substantive subject, versus criticizing the messenger rather than the message.

I figured that you didn't really disagree with what I said, but how I said it. When I asked you to describe how you, not me, look upon the hypothesis of the radiant form, and you refused, this became obvious. I have to assume that you agree with me, but don't like the form of the words I used to say that...

The radiant form likely is a subjective imagination of devoted disciples' minds.

Us simple country folk aren't all that sophisticated when it comes to parsing language like you Wittgenstein types do. We look on reality a lot more directly.

My wife will say, "Paw, git the shotgun (OK, air rifle). Dere's a dadgum ground squirl diggin' in the yard agin!" I look out the window and see what's she talking about. There's a California ground squirrel, a major nuisance.

We're both focused on reality, not on our thoughts or expressions about that reality. By contrast, your focus wasn't on the reality of the guru's radiant form, which was my subject in the blog post. It was on confusing the issue, so reality took a back seat.

Didn't work. Us Blogger Gurus are purty dam hard to fool, even when we don't speek as gud as some peeple want us to.

I notice that mysticasswipe (american dialect diversity) still has not, after all this discussion, addressed the fundamental issue presented to him by Blogger Brian:

What exactly is your positon regarding the reality, or lack thereof, of the guru's radiant form?

C'mon mysticbumwipe. What is it?

The only flaw I see in Blogger Brian's logic is that he needs a shotgun, not an air rifle.

Well maybe old Ashy had it right afterall, you got a shotgun, and he brings his tank but is banned from using it under the geneva convention.

got nothing to do with american hicks, simply to do with taking a person points in the manner they are presented, in this case reasonably politely, if you disagree or mistunderstand say so, but as soon as you misreprepresent and denigrate them - well thats a declaration of war.

tucson, for some reason my wife isn't wild about using a shotgun when a ground squirrel is sitting on our wood deck, or next to our garage. I think some shotgun holes in the wood would add a certain redneck ambience to our home, but I've been overruled on this so far.

George, a belated response to your mention of Plotinus in regard to reflections. Yes, one of the chapters in my book about the teachings of Plotinus is called "Image Is Illusion" (I'm an admirer of alliteration.)

Here's a quote from the Enneads:

"It is as if the visible Socrates being a man, his painted picture, being colors and painter's stuff was called Socrates; in the same way, therefore, since there is a rational form according to which Socrates is, the perceptible Socrates should not rightly be said to be Socrates, but colors and shapes which are representations of those in the form."

I used to find this Platonic philosophy a lot more appealing than I do now. It may be true, but it has to be accepted on faith, like religious dogma. Where is the evidence for immaterial forms that are the original, so to speak, while physical objects are the copy?

tAo, I took a look at the first video. Got to the seventh minute where Adi Da is talking about complete detachment from body and mind. It was hard for me to continue watching, given what is known about Adi Da's personal story:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adi_Da

I've got no problem with his wild behavior. It just seems at odds with his philosophy. Of course, we all change our philosophies of life as time passes. If this happened with Adi Da, it shows that his understanding of truth wasn't constant, but evolved.

Brian, the videos were intended for what is being communicated in them, not about the person.

trhanks for watching part of one, but i listed a series of several videos for a definite reason. if you watch/listen to only part of one, then you will miss quite alot and won't understand the overall message.

so when you do have the time, perhaps you could view/listen to each of them, not just merely part of the first one. (they aren't that long)... and then get back to me, if you like. (i was only trying to share the content and the message that is communicated in those talks)

otherwise, you won't really see why i had posted links to those particular videos, and what it was that i was sharing and showing in them.

also, apparently no one else has bothered to watch any of them either, because no one has ventured any comments or responses about the content and message of the videos. thats rather unfortunate imo (and a bit of wasted effort on my part as well).

tAo, I'll look at the rest. And try to focus on the message, not the messenger. Some others might have looked at them and just not commented about them. Often I'll write a lengthy post that won't get a single comment, but I'm pretty sure that it has been read by quite a few people.

PS: also, i am pretty sure that no one here would ever encounter and hear the basic message that is being communicated in those talks, if i had not posted links to those particular videos. so thats why i did. but one has to watch & really listen to them. otherwise, one won't have any exposure to what is being communicated therein. the world of spiritual paths and teachings is a big place, and they're not all the same. so in that respect, the message being communicated in those (sample) videos is unique and significant.


He he. Dear oh dear.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive".

Erm... Brian we've already been here.

http://snipurl.com/wg2vg

"Television is objectively real.
So is the reflection of the sun in buckets of water.
The "radiant form" is not proven to objectively real.
There is no demonstrable evidence for RF being anything other than a subjective phenomenon.
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. ;-)"

Remember that one?
I wrote those words to you a while back.

You are in denial old bean.

Eat some humble pie and get over it.

I've been very clear on my understanding of the RF. (E.g. as quoted above)
I've ALSO been attempting to show you something of what I see as the limitations of your approach to an accurate understanding of the RF concept.
You have been able to accept my observations. Fine. No problem with that.
But you claimed its because you didn't understand them?

So I find it hard to accept your new self-justification and defence strategy
that you are dealing with "reality" and I am just obsessing with how you express yourself! :-o

Holy moly.

mysticbumwipe,

-- you claim that your "understanding" is this: #1. "The "radiant form" is not proven to objectively real. There is no demonstrable evidence for RF being anything other than a subjective phenomenon."

-- well then, what are you arguing and debating about? you say that the answer to that is: #2. "I've also been attempting to show you something of what I see as the limitations of your approach to an accurate understanding of the RF concept."

-- you just said exactly what your "understanding" is above (see #1.) ... and its virtually identical to Brian's "understanding" and views.

but yet now you say and imply that Brian's "understanding" (which you have agreed is the same as your understanding, and vice versa)... somehow has "limitations" and is less "accurate" than yours.

so which is it mysticbumwipe?? you can't have it both ways.

if your "understanding" or view regarding the "RF concept" is identical to Brian's, but you now say that Brian's "understanding" has "limitations" and is not necessarily "accurate", then YOUR understanding (that you stated and is quoted above in #1.) is ALSO limited and inaccurate as well... as it is the virtually same as Brian's "understanding" of the "RF concept".

so therefore, if both your's (mystibumwipe's) and Brian's "understanding" is the same and identical, then how is it that you say to Brian that you have been attempting to show him "something" of what you think are "the limitations" of his "approach to an accurate understanding of the RF concept".

you don't make any sense mysticbumwipe. you contradict yourself. that's an indication that you are either confused, or you are playing games. you say one thing about your own view and you indicate that it is the same as Brian's view, and then you contradict that by saying that Brian's view is less accurate and limited in your opinion. if the latter is true, then YOUR view is also limited less inaccurate.

you indicate that your "understanding" of the "RF concept" is exactly the same as Brian's... but then you turn around and say that you see his "understanding of the "RF concept" as having "limitations" and that it is likely to be not quite "accurate".

my conclusion: you are a joke mysticbumwipe. and your entire argument is a joke. its confused, contradictory, and intellectually dishonest.you have wasted an entire week of debate over nothing, over a bunch of bullshit. you have made yourself look like a fool, imo.

and so my original premise about you still stands: you are here to fuck with Brian, not to have any sensible or reasonable discussion. Brian's position has been clear and unwavering all along. Brian's position has not changed at all. your position has been confused, contradictory, vague and vacillating.

thus the feeling has persisted: what the hell are you arguing about? what IS your point? you still have not said what is your point in all of this. you beat around the bush. you don't strike me as a sincere and straightforward person at all.

thats why you keep posting these stupid little jabs of attempted ridicule in your comments. but you won't just come out and say what it is that you find limited or inaccurate about Brian's "understanding" of the "RF concept" (which btw, is the same exact thing as your understanding - according to you).

so YOU are the one who needs to "eat some humble pie and get over it". otherwise, you are behaving like a jackass with a load of bullshit. all you have done here is to make a fool of yourself, and waste everybody's time.

i'm done with you and your stupid trollish game, and i bet Brian is even more fed up.


Dear Tao
You wrote: "...come out and say what it is that you find limited or inaccurate about Brian's 'understanding' of the 'RF concept...."

But I posted a five part answer explaining what I saw as the deficiency in his understanding.

And also my 'nine points' reply was also answering this same question.

I have actually requested and challenged Brian to answer those 9 points without misrepresenting my points.
He has as yet been unable to do that.

You wrote:
"you indicate that your "understanding" of the "RF concept" is exactly the same as Brian's."

No. You misunderstand me. I have clearly written where I AGREE with him for the sake of clarity, to further the discussion and in order to deflect from his repeated misrepresentations of my viewpoint.
If either you or he could concentrate on that which I have clearly stated I disagree with in these (above mentioned) posts THEN perhaps meaningful dialogue can ensue.

THAT actually would be helpful to an exchange of views.
So, if you are genuinely interested in an alternative understanding, I request you respectfully deal with those points of contention.
I am still up for a discussion,
but answering attempts to abuse me personally I do not find so interesting.
Best wishes
Chris (MBW)

Ooh! I love to answer quizzes. Especially when I know the answers to the questions. Because I've answered them. Repeatedly. But just to make sure that I get a gold star from mysticmbumwipe I'll respond to his Nine Points again. (My answers follow each point, after the "---")

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

--- Disagree. I understand what the radiant form is purported to me. Just read a bunch of quotes from the guru Charan Singh about this. No over-simplifying or rubbishing on my part.

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.

--- Just your opinion. I understood your comparisons just fine.

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?"
"...IMAGINARY copies of an IMAGINARY RADIANT FORM."
"This IS A CONCEPT, AN IDEA, AN IMAGINATION, that isn't connected to demonstrable reality."-- Brian Hines

--- Of course. That was the point of my post. The radiant form almost certainly is imagined by devoted disciples. There isn't any demonstrable evidence to the contrary, so it's believers in the radiant form who are being dogmatic.

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 TEE VEE parody.

--- Something has to exist in order to be able to explain how it works. What I said was, I have no idea how the magic of the radiant form is supposed to work. Hypothetically, in the same way as I have no idea how the unicorn grows its horn.

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. (see above Pt.3)
My replies followed because I think that is not a statement of 'fact' but of 'opinion'.

--- If there is no evidence for the existence of something, it almost certainly is imagination. I never said that the radiant form definitely doesn't exist. I said that almost certainly it doesn't exist, because "possible" is different from "probable."

6.If we say that the RF is "an illusion" this 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

--- If everything is an illusion, so are your objections to my blog post writings. Thus I reject them as illusory. I win!

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 and may indeed be only that.

--- Yes, I reject the notion that anyone has been enlightened by a vision of the radiant form until (1) I see evidence that "enlightenment" exists, (2) I see evidence that the "radiant form" exists, and (3) I see evidence that enlightenment is linked to the radiant form.

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)
http://snipurl.com/w6511

--- Paul says in the Bible that he saw the "radiant form" of Jesus. That's in a book also. Am I supposed to believe every claim in a book? If so, why don't you believe everything written in a blog?

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 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..."

--- Hey, I'm always exploring for truth in my meditation. It'd be cool to be visited by a divine being, especially if she is hot and sexy. But sadly, so far I don't find any demonstrable evidence that inner visions of any divine being are objectively real rather than subjective imagination. And it doesn't make sense to use Radha Soami teachings to prove the reality of Radha Soami teachings.

I've said this all before. Now I've said it again. Gold star please!

MBW,

i had said: "say what it is that you find limited or inaccurate about Brian's 'understanding' of the 'RF concept."

your reply: "But I posted a five part answer explaining what I saw as the deficiency in his understanding."

-- sorry, but your explanation still has not refuted anything that Brian said, or offered any evidence to the contrary. and you did agree that there is no solid evidence of a radiant form. you gave no evidence of the reality of a radiant form, other than a reference to a claim in a book. but that isn't real evidence either.

"And also my 'nine points' reply was also answering this same question."

-- your "nine points" didn't answer anything. it didn't say what YOU believe, and it didn't provide any evidence against Brian's postion that until there is some real evidence, then the supposed radiant form must be seen as nothing more than imagination.

"I have actually requested and challenged Brian to answer those 9 points without misrepresenting my points."

-- Brian has simply and straigtforwardly stated his views (about the supposed radiant form), but you have presented nothing substantial to challenge those views. and your 9 points have not proven that Brian is wrong.

i had said: "you indicate that your "understanding" of the "RF concept" is exactly the same as Brian's."

your reply: "No. You misunderstand me. I have clearly written where I AGREE with him for the sake of clarity, to further the discussion and in order to deflect from his repeated misrepresentations of my viewpoint."

-- huh?? sorry, i don't buy that. you either agree or you don't agree. you clearly said that you agreed. no you say that you don't?? this is the problem with you. you still won't say where YOU are at. you are still avoiding. and you haven't shown anything (eveidence) that denies Brian's tentative conclusions about the supposed radiant form. you are still argueing, but about what?? Brian has been ver so clear about his view. You have not. therein lie the rub. you keep dancing around the issue. either the radiant form is real, or it is imagination. its ok if you believe that it is real. but until some solid evidence is presented, then thats just your belief. that is the issue. everything else is irrelevant until that is resolved. and so far, neither you nor anyone else has provided any proof for the supposed reality of the radiant form. so for now, its just an idea and an imaginary phenomena.

"THAT actually would be helpful to an exchange of views."

-- then simply state YOUR views. not your arguements or objections... just YOUR OWN views about the radiant form. so far, you have not done that. only Brian has.

"if you are genuinely interested in an alternative understanding, I request you respectfully deal with those points of contention."

-- then WHAT exactly then is this "alternative understanding" that you propose?? just put it in a few simple words or sentences. state your "alternative understanding" of the radiant form, nothing more.

"answering attempts to abuse me personally I do not find so interesting."

-- no one is abusing you. you are simply not laying out YOUR position regarding the reality or illusion of the radiant form. quit arguing abouty Brian. Brian has stated his views quite clearly and succinctly. YOU have not. so just state your own personal views about the radiant form.


I think the radiant form is real in the sense that such phenomena have been experienced and reported by numerous people regarding saints, gurus and "holy" people. Of course in most cases no one else saw what was seen and can verify it. We hear of near death experiences where a figure is seen in a bright light, experiences of radiant astral entities, guardian angels, spirit guides, sons at track meets and more.

Once I was at the beach and a friend and I had a UFO type experience where we both saw a star in the sky expand into enveloping kaliedoscopic benign radiance, then contract and shoot away at incredible speed. When we returned and excitedly told our friends they just laughed at us and thought we were just putting them on or were on some good dope, but we knew what we saw. It was for us. I don't know why or what it was.

I also was at the beach another time and another friend had a vision in the sky of the Virgin Mary. He said, "Do you see her, do you see her! She's beautiful! I saw nothing and felt left out, but also sceptical of my friend.

As Blogger Brian asks, are these experiences "really real"? Well, they probably are really real to the people that experience them, but not to anyone else. So, such phenomena almost by definition are purely subjective and unprovable as really real even if there is a consensus among a body of individuals.

Even in Sant Mat the radiant form is not considered really really real since it is composed of the material of lesser spiritual regions and therefore impermanent and subject to dissolution which they say happens once every 186,000 yugas or so. It is said to serve as an inner spiritual guiding form of the master that eventually is left 'behind' as the surat merges and 'ascends' with the Lord itself to the ultimate spiritual regions of Alakh, Agam and Anami.

I didn't make this up. It's in one or more of the RSSB books. I may be wrong about the 186,000 yugas. But lets not quibble about a few thousand yugas.

yeah... whats a few yugas one way or the other anyway... when your on a 'long strange trip' to begin with.

as a certain well known friend of mine back in LA sang a long long time ago...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qRJIBtbc2c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_eQGsbHhDo

and another thing... you know i've never actually seen the radiant form of any sant mat guru. but i have seen the radiant regions of alakh, agam and anami.

so was it real?

well its sort of like that story about Chuang Tzu... is it a man dreaming that he is a butterfuly, or is it a butterfly dreaming that he is a man?

the story goes something like this:

"The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once dreamt that he was a butterfly fluttering here and there. In the dream he had no awareness of his individuality as a person. He was only a butterfly. Suddenly, he awoke and found himself laying there, a person once again. But then he thought to himself, "Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?"

so, was i a mortal man imagining that i was in the realm of sach khand, or am i the sat purusha (the eternal divine person) imagining that i am living the life of a mortal man?

how is one able to know?


Thanks for finally answering.
But sorry, …no gold star ...and no cigar. ;-)

¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^

"1. over-simplifying a mystical concept and then rubbishing his over-simplification of it.
--- Brian: Disagree. I understand what the radiant form is purported to me. Just read a bunch of quotes from the guru Charan Singh about this. No over-simplifying or rubbishing on my part."

MBW: Here is what you wrote originally:
"…a guru could have the power to place a doppelgänger of himself in each of a million or so disciples…"
"…the RSSB guru, could manufacture non-physical carbon copies of himself at will and place them within selected other people…:

So... I will attempt a slightly different approach. A question.
In your opinion 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…"
Answering that might make it clearer where we differ.

¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^

2. 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.
--- Brian: Just your opinion. I understood your comparisons just fine.

MBW: Really? Yet you wrote:
"…I'm not sure what you're getting at in your comment..."
"...So I don't understand your logic..."
"...I still don't understand what you're getting at..."
followed by post after post of misrepresentation of my point (e.g. even feeling it necessary to explain to me that the sun and TV signals are objectively "real"and explain what the word ‘concept’ means.)
So... How to explain that then?? :-o

¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^
3. 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.
"where is the evidence that ...a guru's radiant form exists?"
"...IMAGINARY copies of an IMAGINARY RADIANT FORM."
"This IS A CONCEPT, AN IDEA, AN IMAGINATION, that isn't connected to demonstrable reality."-- Brian Hines
--- BRIAN: Of course. That was the point of my post. The radiant form almost certainly is imagined by devoted disciples. There isn't any demonstrable evidence to the contrary, so it's believers in the radiant form who are being dogmatic.

MBW: Notice how you now write: “ALMOST certainly imagined”.
Yet that is still also merely an opinion though slightly less dogmatically asserted.
And I thought you later agreed when challenged that the RF certainly “exists” )I.e. just as the stuff of dreams can be said to “exist”). I think its a shame that you can not accept that you ridiculed the RF in an intellectually sloppy way.
No believers in the RF are here being dogmatic. The only ones doing that in this conversation is just you and Tao.

¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^
4. ...he expressed ridicule of his oversimplification of the RF concept by saying 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
--- BRIAN: Something has to exist in order to be able to explain how it works. What I said was, I have no idea how the magic of the radiant form is supposed to work. Hypothetically, in the same way as I have no idea how the unicorn grows its horn.

MBW: To take a less loaded example. Lucid dreams exist. Do you agree. Do you know how THEY work? Would you describe how people are seen in lucid dreams as "magic"?
This demonstrates again how I see you take something that is a ‘real’ experience (the only question is whether it has any objective reality) and then you ridicule it by comparing it with fairytale creatures. You are comparing something like unicorns and their horns to the existence of a contemplative experience perceived by some people who have devoted years to meditation and inner contemplation. OK Fine. So, just for the sake of clarity, another question. Do you really see no comparable difference between say the likes of Sawan Singh or even Faqir Chand’s inner experience of the RF of their respective gurus’s with say that of a loony suffering from schizophrenia seeing unicorns?

¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^
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. (see above Pt.3)
My replies followed because I think that is not a statement of 'fact' but of 'opinion'.
--- BRIAN: If there is no evidence for the existence of something, it almost certainly is imagination. I never said that the radiant form definitely doesn't exist. I said that almost certainly it doesn't exist, because "possible" is different from "probable."

MBW: That is a clear deceit and/or self-deception. (See Point 3)

¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^

6.If RS says that the RF is "an illusion" this does not show the idea to be "crazy"…etc., etc.
--- Brian: If everything is an illusion, so are your objections to my blog post writings. Thus I reject them as illusory. I win!

MBW: Yeah. Crazy, man crazy.

¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^
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 and may indeed be only that.
--- BRIAN: Yes, I reject the notion that anyone has been enlightened by a vision of the radiant form until (1) I see evidence that "enlightenment" exists, (2) I see evidence that the "radiant form" exists, and (3) I see evidence that enlightenment is linked to the radiant form.

MBW: You missed the point. It was not asking you whether there exists evidence for “enlightenment”. That word does not even exist in my sentence.
You appear to have a reading difficulty and a problem with understanding simple propositions.


¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^
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)
http://snipurl.com/w6511
--- BRIAN: Paul says in the Bible that he saw the "radiant form" of Jesus. That's in a book also. Am I supposed to believe every claim in a book?

MBW: No. Obviously that is not expected of you.
You just have to answer whether IF ‘x’ is true you concede that ‘y’ follows.
I.e. IF (operative word being ‘if’) the anecdote of Jagat Singh was accurately reported then do you concede that it does at least point to the possibility of something objective occurring.
It’s a very simple question.
Shame that you won’t answer it straight.
But that I think is indicative of the way you have repeatedly responded in this conversation.

Hey, Chris. You asked me to respond to your Nine Points, and I've done that several times, in several ways. So I want my gold star!

I look at this issue scientifically; you look at it differently. That's fine. We just don't perceive metaphysics and mysticism the same way. You'll stick with your viewpoint; I'll stick with mine. No problems, mate.

(Except I still deserve my gold star!)

tAo, I think you are Sat Purusha dreaming it is living the life of a mortal man.

Blogger Brian, Here is your gold star...*

MBW, here's yours...*

Everybody happy?

Thanks, tucson. My gold star is beautiful! I'm wearing it proudly. Hmmmmm... now that I think about it, I've always had my gold star. I just needed to recognize it.

Since some of the people in here mention Adi Da who spoke only of love while using all kind of foul language against other users in the blog, within the same sentence,
here is Adi Da talking about 'Perfect Love' and 'Devotion to the Guru'

"You want to be loved, but you are unwilling to love" and goes on to say,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO4J0Fh2kFU

"The divine... is to be loved.......

To love God, to live in Satsang always
to the perpetuate activity of fantastic intensity....

So when the Guru comes
he requires the love of this devotee
but his devotee is depressed
and the more intensity the guru requests
the more depressed this devotee becomes
It is the only demand Narcissus will not fullfil is the demand for love".


for full video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNG-E-G7ggs&NR=1

I see so much speculation but little sign of any real spirit of enquiry or genuine open discussion. I think it would be great if Brian or Tao could just answer this simple question (one of many points which went unanswered).

Here is what Brian wrote originally:

"…a guru could have the power to place a doppelgänger of himself in each of a million or so disciples…"

"…the RSSB guru, could manufacture non-physical carbon copies of himself at will and place them within selected other people…"

Here is that simple question...
In your opinion 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 known as ashta-dal-kanwal "within each of a million or so selected other people/disciples…"

¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^

"is it accurate to say that it is claimed in the RS teachings that an RSSB guru can and does have the power"???

well yes, the RS teachings do say that... if what you mean is that the RSSB guru has the ability to somehow places some sort of spiritual or psychic or etheric manifestation and/or presence of himself into each disciple - yes, that is what RS teaches.

do i believe this? no, i do not.

have i ever believed this? no, i have not.

do i think that it could somehow be possible? no, i do not.

do i think that people who have chosen to believe this are rational and reasonable? no, i do not.

do i think that it is very misleading to teach this to disciples? yes, i do.

do i think that the RS master is perpetuating a serious fraud and a lie by teaching this? yes, i do.

do i think that it is in any way right or good to keep people (disciples) believing in something that is an absolute myth and a lie for the rest of their lives? no, i do not. i think that it is terribly destructive and wrong and evil.

i also think that RS does not need to foster this belief. i think that shabda yoga meditation could easily do without this sort of unnecessary nonsense and falsehood.


mbw, no, that isn't accurate. The radiant form isn't a spiritual region. It is a projection of the guru. Here's how Charan Singh describes it:

"You see, what is your concept of Radiant Form? I'll tell you: this Shabd itself is the Radiant Form of the Master, because Master inside projects himself from this Shabd. Actually what you see or what you hear is the Shabd itself. But since you have seen the Master outside, so unless He appears before you like He is outside you will not be satisfied and contented that you are seeing your Master. So He projects Himself from that Shabd and Nam."

So supposedly the guru takes the "raw" energy Sant Mat calls "shabd" and forms it into a likeness of himself.

I am NOT suggesting that the RF is a “spiritual region”. (Holy Moly! :-o)

I asked a question that Tao hasn't answered at all, and one which neither of you appear to have even correctly understood.
Ironically, that I see as a symptom of what has been the problem the whole way through this conversation.

I’ll try to make it even simpler for you both.
My question was:
does the RS Philosophy state that the Guru creates "carbon copies" of "inner REGIONS" within initiates?

My understanding is that it does NOT.
Brian, you also appear to agree that it does not.

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 both your case appears to be based upon) a false understanding of this RS concept.

Any clearer now?

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.

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