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May 07, 2019

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Hi Brian
While mostly what you wrote above is correct, your and David's view that Faqir didn't believe in any legitimate psychic miracles at all is actually inaccurate, and a significant lapse in your interpretation, at least from this source, which is the PDF English translation link from a you tube of Chand discussing Bhajan provided by Jen of Austin...

https://www.youtube.com/redirect?v=wwfywbwXxFg&q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.captainlalchand.com%2Fuploads%2F8%2F8%2F5%2F3%2F88539188%2Fthe_secret_of_bhajan.pdf&html_redirect=1&event=video_description&redir_token=BATnuyypmk5-bH6-d7SDI2MXk3x8MTU1NzM3NDc1MEAxNTU3Mjg4MzUw

From this PDF...

"One day the woman was cooking rotis and she remembered me. She told her husband that Baba appeared before her and said that his wife had died. Her husband wrote to his father Mangal Sen in Mulnapur. He wrote to me. I replied “Yes, my wife has died.”

" Now who went and told this woman that my wife had died?

" I did not go there. Neither do I know anything about it.

"Because she thought of me, and what was inside me? That my wife is dead. The law of radiation conveyed to her this.

" This is why a person who works as a guru and gives satsang and is not practical himself, whoever will meditate on you, whatever is inside you will go into him.

" To work as a guru is a very great responsibility. And I have told you that I did not go. Neither did I write her a letter. But in my heart I had this thought that my wife is dead, that woman meditated on me – her thought reached me from Iraq and my thought reached her, manifested as my form and told her that my wife had died. These are the experiences of my life."

Faqir is stating at least five things here:
1.The woman's vision came from a different source than Faqir's conscious mind.
2. Faqir concluded this must have been from her own devoted mind since he was unaware of it, but..
3. The content was actually provided from Faqir's actual thoughts, psychically. Her attention brought her right inside Faqir's actual thoughts.

4. Her mind may have created an image of Faqir, but it was psychically connected to Faqir 's mind, even without Faqir' s conscious awareness.

5. He uses this to state the great responsibility of the Guru because the devotees' worship gives them psychic access to the very content of their Guru.

If this is correct, what you and David have written is an exaggeration which, while containing truths about Chand, also contains a false depiction as well.

But if you can help verify the legitimacy of this document then this would be most appreciated.

And if it is true, then like a good scientist, your and David's scholarly amendment of your post would only serve as evidence of your open minded and fact based approach.

I think there's a difference between a guru validating someone's report of an apparent subtle experience, and the guru fully admitting that he (or he as the shabd) can work no miracles. Charan Singh always said that gurus "don't like" to do miracles, but never said they (and therefore he) are powerless to perform them.

The more I think about it, Chand's objection to other sant mat gurus on this knowingness issue seems like a non-issue. Who are the sant mat gurus who claim they know all in the lives of their initiates? Kirpal Singh cited the "Master Power," though admittedly he did sometimes take personal credit for his follower's unusual experiences. Charan's explanation of the guru's spiritual identity was that crypic bit about the "guru projecting himself out the shabd," a function that somehow has a relationship to the physical guru. It's a very nebulous explanation, but it served Charan's defence his identity as guru while at the same time excusing him from being responsible for whatever people were telling him the Inner Charan was doing in their dreams and meditations.

Frankly, I don't blame any of these gurus for distancing themselves from personal responsibility for what people were saying they were doing in their lives. Far easier to lay responsibility on Master Power or the Shabd when the experience is benign, or "it was just your mind" to more problematic testimonies. In any case, all of them, even Faqir, did say that there was some kind of Spiritual Power that likely was responsible for producing extraordinary subtle events, or miracles. Charan, Kirpal, and Faqir all spoke of this power, and all of them qualified how this power works versus the projections of the mind. It's just that Faqir made a bigger deal of the qualification.

Is true spiritual maturity a letting go of the physical guru? "Once during an evening meeting, Huzur Maharaj Ji [Charan Singh] spoke most lovingly about his own Master, Maharaj Sawan Singh Ji. Tears welled up in his eyes as he recalled his relationship with the Beloved. “I would give my life to see him again in his human form,” he said."

Maybe Faqir was a wise man. If so, we should prepare for the population of the U.S. to soon be cut in half. That was something Faqir predicted about 40 or so years ago.


Spence your quote from the PDF is exactly as Baba Fakir Chand said it in the Satsang which has himself speaking.

Dear Spence,

The PDF link that you provided is from a journal I edit and publish called SACH KHAND.

It is certainly true that Faqir Chand believed and theorized lots of things that are more "traditional" as I have already mentioned and which Brian himself stated.

I don't see how it can be a false depiction when the very material you quote is something we published and made public for free worldwide. I have attempted to make Faqir's writings available worldwide for free.

That is why I was fortunate to have partnered with Harjit Singh and publish a translation of the several satsangs that Faqir Chand gave to him and others in London back in 1980. Here is the complete book for free which I encourage anyone to read for themselves and draw their own conclusions:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxydW5uZWJvaG1kaWdpdGFsbGlicmFyeTN8Z3g6MzExMDVjNWQ4ZjU2NDY1YQ

The point that Faqir keeps emphasizing more than any other is that it is the disciple's own mind and own faith that creatively generates what occurs within.

But even here Faqir argues to go beyond the mind (and all the inner regions) since they are ultimately illusory.

Faqir was always seeking ways to rationally explain what appeared supernatural. That is why near the end of his life he tried to see if he could understand (in a more rational way) why he had that vision of Shiv Brat Lal.

In addition, Faqir had beliefs that most scientists wouldn't agree with, particularly his ideas about karma which he felt was the essential key behind how to live one's life. He also held some beliefs in astrology and palmistry.

Faqir was also a strong advocate of celibacy as much as possible.

Faqir said he was not highly educated, but wanted to present his findings in a scientific fashion and given what he knew and what he accessed he did the best that he could.

I have always deeply admired him for that.

Faqir was also an existentialist of sorts, as can be seen in the last letter he wrote in the hospital before he died.

My absolute favorite line from Faqir and one that I think goes to the heart of his unknowingness is when he was asked about what would happen to him when he died.

I think this quote is elemental when analyzing what Faqir believed and what we should pick and choose from his writings:

"Who knows what may happen to me at the time of death? I may enter the state of unconsciousness, enter the state of dreams and see railway trains . . . How can I make a claim about my attainment of the Ultimate? The truth is that I know nothing."

I have been commenting about Faqir chand since day 1 on this blog. Thanks Brian for blogging about him.
Faqir Chand gave us the greatest gift by telling the actual truth. He had the courage to speak the truth. He brought me out of the church with his teachings, and life has been more beautiful since then.

Thank you David!
It would be good if all masters were so honest..

But then there were no masters anymore, while people want them...
So that is why they are still there.
And about RSSB,it has become a whole sort of Town now...
It serves more purposes,like shops food schools healthcare,places for sports.
Bankbuildings,many houses..
Airport places busses,trainstations very near etc..
All apart from Satsangs the believesystem..
and Satsang grounds..

Also donor registrations .

What I think is very good is the vegetarian life,no alcohol,no drugs,love..
Meditation is very good,not perse that way..but ..meditation..
Working together,sewa is very nice when the atmosphere is loving.
What is sometimes difficult because'' some want to be close to master''..
That gives a difficult sort of atmosphere at times.
Some people are somewhat high horse caracter,what is not very fine.
But on the whole ..,sometimes it is nice to be there..even when one sees things different now.
Not easy also because they do'nt want to hear doubds etc..so one should not talk about that..
Only maybe with some friends..but carefully..

"It serves more purposes,like shops food schools healthcare,places for sports.
Bankbuildings,many houses.."

Isn't it fascinating that RSSB essentially broke ties with Swami Bagh for building a samadhi to Soami Ji, and was so adamant on keeping people away from the old satsang ghar that Sawan Singh built because the fear of satsangis getting into idol worship and drifting away from the focus on meditation? It's especially strange to me because in my experience meditation is aided by being in a place with a lot of "spiritual" history and I think even some of Charan Singh's books talk about meditating in the same place because the energy builds up there.

Now RS has no problem creating and worshiping idols dedicated to modernity and capitalism and Gurinder I've heard says often in satsangs that "status is important." The entire history and contemporary writings of these esoteric movements including RSSB repeat ad infinitum that status means nothing and we'll all be ground to dust and therefore should completely forsake this world, but I guess Gurinder's 7.0 RS changed that basic concept too.

No longer does the poem "dham apne chalo bhai, purai desh kion rehna" apply. Unless the poem has been translated poorly, and "go to your real home, why stay in a foreign land" would better be rendered as "return to the dera mall, why live with stupid and poor idol worshipers who respect their own religion when you can have tons of worldly status and live in this luxurious community provided entirely by western donations instead."

Providing scientific basis or mental projections of every inner eye n ear experience privately by some of us as no supernatural phenomenon under Baba Fakir's testimonies alone with rest of us( meditators) simply waking up to a new dimension, the Fakir's way of analysis.

He seems to had climbed way above on the inner highway than the Saints of RSSB and may be his theory ( not proven yet) might be challenging Guru granth sahib - a treatise by many Gurus as a collection of their inner experiences,
Bible by Christ, Kuran etc which basically have laid out threadbare the system of Perfect Masters and their only purpose to take the souls to their original source by Word or Shabad or Word incarnated Guru or Master and not by Physical Guru which anyways is the look alike of the inner real One.

This has been proclaimed and testified and jotted down in scriptures validating these as Inner Truths by the Masters of yore.

We may as much claim that it may not exist to that perfection in this sect or preached malafide by this Guru or that.
And it was mere mind games in this case or that one.

But its inappropriate to brush each one of them with a single concept which seems more of speculation.

Regards

I am yet to reach Him inside but if He appears as ordinary human then I may take it as a dreamy or mind constructed image.

But if He is radiant and answering than how can His potential be questioned. Or should He be asked to prove His genuineness.

Jay you wrote
Is true spiritual maturity a letting go of the physical guru?

Baba Sawan Singh said of his master
“I would sacrifice everything if Baba Jaimal Singh Ji would give me his darshan”

First a deciple is drawn to the physical form of a Master and then slowly begins to love the physical form to a point that drives him to desperate longing and yearning for me. His desire become more intense to go within and experience the Shabd form. Once he has experienced the radiant or shabd form, the deciple realizes the significant of the physical form. But if the deciple stops only at the physical, he does not experience the radiant form he cannot truly understand and absorb the significance of the physical form of the Master.
From the books

Sorry typo “for me” meant “for more”

Faqir Chand believed in removing people from church (i.e., from sant mat and sant mat gurus)?

I don't see Chand ever saying that people shouldn't practice sant mat, or take part in deras or sant mat satsangs. It's not even clear that Chand wanted people to stop heeding gurus.

If Chand was truly anti-orthodox sant mat, then he'd have distanced himself from RSSB. But Chand never did that, as he was an associate of Sawan, Jagat and Charan. Chand even gave satsang at RSSB, and say he appealed to Sawan Singh for confirmation and protection of his own sant mat guru mission.

Moreover, Chand advocated that seekers have a guru. Chand said having a guru was necessary to make progress toward enlightenment.

But what about all that Chand said about gurus being corrupt, using their status to get money? Well, Chand never named any of these corrupt gurus, and the fact that he was palsie with RSSB tells me that Chand's anti-guru rants were simply a part of his distinctively mashugana guru personality. If Chand were truly anti-guru, anti-"church," he seems to have been somewhat half-hearted about it.

Chand was actually pro-church. Despite all that he said about gurus being unknowing, it's important to note that he didn't condemn the guru-disciple relationship of sant mat. Chand fully allowed that this relationship was a necessary catalyst for a seeker's spiritual evolution. Chand also held that the guru-disciple relationship was somehow a conduit for actual miracles.

And there is a nice statue of Shiv Brat Lal in Chand's ashram, or church.
http://manavtamandir.com/satsang-hall.php

My feeling is that Faqir Chand didn't necessarily want to disavow Sant Mat as a system. He genuinely wanted to honour his own guru's request and maintain truthfulness in the teachings, particularly about his own experiences, or lack there of.

What I find amazing and a little confusing, quite frankly, is that Faqir Chand achieved quite a high level within, but did not "acquire" the powers, etc attributed to going within that RSSB has stated.

He said he attained peace and bliss. Which is great. But upon hearing the sounds and seeing the lights within, it didn't do much for him, in a manner of speaking.

Any thoughts on the differences there?

http://manavtamandir.com/satsang-hall.php

Read the Faqir Chand quote next to the statue of Shiv Brat Lal in Faqir Chand's ashram (church):

"Guru can mould your thinking, mend your thoughts, and your life will be changed."

Faqir isn't advising people to just think positively a la Norman Vincent Peale. He's not even telling them to read spiritual books to elevate their thinking.

Faqir's actual message was that people turn to "Guru" to better their lives.

Again, I point this out because the popular thesis on Faqir is that he was anti-church, anti-guru, anti-God. That thesis is one-sided, and I think misleading. It leaves out key parts of Faqir's full message that completely contradict the popular thesis of Faqir as the anti-sant mat anti-guru..

Jay you seem to be purposely missing an important distinction. Using the image of a guru as a tool or point of focus to achieve strange states of mind as Chand seemed to advocate is one thing, actually believing they're living gods a la RSSB is entirely different.

Hi David!

So then I guess the source journal of that quote is indeed of the highest editorial integrity!! ;)

Faqir is clearly acknowledging psychic phenomena, while at the same time stating that the individual guru is only a part of that.

The power of belief extends beyond illusion. That woman got actual, factual information from nothing more than her devotion to Faqir, and the "radiating" psychic information she had access to as a result of her devotion to him. At least this is Chand Ji's take on it.

This is according to Faqir's own narrative which comes from your own journal!

So why shy away from it? Why attempt to claim there is no such thing as legitimate psychic pheonomena using Faqir's name when he points to at least one legitimate psychic event.

Or it could be illusion. But in this case Faqir doesn't say she was wrong. He says she must have gotten the information from his mind. There was a psychic connection. That's his notion.

This is all Faqir's take, but if you honor the man, than acknowledge he referred to some events as legitimate psychic ones, even if the people involved, including the Guru, weren't driving that process.

My point above is that trying to use Faqir as a reference to claim that psychic phenomenon are 100% illusory and false is itself a false claim. Faqir has pointed to an instance when it was in fact true.

If you are going to hold me accountable to be accurate, and I'm going to hold Gurinder to live up the vows, then of course, sir, please amend your claim.

We are all helping each other, it's a good thing.

And I think again, this is the culture of honesty and helpful confrontation that Brian has created here, devoted to Truth as he is.

Jesse in reply to your question.
Baba Fakir Chand in this satsang in London at 1:00:00 says
https://youtu.be/iRzT0qpbIqY
develop full faith and love in the GURU whichever guru you choose (he said you don’t have to have faith in me or call me your guru) whichever one you are initiated with (Beas or Agra).
Dont consider your Guru an ordinary man develop full faith and love for him. Think of him from the highest ‘Akal purush’.
This is what I impart to you


Jay you seem to be purposely missing an important distinction. Using the image of a guru as a tool or point of focus to achieve strange states of mind as Chand seemed to advocate is one thing, actually believing they're living gods a la RSSB is entirely different.

I have to partly disagree. The image of a Guru --as opposed to a stone
or holy book-- is precisely a point of focus because the Guru is a living
God.

So is the disciple...only he's is forgotten it. He uses the Guru's image to
regain that awareness. The only difference is the level of awareness.
The disciple strives to elevate his awareness to that of the Guru's.

Where I do agree is that awareness raising doesn't occur through
blind faith or assuming the outside Guru doesn't make mistakes. The
only way forward is experiential. The disciple advances by realizations
made within.

The outer Guru who says "I know nothing" is telling the truth on one
level even if he's lying on another*. You should hold the outer Guru
totally accountable for his actions of course . But the real Guru is
inside and so is the truth. You have to go there to find it.

* the outer Guru is alot like Sergeant Schultz in 'Hogan's Heroes'.
They must plea "I know nothing" for the good of all.


Hi Meditator
You wrote
"But if He is radiant and answering than how can His potential be questioned. Or should He be asked to prove His genuineness."

The impression, to be, is the opposite. He is real. He is truth. We are false, a thin sheet of paper worn and written upon with foolish self - absorbed and ignorant notions.

You will never know how full of shit you are until you come into His presence. But He doesn't care.

Autosmell again!
""... To me, is quite the opposite... "

Hi Jesse
You wrote
"Using the image of a guru as a tool or point of focus to achieve strange states of mind as Chand seemed to advocate is one thing, actually believing they're living gods a la RSSB is entirely different."

It's really sad that even the literature deifies the Guru, and that makes it seem less than sincere when the Guru says" don't put me up on a pedestal. "

Among Satsangis you find both. The organizational Satsangis are all about authority and obedience. That's how they run a large organization.

But the individual souls, many western, look upon the Master as their brother.

Once the coverings come off we're all the same.

As for using the image of the Master, that's Dyan. But that's using your own mind to help. The Radient form is different, not under your volition. After some time, in my case two decades, He comes all of His own.

But He is you. This is so intimate that there isn't room for two there. It can't be described.

After knocking on the Lord 's door he finally speaks, asking

"who is there?"...

And then there is nothing left... The only answer you can speak is...
"It' s You."

Has anyone heard of Baba Kehar of Taran taran. He was the successor to pratap Singh I think, who was his father.

In the lineage map of the various gurus, David Lane omits his name and calls him “ son of pratap Singh”
I met his quite a few times in the uk.
My first meeting I asked him a question.
“People say saints are all knowing. Sitting right in front of me now , what exactly do you know?”
He was taken aback.
Asked me to come sit on the floor by him.
“ nobody has ever asked me such s direct question. I will answer the way nobody else will ever answer you”
Then he said
“I know nothing.
I will go further, neither does anyone else.”
“All knowing doesn’t exist”
I was impressed, and became his friend and would meet him when he came to the uk.
I always called him my friend
Once he said to me “people call me a saint”
I said “I consider you my friend because of your honesty.”
One episode:
A man and his wife asked for his blessing because they had no child.
Another man asked for his blessing in his business.
Both were given a bottle of blessed water.
I asked him what he will do.
He laughed. “You think I have a store house of babies here? And my own business is failing, hardly anyone donates to me. How can I help?”
He went on..,,
“ I just pray to god to do whatever he chooses. If by chance the baby arrives, he will credit me and tell many others. If no baby comes , then he too will leave”

Jen, you can post that same quote 5000 more times and it will still not mean what you hope. He says clearly that you're using the guru and your own faith. Never once does he say the random guru you choose has magical powers as is taught by RSSB.

Stop posting the same shit over and over mindlessly and thinking you're doing anyone's ideas justice.

Jesse I’m not hoping it means anything to anyone that’s not interested, it’s Fakir’s words, you asked so I chimed in and answered. Geez so much anger? 🤷🏼‍♀️

Spence do you think you'd see "the radiant form" if you hadn't subscribed to the radha swami religion? Because tibetan Buddhists often talk about seeing mandalas, and hippies who do retreats with shamans seem to see this mother figure "aya" a lot when they drink the nasty brown ayahuasca that makes them puke. (If you want to know, Manjit would be the guy to ask if ayahuasca is still in vogue)

I'm pretty sure the mind will conjure up whatever you want it to and it's not mystical or magical. It's something more akin to imagination.

"I have to partly disagree. The image of a Guru --as opposed to a stone
or holy book-- is precisely a point of focus because the Guru is a living
God."
Who cares? Sikhs report mystical experiences all the time and their holy book has acquired a "jyot" that they consider to give it life. Hinduism is full of thousands of examples of book and idol worshipers alleged to have had nearly identical experiences as any RS member.
There is nothing more real or living about a guy on the other side of the world who I never met than a story in a book. When Charan Singh died people were still getting initiated by him posthumously. How did the fact that someone sent a letter asking for naam while he was alive make their experience any different than someone searching for narayan mantras online? The answer is "nothing."

You don't need living people to initiate you if you don't want and there's probably no benefit unless you have a personal relationship with your guru and can actually ask him/her/it questions.

Personally I was initiated by a guy named Frank Vogel. He's supposedly a proxy of Gurinder. But if he can just read some crap out of a 3 ring binder that connects me to god via Gurinder, why couldn't they just email me?

Dear Spence,

I think you are arguing with a strawman of your own making. Can you cite where and when I ever claimed that "psychic phenomenon are 100% illusory"?

I am never 100 percent about anything (except my kids, etc.).

So why make things up I never said? In addition, you write "So why shy away from it? Why attempt to claim there is no such thing as legitimate psychic pheonomena [sic] using Faqir's name when he points to at least one legitimate psychic event."

Here again you are making things up for reasons best known to you.

If you read the Unknowing Sage you would have immediately noticed that I included a whole section which
talked about "knowing" bilocation experiences and other paranormal happenings. I did this, even if my own hunches are in a different direction, to give voice to stories which are indeed exceptional.

Why ignore what I have written and then make things up I never said?

Therefore the person that needs to "amend" (to use your own words) is you, not me.

I have no qualms about acknowledging all sorts of things about Faqir Chand that I, myself, would disagree with ..... including, as I said, his views on astrology, palmistry, radiation, karma, and sex.

That is precisely why I have published so much of Faqir's own words.

So I suggest you be more accurate and then we can have a more rational and reasonable discussion
on this most interesting of topics.

Thanks.

To be in a Church is a blessing but to die in a Church is a curse.
Truer words were never spoken.
Mirabai says "God threw me into cycle of 84 and Guru saved me, so guru is greater"
She praises the guru BECAUSE she has completed the journey to nothingness.
Its a bit like praising the ROAD that leads to the door of freedom.
The road can be legitimately praised ONLY once you have gone through the door.
If you just get to the road and dont enter the door, then the road is a curse as it is the cause of you NOT entering through the door to freedom.
So the disciple is WRONG to praise the road (guru) because for him the guru is the barrier to truth as he has not reached truth. He is merely happy to have found the guru. The guru is a curse until you enter the door (enlightenment).
Mirabai is CORRECT in praising the guru because the guru guided her to the door of freedom and she entered through the door and the guru disappeared at that moment. The guru was just the vehicle to find freedom from the trap of belief
The guru is a great blessing if you find the freedom from beliefs.
The guru is a great curse if you remain a disciple.
Faqir would go along with your illusion first and tell you to meditate etc. Let you struggle and try because that too is necessary in order to piss you off totally.
Only after going through the PISSED OFF stage will you become REAL and ask the REAL QUESTION of "How do I get out of this trap?"
In my case I spent my childhood years FIRMLY steeped in RS philosophy. To the point that it was the sole purpose of my life. I REALLY throught there was a SAT PURUSH as a literal PERSON with a BOOMING VOICE and light emanating from evevy hair of his body. He resided is SACH KHAND and I KNEW it. Nothing and nobody could convince me otherwise.
My sole ambition was to MEET this guy and have tea with him.
I realised that RSSB wasn't going to do it for me because the guru was inaccessible and I needed personal guidance - someone who could guide me as I meditated.
So I met thakar and he fulfilled my illusion - until one day he shattered it. I then left and found Darshan. I went through the path of LOVE. I was crazy for his love.
Now I can tell you it was all fake - but not at that time. At that time it was real. I would wear a photo of him on my wrist like a watch to constantly remind me that only Darshan matters.
I would cry and long for his darshan. This was all the illusion stage. It was necessary to get fully entraped before I could escape.
Escape is not possible until you are first in prison. This early state is the stage of being in prison. Youw one prison of beliefs, convinced that you are a helpless hopeless soul trapped in MAYA and the five enemies. The only hope is the guru and naam.
The trap was well set and I was in it.
Then I met my Faqir Chand. He came in two forms. The crazy one I spent four days with who shocked me and shattered my calm reality and broke my version of the world.
In four days he took me out of my calm sense of knowing. It was an extreme immersion experience.
Then I met the other guru who I also see now from time to time.
He told me "it's all a trap - no guru, no naam, all illusion. There IS NO YOU!"
I didn't get it. So he talked to me until I did.
I asked "What do I need to DO?"
"DO? - Ha - so ridiculous a question" he replied
"You cannot DO as there is no YOU!"
"All you can DO as such is realise there is no DOER - nobody that goes about with you name tag. That "YOU" in not real - it's maya and you are trying to save the illusion"
After a while it dawned on me what he was saying.
There was no "I" to save - no "ME"
So WHO was I trying to save ?
WHO was trying to get to Sach Khand?
Nobody - there was no individual ME
This is the same as what CHAND is saying.
You are already SAVED or DOOMED - it's the same thing.
SAVED or DOOMED are the same as there is NOBODY to save or doom.
No individual self.
Nobody to arrive at heaven. And no heaven to arrive at.
So now even GSD's message makes sense
"I will not come as your death"
disciple: "Why not?"
"Because there is no ME and no YOU and NO SACH KHAND to take you to"


You don't need living people to initiate you if you don't want and there's probably no benefit unless you have a personal relationship with your guru and can actually ask him/her/it questions.

An email with a smiley isn't adequate?

At least you know a human saw your question and responded with
snail mail at a minimum. Beats trying to get an answer from a stone
idol or holy book...

Even with all the doubts about RSSB guru's, I don't think anyone has
accused them of turning on the Chopra Bot either.

Hi Jesse
You wrote
"Spence do you think you'd see "the radiant form" if you hadn't subscribed to the radha swami religion? "

Since I saw Gurinder within many years before I actually saw him, before I knew anything at all about Sant Mat, something else factual must have informed my mind first.

That's where what you suggest doesn't match my experience.

Hi David
Let me be more pointed, to help you.
You wrote
"Thus, these stories about Faqir are not miracles, though the disciples may believe such. They are what the mind can produce under stressful circumstances."

This is an overstatement.
Because Faqir gives a detailed explanation of an event specifically to identify it as paranormal, ie, miracle.

Just own it.

And David, just because I do tend to exaggerate and romanticize doesn't mean I don't have a point now and then. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. And Dude, it's noon!


We see what we want to see. Couldn’t be any more simpler than that. Of course, there’s a dozen ways to interpret that...

Mr Spencer, Good Afternoon.

Thanks for your naked observations which are unbiased and may be the Truth that you see inside and also acknowledge readily on the outside the reverse truths concerning your faith - your lifeline and your source of energies which has got embedded as an unshakeable Fact - Baba of RSSB as the Truth.

Wish that some day this very Fact - the inside Truth may be accepted by those who have limited access inside thus far. Wish that He lifts many more towards His abode at the earliest.

You stated:

"The impression, to be, is the opposite. He is real. He is truth. We are false, a thin sheet of paper worn and written upon with foolish self - absorbed and ignorant notions.
You will never know how full of shit you are until you come into His presence. But He doesn't care. "

I am in awe to read tyour revelation and perhaps it should end the discussion. We are on this forum simply to discuss especially His below Human approach to life and its needs as if the life has become all the more important for Him than His (Baba JI) even poor disciples. And under such a serious pretence of the things He may have got Himself involved in rags of deceit and distrust and what we are made to observe is His distorted image- lesser than a Human Being. However He may be the Hero of this theatre pretending as a villain. In fact it is only on one angle or sight out of 360 degees of His human character that He appears as Truth of this World and which only a rarest among us can exactly claim with singular mind and soul. May be Mr Spencer you seem to me is the blessed one who fits into this character and wish you more of His love and blessings.

Baba Fakir's model seems incomplete in defining the paranormal and inside experiences which perhaps demand an analysis by the respective experimenters, witnesses, and devotees unbiasedly than with some pre-set notions or arguments by a third party in light of Baba fakir's observations or discussing his statements threadbare to establish opinions as facts. The third party analysis is unable to justify the conclusions on either side. Wish that if some of us may relate their own experiences with Baba Fakir's Testimonies - inner or outer or of dreams to logically introspect the issue taken up by Mr Brian and Mr David.

Regards.

Jesse did Gurinder say that ''status'' is important?
And what status??
Status as criminal?
as Guru?
Worldly status as moneymaker?
Status as a good human?
And who define ''the status''??

Status as human being seems enough to me..

Maybe some animals are more loving then some humans..
Animal status..good bad or in between..
Again who defines..?

Now RS has no problem creating and worshiping idols dedicated to modernity and capitalism and Gurinder I've heard says often in satsangs that "status is important." The entire history and contemporary writings of these esoteric movements including RSSB repeat ad infinitum that status means nothing and we'll all be ground to dust and therefore should completely forsake this world, but I guess Gurinder's 7.0 RS changed that basic concept too.

Jesse wrote 8 may
You really heard him say this Jesse?
In what sense he said that,worldly?
He meant Dera status??
Then indeed everything has quit changed in comparence with Maharaji's time..

Spence,

First, it it is ironic that the very story you wish for me to admit about Faqir Chand and psychic transmission you reference and learn about comes from a journal and a book that I publish.

In other words, the very thing you wish to happen has already happened. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even have a reference to cite.

Second, you then make up a statement about me and the 100 percent denial of psychic transmission that is your invention and should given your modus operandi duly retract.

Third, the quote you cite from me now has a very specific context which you conveniently ignored which merely follows (in that context) what Faqir himself related to me at the time.

Here is the context:

“I also got a chance to go through much of Faqir's correspondence which he shared with me back in 1978 where there were many letters about him appearing to so and so and how it was amazing.... Faqir would at each turn tell me that he knew nothing about it.
Thus, these stories about Faqir are not miracles, though the disciples may believe such.
They are what the mind can produce under stressful circumstances.”

The stories in reference here are to the letters Faqir shared to me at that time (1978) and thus dovetail with what Faqir himself said about it.

Finally, you keep saying “just own it” apparently forgetting the obvious:

I published the psychic transmission story in a journal and a book. I clearly own it; otherwise I wouldn’t have published it.

Does this then mean that I think we have proof of psychic powers or miracles?

No, we have rather stories told after the fact about such.

They are indeed suggestive but they don’t constitute proof.

I point this out because I think it is important. The more information we have about a claim the better off we are to determine the verticality of the account...

I will end with a pregnant quotes from Faqir Chand since he is the interesting topic here:

A lady sent me a letter stating that she was having her bath in a river in Kashmir, when suddenly a wave of water came and took her away for ten or fifteen yards. She writes that when she was drowning "I" appeared there, caught her hand, and brought her out of the river and said, "You have yet to do a lot of work." She has written to me so as to know what work she is to do. Now neither did I go there to save her, nor did I tell her that she was yet to do a lot of work. This is the secret which has been kept so guarded.

Baba Faqir Chand August, 1978


At least two hundred barren womenmany among them had no menstruation-begot male children with my parshad (blessed food). But contrary to it, my own daughter, who has been married for the last fourteen years, is still issueless, whom I intentionally have given parshad many a time. What does this prove? I am none to bless anybody. Had it been so, my daughter must have been blessed with a child. I can do nothing more than wishing good for all.


Question - would not Chand say that he did not know. Any advanced person I guess would say that when in actual fact knows! One spark of light within and you have knowledge.

Christ - did say “cast not pearls before swine”. Perhaps Chand adhered to this.

No offence to anyone by my using that quote. Have a great day.

Spencer, Sikhs look so similar that Canada's intelligence agencies were unable to charge the perpetrators of the Air India Flight 182 terrorist attack due do Sikhs changing passports and doing other tricks to hide their identities.

Are you sure you saw Gurinder and not just another sardar? Maybe you'd walked past a hotel owned by some Sikhs and their image was forever burned into your mind. Happened to me as a kid. Then that image came into your dreams and only after rs literature did you think it was Gurinder.

"would not Chand say that he did not know. Any advanced person I guess would say that when in actual fact knows!"

Why? Who invented this idea that spiritual advancement means you don't speak about it? I think it's just a way to maintain plausible deniability, especially in cases like what we see happening with Gurinder.
He can say "I never told you I was omniscient!" even though myself and others keep saying that he's selling the books that explicitly describe him as a living God.

There's no reason to believe that a living god wouldn't simply say "I'm omniscient. I'm god." Supposedly Jesus did it with his miracles and calling himself son of god.

@ David

Have you been to Beas recently? If I may ask

Jesse raises a very good point about how visions we think are sui generis May on closer inspection be the admixture of earlier (and sometimes forgotten) memories and/or incidents.

Faqir Chand suggested this when speaking of his own vision early on of Shiv Brat Lal...

Sent a post before addressed to Mr Spence. May it surface.

Putting each of supernatural inside visions or outside happenings as mind construct because Baba Fakir has admitted so finally and so have others not-so-mystics in his chat with either of them.

Can that be an authentic explanation or has a scientific basis.

I think we are speculating too much rather exceeding powers of ways a brain malfunctions irrationally than it functions correctly.

Becoming more difficult to believe a convoluted fact about brain now than a Mystic. It seems Mystics pitted against Human Brains in present discussion.


To all
It’s not so complicated... pretty simple

Did Fakir Chand (physical) know when his form projected to anyone- NO
Does the Guru tell you everything about spirituality-NO
Did he say Guru’s have the ability to positively impact your thoughts if you tune in or think of them(not just in meditation but even doing mundane activities) -YES
Does your faith in the Guru help you through life -YES
Is it important to have a Guru-YES
Should you completely have faith and trust in your Guru -YES
Will you see you the radiant form of the guru in your meditation -YES

Thank you Fakir Chand

But if you believe that the mind has the ability to project and even make things seem to happen on pure thought/belief alone, isn’t that in itself a power? Like people who walk on hot coals and feel no pain.

If our minds have the power to convince us that something feels real or doesn’t feel real then that’s just the power of the mind. However, it begs the question, what is really real? And if our minds cannot reach consensus reality, which is more powerful—perception or “reality”.

Dear Arjuna,

Yes, my wife and my two kids (12 and 17 at the time) stayed at the Dera for a week in March of 2017. I went primarily because Professor Juergensmeyer and I had a contract with Oxford University Press to publish an annotated bibliography (with historical analyses) of the Radhasoami movement. I wanted to see what the Dera library had on offer.

It was a very pleasant visit, as they treated my kids very well, especially since kids are usually allowed to be at the Dera.

Our most recent trip to India was this past year where Professor Juergensmeyer, my wife, and myself were invited to be the plenary speakers at the Dayalbagh Educational Institute in Agra, where they were celebrating Shiv Dayal Singh's 200 birth anniversary..... and, coincidentally, when the famous samadh had been completed.

Here is a little movie that was made to show the influence of Shiv Dayal Singh, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdl5DNhaf-8&t=199s

"Did he say Guru’s have the ability to positively impact your thoughts if you tune in or think of them(not just in meditation but even doing mundane activities) -YES"

When did he say a guru had any ability to do anything? He said you have a tool called a guru that you can use. I don't remember any quote of his, and certainly not your 1000 times repeated quote, saying that gurus have any power whatsoever.
You're ascribing powers to gurus and claiming that Chand did so as well by either not reading well or lying. Stop doing that or else show exactly where he said gurus themselves have power or ability to do anything at all.

I just re-read a good bit of The Unknowing Sage. It strikes me that Faqir comes across far more cogently there, than in the books online at http://www.manavtamandir.com/english-books.php

Nevertheless, Faqir's ultimate message about sant mat is still contradictory and unclear. That's because Faqir stresses a seeker's ultimate need for a guru, and passionate faith in that guru. But at the same time, Faqir posits that gurus have no power to help anyone. The problem with that view is obvious -- why would anyone have faith in a person or diety to help them that they know is powerless to help them?

I believe this problem might be resolved with a closer look at how Faqir defines the word "faith." When Faqir says "it's your own faith that helps you," he's talking about faith having an actual supernatural dimension. Faqir doesn't define faith as just the insular workings of a fevered brain. Faqir is saying that faith is a link to divinity and actual miracles. This is substantiated in what Faqir wrote about faith creating "cosmic rays" that produced actual effects such as visions, and even on material circumstances in his devotees' lives.

Faqir's definition of faith is, I think, similar to Jesus'. When Jesus credited faith for doing miracles, no one took him to be saying that the miracles were all just their imagination. He was saying that faith was somehow a necessary catalyst for an effectual relationship with an actual divine force.

I believe this might help solve the problem of Faqir's Conundrum (the thesis that there are no gurus, but you must have a guru and have faith in him). But it doesn't entirely solve the conundrum.

In my view, Faqir made way too much of the Unknowing Guru issue. Whether or not a guru personally has the power to know his followers inner lives means very little in sant mat theology. And whether or not a guru claims to be Knowing means very little as well. That's because Knowing or Not, sant mat theology puts primary emphasis on the value of the inner guru to effect the initiate's spiritual evolution. If Charan Singh or other major sant mat gurus never claimed to be knowing, would they still have large followings? We know the answer to that question is yes. That's because despite putting almost no emphasis on being all-knowing, the recent gurus of Beas nevertheless attracted many crores of ardent followers.

DL: “I also got a chance to go through much of Faqir's correspondence which he shared with me back in 1978 where there were many letters about him appearing to so and so and how it was amazing.... Faqir would at each turn tell me that he knew nothing about it.
Thus, these stories about Faqir are not miracles, though the disciples may believe such.
They are what the mind can produce under stressful circumstances.”

The stories in reference here are to the letters Faqir shared to me at that time (1978) and thus dovetail with what Faqir himself said about it."

Perhaps Spence's point (and mine as well) is that Faqir saying "he knew nothing about it" (devotee testimony of Faqir's apparent divine intercession) is not Faqir saying "these are not miracles, though the disciiple may believe such." Those are two different things, and we have Faqir on record for saying that "no doubt, miracles sometimes do happen."

An authentic explanation becomes more difficult to believe. Mystically it’s not complicated by incoherence. Time will clarify the diverse and differing opinions, regarding factual or otherwise, teachings and rare mumblings.
Visions are sui generis on closer inspection. Suggested by his own Vision. The admixture of early and earlier memories are sometimes forgotten, sparking incidents when speaking on memories not incidents.

Gurus have the Ability to have a Guru.

@ David - hello

Thank you for responding. I am glad you had a wonder stay. I went in 1991 when I was early teenager. I felt that I had been there before. That feeling haunts me. When I was about 6 I used to have dreams of the Satsang ghar being built even though I had no knowledge of RSSB. I know that’s going to sound messed up to some on here.

Did you get a chance to speak to Master during your visit?

Kind Regards

Arjuna

But if you believe that the mind has the ability to project and even make things seem to happen on pure thought/belief alone, isn’t that in itself a power? Like people who walk on hot coals and feel no pain.

It's like the law of attraction, if you believe something will happen it will, 'it is done on to you as you believe'.
Faqir Chand wrote about this in his books and talked about it in his satsangs.

Hi Joseph,

Always good to hear from you. BTW, I don't know if you got a chance to read it, but the relatives of Julian Johnson contacted me and they have a treasure trove of material about him that is quite interesting. We even made a website documenting some of it.

As for the notion of "miracles do happen," I thought it would be best to do a meta-search of the word "miracle" in all of the available Faqir Chand literature. No doubt, his views on this specific issue are mixed, since at one end Faqir can say the following statements throughout his books:

"I am true to the core of my heart, and I do not believe in miracles."

"Baba Sawan Singh Ji used to say that a Saint's brain adopts the shape of a four sided mirror and it reflects all future events. He become capable of reflecting the deepest roots of objects and even the Inner feelings of a man. It is not a miracle, but a natural process. If something good happens with my blessings, I am not ready to take any credit for that because that is all pre-planned and pre-destined, it is not due to my blessings."

"I cannot perform any miracle. Whatever I understand and experience I speak out to the world, though many people dislike my plain speaking."

"Often, I think, what can I do for the mankind and my country? I cannot change the situation through a miracle."

"Well, brother, you have come. I want to be true to you. I do no miracles. "

"About me, there are so many miracles attributed to me that if I write about all, there would be a big book. But I say upon my honor, that I do none of these miracles. It is either fate or the faith of the person concerned."

______

And then Faqir can also say something like this,

"I know that a man can convey his thoughts to others, if he so tries. Power of thought works wonders. I know so many instances of miracles done by this Power that a big volume could have been written about them. But I did not get involved in it because it is a game of Maya. Once man is involved in this Super-natural game, he is lost forever. I tell you another instance of transmission of Thought Power. I did not pay any attention to supernatural powers, miracles or extraordinary events or incidents. But when I occupied the seat of preceptor, I then found that the Sat Sangies in general are more interested in supernatural powers and miracles. So, according to the needs of the time or on the basis of my own experiences, I too made certain number of men the focus of my sympathy and good wishes. And the result was that the sick regained health and the issueless were blessed with children. This experience of mine proved that the power of thought is a great force but it works upon only such people who have an extreme and true desire for getting particular things and not upon others. The power of thought proved ineffective upon many other people."

"I declare from the tree-tops and tower-tops that I do not go any where to manifest myself before anybody, I do not perform any miracles nor do I possess any such power. Whatever you have got, whatever you get, and whatever you will get, is the result and outcome of your own Karm, your own faith and your own belief. Who am I to give you anything ?

______

I counted roughly 30 or so direct uses of the word "miracle" in the totality of Faqir Chand's many books. Each have a context and each have a nuance.

Essentially, Faqir believes that the real miracle is the power of thought, the power of faith, and the power of concentration/belief.

But in any case, I think it is best for those interested in this subject to read Faqir directly on this interesting issue.

So I have created a website with every use of the word miracle in all of Faqir Chand's available literature.

That way, each person can make their own interpretation.

Will post that meta study later this afternoon.


Dear Arjuna,

No I didn't request an interview with Gurinder. I did have an interview with him many years ago in 1994 in Austin, Texas, but that was my only direct personal interaction with him.

@ David

Hello again. Thank you. He has only spoken to me once and said “be a good man”.

I always try to be - no matter what. Your book has arrived and I will read it over the weekend

All the best

G,

It's a really interesting concept. Whether you're religious or not...

In the military, people called my husband the magic man because he could always sense certain things and know when they were about to walk into a dangerous situation. He was in Africa and the Africans were very superstitious. But he said it was just simply heightened senses--something that happens when you're put in a life or death situation.

Another really interesting thing that happened, was a local witch doctor got to know my husband and liked him a lot so he gave my husband what was deemed to be a very powerful walking stick. Anyway, all of the men in his platoon were Africans and one day one of the guys was giving him shit so he point the stick at him (as a joke) and the guy fell down and was unconscious for a few days. However, even my husband agrees that there was nothing magical about the stick that the witch doctor gave him other than the BELIEF the local tribes had that it had "real magic".

The stick didn't cause the man to fall down and lie there unconscious for a few days--the belief in it did.

And once again you have the power of the mind... of course as scientists we can look at the outcome in reverse and say that it was just simply the man's belief--there is nothing in nature other than the man's belief that caused it. But, then it just goes to show how powerful the mind really is.

Yes, the law of attraction... I read Faqir Chand's writings and pdfs here. Interesting, sort of. It's nothing terribly new, though. A lot of other "gurus" have said similar things, especially in our modern age.

Here is the website which contains the meta-search we did for the word "miracle" in the corpus of Faqir Chand's numerous English writings.

Hopefully, this will serve as an appetizer for those interested to read the larger context in which each is written.

https://sites.google.com/site/faqirchandonmiracles/

Strange. It seems some gurus get the stamp of approval while others don’t.

Stranger, I never heard of any atheist approval of any guru.

Very wierd realm this blog is in - must be the twilight zone. Don’t know it’s ass from its elbow.

"But after this was achieved, Faqir would then stress realizing that the whole game was a projection of one's own mind and that we should let it go."

EVERYTHING IS A PROJECTION OF THE MIND. So, it seems...

But, I guess what I'm trying to say here is, that with the power of the mind it's sort of a chicken/egg thing. For example, you don't have heart disease but stressing out about things too much over time can create symptoms of heart disease, even damaging your heart--sometimes people actually have heart attacks simply because they allowed themselves to get so stressed out. We know that perpetual negative thoughts cause physical stress and release potentially damaging chemicals and hormones like too much cortisol. Over a long period of time, these negative thoughts can cause damage to your body.

So, in a way that is a power that might seem "magical" (it's always "magical" when it's negative and "miraculous" when it's positive LOL)--a power that our thoughts can have over us to the point of affecting the physical bodies we live in... perhaps even more. Who knows. If you're more of a Newtonian type, you'll say it ends there--if you're more quantumly inclined, you'll say the possibilities are limitless.

All that really matters, though, is are you able to control your own thoughts??

ANYONE can have "control" over you, or a ridiculously strong influence over you if you continue to believe what they say--not just a guru that you "worship". But, this is because you've allowed your mind to believe they have control. It's all in the mind but the mind is very powerful. And when I say "mind", we can dumb that down to thoughts or thought systems or beliefs.

Or are you simply misinterpreting what the gurus are and have been saying? Are you too literal or are you taking things out of context to suit your own worldview.

Are the mystics right when they say that most misinterpret the teachings of the bible etc? That these books are at best a poor metaphor for trying to describe experiences which are impossible to reduce to words.

Who said the guru needs to be Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence? These are Christian notions of what a god is.

Arjuna you are cool man.peace

David, Did Chand speak English or were his English writings also translated from Hindi? And if they're all coming from Hindi, which words are being translated as "miracle" ?

From - Rabbi Goldstein is wrong. A moment of silence in schools is useless.
Sonya says
Spence,
Just curious, were you an initiate of Gurinder or Charan?
Posted by: Sonya Bellarozzi T | April 29, 2019 at 08:11 PM

From Spence -
Hi Sonya
Charan Singh
Posted by: Spence Tepper | April 30, 2019 at 03:35 PM

here -
Hi Jesse
 You wrote
"Spence do you think you'd see "the radiant form" if you hadn't subscribed to the radha swami religion? "
Since I saw Gurinder within many years before I actually saw him, before I knew anything at all about Sant Mat, something else factual must have informed my mind first.
That's where what you suggest doesn't match my experience.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | May 08, 2019 at 11:28 PM

Spence says he was initiated by Charan and yet didnt know anything at all about Sant Mat before Gurinder
so many lies

Hi Jen
You wrote
"Spence says he was initiated by Charan and yet didnt know anything at all about Sant Mat before Gurinder
so many lies"

Jen, what is your problem?

I saw Gurinder in a dream when I was in high school. At that time I knew nothing of Sant Mat. This was 1974.

Then in college I learned about the Path and was initiated by Dr DeVries in Pasadena in 1980, the year Mt. St. Helen's first erupted. Charan Singh is my Master.

I knew nothing about Gurinder until Maharaji's passing. And only in Kitchener Ontario in, I believe, 1992, did I see Gurinder. And I recognized him immediately.

Really, Jen, why not ask for clarification before making false accusations?

It's beneath you.

Hi Jesse
You wrote
"Are you sure you saw Gurinder and not just another sardar? Maybe you'd walked past a hotel owned by some Sikhs and their image was forever burned into your mind. Happened to me as a kid. Then that image came into your dreams and only after rs literature did you think it was Gurinder."

Jesse, how would you know?

Let's just say it didn't fit your world view, therefore it couldn't have happened.

In my dream I was floating above the earth, and Gurinder approached me coming up from earth, placed his hand on my shoulder as he passed and wished me well, calling me brother.

This is not a dream one forgets easily.

I'm from Southern California originally, a fairly cosmopolitan place.

But my experience can only be a matter of conjecture to you.

"ignorance is the foundation of all conjecture."
from 'The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World' by Harry Harrison

Jessie you wrote
“You're ascribing powers to gurus and claiming that Chand did so as well by either not reading well or lying. Stop doing that or else show exactly where he said gurus themselves have power or ability to do anything at all.”

Faqir s one words
" To work as a guru is a very great responsibility. And I have told you that I did not go. Neither did I write her a letter. But in my heart I had this thought that my wife is dead, that woman meditated on me – her thought reached me from Iraq and my thought reached her, manifested as my form and told her that my wife had died. These are the experiences of my life."

If I did not understand his words(and I heard it in his own voice not translated) and you did then please correct me but it sure sounds to me like he said being a guru is no small thing as you have the ability to influence people’s thoughts.

Hi David
You wrote
"Thus, these stories about Faqir are not miracles, though the disciples may believe such.
They are what the mind can produce under stressful circumstances.”

That's 100% non-paranormal.

But Faqir also acknowledged the Paranormal, as in the case of the woman who somehow came to learn that Faqir's wife died. Faqir had no knowledge of it at the time, but claimed this factual information probably came to her in a vision of Faqir, who then goes on to claim her thoughts came to his mind and his thoughts went into her mind.

Now, my point is that when you claim 'all these letters say its just projection, mental illusion /projection' you mislead the reader.

I acknowledge that the evidence of this comes from the very documentation you yourself have provided.

Is it strange that a person provides the very basis to disprove their claim?

It's normal, Dude. That's why our best friends point out when our own shirt tail is hanging out the back.

Let me take this one step further....

I'm going to play editor and suggest a little re-write of your claim, something like this...

'' Thus, these particular stories I was given about Faqir are not miracles, though the disciples may believe such.
They are what the mind can produce under stressful circumstances. And yet I also came to read other stories where Faqir detailed accounts of paranormal communication where thoughts went from one person to another. He did not discount the workings of the paranormal, but attributed this to the power of the mind, that one can indeed gain information, accurate information, through paranormal means, even if we ourselves do not understand how. '

Dear Spence,

I stand by what I wrote in the context it was written and I never used 100 percent. That is you wording and you should edit your own exaggerations.

Of course, I could always use this quote by Faqir himself,

“ I am true to the core of my heart, and I do not believe in miracles. What I can do for you, at the most, is that I can give you my good wishes.”

But instead I thought it better to see the various uses Faqir uses when employing the term miracle.

In any case, I created a website that went through every book by Faqir which mentions the word miracle. Hope that is of some use, no matter how we parse it.

Reading Faqir is always a liberating experience for me.

Thanks for the discussion even we if may see things a bit differently.

Jesse,

Faqir spoke English very well and even dictated many letters to me in English. He also spoke Urdu and Hindi....

Hi Spence you wrote
“I saw Gurinder in a dream when I was in high school. At that time I knew nothing of Sant Mat.”
I’m just curious in what image did you see him? Child, adult, long beard short beard?

Hi David
My take on this, as you can see, is simply that
1.Faqir believed that our mind has power.
2.The power to create illusion out of our own desire.
3.the power to gain truth, even to read accurately, without our own conscious awareness, the thoughts of another through psychic means.

Would you agree that Faqir has, among his works, expressed these sentiments?

Would like to submit how an incident that happened while was a kid,2-3 years old demands introspection to be a real one or fake. My parents told me about it when I was grown up.

I got polio and was paralysed. Even I remember this much that I was pretty uncomfortable then. My parents got initiation much later, some 10 years later.

On some night a Sardar appears to my Dad in dream in the night and says that your child will be all right and disappears. He does not remember who that Sardar was, his exact features later after 10 years when He got initiated.

But I recovered almost fully after that night, as my parents told me. That dream got washed up later down the years and also the Sardar his image who prophesied. While during that period my Dad used to drink, eat non veg. , etc and was no way connected to the sect.

Perhaps they were to be initiated later that He may have appeared to soothe them as also me, my lowly self.

Never know if it fits into Fakir's Baba way of powers of mind. May be the mind has the powers to heal the other person through dreams! How?

Regards.

You know I’m trying to work out weather all this debate in regard to mental projections/visions etc is helping me or just pissing me off more in regard to Sant Mat teachings. I’m certainly less interested in stories about barrenless women issuing forth prasad powered progeny (no offence to the female bloggers) and more interested in what according to David Lane is the core of Fakir Chand’s experience and message:
“Every two or three months or sometimes every three days, when I go and search for that entity that listens to the sound, then my being disappears.
What remains? Nothing.”

My interpretation - his ultimate realisation is that in the process of ‘deep inquiry’ in deep meditation there’s a state of ‘no thing’. No vestige of a mind/personality/separate self. The experience is non-dual. Does this also mean that the only thing that truly is, is the Saar Shabad?
Is this the nothing, the Absolute of which Nisargadatta speaks?

“I am a bubble of the supermost consciousness. In the process of evolution, I appeared or manifested. Similarly, you also appeared. I did not exist before, and I won’t exist again. Only one element will remain from which this bubble came into existence.
That element is Sound”

Several interesting things here -
‘A bubble of supermost consciousness’ - Is FC describing the soul? Something sort of separate but ultimately not for if it represents supermost consciousness it most be hooked into the totality of consciousness?
‘In the process of evolution, I appeared or manifested …. I did not exist before, and I won’t exist again.’

I like that FC speaks of evolution which I believe is about the unfolding of consciousness. Consciousness manifests these little bubbles that think they are something for a wee spurt of time then pop back into no thing. Some bubbles evolve to understand the nature of consciousness. A few grok that at the base of all this is the sound of the universe? Uni… Verse = 1 song. This brings peace - gotta be good I’d be happy with this.
All this is to my liking and very advaitic imo.
So what did FC advocate as a means/method to get to ‘no-thing’?

On a slightly different note (excuse the pun), for all you progressive metalers, there’s an interesting you tube clip analysing Tool’s (one of my favourite bands) song Lateralus in terms of the fibonacci series. I used to cathartically dance to this song when it first came out - definitely need to stretch a bit these days if I did the same now. https://youtu.be/uOHkeH2VaE0.

BFN

Maybe the entire memory is false, Meditator, and your parents' minds created it long after the fact. I have a memory of riding a snow sled off of a really tall cliff near my childhood home. If it had really happened, I'd be dead, but I still remember it even though it never happened.

I also remember remembering and recounting this event many times throughout my life, though it could be the case that all that is bullshit too and I invented those memories.

Also, why do people supposedly see these Sikhs in turbans and long beards? Gurinder used to cut his beard. Jagat Singh was a "mona" Sikh with no beard or Turban and I think I read stories of him appearing as a turbaned Sikh to some.

Stop believing things.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_memory

Hi Spence,

First, When reading Faqir Chand and knowing him as I do, I think it is obvious that
he believed our mind has the power to generate (he used the word, "creatively") all
sort of fantastic images. In Faqir's own life his mind produced Krishna, an aged sadhu, Shiv Brat Lal, and so much more.

Second, Faqir also held that such religious visions are ultimately illusory and argued that it was because of his own satsangis and disciples that he learned this great truth and thus was liberated from their binding effect. As Faqir himself explained, 'I receive numerous reports of this effect from the satsangis concerned, orally and by letters. In my heart of hearts I know for certain, that I do not know where and when these visions arise and help them miraculously; not do I produce them. Then, how does it happen? What is the explanation for this? I believe that the intensified faith of these devout persons becomes creative and produces these results. Many so-called gurus mis-appropriate the credit for similar happenings, which take place in their disciples, whose own true faith should be held responsible for those results."

Third, Faqir clearly had ideas about thought transmission and mentions it in several instances, including this one: "I know that a man can convey his thoughts to others, if he so tries. Power of thought works wonders. I know so many instances of miracles done by this Power that a big volume could have been written about them. But I did not get involved in it because it is a game of Maya. Once man is involved in this Super-natural game, he is lost forever."

Faqir believed in this idea since he used to go into samadhi in front of his disciples and I think the hope was that they too would be influenced by such an action and therefore achieve a like minded state.

I witnessed Faqir several times go into samadhi myself.

I will tell you a funny story that I heard from Faqir's good friend and doctor who was with Faqir during the last weeks of his life.

The Dr. told me that occasionally would Faqir would go into samadhi, his state of absorption was such that nothing could bring him out of it. Apparently, I.C. Sharma, Faqir's main designated successor (who I have met on several occasions), would "test" Faqir's samadhi in front of others.... and since Faqir was of little stature would lift him and shake him around up and down..... and, yet, Faqir remained deeply absorbed in samadhi.

Pretty strange for Sharma to that, but if you knew Sharma he was a bit strange himself.

In any case (and this is me talking, not Faqir), I tend to think that what we take to be psychic or paranormal can often be explained more rationally given more time and more information.

Certainly, my T.A.'s visionary experience of Charan dying at almost the exact moment that he did die seems paranormal on the surface.

But in an article for Integral World and for the first book I did on Charan (part of a proposed three part series), I attempt to explain ways and means that such an amazing experience could be understood
without resorting to something trans-personal.

Of course, this doesn't preclude the paranormal, it is just that I think we should exhaust physical explanations first.

I have called this the Remainder Conjecture.

And it is a guiding light for how I look at these things.

Here is a little movie that underlines this way of thinking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT0cL5g_1zE

Thanks.

From Faqir Chand's book A Word to Americans http://manavtamandir.com/books/english/A-Word-To-Americans.pdf

Q. Your Holiness has mentioned about the population being
reduced to half. We have been hearing this prophecy in America as well.
Can you expand this?

Faqir Chand: You see; I am not God, nor am I an astrologer. I
have studies the philosophy of mind, which is based on my personal
experience. I have realized that if there is disharmony, hatred and ill will
amongst the members of family is bound to suffer from destruction. I am
not telling this theoretically, but it is based on my personal experience. I
lost one of my sons. I had predicted his death two and half years earlier
than it actually occurred, when I was getting a house built at Hoshiarpur.
My son-in-law said to me, “Father, you should get the house so
constructed that both of your sons can occupy a separate apartment.” I
told him, “You should thank God if one of them survives.” I said this on
the basis of facts in my family and on the same basis I say that the future
suffering of humanity is inevitable. Let me elaborate it further. My
younger brother Rai Sahib Surendra Nath was away in Mesopotamia.
At that time I was drawing only Rs. 95/- a month as a Station Master. I
had to feed his three children as well as my own family. It was very
difficult for me to manage with the limited means. My wife used to
grumble everyday. I mean to say that she had a bad temper and attitude
of hatred and ill feelings. It was therefore natural for her to suffer from
the consequences. It is the worst thing for a woman to trouble her
husband or children. Hence I predicted the death of one of my sons.
Because this prediction came true, I venture to say that the existence of
hatred in all the countries is bound to bring the catestrophe. Humanity
will suffer, because of its own thinking and feelings, which are at their
worst during the political elections. All vibrations spread over the world.
It takes time for these vibrations to fructify. You already have scientific
attitude. Even Newton had stated that the motion of your hand initiated
by you influences the stars. You can understand that our bad thoughts
influence the events of the world."

J: Faqir is saying that the population of the world will be cut in half because of the "bad thoughts" of the citizenry. He also says that he blames his wife's grumbling for the death of one of his sons.

This Faqir Chand found in his books is different from the wonderful Faqir we meet in the Unknowing book. Another Chand story from Word to Americans:

"A white couple was blessed with a son, who was exactly like a Negro. This
happened in England. The husband doubted his wife and filed a case
against her for her infidelity, by stating that the son was illegal. He
categorically refused to accept that the boy was his real son. But the wife
pleaded not guilty and affirmed that it was the real son of her husband.
When the blood of the child was tested and matched with that of the father,
wife's contention proved to be true. Later on it was discovered that there
was the picture of a Negro hanging in the living room of the couple. The
wife used to look at the picture during her pregnancy. The result was the
formation of Negrite features of the would-be child in her womb. This is the
clear proof of what I have been saying. Any other question?"

Faqir Chand literature is chock full of such "scientific" observations. Perhaps this helps explain why I've taken a dim view on Chand in this forum. I think much of his advice was nonsense. Still, there is a gem or two in this little book:

Chand: “Have firm faith in God; be true to yourself; think well of others; never try to harm
others”. This is the way I pass my life and nature helps me---ALWAYS ALWAYS. If you surrender yourself to Him and resign yourself to Him, He looks after you. This is my firm conviction."

Wow. This comment thread went in so many different directions so fast and furiously... I’m very grateful Brian posted another article about Faqir. Faqir really gets people stirred up. That’s what happens when gurus start telling the truth.

although, I can’t say I’ve ever caught Gurinder in a lie... he’s pretty careful about that

Hi David
You wrote
"Of course, this doesn't preclude the paranormal, it is just that I think we should exhaust physical explanations first."

I concur. But it is a shame when research that has established to a scientific and statistical significance that no rational physical explanation exists, still, a sceptics deny that. So one more acceptable illusion replaces another, that is all.

The blind spot here is using conjecture.

It's unnecessary to explain anything actually.

Whether that conjecture is magical or "practical".

We still don't know what actually connects planets hundreds of thousands of miles apart. We understand how gravity works but have yet to find a particle or energy connection to explain it.

There is nothing detectable connecting bodies in space.

I point this out to demonstrate the absurdity in trying to find an explanation for everything. At some point it becomes just a label and not any real knowledge at all. Another imaginary model, with its own level of accuracy and inaccuracy.

I love science fiction author Harry Harrison's comment, "Ignorance is the foundation of all conjecture."

Gravitational waves detected

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190509173343.htm

Mr Jesse.
It was related to me by my patents many a times. As it was the only day after that fateful night of celebration He remembers it very much. Because it is the only night perhaps which has been with extraordinary dream - to have brought out a pleasing relief for their son who was stiffly gripped by polio and paralysed.

As far as the shaven or bearded or adolescent or child or with a particular hairstyle etc issue, a Sardar as said appeared mean a Sardar appeared. I never said it was Baba Ji or Hujur Charan Singh Ji Maharaj. However He was initiated by Charan Singh. I take due diligence in expressing exactly lest it does not lead to unnecessary speculation or interpretation - try to be truthful to the best possible extent.

I guess that it is that image of Gurus, mostly bearded while on throne of Guruship which might be seen in dreams or inner side. And may not be the image before His Guruship while as a child or later until seated on the Gaddi. Regards.


Spence,

The movie the "remainder conjecture" is to actually open up a blind spot, not hide one. For instance,
if we exhaust physical explanations first (for instance, trying to understand the neural correlate theory of consciousness) and we find after intensive and comprehensive research that it is insufficient to the task, then it opens up a window, what I call a "remainder", which gives us suggestive indications that something ELSE is needed beyond the physical parameters we explored. So, ironically, those most in favor of the paranormal should be at the forefront of exhausting each and every explanation that utilizes the normal.

This in itself doesn't discount the supernatural in the least, but means that we won't be duped into confusing a purely physical event for a psychic one, which has too often happened in the past.

Science actually starts with ignorance since it doesn't assume (theologically or prematurely) to have any absolute answers and thus from this state then proposes guesses and models and then tests those to see which one best fits the situation and which one provides the greatest predictive value.

Therefore, science is always doubting, always questioning, and in so doing has been wonderfully progressive in terms of understanding that which before was misunderstood.

Also, what used to be seen as magical or mysterious or produced by a god, has often turned out to be generated by physical means. The sun and nuclear fusion (see Hans Bethe for more) is a good illustration of this.

Same with the idea of gravity. Einstein's general theory of relativity made predictions that could be tested.

However, some things like "gravitational waves" were so subtle that it took a 100 years for us to find detect them, which was a great breakthrough that just came to light.

The same, of course, with the subatomic physics when physicists knew that there was a missing piece in the Standard Model..... In the early 1960s they theorized a missing Boson, later found and called (after one of its more well known theorizers) the "Higgs Boson." The Nobel prize in physics was awarded for this breakthrough, though it took decades for the proof needed to verify it.

My point is a simple one. The more patient we are in science to look for physical causes first the better off we will be, since in that pursuit we won't be duped into magical and transcendental temptations too early.

I don't think it is at all absurd to try to find an explanation for all that we can. Indeed, that is why science is science, since it doesn't simply quit but rather chugs onwards..... and in so doing the most remarkable things can happen.

Often people forget that in the early 20th century there were many that felt that the secret of genetics would never be found and instead opted for Elan Vital..... thankfully, biologists and chemists such as Linus Pauling, Rosalind Franklin, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkings, and James Watson were not deterred in looking for physical causations..... Indeed, they were influenced by Erwin Schrodinger's book, WHAT IS LIFE, which argued for looking for a physical medium by which information (genetic and otherwise) could be universally transmitted.

And, lo and behold, the double helix structure of DNA was discovered in 1953..... and it has radically
changed our understanding of how life works.....

So, again, let us pursue the Wilsonian idea of Consilient reductionism first..... and if that exhausts itself and there remains a "remainder"..... then we have something to build upon.

Or as Blaise Pascal said (or was attributed in saying), which I think goes to the heart of how science proceeds:

little faith, little doubt
great faith, great doubt

and

infinite faith, infinite doubt.

Dear David
This is out of my usual and nonsensical comfort zone so this is rare riposte from me.
I have taken some of your comments, in context, as below.
“Science actually starts with ignorance.
So, ironically, those most in favor of the paranormal should be at the forefront of exhausting each and every explanation that utilizes the normal.
However, some things like "gravitational waves" were so subtle that it took a 100 years for us to find detect them.
My point is a simple one. The more patient we are in science to look for physical causes first the better off we will be, since in that pursuit we won't be duped into magical and transcendental temptations too early.”

ME: For those of use who have experienced paranormal, supernatural and psychic phenomena the answer is already delivered. No further investigation needed.
Scientific study will not be able to conclude that the psychic experience is or was genuine.
As for waiting a Century, Gosh, I’d have to get up early for that one.

Hi David
If you take a closer look at your own reasoning above you may see the flaw I have attempted to point out, albeit in shorthand.

An open mind is essential, therefore any conclusions, either magical or practical, must be testable.

You claim people leap to the paranormal explanation, but many leap to the practical and without evidence.

Science, as you point out, demands an open and intestigative approach.

But the flaws in actual research often point to constricting the research to produce our pre-conceived explanation.

This is why your reference to gravity waves is uninformed.

Gravity waves aren't waves of gravity.

They are simply detectable effects on matter.

Light waves are detectable and linked to waves of photon particles, but not gravity. There are no gravity fields of detectable energy or particle waves.

Imagine a pond with leaves on the surface.

You throw a stone in the middle. The water moves and so do the leaves.

But we can't detect the water. Today we can only measure the movement of the leaves on the surface.

Same with gravity "waves"... We are still measuring the effects of gravity on matter here in earth, though with very huge and subtle (and not entirely reliable) detectors. We still cannot detect any particle or energy that connects any of the celestial bodies to each other.

As for paranormal, I'm convinced science will discover one day the means by which children can remember their past life details that, when investigated, have no practical explanations possible. Or as faqir pointed out, how his thoughts could enter someone else's mind.

Even the inner regions will likely turn out to be part and parcel of the construction of the brain, influenced in ways we cannot currently detect.

But to conclude these mysteries are fake or entirely illusory when science has already demonstrated that some are indeed accurate, is premature, and unscientific.

https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/

https://sites.google.com/site/faqirchandonmiracles/

This is purportedly a list of every recorded instance where Faqir Chand uses the word "miracle." Noticeably absent is the instance I found in my brief skim of Faqir's writings, where he says "no doubt, miracles sometimes do happen." There's also Faqir saying that thoughts will kill off half the population of the planet, grumbling can (literally, not metaphorically) kill our children, and the thoughts of a pregnant white woman for a black man can alter the baby's DNA and racial characteristics.

It's admittedly tough to pin down just what Faqir actually believed on any topic, except one: Faqir was adamant that he did not have foreknowledge of the unusual experiences of his followers, or that his will instigated these experiences. As for miracles themselves, Faqir did not argue that there was a reasonable material explanation for the fantastic story of apparent divine intervention in the lives of his followers. Faqir put the actual cause of these experiences as being caused by faith in God, and thought that generated by cosmic rays. Faqir did not hold that miracles are the work of imagination. He absolutely believed that faith could produce miracles, that is, material alterations of nature.

https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/

When evidence is presented we need to carefully and scientifically and with open mind, learn, listen, and then evaluate it.

If someone doesn't do this, they aren't being scientific, regardless of how loudly they claim to be 'scientific' . Just using "science" as a club to defeat one prejudice in favor of their own.

BTW Brian, I didn't refuse to read the articles on Baba Ji, though they said what I didn't want to believe. I went further and read the Luthra and Luthra audits, and did my homework. And amended my view. I let truth lead me through a dark passage.

It's now your turn, and David's, to step out of your comfort zone and be a scientist. Open mind first please.

Correction to last post: Faqir's statement that "miracles that no doubt do happen" is included, as it's item #4 on that meta list.

Hi Michael,

I liked your post since I think there are two different things at issue here. One is the experience we have of something (which can range from the ordinary to the superluminal) that we enjoy for its own sake. The other is how we go about explaining or making sense of what transpired.
We have the option of making them mutually exclusive or correlating them.

Science is the pursuit of the latter.

My own feeling is that there is nothing wrong or even diminishing when trying to ground what we perceive as supernatural to the empirical arena.

Why? Because as Brian Hines has eloquently pointed out in numerous posts, this universe, this very atomic stuff is magical and mysterious and magnificent in itself. Nothing needs to be added to it since matter is already amazing in all it various forms.

So, for example, I had what I felt was a mystical experience surfing Zuma beach back in 1975... I took off on this 8 foot wave that looked to be a close out but instead I got a 6 second tube ride that seemed like it lasted minutes... Time slowed down and I felt frozen in an eternal moment....

Now when I look at this more objectively it was just me on fiberglass going through a tunnel of H2O...

But even though it was just physics that doesn’t take away from the joy of that moment.

So likewise I don’t think our mystical experiences are lessened if it turns out that they are just a product of my physical brain...

Physics IS mystical in the positive sense of the term and I think dualism is unnecessary when we realize that.

Hi David
Your surfing experience was real.

No one is telling you that you never rode that tube and it was all in your imagination.

But even if that were true, it was real for you alone. The facts of the matter are merely tangential and outside your experience. A matter of pure conjecture, since you can only report what you experienced.

When you can regard everyone's testimony of their subjective experience as their subjective experience fully valid for them, even when it is entirely foreign to you, then you will have achieved the capacity to acknowledge in others the legitimate joy what you claim for yourself.

No one cares, truly, whether their inner Gurinder has any connection to the outer one. What they care about is the truthfulness, sincerity and compassion of their own inner Gurinder, who, if they are fortunate, is their constant companion. He is helping them see things objectively, mostly about themselves, and serves his purpose unerringly.


When Einstein, in his inner experience, his thought experiment, during his high school days, rode that beam of light, he actually learned about the true, amazing and real aspects of light. He learned truth from his inner experience, which came from a different place, informed by truths he had not learned or understood despite his study, despite his intellect. And we have all benefited.

And this led him to proclaim...

IMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE "

Dear Spence,

Perhaps we are talking at cross purposes.

1. The reason I brought up the recent discovery of gravitational waves was to point out that sometimes it takes time for things to be tested and confirmed, as in this case it took 100 years.

Cal Tech defines these gravitational waves as this: "Gravitational waves are 'ripples' in space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe. Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity. Einstein's mathematics showed that massive accelerating objects (such as neutron stars or black holes orbiting each other) would disrupt space-time in such a way that 'waves' of distorted space would radiate from the source (like the movement of waves away from a stone thrown into a pond). Furthermore, these ripples would travel at the speed of light through the Universe, carrying with them information about their cataclysmic origins, as well as clues to the nature of gravity itself."

I wasn't arguing about the ultimate nature of gravity as such, but only how the process of science works and why what may seem to be too subtle for science (see the above definition) at one time (1916) becomes accessible, given technological advances nearly a 100 years later (2015).

Likewise, what may appear to have no physical referent at first may over time and with the advancement of technology and science provide us with tools to see their physical interactions.

2. Keeping an open mind is indeed a key feature of science, but you seem to have jumped to conclusions that seem unwarranted when you write, "But to conclude these mysteries are fake or entirely illusory when science has already demonstrated that some are indeed accurate, is premature, and unscientific."

I am not quite sure which mysteries you are talking about here or which are entirely illusory. One would have to be laser specific and then examine each case on their own merits (or lack thereof).

Additionally, you appear to already have preset conclusions when you write, "I'm convinced science will discover one day the means by which children can remember their past life details that, when investigated, have no practical explanations possible."

Can we be wrong in such a conviction? Could it be the reverse--that reincarnation isn't the case and that such memories are merely admixtures from early childhood experiences that we have misidentified?

My point is that we have to be willing to be wrong about the very things we may hold so dear.
As Richard Feynman said, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool."

So, in this context, what kinds of evidence would upturn our cherished beliefs and how willing are we to change our minds on the basis of such?

As for myself, I am not preset against the paranormal. To the contrary, I have a long history of investigating such things in my life. Even taught graduate courses on parapsychology back in the late 1980s/1990s.

However, I know from personal experience in this area how easy one can be deceived. I often give the example of Sathya Sai Baba, who many erstwhile very intelligent people (including those would call themelves scientists) believed that this South Indian Guru could produce things out of thin air.

I even corresponded with Jack Hilslop, then President of the Sai organization in North America, about such happenings.

However, when I delved deeply into this subject (as have others), I found that Sai was simply a very bad sleight of hand magician who faked the very miracles that others thought were real.

We even have extensive photographic evidence showing exactly how he did it, and sadly you and I could probably do better tricks.

But the environment was such that people didn't doubt it.

Now I am not saying that Sai represents the entire field of the paranormal, but only that being very skeptical is indeed the best way to first test whether something is faked or not.

The great thing about science is that it is always open to such inquiries and no model within science is held as an absolute dogma since that would contravene the very process of doing science.

Newton could be wrong, Einstein could be wrong, and Darwin could be wrong.

But to their great credit, they showed the pathway by which to DISPROVE their ideas.

To the degree that their theories withstand falsification we hold them tentatively as the best explanations we have so far..... always keeping in mind that someone or some idea may upturn what we hold to be relatively true.

That is how Einstein improved upon Newton and how Crick and Watson improved upon Pauli, and the list goes on.

But we must also be willing to chuck ideas that cannot withstand rational scrutiny if we wish to have a progressive science.

Again, the key is for us to take things case by case and see what holds up and what does not.

Here, btw, is the link to the Sai Baba controversy.....

http://www.integralworld.net/lane62.html

Dear Spence,

Yes, my surfing experience was indeed real at the time. But quite frankly, I wouldn't be upset if someone said it was my imagination. Why? Because my other surf friends would definitely rib me about it, saying something like, "Sure, bro, six seconds? More like a two second champagne rinse."

Surfers can be harsh about such stories.....

So, I recently wrote in the book, Charan: A Remembrance (part one), that long before I was initiated I had a tremendous meditation experience which convinced me that Charan should initiate me right away. Keep in mind I was 17 and one very anxious kid.

Thus, I write Charan a long letter about it. Now, he wrote me back and basically told me about how the mind can produce all sorts of things and that they may not be reliable and that it could be illusory and so on. He also said I should be more skeptical and more critical about such subjective happenings.

It was altogether wise advice, even if the experience I had was still a very cool one.

Therefore, I don't see a problem with someone questioning our subjective experiences and how we interpret them.

I once had an older male student who was diagnosed as schizophrenic and basically never left his house for twenty years because he could see and hear all sorts of nasty things coming out of the television set and from his rug, and so on.

He envisioned them as real as you and I standing next to him. It froze him, almost quite literally, into staying home all the time.

Well, as he ventured out he took a class with me. But he couldn't look anyone in the eye..... One day when we talked about how consciousness evolved as a virtual simulator and why such simulations gave us an evolutionary advantage over other species, even if some of those simulations were completely imaginary.

It struck him like a bolt of lightening. He then proceeded to "doubt" his visions and "doubt" the interpretations of such a real. It liberated him.

Therefore, while it is phenomenologically true that our subjective experiences seem indeed real when they are happening, it doesn't mean that our interpretations of the same are true or that we have to hold fast to them.

We could simply be mistaken about how we interpret them, and given better models may be liberated from their binding effects.

In any case, we can take a two prong approach: describe our inner experiences phenomenologically (to get full flavor of what it was like) and still be open for alternative explanations or interpretations of what then just transpired.

Ah, but the key in science is to then test our imaginations in the world around us to see how well they hold up to rational scrutiny and test.

Imagination is great, no doubt. But it doesn't become scientific until we tested it.

Einstein's theory of relativity needed to be tested.

Otherwise, we stay in the imaginary realm.

I love unicorns 🦄

That’s how I feel right now. Sometimes all this intense cerebral debate makes me see stars. Sometimes you just want to forget all about this serious stuff and let your mind chill... go to the spa, sit in a hammock... maybe a sensory deprivation experience would put this in better perspective. Or not. Maybe we need to relax more... maybe life is meant to be LESS examined. Just a thought.

Hi Gerber
Testing, truly fair and controlled testing is crucial.
That's why conjecture about things that cannot be tested is just another form of belief and of little value.

How do we know what can and cannot be tested? Is the idea that things cannot be tested just another form of belief which has little value>?

Hi David
Thanks for your comments.
You wrote
"1. The reason I brought up the recent discovery of gravitational waves was to point out that sometimes it takes time for things to be tested and confirmed, as in this case it took 100 years."

Then testing Einstein's theory required some time. Yet he believed his vision immediately.

But his theory, like Newton's, was only a description of how gravity works and tells us nothing about what it is. Newton wrote " I frame no hypothesis" when asked what were the mechanics behind gravity. To this day we don't know.

The gravity waves we detect today are like shock waves from large catastrophic events in the movement and collision of matter.

But no actual gravity energy fields and particles have ever been detected. They aren't like light or magnetism, which have their own energy and particles involved (photons and electrons) .

But we detect gravity more like sound, in its movement through waves on other atomic particles of matter in two laser beams we construct. So something that no instrument can see connects invisibly all matter, and moves all matter proportionately, though without any mass of its own.

I pointed this out to encourage an open mind, even about things we think we know all about. We don't.

This understanding, David, arises out of testing every day our notions, and being proven wrong daily, more often then right.
Yet when we are right repeatedly in some matters, what can we say? Can we even call that truth? Or just a lucky day? I wouldn't publish my opinions on that day or any other. They are too fallible.

You wrote
"Now, he wrote me back and basically told me about how the mind can produce all sorts of things and that they may not be reliable and that it could be illusory and so on. He also said I should be more skeptical and more critical about such subjective happenings."

If he told you your own ideas could be false, then do you think there is ever a time that advice should be discarded? Should those notiins be broadcast as truth?

And if it remains a real concern for any human being, then we can hardly evaluate ourselves, who dare evaluate anyone else with any hope of accuracy? Especially b something as hidden as their internal experience?

You can test your own notions yourself. But can you test someone else's actual experience? Or must you judge them on other people's experiences which you deem identical? Or against your own notions?

No, we are hardly in any position to do more than judge our own and amend our own thinking. Especially when that is a daily process.

You wrote
"Therefore, I don't see a problem with someone questioning our subjective experiences and how we interpret them."

Our own yes, but not anyone else's. And certainly not people we don't even know.

Because we are judging at a distance using an instrument, our brain, that can barely judge rationally our own experience.

That doesn't mean believing someone's subjective experience.

It only means accepting as truly theirs, without judging it wrong.

You wrote
"Yes, my surfing experience was indeed real at the time."

Really?

How do you know?

Are you so sure of your memory?

But more importantly, I can't possibly know if you actually had that experience as you have written it. Maybe you saw someone else and over the years remembered it as your experience, or heard someone else's telling, or read it in a book that was so compelling that over time you came to imagine it was yours. No, I have to accept it at face value. Anything else is conjecture.

But I believe it is so not because it sounds plausible, since that is code language for my limited cultural understand of reality, but simply because you do. And I can't possibly go back in time to see for myself. It would be a waste of time even if I could.

Yes we have different views on this subject.

You wrote

"Additionally, you appear to already have preset conclusions when you write, "I'm convinced science will discover one day the means by which children can remember their past life details that, when investigated, have no practical explanations possible."

"Can we be wrong in such a conviction? Could it be the reverse--that reincarnation isn't the case and that such memories are merely admixtures from early childhood experiences that we have misidentified?"

Yes it might be something other than reincarnation but no it can't be an admixture of early childhood experiences for many cases studies in detail. It might not be there past life. The accurate information they have related could have been transferred in any number of ways. But the fact is that the proven independence of dozens of these witnesses from any practical means of gaining their knowledge is scientifically, statistically significant. That's why I encourage you to look at the actual investigations and statistical control established in these small but significant cases by scientists at the University of Virginia who have studied thousands of such reports rigorously over decades.

I am sure that the actual mechanisms will come to light, since I believe in science and that would include all experiences. This is a physical world.

But I would not pretend to know. That's conjecture.

Why is your conjecture any different from that of a self - proclaimed psychic? They are both statements, conjectures that are themselves untested.

Hi Gerber
You wrote
"How do we know what can and cannot be tested? Is the idea that things cannot be tested just another form of belief which has little value>?"

If you limit your conjecture to something you are committed to testing it has a purpose, as an hypotheses.

If you throw conjectures out to discredit someone else's assertion of their actual experience, that is unscientific and usually as inaccurate as any untested claim.

What you cannot or do not wish to test should not be conjectured because your grounds are rationalization, argumentation, not science.

Spence, I don't get the thrust of your comment. Einstein certainly did figure out what gravity is: distortions in space-time. Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time. See:

https://www.space.com/17661-theory-general-relativity.html

You said, "So something that no instrument can see connects invisibly all matter, and moves all matter proportionately, though without any mass of its own."

Space-time can't be seen, but instruments detected the ripples in it. Many things science knows about can't be seen, like the quantum realm.

Yes, there remains the difference between relativity theory and a quantum theory of gravity. But Einstein's theory of general relativity is well proven, and space-time is a fact, not conjecture.

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