Here's another early (July 13, 2006) blog post that I came across while selecting Church of the Churchless posts to be in my next book. It rang true to me when I wrote it, and still does. Enjoy.
It’s a work in progress. If you're acquainted with this philosophy, feel free to add on to the list via a comment, if you like.
I need to point out that when I say “you,” a few years ago I could have said “I.” For I know whereof I speak with this list, having been a fundamentalist Satsangi myself for many years.
Now I’ve seen the light. And I like to believe that as a result I’m closer to the light.
(10) You have never had a profound mystical experience yourself, and you don’t know any other initiates who have had one. But you’re convinced that this is the highest mystic path.
(9) You believe that rites and rituals are useless for attaining God-realization. Yet you go to satsang every Sunday, folding your hands and saying “radha soami” when you walk in the door.
(8) You consider that engaging in pilgrimages and visits to holy places are pointless religious practices. However, the trip you took to India to spend time at the Dera was a highpoint of your spiritual life.
(7) You feel the guru’s loving presence keeping you company throughout the day. However, when you aren’t thinking about the guru or doing the practices he enjoins, you aren’t aware of him. You never wonder, “If someone is only here when I imagine him, is he real?”
(6) You look down on deluded intellectuals, Vedantists, and jnanis who believe they can think their way to God-realization. You know this isn’t possible because you read thoughts in a Sant Mat book that said just that.
(5) You feel terrible if you don’t read the label on a box of cookies and inadvertently eat some egg whites. You never give money to street people, no matter what condition they’re in, because that would be interfering with their karma.
(4) You have worked diligently for years toward merging your soul with God’s spirit, establishing a direct personal relationship with the divine. However, if an impulse or intuition comes to you that isn’t given a thumbs-up by the Sant Mat books, you’re afraid it’s a trick of the “negative power.”
(3) You are grateful that you’ve broken free of traditional religious dogma that required you, without evidence, to have faith that a dead Son of God will save your soul after you die. Yet the only difference is, now you have the same unfounded faith in a living Son of God.
(2) You are committed to expanding your circle of love, compassion, and selfless service beyond the narrow confines of sectarianism. But almost all of your friends are satsangis. And you believe that it is much more important to perform seva for the guru at a local, regional, or national satsang center than to volunteer at a nursing home.
(1) You are absolutely sure that you’re on the direct path of light and sound back to God. Except, you have never seen the light. Or heard the sound. But that doesn’t matter, because the Bible tells you so. Oops, did I write “Bible”? I meant to say “Guru.”