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March 06, 2024


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The question is can one administer an placebo to one selves!!
if not...
what is the role of both parties, in arriving success.

Placebos have a lmited effectiveness for some people for pain control, insomnia and fatigue. However, they are totally worthless as a curative or for reducing cholesterol, blood pressure or brain tumors.

Why would anyone not want to believe in God? The overriding theme of this blog is that it's better to not believe that the universe had a creator, that we each have a relationship with this creator, and that faith in this creator generates countless benefits. Faith in this creator gives life meaning. Faith instills love for other people, indeed, love for all of creation. Faith removes the self-concern that no amount of philosophizing can remedy.

The idea presented here, or rather alluded to here, is that atheism is better for us than faith. But how? How is believing that the universe is chaos better for us personally, and better for the world? How is believing that when you die you no longer exist better than believing that life will go on? How is believing that prayers are infantile silliness better than believing in a loving God who cares for you?

What is the atheism advantage? What joy or satisfaction is there in the determination that all creation and everything living in it is just nuts and bolts that came from nowhere and are going nowhere?

There must be some kind of satisfaction in it. And I'm talking about genuine atheism, an atheist who has truly abandoned everything with even the slightest tinge of spirituality.

I'm really not judging anyone. I'm the last to judge, really. If anyone is a believer, fine by me, or an atheist, fine by me. But as I've said before, anyone who is still chanting mantras or meditating on the 5 words his guru gave him or using some other kind of no-calorie spiritual modus isn't convincing me he's the agnostic or atheist he says he is.

I tend to think that much of our problems and suffering is probably due to the mistaken idea we have about what the mind is and more pertinent, how the accumulated contents which are the mind, almost unconsciously dictate our lives. In this respect, there are countless ways of how the mind acts as a placebo. And not only for physical pain relief but for the ever-on-going mental pain and suffering that emanates from the contents that the mind consists of.

I’m thinking of the erroneous beliefs, views and opinions that have been installed in us when we were too young and impressionable to question them. And also, ones we later adopt in the attempt to imagine or hope for some formula that takes us out of the natural process of birth and death.

The mind being the repository of every type of mental activity – the thinking process and the intellectual understanding that derives from knowledge, must be a fount of information that consciously or unconsciously draws upon such data to effect a belief, a hope or expectation of relief from pain; be it a physical pain or mental suffering.

I have no doubt in the relevance of the mind/body connection and see no reason to believe them to be separate. When it comes to the placebo effect, I would reckon that any immaterial belief that is founded on faith can be and is a fine placebo for many.

Personally, rather than settle into one of the religious faith beliefs, my enquiry would be one that allows a person to explore the nature of their own mind to see where and how individual and consequential collective problems and suffering arise.

Speaking of the mind creating (our reality), it's interesting to re-read spiritual books after having first read them 30 or more years ago.

When I first read TREASURE BEYOND MEASURE, a biography of Charan Singh, all the events recounted seemed pretty straightforward. But reading this book again, how many strange things I find therein.

For example, the bit about when Charan finishes law school. Charan is in his mid-20s and is having a crisis because he "no" money, and needs to buy "crockery and drapes" for his dwelling at the Dera. We're told that all of Charan's education expenses were paid by Sawan Singh, though actually, the person giving Charan money was Bibi Raii, a widow that ran Sawan Singh's kitchen. Why Charan couldn't approach Sawan directly for money and had to ask and receive money from the cook isn't explained.

Charan's crisis over this need for money is tied to his scruples about "having never asked his father for money," something which he is proud enough to boast about.

This is all very strange in so many ways. Didn't Charan's father financially support him through childhood and adolescence? And why did Charan think it was perfectly OK to get college money from his Guru/Grandfather, but getting money from his father was some kind of sin?

Actually, Charan's bugaboo was *asking* his father for money. But again, why is asking for money somehow different from taking money one hasn't asked for? And Charan's father must have known that his son was being put through college courtesy of somebody else's money. Didn't he care?

We're told that Charan and his father finally meet and this issue of money is resolved: Charan's father tells Charan to "take whatever money he needs," But Sawan ultimately paid out the 4000 rupees Charan requested.

Money matters within Charan's family baffle me. Charan has no money and has to depend on his grandfather and not his father for funds. When Charan's father dies, the widow is left no money in the will, as the money goes to the sons to support her.

It all seems like a weird system of family socialism, where the top guy (Sawan, the grandfather/guru) holds everyone's purse strings.

What's even stranger is how this system aligns with the RSSB mandate that every satsangi be financially self-supporting.

@ Sant 64

I guess if you talk to an member of an Jat family you might understand:

>> Jats (Juts) are an ethnic group, race and tribe consisting of several blood related clans who derive from common family dynasties and lineages. Jats are more than just a race and a tribe. Jats are a family and a federation of blood related clans whose common ancestor is the founder of its lineage. All Jats originate from a single common ancestor who belonged to the<<

But .. that said, are not all family dynamics all over the world defined according class, cultural and social rules?

Not that long ago, fathers were not that easy to be approached by siblings and the higher the class, the more difficult.

Have you never heard how difficult it was for young adults of well to do families to get more money from their father.?

Even here in this colder climate and an Calvinistic culture I have come across many a time that it was difficult for children to approach their strict father, who taught that it was their duty to raise their children to appreciate money for its right value and stand on their own legs. How Often did I not suggest to such an child to ask their father what made them laugh their heart out.

Their are sociological studies, I remember vaguely,, that show that parents especially mothers from the lower classes tend to pamper their children more than those in the higher classes.

I remeber being a guest in an italian small banker family. Grandma would prepare food and eat alone in the kitchen. When the son needed monmey more than his father had decided to give him, he could not and did not as his father as it was not done. He would go to his grandma and she had always money to give. If she thought the time that the son needed more money she would not directly address her son but in indirect way she would make it clear to her son.


Well under NO circumstance the authority of anybody is to be bypassed or questioned..

You too Sant, at the age of, let us say 12, you knew exactly when and how to approach your parents if you needed something more than they used to give. Your parents didn't tell you.

Seniority is a very big thing in most societies and culture., certainly in India and in a Sikh family. I had to learn all these things as in the past I frequented some Indian families on a regular base. They didn't verbally instruct me but I was given to understand where I had to stand in the hierarchy ...with great pleasure i do remember the interaction with the [naughty] children. How they played the game to perfection ..calling me uncle and touching my feet ..hahaha... I have never come across such free, humor full, creatures.. People are appreciated for the way how they are able to play this game....read game!. .. it is a show

In these parts of the CIVILIZED world, due to grown individualism, the idea that one is also part of a group and appreciate that in terms of giving it the right value and meaning, is lost .. with all its consequences

The president having to say:
Do not ask what the country has to do for you, but what YOU can do for the country. ..... call it community spirit

That is why the society and in the end culture is crimbling down.

"Crimbling"! That's a great neologism

But let me make the point clearer if I may:

When he became RSSB Guru is 1951, at 35 years old, after having lived his entire life in a Sant Mat culture, Charan shockingly admits he had NO understanding of Sant Mat teachings. He hadn't even read Sar Bacan, the core scripture of Sant Mat. And as a Sikh, Charan didn't even own a copy of the Adi Granth.

So what can we make of this? An RSSB apologist might say, "Oh well, Sant Mat really has nothing to do with reading scriptures" But if that's so, why does RSSB publish 100 or so books on Sant Mat making many of them required reading for initiation?

So that's one thing that could be said of Charan's revelations about his Sant Mat illiteracy. And perhaps it is true that books don't really matter at all in the path of true spirituality. Certainly, people can hold that opinion.

But if one does hold to that opinion, what is he doing criticizing Christians who haven't read the Bible, or Muslims who haven't read the Quran? In TBM, we find that 10 years after he becomes Guru despite admitting he had no understanding of Sant Mat teachings, Charan is making diary entries about how sad it is that foreigners don't understand the religion they grew up in.

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