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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: ralpher ()
Date: February 20, 2008 04:34AM

And one more thing, Linden:

You say:


" The issue isn't whether we should ask ourselves questions, or question our own beliefs, motives, patterning, etc."

Actually, that's exactly the issue.

Questions are the most significant phenomena--in addition to a good laugh--that makes us human. They are our most powerful tool.

Perhaps the most powerful tool of all is: 'is it true'?

To get back to science, logic and rationality again, philosophers of science (or are they flakes too?) accept, and have accepted, since the middle of the last century, that we can't know if anything is true. We can only find out where we are mistaken. We can't verify--we can only refute, based on the evidence. Another way to put it: everything is provisional. There can always be evidence to contradict even the most basic common sense.

Byron Katie's work essentially asks you to apply that to your own thoughts. Question and look for the counter-evidence. It's a powerful way to go through life. You're obviously willing to do it to get to your denunciations, but then you make the mistake that we all do, until we don't: you accept your resulting beliefs, and don't question those.

Or am I wrong?

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: vlinden ()
Date: February 20, 2008 08:02AM

Ralpher,

It's interesting that you managed two long responses to me without once addressing the question I asked about the vase of flowers, and without addressing what I considered to be the most important problems with Byron Katie. This dissuades me from dealing with your responses piece by piece. Plus I don't have much time right now, and I think you're pretty sold on Byron anyway. This dialogue would be of benefit mainly to others considering how to handle her "work." (I find that so pretentious, by the way: The Work. Puh-leeeeze)

As for your question: Byron Katie's work essentially asks you to apply that to your own thoughts. Question and look for the counter-evidence. It's a powerful way to go through life. You're obviously willing to do it to get to your denunciations, but then you make the mistake that we all do, until we don't: you accept your resulting beliefs, and don't question those. Am I wrong?

Ralpher, at what point do you decide you understand what it is you're looking at? At what point do you determine that your questioning, research, rationality, logic, experience, etc, have led you to a belief that is accurate? I know exactly when that point comes for me, but do you know it for yourself? Do you think it's necessary to ever come to a "resulting belief"?

And I don't agree with you about Israel. I have many relatives there, and the danger is real.

I think what everyone on this board has come to understand about people like Katie, and LGATs like Landmark, is that yes, there is some truth in what they're peddling, or certainly no one would ever buy it. But it's important to look at the entire package, and determine exactly where the problems arise -- where is the poison hidden?

People like you don't seem to want to critically analyze this, though you in particular go on and on about your understanding of critical thought.

Tell me, what did you think of Byron Katie telling the woman, "Look, the flowers on the table, they're not afraid of war!"

What did that statement mean to you?

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: February 20, 2008 08:08AM

Actually, that is Epistemology.
[plato.stanford.edu]

It is correct that in philosophy of science nothing can be known to be 100% true with Certitude.
But its false to say we can't verify, and only refute. That is a mental-con and false-statement. Is that from Byron Katie?

Science is based on both falsification and verification.
Einstein's Relativity has been VERIFIED thousands of times, and NEVER REFUTED. NEVER.
If you could refute it with evidence, you would win the Nobel Prize.

But does that mean its 100% true for eternity? No. But close!

Its more like a continuum, from 0% likely to 100%.
Nothing is 0% or 100%, but falls in between.

0%------------------------50%----------------------------100%


So things like hard science are up in the 90%.
Gravity around 99.999999999999999. (this is why those who claim to levitate are all liars. All? Yes, not one has ever proven it. Ever, not one, they just lie and people believe them).

Most social science really is not much higher than 50%.

Where might Eckhart Tolloe be on that? Very close to 0%.
He provides ZERO evidence or proof.
His words are self-contradictory.
He decries the Mind-Ego using the Mind-Ego.

Folks like Byron Katie try to con people with deception, like saying science only falsifies. That is false. That is taken from Popper who said a scientific theory has to be falsifiable, but that is completely different.
Do Eckart and Byron Katie produce theories that are falsifiable? NO THEY DO NOT. They are untestable, thus they are useless.

You see, they pervert Knowledge to make money off people, and they seem to do it very consciously with mind-tricks and word-tricks.


Quote
ralpher

Perhaps the most powerful tool of all is: 'is it true'?

To get back to science, logic and rationality again, philosophers of science (or are they flakes too?) accept, and have accepted, since the middle of the last century, that we can't know if anything is true. We can only find out where we are mistaken. We can't verify--we can only refute, based on the evidence. Another way to put it: everything is provisional. There can always be evidence to contradict even the most basic common sense.

Byron Katie's work essentially asks you to apply that to your own thoughts. Question and look for the counter-evidence. It's a powerful way to go through life. You're obviously willing to do it to get to your denunciations, but then you make the mistake that we all do, until we don't: you accept your resulting beliefs, and don't question those.

Or am I wrong?

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: ralpher ()
Date: February 20, 2008 08:44AM

Actually, It's Popper, who you quote yourself, who argues that science can't verify.

Einstein has never been, and never will be, verified. We will accept his work, provisionally, until someone does refute it. Remember Newton?

And yes, the person--or computer--that does refute a key element of Einstein's thinking will win the nobel prize, if we haven't all drowned by then.

However, you don't have to be a nobel scientist to find evidence to refute what you are thinking right now--right here. I know perfectly well that if I put my mind to it, I could list ten reasons why Bush is not the dumbest fool since Custer. It would change my mind, just a little, about Bush. I don't choose to do it, but I could. I have enough experience questioning my beliefs that I don't doubt I can question even that one.

No, untestable ideas are not useless. Because they are testable---it's called critical testing through debate, or more simply, discussion. Put forward a proposition. Put forward arguments for it. Listen to arguments against it. Withdraw your proposition, or withdraw your opposition to the other's proposition. Critical testing done--on this occasion, for this audience. No, not for all time. That's a fantasy; Newton was wrong on certain things; Einstein will be eventually. And the idea that Bush is a damn fool, that one can be tested too--just take two people who have some ability to listen to each other, and you'll get a critical test, and you can arrive at a solution--provisional, based on the starting points of your argument, and not permanent or 'the truth'--simply what we can create, which is provisional agreement. And we don't always get there, because we are human beings and we are subject to being obnoxious and stupid and all that.

So, Linden, this is how I know that I've reached a belief that can stand--I'm ready to stop testing it for the moment. When I do start testing it again, I know a shift is possible. That's the beauty of it. I use it because it's survived enough tests so far, and when I'm ready to go beyond it, I do, by questioning it.

And all of this is true of our mental lives as well. But whoops, to say that here is to wander into CULT territory. Mind games! (Is there anything else?)

***

And now I'd like to know, ye cult-bashers assembled, what feature of cults you think you are bashing when you attack Tolle and Byron Katie? I just looked at RR's list of things to watch for, and I can see no reference whatsoever to the content of ideas. Repeat: the content of the ideas does not come into play when identifying a cult. What's important is the abuse of followers by a leader or an organization. That's what makes a cult, period. And that's the way it should be, because otherwise, everyone and their brother is a cult--because everyone and their brother has weird ideas (have you checked recently?) , and if their brother has a computer and can publish them, he can make money selling his ideas, and this is not being a cult, no matter how many people choose to believe that they have found the ultimate truth in it; the brother can't be accused of being a cult leader unless he or she abuses the followers.

Ideas that you think are weird or don't like, are not therefore the province of a cult. Ideas or people that have followers, are not cult ideas. Ideas that change how people think, are not cult ideas. A cult requires that you substantiate abuse, and that abuse had better not be the kind of abuse that would have happened without the leader. If I go to a rotten psychotherapist, diploma on the wall but they try to convince me I'm neurotic, or whatever, and make me feel worse, just because I had this bad experience, it doesn't mean the institution that gave them that diploma is a cult.

Substantiate the abuse. And ideas are not abuse. Books are not abuse. Your perspective, multiplied by thousands, would lead to book burning.

***

And finally, my response to the flower incident: Byron Katie was possibly challenging the woman to say why she should react differently from the flower. That could have led to an interesting exchange, and then we'd know much more about what BK meant. Unfortunately, the woman on camera did not pick up the point, and so we can't really know what she meant by it. She might have meant to imply that people should become flowers, or that they should chop themselves up into fertilizer and feed trees with their own bodies, or that the woman sitting with her was a flower that was dreaming she was a human being; but without the immediate response of the person on camera, we can only conjecture. The Buddha--a flakey cultist?--once assembled a group of students, and held up a flower. After a while, he put it down again, and then said, 'that's all I have to say, but for those of you who need the words, I will now speak." So BK points to the flowers, and apparently the woman didn't need anything more than that and a few words. If only she had, and had asked about it, we would have more to work with.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: vlinden ()
Date: February 20, 2008 08:56AM

Anti-Cult

Thanks, I was going to say all of that but didn't have the energy.

See, this is my point, where is the poison hidden? Someone without the knowledge base might accept Ralphers statement as fact without verification. The New Age is just ridden with people making these kinds of pronouncements, false statements so dramatic that they pass as wisdom to those who don't know better.

No one would bother if there wasn't a pay off somewhere. For a cult leader it may be power or sex. For a New Age gurus, it's books, retreats, CDs and that nice Jaguar . . .

And you know, I have no idea what Katie's real trip is. But so far she looks just like another self-packaged guru pulling in money by telling people life can be and is something it just fucking isn't.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: February 20, 2008 10:14AM

yes vlinden, all the analysis really comes down to basics.

In terms of the Big Name New Agers, without exception its about the money.
They may delude themselves on some-level, but most of them know what they are doing is a con-game.
Its about the money.

Money is very important, it pays their bills, mortgage, cars, trips, islands, planes, jewels...
They freaking love that Big Easy Money.

Many of their followers though are duped, they believe some of the carefully crafted falsehoods, pitched by the professional salesmen like Eckhart Tolle.

Snake-Oil has been sold for a very looooooonnnggg time.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: ralpher ()
Date: February 20, 2008 10:18AM

You guys are playing God. Are you enjoying yourselves?

Your position boils down to: no one should say the things that these people are saying, because they're not true and no one should have to listen to things that are not true.

Since when do we need to be protected from what people say?

This country was founded on two principles:

1. Keep the money you have.
2. Take others' away.

It's right there in the Deck of Independence.

and a third one:

3. Say whatever you want to, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.

Since ideas can't hurt people, all of these gurus are well within their rights to sell their stuff. It's a business to them, in addition to being a nice way to spend their time, and downright helpful a lot of the time to some of the people.

Besides the business angle, the founders of this country were correct in believing that when people set themselves up as god and try to protect other people from ideas, whether religious or philosophical, despotism would be just around the corner.

Back, ye despots...

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: rob ()
Date: February 20, 2008 06:38PM

The thing with the Israelian woman is, Byron did not ask her if she was 100% sure that a bomb was going to be dropped on her or if her feelings were realistic. Byron asked if the woman was 100% sure that she was afraid of war. Of course she was sure of what she felt.
Convincing people that they do not feel what they feel, don't want what they want, don't think what they think can cause sever depersonalisation. (I am a licenced counselor).
But of course there is Katie Byron to tell us what we feel, want en should think. Katie we present you our soul on a silver plate.

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My two cents
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 20, 2008 11:25PM

Its easy to be serene when one has a team of support staff and does not live in daily threat of physical violence or death.

Its the difference between driving through a rough neighborhood in broad daylight in a taxi cab (or a hired car and driver) vs walking through that same neighborhood after dark, and alone.

One afternoon I was on a commuter train. Many people were dozing. Others were tranced out using iPods or lost in newspapers.

An Israeli visitor looked around and shook his head . He told me that in Israel, you learn never to doze when on public transit--you have to stay alert in case someone shows signs of suspicious behavior heralding a bomb attempt.

A level of vigilence that would be considered borderline paranoid in the US apparently is necessary in Israel if you are not only to stand a chance of surviving, but also of being alert enough to *care for your fellow beings by noticing danger and alerting others so they can take cover or fight back.*

(What follows is my opinion) If I lived in Israel (or in another part of the world equally or more dangerous to life and limb), I would only heed advice and teaching from a teacher or counselor who shared the same daily life risks as I do.

Your body gets neurologically kindled in particular ways if you live with those kinds of risks and witness violent episodes or hear of them.

This happens at a level deeper than the layers of conscious will that are accessed by adult verbal dialogue.

This kind of PTSD/hypervigilence is tied in to fight/flight adrenergic/cortisol reactivity, which is far below the level of conscious awareness. It will do something to you, mentally and emotionally, and yes, physically, if you learn, early on never to cat nap on public transportation. Or hear bombs go off and see people lying in the streets.

I read one story of what happened after a bomb attack in Israel. People were lying dead and wounded. What added to the chill factor for bystanders and helpers was, minutes after the attack, cell phones carried by the victims immediately came alive and began beeping, tweeting, sounding musicial tones---their loved ones had heard of the attack and were frantically phoning to see if they were alright.

People were dead or unconscious and their phones were eerily alive.

Those staying by and watching had the horror of knowing that the persons making those frantic phone calls would later be given bad news.

A teacher who has lived through this kind of thing, not once but repeatedly, is someone I would want to check out.

Years ago, some guru came to town and and pondered going to one of his lectures. Earlier in the day, I went down to the supermarket and was yelled at
by someone.

All at once, I thought, 'Guru X doesnt do his own errands. He doesnt get yelled at
in supermarkets. His entourage run his errands and do his shopping for him, and this has been the case for years.'



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2008 11:44PM by corboy.

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Re: My two cents
Posted by: ralpher ()
Date: February 20, 2008 11:40PM

How did you know Guru X doesn't do his own errands? How do you know he doesn't get yelled at in supermarkets? How do you know he doesn't change his 90 year old father's diapers back home?

People seem to be yelling at the gurus all the time! Just check out this blog.

I've never met anyone who isn't under the daily threat of death. Show me someone who isn't.

Show me someone who lives in a big US city who doesn't wonder if they're going to get randomly killed.

Show me someone who lives alone in the country and doesn't wonder if they might get home-invaded, tied up and killed. Show me someone living near a nuclear power plant who doesn't wonder it. Someone who's father died young of a heart attack. And so on.

We all live external lives and internal lives. How we deal with the external is what's important. You made the choice that day not to see a guru, probably a wise one, because you realized you'd be looking for a way out. Gurus are useless for ways out. They are only useful as ways in to your own experience. You were wise to to follow your intuition. Had you gone to that guru in a different state, perhaps with the boundaries to say, "I wonder what this guy can help me understand" you might have had a wonderful time.

Byron Katie, for instance, spent ten years in depressed, anxious, paranoid misery. I'm sure she suffered as much as anyone in that period of time.

Some people turn their yellings at in the supermarket into ideas and then peddle them. If I send you ten cents for that example, you'll have made money off of your experience, and you'll be no different from a Guru, only in scale.

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