I can't remember if this article has been listed on the Moo thread. Looks like a very, very interesting read. The author makes a point that hierarchies are needed for communities to be durable and capable of social cooperation. The author points out the special dangers of communities organized around someone claiming a subjective state that is superior to everyone else's.
21 January, 2018 at 04:58 PM
My 17-year-old daughter has been brainwashed by Mooji. Before listening to him (hours a day), she was a brilliant, conscious child. Now she is suicidal, doesn’t eat, sleep, take care of her body, only wants to listen to this so-called ‘guru’ all the time! I have read other parents concerns experiencing the same thing with their children. I am warning EVERYONE out there, to beware of Mooji. If my daughter dies, her blood is on his hands! I am so disgusted with him! Everyone BEWARE of the wolf in sheeps clothing. If anyone has any suggestions for me to get her out of this hypnotic state/ trance she is in, I am open to it. If anyone has experienced any other experiences similar to this after listening to him, I would love to hear. Thank you!
26 March, 2018 at 10:24 PM
To: Concerned parent — she sounds exactly like me when I was 17. I ended up spending 13 years living at the ashram of one of the so-called gurus mentioned in Hanzi Freinacht’s superb article here (he and Mooji had the same teacher, HWL Poonja), and half a decade later I’m still recovering from PTSD.
One thing I wish my parents had done when I was 17–rather than their panicked hand-wringing and frustrated yelling at me to snap out of it, do my homework, and get my act together–was to actively listen and really try to understand what I found interesting about these spiritual teachings. To engage your daughter in constructive dialogue about your concerns about the potential limitations of Mooji-ism, you have to try to understand the appeal, or at least attempt to elicit from her what she finds so compelling about it.
The main problem with Mooji’s view, of course, is exactly what Freinacht spells out above: high subjective states and insights (such as nondual realization) may have little to no impact on any other area of one’s objective life, relationships, finances, health, morality, etc.–not without much concerted effort to bring all aspects of life into a wholesome, integral alignment. (As Ken Wilber writes about at length in his books.)
Unfortunately, Mooji teaches Neo-Advaita, which is a half-baked interpretation of nonduality that essentially devalues worldly life in gross and subtle ways. This position leads naturally to a common psychological pathology known as “spiritual bypassing,” wherein one employs the promised serenity of spiritual teachings like a drug to avoid and ignore the natural complexities of ordinary living, such as one’s emotional confusion (pain), relationships, and responsibilities. (In a proper nonduality, all aspects of life would be made more vibrantly “enlightened”–full of vitality, exuding joy and health–not ignored, bypassed, or allowed to fall into states of inertial disrepair.)
The deeper issue here, though, is simply your daughter’s depression, of which the spiritual bypassing and Mooji obsession is likely just a symptom. (When people are happy and fulfilled, they don’t go seeking for enlightenment.)
And for that, without knowing the details or being at all qualified to offer a professional diagnosis, a random internet stranger can only recommend the usual: psychotherapeutic care, lots of sunshine, vitamin-D supplements, enough sleep, plenty of water, good food, good friends, and great conversation–starting, perhaps, with parents asking, in all loving sincerity, just what’s so compelling about this Jamaican Advaita Zen master?
30 March, 2018 at 05:38 PM
The Concerned Parent replied:
“Thank you for responding and showing me a deeper insight. You are very good with words/explanation. I really do appreciate it! I will utilize your advice and speak with her on this. She is in a mental hospital right now because she attempted suicide so some things she’s unable to do right now like sunshine. I agree with what you said on people who are happy do t seek enlightenment. That’s exactly what happened.
She said she was seeking guidance but her father and I didn’t/dont know how to give her that guidance she needs because she’s always been very deep and I guess you can say we are more shallow. But your advice is helpful. I will start with that. Right now, she is not eating much food in the hospital. We r just trying to get her to eat food to want to live. You are an amazing spiritual being and I really do appreciate you. Please contact me anytime you want to share more.”
7 May, 2018 at 06:52 AM
I had the worst expirience with mooji he brainwashed my partner, as a result he left me, even though I was sick, without work, without money. We had a good relationship for 4 years , but my partner went to a 5 days silence retreat and never come back. The worst part is that mooji and his people keep saying to him that I was selfish, that I should be happy that he was there, despite the fact I was left totally alone, very sick, in total despair and for one month I begged him to come back. I wonder where is the compassion of this guru, where is the unconditional love.
My ex partner keep responding to me that all is an illusion, that we don’t exist, therefore there is not committment o responsability with nothing. For me this guru just have a very profitable business, and is full of s…. All what he does is reapiting the same story, the same jokes, the same words over and over and charged lot of money for that. I followed him for a year and got a big depression and anxiety because even though I tried to follow his main point that we are no the person I could not deny myself or life because is here it’s real even though it will end some day.
10 April, 2018 at 07:42 PM
All I can suggest you is to teach her how to question what she learns. There is a method from kognitive behavioral therapy, The socratic method. Socrates thought that to trully advance in life, one must question ones own thoughts. You do that by asking yourself ‘is this really true’, ‘which proof do I have that this is true’.
Through this approach you’re not teaching her what to do but rather use her jerning for enlightment in a constructive way.
I hope it helps!
4 August, 2018 at 11:18 AM
I just wanted to share my story about my involvement with Mooji. It all started 3 weeks ago- I am overseas and I don’t speak the local language, so hence I am a bit lonely. My husband is very busy with work here, while for me it is more or less a holiday.
I also lost my Dad due to cancer about 5 months ago, so I am questioning a lot of things right now. I have always had an interest in spiritual ideas and have read many books about spirituality. I would call myself an intelligent person, by the way… I am actually studying for my Ph.D. at the moment.
One of my friends back home is into Mooji and hence I was aware of him in a off-hand way. I started watching his videos online, just out of interest. They are very amusing and seductive…. he has a soft voice with a lilting Jamaican accent which I find appealing. He also has a bit of a “Bob Marley” vibe about him… and I love Bob Marley’s music! (By the way, I don’t smoke drugs… so don’t worry!)
Mooji preaches a kind of spirituality that is very, very appealing…. because you don’t have to do anything; you just have to “be aware” and retreat into your own heart. In some ways it feels like a very pleasant “escape” from the real world of emotions, relationships, work, etc. But it is not a total escape, because Mooji still encourages you to “enjoy the world” and everything in it. What’s not to like, eh? You can enjoy the world, have relationships, eat pizza and go dancing, only…. and this is the catch: it isn’t exactly ‘important’ what you do, because your own Divine inner reality is what is really important.
Do you find this just a little confusing? I do!
But because I am in a vulnerable position… I felt myself starting to fall for this stuff.
Mooji makes use of a lot of different spiritual ideas- especially those related to Buddhism, esoteric Hindu practices and even Christianity. He himself was raised as a Christian. Because I had read a lot of spiritual texts, his Buddhist ideas resonated with me, especially. A lot of what Mooji teaches closely resembles Zen teachings… which in themselves can be confusing and very “mystical”….
When I was an undergrad student, my philosophy professor actually told me to “beware of mysticism”, I remember his words specifically. It is very hard to critique mystical teachings because they are beyond words and rely of experiential understandings… Hence, I guess a lot of cult leaders would value mysticism highly, because you can’t intellectualize it. Therefore, it could potentially be easily used to manipulate and confuse people. I have the feeling that Mooji is working in this way…. he may in fact be ‘genuine’ and believe his own weird stuff… I don’t know.
I haven’t read a lot of criticism of Mooji out there on the internet, just one or two isolated cases.
One thing I will say, is there does seem to be something very hypnotic and addictive about his videos… and they are free to watch online.
Back to my story…. last week, I even considered giving up my Ph.D studies and travelling to Mooji’s ashram to learn more! Wow! This week, I have come to my senses. I have a Ph.D to complete and I have a loving husband by my side. I don’t really need a whole lot of new-age spiritual hokus-pokus to interrupt what is essentially a very good, productive life.
I have noticed that a lot of Mooji’s followers in his online videos are people who are unhappy and/or mentally ill. There was one woman in particular that seemed irrational and manic and I thought she desperately needed a psychiatrist…. not a Mystic. I hope she managed to get help. Seeing the video footage of her… I actually wondered why it wasn’t edited out of Mooji’s official video? Because seeing it really did paint a very sad picture of the whole ashram set-up. In fact, this footage helped to bring me to my senses.
I am now actively questioning Mooji’s teachings on his facebook page and I am sure it will not be long before my posts start to get deleted!!
I welcome any comments or feedback. Thank you.