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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: swissalyst ()
Date: September 20, 2018 07:39AM

The psychopath possibility is certainly the suggestion of Bill Hamilton's Saints and Psychopaths:

[www.buddhistische-gesellschaft-berlin.de]

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: September 20, 2018 11:32AM

Thanks, I read about 60 pages of the book you sent a link to... Saints and Psychopaths.

It's a good read.

I think the spiritual community just attracts a lot of people who are interested in exploiting others for their own gain. I suppose you could say that genuine seekers open themselves up to getting ripped off, because spiritual belief systems are very open-ended and vague things....

You can't prove you have had a trancendent experience, for example. You only have to be a good actor, and a certain number of people will believe you, simply because they want to believe in something.

I think things like spirituality are really easy to fake. No-one can test you or do any experiments to find out if you are spiritual or not. The whole thing hangs on people "believing".

It's very concerning.

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 21, 2018 03:09AM

Why seek or value enlightenment if it does not improve peoples character and behavior?

Bharati said he himself solved it by deciding that the zero experience aka nondual realization is an aesthetic experience, in the same realm aa art and music. No shortage of great musicians and composers who have been and are assholes, deadbeat parents bigots destroyers of hotel suites and the ruin of young daughters.

No one suggests music is worthless because of the many horrid persons involved with musicologist

But few contend that musical virtuosity or listening to music will mean you are have the answer to ending suffering.. But that claim is made about the experience of nondual realization.

Bharati summed it up this way..the experience of nondual realization is all about pleasure. It cannot be produced by any known method. Yoga meditation and asceticism are how you spend your time if you decide to privilege the zero experience as the most important thing in life. It is about pleasure and the zero experience will not turn a stinker into a kind and honest person, just as performing St Matthew Passion is not guaranteed to turn a stinker into an altruist.

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: September 21, 2018 05:16AM

corboy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why seek or value enlightenment if it does not
> improve peoples character and behavior?
>
> Bharati said he himself solved it by deciding that
> the zero experience aka nondual realization is an
> aesthetic experience, in the same realm aa art and
> music.
>
> ...
> But few contend that musical virtuosity or
> listening to music will mean you are have the
> answer to ending suffering.. But that claim is
> made about the experience of nondual realization.
> ...
> Bharati summed it up this way..the experience of
> nondual realization is all about pleasure.

That is very interesting Corboy.
Pleasure? So I may as well just spend my time eating chocolate cake, drinking red wine and listening to Bob Dylan? I think this is the way to go!

But, seriously, plenty of gurus seem to be promising that obtaining to ultimate truth will make your life happier, more peaceful, easier...

If this is not true, then they should have to publish disclaimers on their products! There should be some kind of law in place... Like, the UN should get involved in this.

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: swissalyst ()
Date: September 22, 2018 01:59AM

Sahara71 Wrote:
> There
> should be some kind of law in place... Like, the
> UN should get involved in this.

It’s possible that the problem will take care of itself, like an epidemic that has run its course.

Monasticism is a form of spiritual life that has passed its numerical peak and is now in decline.

Perhaps the institution of the “guru” will also decline in due course.

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: September 22, 2018 05:20AM

Yes, Swissalyst,

This whole guru phenomenon could run its course. Although, I think human beings will always search for meaning in their lives and sadly, I think there will always be people who try to use and exploit others, for power, money, fame, sex, whatever.

It seems to be the way of the world.

Look at the way the world is now, with global capitalism reining supreme. (Not that I am a die-hard socialist or anything!) We see a lot of ruthless charismatic leaders trying to manipulate people. I am thinking of the whole phenomenon of "fake news" now. You no longer no what to believe anymore, it's all very confusing for the average person.

Isn't this some kind of brain-washing type of thing going on? People just give up, because they are confused, and then they become compliant. The government can do whatever they like, once citizens are compliant.

I'm actually not even all that interested in politics. But I do see the whole "guru and followers" scenario as some kind of microcosm for what is going on in the world at large. People are confused, they look for answers, then they end up following someone who tells them that they know all the answers! Only in many cases, that person does not know sh-t from clay.

But some of these charismatic leaders know exactly what the are doing...they are ruthless sociopaths. It's all about power.

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Re: General Problems with Gurus
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 23, 2018 11:30PM

The nature of the 'spiritual teacher'/'disciple' dyad makes impossible to do any sort of scientific examination to see if the teacher's claims are true or actually help people.

John Wren-Lewis was a scientist and found himself in a state nondual realization as a result of a medical crisis.

He wrote an article entitled Lotus Feet of Clay

[www.integralworld.net]

Wren-Lewis contended that that guru/spiritual teacher role created a pattern of social relationships that actually militated against any objective, unbiased inquiry into the nature of enlightenment itself -- the very thing that gives gurus their authority and their demand for our submission to their authority.


In the atmosphere of reverence and deference that surrounds spiritual teachers, their claims to be enlightened and whether enlightenment was permanent or an impermanent state, go unquestioned and uncorrected.

Wren Lewis particularly wished to know whether enlightenment could be permanent or whether it tended to come and go.

Wren-Lewis noticed that he was capable of drifting out of this experience, and that it was not permanent., that he could get impatient and crabby, though once he recognized this, he could return to nondual realization.

But as Lewis put it, because he wasnt in the role of master, people felt free to call him on his stuff.

"This was of course another issue on which I initially hoped for some help from mystical writings or a spiritual movement: was there anything I could do, like meditation or diet, to reduce the frequency of drifting out?

'I was extremely puzzled when my research turned up almost no reference to any such possibility.

'Krishnamurti is the only spiritual teacher I know whose writings hint at experiences similiar to mine in this respect; everywhere else, it's taken for granted that one is either a disciple on the path, practising meditation or guru-darshan or whatever to reach God-consciousness, or else a Master who is supposed to be in it permanently."

((And it is from this supposedly permanent state at-one-ment that the masters get their prestige, their authority and people keep showing up at their events or buying thier stuff, hoping some day to realize permament enlightenment themselves. C))

'The total silence about the drifting-out which I experience daily seemed highly suspicious. I was therefore very interested to come upon Agehananda Bharati's important book The Light at the Center [8], in which he asserts quite categorically that "permanent enlightenment" is only a conventional fiction of the guru-system, possibly never actually realized, but maintained in order to foster the total surrender which is believed essential for the system to work.

[8] Agehananda Bharati, The Light at the Center (Santa Barbara, CA: Ross-Erikson, 1976).

"The trouble is that once such a system is swallowed, the guru cannot admit to lapses without completely discrediting his claim to have any enlightenment to pass on."

"Even worse, there is a tendency for the wish to spread the Word to pass over into the most insidious of all power-trips, with the Master thinking of himself as God rather than vice-versa, the phenomenon Jung called inflation. know about this from personal experience But because I'm not claiming to be a Master, no-one gets sucked in and I'm soon forced to come off it.

'When the Master-disciple relationship has been established, disciples have to go along with the Master's rationalizations or abandon the hope they've placed in him.

"And from the wider human point of view, I believe the closed, self-confirming guru-system has an even more important defect, even with Masters who manage to avoid such temptations, namely that there is little or no opportunity for theories and techniques to be evaluated against their experiential results and exchanged for better ones.

Wren-Lewis referred to one guru who was much in the news at the time.

'I have no idea what this discrepancy between my experience and Maharishi's theory means, since I've yet to find any of his disciples who've "gotten that far," and he himself remains hidden behind the Master-role, unavailable for discussion.

'Is he reporting firsthand experience in some way different from mine (maybe more advanced), or has he adapted his God-experience (which I'm sure he's had) to fit traditional yogic theory?

"The Master-system prevents such questions from being investigated. "

For the master system itself cannot be questioned--without the questioner being accused of having ego problems!

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