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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: June 24, 2020 02:17AM

My dream last night:

While slumbering, I climbed up the gnarled Heaven-tree to find the sweet and restful nest I often go to in my dreams. Suddenly a thick branch diverged and, while supported on the strong arm, I came upon a vista with a marvelous view that stretched into a valley and beyond. Out of curiosity, I decided to go into the valley to see what I could find.

Soon after walking on a path I met face to face with James Swartz.

“What are you doing in my dream?” I asked.

“It’s a free country and I can do as I please—besides, you summoned me here, it’s your dream stupid,” he replied.

Because we were in dreamtime, I took the occasion to ask James some questions to see if he would be honest with me.

“Why won’t you admit you had hurt me?” I asked.

“You ask an obvious and stupid question,” he replied. “It would destroy my image and I can’t have that.”

“But you admit it to me here…in dreamtime?” I took a step back.

“I am safe in dreamtime. Here no one can reproach me with effect.” He snorted.

“So, you admit you hurt Jessica?” I cried. “You admit you drugged and assaulted her too?”

“Oh yes…many, many times,” he gloated.

“And you acknowledge to me here…face to face, eye to eye, that you drugged and raped me? Do you have regret?” I looked into his eyes.

“Oh yes I admit it. I took pleasure in that.” His head swelled with pride.

“And how is it good—why do you find pleasure in hurting others? Why don’t you have remorse?” I asked.

“That which is sinful is delicious to me,” he replied. “That which is forbidden is the most delightful. Remember Lord Krishna and his taste for butter? He couldn’t help but take a bit of what was prohibited. Krishna sneaked a bit at a time and that made him charming. When I take a bit of the forbidden fruit it’s no different than Lord Krishna.”

“Are you saying you were ignorant and didn’t realize by stealing from me and Jessica, you harmed us, and your actions would forever reverberate in our lives? Didn’t you care about us?” I asked.

“It didn’t matter to me,” James replied. “I took what I wanted and that’s just the way the world is. Everyone is like that. In our world people are selfish. I’m not perfect. I am human. Taking what is not mine is delightful, so I take just a little bit, like Krishna tasting butter, and I can get away with it because that’s the world we live in…we live in Maya, an illusion, so it doesn’t matter anyway and there are no consequences for me.”

I stepped back, took a deep breath, and enjoyed the fragrance in the air: sometimes angels from the heavenly realm infuse my dreams with the scent of roses. They do this to remind me to be faithful to The Creator, and near unto God.

“Unlike you, I do not garner delight in taking what is not mine, nor do I love escaping with hurting others,” I told him. “You and I are not the same type of humans and your view of the world is incorrect. You love to taste evil. Your view is marginal. Most humans love to partake in the bread of Life. Most humans strive for good. Most humans don’t enjoy childish and ignorant actions and want to improve. Your story of Lord Krishna is just an excuse to do bad, and you believe you get away with hurting others.”

I was done conversing with the subhuman James. His vile words were like a cloud around him, and the air began to stifle.

I left him in the valley, and climbed back to the Heaven-tree, in search of my restful nest where I often go to in my dreams. In my nest, the sky opened, and the kaleidoscope of stars dazzled and twinkled…infinity absorbed me, a vast ocean.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: July 23, 2020 12:23AM

"The Beautiful Woman in the Himalayas"
brings News of the
ethically rapacious and spiritually-false
JAMES SWARTZ
and...


The 'message' below is actually a compilation from a couple different sources, but being all persons who write to me are promised privacy, to protect various identities it was easiest to combine them all into one letter.

The facts stated are, I believe, accurate. The negative and perhaps insulting assessments and descriptions of James "Squirts" Swartz and his Sliming (Shining?) World are again, totally fact-based, as admitted to by Swartz himself.

So here is the "Combined Message":

Quote
Combined Message

Hi Trav,

It's a cloudy day here in what you call my "Himalayan Retreat." Cloudy but warm and humid. I trust that Heather, your group of friends, and you are all doing well in this zany world. I laughed about what your one friend sent about James Swartz being too mean to catch the Coronavirus. Also, the meme about "James Swartz-- The Donald Trump of Advaita Vedanta!" was fun, too.

Did you know there have been changes to the JS Sliming World website? There used to be a links page, which listed the official SW teachers, as well as other teachers that JS endorses. For years, Dr. Carol Whitfield and her website was listed. She was an old student of Swami Dayananda when he was still teaching under Swami Chinmayananda's auspices, and she and Swartz (you call him "Squirts") knew each other back then in the '70's.

Not so long ago a friend of mine had a lengthy conversation with one of Carol's old students, and in the conversation James Swartz's misteachings and crimes came up. The old student said that she once asked Carol about JS, and Carol made a grimace of disgust. She clearly felt strong disapproval of him. The subject was quickly changed. Carol never criticizes anyone, which is how true teachers behave (unlike Swartz, who spreads negativity and malicious gossip about so many other teachers). For her even to show that expression says a lot.

Related to this, the "Sliming World" Links page is redesigned completely, and two teachers, both Western students of Sw. Dayananda, are no longer there. One who is now omitted is (no surprise) Carol Whitfield, and the other is Swami Tadatmananda. This Swami is also very highly regarded as a Vedanta teacher. He is also known to be impeccable in his conduct.

There is also a new webpage for Squirts, his wife Sundari, and the Sliming World teachers he officially endorses.

One wonders-- did JS take them off of his site because it's hard for him to actually have links to ethical and "for real" teachers on it, or did they request to be removed?

Also, an obvious word of warning-- Any teacher trained by and endorsed by James Swartz is very likely one to be avoided.

Quote
Combined Message - Continued
And it looks like all the upcoming events are done via Zoom [www.shiningworld.com] though it says that the talks in Berkeley and Trout Lake are "on hold until further notice."

It also states, "James enjoys travel but because he is in a high risk group he will not offer live teachings until there is more clarity with reference to the virus’ impact on air travel." So it looks like any plans for protesters to come down to Trout Lake are not necessary this year.

Yes, any teacher of integrity would likely be formally polite to Swartz, but would not wish his recommendation.

And if the Coronavirus were to have any positive side-effect, keeping James Swartz out of direct contact with sincere, vulnerable, trustful, and hopeful human beings has to be one of them.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Sevenhorses ()
Date: October 03, 2020 08:31AM

I've read every page of this topic and I still don't know what to believe about James Swartz and Shining World. I came by his information from an associate of his named Rory, via his website. I was actually trying to debunk some things another group I was involved with at the time, who were claiming to have found a shiny new way to enlightenment. I am not a "seeker" myself, I was introduced to this group another way. I just thought Vedanta sounded interesting after looking at the Shingin World website on Rory's recommendation.

At first, I agreed with some of the things James was saying about false teachers, but since I was feeling vulnerable at the time, I see now that I overlooked some of the other warning flags present in his teachings becasue it felt good to have someone else bringing up issues I had with the "false teachers" I had recently encountered. His Vedanta knowledge seemed to be valid, but then again, this was my first exposure to it.

I took James' Zoom class in September of this year, and I can attest that his live persona is much different from how he expresses himself in writing. He was ranting about having problems with Zoom, lied about paying for their teleconferencing services when he obviously was using a free program, and using a lot of profcanity to make his point about the "fase self" would normally react to things going wrong. He also repeatedly aired his political and lifestyle beliefs, focusing on Trump quite a bit.

At the time I thought, this might be kind of refreshing; he's just a normal guy who is not trying to act like a holy person. My attitude completely changed on the next to last day of the seminar when some young female yogis joined the class for the first time. From that moment on, he focused on them, using words like "sexy" and "juicy" which he had not done before, (not in reference to them though - but it seemed to be for their benefit someohow), and repeated to them much of what had already been taught the previous days.

Then he began to comment on their bodies, saying they were "fit" and then switched to this nasty tone and said something to the effect of "you don't ever want to be a pretty woman - men just look at you like your a bag of meat." I was disgusted. I decided to see if anyone else had noticed his lothario-like behaviour, as well as his inability to separate his personal views from his teachings. That's when I found this thread.

As to whether Heather's story is true or not, I'm not totally sold but I can see and feel that something is definitely not right with James and Shining World. If it is true, I hope it's an isolated event and this is not another case of dozens of other victims fearing to come forward as well. If it's not true, then whoever Heather is is still obviously a person who has been hurt on some way and is trying to make sense out of the ordeal on her terms.

As far as his treatment of students, Rory seems fairly enamored of James and he seems like a smart guy so I don't know what to make of that. I'm not saying that Jame's actions during the Zoom session constitute hard evidence that James is a rapist, but he seems very "off" in many ways to me. I hope I'm not unfairly judging the situation and I don't know enough about Shining World to view it as a cult.

Good Luck.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Valma ()
Date: October 03, 2020 05:27PM

Hello Sevenhorses,

Thank you for your fresh testimonial and sharing your experiences with the Shining World group. I appreciate your enquiring spirit that inevitably leads to the truth of things. Yes it can be confusing when we are around people who are themselves still confused/unclear/unfinished even though they deliver interesting spiritual information and think that because of that they have full authority to be spiritual teachers aptly leading and influencing others.

Perhaps you may like to taste a different approach of inspirational spiritual sharing without guru-doing @ guru/group risks involved in this refreshing true story of a woman after the death of her dear brother: [www.audiobooks.com]

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: October 03, 2020 06:33PM

Thanks for sharing, Sevenhorses.

I went through a similar progression with him, first being interested, then amused, then creeped out, though it took me longer than you. Actually my first impression was that he was glib and arrogant but then I foolishly dismissed that.

His practice and interpretation of Vedanta obviously hasn't brought him liberation from being dominated by desires and aversions. Rather, he has molded Vedanta into a system that licenses him to give in to his desires without regard to the wellbeing of others, and looking spiritual while doing so. He feels free to manipulate people and treat them like objects because he thinks Vedanta proves that nothing is real and therefore nothing matters.

That's the impression I got from his satsangs and especially from his autobiography. Heather's story shows the terrible things that can happen when someone operates with this mindset.

Quote
Sevenhorses
As to whether Heather's story is true or not, I'm not totally sold but I can see and feel that something is definitely not right with James and Shining World. If it is true, I hope it's an isolated event and this is not another case of dozens of other victims fearing to come forward as well. If it's not true, then whoever Heather is is still obviously a person who has been hurt on some way and is trying to make sense out of the ordeal on her terms.

Well said. Even if not every detail happened as described, the way James is characterized in the story rings very true to me.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: rickarcher ()
Date: October 05, 2020 09:16AM

I've been listening to Swami Sarvapriyananda's "Vedanta Talks" podcast and participating in his free Upanishad and Bhagavad Gita webinars for the better part of a year. His knowledge of Vedanta and other traditions, his eloquence, his purity as a long-time monk and other wonderful qualities are an inspiration.

Read his bio here. He spent the last academic year as a student at Harvard Divinity School. He's easily qualified to be on faculty. His having been a student is a measure of his humility. He is also well versed in Western sciences and philosophies. He also has a great sense of humor and is a great story-teller.

I'm saying all this because I think it's sad that people would waste their time and money on someone like James Swartz when there are so much better teachers available. Anyone reading this who is looking for a good teacher of Advaita Vedanta might want to check out Swami S.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Dis-illusioned ()
Date: October 12, 2020 02:58PM

It’s is with a measure of trepidation that I add my voice to this forum.

I too was sucked in to James’ circle, and spent the past 8 or 9 years following him.
I eventually disclosed a lot of very, very personal information with him.

For a few years, he repeatedly told me how well I had assimilated the truth (according to him.)
I was sceptical of that.

In June this year, the house of cards fell down, and he said some insulting things to me, and then claimed he had to say them, to provoke me.

He then said “Vedanta is not for you.”

Really??

————————————————————————————————————————————

Today I discovered that he published our private correspondence, to Shiningworld.

I am beyond shocked.

I have no idea what law he may have broken, but he has certainly not acted in integrity. He had NO right to exploit my private story and life, for his own glory.

Besides that fact, I’m doing so he has exposed his own contradiction - although he won’t post that to his website no doubt.

My conclusion is that James will say whatever he wants, to suit himself. I walked away, and let it go - but now that I know the lengths he went to to exploit me, I figure it’s time to speak my truth, as well.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Dis-illusioned ()
Date: October 12, 2020 03:06PM

Could you add the link to the book you’re referring to please Valma?

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Valma ()
Date: October 12, 2020 05:06PM

Dis-illusioned Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Could you add the link to the book you’re
> referring to please Valma?


[www.amazon.com]

Here you go.

Thank you for sharing your unfortunate experience with J. Swartz, Dis-illusioned. You are not the first one to report what you describe in your other post. I would have thought that he had at least realized that his behaviour was not right, but apparently not, he just continues to act inappropriately and believes he has the right to do so!

The good news: you have seen through it and have left his "boat". Although it does take time to unwind from it all completely, you have moved on now and are on your way to greater wider freer fields. Congratulations to you!

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: October 12, 2020 06:16PM

@RickArcher, Yes, Swami S is a really highly rated Swami for sure.

Hey guys,

I missed the new activity, lol. I've reached out to one or two in PM guys, if ya could check please. :).

Today JS has posted a satsang once again publicly promoting a students glowing praise on how brilliant a teacher he is. I cannot judge, but for the life of me, I don't understand why someone who is meant to be free, devotes so much time to letting the world know how great his students think he is. It's so egotistical.When I was being gaslighted by them, they lectured me on keeping my head down, and teaching quietly. It is curious they don't take their own advice.

And, he is telling people to give cash before he agree's to skype then. That is not the way dakshina works. There is to be no expectation of financial return, as the knowledge is to be shared freely in the tradition, as it belongs to the world. Books and videos can have a price placed but the teachings themselves are much different. Especially in this current climate, when lots of people are finding it hard to live.

The other thing in today's satsang is that once again. JS, or as he wrote on his website before - 'Mr. Sampradaya' has diagnosed someone else as not being enlightened.

Vedanta is quite clear on this matter, that is is highly difficult, if not impossible to tell whether another person has attained enlightenment. For very good reason. One major one is that the person judging, maybe be using their own conditioning to decide on another person. Vedanta says one cannot really know, so where is the authority to know coming from? One's ego, and they talk out their ass.

In the spiritual world there is a tendency to spiritual idealise what enlightened person should act like outwardly. While they will have cleared up a lot of stuff dharmically and karmically, that is not absolute. The enlightened person is one who has a different perspective, and being humble and not seeing themselves as superior are good signs. But it really is a case of before it, chop wood, after it, chop wood.

In regard to JS, and what others have said here, with all his bitching. This is standard, for sure. As i've intimated, when a self confessed mahatma, bastion of Vedanta endlessly, and needlessly bitches and puts absolutely everyone down, they are of course positioning themselves as THE authority.

Additionally, to judge others so much, is to express seperation, not advaita. JS and ze high command spout karma yoga endlessly, but through it, and jnana yoga, there is no need to judge. Samatvam is even vision. I ask, where is samatvam with someone who self-promotes how special and important they are, at the expense of so many others.

The other thing I will say openly, is that for anyone who doesn't want drama and wants to stay anonymous, think about changing your writing style. I've got it on good authority that people who post here, their writing style is being compared with past students with these guys.

Dis-Illusioned. When I moved from Shiningworld, and was being taught by Swami how to teach, in Traditional Vedanta care is took with people. So as to NOt upset them or provoke them. This kind of thing with JS is another reason, that he in fact teaches the modern crap he actually puts down.

E



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2020 06:19PM by earthquake.

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