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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: November 16, 2020 07:59AM

I'm getting a little conscious that the topic might have been hi-jacked a little, especially by me, lol. Sorry about that everyone.

If I can just finish in regard to the current context. It's one thing to know what 'I' am in Vedanta. It's like a see-saw. The positive effect of knowing that is evident, then conditioning kicks in. That's because I may know what I am, but opposites like sadness & happiness are still doing there thing. Unless they've been inquired (looked) into, they will bring the mind back the other way. And this can happen many times during the day. The person then stagnates in their sadhana.

The foundational principle is that i'm limitless. I accept this as true, and with the knowledge that comes along with that truth, I challenge things like limitation and lack. Projections and judgements.

How I challenge that conditioning is in how it plays out. In the symptoms, such as assuming fear, sadness, drama, etc, change or limit me. And happiness, obtaining of objects, etc complete me.

inquiry only begins by these obvious symptoms, and we work our way to the cause of all through following the breadcrumbs of the implications in the mind.

Suffering is due to three things, and it's the same for everyone. This is three types of limitation:

1. Limitation of sorrow. It is that 'something is wrong with me'.
2. Limitation of time. This is in regard to mortality.
3. Limitation of ignorance. This is in regard to wanting to know more.

It's not being said that any of the above is 'wrong', only that all suffering boils down to these three. The proper teachings, and inquiry is used to resolve this.

:)

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Valma ()
Date: November 16, 2020 05:28PM

Thank you everyone for your contributions to this conversation to which i would like to add my 2 cents!

As spiritual seeker seeking Truth and knowing nothing about Vedanta, you may find Shiningworld site, which sounds shiningly attractive with lots of knowledge available. You may have no clear idea about the role of ethics in spiritual life (as explained in the interview shared by zizl with Rick Archer and Swami Sarvapriyananda) yet find yourself disturbed to hear someone who had had themselves an unfortunate exchange with JS making you aware of the pretty appalling Heather’story.
If you had the choice between being student of an ethical or unethical teacher, what would you choose? The answer seems pretty obvious when you know the value of ethics and have checked beforehand his/her reputation.
What would be your choice if you finally recognize you are in an unhealthy relationship in overt or covert ways with a personal, business or spiritual partner? One option is to gather your belongings and leave. Some leave without looking back, others more severely affected need to expose the harm done to them in order to heal and warn other people.
But what about those who keep “loyal” to a compromised spiritual teacher despite evidence not just of past but current behaviors? In this instance, you may have doubt about the poignant story Heather brought to light, but what about recent testimonials found on this thread? What about a recent “satsang” on their website about a former student of theirs being named and shamed publicly? Does that not make the red light blink frantically in front of your eyes??
My position as collaborator of such a teacher would be to directly confront him with what ex-students are saying; if he denies the facts or doesn’t apologize for any past misconduct, after due consideration I would fully disengage myself from him whether as partner or endorsed teacher out of self-respect and love for truth.
My hypothesis is that deep karmic emotional investments prevent loyal followers to stick their heads out of the sand as it would mean digging deeper into those investments and i can understand that it is where they are now and can do no better. It is said “by their fruit you will recognize them”. The fruit are found on their website for those with eyes to see.

In my dream a severely compromised spiritual teacher would not keep on publishing “satsangs” praising them or elaborating on personal issues of seekers which can quickly become “noise”. Instead, he would make a public apology about wrong-doings and mistreatment of former students, saying like “I messed up, I am deeply sorry to all those I brought harm. I will consequently stop all my teaching activities and spend the remainder of my life amending and working on my personal issues”. Such a stance would free everyone around him in a quite miraculous way for whether you like it or not unclear ties to a compromised spiritual teacher are invisible “ties” that keep one bound.

The question is what do we care about: Freedom and Truth or are we still attached to our human loyalties? My choice is loyalty to Truth and not to anyone who brought me whatever spiritual gems they could transmit for a while. Yes faith and gratitude to our teachers has its important place in our journey, especially at the beginning yet ultimately we have to find our own way on the path; no amount of reading other experiences will help us there, these can easily become distraction or postponement to our own diving deep within.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/2020 05:30PM by Valma.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 16, 2020 09:54PM

The typical trajectory of an abusive relationship is that the person and his closest accomplices show us their sunny sides, precisely to get us to bond with the sunny side that they present.

, This the phase where they aim to addict us to their charm and their flattery.

Once we become addicted to their sunny side charm flattery and playfulness -- then they'll shock us with nasty behavior and claim:

* We are immature spiritual students who cannot trust this abuse is not really abuse but a higher form of love

*You're a wimp for feeling hurt. You need to toughen up because this is Real Life

* The nasty behavior is your fault for being a fuck up.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: November 17, 2020 04:24AM

Apologies for this post, as the last two posts have got the topic on track again. I just wanted to clarify what i'd wrote yesterday about Swami Dayananda.

The other Swami has told me that it is correct (as I repeated), except for one thing. It wasn't that Swami Dayananda wasn't taught inquiry as I had wrote. It's that he wasn't taught that Vedanta is what's called a Pramana. A pramana is a means of knowledge, like sight. It's something that is independant of personal opinion. This is neccessary in order for me to set aside my own ego, and let the process of Vedanta work. If I choose to later, I can ignore this and walk away. It's just to give it a chance. It's incredibly important. So yea, there was at least, a difference in teaching in that respect.

Just wanted to clarify that, and correct myself. My apologies.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Dis-illusioned ()
Date: November 17, 2020 09:30PM

Me again :)

I’m also not responding to the great discussions we got into on Vedantic teachings, as I know this isn’t the place for that, but I did want to still share a few thoughts (one of which is related.)

Earthquake, you explained the subtle distinction about when karma is necessary and useful (for a new seeker preparing to become qualified for the teachings) and how once that stage is over and the truth has landed, that there is no point in continuing to practice karma yoga, since the whole game has been seen through. The truth needs then to be applied to the mind, and the karma yoga principle becomes redundant. (That is at least what I took you to be saying.)

Well....I just went to look on SW to see something about a particular ex-staff member and ex-teacher from Shingingworld, who was recently removed and “cast out” of the whole business.

The fallout happened over politics.

I’m astonished that James has become so politically vocal on SW. I just don’t see what American politics has to do with Vedanta, and why so much focus would be going into discussions over Trump.

But actually - I think I know the reason.

It’s because James wants to be proved right.

My guess is, he got into a fixed position over Trump, and he’s now SO proud about being right, that he just can’t help himself.

How can he not see what this says about him?

Why would he jeopardise a relationship with someone who has faithfully served him for years, over his need to be right over politics?

It makes no sense at all....except if you remember who is actually driving the James bus after all.

Regarding the karma yoga confusion, James was giving advice to someone, on a political rant post, to continue to practice karma yoga. He gave me the same advice, many times. It confused me. Thankfully, I now see why.

All’s well that ends well.

As for the person who James has rejected, over his opinions on Trump (which James mis-read anyway, as far as I’ve understood) perhaps this is also a “gift from god” in the same way that my parting of ways from James has been.

It will take me some time to deconstruct the things I’ve taken on, through James, that are not in accordance with the scriptures/the Truth. I can’t start to do that fully yet, as I’m still dealing with the impact of the emotional bullying and violence that has at some level, shaken me.

All in good time.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2020 09:33PM by Dis-illusioned.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Dis-illusioned ()
Date: November 17, 2020 10:16PM

And just to add: none of this is about attacking the man. James has his ways, and I loved him deeply. I feel really sad that that was possibly all based on a mistaken perception on my part.

The issue to me is: is James a qualified teacher, who I and others should put our trust him. If what he teaches has not in fact set him free, then what’s the point?

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: November 17, 2020 11:05PM

Quote
Dis-illusioned
>
> Earthquake, you explained the subtle distinction
> about when karma is necessary and useful (for a
> new seeker preparing to become qualified for the
> teachings) and how once that stage is over and the
> truth has landed, that there is no point in
> continuing to practice karma yoga, since the whole
> game has been seen through. The truth needs then
> to be applied to the mind, and the karma yoga
> principle becomes redundant. (That is at least
> what I took you to be saying.)


Adi Shankaracharya is the head of our sampradaya, teaching tradition. He taught that one is to use karma kanda (chapters/subject matter) like a boat to cross the ocean of samsara. Once you reach the shore you are to leave it behind, and carry on the journey on foot. This is one third of the Vedas you're to leave behind.

Karma comes before knowledge in Vedanta. And, Vedanta teaches that a person doesn't attain enlightenemnt through karma yoga, but through knowledge. A globally known Swami in our tradtion teaches in his commentary on Madukya karika, that if the person carries on using karma yoga in sadhana they will stay in samsara. Karma yoga is triangluar format (world/Samsara). Then there is binary. But even that isn't enlightenment. One has to move to advaita.



Quote
Dis-illusioned
>
> Well....I just went to look on SW to see something
> about a particular ex-staff member and ex-teacher
> from Shingingworld, who was recently removed and
> “cast out” of the whole business.
>
> The fallout happened over politics.
>
> I’m astonished that James has become so
> politically vocal on SW. I just don’t see what
> American politics has to do with Vedanta, and why
> so much focus would be going into discussions over
> Trump.
>
> But actually - I think I know the reason.
>
> It’s because James wants to be proved right.
>
> My guess is, he got into a fixed position over
> Trump, and he’s now SO proud about being right,
> that he just can’t help himself.
>
> How can he not see what this says about him?
>
> Why would he jeopardise a relationship with
> someone who has faithfully served him for years,
> over his need to be right over politics?
>
> It makes no sense at all....except if you remember
> who is actually driving the James bus after all.

Yes, it's such a great point you are making. Politics isnt Vedanta. Sure, a person can have a view on anything they want. Even a Vedanta teacher can. But, Vedanta is Vedanta.

It's hard to justify that a teacher-student relationship ends over such a non-Vedanta thing. Vedanta does understand that things can happen between teacher and student. We recite a sanskrit hymn at the start of classes, it's a peace invocation. Swartz has recited it himself. it's to ask that there is no differences of opinion between teacher & student, as the knowledge will be lost then. The question is, what value does it have for the teacher to be so opinionated? Once personal opinions are gave it changes the relationship dynamic. The student needs to know about VEdanta. What they don't need is their own personal views challenged. A teacher has got no business challenging someones own personal views on non-Vedanta things.

Funny enough, i've been having some little chats with people on a post i made yesterday on Facebook. It's a meme that looks anti a certain politician, and people have came on an give me their opinions over the satire. It's actually about the news controlling thought, but, through the 'debate' I stick ridgidly to the truth that all views are important, and it's also okay to disagree. One cannot force their opinion onto another, as that's not samatvam, equality. Equality is knowing and showing that an alternate opinion is also valid. And the person is allowed to have it.


Quote
Dis-illusioned
>
> Regarding the karma yoga confusion, James was
> giving advice to someone, on a political rant
> post, to continue to practice karma yoga. He gave
> me the same advice, many times. It confused me.
> Thankfully, I now see why.

If the person who Swartz was ranting at, is jnani (enlightened) then that person will not ever go back to karma yoga. It's not permitted in Vedanta. Actually, more than that, the jnani would never go back, because they cannot go back. You can't go back in sadhana like this.

It happened to me with him, when I was there. I had to remind him I cannot go back to karma yoga if I am enlightened. So I was labelled as wrongly claiming enlightenment, as a sickness. I had to then remind both Swartz' that I only thought I was enlightened then, as both of them told me. I even still have him handwritted letter.

Now with the correct, teachings, I know how useless the whole conversations were.


Quote
Dis-illusioned
>
> As for the person who James has rejected, over his
> opinions on Trump (which James mis-read anyway, as
> far as I’ve understood) perhaps this is also a
> “gift from god” in the same way that my parting of
> ways from James has been.

Yes, it could be a blessing if they view it that way. The other thing I wanted to say was something I forgot before. Swartz said to you that if you accuse someone of adharma you better be dharmic yourself. I've nearly choked to death on my own laughter. He has wrote a satsang about me a few weeks ago, telling bare-faced lies, that they left me because I was using Vedanta for sex 2 years ago. And you and I both know for a fact it's lies, as we were both witness to events then. This is a spritual teacher who doesn't hesitate to tell his own Shiningworld members lies in order to make someone challenging him bad, so he can keep his fiefdom intact. Shiningworld members that where there 2 years ago should ask him why it is proper to tell lies about another person and publish it. There's no honour in publishing lies about someome to try to harm them.



Quote
Dis-illusioned
>
> It will take me some time to deconstruct the
> things I’ve taken on, through James, that are not
> in accordance with the scriptures/the Truth. I
> can’t start to do that fully yet, as I’m still
> dealing with the impact of the emotional bullying
> and violence that has at some level, shaken me.
>
> All in good time.


I'm so glad to have you as a freind. There's a few former Shiningworld here. It's tough though. Especially when it's been important. Yea, sometimes just so personal space to process things is what's most important.


There are teachings that are modern Vedanta. I know that Swartz make a big dela about taking down modern VEdanta, but the truth is that Shiningworld teachings fall within that also. Some of them anyhow.

This self-realization and actualization business is a modern vedanta teaching. It's not tradtional vedanta.

This thing about so-called intellectual knowledge, as opposed to something else, that is also modern vedanta.

This focus on sorting out Vasanas. This is also modern vedanta. It's not neccessary and it's not needed, and it's not possible. Vasanas have formed over infitinite lifetimes, it takes infinite lifetimes to deal with them. And while your dealing with them you are reinforcing that 'things' change you... And that's samsara.

This equation that is taught in Shiningworld: Brahman + Maya = Isvara. That is modern vedanta. There is no such equation in Vedanta. I've stored a copy of the pdf satsangs where this is taught.

The gunas. Gunas are taught within Vedanta, but only to an extent. As Krishna taught in Chapter 2 to be trigunatha. Beyond the gunas.


And of course, advanced students in niddihyasana using karma yoga. Whether this is deliberately taught or not,it certainly is not taught not to, and using karma yoga in advanced sadhana is ripe in SW.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2020 11:18PM by earthquake.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Dis-illusioned ()
Date: November 17, 2020 11:19PM

Thanks for those clarifications Earthquake. I won’t say all that it tells me and how it reassures me, but there are a number of things in what you’ve said, that clear up sticking points I’ve always had, listening to James teach. Some things just didn’t add up, and I didn’t know why. Now I do.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: November 18, 2020 08:13AM

Can I just bring something else to the attention of the forum please?

I've mantained all along that Shiningworld doctor what is wrote to them, and publish that. They did it to me in a massive 23 page e-satsang trying to publicly humiliate me and ostracising me from the Shiningworld community two years ago, and i've watched them do it since.

Over the last three days i've watched Swartz post two seperate e-satsangs from two different people, yet much of the content is the same. The first one posted is from 'Mary'. The second posted e-satsang is from 'Cindy'.

Both these 'letters' are verbatim word for word in many places, and in other places there is different content. The one from 'Cindy' begins how 'kind and a good teacher' Swartz is. The one from 'Mary' doesn't. Yet much other content is clearly verbatim.

If these letters are genuinely from two different people, why is so much content both the same and different?

Why is there glowing praise opening up the letter in the first one, but omited in the second, if it is the same person.

If this is actually the same person, why have they made two seperate and identical (in places) e-satsangs, that purport to be from two different people?

I might be viewing the world wrong because of my own perception, but I feel that for any e-satsang to be of value, it has to be the truth. What is being published by Shiningworld on-going is heavily doctored letters or just plain made up ones. In this case, SWartz is posting imaginary letters in order to drive a point home in regard to someone that he has a dis-agreement with over politics. The idea is to publish e-satsangs that are doctored in order to support whatever point he has.

He's lied about me in his e-satsangs three weeks ago. I'm not sure that they know what the truth is. They publish false information about people for their own ends.

Here is the links to the two e-satsangs. Incase they take them down or doctor them, i've got them downloaded in PDF, and will upload them to cloud so anyone can see them for themselves.

'Cindy' [www.shiningworld.com]

'Mary'[www.shiningworld.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2020 08:17AM by earthquake.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: November 27, 2020 01:23AM

For their recent
Meritorious Service
in Revealing the (Sad and Deplorable) Truth
About the abominable
James Swartz,
Kudos to (among others):

Earthquake, Dis-Illusioned, Valma, corboy, ziziz and Sahara71.


In exquisite detail in recent posts the above-lauded worthies have done a superb job of detailing how

James Swartz is:
-- a foul human being.
-- an execrable "spiritual teacher."


To discover whether this was true or not, in this public forum, has of course been our goal since its inception.

Now, over 500 posts (which have over 44,000 views) have absolutely given us the answer. Even leaving outthe rapacious truths described in "Guru? The Story of Heather", James Swartz has been proved to be loathsome in virtually every way, with the accurate conclusion to me made that he should be avoided at all costs by all (non-masochistic) persons.

A bonus has been some very interesting insight into better, truer Advaita Vedanta as revealed in some of these posts. Swartz, just by mentioning certain spiritual texts (even as he deliberately distorts them) and 'real' teachers like Sri Ramana Maharshi and Adi Shankara, does (almost accidentally) point beginning seekers in a good direction.

It is now more apparent than ever that the perspectives shared in this forum by some of his more discerning ex-students are better 'teachings' than those Swartz himself has ever given. (This partly begs the question-- can any intelligent person who is not emotionally or psychologically disturbed stay with Swartz for a long time? Eventually, it seems his smallness, meanness, and lack of human empathy and spiritual depth drives everyone away...)

* * * *

Also, an apology to two of the worthies mentioned above who in some cases well over a week ago sent me "PM's" (Private Messages) using this Forum's system. I did not see these until today. Personal matters have been quite demanding the last few weeks, and the "You've got PM's" notice somehow ended up in my junk mail. From now on, I'll check more carefully.

However, as goes "Posts," I haven't been necessary, have I? Even this post was mostly "cheerleading" for others-- which is something Heather and I could have only dreamed about even a couple years ago.

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