Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: November 13, 2020 09:30AM

Hi Dis-illusioned,

I began following the saga of Swartz when this discussion first began here on CEI. Before that, I was in contact with a former student of Swartz' who wanted to warn me about him. She had a similar experience to you - her private emails to Old Swartz were published online without her explicit consent. She complained to him about it and he taunted and denigrated her!

I think that she was the one who alerted me to the Story of Heather, which I read.

But why my interest in a general sense? A couple of years ago I came under the influence of a very dubious guru who turned out to be a dishonest, exploitative man. He had a series of sexual relationships with various female students who were half his age, and tried to cover up the whole sorry mess! He told the women involved that sleeping with him would 'bring them closer to God'. He presented himself in public as an enlightened soul, who was basically beyond reproach. I was very annoyed that I had been duped.
The young women with whom he became involved, were basically ostracized from his spiritual community and made out to be in the wrong, once he had no further use for them.

Initially I just wanted to find out the truth of the matter for my own interest and to be able to knowingly warn others about this guru, if the need came up.

Then, the more I read and researched and the more people I was able to contact in respect to the wrong-doings of this man, the more I became interested in cult tactics and manipulation. I honestly had no idea about what goes on in some spiritual circles and was basically very 'innocent' about just how corrupt the spiritual scene is.

Which is kind of silly of me, since the Catholic Church in my country is constantly under some form of serious allegation of abuse - you would think this would have been enough to 'put me off' spiritual pursuits, but I digress.

I developed a very keen interest in cult recruitment, cult-leaders, the psychology of deception, trance induction, narcissism, 'brainwashing' (coercive control) and all related topics. So much so that I would consider getting a degree in sociology in order to make a career of it! I also studied Advaita Vedanta (briefly) as I am also interested in philosophy and studied philosophy at university level in the past.
So....I'm basically just an interested by-stander who can't help putting in my two-cents worth.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: November 13, 2020 11:39AM

Hello Everyone,

I was going to wait for another week or so before I posted this, but the recent post’s in regard to Asperger’ has got my attention. I will get to that point further down, as it once again highlights how many teachings have got mixed up with personal ideas. That is something that we simply do not do as teacher in traditional Vedanta. It may seem that the teacher is teaching from their own view, and yes, the teacher must have understanding of the subject matter, but the teacher should never use their own ideas about anything. And this is because in order to be a teacher, one has to have first submitted their ego to the Vedanta pramana (means of knowledge) and this is done at the very beginning of sadhana. Basically, what I think about anything has got little to do with anything, as an example. Even in this topic, although I was speaking about personal experiences, any time that Vedanta was spoke of by me, it is always what is taught in my lineage. I always stick very close to both my guru and paramguru (guru of my guru) often what I type and teach is verabtim. Only ego thinks that something clear can be improved on. Adi Shankaraya, the ‘founder’ of our sampdarya, is perhaps the best known teacher of all, and his own students taught so like him, it is hard to tell them apart.. If one starts to think they legitimately can teach from their perspective, ego comes into it. There is no ‘I’ or ‘my’ for jnani (enlightened person).

There has been a fair bit wrote about me lately in Shiningworld. And it is all negative. It is in stark contrast to previously published material from them, where they sung my praises when I was doing what they told me. They will likely pull all positive material about me from their site, that’s been done before. At present, Isabella, my former teacher is creating a major article about me. I felt very close to her and her husband, James, over the years. I came from a background of it being normal as a child to see shootings and bombings here in Northern Ireland, and I’ve lost count of the friends and relatives that have died from the terrorism here. Over time, I developed anxiety and depression, and eventually PTSD due to being held prisoner, beat up and interrogated by terrorists. I’m saying this to warn everyone that anything you ever tell them may be used against you. They have a history of re-arranging things said to them, and including teachings not taught to you in order to make you look stupid. I have pulled a mountain of their e-satsangs and cross-referenced this with factual material I’ve obtained, and it’s gross the amount of times this happens. They will use whatever personal information they have or can get, whether it is true or not to try to destroy you. It’s a pure ego-trip for them. I mean, Swartz says he has stopped all his projects in order to devote all his time to me. Why even do that. What about his students. His members are getting pretty tired about this too. In truth, he’s failed at what he wanted in regard to me, and in such a short time.

Like Dis-Illusioned, the truth is very important to me also. I love facts, and anything verbatim factual. It’s one reason why I’ve cut everything out of my life in order to devote it to Vedanta. And like her, there is also a reason why I am so factual. I’ll get to that though...


The information I’ve made in regard to certain Vedantic teachings on this topic are not my own views, but the written word of someone very influential in Vedanta. Well, three people actually. I feel that I’ve shared enough now for anyone who even cares to check for themselves. This piece here will only touch on one or two fundamental points.

I’ve told my own students that if they can catch me out on one factual lie, to view me as a liar full stop. That’s appropriate I feel. Although it seems my posts haven’t been written well here (I’ve been made fun of lately in the threatening emails from Swartz), everything I’ve said is precise. Else I just don’t say it. A Vedanta teacher uses words precisely. Swartz has published that him and his wife walked away from me because I was using Vedanta for sex and conning money from people. It’s important that any Shiningworld member that may read this, knows that did not happen (out of compassion for them). I fell in love. I was a student, and so was she. I was ordered by Swartz to not be in a relationship. So we had some email combat. It was very unfair that he was able to marry his own student, and I told him so. His wife, Sundari went nuts with me over that. A lot of people in Shiningworld fear her. And will stay clear for her. I’ve also got it in private discussion that even other teachers try to stay away from her. The most important thing is that he is a teacher who has posted lies about someone, trying to control what his students and others think. If anyone wants to see the proof he’s a liar, contact me and I will screen shot the emails from his and my own contact. For such a source of information that can be proved a liar, anything they say should be looked at in more depth. I know from experience that Shiningworld members reading this do tend to by-pass in regard to any truth that shows Swartz negatively. Contact me and I will share with you the screenshots showing he is a liar. The truth matters full stop guys. If the truth doesn’t matter, then you obviously think that lies are just as important.

The reason I am no longer in Shiningworld is that it was me who left. I refused to be controlled by them in my private life. A teacher of Vedanta is not permitted to interfere in students private lives. That is the way. Swartz wrote me many emails trying to get me to stay. I lost all respect for him as a teacher in that last email of that time, in which he said that if I left Shiningworld, it would be a lonely world without God. That is such an inappropriate thing to say in Vedanta. It’s also not true. Spiritually, to say that to a student, one who was going through trauma at having to leave his spiritual ‘parents’, it’s very wrong.


What happened recently is that at least two people found out my identity on here. Due to my writing style (I’d previously warned the forum that Shiningworld were looking at peoples writing styles on here to identify them). So, I was prepared for what was to come. Swartz jumped the gun a bit though, as the veracity of what was being said about me was automatically assumed to be true. What I’ve done is been in contact with the police, and I’ve made them aware of the circumstances of what was intially said about me. I spoke openly and candidly to them and told them exactly what happened and have invited them to go check for themselves, as I know I haven’t broken the law. I kept screenshots of my online report also (any forum members want to see them private message me). I’ve been advised by police to no longer have direct contact with anyone in the little group. This included one disaffected student/admin (this person has had many accounts reported on Facebook and Youtube, and he’s been posting here also and been moderated), and another person claiming something about me in regard to them, and the Shiningworld gang. I had spoken with the person alleging this about me, before I was advised not to. I tried everything to get them to either admit to me in email the truth, or go to the police, but they refused (I can provide screen shots of this). So, I reported the whole thing myself. I borrowed money from this person, and am arranging payments to them via a third party. The police gently suggested that it was a good idea to pay them also.

It’s been a few weeks since this whole thing started. My two Vedanta platforms on Facebook, and my little Youtube channel remain live. I’ve had no warnings from either about anything. Swartz did tell me that he is reporting me to Facebook, Youtube, etc, and to the police. Though nothing has happened to me. Nor have I been approached. Swartz sent me a series of threatening emails. Some were bribes, in that he would stop his campaign if I done what he ordered me. Others were plain threats. He has demanded that I stop teaching Vedanta. Which I will not, for very good reason. He simply does not speak for the teaching tradition of Vedanta...

... Assertions were made about my validity as a teacher of Vedanta (which I don’t mind as people will project and judge). And it’s been written by fake accounts on here, Facebook and Youtube that I am using a certain lineages name, and identifying as a teacher of that lineage under false pretences. This is factually not true. I’ve been told in writing previously by two Swami that I can teach. My Facebook group has experienced Swami in it, and I am involved with him in furthering the groups we are in. The Swami is not ignorant of the situation, as he was contacted before I spoke to him about it and knows all sides.

Still, I did understand that everything that has been going on might negatively mark the lineage I belong to. So I wrote and I offered to close the Facebook group down a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been told that I am to keep the group and other page open. That it is a good Vedanta group. So, that is that.


Although the lineage I am with has no centralised authority, I thought it best to contact them in India, about my role as a teacher. How I came about to be a teacher in the lineage I am, is a little unorthodox yes. However, the most crucial thing is the lineage itself. The Guru-Student unbroken chain. It’s Guru that gives permission to teach not myself.

I got word back from the very top itself. I’m allowed to continue to carry on teaching what I am, and under the lineage that I am. I’m allowed to keep saying I am a teacher of that lineage. It’s both my view and theirs, that people are free to not recognise me as a teacher if they wish. But as far as they are concerned, I am allowed to teach and use their name.

I understand that there is a campaign now to try to discredit me. I don’t mind karma. They are free to do what they want with their time. And they are free to say what they want about me also. I likely will not even read anything else wrote about me. The validation as a teacher comes from permission of the lineage, and not any else’s opinions that have their own agenda. So, that is that also...


I want to share something else. It’s that it’s been claimed that a Swami has likened me to a demon. I find that very hard to believe that any Swami would say that about a person and their karma. To even write that shows a severe lack of understanding of karma. It isn't the traditional view of Vedanta (of a teachers' perspective) to say this about someone. Especially if only one side of facts would be known. Even if both side’s were known Swami generally would not see it such one sided. This is because Vedanta offers constant contentment, that only comes about by Samatvam, equal vision. The free person is free to go into an event, and also free to just as quickly go out of it.

I’ve been sent emails by Swartz that were nasty, also saying about how upset I must be over all this. The truth is that when I moved to the lineage I am, I received the correct teachings. There’s no way that I am upset about Karma. That doesn’t make sense. A person who has issues with karma isn’t able to lead others out of samsara, as they are still attaching suffering to events and so cannot be an unsupervised teacher. In the tradition there is supervised teachers, and unsupervised teachers. Depending on certain requirements. I’m allowed to teach un-supervised whatever I want online or in-person, and identify as the lineage I do, as long as I stay loyal to it.

In regard to karma, even enlightened people can experience emotional pain & distress. I was taught this by my Guru. For the free person, they don’t attach suffering with it. This means that it’s okay whatever happens in life. Being happy, or being upset. Such things come and go. Neither happiness completes you, nor being upset limit or change you. This is samtavam.


What is going to be published about me soon by Shiningworld is private communications about personal aspects of my life. The information is confidential and highly personal and I don’t care what disclaimer they have, I told them before I don't give them permission to use karma against a person. The idea is to use someone’s karma in order to judge them. That isn’t understanding karma, and it is wrong to teach in Vedanta. With karma there is both an immediate and an unseen effect. Karma that is showing now, isn’t only about this lifetime, it’s also about previous one’s. Therefore, it’s not valid to judge someone now about karma that may not have anything to do with now. The difference between traditional teachers of Vedanta and those of modern Vedanta is that modern will judge karma as they include their own ideas about things. Traditional Vedanta isn’t as quick to do this as they don’t include their own ideas.

I’ve done all I can to show that what’s been said about me isn’t true. This forum is a very useful forum for the world, so I feel it’s proper to offer any real members screenshots to support all that I’ve written here. I wouldn’t be upset at all for you simply wanting to see the truth. Please feel free to private message me here.


The Vedanta view is that one is to move from good and bad karma. To a vision that is only Isvara Prasada (gifts from God}. Everything becomes a blessing when one doesn’t have issues with sadness, upset, or even any non-happiness. I intimated something before, which Trav picked up on. That this has been a blessing. Both my teaching places on Facebook have become much more active, and membership has doubled in the group since all this began. It seems the more that is said about me, the more interest there is in what is being taught. The group has been told to stay open by my lineage, and I’ve been gave permission from the very top to teach as I am saying I am. All of this is against a backdrop of fake accounts, and flaming of me in various places online, trying to do the opposite. The point is that the response to this isn’t one of jumping for joy. The person isn’t to cling to anything, including being a teacher. Being a teacher is only useful as a role if someone wants to learn. If it’s not longer valid, fine. If it carries on being valid, fine also. Samatvam, equal vision. It’s samtvam in regard to whatever happens in life, that is the blessing. In that not even things like this can upset. Being at peace. It’s a bit like searching for peace. What Vedanta reveals is that there is nothing to search for. You are peace. You are shanti. Because this is true, once known you are totally fine inside, no matter what seems to be happening externally. I use events like this for my students, to show them in very personal ways, that is doesn’t matter what karma materialises, that Vedanta can genuinely offer a different perspective. This perspective enables the person to freely go into an event, and just as freely leave it, and be content either way. Although the smear campaign has had the opposite effect of what was intended by them, that isn’t the real blessing. The real blessing is being able to show my students how a person can go into an event. And how they can come out of it just as easily. How they can not spiritual idealise or by-pass in regard to themselves. This is just a person. Not above nor superior to anyone. Ever. This is Vedanta, and it cultivates samatvam, equal vision. So the person is constantly content. What seems like a major drama is merely a gift from God for my own growth and to show students how Vedanta will work. No matter what events come. It’s one thing to teach Vedanta, but it’s quite another to see the fruits of it play out in real time. I was intially taught by Swami not to tell students my whole life, and I didn’t listen to that. I got to admit that. I have felt that it is a good way to show how Vedanta works when karma seems to throw a curve ball. When karma is only viewed as an opportunity as outlined above, there is no curve ball. Just a smile as one dances in the rain.


I’m just reading some additional posts in this topic. Sahara makes a great point. In that some want to come to Vedanta as they like the idea of no-self, so they can do what they want. This is true. And it’s a wrong teaching of Vedanta. It’s spiritual by-passing. A student and I spoke about this earlier, in regard to recent events actually...

...The enlightened person won’t do spiritual by-passing. And this is because to attain the perspective of moska (enlightenment) one must know they are consciousness, and also have understood the way the world works. Both things are mutually interdependent. In fact, the ancient Rishis were sometimes quite bad people. They would do things, and then apologise after. Of course, the Rishis were the discoverers of this knowledge, and things were a work in progress for a long time. Now there are things in place to prevent using Vedanta as an excuse. At no point do the teachings say that the world is not important. Things do matter. If one wants them to. This is clearly explained in various texts. The Mandukya Karika, wrote by Guadapada comes to mind. The teaching of Ajativada shows us that there is in fact no ‘creation’. That means that one thing has not been created from another. As that would be two things. A wave is not different to water, simply because it has name and form. But, a key part of this teaching is that although duality is an appearance, we still keep the utility of life. This is so important. Or else things such as breaking the law would be permitted. To try to use Vedanta to excuse behaviour shows a lack of understanding of foundational teachings. Satya is that which is real. Real means that is does not change. Water itself is a useful metaphor. The world is called mithya, that which does change. Think of a wave. It is temporarily existing, depending on water. The wave though is not real as in satya, as the wave changes. Though the wave is not separate nor different from water. Since the wave is water, the wave is also limitless. But since wave is name and form, it has utility. And the wave does exist, or else we cannot talk about it. Nowhere does it say in Vedanta the world does not exist. The world is mithya, temporarily existing. What doesn’t exist is Tuccham in sanskrit. Like the elephant in my hand. The world isn’t that. So there’s no excuse and also no reason to by-pass the world. Vedanta offers the opportunity to not need to by-pass the world. And it’s this that is enlightenment, or better put by my guru, ‘freedom from suffering’.

The teacher is to show dharma also. And this is to lead by example. The teacher though is also human and might make mistakes. Or else we might spiritual idealise that human. Though a valid teacher will have the clear ability to admit when a mistake is made. This humility is a sign of knowledge. It can be a work in progress, sure. Enlightenment is the starting perspective, not the finished. One’s own inner growth ends the day the body dies. That is a greatly humbling and beautiful teaching. Teachers are not gods. A teacher is only a role, and no more important than a street sweeper. Both are important in context. The enlightened person also won’t see themselves as better or superior of others. That would show in the way they express themselves. By that I mean, everyone in Vedanta is a student first. And there are always things to learn from life, and from others.


I’d mentioned earlier what I’d read in regard to Asperger. I’m also waiting on a diagnosis from the medical profession in regard to me being on the autistic spectrum. It takes a long time here. I’ve been assessed and I’m scoring high (it's not a binding assessment). I’ve got it in my doctors notes here, that he thinks that I display a lot of key attributes on the spectrum (incase anyone says I lie, I can show screenshots). There has been great security for me in facts, and such. And being precise. It’s why I find great value in saying exactly what is true, with no hyberbole. In this current situation that is a real blessing. Swartz has his own view about people with aspergers, like he also has his own view on transgender (which he made public in a seminar in front of the parents of one lady who is). One’s personal views has got nothing to do with Vedanta. In fact, the Vedanta teacher isn’t really meant to get involved with someone’s personal life, so what has commenting on it got to do with anything in a teaching perspective? Sure, if someone talks to the teacher then the teacher might reply in context, but there is absolutely no need to display such private information widely for the world to see. It’s got no actual value in regard to teaching Vedanta. Lastly, i’m not officially diagnosed yet, as an independent body does that here. Although the doctor seems to think I am. That chances are then, that what is being asserted in regard to Vedanta and people with asperger’s simply isn’t true. If someone one the spectrum can teach within one of the major lineages, what more needs to be said as to the effectiveness of Vedanta. This isn’t a boast, it’s just a comment on what will likely materialise factually, when I get the diagnosis. To be honest, because of the way I view the world, that was a bonus in regard to my when I came to this lineage. The correct teachings were not only easy to understand, but easy to assimilate.


The latest person on here from Shiningworld; Rama V wrote about this idea of a live debate between myself and Swartz, and Heather and Swartz. I want to let everyone know that this live debate challenge was offered online to others over two years ago, when people were challenging Swartz. As I was a member of staff, I was witness to the Shiningworld staff being very egotistical that the challenge wasn’t took up. The staff member that told me, is the staff member that posted it elsewhere, all those years back.

It’s amazing that there is an offer of a live debate between a person saying a man raped her, and the accused. Am I living in some alternate universe? Under what moral compass is that even appropriate? How on earth would anyone even think that the victim would ever agree to such a thing?


Can I just end with something in regard to seeing what Swartz has written about me to Dis-illusioned, something about making my life hell. No, that hasn’t happened at all. Swartz was able to upset me before. But that was over two years ago, since I left their control. A lot has happened since then, and he greatly under-estimates the effectiveness of being exposed to the proper teachings of Vedanta. There’s a misunderstanding not only in regard to samtvam, but also akarmatvam (action in inaction, inaction in action).

For the person who builds a world of superiority, judgments and control, there will be separation, anger and fear. For the person who sees all things as God, there can only be constant contentment. Constant contentment isn’t just when ‘happy’ or ‘pleasant’ things occur. What makes it constant is it is the same when there is ‘sadness’, nastiness from others, etc. This is how the person is fearless in the face of fear. See’s no problem in problems. Takes the drama out of drama. The external events may be there, but internally there’s no issue. This enables a person to have freedom to choose.

My students (I’ve directed my students to this forum, and to what’s been written on Shiningworld about me so they can see both sides), former students, Shiningworld, and whoever else will be reading this topic of Trav’s. In order to find the truth about anything, one must take emotion out of things. Any emotion can cloud critical thinking. A person has to look at things objectively, and look at all the available information. If things are being claimed they should see if any proof is being offered. Proof both validates the person offering it, and invalidates what is being said about them. And if they have doubts, they should ask to see the proof if it is offered. The truth doesn’t lie. It is so strong that it doesn’t need to exaggerate either. Neither lies nor exaggerations have any place in truth.

If a person forms a view about something, without even bothering to see what proof is being offered to counter that, that position loses credibility to be frank.


Namaste to all you guys. I’ve loved being here, and will still visit, though likely not write often or as much. I loved the courage in the book about Heather, and her courage. I’ve loved the passion and strength of Traveller (if he is who I think he is, he’s got a sound grasp on Vedanta). I’ve loved listening to everyone who has had the courage to speak out here. So many former Shiningworld members. I’m so thankful to have been able to learn much from you all. The responses some of you have give to me, have taught me useful things about myself. Such is the way of things. A person may have a teacher. But everyone can be a teacher to you. Life is the teacher.

Anything that I might have wanted from this has been achieved. Though it’s surpassed that. Now I’m going to simply focus on teaching more, while the role is there. If someone wants to learn I teach. If no-one wants to learn, I don’t teach. Either way is fine. At the moment though, I’m becoming increasingly busy in regard to Vedanta, and next year will be even more so. To carry on after the fact in all this would be ego. People can say what they want about me, and people are free to not recognise me as a teacher. Both are fine. It’s not a popularity contest on reality television, so peoples opinions only matter to an extent.

Lord Krishna had many challenges and situations. He would go into them easily, and then leave them just as easily, laughing...

...Which is what I’m doing now....

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Dis-illusioned ()
Date: November 14, 2020 11:07PM

Hello again,

I’ve been reading back over the last ten or so pages of this conversation - and my thoughts are that I wish I could edit for grammar, many of the things I posted. Poor writing irks me - because it can make the meaning of what’s being said, distorted. The format of the forum doesn’t allow for editing beyond a short window of time - as I’m sure that those of you who post here, know.

The poor grammar reminds me that I’ve been posting hastily and under the influence of high emotion at times. Venting, in other words. Helpful for me to some extent, but not necessarily useful to others.

I wanted to simply say the above, as a kind of apology/explanation. That doesn’t mean I’ve said anything that I regret. But I regret not having taken more time to think through what I wanted to express, for clarity’s sake.

This forum has helped me to clear my own head around what happened for me, and it has helped me to feel heard and to recognise the way things are for other people as well as myself - in relation to James. That’s been helpful for me.

However, this is the web. Things here on the forum stay (as posts cannot be amended or deleted.) So in the bigger scheme of things, I’m wondering where to next (for me, with this conversation.)

For now, I just want to thank the other participants really. I think we’re helping each other keep perspective and work things through. It’s not a private forum, but I don’t know how much reach it has - generally speaking.

One other thought that’s been going on for me, for the past week (when I reflect on myself and how things have gone, and question or doubt my actions) is to remind myself of the large number or ex-students of James’s - who were actually pretty close to him and considered to be part of the inner circle. I probably know only a small proportion for such people, but in the time that I’ve been around James, a relatively high number has parted ways with James. I think of Tom, and Christian, and Daniel, and Eadon. I’m sure there’ll be others that I don’t know of.

What happened with them, and why? How is it that their experiences and stories disappear into the mist, and never come to light for consideration?

Fact is, I’m small fry to James. But those guys were not. And yet things went sour with all of them, and James.

Why is that? We don’t know their stories, but I find it settles me to remember that it’s not just me. There is definitely some common thread between us all - and I guess that’s why this conversation continues.

Thank you all again, that I can come here to speak it out. It’s not something that people who aren’t aware of all the in’s and out’s of it all, could really relate to. Carrying it one’s head, alone, isn’t healthy.

And so for me, this isn’t even about James. It’s about “our” recovery.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/2020 11:11PM by Dis-illusioned.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: November 15, 2020 05:39AM

Hi Dis-illusioned,

you are so right; it's not about Shwartz, its' about you. And it's about me. It's about all the people who have left exploitative spiritual organizations and who are now wondering how this could have happened to them in the first place.

A lot of people who leave, don't tend to look back. They think "That group was not for me, it was too weird, I don't understand what was going on there but I'm getting out."

Other people (probably a small minority) want to contact other ex-members and talk over their experiences to try and make sense of them.

A few people feel the need to try and warn others, including current members, of what is going on in the exploitative group. (This is a difficult path and not for the faint-hearted!)

Still others go on to take legal action against the group which caused them psychological harm, took their money and possibly turned them away from their own loving families and friends. (I know of one woman who bankrupted herself trying to fight against a cult leader.)

Eventually, we do see these exploitative spiritual teachers fall from grace, it's just that it seems to take a very long time and they do so much damage while they are at large. But remember, there are also plenty of very cunning, exploitative and manipulative people who do not lead spiritual organizations and who do very real damage in whatever role they have in society.

Psychopathy or sociopathy is more common than you think. Around 1% of the population are sociopaths - so it's likely that pretty much everyone has contact with a sociopath in their daily lives. These people can be intelligent, charming and successful! They don't necessarily look and act like criminals. But be warned - they do not have the same social and relational drive as 'normal' people do. They don't care who they hurt and they feel no remorse.

I'm not saying that Swartz is a sociopath - I wouldn't know, I'm not qualified to diagnose anyone. I would say that there is some cause to be alarmed and take every precaution to protect yourself. It's probably best if you block his number and be very careful about current members of his group contacting you.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Dis-illusioned ()
Date: November 15, 2020 06:06AM

Yes Sahara, I see truth and feel resonance with a lot of what you’ve said.

I’ve always kept my ear to the ground on teachers and groups, as much as I know of them - and most often my gut feel checks out. I think we all have that radar, but we don’t always trust it or follow it. I’ve learned from my experience with James, that I could have trusted my instincts. There were always red flags popping up for me, but I looked past them as there were other things that I wanted more. I own that part.

And yes, diffident people handle their leaving, differently. You’ve laid that out well.

I seem to recognise that you might be the lady who was part of the exposing of...M....another particular, popular “guru” not far from where James is based.

That one shocked me in its specific detail, but not entirely. I used to love his style, but I began to sense the hype and the co-dependency in people who followed him, before I had even met James.

The swing to the opposite pole of non-experiential awakening, or I could say the elevation of knowledge as the path, rather than experience, steered me away from chasing the neo-advaita highs (and lows.)

I think that came at the expense of Heart.

That’s the saddest part of this journey with James, to me. I feel as though I’ve dried up, and lost touch with the sweetness and openness I knew when I wasn’t trying so hard to get things right with James.

I can also feel how his insults and attempts to give me “his medicine” when I was moving away from his Vedanta-bus, have cut deep and shaken me at a level that doesn’t feel healthy. I can’t think what he hoped to achieve by saying the things he said, but I know the effects of that will heal over, given time. The Self is beyond the words. And my route to the Self is an inner Heart connection. Even if that’s not pure Vedanta, it works for me, and I want it back.

If Vedanta means a loss of heart, compassion, receptivity, and date I even say - femininity, then it’s not for me after all.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: November 15, 2020 08:44AM

Just on a very personal note, Dis-illusioned,

I think compassion is key. All the major spiritual traditions promote compassion - including self-compassion. Help other people if you can, but if you are not able to help, then at least have compassion for them in your heart. If you are at a point in your life where your capacity for compassion is low, then cultivate compassion for yourself, first. Have peace in your own heart.

We can act in the world and try to change things where we see a need, as even the Dalai Lama says "If you see an injustice, then you should fight against it." But at the same time, we must not lose sight of the peace within our our own hearts. Some things are beyond our control, too. We can only do what we can; we can't change everything.

In my understanding, Advaita Vedanta promotes the knowledge of the truth of the scriptures first, then integration of that knowledge through meditation and self-inquiry. Both knowledge and practice are important.

But as I have said, firstly you must refrain from ethical wrong-doing. No point in beginning the path if you are involved in crime, dishonesty, adultery, hungry for money and prestige, craving recognition, or holding on to hatred. I think a lot of people try to skip this part. A lot of people don't like ethics - it's like poison to them. lol :)

I'm glad you mentioned femininity. In my understanding, in the Hindu tradition, the soul is neither male nor female. It encompasses both.
Even the most feminine woman has some masculine traits and the most masculine man has some femininity. Embrace your femininity! The feminine is very powerful.

(Having said that, there are some nasty cult leaders out there who are women, so just be very careful of that.)

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: November 15, 2020 09:35AM

If Vedanta means a loss of heart, compassion, receptivity, and date I even say - femininity, then it’s not for me after all.

This is an effect of the common theme of those teachings. :) .

In traditional Vedanta matters of the heart (for example) keep their importance. If they did not, then Vedanta would negatively impact family lives. It would have no use for the human race. Our lineage has over 500 teachers globally, and just over half are sannyass. The rest are householders, which gives a live example.

Vedanta shows that you cannot be changed nor limited by life. Since you cannot be changed nor limited by life, there is no fear of life. Since there is no fear of life, one can fully enjoy anything that life is offering, without holding back. If they want. A person can love deeper, and be more compassionate, for example. Generally, compassion is a good marker for the fruits of Vedanta. It's the only reason why someone is a teacher in the tradition, for example.

Earlier in the year, I was posting some sociological stuff on my timeline. Another teacher in our lineage ( a friend) asked me why would I bother with these things, since it doesn't affect I. I pointed out lovingly that the world does still matter. Even if one is free. They're simply free to decide what matters. Its' up to them. Even Swami/Swamini in our tradition will post things to do with events, or sociological challenges at times. And why not. The human is alive, and allowed to be according to their life. This is why we don't really go into all this influencing private lives so much. It's micro-managing, when the only thing of importance is Vedanta. Between both teacher and student.

My paramaguru was asked;

"Swamiji, what is the goal of life?"

He replied; "The goal of life is living... Life is for living."

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Dis-illusioned ()
Date: November 15, 2020 02:05PM

Thanks Sahara. All wise words, and completely fitting.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2020 02:26PM by Dis-illusioned.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Dis-illusioned ()
Date: November 15, 2020 02:09PM

And wise words from you as well earthquake. Thanks for making those clarifications. They’re very useful.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: November 15, 2020 02:20PM

You're welcome. I'd wrote another big spiel but couldn't be bothered posting, haha. Your last sentence that I quoted is very understandable. And it's because of the shared teachings that we've both had in the past. That's why I mentioned one sentence about 'those teachings'. And then wrote about 'traditional Vedanta'.

Namaste :)

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