Re: Discussion on Ethics in Spiritual Communities - BatGap
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: February 05, 2020 04:13AM

I think what Rick and the ASI panel are attempting to do is admirable.

In my personal experience I am convinced there are no good spiritual teachers...not at all! I absolutely do not trust any human to guide or lead me in the right direction. I believe there are excellent teachings, but an ethical, moral, "enlightened" teacher doesn't exist.

I agree in so far that "enlightenment" (i.e. total freedom from habits and patterns that produce suffering) is a myth. There does seem to exist a process of awakening that has both gradual and (sometimes?) sudden components. But it doesn't seem to be possible to be fully awakened. And since that in us which is unawakened differs from person to person, a teacher can be relatively far along in the awakening process but still in some areas of development less awakened than the average student. Does that mean there are no good spiritual teachers? I don't think so. But I think it means there are no perfect teachers, and someone who is a good teacher for one student (in a certain stage of the student's life) isn't necessarily a good teacher for another student.

The fourth of ASI's guidelines for students:


Everyone has blind spots in their personalities. Habits and patterns that once helped create the ego can remain even after years of spiritual work and create suffering. Whatever remains in our shadow must be seen, healed, and integrated. This can take time, even for the most advanced teachers. An openness to our humanity, to growth, to love and compassion is the correct attitude for students and teachers alike.

Guideline 2.3 for teachers:


Teachers openly acknowledge their own imperfection and do not encourage
students to see them as perfect. Teachers openly acknowledge their own shadow
and blind spots and actively engage in the healing and integrating them, thus
modeling their humanity authentically to students.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2020 04:16AM by zizlz.

Re: Discussion on Ethics in Spiritual Communities - BatGap
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: February 06, 2020 10:56AM

Regarding Mariana Caplan and Marc Gafni
Rick Archer and Ammaji.

Apparently, over ten years ago Mariana Caplan came across a dynamic, attractive, intelligent, sexy "spiritual teacher" and had a child with this fellow. He turned out to be, in reality, a person that many hold to be an awful shit in almost every way. However, before she realized the extent of his dark side she wrote something that tried to frame him positively.

That piece of writing has been rekindled, reused, republished, and quoted, totally out of time frame (presented as if new) and out of context, ever since. This is not and never was fair to Mariana Caplan.

In fact, it is quite likely in part the hard (and perhaps horrible) truths she learned due to her "time" with Marc Gafni that helped her to achieve the "status" that helped her onto Rick Archer's panel in the first place. (Just like, if she were willing, Heather would be a fantastic panelist on a forum regarding spiritual teachers and sex abuse.)

Now, as to Rick Archer and Ammaji, I can't speak for that worthy gent, but from what I've gathered, his feelings about Ammaji are similar to mine. These feelings were recently expressed in a letter to a friend, which I'll quote from here;

Letter from Traveler
As goes Amma, there was a big stink a few years back when one of her closest disciples (and someone who had totally burned herself out for years in the service of Amma, as was verified by multitudes of witnesses) wrote a very controversial book telling of Amma behind the scenes-- Gail Tredwell (not what Amma called her), and the book was "Holy Hell."

My belief is that when Amma is "on" that she very powerfully channels the energy of the Divine Mother. I've never felt more loved than when she hugged me.
However, once is a while the Kali in the divine mother emerges, and someone gets 'fried' by one of the hugs. This is not her intent, but it's the workings of the divine, of the energy. When Amma is not in 'satsang mode' (not running the Divine Mother energy) then she is pretty much a village-raised woman trying to make sense of things, but one who is treated like a goddess by many and can act at times the spoiled princess (according to Gail Tredwell, with much evidence for this being true).

Does Amma help tens of thousands? Absolutely. Is she perfect? Hell, no. Would I take a hug from her when she's "on"? Yes. Would I pledge her loyalty as a Realized Sage, or expect her in her private time to behave like a female Ramana Maharshi? No way.

--Mariana Caplan hasn't recommended Marc Gafni to anyone in over ten years, and even when she did only did so once. To me, to hold or use against her what she wrote years ago regarding a fellow with whom she had a child is simply not fair.

--Rick Archer knows that Ammaji isn't perfect, but also that she does much good for many (and without rape, abuse of minors, and with no dead bodies in her wake).

I, and I hope many of us, support Rick, Mariana and others in their strong effort to bring ethics and compassion to the forefront in "Spiritual Teaching" and the doings of "Spiritual Teachers."

Re: Discussion on Ethics in Spiritual Communities - BatGap
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: February 07, 2020 02:35AM

Thanks a lot for clearing that up, Traveler99!

Re: Discussion on Ethics in Spiritual Communities - BatGap
Posted by: facet ()
Date: February 07, 2020 03:38AM

Hello All,

Zizlz, I haven’t watched any videos including batgaps for little over a year as part of my recovery. I only recently started to expose myself again (ever so slightly) to do the research on the other topic.

Traveller that is a very informative post, thank you for the information. Aside from Rick I am not familiar with the other panelist’s.

I am happy that the ethics of amma work for some people, and that having somebody with power greater than your own outside of yourself is serving you well. That’s great.

I have not seen just one person with a book, but multiple accounts across the board that show the other side of things.

For me, anyone saying that they are wishing to set a standard for integrity would absolutely have to be independent from abusers. There is no value in saying one thing and doing another, and in turn this would continue to hurt people deeply.

Many spiritually abused persons, and I say that to also include myself, have an important need to regain trust. Because of this, any proposed offer of trust in any situation must be absolutely exemplary in what they set out to do if it is genuine.

Ps - this everyone’s human thing seems to be a free ticket to abuse for people who have put themselves up to be exalted, it just does not work for me. This is because I only ever saw a fellow human in the first place.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2020 04:04AM by facet.

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