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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 08, 2004 11:08PM

The article 'A Hot Potato' analyses a common, dishonest mind game used by people who seek to avoid accountability for their bad behavior by twisting nonduality teachings.

Most of us fall for this game, because we don’t even know how common it is.

(Disclaimer: I found the 'Hot Potato' article very helpful. I have not read any of the other articles on the site and dont know whether they are useful, harmful or neutral to those in cult recovery.)


Another author, Timothy Conway also refutes arguments that ethics are irrelevant in relation to nondual reality. Fact is, according to genuine Advaita Vedanta, the nondual perspective and dual perspective on reality are both valid. In this article


Conway wrote:

As I have repeatedly pointed out in early correspondence with our [mutual] friend “ZZZ”, the greatest sages of India have long cautioned that enlightened spiritual vision must function on two levels: the absolute level of Truth (paramarthika satyam) and the conventional, "relatively real" level of truth (vyavaharika satyam).

Thus, the sages, when speaking from the absolute level of parlance, say that, indeed, everything is Divine, all is Brahman, nothing is wrong (in fact, no-thing is really happening!), it's all the perfect leela of the One.

But, on the relative or conventional level, the level of earthly conduct, these sages strongly uphold the Dharma of righteous action, ahimsa, purity, and so forth. Such sages thus say that, in the absolute view, everything is okay, but on the relative level they are quite adamant that certain behaviors are wrong, sinful, or just inappropriate and should be stopped.

For devotees of the Lord to sit back and just say that "everything is divine," which is certainly true on the absolute level, but then do nothing about evils and injustices that occur within the dream of earthly life because "it is all divine" --is a terrible avoidance of basic duty on behalf of Dharma. With this apathy and flawed attitude, none of the great evils of history would have ever been resisted and overcome.'

Most Western seekers will not be aware of this balanced perspective, unless they are fortunate enough to have acquired some background knowledge;otherwise they will be easily confused and misled if someone teaches them a distorted doctrine that illicitly uses nondual reality to support a line of argument that morality and decent behavior are irrelevant.

There are two books that vinman might find helpful. Both are out of print, and you may have to request them from storage at your city's main library. Or you may find them at a university library.

Both are by Agehananda Bharati

The first, [i:48a82fa31d]'The Light at the Center: Context and Pretext of Modern Mysticism [/i:48a82fa31d]'is *essential reading* for anyone trying to recover from a Hindu counterfeit.

Bharati met Sivananda back in the 1950s and recognized that the man was teaching distorted doctrine. Bharati was a wandering monk and Sanskrit scholar. In the course of his travels on foot to various ashrams and pilgrimage sites, Bharati met other monks who later upgraded themselves and became became wealthy export gurus--Sivananda, Maharishi, Chinmayananda.

Bharati's objection was that these teachers debased authenticHindu teachings and targeted Westerners (as well as affluent Western-oriented Indians) who didn’t know how to tell a crook from a real guru or that the person was debasing Vedantic scholarship, playing dishonest games with the texts.

Bharati notes that real Hindu gurus never prosyletize non-Hindus.

The second book, [i:48a82fa31d]The Ochre Robe [/i:48a82fa31d]is Bharati's autobiography. It gives valuable contextual information and is fascinating to read.

(Warning: Bharati can be painful, even infuriating to read, especially if your wounds are still raw.)

Bharati was born in Austria, learned Sanskrit and 3 modern Indian languages. He was born in Vienna and after arriving in India, spent some time as a monk in the Ramakrishna order. His tough questions in the classroom led to his polite expulsion from the monastery.

After journeying to Banaras, Bharati was ordained a Sanyassi (wandering renunciate) monk and later became, in succession, a professor of philosophy at the University of New Delhi, Banaras Hindu University, and a linguistic anthropologist.

Bharati was distressed that so many Westerners were being exploited by hustlers because because they lacked the educational background to tell the difference between genuine gurus and ones who distorted traditions and mis-represented the texts and methods of yoga.

Reading Bharati may pour salt in your wounds. But if you can bear this, Bharati will *wake up your mind* and *reveal information that was hidden from you.* He can be a pain in the ass, there may be many times when you will want to throw the book across the room, but Bharati sought to tell the truth as he saw it, because he loved Hindu spirituality and disliked seeing it being misrepresented. As a young man, Bharati witnessed Hitler's rise to power and lived through the Nazi annexation of Austria. He hated authoritarianism and abuses of power.

As Bharati put it, ‘Facts remain facts and their dignity must not be impugned by any motives, not even spiritual ones.’

Bharati had a number of enlightenment experiences. He interviewed many other people who had enlightenment and found that one could have valid enlightenment and still become a charlatan. He thought that Transcendental Meditation and the Krishna's were harmless, but he wrote in 1976 before the abuses surfaced.

In addition, Agehananda Bharati analyzed the coded discourse of Vedantic scholars and monks. In his two books [i:48a82fa31d]The Ochre Robe [/i:48a82fa31d]and [i:48a82fa31d]The Light at the Center[/i:48a82fa31d]:Context and Pretext of Modern Mysticism, Bharati, identified evasion tactics that could easily fall under the heading of what Renard calls ‘Advaita Shuffle’ and what Timothy Conway alluded to.

Here is Bharati’s description of a Hindu scholastic equivalent of ‘Advaita Shuffle’, one that has been used to trick people into feeling ashamed of their valid questions—and equally valid misgivings--its the spiritual equivalent of playing dirty pool.

‘I learned' Bharati reported '*the stereotypical method of rebuttal* common to all traditions of religious doctrine in India:

'The moment discursive thought (that is, thought that is based on reaching a conclusion through use of reason and verifiable/falsifiable evidence) would jeopardize the axiomatic perfection of the text, the critic is given a simple line:

‘Your argument may be intellectual valid but what of it? Only those who have seen the light can see the consistency of the text. Only those who have experienced the truth from within can see that intellectual argument is of no avail in the end.’

Bharati commented, ‘this would hardly be objectionable were the atmosphere among Indian scholastics purely non-discursive (that is if they were in a state of enlightenment 100% of the time and used intuitive, non-rational methods of thought 100% of the time). *[i:48a82fa31d]But this is not true: the theologians avail themselves of refined scholastic argument all the time, but they jettison all of it the moment their axioms are impugned.[/i:48a82fa31d]*’ (Bharati, [i:48a82fa31d]The Ochre Robe [/i:48a82fa31d]pp. 132-133)

(My note) In other words, the evasiveness Bharati described is the equivalent of a losing baseball team suddenly declaring that they are winning, not losing, because they’re playing football, not baseball—and the other team was too stupid and unenlightened to have known this.

What Bharati describes can be easily abused and twisted into the various ‘thought stopping’ techniques endemic to cults.

Bharati’s disclosure was radical because he demonstratesdthat that this ‘shuffle’ was not just a filthy trick used by charlatans or rogue scholars; Bharati saw this dodge being abused by well intentioned scholars and monastics willing to sacrifice accuracy and scholastic honesty to ego-driven agendas. These people were ego-driven, refused to admit when they'd lost an argument and played the dirty trick of using nondual spiritual jargon to cover up an area of dishonesty or malpractice in their non-spiritual behavior--using non dual language to create illusion and confuse people, rather than to promote lucidity and assist everyone to wake up.

Any good medicine can become poison if prescribed for the wrong ailment. Likewise many sitautions are best dealt with using dualistic distinctions and ordinary ethics, and use of nondual language merely clouds the issue and masks the problem.

Bharati also demystified enlightenment. He’d had 'zero-experiences' (his term), interviewed others who had ‘zero-experiences’ and discovered that it is impossible to be enlightened 100 % of the time. You cannot function. You cannot speak about enlightenment, or teach it unless you emerge from the experience.

You can be eloquent and articulate *about* enlightenment

You cannot be eloquent and articulate while *in the midst* of enlightenment. You can only describe enlightenment *after* you've emerged from it.

(Bharati doesnt say so, but this also means you cannot create marketing schemes or lust after power, sex and money while in the midst of enlightenment. Therefore anyone who does this demonstrates that he's an ordinary, ego-driven person, the instant he or she misbehaves.

Even if such a person [i:48a82fa31d]has [/i:48a82fa31d]experienced enlightenment, he *evicts himself from enlightenment the instant he becomes eloquent about it--orwhen he becomes devious, or lustful.)

**If everyone understood this, the 'enlightenment industry' would collapse**

Commenting on Bharati’s contribution, John Wren-Lewis wrote ‘I was therefore very interested to come upon Agehananda Bharati's important book [i:48a82fa31d]The Light at the Center [/i:48a82fa31d]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.

‘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. So from the highest possible motive, a sincere desire to share his God-consciousness, he is tempted to rationalize, probably even to himself.’ (Wren-Lewis Lotus Feet of Clay)


Bharati learned that enlightenment does not improve character and has no predictable ethical consequences. As he put it, a person who is a stinker before enlightenment remains that way after enlightenment, unless that person volunatarily does some work on herself.

Finally, Bharati used his skills as an anthropologist and analyzed the coded discourse of Vedantic scholars and monks. He found that India’s professional mystics had, over centuries created a professional, coded language by which to discuss enlightenment, and part of the convention was to speak as though you yourself were enlightened, even though you actually had to emerge FROM your state of enlightenment in order to discuss enlightement.’

This meant that a person could experience genuine enlightenment, yet could not talk about enlightenment without terminating it. Bharati declared that enlightenment and orgasm are similar. You cant do much or say much while in ecstacy. You can only be eloquent about ecstacy, whether sexual or spiritual, after you’ve emerged from it but not while you're seized by it.

So, according to Bharati, a person may have genuinely experienced enlightenment once, or even many times, but that person cannot be in that state while telling you about it. Therefore, when gurus make it seem they are enlightened 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they are mis-representing the experience, and using a linguistic cover up game that is centuries old.

Something can be traditional, even venerable,yet still be dishonest.

Bharati also gives lots of information on how people become gurus in India. There's no quality control or any authority to impose discipline. Becoming a guru is a matter of social consensus. It is entirely up to the seeker to test the integrity of any guru. There is absolutely no one you can go to if someone is counterfeit. If enough people think you're a guru, you've become a guru.

Agehananda Bharati's two books may be infuriating and painful to read, but I guarantee they'll help you wake up.

[i:48a82fa31d]Light at the Center [/i:48a82fa31d]had limited print runs. Bharati told people what they needed to hear, not what they wanted to hear.)

If necessary you can order Bharati's books from or

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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: vinman ()
Date: May 12, 2004 12:56PM

that is intresting- ive have met a few sanskrit teachers, all named bharati. i think that its a name given for a person that becomes a sanskrit teacher. its great that he mastered the language and became a swami, then denounced the system as false. i have located his books on the internet and will read! there is somthing about a person that pulls the truth out of a set of beleifs or a tradition. a tradition that is based on arogance. its painfull depending on how much you have invested in the system. i was 18 when i started. so its like removing layers of bullcrap off my heathy self. its like clearing the part of my mind that is superstitious. its intresting that the deeper i was into the cult experiance the more that part of my mind was activated. [superstition]. it could be that the systems are just an atempt of the ego to asert itself after having a profound experiance. if that is true then all are suspect. or!!!!! they are just dirty crooks!!!!!lol. i wonder if these experiances are real, why cant someone just enjoy it. be greatfull for the new level of awareness and get on with life.
on a more human note, i visited with some old friends yesterday and enjoyed there company. enjoyed interacting without alterior motive. my boundries are starting to return. and im grounding out. good days and bad days still
keep posting\

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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 12, 2004 09:39PM

who initiated him as a renunciate (sanyassi) monk in the early 1950s. Before, he'd been a Ramakrishna monk two years & was kicked out of his monastery for asking too many questions.

Reading Bharati may piss you off and rub salt in your wounds, but despite his lousy 'bedside manner' the man is on your side, telling you the truth to the best of his ability--more than can be said for India's export gurus. In Light at the Center, he identifies some of Sivananda's language games.

Agehananda Bharati was born in Vienna as Leonard Fischer. He was a child prodigy with languages. As a boy, decided Catholicism was not for him, he wanted to be a Hindu. He learned Sanskrit & 3 modern Indian languages by taking classes at Vienna's university & by tutoring the many Indian medical students who came to study in Vienna. They wanted to learn German for their medical studies, so young Leonard tutored them in German. They tutored him in Hindustani, Bengali, and Punjabi.

Fisher knew all about authoritariansim. He was in Vienna during the Nazi years . He had Jewish relatives so he escaped pressure to join the Nazi party but had to do army service. He found a German regiment full of Indian army personnel who were POWs and served with that unit.

By his own admission, young Fischer was no saint. He despised Nazism for the same reason he despised Catholicism--both were authoritarian belief systems whose personnel forced him to learn material he disagreed with. As a boy, Bharati disliked Nazi indoctrination for the same reason he disliked Catholic indoctrination--he wanted to pursue his Indian studies and resented anything that got in the way!

When in India, Bharati was horrified to discover that many Indian gurus and scholars (quite reputable ones!) were politically reactionary, thought Hitler was an avatar serving a karmic function, and that Germans were better than others because they'd used the swastika and learned Sanskrit in high school! Nothing Bharati could say, changed thier minds. Even his firsthand experiences with Nazism failed to persuade them.

So Bharati continued to love Hinduism and Vedantic scholarship but in India he stopped romanticizing Hindus--he found many of them clung to bad politics and racism and this had to be challenged.

This fascist strain lurks behind the polite facade of many gurus and is usually hidden for PR purposes, but crops in behind the scenes in the ways ashrams are run. It is no accident that when many of these gurus come up with political programs, they often envision monarchies and elitist social structures.

In their view, power confers spiritual legitimacy, even when that power is illegally acquired and used for evil purposes. If you acquire power, even through dishonest, violent means, somehow your karma was good enough that power came to you--even if you're Hitler!

When the war ended he went to India.

Bharati was a scholar, an aggressively honest man, spiritually very experienced, but he was also very crabby and an old-school Austrian. You may find him painful to read because he gripes and grouches bitterly that most people wanted Hindu spirituality but were unwilling to learn the necessary languages and methods of texual analysis that would enable them to see the difference between huckster gurus and real teachers. In the 60s and 70s, college students would come to Bharati, asking him to iniatiate them as his disciples; they turned and fled when he told them they would need to learn Sanskrit and at least one modern Indian language!

Bharati died in the early 1990s--a great loss.

So do all you can to get what's best from Bharati, and *dont let him make you feel you've failed*. His books are obscure and had limited print runs, and his insights were never popular.

*The 'Enlightenment Industry* has mythologized and distorted Hinduism, gurus and enlightenment itself. You would not have been exposed to Bharati's material because his findings would subvert too many lucrative careers.

I recommend reading The Ochre Robe first--its his autobiography, and the most accessible of his books.

The Light at the Center will be a very important book for you, but its going to be harder to read. Keep a pencil and notebook nearby and take notes. Some of it will make sense. Other parts of it may be way over your head but make sense later.

This article was my introduction to Bharati's exposure of how coded language is used by many gurus in such a way as to create the myth that one can be permanently enlightened and remain that way even when talking about it. This excerpt will introduce you to Bharati's method of describing and analysing the coded language of India's 'professional mystics' and their western counterparts. Bharati's original presentation of his findings in Light at the Center is somewhat harder to understand, so this essay was very helpful.



'In my original essay, I entertained the suggestion of Agehananda Bharati that enlightenment, or the zero experience” as he calls it, is by definition temporary. It cannot be clung to, and anyone experiencing it is basically incapable of normal functioning, for as long as it lasts.

Doesn't this go against nearly everything enlightenment masters have claimed? Not exactly, at least not as Bharati explains it.

Bharati's most effective argument hinges on the distinction between emic and etic modes of speech. Though the nuances of these technical terms drawn from anthropology are not always clear in Bharati’s work, basically emic refers to the encoded private language of in-groups,; while etic refers to the language of the objective outside observer. Bharati contends that the emic speech of Indian sadhus is governed by complex, unspoken codes, codes that are rarely noticed, much less understood, by outsiders, no matter how clever or perceptive. One of the unwritten rules is that gurus must never acknowledge being in any state other than that of full realization.

"Master, how often do you enter that state of highest bliss and realization?"

"My child, I am in that state even now."

Bharatis claim is that because of the rules governing the speech of Indian mystics, the guru *has no choice but to assert that he is always enjoying satchitananda, even when he knows perfectly well that he is not*.

Further, according to Bharatis understanding, the very fact that the guru is exerting himself by speaking in public proves that he is not, in that moment, enjoying the state of enlightenment. If he were, there would be no motive to speak. Most importantly, from the emic perspective of insiders, there is no dishonesty in this claim to permanent enlightenment, despite the undeniable fact that it is objectively false.

Bharati asserts that a dispassionate look at the evidence will suggest, though not prove, that enlightened states are by their very nature temporary. The great mystics are those who frequently enter transcendent states and make the cultivation of the zero experience the dominant focus of their lives, but no one is permanently in the state of highest illumination. The very idea that one can experience enlightenment twenty-four hours a day is the product of a too literal etic understanding of the emic speech of professional mystics, *who not incidentally benefit from this linguistic confusion.*

If, and this is a very big if, Bharati is right, then one must wonder if the search for ultimate bliss, cosmic closure, and the end to all effort might not be part of the problem, not the solution.

If all living creatures are engaged in an ongoing process of growth and change, then no one being can ever have all the answers, no one can possibly have reached the end of the path.

In traditions where the belief in, and search for, a final realization is a dominant motif, there seem to be marked tendencies towards self-deception, grandiose ego-inflation, and antinomian excess in short, all the problems that appear to be manifested by Da Free John. My fear is that permanent enlightenmentis too close to the most private (and selfish?) dreams of most of us to be anything more than a particularly transparent instance of spiritual wishful thinking.' (unquote)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2018 10:05PM by corboy.

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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 05, 2004 12:52AM

From Dr. Lane's excellent website, The Neural Surfer


What makes this account so very remarkable is that Dr. Lane, who is no guru, found that HE could easily create conditions in which high school students had special experiences that resembled those created by Indian gurus. Fortunately, Dr. Lane is an ethical man and did not start his own cult. This essay is a must-read, especially for anyone who plans to go to India or see the latest new guru in town.

This may also apply to experiences reported by those who take LGAT's

*(There are no italics in the original text of Dr. Lane's essay. I inserted the italics to draw attention to material of special interest to those either researching or recovering from effects produced by sundry gurus, Indian and otherwise Corboy)

[b:98535223e2]THE KIRPAL STATISTIC[/b:98535223e2]

Using Inner Visions to Your Social Advantage

Author: David Christopher Lane, Ph.D.

Kirpal Singh (1893-1974), the founder of Ruhani Satsang and one of the most popular shabd yoga gurus of this century, claimed that he could give direct, personal experiences of inner light and sound to his followers during their very first meditation sitting. In other words, Kirpal Singh alleged that he could provide glimpses of higher states of consciousness to anyone he chose for initiation. Moreover, Kirpal Singh argued that such experiences [i:98535223e2]constituted proof of his competency [/i:98535223e2]in guiding seekers on the shabd yoga path. (Corboy's italics)

Of the some 80,000 people Kirpal Singh initiated from 1948 to 1974, a majority of them claimed to have had some type of inner experience, ranging from simple visions of blue, green, and red lights to hearing subtle sounds like a bell, conch or a flute to sophisticated encounters with radiant yogis, sages, and mystics.

[i:98535223e2]The variances, Kirpal Singh argues, stem from the karmic backgrounds of the individuals initiated[/i:98535223e2]. Since not everyone is at the same stage of spiritual development, their inner experiences, likewise, will reflect to some degree that disparity. It was not untypical for Kirpal Singh to personally initiate hundreds of seekers at one time. Usually he would have them meditate in his presence for a prescribed duration, after which he would solicit their verbal responses about what kind of inner experience they received. Sometimes he would even touch people on the forehead when they were meditating.

At first glance, Kirpal Singh's claim is really quite impressive. Here we have a guru who is willing to put his competency to the test, unlike the plethora of other wanna-be masters who hide behind the veil of secrecy ("my miracles are only meant for the select few, not the public").

However, on closer inspection, it turns out that Kirpal Singh's transmission of spiritual experiences has more to do with human psychology than with his purported mastership. After Kirpal Singh's death in August of 1974, there was an intense succession dispute among his followers over who was the rightful heir. Eventually three gurus emerged with significant followings: Darshan Singh, Kirpal's eldest son, who established his ministry in Vijay Nagar, Delhi; Ajaib Singh, a former follower of Charan Singh of Beas, who resided in Rajasthan; and Thakar Singh, who temporarily reigned at Sawan Ashram in Shakti Nagar, Delhi.

(Corboy note: Thakar Singh has a problematic track record; google him before you go anywhere near him.)

In line with Kirpal Singh's contention that a genuine guru can offer direct inner experiences of light and sound at the time of initiation, each of Kirpal's successors (without exception) claimed that he too could offer glimpses of higher consciousness. What was surprising about all this, of course, was that new initiates of each master were claiming to have extraordinary inner experiences. Even "tape-recorded" initiates, those unfortunate souls who got initiated by Kirpal Singh after his death by hearing an old tape-recorded ceremony, claimed to have seen inner light and heard inner sound.

What's happening? Are we to believe that all of Kirpal Singh's successors (and even his tape-recordings) have divine power?

I think not. What is, in fact, transpiring is something a bit more simple and a bit more earthy.

[i:98535223e2]It turns out that almost everybody has the inherent ability to see inner light and hear inner sound. Moreover, almost everybody has the capacity to have an out-of-body experience and behold wondrous inner visions. [/i:98535223e2]

You don't need to go to an Indian guru to have such experiences; indeed, you don't need to go anywhere at all. But that's not what Kirpal Singh and his successors told their vast following. Instead, unsuspecting seekers (who number in the thousands) were taught to believe that [i:98535223e2]it was the guru himself, not the disciple[/i:98535223e2], who was orchestrating the elevation of the soul into higher regions. But Kirpal and crew were not being completely forthcoming about the mechanism which governs access to such amazing sights and sounds. That mechanism is the brain and that three pounds of glorious tissue is the lot of all humans.

*In the early 1980s when I was teaching religious studies at a Catholic high school, I tried several meditation experiments with my students which convinced me that Kirpal Singh and other gurus like him were taking undue credit for their disciples' inner experiences.

In my trial meditation sessions, I informed my students beforehand about the possibility of seeing inner lights and hearing inner sounds. (Implanted suggestions? Corboy)

Naturally, given the boring routine of secondary education, my students were intrigued. I informed them that I knew of an ancient yoga technique that would facilitate their inner voyages.(Establish credibility and mythologize either yourself, your material--or both--Corboy)

I turned the lights off, instructed them briefly about closing their eyes gently and looking for sparks of light at the proverbial third eye. I told them that I would touch some students on the forehead lightly with my fingers. They meditated for some five minutes. I then proceeded to ask them about their experiences. [Kirpal Singh invariably did such a process directly after his initiation ceremonies; he also kept a running tally of how many saw stars and so on--something which I have called the "Kirpal Statistic".]

To my amazement, since I felt that Kirpal Singh and others were actually transmitting spiritual power, [i:98535223e2]the majority of my students reported seeing light.[/i:98535223e2] A few students even claimed to have visions of personages in the middle of the light. Others reported hearing subtle sounds and the like.

I repeated the experiment on four other classes that day. I have also in the past ten years conducted the same experiment on my college students (both undergraduate and graduate). The result, though differing in terms of absolute numbers, is remarkably the same. The majority see and hear something.

[i:98535223e2]It doesn't take a neuropsychologist or a sociologist trained in statistics to realize that Kirpal Singh and others were simply tapping into an already built reservoir of meditational possibilities[/i:98535223e2].

What was unique about Kirpal's approach, at least in comparison with other Radhasoami gurus, was that *he claimed to be the responsible agent*, the medium through which such inner experiences can be transmitted. Kirpal's disciples generally did not question his grandiose claims, since many of them did indeed see and hear something during their meditation. What they, of course, did not fully appreciate was that almost anybody could have induced them to have inner experiences. [I don't mean to suggest, though, that Kirpal Singh was not a good catalyst, but only that [i:98535223e2]he was not unique [/i:98535223e2]and that his success at providing thousands with access to inner lights and sounds was not necessarily connected to his mastership.]

Religious devotees seem overly eager to give up responsibility for their own neurological happenings, believing instead that it takes a "Master" to draw their attention "within." This may or may not be the case (and I am not implying that gurus don't have anything good to offer), but one thing is certain: Kirpal's claims, and others like his, cannot be divorced (as they often are in Sant Mat related groups) from an initiate's own cultural and psychological field of interplay. It is that interplay, that acceptance as fact of a guru's method and the disciple's own inherent capacity--neurological or mystical--for inner experiences, which fuels the claims of would-be masters. It seems wise to me, in light of Near-Death Experiences and the plethora of other meditation accounts, to inspect how we see and hear during our inner voyages of light and sound. Then we may be able to understand why such experiences can occur to almost anybody, anywhere, anytime. It may also help us contextualize and appraise the claims of gurus like Kirpal Singh, who insist on taking credit for their disciples' wondrous visions.

[i:98535223e2]If, as I have suggested, that anybody can act as a conduit for such other-worldly experiences, then Kirpal and gurus like him should be judged on some other criteria, since their claims for uniqueness and exclusiveness are anything but unique and exclusive. [/i:98535223e2]

The "Kirpal Statistic" is exactly that: the probable outcome that the majority of meditators, provided the necessary instructions in Shabd or Nad yoga practice, will see and hear something.

Further Comments on the 'Kirpal Statistic' by David Lane

from his website 'The Neural Surfer'


[b:98535223e2]The Modus Operandi Behind The Cerebral Fireworks Display [/b:98535223e2]

Dietrich in a recent post raises four basic objections against the "Kirpal Statistic" (the idea that anybody can act as a conduit for eliciting inner experiences in would-be disciples, chelas, or students).

I have argued that almost anybody can have inner experiences of light and sound and that we have a tendency to impute power on behalf of our chosen gurus when, in fact, it is our own neurology (or, to be generous, our higher structural potentials) which allows for such mystial excursions. [i:98535223e2]In sum, we need the belief in outer guides to generate enough catalystic stimulus to "juice" up our own neuroanatomies in order to behold wondrous lights and sounds[/i:98535223e2]. We need "pictures", so to say, to ejaculate our hitherto undiscovered universes.

Now this does not mean that the experiences may not be useful, helpful, or even "higher." What it does mean is that [i:98535223e2]we are essentially responsible for our mystical excursions,[/i:98535223e2] and that the guru is merely a means by which we lubricate an already pre-existing program that lies within our central nervous system (or, if you wish, our own astral/causal/soul bodies).

I see no evidence to suggest that gurus really are transmitting "shakti" or "shabd" or "radiant energy" (though undoubtedly certain gurus work better as catalysts, just as certain models--male or female--cause more "oohs and ahhs").

[i:98535223e2]Faqir Chand (David Lane's guru) once mentioned that if you put a criminal up as a guru and firmly believed he/she was God, you would derive almost the same results as you would with any other holy man[/i:98535223e2]. Why? Because it is our belief which is driving the neurological machinery, [u:98535223e2]not the guru in question[/u:98535223e2].

To be sure, it really does help to believe that the guru has power, just as it really does help one masturbate to pictures if he/she thinks the image is more than 'just an image'. Forgive my crude analogy, but it is such an obvious one that it strikes right at the core of the problem... What gets us sexually excited is structurally quite similar to what gets us spiritually excited: the belief in the beauty of the other or the attractiveness of the other. But all along we are doing this to ourselves. The cliche may be too worn to use again, but it does work in this regard: beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Or, in our example, the "guru's power lies in the perception of the beholder."

It is that perception, [i:98535223e2]self-generated as it may be[/i:98535223e2], which is the real modus operandi behind inner experiences. Gurus like Kirpal Singh and others simply plugged into this fact and utilized it in their initiations and meditation sittings.

To say that "only people with previous life experiences" are able to see inner light and sound today begs a key epistemological question:

"how do you know that? and are you sure that you are correct?"

Secondly, to say that saints give experiences of light and sound to those who have never seen or heard such things before overlooks the glaring fact that people from all over the world see and hear wonderful things.... even people who have never heard of Sant Mat or Radhasoami or any other Light and Sound ism....

And finally, to say that the master guides the inner soul and the like again begs a key question: how do we know that? Are we absolutely sure of this, or could there be a plethora of other explanations?

No doubt, there may be many answers, but let us not succumb to projecting more power onto gurus when the real power may simply lie within our own neuroanatomies.'

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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: Lakefield ()
Date: August 29, 2004 03:56PM

Was it the russian or german politicians who used hypnoticism a lot?

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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 30, 2004 10:24PM


(note: the website article included photographs and links to videotapes, which could not be included.)

[bAn article describing both Rajneesh's early career and later career can be found here


an article describing problems in Muktananda's career and the consequences of his secretive use of energetic practices can be found here:

The Heart of the Secret: A Personal and Scholarly Encounter with Shakta Tantrism in Siddha Yoga Sarah Caldwell (Caldwell was dedicated member of the Oakland Siddha Yoga ashram when Muktananda led it. She was eventually perturbed by what she witnessed, yet retained her fascination with the type of yoga taught by Muktananda and became a Sanskrit scholar so that she could read the texts in their original. It was only when Caldwell acquired this specialized knowledge and learned the secretive nature of tantric yoga, especially of the type practiced by Muktananda, that she began to understand the nature of game he had played and how his secretive behavior sent ripple effects through the ashram community and failed to prepared disciples for the future.


ABSTRACT: This article suggests two apparently contradictory theses: namely that Swami Muktananda (19081982) was an enlightened teacher and practitioner of an esoteric form of Tantric sexual yoga, and that he also engaged in actions that were not ethical, legal, or liberatory with many disciples. These two theses are brought into creative tension through a developing Tantric hermeneutic. In discussing secrecy and power, the article addresses critical cultural, feminist, and psychological issues about sexual abuse and the importation of Asian religious traditions into contemporary American society, and argues that what has happened in the recent history of Siddha Yoga arises directly out of Tantra's long history of dissimulation and secrecy. I suggest that a hybrid scholarly sensibility might emerge out of the secret heart of the Tantric teachings, itself offering a way forward in the study of such traditions.


Finally, there is a long list of groups led by persons who were formerly disciples of Muktananda. Their collective track record is extremely troubling.


One such group on the list, started by a Muktananda disciple named Ma Siddha Yoga, who later took the name Ann Hamilon Byrne is described here.


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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 02, 2004 06:13AM

He wrote this after crossing paths with and getting entangled for ten years with a very charismatic individual who triggered remarkable experiences in many people but abused his powers. And this person also had a remarkable gaze.


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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: realsage ()
Date: November 16, 2004 10:08PM

There is a very interesting new blog by some of the ex-students of Andrew Cohen. It has lots of articles and quotes - very informative.


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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: SarahL ()
Date: November 18, 2004 09:07AM


Came across this article while doing some research on Yogananda, fascinating example of what devotees claim concerning meditating on the eyes of their gurus and other people considered saints.

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Question about Eyes and Hypnosis
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 06, 2004 07:04AM

If anyone is wondering how on earth a particular teacher seemed so utterly bewitching and influential, read the material here, then see if it rings any bells.

Text of entire article can be read here



'If a person is unaware of being in trance, or is unfamiliar or unconvinced of the phenomenon of hypnotic enhancement of perception, fantasy and suggestibility, then that person is likely to attribute the vividness and intensity of the trance experience to some special characteristic of the message and/or communicator. (Moderator note: social psychologists call this 'attribution bias')

That is, the person links his/her feelings of intensity with what has been said or who has said it, not with how (ie. hypnotically) it was said. The message is therefore experienced as "more real" or "more true" than other messages, and the communicator of the message is endowed with extraordinary (or even supernatural) characteristics or skills.

Hypnosis involves powerful transference. The induction process involves establishing and utilizing rapport, and hypnosis is perhaps first and foremost an interpersonal process (Fromm, 1979). Most subjects, after being hypnotized, feel closer, more trusting, and more positively about their operator than before. It is always more difficult to objectively assess someone (or what that someone says) after a powerful transference relationship has developed.

Hypnosis involves the suspension of "normal" logic. Trance logic is characterized by, among other things, lack of criticalness and the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs as true without one cancelling out the other (Orne, 1959). Thus, in trance one can have the sensation of cold and still be aware of being seated in a warm, heated room. Corollary: in trance, people can accept notions or ideas that they would otherwise reject because they contradict other beliefs known to be based in reality. For example, the members of one Hindu-based cult believe that the space program is a hoax and yet may listen to and accept weather reports based on satellite pictures.'

(Original URL for the article is here:


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