Readers are invited to look at excepts from this article on James Dobson, a former pediatrician who grew up Nazarene--and had been physically beaten and quite severely by a rage case parent.
(the entire article can be read here) and then ask themselves if any of this resembles Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber's pedagogy.
Dobson is advocating actual beltings. Not the one single palm of the hand spank here and there.
(The one time Corboy was ever disciplined by hand was when I was about 3 years old and persistently tried darting across a car laden street. Detractors may regret that my dad kept me on the sidewalk and gave me one spank because I had ignored his repeated orders to hold his hand. But beltings and whippings? Not in our house.)
The King of Pain
But the infliction of pain on young children, social deviants, and other weaker beings is only one half of a binary solution Dobson has prescribed to his followers for curing America's social ills. As Dobson has consistently made clear to his flock, they must first purify their own souls of sin before striking out, literally, to purify the land.
When Dobson first entered public life, his understanding of politics was amateur at best. Colson became his counsel, providing him with high-level Republican contacts and help devising a strategy to transform his growing flock into an influential political bloc. Colson could never have fulfilled the strategy on his own. Indeed, no figure in the burgeoning evangelical movement shared Dobson's psychological understanding of his audience on an intimate level. Only Dobson recognized events such as the hard-hat riot as integral parts of a gathering backlash against liberalism. His advocacy of corporal punishment was carefully intended to channel the violent backlash in the streets into a coherent grassroots movement with himself as its guru.
Dobson's teachings resonated on a profound level with the back-lashers. By 1976, Dare to Discipline had been reprinted eighteen times and sold over a million copies. His success propelled him into the rapidly expanding evangelical broadcast industry. Dobson's new radio show and ministry, Focus on the Family, became immensely popular as well.
Now, the followers eager to implement his harsh methods had grown into a belt-wielding army of millions. Corporal punishment was back with a vengeance.
Dobson's self-purification process, adapted from his father's Nazarene faith, compels his followers to confess their darkest transgressions before pleading for forgiveness. Finally, to attain what Dobson and others in the evangelical culture call "holiness," a permanent state of spiritual perfection, followers must submit their individual wills to the order of a higher power — either God, or men of God such as Dobson. Every sinner who submits must be convinced that, as Dobson has insisted, "Pain is a marvelous purifier."
Dobson's emphasis on pain, simultaneously inflicted on weaker beings and the self, reflects the sadomasochism at the core of his philosophy. As Greven noted, books such as Dare to Discipline that urge parents to beat their children are hardly distinguishable from S&M manuals such, as Larry Townsend's "The Leatherman's Handbook,'' which advise men on erotic techniques of "discipline" and "punishment."
The principal distinction between the two is that the methods Townsend advocates are applied to adults who have chosen to participate, whereas Dobson's techniques are wielded against the wills of small children.
***(Corboy italics: And...in the kink community, unlike the Integral community, the Dominator/ex is considered responsible if the submissive incurs harm. In Dobsons world and the Wilberian Integral scene, the Disciplinarian, whether the Angry God or punitive parent is considered blameless and actually virtuous by being powerholder and thus the responsiblity is shifted to the punished one)
"Wherever children suffer from painful physical punishments and humiliating submission to more powerful authorities, sadomasochism will be present," Greven wrote. "Sadomasochism is thus one of the most enduring consequences of coercive discipline in childhood."
Once again, readers are invited to compare this with Kenny Wilber's song of praise to the Rude Boy and Girl Gurus:
When it comes to spiritual teachers, there are those who are safe, gentle, consoling, soothing, caring; and there are the outlaws, the living terrors, the Rude Boys and Nasty Girls of God realization, the men and women who are in your face, disturbing you, terrifying you, until you radically awaken to who and what you really are.
And may I suggest?: choose your teachers carefully.
If you want encouragement, soft smiles, ego stroking, gentle caresses of your self-contracting ways, pats on the back and sweet words of solace, find yourself a Nice Guy or Good Girl, and hold their hand on the sweet path of stress reduction and egoic comfort. But if you want Enlightenment, if you want to wake up, if you want to get fried in the fire of passionate Infinity, then, I promise you: find yourself a Rude Boy or a Nasty Girl, the ones who make you uncomfortable in their presence, who scare you witless, who will turn on you in a second and hold you up for ridicule, who will make you wish you were never born, who will offer you not sweet comfort but abject terror, not saccharin solace but scorching angst, for then, just then, you might very well be on the path to your own Original Face.
Most of us, I suspect, prefer our spiritual teachers to be of the Nice-Guy variety. Soft, comforting, non-threatening, a source of succor for a worn and weary soul, a safe harbor in the samsaric storm. There is nothing wrong with that, of course; spirituality comes in all sorts of flavors, and I have known some awfully Nice Guys. But if the flavor tends toward Enlightenment instead of consolation, if it drifts away from soothing dreams toward actually waking up, if it rumbles toward a God realization and not egoic fortification, then that demands a brutal, shocking death: a literal death of your separate self, a painful, frightening, horrifying dissolution—a miraculous extinction you will actually witness as you expand into the boundless, formless, radical Truth that will pervade your every cell and drench your being to the core and expand what you thought was your self until it embraces the distant galaxies. For only on the other side of death lies Spirit, only on the other side of egoic slaughter lies the Good and the True and the Beautiful. "You will come in due course to realize that your true glory lies where you cease to exist," as the illustrious Sri Ramana Maharshi constantly reminded us. Your true glory lies on the other side of your death, and who will show you that?
Not the Nice Guys and not the Good Girls. They don't want to hurt your feelings. They don't want to upset you. They are here to whisper sweet nothings in your ear and place consolation prizes in the outstretched hand of the self-contraction, balm for a war-torn weary ego, techniques to prop it up in its constant battle with the world of otherness. In a sense, it's very easy being a Nice-Guy teacher: no muss, no fuss, no wrestling with egoic resistance and exhausting confrontation. Be nice to the ego, pat it on the back, have it count its breaths, hum a few mantras.
Rude Boys know better. They are not here to console but to shatter, not to comfort but to demolish. They are uncompromising, brutal, laser-like. They are in your face until you recognize your Original Face—and they simply will not back off, they will not back down, they will not let up until you let go—radically, fully, completely, unhesitatingly. They live as Compassion—real compassion, not idiot compassion—and real compassion uses a sword more often than a sweet. They deeply offend the ego (and the greater the offense, the bigger the ego). They are alive as Truth, they are everywhere confronted with egos, and they choose the former uncompromisingly.
Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy, used to say that nobody comes to a therapist to get better (although they always say they do); they really come to perfect their neurosis. Just so, nobody comes to a spiritual teacher to get Enlightenment (although everybody claims they do); rather, they come to a spiritual teacher to learn more subtle and sophisticated egoic games—in this case, the game of "Look at me being really spiritual."
After all, what is it in you that brings you to a spiritual teacher in the first place? It's not the Spirit in you, since that is already enlightened and has no need to seek. No, it is the ego in you that brings you to a teacher: you want to see yourself in the presence of the spiritual game, you want to meet yourself tomorrow as a realized being—in plain language, you want your ego to continue into a spiritual paradise.
And what's a poor teacher to do, confronted with such egoic cunning? Everybody who comes to a spiritual teacher comes egoically motivated. And teachers have two choices in the face of this onslaught of the separate selves, this conference of the self-contractions: they can play to the audience, or they can blow the entire building up.
Andrew Cohen is a Rude Boy. He is not here to offer comfort; he is here to tear you into approximately a thousand pieces...so that Infinity can reassemble you, Freedom can replace imprisonment, Fullness can outshine fear. And that simply will not happen if all you want is consolation, soothing prayers, ruffle-free platitudes, "It will all be okay." Well, it will not be okay if you want Enlightenment. It will, in fact, be hell, and only Rude Boys are rude enough to tell you that, and to show you that—if you can stand the rudeness, stay in the fire, burn clean as Infinity and radiate as the stars.
Every deeply enlightened teacher I have known has been a Rude Boy or Nasty Girl. The original Rude Boys were, of course, the great Zen masters, who, when faced with yet another ego claiming to want Enlightenment, would get a huge stick and whack the aspirant right between the eyes. And that was just the beginning, that was the easy part; things got nastier fast—but at the other end of that brutality lay ever-present Realization, a shocking jolting death of the self and the radiant resurrection of infinite Spirit as your very own true nature: if you could stand the heat. Rude Boys are on your case in the worst way, they breathe fire, eat hot coals, will roast your ass in a screaming second and fry your ego before you knew what hit it: undo your self-contracting fear and sizzle your well-honed defenses: if you can stand the heat.
I have often heard Nice-Guy teachers say that Andrew Cohen is rude, and I think, "You don't know the half of it." I have often heard it said that Andrew is difficult, offending, edgy, and I think, "Thank God." In fact, virtually every criticism I have ever heard of Andrew is a variation on, "He's very rude, don't you think?" And I smile the biggest smile you can imagine. If it weren't for the Rude Boys and Nasty Girls of God Realization, Spirit would be a rare visitor in this strange land.
Andrew's magazine What Is Enlightenment?, for example, is the only magazine I know that is deeply, truly, outrageously Rude: which is to say, the only magazine asking the hard questions, slaughtering the sacred cows, and dealing with the Truth no matter what the consequences. The magazine is expressive of the very rudeness necessary to shatter egoic complacency, a complacency sick and thick, cloying, suffocating, drowning in its own self-smugness. You do well to be deeply offended by Andrew; he is, indeed, damn rude.
So, can you stand the heat? Or would you like more soft and consoling words of comfort, more consolation prizes for an Enlightenment that will continue to elude you? Would you like a pat on the back, or are you ready to be skinned and fried? May I suggest this? If you can stand the heat, you will indeed come to realize that your true glory lies where you cease to exist, where the self-contraction has uncoiled in the vast expanse of all space, where your separate self has been roasted and replaced by infinity resplendent—a radical Release much too obvious to see, much too simple to believe, much too near to be attained—and your real Self will quietly but surely announce its Presence as it calmly embraces the entire universe and swallows galaxies whole.
In short, if you are ready to recognize your own Original Face, if you are capable of standing in the very middle of a raging fire that will melt your Heart and open it to eternity, then you have come to the right place. In the following pages you will see that Andrew Cohen is a Rude Boy who acts with uncompromising integrity, an integrity that shows compassion to your real Self and a very big stick to your ego. If you can stand the heat, then enter the real kitchen of your own soul, where you will find nothing other than the radiant God of the entire cosmos. For it is radiant Spirit that is looking out from your eyes right now, speaking with your tongue right now, reading the words on this very page, right now. Your real Self is glorious Spirit in this and every moment, and it takes a very, very Rude Boy to point that out and to stay in your face until you recognize your own Original Face, shining even here and now.
And the end of the the King of Pain article, Eric From is quoted
Erich Fromm, in his book Escape from Freedom, insisted that sadomasochism was more than a sexual kink. It was, he claimed, a defining characteristic of the authoritarian personality, finding its most dangerous expression in the political sphere. "The essence of the authoritarian character," Fromm wrote, "has been described as the simultaneous presence of sadistic and masochistic drives. Sadism was understood as aiming at unrestricted power over another person more or less mixed with destructiveness; masochism as aiming at dissolving oneself in an overwhelmingly strong power and participating in its strength and glory."
Cohen's human subjects speak eloquently of thier own participation mystique in pain.