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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 13, 2011 09:15AM

Here's an interesting comment on transcendent reality and the 'higher wisdom of eastern gurus', from a book review on early scandals in US zen centres:


'Yet the early followers of Suzuki-roshi would have needed only to ponder his conduct in order to acquire a less mystical grasp of Transmission. Suzuki hadn't wanted to be called roshi, and he never characterized himself as enlightened. Everything about his ironic manner bespoke a disbelief that one anointed person can be enduringly more Buddha-like than others. Sheer neglect and then illness, not awe for the unique sacrament of Transmission, prevented him from granting it to anyone at Zen Center except the notably self-interested Baker. And on trips back to Japan, he showed how little Transmission meant to him by conferring it on his own scarcely qualified son and, as a favor to a friend, on another young priest whom he hadn't taught at all.

Nobody, however, seems to have drawn the obvious inference that Transmission must be at least partly a political act. Zen Center's young absolutists, we need to recall, were mostly products of the ingenuous California counterculture, with its psychedelic visions of transcendent reality and its faith in the higher wisdom of Eastern gurus. Suzuki's compromises could have taught them a good deal about the way an established religion has to make its peace with prejudice and privilege, but such "sellout" realism was just what they were seeking to escape through immersion in zazen.'

The entire article is worth reading for an insight into the way that the abusive guru can get a foothold in an otherwise well-meaning but naive group.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 13, 2011 10:29AM

Stoic made a valuable point. A huge mystique was attacked to Zen transmission of lineage. The American first wavers did not understand how political and mercenary the process could actually be in its Japanese context.

Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen has lived and worked for years in Japan and tells us that over there 'Sensai' is a title given to anyone who has mastered a skill--including, believe it or not--hairdressers.

But the history behind the publication of Zen Mind Beginners Mind which took place just before after Suzuki Roshi's death is worth taking a look at.


For it was news to me that through this essay, I discovered that from one persons perspective, there is a subtle indoctrination could form the subtext of the Zen Mind Beginners Mind-- and that Richard Baker's self aggrandizement was well served by this book--for which he wrote the introduction, describing the qualities, much idealized, of a Zen roshi.

This would aggrandizesthe role of the Zen Master, a role Baker was shortly to fill, and would insinuate a power imbalance into a trustful readers mind.

I call this a preformatting process. Let the author of this essay speak:


but Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind was published in 1970, only one year before Baker himself received Dharma transmission and the title, Zen master.
Downing (author of Shoes Outside the Door: Desire and Excess at San Francisco Zen Center) reveals that by 1969 Suzuki had made it known to Baker and others at the Center that Baker was to be his Dharma heir.

Baker's use of Dixon's words begins the description of Suzuki Roshi, with the strange phrasing "a roshi is..." This substitutes what is supposed to be a description of their close and beloved teacher Suzuki Roshi, a real person, with an abstraction, "a roshi."

Yet Baker certainly knew that, at best, few if any roshi are so fully realized. More tellingly, Baker, inserted the very idealized description of qualities and characteristics supposedly of Suzuki Roshi, generalized to all roshi, knowing it would inevitably, indeed shortly, be applied to himself.**

Corboy notes: thus, readers of Zen Mind, Beginners Mind would be "pre-formatted" to exalt the role of the Roshi in their own minds and be all the more ready to be submissive and trustful no matter whom they later met and studied with.

It should be noted that relatively few user friendly books on Zen were available in English, greatly magnifying the impact of Zen Mind, Beginners Mind.

Much, much later, after the Baker mess, more realistic histories of Suzuki Roshi and Zen Center became available and the role of roshi was de-mythologized-through such books as David Chawick's "Crooked Cucumber.""


San Francisco from the 1960's into the 1980's was considered by many to be the freest city in America, especially when understanding "libre" as freedom from ideological constraints. Zen Center members did not think there was any thought control or propaganda necessary to escape when it came to Zen. Members had not the slightest inkling that their view of Zen was controlled. They believed their way of living and of practicing Zen was the best alternative available in America. People put their hearts into the practice and the Center, sometimes going as far as asserting that the Center represented the cutting edge of Zen in the America.
'When one member was about to leave (after the Baker scandal), rather than receiving well wishes or a word of advice from his teacher-who happened to be the new abbot after Baker, he was smugly told that he would be back in a year.

'It is clear from Downing's interviews that Zen Center members assumed that there was no ideology to be questioned, i.e., the unreliable history of Zen, the hagiographic picture of the lineage, along with its mythology of Dharma transmission, unbroken lineage, and 'enlightened' Zen masters.

'A number of Downing's interviewees spoke of receiving the true or pure Zen teaching from Suzuki Roshi.*(But, as noted above, filtered through the medium of Baker, who was to inherit the abbacy of Zen Center soon after publication of the very book that attracted so many to Zen Center--a book in which Baker had had an important role in exalting and mythologizing the role of the Enligthened, unquesitionable roshi)

" It was not surprising, then, that when trouble arose at the Center it was mostly assumed that something must be wrong with the members themselves; that it was because they did not use or handle well Suzuki's pure teaching. One older student expressed it this way, "In our hands, and it was in our hands, it [Suzuki's pure teaching] became a bludgeon of power, a source of competition, jealousy, and paranoia. That's what we made of it."

'All trouble at the Center was internalized and personalized by its members. Institutional mythology, which created a seamless picture of unbroken lineage along with pure, desireless perfection and attainment housed in the body of the master, was not questioned, and hence, remained intact.
Those who had loved and trusted Suzuki Roshi and who mourned his early death had to trust that he had been unquestionably correct to give Dharma Transmission to Baker. To dare question Baker meant, retroactively daring to question Suzuki Roshi.

It turned out that for his many admirable qualities, Suzuki Roshi was not a saint.


Suzuki indeed had ordinary and even tragic circumstances in his life, as is shown in Downing's book, who references David Chadwick's book, Crooked Cucumber, for the following details. He was married three times. His first wife contracted tuberculosis and returned to her parents shortly after marriage; his second wife was brutally murdered by an erratic, antisocial monk whom Suzuki had retained as a temple assistant, despite contrary advise from neighbors and colleagues. His youngest daughter, Omi, committed suicide after spending nine years in a mental hospital; he gave Dharma transmission to his son Hoitsu, who did not study with him or even get on with him, but who inherited his temple (this is standard Soto Zen procedure); he gave, as a favor to a friend, Dharma transmission to someone he did not know or have any contact with. He also ran a temple virtually under the control of Japan's repressive fascist era government. This is the sort of detail, which might be useful to both present and future students, but it is absolutely missing from all of the completely standard biographies of Zen masters through the ages.

This is now freely acknowledged at Zen Center. At the time of my visit Hoitsu, Suzukis son, gave a lecture and told the entire 150 plus person audience, which included many drop in visitors, of how his mother had been murdered due to Suzuki ignoring warnings and allowing a mentally ill monk to stay with the family--the one who murdered Hoitsu's mother.


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 13, 2011 04:18PM

Bharati again, making a point about Mme Blavatsky and the ascended master (Koot Hoomi) she references in 'The Secret Doctrine':

' The Master Letters signed "K" are quite clearly Blavatsky’s own invention; no Indian or Tibetan recluse talks or writes like the European feuilleton writer of the early 20th century. In a passage, "K" (for Koot Hoomi) criticizes a writer for saying that "the sacred man wants the gods to be properly worshipped, a healthy life lived, and women loved." "K" comments "the sacred person wants no such thing, unless he is a Frenchman:" The inane stupidity that must have gone into the early converts actually believing that an Indian or Tibetan guru would use these European stereogibes, is puzzling. Yet again mundus vult decipi, and if the average Western alien feels she or he can get the esoteric goods, she or he tends to lower the level of skepticism to a virtual zero.'

'mundus vult decipi' is part of a larger phrase, ascribed to Petronius, a Roman satirist from the first century, CE.
which translates as "The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived."


This phrase makes a notable appearance in the Walter Kaufman translation of Martin Buber's 'Ich und Du'-- I and Thou (Buber was a Jewish philosopher best known for his philosophy of dialogue, a form of religious existentialism centered on the distinction between the I-Thou relationship and the I-It relationship) :


'Mundus vult decipi: the world wants to be deceived. The truth is too complex and frightening; the taste for the truth is an acquired taste that few acquire.

Not all deceptions are palatable. Untruths are too easy to come by, too quickly exploded, too cheap and ephemeral to give lasting comfort. Mundus vult decipi; but there is a hierarchy of deceptions.'

Buber opens his book I and Thou:

'Man's world is manifold, and his attitudes are manifold. What is manifold is often frightening because it is not neat and simple. Men prefer to forget how many possibilities are open to them.

They like to be told that there are two worlds and two ways. This is comforting because it is so tidy. Almost always one way turns out to be common and the other one is celebrated as superior.

Those who tell of two ways and praise one are recognized as prophets or great teachers. They save men from confusion and hard choices. They offer a single choice that is easy to make because those who do not take the path that is commended to them live a wretched life.

To walk far on this path may be difficult, but the choice is easy, and to hear the celebration of this path is pleasant. Wisdom offers simple schemes, but truth is not so simple.

Not all simplicity is wise. But a wealth of possibilities breeds dread. Hence those who speak of many possibilities speak to the few and are of help to even fewer. The wise offer only two ways, of which one is good, and thus help many.'

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2011 04:29PM by Stoic.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 15, 2011 08:52PM

A correction. The above quote:

Buber opens his book I and Thou:

'Man's world is manifold, and his attitudes are manifold.

is by Kaufman in his prologue to his newer translation of Buber's 'Ich und Du' and Buber's own working notes on the essay and corrections to the original translation.
it should read "Kaufman opens......"

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 20, 2011 11:14PM


Pagans are more at risk of cursing themselves through drug abuse than ending up as the subject of a communal witch hunt. Some roots of this can be traced back to the Carlos Castaneda books about a Yaqui shaman “Don Juan” who supposedly trained Castaneda using various herbal drugs to help in perceiving the Otherworld. The first of these books was published in 1968 and they still continue to be popular today.

In the 1970’s when I lived in Mexico I was friendly with a Mexican Brujo and I asked him about the Don Juan books. He said not only were they fraudulent, but actively dangerous to anyone trying to copy the deeds mentioned in them, particularly the way Datura and Lophophora Williamsii were used. I did see what happened to people who were silly enough to try copying the books; his warning was horribly accurate with the less fortunate ending up with permanent psychospirtual problems and the lucky ones ending up dead.

In the 1980’s and 90’s I spent time investigating Pagan groups on the South coast of the UK. Almost all of them were more likely to cast a circle with a joint as an Athame and, when questioned about their drug use, usually said “It’s a herb not a drug”(?!) or “It’s shamanic, people have been doing it for thousands of years”. They wondered why their magick wasn’t getting results, and why any attempts at rituals turned into ‘bad trips’. I didn’t have any success at getting them to change their ways, but did learn a lot about the nature of addiction and the long term damage it can do to the mind.

The most noticeable was just how suggestible these people were even when they weren’t actively ‘on’ anything. One time I remember it being the height of summer and managing to convince someone it was so cold they started shivering and getting goose bumps! Combined with the loss of memory, both long and short term, caused by drug use you could convince these people that almost anything had happened to them in the past. With one group I knew even in ordinary conversation I could evoke false memories even bizarre ones such as seeing fairies, UFOs, and even meeting the Goddess Bastet in the local park!

It was a dramatic demonstration of how regular drug use “unloose the girders of the mind” To quote the Occultist Dion Fortune. It was put more mundanely by a friend who commented to me “How do I tell him he’s like a car breaking down – his mind wanders, it’s like some of his plugs are gone” about a mutual friend who became a habitual ‘Skunk’ cannabis user.

This author has positive things to say about trance. However in unscrupulous hands the dangers are the same and in some ways greater because trance work doesnt bring immediate bad consequences such as smelly clothes, deadened feelings the next day or the financial expenses that are incurred if one purchases weed.

The consequences of badly done trance work are there but harder to trace and more difficult to remedy.

It is sobering to read that Huxley, a veteran expermentalist with psycehedlics was reportedly impressed and respectful of the effects of trance work done with Dr Milton Erickson, an ethical psychiatrist who dialoged with professionals and was clear that hypnosis had to be used with care and within strict medical ethical limits.


Nowadays instead of risky drugs psychological techniques such as self hypnosis, and pathworking are coming to the fore as the most effective way of expanding the mind. Even Aldous Huxley, a man not shy of taking all sorts of substances in his search for expanded consciousness and chronicling them in his book “The Doors of Perception” realised this. After experiencing hypnosis with the psychologist Milton Erickson Huxley commented that while drug experiences showed glimpses of expanded consciousness, hypnosis showed how to achieve it and stay there longer.


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 17, 2011 07:48AM

On Suicide Girls an article entitled The Human Potential Movement Can Suck My A** by Brad Warner

Am providing it from Google cache text only. When I tried to get the live URL the public library computer generated a myriad of virus attacks.

But you wont have trouble if you go here and the article is worth a read.


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 26, 2011 10:15PM

An essay that is worth reading--Umberto Eco's reflections on Ur Fascism--14 checkpoints

He writes:


I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.



1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.

Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counterrevolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but is was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of the faiths indulgently accepted by the Roman pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages -- in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little-known religions of Asia.

This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, "the combination of different forms of belief or practice;" such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and although they seem to say different or incompatible things, they all are nevertheless alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.

As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine, who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge -- that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.

(Umberto Eco's observation is described in sociological discussions of cultic milieu as 'fungability of ideas' in which quite different, even contradictory belief systems are treated as equivalent (fungible).

See here--[])

2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism.

Both Fascists and Nazis worshipped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon blood and earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life. The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.


So, one can despise and reject the modern world and the methods of science, yet use technology (such as the Internet), technologies developed through the modern world and with the help of science, to spread one's antimodernist ideologies--and feel no sense of contradiction in benefitting from the very modernism one hates.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: Sandman ()
Date: February 27, 2011 01:38AM

A classic article there on ur-fascism by Umberto Eco. Thanks, corboy.

I've found Christopher Locke's provocative writings on his blog, Mystic Bourgeoisie to be an interesting exploration of the subtly fascistic nature of much of the New Age and related material. Apparently he's writing a book on the subject.

"The unlikely story of how America slipped the surly bonds of earth & came to believe in signs & portents that would make the middle ages blush"

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 24, 2011 12:26AM


Many of the New Age bunco types begin with a story.

On another venue, someone wrote about pathological liars and devised a catagory called 'Mythomaniac'.

I made some slight modifications.

·... “mythomaniacs,” may be suffering from histrionic personality disorder or narcissistic behavior disorder. The following comments basically reflect a pathological liar who has the characteristics of histrionic personality disorder.

The compulsive liar who is a mythologizer behaves in some or all of the following ways.

1.Exaggerates things that are ridiculous.

2. One-upping. Whatever you do, this person can do it better. You will never top them in their own mind, because they have a concerted need to be better than everyone else. This also applies to being right. If you try to confront an individual like this, no matter how lovingly and well-intentioned you might be – this will probably not be effective. It’s threatening their fantasy of themselves, so they would rather argue with you and bring out the sharp knives than admit that there’s anything wrong with them.

3. They “construct” a reality around themselves. They don’t value the truth, especially if they don’t see it as hurting anyone. If you call them on a lie and they are backed into a corner, they will act very defensively and say ugly things (most likely but depends on personality), but they may eventually start to act like, “Well, what’s the difference? You’re making a big deal out of nothing!” (again, to refocus the conversation to your wrongdoing instead of theirs).

4. Because these people don’t value honesty, a lot of times they will not value loyalty. So watch what you tell them. They will not only tell others, but they will embellish to make you look worse. Their loyalty is fleeting, and because they are insecure people, they will find solace in confiding to whoever is in their favor at the moment.

(Not always. They will insist that you always be loyal to them, but they will never reciprocate your loyalty when you need it. When you point this out, you are accused of being narcissistic. If you stick to your guns, you will be accused of being crazy or selfish)

5. They may be somewhat of a hypochondriac. This can come in especially useful when caught in a lie, for example, they can claim that they have been sick, or that there’s some mysterious “illness” that has them all stressed out. It’s another excuse tool for their behavior.


a(If a cult leader, the person may claim that disciples own bad thoughts made him or her ill. This is a favorite guilt tripping strategy in the occultist or New Age scene.

b(When reporters or process servers arrive with cameras or subpoenas, they will come down with illnesses. That way, their enablers/disciples will demand that the ailing mythologizer/charmer be pitied and protected, and the media and critics will hesitate to kick someone when he is down. If the mythologizer is rich and has a cooperative physician is rich, he will find a ways to check into a hospital as a way to avoid media fall out.

A.They will contradict what they say. This will become very clear over time. They usually aren’t smart enough to keep track of so many lies (who would be?)

Note: However, some mythologizers are very smart. They will find ways to make their contradictions seem to be 'magical teaching' or 'crazy wisdom'. They will gravitate toward belief systems which make it seem facts dont matter and that there is a difference between conventional reality and absolute reality. Castaneda was industrious and created an entire such system.

Other industrious mythologizers will adapt systems created by earlier compulsive liars of the mythologizing type--Gurdjieff for instance. They can also identify persons who have talent as followers and recruit them when breaking away to form their own franchises.

Mythologizers who are smart and industrious create or rework religions so that they have an escape hatch at all times and plenty of judo methods by which to mind fuck anyone who catches them in the midst of their lies.

Their output attracts other mythologizers who reinforce the entire sorry mess.

c.(If the mythologizer becomes seriously ill or learns he or she is dying, and has an empire or group to mantain, he or she may hide the illness and turn it into a secret.)

d)(The mythologizer may fire or dismiss health care providers who provide unwelcome news--such as the need to limit indulgent behaviors suchs limiting intake of sweets, alcohol, etc. The mythologizer may prefer to seek the dubious services of quacks and charlatans who tell what the person wants to hear not what he or she needs to hear.)

e.(If the spouse, partner, or a disciple of the mythologizer become ill and need rest and respect, mythologizers will claim their sufferings are infinitely worse, therefore they deserve compassion and you are behaving like a wimp. All of your own past loyalties as a careprovider will be ignored)

6. When faced with the consequences of his or her wrongdoing, the mythologizer will claim that Jesus was persecuted too. The mythologizer forgets that, Jesus accepted the consequences of his actions and faced his judges alone and spoke for himself.

Note: Heinz Kohut made a distinction between narcissistic personality disorder vs narcissistic behavior disorder.

In NPD, one may experience other persons as objects and uses ones thoughts to regulate ones moods, but--importan--but one does not actually use other persons as objects.

NPD occurs on a spectrum from mild to more severe and every one has it to some degree. What matters is how well one relates to others in relationships.

Narcissistic Behavior Disorder (NBD) is far more serious in its consequences to the person and those who cross the persons path.

In NBD one not only experiences others as objects rather than persons, but one uses and abuses others as objects to achieve temporary self relief. Kohut saw addiction as NBD behavior.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 31, 2011 10:18PM

it may be that what gets the process going full tilt is when a mythomaniac leader makes contact with and recruits enough persons who are in Bartley's predicment, searching for someone to look up to, to mythologize.

Many go to India or South America, already mythologizing the scene and are ripe for the picking. As I not below, part of the cultic milieu may be that it not only contains ideas that have been rejected by the mainstream, treats ideas as interchangeable, but most importantly, the cultic milieu is itself characterized as a psychosocial zone in which mytholgizing and mythomania are normative, long past the time when this mindset is age appropriate.

The cultic milieu prefers mythologizing and dislikes actual scholarship and fact checking.

(For a description of what happens when one goes from a mythologizing upbringing and into an environment in which one learns scholarship and discovers, with sorrow and anger that ones beloved role model was a mythomaniac, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's memoir My Father's Guru is a must-read. The Masson family had a guru living in their house. The guy fits the profile of a mythomaniac. However, PB was unusual in that he was a bully. He did however, have a huge influence on the lives of his closest disciples and caused some of them much financial and emotional anguish.)

Real recovery from the cultic scene happens when one gets aware enough to feel tired of mythologizing and senses it is a dead end.

IMO one mark of an actual cult is that it exploits and inflames mythologizing tendencies a seeker already has--and conceals this regression by using bliss technology. The person gets hooked both on the bliss and on the mythomaniac leader or (in some cases) the mythomaniac organization.

By contrast to a cult, an emancipatory teacher/therapist would

1) Not be a mythomaniac. Real therapists do not fill the room with themselves and their own Big Stories. The real ones create boundaried space so that the seeker can come home to his or her own yearnings and bring them out into conscious awareness.

2) The real teacher or therapist, in addition to not filling the room with his or her story, listens more than speaks and tries to find ways to assist the client to become conscious of his or her yearnings for a Big Mythical Daddy. This is done to free the person from yearnings that are a source of suffering and that trigger hurtful patterns of behavior.

Real therapists and gurus demythologize. This will not kill wonder in life. It opens us up to a quieter and more human calmness and agency.

This cannot be done on a mass industrial scale, in workshops. Close and undivided attention is needed.

IMO, the crazy wisdom alibi or the 'sorcerer's way' as actually practiced in Castaneda's cult, is a preframe to mythologizing.

In the case of a guru named Adi Da, Mark Miller described the imprisoning process of a mythomaniac (Adi Da) and mytholgizing disciples.

Persons unwilling to mythologize were winnowed out of the group (Corboy)

In an off-line discussion a couple of us speculated that high energy people with bipolar disorder might gravitate to gurus who have untreated bipolar disorder and create wild, crisis ridden ashrams, and call this 'crazy wisdom practice'
Or we just dont know how to energize ourselves and feel hope unless we have a myth--something to crave, some goal to meet.

Mark Miller examined the sitaution around Da Free John and noted it wasnt just a crazy guru who was the problem; it was that people clung to the whole process of mythologizing the guy.

(And Adi Da, the mythologizer, encouraged this)

Mark Miller wrote,)
'The community is at root [i:afc1f20921]a society devoted to glorification and myth-making in relation to DFJ[/i:afc1f20921], who is truly the ultimate example of "Narcissus", the mythical figure DFJ uses to describe those who are unenlightened. This supreme Narcissist requires the constant adoration of not only himself, but also of everything associated with him -- his properties and possessions (including the "holy sites"), and the "murtis" (pictures) of him, etc. These inanimate objects serve as extensions of his huge ego, and the construction of them and/or worship of them serve to usurp huge amounts of devotees time and money.

''... Once people leave the group, there is no guarantee they will stop the "esoteric practice" (ha ha) of DFJ mythologization. That is just one reason why some people you've met who leave the group still believe in all kinds of nonsense about DFJ. It can be difficult to see all of the ways in which [u:afc1f20921]habitual mythologization is operative and to understand the full range and scope of its influence.

'Waking up can take time. Many can't seem to develop much insight into their delusions and commitment to myth-making about DFJ, beyond identifying the crudest and most obviously "cultic" level of it. This is why some of the group's beliefs and assumptions are retained indefinitely by many people, even long after they leave. '

In other words, you can leave a group, but still retain the myth-making mindset that made the group and guru so appealing.

Unless you become willin examine your own craving for an energizing myth, you'll remain recruitable by yet another Magic Parent.

You can reject a particular guru, then walk around with a 'guru-shaped hole' in your psyche.

Eventually someone will come along who matches that outline, and the game resumes.

IMO the cultic milieu/new age scene can be distinguished by its mythologizing mindset. If you are unwilling to mythologize, you are not a member of the tribe.

I remember finding myself in the midst of such a gathering. Felt like the only sober person in a roomful of people who were stoned.

They were stoned on mythologizing and the lecturer, whom I thought was a legitimate person, turned out to be a mythomaniac.

I could see, and later verified that he was a cruel person. But the mythologizing audience were blind to all this.

Leaving a bad ashram or organization is not enough to ensure recovery. Leaving will give you short term relief by removing you from a disorienting, confusing situation. THat part is very good.

Long term, leaving a bad set up will not address the mythologizing needs and yearnings that attracted us to these unbalanced power set ups--and will not help us understand what made the mind fuck feel thrilling rather than chilling.

There are some gurus out there who are over the top bullies. They'd be kicked in the butt if they dared behave this way in normal society, but in thier own communities, thier bad behavior is celebrated as crazy wisdom. Their disciples come to believe that they need to be abused in order to make any progress. Anyone who has misgivings is written off as wimpy, not serious about 'the path' or accused of being 'touchy-feely.'

Most people walk out of their lectures and never return--persons who are disgusted by bad behavior. But--a few people stay, and become disciples to these bully-gurus. They tolerate a level of suffering that cause most of us to run the other way. For them to recover, they have to investigate what led them to stay in that room with that bully-guru, when so many other people walked away.

Its not something to be ashamed of---shame doesnt solve this.

You need to feel curious, to investigate this with a kind of friendly curiosity. What was it about that power imbalance that sparked my hope, energized me, made the abuse seem a worthwhile price to pay?

Bad gurus are not universally appealing. But they get their devotees by skilfully recruiting in such a way as to attract and keep the few who are thrilled by power and by power imbalance and by quickly repulsing people who are revolted by power abuse and game playing and would disrupt the guru's game playing if permitted to join the ashram

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