Scott, Former Monk Within the Self-Realization Fellowship
I always thought there was something more deep to life, rather than
just what the eye could see. I got really into eastern practices of religion when I was in college. I was at a party and a friend recommended The Autobiography of a Yogi [the autobiography of Self-Realization Fellowship founder Paramahansa Yogananda] to me. I got hope from it, and frankly a lot of that was wishful thinking.
I wanted there to be more than the eye could see. Once I joined, it was stifling in there. You weren't officially allowed to read other books or see other movies. We got to see movies once a month, and they were screened and censored. Same with the books.
Self realization should be about just that—realizing yourself. It's a frustrating feeling. That was what led me out. It wasn't really the "God" question; it was more, "Why doesn't the system work?" I wasn't feeling what I thought I should, and I was putting it back on myself. I would tell myself I wasn't practicing it right. But then I realized, no, I was just beating myself up. It's not me, it's the system.