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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: petrus4 ()
Date: August 06, 2012 05:08AM

I can't speak for the others, but I've been subscribed to Mooji's YouTube channel for probably the last two years. However, in that time, I've maybe watched two of his videos, for a grand total of five minutes. The guy to me seems completely harmless, but the reason why I stopped watching him, is simply because I got bored. I should probably unsub, but occasionally the topic headings of his videos look mildly interesting.

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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 17, 2012 10:43PM

Mere experiences that get mislabeled as Illumination or Dropping

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Someone was discussing Tolle on an older Google listserve and mentioned something.

There is a discussion on the Google listserve that raise intersting points

[forum.culteducation.com]

[]'A cessation of mentation as a result of intense concentration _may_ be
a precursor to Awakening in some "accidental" enlightenment
experiences..... (Echart Tolle** or John Wren-Lewis'), or in some
very thorough systematic approaches (like the Theravada), but it is
not Awakening itself: or, put it this way, it isn't a _necessary_
precursor to Awakening.

(((Corboy note::the author generously names Eckhart Tolle's but ET's hunger for money and publicity calls his alleged enlightement into question so far as I am concerned Corboy),

'In fact, Awakening is a BREAK in any form of
samadhi-like concentration (taking "samadhi" in its lesser meaning -
for it can also mean the Result itself, in some systems). It's at
complete right angles to anything you've ever experienced or imagined.
(I say this based on your writings - you may be playing a game of some
sort, but I am responding to your words as they stand.)

"It's like this: if you fix your gaze, the saccades (the little
jerkings about) that your eyes constantly unconsciously make cease,
and because the visual system normally sees things by noticing
borders, edges and differences
, the visual system "whites out".

"(Author turned aside to comment to discussion participants)This is taken advantage of in some Daoist practices, and some Dzogchen Longde practices, if I'm not mistaken - right Namdrol?)

(Corboy note: very interesting as the Vajrayana practices aim at Clear Light. If that CL is being produced by a mundane neurological glitch due to prolonged fixation of the eyes then this calls into question all the various white light experiences people and religous systems use to validate claims of enlightenment.)[/[/i]i]

"Since the whole mental system works in an analogous way, by noticing
differences, I believe something analogous may happen if the _whole
mental system_ is "frozen" in a concentrative state - it ceases to
experience anything at all. BUT THAT IS NOT AWAKENING.


(Corboy note: in the early days of Guru mahara-ji, a lot was made abotu 'white light' experiences. Ditto for clear white light being seen in some systems as a sign of advancement.

If this is merely caused by fixing one gaze and its only a normal neurological event that is given an excess of meaning that it doesnt actually have on its own, its scary to imagine people throwing lives and money into the lap of someone on account of a neuro-tingle)



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A person named Daniel was doing sitting meditation and reported this

"it happens that for a long time I lose awareness of everything -- of myself, of time, of my mind, of objects -- everything.

I sit and it feels like 10 minutes have passed, when in fact one hour or more have passed. Is this alright ?

Am I doing something wrong ? It is almost as if I fell in deep sleep, except that I don't think this is the case because I had my wife watching me to see if this was the case, which wasn't.

"Blogger LV said...
Daniel,

You're hitting a state of non-perception. If possible, you need to find an experienced meditation teacher to get you past this obstacle. Your experience sounds exactly like it:

"The second state was one I happened to hit one night when my concentration was extremely one-pointed, and so refined that it refused settle on or label even the most fleeting mental objects. I dropped into a state in which I lost all sense of the body, of any internal/external sounds, or of any thoughts or perceptions at all — although there was just enough tiny awareness to let me know, when I emerged, that I hadn't been asleep. I found that I could stay there for many hours, and yet time would pass very quickly. Two hours would seem like two minutes. I could also "program" myself to come out at a particular time.

After hitting this state several nights in a row, I told Ajaan Fuang about it, and his first question was, "Do you like it?" My answer was "No," because I felt a little groggy the first time I came out. "Good," he said. "As long as you don't like it, you're safe. Some people really like it and think it's nibbana or cessation. Actually, it's the state of non-perception (asaññi-bhava). It's not even right concentration, because there's no way you can investigate anything in there to gain any sort of discernment. But it does have other uses." He then told me of the time he had undergone kidney surgery and, not trusting the anesthesiologist, had put himself in that state for the duration of the operation.

In both these states of wrong concentration, the limited range of awareness was what made them wrong. If whole areas of your awareness are blocked off, how can you gain all-around insight? And as I've noticed in years since, people adept at blotting out large areas of awareness through powerful one-pointedness also tend to be psychologically adept at dissociation and denial. This is why Ajaan Fuang, following Ajaan Lee, taught a form of breath meditation that aimed at an all-around awareness of the breath energy throughout the body, playing with it to gain a sense of ease, and then calming it so that it wouldn't interfere with a clear vision of the subtle movements of the mind. This all-around awareness helped to eliminate the blind spots where ignorance likes to lurk."

[www.accesstoinsight.org]

"Another type of wrong concentration is one that a modern practice tradition, following DN 1, calls a state of non-perception (asaññi).. I

n this state, which is essentially a concentration of subtle aversion — the result of a strongly focused determination not to stay with any one object — everything seems to cease: the mind blanks out, with no perception of sights or sounds, or of one's own body or thoughts. There is just barely enough mindfulness to know that one hasn't fainted or fallen asleep.

One can stay there for long periods of time, and yet the experience will seem momentary. One can even determine beforehand when one will leave the state; but on emerging from it, one may feel somewhat dazed or drugged, a reaction caused by the intense aversive force of the concentration that induced the state to begin with.

There are other forms of wrong concentration, but a general test is that right concentration is a mindful, fully alert state.

Any state of stillness without clear mindfulness and alertness is wrong."

(If one dislikes the term 'wrong' one can substitute the term 'misleading' as in a map giving inaccurate directions. Corboy)

[www.accesstoinsight.org]

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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 21, 2012 12:13AM

Before You Arrive in India They May Know Your Value as a Recruit - and How To Target You

Meet a guru or sadhu who seems able to read your mind to the tiniest detail?

They may be able to do it because someone at your hotel or the internet cafe overheard your conversation.

Or read your online posts before you even arrived in India. A guru may have some devotees who are computer literate, who look for online mentions (eg Twitter) related to that guru, and when your name and your online photograph show up--bango they will be able to spot you in the group when you arrive.

If You Think You Want to Go to India for Spiritual Progress...

The Anticult wrote:



Quote:
Quote:
So again, I am not bashing Zen, Hinduism, Satori, Atman, Wicca, or anything else. To them, that is just the "CONTENT". Focussing on CONTENT seems to be the trap most people fall into.

The PROCESS is the influence structure, and that is where to look.

And there are very very smart people who have studied that knowledge for a living for decades, and they get hired as consultants by some Gurus in secret for large amounts of money.

And now they can take that Tech, and fuse it with a specific Belief System, to make it invisible.

Add to that the tricks to make people flip into Euphoria...any many others...

Its social influence engineering. Persuasion Engineering, some are now calling it.


If you think you want to go to India or even to some weekend seminar...

Study yourself very carefully.

If you are already attending yoga classes and are chatting about your aspirations with your friends via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, you have already sacrificed most of your privacy if you have used your real name and especially if you have put your photograph anywhere, plus mentioned or dropped clues where you live.

Repeat, you have already sacrificed much of your privacy.

Next, face your social position. Namely your finances, where you went to school, your family back ground.

Because if you have money, or are from a wealthy/socially prominent family, or are married to someone with powerful media, business, political or financial connections or are a therapist or even a student therapist or physician...

You, dear reader are a high value recruit, whether you are in the First World, or go to India.

You will be courted.

A viciously cruel guru will either act nice around you, or if he or she senses you have guilt about your good fortune, will act cruel to you and have you eating out of their hands for being so 'honest' as to treat you like shit.

People can study you just by what you innocently post online. They can research the data you have placed online and figure out your wealth, your family connections, if you are a long term investment (a medical student or a student psychotherapist, someone likely acquire clients, a good income and whose professional credentials will give legitimacy to a guru.

If you are an academic, ESPECIALLY if you are in physics, mathematics, medicine, neurology, computer science, robotics, ecology -- these are specialities that carry mystique. You may be courted and seduced by dodgy gurus who are looking for academics who will sit in on 'interfaith dialogues' and give them derivative legitimacy.

**Please, all you who are academics and scientists - please be aware you will be courted.

If you are a graduate student or undergraduate at a big name university, such as one of the Ivy Leagues, Stanford, or Oxbridge, your presence will give enhanced legitimacy. If you drop out to join the guru, he or she will covertly point you out as the Westerner who gave up a University education to serve the guru.

(Meanwhile, chances are guru is stashing money aside to make damn sure his relatives can go get university educations)

In this age of promiscuous online twittering and insta communication, you can be easily researched. People can find out you are going to India or some other pilgrimage hot spot with built in mystique and where people arrive with expectations.

Western devotees of Indian gurus or sadhus on the make may do a lot of the recruiting.

If you mention online which hotel you are staying at, or which tourist routes you plan to take, this information can be passed on. Your choice of a hotel may give clues as to your wealth.

India is full of brilliant, intelligent people who have families to support. Many cant find sufficiently high paying jobs to meet family expectatations.

They do have time to hang around, drink chai, watch the affluent travelers arrive, hang out in hotel lobbies and hostels--and pass news on to gurus looking for recruits or what want to learn more about new visitors to the ashram.

If a town is already renowned as a pilgrimage site (Dharamsala, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Varanasi, Tiru (Ramana Maharshi dead, has brought billions of rupee revenue to Tiru, while alive, he was dirt poor)--these scenarious may well occur in the background.

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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 06, 2012 08:46PM

One persons viewpoint:

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-------

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

On this matter of all the supposed "enlightened teachers" in the "lineage of Ramana Maharshi" via Papaji (and there are several other persons i could have spoken about here)...

Well, we have to reaffirm, as has the website www.ramana-maharshi.org at its "News" section (see article "Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi – Great Sage or Milch Cow?"), there's NO LINEAGE FROM MAHARSHI and most of these figures are NOT fully enlightened or liberated in any really meaningful sense of the term. On the latter point, Papaji, as we have seen, himself stated as much.

At least Papaji, along with Mira/Ganga, Neelam, Mooji, Isaac Shapiro, Yudhishtara, and yes Gangaji/Toni and some others have had a very positive influence for many people. And these and others claiming a connection to Papaji do seem (some better than others) to finally be balancing out Papaji’s “sudden enlightenment” teachings on the level of mere views with more emphasis on actual enlightened living and behavior.

Along this line, I think more folks interested in Papaji might want to make deeper acquaintance with the stupendous avatâr-sage Bhagavân Ramana Mahârshi (d.1950), as well as Papaji's uncle Swâmi Râma Tîrtha (1873-1906), Nisargadatta Mahârâj of Bombay (d.1981) (whom Papaji visited a few times) and the latter's great advaita guru Siddharâmeshvar Maharaj (d.1936). Also one might make a book-acquaintance with a sterling mystic saint, Fr. Henri Le Saux / Swami Abhishiktânanda, Papaji’s Catholic monk-priest and sagely friend from the 1950s, who was very much initially helped in his advaita understanding by Papaji, but helped even more by the illustrious and truly saintly sage of Tirukoillur, Swami Gnânânanda (d.1974), whom Papaji also met and greatly respected. How lovely, these true sages who so thoroughly live what they have intuitively realized!


===============

Here are a few specific, constructive SUGGESTIONS--intended for anyone in the Advaita "business" (as so many have made it):

1) Instead of calling oneself "enlightened" or "fully enlightened," and making claims and setting up expectations that wind up being somewhat or very fraudulent, why not adopt the old Buddhist parlance and simply market oneself as "a helpful spiritual friend" (kalyana mitra)?

2) Instead of charging money, why not trust in the God-Self and see what spontaneously comes in the form of donations?

3) Please honor the ancient sacred trust given to anyone in the helping professions and NOT solicit students/clients for any kind of favors or gifts such as free labor, excessive amounts of time or energy, or anything having to do with sexual pleasures.

4) Utterly refrain from saying that anything one is doing is "in the lineage of Ramana Mahârshi." One has no right to usurp this unspeakably selfless, generous, gracious, authentically free, and dearly beloved spiritual master for one's own selfish marketing purposes.

[www.arunachala-ramana.org]

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi – Great Sage or Milch cow?

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The path of self-enquiry is actually the simplest of all, but appears to be the most difficult – until you really practise it. However, many people find confusion in Bhagavan’s teaching and start to look elsewhere for support and clarity.

This has led to an upsurge in so called advaitic ‘teachers’ throughout the world, many attaching their names to that of Bhagavan, each preaching their superiority over the others. Many even claim some lineage to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, whilst others offer easy self-realisation and even promise mukti to gullible aspirants in return for favours or money.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi was a lifelong celibate and spent virtually his entire life in the open view of others. He had no descendants and did not appoint any successor … how is such a thing possible for one such as him?

Claims of lineage or other relationships are false at best and based upon a complete misunderstanding of the Truth itself. These individuals are misguided in the extreme and can only lead the serious seeker into greater confusion than he already is.

A second group whom I class as ‘spiritual pimps’ are the lowest form of humanity. They treat Bhagavan as if he is their personal milch-cow, using his name to extract money, to satisfy their swollen egos, to fulfil their debased desires and worldly ambitions. These people lie, cheat, steal, blackmail, engage in forgery and attempt to corrupt everyone who comes within their reach - all for Bhagavan of course. Sincere seekers should avoid these individuals at all costs because they will only destroy your faith.

There are a few genuine souls who actually help others and make no claims for themsleves, nor promise anything directly or indirectly. But they are rare indeed.


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The true Jnani is completely devoid of all desire, does not seek to gain or accumulate anything worldly, is not selfish or greedy, is without ambition of any kind, accepts everything that comes with complete dispassion and lets everything go with the same dispassion. He has an innate kindness towards all, hates nothing and showers his love upon all.

It has been said that Bhagavan was like a mother to his devotees, caring for them when they were ill and helping them in other ways. He was not cold and aloof, as he is portrayed today by those who want you to think that they represent him - they don't!

But the real guru is within you – as Bhagavan continually pointed out and as is clearly stated in the the ancient scriptures. True Satsang is association with the wise – the genuinely Self-realised, or those who sincerely share the same spiritual objective, but today it is a widely abused idea reduced to a worthless talking shop for immature seekers and self-appointed teachers, who know nothing beyond their own pompous little egos. If such association has any value at all it is only to send the serious seeker running in the opposite direction.

During his lifetime Bhagavan was very severe with anyone who came as an aspirant, but became enmeshed with the management or the running of the ashram that grew around him. His was the spiritual path and those who came were expected to follow it and not to get involved or interfere in worldly matters. Such involvement always leads to conflict and the destruction of sadhana. That still applies today and to every spiritual organisation. If you are on the spiritual path you must avoid contact with materialistic individuals at all costs.

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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 06, 2012 08:52PM

Advice on Tiru

(small excerpts from a long and quite detailed article.

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[www.arunachala-ramana.org]
The guru business

Many people – including myself when I first came here in 1997 – expect to find Tiruvannamalai and the ashrams situated here overflowing with saintly people. This is of course a complete mistake. The opposite is the real truth. There are lots of people who think that they are holy, but they are not holy at all.

The guru business is the best 'legal' business in the world with huge amounts of money changing hands. The vast majority of ashrams are businesses – one-way businesses, all incoming and no outgoing, not charities as we understand the term. Charitable status is for tax avoidance only. They might feed a few sadhus and poor people every day as a facade, but the cost of that represents only the tiniest fraction of the vast income that they have. Do not be fooled by these places. The easiest way to find out the truth is to ask for help for someone in need and see what the response is.

Real gurus are not interested in money or property, but the false gurus will use any weapon to extract what they want from you. Guilt is the weapon most used by these spiritual pimps or their representatives to coerce people out of their savings and property, or to force them into satisfying their base desires - all for God of course, but God doesn't need money or property and does not indulge in base desires.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi was a real guru, a Brahma-jnani of the highest order. During his life at Tiruvannamalai, Bhagavan never touched money and strictly forbade people to collect it in his name. He said ‘food is enough for this’. That instruction like so many others was completely ignored and His name is used on a daily basis by selfish and greedy people to line their own pockets with as much of your money as they can - all in Bhagavan's name of course. They have been very, very successful, secretly accumulating tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. This is not a new phenomenon, it was happening even during His lifetime, but now that He has left the body it has escalated to overwhelming proportions.

That the purity of Bhagavan's example is being destroyed is a crime of the highest order. It is a dreadful indictment that those who purport to preserve his heritage and his example have instead destroyed it in pusuit of their personal greed and ambitions. One can only conclude that these people have been cursed by God himself.

Mukti is not for sale. Simply giving money to people who do not deserve it is a complete waste of both your money and your faith. Later, when you discover your error you will be plagued by anger and despair, both of which only serve to push you further away from God.

Do not do it. Instead, find Bhagavan in your heart, because that is where he waits for you.

Many people find it hard to reconcile Bhagavan's purity and power as a brahma-jnani with the unpleasant things that went on around Him and continue today. It is however very simple to understand. Jnani's are not policemen, they do not pass judgement or intervene in events, except in the rarest of cases when a sincere aspirant is in real need. They simply set the example and you can follow it or not - Bhagavan stated "I have shown the way, the rest is up to you". This is very, very, very clear.

Bhagavan will not prevent you if you choose to ignore what is right and continue to commit bad deeds. You have to do the work. Jnani's cannot eat your food for you; if they did then they would gain the benefit not you. That does not mean that they do not help sincere seekers in all sorts of ways, they do, but that help is not necessarily what you expect it to be.

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Problems you might encounter

What follows is the unpleasant side of Tiruvannamalai. It is graphically detailed here to act as a cautionary note.

The environment - Tiruvannamalai is a very dirty place. Open sewers are everywhere (efforts are now underway to provide underground systems, but this is going to take a very long time) and the population is exploding. The noise and pollution from traffic is overwhelming, with only two to three hours a day of reduced cacophony.

Most drivers appear to be in a permanent state of road-rage and great care should be taken when walking on, or crossing the roads. Children and immature adults ride poweful motorbikes and two-wheelers at speed along small roads, many with one hand whilst talking on their cellphones, or shouting to their friends on other bikes alongside them. I cannot count the number of near-misses I have had from two-wheelers whilst walking. They are extremely dangerous and extreme care should be taken when walking on or off the roads.

The rise in popularity of Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi has brought about a rapid increase in the asking price for land; it has now reached ridiculous levels coupled with cheating on a huge scale by self-appointed land-brokers and agents – most of it aimed at foreigners who know nothing about Indian Law. Fake ashrams and charities are being created to fleece gullible foreigners out of their money and they are mostly successful. Beggars litter the streets, some of them aggressive.

There is a general attitude that those who get cheated deserve it and you will get absolutely nowhere asking for help if you have been cheated out of your money.

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Charity fraud

This is even worse and is becoming an art form in Tiruvannamalai.

The vast majority of so-called Charitable Trusts, are neither charitable, not trustworthy by any stretch of the imagination. At least 80% of all of the trusts in Tiruvannamalai are outright frauds. All of the donations are simply stolen by the trustees and no good whatsoever is done for the poor, the sick, the orphans or the elderly that they say they take care of. More are being formed all of the time to get in on the act.

I have seen children who have been severely maimed in order to scam people out of money. Children are starved, tortured and harmed for this purpose every day in India. This is nothing unusual and it is even carried out by their own families.

I know of only one genuine non-profit organisation in Tiruvannamalai, where all of the money is used properly and that is the Rangammal Memorial Trust, which operates the best hospital in the area, a free residential school for 200+ deaf children and takes care of all of the disabled children in the district on a very limited budget.

The best advice I can give is - do not believe anything that anyone tells you about a local charity. Use your own eyes and your intelligence, not your emotions. If it is possible, go to the Rangammal children’s home and see how well the children are taken care of – they are clean, healthy, well fed, well educated and happy. This is the fruit of a real charity. Go to the others and you will see dirty, hungry and nervous children. Then look at the trustees, their vehicles, their clothing, their homes, etc.

There is of course real poverty in Tiruvannamalai, with people struggling to feed their families on a daily basis, but most of these work hard in low paid jobs. There are the homeless and disabled who live in the dirt at the side of the road. There are also many fake homeless people who are just too lazy to find work and spend their days harassing people and drinking alcohol.

Then there are the professional scroungers, entire families of them who have never done a decent days work in their lives and who spend their lives moaning about their condition – but they all have homes, food, motorbikes, cars, televisions and property and can afford to be lazy, because you, out of misplaced sympathy, provide them with the money for all of the luxuries in life.

Your support for the lazy and the criminals is the cause of real suffering in children and others. If money can be obtained by torturing and maiming children then it will not stop.

This is the stark truth and Tiruvannamalai is no different from anywhere else. Do not be sucked into this. If you want to help people then be very careful how you do it, check everything out, do not give money to anyone simply because they want it or expect it - the majority do not respect you for it, but will laugh at you behind your back for being a fool ... this is a FACT based upon eleven years at Tiruvannamalai! Provide food and clothing, not money, if you want to help the starving and the poor.

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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 06, 2012 09:10PM

The one thing that perturbs many Indians and Desis is that Paul Moo is willing to eat meat and has said so on You Tube.

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

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tony Mooji Can the Seer be Seen part 1 – TO SAY YOUR SAY IF YOU WERE DELETED
By IndiaTech5 - Fri Jul 15, 9:49 pm

GIVE YOUR OPINION HERE – I WILL NEVER WIPE IT !!

You can also defend him. ( CLick on : MORE INFO ) This is just because you will be deleted and blocked if you critizise him on MOOJIJI ( two times JI meaning : The Great ! )

I started this after my comments being deleted and blocked and from all his flock’s channels.

And I love the first amendment – specially on Spirituality – False gurus did already so mauch harm during the millenia on this planet.

Coimments blocked also on CONSCIOUSTV , AWAKENINGBRIDGE, I just asked him on his MOOJIJI why he was not a veggy, while giving as his own teachers Ramana and PapaJI who were Indian 200% strickt vegetarians.

How can a killer and torturer speak of the ultimate consciousness and Love. Referring to these holy Indians is like an Auschwitz Kapo preaching on Sunday referring to Mahatma Ghandi and Sister Theresa.

It’s a simple thing to test a ‘guru’, – I ask it any Jehova Witness at my door. To be absolutely 100% sure I mailed him 4 times and phoned (his very nice and lovely sister who takes the phone but doesn’t give his personal number) in Brixton – I phoned 3 times but without any answer. – So that is the answer.

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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 30, 2012 12:03AM

"India is not a game, an amusement park, a playland designed solely to foster your self-exploration and spiritual development: it's a country full of people going about their daily lives, and you need to proceed with respect and caution, just as you would back at home, in your own part of the world."

Corboy note: Though Tiruvannamala (aka 'Tiru') is not listed, 'artemesia's observations apply just as well.

Artemesia notes that people are people everywhere--that one can have con artists in India, just as one does at home.

However, there is a difference. In the UK, the USA and the ANZAC countries, and Western Europe, there are century long traditions of rule of law and a fundamental concensus that possession of power brings accountability.

Americans, in addition to this, tend to go through life assuming there is such a thing as justice.

A friend who has been abroad warned me, "Americans are considered naive, even downright stupid in most parts of the world. We have grown up soft. We assume life is fair, logical and that someone can come along to bring justice and restitution if things go wrong.

"As a result, Yanks are at a disadvantage when dealing with people who have come from rougher parts of the world where life is not fair and where one has to fight and scheme and haggle for every little bit one can get
."


In the US and to some extent, the UK, we assume that if we say "No" that will be respected.

In parts of the world where "No" is interpreted as "Keeping nagging, harassing, whining, screetching, clutching, bawling, guilt tripping, mobbing, screetching until the person is worn out and gives money" -- that there is culture shock.


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[www.metafilter.com]

I have spent a great deal of time in India -- at first as a student, later as part of my work.

And there is no demographic of foreigners I find more disturbing than the spiritual tourists from Europe and North America (and to some extent, Israel).

Part of this is, admittedly, my own cynicism at work: it seems to me that many of these people are traveling halfway around the world to

a) enjoy the strength of their own nation's currency while

b) highlighting how privileged their own lives really are, which

c) makes them feel more "grateful" for their own comfortable lives and thus, tada!

more "spiritually awakened."

Like I said, though, I'm aware that this reading predominantly reflects my own cynicism.

The other reason I find these spiritual tourists so disturbing is that too many of them seem to treat their daily lives in India like a game, to which no real consequences can attach.

As a result, I have seen the most incredible instances of gullibility and naivete from such people.

I won't even get into the drug use that abounds in certain "spiritual tourist" capitals throughout India (Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj, Varanasi, Haridwar and Rishikesh, Pushkar...oy, Pushkar).

But in general, "spiritual tourists" seem more likely to take tremendously stupid risks (both in what they do and whom they trust) than other demographics of foreigners in India.

I'm not sure if this naivete is born of their explicitly spiritual agendas ("Keep an open mind"? "Accept all opportunities that arise"? or what have you), or of an Orientalist assumption that Indians, generally speaking, are more "spiritually enlightened," and a connected inability to grasp that people are people everywhere, and thus are capable of the same evils as well as the same virtues as folks "back at home."

At any rate, I do sense undercurrents among certain communities of foreigners in India, and *particularly* in those "spiritual tourist" hotspots I named above, that uncomfortably evoke, to me, the same kinds of mindsets that supported Orientalist and old-school colonialist behaviors.

India is not a game, an amusement park, a playland designed solely to foster your self-exploration and spiritual development: it's a country full of people going about their daily lives, and you need to proceed with respect and caution, just as you would back at home, in your own part of the world.

Sigh.

This has begun to turn into a rant, and an uncharitable and perhaps unfair one at that, so I'll desist.

I should say, I've met some lovely people who are spiritually-minded who comport themselves with warmth, respect, dignity, and sensitivity no matter where they travel, India being no exception. I'm not saying all spiritually-inclined tourists are buffoons

But I've run into more than a handful of such during my times in India, and as I said -- I am often as alarmed for them as I am by them.
posted by artemisia at 1:44 PM on October 18 [40 favorites]

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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: left_of_the_dial ()
Date: December 10, 2012 03:24PM

Gangaji seems seems like a decent lady but I wouldn't really get too close.

Association w/ Andrew Cohen and a number of other questionable characters.

Mooji, on the other hand, is great.

Highly Recommended.

He charges for certain things but basically offers the same material for free on 'youtube' and his website.

A man's gotta eat!

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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 11, 2012 04:43AM

"A man's gotta eat!"

Yep. And get the money and labor to build that ashram in Portugal.

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Re: Gangaji, Mooji, Om C Parkin, John de Ruiter
Posted by: left_of_the_dial ()
Date: December 11, 2012 05:34AM

Quote
corboy
"A man's gotta eat!"

Yep. And get the money and labor to build that ashram in Portugal.

I do reckon that would require some money.

Any knowledge that he is taking advantage of anybody would be greatly appreciated.

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