THIS IS IN NO WAY CORBOYS ENDORSEMENT OF COURSE IN MIRACLES
--note-this is written by a member of the RR.com discussion board and is strictly my personal opinion as a private citizen who tries to be well informed.
Oprah, Lupus and Carol Myss
The post I wrote was to emphasize the troubles with certain persons who are invited by Oprah to blab on her show.
I am careful with my sources and give credit to the sources. But what I intended to highlight was the issue with Oprah, Myss and the community of concerned persons who suffer from lupus erythematosus who disagreed with Myss.
And if channelling entails entering a hypnotic trance whilst writing down material that later is published (Blatvatsky, Cayce, as well as ACIM) there may be a possiblity that persons susceptible to trance induction who read this material may go into trance and become as a result, less aware of illogic and less able to tell the difference between what is concrete and what is metaphorical and thus become, without realizing it, susceptible to indoctriantion later on.
Channelled books are the kind of material that is part of what sociologist Colin Campbell termed 'the cultic milieu'. Once in this milieu one may without conscious recognition, become less capable of adult nuanced and critical thought, and more susceptible to indoctrination into groups and belief systems one might consider silly or dangeous prior to induction into the milieu via reading channelled material.
One cannot tell people never to read channelled books. It is our right as citizens to read what we like.
But certain kinds of reading material can affect us in ways that over-ride adult critical thinking, and as citizens it is good to be aware of this before picking up and reading channelled books. Critical thinking is something that is hard to acquire, that was made possible by thousands of years of civilization and can, tragically, be easily lost and once lost is very difficult to rebuild.
I personally do not in any way endorse A Course in Miracles and advise that though the author of the piece used ACIM to provide an innovative way to critique commercial gurus by quoting from ACIM, it is my opinion that ACIM as an allegedly 'channelled' book is part of what could be termed the cultic milieu.
In that particular social setting there is a risk of re-triggering indoctrination from groups one thinks one has fought free from.
More reflections on Colin Campbell's concept of cultic milieu
Campbell's main contention that the cultic milieu is oppositional by nature. It comprises "a zone in which proscribed and/or forbidden knowledge is the coin of the realm, a place in which ideas, theories and speculations are to be found, exchanged, modified and eventually, adopted or rejected by adherents of countless, primarily ephemeral groups whose leaders come and go and whose membership constitute a permanent class of seekers whose adherence to any particular or organization tends to be fleeting at best." (p. 3)
The authors aver that in this oppositional milieu ideas are often interchangeable, "fungible," that there is a cross pollination of ideas in this milieu.
One might be able to substitute 'contrarian' for 'oppositional'.
Fungible is a term that means 'equivalently interchangeable'.
Here, from a different book, an autobiography by Mary Garden, who was trying with great difficulty to free herself from emotional bondage to a cruelly abusive Hindu guru. Garden met a woman 'Deborah' and 'Joe' at a Buddhist insight meditation retreat. THe two, Deborah and Joe, seemed committed Buddhists. They offered to accompany Mary Garden back to the ashram so she could get hold of her passport and leave the guru for good.
Suddenly at the ashram, just as Mary Garden was leaving, she discovered that Deborah the Buddhist, who had been warning her about the guru was under his spell.
Mary Garden was shocked by this sudden change and said,
'How can you reconcile that trip up there with all the Buddhist teachings we have just listened to?'
'There's no conflict' Deborah replied self assuredly. 'Its just different viewpoints. In fact I think they are saying the same thing, the Hindus and the Buddhists. It's all to do with not identifying with the mind and the body' (Mary Garden, Serpant Rising
, Page 166)
This bit, quoted from 'Deborah' is an example of treating ideas as equivalently interchangeable, when, in this case, they are not.
Buddhism's core distinction is that there is nothing inherantly separate from anything else, no start point, no first principle, no essence, no god, no Atman no self to merge with Atman.
The start point of the Advaita Vedanta that this particular guru professed is different from Buddhadharma--in Advaita Vedanta there is an inherantly separately existing Atman.
Adi Shankara (8th Century CE)dedicated much of his short life to defining Hinduism in relation to Buddhadharma, and formalized a means of Hindu monasticism in relation to Buddhist monasticism which already existed some centuries earlier. Some accused Shankara of being a crypto Buddhist because he had borrowed some concepts from Buddhist philosophy to do this.
If you take ideas and differences seriously, they cannot be seen or treated as interchangeable and you're not a member of the cultic milieu, precisely for that reason.