Re: Am I doing something wrong?
Posted by: THE_DEAN_001 ()
Date: March 04, 2009 02:47AM

Thanks again Pegasus. If I, in any way, made you feel that you were doing anything wrong I apologize. My intention is that you accept what I have to as if I were a friend and an equal. I actually have great admiration and respect for what you have been through and what you are trying to overcome. I do not doubt for a second that I have learned more from your words than you have from mine.

I would also like to thank you for mentioning the 'centering prayer' by Thomas Merton. It read some articles on it and it is no different than what I was trying to very clumsily communicate. Just clearing the mind and allowing room for "God's Presence" to reveal itself. People can do this any place and any time...through meditation, prayer, or while out grocery shopping. In my experience, "God's Presence" will reveal itself to you when you least expect it. No guru can give it to you and there is no authority greater than your own. Just be yourself and follow what is in your own heart.

Good luck overcoming the negative experiences you are dealing with and finding some peace within yourself. Recovering from something like that takes great courage and determination. I wish you the best of luck and hope that you come back and let us know how you are doing.

Thanks Again,


Re: Am I doing something wrong?
Posted by: pegasus ()
Date: March 12, 2009 06:23AM

Hi Tom

Thanks for your encouragement and for sharing your own experiences in such an open way. I really liked your lack of pretension and I found your story really interesting. It seems that you had an experience similar to Tolle did, except you have remained humble and human about it which is refreshing. So many people who become 'spiritual' become superior too, which you didn't.

Because we have to communicate thru words, it is hard for me at times to see beyond the concepts to the experience. There are many ways of describing the same thing, sometimes the christian words I like, other times the Buddhist concepts, but it is good to hear that you also found it is the same thing, pointing to the same experience in Thom Merton.

Actually experience is not so hard to deal with, it is more the words and concepts that give me trouble. I don't want to let go of the idea of God, it is comforting to me and I have benefited from handing things over to god and letting it be, that has given me peace. But having God outside of me, leads to a lot of trouble because it separates us and leaves me open to being less than and not entitled to lead my own life. I get confused and think I have to please god/align myself with his will etc. And I make him someone that is perfect whilst I am not - all unhelpful stuff. I feel guilty if I don't think I am living as well as I could.

So at that point viewing things without the god concept is more helpful, in terms of consciousness and experience, as you have described.

I find my brain just can't hold both the two perspectives and I get in a muddle!

Anyway, thanks for replying back to me. Quite likely I misinterpreted your original messages' intent and I appreciate your comments and good will. Your own experience is quite intriguing.


Re: Am I doing something wrong?
Posted by: Sallie ()
Date: March 13, 2009 03:23AM

If that is how it came off I would say that my words were misleading. Thoughts that cause suffering sometimes lead to something good...sometimes they do not. Thoughts that cause suffering often lead to wisdom, insight, perspective, and compassion for other people. On the other hand...sometimes people commit horrible acts and do not suffer in the least. I would never mean to say that something is "good" or "bad" based on the amount of internal mental suffering it causes a particular individual.

HI Dean,
Thanks for the clarification. Who's that guy who wrote ''before we begin...let us define our terms.."".....
I understand a bit better where you were heading. I'm reading the word ''suffering'' to mean ''frustration''. I think I understand you to be saying that frustration can be a challenge which motivates us to do something positive but if it is unnecessary frustration it can hinder us. You were trying to suggest a less frustrating way for Pegasus to attain a goal. Is that right?

Re: Am I doing something wrong?
Posted by: THE_DEAN_001 ()
Date: March 24, 2009 09:48PM

I suppose my definition of suffering would be some combination of frustration, guilt, blame, anger, and helplessness. They are meant, at least in my opinion, to signal a need for self-reflection and understanding. Too often we allow ourselves to become paralyzed by them or simply ignore them by getting lost in hobbies, projects, or any kind of entertainment that deflects attention away from their recognition. Wisdom comes through understanding...understanding comes through observation. Thought is just the memory of learned and memorized language used to organize our experience and communicate it to other is never the real thing. The word "love" isn't the same as the feeling of "love". Likewise, the words "good" and "bad" aren't really anything except words used to try and signify experience. The true experience and understanding of things such as "love", "good", and "bad" all lie beyond the container of thought that seeks to define them. When we seek out a guru or a spiritual teacher we are often simply throwing out one container for another container. It doesn't mean that some of the cannot be helpful...some can be very helpful. The problem is that most of them simply want sell you another container.

That's why...when listening to someone who claims to be a spiritual's important to place little value on the beauty of their words. It is better to watch how they act and treat people when they think nobody is paying attention. Do they get angry when people raise reasonable objections to their teachings? Do they ask for more money than what some people might be able to afford? Do they own a lot of things they don't need? Pay attention...these are all signs of a phony teacher.

What I was advising is really no different than the "centering prayer" that he has practiced or any kind of Buddhist meditation. It's just a very simple and direct way of doing the same thing - quieting the mind and getting to know what lies behind all these thoughts. When I say "quiet the mind" I am not saying to push thoughts out of the way....I am just saying that you should look over them as if you were looking over a wall in order to see what is on the other side. Some people will look over the wall and say what they see is "love". Others will look over the wall and say it is "God". Others will see the same thing and call it something like "Universal Consciousness".

The last thing I want to do is sell somebody another container. All I can say is that looking over the wall is the most natural, peaceful feeling a person can experience. Whether I call it "God" or "Love" or "Consciousness" doesn't change the experience of what is actually is...which is beyond verbal description. It is not a state of heightened consciousness. It is you exactly the way you are right now except without the suffering. It is what the Christians call "Grace" and what the Buddhists call "Emptiness".

Even these words you are reading right now are just mental chatter being verbalized in your own head. You will label these particular thoughts as "the internet guy named Tom thoughts" and whatever thoughts rise up in opposition or agreement as the "mine" thoughts. In what ways are they different? In what ways are they the same? Understanding this is the beginning of intelligence.

But do not take my words for it...they are just chatter. If you want to understand what I am talking about you have to throw my words away and look within yourself. Throw the guru's words away and look within yourself. Throw Eckhart Tolle's words away and look within yourself. After you are done doing that...throw your own words away and look within yourself.

So what path should a person follow? A path that makes you comfortable and feel at peace with yourself. A path that makes you kinder to other people and kinder to yourself also. I believe that if you listen close enough you will know what that path is when you stumble across it. If you are not sure what that is yet than just keep looking. You will find it soon enough.

If I offend anyone I am once again sorry. I talk a lot of nonsense.

Thanks Again

Re: Am I doing something wrong?
Posted by: Mary Struggler ()
Date: August 18, 2009 12:01PM

I too am finding myself at this time. It has been a fight. I wish I could give you the magical words to make things better but I cannot. The one thing that I know is the group I was in was expert at taking away self-esteem. I saw a lot of bright people get psychologically and emotionally beaten down. For the longest time I would wake up in the morning, go the mirror and say, "You are a beautiful and intelligent woman. You can achieve whatever you want to do. The only one holding you back is yourself."

Some people just meander through life. I think it's admirable that you want focus. If I may be so bold, try sitting down and listing your goals of where you want to be in say five years. And I mean more than "buy a house" or "finish that college degree" or whatever material progress you want. Those things are important too. One goal could be to reconnect with a lost family member and rebuild a positive relationship. In my case, that wasn't so easy as many dear members died while I was in the organization. I had to accept reconciliation at the grave site.

Most "normal" people don't understand what it's like to have been inside a cult. For those that you can trust, it's okay to share. RR seems to be a safe forum. There may be other forums that are good too but I haven't found them yet.

My focus is to educate people about the group that I was in and share my experiences. It's helping me and I'm helping others (to a degree, some think I'm a little off but that's okay). That's just something I'm doing.

I hope this helps you.

Mary Struggler

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