Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Interlude Prolonged

"When the first full moon of autumn approaches and the jasmine is in bloom, the shrill soft sound of the flute penetrates the rooms. It is Krishna calling. Whatever they are doing, the gopis are roused. One gets up from the half-empty pail where she was milking a cow. One gets up from the flickering twigs where she was lighting the fire. One gets up from the bed where her husband was about to embrace her. One gets up from the toys she was playing with on the floor. One knocks over the bottle she was using to perfume herself. They are little girls, adolescents, wives who suddenly and furtively set off toward the forest. All you would hear was a twinkling of bangles and ankle bracelets through the dark. Slipping out from the trees, each believing she was alone, they found Krishna in a moonlit clearing. He looked at them as they stood still, panting from haste, smiled and said 'Women of good fortune, what can I do for you? The night is full of frightening creatures. Sons, husbands and parents are waiting for you in the village. I know you have come here for me. This is happiness. But you mustn't let people stay up worrying on your account. Celebrate my name in silence, from afar.' Then one of the gopis spoke up on behalf of all the others: 'Nothing we have left behind is as urgent and important to us as adoring the soles of your feet. No one is closer to us than you are. Why is it that learned men can find refuge in you, and we cannot? We grovel in the dust of your footsteps. Place your hand on our breasts and our heads.' Krishna smiled again and began to walk, playing Murali, the flute. From behind a curtain of leaves came the sound of the Yamuna flowing by. One by one, in order, the gopis came up to Krishna and, shaking breasts damp with sweat and sandalwood oil, brushed against his blue chest. Whenever Krishna laid his mouth on a new hole of his musical rod, his lips wet a different part of the gopis' bodies. In the milky light you could just see the pink marks his nails left. Dancing ever so slowly, the gopis closed around Krishna as he went on playing Murali. Each felt seized, abandoned and seized again, as if by a wave. Then all at once each noticed that her eyes met those of the gopis on the other side of the circle, while the center was suddenly empty. Yet again, Krishna had disappeared."

Calasso, "Ka"

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Christoper,

Someone just pointed this site out to me. Do you realize this is the person you've aligned yourself with? And on her other "stories" blogspot she just in fact posted another story where she talks about how she stole freely. Beware the company you keep.

http://the-guru-looks-good.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Re:

Someone just pointed this site out to me. Do you realize this is the person you've aligned yourself with? And on her other "stories" blogspot she just in fact posted another story where she talks about how she stole freely. Beware the company you keep.

http://the-guru-looks-good.blogspot.com

October 24, 2007 9:57 PM
--------------------------

Krishna was a thief and that is the current subject, so at least you are on topic.

Share your views. Engage. We are all in the same company.

MC

SeekHer said...

Thank You, MC

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...

No one on these 2 blogs really seems to take the middle road except for the outsiders, I find this weird. People jut out their opinions as law from both sides, neither seeming to have any documented facts besides 20 year old stories typed up by....anyone really. Even if true are undocuemted in any real professional fashion. The new yorker article was a series of interviews of Gurumayi's enemies, like she is not supposed to have any so they are true. Dan left siddha yoga because Gurumayi was rough on him for interupting and then asked for the money back for some plastic surgery. Who in their right mind would do elective surgery if they did not need or deeply want it. The whole world is insane I swear.

Anonymous said...

Last commenter: Get an education dude. This is the kind of stuff people have been saying in defense of SY for DECADES.

If Dan isn't your cup of tea fine but there are tons and tons of people who left SY because they know the NYer article was carefully vetted by a serious journalist.

She did not just interview GM's enemies. She interviewed deeply reliable sources both in the organization (Durgananda and Kripananada) and beyond.

You may want to start with the LSY site. Try beginning with Abhayananda's letters of resignation, then move on to Joan Bridges' personal story.

These aren't 25 year old here say accounts. The old ones are real, given by first sources, no matter how old they are. The newer ones are authentic accounts by people who are healing significant abuse from being in SY.

And as far as the person dogging Marta Szabo and her integrity, buddy keep your nose on the scent you might just learn something ABOUT integrity.

Anonymous said...

http://the-guru-looks-good.blogspot.com
October 24, 2007 9:57PM

A point to note: the blog at the above site does not welcome comments,(hmmmmm... something to contemmmmmplate) but the write of that blog makes regular appearances at post SY blogs that DO welcome comments.

Hmmmmm... another thing to contemmmmmplate.

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Hello Rituals Readers,

I think a NY Times writer said if you are going to blog, it will be a twice a day thing. You have to get the back and forth exchange thing going. So while I should be on my assignment I can't stop writing my thoughts about SY and the things I learn from others posting on a pad of paper to my right.

I only post a 10th on the blogs of what I am writing about SY. The article I am supposed to be finishing is on my left. Preya and Shreya. Oy veh.

SY practices were to help me with stuggles like this. How did they do? Added a lot of detail on discipline I think now, without a bigger coherent view of the path.

How could this holy and unholy mess every be framed so it fit? Each one of us were to 'pick one practice'. But which one :-) ;-) :-( :-0 ?????

Besides blatant moral turpitude, because these were humans and not gods after all, the real problem seems to be that the path lacked synthesis.

I work in architecture. New ways of seeing there are having a big impact. All the information about a buillding can now be seen in 3D. The contractors can now see where the pipes conflict with the architect's design before the building goes up. Helps to get rid of the conflicts on a project.

Getting a 3D, what I call a 360 degree view, on SY is beginning to emerge perhaps. Like in a 3D Computer Graphics program we will see where the conflicts are precisely.

I agree with a comment made that the New Yorker article cannot be used as a template or gauge of SY. It kind of stands as a benchmark assessment and profile of the organization. It is just inadequate in that regard. It is not a 360.

As a media event for SY people is was of course totally tectonic. The SY landscape was forever altered after publication. Light was shed into the foundation of the Foundation so to speak. All of it as crappy as the Catskilll Construction it inhabited.

So what are we left with? I like Epi's idea of corporate responsibility. I don't know how it can be applied here. But as remnants of a community if we know someone in need of assistance, somehow as a group we should stand with those persons in some way. No idea how that could be done.

So back to the NY Times. Their new building was designed by the architect to look transparent because transparency in the news is the new byword. With technology, accurate information without distortion is available. There should be no problem putting together the whole story of SY.

Back to work.
MC

"We'd like to know a little bit about your for our files. We'd like to help you learn to help yourself." Paul Simon

That line above is for Marta ;-)

Anonymous said...

Re:"The new yorker article was a series of interviews of Gurumayi's enemies, like she is not supposed to have any so they are true. Dan left siddha yoga because Gurumayi was rough on him for interupting
and then asked for the money back for some plastic surgery. Who in their right mind would do elective surgery if they did not need or deeply want it. The whole world is insane I swear.

October 25, 2007 8:12 PM

--------------------------

THIS MUST BE SAID

I believe it is a sign of finally coming to terms with SY being over for oneself when you beginning posting things about Dan Shaw on a blog. That surely was the case for me. So to the writer above, keep working it. You will get there.

Dan's courage and capacity to just be who he is is tremendous. Those qualities are probably connected. I also must applaud his abilty to withstand the intense criticism he receives. He has a big, unpretentious heart and he admits his mistakes. He's healthy.

Dan's surgery was Corrective Plastic Surgery, not really elective. It is something that if he were born today would have been taken care of while he was a child. Your mentioning it in this way is yet another demonstration of a tremendous lack of kindness in yourself and in the source of that information. I can just imagine the psychological jolt it must have been for Dan to go through all that with his 'guru mother'. Extra spiteful.

The response of SY to these blogs is all the proof you need of SY's curent value system.

Anonymous said...

I am just at the 6 month point and I am gaining perspective on SY that helps me to share. Thank you host.

SY IS NOT YOUR LIFE

YOU HAVE TO GET A LIFE

YES THERE WAS A STUPID MESS PHILOSOPHY that if you imbibed in the right dose would wrap your thinking in a completely artificial place where you could not make all your decisions using all of your brain cells. Depending on your level of practice, this could occupy enormous amounts of personal real estate.

The thought is just occurring to me. The source of the mess from a customer service angle. Usually the best companies, such as Toyota, HP, Dell etc. are dying to find out how a product is working out for the customer. Getting that information back to designers is critical.

I see the the reason the gestalt of SY failed is that that kind of information never reached anyone. Because they were not really interested and did not do the practices themselves.

Just us. We were doing the practices with complete faith and diligence. To a coke bottle. We were doing the practices all alone. That is Spiritual Abandonment.

I wasn’t looking to live in a crib with a bunch of ‘stuffies’ for philosophy.

I was personally homeless inside because SY took up all the room there. Do not tell me now that that wasn’t part of the bargain for the fast track to enlightment. I think I am finally ready to read Faust.

Who gets a fast track to enlightenment? Nobody. Really. What was I thinking?

MC

Anonymous said...

P e a c e

Anonymous said...

The reference to "coke bottle" made by MC is to the 1980 movie The Gods Must Be Crazy the story of how a "gift from the gods" in the form of a Coca-Cola bottle carelessly discarded from a passing airplane comes to be worshipped then rejected,

Here's the wiki link on Cargo Cults.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

Anonymous said...

Christopher,

Housekeeping item so to speak.

Would it be possible to set up your site to receive jpg's or imagery? I painted and drew all through my SY sadhana. Many others did also. It would be great to see those images shared with the community here. To now understand that the light we see glowing from the canvas is from the heart of the artist traveling to our eyes and heart across an unseen beam of light.

Maybe new artwork will be created about this phase of the journey too.

MC

Anonymous said...

"Dan's surgery was Corrective Plastic Surgery, not really elective. It is something that if he were born today would have been taken care of while he was a child."
-----------------------
1. Exactly my point, he now uses it to say Gurumayi did something unjust by helping him get it. And another guy says he had one with the help of Gurumayi to fix a botched cleft pallette surgery from youth. Next thing you know the word "here" is Gurumayi makes everyone close to her get non necessary plastic surgery. Is this logic in any sense of the word? These are the kind of "facts" I have run upon again and again.

2. Oh and I am educated, just takes a mouse to get the lions out of their cages sometimes.

3. If I were to leave siddha yoga right now (because I posted about Dan) it would be a grave injustice as it has literally saved my life.

Thanks for your responses.

-Anon w/e

Stuart said...

(I've just belatedly read the "Into the Labyrinth" post and comments. I'm replying here, since this seems to be the "current" discussion.)

SeekHer said...
What if she also asked to be seen as nothing more mysterious or holy than a teacher—would we take her back? Or are we willing to accept nothing less than perfection in our Guru?

Note that this is something for each of us to decide right now, no need for a "what if?" That is... we have this choice of which type of teacher to look to.

(1) There are quite a few teachers like Gurumayi, who claim perfection, or some type of spiritual level above the ordinary masses.

(2) There are many other teachers who only claim skill at pointing at truth so that the student can see for him/herself. Aside from this skill at pointing, the teacher doesn't claim to be anything other than on ordinary human beings. This style is common, for instance, in Zen and Buddhist schools.

(3) There are infinite teachers who don't even claim to be teachers. Whatever being we happen to be with right now, we can look for the teaching that he/she offers. If we're not with a being, we can see what the sky, the moon, the sun, the grass, the trees, etc, are teaching us.

It's all there, and it's entirely up to each of us to decide which way we like.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Stuart, what a beautiful description of the ways we can encounter teaching and teachers. Thank you!

Peace and Love

Episcopalian

PS. I believe I have found someone in between 2) and 3) in my current Priest who learned with a Daoist master in his youth.

Stuart said...

Cameron D. McIntosh said...
The theme of disenchantment under discussion here is consequent to an earlier period of *enchantment*--we were fascinated by the paradigm of Siddha Yoga. We thought that this fascination was something which transcended the world of ordinary human values, yet now we find we are *disenchanted*.

Yeah, I once thought that the experiences with the guru were something disconnected (i.e. on a higher level, transcendent) to everything else in the world. It's been useful for me to recognize:

Many millions of people have had what they consider a 'spiritual' experience at least once in their lives. Charismatic Christians have them commonly (from inner voices or messages, speaking in tongues, ecstacies, to snake handling). People in many other religious/spiritual paths have such experiences.

Also: people who would never interpret an experience as 'spiritual' often have big special experiences that they describe in similar ways to how Christians or Guru-groupies describe their 'shaktipat' or 'born-again.' These un-spiritual people might get such experience through nature or relationships.

The point is: the experiences I had with a guru aren't so disconnected with special states that millions of other humans have experienced. Further (an more importantly), they're not so disconnected with the ordinary, everyday experiences that everyone has. Everyone knows what it's like to be tangled in a daydream or illusion and then snap back to reality. Everyone has experienced I/my/me disappearing and compassionate action arising.

The "special" status that I gave to the SYDA experiences was just an idea; I've lost nothing by leaving that idea behind.

In Siddha Yoga parlance, this is the phase of "evolution" (as contrasted with "involution"). The evolutionary phase comprises 700,000,000 lives, and that is a pretty fixed number. The involutionary phase is more flexible and can take a variable number of lives to complete.

Alternately... I prefer to forget about evolution, involution, millions of lifetimes, and the rest. Already, right in this moment, there's truth right in front of me, other beings to relate to, and some job for me to do. I can make it more complicated if I want to, but I don't have to. Why do that?

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Stuart said...

MC wrote...
Who gets a fast track to enlightenment? Nobody. Really. What was I thinking?

Right. There are no short-cuts, and no discounts.

I think there are some people who understand from the get-go that there are no short-cuts. Big effort, big attainment; small effort, small attainment; no effort, no attainment.

I'm not like those people. For me, I had to try my damnedest to find a short-cut, for many years, before I finally accepted that there's no short-cut. And as for this understanding that there are no short-cuts... even that isn't a short-cut!

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Re: "3. If I were to leave siddha yoga right now (because I posted about Dan) it would be a grave injustice as it has literally saved my life.

Thanks for your responses.
-Anon w/e
October 27, 2007 7:46 AM
----------------------------

Dear Anon w/e,

I think I understand some of where you are coming from. I too thought that I could not leave SY behind because it would negate everything good I felt about it. I stayed hung there for a very long time. No movement. Stalled. Operating on only a few cylinders. Like on a computer, too many programs running code that conflicted. So what to do?

System Restore, Defrag, Delete unused items, search for Spyware and Trojan Horses. All the things you do to keep your computer running smoothly. I had to clean up all those conflicts and WITHOUT TRYING TO LEAVE SY, I found myself 'out' when I examined the conflicts and simply got honest with myself.

I like thinking about Stuart's remark "The "special" status that I gave to the SYDA experiences was just an idea; I've lost nothing by leaving that idea behind."

You can still have gratitude while being allowed to express your true experience. I think what you describe above is the big challenge and the reason Christopher launched "Rituals of Disenchantment".

Anon Anon w/e I hope you expand on what you only touched on in your post. I know the crossroad where you stand now. At that time I had to keep telling myself 'You are completely entitled to express what you think'.

I offer this to you and anyone else hung up in the place where you feel you can't really look at your life in SY because to do that would somehow be 'ungrateful' for the awesome gifts received.

The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights of United States Constitution:

CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; OR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OR OF THE PRESS; OR THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE PEACEABLY TO ASSEMBLE, AND TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.

Anon w/e, at least allow yourself a personal Bill of Rights. Allow yourself enough space and self respect to be who you are, just as you are, with all your thoughts. Let yourself be whole.

We have learned in America to allow for differences of opinion, diversity of views as our preferred form of government. Why would you imprison yourself inside a philosophy that curtails your natural rights as a human being? No matter how much SY did for you or anyone, that is a Faustian bargain.

MC

Anonymous said...

MC
October 28, 2007 4:22 AM

*** ***

MC this post was fantastic, thanks for it.

K.

Anonymous said...

Anon w/e Writes:

Thanks for your response MC. First let me say we all have our own perspective, experiences, and internal framework in approach to our lives, SY involvement, and even blog posts. I recognize this.

In a strange way we are all still gathered around GM, some of us saying "wth", some of us saying, "I will wait for you," and some pof us saying, "I am doing well." But here we are. Maybe for 10 minutes a day or more we log onto these blogs and "do 'this' practice."

What amazes me is how some people have just dropped the entire SY perspective and seem to have adopted an even more materialistic view (at least in regards to SY) than they had even before SY. Seeing people so jaded is not a pleasant experience for me, though I am not talking about you or anyone imparticular MC. Maybe this is just a mental tool people are using to get a little distance and thus cement a perspective they are working on. I do not know.

As for me, being in SY nearly 25 years, I too am going through my own process. I am far from the typical devotee and really have no right to speak against their internal experience. As I posted earlier, for some reason I never made any real friends in SY. It just never came up. Though I have many aquiantances and I would know alot of you by face. Pretty sure I know who Christopher is if he was living in SMA for the last 10 years plus. Never knew he was such a good writer.

On the other hand I have a very good memory for what Gurumayi has said. Here is an example. I have heard many people report what Gurumayi said about war after 9/11. But the truth of what she said is that if we retaliate it will escalate and continue to escalate. So, it is logical and not godly to say such, yet many other things have been reported. So this raises huge doubts with me in regards to much of this reading material. I have many of these examples where I was actually at the talk or place in question. Though this is no excuse, this accounts for some of my frustration.

With no friends and no personal relationshipo with the Guru in any outward form I built my SY house within based on the teachings and my observation. Somehow I thought we were all doing this! lol So when hard times hit this practice really supported me, it saved me in a very real and practical way. This is my experience, as it is.

I work on the internet so perhaps we can talk more as time progresses. I am using too much space right now to keep going though. Thank God it is not real paper! Wonder how much paper the internet actaully saves.....

-Anon w/e

SeekHer said...

"With no friends and no personal relationshipo with the Guru in any outward form I built my SY house within based on the teachings and my observation. Somehow I thought we were all doing this! lol So when hard times hit this practice really supported me, it saved me in a very real and practical way. This is my experience, as it is.

I work on the internet so perhaps we can talk more as time progresses."

responding to this comment very belatedly, w/e, but I'm glad you've stuck around and hope you'll continue to post comments. The one I've just quoted is wonderfully succinct and apt.

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