When the Guru holds us spellbound, how can we ever truly be free?
Is there any way you can re-format this article so it's easier to read? I need to click on every page, one at a time, then enlarge with my notebook tools, just to see the print.I am glad to see new material in the blog, I would just like to have an easier time of reading it.K.
I find it a great article and would like to make first a short comment about the Colbert report were one on those crazy nuts from the far right compares gay marriage with marrying a snake or with bestiality as they have used this argument before. Ignoring that true love and partnership can really happen between people of the same sex, but what it’s even worse, ignoring that this snakein this storu does not have a physical body, that it represents a God. It’s an object of worship. “No one has seen the snake” in the wedding there was a bronze statue, so much for the republican wing nuts and their misunderstanding of every aspect of human existence.On the other hand in regard to spirituality I believe SY devotees have become like Bimbala, stuck at the doors of an empty Temple, waiting for the non existing snake god to show up. I will not show up because it never existed in the first place. It’s curious how some EXSY have already left and are convinced of the abuses of power or sexuality are undeniable, continue to say, “my experience was real” Shaktipat is real” “it transforms peoples lives’” like the Anon on 06/04. I too have receive sacred initiation many times and I too have seen the Universe within me, and I too have felt waives of color and joy pulsating within, I too have felt suddenly free from childhood complexes and obsessive compulsions, I too have been filled with immense joy and bliss” “ or had a “sudden understanding of the scriptures and appreciation for the beauty of nature and the world around me” but what we must understand even if it might be painful at first is the none of that came from GM or SM, it came from us! They made us believe they were doing it, that only they had the power, but the only thing they really did was to create the circumstances around which these phenomena could happen, and isolated environment, proper lightning, witnesses who had felt this before, a great group pressure, collective suggestion, mass hypnotizing techniques. And after that we were all hooked, going for one intensive to another, selling houses moving to the Ashram, and giving them our lives and earnings. But inexorably the experiences became shallower and shallower till today where an intensive experience is the equivalent of a day in a spa, where you leave feeling a little better after a nice and relaxing day, a day Spa experience or a cathartic session with you therapist and for only $500.00 a peice, great price.It’s not that GM has lost her power and cannot give the experience of the truth any more, the reality is that she never could, the diminished experiences that have dropped down to zero are not a at all in relation with her Shakti fading away, on the contrary they represent the growth of our skepticism, we gradually stopped believing on her, till for some of us now we don’t believe on her at all, and an intensive is a total waste of time and money . Others are still like Bimbala married with the imaginary snake, bored in the doorway of an empty temple waiting for something to happen, but deeply knowing that nothing will.Which westerner in his right mind can believe that Nityanandas statue is “alive” it’s a “murt” and needs to be dressed and fed in a daily basis. I am just appealing to your common sense, do you really believe in living statue! Do you believe that Indra came down from heaven in his golden charriot and took SM for a tour in heaven! Do you believe that SM had sexual relations with minors and not so minors? And you Can you still justify that somehow? If so continue dreaming or wake up and guide your life to a higher reality.We were all worshiping an empty Temple and got married with an imaginary snake, some of us have divorced and moved forward others unfortunately are still stuck obsolete believes dragging others with them.
Hi anony June 5You can call me K because that's how I sign my posts... the anony tag is because there's not a simpler option in the posting id options.First of all thanks for the thought and the enthusiasm in your response to SeekHer and to me. I value and appreciate many of the points you made... that SY devotees are like Billy Pilgrim, stuck in a time long since past when there was an Actual Siddha Yoga to embrace... and an actual "Guru" to follow.As to some of your other points... yes I believe MUK's sexual pathology was real, it was destructive, it sowed the seeds for the destruction of his SY Movement... it corrupted numerous devotees and probably shattered "Malti"'s sanity from the time of her adolescence...And I believe on the basis of his actions he failed his own test for "authenticity" as a "true" teacher and conveyor of spiritual WISDOMWhat I also believe is that during the early years of his "ministry" this exceedingly flawed man had the ability to generate an experience in certain people that changed them for the better. I believe that experience to have been completely independent from his body or his character, which I have not defended in any forum for YEARS.I believe that God energy is so powerful that it can come through the most compromised channels, by a means beyond my curent understanding.I also think there are people who can call up this experience from within their own being through a series of exercises or in some cases in the midst of overcoming a severe shock to their psyches.It's not an experience I claim to understand very well. It's just something that seems to be part of the process of unfolding soul growth.My perception that shaktipat is a real phenomenon in no way constitutes my belief that Muktananda should be excused for what amounts to the commission of felony class crimes... against more than one of his followers. It just means I believe there's something in the universe more powerful than the most powerful personality I've witnessed... something independent of human charisma... something I am still willing to examine with the help of other people who may have had the experiences Muktananda seemed to have he ability to generate.Gurumayi had that ability once. It was real. It diminished quickly - very quickly. But for a time she was able to do something remarkable, of her own volition, that many of her followers did not seem able to do for themselves.I've written about this at length in another forum - about what I believe to be true.My belief is simply my belief. It's the best I can make of the reality I have seen in front of me.I am always open to learning new things to either add to, alter or completely revise my beliefs.Thanks again for your comments and thanks again to SeekHer for providing this place for conversation.K.
"Others are still like Bimbala married with the imaginary snake, bored in the doorway of an empty temple waiting for something to happen, but deeply knowing that nothing will." I just read this article by the pseudo-anthropologist. Knowing several actual anthropologists who have done field work in Orissa and speak the language, I would question the entire article (although it was entertaining). I sure didn't come away with the conclusion stated above (that Bimbala was bored and waiting for something to happen, all the while knowing nothing would). Spend some time in Orissa; there are some very strange things that go on there. The Mind is a powerful force; it can create its own reality, as we all know only too well. The extremely stratified culture of India has traditionally provided a "way out" for alot of people, including sickly young untouchable women with intensely disturbed imaginations,a young girl whose family beats and abuses her while she wanders in the swamp, worshipping Krishna and winds up a "goddess" with prosperous ashrams and millions of besotted followers all over the world, an ambitious young boy from the boring shopkeeper caste who has delusions of grandeur and runs off to become a sadhu,invent a biography, turn into a "guru" and confess that, yes, he was a "king in a former lifetime". The Indian escape hatch has been in place for a very long time. Here, we just drug "weirdness" out of people at an early age if they show signs of being a little too "different" or we offer our own cultural options. There, they marry snakes; here we stick safety pins in our noses and do "performance art" . Amitav Gosh's novels are a good way of exploring what would persuade someone to marry something other than another human being. The cultural aspect of East meets West cannot be overemphasized. Many people experienced the big wave of Eastern teachers hitting our shores in the 1970s and there is currently alot of interest in just how much of we took as "the truth" was simply cultural misunderstanding. I dont think we will ever understand much about either gurumayi, muktananda or women who marry giant cobras without a willingness to explore the culture that produced them. All you have to do is spend a little time in Mumbai away from the ritzy hotels and you will have a pretty clear understanding of what makes gurumayi tick. they "believe" this and we "believe" that...what exactly IS a "belief" and what's the real point of holding any of them?an old fart
Dear fellow old fart:Yours is one of the more perceptive comments I've read in a long while. I posted the Bimbala article because of the strange parallels between her guru and gurumayi. I was especially struck by "guru ma's" insatiable appetite for being repeatedly photographed in stilted devotional tableau that she herself orchestrated, the spontaneous episode of shaktipat suffered by the taxi driver when he was near her, the fascination and disdain with which she courted public opinion and press and the control she attempted to exercise over both, etc.We Westerners never had any basis of comparison with which to evaluate either muktananda or gurumayi, and so were especially susceptible to taking their claims of miraculous powers at face value. This article provided much needed perspective for me when I read it a few years ago, and I'm glad it's sparking interest here now.As you observed:"All you have to do is spend a little time in Mumbai away from the ritzy hotels and you will have a pretty clear understanding of what makes gurumayi tick."
SeekHerYou may not be aware of this but lately in the "discussion of things related to the fact that we are or have been involved with SY" community there has been a rash of "controlling the discussion" by suppressing free speech. It's creating a lot of dissent in the community at large.[Since I know you've been choosing to not publish some of my comments to you blog - assuming since I've seen other equal time posts in your comments] I'd like to suggest that you send a brief message to your community to tell them how you'd like to see them participate in your blog.Then model the behavior with a few of your replies to comments and keep fresh material moving through the read space on a regular basis (weekly is best, monthly will do). Eventually your readers will catch on to the feel of your blog and a community will form around your inspiration.I'm asking this of everyone who hosts a discussion forum for SY or exSY devotees. The amount of control I'm seeing in all these communities won't really work over time.As I've come to understand dogs there are two ways to socialize them - put them on a chain and show them with blows and yelling what they can't do or put them in the middle of the kitchen floor and show them how to earn "pets and praise".Animal trainers overwhelmingly recommend the second approach. I think those methods work well for online discussion groups too. They often remind me of noisy, occasionally smelly, but nonetheless affection inspiring kennels.I continue to be glad to see your blog in process and I think the Colbert broadcast was hilarious.The article really was hard for me to read. I'm used to reading scrolling links to html docs online, not clicking on scanned docs one page at a time while trying to figure out how to enlarge them, then go back to the original, then enlarge and read another page, then go back....I found that reading method tedious.K.
Dear Special K. As Sue Sylvester might say: "let me put some knowledge on you."In the roughly two and a half years that RoD has been up, yours are among a handful of comments that I've opted not to post--out of the thousands that this blog has received. You've asked for guidelines on posting etiquette, so here's why one or two of your comments didn't make the cut:You occasionally respond directly to other commenters with instructions on what you would or would not like to see them post in the future. I find this presumptuous and, in fact, it's something that I've never done as blog owner.Your directions to me on how to manage this blog are pedantic. In case you haven't noticed, RoD has been all but shut down for many months. I post when I find something that might interest the literally dozen people who might still be hanging around. To be blunt, I've pretty much moved on and don't give a fig about attracting or building a "community" here beyond that which still exists on its own. You and Stuart have both referenced some growing epidemic of censorship that is "creating dissent" in other online forums about SY. Maybe this is true, I don't know, I don't read or post on Ex-SY or any other blog about SY. But it's also true, K, that your comments here come with such frequency that I feel they threaten to hijack any discussion that does occur.Lastly, why in the world would I care that you found the effort necessary to read the Harper's pages online "tedious"? Take the time to read them or don't. The article is copyrighted and only available as a pdf download to current Harper's subscribers--so links cannot be posted. It's really not that much trouble to open each page individually and expand it further to gain access to material you otherwise would not be able to read. I'm less than sympathetic about your desire that I reformat and repost material to suit you.There now, I feel better--although I suspect you're feeling much the worse for wear! But, hey, this is what non-censorship looks like.
I enjoyed the piece from Harper's quite a lot, SeekHer, thanks. The parallels you point out are interesting. Even though there are big gaps between posts on the blog, I still check in every once in a while, and I'll bet there are more than a dozen others who do likewise. Thanks for keeping it up. And some of the old conversations were so valuable, nice to know they're still accessible.Also a big thanks to the "old fart"--great post. older but wiser
I have posted before; like on 06/05 I am one of the dozen readers you claim to have lately. I think there are more readers than what you might think or I hope there are. To tell you the truth I don’t have any opinion on how to manage a blog, or if you might censor this or that. I have written looking to relief pressure; the blog has been a pressure valve for repressed emotions and thoughts. I cannot express any of these thoughts with anyone I know or in with anyone in SY. I have been left aside, ignored and banned. I can’t return to the Ashram and I don’t know why. I have tried to forget those years as if they never existed, but they did affect me for the rest of my life. The last time I went to a chanting group there was an hour discussion about the proper pronunciation of the word Gurunath, how long or how short the vowel is, where to breath, how to sit, hands together at the same time, all superficial concerns. I have said this before the so called siddha yogis are boring, superficial, ceremonial, stiff, more concerned with the pronunciation than with the meaning of the words. I am talking about the ones that continue as if nothing has happened since 2004, that feel that everything in SY is going just fine, those have no other concern than how nice you sing or how well you sit. Like if no one in the SY is complaining about anything.I did not meet SM I received SKPT by GM and I truly felt something unexplainable, I truly believed I had found a Guru. I received a Mantra and repeated it endlessly. I thought I had finally arrived at my destination. Somehow all of that disappeared in front of my eyes and I was back in the search, realizing SY had been another mistake, picking up my scattered pieces and trying not to become insane. GM hurt me, not by being nasty or mean just by ignoring me after all I had done to be near her hoping to hear her teachings, instead she never showed up, the chair was empty for years, I was just collateral damage in her life plans, used and disposed of. I am almost over it but I appreciate this space where I have been able to say what has been storming inside me silently. Suddenly like a revelation I started putting things together and I recognized that I was just another ex cult member trying to adapt to life again. I lived what I remember were beautiful moments that I treasure but unfortunately they are all tainted by the disappointment that resulted at the end. As a westerner perhaps my greatest lesson was to never follow what you don’t really understand, I’ve never been in the outskirts of Mumbai. I went to live in a western ashram in South Fallsburgh, New York and I expected perhaps an modern scientific eclectic new age yogic vegetarian experience of the truth with daily teachings from an enlightened being and exercise but I found egocentric ritualistic intolerant Hinduism instead, GM transpired pride not humbleness or kindness, that is what I expected as a westerner. For me Ganesh or Lasksmi were just symbols of overcoming obstacles or of the abundance of grace, not actually Gods to worship, I never believed in living statues or in an Indian heaven opposed to a Christian or a Buddhist heaven, with Indra instead of Saint Peter presiding, or Shiva dancing in mount Kailas instead of Jesus in the heavenly Jerusalem. Those were all symbols of the Absolute, Formless, all pervasive, expressions of states of evolution of the soul. But it seems as if the understanding is more literal, there is no advanced knowledge of compared religions, not even that intention, it was all in my expectations, there was just fundamentalism, belief not knowledge. Still anonymous…R
SeekHerThanks for publishing my comment on the issue of free speech in pro, anti and somewhat in the middle SY forums. I appreciate the respect you showed me by at least letting my words come into the blog and answering them with your honesty.I choose to not take offense at anything you said hence I do not feel the worse for your response.Maybe I can address some of these things one at a time:"You occasionally respond directly to other commenters with instructions on what you would or would not like to see them post in the future."You might be right about this. I don't have a record of the comments you haven't posted so I don't know what you mean by this with regard to other writers.I do know I've invited you to post more material to the blog because I like your writing. I have suggested you look into posting comments more often at times when the blog was fallow. That fallow time happened sometime in the first year of the blog. Changes in the general community suggest that there could be more interest in RoD at this time."In case you haven't noticed, RoD has been all but shut down for many months."I think the blog shut down because people went quiet - for many reasons, most of them feeding on each other. But really - I believe you have more readers than you suspect, and you could potentially attract more writers if you want to do so.But as you said your blog belongs to you. If you don't really give much of a fig about it that's your right."You and Stuart have both referenced some growing epidemic of censorship that is "creating dissent" in other online forums about SY."The epidemic of control is real and it's ok that you don't know about it."... your comments here come with such frequency that I feel they threaten to hijack any discussion that does occur."It may surprise you to hear that there are times I post more because you rejected the last thing I offered. So I think well, she said no to that one, so maybe she'd rather that I take this approach instead.I can't correspond with you privately about these things because you don't have a contact address, so I need to talk you about them, if I wish to so do, directly in the blog comments.Really, hijacking an online discussion is not one of my interests in life. But submitting myself to a controlling authority when I want to communicate with a group of adults isn't a good use of my time either."I feel better--although I suspect you're feeling much the worse for wear! But, hey, this is what non-censorship looks like."I really don't mind that you feel better. In fact, I feel better too because at least we are talking.If we keep doing so openly we may arrive at a common understanding. That common understanding might invite other observations.Then a discussion might take off and go in one or more creative directions. I could choose to pursue one, more, or none of them at my own discretion.In any case some interesting adult to adult conversation will grow in this place.I think that would be a win-win situation for me, for you, and for the (undetermined number of) people who came here almost 42 000 times since you put up this blog in the fall of 2007.I hope you do decide to publish this comment. Please know that I am very happy to see you kept your blog alive. I for one thoroughly enjoy my visits here.K.
K--Wow, you still don't get it."I think the blog shut down because people went quiet - for many reasons, most of them feeding on each other. But really - I believe you have more readers than you suspect, and you could potentially attract more writers if you want to do so."No, as I've stated, my blog shut down because I stopped posting to it. RoD was my personal attempt to deal with the dissolution of my belief in Siddha Yoga and Gurumayi through writing it all out. That other people came along for the ride was great--I learned a lot from their comments and experiences, and it helped to have an audience of people with similar reference points to speak to and with in working through these issues. But, the name of the blog is Rituals of Disenchantment, it was always intended as an exorcism of the twenty years I spent in SY, and if you've seen The Exorcist you must realize that in the end the devil is wrestled out the window and life goes on. It would be pretty bizarre if Regan kept pretending to vomit up pea soup just to entertain her mother's party guests. My attempting to "attract more readers" to a blog that has served its purpose would be tantamount to exactly that."I can't correspond with you privately about these things because you don't have a contact address, so I need to talk you about them, if I wish to so do, directly in the blog comments."Girl, this ain't your space I'm not your therapist or your friend. I have no interest in corresponding with you privately. "I really don't mind that you feel better. In fact, I feel better too because at least we are talking. If we keep doing so openly we may arrive at a common understanding. That common understanding might invite other observations. Then a discussion might take off and go in one or more creative directions. I could choose to pursue one, more, or none of them at my own discretion. In any case some interesting adult to adult conversation will grow in this place. I think that would be a win-win situation for me, for you, and for the (undetermined number of) people who came here almost 42 000 times since you put up this blog in the fall of 2007."Well, you certainly have that patronizing tone down pat. Allow me to observe that if this is the way you correspond with eXSY perhaps your chilly reception there is less about censorship than the fact that they just aren't that into you.Here's an idea. Why don't you take some of the massive amounts of time and energy you invest in critiquing the online forums you visit and actually START ONE OF YOUR OWN. Then you get to be blog owner, moderator and rule maker and you can set things up just the way you want. Now, THAT would be a win-win situation for you, for me and for everyone else who reads here.
"Girl, this ain't your space I'm not your therapist or your friend."The tone of your response to me tells me you really don't understand my intentions. But you've made yours perfectly clear.I hope you have a valuable experience with this blog and I wish you well in the future.adieuK.
don't let the temple door smack you in the ass on your way out, KoyukiDoll
" I was just collateral damage in her life plans, used and disposed of. .... I started putting things together and I recognized that I was just another ex cult member trying to adapt to life again. I lived what I remember were beautiful moments that I treasure but unfortunately they are all tainted by the disappointment that resulted at the end.... it was all in my expectations, there was just fundamentalism, belief not knowledge. Still anonymous…R"Dear R. this is very profound and precious knowledge that you have realized (at great cost). You have seen what is NOT the truth (and experienced how very seductive delusion can be, especially spiritual delusion). and you have experienced this on a very deep, personal, heart level. "Belief" is not wisdom"...you have seen that very clearly....keep on! What a great gift...to know this!!!!old fart
"Here's an idea. Why don't you take some of the massive amounts of time and energy you invest in critiquing the online forums you visit and actually START ONE OF YOUR OWN. Then you get to be blog owner, moderator and rule maker and you can set things up just the way you want."You know, this is actually a great idea for you, K. You love to write; you're interested in exploring ideas; you seem to know how you would like things to be set up..why don't you start your own blog? At a certain point, it becomes a waste of energy to try and control other people and, for the other people, it's really tedious. Most adults don't need or want to be lectured about how to behave "correctly", especially those of us who spent so much time with the syda "appropriate- behavior police". I miss alot of the interesting things you might say because I don't have the patience to plow through the rhetoric. (a word to the wise, regarding writing).old fart
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