Friday, September 23, 2005

The Three-Faced Swami

File under: Wackadoo Gurus

Today we were directed to the website of Shri Datta Swami. You can add him to your list of psychotically grandiose gurus. Our first clue was the picture on the homepage that depicts the Swami as the founder of all the world's major religions. Then there are his claims of avatarhood, quite ordinary actually... for a loony tunes guru who happens to be Hindu:
The highest human incarnation of God, the Paripurna Avatara, means that the Lord who has come down in human form, dwells in that human body from its birth to its end and also expresses His inseparable characteristic of the True, Infinite, and Divine Knowledge.

The Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, together is called as 'Dattatreya' or Lord Datta. Lord Datta has now come down as a Pari Purna Avatara, to impart the Divine Knowledge to us. He stands before us as Shri Datta Swami. Swamiji's mission in the world is to establish a Universal Spirituality based on the Divine knowledge.
There isn't really much we can say about that. And yet it gets much better. Swami has "met" Kali. From the account of a "devotee":
I tried to follow their conversation but could not understand much since they were speaking Sanskrit. Swami was speaking in an authoritative tone, while the lady was speaking very politely and submissively. After some time the lady disappeared. After she left, Swami still sat there with closed eyes. I closed the window and went back to bed.

Next morning, I asked Swami, who the divine lady was. Swami told me that she was the Divine Mother Kali. Kali is the ferocious and terrifying form of the Divine Mother. I asked about what the conversation was about.

Swami replied, "She wanted to destroy humanity through the dreaded disease, AIDS. I prevented her form doing so saying that the time had not come for it. I assured her that I will change humanity through My Divine Knowledge and that she should wait for some more time."
It's one thing to say you are God Incarnate. But it's absolutely another to claim you have topped the Mistress of All Creation. This Swami is as ripe as any nut under a betel palm.

Anyone with a nanogram of sense knows Kali takes orders from no one. She's already bailed those hapless gods out a couple of times before. Poor Swami D. must have forgot that story when this vomitus came up out of his fractured imagination. Just another indication this guru is missing a couple of whole suits from his deck.

20 Comments:

At 3/26/2006 4:42 AM, Blogger Alx said...

I must say, I'm stunned by your censure of this guy and especially based on the criteria you list, above.

to ridicule the idea of a saint, a divine soul, a holy person, who speaks openly about communicating with Kali (or the Divine Mother in any form) only reveals a kind of unlearnedness on the part of whoever posted this writing about the depth of spirituality in the Indian tradition.

many great saints of antiquity and modernity have talked directly with Kali. you should catch up on your reading -- especially starting with Sri Ramakrishna, whose life-long conversations and experiences of Maha Kali are fairly well known and well-documented.

Buddha worshipped "Mahamaya," the literature tells us. exactly who do you think that is? Mahamaya is more or less another name for Kali.

if you bother to research on Dattatreya saints, like Shirdi Sai Baba or a living one like Ganapathi Satchitananda (www.dattapeetham.com), you'll discover that a major attribute of Datta's relationship with the Divine has to do with Kali. or the Divine Mother in many forms -- but usually that means Kali.

even Yogananda spoke of some experiences he had with Kali, specifically. especially in his youth. (so you can draw your own conclusions about whether or not he also was a Datta saint.)

it's not a fiction, it's not a joke, it's not a fantasy, dealing with the Mother Divine -- all the great saints we can name have done it, whether they talked about it publicly or not.

including, oddly enough, Jesus Christ, during his training in India.

is it so far-fetched to imagine that when Christ is talking with god the night before the crucifixion is to happen, in the Garden at Gethsemane, asking for 'this cup' to be removed from him, that he was addressing Shiva and Kali, as his divine father and mother?

your sarcastic dismissal of this guy who's calling himself a Dattatreya saint, and rejection of his divinity on the ground that he (giggle, giggle, snort, snort) talks with Kali is absurd. it's like suggesting that Jesus wasn't really divine because he (giggle, giggle, snort, snort) was crucified, and everybody knows that a REAL saint wouldn't allow such an experience to happen to his own physical body!!!!

I can definitely see why most of the saints throughout history have chosen to conceal, rather than reveal, the whole story about their relationships with Kali -- it's too easily misunderstood by people in the world who don't have a clue about the depths of spiritual mechanisms.

finally, I should mention that in my studies in India, it's not at all unusual for people to have the darshan of, and communication with, forms of the Mother Divine (including, yes, of Kali). many of my colleagues (several hundred, in fact), have had this kind of experience as they've moved along in their spiritual progress in -- hey, whaddya know -- a Dattatreya lineage.

my point: do your research before you start dismissing anyone's divinity or spiritual statements. your ignorance is showing and it's not pretty.

sincerely,

Alx Uttermann

 
At 3/26/2006 7:15 AM, Blogger jody said...

I must say, I'm stunned by your censure of this guy and especially based on the criteria you list, above.

The guy actually believes he is an incarnation of God and openly promotes himself as such. This blog is dedicated to the truth of the Upanishads, that all are divine, equally and at all times.

Ramana Maharshi never claimed to be an incarnation of God.

to ridicule the idea of a saint, a divine soul, a holy person

This is why this blog exists.

who speaks openly about communicating with Kali

Read it again. The Swami claims to a), have spoke authoritatively to a demure Kali, and b), claims to have persuaded Kali to prevent the world from being ravaged by AIDS. This is clearly the product of pathological grandiosity rather than an authentic vision of Shakti.

many great saints of antiquity and modernity have talked directly with Kali. you should catch up on your reading -- especially starting with Sri Ramakrishna, whose life-long conversations and experiences of Maha Kali are fairly well known and well-documented.

Ramakrishna's inspiring visions of Kali would qualify as psychiatric pathology today. One can have multiple and ongoing experiences of communion with Shakti without having to resort to mythologically-mediated visions and "conversations."

it's not a fiction, it's not a joke, it's not a fantasy, dealing with the Mother Divine -- all the great saints we can name have done it, whether they talked about it publicly or not.

A whole bunch of more normal folks have visions of the Shakti as well, only they don't go bragging that they topped her.

including, oddly enough, Jesus Christ, during his training in India.

Gross speculation noted.

is it so far-fetched to imagine that when Christ is talking with god the night before the crucifixion is to happen, in the Garden at Gethsemane, asking for 'this cup' to be removed from him, that he was addressing Shiva and Kali, as his divine father and mother?

Yes. This is more runaway speculation.

your sarcastic dismissal of this guy who's calling himself a Dattatreya saint, and rejection of his divinity on the ground that he (giggle, giggle, snort, snort) talks with Kali is absurd.

I reject Swami Datta as an incarnation of God. Which god he is claiming to be is immaterial.

As a longtime shakta myself, I am well-familiar with the ways Shakti manifests to individuals. Full blown conversations, especially ones where She is the inferior party, are clearly the product of pathology rather than divine inspiration.

it's too easily misunderstood by people in the world who don't have a clue about the depths of spiritual mechanisms.

Or latched on to by those who would rather speculatively believe in Hindu superstitious nonsense.

in my studies in India, it's not at all unusual for people to have the darshan of, and communication with, forms of the Mother Divine (including, yes, of Kali)

It happens to people in the states, too. But being the dominant party in a 'conversation' with Kali is ridiculous. It was as self-aggrandizing as it is ludicrous for the Swami to make that claim.

my point: do your research before you start dismissing anyone's divinity or spiritual statements. your ignorance is showing and it's not pretty.

My point: pull your head out of that speculative fog of mythology and superstition and see that these visions are much more related to individual psychology than divine truth, and that they have as much to do with our truth as the Self as my dog's ass.

 
At 5/06/2006 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote this article in the first place is an ass, you suck! Don't you dare mock anyone's religion nor any saints. If there is anything one must learn thru life and any religion is to respect everything and everyone on this earth, and if you don't know something, learn about it,and if you don't understand it, then don't speculate, leave it be. There are more than a billion human beings in this world who believe that Lord Datta was an incarnation of The Almighty, GOD. And about the superstitions, yes Hinduism did have and does have many myths and superstitions associated with it, but which religion doesn't? It has reformed, and still is. Above all Hinduism is a way of life, and what do you expect from the oldest and richest civilised religion existing for over a 6000 years!!! It has gone thru major evolutions, stuff is bound to happen, so before you start dishing out your insensitive opinions, watch your ass, as well as your dogs'! Here's to a more decent and informed 'YOU'... CHEERS

 
At 5/06/2006 5:53 PM, Blogger jody said...

Whoever wrote this article in the first place is an ass, you suck! Don't you dare mock anyone's religion nor any saints.

Look, it's quite simple.

Anyone who claims to be more divine than you and I is a fool. Datta claims to be a divine incarnation, literally God on Earth. My dog's ass he is.

Self-hagiographers like Datta need to be identified and taken to task for creating clouds of occluding ideas which prevent self-realization. It's all about being God for him. He's not. Or he is, just as much as you and I. That is the truth as presented by Vedanta, the epitome of Hinduism and something Datta completely ignores in his rush to become the next godman in India.

 
At 7/05/2006 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the original poster, Jody. If you truly want to wake up, become fully self-realized, you will discover that there is no separation between you and God, that God is All That Is, and you are part of That. To promote the idea that there is a human incarnation of God who is somehow more Godly than anyone else is complete egoic fallacy, and a certain way to keep his followers from realizing their own connection with the Divine.

I found out about this Guru by listening to a poster on yahoo's gaymystics group. I've rarely seen such a dogmatic, patriarchal and self-righteous belief system. In fact, while he may quote the Vedas, he doesn't stick with what's in them, instead creating a soupcon of religious ideas designed to flummox someone from any faith into giving their power to him to and tie them up with so many concepts that their brain is never still enough to feel their own experience of Presence.

You can't compare what this man teaches to Yogananda, who walked in the utmost humility. There are good yogis and bad yogis and this one's got some rot at the core.

Exposing him is a service, Judy!

The questioner.

 
At 8/26/2007 6:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog entry. In my view it was spot on. This guy looks like he had too much time on his hands and has taken his love of Photoshop to an unhealthy level.

 
At 4/05/2008 11:40 AM, Blogger Copper Asetemhat Stewart said...

You wrote: Ramakrishna's inspiring visions of Kali would qualify as psychiatric pathology today. One can have multiple and ongoing experiences of communion with Shakti without having to resort to mythologically-mediated visions and "conversations."

Why on earth would anyone want to substitute the beauties of mythology and loving relationship for the intellectual dryness and spiritual aridity of Vedantic nondualism? The whole system of Advaita is a pathological evasion of the richness and contradiction present in the animist reality the Gods have designed and which they body forth. Gods do speak, and not according to one's taste or expectation. It seems to me that a Real God's duty is to defy the limitations of shastra and tradition. Someone like Ramakrishna speaks to many camps, in both word and deed.

Do you really believe that contemporary psychiatry has any credibility? I think you'll find more lunatic excesses in their annals than in gurudom. And more drug-pushing.

Thank goodness the West is now enjoying a revival of mythos, animism, and polytheistic personalism--and the first deepening of its spirituality in a couple thousand years.

 
At 4/05/2008 1:59 PM, Blogger jody said...

Why on earth would anyone want to substitute the beauties of mythology and loving relationship for the intellectual dryness and spiritual aridity of Vedantic nondualism?

There is no sacrifice in the quality of the emotional experience in a devotional practice when employing a psychological paradigm rather than a ridiculously fanciful one. It's about intellectual maturity as opposed to adhering to prehistoric principals that were formulated in abject ignorance.

Advaita is a pathological evasion of the richness and contradiction present in the animist reality the Gods have designed and which they body forth.

The "Gods?" Tell it to the kindergarden.

Someone like Ramakrishna speaks to many camps, in both word and deed.

Sure, but like all Hindu saints, what we know about him is so ponderously-laden with an over-the-top hagiography as to obliterate the most salient points about his life and personality.

Do you really believe that contemporary psychiatry has any credibility?

Uh... a little bit more than the ridiculous notions of Hindu mythology.

Thank goodness the West is now enjoying a revival of mythos, animism, and polytheistic personalism--and the first deepening of its spirituality in a couple thousand years.

Too bad the actual nondual truth takes it straight up the ass as a result.

 
At 4/05/2008 9:18 PM, Blogger Copper Asetemhat Stewart said...

You wrote: There is no sacrifice in the quality of the emotional experience in a devotional practice when employing a psychological paradigm rather than a ridiculously fanciful one. It's about intellectual maturity as opposed to adhering to prehistoric principals that were formulated in abject ignorance.

I respond:
Absolute nonsense. Intellectual maturity leads us to the epistemological insights of postmodernism and to the rejection of covention and external authority. Trust in either gurus or the human intellect is misplaced on this journey. Advaita is linguistic illusion; nondual truth is spread around us an immanent reality. For some of us at lest, it is best mediated by myth and poetry.


You wrote: The "Gods?" Tell it to the kindergarden.

You're really quite the literalist fool, aren't you? The "Gods" are the postgraduates, not the narcissists enamored of the void. Advaitins haven't yet begun to live, let alone matriculate kindergarten.

You wrote: Sure, but like all Hindu saints, what we know about him is so ponderously-laden with an over-the-top hagiography as to obliterate the most salient points about his life and personality).

I respond:
Perhaps you should learn more about Indian aesthetics (or poetics in general) and observe the functional purposes of texts before you condemn them.

You wrote: Too bad the actual nondual truth takes it straight up the ass as a result.

Nonsense, again. Contemporary Paganism is a rich locus of authentic spirituality, one grounded in the immanent reality of the Divine's polymorpous unicity. Whether approached as self-evident Deity or as "Matter," this is far more real than the air castles of parasitical Brahmins and political functionaries like Sankaracharya.

But "taking it up the ass" is an excellent metaphor, since part of the superiority of contemporary Paganism to Advaita lies in the recognition of the social, psycholocial, and spiritual importance of human sexual vitality. Devotional Paganism indeed tops Advaita, something that's easily demonstrated experientially without turning over your personal authority to any teacher, book, or staid tradition in which Realization has been nothing more than pretense since the Middle Ages. Advaita is a dead philosophy mouthed by the living dead.

 
At 4/06/2008 12:46 AM, Blogger jody said...

Intellectual maturity leads us to the epistemological insights of postmodernism and to the rejection of covention and external authority.

Or it can aid in the establishment of an internal authority which rejects both convention and the conventional superstitions you are mislabeling as spirituality.

nondual truth is spread around us an immanent reality.

Your tragic notion of nondual truth is an all-to- common ideological conceit, one that will continue to prevent you from actually knowing what you are talking about as long as you hold on to it.

This isn't to say that nondual truth isn't immanent, just that it has no location, no distribution and there is nothing in all of nature that indicates its existence outside its own awareness of itself, excluding your silly projections of what you've decided to believe about it.

For some of us at lest, it is best mediated by myth and poetry.

Everyone's got to have their hobbies.

You're really quite the literalist fool, aren't you?

Fool? Yes, yes I am. Too literal? Quite often.

The "Gods" are the postgraduates, not the narcissists enamored of the void.

Anyone "enamored of the void" is no more a Advaitin than my dog.

Advaitins haven't yet begun to live, let alone matriculate kindergarten.

Depends on what you call living: taking things as they come or creating castles in the sky because it makes you feel special.

Perhaps you should learn more about Indian aesthetics (or poetics in general) and observe the functional purposes of texts before you condemn them.

I'm more interested in real people over white-robed pop-up displays which advertise useless superstition.

Contemporary Paganism is a rich locus of authentic spirituality, one grounded in the immanent reality of the Divine's polymorpous unicity.

Translation: we take our subjectively-generated imaginal experiences as the straight poop from God, 'cause we roll grandiose like that.

Whether approached as self-evident Deity or as "Matter," this is far more real than the air castles of parasitical Brahmins and political functionaries like Sankaracharya.

I'm with you all the way here, except for the "real" part.

the superiority of contemporary Paganism to Advaita lies in the recognition of the social, psycholocial, and spiritual importance of human sexual vitality.

That's why I always buy "tantric shaktism" brand nonduality.

Realization has been nothing more than pretense since the Middle Ages.

It's quite amusing how you speak of Ramakrishna out of one side of your ass and shit on realization with the other. But maybe my foolish literality is getting in the way of my understanding again.

Advaita is a dead philosophy mouthed by the living dead.

We all hate what we don't understand, don't we?

 
At 4/06/2008 9:32 AM, Blogger Copper Asetemhat Stewart said...

You wrote: Your tragic notion of nondual truth is an all-to- common ideological conceit, one that will continue to prevent you from actually knowing what you are talking about as long as you hold on to it.

You intellectual assessment is worthless to me. Manifest Nature is not an ideological conceit.

You wrote: This isn't to say that nondual truth isn't immanent, just that it has no location, no distribution and there is nothing in all of nature that indicates its existence outside its own awareness of itself, excluding your silly projections of what you've decided to believe about it.

Of course; any particle of this world is Infinite. The only particles that don't know that are in the human social mind, the only obstacle to Reality.


You wrote: Everyone's got to have their hobbies.

Obviously.

You're really quite the literalist fool, aren't you?

You wrote:Fool? Yes, yes I am. Too literal? Quite often.

Not the Wholy Sort--the sort who trusts in merely intellectual formulations and has faith in only One epistemology.


The "Gods" are the postgraduates, not the narcissists enamored of the void.

Anyone "enamored of the void" is no more a Advaitin than my dog.

That's wasn't my experience. After 14 years, I decided it was destroying the lives of almost everyone I observed (and its constructs were untenable to me by the end of my educational experience). It's also not my impression of the texts or of so-called exemplars like Ramana Maharshi.

The ricness of Indian culture that I respect most is elsewhere.

You wrote: Depends on what you call living: taking things as they come or creating castles in the sky because it makes you feel special.

Not special, human. What is. The proper and given platform. But pronouncements about other's heads and hearts can trade the phrase "air castles" endlessly. Ultimately useless, and certainly not reflective of Unicity however it's perceived or verbally modeled.


You wrote: I'm more interested in real people over white-robed pop-up displays which advertise useless superstition.

Elevate psychology and celebrate the "progress over the primitive" in it because it is convenient; condemn it in sociology and anthropology because it doesn't meet your needs? The mind saturated in rasa poetics doesn't take these things as literally as you do and is fundamentally interested in and functioning from a different epistemological basis. These are the real people and the feeling, associative language they speak.

I had written: Contemporary Paganism is a rich locus of authentic spirituality, one grounded in the immanent reality of the Divine's polymorpous unicity.

You responded:
Translation: we take our subjectively-generated imaginal experiences as the straight poop from God, 'cause we roll grandiose like that.

Let's see, you're the one proffering a single rigid model of reality, failing to understand the diversity of perception, and creating an extensive web presence rooted in criticizing other people. You're loaded to the gills with a single narrow model and are making a vocation out of finding folks who look funny when transposed to your stage. Some of these folks are tangibly harmful (in very manifest person and property terms), and I applaud you for documenting those sorts of things since that's useful information. The Advaitin basis is not useful to me, and you look more grandiose to me than those who say "know yourself from yourself" and neither impose nor colonize.

You wrote: I'm with you all the way here, except for the "real" part.

Good--maybe I was too happy to be huffy that I inferred false alliances. Real is real--tangible and productive of effects. Mind is a subordinate tool for navigating the Real.

I'd written: the superiority of contemporary Paganism to Advaita lies in the recognition of the social, psycholocial, and spiritual importance of human sexual vitality.

You wrote: That's why I always buy "tantric shaktism" brand nonduality.

Good, then we may have more in common at the root than either of us has thought... I know I have more in common with Kashmir and Chennai than with the the folks I used to enthrone.

It's very apparent that we are speaking from different platforms and in different directions.

You wrote: It's quite amusing how you speak of Ramakrishna out of one side of your ass and shit on realization with the other. But maybe my foolish literality is getting in the way of my understanding again.

I don't see Ramakrishna as an Advaitin, just hostage to them. I see him (and many others) as an exemplar of the idiosyncratic pursuit of Truth, not as Avatar or Guru. Though always autonomous, sainthood usually ends up appropriated.

I'd written: Advaita is a dead philosophy mouthed by the living dead.

You responded: We all hate what we don't understand, don't we?

Hate is not an indictment: it is half of who we are. My only obligation is to observe it and to know that I too am that.

 
At 4/06/2008 12:12 PM, Blogger jody said...

Manifest Nature is not an ideological conceit.

Manifest nature indicates nothing of nondual truth that is not projected as an ideological conceit.

any particle of this world is Infinite.

Another pretty mind picture which occludes the truth.

After 14 years, I decided it was destroying the lives of almost everyone I observed (and its constructs were untenable to me by the end of my educational experience).

I get it. You failed, so it's all wrong now. Isn't that your grandiosity fronted as wisdom?

It's also not my impression of the texts or of so-called exemplars like Ramana Maharshi.

Self-inquiry can be quite frightening. The light is always and only just beyond the shadow.

The ricness of Indian culture that I respect most is elsewhere.

That culture hangs on Vedanta. You've grown to love the mess dragging on the ground underneath.

Not special, human. What is.

Quite. Beings which generate an incredible amount of subjective phenomenal experience. And unfortunately, beings which misperceive this experience as being meaningful outside of their subjective envelope.

certainly not reflective of Unicity however it's perceived or verbally modeled.

Truth doesn't reflect off of anything other than itself. Any "signs" you may look for are nothing more than fanciful assumptions about it.

Elevate psychology and celebrate the "progress over the primitive" in it because it is convenient

Not at all. It's more like using a map which appears to match the territory, rather than twisting the territory to match a map some might prefer because they find it to be more pretty.

condemn it in sociology and anthropology because it doesn't meet your needs?

No. Condemn those concepts which occlude nondual truth. You are chock full of those, my friend, making it entirely understandable why you went all St. Paul on Vedanta.

These are the real people and the feeling, associative language they speak.

But what they are all saying has no more to do with nondual truth than my dog's ass.

you're the one proffering a single rigid model of reality

Actually, I'm offering that the diversity of models all boil down to one truth. Ramakrishna said the same thing.

failing to understand the diversity of perception

The perception of objects, both found, made and mental, has as much to do with nondual truth as the dog's hiney.

creating an extensive web presence rooted in criticizing other people.

Thank you. I'm very proud of it.

You're loaded to the gills with a single narrow model

You mean: your "single narrow" interpretation of my model.

and are making a vocation out of finding folks who look funny when transposed to your stage.

You mean: exposing the folly of those who propose magical powers for themselves due to their alleged nondual realization.

The Advaitin basis is not useful to me, and you look more grandiose to me than those who say "know yourself from yourself" and neither impose nor colonize.

The grandiose: it takes one to know one.

Mind is a subordinate tool for navigating the Real.

As long as you understand what you are calling "Real" isn't the ground floor.

I have more in common with Kashmir and Chennai than with the the folks I used to enthrone.

Any enthronement you are seeing here is all on you. All the saints were and are completely human. Nondual realization confers nothing except a recognition of nondual truth. No magic powers or flights to the lokas to get fucked by the Gods are included.

I don't see Ramakrishna as an Advaitin, just hostage to them

Your gloss, noted.

I see him (and many others) as an exemplar of the idiosyncratic pursuit of Truth, not as Avatar or Guru.

I see him as a queer little man who had a thing for the twinks, but who was also a spiritual savant and the father of modern shaktism in the West.

Though always autonomous, sainthood usually ends up appropriated.

We are certainly on the same page here.

Hate is not an indictment: it is half of who we are. My only obligation is to observe it and to know that I too am that.

Any hate you are confusing as yourself is merely the result of adhering to the idea you are a separate being who is presently expressing a negative preference. You probably don't want to hear it from me, but you aren't that hate anymore than my dog's ass, no insult intended or implied.

 
At 4/06/2008 2:19 PM, Blogger Copper Asetemhat Stewart said...

You wrote: Manifest nature indicates nothing of nondual truth that is not projected as an ideological conceit.

Actual unicity is a manifest Reality. There is nothing else anywhere. Most Indic paths in contemporary contexts are pathological flights from this Reality. Your perspective here violates the terms of both the contemporary psychology and the rationalism you invoke. Words about Reality--yours and mine--are nothing more than toys. But we both seem to like to play. All this sort of reactivity presents and excellent means of observing ego within and without. While I do not believe that you have an experiential vision of Unicity, I think you're doing a good tantrik sadhana by standing on the streetcorner with your large "please react to me" placard. It seems to be the limit of your creativity in finding ways to preach your religion.

It seems to me that this exchange is a bit like the barber who criticized the woodsman's axe. It has become clear that we do not have the same tools or telos, nor desire the same, and that each believes the other to inhabit a fantasy. You make appeals to objectivity that I reject not for religious reasons, but for linquistic and neurological ones. Regardless of what Reality actually is, we do not share a frame of reference and effectively inhabit different worlds.

I wrote: any particle of this world is Infinite.
You responded: Another pretty mind picture which occludes the truth.

I know what my above phrase means in my experience; I do not know what yours means in your experience.

I wrote: After 14 years, I decided it was destroying the lives of almost everyone I observed (and its constructs were untenable to me by the end of my educational experience).

You responded: I get it. You failed, so it's all wrong now. Isn't that your grandiosity fronted as wisdom?

The processes it set in motion took me elsewhere. It's value for me is not conceptual, but as part of a chain. I value it as part of my past, as part of real development in real time and space. Attachment to its concepts short-circuits its work. Its cults of emulation are meant to sequester sheep from potential attainers, who aren't hanging around for discourse or the kind of tennis being enacted here. I embrace what you call "grandiosity." That word is not negatively coded for me unless wedded to tangible imposition. I do not feel that the experiential essence of people listed as advaitin attainers is suspect, but I do feel that advaitin apologetics are mere linguistic constructs, mere philosophical abstractions removed from Reality, and that they were intellectually compelling only within the confines of medieval India. Since you are an advocate of updating those trappings with things like "modern psychology," (and not, say, the panca-tattva of Sankaracharya) you must also perceive some of this culture-bound weakness. Advaitin attainment exists; advaita and discourse generally counterindicate that attainment in the modern world. This is most evident in fundamentalist reductionism. I am confident that the Truth reveals itself and has no second beside it, and I'll certainly trust my own perception more than the substitution of other's, shastra or parampara.

"Grandiosity" is your term. I have no problem with billions of folks asserting their divinity or claiming the truth of their experience and publishing there conversations with God. Such a world sounds like Heaven to me. "I am God" is not a grandiose statement from my perspective, nor generally worthy of comment, unless it is married to schemes of tangible exploitation (especially the perennial favorites of sex and money). I don't think people are quite as gullible as you seem to think; they frequently seem to be making deliberate choices and to do so because they value things like feeling over discourse, poesis over logos, and mystery over intellectual understandings that the Real world consistently demonstrates to be inadequate. A unitive vision that is not integrated with the manifest world is, it seems to me, a flight from reality. The guru annals and the preachers of Advaita seem to confirm this for me--it's not mystification, but the notion of rarity and difficulty that sustains this system of exploitation. The notion of transmission--either as intellectual content or shaktipat--is the lie that sustains all this exploitation. (Irony in the fact that I found your page looking for Dattatreya's 24 natural gurus).

I wrote: It's also not my impression of the texts or of so-called exemplars like Ramana Maharshi.

You wrote: Self-inquiry can be quite frightening. The light is always and only just beyond the shadow.

Ramana's self-inquiry is partial and and seems to precipitate in his followers a flight from the shadow. It is flawed largely because of its interrogative methodology, which merely strengthens repression. Light and Shadow are eternally co-extant and mutually constituting. Each of us possesses the most dark and the most light, but it is in light that we know and in love that we pull ourselves together.

I wrote: The ricness of Indian culture that I respect most is elsewhere.

You responded: That culture hangs on Vedanta. You've grown to love the mess dragging on the ground underneath.

It's that trash/treasure thing. Our valuations are opposite and neither if us appears to find the other's premises or statements compelling. (Where you extol "objectivity" I extol "infinite subjectivity"... it's not just our valuation of nature (which is distinct from the social world and its mental illusions), but of ipseity and persona). Neither of us appears amenable to discourse on any of these points.

You wrote:
Any hate you are confusing as yourself is merely the result of adhering to the idea you are a separate being who is presently expressing a negative preference. You probably don't want to hear it from me, but you aren't that hate anymore than my dog's ass, no insult intended or implied.

It is not a matter of identifying with hate (or with love), but recognizing that they are Real attributes of the Infinite (eros and strife are more useful terms), which discloses itself perfectly to the witnessing mind as fully cognate with the natural world and all its processes. This is the eternal "Godhead" and there is no other. If there is, why would either one of us turn to the other for explication? The value of this sort of exchange is that it presents an opportunity for observation of the mind... in that exercise, and not verbal content, there might be some use... but I am the assessor of my own content and practice, and my comments about yours are only are for entertainment purposes only. I do not actually presume to know or assess the quality of your subjective experience, nor to speak for anyone else. This discourse (and religion) has simply been a choice about how to spend my time because I enjoy thinking about these things and observing what happens within and without, and I enjoy learning what riles me up and what doesn't... and why.

 
At 4/06/2008 4:03 PM, Blogger jody said...

Actual unicity is a manifest Reality. There is nothing else anywhere.

Perhaps your unicity is my Mahashakti. There is nothing but Ma. All matter, energy and activities everywhere are Her provenance. Of course, with the tag 'Ma' being the conceptual vehicle whereby I've established a relationship with my experience, rather than some actual anthropomorphized crazy lady drinking blood.

Your perspective here violates the terms of both the contemporary psychology and the rationalism you invoke.

As it sits on your screen, something very different than its configuration in my head.

Words about Reality--yours and mine--are nothing more than toys. But we both seem to like to play.

Quite true. However, words about nondual truth are absolutely useless, even as toys.

All this sort of reactivity presents and excellent means of observing ego within and without.

And all this time I just thought is was me being an asshole. ;)

While I do not believe that you have an experiential vision of Unicity, I think you're doing a good tantrik sadhana by standing on the streetcorner with your large "please react to me" placard.

By trying to imagine what the "experiential vision of Unicity" actually is, you're scooping poop into your brain.

It seems to be the limit of your creativity in finding ways to preach your religion.

Individual: Limit is thy name!

You make appeals to objectivity that I reject not for religious reasons, but for linquistic and neurological ones.

Objectivity is just another dimension of the subjective. I'm appealing to the everyday truth of our being. According to Vedanta, we are all the Atman right now. There is no separation, regardless of the state of our mind or body or the world around us. Thus, when the recognition of nondual truth becomes established, nothing is different about the world, and we remain the fools we've always been, only now we can see in a very real way that we aren't.

The reason this blog exists is to defend this truth against ideas which seek to imbue nondual realization with a whole set of powers and special circumstances of mind and body. If we are always THAT, what difference is it going to make to know that in a direct manner.

Attachment to [advaitic] concepts short-circuits its work.

I phrase that: ideas about nondual truth occlude nondual truth.

I do feel that advaitin apologetics are mere linguistic constructs, mere philosophical abstractions removed from Reality

Advaitin apologetics are the work of Raktabija himself.

Advaitin attainment exists; advaita and discourse generally counterindicate that attainment in the modern world.

You are singing to the choir, son.

I am confident that the Truth reveals itself and has no second beside it, and I'll certainly trust my own perception more than the substitution of other's, shastra or parampara.

Hallelujah!

it's not mystification, but the notion of rarity and difficulty that sustains this system of exploitation.

And that system floats on the superstitious ideas about what realization entails, allowing everyone easy access to the refutation of their own, always on and ongoing truth.

The notion of transmission--either as intellectual content or shaktipat--is the lie that sustains all this exploitation. (Irony in the fact that I found your page looking for Dattatreya's 24 natural gurus).

The irony is that you are eloquently expressing many of my favorite positions.

Ramana's self-inquiry is partial and and seems to precipitate in his followers a flight from the shadow. It is flawed largely because of its interrogative methodology, which merely strengthens repression.

It depends on where the inquirer is coming from. If they are trying to stuff themselves into their concept of a realizer, then you are once again on the button. But if they've come to a place where they can discriminate with jnana, self-inquiry is the greatest tool we have for, as you say, "observing ego within and without."

Light and Shadow are eternally co-extant and mutually constituting.

The metaphor is breaking down here. By shadow I mean storage of repressed notions and experience, by light I mean clarity.

Our valuations are opposite and neither if us appears to find the other's premises or statements compelling.

Clearly, this is not true. We've misunderstood each others' takes, but this is changing.

I am not against anyone's subjective take on their universe. Really. Ramakrishna said, "As many faiths, so many paths." I have my own subjective take on my relationship to God and the universe, one that borrows heavily from shakta iconography.

However, I am well-aware that this is all MY ploy, not some accurate rendering of reality. The imaginal world responds to what I believe, rather than me uncovering things about the imaginal world. That's why all spiritual experience can be said to be a placebo effect. It's not what we believe, it's how we believe it. By projecting ideas about God and whatever, we get those ideas reflected back at us by way of our imaginal experience. This can be tremendously powerful and transformative, but that doesn't mean it has a lick to do with what other people are experiencing, outside the fact that both sets of experiences are modifications of the imaginal.

I enjoy learning what riles me up and what doesn't... and why.

Sometimes, we get to find out there wasn't as much to be riled up about as we'd originally thought.

 
At 11/10/2010 5:16 AM, Blogger datta231 said...

People insult God when He comes to this world

When I enter the human body in becoming the human incarnation, the human beings who are egoistic and jealous do not recognize Me, the Lord of this world. They treat Me as a human being and repel against Me due to their inherent repulsion towards any greatness seen in their co-human beings. Instead of accepting Me as the greatest, they hate and even insult Me.
www.universal-spirituality.org

 
At 11/10/2010 5:17 AM, Blogger datta231 said...

Why people insult and neglect the human incarnation?

An ignorant person neglects Mahatma Gandhi seeing his cheap cloth. He cannot estimate the real value of Gandhi. He will give lot of value to a cinema actor who is in a colorful dress. Similarly when the Lord comes in the human body, which follows all the rules of the nature, an ignorant person insults Him seeing the ordinary human body, since he does not recognize the value of the internal form. This is told in Gita (Avajaananti Mam Mudhaah). The Lord can make His body to be divine and above the rules of nature by His super power. But He does not do this because He does not like to violate the rules of nature, since He is the creator of those rules. One will not generally contradict His own rule and insult himself.

An ordinary soul in the form of Yogi or a demon frequently exhibits his body to be beyond the rules of the nature because he is not insulted since he is not the creator of the rules of the nature. By such petty miracle the ignorant person believes such Yogi or demon as the Lord. The Lord is the ruler of Yogis (Yogeeswara). Once a saint walked on the river but Shri Rama Krishna Parahamsa who is the human incarnation of the Lord came by a boat paying one rupee. The Saint proudly told Shri Paramahamasa that he obtained the power to walk on the water by Sadhana for the past thirty years.

The saint asked Paramahamsa whether He did such tedious Sadhana in His life. Paramahamsa told simply with a smile that the cost of his thirty-year-old Sadhana is one rupee!! And that He never did such cheap Sadhana. Arjuna prostrated to the feet of Lord Krishna before all the soldiers without egoism and jealousy. Krishna was a human being like Arjuna. Moreover Krishna is only the driver where as Arjuna is the owner of the chariot. Arjuna recognized the value of the internal form of Lord Krishna and therefore Krishna revealed His inner form as Viswa Roopa to Arjuna. Therefore those people who get rid of jealousy and egoism can only give the value to the human incarnation.

 
At 11/14/2010 8:58 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Why people insult and neglect the human incarnation?

Because in this case, it's quite clearly a fantasy.

 
At 7/18/2011 11:11 PM, Blogger dattaswami said...

The main aim of human incarnation
The knowledge given by God is always true and hence, will be harsh
The main aim of human incarnation is the spiritual knowledge, which is like a torch light for a traveler in the darkness. The materialistic boons are like the food packets required by you while sitting in the intervals of the journey. If you avoid the journey and constantly sit eating the food packets continuously, your health will be spoiled. You may not require the torch light while sitting and eating the food packets. But, once you start the journey, the torch light is essential. The journey in the right path guided by the torch light only helps you to reach the goal quickly. If you constantly sit at one place eating the food continuously, you will not only reach the goal but also become sick. If you don’t have torch light in the journey, you may travel but will not reach the goal since you are trapped in the wrong path. Therefore, the main aim of the human incarnation is only the spiritual knowledge, which guides you in the right path. Hence, only the spiritual knowledge is the identification mark of God in human form as said in the Veda (satyam jnaanam anantam Brahma…).

The knowledge given by God is always true and hence, will be harsh. God will not go back in giving the true knowledge because He does not aspire anything from you in return. Such true knowledge is infinite because it is the chain of clarifications of infinite number of doubts coming from infinite number of human beings. Truth and infinity are the two adjectives given by the Veda, which qualify the knowledge of God.
www.universal-spirituality.org
Universal Spirituality for World Peace

 
At 7/18/2011 11:13 PM, Blogger dattaswami said...

Why you reject persent human incarnation…!!!
Human incarnation Vs Idols & Energetic From
You cannot exploit God continuously.
The photo or statue of Vishnu or Krishna (or any past human incarnations) does not speak to you. You like this very much because you can express any unjust desire before God and pray for its fulfillment. If Krishna or Vishnu exists in the place of that statue or photo, certainly God will speak to you and warn you against the unjust desire. The statue or photo keeps silent to your unjust prayer and hence, you live with a hope of its fulfillment by God. For this purpose, you do not want God to exist before you and hence, God is not present in the photo or statue. You are rigid of your desire and hence, the presence of God is not liked by you. This is also the reason for your dislike to human incarnation since it criticizes you to turn you to the right path.

If there is a photo or statue of Krishna in the chariot, Arjuna would have spoken his argument and simply would have returned from the battle field. Majority of humanity belongs to such type of rigid ignorance and hence, worships the idols only. God also responds to their prayers fulfilling their unjust desires. What is the reason for such behavior of God? God knows that you will not change by preaching the spiritual knowledge. Since the stage of transformation has not come, God fulfils your desire so that at least your faith in the existence of God is strengthened. In future, you may believe the human incarnation as God and thus, accept Its spiritual advice given by It and transform yourself. The already strengthened faith with God will help you to implement the spiritual advice immediately in practice. Some people recognize the human incarnation as God, but, do not implement the advice of God due to lack of strength in the faith.

Dhrutarashtra knows that Krishna is God, but, could not implement His advice in practice due to lack of strength of faith in God. Hence, the idol worship is not waste and should not be criticized. It helps in strengthening faith and devotion in God in the initial ignorant state of human being. It is a sort of training in created false atmosphere. The soldier is trained to shoot the target, which is inert. In the actual war, he has to shoot the counter soldier, who is alive. Since the target is inert, you should not say that the training is useless. Therefore, the statues and idols are sufficient to fulfill your materialistic desires. Even though God is not present in the statue or photo, the omniscient God hears your prayer and responds to it. Even if you pray in open place thinking that God is formless, the omniscient God hears your prayers. But, if you do not come to the real path by recognizing the human incarnation, you cannot exploit God continuously. After sometime, He leaves you to your fate, which is the cycle of your deeds only. The chocolates are given in the initial childhood to go to school. If you continuously demand the chocolates, the practice is discontinued because excess of chocolates will lead you to diseases.
www.universal-spirituality.org
Universal Spirituality for World Peace

 
At 7/19/2011 8:48 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Why you reject persent human incarnation…!!!

Because, such is only a notion held by this man and those who believe him. I do not.

 

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