Thursday, January 05, 2006

How To Rate A Guru

File under: Real True Gurus

We look up to Bobby Meizer now. It wasn't always the case. Then this guy named Donald Brewer showed up and became a model for us. It turns out that "Donald" was Bobby, and we've been big fans ever since.

Today on GuruRatings, Bobby laid it down on guru rating:
One basic issue in Guru Rating is whether and how one can judge a guru's realization (or degree of realization, if one believes in degrees of realization). Does realization affect personality and behavior in a recognizable way? I have two positions on the subject, one based on logic, and the other on personal experience.

Logic tells me that if I accept the premise of nonduality then there is nothing that is not That. As someone who I consider realized once told me, "You can do anything, even murder, as long as you can go laughing to the executioner." If nothing makes any difference then nothing makes any difference. By that argument, which makes sense to me, there is no behavior or personality type that is especially associated with realization.

My other position is based on the fact that my own experiences with samadhi have always left me less attached to my habitual patterns of engagement with people and things. I have become more loving and less fearful. I imagine that realization is not being attached to anything, being all love and no fear. How would that manifest in gurus' personalities and behavior? Removal of fear means they would do whatever their heart and mind bid them with total authenticity. Can I detect that in their behavior? One can't always recognize love or fear for what they are, but those are the qualities I think are most indicative of a person's realization (or degree thereof).
Love takes many forms, even that of this blog, believe it or not. We thank Bobbyji for providing such a clear rendering of the reality of self-realization, free of the nonsense expectations many gurus traffic in as a way to fill seats at their satsang.

9 Comments:

At 1/06/2006 9:40 AM, Blogger facedog said...

"You can do anything, even murder, as long as you can go laughing to the executioner." If nothing makes any difference then nothing makes any difference. By that argument, which makes sense to me, there is no behavior or personality type that is especially associated with realization.
......................

To me it is very strange, Jody, that you can accept the ideas about right/wrong above, while describing as a "descent into pychosis" the notion of "experiencing" oneness. There are probably lots of sociopaths who agree fully with the above, and a few "enlightened masters" like Rajneesh, whose disciples rode around with machine guns strapped to their jeeps, and attempted a number of murders. Even Sai Baba, in his quiet moments of reflection, between sexually abusing young boys, might agree.

 
At 1/06/2006 10:50 AM, Blogger facedog said...

"experiences with samadhi"

Also can't believe you let that one pass Jody. It looks again that if you like someone, or are attracted to a teacher's methods, such as the Rajneesh-tantra, you give them a free ride.

 
At 1/06/2006 11:37 AM, Blogger jody said...

To me it is very strange, Jody, that you can accept the ideas about right/wrong above, while describing as a "descent into pychosis" the notion of "experiencing" oneness.

I don't see them as notions of right and wrong. What Bobbyji is saying is that the Self is entirely outside of all notions of right and wrong. And I'm not sure you're representing me correctly here. If someone has an experience of being everything, that is psychosis. If one knows themselves as oneness in a direct, experiential reckoning, that is realization. There is a distinct difference between the two.

Regarding "experiences with samadhi," one cannot experience the Self, yet one can experience samadhi, which results in that direct reckoning known as self-realization. So, one can have an experience of samadhi which leads to the experiential revelation of the Self as the foundation of one's being, which is not an experience.

Capiche?

 
At 1/06/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger facedog said...

Jody said:

“the Self is entirely outside of all notions of right and wrong.”

facedog says:

I agree with this notion about the Self, but it is just a notion made up of imaginations and words describing them. If the Self is beyond all notions of right and wrong, it is certainly outside all words that try to describe It. But you use these words as if they are truth. To use these words in the way Bobby has, without qualifying them in any way, can be seen as a condoning or promoting a philosophy of action which denies any kind of morality. I have no doubt that Gurus or religious leaders who use their devotees sexually, or con them financially, or think it’s OK to kill non-believers all have an intuitive grasp of this notion of the Self, as presented by Bobby and others. Sociopaths share this same intuition.

My Guru would include these “experiences with samadhi” in the same boat as any other attempt by the ego to imagine the Self. The ego first imagines that it is a tiny drop, then imagines it is the Ocean. The experiences of being “small” imagined by the ego are no more or less convincing to the mind than the experiences of being “infinite”, imagined by the ego.

“If someone has an experience of being everything, that is psychosis.”

Why?

“If one knows themselves as oneness in a direct, experiential reckoning, that is realization.”

Or maybe they just think they know, in which case they would also be psychotic?

I would never take the word of anyone that they were Self Realized, if that person insinuates that there is no difference, to the ones speaking and hearing these words, between moral and immoral actions.


I still think you are partial and this colors your perceptions.

 
At 1/07/2006 12:34 AM, Blogger bobby said...

Jody: could you correct a typo for me?
"they would do wherever their heart and mind..." should be "they would do whatever their heart and mind..."

Facedog: You are quite correct that the logical argument may be used to "justify" any sort of crime, but it also justifies the apprehension and punishment of criminals. Whether or not a sociopath can truly "go laughing to the executioner" is immaterial to whether there are consequences to his actions.

In any event, the argument from experience leads me to believe that realization, if not marked by any particular specific behavior or personality, is still in fact discernible as more love and less fear, which I suspect is socially positive in its effects.

 
At 1/07/2006 10:06 AM, Blogger jody said...

To use these words in the way Bobby has, without qualifying them in any way, can be seen as a condoning or promoting a philosophy of action which denies any kind of morality.

So what? Decent folks know they need treat others the way they'd like to be treated. Anyone else is a sociopath and will probably commit offenses whether or not they are exposed to Bobby's ideas.

My Guru would include these “experiences with samadhi” in the same boat as any other attempt by the ego to imagine the Self.

If Bobby was able to talk to your guru, one-on-one, I'm sure he'd understand that what Bobby is talking about is the real thing.

Samadhi is a state of mind and being which appears to allow the experiential recognition of the Self to arise in a life. Once that recognition has emerged, that person can be said to be self-realized.

>> If someone has an experience of
>> being everything, that is
>> psychosis.

Why?

Because experience is limited to the realm of name and form and the nervous system. Our nerves don't extend beyond our body, so any experience is contained within the nerves, and any experience of being everything can only be a delusion.

I would never take the word of anyone that they were Self Realized, if that person insinuates that there is no difference, to the ones speaking and hearing these words, between moral and immoral actions.

There will always be a difference to the person, there has never been a difference to the Self.

I still think you are partial and this colors your perceptions.

And as a person, it will always be this way. This is an opinion blog, my friend. I offer my opinions about spiritual culture as it relates to gurus and self-realization. As I like to say, you can take them as worth something or throw them over the fence like yesterday's dog poop.

 
At 1/09/2006 7:54 AM, Blogger facedog said...

I had understood that Jody took exception to certain ideas being presented by spiritual teachers, partially because of how they affect their students. It is very common for immature students to imitate through thought and action what they imagine is true, based on their teachers’ ideas. They might take on a deeply held belief that they are, themselves, beyond right and wrong, and act upon this belief. In Jody’s theory, wouldn’t this have become an occluding idea? In terms of society, wouldn’t they have created more illusions, more pain for themselves and others?

“More love and less fear” is good, of course. But I think that a responsible teacher would qualify statements like “...even commit murder...” , by saying something about the cost, when someone imagines themselves to be Self Realized and acts harmfully from this delusion. Muktananda believed he was Self Realized and as he sexually abused young girls, he told them it was their lucky day. Sai Baba, as a serial pedophile, has told countless little boys it was their “lucky day”. Rajneesh believed he was Self Realized and set in motion numbers of murder plots, and terrorized the people of Antelope, Oregon. Even if Rajneesh, through lack of attention, or plain ignorance, didn’t know what was happening, his teachings had set these things in motion. Are his students and his victims closer to realization because of this?

jody said...

“So what? Decent folks know they need treat others the way they'd like to be treated. Anyone else is a sociopath and will probably commit offenses whether or not they are exposed to Bobby's ideas.”

...............................

This is just silly. Decent people by the millions can be convinced to kill complete strangers, under the influence of the ideas of authority figures. It takes a couple of weeks to accomplish this. I’m not saying that Bobby’s ideas are that powerful. They are not even his ideas. I’m saying that, if he presents himself as teacher, I feel Bobby or anyone else should qualify these kinds of statements, so that in the relative world, illusory though it may be, more illusions are not created. I am not disputing the “Truth” of the ideas.


jody said..

“If Bobby was able to talk to your guru, one-on-one, I'm sure he'd understand that what Bobby is talking about is the real thing.”

facedog says:

If Bobby is truly Self Realized, I have no doubt that he would be recognized as that by my Guru. As Ramakrishna said, “One hemp smoker knows another.” I qualify that quote by saying that I am not suggesting that either Bobby or my Guru are hemp smokers.

jody said..

“Because experience is limited to the realm of name and form and the nervous system. Our nerves don't extend beyond our body, so any experience is contained within the nerves, and any experience of being everything can only be a delusion.”

facedog says:

When the average person says, “ I am everything.” They are usually trying to describe an intuitive awareness of being. They are not claiming sole ownership of that being. Sometimes you non-dual guys are so word oriented, you seem to believe that if you can express an idea in a clear and concise way, you believe that is the same as having realized it.


jody said
“This is an opinion blog, my friend. I offer my opinions about spiritual culture as it relates to gurus and self-realization. As I like to say, you can take them as worth something or throw them over the fence like yesterday's dog poop.”

facedog says:

This is good advice and often well taken by me. One asshole with an opinion knows another asshole with an opinion. I wish both you and Bobby well.

 
At 1/09/2006 8:23 PM, Blogger jody said...

In terms of society, wouldn’t they have created more illusions, more pain for themselves and others?

Knowing that we exist beyond moral imperative doesn't mean that we live outside of it.

While in a body, one is always an individual, and that individual lives under a social contract. The adherence may vary, but knowing the truth of our being as beyond morality doesn't mean everyone is going to run amok.

Are his students and his victims closer to realization because of this?

Some of them might be!

Not to justify an abusive guru, just to say that sometimes people recover beautifully from such an experience.

Decent people by the millions can be convinced to kill complete strangers, under the influence of the ideas of authority figures.

But it wasn't because of Bobby's take on nondual philosophy.

if he presents himself as teacher, I feel Bobby or anyone else should qualify these kinds of statements, so that in the relative world, illusory though it may be, more illusions are not created. I am not disputing the “Truth” of the ideas.

That's a problem you'll have with all ideas, not just Bobby's.

And I'm not sure he's presenting himself as a teacher. He does have a small web presence, but I think he's more of a "this is how I see it kind of a guy."

I am not suggesting that either Bobby or my Guru are hemp smokers.

Ramakrishna was.

When the average person says, “I am everything.” They are usually trying to describe an intuitive awareness of being.

It's a state that exists as patterns of nerve firing, and those nerves end at our skin.

They are not claiming sole ownership of that being. Sometimes you non-dual guys are so word oriented, you seem to believe that if you can express an idea in a clear and concise way, you believe that is the same as having realized it.

No. But because you're trying to talk about something that you can't talk about, you spend a lot of time attempting to talk about it as precisely as you are able.

I wish both you and Bobby well.

Thanks, Facedog, you too!

 
At 1/10/2006 7:55 AM, Blogger facedog said...

Jody, you just won't fight fair! But I still like you.

Adios!
facedog

 

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