File under: The Siddhi of PR
Brand new Guruphiliac list member Vaj drops the hardcore science for us after observing a particular satsang's socio-psychodynamics recently:
My observation of having recently (over the last year) listened in on a group of satsangers was that what I was experiencing was less a "support group for enlightenment and a possible to way receive the pointing out of own non-dual nature" but more a group which I could describe as Spiritual Codependents. Such a dynamic would probably be contingent on a large number of causes – I can only comment on the patterns I've observed.Get ye to the list, folks. We're blessed with the presence of some real, asskicking critical thinkers who are engaging in a blessed deconstruction of that ridiculous joke known as the modern transmission satsang, complete with its ludicrous – and much more tragically – utterly occluding ideas about self-realization. You may as well be asking for a head amputation to cure your headache for all the good that transmission nonsense does for anyone.
In order for the group to work there has to be at least one person claiming awakening/enlightenment, etc. and the idea is that the state can be transmitted, passed on or facilitated.
Once it hives off onto more than one person, a dynamic unfolds where the enlightenmentee (the person who receives the recognition of their own ever-present original face/awakenment) then becomes complicit with the enlightentmenter, the transmitter of the state. The receiver, in acknowledging their own recognition, almost by default accepts the person who transmitted the state as also awakened. Since this is often in a group setting the process repeats, each mutually supporting the others in this "awakening", forming a web of silent agreement. A "gentlemen's agreement" is silently reached "I support your enlightenment and you support mine" – and there is almost always no argument or critical debate allowed. This is a subtle, unconscious agreement. Most do not seem aware of this subtle agreement as it is sealed by intense happiness characteristic of peak experience(s). [Ed.note: All of which have as much to do with true self-realization as our dog's furry little hiney.]
As the group of "enlightmentees" grows, so does the potential complicit contractual agreement which is never spoken of in negative terms but instead only in positive terms: the power of the satsang to awaken others is actually the greatest gift in the world and anyone who would think otherwise would either be ostracized or never dare speak. An important point is, it doesn't matter if the (transmission of the non-dual) state was genuine, just that there was some experience. That state is often "tested" in nebulous ways or not at all. In some cases there may actually be a pointing out of the nondual state. This "pointing out" is often confused with some enlightened state. Non-dual states of awareness can be pointed out by persons who are not enlightened but just have some people skills and good timing combined with some intuition. The quiet self-supporting consensus is that the people who are doing this are enlightened or "awakened". This seems to feed some subtle spiritual ego which is very gratifying, almost unifying to the group consciousness – albeit a group consciousness tinged with subtle unspoken attachments and bound by quiet agreement. It's as if the group has achieved an ego that is self-supporting.
I wonder if a possible mechanism for this dynamic could be codependents who actually can expand their own sense of ego and weave them into/onto groups. I actually wonder a number of possibilities, but this was one of them. This diminishes and removes their own sense of codependence and passes it on to a larger structure: codependent collective consciousness.