Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Brits Love Them Some Amma

File under: Amma All Over The Planet

Ammachi has been working her mommy magic on the citizens of the U.K., as this tabloid writer seems enchanted by "the Big Hugger."

We've got to admit that her hugging has been a very effective way to market herself to a much wider audience. She is clearly the biggest of the big-time gurus and the number one devi since Sarada Devi was alive.

It has become our custom to say that if you're going to go for a big-time guru, you could do a whole lot worse than Amma. But then, like all the big-time gurus, she doesn't seem to care much that people think she's God with miraculous powers. And her people are actively promoting that myth for the very good reason that people go to these gurus because they're looking for a space-mommy to make everything better. Amma fits that bill to a "t", thanks in part to the efforts of her people to foster her continuing deification.

Amma is sweet, but she's wrapped in a rancid rind of ridiculous ideas about self-realization. One can only hope she'll eventually recognize this and come to show us just how very human and like us she really is.

17 Comments:

At 10/15/2006 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One can only hope she'll eventually recognize this and come to show us just how very human and like us she really is."

Hey Jody,
What do you think that would look like?
What would be different?

Matthew

 
At 10/16/2006 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have heard that Ammachi experiences tremendous physical pain from her hugging and must take steroids. Certainly there have been defections and desertions in her highest ranks of devotees that must have caused her mental anguish. That makes her as human as the rest of us.

As for the deifying machinery. Once it is allowed to start and the money comes rolling in from people who want to believe that she will take care of all their problems, there is no putting that back in the jar. Once the lie is institutionalized, it's too late.

 
At 10/16/2006 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mathew,

from the very first lines of what you will see at amma.org, under Teachings:

"Amma's life is her message. In other words, Amma does not teach anything that she herself does not practice. Living from moment to moment in a constant state of supreme happiness....".

We just have to keep asking the question "is that TRUE?" against what is being presented to us as 'Amma'.

Is that TRUE? Is Amma living in a CONSTANT state of supreme happiness?

It goes on:
"Amma always points out that the purpose of one's life is to realize who we really are. She says, "By realizing our own Self we become full, with nothing more to gain in life. Life becomes perfect.""

Have you now been told, implicitly, that Amma has realized who she really is, and that she has become full, with nothing more to gain in life, and her life has become perfect?

Is that TRUE? Wouldn't you wanna get you some o' that?

Is she not already up on a pedestal within a few lines?

How often does she say other important truths, like 'I haven't a clue', or 'Maybe, I'm not sure', or 'Not sure what the best thing is here, but maybe this will work', or 'I'm not feeling great today and I am worried that...' etc etc etc. And if not, why not?

Perhaps I can suggest the answer. Because the important truths of the last kind go counter to the cultivation of the pedestal, and the Myth that is Amma.

No, Matthew, she's cultivating an amazing-devi image. If you want to know what would be different if she showed us "how very human and like us she really is", just think of subtracting the amazing-devi image from the image of Amma that is already out there.

-David

 
At 10/18/2006 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that some of the questions of the last post indicate that "anonymous" has not been around an enlightened person. (or at least my definition of what I think is an enlightened person.)

I do know only one person, and maybe Ammachi is like him, who actually is always apparently supremely happy. Even when ill, even when the body lets him down, even when people trash him (and I've seen plenty of it), this man is happy. Not like jumping around in ecstacy happy. More like even, without reaction, fear or desire that the situation should change at all. I've watched him closely, sometimes for months at a time, to try to detect a difference. There never was one. About the extent to his irritation that I've seen would be "rice might not agree completely with my body, due to the fact that I was raised on wheat. Perhaps I should eat wheat, rather than rice." Even when I've become quite angry and impatient with this wonderful person, then felt sorry later and apologized, he just laughed and said "if you throw some dirty water into the Ganges, will it make the Ganges dirty? Don't worry..." This to me is supreme happiness. Not minding this or that, going along with whatever life sends your way, good or bad. I've seen him rich, poor, and inbetween. No change in his attitude. I've seen him cheated by others, and he'd just laugh, or say that it was their destiny to cheat him and for him to be cheated. At the same time, this man is one of the most dynamic people I've met. He has seemingly limitless energy at times, but he falls physically sick like anyone else. He jokes, or is serious sounding, but never, ever angry. Never fearful, never irritated with anyone or anything.

So, I think it could be possible that Ammachi would be this way. I don't know because I've never lived with her. But the above description is my idea of enlightenment or "saint" (although this man has said repeatedly "I am not a saint. I have bad habits....")

In addition, there is a deep feeling of Peace around him. I also have that feeling of empty Peace around Ammachi, even in a crowd. Because my friend is not dressed up as a God when I experience this, and had no title when I met him, I don't attribute this feeling to my projection. I think that enlightened people do feel different to be near.

Just my opinion.,

 
At 10/18/2006 10:47 AM, Blogger jody said...

Because my friend is not dressed up as a God when I experience this, and had no title when I met him, I don't attribute this feeling to my projection.

Clothes and title are not required for a projection to occur. Your friend might just look peaceful to you, hence your experiencing a feeling of peace when you are around him.

 
At 10/18/2006 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello 'anonymous' (BTW signing some sort of handle helps the conversation ), even if it WERE true that there are people who live in a CONSTANT state of supreme happiness, two questions remain: one, is Amma REALLY one of them; and two, more important really, why mythologize them?

In other words, if such a person exists, why is it a big deal? Could it not be just some sort of nervous-system anomaly? Is their supreme happiness something that can be given to you? Can Mozart give you his music ability, can Picasso his artistic ability, can Stephen Hawking give you his intuitive grasp of many-dimensional spaces? What is the success rate at passing on this supreme happiness? Be honest.

So, even if it were true that someone is in a state of constant happiness, why the hype? Why is it associated with the 'Divine' and divine powers?

-David

 
At 10/18/2006 2:16 PM, Blogger jody said...

Could it not be just some sort of nervous-system anomaly?

I can imagine a person with brain damage having the same attitude this guy has. He may be able to pull it off in the context of modern society, but out on the veldt with the other bulls? He'd be stomped into the dirt. In other words, it's not evolutionary for people to lack the ability to come to anger. It's pretty much pathological to not have any anger than it is to have a healthy anger response.

 
At 10/19/2006 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is totally unclear if Ammachi is this or that way continuously, at least to me, because I've never stayed around her. That's what I said in the earlier post.

Obviously people are born with differing nervous systems and that could probably contribute to their differing modes of expression. For example, a baby of a drug addict will probably have lots of problems that a healthy child might not have.

Jody, I think that lots of anger is a sign of mental disease, personally. Not a "healthy" response. If there is an injustice, it would seem more healthy to me to remain calm about it, then take some intelligent action. I've never seen a person who is boiling with anger show very much intelligence. That's why the world is filled with Darfurs and Iraqs and whatever. Anger.

The friend I spoke of is a great man, is not braindamaged, and I would challenge you to sit with him and be unaffected. Even you Jody, might have something to learn still in this life. You can rattle on all day about how anything we experience is just wanting somebody to be a space daddy, or whatever, but some people really are better than you at showing the way to others. Sorry about that.

The fact of Guru Tattva is a fact. The principle of Guru does indeed stream through particular individuals at particular times under particular circumstances to help another person on their way to some kind of understanding. It's not imagined. It's not just projection. I simply disagree with you on this. Guru Tattva does exist, and will continue to exist no matter how many terrible people there are who are not really able to allow that unending stream of grace to flow through them (like Eli-Jaxon Bear, for example -- he's useless).

To the other anonymous: I don't believe that anyone, however enlightened they are, can "give" enlightenment to anyone else. It seems to me that there are only great souls wandering around here and there who, if we are lucky enough to see them and meet them, might remove some of our veils, or curtains from our eyes so that we might see more clearly for ourselves. The rest is up to our own enquiry and God (if you believe in such things).

There is nothing wrong in the idea of a Guru. The problems come with thinking erroneously that the Guru is a person as opposed to a force, principle. When we believe Guru to be the person with whom we had such and such an experience of removal of some darkness or useless thinking, then we elevate that person to Gurudom and we all lose (even the person through that gift of removal came). Guru Tattva can come through a person, place, stone, whatever. It seems to mostly come through certain people, however.

When you drink water, you will always be aware of a taste that comes from the container you drink from: if it's copper it's one taste, if silver, another, if dirty, greasy glass, another. If the container, in that moment, is exceptionally clean glass, you will only taste pure water. There won't be a taste perse.

That's all my opinion on this subject.

 
At 10/19/2006 7:42 AM, Blogger jody said...

I would challenge you to sit with him and be unaffected

He's invited to the HQ in northern New Mexico whenever he'd like to visit. Seriously.

some people really are better than you at showing the way to others.

No doubt!

 
At 10/19/2006 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jody,

what is the "HQ in New Mexico"? Do you run an ashram of some kind? God forbid! Seriously.

 
At 10/19/2006 11:19 AM, Blogger jody said...

what is the "HQ in New Mexico"?

It's just my humble little adobe hogan. Me, my dog and his ass live there. I've got million dollar views and satellite TV, so your friend would be reasonably entertained.

http://atman.net/guruphiliac/hq.jpg

 
At 10/19/2006 10:25 PM, Anonymous Darling Daughter said...

Why take someone else's word for it? Why not go and see for yourself, with an open mind and some healthy skepticism? Listen, watch, ask questions. Come to your own conclusions. What could it hurt? It has been said that God is experience. Open your heart. There are beings on this plane who want to help you. Why? Have you ever experienced the joy of helping someone? You wouldn't have to go far...Ammachi comes to New Mexico every June. Why not go and experience? Put Her to the TEST! Your Test! It's free. Nothing to lose, but maybe something to gain.

 
At 10/20/2006 7:22 AM, Blogger jody said...

Why not go and see for yourself
I already did that.

 
At 10/20/2006 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Darling Daughter,

When I said I had not lived near Ammachi, I didn't mean to say I had never seen her. I've seen her many times, enjoyed her satsangs, been invited (by her) to stay with her in India. But I don't know if she lives the same way all the time, because I never LIVED with her. At her ashram in Kerala, I saw lots of very sick (some dying) westerners who were working their hearts out, some with love, some with determination, some with simple masochism. I'd never work that hard. It's too much. So I couldn't live with Ammachi because I don't like to stay awake 24 hours daily, act really really serious about everything that "Amma Says" (according to her minions) and be generally overworked and have no time for play. That's just me. I'm not a saint, nor am I a masochist like many I've observed around her. I also don't like the idea of a uniform. All the dowdy, white dressed women and men are just a bore. But I like Ammachi lots.

 
At 10/22/2006 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why such a focus on dogging Amma?

It seems quite sick to keep putting down someone who has dedicated her life to helping those who are suffering.

I'd hate to see what you'd have to say about Ghandi if he were still on the planet.

What can one honestly say that is bad about Amma? Certainly, many of her devotees could be described as a bit kooky....but what can you say about Amma herself? She sits there for 15-24 hours at a time just to console people and wipe away their tears.

Why the incessant need to drag Amma down to your level? It seems like you are far too anxious for Amma to, as you said:

"show us how very human and like us she really is."

Sounds like a bit of a complex you have there.

 
At 10/22/2006 4:48 PM, Blogger jody said...

Why such a focus on dogging Amma?

It's not just dogging Amma. It's dogging the idea that Amma is more God than you.

It seems quite sick to keep putting down someone who has dedicated her life to helping those who are suffering.

Amma's helping the suffering comes with a price, that is to foster superstitious nonsense about self-realization and the world in general.

I'd hate to see what you'd have to say about Ghandi if he were still on the planet.

It's well-known he had some unseemly qualities.

What can one honestly say that is bad about Amma?

What is bad is that people think Amma is more God than they are.

Certainly, many of her devotees could be described as a bit kooky....but what can you say about Amma herself? She sits there for 15-24 hours at a time just to console people and wipe away their tears.

As some kind of supposedly omnipotent space-mommy. It's great that people feel great when they visit Amma. It sucks that people believe it's by way of Amma's "magic" that they do so.

Why the incessant need to drag Amma down to your level?

Because self-realization is a very normal and natural understanding to come to. It doesn't make you any more God than you were before. It doesn't automatically make you a magic space-mommy or daddy, either. It's just seeing something you've always missed because you didn't have anything to compare it to. Amma presents an utterly false idea of what self-realization is, just by being who she is. That's why I'm taking sledge hammer to her pedestal.

It seems like you are far too anxious for Amma to, as you said:

"show us how very human and like us she really is."

Sounds like a bit of a complex you have there.


I have plenty of complexes, but that doesn't change the fact that Amma pollutes Vedanta with her image.

 
At 10/23/2006 7:49 PM, Blogger falseguru said...

I agree with Jody that the myth making and image engineering that happens around not only Amma but just about any kind of human being who steps up in consciousness, or in service to humanity does an ultimate disservice to the aspiration to know the truth of our own being. It just creates more religion which is presently laid bare for all to see in its world wide decay. Image making is just another way of burying our heads in the sand and trying to go back to sleep.

The reason so many people who have done sadhana sincerely and now find themselves wanting to take sledge hammers to the idols of beliefs is that the sadhana itself has brought our individual awareness to this point and we know for sure that worshiping human gods is not helpful to us.

Jody is just as sincere in his knowledge as you are in your defense of Amma.

 

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