Tuesday, November 07, 2006

David Lane Via Stuart Resnick On "Big" Spiritual Experiences

File under: Gurubusting

Stuart Resnick is one the more clued-up of our active commentators here. He's also fairly active on the Yahoo! Groups Guruphiliac discussion list, where he offered up this important reference for all us gurubusters out here:
David Lane... does a great job of clearly and forcefully expressing a view of the special experiences ("shaktipat," "darshan," yada yada) people get in the presence of gurus, a view that's much in harmony with my own. [Ed.note: Us too! Us too!] Lane writes: "Mystical Fireworks are Self-Generated and NOT caused by a GURU... People when given a meditation sitting will report seeing and hearing things... It is the disciple's own brain (or, again, to be generous, their 'Self') which is causing it, but the disciple wrongly believes that the Guru is doing the transmitting... It is EXACTLY that MIS-taken belief which FUELS the would-be claims of complete frauds... Kirpal Singh didn't transmit the experience; the disciples GENERATED it. Kirpal Singh simply took credit for that which he did NOT cause. It's an advertising ploy and a deceptive one at that. I have had hundreds of students in my classes see light and hear sounds and see radiant beings and leave their bodies... Did 'I' cause it? NOPE. They did. The difference here, of course, is that I EXPOSED THE SECRET. Kirpal took CREDIT for it and gained 'followers' on just such a deception."

That's the jist of it, but if you want more details from Lane, see here and here.
A big thanks to Stuart for doing our homework for us.

15 Comments:

At 11/07/2006 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you prove kirpal did zip?

 
At 11/08/2006 4:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally Agree with David lane on this count, But at the same time i am not against Gods and Gurus, Who have been the prime source of peace and bliss when you have complete faith in them and surrender. And in this state the devotee will be in a state of random abandoness and thus helps him to just "Be".

So Gurus are important and at the same time the devotee should keep his distance from them from becoming their prey to their various ploys.

Jody, I kindly request you not to jeopardise the faiths and the hopes of the devotees by telling that all Gurus are fakes and exploiters. For, in depression and bad times the Gods and the Gurus alone have been thier solace and the source for peace.

My above statement comes from the fact that you have been slightly skeptical about people like Ramana Maharishi and Jaggi Vasudev, Who are doing a great service to Humanity.

Peace unto all.

 
At 11/08/2006 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"can you prove kirpal did zip?"

Unless he dosed them with acid, it's pretty much a proven that he didn't "cause" anything. Hallucinations are otherwise entirely stemming from the self.

 
At 11/08/2006 8:42 AM, Blogger jody said...

Jody, I kindly request you not to jeopardise the faiths and the hopes of the devotees by telling that all Gurus are fakes and exploiters

I've never said that all gurus are fakes and exploiters. However, all gurus who say their self-realization makes them special are somewhat fake and exploitive, and will always be called out for that on these pages.

My above statement comes from the fact that you have been slightly skeptical about people like Ramana Maharishi and Jaggi Vasudev

There is no such thing as a perfect guru. To believe there is only extends ignorance and occludes the truth that is common to all.

 
At 11/08/2006 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhat related: about 2700 years ago it was common knowledge what "self realized" or "enlightened" meant for a person. Such a person achieved the state of consciousness known as "turiya". This was written about in the Mandukya Upanishad.

This is still "common knowledge" since there is an easily accessed and thorough book on the subject:

http://www.swamij.com/pdf/enlightenment-without-god-swami-rama.pdf

So there should be an objective test for such people.

 
At 11/08/2006 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jody,
I don't belive that Gurus can't give you some experience. That in my opinion isn't true, but surely we can say the practicer can also do the same experiences from himself, it also can happen someone think that the experience come from the master but is only mmagination that come from auto-suggestion.

 
At 11/09/2006 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is still "common knowledge" since there is an easily accessed and thorough book on the subject:

http://www.swamij.com/pdf/enlightenment-without-god-swami-rama.pdf

So there should be an objective test for such people. "

There'll be an objective test for "enlightenment" when there's objective proof of a mentalist existence. Until that point, illumination is entirely subjective.

 
At 11/09/2006 2:34 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

gamer555 wrote:
> Jody, I kindly request you not
> to jeopardise the faiths and the
> hopes of the devotees by telling
> that all Gurus are fakes and
> exploiters. For, in depression
> and bad times the Gods and the
> Gurus alone have been thier
> solace and the source for peace.

There are some people who believe in an outside power (guru or god) and get solace and peace. If you look at the various Guruphiliac comments and similar forums, it becomes clear that people who are firm in such belief (due to how much they value the solace etc) have a REMARKABLE ability to ignore all evidence that might threaten it. In fact, wouldn't most such people never even bother to read Guruphiliac and the like?

But there's another type of person, who's caught somewhere in the middle, questioning the need for belief in external powers, but not quite confident enough to make the leap to believing in their true self. These people can be HELPED by supporting their questioning of the need for dependence on external forces.

Perhaps honest questioning and investigation into whether it's necessary to depend on gods and gurus will help those who are ready to believe in themselves, while it will simply be ignored by those who aren't. Isn't it cool how the universe works that way?

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 11/09/2006 2:41 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

> about 2700 years ago it was
> common knowledge what "self
> realized" or "enlightened" meant
> for a person.

Human beings always have different ideas. There has never been a time when everyone agreed on the same idea of "enlightened" etc.

> This was written about in the
> Mandukya Upanishad.

IF you accept that an idea is true merely because it was written about in a book that's old and popular, THEN such ideas become "common knowledge" ONLY among those people who agree to accept the same particular old book as truth.

> So there should be an objective
> test for such people.

For instance, if we agree that "anyone who can high jump 6 feet or higher is enlightened," then we could design an objective test.

But why believe in this or that idea? Any clinging to an idea of enlightenment (whether it's from an upanishad, a guru, or your own mind) is a hindrance to actually perceiving for oneself the reality of direct experience.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 11/09/2006 5:22 PM, Blogger facedog said...

Stuart, I may be one of those in the middle. I read Lane's writing and concur with all of it. Yet, like him, I still love and admire and value my Guru. I don't get special experiences from him, but I simply love him. He inspires me and in his presence I do find myself more likely to notice and appreciate my own silent, simple existence. In his presence I also notice my own selfishness and his lack of godhood.

I do not expect that my Guru can or will "give" me anything but the simple fun of being with him. If he exhibits any tradition bound "specialness", I overlook it in the same way I overlook a friend's fart or the occasional intellectual pride I see exhibited on this site.

 
At 11/10/2006 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Any clinging to an idea of enlightenment (whether it's from an upanishad, a guru, or your own mind) is a hindrance to actually perceiving for oneself the reality of direct experience."

Really? So how does one do this? Can you do it?

There is a real fear amongst people involved in "self realizaation" to acknowledge that meditation is a practice that causes physiological changes; changes that can be measured and quantified. The fear probably stems from all the so-called "experts" who know nothing more than a bit flakey philosophy. In the past, the term "self realization" meant that one had progresed through the stages of a practice - it certainly never meant that one just did a bit of reading.

Lutz has done a lot of recent studies on this and there were many done in the past on various traditions. In all cases the more experienced and advanced practitioners could easily be found through measurement of EEG.

I'd like an historical example of "self realization" that did NOT involve serious meditation. It appears to me the belief that "self realization" occurs by a bit of hand waving and mumbling something about "direct experience" is more new age crap - no work required, just buy the book...

 
At 11/11/2006 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kirpal Singh was a great, great man of God. Lane's Guru was Charan Singh who was given the mantle of Guruhood strictly by family succesion and was always attacking Kirpal Singh Maharaj. Lane has created this whole thing to give support to his own Guru, who he still worships.

 
At 11/11/2006 1:23 PM, Blogger jody said...

Kirpal Singh was a great, great man of God.

If you asked me, the whole Sant Mat tradition is defunct, as laden as it is with fantastical notions of the heavens "beyond" and what that means for an individual aspirant.

Neti, neti, my dog's ass, etc.

 
At 11/13/2006 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree with exposing those that take gross advantage of others and claim credit for what is ones own birthright and brain and self whatever...the ability to affect others by ones presence is obvious and the ability to raise consciousness by those who are clearly operating on another level is real. Just thought I would point that out as the article in question although ardently invokes autonomy it excludes interconnectedness and the influence it can have.

 
At 7/21/2009 2:05 PM, Blogger DrPurple said...

But what is experienced when you do yoga or any serious meditation is what is important. Gurus can help people when they first start on a bath. Ultimately, are you directly experiencing blissfulness, blessedness, are you seeing/hearing/feeling something that puts you in direct experience with a non-dualism experience, a oneness-with-all experience or not? There is a mystical experience that few people can capture in writing, but I think Rumi, Gibran, and some sufi writers capture to near perfection. Terrence McKenna has had the experience when he talked about this experience of devotion/adoration/worship that was difficult for his rationalist trained mind to accept.

If one will practice any form of mediation with an open heart and an open mind, it will be difficult NOT to have such an experience. A real guru can help one with techniques of breathing and meditation and attitude. But there are sufficient sources available no that one can find a teacher and the guru is in the writing of the book. This experience is easier from those with the book-based religions in the first place.

Breaking free of the lies of Occam's razor and the forced limiting of empirical experience caused by so-called "scientific" thinking is much more difficult. The so-called enlightment period set back humankind for centuries. Luckily, more and more of us are awaking and noticing and becoming aware of our whole experience with fewer and fewer destructive filters.

 

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