Saturday, November 04, 2006

He's Not Reluctant About Spreading Nonsense

File under: Gurubusting

A commenter alerted us to the existence of Seeking Truth, the blog of a devotee of someone who calls himself the "Reluctant Master." What the author of this blog is not reluctant to do is share occluding nonsense about spiritual truths:
Criticizing an Enlightened soul has an immediate and profound negative impact on one's future. In the current era (of Kalyug), most of the Enlightened souls and Realized Masters are hidden. The person standing next to you, who might appear to be a very ordinary person, might be one of them. Since it is very difficult to tell who is one of these great souls, it is very important not to belittle anyone or say or think bad things about anybody...
Shit. I guess that means we've really got it coming.

It's too bad the "Reluctant Master" appears to be yet another source of pollution in the form of occluding ideas about what self-realization actually is. He may not be doing anything different than all the other wannabe space-daddies out there, but that doesn't mean it's actually doing anything for anyone except to help them build up their ideas of themselves as spiritual beings, effectively building a wall between them and truth they've always been outside of ideas like the above.

But to be completely honest, it's not all this bad. We encountered a few good bits at Seeking Truth as well. And it's quite possible that our negative impression has much more to do with the devotee than the master. As always, your mileage may vary.

38 Comments:

At 11/04/2006 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the biggest bashers of spiritual teachers are other competing spiritual teachers. Guess that means there all doomed.

 
At 11/05/2006 12:07 AM, Anonymous Donut Dolly said...

According to posts on that Seeking the Truth blog, the Reluctant Master is one Sant Shri SAHIBJEE, whose (presumbably 'shopped) photo is viewable here. Scroll down to the second entry ("Spiritual discourse (satsang) in Malibu") on this cached page for the text that accompanied the photo.

And be aware that there is no teacher, "spiritual" or otherwise, who "...does anything for anyone except to help them build up their ideas of themselves...." It's in the job description. In fact, that's the whole point of having a teacher.

 
At 11/05/2006 12:18 AM, Blogger jody said...

And be aware that there is no teacher, "spiritual" or otherwise, who "...does anything for anyone except to help them build up their ideas of themselves...." It's in the job description. In fact, that's the whole point of having a teacher.

No sir, I don't agree. The whole point of a spiritual teacher should be to help you deconstruct yourself, or at the very least, give you the tools to do your own deconstruction.

 
At 11/05/2006 3:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"deconstruction"

Precisely Jody! That is exactly what True Gurus do,like Adi Shankara(Viveka Chudamani etc) and Sri Ramana Bhagavan. Once Sri Ramana Maharishi said "Those in quest of God/Self/Happiness are truly seeking cessation of activity. And one who prescribes actions like asanas,kriyas( like ravishankar of aol, hugs of matajees etc etc)charities and social services and so on as the remedy is worse than Yama, the Lord of Death......."

 
At 11/05/2006 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Jody, I have to commend you on a few things. 1) You are an intelligent man, of that I have no doubt. and 2) I share your dislike of people who are in the salvation game mainly for narcisisstic reasons.

But I have to wonder why it is that you are so angry with these people. Where is your motivation coming from - surely, it is not because you see yourself saving people from falling vicitim to these so called gurus. That would make you equally self-aggrandized and narcissistic.

I do think you are on the verge of finding your authentic self, but you have to accept and acknowledge this narcissistic streak in you. And when you do, it will disappear. ( and so will, I believe, your attacks on these fellows.)

Dont get me wrong, I do agree wiht you completely that these guys are usually in it for the babes and the money and the fame and the ego boost.

Here is the dilemma - how does one proclaims self realization, without placing himself (or herself) in an exalted position and ensuring that they don't start enjoying the narcisisstic strokes. Are the truly enlightened masters completely silent? I think not. And as someone who is self realized, I thought long and hard about this quandary - how do you stay true to yourslf, and still show people your path to self realization. I believe that I have resolved the conflict, and have achieved a state of authenticity and self realization, a state that the Hindus call Nirvakalpa Sahaja Samadhi.
For more details please feel free to check out my post on http://seductionsalvation.blogspot.com/2006/11/call-me-anand.html


Anand (formerly, Swami Shyamananda)

 
At 11/05/2006 4:57 PM, Blogger jody said...

But I have to wonder why it is that you are so angry with these people. Where is your motivation coming from - surely, it is not because you see yourself saving people from falling vicitim to these so called gurus.

I'm angry that so-called gurus spread occluding nonsense about self-realization. It's like being an environmentalist who dumps nuclear waste in a high mountain lake.

That would make you equally self-aggrandized and narcissistic.

I've had my moments of inflation. They passed.

I do think you are on the verge of finding your authentic self, but you have to accept and acknowledge this narcissistic streak in you. And when you do, it will disappear. ( and so will, I believe, your attacks on these fellows.).

Er... whatever. I've no troubles admitting my own narcissism and have been doing so online for the last 15 years.

how do you stay true to yourslf, and still show people your path to self realization.

I tell folks I'm just another asshole with an opinion.

 
At 11/05/2006 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anand said:
Where is your motivation coming from - surely, it is not because you see yourself saving people from falling vicitim to these so called gurus. That would make you equally self-aggrandized and narcissistic.


Anand, I don't follow your logic there. Why on earth would seeing oneself saving people from falling victim to these so-called gurus make one equally self-aggrandizing and narcissistic?

Could you explain the inference, because it looks like a non-sequitur to me.

Thanks,

"The Blade".

 
At 11/06/2006 1:02 AM, Anonymous Donut Dolly said...

No sir, I don't agree. The whole point of a spiritual teacher should be to help you deconstruct yourself, or at the very least, give you the tools to do your own deconstruction.

Setting aside for now that fact that my name is Dolly and you addressed me as "sir" (heh), what you're describing is a psychotherapist, not a spiritual teacher. And that is indeed the problem with the vast majority (perhaps 100%) of satsangs, retreats, intensives, dharma classes, etc., at least in the West: They're actually group thereapy sessions, except that they're conducted by unlicensed and untrained non-professionals from whom neurotic patients (preferentially dubbed "students") are seeking psychological (preferentially dubbed "spiritual") help.

In any case, helping you to "deconstruct yourself" is helping you to "build up your ideas" of yourself: It builds up your idea that there is a "yourself"; it builds up your idea that this "yourself" can, in fact, "deconstruct" itself; it builds up your idea that the teacher can, in fact, help "yourself" deconstruct itself; it builds up your idea that this deconstruction of "yourself" is a "spiritual" activity; it builds up your idea that "yourself" is doing something beneficial for itself and maybe even for "the world"; etc., etc., etc.

Again, I stress that the very act of teaching (anything) must, by definition, build up students' ideas of themselves. It's a prerequisite.

 
At 11/06/2006 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Reluctant Master"

The name alone drips and oozes a cloying sense of false humility.

 
At 11/06/2006 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Blade (interesting moniker):

Jody is angry that some "gurus" take advantage of their doting disciples. He then spends time and effort in creating a site, where he can "expose" them, but in fact it seems to me that he is merely being judgemental and overly angry. Where is this anger coming from? Where is this desire to help save people coming from? From the same space in Jody's heart that drives the same people that he judges. He wants to be seen as special, or if that is not possible, or untenable to his conscience or intellect or emotion, he wants to ensure that no one is accorded a special status.

Ergo, when he spends time and effort on a blog like this, he is,in fact, just as self aggrandized as the gurus he despises.

Except, like I told him, Jody seems intelligent. His intellect is telling hiim that what I say is true. He ha already thought of it. But so far, the defences of his mind are preventing him from taking that next step towards Self-Realization.

He talks about deconstruction, but what I see is a rigidly defended fortress of a psyche.

Anand

 
At 11/06/2006 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, I stress that the very act of teaching (anything) must, by definition, build up students' ideas of themselves. It's a prerequisite.

Dolly, let me clarify that.

From a psychotherapeutic, as well as from a spiritual perspective, reconstrucion or teaching or real change does not, and often should not depend on the student's (clien's/patient's) idea of himself.
It is not, as you say,a prerequisite. In fact, it is a hindrance. most people have ideas of themseleves based on defense mechanisms, and flawed superego structures.
For example, a person may have an idea of himself as a intellectual, another as a daring aggressive person. even such basic "temperamental" traists should be examined, and possibly changed. Obviously, this change is profound, and unnerving to most people and therefore has to be performed in an atmosphere of trust and faith.

I personally find that the path to true self-realization, is to carry on this process, and also integrate the person's social roles. In addition, the person must get in touch with Brahman (call it what you will), in order to be able to sort out his limited ego consciousness (his personality)
Hope this helps, Dolly

Namaste

Anand

 
At 11/06/2006 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No sir, I don't agree. The whole point of a spiritual teacher should be to help you deconstruct yourself, or at the very least, give you the tools to do your own deconstruction.

You are only partially correct, Jody. A big misinterpretation of vedic scriptures is that deconstruction of the self, of the limited ego, will lead to a realization of atman/brahman.
In fact, even the Buddhists, Nagarjuna, in paricular got it wrong when he emphasised shunyata.

if you are completely deconsturcted you will be unable to live in the material world. You might, if you have done the right things, attain maha Samadhi, but I think for most people that's unlikely, and besides, why leave the mortal universe when you are having so much fun ;)

So, the anseer is both a deconstruction and a reconstruction - deconstruct your limited self, and then reconstruct it based on very conscious decisions, that flow from you rconnection with teh universal spirit.
This is your blog and so, I will reserve the further explanation of this on my site.

Best wishes and Namaste

Anand

 
At 11/06/2006 10:09 AM, Blogger jody said...

He wants to be seen as special, or if that is not possible, or untenable to his conscience or intellect or emotion, he wants to ensure that no one is accorded a special status.

Interesting analysis. I've considered it myself. But then I look to the people I know who are self-realized and see how normal they are. Then I look at the windbag narcissists who advertise themselves as being special because of their purported self-realization, and the disconnect causes the action known as this blog.

Ergo, when he spends time and effort on a blog like this, he is,in fact, just as self aggrandized as the gurus he despises.

But I'm not saying I'm special because of it.

Except, like I told him, Jody seems intelligent. His intellect is telling hiim that what I say is true. He ha already thought of it.

I can see I'm not the only self-aggradized participant in this discussion.

But so far, the defences of his mind are preventing him from taking that next step towards Self-Realization.

Who steps toward what?

He talks about deconstruction, but what I see is a rigidly defended fortress of a psyche.

He who smelt it, dealt it.

 
At 11/06/2006 10:17 AM, Blogger jody said...

And that is indeed the problem with the vast majority (perhaps 100%) of satsangs, retreats, intensives, dharma classes, etc., at least in the West: They're actually group thereapy sessions, except that they're conducted by unlicensed and untrained non-professionals from whom neurotic patients (preferentially dubbed "students") are seeking psychological (preferentially dubbed "spiritual") help.

It's as if you took those words right out of my mouth.

Again, I stress that the very act of teaching (anything) must, by definition, build up students' ideas of themselves. It's a prerequisite.

Yes. I see your point and agree with you here.

 
At 11/06/2006 10:31 AM, Blogger jody said...

A big misinterpretation of vedic scriptures is that deconstruction of the self, of the limited ego, will lead to a realization of atman/brahman.

I'm not interpreting Vedic scripture. I'm seeing the life histories of my self-realized friends and coming to the conclusion that some kind of significant psychological transformation has usually taken place. The link might not be of the direct, causal variety, but that doesn't mean there is no role for an honest and fearless self-examination in the life of a sadhaka.

You are again misreading me. I'd check your glasses for dust, grime and the traces of your own personality, just as you are telling me to do – as unsurprising as that is.

 
At 11/06/2006 10:33 AM, Blogger jody said...

Jody is angry that some "gurus" take advantage of their doting disciples

No, Anand. You are missing my point.

I'm angry that gurus spread nonsense ideas about self-realization. The fact that they use these nonsense ideas to promote themselves as special, allowing them to take advantage of the devotion – while still a big problem for me – is secondary to the fact that the truth suffers from their lust to stand on a pedestal.

Methinks you doth protest too much, Anand. Are you just trying to smooth the way for your own emergence into gurudom? If so, I'll be waiting for you... Mwahahahahahahaha!

 
At 11/06/2006 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you just trying to smooth the way for your own emergence into gurudom? If so, I'll be waiting for you... Mwahahahahahahaha!

Well, at least you have a sense of humor!
Actually, I want to dissociate my personality from my teachings. I am a vehicle, a vessel, of a truth, not truth itself.
Aah well...I look forward to your lampooning my teachings someday, on this site. I enjoy your website, your cynical and critical attitude.

Would you be interested in participating in a small study of human superconsciousness? Do what I say for a year, and record with the same searing honesty, the changes that you see in yourself.

Anand

 
At 11/06/2006 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anand said:
Where is this anger coming from? Where is this desire to help save people coming from? From the same space in Jody's heart that drives the same people that he judges. He wants to be seen as special,


BIG ASSUMPTION there, as far as I am concerned, I can't be sure that what you are saying is true, but if this were true, it would be beside the point, Anand: it wouldn't matter to me if Jody were personally narcissistic and wants to feel special. In that case, may he be granted all the feelings of specialness he desires. Actually, a certain amount of narcissism is present in all people, and it's inevitable OK.

>> if that is not possible, or untenable to his conscience or intellect or emotion, he wants to ensure that no one is accorded a special status.

Again, that, if it were true of Jody, would be nothing more than a sidebar on the conversation, no less than it would be only a sidebar if it were true of you that you want to preserve very special status for so-called self-realized people. [ Insert thunder-clap and howl of wolf.... ]

As far as I am concerned, there is an enormous, ambient, destructive, false, inflated mythology about 'realization'. People simply shouldn't be afforded very high status by virtue of being self-realized. Can you not agree with that Anand? Or, Anand, do you think self-realized people should be afforded special high status by virtue of that? Yes, No or Waffle(=Yes)?

He's breaking the mythology. Isn't that a great thing Anand, that people who reach the state you claim to have reached are not mythologized and afforded inappropriate status?

"The Blade"

 
At 11/06/2006 11:13 AM, Blogger jody said...

Would you be interested in participating in a small study of human superconsciousness? Do what I say for a year, and record with the same searing honesty, the changes that you see in yourself.

It's sweet that you would try to help me, Anand. But can't you see that as a reflection of your own self-aggrandizement? Not that I don't need a lot of help in many ways, but that you feel I need help toward self-realization?

I've got a good number of friends who are very confident that I don't need that kind of help at all.

 
At 11/06/2006 11:15 AM, Blogger jody said...

As far as I am concerned, there is an enormous, ambient, destructive, false, inflated mythology about 'realization'. People simply shouldn't be afforded very high status by virtue of being self-realized.

I love you.

 
At 11/06/2006 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I am concerned, there is an enormous, ambient, destructive, false, inflated mythology about 'realization'. People simply shouldn't be afforded very high status by virtue of being self-realized. Can you not agree with that Anand?

I agree without reservation. No one should be accorded a high status - not the rich, or the powerful, or the beautiful, or the self-realized.

The problem is that society does the conferring of the status ( of course, as we all know, they are more likely to do this when subtly or overtly encouraged by the person who says he is self-realized)

If you are self-realized, and you want to share this with the world, then, inevitably, some people will place you on a pedestal. And others, will automatically assume that you are just another charlatan.

As long as I ensure that my motivation for sharing the knowledge is not narcissistic gain, then I ensure that I can impart knowledge with the purity that I preach.

You intellectualize because emotion makes you uncomfortable. We haven't met, Blade, but I know this about you: your life will be far more peaceful if you acknowledge your emotions - of love, and faith, not of cynicism, and judgement.

People like you and Jody are on the verge of self-realization, but your intellect is holding you back. You have become accustomed to it, it has served you well all these years. The time has come to let go. Seriously (And it cannot be helped if numerous charlatans have tainted the vocabulary of self-realization)

Anand

 
At 11/06/2006 11:35 AM, Blogger jody said...

If you are self-realized, and you want to share this with the world, then, inevitably, some people will place you on a pedestal.

Not if you make a consistent and concerted effort to remove the pedestal whenever the wood, hammer and nails come out.

And others, will automatically assume that you are just another charlatan.

Who is there to care whether they are seen as a charlatan or not?

You intellectualize because emotion makes you uncomfortable.

You label it "intellectual" because you believe you are speaking from a higher ground.

People like you and Jody are on the verge of self-realization, but your intellect is holding you back.

Your assumptions about David and I aren't surprising, but it does call into question your own understanding about self-realization.

The time has come to let go.

Again with the dirty glasses, Anand.

 
At 11/06/2006 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The time has come to let go.

Again with the dirty glasses, Anand.


*sigh*

The Americanism "whatever" was invented for times like these...

I wish you well, gentlemen

Anand

 
At 11/06/2006 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


As long as I ensure that my motivation for sharing the knowledge is not narcissistic gain, then I ensure that I can impart knowledge with the purity that I preach.


Anand, therein I believe lies a possible misapprehension. Correct motivation is not enough: correct view is also required.

You can be cognitively "inflated" without being emotionally oriented towards narcissistic gain. You can simply over-estimate yourself. And it is dead easy to do. Because what you have reached (assuming you have reached it) is so over-blown, so mis-apprehended, so pedestalized, that it is hard not to think that, having reached it, you are endowed now with great and special skills.

You intellectualize because emotion makes you uncomfortable.


Thanks. Wrong though. Very wrong. I'm very comfortable with emotion. I love emotion, in fact, and I love intellect too. But thanks again.

I do appreciate you attempt to help. For my part, I'd invite you to examine if you have developed an over-blown concept of your skills and stature, as a result of what you have gone through. It's really, really easy to do, Anand..... and the way you are talking to Jody and me suggests to me that it might have happened....

Regards,
"The Blade".

 
At 11/06/2006 12:13 PM, Blogger jody said...

*sigh*

Right back at'cha, Anand.

 
At 11/06/2006 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL at "shamanadaji" (as in sham? or as in peace?)

For someone with such a ridiculous website yourself, filled with nothing but your own version of "anger" (lust), and your own bizarre tearing down of others, it's amazing that you think you could teach a guy like Jody, whose main fault appears to be his preoccupation with his dog's ass, anything at all!

I'm suprised that "whatever" wasn't the first reply you got from your first attempt at dissecting the premise of this site whose purpose, as far as I am concerned, is quite obvious: to let people know the truth about all these liars so they can make up their own minds instead of stumbling around in a blind, brainwashed fog, following them to the ends of the earth, and spending their last cent and last bit of intellect to further their self-centered causes. I would include you in that last group. You clearly run an ashram. You clearly are full of yourself (and other substances which will go unnamed here).

Again, all I can do is laugh at everything you've written here and Thank God I never met you, and don't know you.

 
At 11/07/2006 9:05 AM, Anonymous Donut Dolly said...

Dolly, let me clarify that.....

I think you misunderstood my thrust, Swami/Anand. What I am unequivocally declaring is this: No entity, human or otherwise, can possibly reconstruct, or deconstruct, or effect any change in, another entity.

Therefore, the job of every self-declared "spiritual teacher," without exception, is simply to reinforce whatever conditioning the seeker (AKA "student") must have reinforced. In fact, that is all the seeker actually seeks: reinforcement of his confabulations. He has to believe that he is, for example, on a "path to true self-realization," and that in this teacher's advertised "atmosphere of trust and faith," some major transformation will be precipitated, or at least facilitated, by the "spiritual teacher" he has chosen for that role.

And not surprisingly, the job of every self-declared "seeker," without exception, is simply to reinforce the conditioning of the "spiritual teacher," by behaving as if the teacher is "self-realized," or "enlightened," or "awakened," or whatever the teacher's preferred term is for the state he has been hired to (and must) enact.

So in order to function as a "spiritual teacher," it is of course required that the teacher build up (i.e., reinforce) the students' ideas of themselves. The teacher must implicitly or explicitly assure the students that their fantasies will be fulfilled; the teacher must confirm that the students can indeed attain X or Y or Z -- whatever brand of enhancement the students imagine they desire -- with the assistance of this teacher, naturally; the teacher must give some indication that the students are making progress, perhaps "almost" there, and maybe even "in touch with Brahman," etc. Otherwise, the "spiritual teacher" will run out of students in a hurry.

I'm not alleging fraud or misrepresentation, by the way. In fact, in most cases, it's quite the opposite: the (often long-term) contract is fulfilled pretty much as bargained for. And it should go without saying that this type of (ideally) fair-exchange relationship is no different from any other symbiotic relationship: lover and lover; parent and child; spouse and spouse; sibling and sibling; doctor and patient; friend and friend; employer and employee; performer and audience; etc.

All relationships come into existence in order to reinforce the respective entities' conditioning, as required. Surely you who describe yourself as "someone who is self-realized" are intimately familiar with the operation of this law, no?

 
At 11/07/2006 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Donut,

Since you have this attitude about all relationships, I wouldn't suggest getting married or becoming a Momma. Sounds like you have your hear up Jody's dog's ass.

You sound as pompous as Anand and the Blade.

 
At 11/07/2006 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dolly said:
What I am unequivocally declaring is this: No entity, human or otherwise, can possibly reconstruct, or deconstruct, or effect any change in, another entity.


Hmmmm, I don't think I agree Dolly. In fact, the situation is almost the opposite: there is no existing "entity" anywhere which is isolated in the respect you imply. Of course, there could be difficulties of language here....

But Dolly, I think Ananda has already run away anyway. There is too much heat here in this kitchen. His self-image might melt here like the wings of Icarus. He's probably heading for the relative cool of the heads of believers. :)

"The Blade"

 
At 11/07/2006 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dolly,

Very eloquently stated. Most spiritual gurus and their disciples have the symbiotic relationship that you described, one that fulfills both the participants' desires. However, my approach is different - I start where the Seeker is (i.e. allow their fantasy trasference to be fulfilled) and then gradually allow them to mature, so that they introject the qualities that they desire at a pace that is not disconcerting to them.

In other words, it is not my gratification that I desire. Just like any other facilitator of change, I start where the Seeker is and then gradually move them along the path towards their own ultimate Self-Realization.

It is the corrupt Guru who indulges his own narcissism by keeping his disciples in a state of perpetual worship, and allows their projected fantasies of his omnipotence to go unchecked and unchanged.

By the way, you, Jody and the Blade show an unusual understanding of the process, but at the same time, you are so cynical of the motives of anyone who states that they can engender change.

Namaste

Anand

 
At 11/07/2006 4:13 PM, Blogger jody said...

By the way, you, Jody and the Blade show an unusual understanding of the process, but at the same time, you are so cynical of the motives of anyone who states that they can engender change.

That's a misread, Anand. I'm cynical of anyone who purports, or allows themselves to be purported as special because they are self-realized.

I have two major gurus and a number of minor ones. Each engendered change in me in their own ways, but none of them has ever thought of themselves as special because they are self-realized.

 
At 11/07/2006 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blade said:
But Dolly, I think Ananda has already run away anyway.


Ooops, he did come back. My bad! Fair play to you Anand! You haven't actually finally run away -- YET! :)

Anand, maybe you'' address some of the stuff I said earlier. Specifically, not being motivated for "narcissistic gain" does NOT in fact get one off for being "inflated": one can be inflated simply by virtue of severely over-estimating oneself. Isn't this true?

Is it possible that this has happened to you? As I was saying, some of your answers to Jody and me do suggest that to me.

"The Blade"

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

Is it possible that this has happened to you?


Is it possible that I have an overinflated sense of my own importance?
If by that, you mean "Is it overinflated to realize the divinity of the Self?", then my answer is Yes...
But I think you know that the issue is not that some people claim that they are divine, it is that most people do not realize this divinity in themselves...

 
At 11/07/2006 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You see the paradox there? The reason you are cynical, is because you are saying

a) You decide that a person is not self realized until proven otherwise (usually a good principle, but please tell me, What is your understanding of what is means and feels to be self -realized)
b) Any claims of self-realization is therefore an indicator of narcissism, or grandiosity, or trickery, etc.

If you believe this, then you are saying to yourself that one can never be self-realized, and therefore preventing yourself from achieving it.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion, and I will definitely drop in now and then to read your posts and your comments.

I wish you well

Anand

 
At 11/07/2006 8:06 PM, Blogger jody said...

a) You decide that a person is not self realized until proven otherwise (usually a good principle, but please tell me, What is your understanding of what is means and feels to be self -realized)

Actually, I believe many of the gurus I lampoon are self-realized. However, they're still assholes for claiming that makes them special.

My understanding about self-realization is expressed as my opinions here. Where these opinions originate I can't say, not because I wouldn't like to, but because it's universally impossible.

b) Any claims of self-realization is therefore an indicator of narcissism, or grandiosity, or trickery, etc.

That's a straw man, Anand. I'm not saying you aren't self-realized. I happen to believe you are. But that doesn't mean you are special, although you may very understandably be a wee bit inflated. That's not a disaster, and actually quite common. How else can a guru believe they are God over other people? (Not that I'm saying you believe this.)

I'm cynical because I know that self-realization does not make you special. I'm borrowing a certain writing approach from gossip blogs that lampoon celebrities for the same reason.

If you believe this, then you are saying to yourself that one can never be self-realized, and therefore preventing yourself from achieving it.

Dude, you are way off target here. I'm all for self-realization, and know it to be an understanding that is available to the apparent individual.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion, and I will definitely drop in now and then to read your posts and your comments.

You are most welcome to be here, Anand. Maybe after observing a bit more you'll begin to see that in about 98% of what we are talking about, we're both on the same page.

 
At 11/07/2006 8:10 PM, Blogger jody said...

But I think you know that the issue is not that some people claim that they are divine, it is that most people do not realize this divinity in themselves

Yeah. But don't go all Swami Nithyananda on us, Anand. He's always talking about divinity within us all and yet he still rides the pedestal pretty hard. Very disappointing if you asked me.

 
At 11/08/2006 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

("The Blade" here.) Anand, some of the smoke is beginning to clear. The inevitable misapprehension and Straw Men are out of the way, hopefully.

Let me first compliment you and say there is a lot to commend in the way you are handling this -- for example, you are taking a lot of rough play without getting hostile. That's always a good sign. So, to complement your claim that Jody and me may be on the verge of realization, let me submit that you may be on the verge of developing a non-inflated view of realization... :)

And let me go straight to my pointed question, which you did not answer. Your dodging of the answer, and the very way you dodged it is, in fact, extremely telling:


I asked: Specifically, not being motivated for "narcissistic gain" does NOT in fact get one off for being "inflated": one can be inflated simply by virtue of severely over-estimating oneself. Isn't this true? Is it possible that this has happened to you? As I was saying, some of your answers to Jody and me do suggest that to me. Is it possible that this has happened to you?

You answered:
Is it possible that I have an overinflated sense of my own importance?
If by that, you mean "Is it overinflated to realize the divinity of the Self?", then my answer is Yes...
But I think you know that the issue is not that some people claim that they are divine, it is that most people do not realize this divinity in themselves...


You have answered a different question. Like a politician, you have answered a different question which is a much nicer question for you, leaving the harder one to slide. No I did not ask "Is it overinflated to realize the divinity of the Self?". (BTW, I would in fact say that the answer to that question is "No" in fact.).

The problem is jumping out at us now, Anand. An extremely common dynamic is to think that, as long as you keep thinking that everyone ELSE is divine (too), that you are off the hook for inflation. In fact, you wrote your response EXACTLY as if your "realizing" that everyone else is divine (too), disposed the case in your favor, for not being inflated.

No it does not. You can be extremely sacro-mythically inflated, and understand that everyone else is divine (too). Look at J. Krishnamurti on his death-bed telling the world (admitting finally) that an Intelligence as great as the one which 'used this [his] body' will not be seen 'for centuries' on this earth! Now, answer the question, sir! :)

Jody: [Swami Nityananda is] always talking about divinity within us all and yet he still rides the pedestal pretty hard.


More of the same. Do you see the pattern Anand? Self-realization will not in itself correct inflation. Neither will the notion 'everyone else is divine (too)'. In fact, if anything, self-realization will exacerbate it, because the inflation will gain a sacro-mythic quality which is re-inforced by the traditions and milieu.

Until such time as this occluding milieu is destroyed, by tireless engagement against it.

 
At 11/15/2006 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swami:
So, the answer is both a deconstruction and a reconstruction - deconstruct your limited self, and then reconstruct it based on very conscious decisions, that flow from you rconnection with teh universal spirit.

Swami, as far as I can see it, you are also misrepresenting the vedic scriptures. Haven't we all heard about the upanishadic story of the tenth man? You are what you are seeking: This is the message of the ancient seers. There is no deconstruction or reconstruction involved here.

Mandukyopanishad says: "jnatva tam mritumatyeti; naanyah panthah vimuktaye".

You get liberated only by KNOWING your true nature. There is NO OTHER way for liberation.

Please mark the emphasis of vedas on KNOWING as the sole means of liberation: not on doing and un-doing.

 

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