Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cohen's Best Come Back To Haunt Him

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

Several people have steered us toward the What Enlightenment? blog and the latest brouhaha over enlightened asshole Andrew Cohen's penchant for chiseling:
The author of this piece, Jane O'Neil, is a former close student of Andrew Cohen. It was her devotion to him and her contribution of $2 Million that made possible the purchase of Foxhollow, Cohen's residence and the headquarters of EnlightenNext in Lenox, Massachusetts. After she left the group, Andrew Cohen betrayed his promise to her to keep her contribution confidential by publicly discussing it while severely disparaging her for leaving him.
Then, the former editor of Cohen's own magazine sprinkles sulfuric acid on the wound:
The principal factor in my own decision to undertake a real reckoning with the facts and implications of my involvement with Andrew was the ever-expanding reservoir of evidence (in my own often repressed experience) that his conduct and underlying motivations are in reality far different from his own understanding of them, and that his capacity to comprehend their probable origins and tangible effects is, shall we say, less than adequate.
Ouch!

A wonderful opportunity has presented itself to Andrew Cohen. If he can realize that the strife is of his own making rather than only being the fault of what he imagines to be his former students' inadequacies, he would be vaulted much closer to actually being qualified to wear the mantle he snaked by misinterpreting a few misunderstood words by his guru.

65 Comments:

At 12/17/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

I just don't get it. If intelligent people (and Jane O'Neill seems to be one) absolutely must choose an extreme narcissist for enlightened-space-daddy-at-the-cutting-edge-of-world-transformation, why not choose someone like Adi Da over folks like Andrew Cohen?

I mean, c'mon, Adi Da has entertainment value. And often he can be deliberately funny. And Adi does have a few of his own insights, that aren't just assembled and regurgitated spiritual platitudes. And unlike Cohen he doesn't like he crawled out of Miami Vice. And you might get to spend some time in tropical Fiji. And he is one phat (and fat) partier!

And I don't care what anyone says, but every woman prefers coming down from a decade-long guru trip with with a few good shags under her belt and cigarrette-burn scars on her butt than minus her $2 million inheritance!

Go Adi, go! You're the man!

 
At 12/17/2006 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don;t know man, blade...I know you are being semi-facetious, but Adi Da is one scary dude...As a man, i can't comment on his sex appeal vis a vis our boy Cohen's but Adi creeps me out...And Ken Wilber's endorsement of Adi's writings notwithstanding, I dont see that he has anything new to say.
As for Andrew Cohen, he is more neurotic than Woody Allen, and less prfound. That dude (cohen) pisses me off too...Which is why I seek enlightenment elsewhere...Like this hot blonde chick who's over at my place just now...mmm mmm

 
At 12/18/2006 7:51 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

A Mouse said, "Like this hot blonde chick who's over at my place just now...mmm mmm..."

>>>>>>>>>>>

You're working that angle too hard, Mouse, but I agree with you that comparing Adi duh with Andrew Co-rooster is like comparing Hitler to Idi Amin.

 
At 12/18/2006 7:59 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

As a man, i can't comment on his sex appeal vis a vis our boy Cohen's

Let's put it this way: if you are a masochistic woman who wants her butt burned with a cigarette, literally or even metaphorically, someone who looks like he crawled out of Miami Vice, about 20 years too late to look fashionable, is not the one to do it.

Now Adi Da looks like he crawled out of a David Lynch movie.... much more in the line of who you want burnin' your ass, given that you want a narcissistic space-daddy world savior takin' your ass one way or another.


I know you are being semi-facetious


Scratch the "semi". :) I am being serious only this far: that I don't understand how Cohen got to be where he is (unenviable though it may be) while he is so lacking in any sort of color or distinguishing talent of any kind that I can see anyway.

And Ken Wilber's endorsement of Adi's writings notwithstanding


Adi is nowhere near where Ken Wilber's hyperbole would place him. But he's well ahead of Cohen in this regard (scratch everything Adi has written in 20 years because his grandiosity has totally taken over). That's not an endorsement for Adi Da, BTW.

 
At 12/18/2006 8:19 AM, Anonymous sadhvi said...

Thanks guys,
It just gets clearer and clearer...performer,"audience", critic, perpetrator...sooner or later the misogyny will surface! Some little fat dude with delusions of sexual power or a yeshiva student who doesn't like his mommy; guys who think rape and torture are a riot and women are just dying for it, all the time....so cover them up, cut off their hair, prevent them from learning how to read, pass the 5 year olds around to your friends..ha ha ha..so amusing! If you substitute the word "black" for "every woman" in your last paragraph, Blade..you might get just how unfunny this is! It reminds me of all the Indian guys I know who "worship" Devi and beat their wives....ha ha ha...what a riot!
Who knows, maybe Jane unconsciously chose Andrew Cohen because he is so asexual that she may have thought she could escape the more blatant forms of predation that permeate the "sprititual scene"...only she forgot that here in the USA money is even "sexier" than "a good shag". what a world.
sadhvi

 
At 12/18/2006 9:39 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

guys who think rape and torture are a riot and women are just dying for it

It really is a shame, Sadvhi, that you think that someone here (other than yourself) is painting a picture that rape and torture are a riot and women are just dying for it. It really is a shame.

Tell me the truth: isn't it obvious that people, whether male or female, really don't want what they are really getting from Adi Da or Andrew Cohen? Seriously, who wants permanent cigarette scars on their butt? Or to be down $2 million? What I was writing was so absurd that I didn't think anyone would read it the way you did.

It reminds me of all the Indian guys I know who "worship" Devi and beat their wives.

What I wrote wasn't written with a sense of women's inferiority. All that was superimposed by you.

 
At 12/18/2006 10:53 AM, Anonymous durga said...

Blade said: What I wrote wasn't written with a sense of women's inferiority. All that was superimposed by you.


Blade, I didn't get the impression that you were trying to demean women, but it's sometimes easy for woman to read that into men's comments given the social and historical context.

 
At 12/18/2006 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It reminds me of all the Indian guys I know who "worship" Devi and beat their wives.

Call me sensitive, but it doesn't remind you of white guys who drink a six pack, go to church, and beat their wives eh?

A Mouse.

 
At 12/18/2006 11:57 AM, Anonymous sadhvi said...

Blade,
the point I was trying to make is that what you said wasn't funny..although I "get it" that you were trying to be "sarcastic". As I said, substitute the word "black" for "women" and you will see what I mean. I didn't "superimpose" anything on what you wrote..I think the word you are looking for is "projection" (which is not the case either). If you actually know women who were sexually abused by spiritual teachers and have seen how it affected them or talked to 10 year old girls who were raped by their fathers and (yeah) burned by cigarettes, it's just not very funny. Trivializing the very real suffering of others in order to be "clever" is a cheap shot, imho. If it were all so "obvious" as you seem to think it is, this website wouldn't exist.
sadhvi

 
At 12/18/2006 12:35 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

A Mouse said,

"Call me sensitive, but it doesn't remind you of white guys who drink a six pack, go to church, and beat their wives eh?"

...........

Obviously, mouse, she doesn't know any such fellows and neither do you or I!

 
At 12/18/2006 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to Sadhvi: Stay on your meds gal...
Blade said: scratch everything Adi has written in 20 years because his grandiosity has totally taken over

He was always a grandiose fatty - check out his videos on YouTube, of satsangs from the 70's...Bubba had it going on back then too, just didn't have that Fijian island...
As for Cohen, again, what do people see in him?
By the way, I think there is a tendency to deify some of these guys once they die - Narendra Dutt for example (AKA Vivekananda) was as narcissitic as they come. Check out his famous pic - they are so self-conscious and posed, that I don't know what, as a school kid in India, i actually believed that the guy was self-realized...
And Ken Wilber seems to have become accepted as being a profound and original thinker, when all he does is takes old concepts and makes it much more complicated than it is...

Chuck said:"You're working that angle too hard, Mouse"

You bet I worked those angles hard, Chuck ;)

A Mouse

 
At 12/18/2006 1:05 PM, Anonymous durga said...

"If you actually know women who were sexually abused by spiritual teachers..."

But according to new wage thinking as evidenced by spiritually enlightened teachers who espouse "4th density relationships", no one can hurt any one else. I wish somebody would do justice to that pleadian absurd bullsh*t espoused by psychobabelians in austin.

 
At 12/18/2006 1:24 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

..I think the word you are looking for is "projection"

Therein you would be wrong. There is an important difference, which was intended.

the point I was trying to make is that what you said wasn't funny..

What you wrote was a hostile flame -- basically calling me a perpetrator and accusing me of misogyny. If you are a disturbed victim, I'll chalk your flame up to unfortunate circumstances. If not, you have behaved irresponsibly and owe an apology.

Trivializing the very real suffering of others in order to be "clever" is a cheap shot, imho.


You either get satire or you don't. One of the first major satirists in print, Jonathon Swift, wrote 'A Modest Proposal' in which he suggested that the starving Irish take care of their broblem by cooking and eating their children. You can read it either correctly (as he meant it) or you could say that he was trivializing the suffering of others. The truth is he was scathingly satirizing the mentality of the ruling British landlord classes of the time.

Whatever about its good taste or appropriateness (which is a matter of debate, opinion and taste), if you really do see what is going on, it's irresponsible to lash out with inappropriate and unfounded accusations.

 
At 12/18/2006 1:26 PM, Blogger jody said...

Narendra Dutt for example (AKA Vivekananda) was as narcissitic as they come. Check out his famous pic - they are so self-conscious and posed, that I don't know what, as a school kid in India, i actually believed that the guy was self-realized...

Narcissism by itself is no indication of a lack of realization. In other words, Vivekananda could have been self-realized and narcissistic. Narcissism refers to a particular configuration of personality, realization refers to an understanding that lies beyond personality. The narcissistic personality can be transcended just as readily as any other.

The photography of the time necessitated Vivekananda's over-posing. Those exposures took minutes to make. Vivekananda would have had to hold those poses for a long time, hence the seemingly self-conscious photos he took.

 
At 12/18/2006 2:03 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Scumbag guru trivia:
Adi believes himself to be the re-incarnation of Vivekananda. Not only that, but he believes Muktananda (Adi Da's guru) to be the re-incarnation of Ramakrishna (Vivekananda's guru). They came back again, fatty (narcissist) and skinny (weirdo), like Laurel and Hardy. :)

 
At 12/18/2006 2:10 PM, Blogger jody said...

Adi believes himself to be the re-incarnation of Vivekananda.

Now that is some seriously funny fat man humor.

 
At 12/18/2006 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody said: In other words, Vivekananda could have been self-realized and narcissistic.

I don't agree, Jody. As you yourself state, realization of the self implies a transcendence of personality. If one is narcissistic, and therefore invests a lot of psychic energy into self-aggrandizement, then one cannot be self-realized, (although one can certainly talk the talk)
If Vivekananda were alive today, you would have roasted him on guruphiliac,just as you do anyone else.
Now, that does not mean that he had nothing important to say, or even that he had valuable insights into the nature of life and existence. An as for those poses - he could have sat down and allowed the photographer to go about his business. The fact that he posed for them implies a keen sensitivity to the image he projected....


A Mouse

 
At 12/18/2006 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swami Vivekananda may have been strong and regal in appearance, but I hardly think he was a narcissist. Look at the original photos; there is a softness in his eyes and face in contrast to the "manliness" projected by his pose.

Swamiji himself seemed embarrassed by those photographs when he saw them after they'd been developed. He wrote about it to one of his American female devotees.

Swamiji makes this humorous remark about the Chicago pose (photo #20) and this photo (#25) in a letter dated August 5, 1894, to Mrs. Hale written from Greenacre Inn, Eliot, Maine:

"The Harrison people sent me two 'nasty standing' photos -- that is all I have out of them, when they ought to give me 40 minus the 10 or 15 I have got already!!!"
(from
The Vivekananda Photo Gallery
.)

 
At 12/18/2006 4:27 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

sadhvi:
>If you actually know women who
>were sexually abused by spiritual
>teachers and have seen how it
>affected them or talked to 10
>year old girls who were raped by
>their fathers and (yeah) burned
>by cigarettes, it's just not very
>funny.

It's kind of like whether or not you appreciate "South Park" (which a couple years ago did a very funny show about AIDS, on the theory that its been around long enough to be comedy as well as tragedy).

Personally, I'm glad there are some people/places that find humor in everything. I also find it practically impossible to learn in any environment where humor is completely absent. Even though in some cases, South Park included, I may sometimes find it more painful than funny.

Context (situation) is key. I'm glad South Park is around, but only because I can turn it off when I want. Things that you wouldn't say in a private conversation with someone who's suffering after a bad experience with a guru you can appropriately say in a forum like this. Again, the key is that it's because the discussion here isn't forced on anyone.

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

 
At 12/18/2006 4:28 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

MOUSE SAID, "If Vivekananda were alive today, you would have roasted him on guruphiliac,just as you do anyone else."

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

I'm not so sure about that. In fact, reading the exchanges between Narendra and Sri Ramakrishna reminds me very much of Jody himself. Jody seems very dedicated to the truth and speaks with authority, just like Swami Vivekananda did.

 
At 12/18/2006 4:34 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

>realization of the self implies a
>transcendence of personality.

I don't know that "transcendence of personality" means anything. It doesn't mean anything to me.

The teachers I've found most valueable show no sign in word or action of having any special sort of personality. They do seem to be attentive to how their personality affects others, and try to use it in a way that's helpful. That's more what I try to do, rather than giving any thought to "transcendence."

Similarly, though I think questioning "What am I?" is a wonderful tool, I don't give any thought to "realization of the self." Unless that means realizing that I don't know what I am.

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

 
At 12/18/2006 4:39 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Said Mouse: He was always a grandiose fatty - check out his videos on YouTube, of satsangs from the 70's...Bubba had it going on back then too, just didn't have that Fijian island...


I'll grant you that. I can imagine him being born a grandiose fatty, screaming for a cigar and a woman before he was weaned. But his earlier writings did show some insights. I neither want to overstate that nor understate it. For example, I'm not saying he's ahead of the good commentator's here. But I do think he's way ahead of Andrew Cohen by a mile in his commentaries.

As for Cohen, again, what do people see in him?


I really, really don't get it either. Don't get me wrong about Da -- I consider him thoroughly bad news. Leaving that aside though, I can see things in him what some people would find attractive, and the same goes for Idi Amin indeed. I just can't figure out how Cohen got it going at all.

 
At 12/18/2006 5:34 PM, Anonymous durga said...

Narcissism by itself is no indication of a lack of realization. In other words, Vivekananda could have been self-realized and narcissistic.

On this subject, there is a study by someone named Georg feuerstein called "The shadow of the enlighteend guru". He says that apparently "enlightened adepts can be subject to personality characteristics that consensus opinion finds undesirable", such as sudden out bursts, neurotic traits, etc. To resolve this seeming contradiction, some say there is "a phantom ego, a vestigial personality center, that remains even after awakening to the universal reality".. However, this puts into question whether or not this apparent illumination corresponds to integration, which the author considers to be the basis for higher self transformation. The concludes: "When I examine the lives of contemporary adepts claiming to be enlightened, I do not see evidence that such integration work is being done. One of the 1st indications would be a visible willingness not only to reflect disciples back to themselves but also to have disciples be a mirror for the adept's further growth. However, this kind of willingness calls for an openness that is precluded by the authoritarian style adopted by most gurus".
So, who knows of any guru that is both integrated and enlightened?

 
At 12/18/2006 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody seems very dedicated to the truth and speaks with authority, just like Swami Vivekananda did.


uh oh...now i've heard it all...Would like to see how Jody responds to that...

antarananda - thanks for the link and your comments...Doesn't change my mind though - for a man who was embarrassed by the pics, he sure had a lot of them taken...
He has to be give credit though for reawakening Indian pride and for energizing the advaitha boyz, so for that, kudos to him.

 
At 12/18/2006 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, stuart,

I really really really, like really see the hilarious humor in the boys fondled (raped) by people like Sai Baba. it's really, like, funny, dude. Can't wait to see the South Park version of it. And I REALLY, like REALLY LOVE the stories of the "banana boys" in other ashrams who are convinced to have their first sexual experience with their (male) guru, in order to "remove their bad karma" HAHAHAHA ROFLOL!!! It's just like soooooo funny!!!!

 
At 12/18/2006 7:55 PM, Blogger jody said...

As you yourself state, realization of the self implies a transcendence of personality.

Let me rephrase: realization has as much to do with the personality as my dog's ass.

If one is narcissistic, and therefore invests a lot of psychic energy into self-aggrandizement, then one cannot be self-realized

Wrong, o' holder of occluding ideas about realization.

Anyone investing any energy anywhere is illusory to the Self. So, that special kind of knowledge called jnana can exist in the context of a functioning narcissistic personality.

If Vivekananda were alive today, you would have roasted him on guruphiliac,just as you do anyone else.

Wrong again, o' holder of a completely wrong understanding of what I'm getting about around here.

Swami V. is my man. I try to honor him with this blog. He was the original Guruphiliac.

That said, he was an arrogant and overbearing blowhard who fell in love despite his vows. Instead of consummating his love, he rejected it, and died pretty much a broken man as a result.

But he kicked holy ass when he was alive. He was Hinduism's first true representative to the West. India could not have asked for a better cultural ambassador.

He never claimed he was God or tried to hide his humanity, and he was thoughtfully progressive. He'd be a "Real True Guru" around here, and I'd seek him out to get a closer view were he alive today.

The fact that he posed for them implies a keen sensitivity to the image he projected....

I can imagine a somewhat vain Vivekananda, but that still doesn't mean he wasn't realized.

 
At 12/18/2006 7:57 PM, Blogger jody said...

Jody seems very dedicated to the truth and speaks with authority, just like Swami Vivekananda did.

Yes, it's called talking straight out of my ass.

 
At 12/18/2006 8:02 PM, Blogger jody said...

I don't know that "transcendence of personality" means anything. It doesn't mean anything to me.

I agree. It's nonsense.

 
At 12/18/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger jody said...

for a man who was embarrassed by the pics, he sure had a lot of them taken...

For a man who was ridiculously famous in his time, I'm surprised there aren't more.

 
At 12/18/2006 8:16 PM, Blogger jody said...

some say there is "a phantom ego, a vestigial personality center, that remains even after awakening to the universal reality"

Ego doesn't change. Realization is the loss of the misapprehension that we are our egos, which go right on chugging despite all the confusion out there about them.

So, who knows of any guru that is both integrated and enlightened?

I know way more who aren't, thank God. Otherwise, I'd be out of business.

Good stuff, Durga. Thanks.

 
At 12/18/2006 8:50 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymous said...
Jody seems very dedicated to the truth and speaks with authority, just like Swami Vivekananda did.


uh oh...now i've heard it all...Would like to see how Jody responds to that...
.......................

I stand by what I said. Jody even looks like Vivekananda! I'm betting Vivekananda would have loved to get away with having a potty mouth. I see the same impulse in Jody that I see in Vivekananda.

 
At 12/18/2006 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, Jody...get off your high horse brother, or your dog's arse, or whatever...
You say: "Anyone investing any energy anywhere is illusory to the Self. So, that special kind of knowledge called jnana can exist in the context of a functioning narcissistic personality."

Jody my friend, I have no axe to grind (although I do speak in cliches) so, I will just say this and be on my way, o' Holder and propagator of mistaken ideas about self-realization: narcissism is not only incompatible with self-realization, it is incompatible even with normal day to day pathology free existence. (Note - your ego can and will go on functioning after self-realization, but not a narcissistic (false) ego)

Good luck to you

Anonymous(e)

 
At 12/18/2006 9:17 PM, Blogger jody said...

Jody...get off your high horse brother

Now that I've knocked you off yours...

narcissism is not only incompatible with self-realization, it is incompatible even with normal day to day pathology free existence.

So you're saying that realization guarantees a pathology-free existence? Dream on, brother.

(Note - your ego can and will go on functioning after self-realization, but not a narcissistic (false) ego)

What's the difference? Ego is a sense of one's self as an individual. That is not obliterated by self-realization.

There are various kinds of ego, including narcissistic, but none of them have anything to do with the Self. Therefore, any type of ego can exist in the context of self-realization.

It's only the removal of the delusion that we are our egos that separates the realized from the not yet realized.

Good luck to you

I appear to have alienated you, Anonymous. I'm sorry. It's a habit I acquired during my USENET days. I'm trying to break myself of it, but sometimes I go off the wagon a bit.

 
At 12/18/2006 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you misunderstand, Jody. You didn't alienate me. It's just that our ideas (or experiences) about self-realization are a bit different, and I see that you are quite wedded to your idea that even pathological ego states are compatible with true self-realization.
Your blog is thoroughly enjoyable, and so is your slightly abrasive style. Also, I think it's important to bring some reality to the self-realization racket perpetuated by self-styled gurus. So, I wish you luck with that endeavour. I would like you to consider that a person who is narcissistic cannot realize that he/she is not the ego. The two states are mutually incompatible.

 
At 12/18/2006 9:59 PM, Blogger jody said...

I would like you to consider that a person who is narcissistic cannot realize that he/she is not the ego. The two states are mutually incompatible.

I disagree, Anonymouse.

In fact, I'd say it's the recipe for most of big-time gurudom.

 
At 12/18/2006 10:02 PM, Anonymous Martin Gifford said...

"As for Cohen, again, what do people see in him?"

The answer is idealism. He talks about idealism and gives hints that he is the embodiment of your ideals ("an untainted mirror"), and so people fall in love with their own idealism that they project onto him.

One can guess his own self-image from his first blog where he writes:

"there have been those (some of whom are now, ironically, my worst detractors) who hailed me as a spiritual hero, a 21st-century Buddha, a true revolutionary and spiritual activist whose unwillingness to compromise the standards of his own teaching, even in his most intimate and important relationships, was an expression of an unusual degree of courage and a rare commitment to the highest."

Ahem.

 
At 12/18/2006 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'd say it's the recipe for most of big-time gurudom."

Narcissism alone, along with intellect and a glib tongue is enough to hit the top 40 of the Guru charts.
But, to reiterate, if the driving force towards gurudom is narcissism, then the person is not self-realized. His ego (and his sense of who he is) will then depend on the attention he gets from his followers, and therefore he is a victim of his ego. It is not enough to know that you are not your ego. The bigger challenge, as you must be aware, is to live it.
Aah...these discussions are enjoyable and addictive. And that's the reason I will have to bid you farewell (violins, please). Do not want to fall victim to my ego's need to discuss, debate, prove a point (or at least try to)
Take Care, My friend

 
At 12/18/2006 10:44 PM, Blogger jody said...

if the driving force towards gurudom is narcissism, then the person is not self-realized.

Actually, the force is called inflation. A personality may become sacro-mythically inflated after realization. The result are your Adi Das and Ammachis.

His ego (and his sense of who he is) will then depend on the attention he gets from his followers

Not necessarily. An inflated person will think they are great regardless of how many followers they have.

It is not enough to know that you are not your ego. The bigger challenge, as you must be aware, is to live it.

Which is where a lot of the big-timers fall. But that doesn't mean they aren't realized. Maybe not so enlightened, because that comes when one is steeped in realization for a good long while.

Living it, as you say.

Take Care, My friend

You too, A. Mouse.

 
At 12/18/2006 11:31 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Anonymous said...
>I really really really, like
>really see the hilarious humor in
>the boys fondled (raped) by
>people like Sai Baba. it's
>really, like, funny, dude.

Your humorlessness makes you a Spiritually Superior Person, that much is obvious. But what I can't figure out is how being humorless is of the slightest help to the boys you're talking about. I mean, eating all my vegetables never did really help the starving children in India.

 
At 12/19/2006 7:45 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Durga said:
On this subject.. Georg feuerstein [says] that apparently "enlightened adepts can be subject to personality characteristics that consensus opinion finds undesirable"... To resolve this seeming contradiction, some say there is "a phantom ego, a vestigial personality center, that remains even after awakening to the universal reality"..


Durga, it sounds to me like whoever is holding the position you quote is mythologizing the "adept" in an unhelpful way. A bit like saying that when your car gets a certain kind of servicing (which is mythologized to remove the engine), there is still a phantom, vestigial engine in it. So that when the car comes back after 'The great servicing" and in it is something that sounds like an engine, takes gasoline like an engine, shudders and sputters like an engine, gives out exhaust like an engine, gosh, it must be a phantom, vestigial one, cos golly, the real engine is gone cos the great servicing took it out. Go figure.

 
At 12/19/2006 7:49 AM, Anonymous s said...

I know a family from Chennai who were Afro Sai Baba followers "in denial" (as they say)who were eventually confronted so strongly by "humorless" people regarding the indisputable fact of Afro Sai's "private darshan" techniques that they finally had to face what had been going on for years. It's one thing to worship a life-sized photo of Afro Sai, waving your arati lamp around ..and quite another when you discover your own son has been molested by him...and all your friends know and all the guests know....And you are faced with the choice of continuing to "worship" the "god" who raped your son or begin to question your faith. I understand that this blog has its own paticular point of view..expressed in its own unique way..but in my experience (limited though it may be), words can have a huge impact on the actual behavior of people you don't even know and sometimes the seemingly "humorless ravings" of a person who genuinely cares can work for the good....
Hmmm....hopefully I won't regret posting this as much as I regret the last post. I'm still trying to "get" people's style here...I did read Swift, back in English 101...but now I'm confused again...wasn't Anonymous being sarcastic?
s.

 
At 12/19/2006 7:53 AM, Anonymous durga said...

" One of the 1st indications would be a visible willingness not only to reflect disciples back to themselves but also to have disciples be a mirror for the adept's further growth".

seriously, who can name a guru or spiritual teacher who is both integrated and self realized enough to be able to do the above? I have learned a lot about false gurus here, but am curious about real ones, if there are any.

 
At 12/19/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

What, no good-bye to me A Mouse?

 
At 12/19/2006 10:17 AM, Anonymous durga said...

blade said "So that when the car comes back after 'The great servicing" and in it is something that sounds like an engine, takes gasoline like an engine, shudders and sputters like an engine, gives out exhaust like an engine, gosh, it must be a phantom, vestigial one, cos golly, the real engine is gone cos the great servicing took it out. Go figure.

So what is your position, Blade? I put that out there to see what you guys, much more self realized than myself, would say. Do you agree with mouse, who says narcissism is incompatible with self realization?
My 1st opinion would be exactly what mouse said, but since I am not really in a position to judge given that I have never had a guru, I am keeping an open mind as to what self realization means. I do think maladaptive behavior and neurosis can remain after self realization, but it would seem that narcissism would negate the ability of the guru to help others achieve it since narcissism distorts perception. It's possible the guru himself could be self realized, though. Just ineffective as a teacher. Not sure if that makes any sense.

 
At 12/19/2006 11:15 AM, Blogger falseguru said...

Durga said, "...would negate the ability of the guru to help others."

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

Durga, I feel very fortunate to say and feel I have reason to believe I have a true and genuine, Self-Realized Guru. He has made it very clear to me that his ability to help others to reach the consciousness he knows is through giving the inspiration to keep going. Miracles and sudden transformations happen because of the ripeness of the student and the faith one has developed in ones self. When I asked him what I should believe in, he said, "Believe in your self." When I asked about God, he said, "Don't even think about God, just be with your own self existence."

If someone comes who loves Krishna or Jesus, he also encourages them to love God in what ever form they have faith in.

My Guru has a personality which is refined and kind, but that may simply be the kind of person he always has been. His Guru was rough or sweet, depending on how you found him.

There are no technology for spiritual powers and if there were they would probably cause more harm than good. There is really just being simple in your heart, practicing a sadhana that helps you allow your mind to let go of its imaginations and delusions, so you can recognize what you are now and always have been. A true Guru will not give you the impression that he/she can give you anything.

 
At 12/19/2006 12:29 PM, Anonymous durga said...

Falseguru said:...so you can recognize what you are now and always have been. A true Guru will not give you the impression that he/she can give you anything.

I never thought it was an issue of giving, but rather sharing what one knows to be true. And the question of spiritual powers never entered my mind. I'm just curious about the process of transformation and how that happens, whether it comes from a guru or the ass of jody's dog.

 
At 12/19/2006 2:10 PM, Anonymous betty said...

Durga said, "I'm just curious about the process of transformation and how that happens, whether it comes from a guru or the ass of jody's dog."


It all depends upon which of those two that you are, Durga.

 
At 12/19/2006 3:54 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

durga said... "I'm just curious about the process of transformation and how that happens, whether it comes from a guru or the ass of jody's dog."

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

It comes the same way that your own transformation from a sincere young seeker to being another potty mouth came about. It was all there already and you just allowed it to come into expression.

 
At 12/20/2006 7:53 AM, Anonymous durga said...

chuck said: t comes the same way that your own transformation from a sincere young seeker to being another potty mouth came about. It was all there already and you just allowed it to come into expression.


I used the expression "ass of jody's dog" jokingly, as he is always saying that to make the point, I suppose, that we can learn from any one and anything. Doesn't have to be a guru. I was just trying to keep up with the odd sense of humor on this blog, which I find entertaining, but I guess i can't compete with the potty mouthed banter you guys come up with. So I suppose whatever i say will come out the wrong way. Sorry to disappoint you, but from my other comments, i think it should have been clear that I have a real interest in the subject..

 
At 12/20/2006 7:57 AM, Anonymous durga said...

Betty said; It all depends upon which of those two that you are, Durga.

I find that comment really offensive and distasteful, betty. If I had made a personal attack on some one, I could understand it.

 
At 12/20/2006 8:05 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Durga said:
So what is your position, Blade? I put that out there to see what you guys, much more self realized than myself, would say. Do you agree with mouse, who says narcissism is incompatible with self realization?


Hi Durga,
for a start, I don't believe in a discrete dichotomy between self-realized and not self-realized (or 'enlightened' and 'not enlightened'). I believe the discrete dichotomy is a mistake, and a profoundly problemmatic one.

Rather, I believe 'enlightenment' to be advances in certain types of central nervous-system skill. You can no more be fully enlightened than fully skilled or fully perfect, or fully evolved. No matter where you are, there is a potential 'better you' in any number of dimensions, even Adi Da notwithstanding! :)

What happens is that people make advances of certain kinds and then say 'Gee, I'm enlightened now!'. Truth be told, their nervous-systems have just dropped certain kinds of baggage, and there's a lot more to go. Their take on what has happened wouldn't necessarily be problemmatic if they weren't buying in, at some level, to the idea of enlightenment being so final and complete. All that talk about the 'residual ego' is just a pious explaining-around why the 'fully enlightened' guy is not in fact 'fully enlightened'.

Is enlightenment incompatible with narcissism? If we are talking about those inflated narcissistic states that we are correctly spotting in these' enlightened' gurus, well it depends on what you mean by 'compatible'. These folks are in confused, ignorant states of mind at a certain level. Narcissism is a bag of cognitive and emotional distortions, and is indeed a grasping and holding-firmly onto falsehoods. Its 'voice' is lying all the time. It is a state of profound delusion. If they were more perfect, more developed, more self-reflective, more insightful, more intelligent, more truth-oriented, more culture-transcending, more in emotional unity with others, and sufficiently more of these things in critical number, their narcissism would minimize and eventually evaporate.

 
At 12/20/2006 9:38 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

durga said...

"but I guess i can't compete with the potty mouthed banter you guys come up with. So I suppose whatever i say will come out the wrong way. Sorry to disappoint you..."

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

I'm not at all dissapointed in you durga. As far as I'm concerned, you can potty mouth with the best of 'em! No offense intended! But you did seem a little dismissive of poor old falseguru. I noticed that he didn't complain about it.

But sorry if I hurt your feelings. Betty, if it's the same Betty, is always that way...

 
At 12/20/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

theblade said, " I don't believe in..."

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


Isn't this just another way of saying you don't know what you're talking about, and you're just making it up as you go?

 
At 12/20/2006 9:42 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

PS

I admit I don't know what you're talking about!

 
At 12/20/2006 9:44 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

I find that comment really offensive and distasteful, betty. If I had made a personal attack on some one, I could understand it.

Durga, the way Betty has just talked to YOU speaks only about HER. Is speaks nothing about you whatsoever. Look on trolls as an opportunity to develop a thick skin. The internet isn't a bad place for that. When given lemons, make lemonade. :)

 
At 12/20/2006 10:21 AM, Anonymous durga said...

blade said: These folks are in confused, ignorant states of mind at a certain level. Narcissism is a bag of cognitive and emotional distortions, and is indeed a grasping and holding-firmly onto falsehoods. Its 'voice' is lying all the time. It is a state of profound delusion. If they were more perfect, more developed, more self-reflective, more insightful, more intelligent, more truth-oriented, more culture-transcending, more in emotional unity with others, and sufficiently more of these things in critical number, their narcissism would minimize and eventually evaporate.

Thanks Blade, for helping to clarify this issue. I am competely with you on this.

 
At 12/20/2006 10:58 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Chuck siad:
Isn't this just another way of saying you don't know what you're talking about, and you're just making it up as you go?


I do feel very sure of it, but saying 'I believe...' is probably a bit better for a conversation situation in which there are others who disagree.

Chuck, you shouldn't be discouraging me for whatever efforts I happen to make for being a less obnoxious read for some. :)

 
At 12/20/2006 11:45 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

TheBlade said...

I do feel very sure of it, but

Chuck, you shouldn't be discouraging me for whatever efforts I happen to make for being a less obnoxious read for some. :)

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

Right back at you, blade! But I was making a point. Your feeling very sure about something, which really is just what you believe, is no more valid than the guy who sees Sai Baba at the foot of his bed and feels very sure the guy must be god.

In reality you don't know jack! You have faith in your mind's ability to create a nice wrapped up christmas package of what truth is. The guy who believes in his own experience of this or that guru or god is doing exactly the same thing. Some people find potty mouth obnoxious if it's aimed at them, others find high falootin' words which are meant to disguise their own "ignorant and confused" states of mind, as you put it, to also be obnoxious!!

PS I've experienced Betty's "bite me" and it did me no ultimate harm.

 
At 12/20/2006 12:17 PM, Anonymous durga said...

chuck said:
"Some people find potty mouth obnoxious if it's aimed at them, others find high falootin' words which are meant to disguise their own "ignorant and confused" states of mind, as you put it, to also be obnoxious!!"

Hey, be easy on him Chuck. I don't find his opinion to be obnoxious. Betty, on the other hand, is. But I guess I should take it as an opportunity to develop balls.

And to falseguru, I admit I probably didn't seem very appreciative of your comments. I was just getting delerious from being on the computer too long that day. I did consider your response, though. I would like to know who your guru is so I can check him out.

 
At 12/20/2006 12:30 PM, Blogger falseguru said...

durga said, "I would like to know who your guru is so I can check him out."

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

Apology not needed but accepted...as for telling the name of my Guru on this blog, that's as likely to happen as introducing my daughter to Chuck, or to Jody for that matter!

 
At 12/20/2006 12:39 PM, Blogger jody said...

telling the name of my Guru on this blog, that's as likely to happen as introducing my daughter to Chuck, or to Jody for that matter!

Dude, does your guru claim to be God? Did he fuck a devotee? Is he always asking for money?

If he isn't doing any of these things, he's got nothing to worry about from me. As for your daughter, I'm a super nice guy when not in front of a keyboard. Honest!

 
At 12/20/2006 12:47 PM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Chuck said:
In reality you don't know jack! You have faith in your mind's ability to create a nice wrapped up christmas package of what truth is. The guy who believes in his own experience of this or that guru or god is doing exactly the same thing.


You are right in a sense, but it is such an extreme sense that it isn't really a criticism of what I am saying. You are just expressing a catastrophic-skeptical point-of-view. 'The guy who believes', and myself, are 'doing exactly the same thing' insofar as 'exactly the same thing' means using cognitive apparatus which is not 100% reliable. However, it doesn't mean that I am less reliable than he is.

In a thought experiment, see yourself trying to tell one of the Jones followers NOT to drink the cool-aid, while his mentor encourages him to take it. A commentator then tries to equalize you and the mentor by saying exactly what you have said above. He begins with 'In reality, Chuck, you don't know Jack!' and takes it from there.

Is the commentator right that you and the mentor are on the same footing?

 
At 12/20/2006 5:19 PM, Blogger falseguru said...

As for your daughter, I'm a super nice guy when not in front of a keyboard. Honest!

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

I'd tend to believe that Jody. In fact I think you're a noble man. Grumpy sometimes, but who isn't?

I think you'd like my Guru a lot if you knew him. As far as my daughter goes..., I think you should get to know Durga here.

 
At 12/21/2006 3:43 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

blade said, "However, it doesn't mean that I am less reliable than he is.
...to tell one of the Jones followers NOT to drink the cool-aid, while his mentor encourages him to take it."

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

Sorry for the delay in answering, Blade. I never said your mind was less reliable than the guy who sees Sai Baba at the foot of his bed. I hold you far superior to such a fellow, but that's just because I don't like Sai Baba. When your insights stay within the the bounds of human psychology, I give you a lot of credit even if I can't understand you. They didn't teach this shit in my junior college. But when it comes to ultimate reality or how realization takes place, I reaffirm that you don't know jack! The guy who believes in Sai Baba has as much chance of letting go of that belief as you do of letting go of your faith in your own mind. It's all a closed circuit TV show and nobody can think their way out of the box.

In regard to the being unmarriable, I tell you there is always hope for you and Jody. I am a height and weight challenged redneck from NE Texas and I managed to get a good one! Merry Christmas to you and JOdy and Durga and falseguru and the dearly departed mouse!

 
At 1/05/2007 7:16 PM, Anonymous Seer said...

So, Georg Feuerstein [says] that apparently "enlightened adepts can be subject to personality characteristics that consensus opinion finds undesirable"... To resolve this seeming contradiction, some say there is "a phantom ego, a vestigial personality center, that remains even after awakening to the universal reality"...

This Fuerstein is the same guy whose account of Adi Da's seduction of a wife in the presence of his husband as a gift to Adi Da given in the third person is reported by those familiar with the actual scene and him at the time to be, let us say, a more personal experience than he lets on. Furthermore, Fuerstein has an ongoing fascination with the "tantric" path, which he considers the highest practice. And he's written and rewritten a book and given talks on the subject of "crazy wise" gurus. Even though the Buddhist school he belongs has ancient traditions that specifically warns against hypocritcal gurus. In short, he has a vested interest, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual, in claiming these "crazy" folks are enlightened, otherwise, like the emperor who nobody dared say was naked, he wouldn't be considered the pundit that he is now. The same thing is said by his friend Ken Wilber, and for the same reasons, otherwise, how could the great integral thinker have told us Adi Da was the greatesr realizer ever, or endorse those like Andrew Cohen? If you read the talks of Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi or Nisagadatta on these types of gurus, they categorically dismiss them and their teachings as unrealized.

Thus, the fact is they are not enlightened, not even accepted as such by their teachers and certainly not by the more accepted spiritual figures. They don't even qualify for the lowest class of realizer mentioned in Tripura Rahasya, the one who is purging karmas and will be delivered at death. What they are instead is, IMO, described very well by Alan Kazlev: [http://www.kheper.net/topics/gurus/IZ_guru.html].

 

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