Monday, May 28, 2007

Worthy Of The Wall

File under: Notable Quotes

We are compelled to tell you that some of the people who leave comments here rock harder than Woodstock:
I think that Amma is a placebo which helps folks to marshal their own inner forces for psychological repair. In this way she is doing a lot of good. The downside is that folks believe it's by the power of Amma that the healing occurs. This is bad for two reasons. One, it's just not true, and two, it leaves people with the impression that self-realization comes with magic healing powers. That's where the occlusion arises

There is a third way in which this belief in Amma exacts a devastating cost. It further alienates people from their own inborn resources of love, which most of us have long experienced as diminished and insufficient (otherwise why go to Ammachi?) and about which we've succumbed to a lot of half-baked theories as to why that's the case. The blissful experiences in Amma's presence will then only ratify and reinforce the belief that one is indeed so benighted and deficient that only a miracle, grace or divine incarnation can deliver the lost or longed-for love. This is not true but we are deeply conditioned to believe in this particular lie, in this scarcity - and thus we hardly notice falling prey to all its logical sociopolitical consequences, nor notice how it entrenches even more deeply the disenfranchisement from our own divine resources.
We're not lying when we say we love the "love" angle, which hadn't occurred to our bitter little minds until now. We find it an excellent deconstruction of the artificiality of Amma's act and the definition of the term satsangtainment.

Update: Another brilliant reader outdoes us:
"Satsangtainment" or "sat-o-masochism"? This may be the single best description of the phenomenon (and pitfalls) of "guru feel ya" that I've ever read. Bravo, brava to whoever penned it.

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12 Comments:

At 5/29/2007 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Satsangtainment" or "sat-o-masochism"? This may be the single best description of the phenomenon (and pitfalls) of "guru feel ya" that I've ever read. Bravo, brava to whoever penned it.

 
At 5/29/2007 2:50 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

I once read a famous author giving advice to aspiring writers. He said that there were all sorts of tricks and techniques to becoming a writer, and people will try to sell them to you in various workshops etc. But they're all nonsense, because the one way to become a good writer is to sit down every day and write, no matter what, and then you'll learn how to do it by doing it.

I think of this when I chat with some Amma devotees. They talk about how darshan is helping them to become more compassionate, more loving, in all these magical and mysterious ways.

And it just seems to me that if you really want to be loving etc, don't distract yourself with all this fanfare. God knows that every day we're presented with many situations where we can put aside I/my/me for a moment for the sake of helping someone else. Just doing that, day by day, moment by moment... wouldn't that be a more direct way to be compassionate, rather than blissing out in darshan while filling your head with ideas about love?

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

 
At 5/29/2007 4:28 PM, Anonymous Betty said...

You have said it well, Stu. There is quite a lot of difference between someone having a satsangaffair and someone sacrificing their selfishness moment by moment. I'm trying to learn how to do that.

 
At 5/29/2007 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart said, "wouldn't that be a more direct way to be compassionate, rather than blissing out in darshan while filling your head with ideas about love?"<<<
Ah yes...but the "concept" is so much easier to "master" than the actuality of direct experience. lol! Doing it can wait for another day, on down the road, when you're "a better human being" or "purer" or "finally ready" or "as good as Amma"...someday...at that "perfect moment", a moment that, somehow, never seems to arrive. Whoops! time's up.Incarnation over!
anon.

 
At 5/29/2007 7:46 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

most of the ammabots are in denial about needing psychological repair,or any other thing. Amma does all for them. so many spiritual practitioners just seem lobotomized to me. they wouldn't know love or god if it slapped them in the face. peggy

 
At 5/30/2007 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about not generalizing all devotees? Some devotees appreciate Ammas gesture of compassion and gain a lot from her teachings, while at the same time working on their own selflessness and finding the Devi that exists within them and all. For some (or is it few?) seeing someone like Amma outwardly has sent the search inward. Amma herself teaches this...but who is listening to her?

From what I have read here, there is so much generalization. Sure, lots of devotees can be kooky. I am a devotee and I am speaking from experience. All bliss and love in Amma's presence but they'll practically beat you to death to get near her. Or, sweet and pious as anything during Amma programs...and they are mean and snide as hell as soon as the program ends.

I love Amma. I think she is awesome. But, I am not deluded into thinking that Amma is something entirely separate from myself or that simply getting darshan is going to make me a better human being. Darshan does not help you become more selfless and compassionate. Being more selfless and compassionate does.

I agree with a lot of what is said here...and I am a devotee of Amma. I don't know if that makes me a horrible devotee, but if it does, that's fine too. The Amma that I know couldn't care less.

 
At 5/30/2007 8:59 PM, Blogger jody said...

The Amma that I know couldn't care less.

I'd like to think that's the real Amma, too. I'm not too confident that such is the case. The org obviously works the special divinity angle, which to my mind belies a level of calculation that Amma must be involved in, meaning that she does care about how she is viewed by others, even while she may be even-handed (seeming) in how she deals with others.

 
At 5/31/2007 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a friend went for 7 years.....and stopped for various negative experiences

but she said AMMA radiates alot of joy

 
At 6/03/2007 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a friend went for 7 years.....and stopped for various negative experiences

but she said AMMA radiates alot of joy "<<<

I've been thinking about this for a while...the gurus and their devotees...It's an interesting phenomeon. How much "responsibility" does the guru have for the behavior (or lack of it) among his or her devotees. Aren't "they" (the devotees)_ a "reflection" of their guru? Well, there are always the "apologists" who say, "its worse around a spiritual teacher because all of those 'egos' are being worked on subtly". I'm not so sure about that anymore. I think, human nature being what it is, there must have been alot of jack-asses around Ramana and Nisargadatta but the HUGE preponderence of seemingly sanctioned "jackass behavior" (no offense to Chuck's mule) around gurumayi,Amma,Karunamayi Ma et. al is pretty overwhelming here in the US. Is it just "us" or is it some glitch in the sysstem? lol! Something about the way big organizations seem to solidify and deify the very worst aspects of human weakness?
anonymous

 
At 6/03/2007 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe sometimes rather than trying to be compassionate and selfless and become a "reflection of the guru". so to speak. the devotees treat the guru more like a celebrity that they want to get next to and associate with and step over everyone else to do it. Lately the crowds at Amma programs are more like star-struck Madonna fans trying to get an autograph.

Most don't give a flying leap about what Amma teaches.

Show up at an Amma program not wearing white (and maybe having a mohawk or being gay or just not fitting the devotee stereotype) and see just how kind, compassionate and godly her devotees are.

If you happen to mention this, you will be immediately informed that it is your ego. Or perhaps it is Amma putting everyone in a "spiritual blender" to rub up against "each others vasanas."

I say that some people are just assholes and they use the guru as an excuse to continue their behavior.

 
At 6/04/2007 2:21 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

> the HUGE preponderence of
> seemingly sanctioned "jackass
> behavior" ... around
> gurumayi,Amma,Karunamayi Ma et.
> al is pretty overwhelming here
> in the US. Is it just "us" or is
> it some glitch in the sysstem?

My vote is for "just us." Which is to say, Gurumayi, Amma etc give a teaching that explicitly or implicitly appeals to people who want to be more godly, more spiritual, more gosh dang superior than the ordinary masses. So they attract people who have a strong desire to see themselves as holy, pure, superior. This leads to an ugly scene.

> lol! Something about the way big
> organizations seem to solidify
> and deify the very worst aspects
> of human weakness?

I see no reason to fault the organizations. They're doing their job perfectly: they attract exactly the type of people who want this type of teaching.

The bottom line is whether you want to cultivate the mind that makes views like "I'm more spiritual than the rest of y'all." If you do, you can go to Amma's satsang and get the karmic results of your decision.

If we feel the need to place blame for the ugliness of most of these guru scenes, I'd blame the minds of the people who flock to them. I wouldn't blame Amma; like Exxon and Phillip Morris, she's only giving people what they want. And I sure wouldn't blame any organization. The guru's organizations aren't doing anything but efficiently attracting the people who *want* to hear their message.

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

 
At 6/05/2007 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>"If we feel the need to place blame for the ugliness of most of these guru scenes, I'd blame the minds of the people who flock to them. I wouldn't blame Amma; like Exxon and Phillip Morris, she's only giving people what they want. And I sure wouldn't blame any organization. The guru's organizations aren't doing anything but efficiently attracting the people who *want* to hear their message."<<

Excellent! like a glass of ice water right in the puss! and right on target. Thanks, I needed that!
varahi devi

 

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