Friday, September 14, 2007

When Stuart Went Mukta

File under: Gurubusting

Stuart Resnick, a fellow gurubuster and hero to this blog, has been relating his spiritual travails over on his own blog, Random Thoughts. Yesterday's entry brought us the story of his time spent with Baba Muktananda in India:
I was there when Muktananda died; it didn’t bother me at all. By that point, I was really interested in exploring truth for myself, not so much in devotion to a guru. Sure, in the early years, it gave me energy to believe in god-like super-beings. Eventually, all that seemed cultish. I’d prefer to take my understanding and my meditation practice and run.

But on the other hand… everyone around me believed in the magical power that emanated from the guru, a power most concentrated in his physical presence, a power that’d exponentially quicken my ascent to enlightenment or whatever. What if they were right? It’d be stupid to give that up, and I didn’t want to be stupid. Muktananda had left successor gurus, so for a year after his death, I remained with them in the India ashram, uncertain about giving up my connection to the special power that was (maybe?) dependent on holy people and places.

Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to believe in myself. I preferred having a scientific mind that openly questioned everything, rather than believing in magical invisible energy, in Gods, in holy enlightened beings. I was tired of believing in things because other people did, or because some authority told me to, or because some old and popular book said so. If I could get enlightenment in a year by believing in a guru, or in 1000 lifetimes by believing in myself, I’d still prefer to believe in myself. What’s the hurry anyway?
Stuart's escape from a life of SYDA servitude has made the world a better place, and he prevailed despite the culty predilections of his fellow ashramites. If Muktananda was any kind of real, true guru, it's exactly what he would have wanted for Stuart, or any of his other students for that matter.

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14 Comments:

At 9/14/2007 8:27 PM, Blogger sattvicwarrior said...

wonderful wonderful wonderful post. THATS what is all about
TRUTH!!!!!!!![ from within].
thanks for sharing:)

 
At 9/15/2007 1:31 AM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

stuart said,,,But on the other hand… everyone around me believed in the magical power that emanated from the guru, a power most concentrated in his physical presence, a power that’d exponentially quicken my ascent to enlightenment or whatever.

It is not some guru came and told them to be that way, perhaps, that is what they wanted to see and experience while being in a ashram with a guru. They go to an ashram already packed with this gullible nonsense. Mukt just capitalized it. Just like porn stuff sold for people who need it. Stuart, you were the wrong man in the right place, at that time. Infact you were probably becoming more aware of it, than the rest.
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Stuart said,,, What if they were right? It’d be stupid to give that up, and I didn’t want to be stupid. Muktananda had left successor gurus, so for a year after his death, I remained with them in the India ashram, uncertain about giving up my connection to the special power that was (maybe?) dependent on holy people and places.

::: The milling mobs in any ashram, worth being whipped here at GP, have similar doubts. "what if i missed it?" But stuart is a rare individual and whose doubts were much more stronger than the rest.
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stuart said,,,Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to believe in myself. I preferred having a scientific mind that openly questioned everything, rather than believing in magical invisible energy, in Gods, in holy enlightened beings.

::: Thats precisely what the guru should have taught, but stuart seemed to have learnt on his own, the 'hard' way. (May be Mukt's grace made stuart to learn this..hehe!)But then, one can be still thankful to the Mukt and Co, for showing what is exactly NOT the way, to the self knowledge. Many times knowing what is NOT helps to know what IS. The time spent with SYDA was worthwhile indeed.
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At 9/15/2007 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You apparently have very strict standards for "comments" on this blog. What are they?

 
At 9/15/2007 1:26 PM, Blogger jody said...

You apparently have very strict standards for "comments" on this blog

Not really, it's a combination of "when I get to it" with "does it relate to the matter at hand."

Overly effusive praise gets nuked. Personal appeals to me get nuked. Lazy insults get nuked. Links to sites that have nothing to do with the subject matter get nuked.

 
At 9/15/2007 2:35 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

semblance s and orchestra said...
It is not some guru came and told them to be that way, perhaps, that is what they wanted to see and experience while being in a ashram with a guru. They go to an ashram already packed with this gullible nonsense.

I'm with you, ssao. It's very interesting and useful to pull back the curtain and see the dark side of various gurus, as is done on Guruphiliac. It's not because I want to dwell on judging any teacher or teaching. It's because I want to be shocked into looking back at my own desires. What ideas, what wants am I holding in my own mind, that make me want to follow a leader, a group, or a dogma?

But then, one can be still thankful to the Mukt and Co, for showing what is exactly NOT the way, to the self knowledge.

I've been told this before. That I'm lucky that Mukt showed his dark side in such a clear way. The gurus who are more eloquent and clever and well-behaved just make it more difficult for their students to break free!

As best as I can understand my own mind... my intention here is not to focus on any guru for praise and blame. It's to look into how my own desire to "get something" ultimately and inevitably restricts my freedom.

Muktananda used to talk about how you can trap a monkey by putting food inside a hollow coconut shell with a small hole. The monkey puts his hand through the hole to grab the food, but once the food is in his fist, it's too big to pull back out, so he thinks he's trapped! It's a great teaching. Understanding the teaching isn't enough, you gotta act on it.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 9/16/2007 7:48 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

You apparently have very strict standards for "comments" on this blog. What are they?

9/15/2007 7:16 AM

what? don't you know enough about chuck's ass?

 
At 9/17/2007 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart apparently settled for his own opinion. That seems dreadfully typical of the western ego and nothing heroic at all. How does "believing in myself" mean you are on any kind of right track at all towards spiritual development? Couldn't it just be that Stuart is unprepared to listen to anyone who doesn't agree with his own personal habits, whatever they may be, or thoughts and ideas? Isn't the idea of a spiritual journey about understanding that the ego will always stand in the way of progress? I do agree that his leaving SYDA was a good thing -- they sound like a bunch of thugs to me. But to dismiss all masters out of hand just to serve one's own egotisical mind and tastes seems infantile to me, and not at all spiritual or growth oriented. Simply bashing the entirety of accumulated wealth of teachings because they were "someone else's" (is there really anyone in the world, Stuart?) is foolhardy at best, flatly ignorant at worst.

Because this is not in praise of Jody's friend, this probably won't get posted. Oh Well.

 
At 9/17/2007 8:47 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

yomamma said... what? don't you know enough about chuck's ass?

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

Now, yomamma, are you meanin my ass (as in the Bible) or my butt (as in big as Texas and wide as the open road)? Since my shoulder injury I can hardly even scratch the thing!

I'm thinkin that Stuart has reached the stage where the mind is cogniznt of the Truth! All that's left for the boy is to have his fart chakra blown open!

This is not to say that yours truly has not been censored by Jody. In fact I was nearly throwed off this entire site some time ago!

 
At 9/17/2007 11:52 AM, Blogger Stuart said...

anonymous said...
How does "believing in myself" mean you are on any kind of right track at all towards spiritual development?

If you think of yourself as being on the "right track," it means you've got a desire to get somewhere or something. What exactly is it that you want to get?

You've got an idea of "spiritual development," doubtlessly from some book or authority. How and why do you separate spiritual from unspiritual? What do you want to develop into?

What is it about your experience of this moment that you're trying to reject, by following a track to somewhere else, by making ideas of spiritual development?

I'm not even saying what's right or wrong, good or bad. It's perfectly possible that the majority of humanity can and should be sheep-like followers of authority, and the best they can do is hope that the authority they follow is honest.

BUT there are at least a few people who prefer doubt and questioning and examination to blindly following ideas like "spiritual development." It's a perfectly legitimate option, and that's what I'm speaking to.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 9/17/2007 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart said:
'If you think of yourself as being on the "right track," it means you've got a desire to get somewhere or something. What exactly is it that you want to get?'

Yeah, stuart -- you said you wanted something, so I was quoting that basically. I don't know exactly what you wanted to get when you were with Muktananda. -- I assumed it was "something spiritural" however you may have defined it.

Stuart said:
'You've got an idea of "spiritual development," doubtlessly from some book or authority. How and why do you separate spiritual from unspiritual? What do you want to develop into?'

Actually "my" idea is from an experience that wouldn't interest you. Since you were the one seeking with Muktananda, not me, perhaps you should say what you were defining as spiritual and nonspiritual. You were the one stating that you wanted something.

Stuart said:
'What is it about your experience of this moment that you're trying to reject, by following a track to somewhere else, by making ideas of spiritual development?'

I don't remember saying I rejected anything about my own particular moment Stuart. However, you did reject Muktananda and all such other people from your writing and only accepted your own inner whatever.

Stuart said:
'I'm not even saying what's right or wrong, good or bad. It's perfectly possible that the majority of humanity can and should be sheep-like followers of authority, and the best they can do is hope that the authority they follow is honest. '

And it's perfectly possible that they will gain the highest understanding known to human kind, that they are not sheep at all, but you are assuming they are sheep..... Anything's possible, even that people may realize the Truth in a completely different way from what you think is okay.

They may even find something more than all this 'neo-advaita' repetition that spews forth from all the wanna-be gurus who can't stand gurus, then end up lecturing people like any other guru.

 
At 9/17/2007 2:14 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

Chuck, your ass in the bible or in the trailer, makes no difference, i could know it biblically, but is that really the track i want to take? You definately are a space daddy there with yer double wide and all, but does your mule have magic powers? can it see my aura? Can an Alien Ass ever really replace my own Inner Ass guidence? I know i need to save my own ass, least of all to keep my legs from getten shoved up into my ribcage, on the other hand it might make certain yoga positions easier and reduce my ample pant size mmmm..... It is at times like this that i like to quote one of my favorite teachers, Sri Dame Ednabindo, All is one Possums!

 
At 9/17/2007 3:21 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Anonymous said...
I don't know exactly what you wanted to get when you were with Muktananda. -- I assumed it was "something spiritural" however you may have defined it.

Right, I used to make ideas about getting something "spiritual." Then I realized that's just thinking.

Actually "my" idea is from an experience that wouldn't interest you.

Sure, your ideas are from some memory of an experience you once had. But they're still just ideas, not your experience.

Since you were the one seeking with Muktananda, not me, perhaps you should say what you were defining as spiritual and nonspiritual.

That's all past tense. I used to make spiritual and unspiritual. It's finished, let it go.

I don't remember saying I rejected anything about my own particular moment

Your exact quote was, "How does 'believing in myself' mean you are on any kind of right track at all towards spiritual development?"

If you're not rejecting your experience of this moment... why are you be talking about a "right track" to get somewhere else, or moving "towards spiritual development"?

it's perfectly possible that they will gain the highest understanding known to human kind

"Highest understanding"?? It's just your thinking that makes "higest" and "lowest." Why do you do that? If you make these ideas in your own head, don't pretend that they apply to "human kind."

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 9/18/2007 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart said
'Right, I used to make ideas about getting something "spiritual." Then I realized that's just thinking.'

Now you make ideas about how wrong I (or anyone else who disagrees with you) is. Ideas are ideas.

Stuart said:
'Sure, your ideas are from some memory of an experience you once had. But they're still just ideas, not your experience.'

You have absolutely no way of knowing the experience I speak of. Like you, I have to use words to describe anything. Limitation is involved. Stop judging.

Stuart said:
'That's all past tense. I used to make spiritual and unspiritual. It's finished, let it go.'

Maybe, but it certainly appears that you haven't let anything at all go, since you are busy ruminating over whatever happened to you 30 years ago (or whenever it was).

Stuart said:
'Your exact quote was, "How does 'believing in myself' mean you are on any kind of right track at all towards spiritual development?" '

yes. I was talking about your track, your decision to believe in yourself, reject Muktananda etal, etc. Not any rejection of anyone or anything from this side.

Stuart said:
'"Highest understanding"?? It's just your thinking that makes "higest" and "lowest." Why do you do that? If you make these ideas in your own head, don't pretend that they apply to "human kind."'

Do what? Talk? Use words that confuse meaning? You do the same thing. Sorry you don't understand what I'm trying, in vain, to say. But it's not what you seem to think I'm saying at all. Guess talking to you is a waste of time then. Sorry about that.

By the way -- you did not address the fact that you have become a neo-advaita guru in spite of all of your direction through your proclomations that one should believe in oneself etc. Why should anyone listen to you? You didn't want to listen to any gurus. Yet you expect everyone should adhere to your words and your way of expressions and your "pathless path" (I'm sure you'd call it that, like all neo-advaitans).

Face it -- it's all just words and nobody can ever express the Truth with them. It's not possible. But my question to you is:

Why are you teaching if you don't believe in teachers?

 
At 9/24/2007 8:16 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

yomamma said...
Chuck, your ass in the bible or in the trailer, makes no difference, i could know it biblically, but is that really the track i want to take?
...................

yomamma, I have been away from home leaving my mule in the care of Chuck JR. As Lightnin' Hopkins said, "They called me up and asked me to preach/but I said I got to go fishin' at Galveston Beach!"

Regardless of the informational teachin given to me by Da Free Jack (my mule), I know I must rely on my own ass for truth. Lucky for me, my own ass--with the help of fried okra-- is always givin me the necessary low down!

 

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