Friday, August 06, 2010

Whacking "The Work"

File under: Gurus Clockin' Dollars

We don't know who this person is, but we're all about this analysis of Byron "Big Bucks" Katie's "The Work":
There is a subtle nuance in the language of the facilitators of "the work" which reveals a deep, internal contradiction between what is practiced and what is preached.

Ostensibly, the work began as an "I" realization, one where Katie saw her own thoughts as projections and the outside world as a reflection of those projections.

From all accounts I have heard of people who experienced some sort of enlightenment, that experience came about from and inward collapsing of something that was blocking perception, and an emerging clarity. This seems to occur spontaneously after a period of disturbance. I have never heard of anyone having an enlightenment experience from performing some method (other than pure meditative concentration/contemplation), especially not from one that involves making noise inside the mind with more words and questions. Words and thoughts are forms of mind activity. The pain of mental activity is not resolved with more mental activity. It is resolved with listening and feeling, which lead into inner silence, stillness, and clarity.

In the application of attempting to teach "the work", a facilitator is immediately violating one of its own principles, namely, to "stay in one's own business." By now, how many other people's business has Byron Katie gotten into? It's difficult to take her preaching seriously when she herself is doing precisely what she recommends to her students not to do.

Furthermore, the moment I try to teach you that your thoughts are a projection of your mind, the idea that you need to learn this, and that I need to teach you, are projections of my mind. If I'm saying to you, "it's all about you", I have stepped outside of the circle of what is true about me, the circle in which I have a real say. It would seem disrespectful and presumptuous for me to delve into your inner dialogue and try to get you to see something about yourself, when my job is to listen and respond from my own truth. I see Byron Katie attempting to impose her own views over and over again in the conversations in her books. It is as though when you are expressing a judgement, it is a projection, but when she is expressing a judgment, she's seeing and telling it like it is. The idea that I know something you need to learn, and that I need to teach you, is a projection of my mind. There is no humility or respect in trying to teach you the "truth", since everyone is born from the truth, dies and returns to the truth, and is the truth. No special courses are required to learn honesty. Life experience and just saying what is on the heart is enough!
We realize that some folks are helped by the Work. Others only lose lots of money. Caveat emptor.

Labels:

93 Comments:

At 8/06/2010 7:15 PM, Anonymous Jacflash said...

The Work -- as-published, used on one's own -- is a useful self-inquiry tool. Self-inquiry is a useful way (for some) to awaken. Lots of folks, including Stephan Bodian (who got dharma transmission from Adyashanti) use variations of it in their teachings, with credit.

That said, I have no idea how people working for Katie are implementing it in seminars etc. But in and of itself, it's a useful tool.

 
At 8/06/2010 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree--this person is absolutely right about the contradictory nature of 'the work.' On my blog I discuss A Course in Miracles and how BK and others have distorted its "new age" message--actually it harks back to hermetic beliefs and is only unique in the way it presents non-dualistic metaphysics.

tiptoethruthemindfield@blogspot.com

I'd welcome your comments on what I talk about there.

 
At 8/06/2010 8:19 PM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

I think you are missing an important distinction: The Work is a technique, not a lifestyle or philosophy of life. So you are mistaking the method for the goal.

It seems to me that if the technique works for you in achieving your goal of liberation or whatever, then it's quite natural that you might teach it.

(But I'm not saying The Work is the best technique or anything like that.)

 
At 8/06/2010 8:53 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Great to see you all still reading despite my inexcusable laziness in publishing.

I think there's a lot to be said for self-inquiry by way of the Work. There's also a lot to say about the cult-like atmosphere and tactics of Katie's org, not to mention the fact she's raking it in.

Plus, she threw my pal under the bus in a dispute he was having with anti-cult cultists. He was one of her earliest teachers, but she very dishonestly disavowed any association with him.

And Martin, I think the Work is lived as a lifestyle for many, and that Katie is quite content with that fact.

 
At 8/07/2010 5:54 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

Say what you will about the disputatious anti-cult cultists, they have dug up a mind-boggling amount of damning information on Ms Katie and her organisation. For anyone thinking of paying megabucks to attend her school, do a little light reading here first:

http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,12906

They can go over the top with the broad brush of guilt by even the most tenuous association but as an expose of the risky LGAT rip-offs Ms Katie presides over, this is solid stuff.

And another reason to respect UG Krishnamurti, he spotted her for a fake at first sight and made no bones about saying so:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1YzCuaXWU&feature=related

 
At 8/07/2010 6:11 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

For the nitty-gritty in the video I posted, (number 2 of 5) Ms Katie starts to waffle just before the 4 minute mark and UG effortlessly blows away her self-aggrandising nonsense.

 
At 8/08/2010 4:33 PM, Blogger hippie said...

Hi Jody, really glad to see you are back, helping to take down evil cults enslaving minds all for power and money!

 
At 8/08/2010 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From chris anonymous: There is a tape by Katie that deals exactly with the complaint in this post. She says that a
facilitator (that is, a person who pairs up with another and walks them through the inquiry) cannot be effective if they are not simultaneously tracking a similar issue within themselves. She says that without this present-time, real component, the Work tends to become one person mechanically and superficially taking another’s inventory.

The other thing is that Katie always prefaces things by saying that the Work is there if someone feels it would be of value to them. I have occasionally done the Work spontaneously with a person I meet who has some bug-up-their-ass story that is really bothering them. There comes a point where I notice that the Work could help them, and then I mention it and if they would like to do it with me. Most of these people have never even heard of the Work, and yet if the say yes, and if I follow the advice in the previous paragraph, the Work turns out well, even remarkably so. I have had people tell me that it was one of the more beneficial moments in their life. Again, these people say yes because they mean it and have real need. They are not dabbling in it out of some philosophical investigation.

As for the comments in the post that: “I have never heard of anyone having an enlightenment experience from performing some method (other than pure meditative concentration/contemplation), especially not from one that involves making noise inside the mind with more words and questions.” This comment demonstrates ignorance of some of the most important enlightenment experiences of mankind. The most important being the death experience of Ramana Maharshi, who relates that the experience involved precisely a verbal inquiry into the question of: Who is it that is dying? The method arose spontaneously with Ramana at the time, but it became the principle teaching he offered to others for the rest of his life. It is true that one can find parts of his discourses where he indicates that this type of inquiry may become non-verbal, but generally he recommended it as a verbal inquiry.

Similarly, Papaji relates that his encounters with Ramana preceding his own awakening generally involved Ramana questioning him and his assumptions about what or who the real God is.

Or just read I AM THAT by Nisargadatta. The entire book is nothing but a verbal consideration of what Truth is and what is obstructing it. In this book Nisargadatta is dealing with questions from different individuals and he does not once recommend to any of them that they go and meditate in a traditional way.

The resolution of the question raised in this post is given by Katie herself (I always find it revelatory that people who criticize Katie the way that is done in this post have not really looked into the extensive comments she makes about the Work). She says that the Work is a way of bringing a superior force to the mind, IT IS NOT ABOUT THE MIND BATTLING THE MIND. She calls this force “understanding.” She says the key is that the question must be asked from the head to the heart (or from the mind to the deeper feeling part of oneself). Then the answer begins to come from a place of Reality and the Work begins to bear fruit.

It is interesting to note that Katie’s use of the term understanding has important parallels both in the work of J. Krishnamurthi and Adi Da, who both used this term extensively (though with slightly different connotations).

As for Katie “raking it in,” big friggin deal. This is the constant complaint of this blog about any teacher: they charge money (or at least teachers in the West). It is a really boring mantra, in my opinion, and says more about the author than any teacher. Precisely it says: “I am not really serious about awakening because I do have one thing I would never ever give up in order to attain it: my bug-up-my-ass story that I should not pay a little cash to perhaps help myself along the way.”

 
At 8/08/2010 8:02 PM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

"I think the Work is lived as a lifestyle for many, and that Katie is quite content with that fact."

Ah, yes. I've seen people almost in a devotional relationship to BK. And in ordinary conversation, I see people doing The Work respond as if the tenets of The Work are the ultimate truth.

Hm, maybe BK and her followers have made the mistake of mistaking the method for the goal.

I see this a lot in spiritual circles. For example, Ramesh Balsekar's idea that everything is God's will can work really well as a technique, but it becomes quite a lame rationalisation when it is believed to be the ultimate truth. There are many other examples of this mistake.

Most guruic statements should be seen as boats to get to the other shore or as fingers pointing to the moon. They are methods, not goals.

 
At 8/09/2010 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

geez, man you guys really are serious spiritual seekers, i should give you the name of my own lame ass guru, but for your own bevnefit- i wont.

 
At 8/09/2010 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cont from my last comment,

when my lame assed guru spoke, i was usually nodding off, his words were enuf to put me off further searching... ie reading books about other gurus etc...

and plus he really isnt much to look at, he looks like a giant
pimp(le) most of the time.

pun obviously intended, i bet he was checking out the talent in the darshan lines...except noone was checking him out...

and i'm so glad im not all that either, for if i was, he'd be checking me out too...

SHUDDER SHUDDER SHUDDER SAVE ME FROM THE BLUBBER BLUBBER BLUBBER

 
At 8/10/2010 3:37 AM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

Okay, I watched this BK video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwerzf5gIH0

It's about an Israeli woman saying she's afraid of war. BK does the work on that to remove the fear.

Clearly, a better response is to leave the danger zone or to get politically active. BK seems to be missing the distinction between a survival valid fear and neurotic fear. How many Jews have died by not responding to real dangers?

Off topic:

For those of you interested in guru egos according to the enneagram system, I've written a short article about it. Your favourite guru might be mentioned ;) It's here:

http://www.worldwidehappiness.org

 
At 8/10/2010 6:47 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

to Anon 8/08/2010 6:52 PM,

The fact that Ms Katie charges megabucks on an escalating scale that keeps her devotees locked into subservience to her sparkly eyed gurudom----for her simple questioning routine (ripped off from a seventies self-help author, no less)---- says far more about Ms Katies business motivations and pretensions to 'spiritual enlightenment' than about anything a critic might say of her.

Ms Katie does a very good number on enlightening her devotees wallets and not much else.

 
At 8/11/2010 4:41 AM, Blogger gregory said...

too facile .. the quoted text in the post

 
At 8/11/2010 6:27 PM, Anonymous Jacflash said...

Ellen, which '70s author did she steal The Work from?

 
At 8/12/2010 4:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous to Ellen:

Oh my goodness, all of those “facts” that appear on the cult awareness site about Katie. I read through a page or two, AND THERE ISN’T A SINGLE FACT AT ALL. At that point I dropped further reading. Perhaps I missed something. A challenge: Just show me one single FACT that is some real dirt on Katie and the Work. Just one.

As for U.G. Krishnamurthi putting Katie in her place: Well, the first thing to notice is that Katie is in that place with U.G.. Few people became his friends and confidant. I know that Katie and he got along very well. They are simply having a discussion and Katie is giving her point of view and he his.

In fact – and I really do not like to get into the gotcha spirit of this site – it is U.G. who makes himself out the fool. Did you notice his clever comment that all of those who are really into celibacy have fat bellies because they palliate sex with diet, and he even lumps in the Buddha with this crowd? This is pure bullshit as anyone who has ever experienced what the Buddha belly was about KNOWS.

Have you ever seen a picture of Bhagavan Nityananda from Ganeshpuri? He was one of the most revered siddhas in the history of modern India, praised by many renowned spiritual figures (Swami Chinmayananda, for example) as a living Purusha. I happen to know an Indian Ayurvedic physician who lived with him for the last three years of his life, and NItyananda had a very moderate diet. His belly (and that of the Buddha) had nothing at all to do with diet. They were the manifestation of a yogic spirit force that was alive in them. That force (mentioned in the Tao traditions as a great circle that rise in the spine and then descends in the front of the body into the belly and the perineum) was the source of Buddha belly. It also can be seen visually in the Taj Mahal, which is one of the most beautiful structures in the world, and a tribute to the human form in its awakened form.

It is interesting to me that U.G. made this comment. I find it typical of certain “awake” or supposedly awake individuals who populate the new neo-advaita (or neo-nihilism) scene. They often talk about things they know nothing about, and even with authority. I live in Tiruvannamalai India by the ashram of Ramana Maharshi. Every year we get a crew of Western teachers coming through who supposedly have woken up to some degree or another, and they are constantly making such bold statements. They are such fools, in my opinion. If you ask them a pointed question about Ramana’s teaching they fall to pieces. The most revelatory question is to ask them about the RAMANA GITA and the chapters that deal with right side of the heart and the amrita nadi – they blubber on because they know nothing about it. They know nothing about the primary structures in the body-mind that are coincident with higher realization. BECAUSE THEY ARE SIMPLY NOT REALIZED, or about as realized as a wet mop.

U.G. is just such a blabber mouth. In one of his books he claims that this right side of the heart is the thymus gland! Oh Christ, give me a break. The right side of the heart is carefully described by Ramana, and certain occult books in Ayurveda on anatomy, as well as by Da Free John. I have experienced it myself (as well as the Buddha belly phenomena I discuss above), it has as much to do with the thymus gland as it has to do with your armpit.

U.G. was famous for his nihilism. Okay, no problem that is the way he taught. But he demonstrates that he knew nothing about Yogic phenomena at all, but he loved to pretend he did.

Nuff said for now.

 
At 8/12/2010 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous to Martin Griffith:

You say: “It's about an Israeli woman saying she's afraid of war. BK does the work on that to remove the fear. Clearly, a better response is to leave the danger zone or to get politically active. BK seems to be missing the distinction between a survival valid fear and neurotic fear. How many Jews have died by not responding to real dangers?”

Do you really want to stand by this statement? I am asking a serious question. What spiritual teacher in the history of the world has ever recommended acting from a state of fear? You have the cart before the horse. Get rid of your fear and you most probably will act much more intelligently, including taking care of your safety.

Since the video involves a Jewish woman in Israel, a revealing book on this subject is 1967 by Tom Segev. This is probably the most thorough and exacting research ever done on what happened in Israel leading up to the Six Day War. Segev makes the point that the Israeli leaders were so paranoid (Rabin to the point of having a nervous breakdown and being confined to his house on medication a week before the war began), so involved in the fear of another Holocaust, that they ceased to act rationally. The struck first and precipitated a war that very probably could have been avoided.

Segev details how the military leaders in particular were constantly haranguing Levi Eshkol (the prime minister at the time) with horrendous projected casualties if they did not strike first, so that Eshkol eventually succumbed. All this in spite of the fact that when Israeli intelligence officers went to Washington and pled their case to the State Department, Lyndon Johnson sat them down and had the CIA go through the extensive research the US had compiled on the likely outcome of the conflict. They were told that in any case – whether Israel struck first or not – Israel would “kick their butts” (the Arabs) with ease. In 6 days if they struck first and in 12 days if the Arabs struck first. In either case the Israeli casualties would be minimal. And this is in fact what happened.

Later many Israeli leaders of the time confessed to how their fear had occluded their ability to think straight; that they in fact knew that the Arabs never intended to attack Israel, they just went a bit mad under the stress and the fear, and forgot what they knew to be true.

How many Israeli lives were needlessly lost, precisely do to the type of modus operendi you recommend in your post?

And you say it would be better to get politically active. Oh really? The present world is populated by numerous fear-ridden groups politically active with devastating consequences. Didn’t George W. Bush appeal to exactly that fear during his administration? And we really made out great, didn’t we?

I there is anything that spirituality addresses (real spirituality of the type this blog presumably champions), it is that fear is the primal demonstration of the enlightened state. Fear is the first demonstration of separation, which is the exact root of ignorance. Ramana Maharshi was often asked about political activity and he always said that it was nonsense, almost a nothing, in comparison to finding out who you are – beyond separation and fear. He said that just one individual who had penetrated the knot of the ego did more good than legions of political do gooders.

Nuff said for now.

 
At 8/12/2010 3:22 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

'Ellen, which '70s author did she steal The Work from?'

Apparently while in the halfway house, prior to being awakened by the mystic cockroach, she was reading the books of Ken Keyes, quite famous for his 'Inner Work' in the 70's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Keyes,_Jr.

Most of what she now does is very similar to the methods Keyes explained in his book 'Handbook to Higher Consciousness' among others, and used in his workshops then.

 
At 8/12/2010 3:40 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

Anonymous chris,
I find the spiritual explanation for buddha's belly almost as funny as the magic cockroach--and UG is still funnier and better value than both of those.

 
At 8/12/2010 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous to Ellen:

You are really something. I knew that you would not come up with any facts that pitch dirt at Katie because of course there are none. I decided to do a little double check on your allegations about her stealing the WORK from Ken Keyes. I just hit control f and “Byron Katie,” and of course, again, nothing on the link to Ken Keyes that has anything to do with Katie. If Katie really stole the Work from somewhere, wouldn’t there be some evidence of some historical precedent for the Work? I mean, something that would reasonably pass as plagiarism?

I have taught English at the high school and university level, I edit and proof read books on spirituality and historical research, and I can tell you that the way you write and think and present your ideas is something that my ninth grade English teacher would have thrown back at you as unacceptable. You should get a job at Fox News. It seems you specialize in innuendo and the type of crap throwing that goes on at Fox.

It is also interesting to note that you do not answer anything in my post that deals with U.G. Krishnamurthi. It seems you are immune to facts and logic and just assert what you assert and the truth be damned. May I ask just what your “credentials” are in the field of spirituality? Have you ever studied the subject, practiced, meditated – you know, just put your money where your mouth is? You come across as a nitwit, Britney Spears on bad acid, so to speak.

To anyone on this site: I again issue a challenge: Show me just one single fact that digs real dirt on Katie and the Work. Just one.

 
At 8/13/2010 1:58 AM, Anonymous ellen said...

Anonymous Chris,

No credentials at all in the field of 'spirituality'. Credentials in such an undefined 'field' are in themselves a contradiction in terms, as any high school teacher with rudimentary access to logical thought and integrity would be forced to admit.
'Spirituality' is the province of faith--faith is that which is believed without any proof or factual, logical back-up--that is why, as a field, it is open to widespread charlatanism. The idea of credentials in such a 'field' is laughable.

I have been a student of zen and related interests, though, for more than 30 years. The more I learn, the less I claim to know.

Regarding buddha's belly-- which did tickle me--- there were no known representations made of the Buddha until 300 years after his death. The first known artistic representation of the Buddha,which was on show quite recently in an academically credentialled and curated exhibition, was in fact the depiction of an empty chair.

The buddha with a belly only appeared as a representation after human-figure statues of Greek and Roman gods became commonplace in India.
So any depiction of a buddha, with or without a belly, has more to do with what the artist thinks a holy figure should look like than with an accurate record.

The belly probably makes symbolic reference to the importance of that physiological area in Taoist philosophy.

Physiologically, it is the site of a large nerve plexus, one that first registers adrenaline-based feelings of shock and fear.

Focusing the attention on that area,(hara) paradoxically reduces awareness of other, free-floating anxieties and produces a calmer state. The 'abdominal' breathing techniques and sustained meditation have the same result.

It is essentially a distraction technique, though its benefits are such that to call it 'just a distraction technique' is a gross misnomer.

Fear is physiologically hard-wired into the human organism for very good survival reasons.

Allowing oneself to be ruled by fear, however, is as counterproductive as allowing oneself to be ruled by faith.

Faith is belief in the stories we tell ourselves to comfort ourselves from the never-ending fears, including the biggie of inevitable physiological death.

Byron Katie is on the right track with her "what would you be without your story" line at least.
Where she crosses the line, however, is in her insistence that her followers give up belief in their own personal stories in favour of venerating her twaddle about the magic cockroach.

How come she doesn't practice what she preaches and dump that ludicrous tale????
Answer: It is her unique selling point. Without it she has nothing to sell and no empire to build, no followers to fleece and no luxury lifestyle to support.
Without her story Byron Katie has no basis for the personality cult she has built around her deluded imaginings.

Incidentally, just try getting rid of physiological fear--- not imagining that you have gotten rid of it but try truly eradicating it from the human organism.
You will be free of fear only when you are dead and only because you are dead.
Life is inextricably bound up with fear.

Feverish imaginings of mystic cockroaches, magical bellies and the hypnotic power of space-mommies with an beady eye on the bottom line though, are superfluous, unless you like to entertain yourself by believing such tripe.

Nip next door to Ramana's ashram and ask about his method. Put it to use by asking a few questions, such as "what is real?", "who am I?", "what can we ever know for sure, really?"---and then do as the Buddha suggested. Find your own answers by your own efforts rather than swallowing wholesale the expensive regurgitated tripe of Byron Katie via Ken Keyes and any other self-helper she can rip off.

There are no hidden meanings, just stories we craft to pass the time and distract ourselves from what is always in front of our noses.

 
At 8/13/2010 1:59 AM, Anonymous ellen said...

Anonymous Chris,

No credentials at all in the field of 'spirituality'. Credentials in such an undefined 'field' are in themselves a contradiction in terms, as any high school teacher with rudimentary access to logical thought and integrity would be forced to admit.
'Spirituality' is the province of faith--faith is that which is believed without any proof or factual, logical back-up--that is why, as a field, it is open to widespread charlatanism. The idea of credentials in such a 'field' is laughable.

I have been a student of zen and related interests, though, for more than 30 years. The more I learn, the less I claim to know.

Regarding buddha's belly-- which did tickle me--- there were no known representations made of the Buddha until 300 years after his death. The first known artistic representation of the Buddha,which was on show quite recently in an academically credentialled and curated exhibition, was in fact the depiction of an empty chair.

The buddha with a belly only appeared as a representation after human-figure statues of Greek and Roman gods became commonplace in India.
So any depiction of a buddha, with or without a belly, has more to do with what the artist thinks a holy figure should look like than with an accurate record.

The belly probably makes symbolic reference to the importance of that physiological area in Taoist philosophy.

Physiologically, it is the site of a large nerve plexus, one that first registers adrenaline-based feelings of shock and fear.

Focusing the attention on that area,(hara) paradoxically reduces awareness of other, free-floating anxieties and produces a calmer state. The 'abdominal' breathing techniques and sustained meditation have the same result.

It is essentially a distraction technique, though its benefits are such that to call it 'just a distraction technique' is a gross misnomer.

Fear is physiologically hard-wired into the human organism for very good survival reasons.

Allowing oneself to be ruled by fear, however, is as counterproductive as allowing oneself to be ruled by faith.

Faith is belief in the stories we tell ourselves to comfort ourselves from the never-ending fears, including the biggie of inevitable physiological death.

Byron Katie is on the right track with her "what would you be without your story" line at least.
Where she crosses the line, however, is in her insistence that her followers give up belief in their own personal stories in favour of venerating her twaddle about the magic cockroach.

How come she doesn't practice what she preaches and dump that ludicrous tale????
Answer: It is her unique selling point. Without it she has nothing to sell and no empire to build, no followers to fleece and no luxury lifestyle to support.
Without her story Byron Katie has no basis for the personality cult she has built around her deluded imaginings.

Incidentally, just try getting rid of physiological fear--- not imagining that you have gotten rid of it but try truly eradicating it from the human organism.
You will be free of fear only when you are dead and only because you are dead.
Life is inextricably bound up with fear.

Feverish imaginings of mystic cockroaches, magical bellies and the hypnotic power of space-mommies with an beady eye on the bottom line though, are superfluous, unless you like to entertain yourself by believing such tripe.

Nip next door to Ramana's ashram and ask about his method. Put it to use by asking a few questions, such as "what is real?", "who am I?", "what can we ever know for sure, really?"---and then do as the Buddha suggested. Find your own answers by your own efforts rather than swallowing wholesale the expensive regurgitated tripe of Byron Katie via Ken Keyes and any other self-helper she can rip off.

There are no hidden meanings, just stories we craft to pass the time and distract ourselves from what is always in front of our noses.

 
At 8/13/2010 2:00 AM, Anonymous ellen said...

Anonymous Chris,

No credentials at all in the field of 'spirituality'. Credentials in such an undefined 'field' are in themselves a contradiction in terms, as any high school teacher with rudimentary access to logical thought and integrity would be forced to admit.
'Spirituality' is the province of faith--faith is that which is believed without any proof or factual, logical back-up--that is why, as a field, it is open to widespread charlatanism. The idea of credentials in such a 'field' is laughable.

I have been a student of zen and related interests, though, for more than 30 years. The more I learn, the less I claim to know.

Regarding buddha's belly-- which did tickle me--- there were no known representations made of the Buddha until 300 years after his death. The first known artistic representation of the Buddha,which was on show quite recently in an academically credentialled and curated exhibition, was in fact the depiction of an empty chair.

The buddha with a belly only appeared as a representation after human-figure statues of Greek and Roman gods became commonplace in India.
So any depiction of a buddha, with or without a belly, has more to do with what the artist thinks a holy figure should look like than with an accurate record.

The belly probably makes symbolic reference to the importance of that physiological area in Taoist philosophy.

Physiologically, it is the site of a large nerve plexus, one that first registers adrenaline-based feelings of shock and fear.

Focusing the attention on that area,(hara) paradoxically reduces awareness of other, free-floating anxieties and produces a calmer state. The 'abdominal' breathing techniques and sustained meditation have the same result.

It is essentially a distraction technique, though its benefits are such that to call it 'just a distraction technique' is a gross misnomer.

Fear is physiologically hard-wired into the human organism for very good survival reasons.

Allowing oneself to be ruled by fear, however, is as counterproductive as allowing oneself to be ruled by faith.

Faith is belief in the stories we tell ourselves to comfort ourselves from the never-ending fears, including the biggie of inevitable physiological death.

Byron Katie is on the right track with her "what would you be without your story" line at least.
Where she crosses the line, however, is in her insistence that her followers give up belief in their own personal stories in favour of venerating her twaddle about the magic cockroach.

How come she doesn't practice what she preaches and dump that ludicrous tale????
Answer: It is her unique selling point. Without it she has nothing to sell and no empire to build, no followers to fleece and no luxury lifestyle to support.
Without her story Byron Katie has no basis for the personality cult she has built around her deluded imaginings.

Incidentally, just try getting rid of physiological fear--- not imagining that you have gotten rid of it but try truly eradicating it from the human organism.
You will be free of fear only when you are dead and only because you are dead.
Life is inextricably bound up with fear.

Feverish imaginings of mystic cockroaches, magical bellies and the hypnotic power of space-mommies with an beady eye on the bottom line though, are superfluous, unless you like to entertain yourself by believing such tripe.

Nip next door to Ramana's ashram and ask about his method. Put it to use by asking a few questions, such as "what is real?", "who am I?", "what can we ever know for sure, really?"---and then do as the Buddha suggested. Find your own answers by your own efforts rather than swallowing wholesale the expensive regurgitated tripe of Byron Katie via Ken Keyes and any other self-helper she can rip off.

There are no hidden meanings, just stories we craft to pass the time and distract ourselves from what is always in front of our noses.

 
At 8/13/2010 4:15 AM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

Hi Chris anonymous,

I've experienced the amrita nadi/right side of the heart phenomenon too. So I know it's real. I describe it in this story:

http://worldwidehappiness.blogspot.com/2010/01/heart-being.html

Please tell us your experience. I am very interested in this subject.

Regarding fear and the Israeli woman: If I lived in Israel, I would try to get out to a healthier and happier country. I think that to live in this world, you need to have fear. Fear of pain and death is a basic survival function in all physical beings.

You seem to say you can live in this world without fear. Well, again, tell us your experience. I'm willing to learn. But I still think acting on the survival instinct is wise in the meantime - up until a person is enlightened to fearlessness.

 
At 8/13/2010 7:19 AM, Anonymous Jacflash said...

Hey Anonymous English teacher, I've ordered a copy of that Ken Keyes book, mostly out of curiosity. Reading it (vs doing "control F" on a Wikipedia entry) would seem like the most direct route to finding out how closely his ideas resemble The Work.

BTW, hurling buckets of insults like that makes you look like kind of a nitwit, too.

 
At 8/13/2010 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To anyone on this site: I again issue a challenge: Show me just one single fact that digs real dirt on Katie and the Work. Just one."

i got one - YOU
as a devotee, gotta be funny!

 
At 8/14/2010 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She forces answers to inquiry doesn't she? If you are letting someone provide you with answers you are just paying for a baby sitter, and there is nothing wrong with that, if that's what you wish to pay for, but there are way better deals and way better teachers.

 
At 8/14/2010 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>"Regarding fear and the Israeli woman: If I lived in Israel, I would try to get out to a healthier and happier country"<<<


Hmmmm,
Pretty close to what my father-in-law said when he escaped from Poland just in the nick of time and emmigrated to Israel (although I think it was more like, "get out to a country where they aren't going to shove me into an oven"). "a healthier and happier country"....interesting. Where is this "healthy, happy country"? Maybe all those folks in Eritrea, Uganda, Pakistan,Afganistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, etc. should "try to get out to a happier, healthier country". Ah California Dreaming...so very practical for the rest of the world and, hey, if you live in The West Bank, just "turn it around". They are trying to kill me...oh, wait, I am trying to kill me...whoops, here comes an incoming missle..oh, wait, are they sending it at me? or am I sending it at me? or....Boom ! egad.

stm

 
At 8/14/2010 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous:

This will be my last post on this particular thread.

I think it is safe to say that no one has come up with anything nefarious about Katie and the Work. Nada, zippo. I have issued the challenge for a couple of days for a single FACT, and of course, nothing. So what does it all boil down to? It has simply been a group of people gossiping crap and innuendo – people who have never done the Work (and I can assure you that from my experience it takes WORK – not for the lazy, arm-chair gurus on this site.)

Now, commentary, intelligent commentary, from the sidebar is always possible on any subject, but that is not what is happening here. The overwhelming demonstration from the comments here is that collective IQ of the participants is lucky to have three digits to it. People seem to have never even picked up a book on the subject of spirituality, let alone bust their chops and read and studied and practiced based on a real investigation of the subject. I have issued several pointed and well-thought-out posts (mine are the ONLY ones that have any length to them with real exposition and analysis), and people respond with one paragraph sound bites typical of ornery adolescents.

To Martin Gifford: I went on your blog and read your post about your experience. It was really good and thanks. I will send you a document with an essay I wrote about my experience if you like (It is too long for this post and I do not have my own website to refer you to). Just contact me at chris_boys @rediff.com. Perhaps you can relate to Ellen that the right side of heart has nothing to do with the thymus gland and U.G. Krishnamurthi’s preposterous claim that the gland is what Ramana Maharshi was talking about.

As for your question about fear, it is a good one. I will have to think some on it actually. It has been something I have considered for many years. I do think that the thing to remember is that when someone comes to Katie they come out of real need and because they are STUCK. If you are not stuck, hammered by your story to the point you are desperate to get some relief, then you can still consider other possibilities along the lines you mention. But, when you are stuck, then it becomes increasingly clear that the mind itself, the story, is the crux of the problem. Then you become available to Katie and the Work. People sitting with Katie rarely crap out and complain, they hang in and get serious. They want what she has to offer. That has been my experience too: The Work comes alive when the knife was at my throat, and then it paid off big time. I also have some essays on this subject and my experiences if you are interested.

Finally, to Ellen: I do not know why I am even writing this, as it is clear that you are terminally pig headed, but I will go over your entire last post, as it seems this was your one real (lame-ass) try at something substantial.

First you say: “No credentials at all in the field of 'spirituality'. Credentials in such an undefined 'field' are in themselves a contradiction in terms, as any high school teacher with rudimentary access to logical thought and integrity would be forced to admit. 'Spirituality' is the province of faith--faith is that which is believed without any proof or factual, logical back-up--that is why, as a field, it is open to widespread charlatanism. The idea of credentials in such a 'field' is laughable.”

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST DUE TO NUMBER OF CHARACTERS CONSTRAINT

 
At 8/14/2010 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous CONTINUED:

Oh Christ, why do I even have to deal with such dribble? The point is (as any fool could see if they bothered to look) is that PEOPLE COME TO KATIE BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE INTERFERED WITH! They have understood something about themselves and their story: that the story is painful and fucking them over big time and that they can’t get rid of it on their own. They have understood that their belief is just suffering. They come to Katie because they strongly intuit that she can help them. Indeed, people came to her in the beginning without knowing anything about what she taught. They came because she was obviously visibly free. They called her the lit lady.

You say: “Incidentally, just try getting rid of physiological fear--- not imagining that you have gotten rid of it but try truly eradicating it from the human organism. You will be free of fear only when you are dead and only because you are dead. Life is inextricably bound up with fear.”

Oh really? How do you know? You just say things on and on ad nauseum as if they were true because you say so and know so. Even the most minimal investigation of the field of human development, let alone spirituality, reveals numerous examples of people who did not know fear in the least. That their inhabiting a body did not in and of itself implicate fear (of any kind). Ramana had encounters with cobras and treated them as his friends. Tigers used to come and sit behind Bhagavan Nityananda at night and put their paws on his shoulders and look out at those he was talking to (who were generally shitting in their lungis). He knew no fear.

It is like you do not know the first thing about the subject you comment on. The Upanishads say, “Whenever there is another, there is fear.” They go on to say that the ‘other’ is the illusion of ignorance; it is what is to be overcome by practice, such that there is the eventual recognition of everything as oneself, as pure consciousness, radiant being. Then there is no more fear.

Anyway, I have made my pitch and now I exit stage left.

 
At 8/14/2010 12:10 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Tigers used to come and sit behind Bhagavan Nityananda at night and put their paws on his shoulders

The fact you believe these myths as historical reportage details the root of the problem of the folk theory of enlightenment, which you sir, are unusually beholden to. For that I'm sorry and wish you much luck.

 
At 8/14/2010 1:18 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

To anonymous chris,

You asked, arrogantly and rhetorically:
"Oh Christ, why do I even have to deal with such dribble?"

I think you have made clear to all that you have no intention of dealing with this in any open and questioning fashion, you are quite content to take Byron Katie's mythmaking at face value.

I am quite stunned, however, that you accept the inflated claims made by those seeking to set themselves above the rest of us, particularly of immunity to the natural order of dangers presented by tigers and cobras.

How do you know that these tales are true and not an early form of marketing?
Because you read it in a book ????

The only way for you to know if these tales are true would be if you were to try out the game of the tiger peacefully putting his paws on your shoulders yourself---a very good argument against imagining that you have eradicated the natural human survival fears, IMHO.
(Don't try this at home, folks)

I have not supplied the 'dirt' on the nefarious business doings of Ms Katie as I pointed you in the direction of the copious research already done by others, including the most telling financial shenanigans and an astute dissection of the way that Ms Katie masquerades as benignly intentioned figure while the financial structures she has built into her business ensure that all but the barest minimum of revenues funnel directly to herself; that she exploits the free labour of her followers to operate her personal business; that she employs every hypnotic trick in the LGAT handbook to con attendees into viewing her as an elevated being rather than the shyster she is.

I pointed you in that direction as I hoped, vainly, that you might actually consider, however briefly, that perhaps Ms Katie's publicly advertised persona might not be all that there is to the story.
Sadly, you were not able to transcend your already fixed ideas in order to read more than a page or two. It is easier to stay with the comforting belief in the space mommy than to critically wrestle with conflicting ideas.

Personal/spiritual/religious
'growth'--a term I abhor--is very much about the ability to critically wrestle with conflicting ideas and to come to an individual resolution that allows some peaceful equanimity in this lifetime.
That is what the Buddha, Ramana, Nisargadatta and numerous other, less famous teachers recommend for those looking for answers to the many dilemmas of human existence.

If you don't have the open curiosity to even consider the questions then you have no hope of any resolution to them.
Which is OK, but accepting someone elses resolution is abdicating from the unique opportunity that being born as a human affords us--the ability to think for ourselves and not just accept what the powerful dictate to us.

Just try to avoid any close encounters with cobras or tigers, they are never as friendly and innocuous in real life as the magic cockroach would have you believe.

 
At 8/14/2010 3:29 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

Here's a personal tiger tale:

Many years ago a friend of mine took in from the local safari park a tiger cub that had been rejected by its mother. He was asked to take it because the owner of the safari park knew that he had a large cage in his garden built to house his equally large dogs.

He also fancied the idea of himself rearing such a wild and powerful beast and for six months enjoyed playing with the tiger cub.
For a few months I helped with the feeding regime. Being small and skinny, I quit playing with the cub quite early on.

My friend is 6'3" and a powerfully-built chap himself but once the cub was six months old he could no longer play with it because one playful swipe from the cub's paw would knock him to the ground every time.

Unbelievably dangerous power, even in such a young beast that had no immediate need to kill for survival.
My friend gave up his fantasy of being master to a tiger and ruefully returned the cub to the safari park.

Had my friend been 'spiritually enlightened'--a concept that some proponents claim changes how we view the world, and how we view the world is always subjective---would that really have had any effect on the god-given strength and power of the growing tiger cub?

Or is god only interested in fulfilling the grandiose fantasies of those who deludedly claim mastery over nature?

 
At 8/14/2010 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from chris anonymous:

the below is a missing part of my last two posts, it should have gone after the first and before the second

As with everything you say, the above is sheer bullshit. Spirituality is not about faith (or not primarily about faith), it is about investigation, and application (of oneself) and realization. Downtown religion (of the idiot mainstream variety) is about faith and belief; spirituality is not. Anyone who has seriously applied himself in the field knows that there is proof of the most irrefutable kind. All of the great statements in the highest formulation of spirituality are verifiable, from the kundalini, to the experience of pure consciousness, to the experience of the right side of the heart, and to eventual Self Realization. I think you are basically lazy, a dabbler as you admit. You do not have the guts (and probably not the intelligence either) to put your ass on the line and dig into the subject. Thus, you waste your time and go on sites like this and make your catty comments.

About your commentary on the history of visual representations of the Buddha – well, what to say? I only brought it up in relation to your rock star fixation on U.G. Krishnamurthi. It seems you have only reinforced my point: that U.G. Krishnamurthi makes comments about things he knows are false (or about which he knows nothing at all). I assumed he was at least right that Buddha had a belly, but I guess he was lying about that too. Thanks for confirming my intuition that the guy was a fool.

I brought in a concrete example about which I had good personal information – Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. You can Google him and images and see the belly for yourself. Incidentally, after he died, and for the day that he was in state before his mahasamadhi interment, his belly disappeared, almost like the puncturing of a balloon.

Have you ever read NOTHING EVER HAPPENED by David Godman (of course you haven’t, why am I even asking?) This is a three volume biography of Papaji. In it there is an incident where Papaji met U.G. They had a short conversation where U.G. went on his typical idiot nihilism thing, focusing first on the worthlessness of all spiritual experiences. Papaji listened for a while and then pointedly told U.G. that the only reason he could be making all of the statements he was making was that he had never had a real spiritual experience. He said that he should come and talk to him again when he had had an experience. Then Krishnamurthi went on about his no Guru idiocy thing – you know, that all Gurus are fake and worthless and just dualism in drag that distracts you etc. blah blah blah. Papaji didn’t even bother to wait but just cut him off sharply and said, ‘I do not believe in ‘no-Gurus,’ a Guru is essential for Realization.”

And again, Papa was talking from his experience and not from some airy-fairy nihilism.

You say, “Byron Katie is on the right track with her "what would you be without your story" line at least. Where she crosses the line, however, is in her insistence that her followers give up belief in their own personal stories in favour of venerating her twaddle about the magic cockroach.”

 
At 8/15/2010 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>
Oh Christ, why do I even have to deal with such dribble?"

Dear Chris/anonymous,
The arrogance of your posts is simply extraordinary. If you're going to insult other people's intelligence, spiritual "credentials" (whatever that means), integrity, etc., at least use correct grammar. The word is "drivel", not "dribble".
As far as all those Bhagavan Nityananda stories go: were you there? do you know, for sure, that this happened or is this second and third hand information? Were you one of the people who actually sat with Papaji (as opposed to reading "Nothing Ever Happened"...geez, this is a staple in everybody's "spiritual library,isn't it?...before they realize books are information, three times removed and edited up the wazoo )? Did you meet Ramana (in the body)? perhaps spend time with Annamali Swami?, spend time at Ramanashram? Are you aware of spiritual hagiography story lines in general? (how various stories are repeated through different cultures...the cobra story, the tiger story, the found in a river story, the cobra protecting the baby story, etc. ?). Some of the people you gratuitously insult here have actually spent time with Papaji; others may have had "face time" with Ananamali Swami, others (including myself) have lived in Ganeshpuri and spent considerable time immersed in non-siddha yoga accounts of Nityananda's life and teachings, including spending time with those who were children when Nityananda was alive and were with him on a daily basis. The mixture of fact and fancy in the stories still told about Nityananda in town are hard to parse....(which tree did he take the cobras out of?...that tree! no! it was the one by the hospital! no, the one near the hot springs! etc. etc. ).Regarding the contributors here, there can be a level of silliness, teasing and deflating egoic bubbles but don't assume that you are speaking to people who have no experience in the area you appear to consider your "field of expertise".
Regarding Nityananda's "belly", Nityananda himself (according to people in Ganeshpuri)gave varying reasons for the size of his belly depending upon the person asking the question. There are stories and stories around every human being, later considered a "saint" or "avadhut" or whatever. One of the basic traits of the human race appears to be the need to create myths and symbols and then to worship those creations. It's interesting to consider this in regards to what this discussion is about: Byron Katie's Work and the whole idea of the "story".What is the actual MEANING of "story" in human experiennce and is it really something to eliminate entirely:? or simply to become more aware of.
Some the things you might discover when you begin to mature spiritually are: a sense of humor (about your own egoic claims and those of others), an ability to take things (especially hagiographical biographies) with a grain of salt, a bit more humility about "your" own "accomplishments", an awareness of your own failings,a realization that books are "after the fact" of experience and not a substitute for the real thing, sadly, that most spiritual folks have a very personal axe to grind (many times related to their "spiritual professions")and other lessons too numerous to mention here.
In my personal opinion, for what it's worth, Byron Katie's questions can be a very valuable tool for daily living...not so much for the larger questions of "who" exactly it is with the problem...just my opinion.

seen too much
(for too many years), to think I know much about anything at all

 
At 8/15/2010 12:14 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

anonymous Chris,

I honestly cannot see any difference between 'spirituality' and 'religion'--these are just words that we use to describe the ideosyncratic belief systems that we cobble together over a lifetime of being exposed to a multitude of influences.

For myself, much of any progress I have made has come from looking at what I believe and considering how I came to believe it, and then, over time, deciding whether I want to keep that belief any longer or not.
So I am not going to insult you by suggesting that you are wrong but I am going to point out the obvious--that your beliefs are clearly unexamined since you take what some guru bloke-Papaji-says as gospel. The better teachers and gurus, and from what I know (never met him) Papaji was one of the better ones, insist that every statement that they make be scrutinised and verified by the student for himself, not just adopted as inviolable truth.

In the end it doesn't matter what a teacher or guru says or doesn't say, the only truth that you can know is your own truth, that might agree with the teachers truth and might disagree. But you have to verify it for yourself.

I like UG because he was consistently and rigorously speaking his own truth--not my truth but his truth--and he did it without any expectation of gain or influence and with no claims to be teaching anything. He was a man true to himself, just as the tiger is true to himself and this catty woman attempts to be---whether or not you agree with him.
He is also uproariously funny, a great bonus in any human.

So, good luck with your entanglements with the magic cockroach,--- you might find it useful to look into the nature of belief and how our minds work; how easily we are led by our desires for certainty and an understandable universe; how easily we con ourselves; how easily we are conned by those more cynical and with an eye on exploiting us---before you shell out megabucks for Ms Katies derivative blather.

Goodbye, anonymous Chris.

 
At 8/16/2010 1:13 PM, Anonymous Jacflash said...

Chris: A guru is not "essential for self-realization." If Papaji said that he was mistaken, though given his occupation and the number of clueless souls who paraded to his door, it's an understandable one.

The right guru can certainly speed the process -- and (this is more important than most realize) guide the newly-awakened to a full understanding of the newfound state -- but "essential"? No.

For the record, I am neither lazy nor a dabbler.

 
At 8/17/2010 1:57 PM, Blogger Vera Keil said...

I love this post--I wish this Anonymous would write more!

I'm copying and posting it on my blog because it is so great. Hope that is okay with you--let me know if not.

tiptoethruthemindfield.blogspot.com

 
At 8/18/2010 2:37 AM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

Hi Chris Anonymous,

“Perhaps you can relate to Ellen that the right side of heart has nothing to do with the thymus gland…”

Yeah, my experience is that it is unrelated to an anatomical object. However, when the energy withdrew from my extremities, it became centred in middle of my head which is where the pineal gland is located. Then the energy/light went down to the right side of the heart via the neck. Then the scene opened out to a space-like situation totally unrelated to the body. More like a fourth dimension.

“The Work comes alive when the knife was at my throat, and then it paid off big time.”

Yes, in the week prior to my Amrita Nadi experience, I was in a financial / housing crisis, and I used a modified version of The Work. Every time a thought or decision arose, I wrote about it in my diary, using a formula like “By doing X I get Y,” which is like The Work’s question, “What do I get for holding that belief?” For example, I’d write, “By seeking solutions to my housing crisis, I get burdens of identity, time, and worry, and I waste energy in thought.” The pressure was really on, so this countering of thoughts deepened it. Nevertheless, the financial/housing crisis remained. I note that Ramana Maharshi used another form of enquiry when he was going through a death experience, and afterwards said he never feared death again. Maybe The Work can be improved by making it a more moment to moment technique like I did and like Ramana Maharshi did. Also, the opposite approach of making life very comfortable can work. Andrew Cohen had a very easy enlightenment because Papaji gave him a lot of support. I reckon the ego needs to either be pressured or relaxed - one extreme or the other.

Re fear and intelligence: If it’s a real emergency then we should react from fear. Before and after an emergency, we can use our intelligence. Ramana Maharshi had left worldly life and lived in a cave, so fear wasn’t relevant for him.

Re politics: Political action has produced a great amount of good in the world. If not for political action, we’d be ruled by kings and queens, and we’d be witnessing people being executed in the town square every day. George Bush appealed to ignorant fear, not the valid fear of a real emergency.

“Show me just one single fact that digs real dirt on Katie and the Work.”

Some people live by the work as a philosophy of life, rather than a technique to reach liberation. Generally, I think if a guru doesn’t deliver liberation in 3 months or so, then they should tell their disciples that the technique isn’t working and to go find another guru.

 
At 8/18/2010 2:40 AM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

continued...

Re fear and intelligence: If it’s a real emergency then we should react from fear. Before and after an emergency, we can use our intelligence. Ramana Maharshi had left worldly life and lived in a cave, so fear wasn’t relevant for him.

Re politics: Political action has produced a great amount of good in the world. If not for political action, we’d be ruled by kings and queens, and we’d be witnessing people being executed in the town square every day. George Bush appealed to ignorant fear, not the valid fear of a real emergency.

 
At 8/19/2010 9:02 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

Martin,
You and I disagree on a lot of things, Cohen being a major disagreement.
However I do think that you should question what it is that allows you to feel this nadi, this energy, this experience.
Because you have a particular feeling in or not in the body, does that automatically mean that there is a physical object there?

Have you ever had the experience of reading about something--for most people it is usually a list of medical symptoms--and then feeling exactly those symtoms in the body and being convinced that you are suffering some dread lurgy?

We are suggestible--if I tell you with authority that there is a meridian line in the body at a particular place and tell you to find it--you will eventually find it even though it is not visible to the eye or findable with any kind of sophisticated instruments.

Nadi and meridian systems are systems, man-made aids to thinking that some clever clog dreamed up to simplify and systemise thought about the very complex and mysterious human body. They do not exist except as a sort of flowchart, a mental schematic that allows us to think about the workings of the body.

In their time they were without doubt useful pieces of mental equipment but we have MRI's now (more mental images) which will never tell us the complete story but for the moment do it with a lot more accuracy than nadi's and meridians ever will.

Just because I think or feel something doesnt make it real or true. My job is to sort out which thoughts and feelings are useful and helpful to my continued existence and which can be discarded as no longer relevant to me.

 
At 8/21/2010 12:38 AM, Anonymous ellen said...

Alfred Korzybsky, the father of General Semantics who coined the term 'The Map is not the Territory' wrote a book in 1933 called 'Science and Sanity' that explores the way that we confuse the names of things for actual physical things due to our over-reliance on language and our ability to conjure up and believe in mental images that exist nowhere but inside our heads.

 
At 8/21/2010 12:42 AM, Anonymous ellen said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Korzybski

 
At 8/21/2010 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

exactly ellen!

some of these peeps dont live in the real world as it is and then to make it worse...

they wanna go live in another la la land full of fairies, angels and fairy dust...

led by another totally deluded puffed up egoic prat calling himself gurus...!

 
At 8/21/2010 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These comments have all been very interesting but i come away with one thing. Six billion people, six billion experience of What Is.

 
At 8/22/2010 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"These comments have all been very interesting but i come away with one thing. Six billion people, six billion experience of What Is."

eh what? say again?
six billion peeps in your cult?

nope your wrong, my fatguru says he has reign over that amount, i'm afraid...

(btw the fatguru is prem, the pimp(le) rawat) and he often has greasy breakouts so the name is apt.

and the fact is he sees himself as one sexy pimp, is no secret either.

so pimp(le) is an apt name for no-prem. which is another cool name too.

groovy on down fat bro, please do your disco jiggy....

 
At 8/24/2010 2:13 AM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

Hi Ellen,

It seems to me that no aspect of the Amrita Nadi experience was physical except that it was energetic and happened within areas of the physical body. I’m not saying that it definitely was not a product of glands etc, just that it didn’t seem to be so.

You say that the nadis and meridians do not exist. How do you know? You would have to be omniscient to know that for sure. Again, I’m not saying they definitely do exist, just that they seem to exist from my experience.

I had read Ramana Maharshi and Adi Da and the Bhagavad Gita saying that god or the seat of consciousness is in the heart. I thought it was weird. It made me doubt them and I ignored their statements about the heart. I thought there have been so many supposedly enlightened people, yet only a few of them said that the seat of consciousness is in the right side of the heart, so it must be false. But then I had the experience. It was a surprise. It was bizarre. It was also not like I would have imagined it to be. However, as profound as it was, I would still not claim that it was definitely the ultimate truth or anything like that. To make such a claim, I would have to be omniscient. I’m just a human being telling you my experience. You can make of it what you will.

Hi Anonymous,

The “real world as it is” is not what you experience. You experience only what your limited brain and senses allow you to experience.

But I agree that people calling themselves gurus and whatnot is ridiculous.

 
At 8/24/2010 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

martin gifford says "had read Ramana Maharshi and Adi Da and the Bhagavad Gita saying that god"

oh puhleaze! ramana maharishi has all my respect and i bow down graciously to his teachings...

but puhleaze! adi da? that zonked out, brain dead, violent abuser?
you want to read and quote that disgusting piece of gibbon poo?

right side, left side, wrong side blah di blah blah, adi da didnt have a heart, or if he did it was as black as the blackest of hearts...

he did to religion what hitler did to the world : attempted to destroy the very fabric of divinity...

 
At 8/24/2010 1:52 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

Martin,
No claims of omniscience from me, at all.
Nadis and meridians exist on the the same level that the humors of Hippocratic medicine exist--as a theory, now superceded by a more accurate theory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humorism

For the term 'theory' you could substitute 'current state of knowledge until superceded by something better'

This is not the venue to debate 'knowledge' but I would like to point out that it is never wise to consider any knowledge as set in stone.
I came across a great quote from Einstein, a man who gave equal credence to god and science:

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

I love to hear that cosmic laughter. I expect to keep hearing it my entire life.

 
At 8/24/2010 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO CHRIS ANONYMOUS:
In response to your "challenge": There are several very good reasons why there is no published real dirt on Byron Katie:
---Confidentiality Agreements. Anyone who works for or contracts with her is made to sign one.
---Reputation Management. Katie is keeps her reputation squeaky clean. The Institute for The Work website and her blog comments are monitored and censored. Controversial activities from her 9-day School detailed in the Rick Ross forum and elsewhere have since been discontinued. Work Facilitators must sign a "Code of Ethics" and agree to not trash her. The critical Janaki blog abruptly disappeared. In addition, BK plays up her associations with celebrities such as Oprah, Wayne Dyer, and Eckhart Tolle - not to mention her renowned translator husband Stephen Mitchell - which gives her a false sense of legitimacy.
---A Loyal Entourage. There is a wall of protection around Katie at all times: Subservient puppets who physically surround and escort her to and from the venues, keep her informed, and filter information. Very few others get close enough to see her dark side, and those in this inner circle are too brainwashed believe anything is amiss. And even if they begin to get a clue, they simply "question" the sane thoughts away.
---Covert Manipulation. LGAT methods such as Eriksonian hypnosis and advanced NLP techniques go undetected by the average workshop participant.
---Immunity. Since Byron Katie has NO credentials whatsoever for practicing any type of counseling or psychotherapy, there is no governing board to which one can report unethical activities. Sadly, most of what she does is perfectly legal, and she no doubt maintains good relationships with lawyers and accountants to make sure.

 
At 8/26/2010 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respondinding to Ellen:

Religion is an usually related to an organization. spirituality is a personal journey of examination of oneself , life, search for meaning and understanding of the cosmos and ones place in it and may even be something very different from what I just listed to others because it is a personal experience and can only be experienced by individually by one's own self and need not have anything to do with organized religions. they are not the same thing although for some , religious organizations may play a part.

 
At 8/27/2010 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jody
you are missing all the action on
http://aolfree.wordpress.com/

These folks have gotten on to the nerves of ravishankar and his aol and now eing threatned to shut down. I think it is high time you stepped into to contribute to a cause dear to you. Wake up jody.

 
At 8/28/2010 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Jody ! Whatever happened to your official sponsors ? That guru energy drinkers? Either they are fed up with your contents and comments that come here or they found that they dont have to lower their already low standards to this blog's and not to lose a bigger market.

After observing you for quite some while now, i can tell you that you are neither a good seeker nor a good guide, are you sure about this stuff which is going on here?

With the 1000th post you should have quit this nonsense and left gracefully to mend your actual time in meditation and enlightenment.

 
At 8/29/2010 9:58 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Whatever happened to your official sponsors?

They stopped supplying drinks, so I took the ads down.

i can tell you that you are neither a good seeker nor a good guide

I'm not seeking or guiding. I'm just expressing my opinion, just as you have expressed yours.

With the 1000th post you should have quit this nonsense

Your wanting me to quit is the only reason I need to keep going. I know I must be doing something right to attract the likes of you to attempt to tell me I'm wrong.

 
At 8/30/2010 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

:::Your wanting me to quit is the only reason I need to keep going. I know I must be doing something right to attract the likes of you to attempt to tell me I'm wrong.:::


Life's a weird bitch so if you find inspiration from my weirdo comment, I should only feel glad that I did inspire you. I find the lot that come here as drab as the guru bots in the many orgs, I have been and seen. Dunno its me or the happenings in here. Whatever, either you wake up and post some exciting stuff or wind up. Cant spend time on a hibernating blog.

 
At 8/31/2010 2:45 AM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

Hi anonymous,

I agree that Adi Da was highly corrupt. But that doesn’t mean his experiences weren’t valid.

Hi ellen,

I don’t see how knowledge about something non-physical can be superseded. It seems to be permanently unverifiable. Non-physical stuff can only be experienced, not known.

I agree that it’s never wise to consider any knowledge as set in stone.

I like the Einstein quote. <;-)

 
At 8/31/2010 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" I know I must be doing something right to attract the likes of you to attempt to tell me I'm wrong ".

This is precisely the reason I like Jody. Who to me symbolises the plucky American.

Please don't ever give up Jody.

Idiotised , demoralised hindus like me have benefitted immensely by coming across gutsy Americans , British , Australians , Jews like you , Chuck, Stuart , Yunus, Allan,and many more via Internet.

When my father was alive , there was no television , Internet.Only useless leftist newspapers in stultifyingly pro communist India.

He introduced me to America , Western culture through Hollywood movies , P.G.Wodehouse, Ayn Rand etc. Thank God I had a father who was no bigot.

You are so original and fresh.

 
At 8/31/2010 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous-Name Carissa

I invite you all to question ALL of these thoughts. You managed the first step...getting the thoughts on paper(in this case a computer screen). As KT says all war belongs on paper...I have found this to be true in my experience as well...NOT KT's experience, but MY OWN.

Question these thoughts using the work...notice if you are being real or "spiritual" with your answers. Find your own freedom. This is not about BK or UG or even eachother. It's about you...who else would it be about? When you answer the questions for yourself (the key is here-answer the questions for yourself) everything else falls away...no one to impress, or prove right/wrong....nothing even to do-only you BEAUTIFUL you....listening deeply listening.

Try it, I dare you to fall in love with yourself!

Love.

 
At 9/02/2010 3:23 AM, Anonymous ellen said...

"It's about you...who else would it be about?"

It would be fine if that were the literal truth.
Unfortunately it is about Ms Katie's private business interests and the massive revenue she accrues from peddling this hackneyed stuff, aided by apologists who have succumbed to her personality cult.

Self-enquiry, questions that you put to yourself in the privacy of your own mind. Be curious, this is something that brains are wired to do. Ask yourself why you need to create a sparkly-eyed spiritual superstar and then pay this person megabucks to teach you to do something that we all do naturally. (A bit bored, maybe???)Give it a while but keep asking, you'll get some interesting answers and a surefire cure for that boredom. You might even get more interested in your own mind than Ms Katie's.

 
At 9/02/2010 3:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ellen ,

You have the final word :)) As is corroborated by Sri.Dattatreya in His Avadhuta Gita.

" Where one knows nothing , there is verily no versification. The supreme and free One , pure of thought , absorbed in the consciousness of the homogenous Being , prattles about the Truth."

"Prattles- The highest Truth cannot be expressed. Whatever is said about It is at least partly nonsensical."

The entire Avadhuta Gita would surely delight you. Quit explaining to detractors.

I am pretty sure most nitpickers here teasing Jody unnecessarily must be Indians. I know them.

 
At 9/02/2010 5:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hi anonymous,

I agree that Adi Da was highly corrupt. But that doesn’t mean his experiences weren’t valid."

huh? corrupt teacher, corrupt teachings period.

and if you werent corrupt to start with, following a corrupt teacher, will eventually lead to your own corruption and destruction...

but hey, wise one, thats your choice and adi da wont stop you making the wrong one!

 
At 9/02/2010 5:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to "Anonymous-Name Carissa"

oh puhleaze save the satsang

i need a bucket! (with holes)

 
At 9/02/2010 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

-When my father was alive , there was no television , Internet.Only useless leftist newspapers in stultifyingly pro communist India.


To the dudette from India....
Jody is a commie (extreme leftist) in his heart. You have hiiiighly mistaken. Your iyer community licked east india company's arse when it landed in India first and I guess that part still goes on even after many centuries.

 
At 9/04/2010 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous PART I:

I decided to come back for a few more rounds.

First, to one of the anonymous’s who says: ”Dear Chris/anonymous, the arrogance of your posts is simply extraordinary. If you're going to insult other people's intelligence, spiritual "credentials" (whatever that means), integrity, etc., at least use correct grammar. The word is "drivel", not "dribble".”

The American Heritage dictionary defines "dribble” as: “To let saliva drip from the mouth; drool.” I consciously used the word to add a tactile edge to my writing, and I certainly do consider everything you say as drool. As for "credentials," I carefully explained what I meant by the word, if you had bothered to notice. I also used it in quotes to indicate that it was not being used in a rigorous, conventional way.

Then you say: ”As far as all those Bhagavan Nityananda stories go: Were you there? Do you know, for sure, that this happened or is this second and third hand information? ”
[Note: I have cleaned up your sloppy capitalization in this quote, as well as in the previous one. In fact, your entire post is riddled with spelling and punctuation mistakes. Do you know how to write and use a spell-checker?]

I already explained that I had good personal knowledge from a man who lived as Nityananda’s close attendant for the last three years of his life that he had a moderate diet and that his belly could not be explained by overeating and palliating sex with food etc. (the original point made by Madame twit Ellen and her mentor UG Krishnamurthi).

Though you are correct that there is a good deal of hagiography involved in spiritual history, there is also more reliable stuff. For example, Nityananda himself would speak humorously about the crow that was brought to his mother that cured him of rickets. Ramana liked to talk about the siddhas who came to him in the form of animals and also about the siddhas who circumambulated Arunachala in forms that were not normally visible to the eye. He occasionally said that siddhas actually lived inside the mountain. I don’t consider this stuff particularly important: it is just that it cannot be dismissed simply as hagiography when it came from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

The whole thing about Nityananda’s belly seems at this point to be beating a dead horse. Suffice it to say, no reliable account attributes his belly to overeating to palliate sex. THAT WAS MY POINT, and it was simply to illustrate that UG Krishnamurthi talked about things he knew nothing about, and was a facile liar. No one has remotely refuted my point. Ellen just blathered on and on without really addressing it; typical of her in that she seems incapable of answering straight any question put to her.

You question my own experiences with some of the Gurus I mention. I just returned from Ganeshpuri after a stay of two weeks. I have never had anything to do with Siddha Yoga or the Muktananda scene (though I have nothing against it either).

 
At 9/04/2010 12:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous PART II:

You say: “Were you one of the people who actually sat with Papaji (as opposed to reading "Nothing Ever Happened"...geez, this is a staple in everybody's "spiritual library, isn't it?...before they realize books are information, three times removed and edited up the wazoo )? Did you meet Ramana (in the body)? perhaps spend time with Annamali Swami?” spend time at Ramanashram? ”

How can you write such tripe? I am asking a serious question. Do you just dig these questions out of your ass? First off, it is virtually impossible to find anyone today who was as an adult when they met Ramana. I doubt there are but a handful left alive on earth. So, no, I did not spend time with Ramana. I do know David Godman personally, and I am confident that everything he has written about Papaji, Annamalai Swami, and Lakshmana Swami (the three principle biographies he has written about disciples of Ramana) is not "three times removed and edited up the wazoo.” He was asked to write these biographies by the subjects themselves, and spent years collectively with them. I know many people who were with Papaji and none of them has ever disputed anything Godman has written (with the exception of one person who disputes a minor technicality about when exactly Papaji was born). All of these biographies were personally reread by the subjects and corrected before they went to the printer. I (and everyone else except morons like you) consider them the primary resource material that will be left to history about these great men, and of pristine veracity.

I live in Ramana Nagar, 500 meters from Ramanashram, and I go there regularly for eleven years now.

You say: “Regarding the contributors here, there can be a level of silliness, teasing and deflating egoic bubbles but don't assume that you are speaking to people who have no experience in the area you appear to consider your "field of expertise"."

I have noticed that people who write on this site are morons, that is all. At this point it is an historical fact. No one can craft a good sentence or a coherent paragraph, and like you, just pontificate facts out their ass. You guys are like the local rocket scientists, who cannot solve a quadratic equation or apply Newton’s laws, but will gladly hang out their shingle and proclaim that they can get people on the moon. So what am I supposed to assume? Either that you are in fact morons, or that you are rank neophytes, or a combination of the two. Any reasonably intelligent person would come to the same conclusions. I mean, I have a degree in physics and if someone were to write and postulate about physics the way you guys write about spirituality, then I would conclude you had no degree or were stupid, or some combination of the two.

You say: “In my personal opinion, for what it's worth, Byron Katie's questions can be a very valuable tool for daily living...not so much for the larger questions of "who" exactly it is with the problem...just my opinion.”

The above is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Who gives a rat’s ass about your fucking opinion? YOU HAVE NEVER DONE THE WORK! You are just an armchair philosopher. Every armchair philosopher has his opinion, and they are rubbish compared to someone who has actually investigated the subject and done the work. If you have an opinion about electricity and do not understand the first thing about Maxwell’s equations, then who gives a damn about your opinion? Look at your post. I mean, really look at it. It would get a D + at best from a ninth-grade English teacher. You are a fool.

 
At 9/04/2010 1:12 PM, Anonymous ellen said...

To Anon 9/02/2010 3:26 AM

'The entire Avadhuta Gita would surely delight you.'

A kind poster here did introduce me to Sri Dattatreya and the Avadhuta Gita, brilliant stuff!
Such an educational site Jody runs.

 
At 9/05/2010 5:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Jody is a commie ...many centuries."

Comment posted above.

Patent Jealousy of indian noted.

Jody is someone I don't slot as left and / or right.

Honesty , candour unpretentiousness above all good manners decency being one of them always appeal to me.

Indians fail deplorably.Particularly indian men.
Followed by their sycophantic cheerleaders among indian women.

 
At 9/05/2010 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous to Jacflash:

You say: “Chris: A guru is not "essential for self-realization." If Papaji said that, he was mistaken, though given his occupation and the number of clueless souls who paraded to his door, it's an understandable one. The right guru can certainly speed the process -- and (this is more important than most realize) guide the newly-awakened to a full understanding of the newfound state -- but "essential"? No. “

There may be something to what you say; however, I wish you would first consider the context in which I related what Papa said. He was talking to the verbal-diarrhoea-head UG Krishnamurthi, the great nihilist who loved to trash literally everything about spirituality. Papa was simply pointing out to him that he was talking about things he did not know anything about (and too, I estimate, that he had encountered someone who was not a fool and was not going to roll over to his blather). Papa had come to Self-Realization by the Grace of a Guru and he was going to strongly defend that fact, especially in the face of a man who would categorically deny it without any experience.

In fact, let’s look at the top guy, so to speak, and what he had to say on the subject. If you read the great volume of material of the recorded talks and teachings of Ramana Maharshi, he bends over backwards to extol the virtue of a Guru. One of his most well-known quotes is to the effect that coming into the presence of a true Guru is like having the cool southern breeze blowing, and thus no need to use a hand fan of self effort. In fact, he was once asked about that other Krishnamurthi, J. Krishnamurthi and his emphatic claim that one did not need a Guru for Self-Realization. Ramana responded: “How did he [J. Krishnamurthi] know it? One can say so after realizing but not before.”

Ramana did acknowledge the possibility of Realization without the aid of a Guru, but from his words we can see that this is a very rare occurrence:
Question: How then did some great persons attain knowledge without a Guru?
Ramana: To a few mature persons the Lord shines as the formless light of knowledge and imparts awareness of the truth.

There are some other words by Ramana (for which I cannot locate the sources now) where he makes it clear just what qualifies one as a “mature person.” Take my word for it, it is strong stuff, and makes for a one-in-ten million occurrence.

Indeed, we can get the idea of what it must take for such an occurrence by considering the lives of Papaji and Lakshmana Swami. These men were extraordinary spiritual aspirants before they came to Ramana. I would estimate that they were as much like the average seeker as a Porsche is like a skateboard. YET THEY COULD NOT REALIZE THE SELF WITHOUT RAMANA’S GRACE, and they freely admitted it.

Papaji’s statement was not made primarily in relation to “clueless seekers,” in my opinion. Rather, it was based on his experience that even very advanced seekers need the Grace of a Guru (Lakshmana Swami is even more categorical on this point).

It is important to keep things in perspective. This site’s razon d’être is obviously to make shitty comments about any teacher. To find some way, somehow, to insinuate that some behaviour on their part makes their realization suspect. But that should not occlude the great body of statements by all Realizers that a Guru is essential (or just about essential) for every seeker.

 
At 9/05/2010 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Idiotised , demoralised hindus like me have benefitted immensely by coming across gutsy Americans , British , Australians , Jews like you , Chuck, Stuart , Yunus, Allan,and many more via Internet.

When my father was alive , there was no television , Internet.Only useless leftist newspapers in stultifyingly pro communist India."


we are not idiotised! how dare you! talk about yourself!
imo, i've met some incredibly intelligent, open minded, gutsy indians thankyou...

and intelligence didnt just start when newspapers, tv or the internet started...

there have been heroic freedom fighters in india thru the ages,
how dare you make it sound like all indians are as dumb and ignorant as you come across.

 
At 9/05/2010 8:52 PM, Blogger rick springfield said...

Jody whats up with your blog? You used to have more post, are you working on something else or just have lost interest in this blog?
Regards
Darin

 
At 9/06/2010 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we are hungry ! bust some guru for us real quick. NOW !!! what bout nithy ? latest on nithy, sri sri, ammachi? move your ass dude. Do somethin, go get us some thing to bite and chew we're hungry....

 
At 9/06/2010 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ellen ,

Thank you ! That is really gracious of you.
Isn't it really Awesome ?!

I have been observing the most needless vitriolic flak directed at you by one erudite person. And cringing.

What is the point in talking about Vedanta / Brahman with so much verbiage , when basic decency is so alarmingly lacking. And you of all don't deserve it.

Generally it is indians who behave consistently abrasively. Ignore them.

 
At 9/06/2010 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous to the anonymous who writes:

“In response to your "challenge": There are several very good reasons why there is no published real dirt on Byron Katie: etc.”

I used to be a California surfer and when I would surf at Malibu there was a big graffiti painted on the wall overlooking the beach that said: COME ON GIRLS, SHOW US YOUR TITS.

Like that, I ask you to show me your tits and stop being a wuss. If you can show me anything that is dirt on Katie, then do it; otherwise, shut up with your excuses. If the US government with its control of national security and secrecy cannot prevent the discovery by journalists of all of the shit that it is engaged in, then surely you can come up with SOMETHING about little ole Byron Katie.

I have looked at the cult awareness forum about Katie. There are pages of comments and not a single nefarious FACT.

You say: “There is a wall of protection around Katie at all times: Subservient puppets who physically surround and escort her to and from the venues, keep her informed, and filter information. Very few others get close enough to see her dark side, and those in this inner circle are too brainwashed believe anything is amiss.”

Okay, so show me her dark side. Just do it. If you will not (because you cannot), then you are a prick, plain and simple.

You say: “---Covert Manipulation. LGAT methods such as Eriksonian hypnosis and advanced NLP techniques go undetected by the average workshop participant.”

Okay, so show me the Covert Manipulation, LGAT methods. If you will not, then you are a prick.

Finally, you say “Since Byron Katie has NO credentials whatsoever for practicing any type of counseling or psychotherapy, there is no governing board to which one can report unethical activities. Sadly, most of what she does is perfectly legal, and she no doubt maintains good relationships with lawyers and accountants to make sure.”

Oh my God! Oh damnation! Katie has no official credentials to practice counseling or psychotherapy. Are you fucking serious? SHE INVENTED THE WORK! It is her unique contribution to human spiritual evolution. (If Ellen wants to claim that she stole it from Ken Keyes, then let Ellen come up with something substantive that shows this is the case. Otherwise, she too can shut up.)

You know, to this day there are serious schools of Advaita that claim that Ramana Maharshi was not realized because he did not come out of a traditional school or lineage. He had no credentials to teach what he did! Interesting, right? Like that you are an idiot to make the insinuation that Katie must have some sort of credentials to teach what she knows and invented, and which at this point has helped thousands and thousands of people (with apparently no recorded adverse cases either).

And too, you make a risky assumption that what she teaches is primarily a psychotherapy tool. She would dispute that assumption, I think. I think she sees the WORK as primarily a spiritual tool that aims to understand and relieve what she sees as the root of human suffering: an unquestioned mind.

I am not saying that I agree with everything that Katie says or her understanding of things. However, I do know that she is “clean” personage, who is also brilliant and unique. It is also plain that she is a person who is free to a profound degree.

Like I said in a previous post, people came to Katie in the beginning because they wanted what she had. She was the lit lady, and people recognized it. She never pushed her stuff on anyone, not even her children. She waited until they really asked her to help. Then she began to teach.

You know, you are like a bad reporter for THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER. You want to do what they do, but you cannot even do that. They could at least get the dope on people, that John Edwards was a lying philanderer, for example. So, good for them, they want to gossip and they go out and verify it. But you, you are just a lazy moron.

 
At 9/07/2010 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"From Chris anonymous to Jacflash:"

yes chris anon to jacflash, traditionally gurus are essential for self realisation however

not all the gurus who claim to be gurus are really sat gurus...

and if they arent, no matter how realised they think they are, they arent allowed to impart anything...

not every guru is a satguru. even those who have some secret doctrine are not satgurus...

without the satguru, knowledge gained from any other source/being is equivalent of deriving it from a demonic source...

try as you may the "knowledge" taken from anything/one else other then a true satguru will never ever stick!

you are wasting your time.

 
At 9/09/2010 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OT: What's going on with exSY? I tried to join to see what they had to say about the Salon article. I was banned immediately. My friend was also banned for no reason. He never made a comment, just read quietly for over a year.

 
At 9/10/2010 3:12 AM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

Hi Anonymous,

not every guru is a satguru. even those who have some secret doctrine are not satgurus...

Do you know any currently living Satgurus?

Personally, I wish Ramana Maharshi was still around. Someone who stays on topic, is obviously a good gal/guy and knows what s/he is talking about, and is only interested in one thing - liberation/reality.

 
At 9/12/2010 7:49 AM, Blogger tony said...

Part I

I decided to visit this blog when several of my friends said that some entertaining dialogue was happening. It does make for a good read. But Jodi, as a fellow New Mexican, I have to tell you that you guys are taking a serious ass whipping. Who is this Chris anonymous? He knows how to land the body shots. I agree with everything he says, and especially about the quality of the written responses. Man, they are pathetic.

In his spirit, I can’t resist adding my own lines:

To the anonymous who responded to Martin Griffith about Adi Da: “Martin Gifford says "had read Ramana Maharshi and Adi Da and the Bhagavad Gita saying that god" oh puhleaze! ramana maharishi has all my respect and i bow down graciously to his teachings...but puhleaze! adi da? that zonked out, brain dead, violent abuser? you want to read and quote that disgusting piece of gibbon poo?”

An interesting assessment of Adi Da. You should know that if Ramana Maharshi were alive and teaching today, or if this blog had existed when he was alive, then he would certainly be the object of scorn. I will give you an example of some of the stuff that would appear on this site (what I include is true to Ramana’s history).

DIAPER GURU AT IT AGAIN

Ramana Maharshi is up to his usual tricks. It is a sad commentary on the state of spiritual seeking that people actually follow this fraud and his teachings.

1. As India struggles to get out from under the yoke of the caste system, Ramana continues to run a completely segregated dining hall, with the food for the ashram prepared only by Brahmin cooks so as not to offend high-level Indian Nazis. Of course, this goes along with the typical Indian ashram ban on any female devotee who is having her period.
2. Ramana makes his will out to leave his ashram to his family, a typical pack of Brahmins, thus ensuring that prejudices will be enshrined forever in his self-enquiry enclave.
3. Paul Brunton banned from ashram! Yes, the man who made the diaper Guru famous in the West (and thus ensured a steady flow of cash for the supposed renunciate and his family clan) has been permanently banned from Ramanashram. Why? Because he did not give a percentage of the profits from A SEARCH IN SECRET INDIA to the ashram treasury! Ramana personally okayed the decision to ban Brunton.
4. Dope smoking rampant amongst followers! Some of Ramana’s intimate crew regularly go to a nearby temple every night and get loaded out of their heads. Ramana apparently does not disapprove of this behavior. He even comments on the positive effects of powerful hallucinogenic drugs, but says they shouldn’t be used because they will give the ashram a bad name.
5. Ramana chases man out of the satsang hall, beating him with a stick.
6. Ramana again reduces his mother to tears and then tells her to keep on crying as it will do her good. This goes along with his tyrannical behavior towards his brother who runs the ashram, and who is apparently so terrified of Ramana that he avoids his presence like the plague. This terror has its roots in an incident where Ramana beat his brother so severely he broke a stick over his head. Hey, the family that self enquires together stays together.

 
At 9/18/2010 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony

you are as deluded as the gurus you follow. maybe then you deserve the gurus you get.

put it bluntly you are speaking out of your ignorant backside

 
At 9/18/2010 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony

actually i withdraw my prev comment, the above poster is one of the most ignorant ppl i've ever come across...

you attack me for saying that adi da was a corrupt guru.
can there be a more corrupt devotee then you? NO

if this is the standard of ppl coming to this blog, then this is the very last time i will post on here...

and pls dont try to explain ramana maharishis actions, its almost impossible for the likes of a crow like you to understand the actions of a swan...

unless you yourself are at the level of maharishi, dont try to emulate, justify or explain...

true gurus operate on a different level, none of their actions come from the physical plane...

you are very much on the physical plane, what the hell do you know?

to end, you are nothing but a moron, a total moron and if you desire a guru who will beat, abuse and sodomise you, consider your wish fulfilled....

may you meet such a so-called guru!

 
At 9/19/2010 7:31 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

Tony, if you look at Jody's track record I don't think you'll find that he has been "wrong" often, if ever in his criticism of so called gurus. The ones spotlighted here have themselves committed blatant errors that are easily seen. Even good teachers can go wrong if allowed to by their close devotees. The image of guru/disciple has become tainted in this age because of the behavior of gurus not because it has been noticed and pointed out. If Jody has made any specific mistakes, please point them out.

 
At 9/22/2010 2:46 AM, Blogger Martin Gifford said...

Betty wrote:

"Even good teachers can go wrong if allowed to by their close devotees."

Yes. Absolute power corrupts.

Tip: If the guru talks about himself or herself much, then they are probably corrupt.

 
At 9/22/2010 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous: Kuddos to Tony, and you do have my spirit. I decided to see if I could channel you and went back through my books on Ramana and came up with some additional stuff that would appear here about him:
1.Finally, someone fights back! Diaper guru sued in court suit by former intimate devotee who knows scoop on his activities. The list of accusations is pages in length and shocking in scope, revealing the dark side of Ramana. Ramana forced to give official deposition in the case. We hope that his sway with the local authorities doesn’t allow him to escape his just desserts. In the court deposition Ramana states that no one alive is in his exalted state, and this after his endless blah blah about us all being equal as the Self.
2.Ramana confesses to nocturnal emissions! He says it happens if people feed him the wrong food, but we suggest he cop to the fact that he is a horny bugger like the rest of us and go get some good Indian nookie.
3.Ramana approves adultery! He tells Indian chap who is begging for help not to deflower his next door neighbor, that he should not think about it, and if he does deflower her he should remember that he is “ever pure!” What can you expect from a teacher who has never lived as a householder and has wet dreams because of he eats too many onions?
4.Thirty years and counting! After thirty years no one but animals is getting enlightened at the diaper Guru’s ashram. Yesterday Ramana liberated a deer. This goes along with a cow. But so far not a single human being! (Except his dear ole mum, he makes one exception for the family – on her death bed, just so she is not alive to demonstrate her new state.)
5.NAN YAR? is a fraud! Ramana’s original teaching compilation WHO AM I? is filled with contradictions. It is instructions about how to talk and think your way past your thoughts! Not a single word about the traditional way of silencing the mind. Can this be because he has never had a silent mind?
6.Keep up the Arunachala PR! Ramana announced that a parade of siddhas circumambulate the holy mountain but can’t be seen. He suggests that pilgrims walk on the outermost side of the mountain path so as not to interfere with these characters. He also announces that inside Arunachala are palaces with yogis and saints, and that some of the animals seen on the mountain are siddhas disguised. We already know that the mountain is not really a mountain. It is a cosmic lingam that is the center of the friggin universe! (At least we got a little spiritual porno with that one). What can you expect from a guy who has tied his entire reputation to that of the mountain? If you are Moses, then there has to be a Mecca.
7.Ramana won’t budge! Yesterday, during the height of India’s struggle for Swaraj, Mahatma Gandhi visited Tiruvannamalai. Though the diaper Guru was well aware that Gandhi was in town, he made no move to visit him, though he did make it known that he was welcome at his ashram. Interesting, that even when a great man who has actually done something for India is available, that man must bow to Ramana and not vice versa. Of course, Ramana has not got off his butt for the last 20 years, so how could we expect him to make an exception, even for a Mahatma.

To anonymous: I don’t think you are bowing to Ramana, I think you are bowing to your fantasy of him. I doubt seriously that if he were alive today you would get anywhere near him. Once you learned that when he farted the room didn’t suddenly smell like jasmine you would run for the hills, and to hell with his realization or the wisdom of his teaching.

As for Adi Da, Ken Wilbur (someone presumably well qualified to give commentary about a spiritual teacher and his teachings) stated that he considered Adi Da to be the greatest living Realizer, and the “greatest spiritual genius in the history of the world, ancient or modern, without a doubt.” Wilbur also stated that he found a lot of his behavior very problematic, but he never backed off of his assessment of his spiritual state and his teachings.

 
At 9/22/2010 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Chris anonymous:

I love this site! It is as entertaining as reading the collective thoughts of Christine O’Donnell.

I love that one of the anonymous’s has poopy diapers about Tony’s list of Ramana’s foibles. It just shows what infantile idiots populate this blog. You know, earlier on this post Ellen referred to the site that supposedly had all the dirt on BK. There was one long harangue there from some gal who had attended one of her workshops. This gal blathered on with some infantile complaints that justified calling BK and her group a cult. But can you imagine what she would have said about Ramana if she had visited his ashram for a weekend? She would have gone totally ballistic about the diaper Guru.

Interesting, huh?

And to the anonymous with the poopy diapers: Oh my goodness, you are going to run from this site with a righteous revolt, simply because Tony laid out some facts about Ramana. You say: “you attack me for saying that adi da was a corrupt guru. can there be a more corrupt devotee then you? NO”

You are a fucking idiot. Tony never attacked you. Just read what he actually said. But you sure attack him, don’t you? His whole point was that categorical conclusions from a jnani’s behaviour cannot be made (otherwise Ramana would be in the shit pot like all the rest).

I remember an interview Andrew Cohen did with Dayananda Saraswati, probably the most respected pure Vedantin in modern India. Andrew asked about weird behaviour on the part of the so-called enlightened. Dayananda replied that THERE ARE NO RULES FOR JNANIS. Andrew of course started pooping his diapers too (so typical of Andrew; he should be call Andrew Landers instead of Andrew Cohen with his obsession about behaviour of others).

Betty said: “Tony, if you look at Jody's track record I don't think you'll find that he has been "wrong" often, if ever in his criticism of so called gurus.”

Are you fucking serious? Who posted the introductory little ditty on BK that is the subject of this post? No intelligent person could post such moronic crap. This entire blog is just infantile crap. Jody knows nothing of the real history of spirituality and those who are its heroes. If you think the facts about Ramana are a little off, just imagine the treatment Marpa would get on this site for his treatment of Milarepa. Jody would probably fly to Tibet to make a citizen’s arrest.

Jody, I am talking straight to you now: End this friggin blog and the disservice it does to the truth of spirituality. Stop pissing your life away, man with this gossipy nonsense.

 
At 10/21/2010 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is this blog dead?

 
At 10/22/2010 1:58 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

This blog sees about 400 people a day as a reference work, so it's not dead in that regard.

As the author, I'm finding it very difficult to continue to post about the same gurus, making my same complaints, so I guess you could say it's really, really slowed down at this time. I may pick it back up at some point.

 
At 10/26/2010 1:52 PM, Blogger Manuel said...

Almost everybody here is going heavily "personal" against each other, blowing their own ego trumpet trying to show who knows better.1) stop trying to "debunk" self-realization, as there is no Self to be realized at all.Anybody that have not see this, is still dreaming in the midst of fog 2)Byron Katie may be earning a lot of bucks with her organization,and I do not like her style of talking in public about the personal stuff of people, but her method is a valid tool for many people in order to get rid off a lot of unfunctional thinking producing a much suffering.Third, so many people talking and insulting anonymously..Well, i am not claiming anything, but at least I use my real name and put my face behind my words.

 
At 11/23/2010 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about proclaiming now that 'the work' to be done is to shoot all those bogus to death, on sight, at sight? It would be a nice solution. Please, don't forget to call me if so.

 
At 12/24/2010 1:52 PM, Blogger Manuel Gerardo Monasterio said...

One can apply the work without expendig a penny. I have not spent a dime on it. It is very easy to talk, and to critizice. When someone is Active and present, there isn't impulses left ohers than those that are in line with Presence. Amybody can say anything about anybody or anything, that doesn't mean anything at all. A lot of mind games on this thread...Useless stuff.

 
At 2/06/2011 5:57 PM, OpenID freedomclasses said...

Another perspective and experience:

Katie and I have an email correspondence that has gone on for over 6 years. I'm not famous, not rich, (a public school teacher) and haven't spent money on her workshops in a couple of years. I have many friends who are not 'in The Work' and I think they're awesome, and don't have an interest in 'getting them into The Work'. That'd feel dishonest, and not honoring of who they are and what they think, or of our friendship. There's a diversity here.

I canceled my enrollment in the Certification process when I was accepted to a Teacher Training Program, and when I told Katie this (that I needed to focus my attention on teaching so I was canceling) she wished me luck and asked me to keep in touch.

The fact that I haven't gone to events, given money, and that have many friends who aren't in TW, and the fact that I love and am inspired by many people and organizations not 'in TW' (Dalai Lama, MLK, Gandhi, Tim Hurson, just to begin naming a few) has not touched Katie's and my correspondence or affection for one another in a negative way, by any means. It's been the opposite -- our dialogue and correspondence have been positively impacted as I work to build a thoughtful, creative classroom (inwardly and outwardly), and connect with all kinds of people.

I feel no pressure to go to events, or believe anything. Recently I wrote her that I'm not interested in 'blindly following Byron Katie,' rather I am interested in honest dialogue and collaboration -- with her and others. She wrote back 'wonderful.'

The last time she was in Denver for an event, we went out to lunch and talked about Obama's policies... my experience is she is a broad-minded, curious, available person.

The Work is free on the website, and there are many certified facilitators who will facilitate for free.

I'm interested in designing curriculum that integrates The Work, creativity, empathy, curiosity, and so on... into curriculum, and applying it to state standards. Just like the Dalai Lama says how important it is to teach students dialogue and ways of warm-heartedness, from a very young age. I've sent Katie links to Project Based Learning videos (PBL is a really cool way of structuring a classroom around projects), and PBL seemingly has nothing to do with TW, yet it does have to do with creativity and supporting kids to design and build projects, think creatively, and solve problems. Katie is supportive and curious.

I'm open about my love of the Dalai Lama, and all kinds of inspiring people who I'm moved by, and it's more than welcome in our correspondence. It's a part of our relationship. My interest is in building open-minded dialogue, where all kinds of ideas and possibilities can emerge, and be tested and developed. I'm also interested in collaborating with people and organizations committed to creativity and peace, and this is very welcome.

The Work itself transforms my mind. Questioning my thinking helps open my creativity, ability to connect with people, respond increasingly honestly, and more. I don't see an end to what's possible to create -- all kinds of projects and ideas and innovation are possible in our world, and The Work helps me discover options and begin creating.

 
At 3/26/2011 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BORING! Too many words. Too little Silence! OM

 
At 4/08/2011 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Byron Katie was invited to Beirut - Lebanon. They asked for 50000$ for a two day event + First class airlines seats + 5 star hotel booking. How amazing when she started she gave it all for free & now she asks for 50000$ for a 2 day event. I wonder when THAT revealed ITSELF that night in the attic did it ask her for 50000$!!

 
At 11/29/2014 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UG Krishnamurti spoke in exaggerations to break up people's linear thinking. It was just his style. Someone once told Anandamayi Ma what UG said about not needing to do any spiritual practice. Her reply was, “He is on top of the mountain. You are still on your way up.” UG’s immediate response was, “I am standing right here next to you on the ground!” Ma and UG weren't feuding or even disagreeing -- they adored one another and were just saying the exact same thing in different ways. Depending on the audience and his mood, Papaji variously said both that sadhana was necessary and that it was not. Papaji's own guru -- Ramana Maharshi -- had no guru, so I seriously doubt he believed a guru was indispensable for realization, regardless of what he said to UG. They all said all kinds of contradictory shit at one time or another. If you try to make sense of any of it on a mental level, you'll never get anywhere. You have to listen with your heart, and more importantly, TO your heart rather than to what anyone else says.

Katie and all the other newbies out there writing books and giving $$$ seminars are not legitimate gurus or even legitimate teachers. They are only businessmen and women. They all pale before UG, Anandamayi, Papaji and Ramana -- not that any of them were perfect either or that such a thing as perfection exists.

Not that any of this matters or that anyone's ever going to f@#%ing read what I just wrote.

 
At 11/29/2014 7:02 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

I read it. It was quite good!

 

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