Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mozart vs. Freud

I've heard Ravishankar state classical music is tamasic and brings one to a space of depression. How can such statement be made when one can go high simply listening to Chopin, Mozart, Bach? Is it not the impartial observation of someone who does not understand the classical western scales and, instead, prefers the Indian dissonant scales? When Nietzsche wrote, “Life without music is a mistake”, he did not state, “Life with western classical music is a mistake”! How can one judge a culture for being less "pranic" or more sattvic than another? Is that a genuinely objective spiritual possibility or just narrow-mindedness, prejudice, cultural bias?

Therapists are regarded as bad by the AoL, however, I have known a lot of people who, without the help of a professional, would be locked up or “gone”. Some people suffer of chemical imbalance, some cannot handle circumstances alone, whatever it is, certainly, noone likes to be depressed or suffer of any personality disorder. Those very few who do choose to be in these states, of course, they need professional help too. Those who do not know how to get out of this state, of course, they need help, not discrimination. With the notion therapy is bad, a lot of AoLers feel guilty when they have the need to seek for psychological care, or when they fall into depression. People who fell into any of the two categories were made fun of, especially behind doors by SSRS himself and teachers, or out-casted, if their secret was revealed.

I unfortunately have witnessed many of these occasions in amazement and embarrassment. However, my biggest surprise was when a devotee had a psychotic breakdown and was on the verge of suicide. Desperate, against my will, I dragged him to the psychiatrist. To my surprise, when I called SSRS and described the situation, he replied, “What did the therapist say? If he does not get better tomorrow, give him Prozac.” For heaven’s sake! Everyone knows Prozac is a controversial medication used to treat depression. We had a severe case of psychosis, not depression! That day, I dropped my imposed-aversion towards psychologists. The man, still feels embarrassed about his condition and his need of a psychologist, however, he has geared all his faith towards SSRS as his key to salvation. He hides his condition by feeling SSRS favours him, and as long as this happens, noone in the AoL, will push him away or question his condition, although it is commonly said, “He is nuts, but he must have something, the Guru likes him.”

After all, it is all about being friends with the right people, though, everyone knows there is something wrong with him. Noone understands the attention SSRS gives him. Maybe because he is a pretty boy, or because his family is influential, or simply because he is, as diagnosed by SSRS, “bipolar, multiple personality, psychotic.” As Ravishankar always declared, “The nuttier the better.” Professionals urge the boy’s family to medicate him for the rest of his life. SSRS encourages him to become an AoL teacher instead!

Many cultures that once discriminated therapy are now more open and accepting of the fact some people need therapy, and even medication. There is nothing wrong with either of the two. Following SSRS's thinking, if one needs a doctor for the body, a guru for the spirit, then why should one not seek a therapist for ones psyche when it is needed?

I suspect SSRS is against the Freudian school of psychology, which has been replaced widely by cognitive therapy, counseling, etc. One cannot deny the AoL advanced courses, including TTC, are full of "cheap therapy.” There is nothing more harmful and dangerous than an untrained person performing psychological games and “counseling” others who are in a vulnerable state, especially when those “senior teachers” are unresolved nut cases themselves!

In my opinion, making therapy evil is a judgment made by SSRS based on his cultural bias and limited vision about the current world and academia. Or maybe he is afraid any therapist would be able to figure out the mechanisms of manipulation and brain washing performed in the movement, or how imbalanced the devotees are! After all, a devotee should not have a mind of its own! That would not be a sign of surrender.

(I was told Argentina is known as "the Freudian city of the world". I wonder then, what is his opinion about Argentines?).

I was recently informed by the head of the psychology department of his country of the overall worry among their professional community about the large number of patients-AoL members they are receiving, profoundly damaged psychologically, many, already in need of medication. I have heard of many doctors and psychologists diagnose some AoL teachers with some psychotic disorder, followed by the rhetorical question: “The Guru does not know?”

But, what do they know! They are only psychologists and doctors!

In AoL, when someone “flips out”, it is said they are having a “spiritual experience” or need to “get grounded”, followed by instructions such as, “eat potatoes, eat bananas, walk barefoot, do yoga, don’t eat white flour.” I know of someone who, years later, still walks, walks, walks, walks … It is either that, or go nut, but never ever seek for professional care: “Doctors don’t understand spiritual evolution. We are sensitive people. We meditate, the body processes differently.”

And then, of course, there are sad cases of people ending up in a psychiatric ward. Noone talks about it. Noone ever talks to those people again. Of course, it was their karma and the guru did everything he could to save them from it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find this profoundly disturbing. The AoL and Sudarshan Kriya is not the answer to everything! if someone needs therapy they ought to be able to seek it without judgment.