Sunday, November 29, 2009

To think or not to think, that is the question

Sri Sri taught one had to transcend the intellect in order to reach the Self. It is in all the Hindu scriptures. However, unlike the scriptures, the AoL regarded the intellect as the cookie monster. If one questioned or doubted anything regarding the movement or the Master, one was accused of being “too intellectual. Drop the intellect!” , or “too in the head.”

For example, if someone raises questions about something that makes no sense, that person is considered to be "too in the head, too intellectual!" The person would be told to drop the mind. "You think too much. You have such a big ego. You will never transcend the ego like that.”

In fact, Ravishankar accused me several times of many things I did not do, not even in my dreams! He even accused me of encouraging a “poor boy” leave the organization when in fact the boy was encouraging me to leave!

In one occasion, I confronted him about these false accusations, without any hold back. He got violently upset (he does not like to be confronted). It became “bloody”. Someone else who was in the room, later confessed he wanted to hide under the table. He could not understand how I could speak to him that way. I gave him a dirty look. He instead laughed and said, “Don’t you see? I know it is all lies! He knows they are lies! Don’t you see? He just wants you to agree with him!”

Till this day, I don’t understand what kind of spiritual evolution there is in supporting lies and lying, unless it is only to destroy someone’s morale and reputation! That is what he mistakenly calls, “surrender.”

I had done that for 8 years: shut my mouth and accepted all the lies spread about me and others, supported by him, and called it “surrender.” For 8 years I had heard it was all for my growth, so that my ego did not grow unhealthily. It led me nowhere except the destruction of my self-esteem, identity, psyche and my ego grew, instead, unhealthily! We learned lying was acceptable as long as it got his attention and his approval. Everything for the greater cause (of course).

I can see how the intellect can be a hindrance to sublime experiences, feelings and states of mind, but, I also see it is part of life and necessary for our growth. Without his highly developed intellect, Albert Einstein would have not been able to come up with the Theory of Relativity and many other great discoveries that changed modern life! Can we accuse him of being too intellectual? On the contrary, he was a spiritual man who pondered on deep thoughts about life through his highly developed intellect!

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing” –
Albert Einstein
"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

AoLers seem to forget the fact even SSRS has an acute intellect, which he uses more often than they realize! It comes in handy, however, to make the intellect an enemy when one needs to manipulate others. If one drops the intellect one would not question the many incoherences. “It is difficult to understand an Enlightened Master. An Enlightened Master has his ways. He does not see life in a linear way.” Each one of his actions was beautifully justified, as our dissonance grew more and more. In fact, when something went right, it was due to His Grace. When something went wrong, behold, it was your bad karma, your fault: “why did you do that!”

A negative glimpse from him or comment would change the way the rest of the people perceived and treated you. You could be everyone’s most beloved and suddenly, noone’s friend, not even deserving of a “Hello.”

I remember a senior teacher telling a story about devotion: if the Master tells you to jump off the cliff, you don’t question, you jump! s

There is a difference between being in the head and being stupid, being intellectual and being gullible. For one, I am happy I am in charge of my own head again!

Free thinking is the enemy of any fascist, despot, fraud, fake guru.


Jonas said...

I haven't been personally involved with the AOL movement myself, but have done some research about it and eventually written an article that raised some critical issues. A lot of people read the article and reacted to it. I must admit I have never seen such an amount of people telling me that I was wrong with the very same argument: that I shouldn't criticize the guru simply because he is the great sri sri.
A lot of discussion with several people followed. Because that same argument came up a bit too much and started to show a certain recurrent pattern I decided to put all my discussions on a personal blog. If you read the emails AOL followers have send me, it will show that the mentality you describe here is definitely present within the AOL community.
you can read my blog here:



John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Excellent blog. I'm now following you on Twitter. I intend to recommend your blog to ALL my clients in spiritual recovery, not just former AoLers, to whom it will be an invaluable resource.

I look forward to reading more of what you have to say in your unique voice!


Anonymous said...

Einstein and spirituality, who said he was spiritual? Spirituality comes from simplicity. Maybe the true simplicity is in being oneself... Sometimes we desire to be part of movements bigger than ourselves, just to assert meaning to our lives. And that is when we get cheated...

Now everyone accuses this guru and that guru. How about companies? They fire us when we are 50 and most vulnerable. How about christian church? The more you want to have meaning, the more you become less natural, less happy, part of a system... And every system, in the end, is a scam. It has to be political. If you have 2 human beings, be whomever they are, it is politics.

Peace is in enjoying as it comes and goes. But who has the courage to live that way? Those who have, end up enjoying life, and others even feel cheated by them ....