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-Gaming Channel: ...Adi Da Samraj, born Franklin Albert Jones (November 3, 1939 – November 27, 2008[1]), was an American spiritual teacher, writer and artist.[2] He was the founder of a new religious movement known as Adidam. He changed his name numerous times throughout his life; these names included Bubba Free John, Da Free John, Da Love-Ananda, Da Kalki, Da Avadhoota and Da Avabhasa, among others. From 1991 until his death, he was known as Adi Da Love-Ananda Samraj or Adi Da.[3] Adi Da initially became known in the spiritual counterculture of the 1970's for his books and public talks and for the activities of his religious community. His philosophy was essentially similar to many eastern religions which see spiritual enlightenment as the ultimate priority of human life.[4][5][6] Distinguishing his from other religious traditions, Adi Da declared that he was a uniquely historic avatar (incarnation of a god or divinity in human form). As such, Adi Da stated that, henceforth, devotional worship of him would be the sole means of spiritual enlightenment for anyone else.[7] Adi Da wrote many books about his spiritual philosophy and related matters, founding a publishing house to print them.[8] He gained praise from authorities in spirituality and philosophy,[9][10] but was also criticized for what were perceived as his isolation,[11][12] controversial behavior,[13][14] claims toward exclusive realization, and cult-like community.[15][16] In the mid-1980's, allegations by former followers of false imprisonment, brainwashing, sexual abuse, assault and involuntary servitude received international media attention.[17][18] These allegations resulted in lawsuits or threatened suits on both sides [19] Contents 1	Biography 1.1	Youth (1939–70) 1.2	Becoming a guru (1970–73) 1.3	"Crazy Wisdom" (1973–84) 1.4	Public controversies (1985–86) 1.5	"Divine emergence" and final years (1986–2008) 2	Philosophy 2.1	"Self-contraction" 2.2	"Seventh stage realization" 3	Adidam 4	Works 4.1	Books 4.2	Art 5	Reception 5.1	Critique 5.1.1	Ken Wilber 5.1.2	Others 5.2	Endorsements 6	Bibliography 7	See also 8	Notes 9	References 10	External links Biography Youth (1939–70) Adi Da as an infant, 1940 Adi Da was born Franklin Albert Jones on November 3, 1939, in Queens, New York and raised on Long Island.[20] His father was a salesman and his mother a housewife. A sister, Joanne, was born when he was eight years old. He served as an acolyte in the Lutheran church during his adolescence and aspired to be a minister, though after leaving for college in the autumn of 1957[21] he expressed doubts about the religion to his Lutheran pastor. He graduated in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Columbia University and went on to complete a master's degree in English literature at Stanford University in 1963.[21][22][23][24] After graduating from Columbia, Adi Da began using a variety of hallucinogenic and other drugs,[25] sometimes heavily.[26] In 1963, after finishing at Stanford, for 6 weeks he was a paid test subject in drug trials of mescaline, LSD, and psilocybin that were conducted at a Veterans Administration hospital in California.[27] He wrote later that he found these experiences "self-validating" in that they mimicked ecstatic states of consciousness from his childhood, but problematic as they often resulted in paranoia, anxiety, or disassociation.[28][29][30] For over a year, Adi Da lived with his girlfriend Nina Davis in the hills of Palo Alto. While she worked to support them,[31] he wrote, took drugs, meditated informally, and studied books on hermeticism in order to make sense of his experiences.[32][33] Responding to an intuitive impulse, they left California in June 1964 in search of a spiritual teacher in New York City.[34] Settling in Greenwich Village, Adi Da became a student of Albert Rudolph, also known as "Rudi", an oriental art dealer and self-styled spiritual guru. Having studied a number of spiritual traditions, including "The Work" of G.I. Gurdjieff and Subud, Rudolph was then a follower of Siddha Yoga founder Swami Muktananda, who gave Rudi the name "Swami Rudrananda". Rudi taught an eclectic blend of techniques he called "kundalini yoga"[35][36] (having no literal relationship to the Indian tradition by that name.)[37][38] Adi Da's father told Rudi of his son's onetime aspiration to become a Lutheran minister. Feeling that he needed better grounding, in 1965 Rudi insisted that he marry Nina, find steady employment, lose weight, end his drug use, and begin preparatory studies to enter the seminary.[39][40] As a student at Philadelphia's Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1967, Adi Da described undergoing a terrifying breakdown. Taken to a hospital emergency room, a psychiatrist diagnosed it as an anxiety attack.[41] It was the first in a series of such episodes he would experience throughout his life, each followed by what he explained to be profound awakenings or insights.[39][42] Feeling none of his Lutheran professors understood this experience, Adi Da left and briefly attended St. Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Seminary in Tuckahoe, New York.[43] Disillusioned, he moved back to New York City and got a job working for Pan American Airlines, in hopes this would facilitate his being able to visit Swami Muktananda's ashram in India. He did so for four days in April 1968. Swami Muktananda encouraged Adi Da to end his studies with Rudi and study with himself directly.[44] Back in New York, Adi Da and wife Nina became members and then employees of the Church of Scientology.[45] Following Scientology protocol, he wrote Rudi a letter severing all contact.[46][47] After a little more than a year of involvement, Adi Da left Scientology. He then returned to India for a month-long visit in early 1969, during which Swami Muktananda authorized him to initiate others into Siddha Yoga.[48][49] In May 1970, Adi Da, Nina, and a friend from Scientology named Pat Morley gave away their belongings and traveled to India for what they believed would be an indefinite period living at Swami Muktananda's ashram. However, Adi Da was disappointed by his experience there, especially by the numbers of other Americans who had arrived since his previous visit.[50] Three weeks after arriving, Adi Da said that visions of the Virgin Mary (that he interpreted as a personification of divine feminine power, or shakti) directed him to make a pilgrimage to Christian holy sites. After two weeks in Europe and the middle east, all three returned to New York before moving to Los Angeles in August.[21][51][52] Becoming a guru (1970–73) Adi Da in Los Angeles, 1973 In September 1970, Adi Da said that while sitting in the Vedanta Society Temple in Hollywood,[53] he permanently realized "The Bright", his term for a state of complete spiritual enlightenment.[53][54][55] He wrote an autobiography titled The Knee of Listening, which was published in 1972. In it, Adi Da wrote that he had uniquely been born with full awareness of "the Bright," but this knowledge became obscured in childhood. His subsequent spiritual journey was a quest to recapture this awareness, and share it with others.[56][57] In October 1970, Swami Muktananda stopped in California on a worldwide tour largely underwritten by Rudi. Adi Da visited him and related his experience the previous month of "The Bright." Adi Da felt that the swami did not understand or properly acknowledge the full importance of his experience. During the visit Adi Da reconciled with Rudi.[58] With fellow former Scientology employee Sal Lucania as financier, Adi Da opened Ashram Books (later Dawn Horse Books), a spirituality bookshop in Los Angeles. He began giving lectures there based on his autobiography, soon attracting a small following due in part to his charismatic speaking style.[59][60] He taught in a traditional Indian style, lecturing from a raised dais surrounded by flowers and oriental carpets, with listeners seated on the floor. He incorporated many ideas from the Kashmir Shaivite and Advaita Vedanta schools of Hinduism, but also expressed original insights and opinions about both spirituality and secular culture.[61][62] He was one of the first westerners to become well known as a teacher of meditation and eastern esoteric traditions at a time when these were of growing interest.[63] Some early participants stated that Adi Da demonstrated an ability to produce alterations in their consciousness, likening the effect to shaktipat of Indian yoga traditions.[64] With an increasing number of followers, Adi Da founded a new religious movement called "The Dawn Horse Communion". In 1973, he traveled to India to meet a final time with Swami Muktananda in hopes of being recognized as a "Mahasiddha", or fully enlightened sage. They disagreed on a series of questions Adi Da had prepared. This effectively ended their relationship, and they went on to later disparage each other's relative level of spiritual accomplishment.[65] Adi Da nevertheless stated that he continued to appreciate and respect Muktananda as his onetime teacher.[66][67][68] The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in Lake County, California Upon returning to Los Angeles, Adi Da (then Franklin Jones) directed his students that he should now be addressed as "Bubba Free John," based on a nickname meaning "friend" combined with a rendering of "Franklin Jones". He divorced Nina, although she remained a follower.[69] In January 1974, Adi Da told his followers that he was "the divine lord in human form".[70] Later that year, the church obtained an aging hot springs resort in Lake County, California, renaming it "Persimmon" (it is now known as "The Mountain of Attention"). Adi Da and a group of selected followers moved there and experimented in communal living.[21][61][71] Most followers relocated from Los Angeles to San Francisco, where Dawn Horse Books also moved. Adi Da often changed his name, saying it reflected differences or changes in the nature of his message and relationship to followers. In 1979, he changed his name from "Bubba Free John" to "Da Free John". Subsequent names included Da Love-Ananda, Dau Loloma, Da Kalki, Hridaya-Samartha Sat-Guru Da, Santosha Da, Da Avadhoota, Da Avabhasa, and from 1994, Adi Da Love-Ananda Samraj, or Adi Da. Adi Da translated the Sanskrit syllable Da as "giver."[21][72][73] "Crazy Wisdom" (1973–84) Adi Da during the Garbage and the Goddess period, 1974 In 1973, Adi Da began to use more unconventional means of instruction he called "crazy wisdom", likening his methods to a tradition of yogic adepts who employed seemingly un-spiritual methods to awaken observer's consciousness.[74] Some followers reported having profound metaphysical experiences in Adi Da's presence, attributing these phenomena to his spiritual power.[75] Others present remained skeptical, witnessing nothing supernatural.[14] Adi Da initiated a period of teachings and activities that came to be known as the "Garbage and the Goddess". He directed his followers in "sexual theater", a form of psychodrama[76] that often involved public and group sex, the making of pornographic movies, and other intensified sexual practices.[77] Drug and alcohol use were often encouraged, and earlier proscriptions against meat and "junk food" were no longer adhered to.[78] Adi Da said that this behavior was part of a radical overturning of all conventional moral values and social contracts[79][80] in order to help shock students into insights regarding habitual patterns and emotional attachments so that they could more completely surrender to him and the community.[81][82][83][84] Conventional marriage received Adi Da's particular criticism, and many couples were forced to split up or switch partners.[85][86][87] Adi Da himself had nine or more polygamous partners during this time that he called his "wives", including Playboy centerfold Julie Anderson, aka "Whitney Kaine" who had entered the community as a follower's girlfriend.[88] He likewise recommended polygamy or polyamory to some followers.[89] Adi Da published his fourth book, titled Garbage and the Goddess: The Last Miracles and Final Spiritual Instructions of Bubba Free John. It documented the relatively unexpurgated lectures and activities of this period.[90] It quickly sold out its first print run, and a second was sent to bookstores. However, due to the controversial nature of its contents, all available copies were quickly retrieved and ritually burned at Adi Da's behest.[22][91][92] In 1983, Adi Da moved with a group of about 40 followers to the Fijian island of Naitaba, purchased by a wealthy follower from the actor Raymond Burr.[93] It was his primary residence until the end of his life.[94] Public controversies (1985–86) Accusations of Adi Da abusing his power as a spiritual leader attracted international attention in 1985.[14][83] Adi Da and Adidam (then known as Da Free John and The Johannine Daist Communion) were subjects of almost daily coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Mill Valley Record, other newspapers, and regional television news and talk shows over several weeks early in the year.[21] The story gained national attention with a two-part exposé on The Today Show that aired May 9 and 10.[95] In investigative reports and dozens of interviews, both named and anonymous ex-members made numerous specific allegations of Adi Da forcing members to engage in psychologically, sexually, and physically abusive and humiliating behavior, as well as accusing the church of committing tax fraud. Others stated that they never witnessed or were involved in any such activities.[96][97][98][99][100][101] Adi Da and his organization were sued by Beverly O'Mahoney, then wife of the Adidam president, for fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and assault and battery (among other things); the suit sought $5 million in damages.[18] To a local reporter, Adidam threatened to file its own lawsuit against O'Mahoney, as well as five others who had been named in stories and interviews making allegations of abuse (no suit was ever filed). Adidam charged that allegations against the church were part of an extortion plot.[102] The church issued conflicting statements in response to the coverage. A lawyer for the church said that controversial sexual activities had only occurred during the "Garbage and Goddess" period years earlier. Shortly after, an official church spokesman said that "tantra-style encounters" of the kind described in allegations were still occurring, but were mostly confined to an inner circle.[103] This confirmed the stories by former members that such activities had continued up to the time of the lawsuits and interviews, but had been kept hidden.[104][105] [106] The church said that no illegal acts had taken place and that the movement had a right to continue experiments in lifestyles.[107][108] Two lawsuits were filed against Adi Da and the church in California in 1985. The O'Mahoney suit was dismissed the next year.[109] The other lawsuit and several threatened suits in subsequent years were settled with payments and confidentiality agreements,[110] negatively impacting member morale and bleeding the organization financially.[108][111][112] "Divine emergence" and final years (1986–2008) Adi Da at The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary, 1986 On January 11, 1986, distressed by what he felt was the futility of his work, Adi Da experienced a physical and psychological crisis. Doctors diagnosed exhaustion and stress, but he afterward described it as a death and resurrection. As in previous and subsequent similar episodes, Adi Da attributed special significance to it, calling it his "Divine Emergence".[113][114] From this point on, he said that one needed only to meditate on his image or body in order to "participate in his enlightened state".[115] Adi Da had predicted that by 2000 he would be recognized by the entire world for his unique spiritual realization. When this failed to occur, he experienced another crisis.[116] This was said to initiate another period, where Adi Da would shift from "active teaching" to silent "spiritual blessing" to counteract negative forces in the world.[117] He nonetheless continued to write books, make art, and give talks to his followers, but with an increased emphasis on what he called "silent darshan".[118] In 2000, some followers of spiritual teacher Frederick Lenz (a.k.a. Zen Master Rama) joined Adidam. Reportedly, this upset longtime followers who felt the new members were undeservedly privileged. (Lenz, also a magnet for controversy, had committed suicide in 1998). Adi Da claimed to have been Swami Vivekananda in a past life, and said that in a previous incarnation Lenz was a disciple.[119][120] Later, Adi Da began to exhibit his digital art and photography.[118] Followers reported that he died of cardiac arrest on November 27, 2008 at his home in Fiji, while working on his art.[1][121][122] Adi Da had four children: three biological daughters with three different women, and one adopted daughter.[123] These include actress Shawnee Free Jones. Philosophy Fundamental to Adi Da's religious philosophy is the essentially "eastern" religious concept that the purpose of human life is spiritual enlightenment, an awakening to ultimate reality that is the natural state of all human beings (though seemingly obscured.)[124] "Self-contraction" Adi Da said that what keeps human beings from experiencing this ultimate, enlightened reality is the activity of ego, which he stated is the source of all emotional, psychological, and spiritual dissatisfaction. He called this activity "self-contraction," and defined it as a psychological mechanism lying somewhere beneath the normal level of conscious awareness, leading people to believe they are limited, suffering individuals. He said that fundamentally, all efforts to unite with the divine from the point of view of a separate self were futile, since that separate self itself is illusory.[125] "Seventh stage realization" Adi Da developed a map of potential human and spiritual evolution that he called "the seven stages of life".[126] First Stage—"individuation/physical development" Second Stage—"socialization" Third Stage—"integration/mental development" Fourth Stage—"spiritualization/Divine Communion" Fifth Stage—"spiritual ascent" Sixth Stage—"abiding in consciousness" Seventh Stage—"Divine Enlightenment: awakening from all egoic limitations" The first six stages account for all permutations of religion and culture throughout history, as well as levels of personal development. Adi Da categorized the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages of life as the highest respective stages of human development. He characterized those who have reached these stages as "saints", "yogis", and "sages", including other religious figures such as Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ.[127] Relative to this spectrum, Adi Da stated that while some "yogis, saints, and sages" had occasionally indicated some awareness of a "seventh stage", only he as a unique avatar had ever been born fully invested with the capability to fully embody it; furthermore, as the first "Seventh Stage Adept" only he would ever need to (or be capable of) doing so.[128] He stated that the seventh stage has nothing to do with development and does not come after the sixth stage in a sequential manner. The culminating awareness of this seventh stage is a permanent, natural state of "open-eyed ecstasy", for which Adi Da employed the Sanskrit term Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi.[129] Adi Da insisted that since he solely embodied seventh stage realization, devotional worship of him would henceforth be the exclusive means for others to free themselves from "self-contraction", thereby allowing them to "participate in his enlightened state" (i.e. attain awareness themselves of the seventh stage, or "realize" it.)[130][131][132][133] Adidam Dome Temple at Da Love-Ananda Mahal in Kauai, Hawaii Temple at Adi Da Samrajashram in Naitaba, Fiji Adidam refers to both the organization of Adi Da's devotees and the religion he taught. The organization, or church, founded initially in 1972, went by many earlier names, including the Dawn Horse Communion, the Free Communion Church, the Laughing Man Institute, the Crazy Wisdom Fellowship, the Way of Divine Ignorance, and the Johannine Daist Communion.[134] Adidam presupposes an eastern view of divinity and accepts the concepts of karma, reincarnation, chakras, etc. It also employs many Sanskrit terms and concepts. God, or the divine, is seen as a principle and energy, a consciousness that predates creation but is not a willful creator itself.[135] Though earlier manifestations were more eclectic and experimental, over time Adidam increasingly came to resemble the Hindu tradition of bhakti yoga.[21][136][137] The practice of Adidam is now defined by its emphasis on a devotional relationship to Adi Da, whom followers see as an enlightened source of power serving as the sole gateway to the divine.[138] Adi Da's followers often refer to him simply as "Beloved".[21] Through devotion and service, it is believed that the follower's consciousness is gradually transformed in the image of Adi Da's. While devotion to Adi Da and the study of his teachings are the primary features of Adidam, other specified practices are also prescribed, including the study of other religious texts, physical exercises, regulation of sexuality, and a raw vegan diet.[21][139] Adi Da said that after his death there would not be any further teachings or "revelations", and that his message was complete.[140] His artwork, writings, and the religious hermitages and sanctuaries "empowered" by his presence are to remain as expressions of his teaching and being. He was emphatic that no individual assert themselves as his representative or heir.[141][142] While the church is based on Naitaba Island, Fiji, there are five officially designated ashrams, or "sanctuaries", belonging to Adidam. Three are located in North America, with another in Hawaii. Followers of Adidam have been ambitious and prolific in their dissemination of Adi Da's books and teachings; however, the church is estimated to have remained more or less constant at approximately 1,000 members worldwide since 1974, with a high rate of turnover among membership.[143][144] Works Orpheus and Eurydice (diptych), 2008 Eurydice One: The Illusory Fall of the Bicycle into The Sub-Atomic Parallel Worlds of Primary Color and Point of View Part Three: The Abstract Narrative in Geome and Linnead (Second Stage) – L 4 (from Linnead One) 2007, 2009 – Lacquer on aluminum, 96 x 198 x 5 inches. Books Adi Da wrote prolifically about his spiritual philosophy, creating the Dawn Horse Press in 1973 to publish his books. It continues to print many Adi Da-authored titles.[8] Best known[145] among these is his autobiography, The Knee of Listening. First published in 1972, it has been reissued in a number of editions, undergoing extensive revisions and additions.[146] The first edition was 271 pages long; the latest is 840.[147] Art In the last decade of his life, Adi Da created visual art. These works were primarily photographic and digitally produced. He labeled his style "Transcendental Realism." In 2007 Adi Da's works were included in an exhibition collateral to the Venice Biennale in Italy curated by Italian art historian Achille Bonito Oliva;[148][149] the exhibit then moved to Florence. The Spectra Suites, a book of Adi Da's art, has an introduction by American art historian and critic Donald Kuspit.[150] Reception Critique Ken Wilber From 1980 to 1990, philosophical theorist and author Ken Wilber wrote a number of enthusiastic endorsements and forewords for Adi Da's books, including The Dawn Horse Testament, The Divine Emergence of the World-Teacher, and Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House![151] Wilber also recommended Adi Da as a spiritual teacher to those interested in his own writings. Later, Wilber alternated between praise and pointed criticism.[152][153][154] In his last public statement concerning Adi Da he wrote: "I affirm all of the extremes of my statements about Da: he is one of the greatest spiritual Realizers of all time, in my opinion, and yet other aspects of his personality lag far behind those extraordinary heights. By all means, look to him for utterly profound revelations, unequaled in many ways; yet step into his community at your own risk."[155] Others In 1982, yoga and religion scholar Georg Feuerstein formally became a follower of Adi Da and wrote a number of introductions to Adi Da books. He later renounced this affiliation, becoming publicly critical of Adi Da and the community surrounding him in Fiji. Feuerstein devoted a chapter to Adi Da in his 1991 book Holy Madness: Spirituality, Crazy-Wise Teachers, and Enlightenment.[156] In the introduction to the 2006 edition, Feuerstein describes having edited the sections devoted to Adi Da to reflect these changes in opinion.[157] Asian-Religions scholar Scott Lowe was an early follower of Adi Da and lived in the community in 1974. In an essay later analyzing what he had witnessed as well as Adi Da's subsequent career, he perceives a pattern of "abusive, manipulative, and self-centered" behavior, saying "does it necessarily follow that the individual who is 'liberated' is free to indulge in what appear to be egocentric, hurtful, and damaging actions in the name of spiritual freedom? I personally think not, while acknowledging the subtlety and complexity of the ongoing debate".[158][159] Lowe and others have also criticized Adi Da's claims toward the exclusivity of his realization. In part, critics point to his earlier message, strongly rejecting the necessity for any religious authority or belief, due to "enlightenment" being every individual's natural condition.[11][160][161] Adi Da heavily edited subsequent editions of his books, for which they have been criticized as auto-hagiography and self-mythology.[146][162][163] University of Southern California religion professor Robert Ellwood wrote, "Accounts of life with [Adi Da] in his close-knit spiritual community [describe] extremes of asceticism and indulgence, of authoritarianism and antinomianism...Supporters of the alleged avatar rationalize such eccentricities as shock therapy for the sake of enlightenment."[99][164] Endorsements In a foreword to the 2004 edition of Adi Da's autobiography The Knee Of Listening, religious scholar Jeffrey Kripal described Adi Da's total corpus as being "the most doctrinally thorough, the most philosophically sophisticated, the most culturally challenging, and the most creatively original literature currently available in the English language."[165][166] Physician and homeopath Gabriel Cousens wrote an endorsement for Adi Da's biography The Promised God-Man Is Here, saying, "it has deepened my experience of Him as the Divine Gift established in the cosmic domain".[167] He also mentions Adi Da in his books Spiritual Nutrition and Tachyon Energy.[168][169] Psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross wrote an endorsement for Adi Da's book Easy Death, referring to it as a "masterpiece".[170] Bibliography The Knee Of Listening: The Divine Ordeal of The Avataric Incarnation of Conscious Light. Book Four of the Seventeen Companions of the True Dawn Horse. 1st ed. 1972 subtitled "The Early Life and Radical Spiritual Teachings of Franklin Jones", 2nd ed. 1973, 3rd ed. 1978, 4th ed. 1984, standard ed. 1992, new ed. 1995 subtitled "The Early-Life Ordeal and the Radical Spiritual Realization of the Divine World-Teacher, Adi Da (The Da Avatar)", standard ed. 2004: ISBN 1-57097-167-6 The Method of the Siddhas: Talks with Franklin Jones on the Spiritual Technique of the Saviors of Mankind, 1st ed. 1973, 2nd printing 1973, 3rd ed. 1978, 4th ed. 1987, new ed. 1992, new ed. 1995, new ed. 2004 as My Bright Word: Discourses from The Divine Siddha-Method Of The Ruchira Avatar: ISBN 1-57097-015-7 Garbage and the Goddess: The Last Miracles and Final Spiritual Instructions of Bubba Free John, 1974: ISBN 0-913922-10-2 Conscious Exercise and the Transcendental Sun, 1st ed. 1974, 2nd ed. 1975, 3rd ed. 1977: ISBN 0-913922-30-7 No Remedy: An Introduction to the Life and Practices of the Spiritual Community of Bubba Free John, 1st ed. 1975, 2nd ed. 1976: ISBN 0-913922-20-X The Paradox of Instruction: An Introduction to the Esoteric Spiritual Teaching of Bubba Free John, 1977: ISBN 0-913922-28-5 Breath and Name: The Initiation And Foundation Practices Of Free Spiritual Life, 1977: ISBN 0-913922-29-3 The Way That I Teach: Talks on the Intuition of Eternal Life, 1978: ISBN 0-913922-38-2 The Enlightenment of the Whole Body: A Rational and New Prophetic Revelation of the Truth of Religion, Esoteric Spirituality, and the Divine Destiny of Man, 1978: ISBN 0-913922-35-8 Love of the Two-Armed Form: The Free and Regenerative Function of Sexuality in Ordinary Life and the Transcendence of Sexuality in True Religious or Spiritual Practice, 1st ed. 1978, 2nd ed. 1985: ISBN 0-913922-37-4 The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace: The Transcendental Principle of Life Applied to Diet and the Regenerative Discipline of True Health, 1st ed. 1979, 2nd ed. 1987: ISBN 0-913922-19-6 The Four Fundamental Questions: Talks and Essays About Human Experience and the Actual Practice of an Enlightened Way of Life, 1st ed. 1980, reprinted 1984: ISBN 0-913922-49-8 Compulsory Dancing: Talks and Essays on the Spiritual and Evolutionary Necessity of Emotional Surrender to the Life-Principle, 1st ed. 1980, reprinted 1983: ISBN 0-913922-50-1 Bodily Worship of the Living God: The Esoteric Practice of Prayer Taught by Da Free John, 1st ed. 1980, 2nd ed. 1983: ISBN 0-913922-52-8 Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced By The White House!: Prophetic Wisdom About the Myths and Idols of Mass Culture and Popular Religious Cultism, the New Priesthood of Scientific and Political Materialism, and the Secrets of Enlightenment Hidden in the Body of Man, 1980: ISBN 0-913922-48-X The Bodily Sacrifice of Attention: Introductory Talks on Radical Understanding and the Life of Divine Ignorance, 1981: ISBN 0-913922-59-5 "I" Is the Body of Life: Talks and Essays on the Art and Science of Equanimity and the Self-Transcending Process of Radical Understanding, 1981: ISBN 0-913922-60-9 The Bodily Location of Happiness: On the Incarnation of the Divine Person and the Transmission of Love-Bliss, 1982: ISBN 0-913922-61-7 Raw Gorilla: The Principles of Regenerative Raw Diet Applied in True Spiritual Practice as lived by members of The Johannine Daist Communion under the guidance of the Divine Adept Da Free John, 1982: ISBN 0-913922-62-5 The Yoga of Consideration and The Way That I Teach, 1982: ISBN 0-913922-63-3 Nirvanasara: Radical Transcendentalism and the Introduction of Advaitayana Buddhism, 1982: ISBN 0-913922-65-X I Am Happiness: A Rendering for Children of the Spiritual Adventure of Master Da Free John, 1982: ISBN 0-913922-68-4 Forehead, Breath, and Smile: An Anthology of Devotional Readings from the Spiritual Teaching of Master Da Free John, 1982: ISBN 0-913922-70-6 Crazy Da Must Sing, Inclined To His Weaker Side: Confessional Poems of Liberation and Love by the "Western" Adept, Da Free John, 1982: ISBN 0-913922-71-4 The Fire Gospel: Essays and Talks on Spiritual Baptism, 1982: ISBN 0-913922-78-1 The God In Every Body Book: Talks and Essays on God-Realization, 1st ed. 1983, 2nd ed. 1983: ISBN 0-913922-78-1 The Dreaded Gom-Boo (or The Imaginary Disease That Religion Seeks To Cure): A Collection of Essays and Talks on the "Direct" Process of Enlightenment, 1st ed. 1983, 2nd ed. 1983: ISBN 0-913922-74-9 Enlightenment and the Transformation of Man: Selections From Talks And Essays On The Spiritual Process And God-Realization, 1983: ISBN 0-913922-83-8 Look At The Sunlight On The Water: Educating Children for a Life of Self-Transcending Love and Happiness, 1st ed. 1983, reprinted 1984, 2nd ed. 1987: ISBN 0913922-84-6 God Is Not A Gentleman and I Am That One: Ecstatic Talks on Conventional Foolishness versus the Crazy Wisdom of God-Realization, 1983. ISBN 0-913922-85-4 Do You Know What Anything Is?: Talks and Essays on Divine Ignorance, 1984: ISBN 0-913922-87-0 The Transmission of Doubt: Talks and Essays on the Transcendence of Scientific Materialism through Radical Understanding, 1984, ISBN 0-913922-77-3 The Illusion of Relatedness: Essays on True and Free Renunciation and the Radical Transcendence of Conditional Existence, 1986: ISBN 0-918801-01-X The Holy Jumping-Off Place: An Introduction to the Way of the Heart, 1986: ISBN 0-913922-94-3 Vegetable Surrender (or Happiness Is Not Blue), 1987: ISBN 0-918801-02-8 The Sky Goes On Forever: A Book about Death for Children, 1989: ISBN 0-918801-13-3 The Da Upanishad: The Short Discourses on Self-Renunciation, God-Realization, and the Illusion of Relatedness, 1989: ISBN 0-918801-16-8 The Lion Sutra: The "Perfect" Revelation-Book of the Divine World-Teacher and True Heart-Master, Da Avabhasa (The "Bright"). (On Perfect Transcendence Of The Primal Act, Which Is the ego-"I", the self-Contraction, or attention itself, and All The Illusions Of Separateness, Otherness, Relatedness, and Difference), previously published as The Love-Ananda Gita (The Free Song of Love-Bliss), 1st ed. 1986, new ed 1995: ISBN 1-57097-012-2 The Ego-"I" Is The Illusion of Relatedness, 1991: ISBN 0-918801-32-X Feeling Without Limitation: Awakening to the Truth Beyond Fear, Sorrow, and Anger, 1991: ISBN 0-918801-28-1 The Heart's Shout: The Liberating Wisdom of Da Avabhasa, 1st ed. 1993, 2nd ed. 1996: ISBN 1-57097-019-X The Incarnation of Love: "Radical" Spiritual Wisdom and Practical Instruction on Self-Transcendending Love and Service in All Relationships by The Divine World-Teacher and True Heart-Master, Da Avabhasa (The "Bright"), 1st ed. 1993, 2nd printing 1994, 3rd printing 1994: ISBN 0-918801-86-9 Money: The Commitment of Life-Force in the Forms of Efforts and Love. Instructions on Financial Responsibility and the Sacred Use of Money in the Way of the Heart from The Divine World-Teacher and True Heart-Master, Da Avabhasa (The "Bright"), 1993: ISBN 0-918801-88-5 The Art and Yoga of Sexual Practice: Talks on the Regenerative Sexual Yoga for Beginners in the Way of the Heart, 1994: ISBN 0-918801-97-4 Ishta: The Way of Devotional Surrender to the Divine Person, 1994: ISBN 0-918801-98-2 Abide WIth Me In Faithful Love: The Heart-Word of Adi Da (The Da Avatar) on Sexual Practice and Renunciation in the Way of the Heart, 1995: ISBN 1-57097-020-3 The Order Of My Free Names: The Self-Revelation of the Incarnate Divine Person, Adi Da, and How to Call Him By Name, 1996: ISBN 1-57097-024-6 Drifted In The Deeper Land: Talks on Relinquishing the Superficiality of Mortal Existence and Falling by Grace in the Divine Depth That Is Reality Itself, 1997: ISBN 1-57097-037-8 The Mummery Book: A Parable Of The Divine True Love, Told By Means Of A Self-Illuminated Illustration Of The Totality Of Mind, 2005: ISBN 1-57097-175-7 Real God Is The Indivisible Oneness Of Unbroken Light: Reality, Truth and The "Non-Creator" God In The True World-Religion Of Adidam. Book One of The Seventeen Companions of The True Dawn Horse. 1999: ISBN 1-57097-055-6 The Truly Human New World-Culture Of Unbroken Real-God-Man: The Eastern Versus The Western Traditional Cultures Of Mankind and The Unique New Non-Dual Culture Of The True World-Religion of Adidam. Book Two of the Seventeen Companions of the True Dawn Horse. 1999: ISBN 1-57097-056-4 What, Where, When, How, Why, and Who To Remember To Be Happy Book: A Simple Explanation Of The Divine Way Of Adidam (For Children, and Everyone Else). Book Thirteen of the Seventeen Companions of the True Dawn Horse. 2000: ISBN 1-57097-074-2 I Give You The Gift Of One Another: The Call to ego-Transcending Cooperation and the Creation of Authentic Intimate (Local) and Global Community, 2000: ISBN 1-57097-083-1 Death Is A Living Process: The Mate Moce Guide to Serving the Dying, 2000: ISBN 1-57097-085-8 The Seven Stages Of Life: Transcending The Six Stages Of egoic Life and Realizing The ego-Transcending Seventh Stage Of Life In The Divine Way Of Adidam. Book Ten of the Seventeen Companions of the True Dawn Horse. 2000: ISBN 1-57097-105-6 The Bright Field: The Photographic Art of Adi Da Samraj, 2001: ISBN 1-57097-130-7 Aham Da Asmi (Beloved, I Am Da). Book One of The Five Books of The Heart of The Adidam Revelation. 1st ed. 1998, 2nd ed. 2000, 3rd ed. 2003: ISBN 1-57097-163-3 Da Love-Ananda Gita (The Free Avataric Gift of the Divine Love-Bliss). Book Two of The Five Books of The Heart of The Adidam Revelation. 1st ed. The Love-Ananda Gita 1989, standard ed. The Love-Ananda Gita 1990, standard ed. The Santosha Avatara Gita 1995, standard ed. 1998, standard ed. 2000, standard ed. 2005: ISBN 1-57097-166-8 Ruchira Avatara Gita (The Avataric Way of the Divine Heart-Master). Book Three of The Five Books of The Heart of The Adidam Revelation. 1st ed. The Hymn of the Master 1982, new ed. The Hymn Of The True Heart-Master 1992, standard ed. The Hymn Of The Tue Heart-Master 1995, standard ed. 1998, standard ed. 2000, standard ed. 2004: ISBN 1-57097-164-1 Hridaya Rosary (Four Thorns Of Heart-Instruction). Book Four of The Five Books of The Heart of The Adidam Revelation. 1st ed. Four Thorns Of Heart-Instruction 1997, standard ed. 1998, standard ed. 2000, standard ed. 2005: ISBN 1-57097-204-4 Eleutherios (The Only Truth That Sets The Heart Free). Book Five of The Five Books of The Heart of The Adidam Revelation. 1st ed. [The Liberator (Eleutherios)] 1982, new ed. [The Liberator (Eleutherios)], 1995, standard ed. 1998, standard ed. 2001, standard ed. 2006: ISBN 1-57097-187-0 The Dawn Horse Testament Of The Ruchira Avatar: The Testament Of Divine Secrets Of The Divine World-Teacher, Ruchira Avatar, Adi Da Samraj, 1st ed. 1985, 2nd ed. 1991, new ed. 2004: ISBN 1-57097-168-4 Easy Death: Spiritual Wisdom on the Ultimate Transcending of Death and Everything Else, 1st ed. 1983, 2nd ed. 1991, 3rd ed. 2005: ISBN 1-57097-202-8 Religion and Reality: True Religion Is Not Belief in Any God-Idea but the Direct Experiential Realization of Reality Itself, 2006: ISBN 1-57097-212-5 The Ancient Reality-Teachings: The Single Transcendental Truth Taught by the Great Sages of Buddhism and Advaitism, 2006: ISBN 1-57097-198-6 The Liberator: The "Radical" Reality-Teachings of The Avataric Great Sage, Adi Da Samraj, 2006: ISBN 1-57097-211-7 The Perfect Tradition: The Wisdom-Way of the Ancient Sages and Its Fulfillment in the Way of "Perfect Knowledge", 2006: ISBN 1-57097-197-8 The Way of Perfect Knowledge: The "Radical" Practice of Transcendental Spirituality in the Way of Adidam, 2006: ISBN 1-57097-213-3 The Yoga of Right Diet: An Intelligent Approach To Dietary Practice That Supports Communion with the Living Divine Reality, 2006: ISBN 1-57097-193-5 The Ancient Walk-About Way: The Core Esoteric Process of Real Spirituality and Its Perfect Fulfillment in the Way of Adidam, 2007: ISBN 1-57097-221-4 "Radical" Transcendentalism: The Non-"Religious", Post-"Scientific", and No-Seeking Reality-Way of Adidam, 2007: ISBN 1-57097-226-5 Perfect Philosophy: The "Radical" Way of No-Ideas, 2007: ISBN 1-57097-231-1 The Spectra Suites, 2007: ISBN 1-59962-031-6 The Complete Yoga of Human Emotional-Sexual Life: The Way Beyond Ego-based Sexuality, 2007: ISBN 978-1-57097-235-5 The Self-Authenticating Truth: Essays from The Aletheon, 2007: ISBN 1-57097-245-1 Surrender Self By Sighting Me: Essays from The Aletheon on Right and True Devotion, 2007: ISBN 978-1-57097-237-9 The Orders Of My True And Free Renunciate Devotees, 2007: ISBN 978-1-57097-244-7 Reality Itself Is The Way: Essays from The Aletheon, 2007: ISBN 1-57097-238-9 Aesthetic Ecstasy, 2008: ISBN 1-57097-236-2 My Final Work of Divine Indifference, 2008: ISBN 1-57097-234-6 The Seventh Way: New Essays from The Aletheon, 2008: ISBN 1-57097-242-7 Perfect Abstraction: New Essays written for Transcendental Realism, 2008: ISBN 1-57097-250-8 The Teaching Manual of Perfect Summaries, 2008: ISBN 1-57097-254-0 Green Gorilla: The Searchless Raw Diet, 2008: ISBN 1-57097-256-7 Atma Nadi Shakti Yoga: The Intrinsically egoless Transcendental Spiritual Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam, 2008: ISBN 978-1-57097-255-3 Not-Two Is Peace: The Ordinary People's Way of Global Cooperative Order, 1st ed. 2007, 2nd ed. 2007, 3rd ed. 2009: ISBN 1-57097-225-7 The Boundless Self-Confession: Essays from The Aletheon, 2009: ISBN 978-1-57097-260-7 The Aletheon: The Divine Avataric Self-Revelation of His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj, 2009: ISBN 978-1-57097-274-4 The Gnosticon: The "Perfect Knowledge" Reality-Teachings of His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj, 2010: ISBN 1-57097-281-8 The Reality-Way of Adidam: The Divine Process That Outshines All Seeking in the Perfect Freedom of Reality Itself, 2010: ISBN 1-57097-282-6 Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, 1st ed. 2007, 2nd ed. 2010: ISBN 1-57097-285-0 The Eternal One: The Divine Mahasamadhi of the Divinely Translated Master, Parama-Sapta-Na Adi Da, 2010: ISBN 1-57097-278-8 Recognition of Me Is Liberation: The Radical Conversion To Intrinsic egolessness In The Divine Reality-Way of Adidam, 2010: ISBN 1-57097-286-9 The Pneumaton: The Transcendental Spiritual Reality-Teachings of His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj, 2011: ISBN 1-57097-288-5 Right Life Is Free Participation In Unlimited Radiance, 2011: ISBN 1-57097-299-0 The First Three Stages of Life, 2011: ISBN 1-57097-300-8 See also Advaita Vedanta Nondualism Avatar New Age Notes "Spiritual leader passes on". www.fijitimes.com. November 28, 2008. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2010. "An Introduction to Avatar Adi Da". www.adidam.org. Retrieved February 20, 2010. Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, Vol.IV. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 85–109. ISBN 0-275-98712-4. Forsthoefel, Thomas A.; Humes, Cynthia Ann (2005). Gurus in America. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. p. 198. ISBN 0-7914-6573-X. Chryssides, George D. (2006). The A to Z of New Religious Movements. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. pp. 47–48, 200. ISBN 0-8108-5588-7. Daniels, Burton (November 2002). The Integration of Psyche and Spirit: Volume I: The Structural Model. Writer's Showcase Press. p. ix. ISBN 0-595-24181-6. Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America [Five Volumes]. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 99. ISBN 0-275-98712-4. "The "Dawn Horse"". www.dawnhorsepress.com. Retrieved February 20, 2010. Jones, Franklin (1973). The Knee of Listening, Second Edition. Dawn Horse Press. ASIN B000JDNOWO. Kripal, Jeffery J. (2004). The Knee of Listening; foreword to the 2004 edition. Dawn Horse Press. ISBN 1-57097-167-6. Wilber, Ken (October 11, 1996). "The Case of Adi Da". wilber.shambhala.com. Archived from the original on 9 April 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2010. Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, Vol IV. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 93. ISBN 0-275-98712-4. "Jones has made his self-protective seclusion a defining mark of his teaching career." Feuerstein, Georg (1996). "Holy Madness: The Dangerous and Disillusioning Example of Da Free John". What is Enlightenment?. Spring/Summer 1996 (9). ISSN 1080-3432. Lowe, Scott; Lane, David (1996). DA: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones. Mt. San Antonio College Philosophy Group. ISBN 1-56543-054-9."Not only had I seen nothing out of the ordinary, but no one within my earshot had mentioned anything at all about the miracle at the very time it was supposedly happening...It slowly emerged that I was not alone in missing this miracle; my skeptical cohorts on the community's fringe were similarly in the dark. Within several days, we were drawn aside, individually, for somber meetings with the ashram authorities in which we were told that it had been a mistake to accept us into the community without testing." "US-Born Cult Leader on Fiji Island Treated Like a God". Fiji Sun. October 25, 2007. Lattin, Don (April 5, 1985). "Hypnotic Da Free John – Svengali of the truth-seeking set". San Francisco Examiner. Duke, Lynne (June 12, 2005). "Deep Throat's Daughter, The Kindred Free Spirit". The Washington Post. "Sex Slave Sues Guru: Pacific Isle Orgies Charged". San Francisco Chronicle. April 4, 1985. Collin, Molly (April 17, 1985). "Da Free John Sect Sues 6 Ex-Members On Extortion Charge". Mill Valley Record. Lowe, Ed, "The House Where Swami Lived"Long Island Newsday Magazine, September 14, 1986 "North Coast Journal, Humboldt County, CA – Cover story Jan. 14, 1999". Northcoastjournal.com. Retrieved 2010-06-01. Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.86-88 Feuerstein, Georg, "Holy Madness," 1st ed., Arkana, 1992, p. 80 "Obituaries". Columbia College Today. June 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2020. Jones, Franklin "The Knee of Listening: The Life and Understanding of Franklin Jones" (1971), chapter 4 "He had some raw peyote, and we decided to take the drug, although neither of us had any idea what its effects would be. In the past months I had used marijuana a few times and found it very enjoyable and relaxing. And so I willingly accepted a chance for some kind of very powerful "high."" Adi Da, "The Knee of Listening," Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse Press, 1995, p. 168, "I would often exploit the possibilities of sex or become deeply drunk on wine, engage in orgies of eating, or smoke marijuana for hours." Gourley, Edmiston "Adidam Comes to the North Coast", North Coast Journal Weekly, Jan. 14, 1999 "Following a summer job as a hotel waiter, during which time he experimented with peyote, Jones entered graduate school at Stanford University...During this time, his autobiography states, Jones took "large doses" of cough medicine and was a poorly paid subject for hallucinogenic drug trials which included mescaline, LSD and psilocybin that were being conducted at the local Veterans Administration hospital. Responding to what he called a vision, Jones prepared to leave California in June 1964 in search of a spiritual teacher in New York City." Jones, Franklin "The Knee of Listening..." (1971), chapter 8 "By the spring of 1965 I had begun to use marijuana frequently. I found it relaxing and particularly necessary under the pressure of work and effort that Rudi required. But the drug began to have a peculiarly negative effect...I would realize a profound anxiety and fear...I took other drugs with my old friends. We took Romilar [cough syrup] again, but now its effects seemed minor...I took a drug called DMT which had a remarkable and miraculous effect...Such remarkable states of awareness combined with my rising sense of anxiety, fear and reluctance in relation to drugs, so that finally, in the early summer of 1965, I determined somehow to stop their use" Jones, Franklin "The Knee of Listening..." (1971), chapter 4 "I voluntarily submitted to drug trials at the V.A. hospital in Fountain View, California…At the V.A. hospital I was given a dose of drugs one day per week. I was told that I would be given mescalin, LSD, or psilocybin at three separate sessions, and, during a fourth session, some combination of these…There were also various bizarre experiences and periods of anxiety...I suffered anxiety attacks and occasional nervousness for perhaps a year beyond the actual tests." Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.88 "Jones discovered that his psychedelic drug experiences sometimes mimicked the ecstatic states he had known in childhood and was now desperate to recapture." Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.88 "He spent 1963–64 secluded in remote cabins in northern California working on his writing…he was supported by Nina Davis, a woman he later married, establishing a pattern of financial dependence that was to mark all but a few years of his life." Jones, Knee...Ashram (1972), p. 22-23 "After my experiences at the VA hospital, I went into a period of relative seclusion...Nina worked as a schoolteacher and supported our living." Patterson, W.P., The Gurdjieff Journal, "Gurdjieff & The New Age Part IX, Franklin Jones & Rudi Part I": "Jones and his girlfriend, Nina, went to live in a cabin in the mountains above Santa Cruz where she supported them while after he meditated, did drugs and tried to make sense out of what he had experienced by immersing himself in books of hermetic wisdom." Jones, "Knee..." Ashram (1972), p.35 "I saw pictures of a store with oriental sculpture...in New York..." Swami Rudrananda [Rudi]. Spiritual Cannibalism. Links Books, New York, 1973, First Edition[page needed] Historical dictionary of New Age movements by Michael York The Rowman Litterfield Publishing Group, 2004, pp 11–12 Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.88 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," 1992 p. 81 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," p. 81 Jones, 'Knee', 1972, chapter 8 Jones, "Knee...", Ashram (1972), p.62 Gallagher,New and Alternative Religions in America p. 89, "… Jones' himself describes [this event] as … "apparent evidence of a 'clinical breakdown.'" Jones, "Knee..." (1971), chapter 9 Gallagher, Eugene, Ashcraft, Michael, Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, Vol. V, p. Greenwood Press. (2006). ISBN 0-275-98712-4. pages 85 Jones, "Knee...", Ashram, 1972, p.84 "I spent that year working for Scientology..." Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.90 Jones, "Knee...", (1971), chapter 12 Rawlinson, Andrew, Book of Enlightened Masters: Western Teachers in Eastern Traditions. Open Court (1997) ISBN 0-8126-9310-8 page 222 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness,"1992 p. 81-82 Jones, "Knee..." Ashram (1972), p. 122 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," a1992 p. 82 Jones, "Knee..." Ashram (1972), p. 131 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," p. 82 Gallagher...Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America Vol. IV, p. 91 Rawlinson, Andrew, Book of Enlightened Masters: Western Teachers in Eastern Traditions Open Court (1997) ISBN 0-8126-9310-8 page 222 Gordon/Baumann. Religions of The World- A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO Ltd. (2002). ISBN 1-57607-223-1. page 3 In his autobiography he asserts that he was born in a state of perfect awareness…. Jones spent his college and subsequent years in a spiritual quest... Feuerstein, Georg. (2006). Holy Madness: Spirituality, Crazy-Wise Teachers, And Enlightenment, Hohm Press. ISBN 1-890772-54-2, Pages 146–147 Jones, The Knee of Listening, 1972 ed., pp. 101–102. Gallagher, Eugene, Ashcraft, Michael. (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, Volume V, p.85 "...began to attract a small following" "Hypnotic Da Free John – Svengali of the truth-seeking set", San Francisco Examiner/April 5, 1985 "The Gurdjieff Journal," Gurdjieff & The New Age Part IX, Franklin Jones & Rudi Part I, by William Patrick Patterson Gallagher...Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America Vol. IV, p. 88-89 Gallagher...Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America Vol. IV, p. 88 Gallagher..."Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America" Vol. IV, pp. 85–86 Lowe, Scott and Lane, David. (1996) "DA: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones", Mt. San Antonio College Philosophy Group: "In his evening talks, Da Free John frequently referred to Muktananda as a "black magician." Muktananda spoke of his former student in similar terms." Jones, "Knee...", (1972), chapter 13 Gallagher...Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America Vol. IV, pp. 90–91 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," p. 83 "[Jones] believed that his guru was settling for less than the ultimate, while Muk. dismissed [Jones] arguments as pretentious...a breach between them opened that never formally healed. [Jones] continued to criticize Muk. in talks and publications, while at the same time acknowledging his debt..." Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," 1992 p. 87, 94 Gourley, Edmiston "Adidam Comes to the North Coast", North Coast Journal Weekly, Jan. 14, 1999 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," 1992, p. 83 Gallagher...Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America Vol. IV, pp. 85, 105 Feuerstein, Georg and Feuerstein, Patricia (1982) Remembrance Of The Divine Names of Da, ISBN 0-913922-72-2 The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice By Georg Feuerstein; p25 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," (1992) p.84 "(students) experienced visions, spontaneous body movements known as kriyas, bliss states, heart openings, kundalini arousals, and several were apparently drawn into the mystical unitive state or even into temporary sahaja-samadhi" Butler, Katy: "Sex Practices Did Not Cease, Marin Cult Officials Admit" San Francisco Chronicle, April 9, 1985 "Officials of the Free John group said they participate in "spiritual theater," a kind of psychodrama in which people are encouraged to release sexual and emotional problems as they travel the path to union with God." Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," p. 86-87 "In 1974 he started his "sexual theater", involving the switching of partners, sexual orgies, the making of pornographic movies, and intensified sexual practices – all of which led to the temporary or, in some case permanent breakups of relationships" Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," p. 90 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," 1992, p. 84-86; p.89 Free John, Bubba, "Garbage and the Goddess: the last Miracles and Final Spiritual Instructions of Bubba Free John," DHP, 1974, p. 13 "This is what the spiritual life is all about...nothing conventional survives." Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," 2006, p. 157 Feuerstein, Georg (1996), Holy Madness: The Dangerous and Disillusioning Example of Da Free John, What Is Enlightenment? Issue 9 Molly Colin, Peter Seidman, and Tony Lewis, "Defectors voice several charges" Mill Valley Record/April 3, 1985 Neary, Walt,Inner Circle Privy to Parties, Lake County Record Bee, April 12, 1985 Bubba Free John, "Garbage and the Goddess" (Lower Lake, CA: Dawn Horse Press, 1974), pp. 16, 31. Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," (1992) p.84 ...Gurdjieff Journal: "In particular, Bubba attacked the "cult of pairs" and notions of marriage in particular, which he said only serves the seeking and separateness which at root are the denial of the Divinity of the simple here and now...Bubba first told them: "The instant you marry, you must discard it. Otherwise marriage is another cultic form, a sex contract, in which you become medievally involved with personality forms, making yourself strategically unavailable to the rest of life, and again mutually create the sensation of separate existence, including "poor me" or "fantastic me."... The cult of marriage is a principal obstacle in the affair of the spiritual Community..." Bubba then broke up couples and marriages and began what was called the "sexual theater," that of switching partners, instituting orgies and making pornographic movies. Leydecker, Mary: "Suit Shatters Calm for Sect Members, "Marin Independent-Journal, April 5, 1985 Bubba Free John, "Garbage and the Goddess" (Lower Lake, CA: Dawn Horse Press, 1974) Feuerstein, 1992, pp.266 Kripal, "Gurus in America" Feuerstein, 1992, pp.266–267: "Due to the controversial nature of material in the book, almost immediately at the behest of Da Love Ananda, every effort was made to retrieve all existing copies..." Leydecker, Mary: "Suit Shatters Calm for Sect Members,"Marin Independent-Journal, April 5, 1985 "Spiritual leader passes on", Fiji Times, November 28, 2008. NBC Today Show, May 9, 1995 Feuerstein, Georg (1996), "Holy Madness: The Dangerous and Disillusioning Example of Da Free John," What Is Enlightenment? Issue 9 Seidman, Peter, "Sexual experiments continued after '76, JDC officiaIs admit" Mill Valley Record/April 10, 1985 Butler, Katy: "Sex Practices Did Not Cease, Marin Cult Officials Admit" San Francisco Chronicle, April 9, 1985 Molly Colin, Peter Seidman, and Tony Lewis, "Defectors voice several charges" Mill Valley Record/April 3, 1985 Neary, Walt,'Inner Circle Privy to Parties,' Lake County Record Bee, April 12, 1985 Sex Slave Sues Guru: Pacific Isle Orgies Charged San Francisco Chronicle, April 4, 1985. Molly Colin, "Da Free John Sect Sues 6 Ex-Members On Extortion Charge, The Mill Valley Record, April 17, 1985. Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," Arkana, 1992, p.90 "sexual [experiments] were for the most part confined to an inner circle. But occasionally some relative newcomers were included. This happened to one couple in 1982, who provide this fascinating extensive account...(p. 92)Tantra-style encounters of this kind occurred periodically and more or less secretly until at least the end of 1985, and led to legal difficulties..." The San Francisco Chronicle, April 9, 1985 Channel 2 News, San Francisco, March, 1985 Seidman, Peter, "Sexual experiments continued after '76, JDC officials admit" Mill Valley Record/April 10, 1985 The Mill Valley Record, April 10, 1985. "North Coast Journal, Humboldt County, CA - Cover story Jan. 14, 1999". Wildermuth, John, "Sex Guru Touts Celibacy", The San Francisco Chronicle, June 16th, 1986, "...a Marin County judge ruled that O'Mahony had no legal basis for bringing the (lawsuit)..." "Deep Throat's Daughter, The Kindred Free Spirit", Washington Post, June 12, 2005 "The lawsuits and threatened suits that dogged the group in the mid-1980s were settled with payments and confidentiality agreements, says a California lawyer, Ford Greene, who handled three such cases." Gallagher...Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America Vol. IV, p. 93 Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," Arkana, 1992, p.267-268 "Over the years, [Jones] has been sued several times by disaffected students, although institutional representatives have so far succeeded in keeping him out of court. Cases were settled by arbitration, which bled the [church] financially." Feuerstein, Georg. (2006). Holy Madness: Spirituality, Crazy-Wise Teachers, An Enlightenment, Hohm Press. ISBN 1-890772-54-2 pp. 166 – 167 "On January 11 he underwent what he describes as a "literal death experience" This was of many experiences of this kind since his days in college. This particular incident, however, was subsequently greatly elaborated and invested with special significance and it continues to shape his relationship with devotees into the present...In a talk given at the end of February 1986, he explained that on that eventful morning he has spoken to his close devotees of his grief sorrow and frustration and the seemingly futility of his teaching work..." Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p. 94 "the most loudly trumpeted event since Jones' initial enlightenment was his so-called 'Divine Emergence', the result of an apparent 'near-death' experience Jones had in 1986. As Jones describes it, he was in such despair over the failure of his work that he prayed for an immediate end to the charade." Feuerstein, Georg. (2006). Holy Madness: Spirituality, Crazy-Wise Teachers, And Enlightenment, Hohm Press. ISBN 1-890772-54-2 "Page 166 – 167 "He explained that most enlightened beings "incarnate only partially" into the body. Adi Da said that in this event he "descended" fully into the body, becoming "utterly human"...it was sufficient for disciples to simply meditate upon him to "participate in his enlightened state" Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.95, "the year 2000 was momentous for Jones. He was not recognized by the entire world, contrary to expectations, and he died again." York, Michael, Historical Dictionary of New Age Movements, Rowman Litterfield Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8108-4873-3, 2004, p. 12 "Since his "emergence" Adi Da has shifted his focus from teaching to..."Spiritual Blessing Work" to diminish the world's negative forces. Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.96 Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.95; Adi Da "actively recruited followers of [Lenz] after his highly sedated death by drowning. Lenz's followers were widely admired for their success in business and computing and represented an attractive potential "catch." From all reports, Jones pulled out all the stops, giving immediate satsang to Lenz's followers and inviting some directly into his inner circle, deeply offending his own long-suffering devotees. Jones also proclaimed that Lenz...had been a reincarnation of Swami Rama Tirtha...a former disciple." Feuerstein, Holy Madness (2006), p.176 "Also in the year 2000, Adi da welcomed into his church the remaining community of Fredrick P Lenz III" "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-27. Retrieved 2010-06-02. from an email sent to the Adidam community by a spokesperson in Fiji Dear Devotees, It is the middle of the night here at Adi Da Samrajashram, devotees remain in what is now clearly the Mahasamadhi Vigil of Beloved Bhagavan Sapta Na Adi Da Samraj. The time of Beloved Bhagavan's Divine Mahasamadhi is being placed at approximately 5:10 PM on Thursday, November 27th, 2008. Everyone here has been shocked at how quickly the Mahasamadhi occurred. Bhagavan Adi Da was sitting in His Chair Working in Picture Perfect. Just a minute before, He had been Giving Instructions relative to His Divine Image Art. A few minutes before that, He had been speaking humorously and laughing. And then He silently fell over on His Side and within a very short period of no more than a couple of minutes, He had entered into His Mahasamadhi. Dr. Charles Seage and Dr. Andrew Dorfman diagnose that Beloved Bhagavan suffered a fatal heart attack.[1] Feuerstein, 2006, p. 169 Gallagher, Eugene, Ashcraft, Michael. (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, Volume V, p.88 Gallagher, Eugene, Ashcraft, Michael. (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, Volume V, p.97-98 Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America [Five Volumes] By Eugene V. Gallagher, W. Michael Ashcraft, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-275-98712-4, 2006, page 99 Samraj, Adi Da (2004). The Knee of Listening. "I (Alone) Am The Adidam Revelation". pgs. 502–504. Dawn Horse Press. ISBN 1-57097-167-6 Samraj (2005b) p. 93 Gallagher...New Religions, p.100 "...despite this state being well attested in yogic literature (for instance among the ascetic Bauls of Bengal), Adi Da portrayed it as his own exclusive state." Samraj, Adi Da, Eleutherios, Dawn Horse Press, 2006, p. 456; "I Am the First (and the Only One) to Realize and to Demonstrate seventh stage Realization, which (now, and forever hereafter) I Alone, and Uniquely, Reveal and Transmit to all my formally practicing true devotees and thus potentially to all beings." Feuerstein, Georg. (2006) Holy Madness, p. 167 "it was sufficient for disciples to simply meditate upon him to "participate in his enlightened state" Gallagher/Ashcraft, Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, p. 99 George D. Chryssides, The A to Z of New Religious Movements, Rowan Litterfield Publishing Group, 2001, p. 47 Reilly, Gary; "How Franklin Jones Became the Master", The Mill Valley Record/April 3, 1985 Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.98-99 Gallagher, The New Religious Movements Experience in America, p.98-99 Feuerstein 1992, p. 98 Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.93 "America 2004, Page 118" Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.97 Samraj, Adi Da, "The Orders of My True and Free Renunciate Devotees", Dawn Horse Press, 2007, pg.110 "all those who truly devotionally recognize Avatar Adi Da serve as "instruments" of His Blessing-Regard in the world." Gallagher, The New Religious Movements Experience in America, p.97 Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, pp.86, 105 Feuerstein 1992, p. 93 "[He] has a flair for drama and it has been successful in keeping the attention of [some] for years...but it evidently is not a way that holds an attraction for larger numbers of spiritually motivated people." Feuerstein, (1992) p.80 Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, p.106 "Jones significantly modified later editions of Knee, including...""...in later editions, Jones' childhood is presented as utterly exceptional...It is clear that Jones' autobiography might best be understood as a kind of auto-hagiography, since its purpose is to preserve for posterity a sanitized, mythologized, and highly selective account of Jones' life and spiritual adventures." Gallagher... "Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, pp.106 "Venice Biennale Collateral Exhibition: Adi Da Samraj". www.huma3.com. July 11, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2010. Storr, Robert (2007). La Biennale di Venezia: 52. Esposizione internazionale d'arte, Volume 2. Rizzoli. pp. 312, 337. ISBN 978-0-8478-3001-5. ...Welcome Books, 2007, pp 1–11 Wilber, Ken (1985) Review of Adi Da's The Dawn Horse Testament – www.adidawilber.com The Case of Adi Da Archived 2008-02-13 at the Wayback Machine Ken Wilber Online. October 11, 1996. Ken Wilber, Ken (1997) "Private" letter to the Adidam community – www.adidawilber.com "Ken Wilber Online: An Update on the Case of Adi Da". Wilber.shambhala.com. 1998-08-28. Archived from the original on 2010-03-27. Retrieved 2010-06-01. An Update on the Case of Adi Da Archived March 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Ken Wilber Online. August 28, 1998. Feuerstein, "Holy Madness," Arkana, 1992, chapter 4 Feuerstein (2006), intro., chapter 4. "Lowe, Scott and Lane, David. (1996) DA: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones. Mt. San Antonio College Philosophy Group. "The Strange Case Of Franklin Jones". Lightgate.net. Archived from the original on 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2010-06-01. Gallagher..."Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America," Vol IV, pp.98–99 Lowe, Scott and Lane, David. (1996) "DA: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones". Mt. San Antonio College Philosophy Group, p.23 Feuerstein, (1992) pp.83, 96 "the original published version has the ring of authenticity and can be appreciated as a remarkable mystical document...Later [editions], regrettably, tend toward mythologization..." "Da: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones", by Scott Lowe and David Lane, Walnut CA: Mt. San Antonio College, 1996. Ellwood, Robert. (1997)"Nova Religio" book review of "DA: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones", October 1997, Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 153–153 Samraj, Adi Da (2004). "Foreword". The Knee Of Listening. p. xiv. "Foreword (2) – Beyond Social Ego". Kneeoflistening.com. 2003-11-02. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2010-06-01. The Ruchira Sannyasin Order of Adidam Ruchiradam (March 3, 2003). Adi Da: The Promised God-Man Is Here. Dawn Horse Press. ISBN 1-57097-143-9. Cousens, Gabriel (2005). Spiritual Nutrition: Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and the Awakening of Kundalini. North Atlantic Books. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-55643-499-0. Cousens, Gabriel (2005). Tachyon Energy: A New Paradigm in Holistic Healing. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-1-55643-310-8. Easy Death: Spiritual Wisdom on the Ultimate. Dawn Horse Press. August 31, 2005. ISBN 1-57097-202-8. References Chryssides, George. (2001). The A to Z of New Religious Movements. The Rowman Litterfield Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8108-5588-5 Cousens, Gabriel. (2005). Spiritual Nutrition: Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and the Awakening of Kundalini. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-1-55643-499-0 Crowley, Paul. (2005). Rahner beyond Rahner: A Great Theologian Encounters the Pacific Rim. Rowman & Litterfield. ISBN Number 074254964X Daniels, Burton. (2002). The Integration of Psyche and Spirit Volume I: The Structural Model. iUniverse. ISBN 0-595-24181-6 Ellwood, Robert. (1997)"Nova Religio" book review of "DA: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones", October 1997, Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 153–153. Feuerstein, Georg. (1992). Holy Madness: Spirituality, Crazy-Wise Teachers, And Enlightenment, Penguin. ISBN 0-14-019370-7 Feuerstein, Georg. (2006). Holy Madness: Spirituality, Crazy-Wise Teachers, And Enlightenment, Rev Exp edition, Hohm Press. ISBN 1-890772-54-2 Forsthoefel/Humes. (2005). Gurus in America (SUNY Series in Hindu Studies), State University of New York Press. ISBN 9781423748687 Gallagher, Eugene, Ashcraft, Michael. (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America [Five Volumes]. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-275-98712-4 Gordon, Melton, Gale J. (1999). Religious Leaders of America: A Biographical Guide to Founders and Leaders. 2nd Revised edition. Gale Research Company. ISBN 0-8103-8878-2. Melton, Gordon, Baumann, Martin. (2002). Religions of The World-A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO Ltd. ISBN 1-57607-223-1 Jones, Franklin. (1972). The Knee Of Listening. CSA Press. ISBN 978-0-87707-093-1 Kripal, Jeffrey J. (2004). Foreword to 'The Knee Of Listening', Dawn Horse Press. ISBN 1-57097-167-6 Lewis, James R. (2001). Odd Gods: New Religions and the Cult Controversy Book, Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-842-9 Lowe, Scott and Lane, David. (1996) "DA: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones". Mt. San Antonio College Philosophy Group. Rawlinson, Andrew. Book of Enlightened Masters: Western Teachers in Eastern Traditions .Open Court,(1997),ISBN 0-8126-9310-8 York, Michael. (2004). Historical Dictionary of New Age Movements. The Rowman Litterfield Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8108-4873-3 External links Wikiquote has quotations related to: Adi Da Adidam.org: Official Adidam website Authority control Edit this at Wikidata ISNI: 0000 0003 6857 031XLCCN: n81050837NTA: 072159995RKD: 368134SNAC: w6cr5r8dVIAF: 115807336, 79441282WorldCat Identities: lccn-n81050837 Categories: 1939 births2008 deathsAmerican spiritual teachersAmerican spiritual writersSpiritual teachersFounders of new religious movementsPeople considered avatars by their followersSelf-declared messiahsSupernatural healingCultsAmerican emigrants to FijiColumbia College (New York) alumniStanford University alumni  

 

 

-Gaming Channel: ... Wei Wu Wei From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigationJump to search For the Taoist tenet, see Wu wei. For other people named Terry Gray, see Terry Gray (disambiguation). This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Find sources: "Wei Wu Wei" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Terence Gray Born	14 September 1895 Felixstowe, Suffolk, England, UK Died	5 January 1986 (aged 90) Monaco Pen name	Wei Wu Wei Occupation	Writer Nationality	British Genre	non-fiction Notable work	Open Secret Terence James Stannus Gray (14 September 1895 – 5 January 1986), was a theatre producer who created the Cambridge Festival Theatre as an experimental theatre in Cambridge. He produced over 100 plays there between 1926 and 1933.[1] Later in life, under the pen name Wei Wu Wei, he published several books on Taoist philosophy. Contents 1	Background 2	Cambridge Festival Theatre 3	Taoism 4	Works 5	Biography 6	References 7	External links Background Terence James Stannus Gray was born in Felixstowe, Suffolk, England on 14 September 1895, the son of Harold Stannus Gray and a member of a well-established Anglo-Irish family. He was raised on an estate in the Gog Magog Hills outside Cambridge, England. He received a thorough education at Ascham St Vincent's School, Eastbourne, Eton and Oxford University. Early in life he pursued an interest in Egyptology which culminated in the publication of two books on ancient Egyptian history and culture in 1923. In the later part of his life he lived with his second wife, the Georgian princess Natalie Margaret Imeretinsky, in Monaco. He had previously been married to a Russian noblewoman, Rimsky-Korsakov.[2] Gray maintained his family's racehorses in England and Ireland and in 1957 his horse Zarathustra won the Ascot Gold Cup, ridden by jockey Lester Piggott in the first of his eleven wins of that race. Cambridge Festival Theatre In the 1920s and 1930s Gray worked as a theorist, theatrical producer, creator of radical "dance-dramas", publisher of several related magazines and author of two related books. His cousin was Ninette de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet.[1] In 1926, Gray, with no previous practical theatrical experience, opened the Cambridge Festival Theatre as an experimental playhouse.[1] He acquired the old Theatre Royal in the Cambridge suburb of Barnwell, and substantially rebuilt it.[1] The opening production was Aeschylus' The Orestia, with de Valois as choreographer, and he continued to produce non-naturalistic productions, emphasising movement over speech.[1] Critics were divided, with some praising his achievements, and others saying he sacrificed text and acting to clever trickery. Gray delighted in upsetting audiences but, despite controversy, audiences filled the theatre.[1] Many of Gray's collaborators left the project over his inability to compromise.[1] By 1933 he had abandoned theatre for good.[3] Taoism After he had apparently exhausted his interest in the theatre, his thoughts turned towards philosophy and metaphysics. This led to a period of travel throughout Asia, including time spent at Ramana Maharshi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai, India.[citation needed] Between the years 1958 and 1974, eight books and articles in various periodicals appeared under the pseudonym "Wei Wu Wei" (Wu wei, a Taoist term which translates as "action that is non-action").[4] His identity as the author was not revealed at the time of publication for reasons he outlined in the Preface to the first book, Fingers Pointing Towards the Moon (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958). The next 16 years saw the appearance of seven subsequent books, including his final work under the further pseudonym "O.O.O." in 1974. Wei Wu Wei influenced among others, the British mathematician and author G. Spencer-Brown, Galen Sharp, and Ramesh Balsekar.[citation needed] Wei Wu Wei is discussed in some detail in the book Taoism for Dummies (John Wiley and Sons Canada, 2013). Works Fingers Pointing Towards The Moon; Reflections of a Pilgrim on the Way, 1958, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul (out of print); 2003, Boulder: Sentient Publications. Foreword by Ramesh Balsekar. ISBN 1-59181-010-8 Why Lazarus Laughed; The Essential Doctrine Zen-Advaita-Tantra, 1960, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. (out of print); 2003, Boulder: Sentient Publications. ISBN 1-59181-011-6 Ask The Awakened; The Negative Way, 1963, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd. (2nd ed. 1974)(out of print); 1973, Boston: Little, Brown & Co. ISBN 0-316-92810-0 (out of print); 2002, Boulder: Sentient Publications. Foreword by Galen Sharp. ISBN 0-9710786-4-5 All Else Is Bondage; Non-Volitional Living, 1964, Hong Kong University Press (reprinted 1970, 1982). ISBN 962-209-025-7 (out of print); 1999, Sunstar Publications. ISBN 1-886656-34-7 (out of print); 2004, Boulder: Sentient Publications. 1-59181-023-X Open Secret, 1965, Hong Kong University Press (reprinted 1970, 1982). ISBN 962-209-030-3 (out of print); 2004, Boulder: Sentient Publications. ISBN 1-59181-014-0 The Tenth Man, 1966, Hong Kong University Press (reprinted 1967, 1971). ISBN 0-85656-013-8 (out of print); 2003, Boulder: Sentient Publications. Foreword by Dr. Gregory Tucker. ISBN 1-59181-007-8 Posthumous Pieces, 1968, Hong Kong University Press. Foreword by Wayne Liquorman. ISBN 0-85656-027-8 (out of print); 2004, Boulder: Sentient Publications. ISBN 1-59181-015-9 Unworldly Wise; As the Owl Remarked to the Rabbit, 1974, Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 0-85656-103-7 (out of print) (Note: this book published under the further pseudonym 'O.O.O.'); 2004, Boulder: Sentient Publications. ISBN 1-59181-019-1 Biography A biography was published in 2004.[4] References Harbin, B (1969). "Terence Gray and the Cambridge Festival Theatre". Educational Theatre Journal. 21 (4): 1926–1933. Cosgrove, Olivia; Cox, Laurence; Kuhling, Carmen, eds. (2010). Ireland's New Religious Movements. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 1443826154. Nicholson, Steve (2016). "'Nobody Was Ready for That: The Gross Impertinence of Terence Gray and the Degradation of Drama". Theatre Research International. 21 (2): 121–131. Cornwell, Paul (2004). Only by Failure: The Many Faces of the Impossible Life of Terence Gray. Salt Publishing. ISBN 1844710041. External links Wikiquote has quotations related to: Wei Wu Wei The 'Wei Wu Wei' Archives "The Spirit Works : Wei Wu Wei Biography" by Gregory Tucker Wei Wu Wei Book Excerpts Articles in French Authority control Edit this at Wikidata BNE: XX1744698BNF: cb12646048r (data)GND: 114374260ISNI: 0000 0000 8161 838X, 0000 0003 6850 2835LCCN: n50033515NTA: 067471382RERO: 02-A003963220SUDOC: 118581015VIAF: 87525658WorldCat Identities: lccn-n50033515 THE 'WEI WU WEI' ARCHIVES This site is intended as a resource for those interested in or curious about Buddhist/Taoist philosopher and essayist Wei Wu Wei. It includes extracts from eight books originally published between 1958 and 1974. It also contains essays published in various periodicals during the same period. The material is primarily metaphysical speculation, and is not representative of any particular sect or tradition, though it draws upon many. It is doubtful whether this site would be of use or interest to those seeking introductory material on Buddhism or Taoism. CONTENTS OF SITE: INTRODUCTION - background information and quoted passages regarding objectives. BITS AND PIECES - a selection of quotes from the works of 'Wei Wu Wei'. PUBLISHED WORKS - BOOKS - a list of all books with details of publication, contents and extensive extracts. PUBLISHED WORKS - PERIODICALS - links to pieces also published in various periodicals. CITED WORKS AND RELATED READING - a list of sources cited by 'Wei Wu Wei' and a selection of related works. LINKS - links to cited works on-line, related web-sites, book sources, etc. TRANSLATE: to translate any page into French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish, copy the page's URL and go to http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en http://www.weiwuwei.mysite.com/intro.htmlINTRODUCTION Between the years 1958 and 1974 a series of eight books appeared attributed to the mysterious 'Wei Wu Wei'. In addition to these texts there were pieces contributed to various periodicals during the 1960's, including 'The Mountain Path', a periodical dedicated to the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, 'The Middle Way', the U.K. Buddhist Society's journal, and 'Etre Libre', a French-language periodical published in Brussels. These works draw on a variety of sources, including Taoism, specifically the texts attributed to Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, Buddhism, especially The Heart, Diamond and Lankavatara Sutras, and Chan Buddhism as taught by Hui Neng, Huang Po, Hui Hai, etc., as well as the teachings of Padma Sambhava and Sri Ramana Maharshi, among others. The identity of 'Wei Wu Wei' was not revealed at the time of publication for reasons outlined in the Preface to the first book 'Fingers Pointing Towards the Moon' (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958). This well-considered anonymity will be respected here, though a few background details may help to put the writings into context. 'Wei Wu Wei' was born in 1895 into a well-established Irish family, was raised on an estate outside Cambridge, England, and received a thorough education, including studies at Oxford University. Early in life he pursued an interest in Egyptology which culminated in the publication of two books on ancient Egyptian history and culture in 1923. This was followed by a period of involvement in the arts in Britain in the 20's and 30's as a theorist, theatrical producer, creator of radical 'dance-dramas', publisher of several related magazines and author of two related books. He was a major influence on many noted dramatists, poets and dancers of the day, including his cousin Ninette de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet (which in fact had its origin's in his own dance troupe at the Cambridge Festival Theatre which he leased from 1926-33). After he had apparently exhausted his interest in this field to a large extent, his thoughts turned towards philosophy and metaphysics. This led to a period of travel throughout Asia, including time spent at Sri Ramana Maharshi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai, India. In 1958, at the age of 63, he saw the first of the 'Wei Wu Wei' titles published. The next 16 years saw the appearance of seven subsequent books, including his final work under the further pseudonym 'O.O.O.' in 1974. During most of this later period he maintained a residence with his wife in Monaco. He is believed to have known, among others, Lama Anagarika Govinda, Dr. Hubert Benoit, John Blofeld, Douglas Harding, Robert Linssen, Arthur Osborne, Robert Powell and Dr. D. T. Suzuki. He died in 1986 at the age of 90. 'Wei Wu Wei's influence, while never widespread, has been profound upon many of those who knew him personally, upon those with whom he corresponded, among them British mathematician and author G. Spencer-Brown and Galen Sharp (see 'Links'), as well as upon many who have read his works, including Ramesh Balsekar, whose account of this influence may be read here. It is apparent from his writings that 'Wei Wu Wei' had studied in some depth both Eastern and Western philosophy and metaphysics, as well as the more esoteric teachings of all the great religions. It can also be understood from the writings that he regarded himself as merely one of many seeking so-called 'liberation', the works themselves being seen in part as a record of this quest. The attitude adopted towards the writings is perhaps best indicated by the following quote from an introductory note to 'Open Secret' (Hong Kong University Press, 1965). 'The writer of these lines has nothing whatsoever to teach anyone; his words are just his contribution to our common discussion of what must inevitably be for us the most important subject which could be discussed by sentient beings.' A more comprehensive 'statement of intent' is found in the Foreword to 'All Else Is Bondage; Non-Volitional Living' (Hong Kong University Press, 1964 and Sunstar Publications, 1999). 'There seems never to have been a time at which sentient beings have not escaped from the dungeon of individuality. In the East liberation was elaborated into a fine art, but it may be doubted whether more people made their escape from solitary confinement outside the organised religions than by means of them. In the West reintegration was sporadic, but in recent years it has become a widespread preoccupation. Unfortunately its technical dependence on oriental literature - sometimes translated by scholars whose knowledge of the language was greater than their understanding of the subject - has proved a barrier which rendered full comprehension laborious and exceedingly long. Therefore it appears to be essential that such teaching as may be transmissible shall be given in a modern idiom and in accordance with our own processes of thought. But this presentation can never be given by the discursive method to which we are used for the acquisition of conceptual knowledge, for the understanding required is not conceptual and therefore is not knowledge. This may account for the extraordinary popularity of such works as the Tao Te Ching, and in a lesser degree for that of the Diamond and Heart Sutras and Padma Sambhava's Knowing the Mind. For despite the accretion of superfluous verbiage in which the essential doctrine of some of the latter has become embedded, their direct pointing at the truth, instead of explaining it, goes straight to the heart of the matter and allows the mind itself to develop its own vision. An elaborately developed thesis must always defeat its own end where this subject matter is concerned, for only indication could produce this understanding, which requires an intuitional faculty, and it could never be acquired wholesale from without. It may be doubted, however, whether an entirely modern presentation of oriental or perennial metaphysics would be followed or accepted as trustworthy at present. Probably an intermediate stage is necessary, during which the method should be a presentation in modern idiom supported by the authority of the great Masters, with whose thoughts and technical terms most interested people are at least generally familiar. Moreover the question is bedevilled by the use, which has become a convention, of terms, mostly of Sanskrit origin, the colloquial sense of which, accepted by the early translators, is still employed. Often this sense is considerably different from the technical meaning given these terms in the Chinese texts, and it occasionally implies almost exactly the opposite. These misleading terms are still used, which is a matter of no importance to those few who understand to what they refer, and for whom any word whatsoever would suffice, but are a serious hindrance to the pilgrim struggling to understand. The inadequacy of the short paragraphs that follow is due to the insufficiency of their expression. They are offered in the hope that the verity which underlies them may penetrate the mist of their presentation and kindle a spark that shall develop into the flame of fulfilment. Please be so good as to believe that there is nothing whatever mysterious about this matter. If it were easy, should we not all be Buddhas? No doubt, but the apparent difficulty is due to our conditioning. The apparent mystery, on the other hand, is just obnubilation, an inability to perceive the obvious owing to a conditioned reflex which causes us persistently to look in the wrong direction!' W.W.W. (1964) From 'Fingers Pointing Towards The Moon': It is less what one is that should matter, than what one is not. * * * The qualities we possess should never be a matter for satisfaction, but the qualities we have discarded. * * * It is not for us to search but to remain still, to achieve Immobility not Action. * * * There is no becoming. ALL IS. * * * The Saint is a man who disciplines his ego. The Sage is a man who rids himself of his ego. * * * It is only the artificial ego that suffers. The man who has transcended his false 'me' no longer identifies with his suffering. * * * We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived. * * * Are we not wasps who spend all day in a fruitless attempt to traverse a window-pane - while the other half of the window is wide open? * * * Detachment is a state, it is not a totalisation of achieved indifferences. * * * The notion that human life has greater value than any other form of life is both unjustifiable and arrogant. * * * Wise men don't judge: they seek to understand. * * * How many of the ways (disciplines, exercises, practices) recommended as helpful, or even necessary, for the attainment of Satori are not in fact consequences of that state erroneously suggested as means? * * * There seem to two kinds of searchers: those who seek to make their ego something other than it is, i.e. holy, happy, unselfish (as though you could make a fish unfish), and those who understand that all such attempts are just gesticulation and play-acting, that there is only one thing that can be done, which is to disidentify themselves with the ego, by realising its unreality, and by becoming aware of their eternal identity with pure being. Click here for more from this book. * * * * * From 'Why Lazarus Laughed': Living should be perpetual and universal benediction. * * * Doctrines, scriptures, sutras, essays, are not to be regarded as systems to be followed. They merely contribute to understanding. They should be for us a source of stimulation, and nothing more... Adopted, rather than used as a stimulus, they are a hindrance. * * * Of the many earnest, and how earnest, people we may observe reading, attending lectures, studying and practising disciplines, devoting their energies to the attainment of a liberation which is by definition unattainable, how many are not striving via the ego-concept which is itself the only barrier between what they think they are and that which they wish to become but always have been and always will be? * * * Play your part in the comedy, but don't identify yourself with your role! * * * On the phenomenal plane we seek pleasure and the avoidance of pain. On the noumenal plane we know the absence of both - which is Bliss. * * * When you give a shilling to a beggar - do you realise that you are giving it to yourself? When you help a lame dog over a stile - do you realise that you yourself are being helped? When you kick a man when he is down - do you realise that you are kicking yourself? Give him another kick - if you deserve it! * * * Reality alone exists - and that we are. All the rest is only a dream, a dream of the One Mind, which is our mind without the 'our'. Is it so hard to accept? Is it so difficult to assimilate and to live? * * * Even the intellectual understanding of the inexistence of our 'selves' is a rare and bitter attainment which few even attempt. And that is only the elimination round which qualifies us for access to Reality... Intellectual understanding should be not indispensable to a 'simple' mind, but, with our conditioning, it would seem to be an almost inevitable preliminary. * * * Past and Future are a duality of which Present is the reality. The now-moment alone is eternal and real. * * * Spontaneity is being present in the present. Spontaneity by-passes the processes of the conceptual (aspect of) mind. Reintegration with Nature, which we are, is the recovery of spontaneity. * * * What we know as 'life' is the analytical realisation in the seriality of time of our eternal reality. * * * We have only to eliminate the ego-notion by succeeding in the difficult task of understanding that it does not exist except as a notion. Click here for more from this book. * * * * * From 'Ask The Awakened': Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 per cent Of everything you think, And of everything you do, Is for yourself - And there isn't one. * * * What is your trouble? Mistaken identity. * * * Truth is that which lies in a dimension beyond the reach of thought. Whole-mind has no 'thoughts', thoughts are split-mind. * * * Realisation is a matter of becoming conscious of that which is already realised. * * * A man who is seeking for realisation is not only going round searching for his spectacles without realising that they are on his nose all the time, but also were he not actually looking through them he would not be able to see what he is looking for! * * * It is necessary to understand that I Am, In order that I may know that I Am Not, So that, at last, I may realise that, I Am Not, therefore I Am. * * * We do not possess an 'ego'. We are possessed by the idea of one. * * * All the evil in the world, and all the unhappiness, comes from the I-concept. * * * This 'real' nature with whose revelation the Chan Masters are primarily concerned, or the Atman-'I' of the Vedantists, is not the far-off, unreachable will-o'-the-wisp we are apt to imagine, but just the within of which we know the without. It is just the other side of the medal, and it lies wherever our senses and our intellect cease to function. * * * The only real service we can render to that which we perceive and interpret in phenomenal existence as 'others' is by awakening to universal consciousness ourselves. * * * The Void is not of the nature of a black abyss or a bottomless pit. Rather is its nature 'vast and expansive like space itself'. It is apprehended as 'serene, marvellous, all-pure, brilliant and all-inclusive'. Above all does it partake of the nature of light. And it is not anything. For Void is Mind Itself, and Mind Itself is Void. * * * One must know that one is not in order to be able to understand that we are. * * * A myriad bubbles were floating on the surface of a stream. 'What are you?' I cried to them as they drifted by. 'I am a bubble, of course' nearly a myriad bubbles answered, and there was surprise and indignation in their voices as they passed. But, here and there, a lonely bubble answered, 'We are this stream', and there was neither surprise nor indignation in their voices, but just a quiet certitude. * * * Go to the Awakened Masters - and leave all your baggage behind. Click here for more from this book. * * * * * From 'All Else is Bondage; Non-Volitional Living': TAO The Doctrine is the doctrine of non-doctrine, The Practice is the practice of non-practice, The Method is meditation by non-meditation, And Cultivation which is cultivation by non-cultivation. This is the Mind of non-mind, which is wu hsin, The Thought of non-thought, which is wu nien, The Action of non-action, which is wu wei, The Presence of the absence of volition, Which is Tao. * * * The seeing of Truth cannot be dualistic (a 'thing' seen). It cannot be seen by a see-er, or via a see-er. There can only be a seeing which itself is Truth. * * * There is no mystery whatever - only inability to perceive the obvious. * * * THIS which is seeking is THAT which is sought, and THAT which is sought is THIS which is seeking. * * * As long as we are identified with an object: that is bondage. As long as we think, act, live via an object, or as an object: that is bondage. As long as we feel ourselves to be an object, or think we are such (and a 'self' is an object): that is bondage. * * * The purest doctrines, such as those of Ramana Maharshi, Padma Sambhava, Huang Po and Shen Hui, just teach that it is sufficient by analysis to comprehend that there is no entity which could have effective volition, that an apparent act of volition when in accord with the inevitable can only be a vain gesture and, when in discord, the fluttering of a caged bird against the bars of his cage. When he knows that, then at last he has peace and is glad. Non-volitional living is glad living. * * * Let us live gladly! Quite certainly we are free to do it. Perhaps it is our only freedom, but ours it is, and it is only phenomenally a freedom. 'Living free' is being 'as one is'. Can we not do it now? Indeed can we not-do-it? It is not even a 'doing': it is beyond doing and not-doing. It is being as-we-are. This is the only 'practice'. Click here for more from this book. * * * * * From 'Open Secret': Are you still thinking, looking, living, as from an imaginary phenomenal centre? As long as you do that you can never recognise your freedom. * * * What do you have to do? Pack your bags, Go to the station without them, Catch the train, And leave your self behind. * * * We are required to cease looking at objects as events apart from ourselves, And to know them at their source - which is our perceiving of them. * * * The practice of meditation is represented by the three monkeys, who cover their eyes, ears and mouths so as to avoid the phenomenal world. The practice of non-meditation is ceasing to be the see-er, hearer or speaker while eyes, ears and mouths are fulfilling their function in daily life. * * * The identified man takes part: the unidentified looks on! * * * What is non-objective relation? Wherever there are others there is a self, Wherever there are no others there can be no self, Wherever there is no self there are no others, Because in the absence of self I am all others. That is non-objective relation. Click here for more from this book. * * * * * From 'The Tenth Man': I have only one object in writing books: to demonstrate that there could not be anyone to do it. * * * What we appear to be is a fleeting shadow, a distorted and fragmentary reflection of what we all are when we no longer assume that we are that phenomenal appearance. * * * It is only with total humility, and in absolute stillness of mind that we can know what indeed we are. * * * Humility, metaphysically, implies the absence of any entity to be either 'proud' or 'humble'. * * * Everything cognised is just what is called 'mind', And what is called 'mind' is just the cognising of everything. * * * Fear, desire, affectivity are manifestations of the pseudo-entity which constitutes pseudo-bondage. It is the entity, rather than the manifestations thereof, which has to be eliminated. * * * As long as there is a 'you' doing or not-doing, thinking or not-thinking, 'meditating' or 'not-meditating' you are no closer to home than the day you were born. * * * Having found no self that is not other, The seeker must find that there is no other that is not self, So that in the absence of both other and self, There may be known the perfect peace, Of the presence of absolute absence. Click here for more from this book. * * * * * From 'Posthumous Pieces': If we clearly apperceive the difference Between direct apprehension in Whole-mind And relative comprehension by reasoning In mind divided into subject-and-object, All the apparent mysteries will disappear. For that will be found to be the key Which unlocks the doors of incomprehension. * * * 'Sudden Enlightenment' means precisely the immediate apperception of all that in fact we are. 'Enlightenment' is 'sudden' only because it is not in 'time' (subject to sequential duration). It is reintegration in intemporality. * * * The seeker is the found, the found is the seeker - as soon as it is apperceived that there is no time. * * * The Buddha forbore to specify: as long as there is any 'one' to suffer - he will. * * * Whoever thinks as, from, or on behalf of, an entity which he believes himself to be, the more so if he tries to work on himself, by, with, or for such an entity - which is only a concept in mind - has not yet begun to understand what it is all about. * * * In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow - and that is likely to hurt. * * * Affective fixation on the personality of a master, teacher, guru, is a serious obstacle to 'liberation': the person of the liberator becomes the gaoler ... The Chinese Masters told their monks to kill the Buddha if by chance they met him. * * * Destroy 'the ego', hound it, beat it, snub it, tell it where it gets off? Great fun, no doubt, but where is it? Must you not find it first? Isn't there a word about catching your goose before you can cook it? The great difficulty here is that there isn't one. * * * 'Nearer my tail to thee', the kitten remarked - as with a final desperate leap she overreached herself and fell head-over-heels into the pond. Wei Wu Wei was born Terrence Gray in 1895. He came from a aristocratic Irish family, grew up near Cambridge, England, and studied at Oxford University. During the First World War, he served as an ambulance driver. He travelled to Egypt to study the ancient pharoahs, and produced experimental theater and theater magazines in England. He quit theater to manage a vineyard in France, race horses, and marry a Russian princess. He died in 1986. Despite this priviledged and fantastic life, and like many European intellectuals of his generation, he became a seeker. He could afford to travel, and he met Ramana Maharshi, Anagarika Govinda, Hubert Benoit, John Blofeld, Douglas Harding, Paul Brunton, Robert Linssen, Arthur Osborne, Shunyata, and D. T. Suzuki. “We have a basic conditioning, probably in some form of Christian religion, of which little remains today but its ethical content, or in one of the modern psychologies, that of Freud, Adler, or Jung, or in some scientific discipline, all of which are fundamentally and implacably dualist. Then the [seeking] urge manifests, and we start reading. Every time we happen on a statement or sentiment that fits in with our conditioned notions we adopt it, perhaps with enthusiasm, at the same time ignoring, as though they did not exist, the statements or sentiments which either we did not like or did not understand. And every time we re-read the Masters or the sutras we seize upon further chosen morsels, as our own jig-saw puzzle builds up within us, until we have a personal patchwork that corresponds with nothing on Earth that could matter in the least. Not in a thousand million kalpas could such a process produce the essential understanding that the urge is obliging us to seek.” from Ask The Awakened, 1963 In 1958 he published Fingers Pointing Towards The Moon under the pen name, Wei Wu Wei. The paradoxical pen name comes from a Taoist classic, the Tao Te Ching. “The highest attainment is non-action (wei wu) and action (wei).” He wrote in the Preface that he used it to emphasize the personal unimportance of the writer. grey Harding LinssenOver the next 16 years he wrote seven more books, and they are available here, in our SHOP. The books draw on a wide range of Advaita, Taoist and Zen sages, as well as the language of German Idealism. The Open Secret was written in 1965 and includes a substantive interpretation of the Buddhist Heart Sutra. Ramesh Balsekar remembers the powerful impression it made while he was still working at the Bank of India this way, “I cannot describe the innumerable intellectual frustrations I went through between Nisargadatta Maharaj and Wei Wu Wei… as I realized some time later it was to bring about a sudden awakening in this body-mind mechanism called Ramesh.” “It is less what one is that should matter, than what one is not. To acquire knowledge should not be our first aim, but rather to rid ourselves of ignorance – which is false-knowledge. The qualities we possess should never be a matter for satisfaction, but the qualities we have discarded.” from Fingers Pointing Towards The Moon, 1958 Wayne Liquorman wrote, “I love Wei Wu Wei. In an age when Enlightenment is being crudely packaged and sold like toothpaste, Wei Wu Wei demonstrates that deft touch which is so essential when dealing with the absurdity of trying to express the inexpressible.” “Disputation and discussion are both futile. Why is that? Because nothing either party could say could possibly be true, And whereas dispute picks out the false, Which is too easy to see, Discussion seeks the truth which is being pointed at, Which is too difficult to describe.” from Posthumous Pieces, 1968 

 

 

-Gaming Channel: ... Richard Rose (mystic) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigationJump to search For other people named Richard Rose, see Richard Rose (disambiguation). Richard Rose in 1974 Richard Rose (March 14, 1917 – July 6, 2005) was an American mystic, esoteric philosopher, author, poet, and investigator of paranormal phenomena. He published a number of books and spoke widely in universities and other venues across the country during the 1970s and 1980s. Rose developed a system which he described as the "retreat from untruth," an examination of personal belief systems and lifestyles. In that system one discards what one finds to be false on a case-by-case basis. He believed a spiritual "Ultimate truth" exists and can be found for oneself with sufficient application of effort, and recommended skeptical approaches such as his. He studied human psychology, human weakness and human potential, then wrote challenges to psychology, psychiatry, religion, academia, the legal system, and the New Age movement. His criticism included issues of group-think, dogmatism, financial motives, emotional appeals, and reliance on questionable authorities.[clarification needed] Contents 1	Biography 2	Teachings 2.1	Tenets 2.2	Recommended Study 2.3	Teaching Style and Methods 3	Influence 4	New Vrindaban 5	Publications 6	Notes 7	References 8	External links Biography Richard Rose was born in Benwood, West Virginia, United States. He entered a Catholic pre-seminary in Butler, Pennsylvania at age 12. He later recounted his delight at the prospect of living with monks and nuns who he believed had direct connection to God but that he was disillusioned by their insistence on blind faith acceptance of what they taught.[1] He left the seminary at age 17, still looking for God, and in college turned toward the study of science as a possible avenue to discovering the nature of reality. Here too he was disillusioned, losing hope that God or Truth might be found through science.[2] After college, he moved around the U.S. in a series of jobs such as on the first nuclear submarine at Babcock & Wilcox in Alliance, Ohio; on streptomycin at the National Jewish Medical & Research Center in Denver; and performing metallurgical testing for Martin Aircraft in Baltimore. While living in Baltimore, his older brother James was killed on a Merchant Marine vessel when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. This death provided a huge shock to Rose, who contrasted his brother's selfless attitude to his own spiritual ego. Rose was working in the spring of 1947 as a waiter at a tennis club in Seattle when he experienced what he described as "God Realization". Several months later, he wrote a description of what had occurred in The Three Books of the Absolute.[3] A few years later he married and raised a family. He supported the family as a painting contractor and by raising cattle on the family farm. He worked with people who were interested in parapsychological phenomena such as ESP and hypnosis, but said he never came across anyone working to answer questions about the nature of the mind and reality. During this period he compiled his first book, The Albigen Papers, outlining his philosophy, but it was not published until 1973. In 1972 Rose was invited to give a talk at the Theosophical Society in Pittsburgh. Two students from the University of Pittsburgh attended, and they were inspired to start a group at the university to apply Rose's teaching. In 1973, Rose and a handful of students set up the TAT Foundation — "a circle of friends with no head" — to promote their efforts to reach out to others. The acronym TAT stood for "Truth and Transmission."[4] The Pittsburgh group spawned groups at other northeastern universities and even a couple of western locations (Denver and Los Angeles). Rose made his farm available for group gatherings and individual retreats, and students built two large buildings for meetings as well as cabins for individual use. The following two decades saw hundreds of people inspired to launch their own spiritual searches. Rose continued to write and publish while his study groups expanded. His public lectures continued until the early 1990s, when he started to show signs of deterioration from Alzheimer's disease. Teachings Rose's student David Gold described his work as esoteric [5] and direct.[6] Rose chose not to establish a popular movement of students, instead preferring a sub-rosa network of close students, who then reached out to a larger circle, which included author Joseph Chilton Pearce. He came from humble roots, then studied as a scientist. His teachings were based on a lifetime of experience and research, and in particular an experience when he was thirty. Joseph Chilton Pearce described him: "Rose is a no-nonsense West Virginian who wants nothing more from life than to somehow pass on the cataclysmic spiritual experience, the Enlightenment that blind-sided him when he was a young man." Tenets His student John Kent felt Rose's teachings were difficult to describe, because Rose stressed inner work inherently subjective and intimate to each individual. They were more about pursuing personal insight and introspection than a set of specific techniques.[7] Nonetheless, according to Kent, Rose did formulate a system of teachings based on his study of other traditions and his own insights.[8] Kent summarized the core questions in the teachings as:[9] Who am I (ultimately)? Where did I come from (before birth)? Where am I going (after death)? Rose recommends a deep investigation of "who" is living and experiencing: clearly defining self and ego.[10] He also insisted that a life of activity is meaningless as long as the identity of the actor is not known. He thought approaching spirituality as a way to find peace or enhance one's life, which he called "utilitarian," was foolish. Instead he advocated total dedication to a search for truth — in particular concerning self and ego — in spite of the personal consequences. He used the term "Jacob's Ladder" (image) as a kind of transpersonal map.[11] Based on that, he then used the terms "Law of the Ladder"[12] and "Ladder Work" to describe different levels he observed among those seeking truth. He also believed that one could only effectively help, or be helped by, others who were on the same or adjacent rungs of the ladder. He felt "extra-proportional returns" were realized when a group of people combine their efforts in any endeavor, which he called the "Contractor's Law".[13] Rose cautioned against postulating what truth — with respect to self and ego, for example — should be and then trying to move toward it. Instead one removes misunderstandings. His working definition of truth was "a condition from which all untruth has been removed."[14] He used the phrases "retreat from error"[15] and "reverse vector"[16] to describe the process of moving away from the most obviously false, what he called "garbage," which would clarify the thinking and intuition to a point where more subtle untruth could be evaluated.[17][18] He published The Albigen Papers in 1973, which he called a guidebook for seekers. His theories about the transmutation of energy from the body through the mind up to what he called the "spiritual quantum,"[19] were published after that and similar to some recent theories describing the mind as a force-field. He produced a pamphlet on a method of meditation involving the dispassionate review of past traumatic events as a way to overcome psychological problems and to understand the ego. His book Psychology of the Observer encapsulated his views on the structure of mind-processes and what he described as the internal ascent from a personal, conflicted view of the world to a more Universal perspective. He was a hypnotist, occasionally giving demonstrations, and said that understanding hypnotism was a key to understanding the mechanics of the mind.[20][21] His criticism of spiritual and New Age movements often included references to their use of self-hypnotic methods.[22][23] Recommended Study His student John Kent described the culmination of Rose's philosophy as corresponding "most closely with the nondualism of Advaita Vedanta".[24] But Kent also writes that rather than presenting a concept-structure or a specific practice upon which his teachings could be based Rose instead advocated personal immersion into available methods and religious styles while always applying what he called "respectful doubt."[25] Consequently, his followers obtained an understanding of a wide number of esoteric groups and methods, which they were able to bring back and share among themselves. Rose also believed that progress on one's spiritual path was linked to one's efforts at helping others. Rose recommended a number of authors to his students and disparaged other authors, based on his research. Those he most highly recommended were Indian guru Ramana Maharshi, Chan master Huang Po, Christian mystics St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, George Gurdjieff, and researchers Paul Brunton and Richard Bucke. In Albigen Papers he described H.P. Blavatsky's books as "some of the most valuable a student can own," and in his publication of Profound Writings East & West, called her text Book of Golden Precepts (also Voice of the Silence) as "a condensed guide to the deepest teachings of mankind." Rose advocated the study of what he called thaumaturgical laws as a means to protect oneself from unseen influences, for anyone who would explore the dimensions of consciousness ("the mind dimension"), referring to texts by Eliphas Levi and others.[26][27] Teaching Style and Methods According to Kent, Rose advocated a very personal commitment similar to Gurdjieff and he discouraged casual commitment.[28] Aspects of his style which discouraged casual commitment included: a Zen-like method of confrontation, recommending a celibate lifestyle,[29] and strong criticism of what he described as social and political sacred cows. In personal interactions he would attempt to dispel illusions and falsehoods that students were hiding from themselves. This sharpness caused his students to call him a Zen master, even though he was highly critical of mainstream Zen. In fact, the first group established by Rose was called Zen Study Group, in Pittsburgh, reflecting his embrace of Zen methods, and other groups were called Pyramid Zen Society, an admission that those interested in total commitment would be few (the top of the pyramid) as explained in various recorded talks.[30] He felt that requiring students to be determined would produce a more committed group of thinkers and researchers. Rose gave a series of lectures in the 1970s which outlined his approach to Zen and which incorporated the term Zen in the title: The Psychology of Zen; Zen and Common Sense; Zen and Death; etc. Several of these have been transcribed from the audio tapes and published. He published for limited circulation a paper titled The Monitor Papers which established rules, guidelines and techniques to be observed during confrontation in the private group meetings where confrontation was permitted. Rose had a high regard for Alfred Pulyan, a Zen teacher in Connecticut, who gave him a method of Transmission referred to in Zen literature.[31][32] Rose wrote a handbook for local group leaders, The Monitor Papers, currently unpublished, giving instructions on how to create rapport, which in his view is a precursor to Transmission, and he published Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission in 1975. Stemming from his investigations into Spiritualism, in his early lectures he often related his findings on paranormal phenomena.[33] Influence He worked closely with groups, beginning with university students and professional people, mostly in the Northeast (e.g. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, West Virginia). Over time, as the students graduated and entered professional lives, groups were also established in Colorado, California, North Carolina, Florida, and Maine. After he was hospitalized with Alzheimer's in the mid 1990s, many of the organizations failed, but some continued - notably, the Self Knowledge Symposium founded by August Turak at universities in North Carolina. His followers believe he never pursued widespread popularity.[34] Members of the TAT Foundation, the current umbrella organization, are dispersed geographically. People may attend study groups without becoming actual members of the umbrella group. New Vrindaban In 1967, Rose attempted to create an ashram of spiritual seekers on his Marshall County, West Virginia farm, and composed a letter which was published in the San Francisco Oracle expressing his desire to try "to form an ashram of sorts here in West Virginia, in the rural section where I own about a half a section. The conception is one of a non-profit, non-interfering, non-denominational, retreat or refuge, where philosophers might come to work communally together, or independently,—where a library and other facilities might be developed.",[35][36] Among the seekers who responded to his letter were Hare Krishna devotees Kirtanananda Swami (Keith Gordon Ham) and his partner Hayagriva Das (Howard Morton Wheeler). The two secured a 99-year lease on Rose's backwoods farm which eventually developed into the sprawling New Vrindaban Community which eventually included Prabhupada's Palace of Gold, and this community pressed against Rose's farm from all sides.[37] When Rose attempted to fight the Krishnas in court and win back his land for non-payment of taxes, there was some talk at the community about "eliminating" him, and a hit man allegedly followed him for a while. Despite his troubles with the Krishnas, Rose reportedly never expressed outright regret over his decision to lease his back farm to them. "In some ways the Krishnites are better to have around than the hillbillies," Rose said once. "At least they don't get drunk and steal the radiators out of your trucks."[38] Publications Albigen Papers, 1973, 1978 ISBN 1-878683-00-4, ISBN 1-878683-07-1 Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission, 1975 ISBN 1-878683-02-0 Psychology of the Observer, 1979, 2001 ISBN 1-878683-06-3 Meditation, 1981 Pyramid Press Carillon: Poems, Essays & Philosophy, 1982 ISBN 1-878683-03-9 The Direct-Mind Experience, 1985 ISBN 1-878683-01-2 Profound Writings, East & West, 1988 ISBN 1-878683-05-5 "The Three Books of the Absolute" appears in The Albigen Papers and in Profound Writings, East & West. Notes Gold (2002) pp. 42-43 Kent (1990) pp.1-2 Martin (2007) p.82 Kent (1990) p.6 Gold (2002) p.196, 319 Gold (2002) p.171 Kent (1990) p.50 Kent (1990) pp.50-51 Kent (1990) p.54 Kent (1990) pp.54-55 Kent (1990) pp.vi, 24, 32, 42, 254-255 Kent (1990) pp.121, 140 Kent (1990) p.140 Rose (1978) p. 206 Kent (1990) p.17 Kent (1990) pp.76, 120 Kent (1990) pp.213, 216 Rose (1982) p.144 Kent (1990) pp.190-191 Direct Mind Experience, pp. 28-29 and p. 291. Six unpublished, recorded lectures and demonstrations: 1978, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1988 Kent (1990) p.99 Martin (2007) p.86 Kent (1990) p. 35 Kent (1990) p.126 Eliphas Levi, Transcendental Magic; Arthur Edward Waite, Ceremonial Magic. Unpublished lecture at Kent State University on April 12, 1978. Kent (1990) p.76 Kent (1990) p.174 Lecture in Columbus, Ohio, April 5, 1977. http://www.searchwithin.org/download/columbus_ohio_lecture.pdf Attribution to Zen methods learned from Alfred Pulyan are in unpublished talk in Columbus, Ohio on Oct. 23, 1977. Laws, Yardsticks, Exaltations Mentioned by Rose occasionally in public and private talks, currently being transcribed. For example: http://www.searchwithin.org/download/columbus_ohio_lecture.pdf Also there is a series of unpublished correspondence between Rose and Pulyan in the possession of the heirs. Martin (2007) pp.74-75 Gold (2002) p.166 Richard Rose, Letter published in The San Francisco Oracle (December 1967) "McCreary Ridge Hippies Live Quietly in Hills Meditating" (July 13, 1968, Wheeling Intelligencer) http://selfdefinition.org/rose/richard-rose-farm-1968.htm Hayagriva Das, The Hare Krishna Explosion (Palace Press, Moundsville, West Virginia: 1985) Gold (2002) p.235 References After the Absolute: Real Life Adventures With a Backwoods Buddha by David Gold, 2002 ISBN 0595239943 Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer: The Path to Reality Through the Self by John Kent, PhD, 1990 dissertation Peace to the Wanderer: The Philosophy and Friendship of Richard Rose by Robert J. Martin, 2007 link opens 324 KB pdf file External links The TAT Foundation - Philosophical group established by Richard Rose Richard Rose Teachings (Rose Publications) - Official site for his published materials Authority control Edit this at Wikidata ISNI: 0000 0000 3651 1436LCCN: n2006032246VIAF: 63432854WorldCat Identities: lccn-n2006032246 Categories: MysticsEsotericistsAmerican spiritual teachersAmerican spiritual writers1917 births2005 deathsPeople from Benwood, West VirginiaWriters from West Virginia  TAT Foundation ...friendship and the spiritual search The TAT Foundation, friendship and the spiritual search. "The highest form of spiritual work is the realization of the essence of man...." "You never learn the answer; you can only become the answer." "My purpose is to outline a system which will prove itself as it goes along, and which will reward us at any point along the line by finding for us a more disciplined and skillful mind, and a mind that is more aware of itself." —Richard Rose The life of the spiritual seeker is often a solitary affair. However, there are friends to find, books to read, and information to share. The TAT Foundation and its spiritual search site offer a place for genuine philosophical and spiritual inquiry on all levels, modeled on the principle that cooperation and interaction with fellow inquirers can expedite a seeker's own investigation. Within these pages, you will find an introduction to Richard Rose and his system for spiritual achievement, the continuing work of the TAT Foundation, and esoteric books and recordings of value to those interested in the search for Reality. The depth of friendship and a unique set of principles without the dogma—these form the basic precepts of TAT® videos, audio, publications, and events. TAT February 6, 2021 Spiritual Retreat Day Banner Attend TAT's February Virtual Gathering—In Thought, Word and Deed Site Contents TAT Forum Online Magazine A monthly spiritual magazine of essays, poetry, and humor that inspires seekers to action in the spiritual search. Read past issues of timeless inspiration. Subscribe to the Forum About the TAT Foundation Established by Richard Rose to encourage seekers to help each other. A dynamic organization with members who can help at the deepest level. Learn about TAT's mission. Become a Member Who is Richard Rose? Read about the founder of the TAT Foundation and the Albigen System. Learn why Richard Rose is one of the most profound spiritual teachers this country has ever produced. The Albigen System A brief outline of Rose's direct approach to finding answers to your deepest life-questions. A system with proven results. Books and Recordings New Book!Spiritual DVD Videos Publications of the TAT Foundation Press, Richard Rose books, recommended spiritual books, conference DVDs, and MP3 audio recordings. New! TAT Journal Archive Published from 1977 to 1986 for spiritual seekers to develop genuine friendships, share ideas, and understand themselves. Calendar of TAT Activities Information on TAT's four spiritual retreat weekends and a listing of member groups in various locations. It's the coming together of sincere spiritual seekers that makes the TAT Foundation so unique. Site search Use the quick search box above to search this website. Additional Spiritual Resources Best Spiritual Sites on the Web A survey of TAT members' favorites. Criteria for evaluation of gurus and unique systems. What is Meditation? Comments from Richard Rose and TAT Foundation members. Spiritual Gatherings Bulletin Board Worldwide listing of ongoing meetings and special events. Submit information on groups and events. Retreat Facilities/USA + Other Countries A guide to hermitages, cabins, and other places for spiritual reflection. Improve your solitary retreats. TAT Foundation on Facebook TAT Foundation channel on YouTube TAT is a registered trademark of the TAT Foundation. This site contains absolutely no harmful ActiveX, harmful scripts, malicious cookies, or spyware. JavaScript must be enabled for our e-mail links, audio players, and PayPal buttons to work. Home | Richard Rose | Books & Recordings | TAT Forum | About | Search | Site Map Keep informed of TAT events and receive our free monthly Forum filled with inspiring essays, poems and images. Email & Social Media Marketing by VerticalResponse © 2000-2021 TAT Foundation. All rights reserved. Back to Top Who is Richard Rose? Author, poet, philosopher, and founder of the TAT Foundation and the Albigen System. Richard Rose in his 30'sRichard Rose (1917 - 2005) is one of the most profound and unusual spiritual teachers this country has ever produced. A native son from the hills of West Virginia, Mr. Rose underwent a cataclysmic spiritual experience at the age of thirty that left him with an intimate understanding of the secrets of life and death. He was often referred to as a Zen Master by the people who knew him because of the depth of his wisdom and his ability to make direct mind contact with his students. But he did not expound traditional Zen or any other traditional teachings. What he taught sprang from his personal realization of Truth. Though Richard Rose authored several books on esoteric philosophy and had lectured widely in universities across the country, he remained largely unknown. He has been described, in fact, as "The greatest man no one's ever heard of." He appeared in newspaper articles and on local talk shows during lecture tours, and was featured in spiritual journals from time to time, but he was in some ways a throw-back to the stern Zen masters of a thousand years ago, and his hard-edged, uncompromising approach to life and spiritual work is not a path for the easy-going. From a very early age, Richard Rose was a man on a mission: to find an answer to the great riddle of life. One of his earliest memories was writing over and over in a child's hand, "Many are called, but few are chosen." At the age of twelve, he entered a Capuchin seminary in Pennsylvania to study for the priesthood. He wanted, simply, to find God. After five years he left, however, disenchanted with religious life and the constant admonitions to be content to believe church doctrines, not to seek a personal experience of God. Richard Rose in his 60'sDisillusioned with religion, he focused on physics and chemistry in college. He hoped to find the keys to the universe in atoms and molecules, but eventually realized that logic and science were yet another endless tangent. He then turned to yoga and asceticism, and in his twenties he maintained an extremely disciplined lifestyle. "I decided to make my body a laboratory," he said, "not a cesspool." He became a vegetarian, did not smoke or drink, and observed strict celibacy. He also spent long months in solitude on his remote farm in the hills of West Virginia. "Solitude is beautiful," he says. "Those years of celibacy and solitude were the most joyful of my life." But Mr. Rose also knew he needed to seek out information about the spiritual path, and find others who were on it. And so he often crisscrossed the country in search of someone who might have achieved true wisdom. This was in the '30s and '40s, however, and there were few books available, and even fewer teachers. He must have presented quite an appearance in those days. He kept his head shaved, wore a goatee, and in keeping with his years in the seminary, perhaps, dressed entirely in black, including a black snap-brim fedora reminiscent of the gangsters of the day. He would travel hundreds of miles by bus or hitchhiking because he had heard a certain book might be available in a distant library. He met with spiritualists, witch-doctors, shamans, healers, psychics, yogis, and gurus, most often coming away from those meetings disappointed, but wiser for the experience. He joined every spiritual and psychic group he could find, learned what they had to offer, then ended up rejecting almost all of them. Along the way, he began to develop his own unique way of sifting through the information and misinformation available, looking for that which was most likely to be true. His training as a scientist led him to approach the abstract realm of the spiritual scientifically, whereas the norm was usually blind faith, wishful thinking, and confusion. This scientific approach to a spiritual search was the genesis of what he would later call The Albigen System. He wanted to unravel the Gordian Knot, and lived only for that purpose. He decided he would rather suffer insanity or death than be ignorant of his destiny, his source, his true Self. Those who knew him then found him to be a man possessed by an insatiable desire to find out what lay behind the curtain of pretense so often accepted as a "wonderful life." He doubted everything, and questioned everybody he met about their philosophy of life—and death. He sought only one thing: a final answer that would dissolve all his doubts and questions. He wanted THE answer. Richard RoseThen, at the age of thirty, after a life of asceticism, searching, and eventually trauma, Richard Rose had a spiritual awakening of great depth. Years later, he discovered in the writings of Ramana Maharshi a descriptive term for what he had undergone—Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi—the Hindu term for the maximum human experience possible, in which the individual mind dies, and the individual awareness merges totally with the source of all life and awareness—the Absolute, God, Truth. Maharshi metaphorically spoke of this experience as a river discharged into the ocean and its identity lost. For many years afterwards Mr. Rose struggled to understand the implications of his enlightenment experience, and to translate it into a system that might help others achieve the same realization. Finally, he distilled his mountain of notes into a handbook for spiritual and philosophic seekers, outlining the many pitfalls as well as illuminating the essential elements for success on the spiritual path. It is entitled The Albigen Papers. Later, the spiritual path that this book describes became known as The Albigen System. Richard Rose lived, spoke, and wrote without the pretense or arrogance so often found in spiritual and philosophic work. He never charged any money for his teaching, and he never closed his door to any sincere seeker, or to anyone who was troubled and wanted to discover an avenue to peace and mental clarity. Since his first public lecture in Pittsburgh in 1972, Mr. Rose maintained a lifestyle unaffected by opportunities for wealth, fortune, and fame. He was a relentless man who had the determination, inspiration, and dedication it takes to discover the total answer to the riddle of life. Read After the Absolute: The Inner Teachings of Richard Rose by David Gold with Bart Marshall, including a Forward by Joseph Chilton Pearce. This fascinating account of one student's years with Richard Rose is also available in hardcopy. Obtain more information on how to purchase After the Absolute. Read the Wikipedia biography on Richard Rose, including details about his teachings and influence. Obituary: Rose, Richard S., 88, formerly of Moundsville, WV, died Wednesday July 6, 2005 in the Weirton Geriatric Center. The family would like to express their deepest appreciation to the dedicated caregivers at Weirton Geriatric Center, Alzheimer and third floor care unit. Richard Rose was born in his house in Benwood on March 14, 1917. He is the son of Richard V. Rose and Marguerite Orum Rose. He attended St. Alphonsus and St. James schools until the age of twelve when he entered the Capuchin Monastery in Butler, PA. At age 17, he left the monastery to finish his last year of high school at Wheeling Central Catholic. He enrolled at West Liberty State College to study English, then traveled the country taking various jobs in the field of chemistry and engineering. At age thirty he married Phyllis West and raised three children, Ruth, Kathleen and James. He worked as a painting contractor in the Ohio Valley. He wrote his first book, The Albigen Papers, around the age of forty, but it was not published until 1973. Around the same year he began giving lectures on philosophy at colleges and universities across the country. Included among those universities were Harvard, Brown, Case Western, Kent State, UCLA, North Carolina State, Duke, and University of Pittsburgh. Study groups were formed at the various college campuses and students visited Mr. Rose in a regular basis. At age sixty he married Betty Cecil Rose and they have a daughter, Tatia. Since the early seventies he published several more books, including The Direct Mind Experience based on his research on direct mind communication which he termed the direct-mind science. He also founded the TAT Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation based on his philosophic teachings. Friends and family received Thursday from 3 -5 and 7 -9 p.m. at the McCoy-Altmeyer Funeral home, 44 Fifteenth Street, Wheeling, WV, where services will be held Friday June 8, 2005, with Mr. Lee O. Warfield, III, officiating. Interment will be at the family farm in Marshall County, WV. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Family Services of the Upper Ohio Valley, 51 11th Street, Wheeling, WV, 26003, and Altenheim Resources and Referral Center, 1359 National Road, Wheeling, WV 26003. Goodbye, Mr. Rose A special obituary written by David Weimer A graduate student of philosophy at the University of Oslo in Norway played her violin at an open grave on Friday morning in rural Moundsville. It was a Scottish lament, or Irish Air, called Ashokan Farewell and it was featured in the Ken Burns documentary series on the Civil War. The haunting, nostalgic notes slid from Juliet Rose's instrument to lap like gentle waves against the worn pier of 40 people standing there. She was playing her fiddle at the graveside of her grandfather, Richard Stephen Vincent Rose Jr., of Benwood, known by many serious thinkers near and far as simply "Mr. Rose." Lee O. Warfield, III, of Baltimore visited Rose on his family farm in 1985 and found himself waiting for the man to return from an errand. "I had no photos of him, no preconceptions," Warfield said. "When he walked into the room, I stood up and shook his hand. He said to me, 'We've met before.' And I knew that he knew me and knew everything about me." Twenty years after their first meeting, Warfield led a burial service for Rose on Friday that began at a funeral home and ended with interment at the Rose family farm. "It felt like I was giving him something," Warfield said after the service. "I was very lucky to have met him, especially when I did. The morality that he preached saved my life." Rose is the author of six books on esoteric philosophy. The Albigen Papers, his seminal work, is an exposé of social, psychological, and spiritual misconceptions. Published in 1973 and written as a guide for others on the path of self-knowledge and realization, this work contains an examination of spiritual movements, blocks and aids to personal spiritual progress, and a large helping of common sense. How did this Marshall County man become what many would call a guru or mentor? It seemed to be his destiny. Richard Rose was born at home in Benwood on March 14, 1917 to Richard and Marguerite Orum Rose. He attended St. Alphonsus and St. James schools until the age of twelve when he entered the Capuchin Monastery in Butler, PA to become a priest. At 17, he left the Catholic monastery to finish a last year of high school at Wheeling Central Catholic. He enrolled at West Liberty State College and would eventually travel the country working in the field of chemistry and engineering. As a young man, Rose had left the track he had been on to become a priest. He became, instead, interested in yoga and spiritualism. He was a voracious reader on subjects of esoteric philosophy, religion, psychology and mysticism. He made of himself a laboratory, abstaining from vices including alcohol and tobacco. He gave up eating meat. In short, he was a wandering mystic, meeting and joining any group that he felt he could learn from. He was on a quest for the riddle of his existence. In Seattle, in 1947, at the age of 30, he was "accidentally successful." Twenty-four cars made the half-hour journey from McCoy Funeral Home in Wheeling to the Rose family farm east of Moundsville. Shawn Nevins is recreation coordinator for an outdoor team-building program in Louisville, KY. He drove five and a half hours to attend the funeral of a man who had been instrumental in his own search for meaning. In 1991, Nevins was in his early 20's attending North Carolina State University. "I saw Rose's picture on a poster for a lecture called, 'What is Enlightenment?' and it just got me curious. I wondered what it was all about." Nevins would eventually spend three years in Marshall County, where he could meet with Rose regularly. "It was inspiring and frustrating at the same time. Inspiring because here's a person who I felt answered the questions that I had. Frustrating because for one, he can't give me the answers—I've got to find the answers myself." This quiet-spoken Kentuckian said that Rose's legacy lies in the people who he helped and in those who he set in motion on a philosophic path. People he inspired. Rose founded the TAT Foundation, a non-profit educational organization based on his philosophy, in 1973 (TAT stands for Truth and Transmission). Today, TAT includes hundreds of members from throughout the U.S. and Canada. A number of its members attend four annual meetings near Moundsville. After returning from Seattle to settle down, Rose married and spent two decades raising three children while working as a painting contractor in the Ohio Valley. He got his first book into publishable form in 1973. This same year, he began giving lectures on philosophy, Zen, psychology and mysticism at colleges and universities across the country including Harvard, Brown, Case Western, Kent State, UCLA, North Carolina State, Duke, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. Study groups formed at various college campuses and students began to visit "Mr. Rose" at his farm in West Virginia on a regular basis. This would begin another two decades and more of a second career: engagement in his true interest of esoteric philosophy. Culturally, the door was open and people were ready to hear what he had to say on the subject. Robert Cergol, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was 19 when he attended a lecture given by Rose. "I walked out of that lecture feeling like I had to reshuffle every viewpoint and thought I'd had up until that point. I was exposed to a world that I didn't know existed. It seemed like it was the missing piece—in not knowing what I was supposed to do with my life." That was 30 years ago. Cergol graduated from college and would eventually live in Bellaire, Benwood and Moundsville. He worked for some time on a grounds crew for the Wheeling Park Commission and today is a self-employed software developer, married, and father of two girls. Richard Rose, 88, of Benwood, author, poet, philosophic authority and friend, died at 5:50 a.m. Wednesday July 6th at the Weirton Geriatric Center after a ten-year battle with Alzheimer's. Decades earlier, when he was a young man, Rose had written a short poem that someone later would ask whether it was about his own death or not. Rose's matter-of-fact reply was, "Oh, sure." The poem is called I Will Take Leave of You. He is survived by his wife and children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and truly, a host of friends. I will take leave of you Not by distinct farewell But vaguely As one entering vagueness For words, symbols of confusion Would only increase confusion But silence, seeming to be vagueness, Shall be my cadence Which someday You will understand. Richard Rose 1917 - 2005 More Richard Rose Resources The Albigen System Mister Rose the video Insightful quotes Books and recordings Memorial Forum issue Audio clip: Intro / Albigen System What is the Albigen System? The Albigen System of Richard Rose, a spiritual system involving a threefold path for finding Truth. A threefold path for finding Truth... A way of living your life aimed at understanding that life. A life of brotherhood—helping and being helped by others with a common goal. A system not of learning but of becoming the Truth. Based on the Experience and teachings of Richard Rose... A man who reached enlightenment at the age of 30, in 1947, and dedicated his life toward helping others who were seeking self-definition. Who learned that the direct path to Truth is through retreating from untruth. And who thus recommended an approach that is "subjective, subtractive, immanent and designed for immediately changing and becoming." A system that... Aims at self-definition and considers all knowledge incomplete until the knower or experiencer is known or identified. Does not attempt to prove itself by the vanity of logic but is inductive and answers to common sense and intuition. Revolves around confrontation, both in friendly questioning that challenges each others' thinking to the point of retreating from error and in self-confrontational meditation. "The purpose is to find the Truth—meaning self-definition, and the true relation of man to his fellow man, and a true understanding of our life's events." Richard Rose The Albigen System is a method for stripping away the glossy veneer of life in the pursuit of the greater Reality that lies beneath its surface. It is a spiritual system of seeking for those who are sincerely interested in becoming the Truth. Becoming aware of our essential nature is a single goal with many paths leading to it—most of them very long and slow. Some paths, such as traditional religions, appeal to emotional-devotional people, some paths appeal to intellectually curious people, while other paths synthesize and employ techniques that combine aspects of many different systems. But there is another approach, one that aims directly at that elusive state of total knowledge often described as Enlightenment. There are few schools or spiritual systems of this type in existence. The Albigen System is one of them. It will help sincere seekers discover the ways and means to shorten the time needed to find their true state of being. An intense spiritual path such as the Albigen System will not appeal to everyone. But there is a certain percentage of people in every generation who are blessed, or cursed, with the ability to see through some of the illusions of life and who are curious about what may lie beyond the illusions. These people are inevitably drawn to books and people that purport to answer the questions that are beginning to haunt them and that can address the nameless hunger that is forming inside them. Today there are more spiritual organizations, teachers, and books than perhaps at any time in history. This is both good and bad. Good because of the wealth of information that is available. Bad because of the wealth of misinformation that comes with it. Chautauqua Building, previous site of TAT Foundation eventsIn practice, each individual seeker has a particular path to walk, and one person's path is never the same as that of another. But there are common denominators and universal pitfalls. The Albigen System is a practical approach to self-definition and spiritual achievement that also allows for the many and varied individual paths. It is at once a complete system itself and also a tool with which we may evaluate all other spiritual systems as well as our own thinking and philosophy at each stage of the search. It is a system that does not seek to define Truth, because Truth can not be defined for us by others. It can only be experienced directly. And until we have experienced Truth ourselves, how can we possibly know what it is or in which direction it lies? Therefore the only sensible approach is to retreat from untruth. That is, to seek out the phoniness, illusions, lies, and inconsistencies in our own lives and in everything else—including spiritual systems—and back away from them. In this way, by becoming more and more skilled at recognizing untruth and backing away from it, we will automatically be approaching Truth. That is the path. In his book, The Albigen Papers, Rose covers key principles for a spiritual search. A key to the Albigen System is it's maximum reversal technique, in which the natural direction of life's energy and purpose is reversed away from the material and mundane pursuits of ordinary life and turned in upon itself to retraverse the projected ray of life back to the Source. A useful analogy is that of someone in a movie theater who finally thinks to turn around and look back through the lens of the movie projector rather than be totally identified with the colored shadows on the screen. In this way, one can discover the source of the projections and also the true nature of the viewer of the picture show. The Albigen System looks at the looker and examines the examining instrument—the human mind. It is a mental technique for realizing the existence of your Essence and a method for redeploying your energy so as to achieve a direct experience of that Essence. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going when I die? The purpose of the Albigen System is to help you gain a direct experience of the answer to these questions for yourself. The Albigen System is a system with proven results. Several of Richard Rose's students have realized what he was pointing at with his teaching and, in turn, are working to help others in this grand adventure. Read a sampling of Richard Rose's writings by searching the TAT Forum index. In Honor of Richard Rose March 14, 1917 - July 6, 2005 And I had a friend . . . Whose dust with mine was not the bond, Whose love with mine was not the bond, Whose teaching with me was not the bond, Both of us had been to this same place, To the twilight in the narrow crevice, And because of this place, we are eternal. ~ From "Friendship" by Richard Rose This month's contents: Richard Rose Richard Rose Dear Father by Tatia Rose | Launch Pad by Tristan Bergh | Deepest Respects by Pratap Bhatt | Relentless Intensity by Ed Bronson | What Mr. Rose Shared by Bob Cergol | Consider Yourself Lucky by Paul Constant | Mystic Missal Memorial by Bob Fergeson | Presence by Linda Harmon | The Friend by Gary Harmon | Lack of Pretension by Richard Hood | The Guy Who Saved My Life by Jake Jaqua | Chance Encounter by Tony Kalar | Last Hours by Bart Marshall | Encouraged Me to Think by Shane Murphy | Quotes & Notes by Shawn Nevins | Flowers by Dan Niebauer | Don't Light a Candle for Richard (anonymous) | Master Storyteller by Paul Schmidt | Pass It On by Art Ticknor | An Appropriate Gesture by David Weimer | Additional Sources about Richard Rose Read books by Richard Rose or watch a video clip from the Mister Rose DVD. Sign up for e-mail alerts that will let you know when new TAT Forum issues are published. Dear Father by Tatia Rose I am with you here now as those who love you the most are—in spirit. What our time together lacked in length it compensated for in depth. Because of your guidance, leadership, and wisdom, I will never walk this earth without the companionship of brothers and sisters. You have given us ourselves. Our truths, our lives, strength, and love. And while this earthbound journey has been short, we have walked it side by side. Our first steps together were rich in bliss, poor in sadness, and pure of innocence. And although the next bend in the road would take us through a dark tunnel, the end finds itself in the light—here and now. I also know that the end is not nearly as important as the journey. I know that you will be with me as I walk the steps of my journey, and will make the path one you would be proud to walk with me. On this path will also be my mother, my family, and all those who love you as I do. I know they want you here as much as I do, but I also know we want your soul to be free as you have freed ours. I will always love you and I will always think of you. And when I want you by my side, all I have to do is think about walking up the hill through the autumn leaves, your hand wrapped around mine, and my cheek pressed against the sleeve of your flannel shirt. Launch Pad by Tristan Bergh I came into contact with Mr. Rose's work via the Internet in October 2002. Mr. Rose's teachings remain with me at all times: "That which you see is never you. That which sees is you. This is a subtractive path. God exists, I don't. If I can't honour the tiniest truths, how can I become the Truth? If the perceived world is a projection, from what is it projected?" Mr. Rose's teachings were that most valuable thing: a disposable launch pad for becoming Truth. He passed it on. ~ Tristan lives in Johannesburg, South Africa Deepest Respects by Pratap Bhatt I just want to acknowledge my deepest respects for Richard Rose, whom I never met or read much about. I have been just a recipient of Forum's monthly E-mails. Yet somehow I feel indebted to his teachings thru reading various articles from these mails. Thank you very much and I am sure He will continue to live among us... Relentless Intensity by Ed Bronson I imagine that friends, students and family of Richard feel rather numb now that he is completely gone. My sister and I offer our sincere consolations to those who knew him in his better days, some still trying to decipher the meaning of his ironic absent-mindedness as age took its toll. So many things remain mysterious about him. There was a relentless intensity to his insights, however, that shall remain immortally potent. We were privileged to attend the Spring TAT meeting and, although you wouldn't be able to tell from our silence afterwards, the speakers and people that attended that session affected us both very profoundly. It was as though we had found an entire group of serious truth seekers in one place that we otherwise would have been resigned to discover only singly and all too rarely (if even at all). In many ways it was so serendipitous to us, we were actually overwhelmed. After seemingly years of "drought," a full "vessel" of refreshment is almost too shocking to immediately consume or process. This, perhaps, is just another lamely stated (but real) testament to Rose's enduring influence. Thanks so much for all of the work that you do, in countless ways, to inform and assist other seekers as Richard Rose exemplified. His life was exceptionally human and inclusively divine. What Mr. Rose Shared by Bob Cergol Bob Cergol with photo of Richard Rose he'd taken in 1974 Bob holding 1974 photo I've often reflected on what direction my life would have taken had I not crossed paths with Richard Rose. I never get very far in that reflection. It's like asking what direction would my life have taken had my mother and father not been my mother and father. My mind can't process that question. All it can do is fall back into contemplation of what DID happen. I was nineteen years old when I met Richard Rose. He became my true god-father and mentor. The common meaning of godparent is a person who sponsors a child at its baptism and assumes responsibility for its faith. At the time that I first met him, I had already lost my faith in the Catholic religion in which I was baptized and raised. I had some nebulous belief in a Supreme Being, but that belief was irrelevant to my day-to-day life. With that loss of faith I had also lost what little conviction I had in my ability to find the life that I was meant to live. I seemed to have also lost what little confidence I had in my capacity to live any particular life that conventional thinking suggested I must live. I remember thinking while listening to him speak during my first encounter with him, that this man had the answer to that loss of conviction and confidence. And for me he did. In hindsight I can see that at nineteen, I was a boy that didn't know how to become a man. I was stuck in childhood and didn't know how to transition into adulthood. I had a spiritual hunger, starved for conviction. Not only did Richard Rose initiate me into my spiritual search, but he also filled the role of a father figure and mentor that helped me to make that transition into adulthood. To listen to him and to be in his presence was to KNOW that the possibility of discovering final answers to life's most fundamental questions, and, indeed of finding and knowing the Supreme Being, was unequivocally real, and immediately available—because he made you feel its presence in your very self. To listen to him, to be in his presence and to observe how he lived, was to witness what it means to "walk, not wobble" in the conduct of one's life. I had many remarkable, some would say miraculous, experiences in the course of my long father-son-spiritual teacher relationship with Mr. Rose. They remain engraved in my heart and mind. Suffice it to say that somehow this man touched the very core of my being and inspired the strength in me to engage life more fully than my innate diffidence should have allowed. I faced fears and challenges with the faith that I could, and the faith that there was a greater, living Good that could not fail me so long as I remained true to my self. Perhaps this is the simplest way to summarize what I learned from Richard Rose: To thine own self be true. Yet you must define what that self is, while knowing that you are capable of self-delusion. Therefore you must resolve to discover the real Self—that alone to which you must remain true. Finally, you must act on that resolve with intensity and integrity. I was nineteen years old when I met Richard Rose, and three months and two days after his death I will turn fifty-two years old, just five years shy of his age when I met him. The world drama seems somehow different without his character present on this stage, but that which he continually evoked in me while in his presence, has somehow found its way into the life of this character that was blessed to have shared that stage with him. These words from a poem he wrote will forever echo in my mind and heart: "Though you should seek me, or, still never know Me, I am with thee." But I know exactly where to look for him, because he told me. "Look deep into thyself for I am there. For I am Love, and I am everywhere . . . . A part of thee,—and happily I share." Consider Yourself Lucky by Paul Constant Richard Rose in public lectureLike so many times in the past, Richard Rose has once again provided an opportunity to reflect more deeply about our spiritual direction and ourselves. I'm surprised—though I shouldn't be—that his death drastically shook up life's daily shuffle one more time, for me and many of his students, friends and family members. My thoughts do not stray for long when thinking about who influenced my life for the better—my wife, my immediate family, TAT friends, and Richard Rose. But in my twenties, Mr. Rose was the most powerful influence, helping to refocus my efforts on something far greater than money, power or popularity that consume most young people. In writing about my Experiences with Richard Rose, I said years ago, and still maintain, that Rose's Albigen System is the most astute philosophical system in the United States, and possibly the best in present worldwide circumstances. This is not mere belief, but a fact proven through personal experimentation and investigation. In 1990, Mr. Rose responded to one of my letters, writing "We will do very good if we have people attending [group meetings] who are unsatisfied with themselves—and admit it. We must ask about knowledge—knowledge of Life (and knowledge of Truth), knowledge of Death and after Death, knowledge of the goals in life, and can you have all three." Those two sentences speak volumes. For me, what stands out the most is that Mr. Rose provided ample opportunities in his books, presentations and informal discussions. By "opportunities," I mean sound advice that allowed his readers and listeners to go within and find their Self. If you did not have the good fortune to encounter Richard Rose, you shouldn't feel cheated. His books and audio CDs are a shinning light for the sincere seeker. Consider yourself lucky—you live and seek during a time when these gems are literally at your fingertips. Richard Rose Memorial by Bob Fergeson Bob devoted the October 2005 edition of the Mystic Missal to Richard Rose. Presence by Linda Harmon I visited Richard Rose mostly in the late 70's and in the 80's when the retreat was so full of life and seekers that we could barely fit into that large wing of the old farm house. Luckily he and some others had built the huge pavilion that would hold us all when the farm house over-flowed. He always had open arms for all who were honest seekers of the truth; and some of my most treasured hours were spent listening to his wisdom, with his sometimes comedic touches. But astonishingly, the most important thing that I received from him was after he had broken free from some of the physical and mental chains of his physical existence. It seemed like his presence got even stronger and traveled to see you, instead of you going to see him. And the closer he came to breaking these physical bonds, the stronger his presence was felt. I also knew that this presence was getting vaster, and extending to all who were open to receive this grace. A day or two before his death, my head was electrified as strong as I had ever experienced, as I felt his presence extra strongly. I knew with all my heart that he had totally joined the other clear awarenesses. He was sharing this incredible joining with all who were open to it. A day or two later when I meditated into the Allness/nothingness, it was noticeably brighter and stronger. He had definitely added much energy to this already wondrous field. Richard Rose is and will always be a great spiritual force for the whole universe. The Friend by Gary Harmon Vividly I remember Richard Rose always insisting that there is no point in looking for anything until you look for the observer and discover what actually observes. "You have to find the anterior observer yourself," you can't just say you know where it is. Don't take anyone's word on that subject, he would say. "You must find out for yourself." He brought our attention to thought at a seminar I recall by telling us to discover who is thinking. He asked us if our thoughts are really our thoughts or are they from an alien source possibly. "Do we have thoughts or do thoughts have us?" It seemed like he just steered you in the more truthful direction with these question and answer sessions. He sometimes would say that if you think that you are thinking then try to stop doing it and see what happens. See if you can actually stop these thoughts that you think are yours. He commonly offered his teachings in a question format not an attempt to convince, done in a manner that might not be noticed until much later. A simple question which would automatically cause the mind to be challenged to respond somehow, but also might bring it to a standstill just long enough to realize that maybe, just maybe, your belief system was in grave error. When you left for home and had time alone to consider this, the challenge continued on and on. To hear Richard Rose say these things was to be confronted on the most fundamental of intensities. Just as you might have thought that you had it all under control, he would say some haunting truth again that sounded so simple, yet seemed impossible. Something stayed deep inside, a voice that might not have even been audible kept saying disquietude … disquietude. Something just wasn't right; and how right he constantly was. And that is what I remember most about him—the power of stating a simple truth with humor and compassion, being who he was which alone provoked thought, and also his tenacity to finish whatever he started. He is deeply missed. I have never met anyone quite like him. Time after time this would occur in his presence until you were sure that this guy could see right through you. Yes, there was something very special about this fellow, something that was compelling and trustworthy. And with time, if not immediately, you would know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was your friend and always would be. Lack of Pretension by Richard Hood 1989 photo of Richard Rose by Richard Hood 1989 photo taken by Richard When I first heard about Mr. Rose, I had already been on a spiritual path for more than 10 years. After an initial enthusiasm when I began, I had seen a lot of gurus and spiritual leaders fail to deliver on what they promised and even some outright frauds. My initial reaction was here was someone else claiming enlightenment, let's see if there is anything to it before I get involved. As it turned out it was several more years before I joined a small group led by Bob Cergol, who kept insisting that Rose was for real. Since I had always wanted to meet someone who really had a profound spiritual experience, I made the trip out to the farm on a cold winter day with Bob and some other people in the group. What really impressed me about Mr. Rose was his directness and lack of pretension. There were no robes, ceremonies or arcane language involved. He had less ego than any spiritual leader I had ever met, but also a stronger sense of personal power. He had a tremendous amount of energy but seemed to want to use it only to help, not to build himself up. Since then I have used Mr. Rose as a standard to measure other spiritual teachers, and few if any have attained what he did. I only wish I could have spent more time with him and that I had applied more of his teaching to my life earlier. I do feel that he was able to transmit some of his awareness to me and for that I am very grateful. Now that he is gone I feel that it is important that his students keep the teachings and transmission going. Certainly world events now are similar to the crisis of the early 70's when a lot of confused young people wondered how to live in an insane world. I still haven't figured out how to do that, but the experience I did get has convinced me that there is a far more real world that we are a part of, that which Rose called the "Absolute." The Guy Who Saved My Life by Jake Jaqua I first met Rose at Kent State in 1975. I was irritated by the "You Are A Robot" posters around campus, and my girlfriend Beth and I went to hear Augie Turak talk, and then went to some Pyramid Zen meetings. I saw the end of bucolic college coming, with the prospect of a mundane life in front of me with no fulfilling meaning, and was becoming deeply depressed. Rose attended one of the Kent Pyramid Zen meetings and went to the ashram afterward, and after about an hour of listening to him, a light went off in my head, and I knew to myself "This guy is going to save my life!" I joined the group and shortly moved to the farm ashram for about 7-8 years. In retrospect now, I see the farm ashram was almost a magical place—a temporary oasis in a world dedicated to completely opposite principles. Rose did "save my life," and gave me some meaning worth living for, and probably at least half of the things I value in life I learned from him. Although as the years went by my philosophy changed somewhat, and I came to see that Rose was also just a man doing the best he could against big odds—the fact remains, He's the guy that "saved my life." Chance Encounter by Tony Kalar In the early 1980s, I was living in North Dakota of all places, and began to notice that a lot of interesting-sounding things were going on in Boulder, Colorado. Shambala Books for one, Naropa for another, and so on. Being the father of three small, wonderful, and very energetic children, I decided to catch a flight to Boulder alone, for a small vacation. Boulder was a pleasant and progressive town, but not as interesting as it seemed it might be from a distance. When I got to Naropa, for example, I walked up the impressive front steps and into the lobby, and the place was completely empty. I tried all the rooms, nobody was home. While I appreciated the Zen humor, I was mildly disappointed. So I began to wander around town to discover what I was doing there. One early evening I wandered into a small but pleasant bookstore near the college campus. I believe it was called Brillig Works. I didn't find anything to read, but noticed a sign saying that someone was giving a talk upstairs. Indeed there was, but I had been nearly bored to tears by gurus any number of times, so I paused halfway up the stairs. I couldn't quite understand what was being said, but the voice sounded animated and something about it decided me to finish the climb. I went through the door and there stood Rose in a suit, discoursing amidst a room of 15 or 20 mostly hippyish types draped across fashionably semi-decrepit furniture. My sort of crowd, so I sprawled out on an open sofa. I don't recall much about what Rose said that evening, mostly I recall a long, half-humorous, half-scary story about a troublesome Krishna outfit that was not too far from the farm. A guru from farm country was a new one on me, and Rose seemed quite the raconteur. Whatever the rest was about, it revealed solidity, insight, practicality and humanity. I enjoyed it and afterwards walked past Rose and offered my hand. Now that evening I was wearing a funky Cat hat and had been slouching on the couch with my eyes closed for the last 20 minutes. So when Rose extended his hand in return, and I said "MOST interesting talk," he got a big grin on his face. The eyes twinkled and he said "You should come down to the farm sometime." Sometime after I returned home I believe I mail-ordered The Albigen Papers first. Well gosh. I was raised Catholic, but left the church when I was 19 and a college science major. In Albigen I first encountered some facts about the church that helped me understand better what I'd found troubling about it. And what had happened to western spirituality. In those early college years I began reading outside of conventional European religiosity into Alan Watts, Ouspensky, Evelyn Underhill, and the like—mostly Western stuff from the early part of the century that was being republished as a result of the Beats, the 60s and psychedelics. Disenchanted with science studies, my "spiritual" reading and some scattered psychotropic experimentation had led to a number of increasingly intense experiences in late-60s, early-70s period. In the aftermath, I began fifteen years of study of everything I could lay hands on. At that time in America, apart from seekers, artists and a few popular writers like Watts, there was almost no native work to turn to for stable, non-trendy, practically-grounded help understanding "The Way." My chance Boulder encounter with Rose was near the end of my studies of what had been written in the past. In Rose's writings I found the voice of a modern and American and empirical man who'd not only walked the old road before me, but had studied and analyzed and carefully put his experiences and thought into words. Readable words that were lucid and practical, without mystifying or seeking to maintain some ancient tradition or ego. Words that help you to keep your paws out of the coconuts. Words that seldom strain to go beyond what words can say. Valuable words that will remain valuable. In the years since, I've found and lost many books. But Rose, some of Jung, and Ouspensky have always remained on my shelves. As years go by, one can turn to such books over and over, both to gauge one's progress and gain new insights. Last Hours of Richard Rose by Bart Marshall I met Richard Rose in 1990. I was in my forties—wife, kids, mortgage, angst. I’d been looking into esoteric matters for some twenty years by then and had a fair overview of the spiritual marketplace. None of it prepared me for Rose.... ~ Bart has written a moving account of the final days and hours. Read Last Hours of Richard Rose in a .pdf file. Encouraged Me to Think by Shane Murphy I didn't know whether to write an appreciation of Mr. Rose since I never met him and was only peripherally involved in TAT, living on the other side of the Atlantic. I do think, however, that Mr. Rose had a big impact on me, mainly because he was the first "spiritual teacher" to actually encourage me to THINK. After years in a blind and silly Zen organisation in which thinking was a kind of sin, it was incredibly refreshing to find someone who not only did not disapprove of thinking but actually stated that it was vital for self knowledge. It was liberating. His books, although sometimes heavy, were a joy to me when I read them first. I loved the fact that he brought out issues I had always suspected were important and gave them attention, no matter how wacky others might think them. He wasn't afraid to go off beam. I also thought he had a fabulously dry sense of humour—I still think his writings are wickedly funny in parts, as sharp as a scalpel. Most importantly, I do think the man was genuinely enlightened and there are not many I truly believe in this. I think his desire to help others was as free of self benefit as I've seen anywhere and in this field. In fact to my mind he's probably, along with Krishnamurti and Douglas Harding, the all round most important guide for truth seekers in the West in the last 100 years. The TAT organisation, a unique and genuine bunch of people, is a lasting testament to him. I'd like to extend my sympathies to Cecy, Mr. Rose's family and everyone in TAT who knew him. ~ Shane lives in County Cork, Ireland Quotes and Notes, by Shawn Nevins Meetings with Richard Rose, 1991-1996 3/2 - 3/4/91 - Trip to see Mr. Rose at the farm in WV. Informal rapport session (I know that he knows). [This was the trip that was recorded in the "Mister Rose" video —Ed.] 6/24/91 - Went to the Farm this past weekend. The message was between-ness. There is nothing that one can do. One can only watch and let things happen. Mr. Rose said my problem was I was still looking for a logical solution. There is none. He said, however, "You can also feel. Maybe you'll use both. I don't know." I don't know what that last sentence means. He said he advises no regular practices—no system. Each of us should know what he needs to work on. He said no to vegetarianism and the ascetic diet. Eat what is available and appropriate. "In a true rapport, you will know what the others are thinking." "Put a thought in your head, hold it there, then forget it." He said something about how you reach a point where you don't know what else to do, but you have to keep on looking. 7/8/91 - Went to the TAT meeting. A bunch of us were sitting at a round table in the side room discussing dreams. I was feeling good that some philosophical discussion was finally started. Mr. Rose looked in and said, "Ah, the warriors gathered in the cave." Mr. Rose told me that everyone has a different obstacle and unless they opened up to him, he couldn't help. Guys spent years on the farm and he never knew why they were there. He also said I had to find a place where I could think and I had to make a decision. He said I must have a plan for whatever action I take. 9/2/91 - Ten of us from Raleigh went to the TAT meeting. Mr. Rose said an autistic child is one who is honest. 12/2/91 - Spent Wednesday through Sunday at the Farm. Mr. Rose said we had to get a different point of view. It was not possible to view the earth while standing on it. He also told us to avoid those things which hypnotized us. He said none of us had read enough; sometimes things come to you when you read. 1/1/92 - Rose said you must get angry. He also said you must find what will settle your system. Each of us has something which is bugging us. 1/3/92 - Rose said we weren't asking the right questions. He said none of us had a blueprint for our fight. We were still concerned with what we might miss if we chose a spiritual path. We had no conception of what was at stake and what there was to gain from seeking. In regards to rapport, Rose said rapport can be built. We should only let one person in at a time. That way, after a couple of sittings, we'll know if he is an energy drain. Lack of revelations is a sign you are not on the path, but revelations are not a sign you are on the path. Rose said that because a person is low energy does not mean they are an energy drain. They may just have a slow metabolism. He said that in his experience, "I knew that I was home." In rapport, we can get a hint of this. 3/3/92 - Rose, "You don't fight battles by worrying about what you may lose." "You'll never know if what you're doing is right. You can only back away from untruth." Mr. Rose said that if we keep at this work long enough, we will become free. He also said that words can't record what we get from these meetings. There is also a feeling or a state of mind which results. 6/7/92 - Mr. Rose came by the lodge yesterday and talked to Bill, Georg, Danny, and me. He said we shouldn't work more than a half a day because this would stimulate the appetite and slow down thinking, and we should all learn hypnosis because it is a way to understand the mind. He said he would be available for advice, but other than that would let us do our own thing. 6/13/92 - Mr. Rose said we are looking for mechanisms to get what we want. We aren't moving. The secret is to apply an intense amount of energy to a question, then forget about it. One must be focused. 6/18/92 - Mr. Rose said when you have to work with your mind, you're losing bits of energy. His mind works by taking impressions of a person, then thinking over them. 6/26/92 - Mr. Rose said: You must have an iron will. You can't get to know him in order to facilitate rapport. You must know yourself thereby increasing your stature. People of similar stature have a natural rapport. You must dope out for yourself ways and means of speeding the process of obtaining spiritual knowledge. Going off by yourself and reading is very important. 6/27/92 - Mr. Rose said that thinking of nothing is slowly pulling away from all thoughts until none are left. This is not the same as his experience. He said Zen is a technique of harassing the mind, but one should harass their own mind. 6/30/92 - Rose said you just have to keep at it. A steady pressure is better than one muscular push. 7/13/92 - Rose said [the group] must be a group of independent seekers. No man should let another order him around. You must take inventory (mental) at least once a year; maybe every three months. He said we were at a threshold where we had to be able to focus in on something. When we start really focusing in, we'll start asking the right questions. 7/16/92 - Rose said you pretty soon realize you're a machine, then you want to know where the programming is coming from. You'll get enlightened before you find this out. 8/2/92 - Rose said that in the past, if a guy wanted some answers, he would go out into the desert and fast until he got them. 1/5/93 - Rose said several times that whenever you set your mind to something, forces will arise to stop you. I asked about the energy I sometimes feel in meditation. He said you should look at it as a gift and not pursue it. It comes after a successful struggle. 4/1/93 - A profound lecture by Mr. Rose at Chapel Hill tonight. The key to magic is to remove the ego from what you do. Take the attitude of "let's see what might happen" rather than "let's make this happen." Mr. Rose says don't brag about what you do. Be grateful that it happened. He implied that you bump into things; you don't make things happen. Mr. Rose said that in the old days, a master would send the pupil to the mountaintop and tell him to stay until he found the answer. 8/1/93 - Mr. Rose said not to seek out pressure. If you are seeking, then pressure will come to you. He said he listens to the tone of a person's voice and not what they are saying. He said our job was to ask questions. Our group deteriorates into a clubhouse and we don't ask enough questions. He said we must perfect ourselves, choose a direction, and become a vector in that direction. 8/11/93 - Asked Mr. Rose if I would ever feel I was doing everything I should. He said no, and that that had been the curse of his life. 9/13/93 - Talked with Mr. Rose today. He said that a discipline will pay off after time whether it be reading cards or being celibate. He downplayed the idea of a teacher and had no comment on transmission. He very grudgingly said it's worthwhile sitting for rapport, but said it just happens. He seemed to agree that asking him questions was how to use his friendship, and that being friends is most important. 9/14/93 - Talked with Mr. Rose for four hours. He said after a year of celibacy you have the power. Just don't let your ego get involved. If you want to try healing, take a what-the-heck attitude and just give it a try. He said women could not give energy to men and so couldn't use their own energy in healing. He said you shouldn't touch people. He said that you have a vector built up, and if you relax then a lot of things will take care of themselves. He said he always just took the first job he could find. He said don't procrastinate making decisions or else they'll become bigger and bigger worries. I asked why he opened the Farm up to people and he said so that one could have a place to be alone and think. He said the guys even needed to get away from each other because there was a tendency to sit around and bullshit. 10/6/93 - Talked about three hours with Mr. Rose. He said I should set a goal such as stop smoking and go for it. That way you set greater and greater goals and gain more control over oneself. He said "service and selflessness" is not a thing to strive for; that these traits would come to you if you were on the path. He said he knew I would get complacent out here [on the Farm]; that I was living an idyllic life. He said I must keep my mind stimulated; books were one way. 10/15/93 - Rose keeps saying that a sign of progress is that you will gain power to cause things to happen—like healing. He said don't go out and look for people to heal. When the opportunity presents itself, use it without fear of failure. Rose said reason and logic will not take one to the Absolute. 10/17/93 - Rose said the women in the group were more spiritual than the men because they could "pick up on it." He said a woman could have a soul if she wanted to look for it. 10/21/93 - Rose said you can see the ego working. He said you must have faith in yourself, but also not let the ego get in the way. 10/24/93 - Mr. Rose said he had failed to inspire people. He again pointed out how few people ask him questions. He wants to operate by question and answer; not by preaching. Said 9 out of 10 group people are unwilling to change their lifestyle. Said knowledge and power are interlinked. The most interesting [thing] he said was about the Farm section near the boundary of B and C sections. He said he gets a nostalgic feeling out there; that there is more of the spirit of the group out there than there is down at the house. He said he has a couple of "false faces"—joking and bitching. 10/29/93 - Rose said, "A person shouldn't get angry because that saps power. A person could break into my house and I would kill him, but not with anger." Be determined without anger. He said it's okay to work just enough to get by. Work is a trap. The country is ideal for a spiritual life. In the city, you'll always have somebody knocking on your door wanting to go get a beer. He said physical habits start with mental habits. When a person becomes celibate and gets his power, he should make up his mind to help others. I said I didn't have any more questions. He said, "Oh, yes you do, you just don't know them yet." 10/30/93 - Mr. Rose said daydreaming was a loss of energy. 11/25/93 - [regarding healing] Rose said you must care about the person and have confidence in, or indifference to, the results. If you get peace of mind then you're free because your habits are no longer needed and fall away. At the same time, it takes trauma for realizations to occur. 12/1/93 - Talked to Mr. Rose. I asked why I didn't pick up on things like others. He said he thought I was sensitive, but my sensitivity was in a locked box. He said I was reserved. He said that's fine, you can just be that way, and let others do the talking. I said "don't I have to change if I want what you have?" He said yes and that's what you work on in meditation. 12/15/93 - Rose talked of the path of solitude. Each person must find their own way; do what they feel they should. Go to him when you have questions. He also said never plan on expanding the group. Growth should be automatic. He emphasized how you should tell him what troubles you're having, how your experiments are working, because he might spot something you missed. Each person has a slightly different language. 1/11/94 - Alex and I went to see Rose. Lots of talk about why you have to "be single and expect to be for a long time." "You can't carry your girlfriend on your back to enlightenment." I worried about chasing that feeling I get from Three Books of the Absolute. "It's alright to chase it, just don't be disappointed if you don't find it." About depression: analyze it, it's sending you a message. Analysis will ease it. He said you get inclinations from your parents. Get away from these inclinations and you'll "start to see down the road and know you're digging for gold." I asked if I should be training so I could read five hours non-stop. He said no, when you need a break take a walk. When walking, your mind will think some more and get some oxygen to it. 1/23/94 - Rose said something is speaking to me when I have moments when I feel I could let go and die. He said analyze it. He said the pleasure of sitting in the woods was OK. I take it that any pleasure which becomes a habit is using you. He said a girlfriend or marriage was alright, but was a step towards the basement. He said exercise, but don't strain yourself. Rose said summon determination even by getting angry at yourself. Sooner or later, he said, you see life is a bunch of crap. 2/17/94 - I mentioned how a person once asked if they'd get enlightened if they went out to a cabin and said they'd stay until enlightened or dead. Rose told him yes. To this story, Rose told me, "Yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. The determination is to be admired, but the attitude is wrong. You're challenging whatever is up there. You're saying 'enlightenment or death,' but that may be not following the natural course. If you get help it will be because you ask for it, not because you demand it." Richard Rose farmhouse with meeting wing Farmhouse with meeting wing He said chief feature is chief weakness. 3/10/94 - Other things of interest which Rose said: "The more I talk, the less you listen." "You are alone." "Through consistent effort, you become." He said he plays a very minor role in one's becoming. That is your job. "You are the path; you are the way." 3/12/94 - Rose said you can't get straight answers from an enlightened person. 4/2/94 - Rose said he could transmit, but it would be his experience and not your own. 4/17/94 - Rose said he wanted to turn away from the meeting being a b.s. session and have a discussion. He said he didn't have much time left and wanted to have some people speak up and say what they wanted. He's looking for people interested in "the relationship between the mind and the eternal part that knows." He said people come to the Farm for three reasons: vacation, meditation, and spiritual insight. 4/29/94 - He said a person wouldn't get a realization in a rapport, but would know the other people better and might get an idea of a direction that their self would need to take. 5/1/94 - He said when the mind is stilled you can pick up on something. 5/8/94 - Rose said that even though it might only be a minute quantity of energy lost, don't let anyone touch you. 5/15/94 - Rose did say that a person should sit for rapport with themselves. This was different from meditation because the mind would eventually go blank in meditation and it'd turn into dreaming. 5/17/94 - Rose said that if you are determined, the group (rapport) can't hold you back; they may only provide a small push, but they can't stop you. He said the other day that you can hear rapport. Reading is our counter-programming. Rose said that you find a peace within you. 5/29/94 - Rose said that if a guy went into the desert and could focus, he might gain consciousness of life after death. He would be like a dead man talking to himself. 5/23/94 - Rose said there was a restlessness in the room as if people were trying to decide something; perhaps some are too carefree. It's like a battery, he said, there might not be enough people. He put the nix on further rapport sittings. 8/6/94 - Rose: I am not a Zen master. I know the Zen techniques, but I don't think they fit my personality. Don't go looking for people to help. That's ego. If someone standing in front of you needs help and you see that what you said helped them change, that's great. 8/31/94 - I asked Mr. Rose about [the poem] "The Dawn Breaks." "I like that," he said, "even if no one else does. Sometimes I get in a mood of reality." I asked about the Wilder play "Our Town," specifically the graveyard scene. "I think that's accurate," he said, "they're all sitting around real stiff in chairs. Silence, then someone brings something up which sparks a bit of association." 9/4/94 - "Make yourself a vector in one direction." "It's what you read that's important. Now, I don't mean books. I mean phenomenon and what your mental state is when they happen." Rose said, "I am absolutely convinced that those people who have consciousness after death spent the most time thinking about it while they were alive." 9/5/94 - Rose said you had to be sympathetic toward a person to get rapport with them. If you get too sympathetic, then you lose energy. 9/10/94 - Rose said, "All of you are distracted." He said analyzing thought processes was indeed part of exploring. 9/18/94 - Rose said [about X], "He never did develop his own philosophy. Some people are joiners. They want to be in a club or something." 10/2/94 - Rose said, "If you speak the truth, maybe truth will come to you. Don't amplify what you have done. Don't' try to please people by touching on their philosophy." Why people left the group: "Most people get sucked back into the mundane mind before any realizations happen to them." He said to avoid "bopping" around the country. "You should get a job around here and cement yourself in." To my question of him also knowing how to act and what to say: "The fact is, I often think I should have said this or emphasized that." "The closest that you get to god is that some changes occur within yourself and then you see the infinite possibilities." He also said, "some part of you knows who you are." He said a good place to begin is by writing down what you believe or what you think yourself capable of. He said it's good to read, sit alone, think, and write. "Intensity is what matters." 10/20/94 - Rose on hypnosis: what matters is that the subject senses that you mean them no harm; that you want to help them, then they are willing to cooperate. He said if he was in a happy-go-lucky mood, feeling good about himself, he could heal anybody who walked through the door. 10/22/94 - Rose on lectures: I always go in with the attitude of not wanting a person to have to go through what I did [in my years of searching]. 11/25/94 - Besides celibacy, how do I improve my chances of getting hunches? "Through applying enough energy to the problem." What does it mean to look between thoughts? "Things will come to you, which were not reached by thought." Could a man unravel his personality on his own or does he need others to point things out? "You can do it on your own." 12/21/94 - Rose said, "Take it two by two; don't plunge all in at once." You'll get confused if you plunge right in. 1/23/95 - Rose on lecturing: "make yourself common. Go in with your head empty. Go in as a seeker. If someone might help you by talking, listen to what they have to say." Rose said don't brag about saving three cents. 1/28/95 - Asked Rose, "What should I be doing in the next year, if I could do anything I wanted?" "Whatever you want to do." He said that between-ness and "making a commitment and putting it out of your mind" were different. He said he doesn't know how between-ness happens: "it's like grace." I asked if it were like no-mind in the Zen writings. "Possibly," he said, "You don't have any thoughts of yourself in your head." I asked if he had to make an effort to keep his ego out of it. He said, "Oh yes, I turn away when those thoughts come up." 1/29/95 - "Live your beliefs." "Your inner self knows [if this work agrees with you]." 2/8/95 - "A lot of people act like they want to be your friend, but they just want something from you. A real friend is rare." I asked, "What has to change for me to advance spiritually?" He said, "You don't have to change." I countered, "But there's things I want to change." "Of course," he said, "like with the guy calling you names. You'll find new ways of communicating and certain things won't matter." 2/19/95 - Told Rose I wanted to be able to sit with nothing like the guys in the desert did, but found I could only do so for a short time. He said, basically I wasn't fed up enough with the world. He said the guys in the desert already had some wisdom and wanted to get away from the world. He said there's hurdles I have to cross like a runner does. Those hurdles may be celibacy, drinking, etc. He said he never felt he had much ego, but was kind of shy. "Sooner or later you have to come out of that shell." In regards to healing: "you need to have compassion." 2/20/95 - Rose said to choose a book that grabs you and take it into isolation. If you have three or four books it will confuse you. 3/9/95 - Rose said, "You can't do this for yourself. You're doing it to impress on people that there is a higher way of life." 3/15/95 - He kept talking about healing. Finally, I asked what that had to do with spiritual realization. "Healing relates in no way to spiritual realization," he said. "What caused enlightenment is the agony within the man." "There's no formula or rules which can be written out in a book." "I need more agony," I said. He just laughed. "Going into the desert, having few or no people to talk to, not eating, you know, is a way." I asked if my attitude toward celibacy should be to stay celibate until I have a realization. "Well, that's the wrong attitude; don't challenge," he said. "Is saying that I want to know an answer, the wrong attitude?" I asked. "A drowning man should scream for help," was his reply. Tonight, Rose was watching "Married with Children" on tv. "I can't take much tv, but Bundy, he's pretty good." 3/31/95 - Rose said that different poems affect different people. He said poetry shows you that there is more than logical deduction. 5/12/95 - Regarding transmission: "if a person is spiritually hungry enough, that's what matters." He said going within was where it was at; that that was seeking self-definition. "Everybody's head has a different mud in it. You may go out to the Farm and get you head clear and you do. But then you start thinking that you don't need to read books or examine other people's religions, and so your head is muddied up with that." Rose said that if you shit yourself don't go out and tell the world, but be honest with yourself. Rose said you have to be cautious because some gurus can hypnotize. They may zap you and you feel completely changed, but after a week you're back to your old self. They'll have an explanation, though, which lays the blame on you. 7/9/95 - "People are taught from an early age that you have to 'take it.' I don't have to take anything. All I have to do is die." I told him how I get inspired and think I'm close to an answer, then boom! I fall. He said, "I know." "This is important. You have to accept what comes. You should say to yourself, verbally, what you want, but accept what comes." 7/18/95 - Someone called Mr. Rose weeping. Afterwards, Rose said the fellow was being attacked, but it was a spiritual attack. Rose said you just start crying, but you don't know why. He said it's a good thing because once you get through it you find you gained understanding. The attack opens your head. He said the thing to do is wait it out, knowing that it will end. Go off by yourself because others will think you're going crazy. 9/2/95 - Rose on celibacy, "those were the most beautiful years of my life." 11/13/95 - I asked if hypnosis could put one in a state where they would be open to a revelation. He said absolutely. He said to be aware as much as possible and that meant paying attention to what you were doing and why. 2/10/96 - Rose once said, "You guys, one by one, will forget there is a path. It won't be a momentous decision, but a slow forgetting." Flowers by Dan Niebauer Richard Rose in the San Gabriel Mountains, 1979 Richard Rose in the San Gabriel Mountains, 1979 Dan Niebauer and Richard Rose, 1985 Dan Niebauer and Richard Rose, 1985 I remember vividly a short walk that I took with Mr. Rose on one occasion around 1975. I had been feeling pretty miserable after my relationship with a certain young woman had ended - in no small part because I was torn between her charms and the potentials of the Path. We walked along, neither of us saying much, but we both were observing the variety and colors of the flowers that were in blossom at that time. Finally Mr. Rose said, simply: "It is not necessary to pluck the flowers in order to appreciate their beauty." He could not have said more with many more words, and it has stuck with me ever since. My deepest condolences to Cecy and the entire extended Rose family. Don't Light a Candle for Richard There is an experience, possible right now to know what Is. Richard was that experience and at the same time after he had it, he built a house for himself, milled his own wood to build it with, and when the time so dictated, would attempt to convey his experience. This is really not quite right, for It is never his/our experience, It simply experiences Itself. This experience was available to all who Richard touched, yet the "us" can never experience it. He confronted us by saying " A Mirror of A Mirror." Did Richard do it (create the experience)? No, he manipulated the mind to be able to receive It. Can you know It right now? The "you" can never know what Is, only what Is, Is. What have we lost? The Truth Is, simply put, and you are It, yet you cannot ever know It. It is not possible to find it, yet you are It and never were anything else. That you never existed is something you will find when you Know. That Richard was not, was something his experience showed him. For you do not find it, you can go so far and then you are taken. Sokei An calls this God coming into this world and taking what is His. What was lost? Everything, the Great Journey right in front of you, beckoning you to follow, and telling you how to find It. The perfection of That Which Is, and at the same time "the void and the darkness are part of the unknowing." When you find It, or maybe more correct, when It grows tired of the multiplicity of Itself, In Itself, As Itself, It Remembers Itself. In this way "All that Remains Is All." Don't light a candle for Richard. Light a candle for yourself. For He That Is still holds a candle there to pull you up. Read the "Three Books of The Absolute" until that time where you reach a peaceful pool of Knowing. In that Great Nothingness, All Is There. "Such is Satori." (The author wishes to remain anonymous. —Ed.) Master Storyteller by Paul Schmidt Mr. Rose was my teacher in the school of Life. In the modern age it is a real anomaly to have a Socrates or Plato teaching young people about the essential values, virtues and ideals. I was fortunate to find such a man. He taught me so many things that I had missed or probably would miss on the course I was stuck on. What being a real man means. What being like a child means. How deep the matrix goes. He was always pulling away curtains that I didn't even know existed. He showed me how to look at life and death in ways I never imagined before. One of his views of life was a struggle between tension and relief. And he offered a psychology of action which could make the most of this fact for the individual seeker. There are a couple of things I am especially grateful to Rose for. One was his very sound advice in the area of sex and his advocacy of celibacy for the individual seeker. By his own life's example he showed the way to gain self mastery and the power to affect or invite change. It was a state of being that opened my eyes a little and inadvertently brought a sublime happiness. And the other thing was his encouragement to spend time in isolation, or "stepping into silence" as he put it. Both of these things have left lasting impressions on me. Mr. Rose was the exceedingly rare individual in that he dared to question love and sex critically. He was able to bring out and confirm the latent sense in some of us that these things weren't what they were cut out to be, but somehow were unable to fit into a larger context. He never copped out to—"All you need is love." But I think he was one of the few people who knew what real love meant, in the highest non-emotional impersonal sense. And he was capable of real friendship. Alfred Pulyan said that everyone is capable of betraying their friends, except for the individual who is awake. I had the feeling that Rose would go all the way to help anyone. He was courteous, hospitable and generous to a fault with his time towards me and others who visited him. Around the time of 1995 to 1996, I was fortunate to spend a number of hours interviewing Mr. Rose for a biography I was intending to write. It was in the year before he started losing his memory and slipping into the illness which finally took him. I was always nervous before driving up to his house in Benwood. Mr. Rose and his lovely wife Cecy always made me welcome in their kitchen, and the hours of talk never seemed long. Mr. Rose probably knew I wouldn't finish my book, just as many others he'd known had been fired up and then fizzled out. But he gave me his full attention and commitment, answering all my questions on subjects he'd covered a thousand times before. And I remembered how, whenever making eye contact with him, it was a vivid focus, with the periphery just kind of whiting out. He always had the power of attention and commitment to whatever he was engaged in and it rubbed off on you—even a little went a long ways. And lastly I want to mention one other thing. I can easily say that I’ve never encountered a person who could make people laugh so hard—people of such disparate backgrounds and sense of humor (or lack thereof). Laugh that physical hurting kind of laugh. Rose was a master storyteller and many of the hilarious episodes from his life and search were inseparable from the lessons he was artfully conveying to those who were listening. Pass It On by Art Ticknor Richard Rose was my first contact with the Genuine. In fact he "rang my bell" the first time we met. It was as if a brass gong within me, whose existence I hadn't even been aware of, had been struck. The words that formed in my mind were: "This man is telling the Truth. I've never heard it before, but something in me recognizes it." bronze gongThat something was the sleeping inner man, which Mr. Rose had awakened. And an intense joy accompanied the awakening. A year or so later, as I was leaving for California, I told him I wished there were something I could do to repay him for all he'd done for me. "That's not the way it works," he replied. "Pass it on." Since then I've tried to make my life an expression of thankfulness for what he's done for me and many others. The search for Truth, for the recognition of our essential state of being, requires momentum for a possible long haul. After the initial enthusiasm wears off and we find ourselves in an apparent stalemate, how do we keep going? One of the other memorable comments he made that formed my life-action was: "If you can't inspire yourself, find someone else to inspire." He was strongly convinced of the value of a person's working with other seekers and helping those on the rung of the ladder below them. While the individual's efforts may be tinged with egotism, the chain of helping and being helped thus formed has a great impersonal beauty and can be instrumental in pushing the seeker beyond the bounds of limitation. Richard Rose— an angel, not a saint a messenger projected by the Self thru the viewer testifying to the fact that all answers lie within. An Appropriate Gesture My Tribute to Richard Rose by David Weimer When I met Richard Rose, I was surprised to meet myself in the form of an unfamiliar familiar old man. When I met Rose I was surprised to find that someone, anyone, had made their life a dedication to finding The Answer. I was chagrined at the time that I hadn't thought of it myself—taking my dreaming and thinking about life and turning it into a career, the only career that ever could matter. I have my dad's dying to thank for meeting Richard Rose. If he hadn't drowned in Lake Superior in 1985, I wouldn't have spent two years in Germany, living and breathing the unblinking questions, What is? What is? Why? Why? What? I wouldn't have gone to North Florida after leaving the Army where my family had moved to make a new start, leaving painful memories back in Michigan. If I hadn't attended Lake City Community College, I wouldn't have met my first wife in the last semester and wouldn't have followed her to Pittsburgh to attend Pitt, where I was a campus reporter in the spring of '92 covering the first meeting of the Zen Study Group that semester. Later that year, I interviewed Rose on the phone for a story about his coming lecture on Zen. I was in shock at the funeral of my father. I was eighteen. The guy lying there in the coffin wasn't Dad. When I stood before Rose's coffin twenty years later, I had the same sense of no one home anymore. Only this time, I found myself laughing. "Well you went and did it," I said. I addressed the body in the suit that vaguely resembled Richard Rose. At both funerals, I was saying goodbye to the same person. Another TAT member told me that Richard Rose influenced him at least as much as their own father had. I nodded. My dad taught me how to work. But there is no one else who impacted me more than Rose. He was the right person at the right time. If I'd met him earlier I would have thought he was an interesting nut, maybe. Maybe not. I automatically related to this man who was two generations ahead of me and who had marched his life, unexpectedly, to a tune that I somehow recognized. I heard bells when he spoke. He talked on a wavelength that I had thought only I was on. I didn't think anyone else pondered the unknowns of the universe like I did, staring at the starry winter sky countless times while growing up. Rose's life example inspired me. If he can do it, I can. I wish I had engaged in my own life quest for the Ultimate before meeting Rose. I hope that I would have come up with the notion if I'd never met him. I don't know. Rose said a person's yearning would result in their finding or running into a book or a teacher. I can't argue with that. I had wanted a personal guru to advise me on what to do with my life, step by step. Rose wasn't interested in the job. He just didn't reinforce me like I wanted and needed. I reluctantly let drop my hopes of such a relationship. By default, I became self reliant. Around this time, I was sitting at the kitchen table in Rose's house in McMechen. "What specific advice can you give to me?" He answered without missing a beat. "Be celibate." It's not what I asked. I wanted spiritual advice. I drove back to Pittsburgh. When I got home to our apartment, I sat in front of my desk and examined the unwanted souvenir that I'd brought back from West Virginia. I put it on the table with no great enthusiasm. Then I found myself thinking, I'll try it. Even though I don't think there's anything to it. At least I'll know for myself. Instead of an unwanted bauble, I had received a multifaceted gift. I discovered that when I began to cultivate purity in all things, as the author Santanelli said in his book on hypnosis, I stopped scaring little children. Living a clean life, I no longer did things to be ashamed of and was free. The experience of celibacy allowed me to focus my energy and attention on a single goal. I might be a goat, but I'm not only a goat. The second gift that I got from Rose was a frightening commitment. It gave me something to do with tension, and with my life. It was the career called My Search for the Meaning of Life. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I'd heard the echo of him saying that a person has to make a personal commitment to achieve any goal they have in mind. I'll probably never forget when I did it. Either commit to this thing or dump all the books in the trash and walk away from this stuff forever. This is what I said in my head with my feet on a bookshelf of philosophy and mystic books, leaning back on my chair in the corner of our apartment where I thought every night as my wife watched TV in our bedroom with the cats. I'd been a TAT member for a year and a member of the University of Pittsburgh Self Knowledge Symposium somewhat longer. I'd learned the shop talk and read the canon of required authors, including Rose, and was reading more each day. For some reason, it all came down to this solitary night in Oakland and a flash of knowing that I would be a hypocrite and worse if I spent another minute talking the talk without taking a first actual step. I think someone can spend years without being a real philosopher. When there's no life commitment, there's no life. People are what they do. I have discovered this myself as well as many other things that I first heard a West Virginian say on recorded university lecture tapes. Only one tribute is possible for this man who is now cold and gone. If I have to attempt an appropriate gesture, I can live. I have been informed by him and his life. And beyond that, I feel paradoxically that it wouldn't matter if a single other soul ever learned that he had existed. The fact that such a man once upon a time lived his solitary shooting star arc in this infinite seeming tapestry of time is all that matters and all that ever will. I hadn't planned on having to make an unbreakable commitment to myself to find the truth no matter what. The university group and TAT were fun and interesting. But in a single dark night I was faced with something ominous. Making a real, binding commitment. It felt like the stupidest thing in the world. Committing to finding the big answer. Who in the hell ever does? The alternative of being a hypocrite was, unfortunately, not an option. Between a rock and something worse, and to myself and to the All as my witness, I said, Here goes nothing. I was wrong. Additional Sources of Information About Richard Rose Selected Writings of Richard Rose on MysticMissal.org. Full text of After the Absolute on RichardRose.org. Richard Rose books and CDs on RosePublications.net. Philosopher's Dreams: A Man Who Changes Lives on SearchWithin.org. Greatest Teachers on Self-Discovery Portal. Books by Richard Rose on Spiritual Books Worth Reading. Richard Rose on SpiritualTeachers.org. Richard Rose biography on Wikipedia. Sign up for our e-mail alert that will let you know when new issues are published. Contact the Forum for questions, comments or submissions. Want to help? Your donation of $5 or more will support the continuation of the Forum and other services that the TAT Foundation provides. TAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization and qualifies to receive tax-deductible contributions. Or, download this .pdf TAT Forum flyer and post it at coffee shops, bookstores, and other meeting places in your town, to let others know about the Forum. Richard Rose & The Albigen System Several months ago while talking with Rich Hughes and Buck, I heard one or both of them say that they were done with finding new ideas to add on to their personal paradigms and were working on tearing everything down, throwing everything they could not prove as "truth" away to the curb. I recall then that I understood intellectually what they were saying, but it was not a technique or process that I was using at that time. In the last month several concepts have finally sunk in. These days I'm having trouble identifying anything at all that is "true." The more I read and learn the more I realize how much more there is to read and learn if I want to master the dreamworld. Fortunately, I am simultaneously owning the concept that my main objective is not about mastering the dreamworld but in transcending it all together, so I don't have to worry about reading and learning about all that. So my quest for the last month or so has been to seek out material that will help me throw out all of the rest of the material in my mind. If it is a system of BUILDING my paradigm, I don't want it. If it is a DECONSTRUCTIVE system, that is what I'm currently interested in. To that end, my reading and web-surfing has led me to an interesting character named Richard Rose. There's a lot written about this guy, although this is the first time that I've really taken notice of him. (I think I landed on a website referring to him sometime late last year, but it did not ping strong on my radar then.) I'm becoming quite familiar with the mainstream authors and teachers (Tolle, Hawkins, J. Krishnamurti, Richard Moss, Leonard Jacobsen, and the lighter crowd of Dyer/Katie/Williamson etc.) I'm starting to find my way to the anti-teachers. Along with Ramana Maharshi, Richard Rose seems to come with favorable recommendations and he's reasonably well published so it's cheap and easy to acquire his material. His first book is named after his method: The Albigen System. I found a page that gives you a good idea of what his approach is. Here is an excerpt from the site: [i]"The Albigen System is a unique path created several decades ago by teacher/author Richard Rose when he first began working with those who wished to find a retreat from error and a vector that would bring them to a full realization of Truth or Enlightenment. Based on his book, The Albigen Papers, along with personal notes and observations he held about the psychology of observation and action, he “prescribed” a ways and means of “Becoming” as he put it – so that one could identify their obstacles and chief feature in order to become the Truth. He would often refer to the phrase, “becoming as a little child,” to bring about the understanding that a person must rid themselves of their “barnacles and bugs” to even begin to develop an intuition and clarity which would eventually bring them to an understanding of their essential nature. The Albigen System aims directly at Self-Realization or Enlightenment. It is a practical, subtractive system. It is not jaded by political correctness, positive thinking, devotion, dogma or ritual. It is simply based on going beyond illusion, beginning with the self. His system of meditation is likewise simply based on going within and observing your thoughts, humiliations, errors and egos with a detached “massive indifference.” It does not seek for definitions of Truth but instead encourages the individual to develop a vector that leads away from untruth. He referred to this as the Maximum Reversal System. By uncovering and acknowledging the illusions, untruths and inconsistencies in our own lives we stand a chance of stumbling upon our true nature and our very Source."[/i] CLICK HERE to read more about this process. There's a ton of free resources to be had. Basically, this material is focused on you realizing there is no truth to be understood in this human form, it is to be experienced, and to experience it you need to realize that there is no self and there is no Self... there is absolutely nothing.  "Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet." - Ralph Waldo Emerson Richard Rose Richard Rose (1917 - 2005) This month's Missal pays homage to Richard Rose, one of the most profound and unusual spiritual teachers this country has ever produced. It was my great fortune to have known Mr. Rose personally and as a teacher. A native son from the hills of West Virginia, Mr. Rose underwent a cataclysmic spiritual experience at the age of thirty that left him with an intimate understanding of the secrets of life and death.  He is often referred to as a "Zen Master" by the people who knew him because of the depth of his wisdom and the spiritual system he conveyed to his students. But he did not expound traditional Zen, or any other traditional teachings. What he taught is unique because it sprang from his direct personal experience of the Truth. Richard Rose lived, spoke, and wrote without the pretense or arrogance so often found in spiritual and philosophic work. He never charged any money for his teaching, and never closed his door to any sincere seeker, or to anyone who was troubled and wanted to discover an avenue to peace and mental clarity. Since his first public lecture in Pittsburgh in 1973, Mr. Rose continually maintained a lifestyle unaffected by opportunities for wealth, fortune, and fame. He was a simple, humble man, who had the determination, inspiration, and dedication it takes to discover, possibly by accident, the total answer to the riddle of life. "The purpose is to find the Truth-- meaning self-definition, and the true relation of man to his fellow man, and a true understanding of our life's events." "My purpose is to outline a system which will prove itself as it goes along, and which will reward us at any point along the line by finding for us a more disciplined and skillful mind, and a mind that is more aware of itself." - Richard Rose- Richard Rose I first made contact with Mr. Rose through a newspaper article which contained his photograph. At first glance, something in me knew this man was on the level.  A handwritten response to my initial letter confirmed this. I read his books, and knew he had something to offer, but this was not on the level I found in meeting him face to face. I often felt that sitting next to him was akin to being close to a live nuclear weapon, one never knew if and when it would go off.  His inner power confirmed my initial reading of him through his writing and photograph; I knew he had found, or become, the Truth. I realized that if he had found it, and I could sense it, then it was possible for anyone with enough drive and intuition to find It also, including myself. This was his greatest gift, to be a living example of Man's potential. He also had an enormous capacity for friendship and compassion. He would tell stories for hours, bringing his audience to tears with laughter, and leaving them in wonder at the possibilities of our awareness. I never doubted him, and trusted him implicitly, though my ego was often left battered and quaking in its boots. Though the time I spent with him was relatively short, I never lost site of what I had picked up from his presence.( for more on my encounter with Mr. Rose, click here ). Richard Rose reached enlightenment at the age of 30 in 1947, after years of unrelenting search. He had promised that if he ever found anything, he would pass it on to future generations of fellow seekers, and he lived true to his word. He taught that the direct path to Truth is through retreating from untruth, rather than postulating a heaven, and then going about projecting this personal concept to others in the hope it would thus come true. He dedicated his life toward helping those who were seeking self-definition and recommended an approach that is "subjective, subtractive, immanent and designed for immediately changing and becoming." He called this method The Albigen System, a threefold approach for becoming the Truth: A way of living your life aimed at understanding that life. A life of brotherhood--helping and being helped by others with a common goal. A system not of learning but of becoming the Truth. This system aims at self-definition and considers all knowledge incomplete until the knower or experiencer is known or identified.  It does not attempt to prove itself by the vanity of logic but is inductive and answers to common sense and intuition.  It revolves around confrontation, both in friendly questioning that challenges each others' thinking to the point of retreating from error and in self-confrontational meditation.  The Albigen System is a method for stripping away the glossy veneer of life in the pursuit of the greater Reality that lies beneath its surface.  It is a system of spiritual seeking for those who are sincerely interested in becoming the Truth. "You learn sooner or later that you are not running the show and that if you relax, the show runs better. Things will happen if you just relax; many things are under control in many respects. You quit and things happen, you let the door open, you stop the obstruction, you eliminate the ego. The ego is one of the biggest obstructions to the achievement of anything." The TAT Foundation formed as a result of the life of Richard Rose. It was his dream to form an organization grounded in what he found so little of in his years of searching - sincerity.  TAT was founded on the belief that your investigation of life's mysteries is expedited by working with others who are exploring, perhaps down a different road, so that you may share your discoveries, exchange ideas, and "compare notes" in order to come to a better understanding of yourself and others. TAT is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization established in 1973 to provide a forum for philosophical and spiritual inquiry. Information on the life and teaching of Richard Rose can be found by visiting the TAT Foundations web site at : www.tatfoundation.org . " Truth is a path because it is never fully realized, and because many aspects of the search for Truth remain relative. Man is a being whose consciousness depends upon fickle senses and a mind largely capable of witnessing in a relative manner, and largely incapable of direct knowledge." - All quotes by Richard Rose - For the serious seeker who has read one or more of Rose's books, see The Key Passages , compiled by Shawn Nevins. - Related  Sites - Richard Rose: Zen Master - Poet - Philosopher - Friend. Richard RoseThis site contains "The Three Books of the Absolute" - Rose's epic poem on his realization; the full text of After the Absolute: The Inner Teachings of Richard Rose - a student's memoir of life with Rose; and an account of "The Last Hours of Richard Rose." http://www.richardrose.org/ The TAT Foundation: TAT is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization established in 1973 to TAT Foundation -Community Buildingprovide a forum for philosophical and spiritual inquiry. TAT was founded on the belief that your investigation of life's mysteries is expedited by working with others who are exploring, perhaps down a different road, so that you may share your discoveries, exchange ideas, and "compare notes" in order to come to a better understanding of yourself and others. Rose Publications: Richard Rose wrote seven books over a span of thirty years. Each deals Rose Publicationsdirectly with a specific aspect of spiritual seeking. Richard Rose's books are made available through the publishing and distribution services of Rose Publications. Rose Publications also publishes and distributes several other titles. These are generally out-of-print works that Richard Rose thought were valuable and wanted to make available in reasonably priced reprint editions. Those who venture into the mind and thought of Richard Rose via his books will come away from the effort changed in an undeniable way. http://www.richardroseteachings.com/products_books.html Richard Rose: "Richard Rose (March 14, 1917 - July 6, 2005) was an American mystic, esoteric philosopher, author, poet, and investigator of paranormal phenomena." From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Rose_%28mystic%29The Albigen Papers - Richard Rose Richard Rose: "Without a doubt, Richard Rose was an enlightened man. He devoted his life to giving people the tools to find their Real Self." from Guide to Spiritual Teachers, http://www.spiritualteachers.org/richard_rose.htm Biographical Sketch of Richard Rose, from the Greatest Teachers Section of The Self Discovery Portal. "Richard Rose was born in Benwood, West Virginia, on March 14, 1917. He was the third of four boys in an Irish Catholic family and was born under circumstances that may have set his life's direction." by Art Ticknor. http://www.selfdiscoveryportal.com/gtBioSk.htm#RSR In Honor of Richard Rose, The TAT Forum Memorial Issue March 14, 1917 - July 6, 2005 Richard Rose And I had a friend . . . Whose dust with mine was not the bond, Whose love with mine was not the bond, Whose teaching with me was not the bond, Both of us had been to this same place, To the twilight in the narrow crevice, And because of this place, we are eternal.  ~ From "Friendship" by Richard Rose http://www.tatfoundation.org/forum2005-08.htm Richard Rose - age 24"I Will Take Leave of You" ( by Richard Rose, from his book Carillon) I will take leave of you Not by distinct farewell But vaguely As one entering vagueness For words, symbols of confusion Would only increase confusion But silence, seeming to be vagueness, Shall be my cadence, Which someday You will understand. Tricks and  Traps Trap: Judging our own projections. Half of our thought-pattern is unconscious, being projected by us before we are even aware of it. This projection is taken for granted as real, as what we usually call the 'world',  and then reacted to in a semi-conscious fashion. We are constantly tweaking our thoughts and feelings in reaction to our own unconscious creations, believing we are dealing with something we call 'reality'. It's a game we'd best become aware of, this living one step behind ourselves. Trick: Learning how to meditate, or truly observe. In reviewing our actions in hopes of practicing self-observation, we often look at memories of our body and its recent escapades. But this body is as much a mental fabrication as our judgment of it. To find worthwhile material for meditation, it's best to look instead at what thoughts and feelings motivated the body. These patterns of thought are clues as to how we build our personal universe, and then endow it with realness as well as universality. For more on this topic, read pages 21-23 in Richard Rose's Meditation Paper. * * * * * "We live in a cloud of illusions and rarely realize that we are spinning this web of fiction for all the hours and days of our lives, unless we are fortunate or unfortunate enough to die slowly. Perhaps slow death may be the only moments of reality for the total life of many earthlings. Because the dying person is forced to face the fact that he is about to become zero." - Richard Rose Direct Mind Experience Richard Rose Click Here for A Page of Prayers Commentary                                                            Mystic Missal  Monthly Missal meditation philosophy  zen religion "Every last one of us thinks we are right" - Richard Rose The Dividing Mind Our mind has an amazing ability to split itself. The effect of this on the seeker of self-knowledge is to lead him about in endless circles of egos, never getting a true look at himself.  "The world is divided into people who think they are right" also applies to the world inside our heads. The ego has to maintain this position of being right, or the center of the universe, in order to keep its position as the unquestioned 'I'. It accomplishes this by splitting into different roles. This is the Ego1-Ego 2 game, in which the main ego, or Ego 1, creates a scapegoat,  Ego 2, on which to place all negative aspects about itself. It cannot be wrong and maintain its absolute rule, so when the facts speak otherwise, Ego 2 becomes the culprit. The variations of this are legion. Thus, a ceaseless internal conflict is perpetuated and any attempt to go within is effectively blocked. And we wonder why the unexamined life is misery. This process is started long before memory, when the parents use this same escape mechanism on their children. The parent keeps its attention away from its own negative aspects by using the child as Ego 2.  The child is then taught the trick, growing up using this mind-splitting to remain 'right' regardless of the facts of its own behavior or thoughts. The voice of the parent will remain in them, goading them to create their own endless versions of Ego 2 as facets of their personality, to be planted eventually in children of their own. This process can be seen most clearly in extreme cases where either trauma or frustration reached such a level as to cause the mind to escape by creating another 'person' complete with its own world. In cases of trauma so intense as to be completely unacceptable, the mind may create a new, safe personality and forget the former one which was subject to the traumatic event. All conscious connection with the traumatic event is thus lost. In cases of frustration or extreme boredom, the mind may compensate by creating a grandiose paradigm in which to reside, where it lives in inner fantasy to escape the 'average' existence of the fact state. The ego cannot tolerate 'average'. "Always remember your unique, just like everyone else." In either case, the mind has succeeded in creating a refuge where it can remain 'right'. This is all simply a mechanism of nature to insure that the individuals of the species do not self-terminate prematurely. The sad part is our ignorance of it all, and our continuing identification with the mind's creations. We are not very good at observing ourselves, but most excellent at creating new 'selves' and their worlds. If we come to the point where no fantasy will do the trick, however grandiose or safe, and where we begin to see we are not 'right' or 'wrong' but simply ignorant, we may begin to yearn for something more than the ego can provide. The Inner Self is continually trying to draw our attention to how we fool ourselves, and relentlessly showing us how to get back in touch with the facts. This is an inner process to which we have a right and need, and with which we can reconnect. It lies beyond the ego-centric position, and comes about when we start to observe ourselves rather than create or visualize 'selves' we then identify with, in either a positive or negative manner. The adage "know thyself" now has new meaning. It does not say "if you don't like what's happening, but wish to stay identified with the manifest, create a new 'you' ". Learning to observe, or listen, takes courage and patience but leads to an amazing situation. You become everything when you are not anything. There are many techniques that can help us learn to listen. In the quiet of a mind at peace, the tools of dream interpretation, intense self-analysis, group confrontation, time alone in contemplation, and even life itself can teach the earnest seeker what he is not, and how to re-establish contact with the Inner Self.  Listen with attentiveness;  the Inner Self may be heard above and beyond the mind-splitting clamor and dis-ease of the ego and its creations. Bob Fergeson Lead me from dreaming to waking. Lead me from opacity to clarity. Lead me from the complicated to the simple. Lead me from the obscure to the obvious. Lead me from intention to attention. Lead me from what I'm told I am to what I see I am. Lead me from confrontation to wide openness. Lead me to the place I never left, Where there is peace, and peace, and peace. - The Upanishads - Quotes of the Month - " The highest form of spiritual work is the realization of the essence of man. You never learn the answer;  you can only become the answer. " If we become spiritual agents, then our meaning makes us spiritual beings. "Our immortality is dependent not on our ability to extend our personal illusion indefinitely but to transcend it. " Find out why you are doing things. When you do, your life will change. " Man must develop a system of work, and work with persevering dynamism. " Every last one of us thinks we are right. Which means that we think we have the Truth or that if we do not have it, no one else will do any better. But everyone has a different definition of it." - Richard Rose " All depends on self-practice...". - Hui-neng " Prayer is only another name for good, clean, direct thinking." - Mr. Gruffydd, from How Green Was My Valley " Let there be a silent understanding and no more. Away with all thinking and explaining." - Huang Po Comic Philosophy Richard Rose: West Virginia zen Click to rate this teacher! [Total: 8 Average: 4.4] You've already voted for this teacher richard roseWithout a doubt, Richard Rose was an enlightened man. He devoted his life to giving people the tools to find their Real Self. I studied his system for several years and even spent a couple of years on his rural retreat in West Virginia. At times, Rose literally exuded profundity. I imagine it was akin to what many felt when they sat with Ramana Maharshi. Only with Rose, I wasn’t blissed out. I felt like my mind was teetering on the edge of an abyss. Drawn to this abyss and scared to death of it, I was sure that in it lay the answer to who I really was. I never made the leap, though. Perhaps I would have in time, but Rose fell victim to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and I eventually left. Richard Rose’s spiritual system is called the Albigen System and contains much practical advice for the spiritual seeker. He felt the spiritual search was the greatest undertaking of one’s life and so would take all the energy we had. One had to focus the broad spectrum of their life’s energy into a laser beam directed at finding the Truth. I think a hallmark of his system is the advice to back away from untruth rather than postulate truth and set out to prove it. In this way, one does not find what they want to find: they find what Is. He gave advice on first steps to take in the spiritual search, developing the intuition and reason, ways to meditate, and methods to conserve and direct one’s energy. He even delved into the mechanics of mental phenomena such as magic, hypnosis, and ESP. Richard Rose passed away on July 6,2005. I will do the best I can to pass on the hope and friendship he gave to me. Rose lives on in his books and tapes, in the people who knew him, and through the work of the TAT Foundation. If nothing else, you should read his poem “Three Books of the Absolute” that is in The Albigen Papers. He wrote it shortly after his enlightenment experience and it is a striking example of the beauty and power of spiritual poetry. I also recommend listening to a recorded lecture to get a feel for the man and his message. Books and other information about Richard Rose are available at the TAT Foundation website. A extensive documentary capturing Richard Rose’s lectures and interactions with students is available for rent or download. SearchWithin.org is a companion site to the TAT Foundation page has downloadable writings by Richard Rose, Bob Cergol,  Bart Marshall, Bob Fergeson, Amina Pundeer, Art Ticknor, Paul Constant, Tess Hughes, Shawn Nevins (that’s me!), and others in the spirit of Richard Rose’s teachings. Also available at searchwithin.org is John Kent’s dissertation: Richard Rose’s Psychology of the Observer: The Path to Reality Through the Self. An easy-to-read introduction to Richard Rose is found in After the Absolute, Dave Gold’s remarkable story of his time with this teacher. Related Posts Alfred Pulyan: The transmission of Zen I have little information on Alfred Pulyan of South Kent, Connecticut. While I suspect he… Richard Moss Long ago, I spent three hours listening to an audiotape of Richard Moss entitled Opening… AuthorShawn Posted onAugust 23, 2016 Categories5 Star 11 thoughts on “Richard Rose: West Virginia zen” SRRsays: March 9, 2017 at 6:29 am Hello, I read John Kent’s “Psychology of the observer”. At the end of it he interviews a few people. One of them, named Alan K, struck me the most, and I have kept the printout of it by my bedside. I read it often along with “I am that”. I have also placed an order for Bernadette Robert’s book. Since you seem to have known so many people from Richard Rose’s group, can you throw some light on the mysterious “Alan K” ? Will be grateful. Thanks. Reply Shawnsays: March 9, 2017 at 7:37 pm That is Alan Kahaney, but that is all I know about him. Reply SRRsays: August 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm Thanks. I am googling him. Not done yet. Reply SRRsays: August 10, 2017 at 3:40 pm Well, his name appears in full in the same thesis by John Kent, under Acknowledgements. Oh how could I have missed it ! He seems to have passed away on 25-Apr-2014 at 85. He also had visited Nisargadatta in Jan-1981 in Mumbai. Reply H Ksays: May 19, 2017 at 8:49 pm Hello, I would like to know which books of Richard Rose should be read or contain his ideas best. I saw some videos by Bart Marshall on youtube and this made me interested in Rose’s ideas. Thanks Reply HKsays: May 22, 2017 at 11:06 am Hey, I would like to get a suggestion for 1-2 books of Richard Rose which contain his ideas best. Thanks Reply Shawnsays: May 28, 2017 at 3:59 pm For an introduction, I recommend reading the second half of The Albigen Papers beginning with the chapter called “On Gurus and Unique Systems.” The first half of the book has a lot of social critique and sometimes people get turned off by that and never read the second half. Read the second half first, then read the first half. Psychology of the Observer is my second recommendation. It’s a short book that lays out Rose’s view of the landscape of the mind. Lastly, Dave Gold’s After the Absolute is a nice introduction to Rose’s work in a narrative form. Reply H Ksays: May 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm Thanks!!! Reply Carlos Plazasays: August 1, 2018 at 8:52 pm Hi, i would like to know: how can you be sure of who is enlightened and who is not? Are you enlightened? How can we trust you? Reply Shawnsays: August 10, 2018 at 5:44 am How can you be sure of the stance or true stance of anyone on any subject? Especially in this day and age where truth has become . Here, all we have is the written word. What you have is your logic and intuition. Employ both. Reply Leonardsays: September 5, 2020 at 7:57 am it does not matter. if an enlightened person writes a book and their name is wiped off… is it still not worth reading? Reply

 

 

-Gaming Channel: ...  Ramesh Balsekar From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigationJump to search This article does not cite any sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Find sources: "Ramesh Balsekar" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Ramesh S. Balsekar (25 May 1917 – 27 September 2009) was a disciple of the late Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, a renowned Advaita master. From early childhood, Balsekar was drawn to Advaita, a nondual teaching, particularly the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Wei Wu Wei. He wrote more than 20 books, was president of the Bank of India, and received guests daily in his home in Mumbai until shortly before his death. Contents 1	Teachings 2	Books 3	See also 4	References 5	External links Teachings Balsekar taught from the tradition of Advaita Vedanta nondualism. His teaching begins with the idea of an ultimate Source, Brahman, from which creation arises. Once creation has arisen, the world and life operate mechanistically according to both Divine and natural laws. While people believe that they are actually doing things and making choices, free will is in fact an illusion. All that happens is caused by this one source, and the actual identity of this source is pure Consciousness, which is incapable of choosing or doing. This false identity which revolves around the idea that "I am the body" or "I am the doer" keeps one from seeing that one's actual identity is free Consciousness. Like other Vedanta teachers, Balsekar says that while creation and creator appear to be different and separate, that they are actually two sides of the same coin. He taught that life is a happening but there is no individual doer of life. Among his most notable students are Dorje Khandro, a former disciple of Chögyam Trungpa, and Roger Castillo. Books Confusion No More (2007), ISBN 978-1-905857-25-8 The Ultimate Understanding (2002), ISBN 1-84293-045-1 Who Cares?! The Unique Teaching of Ramesh S. Balsekar (1999), ISBN 0-929448-18-9 Consciousness Speaks: Conversations with Ramesh S. Balsekar (1993), ISBN 0-929448-14-6 Duet of One: The Ashtavakra Gita Dialogue (1989), ISBN 0-929448-11-1 See also Nondualism Huangbo Xiyun Jason Brett Serle RealizedOne Explore Beings About the Project Ramesh Balsekar     16 posts Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   7 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar The only true meditation is the constant impersonal witnessing of all that takes place in one's life as mere movements in the universal Consciousness. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar God..... give me that state of mind in which I shall not want anything from anybody and not even from You. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar See More The point still needs to be cleared up: to whom does this understanding happen? In whom does this conviction take place? The only answer is that so long as this question remains, the true understanding with certainty and conviction will not have taken place. The question remains only for someone who has yet to be blessed with the understanding. The happening of the understanding is coincident with the annihilation of the “me”, and so then none remains to ask the question. Such depth of understanding is apperception. It is an understanding and perception that is prior to both knowledge and ignorance. It is beyond the opposites of logic and reason. It is beyond concepts and beliefs. This conviction arises in that silence in which all concepts and beliefs and doubts merge and get annihilated. It is only in that silence that there is relief from the comparison of opposites (known as mentation or thinking) that is the activity of the split-mind of intellect. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar Fighting the ego, the mind, is precisely what the ego wants. You cannot fight the mind. You cannot suppress the ego. Fighting, resisting, controlling is an impossible action. What is really needed is to yield, to see things as they are. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar Just as the difference between the space in a pot and the space outside it disappears when the pot is demolished, so also does duality disappear when it is realized that the difference between the individual consciousness and the Universal Consciousness does not in fact exist. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar No personal, individual effort can possibly lead to enlightenment. On the contrary, what is necessary is to rest helpless in beingness, knowing that we are nothing - to be in the nothingness of the no-mind state in which all conceptualizing has subsided into passive witnessing. In this state whatever happens will be not our doing but the pure universal functioning to which we have relinquished all control. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar Awareness, when it is in contact with an object, a physical form, becomes witnessing. When at the same time there is self-identification with the object, such a state becomes 'the person'. In Reality, there is only one state; when corrupted and tainted by self-identification, it may be called a person (Vyakti); when it is tinted by a sense of being, the resulting consciousness becomes 'the witnessing'; when it remains in its pristine purity, untainted and untinted, it is the Supreme, the Absolute. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar See More Consciousness has identified itself with the individual human organism in order to create separate egos so that this life and living with the subject/object relationships may take place as lila (the divine play in phenomenality). Indeed, Consciousness first identifying itself with each individual as separate entity and then dis-identifying itself and recovering its impersonality is itself the lila. Consciousness writes the script, Consciousness produces and directs the play, Consciousness plays every role (like a one-man show) in the play, and finally Consciousness itself witnesses the play. When this situation is apperceived, no doubt of any kind remains, and all there is, is Silence. Consciousness is in its primal state of absolute rest. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar What is the Ultimate Understanding? That there is no one to understand anything. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar Whenever an action of some other body-mind mechanism happens to hurt me it may cause some physical, psychological or financial imbalance, but having totally accepted that there are no individual doers, I never feel hatred. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar To meditate, you don't have to have any objective, which means you don't have any expectation at all. In these moments you don't find Reality, the Reality finds you. Just sit quietly for a moment. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar The seeing is the only doing necessary. Andrey K shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar Human beings actually have no more independence or autonomy in living their lives than do the characters in a dream. Neither do they have anything to do with the creation of the dream or anything in it. They are simply being lived along with everything else in this living dream of the manifested universe. The entire dream is unreal. Only the dreamer is real, and that is Consciousness itself. Andrey K shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar Consciousness has produced this play. Consciousness has written the script. Consciousness is playing all the characters. And Consciousness is witnessing the play. It's a one man show. Robert Q shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   8 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar If one accepts that whatsoever is happening is as per God’s will or Cosmic law then there will not be any complaint or frustration with life. But this acceptance will also come to us as per God’s will. Evgeny shared a Ramesh Balsekar quote   10 years ago       SHARE URL Ramesh Balsekar See More Тех, кто приходит впервые, Шри Махарадж берет на себя труд предупредить о том, что они могут ожидать от его бесед. Он разъясняет, что: (а) те кто пришли сюда в надежде получить какие-то материальные блага или облегчение физической боли или избавление от ментальных страданий, будут разочарованы, потому что он никогда не дает советов или наставлений по таким вопросам; (b) те кто пришли, чтобы получить от него подтверждение своих концепций и форм поклонения, могут быть не просто разочарованы, но даже почувствовать себя обиженными, расстроенными и оскорбленными тем, что он может сказать. Например, Шри Махарадж мог сказать: «Все писания говорят, что прежде мира был Творец. Но кто знает Творца? Только тот, кто был прежде творца, твое собственное реальное существование, источник любых миров и их творцов»; (с) это учение состоит почти исключительно из того, чтобы предоставить слушателям что-то вроде «духовного зеркала», в котором они могли бы, если серьезно того желают, увидеть собственный подлинный образ; его учение не включает в себя список того, что нужно или не нужно делать в повседневной жизни и как себя вести; (d) и наконец, те, кто все еще хочет остаться, поступят правильно, если прислушаются к его последнему предупреждению: они скорее всего потеряют все, что они считают драгоценным, включая самих себя! Рамеш Балсекар. (Nisargadatta enlightened disciple) Contribute to the project Support and Contribute to This Project of Sharing and Spreading Timeless Wisdom. PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online! Thank you! 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Company Terms And Conditions About Realized One Project Contact Realized One Like us on Facebook Connect with Us Follow us on Facebook 2021 © REALIZED ONE INC   ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DEVELOPED BY   REALIZED MEDIA SPONSOR: HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COVER Satsang con Ramesh Balsekar Immagina, se vuoi, che un mattino ti svegli in un altro mondo. Appena ti stropicci gli occhi per abituarti alla luce splendente del sole, vedi che sotto molti aspetti non è un mondo molto diverso da questo. Sei circondato da creature che, ai tuoi occhi, appaiono identiche agli esseri umani con cui di solito condividi il mondo. Li osservi mentre si muovono nelle loro attività giornaliere, vivono le loro vite, s’intrattengono a conversare con gli altri, prendendo le miriadi di scelte e decisioni inerenti alle richieste della vita. Il quadro sembra rassicurante, familiare e normale. Ma presto scopri che in questo mondo le cose non sono necessariamente come appaiono. Perché questi non sono esseri umani. No, questi sono “organismi corpo/mente” che, a differenza delle loro controparti umane, non hanno la facoltà di scegliere tra più possibilità o di prendere decisioni. Infatti, questi organismi non hanno niente che assomigli lontanamente a quello che chiameremmo libero arbitrio. Le trame delle loro vite furono scritte sulla pietra, molto tempo prima che nascessero, lasciando loro solo la possibilità di compiere meccanicamente degli atti per rappresentare la loro programmazione. Questi, in apparenza delle creature umane, sembrerebbe, non sono diversi dalle macchine. Mentre apparentemente sembrano comportarsi come normali individui dal pensiero libero, indaffarati nelle loro attività quotidiane, stranamente quando gli viene chiesto, sostengono che non stanno facendo proprio niente. Infatti, in questo mondo peculiare, affermano che non ci sono “coloro i quali agiscono”. Per di più, nessuno in questo mondo è mai ritenuto responsabile di qualcosa. Anche quando sembra che uno di questi esseri faccia del male ad un altro, non viene percepito nessun rimorso e non viene assegnata nessuna colpa. Se ti capitasse di chiedere a uno di questi organismi corpo/mente qualcosa a proposito, la risposta sarebbe che non c’era nessuno che aveva fatto niente. L’etica è un concetto sconosciuto da queste parti. Le leggi di natura non sembrano applicabili in questo mirabile nuovo mondo. O forse qui sono state riscritte, dal momento in cui gli esseri sembrano osservare alcune strane leggi. Ti chiedi in quale luogo della Terra potresti essere. Ma non sei sulla Terra, sei atterrato sul Pianeta Advaita. Sono venuto a Bombay a intervistare Ramesh Balsekar, uno dei più conosciuti insegnanti dell’Advaita Vedanta attualmente in vita. Vive nel cuore di questa vasta, caotica città, in un’esclusiva zona di fronte al mare, che, mi ha informato il mio tassista, è dove abitano molti vip. Il portiere della sua casa, deducendo automaticamente che come occidentale dovessi essere venuto a visitare Ramesh Balsekar, mi diresse ad un piano superiore, dove c’è la spaziosa e ben ammobiliata residenza di Balsekar. Balsekar fu un padrone di casa molto cortese, accogliendomi calorosamente, nel suo immacolato, tradizionale abbigliamento indiano. Il suo atteggiamento era raggiante e vivace, e mi è stato difficile credere che avesse ottant’anni. Ramesh Balsekar proviene da un ambiente insolito per un guru indiano. Istruito in occidente, ebbe una carriera di successo come dirigente e andò in pensione dalla sua carica di presidente della Banca dell’India all’età di sessant’anni. E mentre afferma di essere sempre stato incline a credere nel destino, fu solo dopo il suo ritiro dal lavoro che iniziò la sua ricerca spirituale, una ricerca che lo condusse velocemente dal suo guru – il rinomato maestro di Advaita Vedanta Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Nisargadatta era un’insegnante impetuoso che divenne famoso in Occidente negli anni ’70 quando fu pubblicata una traduzione inglese dei suoi dialoghi intitolata I Am That (Io sono quello, Astrolabio, Milano, 2001) – un libro che è diventato un classico spirituale moderno. Entro meno di un anno dall’incontro con Nisargadatta, accadde improvvisamente a Balsekar quello che lui ha definito “la comprensione finale” – l’illuminazione – mentre stava traducendo per conto del suo guru. Secondo il racconto di Balsekar, Nisargadatta lo autorizzò ad insegnare appena prima di morire, e da allora, ha costantemente condiviso il suo messaggio come successore di questo maestro molto rispettato. Balsekar ha pubblicato molti libri dei suoi insegnamenti ed ha insegnato in Europa, negli Stati Uniti e in India. Tiene satsang [udienze con un maestro spirituale] ogni mattina nel suo appartamento, e un flusso costante di ricercatori quasi esclusivamente occidentali va a Bombay per vederlo. All’inizio volevamo intervistare Balsekar, sia perché è un popolare e influente insegnante Advaita – adesso ha autorizzato dei suoi studenti all‘insegnamento – e sia perché è considerato, da molti, il successore di uno dei più riconosciuti insegnanti Advaita dell’era moderna. Nello studiare gli scritti di Balsekar, abbiamo presto realizzato che stava insegnando una forma dell’Advaita insolita e possibilmente eccentrica che induceva, francamente, a nostro parere, a conclusioni opinabili e perfino disturbanti. Sebbene il pensiero indiano sia stato a lungo criticato per le sue inclinazioni deterministiche, sembrava che Balsekar avesse portato questo fatalismo a un estremo senza precedenti. Fu sia un desiderio di esplorare questi spazi inquietanti, sia di proseguire con il nostro interesse soprattutto per gli insegnamenti Advaita, che alla fine mi portò a Bombay a parlare con lui. E mentre arrivai immaginandomi un incontro impegnativo, guardando a posteriori, mi è chiaro che, mentre ci fu offerto il caffè e ci sistemammo comodamente nel suo soggiorno, non avrei avuto nessuna possibilità di prepararmi al dialogo che stava iniziando. Chris Parish: Sei sempre più noto come insegnante dell'Advaita Vedanta sia in India sia in Occidente. Puoi descriverci cosa insegni? Ramesh Balsekar: Posso davvero dirlo con una sola frase. La frase su cui si basa il mio intero insegnamento è: “Sia fatta la tua volontà”. O come lo dicono i Musulmani, Inshallah –“Il volere di Dio.” O nelle parole di Buddha: “Gli eventi accadono, le azioni sono compiute, non c’è alcun individuo che agisce”. Vedi, il conflitto di base nella vita è: “Faccio sempre tutto nel modo giusto quindi mi aspetto la mia ricompensa; egli o ella fanno sempre qualcosa di sbagliato e quindi dovrebbero essere puniti”. Questa è la vita, non è cosi? Chris Parish: Certamente, accade spesso. Ramesh Balsekar: Questa è la base di ciò che ho osservato. L’intero problema sorge perché qualcuno dice: “Io ho fatto qualcosa e mi merito una ricompensa, o egli ha fatto qualcosa e perciò lo voglio punire per quello che ha fatto”. Chris Parish: Come conduci le persone a questo – che “non c’è colui che agisce”? Ramesh Balsekar: È molto semplice. Se analizzi ciascuna azione che consideri la tua azione, scoprirai che è una reazione del cervello ad un evento esterno sul quale non hai alcun controllo. Un pensiero arriva – non hai controllo sul pensiero in arrivo. Qualcosa viene visto e udito – non hai controllo su ciò che vedrai e udrai in seguito. Tutti questi eventi accadono senza il tuo controllo. E poi che succede? Il cervello reagisce al pensiero o alla cosa vista, udita, gustata, odorata, o toccata. La reazione del cervello è ciò che chiami “la tua azione”. Ma, di fatto, è solamente un concetto. Chris Parish: Qual è la differenza, quindi, fra i pensieri, le sensazioni e le azioni di una persona illuminata e di una non illuminata? Ramesh Balsekar: Succede la stessa cosa. La sola differenza è che il saggio capisce che quello è ciò che sta accadendo. Perciò sa che non c’è niente che egli stia facendo – semplicemente le cose accadono. Il saggio sa che “io non sto facendo niente”. Ma l’uomo comune dice: “Io faccio delle cose e loro fanno delle cose. Perciò voglio la mia ricompensa e voglio che loro siano puniti”. La ricompensa o la punizione derivano dal fatto che io, lui, o lei facciamo delle cose. Chris Parish: Posso capire attraverso la mia esperienza che non abbiamo controllo sui pensieri e le emozioni che affiorano. Ma qualche volta un’azione segue e talaltra no, e mi sembra che c’è una grande differenza tra quando un pensiero si manifesta solamente e quando viene intrapresa un’azione che coinvolge un’altra persona. Ramesh Balsekar: L’azione che accade è il risultato della reazione del cervello al pensiero. Se si è soltanto testimoni del pensiero e il cervello non reagisce a quel pensiero, allora non c’è azione. Chris Parish: Ma, se come tu dici, non c’è nessuno che decide come rispondere, chi è che causa il manifestarsi o meno di un’azione? Ramesh Balsekar: Un’azione accade se è nel volere di Dio che accada. Se non è nel suo volere, non accade. Chris Parish: Vuoi dire che ogni azione che si manifesta è per il volere di Dio? Ramesh Balsekar: Sì – è il volere di Dio. Chris Parish: Che agisce attraverso una persona? Ramesh Balsekar: Sì, attraverso una persona. Chris Parish: Sia che questa persona sia illuminata oppure no? Attraverso ognuno, in altre parole? Ramesh Balsekar: Esatto. La sola differenza, come ho detto, è che l’uomo comune pensa: “ È la mia azione”, laddove il saggio sa che è l’azione di nessuno. Il saggio sa che “le azioni sono compiute, gli eventi accadono, ma non c’è un colui individuale che agisce”. Per quanto mi riguarda questa è l’unica differenza. La sola differenza tra un saggio e una persona comune è che la persona comune crede che ogni individuo fa ciò che accade attraverso quell’organismo del corpo/mente. Così dal momento che il saggio sa che non esiste azione che egli compia, se si produce un’azione che ferisce qualcuno, farà tutto ciò che gli è possibile per aiutare quella persona – ma non ci sarà nessun senso di colpa. Chris Parish: Vuoi dire che se un individuo agisce in modo da ferirne un altro, la persona che l’ha compiuto, o, come dici, l’”organismo corpo/mente” che l’ha agito, non è responsabile? Ramesh Balsekar: Quello che sto dicendo è che sai che: ”io” non l’ho fatto. Non dico che non sei dispiaciuto di aver ferito qualcuno. Il fatto che qualcuno è stato ferito indurrà un sentimento di compassione e il sentimento di compassione risulterà nel mio tentativo di fare il possibile per lenire la ferita. Ma non ci sarà senso di colpa: io non l’ho fatto! L’altra faccia della medaglia è che accade un’azione lodata dalla società che mi premia per questo. Non dico che non ci sarà felicità causata dalla ricompensa. Così come la compassione si è manifestata a causa della ferita, un sentimento di soddisfazione o felicità può sorgere a causa di una ricompensa. Però, non ci sarà orgoglio. Chris Parish: Ma intendi letteralmente dire che se io vado a colpire qualcuno, non sono io a farlo? Voglio semplicemente essere chiaro a questo proposito. Ramesh Balsekar: Il fatto iniziale, il concetto originario, rimane ancora: tu hai colpito qualcuno. Sorge il concetto aggiuntivo che qualsiasi cosa accada è il volere di Dio, e la volontà di Dio relativa ad ogni organismo corpo/mente è il destino di quell’organismo corpo/mente. Uso la parola “programmare” in riferimento alle caratteristiche inerenti all’organismo corpo/mente. La “programmazione” per me significa i geni più i condizionamenti ambientali. Non hai potuto scegliere i tuoi genitori, perciò non hai avuto scelta per quanto riguarda i tuoi geni. Allo stesso modo, non hai avuto voce in capitolo riguardo all’ambiente di nascita. Chris Parish: Quindi potrei soltanto dire: “Beh, ho agito per volontà di Dio, non è colpa mia”. Ramesh Balsekar: Certo. Un atto accade perché è nel destino di quest’organismo corpo/mente, e perché è il volere di Dio. E le conseguenze di quell’azione sono anch’esse il destino di quell’organismo corpo/mente. Se accade una buona azione, quello è il destino. Per esempio, prendiamo Madre Teresa. L’organismo corpo/mente conosciuto come Madre Teresa era stato così programmato affinché accadessero solo buone azioni. Quindi il manifestarsi di buone azioni era il destino dell’organismo corpo/mente chiamato Madre Teresa e le conseguenze furono un premio Nobel, ricompense, onorificenze e donazioni per le varie cause. Tutto questo era il destino di quell’organismo corpo/mente chiamato Madre Teresa. Dall’altro lato c’è un organismo psicopatico che è programmato in modo tale - dalla stessa Sorgente – che accadano solo azioni cattive o perverse. La manifestazione di queste cattive azioni perverse è il destino di un organismo corpo/mente che la società chiama psicopatico. Ma lo psicopatico non ha scelto di essere tale. Infatti, non c’è uno psicopatico; c’è solo un organismo corpo/mente psicopatico, il cui destino è produrre azioni cattive e perverse. E anche le conseguenze di tali azioni sono il destino di quell’organismo corpo/mente. Chris Parish: Ritieni che tutto sia predestinato? Che tutto sia programmato dalla nascita? Ramesh Balsekar: Sì. Uso la parola “programmare” in riferimento alle caratteristiche inerenti all’organismo corpo/mente. La “programmazione” per me significa i geni più i condizionamenti ambientali. Non hai potuto scegliere i tuoi genitori, perciò non hai avuto scelta per quanto riguarda i tuoi geni. Allo stesso modo, non hai avuto voce in capitolo riguardo all’ambiente di nascita. Perciò non hai avuto scelta riguardo i condizionamenti dell’infanzia che hai ricevuto in quell’ambiente, che include i condizionamenti a casa, nella società, a scuola e in chiesa. Gli psicologi affermano che la somma dei condizionamenti ricevuti entro i tre, quattro anni d’età è il condizionamento di base. Ci saranno condizionamenti ulteriori, ma il condizionamento di base che crea la personalità è la somma dei geni più il condizionamento ambientale. La chiamo programmazione. Ogni organismo corpo/mente è programmato in un modo unico. Non ci sono due organismi corpo/mente uguali. Chris Parish: Sì, ma non è forse vero che due persone possono avere un assortimento di condizionamenti simile eppure essere completamente diverse l’una dall’altra? Ramesh Balsekar: Certo. Per questo motivo uso due termini: uno è la programmazione dell’organismo corpo/mente stesso; l’altro è il destino. Il destino è il volere di Dio riguardo a quell’organismo corpo/mente, impresso al momento del concepimento. Il destino di un concepito può essere di non nascere affatto – nel qual caso sarà abortito. Tutto questo è un concetto, non ti sbagliare. Questo è il mio concetto. Chris Parish: Affermi che questo è un concetto e, di sicuro tutte le parole sono concetti, ma come facciamo a sapere che questo concetto rappresenta la verità? Tendo a pensare che ognuno abbia delle responsabilità individuali e che, sebbene ci sia una certa quantità di condizionamenti che ereditiamo, possiamo tuttavia scegliere la risposta. Un individuo può trascendere gli aspetti del suo condizionamento, mentre un altro può rimanerci bloccato tutta la vita. Dal momento che questo accade, direi che è dovuto alla volontà dell’individuo di trascendere i condizionamenti, e di aver successo. Ramesh Balsekar: Ma se questo accade può accadere se non è nella volontà di Dio? Supponiamo che ci siano due persone: una cerca di superare i suoi limiti e ce la fa; l’altra non ce la fa. Quello che intendo è: sia colui che ha successo, sia colui che fallisce lo fa perché quello è il destino del suo organismo corpo/mente – che è la volontà di Dio. Chris Parish: Ma non potremmo più semplicemente dire che è nella volontà di Dio dare ad ogni individuo la libera scelta di prendere le sue decisioni? Ramesh Balsekar: No. Vedi, la mia domanda è: quale delle due volontà prevale? Quella dell’individuo o quella di Dio? Secondo la tua esperienza fino a che punto il tuo libero arbitrio ha prevalso? Chris Parish: Penso che, a volte, la volontà dell’individuo possa certamente prevalere. Ramesh Balsekar: Nei confronti della volontà di Dio? Quando vuoi qualcosa e ti dai da fare per averlo e lo ottieni, lo ottieni perché la tua volontà coincide con quella di Dio. Chris Parish: Prendiamo l’esempio di un individuo che diventa un tossicodipendente e rimane tale tutta la vita. Uno, può altrettanto facilmente argomentare, che ha fatto questa scelta per andare contro la volontà di Dio e ha avuto successo – precisamente perché c’è il libero arbitrio. Ramesh Balsekar: Ma sia che tu lo accetti o no di per sé è la volontà di Dio, non lo vedi? Che tu accetti la volontà di Dio o che tu non accetti la volontà di Dio, è la stessa volontà di Dio! Chris Parish: Affermare che tutto è programmato anticipatamente, che tutto è destino, che non c’è libera scelta, sembra una forma molto estrema di riduzionismo. Secondo questa visione gli esseri umani sono come computer; tutto ciò che ci riguarda è completamente predisposto. Ramesh Balsekar: Sì, precisamente. Chris Parish: Ma questa mi sembra una visione senza cuore. Allora siamo soltanto delle macchine – tutto ci accade. Non c’è niente che possiamo agire, niente che possiamo cambiare. Ramesh Balsekar: Sì, esattamente. Chris Parish: Ma questo potrebbe facilmente condurre ad una profonda indifferenza verso la vita. Ramesh Balsekar: Sì, e se accadesse, allora sarebbe ottimo! Chris Parish: Davvero? Ramesh Balsekar: Ma questo è il punto! Certo. Poi puoi dire che qualsiasi cosa accada viene accettata. Allora non c’è infelicità; non c’è miseria, non c’è colpa, orgoglio, odio, invidia. Che c’è di sbagliato in questo? E come già ti ho detto, le azioni accadono attraverso questo organismo corpo/mente, e se questo individuo scopre che un atto ha ferito qualcuno, nasce la compassione. Chris Parish: Ma non appare un po’ strano prima ferire qualcuno e poi provare compassione? Non sarebbe meglio, in primo luogo, non ferirlo? Ramesh Balsekar: Ma non è sotto il tuo controllo! Se lo fosse stato, in primo luogo non lo avresti mai fatto. Chris Parish: Ma se uno crede di poter esercitare il controllo opponendosi alla credenza che afferma il contrario, potrebbe scegliere di non farlo. Ramesh Balsekar: Allora perché l’essere umano non esercita il controlla su ogni azione che si manifesta? Lascia che ti faccia una domanda. È evidente che l’essere umano possegga un intelletto straordinario, un intelletto tale che un piccolo essere umano è stato capace di spedire un uomo sulla luna. Chris Parish: Sì, è vero. Ramesh Balsekar: E ha anche l’intelletto per comprendere che se fa certe cose, altre cose terribili accadranno. Ha l’intelletto per sapere che se produce armamenti nucleari o armi chimiche, poi saranno usate e succederanno cose terribili nel mondo. Ha l’intelletto – dunque se possiede il libero arbitrio, allora perché lo fa? Se possiede il libero arbitrio, perché ha ridotto il mondo in queste condizioni? Chris Parish: Ammetto che la situazione che descrivi è ovviamente malsana. Ma suggerirei che dipenda dal fatto che le persone hanno una volontà debole. E credo che possano cambiare se lo vogliono – se ci tengono. Ramesh Balsekar: Allora perché non l’hanno fatto? Chris Parish: Alcune persone cambiano, ma, come ho detto, sfortunatamente sembra che i più abbiano una volontà debole. Il libero arbitrio da solo non ci assicura che agiremo con intelligenza. Come nell’esempio che hai appena portato, è chiaro che la gente spesso scelga di fare delle cose abbastanza dannose. Ramesh Balsekar: Se dici che abbiamo il libero arbitrio di distruggere il mondo, significa, in altre parole, che stiamo distruggendo il mondo perché lo vogliamo – sapendo benissimo che il mondo sarà distrutto! Il libero arbitrio significa che vuoi farlo. Chris Parish: Penso che il problema stia più nel fatto che le persone, di solito, non si assumano le conseguenze delle loro azioni. Spesso pensano solo a loro stesse, senza considerare dove possano condurre le loro azioni. Ramesh Balsekar: Ma l’essere umano è straordinariamente intelligente. Perché non pensa nei modi che tu proponi? La mia risposta è – perché non è previsto che lo faccia. Chris Parish: Quando dici “non è previsto”, che significa? Ramesh Balsekar: Non è nella volontà di Dio che gli esseri umani pensino in questi termini. Non è nella volontà di Dio che gli esseri umani siano perfetti. La differenza tra il saggio e la persona comune è che il saggio accetta che sia come Dio vuole, ma – e questo è importante – che ciò non gli impedisca di fare quello che crede che debba essere fatto. E quello che ritiene di dover fare è basato sulla programmazione. Chris Parish: Ma perché il saggio ”farebbe quello che crede debba essere fatto” se, come hai già spiegato, sa che, in primo luogo, non è lui a pensare? Ramesh Balsekar: Vuoi dire, come accade l’azione? La risposta è che l’energia all’interno dell’organismo corpo/ mente compie l’azione secondo la programmazione. Chris Parish: Quindi l’azione, come tu la descrivi, si manifesta solo attraverso la persona. Ramesh Balsekar: Sì, fluisce. L’azione accade. Pertanto, questo è il punto di ciò che dico – tornando indietro, di nuovo, alle parole del Buddha: “Gli eventi accadono, le azioni sono compiute”. Chris Parish: Da quello che conosco sul pensiero del Buddha, anch’egli sentiva fortemente che gli individui erano personalmente responsabili delle loro azioni. Non è questa la base del suo intero insegnamento sul karma, sulla causa ed effetto? Ramesh Balsekar: Non il Buddha! Chris Parish: È la mia impressione che Buddha insegnò un bel po’ la “retta azione”. Sembrava che gli stesse molto a cuore quello che la gente faceva, e poneva molta enfasi sulle persone che s’impegnano in modo appropriato per cambiare se stesse. Ramesh Balsekar: Questa è un’interpretazione successiva del Buddismo. Le parole del Buddha sono molto chiare. Chi ha il controllo di ciò che accade? Dio ha il controllo! Questa è la base di tutte le religioni, come abbiamo visto. E perché ci sono delle guerre religiose se questa è la base di tutte le religioni? Sono coloro che interpretano, la causa di queste guerre! E, ancora, come potrebbe succedere se non fosse nella volontà di Dio? Chris Parish: È chiaro che tu creda che tutto quello che facciamo, lo facciamo a causa della volontà di Dio. Mi sembra, però, che questo abbia un senso soltanto nel caso di un individuo che sia giunto alla fine del suo cammino spirituale – che abbia concluso con l’ego – perché le azioni di questa persona non sono al servizio di se stessa, e quindi, non ci sarebbe nessuna deformazione della volontà di Dio. Ma fino a quel punto, se un individuo agisce male verso un altro, potrebbe essere solo una reazione compulsiva perché si sente egoista. Se quella fosse la causa, allora ciò che dici potrebbe effettivamente essere usato come una giustificazione per un comportamento spiacevole o aggressivo. Potrebbero semplicemente dire: “Tutto è volontà di Dio. Non ha importanza!” Ramesh Balsekar: Lo so, ma quella è la verità. La tua vera domanda è: “Perché Dio ha creato il mondo in questo modo?”. Vedi, però, un essere umano è solo un oggetto creato che è parte della totalità della manifestazione che è stata generata dalla Sorgente. Così la mia risposta è: “Un oggetto creato non può in alcun modo conoscere il suo creatore!”. Lascia che ti porti una metafora. Immaginiamo che dipingi un quadro, e in quel quadro dipingi una figura. Poi quella figura vuole conoscere, numero uno, perché tu, quale pittore, hai dipinto quel particolare quadro, e, numero due, perché hai fatto la figura così brutta! Vedi, come può un oggetto creato arrivare mai, in alcun modo, a conoscere la volontà del suo creatore? Comunque il mio punto di vista è che questo non t’impedisce di fare ciò che pensi vada fatto! Accettando che niente accada senza la volontà di Dio non impedisce a nessuno di fare ciò che crede vada fatto. Puoi fare altrimenti? Chris Parish: Ma basandomi su questa linea di ragionamento, come ho già detto, penserei che sarebbe piuttosto facile concludere: “D’accordo è tutto nella volontà di Dio; non ha importanza quello che accade”. E poi semplicemente lasciar perdere tutto quanto. Ramesh Balsekar: Vuoi dire: “Allora perché non stare a letto tutto il giorno”? Chris Parish: Appunto, perché continuare a fare degli sforzi? Ramesh Balsekar: La risposta è che l’energia all’interno di questo organismo corpo/mente non permetterà a questo organismo corpo/mente di rimanere inattivo neanche per un momento. L’energia continuerà a produrre qualche azione, fisica o mentale, ogni attimo, secondo la programmazione dell’organismo corpo/mente e il destino dell’organismo corpo/mente, che è la volontà di Dio. Ma questo non t’impedisce, pensando ancora di essere un individuo, di fare ciò che credi vada fatto. Per cui quello che dico, di fatto, è: “Ciò che tu pensi che dovresti fare in ogni situazione, in quel particolare momento, è precisamente ciò che Dio vuole che tu pensi vada fatto! In definitiva l’accettare la volontà di Dio non t’impedisce di fare ciò che pensi vada fatto. Vedi? Infatti, non puoi fare a meno di farlo! Chris Parish: Ho letto qualcosa su un opuscolo scritto da numerosi tuoi studenti che sembra rilevante a questo proposito. Dice: “Quello che ti piace può essere solo ciò che Dio vuole che ti piaccia. Niente può accadere senza la Sua volontà”. L’opuscolo aggiunge anche: “Non sentirti in colpa neanche se accade un adulterio. Tu, la Sorgente, sei sempre puro”. Ramesh Balsekar: Questo l’ha detto Ramana Maharshi. Chris Parish: La Sorgente può essere sempre pura, ma, di nuovo, mi sembra che questo potrebbe essere facilmente preso come il permesso di agire senza coscienza. Potresti dire: “Non ha importanza se commetto un adulterio, non ha importanza se faccio del male ai miei amici, perché quell’azione semplicemente accade”. Può essere facilmente preso come il permesso di agire secondo il desiderio, solo perché mi succede di avere quel desiderio. Ramesh Balsekar: Ma non è proprio quello che accade? Chris Parish: Accade, certamente, ma… Ramesh Balsekar: Vuoi dire che succederebbe più di frequente? Chris Parish: Potrebbe, con facilità, succedere più spesso. Potrei dire: “Ecco, non ha importanza quel che faccio adesso. Non devo far caso a frenarmi se sento un desiderio”. Ti è chiaro quel che intendo? Ramesh Balsekar: La domanda comunemente formulata è: “Se in realtà io non faccio niente, che cosa mi impedisce di prendere una mitragliatrice e andare fuori ad uccidere venti persone?”. Questo è ciò che intendi chiedere, non è così? Chris Parish: Beh, questo è un esempio estremo Ramesh Balsekar: Sì, prendiamo un esempio estremo! Chris Parish: Ma io credo sia più interessante prendere in considerazione l’esempio dell’adulterio, perché molte persone non farebbero davvero un gesto così estremo come mitragliare delle altre. Ramesh Balsekar: Va bene. È la stessa cosa quando parliamo del commettere adulterio. Ho letto che gli psicologi e i biologi, basandosi sulle loro ricerche, sono giunti alla conclusione che se inganni tua moglie, non dovresti fartene una colpa. Sempre di più gli scienziati stanno arrivando alla conclusione che i mistici hanno sempre sostenuto – che qualsiasi azione accada sia rintracciabile nella programmazione. Chris Parish: Mi rendo conto che in alcuni casi questo potrebbe essere vero, ma diciamo, per esempio, che ho l’urgenza di commettere un adulterio. Potrei dire: “Deve essere nella volontà di Dio che accada, quindi lo farò”. Oppure, potrei trattenermi e non causare un bel po’ di sofferenza ai miei amici. Non sarebbe meglio se mi trattenessi? Ramesh Balsekar: Allora, chi è che ti impedisce di trattenerti? Fai quello che ti pare! Che cosa t’impedisce di trattenerti? Trattieniti! Chris Parish: Il mio punto di vista è che è meglio fare così! Ramesh Balsekar: Anche il mio. Ricercare è il più grande ostacolo a causa della presenza del ricercatore. Il ricercatore è l’ostacolo – non il ricercare; il ricercare accade da solo. Il ricercare accade perché l’organismo corpo/mente è programmato per ricercare. Chris Parish: Ma secondo la tua visione, potrei altrettanto facilmente dire: “Se sento un desiderio è in virtù del volere di Dio”. E poi non trattenermi. Ramesh Balsekar: Affermi che sai che dovresti trattenerti – allora perché non ti trattieni? Se un organismo corpo/mente è programmato per non ingannare la moglie, qualsiasi cosa dicano gli altri non lo farà. Se sei programmato per non alzare una mano su nessuno, cominceresti ad uccidere le persone? Ora, se ci fosse una legge che ti permettesse di picchiare tua moglie senza correre alcun rischio, cominceresti a picchiare tua moglie? No, senza che l’organismo corpo/mente sia programmato per farlo, e se è programmato per farlo, succederebbe in ogni caso. Così come ho detto, accettare la volontà di Dio non t’impedirà di fare qualsiasi cosa pensi che vada fatta. Falla! Fai esattamente quello che pensi che debba essere fatto! Chris Parish: Alla fine, tuttavia, come possiamo dire che sappiamo che si tratta del destino o della volontà di Dio? Tutto quello che sappiamo è che certi eventi si manifestano. In seguito, possiamo rivedere ciò che abbiamo fatto e ammettere: “È successo, semplicemente”. E se ci piace possiamo chiamarlo destino. Ma non è più accurato dire che in realtà non sappiamo se si tratti del destino oppure no? Dire che non lo sappiamo è diverso dal dire che: “Sappiamo che è il volere di Dio”. È diverso dal dire che sappiamo che tutto è già predestinato. Vedi, mi sembra che tu voglia affermare che sai che tutto è nella volontà di Dio. Ramesh Balsekar: Non lo sappiamo, e questo è il dato di fatto; così se preferisci, puoi abbandonare il concetto di destino e dire che nessuno, in realtà sa niente su nulla. Bene. Non c’è bisogno del concetto di destino. Dopotutto, se accetti che qualsiasi cosa accada non sia nelle tue mani, poi chi rimane a preoccuparsi del destino? Chris Parish: Dal momento che molti ricercatori spirituali vengono da te per ricevere consiglio sul cammino spirituale, vorrei chiederti, quale valore vedi, se ce n’è, nella pratica spirituale come strumento verso l’illuminazione? Ramesh Balsekar: Se la sadhana [la pratica spirituale] è necessaria, un organismo corpo/mente è programmato per fare sadhana. Chris Parish: In altre parole se deve accadere accade? Ramesh Balsekar: Giusto. Le persone talvolta mi chiedono: “Se niente è nella mie mani (se non posso intervenire su niente), dovrei meditare oppure non dovrei?”. La mia risposta è molto semplice. Se ti piace meditare, medita; se non ti piace, non forzarti a farlo. Chris Parish: La ricerca spirituale, allora, è un ostacolo all’illuminazione? Ramesh Balsekar: Sì, ricercare è il più grande ostacolo a causa della presenza del ricercatore. Il ricercatore è l’ostacolo – non il ricercare; il ricercare accade da solo. Il ricercare accade perché l’organismo corpo/mente è programmato per ricercare. Così se il ricercare l’illuminazione accade, allora l’organismo corpo/mente è stato programmato per ricercare. L’ostacolo è il ricercatore che dice: “Voglio l’illuminazione”. Chris Parish: Allora perché tanti saggi hanno parlato dell’importanza del ricercare? Ramana Maharshi ha detto che il ricercatore deve volere l’illuminazione così intensamente come un uomo che sta annegando vuole l’aria – con tale livello di concentrazione e sincerità. Ramesh Balsekar: Certo. Quello che vuole dire, quindi, è che ci debba essere quel tipo d’intensità nel ricercare. Ma ha anche detto: “Se vuoi fare uno sforzo, devi fare uno sforzo; ma se è destino che lo sforzo non debba essere fatto, lo sforzo non sarà fatto”. Ramana ha detto questo. Così, vedi, se uno ricerca o non ricerca non è sotto il suo controllo. Se la ricerca di Dio o la ricerca del denaro accade, non è né un tuo merito né una tua colpa. Chris Parish: In uno dei tuoi libri hai scritto che uno ha raggiunto una certa profondità di comprensione quando può dire: “Non m’importa se l’illuminazione accade o non accade a questo organismo corpo/mente”. Ramesh Balsekar: È vero. Quando raggiunge quello stadio, allora significa che il ricercatore non c’è più. È estremamente vicino all’illuminazione perché se non c’è nessuno ad interessarsene, allora non c’è più nessun ricercatore. Chris Parish: Ma il risultato non potrebbe essere soltanto un’indifferenza straordinariamente profonda – che non è l’illuminazione? Ramesh Balsekar: Quello potrebbe condurre all’illuminazione! Chris Parish: Ho ancora una domanda. Spesso affermi che dovremmo “solo accettare ciò che è” Ramesh Balsekar: Sì, se ti è possibile farlo – e questo non è sotto il tuo controllo! Epilogo Mentre passai barcollando accanto al portiere e uscii nelle strade affollate di Bombay la mia mente vacillava. Come poteva essere, mi chiesi mentre mi facevo largo tra la folla, che un uomo intelligente ed educato come Ramesh Balsekar potesse veramente credere che ogni cosa è predestinata, che prima di essere nati, il nostro destino è già inciso in una sorta di granito etereo? Poteva essere veramente serio nella sua insistenza che la nostra intera vita, con il suo apparente flusso senza fine di scelte e decisioni, di precarie opportunità per sistemarne il corso per il meglio o per il peggio, sia veramente, dal primo respiro, un destino? Mentre traversavo il marciapiede alla ricerca di un caffè nel quale trovare ristoro dal caos, i difficili passaggi del nostro breve dialogo mi vorticavano in testa. Si, “Così sia” è l’essenza della maggior parte delle religioni, pensavo tra me e me, ma per i più grandi mistici e saggi che avevano fatto queste affermazioni nella storia, l’arrendersi alla volontà di Dio ha significato molto di più del semplice accettare che non c’è nulla che si possa fare per influenzare le circostanze della vita. Certamente quello che tradizionalmente è stato riportato come “volontà di Dio” è quello che uno scopre quando ha completamente abbandonato l’ego, quando tutte le motivazioni egoistiche sono state bruciate, lasciandolo completamente arreso ad eseguire la volontà di Dio, qualsiasi essa sia! Per un Gesù, o un Ramakrishna o un Ramana Maharshi dire che si era arreso alla volontà di Dio era un fatto. Ma dire che questo sia vero per tutti sembrava riflettere, al momento, una forma pericolosa e particolare di pazzia e di un tipo che poteva essere usato per giustificare le più estreme forme di comportamento. L’affermazione di Balsekar “Quello che pensi di dover fare in ogni situazione… è precisamente ciò che Dio vuole che tu pensi che debba essere fatto” significa che per lui il Buddha illuminato non sta facendo in misura maggiore la volontà di Dio, di un serial killer che sta attaccando la sua prossima vittima. Ero venuto all’intervista aspettandomi qualche disaccordo, ma in qualche modo perfino i libri di Balsekar sui quali tutte queste idee sono ripetutamente e chiaramente espresse, non mi avevano preparato all’incontro con l’uomo stesso. Come gli erano venute queste idee? Mi chiedevo. E perché? I miei pensieri giravano e rigiravano, richiamando ogni fatto della sua rabbrividente affermazione che perfino quando facciamo del male a qualcuno, non abbiamo bisogno di sentirci in colpa, perché non siamo responsabili delle nostre azioni - “che perfino Hitler fu un mero strumento attraverso cui gli orribili eventi che dovettero accadere accaddero” - alla sua dichiarazione, che andava oltre il buon senso, che non abbiamo il potere di controllare il nostro comportamento o perfino di influenzare quello degli altri. E tutto ciò nel contesto della sua descrizione fantascientifica di tutti noi come degli “organismi corpo/mente” che recitano la loro ”programmazione”. Improvvisamente la benvenuta vista di un the shop apparve tra lo smog, e mentre mi facevo largo per entrare, provai sollievo nel trovare quel tipo di oasi quieta nella quale avevo sperato. Fu lì, a uno dei molti tavolini vuoti, mentre il primo sorso di tè al latte dal sapore dolce e vellutato scivolava tra le mie labbra, che, in un flash, mi colpì. Non stavo bevendo quel tè! Non ero seduto a quella tavola! Infatti, non ero quello che era entrato nel the-shop. E non ero quello che si era appena tormentato per un’ora discutendo con un uomo che in quel momento cominciava ad assomigliare ad un individuo sano. Infatti, non avevo fatto nulla. Era come se un peso che avevo portato per tutta la vita si fosse sollevato improvvisamente nel cielo grazie ad un pallone (ad aria calda), spedito lontano, per non ritornare più. Tutti quegli anni avevo combattuto per diventare un essere umano migliore, più onesto e generoso – tutto quello sforzo che avevo fatto per rinunciare alle mie inclinazioni di superiorità, egoismo e aggressività – sono stati tutti una folle impresa, tutti stupidamente e senza necessità basati sull’idea importante che avevo un qualche controllo sul mio destino, e la meschina presunzione che quello che facevo importasse agli “altri”. Come avevo potuto essere così fuori strada? Ma aspetta, non ero io neppure colui che fu condotto fuori strada! Come se si separassero le nuvole, all’improvviso ora vedo chiaramente, che quello che avevo pensato come “la mia vita” era stato solo un processo meccanico. La persona che pensavo di essere era solo una macchina. Ed il mondo nel quale pensavo di vivere non era, come avevo dedotto, un mondo di complessità umana, ma uno di meccanicistica semplicità, di ordine perfetto, un matematico svolgersi di programmi in movimento dall’inizio del tempo. Come la clinica perfezione del piano scientifico di Dio iniziò ad aprirsi davanti a me, l’estatico trillo della libertà assoluta – dalla preoccupazione, dall’occuparsi, dall’obbligo, dalla colpa – iniziò a correre attraverso le mie vene come un torrente di fiumi senza argini. E con quello sopraggiunse una pace avvolgente, risuonante, un’assoluta mancanza di tensione, nel riconoscimento che non importa quale ambiguità apparente o quale incertezza potessi incontrare da lì in poi, non importa quali decisioni apparentemente difficili potessi incontrare, potevo sempre riposare con la certezza che qualsiasi scelta facessi era esattamente la scelta che Dio voleva che io facessi. Il misterioso senso di uno Sconosciuto che mi aveva trascinato per così tanto tempo era evaporato. Gli altri nel caffè voltarono la testa mentre ridevo rumorosamente, una lunga risata di pancia, e riflettevo tra me e me che gioco fantastico sarebbe la vita se tutti capissero come va veramente, se ognuno potesse avere almeno un bagliore di come saremmo liberi, se vivessimo tutti sul Pianeta Advaita.Home Nondual Spirituality Religion / Spirituality Engaged Spirituality Healthy Spirituality Soul-full Spirituality Science / Spirituality Relational Spirituality Meditation / Spirit Spiritual Humor Satsang Satsang Free Audios About Timothy Testimonials Wake Up Press What's New Women of Spirit On neo-advaitin Ramesh Balsekar Advaita, ethics, authentic & inauthentic sages By Timothy Conway, Dec. 2007 (with brief additions added on Jan. 15, 2008 and Oct. 2, 2009) CONTENTS: --Short Prologue: the three levels of nondual Reality --Biographical sketch of Ramesh Balsekar (1917-2009) --Ramesh's very flawed teachings compared to those of our teacher, the authentic sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj --Ramesh is "the world's greatest living sage" ??? --Revelations of Ramesh's sexual and financial improprieties --Critiques by various persons of Wayne Liquorman's "defenses" of Ramesh (with two essays by Timothy, including "The Four Kinds of Spiritual Teachers") --Critiques by various persons of Mutribo's "defense" of Ramesh ---------------- Short Prologue: the three levels of nondual Reality Any wise pondering of life eventually reveals that there are-- most paradoxically-- three simultaneously true levels of the one Nondual Reality, one of which is "Absolutely True," the others being "pragmatically" or "relatively true": Conventional truth: The world exists ("stands out") as phenomenal appearance, vividly, palpably experiential, filled with distinct bodymind persons or sentient beings, some of them are well-behaved, some ill-behaved. One is advised to "be good, not bad," and promote justice where there is injustice, kindness where there is cruelty, integrity where there is corruption, and so forth. Psychic truth: In this Divine dream-play of manifestation, all beings, all souls, are growing more subtle and "ripe" for spiritual awakening, and—though for some souls it may take many lifetimes—they will eventually ALL awaken to the One Divine Self, for there is only this One Self. Hence whatever happens for souls in this world or any world is perfect, Divinely meant to happen (otherwise something else would be happening). In the highest heavenly soul-realm or psychic planes, we are all intermingling, interconnected buddhas, so whatever happens "down in the mortal realms" is dream-like limitation, an evolutionary Divine play of "Perfection perfecting Itself perfectly" (i.e., the process of the One Self transforming all selves into buddhas). In/as heavenly perfection, all of us gazillions of souls are made of the One Divine Love, Light, Joy, Peace and Power! Absolute Truth: Nothing is really happening and nothing has ever happened—there are no distinctly existing "souls" or "worlds" (high or low)—there is ONLY GOD, only the ONE SELF or REALITY, the Openness-Emptiness-Fullness of Absolute Being-Awareness-Bliss. Entirely birthless-deathless, timeless-spaceless, infinite-eternal, clear and simple. ----- Biographical sketch of Ramesh Balsekar (1917-2009) By way of introducing this long webpage with several persons' views of the particular "Divine embodiment" (Atma-swarupa) of Ramesh Balsekar, what he himself would call "the bodymind organism known as Ramesh," we first note that our dear Ramesh (b. May 25, 1917) was a well-educated young man at the London School of Economics, he married in 1940, then, after working his way up the corporate ladder, for a decade he served as CEO for the Bank of India in Bombay until his mandatory retirement at age 60 in 1977. Along the way he was an avid badminton player and golfer and a devoted father to three children. Since the latter 1980s until his passing on Sep. 27, 2009, his several books and his talks and seminars made him famous in certain circles as a teacher or "sage" or even "master" of nondual wisdom, advaita jnana. (The blurb on a 2004 book of Ramesh's teachings hails him with no small hyperbole as the "world’s greatest living sage," a description now regretted by that book's editor--see below.) For three years (1978-1981) in the time between being a bank president and a "sagely" author, Ramesh was one of several translators serving all of us visitors who participated in the daily conversations with the truly illustrious advaita sage of Bombay, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981) (click on the link to read a long essay on the amazing Maharaj and his teachings). (Ramesh joined longtime lead translator Saumitra Mullarpattan as well as others who served less frequently in this capacity, like S.V. Sapre and Mrs. Damayanti Dungaji.) I had some close contact with Ramesh in 1987, 1988 and 1989 when he first visited southern and northern California, driving him on a couple of occasions to different venues (and taking him with a friend to Disneyland [!] at the behest of Henry Denison, one of Ramesh's southern California hosts who planned to take him there but couldn't and asked me to do so). While traveling around India in Spring 1988 on a research trip, i took a friend to the spacious apartment suite (in a Bombay beachfront-area, home to many VIPs) belonging to Ramesh and his delightful wife Sarada/Sharda. She served a delicious dinner for the five of us (including the Balsekars' beloved son Ajit, who died in 1990, and who had taken one of the most beautiful photographs of Maharaj, a photo that Maharaj offered to sign for me in 1981). By the late 1980s Ramesh, who had struck many folks as being the most aloof and taciturn of Maharaj's translators, was a noticeably friendlier and more heart-felt guy. It should be mentioned somewhere here that Ramesh was considered by some folks to be the successor of Nisargadatta Maharaj, yet Ramesh simply wrote that, toward the very end of Maharaj's life (he died on Sep. 8, 1981), Maharaj wondered aloud to Ramesh, "Why don't you speak?" And Ramesh took this as an authorization to teach aspirants. I am told by Judy Amlin that her mother Jean Dunn (who had many disciples herself and who edited three books of Maharaj's conversations) and the Belgian disciple Jozef Nauwelaerts (who shot the two hours of film footage of Maharaj that we have) were the only two "successors" actually "appointed" by Maharaj, and that no Indians were named. An anecdote from David Godman's biography of advaita teacher Papaji (H.W.L. Poonja), Nothing Ever Happened, is also notable here. Sometime in 1981, Papaji had been taken by friends while he was in Bombay to attend a group satsang with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in the latter's residential mezzanine loft. "After, when Papaji went downstairs, he found himself standing next to the translator of Maharaj. Papaji asked him, 'So how long have you been listening to Maharaj?' He responded 'Three years.' Then Papaji asked, 'And what have you learned from Him after these three years?' He responded, 'No, I am just the translator, that's all I do.' Afterwards, Papaji was told that this was Ramesh Balsekar, and later on he was surprised to discover that he was being invited to the States to speak the Truth in the 1980's." Nisargadatta Maharaj's powerful wisdom and presence had completely eradicated in me any need to seek out other teachers after my in-depth time with him in January 1981. (Spontaneously, i helped serve a few other spiritual leaders, especially the awesome "Hugging Mother" Ammachi from 1987 onward, but there was never again any motive after Jan. 1981 to personally "get" anything or have any "questions" answered or "doubts" clarified). I therefore treasured Ramesh, not so much as a teacher, but as a dear guru-bhai elder brother-disciple, one of several, of the late great Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. ----------- Ramesh's flawed teachings compared with the teachings of our teacher, authentic sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj By 1989 it was only too evident that, while Ramesh was a very good spokesman for certain aspects of authentic Advaita wisdom, there were important discrepancies in Ramesh's teachings compared to those of our great mentor Sri Nisargadatta (e.g., a laissez-faire indifference, fatalist determinism and almost nihilist absurdism had crept into the teachings, despite protests to the contrary). It seems that Ramesh's teachings were being influenced far more by Wei Wu Wei (the Irishman Terence Gray, 1895-1986, one of Ramesh's favorite authors) than by Nisargadatta. I was also concerned to hear about the charging of hefty fees at some of Ramesh's retreats for spiritual aspirants, when Sri Nisargadatta never asked for a paisa/penny from anyone. And so I left off any further contact with Ramesh, inwardly wishing him all the very best. It would not be until early 2005 that I would hear of the charges of serial adultery by Ramesh with some of his female students. Much more can be said on how Ramesh's teachings have significantly diverged from those of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, and the latter's own Guru, Sri Siddharameshvar Maharaj (1888-1936). Ramesh essentially teaches what has come to be called "neo-advaita" or "pseudo-advaita"—namely, that a cognitive realization of "the Truth" (that there is only Consciousness) utterly suffices, and so there is nothing to aspire toward, nothing to do, nothing to achieve. "Understanding is all," as Ramesh and other neo-advaitins have so often declared. Whatever happens in the dream of life is "God's will," beyond our responsibility. There are really no individuals or persons who could have "free will" or function as a "doer," and therefore no freedom from conditioning or bodily identification need be striven for or can ever be achieved through effort—unless it is God's will for this to happen! In the view of Ramesh and other neo-advaitins, the world is but a Divinely predetermined mechanism playing out mechanistically, and "you" the personality are just a part of the functioning of this mechanism. "You" have no choice or free will about any of this. Que sera, sera. What will be, will be. By contrast, both Nisargadatta and Siddharameshvar along with Ramana Maharshi and other "real Advaitin sages" taught a subtler, more nuanced view that involves the PARADOX of effort and Grace. They were not constrained by an "either-or" logic but easily and freely utilized an inclusive "both-and" logic of mystical reality. So these eminent sages affirmed that, yes, on the Absolute-truth level, there is only unmanifest Absolute Awareness, and this phenomenal play of consciousness—the manifest beings, bodies, experiences—is ultimately insubstantial because it is fleeting and not solid, "a dream," and that, Absolutely-speaking, there are no individual persons or souls, free will or choice, and that whatever happens is Divine Will or the lîlâ (play, sport) of consciousness. But these authentic spiritual masters also taught, on the more "conventional-pragmatic level", that great earnestness, persistence and "effortless effort" are needed, that "you," Consciousness manifesting as the apparent individual or personal consciousness "instrument," can and must dis-identify from narrow identification with the body-mind-egoji. Through radical self-inquiry ("Who am I, really?" "What is prior to the 'I Am' sense?") and receding-returning-relaxing into/as the Source, there is consequent awakening, by Divine Grace, out of the conditioned "me"-dream into real freedom from binding likes-dislikes (the samskaras or vasanas, that is, the egoic tendencies of selfishness and limited individuality). In other words, there is a transcending of apathy, unhealthy ego-attachments, and mere theoretical understanding to actually living and fully being the Liberated Truth of "only God," only Absolute Awareness. To be sure, it is quite true that Nisargadatta Maharaj (and Ramana Maharshi, et al.) often succinctly said, for the sake of balance and to undermine egoic identifications, "there's nothing to do" and "no efforts are to be made," so "just be." But Nisargadatta also many times spoke of a developmental process of stages (from individual consciousness to universal consciousness to Absolute Awareness) and he paradoxically urged that we be tremendously earnest about meditating and abiding in our real Nature as the Absolute beyond false identifications, body-based desires, pride, hypocrisy, fears and selfishness. He often said, "You must enquire and meditate on the root 'i am-ness' sense and get free of it." The Maharaj accused certain people of being "pseudo-sages" (pseudo-jnanis) because they had not (yet) genuinely awakened to the Absolute but were still "indulging their beingness" on the level of the bodymind personality. Over the decades Nisargadatta certainly echoed in different ways the message frequently uttered by his guru Sri Siddharameshvar, "Realize the Self and behave accordingly!" Furthermore, Nisargadatta and advaita tradition, while revealing the ultimate truth of "only the birthless-deathless Self, no soul-karma-rebirth," do teach on the expedient level the plain experiential fact of karma-driven rebirth for those still identified with the narrow self. Whereas, by contrast, Ramesh and neo-advaita refuse to talk at all on this expedient-pragmatic level, constrained as they are to always talk in a dangerously one-sided, imbalanced, "Absolute-only" style of parlance (the language of "Absolutish"). What's more, and not just for persons of a devotional temperament, Nisargadatta and his Guru both occasionally spoke in glowing terms (as did Ramana Maharshi, Sankara, et al.) of the great usefulness of devotion (bhakti), and even mantra-recitation, things that Ramesh usually ignored or quite glibly dismissed in the years i knew him. It is obvious, too, that Nisargadatta speaks much more than does Ramesh about various aspects of living from authentic realization of Absolute Awareness, and his words have the resonant "ring of Truth," a majestic intuition of real Freedom, Power and Clarity. This is no mere conceptual formula about "Consciousness, the world-mechanism, and nonexistence of the individual" (the bulk of Ramesh's teaching), leaving us stuck, smug and satisfied with status quo mediocrity. We need not belabor this analysis. Perhaps a few quotes from Ramesh's book Who Cares? will illustrate some of the divergence in his teaching from that of Nisargadatta, Siddharameshvar, and other genuinely free sages (not just "teachers"). Ramesh: "What is the significance of the statement 'No one can get enlightenment'? This is the very root of the teaching. It means that it's stupid for any so-called master to ask anyone to do anything to achieve or get enlightenment. The core of this simple statement means, according to my concept, that enlightenment is the annihilation of the 'one' who 'wants' enlightenment. If there is enlightenment - which can only happen because it is the will of God - then it means the 'one' who had earlier wanted enlightenment has been annihilated. So no 'one' can achieve enlightenment and therefore no 'one' can enjoy enlightenment." —To which we can say that, on the level of deconstructive mystical philosophy, this is of course all quite true, an ancient truth from India's traditions of nondual realization, especially early Mahayana Buddhism as well as Abhidhamma Theravada Buddhism—e.g., "There is nirvana, but no one in it." Nisargadatta sometimes in fact spoke in this vein. But, "stupid" or not, we have many more hundreds of tape-recorded and book-printed teachings from Nisargadatta Maharaj (and from other genuine advaitins), addressed to Consciousness in the form of "you," the personal consciousness (Nisargadatta was often quite "personal" in directly addressing people). And these teachings clearly expressed with imperative verb-forms urging, commanding, inviting, and requesting aspirants to "be earnest," "you must meditate," "recede into your Self," "stay put as you are prior to the bodymind and 'I Am-ness,'" and so on. Ramesh: "The joke is even the surrendering is not in your control. Why? Because so long as there is an individual who says 'I surrender' there is a surrenderer, an individual ego... What I'm saying is that even the surrendering is not in [your] hands." —And yes, Nisargadatta often had expressed this very same truth. I heard it from him directly myself on a number of occasions. But Nisargadatta also explicitly told many people, using the imperative verb-form, to surrender, dis-identify from the bodymind, drop attachments, stop clinging, let go, etc. In other words, Nisargadatta could teach both sides of the paradox, the Absolute level and the pragmatic level, he wasn't constrained always and only to speak "Absolut-ish" to his "non-existent listeners." His great compassion wanted people actually FREE, not stuck indulging their bodymind self-sense and high-flown concepts. Ramesh: "You're truly not responsible for anything that you do. But, that doesn't mean that you have to be irresponsible. Because, the answer ultimately is do whatever you like according to any standards of morality and responsibility you have. The standards of morality and responsibility are part of the programming, and you cannot act other than your programming." —To which Nisargadatta and other real masters would retort: Then get some new environmental programming by associating with the teachings of true sages and by deeply contemplating or meditating on the profound wisdom that brings real Awakening and real Freedom! ---------- I was watching, at the request of an acquaintance, a video clip of Ramesh teaching in his Mumbai apartment a few years before his passing on Sep. 27, 2009. Ramesh kept underscoring the point that the only benefit from what he termed "enlightenment" was "peace of mind" and "feeling comfortable with oneself and with the other." He also went on to say that the essence of the Buddha's enlightenment and his enlightened teaching was "acceptance" and realizing there's "no doer of any deeds." Certainly these elements are a few of the many wholesome factors associated with authentic awakening. But I daresay that Ramesh, with this kind of emphasis, has hereby significantly cheapened and distorted the teaching of authentic sages. For one thing, the Buddha taught much more than what Ramesh summarizes as the gist of his wisdom. In truth, the Buddha urged the cultivation of the "qualities of a Buddha" and complete liberation from all forms of selfish identification and clinging, as, for instance, discussed in his models of the "7 enlightenment factors" and freedom from the "3 poisons" (attachment, aversion, delusion) and freedom from the "10 fetters" (including the subtlest forms of pride, ignorance and any clinging to formless and formed heaven states). As for the "peace of mind" that Ramesh promotes as the acme of spirituality, any sociopath (like Jack the Ripper or Charles Manson and cohorts) can enjoy a certain tranquility as he/she goes about killing or torturing people. Obviously, therefore, true sages are pointing to—and exemplifying—a much more profound peace beyond the mind, namely, our Real Nature as Absolute Awareness, always infinitely and eternally prior to space-time as Source and Substance of all phenomena on bodily or mental levels. This Awareness is not remote, but right HERE (closer than the mind or separative ego-sense) and right NOW (always already our true Identity before the moment-by-moment arising of any phenomena). This Awareness is not "knowable" as an object, but is certainly quite "be-able" as our vast, open True Nature, Absolute Being-Awareness-Bliss. And, as for Ramesh's idea of "being comfortable with the other," Nisargadatta pointed to a far more profound realization of being the essential Awareness underlying all sentient beings as their fundamental Truth. Indeed, in line with the ancient Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, he taught that, while we are to "love" "serve," and "take care of" others, truly (on the Absolute level), there are no "others," only the single Awareness, what the Buddha so famously referred to as the Unborn, Uncompounded, Unmade Reality or Nibbana (Nirvana). This is an invitation to a far more profound, free, clear and lucid awakening than anything Ramesh is teaching with his primary emphasis on (mere) "peace of mind" and "being comfortable with oneself and others." ----------- It might be summarily said here that the sublime way of Nisargadatta, his enlightened co-disciple Ranjit Maharaj (1913-2000), their master Siddharameshvar, as well as Ramana Maharshi, Sankara, the Buddha, and authentic Ch'an-Zen, Taoist, Vajrayana and other mystical-spiritual masters is the way of "supremely effortless effort" for the sake of radical Awakening to glorious spiritual Reality, our intrinsic yet usually undiscovered True Nature. Whereas, by stark contrast, the "no way" of Ramesh and the neo-advaitins of our era is "no efforts at all" and hence no real awakening from the "me"-dream and its complications. ---------------- SOME ILLUSTRATIVE, TYPICAL TEACHINGS OF SRI NISARGADATTA: Here are a few sample quotes, rich with imperatives, from just two of the dozen primary books of Nisargadatta Maharaj's teachings arbitrarily taken off a nearby bookshelf, which well underscore his sublime views on the importance of "real Realization" beyond bodily-identification, indifference, and mere cognitive-theoretical understanding of spiritual Truth: "We should realize that we are not the body. This is liberation and realization. [...] Because you identify with the body, all the troubles begin.... The biggest stumbling block is the identification with the body-mind.... You must develop the conviction that you are the Absolute. [...] You must accomplish jnana-yoga [supremely liberating Wisdom-Knowledge], which means: the self subsiding in the Self.... But all you really want is to keep your body-mind sense intact; that just will not do.... You accept body as your identity.... By merely acquiring knowledge [i.e., theoretical understanding of "truth"] one cannot claim to be a jnani [a truly free sage]. The jnani-yogi is [actually] not required to know anything as he is Knowledge itself. Jnana-yoga is the highest state in spirituality. In this state there is no individuality, as this is the all-pervading state.... The sense of individuality and needs are felt prior to jnana-yoga. But after the accomplishment of jnana-yoga, one is beyond needs and individual personality. [...] Since a realized sage abides in perfection, he has no need at all to gain anything. [...] Once you realize that you are not the body and the mind, you have no needs and demands. [...] Do not get involved in your wants. [...] Many people presume themselves to be jnanis, but they are ignorant only. [...] If you have a deep urge, then only will there be illumination.... (Q: How should we get rid of this blindness?) By abiding in the Self through insistence. Meditate on the Self. You must do the yoga of insistence and perseverance to have perfect knowledge about the Self." —Nisargadatta Maharaj (The Nectar of Immortality, pp. 95, 152-3, 100-1, 16, 93, 164, 38, 148-9) "Only one in a hundred thousand [who hear these teachings] will really understand the Knowledge which is given. Most won't give up their body sense. [...] As long as you think that the body is you, you will not get true knowledge.... This identity with the body has to go.... [This] is not indifference, it is detachment. [...] To want something is natural, so long as there is the identity with the body-mind. Once that is transcended, there will be no wants. [...] When you identify with the body-mind, you become separate, you are not one with anybody. [...] Once you understand that you are not the body then are you not everything? [...] When you come to [awaken to] Parabrahman [Absolute Reality] there are no desires, no [selfish] likes or dislikes. That is Nishkama [Desireless] Parabrahman.... You have only one thing to do: care for others as much as you care for yourself. [...] I will give you one piece of advice: do not do anything that will hurt another, that is all.... Take care that you do not hurt anyone else. [...] Be that love which is not conditioned by the body-mind. If you are that love, it is total, complete love.... Detachment comes only after you are free from bodily love. Be free from the body-mind state and be in the state of love, and that will be the source of all bliss. [...] You must have a deep yearning to attain the Truth. [...] To understand this you have to meditate.... You [must] follow meditation assiduously.... I insist you stabilize yourself by meditation. Your senses are very active; they are not under control. By meditating, that particular weakness of your mind will be brought under control.... Persistence. That deep longing must be there. [...] To understand what I am telling you it is imperative that you have recourse to meditation. Don't be carried away by concepts, just dwell in the quietude. [...] You must make up your mind what you want.... If the determination [for Freedom or Realization] is that great—then it must come, but if you want something in the material world, it is not possible. The true pupil keeps this in mind and meditates." —Nisargadatta Maharaj (Seeds of Consciousness, pp. 164, 24-5, 69, 108, 146, 195, 72, 103, 102, 194, 209, 177) ---------- THE UNENLIGHTENED AMORAL FATALISM OF RAMESH BALSEKAR The reader might also wish to read a long interview with Ramesh, "Close Encounters of the Advaita Kind: The Euphoric Nihilism of Ramesh Balsekar," conducted by Chris Parish for the Fall/Winter 1998 issue of the magazine What Is Enlightenment (www.wie.org/j20/balsekar.asp), wherein Chris repeatedly challenges Ramesh on his fatalist philosophy. In light of what would be revealed six years later (Winter 2004-5) about Ramesh's long-running desires to engage certain female students in sexual conduct, the WIE interview is notable for a discussion at one point by Chris and Ramesh of adultery. That section is reproduced here: WIE: I read something in a pamphlet written by several of your students that seems relevant to this point. It says: "What you like can only be what God wants you to like. Nothing can happen unless it is His will." The pamphlet also says: "Don't feel guilty even if adultery happens. You, the Source, are always pure." Ramesh Balsekar: That is what Ramana Maharshi said. [Note: But Ramana Maharshi said many other things as a counterbalance to any kind of licentiousness!--Timothy] WIE: The Source may always be pure, but again, it seems to me that this could easily be taken as a license to act without conscience. You could say, "It doesn't matter if I commit adultery, it doesn't matter if I hurt my friends because that action just happened." It could easily be taken as a license to act out on a desire, just because I happen to have that desire. RB: But isn't that what is happening? WIE: It does happen, certainly, but... RB: Do you mean that it will happen more? WIE: It could easily happen more. I could say, "Well, it doesn't matter what I do now. I shouldn't bother to restrain myself if I feel a desire." Do you see what I mean? RB: The question usually asked is this: "If I am not really doing anything, what is to prevent me from taking a machine gun and going out and killing twenty people?" That is what you are asking, isn't it? WIE: Well, that's an extreme example. RB: Yes, take an extreme example! WIE: But I think it's more interesting to consider the adultery example, because many people wouldn't really do something as extreme as machine-gunning other people. RB: All right. It's the same thing when we're talking of committing adultery. I read that the psychologists and biologists have, based on their research, come to the conclusion that if you're cheating on your wife, you shouldn't blame yourself. More and more, the scientist is coming to the conclusion that the mystic has always held—that whatever actions happen can be traced to the programming. WIE: I can see that in some cases this might be true, but let's say, for example, that I have the urge to commit adultery. I could say, "It must be God's will that I do it, so I'll go ahead"—or, I could restrain myself and not cause a lot of suffering for my friends. Wouldn't it be better if I restrained myself? RB: So who is preventing you from restraining yourself? Do whatever you like! What is preventing you from restraining yourself? Restrain yourself! WIE: My point is that it's better to do so! RB: That's my point, too. WIE: But according to your view, I could just as easily say, "It must be God's will because I feel a desire," and then not restrain myself. RB: You're saying that you know you should restrain yourself—then why don't you restrain yourself? If a body/mind organism is programmed not to cheat on his wife, whatever anybody says, he won't do it. If you are so programmed that you won't raise a hand against somebody, will you start killing people? Now if there is a law passed that you can beat your wife and no action will be taken against you, will you start beating your wife? Not unless the body/mind organism is programmed to do that, and if it is programmed to do that, it has been doing so anyway. So as I said, accepting God's will does not prevent you from doing whatever you think you should do. Do it! Do exactly what you think you should do! WIE: In the end, though, how can we say that we know it is destiny or God's will? All we know is that certain events take place. Afterward, we can look back on something we did and say, "It just happened," and if we like, we can call it destiny. But isn't it more accurate to say that we don't really know whether it is destiny or not? Saying that we don't know is different from saying "We know that it is God's will." It's different from saying we know that everything is fixed. You see, it sounds to me like you're saying that you do know that everything is the will of God. RB: We don't know, and that is the bottom line; so if you like, you can drop the concept of destiny and say that nobody can really know anything. Fine! ----------- For a tragic example of how Ramesh's teachings impact some of his listeners' behavior and their loved ones, consider the following report, from the (no longer accessible) website "Peter's Pages" (http://peter.ca/spirit/spiritual-teachers.html; Peter is a longtime practitioner of Ch'an Buddism, Advaita and Aikido, and a critic of neo-advaita and other scams in the name of spirituality). This report is about Peter's friend, pseudonymously named here "Allan": [For some 20 years] Allan has traveled to India to sit with Ramesh. He has deeply taken Ramesh’s teachings to heart. Allan is a yoga teacher. Before meeting Ramesh he studied yoga in India in the traditional manner, and after many years became very good at hatha yoga. He had many students. But Allan was unhappy. He did not like his life. He travelled extensively, touring the world and teaching yoga. He met various teachers. He tried Vipassana, but never understood what the technique was trying to point toward. He tried a little Zen. He tried tantra. Generally, he always always felt good during his visits with teachers or groups, but the effects never lasted. Then he heard of Ramesh Balsekar, and went to India to visit him. Ramesh changed Allan’s life. Ramesh told Allan that nothing mattered, that it did not matter what he did for every event was the will of God. Ramesh also said that everything was already ordained so there was no point in fighting it. Allan had been searching all his life for someone to tell him it was okay to do whatever he wanted. He was happy! When he returned home he immediately slept with several of his yoga students, not telling his young wife or son where he was going or what he was doing. When his wife nonetheless suspected what was happening, Allan simply said that Ramesh had shown him that he was free to do whatever he wanted. Over the next decade Allan saw Ramesh several more times, and each time was reinforced in his belief that since everything was ordained it did not matter in the least what he did. He asked Ramesh about it - was he really free to do anything? Yes, said Ramesh. A friend of Allan’s pointed out to him this site [a now defunct webpage critical of Ramesh], and Allan just laughed saying that Ramesh knew the truth so it did not matter what he (Ramesh) did. Or who was hurt in the process. Now gentle reader, lest you draw the rather natural conclusion that Allan had simply misunderstood Ramesh, it should be pointed out that Allan spoke at length with Ramesh about his innermost feelings, his take on what Ramesh had to say, and finally often asked if he had properly understood. Again, Allan was confirmed in his interpretation [by Ramesh]. On the Ramesh Balsekar scandal of 2004-5 Given all of the above, it was "an interesting turn in the play of consciousness" to discover that many people had left Ramesh in late 2004 and early 2005 upon hearing revelations coming out of a long seminar with Ramesh in Kovalam Beach in Kerala, India, of more greed and financial impropriety by him and his organizers, and, especially, hearing revelations of Ramesh's longtime exploitation of certain women disciples as objects for his own bodymind's sexual pleasure. At the time, I was asked by some prominent advaita friends to write a few responses, and did so, though beyond this i generally stayed out of things. These writings have been posted to the Internet at different places. The two main essays used to be posted along with other persons' material at a prominent European advaita website (which had promoted Ramesh since 1996) as part of a long critical page ("Real Advaita") uploaded there in early 2005 by the web-hosts, who expressed major concern over Ramesh's behavior. My main two essays on the topic of Advaita, ethics, authentic and inauthentic Teachers have also been posted since early 2005 by Sarlo at his much-visited Guru Ratings website, e.g., http://www3.telus.net/public/sarlo/Yconway2.htm. With the complete removal of anything on Ramesh at the European advaita website, the consequent dead link at the Wikipedia article on Ramesh for the critical endnotes, and the nearly complete absence of any pages critical of Ramesh or his teachings in any Internet-search "top returns" on his name at Google, I have reproduced here, for the historical record and for the sake of true Dharma, some of the materials that were written on the controversy by different persons back in early 2005. These writings by various concerned parties on behalf of true Advaita are important documents in helping sincere spiritual aspirants and anyone presuming to teach spirituality not to get confused about mixing up the two simultaneously-true "truth levels" as distinguished centuries ago by Sankara, Gaudapada, Nagarjuna and other Hindu and Buddhist advaita sages and more recently by Nisargadatta and other true adepts: namely, 1) the level of Absolute-truth (paramarthika-satya), i.e., the teaching that there is only the unmanifest Absolute prior to and beyond the dreamlike manifest play of consciousness; and 2) the conventional, pragmatic truth (vyavaharika-satya or samvriti-satya), i.e., that in this world of relationships and activities there is a meaningful distinction between true-false, right-wrong, appropriate-inappropriate, skillful-unskillful, helpful-harmful, kind-cruel, and so forth. On the Absolute level and on what could be called the sublime soul level, "nothing is really happening," there are no problems whatsoever, "whatever happens in the life-dream is perfect," and all of this is "perfect Divine Comedy," not tragedy. Yet speaking on the conventional-pragmatic level, it is certainly unfortunate and sad that my old friend Ramesh has to serve here as Exhibit A in this ongoing need to clarify truth-levels and to distinguish true Advaita Dharma over the rampant "cheap" pseudo-advaita. I sincerely wish the soul of the late Ramesh and his family, friends and disciples everything wonderful, and full realization of the "No-thing" that is our Source: Pure Awareness, Absolute Reality, Divine Peace. [Note: much of the flow of information in the e-letters below was facilitated in early 2005 by a longtime concerned advaitin friend whom i will only refer to here as "L."] L wrote to me [Timothy] in early February 2005: "Here is an email I got from [a friend, anonymously abbreviated "E"], a co-founder along with his wife of a group ... that has distributed books and videos of various modern spiritual teachers, including many Vedantin teachers. I know [them] from India, and have visited them when I was in [Europe]. Their integrity is impeccable. I met them in India originally, they both ... are avid students of genuine Advaita, they were close to both Papaji and Ranjit Maharaj. I have very high regard for them.... This is E's report about the recent retreat that Ramesh Balsekar held, where Ramesh was confronted by many of the people there on his atrocious behavior. --L" =============================== [From the advaita-oriented European husband-wife couple, evidently written sometime in late January, 2005:] A client and friend of ours (who we trust very much) just came back from Bombay 10 days ago. He discovered Ramesh Balsekar through us about 2 years ago. He became totally addicted to Ramesh and his teaching and went to Bombay every 4 months. During his stay in India each time, he spent a week at Sri Ramanasramam. He adores Ramana and Nisargadatta. This time he attended the Kovalam Seminar [in India's Kerala state] for the first time. The first thing which bothered him was that the organisers and Ramesh kept insisting that the attendees of the seminar who had already paid a fortune [by Indian standards] for the seminar (1000 Euros) [approx. $770 US] could always donate more money. On top of this, the man who organised the whole thing, gave each of the 150 attendees an envelope to contribute 1500 Rupees [c. $40 US] each for the workers in the hotel, to thank them for the hospitality, etc... It was obvious that this money was not going only to them. Ramesh and money is not a new story! Finally, the last day comes along and one woman starts attacking Ramesh, asking him why he psychologically manipulated her into doing 'services' for him. (F---ing services!) Then another spoke out, then another, and this went on for 2 hours. It turns out that Ramesh has been doing this for many years behind his wife's back. (It appears that his close disciples knew this was going on but shut their mouths because they were riding the Ramesh wave!) He's a horny old Indian man and not a great advaita teacher that he pretends to be. He figures out whom he can manipulate and then slowly moves in. I don't think he told them they got enlightened [unlike Rajneesh, et al.]. He just obliged them because he was the guru. It seems that there have been many. Most of his Indian disciples have been shocked and now no longer visit him. Many westerners haven't heard about this yet but I think it will soon get around. [Note: the large majority of Ramesh's followers have always been Westerners, not Indians.] Ramesh had already prepared a letter for the last day. I guess he knew someone was going to spill the beans in front of the video cameras. He basically said it is his body-mind and not him chasing after women. Great excuse!! How can he behave as a guru and say such things? He takes people for idiots! I'm sure a lot more stories will come out in the future! I just wanted to let you know about it and I thought perhaps you had also heard things. We are going to stop promoting Ramesh. Our friend told us more details but they all confirm what I have already written. I would be interested to hear what some of the other attendees of Kovalam have to say. It definitely doesn't smell good, all of this! It shows how strong and clever ego can be! [Update:] I think its normal that people doubt all this, but now they want to find out if it is all true, which is a good thing. I know it's true because the two people I spoke with (the man came to our office and spent 90 minutes telling us about it) are sincere. I know that. They were both shocked because they just didn't want to accept the fact that their master wasn't free from lusting, etc. and it was hard for them to speak about all this. I am hoping that some of the Kovalam attendees will start speaking out as well as the women who were asked to perform 'services' for Ramesh. Of course, the moment you do this you will be under attack by the Ramesh clan, but who cares (a title of one of Ramesh's books). I feel that my role is to inform and let the news circulate, but it's better that first-hand info also comes out. That will take more time, but surely it will come out. (The Truth is never in a rush.) Now, people just have to accept it. People who want freedom, will accept it. People who want to believe and depend, won't accept it. What more can one say! I can't forget Ranjit Maharaj's one-liner: "HOW CAN SOMETHING EXIST IN NOTHING? Mind is always projecting 'this and that' but ultimately it's all untrue. The one absorbed in this nothingness, the Self, is free from all 'this and that'." As Maharaj would say, "You suffer because you have taken the touch of mind and are in love with the illusion. The choice is yours now." ================ A Revelatory Letter on Ramesh from Patrick / Nirodhananda March 25, 2005 [with some editing by DM] [Writes Patrick:] I hope that what I have written below will serve to reveal actual facts, and thereby lead the reader to investigate the reality of the deeper meaning behind those facts. Two years ago [2003?] I traveled to Bombay for my first meeting with Ramesh Balsekar, in order to verify whether his teachings were genuine or not. I subsequently went there to see Ramesh again several times. The last time I saw Ramesh was in Kovalam, Kerala in December 2004. These are some of the things, which I observed occur in Bombay and at Kovalam. In Bombay, in the large room, next door to the satsang room in Ramesh’s residence, I noticed numerous photographs of Ramesh, some of which showed him when he was young, posing like a statue of a Greek athlete of antiquity. Every photograph was for sale at a rather high price for India. I was puzzled, ill at ease, finding it surprising, and even out of place, that a "sage" would expose his physical body in such a way and make money out of selling photographs such as these. Before seeing these photos, I had just been listening to a rather basic talk on humility and on the absence of pride and arrogance in a sage. And, here I was face to face with these more or less questionable photographs being sold in apparent total contradiction to the discourse I had just heard. I also noticed books being sold on the premises. Many people purchase books there, and I often heard Ramesh himself encourage visitors to buy copies. The sale of the audio recording of the day's talk on a CD caught my attention because of its price: 500 rupees, (approximately $11 US [when the unit cost for a recordable CD is less than $1])! One fact which always surprised and shocked me was that Ramesh often told his listeners that he only teaches those who already live a comfortable life, those who have no material worries. Clearly, Ramesh's visitors are neither poor or financially needy, and many are actually wealthy. One cannot avoid noticing that money appears to be quite important to Ramesh. On one of my stays in Bombay, I asked Ramesh questions on the absolute essential truth (paramartha satya), and on the relative expressed truth (samvritti satya). These words relate to traditional Indian teachings. I ever only received vague and superficial answers from him, which did not help me at all. If Ramesh was not responding clearly, I wondered whether it was due to ignorance on his part, or due to lack of understanding of the questions? Then, I made my way to the 2004 Kovalam seminar. Among the 155 participants representing about twenty countries were two wealthy Indians. Half of the attendees were meeting Ramesh for the first time. A group of Germans, who seemed to have known Ramesh for a long time, were organizing and running the seminar. The general content of what was being taught at the seminar was identical to what I had already heard in Bombay. The first thing which struck me was Ramesh’s response to a psychiatric medical doctor of Jewish origin who spoke of the suffering that had pursued him all his life. His father had died in the Nazi camps. The fact that he had never met his father had always been a source of major suffering for him. His sincere account was touching as he expressed it openly in front of everyone. Ramesh's callous response was, "This is just a happening, and you have not had any choice. You can only accept!" I will add that on several occasions Ramesh put "a Hitler and hundreds of Mother Teresa's" on the same level. I wondered why Ramesh approached someone's suffering with such shocking and useless words. (I will remark here that several participants were of Jewish origin.) Then this same doctor asked Ramesh, "I have the impression of a feeling of energy in your presence, could you explain why to me?" Ramesh’s nonsequitur response was, "You have spent a thousand Euros for this seminar, but if you come to my house [for the daily 9 a.m. talks], it is free. Although this should not prevent you from making a donation." The German staff had a lot of fun with this reply. The topic of donations was raised several times during the seminar. Each time, Ramesh reminded the audience that the donations which benefit the donor, are those which "pinch" the donor, and that without "feeling this pain" the donation cannot be positive for the donor. A young American of Russian origin, who was very shocked by these words, spoke to several of us and expressed his indignation, "But how can a guru ask for money like this?" Right up to the last day, this chap was very unhappy about how the seminar was turning out. He was not the only one to be so shocked. Several of us came to understand that the profits from the seminar turned out to be quite a large sum for Ramesh. It is a known fact that using pseudo-spirituality as a means to pressure people into giving large sums of money has always been a handy way for the teacher to grow rich at the expense of others. On the second to last day, the German organizer handed each participant a paper which explained how hard the cooks worked in the hotel where we had our meals. On this paper, he suggested that each one of us give a tip of 1,500 rupees at the end of the seminar. A tip which he would personally hand out. (To the cooks, we wondered?) Several people expressed their indignation at being requested to give such a large sum of money (the price of the seminar being already high), as well as their doubts as to where this money was actually going. One of them told me: "It is impossible that this organizer would hand 225,000 rupees, [approximately $5,625 US] over to the cooks. I do not believe it!" I also saw that the price of the books being sold at Kovalam was higher than their usual price. Toward the middle of the seminar, several women appeared to be quite ill at ease and unhappy, whereas they did not appear at all like that at the beginning. Ramesh's German staff themselves appeared a little agitated, distant, preoccupied and difficult to approach. I observed all of this wondering what could be the reason. A young American woman, who appeared to be unhappier than the others, seemed quite affected. She remained isolated, sad and withdrawn in her own corner. An American man, whose origins I think are Mexican, was comforting her. He did the same for several women who appeared to go to him for support. Two other men were also offering them help. Again, I was wondering what was going on. At the end of the second to last satsang, a young western doctor, who had studied traditional Indian medicine, asked Ramesh: "Do you think that a guru can use his teaching to justify his own actions, to justify his own behaviour?" The question was direct. Ramesh appeared to be taken aback, and gave a vague reply, "Whatever happens is only an event, the will of God, a cosmic law... and the guru is not concerned by the event." As it was the end of that satsang, a woman came out to play the harmonium and sing a devotional song. During the week Ramesh told a story, (which he also told in Bombay), about the sex life of a well known guru who lived not far from Bombay. A disciple, who had been with this guru for over twenty years, caught him in the middle of a sex act with young boys. He had never previously known that his guru did this. Very shocked, he came back to see the guru telling him that he could not tolerate such act, and that he was leaving the ashram immediately. The guru’s response was, "You have created the problem. Now you have to solve it!" Ramesh expressed his agreement with this response and said, "Everything is only an event ruled by cosmic law and by divine will... It is the programming of the body-mind mechanism... and nothing can be done about it... the guru is not concerned!" Ramesh then told us another similar story about another guru living near Bangalore. Then he told us that Nisargadatta Maharaj (supposedly) accepted the services of a local prostitute. I asked myself: "Why is Ramesh telling these upsetting/sordid stories that shock so many people in the assembly?" I had the feeling that he was attempting to "destroy" authentic gurus. Ramesh added that Nisargadatta Maharaj taught a "positive" path and that, he, Ramesh, taught the "negative" path! I remember that these words raised indignation in several people. After the satsang, an English lady came to share her annoyance with me: "Nisargadatta teaching a positive path?!... What does Ramesh mean to say about him? It is not true. Maharaj has always taught the Negative Way!" [i.e., the way of dis-identification from the body-mind]. I also disagreed with Ramesh's words. [Notes DM, the editor of this letter: In traditional advaita vedanta teachings, first comes the negation, as in "neti, neti," "(I am) not this, not this"; and then the positive assertion, or pointing to "That," which you are, as in "I am That."] An important moment took place when Ramesh stated that bhakti [devotion] was totally useless and had no meaning, and that only jnana [nondual wisdom] was important [contrary to Nisargadatta Maharaj's own teachings to different disciples, depending on their temperament]. He added, "You are probably surprised to hear this, because it must be the first time you are hearing it, isn't it?" A man seated behind me started crying, as if he had just lost all his references. I tried to comfort him as well as I could. I was troubled and disturbed seeing the impact Ramesh’s words were having on the psyche of this sensitive spiritual seeker. Simply speaking, I felt that Ramesh was trying to say to us that he was the only one who had right understanding, and not the gurus who had gone before him. I was bewildered. Later, a young Australian student in neuro-psychology told me that Ramesh's behaviour and demeanor were troubling to him. On the second to last day, I was informed by a lady participant that Ramesh had had a mistress for a number of years (as well as other women before that), and since the relationship had to be kept hidden, his mistress was suffering from this abnormal and difficult situation. I also was told that the events with women taking place in Kovalam also took place in Ramesh's Bombay home. I could not believe my ears. I also discovered that Mrs. Balsekar did not like it. Then came the last morning. The organizer of the seminar gave a long speech to us from the platform. He went on for about twenty minutes before Ramesh arrived. The organizer appeared visibly troubled and ill at ease. He said, "I have known Ramesh for twenty-five years. Each one of us has his faults and his qualities... Even if Ramesh has some faults, I am ever grateful to him. For me this seminar is important..." Then, he traced back his history with Ramesh. I and some of the participants looked at each other. We felt we knew what was troubling him, (the news about Ramesh and women). But we were far from imagining what was about to happen, of which we were all going to be witnesses. At the very beginning of the satsang, a woman, who was about fifty years old, and who had known him for a long time, spoke to Ramesh in tears, saying, "Why? Why do you do this... with your teaching...?" She was distraught and at a loss, apparently torn between a teaching which she considered to be essential, and a series of facts which she was now discovering. Then the young western doctor asked Ramesh, "Do you have a mistress?" Ramesh responded, "No, no." At that point Ramesh was lying. He went on to then say, "Each event is just a ‘happening’, a part of the body-mind mechanism's programming, and the guru is not affected..." Ramesh then pulled out a paper which had been placed next to him, and read a letter of apology which he had prepared before-hand, "If I have hurt you I apologize... But all this is only a happening and it does not concern me..." I observed the German organizer at the back of the room, who seemed very uneasy. It seemed to me that he had known about it all, and for a long time. In the end, it appeared to me that Ramesh simply did not give a damn about the hurt he had caused. He said, "You have created the problem. Now solve it... you have been asking me for hugs and whatever happened afterwards is your fault... I have nothing to do with it... It is you who are creating the problem." The young American woman, who had appeared unhappy and withdrawn on the previous days, and whose emotional condition was caused by her reaction to Ramesh's sexual advances, stood up and addressed herself to him by reading a quote from Shakespeare. Ramesh responded by saying that he had never read anything of Shakespeare. She then asked him several times: "Do you plan to stop behaving in this criminal way?" She spoke quite forcefully. (Oddly enough, some of the participants said later during the meal that she should not have spoken out.) This appeared to be a very difficult moment for Ramesh, as this young woman had been very determined in her manner of speech. Then another woman of German origin, (but living in the US), stood up and expressed her indignation by telling him how much she had trusted him, saying that Ramesh was going to have to face others, as well as those who still trusted him, and those who did not trust him any longer, including some men. An old time disciple, whose name is Elka, tried to defend Ramesh, but she was not very convincing considering what had just been said and heard. I was struck by the way people looked at the end of the seminar, by the way that denial seemed to play its part as a protective mechanism against anguish and anxiety, and by the emotional shock which the poor participants seemed to be in, not knowing what they should do or think. For my part, I left the seminar with a feeling of disgust, as well as a feeling of compassion for all those who undoubtedly would be suffering from such a strange experience. What shocked me the most at the end, was to see that what had just been undeniably heard, was already being "denied" by some of the participants. I have written all of this from memory, and I regret not having had the presence of mind to write down or record what I heard as it was happening. I know that some of the participants did so, and I would encourage them to share with others their direct recording of the events which took place. I would also advise everyone to practice viveka (discrimination) in considering the events which occurred, and in considering the worth of Ramesh Balsekar as a spiritual teacher in the light of such events. I am in full agreement with Timothy Conway's two essays [see further below]. They show an evident erudition guided by an authentic understanding of the paths to realization, one of which is Advaita Vedanta. --Nirodhananda March 25, 2005 =============== [The next section is by Timothy Conway, compiler of this lengthy webpage:] All of this material from early 2005 constituted interesting revelation, because since the late 1980s and especially since the 1990s the "play of consciousness known as 'Ramesh'" had been garnering increasingly more lavish praise from people, almost all of whom had never met Nisargadatta, as the latter's "successor," and "a great Advaita sage in the lineage of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj." In a book edited by Alan Jacobs, with a title suffering from a bit of hyperbole, The Wisdom of Balsekar: The Essence of Enlightenment from the World’s Leading Teacher of Advaita (London: Watkins Publ., 2004), the blurb refers to Ramesh Balsekar as the “world’s greatest living sage,” and to Wayne Liquorman (who writes the Foreword) as “his leading disciple.” In that Foreword, Wayne Liquorman stated: “There is something heroic and inspirational in Ramesh’s unflinching attempt to do the impossible... to describe the indescribable.” (xiii) We can and should realize that there’s nothing particularly “heroic” or “inspirational” in Ramesh’s doing this writing and teaching “to describe the indescribable.” Real heroism has to do with self-sacrifice, self-surrender and abiding as Absolute Awareness, not sitting around writing and spouting deeply flawed fatalist philosophy while privately soliciting women students for sexual favors and having cronies pressure attendees of seminars for more money. In his Introduction to the book, Jacobs says that Ramesh’s main way is “surrender with self-enquiry as an addition.” But in his own life, Ramesh was evidently not at all self-surrendered, but rather was somewhat grasping and self-aggrandizing, though, I would hasten to add, NOT NEARLY as voracious or pompous as certain other cult figures. My friend L, who has widely traveled throughout India over many, many years, meeting countless people at various ashrams and centers, wrote me in July 2006: “Alan Jacobs is an old friend of mine, he ran the Ramana Maharshi Foundation of the UK, in London, and now he is living full time in Tiruvannamalai. He considered Ramesh to be his guru for many years. He was very upset and disillusioned with Ramesh and his behavior and excuses for it, and Alan seemed embarassed that he put all that effort into creating that book! He told me personally that 'Ramesh has lost his way'!” Meanwhile, Wayne Liquorman, Ramesh's leading disciple, and publisher of most of his books since the late 1980s with his Advaita Press in Redondo Beach, California, both of them financially benefiting from their partnership, has a biographical work on Ramesh: The Happening of a Guru: A Biography of Ramesh S. Balsekar (98 pages; $25) [—And notice here the rather inflated price for this very slim volume!] The blurb for this glorifying biography reads: "A magnificently produced hardbound presentation of Ramesh's life in photos and text. In addition to the fascinating historical look at the man and his family, the reader is treated to a recent piece by Ramesh entitled 'How Do I Live My Life?' in which he describes in simple yet exquisite detail the daily experience of the Sage." Wayne, along with an Englishman named Mutribo (who also has benefited financially from his sales of videos of Ramesh), both tried to deflect criticism from Ramesh in early 2005 when the reports surfaced of various improprieties around Ramesh. Wayne Liquorman wrote, under his pen name "Ram Tzu" in his newsletter Advaita Fellowship News, February 2005, a condescending bit of verse and then some further prose as explanation or rationalization for Ramesh: You want your purveyors of Truth / To look and act special. You want them different / And separate / And powerful. / You prefer to imagine them / Cloaked in light / Than sitting on the toilet. / You like them passionless, sexless, / Mellow, gentle and kind. / You like the idea of miracles / And will invent them when necessary. / Your strategy is to keep them / Out there / Far away from you / Exotic and mysterious. / You revel in the myth / Of the Enlightened individual / Hoping to someday be so empowered. / What you can't tolerate / Is for them to appear / As ordinary as you. Ram Tzu know this . . . You always miss the Truth / Because it is too plain to see. [Continues Wayne / Ram Tzu:] I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity in the early days of my spiritual seeking to spend quite a bit of time with my guru Ramesh outside of the formal confines of the satsang. This intimacy brought substance to Ramesh's repeated statement that the sage is truly ordinary. I was able to observe his various human qualities, most of which I liked, a few of which I didn't. Even with those human characteristics I didn't personally like, I remained very much aware of his presence in my life as my guru. Blessedly the actuality of the ordinary man named Ramesh and the guru coexisted peacefully for me. The tendency among most spiritual aspirants is to idolize and idealize the guru. He is dehumanized, placed in a distant and exalted position and then expectations are heaped upon him. He is held to a variety of standards of Enlightened Behavior that are quite impossible to fulfill if for no other reason than the fact the standards vary depending on the values of the evaluator. The irony is that enlightenment and behavior are not linked. All of the great sages have pointed to the fact that Enlightenment is transcendent. It is not personal. Still, the emphasis of most seekers is on the personal. The perpetual satsang question revolves around, "What will I be like when I (the seeker) gain enlightenment?" The perpetual hope of this "personal enlightenment" vision is that the seeker turned enlightened being will now live a perfect life. "I will never again hurt anyone or be hurt by anyone. I will always act in accordance with my values" (whatever they might be) which is simply another way of saying I will become what I am not now....a Perfect being. This teaching suggests we are ALL already perfect beings. Even what we call our flaws are perfect in that they are the product of Universal forces. We did not create these aspects of ourselves we don't like and most importantly others did not create those aspects of themselves we don't like. As this understanding deepens there is less and less room for guilt and blame, hatred and self-loathing...this is Peace. =================== Timothy Conway responds to Wayne Liquorman's message regarding the Ramesh controversy [An email to L and his various lists of correspondents, February 14, 2005] Namaskaram, dear L (Thank you for keeping us all informed with the correspondences of various parties regarding my old friend Ramesh, whom I've not seen for many years. Feel free to send this along to anyone on your email list...) Wayne Liquorman's recent essay on this matter of Ramesh's behavior (and the behavior of gurus in general) is a classic case of misguided rationalization and setting up a "straw man" argument. The straw man that Wayne sets up is the image of the seeker who wants to idolize and idealize the Guru. Certainly there are many, many seekers who fall into this puerile form of fantasy, expectation, and dependency. But there are also many mature spiritual adepts and practitioners who simply don't want counterfeiters pretending to be fully liberated and abusing their students in various ways. Such abuse can take several forms, but the most common are exploiting people financially and sexually and using students/disciples/visitors' needs (and, sometimes, needy-ness) to puff themselves up in pride and psychic inflation (see C.G. Jung’s warnings). On financial exploitation: Every authentic sage I've ever met charges no fees for his/her work. Donations might be allowed, but no charging of fees. There is a kind of universal Divine support for anyone who has truly surrendered to the Dharma, clearly promised by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. I can tell you from direct experience that this is so. I've never had to charge a dime for any advaita understanding I've ever shared in satsangs (which I've been holding on and off since 1990), even when there were times of great financial challenges due to my wife's health and disability issues. Everything has worked out okay, by Divine Grace. There were a few times in the earliest years when I allowed unsolicited donations to be made to help pay for a rental space, but nothing since then, and I've never gouged students for money, the way so many pseudo-teachers do. Even charging anyone $10-$15 for a 2 hour satsang is outlandish. Ramana never did this; Nisargadatta never did this; Ammachi doesn't do this. And the earlier Ramesh did not do this, at least when I visited at his home in Bombay in 1988 (incidentally, his wife Sharada was one fine cook and would hospitably, freely share the delicious fruits of her culinary labors with a visiting friend and myself!). By the time I saw Ramesh at Janice Chase Weininger's home in Santa Barbara (circa 1989), the last time I cared to spend any time with him, it was obvious that Ramesh's teaching had become quite imbalanced. The stories that began to emerge about him and his cronies charging outlandish sums for workshops in India and in the west indicated to me that Ramesh no longer trusted Divine Grace to provide support for his teaching work. As for sexual exploitation: anyone working in the helping professions in the civilized world, be this a doctor, schoolteacher, therapeutic counselor, lawyer, etc., has clearcut and very strict ethical guidelines, especially male professionals, about not mixing sexual activity with clients-patients-students. Even for situations wherein there is a mutual attraction, the professional is required in no uncertain terms by the ethics of the profession NOT to engage in any sexual behavior with the client/patient/student until the nature of that relationship has been formally changed and transcended—i.e., there is no longer the student-teacher, patient-healer relationship. Mature professionals know that, if there is to be any kind of sexual relationship with their former student/client/patient, one does well to wait at least a few years so that the relationship has a better chance of being transformed into a more egalitarian one of adults on equal standing. These caveats help guard against the natural human tendency for someone in a position of perceived power to abuse that power by seducing those who are naturally deferential to a person holding that power. When Ramesh (or Wayne or anyone) presumes to play the role of Guru, he is adopting a "one-up" power position, and that power, if it is to be held and maintained (and not relinquished in an egalitarian way, as the best teachers know how to do) must be honored in the most sacred, careful way. Soliciting more-or-less vulnerable female students with requests for sexual favors is a highly unethical abuse of power. I'm not even aware of whether Ramesh's wife Sharada is still alive; if she is not, and Ramesh is lonely or needs sexual companionship, he ought to be mature and straight about it and try to cultivate an egalitarian, committed relationship with a female partner. If he is incapable of that and needs sexual experience, he could go visit Bombay's famous prostitutes—actually, he's got the money to pay for an expensive call girl if he wants. Or he could simply get his kicks with videos or the internet. But messing around with the bodies and psyches of his female students indicates a lack of ethics and appropriate psychological boundaries. When Wayne writes, "The irony is that enlightenment and behavior are not linked" —he is radically mistaken. So many of the sages have made it clear that appropriate behavior is a “given.” Sri Siddharameshvar, Nisargadatta’s Guru, would frequently state: “Realize the Self and behave accordingly.” Yes, on the absolute level, everyone is nothing but Atman/Brahman, pure Saccidananda Being-Awareness-Bliss, and everything that happens is, on the highest level of understanding, nothing but Lila, Divine play or sport (Lord Krishna to Arjuna: "No one slays, no one is slain."). But on the relative or conventional level there needs to be ethical behavior and accountability. To say otherwise is to make a travesty of all our "engaged spirituality" traditions endeavoring to enact social, racial, gender, economic, political and environmental justice. DO NOT CONFUSE the absolute truth level of Dharma teaching (Paramarthika Satya) with the relative truth level (Vyavaharika or Samvriti Satya), which is the level of our humanity and decency, the commonweal or public good. It is has become quite common for persons identified with and invested in their particular guru (Ramesh, Satya Sai, Rajneesh, et al.) to rationalize their guru's indecent, unethical, abusive behavior by pathetically confusing the Absolute level with the conventional level. Many naive folks are misled by this. Anyone wanting more clarity on this can read a long interview I had with The Sun magazine (April 2003; available in succinct form here at our Enlightened Spirituality website), wherein I clearly distinguished between the three levels of nondual reality (all simultaneously true, paradoxical though this might seem): 3) the conventional level of the appropriate and inappropriate, right and wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice; 2) the "Divine Comedy" subtle-level of the soul wherein "everything's perfect," everything's happening for the good of all souls in their "soul-ular" evolution and journey HOME; and 1) the Absolute Truth: no-thing is really happening, it's all a dream in the one, nondual Awareness; only God IS (no world, no souls). The essential point here is that one can and must honor all three levels, or one's spirituality becomes quite imbalanced. All authentic traditions of nondual spirituality—the Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir Saiva traditions of India, the Ch'an/Zen/Son traditions of China/Japan/Korea, the Shingon and Vajrayana tantric traditions of Japan and Tibet, the nondual Sufi traditions in regions of Islam, and the western nondual mystic traditions within Christianity and Kabbalah/Hasidim Judaism—are rooted in and express themselves in ethical, moral behavior. Yes, one can find a relative few "holy fools" in various traditions (the avadhutas, majdhubs, yurodivye, et al.) who are quite beyond conventions of "gentlemanly" or "ladylike" behavior. But these people don't play the conventional guru role, either, with formal satsangs, charging money for their teaching, writing and selling books of teachings, etc., the way Ramesh (and others) are trying to do. Just looking at Hindu Advaita Vedanta, the teachings of Sankara (founder of the formal Advaita tradition) clearly enjoin impeccable behavior for both the aspirant and for the jnani, the realized sage. The classic "fourfold pre-requisites" for any aspirant are viveka (the ability to discern Absolute Awareness from the phenomenal events), vairagya (utter dispassion and equanimity over the phenomenal world), mumuksatva (great yearning and earnestness over Truth), and shatkasampatti, the six great virtues (inner control of the mind, sense-control, fulfillment of one's duties, patient endurance of all opposites, spiritual faith, and concentration on Truth). If this is to apply to the novice, how much more so does it apply to the authentic sage or Guru! Upon realization of Brahman, Absolute Spiritual Reality or Being-Awareness-Bliss, the sage is not suddenly given license to act out old samskaric patterns. No, these patterns have been largely if not completely burnt out by the fire of Realization. Any residual arising samskaric tendencies of likes and dislikes (raga and dvesha) are simply noticed, "seen off" and not acted upon, especially when acting out these tendencies might harm a student, if only by confusing the student with what is appropriate and inappropriate. (And anyone who seriously tries to argue that there is no distinction between appropriate and inappropriate behavior is utterly deluded and probably psychopathic.) Endeavoring to seduce women or bring in piles of money are clearly signs of someone who is being pulled and pushed around by their samskaras, treating others as objects to be exploited, and lacking empathy. As I have written before, one of my favorite definitions of liberation comes from our dear Annamalai Swami, arguably Ramana Maharshi's best candidate for "successor" (if one were to try to argue the inarguable); Annamalai Swami in 1980 clearly defined enlightenment (when I asked him to do so): "It's like zero-gravity. Nothing is pulling you anymore." Notice that this teaching pertains more to the motivational, behavioral level rather than merely the cognitive/mental level of "understanding." Annamalai's expression of enlightenment comes from someone who is authentically FREE, not a pretender who has cleverly rationalized a lack of freedom as some kind of true "freedom," the way Ramesh, Wayne, et al. like to do. I can also tell you that the behavior of Nisargadatta Maharaj (Guru to Ramesh, myself and others) toward his visitors and students expressed true impeccability. Yes, he could be tough on them, and yes, he would smoke those beedies (uggghh, the second-hand smoke) or chew tobacco, but I never got the least impression that the venerable old man was exploiting me or anyone else for his own benefit. No, he was all about empowering people, not disempowering them. He was a real GIVER, not a taker. (This was made quite apparent during private time with Nisargadatta and during the beautiful bhajan sessions, where I remember him working with me energetically, despite his cancer-caused infirmity, in a wonderfully kind and empowering way.) It is terribly important to distinguish "the Understanding" on a mere cognitive level (one of Ramesh's favorite terms to describe the "final state") as distinct from authentic liberation/moksha/nirvana. It's pretty easy for anyone to come to the former, a clear mental-intuitive understanding of nondual teachings, which brings a certain clarity, confidence and mellow state, rather like what Alan Watts once joked would provide most people with a "mystic experience": walk around for a week with two-pound weights in your shoes and then take the weights out and walk around... (Ramesh's teachings on "no doer," "no karma," "no purpose," etc., have the same "weightless" effect for most people long burdened by their concepts of self, responsibility, and so on!) Yet it's quite another thing to be authentically free or liberated from the samskara-forces fueling an ego sense and pulling and pushing it around via the binding likes and dislikes. Just to have "the understanding of freedom" without genuine freedom is a colossal illusion, and easily degenerates into the kind of narcissism, lack of empathy, and tendency to exploit other sentient beings that we have witnessed among so many half-baked teachers. This is why, incidentally, the great Ch'an/Zen masters distinguish between the preliminary, temporary "enlightenments," what the Japanese Zen masters term "satori" or "kensho," and the final, real freedom of total liberation: anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. Yes, there is only the nondual One Awareness, right HERE, right NOW. Yes, ultimately "nothing matters." Yes, there is no need to fabricate and carry around any baggage of egoic striving, regrets, loathing, or self-loathing. But there needs to be accountability. One must genuinely LIVE the liberated state. Not just talk about "the Understanding." Jesus is alleged to have said, "By their fruits ye shall know them: a good tree produces good fruits, a rotten tree gives rotten fruit." That pretty much sums it up. All the best (and authentic, total FREEDOM!) to anyone who reads this... In Love and Grace Your Own Self Timothy, Santa Barbara, CA ======================= Email from L: Dear Timothy, Thanks for your fiery rejoinder!!! I will pass this on. Incidentally, Sharada, Ramesh's wife, is still alive, and didn't know about this. I don't know if anyone has told her, she has had a heart condition for many years, and had a big operation about 6 years ago, so the news might kill her. Keep up the flame of Truth! Om, --L =========== Another email from L, February 23, 2005, with a couple of very pertinent quotes: “A true Guru will never humiliate you, nor will he estrange you from yourself. He will constantly bring you back to the fact of your inherent perfection and encourage you to seek within. He knows you need nothing, not even him, and is never tired of reminding you. But the self-appointed guru is more concerned with himself than with his disciples."--Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That, p. 422. A quote from Samarth Ramdas, submitted by DM: "Beware...of the false prophets who pretend to be spiritual Gurus, but are as worthless as straw...Posing himself as an Advaitic Vedantin, he dismisses all distinctions of good and bad, right and wrong, holy and unholy and behaves as promiscuously as he wishes...one must take utmost care to see that the Guru he wishes to resort to is one who has himself realized God and who has the capacity to make others also realize Him..." --Sant Samarth Ramdas (a major 17th century advaita sage of Maharashtra whose Dasbodh and other books were a major influence on Maharashtra state's advaita tradition, and figures such as Sri Siddharameshvar, Nisargadatta's guru.) ================================== Email from L, Feb. 26 2005 To: Timothy Conway Subject: Fwd: letter to Wayne and his response (Dear Timothy - Namaste Brother! - Here is an exchange between my friend [abbreviated here anonymously as "C"] who helps run the group in Europe... and Wayne Liquorman. She told me I could send this email off to others.... Her group has stopped distributing books by Ramesh Balsekar, and removed the interview they had with him from their website. You have commented on her messages before, and she liked what you wrote. I'd love to hear your comments, if any, on this. --L) [Note: "C," the interlocutor here with Wayne, originally posted all of this at her website, but has since taken down all references whatsoever to Ramesh, not just favorable but also critical.] [Letter from "C":] February 23rd, 2005 Dear Wayne, I am responding here to your 'message to all' sent by e-mail a few days ago and sharing with you, and others, my feelings about the recent events around Ramesh Balsekar. [An opening quote from Annamalai Swami:] "Forgetfulness or non-forgetfulness is not a part of your destiny. It is something you choose from moment to moment. That is what Bhagavan (Ramana Maharshi) said. He said that you have the freedom either to identify with the Self and have the understanding that the body is performing its predestined activities, animated and sustained by the power of the Self, or you can identify with the activities of the body and the mind, and in doing so forget the Self. If you choose the latter course, don't blame God or God's will, or predestination. God did not make you forget the Self. You yourself are making that choice every second of your life." - Annamalai Swami (Final Talks) In your message to all, the discursive poem that says 'you', 'you', 'you', 'you', 'you', 'you' - so many times to the reader, and concludes with 'Ram Tzu knows this' makes it sound like Ram Tzu is above everyone else. Who is this 'you'? Who is 'Ram Tzu'? Are they different? As far as I know, the Truth is usually spoken of by Sages as what we are, not as something to see. Is it hard to see whether behaviour and enlightenment are linked? For me, the moment someone opens his mouth to answer seekers' questions is the crucial point where the issue of motivation has to be raised. In India, it is often traditionally encouraged of seekers to test Masters by asking questions to find out what they are truly made of and try to discover what motivates them. The problem is that when we hear of some teacher being great, we tend to go by what others say and we forget to check for ourselves. Moreover, it is an easy thing to speak the Truth by using an elaborate intellectual understanding, but another to live It. Thus, by only listening to a Master, we can forget to look and see how the Master actually lives his/her life. Today's seekers are often well informed because they have read many books and met several teachers and surf the web. Thus most seekers probably feel that a Guru is a being that can be trusted and one who would not take advantage of them in any way. For me, a true Guru is what we all truly are; being your true Self, the Guru has no self-interest, no motivation. No desire springs from Him towards any name or form. Why? Because He knows them all to be unreal. Why run after an illusion? The Guru knows that a seeker is an illusion, but the seeker doesn't. When a seeker meets a true Guru, never would the true Guru ask for anything from the seeker, even by hinting (money, objects, special treatment, physical comfort, sex, special food, medicine, etc.). The seeker might initiate an offering, a service or a request, out of his/her ignorant ego. But the true Master (who doesn't have an ego and whose vasanas are completely destroyed to the very last one, knows all the tricks of the ego because He has seen them in Himself during His own search) will never respond personally or with an interest, because He knows all is the Self and therefore the idea of gain and loss no longer applies. Why take advantage of yourself? From what I have been told by friends who were with Ramesh recently, it sounds to me like there is a contradiction between what I know of the Truth and of a true Guru and how Ramesh seems to live. He seems to live in contradiction and duality, behaving shamefully, rather than living in Truth and Unity. Ramesh (and perhaps you also) might see no problem with what he does, but I do. Don't get me wrong, I am not looking at a Master in terms of behaviour, nor do I idolize, idealize, and dehumanize Masters, etc, and I know that I have not fallen into the tendencies that you mention in your message. Enlightenment being transcendental, for me, means that interest in anything: name and form (mind) is totally gone. As a result, behaviour gets affected. When tempting gooey chocolates are being presented to you, the issue is not whether 'you will eat them or not', and 'the reasons for doing or not doing so', and 'whether it is God's will', or 'the will of the Source', 'personal or impersonal doership', 'good or bad' - but that Knowledge is immediate. If a vasana is there, a self-interested action will take place. If no vasana is there, there is no attraction, no repulsion and no interest; immobility, peace and silence prevail. Interest in the Self (Truth) is not to be confused with self-interest (ego). For me, telling people: 'you are all already perfect' can be a trap. If people are not also warned about who they truly are, they can think: "yeah, all is OK, why worry? Who cares!?" Then they will go home and something will happen to them and they will be unhappy again. They might then say: "Oh, OK, it's God's will. I have no choice. Such is my body-mind mechanism's destiny". Meanwhile, the nitty-gritty of spiritual search for Self-Knowledge has not been addressed: Who has the problem? Which vasana is causing this? Where does it come from? etc. Discrimination and earnest searching are of crucial importance. If a teacher only encourages seekers to just accept and accept only, but he does not encourage them to discriminate the real from the unreal at the same time, then the teacher can make them his slave; thus falling prey to all kinds of ego-based behaviour on the part of both teacher and student. We have for example, the impact of the way that Ramesh speaks which can lead seekers to abandon both their search and their inquiry into themselves. It’s almost like people get disabled rather than enabled. You may not think that struggling for freedom is not important because it will only happen if God wills it so or if it is the destiny of the seeker, therefore I suggest that you read the [early medieval advaita text] Yoga-Vashistha and see how many times 'self-effort' is being mentioned (The Supreme Yoga. A New Translation of Yoga Vashistha by Swami Venkatesananda - Divine Life Society Publication. I think it is also published in the US by SUNY Press, New York). From Ramana Maharshi's Supplementary Forty Verses: "What use is the learning of those who do not seek to wipe out the letters of destiny (from their brow) by enquiring: 'Whence is the birth of us who know the letters?' They have sunk to the level of a gramophone. What else are they, O Arunachala ?" In my eyes, an honest Teacher can figure out what motivation a woman approaching Him has and He will not try to take advantage of her. I heard that women were disturbed about what happened between them and Ramesh, and that Ramesh treated their attitude rather casually with: "I'm not concerned" and "Just a happening", "You created the problem" types of answers. This is a bad sign. I just hope to hear from these women one day, but mostly I hope that they are not struggling all alone somewhere in a corner feeling betrayed, maybe even scared or ashamed and trying to overcome the situation. Just like some of the other people who were totally shocked at the last Kovalam and did not know what to make of what they saw and heard!! I spoke to several of them already. Also, for me it is clear that the true Guru would never request any money for the Truth, partly because He does not feel the need to speak in the first place. Ranjit Maharaj once quoted Tukaram, who said that masters who take money for the Truth go to hell. Ranjit Maharaj - who was the Guru-Brother of Nisargadatta Maharaj - devoted His every last rupee to the devotion to Their Master (Siddharameshwar Maharaj) keeping only the strict minimum for Himself. I have seen Him wearing ripped clothes, living with lousy furniture in a rotten Bombay building, always travelling by the cheapest ways and very caring about everything and everyone's well-being, never wasting, never requesting anything for Himself, never complaining. When He was here in France, all was up to us (the organisers of the meetings). He told us "I am at your mercy. Do as you please." When we suggested to Maharaj to take a rest day, His response was: "What for?" A true Master is at the service of His students and helps them to remove the veil of ignorance which blinds them and want nothing from them. If you read Annamalai Swami's book Living by the Words of Bhagavan you will see that the Maharshi kept an eye to make sure that money was never requested by devotees at the Ashram, even when times were dire. Recently, still, when I was at His Ashram I didn't feel that there was any demand for money or even mention of it. It is totally up to the visitor to give or not; he can easily spend some time there, eat great food, enjoy the Peace and not spend a cent. The Ashram is a place of Truth and Peace available to all. Don't get me wrong. My observations and remarks are not based on whether a Spiritual Teacher should or shouldn't have sex or on whether He/She should or shouldn't have money. Nor are they based on what He/She does, doership, nor on events and happenings. They are based on the disappearance of self-interest (egosense) in favour of True Identity (no more ego). Advaita is always here, so there is really no need to claim anything about It. I feel that a true concept is no concept, a true teaching is no teaching, a true teacher is no teacher, true interest is no interest, true love is no love. Truth is. Let's focus on That. --C. PS. Please know that I have sent this message to a couple of friends for their feedback and also as a form of dialogue on the Truth between seekers (something the Scriptures highly recommend too). ----------- [Email from Wayne Liquorman written to "C":] Dear A., Thank you for your response to my writings in the newsletter. Please note however that I have no more concrete information regarding the rumors around Ramesh than you do. The rumors were simply an excuse to briefly examine the very nature of the many misconceptions that surround the notions of the guru and Guru. You obviously have very strong opinions about Ramesh and his Teaching and its dangers and you are welcome to them. Blessedly, guru's come in a variety of flavors to suit different tastes. It is unfortunate that you were unable to attend any of my Talks in Paris. Had you been interested, we might have been able to address some of your obvious misinterpretations of what Ramesh is pointing to. Quotes from Scripture and various dead Indians aside, your assertion that the seeker should test the guru to see what motivates him presumes that the seeker can determine such a thing. All that the seeker can observe is behavior, he cannot possibly see the motivation or absence of motivation behind the behavior. Motivation and behavior are two entirely different things. Unfortunately, if one presumes to be able to discriminate the real from the unreal, the True from the false, the egoic from the selfless, someone else will always disagree. How do you determine who is right? Most people are convinced that their opinion is Truth. You wrote "don't get me wrong I am not looking at a Master in terms of behavior" and then went on to indicate that you have ideas about what enlightened behavior is (absence of interest in money or sex etc) and then made the giant leap that such behavior is an indication of the absence of ego/vasanas. You pointed to your guru Ranjit and admiringly proclaimed his shabby clothes and lousy furniture as representative of something significant. You can't have it both ways. Behavior is either an indicator or it is not. I very much liked your concluding paragraph, it was beautiful and concise. Perhaps you might reread it and ask yourself how it relates to what precedes it. With love, Wayne ===================== [The following is a fairly widely-read post that was uploaded to various websites devoted to the subject of Nonduality. Sometimes it went untitled, sometimes it was titled "Advaita and Ethics," or else "Four Kinds of Spiritual Teachers." I have given it the following title for this webpage:] Advaita, Ethics, Authentic and Inauthentic Sages (Timothy Conway's open letter regarding Wayne Liquorman's email to "C" on the Ramesh controversy) Sunday Feb. 27, 2005 I will be briefly discussing this matter of Ramesh Balsekar’s behavior and Wayne Liquorman’s assessment of the same, but first a rather lengthy prelude… Within the nondual dream conjured up by Consciousness, made of nothing but Consciousness, we have the “relative reality,” the conventional world of “rights and wrongs,” “justices and injustices,” “wellness/ease and unwellness/dis-ease(s).” To heal the various forms of dis-ease and injustice, we have three kinds of genuine spiritual teachers and, alas, also the inauthentic pretender. The three types of authentic spiritual figures are as follows: 1) The free beings who conduct themselves in the traditional manner of a sage, saint or adept, that is to say, exemplars of genuine disidentification from the bodymind and freedom from attachments and aversions (the samskaras or vasanas, as Hindu and Buddhist sages term them). These are the shining exemplars of peace, bliss, loving-kindness, compassion, empathy, generosity, courage, equanimity, and selfless sacrifice on behalf of apparent sentient beings (recall the wonderful paradox given by the Buddha in the Vajracchedika [Diamond] Sutra: “one must save all sentient beings” / “there are no sentient beings”). These exemplary free beings communicate a traditional wisdom emphasizing the transcendence-immanence of the Absolute, as well as the impermanence, insubstantiality and unreliability of all phenomena, the need for awakening from the constricted egocentric dream, various ways or methods for awakening, the need for great earnestness in “striving” toward this Divine freedom and also the always freely available divine Grace. Then there are: 2) The wild men/women or holy fools (avadhutas, majdhubs, masts, saloi, yurodivye, idiota, yu jen, mahasiddhas, et al.), within what is sometimes called the “crazy wisdom tradition.” These rather mysterious folks have spontaneously or deliberately gone beyond all societal conventions, sometimes simply because God-realization came for them in such an unusually powerful way that it blew out the circuits of normal psychological and social functioning. These wild ones, who usually display no regard for their own comforts and even many basic bodily needs (food, liquids, sleep, shelter, basic hygiene), are not usually known for any conspicuous "loving-kindness" on the conventional interpersonal level. They have been known to grunt at, scream at, punch, push, piss on, completely ignore and in various ways “abuse” those whom they encounter—yet with an unexpectedly quite positive, beautifully transformational affect on the recipients of such “holy abuse.” In other words, just as with the free beings of category #1, so also there can be a palpable, edifying sense of divine blessing (saktipat, kripa, baraka, wang, descent of the Holy Spirit, etc.) that is experienced by the recipient during or after the bizarre encounter with a “wild fool” of category #2. This blessing force brings with it an amazing sense of freedom, peace, equanimity, bliss, love, and nondual identity with the One and all beings. There is a third type of genuine spiritual figure: 3) the “good friend” (kalyana mitra in Buddhism) or spiritual teacher-mentor-counselor who may not be 100% established in spiritual freedom, fully awake and always lucid within the dream, yet such a one is nevertheless a very helpful, enlightening figure who empowers those s/he encounters. This person does not try to “role-play Guru” by presuming to be fully awake or take full responsibility for the welfare and direction of disciples. This friend-teacher just serves as much as possible, sharing from the heart the clear wisdom, caring compassion and gratitude for Divine grace that has served him/her thus far on the pathless journey HOME to full, free Awareness. Such a person may actually be quite a gifted teacher, healer or catalyst for fellow sentient beings, truly empowering them with certain wonderful breakthroughs, strengths and gifts. Some persons may even become fully awake through their association with this type of teacher-healer who is not yet 100% free and awake. In addition to the above two types of authentically free or fully liberated spiritual adepts (the Guru-Sage and the Holy Fool) and the not-quite-fully-realized but very helpful "good spiritual friend-teacher," there is another figure, a very tragic figure, in the Divine dream of manifestation: the inauthentic pretender. This is someone who is, at best, no more spiritually accomplished or free than the teacher-friend mentioned above in category #3, but is pretending to be someone in category #1 or #2. In other words, here there are flashes (even frequent flashes) of brilliance but there still occur occasional or perhaps many lapses of lucidity into egocentric states of attachment-aversion toward dream phenomena. These attachments-aversions, the binding likes and dislikes, what Hindu Vedanta-Yoga terms “raga-dvesha” and Theravada Buddhism calls “lobha-dosa,” are also generally known as one’s samskaras or vasanas. The inauthentic pretender, bless his heart, cannot admit to others and probably not even to himself that he is still samskara-driven and bound, i.e., not totally free, and so the pretender must rationalize (in a classic Freudian defense mechanism against anxiety) that his lack of freedom is somehow “okay,” “Divinely ordained,” “part of the perfect manifestation,” “not really a problem because whatever happens is perfect.” Rather than earnestly endeavor to realize the insubstantiality of the deluded ego-sense with its attachments-aversions, and actually live from FREEDOM, the pretender tries to convince others and himself that he is, in fact, free, while still dragging around his samskaric chains. Freedom, for these pretenders, is INSIDIOUSLY RE-DEFINED to include states of being bound (e.g., a misinterpretation of the old Mahayana idea: “Nirvana is Samsara”). In a competitive marketplace of “spirituality,” whether in India, Japan, China, Europe, the USA, etc., we see quite a lot of this last figure, the pretender. Such persons chronically present themselves as higher and freer than they actually are, in order to draw attention and recognition, lure followings of students/disciples, make money, attain fame, and get high (psychically inflated) on the subtle or not-so-subtle adrenaline rush that comes with being granted power, influence and concomitant comforts by a social group that fawns over them and defers to them as a “spiritual authority.” And now we must look at a very specific phenomenon: what happens when such pretenders, such not-quite-free teachers (or not-very-free-at-all charlatans), are exposed for certain exploitative behavior, usually around the good ol’ issues of “lust and greed”—inappropriate sexual or financial behavior. At this point of being exposed, the spiritual pretender and those among his followers who identify/align with the pretender rather than with the Dharma (authentic spirituality) usually fall into deeper trouble. The pretender and his lackeys (peace and divine blessings be upon them!), rather than act with authentic courage, sincerity and remorse—which would include humbly admitting their own lack of freedom and also include issuing heartfelt APOLOGIES and making some kind of meaningful AMENDS toward the parties exploited—instead thicken their samskaric web of complications. Problematic defense mechanisms against anxiety are hastily deployed, not just passionate identification with “our righteous cause” (a major samskaric attachment!) but also rationalization that nothing terribly wrong has happened, denial of either the claims of injury or severity of the situation (this denial often involves blatant forms of lying and aggressive cover-ups), and, of course, projection in the form of blaming the victims and also any sympathizers who try to bring further light to the dark situation and remedy the injustice by enacting forms of justice and healing (including clarifying what is true Dharma and what is not). One of the classic rationalizations, remember, that the pretender and the cronies chronically deploy, especially when the flaws of the pretender are being exposed, is the idea that “nothing is really wrong,” that his lack of freedom, as reflected in the exploitative behavior, is somehow “perfect,” “Divinely willed,” “part of the Divine dream,” therefore “not a problem.” Unfortunately, this rationalization is easily available to pretenders who labor in the field of mystical nondual spirituality, because nondual traditions usually articulate quite clearly this Absolute level of truth, the paramarthika satya, over the conventional or relative level of phenomenal truth, the samvriti or vyavaharika satya. It needs to be stated in no uncertain terms that these pretenders are actually anarchists, for they attempt to destroy any rational or intuitive basis for morality and ethics. In this pseudo-nondual realm, “anything goes”—at least for themselves and their cronies. There are no ethical standards by which to determine appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. The discerning reader will notice that the type of “wild holy fool” of the crazy wisdom tradition, briefly discussed above as an authentic spiritual figure in category #2, also doesn’t abide by the conventional-looking ethics of human societies. Clothed in rags, sometimes virtually or completely naked, usually ungroomed or even unwashed, often abnormally silent or using language in bizarre forms, frequently maintaining strange postures or movements, such wild free ones, as mentioned, have been known to roundly “abuse” their visitors and would-be “disciples” (such holy fools often do not let anyone stay around them for long in the conventional apprentice relationship found in the traditional lineages of gurus-disciples, masters-novices, or teachers-students). Again, one hears tales of folks being hit, struck, yelled at, utterly ignored, and in other ways treated rather shockingly by these crazy wisdom characters. But there are huge DIFFERENCES between the pretenders and the authentic holy fools. For one thing, disciples of the holy fools feel blessed, not exploited, after their contact with the holy fool, the opposite of what happens when trusting disciples are exploited by the pretenders. The disciples of the pretenders feel, not empowered, but exploited for the gain of the pretender. The pretender, in short, functions as a taker, not a giver. Secondly, the authentic holy fools are quite unattached to whatever happens in the dream of life, especially concerning their own bodily welfare, whereas the pretenders are usually quite interested in making sure they are properly fed, clothed, sheltered, honored and, yes, remunerated. Rather than rely on spontaneous Divine Grace for whatever happens, these pretenders and their cronies make definite plans, arrange things to insure the most pleasing and lucrative outcomes, and so on. They are clearly operating from the mental level, not the transmental/transpersonal Identity, in their strategic planning and calculating of revenues and expenditures, marketing strategies, schedules, meeting site set-up and configurations, writing and publishing ventures, etc. Obviously, some of the pretenders aren’t so much involved in this side of things—they have their willing cronies to manage everything or nearly everything for them, and so the pretender can easily “flow with situations” and trust that their acolytes (not God) will take care of everything while the pretenders can appear to be serene and “above it all.” Thus, for such pretenders and their “true believer” slavish followers to make the claim that they are part of the crazy wisdom tradition is utterly bogus. They are not utterly “abandoned unto Divine Providence,” they are not thoroughly surrendered. No, they are to some extent or another quite attached to outcomes. In short, they still labor under the sense of “doership,” i.e., being egocentric agents of action. Such persons, I would also submit, are trying to have it both ways: they want to be seen and valued as lineage-holders of a tradition—this obviously adds to their status and influence as “an authority.” And yet they have the audacity to ignore and/or distort their tradition’s teachings about morality and ethics, and the need for staying as free as possible from samskaric attachments and aversions. And when anyone tries to raise the issue of traditional moral requirements for disciples and gurus, they immediately will say that “they are not bound by tradition,” that “this is a living tradition that must shock people out of their hypnotic trance state,” and other such malarkey. This might seem persuasive to those who chronically defer to them, but anyone with any discernment can see that these pretenders are trying to have the best of two opposing worlds: traditional authority and anarchistic “anything goes” license to act out their samskaras. To put it in still more words, they exploit, for their own recognition and aggrandizement, the concept and social institution of the Guru and the lineage of Gurus, but they do not want any accountability within the criteria set by that tradition’s previous Gurus for who is and who is not an authentic spiritual master. Hence, one finds here a major violation of “Truth in advertising”: the pretenders are passing themselves off as “Gurus” in a “lineage” within a “tradition” of “advaita”—and then, whenever it suits them, these anarchists depart from what that tradition values as authenticity and they proceed to engage in rogue behavior. These pretenders (may the God-Self spare them from their karmuppance) are claiming special immunity in putting themselves above society’s rules on basic decency, and also putting themselves beyond the conventions of their own sacred traditions from which they try to draw their high status. ------- Now the case at hand: Wayne Liquorman is defending the sexually and financially exploitative behavior of his teacher, Ramesh Balsekar. I’ve already written a bunch of words about this a few weeks ago, so I’ll restrict myself here to just a few points. In one of his letters of response, Wayne glibly uses the pejorative term, “dead Indians” to dismiss the case made by sincere teachers who endeavor to illustrate the impeccable moral criteria of the Hindu Advaita Vedanta tradition by quoting passages from highly respected texts and teachers in the tradition. Wayne implies: they’re all just “dead Indians,” so why bother referencing them when you have someone of Ramesh’s incomparable freedom and loftiness upon which to rely for your guru-connection? But one can ask Wayne or anyone in agreement with his position, just where would he be today without those dead Indians? Specifically, his fame comes from being Ramesh’s “spiritual son,” and Ramesh’s fame, in turn, comes from exploiting the name and memory of dead Indians—starting with his physically deceased Guru, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and the lineage of “dead guys” before Nisargadatta in the Navnatha Sampradaya (i.e., Siddharameshvar Maharaj, Bhausaheb Maharaj, et al.). As I have written before, it is most likely (one can’t ever say for sure) that Nisargadatta would strongly chastise Ramesh for sullying the memory of the Navnatha lineage of teachers with his financial and sexual shenanigans and trying to dismiss it all with some rationalization that confuses the absolute and conventional levels of truth. This is NOT authentic advaita. Nisargadatta was always acutely interested in whether people who claimed to be jnanis [sages] were actually, entirely free of “desires and fears.” That’s a matter of public record and was directly heard by those of us who spent any time with the Maharaj. Wayne never met Nisargadatta, and, to my recollection, never met any teacher of advaita before he met Ramesh in the late 1980s (I am open to being corrected on this latter point). Even if Nisargadatta authorized Ramesh to do any teaching, that does not mean the authorization stands for a lifetime and cannot be revoked due to bad behavior and distortion of Maharaj’s teaching, which behavior and distortion by Ramesh have also now been more-or-less documented. Further on this topic of “dead Indians,” for one of Ramesh’s most important early projects, he dared to write a commentary/interpretation (and Wayne has published it—both of them benefiting financially from the project) on the famed 13th century poet-saint-sage Jnaneshvar, and his Amritanubhava. And on it goes…. So, again I ask, where would Ramesh and Wayne be today if not for these illustrious dead Indians? Well, enough of such words, save to say that I wish Wayne and Ramesh full enlightenment and liberation at their earliest possible convenience, and that they be utterly forgiven (“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”) for their lack of clarity and consistency, which is no ultimate fault of their own—Divine Sakti is, as we say on the absolute level, doing everything, responsible for all karmas. I and many others interested in authentic advaita would have no problem if Ramesh and Wayne came along and said they were representing the “anything goes” “bad-boy” school of pseudo-Dharma, and not claiming (in Ramesh’s case) to be the successor of Nisargadatta Maharaj and thus, by implication, a lineage-holder in the Navnath Sampradaya. But then, if Ramesh and Wayne marketed themselves in this way, I doubt they’d have much of a following, or at least any following worth having. So let me lay down a friendly challenge: either Ramesh and Wayne 1) formally announce that they have nothing to do with the lineage of Nisargadatta and authentic nondual Vedanta (including Yajnavalkya, Sankara, Jnaneshvar, et al.) and are on their own as representatives of a new “anything goes” school of “Understanding”; or 2) they make proper apologies and amends to those they’ve exploited and then try to straighten out their own behavior. I hope that none of the above words offend, but are taken in the spirit of Love and Truth in which they are offered. Ramesh, I treasured my time with you, and Wayne, I enjoyed seeing you those few times inside and outside of satsang with Ramesh in the late 1980s. I wish you both all the very best! May all be awake, free and, yes, also deeply, compassionately, and lucidly “involved” in the Divine Dream. Your dream-brother, Your own Self, Timothy Santa Barbara, CA USA =========================================== Interlude: An Assessment of Wayne Liquorman It is worth hearing an eyewitness report on a satsang with Wayne Liquorman, Ramesh's first "spiritual son," by Peter, a longtime student of Advaita and Ch'an Buddhism, posted at his (no longer accessible) website critical of neo-advaitins, "Peter's Pages" (http://peter.ca/spirit/spiritual-teachers.html) (this essay was more recently posted at www.peter.ca/o-Section--22.html, but that website, too, is no longer operational): Went to a satsang with Wayne Liquorman. Wayne said that he had an almost twenty year long history of being an alcoholic and of being a drug user. He said that as a successful business person he used up much of his money on these vices. Then apparently he was blessed in that suddenly one night, the need for these crutches left him. He no longer drank to excess, but wondered why - what had happened to change everything so suddenly? He went to India and sat with Ramesh Balsekar in an effort to find out. He said that Ramesh had declared Wayne to be his spiritual son. At the satsang others who had been with Ramesh in India questioned some of the things Wayne said about Ramesh, particularly one woman who had been singularly unimpressed by her visit with Ramesh or his honesty and conduct. But Wayne shouted them down (literally - Wayne is a big, loud guy). At one point when someone was being a tad insistent that he had something to say, Wayne literally screamed at him to shut up, saying that if he wanted to speak he could leave and set up his own satsang somewhere. Several people were visibly upset by Wayne’s action. Of the perhaps thirty attendees at the satsang, all but five left at the break. The remaining five (myself, my wife, Wayne’s wife, Wayne’s host, and someone else) then had a nice chat with Wayne, laughing and telling jokes and discussing non-dualism. I liked very much that he could laugh and be ordinary; but did not particularly like his insistence that he had the answers and others did not. Very silly. None the less, I had a good time there. In Wayne I again felt that as with so many of those neo-Advaita folk who set themselves up as teachers… that they have an epiphany, a profound earthshaking experience which changes them forever, and suddenly they feel they are ‘there.’ Yet it seems to me that any epiphany no matter how profound, is just another experience. The permanent absence of the presence of the one to whom the epiphany appears to occur is, I would suggest, far more interesting. Wayne, I felt, too, was something of a bully - perhaps from his background in business and such. He seemed to rejoice in harsh treatment of what he perceived to be foolish questions from people, rationalizing of course that he was just exposing their habits. But to me he was exposing his own needs instead. He seemed, too, to like the long eye-contact unblinking gaze that Gangaji and others of her ilk indulge in. Sigh. Such long staring seems to me to be rather, well, fake. While I enjoyed chatting with Wayne it did seem to me that that his inner heart was afraid; the deep quiet and simple ease of being seemed to me to be absent. Wayne Liquorman: Not recommended ========================= [This is a letter from early Feb., 2005 by a longtime student of Advaita Vedanta in the traditions of Shankara and Siddharameshwar Maharaj (the latter being the guru of Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ranjit Maharaj), who comments on the recent public revelation of repeated abuses of power by Ramesh Balsekar. He is mainly concerned about the dangerously misleading teaching of Ramesh, Wayne, et al.] Whether or not a teacher has a sexual relationship with a student, is to me, not really the point. The point is, first of all, is the teacher behaving in other ways, which might be considered unethical? And secondly, and actually more importantly, is the teacher a good teacher and are his/her teachings true? With regards to Ramesh, I would say that he is neither ethical (though certainly not so bad as some), nor are his teachings genuine. What he is saying is wrong. It is incorrect, and it has caused a lot of damage. Of course in absolute reality there is no doer. But in relative reality there is. If a person is still identified as a body/mind/sense organs individual, which most people are, then whatever actions they do have consequences, i.e. karmic repercussions. Another thing that Ramesh is saying which is wrong, is that everything is predestined. According to traditional teachings of advaita vedanta this is also not true. There are certain circumstances within an individual's life which are givens, such as parentage, place of birth, things like that, (also a result of past karmas or actions on the part of the individual in previous births) and much of the individual's life flows along in a certain prescribed way. But within that way, or set of circumstances, there is free will, individual responsibility, and consequences of actions. What Ramesh and, especially, Wayne Liquorman and others teaching who have been authorized by Ramesh, are saying causes people to ignorantly behave in ways which causes pain to themselves and to others. In my opinion, Ramesh's teachings are an incorrect interpretation of the nature of ultimate reality as applied to "relative" reality. Until and unless one knows the truth of one's own nature, and truly understands the teachings of nonduality, for a person to say, "Well, hey, it doesn't matter what one does. There is no doer, and it is all predestined anyway," can cause great harm, which is the net result of Ramesh's teachings as far as I can see. I have personally seen a lot of harm and confusion come from this. I am glad that all of this came out. I do hope that people will re-examine what Ramesh is saying in light of better, more grounded, traditional teachings of advaita, and examine his morality and authenticity as a teacher. I attended a seminar with Ramesh in Germany in 1999, and I definitely thought that he was very interested in acquiring money, and that his teachings were useless. All of this has made me think about more about the subjects of relative and ultimate truth, and what traditional advaita-vedanta teachings have to say about that, which is a lot. Traditional teachings are very clear on these subjects, and I wish more people, who are genuinely interested in the subject of nonduality, had access to those teachings, as I think it would help to straighten out a lot of damage which has been done by the teachings unskillful neo-advaita teachers to the minds of unprepared students. ======================== This is a letter written by a student of classical advaita vedanta, as taught by Shankara, in response to Wayne Liquorman's article in the Feb. 2005 Advaita Fellowship News. I had a couple of thoughts about Wayne's letter after reading it over. I haven't analyzed it completely, but there were some glaring mistakes. I feel that Ramesh's and Wayne's teachings are incorrect, and I have always felt that way. When I heard their teachings, I thought that the, "no-doer, it is all predestined, and there is no free-will" message was far too convenient to be true. I directly asked Ramesh, Wayne, and some other teachers authorized by Ramesh, about this when I attended a seminar with them in Germany. They were all sitting up on the stage taking questions. "How do you know that it is all pre-destined, and there is no free-will," I asked. "It's an intuitive knowing," was the reply. And they all agreed. That did not convince me at all. Here is the take on all of this from the point of view of traditional advaita vedanta teachings as far as I understand them. For Brahman, for the Self, which is the Self of all beings and substrate to all that exists, there is no change whatsoever. Nothing can touch this Self. It is free from time, free from space, free from karma. For the Self there is no doership, as actions take place in duality, i.e. time and space. Within time and space, within duality, there is a certain amount of free will for the individual jiva. There is doership, and there are karmic results of actions, both positive and negative. The problem I see with most neo-advaitic teachings is that they mix orders of reality, without truly first understanding the ways in which the absolute and the relative orders are different. In the end, the relative is nondual, but that must be understood properly. How is all of this, which appears dual, actually nondual? It is nondual because, when you take all of it apart, you cannot really find anything here. Every component of time and space can be broken into smaller and smaller parts. The smallest particle of time and space cannot be found. In the end, all of time and space are ultimately nondual, as am I, as are you, as is everything. And there cannot be more than one nondual, because that would make for two, for duality. That being said, within duality, there is an empirical order, there are consequences for actions, there is a certain amount of free will, which creates karma, which carries the individual on and on to future births, until the truth of myself as the unchanging substrate reality of all that is, is apprehended. That apprehension is called liberation, but even then the jivan mukta's body exists within duality and is subject to its laws, until such time as the body drops. What Ramesh and Wayne are saying IMO is not correct, and has led to a lot of wrong thinking and adharmic actions, justified by the incorrect understanding of the concept of no doership. Now having studied traditional advaita vedanta, I do understand what is what about these matters (at least much better than I did before), and as far as I can tell, Ramesh and Wayne are mixing orders of reality, (the relative and the absolute) in a way that is very confusing for many people, and which encourages people to behave in ways that are unethical, and which are harmful to themselves and others. So, if all of this 'scandal' leads others to question Ramesh and Wayne's teachings that would be a good thing. But it may not. Who wants to take responsibility for their actions, when it was so convenient not to? Here are two of the most glaring faults in Wayne's letter that I see. There are probably many others as well. It is very sad that people listen to this man and take what he says as true. He is actually quite mixed up. "The irony is that enlightenment and behavior are not linked. All of the great sages have pointed to the fact that Enlightenment is transcendent. It is not personal." So anything goes? That is an incorrect premise, backed by incorrect logic. "This teaching suggests we are ALL already perfect beings. Even what we call our flaws are perfect in that they are the product of Universal forces." Advaita Shuffle anyone? And the results of these flaws will also be products of Universal forces. Perhaps he hadn't considered that. "What me? No doer here." Oh well. ======================== An insightful blog by Steven Sashen gives his assessment of a Ramesh satsang from 2006 in Mumbai, its completely deterministic teachings making ludicrous the attitude of those who go to hear Ramesh for "understanding" or "enlightenment." (See http://sashen.com/blog/13/back-away-from-the-enlightened-guy-nothing-to-see-here/) Email from L, 1-31-05 Our friend L posted to his relevant email contacts and to several online "nonduality discussion forums" this message from Mutribo, Ramesh's defender, disciple, and video-producer. The Mutribo message was roundly critiqued by a number of more mature advaitins, and their responses are worth reading for the various insights generated. [L writes:] The following is from Mutribo, an Englishman living in India, who is very much on the inside with Ramesh, he made videos of him and whatnot. [Note from Timothy: And so Mutribo has a financial interest in protecting Ramesh and rationalizing his behavior as OK.] Previously Mutribo was with Osho [Rajneesh, well-known for his amoral approach to advaita, and his own immoral behavior—Timothy]. [Mutribo writes:] I was not at the [Kovalam] Seminar but have heard fairly detailed feedback. Apparently a few women started talking to a very sweet Mexican guy called Carlos at the Seminar and sharing how Ramesh had come on to them sexually in the past and their discomfort with it. Carlos then respectfully confronted Ramesh about it and on the last day of the Seminar Ramesh made a statement. He said that he regretted any hurt that his actions may have caused and said that truly there was no one to blame. He also said that it would never happen again. My first reaction was "how great!" A great many of the people who hang around Ramesh have clearly not gone into their own insides and darkness in the same way that many sannyasins did around Osho [e.g., at the controversial, intensive sex and violence psychotherapy groups that Osho Rajneesh sponsored in the 1970s]. It is very common for women to want to project some kind of untaintable "purity" on the Guru and then have to suffer a painful disillusion and "wake-up" when they are faced with an imperfect body/mind... with the Understanding. For me it was a wake-up call for those who were living under such a misunderstanding and who had clearly not listened to Ramesh and not fully understood what he talks about. That said, I have known about this side of Ramesh for a while and have spoken to women who have had that experience with Ramesh. In every case that I know of the advances were very respectful and stopped as soon as the woman expressed her own discomfort. I have also spoken to one woman where the shock was very painful and I can totally empathise with those feelings as well. If you listen to the Teaching, you [know] that Ramesh's statement was almost wholly consistent with what he has been saying for many, many years and he has blatantly alluded in the past to sexual desire naturally arising in the body/mind of a Sage. The only thing that I can find fault with is him saying that it will not happen again. No one can say what will happen again nor how a particular body/mind will respond in a particular set of future circumstances. I also heard that two pieces from recent writings have him talking about how he was blessed in not being plagued by desire. The latter is clearly not true. To sum up...... I think it's great all round! It's another wake-up call for those who still prefer to project rather than see that any Guru is still an ordinary human being. Ramesh too must face the consequences and fall-out from his actions as we all have to do in daily life. And lastly it takes another needed broom to the dark closet of sexuality that always hovers around spirituality and those cobwebs get shown the light of day. It once again exposes the repressive sexual conditioning of the Hindu culture and again shows that sex needs to be addressed clearly and consciously. And all of this in no way negates the very real feelings of shock and disappointment that some women have had to feel. I can happily see most angles in this story and I find all of them refreshing and good. I have no idea what the repercussions may be on Ramesh and his Teaching but for me I never met him with expectations that would have caused me any hurt. It is simply just as it is and it's fine. Ramesh is still, by far and away, the cleanest and most honest and available Teacher that I have ever had the good luck to meet and I will always feel grateful to that. You may know the story of Muktananda being discovered with a young boy by one of his chief disciples. Ramesh tells it often. On being confronted by the disciple's outrage, Muktananda is reported to have responded, "You created the problem, now you solve it!" If I had been Ramesh, I would have opened my statement with this often-told story, expressed the regret for any hurt caused and insisted that no one is to blame, as indeed Ramesh did, but I would not have said that it will never happen again. I would also have made sure that any writing did not contain things that events have proved to be dishonest. Then the Teaching would have inevitably shone even brighter. I find I can play the devil's advocate to whatever opinion I see in front of me and the story is currently very much doing the rounds here in Goa. I have also delighted in taking a very sharp sword to the neck of those who delight in seeing the mighty humbled by clearly pointing out what I have described above. It's a win-win-win situation from my perspective. ============ Comments on Mutribo’s piece at Lightmind Ken Wilber forum at www.lightgate.net/boards/viewtopic.php?p=5983 L writes, on 2-2-05: The guy seems to be quite juvenile and oppositional - "I find I can play the devil's advocate to whatever opinion I see in front of me" - well mate, so can any teenager! Meaningless. This reminds me of the spin about Maezumi Roshi in an issue of Shambhala Sun about a year ago - his whole deal with alcohol and [sexually] banging lots of students, and the resulting emotional wreckage, was described as "a great thing for the community" or some such. "It forced people to deal with their projections!" Ugh. -------- A disciple of Ranjit Maharaj & Papaji comments on the letter from Mutribo, circa Feb. 1, 2005: Thanks for the forwarded letter from Mutribo. He was the one who did the recently filmed series '"LET LIFE FLOW' with Ramesh in 2003. I honestly feel that when you set yourself up as an Advaita Teacher, it means that you live Advaita. Your permanent experience is that All is One. When you manipulate, lie, cheat, abuse and profit from another, it means you are well established in duality. When you know that there is no 'other', who are you then going to manipulate and take advantage of? Ranjit Maharaj explained this very well. 'How can nothing affect you?' For me, it is clear that Ramesh is not living Advaita. He is a preacher deeply-rooted in duality and who is trying to profit from the Advaita wave, but at the same time he claims to be beyond all this. He is exploiting Advaita and is mocking his master, Nisargadatta and also Ramana. I honestly cannot accept this behaviour! That is why I cannot accept when Mutribo says, 'Ramesh is still, by far and away, the cleanest and most honest and available Teacher that I have ever had the good luck to meet and I will always feel grateful to that.' Is he a fool or what? It seems that he has only met crooks, our poor Mutribo. The quest for the Truth is not a joking, casual matter. (It seems that Mutribo was probably bothered by all this and is now playing the strong cowboy who pretends nothing can disturb his peace of mind. Keep smiling and pretending you are strong and hopefully the problem will go away) I can't believe that he has the nerve to say 'To sum up...... I think it's great all round!' He doesn't realise what all of this really means. But what can you expect to hear from a manipulated disciple who has studied Ramesh's dualist, contradictory teaching! He says at the end 'It's a win-win-win situation from my perspective', but in fact for many people who trusted in Ramesh, for them it’s a lose-lose-lose situation. That is for sure! Many are deeply shocked and are not speaking because of this. Ranjit and Papaji, two great masters that I had the fortune to meet: they never once thought about taking advantage of anything or anyone. And I'm sure that Ramana and Nisargadatta were the same. These four were definitely living from the Absolute and were absorbed in the Truth of the Self. When you compare their beingness with Ramesh's beingness, there is no comparison. --------- Timothy Conway responds to Mutribo's Apologia (sent in to L and then by L to the Lightmind forum) (Timothy Conway is a direct disciple of Nisargadatta Maharaj, and he wrote the book Women of Power and Grace. Here are his comments about Mutribo's explanation of Ramesh Balsekar's behavior.) Mutribo's rationalizations are "nifty," aren't they? Actually quite bizarre and utterly ridiculous. A few points: Ramesh saying he "regrets" what happened doesn't cut it; this is neither an authentic apology nor a proper "making amends" to those whom he targeted with his advances. When Mutribo writes: "[...] he has blatantly alluded in the past to sexual desire naturally arising in the body/mind of a Sage..." I say, yes, but a true sage does not ACT on it in a way that exploits others. In other words, a sage is free from being pushed around by samskaras. After all, what is a true sage but someone who is free from the bound condition of being pushed and pulled by samskaras? Annamalai Swami told me in 1980, when I asked him what enlightenment was like, "It's like zero gravity... Nothing is pulling you anymore." Nisargadatta, a true "Maharaj," would always ask his visitors who claimed any kind of enlightenment, "What do you do with arising desires and fears?" He would not have seen indulging them as any kind of “enlightenment,” that's for certain. If Nisargadatta was still alive, I bet he'd be hammering Ramesh and telling him not to presume to teach until he was fully cooked [just like he often did with Wolter Keers and certain other visitors]. When Mutribo further writes: "To sum up...... I think it's great all round! It's another wake-up call for those who still prefer to project rather than see that any Guru is still an ordinary human being. ... I can happily see most angles in this story and I find all of them refreshing and good. I have no idea what the repercussions may be on Ramesh and his Teaching but for me I never met him with expectations that would have caused me any hurt. It is simply just as it is and it's fine." I can only respond to this pseudo-Advaita drivel: what would this guy have said had he come to the Nazi death camps in 1945? "I think it's great all round!"?? Advaita that does not take a stand for [compassion and] justice is no advaita at all, but merely clever mind games. WAKE UP! ------ Julian responded to Mutribo's Apologia on 2-2-05 Thanks so much, guys, for pointing this out. Wow! The rationalizations [by Mutribo] are thick and tangled. --The purpose of the construct is to help us see through the construct? --The point of having a guru is to trust him completely and then be disappointed because after all your were projecting? --It is great that a system not set up for processing the depth of the shadow evokes it and then inadequately fails to deal with it? Of course the problem here is a) with the set up, the construct, the illusion that the "enlightened " guy doesn't have psychological material to process. b) that the zetgeist itself denies the psyche! and c) that naive, wounded people prone to magical thinking would get drawn into these kinds of games, people who can least handle the shock and disappointment at finding that the rules have suddenly been changed on them...... --Ah the lila! [Mutribo’s view] Puke. --Ah the opportunity to see our projections crumble and grow up by being traumatized. [Mutribo’s view] Barf. --Ah, the crazy wisdom of the perfect one who shines from within the limited bodymind named ramesh. named trungpa. named osho. named da. named andy. named muktananda. named sai baba. named gurumayi. who gives us all the teaching we are ready for. [Mutribo’s implicit view] Hurl and heave. Wake up and smell the pathology! (and the vomitus.) -------- Submitted by Lightmind forum member “T,” 2-2-05: "Ramesh"’s apologia is filled with rank and disingenuous absurdities. Who has regrets, the body-mind or the Self? This, however, points to the crux of the problem. Since the body-mind is an untrustworthy area in this implicit context, the one who regrets and the one who had sex are equally irresponsible/responsible. The fact of the matter is that Ramesh’s excuse that it was only the body-mind and not himself or himSelf categorically contradicts his other statement of regret. However, we must include his statement that it was only the body-mind as an example too of untrustworthy speech along with his other statements. Thus, we must cancel out not only everything he says but everything he does to honor his version of the dharma. After all, as regards thought, speech and action, it’s only the body-mind. At the body-mind plane, the poor quality of his relationships is reflected in the manifest situation. If "Ramesh" were a true master, he might be able to bring the disaffected together under the roof of understanding and love or at least make a strong gesture in that regard. This would require relating at the body-mind level from the POV of the Self. Let’s see "Ramesh" do that. =================== We'll close this long webpage with the following neo-advaita farce: At a separate Nisargadatta Maharaj forum in early 2005, Timothy’s response and a second person’s response to the Mutribo letter were both posted by a member of that forum. A typical neo-advaitin named Toombaru (Toombaru2004) then responded to a few of our sentences with the “fundamentalist” neo-advaitin clever deconstructivism, nihilism, absurdism, amoralism and refusal to distinguish the Absolute-truth (paramarthika-satya) from the conventional-truth levels (vyavaharika-satya) that is so much in vogue. So yet another forum member, Dan (Dan330033) wisely responded to Toombaru in more mature fashion. Here’s the URL for all this: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nisargadatta/message/18885 [Timothy had written, in part, in his response to the Mutribo letter:] ... A true sage does not ACT on it [sexual desire] in a way that exploits others. [Toombaru:] Bullshit. For the sage...there are no others. [Timothy:] In other words, a sage is free from being pushed around by samskaras. After all, what is a true sage but someone who is free from the bound condition of being pushed and pulled by samskaras? Annamalai Swami told me in 1980, when I asked him what enlightenment was like, "It's like zero gravity... Nothing is pulling you anymore." [Toombaru:] Only because there is no one there to pull. [Timothy:] Nisargadatta, a true "Maharaj," would always ask his visitors who claimed any kind of enlightenment, "What do you do with arising desires and fears?" He would not have seen indulging them as any kind of enlightenment, that's for certain. [Toombaru, avoiding the point altogether:] I seriously doubt if a lot of women wanted to have sex with Nisargadatta......He was a stikey little cigarette smoking fellow. [Timothy:] When Mutribo further writes: "To sum up...... I think it's great all round! It's another wake-up call for those who still prefer to project rather than see that any Guru is still an ordinary human being. ... I can happily see most angles in this story and I find all of them refreshing and good. I have no idea what the repercussions may be on Ramesh and his Teaching but for me I never met him with expectations that would have caused me any hurt. It is simply just as it is and it's fine." --I can only respond to this pseudo-Advaita drivel: what would this guy have said had he come to the Nazi death camps in 1945? "I think it's great all round!"?? Advaita that does not take a stand for justice is no advaita at all, but merely clever mind games. WAKE UP! [Toombaru:] Advaita that takes a stand for or against anything ...is not advaita. [Toombaru then responded to a second person who had commented on the Mutribo post:] [2nd Poster:] Thanks for the forwarded letter from Mutribo. [...] I honestly feel that when you set yourself up as an Advaita Teacher, it means that you live Advaita. Your permanent experience is that All is One. When you manipulate, lie, cheat, abuse and profit from another, it means you are well established in duality. When you know that there is no 'other', who are you then going to manipulate and take advantage of? Ranjit Maharaj explained this very well. 'How can nothing affect you?' For me, it is clear that Ramesh is not living Advaita. [Toombaru:] Everyone is living advaita. [2nd Poster:] He [Ramesh] is a preacher deeply-rooted in duality and who is trying to profit from the Advaita wave. [...] I cannot accept when Mutribo says, 'Ramesh is still, by far and away, the cleanest and most honest and available Teacher that I have ever had the good luck to meet and I will always feel grateful to that.' Is he a fool or what? [...] I can't believe that he [Mutribo] has the nerve to say 'To sum up...... I think it's great all round!' He doesn't realise what all of this really means. [Toombaru:] No one understands what anything means. [2nd Poster:] What can you expect to hear from a manipulated disciple who has studied Ramesh's dualist, contradictory teaching! He says at the end 'It's a win-win-win situation from my perspective', but in fact for many people who trusted in Ramesh, for them its a lose-lose-lose situation. That is for sure! [Toombaru:] Just the dream of losing. [2nd Poster:] Many are deeply shocked and are not speaking because of this. Ranjit and Papaji, two great masters that I had the fortune to meet: they never once thought about taking advantage of anything or anyone. [Toombaru:] You don't know that. [2nd Poster:] And I'm sure that Ramana and Nisargadatta were the same. These four were definitely living from the Absolute and were absorbed in the Truth of the Self. When you compare their beingness with Ramesh's beingness, there is no comparison. [Toombaru:] You want your gods to be pure....your sages to be pristine........... WAKE UP! This is Life...blood and guts LIFE... Everything is only what it is. --toombaru ------ Dan (Dan330033) then wrote a wise response to Toombaru: You are addressing “others” when you speak like this, Toom. By speaking on a list, you are relating. In the world of relationships, there is a difference between manipulation and sincerity, integrity and deceit, love and selfish desire. These are not unimportant distinctions, and skimming over them because one is supposedly "nondual" just makes everything fuzzy. Fuzziness isn't more nondual than clarity, including clarity about relating. Life doesn't preclude purity. Water that is pure tastes better than water that has sludge in it. Life being all-inclusive, includes purity as perceived, impurity as perceived, blood and guts as perceived, love as perceived. -- Dan * * * * * * * * * For anyone wanting to read an essay with more about the distinction between real Advaita and pseudo-advaita, please click here. For those wanting to read more on the illustrious Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (and peruse a long list of books of his teachings), click here. Share this page: 	Facebook	Twitter Enlightened-Spirituality.org © Copyright 2006 by Timothy Conway, Ph.D. Email: t.conway1@cox.net SBI SBI! 

 

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