Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CONTRARIANS, CONTRARY PERSONS, AND TEACHERS WHO SHARE WISDOM THAT IS CONTRARY TO “CONVENTIONAL WISDOM,” Part One

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An Advaita forum focusing on Realisation, enlightenment, non-duality, Real Love, peace, freedom, Your original nature, abiding naturally, the Oneness, the Noneness, and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

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F.: Yesterday, this note about today’s topic was offered:

Tomorrow’s post will deal with a differentiation between the type of rebelliousness that (1) allows for the seeing of an understanding that runs contrary to a misguided culture’s teachings and that (2) propels a seeker along the “path” vs. the type of “contrariness” that encourages attachment to false beliefs and concepts and ideas and thus blocks understanding.

That statement alone resulted in the arrival of many e-mails asking questions about the subject and indicating that more than a few have been dealing with the dilemma of mustering courage and then, once mustered, finding a legitimate teacher to guide the seeker along the “path.”

**"How can I get the courage to rebel? I was one of those that you mentioned who was beaten down in childhood and have been a doormat all my life. I want to rebel, but fear prevents action."
F.: Consider the pointers to be offered in this series and see what happens.

Other questions also dealt with finding a teacher to assist in “propelling seekers along the ‘path’” and revealed as well some underlying resentments around the compensation issue:

**“Even if the rebelliousness comes about and starts propelling me, how do I know who to listen to and who to avoid? I think the money involved might give a clue. Shouldn’t I avoid any teacher who wants money or gifts for teaching?”
F.: If that were the case, no one would have visited Siddharameshwar, Maharaj, Maharshi, or any of the sages of India. My teacher received dozens of gifts a day for decades. Does your community pay the teachers who teach your children? You would pay a doctor who restores you to physical health without question yet would protest the tradition of offering a gift to one that leads you to Reality and peace and freedom and happiness? Yet the query does touch on an aspect that should be investigated. Notice that neither Siddharameshwar nor Maharaj nor Maharshi became millionaires as a result of staging public, organized events with thousands paying thousands to attend. Why? Because their teachings were not for the masses. There is the key. Is a teacher’s message popular among the masses? If so, earlier postings as well as warnings from Maharaj have already suggested you guard against being influenced by anyone offering a popular message. Such messages cannot possibly have anything to do with fact or truth. You are invited to contemplate that or to search the site for "big teachers" or "big names."

Another raised the issue of courage and then also asked why they should pay for guidance along the path.

**“If i have the courage to rebel and seek, why shouldn’t i also rebel against being asked to pay for guidance? Jesus never charged anyone for his teachings.”
F.: Jesus enjoyed a better lifestyle than any in his day except those with the highest positions in the temple, in the Roman government, or in certain businesses. During his last years, five rich women supported his travels, and others in the towns he visited provided housing and food and clothing. His only “job” was offering teachings, and during the final years, those teachings were Advaita teachings. Several months ago, a visitor wrote to send thanks for the postings on the site, describing all of the "benefits" that had been received, but then asked why there are charges for services. So one who wrote to offer thanks for free postings then protested the costs of other services that pay the bills here. There is a call, evidently, for differentiating between people who never pay their bills vs. teachers whose bills are paid vs. teachers who are becoming millionaires by selling concepts. Understand that options are available and choices can be made, or not.

Others queries also touched on the popular moneymakers but went into other areas as well:

**“This is such a key dilemma for me. It is like there is innocence and a hyperalert bullshit detector that function simultaneously. This is dualistic though isn’t it? The mind will constantly vacillate between the two: innocence and skepticism. Recently – perhaps in response to that ridiculous sweat lodge incident, I have been doing further research. It seems that many of the current “Advaitan” teachers are using the same LGAT approach that made so many used car salesmen rich in the 70’s and 80’s. Exactly the same techniques and strategies. (On their retreats, both James Arthur Ray and Byron Katie use 36 hours imposed fasts - with no preparatory warning given - plus make participants dress up as homeless and wander the streets for a few hours with no money and IDs.) The marketing structure is also identical: huge volunteer staff, so no labour costs, and evangelical emphasis on spreading the word to the unenlightened masses. How different, the Teaching offered in Maharaj’s loft where he often told seekers to leave and not return once they had heard the pointers or told seekers to leave if the readiness was not present – no false promises offered. No practices or worksheets or techniques.

F.: As for the “dilemma,” see what unfolds around the topic. In the meantime, look at the personas that might be involved. Each persona has a basic desire and a basic fear. The Type Five, for example, needs to know more, but for what, especially when dealing with a teacher who invites the knowing of less. If truly dedicated to living naturally, what would the deer do? Go to a sweat lodge (that costs $9000 and occasionally kills seekers)? Would it be more sensible to go to a loft with 10-20 seekers or to go to a church with 1000 and pay 10% of all you earn or go to a convention center with 5000 other persons and pay thousands of dollars for a seminar offering conceptualized distortions of Maharaj's teachings? Listen to one invite you to be free of all roles, or pay $5000 for someone to advise plant food bodies to avoid food for several days and to assume more roles and to tell you to love your rapist and to rejoice if someone kills your child and thereby frees you from the false identity of "The Parent"? For now, the suggestion is to allow the bullshit detector you mentioned to be the "do-er" and to do its job while you stay in the beingness. As for innocence vs. skepticism, in too many cases it is not innocence at all but is actually naiveté that sets persons up to be used and manipulated, and far more persons have been misled and manipulated as a result of naiveté than skepticism.

In this series, therefore, pointers will be offered about three types that seekers often meet during the search:

First, there are the modern contrarians, those who say and do things that run counter to their culture but that also run counter to reality. Some among that group are adept at “putting a spin” on anything and everything. Some inspire denial. Some engage in self-delusion and self-deception and will never be able to differentiate true from false. They will also deceive you while collecting exorbitant fees.

Secondly, there are the persons who are contrary, seemingly only for the sake of being contrary and argumentative; however, they have a hidden agenda involving control and power that will be discussed.

Thirdly, there are the sages that share pointers that also run counter (specifically, counter to "conventional wisdom"); yet they seek no power and no control, practice neither “spinning” nor denial, and (being free of self) cannot possibly engage in self-deception or self-delusion. They have neither mass appeal nor mass amounts of money. They will never tell you that you need to know what they know but will invite you instead to unlearn the learned ignorance that you have been taught.

The key to finding the answer to many of the inquiries submitted will involve finding the valid distinctions among those three and avoiding those teachers who have become wealthy as a result of selling popular concepts rather than offering pointers that free persons of belief in all concepts.

Meanwhile, there are over 1400 free postings available on this site for seekers, and you may use the search tool to find without charge a variety of pointers on almost any Advaita-related topic of interest. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

A SUGGESTION: Two excellent series by Guest Writer / Advaitin Louise Sterling are available. If you have not read those, you are invited to scroll down to the October 20th-23rd postings and to visit the archives for her September 1st-19th posts.

SIX WAYS THAT SEEKERS HAVE REALIZED:

1. BY WATCHING the 4-Disk Video (DVD) Set, or the same retreat available as a downloadable file. Either will provide an entire seven-hour retreat / series of satsang sessions showing three seekers being guided through all seven steps by Floyd and can provide viewers with an “experiential,” step-by-step series of satsang meetings that will move the viewers from identification with the I to abidance as the Absolute and then to abidance as That Which Is beyond

Some seekers are already using the computer file version and the DVD sets for meetings in groups in homes, playing the retreat, pausing for discussion, etc.

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[It is recommended that you watch the video with pen and paper in hand. Write whatever you need clarified. You'll see that there are constant reviews and you might find an answer later in the seven-hour presentation. Then, after you watch it all, there will be a common ground for discussion. Purchase of the DVD’s or the file will include the right to clarifications and answers to your specific questions via e-mail.]

2. BY READING these books in this exact order:
IT'S ALL BULLSHIT (And Why Knowing It Sets You Free)
SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY (Recovering What Religions Lost)
[Those two prepare the seeker to question it all]
THE MEDITATION GUIDES
[Provide a broad overview of the understanding]
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE?
[Begins to free the seeker of body identification and the desire for body continuity]
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "PEACE OF MIND" (There Is Only Peace if You're Out of Your Mind)
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of the false content of the “mind”]
LIBERATION
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of personas]
THE ESSENCE OF THE TEACHINGS
[Provides the final preparation for the seeker to be directed along the “path”]
FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)
[Directs the seeker along the “path”]
CONSCIOUSNESS/AWARENESS: The Nature of Reality Beyond Self-Realization (Peace Every Day When Abiding as The Absolute)
[Allows the seeker to understand the functioning of the totality, the manifestation, and what is involved with the un-manifestation]
FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS
[Provides the seeker the wisdom to understand the Noneness as well as the Oneness]
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3. BY ENROLLING in the Online Advaita Classes
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4. BY ATTENDING an Advaitin retreat for satsang with floyd and being guided through all seven steps. For details of the retreats offered, please visit the retreat information site.

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