Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: April 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at email@example.com
I want to go back to the home base now.
DOUG WRITES: When you accuse Paul of duplicity by using the copyrighted materials of others and then turning around and trying to stop J. R. from copying ECKANKAR's material, you again have misunderstood, since the copyrights were not what mattered to Paul. It was not the use of Paul's words that bothered Paul, but that he felt J. R. was positioning himself as a "spiritual traveler" for the purpose of riding on ECKANKAR's coat tails, and Paul felt this was a spiritual crime. This is not duplicity, since never did Paul try to ride on the coat tails of Radhasoami, or Theosophy, etc.. DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, Paul never tried to ride the "coat tails" of Radhasoami. He went one better. He "copied" (almost verbatim) the single most popular Radhasoami book in English and then had the spiritual "honesty" (remember you are the one bringing up "spiritual crimes") to "copyright" that literary piracy and then claim that he got his "stuff" (read: Julian Johnson with new punctuation) "directly" from Rebazar Tarzs....... Sure. Now on to J.R. You better talk with John-Roger Hinkins yourself about the episode. J.R. and I talked for many hours personally on this subject....... J.R. completely dicounts what you say about him, Twitchell, and his motives. All I would like to point out is that Twitchell's plagiarism of Johnson is 100 times (yes, I am willing to use that large of a statistic) more extensive than J.R.'s cribbing of Paul Twitchell. If you want to talk about spiritual "crimes" then you better go to the Master direct: the Twitch. DOUG WRITES: O In fact, it was for this very reason that Paul tried to distance himself from Kirpal and his other teachers by changing their names, so as not to mislead. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nice theory, but I don't buy it. Why? Just look at Twitchell's early advertisements for Eckankar. Moreover, there is a much simpler solution: just tell the truth about one's past. Tell the would-be chela that I am copying THE PATH OF THE MASTERS and adding new twists. Just tell the new Eckists that "Yes, I used to follow Kirpal Singh, but I have got a different view." He didn't do that, bro, and Darwin Gross threatened to sue me over it...... No, Twitch tried to cover-up his past, not "reveal" biographical truth. The solution was so simple. He chose the deceptive route--and a much more complicated road indeed. DOUG WRITES: O Paul knew he was not just teaching Radhasoami, but something very different spiritually. It was not the physical or outward similarities that mattered to Paul, as it does to you, but the inner or intuitive differences that were important. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Paul copied Julian Johnson and put those quotes into the mouth of Rebazar Tarzs. What Twitch should have done (he didn't) was just be honest about his background and tell his followers that he is going to crib from PATH OF THE MASTERS from time to time and claim that it comes from an Eck Master....... He didn't and it is not a question of "intuitive" types..... We could use that same lame defense with Darwin Gross....... He was an "intuitive" type when it came to banking and the 2 million dollars he embezzled (apparently much of it during his tenure AS an ECK master) is not as it appears..... He is a non-number guy and was trying to convey a deeper "metaphor." You wouldn't buy it; Harji didn't buy it; I don't buy it. Same holds with Twitchell's plagiarism, cover-up, and duplicity. Empiricists may want to see "shit" Intuitives may want to "sense" "shit" Emotionalists may want to feel "shit" But it is still the same shit no matter how you "see" it, "feel" it, of "sense" it. Don't get me wrong; I like your attempts to convince me, but my sense of smell tells me that Twitchell was just plain bullshitting his audience. DOUG WRITES: Your answer showed that you didn't understand what I was saying, but perhaps now it will be easier to understand. Yes, I can see how you, as a physically centered person, would find it inexcusable for Paul to "twist" the facts, but what you are missing is that Paul was not intending to write a book about facts, he was writing in a special language with many levels of intuitive spiritual meaning, for the sake of the spiritual seeker who wanted to connect to the inner truth. In other words, I believe Paul intended it all to be "mandalic", and none of it was "empirical." DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, Doug, I diagree with you and I think Twitchell would to. Clearly, Twitchell attempts to make "empirical" statements (just read him and you will see when he tries). I don't think it was mandalic of Twitchell to say "Yea, I met Gail at the Seattle Library" or, "Hey, Doc, want to eat at Denny's?." I think he was trying to give us some physical or empirical statements. I think what you are doing (especially given your Jungian personality types) is collapsing useful categorical distinctions and in the process forgetting that Twitchell made some very straightforward mistakes.... from bad predictions, to faulty dates, to forgetting names. No need to sweep those mistakes under the rug (every guru does it), but it is lame to justify lying and bullshitting under the pretext of metaphors and higher truths. I don't hesitate to point out where Radhasoami gurus have been wrong (empirically or otherwise) and I would hate to see "mandalic" posturings used to legitimize or justify plain and simple bullshit. Let me give you an example: Charan Singh once stated that Shiv Dayal Singh didn't smoke a huqqa. He's wrong! Plain and simple. No need for me to invoke "metaphors" or "intuitive" readings. The guru was "empirically" wrong. I don't have any problem with saying that. Now, going back to Twitchell, I think Jay is on cue. He's right on the money. He can call a spade a spade and still follow his path. That's the right attitude. No need to justify plagiarism or coverup or deceit. ---------- Let me give you an even more radical example from my association with Radhasoami. For many years, at the Beas satsangs in the USA (and perhaps in other countries as well), there were free copies of a booklet on meditation distributed which was supposedly authored by "Huzur Maharaj Sawan Singh." Well, I once got a chance to read this booklet closely. I almost immediately realized that the book was NOT authored by Sawan Singh at all. In point of fact, it was authored by Rai Salig Ram (also known as Huzur Maharaj). The booklet was, more or less, a free translation from Rai Salig Ram's JUGAT PRAKASH. I IMMEDIATELY wrote to the publication people at the Dera and told them of my discovery (I have read lots and lots of obscure shabd yoga books). I told them to withdraw the book immediately and state worldwide that a mistake had been made. The Dera followed my advice and publicly stated that Huzur Maharaj Sawan Singh and Huzur Maharaj Rai Salig Ram had been wrongly juxtaposed. They withdrew all copies of the said booklet from around the world. ------------------------------- Moral of the story? Fuck the metaphors. Eckankar should get off the dime and publicly apologize for the plagiarism and cool it with the bullshit excuse of astral libraries. I wouldn't allow the Dera to use such excuses if they tried to give me a song and dance about Jugat Prakash being mistakenly identified in English as Sawan Singh's book. My point is not a harsh one (I like the "fuck" word--that's all), but a simple one: I wouldn't allow the Dera or R.S. Beas to "justify" mistakes or plagiarisms or lies in the name of "a new path" or "intuitive" types. You should see my letters throughout the years to the publications Department on various matters. I don't think we do Eckankar or Paul Twitchell any service by trying to justify lying, plagiarism, and deceit by invoking Jungian readings. Indeed, we do a disservice because anything can be justified using that modus operandi. If you don't believe me on this, just see what Klemp says about Darwin Gross....... No "intuitive" misreadings there..... especially when it comes to the hard fact of "dollars." DOUG WRITES: I am not trying to change the way you see Paul's writings, but I am just trying to point out that if you really want to understand Paul, or what he wrote, you need to see it from his viewpoint and his intentions. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Sorry, but when Twitchell says he saw combat in World War II and didn't (compare Steiger with Harji), I call it bullshitting. Sorry, but when Twitchell says he graduated high school at 15/16 and allows an official biography to circulate that "untruth" worldwide, I call it bullshitting. I could go on, but I think you get my drift. But let me go to my own tradition, so you can see that I apply this yardstick to that which is closer to my bone. When Sawan Singh says that Anurag Sagar was authored by Kabir but it wasn't, I don't try to "justify" it. I have a simple answer: Sawan Singh is MISTAKEN. When Julian Johnson writes stupid stuff about Aryan races and the like, I don't try to excuse it with some astral metaphor. Johnson was a racist and the Dera was WRONG for allowing such crap to get published. See how easy it is? I think Jay's lead is much more healthy than excuse city 101....... "Types" has nothing to do with it; it is called Integrity and Honesty. DOUG WRITES: Otherwise, it is as if you picked up a book of poetry and tried to analyze it as if it were a cook book. Or it is like those who try to treat The Bible as if it were a history book. How useful can such interpretations be? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nice try, but you forget something. When Twitchell says Sudar Singh died in 1937/38, he is attempting to make an empirical statement. When we juxtapose THAT with his other statement that he went to see Sudar Singh again after WORLD WAR 2 (Sudar Singh would have been physically dead by then given Twitchell's recollection), we know something is funky! This has got nothing to do with poetry or reading history in the Bible. Twitchell himself has made a number of clearly empirical statements and because of those we can compare/contrast them. When they are completely inconsistent or contradictory (high school records, war records, stuff he submitted to Ripley's, etc.), we know something is up. We don't need to resort to intuition or other kinds of theories to "justify" those contradictions. We can instead look to the empirical record (what does Twitchell's high school say about his age when he graduated?) and see things with relatively more certainty. I don't see why that is so hard. When he writes poetry, I read it as such. When Paul says I went to so and so at such a date, I also read that as such...... There is no great mystery here in Twitchell's writings..... What you don't like is that he made some huge blunders that shed a troublesome light on his integrity...... And he should be held accountable for that...... Can you imagine what some on ARE would do if my "official" biography was full of shit? Yea, I graduated from North Hollywood High at 15; yea, I saw Combat in Vietnam; Yea, I am only just turning 30; Yea, etc., etc. I would rightly be called on the carpet it for it, and so I should. Why should we expect LESS of Twitchell or any guru? I have no problem calling the very founder of my tradition, Shiv Dayal Singh, into question. He deserves it. I have even publicly disagreed with my guru and many of his chief disciples several times...... That's normal, that's healthy. DOUG WRITES: Now I think there is another point that needs to be cleared up. When I shared a few out-of-the-body, or Soul Travel, experiences in my last letter to you, you said, "Doug, I have had all sorts of interesting experiences as well, but I don't mind when someone, like my brother, doubts them. Geez, I remember when I spoke in tongues when I was 15. I got all sorts of skeptical questions. I think it was healthy, actually. The same happened to me when I turned vegetarian at 16; the same happened when I was attracted to Charan Singh." I think it is important to point out here that the experiences you referred to are all physically centered experiences. Speaking in tongues is not in my book a spiritual experience, any more than automatic writing, spiritualistic medium ship or seeing the Virgin Mary in a mud puddle. Certainly you could say they were experiences that commonly fall in the spiritual or religious field, but they are physical phenomena. True they might inspire spiritual or religious thoughts, but are not what I call spiritual experiences. DAVID LANE REPLIES: This is truly ironic, Doug, and I think you have dug yourself (pun intended) into a well here. Before you "assume" what I experienced (the very thing you are trying to critique me on about Twitchell), shouldn't you probe a bit deeper? How do you know that my experiences were "physical"? Isn't this the very thing that you say I mistake about Twitchell? I say this only to alert you to the tautology of your own methodology. If everything Twitchell says is metaphorical or spiritual (as you implied), then be careful when "identifying" what others may or may not experience...... DOUG WRITES: experience is an experience within our consciousness directly. It can be a sudden shifting to a new state of consciousness where a new awareness is gained. It can come like a light dawning within us bringing with it a whole new clarity of seeing the world, or like a sound or reverberation that shakes our spirit loose, raising us up beyond the human consciousness. Whatever you want to call them, do you see the differences between what I am calling spiritual experiences and the experiences that you cited? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, Doug, I have had those experiences as well; too many to count, too intimate to pen. DOUG WRITES: If you do, then perhaps you can see why I said that anyone who tries to question or examine their own inner experiences must negate themselves. You see we are talking about consciousness here, and as soon as we try to doubt or try to question our own consciousness, it is like trying to split our consciousness into two parts, one part as the observer and the other as the subject being observed. This is a function that the mind loves to do, but our own consciousness, our spiritual Self, cannot be split, it can only be One. The mind loves to play with mirrors, you might say, looking at itself and the world in all the reflections, but Soul can never be split. What I was trying to explain was the importance of accepting our inner experiences, because these are a part of our own consciousness. To split our consciousness in two is to reject a part of ourselves, and those that do this must become dependent on outside authorities to define their reality for them. This is a very subtle point being made here, but a vital one. By rejecting our inner experiences we are sentencing ourselves to a prison ruled by the mind. However, by nature Soul is free, and not limited by time, space or matter. DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, Doug, you have made a mistake here that is not necessary. Experiences are not Consciousness ITSELF; they are manifestations of it, just as waves are not THE OCEAN ITSELF, but manifestations of it. There is no need to worry about "splitting" ultimate consciousness or Ultimate Reality. It is already what it is; and, as such, no experience will be able to "capture" it. So, in a curious Zen-like critique, NO experience represents Consciousness Itself, since Consciousness ITSELF will always exceed that which attempts to contain it. All inner experiences, therefore, should be doubted since they are NOT the Ultimate Itself. Or, in a Buddhist twist, kill any inner experience you have of God. Why? Because God is not an experience...... He/She/It/SHIT is Transcendent and Immanent to That. In other words, Infinity is not a number. So, I actually disagree with you about not doubting one's consciouness. Doubt it, doubt it, and doubt it some more. Truth won't disappear because of that. Especially if Truth is Eternal and a Permanent Context to all. DOUG WRITES: Of course, experiences such as the speaking in tongues, the appearance of a spiritual master's image, events of extraordinary coincidence can be questioned, probed and challenged to discover what they really are, and what they mean. But the purpose of this should be to understand these experiences, not to question the reality of the experience itself. DAVID LANE WRITES: Sorry, but I disagree again. By all means doubt the reality of the experience itself. Why? Because that is precisely how one accesses the next level beyond it. Severe doubting of a dream and its reality can cause one to wake up! Try it. Severe doubting of this state of awareness can elicit a new and startling new vista (that's what meditation is all about). Now when you have accessed a new domain (to use your examples of "spiritual" experience), then DOUBT IT and doubt it severely. Why? Because the floor of that text will reveal its deeper root. Faqir Chand talks about this, the Tibetan Book of the Dead talks about this...... Geez, simple particle physics talks about this. Doubt the molecule--get an atom. Doubt the atom--get the nucleus. Doubt the quark--get the superstring..... Get my drift? By all means doubt any or all inner experiences. Doubt this neurological experience as well............................. GReat Doubt, great faith; little doubt, little faith.............. Pascal? -------------------------------------------- DOUG WRITES: For example, we have all seen optical illusions. Our senses can fool us. But this doesn't mean that the experience itself was not real, only that it was misleading. I agree with you, that experiences in the spiritual field are often misleading, but this is because of the mind's interpretations, usually based upon one's religious indoctrinations. Do you see the subtle, but very important, difference I am making here? A person thinks he sees a UFO, but it turns out to be a weather balloon. What the person saw and experienced was a real experience, it was his interpretation that was wrong. To get people to challenge their beliefs is good and healthy, because it gets them closer to understanding their experiences more directly, without indoctrinated thinking. But to get people to doubt their own experience itself, is to undermine their confidence in their own Self. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Sorry to disagree again, but you are being philosophically and mystically naive. There is no such thing (as a thing) as Experience ITSELF. It is not a thing, right? So doubting it, or believing it, has got NO-THING to do with it..... Look, let me give you a crude example. It doesn't matter what the wave may believe or not believe about the ocean...... The Ocean LIVES It, exceeds its, moves it, etc. All the doubting and all the believing in the world has got NO-THING to do with Ultimate Truth....... So, naturally, I think we should doubt every and all experiences we have had, since every experience (even the Experience itself) is less than THAT..... and if it is not less than that, then nothing you and I can do to change it. It will be That regardless. Read the Tibetan Book of the Dead or Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. You will see that doubting is actually the very means by which we access new states........ -------------------------------------- DOUG WRITES: Let me explain this in a little finer detail. Martin Gardner, the well known mathematician, once described what he called the "AHA!" experience. It is that moment when understanding dawns. It is the absolute necessary ingredient to true understanding. People will often "learn" or memorize, or accept facts from authorities without ever having that moment of AHA! It is easy to show that such "learning" is only indoctrination, and that they have not really understood, but only learned how to mimic. But when that moment of AHA! occurs, then that knowledge becomes our own. You can give a person a map, and they can follow the physical directions to get to the desired location, but unless they have that moment of AHA! they have not actually arrived. What many people don't realize is that the experience of AHA! is not dependent on the physical directions leading up to it. In fact it is not limited by anything of a physical nature. This experience of AHA! is an experience of consciousness, and can happen at any moment. And it cannot be split in two. Once the experience of AHA! is over, of course you can reflect back on the memory and look at this memory, but the experience of AHA! itself is pure and cannot be analyzed, reduced down, or doubted. It just IS! This means that the experience of AHA! is a miniature spiritual experience. Now imagine taking that singular moment and expanding it a thousand times into a moment of spiritual revelation. One gains more understanding in that one moment than in a thousand textbooks or college classes. This is what I meant when I said that the scholars all stand around their well of facts, clapping each other on the back at the great discoveries they have made in their dark well. Why do they stand there staring at the reflection of the moon, when they could look up at the real moon. By this I meant that a true spiritual experience is a moment of experiencing the true reality. All this other stuff is nothing but optical illusions. DAVID LANE REPLIES: AHA! You are wrong, again! (just teasing). Sorry, but analyzing AHA experiences or doubting them is fine with me. Big deal..... just another experience. You see, when one has never read a book, READING may appear significant. But to one who reads a lot, reading is no big deal (not too much more evolved than surfing channels on a T.V. set). Same with soul travel or listening to inner sounds or seeing inner lights or voyaging to other states...... If you haven't done it, it "appears" to be a big deal. Do it alot, and you won't mind doubting it. Aha experiences for some are rare, and thus they are held in high regard..... Have enough of them and you won't mind "doubting" them...... My point is a very simple one: We are bound by those experiences which we don't doubt or question (physical, astral, causal, supra-causal, transcendent, rami nuri's underwear region, etc.); we are freed from the binding constrictions of any experience when we are no longer "awed" by it...... think dreams and nightmares and you will see my point. DOUG WRITES: Carl Jung once gave a talk that was intended for professional psychologists, however it was open to the public as well. After his talk, an elderly lady who knew nothing of psychology came up to him and said, "You words are bread." By this she meant spiritual sustenance. Jung realized that although she did not understand the background and the scientific explanations, she still caught the meaning of what he said. She may not have been able to read the map, but she still had that moment of AHA!. Paul Twitchell wrote his books for those looking for spiritual bread, not for history buffs. DAVID LANE WRITES: Look, when he talks history he screws it up and he should be held accountable for his plagiarisms, for his cover-ups, for his duplicity, and for his silly wrong predictions.... Frilly Fred..... Okay, so Twitchell talked soul travel and he was trying to emphasize that aspect. I well understand that, but you know that is precisely where the most fun is...... Enter Faqir Chand. It is easy to "doubt" a dream; easy to doubt the waking state at times...... The cool thing is to doubt the "light", to doubt the "soul", to doubt the very CORE Experience Itself (whatever that means). That's where it takes some guts. That's what Faqir called "hanging on the gallows." Doubt GOD when you see him/she/it...... Isn't That an underlying message in THE TIGER'S FANG? You see, I am just doing a Twitchell on you. DOUBT TWITCHELL, just as he doubted Kirpal Singh. That way, you will be freed from trying to justify his behavior..... DOUG WRITES: Perhaps this might explain what I was trying to say a little better. Of course, I am sure you will still have a very different viewpoint, which is great. That's what keeps it so interesting in this world. Millions of mirrors, and millions of viewpoints. By the way, I am still interested in the book by Faqir Chand. Any more info? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Doug, I have really enjoyed your posts and I commend your civility. If I come off as harsh, please know it is because I have taken your arguments seriously. You don't want me to mush out right when you have some interesting points...... And by all means keep doubting me....................... It is a very helpful thing to all concerned. The Faqir Chand material is on my website..... thanks
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I want to go back to the home base now.