Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: August 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at email@example.com
I want to go back to the home base now.
RICH WROTE: Come on David. Without comments please, just the facts, give us the copyright dates of Julian Johnson book(s) along with the copyrights dates of the books that Paul had some of the same material in. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I think Kate gave a very pertinent and detailed reply here, Rich. The point, lest you overlook it was this: Johnson's books were copyrighted in the 1930s (1934 and 1939 for the two tomes that Twitchell plagiarized from). Twitchell's books were copyrighted in the 1960s. You can do the math and the comparisons for yourself. RICH writes: OK, so Paul was a fiction writer and a blatant self promoter who did not shed these aspects of his personality when he put together the teaching of Eckankar. OK. We all know about this dirt. Harold has spoken about it several times. Why do you feel compelled to sling this mud over and over again. Get over it!<G> When will the time come that you lose this National Inquirer mentality? In the eyes of many it only discredits what some consider to be your serious research. DAVID LANE REPLIES: What's there to get over? I like to do Eckankar research. I like debating the pros and cons of various positions. I also like debating about baseball teams, football players, and professional surfers.... A fun habit. What you consider "mud" is merely Twitchell's modus operandi. RICH writes: And BESIDES, it will not deter those who to continue to have personal spiritual experiences as proof of the validity of what Eckankar represents! Paul brought these teachings to the western world and they have helped and work for many. So who are you getting to then? Those who are unsure, vulnerable, naive, insecure, gullable and not so intellectually astute are the ones who are most often traumatized. Is this what you want? To hurt this group of people. Do you have any sympathy for these people and if so why continue? Why not allow people to follow the path they are on to whatever their conclusion may be without you tripping them up? You may enjoy the mental questioning/doubting game but you often are playing with those who are no match for you. I wonder if this isn't an aspect of you that is happy being a bully? Why not let sleeping dogs lie?(pun intended) I wonder if you feel any remorse for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of those you send reeling buy continually promoting the dirt you uncover. After so long perhaps it is time to let it stay under the rug. It's pasts history. We have a new Living Eck Master who has changed the path of Eckankar so it is better suited to lead _todays_ people to the Light and Sound. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Quite frankly, Rich, I think you should re-read what you just wrote here. No need for me to comment on it, as the loopholes in your logic are wide enough to drive an Amtrak train through (plus a few big rigs). In sum, it is precisely those who are most vulnerable who SHOULD know more (not less) when joining a group like Eckankar. As for being a "bully," I think you better go ask Jim Peebles about what he feels towards Eckankar suing him for 2.5 million when he was 20. Providing information, opinions, and critical responses is not bullying, but something much more mundane: it's called rationality. RICH WRITES: Right, that's probably why no one has sued Eckankar..... DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nope, Eckankar has been on the receiving end of several lawsuits. All I said was that "I" have never sued them. --------------------- RICH asks: Do you identify with yourSelf("me") as Soul? Soul being a unit of awareness separate from the body/emotions/mind. DAVID LANE REPLIES: This "I" of mine identifies with lots of things and lots of times it can be mistaken. In deep sleep, for instance, I am not aware of any such "I", but only when i awake in dreams or in the waking state. Moreover, I am not at all certain what a "Soul" is in the ultimate sense of the term. I am much too unknowing to know for certain what "I" am really in the ultimate sense. RICH ASKS: Have you had any experiences that _prove_ to you that this reality is beyond duality?(body/emotions/mind) DAVID LANE REPLIES: I have had lots of experiences which appear to "prove" lots of various conjectures, including bodily transcendence. Yet, I have also had numerous experiences which also appear to "prove" that "I" am nothing more than three pounds of glorious flesh. For that reason, I have called myself a mystical agnostic materialist (you can rearrange the order in any way you wish). I am quite unknowing and yet quite willing to remain open and not come to any hasty conclusions about what is Absolutely the Truth. I simply don't know that. Do you doubt all such theories? Are they only philosophical 'possibilities' for you? It's obvious that you have fun and are happy with your questioning/doubting but; Do you accept/acknowledge any source for what manifests that is spiritual(by the above definition)? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, I have a tendency to doubt any particular theory that I hold on to, even ones very close to my own bone (and that would naturally include science or mysticism). This does not mean, though, that I don't think some theories are better than others. I most certainly do. For instance (even though I may be in shrinking minority), I do think Elvis is dead and not living on Venus. RICH asks about Lane's connection with his guru: One aspect is the ability to communicate understandings(to used a purposefully vague term) back and forth. Did/do you have that connection? DAVID LANE REPLIES: I am still a bit confused by your question. I had a nice rapport with my guru if that is what you are asking. RICH ASKS: Do you accept/acknowledge any reality beyond, what I recall you term, neural synaptic experiences? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Actually, even if we accept a completely neurological basis for everything, we live and act as if we are more than the brain. I summarized this once from a really pithy statement: "We Know we are more than merely neurons firing; at least WHILE our neurons are firing." I think you get the paradox. Do I think there are "other" ways to see the world besides a scientific or rational one? Yes, most certainly. Surfing for me is not about logic, but about dancing. Same with meditation. But that doesn't mean that I cannot "doubt" any or all such apparent trans-neurological phenonmena. Quite bluntly, I do not know what the ultimate truth of our situation is, though I am quite relaxed and willing to accept a purely materialistic explanation for all of it. I simply don't know. RICH ASKS: So you are a seeker, longing for??? DAVID LANE REPLIES: My best friend, who died in 1990. RICH asks: BTW, I fully agree with your understanding of surfing("he'e nalu" in Hawaiian, meaning to slide on waves) and feel the experience could benefit anyone. Recently had a big storm roll by us that generated glorious double overheads at Makapuu. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Have you ever bodysurfed Point Panic? It is my favorite spot on the South Shore. --------------------------- BRUCE writes: > >I would be interested to hear what you have to say about >the relation between these two lives of yours. Are they >distinct and separate, or does one influence the other? > DAVID LANE REPLIES: They definitely interface and influence one another; indeed, they are complementary. It seems to me that we are many things (and perhaps many selves as well) as human beings and thus are not one side versus another, but a multiplicity of aspects, sometimes competing, sometimes cooperating, but in all cases arising from the same field. --------------------- JOEY writes: Hmmmm...David, what does it feel like being on the other end of the whipping stick????? Damn David, I didn't think anyone could do that.....does that mean that Eckists just might be able to do that also?????.....that it's possible that they are not being "duped" as you so often have said??? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Whipping Stick? What transpires on ARE is not whipping, but discussions. I find the give and take refreshing and illuminating. Well, Rich, just a few posts later and you say that there are hundreds, if not thousands, who are "gullible" in Eckankar and who get upset by reading about the funkiness of their founder. I would imagine that it would be better for these would-be consumers to have access to more (not less) information before making the plunge. ------------------------ MARK writes: Lane pretty much believes human existence is a cosmic accident devoid of meaning apart from what humans give it. Is that correct, David? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Thanks for your question. Actually, I have repeatedly stated that I don't know ultimately and for that reason I have called myself a mystical agnostic materialist (or any combination of those three). This is merely a way for me to express how little I ultimately know. Clearly, I find some answers or theories better than others and less questionable. Perhaps contrary to yourself, I wouldn't be bummed to find out that life is merely a cosmic accident. That in itself would be quite awe-inspiring.... Just think: here we are on the basis of some radical contingency. I am quite comfortable with a variety of ultimate ponderings, knowing fully well that at this stage whatever I may think will most likely (indeed, most assuredly) turn out to be less than the infinity from which it arose (whether that answer, partial or complete, have a mystical or materialist leaning). MARK WRITES AND ASKS: Do you really support the absurd *scientific* position that the doll a girl holds is clearly the work of conscious creative intelligence while the girl holding the doll is an accident, devoid of conscious creative intelligence? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Such theories don't bother me, Mark. Read Dawkins' THE BLIND WATCHMAKER for the ironic reasonableness of just such an assertion. Or, if I can play a semantic play game with you, try this: IF EVERY thing has Meaning, then NO-thing (in particular) has meaning, since each and every THING couldn't be less or more meaningful if EVERY thing contains it. Which is another way of saying if EVERY-thing is BLUE, then saying ONE thing is BLUE is meaningless, since NO-thing is NOT blue. ------ Bottom line: When I wake up from a dream, I can recognize the randomness and oftentimes chance haphazard structure to it. I may realize, for example, that a dream is gibberish and that the isolated components within it are not there by "conscious" design, but rather by preconscious elements, like a bad veggie burger that didn't digest well. We used to do this when we were kids. A friend would be asleep and we would put his finger in a warm glass of water.... This very act would then get involved into his dream. He was quite unaware that the resulting embarrassment in his dream and waking state (when he found out he had just peed in his pajamas) was not of his own making..... Other elements, like playing, like a bladder too full, had transformed his "meaningful" inner universe. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the universe was merely a play, merely a contingency of possiblility. I don't have the answer, though, Mark. I am too unknowing, quite frankly, to know anything of this ultimate stature for sure. One thing that may be different for me is this: such an idea doesn't bother me; i find it quite reasonable, even if it demotes humans to mere evolutionary accidents. In any case, I am confident that whatever Reality is will win in the end and that our versions of it will be less than what it Is or Is not. I can't imagine how human mentality could capture all of it in one chew. I can't even hold six thoughts at once in my head clearly, much less the True Theory of what the cosmos is. MARK ALEXANDER WRITES: I would really enjoy reading your explication of how you can hold such a position. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Since this theory of randomness seems off to you (it is not my position, as such, since I am too unknowing to absolutely know at this stage), then I would suggest reading heavy doses of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Gould, and especially DARWIN'S DANGEROUS IDEA BY Dennett.... Coupled with Ramana Maharshi and Edward Whitten's papers on superstring theory. Quite illuminating. As for my position, I think we are like cows in a field mooing at the moon about its light, not understanding that the sun is what is causing all the commotion. Plato's Cave seems like a nice metaphor here, whether we take a materialist or a mystical position. ---------------- Prisoners in the dark, taking their etchings to be reality. ----------------------------- BRUCE WRITES: You are only partly correct. The "college buddy" incident simply shows undeclared bias, which is a weakness in the book, IMO. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Bruce, I mention the "college buddy" incident in THE MAKING OF A SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT. Indeed, it is right in the beginning of the book and has been since it first happened. Here it is to refresh your memory: From THE MAKING OF A SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT: THE UNTOLD STORY OF PAUL TWITCHELL AND ECKANKAR Preface [excerpt] In 1979, Eckankar tried to take a two-and-a-half mil- lion dollar lawsuit against Professor Ed Gruss of the Los Angeles Baptist College for allegedly "publishing" a highly defamatory term paper by James M. Peebles, a fellow class- mate of mine at California State University, Northridge. Prompted by a letter to their office, Eckankar sent one of their own officials, Mike Noe, down to southern California to secure a copy of the twelve page report, which claimed, among other things, that Eckankar was skirting tax laws and that Darwin Gross had fathered an illegitimate child. Mike Noe, as it turns out though, asked for the paper from Ed Gruss under the false disguise that he was a member of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project (a conservative Christian research ministry centered in Berkeley). Gruss, who had not read the work, kindly gave Noe a photocopy. Noe went back to Menlo Park and Eckankar then proceeded to take a lawsuit against Gruss for "publishing" the report. Though the lawsuit never did come to trial, Eckankar used it as the basis for several half-page advertisements in which they claimed that their group and its teachings were being attacked by conservative Christians. These advertisements were run in some of the major newspapers across the country, including the Los Angeles Times. --------------- You can call it a bias, Bruce, but the incident is certainly "declared." --------------------- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Nathan Zafran): <<If the BEST research by parapsychologists cannot pass the Lane test, why even discuss personal or historical examples of the paranormal with the good Dr? Dr. Lane says he is open to the paranormal, but isn't it strange that apparently NOTHING up to this point in time passes Lane's standards. NOTHING. Everything is somehow . . . . flawed. Of course, Dr. Lane will probably deny these observations. No doubt, he will say I am overstating the case. Isn't it good to doubt, to question? he will reply. Etc. etc.>> DAVID LANE REPLIES: Geez, Not once has anybody on this newsgroup even gotten close to reading the five digits correctly on my wall (even though some of these posters claim to have the ability to do exactly that). As I have stated ad infinitum, I would be very impressed with that as a start. I have also posted on this very newsgroup a test that indicated positive results (see the book HOW TO THINK ABOUT WEIRD THINGS). I mentioned this book at least twice to Daniel. Yes, I am quite open to the possibility of something beyond the rational mind. That would be entirely groovy, but that doesn't mean that I have to convert cheaply or prematurely on scanty evidence. Lest you forget the funkiness of this field, it often turns out that much of what is heralded as "psychic" turns out on closer inspection to have a very common sensical explanation. Just look at Taylor's work on Uri Geller, as one instance among many. A POSTER WRITES: There he has a number of links to parapsychology articles describing studies which have conclusively shown the existence of statistically significant levels of anomalous cognition. Apparently the reality of paranormal abilities is no longer the issue, except amongst die-hard fundamentalist materialists, of course. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Before you jump the gun here, remember that statistically significant levels of "anomalous" cognition does not necessarily prove or indicate a paranormal intervention. There are still quite a number of mundane theories that have been invoked to explain what may be occurring... Having said that, I am quite open to the possibility that there may indeed be something beyond the rational mind. What I don't understand is why we should settle for "conversions" on scanty indications. A little patience, a little more work, and we may have a much better foundation. Read HOW TO THINK ABOUT WEIRD THINGS, since it also mentions a positive result. The more we doubt such studies, the more evidence we garner. That is an altogether healthy thing, since the more a phenomena is "tested" the more it should resist falsificiation if it is true.... ----------------------- DOUG WRITES: Doesn't it strike you as strange that shortly after Lane began his attacks on ECKANKAR, that his disillusionment toward his own path began? He looks like someone who can't quite forget the love he remembers and still feels for his Master, but yet can't quite turn away from his old path completely. He is now in the area of Limbo, he can't believe in those teachings anymore, and yet he can't forget them. Which is not to say that he is unhappy with where he is at. But it is strikingly similar to what I've seen with so many of those who have left ECKANKAR after reading Lane's materials. It's the same pattern. I think it's the same reason why so many ex-ECKists like coming back to a.r.e.land. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Do you make this stuff up, Doug? I think you better recheck your timeline and your information about me, since it is obvious that this paragraph of yours is clueless. I first wrote critically about Eckankar in 1977 when I was 20/21. I was initiated by Charan Singh in 1978. He died in 1990. "Shortly after Lane began his attacks on Eckankar, that his disillusionment toward his own path began"--or so says DOUG. This is complete nonsense. I have always tended to be critical of religion in general, and have been critical of Radhasoami from time to time. But this has got nothing to do with being "disillusioned" with my path.... Quite the opposite, as what I considered my path has only intensified over time. I miss Charan, plain and simple. Your attempts at psychoanalysis would be more interesting if they had some accuracy to them. I wrote the major part of my study on Eckankar in 1977/1978. What I feel towards Charan hasn't changed, but only grown over time. Even his death has only intensified that..... You don't have a clue about what I feel towards my path if you can make these kinds of inaccuracies.... What you seem unable to understand is that I can both love my guru and use my brain at the same time. Limbo? I still have the same routine, bro: I meditate, I don't eat meat, I don't drink or smoke, and I miss my guru. Nothing has changed. I was that way back in 78, even when he was alive. I have merely gotten more skeptical over time. Indeed, Charan used to tell me often to be more skeptical of things.... I have merely followed his advice. Next time you make these type of claims about me, ask me first. You may be surprised. ----------------- DOUG WRITES: That's fine with me. I certainly respect his interpretation, and his vigor in defending his position. I like his feisty quality, and his sense of humor, as well. But why the attacks? Why the bludgeoning to death? Why not respect [those who disagree with him as well]? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Doug, perhaps the higher form of respect is not engaging in legal threats, or death threats, or calling people Hitler-like, but rather engaging in a public and open debate and trying to respond to each and every critical point made...... The very fact that I respond to Nathan, to Steve, and to others is in itself a form of respect. I engage their arguments, I listen to their positions. Remember one thing: Eckankar sued Jim Peebles for 2.5 million dollars, even though he was a one-time member. I have NEVER sued anybody, not even John-Roger who robbed my house; not even Eckankar which has legally hassled me for some 20 plus years. Perhaps you should talk to them about "respecting" others and their interpretations....... respectfully yours the Kal boy --------------------- LION writes: I don't think it'd work... Personally, I've seen far so much psychic stuff that I just have to accept it as real. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I think it would be interesting to hear more about it. LION WRITES: And on the other hand, I have seen way too many attempts to scientifically analyze psychic phenomenon fail, even by people who were looking for positive results and not negative ones. What I have to conclude from this is that any scientific inquiry into psychic phonomena will fail, bizarre as it is. I don't know why this is, though I have two main theories; One is that the scientific establishment is so strong as a thought construct that it cancels out any possible psychic results. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm.... I don't know if i buy this explanation, since no matter what "thought construct" I may have, Pipeline will still break 10+ in the Winter even when I am not there..... Or, as Einstein might say, the moon is still around even if he is not there to look at it...... LION WRITES: Another is that these things are just not meant to be used in the phsical plane and are thus shielded from scientific knowledge. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Naturally, we could substitute psi with any phenomena we wish and utilize the same type of rationalization (from Elvis to Jesus to Velveeta Cheese on Jupiter). LION writes: I know they are both really way out there and low possibilies, but really, when you eliminate the probable, you have to take the improbable, no matter how small it is. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I don't think we have explored "all" the possibilities, do you? Best not to succumb to the transcendental temptation, when there are still enough empirical hookers walking around..... ----------------------- JOEY writes: I wrote this the other day under another thread and didn't even see one response. Maybe it never got posted....I dunno.... So, here goes again..... By the way, this is a true story.....it made it all the way to Congress and congressional hearings were held concerning it. Congresses response, primarily because they had been uninformed about Stargates existence, voted to disband it. >It's very interesting that I watched a TV program this week where the >topic of Out of Body experiences and visions was successfully >accomplished, documented, and repeated countless times by none other than >the CIA. The code name for this experiment was "Stargate". > >Among other noteworthy accomplishments by this small group was information >obtained by "Out of Body Visions" that led to the discovery of the >perpetrators of the bombing of the airliner over Lockerbee, Scotland. > >These gents (all male) were able to consistently go through walls mentally >and read numbers, letters, pictures, etc. > >Won't David Lane shit his pants when the CIA slips into his office and >reads his upside down numbers. > DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nice visual here Joey, but there is no reason to excrete if the CIA reads the five digit numbers on my wall (by the way, they are NOT updside down....). I would simply cut the CIA a deal and we could split the profits from passing Amazing Randi's psychic test..... The CIA could probably use the money too..... JOEY writes: >So, if the bumbling military extension called the CIA can accomplish such >feats imagine what a sincere gneuine desire can do for the average Soul >Traveler. > > > > DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, Joey, go right ahead. Read the five digits off my wall..... I look forward to you passing the simple test. ------------------- DOUG WRITES: I didn't mean to imply it was the anger you were feeling, but the disillusionment and disappointment. Have I missed something, or did you not explain that these were your feelings about your own path? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Disappointment? Disillusionment? My path is the same now as it was when I first met Charan Singh back in the early 1970s. I simply fell in love, and when he died in 1990 I discovered even more how much I missed him.... That path of longing has only increased. What's there to be disappointed about? I have always tended to be critical of religion in general, and certain forms of Radhasoami in particular (lest you forget, THE UNKNOWING SAGE first came out in 1981) The essence of my path, as such, has nothing to do with R.S. per se, and never did. It is for that reason that I can feel quite free in being skeptical and critical, even of those things closest to my genealogical roots. What I won't do is rationalize silly doctrines or silly theological pretenses in any ism, including my own. And on this score, I have certainly gotten more skeptical. As for my day to day practice, nothing has changed. I am still a vegetarian, I still meditate, and I still miss Charan more than I can express. Concerning disillusionment, I think it is wise to be constantly doubtful of one's absolute position on any thing..... Hopefully, I will as Nicholas of Cusa might say, "unlearn more and more and reside more and more in the mystery of unknowingness...." Remember, one can love intensely while still remain critically astute. To see the humanness of it all seems to be a wise step to me..... ---------------- DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, with regards to Eckankar I am not undergoing any type of "resolving", except the simple joy of debating back and forth ideas. DOUG Replies: Very clever, David. I was referring to your feelings toward your own path, DAVID LANE RESPONDS: No, since the context of your piece was on Eckankar and how people respond to my writings on it. In that light, I merely replied to your statement. My feelings to my own path are quite evident to anybody who has read my stuff on this newsgroup or on my website. I miss Charan. That's the sum total of it. And that longing has increased over time, not lessened. As for criticizing Radhasoami, I think it deserves it and I am in a position to do such. But this may be where you and I depart company. I think it is perfectly fine to call a spade a spade or a guru a human being and not necessarily rationalize or legitimize his or her behavior. I love Charan dearly, but I see no problem whatsoever in disagreeing with him, as Samorez's repost indicates.... With my increase of bireh (longing), I have also gotten my skeptical over time.... A nice, if paradoxical, combination..... ----------------------- DOUG WRites I was not referring to simply the disillusionment and shock here, but the desire to attack back. That is a result, I believe, of not just seeing the shocking truths, but buying into your insistent claims that it was all intentional, for the sake of manipulation, and to deceive intentionally. That's your interpretation. That's your twist on it. And the giant I was referring to was not you, obviously, but this set of interpretations that seems to justify attacking accusations that are really based on assumptions. I can understand wanting to ask Paul Twitchell why he really did what he did, and I would love to hear his answer. But it's a little late for that. And since only he can answer as to his intentions, how do you figure you know what they really are? Have you suddenly developed that ESP you've been looking for proof of? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Doug, let us forget Twitch and ECK for a moment, and let's substitute any R.S. guru you choose (including my own). Now let's say that one of the turbaned ones did PRECISELY what Twitchell did: cover-up, plagiarize, and deceive (with regard to spiritual teachers, spiritual books, and biographical details, including--but not limited to--the date of his high school graduation). Now in this context, would "I" indulge in your type of defense? Nope and this is exactly where you and I do not see eye to eye. Twitchell was quite clear about what he felt about plagiarism (see his threats against J.R., see his repeated copyrights in his various books, see the trademark history of Eckankar's legal arm). Whatever intentional stance you wish to impute upon Twitchell, the fact remains that he plagiarized extensively without attribution and this very issue has caused hundreds, if not thousands, of Eckists and other sympathizers to be deeply troubled. It has also prompted the living Eck Master to "explain" it and apparently to "withdraw" some books from the public domain. Now going back to my scenario concerning an R.S. guru who did exactly what Twitchell did. My response, in contradistinction to your rhetorical defense, to such actions would be to call the guru on the proverbial "Sant" mat (pun intended). I can't ask Sawan Singh about his motives for saying Anurag Sagar was really written by Kabir, but I can surely say he was historically wrong without breaking a sweat. I can't ask Charan Singh about his motives for saying that Shiv Dayal Singh didn't smoke a huqqa, but I can say univocally and without fear of retribution that he was wrong, plain wrong. And I have done so and will continue to do so. What I find so sophomoric is our inability to simply state the obvious and get on with it. Twitchell lied, Twitchell plagiarized, and Twitchell covered-up.... And even your living Eck Master says Twitchell "twisted" and "exaggerated" facts. I don't see this type of mumbo-jumbo defense given for Darwin Gross. Eckists seem quite willing to call him on the couch for it (the mat would be too hard), since Harji has quite stridently criticized his predecessor for his ethical lapses, including taking Eckists' money and using it for his own purposes.... ------ Yet, when it comes to Twitch we bend this way and that attempting all sorts of postmodern apologetics, forgetting in the process that the easiest way out of it is to merely admit the obvious. That is why I felt strongly that Jay was the Way in the healthy sense of the term. -------- I see no reason to "defend" the shortsightedness of R.S. gurus (including my own), and thus I find this type of defense for Twitch an indication of pre-rational puffery. ------ To put this more bluntly, if you lied to your high school buddies about what age you were when you graduated (yea, that's the ticket, I was only 15/16.... not 18 to 22!), they most likely would say cool the bullshit. I don't see why Twitchell's bullshit can't simply be called that. Or, is it just more polite to call it "twisting" facts and "exaggerations" (via the Klemp tone down)? -------- DOUG WRITES: It is not a matter of accepting some inescapable truth, as you seem to repeatedly claim, suggesting only fools don't see it your way. It is a matter of working through what it means to our own self. Resolving those feelings are a personal inner matter, and can get much more distorted when rushing forward on some crusade started by others for their own enjoyment. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, even Harji admits Twitchell bullshitted (he simply uses nicer terms to describe it: exaggerations and twisting facts). Inescapable truth? Please check Twitchell's books for their copyrights. He was quite clear in putting them on his books. Why? Because he wanted people to look for some "deeper" truth? Nope, he wanted to protect his literary output, not any different (in point of fact) than what R.S. Beas did with Johnson's writings. Check the dates of each, bro, and you will quite clearly see who breached what..... Moreover, Twitchell has Brad Steiger bullshit a buying public about his life and work, literally making up dates, making up travels, etc. Twitchell didn't graduate high school at 15/16 as he claims, but much later (maybe as late as 22 years old, given Harji's timeline). So what we got here is a guy who not only exaggerates, but he also straight out lies. Now when you enter a college or fill out a police report, please feel most free to use the Twitchellian "higher" method of telling the truth. Tell your employer that "no, i really didn't copy Bill's report, but got it from the Astral Better Business Bureau... thus, I didn't steal it...." Tell your admissions director, "yep, isn't it amazing? I graduated at 15/16...... can I get in?" Tell your wife, "Yo, babe, me pushing 55? No way, I just turned 40 and my motor still runs..... By the way, can I borrow a few hundred bucks?" Better yet, forget all this weird stuff about "facts" and the like.... Geez, you could do wonders for Darwin Gross' embezzlement of 2.5 million dollars.... "No, I didn't steal it; I just put it in temporary reserve in Oregon for spiritual reasons..... But I forgot, all these issues have to be "resolved" on an inner and personal basis? Tell that to the IRS, tell that to Eck's attorneys, tell that to Jim Peebles.... This defense is itself never used by Eckankar when it is trying to sue somebody. I guess when the lawyers get involved, only facts remain? Lest my irony be misread, we simply disagree on this Doug. I wouldn't let an R.S. guru, not even my own, off with such puffery. ------------------- DOUG WRITES: David, you've seen that many people on spiritual paths are sincerely naive, and somewhat gullible. So do you make them feel foolish for this? Do you whip them up into accussing all paths of deceit, to cover up those feelings of foolishness? What's wrong with trying to help them resolve these issues in a way that is constructive? A way that shows them that they did indeed have real and true reasons for studying the spiritual path in the first place, and that even though these facts about the human side of the masters can be shocking, that it is all a part of the path. This is nothing new. What is wrong with helping them see the meaning beneath the human failings, to the spiritual essence itself, and finding out what these means individually and personally? It seems that you are intent on belittling this approach. DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, Doug, I belittle the approach that cannot simply call a spade a spade, a plagiarism a plagiarism, a cover-up a cover-up, and a lie a lie. I haven't made the would-be Eckist feel foolish. Twitchell did that by consciously lying to them and to me and to every one of his readers about his past, about his writings, and about his spiritual background. If you really do want to accept Twitchell's humanness, then merely accept the obvious: he bullshitted at times, he plagiarized at times, and he lied at times. Even Harji admits that. I have repeatedly stated that you could susbstitute Twitchell with any R.S. you wish wish and I would think your line of defense was silly. What is more impressive, I would argue, is to call the guru in question, to point out (publicly, by the way) his MIS-takes. I see nothing wrong in saying that my guru made mistakes (he did, and they were just THAT: MISS-takes). All the spiritual dressing in the world won't cover-up or blind us to the humanness in these gurus.... Let's get the cat out of the bag, Twitchell out of India, and de-turban the excessive amounts of spiritualized cow dung parading around as "deeper" understandings.... Yes, seekers are naive (so are we all, to some degree), but I don't see rationalizations as a pathway to some higher understanding of a guru's humanity. Quite the opposite, I see it as another freshmen like approach to keep the B.S. going.... If you want to accept the humanness of the guru, a really easy way is to state the obvious. Gurus fuck up, and in Twitchell's case he fucked up a lot (and I am not referring to the night he died). ------------- Douglas Gibbens WRITES: Hey Dave, So you've made it your mission in life to fuck with ECKists, eh? Cool. There's always room in the world for yet another Randi wannabee. I submit, though, that everyone has their function in life in perfect alignment with the cosmic order. There are those who blaze new trails and those who remain behind to made sure others are strong enough for the trip. It's kind of like going to the gym - you need some dead weight to work against to build strong muscles. But when I leave the gym, I know my muscles have grown stronger. The dumbbells I was working out with, however, are still just that - a set of dumbbells. Don't be a dumbbell, Dave... ;-) DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, I have been called many names and I think being called a "dumbbell" isn't so bad..... I guess you believe Gakko came from the city of Retz on Venus some 6 million years ago? Or, that Paul Twitchell copied his books from an astral library..... Or, that Darwin Gross didn't embezzle millions WHILE he was the living ECk Master? signed: your weight lifting manager
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I want to go back to the home base now.