The EK Debates, September 12, 1997

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER
Publication date: September 1997

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.

MICHAEL MARTIN writes to Michael Turner:

Dear Michael,

If the Lord gives me an order to do something, then, I have to do it.
 I will
reject your advice, and follow the orders of the Lord.  I don't
remember asking
for your advice.  This is a matter involving Maharaj Charan Singh Ji,
a brother
disciple, more than one million other brother disciples, and myself.
You are
not even a Satsangi.  Give me a break, and follow your own advice by

Maharaj Sawan Singh Ji said, "If the Guru wants, he could even make
the stones
do his work."  Am I as good as a stone?

I'm not violating anybody's space or confidence.  I'm just passing on
advice from the Lord. I've used some respect and discernment by not
this person's name.  The fact is, neither he nor you are showing much
and discernment.

Best Wishes, Michael Martin


Well, I just talked to Elvis (he's now living on Pluto running his
own hair salon) and he says that he really likes your material, Guru

Elvis wants to go on the road and he thinks you would make a great
opening act.

He was also stoked to see that you made The Scum Bag Guru list (way
to go, bro).

As for discernment, I would be really impressed if you wrote a
letter to Gurinder Singh and asked him what he thought of your
claim to mastership.....

Moreover, next time you see Charan on the inner planes, ask him what
t.v. show Lane and him watched over dinner together.....

Get the answer correct and you win a year's subscription to
FATE magazine. 


Kal Boy


MARK Alexander writes:

BTW, David, I *will* pick up the thread of our conversation sometime
after my wedding. I am waiting on one book you recommended and want to
take the proper time with it.


Mark A.


Congratulations on your wedding.        

That's quite fair of you and I look forward to your replies in the

Have a great day and a great honeymoon.....



Dear Eckists and Satsangis,

Maharaj Charan Singh Ji appeared to me in meditation, and he asked me to
post this message.  He says, he has noticed that one of his disciples has
gone out of bounds, in regards to the conduct of a Satsangi.  He always
teaches his disciples to lead a good moral life.  He teaches that slander
is inappropriate conduct, also.

One of his disciples has recently posted messages with direct references
to pornography, male genitalia, and apparently, has made a joke about Mr.
Paul Twitchell.  This type of behavior, if not stopped, will bring upon
the Satsangi a severe punishment.  This is what Maharaj Charan Singh has
told me.  I didn't want to post this, but I was ordered to do it.

Maharaj Ji said our thoughts, and postings, should be as pure as the
freshly fallen snow.

Michael Martin
Shabd Yoga Guru



Male genitalia? Oh no..... the utter horror of it....

Maybe you are referring to this lovely gem from Paul Twitchell (lest
you forget Omnipotent Texan, Twitch wrote it for CANDID PRESS back in
the 1960s WHILE he was the EK master):


DEAR MR. TWITCHELL: My penis is too long. Can you ask God to
shorten it for me?

DEAR PETER: Why? That's what God said when He heard you wanted
a smaller sex organ. God says that we can all be happy with what
He gives unto us and you shall be happy to.  I HAVE SPOKEN!

--Paul Twitchell

Or, maybe it was this lace panty thing....


DEAR GURU: I have the strange desire to wear lace panties. 
As I am a normal man in every other way, I want to know if God
thinks this is bad?


DEAR FRILLY: He doesn't think it is good.  We talked over your
fetish--for that is what you have. We both feel that your fetish
is due to lack of female  companionship.
You wish to secure a relationship with a woman whose initials are
P.I.  Do not ask how I know nor shall you question this advice
which I now sayeth unto you: Call her and ask her for a date. She
will accept. Do not wear your panties on the date. . . and you shall
never again have a desire to wear panties.  I HAVE SPOKEN!

--Paul Twitchell


Nope? I see it was "Tiny Man"


DEAR LEARNED ONE: My penis is too small for
a man of my age.  Can you talk to God and make my penis grow?

DEAR TINY: God and I  talked  about  your penis--and God
has good news for you. He says that your penis is of average size
and that you only believe it is too small for you failed to satisfy
one woman when you were 19.  Because it is of the proper size,
there is no need for God to make it grow. I HAVE SPOKEN!
--Paul Twitchell


Now Dear Guru Martin (or should I call you "Tiny" man? whatever you

Since I know you are so modest about your claims, you may try this
test to insure the "purity" of your visions:

1. Next time you see Charan ask him about what he told Lane when
watching T.V. with him over dinner back on December 5, 1986. He'll

Then tell this newsgroup. It should be quite illuminating.

Now remember, Tiny Man, no fibbing..... 

2. Tell us whether any of the Dera run hospitals have performed
abortions (lest you forget oh holy one you have said quite a lot on
this subject before). Hmm, I will be quite interested in your
interpretation of what went down.....

3. Write a letter to Gurinder Singh (since you seem so concerned
about this issue) and tell him about all the "bad" deeds Lane is
doing. You may also want to ask him about what he thinks of your
guru ministry.

Now remember, Guru Tiny, you have to tell us in detail what he
"writes" back (sorry, but "visions" of what you want him to write
don't count in this contest).

Keep up the good work and I await my "severe" punishment with

Am I going back to gorilla form, as you indicated before?

Oh no............................

Do you have any bamboo?

got get ready......


Thoughts as pure as yellow snow...................



Depending on what you mean by "criminal." Seems like you've referred to
Paul Twitchell in terms something like that. <GGG>

But if you're suggesting you can just take someone off the street, and
fool people that this guy is a guru, well, you can certainly fool some
people, but as I was saying before, this is nothing like the real
experience of a real guru.


You mean, Darwin wasn't just off the street?

Doug, you say this incredible line: "you can certainly fool some
people, but as I was saying before, this is NOTHING [my emphasis]
like the REAL [my emphasis] experience of a REAL [my emphasis] guru.

Again, I find the distinction wholly subjective on your part and
lacking in any substantation (internal or external).

Let me illustrate my point further.

Okay, let's imagine we have some Joe Smoe off the street and he is
not a "Real" or "True" Guru (whatever those terms may mean), but
just a dude who is "dressed up" as a guru.

Now he looks the part, he acts the part, he plays the part.

He is a "killer" guru in that he just slays the hearts of his
would-be devotees.

Some just adore him; they meditate on him; they travel with him,

But these disciples have no idea that he is merely a guy off the
street "playing" the guru part.

According to your previous point, this joe smoe is "NOTHING" like a
real guru.

Yet, how do we ever truly know that a guru is "real" and could not
in principle be shown to be Less than Real or Less than True?

Think of Darwin. I don't think Harji considers Darwin Today a "real"
guru (remember he excommunicated him from the fold).

Yet, if we follow EK theology, Darwin was apparently a "Real" and
"True" guru when he had the Rod of EK Power.

But we know too much history, too much inside dope (pun intended)
about Darwin.

He apparently used his "rod" (sorry Jan, shut your eyes) of power in
ways distasteful both to women and to future bankers for the
Eckankar organization.

We know he womanized and we know he embezzled money (or so the
Eckankar organization would have us believe).

And he did this, lest we forget, WHILE he was still the living Ek

Was he a "Real" and "True" guru in all of this?

And if Darwin passes the litmus test of "real" and "true" then we
must accept that such "reality" is only temporary in EK theology,
since he has been demoted such a rank by his successor, Harji.

Now think: "temporary" truth? "temporarily" real?

How are such categories determined?

By predecessors? By successors?

Well, you have indicated an answer: by individuals.

Okay, but that is precisely the underlying point I am trying to

Individuals "make" the guru, even if that guru (like Darwin) misuses
his "rod" of power (both figuratively and literally).

Now, given your previous posts, you will hold that there really is a
difference (even if subtle, even if internal) between poser gurus
and "real" gurus.

I have asked you to spell such a difference out.

You have then pointed to your own experience as an indicator that
those who have experienced both (poser and real) somehow "know" the

Yet, before we absolutize this polarity (which I believe doesn't
exist as such), let us further imagine that the "true" guru turns
out to be "less" than true (which, of course, happened with our
beloved Darwin, according to Harji).

How do we "know" that he was "less" than true?

Hmm, because we have encountered something "more" true?

Okay, but if we concede just this, then we have also conceded that
our notions of true and false are merely comparative terms and do
not in any way indicate absolute resting points.

There can always be a guru more "true" in this scenario, since we
can imagine a successor showing or illustrating the limitations of
the predecessor and his contributions....

Yet, throughout all this imaginary scenario, one thing is crucial:

the PERCEPTION (or perceived relationship) that the disciple has
with the guru.

That perception, I have argued, is what "makes" the guru, and not
some ontological status that he or she may claim to possess (since
as I have just illustrated that "status" can be subject to
change--as in the case of Darwin and Harji's judgement of him).

Moreover, we can never really be certain of a guru's status apart
from our own appraisement of him/her.

Quite frankly, we simply don't know.

We know, instead, what OUR relationship is.

Now, if you argue that one has had an experience which Verifies the
STatus or the Power of the Loving Guru, then I would simply point
out that such experiences are once again part and parcel of the one
who is doing the perceiving and not necessarily reflective of what
is "truly" or "really" the case.

In sum, in contradistinction with your argument, we don't know
ultimately the status of the guru, much less the status of any one
thing (from physics to spiritual realities).

Hence, this argument about "real" and "true" guru falls back, I
suggest, on our relationship and not on some "truly" perceived
core reality.

I know you see it differently, but I find no compelling reasons in
your favor outside of you saying "you know the difference."

Moreover, I find it utterly ironic that I would be arguing for the
radical subjectivity for a guru's status when such an argument (when
examined closely) actually FAVORS BSing gurus I have exposed.

Such BSing gurus, I would further argue, work precisely for this
very reason: it is the disciple who performs the wonders, not the


Visible "aspects" David? Aspects? My, we do love to twist words, don't we?
Or was that a joke?


Hmm, try this puzzle: think a thought without your brain.

Your answer will indicate whether I was joking or not.


Don't panic David. It's Holy Swiss Cheese land. (cause of all the holes.)

But I think you are missing the point here, David. Maybe it's a subtle
one, but it's very important: I WASN'T HAVING A DIALOG WITH FAQIR CHAND, I
WAS HAVING A DIALOG WITH YOU. (By the way, I didn't shout that, I only
capitalized the letters.)


Yes, and since you are having a discussion with me I thought it may
be appropriate to bring some clarity to the issue: hence my
desire to bring Faqir Chand's ideas to the table.


I see no contradiction in what I've said at all. I think you're having vision problems.


Actually I would welcome some contradictions, but what I am getting
instead are categorical statements based upon your "own"
experience in deciding these matter without any evidence to back
such claims up.

Such statements as "I know the difference" don't tell me what THAT
difference IS.

Except that you say, "Well, when you experience it you will "know"
the difference."

Be more explicit about what THAT difference is and how chelas can
"know" it truly and really?

That is what i mean by "objectively"--the ability to be EXplicit
about the finer points of your argument so that we can see the
strength of your line of reasoning....


"His reality," David? Now we're suddenly talking about "his reality?" When
did we change the conversation? I thought we were talking about "Reality."
Or are you suggesting there is no way to tell the difference? It is all
only "our reality?" Is that what your suggesting? There is no way to
experience "Reality" directly, is that what you're suggesting?


Experience "reality" directly?

Okay, do just this one experiment:

think a thought WITHOUT your brain.

or, better yet, write your reply to me WITHOUT your brain (no, I
won't indulge in any cheap shots and say that you have already done
that in your two previous posts ).

What you may have noticed is that all our sights, all our hearing,
all our smells, etc., are MODIFIED by that three pounds of glorious
flesh, namely our brain.

Yes, dear Doug, I would argue that we have NEVER experienced reality
directly, but have rather experienced what our BRAIN (or bodies or
whatever medium you wish to enjoin) has constructed from Whatever
THAT IS which informs and shapes such intermediary structures.

Nope, Doug.

What we experience, rather, is how our brain "interprets" incoming

And if you don't like "brain" then, of course, you can invoke any
medium you wish (astral body, causal body, soul body, etc.).

My hunch is that we get merely glimpses, and even then those
glimpses are shaped indelibly by the medium by which we frame such

Neurology 101, to be sure, but it is also Mysticism 101 as well.


Watch this very carefully, David: You yourself are using the example of a
devotee of Billy Idol who believes his love is returned. Why? Because you
know such beliefs are not accurate.


Not accurate? No, I didn't say that. I said, rather, that such love
on the part of the devotee is what TRANSFORMS the perceived status
of Billy Idol.

Forget Billy Idol, use Jesus Christ. The same fundamental projection

We know so little about Jesus historically that he could be somebody
quite different...

He could have been a radical Billy Idol of his day, for all we know
for certain.

What we do know, however, is that a huge chunk of the population
Perceives Jesus in a Guru-like Light.

That perception (and not Jesus' utlimate status--I have no clue in
terms of history what he was or was not.... Geez, I don't even know
what he looked like) is what INFORMS the perceived status of Jesus.

Again, you are forgetting the key point:

Inaccurate to whom?

Accurate to whom?

Again, it depends on the perceiver not necessarily on the thing

Let's go back to Faqir Chand who gives us a very ripe example:

Imagine there is a beautiful woman walking down the street
(forgiving me for being sexist, but it's late at night) and
you see her and think of her as a potential lover.....

Okay, that invokes one type of feeling.

But as you look closer, you stop thinking it is a potential lover
but rather you think it is your blood sister.

Okay, that invokes a different type of feeling (hopefully!--just

Now, as you look even closer still, you no longer think it is your
sister but rather your daughter.

Okay, that invokes still yet another type of feeling.

Finally, as you look again, you start to think that this woman is
your mother! 

Okay, that invokes yet another type of feeling, quite separate and
distinct than what you have for your sister or lover.

What changed?

The woman?

Or the perceived "relationship"?

The woman didn't change ontologically, but what did change was our
"relationship" with her.

That "perceived" relationship, Doug, is--i would argue--the FUEL
behind the Guru and not his/her ultimate status.


The devotee [of Billy Idol] may be experiencing
something, but it is not the same as a real loving relationship. You know
this, I know this. How? We know this based upon our own personal subjective
experiences, because of our own personal memories. 


Nope, I disagree again with you.

"Real" loving relationship?

Tell that to 1 billion Christians who have NEVER met Jesus Christ
while he was alive 2000 years ago.

Tell that to thousands of Eckists who have only "Met" Harji through
a big televsion screen.

Sorry, Doug, but I wouldn't pronounce such judgements on the Billy
Idol devotee.

I know too well that it depends on how such a person "related" to
the object in question.

The object can be many things, but what one perceives of that
relationship to him/her makes all the difference in the world.

Every lover knows this.

I find your distinction does not hold the water it attempts to contain.

Now obviously I think some gurus "look" better than others, but as I
said before, there will always be some cat who will get off with a
really scuzzy one....

The same with mothers, with brothers, with wives, with husbands, and
even with living and dead masters.

DOUG writes:

Now, how was it that I cast a judgement upon the devotee? And how was it
that I invalidated my entire point? Please show me. 


You just said that the devotee of Billy Idol had a categorically
different type of love than the devotee of a "real" guru.

That's a judgement call, Doug.

Plain and simple, even if it is dressed up as "your experience".

You simply don't know if the Billy Idol devotee's love is the same
or different.

You assume it given YOUR own subjective experiences which you then
extrapolate and imply that it must be the case with everybody else,
or, more accurately, in the case of this Billy Idol devotee.

Sorry, but your attempts at discernment are merely leaking Chandian
subjectivity dressed up as "true/false" appraisements.


You say, "you don't know what the devotee of Billy Idol may or may not
feel." If this were true, David, that we can never truly know what anyone
else is feeling, then you have just reduced the whole huge world of
communication down to mindless babbling. 


Oh, but Doug, you have missed the most important part of

The Billy Idol Devotee SPEAKS of his love, of his experiences, of
his devotions (just as you have done).

When I "hear" his swoons, I must confess, they sound quite similar
(if not the same) to the swoons of other devotees (of Paulji, of 
Guruji, of Darji, of Michael Jacksonji).

How to "know" the difference objectively, Doug?

Okay, how to "know" the difference subjectively, Doug?

They speak the same language, they invoke the same stories.

Indeed, the only difference is in the OBJECT they adore.

What remains the constant in all this?

The RELATIONSHIP with the Beloved.

That "perceived" relationship makes all the difference.

It is what makes a Christian worship Jesus and not Harji;

It is what makes a satsangi adore his Satguru and not J.R......

Whether or not the guru is real is for such devotees besides the
point of course (we don't know ultimately).

They are swooning all the same, even if the "real" master is boning
his secretary with his elevated rod of power (oops, porno again or
just more tales from the Ek master log?).

DOUG writes:

A parent reads the story of "The Boy Who Calls Wolf" to their child. Why
do they do this, David? Isn't it because the parent has some idea of what
this story will mean to their child? Isn't it because there is some
universal principle of truth in that story? It almost sounds as if you are
suggesting that all such subjective understandings of truth are personal
illusions. That if it's subjective, then it's not real. Is that what you're
trying to say here?


No, Doug, I am arguing FOR subjectivity (lest you forget) in how we
assess the function of gurus.

I am saying that it is precisely our subjectivity in these matters
which FUELS the guru power, not the transmitting power
of the guru in question.

The "reality" of the guru, doug, is precisely that: a subjective
perception and apparently not much more.

And, as such, any body could potentially work as a guru and arouse
the would-be chela into a hardened stupor of erect devotion (oops,
sorry Jan, there I go again).


David, David, David. What's with this "objective" merit? Why is that so
important to you? 


Just re-read your previous paragraph where you argue for universal

Objective merit is simply our ability to come to some mutual
agreement on matters of common concern.

Use "explicit" merit and my point would be the same.

I find your argument not in the least compelling since it lacks the
very thing you are arguing for:

universal appraisement or agreement or truth.

Which is another way of saying that you have not explained "how"
one guru is "real" and one guru is "illusory"...... except to invoke
"when you know, you know" (which is one of my favorite titles from a
now out of print Darwin Gross book).

Well, I could use Darwin's quote another way.

How do I know your argument is inaccurate?

"Well, when you know, you know."


I think you get my drift...


DOUG writes:

You argued that the uplifting and illuminating experience of the guru
comes from the seeker, and not from the guru. Is that correct? And this is
a personal and subjective experience we are talking about here, right? 

Okay, then imagine on the first day this devotee begins to worship your
Chandian criminal, and feels wonderful feelings of bliss come over him.
That's still subjective, right? But then the second day, he meets a real
guru, meaning a guru who truly connects him with higher states of
consciousness that he had never experienced before. Still subjective,
right? Well, guess what. He learns something from this subjective
experience. He learns that there's a difference.

Is that so hard to comprehend? It's all subjective, David. Do you think
this devotee gives a rip that you think this truth he has gained has no
"objective" merit? Do you think he cares that you are unconvinced? So what,
if he can't prove it to you. Does that in some way invalidate what he has


I think you forgot something in the analogy, Doug.

Let us further imagine that the "true" guru turns out to be less
than true (think Darwin Gross for a fleshy, perhaps too fleshy, of
an example), so that the disciple now realizes that his experiences
with the annointed one were really not coming from the newly
perceived "true" guru, but rather from his perceived relationship
with him.

You see, Doug, it is really quite simple.

I am truly arguing for subjectivity in the guru realm.

You want subjectivity, but are unwilling to pay the full price.

What is that?

ANY guru can work, since it is PRECISELY the radical subjectivity of
it all that fuels the process.

You see, Doug, I am not against subjectivity.

I am against "when you know, you know" type of argumentation which
does not take subjectivity to its logical conclusion.

Which is?

ANY guru can work, even a criminal one, even one with an overactive
Rod of Power, even a BSing one, even a good one......


Because it is the perceived relationship, not the object itself that
propels the process (inwardly or outwardly).


This is your point, David. No need to keep giving Chand all the credit.
But, no, we are not back to that point again. There is a difference between
the Chandian guru and a real guru. It is something that can be
distinguished, and can be learned. There may be no foolproof objective way
to distinguish, but there is certainly a subjective way.


You have given me no evidence whatsoever outside of your "when you
know, you know" type of contention.

To which I could (I won't) reply just the same back.

"I know Doug's argument is wrong, because when you know, you know."

Or, "those who have the experience, know the difference."

You can argue this way, Doug, but it literally makes no sense.

But perhaps that's your point?

You are right when you say, "there may be no foolproof objective way
to distinguish...."

But to then say that there is a "subjective" way is to simply
concede my very point:

It is our VERY subjectivity which elevates the guru, and not the
other way around.....

yea, baby (it's just not my bag....)



It is your framework that is flawed, here, David, even based upon logical
principles alone. Even if we both disagree over the spiritual side of it,
still your arguments here don't make sense.

You say my line of reasoning will not allow us to appraise the experience
of another person. But, David, that's not my line of reasoning at all. It
is quite easy for us to recognize whether other people are experiencing
subconscious projections, once we have experienced those things for
ourselves. In fact, it is often easier to see these things in other people
than it is to see them in ourselves. So, we can easily catch the clues, and
recognize the patterns, because we have personally seen those things from
the inside out, through our own subjective experiences.


This is very interesting indeed, Doug.

You say one can "recognize whether other people are experiencing
subconscious projections, once we have experienced those things for

Hmm, are we now moving the discussion to Rebazar Tarzs?

Sorry, Doug, but you have again overlooked a very important point:

What I may take to be "your" subconscious projections you may argue
are mine.

Moreover, what you take to be "my" subconscious projections, I could
argue may be yours.

And so goes the history of religion, my friend.

This is precisely why Christians think they are right and Muslims
wrong; Why kirpal Singh initiates think Ekists are deluded; and why
any ism contrasts and competes with another ism.

One man's projections is another man's reality, and vice versa.

Or haven't you read your Tiger's Fang close enough?


Well, David, perhaps, just maybe, there might just be the slightest
possibility that there is another type of subjectivity besides the
so-called Faqir Chand type. Is that possible?

In other words, David, "the subjective experience" of the guru's reality
may reside in the seeker, but that doesn't mean that the guru's "reality"
does. The guru's "reality" may only be experienceable through subjective
experience, but that doesn't mean it resides in the seeker.


Yes, and Elvis maybe right now eating a Big Hot Dog on Jupiter with
Felix the Cat.....

I mean, if Gakko can come from Venus, maybe all bets are off? (just

The burden of proof is on the one who makes the claim.

If the guru's reality resides somewhere else, then by all means tell
me where?

And, sorry to do this again, but try thinking a thought without your
brain, or making a judgement call without your neurons.

Sorry, but the guru's status is inter-related to the disciple's
perception. We are stuck to this subjectivity, remember?

DOUG writes:

In other words, the seeker must actually get out of his own limited
subjective world, and make contact with a greater subjective world, to see
the guru's "reality."


Or, better yet, the disciple needs to realize that the guru's
reality is always connected to his OWN subjective perception, even
if that perception may be enlarged or shrunk down, right?

Getting to the guru's real status is akin to getting to the real
status of anything.....

I have an answer to it, but I don't think you will like it.

We simply don't know it.

Thus, what we do know is OUR relationship to it.

That's the fuel, that's the secret which Faqir let out.


David, you are really being dense here. I said, "The perceptive ability is
within us to see the beauty that is outside us." This means we can tell the
difference between a criminal/dead guru, and a living/true guru.


Are you so sure?

Tell that to Darwin, tell that to 1 billion Christians, tell that to
Mother Teresa (oops, she is no longer here), tell that to Harji, or
to the scores of would-be devotees of jockying R.S. gurus.

Sorry, Doug, but "telling the difference" between is merely a
subjective opinion and not one that has the universal import that
you are claiming for it.

Every ism has this type of in/out rhetoric, no matter how fancy it
is dressed.

But you have given me absolutely no convincing reasons why there is
indeed a distinction between a living guru and a dead one, except that
the former is breathing.

To the disciple such distinctions may be meaningless.

They may mean something to you, but that again is precisely my

It is your subjectivity which is driving the theological
distinctions not a truly perceived universal standard that is
uncovered by spiritual voyagers.

Remember, the differences between such inner perceptions is why
there are so many different faiths, so many different gurus.

The perceived relationship is the driving force, not some
truly perceived inner standard.

That is why we have so many different gurus, so many different

DOUG writes:

In other
words, I disagree: A criminal or dead master cannot serve the same function
as a true, living guru. Who cares if this holds no objective weight? How is
this betraying my point?


Because you are merely stating your opinion as some sort of
universal fact, internal or otherwise.

Your inner "truth" about living and dead guru distinctions does not
necessarily hold water for somebody else.

Hence, your point is merely subjective and understanding that should
allow you to realize that the WHOLE guru phenomenon itself rests
upon this VERY subjectivity.    

I am merely pointing out the full consequences of the argument.

ANY guru can work, given the perception of the disciple.


True. It is not always obvious to anyone who has experienced, because
people learn at different rates. Some people take numerous experiences
before they can tell the difference. And that's the value of sharing,
because we can learn from each other's subtle gradation systems.


Well, dear Doug, my "subtle gradation system" is indicating that
your argument is inaccurate.................

Dive into subjectivity even more.

You will find that the guru's status cannot escape the force of this
awesome black hole.

There is no return.

Once again:

we "make" the guru.


How could I possibly forget it, David. You've only said it a zillion
times. But don't you see that I disagree? The true status of the guru is


A zillion times?

Boy that's a lot.... I didn't realize you were that good at math.

You say the "true" status of the guru is crucial.


Your "perception" of the true status of the guru is crucial.

That what makes the difference.

By the way, you even said this yourself even though you may not have
realized it.


Even if the FBI proves to you that your $100 bill is counterfeit, or that
check you cashed had a forged signature, still that moment of recognition
is a subjective experience. And it is only within this subjective
experience that the difference between truth and falsehood can be distinguished.


Nope, you have already introduced the concepts of truth and

I have simply stated the obvious:

OUR perception is what causes us to label things true or false, even
if we can never truly discern the ultimate status of a guru.

We simply don't know such things;
we know, rather, our perception of it and such perceptions (lest you
forget Doug.... think Darwin Gross) are SUBJECT to change.


And David, I've never suggested that you should change. If you wish to
always look for a "scientific explanation" as they say, that's fine with
me. I'm not trying to change your personal path. But, remember, you were
the one who was attacking some of the most basic principles of a path that
many others follow.


Sorry, Doug, but his paragraph seems a bit misplaced.

Do you want to start another thread?

I don't mind, but as for "attacking" a path, I think you better ask
Jim Peebles for a definition of "attack" or better yet, how about
Darwin Gross' lawyers or Harji's?

DOUG writes:

For myself, I'm not impressed with Occam's Razor. I don't see that it adds
anything. I'm not particularly interested in "simple answers," or
"explanations" just to chase away the fearful feelings that come from
confronting the unknown.


Given this type of reply, you better go check out what Occam's Razor
means, Doug.

You seem to have it upside down.

Occam's Razor isn't about "simple" answers, it is about not
unnecessarily mutliplying explanations or details when a simpler one
will suffice.

If it turns out that a complicated explanation is necessary, Occam's
Razor will shave down to just that level.

Occam's Razor doesn't "chase away" the fearful feelings that come
from confronting the unknown.

It does the opposite, Doug.

It chases away silliness which is often the pretense we use to hide
ourselves from ideas we find disturbing.

DOUG writes:

O I happen to like the unknown. I've come to see
that most of what surrounds us is unknown. And all the explanations we have
don't explain very much at all.


I too love the unknown and I am quite happy in my agnosticism,
knowing fully well that I don't know much.

But that doesn't mean that I have to believe in silliness and
sophomoric answers.

Such answers, such as knowing the guru's ultimate status, have
nothing to do with the "unknown" Doug.

I have argued that we DON'T know the guru's ultimate status.
You have argued, on the contrary, that the guru's status is

I can't see how it is important when we don't know it ultimately.

What we do know is OUR relationship and our perceived connections to
the guru in question.

The guru, let me repeat, could be a criminal and still work.

Oh, maybe you should ask Darwin Gross about that money he embezzled
when he was an EK Master.

He might be a good poster boy for my argument.

DOUG writes:

And you say, "In light of Occam's Razor, I can see quite clearly and quite
empirically why the world mourns her death." Oh, so then you are invoking
Occams Razor. And this helps you see the truth? Now, is this experience of
seeing clearer a subjective experience, or an objective fact? Since the act
of your seeing clearer doesn't particularly help me see any clearer, I
guess that means it's not an objective fact, doesn't it? But you think this
Occam's Razor stuff has objective merit? That's funny, David. Real funny.


Occam's Razor is simply guided common sense.

Go right ahead and believe that some spiritual force is revealing
the inner qualities of Princess Di or whatever spiritual tinge you
wish to give to the mass grieving.

I will simply opt for the obvious: she was really well known and
quite beautiful.


Was that really your original point? Amazing. Sheer genius. And to think
we've gone all this way and come back to the same point! It's almost a miracle.

Or, wait, maybe it's because we haven't gone anywhere. Maybe we haven't
even moved one inch. Maybe we seem to be incredibly stuck on this point of

It's late and I'm getting a bit tired. And I've got to get up early, since
I'll be traveling for a few days. 

Yes, David: Real vs Imaginary, Living vs Dead, Universal...these are
distinctions that I can make, and for which I do have evidence. 

DAVID LANE replies:


You have shown me none, except a kinda of Darwin mantra of "when you
know, you know."

That's not evidence, Doug.

That's called your opinion, and as such they are (like mine) a dime
a dozen.

They are also like our perceptions of the guru.....

The fuel which drives religious debates.

DOUG writes:

How do I know? The same way you come to know anything, David. It's based
upon experience, and reflection on those experiences. It comes from
checking and double checking. It comes from testing beliefs, and
approaching the same reality from many viewpoints. 


Then by all means go check out on the inner the true status of that
"real" guru Darwin Gross.

He is a touchstone, perhaps, for our continued discussions.

He was involved in criminal activity, according to guru Harji... and
he did it while he was the EK master.

I guess he "worked" as a guru, huh?

DOUG writes:

What difference does it make if no one else knows these things? Does that
make them any less true? Is the world supposed to vote on whether I get to
keep what I learn, or something? 


i guess when you know, you know.... which is another way of saying,
when you can't argue, you can't argue.

Or, does that go this way:

when you have no evidence, you have no evidence......

just teasing.

DOUG writes:

  You seem to have a very particular concept of how objective reality
exists, but I think you are only seeing the surfaces of things, David. I
think you are truly missing life's essence.


Nope, I was simply arguing that anybody could serve as a guru and
that it was our perception which fueled the perceived status of the

As for missing life's essence.... pray tell what is that?

Surfing every day?           

Loving one's guru?

Or thinking that Rebazar Tarzs is imaginary?

DOUG writes:

Maybe I'm wrong here. Maybe we are just having a problem with words, and
you're mistaking what I am saying because your concepts of the words I am
using are different than mine. 

Anyway, that's it for now. Be back in a few days.


DAVID LANE replies:

Have a nice break.... This has been quite delightful for me....

Keep up the debate.



This was hardly extraordinary evidence. It was evidence of a most
ordinary sort: observations of the stars and observations of eclipses
were both common by 1919.


It was extraordinary in the sense that it substantiated Einstein's
theory (to some extent).

I am not asking for Babaji to do anything "extra-ordinary" (in the
variant definition of that term, as something "unique"), but rather
to do something quite simple:

Show up and be tested.

That's quite "ordinary" and quite "normal". 

The "extra" part about it would be that we could actually "verify"

So "extraordinary" can be something really mundane.

For example, if one claims that Elvis still exists and is working on
cutting a new Rap album with Snoop Dog, then what we may ask for is
really quite simple and quite normal:

Elvis showing up in a public arena and allowing us to determine if
it was really him.

"Showing up" is ordinary, but what is "extra" ordinary about is that
this evidence would show us (hopefully) that Elvis was still alive.

That is precisely what I meant when I stated that Eddington's
expedition (thanks, by the way, for the clarification) gave
Einstein's theory extraordinary evidence.

To be sure, it was ordinary in the sense of what type of science was
practiced, but it is likewise very ordinary for what I am asking of
Babaji or psychic powers:

Show up.


Now this was my point as well. How do these people protect themselves
from the evidence that their beliefs are questionable? They pretend that
contrary claims are 'extraordinary', require 'extraordinary proof' and
decide that advocates of said claim haven't supplied it. As I said
before die hard believers/disbelievers give their point of view a
privileged status.


No, Joseph, skeptics are not asking for "extra" ordinary things that
they wouldn't demand of normal scientific procedures. What they are
asking for is simple proof (which in itself, especially in relation
to Babaji and to psychic powers, would be "extraordinary" since it
would overthrow existing paradigms).

Let us go back again to the very beginning of this debate. If this
Babaji dude exists, then asking him to show up to skeptics or to be
tested is a very "normal" or "ordinary" channel to "test" his claim.

Rememeber, I told Daniel that we can always start with some type of
evidence and then move on for further substantiation and

For starters, I would be impressed to see Babaji in the USA in a
public setting, instead of appearing (like his UFO counterparts) in
isolated and very personal circumstances.

Show me the money can translate as "show me Babaji."

Or Elvis or Rebazar or anybody else that we claim still has an
empirical existence.

That proof is not forthcoming.... that is why we are having this

Yet, we are not debating whether Tiger Woods won the MASTERS.

He showed up.

He won it.

Now it was merely a golf game, but his feat was "extra-ordinary."

So the same with Babaji.

Showing up is pretty common......

But showing up and being 1000+ years old is "extra-ordinary."


The contested CLAIM!????? Are you *sure* you wanted that to be singular?

When there is a contested issue there are at least two conflicting
claims. I maintain that, unless the so-called skeptic tests each claim
by the same standard, he/she is giving his or her own point of view a
privileged position.

Let's go back to the story of Eddington's expedition. There is an aspect
of this incident which is significant for the discussion of how to
evaluate claims that psychic events have taken place.

Before the eclipse, astronomers made TWO predictions --- one based on
Newtonian physics AND one based on Einstein's equations --- as to the
extent to which light would bend in a strong gravitational field. The
equations of General Relativity predicted that light would bend about
twice as much as predicted by the equations of Newtonian physics. The
results agreed more with the prediction based on Einstein's equations.

The point here is that the astronomers acknowledged that there were two
theories and they looked for evidence that selectively confirmed one
theory AND disconfirm the other.

Consider that point in light of the question I posed (which you evaded):
Let's suppose that two people were arguing about the structure of the
human being. Person A says that the human being is a spirit using a
body. Person B says that the human being is nothing more than a human
body which is a biological machine.

Which one is 'extraordinary'? Or will the skeptic test the each
propostion equally severely?


No, Joseph, I didn't ignore your proposition, but rather illustrated
how the spiritualist view has suffered severely in light of a more
materialist view.

You talk about the structure of a human being (spirit using a body
versus a human as a biological machine).

Well, many in the vitalist camp thought that life (in terms of
genetic traits) was 'non-material', but as you and I know it turned
out that "life" has a beautiful algorithmic pattern: DNA and RNA,

And such genetic information is encoded in a very materialist way:

Science has really kicked some butt in this area.

Where religion thought that Thunder was a God, science showed
something physical.

Where religion thought that the Sun was a God, science showed
something physical.

Where religion thought that "life" was non-material, science showed
something physical.

Where religion thought that species were "God-given", science showed
physical evolution.

Where religion thought that the universe was "created" by God,
science showed a physical origination.


You get the drift.

Okay, let's take your view. 

If a psychic really does have such a gift, there is nothing
"extra-ordinary" in asking them to perform such repeatedly and in
controlled circumstances.

We do that all the time in medicine or in technology, etc.

Indeed, certain skeptics have not asked "extraordinary" things of
psychics or Gurus that they have somehow not demanded from their
fellow materialists.

Actually, they have been quite open to being wrong.

One really public example would be the state lotteries.

Not only would the psychic publicly demonstrate his or her gifts,
but they would earn some extra cash to publicize it.

Let us go back to Babaji.

Okay, let this cat just show up.

Nothing extra-ordinary about that (as such).

He hasn't done it, at least not in the ways (like Tiger Woods
showing up on a TV interview) that would convince us that he really
does exist.

I am not debating Tiger Woods' existence, but I am debating Babaji's.


Because the Proof for the former overwhelms the proof of the latter.

But, hey, I could easily be shown to be wrong.

I am not asking for out of the ordinary things, but rather a very
simple thing:

Yo, Babaji, show up!

And let's test your age claims.

We have done that with those claiming to be 100 or over;
I don't see any reason Babaji's claims should be "less"

What would be "extra-ordinary" is for this Avatar to be publicly

Extra-ordinary in the sense that we would then have the opportunity
to "test" his claims in a public arena.

The same test I am applying to Babaji, could apply equally as well
to Elvis.

Thousands claim the King is still alive.

Okay, show the proof.

This idea that we are going to debate semantics (geez, what kind of
proof would Lane demand of Elvis? Doesn't Lane know that skeptics
would never confess to being wrong?) concerning Elvis overlooks the

"Hey, King, just show up for a Vegas gig, alright?"

Or maybe make a remake of Blue Hawaii.....

That's a start.....

The same criterion that we hold for Lincoln being still alive, or
Elvis still being alive, or Jim Morrison still being alive, should
be the same criterion we hold for Babaji still being alive.

And, if this cat does exist, I would be stoked to broadcast it

Maybe we could have Elvis re-record "Teddy Bear."



Unless they also test the evidence for their own platform, they don't
serve the cause of Truthseeking. If they only test one position they
never know if it (however much or little evidence there is for it)
superior to the untested position.


Again, this is really simple. If this Babaji really does exist then
is it too much to ask for him to show up and be tested?

I would do the same if my father came back from the dead (to
determine if it was really him or an imposter).

I would do the same to Elvis.

It is not a question of conflicting paradigms (remember the claim is
that Babaji exists in a physical body as well), but of simple proof.

I have seen none that compels me to believe that Elvis is still
alive; likewise, I see nothing to compel me to believe that Babaji
is 1000+ years and occupying a physical body.

Now it is not a question of "testing" other options (there are
innumerable "other" options), but of those other options showing
sufficient evidence to warrant a test.

Look, I think that Velveeta cheese is a person and lives on Mars.

Are we going to test that claim as well?

I don't mind, but the burden of proof is not on science to disprove
my claim, but rather on me to show sufficient cause or proof that I
am right.

Otherwise, we confront the intractable problem of infinite
positions--nice to play with, but next time you T.V. goes out try
invoking it.

Well, Bob, maybe we should test alternative theories here.

The T.V. doesn't work because there is a little mean guy in a yellow
suit who likes to fuck with T.V.'s late at nite.....

Prove me wrong?

Well, no, I have to show evidence why this "little mean guy in a
yellow suit" is the cause.

Otherwise, I could conjecture any number of possibilities.

And even then, let's go back to the core of this argument.

If Babaji exists (like Elvis), then let's see the evidence.....

Being skeptical doesn't mean that we won't listen to a new recording
of Elvis at 60 at the local Deli, it just means that we have to be
careful in "testing" his allegation, since it is so easy to be duped.



Maybe you can explain just how the belief that the human being is a Soul
occupying/animating a body predicts that televisions are not possible?

Where is the evidence that selectively confirms one view and disconfirms
the other?

Since neither view of the structure of the human being is inconsistent
with the existence of TVs, radios, airplanes etc., their existence is


Joseph, let me show how this works. I believe that human beings are
really a higher form of Tangy Taffy in the Astral World of Candy
Bars. What is happening is that we think we are human beings having
a candy experience of taffy, whereas we are really tangy taffy
having a human experience.

Now, tangy taffy in the astral plane doesn't discount T.V.'s--so
electrons and such are not inconsistent (nor do they disconfirm)
that worldview.

Joseph, you could (if you so desired) replace your "Soul" hypothesis
with almost anything and still get away with "see, it is not
inconsistent with materialism."

But that's not the point.

Where scientists make a physical claim, they need to show "evidence
for it". 

And we have seen tremendous "results" from that endeavor (even if we
don't knowing anything about electrons, for instance, we can see a
technological consequence: TV!).

Okay, let's take the other view.

The key now is to show evidence that a "Soul" exists, or as in my
example that "Astral Tangy Taffy" exists.

Now the one who makes the claim has the burden of proof, not the


Because I could conjecture all sorts of stupid things (like tangy
taffy) and I could say, "Hey, prove me wrong."

Well, one could do that, but I could counter and say, "Nope, my
tangy taffy lives in a world that is only open to the candy gifted,
and so on."

It is an endless argument and it is fun, but as I said before:

Imagine your car breaks down.

Are we going to indulge in infinite possibilities with our friends
("wait, Bill, I think the car is not starting because you didn't hug
it this morning..... It needs love.").

We might and it might be fun for a spell,

but eventually a guy in the back seat is going to say.

"Hey, dumb fuck, put the key in the ignition and try turning it."

We could, of course, argue with him and say, "don't use such
impolite language.... My car has feelings too."


Again, so there is no confusion:

I would love to be wrong about Babaji (geez, I would love to be
about Jimi and Elvis and Janis and Jim),

but I have yet to see the evidence (underwhelming or overwhelming,
ordinary or extraordinary).

I am willing to be proven wrong.

I think any skeptic should at least be open to that.

But that doesn't mean we have to lower standards to let in the 
mysterious just because we wish to believe.


> This is really silly, Joe. If Tracey reads the five digit number
> correctly I am going to be really impressed (knowing that even by
> chance the odds are pretty slim).
> If Babaji shows up at my house, I will be quite stoked to tell you
> about it (I also have an open invite to Rebazar too).........
> That would be a wonderful start.....
> Ineffective for that purpose?
> That's precisely the kind of claptrap that hounds parapsychology.
> Or, as I might say to Babaji and his claimants:
> "Show UP or Shut up."
> I can't believe the kinds of ways we justify the lack of
> results.....
> I am not asking for the moon.
> I am asking for evidence, not theories to wiggle away from the
> obvious with.
> Nor that we can in good conscience raise standards to keep out the
> mysterious just because we don't wish to believe.
> Why would raising standards keep the mysterious out?
> Do we have such a low opinion of Truth?
> Do we have such a low opinion of our religious beliefs that they
> need to be protected from intense rational scrutiny?
> I am amazed by our gullibility.
> --
> ----
> email for PGP Public Key


Many moons ago, 10 November 1986 to be specific, the learned Professor
Lane wrote:


Yes, Dick, I have just gotten more skeptical with age. But lest you
forget the genealogy of this argument.

Caldwell stated that Babaji was a PHYSICAL being. 

Likewise, there are those in this newsgroup who claim to have access
to PHYSICAL information while astral traveling.

Given THAT criterion (not mine, as illustrated in your quoted letter
of me), I proposed two tests:

1. Babaji shows up.

2. Read a five digit number off my office wall.



Man, am I getting cross-eyed. How many standards are there?


No need to get cross-eyed, Dick. Just use the standards of the group
you "donated" money to (Paul Kurtz and crew).

What would they say of all this?

Or, did you forget to tell them about your Eckankar membership?

DICK WRITES (after a long section):

Am I confused or has Dr. Dave pulled a "Clinton" on me?


Bro, I think your memory is getting as bad as mine.

Here's a simple answer: I have gotten more skeptical over time.

Contrary to popular belief, one can learn as one ages.

One can think more critically.  

I would surely hope that my thinking would change after a decade.

I know technology has, science has, I hope i will continue to do so.

I wouldn't want to be dogmatic at 4, much less 40.

By the way, "Mahdi" bro, tell me about the delights of the inner
regions and are you going to tell Paul Kurtz about Eckankar next
time you donate money to his cause?

Maybe he could investigate it as well as me, huh?

Deja vu?

DOUG writes:

That's exactly the point, Sam. That's exactly why Lane's concept that the
whole Master experience comes from the seeker doesn't work. If that was all
there was to it, then we would never be capable of reaching beyond our own
limited awareness, because we would have nothing but our own limited
awareness to work with.


But Doug you have given me no convincing reasons that the "outer"
guru is "more" than the perception of the disciple, since a scum bag
guru (who is completely on the make and a fake) can elicit within
the disciple, more or less, the same love, the same yearning, the
same desire for transcendence (provided that the disciple "believes"
his guru to be MORE, even if he/she is NOT).

You have conceded as much in your recent post, arguing that it was
up to the individual and his state of growth to make such

My analogy to masturbation can also be extended to pornography
(sorry Jan): the orgasm is perhaps easier to attain when there is
the perception that an "Other" is responsible (even if that "Other"
is merely a photograph or a whore--male or female).

But remember, it is the perception of the would-be lover that
not necessarily the ontological status of the Beloved.

And more to the point, the orgasm remains within one's OWN self,
one's OWN brain.

The same with "excursions" with our Beloved Gurus, or so it would

DOUG writes:

And is our whole learning experience that we gain from our geography or
physics teacher really only an illusion, since we have it all inside ourselves? 


The idea that a teacher is good or great or sucks is indeed a
perception on the part of the student.

Moreover, how one learns from a physics professor has much to do
with the student's own readiness, not necessarily the status of the
teacher in question.

But in any case, I cannot see--given your line of argumentation--how
you can make the case for "true" or "living" gurus versus imaginary
ones, when such perceptions (as you yourself admit) must be made on
an individual basis.

My argument is a simple one: the GURU's status is directly related
to our Perception and not necessarily due to any ontological truth
about his or her place in the ultimate scheme of the things....

We simply don't know such things; we merely "believe" so and such
believing is, I would suggest, the "FUEL" which drives the
guru/disciple relationship.

To invoke just one example: I don't think Darwin Gross knows how to
write a paragraph (without contradicting himself) much less guide
souls to the highest plane of consciousness.

But there are a number of his disciples who "perceive" otherwise.

That perception is the key to the Guru Mystery.

That is why Faqir Chand is, I believe, right on the money;
it may also be the reason he is so heavily resisted in orthodox R.S.

DOUG writes:

It's like Gurdieff said, without some intercession from outside, we would
most likely continue on in our mechanical ways without ever changing or


Nope, we change because of how we "perceive" such outward
intercession, even if that outward intercession has got nothing
whatsoever to do with me or with spirituality.

A guru could be making shit up, but if the disciple thinks it is a
divine lesson it makes all the difference in the world.

Just think J.R........



The interesting thing about people who have experienced such things is
that a fundamental shift in their perception occurs. They begin to see the
inner as reality and the outer as the fantasy. This has been my experience
with every higher initiate in Eckankar I've ever known who was adept at
soul travel. 


Yes, I have heard the same from many quarters as well, but as you
may agree sometimes this can lead to delusional thinking. My
approach is to "doubt" inner phenomena, just as much as we "doubt"
outer phenomena.

Faqir Chand did such doubting, as did Ramana, as does a whole school
in Tibetan Buddhism.

Indeed, even the Twitch does it in the Tiger's Fang.



You're obviously not a scientist or a true researcher, or you would
realize that the essence of anomaly hunting is the recognition of subtle
clues that the average schmoe and CSICOP devotee is far too thick to
appreciate. In this case there is a truly impressive body of anecdotal
data supporting the hypothesis that there are other realities besides this
one which are just as "real", apparently even more so to those adept at
traveling within them. 


Hmm, I wonder if you read my stuff or not. I mentioned a book called
HOW TO THINK ABOUT WEIRD THINGS which mentions a positive hit.
Moreover, in the book THE ENCHANTED LAND I argue for day to day
inner phenomenological exploration.

Where you and I may depart company is that I don't mind "doubting"
the ontological status of such "God worlds" or inner regions or
spiritual encounters.

There is, of course, a long tradition for this (even apart from
science). Just read the Tibetan Book of the Dead or Faqir Chand or
Ramana or even Twitch (at times).

Thanks for the compliments, by the way.

Your manners are showing quite nicely.



I suspect your fundamenal inability to appreciate such subtle clues is why
you have chosen to be a member of the psychic police instead of a psychic
trailblazer. That's okay - as I said before, the world needs both
dumbbells and weightlifters. If you choose to be a dumbbell in this life
that's just fine and perfectly in line with the grand scheme of things....


Psychic Police?

How can I do that when I am such an empirical dumbbell?

If being a psychic trailblazer means believing Twitchell didn't lie,
or plagiarize, or that Harji is a God-man, and Darwin is skinny, or
that Gakko comes from Venus, or that there is a Moon Virus, or that
"God worlds" cannot be doubted, then I am clearly a psychic retard
and sadly very happy to say so.

Yes, I am clearly a dumbbell when it comes to silly rationalizations
hoisted as an argument.

thanks again for the compliments.

heavy weights.........


E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.