Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: September 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 remaining silent. 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 some advice from the Lord. I've used some respect and discernment by not mentioning this person's name. The fact is, neither he nor you are showing much respect and discernment. Best Wishes, Michael Martin DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 Martin. 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. signed: 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. Cheers Mark A. -- DAVID LANE REPLIES: Congratulations on your wedding. That's quite fair of you and I look forward to your replies in the future. Have a great day and a great honeymoon..... ---------------------------- GURU MARTIN writes: 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 -------------------- THE PORNO KING WRITES BACK: 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? --BIG PETER 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? --FRILLY FRED 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? --TINY MAN 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 prefer) 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 remember. 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 anticipation..... Am I going back to gorilla form, as you indicated before? Oh no............................ Do you have any bamboo? got get ready...... signed: Thoughts as pure as yellow snow................... ------------------ DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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, etc. 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 Master. 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 make. 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 difference. 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 guru. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: Visible "aspects" David? Aspects? My, we do love to twist words, don't we? Or was that a joke? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, try this puzzle: think a thought without your brain. Your answer will indicate whether I was joking or not. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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.) DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: I see no contradiction in what I've said at all. I think you're having vision problems. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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.... DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: "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? DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 stimuli. 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 visions. Neurology 101, to be sure, but it is also Mysticism 101 as well. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 holds. 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 perceived. 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 teasing). 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. DOUG WRITES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Oh, but Doug, you have missed the most important part of communication. 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? DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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). DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: David, David, David. What's with this "objective" merit? Why is that so important to you? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Just re-read your previous paragraph where you argue for universal truth. 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 learned? DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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...... Why? Because it is the perceived relationship, not the object itself that propels the process (inwardly or outwardly). DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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....) ------- DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 ourselves." 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? DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 teasing). 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." DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 point: 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 claims.... 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? DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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 crucial! DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. Nope. 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. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nope, you have already introduced the concepts of truth and falsehood. 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. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 important. 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DOUG'S SECOND REPLY: 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 yours. 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: Evidence? 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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? DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 guru. 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. Doug. DAVID LANE replies: Have a nice break.... This has been quite delightful for me.... Keep up the debate. ------------------ JOSEPH P. WRITES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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" his existence. 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. ------------- JOSEPH P. WRITES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 clarification. 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 debate. 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." --------- JOSEPH P. WRITES: 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? DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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, etc. And such genetic information is encoded in a very materialist way: molecules. 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. Why? 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" inspected..... What would be "extra-ordinary" is for this Avatar to be publicly examined. 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 obvious: "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 worldwide. Maybe we could have Elvis re-record "Teddy Bear." ---------------- JOSEPH P. WRITES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. ---------- JOSEPH P. WRITES: 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 irrelevant. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 skeptic. Why? 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 wrong 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. -------------- > DAVID LANE REPLIES: > > 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. > > JOSEPH P. WRITES: > > Nor that we can in good conscience raise standards to keep out the > mysterious just because we don't wish to believe. > > DAVID LANE REPLIES: > > 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@example.com > email for PGP Public Key DICK JOINS IN: Many moons ago, 10 November 1986 to be specific, the learned Professor Lane wrote: DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. ----------------------------------- DICK WRITES: Man, am I getting cross-eyed. How many standards are there? DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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? DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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 appraisements. 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 counts, 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 seem. 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? DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. circles.... 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 learning. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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........ ------------------------------------------- DOUGLAS WRITES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. ------------- DOUGLAS WRITES: 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. DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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. ====================== DOUGLAS WRITES: 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.... :-) DAVID LANE REPLIES: 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......... -----------------------
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