Paranormal happenings and gurus and Ek stuff

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

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.

DAN Caldwell writes:

I have been informed that you have a large collection of books
on Radhasoami.

I assume you have many of the books of Charan Singh.  Can you 
provide us on alt.religion.eckankar with several statements by Charan Singh in 
which the Charan  implicitly or explicitly states that he has knowledge BEYOND 
THE PHYSICAL OR MATERIAL.   In other words, in his published works,
does Charan Singh contradict the statement:  "he doesn't know. . . ."?

Since David Lane is always pointing out contradictions in Paul Twitchell's
writings, I think it is only fair to examine the writings of David Lane's own

Thanking you in advance for your help in the pursuit of the FACTS.  

Daniel H. Caldwell 


If you are looking for contradictions, then I would suggest
contrasting the explicit claims made in TREAUSRE BEYOND MEASURE with
the implicit (and sometimes explicit) claims in Light on Sant Mat,
Divine Light, and Quest for Light.

You will notice, I believe, an incongruency between the theory and
the practical revelation of such.

You should feel most free to ask me directly, Daniel.

Better yet, start with the Guru Has No Turban or The Magic of an
Elevated Podium.

I have also put online my official response to the Dera which I
you will at least find amusing.

Keep up your good work and I look forward to seeing you back on

This should be a fun series, I would imagine.

Perhaps the greatest question of all is whether the gurus at Beas
being diplomatically circumspect in their denial of power or rather
they are as Faqir Chand suggests: unknowing like the rest....

Gurinder Singh when asked a question about Faqir Chand (in
relationship to unknowingness) argued that the guru does indeed
know when he/she wishes to.

Oh the joys of guru paradoxes....


Dear Daniel:

I thought we went over these issues in our long debate about the
paranormal (see Occam's Razor on the Neural Surfer:, but apparently I haven't been clear
enough in my answers.

You claim (erroneously) that I think "only" a simple explanation
do. Nope, only a simple explanation will do IF it fits the data and
explains it comprehensively. 

Occam's Razor is not about simplicity; it is about not unnecessarily
(remember that word, Daniel) multiplying explanations beyond their
number. Occam's Razor could conceivably shave down to only a very
complicated theory or explanation, if such were the "simplest"
and most comprehensive among competing theories.

Moreover, I have already responded to your questions about Babaji,
Yogananda, Charan Singh, and the like. Apparently you don't like
my answers.

Okay, let's go through it again, but maybe you should re-read the
debate first.

Finally, I even mentioned a POSITIVE result for you to look at.

Check it out.

I am happy that you have had OBE's and the like, but as I have
stated before I see no reason to convert easily or cheaply or

Let the evidence speak for itself and then we can make a reasoned

But remember this one important caveat: I would be STOKED to see
that the paranormal really exists.

Will you, Daniel, be as equally STOKED to discover that it does NOT?

In other words, I would be happy to be wrong.

Would you be happy to be wrong?

I say this because you seem a bit torqued by the whole subject.

Go right ahead and rip anything.... I love the debate.


Dear Daniel:

You apparently like to rehash debates, because I have already
responded to your questions about how and why I have become more
skeptical over time.

I have also replied to you about the quotes you mention concerning
Charan Singh.

I put that very section in the Unknowing Sage to give a contrarian
view to Faqir Chand, precisely because the Dera and others felt that
there were such things as "conscious" bilocations.

If you read the revised Unknowing Sage (published in 93), you will
notice that I changed my language significantly.


Because I too (as Paul Kurtz rightly pointed out) indulged in
transpersonalisms that were not necessarily verifiable. As such,
I have "doubted" my prior sweeping beliefs....

I think that is a healthy thing, and I would imagine that 10 years
from now I will be doing the same as well.

Just as science changes its views with new data, I certainly hope
that I too can adapt and change with more (not less) information.

Now right to the jugular:

I think of Charan Singh as a human being.

Gurinder Singh and others at the Dera have indicated point blank
they believe he had supernatural powers and the like.

I simply have no compelling evidence to suggest it, even though I
might personally believe all sorts of wild things in the privacy of
my heart.

So, naturally, I tend to ground my observations of him in the
empirical world; prior to his death I tended to "inflate" such on
the basis of my love/belief.

Quite frankly, I think it is more mature to do the former, not the

This does not mean, of course, that I am not open to the possibility
that such gurus may indeed exhibit trans-rational powers and the

It simply means that I have yet to see the overwhelming, compelling

As I said to Joey, I see no reason to be a cheap slut now.

Yes, I love Charan dearly, but that does not mean that I cannot be
more seasoned in my observations over time.

Is that simple enough, yet, for you Daniel?

If not, by all means bring up the debate again.

I only suggest that you focus on one or two questions at a time.

You tend to ask so many questions at once that it is difficult to
give each issue the attention it deserves.

P.S. you may want to read the debate in Occam's Razor again.

You may be surprised that we have covered much of this territory

In any case, I am game.


gorilla in the debating class


DANIEL Caldwell writes:


Does Lane now have a "simpler explanation" for Yogananda's accounts of

Does Lane now have a "simpler explanation" for accounts of Yogananda's own
paranormal powers (such as levitation)?

Does Lane now have a "simpler explanation" for Sants who claim they leave
the body and transverse the various planes to Sat Nam and beyond?

Does Lane now have a "simpler explanation" for Radhasoami Masters
who claim to have trans-rational knowledge?  Of the trans-rational knowledge 
of his own Master Charan Singh?

Does Lane now have a "simpler explanation" for out-of-body 
experiences?  Such as that of Ramana Maharshi?

Etc. Etc.

Wouldn't it be nice if Lane would stop picking on the Eckists and deal with
these and other questions?  Lane's book on Eckankar is in print and a copy
is also on the World Wide Web.  Eckists who want to read Lane's book can
do so and come to their own conclusions.  Instead of going round and round
in circles with Eckists over various points on Eckankar (points 
which Lane has fully explained in his book and on his web page), why doesn't 
Lane turn his attention to these really profound questions and others which 
cry out for careful thought and study.  Just a thought.


Daniel, do you ever read my replies or my exchanges with you?

Go read the NEURAL SURFER. My "paranomal" debate with you deals with
many of these same sorts of questions. It runs over a 100 pages.

We discussed Babaji ad infinitum, or do you forget?

I have repeatedly told you that these gurus (of whatever
stripe--including my own) should be more (not less) forthcoming.

I published the UNKNOWING SAGE, lest you forget, precisely because
it did CONTRADICT my guru and orthodox R.S. theology.

If these gurus do have supernormal powers then I think they
shouldn't mind providing us with MORE (not less, not scanty)
evidence of it.

We demand the same of any empirical claim.

"Hey my T.V. don't work."

We get somebody to fix it and we are not satisfied until its works

Same with gurus and their claims.

I want them to display their wares for a wary public.

Let us be better informed in "converting" to them and their

I have just gotten more skeptical and I think that the claims of
Yogananda, Charan Singh, and others deserve our "highest" scrutiny.

Reality or Truth should survive the tests we place upon it.

I think we need more tests and more scrutiny IF we are going to
ad hoc buy into these exalted world views.

As for me, I see lots and lots humanness disguised as
"transcendental" insight.....

You like to ask a lot of questions. Why don't you simply give us
your "best" case for Yogananda, Charan, and the rest.

My argument is indeed a simple one:

I am not convinced by the present-day evidence.

Convince me......

I am expensive slut, to be sure.....

But I can convert at a price.


DANIEL writes:

Sometime ago David Lane wrote the following about the 1990 publication of 

>Charan Singh's answer on the question of his knowingness is quite
>interestingly revealed in the book, TREASURE BEYOND MEASURE.

>Published just two months before his death.

>He says quite clearly that he doesn't know and that he never wanted
>to be a guru and that he was not what people took him to be.

>No need to test. He already admits the obvious.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
>The reason I am not setting up new tests is because the subjects
>themselves have already admitted that they don't know.

Questions:  On what pages does Charan Singh admit that "he doesn't know. . . ."
What are his exact words?  And in what YEAR was that admittance made?  
A friend of mine has borrowed a copy of TREASURE BEYOND MEASURE. 
(This book is extremely hard to find in public and academic libraries in the 
United States.  If this book is of such importance maybe David Lane should 
donate a hundred copies or so to various libraries.)  My friend did not find 
anything on this subject ("he doesn't know")  in the book.  He did find the 
references where Charan Singh said he did not want to be the guru and in fact 
ran away from home.  This occurred  (decades ago) right after Jagat Singh had 
died.  Did my friend miss something???  

Did Charan Singh state publicly ( elsewhere)  during the last ten or twenty  
years of his life that he didn't know?   Conversely, how many statements could 
be culled from Charan Singh's books were he states implicitly or explicitly 
that he (the Master) does "know" things BEYOND THE PHYSICAL AND MATERIAL?  

Did David Lane try to question/test his own guru?  When?  And when and where  
did David Lane publicly give the details of this exchange between him and his 
guru?  Where does David Lane publicly state  this admission prior to me 
bringing this subject up on alt.religion.eckankar several months ago?

Compare the above statements with what follows:

>In the 1989 edition of THE UNKNOWING
>SAGE,  David Lane speaks of the claims of his
>*own* master Charan Singh.  

>Charan Singh was once asked the question:

>"Is the physical Master aware of all the initiates'
>inner experiences?"  

>Charan Singh answered in part:

>"The physical Master, of course, is aware of all that."

>David Lane commented on Charan Singh's reply as 

>"Charan Singh's answer demonstrates that the outer master 
>*does* know about his visionary manifestations."

>What "physical" and "outer" Master is Charan
>Singh and David Lane referring to?  The *physical"*
>Master Charan Singh himself??

>David Lane also relates his own personal "story" about
>Charan Singh. . . .

>"Charan Singh. . .chooses disciples for initiation by simply
>looking at them.  I have personally seen thousands
>of people file directly in front of Charan Singh and in 
>a matter of a few seconds he turns his head to the left
>or to the right, indicating whether the seeker was accepted
>or rejected for Nam-Dan.  It is obvious, even to outside
>observers, that Charan Singh is basing his choice upon a 
>higher criterion--a transcendental insight into the very
>soul of the would-be disciple.  Needless to say, it is
>an awe-inspiring sight, and one which I confess is
>beyond my limited comprehension."

Folks, I may be dumb, but I see contradictions.

David Lane has repeated several times that Charan Singh admits in
Treasure Beyond Measure that he doesn't know and yet we find Charan's 
admission in Lane's own UNKNOWING SAGE: "The physical Master, OF COURSE,
 is aware of all that."!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Caps added.

And David's own words are:  " It is obvious, even to outside
observers, that Charan Singh is basing his choice upon a higher criterion--a 
transcendental insight into the very soul of the would-be disciple."

Was David an inside or outside observer?  Furthermore, what month and year
did Lane write the just-quoted sentence?  And did Lane know at that SAME  time
that Charan Singh had said "he didn't know. . . ."?


1. Do yourself a favor and read the book for yourself, Daniel. You
can buy one from Bodhi Tree Bookstore or the R.S. Book people.
Here's an address:

                   RSSB-A Western Book Department
                   73-675 Juniper Street
                   Palm Desert, California 92260-4754
                   Phone: (619) 773-3458
                   Fax:   (619) 773-3468

Now in Treasure Beyond Measure there are several places where Charan
states that he is not what people take him to be (see his diary
entries and his letters to his friends). Read his dastrabandi
speech, wherein he claims to be a "stone" idol all the same.

Yet, we also notice that he makes numerous implications about the
power of the Master.

The dilemma is a simple one: Is the guru being "humble" about his
greatness (the usual party line interpretation), so that is why we
see all sorts of contradictory statements (and there are plenty,
Daniel, not just a few)?

The usual explanation goes like this:

"Yes, the guru is all knowing, but he hides his greatness."

Gurinder Singh, more or less, said this when asked directly about
Charan's "knowingness" with regard to Faqir Chand's unknowingness.

Gurinder said essentially: "don't confuse what the master does with
what he can do."

Or, as Charan Singh once publicly said to me (I think it is on
tape--1983/December, Dera Guest House): "don't confuse humility with
a lack of power" (paraphrase).

Hmm, but there is another way out of this:

The gurus are diplomatically lying......

That is, the gurus DON'T know but give the impression they DO in
order to retain the faith and devotion of the disciple in the path,
knowing perhaps that if they were truly honest and transparent the
disciple may throw the baby out with the bathwater..... This is what
Faqir Chand thinks is happening with these gurus....

My current hunch (always subject to correction and revision) is

The gurus are lying (consciously or unconsciously);
some better, some worst.

But there is some duplicity involved and we the naive seekers suffer
tremendous ideological headaches because of it.


Let me go to the jugular:

I think there may be many "reasons" (maybe even some good ones) for
why they may lie (they may not even fully know it), but it is pure
out lying all the same.

That's how I get around it, Daniel..... I simply call it what it is:


Now, some B.S. is quite fertile (pun intended) and some quite
but there is no doubt that there is some type of BSing going on.

Just think of all the Bsing that parents indulge in (even if it has
a noble purpose) or even teachers ("yea, sure you are a bright


simple enough?


Dear Dan:

Try reading the conclusion to the book THE RADHASOAMI TRADITION.

It is online at

Just scroll down and look for the R.S. Tradition's conclusion.

Since you seem to have trouble remembering our former debates, tell
us in a nutshell what does Lane "reveal" in that conclusion.

I think you may notice that I am just as harsh on R.S. as I am on

By the way, Daniel, the UNKNOWING SAGE is a CRITIQUE of the BEAS

That's WHY I published it.

I like alternative views.

It is also the one thing I am most proud of in terms of writing--getting Faqir more well
known in the West.



Dear Dr. Lane,

You have the karma for posting that article, and since you posted it, it
is certainly a message from you.  I'm not threatening you, and I didn't
before. You wrote, "IF," you take God out of my post.....  Well, I had
"God," in there because it was from him, not me.  I'm just his messenger.
 So, please, no more if's, and's, or but's.  I never even mentioned your
name.  My desire is to help you, not harm you.	Do you think Maharaj
Charan Singh Ji could be using me, to try and help you to understand
something?  I notice you are still posting the same material, so, good
luck, it's between Maharaj Ji and you.

I want to thank you for making me so popular.  You have made me known all
over the world.  So maybe all this is a blessing in disguise.  I don't
want to be known for myself, but so that I can continue to do the work of
the Lord, or Sugmad, for you eckists.  I know that everything that is
happening is the Lord's will.

Lots of Love, Michael Martin


Hmm.... oh the infamous "karma" of posting loop..... I get it now.

As for making you "so popular" I do think you suffer from a severe
case of "delusions of power."

I am neither known nor popular, so I can't see how my postings would
therefore make you such.

As I wrote to you in a private email, go seek some medical help (i
am serious).

If this is a comedy routine, then by all means hone your skills and
take it on the road.

But I am getting the sneaky suspicion that you really believe your
visions and your calling.....

That, my friend, is one very scary thought.

Indeed, you and your visions epitomize the very argument I was
making with Doug.

As such, I can only wonder at how many others throughout history
have been chump enough to believe that they are something bigger
than they are not.

I imagine this is the lot of human beings in general: we inflate
ourselves when, in truth, we have very little actual power.

Can we grow one hair on our head with a conscious thought right in
this very moment--from no inch to two inches?

If you can't do that simple task, dear Guru Martin, then wonder anew
why "God" is talking directly to you.

But I guess you have bought it hook, line, and sinker.....

All I can do is to suggest reading Faqir Chand closely.....

Otherwise, I await your new diatribes with my ready banana in hand.


the hairy one


DANIEL writes:

Chapter 13 is entitled:  "A Field Guide to Skepticism."
Some of the topics discussed in this chapter are "The 
Necessity of Doubt," "The Danger of Uncritical Doubt,"
"Skepticism About Skepticism, "Skeptical Tactics,"
etc.  Chapters 14 and 15 also deal with skepticism and
other related issues.

Dr. Radin writes on the dangers of "extreme belief" as well
as "extreme skepticism."

On p. 207 of this new book, Radin writes:

"This book is intended to help illustrate that common
stereotypes about psi research are overly simplistic at
best, and, in many cases, just plain wrong." 

As as example of "just plain wrong", Radin quotes what
the philosopher Paul Churchland has written about psi:

"Despite the endless pronouncements and anecdotes in the 
popular press, and despite a steady trickle of serious
research on such things, there is no significant evidence that
such phenomena even exist. . . .For there is not a single
parapsychological effect that can be repeatedly or reliably
produced in any laboratory suitably equipped to perform 
and control the experiment.  Not one." 

And Radin comments:

"Wrong.  As we've seen [in previous pages of this book], 
there are a half-dozen psi effects that have been 
replicated dozens to hundreds of times in laboratories around 
the world."

Radin also shows that as in other human  institutions (religious, etc.)
the scientific and academic communities have their own "status 
quo" and institutionalized prejudices.  Unfortunately, many in the scientific 
community have reacted against parapsychology in a very unscientific and 
prejudiced manner.  As we should have suspected, scientists are human, too and 
have their own share of foibles and prejudices.  Radin's discussion only
reinforces what Dr. Ray Hyman, a skeptic of psi, has admitted:

". . . parapsychologists have justification for their complaint that the
scientific community is dismissing their claims WITHOUT A FAIR

WITHOUT A FAIR HEARING. . . .What a sad commentary. . . .

Radin gives the following quote from the late astronomer and skeptic
Carl Sagan:

"At the time of writing there are three claims in the ESP
field which, in my opinion, DESERVE SERIOUS STUDY:
 (1) that by thought alone humans can (barely) affect
random number generators in computers; (2) that people
under mild sensory deprivation can receive thoughts or
images 'projected' at them; and (3) that young children
sometimes report the details of a previous life, which
upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they 
could not have known about in any other way than
reincarnation." (Quoted from Sagan's 1995 book
The Demon Haunted World.)  Caps added.

This is the kind of evidence I had been hoping David C. 
Lane would discuss in our debates on the paranormal.
Dean Radin discusses subjects (1) and (2) in 
considerable detail.

The book is a great read and I hope that public and academic
libraries will stock up their shelves with this important book.


Daniel, why don't you go read the very book I said mentioned a
POSITIVE result--How to Think About Weird Things.....

I have mentioned this to you now Four times.....

Not once have you commented on it.


Again, you should re-read the very biases you mention.....


I gave you ammunition for a POSITIVE result.

Such a thing would actually stoke me,

but would you be equally stoked to find out that there is no life
after death, etc.?


I would be thrilled to be wrong;

would you likewise be "thrilled"?



David Lane writes:

    when confronted with extraordinary claims we will demand (as we
    should) extraordinary proof (geez, I would even go for ordinary
    proof, but that's another issue).

David, can you point to one instance in the last 20,000 years where
someone accepted what he/she considered to be extraordinary proof for a
claim that he/she considered to be an extraordinary claim?


Yes, I can think of a number of examples. Let's take Einstein's
radical general theory of relativity of 1915 (not to be confused with
his 1905 paper on special theory) which suggested that light would
bend around massive objects.

In 1919 an expedition was sent out by Sir Arthur Eddington to South
America where they observed (via an eclipse) exactly what Einstein
had predicted.

An extraordinary claim (which upset normal science--many thought
Einstein was offbeat for it) which got support from extraordinary
evidence.... and it has continued to be the case.

Second, think of Hoyle's dismissal of the "Big Bang" (he was the guy
who coined the term, not to praise it but to diss it), which later
he recanted to some degree when confronted with extraordinary
evidence (see the 1964 discovery of backround radiation--for which a
nobel prize was awarded).

Actually, I think this type of thing happens a lot.......

Let me give you an even stupider example (as limited as it may be).

Before the Masters' tournament there was lots of hype about Tiger

And although he had proven himself in many ways (3 amateur
tournaments, etc.), there were some golfers who thought that he
could not possibly win the Masters (Nick Faldo was one of the

Well, Tiger proved them wrong with an "extraordinary" effort (the
lowest score in the tournament's history).

Extraordinary claim: Tiger Woods is a Great Golfer.

Extraordinary proof: Tiger wins the MASTERS championship.

Now I realize that invoking Tiger as an example is really silly,
but I do think you will get my drift.

In science, this kind of stuff happens much more often than people
realize: from flying, to microwaves, to dark matter, to super
strings, etc.



IMHO, the skeptic gives his/her own belief system a privileged status:
the other guy's claims are considered 'extraordinary', extraordinary
proof is demanded and the skeptic denies that it has been supplied,
thereby protecting his/her belief system from the need to grow and


No, I disagree with on this. I would say quite the opposite. The
more the skeptic resists, or doubts, or asks for a "higher"
criterion, the better off we all are.


Because that way we can see how much evidence DOES support the
contested claim.

That way, we get to see how WELL the questioned claim STANDS up.

Silly example, but I have made the claim that Twitchell plagiarized.

I think it is quite appropriate for people, like Steve R. and
to demand more and more proof (not less).

That way, the interested reader can really see if there is a strong
or weak case.

Let's go back to Babaji (since that was the original focus of Dan's
discussion). By asking for lots of proof (instead of debating the
criterion of what proof may mean to skeptics), I think the
interested devotee will benefit.

He or she will find more, not less, to support his or her belief.

And if this Babaji cat really does exist, the fact that he could
prove his case to a diehard skeptic like Randi would be all the MORE
impressive (not less).

I think these grouchy skeptics (in all fields) do us a favor:

they raise the platform and we can thereby "test" the evidence we
have against it.

Look, if you consistently demonstrated a psychic ability (let's say
you go to Vegas and can beat their odds so consistently that you
become a millionaire each and every week), then Randi and crew
are going to have to shut up and listen.

But the problem is that we want to defend psychics or other
paranormal happenings with all sorts of goo.........

Personally, I think it would be cool to kick Randi's butt and show
him that there really are psychics that can meet even the hardest
of tests......

But we don't see that; we see instead lots of justification, lots of
argumentation, lots of tip-toeing......

Science works best when it is severely tested, not when we let it
off softly or easily.

think of cars, or airplanes, or computers, or any technological

The more we demand of it, the better off we will be to understand
its strengths and weaknesses.

Likewise, I think these Gurus--especially a guy like Babaji who
can apparently transfigure the known laws of biology--should be
severely scrutinized and tested......

Particularly by those who DON'T believe, not by those who do.

That's the great thing about scientific experiments.

One tries to "disprove" it and finds out in the process how well
it "resists" falsification.

How well does Babaji "resist" falsification.

Well, if he showed up on Amazing Randi's show, it would lend more
(not less) credence to his existence.

The same with ANY psychic or paranormal claim.

The more such claims can be scrutinized by NON-believers and found
TRUE, the more impressive it will be for all concerned.

Naturally, you can say that there are those who will not believe
no matter what.......

But that is precisely the point: the more you show such people
overwhelming evidence and they still don't believe the more obvious
it will become (to all concerned) that he or she is not being honest
or truthful.

We see that when people claim a flat earth, or that the holocaust
didn't exist, or that gene splicing won't work, or that computers
can't beat grandmasters in chess.....


Don't forget Randi has admitted when he was wrong.

Remember the guy who could "read" records with his hands?

Randi thought he couldn't do it;

the guy proved Randi wrong and Randi admitted it.

That's impressive and all of us derive benefit by that higher


Joseph P. Writes:

There are several problems.

First, this criteria can never be satisfied. If an extraordinary claim
required extraordinary proof, anyone who came along and claimed to have
extraordinary proof would be making an extraordinary claim and would
have to provide extraordinary proof for that claim ... and so on.


Yes, they demanded that of Einstein and he turned out right.

Yes, they demanded that of Heisenberg and he turned out right.

Yes, they demanded that of the Wright brothers, and they turned out
to be able to fly.....

and even old Muhammad Ali proved his extraordinary claim in
Zaire against Foreman.......

It happens all the time and I think it is good that we demand more,
not less.


Joseph P. writes:

Second, there is the problem of relativity. You act as judge in your own

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 claim is extraordinary?

A says that B's claim is extraordinary, demands extraordinary proof
which A decides that B can't supply and therefore A rejects B's claim.

OTOH, B says that A's claim is extraordinary, demands extraordinary
proof which B decides that A can't supply and therefore B rejects A's


You have already given us the clue here, Joseph.

Yes, that is why Crick and Watson came up with "extraordinary
proof"-- it is called the double helix structure of the DNA

I think it is quite right for the spiritualist to "doubt" the
materialist and say, "Hey, bro, show me the proof."

And the materialist does have some amazing evidence--from DNA to
genes to Neurons, to Electrons to Atoms, etc.

And we get to SEE and HEAR the results of those things:

T.V., RADIO, Airplanes, MRI's, CAT scans, Cloning, etc.

Now, we should also ask the Spiritualist for some fudging proof.

If this Babaji guy exists, let him show up on 20/20.....

We would ask the same of materialists, why not spiritualists?


Joseph P. WRITES:

Third, the assertion speaks only of proof when, perhaps, it should speak
about evidence (what would be allowed and who decides this) and about
your evidence game (rules for evaluating evidence) as well.

The the legal system has explict standards and rules which vary, not
according to the extraordinaryness of a claim, but according to whether
the case is civil or criminal in nature.

In a civil case, the jury is allowed to find for the plaintiff if they
find that the plaintiff has proven his/her case by a preponderance of
the evidence. This is generally interpreted to mean a 'majority' of the
evidence considered in terms of 'weight'. [These terms are necessarily

In a criminal case, the jury is allowed to convict if the prosecutor
proves the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. It is
important to note that this is not a search for 'truth'. It is an
evidence game. Evidence gathered by police 'misconduct' is excluded and
the defendant is not required to volunteer incriminating evidence while
the prosecutor is required to volunteer exculpatory evidence. The rules
are designed so that few innocent defendants will be convicted, even
though it means that many guilty defendants will go free.

The Roman Catholic Church had a different evidence game when it comes to
canonization proceedings. It is assumed that the Church would suffer
greater damage if an unworthy person were made a saint than if a worthy
person were denied canonization due to insufficient evidence. Thus, the
Defender of the Faith raised *objections* to the petition for
canonization. Only if the Procurator of the cause overcame all the
objections would the petition be granted.


Let me be as simple as possible here.

Yogananda claims that an AVATAR by the name of BABAJI exists in a
physical body and has lived for thousands of years.

Okay, I say show us the proof or the evidence................

As I said to Dan, it doesn't have to be an all or nothing

We can start simply:

Babaji does an interview with Ms. Walters and we get some scientists
to give him a medical examination.

We can proceed from there.

Or, as I said to Dan, hey if Babaji showed up my house I would be
willing to reconsider the "claim" that he really exists.

I see nothing wrong in demanding for more evidence, instead of less.

And this, I would argue, applies to ALL fields across the board.


I know such demands have certainly helped in the field of medicine,
in the field of physics, etc.

I see no reason why some really hard core skepticism couldn't help
out some of these paranormal claims......


As I have said repeatedly, I think it would be quite groovy to find
out that Babaji exists.

I would think it would be cool that Elvis exists too, but I have yet
to see compelling evidence......

We demand more scrutiny of our T.V. sets than we do of our Ascended

If the reception doesn't work, we demand for it to be fixed and 
we need to "see" it and "hear" it.

I don't see why we should ask for a lot less of "Babaji".....

Especially when he claims to have been around long before T.V.'s
were invented.


Rich writes:

In light on your recent long discussions with Doug I am wondering how
you expect us to believe you acknowledge this experience as valid?<G>

What objective standards do _you_ use to judge this experience?;-)

Answer the following questions your own for us.

> > what constitutes one's true beloved can be another's fraud.
> >How do we know that our beloved IS true?
> >And, to top it off, how do we "know" such gurus are genuine and
> >transcendental?
> >By what appraisement system can we distinguish such things
> >Nice statement, but again how do "you" know?
> >And how can such knowledge be translated into an objective grid
> >system whereby we can distinguish between "imagination" and "real"
> >transmission of power.
> >But how do you distinguish a "trick of the mind" from the "true
> >Master's" grace?

> I live in That memory, friend.

Of course I believe you since I have also experienced this. It's an
ironic dual standard that you would not believe me or Doug and others
even though you personally 'know' this kind of experience.

Was Charan the only master you experienced this with?  If so, what was
different about him?
> They were, unquestionably, the finest moments of my life.....

Totally subjective experience, yet the highlight of your life huh? Again
I believe you, based on my experiences.  How is it that you will not
accept the validity of the same experiences with Harold that Eckists 
have ?

> Melted chocalate blending into numinous infinity....

Mmmmm...Nice image. Words are never adequate to describe the experience
of immersing ourSelf into the large pools of Love of the "true" masters
eyes.  As Doug said repeatedly(and you always found a way to counter),
there is no mistaking the fake for the real once one has experienced it.

> I miss him more than I can ever express.....

Again I believe you.  But why, when the is no objective standard to
measure this longing, do you accept this as valid?  


Yep, rich, there is NO objective standard by which I measure my love
or my longing. It is purely relational, purely subjective. That's
precisely my point. Yes, we can talk about our loves, our longings,
and the like, but I cannot differentiate true/false gurus on the
basis of it..... just like i couldn't differentiate true/false
mothers on the basis of "my" love of "my" mother.

There are billions of mothers, billions of different types of
relationship. What determines the "status" of any one of these
mothers is directly correlated to the "attachment" and relationship
one has with them.

I think my experiences are merely subjective. I was simply
responding to your question of how I felt. As for "objectifying" it
or claiming that such and such darshan was "real" in the ontological
scheme of things, I simply and utterly can't do it.

That is why I am relaxed about such things.

That is why I debated with Doug on this point. To say you love your
mother or brother is one thing; to then say that I can take such
love and adjudicate the ultimate status of true/false brothers or
mothers (and remember it is much more weird when it comes to gurus)
is silly.

Yes, Rich I am comfortable with saying that my experiences with my
guru could simply be nothing more than sophisticated permutations of
my neural network, misidentifications of my own "love" juice.

No problem---i think the same must hold for my relationship to my
brother or mother.

I love them precisely because they are "my" relations.       


I think you are right on the money. It is purely my "relational" or
subjective experience about missing Charan and enjoying his darshan.
I may love my brother Joseph very very much, but I don't think such
love indicates the "objective" status of my brohter

It, rather, indicates how much "I" love him.
Moreover, the whole point is that it is "my" guru, or "my" brother,
or "my" mother.

There have been billions of mothers in history, but I have a special
affection for "mine"--which is defined, lest you forget, by my
relationship and my attachment and my interaction with her.

I don't expect for one second for you to accept the "objective"
status of my guru. I have no clue on it, actually. I have no
clue on the ultimate status of any one thing (think physics and you
will get my drift).

Yes, "I" feel love, yes "I" miss Charan, but that is precisely my 

I think you better go back and read that debate. I think you are
missing something in the translation.

My experience of something does not confer its utlimate status.

It merely reflects "my" relationship with it.

get it?

feel most free to pose more questions along this line


BRUCE writes:

Hi, Dave;

I just stumbled across this on your web page; I don't think
you posted it to a.r.e.

Any way, the discussion went:

>>BRUCE writes:

>>In this same chapter criticizes Harold Klemp for warning members of
>>Eckankar about psychic attacks, on the grounds that such warnings could
>>cause "impressionable Eckists to start having the very experiences he
>>warns against" and "can only run havoc on immature and impregnable

>>When I asked Lane on a.r.e. whether he felt his own warnings about
>>Eckankar might not "run havoc on immature and impregnable personalities"
>>he, characteristically, didn't reply.


>"Characteristically, didn't reply?"  Hmm, whenever you feel I have
>not replied to a specific point, please do bring it up again. That's
>your job and it is my job to reply to each and every point.


>Now to your point: my warnings simply say such "black magicians"
>DON'T exist.

They don't "simply say" any such thing; if they did, I 
would have responded differently.  Here's what you
*did* say (with my comments in square brackets).

DAVID LANE (referring to Harold Klemp's writing about
psychic attacks):

"Such mind games can only [?] run havoc on immature and 
impregnable personalities" and "Harold Klemp has done 
a great harm [?! in your opinion] to his following" and 
"Eckankar has been the source [?!] of tremendous mental 
imbalance [?!] for a growing [?!] number of devotees" and 
"are replete with unsound [in your opinion] (and unproven) 
[?!] meditation techniques, sophomoric [in your opinion] 
advice about "internal beings" and dangerous [?!] [in your 
opinion] spiritual counselling.

Bruce replies:

Look at your rhetoric, David.  The above was not a simple 
statement that "black magicians don't exist"; it was a 
tirade apparently designed to scare people away from Eckankar.  
It consists mostly of your opinion, to which you are entitled,
inflated with jargon.  Aren't you concerned about the effect 
such accusations might also have on "immature and impregnible 
personalities"?  Are the psychological bogeymen you evoke any 
less mythic and disturbing than the black magicians you find 
so dangerously fearsome?


Hmm, interesting juxtaposition. No, quite frankly, I think my
rhetoric in itself will not run havoc on impressionable minds.

I think it will instead make one severely doubt the whole idea of
black magicians and may incline one to wonder why an Eck Master
would write such silly stuff.

BRUCE writes:

Another passage that caught my attention this time around is in Chapter
Eight, "The Manifestation of Rebazar Tarsz," where Lane says:
"Therefore, an Eckankar member may achieve a higher state of
consciousness and behold a vision of what he/she believes to be Rebazar
Tarsz. But it is not the Tibetan monk who is bestowing the elevated
experience; rather, it is the devotee's own inherant capability for
advanced structural adaptation (manifested, for example, in N.D.E.'s)
which allows for such mystical heights... (structurally speaking, it
matters little if one beholds the Virgin Mary, Buddha, Krishna, or Fubbi

I guess this means that Lane's tears over Paulji's "genealogical
dissociation" from earlier teachers are of the crocodile variety.


Sorry, but I simply don't get your last line.

Bruce responds:

If it doesn't matter on whose image one contemplates, the 
question of geneological dissociation becomes less 


Not to those who are concerned with issues of legitimacy and
historicity. Remember Wilber's methodology involves BOTH degrees of
authenticity AND legitimacy.

Eckankar may yearn only for the former (authenticity), but it was
built (via books, via organizations, via talks, via advertisements,
via group meetings) on the latter (legitimacy).

As Wilber might say (though I find him more and more troublesome to
use; almost as bad--but not even close--as an 80s Lane ),
disruptions in legitimacy INCLINE themselves to disruptions in

Or, as I have repeatedly stated, "If you cannot trust the Master
HERE, I see no reason to trust him THERE."



Questions to David Lane, Part I

In past discussions on the paranormal with David C. Lane, 
I have often felt that many times David and I were NOT 
really effectively communicating with each other.  In the material
below I am seeking for David's understanding of the 
issue raised.  I hope he will be upfront and forthright in his
answers to my specific questions.  I am raising these questions
because I really want input and feedback.  I give at this point
the questions which are repeated in the text below in their
appropriate place:

>Now, I ask David Lane:  

>How do you read Johnson's argument?
>Is my analysis and summary correct?
>If not, what IS Johnson's argument?  
>What is his specific line of reasoning?

The Paranormal and Its Bearing on Henry S. Olcott's Accounts of the 
Theosophical Masters

by Daniel Caldwell

One of K. Paul Johnson's arguments against certain criticisms raised in 
my critique entitled HOUSE OF CARDS is as follows: 

     In his case for evaluating all claims by Col. Olcott about
the Masters by a single standard, Mr. Caldwell cites a letter
in which Olcott reported being awakened from sleep in Ceylon in
1881 by Morya, who made him take dictation for an hour.  He
then goes on to describe a case where Morya "showed himself" to
Olcott and HPB, and an "appearance" by Morya before six other
people.  All of these are equated with the Ooton Liatto case,
which is much more clearly one of *physically* present people
conversing with Olcott.  But Mr. Caldwell does not seem to
recognize that these "appearances" sound more like paranormal
visitations than normal physical visits.  How can he assume
that such appearances, if genuine, were not Ranbir Singh, since
he does not know whether or not the maharaja was capable of
such phenomena?  What does he know of other people who were,
who might therefore be more plausible candidates for the Morya in
these stories?  This section of his argument shows naivete in
conflating different categories of evidence.  The principle
which seems to elude Mr. Caldwell is that extraordinary claims
require extraordinary proof.  My explanation of HPB's
relationship with the Masters relies on ordinary factors and is
based on ordinary historical evidence.  Mr. Caldwell is
defending extraordinary claims about HPB and the Masters, on
behalf of which he cites evidence of a far more dubious and
ambiguous kind. . . .
[End of Johnson's comments]

My analysis of Johnson's comments is as follows:

What is K. Paul Johnson's basic argument?  What are the 
main points of Johnson's argument?

As I read Johnson, his argument goes something like this:

(a) Johnson writes that there are TWO categories of evidence:

Category (1)  evidence involving "ordinary factors", "ordinary
historical evidence"; and 

Category (2)  evidence involving the "paranormal", the 

(b)  Johnson contends that the "Ooton Liatto" case belongs 
to category (1) involving "ordinary" evidence.  Johnson 
specifically writes that the "Ooton Liatto" case is "MUCH 
MORE CLEARLY one of *physically* present people conversing 
with Olcott."  Johnson himself puts the word "physically"
inside astrisks.

(c)  Johnson maintains that, on the other hand, Cases B, C, 
and  D belong to category (2) evidence involving the 
"paranormal".   Johnson writes that "these 'appearances' 
[Cases B, C and D] sound more like PARANORMAL visitations  
than normal PHYSICAL visits."  These three cases, Johnson 
says , involve "evidence of a far more dubious and
ambiguous kind" in contrast to the "Ooton Liatto" case.

(d) Johnson maintains that in an attempt to evaluate "all claims 
by Col. Olcott about the Masters by a SINGLE standard" 
Caldwell has unfortunately conflated the two categories of
evidence.  Johnson writes that "all of these [cases B, C and D] 
are EQUATED [by Caldwell] with the Ooton Liatto case."  Johnson 
goes on to write that "this section of . . . [Caldwell's ] argument 
shows naivete in conflating  [these two] different categories of 

(e)   Johnson contends that (in light of all of the above) 
"Mr. Caldwell is defending extraordinary claims about 
HPB and the Masters."  "The principle which seems to elude 
Mr. Caldwell is that extraordinary claims require extrordinary proof."

(f) Johnson maintains (that contrary to Caldwell's approach) 
his own "explanation. . . relies on ordinary factors and is based 
on ordinary historical evidence."    Specifically, Johnson writes 
that the Ooton Liatto case involves "*physically* present 
people conversing with Olcott." and therefore falls into 
the category (1) of ordinary evidence 

In the above statements (a-f) I have tried to EXPLICITLY describe
K. Paul Johnson's argument.  

Now, I specifically ask David Lane:  

How do you read Johnson's argument?
Is my analysis and summary correct?
If not, what IS Johnson's argument?  
What is his specific line of reasoning?

Johnson brings up an interesting
argument and I believe it is very important to try to 
understand Johnson's criticism and viewpoint.

Please note, David, that in the above related questions, I
am not asking you for your opinion as to whether Johnson's
criticism is valid or not.  Also I am not asking you to state
your views on the paranormal.

In a future post, I want to address the questions:
Are Johnson's points well taken?  
Does his argument hold up?



First of all, your argument should be with K. Paul Johnson, not me.

I think K. Paul would know much better than myself what his argument

I have no desire to be the mediator in this apparently
never-ending debate.

I enjoy debating with you Daniel, but I have absolutely no desire
(nor the energy) to Analyze K. Paul Johnson FOR you.

What do you want from me?

An analysis of Johnson or the paranormal or your summary skills?

Geez, I already work as a teacher and I don't need to play English
teacher here. 

Ask me something more direct, get to your point, and concentrate on
ONE question that WE can hash out.

The argument you have given me here is much better resolved between
you and Johnson.


P.S. do you only ask questions and seldom answer the ones posed of


just a thought


David, you still have NOT  addressed Doug's ultimate question.

Here, I will s-p-e-l-l it out for you V E R Y   S L O W L Y

Doug wants to know how is it that you are so sure that someone else can't know.

For example......

    I, Joey have had overt Out of Body experiences where I have
experienced  Spirit and its ultimate Truth directly.  David, it goes way
beyond what words(written or spoken) can ever describe.

   You have characterized my experiences, as well as many other Eckists
experiences as "dillusionary", "made up", "extensions of Paul Twitchell's
lies", and on and on and on.

   You have absolutely NO PROOF of what experiences I have had-------NONE.

   Yet you constantly say, that because I have not proven it to you that
it can not exist.  

   David, I do not have to prove it to you.

   On the contrary, the burden of proof is on you to prove that I
haven't.......and frankly David.....that is impossible.......because I
already KNOW that it happened.

   The surreptitious manner in which answer posts (by beginning another
thread and selectively quoting the previous author) is just another
carefully designed way to cover the large gaps in your flawed theories and

   By painstakingly pointing these inconsistencies out (over and over
again) I will, over time, have everyone in this newsgroup aware of your
untruthful accusations.

DAVID LANE replies:

Dear Joey:

thanks for reposting your question to me. I also enjoy the fact that
you are going to expose my flawed theories and logic and that over
time everyone on this newsgroup will become aware of my untruthful

Hopefully, I will still be in human form..... and not descend to the
gorilla body in the process....

Again, you are missing a vital link in your replies.

If one has an inner experience and believes that such experiences
are "real" in the empirical sense, then by all means let us see the
"empirical" evidence.

On the other hand, if one claims that such inner experiences are
real but do not (indeed cannot) have an empirical correlation, then
we are on much more subtle (i would say slippery) ground.

It was on this very basis that Doug and I engaged in our debate.

What is one person's truth (Virgin Mary) is another person's
delusion (see Faqir Chand).

My point is that such inner visions (which do not have an empirical
correlation) are subject to tremendous plasticity (variable
interpretations--see the Kirpal Statistic, see the Unknowing Sage,
see Michael Martin's inner "revelations").

I have never said that people don't have inner experiences. I have
said, rather, that the question is how to "interpret" them.

Yes, I have no doubt that people have OBE's and NDE's and the like
(I have had my fair share of them, and according to the Gallup
people nearly 25% of the population has had some type of out of
body experience).

What I question, Joey, (and since you have your pen out, you may
want to underline this), is the ultimate interpretation we give such

That, I believe, is very much an open question.

It may not be an open question to you, since you claim to "know",
but it is for me since I don't know much (remember?).

And in that unknowingness I am quite willing to explore the
possibilty of knowing bilocations, proof of paranormal powers, and
the like.

The only glitch is that I am an expensive slut and I see no reason
to sell my soul on evidence that I find highly suspect.

Bring in the good evidence, bring in the good case, and let's have a

Sorry, but I find it awfully curious that NDE's and OBE's seem to
reflect the cultural and biological history of the one who is
undergoing the experience.

That tells me a lot.

It indicates, like the Tibetan Book of the Dead (or any good book
on neuroscience may point out), that "visions" reflect not so
much the "reality" of what is perceived but the "state of
consciousness" (or brain state, for our neurologically minded
readers) we are presently in.

From dreams to waking to NDEs...... the experiences are relational
and we tend to impute an absolute status and truthfulness to them
wherein fact they may lack either.

I think you get my drift. For more on my views of visions and great
experiences, read Running Trains and Inner Visions or any number of
articles I have on my website.

Yes, Joey, we do have inner experiences and outer experiences and
all sorts of things.

I merely doubt the ultimate interpretations we give to them.

You apparently don't.


I look forward to your rejoinder and we can have a healthy debate.


WES writes:

Dear Dave,,

What is the litmus test for reality or truth?

We walk around on this earth thinking we are solid substantial
beings,,,,yet science tells us that we are more liquid than solid.  Then
they go on to say that we are more space then anything else... Then we
find out that the atoms that make up our very selves,,,even the brain
cells that don't regenerate,,,,are constantly exchanging places and
moving on,,,so the stuff that I call 'me' today,,,,,might be something
totally different tomorrow.  All I see are just levels of
'reality'....each with its own objectivity.

Most of us operate in the first of these realms..... even though the
other two are just as objective and real.  They aren't 'real' to
us....because most of us do not look at ourselves in this way,,and can't
experience the atoms....even if we believe they are there.  We experience
them as a group,i.e. your hand is a group of atoms, but we don't
experience them in their separate and individual state.

Another very important point,,,is that we don't truly know the reality of
science until we study and do the experiments ourselves.  Even then we
only see the results through instruments of our own creation.  So that
the reality implied is at best	2nd hand information.  In other
words,,,we can't normally see these things with just the instrument of
the human body or normal awareness...We have to build, tools, extensions
of ourselves/ awareness to perceive them....  Yep,,,we have to go out of
ourselves....beyond our normal range of attempt to tap into
the truth of things.... Sounds like an OBE,,,to me...

Inner experiences could follow the same pattern as the above.

Anyhow,,,just a few late night thoughts to throw at you.

God Bless



I quite agree that Reality (whatever That may Be) is beyond my puny
comprehension. Whatever slices I get of "It" are intimately
constructed by that neurological wonder meat set known as my brain.

Or, we could if we are mystically inclined, say that my filter--my
conscious self--is chewing bite size pieces of "Reality" for my

As Kant might say, "The thing in itself", seems to transcend my
capacity to truly know "it" in all dimensions.

I can barely think two thoughts at once, much less a true equation
of the universe.

Yes, I do think we should spend time exploring our inner realms of
beings (as my preface to the enchanted land quite clearly enjoins).

However, I also think that we should be skeptical and doubtful of
any "absolute" interpretation we may project upon those inner
experiences, just as in the outer world we don't want to be
necessarily dogmatic about any one theory.... Always realizing,
perhaps, that even our best theories can be subject to revision.

keep up the nice thoughts,




Dear Unknowing Dave,

Thanks for your answer. I've enjoyed this discussion as well, and with
your above answer, I now feel we are on a little firmer ground to continue.
I know it's been almost two weeks, since your answer above, but I've been
traveling (this time on vacation to Carmel and Big Sur) and wanted to give
a thoughtful response.

First, I think your point that you are unknowing enough to realize that
there may be others who can know, is a very important point. This indeed is
where the student of spiritual knowledge must begin. In fact, I think it is
so important to understand this starting point properly, that I don't think
we should try to jump ahead too quickly. As Rumi used to say, "Don't try to
shorten the story, listen to the whole tale."

The realization that we do not know is a necessary step. However, with
this awareness comes an empty feeling, as if we know there must be more. It
is really an emptiness, looking for something to fill it. What many
religionists do is try to fill this lack of knowing with something to
believe in. What many materialists try to do is fill this lack of knowing
with critical opinions of the religionists' foolish beliefs. Both of these
attempts to fill the void will prevent these people from finding true knowledge.

I think your last two lines here are suspect, since there may be
many options (not one or two or three) in confronting one's lack of
knowing. Moreover, I don't see why "emptiness" should necessarily
arise when one realizes how little one knows. It may be quite the
opposite: a feeling of wonderful openness and a feeling of bliss
(oh that popular statement comes to mind, "ignorance is
bliss"?--just ruminating). 

Additionally, you have already jumped the gun (at least in terms of
laying out your argument to me) with this uninspected assumption
called "finding true knowledge."

It could well be that there is no such thing as "true" knowledge in
an infinite sense. Or, perhaps realizing ignorance is "true"?

In any case, I find your last few lines filled with unwarranted and
uninspected leaps of logic.

In other words, the path must begin with doubt, and this doubt must grow
into the realization that we do not know. And then this realization must
grow into a deep understanding of the emptiness that comes from truly not
knowing. It is only after this emptiness is truly understood, and allowed
to exist without being filled with any kind of spiritual fast food that can
be found to satisfy that hunger, that one can begin to separate the true
from the false.


These are all nice platitudes and I may even agree to some degree
with bits of it, but you have assumed a lot in your leaps here: from
emptiness to doubt to "true" understanding to "true from the false."

In other words, you have quite implicitly layed out an epistemology
that does not necessarily follow. You may believe this is the
trajectory that occurs in human beings and spiritual growth, but I
don't see why it is so or why it must be so.

I see instead your belief system.

Fair enough, but beliefs systems (including my own) border on
on an infinite number....

DOUG writes:

Paul Twitchell, in an early talk of his called, "Doubt," mentioned that in
the past, spiritual students had been asked to first believe in certain
basic beliefs, but that this has changed, and today the seeker must first
begin with doubt. I agree with him on this point. 

Paul then went on to tell a story of when his master appeared before him,
one day. Later, when he had a chance to see his master physically, he asked
him, "Was that you that appeared before me?" His master answered, "Well,
why don't you go back and ask that great soul."

From this, Paul realized that his master was saying, in a sense, "Well, do
you know or don't you know?" And Paul realized that we must each decide for
ourselves this very important point. It is not something to be glossed over
too quickly. We must be willing to honestly cross that dry desert of not
knowing, before we can expect to find that oasis of knowingness.

David, there is an important point here. The masters will often not say
whether they have indeed consciously appeared to others, or not. They will
often not directly answer such questions. They are right in doing so,
because it is vital that the seeker decides these issues for themselves. If
they cannot find the inner authority to distinguish the true inner
experience from the false, then they should recognize that they have not
yet arrived at this point, but they should not look toward outer authority
to fill this void. If the master were to answer, directly, such questions,
it would prevent the student from solving this riddle for themself.

DAVID LANE replies:

Again, I find your last few lines detailing what you believe to be
the case, but not why it must be necessarily so. We may believe all
sorts of things, but that does not mean by extension that your
beliefs are translated as universal truths or insights.

For instance, I think it would be perfectly appropriate for the guru
to say whether he knew or didn't. Indeed, it may be quite
refreshing. My hunch is that in most cases the guru doesn't know but
for whatever reasons (some benign perhaps, some sinister perhaps) he
or she allows the disciple to "think" that the guru "knows."

As for not directly answering the question, again I think it may be
related to honesty. Lots of gurus like to take credit for that which
they didn't do.

Moreover, I don't see why a master answering the question "would
prevent the student from solving this riddle for themself," since
regardless of whether the guru says "yes or no" the neophyte is
still stuck with "believing or disbelieving" his guru's answer.

In other words, the student still doesn't "know" if the guru is
telling the truth or not (he could be taking credit for it, but
still not be conscious of it).

Additionally, I am too painfully aware of how easy we let our gurus
off the hook with this type of "he knows best" kind of rhetoric.

Again, Doug, it sounds like your belief system. Okay, but it just
doesn't convince me in terms of an argument.

I can think of lots of alternative explanations for the above guru
strategies and they seem a lot more compelling....

DOUG writes:

However, you have argued that after talking with Faqir Chand, you realize
now that the masters may not be answering for another reason. It is
possible that they do not really project to these seekers, and that all of
these experiences are simply the seeker's own inner creations. But what I
was trying to show, with my last post to you, is that there is a
fundamental flaw with anyone thinking that they can know this.

For example, Faqir Chand had some experiences where he saw a vision of his
master, but his master admitted not being aware of creating such a
projection, and other experiences where Faqir's students saw Faqir appear
before them, but Faqir had no awareness of such an event. This lead him to
conclude that his experiences were subjective, and belonged to his own
personal projections within his inner worlds. And there is nothing wrong
with such a conclusion, if indeed it is a recognition of unknowingness.

However, Faqir Chand goes on to say that from this he has also concluded
that all of the experiences of all seekers, and all visions of all masters,
are also nothing more than the projections of the seekers' own inner
beliefs. But such a conclusion is seriously flawed, since if indeed Faqir
is admitting that he has no real inner perception beyond his own personal
inner worlds, then how can he possibly draw conclusions about the inner
experiences of everyone else? He cannot. At best, he can only offer it up
as a possibility.

But Faqir was not just suggesting it as a possibility. He was not just
saying that he doesn't know but others might. He was acting as if he had
discovered something important: That masters pretend to create such
experiences, for the sake of the seekers. But based upon his own
admissions, this is something he cannot possibly know. It is at best a
theory that, if it is true, can never be verified.


First, Doug, you better go read Faqir Chand a bit closer. Faqir
repeatedly states that he may be wrong, that he may be incorrect,
that he may be limited in his perceptions, that it is ONLY his
experience and others may differ.

Indeed, for this VERY reason Faqir met with Charan, met with Kirpal,
met with Thakar, met with Sawan, met with scores of gurus. He asked
them in private and in public to "CORRECT" him if he was wrong in
his insights.

He asked each guru in the R.S. Tradition to give him their views on
the subject.

Yes, he was convinced that he had uncovered a crucial insight (I do
too), but he was most willing to be challenged and corrected.

It just turned out to be the case that the gurus he met didn't give
him a better explanation or a more convincing view. Instead most of
them "confessed" their ignorance and their duplicity.

Moreover, just because someone cannot "disprove" a possible theory
does not then make it "right."

In Critical Thinking, this is called the fallacy of arguing from
ignorance. Let me give you a pertinent quote to illustrate why I
find this line of reasoning on your part sophomoric:

"This rule applies to cases of existence versus nonexistence, too.
Most often, the burden of proof should fall on those who claim
something exists rather than on those who claim it doesn't. There
are people who believe in ghosts [hmm, or true gurus? or conscious
bilocations or souls?], but because nobody has shown there are no
such things. (When someone claims that we should believe in such and
such because nobody has proved that it ISN'T so, we have a subtype
of burden or proof known as appeal to ignorance.) This is burden of
proof of pseudoreasoning because it MISTAKENLY places the
requirement of proving their position on those who do NOT believe in
ghosts (Of course, the first rule applies here, too, because ghosts
are not part of background knowledge for most of us." (Critical

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.