Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: August 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at email@example.com
I want to go back to the home base now.
A LONG QUOTE AND CITE BY JOEY: <<<<< JOEY writes: Hmmmm...David, what does it feel like being on the other end of the whipping stick????? Damn David, I didn't think anyone could do that.....does that mean that Eckists just might be able to do that also?????.....that it's possible that they are not being "duped" as you so often have said??? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Whipping Stick? What transpires on ARE is not whipping, but discussions. I find the give and take refreshing and illuminating. >>>>>> David, you left out the most important part-----the words you spoke-------and you COINCIDENTLY didn't bother to post your reponse in the appropriate thread so that someone who would have the desire to understand this "exchange" would be essentially prevented from doing so. But......just for clarification purposes.....and to prove AGAIN how extensively you misquote, mislead and TWIST the truth I will quote in its entirety what I posted the other day. <<<< Subject: Re: Lane is still on the same path contrary to Doug's claims From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Galuuk) Date: 21 Aug 1997 11:38:21 GMT Message-ID: <19970821113801.HAA26893@ladder02.news.aol.com> David Lane, you wrote in response to Doug, concerning your spiritual beliefs and sensitivities...... <<< You don't have a clue about what I feel towards my path if you can >make these kinds of inaccuracies.... >>> Hmmmm...David, what does it feel like being on the other end of the whipping stick????? and you said.... <<<< >What you seem unable to understand is that I can both love my guru >and use my brain at the same time >>>> Damn David, I didn't think anyone could do that.....does that mean that Eckists just might be able to do that also?????.....that it's possible that they are not being "duped" as you so often have said??? JOey >>>>>> Now, David, lets see if you can respond to the actual truth and not your selective twisted version of it. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Sorry to disappoint you again Joey, but I would give the very same reply. ARE is about discussions and I enjoy the to and fro, even when people provide inaccurate information about me from time to time. I have been on the receiving end of much misinformation, but that goes with the territory. That is why this discussion format is so informative; we can correct, alter, adjust, and update views. Truth should be able to survive our questions of it, Joey, even if our questions are sensitive and touchy. I too will survive whatever misinformation people may post about me. The name-calling on ARE is part of the fun. signed: oh that twister of truth..... dave the wave ------------------- DOUGLAS WRITES: such people you usually find that their logic is tenuous at best and certainly not capable of conclusive refutation. Are you one of these people, Dave? Why is it that you've never answered my basic question: How does Paul Twitchell plagiarizing and engaging in fanciful interpretations logically invalidate a person's personal experience of spiritual realities? DAVID LANE REPLIES: I try to answer each and every query, but lately I have been a bit slow in my replies due to too much surfing.... I have already answered your question, however, in a number of ways and in a number of posts. Yes, people can have all sorts of inner experiences, regardless of whether their guru was a scoundrel or not (see what Faqir Chand says on this issue, for instance). As I have often remarked, it is our own mystical/neurological potentials which is the key to our inner experiences. We have a tendency, of course, to attribute such encounters to external factors outside of ourselves, even when they may have nothing to do with it in a conscious way. People have inner experiences of Elvis, and it does not matter one iota to his devotees that he made a lousy Velveeta on rye.... Why? Because it is, as Faqir Chand would argue, our OWN projections upon those figures which is causing our visions and our experiences, not the other way around. Yet, we somehow believe that Darwin Gross is "consciously" projecting and orchestrating his form (astrally or otherwise) to us in time of need. My hunch is that the Virgin Mary is not hanging out waiting for visionary request to appear on flour tortillas. I would imagine that it is OUR attachment to such personages which flavors the content of our numinous encounters. See my numerous articles on inner visions, Faqir Chand, and the Kirpal Statistic for more on this line of thinking. What I have argued is this: If you can't trust a master on the outer (something you can see and hear and touch), I see no convincing reasons to then trust him on the inner (a realm which is a pandora's box for non-verifiable allegations). Or, more bluntly, if Twitch can't be straight with you HERE, I see no reason to then "trust" him THERE. I think you get my drift. ------------ DOUGLAS WRITES: And? It's only a map, not the territory. The only significant difference is in your mind. Does a topological map being different from a road map of the same area somehow invalidate the integrity of the map makers? People evolve, Dave. They change their minds. It's really no big mystery and certainly not worth getting hung up over. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I didn't realize that Sach Khand was evolving.... thanks for the update. One note: it may be helpful to future Eckists to explain how the inner worlds evolve and how the inner sounds and lights were different in 1966 and then changed again in 1970. DOUGLAS WRITES: But that's where the meat of the discussion lies. All this crap about Paul's naughtiness is a waste of time, IMHO. Eckankar would have eventually cleared it out of the teachings in the lower worlds on its own without your "well-intentioned" and spiritually hirsute help. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, I guess Darwin's embezzlement of several million dollars was also crap too, given your line of argumentation. Do you think Harji is going to let the former "Eck" Master back in the group? Especially after that "cleansing" of the lower worlds? DAVID LANE ASKS: >To what degree does "culture" (spiritual or religious or just plain >popular) influence the inner landscape? DOUGLAS REPLIES: I would argue none. But different states of consciousness will measure (experience) the same reality in different ways. DAVID LANE REJOINS: This, Douglas, is where you and I fundamentally disagree. I think culture (in whatever external way you wish to define) most certainly does influence the "flavor" of what we see or hear on our inner voyages. Oh what a sociological training has done to my "purity." DOUGLAS WRITES: Some people already have a firm grounding in reality and are capable of expanding into other realities. Why do "skeptics" such as yourself always project their own shortcomings onto others? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Pointing out plagiarisms, duplicity, and cover-up is a very easy thing to do when it comes to Paul Twitchell. Even your living Eck Master did it to "Darwin" (remember, he was the guy who "excommunicated" the former Ek master from the fold). As for talking about "shortcomings," Harji did a nice job on Darwin, don't you think? Or was all that talk about Darwin and his ethical transgresssions via the Eck Management a "long coming"? DOUGLAS WRITES: They're only books, Dave, written by people with a certain state of consciousness. Why are these books the truth and Eckankar is not? Why, I'll bet if you took the time to look into it you'd find all kinds of dirty laundry there also. I guess they must be frauds too when it suits your purposes, eh? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, maybe you should read my Guru Has No Turban series to get a better understanding of how I view religion in general. In any case, I merely pointed out that "doubting" inner and outer visions seems like a healthy thing to do. We do it in science and I see that there is a long tradition in mysticism of doing it. Doubting does not mean that the experience will disappear, but only that we will be able to better understand it by closely inspecting it versus blindly believing it. DOUGLAS WRITES: Maybe it would lead to delusional thinking within your state of consciousness, but I fail to see how you can authoritatively speak for others. Besides, I read an interview of you a while back wherein you basically stated you believed all spiritual experience was a form of delusion. Doubt and skepticism is healthy. Fundamentalist adherence to CSICOPean materialist dogma is not, IMO. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I have had way too many long conversations with "visionaries" from many different stripes (from Eckankar to Radhasoami--just check out Michael Martin for some heavy duty "delusional" visions).... What I have discovered in some of these conversations are people with some serious "head" cases. I remember one Ekist in particular (no, I am not saying he represents all Ekists, but my overall point that not doubting inner visions can lead to delusional thinking) and he felt that the Eck Masters were "eating" away his brain. Indeed, he was so paranoid that he really felt that Darwin and others were taking him on inner voyages only to eat away the "mana" of his cerebral cortex. My advice to him was simple: All these visions are projections of your own mind. Darwin Gross or Harold Klemp are not consciously appearing to you and eating your mind. Don't give them power that they do not possess. I made some kind of joke about how Darwin is more worried about selling his Vibe set at auction than eating away his neurons.... So, Douglas we do most definitely disagree in this area. I think is very appropriate to "doubt" one's inner voyages and one's inner visions. I also think it was helpful advice to that Eckist. But I didn't get that "insight" from you or from those who "believe" their visions, but precisely from those who are willing to "doubt." Via Faqir Chand, Ramana, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, not to mention a score of neurologists. DOUGLAS WRITES: Doubt all you want, but I fail to see how you can conclusively refute the validity of something you have never experienced. Think of it this way - let's hypothesize the existence of the eiffel tower (God worlds). Unless one actually travels to France and experiences it for themselves (expands their consciousness) there is really no way to conclusively prove that it exists to a hard-headed skeptic. Anecdotal evidence is not conclusive (nor even photographic, as photographs can be faked). There is more than enough anecdotal evidence from sincere and trustworthy individuals to posit the existence of such God worlds and to warrant repeating the experiment. But, unfortunately for certain people, anomaly hunting is not for the timid. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Never experienced? What may that be? Moreover, how do you "know" I have "never" experienced such things? What you keep forgetting is that I advocate inner voyages, daily meditation, and phenomenogically exploring the inner light and inner sound that arises within. But having said that, I also advocate "doubting" the ontological or religious interpretations that we tend to give such inner phenomena. Doubting something does not mean it will go away (if true), but only that we can better understand it by seeing to what degree it resists falsification. I most definitely do champion the interior practice, but at the same time I think it is quite helpful to keep our critical faculties in tact and question what these visions may ultimately mean in the grand scheme of things. DOUGLAS WRITES: I give respect where respect is due. Thus far I've seen nothing in your posts which show me you are any kind of an enlightened or spiritually superior being to the higher initiates I've met in Eckankar over the last twenty years. DAVID LANE REPLIES: "Enlightened" or a "spirtual superior being" to higher initiates of Ek? No, Douglas, I am just a guy thinking his thoughts out on a discussion group. Not knowing much ultimately, I wouldn't have a clue about my "spiritual" status. But if it involves believing that plagiarism doesn't matter or that duplicity doesn't matter, or that Gakko came from Venus, or that God worlds cannot be doubted, then by all means put me on the low rung of the spiritual totem pole. Quite frankly, if this kind of rhetoric constitutes "spirituality" then I a unreformed pagan. DOUGLAS WRITES: We've been over this already. One can disregard Twitchell's moral shortcomings and still appreciate the essential spiritual truths he compiled. Why, I'll bet he even burped and farted on occasion, too. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, I guess we can "disregard" Twitchell's moral shortcomings, but not Darwin Gross'? I guess Twitchell is still a member of the Vairagi order, even though he farted and burped from time to time. But, boy, when Darwin took that money from the EK corporation and didn't show Harji respect, he got booted out. I guess his farts smelled too bad, huh? He who smelt it dealt it? (Harji on Darji?) He who denied it supplied it (Twitch on Twitch?) He who makes the rhyme committed the crime (oops, that's me!) ----- I think you can catch my wind on this (pun intended). ------------ SPARK writes: What I was pointing out, is something related but subtly different. My point is to *not* trust what initiates in ECK know as the 'Inner Master' is to not trust one's *own* innate spiritual 'acorn' to use James Hillman's image. In "The Soul's Code" (or is it the Code of Soul?) Hillman makes an interesting point about how 'evil' grows where there is inflexibility and a lack of openess to at the very least consider 'outside' information. The difference between the psychotic and the enlightened being that the psychotic can't 'hear' the 'voices' of his/her friends and persists in a singular path based on an *unchecked* inner prompting. DAVID LANE REPLIES Good stuff here, Kent. I agree. SPARK WRITES: The technology of the guru-dynamic at work between mentors and their mentees ranges from imitative behavior to learn very basic physical tasks to incredibly subtle interchanges between two states of consciousness that defies most linguistic (thanks Bart) description. A further mystery and paradox emerges in the teacher student relationship when the student begins to understand how he/she can at times 'be' the energy or love that in turn opens their heart to further mysteries of the Unknown. The flip side is what some spiritual teachers refer to as 'grace' or the presence that makes itself felt above and beyond what we know to be our own consciousness. The understanding that there is something 'out there' that is bigger than we are and yet is also part of us as we are part of IT. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Again, good stuff. SPARK WRITES: This is a round about way to try to make the point that *of course* we are learning to use the inner tools of images of teachers, temples, and other anchor points regardless of their consensus status. I find I'm also learning to respect the beings that have gone before me. Call them what you will. I've found there are always beings who are more advanced in their understanding of life, love, creativity, and action than I am. Real authentic beings. Masters, if you will. Argue till doomsday about who is a master, but that is besides the point of there existing beings who I learn from. Some have bodies some don't, some are human, some are not. Some cheat at tennis, some have a wicked backhand, some killer serves. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, keep going, you have three aces in a row. SPARK WRITES: Haven't you noticed, David, that *people* in general 'complicate' spiritual practice... <g> even really sweet and nice people who follow the spiritual laws of life... People are complicated variables in life. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Ace four, I agree. SPARK WRITES: This is not unique to religion, of course, or to Eckankar. It is universally applicable. I dare say it is something I deal with every morning when I wake up and look in the mirror figuratively and literally. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Ace five, I agree. SPARK WRITES: Or, as you have pointed out, we fall in love. Then, 'lousy' or not, the love is what guides us deeper into the presence of God. DAVID LANE REPLIES: First game, plus one.... I quite agree. SPARK WRITES: I kept reading this and wondering why I found it distasteful. Then I flashed back on the Hillman book and realized that this form of 'masterbuation' is closed and doesn't facilitate an opening of the heart to others because of the closed loop nature of the activity. Maybe this isn't what you mean but that is one interpretation. (Slow Children) DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, and I think that having a "living" guru (whatever subject) helps open this up a bit.... SPARK WRITES: I don't think this (closed-loop, dead-end, self stimulating system) is the way that the guru dynamic works when it is working with love and not simply narcissism and self pretense. At some point it becomes as as much the responsibility of the devotee as it is the responsibility of the teacher to stay open to the Presence of Love. I hope I don't have to explain to readers what I mean by love here. (I don't mean the sort of meaningless generic love that people sign off with in their posts...) DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, but it does seem to me that much of what we think is happening in a guru/disciple relationship is replaced by this "meaningless" generic love.... When the turban replaces a face, a dais a person, etc. SPARK WRITES: However, **yes** I know we can love ourselves, our teachers, our significant others, and our children __as_they_are__. No retouching. No airbrushing. Warts, blemishes, wrinkles, and all. Maybe all the more because they trust us and are willing to show them. This applies so clearly to ourselves. I learn to love myself despite my flaws and short-comings. I find the Course in Miracles material has some wonderful teachings regarding forgiveness, atonement, and the meaning we give to the world, not to mention our teachers. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I am not a great fan of the COURSE, but I am a fan of your line of argumentation here. SPARK WRITES: What I do with this, David, is to return this shot and say I think that I can learn to love life and everything about it even if **I** never resurrect. In other words regardless of any 'after life' I am here now and it is far more miraculous than any imagined after-life!!! This is freaking unbelivable, that we are alive and conscious even to the degree that we are!! It is what is happening now between us, in us, and around us that is the true 'psychic phenomenon' that is so common place as to be invisible. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Good stuff..... Want to be tennis partners? SPARK WRITES: Funny thing, David, but the teacher becomes less and less important, no? I mean as our own individual spiritual responsibility and love grows it is harder and harder to sit around talking incessantly about the teacher's qualities. Better to go *do* something with who I am. DAVID LANE REPLIES: The game is yours with just this paragraph...... good point. SPARK WRITES: Some of us have been quite clear that we know that Paul had his faults. He fabricated, he spun, and he appears to have created things that are impossible to prove. It is also clear that publicly he concealed and misrepresented things about himself. I don't know his motivation for doing this and I consciously choose not to judge *why* he did these things. I can speculate on positive and negative scenarios. What remains though is that he was able to 'reflect' back to me the Fire and Love of God in a way that changed me forever. So do I love the being who did this? Yes. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Quite a wise way of approaching it and I would say helpful as well. SPARK WRITES: I'm even think that despite David and Spark's concealments, misrepresentations, and character flaws that some people might even think kindly of us <g>. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm.... maybe you, but I am from the lower worlds from the beginning of time predicted to destroy Eckankar
............ I think there is no hope for this Kal boy. SPARK WRITES: The deeper question, for me, remains, can I love myself and other 'regular' people *as* human? Guru, shuru... trying to make my way to the exit... DAVID LANE REPLIES: Why "exit" when your "returns" win the match? ------------- JOEY WRITES: David, it is your own limited interpretation and unwillingness to concede that travel to inner realities is a FACT that can be verified by traveling to such a place. Once that has been done...and many have already done it, YOUR accusations become the LIES and at that moment all you have said and will continue to say is to be taken as false. It's simple.......very simple DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, I certainly do think it is worthwhile to meditate and explore our interior universe (see the preface to the Enchanted Land, for example: http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dlane/point2.html via a link to dave rife's home page). Where you and I (and apparently lots of others in your camp) disagree is over this issue of what such inner voyages mean. My argument is that we should "doubt" what we see and hear, especially in terms of what they may ultimately mean. I wouldn't want to make a religion out of my nursey school experiences, nor would I want to make absolute pronoucements on my inner voyages.... Great doubt, great faith. ------ > DAVID LANE REPLIES: > > Thanks for your question. Actually, I have repeatedly stated that I > don't know ultimately and for that reason I have called myself a > mystical agnostic materialist (or any combination of those three). > > This is merely a way for me to express how little I ultimately know. MARK REJOINS: Or is it a way to avoid committing yourself to systems that allow you to experience and grow, even when it means growing out of one system and into a larger one? Would you say you were *born* a mystical agnostic materialist (or any combination of those three)? Or do you have some kind of *history of commitment* through which you have learned and grown *into* a mystical agnostic materialist (or any combination of those three)? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Mark, I was "born" unknowing, but grew into a knowledge system that was heavily Catholic (having attended their schools for nearly 12 years and having taught in them for another five). Thus, if you asked me what I believed at "7" I am pretty certain it reflected a Catholic view, perhaps peppered with some underlying democratic tolerance. Now, when I was 12 (after having read Yogananda and lots of Eastern philosophy), I would imagine I had a more Hindu flavor in my approach. Yet, if you asked me at 15 (after that experience of speaking in tongues), I think I must have had a certain Eastern/Western fusion, sprinkled with some funky Biblical overtones. By the time I was 17, I had embraced Charan Singh, but at the same turn (ironically) came to realize that the spiritual world was filled with political intrigue as well. Just look at the various branches of shabd yoga worldwide, each more or less competing with one another. By the time I was 21, I had read Faqir Chand extensively and was no doubt influenced by his radicalness and openness. I can also remember in my early twenties being deeply influenced by hard science, Da Free John, and Ken Wilber. Oh what an unholy trinity! But throughout all of this, the core of my spiritual practice (if you wish to term it that) was my love of Charan Singh. It remains to this day the core of my practice. But, paradoxically, such love does not constitute the "theological" outlook of my brain. That is continually undergoing changes and I would say that intense readings in neurology, physics, astronomy, analytic philosophy, existentialism, and prolonged listenings to Sam Kinison (I am serious) have naturally altered my thinking in many ways. Thus, at 7 I must have been a theist to some extent (though in truth I was unknowing); thus at 12 I must have been a Hindu sympathizer to some extent (though in truth I was unknowing); thus at 17, I must have been a shabdite to some extent (though in truth I was unknowing); and thus today I have merely confessed what should have been obvious to me all along: I really don't know..... That is why I have given myself that label (mystical agnostic materialist). It is not some cute phrase I enjoin to sound patronizing, but rather a symbolic appraisement of how genuinely unknowing I am with regard to the ultimate Reality of where I arise. As for the inference of "avoiding a comittment" I don't see it that way at all. Quite the opposite. I made a very serious dedication to Charan Singh and I still hold to that to this very day. I have also held steadfast to certain core practices which I have never (not even once) deviated from. For instance, I have been a strict vegetarian since I was 16 (I am now 41), and I have never consciously broken that vow. I have never taken any alcohol since I was 15 (the only exception and one that still makes me laugh is when I was with a Catholic nun in the Himalayan mountains in 1983--i used to walk her to Church every Sunday, after we took our Hindi classes--and I went to Communion with her. Right when I was getting the Host, the Priest dipped it in Wine and stuck it right in my mouth [i was horrified and even thought about it pulling it out right then and there, but knew it would be bad protocol!]. Tasted pretty good, I should add.). Besides not drinking (except when it comes to Jesus's blood ), I also have never taken any illicit (whatever that means) drugs since I was 13, except for occasional excredin highs. I do drink coca cola, but since that is God's nectar, I think it is exempt. I have also forged a deep and lasting bond with Charan Singh. So I do believe in committing, but this does not mean that I cannot learn more or radically alter my understanding of the universe when new data comes in. For this reason and others, "unknowingness" has become a touchstone for me. It grounds me, while at the same time it opens me to the wonder of it all. MARK WRITES: First, I am not sure where you get the idea that I would be bummed cease to exist before making any such discovery. Second, the above scenario is the *only* one I have seen you articulate with any sense of belief or passion, so I am inclined to conclude that, whether you want to admit it or not, that scenario is what you have committed yourself to. I am not sure what you find as awe-inspiring about it...It seems to me the kind of corner a mystical agnostic materialist (or any combination of those three) would paint himself into... ;-) DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, I have articulated quite a mystical purview in my writings, especially in the 1980s (just ask Dick, he would be glad to repost them for you). In the 1990s, I have simply demonstrated that I have gotten more skeptical. Combine these two purviews (mystical and materialist) with an agnostic view and you can see why I call myself a mystical agnostic materialist.... Committed myself to? How can I do that when I don't know the ultimate truth? What I have comitted myself to is learning more. On the very day I got my Ph.D. at UCSD, I began to read intensely in areas that I didn't have time for before: neuroscience, physics, and analytic philosophy. These areas were relatively unexplored for me, so I spent 6 very intense years swimming through it. I can be quite passionate about many subjects, including interior meditation (see the Enchanted Land), radical unknowingness (see my pieces on Faqir Chand), animal rights (see Why I Don't Eat FACES), and straight out materialism (see my review of Francis Crick's book, THE ASTONISHING HYPOTHESIS). If you take a long view of my writings, you will clearly see how my thought has developed. I wouldn't want to stop now. Geez, as I have often stated: I wouldn't want to be dogmatic at 4, much less 40. When I say I don't know ultimately, I genuinely mean it, even if you think it is an intellectual ploy. MARK writes: I am comfortable with the variety of foods offered in the supermarket. Of course, I can't commit myself to any of them. Yes, I am getting thinner and I admit that I appear malnourished, but the prospect of starving does not bother me. I enjoy a certain objective status that allows me to observe, compare, and evaluate each food item without actually partaking of any directly to find out its nutrient value in my particular case. I would not want to compromise my scientific objectivity. Of course, I *am* comfortable suggesting to others what foods are innately good and bad for them. I enjoy such discussions. Just please don't ask me to try any... In fact, evidence suggests that *ALL* foods are potentially hazardous, which may help you understand why I follow my particular path...You see, I am a mystical agnostic foodist (or any combination of those three) and I find it awe-inspiring to contemplate the actual foodless nature of existence. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nice try, Mark, but your fruit analogy doesn't apply. I have engaged in a daily spiritual practice (pretty intensely at that) since I was 17 or so. I just happen to think it is okay to be skeptical as well about the ultimate meanings that arise from such practices. Your argument about "non-comittment" is a silly and a false one, especially in light of my personal history. What has transpired over time is that I have become aware of how much I don't know. I think Socrates, and Lao Tzu, and Faqir Chand, and Charan Singh, were on to something when they stated that "all I know is that I don't know" or "I am just a stone idol in a temple" or "How can I make a claim to the ultimate? Who knows what may happen to me when I die? I may see running trains! (faqir chand, etc.). Moreover, I can think of nothing more engaging than surfing.... That takes a full body immersion, as does meditation. But it doesn't mean I have to buy into doctrinal bullshit. MARK WRITES: Uh, You didn't answer the question. Could you please, in a nutshell, suggest to me *your* explication of the *reasonableness* of such an assertion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: I mentioned those books, Mark, precisely because they provide a very reasonable explanation for why evolution works, especially in a non-directed way. Read Dawkins' THE BLIND WATCHMAKER. He gives a much better argument than I can give to you in one paragraph. Or, better yet, just read Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES, or Gould's EVER SINCE DARWIN, or Dennett's DARWIN'S DANGEROUS IDEA. Quite interesting and quite reasonable. If you want my nutshell argument, just think of antibiotics and how they work. What is the guiding principle? That may give you a lead to why I am comfortable to this line of thinking. DAVID LANE WRITES: > > I wouldn't be surprised to find that the universe was merely a play, > merely a contingency of possiblility. > > I don't have the answer, though, Mark. > > I am too unknowing, quite frankly, to know anything of this ultimate > stature for sure. MARK WRITES: Yet you feel quite *knowing* to declare that Eckankar should be disbanded. Based on *what* system? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, but I also think it is healthy to "dismantle" each and every ism that we raise up as the ultimate truth (whether that be a Lane quote, or science quote, or a Radhasoami quote). Why? Because when we "test" or "doubt" such observations, we find to what degree they can resist falsification. Personally, when I "test" Twitchell's biography I find it does NOT resist falsification, but rather turns out to be mostly just false. The same with his unique claims for authorship, the same with his alleged cover-up of prior spiritual teachers. We do this in science all the time. The key is not to "believe" in gravity, but rather to doubt it so severely that we would want to "test" it. When we find that the theory resists falsification, we can gain confidence in it. That does not mean, of course, that Newton's laws of gravity are forever stamped as "the" truth, but only that as a working theory it has served us better than any other. Thus, I have no problems with calling for the "dismantling" of Eckankar or Radhasoami or David Lane. What is true in each of those systems should be able to survive such "dismantling" or "doubting" or "skepticism." I have no problem with Nathan's weekly reposts against me and my biases. I actually think it is helpful to all concerned. I think we are better served by our religions when we "doubt" them than when we ad hoc "believe" in them.... And, this, Mark, applies to each and every religion, including Eckankar. I think the truth will be able to survive such criticism..... MARK writes: If you are truly a mystical agnostic materialist (or any combination of those three) which I now perceive as an umbrella term for "I know little and am willing to commit to little", how can you make such assertions? DAVID LANE REPLIES: First things first. "Commit to little"? This is a bit silly, Mark, but if this means that I won't buy silly theological doctrines then I would heartily agree. If this means that I can still learn much more than what is contained in our "ism's" then I most certainly concur. Remember, one can be very committed and still use that three pounds of obstruction known as one's brain. Now on to your second point, please remember that "unknowingness" doesn't mean that one cannot make judgements or appraisements or discard answers that appears less than truthful. What this unknowingness refers to (lest you forget) is to any Absolute Position. I simply don't have that capacity and wouldn't want to relegate myself to the intellectual wasteland that it presupposes. Yes, I think Eckankar is full of shit lots of times, so does Harji by the way (he threw Darwin out of the fold), but I also think shabd yoga is full of shit lots of times as well. What you may not like is that I think Twitchell BSed his audience and should be held accountable for it, just as Harji thinks that Darwin Gross should be held accountable for his embezzlement of millions of dollars. And since Eckankar was STARTED by Twitchell and much of his duplicity, I call into serious question the Integrity of his movement and its teachings.... I find that he cannot live up to his own self-made criterion for a living ECK MASTER. In other words, if I take Twitch's scale and apply it to himself (forgetting for the moment my own underlying schema of things), I find that he fails miserably. I may be unknowing in the ultimate sense, but that doesn't mean that I can't recognize bullshit when I see it. Does this mean, Mark, that I think R.S. has the Truth and Eckankar does not? Nope. It simply means that I think bullshit should be called bullshit. MARK writes: By what standard to you determine the good and the bad, the constructive and the destructive? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, let's try this one on for size. If a God-man lies to me about his high school records, lies to me about his travels to India, lies to me about his entries in Ripley's Believe it or not, lies me to about his sources, then I think it is okay to be suspicious of his ultimate claims.... Moreover, I do think something is a bit funky when Darwin Gross can be excommunicated from Eckankar for "ethical" transgressions, but Twitchell's ethical lapses are excused. I guess taking money from the corporation is worst than lying to millions of people. MARK writes: Please don't refer me to a *text* or *author* as if they know **your* position. Speak from yourself. Clearly. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Okay, I think Paul Twitchell bullshitted at times and should be held accountable for it. Is that clear enough for you? DAVID LANE also writes: > One thing that may be different for me is this: > such an idea doesn't bother me; i find it quite reasonable, even if > it demotes humans to mere evolutionary accidents. MARK writes: So you admit that *this* model is closest to your mystical agnostic materialist (or any combination of those three) heart. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Did I say that, Mark? I simply said it doesn't bother me. Notice the difference? What is closest to my heart is the one I love, bro. What is closest to my brain is how little I know. And what is closest to my body is science..... See how easy it is? DAVID LANE also writes: > In any case, I am confident that whatever Reality is will win in the > end and that our versions of it will be less than what it Is or Is > not. > I can't imagine how human mentality could capture all of it in one > chew. MARK writes: Duh...This sounds like a platitude to avoid commitment. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Avoiding commitment? No, Mark, it is simply stating the obvious. I really don't see how human mentality could capture all of it. I am very committed to learning more, Mark. Aren't you? > > MARK ALEXANDER WRITES: > > I would really enjoy reading your explication of how you can hold such a > position. > > DAVID LANE REPLIES: > > Since this theory of randomness seems off to you (it is not my > position, as such, since I am too unknowing to absolutely know at > this stage), then I would suggest reading heavy doses of > > Richard Dawkins, Stephen Gould, and especially DARWIN'S DANGEROUS > IDEA BY Dennett.... Coupled with Ramana Maharshi and Edward > Whitten's > papers on superstring theory. > > Quite illuminating. MARK writes: And rationalizing... DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, Mark, that's how this loop started. You wanted to know how such theories could be reasonably held. Well, precisely because they are so rational. Try reading those books; they are illuminating. DAVID LANE also writes: > As for my position, I think we are like cows in a field mooing at > the moon about its light, not understanding that the sun is what is > causing all the commotion. MARK writes: Cryptic and rather repulsive in its obtuseness... DAVID LANE REPLIES: Cryptic and repulsive? No, Mark, just a simple analogy of how little we know as humans through the medium of our languages. Go read your Rumi again--that's where I got the idea, bro..... DAVID LANE writes: > > Plato's Cave seems like a nice metaphor here, whether we take a > materialist or a mystical position. > > ---------------- > > Prisoners in the dark, taking their etchings to be reality. > > ----------------------------- MARK WRITES: Then it *IS* all just a game to you. I originally wrote: > Lane pretty much believes human existence is a cosmic accident devoid of > meaning apart from what humans give it. How have you refuted that notion? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, Plato's Cave doesn't say that, Mark. It says quite the opposite. Truth is "greater" than our puny versions of it. Try reading his allegory. What's there to refute, Mark? Your misreadings? MARK writes: It seems to me that your entire response basically admits my statement. Is it possible that you could *commit* to it? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Commit to what? Learning more? Sure, but no need to make absolute theology out of cow mooings..... just as there is no need, I think, to make absolute theology out of cow dung..... MARK writes: Final note, with a glance to Debi: I think David Lane's love of Charan Singh is a fine example of unconditional love, because David gives it to Charan (still, several years after his death) even though David is skeptical of inner spiritual beings and worlds. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Oh, but Mark, I thought I was so non-commital? keep up the fun replies......
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