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Raja Begum
Unregistered User
(10/17/01 3:04 am)
How the SRF experience holds our thinking hostage
I'm itching to get to the central nervous system of the problem. I don't think we'll go far if we content ourselves with nebulous criticisms and flatulant bursts of name calling ("bad ladies"). If we can move our dialogue past collective tantrumming towards more objective analysis, we might discover a valuable set of principles which could help us for life. Realistananda --- who is much more of a moderate than I am -- had the idea when he brought to our attention that all organizations are intrinsically flawed. My first posting was entitled "Sleepers Awake." It urged us to take responsiblity for the enslavement of our intellects. Life demands discretion on all levels. Hence, what we learn here, we can apply everywhere.

Personally, I think the SRF experience --- that is, the way one undergoes it --- is constructed of fascistic elements. I mean this interpretively. Please put all thoughts of Naziism out of your mind. We are discussing a universal psycho- physiological effect in which the mind and imagination of an individual are held hostage through the continuous use of spectacle and regimentation, while at the same time the ability to critique and make discriminative judgments about the system is discouraged.

I present the term "fascism" as it appears in two distinctly different mediums. The first is from a political glossary; the second is an aesthetic interpretation from a film critic:

"FASCISM: a very strong form of statism*, a corporatist economy, modernization, regimentation, and strong central leadership. Citizens' purpose is to serve the state. Often includes appeals to a "glorious" past or pseudo-religious ideal, thus combining several facets of liberalism, conservatism and socialism into an organic vision of society."

(* Statist: Favoring a strong central government, especially with regard to finding solutions for societal problems. Can apply to both right and left. )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------"Fascist aesthetics ...flow from (and justify) a preoccupation with situations of control, submissive behavior, and extravagant effort; they exalt two seemingly opposite states: egomania and servitude. the relations of domination and enslavement take the form of a characterstic pageantry: the massing of groups of people, the turning of people into things, the multiplication of things and grouping of people / things around an all powerful, hypnotic leader, figure or force. The fascist dramaturgy centers on the orgiastic transaction between mighty forces and their puppets. Its choreography alternates between ceaselesss motion and a congealed, static, "virile" posing. Fascist art glorifies surrender, it exalts mindlessness, it glorifies death.

We are familiar with the first definition but probably not with the second. You would be surprised to know that Steven Speilberg's films are considered fascistic by serious film critics, not because of "Schindler's List" nor because Speilberg is a Jew, but mostly because his style of filmmaking barrages the viewer continuously with fantastical images and narrative to a point wherein the viewer relinquishes the power of critical analysis and, unable to evaluate what is happening to him in the moment, is plunged into the narrative spectacle until the movie is over. If you analyze most of Speilberg's early films, precious little is happening in terms of theme. But he has always been a master at getting you to forget your opinions and suscribe to his reality while you are in his domain: the theater. This is fascism on an aesthetic level.

I want to make the boldest assertion I've ever made that the SRF experience is fundamentally fascistic because, much like a good Speilberg movie, it keeps directing us precisely where it wants us to go at all times. The pieces by themselves don't amount to anything convincing, but if you take the SRF experience as a whole you can't help marveling how all the parts keep moving us around the same corral path. An extensive analysis would be too exhausting for me to do right now. However, if this idea appeals to enough people, I'd be very willing to attempt an in-depth analysis. Consider the following impressions....all of them revolving around the concept of either our eyes, body, or mind being guided or directed from something outside ourselves.

You enter a parking lot and are greeted by an usher. No problem. Actually very helpful. Then you get out of your car and find your way in. The ushers are helpful and show you to your seat. The first experiment you must do is to sit anywhere but where the usher points. He is ready to greet you with his regulation open-palmed gesture and super smile, but if you spurn his help, his smile will quickly dissolve to a frown of disapproval. You pronam to the altar the way everyone else does. I used to pronam at movie screens. Standing before any proscenium arch, my body would do it reflexively. When faced to the altar, try bowing your head next time and see if you get any looks. You sit. It is a normal church going day. Same as in any church. The minister comes out and you stand again. You say the same prayer that you always say each Sunday: "Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Friend Beloved God......Om Peace Amen." Then you sit and are guided into a meditation by way of a chant. Then the announcements. Then the so-called "inspirational talk" follows, which is only inspirational if you happen to be visiting SRF for the first time. The ministers all seem to come from the midwest even when they aren't. They have a certain cadence and vocal tone which is signature SRF. After a while, you find yourself talking like that too. Pausing as they do. Making measured hand gestures as they do. All SRF speakers sound like wood flutes. You've been guided through the routine a thousand times (routine is a big word in SRF); you know exactly when the donation is going to be collected even before the moment arrives. You've got your dollar bill in your hand and , before you know it, you're singing "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" or one of the Cosmic Chants. The doors swing open, and you fall into rank past the perrennially pronamming minister who blesses you down the spiritual conveyer belt. You land amidst your friends who always have the same idea and the same restaurants in their heads year after year. What a life!

You never think once how that whole hour was scripted like a ride in a theme park. You never wonder why your conversations always center around the urban legends of Mother Center, the monastics, or something you read about in the Autobiography of a Yogi. It's to be expected when you're fresh on the path. But 20 plus years down the road, there's a world out there needing your help and you're still smiling that vacuous smile of a spiritual happy face. No wonder Karl Marx called religion the opium of the masses.

You go home. The color scheme of your apartment is gold, blue and white. Very original indeed! Master's pictures are everywhere, even in the bathroom, though its grevious why you'd want to subject Master to watching you take a dump. You put on some music, the only kind you have: some East Indian ragas or "The Divine Gypsy." Your furniture is mostly wood and brass objects you bought from an Encinitas import shop. You bought a harmonium. You're living plainly. You do alright but you don't make a ton of money because you either work for SRF or live in the world as if you work for SRF. If an anthropologist were ever to visit your dwelling, he or she could never guess what dreams lay buried in your heart. Long ago, you whitewashed them...and added touches of gold and blue.

Monastic life is a tenser, wound-up and boxed-up version of the above.

Television. That's a fascistic medium. Deemed so because it renders the mind passive. Why do I always feel as if I'm in the passenger seat with SRF? I'm always in the audience, the important things are happening in front of me, to me, at me. Why can't we all sit in circles or huddles, like the knights a King Arthur's Court? Or the Los Angeles Lakers before the playoffs? Or juit place a lay-disciple on the stage once-in-awhile and have him or her address the monastics --- just to confound expectations and invert the programming. (yeah right!)

Consider the spectacle of an SRF Convocation. Notice the large groups, the lines, the ushers, and finally the appearance of a minister on that lonely podium next to Master's picture. Especially the closing banquet where a long table is set on a stage, high above the crowd, and ministers are seated to the left and right of Master's picture in a formation reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper." I'm not saying its all bad. In fact, its, if nothing else, a quite pleasant distraction. But when does the mind have a chance to be on its own? SRF loves schedules, procedures, guidlines and techniques. If chickens are bred for the meatcutter, I sometimes feel I'm being groomed for obsequiousness.

Guidelines are never more insidious than at Meditation Centers and by virtue of those infamous recipes called Service Readings. SRF must be ruled under the sign of niggling Virgo. Activities are scheduled and quantized down to the minute, jobs are micromanaged, decisions must be approved from above. The lecures, tapes, and videos let you know who you're gonna love. And it ain't necessarily God, apparently. For example, a number of people on this board have commented on Mrinalin's new video. As you watch her emote, as elements of her family background and early days at Mt. Washington surface, as she talks fervently about Master, as her voice quavers and the tears sprout out of her eyes, watch how you subtly begin to assent to her way of thinking. The SRF communiques rob us of the space in our minds for judicious review of what's being presented to us. I'm not saying there is evil intent in the SRF leaders, but I am saying that, no matter what their reasons are -- even if they are good -- No! especially if they are good --- such thoughtless assent to authority is exactly the kind of surrender every great thinker in the world cautions us to avoid. God is what is left when the residue of other business has been wiped away.

What I've presented thus far is one member's recollection of the outside shell of the SRF experience. Just a few whimsical impressions. As we probe deep down into the inner circle and back rooms of the SRF leadership, we are bound to find more strikingly overt examples of fascsistic control which are not as innocent and easy to dismiss as the examples I gave above. In no way does this mean SRF is run by a bunch of Rasputins. But it could suggest that, motivated by fear, these Matas may be unwittingly permitting a form of soft fascism to underscore the SRF experience. This would make sense, since authoritative hierarchies tend to be the least complex and most expedient ways of managing people. But anyone can stand on a hilltop and be a dictator or an oligarch. A leader who empowers others is something else entirely. That demands a certain optimistic belief in one's fellow man; it requires trust and an amazing amount of benevolence.

I'd now like to ask my ex-monastic friends to consider if any of the following elements exist in the SRF organization:

CORPORATIST -- A strong leaning towards property, capital investments, and a reliance on the legal system and government protections. Read my"Two Clashing Models...and a third"

MODERNIZATION -- Continuous building. expanding, touring, promoting, and using technology to further its goals. Wanting to keep up with the Joneses. A refusal to appear behind the times (at least materially and technologically).

REGIMENTATION -- Micromanagement. A policy for everything. Making Sparta look like a Club Med Resort, monasticism, dictating a way of life and a routine.

STRONG CENTRAL LEADERSHIP -- the secretive Board of Directors, SRF President

CITIZEN'S PURPOSE IS TO SERVE THE STATE -- the utilization of a lot of able and willing bodies who will work for low pay or no pay and are expected to have the right attitude about service -- basically unquestioning loyalty and devotion to Mother Center.

APPEALS TO A "GLORIOUS PAST" --- Senior monastics still living in the heydays of the 1940's and '50's. "You can only imagine what is was like" underscores everything they say. Keeping things quaint and provincial, the way they were in Master's time..."Those were the days."
A high hope that those standards will return and the young monks and members will get a dose of reality the way it was when Master was around...etc.

PSEUDO-RELIGIOUS IDEAL --- Mostly with regard to the way the Matas would have us reverence them. Mystification of people in leadership roles.

COMBINING SEVERAL FACETS INTO AN ORGANIC VISION OF SOCIETY -- I wrote somewhere else: "In truth, SRF is a disorienting hodgepodge of models sorely in need of integration."

GLORIFIES SURRENDER -- to the way of life, to the Matas, to your supervisor, to ushers, to the "right attitude" (whatever that is!).

EXALTS MINDLESSNESS -- critical discussion or inquiry not allowed, "just live the life" which means follow the routine and don't analyze with the mind.

GLORIFIES DEATH -- "kill" the ego. I once heard a monastic tell me that the only way he wouuld leave the monastery would be "in a pine wood box." I asked him where he got such a romantic notion, and he said Brother Premamoy. The feudal Samurais also had a code of death before dishonor. Personally, I think its all a bunch of prepubescent hogwash...but to each their own.

Does anybody here on this board get what I'm trying to say?

Thanks for reading
Appreciate your comments

Unregistered User
(10/17/01 6:23 am)
SRF Experience
I must admit, Raja, You hit the nail directly on the head.
All the elements, which you posted, are an exact description of the SRF experience (especially the monastic life).

Unregistered User
(10/17/01 6:33 am)
I get what you are trying to say. Other than MODERNIZATION I can think of examples of all the items you list. They would probably tend toward modernization but their fear and micromanaging keeps them from building, expanding, touring, etc… They certainly don’t use technology. Some of the senior nuns are even afraid to use computers, or if they do they are afraid to connect them to everyone else’s on the computer network.

They only expand when the absolutely have to. I don’t think they are conducting any more tours than they did 20 years ago. The membership growth has been flat for years and years and the attendance at my temple is no more than it was 15 years ago.

I will post some examples of these behaviors when I have some time.

Excellent message. I think it will help to explore these ideas.

Raja Begum
Unregistered User
(10/17/01 11:29 am)
to Spi
That's interesting. From the vantage point of being a lay-disciple, it always seemed SRF was trying to show off their technical prowess. Recall, for example, how, when the cassette "Beholding the One in All" was being sold, the lay-disciples were told proudly that the monastics "invented" a new technology for cleaning up the distortion embedded in wire recordings and that a Japanese company was interested in approaching them for the rights. (something like that). Building projects were shown off with a great flourish in announcements and Voluntary Leauge newsletters.

What I'm garnering from you is that these "innovative" and "modernizing" moments were few and far between on a monastic timeline, but, to the lay-disciple, SRF seemed to be a pageant of impressive acts. Pretty cool illusion, huh?

Unregistered User
(10/17/01 11:31 am)
Fascism and SRF
This thread has it exactly right, and there are several profound insights here. Some have objected that the association of SRF with fascism is hitting below the belt. In one sense, certainly, it is inappropriate: nothing SRF has ever done or ever will do approaches the Holocaust. To suggest otherwise would be to trivialize the murder of millions of innocent people. However--however--on another level, the connection is not only valid but very real. It's a disturbing dimension of the SRF teachings that is incongruent with the political philosophy of this country, but which dovetails with elements of Eastern philosophy in general.

We all know that Master extolled freedom and democracy--and he certainly benefitted from them-- but his belief in the system had its limits. He felt that money ran the political process and that the public was easily duped. Many, maybe most, would agree with him on that point. He believed that democracy was only a phase in the evolution towards the ideal form of government: theocratic rule by a select group of spiritually enlightened individuals. Setting aside for now the issue of the validity of that ideal, let's see how it plays out at MC.

I remember Daya Mata saying in one article that, ideally, people should have to get a permit before having children, that they should have to demonstrate that they have the financial and emotional wherewithal to handle the job. Who would determine one's worthiness, she didn't say. Perhaps that same group of illumined sages that was running everything else. This is a fairly chilling thought, really, if you consider that reproduction is a highly personal matter and a basic freedom. Would you want to have to apply to Brother Satyananda to get permission to have children? Of course, we all know that the Nazis had an active eugenics program and practiced artificial selection on whole populations. Himmler, the former chicken rancher, had a field day putting the SS to work on this job. Satyananda is not Himmler by a long shot, but the underlying principle is the same: people cannot be trusted to make fundamental decisions about their lives. The individual counts for nothing, the state (or organization), for everything. Deutschland über Alles.

I recall as well a sermon given by then Brahmachari Craig at the San Diego Temple many years ago. He declared, rather laconically, that in the ashram, the monastics have no rights, only responsibilities. Sounds like a fascist dictatorship to me, and one completely at odds with the very political environment that permitted Master to found and promote his work (remember freedom of religion and separation of church and state?). And of course this was total BS. Every monastic is protected by the laws of California, the US, and the Constitution. Around this same time, another Brahmachari gave a talk at Encinitas and referred to the monks as "Master's elite corps." I held my tongue, but maybe I should have said what I was thinking and feeling: "You sniveling, self-important little poodle. You're one of the ones derailing this whole work and driving a huge wedge between the monastic order and the drones and worker bees on the outside who pay a mortgage every month and set aside a little money to send to SRF to subsidize your saying incredibly stupid things under the guise of being some sort of spiritual savant. Master's elite corps are those who love God and give that love to all in their daily life--in or out of the ashram." Even as he made the remark, I could almost see the SS insignia emblazoned on his yellow tunic and hear his jackboots slamming down on the pavement. Elite corps, phooey!

I should point out something even more troubling. If you have access to the February 1934 issue of East-West Magazine, you will find therein a piece entitled "An Interview with Swami Yogananda." In this interview, Master states his belief that democracy is only a waystation on the road to a kind of spiritual socialism, in which there will be complete harmony and universal accord (no dissension or disagreements). He cites Mussolini as a "great mind" that God sent into the world to serve as a model (this was only a year before the great mind ruthlessly invaded Abyssinia). He implies that in their present state of evolution, the Italians are not capable of governing themselves. They need the enlightened leadership of a dictator like Mussolini! Oddly enough, he goes on to encourage readers to support Roosevelt's National Recovery Act, referring to the American president as a "dictator" as well (of the benign variety). (If you know US history, you recall that FDR tried to reconstitute the Supreme Court and pack it with his appointees so that it would stop blocking this Act, which the Court had declared unconstitutional.)

Master's and SRF's ambivalence towards democracy is predicated on the fundamental assumption that almost all of us are mired in delusion and unable to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad. We cannot be trusted with decisions and matters of state. Only the enlighted few may rule. Nothing would benefit SRF more than to democratize the administration of the organization, seeking input and advice from monastics and laypeople alike--and giving them actual decision-making power. But this would require the humble acknowledgement that the BOD is far from enlightened and is making a hash of the whole enterprise. That will not be forthcoming.

This predicament has still deeper roots, in Oriental philosophy itself. I quote here from comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell's revelatory essay "The Separation of East and West," found in his wonderful book Myths to Live By (first published by Viking in 1972). In this essay he compares the European preoccupation with individualism and self-actualization (in Erich Fromm's terminology) with the Eastern conception of the individual's true nature and role in the cosmic drama: "It is not easy for Westerners to realize that the ideas recently developed in the West of the individual, his selfhood, his rights, and his freedom, have no meaning whatsoever in the Orient. They had no meaning for primitive man. They would have meant nothing to the peoples of the early Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese, or Indian civilizations. They are, in fact, repugnant to the ideals, the aims and orders of life, of most of the peoples of this earth. . . . In the old Sanskrit law books, The Laws of Manu, The Institutes of Vishnu, etc., detailed descriptions are given of the types of study proper to each caste, the kinds of food to eat, the kind of person to marry, when to pray, to bathe, in what direction to face when sneezing or when yawning, how to rinse the mouth after meals, and so on, ad infinitum." After discussing various aspects of Eastern philosophy and ritual, he asks: "And now, just where, I should like to ask, is the individual in such a context? There is, in fact, in such a world, no such thing as an indivudual life, but only one great cosmic law by which all things are governed in their places. There is no indivudial choosing, willing, even thinking; no occasion to pause to ask oneself, "What is it I would now most like to do? What is it I would like to be?"

What one confronts in SRF, a self-described blend of Eastern and Western religion and culture, is a very difficult balancing act between these two sharply differentiated visions of individual destiny. We have all been raised in the West, and SRF presents an appealing and attractive facade devoid of the dehumanizing elements of Oriental theology. Remember the SRF axiom "no rules without reason"? How does that fit with Mrinalini's recollection of Master telling her to "follow me blindly." At the core of the SRF teachings is a bewildering and dizzying set of contradictions that arises out of the marriage of two radically different worldviews. The behavior of the BOD appears schizophrenic because they are, because the teachings are.

Those who have said that all organizations, scriptures, and leaders are flawed are absolutely right. And those who have said there is a divine reason for this are also right. We are meant to find the resolution of all such contradictions within ourselves and in the light of our own inner realization. If it could be handed to us on a silver platter by a perfect organization led by infallible beings, it wouldn't be on planet Earth, that's for sure. And we have only ourselves to blame if we ever believed otherwise: "Those who are too good for this world are adorning some other," said Sri Yukteswar.

Personally, I agree with Winston Churchill: "Democracy is the most imperfect form of government ever devised by man, except for every other system that has been tried." Someone should write this on a piece of paper, put it in a bottle, and float it across the ocean of denial to SRFland, where it may resonate and do some good. But I freely admit my pessimism.

Unregistered User
(10/18/01 8:44 am)
Absolutley right on
This is it. This is the core issue. Let me restate it in my own words. And the beauty is that one can use all the information SRF itself publishes to establish this truth.

Master brought a new teaching. He did not bring Hinduism. He did not bring "traditional" Yoga. He did not even bring meditation. He brought a "new dispensation," at the demand of Babaji. (Remember, Master didn't want to come. Even his guru telling him to go wasn't enough. So much for blind obedience.)

And what is this new dispensation? Again, according even to official doctrine, it began with Sri Yukteswar's "smoldering reflections on social reform." Sri Yukteswar wanted to give the people of the West, "greater by far in intelligence than most people congregated [at the Kumbha Mela]," access to the science of Yoga. Babaji agreed: "East and West must establish a golden middle path of activity and spirituality combined."

Now what is this middle path? I submit that it is a new synthesis, something that has not existed before. It is emphatically *not* simply moving from Western thought to Eastern thought. But that is what SRF has become. What you are seeing is the gradual rejection of all the "western" values and learning that are supposed to be an equal part of the new dispensation.

Musicman points out the very different paths the East and West cultures have taken. (Read Campbell, but more importantly, read Jung, and Robert Johnson. Please.) The "line of gurus", I believe, intends to truly synthesize these two threads of humanity into a new culture, the real culture of the higher ages. But the SRF leadership is, frankly, too stupid to understand this. They think that because they keep things neat and clean, and use electricity and plumbing, and even computers(!), they are combining East and West. No.

So the answer to many of your questions is: No, SRF is not supposed to be like this. Yes, it is off track. But virtually everything discussed so far is just a symptom of the core, core issue. Master's mission was to bring Kriya Yoga to the West, and to show the underlying unity of all original Christianity and original Yoga--*not* original Hinduism. It is not his mission to turn the West into the East, nor is it to simply raise the sanitation level of the Indian villages. It is to truly unite East and West.

My personal opinion is that the world is not ready for this yet. Master came to plant seeds, but they have not even begun to sprought yet. Everything we are seeing and experiencing, regarding SRF, is wholly meaningless and irrelevant. In historical terms, it will disappear. Think, for example, of the early Christian church. It took hundreds of years for it to develop. Not that it was very good, but it had its place in the grand sweep of history, and that place took a long time to evolve. The real Christianity was always held by people outside the structure, and it is their tradition that has actually molded Western civilization. (That would be another long thread, but the writings of the Desert Fathers had far more influence on European thought than the church did.)

So, for me, to bottom line is that the SRF organization is a meaningless artifact. Go to the temple, or don't go. Give it money, or don't give it. These are personal decisions. Base them on what your personal life is. But don't imagine for a moment that it has anything to do with eternal Truth, or your soul's relationship with God.

Raja Begum
Unregistered User
(10/18/01 3:54 pm)
Jung: On the Union of Opposites
There is no consciousness without discrimination of opposites.["Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype," CW 9i, par. 178.]

The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.[Christ, A Symbol of the Self," CW 9ii, par. 126.]

Out of [the] collision of opposites the unconscious psyche always creates a third thing of an irrational nature, which the conscious mind neither expects nor understands. It presents itself in a form that is neither a straight "yes" nor a straight "no."[The Psychology of the Child Archetype," CW 9i, par. 285.The Psychology of the Child Archetype," CW 9i, par. 285.]

The repressed content must be made conscious so as to produce a tension of opposites, without which no forward movement is possible. The conscious mind is on top, the shadow underneath, and just as high always longs for low and hot for cold, so all consciousness, perhaps without being aware of it, seeks its unconscious opposite, lacking which it is doomed to stagnation, congestion, and ossification. Life is born only of the spark of opposites.[The Problem of the Attitude-Type," CW 7, par. 78.]

Unregistered User
(10/18/01 7:52 pm)
MODERNIZATION: Technical prowess
To Raja,
No. Any amazing technology is an illusion. I believe that a few thinks being done on the monk’s side in the audio department might be cutting edge, but overall the place is hopelessly lacking in anything technical or productivity enhancing. Most of the reason they are so backward is due to the old problems of control and fear.

For example, Daya’s personal membership department keeps records on all kinds of members. Who donates, problem people, cards for those who have written to Daya, who is a celebrity, and so forth all on 3x5 cards. They don’t want people to know they keep this information so they try to even keep it off computers. I think they are afraid that if people find out about the files someone will post information about the files on the Internet. ;)

I had a funny conversation with Uma one time about the use of the pagers. Many many people up there, including all the board and management, carry cheap little pagers. I had mentioned that when one goes off people need not jump right up to answer it. She was surprised. She and many others are absolutely slaves to their pagers and their entire days are panic driven responding to the little things for trivial issues.

There was tremendous fear of the Internet. They didn’t even have in-house email until about 3 ½ years ago. And didn’t have Internet email until about 18 months ago. They still don’t accept outside email except in very limited cases. They are afraid people will start to write in with questions. You all can figure out why that might be. But they do all have Internet email accounts so you can write them if you like.

jill@Yogananda-srf.org Bni syntax
terry@Yogananda-srf.org Br. syntax
You get the idea.

Unregistered User
(11/8/01 7:15 am)
Do they accept email at those accounts? They are available from the outside?

Someone should send them a link to this board! Some of the junior monks and nuns may want to join in. Some will disagree with most of us, but the discussion will be healthy.

That is what the bad ladies don't understand. Disagreement and discussion is healthy.

Been there
Unregistered User
(11/8/01 8:31 am)
Monastics and outside e-mail
Those who are allowed internet access can certainly receive outside e-mail But they are severely discouraged from reading they call "inappropriate" material such as this. And their internet usage is monitored. Anyone who logs on here would be taking the risk of making his or her life very uncomfortable.

In Recovery
Unregistered User
(11/8/01 8:30 pm)
E-mail for Monastics
Almost all the monastics have network accounts and can receive e-mail from outside, but one has to request special permission for Internet access. Only those whose duties require it can get such access. Even if a link to the Walrus were e-mailed to certain monastics, they might not be able to access it if they don't already have Internet access.

Presently, those monastics who were observing the Walrus are no longer doing so since learning how closely the Internet usage is monitored.

Unregistered User
(11/8/01 9:07 pm)
You think someone here planted the idea that SRF monitors their Internet usage to scare some of them away from using the Walrus? I wonder if SRF can really monitor it?

Even the throught that they might is sure telling!

Unregistered User
(11/8/01 10:44 pm)
Monastics and the internet
No, KS, this info was not a "plant." Systems Department monitors internet usage as a matter of policy. At one time, monastics were asked to submit a regular report of internet usage but it is my understanding that Systems now takes care of it directly. This is not a covert procedure like the telephone monitoring which has allegedly been done by telecommunications.

Registered User
(2/23/03 12:19 am)
In Recovery says earlier in this thread...
Guests and All,

Earlier in this thread, In Recovery says:

Presently, those monastics who were observing the Walrus are no longer doing so since learning how closely the Internet usage is monitored.

Is it way off track to think that whoever might know which monastics have an interest.....to think that they could be offered cd's containing some of these threads, some recent posts, etc?


Registered User
(2/25/03 10:58 am)
Hm, politics in the Fellowship. I wonder how people knowledgable in politics would describe the Master-Chela relationship. Dictatorship? Or guidance from a Christ? Tough matters indeed... but not.

Registered User
(3/14/03 12:14 pm)
Re: not always easy to put puzzles together
Good question, soulcircle. I think Raja Begum's post is brilliant - up to a point. The main theme of his post seems to center around servitude - giving up one's discernment and discrimination, relinquishing the power of critical analysis, and being guided by something outside ourselves that renders us passive. This critical assessment of the fascist model is valid when it refers to the mechanism of making the individual serve the state. But the spiritual path is different, IMO.

The Guru disciple relationship is there so the disciple can transcend the bounds of egotism by being guided by something outside himself, namely the Guru. But this is done for the desciples own highest good, not to further any external entity, organization, or government. The problem we in SRF face is that the organization assumes external authority and substance, rather than the individual's inner relationship with the divine. In doing so, SRF has evolved into a fascist style organization. Raja Begum himself gives the answer to this problem by saying that we must take responsibility for the enslavement of our intellects.

There is a saying in India that in selecting a Guru or spiritual path, one should search diligently, investigate carefully, then follow faithfully. The concept of loyalty is often misunderstood and overextended within SRF. As Sri Yukteswar points out, following the Guru means to affectionately listen to his instructions and keep him within our hearts. That's it - nothing else. Whatever tries to take us away from that, including the actions of the organization itself, should be shunned. By using our discrimination, we can cling to God and Guru and go within in our quest for happiness and peace. That is the only place it is to be found.

Edited by: Borg108 at: 3/14/03 12:35:20 pm
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