***Re: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: HK & Mark A.- Human happiness is not relevant!
- I think that the problem is that most if not all spiritual groups have a shadow, A dark side to them.Read on.LeanneTHis is the link and here is the cut and paste. WHat she has gone through is similar to what I was questioning before leaving eck. Show it to colleen russell. The shadow comes from carl jung. I bolded that part and a few other sentencesEnjoyLeanne
The Light and Dark of Spiritual Organizationsby Barbara Aplingtonbelieve nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
I’ve contemplated a paradoxical issue since my college days. Why was I always finding the dark side of teachers and organizations along my spiritual journey? After all, isn’t it all about finding “enlightenment?” Why did so many organizations delve into the shadows and collapse along the way?
My personal quest began after an hour-long train ride from Brooklyn into Manhattan to see the spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy. He sat silently on the stage of a large auditorium for a very long time. Then he walked off, without uttering a single word to anyone. That was weird. He just sat there with no apparent words or teachings to share.
It took a full two years before I would venture forth again, this time to Transcendental Meditation. On the coattails of my boss, a veterinarian near my college campus, I attended an introductory talk. It was rich with scientific facts and fully explained what distinguishes this brand of meditation from others. I was “initiated” and given a mantra, sacred syllables that I was to not only repeat for 20 minutes twice daily, but was to keep secret—forever! That was strange for me.
I also noticed that the long time “transcendental meditators” had a particular vibe about them which reminded me of The Stepford Wives, a book and two films which tell the symbolic story of women whose identities are stripped and replaced by robots. I was concerned that I might end up becoming like them if I stayed with this practice. So, I went onto the next thing, an offshoot of Primal Therapy. I punched and screamed and blamed until I felt better—but that seemed pretty dense. Now what?
It was 1975, and spirituality was all the rage, defining a new path to transformation. Stressing the value of integrity, I gained the insight that I was responsible for my own life. I began to understand that the current moment is all there is and how important it is to “get out of the past and stop obsessing about the future.” Be as present as you can—in the moment, here and now—because this is the only reality. Simple, yet profound, this idea has impacted me to this day. And I always return to this very basic truth.
But a paradoxical theme was occurring. None of the organizations offering the spiritual knowledge that I sought or the techniques to guide me there seemed to be good enough for me. If they weren’t weird, they were boring or aggressive. The list of bad qualities I found within imperfect organizations kept growing. There seemed to be dark spots in all those places that were supposed to be educating people about “the light.” Was I that difficult to please? Or was something more going on here?
Like the spokes of a wheel—meditation, yoga, martial arts, spirituality, psychology, human potential, metaphysics, whatever—the teachings and teachers of every genre seem to create a wheel that propels us further into ourselves and into the moment. However, in our studies and our practice we have to relate in some way, maybe even become part of the organizations that offer this “whatever.” But what happens when some of these organizations blow up or self-destruct? In recent years, many have done so quite famously.
One of my most memorable experiences of this was back in the 80s with the Alive Polarity group at Murrieta Hot Springs. We were all happy to sign the disclaimer when we checked in: “no sex outside of legal marriage, no alcohol consumption”—and no impure thoughts? Perhaps we were more permissive than the members of the reserved and devoted community in their prudish attire. Nonetheless, the vibe was serene and sweet, the vegetarian food was abundant, and the spa treatments were superior. We soaked our tainted bodies and cleansed our unchaste minds in the hot sulfur waters, thanking this community for holding a healing space for us all.
Many were stunned when the community dismantled. Its “charismatic and manipulative” leader was “accused of supervising the physical, emotional and mental torture of his followers.” Anonymous postings by former members at factnet.org (Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network) read like a dark romance novel: “members who were sincere in their intent to bring a bit of light to this challenging planet of ours…were devastated.”
And what about the famous red robed sannyasins, the devotees of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho)? Sheela Alex, a Vision Improvement Educator who was involved with this organization for eight years, explains how she was drawn to this group: “I was 23 years old; it was the late 70s. I went for my own redemption, for my own meditation.”
After Osho’s followers established the community of Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, the leadership became embroiled in a conflict with local residents. The Oregon commune eventually collapsed when Osho revealed that the leadership had committed a number of serious crimes, including a bio-terrorist attack on the citizens of the county seat in an attempt to gain control of the local government.
Osho’s teachings were “live, laugh, love, and celebrate.” To a large degree, Alex told me, the devotees were doing just that. “When the people in charge started getting secretive and serious, most of the 5,000 people living there noticed something weird going on, but we didn’t want to notice. It was like being a kid in a family of a bad marriage; we just wanted things to be smooth. We were in denial,” Alex reflects.
What was happening here? Whether they were “enlightened” gurus from India, or seemingly evolved people from the West, the organizations surrounding them all seemed to contain an unmistakable element of darkness.
My boss from college, Herb Tanzer brings another example to mind. With four kids in college and one ready to start, he gave up his life as he’d known it to become an est trainer candidate. He sold his veterinary practice, giving up a booming $300,000 annual income for a $19,500 job working for est. He described himself as “motivated, almost driven, to spread the light” and eventually led est trainings all over the world. Why would anyone do this?
“It looked like I had found the answer,” Tanzer explains. “It looked like I had found God. And other staff members may have felt similarly. We felt that we were doing God’s work. It was the best time in my life. Werner Erhard [the founder of est] was an extraordinary mentor, and I was working with a group of people committed to having the world work for everyone. The est training made a huge contribution to the world. Werner made a huge contribution to the world,” he emphasized.
But scandal followed Werner Erhard. He faced mounting accusations and ultimately left this country. The est training eventually evolved into the Landmark Forum, a seemingly gentler version of est, which continues working with people to this day.
I asked Tanzer what he thought had happened to Werner and the organization. He responded: “most spiritual groups start out doing God’s work. Then they start to grow, and in order to maintain their growth, they need to develop an organization. What may have happened at that point with est is that the shadow side of the organization began to manifest. The organization then focuses on its own survival, and the original purpose of the movement, ‘doing God’s work’ becomes subordinate to the organization’s survival. What often seems of paramount importance is power, money and control. And the spiritual aspects of the movement may then begin to implode.” Tanzer ultimately left the organization after more than a decade.
My contemplations have brought me to the concept of the shadow. Carl Jung talked about the shadow as that part of our personality that we hide and deny—not our better qualities that we boast about, but those parts of ourselves that we don’t want to own up to or look at. Did these organizations have shadows that obscured their light?
I wanted to understand these shadows, as well as my own. Why was it an issue for me? Why did a community dissolve due to its leaders’ indiscretions? How could a spiritual group be responsible for a bio-terrorist attack? Why did Werner leave the country?
I asked my close friend, Bob Petrello, an organizational consultant, for his thoughts. He pointed out that which I intuitively knew: “you find the kink in the armor of any organization that you get involved in. You abandoned Transcendental Meditation, a valuable technique, because you saw a bunch of dull people. And, how many teachers have you discredited because you identified their lack of integrity in some way?” He suggested that integrity might be a core value for me. Had I ever been dishonest in any way? I wondered what he meant by “core value.”
Petrello answered that a core value is a belief that we hold very dear to us. We identify ourselves and our organizations very strongly through our core values. And we don’t want to see when we manifest its opposite—our shadow. In this instance, the shadow was dishonesty or self-righteousness. It’s hard to embrace the opposite of what we value, because it’s difficult to accept that we’re not perfect. Not perfect? If I could fully forgive myself for my own indiscretions, might I be less judgmental of these organizations and teachers? Would I accept what they had to offer and not focus on their imperfections?
The process begins with being aware of our own core values, and then having the awareness that the opposite exists. If we can come to peace with the opposite of our core values that exists within, if we accept our shadow, then we’ll project less of it onto others. Finding the gifts in our shadow is where the real power is because it brings the paradox together.
“It’s amped up for people in leadership positions,” Petrello reflects. “The same dynamics are at play, but now you are influencing more people. So it calls for leaders to really become aware of what they’re projecting and what they’re defending against, because people’s lives may be at stake. A good leader needs to model balance. It’s about self-awareness and having a profound understanding of how we’re wired.”
Along our spiritual path, Petrello advises that “we need to use discrimination; and not give our power away too quickly. It’s a razor’s edge, because when you’re working with a teacher, or someone that looks like they have more insight—you’re the novice. When you look at the zeitgeist of what’s happening in spirituality now, it’s about, ‘the teacher within.’ The guru is becoming less and less popular—it’s more about finding the answers inside.”
Petrello continues: “I seek out teachers, but I’m aware that my relationship with them now is not a groveling one, as it may have been in my younger years. I’m now there with an open heart. I listen to what comes in and I feel it. If it doesn’t feel right then I move on. If it feels good, then I hang out and grow with it. But, ultimately I’m aware that it’s all about my own process and finding the wisdom within myself.”
As we travel on our spiritual path, we inevitably discover our shadows. We have a choice to shun them or embrace them as our own to discover the gifts that they hold. If we ignore the darkness within, it finds a way to seep or even burst into our lives. Such is the case with collapsed spiritual organizations. Sheela Alex points out that perhaps it’s natural for organizations to implode when there is too much corruption. “Stars explode and spread their parts all over the universe, allowing for the birth of something new.”
--- On Sat, 11/22/08, prometheus_973 <prometheus_973@...> wrote:
From: prometheus_973 <prometheus_973@...>
Subject: [EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous] Re: HK & Mark A.- Human happiness is not relevant!
Date: Saturday, November 22, 2008, 9:56 AMHello All,
I've got a few more comments about
HUman happiness and the 10% or less
rule given by Klemp and parroted by
Mark Alexander. I wonder when Klemp
made that statement?
Anyway, I was out and about with some
friends yesterday looking for tea pots,
and buying teas, and saw a book called
SOul HAPPY. The book was interesting
because of what it said about Soul/human
happiness. Even those people whom don't
see themselves as Soul can be happy more
than 10% of the time. Life can be, and is,
a wonderful experience with friendships
and love! However, those who see themselves,
both, as human and as Soul should be twice
as happy, but instead the opposite is true
for them. It seems they are disappointed
and depressed with their love relationships.
I'm thinking that good old Mark is depressed
and Unhappy over 90% of the time because
it's a long way off before he gets that 7th (and
probably never the 8th) and because he attended
Larry Segal's EK wedding ceremony at the Temple
during the 2008 EWWS. Mark, like most ECKists,
is still looking for love within the ranks of
ECKankar and the pickings are slim, especially,
for Mark and his EK buddies!
For Klemp to say that "We're lucky if we're happy
10% of the time" is a negative approach to life and
excuses ECKists from participating with a zest for
life and for having a sense of wonder. It reminds
me of a story that I once heard about Bob Lawton,
his wife and another EK couple. They were in Vegas
for an EK Seminar and decided to drive to the Grand
Canyon. They didn't realize it was that long of a
drive so when they got there it was late day. They
got out of the car and looked around for about half
a minute and said "okay we've seen it" and then got
back into the car and drove back to Vegas. Now,
I'm not one to ooh and ah, but I think that a nice
relaxing contemplation or group HU or just soaking
in the view with a sense of wonder and connection
to All That Is would have been a happy and content
moment and a unique experience. But, way too often,
ECKists just disregard and block out those feelings,
and impressions that help us to grow in consciousness.
Would an artist do what these ECKists had done? No,
because artists see an inner beauty in nature where
the physical is transcended into an expression of the
Divine. In ECKankar, Higher Initiations usually equate
to Greater Delusions and greater unhappiness with
this lifetime. Those who seek Self and God Realization
via the EK religious dogma (initiation) will never find
it... Klemp has it locked up!
I agree, both HK & Mark A. are full of it!
ECKankar once claimed that Soul is a happy
entity and can even have opinions. Plus,
happiness and contentment are the by-products
of a higher consciousness.
It seems strange that good ole boy Mark
who leads a very good life (well fed too!),
and is a Local Director in the California
Satsang Society and an ESA and 6th initiate
has given up his "attachment to human
I think that I've figured it out! Mark wants
that 7th Initiation, but will only get one
IF and When he is offered the RESA position!
Maybe Mark wouldn't be "happy" being the
RESA because that's a three year commitment
and a lot of time consuming responsibility
(when the job is done correctly 10% of the time).
Therefore, Not getting that next initiation
makes many ECKists half crazy and very
unhappy over 90% of the time.
Mark said, "I think Harold once said 'we're
lucky if we're happy 10% of the time.'"
Let's take a second look at Klemp's words
and what he's really saying. "WE're" means
HK is referring to ECKists as well. "Lucky"
means that being 10% happy is a lot! And,
this, also, means that ECKists are usually
90% (or more) UNHAPPY.
What kind of a religion is this? And let's
face it... Mark A. is a spokesperson for
ECKankar. The biggest question to ask
is why is Klemp promoting unhappiness
and why are ECKists swallowing it.
If Klemp would promote mass suicide
and a one way flight to the Anami Lok
in order to leave this ashcan and unhappy
human condition behind how many ECKists
would buy into this? Would Mark? It seems
that he and other ECKists might, especially,
since he seems depressed and unhappy and
is quoting Klemp's (Jim Jones like) nonsense!
Someone from an eck chat site sent me this message that
greatly disturbed him concerning human happiness or the
lack there of. The post below was written by a very high up
h.i. in eckankar. It is really disturbing what eckists are willing
to give up, isn't it!! A whole life time spent with the gloomy
prediction by their master who said or implied that chelas
are lucky if they're happy 10% of the time. Sounds like a
lifetime of depression to me--is this what HK is suggesting?
Is HK really this gloomy and depressed? Is this what he
teaches his chelas so that they willingly continue to give up
their time, their life and money to this con man??? Here's the
************ ********* ********* ********* ********* *
"...once I gave up my attachment to
The Joy of Soul is better.
You can have human happiness and not grow
spiritually. It seems to me that when you sign
up for the ECK, for Self-Realization and God-
Realization, you are NOT signing up to be humanly
It's nice when it happens. I think Harold once
said we're lucky if we're happy 10% of the time.
How many lifetimes have we had "human"
happiness? The right luxuries, the right love,
the right family, the right artistic fullfillment. ..
And still we craved more. We craved God.
They say the road to God is littered with the
corpses of those still attached to the things
of the lower worlds.
I've been a corpse seeking human happiness
too many times. Seems to me that an ECK Master
is all about service, not self-fulfillment, although
the result is an even higher fulfillment.
I guess that's what's meant by, You gain all by
************ ********* ********* ********* ******
What a load of crap!