This is a crosspost from Eckankartruth.
Hello Jonathan and All,
The drumming circle or session
was an "unofficial" activity that
some of us were planning after
the evening seminar program.
Sometimes I would be with EK
musicians when they would
get together for jams as well.
Since there were no Shamans
conducting the drumming
circle we thought it would be
okay. After all, it wasn't to be
like a "worship service" nor
was it involving the Astral, or
Animism. And, any communication
with the "Great Spirit" would have
been seen as the ECK (Spirit).
'A rose is still a rose by any
other name.' It wasn't negative
it was positive, although, one
could argue that the "positive"
is still lower plane and tied into
karma or "tests" and are, therefore,
still a form of KAL. That's the
ECK think of it all... right!
Anyway, it just goes to show how
religions like to control their followers
via rules, laws, guidelines, guilt,
and fear. Eckankar has the RESA
Hierarchy (Police) to keep everyone
on their "track."
Here's a quote from the Shariyat 2,
Chapter 12, involving the Fourth
"The evolution of the intelligence
that is the Fourth Circle, the Mental
Plane, is the gradual rising out of
the psychic reality. This illusionary
world is typified in the Indian philosophy
by the word maya which means
illusion. In the Buddhist philosophy
it is known as mara, and in Christianity
as SATAN, or the DEVIL. It is known
in the works of ECK as KAL NIRANJAN,
king of the lower worlds."
And, in Klemps "Autobiography of a
Modern Prophet," on page 385, he states:
"In general, major religions locate
their heaven on the Mental Plane,
the so-called Fourth World. These
include Christianity, the Jewish religion,
Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism."
It's interesting that Twitchell designed
Eckankar around Fourth (Mental) Plane
religions/philosophies like Ruhani Satsang,
Theosophy, etc. and that Klemp has
given Eckankar his own Mental Plane
Christian (Lutheran) twist when both
PT and HK have stated that these Mental
Plane religions are controlled by KAL,
i.e. Satan or the Devil.
This question in the title of this thread
was actually put forward by Prometheus
in another thread, but I thought that I
would start a new thread:
"BTW- Did they ever have a Native-
American "drumming" session at
a major ECK seminar? A group of
us (once) got an empty room and
were supposed to have had one
because I was going to bring over
one of my Celtic drums. But, I seem
to remember that it got cancelled
because a higher-up at the ESC
got wind of it and thought it was
Me: No, I never saw Native American
"drumming" session at a major seminar.
Regarding your statement about why
your drumming session was canceled.
I tend to agree with your explanation
that a higher-up heard about it, and
probably because somebody complained
to them. You didn't ask, but since I find
this to be an interesting subject I spent
a lot of time thinking about why "Eckankar"
would consider a drumming session to
be inappropriate. I thought up two possible
1. I feel that drumming by a group of
people induces a trance-like state which
is something similar to the trance-like
state induced when people sing HU in
a group. I think that both are a type of
spiritual experience. So "Eckankar" could
perceive a drumming circle as something
which could compete for the attention
of Eckists (against the HU). What if a group
of Eckists decided that they liked drumming
together better than singing the HU together?
Eckankar couldn't allow that to happen.
2. A lot of people consider Native American
religions to be synonymous with witchcraft
or black magic. It was almost a year ago that
I mentioned the African-American lady (not
an Eckist) who told me that Native American
religions which believe that trees and animals
have spirits were, in fact, black magic. So
if the higher-up who canceled the drumming
session had conscious or unconscious
thinking along these lines, then they would
obviously think that " Native American group
drumming," was inappropriate at an Eck seminar.
3. Or perhaps it is as simple as "Native American
drumming is part of Native American religions;
therefore, we (Eckankar) shouldn't be incorporating
it into Eckankar." Of course, never mind the fact
that the HU was taken from the Sufis, and the
actual teachings of Eckankar came straight from
By the way, I know that there are Eckists who
do drumming on their own. Or they use feathers
or crystals for healing on their own. But as of
2008, my last year in Eckanakar, they were very
fanatical about keeping anything like this out
of Eckankar. Eckankar says they do this in order
to keep the teachings of Eckankar pure, and they
certainly have a right to do that. But getting back
to the drumming, maybe Eckankar considers
group drumming to be akin to somebody bringing
a healing crystal into a worship service and telling
everybody about it. Any higher-up hearing about
that crystal would go ballistic. Most religions change
over time, they incorporate new things as they
go along, but Eckankar seems to be very static.
Except, of course, for changing itself to appear
like Christianity. Or, adding a female or black
Eck master for political correctness. Basically,
they are watering down Eckankar so that it appears
less "weird" to potential converts.
So, summarizing, as far as Eckankar is concerned, is
"group drumming" just a harmless activity, or is it
(1) something that could cut into Eckankar's turf
(2) something representing the "Kal powers/witchcraft/
black magic" and therefore not in tune with Eckankar
(3) part of somebody else's religion already
I really don't know, but I hope I thought up some
interesting theories for people to consider.
So I guess the bottom line is that Eckankar has
the right to disallow drumming sessions, but
when I was a member I often wished they would
give us an explanation as to why they made certain
decisions. Too often, they either give a vague
answer or no answer. And then we Eckists would
sit around discuss all the possible reasons. In
the end all we ended up with was a bunch of
theories. But I am still interested in others thoughts
on this topic.