Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Moderators: Elvis, DrVolin, Jeff

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby Pierre d'Achoppement » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:52 pm

Why David Lynch Should Learn German
By Andrew Purvis/Berlin Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007

David Lynch is no stranger to weird confluences. But the U.S. filmmaker, known for such works as Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, failed to anticipate the reception his latest project got in Germany this week. Lynch, whose new-age beliefs are sometimes as quirky as his movies, is touring Europe to help establish a network of so-called "invincible universities" to teach the philosophy of transcendental meditation. The idea is to engender world peace. But at a meeting this week at a culture center in Berlin, Lynch triggered a less than peaceful exchange with German onlookers when Emanuel Schiffgens, his partner for establishing such a "university" in the German capital, suddenly veered into dangerous waters.

"We want an invincible Germany!" intoned Schiffgens, the self-styled Raja of Germany. The flap those words created, with their echoes of the Third Reich, reveals both the deadly seriousness with which Germans view their wartime past and the gulf separating Lynch's new-age agenda from that of some hard-bitten Berliners with a more historical mind-set.

"What do you mean by this concept of invincibility," asked an onlooker from the audience, made up mainly of film students with a smattering of meditation devotees. "An invincible Germany is a Germany that's invincible," replied a Delphic Schiffgens, who was dressed in a long white robe and gold crown. "Adolf Hitler wanted that too!," shouted out one man. "Yes," countered Schiffgens. "But unfortunately he didn't succeed." At that the crowd began shouting epithets at the speaker: "You are a charlatan! This is bad theater!" Lynch, who does not speak German, looked on in incomprehension.

The director was in Berlin attempting to buy a large swath of land on a hill known as Teufelsberg, or "Devil's Mountain," on the city's outskirts. The hill is made up of some 12 million cubic meters of rubble cleared away after Berlin was destroyed in World War II; the site was later used as a U.S. listening post during the Cold War. Lynch and Schiffgens are followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who founded the concept of transcendental meditation. Schiffgens says that with Lynch's help he plans to build a gleaming new "university" on Teufelsberg in order to provide "knowledge to students but also give them the chance to be enlightened." The university would form part of a network of similar institutions in Austria, France and elsewhere. Shortly after Lynch laid a foundation stone this week, however, a senior official in the regional government told German radio that it had not granted permission for construction of the university on Teufelsberg and possibly never would. A manager at the Berlin culture center where Lynch and Schiffgens spoke conceded that the flap did not reflect well on his center. "It's all a bit embarrassing," he said.

Near the end of the meeting, Schiffgens tried to explain his use of language to a restive crowd: "Invincible means no more negativity. No more enmity. We want to make Germany invincible so they cannot defeat you!" Lynch, who by this time had availed himself of a translator, then stood up and took the microphone: "You all have a history and Raja Emanuel has triggered some things. I would say, 'Deal with it.' Have it out with Raja Emanuel. But he's a great human being."

The American director, a bit of a cult figure himself in Europe, regretted that the real message of transcendental meditation, which he calls an "ancient eternal knowledge verified by Western science," was being lost in the furor. "Mankind was not made to suffer," he said. "We are all one. Bliss is our nature ... But somehow tonight this beautiful gift has gotten perverted. Let's march boldly toward a bright and shining future!" The strangeness of the whole affair was not lost on film students in the audience, one of whom caught it on film . At the very least, the evening was suitably Lynchian: disturbing but good theater nonetheless.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/ ... 82,00.html

Jeff: I'm afraid that Earth, a-all of Earth, is nothing but an intergalactic reality-TV show.
Man 2: My God. We're famous! [everyone stands and whoops it up]
- script from "Cancelled" - South Park
User avatar
Pierre d'Achoppement
Posts: 453
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:26 pm
Blog: View Blog (1)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:36 pm

Thanks for your post, Pierre.

Here's the paradox for me:

I really like David Lynch's work.

I don't particularly like TM at all.

Such is life...
American Dream
Posts: 19946
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:43 pm

http://www.strippingthegurus.com/stgsam ... arishi.asp




Physicist John S. Hagelin ... has predicted that Maharishi’s influence on history “will be far greater than that of Einstein or Gandhi” (Gardner, 1996).

You could not meet with Maharishi without recognizing instantly his integrity. You look in his eyes and there it is (Buckminster Fuller, in [Forem, 1973]).

Maharishi’s entire movement revolves around ... faith in his supposed omniscience (Scott, 1978).

BORN IN 1918, THE MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI graduated with a physics degree from the University of Allahabad. Soon thereafter, he received the system of Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) from his “Guru Dev,” Swami Brahmanand Saraswati, who occupied the “northern seat” of yoga in India, as one of four yogic “popes” in the country. He practiced yoga for thirteen years under Guru Dev, until the latter’s death in 1953. The Maharishi (“Great Sage”) then traveled to London in 1959 to set up what was to become a branch of the International Meditation Society there, with the mission of spreading the teachings of TM.

Transcendental Meditation itself is an instance of mantra yoga. The student mentally repeats a series of Sanskrit words for a minimum of twenty minutes every morning and evening. (Such mantras are reportedly selected on the basis of the student’s age. And they don’t come cheaply.)

Maharishi was quick to discourage other disciplines. “All these systems have been misinterpreted for the last hundreds of years,” he said. “Don’t waste time with them. If you are interested in hatha yoga, wait until I have time to re-interpret it. There is no match for Transcendental Meditation either in principles or in practice in any field of knowledge (Ebon, 1968; italics added).

The [TM] movement taught that the enlightened man does not have to use critical thought, he lives in tune with the “unbounded universal consciousness.” He makes no mistakes, his life is error free (Patrick L. Ryan, in [Langone, 1995]).

The Maharishi held high hopes, not merely for the spread of TM, but for its effects on the world in general:

He told the New York audience, as he had told innumerable others before in several around-the-world tours, that adoption of his teachings by 10% or even 1% of the world’s population would “be enough to neutralize the power of war for thousands of years” (Ebon, 1968).

In the autumn of 1967, His Holiness gave a lecture in London, which was attended by the Beatles. Following that talk, the Fab Four—along with Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull—accompanied the yogi on a train up to Bangor, North Wales, at his invitation. Reaching the train platform in Bangor, they were mobbed by hundreds of screaming fans, whom the Maharishi charmingly assumed were there to see him.

Like Ravi Shankar before him, [the Maharishi had] been unaware of the group’s stature, but, armed with the relevant records, he underwent a crash-course in their music and began to illustrate his talks with quotes from their lyrics. Flattered though they were, the Beatles were unconvinced by his argument that, if they were sincere about meditation, they ought to tithe a percentage of their income into his Swiss bank account. Because they hadn’t actually said no, the Maharishi assured American investors that the four would be co-starring in a TV documentary about him (Clayson, 1996).

It was reported that Maharishi’s fee for initiating the Beatles was one week’s salary from each of them—a formidable sum (Klein and Klein, 1979).

In the middle of February, 1968, John, Paul, George and Ringo, with their respective wives and girlfriends, arrived at the Maharishi’s Rishikesh meditation retreat in India. They were joined there by Mike Love of the Beach Boys and “Mellow Yellow” Donovan, as well as by the newly Sinatra-less Mia Farrow and her younger sister, Prudence. (The Doors and Bob Weir, guitarist for the Grateful Dead, were also enthusiastic about TM, but did not participate in the Rishikesh trip. More contemporary followers of the Maharishi have included actress Heather Graham and the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson. Plus Deepak Chopra [see TranceNet, 2004], whose best-selling book Quantum Healing was dedicated to the Maharishi. Also, at one time, Clint Eastwood and quarterback Joe Namath.)

As Ringo himself put it:

The four of us have had the most hectic lives. We’ve got almost everything money can buy, but of course that just means nothing after a time. But we’ve found something now that really fills the gap, and that is the Lord (in Giuliano, 1986).

The Beatles’ 1968 stay in Rishikesh was originally scheduled to last for three months.

Predictably, Ringo and his wife Maureen were the first to leave, after ten days, citing the “holiday camp” atmosphere, the spiciness of the food, the excessive insects and the stifling midday temperatures. Well, it was India, after all—what exactly did they expect, if not deathly spicy cuisine, mosquitos, bedbugs and interminable heat? If they wanted bland food and cool weather, they should have stayed in Liverpool, awash in bangers and mash to “fill the gap.”

Paul McCartney and Jane Asher bailed out a month later, pleading homesickness.

John and Cynthia and George and Patti, however, persevered, with John and George writing many songs which would later appear on the White Album. Indeed, most of the thirty-plus songs on that disc were composed in the Maharishi’s ashram. “Dear Prudence,” for one, was written for Mia Farrow’s sister, who was so intent on spiritual advancement that it was delegated to John and George to get her to “come out to play” after her three weeks of meditative seclusion in her chalet.

The overall calm there, however, was soon shattered by various suspicions:

[A]ccurately or not, they became convinced that the Maharishi had distinctly worldly designs on one of their illustrious fellow students, actress Mia Farrow. They confronted him, in an oblique way, with this accusation, and when he was unable to answer it, or even figure out precisely what it was, they headed back to London (Giuliano, 1986).

By Farrow’s own (1997) recounting, that may have been just a simple misunderstanding based on the Maharishi’s unsolicited hugging of her after a private meditation session in his cave/cellar. Less explicable, though, are reports of the same sage’s offering of chicken to at least one female student within his otherwise-vegetarian ashram, in alleged attempts to curry her favor (Clayson, 1996).

The Beatles’ disillusionment with the Maharishi during their stay with him in India in 1968 involved allegations that Maharishi had sex with a visiting American student (Anthony, et al., 1987).

“Sexy Sadie” was later composed in honor of those believed foibles on the part of His Holiness.

In any case, within a week Mia Farrow, too, had left the ashram on a tiger hunt, never to return (to Rishikesh).

[T]he Maharishi burst into the Beatles’ lives, offering salvation with a price tag of only fifteen [sic] minutes of devotion a day. “It seemed too good to be true,” Paul McCartney later quipped. “I guess it was” (Giuliano, 1989).

The Beatles ... parted with Maharishi in 1969 with the public comment that he was “addicted to cash” (Klein and Klein, 1979).

John and Yoko, interestingly, later came to believe that they were the reincarnations of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, respectively. (One of Yoko’s songs on their joint album Milk and Honey is titled, “Let Me Count the Ways.”)

No word on who Ringo might have been.

George soon became heavily involved with the Hare Krishnas—as one might have gathered from the chorus to his “My Sweet Lord” single—although ultimately leaving them completely out of his will. Indeed, at one point members of Hare Krishna were signed to Apple Records as the “Radha Krishna Temple.” They released at least one chanted single on that label, which made it into the “Top 20” in September of 1969. The Krishnas’ Bhaktivedanta Manor headquarters in London, too, was actually a gift from Harrison—which he at one point threatened to transfer to Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship instead, when the Krishnas were not maintaining the grounds to his satisfaction (Giuliano, 1989).

The devotional/mantra yoga-based Hare Krishna movement itself is rooted in the extremely patriarchal Vedic culture. It was brought to the United States in the mid-1960s by the now-late Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada—who soon starred in a San Francisco rock concert featuring the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. Prabhupada’s own guru was claimed to be an avatar. (George, John and Yoko participated in an extended interview with Prabhupada in 1969, which was kept in print in booklet form by the Krishna organization for many years afterwards. Harrison also wrote the foreword for Prabhupada’s book, Krishna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead.)

Details along the following lines as to the alleged horrendous goings-on within the Hare Krishna community, including widespread claims of child sexual abuse, drug dealing and weapons stockpiling, have long existed:

The founder of the institution, the late Prabhupada, was allegedly told about the physical and sexual abuse of minors in 1972, a time when he totally controlled the institution. The victims allege he and others conspired to suppress the alleged crimes, fearful that the public exposure would threaten the viability of the movement (S. Das, 2003).

[After Prabhupada’s death] the Hare Krishna movement degenerated into a number of competing [so-called] cults that have known murder, the abuse of women and children, drug dealing, and swindles that would impress a Mafia don (Hubner and Gruson, 1990).

The movement’s [post-Prabhupada] leadership was first forced to confront the victims of abuse at a meeting in May 1996, when a panel of ten former Krishna pupils testified that they had been regularly beaten and caned at school, denied medical care and sexually molested and raped homosexually at knife point (Goodstein, 1998).

Or, as Hubner and Gruson (1990) alleged:

Boys were ordered to come to the front of the class and sit on [their teacher] Sri Galima’s lap. Sri Galima then anally raped them, right in front of the class. Other boys were ordered to stay after class. Sri Galima tied their hands to their desks with duct tape and then assaulted them in the same way.

At night, Fredrick DeFrancisco, Sri Galima’s assistant, crept into the boys’ sleeping bags and performed oral sex on them.

George Harrison was of course stabbed in his London home at the end of 1999 by a man who believed that the Beatles were “witches.” Interestingly, one of the reasons given by his attacker for continuing that attempt at murder was that Harrison kept chanting the protective mantra, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna”—interpreted by his disturbed assailant as a curse from Satan.

In any case, returning to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s mission: The number of people practicing TM grew nearly exponentially from 1967 through 1974. By 1975 there were more than half a million people in America who had learned the technique, over a million worldwide, and the Maharishi had been featured on the cover of Time magazine. Were that exponential growth to have continued, the entire United States would have been doing TM by 1979. As it stands, with the law of diminishing returns and otherwise, there are currently four million practitioners of Transcendental Meditation worldwide.

In 1973, Maharishi International University (MIU) was established in Santa Barbara, California, moving a year later to its permanent location in Fairfield, Iowa. Interestingly, when the Maharishi first touched down in the latter location in his pink airplane, perhaps influenced by his contact with the Beatles (“How do you find American taste?/We don’t know, we haven’t bitten any yet,” etc.), he quaintly announced: “We are in Fairfield, and what we find is a fair field.”

Approximately one thousand students currently practice TM and study Vedic theory in that “fair field,” particularly as the latter theory relates to accepted academic disciplines, including the hard sciences. MIU has since been re-christened as the Maharishi University of Management (MUM). Presently, one-quarter of the town’s 10,000 residents are meditators.

* * *
In 1976, the Maharishi discovered the principles which were to lead to the TM Sidhi [sic] Program—based on the siddhis or powers outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Those include the technique of Yogic Flying, or levitation ... or “hopping down the yogi trail”:

During the first stage of Yogic Flying, the body—motivated only by the effortless mental impulse of the Sidhi technique—rises up in the air in a series of blissful hops (Maharishi, 1995).

“It’s a form of levitation, you’re actually lifted one or two feet by the exhilaration” that some describe as “bubbling bliss,” explained Transcendental Meditation spokesman Joseph Boxerman (Associated Press, 2003).

[Taxi’s Andy Kaufman had a] consuming devotion to Transcendental Meditation ... he believed it had taught him to levitate (Blanco, 2000).

[T]he guru himself announced in 1978 on TV (“The Merv Griffin Show”) that he had enrolled some forty thousand students in this [Sidhi] course! Griffin then asked the obvious question: How many had learned to levitate? Declared the Great Guru: “Thousands!” (Randi, 1982).

Repeated attempts by the skeptical Mr. Randi to secure documented and believable evidence of that levitation were unsuccessful. He did, however, report (1982) receiving the following admission, from one Mr. Orme-Johnson, director of TM’s International Center for Scientific Research:

“We do not claim,” he said, “that anyone is hovering in the air.”

Nevertheless, hovering or not, the possible effects of one’s missed practice on the world were apparently not to be taken lightly:

At MIU and throughout the [TM] movement, guilt was used to manipulate students into never missing a flying session. When the Iranians seized the American Embassy, a MIU student friend who had missed a flying session was called into the dean’s office and blamed for the hostage-taking in Iran (Patrick L. Ryan, in [Langone, 1995]).

All of that notwithstanding, by 1994 the technique of “Yogic Flying” had been taught to more than 100,000 people worldwide.

The Maharishi has also claimed that advanced practitioners can develop powers of invisibility, mind-reading, perfect health and immortality (Epstein, 1995).

His Holiness further asserted a “Maharishi Effect,” whereby relatively small numbers of meditators are claimed to be able to positively and measurably influence world events. That phenomenon has even been alleged to measurably lower crime rates in regions such as Washington, DC, and Kosovo (in August of 1999), via the “accumulated good energy” of the practitioners.

As a press release on the website states, “When the group reached about 350 Yogic Flyers, the [Kosovo] destruction ended” (Kraus, 2000).

In the early ’90s, four thousand of the Maharishi’s followers spent eight weeks in Washington holding large-scale group meditations. They claimed they helped reduce crime during that time. But the District’s police department was unconvinced (Perez-Rivas, 2000).

In a more detailed analysis of relevant data, Randi (1982) has presented many additional, quantitative reasons to deeply question the reality of the so-called Maharishi Effect.

Such critical analyses aside, however, there seems to be little doubt within the ranks as to the beneficial effects of TM on the course of world history:

[A]ll the social good—the move away from potential world-wide disaster toward global enlightenment—that has developed in the last few years I naturally consider to be the result of more people practicing Transcendental Meditation. After all, Maharishi did say that this would happen way back then [i.e., in the late 1950s], and it has (Olson, 1979).

More recently, “the Maharishi said he intends to bring about world peace by establishing huge Transcendental Meditation centers with thousands of full-time practitioners all over the world” (Falsani, 2002).

Maharishi explains that every government, just by creating and maintaining a group of Yogic Flyers, will actualize the ideal of Administration [of the Natural Law “Constitution of the Universe”], the supreme quality of Administration of government in every generation (in Maharishi, 1995).

“Natural Law” is “the orderly principles—the laws of nature—that govern the functioning of nature everywhere, from atoms to ecosystems to galaxies” (Maharishi, in [Kraus, 2000]).

Governmental “administration,” further,

is a matter of expert intelligence. It shouldn’t be exposed to voters on the street [i.e., to democracy] (Maharishi, in [Wettig, 2002]).

Soon every government will maintain its own group of Yogic Flyers as the essential requirement of national administration, and every nation will enjoy the support of Natural Law. All troubles on Earth will fade into distant memories, and life will be lived in perfection and fulfillment by every citizen of every nation, now and for countless generations to come (Maharishi, 1995).

Such anticipated “fading of all troubles into distant memory” will undoubtedly have been aided by the formation, in 1992, of the politically “green” Natural Law Party, on the campus of MIU/MUM. The party has since fielded U.S. presidential candidates, and legislative hopefuls in California. The late magician and disciple Doug Henning, a long-time sincere TM practitioner and attempted “Yogic Flyer,” actually ran for office under the NLP banner in both Britain and Toronto.

In keeping with the hoped-for freedom from our secular troubles, in the wake of September 11, 2001,

the Maharishi announced that if some government gave him a billion dollars, he would end terrorism and create peace by hiring 40,000 Yogic Fliers to start hopping full time. No government took him up on the offer, which clearly irks him (Carlson, 2002).

And yet, the freedom from war and other troubles anticipated by the Great Sage appears to have its cost:

I have heard Maharishi say on occasion that in the society he envisions, if someone is not smiling or happy he would be picked up by a meditation paddy wagon and taken to a checking facility for the proper TM treatment and then released (Scott, 1978).
* * *
One of the primary selling points of TM has always been its purported “scientific” nature, and the studies which have been done claiming to corroborate its beneficial effects. However:

One three-year study done by the National Research Council on improving human performance concluded that “TM is ineffectual in improving human performance” and that pro-TM researchers were “deeply flawed in their methodology” (Ross, 2003a).

Consult Holmes (1988) for additional information regarding the reported effects, or lack of same, of TM and other forms of meditation.

* * *
With or without the young Ms. Farrow’s bodacious presence around the Maharishi’s ashrams, controversy continues to haunt the $3.5 billion worldwide enterprise of the yogic “Sixth Beatle.” (The late ex-guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe was known as the “fifth.”)

His compound in India was the focus of allegations [in The Illustrated Weekly of India, July 17, 1988] regarding “child molestation, death from abuse and neglect” (Ross, 2003a).

The [previous media] reports charged that at least five boys had died under mysterious circumstances and that about 8000 of the 10,000 children admitted to the vidya peeth in the past five years had run away from the ashram, allegedly because of the “torture” they had been subjected to inside.... To make matters more difficult for the ashram administration, [local MLA Mahendra Singh] Bhati and an ayurvedic physician, Dr. Govind Sharma, formerly employed at the ashram, charged that some of the boys were also subjected to sexual abuse by the teachers (Dutt, 1988).

The ashram itself has denied all of those allegations, in the same article.

And how have other, past problems within the sphere of influence of the Late Great Sage been handled? It depends on whom you ask; Skolnick (1991), for one, reported:

“I was taught to lie and to get around the petty rules of the ‘unenlightened’ in order to get favorable reports into the media,” says [one former, high-ranking follower]. “We were taught how to exploit the reporters’ gullibility and fascination with the exotic, especially what comes from the East. We thought we weren’t doing anything wrong, because we were told it was often necessary to deceive the unenlightened to advance our guru’s plan to save the world.”
American Dream
Posts: 19946
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby Simulist » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:57 pm

American Dream wrote:The [TM] movement taught that the enlightened man does not have to use critical thought…

Then Americans must be the most enlightened people on earth… Yay!

("They hate us for our enlight-en-ment." — Yogi George W. Bush)
"The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego."
    — Alan Watts
User avatar
Posts: 4713
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:13 pm
Location: Here, and now.
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:05 pm

Simulist wrote:
American Dream wrote:The [TM] movement taught that the enlightened man does not have to use critical thought…

Then Americans must be the most enlightened people on earth… Yay!

("They hate us for our enlight-en-ment." — Yogi George W. Bush)

American Dream
Posts: 19946
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby Simulist » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:39 am

George W. Bush, the action figure, reaches ever-higher.

George W. Bush, President of the United States, reached ever-lower.
"The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego."
    — Alan Watts
User avatar
Posts: 4713
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:13 pm
Location: Here, and now.
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:00 am

Cross-posting to the Economic Aspects of "Love" thread

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2011/ ... he-divine/

Yoga for War: The Politics of the Divine

by: Be Scofield on August 9th, 2011


It takes a special type of warrior to drop bombs on someone. You have to be able to cultivate a certain amount of mental clarity, presence, focus and inner calm. That’s why for some, yoga is the perfect tool to help get the job done.

In August, 2006 Fit Yoga Magazine featured on their front cover a picture of two naval aviators practicing yoga on a battleship. What pose were they in? Of course Virabadrasana 2, aka warrior pose. At the time even the editor of magazine admitted that it was a “little shocking,” but on second glance she realized that “on their faces their serene smiles relayed a sense of inner calm.”

According to Retired Adm. Tom Steffens the Navy Seals dig yoga too, “The ability to stay focused on something, whether on breathing or on the yoga practice, and not be drawn off course, that has a lot of connection to the military,” he said. “In our SEAL basic training, there are many things that are yoga-like in nature.” And in March 2011 the Military officially added yoga and “resting” to the required physical training regiment all in the effort to “better prepare soldiers for the rigors of combat.”

If you’re not in the Military and don’t have any plans to join up anytime soon, no worries. Just tune to the Pentagon channel’s “Fit For Duty” which is “a show by the military, for the military.” Major Lisa Lourey will teach you all the yoga you need to know to become a highly trained killing machine. It’s my top choice for online asana.

Yoga has also found a home in another surprising place; the highest echelons of corporate America. You know, the big wigs who defrauded people of millions. Bloomberg featured an article about yoga instructor Lauren Imparato titled, “Princeton Grad Quits Morgan Stanley to Teach Yoga to Bankers.” It states, “At Morgan Stanley’s fixed-income group, Lauren Imparato wore power suits and sold currencies to hedge funds in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Now she spends her days in form-fitting Lululemon pants, teaching yoga to former Wall Street colleagues…Imparato’s two weekly classes have attracted traders and analysts from Merrill Lynch & Co., Barclays Capital Inc., Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.”

Does any of this upset your yogic sensibilities? Do you think there should be no OM in the office? No bakasana on the battleship? No hero pose in boot camp? Isn’t yoga about peace, compassion and love?


I highlight these examples not because I think yoga doesn’t belong in the army, but rather to question an assumption many yoga and spiritual practitioners make. It’s the belief that spiritual liberation is inherently socially or culturally revolutionary. World-renowned yoga teacher Donna Farhi expresses this idea in the documentary YogaWoman. She states, “Yoga is one of the most politically subversive practices that any person, male or female could do in our time.” In other words, spiritual/psychological/physical transformation is politically subversive. I understand and appreciate how beneficial spiritual practice can be to transform the mind, body and spirit. I know yoga improves lives everyday. It has profoundly changed mine. However, yoga, like other popular spiritualities as they are mostly taught in the West, reflects a cultural obsession with the self, one which is rooted in furthering self-interest. This is in many ways due to an emphasis on an individual and privatized self brought to you by a happy marriage of Western psychology, spirituality and capitalism. Furthermore, as the military and corporate examples above illustrate, yoga or any individual spiritual practice will reflect the cultural and political interests of both the practitioners and the dominant power structures. They aren’t inherently politically subversive. Richard King explains, “The use of an idea such as ’spirituality’ is always bound up with political questions, even when the term is defined in apparently apolitical terms (in which case it supports the status quo). In employing the world, it is important to identify which ideological concerns are being supported.”

This emphasis on the individual is echoed strongly amongst the conscious lifestyle, wellness and new age spirituality circles. While “politically subversive” may not be the common expression for spiritual practices, many people in these communities believe that the transformation of inner states of being, either individually or collectively is capable of changing the world. This is reflected in Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth,” a book that supposedly describes a path to a more peaceful future. For Tolle, transforming the ego and inner consciousness is the best place to address the world’s problems, “A new heaven is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and a new earth is its reflection in the physical realm.” Some downplay the need for transformation and claim that only the power of the mind is required to change the world. There is even a “Center for Subtle Activism,” called the Gaiafield project. What is subtle activism? David Nicol describes it as “activities of spirit or consciousness primarily intended to support collective healing and social change.” The organization Common Passion, which recruits people for global meditations and prayers claims, “With a rigorous Western approach to practical application of Eastern wisdom, world peace may well be within our reach.” They believe they can create social harmony through “science” and “faith-based applications of collective consciousness.” It’s like The Secret meets the Peace Corps. They just use the power of their minds to visualize world peace and bam! it’s done!

But what if, as Nonviolent Communication founder Marshal Rosenberg states, these types of privatized, mind/body centered spiritual practices merely lead people to “be so calm and accepting and loving that they tolerate the dangerous structures?” If you think about it, the powers that be would be absolutely delighted if we all believed yoga and global prayer were the most politically subversive practices.

The Politics of the Divine

What is the nature of the divine? Do you think opening to Divine Consciousness and Oneness can transform social/political consciousness? If you experience a profound spiritual state do you think it would shift your perspective or beliefs about war, economic justice or human rights ? Can an inner state of bliss turn you into an activist? Will it make you a better activist? Is God, by nature, politically subversive? Can consciousness be used to change the world?

It’s difficult to admit but the universe will treat everyone equally regardless of their political, social or cultural views. Thus, spiritual transformation is morally and politically neutral. No matter how good or evil we are, the benefits of spiritual liberation that are bestowed upon us are all the same. Our conceptions of mindfulness, awakening and spiritual liberation are entirely dependent upon our cultural frame of interpretation. I know you might think that the divine is an anti-war, hybrid car loving, kombucha drinking burning man regular. But, sorry to say, God is not on “our” side. Thus, tapping into the Divine Consciousness won’t change political beliefs and thus won’t affect the pressing social issues of the day. It won’t turn an arch-Republican into a left-wing socialist. The pro-life extremist can also pray, meditate and cultivate states of mindfulness before attacking abortion doctors. Even if the ego is dissolved through practice, the greater awareness to relate to people will still be mediated by the fact that racism and sexism are institutionalized in our culture. In fact ’spirituality’ is rather easily incorporated into any institution as a new regime of thought control, whether it be market capitalism, government or militarism.


If the divine were truly politically subversive and could be experienced via yoga could it be incorporated into the military industrial complex? Why wouldn’t it change the hearts and minds of the air force bombers? How could Goldman Sachs bankers practice yoga and simultaneously defraud people of millions? If any sort of spiritual practice were politically subversive wouldn’t connecting to our highest self mean having our consciousness changed on some political level? When something like yoga and meditation is proudly incorporated into the U.S. Military, Navy Seals and corporate America it is pretty safe to say that it is relatively benign in the department of political subversion.

More evidence that the divine is politically neutral is found in the large population of spiritual practitioners in America. Think about all of the white, middle and upper class people who have been practicing yoga, meditating, doing visualizations, OMing and chanting in the West now for decades. Has it made them more aware of injustice? More concerned about white privilege or racism? Better educated about poverty? Has all of the practicing subverted anything political? No. What about when people come together to transform the collective consciousness and change the world in the name of peace, harmony and oneness? What about efforts to raise the planetary vibration? Have they worked? Many of these collective consciousness raising efforts originate in the U.S. but yet we are still in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Over one million people have died because of this. We also remain Israel’s largest supporter. On numerous quality of life indicators the U.S. ranks at the bottom of industrialized nations. Elsewhere, famine, war and catastrophic suffering can be found throughout the globe. How powerful is “coherent consciousness” and what has it done to address the worst injustices on the planet? If it works why bother with social activism at all? Besides, there are a lot more fundamentalist Christians praying for and visualizing a conservative agenda. Do the liberal and conservative collective consciousnesses cancel each other out?

Furthermore, we should remember that spiritual practices can also empower people to cause harm and support the status quo of any given society. For example, yoga assists the bombers in being more precise with their targeting. Their body awareness, concentration and presence all increased as a result. It gives the Goldman Sachs banker more clarity when trying to figure out how to steal money. Imagine a KKK group who incorporated yoga and meditation. Would it subvert their racism? Change their political consciousness? Would any spiritual practice? No. Rather, because of their cultural context it would merely reinforce their own social and political views. It would make them more mentally and physically stronger. And yet KKK members would still express the compassion and kindness gained on the mat to their loved ones. Likewise, Eugene de Kock, the police chief in South Africa known as ‘prime evil’ for his role in kidnapping, torturing and murdering hundreds of anti-apartheid activists went home to his family every day and expressed love, care and compassion to them. What I’m arguing here, and this may seem radical, is that cultural context shapes one’s understanding of spiritual transformation. I believe wholeheartedly that Eugene de Kock could have practiced yoga, meditated and connected to the divine but because a cruel system had become normalized to him any spiritual insights would be seen through his own socio-cultural lens. Likewise, you and I are part of larger systems, many of which are incredibly damaging to the planet and people. We, along with air force bomber pilots, racists, pro-life extremists, corporate crooks and (you fill in the blank) can all experience spiritual transformation and remain oblivious to the dangers of our surrounding culture. This is why it is so important to understand the limitations of spiritual practice in efforts for social change.

I think it best, therefore, to view spiritual practice as only politically subversive as something like psychotherapy. Connecting to the divine is often a transformative and renewing experience, but merely growing developmentally or awakening to deeper states of being won’t subvert the political structures or change political consciousness.

And finally, while spiritual practices like yoga can help you de-stress, center and cultivate compassion it won’t make you a better, more informed activist on matters of social justice. Yes, self-care and spiritual practice can be vitally important for many social activists and I strongly support this pairing. Finding stillness and inner calm in your day can positively benefit your life and work for social change. By all means cultivate loving kindness, compassion and generosity. We need lots more of this on the planet. However, becoming a more aware, just and informed activist only occurs when a different kind of consciousness is raised; political.

Justice or Presence?

“Why, one wonders is dissatisfaction with social injustice and a willingness to resist exploitation not seen as a sign of ’spiritual intelligence’?” - Richard King

Marshal Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication offers an important critique of what’s found in popular spirituality today.
Unless we as social change agents come from a certain spirituality, we’re likely to create more harm than good…spirituality can be reactionary if we get people to just be so calm and accepting and loving that they tolerate the dangerous structures. The spirituality that we need to develop for social change is one that mobilizes us for social change. It doesn’t just enable us to sit there and enjoy the world no matter what. It creates a quality of action that mobilizes us into action. Unless our spiritual development has this kind of quality, I don’t think we can create the kind of social change I would like to see.
[emphasis added]

The activist, writer and spiritual teacher Starhawk also recognizes the limitations of a privatized spirituality. She states, “Transforming the inner landscape is only a first step. Unless we change the structures of the culture, we will mirror them again and again: we will be caught in a constant battle to avoid being molded again and again into an image of domination.” [emphasis added]

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also knew this. His last years were spent challenging militarism, economic exploitation and racism. When he was assassinated he was just days away from leading a nationwide effort to shut down the capital of Washington D.C. until capitalism as he knew was radically transformed. They were going to clog the bridges, jam the streets and set up camp in the capital. He wanted guaranteed incomes, jobs and housing. The plan was to be as disruptive and disturbing as violent riots while being nonviolent. He said, “We must demonstrate, teach and preach until the very foundations of our nation shake.”

Imagine if there were places like Omega Center and Spirit Rock or community organizations which instead of being only about a privatized spirituality were dedicated to unmasking the dominant power structures and teaching people how to resist them. These places would prioritize justice over presence and uncover the political and ideological forces that shape our notions of spirituality. Low-cost workshops, retreats and trainings would be offered in the spirit of the Highlander Folk School, a civil rights and labor organizing center where Rosa Parks and Dr. King briefly studied. In the true spirit of interdependence and solidarity as is reflected in many of the world’s religions the center(s) would empower individuals to collectively address racism, the prison industrial complex, poverty, militarism, patriarchy, environmental injustices and more. These systems of domination keep us separate, and thus dismantling them is a spiritual priority. Dr. King said it best when he stated, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.”

I leave you with Thich Nhat Hanh’s interpretation of the second precept of generosity.

“Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I vow to cultivate loving kindness and learn ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants and minerals. I vow to practice generosity by sharing my time, energy and material resources with those who are in real need.”

Be Scofield is a certified yoga instructor, founder of http://www.godblessthewholeworld.org and Dr. King scholar. He writes for Tikkun Magazine, Alternet.org and the Religious Left. Be is studying to be an interfaith minister at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where he is teaching a graduate course called “Dr. King and Empire.”
American Dream
Posts: 19946
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:10 pm

http://www.strippingthegurus.com/stgsam ... ndhorn.asp

This article/chapter is excerpted from Stripping the Gurus by Geoffrey D. Falk.



“The time has come,” the Caddys said
“To channel many thoughts:
Of Moray Firth—and trailer parks
Of tiny elves—and Scots—
Of why the cabbages grow large—
And whether Swedes are hot”

IN NOVEMBER OF 1962, Peter and Eileen Caddy settled with their three young sons and a friend, Dorothy Maclean, near the coast of the Moray Firth in northeast Scotland. There they lived, down the road from Aberdeen and Inverness, in a house trailer on a parcel of land destined to become the first seed of the Findhorn Community.

Prior to that, Peter, a former military officer, had followed his own guru-figure for five years—a woman who was also his second wife, Sheena. To join them as a disciple, Eileen had left her own husband and children. Soon after that departure, “stricken with guilt and remorse,” she began hearing voices, i.e., “guidance.” The believed source of those voices is obvious in the title of Eileen’s first book: God Spoke to Me. Later presumed channelings by her included “transmissions from Saint-Germain [and] Sir Francis Bacon” (Hawken, 1976).

Peter and Eileen later split from Sheena and, by 1957, were managing a hotel in Forres, Scotland, which building was later to become part of the Findhorn community.

They were then transferred from there to another ailing hotel to resurrect it. And, having been suddenly terminated from that position, made their new home in the Findhorn Bay Caravan (i.e., Trailer) Park, adjacent to a garbage dump.

In accord with Eileen’s inner guidance, the pioneers established a small garden in the “sand and scrub” of the trailer park in 1965.

[T]o the astonishment of experts, their results were phenomenal, producing plants whose variety and vigor could not be conventionally explained (Findhorn, 1980).

That “unconventional” success was indeed soon revealed to be ostensibly due to the ability of community members, and Dorothy in particular, to “talk to the plants” and nature spirits/devas. Additional gardening advice came from an Edinburgh man who “had experiences of nature beings, which took the form of elves and fauns, and ... Pan himself” (Riddell, 1990).

The outcome of all that was the forty-pound cabbages for which the community first became famous.

By the mid-’70s, however, when Peter stopped working in the garden, many of the phenomenal aspects of the vegetation disappeared.

The growth here was fantastic to demonstrate to Peter Caddy and to others that it was possible. Now we know it is possible to work with the Nature Kingdom, but we no longer have the need to produce a plant where it won’t normally grow (in Hawken, 1976).

The contemporary American laying-on-of-hands healer Barbara Ann Brennan describes (1993) relevant aspects of her own later extended stay in the Findhorn Community:

When I was there, I stood on a nature power point called Randolph’s Leap, a place near Findhorn where the Druids are supposed to have worshiped and communed with nature spirits. I asked to have access to the nature spirits.

[After] about a month ... I started seeing little nature spirits [or sprites] everywhere I went. They would follow me as I walked around the property. They were always a bit shy and would stay a few feet behind me, giggling.

Ancillary attempts, outside the main development of the community, were also made to contact UFOs and “space beings.”

In 1969, Findhorn attracted six hundred visitors ... all of them from our own planet.

David Spangler and his female partner arrived in the early 1970s to live at Findhorn for three years, as the last of the “founding figures” there, lecturing and giving channeled guidance. Their arrival brought the community population into double digits, growing to forty-five by the end of the year.

In those early days, until around 1972,

Peter would stride around finding fault with everyone. There was nothing but endless work, from early in the morning until late at night.... Young freaks escaping burnt-out lives in London were verbally thrashed by Peter for the slightest deviation from the rigid order and structure of the community (Hawken, 1976).

In 1973, the sixty-ish Peter’s heart opened ... to a young, Swedish woman living in the community, with the ensuing reaction from Eileen having the effect of throwing Findhorn into a period of uncertainty. Though the potential extramarital relationship was never consummated, Peter and Eileen grew farther apart as the years passed. The former eventually left the community in 1979.

One female member of the populace described the mid-’70s in the Findhorn Community this way:

The energy level was very high, and a lot of music came out of that time.... There was this universal energy of love, and all of a sudden it could hit you with somebody else’s partner. Because there was an openness towards anything that God sends in one’s direction, some people would then ... dive into these relationships, and would find themselves in a tangle with no clear way of handling the complications.

It was like an epidemic.... It really rocked the community
(Findhorn, 1980).

In spite of—or perhaps because of—such “love in the time of cabbages,” by 1980 over three hundred people had been drawn to the Findhorn Caravan Park.

Or the rocking “Findstock,” if you prefer.

Through all of that, Eileen’s guidance slowly disclosed the long-term plans for the community:

I want you to see this center of light [i.e., Findhorn] as an ever-growing cell of light. It started as a family group; it is now a community; it will grow into a village, then a town and finally into a vast city of light (Caddy, 1976).

Nor was the scope of that undertaking lost on the early founders, or on those who have come since them:

In one form or another there has been a deep awareness that what was being worked out [at Findhorn] was of supreme importance to the whole world.

This could of course be just an inflated ego on the part of those at Findhorn—or it could be a most daring and glorious act of faith, that God had a vast plan for mankind which, if known and followed, could lead to a new age, and that Findhorn was a key point in that plan
(Caddy, 1976).

The Findhorn Community plays a significant part in a revolution that is gently changing the world.... This revolution does not “do” anything. It does not normally make headlines in any of the news media, but it creates the conditions in which [love, spirituality, cooperation and harmony] can flourish among human beings. Perhaps it is responsible for the rather extraordinary changes that, at the close of the ’80s, have laid the basis for the end of the Cold War and the transformation of Eastern Europe. But it has much more still to do (Riddell, 1990).

* * *

The present Findhorn community includes an independent Steiner (i.e., “Waldorf”) school, providing additional alternative education for the children there. Students are encouraged to learn at their own rate, in a close relationship to a teacher who continues with a class from one year to the next. By itself, that is undoubtedly a wonderful way to structure an educational program. The “Intimidation of the Waldorf Kind” article by Arno Frank (2000), however, raises serious concerns about those schools in general, as does the information presented at http://www.waldorfcritics.org:

Parents should be told that the science and history curriculum will be based on Steiner’s reading of the “akashic record,” according to which the “ancients” had clairvoyant powers which Anthroposophic initiation may help students attain some day. They should be told that loyal Steiner followers believe humans once lived on the lost continent of Atlantis.... They should be told that teachers study a medieval scheme in which race, blood, and the “four temperaments” will help them understand their students’ development (PLANS, 2004).

Steiner’s first Atlantean sub-race was named the Rmoahals.

When a Rmoahals man pronounced a word, this word developed a power similar to that of the object it designated. Because of this, words at that time were curative; they could advance the growth of plants, tame the rage of animals, and perform other similar functions (Steiner, 1959).

Rudolf Steiner himself (1861 – 1925), in his Atlantis and Lemuria (1963), expounded on the details of our imagined lost history, crediting the terrestrial atmosphere in the time of Atlantis as being much more dense at that time, than it is at present.

The above-mentioned density of air is as certain for occult experience as any fact of today given by the senses can be.

Equally certain however is the fact, perhaps even more inexplicable for contemporary physics and chemistry, that at that time the water on the whole Earth was much thinner than today....

[I]n the Lemurian and even in the Atlantean period, stones and metals were much softer than later
(Steiner, 1959).

We need not raise the question now as to whether such a condition of density is compatible with the opinion held by modern science, for science and logical thought can ... never say the final word as to what is possible (Steiner, 1963).

Having thus disposed of physics in his pursuit of a denser, thinner and softer metaphysics, Steiner (1963) continued:

[T]he human body had been provided with an eye that now no longer exists, but we have a reminder of this erstwhile condition in the myth of the One-Eyed Cyclops.

Nor was that the only discrepancy to be found between our known world and the bodies of yore:

The forms of [the first] animals would, in the present day, strike us as fabulous monsters, for their bodies (and this must be carefully kept in mind) were of the nature of air....

Another group of physical beings had bodies which consisted of air-ether, light-ether and water, and these were plant-like beings....

“If I could talk to the plantimals....” Or be one:

[M]an lived as a plant being in the Sun itself (Steiner, 1959).

Steiner further claimed of Lemurian women:

Everything was animated for them and showed itself to them in soul powers and apparitions.... That which impelled them to their reaction were “inner voices,” or what plants, animals, stones, wind and clouds, the whispering of the trees, and so on, told them....

If with his consciousness man could raise himself into [the] supersensible world, he would be able to greet the “ant or bee spirit” there in full consciousness as his sister being. The seer can actually do this.

Rudolf himself was the head of the German branch of the Theosophical Society until being expelled from that in 1913 for “illegal” (according to the rules of the Society) activities. From that split, he founded his own Anthroposophical Society, beginning with fifty-five ex-members of the TS, from which the Waldorf phenomenon in general has grown.

Steiner had encountered Theosophy in the 1880s through the writings of Sinnett and Blavatsky, most of which he later rejected—with the exception of The Secret Doctrine, which he regarded as the most remarkable esoteric text (apart from his own) published in modern times....

The audiences for [Steiner’s theosophical lectures] were at first very small. Happily, Steiner showed no concern, claiming that the audience was swelled by invisible spiritual beings and the dead, eager for the occult knowledge they could not, apparently, acquire in the Other World
(Washington, 1995).

The Secret Doctrine was Madame Blavatsky’s anti-Darwinian explanation of the origins of life on Earth, via a number (seven) of “root races” purportedly descended from spiritual beings from the moon. The book was presented as an explication of stanzas from the little-known Book of Dzyan—itself written in the unknown-to-any-linguist language of Senzar.

Steiner, meanwhile, taught the existence of a Lord of the Dark Face, an evil entity by the name of Ahriman—the spirit of materialism. That disruptive being, he felt, “had been making trouble in the world since 1879 when the Archangel Michael took over the divine guidance of mankind and began a cosmic process of enlightenment” (Washington, 1995).

Steiner (1947) further described the progressing student’s “ascent into the higher worlds” as involving a meeting with the “Guardian of the Threshold”:

[T]he Guardian of the Threshold is an (astral) figure, revealing itself to the student’s awakened higher sight.... It is a lower magical process to make the Guardian of the Threshold physically visible also. That was attained by producing a cloud of fine substance, a kind of frankincense resulting from a particular mixture of a number of substances. The developed power of the magician is then able to mould the frankincense into shape, animating it with the still unredeemed karma of the individual....

What is here indicated in narrative form must not be understood in the sense of an allegory, but as an experience of the highest possible reality befalling the esoteric student.

On a more personal level, Rudolf averred:

The clairvoyant ... can describe, for every mode of thought and for every law of nature, a form which expresses them. A revengeful thought, for example, assumes an arrow-like, pronged form, while a kindly thought is often formed like an opening flower, and so on. Clear-cut, significant thoughts are regular and symmetrical in form, while confused thoughts have wavy outlines.

And speaking of “wavy outlines”:

Anthroposophical medicine seems to be based partly on magical theories of correspondence—for example cholera is a punishment for insufficient self-confidence and the pox for lack of affection. Today the Anthroposophists run clinics, a mental hospital, and a factory for medicines which has marketed a cancer cure (Webb, 1976).

As to Steiner’s overall caliber of thought, then, Storr (1996) summarizes:

His belief system is so eccentric, so unsupported by evidence, so manifestly bizarre, that rational skeptics are bound to consider it delusional....

[H]is so-called thinking, his supposed power of super-sensible perception, led to a vision of the world, the universe, and of cosmic history which is entirely unsupported by any evidence, which is at odds with practically everything which modern physics and astronomy have revealed, and which is more like science fiction than anything else.

In a somewhat gentler vein, Robert Carroll (2004d) concluded:

There is no question that Steiner made contributions in many fields, but as a philosopher, scientist, and artist he rarely rises above mediocrity and is singularly unoriginal.

Ken Wilber (2000b), however, expressed his own, more positive evaluation of poor Rudolf, in this way:

[Steiner] was an extraordinary pioneer ... and one of the most comprehensive psychological and philosophical visionaries of his time.

Indeed, Steiner’s credulous followers similarly believe him to have been “a genius in twelve fields” (McDermott, 1984).

To be fair, Rudolf’s grounded philosophizing, as presented in the first half of McDermott’s very selectively chosen (“veneer of academia,” etc.) Essential Steiner, is much more coherent than are his farther flights of fancy. (McDermott himself was president of the California Institute of Integral Studies [www.ciis.edu] for many years. For the catty relationship between himself and the allegedly “evil, hated” kw, see Wilber [2001c].)

Still, even given that limited coherence, one cannot help but notice that Wilber, in Chart 4B of his (2000b) Integral Psychology, presents a mapping of Steiner’s nine levels of reality to the “correlative basic structures” of psychology in his own Four-Quadrant “Theory of Everything.” (That same book is intended as a “textbook of transpersonal psychology.” Its mapped levels include astral bodies and the like.) Yet, the perception of auras, if real, would come via the same clairvoyant faculties and subtle bodies as would be used to read the akashic records. Did Steiner then see auras clearly, but hallucinate his purported akashic readings? Or was he equally imagining both? Either way, how does Wilber justify mapping Steiner’s levels of reality to his own theories, while ignoring the remainder of what Steiner devoutly claims to have experienced through the same purported means?

Regardless, Velikovsky would surely be proud. For, Wilber’s endorsement of Steiner means either that he has read so little of Rudolf’s work that he is unaware of the “farther reaches” of it ... or that he is aware of those fantasies-presented-as-fact, but still considers the man to be an insightful “visionary” and “extraordinary pioneer” in (clairvoyance-based) psychology and philosophy.

Given Wilber’s history with Da’s coronas and shabd yoga, those two options seem equally plausible. (Wilber has evidently hardly read into the latter yoga at all, yet still presents himself as an expert, fit to determine who the top yogis of that path are [see Lane, 1996].)

And note again how kw’s complimentary appraisal of Steiner is, as usual, offered as no mere opinion, but is rather given as if it were an indisputable fact—“Thus spake the Oracle of Boulder.” In reality, however, it is emphatically No Such Thing, especially with regard to Steiner’s philosophy.

If you’re going to be an oracle, it behooves you to get it right.
* * *

The continual buzz of activity throughout a community such as Findhorn could, of course, easily detract from one’s meditations. Not one to be thus distracted, Eileen Caddy sought guidance for herself as to where to find a small, quiet place, away from the crowded living conditions.

[S]he asked within and the voice, in a joyous piece of guidance, replied: “Why don’t you go down to the public toilets? You will find perfect peace there.”

The little toilet block referred to has been preserved and is now a herbal apothecary and wholefood café
(Riddell, 1990).

If such preservation seems to be excessively reverential, note that traditional Tibetan medicine goes even further, at times containing small amounts of lama (not llama) ... um....

[Seventeenth-century Austrian Jesuit cleric Johann] Grueber was particularly repulsed by the custom of the laity’s eating “curative pills” containing the Dalai Lama’s excrement (Schell, 2001).

Or, in the vernacular: “holy shit.”

A hundred years ago, rumors that the feces of the Dalai Lama—the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists—had beneficial properties prompted the UK’s Surgeon General to analyze them in the interests of science. They contained nothing remarkable, he concluded. Just as well: According to a spokesperson at the UK-based Tibet Foundation, “These days you can’t even buy the Dalai Lama’s used clothes, never mind his excrement” (Toscani, 2000).

And they call that progress!

When the doctor [treating David Bohm—the Dalai Lama’s “physics teacher”—for “thick blood” in Switzerland] indicated that he would send to Dharamsala for medication, the Dalai Lama insisted that the treatment should begin immediately. He took Precious Tablets, wrapped in silk, from a pouch in his room and instructed Saral [Bohm’s wife] on how they should be prepared. Bohm found their taste revolting (Peat, 1997).

“Nityananda the Poo,” however, would surely have approved—and perhaps even grabbed a mouthful.

Along those same lines, in later years Findhorn experienced a sewage backup, flooding the toilets and bathtubs of the Caddys’ former hotel in Cluny Hills, now owned and operated by the Findhorn Foundation as a community dwelling-place. Residents spent two weeks attempting to find the relevant sewage lines—including, in desperation, searching via the use of divining rods and pendulums. That ardent pursuit, however, failed to disclose the source of the obstruction.

It became increasingly clear that the sewer blockage was a symbolic way of showing us something about our life.

A channeling was received. It told us we had become too concerned with outer forms, neglecting our spiritual connection. The sewage began to flood the garden. [Hence, “love in the time of cabbages and cholera.”] We organized a meeting and agreed that each member would make a personal commitment to their own spiritual development. In the afternoon we shared what we had individually decided. At 4 p.m., when the meeting ended, the sewers were unblocked. They had unblocked themselves!
(Riddell, 1990).

Verily, “the Lord doth work in mysterious ways,” etc. As do His “avatars”:

To see if he had become proud after becoming a big guru, Ramakrishna went to slum areas and washed the toilets with his hair (Satchidananda, in [Mandelkorn, 1978]).

* * *

As time went on, it became ever clearer to Eileen and Peter that they were ... the spearhead of a new age. They were pioneering a new way of living which would spread throughout the world and give new hope for the future. People would come from every land to learn this new way and then go back to live it out wherever they might be....

Gradually the greatness of the task they had undertaken became clearer to Peter and Eileen and those who were with them. Findhorn was nothing less than the growing tip of humanity
(Caddy, 1976).

To keep one’s perspective in the midst of such pioneering, “growing tip of humanity” excitement, however, is no easy task ... as every other community which has ever harbored a similarly grandiose mission could testify.

W. Brugh Joy, author of Joy’s Way, was then invited to give a talk at Findhorn in 1980, about what he “sensed was ahead for the community as a whole,” to a group of participants preparing to enter communal life there. Not surprisingly, the urge to address those unspoken issues proved too strong to resist:

I talked about the consequences of feeling “special” and how doing battle against the “evils of the world” not only creates the “enemy,” but is actually a projection of the darker aspects of the community onto the world screen. Needless to say, the talk was not popular and I was fast falling into the “unwelcome guest” category....

Despite assertions by most partisans of the New Age that they are promoting such virtues as selfless service to the world, New Age beliefs in the specialness and innocence of the New Age are, in my opinion, regressive ... toward the infantile, if not the fetal. Such ideation tends to be self-centered
(Joy, 1990).

Some days later, the “community poet” responded, on-stage, after some skits and singing, to Joy’s earlier talk.

In venomous poetry, powerful and afire with wrathful righteousness, he unleashed the dark feelings and destructive forces of the community. The objects of his rage were the Americans in general and myself in particular. We were portrayed in terms that would make fecal material seem sunny by comparison. His attack centered around money and power ... the dark side of any endeavor that wears the mask of great good and service. The only thing explicitly missing was sex, except he covered that by using the words “fuck” and “fucking” with an extraordinary frequency (Joy, 1990).

And this was scarcely odd, because....

Of course, such an isolated outburst in no way invalidates the overall good done within and by the community. That is so particularly since the general response to Joy’s speech and the poet’s counter-attack, at least in public, seems to have been fairly mature. That is, unlike what we might have expected to see from some of the “Rude Boys” in this world, Joy was certainly not run off the property for his comments. Nor was he stripped naked or called a “bottom feeder” by the respected leaders of the community. By contrast, were such criticisms as Joy’s directed toward the divine guru-figure or holy ashram of the average disciple, the latter would more often than not consider them to be violently blasphemous.

In a way, though, one could still actually be surprised, overall, by that temperate response. For, considering the grandiose perspective from which the community was founded, coupled with Peter Caddy’s authoritarian control during the first decade of its existence, things could have turned out much worse. As it currently stands, however, Findhorn welcomes more than 14,000 guests each year for temporary work retreats or to one of several hundred adult classes taught year-round by New Age personages such as the “spiritual healer” Caroline Myss. It also exists as part of a global network of sustainable “Ecovillages.”

Apparently, then, not every foray into spiritually-based community living need end in disaster. Undoubtedly, though, such a diverse group of “believers” as exist in Findhorn would have far less potential for messing up a community than if they were all following the same “sage,” i.e., if they all shared and reinforced the same “madness” in each other. After all, a mixed group of people, even if they were each totally conforming to the tenets and expected behaviors of their respective paths, would still effectively create a diverse population of ideas and perspectives.

A more heterogeneous group of people living together in a community I could not have imagined (Hawken, 1976).

And, as in agriculture, such a varied population is less likely to be devastatingly affected by any specific pathology than is a homogeneous one.

The Findhorn community, further, is a relatively “feel-good, New Age” one. It has thus never placed any primary emphasis on destroying the ego as a means to God-realization. Consequently, it has not sanctioned that easy outlet for sadistic behavior toward others, as if it were “for their own good” as a cover for simply exacting respect and obedience from them, to the degree which one finds in the typical ashram.

Probably of equal or greater importance, though, was the fading-out of the Caddys’ influence as the community grew. That was done, surprisingly, in response to Eileen’s own received “guidance,” in one of the most generous sharings of power that one will ever find in a community, whether spiritual or otherwise.

It will also have helped that Findhorn has never been a monastic environment. For, that freedom itself removes a large part of the potential for suppression, repression/projection, scandals and cover-ups.

There is also a relative absence of both penalties for leaving and of a not merely grandiose but spiritually “liberating” benefit to oneself for staying. That is, unlike most of the other communities we have met herein, Findhorn seems to have placed “saving the world”—via the growth of the community into a town, a village, and then a “vast city of light”—ahead of “saving oneself.” And one can walk away from the former when the going gets tough, much more easily than one could turn one’s back on the latter, for having far less of a personal stake in it. After all, throwing up one’s hands and allowing the world to go to hell in a handbasket is one thing; throwing away one’s “only chance for enlightenment in this lifetime,” through disobedience or abandonment of a spiritual path, is quite another.

All of the above “missing” elements in Findhorn are generally absolutely central to any “authentic, spiritually transformative” ashram, as a closed society where “really serious” disciples will remain for the rest of their lives. With stunning irony, then, it is very probably the lack of all of those things in Findhorn which have made it into an (according to present indications) “safe” environment. (But, see also Stephen Castro’s [1996] Hypocrisy and Dissent Within the Findhorn Foundation, for further information in that regard.)

The now relatively democratic management of the community—with feedback and real “checks and balances” to keep the rulers accountable to those they rule over—will also have greatly helped.

Of course, even there:

We have also heard from people who had gone to the community in response to something they had read or heard, only to discover that its reality was not what they had expected. Most of these reports indicated a disappointment that, in the minds of these people, Findhorn was not living up to the beautiful ideals which it proclaimed....

[One] young man kept alternating between staying in London and living at Findhorn. Finally, despairing of his ability to adapt to Findhorn, he told us that emotionally it was a worse jungle than London
(Findhorn, 1980).

In any case, one cannot help but wonder what might have happened had the already geriatric Peter Caddy had his way with that Swedish girl three decades ago. Or, had he received explicit inner guidance himself—thus qualifying as a guru-figure on top of his existing authoritarian tendencies, and being in a position to inform others of “God’s will,” particularly as it may have related to the young blond lady. Indeed, in that scenario, there might now be nothing left to mark the spot where Findhorn once stood, nor even a community poet to commemorate the occasion in ribald verse.

Verse, that is, such as the following:

There once was a Scotsman named Caddy
A well-nigh impassioned brute laddie
He spied a young Swede
Said, “She’s got what I need”
Now he’s nine months from being a daddy
American Dream
Posts: 19946
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby Simulist » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:31 pm

[Seventeenth-century Austrian Jesuit cleric Johann] Grueber was particularly repulsed by the custom of the laity’s eating “curative pills” containing the Dalai Lama’s excrement (Schell, 2001).

Or, in the vernacular: “holy shit.”

Fair-enough. But believing himself to be eating real human flesh and blood at morning mass didn't also repulse the Jesuit?
"The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego."
    — Alan Watts
User avatar
Posts: 4713
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:13 pm
Location: Here, and now.
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby Searcher08 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:44 pm

Findhorn is alive and thriving and provides an extremely rare example of an intentional community that works - I'm not clear what posting a tirade against it adds to the thread which was focused on abuse within Buddhism.

If you want to have it out about Findhorn, fine, but I suggest starting another thread. And FFS produce something better than that crap from Falk.

He is an insult to the critical thinking skills of readers - it's really really shit journalism. It's as uncritical and fact based as a rabidly anti-Semitic site with the word Jew replaced by Guru.
User avatar
Posts: 5887
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:21 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:28 am

Searcher08 wrote:Findhorn is alive and thriving and provides an extremely rare example of an intentional community that works - I'm not clear what posting a tirade against it adds to the thread which was focused on abuse within Buddhism.

If you want to have it out about Findhorn, fine, but I suggest starting another thread. And FFS produce something better than that crap from Falk.

He is an insult to the critical thinking skills of readers - it's really really shit journalism. It's as uncritical and fact based as a rabidly anti-Semitic site with the word Jew replaced by Guru.

While I valued the article above for the critique of Rudolph Steiner also, I thought the story told about Findhorn was most meaningful when considered in context with the information alluded to by posting this link on the bottom of the previous page. Unfortunately I now see that the link I posted there was in error.

The correct link is:

Conspiracy in Findhorn, Urantia, A Course in Miracles...

I do think these are some of the most serious problems to be on the watch for- when cultish activity exceeds the bounds of "ordinary" abuses such as independently managed sexual exploitation, authoritarianism, dogma or whatever and reaches to the place where hardcore mind control techniques are being orchestrated by shadowy military/intelligence entities.

Concerns like that deserve to be heard, and carefully considered.
American Dream
Posts: 19946
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby Searcher08 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:02 am

The link seems to have expired??

Now that article was very worthwhile and deserved consideration -

With what you are posting, surely it is important to carefully consider all aspects rather than let pass the potentially destructive 'He said / She said' dynamic, which is stock in trade of people like Falk. His approach is summarised as "if the only tool you have is a hammer, pretty soon the whole world is made of nails".

It is an important thing you are doing with this AD, and I applaud it.
User avatar
Posts: 5887
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:21 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:23 am


Book review by Prof. Manuel Sarkisyanz

Hitler, Buddha, Krishna

An unholy alliance from the Third Reich until the present day


This book can be considered as marking an epoch in the intellectual history of cross-cultural links of Neo-Fascism. It deals chiefly with Himmler, Tantric "Buddhism" and Krishna, a "blockbuster" surpassing in geo-cultural scope by far previous continental books about "aryosophic" esoterics. (1)

In discussions about "political religion" of "National Socialists" their notions about India's "primeval Aryan wisdom" had not yet received sufficient attention of historians. These were supposedly "archaic" esoterics within SS occultism of the so-called Ancestral Heritage "Ahnenerbe") - a particular concern not so much for Hitler (who pragmatically preferred to follow English models (2) but very much for Heinrich Himmler who headed the SS: In contrast to the "Semitic" associations of Christianity, a primeval "Aryan" religion was to be "more appropriate to Germanic nature". Thus Himmler's "Ahnenerbe", the central institution for systematic construction of an "Aryan" faith, apparently was meant to receive its "SS-Vatican" in the castle Wewelsburg, Westphalia (p.1 00).

An intellectual father of it became the Dutch philologist Herman Wirth (1885­1981). Having initiated, in 1919, the "National Socialist" movement in the Netherlands, he propagated ever since 1920 the Germanic-"Aryan" Swastika. Insisting that the Aryans descended from the polar "Hyperboreans" (who had allegedly inhabited first the lost Continent of Atlantis and then the Nordic Thule, ("aryosophic" and supposedly Runic notions, inherited from the Theosophy of Elena Blavatska), Wirth maintained that the primordial wisdom from Atlantis had been preserved (by the "Mahatmas") in Buddhist Tibet. Such Theosophy was combined even further with Nordic mythology from the Edda (and with "Runic wisdom") by Rudolf Gorsleben (1883-1930) - to the effect that in Tibet was to have been preserved something of the occult abilities to dominate nature, abilities once in the possession of the Arctic "primordial race" (Urrasse) of Aryans. And this became gospel truth for the occultist faction of Himmler's SS-"Ancestral Heritage". In particular the SS-"Sturmbannführer" Karl Maria Wiligut (1866-1946), an Austro-Hungarian colonel (locked up in a psychiatric clinic in 1924-1927), had - under the pseudonym of "Weisthor", that is "Wise [Nordic God] Thor", - influenced Himmler to believe that the refuge of Aryans from "northernmost Thule", with parapsychological medium-life "memories" about their inheritance was to be sought -below the earth- in Buddhist Tibet. Thus, to "early Buddhism" were attributed particularly "Aryan qualities" (p. 1 00, 90). Nevertheless, it came to be doubted that Buddha's ethos of self- renunciation could possibly be considered "Aryan". Accordingly, Buddhism was assumed to be a degeneration of the genuinely Aryan Vedic religion of Power. Meanwhile the warlike Vedic Aryans had become the pride of certain anti- British Indian nationalists - after British images of subjugated Indians had attributed to them effeminate qualities and pragmatically irrelevant other worldliness.

Because of pragmatically obvious successes, far greater prestige than India had in Himmler's Germany triumphant Japan of the Samurai with their Bushido ethos. (In private Hitler counted the Japanese among the ‘lacquered half monkeys who want to feel the knout’. [3]) And victorious Japanese militarism had instrumentalized a particular Zen school of meditation to drill devaluation of life, discipline, will power and the suppression of emotions. (This went much further than the British models for strenghtening the will power -admiration for which had a much longer history in Germany (4) Thus Himmler himself recommended the model of Japan's Samurais to his SS, the "Samurais of Hitler", the elite of the elites, swayed by lower middle-Class upward mobility. (And the children of Germany's post-war Economic Miracle there were - still in 2000- recommended "the Road of the Samurai" for professional and private "success": pp. 194-195).

It had been the Count Karl Friedrich Dürkheim (no stranger to killing a family of squirrels for pure joy) who contributed Zen "Buddhist" ethics to make contempt for life and death in Hitler's Germany intellectually respectable. Japanese models of sacralization of power through Shinto mythology impressed Karl Haushofer, the mentor of Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.

However, for practical purposes, there sufficed the Lutheran notion that all governing authorities ("Obrigkeit") came from God... It was in spite of this that SS Chief Himmler promised to get rid of Christianity ("We must finish with Christianity. This great plague..., which has weakened us for every conflict.” [5]) But Nietzsche's declaring that "God is dead" was not enough: Alternatives to the Christian religion, so "alien to the Nordic race", were required to give notions inculcated into the SS a metaphysical foundation:

A sacralization of the warrior caste's duties was expected from the caste ethos of the Bhagavad Gita, the sacralization of race purity through the Brahmanic Code of Manu. For this the rational findings of Indology were put "into the service of the irrational" (p. 524), indological findings of seriously qualified specialists into the service of Himmler to elaborate an esoteric mythology for his SS. Thus Wilhelm Wüst (1901-1993), prominent in the philology of Indoeuropean languages, became Curator in Himmler's "Ahnenerbe" ("Ancestral Heritage") after 1936, 1939 SS-Standartenführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and the man of confidence of the SS Intelligence Service (SO) at the University of Munich -in 1941 its Rector. His kind of indologists made essential contributions to the "Aryan religion" of the SS as the central Order of Warriors, acting as if the Aryan faith were both inherited and constructable (“machbar”). It was to provide cosmogonic bases for Leadership through archetypes of Vedic gods like Indra and Varuna.

Consistently with this, Himmler's expedition to Tibet (in 1938/9) was interested more in its pre-Buddhist religion (Bon) than in Tibetan Buddhism. It sought proofs that Tibet once sheltered a high "Aryan" culture and that its Lamas were administering something of primeval Aryan wisdom (p. 158). Nordic remnants, supposedly going back to "Thule" of the mythic North, to the Hyperboreans and the "Continent" of Atlantis, were looked for in Tibet by Himmler's men. And yet this SS ("Ancestral Heritage") expedition to Lhasa was directed by the qualified Tibetologist Ernst Schäfer (1910-1992) - who had previously participated in an American Tibet expedition. He too was impressed by the four Swastika ornaments on the throne of Tibet's Regent Reting Rimpoche. Impressive for the SS expedition was Tibetan furniture made from parts of human bodies, particularly bones (p. 152f. : Skulls and skin from the corpses of Concentration Camp prisoners of the SS were subsequently made into "gift articles" [Geschenkartikel].) Buddhist reminders of the impermanence of all life, of the world of Suffering to be overcome by non-attachment, were "understood" (that is misunderstood) to suit a "morality" for the Survival of the Fittest, to suit the will to create a world where the weak would have no right to survive. Thus the SS race specialist Bruno Beger was deeply impressed by the Tibetan procedure of cutting dead bodies into pieces for birds' prey, "one of the most impressive experiences in Tibet's mysterious capital". (Later Beger organized a collection of skeletons of extermination Camp victims from Auschwitz, Central Asian Red Army prisoners of war. For participating in at least 86 murders he was sentenced to just three years -and that not before 1971 p.135f). What Hitler stopped was Himmler's plan to use the Tibetans -after the model of Lawrence of Arabia - for a military attack on British India (p.122). His decision resulted from insight into the impracticality of this (and from his admiration for the British Master Race).

Hitler was obviously not impressed by alleged military potentialities of occult abilities to dominate nature - allegedly preserved in Tibet - nor by the "polar powers centred there". This, precisely this, came to be believed, in Neo-Nazi literature, just after Hitler's "right of the stronger" turned out to be an illusion of the weaker. Such Fascism -which according to the Law of the Survival of the Fittest had lost all rights to survive- did survive by virtue of esoteric mvthology, a consolation for failure of biology (of social Darwinism).

Thus Baron Giulio Evola (1898-1974) did derive from the Vishnuite Bhagavad Gita a sacralization of Sadism in terms of the divine will of destruction of everything mortal, the Endlessness of the Divine meaning the perennial destruction of everything temporal: Thus the sacralized sadism of the Kshatrya warrior celebrates the Blood Sacrifice of Life -transcending the mere perversions of "profane" sadism. Accordingly, Murder becomes a holy sacrifice (246). Evola's publications of 1953 and 1961 made him the chief "philosophical authority", the Guru of today's Black Order of spiritual fascism (257), of the New Elite proclaiming anew more than merely Hitler's New Order: It is more explicit about the destruction of modern society. Evola was calling for precisely this ever since his main work, "The Revolt against Modernity" of 1935. Nevertheless, in spite of this admiration for the 55, the Kshatrya Warrior Order, he is but rarely mentioned in its literature of the 55 although he did influence its self-image (particularly the "Ancestral Heritage" of the "Grail Mystery" of the Templars). Better known is his influence on Fascism's "afterthought", the Italian race legislation since 1937.

Evola's "L'Uome come Potenza" ("The Male as Might") is a glorification of power generated through sexual energy, following models of Indian Tantric cults, associated particularly with the Female Energy (Shakti) of Shiva Rudra and Kali, Indian deities of destruction and regeneration. Among Evola's "applications" of them was killing – sacrificing - the Female (the female principle comprising both Compassion and Bolshevism...) -as its energy is to strenghten the Male, the Aryan Masculinity (p.234) which accumulates its own power by sacrificing the "Other".

These notions Evola derived from the Vajrayâna School of Tantric Buddhism. And with concepts from Tantric texts concludes his most influential work: The concept of Shambhala, symbolized by the Swastika pointing to, a center of Hyperborean traditions "of Aryan origins." Images of this mythic realm derive from the Tantric Kalachakra tradition. Its main texts have been made accessible in the post-war period, also by Jean Marquès Rivière, a French Sankritist, specialized in police persecution of secret societies, Masons and Jews in the semi-Fascist France of 1941-1944.

Of more popular influence in Latin esoteric post-war Fascism was the Chilean Miguel Serrano (born in 1917): Since 1938 he joined Chile "National Socialists" - and subsequently became their Fuehrer (after experiences as Chile's ambassador in India and in Communist Balkan states). In 1978, under the dictatorship of Pinochet, appeared his book "Hitler esotérico" -and, in 1982, "Hitler el último Avatar", then, in 1991, "Manu por el hombre que vendrá". These he called expressions of "esoteric Hitlerism". To Serrano is attributed the culmination of SS-mysticism. He assimilated most notions from Himmler's Ancestral Heritage and the writings of Evola. Serrano's books are reported to circulate now among Skin Heads, Satanists, and Nazi Metal Music fans. Hitler's birth in 1889 meant for him the beginning of a new Era (p. 425); Hitler was for him more than only a Superman but the Nordic god Wotan and also Kalki, the last incarnation of Vishnu - and the "Manu of the Future". For, as an archetype, according to Serrano, Hitler could not possibly die - and was carried away on an "UFO" (Unidentified Flying Object) to "Shambhala" (where reside his God-Men: pp. 436, 438). Behind what this Chilean Nazi offered is essentially Tantric instruction (p. 493). Indeed, he was, - like Evola and Marquès-Rivière - practicing Tantric rituals. And Tantrism meant for Serrano the main "wisdom" of the Hyperborean (Polar Nordic) Warrior Caste. Following Tantric "ethics" he supposed the deeds of the SS to be "beyond Good and Evil" -justifying the extermination of "Lower races" as fulfilment of "cosmic laws" .(Not effect but motivation matters in Tantrism - the motivation of most terrible deeds in it can be "Enlightenment" -which is potential Power (5A.) And the will to (absolute) Power of the "Aryan" is -according to Serrano too- generated by erotic vitalism. In fact, Tantric sex magic is considered to be the "mystical center" of Serrano's fascism (p. 441) - including the Tantric sacrifice of the Female: Woman was to be killed (at least "symbolically": p.442). In the Tantric context killing may result to be "unreal". (About the seeming "unreality" of modem racial genocide on the Black Continental Hannah Arendt noted: "Native life anyhow looked a <mere play of shadows>, so that when European men massacred them [these shadows, the natives], they somehow were not aware that they committed murder.) (5a)

And the living woman Serrano venerated he associated with the Nordic god Odin. She was Savitri Devi (Maximiliani Portas, daughter of an Englishman, born in France in 1905), venerated in the international Nazi subculture as Hitler's high priestess, "Prophetess of Aryan Revival". She had evolved from Greater Greece - through Theosophy - to the race cult of the "genuinely Aryan", that is to the "only surviving Aryan culture": Brahmanic India. There the Brahman Srimat Swami Satyananda, President of the Hindu Mission of Calcutta, revealed to her that Hitler would become the next incarnation of Vishnu. Similarly, the Pandit Rajawade of Poona identified Hitler with the Chakravartin of the Vishnu Purana scripture, destined to rule the world, the god Vishnu previously incarnated in Krishna. And Krishna Mukherji married Savitri Devi. He recognized the Kshatrya tradition of the Indian epic Mahabharata in the militancy of Hitler's Germany. Upon its collapse of 1945, Savitri Devi called upon Kali, the Goddess of Destruction, to destroy those who destroyed Nazi Germany (p. 346f). To this "priestess of Hitler" the hymns to Kali's fearsome consort Shiva, the male divinity of "creative destruction" I merged as a "Mantra" with "Heil Hitler" (pp. 347, 349): For Hitler was to become the coming Kalki (pp. 351, 358), destroyer of those who caused the degeneration of the World Age. And, in 1958, Savitri Devi came to attribute the sacralization of the extermination of Jews to the Bhagavad Gita (p. 356) -years after Austria's Lanz von Liebenfels, "the man who gave the ideas to Hitler", demanded that the Jews become a human sacrifice (p.334).

From occultism derived such "Aryosophic" predecessors of Nazism as the Thule Society of the Bavarian capital. And towards the Occult tends what survives of SS-mythology. The crisis of world economy promoted Nazism from obscurity into mass politics. And the prosperity that followed its military collapse pushed it back into obscurity of present day SS occultism.

Post-war SS mysticism of the Evolas and the Serranos derives its "Aryanism" more from Indian and Tibetan than from Teutonic sources. In the wake of the French Revolution the appeal to the Germanic (that is pre-medieval) past had been directed against the absolutist restoration -and the encouragement of Indologv, of studies about the wisdom of the Brahmans, served against Democracy. For mass consumption, Hitler pretended to defend the Occident against the onslaught of the Asiatics. After this military "defence of the Occident" collapsed, what survived of the SS-Ancestral Heritage took refuge in the Occult, increasingly borrowed from Southern Asia: Present day esoteric Hitlerism is Tantric (p. 441). After Hitler -as if by "meta-electric" energy-, having excluded the left, included Austria, switched on all the mass media, isolated Germany, ranged the whole of Europe into maximal tension, and finally brought: about his short circuit (5 B), he was made to mutate into an archetype of something like divine energy. Hitler has been converted esoterically into a myth, to be rooted in the transcendental - beyond all History. And up to the present day such esoteric Hitlerism is reported to grow (p. 526). In its subculture the SS is symbolized by the Black Sun. And its Sieg Heil ("Hail Victory"), after ending in defeat, was projected into becoming the chief Mantra of occult Power (p. 399, 411, 442) of the Black Sun, symbolizing the end of the World in the Nordic Edda, converted into the Solar Power of the "New Age".

At present, in the mysticism of the traditionally necrophile SS -with its Skull emblem, associated with mountains of corpses- are venerated the icons of Violence and Death. Some of the Rock music groups in this international subculture of Neo-Fascism have CD of 100,000 copies. And among their titles are: "Born in order to hate"; "Gospel of Inhumanity". Some of their bands are named "Spear of Longinus" [killer of Christ] and "Blood Axis", something of Satanism evolving into Pop culture, into the Rock music of Skin Heads (p. 451). According to Goodrick-Clarke, the Neo-Nazi Satanists and their Heavy Metal Rock groups among the Skin Heads in Europe and America are associated with "Kshatrya" notions about "Aryan" India's warriors. The song "Hitler as Kalki [future incarnation of the god Vishnu]" was created by the composer and rock music star known as "David Tibet": He calls himself "sympathizer of the Devil" in the context of Tantric "Buddhism" (p. 451f). In the Satanist literature the Nordic "Thule" and the SS Ancestral Heritage have become metaphors of the Underworld -with Heinrich Himmler as a Satanist adept. (A political joke from the Third Reich prophesied that-after its final victory- Himmler would become Underworld Marshall when Goering, the Reich’s Marshall, shall have been promoted to world Marshal.) According to Trimondi, even in purely Satanist circles have been absorbed ideas of the Fascist myth makers, of Evola, Miguel Serrano and Savitri Devi. After all, the place of Satan came since more than two centuries to be occupied by nefarious secret societies. And the book "Secret Societies and their Might in the 20th Century" by Jan van Helsing , appearing in 1993, was banned in Germany within three years - under a law against inciting the public ("Volksverhetzung"). However, in 1998 he published "The Mysteries of the Black Sun". Thus, mainly through him Esoterics have become "the most important route of penetration for extreme rightist cosmovision" (p. 398).

Thus the claim that the Third Reich had been conceived by German Templar Knights - as well as by Tibetan lamas - is no longer news. News is that the "gasoline" for the Neo-Nazis UFO's (Unidentified Flying Objects) shall henceforth consist of "Vril" [Virile?] Energy. Indeed, "Vril" is meant to be the "Metaphysical Gasoline" from the Atlantis, the lost Continent, particularly for the UFO's from a "National Socialist" engineering firm...: All this according to Wilhelm Landig's creation, titled "Idols against Thule, a novel full of reality". His Thule Trilogy (from the Vienna of 1971, 1980 and 1991) elaborated notions of Elena Blavatska and of Evola. It is considered a mixture of science fiction, pseudo-scholarly monograph and "National Socialist" history on a mythical pattern (p. 392f). In contrast, more recent publications of SS mysticism are indebted more directly to Tibetan Tantric notions (pp. 402f). "Notions about Might and Supermanhood (Maha Sidha) from Tantric Buddhism... could supply attractive doctrines for a world wide <Kshatrya> culture. sacralized techniques... to convert a soldier into a <holy killing machine>. This is why the SS Ancestral Heritage and surviving "SS mysticism" attempt to give themselves points of support in Tantric notions (p. 531). It is Tantrism that had been called -by its English advocate- "The way to Power'.

Particularly in regard to such present day SS esoterics the Trimondi's brilliant book has unusual scope. It takes the place of an entire library. Its bibliography alone would be worth the price of the book. To read it is a genuine intellectual experience. The authors make rich use of Tantric texts of the Kâlachakra School.

Yet, it has to be reminded that the Kâlachakra System remains marginal even in Tibetan Lamaism -just as Lamaism remains marginal in the Buddhist world as a whole. Helmut Hoffmann (otherwise cited in the book) has pointed out Tibetan historical resistance against Tantrism; the rise of Tibet's dominant "Yellow Church" did involve reactions against it. Hoffman had called attention to Iranian dualist -that is non-Buddhist- origins of precisely the Kâlachakra. (6) Although the authors rightly point out the primacy of compassion in the social ethics of Buddhism and themselves mention that "the Kâlachakra Tantra is in sharp contradiction to the originally pacifist tradition of Buddhism" (p. 513), they generalize from the Tantric Kâlachakra about Buddhism as a whole (p. 254). Thus in the heading "Buddhism as a doctrine of Power" (p. 254) -as well as in the reference to militarist Buddhism -by "Buddhism" is meant its Tantric degeneration. Unfortunately, Volker Zotz's (author of a book about Buddhism in German culture) attribution of "amorality" to Buddhism "from its very beginnings" is repeated uncritically (pp. 456ff), particularly in the unfortunate subtitle "Foundations of Buddhist thought and the ideology of National Socialism" (p. 454).

Thus the main problem with the book is its attempt to characterize Buddhism as a whole - its conclusions from particularities of SS mystery literature to generalities about Tibetan culture. In reality, the qualities attributed by "National Socialist" thinkers to Buddhism are no basis for its characterization -no matter how convincing points of departure Fascism finds in Tantric phenomena of Buddhism's decline. In fact, the Kâlachakra similarities to esoteric Fascism (p. 463) came about by Fascist imitations of Tantric categories of Vitalism and Power - which in themselves had been inherent in Nazi sentiment (not without impacts from Bavarian folk-vitalism). Even the famous [Fascist] Tibetologist's, Tucci's rhapsodies about "heroic Buddhism" (p. 193) cannot be accepted uncritically -just as War Sermons (usually on the text of Christ bringing not Peace but the Sword) could never characterize Christianity as a whole. (Logically Fascists have rejected its message while emulating its institution: the Church with its Hierarchy and Discipline.) Obviously the SS's-film about its expedition to the Dalai Lama's realm (pp. 155f) showed only what its chief desired to be seen -just as the exiled 14th Dalai Lama's Buddhist messages to the democratic world leave out what has been undemocratic in Lamaism. T 0 such present day uncritically unilateral images of exclusively humanitarian and pacifist Tibet this book is a most healthy corrective. Thus the authors point out that a public discussion about the Buddhist Tantrism of Tibet by the Dalai Lama would prevent its misuse and distortion by SS esoterics. But they can be easily misunderstood to the effect that there was nothing humanitarian and nothing pacifical about the Dalai Lama's realm, considering that among his friends was the SS auxiliary Jean Marquès Rivière as well as Guru Shoko Asahara who (in 1995) caused poison gas injury to more than 5000 victims in the Tokyo subway -as sacrifice to Shiva Rudra-Chakrin, apocalyptic world ruler in the Kâlachakra Tantra (pp. 505, 518). Such an "Aryan Priest-King" of post-war Nazi mysticism (p. 469f) -and not the specifically Buddhist universal ruler (Chakkavattî) is rightly compared with the Japanese Tenno -and wrongly with the ideal Buddhist emperor Ashoka of the third century B. C. (pp. 469f).

Most absurdly, Himmler's indologist Wüst and the Fascist Baron Evola as well as protagonists of postwar SS mysticism saw precisely in Ashoka the great power political model... of "the Aryan Priest-King". Their absurdities about Ashoka should have been contradicted most definitely. After all, he recorded his unforgettable regret even about "one thousandth part of those who were slain". "And this has been recorded in order that... whoever they may be, may not think of new conquests as worth achieving... through arrows." And that the only "real conquest is a Conquest through Dhamma [force of MoralitY1." Ashoka's pride was that he "achieved conquest through Dhamma ,... a conquest flavoured with love” (7). And yet, with Ashoka remaining unmentioned in the context of oriental ideals of universal empire, the Chakkavattî/Chakravartin (prototype of Buddhist kingship) appears under the subtitle "Apotheosis of the Führer" (p. 328). Among the numerous references to this Indian embodiment of absolute power remains unmentioned the Chakkavattî-Sutta, one of the earliest Buddhist texts, starting that to the Chakkavattî the East, South, West and North shall submit voluntary: He shall declare that no living being is to be injured. (8) In contrast, the Chakravartin meant by the authors is Kalki from the Brahmanic Vishnu Purana (with reference to whom concludes Evola's "Revolt against Modernity"), Aryan world ruler, symbolized by the Swastika (p. 256). In reality, Kalki in India and the Chakravartin in Buddhist Burma had inspired politically opposite phenomena too:

It was precisely from Kalki that same Pariah groups expected their emancipation against the caste hierarchy. In same rural areas Gandhi was identified with such a future incarnation of Vishnu. About the Chakkavattî Sutta's description of the ideal future state reminded in 1959 U Nu (Burma's Prime Minister 1947-1958 and 1960-1962) - with reference to his anti- imperialist Buddhist socialism. (9) In the name of the Chakkavattî (Burmanized as "Setkya Min") repeatedly revolted Burma's peasants (as recorder after 1837). With this ideal Buddhist ruler was identified the central figure of the Burmese Peasant War of 1930-1932. (10)

This shows how much more correctly than by Fascist indologists and their subsequent esoterics was Buddhism understood by Hitler's inspirer, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, and the Führer's rival Ludendorff. Chamberlain saw that Buddhism “was moved by humanitarian reverie, proclaiming the equality of all human beings” (10a). Ludendorff reminded that it "preached self-extinction..., spiritual and bodily disarmament" (p. 295), both comprehending its ethos better than Himmler's Professor Wüst and Mussolini's Baron Evola. A "Duce from Bengal" can be seen in Subhas Chandra Bose (pp. 93) only disregarding that a Soviet alliance would have been his first choice: As vanished Redeemer he "is biding his time... Millions of Indians believe... he is hiding in Moscow, being instructed in the principles of revolution... Eagerly they await[ed] him..." (11)

And archetypically less remotely from Communism than from Fascism led historically that "Gnosis", Satanizations of which are inherited in Political Science since Eric Voegelin (and echoed on p. 537): By "Gnosis" is usually meant its Manichean current. In fact, its vision of all material world, with all established institutions, being in the power of Evil, stimulated revolt rather than conservation of the established order. And that class distinctions and hierarchies have no meaning at all for the truly Initiated is among the messages of the Bhagavad Gita too: In the Brahman and in the [despised] cook of dog meat the wise ones behold the same. Already here [on earth] is Heaven won by those whose mind rests upon this Equality... That they are rich and noble think those blinded by ignorance. (12)

That the SS Chief invoked one passage from this <Song Divine> is no more a reflection upon this scripture (that was being invoked again and again by India's social reformers -not only in pacifist Gandhism (13) but also in "Hinduized Communism” (14) than the "socialist" name of Hitler's party is a reflection upon Socialism. It was not so much that Savitri Devi found in the Bhagavad Gita principles that lend themselves for a convincing integration into SS ideology (p. 360); it was rather that she insisted on having found them: Her conclusions are not covered by the texts she quoted (p.357), about fulfilling duty without regard for the outcome, about a just fight, about Heaven for the fallen warriors and the Earth for the victorious ones. Actually, the texts this "Priestess of Hitler" emphasized lend themselves in general to hopeless, heroic resistance against powers of this world, resistance that has been much less offered by Fascists (under whom the weak had no claim to survival) than by anti-Fascists with their faith in a world that shall belong to the weak. (15)

On the other hand, not to every Professor is given the character of professinq convictions: Thus it is more the adjustment of certain German indologists to financial incentives offered by 88 institutions than "affinities" of the Gita and of Buddhism to Fascism that is proved by 88 appropriations of "Oriental" thought.

The weakest text in the book might be that "a Buddhist dissolves his Ego for the 'Liberation' of all suffering beings and a National Socialist for <Nation and Race>, but this could again and again in the history of Buddhism mean the precept of killing out of compassion and wisdom"(p. 458).

1) Jean-Michael Angebert, The Occult and the Third Reich (New York, 1974); François Ribadeau Dumas, Hitler et la sorcellerie (Paris, 1975); RR Carmin, "Guru" Hitler, Die Geburt des Nationalsozialismus aus dem Geist von Mystik und Magie (Zürich, 1985); Jean Robin, Hitler, I'élu du dragon (Paris, 1987)
2) Hitler's speech of 28. April 1939: Deutscher Kurzwellensender; Hitler, Monologe im Führerhauptquartier, edit. W. Jochmann (Hamburg, 1980), pp. 48, 62 f.; W. Maser, Das Regime. Alltag 1933-1945 (Manchen, 1983), p. 259; J.H. Voigt, "Hitler und Indien": Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, IX (1971), pp. 33, 49
3) Hitler, Speech of 22. August 1939 to the supreme commanders; L.P. Lochner, What about Germany? (New York, 1942), p. 3
4) Gerwin Strobl, The Germanic Isle. Nazi perceptions of Britain (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 41, 42
5) Heinrich Himmler, Geheimreden und andere Ansprachen (Frankfurt, 1974), p. 159: Speech of 9th. June 1942
5a). Hannah Arendt, Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft (Frankfurt, 1955), pp. 307, 313
5A). S.B. Dasgupta, An introduction to Tantric Buddhism (Calcutta, 1958), p. 179 f; John Blofeld, The Way of Power (London, 1970)
5B) "Die Linke ausgeschaltet, Osterreich eingeschaltet, die Massenmedien gleichgeschaltet, Deutschland isoliert, ganz Europa in Spannung versetzt und schließlich den Kurzschluss erzeugt."
6) Helmut Hoffmann, Die Religionen Tibets (Freiburg B, 1956), p. 58 ff., 119 f., 163; Hoffmann, "Das Kâlachakra, die letzte Phase des Buddhismus in Indien": Saeculum, XV/2 (1964), p. 128
7) Ashoka's 13th Rock Edict: D.R Bhandarkar, Asoka (Calcutta 1925), pp. 300-303; J. Bloch, Les inscriptions d'Asoka (Paris, 1950), pp. 125-132
8 ) Cakkavatti-Sîhanâda-Sutta, Diaha Nikâva, XXVI, 6: Translation by Rhys Davids, Sacred Books of the East, IV (London, 1957), p. 63f
Monier-Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism. (London, 1889), p. 114; Bharatan Kumarappa, ­introduction to: M.K. Gandhi, Hindu Dharma (Ahmedabad, 1950), p. VIII; U Nu's Speech of November 16th, 1959 before the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (Burmese typescript given by U Nu to the author), pp. 17f, largely reprinted in Bama-hkit of 17. XI 1959, p. 8; Sarkisyanz, Buddhist Backgrounds of the Burmese Revolution (The Hague, 1965), p. 224
10) Cf. Maurice Collis, Trials in Burma (London, 1938), pp. 129, 273f.
10a) Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Briefwechsel mit Kaiser Wilhelm II (Munich, 1929), Vol. 11 p.152
11) J. A. Michener, Voice of Asia (New York, 1952), p. 265; of. NA Chadhuri, "Subhas Chandra Bhose, his legacy and legend": Pacific Affairs (1955), p. 356. All italics are mine.
12) Bhagavad Gita, V, 18f; XVI; 12-17; XIII, 29: translation by R Garbe (Leipzig, 1905), pp. 94, 140f, 132
13) W. Roland Scott, Social ethics of modern Hinduism (Calcutta, 1953), p. 109: "Gandhi maintained that non-violence was... a central teaching of the Gita" (sic); "the Gita ... does not teach, according to his opinions, violence": Wilhelm Mahlmann, Mahatma Gandhi, der Mann, sein Werk und seine Wirkung (Tabingen, 1950), p. 140
14) H.S. Sinha, Communism and Gita, A philosophico-ethical study (Delhi, 1979), pp. 264, 262: "The Gita would always ... shake hand [sic] with communism and bring out a workable synthesis...", "a valuational synthesis of these two systems can save humanity..."
15) There was no Nazi Leningrad that held out against a siege lasting nine hundred days of near starvation (in 1941 1944). On the Fascist side there was no Madrid that withstood more than two years of almost daily bombardments by aviation and artillery (in 1936/8); no [Basque] fishery launch !hat resisted an enemy battleship during an entire hour (on 5. March 1931) before sinking itself (having received about 200 impacts of naval cannon): It was but the Ocean that extinguished the fire of its last machine gun. (Sarria, De arrantzales a gudaris del Mar [Bermeo, Vizcaya, n.n.], p. 108)

Manuel Sarkisyanz (born 1923) had been a subject of the Shah of Iran. He studied at the University of Tehran and then at the University of Chicago. There, he wrote his first book, “Russia and the Messianism of the Orient”. Upon its publication in German he was immediately invited to Germany – initially as visiting professor in Freiburg und then in Kiel. Hs main interests lie in the comparative history of independence movements. Among his dozen of books are “History of the Oriental Peoples of the Russian Empire” (in German), “Rizal (national hero of the Philippines) and Republican Spain”, “Buddhist background of the Burmese Revolution”. His publication on historiography as apology for British rule in Burma (Ohio University Press) has also appeared in the Burmese language. The books of Sarkisyanz on the “American Resurgence in Peru” and on “Felipe Carrillo, the ‘Red’ Apostle of the Mayas” were published in both German and Spanish. The latter is now being translated into the language of Mayas of Yucatán (Mexico) where the author now lives most of the year.

See also:

Hitler-Buddha-Krishna – Presentation

Fascist Occultism and it’s Close Relationship to Buddhist Tantrism
American Dream
Posts: 19946
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:12 am



by Tara Carreon


Have you read Robert Thurman’s new book, Inner Revolution – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Real Happiness? From the subtitle, you'd expect to find a blend of Jeffersonian democracy and Buddhist psychological independence. Sort of the best of the West, and the best of the East. Good government from the West, healthy spirit from the East. The subtitle, taken directly from the United States Declaration of Independence, borrows a solemn ring of credibility from that hallowed political document. Little would you suspect that never once in the book's 322 pages would the Declaration of Independence be mentioned. Yet that is the case. Because strangely enough, Thurman has rejected democracy as the governmental system worthy to sustain human happiness, reserving that signal honor for theocracy.

So what is this "revolution" of which Thurman speaks? It is an event that never occurred, called Buddha's Cool Revolution. This cool revolution, once imagined by Thurman, echoes throughout history. The original "shot heard round the world" was not fired from a cannon to announce the American Revolution, but rather was Buddha's realization of enlightenment some 2,500 years earlier. And while you may have thought that Michelangelo was the fire behind the Renaissance, you'll be pleased to learn that the true stimulus was the golden reign of dharma in Tibet under Je Tsong Khapa, a time so transcendent that the rest of the world experienced a sympathetic cultural flowering. These flights are not the excesses of Thurman's writing, but its basic substance.

Rather than a cogent discussion of what Buddhism can add to the development of fair government, this book is a notebook filled with Thurman's piecemeal solutions for diverse social ills. Displaying no consistent political philosophy, Thurman encourages us, among other prescriptions, to provide generous government benefits to the Buddhist clergy, in exchange for which society will basically receive good vibes. This type of social calculus all works out in a place Thurman calls the "Buddhaverse."

Thurman’s Buddhaverse, a contraction of Buddha and Universe, is a familiar place in the world of political philosophy. As far as I can tell, it fits the definition of a Utopia. In Merriam-Webster, utopia is defined as “1: an imaginary and indefinitely remote place, 2: a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions, 3: an impractical scheme for social improvement.” Thurman’s Buddhaverse seems to qualify on all three counts. Like Thurman's Buddhaverse, too, the term "utopia" was invented -- Sir Thomas More joined the Greek words for “no” and “place,” (“ou” and “topos”) to create the contraction “no-place.” Further, both Thurman and More theorize morally coherent worlds that are intended to be "perfect." But More's Utopia is this in some sense tongue-in-cheek, while Thurman's Buddhaverse is dead serious.

Because Inner Revolution is earnest political philosophy, Thurman tries hard to make his Buddhaverse sound practical and achievable. Inner Revolution thus invokes the language of commerce, describing Tibet’s monasteries as “enlightenment factories” that churned out armies of wise men, and projects the image of powerful take-charge Buddhas who “overpower obstacles” on their way to a better tomorrow for all beings. Buddha is a “cool-war general” who “sent out an army of monks and nuns to infiltrate all countries.” Thurman's Buddha is the pivot of history, whose magical abilities can be invoked to conquer any practical objection. Casting aside any suggestion that the Buddha might've been made of ordinary human clay, Thurman's Buddha has more outlandish characteristics than Paul Bunyan. According to Thurman, Buddha arose from the boundary between infinity and form to take reincarnation through magical apparition in the brilliant Tushita heaven. He took rebirth as a male in the royal family of the Indian Shakya nation on the planet earth in 563 BCE, in order to make an earthshaking demonstration of the vanity of mundane ways by abandoning his kingdom, wife, and child.

Arriving in our earthly realm with the accumulated force of aeons of spiritual striving, the Buddha’s enlightenment drove a spiritual shock wave around the world that caused Zoroaster to revolutionize the Iranian religion, Deutero-Isaiah to codify the five books of Moses, Socrates to teach young boys, Confucius to write the I Ching, Lao Tzu to refute Confucius, and India to seethe with creativity. This "cool revolution" gradually took over all existing Asian governments.

If Thurman's Buddha is a spiritual general, his monks are soldiers in a war to liberate themselves from the obligation of working for a living. Buddha forced the issue by forbidding his monks from performing any service to society except for begging and sharing insights. The kings of Buddha's time, Thurman says, were wisely persuaded to accept the intrusion of a “vast, materially purposeless institution” in their country. Buddha thus used India's “economic surplus” to integrate monks into society. This was the beginning of what Thurman calls "an enlightenment movement."

The newly-empowered monks flexed their muscle during the reign of King Ashoka, who "heated up the cool revolution” in 262 BCE, imposing edicts to compel observance of Buddhist rules. Completely inverting the meaning of the term "revolution," Thurman calls Ashoka's edicts a "top-down spiritual revolution." Such torturing of language allows Thurman to argue that, because Ashoka built monuments, made enlightenment a prominent ideal, and promoted vegetarianism, he was a revolutionary. The one does not follow from the other. Ashoka was a king, who enjoyed the kingly prerogative of oppressing his subjects with his enthusiasms; this is far from a revolutionary notion. Prior historical authors labeled Ashoka an opportunist who sought alliances with the Buddhist clergy for secular purposes, but Thurman assures the reader that Ashoka created a glorious civilization based on the transcendent value of the individual, and "universal democracy." History does not support these claims. Aside from "cool" rhetoric, Thurman's enthusiasm for Ashoka's governmental style has little to recommend it.

In Thurman's history of Buddhism, we pass from Ashoka’s reign to 100 A.D. when “urgent adepts … mad with compassion and excruciatingly aware of the priceless opportunity of human life” demanded more from the Dharma – a quicker, more effective path. Thurman thus imagines a new phase in his invented social chronology of Buddhism. Having established the monastic class of non-workers to till the fields of spiritual insight, the enlightenment movement demanded “spiritual technology” to solve production problems that slowed the process of manufacturing Buddhas. The Buddha responded to the demand by releasing new methods, thus illustrating that essential spiritual principle -- the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Not surprisingly, this spiritual technology is in the form of magical ritual. The tantric siddhas received initiation from Buddha, who annointed them with healing elixirs of enlightened imagination, "propelling them out of the gross world of the senses and into a dreamlike, magical, extremely subtle realm where aeons are moments and universes are contained in atoms." Buddha also transmitted visualizations of a "sacred architectural plan" that provides the secret key to a mandalic reality so secure that adepts "perceive death as a luminous foundation rather than a lurking doom." With these new powers in their arsenal, Tibetan Buddhists were able to accelerate the process of liberating beings to a rate previously unheard of.

In all fairness to Thurman, this is the official Tibetan explanation for why their version of Buddhism is best -- because it is packed with Vitamin "M" for Magic and Mystery. Thurman simply retells the one-size-fits-all philosophy of his monastic preceptors, and making use of the freedom of expression allowed by monastic tradition, coins some new metaphors of his own. Thus does a traditional scholar add to the fund of spiritual knowledge -- with metaphor! And what metaphors!

Breaking out his thesaurus of medical analogies, Thurman says the Buddha developed “spiritual genetic engineering” to create “an immune system of the psyche for swiftly conquering the demons of the unconscious.” Revealing further medical discoveries, Thurman declares the existence of “a spiritual gene of universal compassion that determines one's further evolution and marks the biological continuum, making everyone a leader in the great effort toward salvation of all.” This could win Bob the Nobel, but where is the peer-review research, you want to know? Well that is difficult to produce, because Buddha taught these genomic teachings “to gods and extraterrestial bodhisattvas and leading students.”

In reliance on these technologies, unheard of since the days of Lobsang Rampa, Tibet hosted a spiritual industrial revolution that harnessed the Buddha's high tech wisdom in the ultimate laboratory of the enlightenment movement. Equipped with lamas capable of seeing through matter and discovering the nuclear energy of the mind, Tibet became the secret dynamo of spiritual history, turning the world toward Enlightenment.

Direct application of lessons drawn from Tibet's political history is a little tricky, however, because Tibet's history is a little different from our own. It includes magical events. For example, Thurman tells the tale of Padmasambhava's mighty struggle with the "ego of the national deity of Tibet" that Thurman likens to the epic battle of “Godzilla vs. Mothra, with cinematic special effects.” Appearing as a giant eagle, Padma swallowed Tibet's “potent father deity” that had appeared as a ferocious dragon. Just as things were about to wrap up, Padma’s partner in the enlightenment project, King Trisong Deutsen, burst in on the epic battle while the dragon's tail still thrashed from Padma’s mouth. Trisong Deutsen's intrusion ruined the exorcism. Furious, Padma predicted that now the deities of Tibet couldn't be relied upon to support the doctrine and a terrible price would have to be paid. While interesting, this Tibetan political anecdote is not exactly comparable to the Cuban missile crisis, and Thurman's efforts to give current significance to this ancient tale provide an example of how unproductive this process can be.

Then again, some might wish to adopt the method whereby Tibet trimmed its military budget by entrusting defense preparations to ancient mystical rites performed long ago by mythical beings. Thanks to Padmasambhava, many generations of Tibetans grew up inhabiting a “safe zone for Enlightenment,” generated by Padma’s installation of “a high altitude mandala of radiant spiritual energy that transformed the bloodthirsty savage deities of Tibet into servants of dharma.” Padma still lives in a hidden paradise somewhere in the jungles of Africa. Presumably, the lama/generals left in charge of the supernatural shield were unable to contact Padma when the Chinese invaded. Alas, another lesson to remember -- even the best technology is only as good as its tech support.

On the other hand, since the Vajra Strategic Defense Initiative did last for centuries, and kept people feeling secure, it might be deemed a good deal. After all, safe within that magic tent of invincibility, Tibet intensified its “inner industrial revolution” by developing “industrial strength” monasteries where individuals could transform their world into a Buddhaverse. The entire people of Tibet felt protected while engaged in a sustained attempt to create a society that provided everything individuals needed to achieve inner enlightenment revolution.

And what were Tibet's guiding political principles? What can we draw from their experience to guide our own search for government that will foster human enlightenment? Well, it certainly wasn't anything democratic. The Tibetan lamas created a "buddhocratic political system administered by enlightened heirarchs" born out of the “reincarnation institution.” In other words, the monks ruled the country through the tulku system, whereby old monks picked new monks from among the children of the realm, who in turn became old monks who picked new monks, etc., ad infinitum.

For Thurman, this is perfect! What could be better than appointing leaders vested with both spiritual and temporal power to make all decisions? This is the apex of both good government and true religion. Extending the logic, Thurman cannot help but ordain that a fully functioning Buddhaverse must be ruled by an enlightened tulku. Thurman pinpoints 1642 as the date when Tibet achieved this goal, when a Mongol warlord designated the Fifth Dalai Lama as a fit object of supreme reverence, and compelled his vassals to make offerings to the new theocrat. Thurman reinterprets this act of military compulsion as a showing of popular support for the Fifth Dalai Lama; however, this belief that tyrants express the will of the people seems, by this point, endemic to Thurman's thinking.

While the ascendancy of a god-being completes the logic of Thurman's Buddhaverse, it seems to have done little for Tibet. The subsequent histories of the Dalai Lamas appear to be a mix of monastic intrigue and foreign manipulation, concluding with the 13th Dalai Lama's frustration with his ministers and effective suicide ("conscious decision to die early"). Thus, if Tibet was Thurman's model Buddhaverse, it seems to have failed during testing.

More than the reign of the Dalai Lamas, Thurman plays up the cultural era sponsored by Tsong Khapa, the Gelugpa saint that Thurman declares was "completely enlightened" and developed “a curriculum that anyone could follow to reach enlightenment.” Tsong Khapa's enlightenment was a planetary phenomenon, a “spiritual pulsar” emitting enlightenment waves that likely caused the Western renaissance as a distant byproduct. During Tsong Khapa's heyday, everyone perceived Buddhas in the sky above, day after day, over entire regions and provinces. One-sixth of the Six Million Tibetans entered the huge monastic cities springing up around the country. The Tibetans felt they lived in a specially blessed and chosen land.

The greatest problem with turning Tibet into a Lost Buddhaverse is the fact that it likely never was one. In our longing to imagine a Utopian realm of perfection, writers have often penned hymns to a removed, protected realm, guarded by benevolent mystic powers, where the fortunate are able to learn timeless truths in peace. By choosing the language of statecraft, commerce and industry, Thurman cloaks his endeavor with a modern, can-do appearance. But the substance of his philosophy owes more to the Lobsang Rampa school of Tibetology than he would like to admit. Like Rampa's, Thurman's lamas are thorough magicians, controllers of the elements, time, and the minds of men. The question, with regard to such lamas, is not whether they can, but whether they wish, to do magic.

While such adulatory rambles once satisfied the need for any information about the lofty Tibetans, those times are gone, and Thurman's book a relic of them. If he has any coherent political thesis, it is that government should unite church and state in the single embrace of Vajrayana Buddhism, with monks and nuns charged with all-purpose duties of social betterment. To seriously suggest that a welfare system run by pious bureacrats is the next stage in government is mere naivete. And while the book might be a useful source of politically correct quotes for politicians looking to spiritualize the practice of statecraft, most would still get more from the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence from which Thurman lifted his subtitle:

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed...."

Unlike the Constitutional framers, Thurman places his faith in the intuitions and inspirations of the elite, the annointed, and the enlightened. He admires Ashoka, who compelled allegiance to an ideal creed, and the Mongol lord who made the Fifth Dalai Lama the ruler of Tibet. Thurman places no faith in the value of government based on the "consent of the governed," and thus his talk of democratic Buddhism is completely hollow. Inner Revolution provides only a nostalgic prescription to return to faith in special people and magical doctrines, and is marked by yearnings for supernatural solutions to concrete problems. The book fails to provide the up-to-date blending of spirit and politics promised by its title, and instead succeeds best as another pep rally to preserve the fading cultural heritage of Tibet.

Return to Table of Contents
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
-Malcolm X
American Dream
Posts: 19946
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

Postby American Dream » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:52 am


Excerpted from: The Shadow of the Dalai Lama Chapter 15, The buddhocratic conquest of the west, by Victor & Victoria Trimondi

Robert A. Thurman: “the academic godfather of the Tibetan cause”

Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman, the founder and current head of the Tibet House in New York, traveled to Dharamsala in the early 1960s. There he was introduced to the Dalai Lama as “a crazy American boy, very intelligent, and with a good heart” who wanted to become a Buddhist monk. The Tibetan hierarch acceded to the young American’s wish, ordained him as the first Westerner to become a Tibetan monk, and personally supervised his studies and initiatory exercises. He considered Thurman’s training to be so significant that he required a weekly personal meeting. Thurman’s first teacher was Khen Losang Dondrub, Abbot of the Namgyal monastery which was specifically commissioned to perform the so-called Kalachakra ritual. Later, the Kalmyk Geshe Wangal (1901–1983) was appointed as teacher of the “crazy” American (born 1941), who today maintains that he will be able to celebrate the Buddhization of the USA within his lifetime.

Having returned from India to the United States, Thurman began an academic career, studying at Harvard and translating several classic Buddhist texts from Tibetan. He then founded the “Tibet House” in New York, a missionary office for the spread of Lamaism in America disguised as a cultural institute.

Alongside the two actors Richard Gere and Steven Segal, Thurman is the crowd puller of Tibetan Buddhism in the USA. His famous daughter, the Hollywood actress Uma Thurman, who as a small child sat on the lap of the Tibetan “god-king”, has made no small contribution to her father’s popularity and opened the door to Hollywood celebrities. The Herald Tribune called Thurman “the academic godfather of the Tibetan cause” (Herald Tribune, 20 March 1997, p. 6) and in 1997 Time magazine ranked him among the 25 most influential opinion makers of America. He is described there with a telling ironic undertone as the “Saint Paul or Billy Graham of Buddhism” (Time, 28 April 1997, p. 42) Thurman is in fact extremely eloquent and understands how to fascinate his audience with powerful polemics and rhetorical brilliance. For example, he calls the Tibetans “the baby seals of the human right movement”.

In the Shugden affair, Thurman naturally took the side of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and proceeded with the most stringent measures against the “sectarians”, publicly disparaging them as the “Taliban of Buddhism”. When three monks were in stabbed to death in Dharamsala he saw this murder as a ritual act: “The three were stabbed repeatedly and cut up in a way that was like exorcism” (Newsweek, 5 May 1997, p. 43).

Thurman is the most highly exposed intellectual in the American Tibet scene. His profound knowledge of the occult foundations of Lamaism, his intensive study of Tibetan language and culture, his initiation as the first Lamaist monk from the western camp, his rhetorical brilliance and not least his close connection to the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, which is more than just a personal friendship and rests upon a religious political alliance, all make this man a major figure in the Lamaist world. The American is — as we shall see — the exoteric protagonist of an esoteric drama, whose script is written in what is known as the Kalachakra Tantra. He promotes a “cool revolution of the world community” and understands by this “a cool restoration of Lamaist Buddhism on a global scale”.

We met Robert Thurman in person at a Tibet Conference in Bonn (“Myth Tibet” in 1996). He was without doubt the most prominent and theatrical speaker and far exceeded the aspirations laid out by the conference. The organizers wanted to launch an academically aseptic discussion of Tibet and its history under the motto that our image of Tibet is a western projection. In truth, Tibet was and is a contradictory country like any other, and the Tibetans like other peoples have had a tumultuous history. The image of Tibet therefore needs to be purged of any occultism and one-sided glorification. Thus the most well-known figures of modern international Tibetology were gathered in Bonn. The proceedings were in fact surprisingly critical and an image of Tibet emerged which was able to peel away some illusions. There was no more talk of a faultless and spiritual Shangri-La up on the roof of the world.

Despite this apparently critical approach, the event must be described as a manipulation. First of all, the cliché that the West alone is responsible for the widespread image of Tibet found here was reinforced. We have shown at many points in our book that this blissful image is also a creation of the lamas and the Fourteenth Dalai Lama himself. Further, the fact that Lamaism possesses a world view in which western civilization is to be supplanted via a new Buddhist millennium and that it is systematically working towards this goal was completely elided from the debate in Bonn. It appears the globalizing claims of Tibetan Buddhism ought to be passed over silently. At this conference Tibet continued to be portrayed as the tiny country oppressed by the Chinese giant, and the academics, the majority of whom were practicing Buddhists, presented themselves as committed ethnologists advocating, albeit somewhat more critically than usual, the rescue of an endangered culture of a people under threat. By and large this was the orientation of the conference in Bonn. It was hoped to create an island of “sober” scholarliness and expertise in order to inject a note of realism into the by now via the media completely exaggerated image of Tibet — in the justifiable fear that this could not be maintained indefinitely.

This carefully considered objective of the assembled Tibetologists was demolished by Thurman. In a powerfully eloquent speech entitled “Getting beyond Orientalism in approaching Buddhism and Tibet: A central concept”, he sketched a vision of the Buddhization of our planet, and of the establishment of a worldwide “Buddhocracy”. Here he dared to go a number of steps further than in his at that stage not yet published book, Inner Revolution. The quintessence of his dedicated presentation was that the decadent, materialistic West would soon go under and a global monastic system along Tibetan lines would emerge in its stead. This could well be based on traditional Tibet, which today at the end of the materialistic age appears modern to many: “Three hundred years before, this is the time, what I called modern Tibet, which is the Buddhocratic, unmilitaristic, mass-monastic society …” (Thurman at the conference in Bonn).

Such perspectives clearly much irritated the conference organizers and immensely disturbed their ostensible attempt to introduce a note of academic clarity. The megalomaniac claims of Tibetan neo-Buddhism plainly and openly forced their way into the limelight during Thurman’s speech. A spectacular row with the officials resulted and Thurman left Bonn early.

Irrespective of one’s opinion of Thurman, his speech in Bonn was just plain honest; it called a spade a spade and remains an eminently important record since it introduced the term “Buddhocracy” into the discussion as something desirable, indeed as the sole safety anchor amid the fall of the Western world. Those who are familiar with the background to Lamaism will recognize that Thurman has translated into easily understood western terms the religious political global pretensions of the Tibetan system codified in the Kalachakra Tantra. The American “mouthpiece of the Dalai Lama” is the principal witness for the fact that a worldwide “Buddhocracy” is aspired to not just in the tantric rituals but also by the propagandists of Tibetan Buddhism. Thurman probably revised and tamed down his final manuscript for Inner Revolution in light of events in Bonn. There, the emotive terms Buddhocracy and Buddhocratic are no longer so central as they were in his speech in Bonn. Nonetheless a careful reading of his book reveals the Buddhocratic intentions are not hidden in any way. In order to more clearly give prominence to these intentions, however, we will review his book in connection with his speech in Bonn.

The stolen revolution

Anybody who summarizes the elements of the political program running through Thurman’s book Inner Revolution from cover to cover will soon recognize that they largely concern the demands of the “revolutionary” grass roots movement of the 70s and 80s. Here there is talk of equality of the sexes, individual freedom, personal emancipation, critical thought, nonconformity, grass roots democracy, human rights, a social ethos, a minimum income guaranteed by the state, equality of access to education, health and social services for all, ecological awareness, tolerance, pacifism, and self-realization. In an era in which all these ideas no longer have the same attraction as they did 20 years ago, such nostalgic demands are like a balsam. The ideals of the recent past appear to have not been in vain! The utopias of the 1960s will be realized after all, indeed, according to Thurman, this time without any use of violence. The era of “cool revolution” has just begun and we learn that all these individual and social political goals have always been a part of Buddhist cultural tradition, especially Tibetan-style Lamaism.

With this move, Thurman incorporates the entire set of ideas of a protest generation which sought to change the world along human-political lines and harnesses it to a Tibetan/Buddhist world view. In this he is a brilliant student of his smiling master, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Tens of thousands of people in Europe and America (including Petra Kelly and the authors) became victims of this skillful manipulation and believed that Lamaism could provide the example of a human-politically committed religion. Thousands stood up for Tibet, small and oppressed, because they revered in this country a treasure trove of spiritual and ethical values which would be destroyed by Chinese totalitarianism. Tibetan Buddhism as the final refuge of the social revolutionary ideals of the 70s, as the inheritance of the politically involved youth movement? This is — as we shall show — how Lamaism presents itself in Thurman’s book, and the Fourteenth Dalai Lama gives this interpretation his approval. “Thurman explained to me how some Western thinkers have assumed that Buddhism has no intention to change society ... Thurman’s book provides a timely correction to any lingering notions about Buddhism as an uncaring religion.” (Thurman1998, p. xiii)

But anyone who peeps behind the curtains must unfortunately ascertain that with his catalog of political demands Thurman holds a mirror up to the ideals of the “revolutionary” generation of the West, and that he fails to inform them about the reality of the Lamaist system in which used to and still does function along completely contrary social political lines.

Thurman’s forged history

In order to prevent this abuse of power becoming obvious, the construction of a forged history is necessary, as Thurman conscientiously and consistently demonstrates in his book. He presents the Tibet of old as a type of gentle “scholarly republic” of introspective monks, free of the turbulence of European/imperialist politics of business and war. In their seclusion these holy men performed over centuries a world mission, which is only now becoming noticeable. Since the Renaissance, Thurman explains, the West has effected the “outer modernity”, that is the “outer enlightenment” through the scientific revolution. At the same time (above all since the rule of the Fifth Dalai Lama in the seventeenth century) an “inner revolution” has taken place in the Himalayas, which the American boldly describes as “inner modernity”: “So we must qualify what we have come to call ‘modernity’ in the West as ‘materialistic’ or ‘outer’ modernity, and contrast it with a parallel but alternative Tibetan modernity qualified as ‘spiritualistic’ or ‘inner’ modernity” (Thurman 1998, p. 247). At the 1996 conference in Bonn he did in fact refer to the “inner modernization of the Tibetan society”.

Committed Buddhism, according to Thurman, is instigating a “cool revolution” (in the sense of ‘calm’).It is “cool” in contrast to the “hot” revolutions of the Western dominated history of the world which demanded so many casualties. The five fundamental principles of this “cool revolution” are cleverly assigned anew to a Western (and not Oriental) system of values: transcendental individualism, nonviolent pacifism, educational evolutionism, ecosocial altruism, universal democratism.

For Thurman, the Tibetan culture of “sacralization”, “magic”, “enlightenment”, “spiritual progress”, and “peaceful monasticism” stands in opposition to a Western civilization of “secularization”, “disenchantment”, “rationalization”, “profane belief in material progress”, and “materialism, industrialism, and militarism” (Thurman 1998, p. 246).Even though the “inner revolution” is unambiguously valued more highly, the achievements of the West ought not be totally abandoned in the future. Thurman sees the world culture of the dawning millennium in a hierarchical (East over West) union of both. Upon closer inspection, however, this “cool revolution” reveals itself to be a “cool restoration” in which the world is to be transformed into a Tibetan-style Buddhist monastic state.

To substantiate Lamaism’s global mission (the “cool revolution”) in his book, Thurman had to distort Tibetan history, or the history of Buddhism in general. He needed to construct a pure, faultless and ideal history which from the outset pursued an exemplary, highly ethical task of instruction, aimed to culminate eschatologically in the Buddhization of the entire planet. The Tibetan monasteries had to be portrayed as bulwarks of peace and spiritual development, altruistically at work in the social interests of all. The image of Tibet of old needed to appear appropriately noble-minded, “with”, Thurman says, “the cultivation of scholarship and artistry; with the administration of the political system by enlightened hierarchs; with ascetic charisma diffused among the common people; and with the development of the reincarnation institution. It was a process of the removal of deep roots in instinct and cultural patterns” (Thurman 1998, p. 231). A general misrepresentation in Thurman’s historical construction is the depiction of Buddhist society and especially Lamaism as fundamentally peaceful (to be played out in contrast to the deeply militaristic West): “[T]he main direction of the society was ecstatic and positive; intrigues, violence and persecution were rarer than in any other civilization” (Thurman 1998, p.36). Although appeals may be made to relevant sutras in support of such a pacifist image of Tibetan Buddhism, as a social reality it is completely fictive.

As we have demonstrated, the opposite is the case. Lamaism was caught up in bloody struggles between the various monastic factions from the outset. There was a terrible “civil war” in which the country’s two main orders faced one another as opponents. Political murder has always been par for the course and even the Dalai Lamas have not been spared. Even in the brief history of the exiled Tibetans it is a constant occurrence. The concept of the enemy was deeply anchored in ancient Tibetan culture, and persists to this day. Thus the destruction of “enemies of the teaching” is one of the standard requirements of all tantric ritual texts. The sexual magic practices which lie at the center of this religion and which Thurman either conceals or interprets as an expression of cooperation and sexual equality are based upon a fundamental misogyny. The social misery of the masses in old Tibet was shocking and repulsive, the authority of the priestly state was absolute and extended over life and death. To present Tibet’s traditional society as a political example for modernity, in which the people had oriented themselves toward a “broad social ethic” and in which anybody could achieve “freedom and happiness” (Thurman 1998, p. 138) is farcical.

Thus one shudders at the thought when Thurman opens up the following perspective for the world to come: “In the sacred history of the transformation of the wild frontier [pre-Buddhist] land of Tibet [into a Buddhocracy], we find a blueprint for completing the taming of our own wild world” (Thurman 1998, p. 220)

Thurman introduces the Buddhist emperor Ashoka (regnant from 272 to 236 B.C.E.), who “saw the practical superiority of moral and enlightened policy” (Thurman 1998, p. 115), as a political example for the times ahead. He portrays this Indian emperor as a “prince of peace” who — although originally a terrible hero of the battlefield — following a deep inner conversion abjured all war, transformed hate and pugnacity into compassion and nonviolence, and conducted a “spiritual revolution” to the benefit of all suffering beings. In the chapter entitled “A kingly revolution” (Thurman 1988, pp.109ff.), the author suggests that the Ashoka kingdom’s form of government, oriented along monastic lines, could today once again function as a model for the establishment of a worldwide Buddhist state. Thurman says that “[t]he politics of enlightenment since Ashoka proposes a truth-conquest of the planet—a Dharma-conquest, meaning a cultural, educational, and intellectual conquest” (Thurman 1998, p. 282).

Thurman wisely remains silent about the fact that this Maurya dynasty ruler was responsible for numerous un-Buddhist acts. For instance, under his reign the death penalty for criminals was not abolished, among whom his own wife, Tisyaraksita, must have been counted, as he had her executed. In a Buddhist (!) description of his life, a Sanskrit work titled Ashokavandana, it states that he at one stage had 18,000 non-Buddhists, presumably Jainas, put to death, as one of them had insulted the “true teaching”, albeit in a relatively mild manner. In another instance he is alleged to have driven a Jaina and his entire family into their house which he then ordered to be burnt to the ground.

Nonetheless, Emperor Ashoka is a “cool revolutionary” for Thurman. His politics proclaimed “a social style of tolerance and admiration of nonviolence. They made the community a secure establishment that became unquestioned in its ubiquitous presence as school for gentleness, concentration, and liberation of critical reason; asylum for nonconformity; egalitarian democratic community, where decisions were made by consensual vote” (Thurman 1998, p. 117). To depict the absolutist emperor Ashoka as a guarantor and exemplar of an “egalitarian democratic community”, is a brilliant feat of arbitrary historical interpretation!

With equal emphasis Thurman presents the Indian/Buddhist Maha Siddhas (‘Grand Sorcerers’) as exemplary heroes of the ethos for whom there was no greater wish than to make others happy. However, as we have described in detail, these “ascetics who tamed the world” employed extremely dubious methods to this end, namely, they cultivated pure transgression in order to prove the vanity of all being. Their tantric, i.e., sexual magic, practices, in which they deliberately did evil (murder, rape, necrophagy) with the ostensible intention of creating something good, should, according to Thurman, be counted among the most significant acts of human civilization. Anyone who casts a glance over the “hagiographies” of these Maha Siddhas will be amazed at the barbaric consciousness possessed by these “heroes” of the tantric path. Only very rarely can socially ethical behavior be ascertained among these figures, who deliberately adopted asociality as a lifestyle.

But for Thurman these Maha Siddhas and their later Tibetan imitations are “radiant bodies of energy” upon whom the fate of humanity depends. “It is said that the hillsides and retreats of central Tibet were ablaze with the light generated by profound concentration, penetrating insights, and magnificent deeds of enthusiastic practitioners. The entire populace was moved by the energy released by individuals breaking through their age-old ignorance and prejudices and realizing enlightenment.” (Thurman 1998, pp. 227-228) When one compares the horrors of Tibetan history with the horrors in the tantric texts followed by the “enthusiastic practitioners”, then Thurman may indeed be correct. It is just that it was primarily dark energies which affected the Tibetan population and kept them in ignorance and servitude. Serfdom and slavery are attributes of old Tibetan society, just like an inhumane penal code and a pervasive oppression of women.

Padmasambhava, the supreme ambivalent founding figure of Tibetan Buddhism, is also celebrated by Thurman as an committed scholar of enlightenment. (Thurman 1998, 210). Nothing could be less typical of this sorcerer, who covered the Land of Snows with his excommunications and introduced the wrathful gods of pre-Buddhist Tibet in a horror army of aggressive protective spirits, not so that their terrible character could be transformed, but rather so that they could now protect with sword and fright the “true teaching of Buddha” from its enemies. Great scholars of the Gelugpa order have time and again pointed out the ambivalence of this iridescent “cultural founder” (Padmasambhava), among whose deeds are two brutal infanticides, and expressly distanced themselves from his barbaric lifestyle.

When the Indian scholar Atisha began his work in Tibet in the 11th century, he encountered a completely dissolute monastic caste in total chaos and where one could no longer speak of morals. At least this is what the historical records (the Blue Annals) report. Thurman suppresses this Lamaist moral collapse and simply maintains the opposite: “When Atisha arrived in Tibet, monastic practitioners were limiting themselves to strict moral and ritual observances” (Thurman 1998, p. 226). This is indeed a very euphemistic representation of the whoring and secularized monasteries against which Atisha took to the field with a new moral codex.

For Thurman, the Great Prayer Festival (Mönlam) institutionalized by Tsongkhapa and reactivated by the Fifth Dalai Lama, a raw Lamaist carnival in which monks were allowed absolutely everything and a truly horrible scapegoat ritual was performed, was a sacred event where “the power of compassion is manifest, the immediacy of grace is experienced” (Thurman 1998, p. 235). At another stage he says that, “[i]n Tibet, the Great Prayer Festival guaranteed the best of possibilities for everyone. People’s feelings of being in an apocalyptic time in a specially blessed and chosen land—in their own form of a “New Jerusalem”, a Kingdom of Heaven manifest on earth—had a powerful effect on the whole society” (Thurman 1998, pp. 238-239). When we compare this apotheosis of the said event with the already cited eyewitness report by Heinrich Harrer, we see the lack of restraint with which Thurman reveres the Tibet of old. Harrer, whose portrayal is confirmed by many other travel accounts, regarded the scenario completely differently: “As if emerging from hypnosis”, writes the mentor of the young Dalai Lama, “at this moment the tens of thousands spring from order in to chaos. The transition is so sudden, that one is speechless. Shouting, wild gesticulation .. they trample over one another, almost murder each other. The still-weeping prayers, ecstatically absorbed, become ravers. The monastic soldiers begin their duty! Huge fellows with stuffed shoulders and blackened faces — so that the deterrent effect becomes even stronger. Ruthlessly they lay into the crowd with their batons ... one takes the blows wailing, but even the beaten return again. As if they were possessed by demons” (Heinrich Harrer, 1984, p. 142). — Thurman’s “New Jerusalem”, possessed by demons on the roof of the world? —an interesting scenario for a horror film!

We find a further pinnacle of Thurman’s historical falsification in the portrait of the greatest Lamaist potentate, the Fifth Dalai Lama. Of all people, this “Priest-King” attuned to the accumulation of external power and pomp is built up by the author in to a hero of the “inner revolution”. He paints the picture of a prudent and farsighted fathers of his country (“a gentle genius, scholar, and reincarnate saint” — Thurman 1998, p. 248), who is compelled — against his will and his fundamentally Buddhist attitude — to conduct a n horrific “civil war” (in which he lets great numbers of monks from other orders be massacred by the Mongol warriors summoned to the country). Thurman presents the conflict as a quarrel between various warlords in which the “peaceful” monks become embroiled.

Here again, the opposite was the case: the two chief Tibetan Buddhist orders of the time (Gelugpa and Kagyupa) were pulling the strings, even if they let worldly armies battle for them. Thurman misrepresents this monastic war as a battle between cliques of nobles and ultimately “the final showdown in Tibet between militarism and monasticism” (Thurman 1998, p. 249), whereby the latter as the party of peace is victorious thanks to the genius of the Fifth Dalai Lama and goes on to all but establish a “Buddha paradise” on earth.

All this is a pious/impudent invention of the American Tibetologist. The merciless warrior mentality of the Fifth Dalai Lama spread fear and alarm among his foes. His dark occult side, his fascination for the sexual magic of the Nyingmapa (which he himself practiced), his unrestrained rewriting of history and much more; these are all highly unpleasant facts, which are deliberately concealed by Thurman, since an historically accurate portrait of the “Great Fifth” could have embarrassing consequences, as the Fourteenth Dalai Lama constantly refers to this predecessor of his and has announced him to be his greatest example.

It would be wrong to deny the Fifth Dalai Lama any political or administrative skill; he was, just like his contemporary, Louis the Fourteenth, to whom he is often compared, an “ingenious” statesman. But this made him no prince of peace. His goal consisted of resolutely placing the fate of the country in the hands of the clergy with himself as the undisputed spiritual and secular leader. To this end (like the Fourteenth Dalai Lama today) he played the various orders off against one another. The Fifth Dalai Lama formulated the political foundations of a “Buddhocracy” which Robert Thurman would be glad to see as the model for a future worlds community, and which we wish to examine more closely in the next section.

A worldwide Buddhocracy

At the conference on Tibet in Bonn mentioned above (“Mythos Tibet”, 1996) Robert Thurman with stirring pathos prophesied the “fall of the West” and left no doubt that the future of our planet lies in a worldwide, as he stressed literally, “Buddhocracy”. Europe has renounced its sacred past, demystified its natural environment, established a secular realm, and closed off access to the sacred “represented by monasticism and its organized striving for perfection”. Materialism, industrialization and militarization have taken the place of the sacred (Thurman 1998, p. 246).

At the same time a reverse process has taken place in Tibet. Society has become increasingly sacralized and devoted itself to the creation of a “buddhaverse”. (In the wake of the Tibetologists’ criticisms in Bonn, Thurman appears to have opted for his own neologism “buddhaverse” in place of the somewhat offensive “Buddhocracy”; the meaning intended remains the same.) A re-enchantment of reality has taken place in Tibet, and the system is dedicated to the perfection of the individual. The warrior spirit has been dismantled. All these claims are untrue, and can be disproved by countless counterexamples. Nevertheless, Thurman presumes to declare them expressions of traditional Tibet’s “inner modernity”, which is ultimately superior to Europe’s “outer modernity”: “As Europe was pushing away the Pope, the Church, and the enchantment of everyday life, Tibet was turning over the reins of its country to a new kind of government, which cannot properly be called ‘theocratic’, since the Tibetans do not believe in an omnipotent God, but which can be called ‘Buddhocratic’” (Thurman 1998, p. 248). This form of government is supposed to guide our future. At the Tibet conference in Bonn, Thurman made this clearer: “Yes, not theocratic, because that brings [with it a] comparison to the Holy Roman Empire ... because it has the conception of an authoritarian God controlling the universe” (Thurman at the conference in Bonn). Thurman seems to think the concept of an “authoritarian Buddha” does not exist, although this is precisely what may be found at the basis of the Lamaist system.

For the author, the monasticization of Tibetan society was a lucky millennial event for humanity which reached its preliminary peak in the era in which the Gelugpa order was founded by Tsongkhapa (1357–1419) and the institution of the Dalai Lama was established. In Bonn Thurman praised this period as “the millennium of the fifteenth century of the planetary unique form of modern Tibetan society ... [which] led to the unfolding in the seventeenth century [of] what I call post-millennial, inwardly modern, mass-monastic, or even Buddhocratic [society]”. Tsongkhapa is presented as the founding father of this “modern Tibet”: he “was a spiritual prodigy. ... He perceived a cosmic shift from universe to buddhaverse” (Thurman 1998, pp. 232–233).

The Tibet of old was, according to Thurman, just such a buddhaverse, an earthly “Buddha paradise”, governed by nonviolence and wisdom, generosity, sensitivity, and tolerance. An exemplary enlightened consciousness was cultivated in the monastic Jewel Community. The monasteries provided the guarantee that politics was conducted along ethical lines: “The monastic core provides the cocoon for the free creativity of the lay Jewel Community” (Thurman 1998, p. 294).

This “monastic form of government”, pre-tested by Old Tibet, provides a vision for the future for Thurman: “I am very interested in this. I feel a very strong trend in this [direction]” (Thurman’s presentation in Bonn). The “monasticization” which was then (i.e., in the fifteenth century) spreading through Asia whilst the doors to the monasteries of Europe were closing, has once again become significant on a global political level. “And if you study Max Weber carefully... in fact what secularization and industrial progress brought had a lot to do with the slamming of the monastery doors. ... So, a monastic form of government is an unthinkable thing for Western society. We often say Tibet is frozen in the Middle Ages because Tibet is not secularized in the way the Western world is! It moved out of the balance between sacred and secular and went into a sacralization process and enchanted the universe. The concrete proof of that was that the monasteries provided the government” (Thurman in Bonn).

Here, Thurman is paraphrasing Weber’s thesis of the “disenchantment of the world” which accompanied the rise of capitalism. The “re-enchantment of the world” is a political program for him, which can only be carried out by Lamaist monks. Monasticism “is the shelter and training ground for the nonviolent ‘army’, the shock troops for the sustained social revolution the Buddha initiated ...” (Thurman 1998, p. 294, § 15). The monastic clergy would progressively assume control of political matters via a three-stage plan. In the final phase of this plan, “the society is able to enjoy the universe of enlightenment, and Jewel Community institutions [the monasteries] openly take responsibility for the society’s direction” (Thurman 1998, p. 296, § 24).

But this is no unreal utopia, since “Tibetan society is the only one in planetary history in which this third phase has been partially reached” (Thurman 1998, p. 296, § 25).In this sentence Thurman quite plainly proclaims a Buddhocracy along Lamaist lines to be the next model for the world community! Elsewhere, the Tibetologist is more precise: “The countercultural monastic movement no longer needs to lie low and is able to give the ruling powers advice, spiritual and social. Enlightened sages can begin to advise their royal disciples on how to conduct the daily affairs of society, such as what should be their policies and practices. Likewise, after a long period of such evolution, the entire movement can reach a cool fruition, when the countercultural enlightenment movement becomes mainstream and openly takes responsibility for the whole society, which eventually happened in Tibet” (Thurman 1998, p. 166, footnote).

According to Thurman, the Lamaist clergy assumes political power with — as we shall see — the incarnation of a super-being at its helm, an absolute monarch, who unites spiritual and worldly power within himself. The triumphant advance of the monastic system began in India in around 500 B.C.E. and spread throughout all of Asia in the intervening years. But this, Thurman says, is only a prelude: “The phenomenal success of monasticism, eventually Eurasia-wide, can be understood as the progressive truth-conquest of the world” (Thurman 1998, p. 105). Pie in the sky, or a event soon to come? Thurman’s statements on this are contradictory. In his book he talks of a “hope for the future”. But in interviews with the press, he has let it be known that he will experience the Buddhization of America in his own lifetime. In 1997, his friend, the Hollywood actor Richard Gere, was also convinced that the transformation of the world into a Buddhocracy would occur suddenly, like an atomic explosion, and that the “critical mass” would soon be reached (Herald Tribune, 20 March 1997, p. 6).

According to the author, the Lamaist power elite of the coming “Buddhocracy” is basically immortal because of the incarnation system. They already pulled the political strings in Tibet in the past, and will, in the author’s opinion, assume this role for the entire world in future: “Whatever the spiritual reality of these reincarnations, the social impact of this form of leadership was immense. It sealed the emerging spirituality of Tibetan society, in that death, which ordinarily interrupts progress in any society, could no longer block positive development. Just as Shakyamuni could be present to the practitioner through the initiation procedure and the sophisticated visualization techniques, so fully realized saints and sages were not withdrawn by death from their disciples, who depended on them to attain fulfillment (Thurman 1998, p. 231).

One can only be amazed — at the impudence with which Thurman praises the “Buddhocracy” of the Lamas as the highest form of “democracy”; at how he portrays Tibetan Buddhism, which is based upon a ritual dissolution of the individual, as the highest level of individual development; at how he depicts Tantrism, with its morbid sexual magic techniques for male monks to absorb feminine energies, as the only religion in which god and goddess are worshipped as balanced equals; at how he glorifies the cruel war gods and warrior monks of the Land of Snows as pacifists; at how he presents the medieval/monastic social form of Tibet as an expression of the modern and as offering the only model for a global world-society.

American Dream
Posts: 19946
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Data & Research Compilations

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests