Why waste time with all this bullshit, Conrad? You had a Guru once who is as True as they come. That he was/is a difficult man of undeniable complexity and contradiction does not make his Realization less than True. All the condescending remarks you make about Adi Da-or anyone else who makes such remarks-are just a sign of immaturity and immersion in your own self-importance. Like Ken W, your are angry that some actual Great Realizer didn't coddle you along. You guys all work so hard to prove with words and books and websites just how smart you are and how wrong God was to not see it.[Whether that is Adi Da, Papaji, Sri Lakshmana or the God in your dreams at night.] I don't need a PhD to see the charade... it is visible for all to see via the interminable lengths to which you go to defend your personal beliefs and ideas. Not just you, Conrad, but all the middle-aged ex-devotees of someone or other, who seem to NEED to express themselves on the internet. It's tragic that you are not bored with it all yet. I remember when you first came to the Community...you were rather innocently self-possessed then...young and overly impressed with your own intellectual intelligence. [Like a lot of guys were at the time.] You aren't so young now, nor is there anything remotely innocent about your self-possession. These forums are just another form of porn, Conrad. It's like jerking off in public again and again. Because there is no shame and no recognition of the Beloved--just an endless driven search for release. All of you guys just wagging your dicks at one another, pretending to be tolerant and forgiving. I'd rather see a good fist-fight. It would be far more honest and real considering where you are really at. You failed. You failed to REALLY fall in Love with God. You failed to go beyond your own tendencies...all the ones that keep you painfully identified with a personal self. You still espouse them vociferously in your writings. No one is really going to understand you, Conrad. No one really cares. I don't say this to be mean...it is simply the truth. The One you seek is on the other side of everything you are now commited to doing to justify your life and existence. All of these words and endless diatribes are just a symptom of your illness...ALL OF YOU, who go on and on, living in your heads but blah-bla-blahing about your hearts. You are all angry and insulted that God did not somehow recognize little old you and give you The Great Gift. You pretend humility...bull-shit again. If life had truly made you a humble man, you would not be wasting your time writing all this crap and think that quoting some Realizer, whom you never met,legitimizes your dumb ideas. Instead, you would be giving everything you've got to stoking the fire of your love for God. Even if it was only a little bit...a baby-step as it were. You would not care that the fire burns your precious personal identity. You would see that it is not the world that humiliates you, but that the real humiliation comes from watching the years go by and still refusing to let go of all the endless thinking and posturing. It's your own pain that keeps you going here and this blog epitomizes evrything you do to keep from feeling that pain. IT IS NOT THE TRUTH. You can write yourself into the grave, IT WILL NEVER BE THE TRUTH!!! You cling mightily to the very tendencies that prevent you from seeing this machine of suffering from the other side of the fence. I have not been a formal devotee of Adi Da's for 15 yrs...and yet the spiritual relationship never ended. It only got stronger over the years. He gave me Everything...again and again and again...he showed me what love is. He showed me that even the greatest blisses must be sacrificed in love. He showed me the great secret of being ordinary. The Fire still burns...I ain't done cookin yet. But I can tell you, you must find the joy in the utter ruination of all that you identify with as Conrad. There is such a freedom in just that much. It is not the final Realization, but it is the beginning of real sadhana and Self-respect. It is also a release from all the spriritual romanticism that has grown out of the ready availability of esoteric teachings in our generation. Stop all the mental masturbation. Figure out why you gave up the real fight. Good luck.
Love from another Victoria
I don't know who this woman is. I recall a Victoria from times past in Adidam, but never knew her well, and never formed an opinion of her. (My wife is named Victoria, so she's aware of that much about me). There's not much to say in response, except that this is an example of how the experience of having been in Adidam can twist a person in knots that they can't get out of without lashing at others. What's interesting to me is that someone who had actually stayed in Adidam would be very unlikely to respond with such hostility to my blog writings. But someone who had left Adidam, and yet remained a devotee - in their own mind at least - is often carrying powerful internal tensions and contradictions within themselves that burst out when they come across criticism of Adi Da.
There's a small but significant number of people like Victoria, who have left Adidam for all kinds of reasons that they may not be able to face up to, but who persist in thinking of Adi Da as their Guru, and they often react more strongly to criticism of Adi Da than actual members of Adidam. Why is this? My guess is that they have simply suppressed their own reactions to Adi Da, and Adidam, and cannot face up to why they left, but compensated for those reactions by becoming, in their own minds at least, the strongest advocates of Adidam. Joe Blanchete over at the Daism forum is a good example of this type. These people simply cannot face up to the fact that they left their Guru, they cannot face their own feelings of betrayal, their own negative response to Adi Da and Adidam, and so it all comes rushing out when someone criticizes Adi Da in any way.
Victoria's reaction is strange. Her primary motive seems to be to get me to shut up, to stop saying anything about Adi Da. Why the suppressive response? It's fairly obvious that she has been suppressing her own feelings about Adidam for a very long time, and she wants to enforce that on others as well. It's natural that she wouldn't much like my blog, but the intense reaction suggests that it hit a nerve in her, in her own negative feelings about Adidam that she's somehow been keeping beneath the surface all these years. She doesn't say why she left Adidam, but clearly there must have been something negative about the experience. What else could explain why she stays away from someone she loves and considers her Guru? Obviously she is deeply conflicted about Adidam, because everyone who's been in Adidam knows that Adi Da does not give permission for people to leave, and does not acknowledge anyone who leaves as his devotee. He only acknowledges formally practicing members of Adidam as his devotees. So Victoria is not his devotee, even if she likes to think of herself as one. She has to cope every day with the knowledge that her Guru feels that she has betrayed him, more deeply than I have even, since I no longer consider him my Guru. It's one thing for someone like me to leave and criticize, it's quite another for a loyal devotee like Victoria to do the same. And that creates a terrible tension in a person that can't abide encountering anything which might bring the conflict to the surface. Hence, massive suppression, not just of oneself, but of others as well.
What this kind of conflict does to a person is not pretty. Victoria thinks my tolerance and compassion are false and studied, so I won't try to offer my sympathies to her. But clearly she is in need of help and a place to open up and talk freely about her experience in Adidam, why she left, why she stays gone, and what her conflict with Adi Da is all about. This probably isn't the right place for that, but if she wants to give it a try, I'm open to it.
This is an example of the kind of harm many people who have been involved with Adidam suffer from. Much of it is unnecessary and can be resolved fairly easily by simply talking openly about it all, rather than suppressing these feelings. People do, even 15 years after leaving, suffer guilt, pain, hostility, and all sorts of suppressed emotions which they don't feel free to confess, so they project them onto convenient targets such as this blog. I know her criticism of me isn't personal, it's not even about me actually, it's about her own relationship to Adi Da. She's not got things right with him, or with herself. She has an idea of Adi Da in her mind that doesn't match up to the Adi Da who is actually alive and whom she once had a relationship with. Something about the Adi Da in her mind is very precious to her, and represents her own "God" as it were. She needs to know that I am not criticizing the God in her mind, but the man and the life she left long ago for reasons of her own choosing. The God in her mind is not Adi Da, though she continues to make that association. The God in her mind may be a much better God than Adi Da has been in life even, I don't criticize the God she has made Adi Da out to be. I simply criticize the man who has tried to make a God of himself, and used that God to gain a hold on people's minds. Obviously he gained a hold on Victoria's mind that even 15 years later still retains its grip. She should free herself from that grip on her mind, and let her mind be free of it all - for her own sake, not for me or any other "hostile" ex-devotees.
Unless Victoria chooses to return to Adidam, she really ought to just let go of Adi Da and let herself be free of his imposition on her mind. At least I think she'd be better off that way. Obviously she has tried to develop a spiritual life on her own, and the image of Adi Da is only an obstruction at this point, one she could be free of simply by recognizing it as a relic of her past, not a reality of her present. As Da himself once said, once you recognize something as garbage, you have no choice by to throw it away, and everything the Guru gives you is garbage. So Victoria's problem is simply that she doesn't recognize her attachment to this image of Adi Da as garbage, but continues to hold onto it even 15 years after the fact. What a heavy burden to carry around. Wouldn't she feel so much lighter without that load on her shoulders? People do become attached to their suffering, however, and it's not always so easy to let it go. It's understandable that she needs to vent, even at me. But it's even more important that she recognize that it's not me she's angry at. It's someone much closer to her heart.