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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion, Part 47 August 24, 2008

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Welcome to the newest addition to the Fellowship of Friends Discussion.

For previous parts of the discussion please click on home and scroll down, or move to the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, or to AnimamRecro for the very beginning. For a more organized reading check out The Fellowship of Friends WikiSpace.

The largest meeting point for former and current members of the Fellowship of Friends is the Greater Fellowship, you can sign up to the Greater Fellowship community and connect with mostly former members of the Fellowship of Friends, as well as: some current members, family members of former/current members, and others interested in the Fourth Way here.

For sites in Russian and Italian, click http://fofway.narod.ru/ and http://laliberastrada.blogspot.com/ respectively.

For more information check Rick Ross and Steven Hassan.

This is where you can find the website of the Fellowship of Friends.

If you decide to interact as well as digest, this is where you can start.

And as always (and above else), enjoy and have fun.

Excessive abuse, personal attacks, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion will result in a warning followed by a ban from the discussion.

Participants require 1 moderated comment before they can start communicating in real-time. (ie. if you are new to the discussion, your comment will appear about 1 day after it has been posted, any subsequent comments will appear instantaneously).

Comments

1. Rear View Mirror - August 24, 2008

WULSWU 46/300: “#298 brucelevy: ‘When devotees become aware of the exploitation it feels like a “spiritual rape” to them.’ And this is why former members get really pissed off when they leave. One of the worst feelings I ever had in my life.”

With a slight revision to the famous quote… “When you are right, and when you are afraid to articulate what you know to be right and know to be true, so much the worse for you.”

When anger becomes a large part of my identity — i.e., a part of my “ego” — I can see it becomes a problem for me. It’s unhealthy. But when I acknowledge it and see that it’s often a part of my intuition, I’ve experienced nothing but positive, healthy effects from it. This offhand rejection of anger as though it’s a “sure sign of sleep” and so on — this is usually a rejection of our gut feelings, our intuition, or innermost perceptions about the world around us. So that offhand rejection, one would think, isn’t a good idea if we’re trying to more aware, more awake.

But how convenient for Burton’s agenda that the expression of anger is a sure sign that someone is asleep. Well, golly gee then, I better make sure I don’t express any anger about him. We can’t have anyone thinking I’m asleep. And what people think about me is what’s most important.

2. You-me-us-they - August 24, 2008

Yesssssss Unoanimo, the human chain…

3. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 24, 2008

RVM: ‘When anger becomes a large part of my identity — i.e., a part of my “ego” — I can see it becomes a problem for me. It’s unhealthy. But when I acknowledge it and see that it’s often a part of my intuition, I’ve experienced nothing but positive, healthy effects from it. This offhand rejection of anger as though it’s a “sure sign of sleep” and so on — this is usually a rejection of our gut feelings, our intuition, or innermost perceptions about the world around us. So that offhand rejection, one would think, isn’t a good idea if we’re trying to more aware, more awake.’

So true and Imagine what ‘not expressing anger or negativity’ for 20 plus years does to you? Wake up people!

4. ouspensky question - August 24, 2008

check Appeal Democrat for 2 articols on FOF today. Also has this blog address.

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/

5. nigel harris price - August 24, 2008

3 wakeuplittlesuzywakeup

I sometimes view my negativity as instinctive irritation and just have to overcome it in myself. However, when it comes to ‘standing up’ for my PRINCIPLES, and especially in ‘high’ mode, I ‘let fly’ with directed aggression at despots and tyrannical members of the community et al. Just let me loose on REB, GH and Mr Golddigger in court and you will see a display of Welsh Essence Inspired IMPROVISO IN MODO MAXIMO Attack (did I get the Latin bit right, Elena?)…..Nigel.

6. Reality Check - August 24, 2008

290. ralphbarcode – August 24, 2008

“In other words, RC, you responded to Ames critique of your self-referential manifestations, by picking at something he said about love. The problem is, you based your entire argument on a definition of love that occurs only in the Fourth Way. Are you sure you are clear on the concept?

“Advice is to try listening more, and buffering less.

“Ther could be oh so much more, but I don’t think you can hear it.”

***

You’re not really trying to convince me of your understanding of love, you’re still trying to convince yourself. Why all this agitation over something you already understand? Why is it necessary to convince us non-believers? Because you are insecure about what is actually only an idea in your mind and not yet a reality in your heart and you think that if you can get everyone to agree then it becomes a reality, but it doesn’t become an actual reality even if everyone agrees.

Only those yet to discover gold demand that everyone should be made to dig.

7. lauralupa - August 24, 2008

Ouspensky question 4

oh yeah! very yammmmmmmy, it filled my tummy

Elena, you made the True Goddess very happy, I betcha

Isis will be revenged

the age of the depraved patriarch must soon be over

8. Daily Cardiac - August 24, 2008

To Laura – 46 – 243:

“What I would find much more important to explore in this whole area is Robert’s motivations for having sexual encounters with FoF members. You seem to imply that this happens because of his lack of contact with people outside the FoF.”

Actually, Laura, that is not what I am implying; I am only saying he has very little contact, and no intimate contact that I know of, with non-members. There is no need to read anymore into it than what was stated. It is simply a fact.

“Can you please try to answer this question without recurring to faith-based rationalizations such as “the lower cannot see the higher” and “it’s the will of the gods”?”

My answers don’t have to revolve around those two “rationalizations”, as you put it, but they may very well enter into the whole issue. I think it is a truism (a law) that “the lower cannot see the higher.” And the gods certainly have a will and they certainly exert it as they see fit, without our permission. But we can, for the sake of this exchange, try to work around these statements.

We would have to find some common ground as a point of reference however. I’ll assume you believe in God, gods, higher powers, a spirit world, that created our human world and who, naturally, can govern over their creation.

I will also assume you believe in consciousness, enlightenment, awakening, since you joined and spent time in an organization that claimed to develop that quality in men.

So it really comes down to what you feel about Robert Burton. If you feel he is a charlatan then you will only have one option to believe as to why he would have sex with members. And that would be – he is simply abusing his authority to satisfy his own carnal desires.

If someone believes he is an enlightened being they would have other options to consider. I came to these other options through the process of deduction, which the human mind is fully equipped to engage in and which can lead to many answered questions.

I verified the spirit world and also verified that Robert Burton is an enlightened being shortly after joining the FoF. Disciples are fully capable of making these discoveries. (I’ve detailed my experiences in the area of verifications in an earlier post)

Having gone through this process I’ve come to certain other conclusions, a vital one being that an enlightened teacher could not harm the spirit of someone in his charge, someone he was guiding along the spiritual path. It simply would not occur. That does not mean a teacher cannot make errors or grow. He or she can and must make errors and grow. Errors are factored in and not the sort that are spiritually harmful to the disciple; this is true for everyone on the spiritual path – Influence C is very forgiving.

If one thinks about the safety record of airlines one can put the role of spiritual teachers into context. An experienced and qualified pilot will make 1000’s of flights without causing harm or death to any of their passengers. (This analogy doesn’t take into account other factors that can cause harm to passengers, like plane malfunctions or weather)

Why would a spiritual teacher, who has a much more exalted role in the grand scheme, be any less qualified, less effective, than an airline pilot in doing his job? He would not.

Are the actions of spiritual teachers (legitimate ones) ever misunderstood by disciples who are not yet enlightened? They often are and, inevitably, they must be. Just as children must inevitably misunderstand the actions of their parents. Are some disciples in over their heads with regard to pursuing a spiritual life? This is also common.

Could these “abusive” acts possibly be in the best spiritual interest of the disciple? It’s quite possible.Ultimately are these “abusive” acts sanctioned (even designed) by the gods who lord over their creation? This is how I understand it to be.

Do they represent tests for the disciple? It’s quite possible they do. Is there a clue in the fact that these sexual encounters generally exclude homosexual or bi-sexual males; in other words, those who by nature would find it easy to comply? I think it’s certainly food for thought.

Is there much we don’t know as to why some individuals have to be given this type of play when someone else is not? There is much we don’t know or can ever know about another’s play, why they attract what they do attract.

Are there many charlatans posing as spiritual teachers? Hundreds in driving distance of your neighborhood. How do we tell the frauds from the real ones? Ninety nine out of one hundred are frauds I would say.

Also, many actions of a real teacher may be indistinguishable from the frauds on the surface of things. What is invisible and what will vary completely are their motivations. The motivations of a true spiritual teacher will always place the spiritual well being of the disciple ahead of their own earthly desires.

Generally, if a true seeker meets a real teacher he or she will know, will see something greater beyond the contradictions. It’s said it takes a poet to know a poet (or at least someone who is striving to be one, or at the very least someone who appreciates poetry).

And you can take Robert Burton out of the equation if that makes it easier for you to get into the train of thought presented. I think what I’m describing applies to any valid spiritual guide.

Some people have to leave a teacher in order to know him for the first time some day hence.

One thing is certain; we all have to pay for spiritual development as we go and, you are correct, it doesn’t come cheaply. (Why should it?)

The currency is our phobias, our morals, our identifications, our attitudes, our programming, our imaginary picture of ourselves, teachers, the world, gods. And we can make the purchase any time, on any street corner, whenever we are ready.

9. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 24, 2008

I posted this a while back and thought I’d re-post since I found it to be inspiring.

If there is anything that I still suffer from it’s the inability to be intimate with people. And by being intimate I don’t mean sexual intimacy, but the ability to be open and honest with myself and others without closing down and experiencing fear. I feel I have come a long way but maybe that’s why I like this prose so much.

My experience in the Fellowship impeded this ability within myself with years of emotional denial and now I feel I am playing catch up.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when its not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from God’s presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you are,
how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the Fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Orion Mountain Dreamer, Indian Elder

10. lauralupa - August 24, 2008

DC,gee-whiz, I am speechless.
You really poured your heart and soul into this.
Would you mind it terribly if I copy-and-paste it to the Apeeal-Democrat blog?
It’s such a pretty picture of all that went wrong with you people.

11. Rear View Mirror - August 24, 2008

To ouspenky question 4. Thanks for letting us know. The articles capture the weirdness of the FOF better than most that I’ve read.

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/former_67878___article.html/haven_clothes.html

One thing struck me about the second article, which presents the FOF viewpoint for balance… The two people who articulated the FOF “point of view” truly believed they were presenting a positive first impression to the reader about Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

Are they on something? …

Girard Haven said of Burton’s predictions about a 1998 earthquake in California and a world Armageddon in 2006 that, “No one has ever joined the Fellowship because of the predictions.”

“The predictions for me were always a side issue,” the senior minister said. “It was never the center of what we were doing.”

“I am quite relieved there wasn’t an earthquake,” Haven said. “I’m very happy the civilization we know has not collapsed.”

How nice of you to be relieved.

To anyone who happens to link to this blog from the article: The idea that the predictions were “never the center of what we were doing” is a blatant lie. Burton and the FOF spent the better part of three decades talking about these predictions, and hundreds of members moved to Yuba County partly in preparation for these predicted events — for worldwide economic collapse in 1984, the so-called fall of California in 1998, and World War III in 2006. It was a central part of EVERYTHING we did in the FOF, and when none of the predictions came true (much like other cults), there was a collective denial about it.

Why do people believe these things and not see the insanity in cult leaders predicting future catastrophes? It’s a very good question, but it all relates to group think and the inhibition of critical thinking. We were duped, and we duped ourselves. And for many, it was hard (and it is hard) to let go of the community of friends that had become so much a part of our lives. Why did we believe these things? Because we lacked the awareness to see the scam. We were asleep to it. Which is ironic, given the fact that the FOF pretends to be a school of “awakening.”

12. brucelevy - August 24, 2008

7. Daily Cardiac

Your whole premise and apprehension of “the Gods” and “C influence” is nigh on fucking insane, Your view of the God’s crew intervening on a “specialty basis with member of the FOF is so insane, immature and vacuous that one can’t really even respond to your ridiculous suppositions. You’re like the 2 dimensional being in Flatland insisting that his view and interpretation of a sphere is correct, even though he has severely limited vision of reality. You’re nothing more than a fundamentalist completely entrenched in bull shit. Luckily for you, any concept of the limit of one cosmos attempting to describe another will never enter your intellectual venue. Because you have such a high opinion of yourself that you are unable to see the idiocy of your cosmology. You’re an empty shell filled with someone else excrement.

13. brucelevy - August 24, 2008

9. lauralupa

This was published on a public blog. You don’t need permission to post extracts from it. Just leave it as it is, anonymous.

14. lauralupa - August 24, 2008

This should be a textbook example on how to evade a question with a verbose exercise in empty rhetoric. You would make one great politician.
I really don’t know if I should laugh or cry.
suggestions, anyone?

DC, dude, you have to realize, you sound like you’re already dead

15. brucelevy - August 24, 2008

13. lauralupa

Won’t penetrate. You’re talking to one of the flying monkeys (sociopaths).

16. David Darby - August 24, 2008

281 DC
Now we are getting somewhere!
46/225 DC “It leaves me wondering if this was intentional on your part “? Yes. I wanted to get you to speak simply. Trying to be intellectual was obviously not working for you.
DC: ”I made this point to illustrate that what one person sees as a crime/rape/abuse another may view as something desirable.”
DD: “This is akin to saying that because some women like rough sex, rape does not
exist.”
DC:” Looks like you went on a broad expedition to come back with this conclusion.”

Not broad, simple. Your statements are full of implied meaning, as if you are afraid to ‘just come out and say it’. This however is much better; “Here’s more of what I was saying, to use your metaphor: A woman could engage in rough sex and feel guilty about it later and claim she was raped.” This is a simple, true statement. What of it? It is irrelevant to the woman who was raped. It refers to a different circumstance. Your problem is that you try to use a statement like that to infer that applies to all cases. Just say what you mean in future, surely you have nothing to hide by being honest?
So far you have honestly said;
~ You believe in RB.
~RB likes to be penetrated by many of his male (heterosexual) students.
~ He likes to perform fellatio on many of his male students.
~ In your opinion some students ‘want it’.
~ You have verified ‘the play is written’.
The rest has been convoluted sweet nothings. Is there anything else you would like to add?

DC: “Is there anyone listening in who can read minds, know someone’s true motivation for agreeing to and having sex with Robert Burton?” Why don’t you just ask a few of them? Ask RB? 45/87 “I merely removed the things stopping me from verifying them, i.e. imagination, identification.” Do what ‘it’ does not want to do, find the truth by asking hard questions…..

DC: “I do know a lot of former members loath/hate Robert Burton. That much is indisputable.”…..How is this indisputable? “We know all people lie with regularity, often to themselves.” You believe some things about people, yet you don’t believe other things, even when the evidence for each is equal( I.e. what is written on a blog ). Why is that?

DC: 45/49“No one can tell the value of a bank account by looking only at one side of the ledger, either the credits or the debits. One needs to see both sides to know it there is a positive balance or a deficit. One also has to recognize and value the good accurately, in context with the other – in your eyes, questionable or dubious, actions.” The key element in this statement is ‘in your eyes’. You don’t see anything as dubious or questionable, so how can there be two sides to your ledger? 45/281“And lying to oneself is tantamount to believing the lie.”

DC to Opus 111 – 50:
“I’ll do my best to address this area.” (conscience) For your sake I sincerely hope so.

By the way, you had nothing to say on an important issue. There has been no fall of California, no Armageddon and no new civilization. So what is the aim of the “school”?

17. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 24, 2008

Laura please don’t forget to paste this gem.

‘Could these “abusive” acts possibly be in the best spiritual interest of the disciple? It’s quite possible.Ultimately are these “abusive” acts sanctioned (even designed) by the gods who lord over their creation? This is how I understand it to be.’

18. rock that boat - August 24, 2008

READ ALL ABOUT IT! FRONT PAGE NEWS!
Today, Sunday 24th

LARGE HEADER SAYS:

“A FORMER BELIEVER TAKES ON THE LEADER”
With picture of RB in pink suit

http://www.appeal-democrat.com

19. David Darby - August 24, 2008

46/7 DC
“If someone believes he is an enlightened being they would have other options to consider. I came to these other options through the process of deduction, which the human mind is fully equipped to engage in and which can lead to many answered questions. “

45/49 DC “People often try to engage spiritual truths through the senses or the intellect. This can often produce wrong or ill fated results.”

Sorry but you crack me up.

20. Acai Berry Detox - August 24, 2008

I’m always into discussions on anything organic, so this read made me feel at home.
I’ll bookmark the site and subscribe to the feed!

21. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 24, 2008

45/49 DC “People often try to engage spiritual truths through the senses or the intellect. This can often produce wrong or ill fated results.”

DC: If it smells like a rat is it a rat.

22. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 24, 2008

Sorry, should be it is a rat, not a question.

23. arthur - August 24, 2008

“and lying to oneself is tantamount to believing the lie”.

Isnt that what Robert Earl Burton and the Senior Minister do?

24. elena - August 24, 2008

Daily Cardiac 281 “What are the signs of abuse? How would it be proved? Is there anyone listening in who can read minds, know someone’s true motivation for agreeing to and having sex with Robert Burton?

Maybe it was abuse, maybe not – how do we know? I do know a lot of former members loath/hate Robert Burton. That much is indisputable. If perpetrating the notion of abuse would bring harm to him would they be above fabricating instances of abuse?”

The sad thing about this is that hundreds of members and non members are unable to see how Robert Burton does not really need to physically or sexually abuse the men because they have already been psychologically “tampered” with, spiritually “raped” and submit willingly for years. Raped from the psychological clothes with which they arrived, their connections with their friends, families and mankind.

THAT is what makes it so difficult to prove in a court in which what is being looked at is the individual behavior and not the social phenomenon.

In terms of consciousness one could argue that a person who can only see his own interests has a lower level of consciousness than a person who can view the interests of his family and that someone who can keep in sight the interests and well being of his community, holds a still greater level of consciousness than the rest. Above this person would be someone able to keep in perspective the well being for all of mankind.

It is clear that Daily Cardiac’s consciousness does not move a jot beyond the individual case, nor does that of most members still inside and many outside. In fact, the laws of California would tend to be equally short-minded in this regard. Perhaps this is what makes our story so exiting. We can settle for what is, or push and pull for what should be: A greater consciousness both for the people involved with the Fellowship directly, California and the United States and the world at large about an aspect of the contradictions between spiritual understanding and development and the practices that stand against it.

We would not have been abused had we been conscious of our human integrity from the beginning. Had this been fully clear, we would have left as soon as the separation from humanity and humaness became obvious but we are not responsible because we were not claiming to be conscious while the Fellowship is and we trusted it.

The Law in our times needs to keep this status quo in which institutions are not held responsible because when people’s consciousness is raised to the understanding that we are all spiritually equal and no one has a right to stand above anyone else economically, spiritually or culturally, the world as we know it will collapse and the human being will stand and claim his right place on Earth.

We live in the most exiting times. Living in instinctive hierarchies like pack animals is not what being human is about. The freedom of the individual will turn consciousness above the clan consciousness and once we each understand we are all equal, no one will be able to abuse his or her power: Not husbands over their wives, not parents over their children, not teachers over their students, not militaries over their soldiers, not bosses over their workers. Spiritual equality will raise our lives and allow us to develop in an environment of love and respect for each other. Abuse of power will be restricted by law and people conscious of their stature will keep the laws alive. “Being” does not hide itself from reality; it makes a reality of its consciousness.

25. unoanimo - August 24, 2008

P.S.

Hello Daily Cardiac; quotes from your post ~

“One thing is certain; we all have to pay for spiritual development as we go and, you are correct, it doesn’t come cheaply. (Why should it?)

The currency is our phobias, our morals, our identifications, our attitudes, our programming, our imaginary picture of ourselves, teachers, the world, gods. And we can make the purchase any time, on any street corner, whenever we are ready.”
______

Sometimes when I pay attention to what ‘I say’ at the end of a long dialog it reflects back to me the innate nature of the ‘thread’ itself (all my implied, ulterior & subliminal drinkers of my heart’s good blood)… Maybe what you wrote at the end of your reply is not the reflection I am offering to you to take a look at, though, as bloggites do, it’s worth considering, because such Freudian slips can really teach us about what’s under our own painted-on-the-floor carpets who we call ‘magic’.

You wrote describing the “currency” you have; then where you propose spending it (“whenever we are ready”), i.e., “on any street corner”…

Since you said ‘We’… I’d like to say to you, no thanks: since in the Real World, purchasing ‘items’ on “street corners” are reserved for prostitution, drugs, guns and pirated DVD’s…

The use of the phrase “street corner”, IMO, is a message from your conscience: just consider it as a possibility and good luck… Do you really see the fellowship as a marketable street corner aphrodisiac? True Personality can certainly be a thirsty, dying man’s salt water oasis, particularly if he’s tied his camel in knots for fear that someone might steal the saloon.

I wonder, are there not choices I can make from inside myself concerning a given subject that have nothing to do with a formatted ‘permission’ based on beliefs or hopes, who I’ve inherited from an external source basing its strengths on such futures who completely contradict the present probabilities of right now via what I truly possess as really I?

Wasn’t there a time when choices and feelings simply surfaced from my core and not just from the surface of ‘Earth’? This is what I sense has to happen to many Western seekers; they build everything they can with the Left Brain on the surface of themselves; then, the prediction of its Armageddon begins a second building ‘underground’ (closer to conscience), a kind of doubt: yet, no matter the source (Robert or the religion), still, something in each of us agrees/agreed to this adoption and so the marble rolls… What is this ‘doubting’ that the ‘core’ or ‘gut’ is just the ‘Many I’s’? IMO, it’s the same ‘thing’ that brought us to the school in the first place, some kind of fear or doubt in the world (though this is inside me and about me only)…

So, once upon a time I looked around to see how all the other ‘holy men & women (not to mention the 44)’ upon this Earth led their lives and found not one who matched my imaginary picture of Robert (let alone the ‘practical’ portrait)…

That helped; though, the biggest reason I left was because I noticed my own inner ‘Robert’ and said to myself, “How will I ever ‘transform’ this inner hypocrisy if I keep supporting the outer?” It’s about leaving the fellowship? No, not really; for me, it was about leaving me, not Robert or any of my hundreds of friends… Nothing we do, IMO, is about effecting the external world, although it looks like we do; the mirror has this belly dance thing it does with every diamond ring and stone who want to kiss it with their initials… IMO, C-Influence can do nothing that my innate-being does not permit by its type-of-yearning that it sings: our deeds and belief pursuits permit everything… They don’t need my permission; if I truly strive to love and endure, the permission is implied all the time, which sorta makes it something else other than ‘permission’.

Maybe this “permission” thing is what’s holding so many back; these days I am working on permitting myself to love and consciously realize my parents (as they are) themselves children of an incarnation that I am in too…

I remember when the fellowship bought and fostered king snakes so to let them loose to kill the rattlesnakes on the property… If you awake to having heard a rattling in the darkness, please give room for the slight possibility that it might also be a child playing at 3AM in its cradle outside your doorway.

Be well.

L.t.y.a.

26. Yesri Baba - August 24, 2008

“Only those yet to discover gold demand that everyone should be made to dig.”

Well hoody who- guess who wrote this!

27. spoonful - August 24, 2008

I recently visited the FOF Web site and was disturbed to discover how misleading most of the information was. The FAQ’s are definitely in need of an overhaul, but I thought it was only fair to begin on “Our Spiritual Teacher”. So here it goes…

Robert Earl Burton

Robert Earl Burton is a spiritual teacher and founder of the Fellowship of Friends. As a young man, Robert studied intensively the teachings of the Fourth Way, as presented to the West by Alex Horn and Sharon Gans. He focused on the practical side of this teaching, and quickly grasped that self-remembering was based on an appreciation of the male genitals. His book Self-Remembering, published in 1991, provides a collection of personal insights into the practical nature of this spiritual work and its application in daily life, while having sex with a young boy, or a group of boys.

The course of Robert Burton’s life as a spiritual teacher is indistinguishable from the growth and development of the male organ. Robert has worked single-mindedly to create an environment of inspiration at Apollo that is conducive to the awakening of this fact, and at the same time he has labored to extend his spiritual teachings to seduce boys from around the world. Through the efforts of Robert and his stooges, the Fellowship has opened and continues to maintain centers in dozens of cities on every continent to maintain a constant supply of male members. The Fellowship became, and remains to this day, international, with the spotlight currently on hand picked Russians.

Throughout the years, Robert’s spiritual teaching has never strayed from focusing on the practical moment-by-moment efforts necessary to arouse himself from sleep. He has taught the same message at all Fellowship gatherings of young men, and has striven to be personally accessible to each member as his fancy takes him. He has tirelessly sought new inspiration, introducing fresher approaches to each member’s external efforts, whoever he happens to servicing in the moment, always providing loving guidance and support, either orally, or by a hands on approach.

Robert has come to understand the erotic nature of all spiritual teachings throughout recorded time. He has concluded that all religious cults are the same and that the basis of all great spiritual wanking is the same–to escape from imagination and the limp self and to awaken and recognize one’s higher coming. Today the Fellowship focuses on these basic spiritual ideas common to all homo-erotic traditions where a male leader is surrounded by eligible boys.

You can read the original here:

http://www.beingpresent.org/index.php?toc=Robert-Earl-Burton&

Perhaps you feel there are other areas that need expanding on.

28. Reality Check - August 24, 2008

24. Yesri Baba – August 24, 2008

“Only those yet to discover gold demand that everyone should be made to dig.”

Well hoody who- guess who wrote this!

***

I first wrote it about twenty years ago, this version has a slight revision.

29. More history needed? - August 24, 2008

Need to be reposted.

Mind opening
Heart wrenching
Bitter stuff when you are told you are in a spiritual school and you are been USED/ ABUSED.

New comers, think twice

104. brucelevy – August 15, 2008
to 85. Daily Cardiac
It nauseates me to even respond, but I will anyway.
From: Rape Victims Help-Recovery for Survivors
“A group of emotional responses to rape can be so harmful, they deserve their own paragraph. It starts immediately, usually during the assault and can be with you for years if not resolved. These emotions usually revolve around guilt, but include anger, powerlessness and fear, and are very unexpected and shocking to rape victims. It’s common among both male and female rape victims, to feel guilty because the attack resulted in their body responding literally against their will. Their mind associates this with “pleasure” they weren’t supposed to have, so they feel guilty, along with all the other emotions. If this is one of the feelings you’ve had, understand that orgasm is a bodily response to physical stimulus…it doesn’t mean you wanted or enjoyed what was happening. Rape renders you powerless even over your own body. This is one of the most harmful things about sexual assault, because it causes you to despise yourself and deny yourself a normal, healthy and happy sex-life as you were designed to have.”
105. brucelevy – August 15, 2008
Myths and Facts about Male Survivors
“Myth #3: If a boy/man experiences sexual
arousal or orgasm from abuse, this means he
was a willing participant or enjoyed it.
Fact: Sexual arousal or orgasmic response does
not mean that positive emotions or consent
were involved. It simply means that the body
reacted. The act of abuse assumes or disregards
a victim’s feelings. A male can have an
erection or an orgasm even when he is afraid.”
106. brucelevy – August 15, 2008
“According to Groth, some assailants may try to get their victim to ejaculate because for the rapist, it symbolizes their complete sexual control over their victim’s body. Since ejaculation is not always within conscious control but rather an involuntary physiological reaction, rapists frequently succeed at getting their male victims to ejaculate. As Groth and Burgess have found in their research, this aspect of the attack is extremely stressful and confusing to the victim. In misidentifying ejaculation with orgasm, the victim may be bewildered by his physiological response during the sexual assault and, therefore, may be discouraged from reporting the assault for fear his sexuality may become suspect (Groth & Burgess, 1980).”

30. fofblogmoderator - August 24, 2008

7 and 20 are newly moderated.

31. Opus 111 - August 24, 2008

I verified the spirit world and also verified that Robert Burton is an enlightened being shortly after joining the FoF. Disciples are fully capable of making these discoveries. (I’ve detailed my experiences in the area of verifications in an earlier post)….

…Having gone through this process I’ve come to certain other conclusions, a vital one being that an enlightened teacher could not harm the spirit of someone in his charge, someone he was guiding along the spiritual path. It simply would not occur.

Deductive reasoning, according to DC:

1. Precondition: REB is an enlightened teacher
2. “The rule”: An enlightened Teacher cannot harm the spirit of one of his disciples.
3. Conclusion: Nobody gets hurt in the FOF. Those who complain are ignorant, disgruntled or lying, unfit for spiritual evolution at any rate. Case close.

(Abductive) reasoning could also lead you to conclude that if you observe repeated evidence a so-called “enlightened teacher” harmed scores of disciples, that perhaps the premise, the precondition of your reasoning is faulty. On the other hand, to quote Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If one thinks about the safety record of airlines one can put the role of spiritual teachers into context. An experienced and qualified pilot will make 1000’s of flights without causing harm or death to any of their passengers. (This analogy doesn’t take into account other factors that can cause harm to passengers, like plane malfunctions or weather)
Why would a spiritual teacher, who has a much more exalted role in the grand scheme, be any less qualified, less effective, than an airline pilot in doing his job? He would not.

I don’t know about that metaphor, DC…

You forgot to mention that anybody on board who wishes to inquire about alternate choices on the menu, recent turbulences or the going-on in the captain’s cabin, is shoved off the plane, without a parachute. One bad habit the stewards have on your airplane, is to constantly pick on the cute young men and send them to the captain’s ‘cockpit’. The strewards also keep coming back asking for more money (you mean to get there, don’t you, Dear?).

Given REB track record as a pilot in the tricky skies of enlightenment (nobody ever arrives), I would think a Transport Safety Administration would ground him permanently.

32. Richard M. - August 24, 2008

To Daily Cardiac

A few words from Bob Dylan:

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer’s pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death’s honesty
Won’t fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes
Must get lonely.

33. Yesri Baba - August 24, 2008

28

Thanks for that.

I almost posted something to the blog I wrote 20 yrs. ago and then inform everybody about it.
I am glad I didn’t. I didn’t realise how idiotic and arrogant it sounded.

34. Yesri Baba - August 25, 2008

8

“I think it is a truism (a law) that “the lower cannot see the higher.” ”

You are probably right.Otherwise you would be cowering in a corner from shame after posting your crap.

35. More history needed? - August 25, 2008

For new comers, who are in the fellowship of friends, please consider what you are supporting and if this is really wht your conscience can bear?

From daily cardiac a student who is still in the fellowship of friends

Traveler – 42-316:
You asked some compelling and important questions which is part of the reason it took some time to answer.
I’ve tried my best to get to the core of the matter. Every answer may not be in chronological order and each question may not be addressed separately, but hopefully all your points were touched on. The questions were complex and layered so the responses may reflect that.
We may not be anymore in agreement afterwards, but perhaps we can put ourselves in the other’s shoes for a brief time.
Here goes.
Traveler: “If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you are using “allegedly” merely because you are trying to say that it does not matter to you whether those stories ( Sex with members) are true or not, because the value of the FOF for you is elsewhere, and even if those stories are true, you are still receiving many spiritual benefits from your membership.”
That is partially true; a big part. The other part is that the stories are alleged, and I wanted to keep that fact in the forefront. They cannot be proven in this arena so why not qualify our dialog with that in mind. It’s tempting to think that all these people can’t be lying, but remember that all these individuals have a stake in the matter and many have put so much effort into exposing the FoF as a fraud that they connect their own vindication with doing just that. As far as a conspiracy; I don’t think people are in collusion, or plotting together, but their common aims and motivations will produce similar responses, and it’s clear that at times they feed off of each other.
Traveler: “- When you hear people say that they have felt used or manipulated or treated as objects by Robert, do you ever feel the slightest bit uncomfortable?
– If you do ever feel uncomfortable, do you think there’s anything that would relieve the discomfort?
– If you don’t feel uncomfortable, what do you feel when you hear many people state that they have been manipulated or abused by Robert?
– Do you remember when you first found out that Robert was having sex with students? How long were you in the school? How did you find out? What did you think at the time?
– Did you as an older student ever feel ill-at-ease speaking to new or prospective students about Robert’s lifestyle? Did you ever speak to them in a way that attempted to ameliorate the impact of the rumors about Robert, did you ever censor yourself or withhold parts of information because you thought it would be bad for new students to hear? If yes, were you trying to prevent something?
– Were you ever in a situation where you could have said something that would reveal you were a member of the Fellowship of Friends, but you chose not to reveal that? If yes, what were you feeling?”
I’ll try to answer these as one block and where the answer is an obvious yes or no, my answers to most would be No. When meeting with non-members, as a rule, I try not to introduce the fact I am in a spiritual school as few people know what to do with the information.
I was in the school about 2 years when I found out Robert was gay. I found out from a good friend. I don’t think it had much of an effect on me as by that time I had already verified he was a real teacher and the FoF a school.
As far as the other questions that require a more specific answer I would say – those scenarios don’t raise much concern for me as they are directly tied in to other understandings that make their meaning fairly clear to me. I will elaborate a little later.
Traveler: “So are you saying that you know Robert has sex with many male students, and that all the ones you have seen and had interactions with inside the Fellowship, seemed happy and content?”
I’m not around when Robert is having sex, so I can’t speak definitively. However, it’s relatively easy to know which few people are close to him at any given time. Those individuals seem pretty stable and well adjusted to me.
Traveler: “Are you saying that those of Robert’s sex partners who have left the FOF, left only because they were spiritually discontented and not growing, and only later came up with an “explanation” that they left “because” they were being sexually manipulated by Robert?”
Basically this is what I believe; except I think the “explanation” as you call it, comes before they actually leave, not later. And being “discontented and not growing” is an effect, not a cause. The cause of discontent would be not wanting to make the effort necessary to “grow.’
Also, “manipulated” is a strong word. The FoF is designed to “open people’s eyes” which would encourage someone to not be manipulated, if anything – to be “true to themselves.”
Traveler said: “Would you consider how the two might theoretically be related? Do you think it’s possible that in the history of the FOF, there were in fact some men who said yes to Robert not happily, but because they felt pressured to do so? Can you imagine how being in a sexual relationship that is not quite voluntary and consensual, could exist simultaneously with stunted spirituality? In your experience, do you think that it’s possible that some people just are not able to leave unpleasant relationships for a long time because they consider themselves unworthy, dependent, inferior, weak? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.”
I can’t say what mistakes Robert may or may not have made 38 or even 30 years ago as I was not around then. He has often said he made mistakes as a young teacher. I’m sure he has grown from them.
The whole point in mistakes for someone on a spiritual path is to learn from them and to grow. No one who has ever inhabited this planet has gotten off mistake free.
Basically, in my time in the FoF, I have not known Robert to force anyone to have sex with him. Pressure is a relative thing. If I ask someone who has other plans to wash dishes at the Galleria I am “pressuring” them in the sense that I’m forcing them to make a decision or choice. If I ask a friend to join me for lunch I am pressuring them to a degree; in certain situations people may put undue pressure on themselves or they may not.
I’ll say this much with as much certainty as a person can reasonably claim: For every man Robert has asked to have sex with him and who may have felt “put out” or “pressured” there is at least one other man who would have given anything to be asked by Robert but he did not even consider asking them. And some of those individuals left the FoF because they were not asked to have sex.
Traveler: “Can you imagine how being in a sexual relationship that is not quite voluntary and consensual, could exist simultaneously with stunted spirituality?”
This is an important point; a stunted spirituality, as my experience tells me, has little to do with difficult externals or unfavorable circumstances or pressure. In fact it’s often just the opposite; where adversity strengthens spirituality. A stunted spirituality has more to do with individual effort or lack of effort. If we make the correct spiritual efforts we will grow in spirit.
One other point of note: People can say no. The importance of this fact cannot be overstated. Like the old drug commercials “Just Say No.” Some people are angry at themselves today because they could not muster the courage to say no and they then transfer that self anger into blame of the asker.
There are many ways to say no to the kind of sex Robert asks for. Robert’s role in sex is well documented. He plays the female part with another male. The other male is required to penetrate Robert which necessitates an erect penis. Generally speaking an erect penis is achieved by being aroused sexually. Arousal usually indicates a desire or ability to engage in sex.
If I were a homosexual male being penetrated sexually by another male I would not have cause to believe the partner was being traumatized as the act of penetration would strongly suggest otherwise. I would be more inclined to believe the partner was being, at least to some degree, stimulated sexually.
I’m a heterosexual male with a normal sex drive. There have been a few instances in my life when a female who was attracted to me wanted sex and I was not equally attracted to her. In most of those cases I could not achieve an erection even though a part of me wanted to go through with it. (I should mention it happened much more that I was the one attracted and the female not so much and I never got the chance.)
I’ve also been in situations where there was some other apprehension (pressure) involved and even though I was attracted to someone and the opportunity was there I could not achieve an erection.
I would think that if a male really felt violated, repulsed or put out by the act he would not be able to achieve an erection and that would have settled that. That would have been a loud and clear NO!
This is something to seriously consider when people use the extreme language that they were “raped” by Robert or that the FoF is a “rape factory.”
Fellatio also falls under this same set of conditions.
What about orgasms? Are people manipulated or coerced into having them?
It is also of note to mention that no one has ever lost any normal privileges by saying no to Robert’s requests for sex. No one has been sent from the school, sent to a faraway center, humiliated, ostracized by other students, prevented from attending meetings or events, or have been restricted in any other way for saying no.
Traveler: “There is a fundamental difference between religious beliefs and objectively verifiable statements, and they just do not mix and match. That’s where the whole “have you verified Influence C” debate enters the endless spin cycle. And from what I’ve observed within the Fellowship, there is very little awareness among members that an established distinction exists between what I will call religious thinking on the one hand and the scientific way of thinking on the other.”
When you say “very little awareness among members” in the above sentence -keep in mind that the members you speak of are in all likelihood now ex members, as 85 or so of every 100 people to join have left. I don’t think people who have not left and for all intents and purposes will not ever leave have a problem in this area. Although I would not call it “the scientific way”, but prefer your other term, “objectively verifiable.”
Traveler said: “What I call religious is: a pronouncement of truth is made by an authority. Then people try to find ways to support that truth. This typically takes the form of social influence, more and more people declaring that something is true and that they sincerely and deeply believe it. (The recent description by someone of Linda K asking people to raise hands if they have verified Influence C comes to mind.) The idea it is in turn believed by more people and voila, a truth is born. Not an uncommon way of thinking even in this day and age. The point being, religious beliefs are inherently not testable and not verifiable, and therefore the terms “true” and “false” are actually completely irrelevant with regard to matters of belief. They do not even enter the picture. Nobody has yet been able to disprove the existence of Creator God, because it is inherently not possible to disprove God (or Gods, or Influence C), and it is equally impossible to prove God. “Daily Cardiac believes in Influence C.” That’s a verifiable hypothesis, and upon observation it would probably be validated with a high degree of likelihood. “44 invisible gods are directing the fate of Fellowship of Friends through communicating with Robert Burton”. There is no conceivable method for objectively proving or disproving such a statement. It is a matter of faith. If you are interested in more of this, try googling “invisible pink unicorn.”
What you say in this section I am in agreement with until the words “it is a matter of faith” in regard to something like verifying Influence C. If one verifies Influence C the rest of it (there are 44 spirits working with the school) is really not that important to me. It is definitely possible to verify Influence C without the 44 part.
Verifying spiritual truths or principles is not a question of faith.
Faith is part of the process of verification, but not what verification is based on. Verification is based on truth; on knowing or recognizing truth when one encounters it. Verification starts with faith but it does not end with faith; it ends with knowing.
Humans are driven by faith; we could not get away from faith in our lives if we wanted to. If we meet someone, fall in love and plan to marry them the marriage is based on faith. We don’t know if it is going to succeed. We enter into it having faith it will succeed. If we get a new job it’s the same thing; we don’t know if it’s right for us but if it feels right we proceed on faith. It’s the same with joining a spiritual school or believing a teacher; faith is needed at first.
And the main ingredient of faith is an open mind. One has to assume something “may” work in order for it to work. I’m not talking about blind faith, but the kind of faith needed to verify something; an open and trusting mind. If someone says “I don’t really believe in Influence C, but I will keep an eye out for them just in case,” it’s an attitude that will never produce complete results or get someone past their present relationship to it because those people haven’t paid the “price of admission” to verify something.
The truth (spiritual truth) is reserved for those who are looking for it and willing to pay for it. Why should the truth come easily or at bargain basement prices? One can purchase falsehood for those prices, or get it for free, but truth is very expensive.
It’s the same for material truths; if I want to know if Toyota is a better car than Honda I have to pay a price to find out. I may pay in time, energy, money or all three but I pay. Or I could just stop someone on the street and ask their opinion and take that for truth.
Think about it – why would we be given the ability to verify small things; like Elena recently said she verified jogging is good for her, but not be able to verify the bigger spiritual ideas; the existence of Influence C, Influence C is working with me to help me awaken, or working through someone, or that someone is or is not conscious?
To me it’s not conceivable or possible that God, the gods, Influence C, Allah, would not equip us to verify the most important spiritual ideas regarding our own evolution. If that were the case then God would be a sociopath.
We can verify these things, only the process is completely personal and singular. I cannot prove any of my spiritual verifications to anyone else but I can most certainly prove them to myself. This doesn’t mean people don’t lie to or delude themselves about these verifications. In the meeting situation with Linda, mentioned by Ames, people’s lower selves would be under FD to raise their hands and some would succumb to the urge just to be included in the “correct” category, especially if no one could challenge their claim.
The last part of your post 42-316 was long and rather eloquently written dealing with the process of verification.
I don’t think I can do this section justice point for point so I will just say a little of my experiences with this process.
Verification of spiritual truths is the most difficult to explain because the essence of spirit is devoid of words. Spirit has no tongue, it has no brain. It is a state. But it is a state in which we can be shown many truths. How do spirits communicate with us, people with coarse earthly bodies? They do it through the most refined receptors we have, our higher mind, or centers. (a loaded word for many readers).
Work on oneself is first and foremost a process of subtraction. Higher Faculties are there all along but we have not for most of our existence bothered to use them. We don’t know how to use them. For some strange reason we have to be instructed how to use them.
We are more interested in earthly pursuits. When a person puts the spirit first he or she is given the opportunity to make good on that “declaration.” He or she is offered entry into the world of spirit, and is shown what the price to have it will be over time. The price is always the same; give up whatever stands in the way of spiritual pursuits. For me this means giving up what we are identified with on the earthly level, our mechanical habits, desires, fears, attitudes, repulsions, attractions.
Give up the path of least resistance, the door of ease, as that is the door of falsehood. And by “giving up” I mean give up our clinging; often we are not asked to give up the thing itself, but we must always be ready and willing to give it up.
We always pay for higher truths by giving up lower truths. By that I mean giving up lower truths is the currency we need to pay for higher truths. There is no other way. One can read or recite brilliant texts until hell freezes over without producing any real results.
We change by making sacrifices. Often by doing what the lower self does not want us to do. Obviously if one does not believe one has a lower self these words will be worthless, or worse; they will produce only anger and frustration.
Traveler said: “You ask me “have you tried to verify it” – that is a very interesting question in my opinion. Have you ever considered it more deeply? What does trying to verify mean in the Fellowship? It means trying and trying until you can say with some conviction that it is true, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t the process of verification also imply that it is possible to verify that a central tenet of the Fellowship is NOT true? If you value objectivity, you might want to ask yourself. Have you met anyone in your tenure in the FOF who had ever verified that the play was NOT written? It was impossible, wasn’t it? You had either verified that it was true, or were still in the process of verifying that it was true. You really didn’t have a choice.”
You are right, the choices are limited. The “play is written” is a principle of the school. The “play is not written” is a principle many others live by. I happened to have verified that the play is written. If someone says they have verified the play is not written it does not alter my verification, my reality.
The nature of verification, as I said, is personal. It cannot be transferred from one person to another like frequent flyer miles. No one can implant verification into someone else. And it’s common for someone who has not verified a truth to be skeptical of someone who says they have verified the same truth.
Traveler: “Remember above when I wrote about belief and how something becomes true not because of actual verification, but just because more and more people believe it?
So I have a very fundamental question for you: how do you know what to trust?”
In the bible it says: Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given unto thee.
For me this implies we are given the ability to verify a spiritual truth. If we are not given this power we are all wasting our time. But for me it would be incomprehensible to conceive of not being given this ability.
The only thing left is “How do we verify a spiritual truth?”
My experience is we do it by working steadily with esoteric principles. (the ones of the FoF worked fine for me) That is why I take it as a school of spiritual development. This is all I can say to anyone who asks “How have you verified this or that?” I merely removed the things stopping me from verifying them, i.e. imagination, identification, judgment, blame. And by transforming friction or suffering, both real and imagined. This sets the stage, gets the house ready for verifying something. Then it comes when it comes, and not always when we think it should come.
This post is getting long but there is one more area to mention that gets at the core of many people’s misunderstanding of or disconnect with RB/FoF, his behavior, his methods.
Men are under different kinds of laws; some they are aware of some others they may be oblivious to. Being oblivious to a law does not remove one from its domain.
I have noticed three kinds of laws, three levels men are under. 1) The laws of countries, states, or municipalities. 2) Religious or moral based laws, and 3) Esoteric (or spiritual) laws.
Sometimes these laws overlap and compliment each other and other times they cancel each other out. The first kind is intended to protect the life, limb and property of men. They are very straight forward and concise; if you steal a man’s property you will be punished.
The second kind is religious in nature and doesn’t always overlap the first kind of law. If someone commits adultery he or she may be judged or chastised in a religious or moral arena but not by a government or state.
About 20 years ago a man named Gary Hart was in the fast lane to the White House and presidency of the U S until he was discovered to have gone boating with a couple of bikini clad young women. He was a happily married family man. He did not commit a civil crime but was judged and found guilty of a moral crime and he paid a very high price.
Morality is fickle; other presidents of the U S have done far worse than he did, morally speaking, but he had the misfortune of doing it in a post Watergate environment.
Then there are purely esoteric, or spiritual laws. These are the hardest to uncover, to grasp. Sometimes these laws overlap the other two, but other times they obliterate and contradict the other kinds.
One example of this is when a spiritual test or trial will necessitate that someone overrides a moral law for the sake of their own spiritual development, or the spiritual development of others. This was the case when Robert skipped his mother’s funeral at the last moment when he received a shock from Influence C. This is also behind Robert’s relationships with some members as I see it.
That’s why it’s so hard for some to accept the principle “the play is written” as it would seem to absolve Robert from any wrongdoing. It’s hard to judge the Deities; there would not seem to be any future in that endeavor. And if we cannot judge them to whom do we turn?
We turn inward. We transform what has been passed our way. And then we are free. We are not overly concerned with this body, this fleeting existence because we are working for a higher, eternal existence.
We abide with the courts of men in matters of civil laws, but we abide by the world of spirits in spiritual matters. How does one prove one is obeying a higher will to someone who has not yet verified that world?
Many ex-students judge Robert for breaking moral laws when he is, in those moments, obeying higher laws. As I understand things Robert’s ways are intricately tied in to Influence C’s plans.
His actions have confused many members who were not able to experience or see those higher plans. He has forced many people to let go of their moral identifications in order to grasp higher laws.
Some who could not let go found it necessary to leave.

36. Another Name - August 25, 2008

Dear Daily Cardiac

I have asked you many questions and have not received any answer?

Here is a new question for youafter your last entree.

Would you have your son or grandson sleep overnight in the Galleria with Robert Burton? Would you?

37. elena - August 25, 2008

Lauralupa 7,
Thanks. That was a lot of fun!

We actually had a rock concert here last night with many friends playing and dancing to the drums!

I’d also like to thank Ryan McCarthy for his article on the Appeal Democrat. I think he did a great job and am deeply greatful for his strenous work that has been going on for weeks.

I’ll be fifty on the fifteenth of September and I’d love to celebrate with anyone here who’d like to join me and anyone in the Fellowship who’d like to come too. My e-mail address is ludoteka@succeed.net, please confirm.
I know it’s not like popularity is so abundant that we won’t fit in my twenty by seven foot trailer but like to my marriage with Girard, everyone would be most welcome! I would enjoy hugging once more before I go back home and find another cause to live and die for! There are hundreds more back there!

38. whalerider - August 25, 2008

Rear View Mirror:
I now suspect you were onto something last page…a thread that got blunted by such a typical negative, defensive response. Re-reading 46-108, methinks the lady protests too much, and certain tasty bites supposedly from the other side are now giving me little chest pains…as in barbs…

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

39. Reality Check - August 25, 2008

39. whalerider – August 25, 2008

“Rear View Mirror:
I now suspect you were onto something last page…a thread that got blunted by such a typical negative, defensive response. Re-reading 46-108, methinks the lady protests too much, and certain tasty bites supposedly from the other side are now giving me little chest pains…as in barbs…

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

***

Just to drain this poison before our noble whalerider has a chance to encourage it to fester: I’m not posting as Daily Cardiac.

You’re not normal blubber boy.

Referred to post:

108. Reality Check – August 20, 2008
“Whether it’s DC or RC, or whoever, what I find intereresting is how easily we get sidetracked into other topics that have nothing to do with Burton and the FOF.”

First you insist what the topic should be here, even though the topic has been all over the map (including how effortless it is to merge into cosmic consciousness), and then you complain about others getting sidetracked rather than going forward and offering your own understanding of the topic that you insist must be the main event. You turn to others for insight while unable to offer any substantial insight yourself. You are satisfied with the role of cheerleader. This is how you ended up in a cult, through this mindset: “Someone please think for me because I do not have the intelligence to think for myself.” That’s what happened to you in particular. Will you ever find the capacity to become active? Not at this rate.

***

It’s clear that the knaves are all of one connective-reactive mind because if you make the mistake of addressing even one of them then they all respond with the uniform semblance of defensive antagonism.

***

40. brucelevy - August 25, 2008

40. Reality Check

Interesting musical/cinematic juxtaposition.

41. christian - August 25, 2008

I would like to say that i love your site fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com a lot
now.. back to business hehe
I cant say that im 100% with what you wrote… care to explain deeper?

42. whalerider - August 25, 2008

Yes, RC, I have a theory that you are posting as Daily Cardiac. Your latest response supports that theory. Defensive behavior is usually quick and reactive. You wasted no time.

I think others you have wounded here would back me up on the assertion that if anyone is spreading poison on the blog, it’s not me, it’s you. But it’s OK; it only hurts a person if the person swallows it.

Blubber boy, you say? That’s hilarious! (You know me, I am certainly not overweight.) Hey, crying is my strength! It’s very cleansing, you should try it sometime.

C’mon, you can do better than that! How about pooh lips? That one made me flinch. I revealed my weakness on the blog, and you attack me at my weakness…typical of a shark. But here’s the rub, after I cry about it as I have already done, it doesn’t hurt me anymore, and what you say only reflects your level of being.

You think you are doing us a service by providing us with a “prototype” FOF member to give us all someone to respond to. I fell for it, too. But Daily Cardiac’s last post was so full of crap that it was begging for us to respond. Something seemed fishy to me.

Then I didn’t remember you ever responding much to Daily Cardiac. I would think you’d be all over that guy like white on rice. But no, you’d rather sit back and pontificate and when you don’t get the admiration you are after, you attack others instead. And then you deflect attention by posting as a FOF member to get the ball rolling in another direction again.

So I did some research. Yes, you did respond to Daily Cardiac once last page with something about the “play is written” which was totally out of context. Daily Cardiac hadn’t mentioned that in many pages. That was your smokescreen. Clever.

You also got busted for posting as “truth teller” and suddenly, they were gone, never to appear again, like the others. Hmmm… In fact, you have a history posting under many names, don’t you? That’s your MO. You don’t respond to Daily Cardiac becasue you’d only be responding to yourself and that’s no fun.

I have another theory that you are suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. I have met others so afflicted, and they can be pretty gnarly. You have that same flavor in how you present yourself and how you attack anyone who seems like an authority figure. That’s why bobby’s got your goat. And me, too. Man, the stuff you say about him is nasty!

IMO, I think you have faithfully taken on the fourth way ideas so deeply that you strongly believe you are a flawed, sleeping machine (like the rest of us, incidentally) and that sets up an irresolvable inner conflict within your psyche, which then compels you to project that feeling of inadequacy onto others to level the playing field and restore a semblance of inner harmony within you. I have seen it before.

When all else fails, you resort to immature name-calling as a testimony of the primal, infantile nature of your issues. I know, because I can recognize some of these traits in myself, but they are not full blown.

You need help (as you will claim I do). And this blog (and others like it that you have already been kicked off in the past) is not the forum for you to get help. It will only make you feel worse at the end of the day. Then you will seek to make others feel the same way you do, but it will never present you with any lasting satisfaction. It will only make you angrier: you will never get the response you are after. Then the cycle of rage will repeat itself until you do something to hurt yourself. Like taking impulsively taking 10,000mg of LSD to obliterate the pain or worse.

Nobody is normal. I don’t claim to be normal. We all have issues. Yours are no different than anyone else’s. With some work, you can still make yourself loveable.

Reality Check, all your fourth way heroes are dead people. They are idealized. Let go of them. Why not join us in the land of the living? Others have commented; you do have a keen intellect and we all have a common foe here. Let’s work together.

What are you defending against, really? Nothing! Your own nothingness! We all have it. Nobody’s perfect either. When we can accept that, then we become enlightened and can start helping each other.

Would it be within your being to give yourself a day to think about this before you respond? You don’t have to prove anything to anyone and neither do I. And if I am wrong, I’ll admit it.

43. Daily Cardiac - August 25, 2008

Laura – 14:

“This should be a textbook example on how to evade a question with a verbose exercise in empty rhetoric. You would make one great politician.
I really don’t know if I should laugh or cry.
suggestions, anyone?”

It’s interesting that you sounded half way sincere when you persistently solicited my views.
But I’m really not surprised at your response.

Even more interesting is that you would send back this non existent reply and at the same time chide me for evading the question. (I guess my heart and soul seeped out between post 10 and 14. Actually, I know you were being facetious)

However I am getting quite an education on evasion from the faithful here. I don’t see where any point I’ve stressed has been intelligently discussed or refuted. I’m still waiting on the “just say no” issue, which I feel defuses almost all of the claims of abuse.

Some common ploys for avoiding the issues are to become either indignant or astonished at certain comments. The astonished ploy, which you have been known to make use of, says “I can’t believe how blah blah blah this is…” and no one is supposed to notice that nothing was actually refuted, deconstructed or discussed, successfully or otherwise.

Then there’s the ridiculing and caricaturing. These ploys are the choice of several others, all intended as a smokescreen to conveniently skip over the issues.

Why is it that a stranger’s views would irritate you so? What would make you so angry that you would say I sounded like I was already dead.

I’m supposed to be the cult member so you should have higher standards than I do, yet I don’t find cause to insult people here because I disagree with them or they disagree with me.

I understand perfectly why my issues are not discussed or refuted. They can’t be; they exist side by side in the realm of possibility, right along side your beliefs. You don’t want them to be mentioned but they have every right to be mentioned. It appears to me you feel threatened by them, yet if they are inferior to yours why would that be?

You ought to be secure enough in your beliefs that my words would have little or no impact on you. If you disagreed with them you could just say why and let it go at that.

Maybe you could illustrate to me how my comments to you are “a textbook example on how to evade a question with a verbose exercise in empty rhetoric.”

44. You-me-us-they - August 25, 2008

lyrics:
Born to push you around
Better just stay down
You pull away
He hits the flesh
You hit the ground
Mouths so fulls of lies
Tend to black your eyes
Just keep them closed
Keep praying
Just keep waiting

Waiting for the one
The day that never comes
When you stand up and feel the warmth
But the sunshine never comes, No
No the sunshine never comes

Push you cross that line
Just stay down this time
Hide in yourself
Crawl in yourself
You’ll have your time
God I’ll make them pay
Take it back one day
I’ll end this day
I’ll splatter color on this grave

Waiting for the one
The day that never comes
When you stand up and feel the warmth
But the sunshine never comes

Love is a four letter word
And never spoken here
Love is a four letter word
Here in this prison
I suffer this no longer
I put it into
This I swear!
This I swear!
The sun will shine
This I swear!
This I swear!
This I swear!

45. fofblogmoderator - August 25, 2008

42 is newly moderated.

Also, anyone suspecting that Reality Check is the same person as Daily Cardiac and/or Truth Teller; based on the ip addresses, I believe that they are 3 different people.

46. Reality Check - August 25, 2008

43. whalerider – August 25, 2008

“So I did some research.”

You need to find something better to do with your Sunday evenings other than obsess on someone that criticized you a few times and pointed out a few obvious character flaws. I am not reading your mind. I am not controlling the blog. I am not disguised as the pizza delivery guy staking out your home. I am not sending radio signals through the plumbing, so you can take off the aluminum foil hat and relax. Maybe up the dosage on that prescription of fluoxetine.

You seem to be exhibiting some strange symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, you’re redirecting the emotional pain of your recent loss onto an outside cause and attempting to laying-off the guilt you feel by obsessing on an imaginary villain. Your reaction here on the blog with this intense attention toward me is pretty “out there.”

Try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoxetine

In general I know I’m not altogether “normal.” I mean I feel fairly balanced and acceptably cheerful most of the time, but I routinely attract the most obsessive loonies that fixate on me and decide that somehow I’ve done them the worst narcissistic injury they’ve ever received. Duncan was another example of this. By the time this blog rolled around the guy had been howling about me to anyone that would listen for years and the more I ignored him the more fixated he became. Somehow I became the epitome for him of every dismissive self-satisfied jerk that ever deprived him of the greatness and recognition he deserved but never received. Of course I had nothing to do with his life other than criticizing him on the internet, but I turned in his mind into his personal “Professor Moriarty.” Now in the same way I represent in your mind various evil characters, “Truth Teller,” “Daily Cardiac,” and others will come as your condition worsens. I’ve seen it all before.

47. Reality Check - August 25, 2008

41. brucelevy – August 25, 2008
40. Reality Check

Interesting musical/cinematic juxtaposition.

***

Are we talking once again? Okay.

I wouldn’t be in a hurry to see it again, but the film “Apocalypto” by Mel Gibson did capture the attention for its entire duration.

48. Yesri Baba - August 25, 2008

44

“I understand perfectly why my issues are not discussed or refuted.”

Yeah, me too. For the same reason that anyone with a lick of sense wouldn’t enter a discussion with the guy on the street corner babbling at a discarded coke can.

49. Yesri Baba - August 25, 2008

47

Look at innocent ol’ you gettin all passive-aggressive.

Who would imagine this would find you after commandeering your friends computers and wearing out the keyboards of all the internet cafe computers in the continental United States getting back on this site to carry on your asshole ways.

Go figure.

50. Bares Reposting - August 25, 2008

46/225. Daily Cardiac – August 23, 2008:
46/281. Daily Cardiac – August 24, 2008:
Etc.:

The only thing relevant to posts to this blog on your issues/subject matters is:

1. Were you asked to have sexual relations of any kind with the leader of the Fellowship of Friends?

2. Did you agree, or refuse, to have sexual relations of any kind with the leader of the Fellowship of Friends?

3. Did you, or did you not, have sexual relations of any kind with the leader of the Fellowship of Friends?

In 1, it is possible that you were not asked but had sexual relations of any kind with the leader of the Fellowship of Friends by simply succumbing (no pun intended as: suck cumming) when it was forced upon you. If that was not the case, and you said ‘no’ to 1, and did not have sexual relations of any kind with the leader of the Fellowship of Friends, then anything you have posted here on the blog is unsubstantiated drivel. Even if you witnessed others going through such a process, it is not the same as YOU going through the process and your blog posts are just a bunch of letters and words without the experience; which, in translation, is: a lie. In which case, shut up! on the subject.

Now, if in 1, you answered ‘yes,’ and then in 2, actually agreed, and then in 3, actually did have sexual relations of any kind with the leader of the Fellowship of Friends, or, succumbed without being asked, then you have some grounds for posting from YOUR personal experience. Then, it may follow, that you are welcome to post here about your experience(s). Anything else would be theoretical and imaginary as to what was going on. Do not denigrate others’ proclaimed experiences. You are just as ‘anonymous’ and ‘alleged’ as anyone here on the blog.

Do you have any PERSONAL experiences you want to tell the blog readers about on this issue/subject? If not, then, shut up.

47/8. Daily Cardiac – August 24, 2008:

‘There is much we don’t know or can ever know about another’s play, why they attract what they do attract.’

And, also, there is much YOU don’t know or can ever know about another’s play. So, stop pontificating like you do know something.

‘The motivations of a true spiritual teacher will always place the spiritual well being of the disciple ahead of their own earthly desires.’

This does not describe you-know-who and you aught to wake up to that fact. Ask that YOUR penis not be sucked when you-know-who desires it and see how fast YOUR spiritual well being cums a head of you-know-who’s own earthly desires. It does not take a cock sucker to know what a cock sucker is; ‘poet to know a poet,’ indeed!

When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.
James Whitcomb Riley

Get your ducks all in a row boys. Soon time for the grand master to do 70 in a day.

51. Ill Never Tell - August 25, 2008

46/31. arthur – August 19, 2008:

‘Maybe Robert Earl Burton the owner/operator of the Goddess Church of who knows what is operating under the influences of several negative demons and probably should see a Shaman for an EXORCISM.’

. . . . . .

I think that should be: The conscious being/goddess ‘probably should see a Sheman for an EXORGASM.’ Or, possibly: The conscious being/goddess ‘probably should see Cmen for an EX(fof)ORGANISM.’

– – – – – –

46/38. arthur – August 19, 2008:

‘led by Robert Earl Burton, Goddess of Dark passages.’

. . . . . .

Possibly you meant: ‘Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.’?:
The Truth In The Attic – Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark:

As Elena said:
‘it was the Fellowship’s responsibility to avoid these horrors and it not only does not avoid them it stimulates them actively.’

52. Ill Never Tell - August 25, 2008

Horrors of horrors! Try this one, too.:

53. Ill Never Tell - August 25, 2008

46/56. Advertisement – August 20, 2008

Version 3 provides yet another philosophical system to make you feel safe from the Brutal Forces of the Universe that will Devour Your Soul (if you leave the Fellowship).

. . . . . .

Is that Version 3.01.01; the version with all the bung hole fixes, security patches, and upgrades? If so, perhaps it should read: ‘will Devour Your Semen (if you stay in the Fellowship).’ Be careful, it might even eat your hard dicks.

So, thanks, but no thanks, I will stick with my MINIX 3. Here’s how Wikipedia begins to describe it: ‘MINIX 3 is a project to create a small, highly reliable and functional Unix-like operating system. The main goal of the project is for the system to be fault-tolerant by detecting and repairing its own faults on the fly, without user intervention.’ And, it’s free.

Read more here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minix3

Here you can compare Minix3 to other systems:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_operating_systems
Sorry, FoF v3.01.01 is not listed; too obscure. Perhaps you could write Wikipedia?

[Hope your FoF Version 3 is ‘system to be fault-tolerant by detecting and repairing its own faults on the fly, without user intervention. And, it’s free.’

54. Another Name - August 25, 2008

Dear all

I do not think DC is the same person as RC and Howard Carter DC’s believes and his way of writing are very specific. I have a pretty clear idea and will not make this know publicly as I do want him to write here and not being banned by the fellowship.. We need him for now, for peopel who read this blog will hear the belief systems from a person lik DC and can hear from the “in ” student how sick the fellowship of friends is and the groups conscience and love is distorted, sick, off ……..

So sad…..I was there believing it…..so sad.

55. Mick Danger - August 25, 2008

Warnings against idolatry.
“Idols are not merely in these simple things, which could so easily be smashed, they are as much in opinions, prejudices and beliefs of all kinds not rigorously subjected to scrutiny, especially in the worship of power. That is to say, power in the sense of ‘possession of force that can be employed to one’s own advantage against others’; not in the sense of ‘ability to do’.
To accept anything literally is to be idolatrous. To banish reason is to deny intelligence and to close the door the Reality – for without reason one is at the mercy of one’s ‘feelings’, which become mistaken for ‘thought’, so that we are in great danger of deceiving ouselves; so fanatics are born.” – C.B. Purdom 1964

56. lauralupa - August 25, 2008

Daily Cardiac 44
Apologies for the length, everyone!

“It’s interesting that you sounded half way sincere when you persistently solicited my views. But I’m really not surprised at your response.”
My questions were totally sincere. That’s why I was genuinely pissed off at what I consider your convoluted and evasive response.

“Even more interesting is that you would send back this non existent reply and at the same time chide me for evading the question. (I guess my heart and soul seeped out between post 10 and 14. Actually, I know you were being facetious)”
Admittedly, I was blowing off steam. I am presently not working with the non-expression of negative emotions exercise, as you may have noticed.

“However I am getting quite an education on evasion from the faithful here. I don’t see where any point I’ve stressed has been intelligently discussed or refuted. I’m still waiting on the “just say no” issue, which I feel defuses almost all of the claims of abuse.”
Please better define “almost”. See, one of the things that drive me mad about your writing style is that you tend leave little windows open to gray areas of doubt, but then refuse to explore them further. Even if it was true that in most cases it is easy to “just say no” (although this point has already been rebutted on this blog so many times and in so many ways, that for you to say “you are still waiting” makes me doubt you are actually reading the posts), I’d like to know what your “almost” implies in regards to the claims of abuse.

“Some common ploys for avoiding the issues are to become either indignant or astonished at certain comments. The astonished ploy, which you have been known to make use of, says “I can’t believe how blah blah blah this is…” and no one is supposed to notice that nothing was actually refuted, deconstructed or discussed, successfully or otherwise.”
“Astonished ploy”? You seem to discard the possibility that I may genuinely react with astonished at some of the writings and revelations published on these pages. You really don’t know me well. When was the last time you experienced astonishment, anyway? Maybe if you went around the FoF asking those difficult questions, as suggested by many, instead of continuing your path in blissful ignorance, you’d find on your own astonishment capabilities jump-started.

“Then there’s the ridiculing and caricaturing. These ploys are the choice of several others, all intended as a smokescreen to conveniently skip over the issues.
Why is it that a stranger’s views would irritate you so? What would make you so angry that you would say I sounded like I was already dead.”
What irritates me is exactly that, the lack of life, dynamic thought and emotional empathy that make your posts sound as if they were coming from beyond the grave. And that to me is not only irritating, but scary.

“I’m supposed to be the cult member so you should have higher standards than I do, yet I don’t find cause to insult people here because I disagree with them or they disagree with me.”
My higher standards of human decency make me outraged at the callousness of your remarks in the face of all the suffering your favorite cult has brought upon people. To me, it’s adding insult to injury. Our insults may be more outspoken, but in essence you are saying to us: “my precious faith is the most important thing for me, so fuck off with all your complaints and indignations. Your stories of abuse may or may not be true, but I care so little that I’m not even going to bother to find out. Goodness, there is a slight chance that it may rock my little world, and for sure I don’t want that to happen. I’d rather hold on to “verifications” I made over twenty years ago and believe that hundreds of you are lying and plotting, instead of looking into the lies and plots of the one single man I have decided once and for all is Conscious.”
Do you realize how insulting and diminishing your attitude is towards all the contributors of this blog who are compelled by their own conscience to invest their valuable time and intellectual faculties writing here, hoping to help others avoid or escape the same trap they once fell in?

“I understand perfectly why my issues are not discussed or refuted. They can’t be; they exist side by side in the realm of possibility, right along side your beliefs. You don’t want them to be mentioned but they have every right to be mentioned. It appears to me you feel threatened by them, yet if they are inferior to yours why would that be?
You ought to be secure enough in your beliefs that my words would have little or no impact on you. If you disagreed with them you could just say why and let it go at that.”
I don’t feel personally threatened by your beliefs. At this point in my life, other forms of beliefs prevalent in the society I live in are much more worrysome to me. And you have all the right to dwell in your particular reality tunnel for as long as possible, if that pleases you. But in the context of this blog your words do have an impact (although possibly a very different one from the one you intended). And I have all the right to react to them in any way I feel, as long as I follow the blog’s guidelines. Do you feel I have overstepped any boundaries?
Also, if you seriously think that your beliefs and issues cannot be discussed (and conversely ours, right? Since we’re all floating side by side in the vast vague sea of possibility…) why write on the blog at all? What do you get from this if you don’t believe in a real possibility of communication?
Ok, maybe your aim is to provide people outside with “a fair and balanced view of the FoF” to counteract all the negative info here presented. In that case, it would be great if you could reciprocate and spread some of the info provided by the blog inside the FoF, providing more balance there too. Wouldn’t that be just fair?

“Maybe you could illustrate to me how my comments to you are “a textbook example on how to evade a question with a verbose exercise in empty rhetoric.”
Ok, my question was quite simple: “Do you really think it is a good and acceptable practice for a contemporary church leader (or spiritual teacher, or however you like to define Robert Burton) to routinely have sex with members of his congregation (followers of his path, etc.)?”

A simple yes or no would have sufficed, in fact. Instead, even though I had asked you “Can you please try to answer this question without recurring to faith-based rationalizations such as “the lower cannot see the higher” and “it’s the will of the gods”, you built a very lenghty preamble that’s full of warped logic and basically founded on faith-based rationalizations such as:

“I verified the spirit world and also verified that Robert Burton is an enlightened being shortly after joining the FoF.”

Have you repeated this verification in more recent times? Things may have changed, you know.

“an enlightened teacher could not harm the spirit of someone in his charge, someone he was guiding along the spiritual path. It simply would not occur . That does not mean a teacher cannot make errors or grow. He or she can and must make errors and grow. Errors are factored in and not the sort that are spiritually harmful to the disciple; this is true for everyone on the spiritual path – Influence C is very forgiving.”

This is passage full of unverifiable assumptions. For example, how do you know that Influence C is very forgiving? Has Robert taught you that, or is it another one of your personal “verifications”? Anyway, Opus 111 at #31 has already effectively addressed this part of your post and the one about airline pilots (I have to admit that I couldn’t make any sense of your metaphor).

“Why would a spiritual teacher, who has a much more exalted role in the grand scheme, be any less qualified, less effective, than an airline pilot in doing his job? He would not. “

How have you verified Robert’s exalted role in the grand scheme of things? In what exactly consists this exalted role nowadays? BTW, have you been much outside Oregon House recently? It might help to view things with scale and relativity.

“Are the actions of spiritual teachers (legitimate ones) ever misunderstood by disciples who are not yet enlightened? They often are and, inevitably, they must be. Just as children must inevitably misunderstand the actions of their parents.”

Here again we have the assumption that Robert is a legitimate teacher, based on your past personal verifications (BTW you never described them very clearly, you know). What are you exactly trying to say here? In regards to my question, you seem to imply that any legitimate teacher can have sex with his/her pupils for legitimate reasons that are then inevitably misconstrued by the pupils to be harmful. Here we are actually getting close to an answer to my question. Unfortunately, the parent/child metaphor is an unfortunate one when speaking of sexual abuse issues.

“Could these “abusive” acts possibly be in the best spiritual interest of the disciple? It’s quite possible.Ultimately are these “abusive” acts sanctioned (even designed) by the gods who lord over their creation? This is how I understand it to be.”

So, you believe that spiritual disciples profit from being subject to abusive acts (sorry for disposing of the brackets, let’s convene that generally these acts are viewed in retrospect by the disciple to be abusive). In relation to my question, you imply that quite possibly disciples profit spiritually from engaging in sex with their legitimate spiritual teacher. Not only, but that such acts are ultimately sanctioned by the gods.

Oops… So you didn’t evade my question after all. Obviously your answer is YES. Sincere apologies and thanks for clarifying!

“Do they represent tests for the disciple? It’s quite possible they do. Is there a clue in the fact that these sexual encounters generally exclude homosexual or bi-sexual males; in other words, those who by nature would find it easy to comply? I think it’s certainly food for thought.”

It is indeed, in fact this aspect has been largely been exposed and explored on the blog. What is your take on it?

“Is there much we don’t know as to why some individuals have to be given this type of play when someone else is not? There is much we don’t know or can ever know about another’s play, why they attract what they do attract.”

There is also much that we know or could know if we let the information penetrate, why don’t we start from that?

“Are there many charlatans posing as spiritual teachers? Hundreds in driving distance of your neighborhood. How do we tell the frauds from the real ones? Ninety nine out of one hundred are frauds I would say.
Also, many actions of a real teacher may be indistinguishable from the frauds on the surface of things. What is invisible and what will vary completely are their motivations. The motivations of a true spiritual teacher will always place the spiritual well being of the disciple ahead of their own earthly desires.”

Hmmmm… the picture you painted is not very reassuring.
But lucky you!
You are positively sure to have picked the lucky number, even though the actions of your onepercent teacher “may be indistinguishable from the frauds on the surface of things”.
And you also seem very confident about the spiritual nature of his motivations, although, as you rightfully say, they are invisible and indistinguishable. What is your confidence then built upon? Again, your old personal verifications of the teacher being “conscious”, or something more tangible and “objective”, like seeing long-term positive results on the well being of the disciples involved (and let’s not forget their spouses and families)?

“Generally, if a true seeker meets a real teacher he or she will know, will see something greater beyond the contradictions. It’s said it takes a poet to know a poet (or at least someone who is striving to be one, or at the very least someone who appreciates poetry).”

Are you basically saying that you view yourself as a true seeker while we who left are not? Oh, that’s right, that’s how people think in the FoF. How convenient, I may add.

“And you can take Robert Burton out of the equation if that makes it easier for you to get into the train of thought presented. I think what I’m describing applies to any valid spiritual guide.”

I did, and the results are funny, because as a rule valid spiritual guides teach just the opposite of what you said. Sex with your disciples is generally a no-no in legitimate spiritual circles, as you might know, for many very good and important reasons (already extensively reported on this blog).

“Some people have to leave a teacher in order to know him for the first time some day hence.”

Yes indeed, my understanding of Robert has changed quite a bit since I left his sphere of influence. Distance and time have definitely helped me to find the strength to swallow the bitter fruit of this knowledge.

“One thing is certain; we all have to pay for spiritual development as we go and, you are correct, it doesn’t come cheaply. (Why should it?)
The currency is our phobias, our morals, our identifications, our attitudes, our programming, our imaginary picture of ourselves, teachers, the world, gods. And we can make the purchase any time, on any street corner, whenever we are ready.”

If you don’t mind, instead of commenting your final sentences, I’d like to mirror them back to you. Just read them again as if they had been written for your own benefit, and May the force be with you!

Cheerio,

Laura

57. brucelevy - August 25, 2008

DC

“I verified the spirit world and also verified that Robert Burton is an enlightened being shortly after joining the FoF.”

I think all that shows is that you were an empty, needy, sick fucker from the word go.

58. elena - August 25, 2008

Daily Cardiac,
How do you call the ploy in which you do exactly the same things you are describing in relation to the issues others are discussing?
But to be frank, like Another Name I think the blog wouldn’t be complete without your posts. We’ve already discussed them all in other parts and I’m personally tired to give them the time. May others do this journey with you.

59. elena - August 25, 2008

Thanks Mick Danger for your incursions into idolatry. That is a big area worth looking into more deeply.

60. fofblogmoderator - August 25, 2008

53 & 54 are newly moderated

61. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

Whalerider, I haven’t read enough of what RC or DC have written to draw any conclusions, but I also sense something similar in them.

It didn’t occur to me that they were the same, and I also don’t believe they are, but I see why someone might think that. They both express strong dislike for the viewpoints on the blog. DC tips the Weirdness Gauge pretty far to the right, while RC seems to enjoy drawing people into a debate and making fun of the viewpoints expressed here. This is all a game for him.

I don’t get that exactly. For one, it doesn’t sound like a Fourth Way practitioner to me — expressing a lot of anger at a bunch of people you disagree with. But there’s also this analogy: Imagine it’s the Democratic National Convention, and a bunch of Young Republicans keep sneaking up on the stage during speeches, and then jump up and down while screaming into a megaphone. Someone starts talking again, and then another person leaps onto the stage to distract us yet again. What’s happening here is a bit like that. It’s not a “stage” but some of the main points are getting overwhelmed by the debate, which continues to go in circles because the “opponents” want to keep the debate going as long as the blog is here. The debate is the thing — not the topics and issues.

But is there any debate?

As all of sit here right now, right at this very moment: Robert Burton is pulling the pants down of one of his followers. And then later, another one. And then tonight, another one, or two, or three. And tomorrow more of the same. Day after day after day. He is the Grand Leader of the Fellowship of Friends, what he calls the Highest School on Earth. Is there any argument? Do we really need a debate about whether or not the FOF is a corrupt organization?

Use your spiritual sense for that question, DC.

Another name: Yes, I know what you mean. DC’s comments show the real face of the fof philosophy, so maybe it’s good that he’s here. But at the same time, he’s been effective at times in diluting the messages that people are sharing with us on the blog. They “win” in that regard, and I could see Burton nodding appreciatively. 😉

But at the same time, I think the end result is that it’s backfiring. There’s a lot more material here because DC and RC are here provoking even more discussion and debate. They do succeed in distracting us, which remains a concern, but they draw a lot more people onto the blog, and attract a lot more attention to it. Just as negative news sells newspapers.

62. WhaleRider - August 25, 2008

fofblogmoderator:
I am going to send you this post from one isp as a test and then two others from two different isp’s under two different names, using two different emails. Would you mind please verifing that they are all separate? I am happy to demonstrate how easily this can be done.

Test #1

63. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

Whalrider 63, I agree. Using different IP addresses means nothing, unless the IPs can be identified as coming from different regions of the country.

64. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

49. Yesri Baba.
quoting DC:
“I understand perfectly why my issues are not discussed or refuted.”

“Yeah, me too. For the same reason that anyone with a lick of sense wouldn’t enter a discussion with the guy on the street corner babbling at a discarded coke can.”
———————–
Not an exaggerated comparison.

By the way, Girard Haven: I’m so glad you’re “relieved” there was no cataclysmic earthquake in 1998 just as Burton repeated predicted for about 20 years.

But it’s beyond weird that you felt the need to clarify that. Was there a chance that you were rooting for the earthquake?

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/former_67878___article.html/haven_clothes.html

65. Test2 - August 25, 2008

Test #2

BTW, Reality Check, that was a civil respose to Brucelevey and I appreciate your concern about me.

66. CNC Live - August 25, 2008

A man shot himself in the foot last Thursday morning in Oakland, according to bystanders.
Leila Kitten witnessed the whole scene (rush transcript):
“I was just putting out my geraniums after I’d soaked them in the sink, like, you have to do that for them every now and then, you know, and I saw that the guy who runs the Self-help shop across the street was carrying something outside onto the street. He put it down and turned it around, and I saw it was an effigy, you know, like one of those full-size mounted photographs cut out at the outline, you’ve seen the kind, that has a stick behind it, and stands up by itself. And the thing is, it was a picture of himself, you know, tall, debonair, good-looking, a great likeness, really. Then he closed up the shop, and like walked off. Strange, I thought, why would he do that? Anyway, whatever, maybe he was going to come back in a moment, like an errand, I guess. So, I went back up to my balcony, and had just sat down, you know, intending to enjoy the quiet, when like all of a sudden this beat-up Pinto comes screaming round the corner and stops with its brakes squealing in front of the Self-help shop. You know, lotsa smoke and steam and all. And out jumps this strange looking dude, long hair, seedy looking, you know, like kind of frayed around the edges, dressed in jeans and a long leather jacket. And like he starts yelling at the poster, something about self-rationalization, or self-referentialism, and tones, or something, I couldn’t get it all, but he just went on and on, I’m telling you. Then he moves on to things like you’re a good guy mainly, but you don’t love me, you say you do, but you don’t. Just like I tell my boyfriend. So, I’m sitting up, like, and really starting to pay attention, I can tell you. I mean, this is real early in the morning, you know, and I’ve only had the one cup of joe. Then, get this! The dude reaches down, and like pulls a sawn-off shotgun out of his pocket, and blasts the photograph, blows it in two, you know, like the top half is about fifty feet down the street! So, what do you expect, all the dogs in the neighborhood start barking, windows go up, somebody screams, “Mabel, call the cops!” or something. The thing is, like, the bottom half of the effigy is still standing, you know. So you can tell it pisses him off, this dude is sort of panting, and he starts spitting and screaming again, and he’s saying, “You’re a lunatic, you wrote on your shirt!”, sorta frothing, and he tries to pull out another sawn off shotgun, I can see him tugging at it, and I can tell it’s caught in his coat, and then bang! It goes off, and now he’s yelling about his foot, and hopping around. So then the cops and the ambulance arrive, and the cops cuff him and the EMTs give him some kind of an injection, and he’s quieted down a bit, you know, but now like I can hear him still arguing with them, something like, “But I’m not a lunatic, you’re the lunatics”, over and over. So they patch him up and take him off, and like that’s that. Then a bit later, the guy who runs the shop comes sauntering around the corner, and finds the remains. He doesn’t, like, act too surprised, you know, you’d think he’d be sort of upset, or something, but no, he just picks up the pieces, and takes them to the dumpster in the alley, and opens up his shop, business as usual. He was pretty cool about it, I mean he acted, like, as if this happens every day, just waved at me and smiled and went in. That’s all, I guess.”

67. Test3 - August 25, 2008

Test #3

In a relatively short amount of time, I was able to post from two other computers with two different ISP’s, using two different emails. It was easy, and our friend Reality Check has lots of experience with computers. People with Borderline are very defensive and very manipulative.

Reality Check, I remind you that your abusive interaction with Duncan is what got you banned from this blog last time. Pointing the finger at him is inexcusable. What goes around comes around. Hopefully you have learned something and will refrain from abusing others.

I am just not buying that Daily Cardiac is anything but a ruse. The arguments he presents are too full of holes.

68. news of the day - August 25, 2008

I wanted to let you know that someone from the FOF went and bought all the copies of the Appeal Democrat from the Oregon house store and the store in Loma Rica (not sure about Dobbins) early in the morning yesterday. Therefore it was not possible for anyone in the neighbourhood to buy a hard copy. BTW I also let Ryan McCarthy (the journalist) know, he said he would find out how many copies are distributed in the foothills. I suggested that the next time an article is published that they should make sure to send several thousand copies to Oregon house. Then at least it would cost the FOF some money to keep the press quiet.
lol

69. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

69. news of the day.
Thanks for that news of the day. That’s interesting. The Appeal Democrat could make a killing on this, unless someone started shop-lifting them. lol. They should keep giving copies to the store, and just see how long it takes before the FOF stops buying them up.

By the way… To the casual observer checking into the blog: Does that tell you anything about the FOF that they’d buy up all of the copies before the local cult members read them?

70. fofblogmoderator - August 25, 2008

#68- Test 3

I am trying to see how accurate my ip address tracing software is, so I looked up both your ip addresses from your two posts (I’m assuming you are test2 & test3) and they both came from the same city. The second one seems to have come from the public library computer.

The ip addresses of Reality Check and and Daily Cardiac are a couple of thousand miles apart. Does that mean they are different people? I don’t know. I’m not even sure if I should be involved in this data mining.

If you or anyone wishes, I can be reached in private at nogurus@yahoo.com

71. Daily Lobotomy - August 25, 2008

Friends, it is obvious Daily Cardtrick and Reality Chick are different people!

RC insults and belittle the divine REB, although he is weirdly attached to PDO??? I thought once you wackos left the FOF you just dumped the fourth way???

But Daily Cardtrick, he’s the real deal. He knows that, as a student, he can be sexually abused, lied to, defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars, ignored, fed endless pap, disregarded, treated like an ignorant nincompoop, separated from his family and all his dearest beliefs, pushed to the back of the line as he gets older, and that this is ALL FOR HIS EVOLUTION! DC, you that man! Keep up the good fight! One of these lifetimes I know you’ll get lucky!

Love ya

72. Opus 111 - August 25, 2008

I guess “self-referentialism and tones” still has Greg ticked off.

73. Reality Check - August 25, 2008

Dear fofblogmoderator and all, I could post from ten IP addresses in less than 2 minutes and all from differing parts of the world using the same computer. I’m not going to explain how that is done. I am still not Daily Cardiac. Our friend whalerider is in my non-professional opinion exhibiting symptoms of some type psychological disorder and should be ignored. This fixation is not simply that of someone who is curious and interested in the truth behind some fact, it’s genuinely disturbed behavior. Don’t feed it.

74. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

72. Daily Lobotomy.
That’s an accurate summary of what Daily Cardiac is actually thinking, even if he doesn’t describe it that way in writing. It’s also an accurate depiction of the bs that people subject themselves to in the FOF.

75. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

RC, I don’t know you, but I suggest you take a look at that analysis and apply it to yourself. Shit, many of us should, given the fact that we were delusional enough to ever join the FOF. But the first step is talk about that — how twisted and delusional the FOF is, why we were vulnerable to it, how to help ourselves, how to help each other, etc.

Look, if this is some sort of King of the Hill for you — play away. But it ain’t that for me.

76. Mick Danger - August 25, 2008

Except for the unexplained policy change, Mr. fofblogmoderator, you’re doing ok.
And you’re surprised that no one else wants to do it?

77. brucelevy - August 25, 2008

I don’t think RC and DC are the same person. Greg can piss one off fairly consistently, and he can be unbearably obnoxious and his “stuff” can be fairly obvious at times, BUT DC is in a whole ‘nother realm. This guy (PI) is as fucked up as one can get, and he sure feels like one of the true believers, minus heart, compassion conscience and sanity.

78. unoanimo - August 25, 2008

Laura ~

I still feel that DC is doing the ‘tongue in cheek’ thing, it’s just way too science-fiction-third-person; nonetheless, his feelings are ‘real’ in so far as what often keeps us trudging along this path of growing up; I certainly recall having such teenager-thought patterns when I first joined my dream-family, it’s ‘normal’ when dreaming to be dreamy…

I think the unintended chaos on the blog happens when the fifteen year old rushes into the kitchen of his eighty five year old grandmother, grabs the soup-spoon from her hand and hip-bumps her away from the stove and says, “Move aside Granny, you have no clue dammit! You gotta stir counterclockwise, don’t you know that the water around here drains clockwise.”

On another subject: I was really taken aback the other day: there’s a big sign posted on the Fellowship’s gatehouse which takes up about 1/10th of the window space and partially hides the ‘Gatekeeper’s’ face… At first I thought it might be a court response to the picketing or some sort of ‘householder ‘Us’ placard’…

Lo and behold, the fellowship is applying for their Liquor License!

No words…

P.S. Whalerider, well it’s elementary my dear Watson, it was you all along! Your facts in Post 71 and confession in Post 74 pretty much sums it up…

L.t.y.a.

79. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

78. brucelevy. Yeah, I never gave it a lot of thought about whether DC and RC were the same. But to me, even though DC’s arguments are in other weirdness realm, they both have one thing in common… They definitely don’t like what’s being written here on the blog, and they’ve both been fairly consistent with letting us know.

One launches into counter-arguments (DC), and the other tries to discredit the blog (RC). That’s the part that I find interesting. They work as a great team that way, although probably unintentionally.

Who knows what RC’s motives are — we could speculate that it’s his ego, and he could speculate that it’s our ego by writing everything we write on the blog, too. But I do sense that he likes to pull the conversation away from uncomfortable topics about Burton.

I don’t know why. But maybe that’s why he focuses a lot of attention on whalerider, who has shared some of the most poignant and disturbing stories about Burton. And by the way, whalerider, thanks for that, as you speak for many of us.

80. Ames Gilbert - August 25, 2008

Opus 111, (#47-31 or thereabouts)
Your analogy didn’t mention that the reason why people jumping out of the aircraft survive. It never left the ground. The aircraft has no windows, and the pilot makes loud whooshing sounds through the intercom (between mouthfuls), everyone cheers and joins in, and they happily persuade themselves that they are flying!
_____________________________________________________________

I vote (not that it matters in the slightest) for RC and DC being different people. I think what might fool readers is the similar fundamentalist tone. Sorry, RC, you may have adapted the Fourth Way for your own purposes (e.g., no teachers necessary—and good for you), but that doesn’t save you from fundamentalism. Now it’s just your own fundament.

81. Mick Danger - August 25, 2008

Liquor License?
After 38 years of selling alcohol to all comers (including minors), they’re finally trying to legitimize that particular crime?

82. Reality Check - August 25, 2008

81. Ames Gilbert – August 25, 2008

Sorry, RC, you may have adapted the Fourth Way for your own purposes (e.g., no teachers necessary—and good for you), but that doesn’t save you from fundamentalism. Now it’s just your own fundament.

***

I don’t argue with this, but are you or nearly anyone else any better off? Don’t we all see through our own glasses darkly? I certainly don’t claim that my understanding is purely objective, meaning that I see what is actually there without looking through a forest of illusions. Do you?

83. ton - August 25, 2008

it’s no use arguing with “these people” (you know who i mean)… but apparently (on the surface of things), that’s what this blog is for.
and so ’round and ’round we go…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevaricator
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/provocateur

83 or therabouts:
“Don’t we all see through our own glasses darkly?”
RC, (aka “half-truth”) — truer words were never “spoken” (and about half the time you’re right on) — now if you apply these words to yourself, as they are meant to be….

84. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

83. Reality Check: “I don’t argue with this, but are you or nearly anyone else any better off? Don’t we all see through our own glasses darkly? I certainly don’t claim that my understanding is purely objective, meaning that I see what is actually there without looking through a forest of illusions. Do you?”

Some of this reasoning is partly what makes a cult work. Much of what lured me into it — and kept me there — was the belief that I could not trust my own perceptions about the world. Interaction with others and the sharing of ideas can help me see things more clearly, but only to the extent that this interaction helps me look with my own eyes.

Cults are constantly asking people to give up their critical thinking and their free will in exchange for a nebulous, imaginary wisdom provided to them by the cult leader. Cult leaders love it when we start believing that we see the world through a “forest of illusions,” as you describe it above. As long as we believe that, they’ve got us.

Of course it’s a good idea to question our own perceptions about the world. And we’d be insane if we believed that our perceptions are always accurate, and that we have nothing to learn from others. After all, that’s partly what critical thinking is. We can turn it toward ourselves. What I’ve always thought was interesting about the FOF, though, is that it never encourages us to develop that same critical thinking about others. Why? Because among the others… is Robert Burton.

85. Richard M. - August 25, 2008

Daily Cardiac

“I’m still waiting on the “just say no” issue, which I feel defuses almost all of the claims of abuse.”
______________________________

OK smart boy, anyone can say no to unwanted sexual advances in their work environment. True, many in FOF have said no to Robert Burton’s requests for sex with them. So I guess legally there is no abuse there.

However, state and federal laws on sexual harassment are very clear.
“Saying no” is not a factor in being sexually harassed in church or the workplace. Actually, saying no probably gives you a stronger case.

So, anyone reading this who has recently been the victim of sexual harassment while an employee of the Fellowship of Friends church may want to contact a litigation attorney to see what kind of financial settlement might be waiting for them. Don’t wait too long, act now! You may get a big enough wad of cash to get you safely away from the Oregon House area and start a fresh new life in a civilized part of the world.

Remember, you may be able to sue, even if you were not directly harassed. Working in an environment of sexual harassment is also cause to sue. You do not need to be a US citizen.

I am not a lawyer, but there are plenty of law firms with websites that explain the law.

86. Reality Check - August 25, 2008

84. Rear View Mirror – August 25, 2008

(my reply)

In the FOF, like in any cult, the “teaching” is: question yourself but don’t question your “teacher” and if you do question your teacher then you really need to question yourself.

Of course in the actual instruction of the Fourth Way the command is: believe nothing. And Gurdjieff added: especially do not believe me.

87. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

“defuse”

That’s an interesting choice of words, Daily Cardiac.

That’s exactly the term used by public relation firms when doing damage control for corporations and other organizations that are receiving bad press. In general, PR firms are not interested in telling the truth about a product or a situation; they are mainly concerned with manipulating or changing the public’s perception about it.

So, do you want to know the truth about the reports of Robert Burton’s sexual abuse of his followers? Or is your goal to “defuse” the situation? Well, using the word defuse more than implies the latter.

So your thinking is, “The fact that people could “just say no” casts doubt on the claims of sexual abuse.”

But “defuse”? So… you know the truth; but you want to mitigate the negative effects of the truth getting out. Explain again how that attitude is compatible with self-remembering and awakening?

88. Rear View Mirror - August 25, 2008

RC, at about 86, that analysis makes sense to me.

89. Opus 111 - August 25, 2008

Daily Cardiac

“I’m still waiting on the “just say no” issue, which I feel defuses almost all of the claims of abuse.”

I would add, or rather reiterate, that the follow-up question(s) should be: what makes REB’s multiple sexual encounters with multiple male partners loving, compassionate, enlightening, or simply right?

What is the evidence for any of the answers you might have? For instance if, as you have suggested, it is good for a member’s spiritual evolution to have sex with this spiritual leader, even against his own natural inclination, what is the basis for the selection process of candidates for accelerated evolution?

Given REB’s ample experience with this particular procedure, exercise if you will, how many of the blessed recipients, or donors if you prefer, have gone on to awaken and establish their own practice? We know of some whipper snapper East-europeans who tried to copycat their leader using the same great Facility (Galleria), but apparently, objections were raised, including by rank and file FOF members. Why? I know these promising young lads were into heterosexual sex, but they were essentially using the same techniques of subtle bribery, “group dynamics” and positive reinforcement, as established by their leader. What went wrong?

Please enlighten me! (Words only, please)

90. brucelevy - August 26, 2008

DC

Well, as one who apparently isn’t desirable enough to have RB check your oil with his dip stick, you may yet prove a good enough soldier that RB may find a way over his revulsion of you and your malignant servitude to give you what you so richly deserve.

Oh yeah, I forgot, you’re too old to warrant that extra special help. So, is all this bull shit from you simply a cry in the wilderness that “I’m not irrelevant, I’m not irrelevant” except for your sweat and money?

Because of all the people I know “in” and “out”, you really do deserve to get fucked.

91. fofblogmoderator - August 26, 2008

84 is newly moderated

92. Yesri Baba - August 26, 2008

I still think DC is ol’ Howard Carter diggin that same old hole in the sand.

93. brucelevy - August 26, 2008

93. Yesri Baba

It’s a possibility.

94. whalerider - August 26, 2008

fofblogmonitor:
Thanks for checking up on that with what you have available at your disposal. I appreciate it. Obviously, I am not as computer saavy as my nemesis claims to be. My expertise is in the humanities.

Reality Check:
I still stand by theory #2. So far you are behaving yourself, and you are to be commended for that. People can change.

Since you are so well versed in ‘actual’ fourth way instruction and apparently the late Gurdjieff continues to be your hero, I’ll take his advice:

I don’t believe anything you say, either.

95. Ames Gilbert - August 26, 2008

Reality Check (#83 or thereabouts),
No, I certainly don’t make that claim either. I just have to flounder around, like anyone else. But, I can try to apply a certain discipline, for example, the scientific method, so at least I can flounder in a relative direction if not an absolute one. A personal example of a discipline I have found to work for me is cultivating gratitude. I have found, to my own personal standards and satisfaction, that if I am grateful for something, I’ll often get more of it; or maybe I just become more aware of it, but it works out the same.

I don’t know if the part about finding a teacher (in the Fourth Way) is just a fairy tale, but in the absence of one, I have to find teachings wherever I can, which is, as far as I can see, the equivalent to finding a teacher within. And, if I understand you correctly, that is where you are at, as well. What I mean is, if I can recognize some truth, the ‘aha!’ is something in me that is equal to the truth I am recognizing, which—dare I say it—is, ‘I am That’ on the appropriate scale. And one can have greater or lesser ‘aha!s’. The corollary is that if there is not that within me that can recognize a certain truth, whatever it might be, then it will remain invisible to me until my being changes. When my being does change (for example, as a result of actively musing and making certain connections, or by using creative imagination/prayer, or by passively allowing time for digestion of certain experiences), then that truth will become available, will ‘swim into view’ for me. Another ‘aha!’. That is grace.

So, what’s the point of floundering, especially if all I can expect is a sense of relative (highly subjective) direction? Why bother? I can’t think of any valid answer, except that it satisfies me, the ‘seeker’gene within me. What criterion can I use? For me, the answer is to try to find what genuinely makes me happy and fulfilled. It has taken quite a bit of study to find out what ‘really’ makes me happy, and it is an ongoing exploration, but one aspect is definitely service, or at least feeling useful. I think it is perfectly legitimate to do something that makes me feel valued, and part of the social fabric. Another way of putting it is to try to become more fully human, explore what that means. Note that I said, ‘try’. One worthwhile result I’ve found is that the happier I become, the happier people around me seem to be. And that is where I have to trust my own experience, my own perceptions, and my own conclusions, and be content with that. Because of course I can’t know if either they or I am ‘really’ happy. That’s why thinking has its limits; at some point, one has to throw caution (and too much thinking!) to the winds and live one’s life, as best as one can.

96. Another Name - August 26, 2008

Dear friends

Lets help the people of the fellowship, now they have to buy all the newspapers and give them to their members?

Maybe we can send the link to 10-15 people of the fellowship who are still in?

Lets help each other?

97. James Mclemore - August 26, 2008

Just the fact that they would try to buy up all the newspapers is so telling. There is desperation in that sort of act. These are people that, along with Robert, know that there are things going on that will not withstand the light of day. Does not that, in and of itself, tell anyone, just about everything they would need to know?

98. whalerider - August 26, 2008

Another name:
I think the buying up of the newspapers may not have been necessarily to shield the news from naive cult members, (if there are any left) but from the locals. Maybe it’s time to do another mailing to the locals with the story about the story that the FOF doesn’t want them to know.

I bet not many locals drive all the way down to the gatehouse and see the protest signs…BTW, elena, you didn’t buy up all those newspapers to send to all your relatives down in Columbia, did you? (just kidding)

99. You-me-us-they - August 26, 2008

Hello (learnt that from Uno!) Daily Cardiac

“I’m still waiting on the “just say no” issue, which I feel defuses almost all of the claims of abuse.”

Well…
Can’t get off my heart that some “demands” are suspicious and abuse enough…

But,
I am no “business profile” (never argue with a customer!)
nor I am in need for being fucked, litteral and metaphore.

Want something, get something, following Bruce:
Some do want “that” and therefore get it (forever giving Universe)
Did the Universe misplaced or lost your address?
The delay makes your wealth (readiness to pay more for the satisfaction of the beloved desire)… Patience!

Now, I am not saying you should be suspicious of what you “want”: Respect!

To some extend, I kew I was in the FOF to be brainwashed.
I liked that one indoctrination better than others I could see on the market at that time.
Would be nice, someday, to hear from an “innie” that Yessssssssss!
I am here for the invisible yet blinding light bullshit!
To be fucked by an angel!
To see how far I can go with non-sensical, Moon-Menu Card and other “fantastiquesries”!
Wooooooo!

Sometimes, you have to be visited by a thief to even realize you possessed what he just took from you!
Respect!

Ames, Marvelous sharing!

100. Reality Check - August 26, 2008

96. Ames Gilbert – August 26, 2008

Good thoughts, fine energy and I have to agree with the view wholeheartedly.

For myself, I still have cleave to “negative” Fourth Way ideas such as chief feature, false personality and other kinds of “denying force” as real factors while seeking the positive aspects of a higher level. I agree that a scientific method is necessary.

101. Yesri Baba - August 26, 2008

Sustaining Present Awareness
Tonight I’d like to talk about how to practice Dzogchen sky-gazing and the essential point of it. I will introduce this by reading to you a poem, a pith-instruction from the first Jamgon Kontrul Rinpoche, who lived 100 years ago. It is called “View and Meditation of the Great Perfection.” Jamgon Rinpoche was one of the greatest lamas of the last century, who helped spread the Rimé (nonsectarian practice) renaissance in Eastern Tibet.

There are many techniques to help us ease into Dzogchen practice, this naked awareness practice called cutting through, seeing through, or sky-gazing. Techniques like breathing, opening into the natural awareness, devotional practices, chanting, shouting P’et, and so on. But don’t forget-all of these are just like the doorway, the threshold at the door to cross over, to return to the natural state. If and when we are in natural awareness, we don’t have to cross over. Then we don’t have to turn the mind upon itself with the self-inquiry question: Who or what am I? We don’t have to do a devotional practice. We don’t have to surprise ourselves with P’et and awaken pure awareness. But when we are slightly distracted it is very helpful to do those practices, which are like introductory practices to help us come home again to the present awareness. But it is the present awareness that is crucial, is primary. That’s the main practice. That’s the heart of the matter, the heart practice. That’s what this poem is about: That present awareness, which is the heart of the practice, and how to maintain it.

View and Meditation of the Great Perfection

Homage to the Guru, the teacher.

The View and Meditation of Dzogchen can be explained in many, many ways, but simply sustaining the essence of present awareness includes them all.
Your mind won’t be found elsewhere.
It is the very nature of this moment-to-moment thinking.
Regard nakedly the essence of this thinking and you find present awareness, right where you are.

Why chase after thoughts, which are superficial ripples of present awareness?
Rather look directly into the naked, empty nature of thoughts; then there is no duality, no observer, and nothing observed.
Simply rest in this transparent, nondual present awareness.
Make yourself at home in the natural state of pure presence, just being, not doing anything in particular.

Present awareness is empty, open, and luminous; not a concrete substance, yet not nothing.
Empty, yet it is perfectly cognizant, lucid, aware.
As if magically, not by causing it to be aware, but innately aware, awareness continuously functions.
These two sides of present awareness or Rigpa-its emptiness and its cognizance (lucidity)-are inseparable.
Emptiness and luminosity (knowing) are inseparable.
They are formless, as if nothing whatsoever, ungraspable, unborn, undying; yet spacious, vivid, buoyant.
Nothing whatsoever, yet Emaho!, everything is magically experienced.
Simply recognize this.
Look into the magical mirror of mind and appreciate this infinite magical display.

With constant, vigilant mindfulness, sustain this recognition of empty, open, brilliant awareness.
Cultivate nothing else.
There is nothing else to do, or to undo.
Let it remain naturally.
Don’t spoil it by manipulating, by controlling, by tampering with it, and worrying about whether you are right or wrong, or having a good meditation or a bad meditation.
Leave it as it is, and rest your weary heart and mind.

The ultimate luminosity of Dharmakaya, absolute truth, is nothing other than the very nature of this uncontrived, ordinary mind.
Don’t look elsewhere for the Buddha.
It is nothing other than the nature of this present awareness.
This is the Buddha within.

There are innumerable Dharma teachings.
There are many antidotes to many different kinds of spiritual diseases.
There are many words in the Mahamudra and Dzogchen nondual teachings.
But the root, the heart of all practices is included here, in simply sustaining the luminous nature of this present awareness.
If you search elsewhere for something better, a Buddha superior to this present awareness, you are deluding yourself.
You are chained, entangled in the barbed wire of hope and fear.
So give it up! Simply sustain present wakefulness, moment after moment.
Devotion, compassion, and perfecting virtue and wisdom are the most important supportive methods for completely fulfilling this naked, nondual teaching about present awareness, the innate Dharmakaya.
So always devote yourself to spiritual practice for the benefit of others and apply yourself in body, speech, and mind to what is wholesome and virtuous.

Sarva mangalam.

May all beings be happy!

This is the heart teaching of Mahamudra, of Dzogchen, of Zen, of all the nondual teachings: Sustaining present awareness. Recognizing the Buddha-nature through the present moment, this very moment of awareness. If it’s awareness taking the form of thinking, recognize the present awareness component of the thought. If you are remembering the past, recognize the present awareness component of the memory. You’re not in the past. How could you be in the past? It is present awareness remembering. If you feel distracted when remembering, bring the mind back to the present awareness. You don’t have to stop remembering. Recognize present awareness, which is remembering. If you are dreaming, fantasizing about the future, about what you are going to do when you leave here, how you are going to tell everybody how wonderful it was and how great Dzogchen view and meditation is, that’s fine-recognize present awareness fantasizing, planning, dreaming. Recognize who or what is doing that present awareness. Know the knower; see through the seer; go beyond me and mine, and be free.

Even if you’re not in the past or in the future, even if you are just here-very present-watching your breath or sky-gazing; who cares, really, about the breath? Who cares about the sky? That’s just a pretext, a form, a method. It’s just the means; it’s not the end. Who is doing that? Recognize present awareness while sky-gazing. We’re not sky worshippers. We are watching the breath, but are we breath worshippers? Or are we, rather, getting to know the heart-mind and how this body and mind work? Notice it is just present awareness that is watching the breath. If you are watching the breath very one-pointedly, that’s great, but that’s just the means. It’s not the end. What if you are watching the breath, and the mind is jumping around like a wild monkey in a tree’s branches? Recognize present awareness that is jumping around. It’s present awareness. It’s no worse than staying in one place. If the monkey is just sitting in the corner of the cell or jumping around all four corners, it’s still a monkey. Or for that matter, the Buddha. Monk or monkey. One nature. Like water and ice-the same nature in temporarily different states.

Recognize this innate awareness, this renowned Rigpa, which is always with us no matter how far we may feel from it-this total presence, our primordial being, this untrammeled, never limited freedom-our true nature. And be free. Enjoy it however you like. You can’t know it; it is not an object of the mind. It’s not a thing. But you can be it, at ease in your own way, in your own life. You have it all; use it however you like. You are free to be as deluded and miserable, or as free and joyous and enlightened as you like. Use it however you like. That’s the inherent freedom of being. That’s the joy of meditation. That is why the primordial Buddha Samantabhadra gave twelve great Vajra laughs. Oh, the cosmic absurdity of all our schemes and melodramas! Yet we must live them through, til our lesson is learned.

Lama Surya Das

102. unoanimo - August 26, 2008

Hello You-me-us-they ~

Yes, there’s something isn’t there? That flirts with cliff edges while not yet fully embracing the fact that this entire Earth jumped off god’s thumb a long, long time ago…

______

Whalerider,

Yes to that.

To footnote your posting concerning the newspaper thingy; according to a local who’s very savvy of the fellowship’s ‘way’, this was his ‘gut feeling’ too, that the purchase was to ‘shield’ the locals from ‘the higher’.

Here’s a quote from the Oregon House Video Store itself; I mean, the building and not the storage shed to the left as you walk up to the front entrance.

“The lower cannot see the higher because someone bought all the newspapers.”

——-

Ames ~

Beautiful and so human. It’s not easy switching from Area 51 to something so ‘right’… But, hey, it’s the blog. Thank you.

L.t.y.a.

103. Reality Check - August 26, 2008

Ouspensky: The fourth state, which is called objective consciousness, is inaccessible to us because it can only be reached through self-consciousness, that is, by becoming aware of oneself first, so that much later we may manage to reach the objective state of consciousness.

Ouspensky: Self-remembering means conscious work, I mean intentional work. Vivid memories of childhood are due to the activity of the emotional centre. In a child it is more active, and moments of consciousness come by themselves. But self-remembering is a moment of consciousness that comes by your own effort. Suppose a child has flashes of consciousness without the possibility of using these moments? It does not help at all.

Q. Would it not help us to try to get back to those states we had in childhood?

Ouspensky: How? That is the question. If we could stop identification, we would have many moments like that, but we do not know how to begin to stop identification. If we could destroy negative emotions, if we could remember ourselves, then those things would be in our hands, under our control, not accidental.

***

It seems that the nondual teaching states that through being present to the reality of now you can be both identified and negative while at the same time separated from those lower manifestations. That we possess enough awareness to experience what the Fourth Way calls the fourth state of consciousness regardless what else is going on within, regardless what the “monkey” is doing. It seems to state that you can have consciousness without any particularly developed level of being. But is it true? Can a man in the highest state possible still be causing disharmony in the world through the ignorant manifestations of his habitual personality? Or does he have to, as Ouspensky seems to state, first develop the will to stop these lower manifestation through self-remembering before he is free enough to experience much higher states of consciousness? Ouspensky seems to say that the identification has to be stopped first while the nondual teaching says to simply ignore it. Is there a real contradiction here or are these different approaches the same thing ultimately?

104. You-me-us-they - August 26, 2008

Hello Reality Check.

You wrote: August 26, 2008

96. Ames Gilbert – August 26, 2008

Good thoughts, fine energy and I have to agree with the view wholeheartedly.

For myself, I still have cleave to “negative” Fourth Way ideas such as chief feature, false personality and other kinds of “denying force” as real factors while seeking the positive aspects of a higher level. I agree that a scientific method is necessary.

Considering “real factors” is one thing, making them main point of focuss, another.

Let’s keep talking about what we want (Ames post or your “seeking the positive aspect of a higher level” are such great examples!).
Again, with what we know, we should be able to deduce “the rest”, right?.

Delightful tone lately…

Hello Unoanimo,
Eloquent image the thumb jumping!

Delighted…

105. will coyote - August 26, 2008

fofblogmoderator – August 25, 2008

#68- Test 3

Reality Check Says:
March 4, 2007 at 3:12 pm (123) (anima recro 2)
If he is the same person, and I think yes, i dont understand your problems of identity: May be I don’t write well, but I can read. And You? Love.

106. whalerider - August 26, 2008

“The lower cannot see the higher because someone bought all the newspapers.”

Unoanimo, I laughed out loud! Thanks for that!

My gut tells me it probably wasn’t a FOF sanctioned act either, but to shield the locals who buy olive oil or whatever.

Somebody just TCOB.

107. Ames Gilbert - August 26, 2008

Reality Check, (# 47-101 or thereabouts),
Some meanderings…
Well, I went for the System big-time myself, of course. I still find many parts of it really useful as an intellectual framework, a model. Some aspects, like body type, chief feature, and center of gravity became very loaded for me during my sojourn in the Fellowship, because they were made to fit into the local paradigm of “escaping from the prison of the filthy body, the degraded culture, and the clutches of the lower self”, and I came to see that as a kind of blasphemy, the rejection not only of ‘what is’, but also of a miraculous gift. Those tools became a way of dehumanizing ourselves and others, so I put those tools aside while I try to reprogram myself. Areas that were (in hindsight, fortunately for me) ignored or benignly neglected in the FoF, like real study of the enneagram and triads, I still work with—as a model, somewhere to start a line of new inquiry, a reference point. So, I still use some System ideas as useful tools.

It’s hard to put it into words, but although there is a serious element (I have some goals), I also treat internal exploration as a game. It is fun for my intellectual and moving center, if you will, and I do it with the proviso that I en-joy myself. I’ve got this great body, a functioning mind, good health, many capacities and talents. It’s a complete laboratory at my disposal, from one point of view. I may not know the ultimate purpose (if there is one) for my existence, but I know I have a life and I have some choices about how I make experiments.

The Fourth Way stuff about becoming conscious as some kind of permanent state, becoming immortal over the life of the solar system, and so on—I just can’t include that in my calculations. I empirically know the value of being present, of enlarging my awareness, of trying to deepen my consciousness, but I see it in context of living my present life more richly, not as forging some theoretical future escape route from bondage of one kind or another. I don’t see my life as bondage, in fact the opposite; as a terrific and exciting opportunity to garner experiences of many different kinds for their own sake. That is, the living is worthwhile and sufficient unto itself.

Another way of approaching this is, I don’t believe in original sin—or in some sort of ‘accounting book in the sky’. Gurdjieff himself said the creator entered the creation. His explanation was that the creator made a big mistake, and entering the creation was the cure for that mistake, because the creator was “up to his galoshes in shit”, is the pithy translation. Whatever the metaphor or meta-metaphor (!), I feel deeply I kinda get it, and what I think I’ve got is: Deism isn’t a valid model. The creator is not external. We are the creation and the creator entered the creation. So my personal model is that the godhead is within, and within everyone and everything, so everything is indeed really connected; and one reminder of this is the facility of conscience.

So, I don’t call ideas such as ‘chief feature’ negative. I have laid them aside in the form I was taught because, unfortunately, they became deeply tainted by Burtonism. I prefer analogies like being dealt a certain set of cards, maybe a combination of genetic material and given circumstances of birth and upbringing and acculturation, and we make what we can of it. But it comes to the same thing, I think. Internal exploration is a fascinating study, a worthwhile study, an enjoyable study for me. But I can’t agree it is more inherently important or valuable than someone deeply studying the violin, or baroque churches, or the stock market. I don’t see why enjoying my life to the fullest while I indulge the bias of the ‘seeker’ gene qualifies me more for special attention or rewards or a ‘ticket to heaven’ than the guy down the street who crafts beautiful wood furniture and who can identify a hundred species of wood at a glance. As he selects the wood, and evaluates the grain, and brings out a shape according to his original inspiration, motivation, and vision, and polishes it and lavishes love on it, he is living honestly, and happily and completely; he has many wonderful insights about himself and life in general, and he is teaching me how to do the same.

108. Opus 111 - August 26, 2008

Thanks Ames for the previous post, and largely, amen to that. There is so much (all?) satisfaction and wisdom in knowing, and doing something well.

Now, a little video to make the neighborhood proud!

“http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MRT9XNowNM”

109. elena - August 26, 2008

105 Reality Check: Ouspensky seems to say that the identification has to be stopped first while the nondual teaching says to simply ignore it. Is there a real contradiction here or are these different approaches the same thing ultimately?

Are you really asking this? That would surprise me a little but it would explain your permissiveness to certain self expressions. The Fellowship Cult is built on that premise: You can be as lowly as you want and still acquire consciousness by the will of the devil, only they never mention the devil so that the blind followers can commit more fully into passionate idolatry and think that they are more and more alive because they are giving themselves up passionately.

If you look it up you’ll find that the System clearly states that a conscious being cannot harm another, it is an impossibility (didn’t you yourself post a quote on this recently?).

Whalerider, sorry to disappoint the theory that the papers got bought by the a Fellowship member. What happened was that for a reason I do not know, the delivery person from the Appeal Democrat did not have the keys to the box, so she couldn’t deliver any. Three were bought there and then. Five were bought in Ace Hardware by one man and there were plenty in the story in Loma Rica.

I had to go to Loma Rica to get them so I did the whole tour but I didn’t get enough copies for my family Whalerider. They, like me don’t think much of appearing in a newspaper, my father wrote in one for years, but I am delighted at the fact that the Fellowship is now much exposed as a Cult amongst its closest community. The problem is finally out of my hands and I can move on. They’ve been delivered where greater forces than I can take care of them. Whether they are allowed to continue or not is in the karma of these region. The way people allow for the suffering of members within the Fellowship is an image of how the world will allow for others to suffer who have been responsible for different forms of abuse. Residents might think that it is O.K. to let people from other parts of the world pay and get systematically abused for the well being of The Fellowship’s inner circle and that they aren’t going to do anything about it but life is too accurate to not pay with the same coin in its many turns and no one will go free of their responsibility. If anyone is old enough to look at people’s lives, it is clear that even the furhers end up in the ditch. So will these minor psychopaths and all their crew. For that matter, even Jesus gets crucified but the difference with which a furher and a Jesus live in the soul of man, is worth the sacrifice.

110. Reality Check - August 26, 2008

108. Ames Gilbert – August 26, 2008

Ames you are clearly a man enjoying his life and his essence while exploring all the possibilities of consciousness.

***

110. elena – August 26, 2008

105 Reality Check: Ouspensky seems to say that the identification has to be stopped first while the nondual teaching says to simply ignore it. Is there a real contradiction here or are these different approaches the same thing ultimately?

“Are you really asking this? That would surprise me a little but it would explain your permissiveness to certain self expressions.

“If you look it up you’ll find that the System clearly states that a conscious being cannot harm another, it is an impossibility (didn’t you yourself post a quote on this recently?).”

Ouspensky (the System) makes it clear that the reason the “wrong work” has to be stopped through effort is that it is usurping the energy needed to develop a connection the higher centers and that a man has to build an intention link of will between the lower centers of the machine and the higher centers that have been disconnected through socialization, through the development of a false personality.

It may be that those enjoying the nondual teaching have already achieved the development of a child-like return to essence and are able to discard the beginning work of the Fourth Way. Much of what Ouspensky talks about in the books is the very beginning of the work. It should be pretty clear which nondual advocates likely have achieved this freedom and which haven’t. It’s clear by a definite lack of negativity.

111. elena - August 26, 2008

111Reality Check “…….centers of the machine and the higher centers that have been disconnected through socialization, through the development of a false personality.”

I would take that with a ten foot pole as others have taught me to do here for socialization is as much a part of true as of false personality. It is as if we were first carved out by it and then sculpted out by it and it were equally painful both times.

What seems worth overcoming is the shortcomings of the Fellowship Cult in which false personality is evil. That simply shows how retrograde the people participating in it are and were if we include ourselves. Regular psychology deals with the same things but it is much more positive than the Fellowship ever was. Reich did not need of Gods to make life sacred. I fell in the Fellowship looking for the sacred but it was out in life all the time. With life alone, human beings can be human but the realms of death are needed to be supra-human. Being supra human is just a way of being very deeply human. There is no competition or contradiction between being human or supra-human. It may be just that some people are happy enough living and others are happy enough giving up their life. Now that is interesting because idolatry is the same but upside down and backwards. In giving up your life you enter into the realms of the spirit, in giving up your self in idolatry, you enter into the realms of death.

Personally looking at the Fellowship phenomenon throughout this years revelations on the blog it seems evil can actually take hold of people’s lives and make them work for it just which is a very strange thing to perceive because I’ve been naive enough to not conceive of Evil as a real force. Still, the word is difficult and I would say “evil” as in tumors, cancers, diseases but again there is a huge difference between destruction and crime and crime is the process that takes place in the Fellowship. “Evil” as a force that takes an organism and puts it to work against itself.

Socialization is necessary for any form of fourth way development so the context in which you’re using it is questionable for me. Do you follow the reasoning?

If we could explore the sexuality of a good number of Fellowship members we would see how closely it was damaged by the sole fact of being under the influence of Fellowship lifestyle, particularly at Renaissance. Were we sensitive enough we would be able to perceive the subtle energies that it sucks out from the members and how innocence and beauty and love and trust are directly connected to the sex centre and deplete it when they are misconstrued into idolatry.

Idolatry is not just a minor phenomenon in our world, it accounts for the not so minor phenomenon that lead to the second world war and the outright murder of six million jews.

Idolatry for Robert Burton in the Fellowship Cult as promoted by Girard Haven and other enablers is achieved at the cost of the alienation of each member from his own self. The further the member is from him self, the greater the idolatry for Robert and Girard and now the little people like Asaf and Dorian who’ve been building their personal enablers that need a job.

Socialization is a big question and I’m just crawling around it in the hope we explore together. Being one with the world is no different than being one with others and the possibility of not becoming negative or harmful to others is related to this integrity but that doesn’t mean not being firm or pointing out the maladies even if still allowing to be crucified like Jesus or Socrates.

This is something I’m trying to understand now so it’s O.K. if it doesn’t make any sense. Just allow me to play in the sand of words.

112. Walter Tanner - August 26, 2008

I’m of two minds about naming names here. The histrionics about whether it is legal or not are as overblown as the fantasy that Robert can somehow be made to “pay for his crimes.” But really, if you don’t put their address or other contact info it is no foul.

But on the other hand:

When I left the FoF, I was working for a student–a good friend I thought–who owed me a little money (like around $1,500). But after I was “expelled” he wouldn’t return my calls, and I gave up on collecting the money. But I did use his business contacts to find a job, and the woman who was interviewing me was curious about this guy’s “hidden life.” I told her all about the Fellowship and Robert–and got the job.

A few days later I got a call from him that I had “destroyed his career” by revealing the FoF to a business colleague. I think I called him back and told him that if he gave me the money he owed me I’d tell her I’d made it all up, but I never heard from him again–until he contacted me through the Greater Fellowship, doing very well, having left the Fellowship a few years after me.

So Elena, if you want to name names go right ahead, you may very well damage the reputation at least of those who still operate in “life” for their livelihood. But won’t you feel horrible if they leave the FoF? This is what I’ve been talking about, calling them “psychic vampires” (I know that wasn’t Elena’s term–although Meredith D. as vampire is pretty hot!) sort-of crosses the line and will just drive them farther into Robert’s fold.

We can’t assume those you listed will never leave–what happens after REB dies? Does anyone here think Girard has the charisma or balls to lead the FoF? I think at that point its a whole new ballgame.

Another story: a particularly insufferable “older student” hid his homosexuality to the hilarious extreme of marrying some poor younger female student. Anyway, those of us who were in the know about his sexuality were talking about the buffers required for such behavior, and I said that if this guy ever comes out it would be good evidence that the system does have some transformative potential. Well, he did eventually come out, and he might leave the FoF someday. Let us burn as few bridges as we have to….

113. Reality Check - August 26, 2008

112. elena – August 26, 2008

111Reality Check “…….centers of the machine and the higher centers that have been disconnected through socialization, through the development of a false personality.”

“I would take that with a ten foot pole as others have taught me to do here for socialization is as much a part of true as of false personality.”

“Socialization is necessary for any form of fourth way development so the context in which you’re using it is questionable for me.”

“Socialization is a big question and I’m just crawling around it in the hope we explore together.”

***

The ideals of society often contain many high minded values and if a person ignored the reality of how the society actually works on the ground and lived up to the ideals then he or she would develop a real conscience. But in practice the development of conscience usually depends on resisting the actual reality of face-to-face socialization between people trained in negativity from childhood and experienced in the intricacies of deceit. A person that develops a “true personality” in life is one that listens to the reasoning of his finer side and opposes indulging the commonly corrupt practices of life. To those around him he will seem like an impractical hold-over from a long-dead age. We see this clearly in politics, a new face appears and insists that he or she will change the “way Washington works,” but the reality is that if that person in ever to become the elected official he is going to have to take money from the corruptors and become corrupted. In the end he or she explains it all as having to do business with the devil for the sake of the greater good and of course that is always impossible.

114. unoanimo - August 26, 2008

Hello, Reality Check 104 ~

Thank you for the inspiration; it’s a great way to start my day and love the surprises.

You quoted/wrote ~

“Vivid memories of childhood are due to the activity of the emotional centre. In a child it is more active, and moments of consciousness come by themselves. But self-remembering is a moment of consciousness that comes by your own effort. Suppose a child has flashes of consciousness without the possibility of using these moments? It does not help at all.”

“Ouspensky seems to say that the identification has to be stopped first while the nondual teaching says to simply ignore it. Is there a real contradiction here or are these different approaches the same thing ultimately?”
————————-

I appreciate Ouspensky for his ‘drive’ (remember that “I would walk 25 miles for this information…” comment he made to Gurdjieff?) To me, the ‘essential’ within him was what eventually prevailed and this is how he was able to declare the system a failure, i.e., because HE had succeeded… I am not sure if Rodney Collin took it as such as first glance, though IMO, context is everything when taking about the Fourth Way ideas, because there’s always a ‘being’ underneath that’s either wanting to or (is) doing opposite stuff to counter-deconstruct soul-building… For me, this fluctuates; hurricanes and construction crews have a secret cosmic love affair going on…

Isn’t an ‘A’ on a test the reflection of YOU and not the test or teacher? Sometimes we can be so proud of sitting in a ‘certain teacher’s’ classroom (or any for that matter) and taking a ‘certain kind of exclusive test’ that we simply cannot get up, out of this process of feeling ‘right’, until it’s done with us: we hold onto the test, buy lots of erasers and formulate additional choices, adding them to the multiple-choice already there…

Eventually, ‘cheating’ is even out because everyone has structured their ‘tests’ into insatiable affirmations of studenthood and in a strange way that even “The Sly man’s pill.” is condemned as ‘Worse than an A+’…

It’s (it was) a kind of protection, a secret conversation between what I knew the teacher (or the gods) must ultimately like (by effort alone) and what might send me to detention if I don’t spend more time ‘refining’ it… To me, secret, exclusive hopes and beliefs are trauma-lifestyle-failsafe devices in disguise… Getting a grade would mean ‘birth’, Graduation into the oftentimes traumatic present (myself as I, without the Left Brain’s addiction to Tomorrow).

Looking at the “nondual” and “Ouspensky quote”; perhaps they’re both seeing in the same direction, though with different ‘beings’ looking from within Look-alike bodies…

IMO, one of the mistakes I made (that the Grandmother taught me otherwise) was to ‘assume’ that when two human beings look at the same thing, then CERTAINLY this ‘looking’ or ‘aspiring’ MUST be falling on the same chords in each, at least fundamentally so, since all humans have the same possible equipment and access to encouraging an individual growth of humanity/virtue within their hearts…

All of this ‘assumed sameness’ sorta got rearranged: so, if two (Insects), a praying mantis and a caterpillar are both looking at an eave of a house, (To me, in this context, there is no ‘EAVE’, there are three eaves)… For one insect it’s a second-birthplace, a horizontal meets vertical nesting place, for the other a hunting grounds only for the moment, while the woolly spider is ‘thinking’ nearer the indefinite: this ‘eave’ means (and only means)… As a phenomenon it has an intrinsic value and being that no one ‘knows’ or can truly name ~

The beings (though they’re both ‘just insects’) looking the eave, define it (while under the guidance and mindfulness of its earth-coating’s equipment’s Essence (brain) as Not-the-Same…

Some human (house painters) paint over cocoons; while I would Right-brain fancy that a butterfly (house painter) would have its own little crate for these ‘relatives’…

As spirit-forms being taken for granted as being ‘just insects’,or, an example for human-being-spirits would be the bumper sticker ‘Shit Happens’, (IMO) there’s [A Definition], though its an open ended ‘spirit’ or ‘quality’, an omnipresent possibility, i.e., implied Spaciousness awaiting to be related to depending on who ‘services’ it or ‘is present to it’.

While phrases like ‘Shit Happens’ or ‘It’s a …. Thing’, presume togetherness, it has this feeling often only by a collective grouping of islands (?) Drawing us further away from one another as a land mass called ‘Earth’, taking the water that ‘defines’ visible landmasses as ‘mine’ or ‘ours’ as (?)… Our innate, dynamic and good juxtapositions become ‘civilized’, confused and religious, without consideration of the ‘being’ within the ‘human’ who’s being a (human-being-human)…

So, we have an entire area of psychology and philosophy waiting to hatch, that’s being sit upon by the Left Brain information we’ve inherited from the visible and pragmatic ways of the five senses, while underneath the waters or subconscious, there are no such things as Islands, its all one with nuances… IMO, information and definitions aren’t our birthright, the orchestration and treatment of The Music is…

So, to me, Ouspensky and non-dualism can’t be compared; it certainly saves me allot of time to drop the self-ordained referee thing and try to trust that they are both very different beings getting exactly what they need from the same corner of Earth’s round eave, by way of looking at the same set of circumstances, though ‘being with it’ differently, honestly for its spirit’s sake…

Semantics can certainly ‘push my buttons’: the word ‘ignore’ and ‘stopped’ are different for me emotionally… (Stopped) lets the car safely idle, experience, feel and run out of gas at a reasonable place in the street, while (Ignore) simply lets the thing rot in the driveway without giving it a chance to feel the road and offer up its innate wisdom of being a fancy tool you thought you needed to drive until the love of your life goes by on a set of roller blades and wearing a tee shirt that says ‘Think Green because I’m Single’…

I think both words are ‘doing’ the same thing concerning a certain ‘kind’ or ‘quality’ of whatever that particular soul gut-feels to be ‘unproductive’ mind activity, habits, etc.; though, to me, it’s really the individual soul’s ‘thing’ and not a rule of thumb, since, one man’s ‘stupid dream’ is a Dream Interpreter’s buried treasure discovered (and possible soul-medicine for the self deprecating dreamer BTW)…

Emotionally I sense that Ouspensky is off the mark in saying what he says in such a final and objective way (it’s part of a soul’s growing up, yes?) that ~ “Suppose a child has flashes of consciousness without the possibility of using these moments? It does not help at all.”

I mean, ‘supposing’ already implies something doesn’t it, i.e., to set the listener up to take his word for granted, when it’s something that’s happening inside him exclusively and not necessarily the listener’s essential context and applicable-bility or even ‘need to see’ in the context that Ouspensky is giving it birth by a ‘Suppose’ or ‘Imagine’ (?) What a strange way to start a practical explanation or ‘point’, with the word ‘Suppose’ (?)

I’ve done it though; as a child/teenager/fourth way student (I’d) lie and exaggerate allot to get the positive attention, the believability vibrations: maybe it was some sort of water-based glue to hold the paper dolls in my life together for awhile, till the rain and flood later (?) I would say that asking another to imagine first and think secondly is coming from a place of simply needing companionship and not scholastic, fundamental soul-confirmation.

What does he mean by ‘using’? Ouspensky battled with a very ‘practical’ mind-spirit (tight/serious/a bit chilly even), nearly everything had to have a use and a definition or be translatable via ’cause & effect’: (I know this pathological virus well.) Eventually his heart opened and he confessed that the ‘brain of the fourth way’ was a complete failure, i.e., his ‘Center of Gravity’ had been dissolved (IMO) and his soul reached a ‘certain age’.

In my experiences these days, there are no static ‘uses’ in relation to an essential quality of my being and essence needing it to be so predictable and ‘practical’, because they morph depending on the set of subjective circumstances I am in: some take cleverness as a challenge to their vanity, sarcastic and out right pitiful, while others ride it like a magic carpet through the Formatory Apparatus so to laugh about the seriousness of ego and their ‘priestly’ Adulthood…

The left brain (fear) really wants to ‘nail’ down the hammer AS A HAMMER, this reaffirms the fear we’ve inherited as human-beings, that everything is going to be alright so long as we ‘think’ it’s going to be: that, it’s a hammer and that’s that; while, down the street a gnome has just lost a leg in a dog fight, has frantically smashed down a tool shed’s door and is using a spool of bailing wire and a framing hammer to construct a perfect ‘wooden leg and chromed foot.’ Nice!

When Ouspensky says “It does not help at all.” He’s denying himself something… Is an ‘adult’ spirit who needs “help” any different (fundamentally) than a ‘child’ spirit needing the same ‘touch’?

IMO, age and the body’s height & weight are the only differences between these two “earth-coating phenomenons”, after all, every adult ‘confusion’ is ‘stuck’ in the past (ancestrally and personally): I’ve never heard of a hypnotist advancing an adult (or child) into the future to take care of a problem they don’t have yet, have you? That would make an interesting movie, yes? Shelly M., what do you think?

Reconnecting with child-power, IMO, has nothing to do with ‘child’ or ‘adult’; it’s pure ‘power’ or ‘essence’; whoever made the association between Essence (as the fellowship sees it) and children made a relative oversight… To me, ‘the child’ is a physical body-symbol of Essence-in-Earth-time, though not the being of whatever is essentially the I-itself… That we are born into this world with ‘something that is I’, it grows in a body that has labels and levels of morality and expectations attached to it based upon all sorts of unstable ‘ways’ and ‘habits’ entrenched in hormones, body chemistry and left brain content/context… Which to me cannot truly be a place to start a premise for looking at an immortal aspect of ‘Soul’ or that “certain something” each of us arrived into this incarnation with, that sense of I, i.e., ~

Being a person without context.

Oversights are good though, they keep the diaper industry going.
IMO, Ouspensky was working on himself till his last breath; many Americans (and my striving magnetic center projected upon him) the affirmation that “He made it.” or “He perfected himself.” I feel that this is simply an esoteric aphrodisiac and not to be taken seriously (If you want to grow up without the belief in ceilings.)…

The religiousness of the 44, the affirmative meaning that they are used for is a cult’s equivalent to ‘Christ died for your sins.’) Whatever ‘being’ inhabited Ouspensky’s earthly-coating is no more finished than that ancient oak tree who fell down last night in a strong windstorm, leaving scattered behind hundreds upon hundreds of acorns and ‘grateful’ birds for having had such a ‘heaven’ to crow upon…

We’re never finished… So, let’s look into each others eyes with that expectation… And may Ouspensky rest in neither peace nor damnation; may he simply rest as he is fit to do so as its soul IS.

L.t.y.a.

115. Beelzebob - August 26, 2008

#1 – Rear View Mirror

My apologies for turning back the pages of this blog so far but I have not been following it regularly.

You said (in part), “But how convenient for Burton’s agenda that the expression of anger is a sure sign that someone is asleep. Well, golly gee then, I better make sure I don’t express any anger about him.”

I see in this statement (and what you said before that) a common error which stems from confusing Fourth Way ideas with the FOF’s use/misuse of them.

Negative emotions ARE a sign of Sleep. There is no case where the expression of a negative emotion is useful to the Aim of personal, excelerated evolution (the “Work”). If one has a different aim, then perhaps it could be useful.

It is quite possible to exercise one’s critical faculties when making an assessment of the practices of the FOF and RB without becoming identified, and then, inevitably, caught up in an inner storm of negative emotion.

The fact that the FOF and RB may intentionally misuse the Fourth Way idea of the non-expression of negative emotions to insulate themselves from legitimate criticism does not negate the truth of the idea itself.

All the best to you.

116. elena - August 26, 2008

Reality Check,

I didn’t think we were talking about politicians! But its a good way to deviate only I won’t bother to insist on it for the mere sake of writing.

Walter Tanner,

Great point. Yes, I wouldn’t like to damage anyone’s reputation once they are out but the fact is, my name has been on the blog several times and when I google it after a while it doesn’t appear again but I suppose some experts would find it.

Another aspect is that IF after having had the opportunity to look at the Fellowship for what it is, members who have hurt thousands of other members personally or indirectly by simply supporting the Fellowship are still willing to stand by it, they should not be surprised if they are held responsible. Time counts and they’ve had their time to ACT.

Many here have questioned my way of confronting members and I do not know any other way of confronting but being confrontational. Sitting and talking on a blog hoping that the really serious and dangerous people inside the Fellowship skip their dinner to come into contact with their conscience seems the tactics of the same innocent people that got conned for thirty five years. To each his lot. If for many of you this is the way you like it, good for you. For me it isn’t. I do not try to be violent but I would use every legal approach to stop them. If you tell me these things are legal in the United States, well of course, I should have known that, shouldn’t I?

As for the bridges I’ve burnt Walter, they already burnt long before I left the Fellowship. There are no bridges between people amongst whom envy does not allow people to connect. No bridges amongst people who demand you belittle yourself to embrace you. No bridges amongst infrahumans stuck to their nationality, class or education to give others a hand. Some of us are born with too much beauty to believe that people can be so poor but life is quick in showing one how mistaken one can be and how wonderful it is to stand on one’s own if these are the only “friends” one is likely to find.
One is never alone in one’s true company and the things a human being must stand up for cannot be delayed because s/he is too afraid to loose his or her so called “friends”. There was never such a thing in the Fellowship Cult. Infrahumans of a subculture in which infrasex and infralife were the status quo, a place in which friendship was conditioned to how much people could get away with at the cost of the rest. Little groups of proffessional abusers who were used by Robert to help him abuse the rest. We all know each other so well but you hated me when I looked at it inside and you hate me when I expose it now that I’m out. So be it. (I don’t mean you Walter, it is always a public forum in the public square)

It is a strange thing but perfectly logic, that people who have met me on the blog are willing to travel from San Francisco to be with me for my birthday and people who were never in the Fellowship in Oregon House are equally willing to join me while most of the Fellowship would turn its head around and run for miles. I am happy to settle for friends amongst whom it is the principles that matter, not the conveniences and definitely not for those who are more concerned about what others would think of them if they showed how much they appreciate me and have to do it when nobody else is around. There are many of these, unfortunately for all of us. As we get older none of those things will matter and we’ll remember each other very much as one. It all happened to all of us.

117. Reality Check - August 26, 2008

116. elena – August 26, 2008
Reality Check,

“I didn’t think we were talking about politicians! But its a good way to deviate only I won’t bother to insist on it for the mere sake of writing.”

Obviously I’m a little tired of the Fellowship dialogue. I’ve got Fellowship fatigue and one of the reasons for that is because the good fight of opposing the last remaining dregs stubborn enough to stand by their flamboyant homo is plainly pointless (as opposed to ‘fruitless’). As whalerider advertized, Burton gives the best blowjobs ever and Burton also gives the egos of those he wants to keep the best blowjobs they will ever have. No one with the kind of pink smoke Burton is able to emit blowing up their ass is going to go out and face stark reality at this point. They are going to remain in the phantasmagoria of the dream state forever. This is what is happening there, a crazy person is someone that can walk around and talk to people while still submerged in his first state dreams and because there is a certain flight of fancy in dreams ignorant people imagine that they are being presented with something higher. Though dreams are imaginative and colorful they have nothing to do with reality and the Fellowship has nothing to do with reality. We’ve seen with Daily Cardiac what kind of insistent ignorance it takes to make oneself believe that a bad place is in fact a really good place behind a magical disguise and nothing anyone says will make him change his mind. At a certain point when it becomes clear that you are not going to be able to take out a wall with your forehead then to continue to charge full force into it is possibly detrimental to your intelligence.

118. will coyote - August 26, 2008

The essence with all her life is reprimed by buffers:low centres need all creative energy to work in correct way and for some law like resonance sound thesame nota of high centres. all I can do for express myself, my joy is “Work”. All I can osserve of me, of mechanic, sleep, reactiviness is for the awake of conscience. If now i can see myself how really manifest myself, all the little love that I express i think i cannot accept it, I became crazy. If i really was connected with all and everything i should feel all the pain and joy of all and then i think shoul be too much. Some timeI can feel just the joy, but that is a Heaven bardo, is just a “piece” of all and everything. God need me to have hands to make the world better that he created.

119. Rear View Mirror - August 26, 2008

RC: “We’ve seen with Daily Cardiac what kind of insistent ignorance it takes to make oneself believe that a bad place is in fact a really good place behind a magical disguise and nothing anyone says will make him change his mind.”

I also wonder if anything could happen in the FOF that would change his mind. There appears to be a mechanism that turns every unpleasant realization into a type of “test” that one either passes or fails. It’s a test of his unconditional loyalty. And failing the test means he’s weak. Girard seems similar that way, and many others.

120. elena - August 26, 2008

Shall we call it a day, Greg?

121. elena - August 26, 2008

Good observation RVM. It also seems connected with being totally incapable of dealing with the unnecessary suffering of having put all their energy into something as depraved as Robert’s lifestyle and feeling unable to cope with the real suffering that that seeing it for what it is, would involve but we’ve all had to go through that and so will they.

122. Rear View Mirror - August 26, 2008

Elena 121, yes. no way around it. At the heart of it is a very limited view of what’s possible. It’s as though I was saying, “Only the FOF contains possibilities. Nothing is possible outside the FOF.”

And then I accepted the FOF unconditionally based on that premise.

Many things change when I saw the lack of wisdom in that, when I began to challenge that premise. Have a great night!

123. Beelzebob - August 27, 2008

#108 – Ames Gilbert

You said (in part), “I don’t see my life as , in fact the opposite; as a terrific and exciting opportunity to garner experiences of many different kinds for their own sake. That is, the living is worthwhile and sufficient unto itself.”

Well put, but I think it expresses only one side of Gurdjieff’s famous “two-ended stick”. I am, perhaps, mechanically more prone to see the “dark” end. After years of self-observation, it is crystal clear to me that “my life as ” is equally true and that merely living, even the fullest of lives, is not sufficient unto itself.

I think it is important, if we wish to progress, that we try to “grasp” both ends of the stick at the same time.

My best to you.

124. My4bits - August 27, 2008

Ames Gilbert, post 108:

Thank you, Ames, for this post. It is a moving description of “normal” that I aspire to.

125. whalerider - August 27, 2008

“Though dreams are imaginative and colorful they have nothing to do with reality…”

Oh, I don’t know about that. In my experience, dreams are a template for what is going on in the unconscious mind, a necessary part of us. The conscious mind has it’s limitations.

Dreams do not lie. They are messages in a symbolic language that can be deciphered and used to make us whole integrated people. IMO, they are teaching instruments of our “higher centers” that are active even when we are asleep. The possibilities are endless. We can learn a great deal about ourselves from them without having to filter perceptions through the eyes of someone else.

In the indigenious culture of Australia, the aborginies believe the dreamland is the real world and the world of the senses is the illusion. It takes a high degree of self-awareness to be present in the dream state.

The FOF everything to do with REB’s subjective reality, and those who choose to share his reality do so at their own expense.

126. arthur - August 27, 2008

Whalerider,

I receive e-mail from Erowid from time to time about things of “interest'” for people who enjoy that site. In today’s list was one about “BREATHING” found in the Mind and Spirit Vault.

I went there and was amazed at the things I missed because of spending more time in other Vaults.

In one of the links I found detailed instruction on “Belly Breathing”. Sound familiar?

From the same link:

“And now I see with eye serene,
the very pulse of the machine.
A being BREATHING thoughtful BREATHS,
a traveler between life and death”

William Wordsworth

“For BREATH is life, and if you BREATH well you will live long on
earth”.

Sanskrit proverb

Wasn’t Jesus the Christ purported to have said something
about life and BREATH in one of the Gospels?

“Fear is excitement without the breath”

Fritz Perls, MD

127. Ames Gilbert - August 27, 2008

Reality Check (#47-111 or thereabouts),
Uh–oh, you’re being nice to me, I’d better go back and check all my premises and assumptions! That would probably be a good idea anyway, regardless…

128. My4bits - August 27, 2008

Well, folks — or for those of you who may be following my recent posts — I’m now on day 26 of my 30-day deprogramming ritual. Today’s topic was “will.”

I put the question out there: Does the Fourth Way system, or Robert Burton’s teaching, truly teach devotees to develop “Will?” To become a “master of one’s self?” To be able “to do” and to know with conscience and with certainty, What to do? Can this magical ability, if learned — to “formulate aims” and “bridge intervals” — survive beyond the limited boundaries and self-referential context of the Fellowship?

Personally, I don’t think so.

In fact, I would surmise that The System, “The Work” in general, and RB’s insidious variations thereon have, in time, exactly the opposite effect: These teachings, in their entirety, consistently undermine a person’s sense of self and bind them to an “infantile” attitude toward life and the world. In other words, its prevents them from becoming “normal.”

A student submits to The Teacher and “gives up one’s imagined will in order to gain “real” Will.” But in so doing, does the student not actually lose the degree of flexibility and self-direction that would enable him or her to become an autonomous, “normal,” adult?

What I see is that the Fellowship is governed and densely populated with “rigid” and guarded personalities whose personal neuroses have blended more or less seamlessly with FoF doctrine.

This, in my opinion, is the real “fruit of the Fellowship tree:” stunted personal growth and a greatly diminished chance for true spiritual evolution. (Lose all hope, Ye who enter here!)

Instead of creating open, aware, thinking “conscious” beings who can creatively formulate aims and act (i.e., “do”) to the betterment of themselves and humanity, the Fellowship attracts (and then further develops) persons who, because of their life experiences, are less desiring of, or less capable of, truly autonomous and self-directed (conscious) action.

Ideally (from the perspective of power and control, that is) students become “will-less.” Their emotional scope is reduced to automatic and habitual responses and to passive, reflexive reactions to the concrete and immediately apprehended present (consider “The Sequence”). They become more “stimulus bound.” They see things but cannot examine them. They react to things but cannot think about them. (They can listen to “angles of thought,” but are not allowed to give them.)

I do not see the Fellowship of Friends or, for that matter, the Fourth Way as presented by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, as a viable Way through which “stimulus-response machines” can evolve into “something higher.” Instead, and ironically, I view these systems as “machine factories.”

Am I too being too harsh?

129. brucelevy - August 27, 2008

So, tonight I’m driving to one of my favorite clubs in Nevada City tonight. I’m crossing a bridge that has an off ramp with a stop sign. So just as I’m driving over it a black bmw zips out in front of me and cuts me off. And it proceeds up both of the lanes (straddling both) at about 2 mi per hour. It takes both lanes and just sits at the stop sign for a day or two. So having this extra time I look at the license plate. It says “shortbe”. So the moral is… not only is the FOF morally corrupt, it also produces douche bags.

130. brucelevy - August 27, 2008

pardon the redundancy (tonight).

131. whalerider - August 27, 2008

While the beamer was stopped there, obviously attempting to figure out where they had left off in their head with the 30 canine commands and 4 spineless breaths, had I read that license plate, it would have taken all of my being not to provide them with a long beeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

132. unoanimo - August 27, 2008

Hello My4bits ~

Thank you: today is a day for writing ~

As I was reading your description of students in the fellowship, etc., suddenly something dawned upon me, that this description near exactly matches the 7/8 years (6th grade to 1st year of college) I spent ‘growing up’ under my father’s and step mother’s roof: no regrets (now that I have a better understanding of it)… IMO, there’s no such a thing as unnecessary suffering when you’re soul is still in diapers (your post also reminded be of the vulnerability of infants and their possible ‘natures’ in the hands of ‘adults’ and the busy world)…

Sure, I used to ‘love’ pontificating about what others ‘could do’ or ‘could have done’, yet, (it’s only pontificism), because in the real world ‘I am not them’, yet, have been right where they are today (fourth dimensionally speaking) and at-that-time (I) could not be moved by a PD220Y Cummins M11 Turbocharged, double circuits, pneumatically controlled brake system, Bulldozer…

In the face of my male friends that had been compromised I saw it as a deeply personal problem (OF THEIRS) and not even the teacher’s… Though, then, I had no real contact with Robert… Allot of things changed after our (face to face) real-world-meeting behind locked doors… A “No” to Robert then was also a “Know” to my soul now (and then)… It wasn’t until I became the problem that the problem moved me to action; otherwise it’s just a three dimensional DVD in widescreen…

IMO, the answer is ‘Yes’, though the fellowship ‘teaches’ only by its default position in Life (ironically enough: we learn by our mistakes), i.e., by being its own opposite (hypocrisy), which is sorta weird, though who can deny an experience they’ve already had and the wisdom gotten however it’s been achieved?

Damage control and conscience is one thing, to me, though expectations of others, this is what I might call (if you’re wise to it and still choose to invest energy in that direction to make yourself a nervous wreck for the sake of some personal atmosphere the soul is still In-its-jungle about… That’s not a wrong thing, BTW), as unnecessary suffering; though, even a mistake made 3 times is not a strike out in this cosmic ballgame (I should know)… And the playing field still has a ‘diamond’ to stand on when you’re the winner or looser.

It’s very difficult to try and care for someone without wanting/expecting (even demanding) results that match your ‘imagined caring’ or friendship-faith… And lo and behold, sometimes people really don’t want your care and cannot receive it, though you bowl them over anyway… There are forms of caring that can destroy the Caregiver (and that’s not feminine dominance)… IMO, it’s hunger for… (everyone has their own fill-in-the-blanks).

It’s very possible that nothing is being “reduced” in people via the fellowship; it’s possible to perceive (now) some high school students as naive and needing ‘pointers’, though (in Time) they simply cannot see it yet (as we couldn’t when adults tried the same thing with us ‘kids’)…

What if, we on this blog are doing the very best we can…? Imagine that! What if our love, actions and wishes are “As good as it Gets”? The rest is left to time and our ability to be timeless with Time and the results of our efforts and deeds. (IMO)

Sometimes you just can’t finish another person’s ‘Yes’ for them…

Love to you all.

133. whalerider - August 27, 2008

arthur:
To add voice to the belly breath: practice being Santa Claus saying, Ho, Ho, Ho, using the stomach muscles to push the words out. Training your body to express yourself with the belly breath is empowering. Caroline Myss writes that the throat chakra is the chakra of power and the stomach chakra is the chakra of self.

I admire the work of Fritz Perls, MD. He, like Milton Erickson, MD, had a much more profound effect on my life than did Ouspensky and Gurdjieff. Much of what G & O write about in terms of psychology is archaic and outdated. The field of psychology has evolved a great deal since then using, of course, the scientific method.

134. unoanimo - August 27, 2008

Bruce,

You do realize what you’ve achieved by this incident, yes?

135. Daily Cardiac - August 27, 2008

Laura:

In the middle of a rather lengthy reply to your last message I decided to fore go of that one to touch on a few points in a general way in the coming days.

136. You-me-us-they - August 27, 2008

On “reality” and “dreams”:

We went “Quantum”, didn’t we?
The way you look at things CHANGES the thing you look at.

Neuroscience studies, seriously, the way virtual reality and imagination (intention) impacts.
Are you surprised at the news they impact… equally?
Time to unite!

The time of the discovery planet hearth was not flat.
“Yet, it moves…”, politely(!) commented Galileo Galilei,
“a man who had a larger defect… he looked to the world in a different way!”:

We called this period “Renaissance”.

How are we going to call this time or ours, when the very perception of time and space reality are questioned?

Death attacks on 6 sides, writes Rumi?
I deduce those very sides are where life is to be found, manifested.

Great, great page!

137. Yesri Baba - August 27, 2008

128 bruce

Did Uncle Jellylips’ head pop up in the passenger seat? From the way they were driving it sounds like somebodies shortbe was being massaged into longbe.
How does that sequence go again? Shortbe-longbe then four wordless gulps?

138. You-me-us-they - August 27, 2008

Statements of value:

“There will always be those who aggravate within others a sense of trouble in order to promote the solution that they already have their mind made up about. And so you’re never going to come into agreement as a mass consciousness that this is “the way.” There will always be disagreements; therefore, there will always be turmoil; there will always be war. ”

And

“Well-Being will always abound (…) you can decide, at any point in time, in what part of this you want to play. You can use anything as your excuse to align with Well-being, or you can use anything as your excuse to not align.
(…) personal power. “

139. Ames Gilbert - August 27, 2008

Reality Check (#47-127 or thereabouts),
I think you’ve got it exactly right. The followers are co-creators, but at the same time prisoners in Burton’s fantasy—but remember, Burton is equally a prisoner. However, the fantasy has to be actively and continuously ‘papered over’ or renewed because it is impossible to control all the ‘impressions’. That is, followers bring in information (germ alert!) from the world outside, and when it doesn’t fit the fantasy, it creates dissonance, cracks, through which comes daylight. With luck, some folks get to see things by that different light.

Have you got to ‘conscience’ yet in your 30 days? I believe that if you recognize conscience and act on it, that is development of will. That is why you left the organization, isn’t it? It is simultaneously an act of independence, of course, and with increasing independence comes maturation and self–reliance. So, I’d say, carry on down that path.

In my experience, after leaving the Fellowship of Friends, the most important thing to do (psychologically), and it really is “doing”, is to try to become ‘normal’ again. And you are doing just that with your de-programming.

Thank you very much for being so open, and sharing your experiments with us.

140. Ames Gilbert - August 27, 2008

My4bits,
I’m so sorry, the previous post was meant for you, not Reality Check. Of course, it was referring to your post (#47-31 or thereabouts).

141. lauralupa - August 27, 2008

will coyote 118

“If i really was connected with all and everything i should feel all the pain and joy of all and then i think shoul be too much.”

142. lauralupa - August 27, 2008

If I run uphill I’m out of breath
If I spend all of my money I’ve got no money left
If I place all of my chips on only one bet
I’m all in

And it’s a surefire bet I’m gonna die
So I’m taking up praying on Sunday nights
And it’s not that I believe in your almight
But I might as well as insurance or bail

Cause institution’s like a big bright lie
And it blinds you into fear and consuming and fight
And you’ve been in the desert underneath the charging sky
It’s just you and God
But what if God’s not there?
But his name is on your dollar bill
Which just became cab fare

For the Evangelist, the Communist, the Lefts and the Rights
And the hypocrites and the Jesuits and the blacks and the whites
It’s in the belly of the beast
In the Atlanta streets
Or up in Laurel Canyon
The verge of Middle East

Still they’re dying on the dark continent
It’s been happening long enough to mention it
Have I mentioned my parents are getting back together again
It’s been 25 years
Of spreading infection
Somehow we’re not affected

So my mom, she brushes her hair
And my dad starts growing Bob Dylan’s beard
And I share with my friends a couple of beers
In the Orlando streets
In the belly of the beast

143. fofblogmoderator - August 27, 2008

116 & 124 are newly moderated

144. arthur - August 27, 2008

“Without full awareness of BREATHING, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding”

Thich Nhat Hanh

“There is one way of BREATHING that is shameful and constricted. Then there’s another way, a BREATH of love that takes you all the way to infinity”.

Rumi

I don’t have a clue about either quote. Perhaps they are talking about the four wordless BREATHS?

In the meantime, I think I’ll tear the patches off my chest and ask my nurse if I go back to drinking beer.

145. arthur - August 27, 2008

I’m not too much into grammer either, “I think I’ll tear the patches off my chest and ask the nurse if I CAN go back to drinking beer”.

146. Mick Danger - August 27, 2008

Screw that “Ouspenskian Nonsense”.
More Music
More Humor
No more teacher’s dirty looks

147. Mick Danger - August 27, 2008

Thanks for the Poet/Rocker/Babe Video, Lauralupa.

Geez! You don’t suppose that the newspaper thing was arranged by C-Influence do you? Maybe they’re more powerful than we thought.

148. veramente - August 27, 2008

145
“Without full awareness of BREATHING, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding”

Thich Nhat Hanh

“There is one way of BREATHING that is shameful and constricted. Then there’s another way, a BREATH of love that takes you all the way to infinity”.

Rumi
—————
Arthur, here is my interpretation just at first:
TNH maybe pointing out to a method (awareness of breathing )rather than making an absolute statement even if it sounds like one.
About Rumi’s I sense he is talking about the quality of our breathing and how it is affected by our internal emotional states.

PS: moon is getting darker and emotions too, next week it might be easier to handle frustration. Hang in there my good friend.

149. brucelevy - August 27, 2008

135. unoanimo

The remarkable ability to recognize douchebagness?

150. whalerider - August 27, 2008

Beezelbob:

“Negative emotions ARE a sign of Sleep.”

Do you have children?

151. Skeptical Optimist - August 27, 2008

116 Beelzebob

Negative emotions ARE a sign of Sleep. There is no case where the expression of a negative emotion is useful to the Aim of personal, excelerated evolution (the “Work”). If one has a different aim, then perhaps it could be useful.

What a load of crap, spoken in true Fellowship style, as if one knew. Please, try to escape the FoF-think if at all possible, and face the fact that maybe (just maybe) your experience does not qualify you to make categorical statements.

Just a thought.

JoelF

152. Beelzebob - August 27, 2008

#152 – whalerider

Yes – wife, children “the whole calamity” (from “Zorba the Greek”) – lol.

I have 3 teenage boys who provide me with endless opportunities to work on the non-expression of negative emotions.

153. Skeptical Optimist - August 27, 2008

“When we are told that something is not to be spoken about, we understand this to mean that this something should not exist—should not, cannot, must not, does not exist. In that moment, our reality and, consequently, our lives are distorted, they become shameful and diminished. In some way, we understand this to mean that we should not exist. To protect ourselves, we, too, begin to speak only of the flat world where everything is safe, commonplace, and agreeable, the very small world about which we can all have consensus. Soon we don’t see the other worlds we once saw, for it is difficult to see what we are forbidden to name.”

—Deena Metzger, Writing for your Life

JoelF

154. elena - August 27, 2008

For the first time in eighteen years I was in an ex- “felllowship” event last night and the lady who organized it asked for my opinion as if it mattered. It made me so happy I couldn’t sleep! As if I’d been given back a passport to being human and good enough to participate. Truly amazing thing to not have to fight for space to not be and instead be invited.

It was most unexpected and I wanted to share it and thank you all for it last night, so thank you all!

My4bits,
If I may add, the Fellowship develops the will for people to alienate themselves from themselves and others and work without a self for the organization which is very different to working selflessly for the well being of everyone involved. It makes people believe that it is shameful to work for our own well being and most spent our will just separating from how badly we felt justifying it with the conviction that we just didn’t make enough effort, we were just not conscious enough.

If you cared to share the list of thirty aspects that you’ve been working with, I would appreciate it. Although I’ve been following your posts, to take a look at all of them would be helpful but if you think you cannot do that for me, that is all right too.

Have a great day!

155. Rear View Mirror - August 27, 2008

Beelzebob 116 wrote: “Negative emotions ARE a sign of Sleep. There is no case where the expression of a negative emotion is useful to the Aim of personal, excelerated evolution (the “Work”). If one has a different aim, then perhaps it could be useful. It is quite possible to exercise one’s critical faculties when making an assessment of the practices of the FOF and RB without becoming identified, and then, inevitably, caught up in an inner storm of negative emotion.”

Negative emotions often become unhealthy. But the idea that they are a “sure sign of sleep” is one of the biggest memes of the Fellowship of Friends, and one of the most harmful ideas within it. It’s also one of the most ardent beliefs held by members, and one of the most unchallenged beliefs.

The idea (as you present it above) has at least two harmful effects: 1) It tends to stifle one of the most essential aspects of spiritual growth — our intuition, and 2) While you seem to suggest there can be critical thinking and critical dialogue while avoiding all expression of negative emotions, the fact is, you will not have critical thinking and critical dialogue while avoiding all expression of negative emotions.

On the other hand, it depends on your interpretation of the idea, which for both of us was something we learned in the FOF and from reading books by Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Collin. First of all, you present a straw man there: I never wrote that I believe it’s advisable for anyone to get “caught up in an inner storm of negative emotion.” In fact, I wrote that negative emotions become unhealthy when they become a part of our “ego” — i.e., a large part of our identity.

And you used the word “identification,” which I still believe is a useful word even after leaving the FOF.

In my opinion, negative emotions are not a sure sign of sleep, but they will definitely prevent us from spiritual growth if we place our identity in them. There’s a very big difference between those two ideas.

For example, when it comes to exercising “one’s critical faculties” with respect to the FOF without becoming “identified”… A good attitude is to continue looking forward in our lives and focusing on the tremendous possibilities that are presented to us after leaving the cult. If criticizing the FOF prevents us from doing that occasionally, that may not be a good thing.

But all of this relates to fear. No one can know with certainty that someone is “losing their work” or is failing in their “aim to awaken” by uttering a sarcastic statement about the Galleria or about all of the palm trees, or whatever. But what we can know is that any fear of expressing such an emotion is a potential sign that we’re part of a cult.

——

By the way, as you wrote, I agree that the FOF and RB “intentionally misuse the Fourth Way idea of the non-expression of negative emotions to insulate themselves from legitimate criticism.” I would not say the FOF and RB “may” do that, however. They do.

156. whalerider - August 27, 2008

beezelbob:
To be a good father, (I have two kids myself) then you know that to set limits with them you must express negativity. Without limits they will grow up to be socipathic and the local police will be forced to set those limits for you. Without the negativity, they will not believe you or feel like you really care. Then afterward it is important to repair the relationship with love to achieve balance and harmony again. Of course they will rebel and have to test those limits themselves, and then they ‘get it’. We need both halves of centers to survive in the world, your sons do, too.

The key is to know yourself and do it without being ‘identified’, like a conscious actor.

********

For those still adhering to the self-deprecating fourth way:

The road to happiness in not paved with masochism.

157. elena - August 27, 2008

Skeptical Optimist, you’ve been standing on that idea since you began participating and I admire you for it! I wonder what you understand by negative emotions that you defend them so vividly? It must be something different to waking up in the morning and saying, “fuck, its raining” or “fuck, its too hot” and something different to telling you you are an asshole because you question where I stand and something very different to saying the whole world is fucked up because you feel so miserable in it, like I feel when I’m drowning in them!

You’ve negated them so enthusiastically I’d be very happy to hear the enthusiasm affirming it. Would you share it and talk?

158. lauralupa - August 27, 2008

Mick Danger 148, glad you liked it.
Speaking of rockers, thanks Opus 111 for sharing the “out of body” video showing some rock’n’roll spirit alive and kicking in OH. The only person I could recognize in it was Charles T, who brought back fond memories of “the windows”, the short lived OH rock band (to be more precise, I think they played rhythm’n’blues) that was formed back in the early 90s featuring Charles, Howard and a few more guys I forget. My husband was at one of their gigs (if I remember correctly, it was at the Town Hall) on July 3rd, 1992 when my contractions started, and I had to interrupt his night out and phone him to come home to help deliver the baby. Ah, good times, good times.
Anyway, is anyone else here familiar with them? If so, possibly they also remember that after a few rockingly good live concerts, they were crushed by Her Majesty, who vetoed them using as a rationale one of his usual lame excuses, probably something about infrasex or the form of the ark.
I know, it’s not the worst of the Queen’s crimes, but I always held a big grudge against him for that, and also for doing the same thing with tango dancing.
Freedom, Fun and Joy, three mechanical manifestations of the lower self that were never encouraged in the School of Divine Presence.

159. Rear View Mirror - August 27, 2008

Disclaimer: I just read the above post after posting it. When I find myself writing in Fourth Way Speak, FOF style, it’s really hard to discuss anything without sounding dogmatic. Very typical of the FOF to talk about ideas as though they are “truths” while making large, general, sweeping statements about the “world as it is.”

We separated ourselves from others. It made our egos happy.

But I sense that we begin to “know” and “understand” in those moments when we connect ourselves to others.

160. unoanimo - August 27, 2008

It’s Wednesday, August 27, 2008 10:02 AM

I was doing my usual ‘Green Tea and Blog’ sign in this morning and found this ~ A shot of espresso in my green tea… China & Italy (?) For those who didn’t get your newspaper, here it is ~

It’s to be found in GOOGLE under the heading ~

[Religion and Child Abuse News]

Monday, August 25, 2008
Critics call the Fellowship of Friends a cult; members say it’s a school of spiritual development
Appeal-Democrat California
August 24, 2008

A former believer takes on the leader

by Ryan McCarthy

It’s not that the emperor wears no clothes at the 1,171-acre property in the Sierra foothills with a winery, cemetery and main building meant to resemble a French castle, says Elena Haven.

The old folk tale speaks of adults afraid to say their ruler is naked. But Haven, a former member of the Yuba County-based Fellowship of Friends, said silence surrounded the colorful clothes — the salmon pink silk suit, shiny blue shoes or bright yellow pants — leader Robert Earl Burton, 69, sometimes wore.

“It’s the picture of the whole phenomena,” Haven, 49, said of the religious group that she calls a cult and that she left in 2007 after 17 years as a member.

That Fellowship members don’t comment about Burton’s clothing during gatherings at the group’s headquarters in the foothills community of Oregon House is a symbol of more serious problems, Haven said.

The 6-foot, 4-inch silver-haired Burton, a one-time elementary school teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the unchallenged ruler of the Fellowship and doesn’t face questions, she said.

Not about his living like a king, not about a lifestyle said to rival a ruler in the last days of the Roman empire, not about the nuclear Armageddon that Burton proclaimed would happen in 2006, not about whether the Fellowship is following the “Fourth Way” system of spiritual development taught by two 20th-century Russian philosophers and mystics, Haven said.

“If you challenge him you have to leave the cult,” she said. “No one can understand how crazy this can get.”

A fresco-style ceiling painting that includes a depiction of a man with an erection is an example of the excesses of the Fellowship, Haven said.

Last month Haven did something other former members said no one had attempted since the Fellowship established its Sierra foothills site in 1971.

The 5-foot, 3-inch dark-haired Haven began picketing in July at the Rices Crossing Road entrance to the Fellowship property 29 miles outside of Marysville. Most members live in a bubble, unaware of what takes place in the Fellowship’s inner circle, Haven said. Her protests came as the group said members from around the world — the Fellowship has centers for students in many countries — were gathering.

“How many more boys, Dear?” read one of her signs, a reference to what Haven said are the half-dozen young men constantly in Burton’s company and known within the Fellowship as his boys. “Dear” is the term Burton uses to address members.

The Fellowship reaction to her signs was swift, Haven said. They photographed her, she said. They called the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department. When Haven returned the next day to picket again, the Fellowship had put two trucks and a tractor to block the space where she had parked her car, Haven said. A member shouted several times at her, Haven said.

“I was shaking I was so afraid,” she recalled, puzzled by the strong reaction to one woman with a few picket signs. “One person standing on the side presents no threat to anyone.”

Before the end of the month Haven was in a Yuba County Superior Court courtroom arguing against a lawyer for the Fellowship, which sought a court order to keep Haven away from its headquarters.

When she spoke in court about what she said was Burton’s conduct, the judge said it sounded like Haven was accusing Burton of wrongdoing.

“I am not,” Haven answered. “I do not think being homosexual is a crime.”

The Fellowship more than a quarter-century ago did not allow such sexual behavior.

Homosexuality — along with smoking, firearms and hitting with fists — was prohibited for members in a 1980 guide. By then the group had been at its Yuba County property for nearly a decade. The Fellowship began in the Bay Area and, in 1971, looking for a nearby retreat, settled upon the Sierra foothills land in Oregon House.

Burton was the leader.

From elementary school to the Sierra foothills

In 1967, Robert Earl Burton was a 27-year-old teacher at Springhill Elementary in the Bay Area, coming to work in a coat and tie, carrying a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle and talking about sports.

“He was kind of one of the stars,” recalled Carol Blackburn, who taught at Springhill when Burton was there. “Everybody loved him.”

After a school break he returned, transformed.

He was dressed like a hippie, complete with headband, recalled Blackburn.

Burton resigned his teacher job early in 1967 and in the book “Self-Remembering,” a collection of short statements by him, Burton said that six months later that “Influence C” – 44 angels who include Walt Whitman, Buddha and Abraham Lincoln — revealed themselves to him.

“Life after death instantly became a fact,” he wrote.

Within a decade Fellowship leader Burton had a blue Rolls Royce with the personalized license plate “Oracle.”

On March 19, 1976, a “crystallization” occurred, Burton declared.

“I experienced a conscious birth, like a woman delivering a baby,” Burton wrote. “It came upon me. There was a bolt of lightning, smoke and an earthquake. My higher centers fused. World 6 and 12 were there. It lasted for about 15 seconds. The smoke then vanished.”

“It was as if someone had shot a bullet between my eyes, and I was looking at them unmoved,” he said.

Fellowship members and their children came to live in houses around the Oregon House property of the Fellowship and followed guidelines – since changed – on conduct that included wearing contact lenses rather than glasses, using an English accent when speaking and not using contractions in speech.

Bruce Wodhams, 58, now superintendent at the same Lafayette School District in the East Bay hills where Burton once taught, worked in the early 1980s as a school administrator in the Yuba County community of Dobbins near the Fellowship headquarters.

Wodhams remembers students whose parents were Fellowship members telling him the youths weren’t to use contractions when speaking.

“The point,” he said, was “to make you think all the time about what you’re saying.”

Haven joined as a 30-year-old in 1990 in London at one of the Fellowship centers after finding a bookmark of the group in a philosophical text she was reading about the Fourth Way — intended to provide the West with a system of spiritual development that develops the body, mind and the emotions.

The mind and its motivations had been a consuming interest since her mother shot and killed herself when Haven was 8 years old.

“I wanted to understand why people did that,” said Haven, who began reading philosophy as a teenager.

She said the Fourth Way philosophy is of value but that Burton and the Fellowship no longer practice it.

Haven agrees with a key assertion of a 1996 lawsuit filed against the Fellowship by a former Yuba College student who said Burton had seduced him.

“Fellowship of Friends is a cult whose sole purpose, despite its claims supporting its tax-exempt status, is to satisfy the sexual, financial and power needs of Robert Burton, the leader,” the suit stated. “Burton’s word is law and cannot be questioned because he is ‘awake,’ while his followers are ‘asleep’ and therefore cannot think for themselves.”

The 1996 lawsuit was settled before going to trial — the terms remain confidential.

The Fellowship family – and the biological one

Haven in 1998 made what she calls the biggest mistake of her life – deciding to leave her 11-year-old daughter Daniela with the girl’s father, whom Haven had separated from years earlier.

Fellowship members, Haven said, are told that “families are biological – that they have no meaning.”

Haven said she’d heard how hundreds of other women had done the same thing with family members. And she left her native country of Columbia for Oregon House without her daughter.

“Cults induce brainwashing — an inducement into an ideology that then gets practiced,” Haven said. “You are not supposed to be leaving your family, you’re supposed to be becoming free of your unnecessary ties.”

She regrets the impact her leaving had on her daughter’s life. “A child is a wonderful thing to have,” Haven said.

Haven’s later marriage to Girard Haven, senior minister of the Fellowship, ended because of differences the two had over the Yuba County-based religious group, she said.

In 2007, after three years of taking care of an elderly Fellowship member with Alzheimer’s, Haven said she asked for some help — and that the Fellowship banned her from speaking about the situation involving the 87-year-old woman.

“I was treated as though I was saying something wrong,” added Haven, who said she helped pay for additional care for the woman.

Haven said the Fellowship strips members of the lives they led before joining the Fellowship and leaves them in a cult where only their money matters.

Former member Susan Zannos, 74, who now lives in Southern California, said the financial demands on members – including such fees as $100 to be photographed with Burton — are constant.

“Every time you turn around you’re getting nickled and dimed,” Zannos said of requests for money that also include substantial teaching payments to the Fellowship.

Zannos, a member for three decades starting in 1976, said Burton is “the wizard behind the curtain.”

The Fellowship’s lure is simple, she said.

“Here’s this place where everything is spelled out,” Zannos said, “and everything is safe.”

Sid McCarty, 74, left the Fellowship in 2006 after 28 years as a member.

“It doesn’t have a heart,” he said of the organization. Departing meant, “I could be myself again.”

Another former member said many of those who stay in the Fellowship wonder what will happen if they leave.

Nikea Lea Erwin, 30, a member from 1996 to 2007, said true believers have invested their lives in the Fellowship story of conscious evolution and fear how they would fare emotionally outside on their own.

At the entrance in Oregon House to the Fellowship, Haven returned regularly in July to again picket after a temporary court order keeping her 50 yards from the property. Ames Gilbert, 57, a Nevada County resident who was in the group from 1978 to 1994, joined to picket with her.

“In the Fellowship there is no graduation,” Gilbert said, wondering about a school of philosophy that never lets go of its students.

The remote site of the Fellowship, in what’s been called the “hidden Sierra” because no major highway runs through the region, benefits Burton by keeping members close and away from communities where they could see life outside Fellowship, Gilbert said.

“The isolation in Yuba County really helps him,” said Gilbert.

Protester’s goal: ‘Be a huge pebble in their shoe’

While the Fellowship has its critics, 64-year-old Tom Richards is not among them. His family has owned 6,000 acres in the foothills since 1942 and the Fellowship property is next to Richards’ ranch in Oregon House.

He recalled a friend visiting from Redding and complaining that the Fellowship was a cult.

Richards responded, “They have a little tiny cult,” and referring his friend’s membership in a traditional religion, added, “You have a big cult.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Richards said.

Haven, however, does worry about the Fellowship – and was not looking forward to a return to court for a scheduled Aug. 8 hearing on the Fellowship’s try for a permanent order to restrict her picketing. When Haven called the Yuba County Superior Court late in July she learned the Fellowship had dropped its legal action.

Rick Ross, who heads a New Jersey-based institute that studies cults, said the group’s initial reaction to take Haven to court over her picketing shows the impact of her actions.

“It’s powerful, in particular, when former members do this,” said Ross, who testified in March in a civil case in federal court in Sacramento that he considers the Fellowship a cult.

Ford Greene, the attorney who represented the former Yuba College student in the 1996 lawsuit against Burton and the Fellowship, said Haven has stuck with her challenge to the group despite the legal action the Fellowship filed over her picketing.

“She wasn’t going to be buffaloed and intimidated and go away,” Greene said.

Haven has rented out her three-bedroom, two-bath home in Oregon House to provide her with some income and pays $250 a month to stay in a 20-foot-long, 7-foot-wide trailer.

She misses some of the comforts of her own home but is happy to be out of the Fellowship after 17 years.

She writes often on a Web site popular with many former Fellowship members who say the Internet can alert people intrigued by the group. Members once left without others knowing why they departed, Haven said, but now their reasons are posted for anyone to read on the Web site.

“The Fellowship cannot hurt me more than it has already hurt me,” Haven wrote in one post. “I may not be able to stop them but I’ll be a huge pebble in their shoe until the end of time.”

“Each prospective student who does not join in the next 20 years,” she said, “is worth all the trouble.”

This article was found at:
http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/former_67878___article.html/haven_clothes.html

161. unoanimo - August 27, 2008

Bruce ~

I was thinking late last night after you posted your ‘BMW SHORTBE’ story-note; that, indeed! While waiting “for a day or two” for SHORTBE to go on ahead of you at the exit off ramp, you, undeniably and serendipitously transformed SHORTBE into LONGBE by being present to the license plate and not just waiting… Remember the elevator exercise? May the force be with you…

162. will coyote - August 27, 2008

Whalerider:151 There is a lovely story of Buddha about an arrow that hit and wound someone. The first pain is negative istintive and is the right response of the body to a wound. The second pain is what do you put over (negative emotion) it: this is not useful, but make worst(before do you have a pain, after do you have two). My child (7 years old) have learned very quickly also the second from myself too.

163. My4bits - August 27, 2008

Elena, post 155:

Glad to hear of your recent very positive experiences, Elena!

I don’t think that I want to share my personal list of “30 links,” which I’ve been following during the month of August, one link per day. But I will explain my concept in a bit more detail.

I started with the idea of a chain tying me to my long FoF experience and preventing me from moving on in my life. The image is of the “Devil” card in the Tarot, which symbolizes an obstacle.

I decided on the number 30 and chose the month of August. The “chain” consists of 30 topics describing core areas, ideas, concepts that seemed to beg for examination and purification. For example, Friendship, Service, The Teacher, Old Age, Will, The Ark, Vanity, Parents & Siblings, and so on. You can easily make your own list, and it’s hard to keep the list down to 30 items!

Each day, I randomly drew one of the topics, and focused on that subject throughout the day, read books, do research, ponder, post to the blog. I’ve experienced numerous synchronicities, such as a book arriving in the mail addressing the topic of the day, an unexpected phone call from a relative, a card in the mail from a lost friend, a blog poster addressing my topic from their viewpoint, and so on.

At the end of the day, I take a ritual “purifying” shower, and cut one link from an actual chain of 30 links, which I purchased, and go outside for a while to look at the stars. I’m burning a series of ritual candles throughout the entire process to support continuity of focus.

On the 31st, I take stock, bury the cut links of chain in a nice spot, and “move on.”

At this point, I can say that it has been quite a month! No guarantees for me or others on the result, of course. With something like this, you get out of it basically what you put into it.

Take care, Elena, and Bon Voyage! if, indeed, you’re planning to return soon to Columbia.

164. My4bits - August 27, 2008

Elena, re: my previous post

Dear, spirited, fellow-blogger,I should add…

I keep a journal of the experience. I’m rather introverted and it helps me externalize.

Also, I employed a “psychic ally” — a Tarot reader and Wicca (white witch) who I met a while back — to guide, support, and monitor my progress during these 30 days. I felt that I could not do it alone, and that I needed some “magical assistance.”

So, there you have it.

Here’s to “magic” and hope in all our lives!

165. paulshabram - August 27, 2008

Joel (152),
Simply put.

To expand a little, I think that the entire Fourth Way is a load of crap if you BELIEVE it. The FOF version is a train load of crap whether you believe it or not.

“Non-expression” (suppression) of a negative emotion doesn’t make it go away. It just adds another negative emotion to the mix. I think it is fooling oneself to think this is some sort of advance of consciousness.

The fourth Way presents us with a bag of tricks that could be used to allow for objective moments. From an objective POV why is a negative emotion any different from a positive one?

The objectivity can be used to harness and direct emotions (including negative ones) for benefit. It’s a good trick, but my most memorable and cherished moments have really all been subjective.

166. Mick Danger - August 27, 2008

Thanks to repressed emotions, another fine dining experience at the Galleria passes without incident.

167. whalerider - August 27, 2008

I think it might be useful to make the distinction between a negative emotion and a negative mood.

A negative emotion, like any emotion, waxes and wanes (unless you are a Stepford wife).

A negative mood lasts longer. It persists because we attach our identity to it. When it becomes chronic, it becomes a mood disorder, like a personality disorder or a thought disorder.

IMO (and the opinion of other health professionals), it is the negative moods that impact our health.

I don’t believe anyone here is promoting negative moods when we talk about having negative emotions.

Will Coyote makes a good point. Being wounded produces pain, and usually pain doesn’t produce a positive emotion. (And persistent pain can produce a negative mood.)

If someone accidentally steps on your toe, it hurts and you react. That’s normal. You could forgive yourself for that. But after your brain registers the pain and it subsides, then you have a choice about how you feel about the person who stepped on your toe…do you ‘personalize’ the act, call them an asshole, further supporting your personal belief that the world is only full of assholes like them, then go home and kick the cat, thereby letting an accidental act effect your mood for the rest of the day (certainly a waste of energy) …or do forgive them (save energy), transcend it, and let it go?

168. Reality Check - August 27, 2008

“I think that the entire Fourth Way is a load of crap if you BELIEVE it.”

***

Some of those now dismissing the Fourth Way likely do so because they merely worshipped its distorted aspects when they believed it like a religion while in the FOF. They reject the classification of imitative behavior in their memory labeled under the heading “Fourth Way” because they never knew what it was; it was actually a form of zombie-ism for them and hardly more than a string of catchphrases to mouth at meetings.

Anyone in their right mind understands that if you are in a state where you cannot resist expressing negative emotions when the world is not conforming to your expectations then you are in the compromised condition of no will. Anyone in their right mind will understand that if you use the energetic frustration to “remember yourself,” that is, to simply watch yourself and the world rather than react predictably that in seconds you will recognize how to turn what appeared to be a bad situation into an advantage if possible. You will see how to find a solution because you are suddenly in a higher state due to concentrating your attention rather than losing your attention to an over-emotional reaction. I express negative emotions plenty, I can’t actually practice my knowledge, and expressing negative emotions is a sure sign that a human being is wasting the time allocated by life in a state of witlessness while complaining about what is useless to complain about.

169. ton - August 27, 2008

“i could be wrong, i could be right…”

the so-called “non-expression” of negative emotions is just another means that “the system” uses for mind control and manipulation of it’s adherents….

“anger is an energy….

may the road rise with you”

170. brucelevy - August 27, 2008

168. Reality Check

“I express negative emotions plenty, I can’t actually practice my knowledge…”

Of all you’ve expounded in the past, for me, this is the most ennobling thing you’ve said so far.

171. brucelevy - August 27, 2008

168. Reality Check

Welcome to the club.

172. We Were There - August 27, 2008

In case you have had difficulty locating the recent Appeal Democrat article on the Fellowship of Friends, use http://tinyurl.com/6gy4qp

173. whalerider - August 27, 2008

I am not going to beat around the bush with you. Reality Check, this is what makes you, IMO, “tweeked”. You have set an impossible task for yourself, you fail, and then project your anger at yourself at everyone else! Thanks for being honest about your efforts, and I must be honest and say that IMO, your knowledge isn’t working for you.

Shit man, father Ouspensky himself couldn’t stem the flow of his emotions, either. That’s what drove him to drink and at the end of his life, tell everyone to chuck the fourth way out the window! He probably would have had all his fourth way books burned, too, if he had the chance. Fucking Rodney Collin had a heart attack chasing the holy grail, and Gurdjieff drove his car into a tree! Doesn’t that tell you something?

You are the boy with the fingers in the leaking dike.

You CAN control your mood with your will. Shit happens, and yet we can rise above it and not let it ruin our whole day. Take it a day at a time. Sometimes we win, sometimes we fail. That’s being human. We have to learn to love ourselves anyway. The FOF indoctrinates its members into being inhumane, by demonizing the “lower self”, and to love Robert and not themselves.

Attempting to be a stepford wife will only drive you insane…and it’s job security for uncle Bob as he continues to exlpoit and abuse those trapped in the FOF web of lies.

BTW, if you are as good as you say you are, WTF is the FOF URL doing up and running?

174. ton - August 27, 2008

bruce,
i hope this doesn’t sound paranoid and don’t want to “instill” that by my question, but when i read your account of the douche-bag in the “beamer” i wondered if he might know who you are and played the little game of passive aggression as a type of harassment? (it’s probably more likely a simple matter of the driver having his head so far up his ass that it wouldn’t matter who was in the car behind).

175. brucelevy - August 27, 2008

174. ton

It’s possible, but he turned from the ramp to cut me off without even looking whether there was traffic in either direction. Must be a center director, or AG, or one or two other possibilities. Of course only an delusional asshole would drive around with that plate at this point in time. Definitely a douche bag. I’m almost tempted to guess which douche bag, like maybe the gay guy who received absolution from RB by marrying a WOMAN, and finding some way to impregnate her.

176. brucelevy - August 27, 2008

Like the Christian Right “We’ll cure you of the gay” meme.

177. elena - August 27, 2008

Thanks my4bits, it wasn’t your list to work with what I wanted, it was to look at the areas you considered worthwhile. For myself I think I’ve recovered the areas that were significant so many times that I’d have to dig them out again if I wanted to look at them. It is a fun process to get them out, I’m glad it is working for you.

Unoanimo, I was hoping I could find the other interview with Girard and the other student to complete the picture but I couldn’t find it. It was very interesting for me to see how the journalist work and how they polish everything one says to fit the newspapers own legal and social limitations. Still, I think the Cult picture makes its way out clearly and I continue to be grateful to both Mr. McCarthy and the Appeal Democrat. This “picketing” is much more fun than picketing at the Gatehouse!

I heard some people in the Fellowship are trying to get it to open its doors to outsiders for concerts and other cultural events. Are ex-students in Oregon House really considering continuing to support the Fellowship by paying for these events?

178. fofblogmoderator - August 27, 2008

#168 is newly moderated (for some reason it slipped into moderation)

179. sharon - August 27, 2008

elena-
http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/member_67880_marysville__article.html/fellowship_divides.html

for the “other side” article in the AD – you’ll probably have to cut-and-paste the whole address above into your browser.

180. sharon - August 27, 2008

“you’ll probably have to cut-and-paste the whole address above into your browser.”
Nope – it worked as a link, even though the end of the address was cut off.

181. paulshabram - August 27, 2008

Radio.Controlled.(168)

You seemed to have missed the operative word even though I capitalized it. Perhaps you are not in the right mind for this. The Fourth Way is not supposed to be a system of beliefs. It is supposed to be a system of verification. If you practice the exercises, observe yourself and your surroundings, and verify as you go, IMO you will reach the same verification that Ouspensky did… you verify system is a load of crap. And that is the most useful of any outcome you can have with it.

To be clear here, you don’t know a fucking thing about what went on in my mind when I was in the FOF, even if you were there (which I doubt). You seem to be having a little trouble with your own mind. Nevertheless, even though you called yourself witless, I don’t think you are. I do think you are more than a little fucked up, however.

182. Reality Check - August 27, 2008

If a man is in a higher state of consciousness then why would he express disappointment, much less outrage, at anything that happened? In a higher state one has to assume that it is possible to actually see why things happen the way they do and how things could not have happened in any other way. So the non-expression of negativity is a touchstone for a higher state because it indicates that man can witness reality and accept it by understanding clearly that there is no alternative.

It makes sense that those indentified with their particular agendas in life, usually directly connected to instinctive wants, are more than a little dismayed when they do not get what they want, when the world fails to cooperate with their wishes. A man expressing negativity is a man living in a frustrated ego. Here is the catch 22, in order to attain a higher state at will it is necessary to give up the expression of negativity first. A man has to separate from this frustrated ego and turn the energy that the ego typically uses to manifest itself into a moment of recognition of a more valid perspective where the laws that operate the world are seen as more legitimate than the laws that operate what a petty personality wants.

The effort of non-expression of negativity depends entirely on correct motivation. Anyone avoiding expressing negativity because he knows everyone will judge him for being asleep is wasting his time with this effort. Those imitating an enforced appearance of “sweetness” out of peer pressure are wasting their time. The only good motivation for conserving energy in this way is the payoff when there is a moment of transformation of the energy in question into reality, when the higher consciousness transcends the personality. This is certainly not for everyone and in fact any element of non-voluntary compliance will turn the effort into its opposite.

As it is with any difficult expedition, a climb with increasing steepness puts more strain on the explorer due to the fact that the elation only finally comes once he’s reached to top and actually sees what the view is. Those that have been to the top never forget it and they never forget the need to get back up there.

183. brucelevy - August 28, 2008

183. Reality Check

Now you gone and undone it.

184. ton - August 28, 2008

around 183
“blah blah blah…. “Here is the catch 22, in order to attain a higher state at will it is necessary to give up the expression of negativity first…. blah blah blah, etc.”

although you “speak” with the the voice and “tone” of pedantic authority, how do you really know the shit you regurgitate here? sounds to me like something you read in a book…. all that’s missing is the diagram of “higher hydrogens.” it might be more entertaining if you were making this shit up yourself…. but the fact that you’re simply recycling someone else’s half-baked psuedo “theories” makes it all the more preposterous and unconvincing.

“letting go” may be one of the most difficult things to learn…
anyway, it will certainly be the last lesson in this life.

185. whalerider - August 28, 2008

Reality Check:
I have to say this: after having peeled back a few layers of the onion, and you brought tears to my eyes with your last post. And you may not give a flying fuck, BUT for once I feel like we are connecting on a human level.

Near as I can tell…IMO, you don’t have to be perfect to be more awake. That’s the secret. It may not take the non-expression of each and every single negative emotion to have enough extra energy on hand to create higher consciousness, for goodness sake. That would be “formatory thinking’, right? All or nothing… For me, a small percentage does the trick just fine. I believe it’s a matter of scale and relativity, otherwise, have fun crucifying yourself.

BTW, having summited several tall mountians in my life, sure, the view is awesome, you are closer to God (and jet airplanes)…in reality though, without enough oxygen to BREATHE you soon realize that you are actually in the midst having a near death experience, too. That’s what is waiting for you up there…an experience of your own mortality. Nothing much grows at the top of really tall mountians, not even moss. Each time I made it to the top, and believe me, you really, really have to want it, I also couldn’t wait to get back down and be with my family, too, in the land of the living.

186. whalerider - August 28, 2008

PS…by the same token, Reality Check, why express love for someone if you know they are going to die?

187. Yesri Baba - August 28, 2008

After years of work on myself , having reached an exalted level of being, I am now able to control the expression of negative emotions in all but one instance- when I get PISSED OFF.

188. can't we all get along? - August 28, 2008

#183 –
“If a man is in a higher state of consciousness then why would he express disappointment, much less outrage, at anything that happened?”

In the fof I learned to use scale and relativity in a situation where I might have expressed negativity. It does feel that when I employ these mind techniques that I am able to quickly “separate” from being “identified”, however, with a tendency to want to dismiss the newly formed attitude for the former and just go ahead and express my disappointment or my outrage. It feels good doesn’t it?

It was that same use of scale and relativity that made me stay in the fof after many contradictions surfaced and many disappointments occurred. How did I justify living in a shoe box of an apartment in O.H., watching the many students on salary living like paupers, Robert’s failed predictions, the constant pressure to give more money, etc…? I used scale and relativity, or at least that what I thought I was doing.

189. unoanimo - August 28, 2008

My4bits ~

I hope you don’t mind the suggestion; I am guessing that it fits into your wish to share with us this 30-chain-link journey you’re taking… One thought ~

Along with burying the 30 severed links (though only 28 will be in/half), so maybe cut those stragglers too… You might consider burying the Bolt-cutters too.

_________

Bruce ~

I saw your SHORTBE today traveling towards Marysville: (he’s no young whipper snapper), though I’ll let Whalerider do the investigative work.

———

Today, for me, was a day of Kali-ship; wordless and awe-like… It all started with pulling a young mother and her daughter out of a flipped over SUV on Marysville road…

———

A pregnant egg (YES!)… That’s it.

Thank you everyone; something’s stirring in the Mother’s womb…

Greg,

One way to see it is that you’re not the climber, but the mountain who gave birth to the climber; whenever you want to live from that ‘high place’, all you have to do is open your eyes and not believe the contemporary stories of your child-climber, he’s still naive and doesn’t know about those caves he’ll find when he too old to breath thin air, those caverns who’ll test his fear of the dark and not his addiction to views and fame: I love my friends, though mostly what keeps me together these days is being friendly to the climber as his mountain…

190. unoanimo - August 28, 2008

… find when (he’s) too old… *

*TV-American Indian version not intended.

191. Another Name - August 28, 2008

Dear reality check and all about higher states,

“If a man is in a higher state of consciousness then why would he express disappointment, much less outrage, at anything that happened?”

What about world 6 in this theory? I did not climb high mountains but I had a baby and send the doctor away and told him I did not need him…….this was not very kindly addressed. This journey was a state….connected to a very different world in your language higher sate of several hours?

When people die…it is not world 12 believe me and your teacher Robert Burton is scared the death of dying. (Sounds funny). When Peter B -sch-p died he asked E-ith, “can he talk from 7 feet away. Peter opened up his eyes and said “yes” I can talk. Peter closed his eyes again.

People who are flipping or who are psychotic….that is a higher state for them for sure. They can perceive so many thins we ordinary can not perceive. And hey can be very angry, aggressive.

The above is not theory, it has been witnessed experienced and verified practical.

My solution for August is: I love you, your part of my world, I forgive you.

192. My4bits - August 28, 2008

Unoanimo, post 190:

Will do, Uno. I’ll bury them all deep in Mother Earth…. She has the power to heal.

193. brucelevy - August 28, 2008

190. unoanimo

Yup. I think I know who it is. There aren’t many students who could be that much of a jerk to sport such a plate. He’s a throw back to the 70’s and 80’s. My previous intimation should be enough for those who were around in those years to know who it is.

194. My4bits - August 28, 2008

Yesri Baba, post 188:

Yep. In fact, I can feel those nasty negative emotions welling up right now, from the depths of my lower self: $##$%#$, ^*^&*^&, !#!@#!@, @!$^&**. Oh, I feel so much better!!!

Perhaps because they were directed neither to myself, nor to others…

Embrace them. Be them. See them for what they are — energy. Very uncomfortable energy, but energy just the same. Not good. Not bad.

LoL.

195. Beelzebob - August 28, 2008

#158 – whalerider

You said it exactly, “The key is to know yourself and do it without being ‘identified’, like a conscious actor.”

In Fourth Way theory, one could intentionally (as you said, without identification) manifest outward negativity in order to achieve a desired result. This would be an example of “external consideration” – giving one’s child the discipline that is needed at the moment. However, this would be no more than an external manifestation. Internally, in one’s psychology, one would not be negative emotionally. Rather, this act of external consideration might be motivated by the positive emotion of love.

As my father used to say (as he was removing his belt from his pants), “This is going to hurt me a lot more than it is going to hurt you.”

196. Beelzebob - August 28, 2008

#184 – Reality Check

You said (in part), “The effort of non-expression of negativity depends entirely on correct motivation. Anyone avoiding expressing negativity because he knows everyone will judge him for being asleep is wasting his time with this effort. Those imitating an enforced appearance of “sweetness” out of peer pressure are wasting their time. The only good motivation for conserving energy in this way is the payoff when there is a moment of transformation of the energy in question into reality, when the higher consciousness transcends the personality.”

I heartily agree except with the possible exception of your description of the “payoff”. I do not look for potential future moments of higher consciousness as the payoff – that seems like a far-off lamp post. The reward for me is more immediate – it comes in the form of an increased understanding of myself and, therefore, of others.

197. Beelzebob - August 28, 2008

#153 – Skeptical Optimist

You said, “What a load of crap, spoken in true Fellowship style, as if one knew. Please, try to escape the FoF-think if at all possible, and face the fact that maybe (just maybe) your experience does not qualify you to make categorical statements.”

Point taken. I happen to read this from Ouspensky today: “Only in the Absolute are things absolute.” (“The Fourth Way”).

Having said that, it IS my firm conviction based on the totality of my personal experiences that the expression of negative emotions serves no useful purpose. Can you give an example from your own experience where the expression of a negative emotion served a useful purpose? (and by “useful” I mean to exclude any purpose that is egoistic.)

198. Beelzebob - August 28, 2008

#167 – paulshabram

You said (in part), ““Non-expression” (suppression) of a negative emotion doesn’t make it go away. It just adds another negative emotion to the mix. I think it is fooling oneself to think this is some sort of advance of consciousness.”

“Suppression” of a negative emotion is not the same thing as non-expression.

Suppression is not the end game. It is an exercise which is intended to facilitate self-observation. The attempt to suppress the external manifestations of a negative emotion (tension in the body, facial expressions, body postures, angry words, etc.) can create an “opening”, psychological space if you will, wherein self-observation can take place. Sincerity with oneself is a prerequisite for anything useful to come out of this exercise.

Non-expression takes things much further. It involves “separating” from the negative emotion (seeing it as not I) and then trying to identify (and then eliminate or modify) the underlying incorrect and nonsensical ideas, beliefs, intellectual and emotional attitudes that give rise to and support the negative emotion. Our unconsciously and unintentionally acquired ideas, beliefs and attitudes serve as the motivating factor in everything we do and, for the most part, they remain unquestioned and unchallenged.

199. veronicapoe - August 28, 2008

129/my4bits

Call ’em as you see em!

200. Beelzebob - August 28, 2008

#130 – My4bits

The Pauper’s Denial (from “The Oragean Version” – C. Daly King)

It is necessary only to state that real situation clearly and definitely in order to be assailed from all sides by the Pauper’s Denial. “Of course we have Free Will,” cry these voices, some shrill and angry, others merely astonished that so obvious a matter can be called into question. And so it is, until they look at it; indeed they are the very protagonists of the Pauper’s Parable:

“Once there lived a man so disreputably clad and starving that others came to him saying, “Alas, that thou art bereft of all wealth to this extent! For thy bones stick through thy skin and thy cloak is more holes and patches than good wool. Behold now, bestir thyself, for coin is to be had through the efforts thou canst make and with that coin thy dire needs may be remedied.” To which the pauper answered: “Begone, ye fools! Are ye so dull of wit ye cannot see one of great possessions before ye, who needeth not to make an undignified scrambling after thy petty coins? Begone, for here small patience shall reward sophistries and thy twistings of words!” So then those others left him; and not long later his emaciated body was found beside the roadway, a testimony to the starvation he had denied.”

By this story it is intended to be shown that no poor man can become wealthy, if, in advance of his efforts to do so, he is deluded by the notion that he is already a millionaire. It is the same with Will.

201. Rear View Mirror - August 28, 2008

Good grief. This is worse than spam.

If you’re honest about “point taken” in 198, then try to be those words instead of dishing out several more paragraphs of the same FOF dogma.

It’s just habit. We stand up at hundreds of those mind-numbing meetings and watch people tilt their heads to the side in the usual imitative poses, and then we expect everyone to nod in appreciation when we spew out the usual “work words.” Did you think actual thinking and “inner work” is synonymous with using an FOF word every other sentence? Some believe just the opposite, you know.

202. Rear View Mirror - August 28, 2008

Beelzoblog wrote: “Our unconsciously and unintentionally acquired ideas, beliefs and attitudes serve as the motivating factor in everything we do and, for the most part, they remain unquestioned and unchallenged.”
—–

I completely agree, but since we’re on a blog that’s questioning the ideas and actions of Burton and the FOF, I would write your sentence with a few revisions…

“The ideas and attitudes we acquire in the FOF lead to our denial that we have joined a cult — and these ideas attitudes we acquire in the FOF remain almost entirely unquestioned and unchallenged. Anyone who does question them or challenge them is removed from the cult to minimize dissent, and to avoid the onset of critical thinking.

203. fofblogmoderator - August 28, 2008

Blog Stats-

The blog has had 1739 hits in the last 48 hours.

204. Reality Check - August 28, 2008

202. Rear View Mirror – August 28, 2008

“Good grief. This is worse than spam.

“198

“It’s just habit.”

***

Since you don’t hesitate to your offer your annoyance then I’ll offer you mine.

Speaking of habit, of course there is nothing habitual about your incessantly stated view of reality is there? Your view is actually the way the facts are arranged in the real world, right? This entire blog discussion is about whether there is anyone that can actually see something the way it truly is and express it in a way that makes the facts clear. In my estimation your views are nowhere near the top tier of those offering reliable information. If you think that what you express here isn’t simply the product of a rather mildly powered mind spitting out bits and pieces of uninteresting opinions then you’re mistaken. I would venture that even those that agree with the gist of what you have to say on a daily basis are fairly bored with the predictability of it.

205. Yesri Baba - August 28, 2008

202 RVM

“Good grief. This is worse than spam”

No shit. I turned my filter off just to get some interesting reading.

206. Rear View Mirror - August 28, 2008

Quick summary of the Fellowship of Friends:

•The cult was founded and is still led by Robert Earl Burton, 69.
•Burton was an elementary teacher in the 1960s who lived and worked in the east side of the Bay Area near Lafayette, Walnut Creek, and Concord.
•Fellowship of Friends followers call him “the teacher.”
•The cult was started in 1970. Probably about 90 percent or more of the people who have joined the cult have left it. Today there are anywhere from 1,000 to 1,700 followers, and the majority of them live in Oregon House, which is a half hour outside of Marysville.
•Apollo Olive Oil and Renaissance Wine are both produced by the cult, although marketing efforts by Apollo Olive Oil leave out this important fact. Proceeds are being used to fund Burtons’ activities directly or indirectly.
•Burton has been accused on this blog and in lawsuits of using his position as spiritual leader to manipulate perhaps hundreds of his followers into having sex with him since the group was founded. A number of personal accounts are described on this blog.
•Although many followers and former members downplay this fact, the Fellowship of Friends charges large sums to be a member of the group. Using these funds, the small community of “Apollo” was built, which intertwines with the Oregon House community.
•Payments to the cult also fund Burton’s numerous luxurious vacations overseas, where he is joined consistently by an entourage of young males.
•The group has been granted tax-free status on the basis of being a “religious organization,” but many contend that this status is bogus and that it should be challenged by the IRS.
•Page 1 of the blog begins here: http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/fellowship-of-friends-a-cult-for-intellectuals/
•The group was founded on the ideas of the so-called “Fourth Way,” which is a system of philosophical ideas and beliefs by eastern philosopher Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Some argue that the cult never was an authentic Fourth Way practice, but all agree that the group has nearly abandoned its Fourth Way studies and has moved on to other newly invented ideas in recent years. Many current and former members believe the newer ideas are mostly nonsensical or absurd. But some others feel the same could be said for the earlier ideas of the cult.
•Burton disallows communication and interaction with former cult members in almost all cases, and he has often encouraged people to leave their families and careers to devote their lives to the cult. People are routinely kicked out of the organization if they are caught studying other philosophies or ideas not sanctioned by the cult.
•The community of Apollo was founded in 1971, and it was originally intended to be the “seat of a new civilization” after Burton’s predictions of catastrophe for modern civilization. Burton made the following major predictions and made them a major part of his “teaching” — a worldwide economic depression beginning in 1984, a cataclysmic earthquake that would send most of California into the ocean in 1998, and World War III in 2006. The large concrete winery, which has never been completed, was envisioned as a fallout shelter for the entire population of the cult.
•Many people within the cult are devoted followers who presumably will never leave Burton. Others have serious doubts but are either afraid or unwilling to leave their many friends, or they are afraid to go out on their own to brave the job market.
•One law suit accuses Burton and the cult of “brain washing.” One thing is clear: The group discourages any kind of critical thinking or criticism of Burton and the FOF. People who criticize him or the group are kicked out of it.

207. Rear View Mirror - August 28, 2008

•One more item: Part of the severe dogma of the Fellowship of Friends is that all followers who leave the group have lost all chance of spiritual growth, and that they will be sent to hell. Burton has routinely made such comments for over three decades. Burton contends that all of the nearly 7 billion people on the earth who do not practice his ideas and join the Fellowship of Friends are also doomed to spiritual deaths. Although this idea was not and is not routinely accepted by all members of the cult, it was certainly a part of the culture of fear that made the cult possible. Leave, so the idea goes, and you will lose your connection to the divine.

208. Mick Danger - August 28, 2008

Oh, I don’t know but I think it is very useful to have & express negative emotions about that damnable Grampa Bobby.
If you don’t, you’re doomed to be a paying sycophant.
There are other jobs you know, like being a paid hooker.
-Mick Danger, Third Eye, Soon to be performing in Hell.

209. lauralupa - August 28, 2008

We have just received information in the form of a strange apparition, apparently from the future, about the last (and lost) days of the Galleria

Lord, please don’t forsake me
In my Mercedes Benz
All the riches and the ruins
Now we all know how that story ends

Strange apparition
Haunting my brain
Standing on the last legs
Of a dream that walked away

When the Lord rings my front door
And asks me what I got to show
Besides the dust in my pockets
And the things that just eat away my soul

Strange apparition
Haunting my brain
There’s some permissions
Of a dream that got cremated

The least I had to lose from
Is the most I seem to care
Anything should make you happy
Nothing could make you scared

We’ll be on the shoreline
When that heavy ship goes down
Did you think that you were lucky?
You should see yourself now

210. elena - August 28, 2008

Thanks Sharon. When you put the two articles together you can see the possible effects. The layout was also very good. Right after Girard’s interview they put Buzbee’s comment on how no one can think for themselves because they are not enlightened like Robert!

Many of us don’t have fast enough computers to download this things so here it is.

A minister and a member praise Fellowship
Comments 8 | Recommend 2
August 24, 2008 12:03:00 AM
By Ryan McCarthy/Appeal-Democrat
A Fellowship of Friends member says he divides his life into the years before he joined — and the time since then.

“It’s lived up to every claim,” said the long-time member. “It answered a lot of my questions. It gave me the tools to help arrive at those answers.”

The man, during a two-hour interview in Marysville conducted on the condition that he would not be named, defended the group critics label a cult — and the man who leads it.

“Robert Burton is a homosexual,” the member said. “The last time I checked that was not against the law.” “He’s never asked anyone to do anything illegal,” the member said. “I have not seen where Robert Burton has crossed the line.”

A Web site critical of the Fellowship —fofdiscussion.wordpress.com — posts the writings of the same 100 to 200 people and often makes unsupported claims about what people say has happened at its Oregon House headquarters, the member said.

“There are people who want these kinds of things to be believed,” he said. “Everything is exaggerated.”

He likened Burton to the Greek philosopher Socrates and said the school seeks to develop the higher center in people, a kind of spiritual muscle that is a bridge between the earthly and divine.

“That’s what the Fellowship is about,” the member said.

The school, he said, draws on what is known as the “Fourth Way” teaching intended to provide the West with a system of spiritual development that develops the body, mind and the emotions.

“Robert has made the Fourth Way his own,” the member said. “It’s a very personal interpretation of the Fourth Way.”

“I see him as a person who got it right spiritually,” the member said. “He’s in a position to be a guide for other people.”

Robert Earl Burton, 69, did not respond to requests for an interview.

Senior minister Girard Haven said Burton does not grant interviews and prefers to devote his time to the Fellowship.

Haven, 63, moved to the Oregon House headquarters in 1975 after he found life as a computer programmer living in a Southern California beach community unsatisfying.

Haven said differences over the Fellowship caused difficulties in his marriage to Elena Haven, who left the group last year and who has said the two are divorcing.

“I understand her point of view,” he said of Elena Haven’s criticisms. “I don’t agree with it.”

Of her picketing in front of the Fellowship headquarters, Girard Haven said, “Most people really didn’t pay attention.” For members it was a nonevent, he said.

Girard Haven said of Burton’s predictions about a 1998 earthquake in California and a world Armageddon in 2006 that, “No one has ever joined the Fellowship because of the predictions.”

“The predictions for me were always a side issue,” the senior minister said. “It was never the center of what we were doing.”

“I am quite relieved there wasn’t an earthquake,” Haven said. “I’m very happy the civilization we know has not collapsed.”

Burton’s predictions proved to be wrong, but the Fellowship leader “has never claimed to be perfect,” Haven said.

Asked if Burton is divine, Haven answered: “He belongs to a higher order.”

“He has a much higher level of spiritual consciousness,” Haven said. “Relative to us it is divine. Relative to powers higher than himself he is not.”

The Fellowship Web site — beingpresent.org — states that Burton “has come to understand the esoteric nature of all spiritual teachings throughout recorded time.”

“He has concluded that all religious traditions are the same and that the basis of all great spiritual work is the same — to escape from imagination and the lower self and to awaken and recognize one’s Higher Self,” the Web site states.

In a 1995 collection of short statements called “Self-Remembering” on a range of topics, Burton wrote “Jesus said when he was 12 that he must be about his father’s business. This does not refer to his age but to world 12 within him.”

Girard Haven said the Fellowship is “for people who are not satisfied with the traditional religions.”

“It’s here for the people who want it,” said Haven.

The Fellowship and its methods for greater spiritual awareness inspire passions among members and others, he said.

“The techniques that are used are powerful,” said the senior minister. “It elicits strong feelings.”

“It becomes hard to remain neutral,” Haven said. “When people leave there’s still strong feelings about it.”

211. unoanimo - August 28, 2008

Hello Beezlebob ~

You wrote ~

“Can you give an example from your own experience where the expression of a negative emotion served a useful purpose? (and by “useful” I mean to exclude any purpose that is egoistic.)”
__________

I like your blog name.

Do you mean voluntary or involuntary negative emotions?

Have you ever had someone just ‘fly off the handle’? And then gather themselves (or be gathered) back together as if some sort of rift in time and molecular space had just occurred? Blushing and apologies abounding, explanations and reversing justifications; though after all that verbiage, the event itself is still a mystery… Maybe the explaining of the negative emotion (is) the negative part because it (negates) the SPACE and fills it back up with the same ingredients that attracted the exploding star, like a black hole…

Then there’s the person (I’ve done it) who says first (as to introduce the arrival of a negative emotion)… “Now, I know this is going to sound really gross and is going to freak you out and I really shouldn’t tell you this because I promised myself I wouldn’t, but….” Then it unfurls and sho nuf the ‘foxtail’ is inserted into paw and is on its One Way journey to the heart…

For me, (is this always ego? If it’s for me?) the expression of negativity can be very humiliating (“Remorse of Conscience”)… Inside this state of humiliation and having apologized to the person and spaces around me, a sort of vacuum is created and there I am, with my shit, aka Diaper Bag… So, the “useful” is deeper grace, wisdom and appreciation for the misery of this Earth and its beautiful and courageous triumphs: have you ever apologized to the Devil for plagiarism? It happens… After all, aren’t the expression of negative emotions your soul’s birth pains: why deny the labor room for the sake of fact that you’re the only one ‘working’?

212. will coyote - August 28, 2008

Just one thought about non expression of negative emotions. In my experience this is an useful tool for recognize that one have them.
The first noble truth is recognize that there is suffering. If I don’t pay attention to all the little pain that every minute i feel, but I don’t want acknowledge ii ,I may think myself free of negative emotions. The problem is not lower self, the problem is the immaginary idea that I have of my self , if I dont struggle to see what really do. I am God, I am oneness,but if i manifest myself like a asshole I have made God an asshole.This is real blasphemy. Every religion push man to make an effort to acknowledge his divinity, that is is Humanity. Something in us is not ours. We have before to see it and then leave it.

213. elena - August 28, 2008

183. Reality Check – August 27, 2008
“If a man is in a higher state of consciousness then why would he express disappointment, much less outrage, at anything that happened? In a higher state one has to assume that it is possible to actually see why things happen the way they do and how things could not have happened in any other way. So the non-expression of negativity is a touchstone for a higher state because it indicates that man can witness reality and accept it by understanding clearly that there is no alternative.”

I agree with you wholeheartedly. In a higher state one can verify that everything that is happening is the result of the being of the people involved. If I get pissed off because you offend me unjustly, I’m not seeing your being; if I get pissed off because you offend me justly, I am not seeing my own. Where we seem to get confused and confusing is in thinking that because life as it is, is the result of our being, then there is nothing one should do about it. On the contrary, it is precisely because life is as it is that changing becomes necessary for development. What is then interesting is: How does the form affect the meaning and how does the content modify the form. It seems possible to make changes both from the outside and from the inside.

The Fellowship Cult proved that A FORM could destroy the inner integrity of thousands of people so it is clear that the FORM has enormous power even with such corrupt content. With the “right” content, how far would the Form help? The blog, no matter its deficiencies is already proving a hell of a lot more healing than the Fellowship ever was.

In post 205 Greg, you write to RVM defending yourself by belittling him. So you’re also playing as Beelzebob? Do you need to roles so that you can survive with at least one? When I read 205 it bothered me because I personally much enjoy RVM posts and attitude and hope he is in no way put back by your attack which even coming from you has its effect. And then I was bothered because you go into a tactic that belittles you as much as the other person and like when I do it all we are saying is: I’m so vulnerable that I’ll make you vulnerable too.

Your reaction does not surprise me because you do seem to attract a lot of negative attention from people who are easily drawn in by the opportunity to hit cheaply but what I’ve been struggling with, which sometimes has helped is trying to give without expecting positive returns. For me, you, like everyone else here has something only he or she can say no matter what others do to stop him or her. If you can just say what you want and need to say and let the world do with it what it can, then your job is pretty much accomplished.

Speaking is very much like shitting no matter how crude the comparison is and few people have to make too much effort to let it out. It is like a compost from which we each take what we need and reorganize our understandings with it. It is for sure a process of elimination and that is as necessary and noble as any other process.

214. whalerider - August 28, 2008

It is ironic to me that the FOF member was interviewed by Appeal Democrat “on the condition that he would not be named”.

Isn’t that one of the FOF’s criticism of the blog: that most people post here anonymously therefore we lack creditability…implying that we are lying?

On the other hand, personally, I wouldn’t want my name in the paper supporting a cult leader who had sex with a minor and gave the boy herpes.

215. elena - August 28, 2008

196 Beelzebob and Whalerider on children.

The attitude that you are both holding on children is like the Fellowship dogma that justifies everything Robert does stating that he is above human standards.

What a lot of crap Parents can tell themselves to justify the multiple mistakes that we happen to indulge in trying to avoid our children educating us.

No violence and no negative emotion was ever positive in no matter what family. All those justifications Whalerider presents to be negative with your children are only the areas in which your children will know your weaknesses because when we express negative emotions, it is our weaknesses what are revealed, the weaknesses of our character, the flows of our being. With children most of the times, our unwillingness to make the necessary effort for their well being.

Parents are ridiculous enough to believe that they have anything to teach their children who are in every way more free and less conditioned than they themselves are. With that attitude, all they accomplish is damaging them deeply with the authoritarian pattern that states, I am better than you, I can teach you things. Then they all run to a Cult and bend their ass to a guru to fuck them for as long as he likes.

There is huge need for no negative emotions in education. Saying no and being firm is not a negative emotion but getting rid of the children at every opportunity so that you can indulge in your identifications, paying little attention to their needs for quality time, making no effort to be present to more than their instinctive needs as much as a hundred other ways of being selfish with both your children and your partner are the negative lifestyle that makes people run down the tredmill of life without ever having done anything of much value. Most of the suffering in the world today is born in the selfishness of adults towards children and old people, hearing you people justify it with such crap makes my stomach turn in disgust.

216. Mick Danger - August 28, 2008

215 whalerider
Herpes and a big pile of cash.
If I had a nickel for every boy he has blown,
there wouldn’t be enough dollars.
Fucking, money-grubbing, perverted FOF.

217. unoanimo - August 28, 2008

Whalerider ~

Particularly if the student interviewed ‘is’ that ‘boy’.

218. You-me-us-they - August 28, 2008

Hello Beelzebob,

In post 203, you wrote:
By this story it is intended to be shown that no poor man can become wealthy, if, in advance of his efforts to do so, he is deluded by the notion that he is already a millionaire. It is the same with Will.

In about 17 years of practice, I did not verify this method works of if it does, it is extremely slow!
Dis-empowering and depressing, focusses on lacks, limits and boudries…
What do you expect!
Talking about controle!

I work with a very different set of premisses:
I was not born with a sin.
I do not have to climb a ladder nor I am damned to turn in a Karmic wheel…
I have all I need NOW (from birth actually!) to participate fully and beautifully!

If there is much to gain in not expressing negativity it is because there is even more gain in praising. Boy! that is quality energy!
Try it!

Or do you really enjoy talking about “the day that never comes…”

Can’t hide forever behind leaves of grass

219. Beelzebob - August 28, 2008

#213 – unoanimo

“Beelzebob” – I wish I could take credit for the moniker but I cannot. It was the “brain work” of another person, an occasional contributor to this blog.

I am not sure what meanings (or associations) you give to the words “voluntary” and “involuntary” negative emotions. This is an example of the Fourth Way principle insisted on by G that “… for an exact understanding, there must be an exact language.”

I assume that by “voluntary” you mean instances of an almost pre-meditated nature when one assents to the emotion, gives it permission, believes it is justified and acts on it accordingly. “Involuntary” would be those instances of “flying off the handle” which occur at a speed which is far too fast for the intellect to keep up with it.

So what happens, psychologically speaking, in the cases when we “fly off the handle”:

If our buffers are strong, we may try, after the fact, to justify the emotional outburst (“That guy is an IDIOT! I was right to blow up at him.”).

If our buffers are strong but we recognize, after collecting ourselves, that we have made a “faux pas” which may have social, economic or political implications for us, we may try to placate the victim of our venom (“That guy is an IDIOT! I was right to blow up at him – but I need him on my side and better try to smooth things over.”).

If we can’t buffer the experience (or, for those in the Work, we make efforts not to buffer it), then we may see the negative emotion for what it truly is (a poor emotional response to the situation mechanically driven by absurd – even objectively insane – ideas, beliefs and/or attitudes regarding our self and others and the relationship between them). We might then experience remorse of conscience and something good could come out of the situation.

You said (in part), “After all, aren’t the expression of negative emotions your soul’s birth pains: why deny the labor room for the sake of fact that you’re the only one ‘working’?”

I agree that experiencing negative emotions is an essential part of the process. Negative emotions are the “material” that we each have to work with – to create a soul, if you will. However, they are useful for this purpose only to the extent that we struggle with them and do not buffer them with self-justifying and self-calming (egoism). In all other cases, the only use they serve is as “food for the moon”.

220. You-me-us-they - August 28, 2008

Hello Helena,

Post 216 you wrote:
Saying no and being firm is not a negative emotion

Think about it. Much of all the programming starts here:
Is there such a thing as NO?

Any ‘No’ is a “Yes” of some sort.
When it comes to introduce and promote changes,
I would start there…

221. Beelzebob - August 28, 2008

#220 – You-me-us-they

I agree that “my” way is very slow. I sometimes wonder if the “fault” lies in the “way” or in myself (that is, the commitment that I bring to it or the lack thereof). With this idea in mind, G. advised, “If you are going to go on a spree, go the whole hog including the postage!” But how many of us are willing to “go the whole hog ..?”. How much easier it is to “sit between two chairs” – reaching for the one without ever leaving the other.

Your focus on the positive is admirable and I would not try to persuade you otherwise. You say, “Try it!” – but I have serious doubts. I do not think I am “built” for such a possibly more speedy approach. For the time being, I will continue to lumber along like the tortoise of fable fame.

You said, “Can’t hide forever behind leaves of grass.” Is this a reference to “book learning”? Walt Whitman perhaps?

222. Reality Check - August 28, 2008

214. elena – August 28, 2008

“So you’re also playing as Beelzebob?”

***

No, I’m not posting as Beelzebob. I’m enjoying what he has to say though.

223. You-me-us-they - August 28, 2008

Hello again Beelzebob,

The leave of grass metaphore was as simple as stated for I presume you are a little taller and lager than any.

As for the Whitman, I wonder how we could quote him without feeling… Well… hypocritical.
The book should stay on the shelves he suggests (the teachers too I deduce) and when it comes to praising, I am a biginner…

“I knew a man, a common farmer, the father of five sons, and in them the fathers of sons, and in them the fathers of sons.” (I Sing the Body Electric, 3)

By the way, Dante says this about Mary (yes, yes, the virgin one!)
“Virgin mother, daughter of your own Son” (Paradiso, Canto XXXIII, 1)
What does that say?
We quoted him too, didn’t we?
The Popes and various theologians too!
I was told this very day, “La Commedia” (which original title does not mention any “divine” and, in fact, in medieval Toscan means “a story with a good ending” and only that) is going to be performed in the Vatican. Coooooool

Respect for your choices and serious doubts.
If you knew how much I love tortoises!
Strangely enough, it goes with airplanes…
Ah, Life!

224. arthur - August 28, 2008

Beelzebob is a tickler for a name.

I hate “flying off the handle” even when “righteous indignation” is the excuse. I hate it because I feel negative emotions toward myself sometimes lasting for hours and days.

Herpes at the Fellowship of Friends? 60-70 blows a day for how many years? I wouldn’t kiss the Goddess Queen on the mouth for all his Possessions.

Herpes at the Fellowship of Friends? Say it aint so.

225. Yesri Baba - August 28, 2008

Just an off-the-wall query: wouldn’t someone who developed ‘will’ (assuming there is such a thing) be more likely to abuse any new powers and capabilities (assuming there are such things) that came with the development of will?
I mean, come on, who does not partake of the fruits of their labors?
So I guess one would need to find ‘conscience’ first. But doesn’t that
take ‘will’? If you surrender ‘will’ to someone else won’t you find their ‘conscience’? So if we don’t have ‘will’ or ‘conscience’ who is wanting to get ‘will’ to get ‘conscience’ to get the whole ball of wax that might be got?
Magnetic center?
C’mon, be honest, it is YOU isn’t it you power grubbing little fucks.

I know I am one of the small brain people but it is all very confusing, in fact it is starting to piss me off….

226. Reality Check - August 28, 2008

226. Yesri Baba – August 28, 2008

“Just an off-the-wall query: wouldn’t someone who developed ‘will’ (assuming there is such a thing) be more likely to abuse any new powers and capabilities (assuming there are such things) that came with the development of will?”

***

It is the higher portion of your heart that wants the will to be able to turn anger into love. That is conscience. Consciousness only gives a man power over himself. The wish for power over others, other than influencing them with a finer example of human behavior, is a thought that comes out of the instinctive center.

227. You-me-us-they - August 28, 2008

For anyone ready for a smile:

228. Opus 111 - August 28, 2008

Beelzebob #196

In Fourth Way theory, one could intentionally (as you said, without identification) manifest outward negativity in order to achieve a desired result. This would be an example of “external consideration” – giving one’s child the discipline that is needed at the moment.

As my father used to say (as he was removing his belt from his pants), “This is going to hurt me a lot more than it is going to hurt you.”

You should have said: “Dad, you are full of shit.”

229. lauralupa - August 28, 2008

Reality Check 227
“It is the higher portion of your heart that wants the will to be able to turn anger into love.”

I beg to differ. The higher portion of my heart doesn’t need the will to turn anger into love, it simply loves. After all, what could the higher portion of one’s heart experience but love. So, if I want to be able to turn my anger into love, and do so on a more permanent basis, IMO a passive effort of simple emotional opening, the development of the ability to listen to this higher part’s own voice, is more effective than an active rational effort involving will. So instead of focusing on changing one’s unpleasant external manifestations, in this approach one’s work starts with paying attention to the quality of the moment, at the same time accepting was is being manifested. Being quietly alert to one’s feelings and reactions, and to the effects of one’s reactions, naturally gives rise to useful insights on the nature and sources of one’s suffering: unhealthy attitudes and ancestral wounds, giving rise to the dark forest of our projections, become clearer in time, and simply through this act of seeing, end up losing much of their power. The only kind of will involved in this process is the will to observe, accept and not judge. Separation from negativity occurs naturally when one’s “center of gravity” gradually moves from the narrow, selfish, goal-oriented egoic mind to a more vast, compassionate and loving awareness.
I think that this technical detail shows one of the fundamental differences between the non-dualist and buddhist ways and the fourth way.

230. lauralupa - August 28, 2008

I also agree with Opus 111’s comment above. Beelzebob, I am sorry, I cringed when I read your father’s quote. My father never used corporal punishment with me and I am forever grateful to him for that. The only times I ever hit my children were when I really “flew off the handle”, as we were saying, but never with premeditation. I am really convinced that it’s totally useless and counterproductive.

231. lauralupa - August 28, 2008

post 230
“at the same time accepting was is being manifested”
should be
“at the same time accepting what is being manifested”

232. Reality Check - August 28, 2008

230. lauralupa – August 28, 2008

Reality Check 227:
‘It is the higher portion of your heart that wants the will to be able to turn anger into love.’

“I beg to differ. The higher portion of my heart doesn’t need the will to turn anger into love, it simply loves.”
“The only kind of will involved in this process is the will to observe, accept and not judge.”

231. lauralupa – August 28, 2008

“…I really “flew off the handle”…”
“The only times I ever hit my children…”

***

See, this is when it becomes necessary to turn anger into love using the more intelligent perspective of the higher portion of the heart (and mind) as a springboard to a higher state. It takes a moment of will to resist a moment of anger and transform it into a higher realization, into a higher state of consciousness.

(For Beelzebob)
Some are satisfied with simply turning such moments into yet another bit of psychological understanding, making the mistake of believing that consciousness is far away and the unending accumulation of psychological information will eventually add up to something transformational.

230. lauralupa – August 28, 2008

“Separation from negativity occurs naturally when one’s “center of gravity” gradually moves from the narrow, selfish, goal-oriented egoic mind to a more vast, compassionate and loving awareness.”

True, but the problem is that ordinary people are not a unity as your sentence above mistakenly takes for granted. One moment you are a vast, compassionate and loving awareness and the next moment you are hitting a child. If ordinary people living on a rotating diet of opinions and beliefs were unified beings so that their higher parts always ruled over the lower parts then there would be no need for the development of will. We could all wander the world in higher consciousness rather than imagination, buffering the contradictions of our anger and violence.

233. Beelzebob - August 28, 2008

#232 – lauralupa

I certainly understand your concern since child abuse is a serious matter (my own father never actually said those words to me – the saying is an “old saw”).

In fact, I didn’t get “whacked” too often as a child and it was far more likely my mother doing the w . The physical pain was minimal and soon forgotten. I am not aware of any emotional/psychological consequences of my receiving corporal punishment. This is perhaps because, no matter how angry my mother got (and she had a fiery temper), I understood that I had “earned” the punishment and my mother had my best interests at heart.

I am not against moderate corporal punishment “lovingly administered”. I realize that this is an emotionally charged issue and some people may have had an entirely different experience than myself. I also believe that each child is different and therefore differing approaches (even in the case of siblings) may be necessary.

A story taken from the memoirs of a former pupil of Gurdjieff’s about life at the Priure:

A little boy was misbehaving in some way or other. Gurdjieff assessed the situation, pulled the boy over to him and said, “You are behaving badly. Let this be a reminding factor for you.” With that, G gave the boy a firm smack on the rear end. The boy ran off crying and repeating the words, “Reminding factor! Reminding factor!”.

234. unoanimo - August 28, 2008

Hello Beelzebob ~

Thank you for your sincere reply: some thoughts ~

I remember the day I made a startling discovery for myself; it was about 2-3 years before ‘the straw came that straightened the camel’s back’ and I left the fellowship (Finding this ‘point’ that no student could reconcile assisted my departure from the circle of a cult; it was when I heard a student say ~

“I don’t remember myself enough.”

——–

With that, I thought, ‘Who#1 is saying [I don’t’] and who#2 is looking at the self who#3 (does) remember enough: would #1 say such a thing if who#2 was present?’ (Or, ‘Would (you) say that (you) don’t while (you) are present?’ aka, 3 You’s… A Bermuda triangle.)

I figured the answer would be (No), a person wouldn’t say this if they already were and if they’re ‘right’ while still saying they’re ‘wrong’, then multiply my confusion by 2…

Inside me, this was a distinct discovery of a struggling self-mind-image, a reflection of sorts, a ‘love/attraction’ to mirrors who don’t offer themselves to be walked through (True Personality on the verge of crystallizing? Hummm… Robert did say once, “You are creating a permanent tendency to awaken.”) (?)

IMO, if you trust yourself and consider that you already had this tendency as ‘magnetic center’ anywho, before the fellowship, well, how many times do you have to make something permanent to consider it permanent, and then move on and ‘do’ something with this ‘gem’?

Does anyone see the weirdy thing about the statement ~ “You are creating a permanent tendency to awaken?” Doesn’t it fundamentally cancel its possibility at ‘Holy-reconciliation’ out, immediately upon speaking it? I mean, if you’re (creating), then who and at what point in time is it considered ‘permanent’, i.e., ready to go and ‘awake’? Isn’t creation the dance of impermanence and change? And isn’t a ‘tendency’ something subjective and metamorphic, following objectively (relative) to a person’s level of being a soul in a body moving through uncertain, though objective Time?

So, this ‘tendency to awaken’ (considering the nature of our soul’s default position already as ‘seekers’), is similar to my tendency to get wet while taking a shower. (?)

This irreconcilable Thought-circle concerning this exercising In-between-self ~ A kind of mind-force, able to produce allot of tension in the body, depression, addictions to sooth the candle’s ‘middle’ since it’s being furiously lit at both ends of its love of #1~The Path and resentment of the (thought and taught via ‘second dysfunctional family’ aka The Fellowship) pathless ‘They’, aka #0 Life People or the world-through-glasses-darkly-impression, viewed through the memories and reactions of my spirit’s automatic and subconscious trauma-relationship to a past dysfunctional and unforgiven family/and its members) Wow!

Finding this irreconcilable phenomenon of the cult-psyche I dug deeper and found that students actually enjoyed talking about their failures and shortcomings more than their revelations and courageous/curious moments (After all, failure is what keeps a student a student; if passing grades were given out in cults, they’d be universities and colleges (well, sorta)…

So, was that person (in me), in between ‘Right & Wrong’, making all that coffee talk into decaffeinated debate for my Soul’s awakening? And even when a student was given a positive photograph (1 in about 500), more than often we’d (I’d) treat it as though the positive might have been an accident or their version of what I’d claim to be ‘mechanical goodness’, etc.

To make myself more sensational to the hungry, doubt and Left Brain suspicion of the Right Brain was mandatory in a cult; it kept us teenagers, just enough below drinking age that each beer or case of wine felt ‘special’ and near ‘taboo’… And there’s only one thing better than an ice cold beer, an exclusive one, available only under the duress of the gods (or the moon).

Seeing the addiction (in myself and others) to denying ‘denying force’ its birthright or (as a poet put it) “Turning the visible into the invisible…”, was a huge turning point… From there, I started to see that the ‘school’ is actually (IMO) a place where disappointment is refined into an conscientious expectation of relief; this ‘self calming’ (based on my experience) mainly occurred in between the waxing and waning of being drunk on eso-religious fervor (and wine) and emotional starvation (AND) getting fervent attention and emotional food, which oftentimes was actually ‘bait’ (not really nutritious when considering that it was sitting on top of a 30,00OPSI bear trap labeled ‘Over Here’)…

This ‘bait’ thing worked both ways and the emotional starvation was my trauma-puzzle externalized (mirrored in a ‘family’ of They, who were actually Me): as for the ‘bait’, well, I also had my own customized bear trap too…

It seemed that bringing doubt upon one another was some form of ‘re-connect’ to the idea that we were not C-Influence yet… Gee wiz! Playing grownup in the attic of True Personality…

Admitting that the body and blood can age far ahead of its electronic presence and sense of self is difficult for the left brain and ego to get down and dirty about, because it ‘do’ love to talk about other possibilities…

‘Man’s Possible Evolution’… How about ‘Man’s Evolution’ and let us and the results of The Work decide whether it’s possible?

The age of a person’s ‘Essence’ in the fellowship used to be defined in terms of human ages; like 7,10, 14, 18, etc. Though, “Where’s the Beef?” What about Being’s age, (the soul incarnate), who’s being temporarily (seen) only in the context to its human body’s predicament and not necessarily its deeper constitution(s) and ancient buds awaiting to blossom? Everything we have comes from nowhere…

In a cult, keeping the members as far away from autonomy and learning how to pin one’s own diapers is big business; perhaps the fellowship is too busy with itself as a womb to be bothered with birth? It can happen: and I guess cesarean’s are valid ‘births’ too… Sometimes you just have to jump to save the cliff from cracking off and causing an avalanche upon the encampment of children under your chin.

———

L.t.y.a.

235. paulshabram - August 28, 2008

Beelzebob
Of course “non-expression of negative emotions” could encompass non-expression of negative emotions one never had, but that is a trivial inclusion. If I am experiencing a negative emotion and not expressing it (internally or externally) then I am suppressing it.

Ouspensky, BTW didn’t use the term “non-expression of negative emotions” that I can find. Nevertheless, I keep running into the same problem with your argument as well as R.C.’s (for example 233). “It’s not the conclusion that’s wrong, but the premise” (paraphrased from Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Relations).
So an example from Ouspensky regarding expression of negative emotions”.

“Further, or even before that, one finds many very dangerous
effects in the expression of negative emotions. The term ‘negative
emotions’ means all emotions of violence or depression: self-pity,
anger, suspicion, fear, annoyance, boredom, mistrust, jealousy and
so on. Ordinarily, one accepts this expression of negative emotions
as quite natural and even necessary. Very often people call it
‘sincerity.’ Of course it has nothing to do with sincerity; it is simply
a sign of weakness in man, a sign of bad temper and of incapacity
to keep his grievances to himself. Man realises this when he tries
to oppose it. And by this he learns another lesson. He realises that
in relation to mechanical manifestations it is not enough to
observe them, it is necessary to resist them, because without
resisting them one cannot observe them. They happen so quickly,
so habitually and so imperceptibly, that one cannot notice them if
one does not make sufficient efforts to create obstacles for them.”
P.D. Ouspensky. Psych. of Man’s Poss. Evol.

To accept this ( and other) tenet(s) of the Fourth Way REQUIRES A LEAP OF FAITH. You have to accept that Ouspensky is right and knows something you don’t, and for no other reason than he says so.

The sentence, “He realises that in relation to mechanical manifestations it is not enough to observe them, it is necessary to resist them, because without resisting them one cannot observe them.” demonstrates to me a lack of experiential understanding on P.D.s part. Most negative emotions evaporate upon objective observation because the substrate upon which they exist is removed by the objectivity. Emotions, higher, lower or sideways are mostly subjective. Remove the subjectivity and and there is nothing for the emotion to exist upon. No opposition needed. No suppression. On the other hand, one can observe real emotions that do not evaporate with objective observation. Love is one from the positive side, and Grief is one from the negative side. To remove these would require a pre-frontal lobotomy.. or maybe brainwashing. I’ll keep my ability to love and to grieve, thank-you.

Another trap Ouspensky may have fallen into here was that the “resisting” perturbs the system such that the intervention, which is not observation, drives the formation of the negative or positive position. That is, Ouspensky is saying you cannot observe without resisting, but forgets, or doesn’t realize, that resisting forces what one is now observing into a form that may not have been in existence without the force. It’s just like Heisenberg’s observation (from objective experiments) that you cannot know the spin of a particle if you know its momentum. This is why I am saying that you are getting fooled by “non-expression”. To put it simply and Joel like, the “non-expression of negative emotions” is still a load of crap.

BTW objective observation is not the only way to be free of the harmful effects of the negative emotions you refer to. You can Love them “to death”. This is surely not suppression, non-expression, nor resistance. Accepting the “demons” with pure love leads to another “higher emotion”, that is forgiveness. I am under the impression that that is what Lauralupa (230) was talking about and it is as powerful experience as I have ever had.

236. Rear View Mirror - August 28, 2008

RC 205 or nearby,

Obviously a number of people still find something useful in talking about the Fourth Way even after leaving the FOF. I can understand that, although personally, I’m Fourth Wayed out. I may not be some sort of spokesperson for every detail about the group, but I was around long enough, and I’ve watched the negative influences on myself and my friends by the continued misapplication of the Fourth Way ideas — and by the pretension that we really verified them.

Right now, I’m much more interested in ideas that help us recover from the cult experience, and that also introduce us to a rich world of “new” ideas that can expand our minds, our hearts, and our souls.

The Fourth Way dogma, at least the way it’s presented in the FOF, seems to disregard or disallow any other ideas that might be in harmony with it, let alone that might refute it. Maybe that’s why I cringe when I see yet another paragraph that is filled with the same old “work words.” I find them mind numbing, not enlightening.

I can also relate to people if they’re tired of the same old criticisms of the FOF that are presented here, and you’re right I’m guilty of being predictably persistent, or preachy at times. Maybe the blog is morphing into something different and (who knows) even better than it’s been.

I just hope it doesn’t eventually ignore the elephant in the room. Talking about that elephant is, in my opinion, healthy and healing for many people if they can do it without losing a sense of hope, confidence, and vitality about themselves and their futures. Just one point of view.

237. Reality Check - August 28, 2008

“Ouspensky, BTW didn’t use the term “non-expression of negative emotions” that I can find.”

“It’s not the conclusion that’s wrong, but the premise”

“…Heisenberg’s observation (from objective experiments)…”

“This is why I am saying that you are getting fooled by ‘non-expression’.”

***

“When you have acquired a certain control over non-expression of these negative emotions, the question comes as to how to deal with the emotions themselves.” –P. D. Ouspensky “The Fourth Way”

“If you create right thinking, that will take all power from these negative emotions.”

Right thinking…in most cases people do not have enough experience with thinking to be able to avoid talking themselves into what they already wanted to believe in the first place.

238. paulshabram - August 28, 2008

R.C. 238

It must be pretty weird to live in a hall of mirrors.

239. Rear View Mirror - August 28, 2008

http://fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/Petition

Part of what made me vulnerable to the FOF was this sense that someone who speaks in even tones with an “intellectual” slant… must be sincere. I wanted to trust people, maybe because trusting people was essential to feeling like I was a part of that community.

But it was a big step for me to realize that many people in the FOF were not sincere. I think we often prefer to use the word “misguided” because it seems a little more benign, but outright deceit is a better description for many of the people I knew.

To those of you who want to believe in the sincerity of some of the more dubious posters here… There was plenty of deceit in the FOF. And there’s no reason at all that it wouldn’t carry over to the blog.

The question has been asked many times on the blog… Why bother talking to these people? It’s worth asking again. But hey, have fun. To them, this is all a game, and if you play it, you will continue to go in circles. To each their own.

240. brucelevy - August 29, 2008

234. Beelzebob

“A story taken from the memoirs of a former pupil of Gurdjieff’s about life at the Priure:

A little boy was misbehaving in some way or other. Gurdjieff assessed the situation, pulled the boy over to him and said, “You are behaving badly. Let this be a reminding factor for you.” With that, G gave the boy a firm smack on the rear end. The boy ran off crying and repeating the words, “Reminding factor! Reminding factor!”.

Really, you need some discrimination about what you take as reality. It’s like people believing the Bible literally. Smack yourself up side the head, right now. The above is just a small example. It’s more than likely a second or third hand story related by the author. I can more easily see it originating as a teaching story and completely losing it’s immediate meaning, perhaps for one or two specific people who were there This is a good example of the telephone game. Without the original expounder right there to smack you in the head, the very first person to relate something starts the ball of distortion. With each subsequent person it becomes more and more useless. Like what the FOF has become in relation to it’s original aims, whatever the fuck they were.

If you have kids, it very doubtful upon whacking them good on the behind that they run off repeating some phrase they probably don’t understand, over and over because you said “reminding factor”. It’s more likely they run off crying for their mother or just wailing without thought entering into it. Just a small point to illustarte a larger problem with believing all this shit in all the “work books”.
Personally I would guess that if G were alive, charleton or not, he’s look at what was made of his work and think you were all fucking nuts, and not worth a rat’s ass for so confusing and distorting what he was probably trying to say.

241. somebody - August 29, 2008

237. “Obviously a number of people still find something useful in talking about the Fourth Way even after leaving the FOF. I can understand that, although personally, I’m Fourth Wayed out. I may not be some sort of spokesperson for every detail about the group, but I was around long enough, and I’ve watched the negative influences on myself and my friends by the continued misapplication of the Fourth Way ideas — and by the pretension that we really verified them.”

To me it is useful to go back to the Fourth Way. Healing for the mind…

From the recent meeting:

“You are what observes, not what you observe. Our old methods of self-remembering left a lot to chance. Now, with the sequence, awakening is mathematical”

RB: This is what Epictetus meant when he said: “Show me the charm that will defeat death.” The charm is the sequence. Show me the sequential charm that will defeat death.
In Degas’ painting, Dancers, Green and Pink, the lower self is intestinal figure with a protruding stomach concealed behind the column. The two dancers in the back represent short Be and long Be – Isis and Nephthys – while the four dancers in the center, forming a square, represent Theme, Back, Theme, and Be. On the far right the seventh dancer – seventh heaven – is passing outside of time with four fingers. The nine of hearts has delivered a sequence to the third eye, and the third eye is maintaining its grip on the four wordless breaths, in spite of the efforts of the lower self to disrupt it.

Can anyone explain how his mind works??? Is it insanity, manipulation, genious? How can one produce such thoughts?

242. Reality Check - August 29, 2008

240. Rear View Mirror – August 28, 2008

“Part of what made me vulnerable to the FOF was this sense that someone who speaks in even tones with an “intellectual” slant… must be sincere.”

***

You might begin to develop some understanding and some peace if you stopped blaming everyone else and had a good look at yourself. Being unsophisticated and gullible is not entirely innocent. Okay so you were fooled, but it is at least partly your own fault for being willfully less intelligent than the average person. You were not innocent. Remember how important and even superior you felt to everyone on the outside while existing as a man number four? Do you think the attitude that I’m-a-first-class-being had at least something to do with really wanting to believe what they were telling you? They were liars, but you were a fool. Both are equally objectionable conditions for a human being to live under. You need to take some of the blame and direct some of this insightful criticism toward yourself.

243. Yesri Baba - August 29, 2008

“With that, I thought, ‘Who#1 is saying [I don’t’] and who#2 is looking at the self who#3 (does) remember enough: would #1 say such a thing if who#2 was present?’ (Or, ‘Would (you) say that (you) don’t while (you) are present?’ aka, 3 You’s… A Bermuda triangle.)”

Just stick ’em all on one of them cigar shaped speed boats from ‘Miami Vice’ and jam the throttle full open toward the heart of the triangle.

244. brucelevy - August 29, 2008

244. Yesri Baba

The boat is a Donzi.

http://www.donzimarine.com

more useless information to clog your mind.

245. Rear View Mirror - August 29, 2008

We’re just going in circles, RC. What is this… the Fourth Way Debate club? You win, dude.

Of course I have taken responsibility for being foolish in joining the FOF. All of us have. And I’m still learning things even years later. But again. This notion of focusing the blame on ourselves… very, very effective in bringing the focus away from the FOF and Burton.

246. Ames Gilbert - August 29, 2008

Beelzebob,
Were you ever in the Fellowship of Friends? Yes or no would suffice.

In your post #47-124 or thereabouts, you say, “…if we wish to progress”.
So, how do you define and measure ‘progress’? In Fourth Way terms? Have you ever found a ‘teacher’? If not, how do you expect to make much ‘progress’ in Fourth Way terms without one to transmit influence C? And, if like Reality Check and most of us, you are trying to make it on your own, what makes you cleave to certain aspects of the Fourth Way and not others?

In your post #47-199 or thereabouts, you say, “…and then trying to identify (and then eliminate or modify) the underlying incorrect and nonsensical ideas, beliefs, intellectual and emotional attitudes that give rise to and support the negative emotion”.
I am with you on the ‘identify’. But, where did you get the idea that you must try to ‘eliminate or modify’ the many things that might give rise to and support the negative emotion? Had any luck with this? Has anyone else claimed that they succeeded with this? Do you feel you can do this kind of work without help? Do you think that the easier and more likely result, the suppression of negative emotions, does more harm than expressing them?

In your post #47-196 or thereabouts, you quote your father, “This is going to hurt me a lot more than it is going to hurt you.” Did you believe him? Either way, why?

In your post #47-203 or thereabouts, you say, “…he is deluded by the notion that he is already a millionaire. It is the same with will”.
What makes you think we aren’t equally deluded by the belief that “we don’t have a soul?” Have you any evidence for this, apart from the claims of Gurdjieff or Ouspensky?

In your post #47-222 or thereabouts, you say, “I agree that ‘my way’ is very slow”. What happened to the idea of ‘accelerated evolution’?
Have you tried any other methods that might bring you to what you desire before your life ends? You have set goals that evidently take a very long time to achieve. Why did you set those particular goals? What were the circumstances? If your knowledge or being has changed in the meantime, would it be valid to reevaluate those goals and methods from a fresh viewpoint? Or do you have faith that you will have ‘multiple lifetimes’ to make good?

247. elena - August 29, 2008

Paul Shabram 236. “Most negative emotions evaporate upon objective observation because the substrate upon which they exist is removed by the objectivity. Emotions, higher, lower or sideways are mostly subjective. Remove the subjectivity and and there is nothing for the emotion to exist upon. No opposition needed. No suppression. On the other hand, one can observe real emotions that do not evaporate with objective observation. Love is one from the positive side, and Grief is one from the negative side. To remove these would require a pre-frontal lobotomy.. or maybe brainwashing.”

Hi Paul,
You seem to clarify the subject pretty well in that sentence but I don’t understand the other areas that make you uncomfortable. Does it not seem clear that from most of what has been said about negative emotions, people are talking about two different levels and to each level the different statements are appropriate?

Basically in this sentence you’re talking about consciousness in which there are no negative emotions but what Greg and others seem to be arguing about is that in lower states of consciousness the emotion drags us by the nose and spills our being in its guts usually resulting in a separation from the poor fellow at the end of the scream. Are we really questioning that there is nothing fun about these times? Or when we go around biting everybody else with a long list of accounts about why life is this miserable? The nature of these last two is also very different. The negative emotions I’m talking about are:
1. Those in which I blame people for my state because I am not willing to carry my self.
2. Those in which someone insults me and I hurt them three times more violently
3. Those in which I’ve failed to make the effort to get something right and then blame somebody else for not having made the effort.
4. The times when I’ve treated someone badly because they are in a position in which they have to take it or lose their job.
And so many other times that I could probably take a whole page of the blog telling the myriad opportunities in which I’ve abused other people. Am I amongst such conscious beings here that none of those who are screaming that the non-expression of negative emotions is crap, is really crap to them?

So many good angles have been offered about emotions already by Laura, you and others and yet when you present us with “He realises that in relation to mechanical manifestations it is not enough to observe them, it is necessary to resist them, because without resisting them one cannot observe them.” demonstrates to me a lack of experiential understanding on P.O.s part” it is as if you could not conceive of the level in which we are simply reacting with the old imitated responses that we learnt from our parents. Have you not verified these? If you do not think this is correct it would be very easy to understand why you cannot agree with Ouspensky in the idea that they are essentially mechanical manifestations.

In my limited experiences, I have to admit that at some point I verified that probably 95% of my behavior was my parent’s, then gradually it reduced itself but even today I would not bet with anyone that it is less than seventy percent. But that’s really another subject that we might get into one day. It connects to this one only in that while observing myself one day I realized that 98% of the negativity I expressed was my father’s and about 98% of the inner considering I lived with was my mother’s and that I better hurry up and do something about it if I ever wanted to leap out of the programming and live my own life. Is it sincerely difficult for any of you to verify that your best friend is gradually turning more clearly into his mother or father as s/he gets older? The same values, movements, expressions, attitudes? A repetition so faithful that you wonder whether there is anything original on the planet?

Frankly, to be able to stop myself from expressing negativity with my children I came to a point in which as soon as I saw it I would actually say out loud, “Oh, here’s your father” and sit down and hold my body to not adopt his same posture, tone and words.

I was sick enough of my parent’s negativity by the time my mother put two bullets in her head and to think that I was going to repeat the same prescription to my children was terrifying and I did, but survived! Then I began to have a life!

Perhaps you have sincerely never resisted a negative emotion but what I don’t understand is why a few here are so negative about it. Resisting the expression of anger or frustration or irony, wit and other such emotions when mechanical made me sometimes feel like I was the most stupid asshole carrying the world on my back while my children made fun of me or other adults got away with humiliating me but I have never once repented from not having expressed them. IT IS A GREAT MAGIC. After the incident the energy in the room and you is raised with a consciousness similar to when a person dies. The people involved taste each other’s being and something called love or consciousness spirit reveals itself in perfect silence. When it is between people you love then, for the other person the fact that you for the first time in your lives did not turn around and hit him or her with the same expected rock with which you’ve hurt them every time before, reveals a dimension that neither one of you had ever encountered, a reality neither one of you had known. And when you do this consistently with children they go into a pattern in which they are returning six and seven hundred percent of the beauty that you are presenting them with. They become like butterflies of joy.

The discussion seems to not be taking into consideration the power of the form. In resisting a negative emotion you are changing the form but with that Act, your inner reality is re-sculpted. THAT’S the power. In the Fellowship we resisted expressing not only our absolute horror at the situation but also authentic joy and that two sculpted our inner world. The division into clear personalities, chronic depression etc. were the result.

This is already too long. I share it with you Paul with great joy even if we continue to disagree. These are the things that we could have shared for years in the Fellowship, it is a good thing that it is still not too late.

248. elena - August 29, 2008

Greg: “Both are equally objectionable conditions for a human being to live under. You need to take some of the blame and direct some of this insightful criticism toward yourself.”
What sickning crap, you sound like the Opus Dei people whipping themselves for having been bad.

Everyday I realize how innocent and beautiful and willing I was to give my all and everything to the Fellowship because I believed in the improvement of our human condition. There is nothing to be ashamed of for that and the Fellowship with all its crippled corruption is the only one responsible for the tragic outcome. Stop beating yourself up and others Greg, you’re beginning to sound as sick as my husband.

249. elena - August 29, 2008

Greg, you are like an exhibitionist. You choose someone to measure your machoness with and suck that person dry hoping their blood will raise your picture but all that comes out of it is sad decadence.

Last night I realized I’ve been going around the world telling it that it doesn’t have to carry me I can carry myself because I felt I was too heavy for my mother to carry me so she shot herself. What happened to you? Did your parents make you feel like you were too much of a load to carry that you had to take responsibility at the age of three? Well, our parents weren’t examples of consciousness but repeating their behavior towards the rest of mankind ain’t no better so why don’t you put some control over yourself and try not to offend us all here getting on top of one of us and riding them as if you had no legs of your own?

250. Beelzebob - August 29, 2008

#242 – brucelevy

Whether the story is true or not is beside the point. It is the message that matters.

I related the story because I find it both humorous and meaningful and, as such, very much in the tradition of Gurdjieff himself.

251. Beelzebob - August 29, 2008

#237 – paulshabram

You said (in part), “Ouspensky, BTW didn’t use the term “non-expression of negative emotions” that I can find.”

Well, in just a two minute search, I could not find those exact words but here are just two of many quotes from Ouspensky on the subject of negative emotions (from “The Fourth Way”):

Page 71 (of my copy):

“But in the beginning work on negative emotions is two-fold: studying and trying not to express them. Real work on negative emotions comes later. You cannot study them if you express them. If you try to stop expressing them, then you can see and study them.”

Page 75 (of my copy): “The strongest method for controlling negative emotions is learning not to express them. So we must first struggle with the expression of negative emotions and, second, with such emotions as we can struggle with. When we learn not to express them, we will speak of the next step. You cannot control negative emotions as long as they have free expression. I want you to understand that stopping the expression of negative emotions and struggle with negative emotions themselves are two quite different practices. Trying to stop the expression comes first. If you express a negative emotion you are in its power, you can do nothing at that moment. When you have learnt not to express it, you can try not to identify, to create a right attitude, and to remember yourself.”

You said (in part), “The sentence, “He realises that in relation to mechanical manifestations it is not enough to observe them, it is necessary to resist them, because without resisting them one cannot observe them.” demonstrates to me a lack of experiential understanding on P.D.s part.”

I do not agree. My experience with negative emotions corresponds to what Ouspensky is saying.

You said (in part), “Most negative emotions evaporate upon objective observation because the substrate upon which they exist is removed by the objectivity. Emotions, higher, lower or sideways are mostly subjective. No opposition needed. No suppression.”

By “objective” observation of a negative emotion I assume you mean what The Fourth Way calls “separation” or “non-identification”. You do not explain what you mean by “substrate” – I assume you mean the faulty ideas, beliefs and attitudes that underlie the negative emotion – these things constitute our “subjectivity”. If I am correct in my assumptions, then, and only then, do I agree with your statement, “Remove the subjectivity and there is nothing for the emotion to exist upon.”

You said (in part), “BTW objective observation is not the only way to be free of the harmful effects of the negative emotions you refer to. You can Love them “to ”.”

Perhaps, but I doubt it. I certainly have no idea how one might accomplish this.

252. Beelzebob - August 29, 2008

#238 – Rear View Mirror

You said (in part), “Maybe that’s why I cringe when I see yet another paragraph that is filled with the same old “work words.” I find them mind numbing, not enlightening.”

It is understandable if your experience with the FOF has poisoned you (and others here) to the teachings of The Fourth Way. My main purpose in posting on this blog is not to “convert” anybody but to ensure that there is a very clear distinction made between the teachings and the practices of the FOF over these many years and the teachings and practices of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.

One more thing – when the “words” become “numbing” as you say (and we all experience this from time to time), is it the words or is it ourselves that have become dull?

253. whalerider - August 29, 2008

If I may step back into the fray…I want to go on record and be clear that I would rather stick my hand in a meat grinder than strike a child FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER.

Setting limits with kids in my mind doesn’t include violence.

If we are talking about parenting, I much prefer using positive reinforcement, but we weren’t just talking about good parenting per se were we, the gist of the interaction between beezelbob (whomever you are, but you do sound a bit like greg) and I was the expression or non-expression of negative emotions.

Let me point out that there is far more evidence in the current field of psychology suggesting that the suppression of or inability to express negative emotions is far more damaging to a person’s mental, physical and spiritual health than there is evidence to suggest that the non-expression of negative emotions leads to spiritual awakening or evolution of consciousness. This data was simply not available in Ouspensky’s time.

I am not suggesting that one is justified in becoming a “rage-aholic” either. There are many appropriate expressions of negative emotions that are healthy. Crying is one of them. That’s what we did when we were younger until we (men, that is) we hypnotized over and over to believe that “big boys don’t cry”, (they blow up things and shoot people.)

As I stated before, chronic negative moods (OK, states) are equally as damaging as the long term suppression of negative emotions.

Now, negative moods you do have control over with the power of your will. And that is a noble cause and makes for a healthy, balanced society. But if nobody complains because it’s just ‘negativity’, then sociopaths like Robert take over, and if everyone was negative all the time, we’d end up killing each other or ourselves.

And get this club king, the fear of expressing emotions in general does even more harm than the simple expression of emotions.

Sure, it would a wonderful utopian society if everyone went around dressed in robes in a positive state and was so evolved that they never even had any negative emotions at all because they were so awake and conscious. But that is a fantasy. It cannot be done on this planet.

NOBODY IS PERFECT.

Sure some people like to take the moral high road and try to be perfect and even shame or guilt trip others into following their ideals for the “greater good”, but they just end up making themselves and everyone around them miserable because they become CONTROL FREAKS.

More than anything, bobby is a frickin’ control freak! All that crap about not showing your teeth at dinner is pure insanity!

The attempt to stem the flow of any segment in the cycle (yes, ladies I said cycle) of our emotions, positive or negative or anything in between, will only cause you to become emotionally constipated and physically sick. (This blog is a testimony to that.)

Viewing emotions in a linear fashion from positive on one side to negative on the other is a fallacy, too. It works for magnets, but not for the human psyche.

Take it from nature, in the grand scale of life on the planet, everything is a circle. So are emotions.

Learn to surf, dude. Rise above and ride that wave. You’ll be a lot happier.

254. brucelevy - August 29, 2008

251. Beelzebob – August 29, 2008

#242 – brucelevy

“Whether the story is true or not is beside the point. It is the message that matters.”

Give me a break.

” I related the story because I find it both humorous and meaningful and, as such, very much in the tradition of Gurdjieff himself.”

And you know this how?

255. paulshabram - August 29, 2008

Beelzebob 253

“You said (in part), “BTW objective observation is not the only way to be free of the harmful effects of the negative emotions you refer to. You can Love them “to ”.”

Perhaps, but I doubt it. I certainly have no idea how one might accomplish this.”

Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.

256. We Were There - August 29, 2008

192. Another Name

‘… Robert Burton is scared the death of dying. (Sounds funny). When Peter B -sch-p died he asked E-ith, “can he talk from 7 feet away. Peter opened up his eyes and said “yes” I can talk. Peter closed his eyes again….’

I find this very interesting. Can you share more of this scene?

257. You-me-us-they - August 29, 2008

On: it will hurt me more than it will hurt you

I come from a family in which corporal punishments were part of education. My father was sharper than yours and never had to put ahead his suffering in doing what he considered “just”, “right” or simply “appropriate”.
At first glance, my father would be considered rougher and very unsophisticated right?

There is a “gift” in this statement you feel like sharing and I use it to illustrate how you grow from using joy and well being as your guidance system.

Presuming your father was sincere and not just repeating a statement which has been running the streets for long:

Why would a man not notice the hurt he is inflicting to himself (let alone his capacity to see/deal with yours!) while performing the “just”
Could that be an alarm bell?
The only thing I can think of is a certain level of “absence” in the capacity to find and choose a (or more) more appropriate “ways” to get where he wants to be?
To follow your joy is precise assignment.

Elena mentioned the Opus Dei people…
Yes there is wonder in “where” people find their pleasure!
So convinced of unworthiness, you humiliate and degrade the flesh yet,
the hidden move is towards nourishing, achieving mastery of some sort is it not?

Slow way again ? I feel it is so!

Cut fast and focuss on what Soul demands:

What do you want? What do you really want?
Because, see:
“No matter how fast you run, your shadow keeps up.
And, sometimes it is in front.” Rumi

258. You-me-us-they - August 29, 2008

Unoanimo, 235

“(…) disappointment is refined into an conscientious expectation of relief; this ’self calming’ (…)”

A pearl you offer here!
Very high maintenance system required to sustain the cultivation of humbleness-nothingness!

259. paulshabram - August 29, 2008

Whaledude 254
I like it. Well said. Ride the wave and enjoy it.

Elena (248),
“You seem to clarify the subject pretty well in that sentence but I don’t understand the other areas that make you uncomfortable.”

I am not sure what you think I am uncomfortable about.

“Does it not seem clear that from most of what has been said about negative emotions, people are talking about two different levels and to each level the different statements are appropriate?”

Yes, it’s very clear to me.

Unfortunately for you and the other bloggers I am trying to weave too many different ideas into one subject. The initial impetus for me jumping in to this subject was one that keeps popping up. That is “buying” into what anybody says, assuming they are an authority, seems to be what gets us in trouble. When I go back and read Ouspensky (and cohorts), after having not touched his work for more than 30 years, I am amazed at the number and the magnitude of the assumptions he makes with no supporting evidence, none. He builds all of the major tenets of the 4th Way on these assumptions that slide in in such quantities that we bought them without critical thinking. This is the house that the FOF is built on. Not the 4th Way, but the acceptance of an unsubstantiated “teaching” and the surrender of critical thought. Ouspensky could be right, he could be wrong, just accepting his opinion as truth represents a failure in self realization. Elena, when I originally read the “4th Way” (an posthumously edited compilation of stuff Ouspensky was supposed to have written or said) I BELIEVED every word. Now, I would rather read what you write than Ouspensky. I think you have a hell of a lot more intelligent things to say. I don’t agree with some of it, but I am amazed by a lot of it. And my well being, livelihood, social support group, spiritual gowth, nor my soul is dependent on believing a word of what anybody says.

You and I have “debated” subject of negative emotion before. My impression is that we do not see things that differently. My present understanding is along the lines expressed so well by Whalerider. It’s like two worms hole in the same apple that never meet. It’s still the same apple. It seems kinda silly and self defeating to be fighting oneself in order to be objective.

Do I think the expression of negative emotions can be harmful sometimes? Hell yes. Do I think that suppressing the expression is a good idea sometimes? The thought has occurred to me, like not telling the cops to fuck off while he’s writing the ticket seems like a good idea. That wasn’t my point. My point is that if one sees expression of negative as a failure, or “sleep” , or harmful for ones evolution etc., that just having a negative emotion about having negative emotions, like biting your own tail.

I think you can agree with this:
What do you think of a person that does not have or express the following negative emotions?
Does not greive.
Does not express or feel remorse.
Does not feel guilt for doing harm.
Does not care about the suffering of others.

260. Another Name - August 29, 2008

257, That was basically it. Robert was not able to really talk to Peter and stood far away from him……Peter closed his eyes again.

261. Rear View Mirror - August 29, 2008

Beelzobob wrote: “My main purpose in posting on this blog is not to “convert” anybody but to ensure that there is a very clear distinction made between the teachings and the practices of the FOF over these many years and the teachings and practices of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.”
—-
This is one of those final layers of denial that some of us carry with us after leaving the FOF, and I see it loud and clear right here on the blog. We want to cling to something, anything, that will make us feel that we didn’t waste our years in the FOF. For many of us, it’s the belief — yes, the belief — in the ideas of the Fourth Way. So the thinking goes, yes, we were complete idiots for joining the FOF and falling for Burtons’ scam, but at least we know and understand Ouspensky and Gurdjieff. In a sense, I feel the same, because I still see value in many of the ideas of the Fourth Way. But I believe much of it simply a facade with no real value. We talked in delicate tones at meetings, and nodded, and believed that such intellectual masturbations were somehow an indication of the truth.

But we received just a hint of the truth in the Fourth Way — that’s all. We believed we had solved life’s mysteries when all along we were simply revealing them, which to me was maybe my strongest realization from being “in” the FOF.

You say there’s a “clear distinction” between the ideas of the FOF and those of the Fourth Way?

“Think very seriously,” Ouspensky wrote in Notes on the Decision to Work. “Are you really ready and willing to obey, and do you fully understand the necessity for it? There is no going back… Understanding of the necessity for obeying rules and direct instructions must be based on the realization of your mechanicalness and your helplessness… You can see, if you are sincere with yourself, all the blunders and the mistakes which you made when you tried to act by yourself. You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help. And you can have it. But you must pay for it–at least, by not arguing.”
—————

Beelzobob also wrote: “One more thing – when the “words” become “numbing” as you say (and we all experience this from time to time), is it the words or is it ourselves that have become dull?

I said the mindless over-use of these words is what’s mind-numbing. And to answer your question, both are true. The words are mind-numbing, and you are completely right: It is ourselves who have become dull through years of the mindless repetition of these words without actually thinking about what they mean. The words have lost their meaning.

It may be worse here on the blog than I ever experienced in the FOF, but that’s another story. Are you sincere, Beelzobob? You “Really Check”? Really? Sorry, you guys may have a number of people enjoying the chat, but I’m not believing it.

262. Reality Check - August 29, 2008

262. Rear View Mirror – August 29, 2008

“But we received just a hint of the truth in the Fourth Way — that’s all.”

***

A piece of the truth is all that is ever known, but even a piece of genuine truth transforms the entire mystery.

For myself, I had been studying the Fourth Way for almost a decade before I joined the FOF. Those that were introduced to the Fourth Way in the FOF likely have a skewed idea of what the Fourth Way is.

“Sorry, you guys may have a number of people enjoying the chat, but I’m not believing it.”

“I think that the entire Fourth Way is a load of crap if you BELIEVE it.”
–paulshabram

Truer words were never accidentally uttered.

263. lauralupa - August 29, 2008

Thanks everyone for the ongoing discussion, I am loving it! This for me is so close to the heart of the matter, what do we really aspire to and how do we get there?
And in the end it’s all about the relationship between our ideas and assumptions and our experiences and hard earned verifications. Unfortunately, IMO when we attempt to translate these outer and inner events into strings of words, because of the intrinsic limitations of left brain linear thinking, the expression of these realizations sounds more dogmatic and one-sided than originally intended, and we often end up discussing over theoretical differences when what we really mean is actually more similar than we think. Generally speaking, my present understanding is very much in line with what has been eloquently expressed by paulshabram, unoanimo and whalerider (and others).

RC, I would be lying if I said that I no more experience the unpleasant consequences of my own negativity. But overall, my well being and the quality of my relationships has definitely improved since I started letting myself be instead of “trying” to be. Practically speaking, if and when I can truly see and embrace the silly, selfish, infantile Laura that easily becomes offended when ignored, that always wants to have the last word, that resents being helped and advised, that is too proud to forgive and forget (and on and on), without becoming judgmental and attaching my sense of identity to her manifestations… then, even if at for a moment I gave in to my (her?) willful ways and entrenched negative views, quite quickly I am able to turn around and look at the situation with a good dose humor and understanding, offer an apology for my misbehavior, and having done that, move on without the lingering guilt and negative moods that I used to experience when entrenched in my fourth way experiment based on suppression…
of course, I very much agree with you that the understanding of the fourth way inside the FoF was/is both sketchy and skewed, but I also agree with paul in his assessment of Ouspensky’s quotes at post #236. Basically, I don’t think Ouspensky is dishing out very good advice here. Personally speaking, the teaching of the Fourth Way that still interests and fascinates me is Gurdjieff’s rich and complex cosmology, which we didn’t study at all in the FoF (the only part of it that stuck to Robert’s brain was the “food for the moon” bit) and which is revealing itself to be surprisingly accurate in the light of recent scientific theories and discoveries. Maybe we can explore some of that together here later.

Beelzebob 234
Thanks for clarifying, I am glad that your situation was not as bad as it sounded!
But the concept of “lovingly administered” corporal punishment seems like an oxymoron to me.

Somebody 242
“Can anyone explain how his mind works??? Is it insanity, manipulation, genious? How can one produce such thoughts?”

Good question. My guess is insanity, combined with drugs (he is on something , isn’t he?).

Beelzebob 253
“One more thing – when the “words” become “numbing” as you say (and we all experience this from time to time), is it the words or is it ourselves that have become dull?”

Please read Robert’s quote provided by somebody at 242 and answer your own question.

Unoanimo
It’s great to have you back on the blog!

264. will coyote - August 29, 2008

Rear View Mirror 262…
We want to cling to something, anything, that will make us feel that we didn’t waste our years in the FOF.

I have come out from an other (IV) school. People that leave it are essential of two kind:1) It is all a business, brain whashing, all “doctrine is fake; 2) thank you , enought. But I cannot find to explore together whay they have found: may be somebody feel himself like a little guru ( like Kiran style(anima recro 2 part) . And there is me: one day I think that now I am became number 4 man, because I have a gravitational centre: I really want Life. And then I have some tools that I can use. I have some personal verification of some idea of IV way, but I know also that my verification may be need more verification.And one other day when I see how little I am LOVE, I see how all the ideas fill me of an imaginary sense of being. So I need of cling to something, anything,that will make me feel that I didn’t waste time, also now to read and write the blog. But I have a magical wand, remember what I want (and don ‘t question who is this I: when he calls. He calls with a voice that there is no question to put, is like Rumi’s cane) and the next sequence of steps became dance steps.
Crying is not negative emotion,self pity is it.

265. whalerider - August 29, 2008

Will coyote:

From dictionary.com

Pity:
1.sympathetic or kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another, often leading one to give relief or aid or to show mercy: to feel pity for a starving child.

2.a cause or reason for pity, sorrow, or regret: “What a pity you could not go!”

3.to feel pity or compassion for; be sorry for; commiserate with.

4.to have compassion; feel pity.

5.have or take pity. to show mercy or compassion.

Self-pity:

1. pity for oneself, esp. a self-indulgent attitude concerning one’s own difficulties, hardships, etc.: “We must resist yielding to self-pity and carry on as best we can.”

+-+-+-+-+-+

Isn’t it odd that to pity oneself is considered self-indulgent and negative but to pity others is considered compassionate, merciful, and positive?

If we don’t pity ourselves and take care of ourselves, who will? Shall we expect others to always do it for us?

266. Rear View Mirror - August 29, 2008

Laura, nice post. And RC and WC, thanks for those responses. And whalerider, right on.
———
On another topic, I’ve sometimes wondered “where we were going” in the FOF with the ideas of fate, predestination, determinism, recurrence, and that we are all part of a “play,” and that we each have predetermined “roles” within that play.

Burton’s concept of these ideas was no doubt a departure from what Ouspensky and Gurdjieff suggested, but this idea that “it’s a play” was one of the most often talked-about concepts in the FOF. I don’t recall anyone claiming they had “verified” it, but it seems as though many people found the idea useful in dealing with life’s difficulties, and in rolling with the punches — in other words, to sometimes take the attitude that an unpleasant or painful experience was probably meant to be. I do think that attitude can offer a healthy perspective on life — that is, if we don’t take it into the realm of superstition and fear. But seeing that something may have been “meant to be” can help us heal and grow from our negative experiences, rather than dwell on them. It may help us to separate — which, by the way, is an idea that overlaps very well into some of the other philosophical systems discussed here on the blog.

At the same time, I sense there’s a flip side to the idea that “it’s a play” — for example, if someone begins to use the ideas to justify the infliction of pain on others, committing crimes, being negligent, and so on. One thing to think about: I don’t believe the FOF is immune from that, and what I’m proposing here is that maybe there’s a direct correlation between these attitudes about fate and predestination and “it’s a play” to the results we’re seeing in the FOF. Something to think about anyway.

———–
from The Atlantic, June 2008
What would happen if no one believed in free will, but instead assumed that all their actions were predetermined? For one thing, according to a recent study, we’d end up with a lot of greedy cheaters. A psychologist and a marketing professor asked two groups of undergraduates to read passages from a book by the biophysicist Francis Crick. Students in one group read a passage that argued against the possibility of free will, while students in the other group read a neutral passage on consciousness.

The subjects then took a basic arithmetic test on a computer but were told that, because of a glitch in the program, the computer would automatically feed them the right answer to each question unless they pressed a key to stop it. The computer secretly recorded what they did. The researchers found that those students who had read Crick’s argument against individual agency were substantially more likely to cheat, and that they showed less faith in free will than their counterparts in a follow-up survey. The authors conclude that even if free will is an illusion, it is “an illusion that nevertheless offers some functionality” when it comes to encouraging moral behavior.

— “The Value in Believing in Free Will,” Kathleen D. Vohs and Jonathan W. Schooler

267. Kid Shelleen - August 29, 2008

Anyone else remember Buffalo’ed Bob saying that C influence controlled how much Juan could remember Juan’s self during the course of a day? Didn’t he also espouse the idea that they (C-dudes) were also responsible for one staying or leaving the Fof? So if the Gods don’t want us around anymore, who are we to argue?

268. whalerider - August 29, 2008

from wikipedia:

Otto Kernberg (1967) has developed a theory of borderline personality organization (which one consequence may be borderline personality disorder).

Borderline personality organization develops when the child cannot integrate positive and negative mental objects together. (The “objects” being referred to are both real others in one’s world, and one’s internalized images of others, as in ‘object relations theory’.) Kernberg views the use of primitive defense mechanisms central to this personality organization.

Primitive psychological defenses are projection, denial, dissociation or splitting, and they are called borderline defense mechanisms.

Also devaluation and projective identification are seen as borderline defenses.

*******

Gee, anyone feeling devalued from the posts of others or is it just me? How about the ignoring or denial of one’s existence here? Notice any splitting into different camps going on? Notice anyone projecting their own inadequacies of attaining an impossible goal onto others? How about the attempt to dissociate themselves from negative feelings? Call me crazy…I just call it as I see it.

269. elena - August 29, 2008

Ah Paul, it is now clearer where the difficulties lie and why our experiences are so different.

1. P.S.”That is “buying” into what anybody says, assuming they are an authority, seems to be what gets us in trouble. When I go back and read Ouspensky (and cohorts), after having not touched his work for more than 30 years, I am amazed at the number and the magnitude of the assumptions he makes with no supporting evidence, none. He builds all of the major tenets of the 4th Way on these assumptions that slide in such quantities that we bought them without critical thinking.”

The attitude of taking the ideas on good faith and trying to verify them was what I thought we were doing with the System. Ouspensky presented a map and we were supposed to verify whether it worked or not. For me it worked. Every single direction in the map proved to me that the Fellowship of Friends is a Cult designed to abuse people’s trust in each and every aspect of the human spectrum.

2. P.S. “This is the house that the FOF is built on. Not the 4th Way, but the acceptance of an unsubstantiated “teaching” and the surrender of critical thought. Ouspensky could be right, he could be wrong, just accepting his opinion as truth represents a failure in self realization.”

I can’t agree with you that the Fellowship Cult was built on the System. A quick exam will prove that Robert stole a few ideas from it and run to hell with them:

1. Self remembering
2. Non expression of negative emotions
3. Types

And if I’m not mistaken he added:
4. Alchemy
5. Feminine Dominance
6. Aspects of the System that would promote our submission

The first two were enough to put us and keep us in first gear for ever and ever. That is submitted and unquestioning him and the Fellowship. The third, types, was enough to place us into a system of “classes” of “better and less qualified”. With alchemy he kept us busy decorating his world convinced we were decorating ours and with feminine dominance he assured that we would give up every bit of our integrity and allow for his unlimited corruption to take place.

The Fellowship Cult is as far from Ouspensky’s System as the Earth to another galaxy.

Once we clarify that, the question for each one of us is to study where and how we linked to it if that is what interests us.

6. RVM: “Think very seriously,” Ouspensky wrote in Notes on the Decision to Work. “Are you really ready and willing to obey, and do you fully understand the necessity for it? There is no going back… Understanding of the necessity for obeying rules and direct instructions must be based on the realization of your mechanicalness and your helplessness… You can see, if you are sincere with yourself, all the blunders and the mistakes which you made when you tried to act by yourself. You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help. And you can have it. But you must pay for it–at least, by not arguing.”

We were all willing to surrender. That’s the tragedy. We were willing to work. Not because we are stupid, wrong, idiots, helpless but because we had ideals about what life was about. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING IDEALS. Ideals are the snowflakes with which the Spirit world showers our existence. What was so wrong was that we were rendered defenseless and lost our ability to respond to the abuse. THAT IS WHAT MAKES CULTS SO DANGEROUS. Why they need to be closed, stopped, because they simply render people defenseless.

If Robert Burton had been a true teacher we would not have been abused in the process of surrendering ourselves to him and the Fellowship.

To surrender is an aspect of love. We all surrender to each other in myriad ways and that is what a healthy life is about. It is an aspect of trust and there is nothing wrong with it. The “wrong” is when the other party abuses our trust. This is true for no matter what contract we establish.

We were rendered defenseless with the idea of not expressing negative emotions. First we surrendered our will then we were mutilated from our defense systems by not being able to question and dialogue, oppose and participate so it is clear that the Fellowship Cult abused the System for its particular agenda but from there to stating that the System is as corrupt and useless as the Fellowship is a long distance.

I’m not interested in finding followers for the 4th Way System but in understanding the Phenomenon of the Fellowship Cult. The extent to which each one of us indulged in the ideas to further our work is our own business but when ideas are corrupted to adapt to our personal limitations it is an aspect of our living dialogue to question them.

Such example comes with:
Whalerider: “Let me point out that there is far more evidence in the current field of psychology suggesting that the suppression of or inability to express negative emotions is far more damaging to a person’s mental, physical and spiritual health than there is evidence to suggest that the non-expression of negative emotions leads to spiritual awakening or evolution of consciousness. This data was simply not available in Ouspensky’s time.”

For me this is crap. It is like saying: “We know things now that Socrates couldn’t have known so we can’t take Socrates for what he’s worth.” To begin with the issue is not even addressed and I think we’ve come to the point on the blog to which we need to make a difference between Schools of Development and regular conditions of life. Or are we going to state that the discipline imposed by the Way of the Fakir, the Monk or the Yogui should disappear because they are “damaging to a person’s mental, physical and spiritual health?” as Whalerider states about the non expression of negative emotions which is a particular exercise of the Fourth Way Tradition?

It is not that every human being has to stop himself from using his position of power to abuse his children or spouse, employer or friend if s/he doesn’t wish to, (for the expression of what I call “negative emotions” is nothing but abuse) but that if you wish to change the expression of such abuses you need to put some control over yourself just as we are asking of each other here on the blog.

The last point I would like to touch on is that we are definitely confused about what we understand with negative emotions:

P.S:”I think you can agree with this:
What do you think of a person that does not have or express the following negative emotions?
Does not greive.
Does not express or feel remorse.
Does not feel guilt for doing harm.
Does not care about the suffering of others.”

Grieving, remorse and consciousness are not negative emotions in the Fourth Way System or in any System of beliefs that I know of.

As I offered before, to me Gurdjieff and Ouspensky offered a series of practices that if one was able to follow them one could find out where they led to. Each person has to develop his or her own will to root him or herself at the center of life and death or matter and energy or the physical and the spiritual. The System led to the Fellowship and OUT of the Fellowship for some of us. It was not the Fourth Way System what made so many people inside the Fellowship today social psychopaths without the ability to grieve, feel remorse or not care about the suffering of others, it was Robert Burton, Girard Haven, and all those in the inner circle who allowed their weaknesses to abuse the power they had over the rest of us to numb themselves to the beauty of a conscious life.

Thanks Will Coyote and all of you for your posts.

270. elena - August 29, 2008

Whalerider: “If we don’t pity ourselves and take care of ourselves, who will? Shall we expect others to always do it for us?”

It is clear that the spectrum of your considerations is far from the idea presented by Will Coyote which as I understand is the act of pretending that you are the poor weakling that cannot carry yourself and so others must carry you or bear with your winning. It is a good thing that no one in regular society or outside of it buys such behavior.

Pity is not the same as self pity, strange that you would be so comfortable distorting the idea behind each one of them.

271. elena - August 29, 2008

Correction: whining instead of winning but I suppose it is winning for you Whalerider.

272. Reality Check - August 29, 2008

269. whalerider – August 29, 2008

“Call me crazy…”

***

How about we just call you queenie? What were you in the FOF, the six of spades? Odd that those “photographed” as ‘queens’ in the mythology of the FOF, whalerider and Elena for sure, still exhibit all the traits those mythical ‘centers of gravity’ are predicted to exhibit, such as excessively passionate views that lack often the discipline of reasonableness and lots of them.

273. whalerider - August 29, 2008

Gee, I feel devalued from your last post, Elena. Hmmm…

From wikipedia:

“Level 4 (or mature, healthy) Defense Mechanisms:

These are commonly found among emotionally healthy adults and are considered the most mature, even though many have their origins in the immature level. However, these have been adapted through the years so as to optimize success in life and relationships. The use of these defenses enhances user pleasure and feelings of mastery. These defenses help the users to integrate conflicting emotions and thoughts while still remaining effective. Persons who use these mechanisms are viewed as having virtues.

One of which is:

Sublimation: Transformation of negative emotions or instincts into positive actions, behavior, or emotion.

Sublimation is the refocusing of psychic energy away from negative outlets, toward the positive, or the rechannelling of drives which cannot find an outlet. For example, a student worrying over a major exam might rechannel that energy into studying, and a rageful person who is accustomed to lashing out might rechannel their passion through introspection and organization.

In Religion, Sublimation is linked to the mystical experience. This is achieved via meditation techniques. It is widely practiced in all religions by the mystics of the ages.”

***********

Go ahead, you can try not to express negative emotions, fail or attempt to deny and dissociate from them and make yourself sick…or you can re-direct the feelings into more productive channels, medatation being one of them for spiritual development, altuism and humor among other choices for the betterment of society.

What I am suggesting is that contempory thought regards the non-expression of negative emotions as unhealthy, and the re-channeling of them as healthy….”the use of these defenses enhances user pleasure and feelings of mastery”. How can one feel mastery if one is destined to fail?

********

You compare Ouspensky to Socrates? That might be overstating the importance of Ouspensky in the world a bit, don’t you think?

274. whalerider - August 29, 2008

Gee reality check and elena, I seemed have touched a nerve in both of you. Do you think that is just a coincidence?

275. unoanimo - August 29, 2008

Hello Laura ~

“since I started letting myself be instead of “trying” to be”

Thank you for this.

——-

Yes: both are from the same place (IMO), though one is from the parent telling us what to do (and we mostly do this, causing all sorts of wild tangents) until we learn to let our ‘parents’ go as ‘demi-gods’ and forgive them (and our selves) for being children down here too, with expectations coming from god knows where… I had allot of deep resentment for my father, buried beneath more resentment for my step-mother (a soap-box on top of a soap-box), when I entered the fellowship: ‘The play-pen is written’… Indeed.

Building castles in the sky and on the ground in Oregon House… No difference really; sand travels both ways.

The more I work to integrate my parents and my memories of others no longer here physically, though ‘stuck’ in my psyche as a gray-area, the more I am free to, as you put it ‘let myself’… For me, I feel that it’s something about acceptance of the human condition, its courageous processes as a day to day unfathomable something; in the fellowship we were taught to leave nothing alone to its innate and unfigurable being, to apply thought and “It’s the play” tom-cat spritzing everywhere…

IMO, saying “It’s the play.” was a way to get ‘one up’ on another’s self-pity stream of thought having just welled up and let itself flow; being afraid to explore our demons and traumas, this phrase was a religious device, a belief in ‘heaven and hell’ (over there) and not in here; it was a way (for me), to take charge of someone else’s moment, spritz on a bush somewhere for the sake of stalking my loneliness later in the night when ‘The Others’ were asleep…

And this ‘moon thing’… Yes, it would seem ‘right’, with all the coerced abortions, etc., that the fellowship would see the ‘hungry baby’ as a threat (as Hell)… Personally, I’d rather go to feed a hungry baby than be wrapped up in a cocoon and fast frozen to be a second helping later.

In the fellowship, listening/trusting (wanting to trust really) to my ‘extended parents’ I lost sight and gained a ‘finer’ form of blind wisdom (hypocrisy); though, in my gut, I sense all this was already there ‘upon entry’ and in this dance we shake out of our soul’s closet, all the skeletons and try to carve keys from them. IMO, nothing in me is the fellowship’s fault, because I’m the magnet, not them… I find myself thinking about more of the bad things people are doing to themselves when I am not being courageous with my own Diaper Bag: I’ve found that by stitching sea sponges on its strap I can collect all sorts of subtle ‘things in the air’ I’d never savored before, having not…

I saw one of Robert’s very close female ‘friends’ yesterday and also visited another lady who’s on the other end of that spectrum; it was interesting to see how much I desire to be found when meeting others, though, if I simply let my associations go and let ‘the right company’ pour their version of sharing into my cup, then, it’s there I can truly get something, because it’s not mine, i.e., it wasn’t sterilized by my ‘inspection center’.

It was good to see this older lady searching for a video; I could envisage her as a little girl looking for a book to share with maybe parents who don’t like to read. There was a ‘point in time’ when I started meeting those spirits within me who move their lips during life’s choruses, who surf on the work of others celebrations… Yes, just because a person has a story doesn’t mean they feel it’s an adequate one and so, we oftentimes overextend ourselves to bring super heroes into others lives instead of purchasing a standard phone booth for them to have and figure out for themselves…

Sometimes we’re those kinds of elephants who believe the meeting place to be a seesaw and complete one another in such a way as to break the device of love in half… Maybe it’s also ‘enough’ to stay standing and just watch the playground resolve itself in the upside down image in our big elephant, Ganesha-heads…

The fellowship trained us to doubt that we’d done our very best… And maybe it’s here that so many students are stuck, i.e., after you’ve confirmed that indeed you have consciously done your very best, then what? Well, do it again…

L.t.y.a.

276. James Mclemore - August 29, 2008

230. lauralupa
“The only kind of will involved in this process is the will to observe, accept and not judge.”

When I look inside, that is the only application of ‘will’ that I can see that makes any sense to me. To just accept and not judge what is personally difficult to look at.

Thank you Ames (several) and thank you Yesri Baba -102
Unonanimo – good to hear your fluid voice and thanks for the writing that stemmed from the “I don’t remember myself enough.”

170. (a page ago?) ton
“the desire for spiritual growth is like every other desire… now we learn that our desire for mystical experience, spiritual wisdom or inner peace was the wish for another thing to possess.”

A while back, a few people commented and took exception to this statement by Yesri Baba

“You will never, ever, ever in a quadtrazillion years be more ‘awake’ than you are right now in this very moment that you are reading this.”
——-
When I read this statement the second time, it was the word ‘more’ that I thought could have been in quotation marks instead of the word ‘awake’. When I read it a third time, it seemed that perhaps it had not so much to do with ‘moreness’ or ‘awakeningness’ than it has to do with that idea that there is no one really there to be ‘more’ of anything.

Yesri – (from several pages back) ( it was in reference to a quote from a source I do not recall)

” ……….. technologies of attention ( divided attention, sequence, meditations of concentration, etc.) only serve to exacerbate the contracted condition. It is trying to lift yourself by your own bootstraps”
———
I think in this, the only thing I would change would be to add, ‘can possibly’ only serve… etc., because it does seem that there are real tools, that in certain phases of our life we somehow make use of. However, as I think I remember Peter Ouspensky saying,
“False personality ruins everything.”

The only issue of ‘will’ or control that is part of my inner life, is to try and somehow release what appears to be the illusion of control, and the struggling against things. To see that the ‘judges’ are not real. Inside my mind there are even judges that judge the judgements of other judges. As lauralupa said, to ‘oberve and accept and not judge’. I am not always good at it (still floundering), and have no clue as to who it is that does the releasing. I suspect my so-called efforts are at their best when at the simple stage of just my intention to understand and be free (whatever that means). It seems like something (I have no idea what) is put into action by this investigative
sort of awareness that just wishes to look and see. Some sort of light (I have no idea where it comes from) has its own actions and results, and those results appear to come from the inside out. I just do not see the idea of ‘will’, in the manner it is being spoken about, in any of what I observe, unless ‘will’ has something to do with the purity of our intention. Usually I think it is more that I am pretty sure I will never fathom how GRACE works. More and more it looks like the moments when some part of me thinks an effort is being made, I begin to see it is just more of me getting in the way of something much, much larger, and a lot quieter.

I found this not long ago.

“The most difficult thing for spiritual seekers to do is to stop struggling, striving, seeking, and searching. Why? Because in the absence of struggle you don’t know who you are; you lose your boundaries, you lose your separateness, you lose your specialness, you lose the dream you have lived all your life. Eventually you lose
everything that your mind has created and awaken to who you truly are: the fullness of freedom, unbound by any identifications, identities, or boundaries.” – Adyashanti
—————–

Robert Burton feeds that feeling of ‘specialness’ and perpetuates that ‘struggling’ to keep his flock from wandering off on their own. Interestingly, it seems to be pretty much one of the same techniques my ego uses to perpetuate and continually try to reinstate itself inside my mind.

Sometimes I wonder if it took all the places we have been and all the things we have studied, (hopefully protected, at least in part, by our innocence and our good intentions), to get to wherever it is that any of us now find ourselves. I think about all the sleeping, ignorant turns I may have taken (and will probably still take).
And again I wonder if it really did require all that I have gone through to get to where I now find myself (where there is sometimes still a someone inside trying to pull up on those bootstraps).

And whether or not the things we have been through were necessary, and whether or not The Fourth Way body of ideas was always a trap and a mistake or a trick, or whether it was just Burton’s deluded translation of it that did us in, or whether it is still a real door or path, or whether perhaps some things are doors for a time (I don’t mean the fof-it was never a door), but then need to be ‘abandoned’ or else they become walls again; whatever,…. it all begins lately to seem like a moot, or as Joey in the T.V. show ‘Friends’ said once,
“A moo point. Like a cow’s opinion. It just doesn’t matter.”

Love and thanks to you all. Sorry for the length and ramblingness, and “yes” Reality Check, it probably is one of those half-thought-out responses again. (and I hope it was ok with you Yesri to use parts of earlier posts that I had cut and pasted somewhere)

277. Reality Check - August 29, 2008

275. whalerider – August 29, 2008

“Gee reality check and elena, I seemed have touched a nerve in both of you. Do you think that is just a coincidence?”

***

I think you are slightly hysterical. You are mistaken if you imagine that you are actually speaking to anything in me that is listening with more than a casual scan. I read your posts already so skeptical of your customary outlook that I’m permanently indifferent to whatever point you are currently so excited about.

278. My4bits - August 29, 2008

Rear View Mirror, post 262:

“This is one of those final layers of denial that some of us carry with us after leaving the FOF, and I see it loud and clear right here on the blog. We want to cling to something, anything, that will make us feel that we didn’t waste our years in the FOF. For many of us, it’s the belief — yes, the belief — in the ideas of the Fourth Way.”

Your statement resonates deeply with me, RVM. Thanks for bringing it into the light.

279. Beelzebob - August 29, 2008

#248 – Ames Gilbert

Q: “Were you ever in the Fellowship of Friends?”

A: Yes. 1982 – 87. Toronto Centre.

Q: “How do you define and measure ‘progress’? In Fourth Way terms? Have you ever found a ‘teacher’? If not, how do you expect to make much ‘progress’ in Fourth Way terms without one to transmit influence C? And, if like Reality Check and most of us, you are trying to make it on your own, what makes you cleave to certain aspects of the Fourth Way and not others?”

A: Yes, I define progress in Fourth Way terms. I have never found a “teacher” in the sense you mean. I have many teachers though, including sometimes the posters on this blog. G once said something along these lines: “Everyone wants Jesus Christ himself as their teacher – they moan and complain that they can do nothing without such a high teacher. In fact, were they actually to meet Jesus Christ, they would not recognize him nor would they be able to get anything of value from him because they are at too low a level.” I believe that one can make progress on one’s own (hopefully with the assistance of one’s friends – you and I have in common our memberships in the GF and WITW). The Fourth Way (G and O both) says that we will find the teacher we need for our level when the time is right.

Q: “I am with you on the ‘identify’. But, where did you get the idea that you must try to ‘eliminate or modify’ the many things that might give rise to and support the negative emotion? Had any luck with this? Has anyone else claimed that they succeeded with this? Do you feel you can do this kind of work without help? Do you think that the easier and more likely result, the suppression of negative emotions, does more harm than expressing them?

A: My primary sources of reference on the topic of working with negative emotions are Ouspensky (The Fourth Way) and Nicoll (The Commentaries) – it is all in there and said much better than I can. Yes, I believe that I am having success with this method. Yes, I can do it on my own. No, I do not believe that the attempt to resist negative emotions and not manifest them externally (express them) does any harm. I think this idea, supported by many, is a very strong buffer used by those who would rather practice “self-calming” (as the word is used in “Beelzebub’s Tales”) and excuse themselves from doing the real Work of struggling with the negative emotions.

Q: “In your post #47-196 or thereabouts, you quote your father, “This is going to hurt me a lot more than it is going to hurt you.” Did you believe him? Either way, why?”

A: He never actually said that to me – I was using “literary license” in an attempt to inject a note of humour into what was an otherwise serious discussion (apparently, I failed miserably). I think my dad “gave me the belt” maybe 2 times in my life between the ages of, say 7 and 11. I am sure that he did not want to but thought it was for my own good (it was the 1960’s after all and Dr. Spock and other “learned beings of recent formation” – the “Tales” again for all of you non-Gurdjieffians – and others like him were not popular yet).

Q: “What makes you think we aren’t equally deluded by the belief that “we don’t have a soul?” Have you any evidence for this, apart from the claims of Gurdjieff or Ouspensky?”

A: Of course, what you say is possible. I know of no other system of ideas that meshes so well with my own experience of life than The Fourth Way. G and O present a rational argument for their position on the question of the soul and support it upon a complex cosmological and physiological theoretical basis. In the end, it is not important that I believe or disbelieve what they say on this matter in order for me to do the Work.

Q: “What happened to the idea of ‘accelerated evolution’?”

A: G said the 4th Way was faster than the first three traditional Ways because it works on all three centres at once.
The “speed” of our evolution, no matter which Way we use, may be directly related to the commitment we put into it. Perhaps I am a slow learner.

Q: “Have you tried any other methods that might bring you to what you desire before your life ends? You have set goals that evidently take a very long time to achieve. Why did you set those particular goals? What were the circumstances? If your knowledge or being has changed in the meantime, would it be valid to reevaluate those goals and methods from a fresh viewpoint? Or do you have faith that you will have ‘multiple lifetimes’ to make good?

A: No, I have not tried any other methods. Concerning goals, circumstances and reevaluation – the answers would require a lengthy addition to this already over lengthy post of mine. No, I am not counting on having multiple lifetimes.

Thanks for engaging me sincerely in this discussion.

I have posted a thousand words on this blog in the past few days (and it seems that is about one thousand more words than some of my fellow bloggers care for – lol). I am going to give it a rest for a while. My apologies to anyone who put questions or comments to me that I failed to address.

280. Opus 111 - August 29, 2008

The issue of how we survive leaving a cult (FOF) and heal from the experience is an interesting subject, obviously important and practical to many. The number of threads on the subject in this blog gives an idea how diverse the responses to that question can be.

I do not wish to retrieve those ideas of the 4th way that were corrupted in the FOF and use them as a crotch to continue limping, or argue that another 4th way school is one possible answer, because the FOF was very far from, and did not have a direct connection to real 4th way schools (whatever these may be).

Arguing that 4th way ideas ‘work’ when used appropriately may be correct, and I am not so afraid of 4th way ideas as to go to the extreme of doing away with all of them. Skepticism and a more evidence-based approach should suffice. In fact, my FOF legacy was much more ‘live experiences’ than ideas.

What I remember and still cherish from that time is a lot of human experience (teaching houses, vineyard work/conversations/breaks/dreams/parties, dinners amongst friends, concerts, kids’ plays, etc…). That humus of experience allowed people to grow as human beings, as long as they were fortunate enough not to be drawn into REB web. Meetings and their stiff format all blend together, and I do not miss them one bit. In the recent years, REB became very visible again and decided to reinvent himself as a teacher of ideas, then dogma and gibberish. At the same time, better ways (blog) to communicate the horrific tales of his doings came forth, and his true nature and agenda became obvious to all who allowed themselves to look. You could no longer lie to yourself, trust REB (“my love for you and your soul is the only thing that counts in my life”) and ignore the evidence. If you value life and yourself, you leave, that is simple. The 4th way ideas no longer matter then, and do not stop at the gate house anyway.

If I have regrets again, it is not so much that I did not pursue certain 4th way ideas more, or that I wasted all that time not investigating other disciplines. It is rather, that I did not experience enough of what I got, that I did not get to know Laura for instance, Whalerider, Bruce, Greg (?) and so many others. In other words, leaving the FOF has made me that much more respectful and yes, aware of the ‘here and now’.

281. brucelevy - August 29, 2008

278. Reality Check – August 29, 2008

” You are mistaken if you imagine that you are actually speaking to anything in me that is listening with more than a casual scan. I read your posts already so skeptical of your customary outlook that I’m permanently indifferent to whatever point you are currently so excited about.”

Gee, that’s something RB could easily say of people who try to talk to him. How evolved.

282. whalerider - August 29, 2008

Reality Check:

“Queenie”, “six of spades”…I believe that qualifies as projective identification.

Actually, my current view on center of gravity is that it was a great starting point for self-observation, but not a permanent condition. I believe the aim of the fourth way according to Rodney “lunatic effort” Collin was the harmonious development of all the centers simultaneously. That’s what I strive for. The FOF indoctrination is to pigeon hole people into categories in order to dehumanize them, don’t you agree?

“casual scan of my posts….permanently indifferent to my customary outlook”…that sounds like devaluation to me.

You are defensive of me for some reason. You want me to feel lesser than you. Why? Honestly, I don’t consider myself any better or more conscious than you. I have issues, same as you. I don’t deny that.

BTW, “hysterical” a concept that I do not agree with, is usually reserved for the domination of women by men.

Tell me about your mother and father. Are they alive? Do you still have contact with them? Do you have any brothers and sisters? Did you get along with them? How did you do in high school? Were you popular? Did you go to college?

If you think the past had no bearing on the “present”, I got news for you. All that crapola in the past is what keeps us from having enough clarity to be more attentive in the moment and not so intenally preoccupied with what other people think about us.

283. Reality Check - August 29, 2008

280. Beelzebob – August 29, 2008

#248 – Ames Gilbert: “I am with you on the ‘identify’. But, where did you get the idea that you must try to ‘eliminate or modify’ the many things that might give rise to and support the negative emotion? Had any luck with this? Has anyone else claimed that they succeeded with this? Do you feel you can do this kind of work without help? Do you think that the easier and more likely result, the suppression of negative emotions, does more harm than expressing them?

Beelzebob: My primary sources of reference on the topic of working with negative emotions are Ouspensky (The Fourth Way) and Nicoll (The Commentaries) – it is all in there and said much better than I can. Yes, I believe that I am having success with this method. Yes, I can do it on my own. No, I do not believe that the attempt to resist negative emotions and not manifest them externally (express them) does any harm. I think this idea, supported by many, is a very strong buffer used by those who would rather practice “self-calming” (as the word is used in “Beelzebub’s Tales”) and excuse themselves from doing the real Work of struggling with the negative emotions.

***

Ouspensky quoting Gurdjieff in ISOTM:

“Besides being a very good method for self-observation, the struggle against expressing unpleasant emotions has at the same time another significance. It is one of the few directions in which a man can change himself or his habits without creating other undesirable habits.”

I am certainly no expert in this area, I’ve got caustic adrenaline working overtime most of the time, but I have to ask a question based on Ames’ question, has anyone honestly verified that expressing negative emotions in a routine and inattentive way has not in fact significantly decreased the quality of their life?

In my understanding the expression of a negative emotion is what happens in an interval in a descending octave instead of the possible shock of self-remembering, which could facilitate an ascending octave. One way to think about negative emotions is that each one of them is a failure at a point where the conscious resistance of the negative emotion and the transformation of the impulse to express it could result in a better state of awareness which might improve your lot in life. How many relationships, friendships and opportunities in a person’s life failed because there were uninhibited negative emotions at a crucial point?

284. brucelevy - August 29, 2008

284

“routine and inattentive way”

That’s the key, or one of them.

285. You-me-us-they - August 29, 2008

From negative to positive.

Allons! I go practical and realistic!
If I do not isolate my emotions artificially but integrate them in my life experiences, I start seeing they are a sort of accurate compass, a guidance system.
They all serve!

I list here a few state-words (feel what they “bring” with them and feel free to add for yourself) to illustrate the “journey”.
From… To…
I presume the destination is experiencing Love.

Fear/Depression
Anger/Rage
Frustration
Hope
Gratitude
Appreciation
Love

Grace might bless me with a direct flight Rage/Love but I do not count on that to continue the travel so I call it realistic.
It is healthier to shout at someone than sit in depression.
But really, no matter how useful indicators they are, we do not want to stay too long in any of the negatives! Loving feel too good!
I call it realistic also because I can “see” and “feel” existing bridges between two points.
From my now, I take those bridges by directing my thoughts mainly.
It takes some attention, knowledge and training to place oneself accurately, moment to moment.
But we have that!

Hope that helps here as much as “that” helps me to fight the right battles!

BTW, the oldest bridge of Paris is “Le Pont neuf” (The New Bridge)!

286. elena - August 29, 2008

Whalerider: “What I am suggesting is that contempory thought regards the non-expression of negative emotions as unhealthy, and the re-channeling of them as healthy….”the use of these defenses enhances user pleasure and feelings of mastery”. How can one feel mastery if one is destined to fail?”

You obviously never got to the idea of transformation in the fourth way which is no different to what you are now claiming is healthy. Did none of the boys ever get to work on transformation because they were too busy taking students money to go on their trips with the blessing of their Master who made them pay for it with their flesh? Perhaps you at least learnt the lesson that no one abuses anything and goes free.

It wasn’t Socrates for Ouspensky, it was the superficiality of your statement.

How about your pityness? Is that what you think touched me? Yes, I get touched when you dismiss Will Coyote with such superficial coolness that one can’t help thinking you’re acting like one of Robert’s boys as if you had some kind of credential that nobody else knew about. She tells you that crying is not a negative emotion and self pity is, and you take out the dictionary like you took out modern psychology convinced that these crouches used with coolness can take you to Mount Everest.

287. paulshabram - August 29, 2008

RVM (267)

I’ll play with the “play”.

This is one of those subjects that can make you go mad and bite yourself. “If it’s just a predetermined play, or fate, and I have no free will, then my decisions are also predetermined. But if that’s the case, why make decisions? I must also have been predestined to ask these questions, but if that is the case what is the point of asking these questions?….”

“it’s a play” doesn’t make any logical sense. Why is it a play. Who is writing it and for what aim. If “they” have such power why bother with us poor witless humans?

“It’s a play” removes responsibility and it does something in my mid is more sinister… it removes hope.

288. whalerider - August 29, 2008

Elena:
I don’t recall feeling dismissive of Will Coyote or of their 2 posts at all, in fact I posted to him/her, and included him/her in one of my prior posts!

Regardless, why not let them speak for themselves? It seems you have felt dismissed by me in the past and projected that onto Will Coyote and then lashed out at me on their behalf. If I have dismissed you in the past, I am sorry.

I posed a question that relates to the lack of words to describe our range of emotions in the English language. We throw around words like self-pity, but do we stop think about what the words actually mean? We don’t use words like self-compassion or self-kindness, do we? Is taking care of oneself self-indulgent? Should we not have compassion for ourselves because of what others might think?

Personally, I feel we’d have all been better off skipping the non-expression of negative emotions part in the work and going right for the transformation of negative emotions process. I recall Mr O said it was a step that was reserved for later in the work and Robert never spoke of it. I wonder why?

What about expressing our anger or negative emotion in art or by journaling? That would be transformative. We have all tacitly condoned the expression of negative emotions on this blog, myself included, haven’t we? I think that is a much healthier way to deal with these difficult feelings than suppressing them. By externalizing these feelings, we can separate from them more easily than carrying them around all bottled up inside.

Please do not demean me or make assumptions about my time in the FOF. I saw the painful truth, paid for it with my dignity, and left. I hope to inspire others to do the same as you are.

It has never been my intention to demean you as you are doing to me now. I have only challenged your use of language from time to time, and you take it personally. Like it or not, our use of language is reflective of our unconscious thought processes.

You ‘get’ defensive more than anything else. And you are doing so now by attempting to devalue me as one of the ‘boys’, which comes across as projecting your hostility at men toward me. I don’t blame you. You are coming away from 17 years of domination by men in a cult in which you were held prisoner in part by a “work langauge”.

By all means, speak your mind, find your power.

I admire you for your efforts protesting.

289. Rear View Mirror - August 29, 2008

My4Bits: Thanks for your kind words above. Very best wishes.

——
Paul 288, Good points, and you have me rethinking some of the comments that I wrote above — regarding the occasional perception that “things are meant to be,” and how that perception can give us some comfort and strength in the event of painful experiences.

That’s true, and it may occasionally be healthy to see things that way (if it doesn’t turn into superstition, the relinquishing of responsibility, and so on) but I sense we each have something within us that we can tap into for an even greater strength. We often look for that strength outside ourselves — in ideas and gurus, for example. But we have it in us already.

A blasphemous thought, but maybe there is a play… and we are writing it for ourselves. Maybe we just stopped believing that at a fairly young age. That’s too bad, because as you said, the idea “removes hope.”

290. Another Name - August 29, 2008

Hello Whalerider, Unanimo, Elena, RC, Bruce, Laura and all the others,

With tears in my eyes,
Pity or self pity,
Burning suns and hearts,
I bid to all of you,
I love you, you are part of my world, I forgive you (and myself too).

291. paulshabram - August 29, 2008

elena 270
I agree our experiences in the FOF were drastically different, they were different eras. For example, when I spoke my mind, I was challenged, but never punished. Sort of like this blog. You spent 17 years in the FOF and joined after it became too bizarre for me. I did not break any ties with my family. The creepy crawling vile things were there, under cover of the System. It is clear that these things crawled out when RB felt safe. That process was well under way when I left, but I did not live under the ever increasing suppressiveness.

Our life experiences are also very very different. I have not suffered in the ways you have suffered, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t suffered (I know you have never implied this, but I thought I should put this out).

My time is limited so I’ll stick to the negative emotions debate for now:
You wrote:
‘P.S:”I think you can agree with this:
What do you think of a person that does not have or express the following negative emotions?
Does not greive.
Does not express or feel remorse.
Does not feel guilt for doing harm.
Does not care about the suffering of others.’

Grieving, remorse and consciousness are not negative emotions in the Fourth Way System or in any System of beliefs that I know of.”

Grief, remorse, rightful guilt, and indifference are probably not part of the 4th way system (they are, for sure, in other systems, particularly if you grew up Catholic). Why is that? I have experience the first three in big ways. I could not in any stretch of the imagination call these positive emotions. I am eternally grateful for having them, however. You have identified these emotions as “positive” (I think) because they are good to have. Maybe we can call them “constructive negative emotions”.

You can break things up into little pieces as a means of being able to digest and understand, it looks to me like this is what all the “man number” this and Queen of that is all about with the system. But that’s just a model. If we put your FIATH, that is BELIEVE, in the System we “throw the baby out with the bath water”. The negative emotions that Beelzebob and you are talking about can be sorted into a different cut if you like. I’ll buy that. These are more “petty” negative emotions, and obvious episodes such as uncontrolled rage. But the moniker “positive” or “negative”, I feel, are meant to imply objective terms. Following the System’s (artificial) stratification, what list of positive emotions can you come up with that match levels with the ones listed by Ouspensky (“…means all emotions of violence or depression: self-pity, anger, suspicion, fear, annoyance, boredom, mistrust, jealousy and so on.” )? Doesn’t the System stratify the complimentary positive emotions (if they exist) as more like constructive? Why does Ouspensky leave out constructive negative emotions in the description of human evolutionary psychology? Maybe Ouspensky treats this subject in a “formatory” way because it appeals to the part of us that prefers not to think critically.

292. whalerider - August 29, 2008

RC:
Now we’re getting somewhere.

“…has anyone honestly verified that expressing negative emotions in a routine and inattentive way has not in fact significantly decreased the quality of their life?”

Sure, it makes sense to learn to control your temper. You heard about that in kindergarten. Eating three meals a day and getting enough rest helps, too, so does dealing with your past.

The quality of your life is still up to you. If you don’t learn from your mistakes you are destined to repeat them. That’s what I take to be the play. It’s a waste of time and energy to obsess over how your life could have been different if you only did this or didn’t do that, believe me, I know from the recent experience of my divorce. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, what happened, happened. You hopefully learn, and move on…or not and fall into the same rut.

The question in my mind regarding the expression vs. non-expression of negative emotions relates to one’s overall mental health. Exercise would be another way of expressing or transforming negative emotions in a healthy way rather than suppressing them. That’s a win win situation. I enjoy a good comedy when I feel in the dumps. That helps, too.

“How many relationships, friendships and opportunities in a person’s life failed because there were uninhibited negative emotions at a crucial point?”

By inhibiting negative emotions, along with critical thought, you stay in the FOF for a long, long, time…family relationships suffer, friendships suffer through the act of shunning ex-members, opportunities for advancing your standard of living suffer…

Now, if you can’t stop hitting people when you get mad, you go to jail.

By the same token, as long as you don’t burn any bridges, and as long as you are still breathing, there is the chance for repairing and healing damaged relationships through the act of forgiveness or making amends. The choice is yours.

********

Hey, Another Name, thanks for the love, we all need it:)

293. brucelevy - August 29, 2008

288. paulshabram

For me, I do see it as a “play”, but I never think of that idea as separate from my feeling that I also take full responsibility for my actions and decisions, and that I am actually making decisions and choices. For me, either idea on it’s own does not compute as valid. Without both being true at the same time my life makes much less sense.
Like life on the quantum level…Newtonian laws hold true only on a physical scale. All laws are off on a subatomic scale. Two sets of data are both true, but from different viewpoints. And they both exist as truths applied to different scale and different purposes
I tend to resist seeing things on a linear scale. A non-linear view of things makes more things make more sense, for me.
Another example besides the “play” thing is the idea of evolution vs creationism. I can’t grasp those ideas as either/or. They make no sense. I don’t believe the earth was formed 6000 years ago. That’s fucking insane. Nor do I believe there’s a guy with a beard and a robe on high who watches over us and forgives us etc. etc. , that’s also fucking insane, as is the idea of pure randomness. Even chaos has it’s own order. I can’t conceive of what a “absolute force” might be because it’s a lower cosmos trying to explain something obviously way out of reach of our peabrains and infantile “souls”. I think there’s “something”, and my meager mind would only be exercising extreme vanity to try to corral the idea simply to justify something else.

294. Another Name - August 29, 2008

A colleague of me recently said:

We all create our own drama…

I am still watching.

Where I come from there is an expression, please pay attention tat your own food is not burning or with others words we all have enough to deal with our own life’s instead of point fingers to others or to mingle in others business….

On the other hand, mMy own expression on this blog have helped me a lot to move up on the emotional scale, to heal from the big disappointment of the fellowship and to pick up my own life and channel it in activities that just “feeeeeels so goooooood”. My expressing here helped me to face certain issues and it is still not done. better enjoy the process.

Big bear hug and enjoy your week.

295. Reality Check - August 30, 2008

Some notes on the significance of the structure of one’s view of reality.

Thoughts from Ouspensky, The Fourth Way:

To serve a useful purpose, to have any weight, a teaching must come from men of a higher mind than ours, otherwise it will not help and we will remain on the same level. If a teaching comes from a higher level, we can expect something. If it comes from the same level as ours, we can expect nothing. We have enough material for evaluation. We can ask ourselves: was it invented on the same level as ours or on a different level? If the amount of material we have does not enable us to judge, we must wait. But only we ourselves must judge. If I say anything about it, you cannot verify it. It is useful to think about this; only you must find answers for yourselves.

Most of these influences are created in life itself, by people like himself. But among them, mixed with them, there are other influences which are not created in life but come from a different source, from people of a higher mind. They come in the form of religions, science, philosophical systems, esoteric doctrines, art, all sorts of teachings, and so on. They cannot be distinguished from influences of the first kind outwardly, so it depends on the man whether he discriminates between them or not.

This system can have value only if it comes from higher mind. If we have reason to believe that it only comes from an ordinary mind, like ours, it can have no value and we cannot expect anything from it. Then better sit down and write your own system.

There are no arbitrary statements – it all comes from the system. It is not my system, I have not invented it. Just as a theory it presents no interest: it is interesting only if we realize that it comes from higher mind.

Q. Some time ago you have mentioned men of higher mind from whom this knowledge comes. Do they actually live, and can we recognize them?

A. We cannot recognize them if they do not wish to be recognized. But if they wish to, they can show that they are on a different level. If we meet people of a higher level, we shall not recognize their being, but we can recognize their knowledge; we know the limits of our knowledge, so we can see when somebody knows more than we do. This is all that is possible for us in our present state.

People think they understand a thing when they give it a name, but they do not realize that this is artificial. When you can feel a thing and when you can verify it by higher consciousness and higher mind, then only can you say that it is really true and that it really exists.

Real knowledge, objective knowledge is knowledge which comes from higher mind. Such knowledge shows us how to study man, how to study the universe, and also how to study the one in relation to the other. With objective knowledge it is possible to know the real world by making use of the principles of relativity and scale and by knowing the two fundamental laws of the universe: the Law of Three and the Law of Seven.

296. paulshabram - August 30, 2008

Bruce,
I recognize your point of view. I’ve been through the same thought process. I’ve gotten pretty deep into the hard science world since you and I worked together. It’s quite a journey and it doesn’t come easy. Like we are always at the end of our lives, I am always at the end of that path. Where it presently leads is to the unfathomable. I am left with the same sense that the order in randomness seems to be intelligent. That’s as far as I can go right now.

It’s true that Newton’s Laws do not exactly predict quantum physics, but the converse is not true. Of great interest to me is that the sciences, particularly physics, shows that the play is not written in advance. Rather is more like the famous translated quote:
“The moving finger writes; and having writ, moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.” -Omar Khayyam

297. brucelevy - August 30, 2008

297. paulshabram

“The moving finger writes; and having writ, moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.” -Omar Khayyam

Of course that was easy for him to say, I say facetiously. But the idea of superimposition of all possibilities sort of negates that. It possibly might not be true. Omar didn’t know Heisenberg, or the cat.

298. elena - August 30, 2008

Paul,
Thank you for your reply. Frankly I don’t think that you are saying anything that is not in the System but I think our values are similar and I have no interest in defending the System onto itself. If it can’t help us communicate, burn it down to hell and I’ll help you! The subject of positive emotions is one we’ll have to develop ourselves, they never existed in the Fellowship Cult.
Have a good week-end. Thank you for being here.

Thank you Whalerider, that tone is much kinder than whatever you were implying in:

Gee reality check and elena, I seemed have touched a nerve in both of you. Do you think that is just a coincidence?

As for Will Coyote, the blog is my business, I don’t have to justify my participation in any public area. That is what “public” means.

As for putting your negativity in art and journaling, please serve yourself. I already did that although I wouldn’t call it negativity just as I don’t call negative throwing up or having orgasms. It is an art to get people to work for you and an art to work without any help.

Another Name. Thank you for addressing me personally (it’s quite rare; ignoring, dismissing and ostracizing is many people’s favorite negative emotion around here, but so it was in the Fellowship; most are full experts) and your kind words to us all. And yes, we all write our own drama, it works both ways wouldn’t you say? Nevertheless I’m very appreciative of your desire for harmony. It helps.

299. nigel harris price - August 30, 2008

elena

300. nigel harris price - August 30, 2008

Sorry, that was a test just to say my virus demon has let me back on the blog. It was a vicious one and allowed me time to post some pertinent inofrmation on CH/CP/CH’s GH site that I hope you all get to read. Believe me it is important. This is not just about human good and evil but the whole of humanity being expunged if REB is allowed to ‘live forever’ by Life Sucking. To put it in plain terms – BLACK HOLES HAVE NO RIGHTFUL PLACE ON EARTH!…..Nigel.

301. nigel harris price - August 30, 2008

“For this jest of his has savoured but of shallow wit,
When thousands mourn, more than did laugh at it”. (Henry V)

Do you think that there are not Living Gods – the Fire Service have just called (that was 7.34pm Friday) – three mighty men, complete with fire-engine outside my apartment. I asked them about their code of honour, seeing the gryphon and lion rampant on their badge – it is ‘With Divine Assistance’.
Now, just to show you that 8 of Hearts centre of gravity can be modulated and melifluated by the Will that Shows Itself to Act, here is a joke told to me by Arthur Ovens, a Southern Irish Protestant. Two Irishmen go for a job on a building site. The foreman asks one of them – “What is your name?” – “Pat Sir” he replied. “No, your name is Patrick, always remember you are noble”. He asks the second Irishman “What is your name?”. “Mickrick, sir”. Now for the dangerous bit. You have already found out that Haven does not mean ‘safe haven’. In the case of that cycloptic bastard (he has only one seeing eye, yes?) – it is actually Haven’t a Clue. And he is supporting something much more dangerous than the devil you find on the Welsh National flag – we all need an opponent to play a good game and remember, Satan, although fallen so far, is still an angel and Whitman talked of ‘salvation universal, “is it a dream?…or else all life’s lesson but a dream”. No, Burton is something that should not be on planet earth – a black hole that has entered through the King of Clubs and Fofs around declaring King of Hearts, as in ‘be nice’, ‘do not express negativity’ etc. He is the Kurgon in Highlander “If he wins the prize (and if he does, he will win FOREVER, sucking on Life’s juice), humanity will suffer an eternity of darkness” Why do I know this and is there not a reason why I have watched films/movies for what they impel and nourish? W B Yeats talks of “Love hid his head among the stars” (Los Angeles moved by producers, get it?). You like Indian movies? Try ‘The Village’ – a sumptuous rendering on the slant of why Blind Faith will win the day. To continue (Isiah 42 and why that implies that Whitman and Shakespeare are working with me – the other Angels fly amongst humanity) – “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect in who my soul delighteth: I have put my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles…..and I will bring the blind by a way they know not; and I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make the darkness light before them, and the crooked things straight. These things I will do unto them, and not forsake them”

And so, are you willing to stand before A Golddigger in the Centre of the Battlestar soon to be exploded and say “Stuff your pound of flesh up your you-know what”? Sorry to use the chat-room GF site (as you described it) but I go for stimulating dialogue as a podium of declaration, (but) to use a little advert on TV about leaving something for humanity when you blast off into spiritual realms…..I WILL (it) ….. will You?

Declaration:- The natural sequence will go:-

Masculine Avatar handing over to two two Feminine Archangels, soon to become Avatars in their own right, and so on down the lineage in the no-death-I-promise New Age of Aquarius Water (Isca) carrier. N.

Since I cannot go with Mercurial ‘fun’, I have to live with a ‘mighty jest’.

In Auxilium Omnium (Devon and Cornwall Contabulary honour code)

……………..Nigel

302. waskathleenw - August 30, 2008

From the mouths of babes . . .

My sister has a neighbor with a nine-year-old. They live down the street from a Catholic church called Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Nine-year-old asks mom what immaculate conception meant, it having been a phrase she has heard or read her whole life with the church right there. Mom tried her best to explain what it meant, at least as best she could to a 4th grader, and 4th grader’ response was ….”You mean they really believe that stuff?”

303. fofblogmoderator - August 30, 2008

296 is newly moderated

304. fofblogmoderator - August 30, 2008

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