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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion – Part 69 March 27, 2009

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

For recent pages from the blog go here

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.

To visit “Pathway To Presence”, the newly created web site for recruiting new members to the Fellowship; http://www.pathwaytopresence.org

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

To access the Online Petition: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/djindjin/petition.html

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.

At the Moderator’s discretion, excessive abuse, personal attacks, taking up too much space, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion will result in a warning followed by a ban or a leave of absence 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).

To visit the site created by Unoanimo:http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/res-ipsa-loquitur/

Comments

1. WhaleRider - March 27, 2009

Nice to have you back Old Fish.

2. James Mclemore - March 27, 2009

Old Fish

Thank you for your recent posts.
There was a part of the last one that especially struck me, as it appears to me also that there is a connection between the feeling of ‘specialness’, and ‘shame’. I think the ‘specialness’, which has many forms, can also be traced back into childhood. It may be the egos own approach in a sort of ‘pretend’ attempt to rid itself of shame. The thread of ‘specialness’ seems to wind its way into a large portion of the imaginary pictures that I have held/hold about myself. Perhaps the environment that makes it possible for ‘shame’ to even arise, is born out of some deep sense of unworthiness that appears to be almost a universal element in this contracted experience where we imagine ourselves to be separated from each other, from ourselves, and from the Creative Force that brought us into being.

3. nigel harris price - March 27, 2009

68/297 Old Fish in the Sea

I am interested in coming to terms with the phraseology of “shame”. It seems that both you and Elena see it as an imposed, quasi-religious (male-god, male-teacher and so father-figure imposed) ’emotion’, whereby we connect our ‘misdoings’ to a set of codes-of-conduct. Is this true, or am I missing the point? I have to deal with this in terms of my conduct in manic moods – I go around apologising for the way I acted when ‘high’, after I have ‘come level’. Believe you me, I can be very aggressive and hurtful in those states. Food for thought?…..Nigel.

4. elena - March 28, 2009

Hi Nigel, Old Fish,
I think the simpler we keep it, the more we’ll be able to hold to Old Fish’s first post on the subject which was wonderfully clear and to the point about the Fellowship.

The shame you’re talking about is definitely there in the multiple separations with which people deal with each other: class, education, nationality, and even level of consciousness! People identified with these separations have to hold them up by making others feel they don’t “qualify” and in the Fellowship we were too shameful to even speak! I felt shame in the Fellowship when I travelled with Girard and members, who spent days travelling to come and see him, couldn’t even speak or in those dinners with Robert that people paid eight thousand dollars total and he only spoke to Asaf. So glad I gave them so much friction every time!

The shame I’m talking about is about seeing one’s nothingness. I don’t know where you thought I was being intellectual. It was definitely an experience of shame but more than the shame, it was the compassion with which shame can be held that mattered. In that same sense I believe we can look at the shame people feel for having been in the Fellowship: the more non-judgemental that we can look at it, the more one is able to see the degree of criminality that the Fellowship has reached. It’s the self-judgement that doesn’t allow people to acknowledge the facts and consistently try to minimize the horrors.

Acknowledging the level of ridicule and absurdity, the level of blindness, deafness, foolishness; the number of lies, stories and illusions, the rape of the mind, of innocence and sexuality that we allowed to happen unchecked is a great step in understanding of no matter what community. The compassion that is possible comes from realizing that we are, like all other cult members, carrying the consequences of life in our times. We can play victims indefinitely like those inside seem to have chosen to play or we can try to carry it on our shoulders and deal with it. We were ripe for the play, the tragicomedy and the soap opera all at the same time! Assuming responsibility for one’s self does not in any way keep one from realizing how it fits in a much larger context. One of the symptoms amongst cult members, seems to be the fact that they did not see horizons in regular society, they already felt alienated from its processes and not necessarily because they were economically at a disadvantage, no, people simply don’t seem to count in the large context of today’s world. The lack of community is driving people to make up communities that fit their personal dimensions and the need for direct contact. The lack of participation in regular society carries that shame of worthlessness and continues in the made up cult in which we also carried the role of being “too shameful” (sleeping machines, fifth lifetime, men number 1234, beggars, etc) to deserve anything better; we accepted it, as most people do also in regular society. When we are able to address that, we’ll be better off in understanding not only cults but society. As Old Fish says, the shame was already there from before and just sinks deeper in the cult.

On your apologies after highs, there’s nothing wrong with apologizing after being abusive is there?

5. Old Fish in the Sea - March 28, 2009

2- James Mclemore
3- Nigel

I find both of your points of view interesting. I wish I knew more so I could comment with confidence. Instead I’ll comment on what your posts made me think.

For me shame is one of those emotions that feels well worth understanding better. I don’t think shame is the same thing as being ashamed of a specific action. Being ashamed has its positive uses and can motivate change. But the type of shame that is psychologically interesting to me is a generic kind of dull fear accompanied by an attitude that has no words but feels like “I am not ok”. It is odd to me that some behaviors that seemingly should produce shame don’t and others that are really not very harmful do.

Shame probably relates to sex energy. I notice that sometimes I feel something like shame when I dress poorly (which is often). Somehow the Fellowship property often evoked shame in me, particularly when I had not been recently involved in FOF activities. Even seeing a current student can produce a bit of it both in me and in him or her. Strange that these seemingly harmless activities connect to my shame.

‘The Reader’ is an excellent movie about shame. Both of the main characters are strongly affected. Oddly the woman seems outwardly more ashamed of her inability to read than she is of her role as a Nazi guard where she sent many to their deaths. But the movie drives home the point that shame can ruin lives.

Shame is interesting because it is not logical.

I can speak about some of the shame that I have felt which I believe is connected with the FOF, but I never was ‘with Robert’ so I can’t comment about how that might affect shame. I would guess that understanding better how Robert’s behavior has affected the psychology of the young men is a topic central to some of the purposes of this blog.

Since shame hides itself and does not want to come out in the open, perhaps we will never fully understand the effects, and be left to make our own assumptions.

Shame does seem to be connected to sex energy. Robert’s activities would seem to be the kind that produce shame. But perhaps the young men were old enough and mature enough to not be much affected.

Here is my question to all who might have something to say –

Do you carry shame as a result of being with Robert? If so how does that affect you? or was the experience relatively harmless.

6. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

5 Old Fish in the Sea

“Dull fear” and “sexual energy”…..this makes thinking about the subject of shame interesting. I will let you know my thoughts throughout the day. Nigel

7. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

I would like to acknowledge the Universe – she who carries us…..

In the beginning
If anyone can remember back that far
Was unfathomable womanhood.

By chance of Original Sin
Which became Ultimate Intelligence;
‘The Absolute was lonely so he created the Universe’.
This supports the Big Bang theory
Since the word of the Ultimate is the cry – I AM,
First account for me.

Creation was implosion
Then ap Rhys (impetuous one)
Throwing out too far (infinite dispersal of galaxies);
Then rolled back the tide to hold
Our solar system together.

Who knows? This may have been the time and place of all experience.

(nhp) 1996

8. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

On the effect of shame and how it may be transformed…..

“We have seen or heard of many extraordinary young men who never ripened, or whose performance in life was not extraordinary. When we see their air and mien, when we hear them speak of society, of books, of religion, we admire their superiority, they seem to throw contempt on the whole state of the world; theirs is the tone of a youthful giant, who is sent to work revolutions. But they enter an active profession, and the forming Colossus shrinks to the common size of man. The magic they used was the ideal tendencies, which always make the Actual ridiculous; but the tough world had its revenge the moment they put their horses of the sun to plough its furrow. They found no example and no companion, and their heart fainted. What then? The lesson they gave in their first aspirations is yet true; and a better valour and a purer truth shall one day execute their will, and put the world to shame.”

(from Ralph Waldo Emerson ‘Essays’ – Heroism)…..Nigel.

9. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

(9 is the number for revolution – see above, 8)

“Cave Ides Martias”…..otherwise (and very loosely/poetically) translated as – ‘Watch out for marvellous ideas”…..Nigel.

10. Susan Zannos - March 28, 2009

I am not getting any meaning from this term, “shame” that is currently being discussed. I hope people will continue to try to express what they mean by using this word. Usually when I draw a complete semantic blank about a particular term it is because there’s some undigested experience involved.

11. Panorea - March 28, 2009

I woke up with those heavy memories of the obscure atmosphere of the Fellowship. The longer I am out of it, the more I can feel its darkness and depression.

I was thinking who were the heroes in the Fellowship (besides the madman Burton and the 44 ghosts hovering around us all the time…). The more suffering you had, the more prominent you were. Burton kept on talking about the suffering and the suffering and the transformation of suffering. The best angles were the ones who were able to present the inner drama in a clear form. Students dying were the best material for Burton’s next daily card. Deaths in ones family were abused and shared by the “whole school.” Dramatic incidents, predictions of natural disasters, warfare, they were all the main items of the fiasco.

Burton thrived on our desire to watch soaps and he created his own.

There were very few people who were able to share pure joy and laughter in the Fellowship (and they were either marked as solars – or jacks of centers…). Children (till the mid-90s) were seen as lower forms of life (and after that as “higher centers calling you” and third line octaves!!!).

I also woke up with that feeling that for me being in the Fellowship was a “buffer” (for lack of a better word) for really doing the thing I was supposed to do and for putting my passion into what my heart desired. It was a “safe container” and a place (and state of mind) to keep me busy from facing myself, my own song and my life.

12. lauralupa - March 28, 2009

“Robert’s activities would seem to be the kind that produce shame. But perhaps the young men were old enough and mature enough to not be much affected.”

Old fish, I much appreciate your thoughts on the subject of shame, however your last sentence seems very naive to me, or maybr it’s just wishful thinking. Regardless of one’s age and maturity, being sexually exploited by an authoritarian parent figure, and on top of that being manipulated into performing deviant sexual acts opposite to one’s natural incinations is a HUGE source of shame, visible or hidden that it may be. Just put yourself in the victim’s shoes for a minute, and ask yourself how you would feel.
How can people not be scarred by these experiences? If Burton’s huge victim numbers are correct (and it seems obvious by now that they are), IMO many hundreds of them are kept silent and inactive about the abuse exactly by that shame factor, which is just too powerful and paralizing. For some of the victims the shame is so overwhelming that the only way to deal with it is disaknowledging it, by remaining devoted to the abuser and continuing to believe in his lies. A perverse coping mechanism that keeps perpretating the abuse and never gives respite to the hidden shameful feelings.
We are speaking about really deep wounds here, related to loss of sexual innocence and identity, boundaries violations, and ultimately physical, emotional and spiritual RAPE.

13. Panorea - March 28, 2009

Oh yes, my husband and I also talked about the most weird and vomiting experience of that fatal accident in Egypt a few years ago. As we were part of the “lucky” ones to go there and witness the madness, we both were reminded of that odd meeting where Burton kept on talking about that accident. We had never talked about how sick we both felt then. Burton kept on sending messages to the rest of his “school”, to help transform the experience. And then when we returned back home all those angry emails arrived from L.T. who was requesting the whole Fellowship to send all contact information of the next of kin.

I could not imagine giving my parent’s information to the Fellowship administration just in case I had a fatal accident and they had to reach them. I did not do and then L.T. sent another angry email to the whole Fellowship demanding we reply…

Imagine, one voluntarily puts ones life into the hands of people like R. Burton, G. Heaven and all the inner circle of madness….

14. X-ray - March 28, 2009

12. lauralupa – March 28, 2009
‘We are speaking about really deep wounds here, related to loss of sexual innocence and identity, boundaries violations, and ultimately physical, emotional and spiritual RAPE’

This is exactly what we are speaking about.

15. Panorea - March 28, 2009

Susan.

I so strongly remember you and I in that hotel in Athens during the “international events” there. We were chatting at the lobby and you were so cheerful and bright about being in Athens and enjoying it so much and then we were asked twice to be less loud…(I think it was D_rian once and I clearly remember L.T. for the second time).

I felt embarrassed and squashed. I think this relates to a feeling of shame as I experienced in the Fellowship.

16. Panorea - March 28, 2009

12. lauralupa – March 28, 2009

Thanks lauralupa…

17. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

Out of the shame and into the light (some wow-ee, being present things I use)…..

1 ‘There can be only One’ (One Woman – Avatar)
0 The Round O of the Universe
-1 Robert Burton – the Antichrist
0 Respect for the Universe
1 ‘There can be only One’ (One Man – Avatar)
2 To/You
3 Triad – the Way by which things are Done
4 For
5 Man/Woman of Action and Will
6 Sex/Level of Godliness
7 God in Heaven (and all’s right with the world)
8 Avatar in Action (upright Infinity)
9 Revolution
10 I owe (so off to work I go)
11 Question
12 Higher World
13 Full Set
14 Church Triumphant

22 REB’s Awakening
25 Full Understanding
33 (MY) Awakening Age
42 My Guardian Angels (Whitman/Shakespeare working with me)
44 Ye Gods!
45 Me as the next Conscious Being
55 Transformation of Suffering

“Let me be your freedom; let me be your light” (Phantom of the Opera)

Try these out in life, and see if you can still STAY CALM!…..Nigel.

18. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

“Colours are the Suffering of Light” – Goethe

Infra-Red Old-style Self-Remembering
Red Remembrance (Red and Gold – England)
Orange Love
Yellow Curiosity
Blue Training (Blue and Yellow – France)
Indigo Ninja
Violet Heavenly Robes
Ultra-Violet Avatar Descending
White Christ (Ultimate Mind/Intelligence)
Black God (Invisible Laws)
Brown Essence (“…..salt of the Earth.”)

“You have power beyond imagination, use it well; don’t lose your head” (Highlander)…..Nigel.

19. Ellen - March 28, 2009

12, LauraLupa.
Great post, cutting to the center of it.

10, Susan Z. If you are finding it hard to get to the core of the topic, it could be an example of a “disowned voice”? Your own observation seems to indicate that recognition. Maybe try to ask yourself to speak to the voice of “shame”? Give yourself permission to speak as shame. Find out what shame has done for Susan. Find out who shame is. Explore…

20. Another Name - March 28, 2009

My 2 cents on the subject of shame…..

Dear Nigel

When you write:

I believe no-one in the FOF can extricate themselves from the ‘crime’ you described and still remain followers of REB – member, conscience and, therefore, leading to consciousness – it’s a contradiction in terms.

I feel uncomfortable. Looking back I was soo naive and did not have all the information that I have now about Robert and the fellowship. It is so healthy to be out and yet I miss the people I was exposed to soo many friends, that I would see, smile at wave at…..all over now baby blue.

Dear Nigel, back to you, people are still leaving and many people are on there own search, time is of the matter, and I realize now that I fell judged when I read your statement. I was in…way to long. Now I am not ashamed, but have deeeeeeeeep regrets and grief when I allow going to this place. When I go to this place, I grief fully and go through deep levels till I come to something like all the different groups who endured this kind of pain….a universal pain that mothers, or children or groups of people go through as part of being alive. This pain is still happening around us…

Shame….for me shame, dissolves when I speak out my shame of what kind of area I have on the part of shame. It is very relieving and amazing how many people have similar areas of shame.

The deeper pain behind shame can be the area of being alive. Do I have the “right to exist” can I am what I am? This goes back to upbringing and maybe to how we were conceived. Many people of my age were not very much wanted, we were not “planned,” when our mothers found out they were pregnant. If you were number 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 baby, your parents were probably not very exited to have another baby or when you were number two and your sibling was 2 months older, or ….this is a deep area and I have visited this area a lot during when doing holotropic breathing. Helpful is to “reprogram” my self, I use EFT in this matter and holotropic breathing and meditating. Looking at my unconciousness, the chattering in my mind of old tapes that still rule my life.

I enjoyed Bruce Lipton, Biology of believe tremendously on the subject of how we perceive and act and repeat certain behavior and how to go beyond. If Robert would be willing to “hear” I would pay his copy. That would be an “ounce of prevention”.

Joy to all of you and have a great day, week-end, month, year, life

21. lauralupa - March 28, 2009

I hope that one day we will be strong and organized enough to deal with and heal our communal shame through setting up a support network for the victims.
Other groups are doing it, like the SNAP Network of those Abused by Priests or the Awareness Center for Jewish Survivors of Spiritual Abuse. I know we are just a tiny cult, but the percentage of abused members is staggeringly high! I think we are still in the early stages of acknowledging the extent of the harm done and the need for intervention. The first priority, as whalerider often reminds us, is draining the victim pool, but we should also keep working in the direction of not letting the past abuse remain unnoticed, unacknowledged and unhealed.

… “In our work, you find that survivors take years to come forth with their abuse,” she said. “… A lot of survivors were young or teens, so it’s not surprising.”

At first when people are abused, they usually feel embarrassed about it, Dorough said. Then they worry it could damage their reputation or jeopardize their job.

Dorough said he decided to talk about his abuse three years ago, after reading a New York Times article about a man who had also been sexually abused. He found he could relate to the man’s story.

Dorough joined SNAP soon after.

“Hopefully I can help someone else by sharing my story,” he said.

Serrano, instead, said he signed a confidentiality agreement with the church, and was not allowed to talk about his abuse until after the 2002 scandal in Boston.

“Secrecy is toxic,” he said. “Because I couldn’t talk about it, I was not able to heal.”
.. from the SNAP network website.

Also, this website contains a series of articles that connect some of the dots and knots we are dealing with here: PTSD, prolonged abuse, pathological narcissism and the gloom and doom Panorea just mentioned (thanks for your stories)…

“As the leader of his congregation, the narcissist feels entitled to special amenities and benefits not accorded the “rank and file”. He expects to be waited on hand and foot, to make free use of everyone’s money and dispose of their assets liberally, and to be cynically exempt from the rules that he himself established (if such violation is pleasurable or gainful).

In extreme cases, the narcissist feels above the law – any kind of law. This grandiose and haughty conviction leads to criminal acts, incestuous or polygamous relationships, and recurrent friction with the authorities.

Hence the narcissist’s panicky and sometimes violent reactions to “dropouts” from his cult. There’s a lot going on that the narcissist wants kept under wraps. Moreover, the narcissist stabilises his fluctuating sense of self-worth by deriving Narcissistic Supply from his victims. Abandonment threatens the narcissist’s precariously balanced personality.

Add to that the narcissist’s paranoid and schizoid tendencies, his lack of introspective self-awareness, and his stunted sense of humour (lack of self-deprecation) and the risks to the grudging members of his cult are clear.

The narcissist sees enemies and conspiracies everywhere. He often casts himself as the heroic victim (martyr) of dark and stupendous forces. In every deviation from his tenets he espies malevolent and ominous subversion. He, therefore, is bent on disempowering his devotees. By any and all means.”

“Ambient abuse is the stealth, subtle, underground currents of maltreatment that sometimes go unnoticed even by the victims themselves, until it is too late. Ambient abuse penetrates and permeates everything – but is difficult to pinpoint and identify. It is ambiguous, atmospheric, diffuse. Hence its insidious and pernicious effects. It is by far the most dangerous kind of abuse there is.

It is the outcome of fear – fear of violence, fear of the unknown, fear of the unpredictable, the capricious, and the arbitrary. It is perpetrated by dropping subtle hints, by disorienting, by constant – and unnecessary – lying, by persistent doubting and demeaning, and by inspiring an air of unmitigated gloom and doom (“gaslighting”).”

“The abuser creates a fantasy world, inhabited by the victim and himself, and besieged by imaginary enemies. He allocates to the abused the role of defending this invented and unreal Universe. She must swear to secrecy, stand by her abuser no matter what, lie, fight, pretend, obfuscate and do whatever else it takes to preserve this oasis of inanity.

Her membership in the abuser’s “kingdom” is cast as a privilege and a prize. But it is not to be taken for granted. She has to work hard to earn her continued affiliation. She is constantly being tested and evaluated. Inevitably, this interminable stress reduces the victim’s resistance and her ability to “see straight”.”

“Deliberate, cold-blooded, and premeditated torture has worse and longer-lasting effects than abuse meted out by the abuser in rage and loss of self-control. The existence of a loving and accepting social support network is another mitigating factor. Finally, the ability to express negative emotions safely and to cope with them constructively is crucial to healing.

Typically, by the time the abuse reaches critical and all-pervasive proportions, the abuser had already, spider-like, isolated his victim from family, friends, and colleagues. She is catapulted into a nether land, cult-like setting where reality itself dissolves into a continuing nightmare.

When she emerges on the other end of this wormhole, the abused woman (or, more rarely, man) feels helpless, self-doubting, worthless, stupid, and a guilty failure for having botched her relationship and “abandoned” her “family”. In an effort to regain perspective and avoid embarrassment, the victim denies the abuse or minimises it.

No wonder that survivors of abuse tend to be clinically depressed, neglect their health and personal appearance, and succumb to boredom, rage, and impatience. Many end up abusing prescription drugs or drinking or otherwise behaving recklessly.

Some victims even develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”

from
http://samvak.tripod.com/

22. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

20 Another Name

As I have often posted, I was out of the FOF, physically, in June 1989, but am still working with attitudes towards it, as I am working with the attitude of being professionally ‘sidelined’ for 14 years after that, before my teacher training commenced – but I still have things to contribute to the blog, if you will use me to your purpose. About my level…..

The great Master Samurai, Miyamoto Musashi wrote, “Go beyond Love and Grief; learn to serve Humanity”. Glad to have you as a blog-friend…..Nigel.

23. elena - March 28, 2009

Old Fish:
Here is my question to all who might have something to say –
Do you carry shame as a result of being with Robert? If so how does that affect you? or was the experience relatively harmless.——–

I think the question needs to be extended to all aspects of the Fellowship because reducing the Fellowship to that abuse is not understanding how it abused all other sides of its members.
Another aspect that is difficult in this question is that becoming conscious of the shame that the Fellowship induced on its members is already half way out of the Fellowship. As I understand what you’re saying, and totally agreeing with Lauralupe’s view, what I think you’re addressing is not just the shame but what lies behind the shame. The inner considering that comes from being so systematically raped that it is perceived as a “normal happening” as it has become for so many of the men in the Fellowship that still go to Robert when he calls them once every six months…just to make sure that he keeps his grip on them. The effects are very different when you are raped once or when being sexually abused becomes a life pattern that you accept. The worst damage comes in the apparent acceptance because to be able to do it, the person involved has to have lowered his or her sense of her self to a point in which he or she cannot perceive the act as brutal as it is. Here we are again talking about aspects of Stockholm syndrome. To be able to survive in the milieu in which the person lives, he or she has to ADAPT. To be able to adapt, they have to be able to withdraw their own self where it won’t threaten the status quo.

This is what we all did in every area of life in the Fellowship the moment we stopped our selves from questioning no matter what. Why couldn’t we… talk? Dress as we had it in our own essence and develop our own taste as we became more conscious of our selves? Be involved with how our money was spent? Have a saying on how much money was paid to Robert considering a whole community was at stake? Yes, the answer is we submitted completely to Conscious Bob! There’s a power to submission to one’s own rule but submission to another at the cost of one’s self is what brings about the shame but before the shame, the humiliation. People who are humiliated in their possibility to participate as equals is what brings about the shame. The authoritarian relationship between parents and children has its place for protection but retrieving responsibility from adults by disempowering their authority puts them back into a childlike state. The inequality of conditions and then the abuse: “I Robert am justified in using you sexually, economically, intellectually and emotionally because I am an Angel, a conscious being man number eight, like Jesus, or go and ask Girard if you don’t believe me!, who is the next conscious being on planet Earth because I say so!” That’s funny! Doesn’t it make one want to cry? But that’s what we lived on decade after decade!

Shame, as you say Old Fish, is carried in the way we move about in life without knowing why we are carrying it and recovering one’s self from it is what the process of healing is about. To have enough “face” to stand without shame for having been “diminished” by others, by life, by one’s play is the possibility of carrying it rather than being a victim of it. The Fellowship is a master environment in inducing such shame and each one of those in the inner circle who chose to sell their soul and body to have the authority to humiliate others by controlling, deciding and imposing their own authority backed by Robert, are in charge of inducing it. It is the greed for power that people crave for when our own selves are disempowered.

24. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

23 elena

I believe you have Mastered your own Selfhood. (“The soul comes through embowered gates, ever provoking questions” – Walt Whitman). With that in a ‘maintained grasp’, keep on posting in your dynamic style. Funny how I keep on seeing 88 these days – one female/one male avatar? Who knows?

“Be practical – expect a miracle” (Krishnamurti)…..Nigel.

25. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

20 Another Name

Sometimes, discomfort is the agitation or, as we used to call it, friction, that promotes deep and robust questions and the fuel to live through to the answers…..Nigel.

26. Jomo Piñata - March 28, 2009

10/Susan Zannos

I am not getting any meaning from this term, “shame” that is currently being discussed.

In the view of the theorist Silvan Tomkins, shame (or the continuum “shame-humiliation”) is one of the innate “affects” that belong to the “affect system” with which we are born. Tomkins believed that the face was the display board for the affect system and that there were nine distinct affects, described as follows:

(1) Enjoyment-Joy; [positive]
(2) Interest-Excitement [positive]
(3) Surprise-Startle [neutral]
(4) Fear-Terror [negative]
(5) Anger-Rage [negative]
(6) Distress-Anguish [negative]
(7) Shame-Humiliation [negative]
(8) Dissmell [negative]
(9) Disgust [negative]

“Shame-Humiliation” is described as being “auxiliary” to the positive affects, and dependent upon an impediment to positive affect. This means the affect of shame is activated upon the incomplete reduction of positive affect.

An example: You call out to someone you see in the distance, a good friend. You wave and you are excited to see her, but she does not wave back or appear to recognize you. As the distance between you decreases you suddenly discover you are mistaken and you have been waving and shouting at a stranger. A describable response follows which involves lowering of the eyelids, loss of tonus in the face and neck muscles, hanging of the head, and a feeling of embarrassment or humiliation.

That’s the shame affect. It occurs automatically, by the design of the central nervous system, whenever something interferes with positive affect.

The Fellowship is a shame factory. Everywhere one looked there was a rule or a doctrine acting to dampen positive affect. Putting aside that morsel of food. “Photography.” “Doing what the machine does not want to do.” The whole idea of subjugating one’s natural responses to the “deputy steward” so-called. Tomkins wrote,

“It is the learned inner restraint on any affect in competition with the wish to express the original affect which constitutes the stimulus to shame.”

Accordingly, after encountering Tomkins’ writing, I soon came to think of the fourth way notion of the “deputy steward” as giving rise to “a permanent principle of shame.”

Think about it! We were trying to put in place, under that regime, a permanent “learned inner restraint” on affect, placing it “in competition with the wish to express the original affect.” All that “trying not to be in queens”! And, by design, that produces shame. Somewhere, somehow, we thought that enduring that shame was going to elevate us in some fashion, ignite our “higher centres,” when, in fact it could *only* produce more shame and create a culture of shame. What an evil ideology.

The shame response is described at p. 400 of this book:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZilFX8m1WWoC&pg=PA397&lpg=PA397&dq

Shame has also been described as “the underbelly of narcissism.” That, too, is a study worth undertaking.

27. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

26 Jomo Pinata

1)Enjoyment-Joy (positive)

to

9)Disgust (negative)

Sounds a little bi-polar to me!…..Nigel.

28. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

Ouspensky said “Nothing negative should approach sex.”

Are not the features of Greed, Dominance and Tramp, which REB exudes, expressing of the hub-like false personality, which is responsible for these features?…..Nigel.

29. Mick Danger - March 28, 2009

“When I do good, I feel good; and when I do bad, I feel bad.
And that’s my religion.”
-A. Lincoln? (True quotation freaks would know this.)

30. Mick Danger - March 28, 2009

Just a thought Mr. fofblogmoderator:
I think you have a unique perspective on this blog and you should use the opportunity/duty of turning the page to add some commentary, questions, or criticism.

31. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

26 Jomo Pinata

I was taking a nap (or 40 winks, as the British say) and was surprised that, in an abstract sense, sleep was sending up problems, and each time I awoke, an answer to the problem was apparent. Anyone else had something similar with states?…..Nigel.

32. sallymcnally - March 28, 2009

When you are in a state closer to delta (sleep) your brainwaves hum at a lower frequency and your ability to receive the right answer is more readily available because your monkey brain (or your ego) is out of the way. (you’re able to get a clearer signal) That’s why people use meditation as a tool for becoming more balanced.

33. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

32 sallymcnally

Oops! Better try some meditation, Nigel.

34. sallymcnally - March 28, 2009

Nigel: Whatever someone wants to call it silencing our thought patterns allows access to many unanswered questions. That is what I know through my own experiences. The rest of it is an interesting theory to me.

35. fofblogmoderator - March 28, 2009

#30 Mr Danger

Funny you should mention that idea. I was just thinking something along the same line when I set up this new page. What holds me back is that I don’t want to try to be a “daily card” and I also don’t know if my “insights” would line up with the general consensus. Sometimes silence is golden.

36. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

Sally: I do my little ‘getting-out-of-the-workshop-and-clearing-my head’ exercise at the adjoining Bickleigh Mill, by sitting down and allowing vision-and-sound of the surrounding impressions to ‘silence my thought’. It is a sort-of mental yoga for me, especially as hypo-mania leads to ‘racing thoughts’. Thanks…..Nigel.

37. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

35 fofblogmoderator

How about comments that pertain to you? The personal approach would draw away from the ‘overbearing-answers-to- the-problems-of-the-universe’ on which daily cards seem to dwell…..Nigel.

38. Old Fish in the Sea - March 28, 2009

12: Lauralupa:
For some of the victims the shame is so overwhelming that the only way to deal with it is disacknowledging it, by remaining devoted to the abuser and continuing to believe in his lies. A perverse coping mechanism that keeps perpetrating the abuse and never gives respite to the hidden shameful feelings.

Just wanted to repeat that.

And yes Elena, abuse goes beyond Robert’s sexual victims. I am thinking of a final dinner before I left. A wonderful lady that I had known for 30 years in the Fellowship, and who had helped me find my first software job – a lady that had been very successful financially, and had been a leader in the Fellowship, both charming and smart. When I said I was considering leaving, she took an orange off the table and pointed to a little clove that had been inserted into the orange. She said the clove was her and the orange was her instinctive center. I felt the sadness in her voice as she truthfully explained why she stayed. She was afraid of leaving because she “knew” that her instinctive center would take over.

Jomo Pinata: My friend, I believe, had taken what she could from the FOFWay. For a while it gave her confidence and strength but in the end it killed her spirit.

One aspect of shame is that it undermines self confidence.

39. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

As an Adult Education Teacher, it is paramount to my aim that my students succeed – that they develop their own will (and design ethos – their individuality), through the transferable skills that they learn from me. (“Every teacher has a speciality that the student must see for himself that he wishes to learn.” (paraphrase) – Gurdjieff). I find this whole ‘shame’ thing is a HUGE SUBJECT! When I was recovering (very slowly) from my FOF experience, I took a Pre-School Playgroup Leader’s Course evening class and this book – “Dibs – In Search of Self” – was recommended reading…..

“Dibs had had his dark moments and had lived for a while in the shadows of life. But he had had the opportunity to move out of those dark moments and discover for himself that he could cope with the shadows and sunshine in his life.

Perhaps there is more beauty and understanding in life when the glaring sunlight is softened by the patterns of shadows. Perhaps there is more depth in a relationship that has weathered some storms. EXPERIENCE THAT NEVER DISAPPOINTS OR SADDENS OR STIRS UP FEELINGS IS A BLAND EXPERIENCE WITH LITTLE CHALLENGE OR VARIATION IN COLOUR. Perhaps when we experience confidence and faith and hope that we see materialize before our eyes this builds up within us a feeling of inner strength, courage and security.

We are all personalities that grow and develop AS A RESULT OF ALL OUR EXPERIENCES, RELATIONSHIPS, THOUGHTS, AND EMOTIONS. We are the sum total of all the parts that go into THE MAKING OF A LIFE.”

“(This is the true story of a little boy named Dibs…..

He would not talk. He would not play. Judged mentally defective, he was oblivious both to other children and to his teacher; in reality he was a brilliant, lonely child trapped in a prison of fear and rage, a prison from which only he could release himself. And through psychotherapy and love, he did.)”

Dedicated to all True Helpers, professional or otherwise…..Nigel.

40. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

38 Old Fish in the Sea

The orange was the Love (colour theory) that she clove to…..Nigel.

41. in2it - March 28, 2009

Shame is just one big part of it. But the FOF promotes any negative view of yourself that disallows independent thinking, critical thinking, or reflection about outside ideas.

So, if someone feels shame, that’s “good” — it prevents any questioning of authority, and keeps them passive and compliant.

When people feel shame, it prevents any call for change and discourages any exposure of the truth, and discourages someone from openly discussing their concerns. What’s also “good” for Burton’s agenda is if people lack self-respect, initiative, self-confidence, and a desire for active exploration outside the FOF. They’re more likely to turn fault inward on themselves, rather than acknowledge the fault in the group and particularly in the “leader” of the group.

When followers feel discouraged: “good”. That’s in the Burton Handbook somewhere.

42. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

41 in2it

I was lucky that, whilst ‘in’ the FOF, I did not lack “a desire for active exploration outside”…..

There are parts of us that we have to leave outside the cult-gates, when we leave…..and there are Real Parts of us that we have to recover and nourish…..Nigel.

43. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

41 in2it

Walt Whitman “thrusts a person out on to the Promontory of Experience”. REB just thrusts, selfishly!…..Nigel.

44. Jomo Piñata - March 28, 2009

38/Old Fish

Jomo Pinata: My friend, I believe, had taken what she could from the FOFWay. For a while it gave her confidence and strength but in the end it killed her spirit.

I hear you. And I am not saying the manufacturing of shame was the *only* thing going on in FOF. But I *am* saying the shame manufacturing process was integral to both the fourth-way doctrine and the Fellowship implementation of that doctrine. And the fact is, at least as I see it, the honest, introspective fellowship member recognizes that it is so.

But then the “renunciate morality” rationalizations go to work, stating that one is relinquishing enjoyment or joy or the feeling of self-confidence or whatever it is, in place of doing some “exercise,” or following some “suggestion,” or implementing some admonition articulated by an esteemed historical figure, etc., creating a moment of “work,” “struggle with negative emotions,” and so on.

A “renunciate morality” –this is the term which Alstad and Kramer use — is a value system built around a precepts that it is inherently valuable to relinquish one’s own desires or wishes in order to bring about a higher “good”; in this context, a renunciate morality rationalizes the shame factory, but doesn’t change its essential nature. As Alstad and Kramer point out, renunciate moralities *create* the very inner division which they purport to cure.

In other words, you can’t “evolve” by putting yourself under the charge of a “deputy steward” or “steward.” You *can* subject yourself to a more or less continuous experience of shame by doing that. Your mileage may vary, but I see no treasure of spiritual insight following from such an experience. Instead, I see people who, like your friend, have had their spirit killed.

45. ton - March 28, 2009

nigel 31, re: napping, problem solving, inventiveness and creativity, thomas edison has an interesting bio (i read one by neil baldwin), specifically sleeping patterns and his process of invention…. not to mention lack of formal education etc.

great discussion about ‘shame’ — imo this is a key to the encounter with and overall fof ‘situation.’ so-called ‘feminine dominance’ factors into the here eqation too… albeit in a sort of inverted/perverted way. although i’m not a fan of john bradshaw, his assessment of shame in it’s toxic and healthy form, is ‘in-depth’ and seems especially relevant here…

http://soulselfhelp.on.ca/tshame.html

and etc.

46. ton - March 28, 2009

sorry, i meant to say,
‘the equation here…’

47. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

45 ton

I ‘lifted’ this from your link…..

“The neurotic assumes too much responsibility; the person with a character disorder not enough. When neurotics are in conflict with the world, they automatically assume that they are at fault. When those with character disorders are in conflict with the world, they automatically assume the world is at fault.”

So, REB is at conflict with the world and the world is at fault…..Nigel.

48. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

44 Jomo Pinata

I have stated before, and it is worth repeating, that you need a “core of joy” in your life and its work and play to make all the efforts and sacrifices worthwhile……

“An imitated aim will lead you nowhere” (paraphrase) – Rodney Collin.

49. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

45 ton

I remember times in the ‘loony-bin’ when I would awake from sleep and race along the corridors with some discovery of either extreme terror or inventiveness….thanks for the prompt…..Nigel.

50. nigel harris price - March 28, 2009

Lifted from ‘google’…..and so – Goodnight!…..Nigel

Frank W. Wicker1 , Glen C. Payne1 and Randall D. Morgan1

(1) Department of Educational Psychology, University of Texas, 78712 Austin, Texas

Abstract “The purpose of this research was to see if naive raters could distinguish between guilt and shame in ways consistent with the descriptions of emotion theorists. In two studies, 152 participants recalled occasions on which they had experienced guilt or shame and rated these experiences on a large number of scales that represented either basic dimensions of emotion or attributes previously postulated to differentiate between these two emotions. Shame and guilt situations differed on a number of attributes, including felt powerfulness, self-control, self-consciousness and exposure, activity, inferiority, surprise, alienation from others, facial sensation, self-attribution of justice, and expectation of punishment. Many commonalities in the meaning of the two concepts were also suggested, most importantly in terms of basic attributes such as pain, tension, and arousal. Results were consistent with several previous accounts of the essential differences between guilt and shame, but not with all such descriptions.”

51. ton - March 28, 2009

re: many of my previous posts…. only with reflection can i tell when dyslexia attacks.

‘speaking’ of books…. here’s a good one to consider:

http://home.planet.nl/~brouw724/Awatts.html

52. Tatyana - March 28, 2009

Old Fish.
I agree that RB and many FOFers are very good at evoking a feeling of shame. But you mentioned that you had this feeling before FOF.
Recently I was talking with a friend about similar subject. She was telling me that she gets wounded by vain and not emotionally sensitive people all the time because she does not have enough self-esteem. We came to a conclusion that behind that there is a desire to please others and be liked. In her case, her parents were not very loving and she was never “good enough” to be “noticed” and apreciated by them. We talked about a specific situaiton and what seems helped when I reminded her about the rights she has. Just remembering that we do have rights as human being sometimes help.

Good luck!

53. Yesri Baba - March 28, 2009

“Steward has no self-concerns, wholly dedicated to guarding against one’s lower, animal-self, while serving as the bridge for the pure, intense consciousness of higher centers.”

This is the lie, this is bullshit, this is the con. They could just as well advertize a new house, a new career, a new relationship. Anything that , once attained, will bring satisfaction- wholeness.

We were whole with ourselves and the world at one time, and still it is right here, always calling to us. This seems to us as if something isn’t quite right.

It seems to me sublimated shame is a beacon. It is an emotion once removed from the original impulse pulling us back toward harmony with the world. To me it seems like shame is telling me that I have not fully and completely accepted myself as I am. Once I accept myself as I am surely it will be as easy as” If I do bad, I feel bad- and if I do good, I feel good.”

Let go of the fantasy and the real thing will pull you in.

54. ton - March 29, 2009

‘the system’ pits one part of the individual against another, the example here is ‘the steward’ against ‘the lower self’ or the “many I’s” or whatever…. buying into this line of bullshit (as ‘students’ are wont to do) has the effect of reinforcing ideas and feeding feelings of ALIENATION. “divide and conquer” seems like an apropos description of this mechanism of mind control used by the fof.

55. WhaleRider - March 29, 2009

I experience my FOF shame as a paralyzing, self-perpetuating psychological double bind…a bit like Prometheus.

56. ton - March 29, 2009

….mind control = behavior control = mind control = behavior control… etc, etc….

57. Susan Zannos - March 29, 2009

Jomo 26. Thanks, I think I’ve got it. Is it really that simple, what you are all discussing as “shame?” Just the ordinary every day acceptance of the Fellowship fact that if it feels good, you’re doing something wrong? Cool.

58. michael - March 29, 2009

“she took an orange off the table and pointed to a little clove that had been inserted into the orange. She said the clove was her and the orange was her instinctive center. I felt the sadness in her voice as she truthfully explained why she stayed.”
______

Old Fish ~

This is an amazing image, yes? Can we rewind this and take it into another dimension, the symbolic, where the truth often breaths with its ‘other lungs’?

If it were a dream (and in so many ways it is, as we follow our shades from our leaves to our roots and back up again), I’d say that she was pointing to the moment of her conception, the seed having just entered the interior of the egg…

The ‘orange womb’ is as good a place as any to begin the story of what she has inherited via her birth through a specific nine months, her mother and her father; they too, with their inherited specifics and so on…

Constantly, when I was a teenager, I would be damned to not be hailed as one being in his own little lifeboat while doubly denying that ‘that’ life-boat came from the Titanic, was built for the Titanic and came with the whole package called ‘The Journey’, whereon were gathered both my parents and those who helped ‘raise’ me…

Maybe there’s a little room to appreciate the fact that we’ve all Just Showed Up here, just like that, unfathomable magic, unfathomable luggage… (No justifications implied here, just the wordless awe that, here we sit and stand, having Just Shown Up…

The more I understand the child within each of my parents, the better I understand the raging adult pretentions in me; daemons play hopscotch on family trees.

No body makes it down here as a brand new antique.

IMO, the fellowship never ‘created’ any original shame all their own, i.e., their own brand, it fed the inherited and personal shame that cut the key, who turned the lock tumblers and who walked us into the gates of the organization to begin with…

There was medicine in the fellowship too, this attracted me as well, the friendships and until then, absolutely unknown to me, unconditional sense of belonging, yet, I began to feel that it was a hospital without an out patient program and also, so far as the unconditional part, I made this unconditional, based upon the fact that I subconsciously did not know how to take care of myself outside a family institution, so, up from the shades of my own unknowingness, there formed an entire lifestyle of justifications and constructions to protect a fragile, unfertilized egg, unfertilized by my not knowing How to love the ‘I’ I have always been… Immortally pregnant and only knowing one word to hold my sense of self together, ‘NEST’.

This is not to say that the fellowship and ‘the cooks’ are not accountable for the food they’ve served, that we ate, because something in us all was more hungry than the tongue of common sense could bring itself to acknowledge the subtler tastes.

We had names for the bitternesses, tests and procedures, it was “from the gods”, while all along, in a very large part, it was all being shipped in by the crate load from an exiled part of me.

Looking back, it seems to me that the shame(s), rages and resentments swarmed around magnetic centers subconsciously, fueling their searching for redemption (And I believe that negative photographs were, in so many ways, the child (or infant) within saying, ‘Do you see it, can you feel it, my traumas, ‘the’ trauma of this being human? And how it is to be both, the one standing in front and behind the mirror, looking, looking?

Could it be that such high degrees of hidden fears of abandonment, not fitting into society’s (family) molds, etc., were the very forces (to name a few) who assisted in the ‘magnetizing’ of ‘The Center of Attention’ hunger to begin with (?)

The Center of Attention, yes, there’s something indeed…

How much of our own parents’ unmet desires, traumas, dreams, momentarily lost reconciliations and unsolved mysteries do we carry while looking behind the magnifying glass at all these mysterious ‘footprints in the sand’? Where no one was carrying anyone, it was just me running all over the place so that in the morning, when I awoke, it would look like I was at a party last night… A strange picture of Cinderella limping around and trying to find someone to fit the glass slipper on, comes to mind…

There are pinwheels and then there are eyes of hurricanes; we cannot always know right away which one is which and how far its momentum will let us run with it, hand in hand.

I once saw a plastic straw that a typhoon had stuck several inches into a palm tree.

Emotionally, we’ve experienced the near ‘thought/felt impossible to ever be’ from what we wholly trusted as our own ‘family’, something we ‘owned’, yet was owned by it in so many ways, seemingly meant to unravel us by the shear strength of the ‘personal investment made in such a multiple-monogrammed Golden Calf, and we will continue enduring the same, on and away from our terms until…

Though the fellowship could never be ‘in total’ what I needed, i.e., a ‘”complete cosmos” since, no matter how much the ‘organization’ wished to stand in front of me (At times, seeming the carrot to the stubborn donkey.), all that needed me was standing behind, collected and rolled out, quietly trimmed as my shadow, my doppelganger of sorts…

Today someone asked me ‘How?’, and I replied, ‘That one’s yours.’

For me, the fellowship was a place of Why? It seems that, as people leave the fellowship, the beautiful, sky-bound butterflies are being asked to bear being put into a kaleidoscope of very surprising meditations, in that, now ‘we’ must manage to turn into caterpillars, return to the earth and claim the How’s? For me, this has totally redefined the previous Why?

We can love so much, so much that I want to immortalize it from the Earth’s brutal lessons of mortality and ephemeral jurisdiction over the mind, change, doubt, etc.: then the thinking starts, how to not break a promise that I made to a wish (that I keep editing BTW) who has never exactly answered in the first place? And when we start dipping our hearts in hot wax to keep them ‘fresh’ for promises made to wishes, here begins a kind of The End, till one day someone mistakes it for a candle without a wick and tosses it away into the To Be Continued…

So, the careful melting away of those brave and not so wise dips into pools of preservation-wax, begins; I would rather fade away really having sensed what I’ve been and what I’ve given, than to be stuck wondering in my mind as to whether the feelings were real, whether the giving was connected to the word ‘because’…

The mind will never fashion reigns for the heart’s attacks of yearning…

I trust that the shame that was unearthed by the fellowship’s wheels and spindles will eventually tell each person the exact time they need to know about and get to ‘on time’ and perfectly late, considering that each of us, in some form or another, once wound that clock’s spring a little bit, and even, when no one was watching, set the time back a few years and then another, the same, though forwards a century, until the clock simply kept telling the same day the same things, every day, we had to, it was all we had to keep us together and moving along with one another’s fourth dimensional time zones.

Togetherness is a fickle dance.

59. Panorea - March 29, 2009

Yesri Baba and Ton and Jomo.

so much to the point. Thanks.

Again just out of bed and with the more stronger realization that the issue is and has been warfare. I was in an internal war and Burton and the “fellows” were reinforcing the mirage. I was fighting something I did no like in my self (or was taught somewhere in the distant past not to like) and I was calling it the “instinctive center”, the “lower self”, doing exactly what Ouspensky was warning one for not doing when he was saying that we should be careful when we make the division between “I” and “False Personality”.

The Lady with the Orange from the Old Fish’s story was and is probably still convinced that she is carrying a cancer in the size of an orange in her. She is in a permanent fight with herself, unable to love and accept what is hers.

When we are convinced of the existence of the devil in us or out there, we are very good “school material”. If it is not the Fellowship, there will be another institution to take care of us. We are vulnerable and we want to be saved. We are convinced we need permission to live and love and be whole human beings and we are looking for Gurus and Masters who are far better than we are. We do not grow up. Growing up means us making our own mistakes and not wanted to feel protected and “safe” in any belief system.

60. fofblogmoderator - March 29, 2009

58 is newly moderated

61. Crouching Tiger - March 29, 2009

On the subject of shame.

There were several aspects of the fellowship that used to scare the crap out of me. Particularly towards the end. When we had meetings and would pass around photos of the monstrous lower self taken in Chartres cathedral, eating the human being alive… Then followed by the repeated warnings about the perils of ‘Imagination’ – I could feel myself shrinking back in fear and the shame growing, there was a definite sense of being contracted, however open and well-balanced I felt before the start of the meeting.

This to me was shame. Being asked to fear something that I couldn’t quite understand. I couldn’t see quite why and where the Instinctive Centre or the King of Clubs or the Lower Self was always the enemy, but I was being asked to reject it.

With the benefit of a couple of years outside the fellowship, I can see that ‘shame’ was actually the right reaction in those circumstances. When we see something about ourselves that we don’t feel works quite right, or behaviours that seem to attract unfortunate results, there has to be a little something growing underneath that is ready to replace that ‘not quite right’… Something more essential, genuine and sincere. Then and only then, the behaviour can be given up quite naturally, simply because it’s no longer needed. In other words, the fruit has to be ripe to fall, or else the result is ‘shame’.

I don’t feel the fellowship can create that ripeness. The thing that comes and offers to replace the ‘not quite right’ is not right itself. It likes impressions, it is emotional and even knows how to attract ‘higher experiences’ of a sort, but it cannot be fully sincere. At least, it lacks the kind of sincerity that, were you to cut the human being down the middle, you’d find exactly the same colour inside as you see on the outside…. So after the ‘high’ of the meeting, students in the teaching house go back, one day later, to stealing each other’s food, and Robert Burton returns to his orgies with young men after speaking only a few hours before of the necessity of the ‘control of the passions’….

Whatever ‘way’ each one of us finds to manage the changes that Life wants us to experience in the course of our time on this planet, it has to lead to greater sincerity. That is non-negotiable. It has to make us simpler, more open, more genuine… so that our behaviours begin to feel to ourselves (and eventually to others) less ‘out of place’.

This kind of sincerity is the only cure for shame that I know, because it allows changes to happen in their own time, as and when they must – and us to be ready for their results.

62. Panorea - March 29, 2009

The following statement by C. G. Jung struck me:

“Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.”

63. nigel harris price - March 29, 2009

61 Crouching Tiger

I hope you do not mind my lifting this from your post for re-emphasis. It is, in my opinion, profoundly true…..Nigel.

“With the benefit of a couple of years outside the fellowship, I can see that ’shame’ was actually the right reaction in those circumstances. When we see something about ourselves that we don’t feel works quite right, or behaviours that seem to attract unfortunate results, there has to be a little something growing underneath that is ready to replace that ‘not quite right’… Something more essential, genuine and sincere. Then and only then, the behaviour can be given up quite naturally, simply because it’s no longer needed. In other words, the fruit has to be ripe to fall, or else the result is ’shame’.”

64. nigel harris price - March 29, 2009

CT – You’re ‘brill’…..Nigel.

65. Jomo Piñata - March 29, 2009

58/michael

IMO, the fellowship never ‘created’ any original shame all their own, i.e., their own brand, it fed the inherited and personal shame that cut the key, who turned the lock tumblers and who walked us into the gates of the organization to begin with…

Amen brother.

66. Jomo Piñata - March 29, 2009

Old Fish–

That poor woman with the clove and the orange. What a symbol. She is completely engulfed in a circumstance which anyone else would see as hopeless, conflating her identity with a tiny clove fused with a giant orange which she at once views as hostile to her existence and necessary to her life.

And yet isn’t an orange a marvelous thing tho, bright and juicy and sweet. And somehow that’s just not even on her radar. Talk about the narrow restriction of attention!

67. lauralupa - March 29, 2009

nigel, your quetion at 31 reminded me of this quote by Einstein:

“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why”.

… BTW, I also tend to find solutions while sleeping or half-dozing

68. lauralupa - March 29, 2009

question!

69. Old Fish in the Sea - March 29, 2009

67: Jomo – “And yet isn’t an orange a marvelous thing tho, bright and juicy and sweet.”

Where there is no good vs. bad, us vs them, high vs. low, success vs. failure, right vs. wrong, effort vs. laziness, lucky vs. unlucky, instinctive vs. emotional, paradise vs earth.

From this perspective (which is only one of many worthy perspectives) there is nothing to forgive in ourselves or in others. We see the orange for what it is without the filters of philosophy, without the better and worse. And the quiet love we feel, feels good.

The little bumps on the orange tell a story – the story of a journey. A fascinating multi-dimensional saga, full of dimples, worthy of respect and love, and each story becomes the foundation for the next.

70. nigel harris price - March 29, 2009

68 lauralupa

My most recurring dream is of GH telling me that I can come back to the FOF if I pay a £500 re-entry fee. The I get glimpses of all the eligible women in the centre in which I rejoin (without paying the £500!). Weird, huh?…..Nigel.

71. X-ray - March 29, 2009

“53. Yesri Baba – March 28, 2009
“Steward has no self-concerns, wholly dedicated to guarding against one’s lower, animal-self, while serving as the bridge for the pure, intense consciousness of higher centers.”

A fart of a sick man.

72. nigel harris price - March 29, 2009

72 (REB’s death number) X-ray

The problem with the above statement (which, I believe, leads FOF students nowhere) is that the steward should fail and should give way to the Master, Real ‘I’ or Self. This is the meaning of the seed being planted, dying and then being reborn. REB’s idea of steward is that a student must constantly be ‘in control’ in the manner in which REB demands…..Nigel.

73. Another Name - March 29, 2009

When you write; “From this perspective (which is only one of many worthy perspectives) there is nothing to forgive in ourselves or in others.” It triggered the following.

When I learned of Ho’no Poono I start playing with the I love you, I forgive you and you are part of my world. When I am working with very difficult situations with people for example going psychotic is, to become silent or lower my voice and internally say;” I love you, you are part of my world and I forgive you.” The effect is incredible and calmness enters and it is easier to get things done safely and in harmony. When I catch tapes in my head like…this person this or …any noises in my head, I often replace it with I love you and I forgive you, you are part of my world. When I catch myself…as it is all mental activity.
When I think of Robert Burton, I too say, I love you, I forgive you and leave the part “you are part of my world” out . I love having this choice; saying/ knowing that somebody I do not choose to be part of my world anymore, I just let go. Do not have to deal with them anymore, was too painful, over with it. That is freedom.
Often when I say, “I love you and forgive you” several times, I somehow end up with myself, forgiving myself and that is such a big relief, a healing at a deep level.
Shame is a strange thing. In my case, it is very imaginary. I feel ashamed, of what ….that I made a “choice”, that some internal voice says it might be a “wrong” choice? Often time is the referee in this matter. Time will tell, I verified that my shames are imaginary, when I share my shames with co- walkers on my path, I have received so much compassion and often people had experienced similar issues and hardly ever my co workers judged me. When people have told me their shames, I feel for them and can share and sit with them….

Shame for that matter to me is a strange emotion…why would we be ashamed. That we were in the fellowship, that we believed so many stories? Why we did not “see” the criminal issues earlier? That we gave up our self will? When I went into the deeper parts of myself, I have spoken out to God, why he allowed these things to happen, why he/she allows cults, wars, abuses, famines etc. He/she has been very silent to me….No answer.
That bring me to Eve. Why was Eve so ashamed when she ate her apple? Is not it the nature of human beings to be curious and do experiments? This whole story of Eve and Adam does not make any sense. My ancestors said that the person provoking a thief (for example showing of where you put your money, is as “guilty” as the thief. God telling Adam and Eve, that they can not touch the apple is a set up…a psychological set up. Now I realize this, who would want to be part of heaven and hell with this set up in mind……? Who wants heaven and hell? Give it to the ones who want it…..I do not want to be part of such a set up. I refuse….yahoo…., this feels empowering now I write this. Give hell and heaven to those who want them. Let this offer pass me by……yahooooooo.

Ooooooowhooooooh, this is maybe what the Zen expression means; When you see the Buddha (God), kill him…….
Wooooooooh this makes me silent and grateful…….and wonder and ponder….ready for nature, for a walk….
.
Thanks all of you and of course “Old fish in the see”, please keep spreading your words seed around

74. nigel harris price - March 29, 2009

74 Another Name

I believe Goethe said something like “There are some things in life that it is right to hate”. In my present position or state, I am more likely to say that “There are people and situations in life it is wise to avoid”. The negative parts of the Kings of Centres are there for a reason – DISCRIMINATION!!!!! We must be critical of ourseleves at times (though in a constructive manner!) and use ‘negtive reactions’ as a ‘whoops – watch it’ factor. Hope this makes sense…..Nigel.

P.S. I cannot possibly say – Robert, I love you, I forgive you. N.

75. Another Name - March 29, 2009

Dear Nigel

Thanks for your response, it took me a while to say to Robert love you and forgive you. There were nights of searching my deeper part of my self. I still have some resent and grief that I gave my trust to him and to the fellowship. Still it is like I have to make a deep swallow….and still I do think he has been a victim of abuse and bad early family circumstances……and still I do not understand of the scale of the creation why Gold/ creator allow this sort of crap on the planet…..

Still living my question and I am all for living my questions. I owe my own questions and they are mine independant of a cult or authority.

Thanks, and back to nature.

Have a great evening.

76. nigel harris price - March 29, 2009

76 Another Name

I thought this would ‘set your thinking aright’ and encourage you…..

“The world should lose her qualities if the celestial spheres should forget their wanted motions; if nature should intermit her colours and leave altogether the observations of her own laws: if the moon should wander from her beaten way; the times and seasons blend themselves by disordered and confused mixture: what shall become of man who sees not plainly that obedience unto the laws of nature is the stay of the whole world.”

Poetry on Heavitree Sculpture 2009

(Heavitree is the suburb in the City of Exeter, in which I live)…..Nigel

77. Yesri Baba - March 29, 2009

74 Another Name

Shame for that matter to me is a strange emotion…why would we be ashamed. That we were in the fellowship, that we believed so many stories? Why we did not “see” the criminal issues earlier? That we gave up our self will? When I went into the deeper parts of myself, I have spoken out to God, why he allowed these things to happen, why he/she allows cults, wars, abuses, famines etc. He/she has been very silent to me….No answer.
That bring me to Eve. Why was Eve so ashamed when she ate her apple? Is not it the nature of human beings to be curious and do experiments? This whole story of Eve and Adam does not make any sense. My ancestors said that the person provoking a thief (for example showing of where you put your money, is as “guilty” as the thief. God telling Adam and Eve, that they can not touch the apple is a set up…a psychological set up. Now I realize this, who would want to be part of heaven and hell with this set up in mind……? Who wants heaven and hell? Give it to the ones who want it…..I do not want to be part of such a set up. I refuse….yahoo…., this feels empowering now I write this. Give hell and heaven to those who want them. Let this offer pass me by……yahooooooo.

———————————-

The story of Adam and Eve does not make sense without the story of Lilith.

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/l/lilith.html

Awaken the Witch.

78. Susan Zannos - March 29, 2009

79. Wouldnt You Like To Know - March 30, 2009

79. Susan Zannos

Go to Greater Fellowship website. Do a search on the name ‘Karl Fisch’ – one of the researchers on the video you kindly linked to in your post. You should get results that show 4 citations of postings by Charles D. having this ‘wouldn’t you like to know’ theme. Thanks for the reminder.

80. Another Name - March 30, 2009

Dear Yesri Baba.

I read the story of Lilith. And to be honest, it does not make sense after reding this info, would you be willing to give your pespective on this matter?

Thanks and enjoy your life.

81. Susan Zannos - March 30, 2009

82. Yesri Baba - March 30, 2009

81 Another Name

It is myth so it is open to a myriad of interpretations. It seemed appropriate to the subject of shame and the impulse to return to wholeness.

I see this myth as describing the evolution of humans and the emergence of self-consciousness. At the emergence of self-consciousness man was whole- Adam and Lilith were twins conected at the back. But Adam wanted to be the boss so Lilith took off and was replaced by the more compliant Eve. Together Adam and Eve chose duality and shame (good and evil) and went out and about naming everything. Lilith went underground in the psyche and haunted Adam with the memory of the former wholeness.

Lilith wasn’t a bad lady she just got really bitchy when she was spurned.

83. nigel harris price - March 30, 2009

83 Yesri Baba

I had never heard of Lilith until she was in a question on a quiz show on Saturday. Excellent timing and excellent interpretation by you!…..Nigel.

84. Bares Reposting - March 30, 2009

What do you get when you take the ‘e,’ as in ‘evolution,’ out of the word ‘shame?’ You get sham. Which is what the Fellowship of Friends (aka Pathetic Way of Presence) is all about. Ain’t it a shame it’s a sham.

sham: noun:
1 : a trick that deludes : hoax 2 : cheap falseness : hypocrisy 3 : an ornamental covering for a pillow 4 : an imitation or counterfeit purporting to be genuine 5 : a person who shams

sham: verb:
transitive verb: to go through the external motions necessary to counterfeit
intransitive verb: to act intentionally so as to give a false impression: feign

sham: adjective:
1 : not genuine : false, feigned 2 : having such poor quality as to seem false

85. over - March 30, 2009

also, take off the e and add an s and you get Shams, which means, Sun. Rather illuminating, eh?

86. nigel harris price - March 30, 2009

85 Bares Reposting

I have often wondered whether REB really believes in himself as being ‘conscious’ and having ‘will’ etc. This would be the obvious signs of a sociopath and, with regard to his actions towards others, a psychopath. Or does he just realize that he has created, as you say, a sham and has to live it out as a luxurious lie? Only his death will prove it to him, as he ‘goes astral’ and has to live, spiritually, with himself…..Nigel.

87. Panorea - March 30, 2009

Hello bloggers, passers-by, lurkers, FOFs in and outs…

just came across some photographs with the “teacher”, some notes he had sent to remind me how “precious I was, what a hard-worker I was, and what a good judgment.. I had” ( various notes,…different years,…and as you all realize I am now doomed!, worthless, lazy like a pig,… with the worst judgment possible in this black hole in the universe, away from the love of the teacher and C-Influence!!!!)

I am damned to eternal recurrence because I messed it ALL up, just as I was in my 8th! lifetime! All those lifetimes and Leonardo trying to figure out how to give me more friction (or was it Socrates, or Whitman…Elisabeth maybe…). Have you found your own personal assistance yet? They are invisible you know…They are hovering mainly in the Galleria, but Burton has a way of carrying all the dead souls with him while travellilng…

If you are lucky and paid your teaching payments on time, you might get a glimpse of the angelic world of Burton’s Enterprises!!!!

What a complete failure I am! I messed it ALL up. Instead I got a flat-screen tv set the other day. And amazing as my life proves to be, I enjoyed the height my gorgeous telly occupies in my living room. Now, I know I am definitely in hell, since I managed to watch a whole movie with no feeling of guilt…I am becoming A influence and the worst of sinners and I love it! It is highly recommended. And if you are reading the blog and still in the Fellowship, look at me and how low I have fallen… Stop reading this now and go back to do a couple of sequences with a good number of breathless words and inconspicuous presence will be with you for the rest of the day.

88. Panorea - March 30, 2009

I also just noticed I have a (Alessi!) fruit bowl full with ORANGES!

89. veramente - March 30, 2009

Panorea 87
Now, I know I am definitely in hell, since I managed to watch a whole movie with no feeling of guilt…I am becoming A influence and the worst of sinners…
—————–
BAD girl/boy Panorea! : )

is Burton still watching football like a maniac while seducing a guy (or two) on his couch in his little studio?
Bad Bobby Burton!

90. veramente - March 30, 2009

Speaking about shame I searched for it, but it seems buried deep.
The ultimate paralyzing factor and the true robber of body and soul.
Do you guys care talking about guilt? It seems so tied in with shame.

91. Old Fish in the Sea - March 30, 2009

I had been away for two weeks, working in Detroit. I returned to Isis and went to a Sunday meeting. While walking through the gardens prior to the meeting, I noted that I was feeling terribly guilty, inadequate and timid. I had been away for two weeks, enjoyed myself, and hardly had a thought about the Fellowship. I was afraid (ashamed) to see students again. In my mind I was clearly a bad student, unworthy of acceptance.

While looking a a rose, inexplicably the story of the prodigal son popped in my head. I took the strength of the story to replace my shame or guilt with a confidence that I would be accepted.

For those that don’t remember the story…
There were two sons. The younger demands his share of his inheritance while his father is still living, and goes off to a distant country where he “wastes his substance with riotous living”, and eventually has to take work as a swineherd. There he comes to his senses, and decides to return home and throw himself on his father’s mercy, thinking that even if his father does disown him, that being one of his servants is still far better than feeding pigs. But when he returns home, his father greets him with open arms, and hardly gives him a chance to express his repentance; he kills a fatted calf to celebrate his return. The older brother resents the favored treatment of his faithless brother and complains of the lack of reward for his own faithfulness. But the father responds:
“Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”

I think this story reflects well the fear that I had developed over many years with regard to being separated from the Fellowship. But in this moment, I managed to find a great story for working with my fear and guilt. Unfortunately, while giving me a little relief, this story reinforced my attitude that leaving was death.

Now here is the ironic part. I left my kind, competent and just father for the Fellowship. I ran away from my up-bringing and threw away my savings. In the Fellowship I was essentially a swineherd. I worked very hard and my efforts were largely used to feed the sordid, immoral and extravagant lifestyle of the leader. I continued as a swineherd for a long time because I had been conditioned to believe that I was not just feeding a worthy organization, but feeding the God within me and that leaving meant that the God within would die. It is fascinating to me now, to see what a grotesque and twisted lie this was. Luckily, as in the story, I gradually came to my senses.

To be honest, when I left I was not sure. I thought that leaving might mean the end of my evolution – but I was willing to take the gamble. I felt confident that continuing to be a swineherd would not take me further, but leaving was a big unknown. Like the prodigal son, I did not know what awaited me.

After I left the Fellowship, I apologized to my father. He clearly was glad to have me back. Those 30 years are gone and it will never be the same with my father as it might have been, but my father accepts that I did what I had to do and what I thought was right at the time.

Yesterday I spent a few minutes with a current student. I was very happy; happy with no need to prove anything to anyone. There was no guilt or shame. For her it was more difficult. She had more contradictions to deal with and kept muttering something about having to go wash her car.

92. Old Fish in the Sea - March 30, 2009

93. fofblogmoderator - March 30, 2009

86 is newly moderated

94. Yesri Baba - March 30, 2009

86 over

“also, take off the e and add an s and you get Shams, which means, Sun. Rather illuminating, eh?”

Take off the e and add a WOW and you get SHAM-WOW and you can clean up those sloppy spills. Don’t know if it works on jizz though.

(watch out for that big screen Panorea, it will rot your brain)

95. Old Fish in the Sea - March 30, 2009

86:Over
A sham is a sham but add an s and you have the sun.

Illuminating Sun or Unfortunate Sham?

Shams Tabrizi suddenly left Rumi but the story remains:
Rumi was reading and Shams asked what he was doing. Rumi said, “You do not understand”. Shams threw his books in the water and Rumi wasted no time in retrieving them. But they were dry! Rumi asked how this was and Shams replied, “You do not understand”.

Those In claim that those Out have lost their understanding. This is a convenient way to explain our different way of seeing things and why those that have left typically see the FOF as a sham. Since people do not normally lose understanding, this seems much less likely than the alternative theory which is that those that have left have gained a new understanding – one that incorporates and builds on the old understanding.

The Fellowship goes to great lengths to ensure that current students do not talk to former students about serious matters. Robert and Girard have provided totally nonsensical reasons for this task which students tend to accept. Something about it being to the benefit of those that have left increasing their chances of returning. This is laughable and clearly a fabrication. Doesn’t it make sense that the real reason for the task is that it doesn’t take much to help people see through the sham? And presenting an image of former students as taboo helps to further the sham. No one wants to become taboo.

But students are afraid of losing the belief system that has dictated much of their adult life. So they shy away from talking to former students – not because of the exercise, which really makes no sense, but because of the fear of their own “lower self” which at any moment could cause them to see the FOF as a sordid sham, diminish their desire to be present, and block their evolution, leaving them in a hopeless predicament.

You would think that students would be curious about how we now see the world – but there is a surprising lack of curiosity, a surprising lack of desire to verify. You would think they would want to talk to us so they could see that indeed, we have lost our understanding and suffer from hopelessness. Instead they fear the encounter.

We would tell you, and I think convince you given enough time, that there is nothing to fear. That it was all made up. We could show you the incredible lightness of being free and that your fears of losing the school are a result of cult thinking. You would see our happiness. Some people overcome the fear and that is why there are almost 1000 members in the Greater Fellowship now. The Greater Fellowship grows every day.

I heard a recent story, which I am convinced is true, about a student that is dying. She wants to see a former student that was once a good friend. But this meeting has been blocked by the owner of the house where the sick woman is staying.

Illuminating Sun or Unfortunate Sham? I guess we each make our choice and are stuck with the consequences of our decision – but it is my educated opinion that it is worth investigating.

The following video indicates the FOF legacy:

96. Daisy-Jane - March 30, 2009

Wow. The quality and clarity of recent posts has been amazing!
Once again a big thank you to you all.

I was reading about Bernie Madoff and his giant financial Ponzi scheme the other day. Investors would literally beg him to be let into his fund – people who otherwise were very savy with their money would trust him completely. The reason was a ‘gauranteed’ 10% annual return on their money. He would smile and do some people ‘a favour’ by letting them in while turning away many others. All of a sudden (due to the current economic situation) he could not meet the repayment demands and he folded. “It was all a big lie” was all he could say…
And then today in The New York Times was a favourite columnist of mine Paul Krugman: “Indeed, these days America is looking like the Bernie Madoff of economies: for many years it was held in respect, even awe, but it turns out to have been a fraud all along”.

Something is going on here. The Ponzi scheme that is the FOF is starting to wobble. It is going to come tumbling down. I don’t believe it can survive this level of scrutiny. We cannot tell the hour, but this blog is going to outlast the FOF….mark my words….

97. Ill Never Tell - March 30, 2009

96. Old Fish in the Sea

‘The Fellowship goes to great lengths to ensure that current students do not talk to former students about serious matters. Robert and Girard have provided totally nonsensical reasons for this task which students tend to accept. Something about it being to the benefit of those that have left increasing their chances of returning. This is laughable and clearly a fabrication. Doesn’t it make sense that the real reason for the task is that it doesn’t take much to help people see through the sham? And presenting an image of former students as taboo helps to further the sham. No one wants to become taboo.’

This ‘no contact’ of conSEQUENCE* rule probably is a bastardization of the same idea practiced during the Gurdjieff and Ouspensky eras. On the one hand, there is ‘do not cast pearls before swine,’ but then there are other causes for it. In the G & O eras of radical world government upheavals, like the Russian Revolution and Iron Curtain mentality, there were real reasons for a tight-lipped approach to revealing that you held separate secret society. You have to ask yourselves whether the conditions we live under dictate the necessity of such extreme actions. (And, ask yourselves: What are those pearls and who are the swines?’) For those in the Fellowship of Friends, maybe they do feel that the conditions of ‘life’ are unchanged from those type of times. But, I would argue against that. Freedom of association and a more civilized and humanitarian oriented society exists in much of the world. So then it becomes a question of whether it is being used just to manipulate, control and coerce people.

*Opposite of CONsequence is PROsequence.

‘We would tell you, and I think convince you given enough time, that there is nothing to fear. That it was all made up.’

‘The sky Is falling, the sky Is falling.’ Chicken Little

The Sky Is Falling, better known as Chicken Licken, Henny Penny or Chicken Little, is an old fable about a chicken who believes the sky is falling. The phrase, ‘The sky is falling,’ has passed into the English language as a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent. Wikipedia

Sometimes chicken sh!t is just chicken sh!t and you’ve got to call a spade a dirty shovel!

98. X-ray - March 31, 2009

97. Daisy-Jane – March 30, 2009
‘Something is going on here. The Ponzi scheme that is the FOF is starting to wobble. It is going to come tumbling down. I don’t believe it can survive this level of scrutiny. We cannot tell the hour, but this blog is going to outlast the FOF….mark my words….’

Sure it will.

99. WhaleRider - March 31, 2009

Sound familar?

100. brucelevy - March 31, 2009

101. WhaleRider - March 31, 2009

“Once people do not trust themselves, they are subject to easy manipulation.”

“Many ideologies and worldviews on the planet today are sufficiently adept at justifying themselves to hold belief. The problem with belief is that it so often stems from preference and self-interest. People can argue endlessly about which worldview has a better or truer content, without being able to marshall sufficent proof to convince non-believers. What can be shown, however, truth or falsity aside, is whether the basis for belief is authoritarian, and whether it is masking the self-interest of those who use it to maintain control.”

Pg. 3, The Guru Papers, Kramer, & Alstad, 1993.

102. nigel harris price - March 31, 2009

102 whalerider

Spot on, mate!

“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you…..” (Rudyard Kipling)

103. Panorea - March 31, 2009

100 WhaleRider.

Yes, it does sound familiar… And as we know, Fellowship members see themselves as much more superior, clever, special than Jehova’s witnesses.

Talking about shame and guilt here…The only ex-Fellowship witnesses I have seen publicly talking about the Fellowship Cult and their experiences there are the ones in the video clip recently published. And, of course, this blog… But I have personally told only two friends and my therapist. And I only told them after I left. I am ashamed of the experience in the Fellowship. I do not know where to start and what to tell them. How could I have been such a plain idiot? The first thing my therapist asked me was whether I was abused in that Cult. He checked everything on the internet, called a meeting with the team, took the whole thing seriously… They had heard of the Fellowship…They had records…

“Ah, it is a small Cult…he said…”

I feel I will be laughed at when I will start narrating the experiences in the Fellowship. They are so incredibly dumb…and I believed it all. When I do not take myself seriously, I can laugh and make fun of it…When I do take myself seriously, I feel cheated and stuck…

So, do not take yourself seriously woman…

And Yesri, thanks for the concern about my brain…Sweet of you…But I think if I did not go brain damaged in the Fellowship, my flat-screen will not do it…

104. Panorea - March 31, 2009

Old Fish…

“I heard a recent story, which I am convinced is true, about a student that is dying. She wants to see a former student that was once a good friend. But this meeting has been blocked by the owner of the house where the sick woman is staying.”

This is so incredibly sad…What to add to something like this? What a waste.

105. X-ray - March 31, 2009

105. Panorea – March 31, 2009
“I heard a recent story, which I am convinced is true, about a student that is dying. She wants to see a former student that was once a good friend. But this meeting has been blocked by the owner of the house where the sick woman is staying.”

and who was this fucking asshole, the owner of the house?

106. James Mclemore - March 31, 2009

104. Panorea

“When I do not take myself seriously, I can laugh and make fun of it…When I do take myself seriously, I feel cheated and stuck…”

That is huge. I think anytime we are going to look inside, whether it be to look at the foolishness we bought with the fof, or whether it be to look at the foolishness of any of our imaginary pictures about ourselves, we should remember to try and leave the judges outside, and take a sense of humor in with us.
Humor is a very powerful and healing tool.
Humor and Music – thank you Bruce – I just love the sound of that instrument.

107. lauralupa - March 31, 2009

I just remembered that the few times some Jehova’s witnesses knocked at my door when I used to live in Oregon House, I would answer, “thanks, I am not interested, I am already in a cult”…
but at the time I thought I was just being clever !!!!!!!!

108. lauralupa - March 31, 2009

Looking back, I think my greatest shame-building factor when in the FoF was related to realizing that I was not totally committed to the cause (awakening, self-remembering, working on myself, doing second and third line, photographing people, building the ark, studying workbooks, completing octaves etc.)
My efforts were weak, and in some areas even non-existent!
So I always carried this feeling that I was not a good enough student… and related that to the fact that the whole idea of “becoming a conscious being” for some mysterious reason was not very “emotional” for me… and then I would feel guilty about that… after all, who in their right mind doesn’t want to become “a conscous being”?

god, I am so happy I am over that trip

109. lauralupa - March 31, 2009

sorry, that should have been “a conscious being”, or maybe “a couscous being”

110. lauralupa - March 31, 2009

… and as I wrote that post i could still feel a little part of me feeling slightly ashamed of having lowered my expectations to just trying to be “a decent human being”… it’s really hard to completely lose one’s “understanding”, otherwise called “conditioning”, with its related guilt

111. James Mclemore - March 31, 2009

107. James Mclemore

“Humor is a very powerful and healing tool.”

On second thought I believe it is more of a Gift than a ‘tool’.

112. ton - March 31, 2009

ya james, humor makes light of, brings light to, sheds light on…. thanks to all who share this gift here…. ‘more light!’

re: guilt and ‘toxic shame’ as tools of mind/behavior control and manipulation by the cult via ‘the system’ —

old fish:

“I had been away for two weeks, enjoyed myself, and hardly had a thought about the Fellowship. I was afraid (ashamed) to see students again. In my mind I was clearly a bad student, unworthy of acceptance.”

and laura:

“My efforts were weak, and in some areas even non-existent!
So I always carried this feeling that I was not a good enough student…”

yes, this is an aspect of what i meant in a previous post where i wrote:

“…so-called ‘feminine dominance’ factors into the here eqation too… albeit in a sort of inverted/perverted way….”

113. ton - March 31, 2009

damned dyslexia, again…

“the equation here…”

more couscous please.

114. Yesri Baba - March 31, 2009

I think I have lesdyxia. Cause when I read something written backwards it seems like it is written forward.

115. Yesri Baba - March 31, 2009

How to tell you might be developing a drinking problem.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29971638/?GT1=43001

116. brucelevy - March 31, 2009
117. nigel harris price - March 31, 2009

I know it is possible to get through deep and seemingly interminable shame, by enduring one’s so-called weaknesses and trying to develop what the ‘classical ones’ would call the Noble Virtues. My mother tried to instil those in me – Honesty, Courage, Caring, Humility etc. – Boy! Did I let her down – before the FOF, in it and beyond…..but now I know that those things really are a Code to Live By. Just a little poem…..

INVICTUS
By
W E Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbow’d.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

118. lauralupa - March 31, 2009

nigel, thanks for the poem

I was thinking that this is the most mystical thing I have seen or heard in a long time… I am starting to think that radiohead may be couscous beings

119. nigel harris price - March 31, 2009

119 lauralupa and also to sallymcnally

I have problems with video/audio links since I get the picture, but not any sound (my IT consultant brother will have to figure that one out!). But the picture of ‘Radioheads’ and sallymcnally’s posts regarding meditation got me to thinking…..

In Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’, there is a line from Chorus at the siege of Halfleur which goes “Work, work your thoughts, and in them see a siege…”

As sallymcnally suggested, I try getting out of my house (I ‘buzz’ on the computer) and out of the workshop, even though I go reverse-commute to work (city to country then back from country to city) and go to a setting where I can sit down, feel my body resting and see the sights, listen to the sounds, smell the aromas etc…..

The thing is, as Chorus stated, we are besieged by thought…..even though we may be able discriminate into our thinking process as it occurs to us (and I do not have too many ‘willy-nilly’ thoughts occuring to me), we are often overcome by ‘cerebral wastage’. I consider myself in a Superbly Lucky position, in that I have time during my day to literally ‘smell the roses’, enjoy the people I meet and take care of all the ‘necessities of life’.

I don’t know whether REB remembers, or others do, that he once said – “You cannot change your fate, but you can actualise it”. In my way of thinking, that means not ‘sinning’ by being off-target in one’s aim to be of benifit to Humankind…..Nigel.

120. sallymcnally - April 1, 2009

Nigel: Great attitude about humanity. Just imagine if all of us put that at the forefront of how we acted towards one another and ourselves what a different world we’d live in. And that it’s even possible. Good stuff. Thanks!

121. nigel harris price - April 1, 2009

121 sallymcnally

Yes! As Krishnamurti stated, “Be practical – expect a miracle”…..Nigel.

122. fofblogmoderator - April 1, 2009

Here’s something from the AP wire. Check out the last paragraph to see the cult counselor they retained.

LATEST NEWS
Experts: Cult member not insane despite odd plea

BALTIMORE (AP) — A former religious cult member who helped starve her son to death believes he will be resurrected, but legal experts say her extreme faith doesn’t make her criminally insane. The mother made an extraordinary deal with prosecutors Monday that her guilty plea to child abuse resulting in death will be withdrawn if her 1-year-old son, Javon Thompson, comes back to life. Law experts and psychiatrists said there was no problem with the agreement because Ria Ramkissoon, 22, was mentally competent and freely entered into the deal, and extreme religious beliefs aren’t deemed insane by law.

“To say that someone is crazy because they have beliefs is very difficult,” said Dr. Jonas Rappeport, a retired forensic psychiatrist and the former chief medical officer for Baltimore Circuit Court. “If I believe that God wants me to starve my child, that gets close to the edge, but it’s very questionable as to calling that an illness that would exonerate someone for a crime.”

The boy died more than two years ago when cult members stopped feeding him because he refused to say “Amen” after a meal, according to a statement of facts. His body was hidden in a suitcase packed with mothballs and fabric softener sheets behind a home in Philadelphia for more than a year.

On Monday, Ramkissoon answered a series of questions from Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy J. Doory about whether she understood what she was doing when she pleaded guilty. A court psychiatrist wrote she was both competent to stand trial and criminally responsible for her son’s death.

David Gray, a law professor at the University of Maryland, said he had never heard of prosecutors making a promise they knew they wouldn’t have to keep. But he couldn’t envision a legal challenge to the plea deal.

The psychiatrist was right to find Ramkissoon competent despite her insistence on her son’s resurrection, Gray said.

“There is a long-standing distinction in the criminal law between fanatical religious belief and hearing commands from God,” he said. “If she just subscribes to extreme religious beliefs, then that’s not insanity. That’s a decision to violate the law.”

The plea deal was a good one for Ramkissoon, who was initially charged with first-degree murder. She received a suspended 20-year sentence and only has to remain in custody until she testifies against four co-defendants who are charged with first-degree murder in her son’s death. She could be out of prison in August, serving about a year behind bars.

“Ria will be out of jail in a matter of a couple months and will still benefit from psychiatric services, cult deprogramming and whatever other services would be beneficial to her,” said her attorney Steven D. Silverman.

Prosecutors are eager to have her testify because their case against the other cult members is largely circumstantial.

The plea agreement also calls for Ramkissoon to meet with Rick Ross, who has studied cults for more than 25 years and counsels former cult members. Ross said cult members often take years to realize how they’ve been manipulated. They exhibit behavior that “seems crazy to us because we’re outside the control of the group and the environment of the group,” Ross said. “In reality, what we’re actually seeing is an individual under undue influence.”

123. Ellen - April 1, 2009

Bruce and Lauralupa thanks to you both for a consistent level of great video music clips.

Yes, and they all must be couscous beings. After all, isn’t life just one big Tagine?

# 123, moderator, chilling story.

124. Mick Danger - April 1, 2009

Today’s lesson from Shri Meher Baba is not about love or forgiveness or self-remembering or interpreting ancient art. (Nor lust, greed or anger, so some of you may wish to just skip it.)
“On one occasion, while discussing false mahatmas and saints, Baba pointed out in a warning tone:
‘Those who pretend to be divine personages or spiritual masters and who have an eye on the riches and women of others should be cut to pieces! There is no sin in doing it. On the contrary, by such a devout act, innocent people are saved from their clutches.'”
-“Written” for this blog over 80 years ago.

125. Kid Shelleen - April 1, 2009

It may yet prove to be true, that the concept of the “Couscous Being” will be the most important spiritual step forward to emerge from the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to PressedPants. As you extend your members into the future and build upon the Ancient wisdom in your pants, never forget that you were the Argonauts jettisoned into the briny broth of shellfish remembering, cast alone and without speech on a distant, desolate Blog, in a galaxy far, far away; saw the signs, read the entrails and correctly identified the latest, greatest Fifth-Way groove-a-lation: The Couscous Being. You may all go back to sleep now, your work here is done.

Sincerely,
G

p.s. Ousepensky’s a punk.

126. Kid Shelleen - April 1, 2009

Ousepensky?

Damn Armenian spell-checker!!

G

127. Panorea - April 1, 2009

And today’s piece of wisdom from me to you:

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

From A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh

128. lauralupa - April 1, 2009

thanks to you Ellen!

“All we ask O Lord
is to be safe
from the rain
just warm
enough in winter
to watch the snow with a smile
enough to eat
so that our hunger will not
turn us to angry beasts
and sanity
enough to make a justice
that will not kill
our love
of life.”

From “To Believe in Man” by Joe Pintauro (another children’s book)

129. brucelevy - April 1, 2009
130. Panorea - April 1, 2009

I am rejoining!

April 1st 2009

131. Walter J. Tanner - April 1, 2009

Does the Fellowship have any mortgages? Or just members?

California’s Yuba County tops in U.S. for ‘underwater’ mortgages

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/65107.html

There’s nowhere tougher in America to be paying a mortgage than Yuba County, says a new lending industry study released Monday.

Nearly 78 percent of the county’s mortgage debt is tied to houses that have lost value and are worth less than what’s owed on them, said New Jersey-based SMR Research in its yearly “Giants of the Mortgage Industry” study.

132. Panorea - April 1, 2009

Yep! There has been a lot of refinancing amongst members to pay the expensive dinners and meetings and support the extravagant life-style of Burton (but we all received soooooooooo much back, didn’t we?).

133. sallymcnally - April 1, 2009

Bruce 130: Took a while to download but great way to start the day. Thanks!

134. Opus 111 - April 1, 2009

#126 Kid

I liked that.

BTW, G’ disciple is referred in FOF as Outoyorpensky, forever an inspiration to divine Bob.

135. nigel harris price - April 1, 2009

135 Opus 111

I always thought Darth Vader was modelled on REB…..remember how, when Luke Skywalker ‘unmasks’ him in ‘Return of the Jedi’ he looked like a FLAGELLATED PENIS…..

To which I expect REB to get an in-the-cult blogger to reply with…..

“The penis mightier than the sword (light-sabre)” Sorry Will S…..Nigel.

136. Ill Never Tell - April 2, 2009

126. Kid Shelleen:

‘greatest Fifth-Way groove-a-lation:’

127. Kid Shelleen:

‘Damn Armenian spell-checker!!’

Spell-checker missed:
That should read ‘Filth-Way.’

And, BTW, a SPELL-checker is just what you need to escape the clutches of the Fellowship of Friends AKA Pathway to Swell Pecker. Damn that lympdixia!

137. ton - April 2, 2009

yesri,
re: less-dicksia — couscous bob & company would benefit from such an ‘affliction’

138. Panorea - April 2, 2009

Why do I get that feeling that J.Kramer and D. Alstad (authors of “The Guru Papers”….) have been spying on the Fellowship for years?

“Power within the group is gained by deepening surrender to the guru, and members reward each other for making the group the priority. Deepening surrender does feel like letting go of the ego and is defined by the guru as spiritual progress. Secrecy and arousing desire are important parts of the seduction. The guru dangles carrots of esoteric knowledge that he will transmit when he deems the disciple “ready.”

Waiting for each new piece of hidden knowledge not only keeps devotees around, but receiving pieces of it (one never gets it all) confirms their worthiness and specialness. Now THEY, too, have knowledge that OTHERS do not.”

AMEN! Some Fellowship members had to wait for 30+ years, but NOW they have the sequence! Yes, what a jewel! And the school empties as months pass , and THEY are the only ones on earth to have that knowledge and understanding! AMEN.

139. elena - April 2, 2009

It also looks like these guys were studying the Fellowship when they wrote this but in fact the Fellowship was the same phenomenon in religion that happened to science!

http://www.elsevier.com/locate/
mehy

Editorial
Zombie science: A sinister consequence of
evaluating scientific theories purely on the
basis of enlightened self-interest
Summary Although the classical ideal is that scientific theories are evaluated by a careful teasing-out of their
internal logic and external implications, and checking whether these deductions and predictions are in-line-with old
and new observations; the fact that so many vague, dumb or incoherent scientific theories are apparently believed by
so many scientists for so many years is suggestive that this ideal does not necessarily reflect real world practice. In the
real world it looks more like most scientists are quite willing to pursue wrong ideas for so long as they are rewarded
with a better chance of achieving more grants, publications and status. The classic account has it that bogus theories
should readily be demolished by sceptical (or jealous) competitor scientists. However, in practice even the most
conclusive ‘hatchet jobs’ may fail to kill, or even weaken, phoney hypotheses when they are backed-up with sufficient
economic muscle in the form of lavish and sustained funding. And when a branch of science based on phoney theories
serves a useful but non-scientific purpose, it may be kept-going indefinitely by continuous transfusions of cash from
those whose interests it serves. If this happens, real science expires and a ‘zombie science’ evolves. Zombie science is
science that is dead but will not lie down. It keeps twitching and lumbering around so that (from a distance, and with
your eyes half-closed) zombie science looks much like the real thing. But in fact the zombie has no life of its own; it is
animated and moved only by the incessant pumping of funds. If zombie science is not scientifically-useable – what is its
function? In a nutshell, zombie science is supported because it is useful propaganda to be deployed in arenas such as
political rhetoric, public administration, management, public relations, marketing and the mass media generally. It
persuades, it constructs taboos, it buttresses some kind of rhetorical attempt to shape mass opinion. Indeed, zombie
science often comes across in the mass media as being more plausible than real science; and it is precisely the
superficial face-plausibility which is the sole and sufficient purpose of zombie science.

140. elena - April 2, 2009

1st of April, 09

She’s in the emergency room after three days and tries to cry as I walk in.
“Welcome to the Club!” and laugh as I look at her who tries to cry.
“I’m not going to take much of your time because I don’t want to tire you but I want to congratulate you for having had the courage to let go”
“Yes” she says with a smile and a tear, relieved and filled with grief, “but it didn’t work, I should’ve taken ninety instead of sixty” and cries.
“No. You’re very fortunate it didn’t work because now you can look at life from the outside”
“But what is there to live for when nothing matters?”
“What dies is the life you’ve been living, not you. When it happened to me I knew I wanted to live even though I had become my own enemy and that is what you must be careful with. It took me two years to quiet that enemy down and twenty to silence it almost completely.”
“Yes, that’s true, but what does one hold on to?”
“Your self: that part of you that IS alive” and continue: “If you want to stay in my place with or without me you’re welcome. It’s important that you give yourself time before you go back to the same story if you ever do go back. People are each running around their own circle and have no idea what happens to you after this. They’ll try to make you turn as you’ve always turned and destroy you if they can. They’d rather destroy anyone who moves out of the spinning than spin in a new way and readapt to the circumstances. As long as they don’t have to make any effort they’ll keep pushing things to their lowest point, blaming you and holding you responsible for what they don’t want to look at.”
As we sit outside with my father and their children and wait for the car to take her to another hospital, fully under control of her self and with a smile, she looks at me and says: “I hold on to things for a long time but when I finally let go, it’s over”.

Driving down the highway with my father after leaving her, he argues intensely…
“You don’t understand father, you will never see the same woman again.”

141. elena - April 2, 2009

For anyone who is not familiar with Reichian psychology, this might be an interesting introduction. The parallels with the system are clear… I think. Sexuality being that taboo subject that was never dealt with in the Fellowship might be a worthwhile subject to take a few layers of taboo from.

Armoring develops in an organism as the result of the inevitable
and inescapable conflicts occurring when the instinctual, pleasure-
oriented impulses that get generated within the core of your being
bump up against the rules, restrictions, constraints, and other
powerful, controlling influences imposed upon you merely by the
fact that you live in a society of other human beings. Because you
are subject to the influences of your parents, your family
members, your friends, your religion, your culture, and all the
other authorities that have sway over you—both during your
formative years and beyond—you will develop armor in order to allow you to cope in the world. That’s a good thing! People will
undoubtedly split hairs over the meanings of words, but armor is
part and parcel of the structure of your ego, your personality,
your character, and your face to the world.

There is no way around developing armor, nor should there be,
although I have observed over the past 15 years that almost every
contributor in this closed-system forum seems to have subscribed to a somewhat elitist (and almost moralistic!) viewpoint that having
an armor at all is somehow bad, unhealthy, or neurotic. This rather
elitist and condescending viewpoint, I think, is a misunderstanding
and a distortion of what Reich pointed out. Just as it is not
possible to exist in the world without an ego or a character, so,
too, it is not possible to live without armor.

From the perspective of psychic health, the larger issue, as I have
come to understand it, is not whether or not you have an armor, but whether your armor is so hardened, so rigid, so fixed, and so
immobile that it controls you, instead of you controlling it. In
Reich’s schema, life energy can flow through a healthy body in
accordance with certain principles of “sex-economy” such that the
life energy will find its natural release in a sexual orgasm.
However, in an unhealthy organism, this life energy will get
blocked in certain, rigidly armored segments of the body, which he
had identified through observation in his therapeutic sessions on
patients, leading to neurosis and to other biopathic forms of
disease, including cancer. Reichian therapy is essentially
designed, then, to free up those areas of the body where life
energy tends to get excessively dammed, or blocked, due to
excessive armoring in that region.
John-Michael Battaglia from orgonomy list

142. sallymcnally - April 2, 2009

http://www.frontiernet.net/~jimdandy/specials/sweettators/

usually my mother sends me all kinds of stuff I don’t even read, but I thought this was pretty funny. at least a good laugh.

143. Tatyana - April 2, 2009

Where can I find the link to the Whalerider’s movie?

144. James Mclemore - April 2, 2009

Tatyana

Go to the top if this page (third paragraph down) click on “WikiSpace”, then look at the left hand menu at Wiki and you will see “petition and video”

145. Wildz - April 2, 2009
146. elena - April 3, 2009

Looks like the blog is running out of fuel and that’s fine with me, I’m ready to let go of it but while that decision is taken here’s some more material to look at that seems interesting particularly because this kind of thinking is so alien to Fellowshippers that it is refreshing! I don’t agree with the following view so I place the questions after but I much enjoy the conviction in it!

“One example of how society would change if a large proportion of members of it became healthy, is that the sexual repression that is so common in this culture would vanish, or at least be sharply reduced. Since that sexual repression is the underlying basis of mystical thinking, religion would tend to wither away.
I am not just referring to organized religions, but to the mystical thinking that they are based on, but which also includes most of the “New-Age” philosophies such as astrology, re-incarnation, Karma, Anthroposophy, and other forms of mysticism too. None of them could long survive the demise of sexual repression.
Neither could mechanistic science, which is likewise based on sexual repression. The mystics distort the sensations they have of life energy in their bodies. The mechanists deny it outright. Both systems of thouight would cease to be important from a social perspective if the population became more healthy.
The world-view of such a society would not necessarily be that of orgonomy, but it would certainly tend in that direction as functional thiniking came to replace mysticism in religion and mechanism in science.”

George Zindaro

Thank you George, that’s an interesting bent on the subject. I enjoy your conviction. When you say that sexual repression is the underlying basis of mystical thinking were would you place the some what “mystical” experience of the world when one does experience a healthy orgasm? “Mystical” in the sense of “wholesomeness” with the world?

Another question I’d be interested in is: do people here conceive of the Earth as a lonely planet from which we receive every influence we are connected to or do you conceive of planetary influences that affect us not only physically but psychologically? If you do conceive of such influences, would you consider them mystical or purely physical? If they do have connection with our psychology, are we dealing with forces that we could term mystical or at least forces of which we understand little? Where would you place them?

One other area I’d like to explore is: did Reich or any of his followers connect sexual energy to the “I” (to call it somehow!!) It is my belief that in depression what suffers is of course, a low level of sexual energy as Reich would understand but the sense of one’s self suffers parallel to the decrease in sexual energy. Is this really true or would we question it in the fact that if we observe porn addicts it is not that their sexual energy is low but that it has deviated into other areas and the depression of the self or the I is still powerful in other areas.

With the unhealthy deviation of sexual energy, what does seem to happen to people is that we lose the ability to experience joy in other areas. As if the experience of joy in life, that simple innocent joy of living for its own sake and without questioning, disappeared. Of course, this is characteristic of all depression, but in those extremes it is easier to see how the energy behaves. Joy would be an aspect but so many forms of imbalance tend to flourish depending on the character.

I guess my question points to understanding the relation between sexual energy and one’s self, one’s “I”. I haven’t read Reich in thirty years so it’s not fresh but I’m not sure he ever actually conceived of the I as a precise area of study which is rather strange because then, how or where would we place the different states that we experience? How many “states” does Reichian psychology conceive of? Depression? Joy? what does it call, “wholesomeness”?

147. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

I feel ready to attempt this again, feeling I have a better sense of what reactions I might receive. This blog seems softer now, more “rational,” but still in my opinion, dualistic. The ideas of the system are good. Not all of them seem to have been phrased very well, for example that brillian post by Anna about that kid who became conscious by doing the sequence and he said how Ouspensky and Gurdjieff got the idea of “will” wrong- f*****g brilliant! I had never thought of that, although it really frees up that part of me that conspired with others in that same misunderstanding. What is will but born of the desire born of Love? In that I see the holy trinity.
What problem there still seems to be in many of the writers of this blog is that in rejecting the fellowship, the relationship to the system gets confused also, as the fellowship and the system are still glued together in the pain of those experiences. I’ve even witnessed a truly rebellious strain, preferring to side with Lilith and the demons rather than look again for the conscious influences that were so often pointed at in the fellowship. Go ahead, say that it was all false, that influence c is an illusion (gasp!) There must have been certain verifications about higher forces working amongst us, with us, through us! How could there not have been? It was as available as melting ice cream on a hot day- eat!! eat!!

148. WhaleRider - April 3, 2009

fence person:
How could there not have been higher forces working amongst us?

Well, that all depends upon how close you were to Burton. It is an inverse proportion in relation to distance.

The conscious forces that were so often pointed at in the Fellowship cult were invariably in a direction away from ourselves. That’s what makes it a cult.

Are you still looking for conscious influence? Picked up a copy of “The Guru Papers” yet as I suggested? You can get a used one on Amazon.com for about $7.50 (which is a far cry from 20-30% of your gross income and you won’t be supporting a rape factory run by a sexual predator of young men.)

Have a nice day!

149. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

I only met Burton once for 5 seconds. I’d be interested to hear other peoples thoughts/feelings/experiences with Influence C.

150. WhaleRider - April 3, 2009

elena:

Since you asked.

“Pioneer bodyworkers, Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen believe that the basic life energy must be discharged through the feet (as well as through orgasm). If this life energy does not have an avenue for discharge, it goes upward to the mind and creates thoughts, dreams, and fantasies. Reich believed that the less life energy was charged and discharged through the body the less feelings could be experienced. Moreover, the greater the inhibition of energy discharge, the greater the tendency to mystify the world. The energy had to go somewhere, so it went “up”, creating fantasies of gods and goddesses in extreme cases. This line of thinking also explains the practice of celibacy among the spiritual: the more celibate the life, the less discharge of life energy; and the less discharge, the more mystification.”

“It is interesting to note that Tantric (Eastern) approach to sex and the Reichian (Western) approach to sex vary quite markedly…In his research on sex and orgasm Wilhelm Reich isolated the orgastic cycle as tension-charge-discharge-relaxation. Success in Reichian Therapy was achieved when a person could reach orgastic potency.

In Tantric sex, by contrast, the sexual charge is not discharged. The cycle of Tantric sex would be compromised of: tension-charge-turning attention toward the sensations and seeing them as made of energy or consciousness-moving to another level of awareness. The Tantric “plateaus” would continue to move “up” by utilizing the sensations and allowing them to spread throughout the body into higher states of understanding (consciousness). The Vijnana Bhairava sates, in essence, that if at the moment of orgasm you were to become introverted, you would experience divine consciousness.”

Pgs. 193, 202, “Trances People Live”, Stephen Wolinsky, Ph.D. 1991

151. waskathleenw - April 3, 2009

Tonight I came across a rough draft, typed transcript of a “teaching” dinner, possibly in San Francisco or thereabouts. I don’t remember how I happen to be in possession of the transcript. It seems to be from 1982. Herewith, a few selected pearls:

One of the reasons higher forces do not wish more people is that it was very difficult for the Absolute to create an astral body, and we are created in God’s image and do not wish heaven to become common.

I believe that when my role is complete I will be having dinner with students who are 20-25 who will live to be 75-100 and my direct living influence should span at least 100-120 years. When one understands this country is only 200 years old and founded by a conscious being, Benjamin Franklin, this seems pretty remarkable.

15 years ago I was ready for anything and virtually everything came, and then I felt like an old something ready to retire from the football field.

(re an unfavorable planetary alignment and attempted and successful assassinations in the news)
We can see how it affected us. We tried to be too perfect. It made us tight and too overly perfect. We have come down one exercise per month for the past eight months. If they shoot the Pope, anything goes.

Feminine dominance is the “original sin”. Adam and Eve story. Shows the scale of feminine dominance.

Travel and communication have made the U.S. more united and the world a community.

I was reading in the paper about a man who was born in 1863 and died yesterday. Lived to be 119 years old.

Curious to look up and see paws on my hands. They look like paws yet we are not our body. Thank goodness we have sleeves and coats and cuff links to elevate us above the animals.

U.S. is first G.N.P. Calif. would be sixth if it were viewed as a nation.

Consciousness is not functions. It took me seven years to get down here. At least I came when I wanted to and not when I should. Makes all the difference in the world.

152. James Mclemore - April 3, 2009

151. waskathleenw

Holy shit!! What a strange and tragic mess of mental processes. It made me feel sad. And this guy still has followers.

153. lauralupa - April 3, 2009

One from the fence 147

Since you asked.

I still experience a strong connection with what Ouspensky might have labeled “the Miraculous” – events like synchronicities, meaningful coincidences, mysterious inspirations and such, coupled with an awed sense of wonder for the sometimes underrated simple miracle of life. This has been a constant in my life before, during and after the FoF experience.

At the same time, I feel no connection with or need for what you call “influence c”, meaning a special brand of spiritual force, consciousness, energy or what you will being appropriated by some form of organized religion or “esoteric school”. And I believe that in general those of us who have moved away from the “Fourth Way” had some very sound theoretical and rational reasons to do so besides rebelliousness or bad memories. To each his own, and to each his own way.

“The Spirit blows where it wills”
I don’t understand why you seem to feel that we should still be hung up on the spiritual experiences and realizations (some true, some so-called) we had while in the FoF, as if they were somewhat more special or “higher” that all the states, insights and lessons that life has offered us before and since. If anything, I feel that most of what I “learned” or “verified” while in the FoF was fallacious, delusional and detrimental to my inner development, and that both my conscience and consciousness have benefited from a gradual process of “unlearning” all that faux-spiritual junk.

PS from what I understand, the poor boy that Anna wrote about did not become conscious but schyzofrenic.

154. James Mclemore - April 3, 2009

149. One from the fence

In regards to your question about Influence C, I have no personal story to share with you, but in order that you might better re-define the question for yourself, so that you can be a bit more specific in what you are looking for, I think you will need to define what you mean when you use the term ‘influence c’, and possibly inspect what experiences you had where you attributed something to what the fellowship of friends calls influence c. Now the definition may have changed since I left in 1979, but when I was there I would say that the term seemed to be a catch-all for any number of things, most of which apparently arose in Robert Burton’s bizarre mind. There was the reading of mailboxes and street signs, license plates, and later I am told, animal droppings for secret information; all of which was orchestrated by this influence c. There was the thinking that Union 76 gas stations were brought into being, again by this influence c, just to let Burton know that he would crystallize as a man number 6 in 1976. There have been a string of ridiculous prophecies that supposedly came from this same influence. There is the idea that this influnce c is at least in part comprised of 44 dead people who were supposedly ‘conscious beings’ that are in contact with Burton, and are invisible to you, but to him are clearly present around him, and on and on and on. Then you might look at the idea that this influence as Robert Burton spoke about it is seen as something completely outside of oneself, not much different really than Christiandom’s old man in the sky, who will bring wrath down upon you, or if you are a good student might give you favors. Then, if you are not already familiar with the term ‘synchronicity’, you might wish to go to wikepedia and do a little reading. You might also want to think about the apparent fact that none of what is mentioned above appears to be even remotely connected with the term that Gurdjieff used. I quite honestly, have no clue as to what you personally mean when you say ‘influence c’.

It sounds as if you are thinking that there is something ‘very special’ happening there in the fellowship of friends that is somehow magically not available elsewhere. That is what you are supposed to think. It is important to Burton that you think that, because it helps to keep the sheep in their pens, so that they can keep making those teaching payments.

155. lauralupa - April 3, 2009

waskathleenw

“we do not wish heaven to become common”

thanks, that’s priceless. And this one’s a classic:

“Thank goodness we have sleeves and coats and cuff links to elevate us above the animals.”

The whole thing reminded me of David Letterman’s Fun Facts. With the difference that these are also a bit tragic…

156. dragon - April 3, 2009

Hello,

after a break:

A wonderful springtime to all!

News from Yuba County (April 02, 2009):

Beachfront developments at center of lawsuit (Appeal Democrat)

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/lawsuit_76011___article.html/investment_house.html

157. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

154. James
Did you go to the fellowship without having had a spiritual experience?

158. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

seems like the only way to be with God is by self remembering- pretty cool, huh? That the only road to God is through the self? Don’t you get that?

159. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

It does seem like the notion that the self is actually one’s denying force got glossed over as “denying force=bad.” Very seductive, yet dumb and shallow thinking- very frustrating that I fell into that, either before reaching the fellowship, during, or after. But not everyone I met there fell for that- actually, I was chided, insulted, scoffed at, etc., many many times for that kind of thinking.

160. lauralupa - April 3, 2009

One from the fence

page 68, post 39

I verified that Robert is conscious, as far as I could.

page 69, post 149

I only met Burton once for 5 seconds.

Would you care to try to reconcile these two sentences? ’cause they sound awkward when placed in close proximity.

161. Yesri Baba - April 3, 2009

“It took me seven years to get down here.”

Burton perpetuating the myth of the individual ‘soul’ coming down from somewhere.

Like he did with much of the fourth way ‘knowledge’- he grafted it on to fundamentalist judeo-christian mythology memes which created a very large pool of ‘marks’. Even if you were not a ‘true believer’ (not mentioning any names) that mythology is so ingrained in much of the populations psyche that his crackpot bullshit was sure to keep him rolling in the dough.

Fence boy, you are a tard.
If you are going to insist on remaining superstitious then maybe you can explain why you are following a system who’s founder named his most influential book ‘Belezebub’s tales to his Grandson’?

162. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

160. I met him face to face for 5 seconds. Earlier in that post I wrote of my experience at the opera whereupon I was awake and observed his attention.

163. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

161. Yesri- I don’t know what you are talking about- maybe God is a superstition for you. Do you have a problem with the name of Gudjieff’s book? I kind of like it- it challenges my ideas of what “good” is.

164. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

Oh, man, I just wrote this huge long thing. It’s pretty freakin’ long. Anybody mind if I post it here?

165. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

Oh, who cares- here it is:

153. lauralupa- thank you, it sounds clear, what you wrote. I don’t disagree.
On the kid who became conscious/schizo- it did seem that from Anna’s description he did become what she herself had sought (her words), although without a grounding element to keep him “sane” enough to handle the physical demands of his life (my interpretation). An excellent book to read that talks about similar phenomena is by Robert Pirsig (he wrote “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintanence,”) called “Lila”- f-ing brilliant. He talks about the necessity of “latching” when faced with realization of objective truth. I’ll leave it at that.

No one (i.e. me) says that a religious organization can “own” God. How gross! It can be a community where the focus on God is condensed and intensified. i.e. I get a beautiful feeling when I go to a “good” church, one whose congregation has a good feeling about God, is happy about God. This is not, I suppose, because the priest or pastor or any members of the congregation are living with conscious intent (not that I would ever take it away from them as a possibility, ever!), but, maybe in work terms, it attracts certain “hydrogens” to the place that bring the attendant listeners of the church closer to a unity of thought and feeling with God. It seems like no one in the fellowship denied the existence of a “finer,” spiritual world- rather, it seemed unthinkable to even question it’s reality- not because anyone was pressuring anyone to believe in God, but because God was understood as a reality. Again- my sole experience was with the NY center- maybe the NY center was unique- some pretty remarkable people there. (yes, I now have learned that most of those remarkable people have bodily left the FOF). I almost feel that this inquiry to stated to those I am thinking of, and who will never read this.

Every religion has pointed to angels: judaism, islam, buddism, freakin’ everybody. Rumi, Rilke. So the idea of angels isn’t new to anyone. What’s unique is putting the idea of an angel with the name of a man who lived a life on the earth in our time and who did not preach any one religion (Walt Whitman, Rilke, Shakespeare, Lincoln, et al), instantly emotionalizing the theory that it is possible for a man to awaken, to create an eternal spirit, because here are specific examples of men and women whose lives resulted in this.

The best of me realizes that that renowned, egoic feeling of specialness can do well to be replaced with an acknowledgement of responsibility. Again- don’t misconstrue that I am saying, “oh, please go join the fellowship again.” I attempted to engage this blog with this question because the workings of higher forces were so apparant to me while there that I wondered what all who read this feel, think, remember about that. If for most of you it was imagination, or tom-foolery, or a trick, or an attempt to enslave you by an evil mastermind, that’s fine. I don’t know the answer to that- that’s why I’m on “the fence” and presenting this question to all. But seeing as though God and/or self-actualization is what really drew most everyone there who had any grasp of In Search of the Miraculous, this seems to be a topic that I haven’t really seen written about here. I know I experienced much God there- and not because anyone told me to.

THIS IS WHAT I MEAN TO SAY-
Simply: what is killing me is that I don’t understand how I could have experienced higher influences so abundantly there when the fact is that **doing things and believing in things that would induce sleep typically eliminated the possibility of those experiences**. Kapish? I don’t experience god when I’m not being true to myself. But I experienced God there. Much. Did any other than me reading this blog experience what they still know for certain to have been something higher than themselves while attending meetings, dinners, being with students? Some things I experienced: suddenly I would you sense I was in an “ascending octave,” or given the gift of understanding that couldn’t have come from my own thoughts, or words came out of my mouth as by force that I did not intend and had a whole scope of meaning above and beyond anything “Jason” could have known. If so, there must have been SOMETHING good about that place. As to wether Robert is a good teacher: it seems painful, his teaching. Some of the things he has said have increased my imagination and make me feel more separate from my self. And that is very troubling!! Very troubling! Other things he said have encouraged my understanding in a positive, useful, and challenging way. But when I read the Self-remembering book, I hear the urgency to awaken in every word. Whether he has a lot wrong about awakening- I don’t know- you all say you do know this- I have no idea why he would do such things as have sex with students, ask mothers to abandon their children, use teaching payments to buy his “boys” extravagant things, and why he would want to spend so much time with boys who were entranced by physical objects over spiritual good, and especially why he would do the exact opposite in his actions than what he demands of his students. It doesn’t make sense to me as it doesn’t make sense to any of you. My question is how his now- infamous actions and the abundance of spiritual influences I experienced there were possible simultaneously.

I experienced angelic influences while attending those meetings, those dinners, while being a member. The experiences became more intimate. I remember that my emotional center was like a child, so handing me, a child, higher emotional center, let alone higher intellectual center, required that I work and suffer for it. Sorry, folks- it seems like this is the way- that we have to earn it by suffering for it. (suffering can be rephrased to mean simply “enduring” or “accepting without complaint”) No one (i.e. me) says anything about rejecting the body! Please, god, know the body! Love the body! But it does seem like in order to grow up enough to be able to handle the responsibility of higher emotional center and higher intellectual center (both of which I can not know very much about in my current state, although I remember very clearly that LOVE is the axle around which they turn), we have to endure hardship, things that challenge our personal statis quo.

166. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

Rephrasing that last sentence: rather than “we have to endure hardship” let’s say, “we have to be challenged.” Thus, the devil is necessary.

167. dragon - April 3, 2009

165. One from the fence

“Sorry, folks- it seems like this is the way- that we have to earn it by suffering for it. (suffering can be rephrased to mean simply “enduring” or “accepting without complaint”) ”

—————————————-

Please try to make an interview with Bill Maher.

It sounds quite religulous!

168. Wouldnt You Like To Know - April 3, 2009

‘In the real world it looks more like most scientists are quite willing to pursue wrong ideas for so long as they are rewarded with a better chance of achieving more grants, publications and status. The classic account has it that bogus theories should readily be demolished by skeptical (or jealous) competitor scientists. However, in practice even the most conclusive ‘hatchet jobs’ may fail to kill, or even weaken, phoney hypotheses when they are backed-up with sufficient economic muscle in the form of lavish and sustained funding.’

It is difficult to get a man
to understand
something when his salary
depends
upon his not understanding it.
Upton Sinclair

169. Bares Reposting - April 3, 2009

146. elena:

‘Looks like the blog is running out of fuel. . .’

Could it possibly be that ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWYG) and that you are your own cause for seeing and being what you observe? Maybe YOU are ‘running out of fuel.’ Have you actually said anything original lately. Are you just taking up space with the endless quoted postings? Does that make you feel real?

170. Jomo Piñata - April 3, 2009

165/Fence

what is killing me is that I don’t understand how I could have experienced higher influences so abundantly there when the fact is that **doing things and believing in things that would induce sleep typically eliminated the possibility of those experiences**

We can have deep spiritual experiences–even while enmeshed in a destructive cult–because we are spiritual beings. In my humble opinion. Your mileage may vary.

171. elena - April 3, 2009

Whalerider,

Thanks for the insight: it’s useful. The way Reich describes an orgasm in The Function of the Orgasm does not seem to be different to the Tantric description although I am aware that Reich tried to avoid the mysticism in the latter. He reduces him self to a purely human experience, no less beautiful in that, but very short-sighted in my opinion, which is why I ask George, the questions I asked.

Bares Reposting,

You seem to have a problem but I am not your problem. I am certainly running out of fuel, thank God! If you’re looking for originality you might try to look for it in your self. My sense of reality does not come from the blog, does yours? But it does give me a picture of where you stand. You don’t like me or anything I say? O.K. Thanks for telling me, I’ll keep it in mind.

The fact that there are four hundred hits lately versus six hundred a few weeks ago, makes me think it’s running out of fuel as well as the fact that some days there are only five or six posts and little of substance but that is as subjective as your appreciation of my posts. At least Wouldn’t you like to know in 168, picked something up from the post on science that you missed. We each pick up what we allow ourselves to be open to! When nothing worth dialoguing is picked up, we are in our “fascist mood”: “Nothing about you or your posts is worth looking at!” You’ve got it strong this time!

I much appreciate most of what you’ve reposted. Thank you for your participation here. I have finally recovered a great deal of what I lost in the Fellowship and no longer feel as vulnerable to react to posts like yours with aggression. What is there to defend when you can’t touch what matters?

I would be interested to hear what you’re reacting to though. The subject of sex? Of people destroying other people? Reichian approaches to religion? The mechanicality of science? I don’t know if they are original but they are subjects that you don’t seem to be able to perceive in any degree. Does it not make you wonder why?

172. Kid Shelleen - April 3, 2009

Dear Fence:

To paraphrase Mr. Lennon:

C-influence is a concept by which we measure our pain.

For the Record, I now have ten conscious beings who work directly with me:

Murray Kaplan Julie Retmer
Edward Pastone Antonio Dolce
Drew Felton Sally Cretchmere
Carmen Plisak Noel Coward
Choy-So Hop Brenda Lassiter

It’s funny, though, that none of them are famous (except Noel Coward), yet each of them suffered through life and attained the same thing.

I also recommend you go see the movie Synecdoche, New York and report back on your impressions. It isn’t objective Art, but what the hell is these days?

173. Mick Danger - April 3, 2009

Today’s lesson from Sri Meher Baba is cancelled.
Feel free to enjoy life with the benefit of any special esoteric knowledge.
But going back: What should be done with those who advocate for these false mahatmas? I wonder if “cut to pieces” should be taken literally? Stick around there may be something to learn anyway.

174. Mick Danger - April 3, 2009

Should be “…without the benefit….” Feel free with or without.

175. Tatyana - April 3, 2009

A few days ago I had a friend over for dinner. He is a happy FOFer – not on the fence or anywhere near the fence. He said that the reason why FOF has so many critics and skeptics is because it does not speak intellectual language, meaning logic. It speaks the language of emotional center ( or higher emotional center) which is disregarded by intellect as an absurd. But a reality of a human being cannot be completely explained of fulfilled by logic.

We watched a little bit of Religulous film with him. He seems to like it, but he did not stay long enough to continue the debate… That movie demonstrates exactly that point. It is very clever and very funny, it puts the light on a lot of absurdities and stupidities of the believers. But is it a limited perspective on a more complex situation?

At one point “Jesus Christ” won an argument by saying that the Trinity is like 3 stages of water – different yet the same. The author had to think for a few minutes until he figured out that it is BS.
This “logic is the limitation of the intellectual center” got me for a little longer than 2 minutes…

p.s. Thanks for the link

176. Yesri Baba - April 3, 2009

We are spiritual BEING.

It is not a question of having spiritual experiences, it is in the INTERPRETATION of them. Experience of the self can easily be used against the self. This is what happens in destructive cults.

The example of the ‘higher emotional center’ horseshit vs. intellect and logic is a prime example of the fucked up superstitious thinking that goes on in that retard factory.

Fence boy you better start using a little intellect and logic or you’ll find yourself in a cul-de-sac of ass fucking retardation for the rest of your life.

(I mean a worse cul-de-sac)

177. somebody - April 3, 2009

Here is a recent photograph of a mariachi dinner in our dear Goethe Room. I probably use the individual work ‘I’s more than I do the sequence. That is why there are thirty of them. Look with presence while you are driving; Hear with presence while you are driving. One work ‘I’ that is not on the list, and which I have just begun to use, is Rinse when rinsing my mouth from toothpaste. Rinse with presence. It is better than Move.

178. Mick Danger - April 3, 2009

Tatyana – He can’t be that happy an FOFer if he is socializing with the likes of you.

179. somebody - April 3, 2009

The sign says, “Stewards of the Past,” referring to the Indians, the Mesoamericans—the stewards of the past. My hand pointing to the sign has a similar feeling to that of God in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.

180. Kid Shelleen - April 3, 2009

Re: Mariachi Dinner Photo.

Once again, I’m struck by the fact that Bobby and Prince shop at the same clothing store. Or, perhaps, he buys them from Prince, second-hand after the tours are finished and has them altered.

181. dragon - April 3, 2009

esp. for lauralupa
and all who can enjoy the beauty of our dreams.

http://www.ajubel.com/studio/ilustracion.html

please scroll down, it is pure beauty and also a kind of spiritual experience! We are all Robinson Crusoe!

182. sallymcnally - April 3, 2009

#177: I believe some folks, REB and the 2nd diner from him are intentionally not showing any teeth if I’m not mistaken (an exercise in presence).

183. Tatyana - April 3, 2009

182. I remember once at the dinner on one of the pictures shown he smiled and his teeth were visible. The comment was something like this: “Here I am showing four teeth”

… nobody laughed…

184. lauralupa - April 3, 2009

“Simply: what is killing me is that I don’t understand how I could have experienced higher influences so abundantly there when the fact is that **doing things and believing in things that would induce sleep typically eliminated the possibility of those experiences**. Kapish? I don’t experience god when I’m not being true to myself. But I experienced God there. Much. Did any other than me reading this blog experience what they still know for certain to have been something higher than themselves while attending meetings, dinners, being with students?”

One from the fence, don’t let these apparent contradictions “kill you”! Like my bro Jomo, I believe that since you are at heart spiritual, you can have spiritual experiences in any sort of external setting. Finding yourself in a situation with like-minded individuals aspiring to spiritual states helped you to open up and perceive those moment of grace. The fact that the cult is in itself fucked-up doesn’t mean that you were not being true to your self and your higher ideals while you were a member. I have had spiritual experiences similar to yours as a “student”, and so have many others. Some may have even attained enlightenment while being FoF members, as far as I know! As I quoted before, the spirit blows where it wills, and the fence is only in your mind.

What we are contending here is the fact that, in spite of all its members’ combined high hopes and aspirations, the FoF setting has been and is becoming evermore an unhealthy place to find oneself in, since it is rotten at the core and plagued by lies and deceit, unresolvable contradictions and unacknowledged abuse. So, even if the magic feeling of being part of a shared spiritual community works for a while, after some time people find themselves in a rut, unable to make any real spiritual progress, and finally end up steering in the opposite direction of light and backing up into a “cul-de-sac of ass fucking retardation” (thanks YB).

If I were you, I wouldn’t soend too much time agonizing over the past, but ask myself what inner and outer forces have contributed to take those spiritual experiences and feelings of connection to the divine away from you, and how to get the spark back without resorting to that deluded little cult in Oregon House.

185. Tatyana - April 3, 2009

183. Maybe the whole “teeth exercise” was created just because Robert has only 4 front teeth left and he does not want to look obvious when he tries not to show it?

186. Ill Never Tell - April 3, 2009

One from the fence:

There goes Jason, sitting on a fence, trying to make a dollar out of ninety-nine cents.

187. dick moron - April 3, 2009

N E W S F R O M T H E F U T U R E
April 3, 2019
Man number 11 and light of the world, Bob “Big Gums” Burton, poses in the weed-infested former rose garden of his home in the foothills of Yuba County, California. Burton, once known for his big, toothy smile, has fallen onto hard-times since membership in his “only true school on earth” has shrunk to 3 members, comprised of his former man servant and two elderly female fund-raisers. Burton flashes the number 4 with both hands, reportedly a gang sign to warn others of the consequences of messing with “C-Influence.”

188. Panorea - April 3, 2009

Hilarious dick moron….Thanks for the laugh!

189. Panorea - April 3, 2009

177. Somebody.

I’ll say a little prayer tonight; thanking God for not being part of that joke any more…

190. Panorea - April 3, 2009

One from the fence:
“I don’t experience god when I’m not being true to myself. But I experienced God there. Much. Did any other than me reading this blog experience what they still know for certain to have been something higher than themselves while attending meetings, dinners, being with students?”

You do realize you are limiting yourself by saying you experience God while attending meeting, dinners and all the merry-go-round of the Fellowship, do you? Have you tried anything else? I had my own experiences of “presence” before I joined the Cult and I still have them after I left it. It is not conditional. Life and Blessings and Love are not conditional. You need to question group psychology here. Another issue to consider is the kick one gets by “surrendering” to something which calls itself divine. And another one, is to consider and face your own desire to find something magical, extraordinary, angelic, eternal and project it to an individual or institution.

The agony and the ecstasy, Burton used to say.

I’ve said it before, fellowship members self-medicate. They think the Fellowship is the best place for them to have a better,more conscious life, to alleviate pain, to become a better human being. But, they do not look into their depths, they do another sequence, divide their attention and life moves a day further. It leaves them emptier and they cling on to their leader for safety and support.

How can you talk about someone you have hardly spent time with? Burton keeps people at a distance in order to keep up with the picture each one projects on him. Most members do not want to have a closer connection with him because they know they cannot handle the truth. In that way, it remains a desire, a longing and this is a drug in itself.

191. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

175. Logic might be the limitation of the intellect because logic still is not Love. It’s an excellent too if someone is trying to get one over on you. Love might sacrifice one’s rational thinking in Love (i.e. knowing one will get hurt, or being “unfair to oneself” in the face of another).

192. Panorea - April 3, 2009

Good night!

Where is the Love? Practice what you preach…

193. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

I feel that Spock from Star Trek exemplifies the limitations of Reason and logic.

194. WhaleRider - April 3, 2009

Fence Person:

“Love might sacrifice one’s rational thinking in Love (i.e. knowing one will get hurt, or being “unfair to oneself” in the face of another).”

You mean puppy love.

195. One from the fence - April 3, 2009

194. mmm, well, maybe a small kind of love could be considered of the puppy sort. I’ve surely felt that one a lot in my life, ambling clumsily after someone, wagging my tongue between blushes. Embarrasment hardened me to that, though, and now I’m plenty Spock-like in the face of that kind of thing, at least on the surface. Sad.

196. Tatyana - April 3, 2009

“Love might sacrifice one’s rational thinking in Love (i.e. knowing one will get hurt, or being “unfair to oneself” in the face of another).”

On the fence, if you believe (or verified) that there are 3 brains (at least) in you such as emotions (love and such), intellect (reasoning), and the instincts (the body) then you will agree that there is a lot of confusion in communicating clearly what brain is talking. According to Gurdjieff our centers are in an abnormal state and need to be balanced.

It sounds to me as if you are familiar with very intense emotions. It resonates in me because I know also how emotions (sometimes destructive) can overrule all my other functions.

In FOF there is a lot of means to get emotionally intense. If you need this kind of experience – go ahead. In my case – I am done. Finito. I want normality. Love can peaceful, emotions can be healthy. Joyful. No need for pain.

Thank God for the reason! Thank god for the therapists, psychologists and such. How you feel is very closely connected with how you think.

197. Tatyana - April 3, 2009

On the fense. One more thought.
This picture from dinner with Robert… It looks nice, beautiful room, people are well dressed and smiling. Ah… so much Love! I could buy it earlier because I did not know that what you see is NOT what you got. Every one there goes thru some absolutely crazy shit in their lives that they themselves created (but blame on C influence). Because they are brainwashed. Whatever miracles you felt in FOF, you probably could feel in any mental institution.

198. Tatyana - April 3, 2009

That young fellow on the picture behind the table in the doorway is 19 y.o. son of a Russian student who sent him to replace himself. His job was not only to screw Robert a few times a week but after it to suck his big toe all night together with another Russian guy. How do you like it?

199. lauralupa - April 3, 2009

dragon 181, very nice, many thanks!

200. lauralupa - April 3, 2009

tatyana 198
that last bit of info made my stomach turn. I wonder what your happy FOFer friend thinks of it…

201. Tatyana - April 3, 2009

200. He thinks the usual – none of his business. And he does not like to talk about it. I tried a few times, but stoped.

202. ton - April 3, 2009

on the fence,
off the wall…
after reading the nonsense you’ve been posting i come away with the impression that you are a very confused young man

203. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

196. A lot of responders to me keep trying to pretend that I am seeking or looking really hard for some particular type of experience. This is an assumption you all make. I have verified that it’s difficult to be awake when it’s just me, in the regular world, amongst people who don’t know about the effort to remember themselves. Not that I haven’t learned a great deal of truth simply by talking. As Gudjieff said, we have to by sly, get truth from a story someone tells, a joke, two dogs playing together in a park, etc. But I’m more awake and more conscious of what KIND of effort is required when amongst friends who themselves are making the effort to ignore their mind activity for the sake of mental, emotional and physical presence. In my acting class the aim is “to respond truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” In this class, the goal is basically external consideration: to place one’s attention on one’s acting partner, thus leaving oneself open to respond truthfully, and not from one’s mental constructs! It is so seemless with the Gurdjieff work, I feel lucky to have found it. And this is so much what I expect, so much what I want, to simply be more and more free of my egoic-mind in order to live more truthfully, more deeply. The mind is an armor to reality. How can anyone ignore this fact?

204. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

6th line above should read that I’ve learned a great deal of truth simply by talking to regular people, connecting with them in the place they are real, learning their truth, their wisdom- my massage clients, co-workers- if I am free in how I respond to life, life feels more free to open and express it’s truth.

205. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

196. Tatyana- and not to say that I don’t need the mind. Of course, otherwise I’d be dead. Otherwise, i’d have no means to stand up for myself when needed, not means to direct my physical existence in a productive way in life. But it does seem to be the thing people, myself, get fixated on while reality is constantly there, gently or forcefully tugging at one’s attention, saying, “Here! I’m here! I’m here!!”

206. Tatyana - April 4, 2009

205. from the fence,

It’s all good, we all are suckers for being present. But one needs to balance the centers too. Imagine if someone will tell you every five minutes: “Be here! Are you here? Hei, wake up! Be present.” It is not balanced..

Besides, one very instinctively clever but mentally ill man figured out that this is what people love to hear most of all is “Be present my dears.” And after he says this, he ads “Gods are doing more then they can to help you to be even more present” – after that he can do anything he wants with them.

Part of one’s waking up process is an ability to see one’s stupidity, mechanicality, dysfunction etc.

But in FOF being present means looking away from the problems and pampering each other with flattery and nonsense aka magical thinking.

207. brucelevy - April 4, 2009

203. One from the fence

Then what the fuck are you doing here, besides spiritually masturbating for all to see. Have you no shame?

208. nigel harris price - April 4, 2009

These last day’s postings have seen a lot of what Gurdjieff would call “Pouring from the empty into the void.”…..Nigel.

209. ton - April 4, 2009

203 on the fence/off the wall
speaking of, as you say “responding from one’s mental constructs!” you leave us with a a real doozie when you write: “I have verified that it’s difficult to be awake when it’s just me, in the regular world, amongst people who don’t know about the effort to remember themselves.”

this ‘notion’ is one of the tendrils of ‘the system’ — this idea is a part of what keeps you asleep and huddled in your little cult.

forget the “mental constructs’ — based on your writing here you are plainly and simply ‘mental’

210. brucelevy - April 4, 2009

208. nigel harris price

You got it.

211. elena - April 4, 2009

The one from the fence sounds like pure Fellowship propaganda trying to convince people out of fear for influence C like Robert does inside, but nobody notices in the fantasy of lalaland. They’re all sucking his toe during the daylight too.

212. somebody - April 4, 2009

My hand pointing… has a similar feeling to that of God in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.

213. nigel harris price - April 4, 2009

212 somebody

…..except the hand of REB is all ‘furry’! Do the FOFfers all cum from the ape’s?!…..Nigel.

214. nigel harris price - April 4, 2009

The picture-link of members enjoying a dinner with REB gave me a real shudder! Just recalling how we (and I include myself here) used to pose and feel ‘puffed up’ (as love is not – 1 Corinthians 13) about being included in a special club ‘on the way to Heaven’. Except these days, I expect there are more people with more money than sense having their ‘ears tickled’ by this false prophet…..Nigel.

215. nigel harris price - April 4, 2009

210 bruce levy

Did we ever meet in the FOF?…..Nigel.

216. nigel harris price - April 4, 2009

215

I was an English vain-naive-fearful Solar-Saturn-Mars at the time of the FOF. I definitely look more Jovial now!!!!!…..Nigel.

217. fofblogmoderator - April 4, 2009

146 is newly moderated

218. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

Gosh, so much name calling! I’ve been called a shill for the FOF, mental, a tard, amidst other jewels to add to the thick crust of my wounded heart. Don’t you ever have unexplainable experiences and feel the need to air them out publicly to see what is real and not real about them? I experience subtle perceptions! If you don’t, then you have nothing to say about this matter- most of you seem to feel that an interactive 3rd force/C Influence/God is hocus pocus!

219. fofblogmoderator - April 4, 2009

#219 One From The Fence-

Many of the contributors here have not called you any names but have engaged you in conversation and tried to share their own personal thoughts with you.

Regarding your statement; “Don’t you ever have unexplainable experiences and feel the need to air them out publicly to see what is real and not real about them?”

I may have what I consider to be unexplainable experiences, but I personally feel no need to “air them out publicly to see what is real and not real about them.”

220. nigel harris price - April 4, 2009

“When your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme…..” , from the movie ‘Dumbo’.

There is something ULTIMATELY WORTHWHILE about going through the “pulling and hauling” (Whitman) to reach the Openness of One’s Self in The Path Of Fate. For God’s sake, I have suffered a major mental illness for much of my adult life (and it still needs ‘tweaking’ and ‘checking in’ with the medical authorities), have had two business failures before this and we are now in the beginning stages of a major financial recession….BUT…..the Academy of Precious Metal Arts is now a ‘going concern’ and thriving! There is no authoritarian father figure telling me that I am a ‘good householder’ or a ‘good businessman’ or that I should ‘remember myself always and everywhere’, as REB did when I was going into a ‘financial dive’ in California, leading to my ‘release’ from the FOF in 1989. My dad still thinks that APMA can be treated like a steady job, but I just let his comments ‘go by the board’ and carry on ‘rolling with the punches’.

I think that the word – DREAM – is, perhaps, one of the most underrated in the English language. I remember C—–a H—n remarking that I was ‘more than a silversmith’ after we had been corresponding after my getting out of the FOF (something to do with earning a living that can make you able to afford teaching payments!?). The thing is, after a while, you realize that you should be just what you are, even – YES – in a social and working-life sense. Rodney Collin remarked that it could be by pursuing the deepest desires of one’s essence that consciousness may be achieved. He also said ” To one’s own self, one must come”.

“Just what you want to be, you will be in the end” – (Moody Blues ‘Nights in White Satin’ from ‘Days of Future Passed’)…..Nigel.

221. nigel harris price - April 4, 2009

219 One from the Fence

C’mon – let us know what essential desire you would like nourished or what burning question you would like addressed with stimulating dialogue, rather than expecting your ‘fluffy little coat of false personality’, which seems to only consist of endearing idiosyncracies, to be patted…..Nigel.

222. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

220. So, despite this overtly public forum, you, the MODERATOR! are asking me, rather, NOT to be public with my questions. Seems a little one sided. I’m having a hard time understanding your role, now.

223. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

219. Your snide, snippy remarks- are they true personality, Nigel?

224. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

210. Ton No where in any of my writings have I explicitly spoken in utter favor of anything. I’ve simply tried to relay my experiences and say, “I have experienced this.” This is my best attempt at being objective, and if there are places in any of my posts that have included perceptions that were effected by other people’s perceptions, they are very rare. Read them again, and try to read them as simply someone’s re-telling of their own personal experiences.

In regards to the “tendrils of the system,” I was referring to schools in general, not necessarily the FOF. It helps me to be around other people who are doing the same thing as me. Why do you have a problem with that?

225. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

207. Tatyana
But in FOF being present means looking away from the problems and pampering each other with flattery and nonsense aka magical thinking.

I got that, too. I tried to come back a year ago, and the guy who called me was benjamin moore in the NY Center. I knew him to be irrationally, negatively identified with me in that past, without much personal experience with me at all, and when I asked him about this, he said, “Let’s be present now.” I fell for it. I can in a way see the sense of this (wait for the “but”- I’m going to tell you why I can see the sense and then I’m going to say, “but…”) as Eckart Tolle said, “Your presence dissolves your past.” “But” I think of Rilke and Whitman, and, oh my god, Shakespeare, who could not have written what they did without sensing all that they are inside of them. Imagine writing a single line of Shakespeare without acknowledging the shadowy sides of existence?

226. Panorea - April 4, 2009

One from the fence – April 4, 2009

Well, it is nice to have you around. Not all of us cal you names, and I personally do not mind others calling names…let them be, they might be trying to tell you something.

I understand you left the Fellowship and either rejoined or playing with the idea to rejoin?

In your posts you talk as if you still use the Fellowship terminology. That new language we had to learn in order to communicate the extraordinary experience. I challenge that language and the reasons behind its invention. In the first place, it emphasizes and feeds the beau monde society of the Fellowship which focuses on the appearances. In the second place, it isolates and alienates one. You seem fascinated about the ideas of C-influence, alchemy and all that rubbish. The challenge for me and others here is that we went through that. We talked and believed the nonsense. Now, I am at that stage that I see the harm of the exposure. So, be patient and try to understand you are writing to a group of people whose probably common ground is disillusionment (and this is quite gently expressed…).

What is it that you want? Can you re-state your distress? Some will try again to communicate their experience and perceptions.

227. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

What is it that I want.

228. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

I don’t know if this sounds gay or what ever, but I really just want to be real, all the time, in everything. As long as I’m real, nothing else can get to me.

229. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

I know that being angry is just a cover for feeling hurt, and it burns me worse than anything, so that has to go. And I’m constantly freakin’ talking to god knows who in my mind and when I stop doing that, I feel like I’m free. So, I want to be free and to feel what I feel.

I want to stand up straight in myself.

I seem to put a lot of stress on my friendships, so I’d like to be better about that- stop being so needy. And that probably means really loving myself, and not being calloused or cynical toward what I think, feel, and want to do, so that I don’t need that from my friends.

I want to do lots of different kinds of art! Play guitar, draw, write, cook, act, sing, and to heal people of the very things that cause a rift between themselves and their true selves, themselves and Love.

I want to live a fullfilling life enmeshed with friends I truly love, admire, respect, am infuriated by, etc.

And I want to be an immortal God.:-) Just kidding. I do want to master my self in the name of Love. I’ve forgotten this one most of all.

230. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

And I want to have a little more sex, if possible.:-) Really, though, being real covers all of it. Being, y’know? Being real. The old “I am.”

231. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

so… what is it that YOU want, Panorea?

232. Panorea - April 4, 2009

Great list One from the fence.

Do you think you can get it all by following a leader who has 19 year old boys sucking his old toes? Do you get a feeling of “I am” then? I think if you were to watch the scene, you would get a “third state”, a feeling of “I am.” There are also other extreme manifestations that can bring that feeling. You can try to murder an animal, for example…It will be the agony and the ecstasy. You can try to smash someone’s face.

This is where the Fellowship programming enters, you see. They will avert their faces from the act, tell you that you are asleep, under feminine dominance, not aware of what a being who has attained higher levels of consciousness perceives and how he acts from those spheres that have no negative halves. And the nonsense continues.

There are many descent human beings who try to communicate their experiences with God (or any other word you want to use here…) and they do not try to exploit you. Especially this century, there is so much freedom and possibilities in any “esoteric” experiment. And some are “stuck” with old Bob having them suck various parts of his body.

233. Panorea - April 4, 2009

I have what I want to have… Sorry, do not need that much!

234. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

And why I’m perplexed: How is it that I had the experience of invisible forces acting upon me, breaking me down and revealing often ugly, often beautiful truths, yet in a school/cult/community whose leader does crazy shit, and says things that put me into imagination as much as he says things that help me to live with more intent and consciousness? There was something going on there, I don’t have a doubt in my mind about this. There were freakin’ invisible beings working at every meeting in NY. They often acted in me. Call me crazy! It’s irreconcilable with the brain.

235. One from the fence - April 4, 2009

234. Really? Man, you are zen, yo! Maybe it is ego-greed, to want those things. I feel like they are inside of me and want to be actualized like children children being born. But, yeah, I’m addicted to the world, still. Hope to not be.

236. Jomo Piñata - April 4, 2009

230/Fence

I know that being angry is just a cover for feeling hurt

Sez who?

and it burns me worse than anything, so that has to go.

Anger is your friend. She’s got something to tell you, something important, about where you begin and end. You aren’t going to get rid of her. She’s hard-wired to you.

And I’m constantly freakin’ talking to god knows who in my mind and when I stop doing that, I feel like I’m free.

You just emerged from your family of origin. You’re going to be talking to that set of experiences for a long, long time and extricating who *you* are from that set of experiences for a long, long time. Accept it. Better yet, get a handle on it. There’s a certain amount of pain to be borne. Bear it intentionally and deliberately, head on, and heal quicker.

So, I want to be free and to feel what I feel.

A fair aspiration.

I want to stand up straight in myself.

And not be dominated by shame.

I seem to put a lot of stress on my friendships, so I’d like to be better about that- stop being so needy.

This is the woundedness that needs healing.

And that probably means really loving myself

Yes. What would that mean?

I want to do lots of different kinds of art! Play guitar, draw, write, cook, act, sing

Art is a bandage over the wound in your heart. In my humble opinion. We discover healing and wholeness in making art.

and to heal people of the very things that cause a rift between themselves and their true selves, themselves and Love

Good aspiration. Its realization is a long way away. Put it in your back pocket and don’t forget that it’s there.

I want to live a fullfilling life enmeshed with friends I truly love, admire, respect, am infuriated by, etc.

We are on the same team.

I do want to master my self in the name of Love. I’ve forgotten this one most of all.

Ideological formulations are the most forgettable, with good reason: They don’t refer to anything real or possible.

237. ton - April 4, 2009

225 on the fence

i don’t need to re-read your posts, once is more than enough, i get the gist…. my point about revealing some of your ‘mental constructs’ seems to have struck a nerve…. as far as being ‘objective’ about your own personal experiences, the problem imo is that this is all being seen and filtered through a lens that’s skewed and smudged by your exposure to the fof and ‘the system’ — this is evidenced and obvious from the language you use, for example your use of the word ‘objective’ here, and ‘verification’ and ‘c influence’ and etc.

come on now fence sitter, it seems to me that in general you are being disingenuous here… i’ll ask you directly: are you in or are you out of the fof? what exactly is your current ‘relationship’ with/to the fof?

another example of disingenuousness when you write: “In regards to the “tendrils of the system,” I was referring to schools in general, not necessarily the FOF. It helps me to be around other people who are doing the same thing as me. Why do you have a problem with that?”

imo the fof is not a school, it’s a cult, plain and simple… so what are you talking about? i thought we were talking about the fof… it seems to me this is an attempt to deflect and re-direct attention by equating the fof with ‘schools in general.’

to answer your question here, i don’t necessarily have a problem with the association of like-minded people, to each their own…. but we are talking about the fof here, right? i think if the ‘association’ goes to extremes and it involves elements and effects of hoodwinking, mind/behavior control and manipulation as in the case of the fof (and cult mentalities in general), then it’s a problem… a big part of the problem in this case is that the situation is not recognized as a problem by the ‘associates’ who are enmeshed in and support the organization…. to be fair, the fof doesn’t have a monopoly on this sort of problem, but it’s a damned clear example.

238. lauralupa - April 4, 2009
239. ton - April 4, 2009

mmm… food

235 on the fence

“There were freakin’ invisible beings working at every meeting in NY. They often acted in me. Call me crazy! It’s irreconcilable with the brain.”

dear crazy,
(i still prefer ‘off the wall’) — but you see, it IS reconcilable. here’s a ‘grope:’ the human proclivity to search for meaning, in combination with the effects of belief and the inevitable concomitant ‘rationalizations’ to support belief, all in conjunction with ‘the power of suggestion’ which is put into operation and to ‘good’ use by the cult and ‘the system.’ (this is not to deny that there are unknown and ‘invisible’ realms… but this fact simply plays a part in the cult’s manipulation of the sheeple).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_thinking

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241. Mick Danger - April 4, 2009

Can you say “center of attention”?
Mission accomplished.

242. fofblogmoderator - April 4, 2009

241 is newly moderated

243. ton - April 4, 2009

so simple, a child can do it….

244. WhaleRider - April 4, 2009

ADVERTISEMENT:

You didn’t happen to mention that the price for the fof “Normalizer” is your sanity and a few quarts of semen.

245. Panorea - April 4, 2009
246. Tatyana - April 4, 2009

Lauralupa. Thank you for the video. A lot of food…

247. elena - April 5, 2009

There’s a subtle but significant damage that I’ve been observing about cult life related to the practice of pretending to be present as a mental exercise in which people become not conscious but self conscious.

The prolonged activity of trying this disenables the individual practicing it from the capacity to consider the future or the unexpected spontaneously, which is why cult members become increasingly more dependant on cult life. Instead of living “focused” in themselves and their lives, cult members live “spaced-out” which is one of the reasons why readapting to life out of the cult is so difficult until they retrain them selves to connect past, present and future fluidly. It also seems to account for the need of those in positions of authority in the cult, to PLAN events way ahead and each moment of their lives in their daily schedules. Without the script they are lost and unexpected events create great confusion. This is also a practice by those in power in concentration camps.

Steadily the member adapts to the cult rhythm relying on it for his or her sense of security and the over emphasis on the guru’s importance gives the emotionality that is taken away from the spontaneity of life. While all the inner circle tries to keep a tight schedule and behaviour the guru tries to keep everyone on their toes repeating the same drill over and over again but conditioned to the guru’s whims.

The inability to experience genuine emotions seems to be connected to this: the emotional centre is trained to excite itself with the guru’s presence and events. The inability to connect to other member’s suffering due to the submission to acts against their integrity is also connected to this trained emotional centre, in which the submission is not acknowledged as submission but as a necessary and even desired sacrifice justified by the aim of awakening. The intellectual centre is so trained that the I of the individual will not allow it to formulate events in their accurate perspective but gives them a turn in which the guru’s acts are consistently justified.

The longer the I of the individual submits its functions or centres to the cult behaviour the more strongly the I weakens and becomes increasingly dependant on the “programmed centres” to maintain the cult behaviour against the individual’s integrity or self or I. Everything seems to run smoothly at least in the external life of the cult but the individual becomes increasingly weaker and depressed. The longer he or she relies on the centres to perform the functions expected by the cult, the less he himself needs to be present and the whole show runs on the guru’s demands and commands. The renunciation to “choosing” one’s responses to life at every instance, weakens the will of the cult member to the point in which he becomes absolutely dependent on the cult. There is no need for will when every event and aspect of their lives has already been designed for the cult members. They submit their will when they accept to behave as the guru demands, the moment they enter the cult. This weakening of the will is the cause of the depression. It is the effect on the I’s “quality of being”. (I realize we are not used to this language but it is the closest I can get to explain it). When the will is submitted, if we understand will as a quality of the I, other qualities of the I are affected such as the ability to perceive life spontaneously from the emotional, moving or instinctive centres. Everything in the cult must cross the “formatory apparatus” not the whole of the intellectual centre. Only the part that has been indoctrinated is needed, disenabling the rest of the brain so that no matter what demand or command from the guru can be justified and digested as the cult doctrine imposes. All the functions are affected by the cult’s conditioned behaviour to such an extent that the individual finally becomes a perfect automaton able to perform the dictates of the guru with blind conviction. Although he or she has no will of his or her own, the guru’s will, who has succeeded in dominating the member completely, is acting through him or her as one would understand in a form of “possession”. This “possession” is what gives the apparent absolute conviction of the person involved, conveying to the onlooker that he or she is acting by her or his own will. There is no such a thing. The member is actually “possessed” by the guru’s will and has successfully atrophied his own will to an almost irrecoverable condition. While his I or personal integrity suffers from the phenomenon with acts of violence, depression or similar in his or her private life, the guru’s energy is consistently renewed. The member is a disposable source of energy for the guru and his or her sacrifice is seen as the ultimate success of work on his or her self. This aim is established in the idea that a man must die to him self before he can live a conscious life inviting to extreme acts that are interpreted as necessary sacrifices to reach the goal.

In the particular case of the Fellowship, Girard told me that Robert had the ability to use Girard’s physical energy, which was one of the reasons why he was so depleted. He was very proud of being able to supply Robert with that energy even at his own cost. Everyone in the Fellowship goes through a similar grinder in different degrees. The more committed, the more convicted.

I

248. X-ray - April 5, 2009

229. One from the fence – April 4, 2009
‘I don’t know if this sounds gay or what ever, but I really just want to be real, all the time, in everything. As long as I’m real, nothing else can get to me.’

You do need someone if you want to fuck or to get fucked, but you don’t need any one if you want to be real.

249. The FOFion - April 5, 2009

Obama Threatens to send Burton to North Korea as Punishment for Missile Test

SEOUL, South Korea (ARK) – North Korea fired a rocket over Japan on Sunday, defying world leaders who suspect the launch was a cover for a test of its long-range missile technology. President Barack Obama warned the move would further isolate the communist nation.

Fellowship Teacher Robert Burton, meanwhile, has re-issued his predictions for nuclear war.

“Hydrogen warfare will destroy the earth in November 2006, er, I mean November 2010,… Oh, never mind,” Burton said this weekend. “In any case, we will be ready. We will move works of art from around the world to Renaissance, er, I mean Isis, er, excuse me, I mean Apollo. Our school is the highest on the earth since the time of Christ. We will be an ark for a new civilization. Make sure you stay in the Fellowship, dears, or the gods will punish you with nuclear fallout.”

Liftoff took place at 11:30 a.m. (0230 GMT) from the coastal Musudan-ri launch pad in northeastern North Korea, the South Korean and U.S. governments said. The multistage rocket hurtled toward the Pacific, reaching Japanese airspace within seven minutes, but no debris appeared to hit its territory, officials in Tokyo said, except for a few daily cards.

“What is a daily card, and who is Burton?” Obama asked one of his aides during a press conference. “Whoever he is, he’s fired, along with that auto company CEO. But please… no $22 million dollar severance check, okay?”

The U.N. Security Council approved an emergency session for Sunday afternoon in New York, following a request from Japan that came just minutes after the launch.

Sunday’s move was a bold act of defiance against President Barack Obama, Japanese leader Taro Aso, Hu Jintao of China and others who pressed Pyongyang in the days leading up to liftoff to call off a launch they said would threaten peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

“I urge North Korea to abide fully by the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council,” Obama said in Prague, Czech Republic, calling on Pyongyang to refrain from further “provocative” actions. “Another move like this and we will send Burton to North Korea. Is that really what you want?”

250. Panorea - April 5, 2009

Elena, thank you for the description of how Cults suck one’s life energy.

One aspect of the Fourth Way that assisted Burton in his efforts to create zombies is the division in centers. I have no idea how this division assists one if one is not in the Fellowship. Personally, I try to get rid of all ideas of “awakening” as presented in our Western world. They are bastards. But, I also know I am still pissed off and who knows in a couple of years I might change my heart and mind about it. For now, I prefer to go to more pure forms like meditation, yoga, psychology, art; forms that do not demand your life and assist you to connect with your self.

At a certain moment, I saw that the division in centers was very harmful in my case. Seeing this and becoming able to name was the beginning of a healing process.

I can imagine Robert using his followers’ energies. I felt drained when around him. There was that contradiction of seeing him and feeling more alert and “present” and then I was drained. Also, somewhere I knew I did not want him too much around me (and of course I would classify this survival instinct as “my lower self”).

251. Panorea - April 5, 2009

One on the fence.

I see you are in the GF. It is also very useful to pose some questions there. Many do not read this forum and many will not write, but the GF is a good way to connect if you really desire to find out about “things.”

I also thought you seem to be asking for some kind of permission.

Well, sweetie, you need to give that permission to yourself. Nobody can do it for you. In that state of asking for permission, you are the most vulnerable for Cult leaders…Watch out!

252. One from the fence - April 5, 2009

252. armed with so much reason to be skeptical, I don’t know if it would be possible to be as vulnerable as all that. I was never dazzled by the ambiance (fine clothing, gold alchemy stuff) rather felt uneasy about it, and I never was able to connect with people well enough there to be drawn in by my emotional attachments to the people. So the only thing I really had was what I felt were higher forces challenging me roughly to be there. Wether those same higher forces are now challenging me to return, it remains to be seen. Either way, i want what is best- to let my soul bloom into this world.

253. One from the fence - April 5, 2009

And I don’t know if it is permission that is embedded in my posts, but maybe a still strain of “tell me what to do,” which is only a small part of me. Also, yes, I like the attention of asking questions, speaking on my experiences and receiving feedback- actually, oh, man, it’s awesome! Pure child-ego stuff, right there, yeah, boy! But that’s not all there is to me or these posts.

254. ton - April 5, 2009

253 off the wall
“…higher forces are now challenging me to return, it remains to be seen.”

this ‘higher forces’ meme propagated and implanted by the fof is another of your ‘mental constructs’ (as you put it previously). i think your balancing act ‘on the fence’ is all about attention… “hey everybody look at me…. i’m going to jump back into the snake-pit unless you talk me down…” go ahead and jump fence boy. it’s your choice, but don’t shirk individual responsibility for your actions by invoking some notion of “higher forces,” it’s your choice.
imo you are a confused ‘attention-whore’

178 somebody
reminds me how lucky i am to have escaped the insane asylum… the fof provides asylum for that insane ‘being’ pictured front, center and foppish — always foppish.

elena 248
thanks for another thought-rich post and your efforts to break things down.

“In the particular case of the Fellowship, Girard told me that Robert had the ability to use Girard’s physical energy, which was one of the reasons why he was so depleted. He was very proud of being able to supply Robert with that energy even at his own cost.”

no need to mystify things by saying ‘girard told me…’ the situation is obvious, robert sucks the life/energies from his flock… this fact doesn’t need to be channeled through a medium, an imaginary ‘authority figure,’ in this case, a ‘girard.’ forgive me if i state the obvious again: an individual’s ‘energy’ is the confluence of mind/body… and energy = mind/body = energy = etc… buying into ‘the system’ as the cultist is required to do = mind control = behavior control = body control = energy control…

fofian,
thanks again for more light.

255. peter - April 5, 2009

one from the fence

I, me and mine.

That’s the words you use most.

256. Draco - April 5, 2009

I was just thinking about Robert’s “angels”. They arrange for young men to sleep with him. They give FOFers cancer and car crashes and early deaths. Robert believed that they were cause economic catastrophe, the destruction of California and nuclear war.

Those aren’t angels, they’re demons.

257. Panorea - April 5, 2009

One from over the fence.

A really cold shower helps sometimes…

258. elena - April 5, 2009

Panorea,

I can understand your reticence to indulge in ideas of awakening as presented by the Western World, I’m not actually “looking” for any but I’m also not trying to get rid of what I already learnt. I certainly don’t have the idea of “awakening” as a formulated aim for myself, it sounds like all the bullshit that allowed to justify the Fellowship but if by awakening we understand more integrity between one’s self and the world, I’m all for it!! I don’t call it awakening but living!

In relation to the centres I am eager to understand a lot about them because it was through their misuse that the Fellowship managed to submit us so powerfully. One of the perceptions I have is that each centre corresponds to a whole aspect of the world just as air, water, fire and earth do, each with their particular force within the individual and the world around him. Thoughts are as invisible as air, water as penetrating as truth, earth as solid as actions and fire as necessary as one’s self! Both life and destruction! Ingestion and digestion! Both equally necessary!

_____

I am definitely fascinated by the experience of the Fellowship in that it was so sick that a million things could be learnt from it about how individuals and societies relate to each other. (Talking of which, thanks Laura for your recent link, I much enjoyed all the connections they make.)

The trick in the Fellowship and probably in all cults is that the members are convinced that they are learning and evolving because they are activating their will, “making efforts” that they were not willing or able to make outside the cult or so they think.
What they most enjoy is seeing the results of their efforts in the immediate community and enjoy it so much that they end up disregarding the fact that they cannot receive applauses or any form of reward for their effort because the guru must swallow it whole. They accept it as a fact that they are not “good enough” to experience pleasure, joy or satisfaction for what they share with others and it is “right” for the guru to take the credit. The “equality” of the members is based on their inequality to the guru. They do not overcome the understanding of vanity as the downside of recognition building the standard idols of regular society in Sports and all arts and trades and cannot differentiate it with “acknowledgement” as the joyful and natural result of human communication and culture that impulses and stimulates the individuals to new creations which in the long run is what depletes the cult of “life”, of “culture” until suicide becomes the idealized resolution but in fact the only possible outlet to the incoherence.

Very few people are “good enough” in regular society today, with everyone divided into classes, races, degrees of education and nationalities, and factual opportunities limited to the privileged, so everyone is subject to fall into the Cult frame that reinforces the same conditioning. Cults are not lawfully confronted by the established societies because they are an outlet to its misery. As long as people are willing to seek religion to bear with their misery, the status quo is protected. That was what was so attractive about the Fourth Way: that is wasn’t a religion but a way of being in life for life! Those in economic and political power know that they need the outlet of religion so that the masses do not confront them; so that the individual does not access his own self or his community’s well being and continues to justify his misery as karma, no matter what level of society he belongs to. We fell for the trap… but learnt!

Only a mature individual who knows that he is “good enough”, “human enough”, understands that “the bread” in the house is to be “correspondingly” shared by those who live in it and by bread I don’t only mean the physical resources available to all human beings but the realization of dignity in all human beings. It’s the lack of dignity what allows a few to appropriate what does not belong to them.

If people realize that what they are looking for in the cult must be actualized outside of the cult, the whole System of the world as we know it will collapse: the individual will assume responsibility for his destiny in his immediate community without depending on an abstract form of law that relies on distant, impersonal authorities with which he has no connection. There’s plenty of bread, it’s individual and social greed what doesn’t allow people to share it.

259. elena - April 5, 2009

Thanks FOFion, glad you’re still around!

260. peter - April 5, 2009

Question,

Do you have the email address of Joel Friedlander.
He is publisher and i am one too – i want too ask
him a business related question.

Thanks.

261. sharon - April 5, 2009

He’s on GF

262. nigel harris price - April 5, 2009

One off the Fence

You ask me whether I feel I am using ‘true personality’ when making what you call ‘snide remarks’ about your posts. It is clear to me and a few other bloggers that you are quite immature (is it your age?) in not knowing what you want, and seem intent on irritating people with your tentative quasi-idealistic posts. If you want help, please ‘target your subject area’ and be prepared to work with what you receive….

…..from an 8 of Hearts Solar-Mars-Jovial, with a teacher professional True Personality…..

…..Nigel.

263. brucelevy - April 5, 2009
264. brucelevy - April 5, 2009

Actual recent Schick ad. We get classier and classier.

265. WhaleRider - April 6, 2009

“A task of this book is to show that renunciate worldviews and their moralities are necessarily autoritarian and why the solutions they generate have become part of the problem. This is so because the very construction of a category considered sacred automatically creates the non-sacred. One this occurs, valuing sacrifice of the non-sacred to the sacred is inevitable, as are the unchallengable authorties that define how this is to be done….even with the best intentions, assuming the role of spiritual authority for others sets in motion a system of interaction this is mechanical, predictible, and contains the essence of corruption.

Another purpose of this book is to show that corruprtion is not simply the failure or weakenss of a specific individual, but is structually built into any authroitarian relationship, and less obviously, any renunciate morality.

We do not question the vialbilty of religions that present this world as a stepping stone to some other more important realm. Once this occurs, it is inevitable that religious experts delineate how to reach this other realm, and what must be sacraficed to do so. This always inculdes renoucing sel-centeredness, an endless task. Because the power of traditional religions comes from furnishing unchallengeable answers about the unknown, they are inherently authoritarian.

Insofar as this life is made subordinate to some conception of an afterlife, sacrifice within this life not only becomes justifiable, but is a key part of any renunciate morality that controls behavior through fear of cosmic reprisal after death.

Here and throughout this book, the word “cult” is used in a specific way to refer to groups with an authoritarian structure where the leader’s power is not constrained my scripture, tradition or any other “higher” authority. In a cult, absolute authority lies in a leader who has few if any external constraints. This means the leader (who is usually the founder) is not merely the interpreter but also the creator of truth, and thus has free reign in what he proposes.

Once the spiritual impulse is channeled into any renunciate worldview, it makes those who share the belief in that structure feel connected. But this involves creating walls between “us” and “them”, which historically has been the easy way to become mechanically bonded and fill the vacuum of meaning. This is especially tempting now that feelings of disconnection are rife.

Uniting with each other and bringing meaning to existence in a way not based on a narrow group identity is one of the most vital challenges of these times.

The Guru Papers

266. nigel harris price - April 6, 2009

266 whalerider

Here, here and here again!…..Nigel.

267. Yesri Baba - April 6, 2009

Posted 9 hours ago by volldrauf
Someone, presumably from within the Fellowship of Friends organization, has fraudulently tagged this video in Digg.com as pornographic, thus barring it from viewing. This kind of cowardice, deceit and dirty tricks is quite typical of the Fellowship of more…Friends. The truth may set you free if you want it. If you don’t, you will kill to suppress it.

This comment was on the Livevideo ‘Don’t ask don’t tell’ video.

268. WhaleRider - April 6, 2009

“Disciples usually become more attached to the psychological state that surrender brings than to the guru, whom they never really get to know as a person. Repudiation of the guru (or even doubt or questioning) means a return to earlier conflict, confusion, and meaninglessness.

The deeper the surrender, and the more energy and commitment they put into the guru, the greater their emotional investment is. Disciples will thus put up with a great deal of contradictory and aberrant behavior on the guru’s part, for doubting him literally means having their world fall apart. This is why many who are involved in authoritarian surrender adamantly deny they are.

The guru role is structured to be authoritarian given that unquestioned obedience to the guru is made the prime virtue. Surrendering to authority sets up dangerous and powerfully ingrained patterns that become part of the psychic structures of both those who accept and those who become the authority.

When abuses are publicly exposed the leader either denies or justifies the behaviors by saying that “enemies of the truth” or “forces of evil” are trying to subvert his true message. Core members of the group have a huge vested interest in believing him as their identity is wrapped up in believing in his righteousness.

Those who begin to doubt him at first become confused and depressed, and later feel betrayed and angry.

The ways people deny and justify are similar; Since supposedly no one who is not enlightened can truly understand the motives of one who is, any criticism can be discounted as a limited perspective. Also any behavior on the part of the guru, no matter how base, can be imputed to be some secret teaching or message that needs deciphering.

By holding gurus as perfect and this beyond ordinary explanations, their presumed specialness can be used to justify anything. How could one surrender to a person who might put his self-interest first?

Surrendering to a guru brings instant intimacy with all those who share the same values. In a world where traditional values are crumbling, bringing brittle, hedonistic ways of relating, many feel alone and disconnected. Acceptance by and identification with the group induce a loosening of personal boundaries. This opening consequently increases the emotional content of one’s life, bringing purpose meaning, and hope. It is no wonder that those who join groups rave about how much better they feel than previously. But this quick, one-dimensional bonding is based solely on a shared ideology. No matter how intense and secure it feels, should one leave the fold, it evaporates as quickly as it formed.

Surrender is the glue that binds guru and disciple. Being a disciple offers the closest approximation (outside a mental institution) to the special configuration of infancy Surrender is a route that enables disciples to experience again, at least partially, the conflict-free innocence this is the source of their atavistic longings. Among these, perhaps most important is the feeling of once again being totally cared for.

Surrendering to any authority brings this about to some extent, but with a guru it reaches vast dimensions. The guru reinforces this by letting it be known that all who follow him are and will be especially cared for. For the follower, it feels like being protected by God.

This dependent state satisfies other longings that stem from infancy. Once again, once experiences being at the center of the universe-if not directly (the guru occupies that space) at least closer to the center than one ever thought possible.

The guru also puts out the image of the totally accepting parent-the parent one never had but always wanted. So disciples believe they are loved unconditionally, even though this love is conditional on continued surrender.

In addition, they feel more powerful believing that the guru and the group are destined to greatly influence the world.

The true meaning of spiritual surrender involves letting go of self-defining images that limit who one is and who one can be.

Within this inner inquiry one also comes to realize that one is part of a larger context. Surrendering to those who present themselves as a better or more real representative of that larger context perverts the true beauty and meaning of surrender. On the contrary, surrendering to another as the gateway to salvation keeps people dependent, childish, and living second-handedly.

Surrender as an adult encompasses realizing that all of us are an interwoven part of a larger process that both creates and is created by its components. This involves being able both to control life and surrender to what life has to offer. It does not involve giving up one’s power or identity.

The tragedy that all authoritarian structures breed, particularly so-called spiritual ones, comes from giving absolute authority to another’s viewpoint. This involves mistakenly identifying as spiritual the conflict-free emotions and passions that come from surrendering to an authroity.

The tragedy is compounded in our times because our survival as a species depends upon adults coming to the fore who can break the shackles of old authority and tradition, creating new forms of relating to each other and to the planet we live on.

In order to do this, we must use all we have: our bodies, our emotions, our minds, and all types of information from the world around us.

Blind surrender to authority is an emotional indulgence and illusory security the species cannot longer afford.”

The Guru Papers

269. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

255. imo you are a confused ‘attention-whore’
funny… laughing… this is awesome…

270. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

256.
Yeah.

271. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

258.

🙂 Possibly.

272. James Mclemore - April 6, 2009

269 Whalerider (from The Guru Papers)

“Surrendering to any authority brings this about to some extent, but with a guru it reaches vast dimensions. The guru reinforces this by letting it be known that all who follow him are and will be especially cared for. For the follower, it feels like being protected by God.”

268. Yesri Baba (re: the video being tagged as pornographic to suppress its viewing)

Curious that the fof might feel protected by God (C Influence), and yet somehow still feel the need to try and subvert the video. You might wonder if the membership (each individual person) ever asks themselves just what it is that the fellowship of friends is so afraid of. Do many of the members, who have somehow justified or pushed away (“none of my business”) the facts of their leader’s perverse lifestyle but are secretly ashamed and embarrassed by it, not wish the facts to become public? If you are a member and you are ashamed or embarrassed about the group you belong to, doesn’t this tell you something might be very, very wrong. If I was you, I would trust that uneasiness, because there IS something very wrong, and it is not with you, unless of course, you decide to continue to support it.

273. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

255. No, I really wanted to hear peoples thoughts on the subject I was trying to speak about (and admittedly veered off hyper-indulgently). The subject, which is about experiencing (and, dude/ss, stop getting angry if I use a work term, I don’t know what else to freakin’ call it!) higher forces abundantly in the FOF while the Teacher behaves in such a manner so as to alienate those who cared the most about being there.

274. James Mclemore - April 6, 2009

274. One from the fence

I would suggest you start a discussion group at the GF site. I suspect you will receive a number of people’s thoughts on this subject. There are many there who may not frequent this blog.

275. michael - April 6, 2009

One from the Fence ~

Something happens beneath the surface, doesn’t it, when you can ‘let it all out’ anonymously (so to speak) on ‘The Blog’, it certainly caught up to me, and proved to be both a medicinal and a poison (It’s all good)…

Writing on the blog was for me, partly symbolic and to those ‘authority figures’ stationed in the parts of my life where I had not acknowledged their ‘real existence’ in my every day life aims and desires (subconscious psyche?) unfinished business in the larger realm of my relationship with the ‘my world’, will All, mother, father, step-brother, missed step-sisters, grandmothers, etc. and never exclusively the FOF… The Me-condition that’s often hidden by the newspaper 24/7.

I spent a year or more writing, tearing away at the door of my experiences in the FOF because something deep down could hear my consceince on the other side, needing me to get down off the stunt-man-wing and back into the pilot seat, though I didn’t ‘know this’ logically or by any thought-form, it was a vague feeling, an unconscious need of catharsis, so to bear it out, to give it to the Universe to witness my delusions and cosmic drunkenness, so that then, my own wishes and deeds could return and some reconciliation begin…

It seems that the Universe does not get up to answer the door unless you knock with your skull and heart simultaneously on fire together…

Writing in this forum is/was having the dark and the light (medium tones too), while not needing to fear saying what I couldn’t say ‘out loud and proud’ in the FOF [and] getting back from others ‘real food for consceince-thought’ what was not said to me while in the FOF, i.e., without the heart-reforming filters we learned to sift our essential emotions through before speaking ‘essentially’ (which we also learned in elementary and High School.)

I also know that I had an agenda, to understand and be myself for the sake of being; the making of mistakes, ego, essentials, and reunion with the grace of my individual innocence (no matter its state of disrepair or ability to produce witness-able results for others to see) would happen, it always does, no matter…

I felt often, that in the FOF-family, by the time we spoke, it was what we thought was right for ‘Out There’, while the ‘In Here’ lay fallow and dangerously thirsty… Though, this is/was not exclusive to the FOF, it’s an aspect of growing up as a being ‘being’ a human, isn’t it?

We want innocent love from nearly every eye contact we meet; how to reconcile this need by not being anybody in particular is such a personal contract between you and the cosmos that IMO no school will ever be able to formalize it into anything predictable, though, our appetite for innocent love would sure like to know that it’s on its way always and always ‘right now’…

Bursting out of the bubble as a bubble is not altogether remarkable, though at least I am now bouncing off my walls and not those that I wanted to make (or felt I had to for the sake of being a part of a ‘safety in numbers’ situation-clan), which was actually tearing itself down every time I turned my back to look for me at home, at the end of the day, concert, dinner or ballet… Tearing itself down so far as external affirmations go, this investing in trophies and not the players racing or honoring the sponsors…

Not that the human clan is a wrong ‘form’, just that, when its acknowledged ‘truth in numbers sum’ get’s a limelight as a smaller figure than the total number of humans on the planet, then something has gone awry, at least for me… After all, the whole Earth is an island…

I still cannot fathom how it is that we’re called to take such a ruthless merry-go-round into the ‘me, me, me’ before getting to the one unfathomable awe of the We (And that one you’ve only got to say once to get its attention.)

Reading through your posts, I can relate to your plight, actually, I believe we all can to some degree; there’s a little doubt and missing of friends in every exit from the FOF, it’s natural, I just have to be careful not to make a religion out of it or the destruction of religion…

Certainly the cutting of the umbilical cord must have left an impression on all of us in one way or another; an enormous portrait of vast whiteness and fear of getting it dirty or else…

The FOF rarely (if ever) touched upon the archetypal stuffs that bubble and brew down deep in our collective unconscious; instead, we were taught how to “make pictures with the smoke.”

To me, there’s no one to blame, whatever it was and is, it belongs together with all this that confuses the heart and turns the mind against itself when trying to ‘go figure’… There’s no solution to being human, you’ve just gotta go through it or at least that’s my sense of the ‘state of The State.’

I feel that one of your main issues here (what I read between the lines in your posts) is one of dependence, being ‘stuck’ in not understanding how to be your own ‘first force’ or inspiration to exist, let alone the ‘why’…

I have been out for nearly three years and am just getting into the arena of Solo doing via the my-inspiration to Exist; it’s tough, sometimes seemingly impossible (Thank god that the clock keeps ticking and time never tells the same thing twice.)

Though there’s nothing the FOF can or will do to prepare you for this (except its inevitable vacancy and that’s pretty moot): the irony is, that The How to be this ‘first force’ is exactly what I would expect from a conscious school, yet, ‘my-FOF’ only taught dependence, which is not “reciprocal maintenance”, since such dependence never carries the flag of autonomy, it’s only for the flagpole, for all to see and defend and not experience as tactile and personable… This all was ‘right’ too, and leaving the FOF was actually the doorway into the school I was looking for…

I found out that the FOF is/was also what I brought to it that I did not know I carried: these under-the-carpet me-characteristics resonated and magnetized specific experiences to me and me alone… And I am sure that I still may not know ‘the rest of the story’ as to how it was that I was here, like this, like that, like them, like nothing and like me…

Acknowledging/Honoring or ‘Suddenly finding out that you’ve missed the smell of your own Nose.’

It’s sorta like the flint, stone and flame talking all night long about the light they’ve made and the importance of it, while in the meantime Air is turning red and not from some blushing caused by too many compliments…

We miss things and that’s ok…

The FOF compliments what it wants you to be, our expectations of ourselves, which actually still happens outside the FOF to us all, I think… Who you are right now and how you can survive another day (with a clear consceince or at least one that you’re consciously working for and with) and love the you of You is another school altogether…

So far, I’ve seen no signs that there’s ‘luck’ involved in this game, it simply is: if someone tells you that you’re luckier in their presence than when in the presence of yourself playing the game (in clear consceince), then, you can be sure the dice are loaded and that they will want to roll last, to make sure they win by only one point…

When my experience of being in the FOF (reading the Blog was the straw to the camel’s back) went from ‘me, me, me’ to the ‘we’, I understood one evening, in a flash, that I did not wish my presence, emotional energies, time and money to go into any form of hurt that I myself had the power to not support; so, I pulled over, called Helaine and let go.

For years in the FOF many issues of hurt were abstracted by either others who had more refined abstractions or were collectively abstracting altogether for group survival; it was the family dynamic, to endure the good with the bad so to remain connected and safe from ‘The Other’, while curiously enough, when I started to grow up, I found that the other was me, that all along the dreaded ‘Life People’ was me, all the fears and predictions of doomsday were simply a fear of the umbilical cord being cut and the resulting state of affairs, the loss of the World of Womb: the family or the FOF, is a second womb, and that second umbilical cord, yes, is all about you…

Sometimes, in leaving, we have to hurt ourselves and others a little so to follow the clear message from consceince, that if we do not, then the hurt will be tenfold later… Somehow by leaving I feel that I made the collective consceince a little more visible, a little less whimsical, because sitting on the fence is one thing, giving it another fresh coat of paint while waiting, well, that would be the time to check your watch…

Our mortal tie to all this,
It will be severed,
either in life or death,
you’ll always be you,
no matter soil or zero gravity.

276. Ellen - April 6, 2009

Dear Mr. Fence-Face,

I have been following your posts, both long and short, only slightly. I think/sense you need to find out completely for your self what you experience within the Fellowship of Friends and why you value it. Stop asking other people what they think and feel, and try asking yourself (use this forum to express it if you need to) and be ruthless in the process. The psychological processes of Projection and Transferrence function to a great degree when we label someone – anyone – outside of ourselves as “higher”.

In case it is helpful to you, here is a repost of one such self-inquiry I attempted a little less than two years ago. I still concur with the experiences as I tried to describe them, though the conceptual structure within which I understood them has definitely changed. Reading it may be helpful to you? Some of the responses I received at that time were also helpful. I’ll post a link to the whole page at the end so that you can read the response dialog, too, if you want.

*****************************

July 9, 2007 at 1:48 pm
Bass Ackwards
Almost 30 years ago, I had the chance to attend a retrospective of the work of Pablo Picasso in New York at the MMA. It was packed. Tickets had to be purchased well in advance. The work was arranged chronologically, beginning with his drawings and paintings from around the age of 16? The Blue period. I remember well feeling the beauty of his work. His sense of line, form and color, already so marvellously evident. The exhibition was massive and filled four floors, moving from the early work to the mature cubism, to the later prints and finally the paintings done at the end of his life. Though I was naturally fatigued by the time I reached the fourth floor, the impression of his final works remains to this day unmistakably strong. It was ugly. Plain and simple, Ugly. Clear, to anyone who had eyes of course, but that was what we all went there for, our eyes, wasn’t it?

For me, it was one of the many experiences that drove me to a School. Life, even at it’s best, a genius like Picasso, was a decending octave. And it was really clear so long as one could forget all the proclamations of the World and look out of one’s own eyes, and see for one’s self. I’ve told that story to a few students over the years, and we have all nodded, gently smiling, understanding sleep, the imagination of Life.

How odd it is to find myself in the Fellowship 20+ years on only to discover that my Teacher may be a decending octave, too. Maybe has been for a long time? Now before Ames, Whale Rider, et al, start sharpening their knives to say, “I told you so, you blind, brainwashed cult member.” Give me a break, give us all a break, please. The crux of the issue that keeps the Fellowship functioning as it currently does is the assumption that Robert Burton is a Conscious Being. I think it is important to deeply examine why so many current students think he is, despite evidence to the contrary. Forget, if you can, all the statistics about Cults, Brainwashing, etc.. and try to look at the situation from a hopefully healthy insider’s viewpoint?

Self Remembering is some powerful magic. We have all felt it. A School environment in which to practice it, magnifies the potentcy by the numbers. Having a Teacher who focuses on it relentlessly exemplifies what each of us find ourselves unable to achieve. I have personally felt remarkable energy in his presence. Various times, while trying to be present, to remember myself, he happened to walk into the room, and I felt my inner world suddenly flushed with Hydrogen 12, like an orgasm, but of the whole body. Wow. Who wouldn’t think that that meant the man was Conscious? Who wouldn’t be ready to forgive him for behaviour that seemed, well, somewhat unusual? I have had him hold my hand at dinner, and especially when I made an even more intense effort to remember myself, felt the electricity from his hand coursing through mine. Who wouldn’t think that that meant the man was Conscious? I have had wonderful states of clear presence from attending both meetings and dinners when he was teaching a bit more spontaneously than now. States that lasted well into the next hours. Who wouldn’t think that that meant the man was Conscious? He speaks of Worlds beyond this one that have made Conscious sense to me, words that have helped me at times to get to a similar place. Who wouldn’t think the man was Conscious?

So, if one has had similar experiences to mine but also the play to fully embrace his sick, perverted behaviour, then what are the options? Buffer like mad. Recover. Explain. Avoid. Buffer some more. Finally try to understand, and/or Leave. I guess I am using this blog as a public forum for my attempts to understand, so here are a few thoughts.

Given the kind of Hydrogens that I have sometimes experienced in his presence, my guess is that Robert Burton must have crystallized higher energies in some fashion. One naturally assumes that means he has become Conscious but it just may not be the case. Consider this: suppose Robert has crystallized incompletely, still retaining the Personality of his lower centers? We know Robert is centered in the 9 of Hearts. Suppose he has crystallized in his center of gravity? Such a theory would explain both the higher hydrogens we feel in his presence, the understandings he is often able to offer us, yet also why his lower self is so prominent.

If Robert were a King of Spades or Jack of Hearts, the error would have been more obvious more quickly but since he plays the role of a Teacher of a Fourth Way School, and since the King of Hearts is the doorway to Higher Centers, we miss the ruse. Robert has been able to consistently inspire us in exactly that place, making him more of a black magician than an evil hasnamus, though both definitions are well worth reading for those who are also trying to understand.

Here is what Gurdjieff has to say about black magic:
“Black magic may be quite altruistic, may strive after the good of humanity or after the salvation of humanity from real or imaginary evils. But what can be called black magic has always one definite characteristic. This characteristic is the tendency to use people for some, even the best of aims, without their knowledge and understanding, either by producing in them faith and infatuation or by acting upon them through fear. ”

Here is what Gurdjieff has to say about a Hasnamus:
“One of the first things about a ‘Hasnamuss’ is that he never hesitates to sacrifice people or to create an enormous amount of suffering, just for his own personal ambitions. How a ‘Hasnamuss’ is created is another question. It begins with formatory thinking, with being a tramp and a lunatic at the same time. Another definition of a ‘Hasnamuss’ is that he is crystallized in the wrong hydrogens.”

The final step in understanding is to attempt to grasp what a Conscious being really is like or should be like. How do they manifest? And each one will be a different creative expression of Consciousness. How to recognize a true Guru and not be misled by a False one? Tricky business, but from all I can currently understand, the road to discovering one’s own inner Guru is through Conscience. So a real Guru will encourage you to discover your own Conscience and will never estrange you from it. If you are trying to understand, check out recognized 20th century spiritual masters like Nisargadatta, Sri Ramana Maharshi or Shunryu Suzuki. Of course, Gurdjieff also had some very interesting things to say on the subject too, if only one had the ears to hear it….

Love,
Bass

******************************

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-14/

277. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

Bass: that’s very possibly an extremely insightful and useful essay. It addresses very exactly my questions about Robert’s consciousness. It’s a strong possibility (incomplete and/or wrong crystallization), one I had considered before in an earlier post of mine- and, really, how sad would that be- man, shit.

But it does not address the influence of the “44 angels.” I will say that when studying any of them I feel a special energy introduced to me, and at times I get a flash of one of their names amidst some thinking, and find and follow it in my awareness toward a realization, or release from identification. I feel it is almost impossible to doubt that there were such conscious influences- could they all of been projections from Robert’s imagination? Powerful projections? I don’t think so. Please tell me if you feel otherwise, or the same and I will pray to all the Universe (right here and now) that my own conscience grasps the real truth. And if you do feel that there are angels (such lifelong friends of mine as Rilke, Whitman, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Hafiz, Lao Tsu, Jesus (especially:-), then how could such a place of incomplete truth be worthy of such interactive participants in our existences? Maybe it’s all just a big experiment- and bless us for being as true to our selves as possible in it.

You suggested that I find it in my own conscience, and that is surely what I set out to do, and that *is* tricky when I’m asking other people what they thought/felt/experienced. Yes, it’s important to know and remember what I think/feel/experience, alone, without asking “the world” about it; then someone says actually something evocative and thoughtful like yours and the previous post by Michael (as opposed to the thoughtless, heart-pained garbage from name-callers and angry folks) and I see that my initial intent was to have a real dialogue about the subjects that I’m writing about- ( and not to feel like I have to constantly change my wording to appease work-word haters, be on guard, engage in the “joy” of combat – achem, sorry, blowing off some steam) – anyway… it’s easy to lose something of my own self certainty when seeking the thoughts of others, yet I find them valuable because as much as I’d like to know that I hold the key to all understanding already within me, I have been greatly helped by hearing of others to give me new perspective. Maybe I’m selling myself out by even writing here (that is not something I’m asking anyone’s opinion about)- chilling to think that maybe I have put ripples in my own clear consciousness by writing here (I was wonderfully neutral and loving when I began)… it has felt that way, a bit, especially when engaging haters in *confrontations* about, really, these incredibly important-to-me subjects.

278. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

276. Michael- I love you:-)

279. Crouching Tiger - April 6, 2009

One from the Fence.

“But it does not address the influence of the “44 angels.” I will say that when studying any of them I feel a special energy introduced to me, and at times I get a flash of one of their names amidst some thinking, and find and follow it in my awareness toward a realization, or release from identification. I feel it is almost impossible to doubt that there were such conscious influences- could they all of been projections from Robert’s imagination? Powerful projections? I don’t think so. Please tell me if you feel otherwise, or the same and I will pray to all the Universe (right here and now) that my own conscience grasps the real truth. And if you do feel that there are angels (such lifelong friends of mine as Rilke, Whitman, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Hafiz, Lao Tsu, Jesus (especially:-), then how could such a place of incomplete truth be worthy of such interactive participants in our existences? Maybe it’s all just a big experiment- and bless us for being as true to our selves as possible in it…”

I don’t doubt that this will be familiar to most of us who passed through the fellowship. The feeling of somehow being in ‘special contact’ with higher or angelic forces, as if they were indeed ‘meant for you’….

But, however sensitive you are to either real or imagined influences of this kind, the fact remains that you live on earth together with your body, mind and feelings wrapped together in one physical package. However sympathetic you may feel to these influences, your task is not to increase the angelic resemblance in some way, or place yourself with them even temporarily… It is rather to become more aware of the relationship between your physical body/bodies and the ‘higher realm’ as it is today, in all times and circumstances. This is a different action altogether.

There is no work for you to do ‘up there’. There is however plenty for you to do ‘down here’. So get to it.

I feel that what you are seeing in Robert Burton is a man who has tried to increase his angelic resemblance, and maybe to a degree he has even managed that… Some energies probably did bond together in him – but as one thing increased in him so something else became neglected, so that it came to have its own life, apparently outside his control. It was like a garden hugely overgrown! The result is that there are plenty like you, who see RB sometime as an angel, at others like a demon. This is a common perception, even among those who are still ‘in’. At 7.45 a ‘glorious’ meeting, at 9.00 a bizarre orgy.

At present there is no ‘You’ who can contact the angels, don’t forget that. There is only an impression, and then it passes. Be honest with yourself. Do what you have to do now, without waiting for the next higher experience – if you have to, ignore or disregard the higher entirely…. The only work you have to do as a human being is to ensure that each function is working healthily and with its own energy, so that you have some sense of an equilibrium that may in the future become permanent. And this is a long way off.

One of the biggest lies told by the school is that we are all balanced beings, men #4, when we first enter. My guess is that Burton felt that way about himself when he first joined Horn’s group too. But being a normal human being is not the same as being some kind of emotional superego.

280. Mick Danger - April 6, 2009

Here’s another name to add to your list:
“Big Fucking Phoney”
-Courtesy of J.D. Salinger

281. dragon - April 6, 2009

…but being a normal human being is not the same as being some kind of NARCISSISTIC superego with a very special and artificial “life-balance” numbed by a surplus of “satisfaction” without inner sense.

A superego experiencing his followers just as an extension to get more and more pseudo-satisfaction.

and for one from the fence:

You may try and try and try it again:

it is really NOT possible to share mystic experiences with others.
Guess why? You may tell and tell your wonderful stories and maybe the 44 may tell you to be the successor of Robert E. Burton.

Enjoy your experiences and make it better….

282. The FOFion - April 6, 2009

Blog Stock Plummets in Early Trading

NEW YORK (ARK) — Wall Street is reacting emphatically to recent reports that the Blog has strayed into mind-numbing Fellowship-ese after numerous posts by the latest FOF apologist. Blog (BLOG) stocks were down about $35 at the start of Monday’s trading — a drop of nearly 20 percent.

“This could be bad today,” said one Wall Street insider. “Customers generally read the blog for the latest information about Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends, but now the Blog is drifting off into nebulous discussions about angels. And worse yet, get this, there’s some concern of saying anything too critical about Burton for fear that it will appear ‘angry’ to other readers. This is a big concern to investors, because — let’s be honest with ourselves here — that doesn’t sound very different from a conversation at Apollo D’Oro.”

Many customers also tune into the Blog for enlightening discussions about philosophy and spirituality, as well as discussions about how to heal from involvement with dysfunctional organizations run by abusive sociopaths. Some fear that this thread is being lost in further debate about whether people are being too critical of the FOF and Burton.

“You know, sometimes you just need to open your eyes,” one former member of the Fellowship of Friends said Monday. “Healing won’t take place until you do that. If there are angels, I have to believe they want you to use your common sense. Very little analysis is required to see the truth about Burton and the FOF.”

283. Kid Shelleen - April 6, 2009

But I have everything invested in the Blog. Everything! My 4401-K will be worth less than handmade vellum it’s printed on. I’m mad as hell. Didn’t that bald-headed gut with the handlebar moustache, what was his name…Oh, yeah, Snidely Whiplash. Didn’t he say we always make a profit? Perhaps I should sell short. Wait…I already did.

284. Ellen - April 6, 2009

Dear Fence-Face (BTW, that is not a derogative term but rather my habitual way of making dimunitives),

You ask about the interactive influence of 44 angels. Is there such a thing as subjectively significant spiritually spontaneous synchronicity? If you want to do any meaningful personal inquiry about it, you have to examine your own desires and fears AND the conceptual structure that gives them meaning.

If you are of a theistic temperament – which you seem to be – you will naturally be drawn to externalizing in some dualistic (read theistic) way your own perfectly natural intimations of eternity. That there is an energetic atmosphere within the Fellowship that encourages such speculation is not to be denied.

Does it exist? Do “they” exist? What does it matter? And to whom?

And who are you? You want “them” to answer that question for you? You lazy dog!

Or even worse, you want Robert to interpret their answer to you? You son of a slimy, lazy dog! Wake up – at least from the Fellowship.

“Dig deeper, nothing else is necessary.” – PDO

285. veramente - April 6, 2009

One from the fence

for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtZYdVNflsA

Drop the FOF baggage! it’s too heavy!

286. michael - April 6, 2009

“…it’s easy to lose something of my own self certainty when seeking the thoughts of others…”

___

You could also ask yourself ~ What is it that I am doing that keeps this from being written ~ “It’s easy to GAIN something of my own self certainly when seeking the thoughts of others.” (?)

That’s what dependence does, it’s the mistletoe (doing what only its existence can do) feasting on the very tree that will eventually cease to exist, leaving the mistletoe to the same fate: in the meantime, the mistletoe hangs ‘way up there’, being the greenest thing on a dying host.

How can everyone else become priceless in your life without making you homeless and poor?

287. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

285. Ellen
Does it exist? Do “they” exist? What does it matter? And to whom?

And who are you? You want “them” to answer that question for you? You lazy dog!

No, I’m not asking if “they” exist. There’s still some concern, confusion, about that word, “they,” though. Especially, the “they are,” plural. Bad wording, perhaps, for creatures who must worship unity.

My family is Jewish. My awakening, Jesus. The prayer, “Hear, O Israel, God Is Eternal, God is One,” explains all of my feeling for God. So this plurality divided my mind, as I could not restrain myself from “imagining” angels above me. William Blake: “All the angels reside in the human heart.” All of them, not only 44.

What greatly confuses me is how any here could be atheistic even after rejecting something that represented God to them for a time. Is there a general “disbelief” amongst bloggers here? I truly feel that once a person has rejected the possibility of God, or of a greater, unifying intelligence in their lives, they do have little to nothing left to live for, for what do they have? Mind.

288. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

third line from the bottom “in their lives *and in their selves*.”

289. sharon - April 6, 2009

fenceone – “atheistic” – no. agnostic, perhaps. There’s a huge difference, mostly one of arrogance, I think.

290. Jomo Piñata - April 6, 2009

We are meaning-making creatures. I don’t think the actual content of our beliefs matters that much but I think that what we do, how we act, matters a lot. That’s just my belief and I’m not too attached to it, but it makes sense to me.

Sectarian “Christianity” seems to place great emphasis on the content of belief; Judaism, not so much.

If you were born of a Jewish mother you’re Jewish regardless of whether you spend your days tallying up bonus points for performing the six-hundred-some-odd mitzvot and you can argue til the cows come home about what the texts mean.

The Buddhists seem to care only that you learn not to become too attached to your beliefs.

So query whether all this Theism, A-Theism, Poly-theism, etc., is simply an artifact of the “Christian” emphasis on the idea that it is important to believe something in particular.

I mean, I can see somebody becoming allergic to Theism on account of toxic exposure to it, with the result being “A-Theism,” i.e., “no Theism, please.” And then the person goes on making meaning, because he or she is a meaning-making creature, away from the toxic ideas.

291. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

287. Michael- You could also ask yourself ~ What is it that I am doing that keeps this from being written ~ “It’s easy to GAIN something of my own self certainly when seeking the thoughts of others.” (?)

I think that’s why I’m still writing here, and also something else Ellen said about writing for one’s own understanding but using the forum to express it- it does help me to air it out- and, again, for the thoughtful responses. Even though at times it feels like I’m stabbing my better judgment in the heart, hanging my most precious laundry out for all to witness, I’m still encouraged by either my wanton, “dangerously thirsty” (love it) ego, or by something real in me (or both- medicinal and poisonous, yes, all good I hope, I hope). I do have the proclivity to just write and write and write, sharing every thought to explicit detail, as long as I mean it, and as long as there is a forum in which to do it- I hear many groans:-). Also, in a way, and I think this echoes something you talked about about the safety and anonymity of a blog, it doesn’t feel very serious to write here, like little of bad consequence could happen, and that makes it kind of easy- as though it’s make believe, like it’s an acting class, preparing for the real thing, or for nothing at all, or, for, just whatever is good. I suppose if I were talking directly to, say, a man who had awakened fully, and talking to him about my interest in what he has done, I would surely be less whimsical and choose my words very carefully, making that my words were a ship that is driving my soul, making sure it’s always up and forward, up and forward, from damned to blessed, freeing outward.

292. WonderingWhosWatching - April 6, 2009

252. Panorea:

‘Well, sweetie, you need to give that permission to yourself. Nobody can do it for you. In that state of asking for permission, you are the most vulnerable for Cult leaders…Watch out!’

and

282. dragon:

‘it is really NOT possible to share mystic experiences with others.’

Jason, since you seem to thrive on attention (‘attention-whore’ = chief feature of vanity), this posting is especially for you; but anyone may enjoy. This is about finding your own Way and following your conscience. Spiritual experiences are truly very personal experiences.

Mississippi John Hurt
on Pete Seeger Show (c. 1964) 3:24

‘Well, ah, this is a religious song and it is so true, so true. And, I always liked to play religious songs. Especially when you know the tune. This is You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley. You know, you’ve got to walk it for yourself. Ain’t nobody walk it for you. This valley, I guess you know what valley I’m takin’ about. Ain’t nobody walkin’ it for you. Have to walk it for yourself.’ – Mississippi John Hurt

Lyrics:
LONESOME VALLEY

You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley
Well, you’ve got to walk it for yourself
Ain’t nobody here can walk it for you
You’ve got to walk that valley for yourself.

My mother had to walk that lonesome valley
Well, she had to walk it for herself
Ain’t nobody here could walk it for her
Yes, she had to walk that valley for herself.

Oh yes, you’ve got to walk that lonesome valley
Well, you’ve got to walk it for yourself
Ain’t nobody here can walk it for you
You’ve got to walk that valley for yourself.

My father had to walk that lonesome valley
He had to walk it for hisself
Ain’t nobody here can walk it for him
He had to walk that valley for hisself.

O, Jesus had to walk that lonesome valley
He had to walk it for Hisself
Ain’t nobody here could walk it for Him
He had to walk that valley for Hisself.

Oh yes, you’ve got to walk that lonesome valley
Well, you’ve got to walk it for yourself
Ain’t nobody here can walk it for you
You’ve got to walk that valley for yourself.

Additional verses (not sung):

Some folks say that old John was a baptist
Some folks say he was a Jew
But the Bible claim, it plainly tells us
That old Johnny was a preacher, too.

You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley
Well, you’ve got to walk it for yourself
Ain’t nobody here can walk it for you
You’ve got to walk that valley for yourself.

Now Daniel was a Bible Hero
He was a Prophet, brave and true
In a den of hungry lions,
He showed what faith can do for you.

You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley
Well, you’ve got to walk it for yourself
Ain’t nobody here can walk it for you
You’ve got to walk that valley for yourself.

May you walk your lonesome valley.

293. michael - April 6, 2009

“…as though it’s make believe, like it’s an acting class, preparing for the real thing, or for nothing at all, or, for, just whatever is good. I suppose if I were talking directly to, say, a man who had awakened fully, and talking to him about my interest in what he has done, I would surely be less whimsical and choose my words very carefully, making that my words were a ship that is driving my soul, making sure it’s always up and forward, up and forward, from damned to blessed, freeing outward.”

Doesn’t this sound similar to the very inner dialog we all had during our first few months (or years) in the FOF? Curious that you used the word ‘ship’ (fellow-ship?) That part of the paragraph certainly reminded me of me and my ‘ship’, aka ‘The mini-Ark’.

Can you sail underwater and stay clear of Shakespeare’s dramas? As far as I can see, no body is ever ‘finished’ and ‘complete’ down here; sometimes I wonder if our quest for ‘perfection’ and ‘cosmic totality’ isn’t just a willy-nilly romance with the inevitability of our own death that’s stirring under the floorboards in all of our ‘houses? (Or Death owning a part of us [or] a former memory of one?)

Keep writing: cyberspace is not in Oregon House.

294. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

A lot of spiritual teachers have indicated there is a space after death where, if we had built the strength of our presence enough before death, we’d have the strength to walk on through it. Eckart Tolle said almost exactly that (and bless me I believe he has not crystalized incorrectly- in fact I do not know if I’ve ever witnessed a more simple, honest example of a man speaking from his truth about living in the now).

295. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

294. Michael-Doesn’t this sound similar to the very inner dialog we all had during our first few months (or years) in the FOF? Curious that you used the word ’ship’ (fellow-ship?) That part of the paragraph certainly reminded me of me and my ’ship’, aka ‘The mini-Ark’.

Ship is a metaphor I’ve used even before the fellowship to describe the words a man uses. I feel like the words I use directly and forcefully effect my emotional state. In my massage practice I notice it intimately- I have my hands on a client and I am noticing a “block”- when I say, “What’s this? Okay, let’s work this out,” it is quite a different result than when I say, “Oo man, this is serious, this is a major block. Whew!” The physical and emotional result are one. Not that I can work out their “block” after damning it as something bad, hurtful, negative, etc., but that has to do with the trust they have in me to be able to help them. It’s a huge part of that dynamic. So I don’t see why that same effort wouldn’t be necessary, like… all the time??

296. One from the fence - April 6, 2009

Oops- 5th line from the bottom: Not that I can *not* work out their…

297. No Fence - April 7, 2009

Fence person: “What greatly confuses me is how any here could be atheistic even after rejecting something that represented God to them for a time. Is there a general “disbelief” amongst bloggers here? I truly feel that once a person has rejected the possibility of God, or of a greater, unifying intelligence in their lives, they do have little to nothing left to live for, for what do they have? Mind.”

For many, religion and cults become nothing more than a “bet” you place in Las Vegas or Reno. In other words, in the event that God and the afterlife exist, I’m going to place my bet there. If they don’t exist, then I’m still going to place my bet there. So I win if God exists. And if he doesn’t exist, it doesn’t matter. So life is reduced to a simple gamble — i.e., what people believe is a “safe bet.”

But I doubt that gets us there, wherever “there” might be.

To answer your question (I can’t speak for others), I’m not an atheist, but sometimes I feel that atheists and agnostics are closer to God or angels, if God or angels exist. Why? Because I sense that nothing brings you further from understanding and truth than pretending you know something you don’t know.

Not to mention all of the atrocities, brutality, and abuse that grow out of that sense of certainty that you have it all figured out, and that they don’t.

If these topics are addressed with a sense of mystery, I’m much more interested in hearing what someone has to say about them. When someone expresses certainty, it may be time to walk away, or perhaps run in some cases.

Does the FOF express any doubt? Any doubt at all?

No, because that works against the Primary Agenda. It would force people to be thoughtful and to think for themselves, which ultimately would lead to many people leaving, and questioning just why it is they’re supporting this person’s obviously bizarre and abusive behaviour.

298. Old Fish in the Sea - April 7, 2009

One from the Fence: “I truly feel that once a person has rejected the possibility of God, or of a greater, unifying intelligence in their lives, they do have little to nothing left to live for, for what do they have? Mind.”

We have different phases in our life. Currently I prefer to let go of my beliefs. It works for me and I am happy.

Consider the possibility that beliefs (and religion) interfere with direct experience. They are like a filter. Whether you know it or not, you have a concept of God or higher intelligence. That concept causes you to look elsewhere for magic, trying to find it in your guru or rituals or exercises or other ethereal creatures, while distracting you from the completely obvious fact that magic (for lack of a better word) exists all around you in tangible forms, in you, in life, in nature, in your friends, in your family and in your aims.

When you quit looking for it in religion or gurus you find it in the most unexpected places and the separation between high and low disappears or at least reconfigures itself.

Life becomes more interesting when you start to live void of dogma. Then rather than believing in gurus, angels or God, or life after death, you are satisfied and interested in what you see, touch, feel, and experience, appreciating what you can perceive and fascinated to learn more. The only problem is that being comfortable with this agnostic point of view requires acceptance that you are not so special. It requires a lot of letting go.

You can go on dreaming that there is more. You can dream about the eternal city of paradise, and the guru that connects you to God or higher intelligence, and in your dreams miss the everyday reality. You can dream that license plates point the way. You can take your higher states as proof of God, or you can see that those states are just a state, interesting in their own right, but certainly no more God than a butterfly. You can become addicted to the dream, to those so called higher energies that feel good but lead nowhere, and you can become depressed when you are deprived of your Guru or God or “higher self”, or you can simplify and accept what is.

But perhaps you would rather dream, giving your self-respect, your resources for creativity, and all of your other worldly possibilities to someone who pretends to know. You may dream you are ascending some imaginary ladder , when in reality you are afraid to face life without the filter that I spoke about earlier.

I may not know more than you are anyone, but for now, I think it is better to dedicate your skills and resources to playing the real game (life) as well as you can play it. States are one essential viewpoint, and there are many ways to find them, but they are not the only perceptive device that we have.

It is my current opinion that if you think life is empty because it does not last forever, or because there may be no God, you are not seeing – you are buffering and justifying an escapist attitude.

But you say, life is all in your mind and without the possibility of God there is nothing to live for. Consider that if God exists, he is not up there. He is most likely different from how we perceive him, and you are more likely to find him by letting go of dogma, letting go of the fear of being alone, of dying, of not existing, of being normal, and instead exploring life and planet earth, finding who and what you love, finding out who you are and how you can contribute while discovering for yourself that an acceptance of not knowing is a whole lot more interesting and perhaps fruitful than thinking you know.

299. Jomo Piñata - April 7, 2009

Public release date: 6-Apr-2009
Contact: Barbara Isanski
bisanski@psychologicalscience.org
Association for Psychological Science

You wear me out: Thinking of others causes lapses in our self-control

Exerting self-control is exhausting. In fact, using self-control in one situation impairs our ability to use self-control in subsequent, even unrelated, situations. What about thinking of other people exerting self-control? Earlier research has shown that imagining actions can cause the same reactions as if we were actually performing them (e.g., simulating eating a disgusting food results in a revolting face, even if no food has been eaten) and psychologists Joshua M. Ackerman and John A. Bargh from Yale University, along with Noah J. Goldstein and Jenessa R. Shapiro from the University of California, Los Angeles explored what affect thinking about other people’s self-control has on our own thoughts and behavior.

Participants were presented with a story about a hungry waiter who was surrounded by delicious food, but was not allowed to sample any, for fear of being fired. Half of the participants simply read the story and the other half were told to imagine themselves in the waiter’s shoes. Next, all of the participants were shown images of mid- to high-priced items (e.g., cars and TVs) and were to indicate how much they would pay for them. In a follow-up experiment, some of the participants read the same story and others read a similar story in which the waiter was not hungry and did not have to use self-control. Just as in the first experiment, some of the participants read the story while others imagined themselves as the waiter. All of these volunteers then participated in a word game and a memory task.

The results, reported in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reveal that the participants who imagined themselves in the waiter’s position were more willing to spend greater amounts of money on the luxury items – they had exhausted their capacity for self-control and restraint, leading them to spend more money. In the follow-up experiment, the volunteers who read and imagined the story of the waiter who was not hungry performed much better on the word game and memory task. Overall, the group that imagined themselves as the waiter from the original story, who exercised self-control and did not eat any food, performed the worst on the word game and memory tasks.

These findings suggest that our own self-control can be worn out simply by mentally simulating another person acting with self-control. The authors note, for example, that imagining someone else’s self-control “could result in small breakdowns of self-control, such as employees speaking out improperly during a meeting, to catastrophic ones, such as police officers responding to an emotionally charged encounter with deadly force.”

###

For more information, please contact: Joshua Ackerman (joshua.ackerman@yale.edu)

Psychological Science is ranked among the top 10 general psychology journals for impact by the Institute for Scientific Information. For a copy of the article “You Wear Me Out: The Vicarious Depletion of Self-Control” and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Barbara Isanski at 202-293-9300 or bisanski@psychologicalscience.org.

300. The FOFion - April 7, 2009

Real news item:

SPACE.com – Sat Apr 4 — Tiny and dying but still-powerful stars called pulsars spin like crazy and light up their surroundings, often with ghostly glows. So it is with PSR B1509-58, which long ago collapsed into a sphere just 12 miles in diameter after running out of fuel.

And what a strange scene this one has created.

In a new image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, high-energy X-rays emanating from the nebula around PSR B1509-58 have been colored blue to reveal a structure resembling a hand reaching for some eternal red cosmic light.

The star now spins around at the dizzying pace of seven times every second — as pulsars do — spewing energy into space that creates the scene.

Strong magnetic fields, 15 trillion times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field, are thought to be involved, too. The combination drives an energetic wind of electrons and ions away from the dying star. As the electrons move through the magnetized nebula, they radiate away their energy as X-rays.

The red light is actually a neighboring gas cloud, RCW 89, energized into glowing by the fingers of the PSR B1509-58 nebula, astronomers believe.

The scene, which spans 150 light-years, is about 17,000 light years away, so what we see now is how it actually looked 17,000 years ago, and that light is just arriving here.

A light-year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).

301. fofblogmoderator - April 7, 2009

298, 299 & 300 are newly moderated

Fresh Page- The Blog turns 70


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