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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 132 November 6, 2012

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Welcome to the newest page of the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway To Presence Discussion.

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 official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

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1. fofblogmoderator - November 6, 2012

INDEX TO THE BLOG

Animam Recro – Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals, and Fellowship of Friends Discussion
Part 1 through Part 10

http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/fellowship-of-friends-a-cult-for-intellectuals/

The Fellowship of Friends Discussion – Free speech is a dirty business
Part 11 through Part 33

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/

Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion
Part 34 through current page

https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/

These links will allow you to access every page of this blog from its beginning in 2006.

Read with an open mind and you will find out the truth about Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

And if you are a member of the FOF you may find your path to freedom.

2. Nevermind - November 6, 2012

If Romney wins then the Mayans are right.

3. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 6, 2012

#2 regarding the prescient Mayans:

“Dude I don’t have a jetski, not the kind you’re talking about, plus everyone can see I’m not black”

4. WhaleRider - November 7, 2012

Proposition 35, the “Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act” would increase fines and prison sentences for convicted human traffickers.

It would also require them to register as sex offenders and disclose internet activities and identities.

Prohibits evidence that victim engaged in sexual conduct from being used against victim in court proceedings.

5. freeman - November 7, 2012

“Bill Graham Is No Longer Saying Mormonism Is a Cult For Some Reason”
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/10/17/billy_graham_website_scrubbed_of_mormonism_cult_reference_after_endorsement.html

You can analyze this using a relative scale (i.e., it’s not always black and white), but following last night’s election, this seems like a good time to point out that cult-like thinking is prevalent throughout society — in corporate culture, in consumer culture, in political organizations, in religions, in national pride, and occasionally here in this blog. As Rick Ross says, “You can protect yourself from unsafe groups and leaders by developing a good BS detector.”

That doesn’t mean that everything is “BS”, though. Some ideas are healthy and inspiring, and provide hope for the present and future, and foster strength of mind and spirit. The question is: how to know when we are deceiving ourselves, and when we are being deceived. Ross provides some answers below. But most of it we have to figure out for ourselves — with our conscience, our critical thinking, and our ability to observe without buffering the inconvenient truth.

~ ~ ~ ~

By Rick Ross, Expert Consultant and Intervention Specialist

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
8. Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.
9. The group/leader is always right.
10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.

1. Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.
2. Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower’s mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused–as that person’s involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.
3. Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as “persecution”.
4. Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.
5. Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.
6. Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.
7. A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.
8. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.
9. Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.
10. Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.

Ten signs of a safe group/leader.
1. A safe group/leader will answer your questions without becoming judgmental and punitive.
2. A safe group/leader will disclose information such as finances and often offer an independently audited financial statement regarding budget and expenses. Safe groups and leaders will tell you more than you want to know.
3. A safe group/leader is often democratic, sharing decision making and encouraging accountability and oversight.
4. A safe group/leader may have disgruntled former followers, but will not vilify, excommunicate and forbid others from associating with them.
5. A safe group/leader will not have a paper trail of overwhelmingly negative records, books, articles and statements about them.
6. A safe group/leader will encourage family communication, community interaction and existing friendships and not feel threatened.
7. A safe group/leader will recognize reasonable boundaries and limitations when dealing with others.
8. A safe group/leader will encourage critical thinking, individual autonomy and feelings of self-esteem.
9. A safe group/leader will admit failings and mistakes and accept constructive criticism and advice.
10. A safe group/leader will not be the only source of knowledge and learning excluding everyone else, but value dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.

Don’t be naïve, develop a good BS Detector.
You can protect yourself from unsafe groups and leaders by developing a good BS detector. Check things out, know the facts and examine the evidence. A safe group will be patient with your decision making process. If a group or leader grows angry and anxious just because you want to make an informed and careful decision before joining; beware.

6. Someone - November 7, 2012

This is really crazy.

Last week I met a former member whom I used to know quite well.
He left just a few months before I did. I already met him once about a year ago, but I was about to board a plain so we just said hello to each other. This time we had time for coffee and a chat.

I was totally surprised when he told me that he recently re-entered the FoF. Oh man… This guy used to write here in this forum against the FoF and RB. It was more or less when EG – GH’s ex-wife was starring here.

He seemed to be quite happy with his decision. He said he realized that the FoF is the only sane place on earth. Whatever…

7. freeman - November 7, 2012

As Rick Ross, wrote:
“Develop a good BS Detector.”

8. Ames Gilbert - November 7, 2012

Someone (#132-6 or thereabouts),
you already told us about the fourteen stray sheep who rejoined so far this year (see #123-23 and my reply # 123-89), so I guess this makes the fifteenth?
“The only sane place on earth” ?
Good for a chuckle this afternoon! I think s/he means, IMHO, “a place of stability and answers to everything, or at least there is a handy ‘conscious being’ to give an authoritative pronouncement on any subject, and where I know my place, and my salvation is assured”.

Not quite the same thing . . .

I certainly empathize. I thought the same for a while, but I decided it was more honorable and more dignified to face the truth out here, even if it includes a fair degree of apparent insanity. Anyway, I’m glad s/he is comfortable and happy. I assume they are past the stage (if male) where they will personally have to have sex with Burton? In that case, it must be nice to know that ‘someone else’ is enduring Burton’s methods of accelerated evolution, huh?

Also, nice to not be expunged with the rest of us this coming December 21, 2012.

If you run into them again, ask them to post tips on how to put one’s critical faculties and one’s conscience to sleep, this would be very useful to anyone else thinking of returning. And they would be most welcome to tell us what particular advantages being in Burton’s fantasy this time has over the last time.

BTW, do you think I’d fool the 45 angels (remember, Alex Horn is now part of the parade) if I rejoined on the 20th December and gave the Fellowship of Friends a post-dated check? I mean, they don’t seem to be very intelligent if they have to keep communicating with Burton via license plates, mail boxes, T-shirts and such. In fact, they don’t seem to be very intelligent if they rely on Burton at all, he keeps getting their messages wrong and he seems to have put his personal agenda (sex and shopping) well ahead of theirs (preparing for the extinction of humanity and jump-starting the new civilization).

9. Golden Veil - November 7, 2012

6. Someone – November 7, 2012

Regarding “Re-Treads”

Evidently some ex-Fellowship of Friends members never recover from the psychological and emotional damage they sustained while in the cult.

I wonder, what sort of factors come into play… attachment to friends still in the membership, attachment to the “Father” figure (twisted as though that may be), an ill-defined sense of self… who knows?

10. Golden Veil - November 7, 2012

I might add: or recover from the delusions…

11. freeman - November 7, 2012

No, no, NO. It’s just a little fantasy, and maybe an attempt to get some attention and get a rise out of people. Personally, I don’t take everything that people say here “at face value.” A lot of it is complete bullshit. Which is why I admire Bruce more than anyone: His bullshit detector is fully operational. If I lived anywhere near the guy, I would be buying him a beer right now. (There is no better friend than someone who can see a scam a mile away, and warn you about it.)

But let’s assume for a moment it is true, that some person did recently return to the cult. Those who return to a cult never left it in the first place. They left, but they did not leave in mind, heart, and spirit. They were still fully indoctrinated when they left, remained fully indoctrinated for quite some time, and then returned to the cult as fully indoctrinated followers.

How do I know? Because I was one of them. I “left” and then returned once. I was still fully supportive of Burton, still fully deceived by him, and still fully deceiving myself. It took a full-scale intervention by someone who possessed common sense, and just spoke it out loud to me.

“You joined a cult.”

My response. “Oh, I guess you’re right. Wow.”

That friend had a fully operational bullshit detector.

I can’t emphasize this enough: To someone who has a fresh set of eyes, it’s entirely obvious that this is a cult. There is no need for argument, or evidence, or further investigation.

It’s obvious to that person that this organization has all of the symptoms of a cult, that its founder is the classic cult leader, and that its followers are the classic cult followers — in denial and unwilling to hear anything that would suggest they have joined a cult. Only someone who is too close to it, and too invested in it, and too unable to see the inconvenient truth, could believe otherwise.

12. nigel - November 8, 2012

…..from wikihow – “How to Get What you Want”

“Life is like a box of chocolates, You never know what you’re going to get” -Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump. But for those who take critical decisions, life can be different.

How true that is. Stare life in the eyes as you experience it like a roller coaster ride. The meaning of your life is something you create day after day with your own actions and thoughts. Life is made up of choices and decision making is critical as each choice has both consequences and benefits; please weigh the latter and always choose life. Always ask what you can learn, and how you can move forward, and stop yourself from blaming other people if things aren’t the way you would like them to be.

13. nigel - November 8, 2012

Sunday Feature: Think Negative

The poet, novelist and professor of Comparative Literature at Oxford University Patrick McGuinness argues that we live in a culture that puts a premium on positivity and frowns on negativity – when negative thinking is vital to the life of the mind and the progress of thought.

Along the way he reflects how our current era is more likely to repress negativity than make a cult of it. McGuinness traces the changing role of negativity across cultural history: the via negativa of medieval theology; the negative dialectics of modern philosophy, and the discovery of negative numbers in maths. Geoff Dyer and John Banville also feature on the programme to discuss the writers they admire who exemplify and inspire the creative possibilities of negative thinking.

14. Ill Never Tell - November 8, 2012

8. Ames Gilbert:
‘they [Influence C or 45 angels] don’t seem to be very intelligent if they have to keep communicating with Burton [a – not so good – fourth grade elementary school teacher] via license plates, mail boxes, T-shirts and such.’

Don’t forget the rhino poop message reading. Some foretell the future by reading characteristics of tea leaves remaining in a cup a person drinks from, others use a crystal ball, tarot cards, dream interpretation, astrology, augury (flight of birds), I Ching, palm reading, phrenology (shape of skull or bumps on head), geomancy (interpretations from markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soil, rocks, or sand), etc.

But, Fellowship of Friends and Robert Earl Burton, in particular, can tell you what has passed on the basis of poopology (characteristics, and number of clumps, of sh!t appearing to his eye ball. (If the foo sh!ts, wear it any way.)). Or, perhaps that is not refined enough and it sh!t be called: excretomancy. (Or, possibly: scatology or coprology, or something like that.) Others call a spade a dirt shovel, while the fairy queen takes a club for a wand, so let’s just call it sh!tology.

So, when Inner circle facts Says: (March 1st, 2007 at 8:25 am; FoF blog page 1, post 294) De-tails about what goes on in Robert Earl Burton’s BADroom, with the various orifices of the bodies; they are just doing divination of what’s behind – as it were, by flying by the seat of their pants. (It, therefore, sh!t be protected by the constitution as religious freedom – to poop when and where and how, and on whom, one wants to. And, read whatever one wants to from it.)

As to FoF recidivism: ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’

15. freeman - November 8, 2012

To Nigel. I like the sentiment. Balance between the two is good, or at least learning not to fear one or the other.

16. Ill Never Tell - November 8, 2012

Or, maybe, that sh!t be:
‘Fool me once, sh!t on me; fool me twice, sh!t on you.’
You know, that penchant in FoF, to see everything upside down and backwards from how life see it.

Where is Bass Ackwards when we need them?

17. I in the sky - November 8, 2012

Bruce to EL Kramer:

“Larry, you just submitted a litany of how you see yourself as a teacher and illustrated all the ways you’ve tried to teach, even offering the view that the “states” you created in your little groups exceeded the “states” produced in the FOF, and in the same breath deny and denigrate the notion that you present yourself as a teacher. I’m surprised you don’t see the blatant hypocrisy.

I remember you as a very self-important person in the FOF, and your present writing both here and at the GF site doesn’t seem to differ much from my past experience with you at the Ranch.

These days you “pronounce” much the same way as you did in the 70′s and 80′s. I’m just telling you how I see you. Take it or leave it.”

EL Kramer to Bruce:

“You know Bruce, since you can’t specifically find any real issue that you can debate me on, you need to result to name calling and erroneous reports about who I am. Its a tricky mercurial tactic but anyone who is observing what is actually is going on can see it is nothing but pure judgement. prejudice and negativity on your part. Believe me, if I chose to go after your weaknesses, you would wish your mouth was sewn shut so everyone would know for sure where the escaping sounds would be coming from.”

This brief exchange perfectly illustrates why schools are needed on earth. Both of these individuals describe aspects of the other person’s inner world with an uncanny accuracy, yet neither would ever attribute any truth to what the other says about them. In short, they both know the other but neither knows himself. In schools this dilemma can be rectified to some degree through the practice of self-remembering, in an environment with others who are also satisfied with presence as a destination.

Yet both individuals quoted above have a functioning conscience that distinguishes right from wrong, if only in the actions of others. This condition is likely behind the oft mentioned comment by Ames regarding conscience, and attributed to RB.

Conscience alone will not open many doors in relation to self knowledge. Consciousness must be developed along with conscience to arrive at any worthwhile results. An overly active conscience paired with insufficient consciousness will produce an individual merely content with casting the first stone, and nothing more.

18. ton2u - November 8, 2012

and with her return here, pie in the sky is ‘casting the first stone.’ or i should say ‘stones’… at bruce, at kramer, at ames, and at ex students in general. she attempts again to rationalize her own lack of conscience which comes of following the fof program — a program which necessarily relies on lulling conscience to sleep so that ‘students’ blithely continue to support burton’s depravity while membership is retained.

19. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 8, 2012

#17 Hey “I” welcome back, thought you might be sulking or something!

So we need a school to stop the kind of interaction we witnessed here between E.L. Kramer and Bruce Levy? But can’t you see that that is part of the joy of existence. They both have their opinions and express them, their rough and tumble adding greatly to the gaiety of the blog.

Didn’t it make you smile (just a bit)? Go on admit it, it’s more fun than all that stuffed shirt passive aggressive photographing that goes on within the FoF.

20. nigel - November 8, 2012

I have been wanting to answer on the subject of consciousness/conscience, since it seems the ‘focal argument’ concerning the Being Worthwhile of Conscious ‘Schools’. For myself I have gained something in my life that would never have been achieved had I had the (mis)fortune to stay in the FOF; post-FOF, a complete psychological meltdown and rebuilding (by myself, through the help of others and denial from others) over 14 years, then a return to my life’s craft in steadily increasing confidence – the first ‘wish’ to teach at an approved school was at the North East Wales Institute (NEW-“I”). It never happened but hinted at my possibilities, both professionally and spiritually/psychologically. These days, I have nothing but gratitude for My Fate (and, of course, nothing but despising for evil Mr Burton and his petty and deceitful group). It seems to me that others have described conscious states so well and that makes the point that you do not just state what consciousness is (not functions, his ass!!!!!) but poeticaly or artistically express yourself and LIVE WHAT YOU EXPRESS (LISTENING MR BURTON?????). Below, a beautiful passage from one of my guardian angels…..

“Trippers and askers surround me, people I meet,
The effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new.
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss or lack of money or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;

These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.
Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.”

Walt Whitman “Song of Myself”

21. nigel - November 8, 2012

…..from the “Winged Heart” website…..

People have been attempting to understand and describe the experience of Self for many millennia. Much of the poetry describing the Self emerges out of spiritual traditions as poets attempted to express the nature of the essence of humanness. Jelaluddin Rumi (1207 -1273), a famous Sufi poet and mystic revered by those in his religion of Islam as well as Christians and Jews, describes beautifully the experience of our various parts and how, when one is in the Self they are all welcome.

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”

22. nigel - November 8, 2012

…..from the text of the “Winged Heart” website…..

“Our parts dance around our center engaged with the activities of life making judgments, reacting with “yes” and “no”, to all kinds of experiences. In our Self we find a place of knowing, a place where we can observe the dance of the different parts of ourselves without either being dominated by or having to cast out various parts of ourselves.”

23. Nevermind - November 8, 2012

One important aspect of conscience is that that condition of higher emotional existence removes the psychological phenomenon of buffers from the perceptions of the person experiencing it. The individual in question sees all the contradictions that are the result of the near continuous changes of mind and emotion that take place in a being that has no quality of internal unity. When conscience is active, which is very rare because it is a powerful emotion that is present from moment to moment, then there is available an unusual view of the true landscape of one’s life. All the illogical and random impulses that contradict and cancel one another out, resulting in a typical life of aimless wasting of energy, are suddenly directly visible. In a true state of conscience all the wrongs, stupidities, mistakes and accomplishments of the past are present in the awareness in the here and now so that the person in question knows exactly who he is by virtue of remembering all his or her actions over the course of his life.

Since “I In the Sky” brought up the subject of conscience in the context of “school,” meaning the cult that collects wrong magnetic centers known as the Fellowship of Friends, note that he or she is buffering the fact that within that group of people at least one member who lived and worked as closely with Burton as anyone has or could, and therefore was the recipient of all the “conscious teaching” possible, when confronted with a rather ordinary illness, one common to growing old, simply hung himself rather than endure the often unpleasant side of life that comes around toward the end. There was no sense of conscience in that unfortunate student, since he murdered himself rather than endure discomfort. Exactly how does a Fellowship member explain to himself that one of the “inner circle,” someone Burton lavished time and blowjobs on for decades, did not even develop enough advanced being or conscience in the “school” to face the trials of old age?

They don’t explain it. They buffer it because they have no conscience.

The Fellowship of Friends is a cult where the emotional disease of narcissism is mistaken for consciousness and then taught as a way of life. On top of that the symptoms of psychosis, believing that signs are mysteriously guiding the ruling crazy man and his minions, are shared throughout the group. The cult members take themselves so seriously as over-inflated, self-important “beings” that no words of reason can convince them that they are in fact one of the most unconscious group of people on the planet. The FOF is a cult where a creature of inflated personality, Robert Burton, mistakes his delirious self-righteousness for higher consciousness. The FOF teacher has to spend his entire life stealing money, adorning his body, traveling on stolen funds, eating expensive food, collecting fools willing to betray their sexual integrity and ruling over self-deluded dupes wasting their lives pretending to be conscious when they are simply lost in snobbery all in order to convince himself that he actually is as important as he imagines he feels.

24. WhaleRider - November 8, 2012

I in the sky:
“This brief exchange perfectly illustrates why schools are needed on earth.”

This is a presupposition that “schools” exist.

You seem to be incorrigible in your delusion that “schools of consciousness” do, based upon the premise that since there are so many thieves in the world, then there must be honest men.

Yes, cults and universities do exist, and it is easy to see why cults came first.

If you are still unclear on the difference, scroll up.

You are more likely to learn the truth about consciousness and conscience in a university setting than you ever would in a cult like the Fellowship of Friends or from reading a book.

Our rather long exchange over these few pages perfectly illustrates why the science, study and practice of psychology is needed in a modern, evolving society.

“…presence as a destination…?”

Don’t be fooled by this euphemistic statement.

The destination for a cult follower kneeling before a malignant narcissist is…”shut up and listen.”

25. WhaleRider - November 8, 2012

nevermind:
“One important aspect of conscience is that that condition of higher emotional existence removes the psychological phenomenon of buffers from the perceptions of the person experiencing it.”

Thank you for your post.

You probably would reach a wider audience of first time visitors if you upgraded from your cult language a bit.

IMO, a “buffer” is another word for the psychological phenomenon of a “defense mechanism”, of which there are many.

See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_mechanism

If you are really interested in knowing yourself better, you might wish to learn about the intricacies and different levels and categories of defense mechanisms; and you’ll probably agree that the word buffer doesn’t quite grasp the depth and breadth of knowledge (right at our fingertips) about the extent to which the ego will defend and protect itself…and hopefully you’ll also begin to understand the point at which defense mechanisms become pathological…and why we need peers to reality test.

Make no mistake, even Burton uses defense mechanisms, despite claiming to be an enlightened being…that’s why he has no peers, only followers.

It is important for anyone first learning about the idea of defense mechanisms to understand that we all use them to some degree. Defense mechanisms are coping skills, and using them doesn’t inherently make you a bad person.

But the main point I’d like to make here, IMHO, is that even with a functioning conscience, one still maintains healthy defense mechanisms, such as humor.

IMHO, the more self-aware a person is, the more conscious they are of each of their defense mechanisms…and most importantly, of the painful truths that they are defending against.

26. I in the sky - November 8, 2012

19. Shard_of_Oblivion

“#17 Hey “I” welcome back, thought you might be sulking or something!

So we need a school to stop the kind of interaction we witnessed here between E.L. Kramer and Bruce Levy?”

Not at all Shard. Just pointing out the effect of “looking outward” and always finding the problem or issue “out there, with someone else’s actions.”

23.Nevermind

“When conscience is active, which is very rare because it is a powerful emotion that is present from moment to moment, then there is available an unusual view of the true landscape of one’s life. All the illogical and random impulses that contradict and cancel one another out, resulting in a typical life of aimless wasting of energy, are suddenly directly visible. In a true state of conscience all the wrongs, stupidities, mistakes and accomplishments of the past are present in the awareness in the here and now so that the person in question knows exactly who he is by virtue of remembering all his or her actions over the course of his life.”

How true. My point was that without consciousness there is not sufficient will. Consciousness supplies the will to mate with conscience. Without the appropriate level of consciousness circulating one sees oneself but is powerless to change. So the alternative action is to try to change what one sees in others.

Conscience without consciousness will lead to much unnecessary suffering, or to the eventual repression of conscience.

Regarding AG, the constant physical pain he was enduring was the X factor you or I can’t evaluate. His condition was far from “a rather ordinary illness, one common to growing old” as you characterize it. It sounds like you may be mis-informed about his condition.

I do know that he loved and doted on his two children so I would assume the constant pain was overwhelming in order for him to choose that course of action.

WhaleRider – 24

“This is a presupposition that “schools” exist.”

it would be a presupposition if one had not encountered a school, but a reality if one had.

And it’s not a given that everyone recognizes a school who encounters one. And it’s not a given that everyone who finds a school is really looking for one.

27. WhaleRider - November 8, 2012

In in the Sky:
“It would be a presupposition if one had not encountered a school, but a reality if one had. And it’s not a given that everyone recognizes a school who encounters one. And it’s not a given that everyone who finds a school is really looking for one.”

The same could be said for UFO’s.

That doesn’t make the person claiming to have encountered one less delusional.

I can guarantee that if you are looking for an UFO hard enough and believe they must exist, then you will eventually see one, not because they really do exist, but because you believe they do.

That’s how the human mind works, in case you haven’t noticed.

28. WhaleRider - November 8, 2012

BTW, I hear that with the passage of Prop 35, the “Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act”, the sentence for being convicted of human trafficking for sexual purposes will be increased from a maximum if 8 years to life in prison.

Isn’t that ironic?

29. freeman - November 8, 2012

The real question is, what is that school teaching? The website may claim one thing, while the reality is quite another — closing your eyes to the obvious truth is the No. 1 lesson.

What is “a given” is that almost everyone who encounters this organization recognizes it for what it is — just another cult with your run-of-the-mill sociopathic guru.

Yep, “schools” do exist.

30. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 8, 2012

I have made a recording of the Gurdjieff tune “Sacred Goose Geese Swans”, and offer it as an elegy to the swans that Burton heartlessly maimed to prevent them from escaping from his lake. Holding beings with less power than himself captive seems to be one of Burton’s favourite things.

31. brucelevy - November 8, 2012

Actually I think it’s kind of amusing to be criticized by two people with obvious and pronounced narcissistic personality disorder.

32. Opus111 - November 8, 2012

Shard:

That was very nice, thank you. What were you wearing on your head during the performance? We could not see it very well but it looked a bit like a colorful teapot cover

33. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 8, 2012

#32

op111

Thanks.

It is a hat I bought in a hippy shop in Thailand many years ago, but I had never found a suitable occasion on which to wear it – up till now. It’s made from velvet.

34. Ames Gilbert - November 9, 2012

Hello, anyone who is landing here for the first time.
Maybe you have had a look at the “Pathway to Presence” website, and thought you’d just check it out a bit more on the internet, maybe someone warned you about them. Great to have you here, and to know that you are doing ‘due diligence’, finding out whether there are other sides to the story before considering making a commitment.
In contrast to the “Pathway to Presence” website, most of the posters here are not setting themselves up as objective spiritual authorities or even ‘bearers of spiritual truth’ and we are certainly not inviting you to join some organization!

The “Pathway to Presence” site has a certain allure, doesn’t it? Most of the posters here were also, in their time, allured by the claims of the Fellowship of Friends, and after spending considerable time, effort, and money, found no substance behind the allure. There was ‘a lure’, but we found it was ‘bait and switch’. The bait was the Fourth Way, and we were switched to the Second Way, a religion based on the worship of Burton and his collection of conveniently invisible helpers, the theoretical 45 angels or astral bodies of supposedly ‘conscious’ beings. A religion like any other in that it uses fear or infatuation to bind the followers. A religion like any other that claims it is the only true one, that it has an exclusive pathway to salvation, that all other religions are false, that followers are singularly blessed, that to leave is damnation. A religion like any other that demands faith, credulity and childlike (and permanent) dependence. A religion like any other that necessitates intermediaries between the supplicant and God.

Did you notice the “Pathway to Presence” website is pretty, and the language refined? Sure it’s pretty; the Fellowship of Friends has recruited some talented designers and writers in its time. I and others are here to tell you that the prettiness hides something awful, that behind the facade there is rottenness, lies and corruption. That Burton is a charlatan and a liar, and has been from the start. That the man in the meetings who spouts pre-digested platitudes about presence in a soft, hypnotic voice with compelling aura of self-certainty has most likely just come from a sexual encounter with heterosexual men, where he told them that he is ‘a goddess in a man’s body’, and that acting against their natural revulsion would ‘advance their spiritual evolution’. We are here to say that the soft voice is likely because his throat is still clogged with sperm, the calm assurance is perhaps the result of tranquilizers, and his monologs have a dreamy quality because he is musing on his last sexual conquest or planning the next one. We are here to tell you that the claims Burton makes, that he is in some way a legitimate teacher, are demonstrably false and spurious.

For those who are attracted by the Fourth Way terms sprinkled around the Fellowship of Friends website:
P.D. Ouspensky said, “There are schools for instance or systems which, although they do not formulate it in this way, are actually based on false personality and on struggle against conscience. Such work must certainly produce wrong results. First it will create a kind of strength, but it will make the development of higher consciousness an impossibility.”
The Fellowship of Friends is exactly the type of organization he was referring to. Be warned!

Here are a few actual examples of the ‘teaching’ Robert Earl Burton will offer you, in his actual words, in return for a great deal of your money and time. Do you actually ever want to be in the place and state where you believe any of this makes sense? And do you really want to be with people who lap all this up as if their lives depended on it? For your own sake, look elsewhere!
___________________________________
Here we are dining with friends in Chicago. At the back are Mario and Erica Flores and Nir Taranto. On the journey I told Nir that the Apostle Paul was responsible for hydrogen warfare, and the next day Pasha (Paul) from Petrosavodsk sent us an article reporting a plane crash in which forty-four people died. It was the longest day of the year: the Last Judgment – humanity’s darkest hour. Nir was traveling with us, obviously meaning that the time for this to occur is “near.” For us it is just a matter of becoming inwardly and outwardly prepared. Across from me at the table is Michael Lester, whom we met unexpectedly at the museum. Just before lunch I spoke with a shoe salesman whose first name was also Lester.
___________________________________
We are so blessed to have presence, to speak with presence, and to hear with presence. Rodney Collin anticipated the coming of a very special time which he called “a kairos time, a time of exceptional opportunity for those who want to acquire will” – presence. This school is what he was anticipating. One of our students in Paris, Charles Reale, was working with the second most powerful computer in France, and as he was adjusting his seat, he slipped and his elbow hit a button, crashing the computer. The reality of it (Charles Reale) is that we will probably survive the Last Judgment.
(Note: after many previously prophesied dates passed without incident, now scheduled for December 21, 2012!)
___________________________________
The prehistoric people used the rhinoceros and the mammoth as symbols of the lower self. The Egyptians used the hippopotamus. The rhinoceros is probably the best example of the lower self – stubborn, obstinate, and powerful. However, he, too, can be removed by the Sequence.
(show slide)
A cave painting in Lascaux, dating to 15,000-13,000 BP, depicts a rhinoceros defecating. The six stools represent the sequence in imagination. The steward has been thrown down, and has four fingers in place of five, signifying that the four wordless breaths are not in prolonged presence, but in prolonged imagination. He has attempted to slay the bison – another symbol of the lower self – but rather than piercing him in the heart, he has pierced him in the intestines, which are coming out. Nevertheless, the lower self still had the strength to overthrow the steward and to destroy the sequence.
(Insight into how this interpretation was developed at: http://tinyurl.com/9wzbt55)
___________________________________
Finally, you can see a video of Robert Earl Burton ‘teaching’ in all his glory at: http://tinyurl.com/ceugy6u

35. David - November 9, 2012

IITS
Your reductionist description of the interaction between Bruce and E.L. is very typical of FoF simplistic thinking. Though since people in the FoF “photograph” each other as a way to change each others annoying behavior I can see why you might have come to the conclusion that you did.

“Consciousness supplies the will to mate with conscience.” Consciousness and Will are not the same thing. Self observation is the exercise of consciousness without will. It puts a person in the position of seeing themselves as they are, not as they imagine themselves to be, which can lead to a ‘wish to be’. Still not Will.
A Fakir is someone with Will but no consciousness.
You have been listening to RB’s gobbledygook for too long. I suggest that you put aside what you think the FoF has taught you about the Work, and go back and read the books with a fresh perspective. You will see that what RB “teaches” is a distortion.

“Consciousness must be developed along with conscience to arrive at any worthwhile results.” This is exactly what Ames and others have been saying to you all along. The part that you have not been hearing is that the FoF is not a place where that occurs, which is why they are trying to help you get out and have the possibility of finding a place where it does. How can a man who has no conscience teach anyone about it?

36. Tim Campion - November 9, 2012

Nevermind,

It appears that you have not actually been a member of The Fellowship of Friends. If not, what prompts your interest in this site? Had you considered joining?

37. Ames Gilbert - November 9, 2012

Shard (#132-30 or thereabouts),
a beautiful tribute and a beautiful rendering of Gurdjieff’s music. Watching the hands play the instrument with ease and sensitivity was itself moving, and the hat was a nice touch of whimsy. Thank you very much.

38. I in the sky - November 9, 2012

WhaleRider – 27

“I can guarantee that if you are looking for an UFO hard enough and believe they must exist, then you will eventually see one, not because they really do exist, but because you believe they do.”

I agree that if someone believes badly enough in UFOs they will eventually see one. But that doesn’t mean they can really go for a ride in one. Higher states are a reality and one can really be transported to the third state whenever one makes efforts to give up one’s illusions and delusions.

freeman – 29

“The real question is, what is that school teaching? The website may claim one thing, while the reality is quite another — closing your eyes to the obvious truth is the No. 1 lesson.”

How do you explain its continued viability?

If someone opened a soap shop but all they sold was bars of compressed soot do you think its doors would stay open very long?

That’s what your comment implies. The FoF is promoting presence / consciousness but really they are selling the opposite, yet people keep coming and staying for years and decades.

Do you think the people who find their way to the FoF are secretly looking for the opposite of what they are outwardly searching for, so when they find the opposite of what is being advertised by the FoF they are irresistibly sold on it?

That would at least explain your comment.

39. I in the sky - November 9, 2012

Shard_ of_Oblivion – 30:

“Every man thinks his own geese are swans.” – Charles Dickens

40. ton2u - November 9, 2012

shard 3o;

it’s ‘telling’ that pie in the sky takes your offering as yet another opportunity to cast yet another stone…

thank you shard

41. nigel - November 9, 2012

38/39. I in the sky

Consciousness is not thinking about it nor talking about it…..conscience is not being told what to do but living from an honest and human place in oneself…..the Self is neither ‘higher’ nor ‘lower’, but the result of efforts to allow the Pressure of Life to lead one in the direction of One’s True Fate and not an imitated ‘isn’t it nice how we are evolving together?’ CULT…..Nigel.

42. Shard_of_oblivion - November 9, 2012

#38 “I in the sky” repeats a argument used previously thus:

“How do you explain its continued viability?

If someone opened a soap shop but all they sold was bars of compressed soot do you think its doors would stay open very long?”

But does it hold water? Well let’s see if we can find any examples of soot sellers that remain in business.

How about Scientology, been around longer than the FoF, they peddle nonsense about thetans and going clear, but are still thriving despite attempts by governments to shut them down, and interestingly they have survived the death of the leader.

Personally I think the Christian church is a perfect example, but I know some people may differ with me on that.

You see the difficulty is that the soot package being sold will only be unwrapped at the moment of death, when it is too late to go back and ask where the soap went.

#39 What the Dickens can you mean😉

43. jomopinata - November 9, 2012

38/IITS

> How do you explain its continued viability?

> If someone opened a soap shop but all they sold was
> bars of compressed soot do you think its doors would
> stay open very long?

> That’s what your comment implies. The FoF is
> promoting presence / consciousness but really they are
> selling the opposite, yet people keep coming and
> staying for years and decades.

> Do you think the people who find their way to the FoF
> are secretly looking for the opposite of what they are
> outwardly searching for, so when they find the opposite
> of what is being advertised by the FoF they are
> irresistibly sold on it?

Wouldn’t it be great if it were this simple? But it’s not simple at all. The FoF is selling a particular set of illusions, and teaching a particular set of evasions. If you are vulnerable to the illusions, and become skilled in the evasions, you can enjoy the illusions for a long time. Of course, when they fade, one may unfortunately find that one remains skilled in the evasions, and bound to the organization out of a fear it inculcates in its members.

Michael Shermer has written that smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.

44. WhaleRider - November 9, 2012

I in the sky:
“I agree that if someone believes badly enough in UFOs they will eventually see one. But that doesn’t mean they can really go for a ride in one. Higher states are a reality and one can really be transported to the third state whenever one makes efforts to give up one’s illusions and delusions.”

I’m glad you and I agree that our beliefs can distort our picture of reality.

Actually, there are people who claim to have ridden in UFO’s, just as you claim to be transported to someplace different you call the third state. (You also claim be guided in your personal affairs by ghosts.)

Both you and they are convinced your illusory experiences feel real, and through your conviction when recounting your personal narrative, have caused others to suspend their disbelief and join your camps.

You both will deny all evidence to the contrary and yet are unable to provide supporting evidence to your claims that can be independently corroborated by anyone outside your group.

You claim your group is not a cult, despite the fact that the group meets all the criteria for a cult set by authorities on the subject.

You claim that the persistence of your beliefs are proof enough, despite their bizarre and implausible nature.

So who is suffering from delusions?

45. Shard_of_oblivion - November 9, 2012

Shard of Oblivion is resisting the inference that, after doing a test video for the newly created shardoblivion channel, featuring grey and pink clouds from horizon to horizon, the fact that a day later from the exact same location the London Shard is illuminated by a Fat Old Sun in any way indicates that his blog alias is being endorsed by the higher intelligence he sensed on Ayahuasca some years ago. (which intelligence, in his drug addled state, he felt certain used the sky to communicate cosmic messages to a largely heedless humanity)

These co-incidences happen all the time.

Here is the grey and pink from a day earlier

46. freeman - November 9, 2012

The “viability” comment is interesting in that it implies one of those unspoken truths about the FOF — that the FOF is a “business.”

Whether it is viable business or not, is another question, but the idea that it’s a business at all is an interesting one. If you’re running a cult, you don’t want your followers to be thinking about it as though it’s a business — because if your followers do think about it that way, they would immediately begin to question it.

A “viable” business is where there’s a profit in it for the owners, the employees are gainfully employed, and there’s outstanding customer satisfaction. In a cult’s business model, you need to somehow convince the vast majority of your employees to work for nothing or almost nothing, while simultaneously deceiving your customers into thinking they are getting a good product out of the deal, when in fact that are buying a delusional vision of the world and harming themselves in the process.

This culture of abuse does occur in the business world to a large degree (and only through labor reforms and consumer activism has that changed for the better in the last 100 years). But in a cult, it’s worse. All of the apparent benefits of this business model are imbalanced toward the owner / leader of the cult and his closest enablers (until he discards these individuals one at a time and replaces them with people who are more useful). A skillful cult leader can maintain this tenuous balance for a long time by discarding his employees and his customers and continually seeking new victims.

I suppose you could claim that the above situation is “viable.” But what happens when he runs out of enough victims to maintain this status quo?

Rather than “viable,” this is a formula for instability and eventual collapse. I get the impression that cult leaders have one goal: To fool people for as long as they possibly can. Their biggest hope is that their death will come before the day of reckoning.

47. I in the sky - November 9, 2012

WhaleRider – 44

“You claim your group is not a cult, despite the fact that the group meets all the criteria for a cult set by authorities on the subject.

You claim that the persistence of your beliefs are proof enough, despite their bizarre and implausible nature.

So who is suffering from delusions?”

Actually if you get “the drift” of my posts you’ll find I don’t claim that the “persistence of my beliefs are proof enough” but quite the opposite.

I have stated several times that proof of what the FoF is or is not is impossible on this blog or any other blog. Real proof of what the FoF is or is not will come to all who were once a member at some point in time.

My reality dismisses the possibility that it is a cult, your reality dismisses the possibility it is a conscious school (however you have developed an additional unprovable tenet as to whether real schools actually exist.)

I am merely stating my experiences and understandings and I assume you are one of about 20 or so regulars to the blog who are doing the same. We can deduce one fact however: Since we are on opposite ends of the spectrum regarding just what the FoF is, one of us will have proven to be closer to the truth than the other when all is said and done, as I don’t think the FoF can be both what you say it is and what I say it is at the same time.

Shard, no hidden meaning to the Dickens quote, just a quirky association. Hardly a “stone” as some poster inferred.

However the quote is rather germane to the general discussion.

48. Wouldnt You Like To Know - November 9, 2012

27. WhaleRider:
‘I can guarantee that if you are looking for an UFO hard enough and believe they must exist, then you will eventually see one, not because they really do exist, but because you believe they do.

That’s how the human mind works, in case you haven’t noticed.’

Funny how the human condition works. When a person is looking for something, anything, a school, the keys, a word in the dictionary, or whatever, when thinking, or believing, ‘I have found what I am looking for,’ I stop looking.

That does not mean that what is being looked for has actually been found. Nor does it mean I have arrived in the right place. It does mean that I stop looking. The possibility exists that better is still out there and remains unfound. Being identified and attached to what I think, or believe, I have found, can also be a trap on the road of life.

It’s a little bit like this: Walking home late one night in the dark, I saw someone (not you Someone) looking ardently for something under the street lamp. I said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ And, they said, ‘I cannot find my keys.’ I said, ‘Where did loose them?’ They said, ‘Oh, down the street a bit, over there;’ pointing in the direction. So, I said, ‘Why are you looking for them over here?’ And, they said, ‘The light is better over here under the street lamp.’

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
– T.S. Eliot

People find just what they are looking for. They are not interested in finding what they are NOT looking for.

Fellowship of Friends will shape-shift, change its look and feel, to whatever is necessary to allure, attract, and keep, especially, new members. It is not identified with appearances and the ‘form.’ (If rhino poops do it; so be it.)

Those who have drunk the kool-aid have a much lower threshold of disbelief to overcome, as compares with new member prospects. It is best to let all of them think they have found what they are looking for, and, like sheep, they will follow.

[This, BTW, was the strategy used by the losing side of the recent U.S. presidential election: Change your position to whatever sells.]

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool ALL of the people ALL of the time.
– Abraham Lincoln

Eventually, there will be no way out of the cult save your death. . . . . .

49. NewLife - November 9, 2012

Found an interesting CNN interview today. The reporter is interviewing Kevin Dutton who recently wrote a book titled “The Wisdom of Psychopaths”.

Posting the link here since this blog has had some discussions on what characteristics distinguishes a psychopath. So I thought some may be interested in listening to the interview.

50. WhaleRider - November 9, 2012

I in the sky:
Real proof of what the FoF is or is not will come to all who were once a member at some point in time…one of us will have proven to be closer to the truth than the other when all is said and done…”

I prefer to stay in the present, especially when dealing with sociopaths.

51. jomopinata - November 9, 2012

47/I in the Sky

> My reality dismisses the possibility that it is a cult

Let’s see. The Fellowship of Friends is a group of hundreds of people arrayed around a self-proclaimed spiritual leader

— who claims to be the “brightest light in 2000 years,”

–who claims that disembodied beings are making his lips move,

–who interprets license plates as communications from disembodied beings, as a central feature of his teaching

–who has issued a series of apocalyptic predictions about the fall of California and Armageddon (nuclear holocaust), predictions which are disconfirmed repeatedly,

–who engages in the sexual and financial manipulation of his followers, and

–who requires that those who leave the group be ostracized by those who remain

My question is, in what universe would such a group NOT be considered a cult?

52. James Mclemore - November 9, 2012

Better be careful in what you say Jomo Pinata. I in the Sky has warned us, by way of prophecy, that the “Real Proof” will come to us later, and has sort of inferred that there may be ‘hell to pay’.

I in the sky:
“Real proof of what the FoF is or is not will come to all who were once a member at some point in time…one of us will have proven to be closer to the truth than the other when all is said and done…”

Sounds like still another doomsday prophecy for the future, I guess even ‘I in the sky’ is now capable of this divine gift.
I wonder if this the one that happens on our deathbed when the angels come to tell the bloggers and ex-FoFers,
“I am very sorry to have to tell you this but it would have been better if you had never been born,” ?

53. freeman - November 9, 2012

One of the unhealthier aspects of cults in general, and this cult in particular, is the extent to which they try instilling fear in people about some distant theoretical future event — whether it’s war, or famine, or agonies in the afterlife. The want people to fear the imaginary consequences that anyone will suffer who does not follow the cult leader.

Sounds like that’s what I in the Sky would like — that everyone be afraid — afraid of Robert, afraid of her, afraid of the world, afraid of the universe, afraid of the unknown. It’s a really sad way to live a life.

54. I in the sky - November 9, 2012

Jomopinata 51:

“My question is, in what universe would such a group NOT be considered a cult?”

I didn’t expect you to agree with me, so if you’re in the universe you want to be in I support your right to stay there 100 percent.

55. jomopinata - November 9, 2012

54/I in the Sky

I couldn’t come up with a better example of an evasion than the one you have just demonstrated.

56. brucelevy - November 9, 2012

53. freeman

That was exactly her M.O. for manipulating and instilling fear in the underlings, and puffing up her own self worth. I’m sure, as evidenced here, nothing has changed over the years. One might say she’s crystallized in bull shit.

57. nigel - November 9, 2012

…..from “Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass”…..

“Obedience does not master him, he masters it. High up out of reach he stands turning a concentrated light . . . he turns the pivot with his finger . . . he baffles the swiftest runners as he stands and easily overtakes and envelops them. The time straying toward infidelity and confections and persiflage he withholds by his steady faith . . . he spreads out his dishes . . . he offers the sweet firmfibred meat that grows men and women. His brain is the ultimate brain. He is no arguer . . . he is judgment. He judges not as the judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing. As he sees the farthest he has the most faith. His thoughts are the hymns of the praise of things. In the talk on the soul and eternity and God off of his equal plane he is silent. He sees eternity less like a play with a prologue and denouement . . . . he sees eternity in men and women . . . he does not see men and women as dreams or dots. Faith is the antiseptic of the soul . . . it pervades the common people and preserves them . . . they never give up believing and expecting and trusting. There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius. The poet sees for a certainty how one not a great artist may be just as sacred and perfect as the greatest artist…..”

58. nigel - November 10, 2012

Had to deal with a great deal today. When I called my father this morning to tell him about my business affairs, he told me that Mary, my stepmother, had been taken ill. He did not elaborate, but told me he had to deal with it and needed my affairs to ‘go behind’ at this time. When I called him this evening, he said Mary had had a serious stroke and was paralyzed down one side and could not speak. My reaction was neutral, since, previously, I had had contentions with Mary and her wanting to replace my mother. Then I realized the positive things she had done for me – buying a beautiful chrome-plated kettle for my kitchen and a soft and well-used bed for my little dog, Ferdy. She is an instinctively-centred Mars-Jovial from a farming family and took care of my father’s basic needs and accompanied him on world-trips. I happened to be at my local pub at the time of the news and broke it to my older Venus-Mercury friend, Graham, who, quite uncharacteristically, allowed himself to be blunt in his view on the matter – did she expect to inherit the house? did she expect to nurse my father in his dotage? all sorts of questions which will probably go unanswered. My father comes from a blood-line of longevity and may have to see out his old age alone without a partner now, even though Mary might recover and be in a home for some time. I came to a point where I found I was affected by the news and told Graham – “I believe we cannot escape our fate.” But I also said – “I do not want Mary to suffer and I do not want my father to suffer.” I am so lucky to have a caring family – my father has seen me go through my mental-health traumas and now found balance, even though with pharmaceutical help. AND I AM SO GLAD I WAS SAVED FROM ANY OTHER CONTINUATION THAT WOULD HAVE OCCURED AFTER 11 JUNE 1989 WITH THE FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS. As the Buddha stated…..

“The search for illumination is ultimately a human one.”

59. nigel - November 10, 2012

“And Death Shall Have No Dominion
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion. ”

Dylan Thomas

60. freeman - November 10, 2012

56. brucelevy

“One might say she’s crystallized in bull shit.”

I watched a YouTube of Karl Rove’s reaction the other night when Fox News called Ohio for Obama. He was incredulous for the next half hour, despite the fact that everyone else on the planet knew the election was over. For Republicans especially, it had to really sad and embarrassing to watch. Even the Fox News anchors were amazed by the extent of his denial.

“I in the Sky” is radiating the same vibe here. Denial, bullshit, more denial, more bullshit. She can’t help herself. She’s been conditioned to be this way. There’s no turning back, so he has to march forward or she’ll fall over.

61. nigel - November 10, 2012

On a more positve note…..

…..from a Richard Branson – Linked-In site…..

What is your definition of entrepreneur?

Speaking at an entrepreneur event in Egypt earlier this week with President Carter, he mentioned how President George W Bush had reportedly said “the French don’t have a word for entrepreneur.”

A quick Google will tell you that the word entrepreneur is a loanword from the French verb “entreprende”, which means “to undertake”. That sounds quite fitting, as entrepreneurs are always undertaking new challenges and coming up with new ideas.

Joseph Schumpeter’s definition is pretty good. “Entrepreneurs are innovators who use a process of shattering the status quo of the existing products and services, to set up new products, new services.” Peter Drucker was onto something too when he made the following definition in 1964: ” An entrepreneur searches for change, responds to it and exploits opportunities. Innovation is a specific tool of an entrepreneur hence an effective entrepreneur converts a source into a resource.”

But to me, being an entrepreneur simply means being someone who wants to make a difference to other people’s lives.

62. brucelevy - November 10, 2012
63. Wouldnt You Like To Know - November 10, 2012

53. freeman:
‘Sounds like that’s what I in the Sky would like — that everyone be afraid — afraid of Robert, afraid of her, afraid of the world, afraid of the universe, afraid of the unknown. It’s a really sad way to live a life.’

You forgot to mention: afraid of them selves.

56. brucelevy:
‘One might say she’s crystallized in bull shit.’

Sorry, perhaps you mean: ‘rhino poop?’

64. Tim Campion - November 10, 2012

Bruce and jomopinata,

The video on lying points to a phenomena termed “duping delight.” Perhaps a literary counterpart to this is the obvious pleasure “I in the Sky” derives from evasion and obfuscation on this blog.

Obviously, as spokesperson for the Fellowship of Friends she cannot, despite claims to the contrary, speak freely from her personal experience. If such were the case, she would be forced acknowledge the credibility of much of what has been charged in this blog.

65. Tim Campion - November 10, 2012

…forced to acknowledge…

66. I in the sky - November 10, 2012

Jomopinata – 55:

” 54/I in the Sky

I couldn’t come up with a better example of an evasion than the one you have just demonstrated.”

How so an evasion? I made a comment which you responded to.Your bultlet point responses show me we really do live in different universes.

It appears you don’t believe in higher forces so where’s the common ground to address your bullet points? It seems a bit disingenuous to me for you to criticize and mock a spirituality based organization when your words seem to refute the existence of the spirit world.

If I were trying to sell you something or convince you of something I would probably jump at the chance post #55 offers. Usually I respond to a few comments I find illogical or based on a distortion or misconception regarding the FoF, or the relationship of a disciple to a teacher or school in general. I’m content to say whatever it is the best I can and have it reach whomever on the basis of its own merit. I’m not all that interested in having the last word.

Have you ever found validity in anything I’ve posted regarding the FoF? What would be the point of a lot of back and forth banter? So it’s not evasion as much as it’s trying to keep the futility of our dialog to a minimum.

67. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 10, 2012

#66 “I in the sky” and spirituality.

Yes, you do live in a different universe than I currently inhabit, and the chances are that you will continue to live there till the day you die. However I used to live in that world so I can remember how it feels, and I know it is possible – not easy admittedly – but possible for someone (indeed that IS you someone) to have an awakening, and see things from a different perspective.

I have the advantage (in my own mind at least) that I have been in all three worlds pre-FoF mind set, FoF mindset and post-FoF mindset, whereas you have only been in the first two. And from that perspective I can tell you that reality is much more interesting and nourishing than the comforting delusions that Burton foists upon you..

BTW I didn’t take your Dickens quote as a stone being cast, just a bit opaque. (If that were a stone then I heaved some pretty large boulders at you a few pages back)😉

68. Golden Veil - November 10, 2012

66. I in the sky – November 10, 2012

“Usually I respond to a few comments I find illogical or based on a distortion or misconception regarding the FoF, or the relationship of
a disciple to a teacher or school in general.”

A one time “student” of Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends for many years, or if you prefer, a “disciple”, says the following at
5:38 in this video:

“Young men will be asked to go to California and before they know, they get presents and they get lured into this energy of “the Teacher” and how special it is, and then they have to give the, “this person” sexual favors.”

I in the sky, please fire away.

69. Ames Gilbert - November 10, 2012

Nevermind (#132-23 or thereabouts),
you say, “In a true state of conscience all the wrongs, stupidities, mistakes and accomplishments of the past are present in the awareness in the here and now so that the person in question knows exactly who he is by virtue of remembering all his or her actions over the course of his life.”
Well, that might be the definition of an ultimate conscience, but, for me, that is just theoretical. As a mere lowly creature walking the planet, I can only talk about how my own conscience operates, obviously, and what I observe, it works much more narrowly, down here on earth. Using the poor medium of words as best I can, mine operates rather more like a spotlight, lighting up a much smaller area of interest or concern. For example, the question of leaving the Fellowship of Friends. I actually did not leave, I was thrown out, and I was thrown out because of a decision guided by my conscience, which was to expose the criminal actions of Burton and the organization to the light of day, come what may. The practical result was that I could no longer remain a passive observer, I had to take action to comply with the (somewhere between suggestions and dictates) of my conscience.

Which brings me to the subject of will, mentioned above. I was trained, as are all followers of the Fellowship, to regard the impulse to self-remember as an act of will, which led to the obvious conclusion that the more I self-remembered, the greater or stronger my will would become. Bear with me as I explain how I came to realize this was an error.

Along the way I realized that self-remembering came in two classes. The first class was the kind that had happened before, during and after the Fellowship, a serendipitous kind that arrived with no effort. This kind had an accompanying feeling, that I was being ‘self-remembered’. The second kind was the result of efforts, the kind promulgated by the Fellowship, and I certainly collected a lot of those! I now call them by a different name, which is, “a state of hyper-vigilant awareness”. I could write a whole essay (please, no, Ames!) about this second type, but for purposes of this post, I’ll say that I came to feel that ‘collecting these states’ for their own sake is a dead-end, and is self-defeating.

So, trying to stay brief, my new definition of will is, acting on one’s conscience. And increasing will is a matter of acting more on one’s conscience. Alert readers will immediately understand that this is actively discouraged in the Fellowship of Friends, for the simple reason that such acts are acts of individuation, no guru necessary. And acts of individuation lead to freedom, the exact opposite of the state of being a helpless, forever dependent follower. So, anyone who comes to this realization must see Burton and his organization as the huge impediment it is, must see Burton and the hierarchy of managers (‘older students’) as actively working for the exact opposite, and so must leave the Fellowship by the quickest exit. Staying means dependence and the squashing or at least disregarding of conscience. Becoming independent means graduating oneself, because if one thing is certain, Burton will never graduate anyone! His palatial, totally self-indulgent lifestyle utterly depends on the donations of sperm, money, labor and obedience from his followers, and to keep them he has to convince them that they are getting a good deal for their contributions. One of the ways is to confuse them about the value of collecting ‘high states’ for their own sake (a task with no limits), encourage them to divide themselves into two and wage an unwinnable war against the part labeled, ‘the lower self’, and to tell them useful lies about the nature of will.

Naturally, like all philosophizing, the above is just a collection of my opinions, based on my subjective experiences. I can’t say, “caveat emptor”, because I have nothing to sell, but you get the idea . . .

70. WhaleRider - November 10, 2012

I in the sky:
“Your bultlet point responses show me we really do live in different universes.”

Although you claim to live in a different universe, the truth is we all share the same exquisitely complex universe; we just have different views of reality.

My spirit world isn’t based upon superstition beliefs, ideas of reference and magical thinking like your is. For instance, I can feel that the spirit of my father still lives within my psyche even though he died in 1997. I can also feel connected to the spirits of others even from vastly different cultures than my own through their literature and art.

And I do believe in higher forces greater than myself; one of them is called gravity.

71. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 10, 2012

(blogpage 132 – #69 or thereabouts), Ames simply and modestly presents a vision that easily outshines the one so torturously promulgated by Burton. It is profound in a special way that I am sure Burton could never even imagine exists. Thank you for that.

72. jomopinata - November 10, 2012

66/”I in the Sky”

Funny how when I call you on the evasion, you just evade all the more furiously. A less defended person would just admit that she’s in a cult as reasonable observers would define a cult.

But you’re not looking for agreement, or even conversation, so far as I can tell, and you make plain you don’t enjoy it. So you must be here either out of a duty you have either been assigned, or have assigned yourself, perhaps for moral reasons. Is that it? Are you here out of a sense of morality? Are you “moral”?

73. jomopinata - November 10, 2012

Nearly sixty years old, and under the thumb of a psychopath your whole adult life. So sad.

74. David - November 10, 2012

IITS
“How do you explain its continued viability?”
Perhaps you should check out http://caledonianmercury.com/2012/11/08/the-legacy-of-the-findhorn-community-50-years-on/0035885
Something that has lasted longer than the FoF without an RB and while giving something to the world at large.
Have you ever heard of Being-partkdolg-duty? You will find it in the book that RB was unable to read. Reminiscent of his story of “in search” putting his mother to sleep.

75. ton2u - November 10, 2012

jomo 72

66/”I in the Sky”

“Funny how when I call you on the evasion, you just evade all the more furiously. A less defended person would just admit that she’s in a cult as reasonable observers would define a cult.

no doubt a less significant evasion, but another example of evasion nonetheless — and as well characteristic (characterlogical) duplicity from pie in the sky around 47:

“Shard, no hidden meaning to the Dickens quote, just a quirky association. Hardly a “stone” as some poster inferred.

However the quote is rather germane to the general discussion.”

regards,
“some poster”

76. ton2u - November 10, 2012

jomo 72

66/”I in the Sky”

“Funny how when I call you on the evasion, you just evade all the more furiously. A less defended person would just admit that she’s in a cult as reasonable observers would define a cult.”

this is from ex cultist mark dunlap:

“Any attempt at debate with the hierachs of a cult is doomed, because a critic can never disprove the hierachs’ claim to a special revelation, or to a more profound understanding of the group’s core beliefs. So attempts to reform a cult from within tend to be futile. It may also be difficult to warn outsiders what the ‘inner life’ of the belief system is actually like, because critics can never actually prove that their criticisms are objectively valid, not just personal and subjective.

Of course, no-one is forced to join a cult. No-one is forced to adopt a new belief system, either as a whole or in part. Equally however, no-one, be they an independent academic investigator, a curious onlooker, or a potential new member, can understand a belief system, without trying it out first. Its not really a belief system, if you don’t believe in it. Without some ability to see a belief system through the eyes of a believer, and to experience the emotions of a believer, an investigator will always remain an outsider….

Cults don’t usually try to induce extreme or pathological levels of ego-dystonic guilt in their members; milder levels can be just as effective. Mild guilt tends to be a good motivator, while excessive guilt tends to be disabling, and a disabled, de-motivated believer is of no use to a cult.

Cult leaders don’t necessarily plan all this out in advance; these processes tend to occur naturally, given the necessary conditions. In fact, given the necessary conditions, it takes a positive effort to avoid becoming a cult.”

the advantage we as ex fof members have from our perspective over the likes of ‘pie in the sky’ and others of the same ilk and why pie in the sky will never “get it” from the inside out… the difference is that ex fof members literally know the fof from the inside out, “we” know it through and through and that’s how and why we’re through…. ex fof members have graduated while pie in the sky keeps repeating the ‘grade.’ apparently some folks never learn.

77. silentpurr - November 10, 2012

I in the sky, what you don’t realize is that we all know what the Fellowship has to offer and we’ve moved on.
That is to say, we possess relativity on the subject, where-as you cannot.

78. nigel - November 10, 2012

My ex-infantry friend and ‘great soul’ Alex gave me a little book of quotes this evening. Among them was this…..

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” – Dante Alighieri

79. Fee fi fo fum - November 10, 2012

66 I in the sky, and follow-on comments –

At first, I thought the evasion was intentional, because most people on this blog are ex-members, and are therefore “held at arm’s length” by someone in I in the sky’s position. Meaning, I in the sky or other very loyal FF’rs would view most bloggers here with suspicion and would therefore automatically not trust people here.

But the alternative, in a way, is worse: that the belief in RB and the FF is so deep in its rut that such a mind will always hasten to close ranks on itself so as to protect that belief at all costs.

80. James Mclemore - November 10, 2012

79. Fee fi fo fum

“…that the belief in RB and the FF is so deep in its rut that such a mind will always hasten to close ranks on itself so as to protect that belief at all costs.”

Yes. The protection of that “specialness” at all costs as their mind tries like hell to maintain, what Ames called, “a state of hyper-vigilant awareness”.

81. Shard_of_oblivion - November 11, 2012

#76 ton2u quotes ex cultist Mark Dunlap:

“Cult leaders don’t necessarily plan all this out in advance; these processes tend to occur naturally, given the necessary conditions.”

I feel there is an important idea being revealed here. From the outside it can look like a big conspiracy would be needed to enable the bizarre conditions found in a cult to have arisen. But I can remember exactly how I saw my actions and motivations when I was a fully signed up member and recruiting others into the fold. They came from years previously, reading about gurdjieff in my public library, and deciding that what I wanted in life was to be like him. I was pursuing that aim in the context of the FoF, but was blithely unaware of any pressure to mold my mind, it felt like everything that happened happened because I worked for it and had previously wanted it. It felt like I initiated the changes in me, with the FoFs help. So this insight can help us target any information that we might hope will help a current member escape the hold this work life has on them.

Here’s how I see it:
Current members will know directly that there is no conspiracy, that each of them is there of their own instigation, and they have not been cajoled into it. If we suggest otherwise they will dismiss our words as inaccurate. In the particular case of the FoF one of the necessary conditions that Dunlap refers to is the existence of the gurdjieff literature. For a percentage of readers those books just hit home, and those of us with that partiality convert ourselves as we study and re-read the books, having swallowed the pill that says there are secrets known to some but not the majority, and they can be discovered by reading and then contacting a living conscious tradition. For such a one as that (as I was) the 3 prospective student meetings as I knew them in the eighties are the perfect lure and sticky glue, and we are banging on the doors wanting to be let in to the FoF. Just the right combination of stuff we had already read about, but well summarised, and new things like body types and features.

So armed with Dunlap’s insight, let’s imagine a possible scenario of how the FoF came into being and thrived at the service of Burton.

Let’s suppose that Burton came across some books that mentioned the gurdjieff system, and it sounded right to him. He was looking for more than he was getting from his life. Somehow he came across Alex Horn’s group, they were apparently pretty easy to find as they ran a theatre to which Horn’s students had to sell seats. He wanted to work on himself, and followed Horn’s advice. Except he has this problem of an insatiable sex drive, which lets him down, and he is chucked out. I reckon he continued trying to work on himself using whatever he had learnt so far from Horn (whose methods were rough) and from reading In search of the Miraculous. Then he goes to a new year’s eve party, where Bonita is high on mescaline. She sees something odd about his eyes, he tells her about the work he is doing, and she asks him to teach her more. Now I think I can imagine Burton saw that in Horn’s group the best position to be in was to be Horn himself. So when a tripped out Bonita gives him his first taste of that special kind of adoration a master gets from his followers, he is hooked. I heard Stella Wirk talk about the early days, when it was just a few friends who sat about in people’s rooms listening to Burton talk about how to do the work, setting exercises and so on. Some of those exercises are pretty powerful, and they can produce slightly altered states of consciousness. I guess at this point he is following his nose, as people ask him for guidance, he tells them what he learnt off Horn coupled with some In Search of the Miraculous. I would guess once he had accumulated about 5 students he knew he was going to be just fine. I reckon he probably often inhabits some non ordinary state of consciousness – good luck to him with that, we all enjoy a bit of that, we all get some in our lives, and it’s no longer clear to me that there is any simple way to know what is the right amount of the various states on offer. Anyway he may well have more odd states of consciousness than the average guy. This may help with that kind of spooky presence he has that you can hang “He’s conscious” onto. In addition to his creepy body presence there is a powerful magic in being surrounded by other students who all acknowledge his special status as an “awakened man number whatever”. It’s a potent mixture. And he found that these students all wanted to DO things for him. He was helping them awaken, and in return they made his life luxurious. Here is where he took a step too far. At some point he realised that he could indulge his sexual tastes with his students. He followed that impulse, he had a choice and he made the wrong one.

I think he is good at what he does, he puts on a good show. The fully committed students are happy in their devotion. He rewards them disproportionately meagerly in my opinion, but I can remember when I thought otherwise. The high value I used to place on his contribution now feels like some kind of projection.

So to summarise a very long winded ramble, current cult members will laugh at attempts to characterise them as being under the mind control of Burton, and for them within their subjective experience they are right, they are indeed following a path with heart. Trouble is Burton is using them whether they know it or not, and in the end they will be corrupted by him.

82. James Mclemore - November 11, 2012

Bares re-saying

Ames said –

“Along the way I realized that self-remembering came in two classes. The first class was the kind that had happened before, during and after the Fellowship, a serendipitous kind that arrived with no effort. This kind had an accompanying feeling, that I was being ‘self-remembered’. The second kind was the result of efforts, the kind promulgated by the Fellowship, and I certainly collected a lot of those! I now call them by a different name, which is, “a state of hyper-vigilant awareness”. I could write a whole essay (please, no, Ames!) about this second type, but for purposes of this post, I’ll say that I came to feel that ‘collecting these states’ for their own sake is a dead-end, and is self-defeating.”

(please ‘Yes’ Ames!) – I would like to see a short essay or two on the subject. It probably won’t do ‘I in the sky’ any good, but it may have some effect if there are other followers that come to the blog to read.
This FoF ‘taught’ “state of hyper-vigilant awareness”, which then becomes the “work” and passes as “self observation” and “effort”, which is supposed to keep some-‘one’ out of “imagination” etc, needs to be examined..I tried my best to do something akin to it for a long, long time. I too think it is a dead-end. It is the mind fighting with broken off pieces of itself, and then makes matters worse by dividing things into ‘higher and lower’.
It seems to me that something much more relaxed and much more inclusive, without the judgement and without all the make believe enemies, seems to give better results.

83. Fee fi fo fum - November 11, 2012

80 James McLemore

And why should I be surprised? I was just as hidebound in my thoughts when I was a loyal, dues-paying member. Just as some of the comments directly above have said, we were there once, but we moved on. We’re “on the other side” of the fence now. We feel distant enough from the phenomenon of our mind and emotions being tightly controlled by the FF and RB, that it’s hard to believe it’s happening, even as it plays out in front of us.

84. I in the sky - November 11, 2012

It’s interesting, I say a few words and the multitudes rise up. I feel a little like Leonard Bernstein shaking my baton at the trombone section.

85. Wouldnt You Like To Know - November 11, 2012

69. Ames Gilbert
Good post there.

81. Shard_of_oblivion
Good post there.

* * * * * *

Be advised, this is long post.

In order to properly exercise awareness of scale and relativity, it is necessary to, simultaneously, be aware in three worlds. I propose that those ‘three worlds’ can, for the sake of this discussion, be seen as:
‘I have the advantage (in my own mind at least) that I have been in all three worlds[:] pre-FoF mind set, FoF mindset and post-FoF mindset, whereas you [I in the sky] have only been in the first two.’ (67. Shard_of_Oblivion)

There are other applications of the ‘three worlds’ law of scale and relativity. Read the Fourth Way literature on the subject, examples:

From:
In Search of the Miraculous
P. D. Ouspensky
:

“The idea of cosmoses helps us to understand our place in the world; and it solves many problems, as for instance, those connected with space, with time, and so on. And above all this idea serves to establish exactly the principle of relativity. The latter is especially important for it is quite impossible to have an exact conception of the world without having established the principle of relativity.

“The idea of cosmoses enables us to put the study of relativity on a firm basis. At the first glance there is much that seems paradoxical in the system of cosmoses. In reality, however, this apparent paradox is simply relativity.

“The idea of the possibility of broadening man’s consciousness and increasing his capacities for knowledge stands in direct relation to the teaching on cosmoses. In his ordinary state a man is conscious of himself in one cosmos, and all the other cosmoses he looks at from the point of view of one cosmos. The broadening of his consciousness and the intensifying of his psychic functions lead him into the sphere of activity and life of two other cosmoses simultaneously, the one above and the one below, that is, one larger and one smaller. The broadening of consciousness does not proceed in one direction only, that is, in the direction of the higher cosmoses; in going above, at the same time it goes below.

“This last idea will, perhaps, explain to you some expressions you may have met with in occult literature; for instance, the saying that ‘the way up is at the same time the way down.’ As a rule this expression is quite wrongly interpreted.

“In reality this means that if, for instance, a man begins to feel the life of the planets, or if his consciousness passes to the level of the planetary world, he begins at the same time to feel the life of atoms, or his consciousness passes to their level. In this way the broadening of consciousness proceeds simultaneously in two directions, towards the greater and towards the lesser. Both the great and the small require for their cognition a like change in man. In looking for parallels and analogies between the cosmoses we may take each cosmos in three relations:
“1. in its relation to itself,
“2. in its relation to a higher or a larger cosmos, and
“3. in its relation to a lower, or a smaller cosmos,
“The manifestation of the laws of one cosmos in another cosmos constitutes what we call a miracle. There can be no other kind of miracle. A miracle is not a breaking of laws, nor is it a phenomenon outside laws.

“It is a phenomenon which takes place according to the laws of another cosmos. These laws are incomprehensible and unknown to us, and are therefore miraculous.

“In order to understand the laws of relativity, it is very useful to examine the life and phenomena of one cosmos as though looking at them from another cosmos, that is, to examine them from the point of view of the laws of another cosmos. All the phenomena of the life of a given cosmos, examined from another cosmos, assume a completely different aspect and have a completely different meaning. Many new phenomena appear and many other phenomena disappear. This in general completely changes the picture of the world and of things.

“As has been said before, the idea of cosmoses alone can provide a firm basis for the establishment of the laws of relativity. Real science and real philosophy ought to be founded on the understanding of the laws of relativity. Consequently it is possible to say that science and philosophy, in the true meaning of these terms, begin with the idea of cosmoses.”

“And this last point seems to me to be connected with what G. calls the ‘principle of relativity.’ His principle of relativity has nothing in common with the principle of relativity in mechanics or with Einstein’s principle of relativity. It is the same again as in the New Model of the Universe; it is the principle of the relativity of existence.”

* * * * * *

From:
The Theory of Celestial Influence
Rodney Collin
:

“If a man can discover such a third factor, self-remembering becomes possible for him, and can bring far more even than it promised in the beginning.

“Self-remembering must thus always contain three principles, three things to be remembered. And if one is alone and occupied with some inner task, then it is necessary to remember three worlds in oneself, three places in oneself.

“By this division of attention into three, the fine matter which is the bearer of man’s creative force is rightly divided into three streams – one directed to right action in the outer world, one directed towards creating a connection with higher powers, and one retained in oneself. That which is retained in oneself should in course of time crystallise into a permanent vehicle of self-consciousness, that is, into a soul.

“At the same time it must be remembered that wherever three forces work together, six orders and six processes are possible. Thus there may be a self-remembering for destruction, a self-remembering for healing, a self-remembering for crime. And beyond all these the only true self-remembering, self-remembering for regeneration. For this, we realise, man must place those hidden and higher powers first, himself and his soul passively at their service, invoking as result that plenitude of life and light to which alone this process yearns.”

* * * * * *

From:
The Theory of Conscious Harmony
Rodney Collin
:

“BODY, SOUL AND SPIRIT

“DECEMBER 31, 1951 I think every living cosmos – whether planet or civilisation or man or school – must have spirit, soul and body, must live in three worlds and three vehicles simultaneously, since this is the great universal pattern. And that school* must externally create form, organisation and monuments – even though these are not the essential. For without them it cannot really touch this world, in which we and all men live after all.

“What is our work all about? It is to enable man to live consciously in three bodies, in three worlds, and so realise the Divine Plan. A physical body was given him by Nature at birth. Somewhere exists the original Divine spark launched from God and which, refound, will be his conscious spirit. But ordinary man has no feeling for that body which was created to connect the two – the soul.

“The soul is the bridge between body and spirit, between earth and Heaven. It is there, but you have to become aware of it, you have to feel it, you have to live in it.
You feel the soul by opening your heart to people, by accepting what is. The soul grows through the heart. The heart is the door of the soul. But with all ordinary man, this door is blocked with fear, prejudice, doubt. His heart is not open to the world. He only takes from it what he wants to take, in the way he wants to take it. If he could just be himself, be his whole self, without fear and without self-protection, he would already live from the soul. So learn simply to be, to be your whole self.

“First you must live in awareness of your physical body. Then in awareness of your soul. Then in awareness of your spirit.”

77. silentpurr:
‘I in the sky, what you don’t realize is that we all know what the Fellowship has to offer and we’ve moved on.
That is to say, we possess relativity on the subject, where-as you cannot.’protection, he would already live from the soul. So learn simply to be, to be your whole self.

“First you must live in awareness of your physical body. Then in awareness of your soul. Then in awareness of your spirit.”

77. silentpurr:
‘I in the sky, what you don’t realize is that we all know what the Fellowship has to offer and we’ve moved on.
That is to say, we possess relativity on the subject, where-as you cannot.’

86. Wouldnt You Like To Know - November 11, 2012

Sorry, for some reason formatting on above post has error. Please disregard what comes after the first:

77. silentpurr:
‘I in the sky, what you don’t realize is that we all know what the Fellowship has to offer and we’ve moved on.
That is to say, we possess relativity on the subject, where-as you cannot.’

87. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 11, 2012

#84 “I in the sky” evokes an image of herself as Bernstein conducting an orchestra.

Nice image “I”.

But for scale and relativity how about the image of a chilled out group of beings, sitting around a campfire, the gentle embers glow as we contemplate our foolish earlier ways, and chuckle over some memories, when along comes a raving lunatic who can hardly see the fire, and seems in danger of falling into the flames. The good hearted gathering calls out to warn the interloper of the danger, but she continues conducting her imaginary trombones, quite oblivious.

88. ton2u - November 11, 2012

shard 81
thanks for an intuitive imagination of the beginnings of the cult — your description of how it might have started is necessarily speculative but it sounds about right, it has the ring of truth.

and 87 re: 84

thanks for that image of the situation here.
it’s revealing that this latest quip from pie in the sky (84) is yet another exhibit of grandiosity… “multitudes rise up” !? what “multitudes” ? we’re simply a (very) few old friends who happen to disagree with her about almost everything she cares to ‘utter’… and now she’s “leonard bernstein”?!

obviously part of the reason she returns here is to get her “fair share of abuse,” this attention seeking is mostly because of her narcissism. she gets all the attention here she can’t or doesn’t get elsewhere but the nature of the attention she receives and the fact that she keeps returning for more of the same, indicates masochistic character traits. i think she also comes here because, although she cannot acknowledge it, secretly, deep down inside, and maybe even ‘subconsciously,’ she realizes that we as ‘graduate students’ truly understand her in a way she can’t yet fully grasp for herself.

“Grandiosity is chiefly associated with narcissistic personality disorder… It refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority, a sustained view of oneself as better than others that causes the narcissist to view others with disdain or as inferior. It also refers to a sense of uniqueness, the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special people.”

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

89. WhaleRider - November 11, 2012

ton2u:
Although I in the sky, undoubtedly has masochistic character traits to have stayed in a state of dependency for so long in the cult, I don’t believe she feels abused by our reactions to her posts, but quite the opposite.

My guess is that in addition to feeding her grandosity, it is her borderline traits that keep her returning to predictably stir us up and cause the onslaught of our immune responses to her viral memes.

Unconsciously she wants us to feel her feelings for her that she cannot contain, probably feelings of impotence and disempowerment, which I detect underlying her castrating posts.

After all, women are not going to “awaken” in Burton’s cult, so a position of power and authority over others will serve as compensation.

Burton is exploiting her weaknesses like everyone else.

90. Tim Campion - November 11, 2012

Fellowship of Friends spokesperson “I in the Sky” might consider the suggested similarities preposterous, but those of us who have passed through The Fellowship of Friends will immediately recognize in the following video many cult characteristics present in The Fellowship. The Fellowship is clearly a run-of-the-mill cult, one of an estimated 3,000 in the United States.

See National Geographic’s “Inside a Cult”.

“I in the Sky,” there’s nothing special about your cult, nor it’s leader. In terms you would recognize, he is a “damaged machine.” He is ill. And it is tragic that you (and many others) have spent most of your life devoted to a sociopath.

91. Golden Veil - November 12, 2012

90. Tim Campion – November 11, 2012

The video is interesting and very pertinent. I was especially struck by the words of cult expert Janja Lalich near the end, her statement relevant to the Fellowship of Friends: “It’s one of the curious aspects of this – that leaders will make prophesies and the prophesies don’t materialize and the followers, for the most part, stay.”

A sociology professor at the University of California in Chico – only 50 miles from Oregon House – Lalich specializes in the study of “charismatic authority” and her website, Cult Research, has a very good personal history about her own experience upon exiting a cult after a 10 year membership, entitled “Repairing the Soul.” *

“…I had to begin life anew. I was a decade behind in everything. Both my parents had died, and I had lost touch with former friends. I had to play catch up, so to speak, culturally, socially, economically, emotionally, and intellectually. But most important of all, I had to repair my soul. Who am I? How could I have committed the many unkind acts while in the group? Where do I belong now? What do I believe in now? Will I ever restore my faith in myself and in others? These are the kinds of questions and dilemmas that troubled me. Over time, and most recently through my contact and work with former members of many types of cults, I’ve come to see that the single most uniform aspect of all cult experiences is that it touches, and usually damages, the soul, the psyche.”

Lalich is the author of the book ‘Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships’ (Bay Tree, 2006)

* http://cultresearch.org/2009/03/repairing-the-soul/

92. Nevermind - November 12, 2012

“Pride is a deadly sin.” -Unknown

No one remembers anything rightly without first remembering this.

93. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 12, 2012

Here’s some advice for those still ensnared within the tangled web being woven by Robert Earl Burton.

“I think that you know what to do…

impossible? yes, but it’s true”

94. Ill Never Tell - November 12, 2012

88. ton2u:

[I in the sky] ‘indicates masochistic character traits.’

Sadomasochistic

‘Sadomasochism is the receiving of pleasure—often sexual—from acts involving the infliction or reception of pain or humiliation. A subset of BDSM [(Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism)], practitioners of sadomasochism usually seek out sexual gratification from these acts, but often seek out other forms of pleasure as well. While the terms sadist and masochist specifically refer to one who either enjoys giving pain (sadist), or one who enjoys receiving pain (masochist), many practitioners of sadomasochism describe themselves as at least somewhat of a switch, or someone who can receive pleasure from either inflicting or receiving pain.’
More at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadomasochism

Negative attention is better than no attention at all.

Yeah, right, they are the conductor of our orchestra;-)

Just the conductor of their own BDSM.

95. Ill Never Tell - November 12, 2012

76. ton2u:
‘ex fof members have graduated while pie in the sky [I in the sky] keeps repeating the ‘grade.’ apparently some folks never learn.’

What can one expect from ‘a – not so good – fourth grade elementary school teacher[REB]?’ Turning forever in the fourth grade of an elementary school, all the while in imagination that they have graduated consumma cum baude with Ph.D.; with that and $444 you can get a trip to the BADroom.😉

96. freeman - November 13, 2012

Cult leader / sociopath preys on naive young followers for sex.

–AND– he was once a fourth-grade elementary teacher.

It’s always interesting, and a little disturbing, to think about those two facts side by side.

——————-
Recently heard a quote in a story about a sex scandal in a major news organization: “I probably should have asked more questions.”

97. Tim Campion - November 13, 2012

96. freeman

Even creepier: two of the boys he taught during his brief tenure later joined his cult.

98. Freeman - November 13, 2012

97. Tim Campion

Creepy is the right word. I hadn’t heard that.

It implies they continued to interact for several years after fourth grade.

99. Tim Campion - November 13, 2012

98. Freeman

I don’t think so. This would probably have been nine or ten years later. I don’t recall how they characterized the “coincidence”. But they ended up close to their teacher once again.

100. Nevermind - November 13, 2012

Is joining a cult at any point in your life a reliable indication of mental illness? It seems like it is.

101. freeman - November 13, 2012

Tim, yes of course it’s hard to know what happened. It would be an odd coincidence though, if what you are saying is true. For now, one could adopt the attitude: “I doubt that Burton would do anything to harm someone who is 9 or 10 years old.” But it’s hard not feel some suspicion given everything I’ve learned.

102. freeman - November 13, 2012

100. Nevermind

“Is joining a cult at any point in your life a reliable indication of mental illness? It seems like it is.”

Probably yes, to one degree or another. But I like to turn the question around:

Is leaving a cult behind a sign of healing and improved self awareness? Also yes, to one degree or another.

103. WhaleRider - November 13, 2012

“The borderline patient has a core of madness that must be uncovered if successful treatment is to be achieved. The patient’s self or soul is enmeshed in psychotic mechanisms of splitting and denial. This true self might be represented as a child living in filth, locked up, petrified, or frozen in ice. There are countless images that depict this state…Qualities of confusion, splitting, and reality distortion all form parts of the borderline’s psyche.”

I in the sky: I read this today and thought of you and how Burton manipulates you through your unrealistic and idealized projections which he carries for you as your master.

Imagine what it would be like to retract those idealized projections and become them yourself…you might begin to think of yourself as an enlightened being like him…having drunk so deeply from the Fellowship’s poisoned well.

But for you, the cult doesn’t feel like a trap at all, it seems like a perfect fit.

You have walked so long in the same pair of shoes that the leather has stuck to your skin.

For most everyone else, rhe cult is a perfect storm which is virtually impossible to escape.

You have to peel it off, layer by painful layer.

104. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 13, 2012

I was struck by the similarity of gesture that Burton and O’Brien used to proudly display their proofs of the miraculous nature of reality. So I’ve cooked up a little mashup, introduced by short extract of a recording of Burton telling me on the phone how come he is sure that he really is getting messages from “C influence” and not from his own mind.

105. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 13, 2012

#100 Nevermind asks in a rhetorical tone:

“Is joining a cult at any point in your life a reliable indication of mental illness? It seems like it is.”

I believe the answer is no, which is all the more chilling when you think about it.

106. brucelevy - November 13, 2012

104. Shard_of_Oblivion

Great one.

107. jomopinata - November 13, 2012

100/Nevermind

> Is joining a cult at any point in your life a reliable
> indication of mental illness? It seems like it is.

I’d be surprised if anyone who ever got involved with FOF knew it was a cult at the time they joined. I can’t imagine that anyone who ever got involved with the FOF knew they were being deliberately misled when they joined it. So one can’t really lay “indication of mental illness” at their feet in this way.

In an interesting article which appeared in the British publication Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour in October 1986, titled “The Self Besieged: Recruitment/Indoctrination Techniques in Restrictive Groups,” Philip Cushman argues that an entire post-WWII generational cohort in the United States suffered from a “narcissistic wound” which predisposed them to recruitment into restrictive groups. That article, which is worth reading, can be purchased here:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-5914.1986.tb00063.x/abstract;jsessionid=4A78182C7D24E0531540455E9A13AEE8.d01t01

So, to respond directly to the question, I think it’s a better formulation to say, the fact that someone was recruited into a cult does not by itself indicate the recruitee suffered from mental illness; however, it seems to me there are conditions of vulnerability to cult recruitment that may occur in the context of depression, social dislocation or isolation, and emotional woundedness resulting from psychological trauma of various kinds.

108. jomopinata - November 13, 2012

104/Shard

Love it!

109. Ames Gilbert - November 13, 2012

Casting more light into the shadows, thank goodness . . .

“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” a new documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, investigates how a charismatic priest in Milwaukee abused more than 200 deaf children in a Catholic boarding school under his control. The young students were molested again and again by Father Lawrence Murphy, who stalked them in their dorm rooms at night, on trips to his rural cabin, and even in the confessional booth. The film also highlights the courage of the survivors who stepped forward to expose Father Murphy.

Gibney’s past films include “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”, and the Academy Award-winning “Taxi to the Dark Side”, which focuses on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed at Bagram Air Force Base in 2002. His new exposé, which opens this Friday in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, will also debut on HBO in February 2013.
http://tinyurl.com/ck2om2r
______________________________

Jomo, that article (# 107) costs $35 for a 24-hour pass. Any chance you can pass on some of the more relevant excerpts for purposes of scholarly review and education?

110. brucelevy - November 14, 2012

“The young students were molested again and again by Father Lawrence Murphy, who stalked them in their dorm rooms at night, on trips to his rural cabin, and even in the confessional booth.”

Sounds exactly like “The Boy Cottage” in the 70’s.

111. WhaleRider - November 14, 2012

Is everyone who joins a cult mentally ill?

Joining the cult is not the issue that speaks to a follower’s mental status as much as staying in the cult long after the honeymoon is over and the craziness has set in.

IMO, it requires some serious ego deficits for a cult follower to depend upon a so-called spiritual master whose actions and behaviors are claimed to be above the law.

It would take some further breaches of conscience and compromises of core values for a long term follower to then recruit young men into the cult in order to win favor, recognition and status within the cult, knowing full well these vulnerable young men will be exploited and abused by the leader or that the leader’s doomsday predictions were simply a ruse.

In a group whose leader’s methods have become…unsound…one can reasonably expect the longer one stays or the closer one gets to the leader, the more likely the same mental issues that brought one into the cult will arise again, “depression, social dislocation or isolation, and emotional woundedness resulting from psychological trauma,” IMHO.

Although being present is a good coping strategy for combating stress and worry, living only for the moment at the expense of dealing with the past or planning for the future leads to unnecessary suffering in the long run, IMHO.

112. WhaleRider - November 14, 2012

From the link Ames provided above for interview with the filmmaker of the excellent new documentary about the sexual predator, “Father” Lawrence Murphy:

ALEX GIBNEY: “Well, you have to remember, these kids were under his control. It was a boarding school. And very often, it happened in the confessional. And that ultimately became part of the church’s aborted case into this. And the church itself often refers to abuse in the confessional as a kind of soul murder, because you’re taking kids who are so vulnerable and using that vulnerability against them—in this case, by learning things about them. So he, for example, learned which kids had parents who couldn’t themselves sign. And then he would go after them, because they literally couldn’t communicate with their own parents, and often would have to communicate with their parents through Father Murphy, who was the predator.”

A successful technique of the sexual predator is to separate his victims from their families and friends, restricting communication.

This happens in the Fellowship.

113. Fee fi fo fum - November 14, 2012

104 Shard – That was great.

114. jomopinata - November 14, 2012

Ames, I used to have a copy of that Philip Cushman article but I’m not sure I can still lay hands on it. I poked around on the web to see if it has ever been published there but didn’t find a copy. It’s worth a read.

115. Nevermind - November 14, 2012

People are introduced to a cult and in the very first meetings it is explained that leader has predicted the end of the world. People listened to this with credulity because the entire country was under the opinion that the United States and the Soviet Union would eventually destroy one another. There was a kind of general state of mental disturbance where the population lived and coped with the threat of annihilation. When the cult leader said that he knew exactly when the inevitable would happen it seemed plausible. From that initial degree of unreality, from that initial agreement on a shared belief that was not true, then all the other nonsense seemed acceptable.

People were to varying degrees mentally ill to begin with because of the Cold War. This horrific social condition made some susceptible to the manipulations of a run of the mill doomsday huckster.

116. jomopinata - November 14, 2012

Interesting observation, Nevermind. What you describe wasn’t the practice in FOF, at least when I was recruited many years ago. Even the NAME of the “teacher” was not supposed to be disclosed to prospective students, let alone the fact that he had prophesied a depression in 1984, the “fall of California” in 1998, and a nuclear holocaust in 2006. An upfront disclosure of such information might have materially affected my decision to join, but no one volunteered such facts. But, I’ll agree, back in the day it was not culturally unusual to encounter an “apocalyptic mindset.” Remember Hal Lindsey’s bestseller, The Late Great Planet Earth?

117. WhaleRider - November 14, 2012

Nevermind:
In that regard, when joining a cult, followers easily accept that they were more “asleep” prior to signing up, why not mentally ill?

At some point the reality distortion begins as soon the threat of nuclear war or the big earthquake became real, thus creating a field of intensity in burton’s victim pool.

With “Theory of Celestial Influence” followers like me felt we had discovered the keys to the secrets of the universe. What an ego boost, too!

118. Wouldnt You Like To Know - November 14, 2012

109. Ames Gilbert:
Re: The Self Besieged:
Recrurtment-Indoctrination Processes in
Restrictlve Groups
‘Any chance you can pass on some of the more relevant excerpts for purposes of scholarly review and education?’

OCR of lead page:

‘Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour March 1986

The Self Besieged:
Recruitment-Indoctrination Processes in
Restrictlve Groups

PHILIP CUSHMAN

INTRODUCTION

Since the late 1960s there have been signs of an appreciable rise in the population of aggressively evangelical groups (e.g., religious cults, radical political organizations, psychotherapy cults, mass marathon psychology organizations) using behavioural and ideological restriction as a means of recruiting and indoctrinating new members (West Singer, 1980; Rudin & Rudin, 1980). Authoritarian groups with a religious theme have been extensively reported upon and researched (Conway Siegelman, 1978; Singer, 1979; Ofshe, 1980; Halperin, 1983). Authoritarian groups with a psychological theme (e.g., est, Lifespring, Summit Workshops, Transformations, Psi World) are also growing in influence and popularity (Brewer, 1975; Kirsch Glass, 1977; Shostrum, 1978; Simon, 1978′, Haaken 8: Adams, 1983), yet have received little research attention.

The ability of both types of groups to rapidly engender dramatic attitude and behaviour change and a rigid, sometimes self-destructive, personal commitment in young adults is a remarkable and little-understood phenomenon. Although current members claim to be ecstatic with happiness and health, reports from former members and clinical research expose psychiatric casualties, ruined lives, and occasional violence.

The disparity between these two points of view needs to be explained and understood: How can adult members appear to be so enthusiastically pleased with a group that restricts and harms them? This paper is an attempt to explain that contradiction by analyzing how these groups recruit and indoctrinate new members.

Currently there are over 3 thousand such groups in the United States, with 4-6 million members (Singer, 1983). This includes not only large religious groups numbering thousands of members each but also small, wandering groups with no names, composed of a leader and a handful of followers.’

119. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 14, 2012

Regarding whether to join a cult is strong evidence of mental illness.

I think not, and will make that case, but before that I need to mention that I actually WAS mentally ill when I joined, and funnily enough to some extent made some mental health repairs during my first couple of years as a member.

The prospective student meetings I attended were in 1978, and no mention of the predictions was made. I heard about them after a few months. I believe the character profile of someone who is likely to join after those meetings is not necessarily one of mental illness. The candidate needs to be dissatisfied with their life (not itself mental illness surely) and be willing to take some risks to explore alternatives to see if they lead to improvements. You are confronted by a bunch of well dressed, intelligent, personable people in the PSMs, and some of them will appeal as people the candidate would like to know better. The exercises that were given to “try out” at the PSMs were fun and not easy – in my case to avoid using the words “Oh, so, well, get and up” in everyday speech. As one tries these exercises, one is given a taste of the FoF technique of “photographing” and it all seems like an exciting new way to bring a different type of attention to ones everyday life.

There were two occasions that I can clearly recall where a student already in for some years developed a condition with symptoms of mild psychosis, mistaking their own ideas for external reality. It was very obvious when this occurred, and other students were generally supportive of those so afflicted.

Of course one might hold very restrictive ideas of what mental health entails, for example in an extreme way I might like to say that anyone who still believes the dogma of the Christian church is obviously mentally ill, since they believe ideas that are clearly untrue (to me of course), but this would be trivialising the concept of mental health for polemical reasons, and I would prefer to simply say that Christians are mistaken in their beliefs.

This account is not saying that there are no cases of mental health problems in cult members, I can easily see that certain types of paranoia and narcissism would find a cult an agreeable environment, but I resist the generalisation that you have to be mentally ill to even join.

120. nigel - November 15, 2012

111. Whale Rider and onwards…..

I said I would not go into detail about any more of my ‘mental health state’ but I am coming off Olanzipine and going on to Quetiapine. My mental state is heightened and my weight is gaining. I still smoke – nicotine is a ‘switcher’ drug which turns sharp-static mind activity into the mathematical symbol for eternity – the Avatar in resting state; 8 lengthways. I was probably a repressed teenager and came to the FOF at age 21. I studied the work books vociferorously at my art-student ‘digs’ and came to meetings and weekends when I could – a passive ‘do’. all other activity in the FOF led me to become more attracted to LIFE and be a partaker of the common artistic mean. I survived a serious suicide attempt in June 1989 and have now come to a place where I live with the ‘people’ and share my talents with wonderful students. So – “I in the Sky” – who has benefited and who has evolved; who is real and who is truly present to what is worthwhile in their life?????…..Nigel.

121. jomopinata - November 15, 2012
122. jomopinata - November 15, 2012

It’s pretty unusual for a fourth-grade teacher to leave suddenly in mid-March.

123. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 15, 2012

#121 and #122.

To spell it out a bit clearer… I wonder if there were showers at the Springhill school, where the 9 year old boys would wash and josh about with their charismatic teacher – the tennis star? I also wonder if Mrs Hallstone and Mr Johnstone are still alive, and might be available for comment, in light of the future career trajectory of their erstwhile employee.

124. Nevasayneva - November 15, 2012

#119
I second Shard. Mental illness is not a requirement to join FOF. After my 3 PSM, I could not wait to join.

The members were intelligent, cultured, well travelled, nice, genuine, interesting and even fun people. Many still are. And they seemed to genuinely be pursuing self remembering. And it seeemd like they had “something”.

I don’t think it takes mental illness to buy into that (literally in the case of FOF). I regret a bit that I was so hot footed to get myself in….had their been someone older and wiser in my life at that time, they might have got me to hold off a bit. I also regret that I did not make some plan to stay for 1 year and then re-assess….oops…oops….regrets!! fine things they are!

125. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 15, 2012

#120 Nigel your statement
“I still smoke – nicotine is a ‘switcher’ drug which turns sharp-static mind activity into the mathematical symbol for eternity – the Avatar in resting state; 8 lengthways.”
intrigues me.

I have noticed that brain workers (writers, creative types, research workers etc) often smoke. I used to smoke but gave up when the exercise came in, took it up again when I left the FoF, but gave up after a few years on account of the health risks (my dad died of lung cancer). Do you think it helps you focus better? Is ‘sharp-static mind activity’ what is sometimes termed hypo-manic – racing thoughts too fast to express, and pressure of speech? I have heard the line that once addicted to nicotine, there is a malaise that the addict feels, which is relieved by smoking another cigarette, but you are not any better off than you might be if you abstained entirely. Sounds like your experience is somewhat different?

126. jomopinata - November 15, 2012

Public elementary schools in the U.S. do not have showers, as a rule. A teacher at Springhill who was a contemporary of Burton described “Bob” as capable and well liked. When he lost his job, he cried, which suggests a termination, rather than a voluntary resignation. Those who know more, if they are around, have not publicly told their stories.

127. I in the sky - November 15, 2012

Shard_of_oblivion – 119:

“The candidate needs to be dissatisfied with their life (not itself mental illness surely) and be willing to take some risks to explore alternatives to see if they lead to improvements. You are confronted by a bunch of well dressed, intelligent, personable people in the PSMs, and some of them will appeal as people the candidate would like to know better. The exercises that were given to “try out” at the PSMs were fun and not easy – in my case to avoid using the words “Oh, so, well, get and up” in everyday speech. As one tries these exercises, one is given a taste of the FoF technique of “photographing” and it all seems like an exciting new way to bring a different type of attention to ones everyday life.”

To some the word exercises were revelations and the first verification that in the second state we are not the masters of our speech, emotions, gestures, attitudes, quite literally almost nothing that we “do.” This was the beginning of practical work and opened the door to many useful observations. If someone would have approached me in the beginning and suggested that all the new discoveries I was experiencing were all invalid, no matter how useful and beneficial I found them to be, because the teacher was having consensual sex with some male students, it would not have fazed me or mattered in the least.

On the other hand, the ego/lower self/false personality, if it has too firm a grip on an individual, can feel extremely threatened by these new discoveries of the Self. In those cases being given such information about the teacher can be a boon to that part of us and be just the impetus needed to cut ties with a “valid” reason; because being shown a mechanical existence and not being willing to work against it can be a thankless proposition and cause all sorts of issues (disillusionment & discontent among other problems.)

In and of themselves the word exercises were not a large part of the whole but they were like the tip of the iceberg of mechanicality. They led to other discoveries. But the exercises also led to discoveries related to the lower self, as that part figured out the exercises rather easily, so the words were changed periodically to keep it off balance.

The lower self also misunderstood the purpose for exercises in the first place. It thought the aim was to succeed with them in order not to be photographed, while the higher self understood that being photographed often led to real moments of presence, as we were actually shown a door into the world of mechanicality.

Nothing was more humorous than seeing someone photograph the word exercise while doing it themselves (photographing) from a mechanical state. I remember once being in a teaching house talking to another student when a third student who was off to the side reading a book would photograph each of us whenever he heard the current word exercise being uttered. He did this without ever stopping his reading. He was at the place where his lower self had trained itself to hear the word and his arm would just pop up.

“The candidate needs to be dissatisfied with their life (not itself mental illness surely) and be willing to take some risks to explore alternatives to see if they lead to improvements.”

This comment is certainly true. You could say that being dissatisfied with one’s life was and still is a prerequisite to looking for a school. What one is really dissatisfied with is a life lived in the second state, without presence.

128. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 15, 2012

#127 “I in the sky” says:

“To some the word exercises were revelations and the first verification that in the second state we are not the masters of our speech, emotions, gestures, attitudes, quite literally almost nothing that we “do.””

Yes that is what the Gurdjieff system teaches. And this is where I differ from my former FoF mindset. I am no longer convinced that being “the master” of these things is beneficial, in fact I would go so far as to say if someone is “the master” of their emotions, they are no longer in touch with their emotions, they have managed to depersonalise themselves, with the consequence that things are under control, but they themselves are no longer vibrant, surprising or exciting.

Someone who wants to be the master of their gestures, is someone I would be reluctant to trust, it sounds like the description of a powerful grifter or con-man, who never wants to show their true feelings.

To be the master of our speech sounds OK, but in fact beautiful speech, and in its highest form that is poetry, is inhibited by too tight a hand on the reins, the horses need to be allowed to gallop where they will. In the case of the written word, we can always edit later, and in social conversation, with friends, let it all hang out, they’re our friends after all.

To be master of our attitudes sounds like that lying to oneself that priests and politicians need to be able to do, in order to tow the party line and agree with all the dogma. I feel that our attitudes should follow naturally from our experiences, and if I wanted to be high minded about it, should be governed by a fearless following of the truth wherever it leads. It lead me to leave the school once I realised that the primary tenet of esotericism (that there have been people in the past who are so much more knowledgeable than us, that we have to accept their theories even if we can’t follow how they arrived at them) was false.

129. Golden Veil - November 15, 2012

128. Shard_of_Oblivion – November 15, 2012

Wonderfully coherent and vibrant articulation

of your thoughts here.

130. jomopinata - November 15, 2012

Agreed. Well stated!

131. ton2u - November 15, 2012

re: “word exercises” — when i reflect back to this silly game and think about the effects from a different perspective, this was just another aspect of what’s commonly called “mind control.” it’s subtle, the sheep are obviously looking for some type of “exercise” which will fuel “evolution” so they’re already in a susceptible or suggestible frame of mind… but if you think about it, (as shard implies here), this “exercise” doesn’t lead one to more freedom, rather, by following these suggestions it actually makes the sheep more “mechanical” not less so… burton and the hierarchs ‘program’ the ‘student’ and so the ‘student’ cannot fully be herself…

132. Nevermind - November 15, 2012

Training people to avoid the use of certain common words (that are usually uttered automatically) through the use of judgmental gesticulations from others is definitely one technique of mind control. That simple technique combined with the Christmas wrapping of “the real value of this exercise is to convince you that you are asleep and therefore need our special help to awaken” is obviously brainwashing and cult conditioning.

People perform routine activities without focusing all their attention on them because it saves energy. Focusing attention on every word uttered or every step taken will not “wake you up.” It will turn people into cautiously self-controlled weirdoes, people imagining that hyper-vigilance is an indication of higher consciousness rather than developing some reasonable emotional magnanimity.

133. I in the sky - November 15, 2012

Wouldnt You Like To Know – 118:

From one standpoint the excerpts from the “Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour March 1986” are stating what is painfully obvious:

Men (and women) are joiners. This urge to join no doubt comes from our very origins as a species. Family units joined other family units to form tribes, who sometimes mingled with other tribes but more often were at war with them.

Nowadays we don’t have to join a group to ensure our survival but we do it for other reasons that would enhance our well being, real or perceived. People find a common thread with others and they join together.

Even outcasts and rebels shunned by others find their way together and form their own group of outcasts.The fact that groups are appearing more aggressive and radical may just be a sign of the times that societies are breaking down.

That primal joining urge is deeply instilled within us, not to mention all other creatures on the earth. Just the other day I heard a sound and looked up to see a cult of geese passing overhead.

134. Nevermind - November 15, 2012

“Just the other day I heard a sound and looked up to see a cult of geese passing overhead.”

Have a look around your present circumstances and note that you see a cult of no initiative corpses pretending to be conscious by imitating a homosexual fanatic.

135. WhaleRider - November 15, 2012

Gaggle of geese, who mate for life.

136. WhaleRider - November 15, 2012

I in the sky:
“To some the word exercises were revelations and the first verification that in the second state we are not the masters of our speech, emotions, gestures, attitudes, quite literally almost nothing that we “do.” This was the beginning of practical work and opened the door to many useful observations.”

Thank you for sharing one of your core, gateway beliefs.

Since the word exercise is revealed in the emotionally charged PSM environment, it is apparent to me these many years later how it actually opened the door to the reality distortion and splitting embedded in the Fellowship’s indoctrination techniques.

Here is the fallacy of the “slippery slope” in relation to the cult meme called the “second state”, an idea that has gone viral in the Fellowship.

Notice how not only is this hypothetical person not the “master” of their speech, but also not of their “emotions, gestures, and attitudes” either, all lumped together within the idea called the “second state”, as though most, if not all of these outer manifestations, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs were just flowing out of this person completely unnoticed every second, with absolutely no chance of self-awareness without the cult exercises.

While it is true that some of our unconsciousness is revealed in the words we use to communicate (to ourselves and others), for the most part speech is a habit, like tying your shoes.

Do I need function from the cerebral cortex in every waking moment, monitoring every single word or action, constantly tripping over my words or myself to “be present”?

And how would that help me have a better life?

I might be more self-conscious (and awkward and tense) operating from my “executive functions” all the time, but it doesn’t necessarily make me more self-aware…or happy…or have fun…or be creative.

A more beneficial word exercise would be to avoid using the word “try” in relation to an aim.

As Yoda says (and others), there is no “try”…there is only doing or not doing.

If you say you are going to “try” to be at work on time, chances are you won’t. If a friend says they are going to “try” to call you this weekend, chances are it won’t happen.

So if you were interested in overcoming a self-defeating attitude, then I recommend stating that you are no longer going to “try” to get to work on time, you are going to get to work on time.

By consciously reframing the word “try” with the executive function of the mind instead of just avoiding it to appear more “present”, the Self is empowered to make beneficial, healthier, or positive behavioral changes in relation to an aim, hopefully leading to a better, more productive life.

By the same token, it is fine to “try” a new salad dressing, though. It would be appropriate to use the word in that context since it means something different, which displays a flexible awareness of Self…after all, what is more important, acting self-conscious for your peer group or fully actualizing your Self and living a better life?

137. Nevasayneva - November 15, 2012

# 127 IITS

oh dear, sentences like this are so inflammatory:

“. If someone would have approached me in the beginning and suggested that all the new discoveries I was experiencing were all invalid, no matter how useful and beneficial I found them to be, because the teacher was having consensual sex with some male students, it would not have fazed me or mattered in the least.”

Shard # 128 was able to reply to you without rising to the bait.
Alas, I cannot.

You are so breezy about all this. Disarmingly so. One hardly knows what to say. If you took a very expensive Yoga/French/Tai Chi class, and the teacher was using a subset of the students as his dating pool, would be be so unfazed? Nope I guess not. You get the value for your moey and I suppose that is the bottom line.

138. I in the sky - November 15, 2012

Shard_ of_ Oblivion – 128:

#127 “I in the sky” says:

“To some the word exercises were revelations and the first verification that in the second state we are not the masters of our speech, emotions, gestures, attitudes, quite literally almost nothing that we “do.””

SoO: “Yes that is what the Gurdjieff system teaches. And this is where I differ from my former FoF mindset. I am no longer convinced that being “the master” of these things is beneficial, in fact I would go so far as to say if someone is “the master” of their emotions, they are no longer in touch with their emotions, they have managed to depersonalise themselves, with the consequence that things are under control, but they themselves are no longer vibrant, surprising or exciting.”

That seems an odd logic. Were we speaking in general terms I think most of us would readily agree that control and awareness would be favorable in almost all instances to lack of control and lack of awareness. Applying this to FoF matters will naturally produce skepticism in former members. Assuming you mean what you write there seems to be a general misconception of some if not all of my comments of #127.

In even the most basic cases one can see that both control and awareness are favorable to a lack of either, or both:

If one works on an assembly line and one’s job is to sort out defective or misshaped squares of chocolate awareness is favorable, for without awareness one will miss some of those misshapen pieces of chocolate. And without control one will eat more of those misshapen rejects than is healthful to the sorter.

Right now General Petraeus is probably lamenting the fact that he was needful of more control and more awareness in certain areas of his life.

SoO: “I would go so far as to say if someone is “the master” of their emotions, they are no longer in touch with their emotions, they have managed to depersonalise themselves, with the consequence that things are under control, but they themselves are no longer vibrant, surprising or exciting.”

My experience is that more conscious control leads to more choices and more freedom. What you describe is someone who is blocking out reality. That would lead to a desensitization or depersonalizing of events and circumstances. Control and awareness are not inhibitors of vibrancy or excitement, if anything they are enhancers of both of those elements.

SoO: “Someone who wants to be the master of their gestures, is someone I would be reluctant to trust, it sounds like the description of a powerful grifter or con-man, who never wants to show their true feelings.”

Yes, there is the assumption in your argument that this control/awareness would be put to dubious uses. But if this control and awareness is gained through conscious work on one’s self this could not be the case in principle.

On a more mundane level, have you ever noticed people’s hand gestures, mostly used when speaking? As an impression much is lacking regarding involuntary hand movements or facial gestures. People use hand movements to drive home a point or to aid or support in some way what they are saying. But there is no rhyme or reason to most of it. People just look like they are choking someone or chopping imaginary vegetables.

SoO: “To be the master of our speech sounds OK, but in fact beautiful speech, and in its highest form that is poetry, is inhibited by too tight a hand on the reins, the horses need to be allowed to gallop where they will. In the case of the written word, we can always edit later, and in social conversation, with friends, let it all hang out, they’re our friends after all.”

I agree. The operative word here is “editing.” That’s where the control and awareness would come into play.

SoO: “To be master of our attitudes sounds like that lying to oneself that priests and politicians need to be able to do, in order to tow the party line and agree with all the dogma. I feel that our attitudes should follow naturally from our experiences, and if I wanted to be high minded about it, should be governed by a fearless following of the truth wherever it leads. It lead me to leave the school once I realised that the primary tenet of esotericism (that there have been people in the past who are so much more knowledgeable than us, that we have to accept their theories even if we can’t follow how they arrived at them) was false.’

Much of our attitudes are passed down to us, some good some bad. We inherit them from our country, parents, teachers / instructors, siblings, peers. Without awareness or control we keep some of the bad ones as well as the good ones and we let go some of the good ones as well as the bad ones. With more conscious awareness and control we can be more intentional and cultivate the good while walking away from the bad. As far as your point of following:

“people in the past who are so much more knowledgeable than us, that we have to accept their theories even if we can’t follow how they arrived at them) was false.”

I agree one should not follow anything that one does not understand or believe in. But you probably do this without even realizing it in many aspect of your life.

Spiritual concepts, ideas, principles that have stood the test of time make sense to many and are practiced on many different levels from main stream religion to the more esoteric applications.

139. jomopinata - November 15, 2012

133/I in the Sky

If you are prepared to offer an opinion on the contents of the 1986 Philip Cushman article based solely upon the first page, you may be what Kathryn Schulz calls a “shoestring theorist.” Read about it here: http://books.google.com/books?id=5OCnB78Bsp0C&pg=PA84

140. brucelevy - November 15, 2012

138. I in the sky

“Consensual sex”…you’re an asshole and a sociopath.

141. Golden Veil - November 15, 2012

138. I in the sky – November 15, 2012

“Right now General Petraeus is probably lamenting the fact that he was needful of more control and more awareness in certain areas of his life.”

What about “certain areas” of your Teachers’s life? From the descriptions of some former student’s experiences with him,
your Teacher seems to be extremely “needful of more control and more awareness in certain areas of his life.”

142. Ames Gilbert - November 15, 2012

In post #127, in the paragraph beginning, “Nothing was more humorous than seeing someone . . .”, notice how ‘I in the Sky’ lies: she claims she was able to both observe and judge the internal state of someone giving them a ‘photograph’. And gosh, from her impartial, superior viewpoint, she is able to see the humor in the situation, and tell us about it. Also, notice the lack of gratitude, notice the obvious non-acceptance of the gift of the observation, notice the simple lack of self-awareness both at the time and while writing the post.

This is what Burton has taught her for decade after decade, and what she has come here to teach us in her turn.

143. James Mclemore - November 15, 2012

142. Ames Gilbert

That little story had the same effect upon me also. She obviously does not see the narcissism and ‘specialness’ that literally just oozes out in the telling of it.

144. ton2u - November 15, 2012

whalerider,
“reframing” is a term I came across reading a couple of books — Hypnotic Realities and Frogs into Princes… based on NLP (i read these a long time ago, sometime shortly after departing the cult). re: your examination of the word “try” in relation to the gap it creates between intention and doing — here’ one: “i will try to be spontaneous.”

when i joined the cult and for a long time there at the beginning, the word exercise was for the word “I” — we were using the word “IT” instead of “I.” this was rationalized by the cult meme that we are “many I’s” and not “one” I. now think about the intent and effect of this “exercise” and the rationalizing meme. the guise of “control” by eliminating the word/concept “”I” creates methods of systematically (over time), depersonalizing the individual. surrendering your ‘sacred trust’, the “I in me,” in order to follow someone YOU IMAGINE has one (an “I”), does nothing less than literally cripple the individual.

burtonism is not about leading the individual toward freedom through realization of the self through the individual “I” — burtonism is about controlling the individual for the purposes of satisfying burton…. burtionism is unfreedom but this is impossible to realize for anybody who is controlled by burtonism. “I” is a word/concept which only the individual can say about herself, neither i nor you can say the word “i” in referring to another, when i say “i” it refers uniquely to me… think about the ramifications when one is so completely controlled by another, that of one’s own “I” is eliminated as a word, a concept and as a real felt experience ?

here’s a suggestion for “i’m in the sky” and other poor unfortunate ‘students’ of burtonism: one could reframe the meme of the “many I’s” by thinking in terms of the “I” as a process, it’s not a static entity. in fact your attempt at ‘controling’ the I actually creates ‘mechanicality.’ you may not be aware of it but you are harmed through abdicating your individuality to a hasnamus who thinks only of himself and who thinks of others only in terms of how they might continue to serve and feed his ‘desire body.’

just another shoestring…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming

145. Ames Gilbert - November 15, 2012

P.S. My post above is not a ‘photograph’ of ‘I in the Sky’. I gave those up a couple of years before my exit from the Fellowship of Friends. It is merely a humorous observation.

146. Ames Gilbert - November 15, 2012

The bottom line for members of the Fellowship of Friends, or anyone considering joining, is:
No one has become ‘conscious’ in forty-two years.

Burton and Girard Haven claim Haven has become ‘conscious’, but that means far less than nothing, other than a warning, a red flag.

Instead, judge Burton and Haven by their fruits.
Their egos have far from disappeared. Witness the way Burton credentials ‘consciousness’. He is a ‘Man Number 7.9’, and is musing whether he has achieved some kind of parity with Christ, supposedly a ‘Man Number 8’! He is the ‘Brightest Light in 2,000 years! Etc. The followers have put their spiritual development in the hands of Burton, and only Burton. He is the jealous God-Emperor of Oregon House, and will have no other gods before him. The egos of the followers, as taught by Burton, are busy collecting ‘higher states’ (periods of hyper-vigilance), so their egos can become ‘immortal’, whatever that is. Haven has even written a whole book on this theme, and the promise of ‘immortality’ is one of the central tenets of Burton’s pathetic attempt at leaving a literary legacy.

In order to establish and control the boundaries of his fantasy and to allow his ego to reign without limits, Burton has constructed a hideaway in the foothills of the Sierras, where he can feast undisturbed on the offerings, sacrifices and bodies of his (male heterosexual) followers, only venturing out for shopping trips, or for a vacation from his endless vacation at the expense of his followers. It is also physically and metaphorically a hideout for his followers themselves, where they can retreat from the vagaries of ‘life’ and the irritating manifestations of ‘life people’, and bathe themselves in mutual esteem and self-congratulations, disguised with a thin veneer of ‘humility’. Discouraged from exchanging meaningful and balancing and healing energies with the rest of the world, the followers become involuted, myopic and selfish. Every facet of their lives is devoted to what they perceive as their own advancement and to satisfying the whims of their leader, necessary because he and only he is the gateway to their salvation. This selfishness extends to any person harmed by Burton; they are just collateral damage to the observer, and the damage is further justified and rationalized as being of actual spiritual advantage to the victim, both by the perpetrator and third parties. Anyone who becomes aware of the messages from their conscience is an anomaly, metaphysically a foreign body. Instead of being encouraged, they are forced to leave, lest they disturb the illusions.

But inside the compound, there is no ease, but rather, disease. Burton has set up a situation where each follower must divide themselves into two, each at an endless war with the other. The ‘lower self’, led by the instinctive center—the Devil, versus the ‘higher self’. The hyper-vigilance, mistaken as some kind of ‘higher state’, extends to not only continuous internal checking of the status of this unwinnable internal war, but also the external manifestations of other followers. The ideal self-policing police state. The inevitable failure of this unwinnable war is guilt, stress, illness and contempt for the gift of body and life; the body is an enemy and this life is just a minefield on the way to paradise. The emotional life of the followers is bound up with each other in exactly the same way that prisoners bond together, because that is the only comfort available, their mutual rationalization of the fact that Burton has them tunnel from one cell block to another, instead of outside to freedom. The only possible movement is if Burton and the supposed 45 angels take pity on them, anoint them, and credential their ‘consciousness’. But, even then, they remain prisoners, like Haven, always subservient, inferior, and bound to Burton in his fantasy.

And there are sub-sets to these fantasies. For example, Burton’s ‘boys’, the young heterosexual males he psychologically overwhelms with promises of salvation, bond together in a different way, because they are the only ones that understand, from experience, their special situation. They create their own unique sub-fantasy, where they rationalize their abuse and comfort each other in their distress. The same with the wives and girlfriends of the ‘boys’; they have a special commonality born of their plight, and similarly labor to rationalize the discordance away. But the ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ go further. To strengthen and legitimize their fantasy, they help recruit others to their halls of shame; they help groom the newcomers, soothe them, and introduce them to the brother- or sisterhood, truly a situation where ‘misery likes company’. Again, the kapos who supervise the prisoners, (those lent power by Burton, and ‘older students’) have their own bubble, based on their roles.
The same even with the majority who have no ‘special’ place or role, or who Burton has discarded, who have resigned themselves to be ‘one of those who wait’. They are conditioned to believe that they have no hope of becoming ‘conscious’ in this lifetime, they must wait for theoretical future lifetimes to achieve ‘consciousness’ and so for them it is just pay and pay and pay.

147. ton2u - November 15, 2012

127:
“Nothing was more humorous than…” etc.
what struck me here was a very odd ‘sense of humor’ — thanks ames for teasing out the underlying arrogance.

138:
“My experience is that more conscious control leads to more choices and more freedom. What you describe is someone who is blocking out reality. That would lead to a desensitization or depersonalizing of events and circumstances. Control and awareness are not inhibitors of vibrancy or excitement, if anything they are enhancers of both of those elements.”

the statements of experience by “i’m in the sky” have to be framed in the context of her desensitization through living for so many years in the depersonalizing environment of burtonsism… she is unaware that she is in fact “blocking out reality” because (in fact) through following burtonism she has (“a priori”) blocked out reality. it’s a trying to be spontaneous, trying to be conscious… maybe she should change her name to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyphus — sadomasochism seems to be a dominant factor…

148. Tim Campion - November 16, 2012

“Consensual sex” seems to be one of the more common thought-terminating cliches in The Fellowship of Friends.

149. WhaleRider - November 16, 2012

I in the sky:
“General Petraeus is probably lamenting the fact that he was needful of more control and more awareness in certain areas of his life.”

I suppose you are suggesting that General Petraeus was unaware of what he was doing?

I am sure Kevin Bacon is probably also lamenting the fact that he didn’t say to Bernie Madoff, “fuck you, you’re an asshole, and a sociopath” before Madoff swindled millions of dollars from him through Madoff’s hedge fund Ponzi scheme.

For most people, Bruce’s response above to I in the sky is appropriate and healthy, IMO.

One ought to stay away from sociopaths.

“On the other hand, the ego/lower self/false personality, if it has too firm a grip on an individual, can feel extremely threatened by these new discoveries of the Self.

This demarcation between lower and higher self here is imaginary and unhealthy, IMO.

The ego doesn’t have a grip on anything. It is one island, usually the biggest one, floating along with other smaller islands in the vast ocean of the unconscious.

The ego is threatened by the powerful unconscious because the ego thinks and acts like it has all the control and power. A person with ego deficits or a weak ego will easily project that power and control onto others.

Jung taught that the Self (with a capital S, AKA: the Soul) is the summation of all the different parts of us, both conscious and unconscious.

burton cultivates a compliant victim pool though the process of splitting…labeling the parts of his follower’s personalities which are critical, resistant, or non-compliant as lower self, false, or bad.

Then for a compliant follower to be manipulated into having sex with a person of unequal power like burton, especially the first time, would indeed create some powerful presence, and some memories to boot.

In his warped head, burton can justify his behavior to himself, his victims, and those who collude with him by claiming he is “helping” his victims to evolve and be more “conscious” (i.e. good or higher) by having sex with him, when in fact he is harming and debasing them.

But who cares?

150. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 16, 2012

#138 “I in the sky” responds to my post #128 paragraph by paragraph, so it’s only polite that I should return the favour.

Before launching into that I want to mention that “I in the sky” uses the phrase “awareness and control” at several points, which I think muddies the discussion. They are very much not the same thing, each is important in its own way, but to lump them together will only serve to make it harder to see clearly where our viewpoints differ and on what points. The phrase she used in post #127 was “we are not the masters of” which I reckon is closer to control than awareness.

I have read and reread her first paragraph, and have to admit to being baffled as to what point is being made. Here it is with the preceding quoted paragraph of mine that it is commenting upon.

SoO: “Yes that is what the Gurdjieff system teaches. And this is where I differ from my former FoF mindset. I am no longer convinced that being “the master” of these things is beneficial, in fact I would go so far as to say if someone is “the master” of their emotions, they are no longer in touch with their emotions, they have managed to depersonalise themselves, with the consequence that things are under control, but they themselves are no longer vibrant, surprising or exciting.”

That seems an odd logic. Were we speaking in general terms I think most of us would readily agree that control and awareness would be favorable in almost all instances to lack of control and lack of awareness. Applying this to FoF matters will naturally produce skepticism in former members. Assuming you mean what you write there seems to be a general misconception of some if not all of my comments of #127.

Well I did mean what I wrote. I will expand a little on the point. To be “masters of” our emotions is something I became quite good at over the decade that I spent in the FoF. The way I achieved this was by using the tool/concept of non-identification and separation. When something happened that would ordinarily have produced a negative emotion (I don’t like the term much, but on this blog we all know what is being referred to by this phrase) I would consider the immense age of the universe, and set that beside whatever trivial or not so trivial life event was threatening to perplex me, and as a result I would avoid feeling bad, what I would feel was a sort of smug superiority to those who were unable to do this trick, and would carry on congratulating myself on my good work. My FoF mindset had it that some mystical magic had just occurred within me, and that as result I had accumulated some helpful energy (hydrogens as the system calls it) which could be used for better things than feeling angry, frustrated, jealous, envious, disgruntled etc etc. I learnt this technique and saw it being demonstrated by Peter Bishop who was one of the centre directors when I joined. So far so good you might think. But I was SO good at this, that eventually I could decide what I would feel in ANY situation. Maybe you haven’t reached that level yet, if so you are lucky. Because once that control has been achieved, there is a pernicious effect on the emotional life. At that point nothing matters at all. I hope you never get there because it is not a good place to be. A fellow student, who left around the same time as me, helped me see the folly of my ways, and advised me to pay attention to my feelings, not to dismiss them as mechanical/the lower machine but to see that essentially we ARE our emotions, and if by some persistent application of efforts along the non-identification lines, we achieve control, we no longer know who we are, if fact we no longer exist. He advised me to feel angry. My wife had just left me, and that was something my clever tricks were not able to separate from, and that was my salvation. I felt bad, I cried myself to sleep for nearly six months, after priding myself on being so dry, I became a wet soggy mess of a human being, but out of that I finally emerged, knowing not to try to avoid feeling the hurts and sorrows that our lives inevitably bring us. Incidentally I am pretty sure that my emotional control and lack of genuine human response was what caused the breakdown of my marriage. I can clearly remember a moment when my wife was angry and expressed it, and I sat in the car next to her and said “Why do you let yourself feel those feelings, just separate and you can sail over them” This as you may imagine did NOT go down well.

You then go on to mention that more awareness will help in a chocolate factory – OK I never denied that – and that General Petraeus is probably lamenting the fact that he was needful of more control and more awareness in certain areas of his life. I know little about the internal state of Petraeus, from the outside it does seem like he might regret his actions, we often do regret our actions, but maybe the exalted moments he had with his foxy biographer involved sex of such sweet tenderness that he doesn’t really regret it at all, I reckon only he will really know, so let’s leave him alone eh?

You then say “My experience is that more conscious control leads to more choices and more freedom. What you describe is someone who is blocking out reality. That would lead to a desensitization or depersonalizing of events and circumstances. Control and awareness are not inhibitors of vibrancy or excitement, if anything they are enhancers of both of those elements.”

I think you have this the wrong way round, but as you conflate the terms awareness and control it is difficult to see how to unpick the tangle in this paragraph.

Then in response to my “Someone who wants to be the master of their gestures, is someone I would be reluctant to trust, it sounds like the description of a powerful grifter or con-man, who never wants to show their true feelings.”
you say
“Yes, there is the assumption in your argument that this control/awareness would be put to dubious uses. But if this control and awareness is gained through conscious work on one’s self this could not be the case in principle.”

I remember that worship of consciousness well. How do you know that conscious work can never be used for dubious purposes really? You read it in a book? Your teacher told you? You have seen it in yourself? Do you claim to be conscious? If so you may find your teacher will tell you that you are not. I believe the whole concept of a conscious being is an artificial construct, pulled out of Gurdjieff’s rather alluring hat, in a long tradition of Hindu gurus claiming to be in Samadhi, Buddhists claiming to have reached Nirvana, and sufis claiming to be at one with the beloved Godhead. I reject it, after having invested many years trying to achieve it. It is a mirage. And it suits Burton very well, since it isn’t real, noone can really prove to him he doesn’t have it, he is safe in his claim.

You go on to say “On a more mundane level, have you ever noticed people’s hand gestures, mostly used when speaking? As an impression much is lacking regarding involuntary hand movements or facial gestures. People use hand movements to drive home a point or to aid or support in some way what they are saying. But there is no rhyme or reason to most of it. People just look like they are choking someone or chopping imaginary vegetables.”

Hey of course I have noticed them, and I enjoy them a lot, I no longer judge these things, they are what humans do, and they allow us (if we will let them) to make contact with others. To remove them is similar to the foul practice of lopping of the tails of certain breeds of dog in my opinion.

I next examine whether mastery of our speech is beneficial in all circumstances, and you reply that editing is the critical factor for you. You then conflate awareness and control in a way that is starting to make me despair that you have the precision of thought to understand these matters properly.

You then talk about control of our attitudes, saying we can choose the good ones and reject the bad ones. But here is where there is a hidden assumption that you don’t explore. How are we to judge what is a good attitude and what is a bad attitude? I believe from your previous posts that you would reply that you found a conscious teaching, and a living exponent of that teaching, and that you use that to weed out the bad attitudes and just keep the good ones. But how were you able to know you had found the true path? I can remember when this question started to trouble me, if it has never troubled you, you may never see it as an issue, there are millions of religious followers in the world who do the same thing, so you are not alone. You have chosen, and once that choice was made, it reinforced itself, by telling you that you HAVE found the right path. My subjective view on the matter is that we cannot know anything for absolute certain. The best we can do is taste and weigh the knowledge that is available to us in the world at the time we live in it, and make our best guess based on our own inner feelings.

To my point that the core esoteric belief is false you say “Spiritual concepts, ideas, principles that have stood the test of time make sense to many and are practiced on many different levels from main stream religion to the more esoteric applications.”

Have they really stood the test of time? Haven’t people been fighting wars over religious dogma for millennia? I think religion is a crutch constructed by fearful timid humans who haven’t the balls to look death in the face and live their lives, without some big parental projection in the sky validating their existence.

151. brucelevy - November 16, 2012

Really? All this energy expended to try to convince a sociopath that they’re wrong and their dissertations are anything but the vomit of the self delusion and grandiosity. I don’t know of a better example of wasted energy, or completely being led astray by bull shit and obfuscation. Fuck Asshole in the sky, she’s one sick m.f. To even engage her is nauseating to me. She’s really got you by the balls.

152. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 16, 2012

#151 Bruce – it’s a point of view.

don’t inhale until the tip glows!

153. brucelevy - November 16, 2012

152. Shard_of_Oblivion

I love that scene, but no, really.

154. David - November 16, 2012

I think IITS is writing a book made up of the “Pearls” being cast before us swine. Its’ posts certainly come off as if that is the plan….

155. I in the sky - November 16, 2012

137. Nevasayneva

“oh dear, sentences like this are so inflammatory:”

Have you ever examined why another person’s words not even directly written to you, and not written in an inflammatory way or style would be experienced as inflammatory?

The nature of a discussion blog encompasses participants expressing differing views. The principle I believe is to meet any differing viewpoint with one’s own counter point and the merit of the reply will suffice as the reward. If I encounter logic I don’t feel is worthy of having I don’t feel inflamed. if anything I feel grateful I don’t share those views. Anger at another person’s viewpoint often reveals some form of insecurity, uncertainty or fear.

I can’t imagine the Buddha becoming inflamed at someone else’s comments or opinions. Not that I’m holding you to the Buddha’s standards, but who are you emulating?

“You are so breezy about all this. Disarmingly so. One hardly knows what to say.”

Reading over my words all I see is an honest and straight forward rendition of how I felt. For me the reference in question was/is not relevant to my evolution. Maybe you feel it should be and that’s what offended you.

156. Tim Campion - November 16, 2012

Tell me, I in the sky. The abortions that Linda K., Frances T. and others instructed Fellowship members to have – in your assessment, were these also “consensual”?

Did it bother you in the slightest that your teacher directed that these lives be terminated because he was not yet ready to populate his “Ark”?

157. nigel - November 16, 2012

Some people master this energy and find control and ‘chastity’. Others, like Burton, abuse it completely…..

Kundalini is described as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human organism. It is one of the components of an esoteric description of the ‘subtle body’, which consists of nadis (energy channels), chakras (psychic centres), prana (subtle energy), and bindu (drops of essence).

Kundalini is described as being coiled up at the base of the spine. The description of the location can vary slightly, from the rectum to the navel. According to Sahaja Yoga, the kundalini resides in the triangular shaped sacrum bone in three and a half coils.

The kundalini has been described as a residual power of pure desire by Nirmala Srivastava.

(The image given is that of a serpent coiled three and a half times around a smokey grey lingam. Each coil is said to represent one of the three gunas, with the half coil signifying transcendence.)

158. ton2u - November 16, 2012

156 tim, re: forced abortions — good question which i don’t expect ‘asshole in the sky’ to answer, so i will. it is with great shame i admit having played a role in one of these cases and i can say that it was in no way “consensual.” as best she could, my wife at the time resisted a steady and focused stream of coercive persuasion exerted by the fof hierarchs to abort our unborn child… but it was seemingly just her ‘against the world’ and the result was forced compliance… her choice was either comply or lose the school and the ‘dire’ implications therein… you know ‘food for the moon’ and all the hogwash regarding the ‘evils’ of being a ‘life person’ — stuff that kept and still keeps ‘students’ scared and in the fold.

159. shardofoblivion - November 16, 2012

#158 ton2u.

Your simple story of personal grief affected me. Though I like to joke and laugh about things, your post reminds me that there were real tragedies happening as a result of that madman and the hold he had and still has over his followers.

160. Nevermind - November 16, 2012

In their minds nothing is wrong. “Consciousness” as exclusively proffered by the only legitimate establishment in town forgives all the minor sins such as abuse of power. Coercion through the institutionalization of delusion and then manipulated for the personal gain of wealth and otherwise unavailable sex is counted as nothing in the context of achieving consciousness. Even when it is apparent to any impartial witness that no one there has achieved any consciousness.

Think, would a conscious being predictably grab everything he could grab like a common politician?

Think further, exactly where is this “consciousness” you imagine you are achieving? Where? It is all arguments and philosophy. Stuff of the mind.

161. I in the sky - November 16, 2012

brucelevy – 140:

“Consensual sex”…”you’re an asshole and a sociopath.”

If anyone wishes to discuss the concept of consensual sex feel free to do so.

Golden Veil – 141:

in some branches of the military it is considered a crime for an officer to enter into an adulterous relationship.

Ames Gilbert – 146:

“No one has become ‘conscious’ in forty-two years.”

What color shirt am I wearing as I write this? Also, your above comment might hold more weight with me if you got my gender right.

Shard _of_Oblivion – 150:

“Before launching into that I want to mention that “I in the sky” uses the phrase “awareness and control” at several points, which I think muddies the discussion…I have read and reread her (his) first paragraph, and have to admit to being baffled as to what point is being made.”

For me the word exercises are chiefly about awareness and control. It was presumptuous of me to expect you to pick up on that.

Regarding the tool of non-identification you said:

SoO – “I would feel was a sort of smug superiority to those who were unable to do this trick, and would carry on congratulating myself on my good work…”

This to me seems the point of deviation. What you describe is the common occurrence of the “machine” trying to engage the state of non-identification, which is impossible. The machine is the state of identification and it is that state that one separates from.
The shift is subtle but the process is very different.

The act of separating is often an arduous task; it generally leaves one in an humbled state. Separation / non-identification is not lack of feeling, it is allowing oneself to be a “wet soggy mess” on the inside while going about one’s outward duties as one normally does, unencumbered of self pity, fear, anger and numerous other emotional maladies.

SoO: “I remember that worship of consciousness well. How do you know that conscious work can never be used for dubious purposes really?”

The essential purpose of consciousness cannot be appropriated for dubious means, no more than the universe can be used for dubious means. But moving from an unconscious state to a conscious one involves sacrificing many unconscious aims. The universe is not dubious but allows for destruction and corruption. The actions of many advanced souls have seemed dubious to other less advanced souls. History is littered with examples.

SoO: ” How do you know that conscious work can never be used for dubious purposes really? You read it in a book? Your teacher told you? You have seen it in yourself? Do you claim to be conscious? If so you may find your teacher will tell you that you are not.”

It’s what I deduce based on all my understandings and experiences in that area. You may say – “What are your deductions worth?” What are anyone’s worth? There can be no proof given outside of oneself.

SoO:”I believe the whole concept of a conscious being is an artificial construct, pulled out of Gurdjieff’s rather alluring hat, in a long tradition of Hindu gurus claiming to be in Samadhi, Buddhists claiming to have reached Nirvana, and sufis claiming to be at one with the beloved Godhead. I reject it, after having invested many years tryitng to achieve it. It is a mirage.

What would be the point of so many virtuous beings all telling the same lie, many of them not knowing of the existence of the others, so the chances of a conspiracy are out of the question? Can man conjure up the concept of God so vividly and elaborately and so convincingly, and for so long, without there being one? And without man’s ability to be made in a god’s image? If man has the power to deduce virtue then I would have to reject your logic.

I do think you were close but for some reason people often turn away when they are on the threshold.

162. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 16, 2012

#161 “I in the sky” reveals he is a man! Well hi there mister! Have you had sex with Burton then?

163. Tim Campion - November 16, 2012

I in the sky wrote:

If anyone wishes to discuss the concept of consensual sex feel free to do so.

Tell me, I in the sky. Would you consider it “consensual sex,” when your teacher, fully aware that he carries a sexually-transmitted disease, has unprotected sex with countless male heterosexual followers?

164. Ames Gilbert - November 16, 2012

Re-post. And I did send a hard copy to Burton himself . . .

Open Letter to Robert Earl Burton:

You have quite a load on your back, don’t you? For example, you once told me that one of the burdens of being a ‘conscious being’ is that you make about 500 decisions a week concerning your ‘students’ and your ‘school’. Quite an obligation, but I guess it helps that you know all the answers and are such a decisive fellow. How lucky for your followers that you spend so much time minding their business for them. I suppose it’s for the best; they don’t have to think for themselves, and thinking for themselves is dangerous for you.

And what do you expect in return?
On the surface, just the usual adoration or fear, endless opportunities for sex, and of course the unlimited shopping. I say ‘endless’ and ‘unlimited’ because, you being immortal and all that, the need is going to continue, in one form or another, forever, isn’t it?
So, lets have a look underneath the surface. What drives you?
It would be nice if everyone would just acknowledge you as “the brightest light in 2,000 years” wouldn’t it? You say this so often, it must be really important to you. But I have to ask, though it is so obvious to you, why isn’t it obvious to everyone else? I know you claim that you are so elevated that we mere mortals cannot appreciate your lofty ‘consciousness’, but all the other reputed ‘conscious beings’, including most of the 44 who were supposed to be your friends and allies, left behind significant traces when they exited this plane. At this rate, you will have left behind a worthless, mostly ghost–written book and some unofficial and also worthless sexual records.

It would be nice if you could stop being so needy for sex, huh? Then you could get on with the rest of your day and your life without constantly thinking about how you’re going to get more dick. It is a bit sad that the never-ending quest is permanent, since you are already ‘crystallized’, together with all your baggage. Some baggage! And it is sadder that the next orgasm isn’t going to provide the relief you seek, let alone the next thousand or ten thousand. And sadder still that your need is going to continue when you drop your body, and your nerve endings are no longer available to stimulate.

It would be nice if you could live your life without the support of drugs, wouldn’t it? It must be awful knowing that none of your partners actually desire you, that they only have erections because you make them take Viagra or because they stimulate themselves to simulate desire. And imagine being truly calm inside, instead of the fake calm of tranquilizers. Imagine having self-control, to not have to reach out for this pill or that to mask your emptiness, imagine not having pills control you.

It would be nice if you could bear to be alone and live with yourself and your thoughts, wouldn’t it? You’ve never slept alone in forty years, and you surround yourself with human company every waking hour, yet you’ve never reached another human, nor has a human reached you. And yet, you are going to die alone. And at the moment of death, you will have to face the truth. You are dying loveless and unloved after living a worthless life. Less than worthless, because you have left behind many people who have suffered as a result of your stay on earth, who have suffered because of your mental illnesses and colossal weaknesses. Less than worthless, because you have left behind a body of deluded followers, who must suffer needlessly as they in turn have to rediscover the truth about themselves and their situation. Less than worthless because you never earned your keep, you fed off others your entire life, and you never repaid the debt you owed for the gift of your life. Less than worthless because you led a less than worthless life and never contributed anything to the common weal. Less than less than worthless, because you not only never tried to repair the immense damage you caused, but you never even acknowledged it or felt pity or remorse.

It would be nice if you could face death with equanimity, wouldn’t it? Then you wouldn’t have to build monuments to your ego. You wouldn’t have to keep on and on with the story that you are the founder of the next civilization, that your memory will be revered, your prophecies were useful and accurate, that you had access to secret wisdom, and that humanity will be grateful for your contributions. Wouldn’t that be a relief?

You know, if you could drop that “brightest light in 2,000 years” (a.k.a. I’m the most important person in the world, and if only everyone would recognize that, then I’d be happy) gig, then you could see yourself as you actually are:
Empty, lonely and frightened. A complete slave to your weaknesses, needs and lusts.

The truth is, when all is said and done, very few agree with your opinion of yourself after they have had a close look at you. And since there is no way to quench your fears or your desires, you’ll never, ever be happy.
Actually, you’re no different from the rest of us poor shmucks, deep down you want love, approval and appreciation, but your gigantic ego will not countenance being so ordinary and human.

If you ever come to realize this before your death, it will be some meltdown, won’t it?

165. brucelevy - November 16, 2012

161. I in the sky

“If anyone wishes to discuss the concept of consensual sex feel free to do so.”

Well douchenozzle, thanks for your permission.

166. Nevasayneva - November 16, 2012

# 155 I in the sky

Thank you for pointing out my insecurities, angers and fears. I certainly have my share.

I do not know if the buddha had that difficuly of becoming inflamed at other peoples blog comments (or maybe sangha graffiti in those times?). That would be speculation.
(How did the buddha – minding his own business- get dragged into this?)

And yes, thanks for clarifying that I do not meet the buddha’s standards of behaviour. I also agree, but it is something one could aspire to.

I did not think your style was in the least inflammatory. I thought you and shard were having this very nice to and fro about attending prospective meetings, what one might verify there, what one could continue to verify and how that might spur one on to further participation or not.

Then it seems to me that you lobbed a sentence in about your teachers personal life. It just seemed a bit out of place. Since you probably see it as his personal life, it just seemed to me that you were bringing it in to a discussion to stir things up.

bu maybe a stirring is a good thing.

167. WhaleRider - November 16, 2012

I in the sky:
“Can man conjure up the concept of God so vividly and elaborately and so convincingly, and for so long, without there being one?

Oh yes…People have conjured up sorts of deities, gods, demons, angels, devils, spirits, sprites, monsters, big foots, UFOs, hobgoblins, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, witches, leprechauns, fairies…mostly done in our long history to make some sense out of the unexplainable and sometimes violent forces of nature.

My son has whole book of them, all depicted in vivid, elaborate and convincing detail, with historical information on each.

It still doesn’t prove these concepts exist outside the mind that is doing the conjuring, no matter how many license plates you read into.

By the same token, Jung taught us that human cultures need these mythical beings and archetypes projected outside of ourselves in art, literature, and storytelling to better understand the unexplainable aspects of our human nature.

What if god were all of us?

168. nigel - November 16, 2012

…..just wanted to interject…..Nigel…..

If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him in all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question
And yeah yeah God is great yeah yeah God is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
If God had a face what would it look like
And would you want to see
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like heaven and in jesus and the saints and all the prophets
And yeah yeah god is great yeah yeah god is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
He’s trying to make his way home
Back up to heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in rome
And yeah yeah God is great yeah yeah God is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
Just trying to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just trying to make his way home
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in rome.

169. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 16, 2012

# 161 “I in the sky”

“Separation / non-identification is not lack of feeling, it is allowing oneself to be a “wet soggy mess” on the inside while going about one’s outward duties as one normally does, unencumbered of self pity, fear, anger and numerous other emotional maladies.”

So for you separating is acting normal, while feeling bad inside? How very banal. I did go about my usual work duties during that time, that is what all of us have to do when things are hard. That is very far from the gurdjieffian second conscious shock or Buddhist non attachment (a very similar concept I think)

170. thirdlurker - November 17, 2012

“I do believe you were close but for some reason people often turn away when they are on the threshold .”

Dude, you are such a retard

171. I in the sky - November 17, 2012

Shard_of_Oblivion – 169:

“So for you separating is acting normal, while feeling bad inside? How very banal. I did go about my usual work duties during that time, that is what all of us have to do when things are hard. That is very far from the gurdjieffian second conscious shock or Buddhist non attachment (a very similar concept I think)”

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” – Thoreau

This is not it either. The experience of non-identification is far from banal and far out distances my description of the experience.

Silly me, I’ll try again.

SoO: “So for you separating is acting normal, while feeling bad inside?

Have you ever felt bad and elated at the same time? If so you were probably experiencing the state of non – identification, or a close kin.

172. nigel - November 17, 2012

Religion & Spirituality Buddhism..
Discuss in my forum
What Is the Self?

The Buddhist Teachings of Self and No-Self
By Barbara O’Brien, About.com GuideDreamstime.com”

Among all the Buddha’s teachings, those on the nature of the self are the hardest to understand, yet they are central to the religion. In fact, “fully perceiving the nature of the self” is one way to define enlightenment.

The Five Skandhas
The Buddha taught that an individual is a combination of five aggregates of existence, also called the Five Skandhas or the five heaps. These are:

1.Form
2.Sensation
3.Perception
4.Mental formations
5.Consciousness

Various schools of Buddhism interpret the skandhas in somewhat different ways. Generally, the first skandha is our physical form. The second is made up of our feelings, emotional and physical, and our senses — seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling.

The third skandha, perception, takes in most of what we call thinking — conceptualization, cognition, reasoning. This also includes the recognition that occurs when an organ comes into contact with an object. Perception can be thought of as “that which identifies.” The object perceived may be a physical object or a mental one, such as an idea.

The fourth skandha, mental formations, includes habits, prejudices and predispositions. Our volition, or willfulness, also is part of the fourth skandha, as are attention, faith, conscientiousness, pride, desire, vindictiveness, and many other mental states both virtuous and not virtuous. The causes and effects of karma are especially important to the fourth skandha.

The fifth skandha, consciousness, is awareness of our sensitivity to an object, but without conceptualization. Once there is awareness, the third skandha might recognize the object and assign a concept-value to it, and the fourth skandha might react with desire or revulsion or some other mental formation. The fifth skandha is explained in some schools as base that ties the experience of life together.

The Self Is No-Self
What’s most important to understand about the skandhas is that they are empty. They are not qualities that an individual possesses, because there is no-self possessing them. This doctrine of no-self is called anatman or anatta.

Very basically, the Buddha taught that “you” are not an integral, autonomous entity. The individual self, or what we might call the ego, is more correctly thought of as a by-product of the skandhas.

On the surface, this appears to be a nihilistic teaching. But the Buddha taught that if we can see through the delusion of the small, individual self, we experience that which is not subject to birth and death.

Two Views
Beyond this point, Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism differ on how anatman is understood. In fact, more than anything else it is the different understanding of self that defines and separates the two schools.

Very basically, Theravada considers anatman to mean that an individual’s ego or personality is a fetter and delusion. Once freed of this delusion, the individual may enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.

Mahayana, on the other hand, considers all physical forms to be void of intrinsic self (a teaching called shunyata, which means “emptiness”). The ideal in Mahayana is to enable all beings to be enlightened together, not only out of a sense of compassion, but because we are not really separate, autonomous beings.”

173. ton2u - November 17, 2012

thread re: “non identification” it’s just more obfuscation, it’s a fof shill demonstrating the mind fog she lives in and she comes here to try to rationalize her ‘state’ to those of us who’ve been there, done that… but it’s clear if you think about it — the ‘exercise’ of ‘non identification’ is an essential tool used in mind control, it’s a technique which ensures depersonalization. the desensitized condition which arises from this practice over time, leads the sheep to become ever more ‘pliant’ and easy to manipulate. in the psychiatric literature there is something referred to as ‘depersonalization disorder’ and ‘dissociative disorder’ (plenty of info online). unfortunately this is a condition the whole flock of fof sheep have ‘contracted’ unawares by following the hasnamus they call their ‘teacher.’ it’s just sad.

174. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 17, 2012

#172 “I in the sky” has a second go at describing non-identification:

“Have you ever felt bad and elated at the same time? If so you were probably experiencing the state of non – identification, or a close kin.”

“I in the sky” you are coming across as a bit of an esoteric lightweight, I’m afraid. Sounds like you are safe from the problems of practicing the system, because you are satisfied to simply skim about on the surface, whilst imagining you are plumbing the depths.

175. ton2u - November 17, 2012

re: the gender of asshole in the sky (thanks bruce): not that it matters, she may be male, nevertheless s/he ‘speaks’ with an effeminate voice… the result of having no balls, an unfortunate casualty and consequence of being one of burton’s castrati.

176. Nevermind - November 17, 2012

Non-identification only begins with the realization that all the logical verifications of the mind are suspect. This is the first requirement of non-identification: I know nothing.

All the loyalties, beliefs, certainties and self-confidence is simply a figment of personality.

Understanding that all these thousands of thoughts are unreliable and virtually worthless is no small accomplishment. One knows it for a second and then the truth disappears again in yet another cloud of lies. In all but a few instances the mind talking and convincing itself that it knows reality IS identification.

177. ton2u - November 17, 2012

ames around 164
when did you send this ?
i wrote burton an ‘exit letter’ when i escaped the cult many moons ago. it was hand-delivered to him by my ex-wife (she unfortunately remained and as far as i know still remains in the cult). my letter wasn’t nearly as ‘pointed as yours, it was mainly an explanation of why i was leaving, written with the naive hope that he would understand something about his organization from another point of view. with hindsight it’s clear that this is an impossibility. the subject of the letter was the non-democratic hierarchical ‘command structure’ of the organization; implied and stated plainly was the fact that the structure forms a very real impediment to any realization of individuality by the general ‘student body’… i spoke to my ex shortly after the letter was delivered, she said he read it and his only response was typically dismissive: “he doesn’t understand the system.” now i see he was right in this regard, the evidence then was my naive hope that he might see things differently and change somewhat accordingly. as it turns out, ‘the system’ is in place solely to serve burton’s insatiable desire body — he only ‘cares’ about others to the extent that they contribute to that purpose.

178. Nevermind - November 17, 2012

There is no teacher if there are no students.

Why is I-In-the-Sky out here desperately trying to convince would-be prospective students that might come across this blog that the Fellowship of Friends is reasonable, rational and real? Is it non-identification? It is rather identification with the monetary needs of an organization so bloated with the material overhead of the narcissistic supply required to help Burton and company feel real that without the usual steady stream of new recruits loaded with money to give away then the whole structure comes crashing down in penalties for back taxes and outstanding loans. The “school” is a non-conscious, purely material organization with a high demand for operating funds in order to keep it going. The teacher needs new students supplying the means to maintain the elaborate stage he has set in order to convince himself and everyone else that something is actually happening. What is actually happening in the Fellowship of Friends is entirely the process of an identification with appearances. Everyone is dressed up, posture corrected and nicely situated in an elaborate theater where the illusion of being present is reinforced by a fixation on the superficial kabuki dance of someone offering angles of wisdom.

Meanwhile, backstage behind the props of the farce the scene is quite different. The apparently perfectly scrubbed characters are covertly involved in all manner of debauchery, drudgery and assorted melodrama. The entire charade is reminiscent of new emigrants laboring and sweating in the fields all day then returning to shacks where they get drunk, argue, fight, screw and then sleep six to a room. Still, they piously show up at church on Sunday in new suits and dresses beaming with pride hoping to project the imagine of genteel, refined socialites.

I In the Sky is here trying to sound “reasonable” in order to counteract the criticism because the Fellowship of Friends is desperate for new church goers proud to be seen placing their dollars in the collection plate as an indication to the rest of the flock of one’s dedication to higher consciousness. Money for higher consciousness. Can there be a more distorted form of identification than the hopeless idiocy of expectantly paying money in exchange for higher consciousness?

179. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 17, 2012

#175 ton2u – thanks for that clip of Dangerous Liaisons, Malkovich in that film is so deliciously diabolical. It called to mind one of my favourite movie moments, when Malkovich goes inside Malkovich in Being John Malkovich:

180. WhaleRider - November 17, 2012

I in the sky:
“What you describe is the common occurrence of the “machine” trying to engage the state of non-identification, which is impossible. The machine is the state of identification and it is that state that one separates from. The shift is subtle but the process is very different.”

I appreciate the weak attempt to qualify the term, “machine”, as a state of mind instead of referring to people or our wonderful human body as a “machine”.

Nowadays, I find referring to other humans as machines particularly offensive and dehumanizing. Please remember that the term was used during the time when Mr. G and Mr. O were around in the insane context of trench warfare in WWI.

From the above quote I gather that if the “machine” is a state of mind, then it seems impossible to you for one state of mind can “engage” another, whatever that means, although IMO, states of mind do overlap, as in the hypnogogic state halfway between waking and sleeping.

If states do overlap, then it means that one could readily experience a state of mind when one is partially “identified” and partially “non-identified”. It’s not so black and white as I in the sky suggests.

Is burton practicing non-identification when he has a hissy fit over his cuff links?

ton2u makes an excellent point about depersonalization and dissociation disorders, and I’ll point out that one does not need to have the full-blown disassociative or depersonalization disorder to experience either state.

IMO, to an average person, the sudden onslaught of a disassociative or depersonalized state would feel quite startling and bizarre, and the “cult ego” of a Fellowship follower could easily label such a state as “higher” in an ego syntonic manner, when in fact that feeling of disconnectedness is more often experienced as spiritually deadening.

I in the sky and Shard describe it well, feeling all mushy inside without showing it.

That kind of “control” is not healthy and can lead to physical and mental illness.

It’s OK to feel sad, for goodness sake!

If you push away sadness you push away joy; they are two sides of the same coin.

In fact the more I think about it, the more apparent it becomes to me that the Fellowship cultivates disassociative states in its ad nauseum practice of non-identification.

If you look at the context of a guru-sociopath, without a job and in need of a social safety net…they’ll need to cultivate a following of people willing to put themselves on hold to serve his needs, like mommy and daddy failed to do.

What a better way to cultivate such a group! Depersonalize each of them, (as I felt when in burton’s sex service), put them in disassociative states of mind through isolation and hard physical labor, internally balkanize them, indoctrinate them to believe that attachment to the material world and to one’s family of origin and even to their Self only leads to pain and suffering…all while the guru-sociopath goes about unconsciously recreating his dysfunctional family within his cult, grabs all the intimate relationships he can manage, and thoroughly enjoys all material comforts his follower’s material wealth can buy. The greater the number of followers…the greater the bystander effect.

IMO, the Fellowship cultivates an “either-or” polemic relationship to attachment, one mutually excluding or canceling out the other, and in truth it is far more gray than those identified with acting non-identified would like to delude themselves into believing.

IMO, a healthier way of looking at this topic of identification vis-à-vis non-identification is determining for oneself when to hold on and when to let go.

181. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 17, 2012

Now “I in the sky” has let it be known he’s man, obviously I can see that “You’re lost little girl” will have completely missed the mark. And given he has shown that he hasn’t the first clue about the second conscious shock, I thought this little masterpiece by Jimi Hendrix is a better fit:

If you can just – get your – mind together
Then come on across to me
We’ll hold hands and then we’ll – watch the sunrise sunrise
From the bottom of the sea

Ah but first, are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have

I know, I know you probably scream and cry
That your little world won’t let you go
But who in your measly little world
Are you trying to prove
That you’re made out of gold and you can’t be sold

So, are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have

Let me prove it to you…

I know, I know you probably scream and cry
That your little world won’t let you go
But who in your measly world
Are you probably trying to screw
And con you’re made out of gold and you can’t be body sold

Oh, but are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Not necessarily stoned, but – beautiful…

182. brucelevy - November 17, 2012

With all the bull shit spouted by asshole in the eye, ad infinitum, isn’t anyone skeptical about the gender thing?

I suppose it could be one of the boys “soon to awaken” who does all the verbal heavy lifting for the princess. But that would mean there is a second person besides Linda who loves to hear themselves speak endlessly, to a pathological degree.

When one doesn’t have “it” words are frequently a adequate substitute for truth and substance.

183. James Mclemore - November 17, 2012

182. brucelevy

I have thought all along that the ‘voice’ sounded like a female.

184. Ill Never Tell - November 17, 2012

180. WhaleRider:
‘IMO, a healthier way of looking at this topic of identification vis-à-vis non-identification is determining for oneself when to hold on and when to let go.’

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

Now ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
‘Cause ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler
Songwriters:
BRADLEY, ROBERT
NEHRA, MICHAEL
NEHRA, ANDREW
FOWLKES, JEFF

On a warm summer’s evenin’ on a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with the gambler; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin’ out the window at the darkness
‘Til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.

He said, “Son, I’ve made my life out of readin’ people’s faces,
And knowin’ what their cards were by the way they held their eyes.
So if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see you’re out of aces.
For a taste of your whiskey I’ll give you some advice.”

So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

Now ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
‘Cause ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

So when he’d finished speakin’, he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

185. shardofoblivion - November 17, 2012

#182 Bruce is skeptical of “I in the sky”‘s latest gender revelations.

Seems very wise to be cautious with anonymous posters. I find it interesting how my perception of “I” changed after it was hinted it might be Linda. A mild case of confirmation bias I suspect. Before Tim made the connection through the gravatar icon with a earlier poster, on aug 26 I had emailed a friend with my thoughts about “I”, which I reproduce here:

“Yes, “I” is using well known rhetorical blunders in almost every post. I enjoy sparring with him/her (I sense ‘him’ but who knows), but his lack of critical thinking makes it feel like debating with a child. But a child who can’t learn new ways to think and examine theories
[…]
I suspect I never met him, he sounds young to me – mid thirties – been in FoF 9 years would be my guess, hasn’t had sex with Burton – not pretty enough.”

So before I knew anything other than the posts themselves I thought male, then once the suggestion was placed I thought female, now with his using the fact that Ames used the term ‘she’ to try to score a cheap point over Ames, I believe it is a he, but of course it could all just be more flannel and spin, and “it” is probably the safest gender term for now.

186. WhaleRider - November 18, 2012

“Please to meet you, hope you guess my name. What’s puzzling you? It’s just the nature of my game…”

That’s the song that comes to my mind.

187. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 18, 2012

#186 Speak of the devil!

188. Fee fi fo fum - November 18, 2012

The gender comment in I in the sky’s #161 might’ve been a “red herring”. I in the sky has been discoursing for many pages, and people here have alluded and even openly assumed it was LKT. To my recollection, s/he has never denied that assumption, and as we know about this blog’s rules, s/he doesn’t have to confirm or deny it.

So why throw that tidbit in at this point? Who knows and who cares? Maybe it’s more than one person, but they’re using the same email address. Whether it’s one, two or more persons, it all still reeks of the Fellowship party line. They have bought into it and are immersed in it. As we’ve noticed many times, every time someone (on recent pages, ton2u and James) details a very heartfelt, personal story, I in the sky ignores or invalidates it with a knee-jerk line. Her/his dismissals are examples of “dogma over person”.

I suspect it satisfies their illusion of being a conductor of an orchestra. All they have to do is make a comment like, “Look over there!” and they thinks all of the blog posters are looking “over there,” like little mechanical beings.

That part is just a superficial game: It’s like they’re constantly looking at themselves in a handheld mirror, thinking no one notices it. In contrast, what is insidious is their complete disavowal – through brainwashed language – of some of the terrible stuff that’s gone/going on in the Fellowship.

189. Ames Gilbert - November 18, 2012

This quote, from the comment section on a post about trolls on the “Naked Capitalism” website, resonated with me:

The important thing to realize about trolls, and the reason why they are worth censoring, is that they lie. It’s the most important fact about the word “troll” which didn’t originate as a reference to Scandinavian mythology, but rather as a way to “fish” for upset responses (the verb, to troll, describes a fishing technique of slowly dragging a lure or baited hook from a moving boat). The troll makes comments to control the responses. This can be anything from thread hijacking to having people leave the blog in disgust.
The worst part, though, is the lying. The troll knows the truth, but has an agenda. So he’ll lead people into circular, non-falsifiable arguments as a way to dominate threads.

The shoe fits perfectly…

Similar techniques are used within the Fellowship of Friends. Circular, non-falsifiable arguments. Thought-terminating clichés. Appeals to authority (unapproachable, incomprehensible, superhuman, absolute types are best).
Etc., etc.

In my opinion, one of Eye in the Sky’s other objectives here is to disguise the main purpose of Burton’s organization and to normalize the actions of the sexual predator-in-chief. That is, for those doing due diligence, she tries to make the shameful aspects seem somehow respectable.

190. brucelevy - November 18, 2012

Yup

191. nigel - November 18, 2012

from…..www.chicagonow.com/offhanded-blister

“There is no gray area when it comes to molesting a child, there are no circumstances which dilute its evil.

We know that, because we’re not in a cult.

Although a different shade of wrong, there is also no justification for defrauding people of their money, for using the weapon of deception to rob people.

We know that, because we’re not in a cult.

We, society at large, recognize “wrong”; whether it’s sexually abusing children, or 21st century “armed” robbery, or a group of individuals, whether cops or gang members, beating on a lone helpless victim, we can identify “wrong” when we see it.

Because we are not members of a cult.

The norms, and rules of cults, differ from those of “normal” society. Cults have different interpretations of “right and wrong”, and cult members are brainwashed…are conditioned, into subscribing to these abnormal and often harmful beliefs. Cults often suffer from a collective hubris if you will, which renders its members blind to the insanity, oblivious, or even worse-apathetic towards the damage their deviant behavior is causing.

Sometimes cults are easy to spot, there is uniformity in terms of dress and behavior, there is a central location, and of course, there is almost invariably a charismatic leader and/or object of worship.

Other times, they fly under the radar, often benefiting from a credible and revered title-such as,

University

Or

Football Program

Or

Church

Or

Corporation

Sometimes, the charismatic cult leader is widely respected; say a Football Coach, or a CEO…or a Priest. Sometimes the “object of worship” is inherently innocuous, say a win/loss record, or money.

And in such instances, good people often unknowingly “drink the Kool-Aid”; they, by way of membership, take harmful vows of silence, surrender their moral compasses, and pledge allegiance to the welfare of the Cult.

They learn to “look the other way”, they become skilled at rationalizing, at making excuses, and they inadvertently serve as enablers.

And so do we, we, the non-cult members of society, serve as enablers.

When we fail to expose cults, we enable them, when we worship and idolize the products of their deviance, we enable them, when we make excuses for the inexcusable, or rationalize the irrational, we enable them.

Too many at Penn State University, whether school officials, coaches, students, alumni, or simply football fans, have drank the Kool-Aid.

We must avoid doing the same.

Whether it’s Penn State, or “an organization of God”, or a big corporation, or some other thinly veiled “main stream” cult, we must never serve as enablers.

We must never drink the Kool-Aid.

Be Good Friends,”

192. WhaleRider - November 18, 2012

“The union experience is of special significance when one is working with the borderline person. Through it, the therapist introjects the person’s previously split off helpless self which as I have noted commonly takes the form of an injured or tormented young child.

Such union experiences including their resulting demonic products can bring to light the patient’s constant inner struggle: a battle between life and death in which the opposing forces are perceived as God and Satan.

When this conflict is unconscious it will manifest in sadomasochistic dyads that structure the patients inner life and relationships.

This sadomasochistic style creates a relatively safe territory for the patient even though he or she must pay dearly for it.

The toll is taken in terms of relational failures, an undermining of creativity, and all forms of self-assertion.

When the truly demonic parts of a person become conscious, a new stage is set, one in which death through suicide, illness or accident becomes a serious concern.

The borderline person lacks a transcendent function.

This is not to say that a link between conscious and unconscious does not exist, in fact the person may have a channel through which the unconscious must maybe freely brought to consciousness.

The borderline person has little capacity to play with the unconscious, to affect it by consciousness, or to allow the conscious personality to be affected by the unconscious.

Instead the unconscious will pronounce itself by presenting the patient with extremely concrete associations to dreams that rarely lead to other associations or with a random flood of ideas, or conversely, with the total incapacity for free association or imagination.

The borderline person may be a psychic or a creative and gifted person yet he or she is usually only a “receiver” for this information and can rarely interact with it in a meaningful way.

Borderline persons can often use their psychic gifts to help others but can do little to aid themselves. Subject to the unconscious they feel completely helpless when confronted with its contents.

Therefore, the transcendent function is crucial for the therapy of the borderline person.”

“The Borderline Personality, Vision and Healing”, Nathan Schwartz-Salant, 1989.

Some background reading on I in the sky’s involvement in this forum, his or her use of splitting and denial as his or her main defense mechanisms, his or her helplessness and dependence upon others, his or her belief that in his or her dreams “a cigar is just a cigar”, the emphasis on controlling his or her emotions, his or her several failed marriages, the sadomasochism, and since he or she lacks a transcendent function, why he or she must outsource it to burton to verifabricate a pseudo transcendence for his or her.

Textbook example, one might say.

IMO, this why the cult is a perfect storm for I in the sky’s borderline traits…through the cult practices of “non-identification” and shunning, and the coming and going of so many followers, there is little or no ongoing feeling of union with anyone, and thus the borderline person will remain captive, a wounded sheep unable to heal.

193. ton2u - November 18, 2012

whalerider,
thanks for your insights and application of the concept of borderline personality to the cult and cultists. several months ago, while surfing the web i came across Nathan Schwartz-Salant in this ‘vimeo’ — although it’s long and takes an effort to get through (took me multiple listening sessions), i was so impressed i promptly ordered the book you quote above ‘The Borderline Personality, Vision and Healing’ — highly recommended for anyone with an interest along these lines.

one thing i’ve learned in the work i do is this: these identifiable ‘syndromes’ and ‘disorders’ and pathologies may be clearly, visibly pronounced in some people, but lurking in a dark corner of the soul in each of us we also have aspects of these conditions as described… it’s just a question of degree.

194. WhaleRider - November 18, 2012

Thank you ton2u. That was delicious!

And you are so right, we carry all these character traits to some degree, otherwise how could we recognize them in others?

As Schwartz-Salant points out, and I have painfully discovered for myself, even sane people contain psychotic parts…crazy parts that are mutually annihilating and somehow held in stasis.

The lower/higher self split in cult followers comes to mind.

And I know what you mean, it takes me months to read through books by him. He has an amazing intellect. His work on Narcissism (I had to read it twice), the Mystery of Human Relationships (which I plan on reading again) and the newer one on the Fusional Complex are truly enlightening.

Jung’s psychological interpretations of Alchemical symbology as “an undercurrent to Christianity” are deep, brilliant and inspiring…light years beyond burton.

Many heartfelt thanks for the Sunday morning feast!

Jomo, I have you to thank too, for pointing me to Schwartz-Salant in the first place. It really helped me along my path. Thank you again for reaching out.

195. Ames Gilbert - November 18, 2012

On the question of whether one has to be ‘mentally ill’ to join a cult.
I’ve been mulling it over for some days, and I’m led me to ‘wiseacre’ as follows:
The way I see it is, that humans organize themselves into ‘cults’ at every level, so it is not mental illness, or if it is, it is universal. I see my little family of three, and we have evolved quite specific patterns of thoughts and behavior that we are comfortable with, and which provide comforting reflections back to us, summarized as a ‘sense of belonging’ to the group. Same with the group at the place of work, our local town, groups, churches. The same again with nations, states, regional groups, political associations, governments, councils. Every group, small or large, has a distinct signature, a ‘cult’ aspect, which of course makes up our ‘cult-ure’. Some of these cults can be innocuous or helpful, some harmful. In a most important way, this is how we meet our needs to feel validated, appreciated, useful and worthwhile.

We are desperate to belong, conditioned to belong, anxious to not stick out or be seen to be different. This encourages demagogues to abound at every level, often using the label of ‘different other’ to bind those within a particular group together, from family to nation to race; a common form of encouraging cohesion is to particularize or point out differences with another group, and foster an image of rivalry or superiority.

Exactly how it manifests as regards Burton and the Fellowship of Friends, or the phenomenon known as ‘patriotism, or the outer workings of the average religion.

So, we are inherently cultists, members of one or more, often overlapping, cults at a time. That is our nature as humans, as I see it, and has many benefits, including cooperation, as well as the obvious and not so obvious weaknesses. But, as someone interested in how it all works, I think it is possible to step back and examine those constructs and unpeel the layers and examine the conditioning. Partake, because we must, but also see things, as far as possible, as they are. The cultishness that manifests in our exterior lives is a reflection of the mental constructs within. None of it is particularly real, the only part of it which is necessary at this level is the co-operative aspect, as regards social government and individual survival. Individuation in the psychological sense takes place to the degree we can separate ourselves from the cultish influences, at least those which separate us from our untrammeled potential selves, and which block us from experiencing our deepest humanity.

196. ton2u - November 18, 2012

197. nigel - November 18, 2012

195. Ames Gilbert

The question I have to ask myself is – “Why did I have to go so wrong (join a cult because I could not ‘fit in’ in Life), to have a massive psycho/spiritual meltdown/rebuild, only to find myself ‘holding my place’ as an Individual Self, contributing to society, earning my own living (not like Burton – the bastard!) and having True Life Friends.” Would I have what I have today – a psycho/spiritual/poetic/artistic outlook on Life and using most of the useful things I found in the Fellowship of Friends (do not throw the baby out with the bath water, as the saying goes). Maybe others on the blog have views about their journey which would prove useful to others…..Nigel.

198. nigel - November 18, 2012

What is the spiritual life?

Here we are all seekers, seekers of the infinite Light and the eternal Truth. What does this mean? It means that we have accepted the spiritual life soulfully and consciously.

The paramount question is, “What is the spiritual life?” The spiritual life is something that is natural and normal. It is always natural and it is always normal, unlike other things that we come across in our day-to-day multifarious activities. The spiritual life is normal and natural precisely because it knows its Source. Its Source is God the infinite Light and God the eternal Truth.

When we follow the spiritual life, we come to feel that a life of peace need not always remain a far cry. We come to feel that a life of love, the love that expands, need not always remain a far cry. Everything that fulfils us divinely and supremely, we can achieve and claim as our very own if we follow the spiritual life. Right now Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure we do not have at our disposal. But when we practise spirituality, when our inner cry, which we call aspiration, climbs up high, higher, highest, at that time Peace, Light and Bliss we get not only in abundant measure but in infinite measure. And we can achieve and treasure these divine qualities in the inmost recesses of our hearts. When we practise the spiritual life soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally, we try to bring to the fore the divinity that we all have. And this divinity is nothing short of our perfection.

Here we are all seekers. Each seeker represents the ideal and the real. The ideal is self-transcendence and the real is God’s all-pervading Consciousness.

If we want to grow into the real and the ideal in us, we have to clean our mind thoroughly of the undivine thoughts that are constantly assailing us. And we have to empty our heart and fill it with infinite Light and Delight. Then God the Real and God the Ideal will be able to sing and dance in our aspiring being.

Here we are all seekers. We are all chosen instruments of the Supreme, our Beloved Supreme, the Eternal Pilot. We can prove this soulful statement of ours, not by words but by deeds, by our serving love and loving service.

Loving service. Our loving service can prove to the world at large that we are the chosen instruments of the Supreme, for the Supreme. When we love the Supreme soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally in our aspiring mind, we heighten our God-Height; and when we serve the Supreme soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally in our aspiring mind, we deepen our God-Depth.

Since we are the chosen instruments of the Supreme, our immediate necessity is God-realisation and our absolute duty is God-manifestation. In the fulfilment of our immediate necessity, we can become the torch-bearers of infinite Truth and the harbingers of God-Vision within us and without. In the fulfilment of our absolute duty, we discover that we are God-seeds and God-fruits. Let us offer our God-seed to the Supreme; let us place it at His Feet, so it may grow into a divine tree that can lift humanity to the highest transcendental Height. Let us also offer to the Supreme our God-fruit. Let us place our God-fruit at His Feet for His Manifestation, His total and complete Manifestation here on earth.

~Sri Chinmoy
Northwestern University
17 December 1975

199. jomopinata - November 18, 2012

Whalerider, my pleasure. I got a lot out of the three Schwartz-Salant books I have read, The Mystery of Human Relationship: The Alchemy of Self-Transformation, The Black Nightgown: The Fusional Complex and the Unlived Life, and Narcissism and Character Transformation. They are challenging reads, but well worth the rising to the challenge. I have not read the book on The Borderline Personality, but perhaps I will make my way to it yet.

I just finished a fascinating book by Ian Hacking called Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory, published in 1995, giving somewhat of a long view on human multiplicity. It certainly provides some historical context to that “many ‘I’s” diagram, and to the numerous disquisitions on inner dividedness that are dispersed throughout the so-called “Work” literature. A central theme of the book is how classifications, taxonomic entities, “make up people,” how this thing called “multiple personality disorder” came into being. I couldn’t help but think of how the body-type schemata, or the idea of “center of gravity,” similarly gave rise to exemplars, caricatures even, of the classificatory entities.

200. jomopinata - November 18, 2012

“Multiple Personality Disorder” has yielded, since the book’s publication, to a different classificatory entity, “Dissociative Identity Disorder,” giving primacy not to the idea of multiple identities within the same person, but to the condition of dissociative fragmentation. A change in emphasis. Lots of interesting work has been done in the study of dissociation in recent years.

201. James Mclemore - November 19, 2012

Bares repeating –

193. ton2u

“….. these identifiable ‘syndromes’ and ‘disorders’ and pathologies may be clearly, visibly pronounced in some people, but lurking in a dark corner of the soul in each of us we also have aspects of these conditions as described… it’s just a question of degree.”

202. I in the sky - November 19, 2012

176. Nevermind:

“Non-identification only begins with the realization that all the logical verifications of the mind are suspect. This is the first requirement of non-identification: I know nothing.

All the loyalties, beliefs, certainties and self-confidence is simply a figment of personality.

Understanding that all these thousands of thoughts are unreliable and virtually worthless is no small accomplishment. One knows it for a second and then the truth disappears again in yet another cloud of lies. In all but a few instances the mind talking and convincing itself that it knows reality IS identification.”

Nevermind, I’ve got a bookmark you may be interested in.

Seriously.

Shard, answer honestly, if I would have said these same words would you have accepted them as truth?

203. WhaleRider - November 19, 2012

Jomo:
I’ve only encountered one person whom carried the sensationalized “MPD” diagnosis. I didn’t buy into it then, and I’m glad the diagnosis was changed.

Nevermind:
As you probably already guessed, I disagree with you about having to “know nothing” to reach the “state of non-identification”, which seems like a dissociative and depersonalized place to be anyway.

Such a Self negating, mistrustful attitude just seems masochistic to me, placing one in a compromised and vulnerable position, ripe for exploitation by the guru-sociopath.

The meme of “non-identification” as a destination state of mind appears too idealized to be real or to put in practice, especially in light of having a needful body which occupies time and space.

Those whom espouse the doctrine of “non-identification” are in fact quite consciously identified with the doctrine, and are employing the defense mechanism of reaction formation to compensate for or “buffer” the paradoxical inner conflict and resultant anxiety of being identifed about being non-identified, like a closeted gay preacher speaking out against homosexuality, then snorting meth with a male prostitute later that evening.

Anyone claiming to be in a state of blissful non-identification seems suspect to me.

I in the sky is right, nevermind, there is a cult and cult leader standing by to fill your void of non-identification with all manner of rhino poop…for a price.

204. Nevermind - November 19, 2012

Whalerider, 203…

An internet-blog-psychologist-expert on the subject “identification” doesn’t convincingly persuade anyone else on the subject of much of anything, really. Especially one that has experienced and then duly reported Burton in every hole of his body. Right? It’s all buzzwords issuing from the ruminations of seriously damaged goods.

205. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 19, 2012

#202 “I in the sky” asks for an honest answer from me, and as the helpful soul I am, of course I am happy to oblige.

I don’t accept those words as truth from Nevermind, and I wouldn’t have accepted them as truth from you.

Nevermind is more sophisticated than you, and I do find post’s from him/her stimulating and thought provoking. But much more importantly Nevermind is not justifying sexual exploitation on the basis of “the play is written” and other similar drivel that you come up with.

My reaction to Nevermind’s formulation of non-identification, is that it sounds like the words of someone who speaks theoretically, and has read a lot of philosophical stuff, but when I put it in my mouth and chew on it, there isn’t really much there. From one angle it is a vague reformulation of the position of one of my great heroes David Hume the Scottish skeptical empiricist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Enquiry_Concerning_Human_Understanding
Hume doubted everything, and in this he was more thorough going than Descartes, who didn’t follow through on the skeptical project like Hume. His ideas provoked Kant to produce his almost impenetrable “Critique of pure reason” which he hoped would salvage the possibility of some knowledge from the relentless analysis that Hume brought to the subject of epistemology. I don’t think that Kant succeeded with his noumenal and phenomenal distinction, and his a priori and a posteriori and analytic and synthetic truths, but he had a bloody good try.

Your offer of a bookmark to Nevermind made me smile. From previous posts it seems clear that Nevermind would never be interested in joining your pathetic sham of a school. Nevermind thinks there are REAL schools in the world, and if he/she hasn’t yet connected with one, he/she would certainly never mistake the FoF setup for one, that’s for sure.

I personally don’t think there are or ever have been real schools in the Gurdjieff/Ouspensky meaning of the term, and on that point I differ fundamentally with Nevermind.

BTW given your vaunting of yourself as such an advanced practitioner of the system, I am amazed that you care a jot for my opinion of you, is that identification on your part?

206. Nevermind - November 19, 2012

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

“I know one thing, that I know nothing” (Ancient Greek: ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα hèn oîda hóti oudèn oîda; Latin: scio me nihil scire or scio me nescire) is a well-known saying that is derived from Plato’s account of the Greek philosopher Socrates. This saying is also connected and/or conflated with a contemporary Pythian oracular answer “Socrates” to the question “who is the wisest man in Greece?”.

207. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 19, 2012

#204 Nevermind’s childish ad hominen attack on Whalerider reveals him to be a nasty bit of work and a coward to boot. He seizes on revelations that Whalerider has freely made, at no small cost in terms of privacy, but what has Nevermind ever revealed about him/herself?

If you are not prepared to risk revealing yourself, it has a rotten smell to see you attacking someone who has revealed so much, as if that invalidates his opinions.

Come on Nevermind, tell us some stuff. Have you joined some esoteric organisation? How did that go? What did you learn? Try telling us something simple and real that YOU have discovered by your own experience, rather than regurgitating vague and half digested ideas that you have read somewhere.

208. WhaleRider - November 19, 2012

Nevermind:
“Especially one that has experienced and then duly reported Burton in every hole of his body. Right? It’s all buzzwords issuing from the ruminations of seriously damaged goods.”

You’d like me to feel ashamed and damaged.

Sounds familiar.

209. Nevermind - November 19, 2012

The cannibals are hungry. Got to go.

210. WhaleRider - November 19, 2012

Socrates was right.

In Ancient Greece we really did know nothing, compared to what we know now.

If Socrates did claim to be wisest man in Greece, wouldn’t he be accused of hubris?

211. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 19, 2012

#209
bye bye, Nevermind.

212. I in the sky - November 19, 2012

Tim Campion – 156:

“Tell me, I in the sky. The abortions that Linda K., Frances T. and others instructed Fellowship members to have – in your assessment, were these also “consensual”?

Did it bother you in the slightest that your teacher directed that these lives be terminated because he was not yet ready to populate his “Ark”?”

I do believe anyone who agreed to have an abortion on the suggestion of RB acted in accordance with their own free will. If they were conflicted, or felt pressured or later regretted it that does not change the fact that they had a free will at their disposal to do with as they saw fit to at the time.

The purpose of a free will is to use it whenever it’s needed. And it’s not needed more than when one feels pressured, whether the pressure is real or perceived, whether it comes from our own multiplicity or from outside peer pressure or an outside authority figure. It is common knowledge that we often fail to use free will properly, or at all, when we need it the most, and those moments can become our teacher if we are wise enough to learn from them.

I was not close friends or in a relationship with anyone who was asked to have an abortion in the FoF, so I can’t comment on the particulars; who told them, in what manner they were told, etc. I can say that in my long time in the FoF I have not known or heard about any instance of anyone being given an ultimatum that if not obeyed they would be asked to leave the school, or be punished in any way.

I’m not speaking of cases like Stella’s where she was asked several times to abide by the non-smoking exercise and after not complying she was eventually asked to leave the FoF.

What often happens is that we relinquish our free will because we are not firm enough, committed enough, or lack the resolve, to think for ourselves. But in those instances when we go against our better interests, instead of acknowledging our own self betrayal we blame some outward event or some other person for the consequences that arise.

In the case of abortions people are often guided by vastly different understandings that can produce intense emotional responses. Some individuals believe that an abortion is tantamount to taking a human life, maybe that describes you. They believe a fetus has a soul at inception and an abortion is akin to a murder. I firmly believe first of all that a soul is imperishable and secondly that higher forces govern all life forms and monitors and oversees their life cycle from the moment a soul is placed into them until death.

My reasoning tells me that WHEN a soul enters a fetus is not the issue. The issue is that every life form is strictly monitored according to a well worked out plan by higher forces. This takes into account the uncountable abortions and miscarriages that have occurred over the course of human history.

Regarding those who were asked to have abortions; at that time in the school’s development there was really no suitable environment to raise or house infants. Having children then would have produced hardships on both the infants and the parents. The school was the farm back then and everyone kept busy at some job or task. Robert obviously felt that during that phase of the school’s beginning introducing infants and small children into the environment would not have been beneficial.

As the leader of the school Robert was put into the position to make that call and he acted within the scope of his role to do so. It’s not unique. Many women decide to hold off on having children for their own reasons, for jobs or careers, to not be tied down, etc. Some employers require women to not get pregnant during certain periods of time and those women risk termination of employment if they do so.

I would guess that over 100 children have been born to FoF members in the years I’ve lived in OH. Several of them are FoF members today. I don’t know if anyone was ever flatly given the terms that if they had a child they would be asked to leave the FoF. I would think it likely they would have been told they could not remain on salary or live on the property. I also don’t know if anyone who was asked to have an abortion decided not to, and if so, what was her story afterwards.

213. I in the sky - November 19, 2012

Shard_ of_Oblivion: 205

“BTW given your vaunting of yourself as such an advanced practitioner of the system, I am amazed that you care a jot for my opinion of you, is that identification on your part?”

I don’t recall suggesting I am an advanced practitioner; but I am a practitioner. I have stated that the Fourth Way system developed by G & O and further developed in the FoF works for me and as a result I have experienced success in areas where I have applied the ideas and principles.

For me it’s not theoretical anymore. As far as caring about your opinion of me; I cared enough to ask the question. But as a practitioner I’m not identified with your opinion of me. I’m also not identified with my opinion of me.

214. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 19, 2012

#213 “I in the sky” protests:

“I’m also not identified with my opinion of me.”

yeah, right.

215. Golden Veil - November 19, 2012

212. I in the sky – November 19, 2012

“I can say that in my long time in the FoF I have not known or heard about any instance of anyone being given an ultimatum that if not obeyed they would be asked to leave the school, or be punished in any way…

The school was the farm back then and everyone kept busy at some job or task…

I don’t know if anyone was ever flatly given the terms that if they had a child they would be asked to leave the FoF. I would think it likely they would have been told they could not remain on salary or live on the property.”

Since I in the sky explains above that “The school was the farm back then…” it’s very clear from the above excerpts that if asked to have an abortion, a pregnant student either had to do it or leave the School.

216. ton2u - November 19, 2012

having been assimilated by the cult (pun intended), ‘asshole in the i’ just doesn’t understand how ‘the system’ works: while in a mind control environment “free will” exists as a word, not in deed… “coercive persuasion, sociopsychological manipulation, exploitative persuasion, malignant use of group dynamics, compliance-gaining influence” (etc) all this is actively working to negate free will while ensuring that the sheep stay in place for fleecing. re: persuasive coercion/ brainwashing/mind control and cults — scholarly articles online aplenty…

“Early studies of brainwashing were done on Communist China and POWs.  These manipulators had the advantage of physical force to detain, torture, starve, and kill their victims.  They also had total and complete control of information.  They had the power to debilitate, instill total dependence, and cause real dread in the hearts of their captives.

In America, we have relative freedom, so those who wish to control us must first persuade us and earn our trust.  The Three D’s are now: Deception, Dependency, and Dread.

Since a swinging watch and torture devices are likely to tip us off, cults need to be a bit more stealthy in their methods.  The goal is to instill complete trust in the group and leadership.  After that, we’re likely to believe a lot of things and change our behaviors to match what we observe in the group.  We succumb to social pressures.  

Now our emotions can be manipulated, and our critical reasoning abilities can be altered or completely stripped away.  Then we learn cult jargon (loaded language) and phrases that stop our thoughts from going the wrong direction.  We can be deflated by shame, and simultaneously inflated by arrogance and elitism.  We make public commitments and become dependent.  Phobias are induced.  We come to believe that our lives, our identities, our moral principles, even possibly our very souls are in danger if we do not obey, if we do not continue to believe.”  

http://www.rationalrevelation.com/library/cultdefinition.html

217. ton2u - November 19, 2012

212
“…Robert obviously felt that during that phase of the school’s beginning introducing infants and small children into the environment would not have been beneficial.”

“beneficial”!?

just goes to show how desensitized this asshole is… not a trace of empathy…

i’ve given my account here before so excuse me for repeating it but i was actually in the situation which this asshole dismisses with abstractions, conjectures about burtons motives, and rationalizations designed to preserve an imaginary idealization of that hasnamus.
what i’m going to repeat here is also conjecture as to burton’s motives, but having actually been in the situation, an actual experience i think it is worth considering.

i lived with burton for a brief time but after finding out about ‘the system’ therein, i quickly left the harem… having no contacts outside of the off i stayed in the fold, i moved in and set up house with ‘m’ and soon thereafter she became pregnant… burton was informed of this at which point the task was given to have the abortion. my opinion, for what it’s worth, is that this ‘directive’ was made out of spite and jealousy… i had left burton’s little playpen, in essence rejecting his ‘system’ and he wanted some measure of revenge and punishment….

as far as i know this was the first coerced abortion… burton found it all too easy to simply say the word and snuff out the unborn child and with that the hopes of would-be parents… through this burton found a new power he could exert over his flock, this power was intoxicating, irresistible. the shock and trauma to the sheep of inflicting an abortion here, an abortion there, helped burton increase control and compliance of the flock…. there is no way to justify and rationalize these horrible acts, not now as the ‘i in the asshole’ attempts to do… and not then when the policy was enacted. the reasons given at the time that this abortion was directed, were simply based on burton’s doomsday fantasies and megalomania — all that imaginary bullshit about the child not be born onto ‘the ark’ and burton’s fantasy life played out in the form of ‘predictions’ that never ever happen in reality — that’s not what the abortions were about, never was and never will be about that in reality… this was and always will be about power and control over and manipulation of others, bending the will of others to serve the whims of that madman. the fact of the matter is this: people were coerced against their will and injured as a result, unborn children were sacrificed, lives were lost, the souls of expectant parents were crushed through this ‘policy’ of burtonism.

218. Ames Gilbert - November 19, 2012

When I posited in my last post that one didn’t necessarily have to be mentally ill to join a cult, I didn’t mean to imply that joining one could not induce mental aberrations or make existing ones worse.

Any explorer coming to this page should be easily able to see what happens so often if one joins the Fellowship of Friends and takes the ever-changing whims of Robert Earl Burton, the psychotic leader, to heart. So, I’m speaking to you.
You have the opportunity right here that is hidden from you if you attend the “introductory meetings”, the opportunity to peek behind the scripted theatrical performance put on to you by actors who have rehearsed the scene times beyond counting.

You have the opportunity to meet and learn from one of the finest minds in the Fellowship, a representative sent out to battle with the forces of evil who manifest on this blog. You have the opportunity to engage, yourself, right here, if you are reading this while the page is current. I personally don’t know anything about the entity called, “I in the Sky”. But I can assure you, dear explorer, that I know a great deal in general, and I can give you some guidance about her motivations. This is because I was once an explorer just like you, seeking to find some answers to life’s Big Questions, just as you are. I was hoping for guidance on how to live my life more fully, how to bring some meaning to it that was missing. I was looking for some explanations that did not demand blind faith, that would engage much more of me than was required by conventional religions, that would be more practical than the output of western philosophy, no matter how closely argued.

Perhaps you are like I was, drawn to the Fourth Way, and hoping, like I did, that somehow there was a branch of it that yet still lived and that I would come to meet it.

So, I was ripe when I found a Fellowship of Friends bookmark in London in 1978. I was thrilled to go to the introductory meetings and engage with people who had apparently found some of the answers. And I felt lucky beyond measure when it seemed that I had stumbled upon a living branch of the Fourth Way, an heir and descendant of the System propounded by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.

My friend (I think I can call you that because we may have a lot in common already), I joined, and stayed in the organization for sixteen years. So I write from considerable experience. Not as much, of course, as some. The Fellowship of Friends has been going since 1971, and there some who have been there twenty, thirty and even forty years. But I was there sixteen years, quite enough, more than enough, to thoroughly observe the organization from many viewpoints. I was not a casual onlooker, I took the opportunity seriously, and my membership was the central point of my life. I’ve written a great deal about the results of that experience on these pages.

Many of the bloggers on this page have similar backgrounds and experiences. We joined, were mesmerized for a while, learned, and left. Please value our efforts and the time we have spent trying to reach people like you. I know this is a huge blog; we are here on the 132nd page, and some of the earlier pages had six hundred entries! It is an enormous amount to wade through. But the common thread running through all these pages is the warning: Stay Away. There are arguments and counter-arguments, and you’ll come to recognize some of the Fellowship of Friends representatives, become familiar with their tone, and you’ll be able to note their shallowness and obfuscation, and how ultimately they have changed from being explorers with open minds, as I was and I hope you are, to pawns in a charlatan’s fantasy.

So, right now, please pay close attention to “I in the Sky”, who formerly posted as “Daily Cardiac” in previous pages. This is a chance to see the workings of the hive mind, the groupthink that has become the guiding philosophy behind the Fellowship of Friends. And ponder the immense changes that must have occurred to someone like I in the Sky. She thought she was joining an organization based on the Fourth Way, which has a core principle, “Verify everything”. Question everything. Get down to the bedrock, where do all one’s ‘beliefs’ come from, how are we conditioned, what is of value in our mentation, how can we learn to disregard the rubbish, what in us is reliable, and how can we nurture it. She started out the same as you and I. Yet, during the course of her long membership, she has turned into the completely opposite direction, and proudly defends and even prosetylizes a religion. A religion with a leader, a messiah, an object of worship, Robert Burton, who proclaims himself a living god.

And, get this. She thinks she is headed in the same direction as the day when she joined! She literally has no idea about the changes she has made in herself, how she has twisted her mind to force herself to think that Burton’s religious organization is the same as the Fourth Way ‘school’ that she thought she had joined. In a word, she is mentally ill.

So, observe closely this product of Robert Burton’s school. If you join, you will be under the influence of people like her and Burton, and soon you will be thoroughly immersed in the group fantasy, and you too will be headed in the opposite direction without realizing it. You too will have to bury your conscience, subject yourself to the whims of the madman Burton, give up your reason, your money, your time, your chances of individuation, and if you are a young attractive male, your body for his sexual gratification.

Why, in heaven’s name, would you want to do that?

219. Nevermind - November 19, 2012

If the Fellowship of Friends had people like Ames Gilbert on their side, rather than alienating such competent humans, then they would have ten thousand members by now.

The “I’m the only king around here” egocentric mentality of Burton has reduced the cult to lame mediocrity.

220. WhaleRider - November 19, 2012

I in the sky:
“I also don’t know if anyone who was asked to have an abortion decided not to, and if so, what was her story afterwards.”

Strange, I’m racking my brain here and I can’t think of anyone either who decided to have a child after their spiritual lord and master asked them not to fall prey to such maudlin puppy love from their lower self.

But I’m sure they must have also regretted their act of willfulness, er, I mean, free will afterwards, too, going against the plan of higher forces like that.

221. shardofoblivion - November 19, 2012

Hi Nevermind, back chatting to the cannibals again are we?

So come on, tell us a bit about yourself. You sound like you have read all the Gurdjieff literature and more. I think you’re a man. It doesn’t sound like you ever joined the Fellowship, but maybe you attended some prospective student meetings? You obviously believe in God, but I would guess you are not a worshiper in a mainstream church, too independent minded for that. You like to appear wise and deep, I would guess you met someone at some point in your life who impressed you as being deep, and you (possibly unconsciously) now want to get the same respect from others that you yourself previously accorded him or her.

Not completely lacking a sense of humour, but not the funniest guy around. Bit too ponderous and self important.

But there is so much you could contribute if you only had the balls to open up a bit. Why not join in, instead of standing nervously near the wall of the dance floor watching everyone else make fools of themselves.

222. Nevermind - November 19, 2012

“Hi Nevermind, back chatting to the cannibals again are we?”

Ames isn’t a cannibal. His excellent communication skills and honest convictions are a breath of fresh air.

Only a complete simpleton would self-disclose among this pack of unpredictably hostile voyeurs.

223. shardofoblivion - November 19, 2012

222 – a predictable response from Nevermind.

Your two sentences above exert an interesting tension upon each other. Ames has self-disclosed as fully as anyone here, but he isn’t a simpleton, else how to account for such excellent communication skills.

Of course it’s the formatory apparatus that sees only two options: self disclose, or stay completely cloaked. Not the jack of diamonds are you, by any chance?

But no matter, at least it sounds like we will not have struggle on without your penetrating and holier than though pronouncements to guide us as we stumble along the dusty road to death. Phew, thank chaos for that.

224. Nevermind - November 19, 2012

“Of course it’s the formatory apparatus that sees only two options: self disclose, or stay completely cloaked. Not the jack of diamonds are you, by any chance?”

Formatory apparatus, I have some idea what this term refers to. It is likely a mistake to assume that we understand the concept in the same way. What is your definition of the formatory apparatus? If a definition is not possible then maybe some instructive example.

Gurdjieff said something somewhere about the exact meaning of a special language.

225. shardofoblivion - November 19, 2012

#224 Nevermind asks my definition of the formatory apparatus, to check we are using the same terms.

I am using it to refer to the most often used part of the intellectual centre. The mechanical part. The system would say in correct work it is subservient, but in sleeping humanity it does nearly all the thinking, and in this context is called the formatory apparatus. It’s characterised by seeing only two sides to any argument. It is happy with slogans such as “better dead than red”, “There’s no smoke without fire”, and would be likely to not notice more than two possibilities when confronted with the choice of whether to hide their identity or whether to fully disclose. It would overlook the possibility of revealing what general esoteric background they had experienced without letting slip anything that would compromise their precious privacy.

226. I in the sky - November 19, 2012

Shardofoblivion- 214:

“yeah, right.”

Judging by your standard of responses from me, I’ll take that as a concession.

227. Nevermind - November 19, 2012

225..shard

That sounds right. Still, the term likely has changed in meaning since Gurdjieff first coined it within the context of describing a specific psychological phenomenon for the edification of a closed society of two dozen or so interested people. It seems like once esoteric ideas are released out into the general public that something of the subtle nuance is lost.

Even so, I now know that we are talking about the same thing more or less. Though, much, much more could be said about the formatory apparatus. Especially on this blog where one of the main accusations toward the object of discussion, the offending cult, is that they are formatory as opposed to being creatively, spontaneously and constructively conscious.

228. I in the sky - November 19, 2012

Shardofoblivion:

It seems you took exception to Nevermind’s harsh treatment of Whalerider some posts back and yet you answered back to him in kind (Definitely no pun intended.)

This is the essence of the triad of abuse; someone “ruffles our feathers” so we feel impelled to ruffle right back.

You could have made your point without meting out equal abuse and that would have been the approach of someone employing the tool of non-identification. I can assure you that it would have met with better results in that Nevermind would have been more likely to open up to a more measured and reasonable reply.

You answered reasonably a few times with me and you received sincere replies in return. But when a fertile ground could have been established I think the honesty was a little too much and you quickly resorted to a mocking and condescending tone.

I don’t condone Nevermind’s pointed and over the top reply to WhaleRider but his comments pale in comparison to WhaleRider’s vitriol laced remarks to me over time.

How does the formatory phrase fit in here – “Live by the sword, die by the sword”?

229. nigel - November 19, 2012

In my opinion, “I in the Sky” intellectualizes PURE SHIT…..Nigel.

230. Nevermind - November 19, 2012

From Whalerider [toward me]:

“Those whom espouse the doctrine of “non-identification” [meaning myself] are in fact quite consciously identified with the doctrine, and are employing the defense mechanism of reaction formation to compensate for or “buffer” the paradoxical inner conflict and resultant anxiety of being identifed about being non-identified, like a closeted gay preacher speaking out against homosexuality, then snorting meth with a male prostitute later that evening.

“Anyone claiming to be in a state of blissful non-identification seems suspect to me.

“I in the sky is right, nevermind, there is a cult and cult leader standing by to fill your void of non-identification with all manner of rhino poop…for a price.”

“…like a closeted gay preacher speaking out against homosexuality, then snorting meth with a male prostitute later that evening.”

“…nevermind, there is a cult and cult leader standing by to fill your void of non-identification with all manner of rhino poop…for a price.”

228. I in the sky:

“I don’t condone Nevermind’s pointed and over the top reply to WhaleRider…”

My reply was penetrating and punishing, certainly, but it was well deserved by the pompous prick. Read what he said. It is quite over the top. Why did he say it? Because the enemy deigned to agree with something said, which caused Whalerider a pinch of jealousy or some such childish reaction.

Shard ignored the nastiness Whale delivered toward me and took up sides against my comment in retaliation.

I’m not accustomed to turn the other cheek. Someone slaps me in the face out of nowhere and I return the favor with a knockout punch. Is that formatory?

231. nigel - November 19, 2012

Proprioception

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia…..

The cerebellum is largely responsible for coordinating the unconscious aspects of proprioception.Proprioception ( /ˌproʊpri.ɵˈsɛpʃən/ PRO-pree-o-SEP-shən), from Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual” and perception, is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. It is distinguished from exteroception, by which one perceives the outside world, and interoception, by which one perceives pain, hunger, etc., and the movement of internal organs.

(Remember, folks, how we all had to dress-up the body in neo-Victorian, poncey clothes or stupid tuxedos and go to concerts and/or meetings?????…..Nigel)

232. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 19, 2012

Yep I got annoyed when Nevermind, who likes to sound so wise, took an unnecessary swipe at Whalerider (who I know can perfectly well look after himself). And in the FOF mindset days I would have felt I had let myself and my work down. But now I just follow my emotions. I seem to recall it was Whalerider (but maybe someone else) who said “it takes a village”, and I was in the village square when someone acted out of order, and I called them on it.
Funnily enough I don’t have some big aim here, to get “I in the sky” or Nevermind to agree with me, or change their behaviour, I just call it as I see it, and yes I get it wrong, and sometimes have to go back to someone and apologise. (the moderator helped me by removing a couple of posts when I over reacted to Joseph N a page or so back – thanks FoFBlogModerator)
In a way one of the pleasant aspects of the post FOF mindset, is that I am content, and am not trying to get a result the whole time. One moment follows another and I react to the show as it unfolds.
My feelings towards “I in the sky” changed sharply when he displayed absolutely no empathy or compassion towards the plight of Thomas E. And I reckon that’s OK. I am not trying to persuade “I” of anything. But I just think communication is more exciting when the participants are as honest and open as the situation allows.

233. ton2u - November 19, 2012

“But I just think communication is more exciting when the participants are as honest and open as the situation allows.”

i agree… and i would add here: while being aware of “bear baiters,” trolls, obfuscators, narcissists, egoists, sociopaths… and their intentions.

“….we are bound to others past and present and by each crime and every kindness we birth our future.”

234. I in the sky - November 19, 2012

Shard:

You didn’t address my point that those who feel abused / pricked / insulted, react the same way to those whose actions they claim to despise. My motto is if you don’t like how someone treated you, don’t treat them the same way or else you are but another version of them. You are what you don’t like.

235. former student of 20 yrs. - November 19, 2012

Ames (218) Many thanks for formulating so well that open letter to prospective students. If possible please repost it on every new page.

236. Shard_of_Oblivion - November 19, 2012

#234 “I in the sky”

Look a bit of ‘tit for tat’ is fine, contrary to what one might naively imagine, game theory has shown it is the strategy that is least likely to escalate into a broader conflict.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat

But I was reacting to an instance of what might be termed “assymetrical warfare”. Whalerider has laid his cards on the table for all to see, Nevermind has coyly revealed almost nothing of himself to the blog, not even whether or not he has ever been a member of the FoF, on a blog nominally about the FoF. And in a discussion about non-identification as far as I could see, arbitrarily decided to use the information Whalerider has previously disclosed to try to score a cheap point. I saw it, and pointed it out.

Oh yes, and I happen to think the practice of non-identification, and here Nevermind seems to have a fuller grasp of the dangerous practice than yourself, your understanding is so shallow I believe you are quite safe, this practice of non-identification can lead to extremely dangerous states of mind, which Whalerider was pointing out. I do think that that is a serious point which needs to be made, depersonalisation is no joke.

I can’t get a feel for whether Nevermind is in danger from depersonalisation, because he is too frightened to reveal enough of himself on the blog for anyone to be able to tell.

237. fofblogmoderator - November 20, 2012

#235 is new

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