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Fellowship Of Friends/Fourth Way School/Living Presence Discussion – Page 157 December 2, 2016

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

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1. Golden Veil - December 2, 2016

I agree with the views of the former Fellowship of Friends member Ames Gilbert, who wrote the following here on the blog of the Fellowship Of Friends / Fourth Way School / Living Presence Discussion on October 10, 2015:

“Hello to any seekers interested in finding out more about the Fellowship of Friends and the fraud Robert Earl Burton. Please think on the following:

Tens of thousands of people have passed through the organization in the last 44 years, and some of them were damaged, shattered for life, or even committed suicide. About 1500 or so, passive, obedient, compliant, and entranced remain. Some of them have been there for almost the entire time!

Although Burton has pronounced over the years that half a dozen would become ‘conscious’ (how the heck would he know?), most of even those recognized and marked by the self–described ‘conscious being’ have left as well. What does it say for the efficiency of Burton’s method that the culmination of all this effort and as much as $200 million in donations has produced one sorry specimen labeled ‘conscious’, that is to say, Girard Haven. The guy who recommends that followers obey Burton ‘like a dog’. The one whose idea of ‘verification’ is to take the insane Burton at his word, then desperately look for any evidence to support it. The one who has never spoken out about Burton’s abuses and rapes, or the way he has lived like an emperor at the expense of his followers decade after decade. Who has not shown not the slightest sign of independent thought or action after 42 years on the leash— this is the sole product of Burton’s “school”, which is advertised as the one and only way on earth to help one develop ‘consciousness’?

Do you really want to spend a lifetime (just a down payment, according to Burton) giving your sweat, effort, sanity and treasure to charlatans like Burton or Asaf Braverman, and their ilk? Please, do yourself a favor and look elsewhere, take our word that there is nothing there of value to any decent, thoughtful person.”

2. ion - December 2, 2016

Well, well, well…S.O.S. ? (same old shit)…..

Did/or would we question Hare Krishna’s on the High Street, giving out the Bhagavad Gita, in their funny robes. However, many of us did not question the ‘love bombing’ of fine dining (with copious amounts of wine), those cute cherubs beckoning us to higher planes in Renaissance oil paintings, those average concerts (compared to Radu Lupu playing Concerto #5 of Beethoven in the Festival Hall).

Nope – the BIG question is WHY WE did not QUESTION…..

…..ALL THE WAY ALONG THE LINE (or at least keep a diary of questions to ourselves). We can blame Burton for being a psychopathic narcissist or Haven for being a robotic uncreative mouthpiece but that will not lead us on the way to emotional separation or healing in a big way…..

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”
― Barbara De Angelis (lovely surname, I think!!!)

“The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organisation. ISKCON was founded in 1966 in New York City by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who is worshipped by followers as Guru and spiritual master. Its core beliefs are based on select traditional Hindu scriptures, particularly the Bhagavad-gītā and the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. ISKCON says it is a direct descendant of Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya] The appearance of the movement and its culture come from the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had adherents in India since the late 15th century and American and European converts since the early 1900s in North America, and in England in the 1930s.

ISKCON was formed to spread the practice of bhakti yoga, in which those involved (bhaktas) dedicate their thoughts and actions towards pleasing the Supreme Lord, Krishna ISKCON today is a worldwide confederation of more than 550 centres, including 60 farm communities, some aiming for self-sufficiency, 50 schools, and 90 restaurants.[8] In recent decades the most rapid expansions in membership have been within Eastern Europe (especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union) and India”

3. ion - December 2, 2016

“Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado or loneliness. It consists in daring to do the right thing and facing consequences whether it is in matters social, political or other. It consists in deeds not words.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

4. ion - December 4, 2016

Here is a question…..and I find myself questioning the need or right to ask this question…..

Was the yearning that brought us to the FOF (and, in fact, it could be any other cult that calls itself a ‘school’, an ‘esoteric group’, ‘seekers for truth’)……………(fill in the dots)…..the fact that we were in, or on the brink of an era in our lives that was confusing, transitional or that saw us becoming part of the general melee of life. If we look back, with close scrutiny, would the word MEANING have been the one that led us through the ‘pearl tie clip’ gates of REB’s enclave and would the following saga have gone like this…..

Older student (leading prospective student meeting)…..”Yes, sweetness, you are a (?) type, with (DHSC) center of gravity and chief feature of (shrivel and obey at this one) – whatever makes the initiate wince.

Pacifying to the needs of the group and being told how well you are working on yourself (forget thinking for yourself!) becomes the norm, until one plateaus and becomes the octave leader, the center director and the world is your oyster (more pearls for Robert) – his gorging accelerates with age and availability. I wonder if he sets targets of some nature (other than. the hole between two rosy cheeks).

What disgusts us now, what we were hearing as rumour years ago and what would never been told us at our three meetings – is the chief reason FOF exists – all else is frippery, tra-la-la bullshit. Read on any cult/school/esoteric group site and you will find strange terminology, beckoning you to feel different.

Feeling different is not the same as going to the core of your being and understanding and applying its need for humanity at large.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson –

5. SeaLand - December 9, 2016

Dear Ion, maybe just maybe, the blog is stuck because of your monologues …….

6. Mick - December 9, 2016

vi-ti-ate pres. part. vi-ti-at-ing past and past part. vi-ti-at-ed v.t. to spoil, make defective, lessen the quality of || to corrupt (morals or taste) || (law) to invalidate wholly or partly ineffective vi-ti-a-tion, vi-ti-a-tor ns [fr. L vitiare (vitiatus)]

7. Ames Gilbert - December 11, 2016

I know, I know, this may be the start of a slippery slope, but I’m going to make a prediction:
Both Nigel and Greg will return.
They simply can’t help it.

Ha, ha, ha! I went to post the words above, and ‘Ion’ beat me to it!

8. Tim Campion - December 11, 2016

Time to turn the page and start over?

9. Oscar - December 12, 2016

http://www.gq.com/story/the-cult-of-trump

The Cult of Trump
Can’t understand why a loved one would vote for Donald Trump? Let the experts who spend their lives studying cults help break it down.
—–
America was watching, the world was watching, and Donald Trump needed everyone to understand just how dire the straits really were.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” he proclaimed ominously as he officially accepted the Republican nomination for president at the party’s convention in Cleveland last month. It was a grim portrait of America, a once-great nation ravaged by terrorism, “poverty and violence” at home, “war and destruction” overseas.

The solution? Not God. Or patriotism. Or casting aside party loyalty to come together as a nation. No, politicians had rallied under those virtuous banners before, and where had it gotten us? Instead, the newly crowned nominee offered a more messianic promise: that Trump—and only Trump—can get things back on track.

That’s the moment, says Rick Alan Ross, America’s leading cult expert, when he realized Trumpism had striking similarities to the fanatical groups he studies.

Like many moderates in the party, Ross, the executive director of the Cult Education Institute and a lifelong Republican, had watched Trump’s rise with mounting distaste. But Trump’s rhetoric at the RNC—“I alone can fix it”—clicked the pieces into place. “That kind of pronouncement is typical of many cult leaders, who say that ‘my way is the only way, I am the only one,’” Ross says. “That was a very defining moment.”

When I called Ross, I cut right to the chase, asking, “Is Trump a cult leader?” I didn’t get more than a few words in for the next 20 minutes as he dove into the evidence: the nominee’s deep-rooted narcissism, his lack of transparency, many of his supporters’ blind, full-throttled adoration. A week later, he left me two voicemails outlining the warning signs of narcissistic personality disorder in the candidate, and a week after that, followed up with another batch of e-mails expounding on Trump’s similarities to the cults he studies. There was a lot to dig into.
—-

10. Oscar - December 12, 2016

https://newrepublic.com/article/137822/donald-trumps-campaign-become-cult
—-
The Trump campaign has has turned into something new: a cult.

The fact hit me a few minutes after I entered the Charlotte Convention Center on Friday night and heard supporters openly blaming the women who’ve recently come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexually assaulting them. The Trump faithful were more than ready to cut down anyone standing in their leader’s way.

“They’re gold diggers,” I heard an old woman say.

“Let’s call them what they are,” said a woman in a “Proud Deplorable” shirt. “They’re whores.”

Throughout the night there were similar strains of the same conversation. Everyone was in agreement that there was no veracity to the women’s claims, that it was just another dirty trick by “Crooked Hillary” to defeat Trump, a man so good, another woman explained, holding out her quaking hand, “It makes me shake to think they’d hurt a man like that.”

“Let’s call them what they are. They’re whores.”

But the questioning of the women’s accounts didn’t stop at skepticism. In a cult, when confronted with conflicting evidence, it’s oftentimes necessary to go to extreme lengths to sustain the shared narrative. Here, in Charlotte, they were more than ready to go to those lengths.
—-

11. crossroads - December 13, 2016

I think Asaf joined in good will and eager to understand the mystery of life, like most of us did. He was not planning on becoming a guru or cult lieder after following the example of his own abuser; he may have fell into the trap as well like most of us… but now he truly escaped because he made a choice.

You guys in general have great insights and have come up with deep understandings. Why is it that we, instead of falling in the trap of disconnection, allow for understanding and solidarity.

I wish to be able to point out to him the exact incoherent or erroneous point -that I perceive he is feeding- and possibly he would open for dialectics. But the deal we are choosing instead is just fucking politics!

How about, instead of killing each other, love each other and help each other? Have you wonder how to be of help to someone like Asaf who’s efforts are legitimate and who pretty much just recently raised the middle finger to Robert Burton himself?

…You know what?

All those boys -you included- really hate him, ( I mean RB).

>>>Good luck to me now, I hope I don’t get attacked next…

12. crossroads - December 13, 2016

BTW – There is a ‘holiday open house’ New Years Day 3-6 in Oregonhouse…An ex-fof family hosts it. They do it every year and I’ve heard Asaf attends it regularly. I have not attended myself -since I am a little antisocial- but this time I am considering showing up. It actually could turn out interesting…

13. ion - December 13, 2016

To CH, Stanford University…..

Not being quite a cognoscenti on the Polish intellectuals myself, it seems indulgent of the writer of the article to “stuff our faces again” in the horrors of -isms of the 20th century. This, I feel, is vastly different from ‘learning from the past’ – especially our individual pasts – our failures and successes – whereby we may proceed with clarity, vision and the ability to eloquently describe our aspirations. It is true that individuals often stand above ‘the herd’, when those herds are either suffering or are perpetrators of it.

“There is nothing new under the sun” – so we find enclavic spaces of our planet, dressed in flags of multi-culturalism, only to unfurl in bloodshed at the mere whiff or whisper of dissent.

“If we are marked to die, we are enough
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honor.”

Henry V by William Shakespeare

Ad infinitum

14. James Mclemore - December 13, 2016

11. crossroads

“How about, instead of killing each other, love each other and help each other? Have you wonder how to be of help to someone like Asaf who’s efforts are legitimate and who pretty much just recently raised the middle finger to Robert Burton himself?”

I feel the nice empathy that is behind that statement. However…, a lot of, so called, “spiritual teachers” or “gurus” have also given the middle finger to their previous so called “teacher” and then went right out doing almost the same thing after leaving. Although I do not know him at all, I also have hope and well wishes for Asaf in the long run. Perhaps he is a nice person, but being a nice person does not necessarily legitimize whatever efforts he or you thinks he is making. And.., right now, from what I read on this blog, he seems to be making money by passing on this supposedly “special information” of his, and as long as he is doing that, he has opened himself up to people’s critique.

15. Bares Reposting - December 14, 2016

Lest it be forgotten; the kind of person Asaf is:

“FoF blog page 156/25. Wondering Who’s Watching – October 25, 2016
Asaf Braverman: good riddance!
He gets the fate he deserves.

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all.

“Page 137/181. Wondering Who’s Watching – July 27, 2013

If you want to get acquainted with Asaf Braverman,
and the Asaf Braverman type person the Fellowship of Friends fosters,
read this:

From: Res Ipsa Loquitur
Post #142 unoanimo writes
on 01 Aug 2007 at 7:34 am
“Fraud, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Wrongful Discharge. . .

Fellowship of Friends indeed.
Banishes its own when they become an unpleasant impression. . .

This ‘wrongful discharge’ relates to the deeper picture of such lines as “Banishes its own when they become an unpleasant impression.”

For instance ~

Take the S. Milton situation; here’s a guy who has a legally classified ‘eye disease’, had been working outside for a large part of the day, went to one of Robert Burton’s lunches the same day, was facing the hot sun and had the need to close his eyes from time to time in order to rest them from the strain of looking with bright sunlight in his face…

Later, he was asked to leave the Fellowship of Friends for ‘sleeping’ or ‘dozing off’…

I believe you can thank Asaf or some ‘boy’ for that hawk-eyed, un-conscience-able perception of S. Milton…

Who brought it to Robert Burton’s ‘attention’ is hearsay, yet, the fact of his dismissal on these grounds is not… stay tuned for the REST OF THE STORY; on a train coming to your neighborhood soon.

And, no, Steven D., your part won’t be left out of this story…stay tuned for a conscience near you.”

Matthew [KJV] 6:22-24: ‘. . . if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.’

Asaf and Robert Burton were leading an afternoon outdoor tea/meeting at Steven D.’s residence, in Oregon House. As Fellowship of Friends members know, having left-eye eye contact with Robert Burton during these events is important; so wearing sunglasses on a bright sunny summer afternoon is not really an option – even for a person who is legally blind with an eye disease. After this meeting, S. Milton was called by Linda T., the then president of Fellowship of Friends, who related this: After the meeting Asaf told Robert that S. Milton was ‘closing his eyes too much during the meeting.’ [And, thereby, disrespecting Robert.] Robert replied, ‘Have Linda T. call S. Milton for a two month leave-of-absence.’

Linda T. called S. Milton to convey the above and that: S. Milton ‘was serving the wrong master.’ That is, not serving Robert as Robert saw fit. S. Milton was given a leave-of-absence, told to leave Oregon House in 48 hours, and made homeless. S. Milton was instructed that they were to have no contact with any Fellowship of Friends members, except for Linda T., for two months. S. Milton was legally blind, could not drive, had no transportation available and lived in a very rural located home that had only Fellowship of Friends members living there – and these facts were things they all were aware of.

S. Milton was a member of Fellowship of Friends for 30 years and served the Fellowship of Friends, and Robert Burton, above and beyond the call of duty.

Later, after the leave-of-absence, S. Milton was compelled to sell property they owned in Oregon House, if they wanted to continue being a Fellowship of Friends member, and, to basically, effectively, spend the proceeds on going to meetings with Robert Burton.

This was not the first example of abusing the blind (or crippled) in Fellowship of Friends. About 10 years earlier, similar, as to the above, happened to G. A. So, it is a pattern that probably continues.

Definitely ‘un-conscience-able’ behaviour.””

16. crossroads - December 14, 2016

15. Bares
I know your story. In another instance I witnessed how Asaf delivered a cruel abusive message from rb. The recipient, could not take that rejection and cried for days…

I heard that Sharp got a 1 year leave of absence for not paying attention in events! Lol. I can see him sitting like he going to lay down and yawning while thinking what is he going to do next for “Yuba county development”

“This ‘wrongful discharge’ relates to the deeper picture of such lines as “Banishes its own when they become an unpleasant impression.”

You are right Bares! That is how rb likes it.

Some friends around here, when in the fof, have had been very nasty towards me, we have fought… but sometimes things change, when the indoctrination starts dissolving. I think we need friends out here…

17. crossroads - December 14, 2016

14. James

Peer review and critique… I agree

18. Ames Gilbert - December 14, 2016

Hello Crossroads,
Thanks for joining the conversation.
I assume you are posting in good faith when you say things like, “Have you wonder how to be of help to someone like Asaf who’s efforts are legitimate and who pretty much just recently raised the middle finger to Robert Burton himself?”
If you sincerely want “to be able to point out to him the exact incoherent or erroneous point–that I perceive he is feeding–and possibly he would open for dialectics” , then I for one am willing to engage with you—IF you are willing to go straight to specifics, and avoid generalizations.

As you probably know, I am one of Asaf’s sternest critics, and I’ve written about him before; just on the last couple of pages, I posted a critique before he left, and another after he left. So, if you want to address these points specifically, a good start would be to go back and read what I said in posts 155-41 and 156-30. In the latter post, I ended with some well–intentioned advice: abandon the on–line school, regroup, learn to be ordinary. Do you disagree, and if so, why?

I am curious about why you think that Asaf can just throw off 20 years of conditioning, of being groomed, of being lauded as something special, of receiving the admiration and even worship of his fellows, and somehow instantly become a legitimate “teacher”. How can we separate him from his actions during this period, as he exercised his increasing spiritual and temporal authority? Does his past history mean nothing? And if we are to disregard this entire history, then that implies he is just starting from scratch. Then what qualifies him to ‘teach’ at all? That makes him just an average schmuck with a great memory, able to glibly find an appropriate quote from some opus in milliseconds. I don’t have that particular ability to instantly recall or make associations, but give me a few minutes with Google and I can find a juicy quote about anything you like, 4th Way or not, and pontificate at length. I spent 16 years in the thrall of Burton, and deeply regret the harm to myself and others. Does that qualify me to ‘teach’ anything to anyone? I don’t think so!

Anyway, if you care to make specific points about how I’m in error, I’ll do my best to keep an open mind and answer with specific arguments—or maybe even agree with you!

19. Ames Gilbert - December 14, 2016

Hey, Crossroads!
You haven’t credited the free publicity I’ve already given Asaf’s ‘online school’ at beperiod.com. Here’s some more:
Terms of joining have changed! Now he is offering a 7–day free trial before paying the $50 per month. Also new, you can participate in ‘team projects’. When you consider the offer includes “full access to the full workshop archive”, that’s a Hot Esoteric Deal!

Fair enough, Crossroads?

20. crossroads - December 15, 2016

Just logging in… have not read Ames posts but before I do that I want to share that I have been nervous all day, I must confess that blogging makes me restless, there is a weird energy to it, and my ego shows off obviously arrogant. So I wanted to post this before continuing.

Also I want to retract about my saying that Asaf gave the middle finger to rb – maybe that is how I wanted to visualize the event, nevertheless I do know that there was a dialogue of some sort and that he and family chose to depart.

Now let’s read Ames’s words that I always enjoy…

21. WhaleRider - December 15, 2016

I think what is at stake here in this particular thread on Asaf’s departure and online endeavor is the fourth way metaphor of the “ladder of evolution”: in order to move up the “ladder”, one must recruit others below one in the cult and push those above. (I am using “quotes” since my understanding of these terms has radically changed since I left.)

The metaphor works great in a cult; it establishes a permanent hierarchy in which the cult leader always remains on top, despite the reality that in life, a successful teacher is one who facilitates and empowers his or her students to surpass their teacher.

Even after death the cult leader remains at the top of the hierarchy, given how we revered the 44 dead guys in the FOF.

The “ladder” metaphor doesn’t seem to embrace the idea of a fourth way “teacher” stepping aside to let others advance, although that may have been exactly what Ouspensky attempted when he instructed his followers to ‘abandon the system’.

Experience tells us that having a cult following feeds the cult leader’s megalomania and grandiosity, which is evident in how burton vehemently reacts when his high profile followers leave. It is threatening to him for he treats his cash cows as his possessions. They can be stolen, and he cannot survive without them.

For me, it was the fact that burton had a following that made him appear “conscious”, more than his actions or his head twitch. I tacitly thought that if enough of his followers believed he was “conscious” then it must be so.

In retrospect, all he really seem to have was power over others; power that his followers abdicated to him through his role of gatekeeper, master exploiter and predator.

The longer I stayed in, the more I found myself becoming increasingly dependent upon his attention and approval, even through the sexual exploitation made me feel like shit about myself. I might have felt more status in the FOF being close to him, but it came at the expense of my dignity and integrity.

On the one hand we were told how lucky and special we were to find the cult, and on the other hand, the controlling burton treated me like his sexual plaything, one of many. If anything, I felt burton was pushing me down the “ladder” not elevating me.

So in order to reclaim my selfhood, it was absolutely necessary to leave the cult and flee from evil, as Asaf and THOUSANDS of other followers have already done, thank goodness.

Having spent the last year and a half living at the academy and traveling with burton, I believed that in order to sustain my “evolution” I had to duplicate what burton had done, which is to have a job or a role that necessitated “higher consciousness”, or at least more self-awareness…but not at the expense of others…we know that the vast majority of those followers who attempted to start their own cult often ended in dismal failure.

We also can understand that burton was able to duplicate horn’s relative success primarily due to the social upheavals of the 1970’s and lack of information about cults in America.

So the question remains: is it necessary to help others up the ladder of “evolution” in order for one to “evolve”?

Or is it sufficient to just live life as a “conscious householder”, work hard, pay the bills, and be a good husband, son or daughter, and/or parent?

I think the crux of the issue is how one defines evolution.

Speaking for myself, my conscience informs me that my personal growth depends first and foremost upon viewing and treating others as my equal, even those with whom I disagree.

The model in which I structure my livelihood now depends upon empowering others by helping them make positive changes in their lives. Personal satisfaction is way more important to me than making money or retaining a following, and at the end of the day, I feel a whole lot better about myself now than I ever did in the cult.

IMHO, there is not much room for personal growth in a cult such as the FOF and having to recruit vulnerable and confused people to function as narcissistic objects to be exploited and abused constitutes as a spiritual crime. That is the opposite of the Golden Rule, IMHO.

Now maybe “teaching” online will temporarily shield Asaf’s followers from him personally exploiting and abusing them…we’ll see how long that lasts and how far the apple falls from the tree.

Good luck with that, Asaf. 20 years in a cult is a long time.

22. jomopinata - December 16, 2016

I don’t know Asaf, but I think that people who leave to teach are acting in accordance with the ideology they acquired, as “true believers” in the ideology who will tell you that Ouspensky left Gurdjieff, etc., etc. It is an intermediate step in their odyssey which I cannot condemn, because it is just the operation of the same cult ideology they will eventually need to unlearn if they want to open themselves to constructive change. They spent years “trying to acquire something for themselves” and now they get to test whether they actually achieved their goal.

Do not underestimate the power of sincere mistake as a force for reorganizing how one understands the world and how one decides to live in it. Hope exists for these would-be teachers, in my opinion, when they face up to the reality that they have not achieved what the system says they can achieve, that they are are bullshitting others and themselves, and feel shame in doing so. The fact that Burton is organized around shame avoidance doesn’t mean that everyone is. Sometimes one has to persist in folly to become wise.

23. ton2u - December 16, 2016

“…spent years ‘trying to acquire something for themselves’ and now they get to test whether they actually achieved their goal.”

This brings to mind a term I think coined by Trungpa – “spiritual materialism.” This notion of “acquiring” and acquisition is part of our cultural conditioning… to the point of being almost an unconscious or unquestioned part of the fabric of our being and society in general. Acquisition and materialism go hand in glove, seemingly “naturally” and “unconsciously” – an osmotic transfer of this indoctrinated cultural “value” of acquisition to “spiritual matters” is not at all a stretch… in a certain sense and given the cultural context, it’s only “natural.” Being raised in a culture which values acquisition, (IMO) means that we all carry an attitude of acquisitiveness to our search for meaning and purpose in life. Furthermore, IMO acquisitiveness and narcissism are closely related, emphasizing I, ME and MINE… and despite adopting a holier-than-thou attitude / facade, the bottom line is – “what’s in it for me.”

The current case in question here seems to go a step further to include a confluence of “things $piritual” with prophet motive$… i.e. a confusion of dollars and sense (or a lack thereof)… caveat emptor; use your sense and beware false prophets.

“Conventionally, it is used to describe capitalist and spiritual narcissism, commercial efforts such as “new age” bookstores and wealthy lecturers on spirituality; it might also mean the attempt to build up a list of credentials or accumulate teachings in order to present oneself as a more realized or holy person.[2] Author Jorge Ferrer equates the terms “Spiritual materialism” and “Spiritual Narcissism”,[1] though others draw a distinction, that spiritual narcissism is believing that one deserves love and respect[3] or is better than another[4] because one has accumulated spiritual training instead of the belief that accumulating training will bring an end to suffering.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_materialism

24. Ames Gilbert - December 16, 2016

Crossroads, you said (#11, above) “I wish to be able to point out to him the exact incoherent or erroneous point–that I perceive he is feeding–and possibly he would open for dialectics”.
This implies you have conversations with him. Why not invite him to put his POV forward on this blog? After all, he is now totally free to partake in the give and take without Linda T. and the thought police breathing down his neck! If he’s not ready to use his own name, he could adopt a pseudonym.
In the meantime, I hope that I and others here have provided plenty of material for discussion when you do meet!

And you, what is your story? It appears that right now you live in OH yourself. Are you at a ‘crossroads’ as your screen name implies? What have you learned that you can pass on? What are your hopes for the future?

25. crossroads - December 17, 2016

Ames, do you remember the saying: “first force = false force”?

26. Mick - December 17, 2016

Should old acquaintence be forgot and never brought to mind?
It should be noted that the very foundation of the Fellowship was hypocrisy. From its inception and for close to 20 years thereafter Robert Burton claimed that he was celibate. The intended implication was that he was advanced beyond the need for sexual relations.

27. WhaleRider - December 17, 2016

@crossroads

“first force = false force”

Seems like a thought terminating cliche to me. Has it worked just now?

Please explain what you mean, if you would be so kind.

28. young soul - December 17, 2016

I think it is necessary to choose activities of JOY AT BASE. Otherwise we see the endless suffering of so many, within the FOF and after leaving.

29. Ames Gilbert - December 17, 2016

Crossroads, you asked, “Ames, do you remember the saying: “first force = false force”?”
No, I don’t remember that saying, must have been circulating amongst the sheep after my time. Is that what passes for deep insight in Burton’s religion? In 4th Way terms, it is meaningless nonsense—but I’m sure you knew that.
What point are you trying to make?

30. Ames Gilbert - December 17, 2016

Crossroads (and others), once again I emphasize I don’t know Asaf Braverman the person, I’ve never met him. IMO that actually helps me be a little bit more objective. So obviously I can have absolutely nothing against him, as a person. In fact I deeply empathize with what must be considerable internal turmoil at this time—I went through a huge emotional shake–up myself under similar circumstances, it was also very difficult for the rest of my family, particularly my daughter (aged 12 at the time) and I remember those times well.

What I am trying to do is to encourage anyone who is looking into his online ‘school’ who is doing due diligence (and has ended up reading my words on this blog) to be really, really careful. I happen to think that his background is important, you may disagree. I’m inviting seekers to ask questions, to question their assumptions, to be aware of their cognitive bias, to be aware of the allure of the certainty and authority that Braverman projects. What is the cause of their uncertainty, and why do they think that Braverman—of all people—has legitimate answers? If his teacher was the infamous Robert Earl Burton, what does that say for what he is trying to sell?

Stepping back a bit, why are they seeking at all? What hole in their psyche are they trying to fill? Why cannot they accept life on its own terms? Why do they seek to escape actually living the magnificent gift of experiencing this reality? Why would they believe unverifiable, unprovable promises of ‘consciousness’ in this lifetime, let alone ‘immortality’ in the next? And so on. This blog is the only place I can think of where such cautions are available to those ‘checking things out’. I guess I could make a tour of the alt–4th Way sites, but they appear and disappear like wisps, and are a lot more work to cover, for less effect—IMHO.

31. WhaleRider - December 18, 2016

It strikes me now as pathetic and sad that the FOF followers of “burton’s religion” place so much emphasis on the theoretical existence of the afterlife, disregarding their own physical and mental health.

I think the ‘promise of paradise’ construct is burton’s own shadow side, his departure from the cosmology of the so-called fourth way and simply a regression to his Christian roots.

Even his symbolic gesture of kissing the ground doggie style, pretending to be at the feet of the so-called, “Absolute”, is a lame attempt at humility while simultaneously furthering his own self-aggrandizement in the eyes of his followers…the infamous photo another vain tool in his shock and awe, smoke and mirror campaign.

IMO, the quest for immortality is nothing more than the ego engaged in creative imagination and wishful thinking, projecting itself into a realm of perpetual earthly pleasures both to compensate for the hardships endured in life and to defend the ego from the terror of disintegration and oblivion. The theme is as old as recorded history. burton displays a lack of singularity in that regard.

In the fourth way belief system, the body is regarded as a “machine” that can theoretically be harnessed to manufacture a soul, but apparently the body somehow only does so under duress.

The belief is that to create a “soul” or an “astral body” a person must ingest and accumulate a sufficient amount of high quality “hydrogens” emanating from “impressions”, coupled at the point of entry with efforts of intense self-awareness.

The body, home of the “lower self”, theoretically resists self-awareness and therefore must be subjugated by the “higher self” to perform the task. In order to “evolve”, neophytes are instructed to oppose the body in order to create mental states of hyper-vigilance, while surrounding themselves with objects of beauty, and magically a soul is created.

As a result, burton’s religious rituals, his dinners and meetings, for the most part involve starving and constraining the body and numbing the mind to feed the “soul”, so to speak, not to mention inhibiting critical thinking by punishing dissent.

In addition, hard physical labor was believed to produce “right work of centers” and states of “higher consciousness”, when in reality extreme fatigue lowers one’s ego defenses and produces more emotional vulnerability and suggestibility to indoctrination, which is why sleep deprivation and physical duress are used to extract information from prisoners of war and reinforce compliance in prison convicts and military recruits…not to “enlighten” them.

But of course behind the scenes burton’s actions and his excessive, lavish lifestyle betray a very different relationship between his particular body and “soul”. He shows neither constraint nor conscience in his personal life as he emotionally, financially and sexually exploits his followers to feed his satyriasis and grandiosity.

This is what I have some to understand these many years later: conspicuously absent from burton’s religion, not unlike other (but not all) religions existing long before his, are modalities of healing.

For instance, both burton and the FOF are woefully ill-equipped to deal with followers suffering from mental illness, physical sickness, or infirmary, and regularly expels those deemed “damaged machines”.

In fact, IMO, the FOF cult does more harm than good, which is the reason so many people over the years have deserted burton and his cult compared to those who stay.

According to the Gurdjieff myth, Mr G was able to heal himself after a serious car accident…but made one of his well known followers, Katherine Mansfield, sleep in barn to inhale the fumes of manure to “cure” her tuberculosis. She nearly died from the experience.

Yet, in ancient Egyptian times, mythology upon which the FOF currently draws heavily, priests were also medical doctors, with a variety of potions and incantations at their disposal to heal both the body and the “soul” or psyche, informing us, as we have intuitively always known, that the health of the one is dependent upon the health of the other; the two are exquisitely linked.

Thus, IMO, the FOF’s quixotic pursuit of immortality is wholly a narcissistic endeavor, motivated by the ego’s underlying fear of the unknown…culminating in a life of unnecessary suffering for the long term follower.

If one were truly in search of the miraculous, IMHO, it is found in the healing process, which is sorely lacking in the FOF.

As the esteemed Benjamin Franklin once said, “God heals, and the doctor takes the fee.”

My experience is that the body can heal itself with or without God. It just depends upon one’s belief system.

32. ton2u - December 18, 2016

@ 31

“IMO, the quest for immortality is nothing more than the ego engaged in creative imagination and wishful thinking, projecting itself into a realm of perpetual earthly pleasures both to compensate for the hardships endured in life and to defend the ego from the terror of disintegration and oblivion. The theme is as old as recorded history. burton displays a lack of singularity in that regard….. Thus, IMO, the FOF’s quixotic pursuit of immortality is wholly a narcissistic endeavor, motivated by the ego’s underlying fear of the unknown…culminating in a life of unnecessary suffering for the long term follower.”

Whalerider, you’re getting down to “brass tacks” here, burtonism involves the same underlying foundation of religious ideologies in general – that is; purporting to provide answers to the mysteries and uncertainty of life thereby providing a sense of purpose and meaning for the adherents / believers.

To quote the poet: “into this world we’re thrown, why? not knowing…” Culture / society provides pre-existing conditions which attempt to give answers to existential questions, including ideologies and categories of thought which form the matrix of social existence and give form to the way an individual perceives and interprets the world. Ideologies are pre-existing templates and categories of thought which serve as ways of perceiving, interpreting and managing phenomena.  Ideologies as systems of ideas and beliefs, tend to rationalize, justify and create sense for those who “subscribe,” providing identities, rules of action, and interpretations of how and why things happen as they do…. most importantly the believer in such an ideology is provided with a sense of purpose and meaning in the life.

Ideologies use concepts as filters which screen the individual from direct perception of “what is.”  Concepts are taken as reality and used as ‘constructs’ for the world and the self…. here, literalism goes hand in glove with fundamentalism, leading to conviction / belief in abstractions. Human constructs /concepts can be based mostly on fantasy – not that there’s anything inherently “wrong” with fantasy, but problems can arise – depending on the fantasy / imagination – when some of these concepts are taken literally… fundamentalism might be an example of a literal interpretation of “reality” based on concepts which may have little or nothing to do with “what is” (except perhaps within the mind of the believer).

One aspect of “spiritual materialism” applies here – an ideology can create a seemingly “solid” construct “out of thin air” as it were, by providing ITS adherent with a believable / tangible and seemingly “material reality.”

Applied to questions of the unknown, such as “what happens when ‘I’ die” – answered with concepts promising an afterlife, this creates a very powerful form of spiritual materialism when these concepts are taken literally. The reason being (IMO) “I” (ego) does not like to live with doubt / uncertainty, especially regarding a tenuous sense of the “reality” of its own existence. “I” don’t like to leave any room for doubt, uncertainty or confusion because this is a threat to ego…

So “what is” ?

Life is uncertain, the bottom line is that life itself is a mystery… why is there anything at all ?  Living life can be confusing and threatening at times… death maybe even more-so. In this regard one might consider that some aspect of the “spiritual” work and ‘aspiration’ with which “I” / ego can be so self-absorbed, may be based on a “subliminal” certainty of death… consider that the “spiritual” work with which ego occupies itself now in life is a sort of “subconscious” insurance policy to stave off the uncertainties of life/death in the hope that “I” / ego might be perpetuated beyond death. In general it can be said that “I” / ego doesn’t want to die, so it occupies itself with a way to hedge against the certainty of physical mortality with the hope that maybe there is some less tangible (but still “material” enough), aspect of the self that carries on beyond physical mortality.

There are any number of “systems” and ideologies to cater to the wishes of ego… burtonism is but one…. choose your delusion.    

Burtonism is a type of “totalitarianism” (albeit in a teapot), it is an authoritarian system of control headed by a charismatic leader… I think the following statement applies – to paraphrase H. Arendt: “The ideal subject(s) of totalitarian rule (are)… people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.”

Of course are larger issues along these lines – the recent presidential election and the continuing fallout represents a battle for hearts and minds waged through information (in – formation), mis-information and dis-information.

33. young soul - December 18, 2016

32 ton2u

Your link at bottom of your post is more than interesting. It is a question about how we think, or DO we think? How do we make our decisions about how we are to live, or DO we make those decisions? I recommend anyone, who has the few hours’ time to spend on studying the documentary and to reflect on how what is put forth in it, AND REFLECT IT BACK TO THEMSELVES, will not find themselves finding the way to ‘immortality’, by church or cult, but finding a way that they see themselves TRULY LIVING.

34. crossroads - December 19, 2016

27-29- Correction: “First force = Farce force”

This is indeed “like a thought terminating cliche”

I heard that from RB at dinners -before Asaf was in the picture.
Part of the banquet experience was to see rb accepting comments from students. Once in a while a brave attendant to the banquet would attempt to jump into conversation, bringing up matters she/he though of importance -usually with arrogance- but that had not been asked to speak by any means.

The thought reaction that came to mind is somehow related the processes of alchemy, or the processes that Rodney Collin describes and, about the Tao Te Ching… kind of a mix if you may.

These days I feel with limited energy to engage on blogging so a short phrase came to mind as a response to your urgent inquire for me to speak out!

I wanted to take my time and speak and expose feelings out but now I feel pushed… and I feel uncomfortable. Like something wants to nail me down…But I know for certain that processes can take long time and that in fact the thing is always changing…

WR, I enjoyed your post, it feels more like third force than first force and it allowed me to generate some very constructive insights. I felt in a higher vibration right away. Thank you!

35. crossroads - December 19, 2016

levels of understanding

It is being said that “the visit of the Absolute’ refers to that night when all got drunk with Absolute Vodka an ended up literally kissing the floor, then made up the fairy tale.

It is also possible that the ingestion of this particular mushroom allowed for certain unique experience with the core of the divine, then made up the fairy tale.

36. invictus maneo - December 19, 2016

149. invictus maneo – December 11, 2015
“I often wondered whether the Fourth Way was nothing more than the sly man’s method of training sociopaths to become more skillful and ruthless at preying on people. Gurdjieff’s stories about sheep, and all. It sure seems to explain who rises to the top in spiritual organizations. (To be honest, organizations, period.) This appears to be what the most advanced students in the FOF are studying, and it appears they have learned well.”

I’m no more prescient than if I suggested the sun will rise in the east very soon.

I never met Asaf, either, but I wouldn’t trust him. I would be surprised if he hadn’t learned his lessons well. It’s probably more fun making money convincing people you’re a god than working for somebody else.

37. Ames Gilbert - December 19, 2016

Many are familiar with Lord Acton’s words, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Ann Herbert updated those words a while ago to say,

Power attracts the corruptible, and absolute power attracts the absolutely corruptible/p>

…which are much closer to the reality, IMO. The only constraint against this happening seems to be in the brief moments of history when the Rule of Law operated. When it no longer does so, we get Maximum Leader Barack Obama, among many other prerogatives he has seized, deciding that he will be judge, jury and executioner and can kill anyone, anywhere, at anytime he chooses—or Maximum Leader Burton bypassing all constraints and deciding that his followers will get abortions, get married, dress a certain way, or provide sperm or dollars—according to his whim at any given moment.

So, here we have Asaf Braverman, on a quest to attract followers. It seems he has a strong need one way or another, and certainly he is making quite an effort to satisfy that need.
I think it is safe to say that Asaf would attract little attention if he had done this without his Fellowship of Friends background and history. It is within the FoF context that he was anointed as a Future Conscious Being™; both he and his fellow followers were appraised of his super–special qualities, hitherto invisible to all but Burton and assorted angels. And when he decided, back in 2012, to start his stable of websites and his online ‘school’, he did so with the moral authority bestowed on him by Burton, supported by his high status and important roles in the FoF. From a practical POV, he attracted lots of help from other followers, and was able to create a nice website with lots of Flash™ and a distinct brand. I’ve already pontificated about what a rotten “foundation built upon the sand” enterprise this is, so enough of that.
• But now I’m pointing out that, however benign his intentions, however much of a ‘good guy’ or ‘decent fellow’ he may be in essence, nothing in his history, let alone training under Burton, has prepared him to deal with the consequences of having power over others. Rather, the opposite—Burton the Hasnamuss is an object lesson in absolute corruption and exploitation, a lesson Asaf was for practical purposes blind to for most of 20 years! And if Asaf doesn’t understand, even theoretically, that accepting spiritual power over others—the role he is assuming when he goes out and recruits followers—puts him in danger of corruption, then obviously he cannot take precautions to protect himself or his ‘students’ and so is doubly unfit to teach anyone.

All IMHO, of course!

38. Golden Veil - December 20, 2016

Some thoughts on A.B.

He may have been part of the R.E.B. inner sexual circle for a very long time. If he has a real marriage to Ansley, it may be that he was demoted (and Dorian appears to be on the rise, according to Insider on this blog, on August 29, 2016, page 154, post 43.) more for his age and his presumed commitment to his wife and child. No longer in the sexual stable, he may have been no longer able to curry the favor of R.E.B. – invited to enjoy the floral suit perks (just kidding) and have to miss out on the single guy harem travel companion activities. He aged out.

How much power can an internet guru have over his followers? Is charisma translatable via pixels (if there is charisma)? I surmise that the handsomeness of the websites and great branding will only take A.B. so far. He will probably have to get a real job (or maybe get lucky with an inheritance.)

39. Ames Gilbert - December 20, 2016

Golden Veil,
What you say about the limited ability of an ‘internet guru’ to influence his followers may appear to be true right now, but my experience says that there are few limits on a needy person’s ability to give up their own power in return for answers and that alluring sense of certainty, so both parties will likely find a way to give and receive power; we just don’t know how that will happen yet.
IMO!

Ton2you and Whalerider, thank you both for your thoughts, you make so many excellent points in your posts above.

And thank you all for your contributions, and to especially to Steve for managing the blog with care and grace.

I hope all readers have a carefree and guru–free holidays, continuing this coming year and onwards!

40. young soul - December 20, 2016
41. J.D. - December 20, 2016

Please bear with me as I’m posting things that might have been covered earlier on this blog.
My apologies in advance.

Here is another example of how petty, ignorant, arrogant and disgusting Robert Burton is.

As you all know Asaf started “Be.” with the blessings of Mr. Burton as to lure people in the FoF from the back-door (no pun intended!) using the 4th way: an already obsolete and discarded method for the ever-so-elusive awakening.
Asaf went on his path and gathered a bunch of collaborators and translators along the way. Among others a couple in one of the foreign centers.
They started to have meetings and seminars in the teaching house, sharing the holy space side by side with with the more formal and effective “teaching” of the lullaby: the sequence.
After a while students started to grow more and more annoyed because, as the story goes and correct me if I’m wrong, they started to get charged for such insightful and yet antagonistic practices… As if they have never paid for meetings or events before!
News travel fast in the FoF as well as hypocritical complains… I’m sorry, “photographs”, and crime was the label attached to this one, yes… Crime!
As a result the guy got booted and his wife decided to follow him, leaving the FoF zoo.

Few days later she discovered the she had extensive metastatic cancer. Their lives have been torn apart, considering also that their family already have been battling over a very serious disease for years. (Our love, emotional support and respect of privacy goes to them.)

Believe it or not that sorry-excuse-for-a-human-being, Robert Earl Burton, had the nerve to call her… Yes, he called her to tell her that she got sick because “C influence abandoned her” and that was a “punishment from the gods.”
(Fun fact: cancer in the FoF is a gift and an opportunity; cancer outside the FoF is a punishment!)

Who, in their right mind, with an ounce of compassion, with a pinch of understanding, or simply with a trace of a heart would make a call like that?

42. young soul - December 21, 2016
43. crossroads - December 21, 2016

Another basic is “scale and relativity”

How many factions and currents of established power do you think there exist in the fof? There are specific powers, like in any other corporation, that are on top of the game and if you were or are part of the fof know very well that it comes down to the loyal and the non-loyal. and it is a little bit like the Truman show, being produced as it unfolds itself, somehow crafted though.

In the last few years the fof, through some of its members, got involved in a lot of local politics and community development. (There are specific links to the information.) some fof prominent members wanted to make some big internal changes and reforms and updates, and there was turmoil. But some past the test and some didn’t.

Asaf, due to his own demographics, can easily connect to his specific group of supporters, his own play, his role, his pride and naivite and how the idea of being the earl to rb was not that bad for him, he had worked hard for it after all. So he and his group brought it up: That rb was really getting old and that he should be retired ‘on salary’ (a good one) and that he could live wherever he pleased. Then Asaf and his group would take over, since he was already way into some important centers and the council headquarters. Even Nck. was introducing him around in the community as the new “One” after Rb.

My source tells me that rb in person asked Asaf straight forward, if all that about retiring and putting him on salary was true.Then Asaf was given a choice.

The elephant has many points of view…

Who is next in the race? The loyal and awesome ones!
That includes the Russian and the French who bring some much delight to the arid fields of Oregon House –

enjoy the solstice

44. ton2u - December 21, 2016

It seems to me that there is a basic ”flaw” in the functioning of the human psyche… “flaw” not necessarily meant pejoratively, but, for lack of a better term, as an adjective, a description of a general condition of human functional /perceptual /processing awareness.

This “flaw” has to do with a “split” in the psyche – as it’s used in psychology, “splitting” is a relevant term here. IMO it is this split in the human psyche and the effect of “splitting” which is responsible for the division we humans tend to create in devising categories of so-called “spirit” and “matter”.

A notable manifestation or symptom of the split is the so-called mind-body “problem” – a “problem” which has occupied philosophers and theologians for centuries. The “mind-body problem” is a matter of perception, a way of seeing, and in fact it’s a tributary of the larger division of spirit and matter. It’s this same “problem” which cults and religions deal in and purport to “solve” – or at least provide believers with a handle on the the questions that arise due to the split.

IMO the FOF and cults in general are a symptom of this human “flaw” – this psychological split… (and now we have an Asaf who is apparently attempting to “branch out” to also exploit this flaw of the human psyche… I’ll even give him the benefit of a doubt in saying that he’s probably not aware of the baked-in “mechanism” which causes people to perceive the world in such a way; that is, through this split in the psyche.

I’ve said many times here, that despite what members of the FOF may think, the FOF is nothing special, it’s a ‘garden-variety’ cult…. I think the same can be said of any given cult, they’re not the special “select” groups of “chosen people” which adherents tend to like to imagine… what burton and those of his ilk – so-called “charismatic leaders” of cults – what they are able to do is to exploit the aforementioned split in the human psyche.

This is accomplished in part by supposedly providing answers to “heal” the perceived split between spirit and matter, these types of cults (and religious institutions), are able to manipulate and play on a seemingly inherent flaw in human perception. The FOF and like-organizations use their “answers” to a perceived “spirit / matter” dichotomy to draw people in and as a means of control and manipulation – as it turns out.

Because the world is seen through the split lens of ‘spirit and matter,’ people seek a resolution to this apparent dichotomy. Cults like the FOF – or the christian church for that matter, can exploit the tendency in human perception which divides spirit and matter, these cults purport to provide answers to “spiritual” questions…. but IMO these types of questions, based on a perceived split between spirit and matter, come from an “a priori” faulty perception and interpretation of the world.

A question is: can one imagine no division between spirit and matter….? the division is after all just another human construct, a way of perceiving, which as it turns out is a trap which one may have fallen into… or adopted, or inherited unawares.

Conceivably one could rearrange perception to the point of eliminating this split in the psyche, a split which makes an artificial distinction between “spirit” and “matter” – if one could heal that split, that division in perception, then IMO, as Blake implied – everything would appear as it is – “Holy” – a poor paraphrase, but maybe you see the point.

“Holy” is used here as shorthand for Whole.

( @ 39 Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings Ames… I always appreciate what you have to say here!)

45. J.D. - December 22, 2016
46. James Mclemore - December 23, 2016

44. ton2u

“…. but IMO these types of questions, based on a perceived split between spirit and matter, come from an “a priori” faulty perception and interpretation of the world.”
“A question is: can one imagine no division between spirit and matter….? the division is after all just another human construct, a way of perceiving, which as it turns out is a trap which one may have fallen into… or adopted, or inherited unawares.”

ton2u – Although this blog may not be the right venue for a discussion, I very much enjoy the direction your thinking is taking. I agree that no matter how it happened, the supposed “trap” is the same…., and the closer I look, the more it looks like nothing needs to try to “rearrange” anything. Nothing needs to be eliminated. Something inside, at least at times, is becoming very slowly convinced that the narrator/person inside of us that feels strongly that it needs to ‘go’ somewhere and that something needs to be “healed”, is itself part and parcel of the “trap” itself.

About 1500 years ago a fellow by the name of Gaudapada said this….

“None (is) in bondage, none liberated, this is the ultimate truth.”

47. ton2u - December 23, 2016

James,

Thanks for taking the time to read my meanderings…. I always appreciate your commentary here.

Your perspective @ 46 is coming from having already “arrived” – (a rejoinder here might be “there’s nowhere to get to” or “we’re already there / here” etc. This comes from the perspective of “enlightenment.” I appreciate that… what I was referring to involves the FOF and figuring out the mechanisms it uses… it’s an exercise which is admittedly a bit like wallowing in the mud when contrasted by the point you make – which is at the foundation of an enlightened perspective.

IMO the machinations of the FOF and other organizations of this ilk have nothing to do with the enlightened perspective of which you speak, what you refer to is on another plane and it’s important to keep in mind while mucking around in the mess that is the FOF…

I think the metaphor of a “trap” fits the situation in question very well – and in order for the FOF trap to work, it relies on a pre-condition; that is, we come to the cult with a state of mind, with expectations, with questions and perspectives imprinted through societal / cultural conditioning…. in a very real sense, in order for it to function and draw in recruits, the FOF relies upon a trap that is set within a larger pre-existing trap…. the larger trap being a way of perceiving the world through the “conditioned mind” – so called.

In a word, “duality” is one aspect of this conditioned perspective…. where this duality perspective originates I don’t know either but it seems to be more or less implied in the human condition as we know it, it’s an ingredient of the soup we find ourselves in…. the point I was trying to make is that cults like the FOF (and so many others), are able to cash-in on the seeming duality between spirit and matter… a polarity that’s baked into us through social / cultural conditioning.

The way these cults and religions cash-in and exploit this “split” in human consciousness it through the ideologies they serve up – cults and religions purport to solve the riddles of existence through their ideologies and so “heal” or at least explain the rift that APPEARS to exist between so-called “spirit” and “matter.”

Cults / religions rely on the implied rift between spirit and matter and in effect they perpetuate this split in the human psyche. In a way it’s a schizoid condition which we take for granted, we may not even be aware of, or the schism is assumed to be as if “normal.” This schizoid condition is result of a type of human perception and it’s a condition which is perpetuated and exploited by cults and religions in general… it’s a view of the world which creates divisions between spirit and matter… “higher” and “lower,” sacred and profane, etc.

The point I was making – which of course is not original with me or a revelation – is that this “conditioned” lens on the world is a human construct for interpreting what is. This human invention has been utilized by cults and religions throughout historical time, and maybe beyond, used to promote an agenda…. i.e. control of the hearts and minds… and bodies of people…. many ramification from dualism / materialism could be teased out here… for example how belief in a division between spirit and “dead” matter leads to an attitude which accepts a wholesale exploitation and destruction of “material resources” in the living world….

but I’m getting too far afield… this is a long-winded attempt at pointing out a mechanism which the FOF utilizes to lure and exploit people… people like us.

48. J.D. - December 23, 2016

Q.: Would someone be so kind to tell me how to post pictures that directly display on this page?
Thanks.

49. young soul - December 24, 2016

47 ton2u

I see, here, very much, ‘layers of belief’ – as you say – conditioning. As you probably would also say, humans can be turned and turned – social and economic upbringing, advertising, corporations, clubs, churches and cults – none is an exception. Perhaps the problem is do we find that part in us – is there that part? – that can stand apart? – stand alone.

This is almost all questioning, but it is certain that the spiritual/material rift actually does not exist. It is all very much of a workability factor.

Some sage – I am not sure it was Buddha said…..

“Loneliness is a huge part of being able to truly love”.

https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=OIP.Mc1231b2e8d62b46acff3c4c013fc784do0&w=299&h=224&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0&r=0

50. Ill Never Tell - December 24, 2016

“48. J.D. – December 23, 2016
Q.: Would someone be so kind to tell me how to post pictures that directly display on this page?
Thanks.”

J.D., Your URL from tinypic must look like:
‘oi67.tinypic.com/2qmlvnb.jpg’
preceded by ‘http://’
or something like that.
Example:

You can get this URL by:
1) uploading image to tinypic
2) right click on image on their site.
3) select ‘Open image (or link)
in new tab (or window)’ so that
you have the image alone in
the browser window. The URL
in the browser address bar
should then be the one you want.
It should be an image URL, meaning
it should end with ‘.jpg’ – for example.
Or, images acquired elsewhere, similarly,
should end with an image file extension.

See how that works. Good luck.

51. young soul - December 26, 2016

A Noiseless Patient Spider
By Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

52. J.D. - December 26, 2016

53. J.D. - December 26, 2016

Thanks I.N.T.

54. John Harmer - December 28, 2016

#52 Marketing the SR ™ range of casual wear. Once you don this stylish vest, you will find yourself SelfRemembering with no effort at all. 🙂

55. Ill Never Tell - December 28, 2016

56. young soul - December 29, 2016

I wonder how much of what we write here or the clever caricatures or the counter-blog shills touch Burton or are ever mentioned to him…..

When You Are Old

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

I feel the life of the narcissist must be strange – an ever-imploding star that will burn out – and then fine wines, delicate boys, expensive hotels, ‘high’ art – very difficult to see ‘life beyond the next phallus or anus’ – hardly what you call magnanimous and an attitude or consciousness that can span universal dimensions. I rather think that thought for Burton is a tiny pea in his gnarled brain bouncing between shrivelled synapses. He is very much THE WALKING DEAD and he is still worshipped!

57. young soul - December 30, 2016

Awakening by a system? More mechanics. More restrictions. When are we going to realize that our awakenings involve all the emotions. Therapists take you through loss and anger, for instance…..

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakenings-DVD-Robert-Niro/dp/B000YN3LY0/ref=sr_1_8?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1465002114&sr=1-8&keywords=robin+williams+films

58. young soul - January 1, 2017

Guff and stuff to start the year…have a good one!

https://www.youtube.com/user/livingpresence1234

59. WhaleRider - January 2, 2017

By his own words…

“The state of being simply here and aware of my…existence, with a little breeze blowing on me now and some chimes in the background…it’s very calm, it’s very exhilarating. It’s a bit more real…than if we stopped talking for a moment, and I started to think about my bank book, or my relationship, or when dinner is, and what I’d like to have for dinner, (smacking lips)…and all those thoughts start to nibble away at the simple..being here…right now.”

It is interesting to me, at least, to note the content of language a person uses, which often is a reflection of how and what a person is thinking…or not thinking, as the case may be.

On the philosophical level, to the speaker…existence = sensual awareness.

Apparently, what is “a bit more real” to the speaker, what he values most…is his awareness of what he senses on his skin or hears with his ears…more than entertaining thoughts or concerns about his financial health, feeling the love of his immediate family, or attending to his basic needs.

Yet, animals are certainly keenly aware of their senses on a moment by moment basis, and as far as we know, completely lack the ability to think about finances or what to make for dinner.

Is this speaker therefore suggesting that animals exist in a “higher state” of animal bliss than human beings?

This is an example of the mind-body split…and to what end? To be more easily domesticated like animals as a food source? Maybe that’s why Girard thinks followers should aspire to be more dog-like.

The speaker then gives a mixed message, the oxymoronic statement of being “present” experienced by him as both calm and exhilarating, which doesn’t make literal sense. There seems to be a disconnect there, IMO.

He certainly appears calm, but doesn’t appear to me the least bit exhilarated…in either tone of voice or demeanor; there is no sparkle in his eyes, leading me to believe he is lying about his so-called exhilaration.

He’s certainly gets the calm part right, but perhaps he has been made to believe he “should” somehow feel exhilarated, too? (If so, he is obviously not there, yet.)

So where does that leave me as the listener? Am I subtly being drawn into that mesmerizing paradox?

(BTW, who has a “bank book” anymore? Given the escalating membership fees, I seriously doubt cult members are able to maintain savings accounts. More than likely a member might be brought back to Earth thinking about their skyrocketing credit card balance!)

Then the speaker makes an interesting pivot. He makes the assumption that “we” are “talking”, when really, he is not engaged in a conversation with me, the viewer/listener, but merely pausing in his short monologue to deliver his intended message…don’t talk, don’t think…just soak it up and suck it up.

What is implied, IMO, is that what is less “real”, i.e. money, relationships, bodily needs…are precisely the elements of one’s life that one must relinquish (no thank you) in order to “be” a member of burton’s cult…by incorporating the thought blocking memes that have “nibbled away” at the speaker’s ability to think rationally and critically about what he is actually saying.

Thanks, young soul.

60. young soul - January 4, 2017

WhaleRider

Do you not ‘get the feel’ of mind-numbing techniques/social activities/interactions having moved into ‘Warp Factor 10, Scotty’. I seem to think it was the having to deal with ‘Life’, hopefully using one’s integrity to tell the truth in it (although I would think that many FOFfers thought that ‘Life’ was something to be taken advantage of, especially in the realm of MONEY!) that caused the COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. I suppose the emotional tank drivers and specialist hypnotists ‘have it’ in the Fellowship of Friends.

61. young soul - January 7, 2017

“Ames Gilbert” wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, October 25, 2015:

….., along the same lines, when I was in the throes of leaving and no longer was ‘giving a damn for the consequences’, I summoned up the courage to ask some questions of those who knew more than I did. Several people formerly close to Burton mentioned that he had told them, “Influence C provides these young men as a reward for my hard work”. !! It is true that I don’t know much about any of the later cohorts of young men known by some as, “Robert’s boys”; some of them may indeed have hidden depths of character. I base my opinions about them on what I observed (in my day) appeared to be common weaknesses of character. As far as power is concerned, I try to avoid being pedantic and claiming that all healthy relationships are based on exactly equal power, but I do claim in my own experiences and from what I see around me that any imbalance can’t be too extreme, or at least manifest too extremely, if the relationship is to be healthy. For example, males are stronger, on average, than females, but males generally agree (and manifest) to not rape their partners, don’t they? But, one could ask, what is happening in a stable submissive/dominant relationship? I’d say is that it is healthy if there is a negotiated agreement, including freedom to leave with no physical or psychological consequences; unhealthy if not. It’s a big subject, with lots of shades of gray. I do think that overcoming the reluctance of straights is part of Burton’s power play and adds to the thrill of conquest. In the general population, some sex partners voluntarily use an aspect of this (mock rape, bondage, role playing) to add an extra layer of erotic excitement. For this to work, there must always be an infallible “out”, that is, the trust that the “out” (for example, a ‘safe’ word) will be honored. But, I don’t believe that there is any prior agreement in the case of Burton and his ‘boys’, and I never heard any evidence of an “out”. I use the word satyriasis in my posts as a sort of reminder, because amount is indeed an important indicator, IMO. Satyriasis is a mental illness, and combined with narcissistic personality disorder, makes a potent combination. This is a difficult area, because who can help being mentally ill? But, that certainly doesn’t excuse the behavior, whose consequences are unacceptable. And it certainly doesn’t excuse the condoning of Burton’s behavior by his enablers, or worse, the feeding of his needs and excesses, or writing off the damage as merely collateral.

62. Bares Reposting - January 8, 2017

Copied from this Italian blog site:
http://ilcredino.blogspot.com/2011/10/robert-e-burton-e-la-fellowship-of.html

“The teaching of the 4. Way was tought by Mr. G.I.Gurdjieff. Mr. Gurdjieff’s teacher was the 39.grandshaikh of the Naqshbandi order Abdullah Faiz ad-Daghistani.
The teaching needs to have a teacher which is connected to a cain of transmission. Gurdjieff was. Bennett was. Ouspensky was brilliant-but was not connected-wasn’t accepting Gurdjieffs guidance,which would have been neccesary-made himself a teacher and therefore was not connected. That is why he said to J.G. Bennett” you are the only one…” Bennett acceptet to be guided and made his connection with Shaikh Abdullah ad-Daghistani.
That is why Gurdjieff said at his deathbed: ”I leave you in a mess…” Bennett was sent by Gurdjieff to his own teacher,and Bennett sent many of his students finally to search for the Head of the Naqshbandi Order.

The Fellowship of Friends founder Robert E. Burton claims to have permission from above to transmit the teaching. He claims to have the autority from angels and even A.Lincoln which is a proof of distortion. A. Lincoln was not a wise man at all and cannot be considered a guide from above and also others in the list of Mr. Burtons encounter.
And what came to light of Mr. Burtons abnormal sexual activities,which he states it is ordered from C-Influence to humble him, is a clear sign that Mr. Burton,despite his knowledge,is not able to understand that he confuses the influence of his ‘inner devil’ and ego or lower self with the workings of C-influence. C-influence means influences from the world outside of life itself. Its the influence from the devine presence canneled through heavenly beings as there are angels,prophets,saints and spiritual guides(shaikhs).
Mr. Burton often recites sufis but surely failed to take the saying ‘Who has no teacher (spiritual guide/shaikh),satan is his teacher” as granted. If it is true what came to light than he was not and is no longer autorised to teach or represent the teaching. Gurdjieff himself would have cursed such a behaviour. He has to step back,repent and beginn from the beginning. People have to leave him as quick as possible and search elswhere if they consider themself as sincere.The school is shot down,closed. It failed. Mr. Burton failed.
He had never and has no permission to use this teaching as he used it and uses it. There is no need for hailing luxury. No! Its rather to avoid luxury as much as possible. This fancy gay lifestile is never accepted in spiritual tradition. Never!! To be gay is no crime but one has to understand that he has to change or has to go. Its a hinderance to higher development. Gurdjieff wasn’t accepting it just because he was working with gay people. Its abnormal and remember God doesn’t like it but rather hates it. He destroyed a whole comunity in biblical times just because of that-so don’t come and tell stupid people that C-influence has ordered you to do such disgusting activities. Shame on you Mr. Burton and followers – that you go on with this. And shame on everyone supporting and assisting such a man.
Gurdjieff said that people which are involved in such -on their forehead is written:
‘Candidate for the mentalhouse'”

63. Nitrocell Underground - January 8, 2017

Gurdjieff: No man having failed to chew through the shoe of this neighbor shall then savor a baked potato.

64. J.D. - January 8, 2017

65. Just the Facts Ma'am - January 10, 2017

If you think that Donald J. Trump, needs company, as a narcissistic
personality disordered megalomaniacal sociopath tweeter, consider:
https://twitter.com/LivingPresence
you will find:
Robert’s TweetHearts
[Protected Tweets]
@LivingPresence
For Fellowship members.
All content copyrighted. Fellowship of Friends, Inc.
TWEETS: 3,619 FOLLOWERS: 782
Only confirmed followers have access to @LivingPresence’s
Tweets and complete profile.

66. young soul - January 12, 2017

“There’s an old saying in the days of slavery, there are those slaves who lived on the plantation, and there were those slaves who lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master to exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. That gave you privilege. Colin Powell is permitted to come into the house of the master, as long as he will serve the master according to the master’s dictates. Now, when Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture.”

Harry Belafonte

67. Golden Veil - January 13, 2017

65. Just the Facts Ma’am – January 10, 2017

Won’t someone please post some of REB’s current Tweets?

66. young soul – January 12, 2017

There has always been very little racial diversity in the U.S. F.o.F.

68. young soul - January 13, 2017

http://meditationtemptation.tumblr.com/page/18

The Buddha quote, above, defines the fact is that our minds must be free. Forget lower and higher selves. Just words for being a follower/slave or on the way out of the FOF. Likewise, if we have physically ‘escaped’ from the cult, but still ‘stirring the turding’ in our minds and are attached to REB’s goings on, when he becomes too senile to get an erection or becomes too demented to tell the difference between a ‘cute boy’s butt’ and the plug hole in the bathroom, just remember – it is all a set-up. We know we cannot get a class-action lawsuit going nor press for any reclamation of our time, money and efforts for the cult. If this blog is to be useful, it is to show that individualistic, radical and far/deep thinking must be reached. Only then can a judgement be made upon Burton and Co.

We are free enough to help dig the deep psychological grave where the rotten carcass and black-hole cosmos of this false prophet be forgotten.

69. young soul - January 13, 2017

Above link is wrong. Please see…..

70. Mick - January 13, 2017

“Man does not have a soul, but he can create one.”
– Don “No Soul” Simmons

71. Nitrocell Underground - January 13, 2017

Gurdjieff: Every human being is created with two soles. Due to civilization and the invention of the chair that has now doubled.

72. Mick - January 13, 2017

Soul Insurance! Lifetime Payments! No Guarantees!
Underwritten by Fellowship of Friends, Inc.,
A Profits Squandering Organization dedicated to the principal that “There’s one born every minute.”

73. young soul - January 14, 2017

We humans are made up, not just of ‘meat, bone, liquids and electrochemical reactions’, but have the ability to both know ourselves as social and individual beings and, far more than that, we belong to the greater cosmos, which has both visible and invisible aspects.

What if we supposed that a far greater spectrum, of which we may see/feel minutiae, would open up by way of examining texts more ancient than the creationist bible (which, I admit, contains some beautiful and impelling passages), cross-referencing with other ‘ways’ to human enlightenment, scientists speaking to other doctrines and vice-versa (rather than fearfully hanging on to to their large-salaried posts in colleges and universities)…..I could go on, but the point is both……

“The binding and the blasting apart, in unison – fission and fusion – say that the Sun’s activity can be operating within our own human understanding.”

– not, Asaf Braverman –

74. Ill Never Tell - January 15, 2017

young soul, perhaps this is how you wanted the image to appear:

Perhaps you did not read and/or follow what I wrote in my post #50 on this page.

75. young soul - January 15, 2017

INT

Being a misunderstood artiste, I tend not too be too techy. I like computers for information and communication. If I need to ‘pic-it’ again, I will follow your lead…YS

76. young soul - January 17, 2017

“Through the essence of your genuine self, you will also assist others without the need to “make them” what they “should” be. You will simply be able to listen, communicate, and express your care and encouragement as they manifest their potential. It is important that you honor their position of creative expression. In that way, the true empowerment of appreciation occurs in all peoples, and the knowing that we all are here for the purpose to help each other can occur.”

Oak – The Goddess Tree

77. young soul - January 17, 2017

The words of what was TRULY STRUGGLED FOR……

78. J.D. - January 18, 2017

79. Associated Press - January 20, 2017

80. John Harmer - January 21, 2017
81. young soul - January 21, 2017

Dear John

This goes a bit Freud/maybe Oedipus…I cannot tell…but is some food for thought and I find that, as crazy as our lives may have been, or become, it is balanced thinking (led by ‘critical analysis and reflective practice’ to use teacher training terminology) and a resolute, human (not superhuman) heart, that wins the day for us individually.

I have told my latest Reiki Master about the cult (although I was on the fringes of it – never a centre director, high-up or artist in residence at the headquarters) that they took my money and what skills I had and ‘drained me to the bone’ and I could take no more.

Robert Burton – a father figure of epic depraved proportions – charismatic, silver-tongued, carefully-dressed – yet with perversions that have escalated, not abated, with time. So it is true that, if we were looking to replace (or ‘kill’ our natural fathers) then joining the Fellowship of Friends did away with any naturality that may have existed – we actually had, in leaving the cult, to regain the true out of the false, not, as Burton would have it, the ‘higher’ out of the ‘lower’.

If we think we can, on this blog site, do away with Burton by our scribblings, my Reiki Master says this is not possible – he is already in his ‘blackest of black holes’, awaiting disrobement from the body. We can, however, feed the still rescuable minds of those contemplating escape and exit from the cult. It is our duty to work for these people – those, to whom Ames Gilbert and Bruce Levy have proximity, and those, like us in faraway lands, who venture to air views from our past experiences.

https://scontent.fbrs1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/12718098_986813771356521_3078151848812325189_n.jpg?oh=718240c6f7c68094c1bdb5c88d20dba2&oe=5919A410

82. Nitrocell Underground - January 21, 2017
83. J.D. - January 21, 2017

Robert Burton… Charismatic? Silver-tongued?? Carefully-dressed???

Mr. Reiki Master is right: RB is “already in his ‘blackest of black holes’, awaiting disrobement from the body.” Ahhhh… The Universe is just!
We can, however, feed the still rescuable minds that think this is true…
But the Reiki Master says this is not possible.

84. young soul - January 21, 2017

All my Reiki Masters have been female (3), bar one, who tried a fast trick on the Reiki tradition with shells, not the vibration of crystals. He wondered, as a heavy smoker, how he caught emphysema. If you speak the truth, you must live the truth “By their fruits…..”. So, all my truly spiritual teachers are women with whom I am still in contact. That says something for “No women will become conscious”. Tosh!

85. John Harmer - January 22, 2017

young soul, your references to Reiki intrigued me, so I have had a look into it. It is a system of healing based on pseudo science, and seems to resemble the gurdjieff system in some ways, there are masters, the founder lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and it claims not to be a religion, and not to require belief from its adherents for its health giving effects to work.
I have to say I am personally deeply suspicious of this kind of group. I have not heard of any abuses of power by Reiki Masters, but I prefer to base my world view on science.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiki

86. young soul - January 22, 2017

85 John Harmer

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/science

I thought you/I/cultists were chasing a soul?1?1?

Folk like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins SKIN the hell out of ‘meat, bone and electrochemical observation’. There are the atomic and light bodies, to go back to ‘ancient science’ – you research! Walt Whitman spoke much of the bodies…..

http://www.gradesaver.com/walt-whitman-poems/study-guide/summary-i-sing-the-body-electric

At least get your sorry ass out of grade school and sign up for 3 sessions with a Reiki Exponent in your area. It will cost you $100 tops. I am fed up arguing about what works for me and you go back to theory. I use crystals myself for my own work, They absorb and transmit vibrative energy. That should give you some sort of start…..

87. Ames Gilbert - January 22, 2017

Sigh!
“Ion” posted for what seemed to be the last time on Dec 12th (#13 on this page). “Young Soul” appeared for the first time on Dec 17th (# 28), and regularly since then.

Didn’t take long, did it? Nice break—while it lasted—though!

88. Ames Gilbert - January 22, 2017

J.D., (# 41),
No apologies needed, I for one had not heard of this episode, so thank you for bringing it to our attention.

You could not give a clearer example of the cruelty, viciousness, self–centeredness, and utter lack of compassion that are the hallmarks of the Great Fraud. This is a perfect demonstration of how he uses infatuation and fear as his principal tools to control the flock. In this case, in my opinion, the message is as much to those that remain as to the unfortunate woman, maybe more so. Burton shows once again that he is reactive and totally mechanical, and has no control over his manifestations at all. Once again he demonstrates that he is a complete slave to his desires, whether for absolute control—or sex.

I’m sure followers like Daily Cardiac have already come up with their own ‘explanations’ and justifications, such as: he is desperately trying to save the soul of the person he is tormenting, he is following the will of the angels rather than his own inclinations, the play is written, whatever. I believe, based on my own experience in the Fellowship of Friends, that every excuse they make just detracts from their own humanity the more, drains the last vestiges of their own capacity for compassion, makes them more asleep.

I join you in wishing the lady and her family relief and healing from their pain, and peace hereafter.
_________________________________________

John Harmer (#81),
My impression of Burton was that he is not very intelligent in the regular IQ sense, that is, measuring the intellectual ability to make connections and sense patterns. His history of short, unconnected thoughts exemplifies that, not to mention his intellectually (and practically) bankrupt grand opus, “Self–Remembering”. But, I’d argue that he scores quite high on a sort of EQ, emotional intelligence, in respect to sensing a person’s desires and weaknesses, and being able to speak to those. Coupled with zero empathy and conscience, that enables him to almost instantaneously sum up those parts of a person so he can exploit them. If a seeker has doubts, he can supply certainty. If the mark needs confirmation of his/her specialness, he can make an appeal to their vanity. If the victim is lost, he inserts himself as the destination. None of his ‘solutions’ lead to any kind of true answers or closure, they are designed to ensure permanent dependence. A sort of depraved but very effective cunning.

89. John Harmer - January 23, 2017

#86 It is a lovely crystal, and of course if it works for you, good luck to you. I remain sceptical, but to each his own.

90. young soul - January 23, 2017

Ah! The delicate art of abnegation. Each time I, pseudonimically, attempt to post variegated and helpful ‘angles’ (Ooh! that terminology) there are still those ‘reductionists’ (God! we ALL know who they are) who would ‘create a bonfire from their own vanity’. Should I be a narcissist, I would surely have signed up for a corporate post in the housing association (that would give ample space, too, for a sociopath/psychopath) or be offering my ‘average competence’ services for the mental health ‘helpers help sufferers’ groups which abound in my land. I am forging my dream – a dream which has been phoenixed time after time – yet small business is all about that – taking it to market and making it work. You may fail, but it gives you the chance to regroup, rethink and try in more constructive ways to ‘work your dream’. Therefore I am a positivist and study comparative doctrines – making the workable work separately from the dead dogma.

Namaste

91. Nitrocell Underground - January 23, 2017

Cult of the 1950s white Jesus:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_of_Christ

92. J.D. - January 23, 2017

@81 – Fun fact: “those” who might (or might not be) “contemplating escape and exit from the cult” are the same people saying: “It works for me!”

@84 – Are you implying that your 3 reiki teachers are ‘conscious’?
Could you please explain what that means?

93. young soul - January 24, 2017

92 JD

Sounds like a sensible question. We have to define ‘conscious’. I suspect you imply – ‘are they gurus?…do they have a following?…are they ‘special people’. No, they can be found in any major town or city under ‘complementary or holistic therapy’ and have taken a course. YES, IT IS NEW AGE STUFF AND THEY ARE NOT ACCEPTED INTO MAINSTREAM MEDICINE. But mainstream is by far perfect. Look up ‘chakra balancing’, for a start. Certain crystals help with certain complaints and a Master or Proponent (I do not know how long you have to study to be a Master – probably along the lines of Dojo Sensei in the Martial Arts) will use these for a client. Usually 3 sessions of 45 minutes each over 3 weeks will help you feel calmer and emotionally stronger and certain physical ‘aches and pains’ alleviated.

The weirdo side – they do invoke angels or higher beings to help but, as stated by John Harmer – it works whether you believe it or not. For me, being 6th chakra strong (visualisation and ‘bright ideas’) and base chakra weak (grounding/common sense of the body) my present master uses certain crystals (which are cleansed before and after every session!) to give optimum effect.

P.S. It will not harm or kill you, unlike the FOF!!!

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRV9IP3H5xuBevElKe626bOBYyU8s7H2quZkQf4zwfxCLvIFTfv

94. WhaleRider - January 24, 2017

…it works whether you believe it or not.

If the above miracle cure were true, then there would be no suffering in the world, grasshopper.

Now, I happen to agree with you that faith healing is real; however, experience has taught me that there are no “masters”, there are only practitioners.

95. young soul - January 24, 2017

1) agreed, and

2) agreed.

As far as I remember, REI-KI means ‘life-energy.’.

96. WhaleRider - January 24, 2017

“How, then, are we to distinguish between a valid and an unproductive mysticism? Erich Neumann, a Jungian, in his remarkable essay ‘Mystical Man’, distinguishes between two kinds of mysticism. Uroboros mysticism is a longing for a womb-like return to an illusory paradise, a failure to ground oneself in the world, very much the nihilistic mysticism that {Wilhelm} Reich deplored. The second kind of mysticism, however, experiences phenomena in such a way that the mystic returns {to the world} transformed, his {or her} consciousness enriched. It is in the nature of the creative man {or woman} to push past the ego to the borderline of non-ego, to spontaneity, the unknown, the numinous. The act is courageous and life-affirming…

From my reading today, “Jung & Reich: The Body As Shadow”, by John P. Conger, 1988, p. 137.

97. J.D. - January 24, 2017

@ 93 – To whom it may concern.

Thank you for your answer.

You said: “So, all my truly spiritual teachers are women […] That says something for “No women will become conscious”.

And then: “We have to define ‘conscious’. I suspect you imply…”

I’m sorry, but I didn’t imply anything.

Since you were the one who mentioned your teachers associated with the word “conscious”, and I don’t know what that means, the question is: What does that mean?

98. fofblogmoderator - January 24, 2017

We are back. There is some new verbiage in the header section on page 158.
I will be trying to take a more active role in keeping the conversation monitored, but I do feel that as little interference from me as possible is best.
New Page


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