Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Beast meets West, Part 2

Is it just my imagination, or do Western spiritual seekers just get dumber every generation?…Yup, the deeksha giver lays her hands on your crown chakra, and kickstarts the flow of kundalini, the fire that has burned countless naive Western novices.
~ Kevin Dann,
Reality Sandwich

The Maharishi, whom we visited here the other day, is not the only beast from the East who is steadily devouring the bank accounts of eager Westerners. These days, more and more of the conspicuously enlightened are embracing India’s Oneness University, founded by Sri Kalki Bhagavan and his wife Padmavathi Amma. Judging from some of the copy on their web site, these two have to be one of the ultimate MystiCouples of all times.

Loved and worshipped by millions, Sri Amma Bhagavan are avatars for enlightenment and God realisation. They are one single avataric consciousness in two bodies. They represent the Divine feminine and the Divine masculine. Together Amma and Bhagavan power the process of enlightenment of the individual seeker as Yin and Yang, stillness and movement, Prakruti and Purusha.

They are like the spirit, all pervading yet abiding in the deepest recesses of one's Being. They are the silent Presence powering the phenomenon of Deeksha everywhere. Far removed from the periphery of the various activities of the movement they reside at the Oneness temple. Deeksha anywhere in the world draws its power from the consciousness and the intent of Sri Amma Bhagavan. They are the life breath behind the any number of miracles that are experienced by the seekers. They manifest across space and time to people when they seek their help. Their consciousness not being limited to their physical body, Amma Bhagavan's manifestation even predates their birth.

What was hitherto possible for great masters, Sri Amma Bhagavan are making it possible for ordinary men and women… Sri Amma Bhagavan do not belong to any one people, one nation or one faith. They are for all mankind. Their vision is not a golden age for any one community or country. It is a Global Golden age.

Once again I defer to Jody at Guruphiliac (and I warn you right now that I will be quoting him at length in this post). If you’re a regular reader of his blog you know he is no fan of the Oneness U cult, and that is putting it very mildly. (He sometimes refers to Sri Kalki, the Mister half of Oneness U’s MystiCouple, as "Kracki" or "Krapki.")

"Deeksha" is the Sanskrit word for "initiation," and a major part of the whole Oneness U experience is something called "deeksha energy transfer," which is sort of like Jesus H. Christ’s laying-on of hands, though more sophisticated because, you see, it’s got that Eastern-mystic cachet. Actually it’s not known so much as "deeksha" any more, at least not at Oneness U. Now it is more frequently referred to as the Oneness Blessing. There may be a ™ or © or ® after that; in any case, you can be sure it’s proprietary.

Actually, come to think of it, Oneness Energy Transfer sounds a LOT like Access Energy transfer, which we also visited here on WM a few months back.

Whatever you want to call it, deeksha/Oneness Blessing is a pretty hot commodity among New-Wagers. In my neck of the woods, evidence of Oneness' enlightenment-chic status can be found in the fact that Houston’s primo affluent New-Thought church, the nondenominational Unity Church of Christianity (which I used to attend), is into the Oneness game. In September of 2007, its senior minister, Howard Caesar, went through the 21-day Oneness Process in India. And the result? Do you even have to ask? Oneness Blessings are now being offered at Unity in Houston.

There was even a Deeksha Camp at this year’s Burning Man Festival. Jody at Guruphiliac posted a video of some deeksha sessions that took place at BM (hmmm… pretty apt initials, don’t you think?). The only thing missing from that video was Maui’s resident poet-poseur Dreaming-Bear, who was also BM-ing, but alas, he was busy in the Diva Boot Camp being naked, suffering, and dreaming up new poetry to inflict on the world. (BTW, Dreaming-Bear seems to have found the true secret to age reversal. Last time I’d checked his MySpace profile, he had listed his age as 34. Now he is only 28! Utterly amazing.)

There have been some disturbing stories here and there about the effects and after-effects of the deeksha process. But that’s probably true of any process or therapy (whether it’s done by a licensed or unlicensed therapist). What really made me raise my eyebrows when I was Googling – okay, so I have a taste for the sensational – was the buzz about a hallucinogenic drug that in the past was allegedly administered as part of the Oneness process. I hasten to add that, according to reports I’ve read, this is no longer done. But back in the day…whoa!

Apparently this drug, leyham, which seemed to be a combination of LSD and ecstasy, was being used for a while in the 21-day "process." Not surprisingly, some folks were experiencing ill effects. Others were having "peak experiences."* Again, my understanding is that the drug is no longer used, and hasn’t been for a couple of years. Still, anybody who has any insight on this is welcome to share his or her experiences here.

Some folks are pretty upset with Oneness U’s apparent money lust, and with evidence that the poor in India as well as affluent Westerners are being exploited by the Kalki cult. As is the case with most New-Wage paths or trends, some people swear by Oneness U, and (as you surely know if you’ve read Jody’s blog) some swear at them. A more balanced look can be found on a rather long blog post (with some annoyingly long paragraphs) by one man who was involved with Oneness U for several years, but no longer is. The comments are interesting as well.

Love ’em or hate ’em, it seems clear that Kalki and Amma and the crew at Oneness U have some grandiose plans for humanity. One big goal is to effect a critical mass of enlightenment in the human race by the year 2012. 2012, in case you aren’t aware, is the new Y2K. That’s the year when the world may or may not end, depending upon which nutty web site you land on. According to the Oneness U folks, however, if their critical-mass plan works, 2012 will see the birth of a new Golden Age of Humanity, which will spread all over the world.

The web site of Oneness U affiliate The Oneness Centre Australia ’splains in simple scientific terms how the critical-mass project works:

The divine plan is that when 64,000 people, spread all over the globe, have reached the oneness state, the effect will spontaneously spread to the rest of humanity. This will occur through what is known as the morphogenic fields**, by the action of the ‘100th monkey syndrome’. It is, as Malcolm Gladwell says in The Tipping Point, a "positive" epidemic. The virtue of an epidemic, after all, is that just a little input is enough to get it started, and it can spread very, very quickly and this can lead to permanent change of a massive nature.

While there are probably enough New-Wage concepts in that one paragraph to make the average skeptic’s head explode, the one thing that stuck out for me was that tired old hundredth-monkey banner, which, though loosely based on a real incident, is mostly b.s. in the context in which New-Wagers employ it. But Oneness U has apparently dragged it out again in order to push their critical-mass enlightenment agenda. (I suppose one could call the hundredth-monkey story in this context a "turban legend," but the Oneness U folks don’t normally sport that particular type of headgear.)

The paragraph preceding the one I just quoted from the Australia Oneness site gives a good idea of what’s in store in 2008:

In 2008 a special conference is to take place at Oneness University which will be attended by many prominent world figures. Leading scientists, quantum physicists, and medical professionals are visiting as well as practitioners and therapists of every modality of medicine, therapy, meditation and personal development. A number of very prominent and celebrated movie actors have also undertaken the course at Oneness University.

Are you excited yet?

In case you're interested in getting a Oneness Blessing but can't afford the trip to India, you can receive it from anyone who's an official Oneness Facilitator. However, you can’t become a Oneness Facilitator yourself unless you’ve spent the bucks and made the trip. At the time I first began this post a few months ago (okay, so I got sidetracked!), the total cost of the 21-day process was $5,500.00 USD. Now, however, it seems the price has gone up a bit:

The total cost for the Level 1 Course is $5,650 USD (this includes a $500 Deposit Fee, a $150 Preparatory Course and a $5000 Course Fee). Of this amount, a non-refundable deposit fee of $500 USD is required upon acceptance of your application.

Then there’s Level 2; repeat customers get a deal:

The total cost for the Level 2 Course is $1,500 USD. Of this amount, a non-refundable deposit fee of $500 USD is required upon acceptance of your application. Food, lodging, laundry service and transportation is included in the course fee.

You may be wondering what effect, if any, a Oneness Blessing really has on the one who is so blessed. Well, according to information on the Oneness U FAQ page, the effects are profound. Now if only science would admit it…

The Oneness Blessing is known to produce a neuro-biological transformation in the brain. We look forward for the cooperation of the scientific community to conduct an in depth research in order to establish the exact details of this transformative process.

Hey, maybe they can get the Maharishi’s research teams on it.

But just what can a person receiving the Oneness Blessing expect? Here’s what it says on the Unity Church page I linked to above:

Oneness Blessing is transferred by a Oneness Facilitator by placing his or her hands onto the crown of your head, usually for about 1 minute. Experiences during the Oneness Blessing vary, sometimes strong, sometimes subtle, sometimes delayed until even days later. The recipient may experience a tingling sensation in the head, or blissful energy flowing through the body, or sometimes nothing at all. Whatever the experience, the recipient can trust that the process of Oneness has begun.

*It is helpful to receive the Oneness Blessing on a regular basis.

It should come as no surprise that the Oneness trend has inspired other New-Wage capitalists, some of whom are in my own back yard, sort of. I guess I’m lucky to live in Texas, a state whose capital city and surrounding areas in the Hill Country are just crawling with the conspicuously enlightened. Granted, I’m in relatively unenlightened Houston here on the soggy Gulf Coast, but hey, at least I’m in the same state, geographically speaking, as folks such as "Crazy" William Cooper, M.Th., LPC, LMFT. Cooper is adept at the "laying on of hands" (and some of my sources have suggested that he has at times practiced the laying on of "hands where they don’t belong," as Jody might put it – but I won’t go there right now). Cooper has kind of a "Christ deeksha" shtick, but he is definitely riding the Oneness train as well.

Then there’s another Texan, Lola Jones, who also inspired Jody:

The deeksha virus has broken free of its Oneness Movement cesspool and is adrift in the New Age™ marketplace, where any knucklehead with a white robe can be an enlightened master, one able to solve any problem in existence by laying-on hands and pretending that something is happening other than dummies being separated from their money.

Along with her partner Michael Abeden, Lola is the publisher of Austin All Natural magazine, which is in the genre of those New-Wage publications to which I once crudely paid tribute via my BLP (book-like product), Cosmic Relief. Lola is also a photographer and a talented artist, a friend to folks such as Joe Vitale…and, yes, a deeksha giver. Or seller. But her deekshas don’t cost as much as the ones at Oneness. She calls them Divine Openings, and apparently you can get Divinely Opened in a group session if you wish – even over the phone. And, of course, Lola is more than willing to teach you how to be a Divine Opener yourself. It's much cheaper than going to India. Or, as Jody put it:

Become your own flimflammer for less than $2000! That's over half off the regular fee!

And finally, there’s Steven Sadleir – not a Texan but a Californian. He’s the guy Jody refers to as "Kracki Jr.", describing him as "an American guru who has hijacked the flimflam of pretty much every Indian scamatar out there." I’ve mentioned Sadleir here too. (Scroll down to "You must act now! Or pay Steven to teach you how.") Sadleir apparently really has the magic touch, and is able to infuse every word he writes with divine power. It’s kind of like that magic cleansing power on the Zero Limits web site, which, as you may recall, is the first web site designed to "clean" you while you look at it. But Sadleir’s magic is done with the printed word, according to a press release that hit PRWeb in July of this year:

Paper, in the form of Steven S. Sadleir's new book The Calling: A Journey Within Your Own Being, is being used to conduct energy that awakens consciousness. An American guru transmits shaktipat to awaken the readers kundalini while they are reading.

Shaktipat is the primordial life force current that creates, sustains and guides every living thing in the universe. Author and Shaktipat Master Steven S. Sadleir transmits energy through his new book The Calling: A Journey Within Your Own Being. The book is a guided meditation. Steven takes the reader on a journey of self discovery as they connect with the energy as they are reading the book. Each word is designed to activate an inner awareness within the reader; they trigger the part of the mind that already knows as the words are reflected upon.

As I understand it, shakitpat transference is kind of like deeksha or Oneness Energy Transfer or maybe even ACCESS Energy Transfer, except it’s spelled differently. Slowly but surely, I am beginning to gain a deeper understanding of these matters.

I did notice that Sadleir’s "new" book The Calling, which was so hyped in the press release, doesn’t appear to be all that new – at least not by Earthly publishing standards – having been released in 1995. Maybe on Steven Sadleir’s planet, that still constitutes "new." But hey, no matter, the book has a five-star-review average!

So how does all of this stuff leave me feeling? Oddly enough, it leaves me invigorated and inspired. It leaves me, once again, with a strong conviction that grows ever more powerful as time goes by: I GOTTA find me a scam.

* I am very much aware that there is a long tradition of using hallucinogenic drugs during a spiritual process, and that some of these drugs (e.g., peyote) make one violently ill before the "spiritual" stuff starts. This is not an experience I would ever seek out for myself, but to each his or her own. In any case, I am just passing along information here.
** Here’s a Skepdic link about Rupert Sheldrake and his theory of "morphogenic fields" – not to be confused with the developmental biology concept of "morphogenetic fields."

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Anonymous HoHaHE said...

It's OK, the five and a half grand price tag for the deeksha will come down as the production line gears up.
Reiki initiations were 10,000 dollars (or was it pounds?) at first, but I know a guy who'll knock one out for £20, no bovver.

Sunday, November 25, 2007 7:34:00 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

I used to work at a metaphysical bookstore in Austin, and had the "privilege" of meeting wm. Cooper and Lola several times. They both gave me the heebie-jeebies! William definitely had a good messiah complex going on, and Lola gave off the "whatever Lola wants, Lola gets" vibes. I thought the billboard that William put up on S. Lamar Blvd., where he looked just like Jesus, was hilarious!
The deeksha people and "The Secret" true believers had that same, intense, mission of saving you whether you wanted it or not, and just could not fathom why you had any doubts about what they were peddling.

Sunday, November 25, 2007 7:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, hohahe... the price is already coming down for deeksha or a cheap but genuine imitation thereof. Lola, L-O-L-A, Lola offers her magic for less than two thousand dollars.

And I too remember when Reiki initiations were upwards of $20,000 in the US. I can't imagine anyone actually paying that, but apparently some folks did.

Sunday, November 25, 2007 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for the insights, Holly. I remember reading about William putting his pic on a billboard; apparently he was claiming people would receive deeksha just by looking at his image while driving by. That's the kind of thing that, when I read about it, I always think, "This HAS to be a joke." But judging from the other stuff I've read and heard about Crazy Bill, he was serious.

So anyway, Holly... I take it you're not going to make the trip back to the Austin area in December to attend the big Xmas party Lola and her partner are hosting, in conjunction with their good pal Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale?

Sunday, November 25, 2007 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Sashen said...

I'm guessing that anyone who has ill effects from receiving Deeksha is highly allergic to other placebos.

To quote myself, which I usually avoid, but in this case it's too good a line not to:

I received Deeksha. The "giver" put her hands on my head and, I swear, it actually felt like someone was touching my head with their hands!

Monday, November 26, 2007 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Wow, Steven. Just wow. Did it, like, change your life forever?

I suspect the ill effects people have had were from the entire 21-day "process" (not just the laying on of hands or whatever), especially back in the day when they were passing out the Kool-Aid...I mean the hallucinogenic drugs.

Monday, November 26, 2007 4:45:00 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Wow, you mean there's a party with Lola and big Joe and I wasn't even invited? Darn!
Lola and Michael did a big story on Joe in Austin All-Natural, so I knew they were bosom (so to speak) buddies. Never had the privilege of meeting Joe.
Austin has quite the competing deeksha givers. A big group of them like to get together and really have quite the hootenanny laying on ze hands. But I've been gone from Austin since June (relocated 700 miles north) so I don't know what's happening there now. I kinda miss all the deeksha-secret-law of attraction people I used to interact on a daily basis. I just felt sorry for the people who bought in to all that hoping that the next big fix of whatever would finally give them the relief they needed from the pain they had in life.

Monday, November 26, 2007 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

So, it appears that Steven Sashan experienced The Nothing effect? :-)


Here, again, we see the commercialization and degradation of something that may actually be helpful -- in the right hands, so to speak.

It seems that something interesting may be going on, but I have a huge distrust about this kind of stuff. I always try to find any scientific explanations.

I haven't experienced a deeksha (have no desire to), but I have experienced a blast of negative energy from a well-known M.D. who uses "energy" in their practice. I was sitting in an audience about 10 feet from this person. The "blast" was completely unexpected and very disconcerting. I had to leave the room. I wasn't the only one who experienced it.

I'm still trying to figure it out!

Monday, November 26, 2007 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Of course you're invited to the party, Holly; everyone is. Check out my link on this post, or Joe V's November 25 post on his blog.

I saw from your blog profile that you're now in the Springfield, MO. area. It's beautiful up there. But I can see why you'd miss Austin, quirks and all.

And I agree with you that some of the people who get into LOA, etc., have really sad lives, and they're just looking for the next "fix."

At any rate, I don't think my partner Ron and I will be going to Lola and gang's big party either. I think we'd probably not be too terribly welcome at this point... ;-)

PS ~ You are aware, are you not, that Joe Vitale is the self-styled "Buddha of the Internet"? That's one thing that Ron, as a Buddhist, finds particularly offensive...

Monday, November 26, 2007 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Yes, Lana... I think that's it. TNE. The Nothing Effect. Sounds like a good idea for a DVD, a book or two, and a few thousand-dollar miracle-free weekend workshops!

And I too think something interesting may be going on with SOME of these deeksha folks... but as you said, it gets commercialized and degraded nearly to the point of meaninglessness.

Oh, well, as I always say... it gives me something to blog about!

Monday, November 26, 2007 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

I'm always happy to give you ideas for a lucrative venture. Still waiting for my WWCD T-shirt...

Monday, November 26, 2007 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I just got a big shipment of the T-shirts in from China, but found they were contaminated with lead. So it's back to square one. :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007 1:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Okay, I'll hold out for organic cotton.

Monday, November 26, 2007 1:35:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Perhaps you'd like it to be infused with special energies, too? Of course, that will cost extra.

Monday, November 26, 2007 2:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...


What do you claim these special energies will do? I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday, you know.

Monday, November 26, 2007 4:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana, everyone experiences the special energies differently. But results are guaranteed: you can be sure you will experience something, or perhaps nothing, either immediately or at some time in the foreseeable or unforeseeable future.

I hope that clears things up, or that at the very least it raises more questions, which is (and/or in some cases is not) always or never a good or a bad thing. It's all in how you look at it, or don't look at it.

Disclaimer: The special energies, if any, are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any dis-ease, ailment, illness, condition, syndrome, or personal defect. If you suspect there is something wrong with you, please insult a qualified or unqualified practitioner.

Monday, November 26, 2007 4:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

I'm sold!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

All right then, your T-shirts either will or will not be on their way to you or to someone else soon, if not sooner.

Monday, November 26, 2007 5:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

You've certainly learned from the masters!

Monday, November 26, 2007 5:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana, thank you. I can think of no higher or lower compliment or insult.

Now if only I were as rich as "the masters" (and still had my integrity)...

Monday, November 26, 2007 6:00:00 PM  
Blogger Citizen Deux said...

The Deeksha hoax is even being perpetrated by the, usually, rational, Swedes. There is a woman by the name of Anette Carlstrom (website) who went to Oneness U and now chants and provides Deeksha via teleconference. To be fair, she has a pleasant voice and her chanting is listenable (although not as good as Mantra Girl's)

She even toured the US! Although she didn't visit the Unity Church, she elected for the religious science site.

I certainly don't begrudge anyone a harmless belief or faith, what bothers me is the root of most of these absurd claims - and that root is a lust for cash. Furthermore, the undermining of any critical thinking and abrogation of personal responsibility which follows these types often leads to things which are not good.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 7:48:00 AM  
Blogger gregory said...

shakti is real, shaktipat is real... make of it what you will

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 7:57:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

CD, I don't begrudge people their spiritual experiences, real or imagined. Just because it's not something I've experienced (or even wish to experience), doesn't mean I think it has no value. But I'm with you on this one: it's the flagrant money lust that gets to me. And even if it weren't for that, the very idea that Kalki and Amma are two beings worthy of undying worship and adoration is...well...icky.

I know some would say we are all divine and worthy of worship and adoration. Being a narcissist, I'll buy that, especially if you're talking about me. But Kalki and Amma...well, you know. It's a different kind of worship and adoration -- the kind that, as you say, undermines critical thinking and responsibility. And I think it's pretty disgusting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 9:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Gregory, shakti and shaktipat may very well be real -- in other words, there may very well be *something* going on for some people who experience it. I have no doubt that for some it's a placebo effect of sorts, but hey, I'm not an expert in neurobiology or spirituality, so I'll leave that one alone. (I'm calling upon the more balanced and less cynical view of tireless researcher Dr. Lana de Banana... Dr. de Banana, are you listening? :-))

Even so, Gregory, would you buy a shaktipat from someone like Steven Sadleir? Or any number of other scam gurus who are running around? *That* was more my point.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 9:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Dr. de La Banana here. Life is a mystery. All is a mystery. Consciousness is a mystery. God/All That Is/Ground of Being/Source is a mystery.

Anyone who claims to absolutely know the truth of any mystery is cuckoo bananas. Nutso. Hanging out on a limb.

That's the truth, and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Dr. de Banana. I knew you'd come through for me. :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger gregory said...

an article on consciousness from the new york times... Mind of a Rock

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for the link, Gregory!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Citizen Deux said...

I encourage folks to do a little reading on dissociative behavior, specifically a book called Corruption of Reality. It's a fascinating examination of humanity's ability to fool our conscious selves!

PS - Gregory, belief can make some things appear real to the individual - it's what you do with that that matters.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:17:00 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

What you said about the blatant money lust is dead on. I've been a Buddhist for a few years now, and I like how some monasteries give away Dharma books for free, and post the teachings of their lamas, ajahns, etc. on the web free of charge. Of course, there are some groups that have bought in to the whole money-grubbing trip--after all, that's the American way! I remember reading that the people who brought Reiki to the west claimed that no one would treat them with respect if they didn't charge for the practice. Oh well. Maybe I'm just an idealist, but I figure if you have to pay for teachings (giving a donation on your own initiative is another matter entirely) then there's something screwy somewhere.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Good points, CD. We humans do have an endless capacity for fooling ourselves.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Yes, Holly, and it's almost a rule of thumb in the New-Wage world that the more they charge, the more full of crap they are!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:38:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Holly -
Couldn't agree more. IMHO, those who truly follow Siddhartha's or Jesus' teachings charge the same fees that those original teachers charged. The true teachers were provided with everything they *needed*, while the self-proclaimed "gurus" seem to feel they are entitled to everything they might want... all in keeping with their highest spiritual good, of course.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"...while the self-proclaimed 'gurus' seem to feel they are entitled to everything they might want... all in keeping with their highest spiritual good, of course."

...which, it goes without saying, is why The Buddha of the Internet needs all of those luxury cars and watches and stuff. Of course the whole point of showcasing the wealth is to convince followers that they too can have the same kind of stuff, if they'll just fork over some bucks to learn how.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:47:00 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

I remember, when I was a kid back in the late 60's and was beginning to have a hunger for something "more". The only way I could begin my search in those days was watching televangelists like Oral Roberts and Billy Graham. The one thing I have to say about Billy Graham is that, even though I in no way agree with his theology, at least he gave away the books that he featured at his crusades without charge. Oral Roberts was the true father of the New-Wage movement, fundamentalist Christian though he was, because he was the first to tie in the idea of giving money to him, and receiving abundance from God in return. He called it "seed-faith" I believe.
Ron, I agree with your comments about Jesus and Siddhartha. The relationship between the early monks and the lay followers of the Buddha was one of mutual support, the monks giving the teachings and being examples of awakened behavior, and the lay people supplying them with the bare necessities of life--food, shelter, clothing and medicine. A whole lot different than what the modern-day gurus expect from their followers!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 4:38:00 PM  
Blogger gregory said...

the top half of this comment thread reminds me of a junior high school in-group mocking some fat kid with bad hair...

there are real issues here, beyond shallow right and wrong, cool and uncool...

IF there is such a thing as a spiritual dimension to life, or IF there are areas of mind, of being, that are outside of present awareness, how do you get in touch with that?

I think snarkiness misses a (several) point(s) .... there is a deep sincerity in seekers and teachers that is far beyond what the observers who mock can understand, much like that fat kid grows up and starts a company that you will want to work at someday, when you mature...

this sincerity is based on something real, built in to the human quest, it is in someways the ROOT of all human aspiration, and if you agree with that, there are so many other ways to interpret your observations...

this is a link that is just an example of how even memory isn't necessarily real, or how preexisting memory can be changed.... photos alter reality .... and the point i again seem to wish to make is that there are deeper things to write about here than just "i'm so cool and you're not" gossip about gurus and te4achers...

what really is going on with kalki? do you think that masses that go to him are dumb? ok, maybe, but what is the attraction, why does it exist (his followers come from every many countries, not just the us of a)....

there are some extremely interesting implications for so many of the blogposts you present on this, your hobby site... things that point to some essential elements of being alive... and i challenge you to go deeper, you are such a good writer, there is something more that can come through your typing fingers....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Gregory, as always, I appreciate your comments and feedback. As I've noted before, though, there are many blogs and other media that explore the "deeper issues" -- e.g., the hunger that drives people to the Kalkis and the Maharishis and, for that matter, the Steven Sadleirs or the Buddhas of the Internet. I recognize that this hunger exists. I am not making fun of the longing for "something more," though I do poke at the ways in which people try (often in vain) to satisfy the longing. And I most certainly poke at those who cynically exploit and manipulate seekers.

Are the followers of Kalki dumb? Some are, no doubt. Many are very intelligent, and educated as well. The Unity minister I mentioned in my post -- the one who went to India for the 21-day "process" -- is anything but dumb. A former plumber, he now heads one of the largest and most affluent Unity Churches in the US. The Kalki kick is just the latest in countless New-Wage trends offered to that congregation (as well as numerous other Unity congregations): they're still big into "The Secret," and these days they're on a "Complaint-Free World" kick as well. Purple bracelets, anyone?

All of which, it could be argued, are ways of feeding the hunger you speak of.

I recognize that this blog in a way fosters the "I'm cool and you're not" mentality, even as so many of those blogs and such on the "other side" foster an "I'm spiritual and you're not" mindset. But recognize that when I am making fun of that metaphorical "fat kid" I am making fun of ME -- or, more accurately, many of the things that I used to embrace to a greater or lesser degree. In many ways I've "been there, done that." Even so, I recognize that life is often a circle, or series of circles, rather than a straight line. It's just that right here, right now, I'm on a snarky loop. Take from it what you will.

Nevertheless I appreciate your encouragement.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 3:53:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

I know you quite well, Connie, and know for a fact that you've never made fun of the "fat kids." Sure, you point out some examples of ludicrous behavior, but the ones you really poke fun at are the ones who are trying so hard to look "cool," and who are, themselves, trying to market that "cool" to those who feel "fat."

So is your admitted snarkiness a put down of the "fat kids," or an attempt to expose the cynical "gurus" for the opportunists they are? I think the answer is pretty obvious to anyone besides the "gurus" and those misguided souls who so desperately rely upon them for guidance. I think that in your own sarcastic way, you are actually providing more pertinent spiritual guidance than all the Esthers, Rhondas, Jacks, Joes, and Anthonys put together. At least, at the core of your offerings is a hunger for truth, rather than material gain.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Ron. It's not that I have anything against material gain, but at least I don't put a spiritual spin on it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 9:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

I can't help but wonder why you continue to visit Connie's blog. Are you a masochist? :-) Or is it a desire to straighten the path to enlightenment? Or...?

I have an innate desire to save the world, be a White Knight. Maybe Connie does too. Maybe you do too. Maybe that's why we're all here on this blog? Same goal, different means. What do y'all think?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I don't know if I want to save the planet, Lana, but I would like to do my part to keep it entertained. :-) Thank you for your comments.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Joe108 said...

Very amusing that you cite (of all people) Guruphiliac Jody Radzik as an authority in your article.

Guruphiliac Jody Radzik is a promoter of raves and illegal psychedelic drugs, claims he is fully self-realized, has a guru himself, claims to hear the voice of a Goddess (Kali Ma) in his head, claims he is the "sex slave" to the Goddess and claims he "needs to be stoned ALL the time".

Funny how most people don't even know these facts before they cite Jody Radzik (the Guruphiliac Blog owner) as an authority in their writing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Okay, well it was worth a thought!

Funny how gregory and I want to make you into something you're not.

But I'll still hold onto my perception that you are helping to save the planet through entertainment, kinda like Swami Beyondadanda.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana, just between you and me, you're not that far off base. I think there is a part of me that *would* like to save the planet. I just don't want to ruin my image as a narcissist. :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Joe108, maybe you did not see the small footnote to my "Beast Meets West, Part 1" post the other day. If not, here 'tis:

"And for any of you Jody-detractors out there who wish to ply me with 'shocking facts' about him, save your energy. I’ve heard it all. I don’t care if he has indulged in recreational substances. So have most of the people I know. I don’t care if he is a devotee of Kali. I have a dog named Kali; whom do you think she’s named after? I don’t even care if Jody claims to be 'self-realized' when, in your opinion, he’s really not. To me the value of his blog is that he is documenting and offering opinions about the bad behavior of folks who claim to be spiritual leaders."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

I knew it! I just knew it! (said in a whisper so no one else will hear)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

It'll be our little secret. ;-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger jody said...

Just so you can hear it straight from my dog's ass, a few corrections:

Guruphiliac Jody Radzik is a promoter of raves and illegal psychedelic drugs

This is absolutely true. Myself and many other compatriots in the rave scene in the early 90s found these events to be a new flowering of spirituality in the West, one that was free of most of the ideological trappings which keep folks ignorant. Unfortunately, many got stuck in the honey pot and landed in the same New Age™ nonsense that keeps many so utterly deluded.

claims he is fully self-realized

I have made claims of experiential understanding in the past during the time I was trying to formulate my rhetoric. Along the way I've concluded that these sort of claims only further cloud the issues I seek to clarify. Additionally, Stuart Resnick has a great argument for doing away with the definition altogether, and I find myself in agreement with him.

The bottom line is this: anyone claiming to be realized is rendered non-existent by the very fact, making us all just folks with opinions, regardless of how we come to arrive at them.

has a guru himself

Actually, I have two gurus. One for initiation and one for inquiry.

I critique the concept of special human divinity, not of gurudom proper. Vedanta makes it clear: we are all equally divine. Gurus use the idea of their divinity to dupe and con, and I seek to combat these crimes. Gurus who keep themselves off the pedestal get no gruff from me.

claims to hear the voice of a Goddess (Kali Ma) in his head

This is not true at all, although I have told a story about coming to my spirituality that involved having the thought of a voice of a sort. At the time it corresponded to a radical event (a really bad mushroom trip close to 30 years ago) that put me on the road I continue to walk today. I've told the story as my introduction to a relationship with the divine, if you believe the divine to be an ass-kicking Woman who will beat you into submission.

But I don't actually believe it was the voice of anything other than my own subconscious, telling me to get ready for one hell of a ride.

claims he is the "sex slave" to the Goddess

It can be really nice in the honey pot sometimes...

However, contextualizing my relationship to the divine as one of sex slave to Mistress is only a convenient way to describe the tenor of my feelings and the tone of my surrender.

and claims he "needs to be stoned ALL the time"

I've never made any such claim, although dealing with all these bullshit gurus and their apologists makes me want to be stoned most of the time.

Funny how most people don't even know these facts before they cite Jody Radzik (the Guruphiliac Blog owner) as an authority in their writing.

I take this opposition as a sign of my efficacy. Thanks for letting me know I'm going a good job!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

There you have it, Joe 108 -- straight from Jody's dog's...

Smart dog. I envy you, Jody. I just had to run out of the room again because Rex The Farting Dog just let loose with another one.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger jody said...

Smart dog. I envy you, Jody.

Actually, he is smart, because when he lets loose with a stinky one, he knows he's done wrong. The only trouble is that he gets up to leave after he's let go.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, at least your dog leaves the room, which is a nice symbolic gesture anyway. Ron and I aren't so lucky. If any one does the room-leaving, we're the ones. You don't argue with a 135-pound Rottweiler-Doberman-Black Lab mix. And if we scold Rex for his poot, he just raises one eyebrow at us, farts again, and goes back to sleep.

He'd make a great phony guru, come to think of it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 1:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Just had a nice lunch and decided to take a quick peek here before getting back to work.

When will I learn to wait for 2 hours before jumping into the pool?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 1:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, Lana, at least you got to eat lunch in a home free of dog farts. Some of us aren't so lucky.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 2:37:00 PM  
Blogger gregory said...

lots of cool comments...

i sometimes think of the anti-TM blog, with a kind of wonder.... even in the heart of maharishi's inner sanctum, i dont' think there are more than a dozen or so people whose lives have been affected by TM as much as the poor guy running the anti-TM blog...

it is a great irony, that it doesnt matter whether we oppose or propose, we are defined by the issue at hand...

proponent and opponent are in the same boat... makes me laugh at how life works


Wednesday, November 28, 2007 3:25:00 PM  
Blogger gregory said...

hey, this is from holly's blog... it says what i am trying to say poifectly....

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.

Make the smallest distinction, however
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything.

To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood
the mind's essential (stillness) is disturbed to no avail.

so now i know what i was trying to say

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 3:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Wow... from dog farts to the Great Way... life *is* a journey, isn't it? :-)

Those are beautiful words, Gregory, and lovely thoughts as well. Thank you for sharing them here.

I am, to a certain degree, defined by my blog and by the things that I find so amusing or infuriating that I feel moved to write about them. I know I'm "more" than this blog. But -- I've said it before and will say it again -- I'm having a heck of a good time with it for now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 5:10:00 PM  
Anonymous HoHaHe said...

Kalki and Amma look like they fart a lot

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 5:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Bringing it back around to the sublime topics, eh, HHH? :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 5:57:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"I am, to a certain degree, defined by my blog and by the things that I find so amusing or infuriating that I feel moved to write about them."

No more than are those who would try to shame you into silence, even as they attempt to sound like they are "above it all." In truth, I get some of my best laughs from those who strive to out-cosmic others. At least your offerings are *intentionally* funny! :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 6:56:00 PM  
Anonymous HoHaHe said...

There was a fat guru called Amma
Who pounded a frog with a hammer
Asked 'why did you splat
That froggy like that?'
She replied, 'it just had bad karma'

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"At least your offerings are *intentionally* funny!"

Thanks, Ron. And sometimes I am unintentionally not funny... but those are the hazards of blogging, I guess. :-)

Thursday, November 29, 2007 3:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Good Goddess, HHH... from dog farts to squashed frogs -- we go from bad to verse! But that's fine; I always encourage Bad Poetry around here. :-)

Thursday, November 29, 2007 3:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Rational Thinking said...

On this idea that one's opinions (expressed on blog or not) define someone, I doubt that. Respectfully, of course. "Respectful doubt", as Richard Rose mentions, is a good way of approaching all teachings. That's an aside, by the way.

But definition, well - the only definition for anyone who is interested in truth, is self-definition. As in, Who am I? What am I? And the biggie - Am I? Concepts and opinions may define you in the eyes of others - and what's that worth?

So far as people choosing to pay large sums of money for experiences, well, if they choose to, then that's fine. Eventually they'll get that experience is just that - experience. Or they won't:-) For some people, experience is what they're wanting.

And, this being Connie's blog, she gets to select what she writes about and when. I enjoy it immensely - always something to smile about, to think about, and plenty of links to read more around a subject if I want to. Keep up the good work Connie.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 3:36:00 AM  
Blogger gregory said...

guess that solves it, he definitely stole the beige child bit....

Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:38:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Rational! If nothing else, this blog provides relief -- Cosmic Relief, perhaps -- from all of the serious stuff whirling around the blogosphere (and everywhere else).

Thursday, November 29, 2007 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Gregory, don't be so certain HHH stole the beige child bit... perhaps he was momentarily possessed by the spirit of a Bad Poet. And on this blog, that's a good thing!

Thursday, November 29, 2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Citizen Deux said...

Wow - great comment section! Thanks to all for providing some thought provoking reading - not that Connie doesn't on a regular basis.

Whoa, is that the time?

Gotta go!


Thursday, November 29, 2007 2:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, CD! I need all the help I can get here. :-)

Thursday, November 29, 2007 3:15:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

Hey Connie, just came upon this post after months of blog abstinence. In Austin, I hear that a lot of former deeksha givers aren't too excited about the Kalki anymore, but I've been out of the scene, so i don't know what his status is at the moment. yesterday I went to get an Indian scalp massage, a little xmas pres from the mom. It's called Shirodara. They pour oil on your forehead and then massage it in your scalp. The experience was much like the one deeksha givers claim to bestow, i..e. bliss, relaxation, quieting of the mind, feeling of onness. tingling sensation etc... For any one looking for a real spiritual experience, sans the crap, I would go to the local spa and do that. Unfortunately, it's $80. a pop, but lasts 45 minutes. The upshot is you don't get brain washed, only scalp washed.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Moi! It's great to see you here again. I suppose it's encouraging that disillusionment with Kalki is growing, but I'm sure there will be someone/something to take his place.

That scalp massage deal sounds really wonderful. That and a Xanax would just about make me feel normal again right now. :-)

I hope you have a great Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you aware this is of the occult? It is based on eastern philosophy and not God's word. It also focuses people on a unity with the world and not God.

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.

Isaiah 2:6 You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans.

God wants us to focus on Him-to put our faith, hope and trust in Him only. This world will cease to exist.

Sunday, October 10, 2010 4:12:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Anon Oct. 10 2010, but oh, my Goddess are you ever preaching to the wrong agnostic. My objection to the people, institutions, and ideas that I snark about is not based upon their incongruity with Judaeo-Christian values as interpreted by people who like to quote the Bible. I do believe that if there is a God, she/he/it can be found through virtually any religious or spiritual path, or through none. And "occult" is not synonymous with "evil" in my mind.

Stick around here a while and read some more posts, and you may get a better idea of what this blog is about.

Sunday, October 10, 2010 8:54:00 AM  
Blogger Steven Sadleir said...

If you want to know more about the Shaktipat come find out for yourself at www.SelfAwareness.com

Sunday, June 17, 2012 9:50:00 PM  
Blogger Steven S. Sadleir said...

There is a kundalini initiation this Saturday. Come experience it for yourself, its free. www.selfawareness.com

Thursday, May 08, 2014 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for the invites, Steven. I'll put it on my to-do list, right after experiencing the Access Consciousness "bars" and a host of other things that the peddlers of these things are constantly telling me I need to experience for myself. :-)

Friday, May 09, 2014 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Steven S. Sadleir said...

You guys can mock and criticize, and it's good to be skeptical, but your knowledge of the subject is weak. You're talking about things you clearly know little about. I know dozens of gurus and know there is lot of BS out there, but I also know that thousands of people have gained greater happiness and peace from the Oneness Movements diksha and through my shaktipat or that of many others. It does work, I've taught thousands. When you say "peddlers" of these things, what do you really know about it? Has it occurred to you that you might be wrong or not have all the facts and might actually be doing some harm? Blessings.

Monday, July 23, 2018 8:36:00 AM  

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