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Posted by: Quoll ®
04/22/2003, 17:21:00


Hello All,

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I have been dropping in on several of these sites most days for a couple of months now, trying to get a handle on things, but I think this will be my last post. I guess I started here because I knew MJ was coming under attack and I wanted to help him, but there seems to be something else going on, some kind of family feud or something. Disputes between total strangers do not generally get this acrimonious. A lot of the time I have no idea what you are all talking about, as the initials and nicknames and references to illegal cyber-behaviour and acronymic, defunct websites mean nothing to me. So I have tried today to condense and paraphrase what seem to me the main arguments I have now heard against MJ and Knowledge, separate from the personal attacks. Clearly, many of the arguments go back to events of the seventies, and to some extent they are mutually exclusive. I have added my comments in italics.



Argument 1.

The Knowledge techniques that MJ teaches do not work. They are not the source of inner peace and growth that they were represented to be. They do not lead to personal realisation.



They work for me, and for a lot of other people I know. I get out what I put in (more actually), and the kicks and pitfalls that life provides encourage me to put in more. My days are hugely happier and more successful for the experience MJ has shown me. As Carlos recently said, practising when life is going smoothly seems to build up a reserve of strength and steadiness for the sudden hard times that befall everyone.



Argument 2.

The Knowledge techniques MJ teaches do work, but it isn’t necessary to have MJ teach them. You can get them out of a book or from some other teacher and do just as well.



Maybe, though I personally doubt it. I had actually read of two of the techniques before I received Knowledge, and got no benefit from them at all. Since then I have visited yoga ashrams, particularly the Satyananda Ashram, where similar techniques are taught as “Raj Yoga” and felt nothing of the encouragement and empowerment I get from MJ. I think this is because practising Knowledge is not just doing meditation. It is turning away from the outside world for nourishment, and learning to look within. It is radical, and requires encouragement from someone who has been there. Such people are not common. But like he has always said: “If you can get what you are looking for somewhere else, go for it!”



Argument 3.

MJ’s primary interest in speaking about Knowledge is to make money out of it.



I have not found this, either. It is very rare for admission to be charged for any introductory program he attends. At charged events such as Amaroo, no one is turned away who can’t pay. (As far as I know, gate contributions have never met the annual costs of upkeep of Amaroo, let alone shown a profit.) Knowledge sessions are always free. I have never been asked for money by MJ, and neither has anyone else I know. If this is a business plan, it is a most unorthodox one.



Argument 4.

When MJ first came to the West, he claimed to be more than an ordinary human being; the Lord, Shiva, God etc. People moved into the ashrams and dedicated themselves materially to him because he made these claims. Now he is claiming to be just a meditation teacher.



When MJ came to ffice:smarttags" />Europe at the age of 12 or so, he certainly spoke about Knowledge, and himself as the teacher of Knowledge, in the traditional Indian way. The Indian Mahatmas elaborated on the image, and the rest of us went along with it with enthusiasm. But I doubt that anyone ever made the choice of moving into an ashram because they heard those things. They moved in (I was one of them) because there was a feeling associated with MJ and Knowledge that was (is) highly attractive, and they wanted more of it. It is losing touch with this feeling that makes people wonder what it was all about.


For the last twenty years or so, MJ has referred to himself as a “master.” I have never heard him call himself a “meditation teacher.” As I begin to experience more of what this word means, “master” has come to signify way more to me than those hoary old religious expressions ever did.



Argument 5

Time spent in the ashrams in the 70s was wasted from a personal point of view, and enriched MJ.



The ashrams I lived in were barely self-sufficient. What little was left over after expenses was used to fly instructors around so people could receive Knowledge, and to get us to the next program. They enriched nobody. In fact, the EPO site itself claims the ashrams were closed partly because they had become a financial liability. I can certainly believe that. I disagree that the time I spent there was wasted. The foundations were laid for a strong habit of practising Knowledge daily that has stood by me ever since. Even if, for someone else, the intention is not there to practise, I can’t see that time as being wasted. I have heard someone lament that they missed a lot of good sex and partying on in the 70s. Do you not know people who did a lot of that stuff in their twenties? I do, quite a number. I do not envy them their current joie de vivre.



Argument 6

People with mental or emotional conditions that could have been easily treated by counselling went untreated in the ashram.



I recall some cases of emotional and psychological illness among ashram premies, but the medical treatment available at the time was erratic at best. Even today I have found from talking to friends who have gone the modern counselling route that after an initial period of revelation and excitement, as often as not they end up being offered Valium or Prozac. Maybe someone else has had a different experience, but that is what I have seen. No wonderful cures.



Argument 7

People could have advanced their careers and done very well for themselves financially if they had not spent those years in the ashrams.



Having received Knowledge in 1972, I was in a position to observe quite a lot of other young folk through the 1970s as they first came to what were then called Satsang programs, including several who are now prominent ex-premies. I think there may be some kind of selective remembering going on, as the shining youths so full of virtue and promise that they now recall were really very rare. What I saw at the time was a progression of haunted, depressed young people who were paying the price for enjoying way too many psychedelics. With Knowledge and a new, drug-free lifestyle, many of them began to bloom, perhaps for the first time in their lives.



Argument 8

By describing the “mind” as “evil” MJ has made people enemies of themselves, and prevented them from thinking critically and possibly challenging the contradictions in his teaching and lifestyle.



I certainly don’t feel MJ has made me an enemy of myself. Indeed I feel more in friendship with myself than I have ever felt before. He never blamed human intelligence for the current state of the human being and the world. To me, he has said all along that the mind is not essentially evil, but needs input from feelings — love, compassion, sensitivity, etc — for a balance. Power corrupts, and the mind has been corrupted by the power it has for too long been given by most of us. Practising Knowledge helps restore the balance. My experience.


MJ teaches world-wide and does not recommend any particular lifestyle. He recommends that people receive and practise Knowledge in the lifestyle that is relevant to their culture.



Argument 9

MJ created stress and compulsion in people who were thinking about leaving Knowledge by making contradictory statements such as “If you don’t like it, walk!” but then saying leaving Knowledge was like having a truckload of vegetables delivered to your house for a feast, then letting them rot.



I don’t find a contradiction. He has always said that Knowledge cannot be practised if it isn’t being enjoyed. As he said in 1971 at the age of 13, “If you don’t like it, immediately go out!” I think by “vegetables” he is referring to the particular hopes and feelings that are a part of receiving Knowledge. If they are not going to be fulfilled for any reason they will become stale and rancid. Get rid of them entirely and go on with what is important to you.



Argument 10

Premies can’t take their beliefs being challenged.



Knowledge has nothing to do with beliefs. A person practising Knowledge in Cote d’Ivoir will have totally different beliefs about life to one in Capetown, let alone somebody in tate>New Yorktate>. To me, Knowledge is synonymous with effort. The effort to make my life what it can be, to be able to treat other people with care and true humility, to rise above pettiness and fear. To move in this direction I need all the encouragement I can get. Personally, I find watching people sharpen their wits by ridiculing the techniques and attacking the person who has encouraged me most, very hurtful and distasteful.


So I am out of here, but I hope to attend the September Event at Amaroo (not confirmed yet.) Weather permitting, I shall be wearing my Quoll t-shirt. You are all invited up to my place for a BBQ after the Event (yes, even you exes posing as Interested Persons!) Steak and wine provided, BYO lentil burgers.






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