Re: Miami Event April 18-20
Re: Re: Miami Event April 18-20 -- Will Post Reply Top of thread Forum
Posted by: fluster
04/20/2003, 23:43:45


It was boring.  Each lecture opens with something that sounds scintillating, "Today I will talk about fear." or "Today we'll talk about simplicity." Yet soon enough, the talk is lapsing into incantations on driving a car in India, an eggplant growing where it could, not where it wanted, and a flight plan that leads directly into a storm. The next lecture promised to be about simplicity. Yet, soon enough, Maharaji was lapsing into "insights" on the need to put the right fluid into the right engine container.

Will, I am a bad candidate for a cult. In my natural state, my "doubt-maker" blares at full squelch. But, modesty aside, I can be a good people watcher. After the lecture, there was a large hall set up with shameless commercialism and comfortable sofas, where participants were encouraged to buy everything ranging from CD's, literature, t-shirts, and watches. Observing people in this room, it became apparent that most attendees simply wanted to have a good time.  Being a good eavesdropper, every conversation I overheard (and I made the rounds) centered on dinner plans, who is who, and have you seen....The social component displayed might just as easily been witnessed after a church function.  

As much as we are led to believe in the divinity of Maharaji, there is a kind of spiritual bankruptcy there. His lectures begin with lofty notions, but soon enough devolve into bragging about his love of flying or filling a stadium in Delhi.  If one were to dissect his lecture, the first half is mostly inane humour centering on his materialism, followed by the second half, which is an illicit advertisement for knowledge. Illicit because he cannot reveal what exactly knowledge is, but just how great it is. My contention is disbelief: If I were selling you a car, would you buy it based on a description alone? If I were hawking something important, like religion, wouldn't people want to experience it first, before making the commitment?

You asked about the Expressions events. We went to the first one. One man complained he was thrust with the responsibility to take care of his sick father. Then he blurted, "You are my father, Maharaji."  Even Maharaji felt ashamed for the man, and chastised him, repeating ad infinitum, "Your father is your father." Another woman spoke up, saying that she owns a coffee bar frequented by pilots. She has gotten them interested in knowledge by lending out materials. "So what is the next step, Maharaji?" she asked. His response to such a direct question had me fooled. He used his response to brag at length about the successful teamwork in India that led to filling the Delhi stadium, and chastised the Westerners (mostly the entire audience) for not possessing adequate teamwork skills. I'm sure the Miami event organizers felt insulted after hearing that! I mean, if anything, the event seemed well-organized.

Attending this event leads me to believe that followers have little regard for M's message.  They're not listening. By and large, attendees seemed to succumb to a kind of rapture.  In eavesdropping, it surprised me to learn how little critical analysis of M's message actually occurs.  Most people seem more interested in not analyzing, but absorbing M's message, media, t-shirts, and coffee cups. As if to say, "So we took in Maharaji. We secured it with some souvenirs. Now, where shall we go for dinner?"

Modified by fluster at Sun, Apr 20, 2003, 23:58:18

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