Journeys: Richard Wallace

Date: March 17, 1997

Hello All,

I looked at this web page. Nice ! I hope it takes off.

I've gone round and round about the validity of meditation and the experiences we used to have. I eventually settled on being basically a materialist, for now at least. I'm going on the assumption that we can account for the experience of being conscious purely by the activity of the brain.

I don't think anyone can prove one way or another whether or not we have a soul, but looks to me like the idea of a soul is the continuation of the practice of assigning the unknown to the miraculous. Pretty radical departure from the old premie days, huh? I didn't devolve to this state right away after leaving DLM, it happened gradually over 10 - 15 years.

In the mid-eighties, I got into meditation (the breath) more intensely than I ever had as a premie. I did one of those breath-work things called holotropic therapy (like rebirthing). I had an amazing experience. For about two weeks after that, I was feeling meditation all day long. It was like being on automatic meditation. I don't know what that was all about, but it inspired me to meditate for hours every day for the next four years.

Got into reading Zen again. Then, I went through two very intense depressions with only about a year breather in between. After the second one began (both triggered by failed relationships) I was completely demoralized. It sort of became apparent that whatever I was doing wasn't enough. Something was out of whack.

I now believe I was vulnerable to depression because I'd never really developed a strong sense of self. I don't think the guru thing helped in that department. I think many times people who get into groups like that end up losing themselves. They don't want to take responsibility for their lives. I think I was in that category, although you never would've got me to admit it back then.

As far as Maharaji's innocence in this whole affair, I'm not so sure. My brother gave me a tape recording of a Bob Mishler radio interview (KOA here in Denver) years ago. I never really paid that much attention to it until a year or two ago. When I did sit down and listen to what he had to say, I was amazed.

Maharaji, according to Bob, Maharaji consciously misled the premies in order to maintain control. I think that really sucks. He knew he wasn't divine. He cried on Mishler's shoulder and drank heavily trying to escape from the stress he was experiencing by being dishonest.

[Editor's Note: Reference is to Bob Mishler's interview.]

I think discussion amongst ex-premies can be a very healing process. I gradually got over my last depression some time ago. But I think this sort of discussion is helping me define who I am and to get a better perspective on what happened with the guru.

Love to hear more.

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