|Journeys: Mira B.|
|Date: May 16, 2003|
|Because I haven't found any Dutch journey stories on this website, I decided to finally share mine, even though it doesn't add any new information to the issue. My experiences are quite similar to
My journey started in 1981 in the Netherlands at the age of 16, when I fell in love with an Argentine premie (then 20yrs old), whose parents and younger sister were premies too. Though from Argentina, they had moved to Holland to seek a better life, and this included practicing knowledge and organizing small satsang gatherings at their family home with friends. In those days, satsang was still given by regular premies and not the mere priviledge of initiators or Maharaji himself. As I saw it, I had found a mate who had apparently found the true path to Enlightenment. Maharaji felt safe because it was consistently emphasized that 'this was not a cult, but the Real Thing'. And I sincerely wanted the Real Thing, because I felt it as my priviledged calling and duty in life to find the source of existence itself. After attending satsang for a couple of times in the ashram in Amsterdam, I was convinced that Maharaji was a genuinely 'enlightened master' with the ability to impart techniques that were obviously necessary to understand this Real Thing for myself. So of course, I applied for knowledge.
I was an aspirant for about 2 years. I was rejected every time an initiator visited Holland because I was a minor. Maharaji had given orders that minors were not to receive knowledge any longer. Finally, when I was 18, I was 'ready', and the 2 long years of waiting for IT, made it all the more special. My expectations were not disappointed. I went on a genuine high, a cloud 9 experience that lasted at least for a month after the knowledge session. After that month, daily life dawned on me again and it became more difficult to practice 2 hours a day. I was relieved when Maharaji reduced practicing time to 1 hour, but still felt at fault most times when I was too tired or too busy to practice. I blamed myself for not making proper progress toward understanding this Real Thing.
I experienced all the changes over the years as a welcome and necessary modernization. I believed the essence of the message didn't change (which it didn't), but that the delivery of the message needed to be adapted regularly to the requirements of modern age. I never realized Maharaji was ashamed of his past dressed up as The Lord of the Universe.
Overall I had a good time being a premie. In my early years I enjoyed hanging out with the Ashram boys, doing service there (cleaning mostly), coming to satsang a few times a week. When that circus ended I replaced it with coming to watch videos at the local gathering hall, watching videos at home, listening to tapes in my car. I craved the inspiration and the words that would reassure myself time after time that this was truly the Real Thing. I participated in organizing national and international events, even designed the first Dutch website in early 2000. The Argentine premie that I had fallen in love with was now my husband, but he had long stopped practicing. I guess he never dared comment on my commitment to my Master because he felt silly about himself once being a premie too. Of course all the time during my marriage there was this subtle spiritual arrogance from my part over him, because (in my opinion) I had understood and grown where he had failed and missed out.
When I reached my early thirties, I found myself divorced with three children, I decided that it was now high time for the Real Thing. I wanted to reach my destination, was tired of being treated as the eternal student by my Master. I wanted to KNOW, not just practice in order to know. I wanted my Master to provide this clarity, not keep me down in ignorance forever. I wanted my diploma. I wanted my payoff. This drive forced me to face my beliefs with honesty and I had to admit that practicing knowledge for 14 years had not brought me any nearer to my desired Enlightenment. I had evolved from an open aspirant Student of Life into a numbed closed adult who secretly believed she was priviledged and superior to others. I felt more and more uneasy with the relentless fundraising. I always believed that Maharaji would make the same sacrifices for his premies, as his premies made for him; so I didnt understand why he wouldn't once in a while invite everyone to a program without registration fees. I knew about his wealth and knew he could afford it if he wanted to. I still believed that he gave satsang because he cared about his students' progress and wellbeing.
Gradually this process of questioning forced me into opening myself up to other possibilities. First there was reading from other 'Masters' (Nisargadatta, Maharshi, Gangaji), accompanied by the full range of feelings of guilt and infidelity. Then there were lots of exchanges on the internet about Enlightenment, Truth, Nonduality, Satsang etc. by means of forums and e-groups. I went through an entire process of total loss of sense of self, saw everything as 'belief' or 'assumption'. Basically my world as I had always experienced it, disappeared. Call it Enlightenment? No please, thank you. I became allergic to that word and all its associations in the process.
When I found EPO in 2001 things started to fall into place. I now understood why Maharaji had never been able to deliver. His aim was never to deliver, but to keep his followers in limbo for as long as they were willing to play the gratitude (donation) game. I am not saying that other 'Masters' are different, nor will I place them in the same category as Maharaji. I simply refuse to have anything to do with Masters anymore, good or bad. Even with the best intentions, the 'Master' position is an arrogant one. The master/student system is based on arrogance and indulges in a belief about the superiority of 'those who know' over 'those who do not know'. That game has thoroughly exhausted me and I refuse to ever play it again.
Because of my own sincerity toward Maharaji and knowledge, I am still working my way through coming to terms with years of utter ignorance and blind trust. I am a very honest person by nature and find it hard to come to terms with my own stupidity. The process of extricating oneself from this kind of relationship is probably even harder and longer than a regular divorce. There is deceit, but it was basically myself cheating myself. The cult system is one of pure projection, belief and assumption. I created my own ideal world as an ideal student with an ideal Master. Now that this imaginary world has collapsed it takes time and healing to accept that there was always a real world around me in which Maharaji is what he had been all the time: a ruthless snake oil salesman taking advantage of other people's needs and beliefs.