|Date: September 19, 2006|
|Around 1977, at the age of 23, I became an aspirant, assuming that knowledge is the solution to all my problems: At that age I had already several unsatisfactory relationship with men, I left my studies at university in the middle the first year, I broke up with my boyfriend, I went alone to movies, studied German and had a job as telephone operator, short hours and nice payment, but a job much below my intellectual ability. Before I had noticed I was drifting away. Few years before, during my military service I became very interested in Anthroposophy of Rodolff Steiner, even tried to meditate according to his books, but it was too vague, I read a few of his books and even joined a group that studied his writings but not his meditation.
One day I revisited that Satsang thing and there was it, I was drawn into it and thought, well this is like the Anthroposophy but with a living teacher and living disciples. I was a very a zealous aspirant, came to satsang everyday, and started going through changes in my life and personlity. I became very happy, spontaneous and self confident, traits which I lacked before and were very self conscious about it. I remember listening to liturgical music, also to DLM cassettes and getting intoxicated, god was here. It was a process that happened while I was listening to satsang every night. I gave up all the challenges in my life, studies, relationship, experience in life. I had plans to go to London by myself for the first time, and I gave it up, I left my course of German studies (which I liked very much). I also stopped seeing my friends and was interested only in one thing: knowledge.
I had high expectations from knowledge, it was the year of 1978, I think, and the ashram and devotion was the thing then. All premies seemed to me loving and sincere, and I believed that I found my true way in life. Even the devotional aspect did not disturb me, maybe only at the beginning. I believed in m though it was a bit hard to grasp that he was the Lord of the Universe as they kept repeating, but I believed it. I used to translate when an initiator came, I had some friends, aspirant like me. As an aspirant I participated in two festivals one was Wembley London, the other was holi in Malaga. In London I saw m on the stage, a very far away and small figure, but was very impressed by all the premies from all over the world, all smiling and nice to each other, I thought that so many people could not be wrong. I also became friendly with a couple from London, slept at their house. Most of the time, as an aspirant, I felt very high, and I expected to feel even better with knowledge. At the beginning I misinterpreted the message of love and tried to help some derelict, I even brought him to satsang, but he was too much for me to handle and I remember the feeling of failure, then I realized that it was not what they meant by love. The fact that I felt this change in my personality and that I became the person whom I always wanted to be was a proof that this was a true way.
After a year or so I received knowledge and my bad trip started. I was sitting there in the dark, full of expectations to feel the holy name and get united with God or m or my true self, all that jargon that I've heard in satsang. Nothing happened, just me and my breath. Light - I did not see a glimpse. I might have heard the music, I'm not sure. It is hard to analyze why I reacted so badly, I felt rejected or that something was wrong with me, I could not imagine that half of the premies had the same experience - none. In the back of my mind were all these stories about meditation and knowledge, all the satsangs. I started crying, and could not stop for quite sometime. I don't remember if anyone tried to reassure me or understand what was happening to me. I was devastated, while supposed to be the happiest person because I got knowledge, this duality went on all my years as a premie. From that point on, I went through an extreme change in mood and personality, but this time for the worse. It was like waking up from a sublime dream. At that time exactly I left my job as a telephone operator because I looked for a job that I could go to festivals every few months and I've already gone twice, I did not know if they would have tolerated this. I also felt a surge of energy in me as an aspirant and felt that I ought to work longer hours per day. I found another job, and for me a new place was always intimidating (new people, things that I did not know). This situation of the new job happening right at the time of the disappointment of knowledge and the "fall", brought me back to my old insecure self and I realized that all the change in me did not hold, inside was the old me. I left this job as well after few days and ran to hide in my parents house, where I lived at the time. I did not come to satsang any more and did not practice meditation, perhaps I tried, I don't remember. Coming back to my old self was impossible, I gave it up through listening to satsang, I no longer had my defenses, my world, my friends, and I felt as if falling into dark abyss. I remember staying at home, in a deep depression, not doing anything, not knowing what to do, where to go emotionally and practically. I felt for the first time in my life that something really bad happened, because my life was quite safe till then, except my insecurity, that most of the time wasn't noticed by others. On top of the psychological trauma the brainwashing about the world "out there" was reverbrating inside me, and I don't have to tell you what m said about that world. The world as described in satsang was a bad place, meaningless, crazy and unsafe, I could not go back to it.
After few days or weeks or so, a premie friend who liked me very much and was one of the strong premies in the community came to my parents house and I told her that I felt very bad, like I'm going out of my mind. She suggested that I move with her to a house and live there as a premie. I don't think she understood my mental state, and of course, for her, the ultimate solution to every problem was knowledge. She had a strong personality and I relied on her, got my support from her. We worked together in cleaning house, which was quite degrading and physically exhausting. I felt terrible, looked terrible, ragged and neglected. I detested this work, and felt miserable I was all the time on the run, trying my best to finish the cleaning in the frame of hours that were given to me. M said that the external situation did not matter because we had knowledge but knowledge did not have the strength to get me out of my depression. From time to time, very rarely I felt an inner experience of love and happiness which came and went without control. These were the only times when I felt as a premie and loved m. It was like drug lifting me up above my problems, after a day of bliss I would fall back into depression.
I did not enjoy the premies company as I did before, I also realized that they presented to aspirants an improved verstion of thruth. Premies used to go to the satsang stage and say that they did not experience meditation, and that all they wanted was to be with m physically, that this is the ultimate and nothing else mattered, it sounded more like a one-sided love affair. For me this did not make sense, I thought knowledge was supposed to be the inner connection, the inner experience. But they were so dependent on this physical presence of m. But what chance did they have to be at his presence, except few moments in darshan. The devoted ones looked patronizingly at the less devoted, the premie society was divided into small groups and sections and love did not reside there. The only glue was m, and satsang.
After few months my friend decided that she wanted to devote herself completely and suggested that we move to the ashram. I followed her reluctently. In the ashram things deteriorated. There was a huge contradiction between how I felt and the purpose of the ashram - devotion and love for m. I had growing doubts, why this knowledge does not help me, why all the things that we tell aspirants about this wonderful inner world, the meaning of our lives are not working for me. And then I was told that devotion was the solution, only to devote myself and not expect anything in return. But devotion did not solve my mental state. All the time I was cleaning houses, sometimes two house per day.
The festivals became an ordeal for me, at many of them I felt out of place. I was in Geneva, Rome, Wembley, and in Kissimmee Orlando, in this muddy festival, I stayed in the tent most of time and reluctantly went to darshan, were I got from m the look of "you poor girl". At festivals I used to do service in child-care and that brought me some joy.
There was a very painful aspect which many ex-premies mentioned: family connections. My parents were worried sick about me, but did know what to do. I used to come to them after work at least once a week and just slept there till the next morning to escape from from premies and satsang. When I talked about knowledge to new people I deceived myself and them, how could I talk of happiness when it did not materialize in my life. I'm sure that they did not believe me.
In 1980 after one more year or so in the ashram I began to feel worse. One day I came back from work and began to scream. (very unlike a reserved person as me). Premies looked at me with pity, and the coordinator spoke with me but did not offer much sympathy or understanding. Another premie was wonderful and supporting, he listen to me in empathy but did not offer any practical solution. After a while an initiator came and I asked for an interview. I told him about my situation and he said: leave the ashram. At that time leaving the ashram considered a betrayal. At the first moment I was glad. The day after I took my suitcase and left, back to my parent's house.
The brainwashing was very strong, therefore I did not believe in anything of this world. For sure I needed a psychologist, and even more than that, antidepressants, but I did not want any help from a psychologist because I did not believe in them. My parents went to a trip in USA for one month, their first trip abroad together, and I stayed home. I remember sleeping for days and days, without going out of the house. I only went out to study a short course where they offered to teach me to instruct this course to others but I did no take the offer because I was afraid to be with people. I refused any chance to meet the world. After a year like that I decided that there was no way out and tried to kill myself. This was the turning point because I suffered physically and this was the first time that I stopped thinking in terms of knowledge and m, in terms of the cult. All these pack of lies faded away, I also had some talks with the psychologist of the hospital.
From that time on I have made a very slow recovery, I was still very unconfident and a bit depressed but I started working, having some friends again, I was not happy, but I could live and face reality, I had some relationship with men, during these years I took antidepressants for a while which helped a lot. Later I got back to studying at university, which was very satisfactory and enriching. in 1987 I met my husband to be, got married and I have one child, who is a joy to have and m is just a fading nightmare, he is a non-reality. I think that the more he talked about love - he drove us to hate, the more he talked about inner piece, he generated war within us. Perhaps the meditation had something genuine, but it was not worth giving our whole life for it. M did not deliver. I read in other journeys how he abused premies, and how he could not even listen to their questions. How dare he? Dear people who gave him their whole lives.
Writing all this has a cathartic quality. Finding ex-premie.org and reading your experiences helped me integrate all this into my life, I gained a lot of insight to what had happened, I also got a perspective, and I realized that so many others gave so many years of their lives and eventually had the courage to admit their mistake, or that they want out. You need a lot of courage and honesty to do that. Facing life, Facing challenges, everyday, gaining experiences through mistakes, through pain even, the good and the bad, all this is life… and so much more. Spiritual quest cannot replace a true development of the self, of personal identity, skills, and social life all of which m robbed us. Neither is it the solution to problems in all these aspects of life. During this process of giving ourselves to m we lost first of all our power of reason, our logic, we stopped using it even when things did not make sense. Satsang is a very cunning device which keeps the premie always under brainwashing and blocks his independent thinking.
I remember that in satsangs for aspirant they used to say: our mind is full of dirt, therefore we need a brainwashing. This is an example of the way m and premies dealt with these accusations, half admitting them. Being an aspirant I recall now that I invited my parents and also my ex-boyfriend to listen to satsang and was sure that they will be convinced and will see the truth in it as I did. To my surprise not even one of them bought this. I felt so sorry for them. When you want to believe something very badly - no one can help it, you shut you eyes to the truth.
"Our little holes, our little capsules: We've got to leave them behind. We've got to say, we've get to convince, got to see, open our eyes! Look around. Feel. And know that the raft is no good anymore. The things that we have held onto for such a long time are giving up…"
This is a quotation from m speech in London march 1987, yes m, we've got to see that your raft is no good anymore, never was.
Thank you for reading my story.