The Indian Background Index

Daniel Shaw's Website - A resident of Rockland County, New York, maintains a private practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in New York City.

How Meditation Works - by Shinzen Young. An introductory overview of techniques for mental development within the Buddhist traditions of Theravada, Tantra and Zen and including reference to Christian contemplative practice.

"Glorifying the guru is another aberration, in my opinion. True, one needs guidance and encouragement, but people who are searching for the perfect guru often fail to make solid progress. The Buddha Sakyamuni urged self-reliance and downplayed the role of authority in spiritual life."

On the Psychology of Spiritual Movements - A Dutch Website with lots of pertinent stuff.

Here is an excerpt:

"2. Leader/founder/guru
He/she represents an archetype in members' subconscious minds. That of a wise father, or mother. As such he/she will have a compelling influence on followers who project their father/mother complex on him/her.

Jeffrey Masson (see below) has this to say about gurus:
Every guru claims to know something you cannot know by yourself or through ordinary channels. All gurus promise access to a hidden reality if only you will follow their teaching, accept their authority, hand your life over to them. Certain questions are off limits. There are things you cannot know about the guru and the guru's personal life. Every doubt about the guru is a reflection of your own unworthiness, or the influence of an external evil force. The more obscure the action of the guru, the more likely it is to be right, to be cherished. Ultimately you cannot admire the guru, you must worship him. You must obey him, you must humble yourself, for the greater he is, the less you are - until you reach the inner circle and can start abusing other people the way your guru abused you. All this is in the very nature of being a guru. "

The International Erich Fromm Society - Mysticism and Religion and Psychology.

"The International Erich Fromm Society advances INTERNATIONAL scholarly RESEARCH into Erich Fromm's thought in the fields of social sciences, psychoanalysis, philosophy and religion including the relevance it may have to other scholarly disciplines or to issues concerning its economic, social, political, intellectual, and cultural interpretation or application..."

The Skeptic's Dictionary - A Guide for the New Millennium.

Well over 338 skeptical definitions and essays on occult, paranormal, supernatural and pseudoscientific ideas and practices with references to the best skeptical literature, from abracadabra to zombis.

The British Columbia Skeptics Society

The International Skeptics Organization (CSICOP)

Excerpts from Kramer and Alstad's The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power:

Oneness, Enlightenment and the Mystical Experience
Epilogue: Where Do We Go From Here?

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