How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

for ex-BKs to discuss matters related to experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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ex-l

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How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post16 Feb 2009

From another topic ...
terry wrote:There' s lots of numerological meaning that can be invested into Gyan too (Which is what I did when I took the 7 day course way back when. In one lesson I was being told of The Ladder and the 84 births, and the number of lives in each age etc. This was after other lessons on The Cycle and the Kalpa tree, and I just had to ask the woman giving me the lesson "why these definite and particular numbers kept coming up?". She could not answer, so I, the student, proceeded to explain them to her in terms of numerology! - I have always had a didactic streak, Moon and Uranus in Sagittarius) You can look up the numerology behind the numbers of 8, 108 etc.

One of the interesting things you documented here, terry, is how you convinced yourself about the importance of "The Knowledge" by your own ideas on numerology. Ideas the teacher had no knowledge of at all.

The question "how did I ever get involved ... how did I ever believe all this stuff?" often comes up with ex-BKs. A certain stage in becoming ex-BK is a bit like sobering up after a large alcoholic binge with a hangover and asking oneself how on earth one could have done all those things ... like writing to the Pope about Destruction (on the forum we have one such letter of an otherwise entirely intelligent individuals (trained lawyer) "giving a vision" to the President of the United States).

I think Terry provide us with one insight into this. Essentially, we as humans are prone to fooling ourselves into believing in things ... I supoose to fit into a group that wants us ... and Brahma-kumarism is full of these symbolic archetypes. Like the stor of The Emperor's Clothes, we fool ourselves especially when we want to appear superior.

Perhaps, one could argue, Brahma-kumarism is even designed to be that way with all the Krishnas, Vishnus, Mothers, Fathers, angels, numbers, elements, end of the worlds ... key motifs from most of the world's religions. If anything is going to set off anyone's bells, it is in there somewhere. We are encouraged to believe, at first by "suspending disblief" by people that, in truth, are not that educated or deep, merely single mind in their intent.

But to this, one might also ask, who put them there and how knowingly so?

I would guess that the majority of BK followers became hooked when they were, in fact, pretty naive or "seeking" about these things. We expected to hear about them and when we did it was a magical confirmation.

To put it bluntly, where x percent of people on earth are naive, gullable and easily manipulated, y percent become skilled in this. Of course, having spiritualist leanings, I even suggest that part of y-factor are not just humans but also disincarnate spirits. Just as the Murli tells they are.

What sense do we make of the "divine visions", meaning actual trance or psychic visions and experience that BKs have generally at the state of their commitment (they tend to dry up and never return). "Baba holds the key to divine visions", the BKs say. So are these divine vision "given" to us, e.g. not of us but projected into our consciousness? Why does a white Christian BK stundent have a vision of Hanuman, for example? Are those visions 'out there', as in our psychic vision is opened and we see what is, or 'in here', as in simple chemistry firing off in the brain. Either way, how do they happen?

We start following BK-ism disbelieving ... often hugely disbelieving ... The 5,000 Year Cycle ... God's coming on earth ... all other religions being partial memorials of BK-ism. In truth, we may never actually believe half this stuff but supress that disbelief. None of it is "provable". But, yet, we allow ourselves to become sucked right into the machine, on the conveyopr belt, processed and packaged as a Brahma-Kumari follower, sometimes enduring terrible and embarrassing things all whilst paying for the privilege of being done to.

    How does this happen?
Hypnotism has been one accusation made from the beginning. Mysticism, spiritualism, the effect of disincarnate spirits is another. The Stockhold Syndrome is used by psychologists. Collective consciousness or egregores ... can social pressures, or the wit of Dadi Janki alone, be enough to explain it all? Who is pulling the strings? What are the mechanics?

Now we know that some of it is undeniably false ... the historical and philosophical revision, the Murli re-writing (more of it than we actually know about) ... and that many of the Brahma Kumaris leaders neither have great knowledge, intelligence or even integrity, how can that which is not true create true experiences?
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frisbee

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post16 Feb 2009

ex-l wrote:how can that which is not true create true experiences?

Beauty (=truth) is in the eye of the beholder?

bkti-pit

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post16 Feb 2009

ex-l wrote:How can that which is not true create true experiences?

Very interesting question that I have already asked myself but do not have an answer.

It is now obvious to me that Brahma Kumarism can not be called the Truth but I can not deny the experiences and benefit I acquired through it. Obviously, to some extent it all comes from within me because others have gone through the same machine without the same experiences or benefits, although I honestly do not think I would have gotten the same without it. And the same applies to people of all different paths, faiths and beliefs.

Also, I can not deny that these experiences are true in the sense that they have actually been experienced, but are they really what I think they are? I mean are what I thought to be experiences of God's love truly so? Experiences of love they were and it did not feel like it was coming from me, nor did it feel like it was simply like a cloud of impersonal love, like a "something". It was distinctly coming from a "someone". And all through my BK life, whenever confronted to the not so nice side of the BK world, what kept me safe from it was my connection to this "someone", the sense of Truth that was emanating from him/her. Is this "someone" really God as I thought? Is it the same one who has been speaking the Murlis, teaching the Brahma Kumaris and who is ultimately responsible for all the harm caused by his "instruments"? I have not quite sorted out that bit yet!
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paulkershaw

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post16 Feb 2009

It is now obvious to me that Brahma Kumarism can not be called the Truth but I can not deny the experiences and benefit I acquired through it.

I'd say that this is also a comment worth re-reading especially considering its been posted by a forum member who is a follower of the BKWSU ... us ex-BK's should check and see if we appreciate what was learnt whilst following the BKWSU path and lifestyle and not write that all off as useless and wrong.

And, on one hand, one should congratulate oneself for the time that we spend there. It shows that one has innate qualities of strength, openness and considering that we left, honesty too.

bkti-pit

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post16 Feb 2009

paulkershaw wrote:One should congratulate one-self for the time that we spend there. It shows that one has innate qualities of strength, open-ness and considering that we left, honesty too.

In my opinion, a lot of the committed BKs who have left were amongst the best of the BKs that I have known and this Forum is a good place to meet some of them.

Terry

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post16 Feb 2009

frisbee wrote:Beauty (=truth) is in the eye of the beholder?

Although I am repeating myself from the other topic, I am conscious of new readers, so I'll say it again here, "Truth" is what serves the ego at that time. And because it served us (past tense) we are loathe to let go. Ego, almost by definition, doesn't like to change, It hangs on till it hurts (not talking about arrogance or "ahanka", ego is the construct that emerges as soon as we awake. Without it we cannot function).
bkti-pit wrote:Experiences of love they were and it did not feel like it was coming from me, nor did it feel like it was simply like a cloud of impersonal love, like a "something". It was distinctly coming from a "someone".

Anything that comes from outside the normal conscious ego state is felt as if it comes from an "other". In meditation, it is either coming from outside ourselves (the other person's vibes etc) or from within. If you are alone and feel it, it is from within. A deeper part of the self.

I remind you of the meditation method taught. Firstly you affirm the qualities as your own, I am a peaceful soul etc ... then as your mind stills, you "open" it to the "source" of peace. We experience a flood of peace, or whatever. It feels from beyond our consciousness. It is.

Like in a vivid dream, someone is giving you something. You look at them and are overjoyed. It feels real at the time. But there is no other "person" there. It is a manifestation of another part of the self. At the time, it was really experienced as a separate person. The "you" in the dream is you, the conscious bkti-pit person. The other "person" is an aspect of you not yet manifest consciously. So we "cast" someone into that role. A dream analyst would look to see who the other person is, and what the gift is - it would signify something that was unrealised before, but is now emerging into consciousness.

Meditation is one of a number of techniques that allows the conscious mind to open to the unconscious. Art, or certain rituals, drugs etc whichever technique is consciously applied will partly determine what parts of the unconscious is accessed, but if the psyche is not "healthy" it may open up to other areas. Dreams are a natural way, the unconscious emerges rather than being "penetrated', there is no conscious pre-determination or bias.

The meditation experience IS real. We mostly come to Raja Yoga with little other knowledge, so when we have this experience, we associate it with the rest of the package, thinking it is inseparable. If you can untether the experience from the beliefs, it is accessible to any one at anytime, without pre-conditions (you don't even need to believe in a "soul"!). I hope that makes sense in light of the topic.
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ex-l

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post17 Feb 2009

If you are still having the same experiences after "leaving Gyan" ... and even after consciously renouncing the idea of a individual soul, as have been led to believe you are going to tell us ... then you are still doing the same practise, under the same influences or having Yoga with the same entity. Its quite simple.

(That said, one has to ask what connection or experiences such a BK was having in Gyan ... Especially from the BK point of view, they would argue that the problem with someone that left was that they were not having Yoga or a connection in the first place).

Of course there are purely internal experiences, even the BKs would say that. It is not possible to say, or disprove, that there are not externally produced or induced one. To be able to discriminate between the two ... now that is something special.

bkti-pit

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post17 Feb 2009

Thanks for your comment Terry!

I have myself been considering that as a plausible explanation and I am very comfortable with it.

I have been experimenting with myself, willingly shifting from one perspective to the other at various times, during meditation, listening to Murli, etc, whether I put myself in the mind set that it is God or that it is not and check out the difference. The experiment is still going on and I enjoy it but have not come to a conclusion yet.

Hope we are not shifting too far off topic!
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leela

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post17 Feb 2009

This is a very interesting quote from Terry:
Truth is what serves the ego at that time. And because it served us (past tense) we are loathe to let go.

There was a time when I would have agreed with this statement. I was happy to find teachings that confirmed me in my sense of myself as a separate being. I heard Gyan as "the Truth" and held on to it for longer than it really served me because it had so come to define my sense of self. Recently, I have come across a definition of ego that feels very apt to me now. It is from Adyashanti: Ego is the function that keeps us in oppositon to what is. From this definition, Truth to me now is that which serves to disempower the ego and align me with what is.
ego is the construct that emerges as soon as we awake. Without it we cannot function

Yes and no. Yes, in that we seem to be functioning in the the physical world as separate entities, and the ego maintains that illusion. No, in that it is not necessary to believe it! This is my very recent experience, although how it came about I cannot say. As I take my thoughts less seriously, my opposition to the now lets go, and my egoic sense of separateness shifts to a place of lesser importance. As my sense of boundaries expand to include rather than exclude, I find there is always a deeper Truth in the moment. And I find there is no truth in any thought or belief that wants to strengthen the sense of myself as a separate being.

It's true that I believed the BKs because it served me at the time. But I cannot agree with the implication that there was any mistake in doing this. After all, it was part of the journey that brought me here now, and I am so far very happy with here.
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Mr Green

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post17 Feb 2009

I still cannot bring myself to believe in this entity ex-l, you sure that this is not a new faith you have developed?

You see, I had experiences before Gyan, not just during and after.

Terry

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post17 Feb 2009

bkti-pit wrote:Hope we are not shifting too far off topic!
This topic can include almost anything on this forum, and the whole forum relates back to this topic!
ex-l wrote:If you are still having the same experiences after "leaving Gyan" ... and even after consciously renouncing the idea of a individual soul, as have been led to believe you are going to tell us ... then you are still doing the same practise, under the same influences or having Yoga with the same entity

Like Mr Green, I practiced meditations before Gyan (Buddhist influenced), and occasionally do now. I think I have responded and described this within the "Hullo from Terry" thread. Let me know if not.
To be able to discriminate between the two [internal or externally induced experiences] ... now that is something special.

Not really, but it has to be learnt and practiced - like developing your ear in music to discern major from minor, or sense of taste to tell what spices are in a sauce. Leaving aside the guffaws, LSD was part of that training for me, we consciously practiced switching between going with the illusion/hallucination, and then separating ourselves from it and observing it (Don't try this at home kids).
leela wrote: Recently, I have come across a definition of ego that feels very apt to me now. It is from Adyashanti: Ego is the function that keeps us in oppositon to what is.

Hi Leela, nice to "read" you again! You say, "a definition of ego" so there it is. One has to decide what a word means, and if the meaning shifts, to clarify it. I would agree with your definition with a proviso. "What is" is overwhelming, and we need to "separate" and filter parts of the all of "what is" to be able to function. Ego is merely that mechanism. No value judgement need be placed on it (Aussies 'd remember the Skyhooks song "Ego is not a dirty word").

It's like triage. We cannot respond to all possibilities, stimuli, impulses, emotions, provocations. The healthy "ego" can naturally and easily open it's windows to the breeze of what is, and easily close them again. The unhealthy ego may "over function" - be too rigid, and always separated from "what is" e.g preconceptions and prejudices, shut out life, or "under function" - be too easily influenced, gullible, fearful. (Reasons for these are a separate issue).

So, tying back to the thread - because we are uncertain in ourselves, we feel there must be "something more", and as we haven't naturally developed the skill of "opening and closing the windows to feel life's breezes" for ourselves. So we adopt the teaching that gave us wind (yep, that's a joke). Those people that aren't impressed by Raja Yoga, some are too rigid, others have developed their ego healthily and don't need it, others are too sensible! It's that, "who's ripe for the picking" syndrome that has been discussed before.
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ex-l

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post18 Feb 2009

In your mind, what creates that "ripe for the picking" quality? Lack of education and life experience are obviously two common elements in BKs, a vulnerable state of mind is another.
Mr Green wrote:I still cannot bring myself to believe in this entity ex-l, you sure that this is not a new faith you have developed? You see, I had experiences before Gyan, not just during and after.

This is interesting as you were yourself a surrendered BK, living in and supporting a center, who met BapDada in person many times, watched and listened to "trance messages" coming back, and yet you feel this way.

Do you feel that you fooled yourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris on the basis of those experiences?

It is interesting, and I am looking at myself as I write this, because it suggests a dislocation between you really believed (i.e. no spook, no God) and what you externally played out (i.e. faithful BK propagating the lifestyle). I suggest that many of us ... perhaps even all to some degree ... did just that. We were carried along by and performed some bizarre social dance for years giving up our lives acting out Lekhraj Kirpalani and the senior's 1930s psycho-drama when, in fact, we really did not believe it at all.

I should think the chances of this are even stronger in children that grew up under the Brahma Kumaris effect on their parents. Imagine growing up believing Brahma-kumarism is the norm?

Faith in the separate existence of a BapDada or other spirit entities? No, life is full of possibilities and I am not going to close the door to any of them. Following on from other discussion about every yet non-empirical experiences being an personal and internal experience, I would say ... absolutely no, never. Thankfully, there are other things in life except for myself to experience.
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paulkershaw

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post18 Feb 2009

One of the things I've noticed about ex-BKs and those BKs I knew who were about to ex- themselves from the following, is that there is a belief system that comes out that says to one, "I can still connect to BapDada, and I can can still do Amrit Vela, and I can still read Murli but I can do all of this without going near the BK family - I can do this by myself".

So they hang on to this until that too falls apart and one is forced to find one's own way forward in life. And then the Shiv Baba and Brahma Baba pics slowly get replaced with something else over time ...

Terry

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post18 Feb 2009

ex-l wrote:In your mind, what creates that "ripe for the picking" quality?

Leaving aside for the moment people who look to Raja Yoga as a compensation (need of family, Father figure, structure etc) : - a lot of us, especially as adolescents and young adult, we are still developing our identity. ( i'd guess most long term BKs come to Raja Yoga in this age group, say 15-30 y.o.). It (identity) is fluid, both seeking to find itself and also seeking validation from a clan/tribe/gang as the ego mechanism is not yet matured or fully formed. We are trying things out.

We've pretty much completed education, and have heard of a lot of concepts and ideas, but don't really "know" them in experience. Most at that age are idealistic, and looking to explore ideas and ways of life, seeking out what may be their path. Again many seek it in a group, few are loners, especially at that age. Another dynamic at play is the need to differentiate their identity from the parents' .

This state of flux can hit at any time in life of course. I am regularly surprised when I meet mature age people who have never given time to or thought about things of the inner life, or deeper questions of meaning or mortality. Then one day it demands time from them. The unconscious knocks at the door of the conscious mind -, the unlived/ignored/suppressed/unhonoured wants its time in the sun. We feel a need to make a change in some way. We find ourselves inside a Raja Yoga centre.

If meditation is really experienced, it is a strong experience. Gyan is then a neat & tidy wrapping up of most questions. When we are "lifted" in the experience, that gives the Gyan authority, as we believe it is inseparable. i.e. the Gyan said we would have this experience and we did. So the rest of it might be true too. There's also the influence when you find yourself amidst a group of people following this idealistic lifestyle and who appear happy and certain, and are very inviting and giving us attention ... if the experience is not had, we're with others who say they have, and the Gyan promises this experience, if only we follow it.

The meditation technique works, I don't think anyone who was BK for any length of time denies that, but it is buying the "bundled package" that is the undoing of common sense (and I've just been through the mill with my telco after bundling so I know the import of this analogy!!).
eromain wrote:in a parallel thread - "I, personally, reject the phrasing, "how did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris". ... The truth is we didnt, we were fooled.

This implies deliberate deception, that the deceiver knew it was false. There is a lot of deception in other ways, but the BKs do really believe what they teach - soul, god, Kalpa, Destruction etc. They are not trying to fool people to believe what they themselves don't. It's not like the guy trying to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, he knows it's not his, but the BKs' really believe it is theirs to sell! Rajneesh, a bit of a nemesis for the BKs - they clashed the 1950's - said that the BKs believe nonsense, but with total conviction.

BTW in the Robin Gibb topic, on the video of the Wembley event - a young man says of the BKs, "they make you feel welcome ... and they give you the opportunity to practice your skills in programs" ... etc. Leaving aside the established creatives who then become BK, that provision for an outlet and idealistic theme for creativity is a strong need at that age - to prove and improve one's talents (real or imagined!) in a supportive community - and is emotionally very attractive.
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Mr Green

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Re: How did we fool ourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris?

Post18 Feb 2009

ex-l wrote:This is interesting as you were yourself a surrendered BK, living in and supporting a center, who met BapDada in person many times, watched and listened to "trance messages" coming back, and yet you feel this way. Do you feel that you fooled yourselves into believing the Brahma Kumaris on the basis of those experiences? ...

Yes, I agree with this more. I feel I deluded myself way before meeting BapDada. I deluded myself all the way through in fact. Students who struggle with certain ideas as I did are often told that you just need to do more Yoga to purify the intellect ... so maybe through this process we grind down our reason and better judgement until we reach a state of delushionment, and are able to relate to the other misguided ones.
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