Kardec on the stages of "spirit obsession"

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Kardec on the stages of "spirit obsession"

Post20 Aug 2015

However we under it, the Brahma Kumaris are a spiritualist, not spiritual, religion. Brahma Kumarism is based on spiritualism, the alleged mediumship of disincarnate spirits, the primary of which, they claim, is the god of all religions and their deceased business man and founder speaking from beyond the grave.

One of the more preeminent researchers into the 'phenomena' known as spiritualism was the Frenchman Allan Kardec. In his book 'Livre des Médiums', (The Book of Mediums) Kardec devotes a chapter to the problem of what he called spirit "obsession".

In the many forms of spiritualism which are practised all over the world, and amongst practically all peoples, it is claim certain individuals are able to listen to, speak to, see, feel other non-human personalities ... or even be used as "channels" giving over their physical bodies to be used by said non-human personalities as if they were their own bodies, as in the case of Lekhraj Kirpalani and BK Hirday Mohini aka "Sister Gulzar" (who is said to channel the BK god spirit and the deceased Lekhraj Kirpalani).

Most spiritualisms differentiate between "mediumship", a voluntary relationship between the medium and the spirit or spirits they communed with; and "possession", an involuntary relationship in which the medium is entirely subjected by the spirit or spirits.

Kardec as not just a researcher but also proponent of spiritualism, or Spiritism as he called it, explicitly disavowed the use of the terms "possessed" and "possession by spirits" because of their inflammatory connotation. Instead, he broke down what he called the "colonization" of the sprit medium's identity into three types:

"l'obsession simple" (simple obsession), by which he meant the continued and unwelcome interruption of a spirit during conversations between the spiritualist medium and other (more polite) spirits.

"la fascination" (fascination), in which the spirit is able to secretly enter into the mediums thoughts, temporarily tricking him into believing whatever he says and, lastly,

"la subjugation" (subjugation) in which the medium is completely possessed, mind and body, by the spirit.

Kardec described spirit possession using colonial terms, "prendre de l'empire" (to take the Empire), meaning the invasion of the medium's own soul and the medium's misidentifying with it. He theorised that the possessing spirit or spirits are able to insert themselves into the very selfhood of the medium and colonize the medium's identity.

This would seem to describe the cases of Lekhraj Kirpalani, who for period of over 20 years - from 1932 to 1955 (approximately) - was unaware that he was possessed and acting as a medium for another spirit or spirits, a spirit or spirits that the Brahma Kumaris call now Shiva or BapDada. During the formative years of the Brahma Kumari cult, amongst various pronounced spiritualist phenomena, Lekhraj Kirpalani and the original BKs thought him to be their guru, god and source of teachings (aka Gita Sermoniser). And, since his death, continues with the (claimed) "subjugation" of Sister Gulzar by the spirits of this Shiva and the deceased Lekhraj Kirpalani.

Because of the inflammatory connotations attached to the practises, the Brahma Kumaris now generally downplay or hide the spiritualistic elements of their religion from outsiders and newcomers. It is not even deeply or widely discussed or explained to adherents. Adherents whose knowledge and understanding is severely limited, manipulated and controlled in a cultic fashion by the inner circle of BKs, the inner circle which includes the leading active spirit mediums ('Loading the Language', 'Milieu Control', 'Mystical Manipulation', 'Doctrine over Person' to quote from Dr Lifton's 'Criteria for Thought Reform').

The Brahma Kumari leadership acts solely on behalf of these "spirits", claiming that they are the one true God of all religions and the one Father of humanity, initiating new recruits into a relationship with them; a relationship where the new recruits or BK adherents can be used as unconscious mediums or channels for said spirits ... and other spirits which they variously claim are the spirits of other deceased senior Brahma Kumaris.

This is not a subjective interpretation of Brahma Kumarism, but a simple translation of actual Brahma Kumari claims or beliefs into non-BK language.

As a BK recruit or adherent, you are being initiated into a spiritualist cult to exist either as a channel or spirit medium, or a servant and provider of material necessities to the mediums.

What do BK recruits really know about the spirit or spirits they are said to be channeling, their energy and their agenda ... which, primarily, appears to be to kill off the rest of 'non-compliant humanity' (non-BKs) during what it or they describe as "Destruction"?

All that one can be sure about in "spiritualism", is the only thing reliable about spiritualistic practises is that they are unreliable; and the personalities directing all activities emanating from the practises are absolutely unaccountable (partly because they are beyond proving that they even exist!).

As an aside, it is interesting to note that in the Vodou ceremonies (a form of spiritualism practised in West African communities and their diaspora), the Vodou initiate or medium commonly understands the experience of possession as being "mounted" or "ridden" like a horse. An arrangement by which both the spirit and the initiate share the same physical body and psychological space.

This is not just exactly the same concept as is claimed by the Brahma Kumaris, it is the identical terminology as used in the Brahma Kumaris scripture where Lekhraj Kirpalani is portray as being "ridden" or "mounted" by the Shiva soul. (For example, in the BKs' Sakar Murlis it was claimed that "ShivBaba does not 'mount' a virgin" - meaning use an unmarried Brahma Kumari Sister as a medium. A claim which was later contradicted when both "fathers" mounted the virgin daughter Sister Gulzar and her body became their "Chariot".

The Brahma Kumaris do not teach Raja Yoga. I would even go as far as to say the Brahma Kuamris do not even teach proper meditation.

The meditation the BKs teach is, in essence, only a preparatory practise - a dumbing down of the mind and senses - in order to prepare the adherent as channels or mediums of their spirit masters.

Many adherents and most newcomers, of course, never get beyond the preparatory phase. However, the BK teachings are clear that having been "psychically opened", BK adherents are unlikely to know exactly when they are being "fascinated" or "subjugated" by the BK spirits and used - unknowingly and unwillingly - by them to achieve their ends. To be used as "serviceable instruments".

Does "instrument" not sound like de-humanised, like be a conscience-less tool?

Much of the Brahma Kumari activity they call "service" is really just about targeting and filtering out likely vulnerable and susceptible individuals. Much of the Brahma Kumari social conditioning is about encouraging a submissive and unquestioning state in which the individual surrenders themselves to being directed by the spirits.

Given that is is highly unlikely that the god spirit or spirits of the Brahma Kumaris actually are the God of all religions AND the God Father of all humanity, what would you say spirits who claim to be God are, when they are not? Especially spirits with a bent on killing off all humanity in a holocaust the BK will "inspire" or "give courage" to happen.

Deluded, deluding, tricksters ... or absolutely evil?

Whether spiritualism actually is what claims to be, or whether it is just a mode of cultural transmission that humans use to describe purely human, albeit subconscious urges, it does not really matter. We may never be able to sure about it, however, the BK game plan we can, as it has remain unchanged for 70 years or more.

Interestingly, Lekhraj Kirpalani and the BKWSU often use the a similar language of empires to describe their aims and objectives.

For a small percentage of individuals, being a Brahma Kumari leader provides such egoistic satisfaction (power) - and considerable material comforts (wealth, including unpaid submissive servants) - that it encourages them to wittingly and willingly collaborate with these agenda.

For others, a far larger number, just the potential promise of that - with little evidence it will ever happen - is enough to encourage them to surrender their lives and conform.
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Re: Kardec on the stages of "spirit obsession"

Post21 Aug 2015

The simple problem with the framework of BKism is that either it is what it says it is ... God come at the End of the World ... or it is not.

And both the pronouncements of its god spirit and its leaders have been shown to be knowingly false, misleading, unreliable, manipulative and exploitive time and time again ... so it's not.

So what it is? Who or what would says it is God when it is not (Lekhraj Kirpalani included)?

A reasonable comparison of Kardec's ideas and those of Frederic Myers and others attempt to gain a rational understanding of these phenomena, accepting of soul or spirit's existence, is given in, The Science of Spirit Possession (2nd Edition) by Terence Palmer although with reference to the history of the spiritualists conflicts with materialists and their struggle to be understood or gain credence for their theories.

One of the points made is - disregarding what is actually going on - that "not all possession is negative", giving examples of healers who believe they are possessed by other spirits or higher being who then carry out their work.

Could we apply such a theory to the Brahma Kumaris ShivBaba or BapDada that acknowledges that it is not "God" and has often been wrong or misleading but that, in some mysterious way we mere mortals cannot understand yet, it was the right thing to do and that its subjects *needed* to be tricked or fooled into "making efforts".

That is was good or right for them *at the time*.

Personally, I am not convinced of such a theory.

May be ... just perhaps ... the delusion of Brahma Kumarism is a better delusion to a low level of Hinduism and the world view of the uneducated "princesses" (Kumaris) of the Bhaibund caste.

But was it good or right for the rest of us?

Personally, I don't think so. Personally, putting aside an attraction for the apparently mystical, bizarre or "Orientalism" BKism has to be a backwards step for most people. Especially as it morphs into a vast corporation exploiting the weak and vulenrable in order to financially support a small, unelected elite.

Lekhraj Kirpalani was clearly not fully conscious and aware of what he was doing and was going on. It strikes me it was his and the Om Mandli's ego's need for a delusion of grandeur and exaggerated self-importance.

Therefore, if Lekhraj Kirpalani was possessed by another spirit or spirits - even may they just be collective thought forms or egregores floating around the Indian psyche - were they not fooling him into believing what suited him; that he was Krishna, Narayan, Vishnu, Adam, God Brahma combined ... AND responsible for the outbreak of World War II or the End of the World !!!

Either it is true ... which I think at this point even the BK leaders admit is extremely unlikely ... or it is surely the greatest case of delusion of grandeur or most misleading spirit possession ever recorded in human history.

I mean, who else would really believe all of that?
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Re: Kardec on the stages of "spirit obsession"

Post21 Aug 2015

The Brahma Kumaris believe in "ghosts", "spirits" and "possession", generally bad ones, but offer no framework for understanding who or what they are, or their place in this world. Or others.

I believe this is to distract adherents' minds away from asking too many questions about the spirit or spirits they claim is their god.

Kardec, an educated and accomplished man from a family of magistrates, wrote The Spirit's Book exploring such ideas, notated from over two years conversations with a "spirit" through a medium goes into great depth
"It is a most curious thing! My conversations with the invisible intelligences have completely revolutionised my ideas and convictions. The instructions thus transmitted constitute an entirely new theory of human life, duty, and destiny, that appears to me to be perfectly rational and coherent, admirably lucid and consoling, and intensely interesting. I have a great mind to publish these conversations in a book; for it seems to me that what interests me so deeply might very likely prove interesting to others."

Whereas it's impossible to "prove" any of it, it's interesting how complete and extensive the world view it paints it, and how concurrent with others exploration of these phenomena in other cultures and times that he and they would not have been mutually exposed to.
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Re: Kardec on the stages of "spirit obsession"

Post22 Aug 2015

Nice research and ideas.

The thing about "spirits” and gods and demons and all such intangible phenomena is that they are what one believes them to be and can’t be proven one way or the other.

We see a certain action, we hear certain sounds or words, and we'll have mental associations based on what mindset we bring to it. We judge it according to our ability to judge, tainted by our mindset and biases. BK students are prepped to interpret BapDada in a particular way, so when they go there, thats’ what the majority will understand of what they experience.

Phenomenologists suggest that when it comes to our senses, the best truth or certainty we can come to is always going to be provisional, conditional at best. That is, oen thing we all know for sure, once we outgrow infancy, is that we have limited sensory capacity, memory capacity, analytical capacity, physical capacity - so how can we do anything but doubt that there is more to be understood about anything or that what we believe is true today is actually true? After all, what we believe today is different to what we believed when we were 18.

One must take even the most certain things with a pinch of salt. When the solid material chair under our bum is not what it seems but is instead understood to be a swirling vortex of atomic and sub-atomic energies, what hope then to know whether what someone tells us about themselves is true or not? Did we even hear them correctly, let alone remember what they said or what they meant?

Is the person we knew ten years ago the same person today? If someone who knew me as a BK decades ago saw me today in the street, they may recognise me. Physically, I am very similar. But they would be mistaken if they thought I was the same person. If they started a conversation based on preconceptions about God or spirits or BKs they would be amazed how different my views are now, what I do and what I base my life on now. Am I the same person? Yes, but ... the more certain thing is my appearance, but that appearance can act, can mislead, can bring up wrong associations.

So this phenomenon called God may be what it says it is - pukka BKs believe so. Or ... it may be a ”spirit" that calls itself God for reasons known only to itself (or maybe not even known to itself, it may be confused) ... or it may be a psychological phenomenon that the believers both buy into and by doing so, create and mutate that phenomenon.

E.G. ask, has the Gyan changed because God was lying, or was he testing BKs, or has God learnt something over the decades? Was that from humans or from other ”spirit beings” somewhere? Maybe God/BapDada changes as per the experiences of the medium in life? (How would Murlis change if Gulzar completed a course in, well, almost anything!). Maybe the manifest phenomenon at any time is a resonance of the mentations of the collective BK meditations of that time? So, what is ”God” if that be so? A leaf blown by the winds of time?

My point is that there are so many more things we can be far more certain of than we can deal with in life. So why ignore them to invest time, money and energy into what is so ephemeral, changeable, indeterminable? I have known since i was a kid what the effect would be of not being careful whilst crossing the road. That has not changed.

If a BK believes in doing good, and a Muslim believes in doing good and an atheist believes in doing good, what’s the point of tying it to a dogma?
    Do you need ”Murli” or a spirit to tell you to be tolerant or respectful?
    Do you need celibacy to love your Brothers and Sisters without wanting to rape them?
    Do you need to give money to the BKs to spend in convincing others of their dogma's superiority when there’s hungry and homeless near your doorstep?
    Even if it is a ”superior” dogma, does that feed the hungry and homeless?
    Why do these spirits seem so unconcerned with the welfare of the less fortunate?
If Jews do not eat pigs and Muslims do not eat pigs, why don’t they ''not eat pigs'' together?
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Re: Kardec on the stages of "spirit obsession"

Post22 Aug 2015

Do you need ”Murli” or a spirit to tell you to be tolerant or respectful?

I, personally, don't. But then neither do I need an old man or woman dressed up in a funny costume (like priest) to do so either. But the drama of it does seem to inspire many others. It strikes me, religion is largely about the drama (and attracts failed or frustrated thespians to it because of that). Spiritism remains widely popular in places like Brazil. I dare they have an answer for every question ... and that misfortune is the victims' own fault.

The world Kardec, or his "spirit" mentor, paints is a world in which we are constantly surrounded by a squirl of many, many human spirits invisibly watching, influencing and interacting with our lives according to their nature; good ones when we are good, bad ones when we are bad, and a hierarchy of other disincarnate human personalities.

It seems to be that one common thread is both spiritualism and Brahma Kumarist spiritualism, is the idea that we are important enough to warrant such constant attention by "higher beings" or, in the case of the BKs God regardless of how unimportant and insignificant we are in reality.

In BKism, the BKs have their god and their senior souls, now elevated to angelic status, dropping in on us to check up on our behaviour, or whether we are asleep in morning mediation or not.

Do they really not have anything better to do?

However, even if it is also pure imagination, what interests me is how complete a matrix the spirit teacher or medium paints.

Let's accept it is all imaginery and look at how the human mind can free association to such a degree to make up some a complete and rational enough development of ideas.

Now look at how the Lekhraj Kirpalani and the Brahma Kumaris can build such a multi-million dollar business on the basis of entertaining a million people with their equivalently imaginary and, to be honest, far less explicable and believable or just plainly boring and taskful creation.

It seems to me that all it does underline is that humans are great story tellers, having done it for 10,000s of years around camp fires as we evolved and wander this planet.

Kardec's model is not that different from any other 'spiritualist' tradition and run parallel with elements of Buddhism, Hinduism and animistic religions, e.g. the up and down hierarchy of gods and worlds, and heavenly and devilish kingdoms in the first two of which planet Earth is just stopping off place.

All use their stories to portray human life on earth as so important that it deserves considerable attention and effort to "be good".

Typically, to both Kardecian spiritists and the spiritualists (I don't know the differences), spirits can chose to come and guide and inspire us individually or in groups acting as one and, he suggests, certain types will pretend to be something they are not for the sake of mischief.

So how do we understand the spiritualistic goose chase that is Brahma Kumarism?

I know of certain BKs who have gone back to Christianity and see ShivBaba as Satan or satanic in nature. "Beware the angels of light", their books says.

I think it's true to say no other spirit medium has had the audacity to claim to be the "medium of god" himself.

But, if it is god, should we really have slightly higher expectations of him?

Kardec would argue that according to Lekhraj Kirpalani's nature, Lekhraj Kirpalani attracted spirits of a similar nature.

What do we make of Lekhraj Kirpalani's and the original Brahma Kumaris' psychology that they need such a "spirit", real or imaginery in order to do what they do?

Which also seems so unconcerned with logic and common sense, "the welfare of the less fortunate" and has excused such plain and simple social climbing, property acquisition and wealth creation for themselves instead?

"Is not my fault, God made me do it!"

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