"The Shift II"

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ex-l

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"The Shift II"

Post21 Feb 2018

A follow up from "The Shift”: a Meeting in Schauen - Next Generation BKism?, we have Shift II: Brahma Kumaris Community Research (2012-2017).

A group of old timer and professional/academic Western BKs, including one of the very first BK Surya (BK academic Stephen Nagel PhD), met up to discuss "the state of the Western BK nation". I state "Western" as I guess BK India carries on the same as ever ... and it's notable that the BK leadership pulled their support from the active community research/feedback the group were doing.

I think my first response is that thing really have not moved on very much since the 1980s. These were very similar issues to what Western BKs were discussing back them, and to note how few BKs have actually become involved in it, suggesting most are just going along with the show.

I think they fail by romanticising and exaggerating the "spiritual revolution of Om Mandli". I don't think it was, which would need discussion to define.

The lede suggests things are not going so well for the BKWSU abroad.
Why are the Centers largely empty? Why are senior BKs not happy and why are there so few new and/or young people coming? What is the future of BK organisation?

It is visible that most BKs don't feel the need any more to go to a center to study every morning.

This has been presented to me as a positive thing, e.g. "people are more relaxed" but is not that slack, "defeated" and Maya ridden to an orthodox BK point of view? Would not such individuals just be seen as going to receive a "low status" to the hierarchy?
... something is not right, we find that we tend to hide the name Brahma Kumaris. Even the name we feel is quite strange, uniquely Indian and not a good or helpful name to use in the West. It creates too many questions and has no good references on the internet - and this will not change.

There are now many associations with people in white and the image of being an Indian Hinduistic cult. If we are honest, we only use the name of Raja Yoga or Om Mandali but not “Brahma Kumaris”. Nobody wants to be officially connected with that name. These are reasons why we are ashamed of being a BK and are not showing our connection openly. It causes a blockage in service. We want to promote spirituality and Raja Yoga but not the organisation. Inside, we love the Yagya, the history, our experiences and the people, but outside we cannot be proud of this organisation because of all this.

Discussion points taken at random.
Participants: Jan and Veeke (Belgium), Tamasin (Australia), Patrizia, Uschi, Simone, Michael, Surya, Frank, Peter, Hermann (Germany).

What is spirituality?

To be spiritual does not mean to become a BK and to be a BK does not mean to be spiritual. We know that only a very small minority of souls belong to BK as their spiritual origin. However, we share the truth of being souls in a human life with the entire world. Our original nature of peace, purity, happiness and power is a commonality we share with everyone. Spirituality is universal and beyond the ego. It is basically the path of returning to ones original nature, Sanathan Dharma. It is not a consciousness of being the “chosen” ones.

The subtle ego is infused within the organisational structure. It results very often in an attitude of arrogance versus an attitude of love and compassion with all other living beings on this planet, seeing oneself and all others as part this great Drama. Everyone has a special role to play, no one is worth less or more than any other. We wish to relate to each other as peers, and to work in teams, to inspire each other, share and offer our ideas, knowledge and wisdom. We see ourselves as beings in the process of becoming and developing. We can learn from others – we are interconnected and we work together for the transformation of the world. There are many who are busy in this task – not only BKs. We feel that truth can only be explored by ones own experiences, not by speaking about it and pointing it out to others. We all need meditation to touch and access the underlying undivided reality hidden in deep silence. Then we can become active to manifest what we have experienced as truth.
Baba spoke at length and learned from those who had the gift of going into trance. Bit by bit Gyan was built up.

The spirit of the Brahma Kumaris is today very often connected with hierarchy, strictness, dogmatism, having answers to everything, never saying “I don’t know”, the attitude of exclusivity (we are the chosen ones), wanting to impose “the truth” and forcing people to accept a lifestyle which is not only contra their own culture but also a backslash towards the achievements of enlightenment: personal freedom, individual choice, the right to follow ones own way which can differ from others and from any general accepted truth.
The East has much to offer from its ancient past. The West has achieved a lot within the last 200 years. Neither is better.

Brahma Baba’s vision was not to create a worldwide Indian culture but a very new society based on universal spiritual principles: transreligious, transcultural and transnational.
Our experiences are that the BK culture is one that does not truly acknowledge or utilise the gifts of their students and members unless it fits into a very narrow view through which the organization must be promoted and seen to be an examplar. Newness is not really encouraged, although Baba requests it.

We are further away from what Baba created, he wanted us to return to our true nature and to blossom as unique flowers - not to advertise a Brahma Kumaris institution.
To get to a deeper level of silence and meditation some BKs now go to Vipassana and other communities and organizations because it is not really the focus of the BKs. We seem to be more interested in self-promotion.

Most of us find it difficult to do service in the name of “Brahma Kumaris”, as it so often creates suspicion and difficulties. We only use the name Raja Yoga not Brahma Kumaris and do not want to be on any website or list connected to the organisation as it can be harmful to professional life.
But since Brahma Baba passed away, we have lost the courage to do this and have become static. We feel this is the reason the organization has lost its life energy. To re-energise ourselves, we must find out: How was everything before it became an institution? What is the Inner Core truth of Raja Yoga practise? Where is that spark? How can we reconnect with it and express it in our very life now?
The way they are implemented now makes it seem that what once was the spiritual revolution of Om Mandli has become like an outdated religion today.
We in the West have Sanskars of strictness from Christianity, and that is why we wanted to follow Seniors and the Murli very strictly and to the absolute letter. This put far too much pressure on ourselves and we now have to liberate ourselves from that tendency, because it was never meant like this.
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Maui

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post21 Feb 2018

Does anyone know if this group still meets in Germany?

I was told by a BK friend, that there is an entire group of "alternate BKs" who feel like this; they are waiting for the changes to take place with the death of the Dadi's and moving forward in their spiritual life following Shrimat, but living a lifestyle apart from the centers.

This Brother told me he, in fact, has become a part of this after having been approached by another Brother in Madhuban this season. He says there is a huge hub in Europe which remain silent since they know they would not be approved of.

I found this fascinating; but asked why not just leave and was told they are firm BKs, yet belong to God and not an institution, and wish to continue following.
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Pink Panther

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post21 Feb 2018

Gee, reading through those excerpts, if they can’t see how they are fooling themselves, there’s no hope for them. Destined to live in a Groundhog Day of self-importance.
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Re: "The Shift II"

Post22 Feb 2018

Maui wrote:I was told by a BK friend, that there is an entire group of "alternate BKs" who feel like this; they are waiting for the changes to take place with the death of the Dadi's and moving forward in their spiritual life following Shrimat, but living a lifestyle apart from the centers.

It certainly sounds the same.

I remember some years there was a big scene in Germany that led to Surya, above, and Sister Suman dropping out of the "official" scene and, I think, one centre closing. Surya was the first Western BK.

It was not that they stopped believing, but it was more about a question of who has overall authority to tell others to do what; it was over the nature of the study of the Murlis. As I understand it, they wanted to ditch the Sakar Murlis, that have little relevance to Western BKs, and concentrate solely on the current year's Avyakt Murlis. The Kirpalani Klan would not allow it and wanted to enforce conformity and, out of principle, the others stepped back from the official BK world.

I look at something like this in two ways; from the position of an ex-BK critic, and from the position of "orthodox BKism".

The orthodox BK position, the position of the manner in which BKism is practised in most of its centres across India, what is this ... they'd surely just knock it down as "manmat", Maya and "losing status".

From the position of an ex-BK critic, why not just admit you've given up on what BKism is, and stop pretending it is anything different? Why not just go and do vipassana rather than BK Raja Yoga in a room full of people doing vipassana (funnily enough, I did that once or twice as a BK, I was so full of myself being superior!).

One concern I do have is how they, and their like, within Western BKism are representing BKism differently to their audiences largely, I would argue, for the sake of their own vanity/identity. Wrapping it up in fancy, flowery words and concepts, dressing it up to make it look better than it is.

Part of it, for me, is just about having made such a great lifetime investment into building up BKism, and all the real estate (the nice shops, centres, and retreats), they want to hold onto it ... are held by it ... to enjoy and take advantage of it in their old ages.

Rather than just, say, taking back one of the properties.

Let's not fool ourselves ... BKism is not so much about the ideas, but who owns real estate.

For the BK establishment, they benefit from such discussions as these. They act as a pressure valve allowing non-conformist BKs to de-compress a little and perhaps come up with new ideas that can be adopted and adapted to keep old BKs and attract new people ones.

Will BKism hold together after Janki and the few other oldtimers left?

That's a good question.

Probably not as I don't think Jayanti/Mohini etc and the Madhubhan middle management carry the same weight of affection and authority.
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Re: "The Shift II"

Post22 Feb 2018

"Are held by it" aptly describes this Brother, my friend. After over 25 years he still believes, but is pulled by them.

It won't be run by Mohini, I hear she is quite ill at the present time.
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Pink Panther

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post23 Feb 2018

These so-called BK intellectuals and reformists in this group are essentially saying that the BK teachings they disagree with should be adjusted or reinterpreted to suit what they believe. That includes many specifics stated by the same God they say they recognise as Supreme and the author of the BK ‘Gyan’.

If they were so gung-ho about integrity, they would demand that not only should Sakar Murlis be read, but that the originals should be revived and retranslated accurately, warts and all.

They would then interrogate the foundations of the authority of these teachings , for they were the ones these "early adopters” were drawn to, and testified for, for many years.

They cannot say that the Supreme Ocean of Knowledge God Shiva is their teacher then turn around and edit what ”He” teaches, or equivocate about it with phrases like
Baba spoke at length and learned from those who had the gift of going into trance. Bit by bit Gyan was built up.
then assume they can now break it back down again to suit their current opinions. They are no better than career politicians.


Unlike the famous economistJohn Maynard Keynes, who once famously said
“When my information changes, I change my mind. What do you do sir?”
these guys work to the principle of ” When I change my mind, i will ignore any unsuitable information"

People have said many times on this forum how BK and other cultisms teach people how to lie to others. We can also say they learn to lie really well to themselves. Because I know some of these people and they are smart enough to take other points of view - if they chose to - so the questions they need to ask themselves when developing their ”logic” need to be around what their motivations are, then when they answer themselves, ask ”Really?"
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post23 Feb 2018

I think there is a need for the BK academics/intellectuals to be truthful to their authentic selves, and I will be truly a liberating experience for them. They will find, each one her/his divine contract and enjoy life and living while making the world a better place in a humanistic way. They can stop thinking of themselves as Atlas, carrying the world on their shoulders, and maybe invoke the Jungian archetypes within themselves instead of dreams of becoming goddesses and gods.

But then it seems suave to be a BK academic/intellectual breathing rarefied gases and dreaming that the title of BK academic empowers one as a BK to be god. To me, their plan is one of neo-BKism.

I used to watch them in the early days and smile as I am doing now. They were always used by the BK PR apparatus and placed at the front as show case specimens.
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Re: "The Shift II"

Post23 Feb 2018

They do serve that purpose Gupta and I don't think they realise it. As ex-l said in the earlier post, in politer terms, their reformist efforts are nought but the squeezing of a pimple on the foreign arse of the BK body. Then, after a while, another appears and off they go again for another squeeze.

The BKO keeps them around and when there is a need to present double foreigners who are ecumenical and know how to speak ‘New Age’ or pseudo-scholastically, they get wheeled out as VIP BKs. The rest of the time, the 99%, the Indian BK culture, ie the transfer of wealth and energy from individuals to the organisation - continues untouched. The monster is fed.

It's a bit like the gun debate in the USA at the moment. All the focus is on school shootings and other mass killing incidents like in Las Vegas, when they actually represent a tiny fraction of gun deaths in the USA. The proposed solutions, like armed guards in schools or armed teachers, or the bump-stock regulation proposed, or the hundred other red herrings that will be thrown out there, will appear like something has been done - or enable them to say that they are finally (puke) "having the conversation”.

But they will have no effect on the total number of gun deaths because the culture and values of the majority don't want to recognise the dangerous delusion they live under, one which must accept the collateral damage that accompanies their identification with and attachment to their second amendment.

So too, until there is a major shift in recognising the fundamental flaw in the basis of their ”values” or what they identify with, the BK culture and what it brings with it won’t change. And if it does change, will it be BK anymore in anything but name?

(Anyway, this group seem happy for the BK name to be dumped too!).
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ex-l

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post23 Feb 2018

Pink Panther wrote:(Anyway, this group seem happy for the BK name to be dumped too!).

Yes, but is not that just for the sake's of their own vanity because it's so uncool ... hence the desire to swop it for "spiritual" or something else vague? Why not just go and be spiritual then, instead of propping up the Kirpalani Klan's operation? They struggle to find and identity and use the terms "Raja Yoga/Raja Yogi" instead, knowing they too are stolen, misappropriated term taken by the BKs because they confer the best or a superior form of Yoga.

Perhaps there's something else going, let's call it spiritual avarice. A "subtle" form of avarice that wants to hold onto a bit of the BK pot; it's status, real estate and facilities, its intellectual property, its psychic devices?

Still, I suppose you have to respect them for that nascent honesty.
People are searching for authentic experience, truth, inner freedom, wisdom, compassion and community.

The spirit of the Brahma Kumaris is today very often connected with hierarchy, strictness, dogmatism, having answers to everything, never saying “I don’t know”, the attitude of exclusivity (we are the chosen ones), wanting to impose “the truth” and forcing people to accept a lifestyle which is not only contra their own culture but also a backslash towards the achievements of enlightenment: personal freedom, individual choice, the right to follow ones own way which can differ from others and from any general accepted truth.

I'd say it was even moreso in the past, in our days.

Take another quote,
Personal issues and relationships are often secondary and sometimes seen as signs of weakness. Friendship, closeness, play, spontaneity, and silence are undernourished. As are the space and time to develop, to share, to feel, to grow. These are the undernourished aspects within us ...

We felt deprived and undenourished in relation to friendships, feelings, connectedness with the world, and other people. We all pretended to be “holy”, but inside we felt different.

This sure shows you where BKs heads are these days ... putting God 'on hold' while they take a business call!
Now Madhubhan also has become crowded and loud. For many the sacred feeling of that place is in the past. People text in Baba’s room and take phone calls in Baba’s meeting.


However, I also think they are guilty of a) inventing an imaginary, idealised past, e.g.
We have so much love for the origin of Om Mandali but not for what the institution has become now: a big business, serving a mission that does not seem so connected to its internal origins any more.
There are photos of Brahma with young girls all around him which had such a spirit of innocence and magic in the beginning.

There are also reports of Lekhraj Kirpalani taking baths half naked, "pulling their breasts" and feeding his spiritual wife Om Radhe mouth to mouth. Reports Om Radhe did not deny, but defended.

And, b) equally caught by their own politesse and an over idealised interpretations of the present,
We respect the people who are in the hierarchy, and how it works in India. The hierarchy is built on the extended family system of love.

Is the Indian/BK patriarchy is based on a "system of love"?

I am guessing that what is "Indian" these days is becoming more modern and liberal than what is BK, and as with the BKs' natural alliance with more Right Wing groups like the BJP, the BKs represent a more conservative, backward community?
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Re: "The Shift II"

Post23 Feb 2018

They also state,
Brahma Baba’s vision was not to create a worldwide Indian culture but a very new society based on universal spiritual principles: transreligious, transcultural and transnational.

Is that really true, or a projection of Western BKs ideals onto Lekhraj Kirpalani?

What is clear from his utterances and the Murlis is that the whole of the rest of the world was to be destroyed. There was to be nothing by India, with him playing Lord Krishna to the BK gopis.

The report refer to their god spirit's exhortation to "newness", mostly interpreted as new marketing and advertsing campaigns I'd guess, but what about openness?

The BK establishment, even in the West, prove themselves to be closed by shutting down this group's neutral "market research" into the BK community.

You would have thought an "enlightened" spiritual community would have room for open discussion and questioning?

Where is the 'free press' within the BK world?
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Pink Panther

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post24 Feb 2018

ex-l wrote:I am guessing that what is "Indian" these days is becoming more modern and liberal than what is BK, and as with the BKs' natural alliance with more Right Wing groups like the BJP, the BKs represent a more conservative, backward community?

Religions based on divine revelation see that state of knowledge at the time of revelation as the ultimate, beyond improvement. The BJP are a political party based on what they believe are the divinely revealed truths of vedic scriptures and culture. The Adi Sanatan dharma is what those who follow it call their religion, which outside India most call Hinduism. The conservatism is inevitable. The BKs have their own version of it, and it seems the Western BKs, or this Shift group at least, their own view of it too, and are torn between the cultural inheritance since the Age of Reason began, and their personal Freudian superego* - the critical or governing faculty that seeks to stay in conformity with the larger group it identifies with - family, society, or in this case, cult community.

What these religions do over time to stay relevant in the face of science, historical events (or non-eventualities) and other evidence and facts is redactive. They redact (remove, black out, censor, ignore) the sections of the divine revelation that they do not want known and leave what is acceptable to the public, or the 21st century, viewpoint. History is not owned, it is edited.

The times of the founders, whether Mohammed or ”Prajapati God Brahma” are considered the halcyon days of innocent wisdom while today believers excuse their morally repugnant or otherwise inchoate beliefs with the excuse that nowadays we live in a complex, adulterated, more diverse culture, i.e it's not their fault, it's the world's.

Facts are not disproven, they are equivocated or denied. Modern Jews and Christians ignore the barbaric laws in Deuteronomy or the misogyny and acceptance of slavery of St Paul so they can keep using the established template, while BKs pretend the Sakar Murlis are not their God talking directly, specifically and only to them. They edit God. They create God him in their own image.

They prefer the wishy-washy verbose presentations of universal brotherhood, doing the regular Avyakt Murli pop quiz ”Which of the 3 types of children are you?", and what are called ”blessings”, the convoluted linguistic constructs of "Avyakt BapDada” that are meant to be aphorisms of divine wisdom that would get nowhere as memes on the internet as they are so convoluted and inconcise, or just bland.

I mean, Bill and Ted’s catchphrase ”Be excellent to each other”, dreamed up by a couple of Hollywood hacks, is superior to anything in the Avyakt Murlis.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post24 Feb 2018

Pink and Ex-I, the neo-BKs or Western BK IPs and VIPs will continue to dance in a circle to the drums and flutes of Indian BKism, until strangers taps them on the shoulders and inform them that the party is over. Strangers will tell them that their model of The Cycle is invalid and time has progressed where by there will be a peaceable kingdom, very different from their dreams and efforts.

Many Western BKs have been seduced by the idea of dual power in academia and the spiritual community, only to later have the rude awakening that both communities are partially controlled by the 1% of the global village.
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ex-l

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post24 Feb 2018

GuptaRati 6666 wrote:Many Western BKs have been seduced by the idea of dual power in academia and the spiritual community, only to later have the rude awakening that both communities are partially controlled by the 1% of the global village.

The question then arises, for me, how many adherents do you have to delivery to the altar of conformity and passivity, in order to be accepted into the 1%? To get on the guestlist for Davos etc? (Currently, Jayanti's made it as far as the foyer there). Probably more than the BKs muster at present.

As an aside, one of those BKs is a professional psychotherapist, two at least "PhDs in BKism". Don't know the rest.

How many other older Western BKs are quietly working out retirement and employment strategies within the greater BK world?

The Divine Art of Keeping your Heard Down, Not Rocking the Boat, and Adding Sufficient Value (... to be fed and housed and not to be chucked out).

I can see these meetings working, and being tolerated, as 'arms length' Think Tanks just as the political elite sponsors/tolerates their Think Tanks to keep their fingers on the pulse of the populace, and come up with new ideas, e.g. putting into new words and adding new interpretations to the historical revision.

Let's consider the conclusion,
Essentially, we all feel connected with that Yagya seed of Om Mandli, which was a fluid, dynamic, courageous and constantly evolving sacred fire, with the energy of God at its core.

This is why we meet, and this is our vision for when the [BKWSU] organization ultimately dissolves, that everyone will see the unique band of illuminated beings we have become.

So, is the predicted dissolution of the BKWSU going to Destruction and Golden Age, or something beforehand? Are they mentally preparing themselves for the crumbling of the organization, and whatever is left as the miracle of creation?
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Pink Panther

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post24 Feb 2018

So, is the predicted dissolution of the BKWSU going to Destruction and Golden Age, or something beforehand? Are they mentally preparing themselves for the crumbling of the organization, and whatever is left as the miracle of creation?

I think it's about mentally preparing themselves for leaving the organisation, for the day when they each as individuals decide it is no longer relevant for them.

Maybe I am only speaking for myself and a few others, but if we look back on our own experiences of leaving and those who’ve shared theirs on this forum, we can see there is usually a lead time to leaving, with a series of incidents, thoughts or conclusions with a lag time afterward before the realisation hit, eventually, that the person is now ”outside”, the BK period is now in the past rather than present, and that they actually prefer it that way despite any gloom or insecurity they may feel (otherwise they go back, and some do).

For me and others with similar experiences, there wasn’t a single point in time when we consciously said, OK I am leaving BKs now. Rather, it is after the fact when we consciously say to ourselves, ”You know what, I don't think I want to be a BK anymore, and I think I have been pretending to myself for a while now that I still was but, well, I actually changed a while ago”.

I think these guys are, in a way, daring themselves to imagine themselves in a post-BK reality. It’d be hard for some of them, it having been their whole life's commitment for many decades now.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: "The Shift II"

Post26 Feb 2018

Ex-I,

I think the BKs or BKSO are being used as a tool by the global 1%. It's a status the BKs seem to enjoy, until they realize that they are not their masters of their own destiny.

When I first started to establish myself into the world of medicine, I was cautious about my status as a yogi-doctor/yogi-scientist. There were some awakening moments when I fully understood that true power and status are within and we are only custodians of them and we have a responsibility to help make the world a better place while we progress spiritually and professionally. I fully well understood that becoming a doctor and scientist is primarily a spiritual change or transformation to help make the world a better place for all peoples.

Pink,

I also think the meetings of minds of our Brothers and Sisters are tickets to exit BKSO gracefully.

I admire Herbert Benson. Instead of going on the trip of gurudom, he remained in his laboratory and clinic at Harvard and did research and publish, and did it for more than 4 decades. Sure he wroke books for the lay public, but he made major contributions to knowledge. Another example is Noam Chomsky or Jane Goodall.
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