The long road

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shanti

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The long road

Post08 Aug 2010

Hi there - I am a survivor of the long dark night of the soul (30 years) largely brought about by my experience with Raja Yoga. I was in a centre for six years and did not always like what I saw and was vocal about it - no need to repeat it because it is documented so well by others. My leaving was not of my choice and I was forced to face the demons within; extreme loneliness, fear, poverty, illness and mental confusion lasted 10 years until I finally sort professional counselling and attended self help groups and this led to a sparking of interest in different religions and spiritual ideas for the past 10 years.

As a result I have found a degree of inner peace and happiness that comes from living in tune with myself but there are aspects of the past that I am still processing. I am here to help resolve the past. I like the fact that we can be open as I feel that true healing results from that. I have chosen to live an isolated life with my partner on a farm far from any centres and see myself as a freelance Brahmin. I have recently started to listen to Murli, along with other teachers of my choice in order to maintain a compassionate balance. I feel that God teaches and connects to us through many different ways and the bottom line is 'does it feel right'. I will continue reading this very interesting website. There are so many experiences from wonderful people and I feel there is a great sense of genuine humanity coming through.

love Shanti -
(Just to clarify I have used an Indian name but am a westerner)
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Mr Green

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Re: The long road

Post08 Aug 2010

hello there and welcome to this place
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shanti

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Re: The long road

Post12 Aug 2010

Some thoughts - might as well throw the cat amongst the pigeons ...

1. Many ex-BKs are isolated, including me, and this is a good website because we benefit from open speech about Raja Yoga. It is healthy to debate, however it is also scary because people are trying to connect with others are being bullied by those who have an agenda. As a result they don’t continue to write and keep contact. You are talking about bullying within Raja Yoga and yet you do it yourself. I am going to write what I feel and I expect that some will not like it and others will but I want to express it anyway. It took me many years before I would accept that there is such a thing as a spiritual path and that the heart of the spiritual path is healing. We do not need to do all sorts of external things to achieve that. I can live an ordinary life and be myself. That's what I do.
2. The essence of Raja Yoga is pure silence.
3. The teachings are just words that attempt to get us into the experience of pure silence however they can also take us away from that silence depending on the desire of the individual and the way that they interpret the teachings. Just because we say we are a BK, it doesn’t mean we suddenly become holy. My experience was that we easily get lost in the many different attractions or repulsions that are creations of our own minds:

    Desire to be wanted or needed
    Desire for name and fame
    Motivated by various fears
    Desire for control
These are all things that the human mind seems to seek in any situation and when they are transposed onto a spiritual setting they transform that situation into a very ordinary negative experience. I do not believe that they represent the essence of the teachings of Raja Yoga.
4. We have free will - like any religion we see the extremists, the ones that take it literally and on the physical level and those who are more open minded and spiritual in their approach. I see this and then can make the choice to be that which reflects my own path. As human beings we need to experience opposites in order to know - "I am not that".
5. It is a long road but the challenge is to find the hidden essence, the jewel of peace within myself. Raja Yoga is not perfect and while I have seen the dark side I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater because it still has relevance in my life.
6. I feel many things said on this website that are happening are expressions of human frailties and duality that are found world wide. They are the dark side of human nature. Raja Yoga has taught me compassion because I see that who I am is not separate from anyone else. We are all mirrors of each other. I have a dark side like everyone else. In my life, I find I want to be needed. I desire limited name and fame, I have various fears and am controlling to some extent. I get angry, upset and fearful and all those things that are part of what makes us human beings but I don’t necessary accept that this is normal. I believe that we all have the potential to be more than that.
7. While we believe that everything is happening to us and outside ourselves we continue to experience hitting dead ends. Ultimately we can only take responsibility for our own inner world. That includes accepting the darkness as well as the light within.
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filthy shudra

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Re: The long road

Post13 Aug 2010

Shanti

A very well thought out and heartfelt post well expressed.

My feeling is to agree completely with the meaning of what you have said, although I want to respond with the way you framed one aspect of it. But I am not wanting to discount anything you wrote.

You say, "I get angry, upset and fearful and all those things that are part of what makes us human beings but I don’t necessary accept that this is normal." and then you say " That includes accepting the darkness as well as the light within." I'd agree with your second statement, and disagree with the first - those things need to be accepted as normal, it is accepting the "darkness".

When we bring in from the shadows what is not allowed expression, and validate it, only then can it be "transformed" & integrated. Otherwise, it will wage a guerilla war. How we engage our inner world and how we engage our outer world can be in sync, or not. If we are willing to talk to the enemy and acknowledge its needs, then can resolution be reached - whether its an inner enemy or external.

BK "Raj Yoga" does have silence at its core, as do all spiritual traditions. On this level, the mystics of all traditions (those who understand the greater reality is diminished by words) have more in common with each other than with others of their own nominal tradition.

The BK Gyan however, along with all Theistic traditions, does not validate shadow or darkness - it excludes, alienates, disparages, demonises - which creates more problems - a kind of ego imperialism ... Tao-ism, Tantra and some indigenous cultures seem to be the only ongoing traditions that accept darkness as equally valid, that "night" is equal to "day". In modern philosophies, Jungian psychology gives us the phrase - to "own your shadow" (your shadow may equally be unlived potential, not just repressed or exiled stuff).

So, have no fear that a baby will be thrown out with the BK bath water. Water is the universal solvent,and it's not trademarked to anyone. There's not much worthwhile that you can achieve things in life without getting dirty and sweaty, and then a bath is all the sweeter. Use whatever water conditioner or bath salts or fragrances you like ...

Again, nice post. Cheers.

bkti-pit

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Re: The long road

Post13 Aug 2010

Just wanted to say Hello and Welcome Shanti!
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ex-l

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Re: The long road

Post13 Aug 2010

shanti wrote:Some thoughts - might as well throw the cat amongst the pigeons ... Many ex-BKs are isolated, including me, and this is a good website because we benefit from open speech about Raja Yoga. It is healthy to debate, however it is also scary because people are trying to connect with others are being bullied by those who have an agenda.

Both cats and pigeons are welcome here. But, you see, the pigeons leave their droppings all over the place, so we let the cats eat them from time to time. ;) What are the agendas you see at play?

It is difficult to know what you are talking about without you being specific. They say 70% of communication is non-verbal and so any communication via the internet is going to be very difficult ... and very easy to misinterpret but we do pretty well.

Certainly, any "pro-BKWSU voices" have a hard time unless they are very, very rooted in reality. For example, I would have to strong question, "The essence of Raja Yoga is pure silence."

Do you mean the Brahma Kumarist "Raja Yoga" or the more authentic, traditional "Raja Yoga" (i.e. as credited to Patanjali)?

In the second case, I might accept it. In the first case, I would have to say, no. Within Brahma Kumarism, the meditation or silence aspect is a means to an end, part of which is the mediumcy of a spirit entity who wants to bring about the death of 6,000,000,000 human being via a nuclear holocaust. That is the essence, the alpha and omega, of the Brahma Kumaris.

So, yes, the initial contemplative practises etc are benign enough in themselves but very quickly they used to transmit energies or consciousness which is so radically different. They are the medium through which the energies or consciousness are passed.

Sincerely, I wonder if by "the teachings are just words that attempt to get us into the experience of ... silence" you mean the whole of The Knowledge, including the 5,000 Year Cycle and bogus predictions of the End of the World etc, are one big system to invoke a kid of mental frenzy that brings about a resignation and paralysis that is then interpreted as "peace". I am sorry, I had to remove the word "pure" from your sentence. I do not think the BKs peace is pure. I think it is very much impure and mixed.

    Is it a baby in the bathwater ... or a changeling? A demon.
Of course, the hypnotic practises do also have useful by-products of making adherents more submissive, more receptive and more easily programmed, something else which we see a lot.

If you do not mind me asking, how deeply did you become involved in the BKWSU and for how long?

because.parmeshwar

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Re: The long road

Post13 Aug 2010

shanti wrote:Many ex-BKs are isolated, including me, and this is a good website because we benefit from open speech about Raja Yoga. It is healthy to debate, however it is also scary because people are trying to connect with others are being bullied by those who have an agenda. As a result they don’t continue to write and keep contact.

Isolation is destiny of ex-bks ... it is very hard to live a normal life (to fit in to the society which is rapidly changing day by day) after leaving the BKs.
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filthy shudra

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Re: The long road

Post13 Aug 2010

because.parmeshwar wrote:Isolation is destiny of ex-BKs ... it is very hard to live a normal life (to fit in to the society which is rapidly changing day by day) after leaving BKs.

If you believe that, it will be so. Anything is possible.

because.parmeshwar

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Re: The long road

Post13 Aug 2010

Filthy Shudra wrote:If you believe that, it will be so. Anything is possible.
Brahmakumaris.info wrote:Beliefs: that 6,000,000,000 plus human beings must die during an imminent and desirable ‘End of the World’ called “Destruction”, in order that 900,000 faithful Brahma Kumari followers will inherit a heaven on earth before 2036. Followers are led to believe that a heavenly royal status can be achieved by donating money, free labor and unquestioning mental submission to the Brahma Kumari leadership, who will rule the world as Emperors.

The world is to be “purified” by a nuclear holocaust, which they will “give courage” to inspire. All other continents except for India, which the BKWSU predict it will rule after the Government of India hands over power to them, will sink below the oceans.

if quote no. 1 is true then according to it quote no. 2 will also be true ...
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ex-l

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Re: The long road

Post13 Aug 2010

because.parmeshwar wrote:Isolation is destiny of ex-BKs ... it is very hard to live a normal life (to fit in to the society which is rapidly changing day by day) after leaving the BKs.

I would guess that is a fairly true statement - especially for old ones and those that cannot partner and start a family. I suspect that we are just seeing a tip of an iceberg of such cases.

Another question to ask though is, is it any easier for non-BKs? I suspect not and I suspect in real world terms most ex-BKs actually have a highly privileged existence when 40 or 50% of people work 12 or more hours a day and survive on a $1.25 or less.

I suppose if you just surrender to the leaders of the BKWSU a large part of your thinking is taken away and done for you. That might be easier for some. I suspect also that many of the types of individuals that are attracted to Brahma Kumarism might have find life hard even without BKism being in it. But I am sure that all the nihilistic mental imprinting does not help anyone at all.

It is a long road out ... yes, I would say it was but I also think this website quickens the process for many people just by letting them know they are not alone.
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annamaria

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Re: The long road

Post13 Aug 2010

First of all, welcome Shanti and thank you for posting what feels like the essence of your experience with life in general and what you make out of your BK experience in particular.

What I sense in your post is your own strenght, your spirit, your beauty and understanding of the human eyperience. As you wrote we are all human beings and so are all BKs. When I read your post it makes me wish for you to be more gentle with yourself though in terms of not taking all the responsibility, understanding and excusing everyones actions and feelings. Well, probably I am saying this mainly to myself - though I find myself being much more benignant towards myself - I can still spot expectations far too high towards myself. Wasn't it Brian Bacon who used to say "we teach what we need to lern"? :-)

Everyone who gives a go on becoming perfect and "transforing the world through selftransformaiton" must be a very affectionate and ambitious human being! And that affaction and compassion spreaks to me reading your post Shanti. I guess everyone has to find how to translate their hearts desires - or call it pure feelings - into practical life.

For me, it was a long road to find out that it will be impossible for me with the BKs. The timetable is far too much for any human being and I am much better without all that business. So I decided to step away totally because it hurts and is far too damaging to keep translating and adapting everything whilst being told what is expected all the time. By now, I think that I could not find the peace and happiness I was looking for because the whole system is wrong - it cant work. It is too extreme and anyone doing the whole routine of it will not be able to preserve the peace (and love) towards oneself and others you speak about from you heart.

It is your own strength and inner beauty that speaks through the lines. We can be so good in understanding and translating all the shortcomings of what is being thaught in the Centers. What we treasure and make out of it shows our own values, our beauty and speciality as a human being. Maybe that's a way to keep the baby whilst getting rid of the used bathing water?!? :-) Anyway it became far too draining for me to keep doing all that translating, overseeing and compromising and I only dared to loosen my routines after something close to a nervous breakdown ... The expectations are beyond human and therefore damaging and not for anyones good. Its just too extreme! That's how I see it anyway.

Also I find myself feeling not so lonely anymore since I do not split into pure/impure, souls/bodies ... and dare to connect to all the beautiful human beings everywhere in this world. So welcome again! Yes, we all have so many things in common and it is a joy to feel and see that in every day life and interactions.
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shanti

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Re: The long road

Post14 Aug 2010

Hey that wasnt so bad after all! So many ideas and feedback.

I agree that the internet is a difficult medium to communicate, however I think you are all doing a pretty good job of reading between the lines. Hi ex-l, I enjoyed your reference to cats eating the pigeons. It takes great courage to be authentic and when we are not we have to hide away behind all sorts of facades. As a matter of interest, I enjoy being around animals because they are so much in the moment and are just themselves - no BS.

I came into contact with Raja Yoga in my mid 20s (as I wanted to learn meditation and it was free of charge) and had a deep experience, spent two years studying Gyan then went into a centre and was centre in charge in various centres for 4 years. It was a special time in the yugya. When we went to Madhuban, there were so few Brahmins & Didi Manmohini was still around. I do not regret any of it, however what I do regret is that it didnt help me to find inner peace. It put me deeper on the path of self-destruction. Luckily, I did not do anything drastic because I have since realised that I can find peace and happiness if I listen to the deeper spiritual longings no matter how silly they may seem - it Is faith in the self I suppose.
filthy Shudra wrote:When we bring in from the shadows what is not allowed expression, and validate it, only then can it be "transformed" & integrated. Otherwise, it will wage a guerilla war. How we engage our inner world and how we engage our outer world can be in sync, or not. If we are willing to talk to the enemy and acknowledge its needs, then can resolution be reached - whether its an inner enemy or external.

Well put, filthy Shudra - the essence of transformation is acceptance of all that is within. It took me many years to recognise this - split off into so many parts that were all judging each other and constantly trying to escape the negativity that resulted. I was an emotional mess - the inner critic very vocal. Cant really put the blame on Raja Yoga for causing it but their agenda certainly didnt help - I came from a family background of alcoholism. That's when I spent a few years attending a 12 step Alanon program - it was 15 ago. The one thing that I learned from that program is the saying "take what you need and leave the rest". That's why I enjoy looking for inspiration from different areas while not really bothering about the stuff that doesn't interest me.

I also did some psychotherapy at the time as I suffered from work stress - very gentle psychologist who did not impose but let me set the agenda. During that I found a library book which described sitting with one's feelings and letting them be so that they resolve naturally. That was a turning point in acknowledging the self at a deeper level. That idea has really taken off in the self development arena but sadly Raja Yoga has not openly adopted it. All exciting stuff.

I chose to use the name shanti because I want to see through the mental fog to find the stillness within - at times I wonder if my search is motivated by the inner mystic - the hermit. I love God but not in a religious sense. I have gained inspiration from both Taoism and Jung - well put, again, filthy Shudra.
filthy Shudra wrote:The BK Gyan however, along with all Theistic traditions, does not validate shadow or darkness - it excludes, alienates, disparages, demonises - which creates more problems - a kind of ego imperialism ... Tao-ism, Tantra and some indigenous cultures seem to be the only ongoing traditions that accept darkness as equally valid, that "night" is equal to "day". In modern philosophies, Jungian psychology gives us the phrase - to "own your shadow" (your shadow may equally be unlived potential, not just repressed or exiled stuff).

This is getting too long so I will end it and begin another reply.

Shanti

because.parmeshwar

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Re: The long road

Post14 Aug 2010

ex-l wrote:Another question to ask though is, is it any easier for non-BKs? I suspect not and I suspect in real world terms most ex-BKs actually have a highly privileged existence when 40 or 50% of people work 12 or more hours a day and survive on a $1.25 or less.

I agree the survival is hard in the real world to all, if they are ex-bks or non-bks, as the world is going with many changes ... rather rapid change.

For ex-bks, it is harder to fit in the normal society, as they have to carry all the dogma into their minds and then to behave in the normal society is difficult, as they can not comfortably function in the real world. The feeling of guilty, the fear, the past experiences, the dilemma, the regrets etc are all the negative forces they have to deal with ... it takes time to undo all the beliefs and heal to become NORMAL.
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ex-l

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Re: The long road

Post14 Aug 2010

shanti wrote:I came into contact with Raja Yoga in my mid 20s ... spent two years studying Gyan then went into a centre and was centre in charge in various centres for 4 years. It was a special time in the yugya. When we went to Madhuban, there were so few Brahmins & Didi Manmohini was still around.

I bet you would not recognise the place and system if you were to go back now. In fact, it is a wonder to consider what the experience of today's new 'corporate' BKs is in comparison to yours. Imagine doing your first "Meeting God on the Top of a Mountain" in a group of 10,000s. They are herding them through like cattle (... sweet shop to the right, cash register at the end of the aisle, Bhai, you have to buy a picture of the Dadi's because they are too business speaking to VIPs to meet you).

This is where the original xBKChat forum and it have be always has been a miracle, because no where else do you have such a broad record of it all. It would be really good if you could jot down your more valuable insights for others. Having done a one on one with the holy ghost (BapDada in Madhuban), what do you think it is?

Elsewhere we are talking around a comparison of Brahma Kumarism with Buddhism. It is a probably mistake, I realise, like comparing oranges and apples because Buddhism is a broad tradition and Brahma Kumarism is a small, narrow cult but one thing that has come up from it, for me, is how in "real religions" before being given any position of authority, individuals are forced to really study ON TOP OF the meditation practises etc. That is to say, they have to study for 5 or 7, or even 20 years, before they are let loose on other people's psyches.

Here you say you were in your 20s, with less than a couple of year experience as a BK before you became a center-in-charge. Let's be honest, a) there is not a lot to study in the BKWSU and, b) at least part of what is there to "memorise" is deliberately falsified. The BKs seem to confuse memorising with study.

In fact, despite the 1,000s of intelligent people involved, I really don't see any evidence of them "studying" anything let alone themselves. For me, it is more about memorising and doing fairly dumbed down PR.
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shanti

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Re: The long road

Post14 Aug 2010

Reply continued....
ex-l wrote:I would have to strong question, "The essence of Raja Yoga is pure silence."

Raja Yoga was my first introduction to spirituality and so it awakened me to spiritual concepts. Yes I have since found this concept in many different faiths which leads me to understand that it is a universal concept and not the domain of any one faith - it is beyond religion. Years ago I did a long silence retreat at a benedictine abbey and it was so beautiful I didnt want to come into sound at the end of it. I also enjoy the teachings of Eckhart Tolle because of the silence without the moral teachings.

filthy Shudra wrote:BK "Raj Yoga" does have silence at its core, as do all spiritual traditions. On this level, the mystics of all traditions (those who understand the greater reality is diminished by words) have more in common with each other than with others of their own nominal tradition.

Well said - I have come to the same conclusion....

annamaria wrote:The timetable is far too much for any human being and I am much better without all that busieness. So I decided to step away totaly because it hurts and is far too damaging to keep translating and apapting everything whilst being told what is expected all the time.

Hi annamaria - lovely to read your reply, you seem to be an insightful person - reading between the lines. I agree with your reference to the busy lifestyle. The spiritual life is demanding enough - people who are on a spiritual path need time to process, to adjust, to chill out or even completely take time out completely. There simply was no flexibility.

ex-l wrote:I would guess that is a fairly true statement - especially for old ones and those that cannot partner and start a family. I suspect that we are just seeing a tip of an iceberg of such cases.

Yes these are very real issues. I didnt want children but wanted a companion in life and as you know thats not easy coming from the BK background.

because.parmeshwar wrote:Isolation is destiny of ex-BKs ... it is very hard to live a normal life (to fit in to the society which is rapidly changing day by day) after leaving the BKs.

Hi because.parmeshwar. I felt intense loneliness after leaving BKs. I tried to fit in with society, job etc but just got ill so I had to think outside the square and find a way of life that expressed my nature - being close to nature - sky, land, animals is where I feel most comfortable.

ex-l wrote:It is a long road out ... yes, I would say it was but I also think this website quickens the process for many people just by letting them know they are not alone.

I am happy to share my experience - I was in a pretty bad way for a long time and it has only been in recent years that things have come together. BKs would say 'karma' - but its deeper than that - ultimately we do not have to be at the mercy of superstition and negative thinking. We have choice. Its not in the teachings but in the interpretation of them.
Hi to everyone....
love Shanti
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