Baba Milan (direct meeting with God at BKWSU HQ)

for ex-BKs, exiting BKs, Friends & Family of BKs and newcomers to the forum.
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chill

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Re: Baba Milan

Post22 Mar 2013

Let us consider that a lot of people are not being herded into believing something, they are not under any hypnosis and they are acting by their own free will. Then this concept will hold good- unless the mind is at the same frequency, the divine experience will be elusive. For example, in an optical illusion people often do not know what they are supposed to see, unless they are told to concentrate on a particular point and given an imagination of the outcome. But one cannot say that the illusion is false just because one has not seen it yet.

On a positive note, maybe Baba Milan is a similar experience.

Just my hypothesis really. No offense to anyone.

ex-I has mentioned some past references, similar to which was the person's experience I described. This person was a non-believer and had no intention of following BKs but the family was following it. On one Milan, this person had a feeling that if they have a Sakshatkar, they would become a true follower. And then the person had that vision. This person is not in contact with me. I am not sure about the training thing, I have not heard anyone telling that to me.
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ex-l

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Re: Baba Milan

Post22 Mar 2013

mail2sundareee wrote:On reading this, I remember Amway scam. In Amway scam, the people who don't earn (cheat others) are termed as losers. Similarly in BK group/organization, if you do not feel the presence of BK God it means - the problem is with you and not with the system (defined by BK) ...

Amway, short for "American Way", is an American multi-level marketing company. That is to say, a company which avoids the normal shop front style of business but encourages people to turn all their family and friends and daily life into their business ... you're encouraged to "generating leads" to rise up the ranks and, yes, if you don't, you are squeezed out of the picture. Personally, I don't like that.

In a way, that's a bit like the BKs (Amway has also been criticized as being a little cult like).

Do the BKs discuss those who don't have experiences? Do they discuss those who don't have a great experience meeting with their God? Are people satisfied with their answers or just easily brushed off?
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Pink Panther

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Re: Baba Milan

Post23 Mar 2013

ex-l wrote:: Amway, short for American Way, is an American multi-level marketing company. That is to say, a company which avoids the normal shop front style of business but encourages people to turn all their family and friends and daily life into their business ...

Funnily, a number of exiting BKs I knew got into Amway just after, or just as they were, exiting. An easy transition. Just as everyone is just needing to be told the "good news" about Baba, and the more service you do the higher your status in the hierarchical pyramid, so too with Amway (and others) everyone's a potential block to add to the pyramid below you, elevating you higher.

Maybe because exiting BKs are often desperate for money that Amway's promise of "ethical" riches combined with their MO (modus operandi - way of operating) feels like a comfortable fit for" BKs?

They too arrange public programs where they present part of the product but won't explain the rest then and there, not until you go through certain other steps and are "ready". You can just buy a few products for yourself (come along as you need), or once you decide you want to "recommend" the product, you may as well get more involved and become a "reseller", enthusiasm and positivity (stage) being the best advertisement ...Just as you eventually abuse relationship, often alienating friends, colleagues and family with "service" chatter and regular invitations to programs - and bond more with your "alokik family", so too with Amway. You become a part of their 'family" and sub-culture, go to regular workshops and annual gatherings (rather than Abu) etc.

It is all a kind of psycho-social sleight of hand, which segues nicely to ...
Chill wrote:: Let us consider that a lot of people are not being herded into believing something, they are not under any hypnosis and they are acting by their own free will. Then this concept will hold good - unless the mind is at the same frequency, the divine experience will be elusive. For example, in an optical illusion people often do not know what they are supposed to see, unless they are told to concentrate on a particular point and given an imagination of the outcome. But one cannot say that the illusion is false just because one has not seen it yet.

On a positive note, maybe Baba Milan is a similar experience.

The experience at the Baba melan is very similar indeed. A "positive note" is a subjective "value judgement" of that view however ...

Where you look, and how you look at something affects the experience, as does expectation. Shift a few parameters and everything can seem different. Who is having the experience and why?

Consider those points as you watch this simple example.

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ex-l

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Re: Baba Milan

Post23 Mar 2013

I am not sure what the dancers are meant to add to this topic but, as we've discussed before, I generally find the skeptical or rationalist view of spiritual experiences as lacking as the religionists' interpretations of them are exaggerated.

That is to say, they are both at opposite extremes of a scale. I am not addressing this to you Pink Panther, but I reckon most of former seeking a rational explanation have just never experienced anything weird and wonderful and so consequently cannot believe anyone else has either. They go about looking for the poorest and most desperate explanations for them, e.g. if a magician could do it, then that must be the answer.

They remind me of a man I once knew who never dreamed. He had never had a dream in his life and could not imagine what they were like. He was quite sad about it.

Do weird and wonderful things and experience exist? Most certainly. Are they instantly evidence of whatever theory or god the religionists claim. Most certainly not. Do they all correlate with thoughts impressed into their minds before? No. It interested me that Osho's insight into Sai Baba was not that Sai Baba could not do what he claimed but that he was doing what he claimed (physical manifestation) but using the power to steal them from somewhere ... on the basis that Rolex did not have a franchise in the ether! Hmmn.
chill wrote:For example, in an optical illusion people often do not know what they are supposed to see, unless they are told to concentrate on a particular point and given an imagination of the outcome. But one cannot say that the illusion is false just because one has not seen it yet ...

On one Milan, this person had a feeling that if they have a Sakshatkar, they would become a true follower. And then the person had that vision.

By "sakshatkar" do you mean a vision of some sort, or something specific?

To revise, the official position from the BKs' teaching is that such visions or experiences are "the fruit of religious devotion in previous lives" and of no specific virtue, value or connected to BK efforts. Indeed, they might be the root of ego or a distraction. (This is a good way of keeping people who don't have them in hope).

The unofficial view, from how the BKs generally interpret them, is that "Baba gives such vision to encourage the newcomers or spiritually young". Or hook them in our words. The BKs claim, according to their nature, that their god "holds the key to divine visions", that is to say in all of time and all of religions, their god in their heaven is the one who gives all people every where "divine visions".

Of course, we need to review that claim in light of our better understanding of the religion. It seems a little exaggerated.

So, from a strict point of view, your friend would still be seen as a "Bhagat soul", that is a religionist seeking proof and below being a true BK. The Knowledge also says you cannot see a soul (and yet many BKs claim to have seen them).

I think the problem to the skeptical or rationalist point of view is that "powerful" spiritual experiences do happen within BKism. I would say more commonly than most but not as much as charismatic churches. I've seen this myself even with non-BKs, or individuals who do not go on to become BKs. And those that later left! Their happening is apparently completely random and so is their nature, anything from visions of heaven on earth to light or lights, to a feeling of being weightless or floating in worlds of red or white light surrounded by other angelic individuals. But, please don't waste years getting up at 4 am to have one. There's no guarantees given.

Why then is the seeing or meeting with "God" in person not universally powerful? Why apparently does he not recognise individuals who have been thinking after and talking to him 24 hours a day if they can? Why does "God" have to be reminded who people are and what they have done? Many will claim that when BapDada enters Gulzar there is a wave of energy ... but it is more or less than when Elvis or a Bollywood star enters the room?

Did you go to a Hindi season or a foreigners' season?
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Re: Baba Milan

Post24 Mar 2013

ex-l wrote:I am not sure what the dancers are meant to add to this topic but, as we've discussed before, I generally find the skeptical or rationalist view of spiritual experiences as lacking as the religionists' interpretations of them are exaggerated.

I was responding to Chill's point
chill wrote:For example, in an optical illusion people often do not know what they are supposed to see, unless they are told to concentrate on a particular point and given an imagination of the outcome.

What i noticed watching that simple video is that the "wonderful" illusory aspect occurs when you look at the leg movement of the group, but disappears when you look specifically at the heads or at a particular girl. One is "suspending disbelief' to enjoy the entertainment and the illusion, just like at the movies, the other is to look "through' it to what is really happening, how is it happening.

It is similar to the phenomenon of people being "conditioned" to expect certain "types" of people to be honest and trustworthy and other "types" untrustworthy and bad, based on appearances. Even if they've already been discovered to have done wrong, people don't want to believe their prejudices are misleading. Cognitive dissonance.

That is to say, they are both at opposite extremes of a scale.

Yes, being totally gullible or totally dismissive, without proof, are the same. To be dismissive of one explanation of a phenomenon is not to dismiss the phenomenon itself though. Do we (ex-BKs) know with absolute certainty that BapDada is not God ? No. After all, we know we're fallible. Being sceptical is not being dismissive, being "sceptical' is an attitude that keeps the fallible safe. Yes, one can be overly-sceptical (sceptical for no reason other than being contrary or being dogmatic).

They remind me of a man I once knew who never dreamed. He had never had a dream in his life and could not imagine what they were like. He was quite sad about it.
Most people say they cannot remember their dreams, its unusual for someone to say that have never had one. I can understand he'd be sad. It's another topic but I'd be curious to know his other traits ...

Its been shown that dreams are an essential part of the sleep process for good mental and psychological health, regardless of whether people remember them or not. Experiments with animals have shown that interrupting their sleep during REM- rapid eye movement, the time we're dreaming most - leads to illnesses, even death. ( In the 1950's or '60s - before animal welfare concerns - two groups of cats were treated exactly the same, except one group has their sleep interrupted every time they enter REM state i.e. they're never left to dream, the others were woken when not in REM. The REM interrupted cats all got weak, wan, irritable, nasty to each other, lose appetite, got sick, some even died.)

It interested me that Osho's insight into Sai Baba was not that Sai Baba could not do what he claimed but that he was doing what he claimed (physical manifestation) but using the power to steal them from somewhere ... on the basis that Rolex did not have a franchise in the ether! Hmmn.

The second point, about "stealing" brand name watches, was really sarcasm, to drive home the first point, that he actually thought Sai Baba's tricks were fraud rather than siddha powers used to steal. That's how I took it anyway.

To revise, the official position from the BKs' teaching is that such visions or experiences are "the fruit of religious devotion in previous lives" and of no specific virtue, value or connected to BK efforts. Indeed, they might be the root of ego or a distraction. (This is a good way of keeping people who don't have them in hope).

But "official" trance visions (or trance messengers) are used. Some get fired!

I think the problem to the skeptical or rationalist point of view is that "powerful" spiritual experiences do happen within BKism. I would say more commonly than most but not as much as charismatic churches. I've seen this myself even with non-BKs, or individuals who do not go on to become BKs. And those that later left! Their happening is apparently completely random and so is their nature, anything from visions of heaven on earth to light or lights, to a feeling of being weightless or floating in worlds of red or white light surrounded by other angelic individuals
.
That "powerful" spiritual experiences do happen within BKism. just like they do for people of other faiths, or no "religious faith" or as you say later, fans/fanatics of popular figures just shows that they are human! How do we know that a "powerful" experience had by one person is more truly "spiritual" than that had by another - whether based on a religious faith or other catalyst? is it the surroundings and circumstances? is not "spiritual" merely an adjective used by those who have regard for 'spirituality", while others may have similar experiences in life but choose other words? (it was.....awesome!!)

Visions: Are you in the Subtle Regions or Paramdham or astral travelling because you are not seeing what's in front of your eyes but something else? When you let your thinking wander it might go to unusual places, a daydream? Astral travelling? If you focus your mind in particular ways, unusual things also happen. People "stare" a lot in BK meditation and all kinds of wonders happen. the person leading meditation might disappear, or glow etc...
Stare at the dot for a while, and eventually the colours will disappear.


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Re: Baba Milan

Post24 Mar 2013

Pink Panther wrote:That "powerful" spiritual experiences do happen within BKism just like they do for people of other faiths, or no "religious faith" or as you say later, fans/fanatics of popular figures just shows that they are human! How do we know that a "powerful" experience had by one person is more truly "spiritual" than that had by another ...

By "spiritual" I only mean 'not physically induced' (within which I would also include 'drug induced'), so mentally or psychically induced experiences. No, I would not class 'group hysteria' as a spiritual experience.

Please do try and remember the topic title and try and keep at least keeping conversation relevant or referring back to it. Unfortunately, I think that "but what if ..." section, as quoted above, doesn't really help or mean anything without supporting it with some kind of evidence or being specific about what each is. Otherwise it's just a distraction of theoretical permutations.

It's also not a strong argument against BKism as BKs will still think their experiences are the best or their god causes them all.

I have not looked for any statistics but from personal experiences of growing up in a primarily Protestant country I would say practically no one going to a church regularly is having the kinds of spiritual experiences ... and if they did, they'd run thinking it was Satan! Of course, there, immediately, you have an example of how BKs are taught to interpret 'weird and wonderful' experiences as "Godly" rather than Satanic or Luciferic (which they may well also be).

I would also say, on the basis of personal or anecdotal evidence only, that 99.8% of the people going to Buddhist meditations class and new agey events were not having any "experiences" either (and are rather disappointed by it). The first might not have sought them, but the later certainly did and there was a tendencies of the same people going to every new "teacher" who came along seeking just that "experience".

Obviously the more Pentecostal-type churches are having 'weird and wonderful' experiences but they seem to be very physical and expressive, e.g. shaking, shouting, talking in tongues etc and then you get the odd wave of odd experiences like the "Toronto Blessing" or various mass Catholic visions. Where I live we have many African churches which, although superficially "Christian", appear to be more like tribal spiritualism and in Christian Spiritualist churches, the whole point is going to witness the mediumship of spirits and experience healing.

The question of "what is personal charisma?" is something else to ask which, I suppose, does relate to this topic.

Did you find BapDada to be even charismatic, Chill?
People "stare" a lot in BK meditation and all kinds of wonders happen. The person leading meditation might disappear, or glow etc...

Yes, I agree with this, and, again, it is given a mysterious explanation and presented as evidence of 'something happening'. This takes us back to what the original posters was saying about "having a vision of BapDada entering Gulzar".

What was it they saw, or did not see, and interpreted as that? It's too easy to dismiss everything as 'just imagination' or a conjurer's trick. It might be interesting to record how each of the many people who claimed to see BapDada entering Gulzar imagined it.

Of course, overall, one of my frustrations with the BKWSU is that they don't really measure, categorize or validate experiences at all ... they just sit there going, "very good, very good ... now put some money in Baba's box or work for us". Many BKs will claim to experience "bliss" ... but what does it mean and how do they know?
chill wrote:I just want to know if any one on this forum has felt anything extraordinary in their BK days.

I remember giving the course and a young man witnessing such facial transmogrifications (changes) as you mentioned. It would happen often. One was of an old man and another of a monkey wearing a crown, and this was a young man with no knowledge of Hinduism or BKism.

I also remember giving the BK course to a very ordinary, middle aged Christian woman who was just very anxious and wanted to calm down and relax. She had "visions" of sounded like Jesus and Mary, e.g. a man with a beard and a woman with long hair ... and never came back to the center ever again! (She obviously did think it was Luciferic as many Christians believe the Toronto Blessing and similar is).

Looking back, I am left feeling a lot of "teaching" we did was spiritually unethical. We took these ordinary people off the street who just wanted "Peace of Mind" and, using a number of guiles including personal attachment, forced them through the 'BKWSU sausage making machine' ... and then if they did not convert directly, basically dismissed or discarded them afterwards.

Other typical experiences were to see clouds of white light (I guess I had that one), to lose all awareness of this world and see only golden red light (I never had that one but people did when doing the meditation with me), visions of little but very bright stars of light (I had that one, they're different from retinal problems) and a floating away feeling where you feel free from gravity and no longer like the shape of your body, e.g. you don't feel arms and legs any more.


As an aside to Pink Panther, I was reading about Japanese prisons the other day and I discovered as a 'punishment' prisoners were made to sit and stare at a particularly spot on the wall. That made me laugh. BKs would love Japanese prison. Nothing to do but sit on the spot and stare at the wall.
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Re: Baba Milan

Post25 Mar 2013

ex-l wrote:... doesn't really help or mean anything without supporting it with some kind of evidence or being specific about what each is. Otherwise it's just a distraction of theoretical permutations.

It's also not a strong argument against BKism as BKs will still think their experiences are the best or their god causes them all. .... I would also say, on the basis of personal or anecdotal evidence only, that 99.8% of the people going to Buddhist meditations class and new agey events were not having any "experiences" either (and are rather disappointed by it). The first might not have sought them, but the later certainly did and there was a tendencies of the same people going to every new "teacher" who came along seeking just that "experience".

Obviously the more Pentecostal-type churches are having 'weird and wonderful' experiences but they seem to be very physical and expressive, e.g. shaking, shouting, talking in tongues etc and then you get the odd wave of odd experiences like the "Toronto Blessing" or various mass Catholic visions. Where I live we have many African churches which, although superficially "Christian", appear to be more like tribal spiritualism and in Christian Spiritualist churches, the whole point is going to witness the mediumship of spirits and experience healing.

Maybe I do look at topics from a tangent. But have been to over a dozen "Baba milan" or live Avyakt BapDada nights/Murlis.

I was making the point that "spiritual" experiences can be induced by stillness and staring whilst affirming certain thoughts just as much as by shaking, shouting, music and dancing whilst affirming certain thoughts.

The other main point (or example) is that the visual sense is not the only "organ" susceptible to "illusion", to misinterpreting what's presented. That a number of factors can come together to create an impression.

It is not a surprise that the only growing congregations in Western Christianity are the pentecostals, baptists etc that use music and other stimulants. The traditional protestant church services and the modern Catholic ones are relatively boring.

There's no doubt that a group of similarly-intentioned people with similar experiences and wanting more of those experiences can create a community environment that reinforces that experience. If you get people to either hyperventilate or, conversely, to relax, and have that activity juxtaposed with certain mental "latches" they will see correlation as causation, associate the relaxation or exhilaration with the thought correlates. The BK guided meditations these days are far more like "keep calm" escapist visualisations that relax people than ASC.

Here's an example of co-related incidents being confused as profound, transformative spiritual experience.

What was the catalyst (!) that made Cat Stevens decide to become Yusuf Islam?

His Brother had given him a copy of the Koran to read. if you followed his career, you'd know that whatever he was exploring he'd get into it, write songs about it, think from that viewpoint.

While getting into the koran, he was swimming in the surf at Malibu and got caught in a rip (undercurrent) and was struggling, getting tired and desperate, his strength giving out with waves crashing over him whilst being drawn away from shore. (I have been caught in rips in the surf many times myself and know what he felt!) As someone from a non-surf culture, he'd have scant knowledge of what to do.

He said that he reached a point where he felt he had little strength left, was about to go under, so he prayed to god and promised that if god saved him, he would surrender fully and become a Muslim. The next wave that came was of such a height and shape that it lifted him and pushed him toward shore. He felt he had to 'surrender" as a Muslim.

Did Allah send the wave? Can anyone disprove that definitively? No.

But BKs do not believe that god intervenes in nature, or through nature. Any experienced surfer knows at what point in a wave's cresting and breaking that you can catch it, and when you should dive under rather than try to stay above it, etc, not to swim against a current but across it. etc.

An oceanographer with surf knowledge watching from shore might have seen that wave forming before Cat Yusuf made his plea ... Are these views to be called "sceptic" or just from a different foundation?

is it sceptical, a theoretical permutation, to ask - what if Yusuf Cat been getting into something else at the time, say, Tao-ism? Maybe he'd have observed the way of the water and been better able to pick his moment rather than fight it (which is what aware surfers essentially do) - would he have become a taoist? What if he'd just seen Star Wars and was impressed by the Jedi idea of the "force" at the time?

So, the topic-related point - if someone goes to a BK centre they are already 'ready to buy". They are given the "formula" - sit still, focus on one thing, let the other "colours" fade away, consider this (very pleasing to the ego) idea that they are immortal, essentially nice etc, and sit with it. Most people can stay absorbed in thinking about themselves if encouraged. Many will have an experience and return.

Some will have 'romantic" idealistic expectations of an experience, thinking that sitting in the Baba milan should somehow mean a "gift" of a powerful experience, when in fact is a self-generated experience (as we've discussed earlier in the topic) And that also relates to people going to Buddhist meditations expecting something transcendental, supernatural - light from above, whatever - to happen, when most Buddhist meditations are about what's here and now, and how it is we experience that.
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Re: Baba Milan

Post25 Mar 2013

What did you experience, or not, Chill? Was it worth the price of your airfare and roughing it in tents along the road at Abu Road? Or were you up with the Westerners and VIPs in Mount Abu proper?
Pink Panther wrote:Maybe I do look at topics from a tangent. But have been to over a dozen "Baba milan" or live Avyakt BapDada nights/Murlis.

Did you or others with you have any "experiences" and how did you relate to them? What proportions of individuals having and not having were there? Do you think one has to be "open and psychically sensitive" to them, or "gullible and susceptible"? Yes, I agree the 6 month or one year build up would most certainly act as a filter of those who were desperately willing to believe and add expectation.

Your experience is valuable because at that time the meetings were in the first place one on one but you were accepted to go much quicker, weren't you?
But BKs do not believe that god intervenes in nature, or through nature.

In theory, yes ... or at least at a macroscopic level ... but how many times does one read or hear of BKs believing "Baba" intervened in some magical or mysterious, even lifesaving manner?
An oceanographer with surf knowledge watching from shore might have seen that wave forming ... Are these views to be called "sceptic" or just from a different foundation?

No, I think that sounds entirely rational. In my criticism I was thinking more of the 'professional skeptics' whose hobby it is to "debunk" things or the sometimes a little arrogant scientists or academics who see their intellects as being above everything and able to understand them away.

I am thinking of the confrontation between Jung and Freud when Freud was drilling Jung against the rising black tide of psychism, and then Jung was able to tell 'something' mysterious was about to happen and it did. I think a wooden table or a steel knife split with a crack and Freud went running (approximate summary).

Therefore, yes, I think most events have rational explanations, and that the human mind is very susceptible to confirmational biases, but that there are also weird, wonderful and yet inexplicable things going on in this world too.

I once witnessed a physical manifestation in a one-on-one situation, not with a Sai Baba type (actually there was a second witness too). I also had experiences during my BK days which I cannot do to myself now ... nor, indeed, could I do to myself then. They were done to me.

I mostly agree with the rational/skeptical point of view ... but then there are experiences that go way off the scale of notional or sentiment sensations too.

I think a typical sentimental sensation that BKs might report could be self-generating, e.g. feeling waves of love or waves of compassion etc. Those I can and have experience since and are nothing to do with any god, e.g. very tragic events or very beautiful events can evoke them from within me.

I think there is also a conformity of language or expression going on where people say what they think they should say, where non-conformist views are seen as "negative" or illusions (Maya). Certainly, in the old days it was encouraged, I don't know about now.
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Re: Baba Milan (direct meeting with God at BKWSU HQ)

Post25 Mar 2013

Sorry for not responding earlier. For one thing, I did not have much to offer to the discussion apart from a description of what I was told. And for the other, I was looking up articles on whether hypnosis is comparable to REM sleep. Apparently not.

And Sakshatkar was the exact word used by that person. I just happened to have attracted this person's attention somehow (unintentionally) and they were telling me all what happened which I have descibed earlier.
ex-l wrote:Therefore, yes, I think most events have rational explanations, and that the human mind is very susceptible to confirmational biases, but that there are also weird, wonderful and yet inexplicable things going on in this world too.

I was hoping that maybe out of the discussions in this forum, some other vision-like experience would come to light. Although, so far it seems to me that such visions are a projection of a person's own imagination (conscious or sub-conscious).
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Re: Baba Milan (direct meeting with God at BKWSU HQ)

Post26 Mar 2013

Chill, my reference to REM sleep was to do with ex-l mentioning a chap who had told him that he'd never dreamt in his life! It was not in response to any suggestions of hypnotism (although the "hypno" part literally means "sleep" and people can be influenced subliminally whilst asleep - or sleep deprived! - e.g. audio tapes that play while you sleep, usually with affirmations etc).

ex-l, yes, I went to Mt Abu about 8 weeks after I took the course. I think all meetings with BapDada, except the last one or two times out of maybe 14 times, included one-on-one (it was called "personal meeting") and getting "blessing" - on occasion even having a brief exchange. The last time was definitely as a group, group dristi, group blessing, then queuing for toli.
how many times does one read or hear of BKs believing "Baba" intervened in some magical or mysterious, even lifesaving manner?

That goes directly against the Gyan but - like champion athletes or young pop stars thank god when they win - yep, god cares about them that much - they seem to take it less personally when he let's someone else win, or something goes wrong. At least Muslims have the honest belief to say "Insha'Allah" for everything that happens, including the bad. With agyani BKs (those who don't really understand the Gyan) it's god's intervention - "wah, Baba" - when good things happen (they are therefore special, like the pop star so grateful to god for her talent - but forgets to thank her singing teacher), but it's "wah drama" when bad things happen.
ex-l wrote: 1. Did you or others with you have any "experiences" and how did you relate to them?
2. What proportions of individuals having and not having were there?
3. Do you think one has to be "open and psychically sensitive" to them, or "gullible and susceptible"?

1. Heaps - but as I've said elsewhere, I was having "experiences" before I went to the BK centre. When I had them happening in a similar fashion there, I made the mistake of thinking that because they had a narrative already "worked out" that fitted those experiences, therefore my previous experiences were somehow premonitions or "future memory." It took years of 'research" to realise they were not patented, trade marked copyrighted to BKs or even theistic belief. (Although I would grant you that such belief or similar "narrative" is more likely to put one in the right frame of mind for "experiences", i.e. it's by thinking in 'analogue' we comprehend/attain the new and are able to relate to it).

2. cannot put a number, but what has been written in earlier posts here would be my anecdotal impression; many do, some don't, for the reasons also previously discussed.

3. You know the answer is 'both/neither'. We cannot say whether an experience is had because of one or the other, or a bit of both. Then again, one person may be "sensitive and open" and the other person "gullible/susceptible". Both may claim a noteworthy "experience" but who knows what the experiences are or how they compare.

It's like pain thresholds - just because someone can tolerate pain more doesn't mean they are less sensitive than someone who cries at a small pain. They maybe see small pain as part of everyday life whereas the 2nd person may rarely have ever been hurt so any pain or discomfort seems disproportionately important. So is someone who goes "wow man, that was like - cool", really experiencing more profoundly than another person? Maybe for them a slightly different mental state is unusual, for the other its to be expected?

That said, one can see many different levels to the human experience, including "unexplained" ones, that normally go unnoticed unless one cares to look. Yes, I had some "gee Wizz" moments. But, then again, I met a guy, nominally "intelligent" - he is a physics undergraduate - who thinks that one sign he is in tune with the universe is if he steps off the pavement and the traffic light turns green, but he is out of sync when it stays red, or turns red as he approaches!
I think there is also a conformity of language or expression going on where people say what they think they should say, where non-conformist views are seen as "negative" or illusions (Maya). Certainly, in the old days it was encouraged, I don't know about now.

In small groups, people are individuals, in larger groups they become "types" - and certain types (of people, behaviours and attitudes) become preferred, other types attract a collective tag of being 'tolerated".
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Re: Baba Milan (direct meeting with God at BKWSU HQ)

Post26 Mar 2013

chill wrote:I was hoping that maybe out of the discussions in this forum, some other vision-like experience would come to light. Although, so far it seems to me that such visions are a projection of a person's own imagination (conscious or sub-conscious).

In fairly classical spiritualist or occult terms, what it going on in the BKWSU would be said to be a kind of trance mediumship called "overshadowing", where one or more spirit entities take control over the body or physical organs of the medium. (This is seen as being different from spirit possession, as the mediums control the degree of overshadowing which they will allow whereas in possession there is a lack of control). If we accept that model, then it does not seem unreasonable to ask if those possessing or overshadowing spiritual entity or entities are able to extend their possession or overshadowing to others, even groups and that is the source of the initial strong spiritual experiences that hooks people to the BKs.

One often hears, "Baba gave the soul the experience ..." and although, in most cases, I would say he did not and they're just saying that, I would have to say that the types of experience I had and saw or heard others having, I/they could do it or give it to ourselves. I would have to admit they were of a scale far beyond ordinary day to day experiences.

(As an aside, apparently the BKWSU has another trance medium lined up for when Gulzar dies. I've heard a name mentioned and will see if I can check it).

Leading meditations, I've also had experiences of feeling like my head or body was being moved and controlled in a way that has not happened since or outside of the BKWSU.

In the teachings, it is actually said that deceased senior ex-BKs (ex-Brahma Kumaris because they died, not left the BKWSU) "enter" BK followers and act through them, e.g. Mama (Om Radhe) or others. If one accepts that, that too sounds like spiritualistic overshadowing or possession. From memory, I think the passages of the teachings that mention this encourage the BK followers to guard against feeling proud or attachment to the wonders they did hinting that the wonders being done were being done by these deceased BKs through them.

Now, you can either accept that as literally happening, and being the causes of "experiences", or interpret it as something else. My memories of discussion about such stuff and "how Baba gave souls power?" etc were that the answers were very vague and unsatisfactory. One would expected to accept that they did and no question asked. I cannot remember any discussion of the mechanics of how it happened. Perhaps someone else can.
Pink Panther wrote:Yes, I went to Mt Abu about 8 weeks after I took the course. I think all meetings with BapDada, except the last one or two times out of, maybe, 14 times included one-on-one (it was called "personal meeting") and getting "blessing" - on occasion even having a brief exchange. The last time was definitely as a group, group dristi, group blessing, then queuing for toli.

This is not a stupid a question as it may sound (I am playing neither the role of 'public prosecutor' nor 'attorney for the defence' here!) ...

On any of the occasions when you met the accused, were you lead to believe by the experience you had that the individual or individuals in front of you was indeed "God"?

I think what you mention, of BKs being encouraged to look back into their past and re-intepreting events and experience at premonitions of BK life is common. I don't know what the proper term for it is, but I am sure there is one ... again a kind of confirmational bias.
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Re: Baba Milan (direct meeting with God at BKWSU HQ)

Post27 Mar 2013

Hitesh's 'Gyan" is exactly the kind of thing that was taught. Not sure if it still taught that way.
ex-l wrote:On any of the occasions when you met the accused, were you lead to believe by the experience you had that the individual or individuals in front of you was indeed "God"?

Being a typical 19 year old, I thought I knew everything, and had worked out a schematic for defining God in my own head - and it was nothing to do with any "personality".

I had decided that God was an abstract point of principle, an ineffable, undefinable "starting point" - a zen-like, non-existent/indeterminate "precursor" that existed, proven by what it was a precursor of! (A more complex form of "there is a creation therefore there is a creator", but less personified). It could almost be understood.

That we call it "God" and conceived God the way we do was because we, as humans, simply couldn't quite get our heads beyond our human analogues and archetypes of Father/progenitor. instructor, law giver etc.. If we chased anything we knew back far enough to it's start and just before - that was "god".

That the "Shiva" of the BKs paralleled this idea enabled me to go along and reinterpet the Gyan in those terms. That answers the question of "how it was I went along with it, philosophically". But why?

Because the experiences in meditation I had (cannot speak for others') also paralleled meditation experiences I had been having before contact with the BKs. That I handed over proprietorship of those experiences, however, is another "why?" question.

And I think the answer to that becomes, because I felt comradeship, community, enjoyed the company of fellow travellers on a similar journey. I was able to adapt my "language" to the Gyan, and spent years rationalising it to fit and make sense. (I am amazed how inadequate Gyan discussions are these days regarding inconsistencies and discrepancies, e.g. with science or history! if you are going to believe "nonsenses" you have to transcend the 'senses"!).

With that background, the direct answer to your question (as I have stated elsewhere on forum ) is - I never thought of God the way most people do (i.e. accepted that the God of "Bhakti" did not exist, and even as a BK used to say "there is no god, but there is (this other being called) 'Baba'". That is, this 'being" exists, but has been anthropomorphised, personified,misinterpreted, mythologised etc.

My first meeting - I definitely felt "intensity" - one thought I clearly remember was, "This may not be "God" but whoever it is sure is powerful".

But I always felt that all I had to do was "break the circuit" or "flick the switch" and I'd be back in the room, mundane, not "seeing" - so in that sense it does require a certain subjective "mind-set-up" - similar to needing a different mind set to look at art to "see" what is there. That is, it is still coming from within, and it's not 'granted". (With those 3D prints, you had to cross your eyes and not focus to see the 3D image become real out of the 2D paper. A similar process goes on psychologically to experience "Baba")

Hence many people's disappointments when they're there. They think that now they are in the same room (with a possessed Gulzar) the "communication" would be made through the senses. My experience was, you still had to be in meditative awareness (me-soul, you-shiva), but now it's projected at the figure in front of you instead of a mental concept you had to ''nurture".

This could be interpreted to mean what you suggest ex-l, that it is all 'self-created" and the BK figures (physical and otherwise) merely 'accept' the projection of the followers the way any guru or adored person does.

It's the same as the hopeless romantic who believes a certain person will love them back if they just got to know them. I am in love with the idea of love, and project it at my possible "beloveds". Then, lo and behold, the girl behind the counter smiles directly at me one day and surely this proves that she is in love with me, and I am ecstatic!

I' d love to expand this analogy but time has run out for now.
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Re: Baba Milan (direct meeting with God at BKWSU HQ)

Post28 Mar 2013

Relating to "the experience", how do you or anyone else understand the "Honeymoon Period" when BKs first join and are intoxicated?
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Re: Baba Milan (direct meeting with God at BKWSU HQ)

Post29 Mar 2013

ex-l wrote:Relating to "the experience", how do you or anyone else understand the "Honeymoon Period" when BKs first join and are intoxicated?
I think the phrase says it all ""Honeymoon Period" - " intoxicated" - "the zeal of the convert" - the thrill of the new - the "feel good" factor of having gotten a jump on the competition (like investing early in the right stock) you are going to succeed spiritually more than those poor agyani Bhagat saps, but they cannot help it if I am so special!! :D).
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Re: Baba Milan (direct meeting with God at BKWSU HQ)

Post29 Mar 2013

That and a little sleep deprivation, I suppose.

But do people, opening the discussion to others, feel that "the thrill of the new" explains it all? I am not sure. It's a bit too long ago for me to remember accurately but do people not just fall in love with "Baba" a little? Is it not also a bit like that experience of falling in love? How does that happen ... a denial of all other loves?

I suppose connecting to the 'collective conscious' or group spirit of the BKs ... if we accept such a theory ... from their family spirit would explain a little bit of it too.

I don't know what the current scientific standing about such theories is but it seems logical that if you go from a small family group of, say, 4 or 5 to a group of 200 or thousands, then there is bound to be a difference ... especially where, perhaps, there is a history of either not very good relationships beforehand or the family is overseas from its original community, e.g. like the Sindhis or Gujeratis.

The "meetings with Baba" (note how I bring things back round to the topic discussion) are valuable to the BKs because after the first trial period, the individual BK is then subjected to a far large group spirit of which they are now part, I believe it is now 10,000s.
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