The Beautiful Side of Evil

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ex-l

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The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post24 Jun 2009

Just a quick reference to 'The Beautiful Side of Evil' by Johanna Michaelsen which refers to ongoing discussion on the spiritualism within the Brahma Kumaris movement.

Johanna Michaelsen is a Christian, I am not proposing her or the producers final assumptions, who thought her spirit guide was Jesus. She speaks about Elizabeth Kubler Ross, Shirley Maclaine's experience, and the original 'positive thinking guru' Napoleon Hill. Johanna was told that she would become the inheritor of the spirit guide of a Mexican psychic surgeon as a fully-fledged trance medium, and was being prepared as such.

Personally, I am not subscribe the whole Christian Evangelistic nor promoting it; so please put up a filter so that you are not offended by it. What I think is interesting are the parallels between their experience and Brahma Kumari experiences, e.g they thought it was Jesus or Mary ... and everything was wonder and light; the BKs think it is God and the Angels ... and everything was wonder and light.

She goes on about how it turned into "demonic battles", a blackness enveloping her (which we have had cases of reported on this forum), and also how such psychic abilities are transfered ... all of which you could argue exist in the BK movement.

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Johanna Michaelsen wrote:"... my spirit guides, Jesus and Mamacita, were with me, teaching me to overcome the lower spiritual entities. Now, during the many hours spent in meditation waves of light and peace would flow over me ..."

She also mentions how she was stopped becoming a full trance medium after the possessing spirit guide said, "a greater spirit looking after her". There are 11 episodes, of which a few are here.



Part 10, Part 11.

Interestingly, "one world religion" and Brahma Kumaris best friend at the UN Robert Mueller, all get a mention. It also proposes pharmacia - experiences on recreational/illegal drugs, as a door to attracting contact with spirit entities.

Terry

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post24 Jun 2009

I accept the argument that you are making here that, from the viewpoint of religions and spiritualists, the BKs are part of the "spirit guide" phenomenon, whatever value judgment you want to make on that. I just do not hold to the viewpoint of the religious and spiritualists.

ex-l, you recently started a post with something like "I am sick of all religions", yet here you seem to be struggling to let go of other religious baggage because it serves your argument against the BKs vis a vis "spirit possession". Is the aim to understand what is really going on, or to present any viewpoint that condemns, which makes the advocate appear more culpable and inept than the accused? (No, not the comfy chair!)


As soon as God is personified, then you have to personify all other abstractions (and vice versa). Then it's possible to argue that anything you do or experience, that you don't want to own, is because of "other" influences. Where is that line drawn? "I don't know why I did that ... something possessed me"

That is superstition - which comes from the Latin for something which is passed its time, a hangover from an earlier state. There is no bogey man there in the dark. It is only "the undiscovered self".

jann

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post25 Jun 2009

There are 11 episodes,

I have seen them all!!! (Nothing else to do).

Very interesting and encouraged me with a dive in psychology ... Well ... there it all is! Cults know how people's mind work and take it from there ... recruit the weak, ignore the strong ... they don't need Baba ... Love bombed them and they are in ... take it from there.
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lokila

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post25 Jun 2009

terry wrote:Is the aim to understand what is really going on

As a BK, very often I thought I was very non spiritual because I tend to believe what I saw and what I saw were peoples actions and behavior. But ofcourse at first I believed what I heard when I came into Gyan. At the same time I believed what I experienced in meditation and linked what I heard and what I experienced together as they were one. Also a major factor to sustain this believe was that the people around me did the same.

Gradually I noticed that not everyone had the same experiences. Now at one point the teacher in charge was doing a class about spirits and her experiences with them. I had no idea what she was talking about so I kept quiet but some students had similar experiences so I thought I was missing something.

A few months later Jayanti was visiting the center and went into trance, delivering a Bhog message. I had no clue what was going on, how she could float away to another world and how she could receive messages. She was meeting all kinds of people there who already left their bodies, picknicking and dancing and Babdada spoke to her without using words.

The gap grew between what I heard and what I experienced became bigger and thus I start questioning myself what to believe. After a few years, I noticed so much of behavior around me which I could not relate to 'The Knowledge', I had to conclude I could not believe anymore in any of it. Simultaniously my experiences in meditation changed from being very peaceful to feeling nothing but emptiness.

This chain of experiencing, hearing and seeing seemed to be connected to what I believed. I write believe because knowing something is a whole different subject. Do I know I am a soul? I was told that those experiences in meditation were proof of me being a soul. I believed it but did not know. Did I know God is the Supreme Soul? I was told that my transformation in lifestyle was orchestrated by Shiva but I did not know.

Some time ago I read an article about some research about schizophrenia. Advanced brain scans were done and the outcome was a real eye opener. It appeared when a patient was hearing voices, the actual part in the brain which normally becomes active when we hear sounds, was active at that time. There is a big difference in brain activity when we 'think' about sound (remembering a song or spoken words) and actually hearing sound. The activity is in different parts of the brain.

So now I ask you. Is this schizophrenic person actually hearing things? The answer "yes" is valid, as is the answer "no". Yes for the patient, no for others. But the more people believe this schizophrenic person is hearing something, the more true it gets, although they do not have this experience themselves.

The more people believe that Bap and Dada are speaking though Gulzar Dadi, the more true it gets, although they do not experience this. The more people believe that trance messengers are seeing and hearing things, the more true it gets.

Does it mean it is true or not? Maybe both.
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ex-l

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post25 Jun 2009

Lokila wrote:Now at one point the teacher in charge was doing a class about spirts and her experiences with them. I had no idea what she was talking about so I kept quiet but some students had similar experiences so I thought I was missing something ... A few months later Jayanti was visiting the center and went into trance, delivering a Bhog message. I had no clue what was going on, how she could float away to another world and how she could receive messages. She was meeting all kinds of people there who already left their bodies, picknicking and dancing and Babdada spoke to her without using words.

Interesting, I had no idea that Jayanti Kripalani was still offering a "port-a-medium" service. I thought that they "officially" stopped doing Bhog offering and trance mediumship, although I know it still went on in private, like when BapDada had to be consulted over some important service or property development.

Ultimately, Terry, this forum is not about "understanding everything about everything" and proving whose "theory of existence" is correct. It is about understanding and unpicking one's BK experience.

As Lokila quite right documents, the Brahma Kumaris are a spiritualist religion ... and this is certainly not made clear to newcomers.

The Brahma Kumaris' activities are regularly steeped in spiritualistic rituals. Spiritualistic displays, such as this one with Jayanti, are widely used to reinforce many aspects of their path, including the status of the leaders. Adherents are slowly accustomed to this and conditioned as to how to interpret it. Spiritualism includes not just clear and open mediumship, such as we are talking about but also more discrete channelling or transmission of "energies", what they might be.

Although spiritualism is all prevalent, it is not discussed, documented or understood. They are engaging 10,000s of individuals (including children, your child) into spiritualism, hypnosis, the occult etc (and projecting the great death of all humanity) ... and they don't even know what they are doing or what effect it has!?! So how else do we come to understand about the nature of these except by studying them and other similar or identical manifestations?

Again, as Lokila demonstrates, I would say most Western adherents these days know nothing about spiritualism, the spiritualism of the BKWSU is whitewashed over and what is the first thing that the BKs do ... entirely disencourage and disengage followers from other sources of information and opinion about what is going on. I don't think you can argue with any of that.

As I put to you before, whatever the "ultimate" level of existence might be, e.g. "we are all one", at our level of existence there is separation and everything has its own nature. So what is the nature of spiritualistic experiences or manifestations? Do you understand?

I am not even asking what they are, how they happen, never mind making a religion out of them. I am just saying, "OK, here we have all this stuff going on ... what is the nature of it?" Let us look at the comparables in the field and see what we can learn.

And this flipside to spiritualist wonder that Johanna Michaelsen documents, has been documented elsewhere too. It is one that I would go along with. Michaelsen strikes me as being fairly reasonable and grounded for an Christian-American. She does not seem to me to be an attention seeker, or some pie-eyed New Ager. She comes across as being honest about herself and has had in depth, long-term experience of the mediumship. It all relates directly to the Brahma Kumaris, as they too are apparently training up young girls to take over official medium Gulzar's role once she dies.

All you appear to me to be saying is that, "there is no such thing as spiritualism because they is no such things as a soul, so don't think about these things (... or suffer my ridicule)". Are you just like the jolly sociologists telling us "oh, how nice the Brahma Kumaris and there is nothing to be concerned about". Or are you saying it is safe, dangerous ... or what?

In truth, how much different a result are you presenting from the "official" BKs point of view on it all ... "don't think, don't question ... just apply a dot".
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tom

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post25 Jun 2009

ex-l wrote:I thought that they "officially" stopped doing Bhog offering and trance mediumship, although I know it still went on in private, like when BapDada had to be consulted over some important service or property development.

At every Thursday morning in Madhuban when Bhog is offered small Mohini goes into trance and brings messages which are mostly distributed via internet. On special occasions, as ex-l says, BapDada is consulted via Dadi Gulzar. During BapDada's season however, when Big Mohini is there, she comes on the stage and without any inner preparation she starts rolling her eyes to talk from BapDada and from the Advance Party members.

I never had the opportunity to watch Sister Jayanti or small Mohini going into trance but I have seen Big Mohini bringing so called "messages" from BapDada and never believed her actually going into trance. And when Dadi Janki gives her a hug after her message I always thought that Dadi Janki is also playing this theater with her.

On the other hand I have watched Dadi Gulzar many times and I "know" with certainty that she goes into trance with some entities. The sad fact for me is that all BKs including myself have been in "deep Yoga" or "tapasya" going into trance with some entities which influenced our lives in a negative way beyond our consciousness.

After learning what the Seniors have been and are "allowed" to do all over the world and what they have never done like healing practices and/or helping the ones in need (in India there are over 500,000 HIV victims - mostly women and children - who can not afford medicaments, and there are over 10 million homeless children on the streets), I am now sadly convinced that these entities are not saints or angels, or enlightened beings, but are hopelessly attached to this earth and are in need of controlling human minds to satisfy their greeds.

jann

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post25 Jun 2009

Message for the day: June 24, 2009

Love creates the right environment for others' positive growth.

Expression: Where there is love, a natural environment for others' growth is created. Love gives the ability to perceive the positivity in others and gives the encouragement to others to bring about that positivity and use it for the benefit of the self and others.

Experience: When I have love for others, along with perceiving their specialities, I am also able to recognise and use my specialities and inner powers more and more. Knowing and using these specialities is naturally for the benefit of those around me. This gives me an inner experience of power which makes me a constant giver and a support for those around me.
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ex-l

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post26 Jun 2009

tom wrote:I am now sadly convinced that these entities are not saints or angels, or enlightened beings, but are hopelessly attached to this earth and are in need of controlling human minds to satisfy their greeds.

To put it into simple Biblical terms, "by their fruits, you shall know them" ... by their actions, they reveal their nature.

To be honest, it does not really matter if one believes there are many spirit entities and deceased human beings surrounding the Brahma Kumaris which they can call on - which is what the Brahma Kumaris claim - or whether these are equally "non-scientific" things like group spirits (egregore), collective unconscioussness, or whatever. Their nature and influence has to be clear by now.

    To me, that nature would be defined simply as "lying and deceiving to gain power over others, wealth, status".
I am afraid that this part is only part of their gameplan, a precusor to something else once they have significant enough power. Its a more subtle gameplan than, say, the great "god" Jehovah's and the Medieval Roman Church's, but to much the same end.

Now what do the spirits of the Brahma Kumaris SAY they are interested in ... Destruction, the Death of 6,000,000,000, scorched earth, Nuclear war and so on. Why should not we believe them? Fair enough, their record to date is not too great but they are enjoying tearing families and society apart in the meanwhile.

This is why I underline a need to study experiences such as 'The Beautiful Side of Evil' by Johanna Michaelsen, 'The People of the Lie" by M. Scott Peck, 'Hungry Ghosts' by Joe Fisher, classics like, ''Thirty Years Among the Dead' by Carl A. Wickland and so on.

Terry, and others whose position he is aping, make the mistake by presuming that anyone who does not agree with their "rationalist" or skeptic point of view, is therefore "on the other side"; a faith driven proponent worthy of the same tired, worn out ridicule of spiritism that has gone on for 150 years or more.

I am not. I am equally a critic of the kind of the indiscriminate adulation of anything weird and wonderful by making experts out of New Agers such as Shirley MacLaine right down to the Lynne Franks of the world (who the Beakies hooked up with out at one point).

I see that "Spiritualism and the foundations of C.G. Jung's psychology" by F. X. Charet is available to preview at Google Books. Other have noted other occult influence in his work from Tarot to openly using astrology when he thought he was unable to progress "rationally" with a client.

Terry

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post26 Jun 2009

Hey ex-l - no need to get narky. All I said was that, from that perspective it can be seen to be so (demons, spirits etc), that as a language it might be a useful way to describe it, but to me such perspectives and language - fundamentalist Christian, BK or spiritualist - are the same peas in different pods, they're different sides of the same coin. A coin which no longer has currency for me.

You choose to give it similar value - that's your choice. The only difference between you, the BKs and the fundamentalist Bible quoters is that you disagree which spooks are angels, which are demons, which is God, which is Satan, so on and so forth.

Just because Ms Michaelsen (or Sister Jayanti) speak nicely doesn't mean either is right. Articulate they may be, but anyone who takes the Bible (or Murli) literally, the way she and her colleagues do, are idiots in my book.

They fear the notion of any altered state of consciousness, or anything that may "open the gateway to Satan". They even quote ET and Star Wars as tools of the anti-christ (sounds like the Gyani quote "cinema is the mother of sin", or akin to the Taliban's murdering of video shop owners in Pakistan etc). It is totally ridiculous.

Less directly here, but more so elsewhere, you state that we have to save the world from these imperialistic evil spirits that seek dominion and wish to destroy the majority of the population etc etc. You go from saving the world as a BK - to saving the world from the BKs.

Methinks you are the one who lives in thrall of the BKWSU - you haven't changed enough. You will need to get Bruce Willis on side, and maybe the governor of California could help. Maybe, like the Serbs & Croats, or the Ulster Irish Catholics & Protestants, it is your similarities which highlights your nitpicking differences and drives the enmity? "Your spook is bad, my spook is good"

It is one thing to reveal the BK's hidden beliefs and agendas, the deceptive PR and corruption, the organisational shortcomings etc, it's quite another thing to to believe their apocalyptic yarn yourself, spun just differently enough to suit some pseudo Christian slant. All these superstitions do as much harm as each other, they all need to be shown up for what they are, not just use one against the other.
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ex-l

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post26 Jun 2009

You still don't get it ... and the condescension and your smear just does not stop, does it? If you have to continue, please take the conversation back to your on topic where it started, or come up with your "there is no soul" thesis as you promised us, terry.

How many times do I have to say this? I am not pushing a Christian POV or "belief"; nor are spiritualism and these related phenomena by any means limited to Christian cultures. Its your Christian hang up not mine.

For me, it does not matter if one conception is "right" or "wrong". Let along palatable to your style and sensibilities. Its the social and behavioral patterns ... whatever is going on ... that I am looking at. To strip it to its most basic, "its all seems wonderful and beguiling in the beginning ... and then it all false apart ... turns out to be entirely irrational and unreliable ... and become ugly to insane at the end".

Frankly, to tell me that everything in my life is a projection of some unseen, undocumented potential of me ... which is essentially the position of your mentors ... reads as equally improbable, eccentric and unprovable.

And, let us be honest, although Jung, Campbell et al might be big wah-wah names in the New Age (never mind dream diaries or Wilhelm Reich), they are not really taken that seriously by real science either, are they? I mean Reich, God bless him, dying mad in prison is almost proof of the above summary. Have they added to anything else other than just human mythology ... as in story telling? (As a side note, I have actually spent time with some of Reich's remaining family in Austria and warm to him).

Where Michaelsen, Fisher and Scott are interesting - and you are not - is in their accounts of the long-term, daily involvement with psychic mediums, professional background etc, e.g. "pulling open abdominal cavities ... up to the elbows in blood ... professional surgeons as clients etc" ... traveling the world to follow up given facts and so on. She and they actually went and did it, discarded it, documented it ... rather than just read books or re-cycling others opinions.

Your state of argument regards spiritualism is literally 19th Century. You are repeating what was said back them. Entire social sciences have been developed since then. Surely posturing alongside the "skeptics", in opposition to spiritualism, is only an attempt to make more "rationalist" your own hoodoo voodoo?

As far as states of "altered consciousness" ... yes, because of your early involvement with psychedelic drugs, a long terms commitment to a spiritualist religion and continued connection, and involvement in the occult, the Christians surely would have you down as an unreliable witness. Who knows what is passing in and out of your psyche. In rough approximation, I'd say many ex-BKs have a backdoor still open to the hive mind of the BKWSU.

So, define for us the differences between the psychic "energies" you speak of and psychic "entities". And how exactly you tell one from the other? As I said asked at the beginning of our conversation, you have not even put yourself through proper therapeutic training, have you, i.e. done therapy for 2 to 3 years, operate under ongoing guidance and within a professional code?

Like many BKs we have noted, you also suffer from having been dissuaded off pursuing the structure of a proper education.

Terry

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post26 Jun 2009

You continue to misrepresent me. You do not respond to the assertion that all spiritist, animist, BK and fundamentalist Christians etc beliefs are based on similar premises, rather you distract - pretending that I am saying it is all Christian, which I am not. You bring up other stuff which has been gone over many times. It's like a school debate, where you have to say whatever maintains your position, rather than a discussion. We go nowhere fast. Good luck to the valuable side of this forum. I am outta here.
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ex-l

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post26 Jun 2009

terry wrote:You continue to misrepresent me ...

Oh, come on. this is an argumentative device you copy from from me from when you first joined. Terry, you are clearly kneejerking against the Christians. I have no problem with them. I just filter out the Christian stuff, do not hold it against them, and listen to the rest.

    Bottomline time ... so what are you saying about the Brahma Kumaris? They are, or are not spiritualist? They are OK because they are just all doing the same as other religions and every one is equal?
I think one ought be very specific and accurately categories all these on a relative scale and understand them better. I would say that there are subtle difference between spiritism, spiritualism, animism, shamanism etc etc. Not all their circles overlap.

BapDada and the Yahweh of the Bible could well be the same entity ... or the same species of entity ... they certainly manifest the similar symptoms. They and their adherents appear think they are personas and so I am happy to engage with them on that basis.

I would love to see you sit down and have an argument with BapDada convincing them that they were merely part of Dadi Gulzar's psyche, or telling Jayanti that she is going no where and meeting no one but aspects of herself. May be they are and that is precisely the therapy they need. But the social forces around them not being so, alone, would wash all of you, Jung and Campbell away. So I accept them and work within them.

I am certainly not making the huge leap of faith and saying that everything is a manifestations of Joseph Campbell's only idea, and that they are all account for "projections of ourself". No, they are not. Most certainly not at our level of consciousness. Within the bigger equation, we have to leave room for the unknown, be that "spirit entities" (higher probability) or trans-dimensional aliens from the Planet Zorg (lower probability ... obviously I am making a joke here), "other energies" (good probability but where is the science). That is a fair approach.

What I am proposing is the need for a taxonomy of spiritualistic phenomena. More anthropology rather than psychology. I mean, Campbell et al have their place but certainly not as top dogs. Terry, there is a lot of fair stuff in what I have written, especially regards the value of mentoring and the inflated values the New Age puts onto its gurus.
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lokila

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post26 Jun 2009

It's a pity Terry has left the room. I still think it is an interesting topic and I am learning from both of you ex-l and Terry. Your different approaches makes this so interesting for new kids on the block like me. Although now it seems to come to an end because of a sort of personal 'vendetta' going on - as I also noticed in other topics - I still want to read more about this topic and continue to contribute.

One of the main reasons is because I just don't get it, the whole idea of spirit entities. When I left Gyan I did not want to think about these things for even one minute. A friend of mine which left the BK one year later got immediateley involved in a whole different theory of spirits bouncing around from one body to another and aliens who would rescue us form this 'impure' planet. I ran away as fast as I could!

Although I did not go through a pile of books from the autors you mention here, I doubt they would convince me about things like the existence of a 'soul' or 'spirits'. But I won't say it cannot be true. I just don't know because I don't understand.

My mother joinded a Christian cult several years ago. She gave me stuff to read and invited me for events. I just couldn't take it, the hypothetical lectures about astral bodies, morality about what is 'right' or 'evil' and what is not, the idea they are the ones who know what actually is going on in the world because they claim to have connections outside this physical world.

Maybe I am too hysterical about it. When I read about this physical phenomena of the schizophrenic patient who is hearing voices and his brain activity shows he is really hearing them, I wonder: is it a dysfunctional brain or is it an entity which makes his brain function this way?

Are trance messengers receiving messages because their brain functions different in a certain way, because of a lifetime of surpression of sex, or are these messages come from something or someone else? Does it come from within or from out there somewhere?

There is one video which I found very interesting: "a stroke of insight". Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had realized one morning she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This turns into an emotional report of someone who experienced, and still does, a sort of "soul consiousness" if you wish to describe it like that. Just by a physical condition which changed, not through meditation or believing one is a soul ...



Also on: http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_tay ... sight.html
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ex-l

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post27 Jun 2009

An interesting account ... The first thing Jill's experience brings up for me is to ask the question, "what happened to Lekhraj Kirpalani around 1932?" (n.b. he started his satsangs in 1932, not 1936, and there was no mention of Shiva until after 1950). If what happened to Lekhraj Kirpalani had happened in the West, would he have just been given medication and the rest of us been saved from the Brahma Kumaris?

So what did happen? It should be noted, from the old Sindhis I have spoke to, that the Brahma Kumaris "public" account of what happened is different from the reality and there was a lot more freaky, psychic stuff going on that they record, e.g. women followers howling and screaming during the early "seances". If it was just Lekhraj Kirpalani's mental or physiological experience, how did it that manifest into the collective experiences, whether these women, the children going into trance for 7 days and "experiencing heaven", being "possessed" by "Krishna", having "spirits" talk through them or whatever.

As I side note to the many academic and scientific paper around these subjects, I offer; Demonic Attributions in Non-delusional Disorders. It's an easy read but gives a fair overview and introduction to some medical views. One of the key elements in the belief of demonic influence is a lack of education and religious influences, two factors obvious prevalent in Kripalani's society of the 30s and still current within the BKWSU's leadership.
Belief in demonic influence has repeatedly been described as adelusion in schizophrenic patients. The goal of this explorative study was to examine the frequency, as well as the psychodynamic and social functions of such beliefs in a sample of non-delusional patients.

I have no idea what is going on with Terry. I wish he would wind down the attack on me, or my credibility, and just discuss the issues. A long time ago, he offered to give us an overview on his current ideas that there is no soul, and a view on the whole BK thing from that point of view. I wish he would, as it might be useful and I am sure it is one that many ex-BKs have adopted. I hope that it includes the experiences of his own journey in getting to that point and how it helps him.
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lokila

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Re: The Beautiful Side of Evil

Post27 Jun 2009

Thanks a lot ex-l for this paper! I studied it, (together with with my dictionary). It's very interesting and it showed me how significant cultural background and education is, related to thinking one is feeling depressed or anxious due to an external influence (a demon, satan...Maya!).

'... We observed patients with less severe depression who interpreted their lack of interest and joy in religious activities as a sign of demonic influence. Especially in charismatic churches and groups where emphasis is laid on emotional proof of one's contact with God ('experiencing the Lord') the dissonance between the patient's depressed condition and the church's ideal was easily interpreted as the result of demonic influence...' (Maya!!!)

'...Moreover there is a tendency in charismatic groups to explain any adveristy in life as the work of Satan and demons. Conflicts with other people are then interpreted as spiritual conflicts, especially if the attitudes or behaviours of the other persons are theologically incongruent with the teachings of a group...'
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