Others may not do it. Learn to rest too. Below are valuable surveys fit for enrichment through fulfilling of needs, and that is not all. And save yourself from the worst effects of - shall we say youthful gullibility if not embarrassing credulity? Don't let others hinder your individuality from rising enough - your further development may next be at stake.
These are central issues, at least to some, and up north too, where the north winds blows. Also consider: "Just because you are paranoic doesn't mean they aren't after you." In the early years in particular several participants seemed "paranoic" to others on the board, if it matters.
Observations of former SRF monastics and others involved with the SRF church
SRF, Self-Realization Fellowship, is a US-registered church, headquartered in Los Angeles, California. It has had its skirmishes that many who have been "far from court, far from care" (lay members in other countries) may have been unaware of. [More on it] (Williamson 2010:76 etc.) About one third of the SRF monastics left SRF in times of trouble, some of them appeared on a discussion board, grasping for straws or lots more and better.
Someone posted on the now defunct discussion board - there were well over 27,000 eventually: "How can so many in SRF believe they can get to God and still be in denial?" Another: "Many of us have, only recently, been able to quit crying all night. Please understand how difficult it is to establish a normal life."
A former SRF monk: "I think that what is in the minds of most, who are posting, is a strong hope that what they say will help others to realize the stench . . . from SRF."
So monks entered a church that either was not as they had expected or wanted it to be, or which changed while they were there, or both: It was not as they were led to believe, and it changed too, but not for better.
It should pay to take heed and be careful. One third of the SRF monastics (monks, nuns and novices) left SRF in 2000-2005. Suppose they had good reasons. Should we seek to understand these insiders or not? Is it good to listen to voices of experience? Maybe. It depends on how pure-hearted and and/or clear-headed they are - and not everyone is alike. But so many people with similar ghastly experiences is "a voice" one may learn from within limits anyway.
To be functional can help. If a cult gets big enough, it tends to require lots of money. And if a church or cult has great plans, for example, learn to pocket your money the sooner the better if you do not have enough of a say in what is forming your life when it is not good enough for you where you are.
The need for relaxation: You could pick up some clues in books or tapes on yogic relaxation, also called yoga Nidra. I am grateful for having learnt TM. It works well against effects of stress according to much research on meditation methods. [◦TM page.
Being a member in a church like the one Yogananda gave rise to, is not good help to anyone if it deserves being likened to being trapped by one's feet and slowly accommodating to limited conditions from then on. Such could be the fate of canary birds.
1. Being banished from SRF is not experienced as unreal, long years after Yogananda said the world is unreal, a dream, an illusion. The doings of SRF's once banished Kriyananda show it nicely.
2. SRF's biggest problem could be SRF. Two suggested reasons come to mind: Its founder wrote to India and compared starting it was a great blunder, like eating faeces. And then there is the Yogananda "drivel" that the world is unreal - and so SRF is unreal too as part of the Yogananda world. In other words: Watch your thinking and do not let any sayings-based society mess with it if one of your needs is to build a home.
3. Exposing discrepancies in the guru's teachings could do much good. Some may otherwise never get well and count on their own.
4. To get caught by the steering-wheel while driving a vehicle is not good. To get trapped and caught and trained and then go on fishing for others, getting a share to live on, can look like good, but is not freedom either. To get caught up in some enterprise and then get trained to head it in time, may not be as good as it looks like. It also depends on the nature of the enterprise - in this case one of the many kinds of churches. Swami Anandamoy in SRF once told about someone who climbed the ladder of success to find it was leaning against the wrong wall. To get high up when things are like that is not a fulfilling success, no matter what it looks like, but more like a waste of life.
Finally, is there a net of steering out of trouble? Maybe. There are many kinds of webs to be entangled in.
To conclude this little overview. Some maps are good against common traps. To take good care of yourself, cater to the needs also, if you can. Trapped persons may not be able to, but really trapped in vanity goings and the like.
Study a picture and think: There are many sorts of successes, and Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs serves vere well to illustrate that point in the light of "A need well fulfilled is good" - and may lead onwards-upwards in time. Otherwise, some sides to growth or development may risk to be stunted. That is serious. Also consider there are needs and need-fulfilments on many levels.
From a slightly different angle: There are basic successes, like learning to walk and talk, and other, later successes as id-based life unfolds over time. [Erik Erikson's scheme]
"Fulfillment steps" that Maslow postulated, to be read from bottom and up:
The first four of these stages he called deficit needs, or D-needs. B-needs (Being-needs) above relates to Self-actualization desires and yearnings. [More]
"The ego can rise," says Dr Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education. He also says, "Many are setting about to reform life, without really knowing life in its foundations. . . . Life in its entirety is like a plant. The plant . . . holds a future state within its hidden depths. The whole of human life contains within it the germs of its own future." Further, "The spiritual investigator will . . . perceive in the present the seeds of transformation and of growth."
"Bodies" of man and woman
[Source: Steiner 1965, passim and in part rendered.]
Kathleen Riordan expands on teachings of George Gurdjieff (1872? – 1949) in the book The Gurdjieff Work. (1989) Transpersonal Psychologies (1977), edited by Charles Tart:
The lists of points may be show to be ladder-like, but for convenience, the "ladders" of Steiner and Gurdjieff are upside down here, so the bottom of the lists are the topmost rudders when the ladder is set up well. [Cf. Riordan in Tart 1977, p. 301 ff.]
Hence, it may pay to be set on a path and in a society that does not hinder you to develop further and higher by stages or degrees. The way on and up is marked by going from grossness to subtility, from extraneousness to inwardness, and sticking to a sense of being harmonious all along. There are hopefully lots of things to do if you do not fall all too bad.
Erikson, Erik. Childhood and Society. Rev. ed. London: Vintage, 1995.
Maslow, Abraham. Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1968.
Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality. 3. ed. New York, HarperCollins, 1987.
Tart, Charles, ed. Transpersonal Psychologies: Perspectives on the Mind from Seven Great Spiritual Traditions. New York: Harper Colophon, 1977.
Speeth, Kathleen Riordan. The Gurdjieff Work. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher / Putnam, 1989.
Steiner, Rudolf. The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy. GA 34, tr. George and Mary Adams. Forest Row, East Sussex: The Rudolf Steiner Press, 1965. [◦Online]
Williamson, Lola. Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion. London: New York University Press, 2010.
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