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Cater to Your Dear Needs

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 by their rattling all along - your further development may next be at stake.

Tick off what seems to apply to you or your dear one before she or he goes cultish due to hidden streaks that may not get into full bloom - minding there could be room for future progress for some of us:

  • Some rational handling of bluffs, rigmarole, and fine-looking phrases is fit.
  • Keep yourself in good standing. At least get sleep enough - 7 to 8 or up to 10 hours suits most people, statistics tell. The amount needed is individual.
  • Avoid nuts and donuts if your system does not stand them (sugary foods or sugary words may in time be followed by fat deposited in the body and no-good thoughts settled in the mind - settled where there could be one's own marrow, bones and muscles ideally.
  • Don't go barefoot and hatless in the snow storms in winter.
  • Don't live so badly that hard work sucks the pleasures of life out of you.
  • Don't be made a fool of by decrees about having no sex at all.
  • Don't make promises over your head when you do not know what is in store.
  • Be careful enough to keep your living dear and valid too.
  • Don't shy away from prancing yourself. Self-assertion by membership is seldom likable enough, so "Do it yourself and reap the consequences yourself." Avoid fatal consequences and be careful enough to keep your living valid a long time too.
  • Consider if at bottom you are in dire need of scaring others if your guru says Mussolini is good, dictatorship is good, "We are all crazy" and worse, much worse.

At first, just consider how far some of these points could fit you, and then apply, for example to any "fattened rattling" that is formed to make you inferior to what you might have been. If you find "It is true, I need to assert myself, develop myself all right, defend myself and my near ones better and get a house in a good neighbourhood if there is no good farm available," be sensible enough to have your best ways and keep them intact.

Believe it or not, these are vital issues in dealing with a cult or three. Also consider: "Just because you are paranoic doesn't mean they aren't after you." In the early years in particular of a defunct discussion boardthat may have risen again lately, several participants admitted to be "paranoic" to others on the board, if it matters. They were afraid, in other words. Some were in need of expert treatments.

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 hoping for a better life eventually. There were well over 27,000 posts there before it got defunct in late 2011 (to rise again later on):

"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."

Such poor people 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 in a way that suited them.

Foresight is good. It should pay to take heed and be careful. One third of the SRF monastics (monks, nuns and novices) were reported to have left SRF in 2000-2005 (Parsons 2012, 170). Suppose they had good reasons. Should we seek to feel with or just understand these former SRF insiders or not? Is it good to listen to voices of experience? Maybe; it depends. If there is a chance we might do some of the same errors as they admit to between the lines where they accuse the SRF management, we might benefit from "a penetrating eye", that is, some critical skills applied to reading the winding material on discussion boards.

Much depends on how groggy and jerkish or vehement - or pure-hearted and and/or clear-headed those who post are - not everyone is alike. But many intertwined people with similar bad experiences could well be a chorus of voices one may learn from within limits. Some voices may seem melodious at first, and then false notes get in the way of appreciation - Interestingly, even though most singers in a chorus keep a steady pace and avoid false notes over and over, a few who fail in that, may mar the whole discussion board.

A further note: If all but a few singers fail to sing decent songs as should be, it may be those who do not fall in there that may be worth listening to. The reason for mentioning this, is that the bad influence from an authoritarian cult of freaks may linger on in the minds of those who joined it, adapted to it for years, and then fell out to form a chorus of wailing songs or other songs. The chorus may not be as skilled in good ways of living as the members might imagine together. If so, let it be their problem. One of them, alias Punk Yogi, told it he strived for years for it.

To be functional can help. If a cult gets big enough, it tends to require and ask for 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.

Caught in the net or steering free of it makes a difference

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.

Success "Maps"

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]

Maslow's Pyramid

Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs +

Figure. Abraham Maslow's postulated pyramid of layered (hierarchic) needs

"Fulfillment steps" that Maslow postulated, to be read from bottom and up:

  • Self-actualization desires and yearnings.
  • Esteem hankerings.
  • Social yearnings.
  • Safety adherence.
  • Physiological, steady competence needs.

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]

From a Rudolf Steiner Lecture

"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

  1. Man has a physical body in common with the whole of the mineral kingdom.

  2. Over and above the physical body [is] a second essential principle in man. It is his Life-Body or Etheric Body. [Call it what you will, but it] produces the phenomena of life . . . and is a force-form of active forces, and not of matter.

  3. The third member of the human body is what is called the Sentient or Astral Body. It is the vehicle of pain and pleasure, of impulse, craving, passion, and the like – Man has . . . a sentient body [field, also called kosha, sheath] in common with the animal kingdom only, and this sentient body is the vehicle of sensation or of sentient life. The astral or sentient body is a figure of inwardly moving, coloured, luminous pictures. The astral body deviates, both in shape and size, from the physical body. In man it presents an elongated ovoid form, within which the physical and etheric bodies are embedded. It projects beyond them – a vivid, luminous figure – on every side.

  4. Man possesses a fourth member of his being; and this fourth member he shares with no other earthly creature. It is the vehicle of the human 'I,' of the human Ego. The vehicle of this faculty of saying 'I,' of the Ego-faculty, is the 'Body of the Ego,' the fourth member of the human being [and it] is the vehicle of the higher soul of man. The uneducated savage, with his Ego, follows his passions, impulses, and cravings almost like an animal. The more highly developed man says to himself, 'Such and such impulses and desires you may follow,' while others again he holds in check or suppresses altogether. The idealist has developed new impulses and new desires through the Ego working upon the other members of the human being. It is this which constitutes the special task of the Ego. Working outward from itself, it has to ennoble and purify the other members of man's nature.

    As man works his way up . . . through successive lives or incarnations, to an ever higher evolution, his 'Ego' works upon the other members and transforms them. In this way his outward fields (bodies, koshas) get purified, refined in comparison to what Nature has implanted in him. This is what the growth and development of civilization means for man. It is a continual working of his Ego upon the lower members of his nature.

    Good art and good religion may be means for the purification and ennobling of the etheric body.

    Now this work of the Ego upon the lower members may either be something that is proper to a whole race of men; or else it may be entirely individual. [An] Ego may become so strong as to transform, by its very own power and strength, the sentient body. What the Ego then makes of the Sentient or Astral Body through a process of learning, may enrich one's inner life with higher ideas and perceptions.

    Now the Ego can rise to a still higher task . . . that belongs quite essentially to its nature. . . .

    Individually and with full consciousness, he has to work out the transformation of his habits and his temperament, his character, his memory.

    At a still higher stage . . . the work of the Ego does not become clearly perceptible to man until . . . [Etc.]

[Source: Steiner 1965, passim and in part rendered.]

Gurdjieff Teaches about the Same

Kathleen Riordan expands on teachings of George Gurdjieff (1872? – 1949) in the book The Gurdjieff Work. (1989) Transpersonal Psychologies (1977), edited by Charles Tart:

  1. Number 1 is overtly gross and directed by instinct, crams and mimics bosses, is committed to ritual and ceremonies. 〰⬭〰 Thus, religious people should learn to think they are handled by others, maybe for their own good and maybe not, and go on developing as individuals. That could be good for many.

  2. Number 2 is the emotional one of likes and dislikes, who believes in religious love and persecutes others for heresy. Conforming up to idiocy. Fashions may speak of that. 〰⬭〰 The love guys who do not stand people who love others than they themselves do, are worming too much and need to take better heed.

  3. Number 3 is the intellectual who often interprets things literally. Evidence and argument appeals to him or her, but he or she can be more inward-turned than the two foregoing sorts. 〰⬭〰 In the light of how much SRF has edited Yogananda, suspect the fine-sounding words allegedly from him, are no verbatim quotations. Better penetrate to the core ideas and see if they suit you. Some may actually do.

  4. Number 4 can be found to be inward-going, delving, or Self-probing, adjusting in reasonable ways, for example to facts. He or she accomplishes to develop the ego-side to Self as well. 〰⬭〰 Considering that Yogananda was sent to the West to help people with such inward-going, it is not wrong! As for Yogananda-mishmash for and against the ego, it is good to stick to this and be on the safe side: "The ego can rise." (Rudolf Steiner, 1965, 2nd section). Where "they" want to clip your wings, they may teach you to get rid of your ego, your I-core, and thereby get access to much and control you, making you stupid, unless you are careful.

  5. Number 5 manages to dip into the inner unity at times, or time and time again. Gathers Selfhood, is going for delicate strivings first. Has a marked sense of "I" inside. 〰⬭〰 Real advancement of this kind was what the guru was sent to the West to help and not to harvest.

  6. Number 6 is an individual in the forming, and struggles for rewarding outcomes from observing on that level. She or he can think or act for herself/himself. 〰⬭〰 There, there!

  7. Number 7: Firmly set individual. Fit and very conscious. Advanced. Religiousity hardly appeals to her or him. 〰⬭〰 Things to put up with are very many, since there are many lower-levelled strivings for fulfilments of many sorts, and many are not lovable.

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.


Yogananda teachings, , Literature  

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.

Parsons, Jon R. A Fight For Religious Freedom: A Lawyer's Personal Account of Copyrights, Karma and Dharmic Litigation. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2012.

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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