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To try and make it simpler it might help to ask the question: Is it accurate to say that it is claimed in the RS teachings that an RSSB guru can and does "have the power to place a doppelgänger, non-physical, carbon-copy" of an alleged inner locality named as ashta-dal-kanwal "within each of a million or so selected other people/disciples…" In other words, does the RS Philosophy state that the Guru creates "carbon copies" of "inner REGIONS" within initiates also? My understanding is that it does NOT. And THAT is why in my opinion I think you Brian have oversimplified (to the point of distorting) the RS Philosophy regarding the RF concept when you wrote that it can be accurately summarised as "…the Guru creates 'copies' of himself” and "places them within" disciples. Here is why I believe that is so… If we both accept that the RS philosophy states that:- 1. these ‘inner regions’ exist separately and independently of individualised consciousnesses (jivatmas), and also 2. if it claims that the Shabd exists within EVERY individualised consciousness whether initiated or not, then it follows that 3. the Shabd which allegedly manifests as the Radiant Form ALREADY exists independently of anything the Guru is “doing” (or not doing). Therefore NOTHING is being “created” as a “carbon copy” and then “PLACED WITHIN” anyone. That all already exists. It is only ‘how’ that is experienced when the disciple reaches a spiritual ‘location’ called ashta dal-kanwal which differs. I.e. the difference claimed for initiates is only in what form that which already exists is experienced (or how it is "projected") when a certain level of advancement is reached. This is why I have consistently maintained that saying"…the RSSB guru, could manufacture non-physical carbon copies of himself at will and place them within selected other people…” is therefore an oversimplification that gives (and in this case appears to be based upon) a false understanding of the RS concept.
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I am NOT suggesting that the RF is a “spiritual region”. (Holy Moly! :-o) I asked a question that Tao hasn't answered at all, and one which neither of you appear to have even correctly understood. Ironically, that I see as a symptom of what has been the problem the whole way through this conversation. I’ll try to make it even simpler for you both. My question was: does the RS Philosophy state that the Guru creates "carbon copies" of "inner REGIONS" within initiates? My understanding is that it does NOT. Brian, you also appear to agree that it does not. THAT is why in my opinion I think you Brian have oversimplified (to the point of distorting) the RS Philosophy regarding the RF concept when you wrote that it can be accurately summarised as "…the Guru creates 'copies' of himself” and "places them within" disciples. Here is why I believe that is so… If we both accept that the RS philosophy states that:- 1. these ‘inner regions’ exist separately and independently of individualised consciousnesses (jivatmas), and also 2. if it claims that the Shabd exists within EVERY individualised consciousness whether initiated or not, then it follows that 3. the Shabd which allegedly manifests as the Radiant Form ALREADY exists independently of anything the Guru is “doing” (or not doing). Therefore NOTHING is being “created” as a “carbon copy” and then “PLACED WITHIN” anyone. That all already exists. It is only ‘how’ that is experienced when the disciple reaches a spiritual ‘location’ called ashta dal-kanwal which differs. I.e. the difference claimed for initiates is only in what form that which already exists is experienced (or how it is "projected") when a certain level of advancement is reached. This is why I have consistently maintained that saying"…the RSSB guru, could manufacture non-physical carbon copies of himself at will and place them within selected other people…” is therefore an oversimplification that gives (and in both your case appears to be based upon) a false understanding of this RS concept. Any clearer now?
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Thanks for finally answering. But sorry, …no gold star ...and no cigar. ;-) ¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^ "1. over-simplifying a mystical concept and then rubbishing his over-simplification of it. --- Brian: Disagree. I understand what the radiant form is purported to me. Just read a bunch of quotes from the guru Charan Singh about this. No over-simplifying or rubbishing on my part." MBW: Here is what you wrote originally: "…a guru could have the power to place a doppelgänger of himself in each of a million or so disciples…" "…the RSSB guru, could manufacture non-physical carbon copies of himself at will and place them within selected other people…: So... I will attempt a slightly different approach. A question. In your opinion is it accurate to say that it is claimed in the RS teachings that an RSSB guru can and does "have the power to place a doppelgänger, non-physical, carbon-copy of an alleged inner locality named as ashta-dal-kanwal within each of a million or so selected other people/disciples…" Answering that might make it clearer where we differ. ¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^ 2. unable to understand a simple comparison attempting to show how we can oversimplify an objectively real example and make that sound ridiculous and crazy too. --- Brian: Just your opinion. I understood your comparisons just fine. MBW: Really? Yet you wrote: "…I'm not sure what you're getting at in your comment..." "...So I don't understand your logic..." "...I still don't understand what you're getting at..." followed by post after post of misrepresentation of my point (e.g. even feeling it necessary to explain to me that the sun and TV signals are objectively "real"and explain what the word ‘concept’ means.) So... How to explain that then?? :-o ¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^ 3. claimed dogmatically and without anything other than his own opinion as support that the RF is just an "idea" an "imagination" and he questioned whether it even exists. "where is the evidence that ...a guru's radiant form exists?" "...IMAGINARY copies of an IMAGINARY RADIANT FORM." "This IS A CONCEPT, AN IDEA, AN IMAGINATION, that isn't connected to demonstrable reality."-- Brian Hines --- BRIAN: Of course. That was the point of my post. The radiant form almost certainly is imagined by devoted disciples. There isn't any demonstrable evidence to the contrary, so it's believers in the radiant form who are being dogmatic. MBW: Notice how you now write: “ALMOST certainly imagined”. Yet that is still also merely an opinion though slightly less dogmatically asserted. And I thought you later agreed when challenged that the RF certainly “exists” )I.e. just as the stuff of dreams can be said to “exist”). I think its a shame that you can not accept that you ridiculed the RF in an intellectually sloppy way. No believers in the RF are here being dogmatic. The only ones doing that in this conversation is just you and Tao. ¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^ 4. ...he expressed ridicule of his oversimplification of the RF concept by saying because he had no idea of the "magic" of "how it worked". Er... So ...if we don't know how something works it is therefore worthless??! :-o --- BRIAN: Something has to exist in order to be able to explain how it works. What I said was, I have no idea how the magic of the radiant form is supposed to work. Hypothetically, in the same way as I have no idea how the unicorn grows its horn. MBW: To take a less loaded example. Lucid dreams exist. Do you agree. Do you know how THEY work? Would you describe how people are seen in lucid dreams as "magic"? This demonstrates again how I see you take something that is a ‘real’ experience (the only question is whether it has any objective reality) and then you ridicule it by comparing it with fairytale creatures. You are comparing something like unicorns and their horns to the existence of a contemplative experience perceived by some people who have devoted years to meditation and inner contemplation. OK Fine. So, just for the sake of clarity, another question. Do you really see no comparable difference between say the likes of Sawan Singh or even Faqir Chand’s inner experience of the RF of their respective gurus’s with say that of a loony suffering from schizophrenia seeing unicorns? ¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^ 5. IF Brian had written that as he finds no evidence for the RF experience as an objective reality, he therefore assumes it to be merely a subjective 'imagination', that would have been honest and more self-aware and there would have been little further discussion. But, he didn't initially. He categorically stated that it IS an illusion, it IS an imagination, IT is just an idea, a concept. (see above Pt.3) My replies followed because I think that is not a statement of 'fact' but of 'opinion'. --- BRIAN: If there is no evidence for the existence of something, it almost certainly is imagination. I never said that the radiant form definitely doesn't exist. I said that almost certainly it doesn't exist, because "possible" is different from "probable." MBW: That is a clear deceit and/or self-deception. (See Point 3) ¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^ 6.If RS says that the RF is "an illusion" this does not show the idea to be "crazy"…etc., etc. --- Brian: If everything is an illusion, so are your objections to my blog post writings. Thus I reject them as illusory. I win! MBW: Yeah. Crazy, man crazy. ¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^ 7. It was not and is still not clear whether Brian accepts that in some cases of advanced practitioners, the RF experience is based on a real, personality changing, positive and enlightening experience, though one that admittedly at present has no proof for it being anything other than a subjective experience and may indeed be only that. --- BRIAN: Yes, I reject the notion that anyone has been enlightened by a vision of the radiant form until (1) I see evidence that "enlightenment" exists, (2) I see evidence that the "radiant form" exists, and (3) I see evidence that enlightenment is linked to the radiant form. MBW: You missed the point. It was not asking you whether there exists evidence for “enlightenment”. That word does not even exist in my sentence. You appear to have a reading difficulty and a problem with understanding simple propositions. ¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^¨¨¨^ 8. Brian has NOT been able to acknowledge that the relatively recent, 'non-proof' anecdote regarding Jagat Singh's RF does (if its an accurately reported anecdote) at least point to the possibility of something objective occurring. (I.e. if a+b=y then y-b=a) http://snipurl.com/w6511 --- BRIAN: Paul says in the Bible that he saw the "radiant form" of Jesus. That's in a book also. Am I supposed to believe every claim in a book? MBW: No. Obviously that is not expected of you. You just have to answer whether IF ‘x’ is true you concede that ‘y’ follows. I.e. IF (operative word being ‘if’) the anecdote of Jagat Singh was accurately reported then do you concede that it does at least point to the possibility of something objective occurring. It’s a very simple question. Shame that you won’t answer it straight. But that I think is indicative of the way you have repeatedly responded in this conversation.
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Thanks to The Elephant and George, first of all. I appreciate your intellectual support. :-) Brian forgive me but as you have left the actual conversation with me and as yet not responded to my challenge, therefore I respond to The Elephant and George and their questions/thoughts. This will involve talking about you in the 3rd person. Here is what I think has been going on... And I see a great irony here. My point to Brian was just that I think he misrepresented the RF concept and then criticised his own misrepresentation of it so he did not not accurately criticise the concept itself. Da-dah. There it is in one sentence. Here is the irony that I see: In reply to this suggestion of mine to him, I think he has merely misrepresented my point and then criticised his own misrepresentation of it. Erm... Anyone else see a pattern emerging... ;-) If he did once it could be understood as a misunderstanding. But he has done it over and over again despite all my attempts at clarification ...and is still doing so. :-o My point to him initially was about his modus operandi in discussing the RF and was NOT about the RF. My analogies and examples were all to show how I think he was approaching the issue in an intellectually sloppy way and were NOT about the issue he was approaching so sloppily. A better way of getting across what my point was, might be to explain why (after I have repeatedly written that I do not see myself as a defender of the RF concept) I am think I am even discussing the issue. Here is my answer... It is because I have a weakness. Which is I that have an intolerance to what I see as people talking with certainty about things that are NOT certain; of people stating as fact that which is really only their own opinion; of people talking as if knowledgeably about things of which they demonstrate they in reality have but limited knowledge; Satsangi, ex-satsangi; defender, attacker; true-believer, non-believer; whatever... whoever. Let's deal with what we KNOW and be humble and honest enough to admit what we do NOT know. Basically I come from a position which can be summarised as: "I don't know, but you don't either." Many years ago I stayed in a Christian Eastern Orthodox Ashram/monastery in the mountains of Kerala, (Vagamon, Kottayam). I read something in their library that struck me as a great truth at the time and the longer I live the more I think it has proven to be an accurate observation of human nature and our alleged quest for meaning and 'truth'. It was a quote from the original Desert Father Saint Anthony and it was something like this: "Men hold to their opinions not because they are true but because they are theirs"
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Hi Brian. "until that evidence is evident, I no longer can embrace blind faith." Right on bro. No problem with that. (Look. We are not in disagreement again ;-) But that's interesting that you don't recognise your own words back at you. Did I get something confused in what you intended with them? Here are the words of yours I was referring to in their full sentences: "But where is the evidence that either (1) the 'sun' of a guru's radiant form exists, or (2) which is dependent on (1), 'reflections' of that 'sun' exist? This IS A CONCEPT, AN IDEA, AN IMAGINATION, that isn't connected to demonstrable reality." -- Brian Hines And then there was this one: "Real buckets of water showing a real reflection of the sun is a whole different thing that [sic] IMAGINARY copies of an IMAGINARY RADIANT FORM." -- Brian Hines You write: "Strangely, you criticize me for being open at all to this possibility when I sit down and meditate every morning." No. I did not criticise you for that. I do not mean to criticise YOU at all. For me we are only discussing different ways of seeing and understanding something. I request you read point 9. again to see in what context I wrote what I thought was "curious" about that. Look, I think I've been exhaustively clear, especially, in my previous post to this one, of what was my intended meaning, and what in your article and replies I felt was off the mark, AND in where I think you have repeatedly missed my meaning. I start to feel we are going further and further away from what I originally felt like contributing to the discussion. And I feel like you don't really address my points even after all my efforts, yet still argue back against something I'm not and never have disagreed with. So forgive me if I bow out now. Thanks for chatting with me. Best wishes Chris (MBW)
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Its really quite simple. 1. Brian over-simplified a mystical concept and then rubbished his over-simplification of it. 2. He then showed himself unable to understand a simple comparison attempting to show how we can oversimplify a subjectively real example and make that sound ridiculous and crazy too. 3. He then claimed dogmatically and without anything other than his own opinion as support that the RF is just an "idea" an "imagination" and he questioned whether it even exists. He wrote: "where is the evidence that ...a guru's radiant form exists?" 4. When he expressed ridicule of his oversimplification of the RF concept he did so he said because he had no idea of the "magic" of "how it worked". Er... So ...if we don't know how something works it is therefore worthless??! :-o And thus my TEEVEE parody * (*see n.b 4 below) 5.IF Brian had written that as he finds no evidence for the RF experience as an objective reality, he therefore assumes it to be merely a subjective 'imagination', that would have been honest and more self-aware and there would have been little further discussion. But, he didn't initially. He categorically stated that it IS an illusion, it IS an imagination, IT is just an idea, a concept. My replies followed because I think that is not a statement of 'fact' but of 'opinion'. 6. Brian's saying the RF is "an illusion" does not show the idea to be "crazy" as Brain originally suggested. Thus I brought up the fact that within a mystical paradigm everything that we experience is alleged to be an illusion. Well, perhaps the cosmological philosophy of Plato and Advaita Vedanta and Taoism seems like 'crazy' logic to some. But I do not think so. And I believe I am in good company. E.g. "While Heisenberg was working on quantum theory he went to India to lecture and was a guest of Tagore. He talked a lot with Tagore about Indian philosophy. Heisenberg told me that these talks had helped him a lot with his work in physics, because they showed him that all these new ideas in quantum physics were in fact not all that crazy. He realized there was, in fact, a whole culture that subscribed to very similar ideas. Heisenberg said that this was a great help for him. Niels Bohr had a similar experience when he went to China" -- Fritjof Capra http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tao_of_Physics 7. It was not and is still not clear whether Brian accepts that in some cases of advanced practitioners, the RF experience is based on a real, personality changing, positive and enlightening experience, though one that admittedly at present has no proof for it being anything other than a subjective experience. 8. Brian has NOT been able to acknowledge that the relatively recent, 'non-proof' anecdote regarding Jagat Singh's RF does (if its an accurately reported anecdote) at least point to the possibility of something objective occurring. (I.e. if a+b=y then y-b=a) 9. Brian appears in this discussion to have never entertained the cardinal and essential RS idea that there can be many many different types of inner visions experienced in meditation and that it is essential to correctly differentiate between them. He has repeatedly claimed that ALL visions of "Jesus, angels, the devil, Krishna" and the RF experience are equally illusory and therefore presumably he means worthless also. Yet he curiously "...still invites the guru to show himself inwardly, though..." Thank you for your attention :-) MBW - - - - - - * N.B. 4. To give just one example of closing our minds to avenues of experiment and hypothesis because we don't know how they work: Michael Polanyi’s research-findings of long-chained molecules of high molecular weight which was REJECTED and scorned as "Polyani's mistake" in 1921. His findings were shown to be correct and accepted fifty years later. Why? Because it fell outside the then-accepted knowledge of other scientists. I.e. they didn't know how it worked. "What matters in a scientific community’s attribution of scientific discovery and scientific originality, Polyani suggested, is not simply experimental or logical plausibility, but intrinsic INTEREST at the time within the scientific community. For Polanyi, science remains objective, not in the detachment of the knower from the known, but in the power of science to establish contact with a hidden reality based in the skills and commitment of the knower (e.g., Personal Knowledge, pp. 299-303, 311).
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May 13, 2010