Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Katsupari and the Living Slick Factor


It may be possible for human consciousness to exit the body and travel out into space. It may be possible, but then again it may not be desirable. It may be desirable but it may not be productive of anything of lasting worth. It may be convincingly real yet result in real and lasting delusion.

I can accept that people who belong to 'primal religions' like those of Australia, the Americas and Siberia might legitimately make use of trance-inducing techniques for going out into the 'astral' (starry!) planes peopled by spirit entities with the aim of solving specific problems for individuals or their communities. Even some of the most hard-minded of the anthropologists have been known to admit that it may in some way be effective. (Finding a wider context in which an illness makes sense may in itself have a palliative or healing effect.) When modern urban white-collar types start taking up shamanism or astral traveling I suspect it's neither legimate nor authentic. I'm not saying it absolutely couldn't be, just that it wouldn't seem very likely.

My brief acquaintance a few decades ago with some followers of Eckankar, while majoring in Religious Studies at university, didn't inspire me. Neither was I enthralled by my brief acquaintance with followers of Scientology and Theosophy; I never attended meetings or in any way belonged to these or any groups like them, although I did read some of their publications. I remember one Eckist telling me, "Well, we [we Eckists] are doing just what Milarepa was doing!" I also remember thinking that even though I was quite certain he was mistaken on this point there would be little point in trying to point this out to him, convinced and dogmatic as he was. I just kept silent, a silence he probably took as assent. And what I learned from the elaborate descriptions of psychic vampires encountered on the astral plane from another young Eckist with whom I accepted a ride hitchhiking one day didn't exactly inspire confidence. His peculiar brand of spirituality included what he called "materialing out," by which he meant owning every material possession possible.

These days it has become increasingly well known and well enough publicized that much of the literature composed by Paul Twitchell, the founder of Eckankar known as the Living Eck Master who died in 1971, was copied word-for-word (but with strategic alterations in the technical terminology) from various sources, in particular Julian Johnson's
The Path of the Masters — a clear case of plagiarism (some examples given here [broken link]). At the same time there are those who argue that many of the names of the Eck Masters that came before him (and that might be encountered in the astral planes by Eckists everywhere today) were made up by him in order to conceal his real sources, who were largely from the Radhasoami, founded in the 1860's, itself a branching from (or a special form of) the Sikh religion. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Radhasoami was mainly inspired by the Sant Mat, in turn largely inspired by the early 15th-century mystic poet Kabir, while Kabir served as a major inspiration in the founding of the Sikh religion. Radhasoami was from the beginning infused with influences from Sikh religion, Nath Yoga, Bhakti (devotional Hinduism) and so forth. Mysticism of sound is a Radhasoami specialty from its origins, but astral projection per se is not. Twitchell imbibed techniques for astral travel at a tender age from the general popular occultism of his day (apparently through his own father), not from any pukka Indian source. Still, Twitchell's technical terminology is almost all from Punjabi Sikh (and/or Radhasoami sources), including the name Eckankar itself (ek[a] means 'one' and ankar is omkara in Sanskrit, meaning the 'syllable om').

In my point of view, if you were to come to realize that conscious plagiarism and other forms of deception occurred in the founding moments of your religion, and you want to continue with whatever you've found to be true in it, it would be logical to go back to the more original inspiration, which in this case would mean that Eckists would go back to the Radhasoami, and perhaps even take the next step and go back to the Sikh religion or the Sant Mat itself, or still another step to the Hindu/Muslim masters who inspired the early Sikhs? (Sufism is most definitely the source of one of the main Eck spiritual practices, reciting the syllable Hu, which means 'He' in Arabic, referring to Allah. This is taken from Sufi
dhikr.) But don't all religions conceal from their followers, consciously or not, at least some of the actual sources of their revelations? Isn't this true of Buddhism which, for all its arguable originality, drew (and continued to draw) a lot from Hindu traditions, or Christianity taking much of its quite central 'suffering and resurrected savior' complex from paganism, etc. etc. I'm more than willing to think along those sorts of lines, but even after the most cynically deconstructive post-modernists have had their final deadly words about 'lineage construction' and 'legitimation,' I'm sure a lot of us humans will still find most meaning in a tradition of some kind or another. We seem to have a natural inclination to seek our truths within more long-lasting forms of collective religiosity. Spiritual development, after all generally a very slow and difficult process, would seem to require a context of the 'tried and true.' We need inspiration from the past in order to go forward with confidence. If that sounds rather conservative, I'd say it's manifestly superior to the extremist model of progress that says, 'Destroy it all and see what happens then.' The main progress that results from taking this approach consists in sins that will be visited on our descendents, wounds that won't heal for generations. Go ask China (for example).

But anyway, it was my intention neither to rant until you start suspecting me of neo-con-ism nor to go very far into the Eckankar controversies which may be easily located on the internet (try the official
Eckankar website, but also look at the newspaper article here [broken link], the books and their rebuttals [broken link]). I do want to say something, something that might seem rather minor, about the reputed Eckankar-Tibetan connections from a Tibeto-logical perspective.

In 1951, long before Twitchell made Eckankar public in 1964-5, he claims to have met for the first time someone named
Rebazar Tarz in the vicinity of Darjeeling. (In one place Twitchell says their first meeting took place in Greece, but without recognizing him at the time.) On an earlier visit to India in 1935 he had met one named Sudar Singh in Allahabad. These two persons, met in the flesh and not only on the astral plane, are often believed to have been the most important two sources for Eckankar teachings. There has been a lot of discussion (especially in internet sources, including some supplied above) about the identities of these two persons. One conclusion is that Sudar Singh (the 'Sudar' is definitely not an expectable Indian name) is a truncated version of Sudarshan Singh, a known figure in the Radhasoami history. Another is that it is more likely Kirpal Singh, whose actual name was at first acknowledged by Twitchell, but subsequently disguised under the name Sudar Singh.

Another possibility that is sometimes mentioned only to be passed over quickly is that Sudar Singh is Sundar Singh. Born in 1889, Sundar Singh converted to Christianity from the Sikh faith. He did missionary work among Tibetans starting in 1908. Tharchin Babu the Tibetan
newspaper magnate [broken link], himself a convert to Christianity, met him. It's said that in 1929 he walked into the Himalayas and disappeared, never to be heard from again (with the implication that he may still be there!). Christian evangelicals nurturing hopes of converting Tibet to the only true way have made a special cult of his memory, and it seems to be difficult to obtain any information about him apart from what they provide. It is said he claimed he had met a 300-year-old Christian hermit at Mt. Kailash. Evangelicals generally fail to mention his approval of Swedenborg, encountered in a vision. Evangelicals are more than likely to remember Emanuel Swedenborg, if they remember him at all, for his associations with spiritualist mediums, and therefore "of the devil." These people will be surprised to learn (or rather refuse to learn) that the modern way of visualizing heaven, heaven as it appears in their own minds' eyes, owes a great deal to Swedenborg's visions. But more on that another time (meanwhile see the book of McDannell & Lang). The simplest explanation is that Twitchell used a truncated version of Sudarshan Singh, Sudar Singh, as a cover name to disguise the identity of Kirpal Singh (probably because they had a falling out). The parallelism between Sundar Singh's encounter with the 300-year-old Christian sadhu at Mt. Kailash and Twitchell's encounter in the vicinity of Darjeeling with the 400(500?)-year-old Rebazar Tarz is at least worth wondering over once or twice.

Rebazar Tarz is an especially significant figure, since it was from him that Twitchell claims to have received the 'rod of power' that signifies the transmission that made him into the Living Eck Master. It assuredly does not appear to be a Tibetan name, at least not all of it. It looks like faux-Farsi or Turkish. I'm thinking that while Reba could be taken to be Tibetan Repa (ras-pa, cotton clad one) as in Milarepa, it's more likely that it's Reb/Rab, an old Syrian and Aramaic word for 'teacher, master' eventually borrowed into Hebrew as Rebbe, and into Arabic as Rabb (English: Rabbi). With the first syllable Reb being a title, what remains to explain is the 'proper' name Azar Tarz, which sure looks like Turkish or Persian to me. Azar Hoshang is an early Zoroastrian teacher (here Azar means 'fire'), and although I haven't learned much if anything about him, he apparently had some legendary connections with the Azeris, the Turkic-language-speaking Azerbaijanis of today... These entertainable ideas may be fun and even worth pursuing for other reasons, but they don't help us in understanding how and in what manner Rebazar Tarz was supposed to be 'Tibetan,' or what he was doing in Darjeeling. The Eckist literature places him in the Hindu Kush, meaning in mountains in Afghanistan. He really does look like an Afghani in the full-bearded portrait of him found in Eckankar publications and websites. And to tell the truth I'm not very fond of the explanation that finds the source of Rebazar in street-sign Spanish Rebasar (look
here [broken link]). Amusing, yes.

{{Note: Since writing these words, I've learned that Āzar is a proper name that occurs once in al-Qurʾān, where it refers to (or is a nickname of) the father of Abraham, who is called Terakh in the Tanakh ("Old" Testament according to those who accept that there is a "New"). In the Hebrew at least, his name means 'laggard' (someone who is on a perpetual slow-down strike, or perhaps someone who had CFS before such a condition became known). Terakh was originally from Ur, but later moved his family to Haran, where he died at the age of 205. For more interesting discussion, see the
Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, the entry for Āzar — Firestone, Reuven. "Āzar." Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Brill, 2007.

The most usual (not for that reason necessarily correct) explanation of the name Azarbayjan or Azerbaijan is that it comes from Persian. "Azarbayjan is an Arabicized form of the Persian word Azarpadgan meaning the Place of Guardians of Holy Fire (Azar=fire, pad=guard, gan=prefix of place)." See
this. The mountains of this region have been known for many centuries as site of many natural gas fires. See this. But it seems that the problem of the 'true' Azerbaijan is a point of controversy on the basis of both historical considerations and contemporary politics. See for example this.}}

At first I was thinking that Fubbi Quantz might have been formed by changing a letter or two of 'Ruby Quartz,' but to be perfectly honest I don't know what to make of it. This name, too, has nothing conceivably Tibetan about it. He's supposed to reside in a monastery in northern Tibet that houses a part of the scriptures Eckists call Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad (the one in the ethereal Akashick Records, or the one available from Amazon, I'm not sure which). The name they give for this monastery is Katsupari. This does indeed look like, and I believe is, a Tibetan name for a monastery. L. Austine Waddell published something on it long ago in 1895 in his book The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism, as part of a list of monasteries in Sikhim (an old spelling for Sikkim) on page 285. Waddell spelled it Ketsuperri, supplied the exact Tibetan spelling as Mkha' spyod dpal ri, which he explained as meaning "The noble heaven-reaching mountain," telling us that it had eleven monks. This Khachöpelri (this just being my preferred method of phoneticizing it; the 'ch'/'ts' variation is common in Nepal... the 'l' is in any case scarcely audible) is one of the important holy places in Sikkim. The travel literature available to me pays attention to the holy lake, and hardly ever mentions the monastery further uphill. Tourists are told the charming tale that leaves are never allowed to settle on the lake's surface since birds immediately snatch them up.

I am really not sure why this particular lake, known to the tourism literature by the name of the nearby monastery (which itself looks like the name of a mountain!), was supposed to be all that holy. Apparently it has some legendary connection to Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava). Some Lepcha legends do connect their tribal origins with lakes. Like you, I don't have in my library the only extensive English-language source about Sikkim's history, which still exists only in the form of an unpublished manuscript (long ago Rock, and more recently Steinmann, made use of it), and I haven't looked into the several Tibetan-language guidebooks to the holy places of Sikkim that are available to me. Not yet. My thinking is that while Twitchell was visiting Darjeeling, he may well have heard the name of this place, only about 30 miles away as the crow flies. He could have even gone there, I suppose. I imagine that Eckists will sooner or later catch on to this connection. Well, so long as they pay due respect to the fragile local Eck-osystem, it doesn't bother me that they will start pounding the forest paths up to Khatsupari Monastery. The lake, at least, is already on the regular tourist route. And I imagine the monks in residence won't mind if people stop by to ask them a few puzzling questions about Fubbi Quantz and the
Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad. They will probably welcome both the company and the entertainment. I recommend a long stopover in Azerbaijan.



Read more:

Martin Boord, A Pilgrim's Guide to the Hidden Land of Sikkim Proclaimed as a Treasure by Rig 'dzin rgod kyi ldem 'phru can, Bulletin of Tibetology, vol. 39 (2003-2005), pp. 31-53. Available as PDF here.

Alka Jain and H. Birkumar Singh, S.C. Rai, E. Sharma, Folklores of Sacred Khecheopalri Lake in the Sikkim Himalaya of India: A Plea for Conservation, Asian Folklore Studies, vol. 63, no. 2 (2004), pp. 291-302.  You may be able to get there directly from here.

Colleen McDannell and Bernhard Lang, Heaven: A History, Vintage Books (New York 1988), especially Chapter 7: "Swedenborg and the Emergence of a Modern Heaven."

Joseph F. Rock, Excerpts from a History of Sikkim, Anthropos, vol. 48 (1953), pp. 925-48.

Eric J. Sharpe, The Riddle of Sadhu Sundar Singh, Intercultural Publications (New Delhi 2004).

Brigitte Steinmann, The Opening of the Sbas yul 'Bras mo'i gshongs according to the Chronicle of the Rulers of Sikkim: Pilgrimage as a Metaphorical Model of the Submission of Foreign Populations, contained in: Alex McKay, ed., Pilgrimage in Tibet, Curzon (Richmond 1998), pp. 117-42. Notice the picture-map for pilgrims on p. 118, and the small hilltop monastery labeled "Khe Choe Palri" in the lower lefthand part.

D.P. Walker, The Astral Body in Renaissance Medicine, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. 21, nos. 1-2 (January 1958), pp. 119-133. The concepts of the astral body and astral travel of modern popular occultism are rooted in later forms of Neo-Platonic philosophy, perhaps Proclus. See this entertaining but as usual rather scattered Wikipedia entry.



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16 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your light-hearted romp through the Tibetan connections with Paul Twitchell's teaching.

    I ran across it while checking into references for Katsupari Monastery. I was glad to find your mention of Waddell's book, which I hadn't heard of before. You might find the other two connections I have found to be of interest: James Churchward wrote about it in reference to his books on the Lost Continent of Mu that he published starting in 1926, and John Keel wrote about Kat-su-pari Monastery in his book, Jadoo, in 1957.

    Both authors described going to the monastery: Churchward to study some Naacal tablets, Keel stopped by on his way to track a recent Yeti sighting and found the monks waiting for him and seemed to know that he was coming.

    Keel, by the way, starts off his book as a newspaper reporter trying to find the tricks behind the Eastern mystics, to prove that they were not real magic, but ended up realizing that some things could not be easily explained, and changing his mind at the end.

    Since Paul Twitchell named a stray cat he befriended, Jadoo, and he wrote about James Churchwards' books, my guess is that he was familiar with one or both of these books.

    Your attempt to puzzle out the Tibetan origins of the names for Rebazar Tarzs and Fubbi Quantz was fun to watch. But it does seem misplaced. Twitchell never claimed these were their given names. He referred to them as their spiritual names. For example, he claimed his own spiritual name was Peddar Zaskq. These don't have ethnic origins, but are simply names used in contemplation practices to make an inner connection with these teachers, like the Hindus might use OM to connect to that spiritual current.

    I know that the term Soul Travel sounds similar to Astral Projection, but they are not at all the same, as Twitchell said many times. The experience of Soul Travel is much closer to the expansion of consciousness found with many spiritual practices, while Astral Projection is clearly a separation of consciousness from the physical body.

    I've had quite a few of both types of experiences and they aren't nearly as similar as the names make them sound. However, both are natural and often happen spontaneously, just like Lucid Dreaming. I'm not sure why you would compare these to shamanistic practices. I've run across far more references to these kinds of experiences in classic Western culture than in primitive cultures.

    I published a book on Paul Twitchell last year after discovering some previously unknown files about him at a library in Kentucky, where he went to school. They had over 1,000 pages archived on him from his early journalism career. The new information filled in some of the picture of his younger days. You can find the book here, if you are interested:

    www.spiritualdialogues.com

    I agree with you that many of Twitchell's terms came from the Sikh tradition. In fact, I've run across a talk of his where he said that the name Eckankar came from Guru Nanak's writings.

    However, Twitchell claimed that his teaching was closer to the Sufis than any other, and I would agree with him. There are certainly many similarities with the Sant Mat and Radhasoami tradition, as you said, but there are far more differences than similarities.

    You've just been reading too much from followers of Radhasoami. They were convinced that Twitchell took his teaching from Kirpal Singh, but this only shows how little they knew about Twitchell.

    For example, they claimed that he studied with Kirpal Singh for over 10 years, but the latest evidence suggests that it was less than 2 years, which is what Twitchell himself had said all along. During those same two years, Twitchell was living on the compounds of another religious teaching (Swami Premananda), and was writing articles for a third. He had also been studying Soul Travel or what he used to call Dream Walking since high school, as his first wife stated. His books show references far beyond Kirpal's, and in fact the Radhasoami connection represents a small piece in the whole story of the history of Soul Travel and how the principles of Eckankar have been taught down through time. He spent a lot of time explaining this, and never tried to claim this was a new idea of his.

    There has also been a myth floating around that you seem to have read about, that Paul's references to Sudar Singh started as a cover name for Kirpal Singh, but this isn't true, since Paul spoke openly about both Kirpal and Sudar in the early days, often in the same articles. I've printed a number of these in my book.

    The question of Sudar Singh's identity is still unknown, although there was a man who claimed to have stayed at Sudar Singh's ashram in 1930's, but this is hard to confirm. Sudarshan Singh is a possible connection, as you mentioned, since he lived near the same road where Twitchell said that Sudar Singh lived, however many of the details don't match up.

    I've never heard of Sundar Singh as a possible source. Interesting theory. Except for the name, I don't see much else to connect them. There are quite a few Sudars in India by the way. It is not an uncommon name. But this Sundar did sound like an interesting man.

    Unfortunately, so much of Twitchell's life has been clouded by these kinds of guesses that can be fun to discuss as long as we realize they are purely theories. It is when people take these too seriously and start treating them as if they are real - that is when it causes confusion. The same can be said for followers of Eckankar who want to believe what they believe without checking to find out what is true. Actually, we all do this, but the problem is worse when we know less. We tend to get more caught up in our guesses when we know little about a subject.

    Your comment about Twitchell's plagiarism is also not quite accurate. There was indeed plagiarism, but it doesn't even come close to amounting to "much" of his writings. The most anyone has been able to demonstrate totals less than 1% of Twitchell's writings. And it is far from word-for-word. In fact, it is hard to find a complete sentence that is identical. Besides that, Twitchell openly described his approach to writing and drawing from other writers while teaching about the spiritual path. I've included quotes about that in my book as well.

    The fact is that there is hardly a spiritual teacher in the last 2,000 years who has not been charged with plagiarism. It is simply a tactic for painting someone as a fraud - which most people will readily believe because that is a story they've heard so often. The problem is that plagiarism itself is a matter of ethics appropriate for academia and literature, since both are about originality. However, it does not apply well to religious and spiritual teachings where truth is most important, whether old or new. In fact, in Twitchell's day it didn't even apply to the field of journalism, which had been his career for most of his life. The main journalism textbook encouraged copying from other writers. It is only since the 1980's that this attitude has changed, which was long after Twitchell passed on.

    I will agree with you on your original point that there are wide differences between when Twitchell taught and Tibetan Buddhism. There are some similarities, but far more differences. The accuracy of the information about Milarepa, however, make it hard to determine what he actually taught. We know from stories his ascetic practices and enlightenment, and his fascinating story of his spiritual growth under his teacher, Marpa. But the rest sounds so much like a story told over and over than it is hard to know what Milarepa himself actually said.

    No doubt his life has also become clouded with speculations that have taken on a life of their own, and are now accepted as facts. I guess that would probably happen no matter who it was. Twitchell passed on only 37 years ago, but Milarepa has been gone for centuries.

    There is great fun in theorizing and I enjoy imagining the connections. But it is also good to come back to what we really know and what we don't.

    Thanks.

    Doug.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Doug,

    Long time I haven't heard from you. We met, of course, on the
    Yahoo discussion group for Radha Soami. (Note for the uninitiated: David Lane is the leader of this unmoderated list, and there is an immoderate amount of discussion, often more than 2000 messages a month! I belonged to it for awhile, but it was very tiring.)

    I will get back with you soon on some of the points you make [especially interesting to learn more about a possible route for Twitchell's knowledge of Katsupari... Thanks!], but meanwhile I recommend you create a blog of your own. It isn't all that hard, and you're a person who likes to write a lot, it would appear.

    Oh yeah, Doug. I believe your last name is a Sanskrit word used for the 'vital points' in Ayurvedic medicine? Thought so.

    Thanks for writing. More soon.

    Yours,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry, Doug. I got busy and couldn't get back with you. I'm afraid I still can't. Meanwhile, have a look at some very very recent pictures of Katsupari (Mkha'-spyod-dpal-ri) here at Dirk in India blogsite:

    http://dirk-in-india.blogspot.com/2008/09/25september2008-pelling-sikkim-india_25.html

    :...it is also good to come back to what we really know and what we don't."

    Indeed! If only we could.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dan, I just saw your latest post.

    I understand how busy things get. Thanks for your reply.

    There is a strange loss of time in our modern culture, as if it is a scarce commodity. It is an odd thing, don't you think?

    I checked out the blog and the pictures that you suggested. They were great, but I can't see any of Katsupari or Mkha'-spyod-dpal-ri. Perhaps you can point out which ones you were referring to.

    Thanks for the dialogue.

    Doug.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Doug,

    I guess you mean the "Dirk-in-India" link. Khecheopalri is just another of the spellings, and you see a photo of the lake by the name (like I said, to judge from the name, it ought to be the name of a mountain, "ri" in Tibetan), second photo from the top.

    There are more photos and a couple of more links in a Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khecheopalri_Lake

    Buddhists have always been saying that lifespans progressively get shorter as time goes on. The modern explanation of this is just as you say, that time goes much faster, or seems to. Qualitative length, not quantitative. Gotta rush.

    Yours,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  6. Back in the 30's, Paul Twitchell was fond of the popular saying "razmataz" (or razzle-dazzle).

    One can't help but see his connection on this concoction to that of "Rebazar Tarz".

    While the entire basis of Eckankar was built on fraud, I can attest from knowing him, that he was indeed very capable in leaving his body and many of the places and names he used were real.

    ReplyDelete
  7. They are static names not close to anything. You may respect to any other ideas because they don't fight with your ideas as well. Katsupari is ONLY temple to visit and if you ARE READY YOU CAN READ SHARIYAT KI SUGMAD 3RD BOOK WHICH IS READABLE FOR ALL HUMANS NOT IN STABLE IN ONE LANGUAGE. Amazon can sell only book one and two which can everybody can read but 3rd is not useful for everyone as well that's why only you can read it with Atma Sarup :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear Mustafa,
    Thank you for writing, although I'm not sure if I understand all you are saying. I'm very sure you don't know me very well, or I don't think you would want to imply that I don't listen to ideas that don't fit with my own. The only reason I think what I do think is because I did do and will do just that.
    Yours,
    D

    ReplyDelete
  9. YOU HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE ME, BUT I WILL TELL YOU SOMETHING WITHOUT TELLING ALL. First, I have studied all of what you talk about...left Eckankar and came back, because no where did I find even the remotest possibility to have the experiences I had with Sri Harold Klemp.....Did you ever think that if the temples, planes, masters, etc are true there are many who experience them that is first off. Second, I know a place and I refuge to reveal it, because not everyone is meant to find out, which matches with Eckankar way more than you talk about. That teaching split apart when the founder died and was in fragements when Paul came along and the present segments as far as I can see do not sing HU as a root, which is recorded through history in many ways nor, as far as I know, do they teach about going to the various planes etc the way their founder did. I believe that Paul experienced all alone at a time not supportive to all of this the same thing that that teacher did. There is also a library on the higher planes, and I have been there. You dont have to believe me, but if you go there and have a photographic memory as Paul did you can bring back many things. Paul was a journalist at one point and plagarism was very different then it is now, and he read so much that easily he could have forgotten where he read what. A phenomena that happened to me after living in Japan for ten years.

    In fragmenting something, you have lost the centrifugal force. What I experienced in Eckankar I experienced no where else and I looked. Nothing is perfect, but you do not see Eckankar trying to destroy the image of other sound current teachers, and I know the schisms and discontents which arose there, but I don't feel spreading the same kind of gossip. I have my own skeltons in my closet, but I am still seeking God Realization, though with Sri Harold I experienced something that most people who meditate would love to experience. That is all.....take care of your spiritual heart....the focus here on this page can do it a lot of harm.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dear anon.,

    I take it you find something to be not true in what I've said here. I also hear you saying this: If you could only tell me this thing that you refuse to tell me, then I would see that it's true what you say, that I've said what isn't true... sigh... In my form of faith, doubting your truths can be an opening to truer truths. It can do good, not harm. I'm openly an outsider to Eckankar, as well as a Tibeto-centric cultural historian. If you could see things a minute from my perspective, you would be disturbed about the distortions that result from various western groups that have selectively made use of Tibet (often just for the glamor of it, or an imagined, distorted or extremely selective version of Tibet) to further their own agendas. I see Theosophy, Rampa and Eckankar as 3 clear examples of it, and I've written about each one them in Tibeto-logic blog. I've never said that they don't possess methods that are in their own ways effective for some purposes. That kind of thing was not my point here. Did you think it was?

    Yours,
    Dan

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  11. The web site: "MSpenser" relates the presence of a man who goes by the initials of E.K., and in other correspondences and literature from England in the late 1500s, that is, from the Shakesperian era, E.K> is also known as Maister E.K. E.K. as such has never been fully identified by scholars of that period and today remains an individual whose identity cannot be ascertained with any conclusive finality. E.K. has been recognized by scholars of the Shakesperian era to be extrememly and highly learned in many areas of learning, particularly in the ancient world classics, philosophy, history and literature ect. E.K. was also known as 'immerito' or unknown, and he was influential upon the English poet Edward Spenser in his creations of his poetry and essays; and E.K. most likely was influential on Shakespeare's works too. There is some evidence to support that. The Sonnets dedication for example carries the phrase: 'All happiness and eternity promised by our everliving poet. Everliving means God. Logically a man who possesses the essence of God who is the poet (or influencer)of the sonnets creation, and also promises happiness and eternity to the Mr. W.H. This obviously is a phrase denoting a spiritual and religious leader more than a poet and the Eck master is a fairly obvious person that our ever living poet represents.. The MSpenser article relates that E.K. had a 'long experimented secrecie' to his life and idenity. THis fact relates the same conditions of the Paraclete as related in John 14-17, who Jesus stated about the paraclete (Who is the same being as the Eck master)that is Jesus stated that the paraclete was 'not received in the world because the world did not know of him'. This idea and passage found in the bible: John 14-17 passage. Eckankar states the paraclete and the Eck master are one and the same and the conditions of E.K. in Elizabethan England highly correlate with that fact. That is the paraclete in Jesus' time was the same as the Eck master. Also the paraclete's keeping unknown to the world, an immerito person that is, is like E.K.'s name in Spenser's life as E.K. was known as Immerito a man not known to the world around him in any real magnitude. That is E.K. was also known as Immerito. Immerito participated with Spenser's creativity as the Mspenser article off the internet relates. Thus 'the current Shakespeare authorship controversy' and its essence could relate the presence of an Eckankar Eck master's presence and influence on the worlds and works of Spenser and Shakespeare. Due to the above knowledge related in this post.

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    1. Dear Anon.,

      Interesting! However, here in the heart of the Sikh religion, whence came the inspiration for Eckankar, we're quite aware that eck or ek is the modern form of Sanskrit eka, which just means 'one.' It isn't the initials for Ernst Kornfield or whoever. Nice try though.

      Thanks for taking all that time to write us with your very elaborately thought-out ideas.

      Yours,
      D.

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  12. I thought I would relate more facts from the literary environments of the Elizabethan era from England (1500's-early 1600s) on the issue of the presence of an English Eck Master influencing the creation of Spenser and Shakepseare's works. A central subject area of Ecaknkar is dreamlife. According to Eckankar principles, Dreams are considered to be a viewing into the spiritual worlds, and the Eckankar web site contains many areas of the importance of dreams (which most likely is the spiritual areas of Eckankar). For example the Eckankar web site contains a section called the spiritual exercises and numerous exercises contain dreams and their significance as a facet of man's relationship to God and thus dreams centrality to the Eckankar teachings. When one views the Mspenser web site, fascinatingly, Spenser wrote a work called Dreames. And not only that E.K. wrote the commentary to Spensers Dreames. Unfortunately the Spenser work Dreames and its commentary were lost, down through the past centuries, to history's keepings. The very real issue is that Spenser's Dreames could have and thus came into creative being from the spiritual influences of the English Eck Master E.K.(also known as Immerito) and the existence of Dreames is a substantial validation that Eckankar principles and influences could be present in Spenser Dreames as a direct result of the English Eck Master's--(known as E.K.) mentoring and influencing of Spenser's creativity. And Spenser's EK is most likely Eck master since the spiritual subject area: dreamlife, is exactly the same prominent area found in Eckankar literature as well as in the Spoenser work: Dreames. In addition to a man called E.K. who wrote the commentary for Spenser's Dreams, and man Called Eck master who relates the spiritual principles and thus importance of dreams in Eckankar philosophy.

    Futhermore the sonnets of Shakespeare also contain some rather interesting spiritual themes that could easily be representative of Eckankar themes and subject matter. Looking once again at the Spiritual exercises and other areas of Eckankar literature, such areas as the spiritual eye of the forehead, known as the tsira til is present in the Eckankar hu chant practices and the like. Also the word hu, that is the universal prayer to God is also present in Eckankar. Contemplating an object in order to connect the mind to the golden coloured essence of the God planes as they appear in the mind, too, is found in Eckankar.

    Sonnet 20

    An eye more bight than theirs, less false in rolling,
    Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth,
    A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
    Which steals men's eyes and woman's soul amazeth.

    The eye could be the tsira til, the man in hue: THe Eck Master, and the object being gazeth upon---representative of the Eckankar exercise of contemplating an object---in this case of the sonnet such contemplating is gilding the object with all its gold colours. So the above sonnet could be indicative of the presence of the English Elizabethan era Eck Master upon SHakepseare's creativity.

    SOnnet 53 could simply be a contemplation of Shakespeare upon the inner nature of divine essence found in the Eck master. Known as the mahanta. And Shakespeare having a connection to the Eck master inwardly and spiritually, Shakespeare relates this fact possibly as the presence of the Eck master in all the items and objects of the outerworld around us---as Shakespeare relates such int he concluding two or three lines of sonnet 53. Thus the sonnet 53 lines goes as follows:

    What is your substance, whereof are you made,
    That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
    Since everyone hath, every one, one shade,
    And you but one, can every
    shadow tend....
    the sonnet ends:
    In all external grace you have some part,
    But you like none, none you, for constant heart. end of sonnet lines.

    A fairly substantial indication of the English Eck master being present in the creation of this sonnet as well as subject of sonnet 53.

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  13. Interesting choice of words, Anon., this "fairly substantial indication." But I do believe in dreams.

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  14. Es interesante conocer mejor el Sendero genuino del Sri Paul Twitchell, continuado por Sri Darwin Gross, y hasta ahora por Paul Marché. Eckankar- Atom- Dhunami..

    Jesús

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  15. Gracias Jesus por tu comentario.
    -Dan

    ReplyDelete

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