Saturday, December 22, 2007

Spiritual Groups

One of the fearful and insulting aspects of modern thinking is the anti-religious aspect that passes as intellectual discourse. Personally, I believe that religion is a man-made construct which tells you there is a God, whereas spirituality is knowing it. But I still defend all religions in every possible way by pointing out that while great crimes were committed, so too was great good done in the preservation of our history, civilisation and cultures.

There is the innate knowing that exists inside every one, and yes, sometimes we need a teacher to bring that out. There is the personal yearning that exists inside everyone in trying to know God, however we express that being, and if we need to know the journey from life to death and beyond, the spiritual experience, then whatever path we take to increase that knowledge, is cool.

I've met many spiritual people and groups in the course of my travels, and we learned from each other, even if, indirectly. So I met Joseph Campbell in Japan in 1955, the year I had my spiritual awakening, and Shirley MacLaine arrived shortly after I left; her daughter went to my school. Her New Age book Out On A Limb describes her own process of spiritual awakening in the 70's, the same time I wrote Man From Atlan. I was always fond of her as an actress, so was happy she got published in 1983 (even though I'd been struggling for 9 years to find a publisher, good for her)

So I arrived in London in 1970 (according to Benjamin Creme's original prophecy) but settled in Canada where I taught meditation, even met the people who'd brought Mahareshi to America, and others. There was the Process, a group that says God is split into 4 personalities, Jehovah, Satan, Lucifer and Jesus. They asked me to join them, with a girl friend to be thrown in. Woo hoo. Hare Krishna was around too, a London gypsy wanted me to work with her as a psychic reader, a witch wanted me to join her for Wicca, none of them were my cup of tea, much as I wanted to help humanity.

Guru Maharaji was a guru who finally appeared in North America around 1974, proclaiming himself the incarnation of God. He's quite a character, and that translated into untold wealth. Telling his followers to be celibate, he promptly slept with many of his young female followers, while his associates molested children. In 1972 I met many of his ex-followers, who joined my meditation classes. I could have created a following, made money, chose not to. Likewise in London from 1975-79, when I was recognised by a guru as the incarnation of Christ, I refused to build a temple there. The time wasn't yet, and whatever I created would then be wrong. I just wrote my books, talked to people.

In my visits to the U.S. I came across many other groups. Manly P. Hall, founder of the Philosophical Research Society, was poisoned, and I was around to meet the people who tried to set up totally unsuitable individuals as trustees of the (enormously wealthy) Foundation. One of the ladies of the PRS even said, on reading Man From Atlan, "they couldn't believe a 24 year old had written that book" (so it must be a fake) And then Carlos Castaneda's (who was a great mystical anthropologist, at any rate) group argued who amongst them had the secret keys to the kingdom. Sad, really, how mystic groups that set out to share great knowledge implode, because they believe power=money. What brought my feelings to a head was what happened to a friend of mine in 1993. The wave of Indian gurus sweeping through the U.S., sleeping with their chelas, taking all their money, had just subsided. Still, on questioning one of them a little too rigorously, his followers picked her up and threw her into a swimming pool. Then she met another one with me, and this is what happened:
Swamis and Gurus

There was a yoga teacher who, feeling she deserved the title, changed her name to Swami M, proving that spiritual ego exists at every level. There was this guru in Los Angeles, late 1993, who was having a gathering to celebrate his promotion, from the ranks of sat guru to jad guru (like an Archbishop to a Cardinal); his devotees were going to weigh and then present him with his weight in gold. He saw me; when asked I said I healed people, so he made a show of inviting me to heal him in front of everyone. I asked afterwards, "when you talk about Kundalini, it's all Psychic Energy, isn't it?" "Yes", he replied.

He disappeared upstairs afterwards with some of his female followers, who were going to massage his legs. A friend tagged along. Later she told me he had French-kissed her. "Was he being spiritual, do you think?" "Well, they think that because they're 'spiritual' whatever they do is ok", I replied.

Why do so many gurus get caught having sex with their devotees? Why do they have control issues? (I believe it's a form of psycho-sexual control). Why do they zap people with psychic energy and encourage them to show such devotion and fall in love with them? I think it's because they come from ego (you could say the same about me :) and feed off the energy, which is a pity; you're all surrounded by the unlimited energy of God's love, and can tap into it whenever you wish. And love of the guru is NOT the same as love of God.

I have no problem with teachers like Rajneesh, who was open about his sexual practices. It's those who preach abstinence, or anything else, who need to walk the talk. I recognize the need for teachers and prophets to point the way to God, and show, by example, a way of life. In the end, God is inside you and around you, and you must make that journey by yourself, and your experience of God must be a personal one, not second hand or through someone else as a reflection of God.

And if a swami or a guru wants to stick his tongue down your throat, (or other body parts), it's up to you to choose if that's what you want.

©- Naseer Ahmad-2001

Back in Toronto, I started healing (see Journey of A Healer) and people started asking me to teach them. So next thing I knew, there was a fully fledged spiritual community which flourished in Toronto in the 90's until I left it to go back to the U.S. That journey has been written about as well, but the next step of that was that some of my students, became disciples. It wasn't an easy process, for me, or them. I was driven by my knowledge of the great need for healers who would help heal the planet. I knew the great changes that would be taking place. I was tired of being alone; there had to be a community of spiritual beings. I would support them, and they would support me.

Don't fear. I'm not asking you to drop everything and follow me. I did that in many lives, and things still got royally screwed up afterwards. If what I write makes you a better person, then that's enough. But the spiritual exercise of teaching, and gaining disciples, is a profound magical one nevertheless, that creates new healing forms on this planet. If you're drawn to meeting me, you will. And Cults? Every new movement is a cult, by defintion, so you're on your own figuring what I am about anyway.

My travelling days are drawing to an end, and will only take place again once I've met the people I'm supposed to meet. But if you see signs and portents, think of me..

This is my testament. I need to gather a hundred thousand people to learn what I have to teach, and with that I will change the planet.

10 comments:

hp said...

MFA,
how human, how true are the circumstances you have given us to ponder.
I always remember a favorite of mine, from none other than George Harrison. George had no need to seek fame, fortune and all the wine and women which come with these, he already them. George was seeking spirituality, George was seeking God, and he found Him. George found Krishna through his divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada. George related how and why he felt so at home with Srila Prabhupada. He said, "most all the swamis I've met either say they are God or will make me one with God, but Srila Prabhupada simply and honestly said he was but the servant of the servant of the servant."
As you know, George, who was very dear and loved by many for the wonderful spiritual person he was, died surrounded by his close devotee friends chanting the Mahamantra as he took his last breath chanting the names of God.
I take from this great hope and a belief in the truth of our soul as eternal servants of God.
Thanks for your article and thanks for listening.
Homer

Salman said...

hey Man, this is Salman, we talked on the other blog...I would request info about seeing a Siddhi or anyone who can help me attain the ability to levitate myself. Should I start with yoga for that?

Man From Atlan said...

You're welcome, Homer. I hope you realise I'm saying more, and thanks for listening too.

Man From Atlan said...

Salman, start with regular hatha yoga. I've known many people attneding Mahareshi University who had psychotic episodes the instructors didn't know how to deal with.

Salman said...

ok where is a good place to start hatha yoga? like do you know any good ones around GTA area? preferably close to sauga.

Salman said...

Can you levitate yourself, Naseer?

Man From Atlan said...

I only levitated once as a child, when I jumped off a roof in Tokyo (not recommmended to anyone else)
Here's a Ram Dass story which illustrates how I feel.
A student of Yoga wanted to learn to walk on water (what Jesus did, as levitation) and so the master taught him for 30 years. One day, seeing his master on the other side of a river, he walked across to him and said, look, I can walk on water! To which the master replied, "you know, you could just as easily have taken the boat" In other words, it's not important, to me at least. Yet, if I focussed on that, I could, but it would in the end, not accomplish anything. There's a picture on the Internet of a yogi who tried to do it
My ex-wife also levitated when she was a child. It's a gift many have had in the past, and yes, I can understand the longing to do it again. But to me, if I can bring inner peace, that's much more important.
I don't know any yoga studios in Mississauga, but here's one I located:
Free Spirit Yoga Studio
333 Willa Road
Mississauga Ont,
L5G 2H1
(905)274-7309

Salman said...

thnx a lot, I will look into this levitation, so do you mean to tell me it will take 30 years to learn to levitate as the dude in the story?!?!

Man From Atlan said...

Salman, you may be missing the point.If that is your sole purpose in life, you may or may not accomplish it, tomorrow or 30 years.
Do you know why people forgot how to fly? Because they forgot how to be spiritual.
And if they were spiritual, they'd say it wasn't important, because in this life there are more important things to accomplish..

Salman said...

thnx a lot Naz, merry Christmas