SPLINTER IN THE MIND : Blowing the Whistle on Enlightenment … Confessions of a New Age Heretic
“Blowing the Whistle on Enlightenment:
Confessions of a New Age Heretic,”
by Bronte Baxter
What I expected to see when I came back to the Fairfield scene after 20 years away from Transcendental Meditation was a group of mainstay meditators true-blue to Maharishi and a group of robust dissenters, whose minds questioned everything they learned from their guru days. Instead, I found the true-blue meditators, but not the kind of dissenters I anticipated. I encountered people who had left the TM movement but hadn’t substantially changed their belief system. This latter group had changed in the way that people change hats, or redecorate their homes, leaving unaltered the structure underneath.
The dissenters had splintered into a myriad of Eastern or Eastern-related philosophies: Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie and Andrew Cohen were popular, and Neo-Advaitin gurus had rallied many behind their minimalist philosophy. “Saints” like Ammachi visit Fairfield regularly, dispensing dharshan and picking up new recruits. Across town, small groups meet in “satsangs” to discuss their growing enlightenment or to chant songs to the gods. Heated debate is common between adherents of competing gurus, and people grow vitriolic over whether Maharishi has slept with young women or not. There is a smattering of hedonists and atheists, but ex-TMers in the Fairfield circuit mostly show up with an intact Vedic worldview. That worldview is a lens through which they perceive and measure all gurus and reality itself.
I find this disturbing. It’s rather like people who’ve been swindled by a con man, despising him for how they were treated while they continue to invest money in the enterprise he sold them on. Why doesn’t the skepticism extend beyond the procurer, to that which he procured for?
And what did Maharishi procure for? The Vedic gods. He sold us a meaningless word that was supposed to guide our minds to transcend superficial consciousness. Later we learned those meaningless words, our mantras, were names of deities. He taught us advanced techniques with the Sanskrit word “namah” at their core: “I bow down.” Mantra meditation is a form of paying worship to those who call themselves gods. When you scrape away all the fancy and misleading explanations – like “meaningless sounds” and “impulses of creative intelligence,” what you get very simply is people with their eyes closed bowing down in their minds to an assigned Hindu deity.
Of course we can explain this away using TM explanations, much like the townsfolk explained away the emperor’s nakedness using the reasoning they were fed by the tricksters who paraded him through the town. But the emperor has no clothes. Mantras worship the gods. “Namah” means “bow down.” It’s right there on the surface for anyone to see if we toss out the excuses we were handed and look at the situation with even a shred of unbiased observation.
Who are these gods, that we’re so willing to explain away as “impulses of our own consciousness”? The same gods have appeared in other religions and cultures, even in societies that had no contact with each other. They go by different names, but the entities are the same. In Hinduism, you have Indra, god of thunder, ruler of the gods, married to Indrani, queen of the gods, known for her jealousy. In Greek mythology, you have Zeus, god of thunder, ruler of the gods, married to Hera, queen of the gods, known for her jealousy. One-to-one correspondence like this is common. The gods are a global phenomenon, with their imprints on every society.
Historically, the gods exacted worship and sacrifice – blood sacrifice commonly, including the murder of humans. While Hinduism has a history of human sacrifice, it has been reduced today to worship of Kali, the goddess with her bloody tongue hanging out, whose body is adorned with a necklace of bleeding, decapitated human heads. Or Shiva, adorned with serpents, who dances on graves. Or Vishnu, whom Arjuna perceived in His cosmic form with pieces of devoured victims’ flesh sticking between his teeth. Gods feed on the energy of suffering, the fearful energy of the victim. In one South American sacrificial ritual, a bull has his throat slit, as slowly as possible. The reasoning given is that the gods cherish “live blood” as the blood with the greatest energy, so the animal must be kept alive while the blood drips from its body. In other words, the greater the fear and suffering of the sacrificial beast, the greater is the pleasure of the gods.
The Shrimad-Bhagavatum, among other scriptures, explains the antipathy of the gods for human enlightenment. According to the Vedas and the mythology of other cultures, the gods feel threatened by the human race, afraid mankind might grow as powerful as they. The gods want humans to remain ignorant and “inferior” because if man realized his intrinsic nature as consciousness, he would no longer be subject to deva control. The devas wish us to believe, and have told us throughout scripture, that their divine hands manipulate and guide the laws of nature – creation itself. For this reason we should worship them, chant to them, send them our soma (subtle energy generated in meditation). Because our energy feeds the gods and is needed by them to stay strong and in control of this material dimension. And they wish us to believe that their control is in our best interest.
Who would make the rains come or the sun shine if the gods are rightful stewards of those things and we humans didn’t support them? All creation would crumble without the blessing of the gods. That, scriptures tell us, is why we should worship, which is equivalent to paying an energy-tithe. It’s the same reasoning human warlords use against the people they dominate: pay your tax, because you need us; we will protect you. Don’t pay the tax, and we will punish you. The gods threaten to punish, even destroy mankind if he doesn’t bend before their yoke and serve them. They fulfilled that threat in the Great Flood (a story which appears in disparate cultures) and in other visitations of divine vengeance recorded in countless tales throughout cultural history.
But really, who are these characters? And do they really exist? The modern mind relegates “gods” to the overactive imaginations of pre-civilized peoples, and in so doing, dismisses the concept. But actually, deities appear in highly civilized early societies, including Sumeria, Babylon, Greece and Egypt. Isn’t it ethnocentric of us to suggest that civilizations capable of constructing the pyramids or accurately charting the course of the stars for centuries into the future, should be dismissed as childlike and ignorant when they write of their experiences with other-worldly beings? Archeologist Zechariah Sitchen, in his voluminous tomes, details the countless references in ancient writings and artifacts to beings who visited this world in fiery flying ships, who taught mankind, interbred with humans, and set up a government of divine-right kingship. Visiting beings who called themselves gods.
Kings were considered “sons of the gods,” connected to the deities by bloodline, hence their right to rule. In the Mahabharata, Arjuna’s mother was said to conceive her numerous sons by intercourse with several different deities. The first chapter of Genesis speaks of the Nefelim, a giant race that interbred with early humans. In Egypt, the pharaohs were literally “sons of the gods.” We find stories of gods interbreeding with humans to create a kingly line in Zulu shamanism and in South American Indian lore.
Time and again, in culture after culture, the gods appear doing the same things, demanding the same things. Even Christianity springs from a pantheistic tradition: Jehovah was one god among many for the Hebrews. A self-righteous fellow fond of war and genocide, he had to compete with the other local gods for the Hebrews’allegiance. Today, having beat out the competition, revered as “God” by his followers, Jehovah garners the worship not just of Jews but Protestants and Catholics as well.
How foolish and arrogant is it to laugh off the existence of a race of beings who appear in the annals of every civilization? I was amazed to see ex-TMers, who spent years feeding soma to devas through chants and mantras, whose walls are still plastered with pictures of Lakshmi, Kali and Shiva, dismiss with a toss of their head the idea that gods might exist as real persons.
Who, in truth, are the gods, and what do they want from us? Do “deities” sit at the controls of the universe, managing the laws of nature? Beings with such awesome power that our lives are in their hands? Entities we must never challenge at the risk of losing all we hold dear? I suggest, if the gods are innately as powerful as they purport to be, they would not need human worship to survive. They would be self-sufficient, drawing on the Infinite within them for every need. Instead, they tell mankind to bow down and pay tithe, and threaten in the scriptures to destroy us if we don’t. What kind of power is it, that can’t exist without feeding?
It sounds more like psychic enslavement to me. Convince the people whose world you contrive to control that they are powerless without you, that the rains won’t come and the sun will go dark if they don’t please you. Drink their soma, the positive energy of worship, and drink their negative energy, too, when you can incite it and siphon it off. Feed yourself on human astral energy, whatever the quality, and you and your race can control human life as long as the system remains intact. Planetary farming. If anyone starts to wake up a little, divert their efforts at spiritual independence by luring them into mantra meditation.
Consider this quote by the currently popular guru, Ramana Maharshi: “Repetition aloud of His name is better than praise. Better still is its faint murmur. But the best is repetition within the mind — and that is meditation. Better than such broken thought is its steady and continuous flow like the flow of oil or of a perennial stream.”
Ramana Maharshi’s statement represents mantra meditation’s goal: a state where the mind is timelessly identified with surrender to the name of one’s god – identical with the god himself. The mind itself has become self-negation at the feet of the deity. Empty of original thought and dynamic desire, the “liberated” person’s ego is dissolved: the very thing that made him or her human. All that is left is a mind-body shell, a meat-robot, that moves through life as a surrendered instrument of some greater will. I suggest the greater will is not that of the Infinite. It is the will of the god who has taken the place of one’s mind.
Does this sound like possession? It surely appears to be. Think of all the gurus you’ve met with their palpable shakti. An energy so real no one who experiences it can deny it. What is that light in their eye, a light beyond this world? Whose is that power they touch you with, embrace you with? Is it the shakti of Brahman, the light of pure consciousness? Or is it the power of Kali or one of her friends? Gurus often say they are the embodiment of Shiva, Kali, or some other god. Why do we not take them at their word?
I would like to suggest that mantra meditation turns humans into zombies who serve the agenda of the gods. That agenda is procurement of more humans and more human energy. This explains the common phenomenon of proselytizing by the religious, including fundamentalist Christians, TMers, and disciples of other varieties. Servants of “God” or the gods feel a driving need to bring in more recruits. The god that moves through them fills them with this zeal, as a hungry stomach fills the mind with an overwhelming need to procure dinner.
There are no gods, in the sense the gods would have us think of them. No one has been designated by the Infinite to control creation and administer the laws of nature. The sun shines by itself as an entity with its own consciousness. The rain and wind don’t need a god to direct them; they move where they will in harmony with their fellow elements. All things are children of the Infinite, spirits or egos in their own unique right, expressing in physical form and also in astral dimensions.
The gods are spirits/egos like everybody else. Most of the time they dwell on astral planes, which is why human senses normally don’t perceive them. According to ancient records, they have visited the earth in ages past in physical forms of their own, as entities from the stars.
When I hear “the enlightened” excuse all the atrocities of this world by saying that in their exalted perception, everything is “perfect” just as it is, I hear “fraud.” The God I perceive in the depths of my being is not a God who is content with fathers raping infants, animals being ripped apart alive, or human sorrow so great only suicide can quell it. This kind of world is not perfect, and anyone who sees it as such has something seriously wrong with them. If the gods were really beneficent and powerful, they would not operate a world that runs like this. When their mouthpieces and procurers tell us this world is just as it should be – that shows you the true nature of the gods.
These beings are not our friends, though surely, if there are scoundrels in astral dimensions, there must be virtuous entities there as well. Perhaps the ones who don’t seek lordship over this planet are watching to see if humans take back control of our world or continue to surrender it, piece by piece, to the cosmic band of thugs who want to own it. Will we continue surrendering our governments, media, schools, workplaces, taxes and spirituality to those who would lead us farther away from personal freedom and self-actualization, closer to a world without responsibility, originality or joy? Such a world is the goal of the gods, because it’s more controllable.
Their lackeys in the political arena (many – George Bush, for instance – are genetically linked to European royal families and the god-engendered lines of divine-right kings) call this future society the New World Order. Centralized control, humans functioning on autopilot. The death of free will, passion, desire and originality – sounds a lot like enlightenment, doesn’t it. The surrender of the individual to the collective. Control of the collective by divine-right rulers, and control of those rulers by the cosmic band of thugs themselves. The rise of the great Fourth Reich.
Who were the mystical entities Hitler conversed with and took guidance from? Why was group meditation a part of Nazi protocol? Why were many TM/ New Age slogans (“established in Being, perform action,” for instance) also slogans of the Third Reich?
Total control and spiritual domination. The destruction of everything that makes life worth living. Creation imploding on itself, like a snake swallowing its tail. That actually is a symbol found in mystery schools, which were controlled by the gods.
It’s time to give up beads and mantras, chanting and bowing down to dirty feet. It’s time to fire the gurus, stand up and be the powerful, sublime individuals we are. It’s time to question the dogmas we swallowed whole from Vedic tradition and take a closer look at what is happening when we meditate.
It’s time to reclaim our birthright, our divinity and this Earth. Only we can do it, as the conscious beings we are. As Alice in Wonderland said, turning and facing the Red Queen’s army that was hot on her heels, “Pooh! You’re nothing but a pack of old cards.” That army toppled, turning into a heap of playing cards the moment the girl broke through her bad dream. Our controllers too will topple, and dragons will turn into geckos. It’s time to give up the cosmic illusion and de-hypnotize.