Friday, October 01, 2004

Navigate All of WHAT enlightenment??!


Blogger Philip Roddis said...

I read with great interest the January 11th contribution from Stas - whom I remember with affection from my own days as a London student of Andrew - on the Aristotelian x or not-x, "I'm Absolutely Right or Insane", logic. I too have come to the conclusion Stas has drawn. He's nuts - or as the man himself might put it, A Truly Liberated Ego.

You can draw this conclusion simply by playing by his rules, but opting for the right rather than left side of the formulation. You can draw it from the empirical data now building up as - thanks to this blog and the Tarlo/der Braak books - the walls of silence come down. Or you can draw it through simple reflection on the laws of psychology. Not the laws you get from textbooks but from your own experience: what happens to the grip on reality of a man who isolates himself from negative feedback (even the most minor) by insisting, in the name of the "guru principle", on unquestioning loyalty and "respect" (read: sycophancy) from all who come close? A man who, on failing to get these things, can have no further dealings with the recalcitrant? A man incapable, in short, of any relationship - other than one of short term expediency - between equals?

(On that last point read, in Luna Tarlo's Mother of God, the passage where she meets anti-guru U.G. Krishnamurti. Asked by Luna what would happen - this is before The Split - if Poonja were to publicly disown Andrew, UGK replies without hesitation: "he will claim to have surpassed his former master". Divine prophecy? No, simple appliance of the laws of the human psyche: laws we were foolish enough to believe Andrew had transcended.)

For all his frequent claims that he will Stand In The Truth after every single one of his students has left him, it is my belief that Andrew Cohen needs his students far more than they (whatever they might now think) need him. His is an enormous ego - which, by the way, is pretty much his definition of insanity - requiring ever greater sacrifices from others. So far the situation falls short of WACO and Jonestown proportions, but the same dialectics are at play.

And it's a tragedy for him. (Though one eclipsed by those he has brought down on others - see, for example, Mario's recent contribution on Caroline.) I no longer consider myself "spiritual" - I'm far more interested in the psychology of it all - but anyone who ever saw Andrew Cohen teach knew they were in the presence of someone remarkable, and not just in the negative sense. Maybe he is a genius in his way.

Alas, genius and remarkability do not come proofed against madness.

Tuesday, 31 January, 2006  

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