Friday, October 20, 2006

A Response To Andrew Cohen’s “Declaration of Integrity”

By Simeon Alev

[Note from the Editors: Apparently attempting to finally give a public statement defending himself against the many allegations of his abuse of students documented previously here (and perhaps also in response to the current heated discussions on the Zaadz+WIE online forum), Andrew Cohen recently meticulously crafted and posted a " Declaration of Integrity", which in effect avoids the whole thing. Instead of addressing the actual facts, he predictably overwhelms us with his assessment of how great things are in the spiritual boot camp he has created, and why his ego-challenging teachings have proven his ex-student critics to be mere “failures”, or losers whose “life mission is to create and spread a negative picture of who I am...” What Andrew does say about the facts is that the stories have been “misrepresented” and given “out of context”. He never denies the charges, but only provides us with eleven pages of his self-justifying “context”, which is just the standard fare we’ve gotten from him for years now. The article below is a response to Andrew’s “Declaration,” by Simeon Alev, a former WIE Magazine editor and long-time student of Andrew Cohen, and is his first contribution to What Enlightenment??!]


I have never until now, with the inaugural posting of Andrew Cohen’s “Declaration of Integrity” on his new blog, felt compelled to participate in discourse critical of his conduct as a “spiritual authority figure.” However, the misrepresentative nature of Andrew’s response to his critics does call for some comment.

Andrew describes certain former students now publicly critical of his methods as having “turned on him,” but the truth is that he had turned on them long before they ever responded in kind. During my years in his community it was common practice for Andrew to publicly ridicule and vilify students who left, and to encourage others to do the same. There was no possibility of this practice, or the remarks engendered by it, being misinterpreted or “taken out of context.” The message was clear, as well as the mean-spiritedness and vindictiveness behind it, which continues to manifest in Andrew’s present post and will likely animate his future “counteroffensives.” Whatever else Andrew Cohen may be, in this respect he is most definitely not a mensch. He has never personally addressed his own habit of vilification and ridicule, much less the many abuses of power catalogued by his critics, who experienced and/or witnessed them first-hand and either understood what they were seeing or figured it out soon enough—despite constant pressure from Andrew himself to give his motivations the benefit of the doubt.

The main problem with Andrew’s community is his investment in his perception of himself as a flawless exemplar of his teaching. This is a problem because Andrew is far from flawless, and his actions (ironically) will probably never reflect the genuine nobility of his realization due to his incapacity to see himself and his own baser motivations clearly. None of Andrew’s former followers would have hailed him as a “21st-century Buddha” etc. had they not been encouraged to do so by his own overly generous estimation of himself, and they cannot be faulted for changing their minds even after an extended period of devotion to someone who for a time seemed to them worthy of it. Andrew’s lack of gratitude toward these people, who labored long and selflessly for the advancement of “his” cause and “his” organization (“his” magazine and “his” jazz fusion band etc.), is egregiously autocratic and narcissistic. I know personally several of the people described by Andrew as having “failed miserably” as spiritual practitioners; in addition to being insulting, this characterization of them is both a myopic and self-serving misperception and a public misrepresentation designed to invalidate legitimate grievances. Their lack of “success” is not difficult to understand in a community where self-induced doubtlessness was often a survival strategy and success was so closely correlated with fear-driven conformity. (If this has since changed, I’m glad to hear it but have my doubts.)

I am concerned that Andrew’s public association with Ken Wilber, in tandem with Wilber’s recent responses to his own critics, has emboldened Andrew in the belief that he is entitled to a form of “score-settling” similar to Wilber’s vibrant and useful “ Wyatt Earpy ” postings. There are, however, several revealing contextual differences between Ken and Andrew’s respective statements. For example, rather than having to defend his ideas or scholarship, or to elucidate the effects of spiritual development (or lack thereof) on perception and worldview, Andrew has been called upon by his critics to justify acts of physical violence, the translation of students’ psychological vulnerability into large cash donations, and apparent mean-spiritedness in the service of the higher evolution of consciousness.

For both Ken and Andrew, it seems to me, the goal of such public dialogue (evolution, mental perspective, enlightened understanding and action) is ostensibly the same and to that extent equally laudable, feasible and urgent. In Andrew’s case, however, the grandiosity and presumption of infallibility that made his “alleged” abuses of students possible in the first place are similarly evident in his “declaration,” which as a result transmits little of the uplifting inclusiveness and vulnerability to be found even in Wilber’s most caustic and challenging remarks. It’s easy to accuse people of “rewriting history,” but what about that history, i.e., those incidents that witnesses have taken the time and trouble to document? And it’s easy to declare dismissively that such incidents have been “taken out of context,” but what of that context? The bottom line is not that Andrew has never lied to his students, but that his dishonesty with himself has never been offered a place at his table.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s funny, I couldn’t be bothered to do more than skim A’s response. It’s just what I would have expected. Too bad. I’m sure the blog has sparked him to reflect on his teaching methods—but his declaration sure doesn’t show much getting older and wiser through years of experience teaching. Andrew’s view has little room for the possibility that different styles/types of paths may be appropriate for different people, and possibly for different stages of their lives/paths. I do think I had issues to work out that drew me, maybe karmically, to Andrew. I feel I got what I needed – a lot of positive, transformative experiences; and a lot of intense black-and-white jihad-style confrontation, some of it useful, much of which clarified and brought to a head for me what my particular issues and challenges on the spiritual path are. I really am grateful for both. But eventually it became very clear to me that for me to transcend those very issues, I would have to leave Andrew, because the dynamic in which he becomes entrenched with his close students actually reifies those blocks. His “style,” his rigidity as a teacher, or his own arrested development (in terms of his powerful awakening continuing to deepen and more fully permeate his human character) make him unable to help students—at least some students—make much progress beyond a certain point. In spite of it all, I guess I feel I got the teacher I needed at the time and eventually was ready to move on to a path and a teacher who can help me continue down the path. I would never suggest that others need to go through that kind of thing, but I think maybe I did. In any case, it was what I went through to get to where I am now, and I can’t imagine my life unfolding differently. I think we former students probably need to feel and express our very real anger and pain and confusion and victimization. Telling the truth about our experience can be very healing. And this process may take quite a while. But eventually, I think we need to find a way to embrace the whole of our lives and somehow make it good. Make the Andrew period fertilizer or grist or whatever to continue down the path--that much wiser and more tender. To me, that’s not failure at all. And the fact is, Andrew has no idea about or interest in what his former students are doing. Simply leaving him qualifies one a "failure" and nonperson because one is choosing a different path rather than continuing to be a soldier in his particular manifestation of the revolution. Too bad he doesn't take the view that he has planted lots of seeds in students who have worked with him over the years that may bear fruit in many different ways as they continue their lives.

Saturday, 21 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all,
Like Simeon and others, the response of Andrew's blog and the folks rallying behind him on Zaadz thread (http://pods.zaadz.com/wie/discussions/view/60278)
have made me want to respond to the 2-dimensional depiction of what is going on here. I hoped to respond to a poster on Zaadz, however, it will be days before they approve my account. Here is an open letter to what's going on in that thread:

A plea for moving beyond polarization:

Hi everyone. I generally try to keep my dialogue about this complex issue out of public discourse, but as someone who was a student of AC’s for over a decade, (and not just on the periphery, going to retreats here and there, etc), I feel Andrew’s declaration and the supporting dialogue here is only adding to an otherwise polarized situation. The direction of Andrew's response does not in any way acknowledge the need to bring old loved ones closer together, rather its about a zero-sum gain, with one camp a winner and another a loser.
Personally, I have long remembered my experience with Andrew with gratitude and warmth. He is an extraordinary individual with great capacities. These sentiments have not gone away, but some of the actions and behaviors of a leader who many consider perfect have deeply concerned me and others. I think that it is only very human to do so when you consider what’s been reported on.
To Mike - I want to commend you and acknowledge you for your fiery support of your teacher. I can tell you are benefiting and that you see great positivity in the situation you are in. Naturally, you would want to rise up and defend that perceived goodness. I have been there…
But since you have clearly been involved in spiritual endeavors for quite a while, I am sure you know that things can get tricky, life situations and dynamics in communities can grow quite complex. We human beings are evolving, after all, and our track record is less than perfect. So I don’t mean this in an any type of aggressive tone, but I would ask you to consider being a little bit more careful in how you are depicting ex-students who are critical or concerned about some of Andrew’s behavior. These people have described things that have happened - at worst abuse, at least, acts of very poor judgement - that provoke serious concern to thoughtful, intelligent people. Don’t they concern you?
So it’s valid to ask you, were you there when these things happened? Do you know these people? I fear you are at risk of broad-brushing a great deal of people who come at the issue from a lot of different angles. And, as I am sure you know, broad-brushing does not lead to greater open dialogue. Many of the people I know were deeply, deeply involved with Andrew, probably in contact much closer than you on a day to day basis. Similarly, how do you know that these people are “out to destroy him”? That’s rather extreme. Is it possible to object to behavior without being simply intent on destroying? Isn’t there somewhere in-between? And let me tell you, if you have no objections or haven’t had to struggle subjectively with the actions reported on that are desperately asking for clarification, then I for one would be quite scared of having you as my “backup man” in any Navy Seal team or otherwise.
Similarly, as has been pointed out by some posters countless times in this blog and elsewhere, Andrew Cohen’s supporters only seem to target what they see as the disgruntled, ill-will of Andrew’s detractors – depicting them as losers even, rather than doing what is obviously required and thoughtfully responding to some very scary sounding deeds and consider the implications. While their tact so far not only shows callous disregard for self-respecting individuals who may have been on the receiving end of possibly very poor judgement (within a context as you well know of an extreme degree of trust placed in an authority figure), I imagine it starts to make people watching this whole dialogue draw a few mixed conclusions:
1) Supporters of Andrew are obviously good folks, tapping into some very positive experiences that is affecting their outlook in a very profound way. (Hmm..something very compelling there..)
2) They seem to interpret the profundity of their teacher’s realization and the impact it has had on his character as implying that he acts and behaves with perfection in each and every instance. (Wow…sounds simultaneously compelling and crazy. If it could be true, better damn well make sure one does pretty good homework before getting involved. A teacher who considers his actions perfect with a body of students who feel the same way can be a fairly daunting territory to traverse if you ever come up with any examples where you might doubt this….)
3) They also demonstrate a strange and disconcerting lack of balance when it comes to addressing the reports of extreme activities (that have yet to be refuted), that any intelligent person with some measure of a conscience is going to be concerned about.
4) They don’t seem to be willing to give anyone the right to use their own free will to decide if these things are justified by “context” or not.
5) They don’t seem to be aware that this disparity looks glaringly obvious from the outside.

Andrew’s supporters keep mentioning a relationship that is freely entered into and exited from. That doesn’t hold true if the very people you are considering being in a relationship with don’t square up to the actual facts. You are saying in effect, “that’s irrelevant, let me be the one to assure you of Andrew’s wholesome intent.” Where’s the free will to let others decide how they feel about the actualities and what emphasis to place on the unique context? Everyone so far, without exception has yet to touch these items. Instead they are saying, I completely trust the direction Andrew is taking me. Well that’s all well and good and thank you for the information. But that’s not what’s being questioned! Don’t you get that? I implore you to do so.
I will leave you with a quote from one of the people who have publicly pointed out worrisome concerns.. I’ll let you decide if their only motive is to destroy their former beloved teacher:
“However, my point is not to question your good-hearted intentions or motive, but to question your judgment, as borne out numerous times with respect to others and to myself.”

Saturday, 21 October, 2006  
Anonymous another 'loser' :) said...

Well said, Simeon, and thank you for so clearly expressing what so many of us "failures" have experienced with Andrew.

Also thanks to the above anonymous poster. I can completely relate.

Saturday, 21 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reading Andrew's "Declaration of Integrity", there is a mind-numbing "me me me me I I I me me me" repetition that is rather pitiful. Who is this "me" that declares itself to have perfect integrity? How could any genuine awakened being spend so much time talking from ego? E-G-O, me, the big one, the best one, the highest one, the only one....and on and on and on ad nauseum.
How can anyone so self-engrossed lead others to a higher view? The only thing that makes Andrew larger than life is all the energy and attention given to him by others. We want to put someone up on a pedestal and assign them godly powers so that we can feel safe and special sitting at their feet. This is anything but enlightening. There is only one direction to look to truly find enlightenment, and that is within. When we look outside ourselves for truth we end up dancing with shadows. It can be quite a show but in truth there is no substance out there.
"Me thinks thou dost protest too much."

Sunday, 22 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read quite a bit of the blogs and responses to Andrew's "Declaration of Integrity". It is fascinating to watch what develops here. It is also unerving reading the stories of former students who have been abused or created the same in others. I originally read some of the blogs a year ago and only came back to this site a week ago. I had a short stint as a student of AC's a few years ago, but never had the opportunity to attend a lecture or retreat although at the time I wanted to do so. Every time I planned to go, circumstances beyond my control forced me to cancel. I found it strange. 20 some years ago I was a student of Adi Da. Although, they have different ways of expressing themselves, I believe they are essentially teaching the same thing. And I do not find it odd at all that both have students reporting abuses. It doesn't seem so odd when one realizes for all their talk, they are still human, evolved or not. Maybe some of being enlightened is the ablility to REALLY KNOW and recognize our own shortcomings especially when we are in a "higher" state of consciousness. Maybe it is too tempting to avoid looking at when we are experiencing all that power and feeling alive. I do not know. What I do know is that having been students of both and reading the blogs, I have resolved myself to think maybe enlightenment isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I mean come on, you have all this power, men and women, a life of luxury because everyone else pays for it. You can even have your own island if you work hard enough. Everyone around you worships you, thinks you're the greatest and then BAM, reality sets in and you're faced with law suites, public criticism and all the rest.
So I think I'll settle for just trying my damnest to be the best father, friend and acupuncturist I can and let the others worry about being enlightened.
But seriously folks, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Could there be a similarity in the spiritual world? Just look at the present government. Oh, and that brings me to one last idea. I have read in a few places about AC's support for the current president and his administration. Now I do not know if that is true. If it is, then God help us all as the passage of the Military Commissions Act puts everyone at risk of being labeled an "enemy combatant". I kinda thought if one were truly enlightened one would see through the charade of politics and the lies of the political "ego" in Washington. How could any enlightened being support the lies and horrendous acts of the current government? Somehow I do not think an enlightened being could. At least the Dahli Lama can't tolerate the lies told by the Chinese. So where does that put the rest of us who are reaching for enlightenment or a spiritual life? You can talk all you want about ego this and ego that but what ACTION does anyone take outside of one's "development" or "evolution". At least AC was addressing that issue I think. So far as I am concerned it seems necessary for our survival for us to ACT on these spiritual principles in the community we find ourselves in, be it a spiritual one or the one most of us are in today. May the Force be with all of us.

Sunday, 22 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read Andrew’s ‘Declaration of Integrity.’

I feel that he didn’t address the fundamental issue raised on this WhatEnlightenment weblog.

The main thrust of his message was that he is an honest man and enlightenment takes all a person’s got and he is committed to helping people evolve and become enlightened.

I’ve been reading this weblog a while and I don’t recall anyone questioning Andrew’s honesty.

What they’ve been questioning is his trustworthiness.

Honesty and trustworthiness are two entirely different things.

Personally, I could never trust a person, let alone a guru, who believes it’s okay to slap other adults in the face, pour a bucket of paint onto them, pressure them out of money, or take passports away when they attempt to leave.

I wish Andrew had addressed these issues head on. I would like to know if the allegations are true or false.

For instance, the post by the person, Stas, ‘Letter from a Senior Student,’ was heart-breaking. Of course, it’s one side of the story.

Because Andrew didn’t address the alleged abuses, I’m left believing that they are true.

Andrew himself wrote that he walked away from his guru Poonja because he felt the guru lacked integrity. I.e., told lies.

But it’s the same thing, as I see it, why students have walked away from Andrew. Not for lying, but for being untrustworthy.

Based on what I’ve read on this weblog, I don’t think it’s because their egos couldn’t take being “pushed hard” by Andrew. I believe that a fundamental sense of trust was broken.

I wasn’t there. I don’t know for certain. I would like to know because I believe Andrew truly had an awakening and he is an excellent communicator.

I just recall him saying that if a spiritual teacher does something the average person would never consider doing; then walk away.

The main thing I’ve learned from all of this, however, is that enlightenment doesn’t mean a person automatically has 100 percent integrity--or any integrity at all.

It does put a “seeker” in a double-bind when the “path” is to surrender whole-heartedly to the guru.

I can imagine if Andrew read this, he’d think to himself --of course I’m untrustworthy to the ego!!!

So anyway, best to just let it go, move on.

Also, he’d probably think I’m a wimp for posting anonymously here, rather than on his comments page where you’re required to reveal your email and name. (Not trusting him, I decline.)

Monday, 23 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Andrew in his "Declaration" has not denied any of the allegations of physical violence towards his students by himself or by others at his direction, and since none of the many witnesses who have posted on this or any other blog has ever refuted the basic facts of there being physical violence, one wonders if the local police at Lenox MA are aware of a simmering threat to community peace and safety, and taking any measures to protect the participants of Cohen's program at Foxhollow.

Tuesday, 24 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the shoe fits.....

http://www.energygrid.com/spirit/ap-falsegurutest.html

Wednesday, 25 October, 2006  
Blogger Stuart said...

Andrew writes in his "Declaration":

> As far as I’m concerned, the
> spiritual life is just like any
> other endeavor—you can succeed
> or fail.

If anyone wants to blindly believe in Andrew's idea's of what's "spiritual" and what's "success," then following him makes sense.

There's the opposite choice too. We can question, we can question everything, including distinctions like spiritual vs unspiritual, success vs failure, elite vs ordinary.

When people are ready to go beyond clinging to "spiritual" ideas, there are plenty of paths and teachers who will support questioning and moment-to-moment life, free of the dogma of someone's ideas of "higher spiritual consciousness" or whatever.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

Wednesday, 25 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, Stuart. Yes, there are certainly "failures" within Andrew's spiritual academy, of which he is the unquestioned authority. This academy and teaching serve as the self-created air-tight "context" by which he valuates all things "spiritual" -- i.e., what is and is not evolutionary and revolutionary, etc. But this is only one path of many. All of it can be questioned, and in the end MUST be questioned for oneself. Andrew's actions only appear valid and justifiable within his world, but from outside this absolutist, black and white bubble, in real human terms it is he who failed his students. I think that Simeon pointed this out very clearly.

Wednesday, 25 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. Cohen would say that he is helping you to live up to your own ideals, but somehow your ideals become his ideals. In the end, he is punishing people for not fulfilling his ideals.

I think he would like his disciples to all wear Papaji masks so that he can whip them all, while saying between lashes...

Keep... still... naughty... ego! I'm trying to... kill you! You must... die... for the sake... of everyone else! And stop... creating... karma!

Thursday, 26 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how the story of Andrew Cohen’s original enlightenment experience with H.W.L. Poonja would read, had he encountered the teaching model he presently offers his own students.

In his account of the encounter with H.W.L. Poonja, Autobiography of an Awakening, Andrew states in Chapter 6,

“After we had exchanged greetings, I boldly declared to him (Poonjaji) that I had no expectations from this meeting. He replied just as boldly, ‘That’s very good.’ I immediately felt at ease because it seemed to me at the time that this man wanted absolutely nothing from me. He then said to me very distinctly and very softly, ‘You don’t have to make any effort to be Free.’ Immediately upon hearing this, something happened. His words penetrated very deeply. I turned and looked out into the courtyard outside his room and inside myself all I saw was a river – in that instant I realized that I had always been Free. I saw clearly that I never could have been other than Free and that any idea or concept of bondage had always been and could only ever be completely illusory. Without thinking, I said to him, ‘I can now see how just as making effort has become a habit – making no effort could also become a habit.’ In that instant, he shouted out loudly, ‘That’s it!’ I looked up and he was staring at me very intensely. I said to him, ‘How did you know?’ He replied, ‘When a man sees his own face, he recognizes it!’
Walking with my friend in the street a few minutes after leaving Poonjaji’s house, I asked him, ‘Is it always like this?’ I was thrilled and excited and could not quite believe what had just taken place. I wasn’t even sure of what had taken place, but I knew without doubt that something extraordinary had just happened.
I spent the next three weeks with this remarkable man. Every day we spent almost the entire day together. I would go to visit him morning and evening and would often stay with him until just before he went to sleep at night. We ate together, went for walks together and often just sat quietly together. During this period, every important question that I had ever had, he answered either directly, with a story or by metaphor. As a result of these talks and this time spent intimately with the man I was soon to call my Master, I gradually discovered that the person who had arrived in Lucknow was no longer the same. I realized that I was dying to everything that I had ever known.”

If Andrew were to compare his experience of awakening to the experience of his own students’ encounters with himself, I would suggest the story would be a very different kettle of fish.

In the first place, it would take a very long time to get as close to Andrew as he was able to be with Poonjaji on his very first encounter. There would be months of being groomed by others in the hierarchy before he would ever get anywhere near enough to spend the quality time described by Andrew, such as eating together, going for walks together, visiting mornings and evenings or staying with him until just before he went to sleep (I doubt these experiences would be available to many if any).

In the second place, students are encouraged to have very high expectations of any meeting with Andrew….very high.

In the third place, students are told that very much is expected from them, in fact everything!

In the fourth place, habit of making effort is definitely required and the pressure to increase one’s capacity to make effort is unrelenting.

In the fifth place, one is certainly never going to be told, “That’s it!”, rather; one will hear over and over again, “That’s not it!” According to the revelations of students, one will even be slapped into accepting that they have fallen short of “it”.

In the sixth place, it is very obvious that Andrew judges himself to be superior and certainly does not recognize his own face in the faces of his students.

I suggest in Andrew’s context, there is a fundamental reversing of the components that he describes in his own words of how he came to “Awakening”. I would also suggest that Andrew has not put himself in his students’ shoes and has no idea of their perspective and the suffering they endure in their attempt to measure up to the ever out of reach goal of Evolutionary Enlightenment. After all, if the goal is constantly evolving beyond the present moment into the future, attainment is never going to be possible. Poonja did not point Andrew’s gaze away into the future, but rather, awakened Andrew to himself in the “NOW” of the present moment.

I do not believe the students in Andrew’s community are even concerned with their own attainment. They are sincere, they want to serve and they are willing to immolate themselves, prostrate themselves and give everything they have in an attempt to serve the greater good. I feel for them and would like to propose that the greatest service they could render to the Whole would be to awaken in this very moment. The Whole is not served by their pain and suffering. If there is confusion, pain, suffering, one is receiving guidance from Within and one should listen to that guidance, over and above any outside “authority” figure. Ignoring that Inner Guidance is cause for all the suffering experienced by humans in this world. The Call is to come up out of ignorance and Awaken to True Purpose, Here and Now.

If this posting should somehow reach Andrew I would like to encourage him to ponder his own story, go back and start again. Truth and Love are the Way.

Friday, 27 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Andrew,

First of all I find your declaration of integrity extremely inspiring and I think what you write is actually all true...
There are just three questions that remain circling in my head, will I ever be able to trust you deeply again...and I am sure you, and any authentic human being with common sense will agree with me, when I say that no context, not even the cultivation of integrity, justifies the use of physical abuse. So I have to ask you these three simple questions:
Did you or did you not slap people in the face?
Did you or did you not give orders to other students to do the same?
Did you or did you not extract large sums of money from students at times when they were struggling emotionally?

Friday, 27 October, 2006  
Blogger Pissed Off Old Man said...

Well he wont let me comment on his blog, I post comments, I am even polite but nothing appears.

Its a marketing ploy he has no intention of engaging the real issues behind his disgracful conduct , the reason is that he knows it is a big lie the whole enlightenment story is a manifestation of his own ego, he has a god syndrome, many mental illnesses manifest themselves like this has , even the best of the best of his students dont show any signs of enlightenment, all they describe are symptoms of his own disease, what is bliss , what is enlightenemt that lacks empathy for the suffering in the world let alone empathy for those suffering around them, examine any of their claims and they seem delusional self absorbed ego mania, almost everything he says is directly refuted by any of the western or eastern traditions. How does one have intention to be enlightened, enlightenment is without intention, intention is merely a concept of the mind , you cannot wrestle things to the ground with the mind.

I come from the Chsitian faith (not one of those fanatics), but the messages form the other traditions are similiar, recently read many books by Aurobindo, his views are very similiar to many of the christians scholars, just differently expressed.

How does this evolve the conciousness of the world ? The world is already concious as is the universe conciousness is fully evolved already only mans ego puts him at the center of the universe.

Andrew is nothing , you are nothing, I am nothing, something is a concept and Andrew is clutching it for his dear life. His attachment is causing his and everyone who attachs themselves to him suffering.

Why must Andrew be a guru ? really why ? why does he do it?

Its all upside down, what is impersonal enlightenment ?really what is it ? who is it for? what really does Andrews path deliver ?

I want Andrew to suffer ? why ? Because Andrew has much further to go personally in his own spiritual journey and he will not make one step forward until he faces hardship , he must face his own ego, until he suffers he will never know emapthy and love. Very few that have glimpsed the true reality have done so without great hardship.

its all the same these men are spiritual carpet baggers, integral has become a brand name of the personal benefit of these folk. Integral university ? what kind of enlightenment or philosophy cost $3200 for a one week course.

Of what practical use are any of his ideas, maybe a few over fed, over salaried, self absorbed middle class western folk might feel really good about themselves for a few weeks but its not really something that of much use to the world.

As far as evolution goes does anyone really believe this drivel.

You all speak cult speak. I am sorry I odnt mean to offend but statements like " I feel I got what i needed allot of transformative experiences" , on and on it goes all these heartfelt sories of quests and journeys but the truth is none of you went anywhere at all, there was no where to go inthe first place and despite that you still havent got any closer to getting there.

Confrontation ! Being my age has it advantages.

Andrew I would love to meet with you (and I will) I am looking forward to confronting you with your own ego and your own nonsense.

I suggest we all take this to Andrew directly our of the virtual world and into the real world.

I suggest that those of you who feel up to it go see Andrew personally, he cant hide from all of us .

Andrew is merely a man, even jesus christ was a mere man. He sees himself as more than a man but its only when he realises that he is just a man that his jorney will begin

sorry for my spelling but my eye glasses are broken so I can only vaguely see what I am typing.

Saturday, 28 October, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice post Anon (10/27)

There is now a posted comment on the DOI site from a former student (Francesca) who makes an unconditional declaration that the accounts on this blog are lies, a statement even the AC spin machine couldn't manage to stretch out of the true events that took place.

Sunday, 29 October, 2006  
Blogger Bjorn said...

Hi Simeon, long time no see!
We got the long knives out,
no retreat, no surrender
Shout long and hard and Andrew might apologize
Who ever was the loser? The Ego who believed it could be enlightened? If the shoe fits...
But who's kidding who? Present and ex-students alike knows how Andrew runs his ship. We all witness it firsthand. Nobody needs to be enlightened (joke ok).

Saturday, 04 November, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Terms of Andrew’s Declaration of Integrity, and his claim that the critics are only a small cabal of losers, let’s look at the record. First, way back in 1989 when Andrew and his tribe landed in California there were about 140 of us in the “community.” Recently I’ve done some research to find that of those 140, about 85% have since left the community. So who is the loser here? Seems that Andrew is, he’s lost 85% of his students.

And second, that the critics are only a small group of the disgruntled, again doing the research, and looking over the past two years of postings on WHAT enlightenment?!! I come up with 36 former students of Andrew’s who have posted articles or comments here by their own names. Most support the general tone of the blog, while a few disagree – but none has disputed the basic information about physical and emotional abuses, and the extraction of large cash donations from individuals under intense psychological pressure.

Wouldn't it be difficult for 36 people to coordinate a conspiracy to "bring Andrew down"? More likely these 36 are just honestly expressing themselves on a subject that they are only too familiar with.

Nice try Andrew, but the public record speaks for itself.

Sunday, 05 November, 2006  

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