Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Grand Emporium of Spiritual Deceit

I’m not a fan of Gurdjieff. This is mostly because my path is different. It is also because, regardless of the appearance of balance that most teachers insist that they project, Gurdjieff’s teachings are predominately ‘left-brain’. Some of us (me, most certainly) are predominately ‘right-brain’. Of course, balance is the key but the means of acquiring it differ. I understand things intuitively and others understand things via their reason. More on this later, even though different examples may be used at that time, this is not about intuition or reason anyway.

There’s a rumor that has persisted in occult circles that Gurdjieff didn’t like Ouspensky and deceived him in certain respects. It’s also been said that there is much he didn’t tell him. Certainly there would have been reason for this. Osho, nee Bhagavan Rajneesh puts an elevated spin on it. I’m no fan of Osho either. It’s not the 90+ Rolls Royces, though that’s a problem. It’s not the security guards with the machineguns, though that’s a little too Elizabeth Claire Prophet paranoid for me. It’s not the excessive, protected, casual sex with the burning 50 gallon oil drums at the communes for incinerating the used condoms; although that’s problematic too. It’s more along the lines of my experiences with his followers that I have encountered and the life choices they have prevailed in since Osho’s departure from this plane. I do judge a tree by its fruit.

I have read Gurdjieff, except for his larger works, which I freely toss into the burning oil drums. I’ve read Rajneesh though I am a little appalled at the way he lifted ideas, so freely and still intact, from great minds which preceded him. We all (unconsciously) plagiarize to an extent but there are degrees of what is acceptable. Gurdjieff had encounters with groups and individuals who initiated him and opened his centers to the deeper universal truths. Rajneesh had experiences that gave him certain Siddhis. In both cases, former lives played no small part in what followed.

As is the case generally, these early paragraphs are a setup for something I hope I am able to effectively outline in order to make my case.

A very powerful teacher, whose company I was in for a time, once explained that he was like a traffic cop. He sees you coming and he waves you to the right or the left or straight ahead. Sometimes he holds up his hand to stop you. Perhaps it is in order to allow the other traffic to flow or perhaps it is for other reasons. This man was/is a living saint and I saw other teachers tremble when they sat next to him, even though he was possibly not five feet tall and certainly weighed no more than 80 pounds. When I met him he was over a hundred years old with the unlined face of a young boy.

Spiritual masters are not something you can fathom with the self-conscious mind. The best thing any seeker can do in their presence is to control the reactive mind. Let the information pass unfiltered and do not attempt to interpret it. It is directed at a place within for a purpose that is compromised by any interference on the part of the listener. I am, of course, speaking about real spiritual masters and referring to the time when you finally realize this. Otherwise it is good to be watchful.

Spiritual masters and spiritual teachers are not the same thing; for the purpose of this argument. A spiritual master has the force of the divine rooted in their being. A spiritual teacher is a conduit. All spiritual masters are spiritual teachers. All spiritual teachers are not spiritual masters. I should also mention that there are a number of so-called spiritual masters/teachers who possess certain powers which come to them due to past life effort, present life effort or a gift from the divine in order to show what happens when someone undeserving or poorly seated in the truth is given something they can’t handle. These people appear to be a source of wisdom or a font of truth but this is not the case. They possess the special effects but not the essence and one should be on the lookout via ‘trust but verify’. There are quite some number of these roaming around at present and their powers are going to become more dramatic because of the dynamics of the needs of the times in relation to the points that are about to be made in real time.

What a real spiritual teacher can do is dependent upon the capacity of the seeker. The first thing the seeker has to do is empty out. Sometimes, for whatever the reason, this is done for the seeker. If this is not done then the capacity to receive can be very limited and the seeker won’t be staying around long. The seeker has to realize his/her responsibilities in the exchange. A spiritual master can put you in the shit as easily as take you out of it depending on what you are demanding. This is why seekers need to avoid filtering the information. Often what they are hearing is not what is being said. The words are only transport vehicles carrying passengers which, once arrived, leave the vehicle and become the information.

The seeker needs humility and those other ‘protections’ which you would think any real seeker should possess; sincerity, purposefulness and determination, attentiveness, endurance and so on and so forth. Why do I call these protections? How hard do you want to make it on yourself? The spiritual master may be human but there is something else present as well and it deals in results. It does not cater. It activates and eliminates. The master could well deceive you if you are deceptive. He can confound you if you have ill intents. No one should come to a spiritual master unless they are willing to let go of everything they want and think they know. It’s the difference between something falling away from your skin and something being ripped from your skin and perhaps taking some skin with it. I speak from experience.

There will always be far more false teachers than real ones. There will always be more Hollywood gurus than real ones. It will always be more about the money and exposure than it is about the work itself. The pull is just that great and especially so now. Look at this website and then click on ‘events’ at the masthead. Then there’s ‘gift’ and ‘kits’. You can also search out the Las Vegas style new age conventions for this year via any search engine. It should make you cringe. As vapid and self promoting as these slaves to self-interest appear under the guise of helping you, there are worse dangers. Some seeming masters/teachers can appear to be very real and cause you real problems. It’s been said, “When the student is ready the master appears”. This is the gospel truth. Only the seeker can prepare the ground even though the master may be doing it. If that makes no sense it is supposed to and if that makes no sense it is supposed to also.

The seedy, pandering, low rent humbuggery that you see at this website is also present in yogic circles, occult societies and traditional religious organizations. One needs only visit a place like Assisi to wish they hadn’t had lunch before they arrived.

I’m not here to criticize names mentioned in this posting. Many people have gotten real value from some of these individuals and even more people think they have. It’s also a well-known truth that a false teacher can be the cause of enlightenment in a follower depending on the sincere intensity of the follower. However, you have only to look at a road atlas to see just how many roads there are and how many ways there are to get to the same place. You can go around the world and still do it but is that what you want? Actually, in many cases that is, ‘just so’.

Real spiritual masters/teachers are exceedingly rare; humming bird’s teeth comes to mind. Real spiritual understanding is just as rare. There is no limit to how deep you can go but there is a limit to how deep you want to go. This is where genuine conviction and the varieties of casual interest part ways. This is where one finds out about themselves and it is often not pretty. I’ve said enough for now.

Visible sings: Songwriter by Les Visible♫ Everlasting Love ♫
'Everlasting Love' is track no. 2 of 10 on Visible's 2006 album 'Songwriter'
Lyrics (pops up)

Songwriter by Les Visible

Build Your Own Community.

Strange Days Have Found Us.

This last link has hours of video that can make you wonder, laugh, furrow your brow and etcetera. I'm only putting it up for your perusal. I don't subscribe to it though I am well aware that some form of what they are talking about exists. I'm just not sure they're speaking for them although they may well be.


john c, UK said...

You have the ability to write about whatever subject that I have been thinking about. For the last few weeks it has been every single post, like a crossbow bolt between the eyes.

I am about a hird of the way through, 'In search of the Miraculous', when i put the laptop down and said out loud, 'G. sounds like a twat, I wouldn't have liked to study under him'. The I wake up this morning with the thought that I 'must' find a teacher/advisor or something because I feel that that I am floundering, (of course that could easily be my wife putting her hex on me, (she was born in Ireland [grin]).

My head is spinning Les what the hell is going on? Way to much synchronisity here.

John C

Anonymous said...

You mention the falling away of things--the letting go, or throwing out--damn things can be like boomerangs unless you're not where you were when you let it fly--still, some things continue to hover--I certainly understand the letting go--it's getting pretty raw around here right now--"my head won't leave my head alone"--but it's less and less--just continuing to slog through it because I don't like being stuck where I was although there is a purpose in it--not trying to figure it out--that just adds weight

I have picked up books that flowed like the breeze until I turned a page at some point and the momentum was lost--like it was another person had stepped in and was going to finish the book--I closed it and never opened it again--it was that clear. Not reading anything now, but here and Nina's--It is all coming down to me with no outside influences but that of a spiritual nature inside--The flies that used to bite are now more of a nuisance--buzzing and then getting blown away in the breeze--

It's passing through me, now, instead of me passing through it--

What has to be, has to be--

What was doesn't matter


Hank said...

I believe I have reached a point where I have learned enough to know that I don't know anything.

As long as I can remember, which goes back to vague impressions of my birth, which my mother has confirmed, I have been locked in battle. Regardless of what has taken place without me, a battle has raged within. What I remember most about growing up was why. Not just this or that, but why everything. Not that I was alone in my desire to know why, but my whys didn't seem to be the same as most others whys. Then somewhere along the way, why turned into what.

What is life. What is spirit. What is it that makes me, me. What the fuck am I doing here.

I have searched in many places, in many ways to try and find answers to what seem like simple questions. They are, after all, just one word questions, but every answer ends with another question.

Someone told me once that we are like onions, comprised of many layers, but if you peel an onion all the way down, all you have in the end is a bunch of layers, with no essential core.

My battle continues. Only now it is with self. I battle with this desire to understand, and the feeling that I never will as long as I have that desire. I can't get over the feeling that god is laughing at me, the way a parent laughs at a childs confusion at a very simple toy.

I have the feeling that what I seek is right there in front of me, and forever beyond my grasp at the same time.

I have reached a point where I struggle with letting go. Letting go of self. The whole concept of being separate seems to be something my mind will not let go of. Along the way I have tried to "think" my way through, and have reached a point where I think that thought will not get me there. Intellectually I understand the concept of making it OK to not understand, but I don't seem to be able to bring this sucker in for a landing.

I don't think, feel or believe I will find what I need in a book, looking through someone elses eyes. God has given me what I need to see, if I can find the right way to look.

I have no idea what I am trying to say. I can only hope. My search continues. Peace to all.

Anonymous said...

'A spiritual master has the forces of the Divine routed in them'...
What a place to be.My question Les is, is it possible in one lifetime to achieve this state,what can one lifetime achieve is there a one time life thing or are we all works in progress?

Thank you,

Anonymous said...

Reporter: What about the person who seriously wants to find spiritual life but who happens to finish up with the wrong guru?

Srila Prabhupada: If you simply want an ordinary education, you have to devote so much time, labor, and understanding to it. Similarly, if you are going to take to spiritual life, you must become serious. How is it that simply by some wonderful mantras, someone can become God in six months? Why do people want something like that? This means that they want to be cheated.

Reporter: How can a person tell he has a genuine guru?

Srila Prabhupada: Can any of my students answer this question?

Disciple: Once I remember John Lennon asked you, “How will I know who is the genuine guru?” And you answered, “Just find out the one who is most addicted to Krsna (God). He is genuine.”

William Wilson said...

Hi Les, best

Just validating what you're saying. Strange and unusual things can happen in life. And, I've found, in my own case, metaphysics took and takes work. Effort. I've not found it easy. And, for me, short cuts didn't always work. Its not always what one expects.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fairly recent regular reader of your blogs, and listened to your broadcast for the first time yesterday. I don't know how blogs work, or who the regular responders are. Perhaps one of them maintains Deep Into Artlife West, which I looked at today.

The only spiritual teacher I heard as well as read, was Ram Dass when he came to my city, after his adoption of Buddhism. I have read several others or books about them by their followers, and was quite nonplussed that some were rather dictatorial.

I'm also very interested in what mediums have said, and the material published by the SPR, especially in their heyday. Their focus has shifted now.

In any case, I don't know how you manage to write as much as you do, but please write daily among your different blogs, if you can. I turn to your blogs to feel both grounded and not isolated. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


There is only one master, and comes in many forms.
We are all teachers for this master.
The "spiritual masters" you speak of are mastering self hood and not the whole, as our master has?(I say) Silly would it be to guide without love? Silly would it be to listen without love? Silly it would be to master without love? Point here, self+love=master

“When the student is ready the master appears” - Yes but what about when the master is ready, the student appears? He, she, it, or what ever word works, will show and give us all the time and resources to love and teach, are you ready?
Les you are very correct;
"There is no limit to how deep you can go but there is a limit to how deep you want to go."

Thanks Le Mat

Anonymous said...

Les, sir -

Another masterpiece of crucial, timely, heads-up info.

Aaaahhh! Makes my whole being relax this morning reading your wise words on "masters/teachers". You get it, bro, but I've always known you do.
Its been a few sad decades watching so many friends take those weird roundabouts, dead-ends, and deluxe tours-to-nowhere, not knowing about "controlling the reactive mind" and "trust but verify" and the other things you point out. It took some time to release the sadness.

Its all good. I wish your essay hadn't ended. Please continue if you are inclined.

Thanks and praises,

su said...

If a teacher/master claims they can give me something or teach me something or promise me peace I will run as fast as I can.
But should a teacher speak the truth, the wisdom that I am will re-cognize that teaching and for that there will infinite gratitude.
Anyone who gives an iota of attention to the false illusory me will get a bitch slap (however that looks).

Anonymous said...


Once there was a large group of folks forced by sudden circumstance into
a raging river. Those who were strong swimmers easily reached the other
Some went back to help the others, some looked for poles to reach those
who were struggling and some sat down to catch their breath.
One man however began criticizing the swimming techniques of those
still in the water, laughing and calling them names. He even considered
tossing pebbles at one man whose technique he found particularly
Only when all were safely on shore did he realize the man was paralyzed
and what he had seen was two other swimmers using one arm apiece to help
him across.

We're all swimming to the other side my brother.

Peace, Carol

Anonymous said...

Hank: I think I'll just have you write for me--You say it better than I do--or at least more coherently--
I'll know my teacher--he/she will have a big cast iron pan with which to get, and keep my attention--


Anonymous said...


"I have the feeling that what I seek is right there in front of me, and forever beyond my grasp at the same time."

Yes me too. Thats just a feeling man, what I seek is always there, and thats way it seems both of the above? Its me not be willing to live and move with all I ever wanted, right here and now? Not sure that makes sense.
Hank you say these questions are simple, only a few words? Yes, and so are the answers. Sometime I see the whole, so clear Im not looking at anything?
Keep pushing and asking!!!

Le Mat

Anonymous said...

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 2.12

na tv evāhaḿ jātu nāsaḿ

na tvaḿ neme janādhipāḥ

na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ

sarve vayam ataḥ param


Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.


The same Vedic truth given to Arjuna is given to all persons in the world who pose themselves as very learned but factually have but a poor fund of knowledge. The Lord says clearly that He Himself, Arjuna and all the kings who are assembled on the battlefield are eternally individual beings and that the Lord is eternally the maintainer of the individual living entities both in their conditioned and in their liberated situations. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the supreme individual person, and Arjuna, the Lord's eternal associate, and all the kings assembled there are individual eternal persons. It is not that they did not exist as individuals in the past, and it is not that they will not remain eternal persons. Their individuality existed in the past, and their individuality will continue in the future without interruption. Therefore, there is no cause for lamentation for anyone.

The Māyāvādī theory that after liberation the individual soul, separated by the covering of māyā, or illusion, will merge into the impersonal Brahman and lose its individual existence is not supported herein by Lord Kṛṣṇa, the supreme authority. Nor is the theory that we only think of individuality in the conditioned state supported herein. Kṛṣṇa clearly says herein that in the future also the individuality of the Lord and others, as it is confirmed in the Upaniṣads, will continue eternally.

Visible said...

Hare Krishna;

Therefore it is also the most fitting punishment and the most fitting reward.

What a mystery that the surrounding and permeating bliss is not more piercingly evident evident.

Visible said...

John C,

the synchronicity is constant, the perception is intermittent. As perception increases the awareness of synchronicity increases.

There's something going on that has always been going on and has been hidden for extended periods but as truth lifts her skirts in this time of revealing, a certain telepathic commonality is one of the side effects of proximity to "the thing itself'.

Our meetings here at the river is not an accident which makes our surprise at it interesting. Such is the perplexing state of the transitioning.

This particular feature and other similar conditions are going to become quite a bit more intense.

Anonymous said...

Jai Sri Rama!

Yes Les, very perfectly fitting.

We all have our moments, real and true moments, but I hear we are entitled to a whole lot more..

Anonymous said...

so who was/is that indian saint?

i've found this site with interviews of teachers to be the real deal.

listen to john wheeler and randall friend

tom said...

who was that saint you mentioed?

here's some awake people. listen to john wheeler, randall friend and stephen wingate. you can talk to them and they don't charge money.

Visible said...

Bawa Muhaiyadden.

Visible said...

There is a new Reflections in a Petri Dish posting up-

Roiling in the Kali-fornicatorium.

m_astera said...

Well put, Carol. I could start this out by saying I'm not a fan of Krishna, but that would be snide and unlike me.

All I ever asked of any teacher is that they know what it is that I wish to know, and have the ability to teach it to me. I have never been a follower, of anyone. Just doesn't work for me. Respect I give, honor I give, baksheesh I give, love too. But I don't follow, and I have no master or savior. Only teachers and lessons.

Some have taught me from books. From Ouspensky's exposition I learned the how and why of the observer. It wouldn't likely have mattered to me if G was a twat, because all I came for was the learning.

From Gurdjieff I learned the way of the fox. I learned to take what was useful and valuable from any and all sources.

From Castaneda I learned of the Eagles gift, and how to run through the desert or forest in the darkness without getting hurt. He tried to teach me the playing of roles, but I was not a willing student.

Even from that catamite Alpert/Ram Dass I learned a little of being here now, though I don't think he got it himself.

All this and more from books, which I could close at any time.

Books cannot take the place of a living teacher; in my case I needed both; perhaps some do not need the books. The sorcerer who kindly spent his time on breaking down my walls, in pushing me so much harder than I would push myself, and so much harder than I thought I could endure....well, I love him. So very much, and I give thanks to him regularly. But he is not my master and I am not his follower and neither of us ever wanted it to be any different.

The effort that was put into teaching me, pushing me, stripping me to the essence, I will repay some day, when I know enough. That seems still a long way away. If I have not mastered it, I have no business teaching it. There are enough amateurs at it already.

su said...

Listen to UGC regularly and have been listening to Randall for some time.
I also like Gilberts approach.
And despite all efforts to get them to acknowledge the illusory me I jus keep hearing " you are that presence which is spinning the planets and beating this heart".Very clear pointers.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a "lesson" or two in humility and manners may help.
You know, to round you out a bit.
(there's always room for improvement)

P.S. You left out the part(s) about where and from whom you learned to shovel the bullshit so high.

M_astera's incredibly awesome ego

Anonymous said...

A beautiful posting.
Nice to neet up again.
Had the urge to send a 15 year old to be your apprenctice.
Beautiful being, how would you feel.
A 5 month arrangement.
He would bring with him humour, softness, observation, culinary skills and of course the slash of 15 year oldness.

Anonymous said...

Wow, to be anonymously bitch-slapped

Would everyone please look around the area for the balls that Anonymous left somewhere.........ok, stop looking, maybe never had them in the first place....


Verification Word: desuct--lol

Anonymous said...

How's this, Jj?

Pretty bold, huh?

Visible said...

It's an obvious troll Jj. He was just over at Smoking Mirrors too. I blipped him and I will continue to.

I let the occasional teenage brain fart through so that the readers will see what sometimes surfaces from Osmosis Jones land. There's seldom any of this sort of activity but every now and then it will flare up.

Anonymous said...

This is a remark about the vehicle, not the lovely contents: (the title contains a misspelling.)

Visible said...

Thank you.

Fixed it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was fast. lol.

If that's the synchronicity I am going to get (indicating the level of perception i have achieved), so be it. It's a happy start.

Mostly I hardly get to read Visible Mirrors; the content at Smoking Petri Dish usually gives my cognitive gastric system semantic stretch marks and I don't have the time to unfold the neural origami properly (as you can tell!)


Visible said...

I've got the new Origami nearly finished but for some reason I got stopped and haven't been able to finish it. I suspect it will be going up tomorrow now.

sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

You would think it was the other way, but---

I like to buy books on metaphysical subjects, used, new, doesn't matter.
I can usually gauge the psychic 'tone' of an establishment when I enter, and the foulest domiciles of gibbering, suffocating horror were so-called 'new-age' bookstores and psychic fairs. The cleanest was a goth bookstore that specialized in so-called black magic, vampirism, satanism, and the like (with the usual amulets and fetish wear). It was a chipper place, everyone was happy.


Zellie said...

Have you read, "Initiation", by Elisabeth Haich? That is a worthy tomb. Many answers lie within and the eons of man's search for meaning and God.

Mouser said...




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