Premies aren't fooled by working in a fancy office.
… They know that the little person on the inside of their Pierre Cardin suit is still the same old them. Becoming proficient to help Maharaj Ji requires more than an exterior renovation. It requires getting down to business. It requires learning the needed skills and applying them; thinking, working, problem solving.
Given our current abilities, how can we run Divine Light Mission; how can we develop an international organization that will be loving yet mature? Flowing, yet letters are answered?
Lou Schwartz was talking to Maharaj Ji, telling him some of the ideas that he and some other of the IHQ staff had come up with in order to improve the staff. He was saying, so Maharaj Ji, we can have these training programs and premies can come from all over the world … Training programs … that's great, Maharaj Ji said, but who do you have to run them? Well, Lou answered, we have us.
And that's all we have. Together, our family can become an incredible resource for Guru Maharaj Ji to use. But getting that resource - us - to a condition of openness and cooperation that Maharaj Ji can use is no easy task.
Enter the Planning Committee.
The directors of Divine Light Mission
- working closely with Guru Maharaj Ji
- are always trying to make the way the Mission operates as an organization more reflective of the experience of Knowledge. For them, this means not only examining the day to day operations of the many DUO communities around the country and around the world, but also taking a good hard look at themselves as premies and as organizers. Recent Planning Committee meetings have been an attempt at taking this process of open self-examination and making it an integral part of DLM's organizational direction.
In one meeting with the Planning Committee, Maharaj Ji stood up and began to write an equation on the blackboard. The first thing he wrote with his chalk was the letter "P", which he said stood for the potential of the premies ("You've all got it."). Next to it he added a "U" (for understanding). And then an "S" for synchronization. This began a long discussion on the meanings of these terms to premies' lives. Many organizations have the potential to do something, said Maharaj Ji - they understand what they are supposed to be doing, and they are synchronized - so why is our organization so different? Maharaj Ji then wrote the letters DI on the board and multiplied the whole equation by it. What is DI? Maharaj Ji asked. He let the premies search for an answer for awhile, and then said, "No, DI means Direct Inspiration. Direct Inspiration is what makes us different, and it's what's happening right now."
The following day, Maharaj Ji met with the Planning Committee again. The formula was still on the board and he asked each one of them in turn what they thought it meant. Each gave different answers until one of them said, "Maharaj Ji, I don't think the formula means anything." Exactly right, said Maharaj Ji; I can give you the formula and work it out for you, but that's not the point at all. The understanding behind the equation is what's important; and each premie has to come to that understanding for himself. And then, to emphasize his point, he had someone erase the equation completely.
… with Jos Lammers
(Director of International Operations)
DT: Since Maharaj Ji came to the communnity meeting in Denver and talked about 'understanding' as an important part of every premie's life, a lot has been going on at International Headquarters, a lot of opening up and sharing. I know that you have been meeting with Maharaj Ji as a part of the planning committee and have been involved in a lot of workshops. What kind of understanding have you come to?
Jos: We've been having these workshops since Hans Jayanti - trying to go deeper and deeper and come up with some answer. What is understanding, really? With Maharaj Ji's help, the Directors of the Mission have started to
come together in a new way, that you're calling the planning committee. We're trying to understand what it is that we can do as a movement of people.
I know premies have been having similar workshops in other places too. What is happening is that satsang is taking a different form. Because you sit down with a bunch of people and confront each other's concepts. You're not satisfied with a pat satsang, because you're trying to get to the bottom of things. For instance: if I ask, "Well, what is Knowledge for you?" and you answer, "Knowledge is beautiful." I won't agree with you. I'll ask why is it beautiful? - And it goes further and further.
We talked about, okay, first, what is Divine Light Mission? Because for a lot of people Divine Light Mission is just an organization. But when you talk and you come to the conclusion that, okay, this Divine Light Mission is run by Guru Maharaj Ji's agya, and since Guru Maharaj Ji's agya is also that thing which is making it possible for me to practice Knowledge, there must be some connection between the two. At the end of a couple of sessions you're really very close together. And you could say you really have some kind of understanding. You've run through a lot of ideas, good and bad; and you're beginning to confront a lot of things inside you that three years of Knowledge have never opened up. You begin to think: "So this is what Guru Maharaj Ji means. We just have to understand. Simple. We just have to get together with each other, talk with each other, and come to an understanding of what's really going on."
DT: But is it that easy?
Jos: It isn't that easy. In a way, it's true: that interchange is part of the understanding you need. We have to agree with ourselves. We can't be fragmented beings, with all these voices inside us disagreeing: "I want to practice Knowledge but I don't want to follow Guru Maharaj Ji …" These voices are in all of us and they have to be resolved, but that's not all there is to understanding. That's just the beginning.
We all have a part of us that is completely pure; it's this part:
And then we have these other parts that are pretty confused about Knowledge. These parts, they are a little unclear:
Usually when we listen to satsang we only go as far as the first part.
We agree and it's "beautiful satsang." But five minutes after we leave the room the blissful feeling is gone. We still have this whole part of us that wasn't confronted with the satsang. The words only affected the part which agrees with it anyway. satsang, the way we've been doing it, is good, it's blissful, but it only makes this part strong. Now, together, very carefully and very consciously -because usually when you confront these parts, it's what you call freaking out; when like one of these parts is turning up its volume and going 00000hhhh … what's this? I don't understand this one - But in these workshops we just pay full attention to these parts without calling it "freaking out." We call it workshop, because we put our parts on the table to work on them; without taking them too seriously, but on the other hand also not just saying, "That's the mind; all we have to do is give sat-sang to each other." We just take these parts of each other that are in doubt about Knowledge and put them on the table and get rid of them. Just go and see what the problem is. Why does this bother me? There's a question in the back of your head that maybe you didn't ever want to recognize. Now you just ask it. Okay, if you say that Knowledge is all powerful, then why do I want to go out and do something else fifty percent of the day? Suddenly you put all the spotlights on these dark spots, and all kinds of old reservations begin to fade away.
DT: How does that feel?
Jos: You feel so peaceful: Yes, I understand. And maybe this will go on and on, because maybe there are some parts that I haven't even discovered yet. That's what I feel understanding is like: a new part of yourself just agrees with the Knowledge. And that always has a result, because if a part of you agrees, it means that you're getting more involved in it. You have less things to hold back and you're getting more -into it. And it seems that's what Maharaj Ji wants from us now, 'cause the thing that he's doing is really big.