Posted by: David Lovejoy
I appreciate the trouble that someone has taken to type out a substantial extract from my book. Inevitably there are typing mistakes, but none that change the intent of my writing. Next time I will be happy to provide a text file of whatever part of the book is required.
I thank Brian (Saphalanand) for acknowledging that my account is quite accurate For my part, although is a small point, I must remind him that he was not in those days someone that a lowly premie like me could 'lecture', on the nature of the holy family or anything else. My own memory of our relationship is Saph reproving me for leaning back against the wall while practising in the house where we stayed in Lucknow. He was right, I was physically too lazy and inept ever to have made a proper yogi. I also remember him dealing very expertly with the politicians, and I had no idea that he felt any fear in returning to the town. Now that I have been reminded of what went before I am even more impressed with how he handled himself in the Lucknow government offices we visited.
The only other thing I would query in his account is attributing a scheming motive to Maharaji for quickly forbidding reprisals when he was toppled from the sandbank. He said the right thing without thinking, but even doing the right thing is glossed as 'fortunately he saw the wisdom of stopping much more serious reprisals from them. It could have sent a seriously negative message back with us to our Western Countries.' This is not evidence of something sinister in Maharaji, it is evidence of inveterate prejudice against him. After all, none of us stop to calculate what to do in such situations, or we would always act too late. We follow our sense of right and wrong (and where that comes from is debatable, but I incline to follow Richard Dawkins's argument about it in The God Delusion).
Of course Brian's question of where I stand now must be answered if I post on this site. Premie or ex-premie? Well, I would say ex-premie, if that merely meant that I have moved on and adopted new ways of thinking about Maharaji and Knowledge. I am certainly not practising bhakti (devotional yoga) any more! But on the ex-premie websites the term doesn't just mean that, it seems to mean something more like 'anti-premie'. So I should state that I have no quarrel with Maharaji, having received nothing but good at his hands. Down the years I have frequently disliked aspects of his organisation, but my knowledge of other organisations is sufficient to acquit DLM, DUO, Elan Vital, etc of being any worse than average. I do not say these things in order to invite argument, I am just explaining where I'm coming from. I am a religious sceptic who, emerging drug-addled and incipiently schizoid from the sixties, derived great benefit from following Maharaji. As I still derive benefit from occasionally practising the techniques, without believing that they have anything to do with God or religion, I see no reason to publicly revile him.
I enjoyed writing my memoir, and in fact almost half of Between Dark and Dark deals with Maharaji and the early days of DLM. I tried to make it as honest as possible with regard to my feelings at the time, and how I see things now, and of course historical accuracy was the prime concern.
If the site moderator will allow a commercial plug, the book is available by mail order from Echo Publishing, PO Box 439, Mullumbimby, New South Wales 2482. Post inclusive prices (in Australian dollars) are $38.50 to the UK, $36 to the USA and $23 within Australia. I believe it is also being carried by Amazon UK.
I look forward to reading Brian's account of the early days when it is published.
Posted by: David Lovejoy
02/17/2007, 18:33:44 Thank you for pointing out that people here are anti-Rawat rather than anti-premie. I acknowledge that my sentence was careless.
I did not 'incorporate Rawat's years of threats and misrepresentations' into the statement of my position because I have not experienced any of that. You may have entrenched and immovable ideas, Jim, but that does not make a liar out of anyone who does not subscribe to them. How about posting under your full name and engaging me in argument instead of just flinging abuse?
Posted by: David Lovejoy
02/17/2007, 21:35:48 Jim,
I apologise for assuming you were anonymous. I didn't know your identity because I have not much trawled the websites either pro or anti Rawat. But yes, I was irritated by your adoption of scurrilous language towards a complete stranger and I responded in kind.
My statement about where I am coming from, in response to Brian's question, was not an attempt to begin a grand defence of Maharaji, it really was just a personal thing. You may say that I am obliged to take on board all the criticisms in this and other places before saying that my experience was good, but I say that life is too short to buy into your worldview. The example I quoted from Brian's posting shows that everything Rawat has ever done, even the simplest and most harmless remark, will always be examined through a lens of loathing.
I was deeply involved with Maharaji only between 1970 and 1976. No, I didn't see anybody get hurt or threatened. Except, come to think of it, myself and that was by Bob Mishler. I suppose you'll say I'm just scapegoating but I suggest you read my book before jumping to conclusions about why I criticise the organisation.
As for my boat being tethered (to the past I assume), well I hardly give these matters a thought, whereas you are still giving Rawat the same amount of energy as when you respected, admired and trusted him. It may be negative energy, but it is still obsessive.