An informal debate between Paul Krassner, editor of the Realist, and Rennie Davis, disciple of Guru Maharaj 1i and coordinator of Millennium '73.

Rennie Davis (left), Ken Kelly (center) and Paul Krassner

Continued from last week

Whether a corporate structure or a religious structure or a corporate religious structure, you find that if you don't like certain things, if you can't accept certain things according to your observations and experiences, you drop out. So that the people who continue to go up and up into the pyramid structure of these organizations screen themselves in according to their own needs and desires.

Larry Brillant continued in this process. When they got to the point where they talked about seeing the inner light of God, he said this was a parlor trick, that he had learned in medical school, having to do with pressure on the optic nerves.

Now, of course, it's also important to note in that context that when you do two hours of meditation a day, and chanting, and have the will to believe in the first place, and have found new family, and have a way to block out the implications of Watergate, Mideast, and the energy crisis -- in that context when you see this inner light of God, that is the pressure on the optic nerve, you believe it's the inner light of God. So when Rennie says people have to experience it for themselves, it's true. But you can't separate the experience from the conditioning that goes with it. Part of the conditioning … there aren't that many movement people from radical politics in this country who are involved in the Divine Light Mission so much as people who were heavy into psychedelics, either-ingesting or dealing it, and who also came from strong religious backgrounds themselves, and who hadn't had this experience. How ironic it is for me to be in this position. During the early days of the psychedelic revolution, a lot of people accused us of escaping. I think a distinction has to be made between escaping and searching, between doing your own thing and his thing.

Flower children

So that, along those lines, the younger people who are getting into DLM, either through circumstances or deliberate propaganda in the media, or a complex combination of both of those because they interact with each other, their association with the natural spontaneity of rebelling against authority, which every child is born with and which all the institutions in this society try to reprogram according to their needs, whether it's education or religion or whatever those institutions are, the younger people don't have the associations. They have what might be called a limited evolution. Many of us have seen the flower children, like people who are putting flowers inside the barrels of rifles of the National Guard; that were carrying a yellow submarine through the streets of New York City. We went through a lot of very joyful occasions. My contention is there was a deliberate government plot that heavy drugs were brought into those communities to get rid of that element. Because the people in the Rand Corporation and the Hudson Institute, the unthinkables, extrapolated on the counter culture and realized it was a threat to the economy. That these people were sharing appliances, and that they had a different value system which was a threat to the economy. They took care of each other, so they didn't need insurance policies and insurance, along with banking, is the basis to the economy in this country and of its relations to other countries. They don't have those associations; because of media propaganda, their association with rebelling against authority is one of violence; it's Kent State; it's the Chicago riots; it's those things. And so it's functional for them to turn to this thing which promises them' the second coming of Santa Claus.

Is it your trip?

Ken: So you're either an opportunist or an escapist, take your pick.

Rennie: This is not the second coming of Santa Claus. Guru Maharaj Ji is the Lord, not Santa Claus. sometimes he rather acts like Santa Claus. The thing about the choice between, "Is it your trip or his trip?" — and I will really say this honestly and people will laugh but it's true — is that it turns out that his trip is your trip and if it wasn't for his trip you wouldn't be here at all.

This is what everything comes down to; the mind has an ability to resist this with incredible tenacity. I think that my mind is a really good example of that: I listened to a lot of satsang, I had a lot of questions, I was in an environment where a lot of movement people had received the Knowledge, and I was receiving my satsang from people whose experience was very much like my own. I could see that their heads seemed to be in a very good place. I had questions about Guru Maharaj Ji and the relationship to Guru Maharaj Ji, and that was the hardest thing for me. I finally came down to thinking that it's a new meditation that definitely makes people high, and it seems useful from the point of view of anyone who's into consciousness raising, and I don't think it's dangerous.

Incredible light

On those terms, 1 decided to receive the Knowledge without being very open to the question of Guru Maharaj Ji. It was interesting to me in my Knowledge Session, I had some of the same kind of reactions, headwise, as the doctor that Paul mentioned. I was surprised when they showed the fight technique; I saw incredible light. First thing I saw was a golden circle. My eyes were completely closed, I was in a dark room, and I saw in my head this circle right in the center of my forehead. I looked in the circle for a while and then there was a diamond spinning right in the center of the circle. I watched that for a while and it just started getting larger and larger, larger, and larger, and it fascinated me. It was blowing my mind but on the other hand my mind jumped in and started saying it was just a physiological reaction to the technique that is being used. My mind raced on with all these arguments as to what I was seeing could be explained on some kind of mental terms that Jcould relate to. As my mind clicked on the light faded out. It was gone.

Then we came to the second technique, which is called Divine Music. I was told I would hear maybe sounds of bells, flutes, stringed instruments and harmonies. I was all ready for it; the technique was coming; everyone was quiet and waiting. I listened for a while, and it sounded to me like the sound you would hear at the base of a dam. It was a very heavy roar, for a while, and I listened and listened, and tried to follow the sound, and my ears were ringing a bit. Then, all of a sudden, I heard something like "ahing". It was like a string being tuned. What it did for me, is it totally concentrated me. Every fiber of my being became totally focused on the sound. And then I did hear the slight sound of a bell. An incredible wave of what I would call bliss shot through me. It was really amazing. I was waiting for the next sound and then, all of a sudden, my mind — honest to God — my mind started playing this really loud rock and roll, and it completely drowned it out. My whole Knowledge session was that way: having this experience and then my mind completely freaking out with it and saying, "no, no, no," and coming up with every kind of explanation and rationale as to why it was this way or that way.

Mind and soul

It was a week after the Knowledge session that I went through a really incredible struggle. I think it is a very real struggle if you talk about, in all the ages, the struggle between mind and soul. What it is, Paul, is that all of our lives our minds have really been in charge here; you think and I have been operating pretty much with the same view — that, "I'm doing it." That my mind is the master, I'm in charge here. The idea is that there is a soul that is keeping us alive, that created our mind and is more powerful than the mind, that actually the soul is the master of this human body and the mind's function is to serve the soul. And the soul of every human being is in fact infinite and perfect. And the will of God is something that is extremely threatening to this mind.

So you hear things from premies in DLM like, 'You have to surrender your mind,' and that really freaks you out because the only thing you've got is your mind. And you think that to be a premie you have to be like a vegetable, stop thinking anymore. It doesn't mean that at all. It means simply that you need to have the proper relationship; how human beings are entitled to be; and that is the mind is to serve soul. Mind is to serve the infinite consciousness, and mind is to be humble, our mind is to basically have a realtionship of humility to soul. What happens is that people receive Knowledge and they go in one of two directions: they can space it out indefinitely, or... I don't know about what grace happened for me, but a series of things happened to me that made me finally decide to give this thing a chance and really start to meditate, and try to use the power of this Knowledge to bring this crazy mind of mine under_ control. It doesn't mean you turn into a vegetable. I think you become rather more wise, rather than more like an idiot, or like a vegetable. You learn to use this Knowledge to control the mind; in that control you experience this peace that Guru Maharaj Ji is promising, and it really is there. You see by your own experiences that this is the way I was meant to be.

You are right, Paul, in some way you need to get into it. Sometimes I say that there is no faith and no belief here. You can just come and check it out. See it it's good for you or not good for you. Try it; if you don't like it, far out. But I think if you want to be straight with people, then you have to say Guru Maharaj 11 is really saying the reason you are born is to receive this Knowledge, the most precious gift of all of creation. There does need to be communication. Communication to listen to as much satsang and open the mind up enough so that the kind of freak out that I had and the kind of freak out that apparently the doctor you referred to had, won't continue to be the pattern for many people. They'll listen to satsang, and there will come a point where they can approach it with a more open mind than I was able to approach it with.

Reprinted from Abraxas.