Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sahaj Marg(tm)'s Religion vs Spirituality

Taken and translated from an article by Élodie: "Religion vs Spiritualité" on her blog in Europe: Pour Que Vive Le Sahaj Marg.

November 25, 2012

Religion vs. Spirituality

The other day, I interrupted my personal reflection and discussion around the idea that, having failed to spread spirituality, Sahaj Marg has become a kind of religion.  Led by Chari and the myths spread by Whispers, we saw hatch a religion where God is embodied by a "special personality" called Babuji, residing in the Central Region in the midst of the spiritual Hierarchy of the great saints of history. This new religion has bestowed a project upon itself, a Grand intelligent design but mysterious and hidden, and which occurs after multiple disasters and the Apocalypse. Whispers promises abhyasis that  they are the elected (elite? chosen?), the vanguard of the so-called "World of Tomorrow".

For further reflection, I offer a patchwork of quotations from various interviews with Frédéric Lenoir, philosopher and sociologist, historian of religions, director of the French magazine "Le Monde des Religions". This man is not my guru, or even my spiritual guide, but I find it very exciting.

One can find a number of his interviews on the internet, listen to French radio France Culture, read his essays or his books. This time, I purposely selected quotations related to differences between spirituality and religion and definitions which he gives to these two terms:

(...)"Spirituality is personal, religion is collective.

(...) Religion is really a collective practice, it is rituals that organize society starting with common beliefs. Spirituality is individual. It is a path, it is a personal quest.

(...) It is the individual who seeks what is the meaning of life.

(...) Religion re-connects (re-ties?)  (religare in Latin), and spirituality loosens (unties, liberates) it releases (frees).   It releases (liberates?)  to better re-connect.  Religion re-connects because it creates a social bond.  To share the same religious beliefs creates links between individuals but religion also creates intolerance towards those who do not share the same beliefs. Spirituality is to work on oneself, "wisdom" is roughly the same for me, it is a work on one's self in which one learns to know one's self.

(...)  And suddenly, we will arrive by untying, that is to say, by being fully oneself, to be free and to  better love, to be re-linked to others in a more just manner,  because the purpose of spirituality is love. Freedom leads to love. "

In contrast, Chari said about obedience in Salient Features: # 4 (It must be a secret as a password is now needed) 

 "(...) the best disciple is one who is the most obedient.

(...) At Sahaj Marg, without obedience, nothing can be achieved, absolutely nothing.  

(...) It is my belief, confirmed by my personal experience with the Master for over 20 years, after much analysis and reflection. So you see, success is not due to education, or to the application or to the practice, it is only obedience that finally remains in my mind today, as the first and single factor in our spiritual development. "


1 comment:

4d-Don said...

Translation of comments on Elodie's blog: "Pour Que Vive Le Sahaj Marg", article titled: "Religion vs Spiritualité"

Alexis said ...

A very (too?) beautiful presentation of spirituality! If you continue, I'll convert ...

An even more caustic expression, that of Jean-Claude Saint-Louis, a Canadian member of the collective Albert's Portal, who writes on current thinking and spirituality:

(...) "Religion is dominant and centralizing and is against the autonomy of the people which it controls and constrains by fear, emotion and even hatred of others. For its part, spirituality is the internal autonomy and the absence of power over others, it is submission only to the interior God. Religion is based on adherence and obedience while spirituality is based on the quest for the Kingdom in each of us

(...) Religion operates on the dominant/dominated principle as it is very difficult to exercise power over people by maintaining in them, their own internal availability.

(...) The spiritual experience is personal knowledge of the divine at the center or at the origin of ourselves, which frees us from fear of the dominant/dominated and complex, and which triggers in us, energy, creativity and compassion. The personal experience is complete autonomy under the inspiration of our inner Master. It is an individual experience, inviolable and incommunicable, which changes all of our connections and our relationships with others, and with things.

(...) When spirituality is lost, what remains? An empty shell "religion": this set of external controls and constraints of fear and guilt, expressed in dogmas, rituals and hierarchies. Spirituality is a matter of the heart, growth and of internal calling, expressed in an intimate relationship with our divine within.

(...) Religion has not released man from his fears, much the opposite. The reason is that human beings have gradually abandoned spirituality for religion, in other words, the "Kingdom" for the Church or the inner calling for the external authority. Religion interferes in our lives, dictating to us in every detail, what we do and think, thus abolishing any chance of inner transformation, of discovery by ourselves, of our personal path, the sense of our spiritual life, of our path by which we can grow without being manipulated by a group no matter how pious it may be."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elodie said ...

Hello to everyone,

When we see the importance of the dependence of the abhyasis towards their guru, Chari, we can actually speak of a dominant/dominated relationship. Sahaj Marg would thus have substituted an external authority (religious) to the inner calling (spiritual). Under these conditions, there is no chance of inner transformation. By a clever manipulation, the master diverts our attention from a personal and spiritual path for his own benefit: to exercise a dominating power over people.

It makes one think.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012