Journeys: Carol

Date: October 19, 2000

Why I am "here" posting my journey (2nd version):

I would love to hear from people who may have walked beside me in the distant or recent past. I like to share my thoughts. I might be able to help someone.

I respect your right to believe and/or practice whatever you choose, as long as it does no harm to anyone else.

That is a frequently debated subject on the Forum and in our lives: What does no harm? How much can we blame others for our beliefs or actions, and how much responsibility do you have for your own experience? And, if you do blame someone for your pain or confusion, then what? How do you heal it? How do you live your own life in such a way that YOU do no harm?

The Forum can be entertaining if you like to see Comedy and Tragedy. It is a lively "place" that takes too much time for me to keep up with. And it can get very personal!
When I visit here, I am grateful that I can dialogue with people who have shared some of my history and understanding. I can express myself as much as I am willing and able.

I especially enjoy discussions of the existence of God, and human nature and potential, as with the questions "Why am I here?" or "Who/what am I?" For example: It is a fact that everybody lives in a body until they die... but do they live again in another dimension or body or become food for worms or ashes returned to dust. Death of our bodies will come to all of us, regardless if we are ready!

Personally, I am not afraid. I have nurtured an acceptance and awareness of death: I have volunteered for a few years with hospice and with grieving children. I will be disappointed if there is *nothing* after I die, but then I wouldn't be there to experience it, would I? I used to fear the pain of death or the panic I imagined might be present. I am pleased to find that much of the bodily distress of dying can be eased or eliminated by the acceptance of greatly advanced pain management methods.

As for the emotional task of dying and of living... I am reminded to put all my unfinished business in order and to live as true to my values as possible, or I will pay the cost in regret or confusion. We never know when our time will be to die, unless we choose it, which I do not believe would do me any good, so for me that is not an option!

I believe it is our human challenge to face down our fears while we live so they don't hold us back. And to love each other, or at least treat each other the way we would like to be treated. I believe that if God acts in human lives, it is only through each person by their willingness to follow their intuition and conscience.

We all have the struggles of sustaining our bodies and finding love and companionship and meaning and satisfaction in our work and in our play. We are all made of the same stuff that is uniquely expressed through our personalities and bodies and creative endeavors. Enjoy your life and the diversity of 'Life expressing itself' in others.

On the labeling myself a premie or ex-premie:

It was like shedding a skin, when I first was adjusting my perspective and 'becoming an ex-premie'. I suffered grief at the loss of my illusions. I am, in some ways, still a premie... only if you loosely define it as a 'lover', (it came from a Hindi word "prem" which means love). All the love I ever felt came from inside me... it was mine; and your love and joy is generated inside of you. Others faces, (including Maharaji's), are like mirrors that can bounce back the love that is felt by the one who gazes with an open heart. A smiling face can make you smile, a laugh can make you laugh. He often smiles and laughs.

But is he the 'Source of Peace and Knowledge'?

It is very attractive to most people to see someone happy. Maharaji always attributes his happiness and peace to what is inside him that is also inside you. He is right about that! If he really wanted to spread the Knowledge (techniques) over the whole world, it could be like a chain letter and spread like wildfire if he told everyone who experienced it and valued it to share it directly with everyone they knew who was interested! He missed that chance. The techniques are described on this site. Many ex-premies value the techniques and willingly share them.

The practice of the techniques is ancient and not only taught by Maharaji. They were taught by his 'Mahatmas' as 'secret' techniques. We had to say a vow not to reveal them. ('Practicing Knowledge' is really more about Maharaji than meditation.)

In the early 70's, 'Mahatmas' (a title that means great soul) sometimes held massive knowledge sessions and showed the techniques to people without any "prior qualifications" of readiness. We were more often told that you could not appreciate it until you are prepared. But he also said, 'Try it, you'll like it!' And later, 'If you don't like it, leave it!'

But then, a few years later, he said something like: 'If you don't practice it, it will rot in you like a truck full of vegetables.' I know from personal experience that isn't true because I've had ample time not to practice it and nothing has rotted! But now I understand that what I think creates the feelings and results that I get: if I believed it, then I'd feel rotten.

Maharaji once said: "This is not a religion", and I believed him, as did most everybody else who got involved. No one needs another religion when most of the wars of the world are fought in the name of someone somebody decided to call God! Claims of Truth are used to justify all kinds of behaviors that are inhumane. I now reject any belief system or hierarchy that serves to separate people into "us" and "them."

For me, it was partly a good experience to believe in a Perfect Master, a divine human being who manifests physically and gives us all the love and power of creation! I know that people turn to Gods and Kings and Queens out of love and hope and belief as well as from social pressure and fear.

It is far better for me to believe in the intrinsic worth of every person and be true to myself.

You can find the divine where you seek it, if you seek it, because it is a projection of your own nature.

Maybe we will meet again.... Carol

(BIO: last name formerly Reynolds, then Clausnitzer, now Bruce; from Portland Oregon (currently '00, still live nearby) initiated in 1972 by Rajeshwaranand; very active in community from '72 to the mid 80's a little beyond when all the ashrams closed; first announced my reassessment of my premie identity here in '98.)

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