Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Gurus, the Young Man and Elder Paisios (untranslated chapters - 3 of 4)

...continued from part two.

Karma Yoga: A Method of Enslaving People

An untranslated chapter from the book "The Gurus, the Young Man and Elder Paisios"

By Dionysios Farasiotis

An ancient Christian ascetic writer says, “Man is first conquered in the mind.” That is, if he believes some lie as the truth, then the mind is conquered and the man is deceived. Intellectual deception is not something we suffer without consequences. When we try to adopt these fake beliefs in our life, then we will start to pay. Our way of life, our behavior, and our reaction to life's irritations have an immediate and close relation with our thoughts and beliefs.

The rulers of all the ages knew this basic truth. They knew that in order to rule the masses, they would have to impose their thoughts and beliefs upon them first. Thus, they proposed a basic worldview that helped them to rule over and prohibit with the death penalty every other religious/philosophical worldviews that come into opposition to their own. Thus for example, the Persian kings, Egyptian pharaohs and the Roman emperors declared themselves "gods" in order to justify their dictatorship/despotism.

Hitler offered the theory of Aryan supremacy and that the Aryan race was destined by nature to rule upon the earth in order to justify his offensive wars.

The contemporary racists and ancient slave traders of Africa proposed the view that black people are not people but man-like animals with very low intelligence so that they could exploit them with force to the endless cotton plantations of America. Also, they could kill them without the law persecuting them.

That is, we see convenient theories utilized by evil people whom are usually supported by organized propaganda and scientific documentations (i.e. Hitler‟s eugenic science, Stalin‟s scientific atheism, and the science of yoga and the New Age). After they first persuade people about the correctness of their views, they then can guide and command them more easily. They lead them wherever they want using these intellectual methods.

But what is the theory that is propounded by nearly all the New Age organizations in order to subdue their followers and convert them to workers receiving no pay? It‟s an ancient theory of Hinduism, the theory of Karma Yoga. It is used with success in India and today they're undertaking to impose it throughout the world in order to acquire power and money by means of it. Listen how Karma Yoga is considered one of the most basic forms of Yoga. It is the Yoga of the selfless servants. Every person has their "karma;" that is the total of all the good and evil acts of all their "previous lives." This determines the circumstance of their present-day life. Good karma means that the person will be born rich, comfortable, with many opportunities for spiritual progress. On the contrary, bad karma can mean poverty, want, affliction, pain and ignorance. If your karma is really bad, this means that you could be born as an animal in the next life.

Generally, the Yogis try to be liberated from the iron-clad law of karma which even oppresses their "gods." Still, they try to completely destroy their karma in order to escape from the cycle of reincarnation.

The way for someone to destroy his karma, or at least to lighten its heavy load, is by selfless services to his fellow suffering man, to humanity and to God. Up to this point, we're dealing with a polite, ideal display of love towards suffering neighbors. Rather, this is beautiful bait that will help us to catch the death-bearing fish hook.

So, after we accept the theory of karma as something beneficial for our spiritual progress – and after we have been "elevated to a higher spiritual level" (that is, when they ascertain that we are ready), then they tell us, “the most ideal way for someone to practice Karma Yoga is to serve the guru.” These services that we offer have great "spiritual returns," since the guru, as the almighty and all compassionate "god" that he is, is able to reciprocate and destroy all our previous karma, thus, he liberates us spiritually after our death. Of course, as an exchange, our present life is demanded to be dedicated to work without pay. In order for this reasoning to work, the person must have faith in two basic metaphysical and religious deceptions and delusions:

i) In the theory of reincarnation from which arises the theory of "the law of karma‟

ii) That his guru is a superman with formidable spiritual powers; a living "god"

Only after a person has accepted those two terrible deceptions deep inside, will they start to put him in deeper and they will slowly start to tell him about Karma Yoga. For this reason, all of the Hinduist and New Age organizations insist and project their leader or guru as a superhuman "god" and they legislate his worship while he is still alive. A person is submitted more easily to a "god" than to a human being.

Thus, the practical indifference/carelessness at the first level and religious deceptions are converted into persuasive instruments of spiritual compulsion or necessity and submission of individuals with daily catastrophic consequences.

Many followers of gurus work hard at their ashrams without having any demands for recompense, insurance, pharmaceuticals, nursing or even the least bit of pocket money. Indeed, they are made to feel that the guru makes them spiritual reprieves which they will receive if they serve him.

The Karma-Yogis are usually young people that go to some ashram in a foreign country in order to cut themselves off from friends and relatives that could help them at some crucial moment. Of course, there are enough aged Karma-Yogis that have indeed given all their wealth to the guru and ashram in order to make quicker spiritual progress. I know a few people like this. Thus, they are reduced to unsalaried workers, usually in foreign countries without friends, family, money or information (except the news censured by the ashram). They are immediately dependent upon the ashram for food, shelter and clothes. I ask myself, when a person is found in such a powerless position, is he not an easy victim of sexual (or whatever other kind of) exploitation? Thus, don't you think that it would be more correct to speak about "karma-slaves" instead of karma-yogis?

What is the outcome of these people? There are many who leave from an organization feeling dissatisfied before the process of slave-making is completed. They usually go to another "better" organization or they find a "superior" guru. It is possible that they pass through a complete row of such organizations and in the end, they become "independent‟ since they've lost a lot of time, money and energy. At this point, they've essentially destroyed their personal and social life. We would often hear them tell horrible stories that happened to them with members of the organization or even with their guru.

However, they are still ideologically affected by the metaphysical deceptions. They didn't think deeply. They didn't search for the root of the problems, and they didn't liberate their mind. They still didn't understand too well what had been done to them. They pass through their life inside confusion and pain.

There are others that had advanced further. They gave all their fortune to the organization and became full members. Usually after an interval, the organization has these people "up high," marginalized in trivial roles. Few have the mental strength to come to the point where they split from their leaders and leave. Most of the time, they are accustomed to the role of a follower, and like a servant, accept the "security" that the organization provides them.

Others, who are more sneaky and ambitious, after they become conscious of the cheating game, also learn to play it. They claim for themselves (and many times take) an executive role in the organization. That is, they leave from the category of victims and are placed with the sacrifices. That which was done to them, they now do to others.

Some make a career inside the same organization, or they go somewhere else to another city or state. They even "pitch" their own organizations, their own shop and walk about as "yoga teachers" or "gurus" or "messiahs," or as a higher/superior spiritual teacher. Of course, these people become conscious servants of the lie. Not even one word about the quest of truth. The truth and spiritual ideals are items for sale for these people; negotiable products. I regard them as the more genuine disciples of the gurus.

Yet, there are also some people who are saved. There are a few people who had a genuine desire within their hearts for the truth. With Christ's help, after they trifled with deep metaphysical questions, and after they came to realize the gurus cheapness, they could finally break the net of deception and draw near with great joy to Him who said, “I
am the truth,” gladly becoming conscious Christians. They are spiritually, psychologically, and socially restored. They make beautiful, conscious Christian families. A sufficient number of them follow the high, authentic, ascetical life of the Orthodox monk.

In the end, I want to say that it is not easy at all for someone to leave from there, especially if he has taken some initiation. Besides the psychological and social dependencies that tie him to the organization, there is a secret, unseen (in most cases), evil spiritual power which overcomes the ordinary measure of man. This power wants to retain its enslaved people. It starts to react when someone develops a defective frame of mind.

This evil spiritual power is completely conquered only by the spiritual power of Christ. For this reason, only the people that will consciously seek Jesus Christ's help and derive Divine Grace within the Church's Mysteries, are fully, definitely, deeply and completely liberated. All the rest will accept influences and move within the confines of a certain spiritual prison.

What is the profile of a follower of such organization? Their propaganda addresses itself to people of the middle and upper classes. They are usually young people with very good education (usually university). They have the economic abilities for trips throughout the world and an easy way of life in their countries (vacations, vehicles, music, arts, etc.). That is, they are in a higher position than the Indie/Hindu who struggles every day for one serving of rice or lentils; who walks around barefoot in excrement; who sleeps out in the streets with his family, or in wretched houses if he belongs to the fortunate; mainly, he who doesn’t have the economic abilities to buy the wisdom of the gurus.

What is it that drives these young people to exchange all these comforts with the position of Karma Yoga? It is spiritual hunger and thirst. It is the deficiency of a spiritual dimension in their life. When we say "spiritual" here, we do not mean the arts (music, theater, and literature) as the word has come to mean today. By "spiritual" we mean something that is related with the deeper, mystical core of the world and life; something that has a relation with God, the Spirit of God, and the Holy Spirit. The man who has the Holy Spirit upon him and carries the Spirit of God (God, Christ) in his soul is considered spiritual.

Today, western society suffers from spiritual deprivation. Millions of people have existential problems; they're searching to unite their life with the deeper mysteries of the world. They feel incompetent.

On one side, western humanism is responsible because it sees man in a completely single dimension; only body and material. Thus, it created a materialistic way of life that gives satisfaction to the body and senses, but it's completely indifferent about its spiritual needs since it doesn't even recognize that they exist. The values of today's society are completely materialistic. How much someone makes, what kind of car he has, what social influences he has, what position he occupies, etc. Indeed, in America people are measured according to their annual income. For example: Johnny is $150,000/year, Jenny is $75,000/year, so man is worth the amount of money he makes. The material goods that he possesses are the measure of his value. Not even a word about honesty, goodness, righteousness, purity, virtue, knowledge of God, selflessness or confidence in friendships.

On the other side, Christian heresies are responsible for the impasse, anxiety, agony, anguish of today's western man; that is, Papism and Protestantism. Heresy means distortion. They distorted and destroyed Christ‟s teachings. They stripped and weaned it and they were cut off from the Mysteries. They were separated from the conductors of Divine Grace and lost their possibility for direct contact with God. They made logic and reasoning religion. That is, they reduced religion to a lifeless and powerless ideology. An ideology that is unable to fill the spiritual hunger and thirst of their people. The innovating Protestants and traditional Papists dealt these things. They tried to improve the Church's tradition and they destroyed it. Thus, a portion of their people turn to the carob tree of Eastern doctrines, having formed inside a sentimental prejudice for everything Christian.

Orthodoxy is found at the antipode of Western humanism, Protestantism and Papism. St. Isaac considers that “the glory of the soul is the spiritual knowledge of God which it acquired." That is: I know God also means that I resemble Him; I embrace and adopt His virtues and attributes to a certain degree. I acquire peace, wisdom, long-suffering and meekness inside myself, as well as the knowledge of nature, man and eternity. I become a source/spring/fount of love for all creation; a consolation and strength. I know where I came from and where I'm going. I know that my nature is eternal. I know why I was given this life and how I should live it. I know how to differentiate and discriminate the significant from the insignificant. And finally, I have a vital and direct/immediate relation with Christ. Who will show them the great difference of Orthodoxy? Who will show them the rivers of living water that run inside the Orthodox Church and richly quench the thirst of every sincerely thirsty Christian? Who will bring them into contact with the truth?

I remember the words of Elder Paisios, “God will utilize all the evil and, from the evil that the devil plans to do, God will draw out a great good.”

Also remember, they will not even fill their spiritual hunger in the New Age because it has nothing true to offer them.

As the great contemporary English historian Steven Runciman believes, “the future belongs to Orthodoxy.”