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The Belief System that is not a Belief System

One of the paradoxes of following Maharaji, is that to do so you need a strongly conditioned belief system; and yet part of the premie belief system is that there is no belief system!!

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Two beliefs are necessary to follow Maharaji:

First, that there is an inner world in you that it is important to discover, which Maharaji calls your 'heart'. He does not mean by this your emotional center, but rather your soul, the essence of what it is to be human.

Second, that Maharaji has the power to take you there; furthermore, he is essential for that, and it is impossible for a person to find their 'heart' unaided by Maharaji.

But to a follower of Maharaji, there is in fact no belief-system. The first belief, that the inner world of the 'heart' exists, is considered so obvious that it is an 'experience' and not a 'belief' at all. Personally, I do not have an issue with this. Many people - most people, in fact - believe that there is an inner world, and certainly it is my own experience that there is one, and that it is important to explore it.

But it is the second belief that I consider dangerous to deny is a belief:

The experience that the follower has through the meditation (the 'Knowledge') is prima facie evidence to a premie that Maharaji can indeed take you from the confusion of your everyday mind to the ineffable 'heart'; it is an experience that cannot be questioned, and futhermore should not be questioned. It is Knowledge, with an upper-case 'K', to underline the certainty of it, as distinct from a mere belief-system.

But if you are able to take a step back, and look at what is happening with some degree of critical thinking, you see that all you are getting as a follower is a feel-good experience. You need, in fact, a very strong and deeply-held belief system, to make the leap from the experience that you are actually having, to the belief that Maharaji is in some undefined but real sense behind it all. And part of this belief-system is that there is no belief-system, so you dismiss it, and you are left with the psychotropic experience only, coupled uncritically to the conviction that Maharaji has caused it to happen, and is sustaining it, and that it means you are on the one true path.

Maharaji does well to call the mind the 'doubtmaker', as he often does in his talks, but he means it in a negative sense, since his belief-system cannot be questioned. So calling the mind the 'doubtmaker' is about the worst description he can think of, making the follower tremble lest his or her mind allow a doubt to sneak in.

But for the follower trying to look objectively at his or her very subjective experience, then the saving grace is truly that the mind can doubt, and if you allow it to doubt, then you see that your certainty was in fact a system of beliefs; and if that is the case then they may be true, or they may not be true, but at least they can be questioned.

[Return to list of articles]    [next article] Last revised April 21 2004

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