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The Impossible Triangle

This is an article written by Nigel, who used to post on one of the ex-premie forums - a predecessor to the present Prem Rawat Talk Forum.

It characterizes the impossibility of a premie being rational, honest and devoted all together at the same time - they can be any two, but cannot be the three. I think it is a neat way of capturing the essential premie disconnect. I have edited it slightly.

[Return to list of articles]   [back to article Maharaji's Divinity Claims: Spurious Academic Denials and Wikipedia]    [first article]

A premie’s existential problem is a bit like the Penrose 'Impossible Triangle'. This is a visual illusion where three straight bars (rectangular in cross section) are joined to form a triangle. Each side has a plausible joint with its neighbouring sides. But taken as a whole the 2D figure cannot exist in three dimensions: you could faithfully reproduce any two sides but not all three….

The premie's impossible triangle involves three personal attributes: a) rationality; b) honesty; c) devotion. If you tried to build a premie, you could assemble any pair of attributes but the third would prove impossible: you can have a+b, b+c or c+a. But never a+b+c.

The b+c type premie (honest and devotional) is straightforward as to how Knowledge makes them feel, and their devotion to Maharaji is beyond question, but their unwillingness to engage in discussions with former followers of Prem Rawat reveals a capacity for rational thought that is no doubt there, but has long ago been switched off. Interactions typically comprise what was once known as ‘satsang’ – the sharing of one’s love of Maharaji and Knowledge without criticism or circumspection. Satsang involves ‘talking at’, rather than ‘talking to’ one’s audience.

Another premie type, a+b (rational and honest), has the easiest ride. These are the ones interested enough to receive Knowledge, honest enough to evaluate it fairly, and leave soon after. They see the pointlessness of devoting ones life to the so-called ‘giver’ who did no more than pass on an old family recipe with no new ingredients or even proper cooking instructions.

Finally, look at the third possible pairing of the impossible triangle, the a+c type (rational and devoted). Since the ex-premie web sites started appearing in the late nineties, Maharaji has discouraged premies from engaging his opponents on the web. However, many a+c premies seem unable to resist the challenge to put up a case for their Master when opportunity arises. They are keen to appear rational and coherent whilst maintaining devotion to their Master, but have no choice but to become dishonest, even if it means distorting reality into realms of the absurd.

As a premie I was no less rational than I am now, but within a narrow bandwidth; instead of arriving at appropriate conclusions from evidence or experience, I would bend the perceived world to fit received cult wisdom. Rationality quickly becomes rationalisation.

('Hmm, although I feel miserable and desolate after these months of one-pointed practice of Knowledge, that must just be my mind getting in the way. Failing to see Maharaji's lila. The real experience is up around the corner if I hang on in there and rededicate with every breath…')

At least, for the ex-premies engaged in web discussions with practising premies, the worst that exes can feel from ongoing disputes is a mild frustration at not being able to present the truth accurately, because of premie obfuscation. The Guru 'Lord of the Universe' Maharaji’s message has changed beyond recognition along with his name. The old claims therefore need to be evaded, revised or denied. These are dishonest tactics.

Having invested so much of themselves in Rawat’s infallible vision, the a+c (rational and devoted) premie has no choice but to do permanent sentry duty, since his world-view is under threat, right down to the last dot and comma. This must be a desperately uncomfortable situation: sacrificing personal integrity in service to one's Master – and having to do it in public – is a tall order for anyone.

It is no wonder that most premies leave when they can’t assemble the impossible triangle and sustain the illusion. Seeing the impossibility of being rational, honest and devoted all together at the same time, is the beginning of the end of holding Maharaji as your 'master' and having to maintain the premie belief-system.

[Return to list of articles]    [back to article: Maharaji's Divinity Claims: Spurious Academic Denials and Wikipedia]    [first article] Last revised Jan 13 2008

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