How to Lose Your Cool in Public (& Find Out You Never Needed It!)

Following the recent, blink-and-you-missed-it anti-Oshana uprising at this blog and at my YouTube channel (most of which has now been deleted), my wife offered a one-line summation, to the effect of: “What they are saying is, ‘Stop being so uncool as to have a guru!’”

My first response (since it was my wife) was that Dave is not a guru. I don’t generally bother saying this to critics at the blog because I know that denials tend to only reinforce whatever is being denied in people’s minds. Yet this is perhaps a central point of interest for me around Dave, as well as being central to my ongoing deconstruction of false ceremony masters: Learning to discern the difference between someone who is intentionally leading, and someone who is merely moving forward visibly.

Still, as my wife said, Dave looks like a guru, at first glance. And since (certain) people are responding only to appearances, this is what I, what we, get, in terms of offended offensives.

So what is the problem with all these angry people who seem personally affronted by my expressing love and admiration for another human being? Apparently, it is the WRONG KIND of human being, first of all. If it were a film director, philosophical writer (especially a dead one), or an avant-garde glam rock star, there might be less of a problem. But, since it is a SPIRITUAL TEACHER (apparently) who charges money (the horror) to help people have an experience outside of their minds, that’s just . . . uncool, man.

In fact, these characteristics (as you may someday discover) are also just appearances, albeit ones that can’t be entirely ignored since people get stuck on them and sometimes never make it past them.

I also wonder if I may be expressing the wrong sort of love and admiration, as in, maybe, too up close and personal? If so, this may represent an even deeper problem, or complex, for some—though not all—of my readers.

Some good did come out of all this, however: I got to nail down some arguments around this very difficult subject, and to better understand my own position. For example (culled from my own responses):

One recurring reaction has been the assumption that, since I have fallen into a guru trap before (and make no bones about it), I must be more, not less, susceptible to doing it again. This is based partially on the  assumption that all spiritual teachers are created equal, and that the only sound procedure, once having spotted the flaws in one (or twenty), is to assume that all are made of the exact same stuff and turn away. This leads to the belief—apparently based on experience but probably only due to bitterness—that “standing on one’s own two feet” is the only self-respecting way to go.

By so reasoning, they also deny me—and by extension themselves—the freedom to learn from my mistakes, negating trial and error as a valid way of getting to the truth!

Those who blindly assume I am making the “same mistake” with Dave that I made with John de Ruiter, for example, ignore all the evidence I have shared that Oshana and de Ruiter are antithetical to one another in almost every way, and that most or all of the red flags—the “tells”—I learned to identify via de Ruiter, are things I have been able to tick off, regarding Dave.

*

Being “cool” is about learning not to show feelings, or even to feel them too deeply. It is how adolescents avoid getting hurt. When we are betrayed romantically at that age, we often swear, “Never again!” If we mature, we eventually learn that, while this may protect us from further pain, it also prevents us from any sort of intimacy or loving tenderness.

Fortunately, I am no longer adolescent—but then I never really meant it when I swore off love. In the past ten years, since marrying and also since meeting Dave, a growing autonomy and self-trust has allowed me to risk trusting others, most especially when they show themselves consistently to be wiser than I am about certain things (viz a viz my wife, but also Dave). I can now let myself be supported, guided, and assisted in my journey, without sacrificing my self-respect or capacity to determine my own choices.

Learning to sniff out the fakes— to develop enough maturity and self-awareness to enter into a fully mutual and healthy relationship with another—is central to this process. Why else develop discernment if not to use it?! No man or woman is an island.

What I personally see, rightly or wrongly, among spiritual seekers (including or perhaps especially the disillusioned kind) is the opposite trajectory: a form of dissociation that allows them to isolate themselves from mundane and messy human reality, under the guise of some higher “spiritual” station. This sort of counterfeit awakening allows a lack of ordinary human interest or engagement to pass for spiritual attainment. It also makes for some quite inadvertently cruel and condescending comments under the guise of “caring.” Unconsciousness is the most dangerous thing there is.

Now for the record, Dave Oshana is not, in my view, my “guru,” or even my spiritual teacher. But he is certainly something other than merely a friend (though I consider him that).

So what is that something?

Mentor?

Sponsor?

Role Model?

Guide?

Facilitator?

Collaborator?

Cohort?

Accomplice?

Team-mate?

Or perhaps, none or all of the above? Words may not break our bones; but they can certainly prove procrustean.

I freely admit that there are problems with some, even all, of these roles & relationships. (In the case of a role model, for example, the word “emulate” is three letters short of the word “emasculate.”) But, here’s a newsflash for you: there are problems with any relationship. And the more intimacy, trust, love, regard, and commitment there is in a relationship, the more potential problems will arise.

So what do you want from me? (You are here so I assume you want something.) Like Dave, only more so, I give my time away for free (though I do expect you to pay for my books). I am not a professional (experienced) in the same way Dave is, and am still learning the ropes. An apprentice plumber may offer to do work for people for free, just to get in some practice.

I suspect many of you (readers and listeners) are, in fact, looking for a mentor, sponsor, role model, guide, etc., etc. (as well as a friend). I suspect that is partly, even largely, why you are here. I also suspect that others—who may or may not have cast me and my words into the outer abyss of darkness since my latest loss of cool—have been unconsciously seeking a mentor and looking to me to fill that role, to some degree at least.

If people do this unconsciously, if they have disowned that part in them that is seeking a positive male role model/surrogate father-brother figure, they are likely to feel distaste, ranging from mild to extreme, at seeing me so openly and unabashedly displaying my own admiration and need for the same. They may see it as a fall from grace, a loss of status and cool, and may want to slap me around to bring me back to my senses and get me to shape the fuck up.

In doing so, however, they will only reveal their own neuroses, their lack of awareness and hence of kindness, sensitivity, or compassion. And so, it being the way of things, they will condemn themselves to remain out in the cold. This space is not for the cold warriors, but for the formless kind who are willing, ready, and able to come in from the cold, for good, to love wildly and without fear of exposure, rejection, or embarrassment.

*

If there is anything I try to exemplify, it’s the willingness to go out on a limb and risk getting hurt, for the sake of reaching the juiciest fruit, the fruit of existence that is why we are here on this tree of life to begin with. By hurt, I mean silly little things like losing face, losing my cool, losing my street cred, but also the thicker end of that wedge, being emotionally vulnerable, undefended, unhidden, and exposed to the world and all its barbs. I shall not kick against these pricks.

This is not a spectator sport, however. There’s little or nothing to gain from watching me do this from a safe distance, besides vicarious S & M kicks of the cheapest sort. In fact, I can imagine (and hope) it is pretty unbearable to watch it in that mean-spirit, which is probably why my more uptight readers get so upset. It is socially verboten to willfully relinquish one’s cool in public, to be awkward, unguarded, undefended, naked, vulnerable, and exposed.

It could even start a chain reaction and lead to a newclear meltdown! : o

Are you interested in being part of that? If not, it might be time to shit your pants or get on the pot.

This ongoing presentation is not for sissies, but neither is it for cool cats. It is for those of you who are at the end of your tether and sick and tired of pretending to be something you’re not. Who want to get real, no matter how uncool it might look, and who are willing to get to the truth of existence (starting and ending with yours), no matter how exposing it might end up being, for you and yours.

If you are interested, this and other subjects will be covered in the next FREE! online event at my YouTube channel, on Saturday the 30th March, at 11 am PST (2 pm EST, 6 pm UK time, 8 pm Finnish time). I have been also hosting an after-event meet on Zoom, for those who enjoy interactive time with me.

This has so far been a free and informal event, but I would now like to ask that those interested (in the after-meet) a) contact me beforehand and let me know (sign up; see my email address here); b) let me know if you are able and willing to make a small donation to attend, and if so how much. This will help me decide if and when to have the after-event meet-up, and I will base my decision on the amount of interest and commitment, measured in heads as well as dollars. (So if twenty people sign up but no one offers to donate, I will most likely still host the event. If only one person signs up but makes a $100 donation, there will be an event, even if it is a 1:1!)

Example of Zoom after-meet (only made public with the agreement of all involved):

51 thoughts on “How to Lose Your Cool in Public (& Find Out You Never Needed It!)”

  1. Like so many other aspects of your work, i just assumed it was another paradox designed to provide experience rather than instruction. I remember reading the Archdruid saying he gets a lot of people projecting the wise old man/ father figure onto him, and it was necessary to let them back down gently or ungently, ie, admitting he’s just a man.

    I often think of you as a secular wizard, and people really do need to get a life and pursue these things independently. Analysts are expensive though, so it not easy and you do seem to be providing some sort of public service at times.

    Best
    Rotty.

  2. I felt a strong need to show support for your recent endeavours because of the problems they’ve caused (which I’ve just discovered reading this post).

    I can’t fathom why you’ve received criticism over your relationship with Dave. It’s insightful and appears very sincere. As you rightly point out, intimate relationships are complicated/complex, especially if sincere.

    I read your blog for the insight on topics I find important and because you have a unique way of framing questions, dissecting answers and making connections.

    It is a privilege to have free access to such information, to witness/participate in this line of enquiry in such a dedicated and informed manner. As much as I appreciate it being free, charging might not be a bad idea if you’re getting shit from people. You do go out on a limb regularly (in public!) discussing topics which require great care and attention.

    After all, it’s the individual’s responsibility to pursue their own lines and style of enquiry. If people don’t like it, they can always find a different source of whatever they’re looking for.

    Best of luck,
    Cedomir

  3. Its probably not your relationship with dave that is triggering people. Personal transformation can only happen in a private sacred space. It takes a long time like getting pregnant and raising a child. There is a sacredness to it that is damaged if taken out into public. You are essentially making porn out of your experiences. Cutting them apart with your mind, publicly. What ever is going on with dave, you are publicly dissecting it and converting it into attention, which I know obscures clarity in humans. No one can get around it. You seem to be saying you are figuring out or experiencing something that is simply not helped by blogging about it. Posting about it while it is happening or unfolding is like attempting to participate in some war while also going home to meditate and obtain enlightenment/peace. Dave might be able to lend some kind of energy or cut ties from programming which causes a feeling of freedom but I’m not sure why he’s down with the intellectual dissection of what he’s doing if he cares about it working? Which maybe he doesn’t. Full sociopathy and full enlightenment look identical at the mental/material/individual level.

    I think The words about your relationship are in opposition with the actions of publicity, which triggers agro from people consciously or unconsciously. I think it triggers people when they see self sabotage like that being described as love or progress toward enlightenment/authenticity.

    So maybe actually treat the relationship like something special and sacred rather than intellectual porn and people might not hate on you so much.

    If you loved him, you’d love privately, like a woman or child that you really cherish. Maybe writing about it after it was all over so as to not miss anything.

    • hi Kurt,

      I let this one through because it seems like a good enough example for others to see of what this post is about, namely:

      This sort of counterfeit awakening allows a lack of ordinary human interest or engagement to pass for spiritual attainment. It also makes for some quite inadvertently cruel and condescending comments under the guise of “caring.” Unconsciousness is the most dangerous thing there is.

      Your cavalier condemnation of my creative process of sharing is quite chilling in its own way. Perhaps it is partially due to your belief that “Full sociopathy and full enlightenment look identical at the mental/material/individual level.” I have no idea where you got this idea (i.e, what sort of enlightenment claimants you have been hanging with, or perhaps you got it from Ayn Rand?), but as you know, I do consider there to be an unfortunate confusion (esp. in the west) between siddhi-charged super-egoic dissociation states, as demonstrated by someone like whitley strieber, and advanced spiritual realization.

      I would base any conclusion of which it was, however, on a close examination of that person’s behaviors, as I did with JdR, and as I have had ample opportunity to do with Dave. I find no such evidence at all with Dave as I found with JdR, and yet, honestly speaking, I find more and more evidence of this sort of distortion in your communications with me, and I find it very worrisome.

      As a self-professed sorcerer who believes he is learning to fly, maybe you can explain what your criteria is for invoking the spectre of sociopathy, besides, that is, Dave & I being open to intellectually exploring the “sacred” process of a human relationship.

      I also find it curious that you consider this site “pornographic,” while visiting it so often (are you getting stimulation from it? is it a guilty pleasure?), and that while you deem my attempts to explore my relationship with Dave as harmful, even immoral, you seem to view your own public excoriation of me as benign, at least relatively.

      What gives, dude? You seem to be projecting to a frightening degree; what’s more, what you are projecting is itself deeply disturbing.

    • Wow kurt, your response is why I tend to stay as far away from “spiritual seekers” as possible. And I happen to live in one of the spiritual seeker/spiritual teacher capitals of North America. Many of them seem to have the idea that their spiritual seeking needs to be private (like you), while they treat people outside themselves like shit (which you kinda just did).

      Jasun, to me, is a breath of fresh air, in a world of polluted people.

  4. You asked people (at some recent point) to reach out, to engage – the unknown onlookers or listeners. But unless people affirm you, your experiences, Dave, whatever, they are liable to be devastated by your words, which, because of your mastery of language, are very sharp, very cutting. I think you are a good person, I think Dave is a good person. But the likelihood of being belittled or insulted by an accomplished wordsmith means I would not engage to offer opinions that might be contrary to yours (generally). By the way, am reading Vice of Kings. It is fascinating. All the best.

  5. Here’s what I want from you, Jasun – more of THIS:

    “If there is anything I try to exemplify, it’s the willingness to go out on a limb and risk getting hurt, for the sake of reaching the juiciest fruit, the fruit of existence that is why we are here on this tree of life to begin with. By hurt, I mean silly little things like losing face, losing my cool, losing my street cred, but also the thicker end of that wedge, being emotionally vulnerable, undefended, unhidden, and exposed to the world and all its barbs. I shall not kick against these pricks.”

    I want to know that radical vulnerability is not only possible, but attainable by me. When you practice radical vulnerability, it teaches me that it is an actual alternative.

    When you choose to inhabit that state of humility, honesty and self-compassion, it heartens me, strengthens me in a very valuable way.

    Of course, I have also wanted to connect with you for all the reasons you outline above: meaningful connection with male energy, incisive thinking, friendship, the lessening of the great loneliness.

    Who you choose to revere is your own business, and I don’t feel entitled to express an opinion about whether or not your choices have merit. How the hell should I know? I’m lucky if I can choose appropriate clothing for the weather.

    Additionally, I am aware that there is truth to what A.D. has stated above. It does feel risky to engage with you – because your ability to slice your ‘opponents’ arguments to shreds is beyond question. I don’t feel particularly oppositional, but if the day came when I seriously felt like challenging you, I would perhaps choose silence, rather than risk the ridicule of your piercing gaze.

    And yet, here I am – because years ago, when the entire panoply of life appeared bleak, there YOU were, asking the questions that mattered to me, when no one else had the balls or the insight to do so at the same level. Your work matters. Your willingness to go there for ALL of us matters. For that, I am forever grateful.

  6. A.D and Heather, you have made a great point. Hear, hear! 🙂

    We all have quite a bit invested in our worldview and our pursuit to achieve a greater state of consciousness (or however we term our pursuit). I’ve also noticed Jasun defend his position proudly, sometimes even unnecessarily harshly perhaps, but then again, we’re all all too human, and hubris is a part of our bondage which we’re all trying to unravel in order to not just see beyond but live beyond those confines.

    However, I personally feel that the type of quest that we’re on doesn’t suffer from any one of us being right, it’s a joint enterprise. The more we learn the better for all of us, even if one of us is occasionally leading the way. Jasun’s wordsmithing is as daunting as it is insightful, and I’d rather arm wrestle him than debate him, but as long as the goal is to understand, I don’t think it should be an issue who’s right. It might be worth pointing out that one can win a debate but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right in their conclusion.

    My earlier comment was related to people being malicious or intentionally offensive. I personally wouldn’t put up with it. It’s one thing to have a passionate argument and another to be deliberately hurtful. Ultimately, it’s down to each one of us to recognise which is which.

    I rarely read the comments section but have come across some great discussions on this blog.

    All the best to you all,
    Cedomir

  7. This seems like progress.

    Thanks Tude, for providing a reality check. Never underestimate the value of a willlingness to share your perspective. As Cedomir writes, this is a joint enterprise, and everyone who is paying close & respectful attention will be able to see something that no one else can.

    A.D: It’s true that I don’t suffer fools gladly, and if someone shows up with paper-thin arguments, they may be chagrined to see their arguments shredded. But I don’t think I ever sink to belittlement or insults & one observable effect of my time with Dave is a growing ability to let go of an initial defensive reaction before engaging, and so avoiding escalation.

    On the other hand, if someone enters the fray in full attack mode, consciously or not (and it is even worse when unconscious), a kind & gentle response is not only difficult but often futile. And even if I step deftly out of their way, they may fall on their sword in ways that might seem gruesome to some. C’est la guerre, n’est pas?

    Also (a point I hope to address on Sat), in my experience, people who feel most insecure & apprehensive about expressing themselves tend to have the least reason to do so. I am constantly amazed by how intelligent, insightful, and mature my readers & listeners seem to be (as evidenced by all the podcasts I have done with you/them); and yet many of these people have been nervous about taking the plunge. None, so far as I know, have regretted it.

    As a general rule, it’s the Rambos who come charging in with guns blasting that end up getting cut off at the knees, which presents an interesting conundrum, as with the bar analogy I used earlier: deal with the riff-raff too harshly and others may feel intimidated about expressing themselves; do not deal with them harshly enough, & some people may feel the space is unsafe for more gentle, tentative forms of inquiry.

    Also, to Dave’s comment which appeared while composing this, noise reduction and signal increase is really essential to optimizing the discussion space. It is the gentlest voices that are the first to be drowned out, yet so often they carry the most information (love).

  8. I’m glad I blinked and missed this one.

    But I read this article carefully. Maybe I’m stupid. But why would people have an issue with you engaging with a person who is genuinely providing a service that has been earned through work and experience?

    Yes, you have been through much with so called “life coaches and guru’s”

    But possibly that hard earned expereince led you to a much better experience. No matter what you call the guy. Which is probably Dave.

    Vulnerability takes time and work and no, its not for pussies. Also, some people are avoiding vulnerability because it just hurts too much. Which is ok sometimes.

    But, it must be nice and comfortable to sit in the bleachers and be a critic of those wrestling with those challenges

  9. (sorry if this is only slightly connected to the blog post, but..) ..I’ve been thinking about Douglas Rushkoff. His “team human” book (and interviews) really inspired me to get out and re-connect with family/community. I’m not really into techno/internet writers at all, but I loved his philosophy. Now I see he wrote a graphic novel about Aleister Crowley? I’ve really been trying to move my focus/interest away from occult stuff lately, or at least dark occult stuff. I’m not sure what Rushkoff’s interest is there.

    I’ve had a few weird experiences in my life (which I now know are similar to UFO stuff, though I interpreted them as angelic/spiritual). I’m trying to re-connect with simple real life stuff like friends and family, exercise, mindfulness. Maybe faith/church, too, I’m not sure. Sorry if what I’ve written has only a tenuous connection to the post, but I appreciate being able to drop in here.

    • I have met Rushkoff (briefly in Mexico) & he was nice enough to provide a blurb to Dark Oasis (on-topic); I don’t know what possessed him to write a book with Crowley as the heroic figure (I haven’t read it, maybe it is more nuanced than that, but even so).

      FWIW I think you are on the right track in focusing on the ordinary human dimensions of living first & foremost. Everything else seems to grow organically out of that, in my experience; OTOH, I did sow some pretty wild seeds beforehand, so it may be about finding the right balance…

      • Incidentally, Sean Lennon (with his band Claypool/Lennon) has a new song about Jack Parsons called “blood and rockets”, and the music video is causing a bit of a storm on youtube right now. It’s basically the story of Parsons told with simple South Park/Monty Python style animation with a lot of occult/satanic imagery on a space backdrop.

  10. We don’t have a problem with you paying for a big brother. The problem is calling yourself his “agent” and promoting him. Why not come clean and tell us how much per year it costs you? Or is there some type of monetary agreement where, if you bring Dave some disciples from your flock, you get….10%? Lay it all out on the table. How honest are you willing to be, Jasun?

    You’re intellectual enough to reason yourself past any discrepancy. Any comments contrary to your world view are “cut to shreds” here. Or deleted. How is this not an implicit bias? Aren’t the “negative” comments the ones that help more? A true friend isn’t afraid to be brutally honest. Perhaps some type of professional help, outside the spiritual leadership, outside of blogging to the rest of the world would be a more worthy investment? To any casual observer, you’re chained to this attached mode and your actions are a defense to justify it.

    I don’t think bringing more people to “Dave” is intellectually sound. All your experience with gurus has proven this to you. It’s in every blog post from here back to 2012–you have problems with this relationship. Why not highlight the problems you have with Dave? Does Dave have any problems left?

    In the meantime, don’t lecture us about how it’s “worked” for you. The street smart viewers, who really do appreciate your intelligence are being insulted. You work for IT. IT keeps you busy. “All expendable income?” Again, how much is this? Have you bought in and now they won’t let you leave? Maybe your cursory mention of “mafia” is some indication you’re not completely free in your actions? I’d really like to see you intellectualize yourself past these honest questions.

    • Hi Sam – You seem to have a confused idea of what constitutes honesty – as maybe encapsulated in your last line, which I guess isn’t meant ironically? I’m definitely not interested in rising to the challenge of intellectualizing myself past anything, much less past honesty. (Your questions do seem honest, tho, & I appreciate them as a rare example of someone disagreeing without feeling the need to be disagreeable).

      I am not going to get into sharing my financial history here; that seems like a red herring leading into a finger trap that can only take us farther from the moon. Anyone who is curious about that (why?) can do the math by perusing Dave’s site and juxtaposing it with what I have said about his retreats, figuring out costs to fly from Canada to Finland, etc, etc.

      I do not get a percentage or any discounts for bringing Dave new clients.

      If I can cut to shreds a comment then, as already stated, it must have been paper-thin to begin with. So why are you whining about what amounts to fair-play in love and discourse? As for deleting care-trolling, or the regular kind, I have already explained why I do that & I don’t want to repeat myself. Yes, more thoughtfully phrased negative comments such as yours (or even Kurt’s shit-show) can assist in exposing the bare bones of a problem; but not when they so lack awareness or respect that they arrive like vomit from Linda Blair’s mouth.

      Recommending “professional help,” for example, comes under care-trolling & I’d be within my my rights as mod to edit it out of your comment, even for your own good. It is bad form, and amounts to a black mark on your permanent record. (Two more & you are out.)

      I am not especially interested in “casual observers,” as I already explained in this post; they seem to view what I do as a form of intellectual porn. (To swine all things are swinish?) I am interested in the committed, dedicated, serious sort of reader.

      As for any problems I have with Dave, they certainly exist; but to highlight them would hardly be doing a service to the truth, when so far they haven’t proved insurmountable; on the contrary, they have proven to be part of the process – though a really important part has been the realization that if, at any time, I perceive Dave to be straying from my own sense of what’s true & right for me, I am gone (this has happened before – it was not a moral deviation but a practical one that made it necessary to disengage; & yes I did blog about it).

      It’s clear from the tone and thrust of your comments, however, that you haven’t grokked what I’ve tried to describe, regarding my “process” with Dave. That’s OK, it is not easy to grok. But it also doesn’t seem as though you have really tried. Like other commenters, though to a lesser degree, you seem to have shown up with a set of intellectualized beliefs that appear fixed like a script in your head which you are determined to stick to, regardless of anything I say or do. That doesn’t bode well for dialogue – at least, I don’t feel optimistic, because I don’t sense benign intent on your part (genuine curiosity or interest). I could well be wrong though. Apparently there is a demographic of “street-smart viewers” (which seems to mean cynical and jaded and intellectually arrogant) I have accrued, and I presume there are good eggs among you – I certainly hope so, since something I have done has attracted them.

      Still, nothing in your “challenge” speaks to my heart or lets me know why you are really here. Maybe if you led with that, whatever it may be, instead of your “manly” challenge, it would help open up to the more honest sort of dialogue you claim to want?

      • The person posting as “Sam” above, it turns out, is at the same IP address as the person who posted at the previous article (“Ticket to Infinity”) as “cfin” and “gee-bob” (the latter posts were deleted), thereby creating the impression of multiple reader objections, rather than the repeated complaints of one particularly belligerent, sneaky, and unethical person.

        this IP address is now permanently banned, and all further comments will go automatically to trash.

  11. Jasun. There are good eggs (next someone will ‘wonder’ if you are touting for chicken farmers), but they prefer not to comment because they have not personally experienced what you have described (and you have not experienced half of it). But they are intrigued – enough to register at my site, book the event and send an email of introduction to me. The online meet-up on Saturday 6th April is now 75% full. I have no idea what is going to happen. It will “deep end” on who is there. Face-to-face is infinitely better, and beyond, the idiosyncrasies of the typed word, which take forever and a day to grok. Facing is believing – and I don’t mean Faceborg.

  12. I did my best to carefully read through the comments and be as objective as I could.

    I’m no expert in this field of expanding consciousness or enlightenment.

    But to be upfront, I went through a stage of questing to be enlightened and did some spiritual seeking.

    One of the better things I’ve done with my life was to stop doing that and give away my self help books.

    That was how it worked for me.

    By now this has to be cliche’ but that may not be the way for someone else.

    Some people find peace of mind and growth in going to a good church.

    Some find it in attending a weekly yoga class or finding a good therapist.

    I’ve been amazed at seeing the sense of bonding and growth that comes from a couple guys meeting once in a while for a whiskey and a cigar.

    All that said. Yes, people who follow Jasun may think, “Ok I really hope this situation with Mr. Oshana is not like all the times he wrote so accurately and intently before.”

    That’s a reasonable thing to come up.

    This thought may come from a place of care. Or, it may come from a place that is typical in internet communication. Projecting one’s discomfort and insecurity in a harsh way into a forum where there is little consequence after doing so.

    Ya seen Facebook lately?

    Anyway, I’m only commenting like this because Auticulture has almost become like a home for people. It has for me.

    There arent many places like it.

    So maybe the usual internet argument might hurt a little more than maybe another place.

    Again, maybe Jasun has taken his hard won experiences and has finally built a relationship with someone where it works for him.

    All I can say is, you got a sharp eye my friend. Shoot straight ya bastard.

    If It doesn’t work out, I’m sure Jasun would be honest about it.

    Between Jasuns work and the support of members of this site. I believe there’s a lot of well earned context thats been earned concerning his relationship with Mr. Oshana.

    • just curious, what do people here think of some of the famous mindfullness authors who write about their enlightenment experiences, like Eckhart Tolle and Dan Millman?

      • I believe Tolle is genuine. There are little mannerisms that give his state away at times but someone who hasn’t been in the state wouldn’t notice them for what they are. He is speaking the truth when he speaks about “nowness”, but in my opinion his advice is too generic. Telling people to live in the now is not enough because they don’t percieve it to start with. Nowness is the nowness of infinity with no intellectual divisions within reality and it will only be percieved when infinity is percieved. I keep harping on about peoples thought processes but this is where the key lies. The little voice in peoples heads is the problem in enlightenment terms, but they are absolutely loath to make the sacrifice and give it up.

        • Such as, Andrew?

          “There are little mannerisms that give his state away at times but someone who hasn’t been in the state wouldn’t notice them for what they are.”

        • I do wonder why someone like Eckhart Tolle who is worth 15 million dollars, all of which he has made on his sale of enlightenment, would not arrive at a point where he either retires from the public gaze to work silently, or offers his work henceforth pro bono, so that all manners of people from every socio-economic class can have access to the great news. 1000 bucks for a Tolle residential is outside the possibility of many if not most people. I don’t particularly warm to him as a person anyway, but the critique is applicable to other teachers too.

          • Agree with AD here; also, Tolle doesn’t offer much by way of social commentary, I presume?

            also curious to hear what the magical mannerisms might be

          • to be honest, I read Tolle a decade ago and didn’t really feel he helped me. I feel like people need more …people need to realise on a mental level that they are worth something and deserve esteem, rather than just say “oh well, I’m worth nothing, but it’s ok, because I can be present with the feelings and not get attached to them”.
            For example I have a couple of disabilities and I have founf much more peace and empowerment in meeting the progressive..”social justice” disability community online and feeling convinced that we have a right to a place in society. Rather than “oh well, I’m crap, but at least I’m present with the feeling of being crap”

        • There is only one sure test for Enlightenment. It tests for embodiment. Those who, through words, are able to convince others, if not embodied will fail. Whole conferences for so-called mystic presenters (actually, book writers and readers) would fall if the test was administered.

      • Ok, I’ll point out a few examples of what I’m talking about. I don’t have time to look through large numbers of Tolle videos and I’ve seen better than these examples, but they’ll have to do. Take a look at the following video:

        [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPvo84-TM58[/URL]

        Notice the little breathy giggles at the very beginning and between 11:45 and 12:00, especially at 11:53 and 11:57. These are a clear sign that Tolle is established in emptiness. Breathing takes on a magical quality when in this state and the little giggles are a product of the perception of emptiness and the ineffable joy that arises from the state. A person in this state can usually be observed to have a very deep breathing pattern as well. It’s not true that there are no signs that can be seen regarding a persons state, but somebody who has not experienced the state will not understand what they are seeing. Another manifestation of this state is a tendency towards extreme spontaneity and again this is driven by the ineffable joy that flows from the state.

        Tolle also makes sense with regards to what he teaches. I’ve not come across him saying anything ridiculous, hiding behind impenetrable sentences and language or using endless buzzwords which always makes me suspiscious of a teacher

        P.S. I’ve been tried to reply numerous times but my replies keep disappearing so I’ve used a the name A Green instead.

        • I don’t know why this one got spammed – i only found it by chance; if there are too many links a comment gets spammed but this only has one…. Probably the use of html code….

  13. Yes I am confident it will all come out in the wash and be worth it in the end

    This has already proven to be an efficient, if uncomfortable, delousing process, for me at least. By extension, I hope that Auticulture is becoming a safer structure for the auties it was built to house.

  14. Since they involve me (but of course, are very much Jasun’s personal views), I have been watching the comments appearing in this and the related post, like a 24 hour time-lapse video of Trafalgar Square on New Year’s Eve.

    First came the tourists and pidgeon feeders during the day, followed at night by happy revellers, drunks, screaming queens, street cleaners hosing the paving stones and clearing out the trash, and finally calm, peace and common sense. That’s Jasun’s wish, as I have understood the method in his open house madness policy.

    I started to wonder if anything could be said that was useful and found that my comment became a reflection on the problems of internet communication, language, cognition and rediscovering our own truth. Instead of hogging the page, I’ll post a link to it so that readers have an opt-in rather than have to opt-out:

    https://www.daveoshana.com/articles/182-finding-truth-when-language-lies-beyond-mind-babel

    • Thank you for posting. That was the first time I read one of your articles. I enjoyed the lack of pretense

  15. Hey Jasun,
    It’s OK with me if you have friends! 😉 It doesn’t matter whether I approve of Dave or not, and no one asked me, so I’m not sure where all the controversy comes from.
    You did ask, ‘why are we (all) here?’
    Speaking only for myself, I find that you are a prolific and unorthodox writer with a lot of insights into what is going on in this Age Of Really Stupid Stupidity in which we all live.
    I don’t agree with everything you have written, but to me that’s OK.

    Truth walks, bullshit talks. What have YOU expended your life on so far? What I see is that you spend a huge amount of time seeking truth on the behalf of mostly strangers. It probably consumes most of your free time. And in your working hours you operate a thrift store where you often meet the needs of difficult people. I know this because I stop by a few times a year and see your interactions with other shoppers and the interactions of other staff with them–all highly commendable. And all this from a personal past of extreme difficulty and tragedy.

    IMHO, there have got to be huge tidal waves of good karma rolling your way, and I will add my best wishes to them. Keep up the good work, young man.

    As for the Dave critics/adverse commenters, at the root of it, are expressing concern for your well-being. Other than to say “be careful,” I think I will trust your judgement and continue to read what you have to say.

    Sorry to miss your open forum today– I have to work unfortunately.

    Best,
    Aibo

  16. Hi, I’m MikeB. You may remember me from such episodes as # 174: Navigating by Movie Stars and # 56.5: Pied Pipers of Trauma.

    I’ve come to experience auticulture like I experience my blueberry bushes. They are just there, growing. Sometimes it is dry and I give them water. Most of the berries feed the birds, but sometimes I pick and eat them. And like, who questions the growth of plants ? They know what’s up.

    Also, worst case hypothetical. Let’s say it’s like a nightmare repeat of JDR. You loose your readers and listeners. Book sales cease. As long as you are truthful with yourself and the humans in your daily experience you are on the right foot.

    And learning from mistakes/improving conduct (or whatever) is one of the most interesting things about waking-up everyday. It’s like mini reincarnation with memory.

    • Great comment, a flute of reason carried on the breeze. I esp like the Freudian typo of “loose your readers & listeners.”

      May they always go where the pickings are juicy.

      • Heh, and I bought a Java™ cigar yesterday..

        To stick to our esoteric, ahem, roots around here, the fascinating thing about plants is, yes, we share physical space with them, but we also share non-physical space with them. I mean, it’s one thing to grok that about humans and animals, but plants.. rocks.. now that’s juicy.

        *Insert reference to Rudolf Steiner lecture here*

  17. Hi Jasun,

    It’s good to see such openness about your experiences with Dave. I can certainly understand the concerns of some commenters, having recently found out that a guru I was involved with a time (Mooji, whose avatar seems intricately designed to appeal to white hippies in a way unseen since Osho), has been accused of all the usual guru-improprieties, as well as a view eccentric ones, such as in one case, heron slaying (https://gurumag.com/becoming-god-inside-moojis-portugal-cult/). However, what I’ve seen of Dave so far seems refreshing and interesting. Blessings to you both.

    This bit:
    “This sort of counterfeit awakening allows a lack of ordinary human interest or engagement to pass for spiritual attainment. It also makes for some quite inadvertently cruel and condescending comments under the guise of “caring.” Unconsciousness is the most dangerous thing there is.”

    And the discussion in which it was brought up connected with me concerning the pathological aspect of the world-denial that comes with many a spiritual practice. Mooji is a very interesting case study in this respect, because he works on many levels for many people: those in need of a light spiritual ‘hit’ every now and then from a short, feelgood video can get it, as his rhetoric is sufficiently sweet and easy to accommodate that; but for those more desperate or more vulnerable, there are enough subtle messages of guilt, repression, sin, and obligation to draw them into a deeply unhealthy relationship based on control, co-dependency, and manipulation.

    I didn’t eventually get drawn into visiting his ashram – to do so seemed like work, and by the end I found his satsangs boring and repetitive; it was more of a sense of obligation that kept me following him. However, my initial passion for enlightenment caught his eye, and at one point he seemed to be marking me out as a potential ‘candidate’. It could be interesting to compare notes regarding your experiences with JdR sometime…

    Onwards and upwards, amigo.

    Saludos,

    Luke

  18. Jasun, thank you for being you and for putting yourself out there. I love you for all that you are and are not. I love Dave Oshana for all that he is and all that he represents. Those who do not understand will protest as will those who understand. Dave is so much more than a guru and you know this. Your audience’s understanding is just another story.

    • Thanks Laurie. & to everyone who’s offered support & been open to the (apparently) impossible and (literally) unthinkable.

  19. I listened to your conversation with Dave O and thought he seemed like one of those guys you meet once or twice in a lifetime who is really tapped into some stuff and is happy to share. Go hard, Dave.

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