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Contributed by an ex-tipper, thank you!

An ex-tipper wrote: "I just love Eckhart Tolle! I have been reading his new book entitled " A New Earth " and thought I'd take the opportunity to write out here a sub chapter called Pathological Forms of Ego. I'll leave it up to you to decide who it may be describing!"

Excerpt: "As we have seen the ego is in it's essential nature pathological, if we use the word in its wider sense to denote dysfunction and suffering. Many mental disorders consist of the same egoic traits that operate in a normal person, except that they have become so pronounced that their pathololgical nature is now obvious to anyone, except the sufferer.

For example, many normal people tell certain kinds of lies from time to time in order to enhance their image in the mind of others: who they know, what their achievments, abilities and possessions are, and whatever else the ego uses to identify with. Some people, however, driven by the ego's feeling of insufficiency and it's need to have or be "more", lie habitually and compulsively. Most of what they tell you abut themselves, their story, is a complete fantasy, a fictitious edifice the ego has designed for itself to feel bigger, more special. Their grandiose and inflated self-image can sometimes fool others, but usually not for long. It is then quickly recognized by most people as a complete fiction.

The mental illness that is called paranoid schizophrenia, or paranoia for short, is essentially an exaggerated form of ego. It usually consists of a fictitious story the mind has invented to make sense of a persistent underlying feeling of fear. The main element of the story is the belief that certain people (sometimes large numbers or almost everyone) are plotting against me, or are conspiring to control or kill me. The story often has an inner consistency and logic so that it sometimes fools others into believing it too. Sometimes organizations or entire nations have paranoid belief systems at their very basis. The ego's fear and distrust of other people, it's tendency to emphasize the "otherness" of others by focusing on their perceived faults and make those faults into their identity, is taken a little further and makes others into inhuman monsters. The ego needs others, but it's dilemma is that deep down it hates and fears them.

Jean-Paul Sartre's statement " Hell is other people" is the voice of the ego. The person suffering from paranoia experiences that hell most acutely, but everyone in whom the egoic patterns still operate will feel it to some degree. The stronger the ego in you, the more likely that you will make life difficult for others. But of course you won't be able to see that. It is always others who seem to be doing it to you. The mental illness we call paranoia also manifests another symptom that is an element of every ego, although in paranoia it takes on a more extreme form. The more the sufferer sees himself persecuted, spied on, or threatened by others the more pronounced becomes his sense of being the center of the universe around whom everything revolves, and the more special and important he feels as the imagined focal point of so many people's attention. His sense of being a victim, of being wronged by so many people, makes him feel very special. In the story that forms the basis of his delusional system, he often assigns to himself the role of both victim and potential hero who is going to save the world or defeat the forces of evil.

The collective ego of tribes, nations, and religious organizations also frequently contains a strong element of paranoia: us against the evil others. It is the cause of much human suffering. The Spanish Inquisition, the persecution and burning of heretics and "witches," the relations between nations leading up to the First and Second World Wars, Communisim throughout its history, the "Cold War," McCarthyism in America in the 1950's,prolonged violent conflict in the Middle East are all painful episodes in human history dominated by extreme collective paranoia.

The more unconscious individuals, groups, or nations are, the more likely it is that egoic pathology will assume the form of violence. Violence is a primitive but still very widespread way in which the ego attempts to assert itself, to prove itself right and
another wrong. With very unconscious people, arguments can easily lead to physical violence. What is an argument? Two or more people express thir opinions and those opinions differ.
Each person is so identified with the thoughts that make up their opinion, that those thoughts harden into mental positions which are invested with a sense of self. In other words: Identity and thought merge. Once this has happened, when I defend my opinions (thoughts), I feel and act as if I were defending my very self.

Unconsciously, I feel and act as if I were fighting for survival and so my emotions will reflect this unconscious belief. They become turbulent. I am upset, angry, defensive, or aggressive. I need to win at all cost lest I become annihilated. That's the illusion. The ego doesn't know that mind and mental positions have nothing to do with who you are because the ego is the unobserved mind itself. In Zen they say: " Don't seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions." What does that mean? Let go of identification with your mind. Who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself.'

Woooh! that was a lot of typing! So rich I find these words. Clear and very illuminating on some of the dynamics that from my perspective were central in the founder of tip."
In response to a recent post about the value of freedom of speech, opinions and the process of democracy, it's so true, open discourse is the only way to learn about ourselves and others. It's the path of freedom and at the same time when productive leads to collective consensus, ie democracy. Trainers will not discuss what they perceive to be negativity directed against the training (it is said that this is 'pulling' on them). The confusion that disagreement is negativity is at the root of the training's secrecy dynamic. An important point in defining thought control is whether a person or an organization is willing to discuss issues brought to them or not. Trainers continue to conform to the taboo on open discussion.

The fight or flight (fear) response is meant to keep us alive, but this natural mechanism is part of this conformity problem. We all adopted a few (or a lot of) external rules or beliefs to be safe (or survive). For many, the result of years of suppressing their own feelings and speech results in 'not knowing who they really are'. It is said in Level one that you will come to know 'who your really are' if you train. Even if people think they know, they are convinced by the time they have taken Faye's courses that they don't, and feel they must keep taking courses in order to know the real truth of their life. Faye catches people's longing, resentment, rebellion and insecurity, and directs it into her projected battle of good/evil. People feel special, secure and productive in being given this special task of battling evil in the mentality of the conforming masses (really their own buried authority issues). But alas they will never know who they really are until they too wake up to the controls of the training and begin to let in healthy discourse for themselves and others.
Here's to the many who are increasingly aware and finding positive ways to focus and re-construct their lives to make a difference out there in the real world.

Those of us who break through our own conditioning, (who learn to better see the reality of the personal and cultural dynamics of abuse) start to find ways to act and educate, big or small.

A government or a person that allows abuses to happen because of either lack of awareness or vested interest is betraying its people, and so often the people become convinced it’s normal. I like the term 'adaptive blindness' below, because it describes how people numb out reality and thus accountability. For example, our tax system here is abusive because most people cannot wade through the thousands of tax laws themselves! It is so confusing that most cannot do their own taxes. People complain but think it’s just normal.

Betrayal trauma is a twisted perception in which people can be convinced that an authority who abuses has their best interest at heart and even align with them for help. In other words people will numb out, disassociate that part. ContinuedCollapse )

Us then and Us NOW; We're Healthy

I just re-read a piece from the "Guru Papers' toward the bottom of 'Prohetic Charisma' on the Lessons In Awareness site at http://home.comcast.net/~dkmuir/

From this material you can see why trainers cannot see what has happened to them, and why we are so blessed to be able to form new ways of relating in our lives. The dynamics of how we were enticed to surrender in the training are very obvious now, but nevertheless this experience can make trusting more difficult until we re-find our footing. We've learned so much.

I'll summarize these amazing dynamics with excerpts:

"The most enticing message to induce surrender is that only in this way can one achieve true spiritual advancement [e.g., "the only way to hear us properly and to make the needed personal changes is by `suspending judgment.'"].

"After the newness of conversion wears off, some doubt may return. To maintain allegiance, a support system that reinforces people's new identity is crucial. Power within the group is gained by deepening surrender to the guru, and members reward each other for making the group the priority. Deepening surrender does feel like letting go of ego and is defined by the guru as spiritual progress.

Secrecy and arousing desire are important parts of the seduction. The guru dangles carrots of esoteric knowledge that he will transmit when he deems the disciple `ready.' Waiting for each new piece of hidden knowledge not only keep devotees around, but receiving pieces of it (one never gets it all) confirms their worthiness and specialness. Now they, too, have knowledge that others do not."read moreCollapse )

From Theun Mares

Freedom vs Shamanism

Quoted from Mares: "In response to on-going questions posed by many readers, I would like to clarify some of the misconceptions surrounding the relationship between Carlos Castaneda and his teacher Juan Matus. In the first place I would like to point out that Don Juan was indeed an utterly impeccable warrior dedicated to the Path of Freedom, and nagal of the Toltec tradition. On the other hand, Carlos Castaneda, as is clear from his books, was not interested in freedom, but rather in the Path of High Adventure and sorcery/shamanism."

ContinueCollapse )

Exposure VS. Blame

I was reminded by a gentle Hawaiian healer that I can do the right thing, bring attention to the dysfunctional practices of the training, without buying into any battle, internal or external. Caring about truth is enough. By keeping compassion in my heart, exposure need not contain blame or judgment. It is an attempt at co-creation.

There is much confusion between exposure and blame. Many times they are equated, but they are not the same; blame is being a victim and rides on wounding, exposure is exposure. Blame is unhealed anger, period. I know, I’ve been there.

Exposure is asking for the resolution of a problem. Trainers have said that any criticism of the training is blame, retaliation, revenge, entitlement or a wounded inner child, and want people to walk away quietly. This allows trainers to stay in denial about what ex-members are pointing to.

The concept of ‘attack’ is a disguised form of blame. It allows you to say it’s not your fault. A chronic victim will blame others to avoid change and accountability, allowing them to continue to do what they do. Their lives are one battle after another, one rationalized defense after another, because someone is always doing something to them.

To hold feedback at bay only builds it up. The Lessons in Awareness site is the result of this build up.

Exposure will continue, without blame.
Thanks XXXXX for mentioning this healer. I had a session with him too and he is love personified. Sincere, effective and what incredible body work he does. Hawaiian warmth with a bit of ouch! This experience allowed me to realize how deep the battle goes in our psyche and thus our body, and how it hurts us.

The training imposed on our psyche that life is a battle; we were to battle for ourselves, for Faye, and for the training, and thus we would be successful in battling evil in the world. This is sacrifice. Battle gives trainers a hard edge, it wears them out. The adrenals. Battle feeds on the addiction to battle. All this battle has produced is a rigid, vicious cycle of blame and accuse that sabotages any other way. We left those we love because we realized it was control, not true power, and it wasn't moving. Someone recently mused…. have we done this for lifetimes, have we tried to show her that this battle is really not necessary, an illusion she creates?

In a system of healing, one can develop courage within as well as effectiveness, without the focus on battle & battle terminology. Strike. Confrontation. These are battle words confused with love. It confuses the inner psyche. Strike means love. Confrontation means love. (But watch who you confront, for if it is seen as disagreement you will be seen as attacking)

Faye always said there is nothing better to do here on this planet than her work, and for her this may be true, but she has not listened to the feedback that is telling her that something isn't right with her system. Trying to methodically forge people into herself, not honoring their individual paths, is what creates the never-ending battle! Giving people a brilliant structure to address their own issues is one thing, using fear, anger and guilt, personally and in lecture material, to manipulate people to conform to your own construct of rules is another ballgame. It is possible to heal this split, but it would need to be looked at first.

It is this battle that produces the need to manipulate; it’s a manipulative threat to say you can "fall" from any level, that you'll let go of and forget the teachings, and go 'back to sleep' if you leave. Faye creates her own self-fulfilling prophecy by the universal ‘what you focus on expands’. When these manipulations are seen, it is true that I, and others, let the dogma go, as if we were letting go of any dogmatic religion that reprimands and punishes for being an independent soul. We continue to leave to show her there was something very wrong. She need not lose people!

This can change. This energy of control can change in the training by the founder's willingness to accept feedback, like everyone else has had to do in order to get healthy. The teacher must be willing to ask herself honestly what isn’t working, because the feedback will not go away.

The “Lessons in Awareness” website is telling the teacher something she has ignored for a long time. It's a bigger feedback now, a growing feedback.

Working WITH others in truth may mean conflict, but it is the only way to learn health and integrity with each other. If the teacher surrenders the battle to look at this information, and stops holding critical feedback at bay by blame and accuse, she will know I am not the enemy, and never was. Alas, in metaphysical terms, how many lifetimes does it take to work this out?

The Mormons

Yes, great posts (on the yahoo group site), giving us more and more clarity about Training in Power. I'm just now getting around to reading a book about the Mormons. Now I know why xxxx listed the LDS Lampoon in the links on our site!!! The book I'm reading is "Gathering of Saints", and I can see the similarities with the group dynamics in TIP. Hierarchy, THE truth, control over critical analysis, expectations of blind obedience to elder's interpretation & judgments, the battle with the enemy (includes all who are perceived to be 'against' them) and rote repetition of doctrine (the tale of salvation created by Joseph Smith).

Members must 'give testimony' in public that they believe in him and that he spoke the one and Only truth. It is their unquestioning faith in this story that will get these chosen ones into the life everlasting. Members are also given a `lineage' which is arbitrarily assigned by elders.

As soon as kids can talk they begin to repeat this doctrine. I really feel for those brought up in this brainwashing because waking up is a huge battle within themselves and then with family and friends they have been with their whole lives.

It's been stated in various ways by `visionaries' that a critical mass is forming to do with freedom from control, and there is just no way that the secrecy holding these controls in place can remain secret because of all the information now being shared in public through the internet. Once the controls & secrets are out and being talked about, it gives more and more people the courage to resist the pressure of conformity.

What we have gone through gives us knowledge, as xxxxx said, to help others to find their courage and freedom, to uphold their basic right to input in any group. This assistence requires our own healing, great patience and getting out of our own way to be able to educate others and at the same time respect where they are, in spite of what they do. xxxxxx's story of her friend who left the training 5 years after she did was an excellent example of what it takes.

As with Mormon programming, our programming from TIP is very real and although we sense it, we can only see it fully with time and distance. (This breaking away from the conformity of the group is seen as 'falling') The long years of structure the training gave our lives has to be replaced. That's the task of recovery. We were conditioned slowly out of our own lives & bodies and trained to absorb the training's values. Now, moment by moment, we must get our own values back, as well as our own structure. I'll repeat what others have said, it takes time for the obsessive thoughts, the daily remembrances, to diminish, but they do. And as we re-create our life structure, we will do it deeper and richer for the experience.

This experience forced me to deepen my feelings in ways I wouldn't have; through suffering I learned greater choice. I learned I had to choose a different feeling in the moment or my own pitiful feelings would run my life as a victim (which is the focus of the training). I had to choose to take action and get back into life with others and it was only then, with a conscious focus outside my own pain, that life itself began to reflect back to me its value and rewards rather than pain and battle, which was a default setting in the training. When one is filled with dogma, it is difficult to experience the deeper joy of truly relating and being present with others. Life reflects back to us how we perceive the world, and being out of dogma is freedom.

A word about victim consciousness; self-absorption in recovery can prolong the process. Find the `sorcery' line xxxxx was talking about and sever it as many times as it takes, but don't allow yourself to indulge any longer than it takes you to say blah blah blah. Story from xxxxxx: pick an A partner and a B partner. A tells B the woes of the day in the form of "Blah Blah Blah, Blah Blah, Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah….

Then it's B's turn to tell their sorry story, and A says Blah, Blah Blah……Blah Blah Blah. Laughter is the best medicine to clear our system, laughing at ourselves and our sad tales of woe. "Woe is me" is the only result that can come of seeing the world as a battle.

We'll each find our own inspirations and our own way back.