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More Andrew Cohen: Never on the Rails to Begin With
Shanti: Hi, James. Thank you for your kindness. I’m just finishing reading your book. It’s super-clarifying for me and shows pretty much point-by-point where Andrew Cohen went off the rails with his teaching. It’s a big relief to hear from you that he was never actually on the rails to begin with. Ironically, Andrew always maintained that our experiences of bliss, kundalini or whatever were not important, but offered zip instruction on why they weren’t important. Little did we know that at the same time he was teaching very much from an experiential place himself and unable to help us with the “why” part. In all I’m very grateful to Andrew for showing me what an enlightenment teaching isn’t. It’s taken me 20 years, but I feel I’m ready to start over. Thank you again for your care and interest in the Andrew fallout and misunderstanding. For those of us who have suffered with confusion and self-blame for years, it really helps.
James: Your attitude of gratitude is inspiring, Shanti! There is nothing better than an open mind. Vedanta comes when one is ready. Yes, it’s all about the “why.” An inquirer needs to have the unexamined logic of his or her own experience carefully unfolded and a method to actualize that logic in one’s daily life. How can you actualize the vision of non-duality if you don’t understand the relationship between the mind, the world and the self? He is not a bad man, just someone who does not understand who he is either as a jiva or as the self – so sad. If he was actually “enlightened” he would have valued the dharma of non-injury, which is the basis of all other universal values, and he would be respected now instead of reviled. One should always think the best, but gurus are often in thrall to guru-dom, which they usually see as an opportunity to get from enlightenment what they couldn’t get from endarkenment. Consequently they won’t learn what they need to learn. They think they are beyond it all, yet when they get a whack from Isvara they don’t take it as prasad and learn their lesson as do truly enlightened people. He should be happy to be free of his position, but I think he still wants to get it back. Sadly, for his ego the cat is out of the bag. It will never be the same. It can never be the same. Isvara has spoken and there is a new reality.
~ Much love, James