Oh Yes, Time Will Tell
On our Indian counter-blog you can read the following post. I have interspersed some comments, to which I hope to get some replies. Finally, some good old-fashioned arguments!
Time will tell
I strongly believe that a sign of a matured mind is to have a balanced and a universal perspective towards everything that one comes across in life.
Yes… No argument there.
As a movement gains enormous popularity it is but natural that it attracts criticism.
Still no argument. I completely agree.
According to me it does not take even a fair amount of creativity to put down something.
So true! No argument there!
We live in a world where the embodiment of love was crucified and even the lives of the greatest scientists were not spared because they spoke the truth.
Yes. 2000 years ago, Jesus was persecuted by religious zealots, because He dared to criticize the establishment. And people of faith have always fought and killed scientists, and free thinkers. Still no argument!
There is no denying the fact that the Art of Living has been tremendously successful in bringing about a great transformation in the lives of millions of people from all over the world.
Millions? Really? Great transformation? You could say the same thing about Oprah or Dr. Phil. When giving statements like that, you have to come up with some proof to back them up. Anything else would be very unscientific. And please define Great Transformation.
I have myself met many people who have completely given up addictions like smoking, drinking, drugs just a few days after taking up the first Art of Living course, and will shortly be putting up their testimonials on this blog.
I too have met many people who have quit drugs, alcohol and smoking… all by themselves, without any yoga, breathing, meditation or Guru’s Grace. Point being: if you knew anything about science, you would know that you can’t deduct anything from testimonials. You need proper research. We still need to see that. Even the research presented on www.aolresearch.org is substandard and biased. Find a non-AOL scientist to evaluate it, if you don’t belive me.
How can anybody just discard all these experiences as delusional or false or a marketing gimmick? The stories of transformation are no doubt real and irrefutable.
So are the stories of spiritual abuse. I am not saying that some people don’t have good experiences. You, on the other hand, do not seem to acknowledge the fact that quite a lot of people have had extremely traumatic experiences in AOL.
On the other hand most of the critical observation some people have made seems to be overtly exaggerated, the stories seem to be made up just to sound scandalous and there does not seem to be any mention of any of the positive aspects of Art of Living or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
How come you don’t hear any mention of any of the negative aspects of Ravi Shankar, in the organisation? Oh, I am sorry, I forgot: because he is infallible, and therefore beyond criticism.
Such one sided, evidence less, biased observations seem to be unreal to a rational mind.
Unless we tell our story, your observations will be one sided and biased. In fact, almost unreal to a rational mind. Maybe if we had been allowed to voice our concerns in the organisation, we wouldn’t have to do it here.
One thing that creates problems for the Art of Living as an organization is that it seems to be quite loosely structured.
In my opinion, what creates problems for AOL is its hierarchial structure, with one person in complete power and no accountability.
There are no fixed criteria for a person to be a representative of Art of Living as a volunteer.
Except blind faith in the Guru and complete surrender of your free will, especially if you want to teach the course.
There is hardly any specific hierarchy amongst the teachers and as human beings come together and work together especially in such a framework errors are bound to happen.
There is a lot of hierarchy amongst teachers. I know. I was one. There is also a lot of bad management in AOL, incompetent people put in charge by Ravi Shankar himself. No wonder errors happen in abundance.
As Sri Sri has been known to quote on occasion the event (that was being organized) was mesmerizing but behind the scenes things were a mess.
I certainly agree to the mess behind the scenes. Any other organisation would have fired the CEO responsible for such incompetence. As to the mesmerization, that is quite often AOL whishful thinking. Some people are touched, a lot are left untouched and even put off by the stiff smiles and hidden agendas. Many people leave the guru’s public talks bored and disappointed. Silver Jubilee celebrations, the event of the century, was a nightmare of dis-organisation, boring, embarrasing, and completely lacking any spritual depth.
It has been 29 years and Art of Living is moving from strength to strength.
And using up innocent people on the way.
Totally undeterred, it is making its own way through various obstacles.
Yes, that is what we were, once we started voicing our concerns about where the guru’s authoritarian powerwielding would take us -obstacles. Listen up: We may not be so easy to move.
Ultimately only Time will tell how genuine this movement is and how long it lasts.
It is so nice, to end this with another agreement. Oh yes, J. Time will definitely tell!