Monday, February 05, 2007

More on Theta healing

Having mused over my experiences with Theta Healing and the course I did, and states of consciousness experienced, I've got some extra things to add to yesterday's comments. Moreover, last night I read some of volume 5 of Mother's Agenda, and was struck by the very different perspective.

Before going further, I would like to comment, re the "family resemblance", that Theta Healing should not be seen as equal to the work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, and coming from the same Source (except inasmuch as everything is ultimately from the same source). Rather, to clarify, in my Aurocentric understanding, it isn't that Theta Healing is directly attuned to the Supramental descent, but rather that the Supramental Descent brought about by The Mother made possible a number of other things, such as the New Age movement, Theta Healing, etc.

The interesting thing about Theta Healing is that like New Thought and The New Age, it is based very much on an "abundance theology", which comes from a contemporary Western Christian theology, and is also found albeit in a more perverted form in Televangelism (with multimillionaire pastors), and in materialistic applications of Nichiren Buddhism. The idea is (to put it faceitiously) that God is a sort of cosmic bellboy, or Santa Claus in the sky. You just ask and he brings up your order. (Sure I know this is a cliche and it doesn't work this way in the New Age, or even in a lot of evangelicism. In the New Age - Shirley Maclean, Theta Healing, etc, the idea is that you are one with the Creator, and hence it is ultimately you doing teh creating).

In contrast Eastern philosophy and religion, like medieval western (e.g. Catholic etc), is based on a "poverty consciousness"; the idea that to get close to God you have to live in poverty and denial; like the vows that Catholic nuns take. It is the same thing in the East; e.g. Ramakrishna's statement regarding the pernicious desire for "woman and gold", and that you have to give up desires for these things (and similar) if you want to attain enlightenment.

Now, I am not saying that voluntary poverty, celibacy, ascetism, etc are necessarily bad. Perhaps these things were necessary in those days, as a sort of self-discipline. And maybe it didn't make such a big difference anyway, because the standard of living was so low regardless. And perhaps they still are necessary now for people of a certain psychological disposition, or wish to follow and extremely pure spiritual path. Or perhaps it was always a misinterpretation of what the enlightened sages said; because Jesus and Buddha didn't need those things, it therefore becomes a dogma that no-one should. Or maybe it's a mixture of everything.

Regardless of whether all this applies or not to others, one of the things this Theta Healing course really brought home to me is my own subconscious guilt trip; the idea that one has to live in restraint in order to progress spiritually, because chasing after material things for their own sake is a form of materialism and egotism (because you are satisfying the ego rather than following the dictates of the soul). And the fact that so many televangelicals are so obviously obscene in their money-grubbing in the name of Jesus, while in contrast the various Eastern sages who had a genuine spirituality lived a life of renunciation, didn't help matters.

Sure on the surface i was happy for material things, but the deep down subconscious causes?

And if renunciation and denial of ego were the answer, why hadn't I progressed, or at least progressed more rapidly? Ironically I feel I've made more progress in the few short days of the course and since, then I made in years previously. e.g. control of temper and (to a lesser degree) impatience. Maybe it is just the "buzz" and after affect of the course, rather than a long term result. Or maybe all those years have prepared me, and without them I would never have made progress now. But re this latter, one cannot say for sure, because it is not possible to rerun one's life one cannot tell in a scientific manner, there is no "control" to the "experiment". Also even if there was, what applies to me may not apply to someone else; everyone's life and destiny and Soul-purpose is different and unique. But I suppose one could make a broad sociological study of Theta graduates etc, and for that manner people who have done New Age style workshops, Reiki, Buddhist retreats, etc etc

One thing I have been doing is replacing the Judaeo-Christian-inspired Theta terminology with Aurobindonian and just my own jargon; this helps a great deal, but whether it would be more powerful for everyone, or just works for me because I'm customising the system to my own personal worldview and thoughtforms, I cannot say (although an Aurobindonian terminology is meaningless if you don't know Integral Yoga). The real challenge of course is to maintain the practice; something I've always had problems with (i.e. it's all about self-discipline and will-power).

So, for now, I am working on the hypothesis that it is not necessary to lead a life of personal self-restriction (whether voluntary, or enforced by life circumstances) in order to progress spiritually, and that in some cases (I am not saying in every case) these are subconscious guilt trips and hang-ups enforced by collective misconceptions. The spiritual life is not about what you have, but what you do with what you have. There are Hindu folk tales of wealthy kings who still lived a very spiritual life, because they weren't attached to their possessions. And Tantric stories of yogis and adepts who would have promiscuous sex but not be bound by attachment (hence many fallen gurus to the West who applied this, but, not being integrally enlightened, ended up becoming abusive gurus, because their actions were not perfect and pure and spontaneous).

So we need to distinguish between ascetism and renunciation. You can be an ascetic but still desire things, in which case your ascetism is a waste of time. Or you can be a renunciate and possess everything, and enjoy those things, but because you are not attached to them you don't become a slave to them, and hence can still aspire for and attain enlightenment and beyond.

The ascetic ideal developed in the West it seems through dualistic sects like the Essenes and the Gnostics, who considered that this world was evil, and therefore one should have as little as possible to do with it, so as to attain freedom of the soul. If Jesus was an essene (and some have argued he was, others he wasn't; the meme that he was seems to come mostly from Edgar Cayce) that explains why he taught ascetism, in contrast to mainstream Judaism which was and is world- and life- affirming. This is why Christianity has such a big thing about guilt regarding sex and in Catholicism, etc money. In Calvinism however there is the idea of God's elect being wealthy, hence the Protestant work ethic and the Western, especially American (being founded by puritans fleeing religious persecution) consumerist society.

While in ancient India there were the forest renunciates, and people like Mahavira and Buddha, who also taught an ascetic lifestyle. Through these memes, Hinduism also became world-negating, considering that the phenomenal reality is ultimately Maya and that it is necessary to renounce everything to achieve Liberation.

In China, Taoist quietism was the equivalent form of ascetism, while Confucianism represented the this-worldly emphasis on social mores and filial-duties (in the second half of the 20th century this was replaced by Maoism and now by totalitarian consumerism).

But now we are finally able to move away from the meme that voluntary self-restriction is necessary for individual spirituality, or for global transformation. A whole new perspective is needed on things, something that avoids the extremes of empty and gluttonous consumerism on the one hand, and world-negative spirituality on the other. And really, this is what Sri Aurobindo is saying too, when he begins The Life Divine with a study of the two negations, the Materialist and the Ascetic. Both have a partial truth, neither has the complete truth.

Just as with systems like Theta Yoga, these should not be taken as literal dogmas (I saw people at the course believing it literally) but as useful systems, to be incorporated into and used as a form of spiritual practice. I can easily imagine Theta Healing becoming just one more New Age religion, and that is something I want absolutely no part of. But as a set of very useful tools for the clearing of negative beliefs and establishment of more constructive beliefs, in order to create a more healthy reality, in the best tradition of the New Age (we are co-creators) rather than the worst (pseudo-spiritual consumerism and uncritical belief and worship of some new age teacher or guru) it is something that is valuable and, I believe, can and perhaps is contributing in its own way to the healing of the Earth, and getting us over this current global crisis, in a way that is best for all beings, and in accordance with the Divine Plan.


Blogger Lux said...

Hi Alan,
I am interested if you can elaborate your Aurobindonian terminology in explaining Theta Healing. I am familiar with Sri Aurobindo's work for more than 30 years, and had no idea of Theta Healing until your article here. So, please explain what's the method of Theta Healing to induce a Theta brain state and how to modify very rooted beliefs, and use Aurobindo's terms if this makes more clear how it works.
All the best.

8:28 AM  
Blogger m alan kazlev said...

hi Clara

A lot of Theta Healing is mental dogma, as in everything these are props to help the subconscious believe it works (because if the subconscious believes it works then it does work, the placebo effect). It is like Reiki or anything else, you have a core practice that is very powerful, and around that a lot of mental accretion or encrustation that comes with it, and with any healing modality and any practice at all (with Reiki it is that you have to trace the various symbols etc). It is not that this baggage serves no purpose; it helps you contact the Formation of that practice in the first place. To transcend something you first have to immerse yourself in it. So the key is to first learn the method, even just in a cursory way, enough to establish contact with that Formation, and then you can customise it accordingly. Whether or not theta healing really does bring about the theta brainwave state in the practitioner is irrelevant to me; what matters is that i can use this technique to heal myself, essentially, reprogram my "physical mind" as The Mother refers to it (Agenda vol 6 (1965) pp.229-30, for its neuroses see pp.190-4) and therefore also to heal other beings. (some equivalent terms would be the Lower Self of Huna (especially those Max Freedom Long books), and the "The Double" according to my friend Steven Guth) Because in healing ourselves we heal others, and in healing others we heal ourselves; it is a big web of interconnections.

Re explaining the Method, well it isn't about the words; the method in words is just another version of New Thought, A Course in Miracles, etc etc. You have to do the course. When you do it you get "initiated" by the energy and collective consciousness and the power of the instructor (if you have a good instructor, I was very impressed with Simon Rose, he has a lot of power). That's what enables you to do the technique. You can read books or have someone explain it or look it up on the web and its not the same. I have come to realise this is how all these healing modalities work. Also this is how I received Ramana Maharshi's light, through sitting near Gangaji and being receptive to what she was transmitting. If I hadn't've gone to her talks I would never have received the transmission of Sri Ramana.

At a number of places in The Agenda, The Mother talks about "contagion", about how when she made a breakthrough in the yoga of the cells in her own body that influenced others who were receptive all over the world. I suppose this is like that, but being in the person's person's presence the influence of the "contagion" is stronger.

Hope this explains things!


4:39 PM  
Blogger Lux said...

Thanks a lot, Alan.
I see what you mean, and actually the contagion phenomena is something I already thought long ago about the effectiveness of any spiritual teachings, that's why the presence of the teacher is important, although contagious can happen distantly if there's enough faith/trust, since it's anyway a matter of faith for the contagious happen (you know, that is what darshan is about, and shakti is what carries the teaching being transmitted). So, I understand your point in advising go there and take the initiation from the group or teacher. But you can also do the transmission to another, once you have it working! So back to base one. Regarding the 'core practice' that you mention, I don't see how translates in Theta method or in Reiki method, since what other 'core' there is besides believing it works?
I am a Reiki teacher, by the way.
Best regards, love and light!

6:27 PM  
Blogger alon soxochit said...

theta healing is a new find for me. I’m very much fascinated by the human mind and the nature by which it operates. Reading and knowing more about this lessens the skepticism I feel, and gradually, I’m beginning to accept this as a relevant form of healing for both the body and soul.

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