Bob current, modified 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 2:02 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 2:02 PM


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Kumare: newly released documentary with some good insights into the guru wisdom industry and the "clientele" it attracts; Audience Award Winner at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and official selection of the 2011 Hot Docs Festival.

Link to trailer: http://kumaremovie.com/

"be islands unto yourself ... tread the path with care ..."
katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 2:34 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 2:34 PM

RE: kumare

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Here is Vikram Gandhi on TEDtalks in Grand Rapids:

"be islands unto yourself ... tread the path with care ..."

Welcome to the DhO/
Change A, modified 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 3:27 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 3:25 PM

RE: kumare

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
It was funny watching Vikram talking about how he came up with the words and symbols which he would use. I couldn't help but think about the identity who coined the term "pure intent" all those years ago!!

What if Vikram hadn't told the truth but kept going along with it? Though meeting people face to face everyday does make it harder to keep up the facade, keeping a website and selectively meeting people makes it much easier.

Also, I think the oo-aa-aaee symbol is 180 degree opposite to the symbol om ;)
katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 5:10 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 4:52 PM

RE: kumare

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
I do not know what people in the documentary have experienced by learning that Kumaré was a man's deliberate character faking a reality among their own realities: if they felt badly and deceived or if they felt well and actually free to live life mirroring the ideals sought by their actual minds and by now being able to create their idyllic actuality with their own hands, their own faces, their own listening, their own speech, their own bodies, their own thoughts, their own interaction with everything and everyone, ultimately living their joys/wisdom versus projecting wanting someone else to live them; "that everything here is a reflection of what we wanted to see in ourselves." (11:56, from TEDtalk linked above)

I cannot quote the film but for the trailer excerpts: Kumaré "You don't know if I am good/ I am bad; You don't know that." He indicates in the TEDtalk that responsibility people have to know their own stories, then to create them by mirroring in themselves what they project in their want from others (guru, scripture). Even if people have scripture or a guru/teacher - if they are a teacher (such as the rabbi example) - it is their own actual mind engaging the forms based in want/not want.

Avatar, a descending being (10:08, same TED). So what am I descending from my actual mind into physical actuality?

For myself, here I am, a product of recombinant matter in limitlessness. Recombinant limitlessness. To think it, it is, somewhere. Do I need to want/not want in limitlessness?

Human, what do "I" willfully foster in the actual mind? What do I willfully chose to bring into actuality (action, speech, form..)

Anyway, Vikram Ghandi directly addresses how the experience changed him around 14:25m.

[edit: strike-through and color]
edit: "so"
Change A, modified 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 5:15 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 5:15 PM

RE: kumare

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
katy steger:
He indicates in the TEDtalk that responsibility people have to know their own stories, then to create them by mirroring in themselves what they project in their want from others (guru, scripture).

Sounds like this is what happened with "the identity" that went away when the connection between limbic brain and brain stem got severed.

"The identity" came to know its own story, then went on to create it coining terms along the way and in the end coined the ultimate, its own demise! Then no one could blame "the flesh and blood body" as it was "the identity" that did everything all those years ago.

Ha! It is so much fun finding out the story behind the story.
Jason , modified 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 10:23 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/5/12 10:23 PM

RE: kumare

Posts: 342 Join Date: 8/9/11 Recent Posts
I just finished watching Kumare, and had mixed feelings. It really is astonishing how easily duped people are. Kumare reveals that very well. It's easy to see the potential for literally any kind of abuse if the guru illusion were wielded by someone less scrupulous than Vikram. On the other hand, Vikram does perpetrate a kind of abuse. His followers were people who were sincerely looking for help. His teaching is, nobody can help you. Since there are a lot of fake teachers, there is nothing to learn. He replaces traditional illusions with a palatable platitude. Not much of an upgrade.

Also, I would have liked to have heard from some of the people who were not amused. The end titles seem to suggest that everybody benefited and bettered themselves. That seems pretty self-serving on the part of Vikram.

Still, the 'unveiling' was worth it.
Jasmine Marie Engler, modified 11 Years ago at 8/7/12 9:52 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/7/12 9:52 AM

RE: kumare

Posts: 69 Join Date: 5/1/12 Recent Posts

(side note- I posted a comment yesterday that I removed as it made no sense after I had slept for a few hours, but am going to try to say something similar now ;-) )

Are you so certain that people don't want to be duped? We surround ourselves with illusions every day. There are very few people, I've found, that seem to want to see the genuine, unhidden truth. We lie to ourselves, and to those around us, every day, so that we fit a more acceptable image for society. Indeed, even many of those on this site, are only hopeful of taking their inner self out of the lies that they have built up; it seems to be generally accepted that, after coming to these truths, if you "acted" in such a way, in society, without the character that you had previously built for those around you, then you would find dissonance caused around you. I don't think that many people are genuinely interested in the person behind the mask that others wear.
In the case of "Kumare", he had no religious background specifically. But was that truly what people were seeking? He had no native "Indian" upbringing, but, once again, was this at the heart of what those people needed? No. The people thought that only somebody "exotic" could bring them the lesson they needed.
Unfortunately, I just mailed this book home, as I am getting ready to leave, but this is addressed very nicely in "My Ishmael," by Daniel Quinn. In it, the main character, an eleven year old girl, is speaking to a gorilla, who's instructing her on how to save the world. He asks her what she imagined would greet her when she answered his ad in the newspaper, and she tells him all about this daydream of people flying her on a spaceship to a different world, where they studied the success of a superior alien culture. He asked her what she would have done if he were a middle-aged balding man, and she got indignant, and stated that she would have stalked out of the room, knowing that he was "lying" about having the answer to the problems of the planet. Quite simply, it eventually comes out that, as something is flawed within "our" culture, there is a fundamental flaw within "us" that we all share. Therefore, "we" can't possibly know the answer ("we" being anyone residing in the same culture). Ishmael (the gorilla) asked, "Suppose that I tell you that there are people living on Earth, with the answer, right now?" She shifted uncomfortably. She said something to the degree that it didn't feel as comfortable, because that meant that the problem could be solved all along, and we were too stupid to realise it.
So, in this case, their "alien life-force to be studied" was Eastern cultures, Indian specifically. And people felt that they "needed" to have the "answers" to their problems given to them by a native, "exotic", member of that land, because anyone within our own culture, couldn't possibly have the answer, because they are "just as flawed" as we are.
But what did they actually need? It seems to me, that they needed the compassion, the beneficence, if you will, of the intent of another human being. They needed to feel "listened to", and then they provided him with the answers to provide themselves. He gave them the same things found within that culture; an odd form of "yoga", but a ritualistic expression of motion, nonetheless, breathing techniques, mental quiet... and a paternal, loving figure, upon whom they could rely to "teach" them to overcome their "natural" inferiority.
Do we truly think that one mental technique surpasses another? I've called a Circle within me, and it's provided the same ease and quiet in my mentality as when I performed my friend's Chakra meditation. According to this same friend, I've reached up to fourth jhana, without even knowing what it was called, or by performing the "method" in place to get there. I am not saying that certain things, or motions, don't provide a different relief for different people, but rather that they have usually created the "need" for that relief within themselves. It's all a mental game that we play with ourselves- "there is a method." "if I do A, B, C, and D, it leads to E." "I can't do this because I'm this." "If I can't do this, well, then, obviously they can't either, or maybe I am just inferior, in which case I'll pretend to be as good as them, because I can't stand to be inferior." This is probably going to piss a lot of people off, and I apologise. But the truth is, ritual is in place to assist with mental progress because our "mentality", which I am guessing is what people are interpreting on this site as the "me" that is being dismantled, needs it. And, as we already know the falsehood of that "mentality", we should also know that the security blanket known as ritual is just as false. So, he provided them with their security blanket. He used this to give them what they need. Think placebo effect. Most of our lives really are us feeding ourselves placebos.
If this is a form of manipulation, it is no more manipulation than they themselves wanted to give to themselves, because of their mental "need" for the assistance to come in that particular package. But the true need was for nothing more than caring acknowledgement, a chance to fully and deeply express themselves, and external guidance, due to their own insecurities. For the record, Brene Brown does an excellent study on this... I bought her entire "Vulnerability" course, and it is at once humorous and insightful. I highly recommend her to anyone who is looking to reconnect to self-honesty.

Love & Happiness,
Jason , modified 11 Years ago at 8/21/12 4:46 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/21/12 4:46 PM

RE: kumare

Posts: 342 Join Date: 8/9/11 Recent Posts
Hi Jazzi,

Sorry for not responding. I didn't see your response earlier.

Reading through your post, I thought, "she's saying placebo is as good as medicine." And then you did! So, I guess I see your point. And sometimes placebo is all people need. It can do a lot. (I happen to have a minor obsession with the placebo effect, so I appreciate your analogy.)

But even ritual alone has so much more power when performed skillfully. And sometimes people need real medicine. Just because what that exactly is may be debatable, doesn't mean the whole notion is invalid. Watching Kumare, I had the sense that he started out really ridiculing his would-be followers, then realized that he was developing relationships with them and they were human beings. It looked as if the whole "be your own guru" idea was an ad hoc sugar-coating of his previous anti-guru stance. So, he evolved. OK.

None of the students said they were looking for an Indian guru, etc. The fact they're deluded doesn't prove they deserve to be pranked. All that Law of Attraction stuff... it's pathetic in a way. But it's all some of them had in the face of job loss, divorce, etc....

And here comes Kumare, with his platitudes, to humiliate them in front of the world.... The guru is in you, etc. Yeah, the Buddha said it too. He also gave people real tools to develop their wisdom. Kumare presumes to tell us there's no such thing as wisdom.

I actually enjoyed the movie. It's thought-provoking and really revealing of how far we delude ourselves. It may be that that outweighs the crime of imparting a wrong view. I don't think he meant to hurt anybody, and probably didn't much.