Rohini Practicing, Reflections, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Recently I heard that someone who once studied with me had to be “deprogrammed” because he had a hard time understanding why he stopped studying. I do not know if this information is even true. It is not my bent to go on hearsay, but I want to address the topic of deprogramming because over the years it has come up in conversation.

At the time this situation would have occurred, the Saturday group class was working on accepting our hate so that we could be able to get rid of it. We cannot get rid of something we have not acknowledged we have. If I will not acknowledge that I am holding something, then I cannot drop it. This gives a whole new meaning to “getting rid of what you haven’t got”.

In this series of classes, people were wrestling with accepting that we all actually hate. This went on for weeks. Finally, I told everyone they had permission to hate. Some were relieved, some were confused, and a couple resisted. The ones resisting were “good”, so they could never accept that they hate. In the meantime, these people were definitely hating me.

Anyone who has studied with me can say that I am never one to hold onto a student, no matter who they are. You want to discontinue? Fine. And there will be no email or phone call asking you to come back. This is all up to the student. The only thing I cannot abide is willful negativity without any detachment or willingness to wrestle with that same negativity. You can be as willfully obtuse and negative as you like, just not in my class.

Along with his fellow students, this particular person was given an opportunity to distance himself from his experience of hate. Because he was unwilling to accept his own hate, the effort got to be futile. I offered the person the choice to stay or leave. If he left, he could return whenever he felt up to it. Silence. I then said there has to be a choice: “It is okay, you can do what you want”. Now this person tended to be passive, and not make choices but be at the mercy of the situation. Others made choices; he went along with them. In this situation I did not play his game; he had to decide what he wanted. So if he found me harsh, he now had a chance to take care of himself.

He finally chose to leave, and walked out of the room and out to his car. I have not heard from him since. I guess he does not want to come back. That is his choice, and it is perfectly okay. So why the “deprogramming”? Deprogramming from what?

When I hear the term “deprogramming”, I think of groups where there is a closed system with closed rhetoric, closed communication with others and closed doors so you cannot leave. There is no real questioning, no voice for the members, no decisions made by members and no boundaries.

I know a group from which I needed to be deprogrammed: the family I was born into. The real process of growing up is a kind of deprogramming: we must become conscious of the preverbal belief system that has governed our life, and disentangle from it. Even when we rebel against family authority, we are just continuing our attachment to it, and keeping our anger is maintaining a repulsion relationship.

My time with Baba deprogrammed me. Baba taught me what Love is and how to relate with the world in all its aspects, including my family, as an adult human being. Most importantly, he deprogrammed me by showing me how to surrender the small self and return to our true nature. Spiritual practice is the only real deprogramming.

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