Jaani Drucker, The Truth, open inquiry and truthfulness
Posted by robertpriddy on February 21, 2010
Having noted the exchange of views between Barry Pittard and Jaani Drucker (aka Yaani Drucker), I am prompted to provide some more detailed examination of the issues at stake. With her self-promoted superior insight into The Truth (as if it were something hypostatized and ontologised) Jaani Drucker rejected Barry Pittard’s questions without answering them, writing “When you are determined to find denial and resistance, there is no honest debate or discussion possible. You have already closed your mind.” This is a typical cult-defensive reaction where questioning itself is viewed as something negative.
If anyone has closed their minds it is surely Jaani [Yaani] Drucker. How can one tell? Because she has not had anything new to say except continually to preach that she has the TRUTH and is – by implication – self-realized, all the while parroting nothing but the ideas of Sathya Sai Baba – where these concur with ‘The Course in Miracles’ (better called ‘Pollyanna Positive Prayer and Preaching’). This is more of a dogma than a doctrine for it is closed to any basic modification and is isolated from all further development and – above all – criticism. In general it is an extreme form of religious puritanism as found in the Judaic Talmud, the Old Testament and the strictest Hindu doctrines.
In continuing to promote and defend Sathya Sai Baba, Yaani acts as if her supposed Truth is so precious as always to have to be attended by an unquestioned bodyguard of supporting liesºº… those which have been exposed on a large scale by many former followers, not least Barry Pittard and myself. Al Drucker admitted – when pressed – to the former Central Coordinator of the UK Sathya Sai Organization, that many parents had complained to him of sexual abuse by Sai Baba while Drucker was resident at the ashram. Jaani is no doubt also well aware that Sai Baba has escaped justice only because the entire Indian system of corrupt topmost politicians and judges who worship him have protected him from all accountability! This is part of the body of lies the Druckers prefer to condone, supposedly to protect their Truth, which would need not protection or even promotion if it really were that immutable and powerful.
Those who have invested their prestige in Sai Baba and his teaching on the ego etc., like the Druckers, live largely within a community of persons and ideas divorced from all research, informed debate, the stringency of peer review because the doctrine they embrace is that the Truth, as preached by advaitists and Sai Baba among them, is immutable, requires no modification or development. They can reject without informing themselves of the entire world-wide advances in human psychology by hundreds of thousands of practitioners and researchers garnering experience from all corners of the globe and the human psyche… none of it could ever upset a figment of the ordained and immortalized Truth of their favourite religious speculations, static and stagnant as it has been for centuries! It’s main method of persuasion is repetition. One can only sustain this claim to total knowledge within the cocoon of ashrams or circles of New Age type persons, for it cannot stand the slightest buffets of well-informed intelligence based on tried and proven hypotheses by a global host of professionals.
If we look a little into this supposed Truth, we find it depends on the ‘death of the ego’. The doctrine of ‘ego’ that is most central to Sai Baba and I understand also to the would-be self-realization group run by the Druckers is really nothing more than a long harangue against selfishness (Me and Mine). This naked and stark belief – that selfishness is the root of ALL evil – is dressed up in portentous ideas about the ‘true egoless self’ within (and hidden from) all mankind . The belief posits the wishful dream of a total awareness of selfless unity within divinity, described in highly fanciful terms like ‘the golden womb’, the Heart and so on. Now, a doctrine of self-denial – if moderated by common sense and free of dogmatic certainty and absolutism – would not be unwelcome. Yet the anti-ego dogma is lacking in realism or practicable and compassionate humanism. It is actually very naively formulated in reducing the entire personal ‘ego’ to something far less than it is: a dynamic psychic development necessary to life as we know it. There is conceptual confusion involved – the word ‘ego’ is misapplied by Sai Baba, imitated uncritically by Jaani, to include one’s entire identity ‘as a separate being’, which again is seen as being blinded by ignorance (of the Truth of its own nature) and dominated by egoism in the form of selfishness and greed.
The human ego is to be understood as a dynamic development of every psyche through coping with the demands of the environment (others) and instinctual urges (survival, sex, fear, power, suppression, dominance, sex, hunger etc.). The ego, as psychologically understood, balances and reacts properly to the external and internal demands impinging on the person and is a very necessary achievement without which one cannot avoid one or another form of cognitive disorder up to and including severe and chronic mental illness. Looking after oneself and one’s own interests is the very basis of being human, without which one cannot even recognise or appreciate the same unavoidable need in others. Pursuing self-interest is unavoidably important, both for individuals and societies. It is the excess of such pursuits – greed of all kinds, economic and social insecurity, excess in power-seeking and all the related ills we all know so well – that are the problem. The self-realization through death of the ego brigade do not recognise this… they consider they have progressed beyond such needs (but often I have noted the actual consumption of goods and services are above average among the most outspoken ‘Ceiling on Desires’ advocates).
This fails to recognise the vast achievements of ego psychology (which it almost entirely rejects as illusory worldly untruth). It is not based on the slightest research – it cannot be tested (except by sacrificing one’s entire life – a fool’s risk). It is a puritanical and typically Indian religious doctrine – such as Sai Baba’s advice ‘Die Mind’ (one of his many execrable poor puns), which he symbolizes by giving away diamonds (all synthetic stones, yet more symbolically!). Obviously, undue selfishness is a trait without which the world would surely benefit, but taking it to the point of self-annihilation (i.e. killing the ego, ‘killing the mind’ – such as through prayers and mantras) is probably only for those who are ultimately tired of the whole of their own lives.
As seen in so many religious sects – it most often ends in moralism of the most unwelcome kind, sustaining and increasing people’s sense of personal inadequacy, leading to depression and even suicidalism in those who feel incapable of meeting its constant demands. Those who strive to follow the unworldly practices involved get no lasting benefit from the process either (except for possible temporary exhilaration of the kind ‘Now I have solved it all, what to do?’). Those who have made a vocation of it and sunk their prestige in preaching it may manage to keep up the required outward Pollyanna smile.
More to follow shortly…
See also The Ways of the Mind – on the issue by a Swedish psychologist
Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine
Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him
Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example
God is everything, in everyone – as a spiritual teaching
Advaita – historical flight into abstraction and speculation