Criticism and abuse against others
Posted by robertpriddy on February 28, 2015
If free speech is to prevail in the world, certain supposedly ‘spiritual’ teachings must be brought into universal disrepute. Such a doctrine was promoted by Sathya Sai Baba – at least in preaching, though not always at all in many of his discourses or interview statements. (See scan on right). If this were taken seriously we all risk becoming slaves in a society like Orwell’s 1984, where an omnipresent Big Brother enforced ‘Newspeak’, a means of controlling how people speak and by extension how they think.
The inherent self-contradiction of the ‘teaching’ is obvious if one thinks a bit about it. The abused and the abuser, the critic and the criticised, are not at all one and the same. Not if one rejects speculative theological claims such as ‘in transcendent reality we are all god, all divine’ (especially in Hinduism and advaita vedanta). A person who kills another does not kill himself, he survives. Unless one is taken in by the inevitable rebuttal speculative Hindus make – but he will be killed in a later life due to the law of karma – it makes no sense whatever to claim ‘all are one’, because all is all and one is one. (in vulgar terms, ‘Yeah man, everythin’ is everythin’ eh?’).
Were societies to take such a false teaching seriously and apply it across the board, they would have to abolish all systems of law which hold wrong-doers responsible for their crimes. The utter impracticability of such a nonsense is evident to anyone who has to lodge any kind of complaint against another for anything. Little wonder, therefore, that Sai Baba himself could not refrain from heaping abuse on others – mostly in general, but also by name (which he constantly did in his group interviews when it suited him, and also whether or not the object of his ill will was present or not). Little wonder, either, that his devotees, who sat through endless repetitive harangues about always not back-biting, always speaking softly and obligingly, never criticising others could never refrain from exactly those things, as well-documented evidence proves entirely (see a selection of abuses and defamation by devotees against dissidents and critics here – less than a tenth or less of the libel and defamation we have received altogether from Sai Baba ‘spiritual aspirants’). The issue of ‘self-abuse’ is illumined further in a recent e-mail reply to verbal abuse by Sai devotee, Cass Smith.
Criticism is not the same as abuse, of course, there is a fine but definitive line between these. One should never criticise others, but only examine and criticise one’s own self, was Sai Baba’s constantly repeated advice. But he had already also insisted that everyone’s self is the selfsame Atma (Spirit), so if one criticises oneself it equally criticises others. Nonetheless he set a fine example to his followers, calling people who exposed him ‘veritable demons’ and many such things when he felt like it. Many of his devotees have followed in his footsteps there!