Posted by robertpriddy on July 4, 2010
I have encountered many devotees of Sathya Sai Baba who get doubts about what he says, what he expects them to do, what is good for them and so on… then decide to ‘ask Swami himself’. But, since they almost never can’t get to ask him in person, they use some other method for deriving his answer. One common practice is to draw one of three prepared papers left on the shrine. One will have the word ‘yes’, another ‘no’ and a third ‘wait’. Some just spin coins or roll dice! Special coins (Umi and Tumi) are even on sale at some Sai shops for this purpose.
Or the uncertain devotee may set up some other precondition of getting his answer like, “If I see a dog wagging its tail today when I go shopping, then Baba’s answer is ‘yes’. (They usually fail to consider that not seeing it must therefore mean ‘no’!).” If the person’s idea is realised, then this event becomes a ‘graceful leela of the Lord’ (his play with his creation) and is taken as further evidence of Sathya Sai Baba’s self-proclaimed omnipresence. If the desired result is not forthcoming, then one can always forget it and have another try with something else. I have witnessed many people at the Sai Baba ashrams and in his organization making the most absurd assumptions and conclusions in this way.
Flipping open a volume of Sathya Sai Baba’s discourses (like ‘asking the Bible’) is a typical method. Whether one sticks to the first sentence one sees, or chooses another which lends itself better to a somewhat relevant meaning, probably depends on the level of desperation of the seeker.
Those who get ‘the right answers’ are often unaware that this kind of phenomenon is by no means restricted to one name and form. It is a very common occurrence, and often works well when there has been greater investment of emotional and mental energy behind the question. In this way one may even enter communication with spirits of the dead, or aliens on an UFO, or the Director of the CIA… and get wonderful answers. As to religionists who communicate with God… well, that is the ultimate example! There are even those who base their life decisions on a throw of the dice. In all these kinds of case, coincidences that occur become meaningful messages from the beyond and whichever entity one may believe in.
The psychologist C.G. Jung, who experienced many ‘strange coincidences’ and investigated the question deeply, naming these effects ‘synchronicities’. He reckoned that they have to do with the power of projection of subconscious energies and that there is somehow a ‘collective unconscious’ whereby thoughts and symbols are processed and transmitted between minds across time and space. So far most of Jung’s ideas have not been scientifically tested, though a vast plethora of speculative thought has developed around his theory. It seems extremely unlikely that they are the work of what many – along with Jung – believe to be discarnate ‘elementals’. These include deities, earth spirits, djinns, ‘fairies’, demons, succubi, demons, mischievous spirits and the whole range of identities these forces have been given in different cultures and ages and represent powers that seem to exist without being embodied). There is, of course, no guarantee of goodness (let alone divinity) being attached to any such phenomena. It is an area fraught with deceits, delusions, self-deceptions, fraud. Such is life in many a guru cult…
Properly investigated explanations of these ‘meaningful coincidences’ may come in time. I have always followed developments in this area and, as neuroscience successfully delves deeper into the brain’s vast creativity, the re-creation of many psychic states and experiences through stimulating areas of the brain are showing that one may even have so-called ‘after-death’ experiences that way… or experience a range of hallucinatory states of mind, and even enjoy ‘mystical bliss’ and apparent paranormal perceptions.
Posted in Cults, Delusion, Faith, Gurus, leelas, neuroscience, Para-psychology, Psychology, Sathya Sai Baba | Leave a Comment »
Posted by robertpriddy on April 9, 2010
All Sathya Sai Baba followers who visit his ashrams have always had to queue, sit and wait almost endlessly before he appears – let alone before they get the chance of an interview, which almost no one does any longer due to his invalidism. Many pray and wait for years on end for the ‘Lord and Master’, and ‘spiritual seekers’ who travel across continents are all constantly hope for some form of personal attention, eye contact, some words… then more and more of the same. All this is shared by all followers, excluding very important persons, such as heads of state, royalty or the super rich and famous, who mostly get comparative red carpet treatment.
Sathya Sai Baba used to walk about very slowly, making gestures (which many people took as personal messages to them!) and when he looked even in a person’s general direction, they took this as a blessing! Not a few report how waves of happiness, bliss, even ecstasy floods through them, tears come to their eyes. If he smiles at them or takes a letter from them, it seems to them that they at last have confirmation of being personally acceptable to God himself. In most cases, these emotions are the culmination of a very long period of approaching through meditation on him, prayers to him, letters sent (often with the writer’s most private thoughts ‘in advance’) after much reading of books which all praise him beyond the clouds, videos which seem to prove he is a divinity, hearing miracle and amazing healing stories galore, and making diverse efforts to live according to his directions, do everything in his name.
Many followers sacrifice much time and money, put up with all manner of difficulties and disappointments on the way, meanwhile meeting many other persons telling of wonderful (subjective) experiences seen through their own faith. But by then they have already become highly open to suggestion (becoming what are called ‘good hypnotic subjects’). Despite this, or precisely because of it, various persons have been surprised, as was I, upon first observing him show himself (i.e. “give his holy darshan“) because. he seemed just too ordinary. But then, one already ‘knows’ that it could just not be true…has he not told them not to be deceived by his short stature, for in reality he holds the entire universe in his hands?
Longing and Yearning are ‘projective’: The intensity developed by followers’ desires and beliefs amount to psychological projections. Projection is a very complex process with many aspects and can vary in strength, scope and content. Nonetheless it is a common occurrence among followers of all idols, especially those who have created an aura of holiness or wisdom around themselves, by whatever means. Even one small apparent paranormal event – taken as the longed-for Sai leela or small miracle – is enough to set one self-reinforcing ones indoctrination to last for life! This may take the form of statement like the following which was sent to me by a colleague at some stage as an illustration of how mental projection words in those who have invested much time and energy without noticeable attention from Sathya Sai Baba:
|“I vividly recall looking at his form with utter peace and no thoughts. He stopped and turned and gave me this amazing smile, piercing me with his eyes and I felt this incredible warmth enter me. “What did he do that for,” I thought, on that day three years ago. Today, the penny dropped. Thought has to stop.” by Sai Baba devotee Christopher (Chris) Parnell – Australian Sathya Sai Organization
The dropping penny – after first awakening new thoughts – evidently causes thought to deteriorate – and that is precisely the programme Sai Baba sets out – overcome one’s thoughts through mantras, prayer, bhajan singing and meditation. Kill the mind – supposedly letting mindless ‘universal consciousness’ take over! I have observed through many years observing others how their minds tend to drift without incisiveness or efforts at improvement, getting ever more uncritical and unreliable. Impressionable persons who have been actively indoctrinating (or ‘brain-washing’) themselves for a long time within the cocoon of beliefs and mostly within the circle of other believers… especially in the otherworldly and unrealistic ashram mental environment where all one’s wildest hopes may (but most likely will not) come true.
Powerful projection reinforcements: Projecting all kinds of desires and ones best imaginings onto Sathya Sai Baba and his circle, one produces a self-conversion by oneself. These circumstances are known to be conducive to sudden healing and many other extra-normal effects, but these always prove to be partial and temporary… the enthusiasm wears off after the famous ‘honeymoon’ period is past. Such phenomena are well known, far from being limited to Sai Baba or other Indian gurus – consider Billy Graham, Lourdes. Pastor Moon and literally thousands of other personality cults. One develops a partly delusional world-view and can then become easily manipulated by powerful forms of suggestion of the kind otherwise called ‘hypnotic’. These can cause considerable distortions of sensory perception, even though one does not enter an actual sleep-like trance (viz. Derren Brown). The intensity of the ‘projection’ makes likely not only changes in outlook, but a new sense of purpose and energy. All one needed was a catalyst (a relevant object or person to project onto in the specific case), and that is how idol-worship and personality cults work.
More on mental-emotional projection and Sai Baba’s methods of using it to come.
Posted in Cults, darsan, darshan, Delusion, dogma, Faith, Gurus, healing, hypnosis, Indoctrination, Mind control, Para-psychology, Personality Cult, Propaganda, Psychology, Sathya Sai Baba, Spiritual propaganda, Surrender | Tagged: Chris Parnell, faith in gurus, Projection | Leave a Comment »
Posted by robertpriddy on January 5, 2010
Why foreigners visit his ashrams and some of the many and tiresome difficulties plus outright dangers they risk from theft, corruption, embezzlement and yet far worse. Buying a mini-apartment is now exorbitantly expensive, and one gets absolutely no legal rights, even of occupancy for more than up to 1 month per annum! The overall impression given by hundreds of books and videos of the ashrams is highly misleading positive propaganda. Both in the past, but especially since 2000, most non-ethnic foreigners have been discriminated against increasingly by many of the staff, the result being that visitor numbers from Western democracies have fallen very considerably and many such residents have left the ashram. In the ashram one is supposed to keep oneself strictly to oneself, not talk, not form friendships or other associations. The reason given is pseudo-spiritual, the actual reason is doubtless the attempt to control information, especially suppress negative facts. The security arrangements with metal detectors, undercover and armed security staff, close body searches (men and women) to remove all objects that may threaten Sai Baba! [claimed to be for the protection of devotees!} Out of the supposed millions who have been through the ashrams during 60 years, remarkable few claim healing of any significant kind. Read more vital information so you are prepared if thinking about visiting these ashrams – click here
Posted in Cults, Gurus, healing, Indoctrination, Para-psychology, Personality Cult, Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: Prashanthi Nilayam, Sai ashrams | Leave a Comment »
Posted by robertpriddy on May 5, 2009
THE SELF-PROCLAIMED “OMNISCIENT” SELF-CONTRADICTOR OF PUTTAPARTHI, SATHYA SAI BABA, REFUTES HIS OWN TEACHING OF DECADES THAT HE ACTUALLY MANIFESTS HIMSELF IN PEOPLE’S DREAMS
Some people claim to have seen God in their dream. Where is dream? Where is God? In fact, dream experience itself is not real. It is only an illusion. They are deluded to think that way.
You say that Swami appeared in your dream last night. This is not correct. I do not appear in anybody’s dream. When you intensely desire that Swami must appear in your dream and constantly think of the same, that intense desire will assume a form in your dream. God does not assume a form or change into another form.
You have witnessed something in your dream. What is it? It is your own self, nothing other than that. You are visualising your own self in the dream state.
Do not be under the illusion “Rama has appeared in my dream, Krishna has appeared in my dream, Swami has appeared in my dream”. This is a sign of ignorance. All these are dreams only. How can a dream be called a reality? The very word “dream” explains its nature. As long as you are in sleep, this experience may be true. The moment you wake up, the experience vanishes. (Source http://sssbpt.org/Pages/Prasanthi_Nilayam/25-10-04_Discourse.htm)
Compare these amazing revelations by the ‘omniscient avatar’ with his former well-known ‘revelations’. That he intervenes in dreams has been believed by virtually every devotee. They have been told so by him on many occasions and believed him fully. In ‘Vision of the Divine’ he is reported verbatim telling Dr. Fanibunda that
he comes into people’s dreams, and only when he wills it himself.
They have written countless articles and books about their dreams of Sathys Sai Baba which he has often reportedly confirmed they were true visits from him in person:-
“Dreams are nothing but the reflection of the subconscious mind. Swami appearing in dreams is very auspicious…Dreams are the reflection, reaction and resound of that which is within you. The same does not apply to dreams in which Swami appears. Swami appears in dreams only when He wills it and not when you want.” (Sanathana Sarathi, April 1999, p. 98)
With his typical systemic inconsistency, he contradicts that one cannot dream of him at all without his will and changes it to only “very clear” dreams. However, even this he has now refuted! What a confusing deceiver he has been, and remains! He comes across as very confused himself
“There are certain confusing dreams in which your feelings play an active role. You may be seeing Swami but at the same time your feelings get mixed up and cause confusion. You may see yourself in Puttaparthi at one point in time and in America at the very next, and so on and so forth. These dreams are not willed by Swami. These result from indigestion and improper food. Dreams which are willed by me are very clear and give no room for confusion or doubt.”
However, blaming indigestion or improper food is quite laughable in view of his saying thatdreams reflect etc. the subconscious mind. He has said many other conflicting things through the years about how different kinds of dream arise. He quoted the sage Pippalada (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 24, p. 144), who held that indigestion does NOT cause dreams, but sleep does. THAT is astounding news!
My position on certain aspects of dreams and the nature of their different origins has developed considerably since I wrote the book ‘Source of the Dream’ in 1994 (Bangalore Sun-Sky Publications, sold at Prashanthi Nilayam bookshop). Now I have just published a new book in India, 650-plus pages, entitled “End of the Dream”. Dreams are, in my opinion, self-generated… even those which have precognitive elements which later occur. My views on dreams were formed after a long life of deep interest in this and related subjects, and a brief summary has been on-line for some years now as part of my work on human psychology, ‘The Human Whole’.
After having been involved in teaching at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Oslo, and formerly as staff in group therapy at two treatment homes in Scandinavia, and having recorded dreams and studied virtually the entire serious literature on them in psychology, psychoanalysis both Freudian, Jungian, existential and many other theories and therapies etc., I have at least learned finally from my personal experiences that what Sathya Sai Baba has said about dreams contains so much unempirical nonsense as to be misleading and worthless.
extra links: Paul Holbach on dreams of Sai Baba etc. — Supposed ‘dream invasions’ by SSB
DR. MICHAEL GOLDSTEIN’S WIFE DREAMS OF SAI BABA
WHO BOTH CLAIMS HE COMES IN PEOPLE’S DREAMS, BUT ALSO DENIES HE EVER DOES!
In his 2004 a public discourse noted above he denied most firmly that he ever enters anyone’s dreams
Excerpt from The “Hindu” Andhra Pradesh 26 November 2004 By Staff Reporter
Satya Sai trust to host global meet on divinity.
PUTTAPARTHI, NOV. 25. The Sri Satya Sai Central Trust will organise a world conference on `unity, purity and divinity’ as part of the Satya Saibaba’s 80th birthday celebrations here next year.
Two ardent devotees of Saibaba were given the opportunity to speak at the spiritual leader’s 79th birthday function held here on Wednesday.
Michael Cochstein, a practising physician from Southern California, USA, said he had found his spiritual divinity at Puttaparthi. “Swamy spoke to my wife in her dream one day when we were passing through a difficult phase and I had fallen in love with him immediately,” Mr. Cochstein said. He claimed that Saibaba had taught him that selfless love was the key to happy life. Stating that Saibaba was an embodiment of selfless love, Mr. Cochstein said the greatest joy in life was knowing selfless love through Saibaba.
It is noteworthy that such a newspaper as ‘The Hindu’ gets the name of such an important Sai VIP wrong! (‘Michael Cochstein’ is none other than the delightful Dr. Michael Goldstein International Chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization).
Goldstein makes a point of “Swamy spoke to my wife in a dream one day“. (Sounds like a daydream?) One has to commiserate with those who still believe fully in Sai Baba’s pronouncements that no one can dream of him without His Will! For it has slipped their attention that Sathya Sai Baba had again vastly modified his position on this recently.
Posted in Cults, Delusion, Divinity, Gurus, Para-psychology, Psychology, Sathya Sai Baba, Spiritual propaganda, Uncategorized | Tagged: Dr. Michael Goldstein, Robert Priddy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by robertpriddy on December 28, 2008
After traipsing many countries to gurus and ashrams, the Danish seeker Rodriguez became a ‘true believer’ in Sathya Sai Baba.
Click to zoom in
Despite that she uses clear documentation from Sri Aurobindo to refute a major claim by the Sathya Sai Organization and devotees. Aurobindo was NOT referring to Sathya Sai Baba and prophesying his ‘descent as avatar’ when the descent of Krishna into the material world (24-10-1926) was announced by him just previously.
Further to the issue is the official documentation of dates in Sathya Sai Baba’s life indicate strongly that Sathya Narayena Raju – (alias Sathya Sai Baba) was NOT born on 29-11-1926 at all, but three years later.
Birgitte Rodriguez’s book contains accounts of diverse incidents where she imagined Sathya Sai Baba intervened in her own daily doings with occult help. She is highly credulous about Indian gurus generally, and accepts ideas such as those of Howard Murphet, that Aurobindo changed the course of the 2nd World War by occult intervention in Hitler’s mind… and similar fantasies about Churchill being steered by Aurobindo. She wrote: “Sri Aurobindo was also said to be behind British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s forceful speeches to the world as the Germans invaded European countries.” (p.
This is the level of credibility to which her product conforms.
see Birgitte Rodriguez, excerpts from her book on Sathya Sai Baba ‘Glimpses of the Divine’
See also Brian Steel’s research on this issue
Posted in Delusion, Faith, Gurus, myths, Para-psychology, Personality Cult, prophecy, Sathya Sai Baba | Leave a Comment »
Posted by robertpriddy on September 8, 2007
Aug 18, 4:23 PM
Hi Robert Priddy,
Thanks for answering to my post in detail, I will definitely get hold of Derren Brown’s videos on net and watch them. I am not sure if Baba has some ‘Siddi’ power or have some other skills beyond normal human being.
Well, I would like to know if Baba is a trickster then there must be extensive network involved in his game play, like some place or people involved where these material objects are manufactured or procured and persons transporting these objects. But, to my knowledge no body has found any such network or persons involved. Any comments from your side?
Hi Vasudeva, There is no question but that Sathya Sai Baba is surrounded by people who do and tell exactly what they are told. But there have been many reports and I have received confidential e-mails from numerous persons telling how it is all arranged and who provides the trinkets he ‘materialises’. David Bailey reported a visit to a jeweller in Hyderabad who claimed to supply Sai Baba with some of the alleged ‘diamond rings’ he pretends to create from thin air. Incidentally, identical rings (synthetic stones like zircon in white, synthetic sapphires in green, navagraha 9-gem rings etc.) can be purchased in many jeweller shops in South India quite cheaply. The BBC visited another supplier in Bangalore, but did not include the film in their one hour presentation for reasons of space (they reported 80 hours of film on the subject, from which but one hour was used). Students have contacted exposé activists telling of an elderly Indian (named too) well known as being able to enter the interview room door whenever he arrived who for many years carried in the articles to give to Sai Baba on a regular basis. Another student informed me in a private correspondence that Sai Baba has a small vibuthi pellet making machine. Though the source must remain anonymous at present at least, I give a verbatim excerpt from that letter for your interest:
”After the interview swami comes out and stands next to the pillar, and then he goes in. Luckily the interview door room is half open and I could see him going to the window. Then he picks up an envelope and takes out a vibhuti ball from it. Swami usually keeps crisp 500 rupee notes in the envelopes. It was the first time i saw vibuti in them.) He then realizes that the door is open and looks straight at me, then winks and comes out to give that vibhuti pellet to Dr.Goldstein by crushing it.”
He also tells of a friend who was doing housework for Sai Baba in Kodai who opened a box (which no one was supposed to touch) in Swami’s apartment which was full of rings of all sizes, brooches, necklaces and more. His friend was devastated and later he saw Sai Baba pretend to ‘materialize’ some of these articles for people on several occasions. We have also been informed how Sai Baba ‘materialises’ the oil he puts on boys’ and young men’s p*n*ses. He has a sponge in a tray of oil hidden somewhere, so he only has to grip it once to get oil on his hands. Satya Purcell has testified to such things (see http://www.exbaba.com/articles/sathyapurcell02.html and other of his 6-part testimony) including how Sai Baba has many informants who mingle with devotees, also taxi drivers and others seemingly not connected with the ashram. In this way he can appear to know things it seems no one could.I cannot give a full account here of all that is know about the apparatus around Sai Baba, but there have been numerous informants through the last 7 years. Perhaps we should gather them all together for all to see at one go.
August 19th, 2007 at 3:06 am
Hi Robert Priddy,
I just watched some of the Derren Browns videos and they are very interesting. Well spirituality, belief in God are some of the things no one has exact answers. Probably mankind will soon find a rational approach towards these topics. I find it amusing after so many years of training under Baba to love all and server all how some of the devotees still react with rage and anger in regards to any questions related to authenticity/duplicity of Baba. We are living in a world where reasoning is way of life. We are not living in a meta physical world. Come on guys, let’s live by reason and not blind faith.
When I was in Parthi, I use to see this happen all the time, fake materializations(at least to my eye). I did ask my Dad about this stuff and he bluntly put it like this – “You are just a kid, look at all the top scientists, doctors and educationalists who have dedicated their lives and career in serving Baba, do you think you are smarter than all of them”, well I have no answer to that question even now. Neither I was able to ask my question to peer devotees for the fear that I would either be thrown out of campus or run into some serious trouble with concerned authorities. Like many people like me who are skeptical, I always think I shouldn’t have even known about Baba and gotten into this mess. Luckily I never had any personal interviews nor any special relationship with him. If Baba is divine why are such skeptical people gotten into his fold. Instead he should remove such skepticism and show his authenticity for everyone since everyone is embodiment of love as per his oft saying.
August 19th, 2007 at 7:05 am<
I just read “REQUIEM TO A KINDLY SPIRIT” on VKN written by you. Excellent one. robertpriddy Says:
August 19th, 2007 at 11:25 am
Thanks Vasudeva, I would comment that I have never heard of any ‘top’ scientist visiting or supporting Sai Baba, no world figure of real intellectual distinction whatever… only unknown American Ph.Ds (they are two a penny there) or Indian apparatchik nuclear science administrators… the same for ‘top’ educationalists… no one of real note in pedagogy or educational research. As to doctors, who are the top doctors is anyone’s guess.As to V.K. Narasimhan – a charming man followed his intensely Sai-devoted wife to Baba’s ashrams and got increasingly trapped in a role which became more and more uncomfortable, but he could not break out. He supported Sai Baba mainly because of the great promise his social projects once held, and put up with a lot he disagreed with for that reason. He was worried that his editing out of Sai Baba worst gaffes would discredit him, the former journalist. He shocked me time and again with revelations about Sai Baba and what goes on at the ashram – for example, that Colonel Joga Rao was known to all old residents never to have believed in Sai Baba’s miracles, but that he would serve him for the good he was trying to do in education etc. That Joga Rao loved filthy barrack room jokes and bored everyone with them, including VKN, and was accepted by Sai Baba (who also shared in the jokes)and allowed free access at any time to the private rooms… that I could not at first believe.
Posted in Derren Brown, Diamonds, Gurus, Materialization, Miracles, Para-psychology, Puttaparthi | Leave a Comment »
Posted by robertpriddy on September 7, 2007
Some comments received from Vasudeva S. and replies by Robert Priddy
Aug 18, 1:01 PMHi Robert Priddy, I am writing to you after reading some of the material about Satya Sai Baba by you. I have personally seen Baba already having things to materialize in his hand before he actually materialized the objects. Of course I have routinely seen Baba transferring something from left hand to right hand before he creates vibuthi. I have seen this one instance where he had a sugar candy in his left hand before he materialized and gave it to a boy who was laughing. But I do have to say that I have also seen him create things out of no where and by blowing at the objects they get vanished. I am at loss what to belive and what not to beleive. Are this all the tricks Baba is performing on a doubting being like me? Somee of my friends tell me all these are Baba’s leela’s and I should forget about them and one can never understand Baba’s ways. Regards S.
August 18th, 2007 at 4:21 amHi Robert,
I am not sure if Baba is geniune or fraud. In terms of materializations definitely I have seen some fake ones and real(??) ones. I have seen objects already in his hand before he materialized them. But also I have seen other way round too, Baba creating things from thin air and vanishing them. It all baffles me. Well, I would like to know if Baba is a trickster then there must be extensive network involved in his game play, like some place or people involved where these material objects are manufactured or procured and persons transporting these objects. But, to my knowledge no body has found any such network or persons involved. Any comments from your side?
– Thanks Shenoy
Think about this – in many cases people have claimed to have seen Sai Baba change physical appearance totally, even several persons together, but at the same time others have been present who have not seen any change at all. This applies to many account of him during public ‘darshan’ – some see haloes, others not and so forth. Now, were these changes (and materializations) real phenomena, then all present would have seen it. Sai Baba does not want anyone to understand his ways, – on the contrary! That is why he has always created a mystery around himself – it began in his childhood! Check out some of my many explanations of these matters on my various web pages.
If you doubt that suggestion can be so powerful as to change people’s states of mind very radically, without more than a few clever words, study the work of UK’s Derren Brown, who can make people picked out of a group on the street or anywhere see and hear things and can find out what they are thinking, exactly what they have on their persons (including written shopping lists). He can very quickly induce a state of drunken stupor in a person (showing just how he does it) and turn it on an off with a few words (even words written on a piece or sent by mobile phone message).
Many well-known, respected people and professional psychologists in UK have attested that there is no fraud whatever involve (no fixing of TV sequences or use of stooges). He says openly there are no psychic powers involved, but many techniques he has learned in observing personal psychology, varying means of suggestion, neuro-linguistic programming, misdirection of attention (as in stage ‘magic’ and pick-pocketing, for example) and much else. He explains some of his techniques in detail. He has a tremendous (possibly ‘photographic’) memory too. He has a very wide ‘repertoire’ and much of what he does is more dramatic that Sai Baba is seen to do. But he remains a sceptic about all ’spiritual’ powers, also about mediumism/contacting the dead, which he has reconstructed in a very convincing way, but he explains how and why he is a sceptic. kind of manipulation of perception done by Derren Brown is most impressive and dramatic – and is also intended to be so. My view is exactly the same as to Sathya Sai Baba. He is a showman and manipulator.
Some of Derren Brown’s work is available on YouTube.com (Search ‘Derren Brown’) and DVDs are available of some of his TV series, with masses of background data and interviews proving the genuineness of his non-psychic but very considerable abilities. I recommend:
Mediumism – Derren Brown http://youtube.com/watch?v=G18NfN76bAs
(This is not the best of his demonstrations of mediumism, but it is good enough for that anyhow!)
Discussion on spirituality http://youtube.com/watch?v=2ryYYCe8qg4
Induction of drunkenness http://youtube.com/watch?v=zryGzTbU49I
Zombies shoot-up http://youtube.com/watch?v=cjRAcajFte0
taring competition http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEuKgEjwi6A
Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization
See also Devotee attacks on the Sai petition and petitioners
Posted in Derren Brown, Gurus, hypnosis, Materialization, Miracles, Para-psychology, Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: Derren Brown | 1 Comment »
Posted by robertpriddy on August 9, 2007
REALLY, CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS CAN BE FUN
“We have to investigate why we lose our health. Excessive thinking, worrying and studying is the main cause for man’s illness. Some students are absorbed in studies all the time, because of which they lose their health. There is a limit to everything, the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, conducted extensive research on the digestive system of man and as a result of too much of thinking, his health deteriorated and ultimately he died of digestive problems.” Sathya Sai Baba. Sanathana Sarathi‘ Jan. 1999, p. 15.
SO DID ARISTOTLE ACTUALLY DIE FROM ‘TOO MUCH THINKING’?
Forgive that this is not exactly ‘breaking news’, but intriguing it is! Sai Baba admits that Aristotle studied the digestive system of man and then – in the usual garbled way – failed to make everything entirely clear. Let’s first assume Sai Baba was saying that Aristotle concluded that too much thinking leads to digestive problems and death (“ultimately”)? Then surely mankind today, with our vastly enhanced mental activities, mental professions, mental interests (the media, internet etc.) , must be suffering from digestive problems on an equally massive scale? But where is the evidence for that? In short, there is none. If there were, would it not be a massive medical breakthrough to revolutionise much medicine? It is more likely that Sai Baba confuses figurative ‘mental indigestion’ with the actual physical sort.
Sai Baba stated in so many words that Aristotle himself died of thinking too much, causing digestive problems caused by thinking too much (such as about human problems of thought and digestion)? There is no historical evidence for that protracted surmise, though (as Kasturi probably knew and told him) Aristotle reportedly did die of a ‘stomach ailment’, though not specifically indigestion. It was recorded that it was a ‘disease’ affecting his digestion, but could have been cancer or any number of other infectious ailments. If indeed too much thought was what really caused his death, how did Sai Baba arrive at that conclusion… by paranormal and divine powers, no doubt! Of course Aristotle “ultimately died”, uncontroversial… but was it that overripe peach, that indigestible Kalamata olive that caused his death… or was it from thinking? Or perhaps rather a result of Divine Will, Lord Yama’s inevitable decision (to which deity Sathya Sai also attributed the decision on every human death)? “There is a limit to everything” says Sai Baba… now, really? I read in Sai Baba Discourses many times that the Atma is limitless, that God is eternal and unencompassable. But it is reassuring too, for a limit to Sai Baba and his influence is also therefore promised. His death must be a bit of a limitation on his activities? No??
One must conclude once again that Sathya Sai Baba suffered for not thinking enough about what he said – or claimed to know… or from too much confusion of the mind (and bad dreams, which he also said in another context comes from bad digestion)? That he lost his health was observable to everyone… so was it from too little thinking? Was his digestion not well exercised and still perfect? I don’t know. So I leave it to readers to decide – and see whether their own digestive tracts are over-sensitive to thoughts – or how much they might dare to think so as to preserve themselves for as long as possible…
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