Comment on Lozowick and…E.J.Gold
07.12.09 at 10:34 am ·
Now that we have your undivided attention, here is some more material.
It appears there was a connection between Rudrananada (’Rudi’) and some Gurdjieff type teachers, among them Jan Cox.
First, I apologise for the earlier redundant posts. Sometimes when I submit a comment, it fails to give feedback, so I fear its been lost and I repeat the submit process, like a rat in a Skinner Box repeatedly pressing the bar, trying to get another chow pellet.
If you want a description of Rudi, get and read Rabbi Alan Lew’s memoir ‘One God Clapping’. Alan Lew’s brother became a Rudi disciple and later, a disciple of Rudis successor.
Rudi died in a plane crash. Afterward, under murky circumstances, a fellow named, I think, Shoemaker, took over and also took the name Chetananda and there have been some troubles. Lew described how Rudi could make people shake and shiver and quiver. Saw it happening to his brother and other persons.
A few quotes:
“Re: Jan Cox
Thu, November 30, 2006 – 12:07 AM
I didn’t know Rudi, but spent time with Muktananda when he was putting together his Ashram in Berkeley. The man was a dynamo and very funny. As it turned out I was in Atlanta with one of his swamis on the day Muktananda died. I’m aware of the significance they placed on Lineage, though I personally found it unimportant. One of my closest friends is still involved with that group – and she stresses (at least for herself) the power and importance of Lineage and Shaktipat, and her experiences have provided her with strength. Though, this has not been my way.
join to post
Re: Jan Cox
Thu, November 30, 2006 – 4:41 AM
Rudi was a formal student of Muktananda at one time. He wrote a book “Spiritual Cannibalism”. A book about him tells the story best “Rudi : 14 Years with my Master”. I forget the author’s name. Rudi and Muktananda broke company when Muktananda “stole” a devotee from Rudi when he was not ready, and it was not proper in the Lineage to do so. That pupil was one Bubba Free John, before his Adi Da insanity. ”
Fri, June 22, 2007 – 9:01 AM
I read this thread with great glee and fascination! Wonderful stuff!
I was introduced to Jan and his videos in L.A. Apparently, if you’re not in Georgia to work with the man, the out-of-state Group will meet twice weekly to watch his freshest videos. They are required not to talk with each other regarding what they saw, but keep the material instead as contemplation work.
The fellow who hosted these video sessions was a complete idiot, I have to say. He fancied himself a ’spiritual teacher’ and yet had a screamingly obvious ego the size of perhaps, New Jersey. Yet, I found Jan himself to be, at the very least, a creative genius, if not a truly transformational force. I read a few of his books, and also got hold of some “secret” material, apparently, that was cheaply xeroxed at the time. These were the distillation of “what Jan meant” as culled by his students. I found the maps to be nothing short of remarkable and even experienced an immense vision as the result of contemplating those maps.
Yet, Jan the man, I find suspicious.
I think part of the problem in interpreting a teacher, is the moral problem. If the result of his work hurts a person–or a few persons–he can easily create reactionary moral outrage. I agree with Scott’s statement above that Jan helped to refine what is already crystallized Gurdjieff material. E.J. Gold did a similar thing.
What Jan and E.J. Gold have in common is that they are tricksters and scalawags in their approach to teaching. Note also that Gurdjieff himself was a trickster and scalawag. That got me to thinking: it seems that I can make a list of people who teach in connection with what is called “The Fourth Way” (my own teacher, Oscar Ichazo, who was vehemently anti-Gurdjieffian, nonetheless STILL got thrown into the Fourth Way bag because he elucidated the laws of the Enneagram like no other!. He claims, however, not to have gotten the Enneagram transmission from anything closely approaching a Fourth Way School.) Nonetheless, Ichazo, too, was a trickster and scalawag.
There seems to be a trend and a pattern here. Fourth Way teachers, some of whom I have had enough contact with to detect this pattern, seem to employ “mind-fucking” as their modus operandus. The problem I’ve seen with this is that, with wrongly applied mind-fucking to the wrong person, permanent mental damage can ensue. I have met and spoken with such types. And here is where the outrage comes from “unsubscribed” and people like him/her. I wouldn’t be halfway surprised if Jan mind-fucked one too many people, much as I respect his brilliance and vision. I can’t help but think that there are quite a few examples of people who walked away in outrage from many, many so-called Fourth Way teachers. In fact, I eventually got myself away from anything vaguely resembling The Fourth Way because of that.
I may be wrong, but didn’t Ouspenski himself say on his deathbed “don’t follow Gurdjieff, he’s a madman!” or am I paraphrasing incorrectly? Gurdjieff, I’m sure, also left a trail behind him of angry, embittered or insane people in his wake. My feeling and sense is that Fourth Way teaching is a launch pad, but then one has the responsibility to plot one’s own trajectory once take-off has been initiated. ”
“Then again, I really like E.J. Gold and he is really despised in some “fourth way” circles for engaging in the behaviors I just mentioned. I make no claim for consistancy here. As Walt Whitman wrote “I contradict myself? I am large, I contain multitudes”.
A good warning on the hazards of using shock tactics:
“Re: Trickster Teachers
Sun, June 24, 2007 – 9:51 AM
A true Teacher manifests Heart. As Meher Baba once said, “the Heart of the real teacher is at once like butter and at once like a knife.” (Or something to that effect.) I’ve become aware of the “shock” techniques many teachers employ. Such techniques have been mentioned by Idries Shah, proponent and definer of Sufi activity in the West. These shocks can appear on the surface as insulting, outrageous behavior (i.e. Gurdjieff’s famed “Idiot Toasts”, which I find to be hilarious.) The result of the technique can be like a splash of cold water in the face of the lower ego, which, notwithstanding the sense of being insulted, can clearly outline the shape of the ego for the practitioner to openly see the truth of his own illusory self. However, if the practitioner is not ready to handle such information, any number of reactionary behaviors can manifest. I know that somewhere in Buenos Aires there are, according to lore, a few people wandering around who have lost their marbles due Oscar Ichazo’s initial experimental Work.
“I suppose the point I’m making here is that the teacher has a grave responsibility when employing such techniques and unequivocally needs to have the sensitivity of heart to use such with kid gloves, in accordance with the temperament of the student. ”
The scene we worry about is the one in which there is an ideology that declares the teacher totally free from all such responsibility, free to torture and abuse, and puts all onus onto the student. Thats a rationalization for torture all tarted up with ‘crazy wisdom’ bullshit.
Finally, one person’s description of a deceased teacher, Jan Cox.
“Re: Jan Cox
Wed, November 29, 2006 – 2:11 AM
I met up with Jan in the late ’70s. He ran around in a jogging outfit and red tennis shoes. When I first saw him he was buffed out and drove around in an old 914. He fit just fine in his ‘”Waffle House” environment, which to him could have been a four star, and if you had the opportunity to meet him, other than getting a hint of an outgoing personality of a fairly bright fellow, you’d probably peg him as a plumber or a roofer. This is despite the fact he was born into a wealthy publishing family. He lived in a sprawling single level ranch style house, built from cinder block if I remember correctly, and had this funny little taffy-colored terrier he was always playing around with – he loved that dog. At the center of his house was this huge carpeted room lined with records, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of them. It was my understanding that he had one of the world’s largest collections of early rock and blues. Beer continued to pour in and the music, most of which I had never heard the likes of, filled the room and people danced themselves silly. The man knew how to party.
Jan traveled around by car and plane to spread whatever it was that he was spreading. He looked goofy, dressed goofy and laughed and talked a lot, though there was certainly another side of him, and if he turned his eye on you he could charge you up or simply melt you. He understood what made people tick, and he knew how to light a fire under them, get that psychojuice flowing through their veins. He’d turn business people into rock stars and doctors into bricklayers and clerks into writers. He had a knack to find the last possible activity you could ever see yourself doing, and I mean the LAST, and get you to do it and get you to do it well. He demanded an hour of exercise per day from everyone who hung around him, and had them meditating and stretching themselves into knots and staying up all night again and again and partying at the beach. He had attorneys begging with dark glasses and tin cups on shady street corners and he’d put chocolate sauce on your green beans. And people had a pretty darned good time. He was good at finding weaknesses and transforming them into strengths. This was tough for some and they bounced themselves out, sometimes pretty hard.
At some point he started showing up with bandages around his neck and then he started losing weight. He kept on going as long as he possibly could. Books that went out were put together by students who might have been waitresses or lab techs. He joked about these works frequently, and since he was connected with the publishing industry, I assume he got them printed for nothing – they were his bookmarks, his advertising tools. His serious material was held close.
So, other than a book title, which I’m not even sure was his idea – I really don’t think what he did, “This Thing” as he called it, bore any resemblance to typically what would be thought of as a “Fourth Way” group or “The Work”. I’m sure he was familiar with G’s ideas but he mentioned them rarely, no more than he would have mentioned the name of Buddha or Jesus. And I have a fairly good idea of what “The Work” is from a Gurdjieffian point of view, since I worked for many years with several 4th Way Teachers and taught myself here in the US and abroad. Jan did his own thing. I spent time with Pentlam and several of Gurdjieff’s and Ouspensky’s students, which were themselves teachers, and believe me, they would have no part of much of what Jan did, and Jan would have no part of what they did. The concept of what the Work is varies dramatically between teachers as it does students. Jan held regular meetings where he spoke and answered questions, but what was discussed and how it was discussed bore no resemblance to any typical 4th Way type meeting that I had ever experienced.
As far as my thoughts on Gurdjieff – well, I never knew the man, though as I mentioned above – I did know several of his students and spent a fair amount of time with them. At that time in my life, my younger years, I was simply blown away by what I was learning, and for many years my life revolved around the Work. At some point I felt that my connection with formal groups was counterproductive, that it was time for me to become the Work, so that is what I did – and that too became counterproductive and another avenue appeared. When G died, his work died. There is no real Gurdjieff school other than his. All Gurdjieff teachers are imitators. Contrary to popular belief, there is no passing the torch. Real teachers come out of nowhere, burn their mark and go away.
You mention Fellowship of Friends as not being a real school. I knew Burton and a number of his people. They are as real or unreal as any other group. I’ve never met a teacher who didn’t have weaknesses, nor have I met a student without weaknesses. The only thing real about any school is its ability to afford students the possibility to make connections FOR THEMSELVES. There is nothing that a teacher can give to a student. There is no Shaktipat, no tapping on the forehead and bringing forth consciousness. There is no such thing as lineage. Ultimately, there is only the essence of the moment, which is fleeting for all students and teachers alike, despite how they might want you to otherwise believe. Average levels and degrees of penetrating the moment may vary with health, genetics and level of dedication. Humans were simply not designed to remain in the moment. What we are talking about is delusion propagated by schools – teachers, students and their associated literature – belief, not reality. Now this doesn’t mean you can’t try to do the impossible; it’s the trying that’s the fun part. Just so you don’t get too shaken up when you see how pathetic your attempts are. These thoughts, of course, are contrary to what most groups or schools or whatever they call themselves want you to believe.
I read the books of Nicoll and Bennett over 3 decades ago. I can most assuredly say that I was mesmerized when I read them. I can also assuredly say that I don’t now remember a single thought from them. I just glanced at the few remaining rows of work books in my bookcase, the ones I haven’t given away over the years, and other than “The Psychology” by Ouspensky, there’s not a single one I wouldn’t be willing to part with. And I couldn’t even locate that title. Rather than reading any of this material I’d rather go out and see the latest action movie.
And Rudra, if you haven’t burned up in the atmosphere and you’re still out there listening – lighten up a little – get a massage or something.
Read the whole thing. But, here are a few choice tidbits.