It seems like every other person in our hometown of Boulder was a devotee of Papaji.
Over the years I’ve probably attended 20 or 25 satsangs with devotees of Papaji, of whom Gangaji is the most famous example.
This is “neo-advaita” teaching, which purports to give the “ultimate view” that resides as the final stop along every spiritual journey.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you how to get there, other than to repeatedly say what you shouldn’t do — i.e., “neti, neti.”
You’ve probably heard variations of it before: “Consciousness is all there is.”
What’s so enticing about neo-advaita teachings is that they are packaged as “not for just anybody.” While the rest of us poor schmucks are out here beating our heads against the wall, enlightened neo-advaitins are “just being” in a state/non-state of absolute is-ness… or something… and it’s the simplest thing… so long as you are one of the chosen few whose capacity is deep and wide enough to “get it” in fairly short order. Of course, there’s nothing you can do to “get it,” because it either happens or it doesn’t happen… but, then, there’s nothing actually happening, and for that matter there is no “one” for whom it happens, or doesn’t happen.
Suffice it to say, you just want to shoot yourself in the head after a few years of this stuff.
At a certain point in 1997 or so (can’t be sure, but give or take a year), I had for a close Internet friend a self-confessed Nisargadatta/U.G. Krishnamurti (both of whom I continue to respect and love, by the way) devotee named “El.” As she was gruff and tactlessly honest in all her communication, she was universally disliked on the big neo-advaita discussion boards to which I belonged, but for some reason I was truly drawn to her. Just when I was perfecting my neo-advaita pitch and putting it out there from an authoritative perspective (i.e., I was just sure that it had “happened” to me), El brutally knocked me off my high horse… and after three days of licking my wounds, it dawned on me what a beautiful favor she did me. When I expressed my thanks, she said, “Okay, now you’ve got a chance to go all the way.”
I’m still working on it, but I can definitely say that I am thankful for having moved beyond neo-advaitaism. It took three or four years after the above-mentioned event before I finally dropped it completely, at which point I stopped ignoring the “signs of absorption” that had been asserting themselves since the very early 90’s… and I found a meditation teacher who could not only explain what was happening to me, but who could help me devise a lifestyle that allows “jhana” to do its spiritually-transformative thing with me.
Still a work in process, but let me just say that, having been a “jhana yogi” for four years, I can watch Mooji’s satsang with a mixture of thanksgiving and tolerance. My teacher would say that Mooji is “established in second jhana,” and that sounds about right to me.
More power to him.
He could very well, in fact, have it absolutely right.