L Cohen & R Balsekar (Advaita)

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
boogiestreeter
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L Cohen & R Balsekar (Advaita)

Postby boogiestreeter » Tue Oct 14, 2003 7:15 am

Hello friends

What a wonderful website and work of love - for the man who has touched our hearts, profoundly.

My name is boogiestreeter, living in Toronto, Canada.

Questions:

Is Mr. Cohen still a student of Ramesh Balsekar - the Indian Advaita teacher? Do they meet regularly? Any details?

Any reports available anywhere about the relationship or about Mr. Cohen's views on Advaita philosophy?

Does Mr. Cohen have any relationship with Balsekar's American successor - Wayne Liquorman?

Thanks -

B.
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:54 pm

Dear B. :D ~

I'm glad you found us here and that you like it. I extend my welcome :D , even though I can't assist in answering your questions. The only clarifying thing I can say is that Leonard does go to India to study. You may already have all of your own answers. Where did you come across that information?

~ Lizzytysh
John the Shorts
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Postby John the Shorts » Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:28 pm

Shwmae Boogiestreeter

Welcome to the board. I'm afraid that I am unable to answer your question but there are many knowledgeable people here and I'm sure someone will at least be able to give you some pointers as to where to find the answers

May you enjoy your stay

JTS
boogiestreeter
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From Mt Baldy to Balsekar

Postby boogiestreeter » Wed Oct 15, 2003 8:39 am

Thank you JTS and Lizzytysh for your warm welcome.

I read about Mr. Cohen's studies with Ramesh a few years ago, I can't recall the exact source.

Ole subcomandante prophet/sage/mystic Cohen's spiritual journey and honest search for peace/meaning/truth parallels the often agonizing inner quest in the lives of many of his devoted appreciators - mine included.

I am curious about his current relations/views re the Advaitist scene - and its possible influence on his work/art.

"I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Advaitist party."

boogiestreeter
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jarkko
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Postby jarkko » Wed Oct 15, 2003 8:10 pm

You may find this page quite interesting:
http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/indiatimes.html
and more on this page:
http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/bombay.html
Jarkko
boogiestreeter
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thank you jarkko

Postby boogiestreeter » Wed Oct 15, 2003 8:38 pm

thank you friend - for taking the time to post these very helpful, insightful links.


warmest regards,

B
songster
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Postby songster » Tue Oct 21, 2003 11:18 am

Am I the only one who finds LC's latest guru's religious philosophy repugnant in the extreme? I'm talking about Ramesh Balsekar's pantheistic--no need for forgiveness--everyone is just pre-programmed to do the things they do--amoral universe. And THIS is what has brought peace and contentment to LC?

Come on, Leonard...Snap out of it!
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Kush
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Postby Kush » Tue Oct 21, 2003 4:30 pm

Songster....why not just live and let live ?
I don't know what Mr. Balsekar's philosophy is, i havent bothered to look it up (the only philosophy i ever needed was to keep myself busy and enjoy the good things in life) but if LC gets his kicks from it, so be it.
Relax and soak up the sunshine !!
songster
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Postby songster » Thu Oct 23, 2003 4:09 pm

Funny you should use the phrase, "just live and let live". Under the out-workings of Ramesh Balseker's religious philosophy, if I kill my neighbor--hey, no problem. I'm not the doer...I'm merely a mind/body mechanism (an object) that has been pre-programmed by the "Source/Consciousness." It's too bad my neighbor was programmed to be my victim. I get a cosmic get-out-of-jail free card. No guilt, no remorse, and no accountability to God because wouldn't you know it...I am God.

Kush, you only think your philosphy is to keep yourself busy and enjoy the good things in life... but your statement about "live and let live" proves otherwise. There is a world of "philosophy" in that statement. It is a statement about the way the world should be. And it is a moral philosophy. But that presuposses concepts like good and evil. There is no good and evil in Balseker's world view. Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether I live and let live, or live and let die.

Oh, about the comment to Leonard to "snap out of it". That was a joke referencing Balseker's "Divine Hypnosis" theory.
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Juliette
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Postby Juliette » Fri Oct 24, 2003 2:55 am

Songster, why do you dislike Balseker? Eastern Mysticism has much to offer the West. (I am assuming you are a Westerner). Perhaps there is no good and evil as we have been taught to believe. All religions teach the same message...but each with a different way to God. You in your way and I in mine.
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Sun Oct 26, 2003 11:53 pm

Hi Juliette ~

It appears I agree with what you've said, if I'm understanding you correctly :) . My belief/feeling about religions is that G~d [or whatever name/concept you may choose] is in the Center, represented by a small circle. In a concentric circle around it, is a much large one. That one is divided into segments, like spokes of a wheel, or pieces of pie, yet all connected with the inner circle representing G~d. All of the segments are legitimate paths to the inner circle, they're only different, according to the country/culture/etc. from which they originate. Just as different cultures have their own foods, recipes, dress, dances, customs, etc. ~ so do they have their own path to the One, which is appropriate to their language, understanding, etc..

~ Elizabeth
Lostlyric
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L Cohen & R Balsekar (Advaita)

Postby Lostlyric » Mon Nov 03, 2003 2:08 am

Songster I like the way you ask Leonard to snap out of it. I think that is precisely what Leonard has been doing for the last few decades. And if he sees it fit to follow Zen or Advaita that is his prerogative. But I don't think you get it - remotely.

It has been said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And I think you demonstrate the truth of this maxim in a very striking way. Advaita at its most rudimentary level simply says "everything is God" in every sense of the term. There is free will in everything, and Advaita certainly does not say there isn't. But for the individual who has "arrived" (for lack of a better term) at Advaita, there is no attachment to the phenomena of opposites e.g. good/evil; pain/pleasure; cause/effect etc..

The example is given that an Advaitan (follower of Advaita) was walking in the foothills of the Himalayas when a strong wind blew his hair in his face. The Advaitan started walking in the opposite direction to avoid the wind blowing his hair in his face. The Advaitan did so because he was not attached to travelling in any particular direction. All directions meant the same to him. I don't know if the meaning of this parable is self-evident. But this is the perspective of the Advaitan. Everything is God.

I am not myself an Advaitan but I have some understanding of it. In western terminology Advaita can be defined as Monism i.e. that there is a single underlying reality in the universe which is God and this God is in each of us as well, in an unrealized form. Unrealized because the reality is masked by Maya or illusion created by desires and materialism.

Anyhow, before you pass judgement on someone or comment on something (anything) try and understand what it means and gain some true appreciation of it. Hearing about a muffin is not quite the same as eating it. This is NOT meant to flame you. But it does help to respect the viewpoint of those who are seeking for something that is important to them. What do you think a spiritual quest is about? Most certainly not a fashion statement like ultra low-rise jeans that can be dispensed with in favour of long-rise jeans!!! So please don't say callous things like "Snap out of it" because "something is happening, and you really don't know what it is. Do you Mr. Jones?"

By the way BoogieStreeter there is no such thing as the Advaitist Party. That is like saying that there is a Catholic party. Advaita is a school of thought in Vedanta, the latter is the collective word used for the ancient spiritual knowledge of India that governs life and esp. spiritual life. Advaita is also referred to as the Yoga of Knowledge. In my opinion, to westerners the appeal of Advaita is that it is seen as an *intellectual* method of inquiry to realize God or the absolute. However, I think it requires a person to be a highly evolved individual spiritually, otherwise it is a baffling pathway to those who think it is merely an intellectual pathway to the absolute.

An Advaitist does not necessarily have to subscribe to any particular religion, but a spiritual viewpoint can certainly help.

Hope this helps to clarify things somewhat.

Take care,

Biraj
"So if you're sitting all alone and hear a-knocking at your door and the air is full of promises, well buddy, you've been warned!!!"

Nick Cave on love
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Mon Nov 03, 2003 2:17 am

Hi Biraj ~

You've offered a very detailed, appropriate, and compassionate response, and I hope it is received in the spirit in which it was given. Your being informed enough to detail it as you have is also educational for the rest of us, for our own understanding. Thanks.

"Mr. Jones" may well be my favourite Dylan song. When I first started college, I did a composition paper on it.

~ Elizabeth
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Makera
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Postby Makera » Mon Nov 03, 2003 5:33 am

Lostlyric/Biraj~

Thank you for your reasoned and, as Lizzy said, appropriate post. Excellent explication! It is so easy to misunderstand what does not translate well into simplistic forms, i.e. that which is intended for initiates. Well done.

Love & Light,
Gennelle
Last edited by Makera on Sat Nov 08, 2003 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Mon Nov 03, 2003 6:13 pm

Dear Biraj ~

I knew that this was a matter of over-simplification, but never having heard of Advaita [the closest to the word, that I know, being Ayurvedic, with which I do have some familiarity], I knew better than try to do what you were able to do. I only went on common sense, knowing that the scenarios described were not what Leonard would subscribe to, those being more along the lines of a cult/Satanic cult. I want to reiterate my thanks to you for putting this all into a reality-based perspective.

~ Elizabeth

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