www.kevinrdshepherd.info

Home Aspects Of Citizen Philosophy Kate Thomas & Findhorn Foundation Findhorn Foundation: Problems
Letter To Robert Walter MP Ken Wilber and Integralism Internet Terrorist Gerald Joe Moreno Shirdi Sai Baba & Sai Baba Movement
Climate Change Complexities Hazrat  Babajan Desert Fathers and Christian Philosophy Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Meher Baba and Yazd The Kundalini Phenomenon Aleister Crowley


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Kevin R. D. Shepherd

ECOLOGY - NEW  AGE  CRITIQUE - KEN  WILBER - SUFISM - CHRISTIANITY

 

   

I am a British author, born in 1950. I have composed diverse books ranging from Psychology in Science (1983) to Pointed Observations (2005) and Sai Baba of Shirdi: A Biographical Investigation (2015). This is the the third of my six websites. Two earlier sites are citizeninitiative.com (2007) and kevinrdshepherd.net (2008). For history of religion, see independentphilosophy.net (2009). My fifth website is citizenphilosophy.net (2010). I also maintain the blog Commentaries, which relates to philosophy, religion, and other subjects. See further my profile and bibliography.

The present website comprises the following entries:

ASPECTS  OF  CITIZEN  PHILOSOPHY

A brief explanation of the orientation I have expressed in web articles, published epistles, and the book Pointed Observations. This orientation links to my exercise in a philosophy of culture, dating back to Meaning in Anthropos (1991). This project I have described as philosophical anthropography, not to be confused with ethnography.

KATE  THOMAS  AND  THE  FINDHORN  FOUNDATION


Kate Thomas, Findhorn  1988

A coverage of the major dissident at the Findhorn Foundation, who was repressed and stigmatised by the management and staff of this "alternative" organisation. The Findhorn Foundation has claimed spiritual and therapeutic characteristics, and for many years capitalised upon the theme of "conflict resolution." In reality, there was no such resolution with dissidents, despite marked tendencies to reconciliation from the latter. The evasive policy of the Foundation caused Kate Thomas to resort to solicitors. A unique feature of this webpage is the incorporation of the legal attention factor in detailed format. Solicitor correspondence with the Findhorn Foundation, dating to 2008-2009, is here reproduced. That correspondence confirmed the evasive tactic of the organisation at issue, making the position of the Findhorn Foundation even more indefensible in the eyes of observers.

THE  FINDHORN  FOUNDATION: PROBLEMS


Findhorn  Foundation  wind  turbines

An overview of some basic events concerning the alternative community, which originated in 1962 in a caravan park at Findhorn Bay (Moray, Scotland). The extensive reliance of the Findhorn Foundation upon commercial "workshops," associated with the prototype of Esalen (in California), resulted in high charges for clients. This trend met a setback in promotion of the Grof alternative therapy known as Holotropic Breathwork, which was suspended because of an official recommendation made in 1993 by the Scottish Charities Office, who acted on a report commissioned from Edinburgh University. The subsequent economic problems of the Foundation receive mention, and also the controversial pursuit of CIFAL status, acquired in 2006 for a projected ecology programme associated with the Findhorn Ecovillage. Formerly obscured dissident correspondence with Scottish politicians is here exhumed, casting light upon events too rarely seen in due perspective.

LETTER  TO  ROBERT  WALTER  MP  ON THE  FINDHORN  FOUNDATION


Robert  Walter  MP

This epistle to a considerate British Member of Parliament is dated November 2008. It was written in counter to a misleading communication from the Director of the Findhorn Foundation, who was attempting to justify the discrepant position of that organisation in relation to solicitor confrontation. Arranged in nineteen sections, this letter describes and clarifies numerous points in connection with the Findhorn Foundation and dissidents.

KEN  WILBER  AND  INTEGRALISM


Ken  Wilber

A lengthy and annotated webpage on the American writer Ken Wilber. His influential books are described from a critical viewpoint. His "post-metaphysical" version of spirituality is attended by workshop promotions and the claimed convergence with postmodernism. The "integral psychology" of Wilber, plus his early "Up from Eden" theory, are reviewed. Points of disagreement are charted, and in relation to the increasing volume of "Wilber critique" that has appeared on the internet. The survey includes reference to Frank Visser, the Dutch commentator who was formerly a partisan of Wilber in the major published guide to the latter's life and works (Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion, 2003). Visser afterwards became a critic of his former hero; the reasons for this change of attitude are here investigated.

THE  INTERNET  TERRORIST  GERALD  JOE  MORENO

Gerald Joe Moreno, of New Mexico, is notorious for libellous materials described in terms of blog attack, cyberstalking, and web harassment. Moreno (alias Equalizer) asserted an explicit campaign against critics of the controversial guru Sathya Sai Baba (d.2011). Not content with militating against ex-devotees, Moreno also attacked complete outsiders to the Sathya Sai Organisation. This webpage confronts the misinformation and harassing tactic directed at an outsider. Moreno is reported to have died in 2010.

SHIRDI  SAI  BABA  AND  THE   "SAI  BABA  MOVEMENT "


l to r: Shirdi Sai  Baba, Upasani  Maharaj, Meher  Baba

An annotated webpage describing three deceased saints of Maharashtra. The unorthodox Sufi faqir Sai Baba of Shirdi (died 1918) was a multi-faceted phenomenon. His Hindu disciple, Upasani Maharaj (died 1941) of Sakori, was an unpredictable guru who aroused strong opposition from the brahman caste by his promotion of female rights in the sphere of spirituality. Upasni (Upasani) created a distinctive community of nuns at his Sakori ashram. Meanwhile, his Irani Zoroastrian disciple Meher Baba (died 1969) established Meherabad ashram near Ahmednagar and commenced silence in 1925, a discipline which did not prevent him from undertaking many journeys and conducting diverse activities. This varied trio have since been subsumed under the contested denominator of "Sai Baba Movement" by commentators who have favoured the later instance of Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, who lived in Andhra and not Maharashtra. This webpage may be regarded as a supplement to my book entitled Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005). An update refers to the more recent contribution of Professor Tulasi Srinivas in relation to the Sathya Sai Baba Organisation.

CLIMATE  CHANGE  COMPLEXITIES

Arctic Sea ice melting

This webpage covers the global warming issue, highlighting acute discrepancies between the consensus verdict of climate scientists and the denialism of sceptics. The denialists include corporate business interests, the controversial Bjorn Lomborg, and economist Nigel Lawson. Anthropogenic or man-made global warming is a matter of pressing relevance, confirmed by such documents as the Copenhagen Diagnosis of 2009 and the IPCC Special Report dated October 2018. The webpage investigates climate problems in different key regions, varying from the ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica to the fraught situation on the Tibetan Plateau and adjacent areas. I originally championed ecological themes of the Club of Rome in the early 1980s, in the book Psychology in Science (1983). See also Autobiographical Reflections (2010).

HAZRAT  BABAJAN,  A  PATHAN  (PASHTUN)  SUFI

Hazrat  Babajan

Hazrat Babajan (d.1931) was a distinctive Muslim female faqir whose final years were spent at the Poona cantonment of the British Raj. There she lived a simple outdoor existence under a tree, gaining an inter-religious following. She did not preach any doctrine or observance. Her tolerant attitude contrasts with fundamentalist orientations. Her early life is only sparsely recorded. She originated in a Pathan (Pashtun) milieu of Afghan associations. Babajan ran away from home to escape unwanted matrimony, and became an itinerant ascetic in the Punjab. She was reputedly buried alive by Islamic fundamentalists; the Baluch Regiment subsequently contributed to her fame at Poona. A related web article is Hazrat Babajan, Faqir of  Poona.

THE  DESERT  FATHERS  AND  CHRISTIAN  PHILOSOPHY

Monastery  of   St.  Antony,  in  the  Eastern  Desert  of  Egypt

The desert fathers of Egypt created monasticism, which took different forms. Coptic hermits like Antony existed along with the semi-eremitical settlement of Kellia and the coenobitic Pachomian monasteries in the Thebaid. This diverse phenomenon was accompanied by the "Christian philosophy" associated with entities varying from Origen and Evagrius Ponticus to Didymus the Blind and Basil of Caesarea. The chronology of events from the third to fifth centuries CE is kaleidoscopic, including factors that have been reassessed by specialist scholarship. The present overview includes a rebuttal of the "pro-Roman" viewpoint represented by Edward Gibbon, and a critical approach to the strategies of Athanasius, fourth century bishop of Alexandria. The pivotal figure of Antony the Hermit, hagiologised by Athanasius, has an Origenist complexion afforded by other documents relatively neglected. The Pachomian federation of monasteries created by Pakhom (Pachomius) transited to an orthodox outlook. The subject of female ascetics is a matter of further complexity. Egyptian "monasticism" was multi-faceted, existing in urban, village, and desert formats that defy simplistic classification of the type formerly imposed.

BHAGWAN  SHREE  RAJNEESH

Bhagwan  Shree  Rajneesh  (Osho)

A critical overview of the most audacious Indian guru on record. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (d.1990) started his career as an assistant professor of philosophy, but became a guru teaching a hybrid version of Tantra. His Poona ashram (1974-81) gained notoriety as a centre of alternative therapy and permissive lifestyles. He was known as the "sex guru." His subsequent residence at an Oregon ranch (1981-85) ended in deportation. Rajneesh was in close association with the terrorist activities of an aggressive commune management led by Ma Anand Sheela. The commune at the Oregon ranch planned a city known as Rajneeshpuram. In friction with the local population, Sheela and her colleagues resorted to extremist measures in the hope of retaining a municipal identity. When the Oregon commune terminated, the guru resumed his career in Poona (Pune), adopting the new name of Osho.

MEHER  BABA  AND  YAZD

Meher  Baba

Meher Baba (1894-1969) visited Yazd during a tour of Iran in 1929. Some details are here supplied, including contact with Bahai representatives. Attention is given to the Zoroastrian background of Meher Baba, an Irani who was born in India. The Yazd plain was the setting for diverse Zoroastrian villages, including Khorramshah, from where the family of Meher Baba originated. Bahai communities also developed in the Yazd region. Some Yazdis featured in the Meher/Prem Ashram phase of Meher Baba's activity in 1927-29; relevant accounts are profiled in that connection.

THE  KUNDALINI  PHENOMENON

The Kundalini Phenomenon is an unusual book warning about a subject that is often presented in a simplistic manner. The author is profiled, and the content is indicated. The feedback from Yoga scholar Georg Feuerstein is also covered.

ALEISTER  CROWLEY

Aleister  Crowley

A critical coverage of the most famous and notorious British occultist.



                                                          

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Copyright  ©  2019 Kevin  R. D. Shepherd.   All  Rights  Reserved. Page uploaded August 2009, last modified March 2019.