The Speakers…

In my boredom I develop all kinds of enthusiasms in the course of a week, a month, a year. New voices emerge and enchant me, the latest of which was the voice of Henry David Thoreau whose Walden I never read because it was required reading. In India this past month, I discovered some information about his life, rather than what he said, that made me want to look more closely at what he had to say. It is extremely rare that a philosopher lives in a way that is as interesting as what he writes. I am not disappointed. His writing has me completely absorbed during endless subway rides but yesterday I finished up the chapter on Reading and it was a little reminder…
“Instead of noblemen, let us have noble villages of men. If it is necessary, omit one bridge over the river, go round a little there, and throw one arch at least over the darker gulf of ignorance which surrounds us.”
This passage struck as uncharacteristically idealistic. Thoreau suddenly felt a little claustrophobic. I liked the sentiment, but the mission lost me. There are so many other passages that are light and beautiful and can’t be sorted out. So many bits reminded me of UG, things about do-gooders and how he would run as soon as he sensed someone coming to do him some good. About how the church should be abandoned for the actual house of god, (a necessary figure of speech rather than an airborne father figure), which is in nature, not some stuffy chamber lorded over by a sanctimonious windbag, (priest). The book is a gem, but the passage about reading makes it once again clear to me what was operating in my old friend UG was something quite over the top. (I know, I know, Jakes Krinch said we aren’t supposed to compare, but try not doing that for even five minutes!) The finality in UG’s way of living is where I freshly appreciate him in comparison to every new attraction I encounter in every area of my life. (Again let me apologize, I know, I know, UG said we are all supposed to forget him. Thing is, I only hear this from people that never met him or didn’t listen to him when they did.) Sooner or later in each new acquaintance there is the indication of a boundary, a ridge around the edges of their consciousness, which was absent in UG. This is what makes him so unforgettable to me. He is a field in which I can wander endlessly, were I can breath fresh air, something like my lungs, invisible to me, but nevertheless operating in a way that sustains me.
There is something so spacious in the fact that he never cared whether people listened or not. He knew too well that most people are simply incapable of listening in the first place so that was there. He was speaking from a place that cannot be known, so there was no reason for him to expect that people understand him. In fact the worst-case scenario was to think you understood him! I think he simply had to give it his best while in the company of others to attempt to show people what was actually going on, rather than give them ideas about it or a cure for it. Having done that, there he dropped the matter. As far as I can find, UG never made any blanket statement suggesting a course of action for any group of people. His sole function was to shed light on things precisely as they are, never as they should or could be. In this he was unwavering.
Occasionally some lucky bugger would get a hint or suggestion from UG as to a specific action to be taken in the moment, but this always came in a flash and was directed at a precise need whose means were fully within reach of that individual. The stories of those people are particularly instructive at the most practical level imaginable. I can think of one person I recently met who said he knew UG for over 20 years and the only thing UG ever said to him was, “Sir, do business.” He listened and now he and his wife easily run a healthy prosperous business and he is as genuine a man as I’ve met around UG.
UG never touched speculation, dismissing it immediately if it arose in conversation. This cut off many a conversation since most of our conversation is speculation. People for years came to him, asked his advice, and when he spoke to them, defended themselves or their ideas, (and there is no difference here between a person and an idea, a person in spoken words is nothing but that), attacked him with the universal machinery of speculation. Speculation is the ultimate tool for using imagination to avoid what is in front of you. Our greatness, our sense of progress, the allegations of happiness and love are all speculation if you look closely. We collectively speculate and agree to speculate rather than live. Maybe that’s why the stock market is so successful; its foundation is speculation.
Speaking of speculation, there is the recent matter of Gail Tredwell, upon whom her guru did just that. She recently released a book that must have taken real courage to write, let alone publish, about spending 19 years under the shadow of yet another fake guru. She would never call her a total fake, that’s my take on her. These stories are as numerous as the masses filling the coffers of the endless parade of spiritual clowns out there. I just spent a month in Tiruvannamalai where if you put up a poster, you can get an audience and I guarantee you if you sit there and stare at them in silence for more than ten minutes some of them will have a ‘spiritual experience’. I guarantee this. The more sincere you are, the more you will find them.
Right not the headlines in the Indian news are graced with the tales of another grand dame of modern affections, Mata Amritanandamayi, a.k.a. The Hugging Ma. The hug in our culture is as rampant as it is phony and unavoidable. Try backing away from a hug and see what insult you fling upon your huggee. When asked what he thought of the “Huggy Ma” some years back, UG’s unhesitant reply was “She’s a sex starved bitch.” The evidence in the latest expose-all book called “Holy Hell” will reveal her humanity and be denied by her vast and powerful machinery. Her wealth and power are evident by the fact that already the South Indian police have arrested people for speaking out against her on Facebook. Democrazy? This one knows her stuff at least. ‘Huggy’ claims to no longer have her period but her closest attendant for years tells us that’s just a pose. When it starts there, it never ends. According to her former attendant of 19 years, she diverted her audience’s donations to politicians and her birth family, physically assaults her attendants behind the scenes, and eats like a pig. When asked how she knew this, the woman said, “I delivered the gold and cash to them myself.” If these people were sincere, they would cuff their devotees in clear view of their audience… Where’s the harm in that?
UG took money from some friends and gave it to others and their children in front of everybody. He hit me in front of people, but if there was no audience he left me totally alone. He was silent as the grave when there was no audience. I know this because I sat in that graveyard. I don’t expect people to get the point here if they don’t already agree with me. One thing I constantly struggle with is why to write at all. I know I’m preaching to the converted because none of us are listening anyway. I once told a work colleague about UG and at the end of our conversation he asked me, “So is that your plan, to become a guru?” I knew he hadn’t heard a word I was saying… I’m sure all he heard during our conversation was “Blablabla, I have a guru… blablablabla.” I recently explained to a friend why I was unsuited to having a relationship and didn’t want one. Within hours he showed up with a new date for me. So do we listen? Is the purpose of conversation to really exchange ideas? Its essential for our survival in this snake-pit society, and there is no way of avoiding them, but to expect to actually communicate ideas with people who don’t already share them is pure lunacy, (which makes sense I guess because we live in a societal asylum as it is).
Shakey Jakes Krishnamurti, UG’s mentor and a man he never forgot to insult nearly every day for the rest of his life, was often caught misspeaking in the third person during his talks. You can find it all over the videos on Youtube. “I am not,” pause …” the speaker is not, trying to convince you of anything. “ Why did he bother? Self-effacement is an oxymoron; it would only be possible if in fact there were no self. With UG, there were no missed steps of this sort because he wasn’t trying to get anywhere or convince people of things. “I assert that the only thing there is no other entity other than the first person pronoun ‘I’”. I have listened to hours, hundreds of hours, of his conversations and never do I hear this posturing. UG spoke in the simplest laymen’s terms. He spoke in a way that a child could understand. I suspect children around UG understood more than the adults. This was cured by the training of the adults and the education system, and then puberty and then the pollution of socialization finished off the rest.
Fakes and phonies are always caught out in private, JK’s affairs, Huggy Ma’s nasty behavior, both of their cash hoarding, because they have more work to do, and it’s much harder work than what UG did. Imagine keeping up a front that you are completely selfless to an ever-expanding audience with more money at stake every day. Every day you give satsang to a crowd of hopeful suckers your investment grows and you have more and more to lose! What an enormous pressure must build up. What a drain of energy this would be after while! The great spiritual leader of the 70’s and 80’s, Daffy John, also known as La-Dee-Daa, apparently wept because there were not more people, more followers to appreciate his divinity. Poor bastard! You cannot make this stuff up. Of course the payoff for these fakes is massive, their personal needs will always be met and then some. But a reputation is always in danger of being upended. When UG was accused to screwing around with Parveen Babi, rather than defend his purity his response was, “What more do I want? An old man like me, hanging around with a rich and beautiful Bollywood movie star!”
UG’s life was easy because he had no investment in what people thought of him. For the same reason I like Thoreau and his book Walden. Even with a few shortcomings, he didn’t care what people thought of him. His book is more interesting to read after 150 years than 99% of what has been published in the past 100. Its still fresh, and I’m so glad I ignored it until now so I can enjoy its novelty. Of the news Thoreau said;
“If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter, – we never need read of another.”
So why am I going on and on?

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55 Responses to The Speakers…

  1. Isabel says:

    Wow, thank you. Loved reading this. I’ll read Walden now too. Nothing like getting your hand on a good book!

  2. Raj Mehta says:

    Hello Louis, I always enjoyed your writings and now it continues in the form of blog. Wonderful piece. You are able to give voice to many things at least I felt as impact of UG but am unable to put in words or communicate. Thanks very much friend.

  3. Hal Blacker says:

    Nice piece. Coincidentally, stimulated by references to Thoreau in Paul Auster’s “New York Trilogy,” I also recently started reading, re-reading and enjoying Walden in a way I couldn’t when I first read bits and pieces as an adolescent. There is something timeless there, I think. And I love some of his quotes, like this one from the intro: “I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.” And: “The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything , it is very likely to be my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?”

    • louisbrawley says:

      if they’d told me he was kind of a bad ass I might have taken an interest earlier….

    • louisbrawley says:

      A nice one I noted down the other day.. he’s describing the smoke from a train passing by…
      “…the trail of clouds stretching far behind and rising higher and higher, going to heaven while the cars are going to Boston…” speaks volumes in its context…

  4. Crono Spino says:

    Hi Louis,
    Nothing wrong with that, it’s just the merry-go-round… Keep on moving and writing, because, as he said, “there is no way out”, or is there? I don’t know…

  5. shobha says:

    Enjoyed reading it. Are you still in india ?

  6. Ashish says:

    loved this new term of yours- “societal asylum”

    • louisbrawley says:

      Thanks, I don’t know where I got it. I made up a nice one the other day, “Guy-Eye”.
      That’s when you ask your wife/girlfriend, where something is that is right in front of you…

      • Ashish says:

        Guy-Eye, it rhymes well too..! Hey- I cant wait to read a new book from you? When is it coming out, if at all. You see- what you write about- has a global audience. Maybe you dont want to write a book, but you know- one book is enough to earn forever.

  7. Philip Hawkrigg says:

    Great blog post as always Louis, it seems as if you have been both blessed and cursed in knowing U.G.
    Being aware of the state that he was in and the cost to be in that state (the end of the self, not even knowing that you are alive) if there was some way for you to enter that state, would you take the jump off the million mile high cliff?

    • louisbrawley says:

      If there is anything I can speculate on its this, that there is no way to voluntarily take that particular leap. Everything about the way a human being is designed indicates that a volitional act is the result of thinking. Since we are not talking about suicide, but something else, like a wave that carries you out to sea, there is no way to ‘do’ that since the ‘doing’ is born of thinking, so this thing, if and when it happens, is done to you. There may be things you can do to investigate the way your mind works, the nature of your situation and so on, but honestly, how could anyone claim to make that leap? This is why every single promise to lead you there, show you how, and all the rest of it is clearly bullshit, a sales pitch, a gimmick, a racket and a rip off. But I was told I have to find that out for myself … and so far that’s the score.

      • sharbra says:

        Taking a leap implies some funny shit though… It implies some-thing separate opening up to a you…as if You could have It, get It, or be in some kind of state. You wont be there to appreciate it…. Blah Blah blah, dropping dead, blah blah, extinction, etc. Blah.

        In one of the YouTube vids U.G. says to Dougie “Its like a drop falling into the ocean” No distinction, division, etc.. He goes on to say “Julie don’t record this Advaita shit.”

        Mind Fucking Beautiful
        Unique lucid writing Louis Brawley.


  8. louisbrawley says:

    Boom. Quite so… Ka-POW… ! !@#$%^&**&^&%$#@ WHAMMO!!!

  9. sharbra says:


    hey, i just noticed this morning–It’s the 22nd of March.

  10. Cédric says:

    Very nice. Thanks Louis.

    Best to you.

  11. Bruce says:

    Excuse this long post … ‘taking the leap’ and so forth, while UG claims one themselves cannot do this of their own volition, what is clear is that UG, himself, by himself and for himself, in complete self-responsibleness, with no ones help, no god, no saint, no idolized human being, even though he clearly hung around the JK fellow and endlessly, for 7 years, grilled the chap, in search of satisfactory answers to life’s questions, to his questions: it is clear that he did in fact search, far and wide, with every fiber of his being for The Truth, for the meaning, for ‘enlightenment’, however you wish to phrase it. He did NOT sit idly by waiting for manna from heaven to fall on himself, waiting to win the spiritual Lotto; he did NOT sit there daydreaming or practice a meditation-waiting-game. He actively pursued his goal, his question, the/his culmination point. So while he says you cannot do a thing about ‘this’, he most certainly did everything he could and through error after error, mistake after mistake, he got to his culmination point. Which brings to mind a famous Thomas Edison quote – “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
    In the spirit of that and how UG lived and what manner UG died, I quote the following from “The Goblet of the Truth”. Pardon its length, but it is interesting, imo at least.

    Click to access goblet-of-the-truth_21-28t2.pdf

    328) You human beings of Earth, you have built up your life upon unconsidered foundations, so all your customs, vices, Ausartungen and traditions have long become fixed and permanent terriblenesses from which you can only break away with great difficulties and as a rule only through evil disadvantage that strikes you.

    329) And in the confusion and in the chaos of your terriblenesses, you can no longer understand that you cheat yourselves about your dying and death by crampfully trying not to think about it.

    330) And if you recognise yourselves as those amongst human beings of Earth who were not procreated willingly and not consciously but haphazardly, then your pushing away of all serious thoughts and feelings with regard to your dying and death stands in a very close connection with the unconcernedness and moral low-state which was given at your procreation; and resulting out of this in many cases is that you as haphazard and undetermined procreation-fruit go like a shadow through your earthly life, as unright of a careless and undignified deed, because you were not procreated on the basis of a conscious and deliberate decision.

    331) And if you do not recognise this truth and therefore can find neither the right way nor rest in your life, then you will in the end artificially and crampfully cling to a self-deception by seeing yourselves as a wanted fruit of a procreation, and therewith refusing the responsibility for your existence and hence are of the wrong opinion that your responsibility for your life lies with those who procreated you; but that is not the case at all, because once you are in this life, even if you did not contribute to the procreation, you nevertheless have to take the full responsibility for your life, for your thoughts and feelings as well as for all your activity and for your actions and deeds; but that means, even if your parents do not teach you this, that you yourselves are responsible for what you do with regard to your life, how you form and lead it, whereupon and how you direct your thoughts and feelings and what your attitude is towards the procreation, birth and the life as well as the dying, death and the rebirth of the spirit-form and the birth of each new personality.

    332) And do not let your thoughts and feelings roam to this, that with the death everything is totally and definitively over, because with that you only evince that you keep your consciousness in inferiority and that you cowardly duck your responsibility towards the life and the death, whilst you also assume that you are not much better or worse than your fellow human beings.

    333) If you nourish your thoughts and feelings in this wise, then you live in suspicious imaginations which, however, do not change a speck of dust of the weight of the fact that sooner or later you will be caught up to by the dying and the death, and that this can happen each day, each hour and each minute; and consider, when you are born and live into the life, the dying and the death are already coming closer and closer, and you do not know when your time of the life according to your right-based life-conduct will be expired in accordance with the effects of the creational principles.

    334) Bethink yourselves of the true life and the truth of the creational laws and recommendations, so that you are not chickenhearted ones, and so you do not try to deny away in rigidity all responsibility for your own life and also the continued life after the dying as well as the rebirth of the spirit-form and the new birth of the new personality, through which in you, when your dying comes closer, great and angstful questions begin which prove that all of a sudden you become confused in what you erroneously believed in all your life.

    335) But if you only come to intellect and rationality while you are dying, then you have missed the actual life and in cowardice missed the bearing of the life-responsibility, because you do not derive any benefit for your passed life anymore, if, shortly before the major step out of the earthly life into the death-life, you suddenly recognise the fact of the continued life of your spirit-form as well as its rebirth in a new life together with the birth of a new personality in a new consciousness-block.

    336) Neither anxiety, fear, cowardice nor defiance allow a redemption or reduction of the interaction of all thoughts, feelings as well as all activity and all actions and deeds, because an insight and the recognition cannot be gained through a switching off and reducing of the interactions, but solely and exclusively through the searching and finding of the effective truth which you must fathom in yourselves, and indeed by finding the way of the truth in you which is both the truth and the culmination-point in one.

    337) And you are many amongst you whose intellect-based discernment – so often used by you in your life – plays, out of fear, a vicious game on you in the last hours while you are dying, namely in that you suddenly, in accustomed precaution, want to become quickly intellectually and rationally diligent when you realise that the release from your coarse-substantial body is continuously reaching a higher degree; but truly, that will not bring you any gain, because you cannot, in the short time of the dying, catch up on and finish off that which you have neglected throughout your life, so what you will die with as harvest is what you have sown during your life through your thoughts and feelings, your activity and through your actions and deeds.

    338) So if you do come to your senses during the dying, then you will not change the least therewith nor bring about any change and betterment, because it is not possible for you in the process of dying to finish off everything that you have neglected in the course of your entire life through the process of the perception, cognition, cognisance, knowledge, experience, living of the experience, and wisdom.

    339) It is sad for you who tumble away in your earthly existence in reckless self-deception as if in a delirious state, and as a result you live in anxiety and fear and cause yourselves a bad destiny.

    340) Lucky are however you others who do not waste your earthly existence, even though perhaps you only come out of your anxiety and fear and out of your determinations with regard to bad strokes of fate late in life and only slowly find the way to the truth and the consciousness-based evolution.

    341) Your serious searching for the truth is a staff and a support for you, so that you can therewith make the conscious step in your evolution and towards the finding of the truth without anxiousness, trembling and fear, and without stumbling.

    342) The time of the serious searching for the truth and the thought-feeling-based careful study of the life and death as well as of the procreation, the birth and the rebirth of the spirit-form and the birth of the new personality, all this you determine yourselves; but if you go this way in free volition, then this is an absolute progress for you which will bring you good things, make you happy and make all heavy things surprisingly easy for you, because your good volition will be so much more powerful than you have ever had as a presentiment; and if you go the way of the truth with regard to your thought-feeling-based careful study of the life and death, and of the procreation, the dying, the rebirth of the spirit-form and the birth of the new consciousness with the new personality, then the purely material will disappear as the most important aspect in your existence and grants an equalisedness between the spiritual, consciousness-based and material.

    343) If you strive for the effective truth and for your consciousness-evolution, you may often ask yourselves with regard to the pure earthly matters, whether you shall free yourselves from your material goods or whether you shall simply pay no more attention to them, but truly that would be foolish, because you are material life forms and therefore you also need the material goods.

    344) You shall only not cling onto your earthly goods and not let yourselves be oppressed through them, because you cannot tread the way of the fathoming of the truth through servitude; so in the searching for the truth it is not recommended to you to give or throw away your earthly goods so that you shall live in poverty.

    345) Truly, you shall happily and freely appreciate and rejoice whatever material goods are accessible to you, provided that you acquire them honestly and that you do not let yourselves be enslaved through them, so that you do not omit striving for the real truth of all truth because of such a servitude, so despite your material richness and all possessions of your earthly goods you live in a fulfilling wise in the creational laws and recommendations.

    346) That you shall not cling onto material goods only means that you shall not let yourselves get carried away to assume that the grabbing together of material possessions is the highest and most important purpose of your earthly existence, so therefore you do not predominantly direct your thoughts and feelings upon them and do not fall into possession-greed.

    347) But if you do fall prey to the possession-greed with regard to material values of any kind, then this attitude will keep you away from the higher culmination-point of the truth-search and from the fathoming and following of the creational laws and recommendations, wherethrough you will go about in great erroneous assumption with regard to the fulfilling of the life-sense.

    348) If you fall prey to the material, the earthly goods and possessions, then you will no longer find the time to search for and find the truth of all truth of the Creation and its laws and recommendations, just as is the case if you have fallen prey to a religious, ideological or philosophical belief and therewith a devotion to a god, tin god or idolised human being.

    349) Falling prey to material possessions and clinging thereon means being attached with all fibres of your life as well as your thoughts, feelings, wishes and your hopes and desires only to the sole purpose of the acquisition and possession thereof, and to worry about them; and this irrespective of whether this attachment is for the sake of the possession and the goods themselves or for the sake of the avariciousness and the pleasure which is made possible through the amassing of money and goods; but no matter what causes and purposes lead to the greed with regard to goods and riches, in the end, the result remains always the same.

    350) With the greed for possession and riches, for money, goods and chattels you bind and cling yourselves onto the purely material, wherethrough you lose the sight for what is ahead and above, for the effective truth and therewith for everything creational and for the Creation-given laws and recommendations.

    351) Your wrong understanding however, that material possession and earthly goods do not belong to the assiduousness for the truth of all truth and not to the higher-striving of the consciousness-evolution, has, through the belief in a god, tin god or idolised human being, created the senseless attitude in the majority of you Earth-humans that all endeavours, if they are taken seriously, with regard to the search for the effective truth must have nothing to do with material possession and earthly goods; but you are not conscious that you equate the effective truth with your wrong belief in a god, tin god or idolised human being, nor are you conscious of the fact that you as entire Earth-humankind have brought upon yourselves great disadvantage in your consciousness-development, as also with regard to your humaneness, your behaviour concerning the love for the next one, the love in general as well as the being fair, the conscientiousness, fairness and righteousness and the bearing of the responsibility in all things.

    352) In your wrong religious, ideological or philosophical belief you devaluate your consciousness-based, therefore the highest gifts that can be given to you in your life; through your belief in an invented god, tin god or idolised human being you have indeed won a strange attitude with regard to your consciousness-based endeavours, because you confound these with religious and sectarian submissiveness and beggary, in which case you are doggishly dependent on sacrifices and donations which you offer to your god, tin god or a human being raised to a divinity hoping to get help and enlightenment in exchange; therefore you have the same attitude as beggars who in a beseeching-submissive wise debase themselves in front of you in order to get a beggar’s penny, and as a result they are as unable to create respect for themselves as are you, you who act just like them, only towards your god, tin god or idolised human being; the respect which you ought to give yourselves and which would also be due to you, if you perceived and recognised yourselves as lord and master of yourselves and behaved accordingly, that respect you give, in doggish humility, to your fabulated god or tin god or else to a human being that you have raised up as a divinity.

    353) All your wrong endeavours bear from the beginning a seed of the destruction in them, which can grow more and more, to the point that you cannot put yourselves on your own feet, but instead remain dependent on your religious, ideological or philosophical belief, on your belief in a fabulated god, tin god or a human being that you idolise.

    • Cédric says:

      UG was what he couldn’t help being.
      Bruce is what he can’t help being.
      Louis is what he can’t help being.
      Cédric is what he can’t help being.
      The mosquito is what he can’t help being.

      That’s it.

      We are all of us what we can’t help but be.
      We think what we can’t help but think.
      We say what we can’t help but say.
      We do what we can’t help but do.
      We write what we can’t help writing. ( Like I’m doing right know. )

      Truth won’t come from anybody else.
      I don’t believe a word of all what UG said in his life.
      Fuck all others’ words.
      I don’t believe anybody.
      Don’t believe me.
      The one that believes someone else is only a parrot or a sheep.

      Truth won’t come out from someone else’s mouth or brain.

      Best to you.

      • Juice says:

        Cedric, if anything, we get in the way of ‘being’ as you put it and what we actually are. We clothe ourselves in 2nd hand garments stolen from society, from history’s teachers, our idols, god, saints, those we look up to and often times this is in conflict with our true inner nature. UG, through much effort, for 49 years or so, finally, somehow he says, shed all that external 2nd hand crap.

        Human beings are not jelly-fish, subject to the winds and tides, unable to control themselves and their destiny. That is an enormous erroneous false teaching from false teachers that needs to be shed to let one’s true inner nature express itself.

        You say you don’t believe a word of all wat UG said in his life yet you are repeating precisely what he said, practically down the phrase & word.

      • Cédric says:

        Hi Juice,

        I don’t beleive a word of what you say. 😉

        I don’t beleive what I know, I know it.

        I don’t need anybody else’s words to know what I know.

        I’m not repeating anybody’s words. If UG said something I say, It’s UG that’s repeating me.

        If you need others’ words, you are not thinking, looking, living by yourself.

        Spit on what I say. Spit on these words I just wrote.

        Best to you.

    • philip hawkrigg says:

      I would have to agree with the statement that U.G. did not just wait around for answers, I find it hard to imagine that if he had not embarked upon his search that the state he came to would have just happened to him. he gave up everything that he had and everything that he was, he totally and utterly exhausted thought, he had an incredible single minded focus that very few people in the history of this world have ever matched.
      He certainly has had a profound effect on many people who met him, even just reading what he had to say has had a profound effect on me, in that I find almost all other so called spiritual advisors, religions, ways of thought (granted there is an occasional nugget here and there) are shallow and empty compared to the state he was in.

      • Cédric says:

        How can you know the state he was in ? Whatever he said why would you believe him ? Whatever he claimed or asserted or emphasized why would you give a shit about all that ?
        The only state that matters is “yours”. The only state you can “know” is yours.
        A person say to you “I’m enlightened” “I’m free of all the past” or “I’ve stumbled into a state of not knowing”, so what ??

        Whatever UG said, I say : “So what ?”

        I love to listen to UG, to read words of UG, but he hasn’t transformed a single thing in “me”. When I feel that what somebody say is true, that feeling, that “sense of truth” is coming from me, not from the person I’m listening to.

        To be attached to UG or his words is as ridiculous as to be attached to any other “spiritual teacher or speaker” or guru… Nothing different. “UG is the best” “UG is better than the others” blablabla, that’s bullshit. UG was a man, period. Like billions of other men, like you, like me.

        Nothing impresses me in UG. I admire nothing in him, I admire nobody in general.

        You can’t know the state he was in. You can only live your life, your state.

        If you live the state of somebody else or try to live the state of somebody else, you’re fooling yourself.

        Have a nice evening. (here in Belgium it’s evening. 😉 )


    • louisbrawley says:

      That one is so long I know I’ll never read it… wow.

      • aurelio says:

        Did Goner make you rich?

        (I liked it a lot)

      • louisbrawley says:

        Nope, Goner never made me rich, I think so far I made about $500 from it. Fine with me, its available and that was the point!  Its kind of amazing to me that it was picked up by both a ‘spiritual’ publisher and a commercial publisher. 

      • aurelio says:

        Thats even less then I imagined.

        I know of at least one other person who read it. A (famous) dutch cartoonist (absurdist) called Gummbah, i heard this through a friend who met him. Apparantly he had never met anyone who knew about UG and was very endeared by it.

  12. philip hawkrigg says:

    I agree with you Cedric I don’t know what state he was in, for if I did then I also would be in the same state that he was in 🙂 whatever that was, it’s just that after reading what he has to say, nothing else I have read or listened to strikes the same kind of resonance in me, the state of no self has always fascinated me (that’s just me) not that I think for one moment that he has an answer that would possibly work for me or for anyone else, indeed how could he?..

    • Cédric says:

      I’ve just read that :

      “How can you ask for a thing which you do not know? How can you search for a thing which you do not know? You all seem to know. You have an image of this state. From the description of this state probably you have already created [an image]. What state? Somebody asked me: “What is the state you are in?” “What State? Mysore State or Tamil Nadu State? What state are you talking about?” This is my response. What is the state you are talking about? This is your natural state. You don’t want to understand that. You don’t want to be in your natural state. It requires an extraordinary intelligence to be in your natural state, to be yourself. ” ( here : ).

      Just wanted to share it. 😉

  13. louisbrawley says:

    Yes, I have tried many a time to indicate this about UG, that he was not sitting idly.
    In fact one of his lines I have failed to quote enough was
    “You people just sit and think, you don’t ACT!”
    … the end result is what I was referring to of course, but you all know that.

    Thanks all.

    • Jim Porter says:

      Hi Louis,

      I saw your BATGAP interview.

      What is that corner you find a way to wriggle out of every day?

      Is it the Unknown?


      • louisbrawley says:

        Hi Jim,

        The challenge as i see it is to drop everything. This is something I can move in the direction of, until the point where I see what that it entails an involuntary action. The corner is the endless wish to be free accompanied by all the things I am doing to occupy myself in order to stay busy trying and not doing. If there was an action that PRE-ceeded thought, I wouldn’t be using thinking. The corner is the constant need to busy my self with something, while always hoping, (which is still born thinking), for a result. I suspect this is where one has to simply try and try and try, until you hit a wall, at which point you just can’t go further… maybe that place, where you are totally lost, is the thing.. but I don’t know for sure.

        Thanks for the simple question… they are the most revealing ones..

      • Jim Porter says:

        Hi Louis,

        I am happy to hear from you!

        Am I right in saying that you didn’t find anything inconsistent in what UG ever said? And that you don’t question his account of the Calamity or how that amounted to the end of his biography?

        (You are the real deal and I think you are going to gain more and more conviction in the value of UG’s words)


  14. louisbrawley says:

    Hi Jim,
    UG was so kind generous with his experience despite all appearances and conflicting accounts. In my time with him the way he lived indicated his functionality, which was its own consistency. As he put it, “It stands or falls on its own”… which is a brilliantly simple way of summing it up. The real test is to put that simplicity into operation in my life, and see if that is possible. (the standing or falling bit).

    Thank you for your kind words Jim.

  15. louisbrawley says:

    When people write as if they understood, advising others as though they were in a position to do so, not realizing that to bother posting here indicates they have understood nothing, it reeks of pretense. The day I ‘understand’ will be the day I no longer post here or anywhere else for that matter. In the mean time, it passes the time nicely.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you not doing the same thing, Louis? The day you ‘understand’? Understand what? Always somewhere else, some other time. It’s not that difficult to see you’ve bought the ‘trip’. You’ve got the picture on the wall and the memories. It’s sweet.

  16. Cédric says:

    The title is spot on : The speakers.
    Everyone here is a speaker. We all speak.
    Words, always words. That we speak, think, write here and elsewhere.
    Will that end ? Nope. 😉

    It’s a pleasure to read and write on this blog. 😉

    • sharbra says:

      Imagine yourself standing in the rain on the bank of a raging river. Suddenly the water-swollen bank gives way. You fall in and find yourself being tossed around in the rapids. Your efforts to keep afloat are futile and you are drowning. By chance, along comes a huge log and you grab it and hold tight. The log keeps your head above water and saves your life. Clinging to the log you are swept downstream and eventually come to a place where the water is calm. There in the distance you see the riverbank and attempt to swim to shore. You are unable to do so, however, because you are still clinging to the huge log with one arm as you stroke with the other. How ironic. The very thing that saved your life is now getting in the way of your getting to where you want to go. There are people on the shore who see you struggle and yell, “Let go of the log!” But you are unable to do so because you have no confidence in your ability to make it to shore. And so, very slowly and carefully, you let go of the log and practice floating. When you start to sink, you grab back on. Then you let go of the log and practice treading water, and when you get tired, hold on once again. After a while, you practice swimming around the log once, twice, ten times, twenty times, a hundred times, until you gain the strength and confidence you need to swim to shore. Only then can you completely let go of the log.

  17. Philip says:

    I was wondering if anyone here has read Suzanne Segal’s: Collision with the Infinite: A Life Beyond the Personal Self and if so what they thought of it…Philip

  18. Philip says:

    Very nice Sharbra, great Zen parable, reminds me a lot of some of the things Charlotte Joko Beck used to say.

  19. Thomas K says:

    Welcome back Louis 🙂 Couldn’t help smiling to myself while reading the piece:)

  20. Michel says:

    “So why am I going on and on?”
    I can expose so many other grievances with myself and others and the world and the society, and JK und U.G. and my friend Anne and my husband and my nation Germany and and and…. all is the same thing.
    This is the sentence (why am I going on and on?” ) that leads me to true humility.

  21. Sophie says:

    Louis, I can’t help but wonder why you stuck with him though you confess here that he hit you. I find it hard to fathom. I don’t mean to judge you in any way but I found this bit off-putting about UG.

    • louisbrawley says:

      I certainly don’t find if shocking that you would be put off Sophie.. I did my best to put it all in the book to allow just such conclusions. Not much else I can do. To start defending it would open a mess of apologies that would sound like my own sales pitch. If its off-putting that’s good enough and I’d probably have the same reaction if I hadn’t been there myself. Sometimes I think he did it to put people off anyway. He really went out of his way over the years to avoid crowds, making himself out to be something other than what he was by aggrandising himself or conversely making himself out to be a fool … so what to do with all that? Its a mess I tell you!! I was partly responsible for teasing him early on, to the point where he smacked me, but that wouldn’t go near explaining this behaviour. I’d just say if your instinct is that he was off putting, you should go with that! Thanks for your honest reply.

  22. Sophie says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Louis.I do understand that in stating the facts you were merely just putting everything out there. Cherry picking what you wanted to share would have defeated the purpose of sharing your experience.
    I chanced upon UG when I was going through a very tumultous time in my life. For one reason or the other things just won’t work out. I am scared and anxious about my future. Listening to UG’s talks are only compounding the fear and anxiety I’m afraid. Have you felt that your having met him led to anything positive in your life? I am yet to getting around to reading your book; I apologize in advance if the answers are already in the book

  23. louisbrawley says:

    Dear Sophie, wow. I’m sorry to hear you’re in a rough patch.. UG is hard medicine no matter what. My experience with him was very specific to me, painful and amazing at the same time. Trust is such a huge thing and I’m pretty sceptical so when I met him and saw I could trust him, I just went with that. Also I had the benefit of knowing he was close to the end of his life and that helped me commit, (with the ‘beatings’ in particular… ) I was frustrated a lot of the time because I hate following people around, and a lot of the time I was grumbling about this but I knew this was a unique opportunity and in the end it was an easy decision to keep going to the end. (his death). I spent a lot of time taking care of him, literally nursing him, so it was very intense, but he had precisely what I was interested in and he was completely generous with it. I was able to witness his every waking and sleeping moment, so if he was ‘on the take’ or posing I would have seen it. Anyway as a result of my experience with him I was able to change my lifestyle quite radically. I went from being kind of a shut in, to living on the road for 10 years. Among other things.. practical things … he clarified things for me, which is very personal but distinct. don’t know if that helps.

  24. Sophie says:

    I’m so happy for you that you were able to be in such close contact with a man like UG. I’m sure that kind of contact is nothing short of transformative in the deepest sense of the word.
    When you say ‘beatings’ (plural), did they seem to come out of frustration that UG felt as a normal human being. It would make him seem rather ordinary like the rest of us, but you said you thought he was doing it to sort of repel people.
    I am one of those types who has never known what i wanted to do with my life. I have had every opportunity knocking on my door at one point. I took some wrong decisions and now find myself completely locked in and clueless about what to do. I do not know how I will secure a future with even some degree of certainty or stability. Everything that I have relied until now has proven to be a mirage. The man I left the world behind for is just not what I thought he was. It’s a sad state of affairs.
    I find myself praying sometimes to Ramana (I believe he led me to UG) but I never seem to be getting any answers. I get so frantic sometimes, even manic, but I fail to receive the reassurance that I am looking for. Being trusting and having faith is not really in my DNA and I am forever the skeptic in the way that you described yourself to be.
    This has been a very nice exchange. I am feeling a sense of happiness in this contact with you which I haven’t felt in a while.

    • louisbrawley says:

      Security is a great big joke.. that’s one of the reasons UG was such a blow to us all.. we are always looking for that and its a big myth. I was looking for it under layers of seeking, without ever realising it. A lot of his impact on me came after he was long gone. UG is tough because he goes to the end of the matter immediately, what he’s talking about is the death of me. Yes I was very lucky because UG’s hard line went way past what I thought my skepticism protected me from.. so much so that I was stripped further than expected! Ouch! but then again, Thanks! funny business. (and I met some really good people who are still close friends.. very nice side treat.)

  25. Sophie says:

    Yea I agree with everything UG says and do understand it. But we still have to live our lives. And in all practicality we do need money to live it. Even UG acknowledges this.
    Almost anything UG talks about is right on the ‘money’, even the topic of food. He says we all eat too much and our fussing about with food is just another manifestation of sensuality. I would have never understood this even after a life time but he put it out there so succinctly. Only UG could do that!
    Out of pure curiosity, did he ever say/indicate what a normal way of eating would be for the average Joe? I have battled eating disorders and addictions (still am) and any bit of insight from UG along such lines could be life changing.

  26. louisbrawley says:

    He was loath to hand out advice except to say things like “you eat ideas and wear labels” which has its own logic and sticks to the brain. Diet is almost impossible to get straight in this world where people are obsessed with food. I always think of how huge horses are and what are they eating? Nothing humans come up with makes too much sense in the area of managing the body. We just over think everything from the looks of it. In his case the idea was to avoid adding to the list of things for people to obsess about, paring it down to phrases like ‘your job in life is to shut up’… which was an extremely pared down version of “Be still and know that I am god… ” sort of thing. It helped me because it took the sanctimonious tone of it out and pointed to the main thing which was to.. well,,, shut up.. which isn’t so easy you see what I mean?? LOL!!

  27. Marcel says:

    Looks like these people like you…All communication that you are aware of and anything that you might come to know is pretending…Now here is the real shit…You’re a dead man…

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