I started on my path at the age of 5; 42 years later, I know of no way to short cut it! It is hard and consistent work. Notice that I didn’t say “Spiritual Path” or “Way to Enlightenment,” because I don’t even feel that those are where we are going or what we are doing. I certainly don’t feel that you can attain it in a Weekend Spiritual Warrior Workshop. What James Arthur Ray did was an irresponsible and manipulative travesty!
At this time in human development, you can not tell people what they want to hear for monetary gain. It will destroy them. The work must be deep to endure the changing times. For example, you don’t charge people close to $10,000 dollars for a weekend and make them think that they then will be rich and healthy; it just doesn’t work that way. All that you can do is give people tools. They still have to do the work. It is simply a deception to make them think that paying a certain amount of money or doing a certain task will do it for them.
Let’s look at the case of James Arthur Ray sticking 60 people in a homemade Sweat Lodge! That is just murder; there is no way to monitor the rapidly depleting air flow and the compromised health of the constituents at those high heats and occupancies. It is ludicrous to even consider putting more than ten people, at most, in an enclosed, heated and dark space unless you are indigenously trained in the movement of rounds, heat of stones, and timing of the lifting of flaps, etc.
I feel that the police investigation should directly deal with the knuckle head factor and blind disregard for human safety and life. This is clearly a case of having dollar signs for eyes. If Ray has a trial, it should be set before his peers and he should be held accountable for the 18 people who were hospitalized and the three people who died. This case, if dealt with properly, can set the stage for a new approach to human development.
Obviously, my tone is strong about this incident. It is due to the fact that I spend a good portion of time undoing what many irresponsible teachers do to their students. It is a lot of work to undo training of harmful beliefs and practices that create false hope.
Now, while James Arthur Ray’s teachings are dealing with the common “New Age” protocols for taking action to change your life and changing the way that you think and feel in relation to your inner and outer worlds, the methods of packing people into unsafe areas – just because you can and they will allow it – is just dangerous and irresponsible. Chances are that we are coming to the end of the times of “motivational speakers” and the likes, but we are at the crest of a changing paradigm where people are going to be seeking real help. I feel that the vulnerability factor is going to rise, and so too should our responsibility as leaders of a hungry, disenchanted flock. People come to us to be assisted in health and healing, not to be made sick and dead!
James Arthur Ray said after he got out of town that he was “shocked and saddened” by the tragedy.
“My deep heartfelt condolences to family and friends of those who lost their lives,” he wrote. “I am spending the weekend in prayer and meditation for all involved in this difficult time; and I ask you to join me in doing the same.”
That response it is simply not enough!
Next month: Hanakia will write about Spiritual Warriorship.