Dan Berkow's Forum / Examining Room,
The Room of This,
Forwarded to the Guru Ratings Forum,
with commentary afterward, by Eric Paroissien and Sarlo
Names of principals have been anonymized.
Other Dan pages: comments on practice and his work
and further glimpses into his story as process

Dan:
This list is for self-confrontation.

Self-confrontation is running into a wall that stops
you.

Neither you, X, nor anyone else need anything to
engage in self-confrontation. This list, rather than
being a need, is an encouragement and catalyst for
those who finally, at long last, need -- not
this list -- but to confront self -- in other words:
inquiry.

And if one has some understanding that there is
no separated self -- that conceptual
understanding isn't the end of inquiry,
but simply the beginning to open to the need
for/as inquiry.

"Many are called, few are chosen."

Of course, many don't so open, so this list
isn't a good place for them. They are looking for
self-validation.

When they don't receive it, they get quiet and
withdrawn, like A, B, C, and others
who have come and gone --
or resentful and self-validating, like Y,
Z, or X, and others who have
come and gone.

X, B, Y read the writing on the wall
and exited stage left.

A, C (who asked to rejoin when
bounced for lurking, then continued to
lurk), Z -- it's time to check
yourselves out. Are you here for encouragement
in inquiry, for facing the wall you hit when
you look, for confronting self? Or are you
here to continue your status quo?

Because this list is not to encourage trying
to be a bystander who attempts to enjoy
the show from a distance, nor to validate
the status quo of what you think you already
know.

X's parting shot kind of sums up
a way to misunderstand this list --
this list isn't trying to be something needed,
but it is here for those who intensely
need to know.

Words like "intensity" and "urgency"
of a need to know, reflect,
not spiritual seeking -- as those words
are often misconstrued by those
have the agenda to pose as nonseekers --
but rather reflect a breaking through of
original energy.

*This* won't break through unless there is
sufficient intensity and urgency to
unblock the stifling mind of the status quo.
And there are few minds more avoidant than
a spiritualized mind that already has its
answer, which is smug in its conviction
that nothing more is needed, that there is
no self to confront and everything is perfect
as it is. Such a one gets
the cheap door-prize, which is
to console myself that I am the pure functioning
of the moment because I have no stake, or that
I am one with mother earth as she heals herself.

This list is for those few who need to know
and won't be satisfied with a self-constructed
door-prize, who are willing to hit the wall.

So, it is a matter of needing to know -- as
opposed to maintaining the self-drama -- including
the self-drama of spiritualized comforting of
one's esteem -- and the hidden resentment
that always seems to attend when those
are challenged.

Eric:
Of course i knew (and enjoyed a bit too) that there would be some 
gossip involved, but i did not intend to target Dan, if anyone cares 
i have a whole list of nice things to say about the 8 months 
(about?) i spent at his list. If anybody wants to know what really 
positive about the "room of this" when you connect and enjoy every 
minute of it (note that i enjoy every minute with or without it 
anyway).
What i wanted primarily to convey, is the fact that me, X, 
most people are involved in a permanent state of cornflakesshitting 
like E would say, and i espouse Dan's views, and i do my best 
to see accurate "slings and arrows" in what F addresses to me, 
so as to help me work at the core of the bundle of lies that i am. 
(F had to be pushed a bit or he don't deliver but "poetry" 
or "pottery").
Dan is doing an excellent job and in the process along the months i 
saw him learn a lot from us too, he is not a rigid structure of 
enlightenment, but a dude with feelings and some contractions here 
and there, he is human and lovable like all of us, and this is one 
of the greatest lessons he gave me.

Sarlo:
Eric has written further and forwarded more material from TROT, presenting on the whole now a rather more complex, nuanced picture. His further thoughts are below, and much forwarded material and discussion thereof can be found here (click on individual posts and then follow replies or go upthread).

In what Eric and i write below, "Judi" refers to Judi Rhodes, a familiar abusive figure to many habitués of spiritual / nondual email forums. Dan's long association and friendship with her has resulted in a long-standing place of honour in TROT, her short banishment there notwithstanding. "Dabo" refers to another once ubiquitous email forum contributor, now more focused in TROT.

Two issues that were raised in discussions in GRF about TROT were a growing authoritarianism, pointed to by Dan's statement above, and the presence of Judi. I posted the following about these points, Eric's further observations follow:

After lots of online interaction with Dan and watching him with many others i basically trust him and feel he has something to offer. His association with Judi is problematic but his business: if Gurdjieff can use a "designated asshole," so can he. And if he wants to restructure his list to make himself the authority, he can. None of these moves inherently indicate anything "off."

Eric: 
I was in gangs as a teen, i know the wolf mind, the immediate assent
between kins that goes faster than the brain before attack.
The pattern goes repeatedly like this on Trot:

- Judi jumps out of the blue on anyone (most of the time girls) with massive
dump of violence and offensive sex language.
- The person answers anything, even politely, Judi adds to it, then Dan
enters and back Judi up in whatever she is saying ... Judi can't be wrong,
her victim has to be wrong.
- Then they harass the person in tandem until she leaves on her own... like
"What you still there sucker, you haven't had your fill yet".

In the streets as soon as you say anything against number 1 (the boss), #2
or #3, you are immediately beaten by 4 or 5 people on the ground ... if you
hit on those lower than you or newer in the gang, you are way cool unless
the boss has given the signal that he has taken him has his sweetheart
(Dan<>Dabo); then, even #2 can't touch him, and although Judi looks wild,
she know cleverly how to keep away from #1's bite.

X's episode was one of the perfect academic cases in this regard.
(a study in group dynamics ;-))

** Eric Paroissien participates in many lists and had a survey site of 150 of them at http://paroissien.free.fr/, now defunct and become something else.

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