Get active and don’t let Hate rule the World – 1 Feb 16

Today I would like to write about a topic that I don’t usually write a lot about: politics. Well, the point is that politics actually affects us all and finally, if we don’t get involved in politics at all, if we stay at home and don’t vote, we allow politicians to run the country without our voice. And that is something we should not do, as it is up to us to prevent madmen from reaching positions of power!

I am actually confident that we have enough sensible people in democratic countries that we could avoid having hateful people in top positions. Those kind of people who stir fire for conflicts, who give strength to ideas of racist, sexist and homophobic nature. Who give others the false moral excuse for violence. I believe we could stop them from reaching power.

If we take a look around the world however, we see that exactly such people are slowly advancing!

In India, we have current Prime Minister Modi with the background of a nationalist party, promoting Hinduism and with that fueling conflicts in between Hindus and Moslems, creating fear in non-Hindu minorities.

In France their old right-wing party, the ‘Front National’ with Marine Le Pen at its head, could celebrate huge success in the recent past. A party favouring the white population of France, opposing immigrants from Africa and previous French colonies, disregarding the fact that some of the ‘dark-skinned’ population of France has already been living there for generations!

In Germany, a relatively new right-wing party has been established, called the AfD, ‘Alternative for Germany’, actively supporting ideals which one can remember from history lessons about World War II and the Nazi time in Germany! Their party’s head even mentioned that policemen have the right to shoot refugees at the border if they try to cross illegally – and they should use it as well!

Finally, in the US we are today looking on the first votes on whether Donald Trump will run for president or not. If Modi made it here, why would it be impossible for this man to win, even though you sometimes feel he looks like a comic figure. With his hate against Mexicans, Moslems and basically immigrants, you feel it is ridiculous to even try in a country which is based on immigration, whose population has all roots in countries across the world! But no, he has come this far and is leading in most surveys for becoming the candidate for the Republican Party!

Here is however what I believe we can do: there are enough of us to find these people crazy, scary and dangerous. Who don’t want them to reach the power they are aiming for or already got. We do have a voice and we have to use it! With the internet, we have media to express ourselves and to show that we don’t support such people.

Modi is already losing supporters here in India. A lot of people are protesting against his government and even those who were convinced that he would bring a change start seeing things differently. In France, voters realized that they could not stay at home and let the Front National get so many votes – and they could strengthen other parties!

This shows that we all have to get up and take our right in our hand to vote, to raise our voices, to speak our mind and show that we are here to live together, not against each other. To find solutions for conflicts which will further humanity, not selected individuals. To spread peace, however cheesy that may sound!

Your Life, your Decisions – don’t let Religion tell you what to do! – 17 Sep 15

I yesterday told you religions that limit people’s freedom of opinion. Religion actually wants to tell people what to do and claims that it has a right to do so. All religions claim that they know how humans should behave. They even tell them to kill. And that is a problem!

When I was a guru, people actually expected me to tell them what to do. It was a part of my role as a religious preacher, someone whom people follow. People came to me with questions and I believed it was the right thing to tell them exactly what to do. I gave them my opinion and I knew at the same time that they would follow it. They gave me the complete responsibility of their decisions. A few of these were really big life decisions as well.

Then I changed. After my time in the cave I didn’t want exactly this anymore. I didn’t want to be higher but equal. This also meant that I didn’t want to take anybody else’s life decisions anymore! I just wanted to live my own life. If I could help someone with my experience and my opinion, I would be happy but I wanted them to take the decision themselves, to trust their feelings and learn how to follow them as well!

That’s how I have ended up as an atheist and am sitting here today, just writing down whatever I am thinking. Any reader is free to think about it and decide for themselves. In my counselling sessions it is always very clear: I can only offer you my viewpoint, you have to take the decision yourself!

Religion however exists in order to tell people what to think and what to do. Religion doesn’t believe in listening to different viewpoints. Religion doesn’t give you the freedom to choose for yourself. Religion tells you what to do.

Religious priests believe they have this right and in the case of Islamic fundamentalists, they teach people that it is right to kill those who don’t follow what they say! Religious leaders of Islam tell their followers that they should put a bomb around their waist and kill themselves along with hundreds of others.

Some people want to be told what to do. They don’t want to take responsibility and put it on religion, a priest, a guru, anybody who takes it and tells them what to do.

No sane person would decide to become a terrorist, a suicide bomber, a killer for religion. It is the manipulation of religion that brings them to this point. They start off as those who don’t want to decide themselves and end up doing what they would never have done on their own. Harming others, killing others, bringing grief and sorrow to the world.

I suggest you to think for yourself. Take responsibility for your life and don’t let religion manipulate you, making you do what you would never do if you decided for yourself.

Why it is easier for Atheists to take Decisions and Responsibility – 30 Jul 15

Obviously, after having been together with so many non-believers at a time the past weekend, there are a few things that strike you when talking to them. One of them is that they seem, in general, more ready to take responsibility and take decisions, than the average religious person I have met here. And this seems very logical to me!

If you just take yesterday’s example, an accident after which atheists try to help the injured person but are hindered by a religious man who is afraid. There are non-believers who are ready to decide and take the responsibility for their actions in order to provide help.

I believe that atheists can take such steps more easily because they have already gone down a more difficult path. They have already taken a decision to believe only what they really feel, not what their family or tradition tells them. Going away from what everybody is doing around you is not an easy task. You need a firm decision, willpower and the readiness to face whatever comes. So an atheist in India will usually be a person who tends to have all of the above. Only like this, he or she can be an atheist!

This is how atheists in India have already faced challenges and know that they are alright in spite of the difficulties from around them. They are ready to use their mind and find a solution to a problem.

Religious people tend to use another approach: they give it into the hands of god. With their trust that everything happens as god wishes it to be, they are often reluctant, even lethargic, when it comes to decision-taking. Very often, believers don’t try to solve a problem because they believe it is made by god. It should be there, it should be difficult – because god made it! They don’t get out of their normal routine because they rely on this imaginary force.

Plus, they are afraid. Religion is based on the fear of people. Without fear, it wouldn’t work. Nobody would believe in heaven if there wasn’t the fear of hell! Your sins, punishment for it, repentance and everything around this. Instruments for creating fear. And once you are used to this fear, it is part of your life at all times. When you see an accident, you get afraid. You won’t think of helping the other one but saving yourself from any problem that could come from it!

Religious people also ask their god for a decision at difficult points of their lives. They believe he helps them with it – but I have seen so many people just remaining indecisive, unable to go forward because they are still waiting for divine guidance which never comes!

Of course there are exceptions everywhere but this is a general tendency which I have noticed. Have you noticed that as well?

Here you can see photos of our atheist meeting

The Dangers of giving someone Access to your Mind – 18 Mar 15

I yesterday wrote about mental and physical dangers of creating an imaginary world far away from reality. There is one more danger which I have not mentioned so far, as there needs to be said a bit more: when you allow someone to influence your imagination, your belief and thus your world – and he or she takes advantage of that!

If you have followed my explanation day before yesterday on how we all create our own world, you can understand already what I mean with that. We normally have our own thoughts and imaginations and when we decide to put belief in certain ones, it becomes reality for us. Now imagine someone being able to manipulate your thoughts! It will change your world, your reality!

It can be a lot of different people who actually have this influence. It starts with parents, who for exactly this reason have a huge responsibility: they have access to soft minds that are there to be shaped and formed. They create worlds. Your family, then teachers, friends and later more people whom you trust or whom you consider as authorities, whose thoughts you appreciate. This includes all kind of leaders, spiritual, religious or even political!

A responsible person will take care of the people whose thoughts he or she can influence. Obviously, this power can as well be misused – and you probably know about the thousands and thousands cases in which gurus, religious leaders and heads of sects have done exactly that: they use their influence not to help people but to make them obey their word, to make them do as they say. To control them, manipulate them and often enough do things that helps nobody else than the leader himself. They are brainwashed, fed with thoughts and imaginations, made believe and thus placed into a world, created by their outside, directed and controlled.

The result: the guru, sect or organization gets richer every day, the more people submit themselves to their influence. These followers, like blind sheep, live in that world, follow orders and even cut decade-old ties, break friendships and break with their families. Many of them stay in this manipulated world for years and years. Sometimes forever.

For some, there comes a point at which they suddenly have a doubt. The doubt grows and they finally start thinking on their own again. It seems dangerous, it is like learning to walk again! And of course it destroys their whole world which they have got used to for years. Their guru, whom they respected and loved, is suddenly an enemy and with him or her all their current friends as well.

So someone can actually control your mind if he gets access to your creation process. But only if you allow this access! Take good care whom you let come this far – and once you feel that he takes advantage of this privilege or doesn’t use it responsibly, deny access!

Take care of yourself!

You are responsible for yourself and your own Happiness – 20 Nov 14

I yesterday explained why I believe one should not blame one’s parents for one’s mistakes and faults but instead take responsibility for his decisions and his happiness. There is a saying: ‘Every man is the architect of his own fortune’ – and as old as this may seem, as much as you may object that this is just some old proverb, I believe that it is true. You are the one that is responsible for your happiness.

Of course, when you see your own unhappiness, it doesn't seem to have to do with anything you did. Others treated you wrong or things just happened wrong without you doing anything that caused it. You don't have the success you want, the ladies or guys you date are never right, your family members ignore you and you are not appreciated by your colleagues and boss enough, either. What of this could be your fault?

Now I want to ask you to stop these inner arguments for just a little while. Forget all about them and start one day as though you were happy with everything in your life, with things as they are.

While you go through your normal day, try to get distance from yourself. Become the observer. In situations when you would normally react with unhappiness, note it down, why? What happened? What kicked you out of your state of happiness? Write it down, forget about it and continue the day, trying to be as happy as possible.

In the evening, take a look at your list and find out what a neutral person, an observer would say about it. Maybe it helps saying out loud what annoyed you – and then try to see whether your unhappiness was really caused by something from outside.

Couldn’t you have reacted in another way? Could you have been less short-tempered and more patient instead? Did it actually annoy you, not because of the other person but because of something inside you?

To make it clear, I will give you an example. A coworker keeps on asking you to do small things for him. An errand here, a favour there. They are so small it seems that it would be impolite, wrong to say no – but it annoys you because it eats your time. You get upset about him and feel that he really doesn’t respect you and your time. It’s his faults that you are unhappy now, isn’t it?

No, really not. He doesn’t value your time because you yourself don’t. In reality you are upset about your own lack of willpower, your inability to say no in such situations. Once you realize this, find a way to make the change. Explain him that you are very busy at that moment and, if he really cannot do it himself, show him and tell him that you are doing this so that he can do it himself next time! You see, you are responsible for making yourself happy in such a situation!

Sometimes it is difficult to get enough distance to actually find out what is wrong. You need to take time and invest in your happiness. It won't happen in front of TV. Get out in nature, take a break, maybe travel to get distance and find out!

You are responsible yourself and cannot put it on someone else. You are the one who makes your own happiness. So take care of that next time you complain.

Stop blaming your Parents – take Responsibility for your Life in your own Hands! – 19 Nov 14

I have had individual counselling sessions with a lot of people in my life. We talk about problems, issues and important questions of life. Something that I have seen often is how people carry a high resentment against their parents around with them. And I have always told people that this was an unnecessary burden, a load that they wouldn’t need to bear on their shoulders!

It is very common to hear people say they would never treat their children the way their parents treated them. If you ask them, they can tell you several examples of behavior of their parents that they will avoid when being with their children because they think it was wrong and has harmed them or caused some kind of lasting damage.

Yes, some are less clear and others more when they tell how their complexes, fears and insecurities of today go back to the way their parents treated them. That it is practically their parents’ fault that they are not successful in their job or in their love life, emotionally unstable, unable to love or afraid of being loved.

Yes, of course, your childhood and their education has formed the person that you are today – but what about the years after you have left your parents’ home? Or the years after you have actually reached adulthood, have taken responsibility of your own life and taken decisions yourself?

You are an adult person! You are responsible for your own life!

Long-time conditioning has an effect but it can be changed as well! You obviously have already realized the problem and the base of it as well – now you can make a change! Who is the one taking decisions in your life today? You!

If you have a job in a field you don’t really like because it was what your parents thought would be the most secure or safe option but you actually hate it, make a change! Take evening classes for another field, cut down on hours to take another training, start working part-time in another field,… there are always so many possibilities to make a change in a direction that can make you happy!

You are the one who can make yourself happy! You cannot keep on blaming your parents for who you are your whole life long! At some point in puberty, you have started taking parts of your life into your own hands and this process should have continued until you, as an adult, take full responsibility yourself! If you still complain that you are not happy because of the actions of your parents, you are trying to leave a part of this responsibility with them! Do you really think this is a good idea?

Make a change and take your happiness into your own hands!

Freedom and Responsibility for my own Happiness with full Support of my Family – 1 Dec 13

I told you about my father’s reaction in 2005 when I explained why I didn’t want to be a guru anymore and why I was even not following a big part of those scriptures anymore which I had even been preaching in the past. He told me that the whole family was happy if just I was happy. I should actually not have been surprised about this!

I could have known that he would react in this way. I would not have needed to be in any way apprehensive and when he answered like this, I clearly remembered my parents’ support in the past as well.

When I was only 13 years old, I had already started working and was getting more and more busy. Sometimes I was still going on programs together with my father but I was also already travelling and working on my own in different parts of India. Obviously, such programs did not only take part in school holidays and so I was absent from school quite often.

After one of my programs in that year, I came back to school and a teacher asked me where I had been and why I had not come to school. I answered that I had been in another state, in Madhya Pradesh, giving a lecture. Of course it was nothing really new to my teacher but nevertheless he then asked ‘When you are anyway not coming to school so often, why do you still go to school at all?’ He practically told me that I had chosen my career and did not need to bother with school anymore but should rather focus on what I was doing.

I was baffled. I actually always took my school books along on my journeys and tried to keep up with the classes. In the result, I was not a bad student at all, in spite of all my days of absence! Now the teacher suggested not to come anymore. I was not sure what to say or do.

When I came home on that day, pondering about this, asking my parents what I should do, my father had the same answer for me: do what you feel is right.

You may say that this is a big burden for a 13-year-old, a decision that he should not need to take. I did not feel like this however. I felt great about the trust that my father had in me, the confidence he had that I could choose on my own and could thus follow my heart. I did. I chose my profession, not school.

It gave me freedom and responsibility at the same time. It empowered me to take care of my own happiness, something I learned then and for which I am forever thankful to my parents! About twenty years later, my father did the same again. He, who had built his life on religion and being a guru, whose life still existed of this, even though he was retired, told me to just follow my heart, even if it led me away from the path he had chosen for himself.

That’s how I will be forever grateful to my whole family for their support in whatever I was and am doing. We embarked on this journey of life together and I have never felt them leave my side. They were always there for me and in the same way, I will always support their wishes, whatever direction they may go. I believe only in this way we all can be happy!

Don’t attempt to take another Person’s Responsibility – 24 Oct 13

I yesterday told you how my family was not invited to a friend’s house warming party and how I decided to nevertheless be happy about this, even though it initially hurt. The story was not over though at that point – let me tell you about the anger, confusion and other feelings it caused.

Everybody knows I am an expressive person and don’t keep things in my heart for long. After our emotions and feelings about this incident had settled, two days later, I posted this story and my feelings on facebook. I never disclose anybody’s identity and I kept this policy also in this case, simply expressing the conclusion that I had taken for my own emotions.

A friend of ours and relative of the host who had not invited us was angry about the post. By writing this on facebook however and sending my atheism to hell with his words – and facebook right along with it – he disclosed the identity of the host which I absolutely didn’t want to. So I removed the comment and called him to clear the matter.

To make things short, our friend, who as a relative had taken part at the program, told me I had taken the lack of an invitation in a wrong way, it was only a small house with not much space, we would anyway not enjoy the religious ceremony and the food would be hot, so not enjoyable for us and that we would have received an invitation for a more private meal together a few days later.

The host of that party finally called me as well – a week later to wish me a happy birthday – and gave a very different statement in an attempt of an explanation. She said she had not invited anybody but informed everyone of the date. A strange statement – how would your guests know when to come? Did everyone just turn up at the same time by chance? Anyway, this friend also accepted the mistake and apologized in the end. Interestingly however, this person denied ever having said something about calling us later or the other excuses we had heard of.

Now it was clear that our friend was trying to make up and fix something that not he but his relative had done. Had anybody wanted to invite us a few days later, they could have called us on the same day! We were just one phone call away! In several talks I had with this friend, I told him that one cannot take the responsibility for his whole family! There is no way for you to do that because they are individuals who take their own decisions and they may be opposite to what you would decide! I told him that all my brothers and my wife have to take responsibility for their actions themselves!

My friend had lied to me. A strange feeling. I felt bad first about not getting invited, then about being attacked for expressing myself on facebook and then about being lied to.

Nevertheless, I do not keep any hard feelings for this friend and the whole story won’t change anything in our friendship. Why? Because I see why he did it. He was trying to make me feel better and did not want any bitterness to remain in between me and his relatives. It was an attempt out of his good heart, out of friendship and love. This is his nature, I know – he wants to take responsibility for the actions of others. But if someone else eats, your stomach doesn’t fill. If someone else does something wrong, it is not up to you to fix the problem! Why do you take the mistakes of others on your shoulders? I would have appreciated if he had said ‘I don’t know why you were not invited’ instead of trying to take another person’s responsibility – but in the end, a friendship is not based on the condition that the other one has to be invited.

I cleared the matter by telling him that it is not a big issue. I wrote about it on social media and here for my own observation and expression of feelings. Our ideas may be different about such things but I know he has love, friendship and good wishes in his heart – so I love him like before.

Why do you want a Guru to take charge over your Life? – 22 Jul 13

Today is Guru Purnima, Master’s Day in India. It is a day on which every disciple honours his guru. Even if he doesn’t think of him the whole year long, he will come on this day, wash his guru’s feet, show his devotion and give a present and some money. Even if he is far away, he will call him to greet. I have played the role of a guru myself and know this scene very well. I have changed and I changed so much that today I completely refuse exactly that what I was recommending years ago. With it the principles of guruism.

I was believing and preaching what was written in the scriptures: without a guru, you cannot reach liberation. Liberation is what everybody should strive for – so everyone should find a guru who can lead him to liberation.

Today I feel that this kind of condition is the reason why there is so much corruption in this field. Innocent, gullible people come and you teach them three things:

1. You can only find liberation if you have a guru.

2. You can only have one guru, just as you can only have one father.

3. You have to devote everything you have and do to your guru. He will take your responsibility and in turn you have to do what he says.

From the moment you take your guru’s initiation, you devote all your rituals to him. You follow his advice and do your prayers with him on your mind. You willingly and happily become a puppet of this master with his promise that he will take you out of this world of illusion. Obviously these gurus like this power and everything that comes with it. This is why they say it is a must and necessary to take the initiation with a guru. In order to keep their followers with them, they promote the rule that every disciple can only have one guru.

This complete system is in my opinion made for the abuse that has been happening in the past decades and centuries. These gurus get lots of power over the minds of those people and they knowingly misuse it in order to gain wealth and satisfy not only their physical needs but also their sexual fantasies, which are not rarely crossing the borders of what you would call ‘normal’. It is wrong what is happening there.

In my opinion a guru is just a teacher, in the basic sense of the word. If you want to learn something, you need a guru. When I went to school, our whole class called our teacher ‘Guruji’ to show respect. It doesn’t matter who that person is, anybody with whom you are learning, whether that person is older or younger than you can be your guru. And it doesn’t matter how many gurus you have, whoever teaches you is your guru.

Don’t become a puppet of someone else. Whomever you learn from, you can give him the respect of a guru but don’t become fully dependable on one person. Let your relation be teacher and student – there is no need to put that aspect of divinity in that.

People may argue that you will need a spiritual, religious guru, if you want to learn about the scriptures and religious philosophy. I have spent a big part of my life studying exactly that. Today however I would ask you: why would you need to learn this philosophy at all? In my opinion it is completely useless. You want to live an honest and happy life. Why do you need the Vedas, the Quran or the Bible for this? Studying them will only limit your horizon, narrow your path and make you confused. So if you don’t need this philosophy, why do you need a guru?

Be your own guru. Let your own love, modesty and morality be your guru. It will guide you well, if you just let it.

The tempting Offer of Gurus to free you of any Responsibility – 3 Apr 13

Yesterday I wrote about the responsibility that both writers and readers have and should take for their lives and their actions. Everybody should be aware of his responsibility and take it in his hands. While this is something that most people would accept as how it should be, Hinduism and the common Guruism unfortunately teach something else: you can and should give all your responsibility to your guru.

Yes, this is what is written in the highest scriptures and this is what gurus have been preaching for centuries and what followers try to achieve. The idea is that you devote yourself complete to a guru. You surrender yourself, all your bad Karma but also your good Karma to your guru and do what he says without expecting anything for yourself. Then you will reach the point that you don’t have any Karma for yourself anymore and thus will reach heaven after your death.

This concept is actually the key-point with which guruism is running at all. Gurus invite people: Come, give me all your karma, do what I tell you and you don’t need to worry about your life or even your afterlife. Devote yourself and surrender, I will take care of you in this incarnation and later on.

Isn’t that a wonderful concept? A tempting offer for any innocent, normal, religious-minded person! Every Hindu who grew up in this religion will believe that this is the right way and anybody else can understand how inviting it sounds: Sit in my boat, I will row and take you to the other side! You don’t need to think or worry, you will reach there safely. You cannot upset the boat, you cannot be carried away by the current of the river, you won’t drown – you won’t even get wet!

They surrender. It is easy and it is even seen as something good in society! They proudly say ‘I have surrendered, I am devoted, I am a follower and only do what my guru says. I am nothing’. This humbleness is exactly what is expected of them. ‘Finish your ego’ is what they are told, otherwise the guru cannot take over. He will take care of your Karma account so you have to give him all rights to it.

For this service you obviously also have to pay a certain fee. Some gurus don’t take this fee directly. Some are like banks where you have to have a certain insurance plan with them before you get special services. But you have to pay, directly or indirectly.

Extracting big amounts of money is not the only advantage that gurus take of this attitude. They have many people who are so devoted that they would do anything, whatever they say. This power, given to them by their devotees, paves the way to sexual abuse. Many former female disciples of gurus have told me that they just thought of their guru as god. They fully surrendered and trusted that they would be saved through him and by doing whatever he asks for. When they were asked to serve him in his private bedroom, to massage his genitals and even have sex with him, many of them did! There are so many cases of gurus who abuse women because they innocently believe it is what they are supposed to do.

So you see the extent of the problem when people don’t want to take their own responsibility and rather take the easy way out – handing it over to someone else. It is never right to do this. Take your responsibility, for your actions and the consequences, and realize that you don’t need a guru to be happy in life.