Seraphita wrote:
 > Re "You could say I'm sympathetic to religions generally; I've read a good 
 > bit of 
 > theology because it interests me, but that's about it.":
 > Sounds like me. Except I went to a Moravian school originally founded in 
 > 1753 as a 
 > utopian community.

 My parents sent me to Sunday School at a nearby nondenominational Christian 
church a couple of times when I was around 10 or so, feeling they should at 
least give me some exposure to religion. I didn't like it, and they didn't make 
me go again. I had a brief flirtation with Unitarianism in my teens, but it 
didn't last. Then after starting TM I began to feel a need for a worship 
context and joined the church where I'd attended Sunday School, stayed a couple 
of years but wasn't inspired enough to continue, since I really wasn't into the 
Personal God aspect of the belief system (or Christ as savior). God as Unified 
Field, the ultimate (and unworshipable) abstraction, is about as far as I can 

 > Re "Robin Carlsen converted while he was still adventuring . . . he rejected 
 > Catholicism as well.":
 > His jumping from MMY to Ayatollahs to Popes suggest someone in search of an 
 > authority figure, no?

 Could be (but he never "jumped to" the Ayatollah; Islam wasn't his bag--he was 
really just curious, and then very impressed by the Ayatollah as a presumably 
enlightened being, but not as a guru or authority figure).

 Robin's an extraordinarily complicated and unusual fellow with a unique 
history. I don't think you can apply standard psychological interpretations to 
his behavior or motivations. I'm not sure he ever "jumped to" the pope either 
as an authority figure, except nominally as part of Catholic doctrine; and his 
devotion to Maharishi was more of a spiritual bromance based on his profound 
experience of TM than a need for authority per se, if you see the distinction 
I'm making.

 > Re "He didn't become a priest. Not sure where you got that.":
 > It was a rumour - I'm sure I saw it mentioned on FFL long, long ago.

 Oh, I see. Lots of rumors about Robin given that he effectively disappeared 
after the group collapsed. He was also said to have committed suicide and to 
have been institutionalized. In fact, he was living with his best friend, with 
no contact with anyone from his past, including his family, and going through 
extreme agonies trying to get himself straightened out with his friend's 
guidance. When he showed up here two years ago, he was--at least from the 
descriptions of those who knew him in his "enlightened" period--a different 



---In, <authfriend@...> wrote:

 Seraphita wrote:
 > Should I assume that you are Roman Catholic? Or at least a fellow traveller?
 No. I responded to an earlier question from you about my religious leanings a 
week or so ago; did you miss it?

 My family heritage is Christian (Presbyterian), but I didn't have a religious 
upbringing and am not a believer. You could say I'm sympathetic to religions 
generally; I've read a good bit of theology because it interests me, but that's 
about it.
 > I understand Robin Carlsen became a Catholic convert - indeed a Catholic 
 > priest (?) after his 
 > adventures on the new-age circuit.
 He converted while he was still adventuring, actually. (Not sure I'd call 
those adventures "New Age," unless you want to put TM in that category.) He 
convinced many of his followers to convert as well; a number of them are still 
devout Catholics. At the time, he thought Catholicism could be reconciled with 

 The group collapsed in chaos not long after that, and he went into seclusion 
for 25 years to sort himself out. He decided shortly after he began this 
recovery process that TM and Catholicism weren't compatible after all and 
rejected TM. A few years after that he decided the Church was no longer what it 
had been and had lost its divine authority with regard to salvation. At that 
point he rejected Catholicism as well.


 (Ann, I think I have the chronology straight here; if not, corrections are 

 He didn't become a priest. Not sure where you got that.
 > Are you one of his former acolytes?

 Nope. I encountered him for the first time here on FFL, summer of 2011.

 Seraphita wrote:
 > Isn't the vulgar notion of Christianity held by most believers radically 
 > dualist? (Which 
 > isn't surprising as western Christianity flows from Augustine.) Your 
 > standard Christian 
 > believes God is good and Satan is evil and History will end with a stand-up 
 > fight 
 > between the angels of light and the demons with the good angels destined to 
 > prevail.

 Christianity is dualistic, yes, but what you describe above really isn't what 
the "standard Christian" believes (at least not in the U.S.). It's various 
fundamentalist-type denominations and sects that are preoccupied with the End 
Times and Armageddon and the Rapture and so on. Standard or "mainline" 
Christians don't necessarily disbelieve in the prophecies of Revelation, but 
they don't tend to take them literally, and they don't focus on them.



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