We were on the road again. Leaving the fresh mountain air, we descended South into the furnace of pre-monsoon heat.
We stopped at Dabbas (Indian road side restaurants) , and ate Indian food for breakfast. Local kids would come on board the buses trying to sell water, soft drinks or crisps. During one of our stops, a ticket inspector grabbed one of the little boys, and shoved him out of the bus while it was moving. The boy tumbled onto the road, and his crisps exploded and mingled with the red dust. Our taxi driver was legally blind, and Dipesh had to read the road signs for him, while Raj had to resist his urge to jump behind the wheel every time we had a close call with death. In India you're always on the edge of civilisation.
Their goal is to purify the self and become Angels. Once December 21st 2012 hits, they believe modern civilisation will end, and be replaced by a Golden Era on Earth. The majority of the 6 billion inhabitant on Earth will die, but those who have attained a sufficient level of purity will survive and become Deities.
It was interesting that neither myself nor Raj were phased by this place, but then again, this wasn't my first time at the BK. We came here in 2009, to research, and that time I had a pretty violent inner-reaction against it. I objected to the teachings, fought with several of the teachers, and even took up smoking on the balcony. I wasn't trying to rebel, but I felt so repressed and restricted that I needed to do something to know that I was free.
So a year had passed, and I obeyed their rules, and didn't argue. I still didn't agree with their vision of life, but I was prepared to hear them out and not judge. Had I changed, or had I simply become accustomed?
Since becoming interested in spirituality, I have always preached the philosophy of "not-knowing", but it was in a Bill Maher "Religulous" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0815241/) kind of way. (ie. I said I didn't know, but I secretly thought I did). It was at the BK that I really opened my mind to the possibility that I don't know what's going on in this Universe.
This happened because of one Westerner living there: a German called Golo. Golo made the point that I can't judge God or spirituality unless I actually mediate, because it's through mediation that God is experienced directly. So I mediated with them, and something weird happened. As I was meditating, the BK symbol floated into my mind's eye. It was around this time, that me, Raj and Dipesh started talking about joining the BK.!
In my defense, I was attracted to the idea of having free places to stay all over the world (you're not charged for anything when you stay at a Brahma Kumaris centre, and they have centres in more than 60 countries, including one in New York, U.S.A), but needless to say, we hadnt fully thought it through fully. Raj was the voice of reason, saying that we should see how we felt when we left.
And as soon as we got out of the complex we realised what had almost happened! It was at this point that I realised the power of being in an environment where so many people were visualising the same thing. It gets inside you. And then it becomes validated for you - I had seen the symbol float into my vision when I mediated, and this could be taken as a kind of proof that this was the path to Truth.
It makes me wonder how much we are all products of our environment. Every day we pass through environments which send out specific messages, which filter into our subconscious. (Advertising is a prime example of this).Are our beliefs ever the truth, or are we simply processing information in accordance with how we have been programmed?