Rama in Wired

Wired 7.09: Street Brawl in the Twilight Zone

This is an article from Wired about Rama and his hijinks.

BTW, I think I spent a total of $2,500.00 over several years on my Guru. Luckily I never got super-involved - I was busy finishing my Ph.D. as Rama sank into super-maniacal craziness.

I was pretty sure that Rama wasn't especially enlightened - although his charisma level was very high - because he never tapped me for one of his computer companies. I was working on my Ph.D. in computer science and even as a starting consultant I made more money than most of the people that took classes from him.

People that studied with him reported seeing all kinds of strange manifestations. I never saw any of that, except one time when we'd been out in the desert and I was fairly sleep deprived. Even then what I saw wasn't overly spectacular - he was walking around and suddenly it looked to me like he went shooting backwards about ten feet. But this was at about 4:00 a.m. in the desert and from what I know now about how sleep works I probably had a quick shot of REM sleep. Not a big deal.

I kept going though because he was funny, interesting, and could keep a room full of hundreds of people dead silent for 45 minutes or an hour of meditation. Regardless of whatever power Rama had or didn't have, it is a very powerful experience to sit in meditation with hundreds of people.

Sometimes I would go to the Crystal Cathedral with Robert Schuller and experience the same thing. It's cool when hundreds of people are focused on one thing and there is a charismatic dude up front leading the proceedings.

It doesn't mean the leader is particularly enlightened - it just means the person is very charismatic and can control a big crowd.

I consider myself lucky, of course. Since I never got drawn into the inner circle I avoided the craziness and in the meantime I learned a lot about meditation and eastern religion and philosophy.

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved