DOING JNANA YOGA
The pages which appear in this website offer examples of how Jnana Yoga is done. If you observe carefully, you will see that clear definition, logical construction, and attention to detail all play important roles. Humor also has its place.
However, those pages do not say how to do Jnana Yoga. A smart person, by learning from those examples, could figure out on his or her own how to proceed. For years, that was the sole intent of this website: to offer examples that someone could follow.
Now, I see an alternative. Jnana Yoga can be learned by direct contact with an accomplished Jnana Yogi. Other methods, such as meditation, mantra, chanting, etc. may also be employed, for the goal is not to learn any specific method, but to realize That which lies beyond all attributes.
The offer is open. I will work with anyone who is willing to do the work, to teach anyone who is willing to be a student, to walk alongside anyone who has the heart for the journey.
Since originally making this offer, and having had it taken up by some, I've found that some things work, and some do not.
Here are the two that work. I can be a teacher or a guru.
As a teacher, you accept my direction. I say, "Try this," and you try this, and we talk about how it worked out. If you want to do other things, that is fine, but you are on your own there. I only take responsibility for what I teach. Your dominant attitude would be one of respect.
As a guru, we forge a bond which is energetic in nature. I feel this bond with my own guru. We are connected, heart to heart, soul to soul. He teaches, yes, but the teaching is secondary to the connection. Your dominant attitude would be one of reverence. Not for the personality which is called "Bruce Arnold," but for That which I would represent to you.
Neither of these implies any kind of dictatorial arrangement. I don't want your wealth, your prestige, or your genitals. I don't care to have slavish little sycophants running around at my feet. I know from what I have seen in the spiritual world that none of this works if I don't care about you. Really care about you. Pretending might be nice for my ego or yours. It might be good for my bank account (and bad for yours). But neither of us will grow spiritually in that atmosphere. Whatever else is in the mix, love is essential.
In the past, some people have taken me up on this offer and sent me an email. The email link is on the main page of the site. They write, I answer. In some cases, it has worked well. In most, it has not.
We learn by our mistakes. At least, I do.
I'm not going to respond to casual email inquiries any more. Most of the time, it's clear that they haven't even read this whole website. They ask questions that are answered here somewhere. They want me to co-sign their prejudices. They want me to entertain them. I'm not falling for any of that any more. The only emails I will respond to will be those which ask me to be your teacher, or to be your guru. That's it.
Before making a serious proposal to begin either of these two relationships, you will have read at least one of the following works:
"An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" by David Hume
"Ramakrishna and His Disciples" by Christopher Isherwood
"The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika", Jay Garfield, trans.
"Learning How To Learn" by Idries Shah
"Tao Te Ching" (which translation you pick will say a lot about you)
"Millbrook" by Arthur Kleps (Get the 1977 Bench Press edition through abebooks.com; the online version has been sadly degraded by the paranoia of the Chief's later years)
"Does God Exist?" by Hans Kung
"The Threefold Lotus Sutra" (I like the Bunno Kato translation)
In addition, you will also have read "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" by Chogyam Trunpa.
Having read them, you will write about them. However short or long, it doesn't matter. Sincerity counts, as does honesty. Mainly, I want to see if you can think. If you can't, then you can't do jnana yoga.