Derek White

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  1. I participate in life fully. Firstly, I don't consider Leo successful, materially or spiritually. You are labelling me as some "classic eastern philosophy mumbo jumbo" and casting me aside. Actually you are the one projecting your own ideas onto what I wrote. You are not seeing what I wrote for what it is at all, just labelling it and putting it aside. I felt the need to clarify because you have misrepresented what I'm saying so much. I'm not going to elaborate further though, if people get it they get it, if they don't, oh well. I only mention J Krishnamurti because listening to him can be helpful but you have to self-reflect together with him. You can do it alone yourself too, just pay attention to what's happening. In the past I've also made a post which was critical of him, but my view of him has changed after listening to him again. I am using my "internal compass" and "questioning" everyone.
  2. One thing I want to say before I go, is that no one talks about how much time and effort and money is spent on “practises” which Leo talks about. You should ask if the person you’re learning from is even qualified to teach you before you waste your time and effort doing their practices, because you would be doing their practises for years and wasting your time and effort, without ever getting the results. So it’s not just about the big concepts, even the basic, self-help motivation advice Leo gets wrong. He says you have to create a set of values and pursue them. This way of motivating yourself to action is foolish, especially coming from a spiritual person. If it was coming from a motivational speaker, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. You do not need all these complicated values and frameworks to motivate yourself. All this create unnecessary conflict in the mind. Your pitching one thought against the other. It seems Leo can’t see this basic phenomena which is happening in the mind. To me it’s clear now that this is not the right way. (You might become successful but you’re life will be in conflict and a complete mess) There’s a completely different way to act in the world which Leo doesn’t seem to know about. So basically, he’s telling people to do hundreds of doses of psychedelics over a span of years, contemplation, and everything else to gain spiritual understanding, even though he doesn’t understand basic things himself. He called himself the most advanced spiritual person on the planet yet I can clearly see that he doesn’t understand basic psychological phenomena. I don’t think psychedelics have helped Leo understand reality any better. I think it has made him close minded and put him in a trap. I don’t want what Leo has. So I don’t want to do psychedelics because I can clearly see it hasn’t worked for him, because I can see he doesn’t understand basic psychological facts. I just wanna end with – if later in life you guys feel you got nowhere with your approach, don’t forget someone tried to reach out and warn you.
  3. This "embodying" and "integrating" insights, whether from psychedelics or from other means, is the thought creating an image from a past experience and trying to "become" that. It is a movement away from what is. You doing it again and again hundreds of time implies that you are chasing an idea, trying to repeat a past experience again and again. It's a pursuit and a repetition born out of thought. And it implies you don't see this phenomena taking place, if you did there wouldn't be any need to continue doing it. I only share this as a friend and a well wisher because maybe after being on this journey with Leo I started to see him as a friend. I know it's probably going to fall on deaf ears so I am not going to push too hard, but this is a place where we share spiritual insights so I thought I should share where I think this community is going wrong. So I'm going to leave it right here, if people see what I'm saying that's good if they don't that's fine too. I only hope people ask questions to themselves when they do psychedelics like why do you do them? Why do you do them again and again? What do you actually want out of them? Is it a preconceived notion from your memory that you are chasing? If it is what does that imply? etc.
  4. No I haven’t. I don’t really want to either. I’ve known people who did psychedelics and even on the forum and they are a mess. They don’t have mastery over their psyche or even an understanding of their minds. I’m not denying that psychedelics give “profound” experiences and they make you sensitive enough so you see something new, but it’s not it. What they do and what Leo does is experience some insight in the psychedelic state and then make conclusions from that and speak about it after from memory. That’s not truth. They are speaking from memory of a past experience, it’s not a living reality. By accumulating experiences and trying to repeat the same experience only your ego gets bigger. It’s the continuation of the past so it’s the wrong direction if you want to live in reality and know reality.
  5. Hi Leo and forum members, Firstly I want to appreciate you, Leo, for coming out and apologizing for your behaviour in the past few years. It is great that you are doing some much needed self reflection. I left the forum a little less than a year ago because I started to see the faults in what you were doing. Your ego was getting bigger and bigger as you accumulated more psychedelic experiences. You had no relationship with your audience. You were wrapped up in your mind. To be frank, you did not have a relationship with reality either. (And I think you had a brief moment where you believed being arrogant was good for you? What was that about? lol, Not giving authority to others in spiritual matters is quite a different thing than being arrogant. Arrogance means giving authority to your limited experiences and thoughts. You have to be humble in order to see truth.) And I felt there was a disconnect between what you said and what you were actually doing. It felt like you didn't practice what you preached. You told people how to be productive and have a clear mind but you yourself didn't show any evidence of being productive, or any of the things you preached. And you were doing basically "what came to your mind" and it came across as, and it probably was the case, that you didn't have any awareness of your thoughts or mind. TBH it felt like your own life was unwholistic and in shambles and you were lecturing others on how to live a wholesome life. I want to share a little bit about me. I started watching your videos even before 2016. So I've been following you for more than 7+ years. I've watched almost all your videos (except the last 2 or 3) and many of them multiple times. I have taken notes, bought the book list and the Life Purpose course too. I use to come to the forum as well for some time regularly to read what was posted. I have a binder full of video summaries and notes on your videos. So I've been seriously following your work for a long time. And I would like to tell you and everyone else too, that yes, there were many things you said which opened my mind but ultimately it did not really improve my life. Yes, I did pick up some fancy ideas about how the world works, but I was still lazy, sad, conditioned, neurotic, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain as always. After I stopped listening to you, after some time I revisited J Krishnamurti. And he helped me to see reality and understand my mind way more than your videos. Believe it or not my life came on track after listening to him. To share something personal, I failed first year of university and was asked to discontinue studies in 2019 and I didn't do anything except work a minimum wage job till late 2022. And TBH a large part of that has to do with listening to you. After listening to JK my life actually got better and I started improving in my personal life and in my "spiritual" understanding as well. Right now I think your understanding of reality, ego, and mind is very superficial. You don't understand the mind, your ego at all, only at a superficial level. What you have is mere words, nothing real. If you did you wouldn't be where you're at and doing the things you do. As a friend, I think you need to RE-EXAMINE reality without the baggage of the past, your memories and past psychedelic experiences. Take a fresh look, an unbiased look at what is happening. Look at the ego, the mind, and your thoughts with a fresh look. I highly recommend seriously and sincerely listening to J Krishnamurti's talks on YouTube to use him as a mirror to self reflect (he also has a podcast, but the full talks are better to start with). And I would recommend to not be in a hurry to express everything in words to make a video. Don't verbalize what you saw, make conclusions out of it and make it into a video. That might be harming you more than you think. Lastly I only say this as a friend to another friend.
  6. But how do you know he has experienced different states of consciousness? He’s only experienced them on psychedelics. He hasn’t gone seriously into yoga, tantra, etc. Maybe those produce different states. Maybe all the states Leo has experienced come under the category of psychedelic states, and a whole different category of states exist elsewhere which are more profound. (The reason I say this because he hasn’t experienced the stuff these other people talk about) It’s not just about awareness alone, does he know about devotion? Does he know about Ramakrishna Paramahansa and his path? What happens if you are devoted to a goddess, does he know? That’s why I say it’s intellectual compared to others. Yogis, tantriks, what they say is completely different. There’s an assumption here that gurus have a very narrow and limited view of spirituality. It could be the opposite. Take Sadhguru for example, he has travelled, talked to, and explored spiritual traditions around the world lol, Native American, European, Greek, Middle-eastern, Indian, Tibetan, Zen, you name it. I am sure he has met people who have done all kinds of psychedelics (even in India people do them and he’s met Native Americans who do them). He even has experience with occultists. Compared to him Leo has sat at one place and done psychedelics. So, who’s the SAP worker and who’s the programmer here?
  7. He experiments with psychedelics (He went to some solo retreats but idk of any initiations by a master or following anyone in particular). See the Freedom from understanding section. Other schools are not as focused on understanding, they are much more experiential. They focus on improving your awareness, rather than more accurate ideas in your head about reality. To them it doesn't matter what you think about reality. It's the difference between being in truth vs remembering truth (experienced on a trip). But even then what he does is endless (it's like science). People need to know that you need freedom from this endless pursuit as well. Like... incorporating new experiences into your worldview is itself an intellectual activity... many people would say it's not even spirituality. It's more like satisfying your curiosity, which is endless like lust. This is my best attempt at explaining this. Even in self-help, he emphasizes so much on reading, contemplation, and journaling. Others people are not as thought-oriented. That's attachment not involvement.
  8. A Critique Of And Leo Gura The intention of this critique is to make people aware of some of Leo’s limitations. It might save people time and unnecessary suffering. It is not meant to invalidate or insult or Leo. I think Leo is a great teacher in many ways, this is just healthy criticism. Please take it lightly. Since Leo likes to criticize everyone else, I thought why not do it to him this time. It’s worth mentioning that I’ve personally never taken any psychedelics and I don’t consider myself some advanced spiritual person either. Some might consider this critique incomplete - which is fair. I have been watching Leo and other teachers for a long time. Nevertheless, I think it can still be helpful for people to read this. If anything, it can be an exercise in open-mindedness. It’s important to note that I will only be critiquing Leo on his more core and central teaching. So don’t expect much on minutia like his dating advice or politics. Although these thing can be important to some people, and you are free to level your own critiques on him, small or big, below this post, I personally won’t be focusing much on this. So sit back and let’s being… Freedom from understanding This one is a little confusing and long but the most important. Stick with me please. Basically, Leo takes psychedelics and shares his findings on YouTube. Why am I telling you this? I am telling you this because there are things he doesn’t explicitly tell you: What Leo does is pursuit of understanding. It is an endless process. There is no end to it. You can keep on accumulating new experiences and making your understanding better and better. Understanding is a limited process rooted in the ego-mind. So during his psychedelic trip he has an experience of God. We can say he is in a higher state of consciousness. Once it is over, he comes back to his normal state of consciousness. The experience is stored in the form of memory which gets interpreted and communicated by the ego-mind. The memory isn’t reliable because it can’t be stored. Understanding is a limited thing, whereas Truth is unlimited it can’t be bound to such things. So here’s what you need to know: Most people don’t need to do what Leo does. Leo is like a scientist. It’s his profession and passion to have new experiences and create new mental models. This pays his bills. Truth is beyond understanding. Truth is something living, it doesn’t come from a memory of a trip. Understanding (and experience) is only needed to answer a few basic questions, beyond it you don’t need it. Questions like, “Who am I?”, “What is thought?”, “What is the limitation of thought?” Basically to quiet the mind and satisfy your curiosity. To become free from this as well. The point of spirituality is freedom, but people get stuck in this cycle of accumulating experiences and gathering knowledge. They never become free from understanding itself. You have to use your understanding to get free from understanding. Getting more understanding will not change you. Your personality will remain the same. Your habits and patterns will remain the same. Your base level of consciousness will remain the same. You will remain an idiot. (If anything too many fixed ideas you got from your trips might make your ego swell and make it hard for you to look at life afresh.) You might regret wasting this time on understanding. It’s endless. It’s the same as exploring the physical world. You can keep exploring it deeper and deeper and arrive at new conclusions each time. Your time might be better spent on any number of things. It’s important to tell you that it will not get rid of suffering either, in case that’s why you are following Leo. It’s important to tell you this because people have attached unrealistic expectations about this. If you’re an average person with a job and a career, you don’t need to do this. In fact this might not even be spirituality for you, it’s like a weird game of documenting peak experiences. He might say he made this clear to people, but I say he doesn't explicitly tell you this. Most people don't need this and they don't know they don't need it, they are lost and Leo doesn't help them out. Lack of balance Leo likes to talk about balance, but how balanced is his spirituality? How balanced is his self-help? It is overly intellectual (as he himself admits). All he’s trying to do is get peak spiritual experiences. He has completely neglected raising his base level of consciousness. As far as you know he is not doing anything to raise it. He inspires others to do the same. Arrogance, ego and the forum If you had asked me about Leo’s ego a year ago, I would have ignored it as minutia, but now I increasingly feel it is becoming a problem. After an awakening his ego becomes inflated for several weeks. Every time he gets an awakening you can bet it will be like this. You know something other people don’t. So what? What’s the big deal? What’s there to be proud about? You don’t even know it after the trip. I don’t see the point of inflating your ego. Trap of solipsism “But it’s not ego, he’s trying to communicate solipsism. That’s why he says he is the best and the only one awakened.” No, no. If he was he wouldn’t say it like that. It would be a matter of fact statement. Anybody with some awareness can tell that what he is saying coming from ego. He thinks there’s no one he can learn from. There can be no characters in the dream more knowledgeable and aware as him. Yet he continues to be in the dream. He thinks he is the most advanced, not because of solipsism, he actually thinks that. (For anyone that thinks otherwise, you can simply use the search function and look what he said in the past.) (I'm not saying solipsism is not true.) It’s a one way conversation with him. There’s nothing you can say to him that will get through to him. There’s really no point talking to him anymore. It’s a misapplication of solipsism. “He’s just being authentic.” Being authentic doesn’t mean doing whatever comes to your mind. “I feel like murdering someone, so I will murder someone.” That’s not authentic. Again, I think it comes under a trap of solipsism. “The other teachers are not as good” He doesn’t know about other teachers’ methods. Leo doesn’t know about all these things, he has never learned from an actual Yogi, Tantric, or a Buddhist monk from the places these traditions originate from. He has never gone too deep into this. He’s not qualified to talk about it. He doesn’t know about devotion, about chakras, energy, and many other things. It might be because he has an autoimmune disorder which prevents him from exploring other methods fully. That’s why he likes psychedelics so much. They’re quick and easy. “Buddhism will never get you there.” Sadhguru said Buddhism is a long, drawn out process. He said Buddhist masters tell you it will take you 12 life times of sadhana to become enlightened. Buddhism in the east, the actual Buddhism, makes it clear. It doesn’t give you false expectations. "But re-incarnation and all that isn't real." Just like everything else. The walls in your house, your ego-mind, your body, and your psychedelics. How do you know it's not as real as radio waves? "But these teachers are genetic freaks! We can't be like them." So it just didn't occur to these genetic freaks that other people can never advance spiritually like them. These supposedly genetic freaks who are juggernauts of awareness, just didn't realize other people are not like them. It slipped their attention. Obviously if these people are so aware they know what they are doing and what others are capable of. I've seen videos and testimonies of people who go to these people. People's lives have changed for the better. Obviously not all the people who benefit make a YouTube channel and say exactly the same things Leo says. People are private. Being offensive and outrageous I am embarrassed to share that I watch with anybody. With post titles like, brains don’t exists and pedophilia is love. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Leo has no regard for how others might perceive his loyal followers when he does things like this. It’s coming from ego. The way he’s going about saying it is dumb. You don’t need to do all this to make your point. It’s unappealing, that’s why people move away from you and he feels they are moving away because they don’t understand his point. “Look at this video of a murder taking place. This is love guys! Look at this! Why are you going away? Surely you’re not as awake as me! I’m the most awakened person on the planet!” Future I think in the future, it is possible, Leo will eventually develop occult powers with the use of psychedelics. And his ego will be even more inflated. It will become even more ugly. This is all a consequence of not neglecting his base level of consciousness. Forum The forum is not a great place. Partly because Leo himself sets the precedence on how to communicate here and he himself breaks his own rules and name calls people. Even when he’s not name calling you directly, that’s what he’s trying to do indirectly. He’s so snarky too. Other than that he’s doing some version of “everything is a dream”, “this is just a figment of your dream.” “It’s the internet” No. They look at Leo’s writing style and get inspired. The quality of the forum is quite low. Some members with mental illnesses should’ve been reached out and told to take care of themselves before posting again. There are posts which are quite low, like “why I hate men/women” or some other thing like that. Some members should’ve been kicked out a long time ago but Leo seemed to have a soft-corner for them. There are people who have shown no progress (or even regression) and have been on the forum for a long time. For e.g, take Nahm’s example. He should’ve been stopped a long time ago. I come on the forum occasionally and even I noticed he was misleading members on the forum whether he meant to do it or not. And I have seen long term members being lost and no one corrects them. This is important ‘cause there have been incidents of suicide and people ending up in mental hospitals among Leo’s audience. It’s not far fetched to call what he does irresponsible. Better self-help teachers In a sense you can’t even call what Leo does self help anymore. Over the years, he has become more interested in sharing his awakening from his trips than actually understanding his audience’s problems and solving them. 90% of the time he’s just describing his awakening and it’s not of much use because you cannot get to that point by just listening to him. Just do the psychedelics in the way Leo say, there’s no point listening to him except for entertainment. I think, there are better more balanced self-help teachers out there. Those who don’t focus on journalling and intellectualizing too much. Intellectualizing is the number one trap today, people just sit and home and try to think through their problems instead of taking action. So that’s why I think it’s a big limitation of Leo. There is Sandeep Maheshwari for example who has a good balance of self-help and spirituality. His content is not in English however. And for what we know Leo is not a very productive person either. His life might be worse than most people’s for what we knew (partially because of his autoimmune disease). I don’t he’s the ideal person to teach a balanced self-help. For e.g. take the difference between Sadhguru and Leo on concentration. Concentration is one of the most important things you need to become successful spiritually and materially. Leo has a video on concentration titled: Concentration vs Meditation - How To Develop Concentration. I’m sure everyone has seen it multiple times so I won’t talk about it. Now look at what Sadhguru says about concentration: he says don’t try to concentrate. Trying to concentrate is torture and you won’t be able to sustain it. Instead be involved in whatever you are doing and focus will naturally come. Not attached, not detached, but involved. Like you are involved while playing a sport. To meditate is to be involved. Involvement brings attention, and attention brings clarity. Personally this had changed my life. Here’s one article by him: I think Sadhguru knows much more about attention, concentration, focus, alertness, and the overall mind than Leo. Other minutia If I were to say something else I would just say that Leo has a slight bias toward the “western” way of life and has wrong assumptions about people from other places. The lifestyle of the “west” isn’t all that great. They End I may edit this post later for spelling and grammatical errors, or if I want to add something to it.
  9. Of course. The chemicals you take are also a dream, and yet they help you with God-realization. What you experienced is also a dream and yet you cherish it. But with these other things you become arrogant and deny them by saying it's just imagination. Just like Scholar says everything is equally beautiful - you say everything is imagination. Also, the stuff you say about other spiritual teachers can be said about you too. Other spiritual teachers can't comment on psychedelics because they haven't taken them (taken them 100s of times in a particular way as you say), similarity you can't properly comment on their paths because you haven't reached the peak of their system. You say they need to take psychedelics they say you need to open all your chakras. To the layman both can't comment on each other's system.
  10. What you lecture Scholar for you do it yourself. How many times have people brought up deities, reincarnation, chakras, etc., and your response to that is, "it is imaginary", or "it is a dream".
  11. In his recent “state of consciousness is everything” video, Leo didn’t mention/highlight that your human mind, with all its willpower and desires, is just a figment of consciousness. Since Leo uses the world Mind to refer to consciousness it could be misunderstood as the human mind. What we generally call as you, your body and mind, is not the real you which is The Mind (God, Consciousness) which imagines everything. Hope this clears it up because I thought it was left a little muddy and could cause confusion for some.
  12. Wow, this was one of the best talks I've heard of Sadhguru. I was glued to it from start to finish. Joe was so patient and asked good questions without interrupting. It was great. I learned so much. @Leo Gura You should give it a listen and learn something, maybe your "dream characters" can teach you something.
  13. I was just gonna post about it! You beat me.
  14. @Raptorsin7 Thank you and everyone else for sharing your experiences with Nahm's coaching. I remember when you were the biggest Nahm advocate, and that you were being personally coached by him. I couldn't help but noticing that you made almost zero progress and I would even say your posts indicated you went backwards. I always had a bad feeling about that. To me it seemed you just needed some practical pointers with enough spiritual understanding to steer you in the right direction in life. I would be very interested to know more about your experience, I suggest you post a review of your coaching experience with Nahm on a separate thread or on your personal journal. I would love to learn from it. I don't think we can fully blame students like yourself for paying for bad teachers. The students by definition are confused and don't know any better. We cannot expect desperate people needing help to make sound decisions. I think it's the teachers responsibility. Another point I would like to add; there is a confusion on the forum about what non-duality (a-dvaita) is. Thoughts, and things are real. The differences remain. They are true on one level and not true on another at the same time. It is called non-duality (not-two), and not "oneness" for a reason. It is not two and not one either. People who keep asserting the emptiness of things are not seeing the full picture and they are not helping anyone. @puporing Some of the guidelines are not enforced strictly enough. Like it says people with severe mental illnesses shouldn't be here yet we see suicidal posts sometimes. Leo should tell them to avoid the forum till they seek help and a build proper foundation.
  15. I agree with the decision. The things you said about conflating the absolute and the relative, and giving neo-Advaita type answers is all true. I didn't think much about it since he was so respectful and mannered. However, I had a conversation on a thread with Nahm a month back where I had an epiphany that what he was saying is harmful. We were talking about Law Of Attraction, which he mentions in his YouTube videos. I was trying to understand him more so I was asking him questions. He said you can manifest absolutely anything with LOA, including winning lotteries, changing your physical features like height, fixing terminal cancer, etc. I then asked if we can bring back dead family members. He then pivoted to Neo-Advaita and said death is imaginary... I came to the conclusion that his advice/posts can make people disappointed and give them false hope. It can damage someone's journey and lead to a lot of wasted time trying to "manifest" something impossible. I think Nahm has some good insights but is completely clueless about other things. He is a good example of someone with incomplete knowledge. It was disappointing seeing such a senior mod saying something so ridiculous as telling people you can use LOA to win million dollar lotteries. @mandyjw There is no Nahm to ban and there is no Leo.