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Tami Simon

Last post 06-15-2008, 5:16 PM by fairyfaye. 14 replies.
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  •  06-09-2008, 8:21 AM 54919

    Tami Simon

    Just wanted to give a shout out of acknowledgement to both Ken and Tami. They in my view got to the heart of the matter and address the bullshit as well as the contribution of having a spiritual teacher. The spiritual game could use more realness and more honesty . For me that is one of the many reasons Kens work has spoken to me. He is upfront and gets down with the data . Myself being a retired Teamster truck driver , back in the day we had our own bullshit detecters, and a way of humbling the puffed up ego. Ken and Tami kick ass with this interview. Thanks to both of you for the contribution you bring to life.
    Bill Kilburg,
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  •  06-09-2008, 8:24 AM 54920 in reply to 54919

    Re: Tami Simon

    Tami is awesome. You can always count on her to tell the truth. Concur.
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  •  06-09-2008, 4:09 PM 54959 in reply to 54920

    Re: Tami Simon

    I am curious how you guys feel this talk applies to some of the recent conversations in this forum, particularly as pertaining to the perceptions around R.A.M. and David Deida.  How much is projection, how much is pathology, how much is abuse--and, considering that some level of disillusionment is inevitable around any given spiritual teacher, how much teaching does the experience of disappointment itself offer you?  How does someone's relative imperfection bring into contrast the Absolute perfection that you always already are?


    Corey W. deVos (dj rekluse)
    Brand Manager, Integral Naked
    Audio Manager, Integral Institute
    Managing Editor,
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  •  06-09-2008, 5:39 PM 54968 in reply to 54959

    Re: Tami Simon


    A very relevant question. Thanks for asking.

    For me, Tami represents the willingness to stand on the two feet of her own knowledge and to speak straightforwardly in a non-manipulative way about an issue. It may be rife with projection and pathology, who knows.

    I find that willingness to talk straight so rare, especially where the power and money interests become more complex.

    I have no way to even begin to properly assess projection vs. pathology vs. abuse vs. inevitable disillusionment vis a vis the merits of what she points at.

    But I do like the way she speaks straightforwardly and in an apparently sincere way.

    My recollection of the RAM talks, at least the ones I remember (and the non-talks too since I felt there was an unwillingness to explore certain issues,) came down to the issue of how much does one get to charge and at what point is it proper to define admission to the club so exclusively that poor folks can't get in. I don't recall any actual discussion of RAM's actual substantial teachings.

    I have nothing to offer re: Deida - am not familiar with the issue.

    Do you have any thoughts or comments on Tami's talk?

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  •  06-09-2008, 6:45 PM 54972 in reply to 54968

    Re: Tami Simon

    One of the methodologies that may be useful is to ensure that our concerns are met and discussed at the level of concern where they generated and that issues are not re-framed.

    Tami talks about being disappointed or surprised that some spiritual teachers are much less perfect in various lines than we would have expected. She then goes on to discuss her practice of turning the tables on herself and asking herself questions that illuminate what it is that is really going on.

    I will not dispute that this can be done.

    But I want to suggest that there is no end to that type of reconciliation of an issue.

    If a spiritual teacher is a lout on a particular line, then it is either proper or improper for us to act in a way that responds on the level.

    I was thinking as she talked, if a teacher pulls a knife and demands my money, I can react in self defense and hold him until the police show up or I can ask myself "why do I expect him to not do this?."

    If Trungpa asks his assistants to strip a woman and parade her around the room, we can meet it at the level it is appropriate and ensure that he does jail time for conspiracy to commit indecent assault or we can ask ourselves what is wrong with us.

    The foibles of spiritual teachers have their own appropriate domains where they should be met.

    I am glad that the talk emphasized the complete consistency between the possibility of a high spiritual line (or deep state) familiarity and shallow development on other lines.

    At the same time, more can be done to emphasize the importance of meeting an issue or a foible or an imperfection exactly at the level it merits and dealing with it there.

    I don't understand this willingness to refer to non-dual or Great Perfection in reference to what are very specific behaviors that have very appropriate responses from us.

    I am thinking about the RAM talks about money - there is only one proper issue. What is the justification of pricing the Practicum in a way that one earns $81,000 for 20 days of talking? That is the sum total of the issue. We should not refer to disappointment or elation or any other value or line that is not directly relevant to the factors that properly go into pricing. There may or may not be an agreed upon rubric in the area of what Tami calls "the Spiritual Industry." Who knows? Maybe the sky is the limit.

    But at least let's agree to keep the discussion within the scope of the matter. Doesn't that seem right? 

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  •  06-09-2008, 10:08 PM 54987 in reply to 54972

    Re: Tami Simon

    Shalk's overwrought concerns about the fees charged by Robert Augustus Masters surely must have good motivations - a desire for spiritual teachings and deep, transformative therapy to be accessible to everyone - but they are obviously overblown. Anybody who's interested can check out Robert's fees for themselves on his website; most of that info will be on "Individual and Couple Sessions" and "Groupwork."   There's an enormous amount of positive commentary on the depth and potency of his work on this website and elsewhere (e.g. see this thread on the other integral pod I hang out on). 'Nuff said.

    As for Ken's latest conversation with Tami, loved it! Important topic, great dialog. Keeping your bullshit detector and your truth detector switched on at all times is good advice, to which I would add that owning your stuff and treating others with respect is essential as well.

    This conversation goes really well with one of my all-time favorite dialogs on Integral Naked, the one between Adyashanti and Bert Parlee called Shadow, Responsibility, and the Great Indifference. Really great stuff.  Smile [:)]

    spiral out,

    I am seeking meaningful work.


    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod:

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  06-10-2008, 12:13 AM 54993 in reply to 54987

    Re: Tami Simon


    Let's keep the issue straight.

    1. Don't worry about people's motivations for asking a question.

    2. Deal with the question on its face.

    3. We weren't talking about RAM's fees in general.

    4. We were talking about one specific Practicum that will earn him $81,000 for 20 days of talking.

    5. You were the one who saw fit to advertise it here.

    6. You still owe me a disciplined answer - how is it justified to earn this kind of money for doing this amount of work and what are the moral considerations about excluding an entire class of the population who cannot pay these kinds of fees?


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  •  06-10-2008, 5:38 AM 54999 in reply to 54959

    Re: Tami Simon

    I have not listened as of yet to the RAM and Deida talks,but one of the most valueable lessons I learned in consciousness work is how we listen. I listen me powerfully as a place { really its a space} I choose to come from. Our humanity is thrown to giving away our autonomy to someone or something else and it is just a matter of time that someone or something will "disappoint us " .  But when looked at from the level of responsibility did "they" really disappoint us? "They "were just doing what" they "were doing and then we adding some interpretation that "they" disappointed us. It is my responsibilty to listen me powerfully so as to get the communication that a teacher is sharing. It has been my experience that most people listen passively and  expect an answer and  want it all to be different than the way it is. This to me is false cause and trully shaky ground to come from. When I listen me powerfully I am source of my experiece of "they".


    by the way we all know who "they" are dont we ?

    Bill Kilburg,
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  •  06-10-2008, 9:14 AM 55002 in reply to 54999

    Re: Tami Simon

    OK, let's say that I pay $100 to attend a talk that is titled "Important Truths for Today."

    I drive 100 miles to attend the talk. And for 60 minutes the speaker tells us stories about his days as a ping pong player.

    I am disappointed. Is this apppropriate?

    Some seem to say - "no." The speaker just did what he did and I added an interpretation that was disappointing.

    What's wrong with this analogy?

    What's wrong with respecting our visceral notion that certain people seem to promise things to the world and then don't deliver on them and that there is a specific and appropriate response when we see that they are not delivering?

    I would add that if the disappointment is eating us up and dominating our minds, then there is possibly projection and pathology issues to explore. But we don't have to give away our trust in our "reactions" to specific things, when the reaction is well-founded on a coherent general principle of "failure to meet expectations that were advertised."

    Ken Wilber suggests that one definition of "spirituality" is a consistently high, 2nd Tier level of consciousness across many lines simultaneously.

    And this is maybe the crux of the matter. When someone presents themselves as a "Spiritual Teacher", absent their explicit warning to the contrary, it is not improper for us to expect the individual to be consistently high, 2nd Tier across most lines of development. That is to say, it is not necessarily wrong for us to expect them to:

    1. be cognitively 2nd Tier and be able to explain what they are doing;

    2. be morally 2nd Tier and show respect and nuanced awareness of others;

    3. be 2nd Tier on the self line and understand how 1st Tier ego issues arise and not be tied or identified to them;

    4. be aesthetically 2nd Tier and present what is generally refined aesthetics (e.g. not smell like a farm animal, not smoke cigars in the classroom, package the teachings in a pleasant environment, etc.)

    5. Not be greedy, money-grubbing, racist, sexist, horny, masters of spirituality line knowledge.

    It is incumbent on Spiritual Teachers to be clear with us:

    a. are they Spiritual in the sense of highly developed along the single line of spirituality (in which case we will be prepared for them to be undeveloped along other lines and hence, not disappointed)

    b. or are they Spiritual in the sense of 2nd Tier across the board (in which case we can expect them to manifest this across the board and if they don't our disappointment and demand for an accounting is not unjustified.)

    Tami mentions that she has been surprised at some of the nuts and bolts haggling that many spiritual teachers have engaged in. It surprised her.

    It should surprise her if their platform is "I am beyond money and material." But otherwise, it should not surprise her. And if they haggle, she can meet them exactly at the level they want to operate at and haggle back. What is the problem?

    I think of Jimmy Swaggart. He was a leading light in the Christian evangelical movement in the 80s. Then one day he was found in a low budget motel with a hooker. He was stoned to death by the church.

    Why? His sermons were just as good as ever. Heck, he might have been doing field work to get to know the suffering of the prostitutes better so he can heal them. Or maybe his wife just stopped giving him nookie and it was driving him crazy. You want Cotton Mather with sexual repressions and the Malum Malificarium witch hunts going high and right on Sunday morning in Tupelo or do you want Jimmy feeling the relief of a good orgasm and bringing the love of the Lord to us?

    No. It came down to disappointment. The church expected Jimmy to live up to the things he preached. He failed to do that. There was no confusion here. He was not in a position to claim that his spiritual development is all that matters. He railed against the very activity that he then engaged in. He agreed to have the inquiry defined within that scope.

    We would all do well to be clear with Spiritual Teachers. What can I expect from you? It's just like shopping - caveat emptor! And don't forget - you have 90 days to return defective goods.

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  •  06-10-2008, 9:43 AM 55003 in reply to 55002

    Re: Tami Simon

    My question was not intended as a space rehash anyone's specific issues with a particular teacher.  What i was asking was this: how does your PERCEPTION of potential shadows, pathologies, and even your own projection inform your own sense of Absolute perfection?

    And Schalk, as far as i can tell, Arthur doesn't "owe" you anything.  He responded to your concerns in an authentic way, and even though his response did not placate your disappointment in R.A.M., i think a certain letting go on your part is now in order.  You have made it known that you disagree with R.A.M.'s methods, but there is no jury that you need to convince of your case.  Even if there is real substance to your concerns (which i am not weighing in on, one way or the other....), then we need to appreciate the fact that, although others may indeed share this perception, there are a great many who likely still value R.A.M.'s teachings--and are looking to move from identifying/understanding the problem, to figuring out how to modify their relationship according to what they know.

    I just wanted to throw that out there.  Let's not use this thread to get into any more of these specifics.  Again, i am asking: knowing what you know (without needing to tell us all that you know), how do these perceptions of shadow inform your own practice?

    And Schalk, a hypothetical for you specifically--if you were a student of R.A.M.'s, and were just as aware of your perceptions of his possible shadow issues, but wanted to maintain a student/teacher relationship with him, how would you go about it?

    Not an acceptible answer: "I wouldn't keep him as a teacher, for X, Y, and Z reasons, detailed and footnoted below."  Take the assumption that there is a particular "twisted humanness" in him, which does not necessarily eclipse his value to you as a teacher.  Again, a hypothetical.  How would you proceed?


    Corey W. deVos (dj rekluse)
    Brand Manager, Integral Naked
    Audio Manager, Integral Institute
    Managing Editor,
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  •  06-10-2008, 11:29 AM 55011 in reply to 55003

    Re: Tami Simon


    "My question was not intended as a space rehash anyone's specific issues with a particular teacher.  What i was asking was this: how does your PERCEPTION of potential shadows, pathologies, and even your own projection inform your own sense of Absolute perfection?"

    Can you re-phrase that? I honestly am not sure what you mean. How does my "perception" ... "inform" ... "my sense" - the problem with this question is that there are three terms, each of which lack normative content, that have to be reconciled.

    My perception ... of potential shadows etc. ... inform my own sense .. of Absolute perfection? No, I am not getting it.

    OK, we are talking about "absolute perfection" and how my sense of it is informed by my perception of potential shadows?

    Please try to say it another way - I am missing something.

    Right now I would say that my sense of Absolute perfect is totally irrelevant to what I perceive as shadows. I am going to deal with the shadows in the manner that is appropriate to them and leave it at that. Absolute perfection is a completely different and irrelevant domain to the issue at hand.

    And Schalk, as far as i can tell, Arthur doesn't "owe" you anything.  He responded to your concerns in an authentic way, and even though his response did not placate your disappointment in R.A.M., i think a certain letting go on your part is now in order. 

    "Owing" is an odd idea. To owe anything we have to agree on what it means to be indebted. What is the currency and what are the rules on exchange? Right?

    I thought that I asked a very fair question, given that Arthur injected what is an advertisement into a community forum which announced a series of teachings that is probably well beyond the price range of most of the participants in the forum.

    So I asked - are there any rules of principles that govern the pricing of "spiritual or Integral commodities?" We have price gauging and collusion and anti-trust laws in the world In the Spiritual Industry, are there similar moral rules?

    I felt that Arthur was not honest about the factors that support the pricing of the event. Legally he doens't owe me or anyone anything. Morally, I feel he has yet to provide a coherent justification for his advertising this event here or RAM's pricing it there.

    Trust me, Corey. I have no doubt that the teachings are good. I mean that honestly. I can see from RAM's site that he is doing something useful.

    I have no disappointment about RAM or Corey or anyone. Can you believe that? I absolutely could give a shit if RAM charges the Sultan of Dubai a million dollars to transmit to him the secret law of the universe. And I hope that Arthur feels the same way - he should feel that he could give a shit about my projections and my inner twistedness and my hangups. The only thing he should feel is a moral obligation to be honest and explain what in the fuck is going on when you ask 12 people to pay you eighty-one thousand dollars to talk to them for 20 days, talking which would seem to imply the notion of getting beyond a concern for materialist endeavors!  

    I believe there are applicable principles that can be fashioned in this area. I believe that within the limited scope of charging people for spiritual or Integral teachings there are coherent general rules that can be enunciated. I believe that "everything does not "go"" in this area.

    I am open to the idea that the teachings are truly worth $81K. I honestly am willing to consider that as a possibility. So, tell me. How does this work? What exactly is the quality of value that justifies this? Especially, when I see others giving away the product or similar products for free.

    I respect your position in this domain. I can read the words "letting go is in order" and interpret them in the proper way and I assure you - I will say no more about this issue with respect to RAM or Arthur. I do hope however that some honest and coherent discussion is generated at some point by someone else that inquires into the ethics of Spiritual Industry Marketing.

    If we want to talk about the real world and Integral, then the marketing of spirituality and Integrality is most definitely a proper topic.  

    "And Schalk, a hypothetical for you specifically--if you were a student of R.A.M.'s, and were just as aware of your perceptions of his possible shadow issues, but wanted to maintain a student/teacher relationship with him, how would you go about it?"

    Thanks for asking a great question. This is a great way to inquire into matters in a forum like this.

    OK. To answer that I have to make a bunch of assumptions about what it means for me to "be a student of RAM's." Obviously, if he is my long-standing guru, that is one facet, and if I am attending a Saturday morning session and paying $100 and will likely never see him again, that is another thing. In both cases, I am a student, right? But they are very different right?

    So, let me just create a hypothetical. Let's say I regard him as a primary source of wisdom and guidance, I have attended a number of his sessions, we are not buddy friends but we are fairly close and the relationship is healthy and I benefit greatly from his teachings. That is a reasonable starting ground I think.

    I am aware of my perceptions of his possible shadow issues.

    OK, this is hard. I am going to have to make a bunch of distinctions. What are we talking about?

    Is he having sex during class breaks with my fellow students? Is he bullying someone - physically, mentally, emotionally? Is he making racists comments? Is he trying to aggrandize himself and create a bigger and more powerful "Me" for himself at the same time he is teaching the importance of transcending the limited self sense? Is he rude? Is he filthy? Does he contradict himself and claim he isn't doing it and that any apparent contradiction is my projection? Is he uttering Rod McKuen-isms and presenting them as statements of ultimate wisdom and when I object telling me that I don't get it? And on and on.

    This is the crux. We have to look specifically at what the possible shadow issue is and how it manifests. If he appears greedy, I will meet him at a proper level of economic bargaining and try to maximize my gain. I have no problem with Father Bill trying to get an extra serving of potatoes from Father Tom. That is phase specific to the concern I have. And if he seems 2nd Tier in every other respect, there is no problem continuing the teachings.

    If he is up front with me about exactly what he will be doing and what he is, then there is little room for disappointment. He either adheres to what he promised or he failed to deliver.

    If he is trying to use subtle energies to gain economic leverage over me, I will tell him what I see and end the relationship. I am not competent to properly distinguish reasonable and unreasonable manipulations of subtle energies. He is free to do that and I am free to leave.

    If he is incapable of using words to express a useful interpretation of the teachings, I will have to see if the raw materials experienced are of sufficient value that I can discover good interpretations on my own, possibly through reading Wilber or talking to you, for example. But if there is another teacher who is a much better communicator, I am going there instead. Did he promise or suggest that he would be providing useful interpretations? Did I ask him?

    What I am getting at is this - we have to be clear. What is he purporting to be? What is he purporting to do for us? What is it fair for us to expect from him in the first place? If there is integration between what he purports to be and do and what he is and does, we have a good situation. If there is a massive contradiction between his message and his actions, we have a problem.

    But the solution is not to re-frame and discover new levels and realms from which to make sense of the issue. The solution is to deal with the issue appropriately from within the realm it manifests. If that solves the problem and we can carry on, good. If it doesn't, then we need to possibly call the police, punch him in the nose, demand our money back, sue him, walk away, tell him to fuck off, tell him we are sorry but we misunderstood what he was doing, or whatever else if appropriate for the particular issue at hand.

    Remember Trungpa? Why was he not arrested? You can give me all the absolute and subtle explanations you want. But the fact is - he conspired to commit what appears to be an old-fashioned indecent assault. I'll be the first to take the stand during his sentencing hearing and let the world know what great wisdom he teaches. At his sentencing hearing! This comes after he is prosecuted for doing what you and I and everyone else is prohibited from doing. Seriously. You don't get to tell your bodyguards to strip someone naked against their will and then package the event as a causal level event that is OK.  

    Same with any other "disappointing feature" of a spiritual teacher. What is the appropriate response that meets the issue in its proper context?

    Corey, one of the most pressing issues in the Integral community, in my opinion, is to be absolutely clear at the outset of anything - what is the appropriate context for a matter to be regarded? What are the agreed upon boundaries that frame responses? 

    I can't tell you how many times I have heard one person bring up the idea of another's motives or shadows or projections? It is a form of sabotage.

    Example: if a discussion is pointing in a Zone #2 direction, then the proper context is Zone #2.

    If we are talking about a Zone #4 issue, it shanghais the issue to bring up Zone #6 considerations. There is no end to the number of times you can spin around the Quadrants, essentially sabotaging an inquiry with an unrelated Zone of inquiry. And in doing this, you are guaranteeing that there will be no traction, no granularity, no depth.

    If a discussion involves a Zone #3 issue - addiction for example, it is improper to say "well, it is perfect just as it is." OK. Now we are no longer inquiring into a Zone #3 issue. We have subverted the language and perspective. In the realm of perfection, of course it is OK. So is everything else. And there is nothing else. And yadda yadda.

    That is how we never get any depth - by squirting around from Zone to Zone and re-viewing issues from new angles that import new vocabulary and new injunctions on how to even gain knowledge in the first place.

    From a Zone #4 perspective, for example, is it appropriate for me price a meditation event outside the range of all but Paris Hilton? To talk about that properly, we would adhere to the Zone #4 concerns, and only those concerns. If the question is initially raised as a 3rd person look at a collective interior, the minute you bring up the issue of "how about a 3rd person and his shadow looks at your 1st person look at a Zone #4 collective interior", we have shanghaied and de-railed the inquiry. That is called insidious or "insider ambushing."

    I'd love to hear more about Integral Inquiry discipline. You can really get useful and revealing new knowledge about just about anything - provided that you adhere to the discipline of staying within the appropriate context or zone.

    What do you think of I3 - my proposed Integral Inquiry Injunctions? I guarantee you, if people followed those rules, there would be nothing but really useful and healthy discussion of topics. The rules do not permit you to sabotage an inquiry and re-frame it into something else.

    You very rarely get to turn an issue around on the questioner and ask them to inquire within. You do get to say "there is no value in pursuing this line of inquiry." There is a big difference there. It has to do with maintaining the integrity and health of the forum of inquiry.

    It's the difference between "science" in the true sense and what we used to call "mindfucking" in the good old days.

    Otherwise, I see your shadow and tell you and you see me having pathologies that cause me to see your apparent shadow and on and on and .... it just does not help. We deserve better since poor Wilber has only spent his entire freaking life putting together what is obviously the most compelling Kosmic map ever created in history. I for one want to learn about the map. And I'd prefer that others not ask me why I want to learn about the map. I may or may not figure that out, but it doesn't devalue my question "what's in Amarillo, anyway?"

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  •  06-11-2008, 8:09 AM 55050 in reply to 54959

    Re: Tami Simon

    How much is projection, how much is pathology, how much is abuse , and how much does the experence of disappointment itself offer you ?

    To answer your question inmanagingeditor specifically. Is how much do I want to give my power away to someone else or something else. To me to use pathology or projection or disappontment plays into a victim identity. They get me off the hook for taking 100 percent responsibilty for myself and mylife.

    Iam coming from and speaking from a contextual ground of being that I am cause of  and the source of my experience.  When I forget who I really am as Source I notice there is a tendincy to rationalize and explain life.

    As we know context are boundless. So when I am coming from a context of contribution the experience of disappointment is contained within this contextual infinite space of contribution. Without the context " contribution" the experience of disappointment is experieced ie "known" like it was known before I knew about context. disempowering. The experience of disappointment known within a context of contribution , is contributive and known as empowering. Context recreates the experience.

    With context the SELF is released from the constraints of the already defined reality, that was made known through concepts and symbols. The SELF is NOW CREATING, not some system of knowing.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Bill Kilburg,
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  •  06-11-2008, 10:14 PM 55195 in reply to 55050

    Re: Tami Simon

    hey corey .. i love the twisted humanness of my teacher


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  •  06-15-2008, 5:15 PM 55518 in reply to 55195

    Re: Tami Simon

    if our teachers' twisted humanness is something quite harmless to others .. we've got good teachers


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  •  06-15-2008, 5:16 PM 55519 in reply to 55518

    Re: Tami Simon

    the key is to work on our own personal humanness


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