“You must win your Self back. Wisdom and trust will be your compass.”
Anthony Paul Moo-Young, affectionately known as “Mooji” by his followers, is one of the most well-known Neo-Advaita teachers today. It’s difficult to browse Facebook or Youtube without coming across one of his quotes or satsang videos. How many satsang videos does it take to reach enlightenment?
Mooji wasn’t really Mooji until a chance encounter with a Christian mystic. He was just a regular old Anthony. Gifted artist and teacher perhaps, but certainly no spiritual authority. As he describe it, this encounter completely changed his life.
“In 1987, a chance meeting with a Christian mystic was to be a life-changing encounter for Mooji. It brought him, through prayer, into the direct experience of the Divine within. Within a short period, he experienced a radical shift in consciousness so profound that outwardly, he seemed, to many who knew him, to be an entirely different person. As his spiritual consciousness awakened, a deep inner transformation began which unfolded in the form of many miraculous experiences and mystical insights. — Source
This would culminate into a long journey that would ultimately end at the feet of his true guru, none other than Papaji himself. Mooji claims that Papaji helped him cross the threshold into a permanently enlightened state.
What does he teach? Like all Neo-Advaita teachers, the focus is on the illusion of ego in contrast to the permanence of the “I”. His books, teachings and satsangs primarily reiterate this point over and over again. It’s as though merely recognizing this idea is enough to radically change your life.
Think about it for a second. How many people have been exposed to these ideas? Perhaps millions. Yet how many of them have fully reconnected with their most primary relationship – the core spiritual reality that animates us all – then become conduits for its expression in the world? Certainly, very few.
You cannot fault Mooji for teaching this approach. Indeed, his chance encounter with advanced spiritual practitioners revolutionized his spiritual development. Perhaps the same will happen to you if you meet Mooji.
Or perhaps, like millions before you, sitting at the feet of an enlightened teacher will provide temporary solace and respite, a few interesting experiences and anecdotes, but no real spiritual progress. How many people around Mooji have matched his state of spiritual understanding?
Critics of Neo-Advaita have longed pointed out that it offers no real spiritual practice. Choosing a different set of ideas – especially ideas that are closer to the truth – is not a bad thing. Truthful ideas are useful tools. When it comes down to it though, it’s still just changing one set of ideas for another. How much spiritual progress can this really engender?
We wish Mooji well. He’s got a great way of expressing timeless truths that absolutely need to be communicated. However, we hope that the more serious practitioners will realize that real work needs to be done.
Spiritual development is about cultivating oneself to such a degree that the gap between one’s worldly mind and one’s Spiritual Mind decreases enough for Spirit to slip through. Greater things are possible then. Greater things are possible for all of us if we commit to cultivating ourselves.