Open Spirituality versus "My Way, the Only Way!"
Bob Nickel and every other spiritual person highlighted on www.bobnickelsatsang.com is fully open to every path. That is, each of them fully acknowledges that the path of Bhakti (devotion) to a deity (Jesus, Krishna, or another) can all lead to the Truth (Enlightenment, Realization, Oneness--however one would put it). The path of Karma Yoga, of good works (as exemplified in modern times by Mother Teresa) can also work. Reciting mantras, singing sacred songs, holy pilgrimages, dancing, meditation, observing nature--all have brought persons to Awareness. Of course, most of the persons here have primarily used the Advaitic path, and this was the method primarily espoused by Bob (and Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Robert Wolfe, Swami Atmananda, and...) on this site.
To repeat, neither Bob nor any of these masters ever said theirs was the only way. In fact, they often praise the other paths, and (for instance) acknowledge that for many the path of Bhakti is the correct one. The thing they ceaselessly mention, though, is that the paths all, if 'sucessfully' followed, end up at the same "place," at the same Truth. (After all, if Truth is Truth, it can only be One.) In India, every true master quotes from not just recognized icons of his or her "system," but from many. It is usual, with truly Awakened teachers, to have them quote from Buddha, Jesus, Rumi, Krishna, and Ramana Maharshi in the same satsang.
There is another kind of "spirituality," though.
Bob Nickel and every other spiritual person highlighted on www.bobnickelsatsang.com have been attacked and denigrated. Accusations have come at Bob and at each of the others that he or she is wrong, misguided, lying, hypocritical, ignorant, confused, misleading, downright evil, damned, and/or Satanic.
Along with stray shots from random persons who seem to be of questionable intellligence, learning, and/or sometimes sanity, most of these attacks sometimes come from individuals who are members of groups that are convinced that only their loyal members possess or know "The Real Truth." Many of the hard-core members of any monotheistic religion can feel this way and behave accordingly. However, it is some members of two groups that have been particularly active regarding negative assessments of Bob and the other non-dualists mentioned on this site. These are:
It doesn't matter to them that Bob and the others all assert, "Your path is fine. It works for some. It's just, no path is for every person--but the Truth you can come to Is." The members of these groups each are trained that theirs is the only piece of the Spiritual pie that tastes good, and that all the others are spoiled.
Interestingly, each disparager from these groups claims a clear understanding of non-duality and Advaita, and then, as one non-dualist put it, "With their inaccurate evaluation filtered through the distorted lens of their dogma, they spew forth half-truths and half-baked assertions in an effort to fool the ignorant and to gain the applause of their fellow zealots."
It could almost be amusing, but it is sad, actually.
Once Bob was queried about those who tried to make him look wrong, stupid, ignorant, or duplicitous. He said, "If they're happy, great. If they have to be negative and attack everybody else, well, too bad--especially for them. It shows they really are clueless as to All That Is, and maybe farther away from Understanding then they were before they joined their group! Poor bastards..."
Regarding the very important question, "How do I find a Real Teacher?" please go to the "Real Teacher?" page
"Any time you hear, 'My way is the best way for everybody,' run for the hills!"