Sometime back, while reading a book of essays by Buddhist teachers, I read something, which immediately rang a bell. The author was talking about a phenomena, which was common to many other cultural traditions and even to field of stammering. The phenomena is: when a seeker hits upon an early spiritual realization, s/he experiences a “high”- a heightened state of emotions: he is very happy, walks six inches above the ground, wants to share his achievement with everyone, talks much (sometime too much!) and becomes a little indifferent to what others might be thinking, feeling or actually needing at that moment. This guy is simply 'glowing' with his recent achievement, or change of fortunes or having discovered “my way to salvation” etc. etc. We all have heard the saying: the new broom sweeps clean! We all have known the new “convert” (to this or that 'ism' or technology or gadget or social cause) who is a little too full of himself or herself.
Sometime this glow takes on physical features: shining eyes, glowing face and non-stop chatter.. Ramakrishna, used to say that when an elephant enters a pond there is confusion all around- the water gets thoroughly churned, becomes muddy and breaks the bank- but nothing much happens when the elephant enters the ocean- not even if an entire herd did the same!
I have often wondered why? Having been through something similar sometime back, I think I can make a reasonable guess: From our very child hood, we invest a lot of emotional energy in hiding our stammer, rationalizing it (“I dont stammer, I just hesitate a lot..” “ I dont stammer, it is just an odd habit..”), denying it etc etc. Then, one day after many years, we chance upon our “release orders”. Something, someone, some event, some thought, sets us free and we realize that it is okay to stammer, it is okay to talk about it, to accept it. Then, all those trapped emotional energies are suddenly set free- and result in a “glow”. Eckhart Tolle, probably will say, that our “pain body” has suddenly dissolved and lot of energies are free.
Some of us in this state, want to 'help' others. And feel very surprised that many PWS dont want to avail this help! We develop a very simple understanding of the problem, based on what helped us- and sincerely believe that 'my method' is going to help everyone. We dont take the trouble of researching and studying what is already known about stammering. We just ride our black shining steed, like an avenging Knight, tilting at wind mills.
After sometime, in some cases, an unfortunate development takes place: Since I have helped myself so well, using this method, why should I not charge a little for my time and effort? After all, these PWS never appreciate what they get for free. At least they will be more serious once they pay some fee. In any case X, Y and Z are charging Rs 2000 per session. So what is wrong if I charged a little?
In the meantime, the media publishes a sensational story about us- our recovery and our “mission” to save other stammerers! Media of course is just looking for a “feel good” story and does not have time or skills to research and find the facts. “A sucker is born every minute!” - the saying goes and is probably true for stammerers too: You are young, you have failed 5 interviews, you researched a lot about 'cure' but know nothing about stammering itself and you are desperate. So, you promptly fall for such self-proclaimed messiah.
The whole thing has great potential for becoming the best “tragicomedy” in a century claiming to be driven by information- objective, evidence based and unbiased. On the other hand, one stammerer could help the other driven by a higher logic- mutual help, the guiding principle behind self help groups. Viren (Mumbai) drew TISA's attention to the case of Spasht Stammering Cure Group. On their discussion page on face book, one Chris Luinge left his doubts, followed by TISA's comment, but the group has not cared to respond to it. Read more about it at stammer.in.