Phil, thanks for your post. We have quite a collection now of premie appeals - by that I mean premies attepting to persuade exes to come back into Maharaji's fold - go back through that door that opens both ways, as you put it.
You don't say how long you've read the Forum so you may not be aware of your predesessors' efforts and their successes or lack of successes here. But I don't think a single ex has given Rawat another chance on the advice of a current devotee. And I'm afraid I must tell you your post does not bring up any new and untried arguments. And you did offer up the one defense considered most heinous here, the one about all past hype being the premies' fault.
I do congratulate you, though, on avoiding the 'heaps of stuff' that no amount of rehashing will resolve and I'm glad you come straight and unabashedly to the point - that 'Knowledge' brings a wonderful, beautiful feeling and Maharjai DOES makes it happen. I think that IS the point and you state it very well. As for the part about 'Knowledge' being a beautiful feeling, each person can only know their own experience - very simple, no problem, end of discussion. But that other part - maybe we could discuss that part a wee bit more. After all, there wouldn't be much use for the Master if he weren't the one 'making it happen.'
Evidently, your long, albeit disjointed, association with Rawat has led you to attribute to him some sort of power that directs or at least affects your inner experiences. You have accorded him this power due to your experiences at Manchester and many such programs. All it takes is being in his presence, listening to his words with an open heart, and CLICK - you're back in the deep 'within-inside' grooving on the life-force that is sustaining you. Alas, without the Master's ongoing influence, your inner experience has faded from time to time, but this is only due to your own negligence and stupidity. Ok, here!! This is it! This is precisely the point where currents and exes differ - that Rawat is somehow indispensible for Knowledge to 'work.'
I've had my own experiences of Rawat's influence through festivals, programs, darshans, tapes, videos, etc. I have no reason to attribute any superhuman powers to Mr. Rawat - none. His influence is entirely human and normal. I go to a big festival and I get a buzz for a few days. Big deal. The idea that he is the source of anyone's inner experience, or that he is a necessary component of that experience, only serves to further his ongoing dominance over people and their dependence on him. This is magical, cultish thinking. Such thinking is juvenile, silly, uncalled-for, and the basic component of every guru's cult from time immemorial.
Phil, you won't find much argument here that life is a gift worthy of appreciation, or that human beings can connect to a source within that brings a beautiful feeling of compassion and happiness. Rawat is the problem here. As an incarnation of God, he's a fake; as a Perfect Master, he's a has-been; as a teacher, he's very very limited and often unintelligible; as a friend, he's a total stranger; as a leader, he's in self-denial; as a inspirational speaker, his immature sqawking seems to delight some people and disgust others; as a charasmastic cult leader, he has hardly made a ripple in society's awareness; and as a human being, he's just weird. On the plus side, his suits are usually Armani and nicely pressed, but I doubt that will sustain you until your next two-year space-out. Good luck. Nice try. And despite my sarcasm, I return your best wishes.