Sunday, January 06, 2008

Teachers, Truth, and Spirit


This is just fine, my friend. If you answer this email, it will be beautiful; but if you do not, it will also be beautiful-- just in another way. This non-demand, non-expecting is practical Taoism. It is also practical karmayoga; for this note is written as a spiritual exercise, and not to create results (responses or replies).

Let us begin, in compassion and truth, by setting the record straight:
For many years, you have written to me only once a year, around the Holy-days. And, although most of our work is now email (cyberwork), a thorough response to your snailmail letters was always prepared in detail. This was prepared on the computer, but was always printed out in hardcopy as snailmail. This is because we treasured your letters, thought that they deserved much thought and considerate responses; and so, it was our unbending policy to reply to your letters.

You have taken a "golly gee whis" attitude toward the man whom you call "his holiness." For me, a truly holy man rejects titles and special ego-builders. A true master does not call himself "master," and a real holy man would not permit himself to be called, as you do many times, "his holiness." These somewhat childish and artificial titles are designed to impress the unenlightened, the crowd. They have a "golly, gee whiz" flavor about them-- unsophisticated. They have no valid place, or use, among enlightened people.

For enlightened people tend to see each other as equal, and equally independent, manifestations of the One. We do not seek, and we do not bestow, artificial "honors" or special titles. If you are going to use this ridiculous title "his holiness" for one sage/teacher, then you must consistently use it for all. Otherwise, you are practicing false, ego-based discrimination. The enlightened person has no room for ego-games in her life, and will not support them actively, or allow them to be supported, by students in darkness. The truly enlightened sage is identified by humility, and rejects such artificial human titles as "reverend," [which means "holy one"] "father," "your excellency," or "your holiness." These are but "junk"-- artifacts of ego-mind, useless to the spiritual path, and antispiritual, as they reinforce the ego and lower nature.

A friend is no friend if he (she) is not honest. So, this note is an honest response to the news that you seem to be following a man rather than following the interior Spirit of Love directly. For this Spirit indwells your heart. Following human beings is not the highest or best, although, in every life, there are periods when it is helpful to read or learn something taught by human beings. The very highest souls are here, not to "convert" people to follow other "special" human beings (as in your letter), but to turn the gaze and attention inward to the One, the Source. So, I am not "in the market" for gurus or "enlightened teachers," for our truest assignment is not to find, but to become this kind of sage.

People who follow human leaders in spirituality are still in spiritual kindergarten. The enlightened always respect and love the enlightened, but they do not set up others as their "superior." They grow into maturity and wisdom, and no longer play "follow the leader," except for the interior Leader within the heart.

Gurus are human beings, just like the rest of us. They are no "closer to God," and are not "more enlightened." For it is precisely the same enlightenment experience that is encountered by everyone who has the mystical experience. Some mystics do not have "superior" experiences, and others "inferior." God gives the complete, total Mind to anyone and everyone who is prepared. God (Love) does not "give the Spirit by measure."

Professional gurus differ only in that they have a lot of time on their hands, and so, get to spent a little more time in meditation and study.

But the time of an entire lifetime is but a fraction of an eye-blink in eternity. So, you must emerge from the illusion that another is intrinsically superior to your Self in the Light. Each and every being who becomes enlightened is marked by a profound independence. She does not make the common error of discussing other spiritual teachers, but talks about only their teachings. This is a warning derived from decades spent studying cult-psychology and its damage: If you find yourself talking about a teacher, and not her teachings, you are already on the perilous road to cult-psychology. And that is a path much better avoided.

Read everything positive, my friend. Use every positive, constructive, and uplifting idea, from all sources. For if you become enamoured of only one source, and see only a single guru as the "Source of all Light," you will soon-- very soon-- be on a path of darkness. God does not mix with limitation and restriction.

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