Tryingtodobetter

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There’s a natural tendency to try and fit someone into one’s own perspective, limited as it might be by our mind and conceptions. 

It is as old a tendency as the one in which people always want to “do” things, even things that don’t need doing. 
 

Each has to navigate one’s karmic field, so there’s nothing wrong in the above. Enjoy the ride...
 

:) 

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Hi freeform, thanks for responding to my post. 

 

A few things:

 

Regarding the messed up behavior of some spiritual teachers and how to account for it I would suggest that maybe a social context which venerates them as perfected  saints is the main problem.  

 

Bowing at someone's feet with the tacit or openly stated belief that they are God basically in human form seems like it has the potential to bring forth some pretty unskillful behavior on the part of the one being venerated.  

 

Imagine having hundreds or thousand s of followers telling you that you are a perfected God-man incapable of moral fallibility.  It is not hard to see how such a situation could really mess up a person's moral compass, especially if they haven't had much in the way of real world life experience.

 

That said, I do think there are meditative practices that can bring forth virtue in a person like the Daoist stuff you mentioned or metta practice in Buddhism or probably lots of other stuff as well. 

 

Regarding the achievability of sainthood while in a human body I think from a Buddhist perspective we would likely be talking about the complete elimination of desire and aversion. 

It is hard to see how a person in a human body could operate without the desire to take the next breath of air for example or without aversion to the pain of banging their knee into a sharp objects or whatever.  There are basic inbuilt mechanisms to avoid pain in the human body mind that seem so core to who we are that to have them go away entirely seems both inconceivable and inadvisable.  Without some base level of aversion and attraction we wouldn't be humans anymore but something else altogether.

 

Now, if there are people who can transform their body into light, those people maybe are canidates for sainthood.  The rest of us in our suffering human bodies, maybe not so much.  

 

Do you think you have met people you would say are saints?  If so, how do you know?  How would you determine the saintliness of a person?

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On 20/05/2020 at 9:49 PM, Sebastian said:

Well the teacher can be at peace, but choose to act wrathful when teaching students too.

 

In the West a lot of teachers are very soft, so as you say there is also the risk of becoming complacent.

 

I have nothing against wrathful teachers, in my opinion they can create changes quicker in students. You don’t need to “be a nice guy”, or “be polite” to be a good teacher. I don’t think so at least. But you need morality though, you need to have good intentions for your students. It may seem like a fine line but there is a world of difference. You can be wrathful and helpful or wrathful and destructive.
 

I have a lot respect for teachers who are brutally honest when they speak, if it’s their style and they have genuine good intentions for the student. It’s definitely refreshing in this Western culture too. Even if a genuine master speaks poorly to me, I don’t think my respect would waiver, because they are great people helping the world. They just have their own vibe, and it’s cool by me, everyone is different.

 

 

 

Different teachers for different people .... or  different teachers for same person ....  at different stages .

 

Spoiler

On certain nights I attend Sufi dance.
 I can't remember where it is or how I get there,

or, for that matter, how I get home and back into my bed. 

I talked to a friend about it. He told me I was dreaming.

But if it is a dream why do I wake up so sore and tired?

Sometimes I have blisters on my feet.

But I feel I'm getting somewhere with it, I'm no longer getting as dizzy as I used to.

 

.....

 

I was practising a very difficult part of the dance last month.

The teacher wore orange robes and the dance was very technical.

The month before, a different teacher, (who wore a red robe) taught a simpler stamping dance,

a somewhat angry yet purposeful dance.

There was a teacher before that,

a beautiful woman who wore a silver robe,

her dance was fluid and graceful.

I didn't do very well.

I think I became a little infatuated with her,

it was hard to concentrate.

I liked the blue teacher, his dance was joyous and expansive.

Good things happened to me after his lesson.

In my mundane life, that is.

The green woman !

Well, that was easy! 

But I was a little confronted.

Well worth it, because after those lessons,

I met HER - In my mundane life.

The Golden One seemed to be saying he is what I will become.

I found him a little confusing.

I haven't been taught by the black teacher yet,

I have had a glimpse of her style.

She is naked and black and sprays of stars and spiral galaxies cover her body.

 

But lately there is no teacher.

No particular colored robe

and no difference between the me here

in this part of the dance

and that me there in that part of the dance

and another me over there in another part of the dance.

But at the same time

I am out of the dance

and watching myself and the other dancers.

 

..........

 

 

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On 21/05/2020 at 11:24 PM, dwai said:

That is totally uncalled for. How much do you know about Sai Baba anyway? 
 

He is still very active today, even though he gave up his body several years ago. 

 

I certainly didn’t expect this kind of slanderous stuff from you. 

 

 

It isnt slander - its real !

 

 

On 21/05/2020 at 11:24 PM, dwai said:

 

 

 

 


 

Also, I don’t expect westerners to really understand the Guru-Shishya tradition, and often seen pompous, entitled (undeservedly so) westerners claim they don’t need a Guru or slander their teachers once they learnt what they had to from them! 

 

The Guru-shishya tradition is a sacred thing, the Guru is the spiritual parent. One has to be careful in choosing their Guru, as much as the guru has to be careful in choosing their disciple. 
 

It might seem very cool to “Guru Bash”, but it displays ignorance and a deep and entrenched cultural bias...

 

I am sorry Dwai , but this Sai Baba issue is a hugely serious one and underpins the whole  'guru problem' .

 

It was actually what instigated the whole me and Starjumper blow up .  My main problem was, I felt so strongly about it , no one, even those here that know me, to an extent , never questioned or asked why I had such strong opinions on it .

 

I dont want to start it all up again , but  will say I hold those opinions are NOT  due to things I read on the internet or gossip it is  real personal experience  I have had and have seen first hand the damage this "master' and some of his followers  have caused in the REAL world .

 

And to try and  cover it up , actually sickens me .   I am trying to find understanding for those that have HUGE cultural conditionings about it  ... but that, due to the extremely sensitive nature of these crimes , is  mostly beyond me .

 

And no, I dont want to start it all up here again, but I feel to NOT let your claims about him go unaddressed .

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On 22/05/2020 at 2:05 AM, dwai said:

It might seem that way, but it is a fact :( (you and others are free to believe whatever you like of course). 
 

Usually people don’t believe it when they see it/hear it for the first time since it’s not on their radar, or affects them in any significant way. India has been on the receiving end of a cultural and religious onslaught for a long time now. 
 

 

I totally agree with that .

 

But even Sai Babas followers openly admit the child molestation stuff !   They, rather than deny it  ( as too many members have claimed it ... and not in anger or retribution , some seem fine about it   and say it did not affect them adversely )  ' excuse ' it .

 

 

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On 22/05/2020 at 2:32 AM, ilumairen said:

 

This is taking an interesting turn and direction, however it kind of sidesteps the point of spiritual leaders backsliding, and/or abusing their power and authority for personal gratification of base desires - regardless of potential harm to others.

 

The cultural significance and authority of the Catholic church has significantly eroded over the years, and I don't understand why you believe a population which decries sexually predatory behavior of it's own holy men would/should/or even could (without creating an internal dissonance) hold the holy men of a different culture to a lesser standard.

 

I'm about out of time for now, and while I find cross cultural dynamics, assimilations, and yes, destructions, an interesting topic, it is entirely to complex and deep for the few remaining moments I have today, and possibly to fruitfully discuss at all in this setting.

 

 

It wasnt any Christian movement that formed my opinion on this .

 

It was an  once innocent little girl that had been exposed to Sai Baba followers .  The one that molested her  told me ( before the event ) when I challenged his views on Sai Baba and his sexuality ' Well, how can I judge his behaviour ? He is God after all, can I judge God ?"

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On 22/05/2020 at 11:50 PM, Zork said:

Any twisted desire and passion can fall within these parameters you have set here! And it can be logicaly deduced to be philanthropy according to your "highly original" definition of it!

Pedophile? No he was just cleaning your daughters' chakras....

Demanding a boatload of money to teach? It is to test sincerity plus it will be used to help poor people etc  

you get the drift.

 

That was another of their excuses  ......    'activating' their chakras .

 

yeah ...... right   . 

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On 23/05/2020 at 12:30 AM, Piyadasi said:

 

Cool, thanks, makes things a little clearer.

 

Based on my reading of the conversation, it seemed to me that no-one was saying "Indian Gurus are bad" - more like "Unfortunately quite a few Indian (and otherwise) Gurus are bad (more than is comfortable to believe)".

 

How does that sound to both parties?

 

Much better .

 

Who here ever said  "Indian Gurus are bad"  ????

 

And Dwai accused some of running a fallacious argument ! 

 

Some are great ... and some are child molesting bastards !

 

And guess what ?   Some priests are great ... and some are child molesting bastards .

 

What if I popped my head up and  started defending  molesting priests and claimed it was all a conspiracy to discredit the church .

 

At time, cultural conditioning seems stronger than any perceived 'enlightened state ' ... and no wonder ! It is instilled from birth through the most receptive stages of the pcyche's development !     This is why some of the systems that have a level of 'realisation' also have a level of 'destruction; or annihilation' (of these conditioned selves )  before realisation .

 

 

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On 23/05/2020 at 2:43 AM, freeform said:

You can see how offended Dwai is by the number of smilies that start popping up in his responses! :D

 

But he's right, it was wrong of me to name specific teachers. I took a risk, thinking no one would get offended, but sadly I was wrong. My intention was perhaps to state something strongly - but never to attack or offend. So again, I'm sorry about that.

 

I'd really rather bring the conversation back to the topic.

 

So we know that Dwai has never come across any abusive gurus/teachers/priests (except for the ones that he has - and has named).

 

This being a spiritual forum, there must be other informed opinions on the subject.

 

Does anyone else agree that there is a lot of abuse that happens in spiritual circles?

 

Or am I completely wrong?

 

Shouldn't this be discussed?

 

Maybe because we, in effect, are part of various spiritual circles, and because it's a bit close to home, it's better to not discuss it and sweep the whole issue under the rug?

 

HEAPS of it !

 

It has been discussed in many threads  ....  all sorts and levels of abuse from anything from gurus,and  teachers through to 'the enlightened' at New Age conferences  and   < ahem >     right here on TDBs . 

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13 hours ago, virtue said:

 

Just to make this clear once and for all.

 

I got the impression that you could exchange Sai Baba for Jesus Christ and retain the same meaning for what you meant to say: declaring oneself an opulent divine presence to whom everything is permitted. Am I also right in guessing that your original intent was completely neutral and not taking any stance in regards to abuse allegations?

 

Many religious freaks have in fact declared themselves to be Jesus and done plenty of abuse under that pretext. It seems to me that there was an issue of not stepping back for a while and asking in a friendly manner what was the motivation for bringing up Sai Baba instead of knee-jerking into a presumed counter-offensive.

 

It's just happens to be that Sai Baba has been scandalized and publicly scrutinized because he was a modern era spiritual teacher with a big following.

 

Thats not the only reason .  His propensity to perform really bad stage magic 'miracles' that where easily exposed on video   helped .  I won't even put one up , do google search and watch and decide for yourself .

 

I recently saw an Indian video that highlighted all these fake tricks, and the defence was ..... wait for it ...

 

that was not the real Sai Baba .... and went on and on about how he moved different, the tips of his hair are different  etc etc  ... all aside from the facts that these films  where of official Sai baba events !  Apparently , people that wanted to discredit Sai Baba  got a stand in double and put on all these huge events  .....   :D   the rest is too silly to explain .

 

Such is 'Indian logical argument'  ..... I know, I have them all the time  ... Indian history forum , Indian friends  .....    and this isnt bias or racism ... argue  with an Italian , a Russian , an Australian , they all have a style  ( and of course I am generalising here ) .

 

https://robertpriddy.wordpress.com/

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nungali said:

 

I totally agree with that .

 

But even Sai Babas followers openly admit the child molestation stuff !   They, rather than deny it  ( as too many members have claimed it ... and not in anger or retribution , some seem fine about it   and say it did not affect them adversely )  ' excuse ' it .

 

 

I think this does a good job of refuting most of the allegations. If you claim to have talked to “victims” of Sai Baba, onus is on you to prove it. 
 

https://geraldjoemoreno.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/refuting-the-allegations-against-sathya-sai-baba-with-factual-information/

 

that said, I’m not  a card carrying member of Sai Baba’s organization. 
 

Similar allegations have been made about many of the big ticket “Gurus”.  Hardly any have ever been substantial enough to warrant going to court or getting prosecuted. 

If there is was sufficient evidence, surely action would have been taken, as in case of Osho, Bikram Choudhury and Nithyananda. 
 

PS - for @Nungali, you claim you’ve seen the damage done by Baba and his organization. I have seen quite the opposite — lot of good done, across many strata of society. While it is perfectly okay to have a personal opinion about someone or something, it only remains personal opinion. Like I’ve said before, everyone is entitled to their personal opinion. Abusing someone based on your personal opinion, is slander. 

 

Edited by dwai
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, dwai said:

I think this does a good job of refuting most of the allegations. If you claim to have talked to “victims” of Sai Baba, onus is on you to prove it. 
 

https://geraldjoemoreno.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/refuting-the-allegations-against-sathya-sai-baba-with-factual-information/

 

that said, I’m not  a card carrying member of Sai Baba’s organization. 
 

Similar allegations have been made about many of the big ticket “Gurus”.  Hardly any have ever been substantial enough to warrant going to court or getting prosecuted. 

If there is was sufficient evidence, surely action would have been taken, as in case of Osho, Bikram Choudhury and Nithyananda. 
 

PS - for @Nungali, you claim you’ve seen the damage done by Baba and his organization. I have seen quite the opposite — lot of good done, across many strata of society. While it is perfectly okay to have a personal opinion about someone or something, it only remains personal opinion. Like I’ve said before, everyone is entitled to their personal opinion. Abusing someone based on your personal opinion, is slander. 

 

 

I am not going to post any one of the numerous videos that clearly show his fakery . As I said I will leave that up to anyone  who wants to look for it  , the internet is FULL of it, more so than others .

 

A starting point could be Wikipedia  , as a general background

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sathya_Sai_Baba#Allegations_of_abuse

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basava_Premanand#Activism

 

But I never said I " talked to victims of Sai Baba "  , did I ?     I said  ... well exactly what I said in the part  you quoted for your above response .

 

.  And I dont  know why you wrote this ;   "  Abusing someone based on your personal opinion, is slander.  "

 

Since you are re writing what I  DID say ,  I am not going to play ping pong with you on this .

 

You know ,  Cardinal George Pell's ministry did some good work too, and the people in the church .  The Catholic Church is feeding and looking after people right now .   Didnt excuse what the boss did though , and allowed  to happen under his reign .

Edited by Nungali

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15 hours ago, mla7 said:

It is hard to see how a person in a human body could operate without the desire to take the next breath of air for example or without aversion to the pain of banging their knee into a sharp objects or whatever.  There are basic inbuilt mechanisms to avoid pain in the human body mind that seem so core to who we are that to have them go away entirely seems both inconceivable and inadvisable.  Without some base level of aversion and attraction we wouldn't be humans anymore but something else altogether.

 

This is the entire point of Daoist scripture talking about spiritual and heavenly Immortals: they completely transcend flesh and its natural instincts.

 

It's also well known and publicized that certain stages of Daoist alchemy lead to the complete elimination of sexual urges, hunger, and sleep. There are even more changes and respective correlations in the physical body, but these are among the unmistakable signs that the adept goes through. Saintliness simply is the outside manifesting function of how persistently the person cultivates De and wishes to attain the Dao.

 

The Mahayana Buddhist and Confucian world views simply are more concerned about realizing the natural spontaneous conduct, i.e. Ren or true human nature in its unhindered and non-neurotic scale, first before getting to the alchemical track, if at all.

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7 minutes ago, virtue said:

Saintliness simply is the outside manifesting function of how persistently the person cultivates De and wishes to attain the Dao.

 

Question for you all to consider:

 

How does the De of Daoism and alchemical traditions differ from that of the spontaneous perfected conduct present in Mahayana and Confucianism?

 

Spoiler

One-pointed absorption vs. open awareness.

 

De remains the same; its intensity and diffusiveness just is differently expressed.

 

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14 hours ago, mla7 said:

Imagine having hundreds or thousand s of followers telling you that you are a perfected God-man incapable of moral fallibility.  It is not hard to see how such a situation could really mess up a person's moral compass, especially if they haven't had much in the way of real world life experience.

 

Yes - completely agree.

 

The majority of 'ordinary' people would be morally challenged by that sort of situation at the very least.

 

But spiritual teachers - I believe - aren't (or shouldn't) be 'ordinary people'... They, by their very position, should be the very few that have managed to transform their base desires (at the very least).

 

I'm not saying that all spiritual teachers must be saints.

 

I'm saying they at least shouldn't be driven by their base desires - sex, power, control, status, wealth etc.

 

If you're teaching spirituality, but aren't able to keep your hands off the donations, off the students that may even be fawning over you - or keep out of controlling every aspect of someone's life (even if they're asking for it). Then you're not ready to be a teacher! And if you're a teacher and feel the pull of these things, then you should go back to your cultivation practice and stop teaching for a time.

 

This is basic.

 

You wouldn't expect a doctor to steal your wallet and then molest you while you're unconscious...

 

But when it comes to spiritual teachers we start to come up with excuses... they're only human, they can't be saints can they, you just don't understand their 'crazy wisdom', who are you to judge the morality of God incarnate?

 

 
 
 
 
14 hours ago, mla7 said:

Regarding the achievability of sainthood while in a human body

 

@virtue explained this better than I can

 

15 hours ago, mla7 said:

How would you determine the saintliness of a person?

 

To be certain?

 

There are specific physical/physiological signs to look for.

 

In most Daoist traditions, everything from physicality all the way to spirit are inherently linked or rather are part of the same whole. Any full transformation in spirit is accompanied by a transformation on the Qi and even physical level. I'm not allowed to speak about these signs. Although I have come across a few in books.

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I think the reasons for not holding spiritual teachers to "saintly" or higher levels are: 

 

(1) A lack of exposure to genuine Dharmic teachings either in this lifetime or in prior lifetimes thus making one's initial asssessment of the abilities and the level of development possible within the authentic process of mind-body cultivation very very limited. 

 

(2) Seeing the maxim of Everything is Mind-Only as just some theoretical Buddhist or Daoist fanciful way of describing existence - instead of an actual experiential realm that the Buddhas and authentically enlightened masters reach. 

 

(3) Juxtaposing the developments of normal practictioners (even life-time practictioners) with those of authentically enlightened people. There's a false-comparison at play which says, "If this is what normal practictioners can develop, then that must be it. That must be the end of it. There's not more to it! I've meditated 60 years!" along with "We can't expect our spiritual teachers to fulfill some idealised delusional version of reality and should just accept that it's not really possible".

 

All of the above are simply just clear signs that we're truly in the Dharma Ending Age where genuine miracles and authentic realizations will be thrown under the bus as "superstition" and "primitive thinking" and with the inevitable subsequent conclusion that we should "lower the bar" on spiritual teachers and their spiritual teachings. 

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