Tryingtodobetter

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6 minutes ago, dwai said:

:) that’s a good question. I’m just pointing out that to claim that ‘Indian Gurus are bad’ based on alleged misconduct in a few cases is a broad generalization that needs to be challenged. I took exception to freeform slandering Sai Baba, and it snowballed from there. 
 

The original sub-sub-sub-discussion was about when someone has an “awakening” experience and then seems to “lose it”, is that inferior to something that is “full awakening”. 
 

In my experience, when someone has a genuine awakening and then seems to “lose it”, it is only a temporary phase during the awakening process, wherein the old habits of the mind (via acquired tendencies and karmic influences) arise and cloud the mind. Upon maturation, it becomes clear that awakening and veiling are both known in/by True Nature/Self/Clear Light of Awareness etc. 


To make a long story short, one who has “only had” an awakening experience is not really deluded about awakening (if one were giving medals for that stuff) but rather is in the process of waking up, just at a stage where the knowledge needs to mature. :) 

 

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?

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1 hour ago, virtue said:

I don't think you are reading what freeform wrote in good faith.

 

Not a new development from Dwai

 

1 hour ago, dwai said:

You using a classic logical fallacy to support your position — “I have seen this in the years I’ve spent in spiritual circles”. I too have spent decades in these circles. I’ve not experienced what you say. Who is right then?

 

 

 
 
 
 
19 hours ago, dwai said:

That said,  I'm not denying that there have been genuine cases too. One such notorious one being Bikram Choudhury. Others such as Muktananda and Osho had genuine siddhis and attainment.

 

Or maybe you're trying to win some weird strawman argument that I have no interest in...

 

Or - maybe something a little more emotionally reactive is going on.

 

Maybe Dwai just feels offended...

 

And to that - I'd like to repeat my apology - sorry - I didn't intend to offend.

 

I understand certain subjects can be emotionally triggering and I often forget to tread lightly around such things.

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Posted (edited)

I think everyone here can agree that we love genuine authentic Teachers - whether they be called Guru's, Sifu's or Master's or whether they come from Europe, China or India, it doesn't matter. An authentic Teacher/Guru/Master is priceless beyond imagining - I am forever grateful for all teachers and enlightened masters who help people on their Path - as teaching and guiding others on the path is a truly difficult task to undertake and has huge implications and karmic repercussions for all involved. 

 

I think the main point was simply that the Path is beset with obstacles - and that every part of the way is filled with pitfalls - and those very pitfalls can entice you to become a "Guru" or take the role of a Teacher and consider yourself enlightened before you've even gotten your foot in the doorstep so to speak. :) 

Edited by anshino23
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I think we generally start off with some sort of provisional faith, but over time, that provisional faith is replaced by direct experience. Once you have the experience, you no longer need the provisional faith. In ancient India, it was said there were three things that pointed to truth, and you need all three: the scriptures, the teachings of your teacher, and your own personal experience. Having one or two but not all three is not enough. When you have all three, even a glimpse, then the teachings spring into your mind stream and come alive. 

 

It is like learning to find dragons. At first, you read about dragons, maybe buy some paintings and so on. Maybe you even look around and see some dragon tracks and old scales. One day, you find some one to teach you. They show you how to track dragons, where to look for dragons, and what signs to look for when you've seen one. Perhaps you see a dragon's tail. For some people, they will say this isn't a dragon, it is a snake. But it isn't, it is the dragon. Over time, you begin to see more and more of the dragon. Some people, who are really dedicated, may even be able to tame and train the dragon. Some might even fly. People stop at various points: some with books, some with the tail, some before they can fly. Some people say if you can't fly, you don't really have a dragon. Many points of view. 

 

It may be the case that Bodri/Nan didn't resonate, because at the time I had very little experience. I went looking through his website looking for this quote for you, and I can see much of what I missed. Here is the quote for the way beyond cause and effect: 

 

Quote

Back to the Zen way to cultivate. As to Zen, the Diamond Sutra of Buddhism opens with Subhuti asking Buddha how to achieve enlightenment. The passage is usually translated incorrectly because the translators don’t know the Zen method themselves, but in a loose translation it has Buddha saying that that very moment anyone wants the Tao it’s already there (THIS moment is IT!)– the true mind is already calm, open, clean, it’s there. (Why? Because we are always using this clean omnipresent perception, we are always in it but just misuse it. You are using it this very instant but don’t realize it.) Subhuti responds that he understands this, but ordinary people do not, so please Buddha do speak more. And then the Buddha goes into a long lecture on cultivation and performing merit to get the Tao because people don’t understand the quick Zen way of directly achieving the Tao in one moment, this very moment. That’s the Zen way of no method, no effort.

 

 

 

7 hours ago, anshino23 said:

 

[snip]

 

Unfortunately everything is based on cause and effect - you cannot just simply undo causes from beginningless time. Even Milarepa didn't become fully enlightened due to the compassion of Dakmema leaving a slight trace of karma still to be extinquished. Cause and effect is unfathomable to those without enlightenment, so is merit. The Buddha and a gazillion other higher beings can foresee the exact time of your complete enlightenment. Some of the prajna-paramita sutras contain endless strings of numbers. Are they just deluded? Crazy? You be the judge. 

[snip]

 

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1 minute ago, Piyadasi said:

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?

 

Of course. I thought it's pretty clear that that's what I said and meant.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, freeform said:

Or - maybe something a little more emotionally reactive is going on.

I know you are being rhetorical, but just for fun let's look at the evidence.  You brought up Trungpa Rinpoche's abuses.  Now, Trungpa was Tibetan, and Tibetans have been targeted by the Chinese for cultural genocide.  Dwai was silent.

 

Then you brought up Sai Baba, and Dwai went off on a rant about how anytime someone criticiszes an Indian Guru, it is because they have been brainwashed by Evangelical Christians who want to destroy Indian culture, and he had the nerve to say this to a person who has spent years traveling Asia training seeking teachers, some of them Hindu, often being the only Westerner in the group!

 

How appropriate that this comes up in a thread about how a person who has had profound experiences of transcendence can still be reactive.

Edited by Creation
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35 minutes ago, Creation said:

I know you are being rhetorical, but just for fun let's look at the evidence.  You brought up Trungpa Rinpoche's abuses.  Now, Trungpa was Tibetan, and Tibetans have been targeted by the Chinese for cultural genocide.  Dwai was silent.

I don't know about Trungpa. I would expect that if there are people here who know about Trungpa and he's not what he has been accused of being, they will speak up. 

 
 
 
 
2
35 minutes ago, Creation said:

Then you brought up Sai Baba, and Dwai went off on a rant about how anytime someone criticiszes an Indian Guru, it is because they have been brainwashed by Evangelical Christians who want to destroy Indian culture, and he had the nerve to say this to a person who has spent years traveling Asia training seeking teachers, some of them Hindu, often being the only Westerner in the group!

:D I can see how you can distort what I said in that way. I objected to the slander against Sai Baba because I know a lot about him. I would not complain if someone wrote stuff about Nithyananda or Bikram Choudhury, because I know the truth about them as well (culpability). 

35 minutes ago, Creation said:

 

How appropriate that this comes up in a thread about how a person who has had profound experiences of transcendence can still be reactive.

:D There is a point when we have to speak out. Having profound experiences of transcendence doesn't' mean one should not call out something obviously objectionable. I thought all the paragons of virtue who've been name-calling specific members, ridiculing them, etc etc would be okay getting a microdose of their own medicine?

 

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4 minutes ago, dwai said:

I would not complain if someone wrote stuff about Nithyananda or Bikram Choudhury, because I know the truth about them as well (culpability). 

OK, good to know.

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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?

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Posted (edited)

Its helpful to first get agreement on what defines abuse, and secondly, what constitutes 'a lot'. 

 

Some situations where observers clearly recognise abusive behaviour may turn out rather surprising and/or frustrating when some of the followers known to these observers staunchly defend the abuser. There was one such case here on TDB not too long ago, and is still being spoken of currently in a different thread. This goes to show the possibility that there's more to it than meets the eye.

 

And there's also cultural bias to consider - what the West sees as abuse may not be seen in the same way elsewhere. In India, (some, which is many) devotees kiss the feet of their beloved gurus - enough Western spiritual seekers find that demeaning and disgusting, so there is a huge difference in understanding about what devotion means between East & West. And if a Westerner chance upon a fellow Westerner who did that, its likely that he/she will be grossly reprimanded (and may even be subject to prolonged mental abuse and stigmatized).

 

When Eastern gurus enter to teach in the West, they too witness tremendous amounts of abuse happening because, coming from the East, they cannot relate why Westerners have all kinds of 'gurus' that they incessantly and gladly receive abuse from - the drug gurus, the alcohol gurus, the domestic violence gurus, the corrupter gurus, the sex gurus, the individualist promoting gurus, the keep fit gurus, the feminist/chauvinist gurus, and all kinds of other addict gurus that Westerners pay homage to without a second thought. It baffles them because these sorts of addictions are completely alien to them. So this is actually a very complex and sensitive subject.

 

Unfortunately, some Eastern gurus who tried to wade deep into the Western psyche by seeking to understand the experience of abuse firsthand from a Western perspective often get labelled with all sorts of names. And if they are reluctant to immerse themselves fully, whispers and accusations of not being 'in the loop', or aloof and disconnected become rife. Ironically, without that real life connection to the very real abuses that Westerners subject themselves to, those who truly need a substantial wisdom teacher who can fully relate with them at their level will not have that opportunity.

 

Damn if they do, damn if they don't. Its a balancing game that's indeed hard to master.

 

 

Edited by C T
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, freeform said:
 
 
 
 
4 hours ago, freeform said:

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

Or maybe I'm just plain amused ;) 

Quote
 
 
 
 
4 hours ago, freeform said:

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.

With big teachers like Baba, it helps to be careful before saying slanderous stuff. Of course, it won't stop people from doing it, but I like to take a stand when it comes to dissing teachers (Gurus/Sifus etc etc) when I know the allegations are unfounded. 

Quote

 

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?

Is it possible for a spiritual teacher/leader to abuse their students? I've never rejected that possibility. Sure it is possible. There are creeps and charlatans who pass off as spiritual teachers to the unaware/ignorant people. My rules of thumb to avoid this are very simple --

  • How does the teacher live? You will seldom go wrong with traditional institutions such as Vedanta Society/Ramakrishna Missions etc (at least within the Hindu traditions) 
  • How do his/her top-level students live?
  • When you are in their presence, what do you feel?
    • This is a bit more complicated for neophytes to address, but can be addressed in the form of "Do you feel safe? Do you feel an increase in meditative abilities/amplification in your meditative abilities"? If the teacher's presence can boost your meditative abilities, then that's a pretty good sign.
    • Do you feel greater clarity of the mind?
  • When you are in a congregation of the teacher's students (seminar, etc) how does the collective 'vibe' feel? For instance, when I go to a Chinmaya Mission or Vedanta Society gathering, I feel very powerful uplifting energy -- almost like the space itself is shining with light. 

Some Do's and Don'ts --

  • First thing is to avoid is the "cult of the body"  -- or e.g., Yoga teachers who teach a body-oriented Yoga practice. Whenever there is a body-oriented practice involved, there is bound to be sexual overtones or undertones (and therefore scandals). I've strongly advocated against "hot yoga/power yoga/bikram yoga" kind of stuff. It is a surefire way to get caught up in nastiness. I used to study with one such "Yogi" who had some yogic/psychic abilities,  but also resorted to scandalous behavior, thereby I severed all ties with him. He has since left this world, so I won't name him. 
  • Develop a personal practice (so one doesn't get addicted to the group paradigm, and develop independent spiritual muscles) 
  • Find a group of fellow travelers (sat sangha) who have similar goals as you do and develop a strong bond (it can even be 2-3 people). 

Just like when you are out driving on the freeway, the onus for your personal safety first lies on you, similarly with anything else in life. 

 

But also, as is the case with celebrities, there are always people who are looking to make a fast buck by claiming abuse and then suing (and often settling out of court). And then there are the planted stories/conspiracies and dishonest journalism at play as well -- someone with an axe to grind. 

Edited by dwai
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11 minutes ago, dwai said:

 

Some Do's and Don'ts --

  • First thing is to avoid is the "cult of the body"  -- or e.g., Yoga teachers who teach a body-oriented Yoga practice. Whenever there is a body-oriented practice involved, there is bound to be sexual overtones or undertones (and therefore scandals). I've strongly advocated against "hot yoga/power yoga/bikram yoga" kind of stuff. It is a surefire way to get caught up in nastiness.

 

Dwai --

 

This comment surprises me so I wonder if you´d be willing to expand on what you mean?

 

As a former massage therapist, I´m a pretty body-oriented guy (though woefully unathletic).  I believe that much of what is currently a little cuckoo with the world today stems from alienation from our bodies and that bodily awareness is the way through.  Seems to me that the tendency to divide the world into "body" and "mind" and "spirit" as if these are truly separate categories is misguided.  Some people talk about a body/mind connection.  I´d go further and say that they are not only connected, they were never separated in the first place.  Basically body is mind is spirit.  The emphasis is different perhaps but go deeply enough into any area and the others come along.  That´s why I don´t look down on body oriented practices as unspiritual: they may not talk a spiritual games but they´ll get there.  Also,  psychotherapy that focuses primarily on talk often flounders when bodily sensation is neglected.

 

Perhaps by "cult of the body" you mean practices that are aimed at molding the body for aesthetic aims?  I don´t think there´s anything wrong with that either, per se, though I can understand how yoga purists might balk.

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7 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

 

Dwai --

 

This comment surprises me so I wonder if you´d be willing to expand on what you mean?

 

As a former massage therapist, I´m a pretty body-oriented guy (though woefully unathletic).  I believe that much of what is currently a little cuckoo with the world today stems from alienation from our bodies and that bodily awareness is the way through.  Seems to me that the tendency to divide the world into "body" and "mind" and "spirit" as if these are truly separate categories is misguided.  Some people talk about a body/mind connection.  I´d go further and say that they are not only connected, they were never separated in the first place.  Basically body is mind is spirit.  The emphasis is different perhaps but go deeply enough into any area and the others come along.  That´s why I don´t look down on body oriented practices as unspiritual: they may not talk a spiritual games but they´ll get there.  Also,  psychotherapy that focuses primarily on talk often flounders when bodily sensation is neglected.

It was not my intention to outright reject body-oriented practices.  

7 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:


 

 

Perhaps by "cult of the body" you mean practices that are aimed at molding the body for aesthetic aims?  I don´t think there´s anything wrong with that either, per se, though I can understand how yoga purists might balk.

Yes and those with overwhelming emphasis on the body without sufficient work on the mind/spirit. 
 

If you look at this from the yogic perspective, there are 3 essential Energetic properties and they bring with them certain mental (and physical) tendencies and attitudes. 
 

  • satva — spiritual clarity which leads to mental clarity and physical purification 
  • rajas — kinetic energy, and in excess it drives the mind and body toward kinetic action, stimulation, etc.
  • tamas — inertia and in excess are it drives inertia of the mind and body. 
     

Body oriented practices are Rajasic in nature and therefore need to be balanced with satvic practices (diet,  meditation, lifestyle etc). Without the balance of satva, the body-mind will resort to excessive activity and excitation (not conducive to spiritual practices). 

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10 hours ago, dwai said:

With big teachers like Baba, it helps to be careful before saying slanderous stuff.

 

Just to be clear.

 

I was not apologising for 'saying slanderous stuff'. Slander is the deliberate spreading of false information. At worst you could say that I was 'making an accusation'.

 

But that's beside the point.

 

I apologised for naming a specific teacher - because I should have been sensitive to the fact that it can be offensive to some.

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On 5/21/2020 at 11:55 AM, freeform said:

But then there's the type of "backsliding" where you decide - hey, I'm Sai Baba, the divine incarnation of God - I offer unconditional divine love to all... and today I feel like expressing my divine love by molesting the children of my followers...

 

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.

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11 hours ago, dwai said:

creeps and charlatans who pass off as spiritual teachers to the unaware/ignorant people.

 

This is not what I'm talking about. There are 'creeps and charlatans' in all walks of life. I'm not talking about the ones that deliberately use spirituality as a cover.

 

I'm talking about the genuine spiritual teachers with some genuine attainment (such as Osho that dwai mentioned... such as Trungpa) who despite their attainment then go on to be abusive in one way or another.

 

12 hours ago, C T said:

Its helpful to first get agreement on what defines abuse

 

I'm not talking about the grey area of whether a guru asking for a cup of water could be interpreted as abuse by someone set on that mission.

 

I'm talking about the obvious stuff - sexual abuse, physical violence, emotional abuse, financial abuse. The stuff that could go to a court of law - the stuff that if you witnessed it from outside of the situation would sicken you.

 

It's common - whether we like it or not.

 

I'm talking about  what anshino23 explained so well here:

 

18 hours ago, anshino23 said:

I think the main point was simply that the Path is beset with obstacles - and that every part of the way is filled with pitfalls - and those very pitfalls can entice you to become a "Guru" or take the role of a Teacher and consider yourself enlightened before you've even gotten your foot in the doorstep so to speak. :) 

 

Why does this happen? Why so much in the 'spiritual world' where exactly the opposite should happen?

 

I think it's because of several things:

 

1- Cultivators leaving their teacher or tradition and starting to teach before they're ready.

 

2- Delusion of grandeur - attainments, experiences of bliss and oneness... certain abilities like fa qi, as well as the natural increase of charisma as a result of increase in Qi. All of this can fuel the base desires.

 

3- Position of power. Which is the major trigger for this sort of behaviour in all areas of human endeavour.

 

4- The dropping away of the 'socially protective emotions' - like guilt, shame etc.

 

Usually, it's a mixture of all of the above... and delusion, lack of insight being the underlying issue.

 

It means that despite our cultivation, our training and introspection - we're still susceptible to being wrong - doing the wrong thing, even deeply damaging and harming someone without realising what we've done.

 

And if we refuse to look at the possibility of this happening, then we're far more likely to walk into such a pitfall ourselves.

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3 minutes ago, freeform said:

1- Cultivators leaving their teacher or tradition and starting to teach before they're ready.

 

I think I should add that I'm talking about spiritual teachers.

 

Not people that run qigong and taiji classes.

 

Teachers in whom you'd be willing to put your ultimate trust.

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John Blofeld, writing in 1978 'Taoism - the road to immortality'

 

IMG_20200523_101024508_HDR_compress21.jpg

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It seems freeform is under some sort of delusion that spiritual teachers are saints, a direct manifestation of God and always are polite, always do the right thing etc.

 

Who told you so?

 

Nisargadatta got angry. So did Ramana Maharshi. So did Buddha Shakyamuni. If a Dao Bum met these today, they would be called "not ready, charlatans, fakes".

 

Nobody can do anything different than they are doing right now. This moment is it.

 

The problem is the thinking mind wants things to be different, it cannot accepts things as they are. Then suffering arises and the doer runs after it and gets upset "No! Things got to change! I cannot accept this!!!".

 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, johndoe2012 said:

It seems freeform is under some sort of delusion that spiritual teachers are saints


Did you notice the joke in your statement? :)

 

Spiritual teachers should be saints - yes.
 

That’s the whole point.

 

Just as we expect doctors to be interested in saving lives rather than killing - we should expect ‘saintly’ behaviour from spiritual teachers.


That doesn’t mean they have to have a bland personality. Be sweet and polite all the time. That’s a caricature.
 

But it does mean that you can be reasonably confident that they won’t try and rape you, use their power to extort money out of you or manipulate and control you for their own purposes.

 

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2 hours ago, johndoe2012 said:

This moment is it.

So much in that one brief statement.

 

It accomodates and acknowledges and encompasses all that's transpiring in this conversation, in our world, in our awareness.

 

Thanks for sharing mate.  The timing on that one for me... kizmit.

 

 

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Not sure I agree about the "spiritual teachers should be saints" idea.

 

Of course, spiritual teachers should be held to the standards of conduct we expect of normal people (don't be a murderer etc..)

 

But, the word "saint" implies something far more than that, something more akin to moral perfection.  

 

I'm open to be proven wrong here but it seems to me that as long as we are in a human bodies, moral perfection is an unrealistic fantasy and moreover a dangerous one at that. 

 

Of course, we can try to live our lives morally but that is pretty different from perfection.

 

Maybe it is the idea of being a morally perfect being that leads to and excuses the creepy behavior of some spiritual teachers in some cases.  Sorta like how the bright sun makes for dark shadows.

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3 hours ago, johndoe2012 said:

It seems freeform is under some sort of delusion that spiritual teachers are saints, a direct manifestation of God and always are polite, always do the right thing etc.

 

Who told you so?

 

Nisargadatta got angry. So did Ramana Maharshi. So did Buddha Shakyamuni. If a Dao Bum met these today, they would be called "not ready, charlatans, fakes".

 

I agree with one qualification - 

I propose that most Dao Bums would recognize Nisargadatta, Ramana, and Shakyamuni if they met.

People who are deeply connected to the source radiate it, even through their anger. 

Our egos squawk at each other as best they can in words here.

We would behave differently in the flesh.

Now, if a Buddha was with us here, in words only... then I'm not so sure she would be recognized .

:lol:

 

3 hours ago, johndoe2012 said:

Nobody can do anything different than they are doing right now. This moment is it.

 

The problem is the thinking mind wants things to be different, it cannot accepts things as they are. Then suffering arises and the doer runs after it and gets upset "No! Things got to change! I cannot accept this!!!".

 

Wisdom

_/\_

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50 minutes ago, mla7 said:

Maybe it is the idea of being a morally perfect being that leads to and excuses the creepy behavior of some spiritual teachers in some cases.  Sorta like how the bright sun makes for dark shadows.

 

Good point - maybe?

 

50 minutes ago, mla7 said:

But, the word "saint" implies something far more than that, something more akin to moral perfection.

 

So who are saints? Why do we have that term?

 

Why do all traditions talk about virtue?

 

My perspective is very much coming from the Daoist tradition. What one might call a saint is quite literally what we're aiming for within some of the lines in Daoism.

 

This doesn't mean contriving our behaviour to follow some strict outer code. Daoism is very clear that this is not the aim. Daoism is in direct opposition to Confucian philosophy where that is the aim. Where moral and ethical principles are 'taught' and socially conditioned into everyone.

 

Daoism believes that true virtue is revealed.

 

Not taught.

 

Not acted out.

 

It is 'revealed' by clearing out and balancing our nature. In the Daoist creation process, when the pure light of spirit begins its journey of manifestation into physicality, it refracts into a spectrum of coloured light. This coloured light is what manifests as our body, our mind and emotions (as the 5 elements).

 

What we think of anger (for example) is like an 'impure' version of one of these lights. The impurity is simply our 'acquired mind'... once this is transformed, reactive anger simply stops and is replaced by the 'De' or virtue of 'Patience'.

 

A big part of the path is the transformation of our nature - moving from reactive emotionality to the five classical virtues: Contentment, Courage, Empathy, Wisdom and Patience.

 

Some would say - oh this is just old fashioned thinking, this is just a silly belief and doesn't match reality.

 

Ok.

 

Not everyone's belief system is accepting of spirituality.

 

But in my experience, this is a literal transformation that occurs. In fact, there are physiological changes that happen as each of these virtues arise. It is very literal for the high-level teachers that I've come across.

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