Celebrities are loved because they make us feel good. Spiritual teachers are loved because they make us feel good, they tell us that we are good and they tell us how to get more goodness.
Dentists on the other hand are not loved. Dentists are feared for the pain they inflict.
But coming between you and all of that lovely sticky warm gooey goodness that a spiritual teacher exudes (and shows you how to get your own supply of) is something unfortunate – nonetheless, it has to be dealt with -- your Ego.
Whereas having your teeth pulled is up there on the list of things that you prefer to not have happen to you – Ego extraction is off the charts, it would get highest Scoville Rating for tongue blistering chilli hotness and an infinite Richter scale measurement for seismic suffering. Ego extraction is unknown, uncomfortable and quite likely more painful than being in child labour whilst being renditioned to a secret government black site – until it’s over!
If you are an authentic spiritual seeker then do not make the mistake of romanticising your spiritual teacher’s role and function. Incense sticks, ritually blessed candies or scented rose petals are not the measure of a spiritual man. When a spiritual teacher is actively pursuing the annihilation of the Ego he is unlikely to be loved or lauded. Praise comes before a fall. The truth is spiritual seekers who are in love their teachers, are either having sex with them or wishing for it. Hey, it’s not all about their spiritual development.
So if an authentic teacher-student relationship brings pain and frustration then why do spiritual seekers endure it? Are all seekers masochists? In fact, due to the mechanisms that make a classic masochist, a masochist will do anything and everything to avoid having their Ego being truly challenged – although at the same time they very much, you might be surprised to know, wish for pain relief.
Here we should note that there are 2 types of spiritual teacher: the authentic one who leads you to Enlightenment and the inauthentic one who leads you anywhere but to Enlightenment. Both types of teacher offer certain pleasures and benefits.
A fake spiritual teacher will offer you everything – bacon sandwiches, cocaine, lap dances and an opportunity to rub shoulders, hands and perhaps much more with the rich, famous and powerful – because they cannot offer you Enlightenment.
Being around an authentic spiritual teacher, despite the pain and suffering that spiritual awakening may temporarily bring, has numerous benefits such as: direct experiential learning, freedom from many mental and emotional problems, increased awareness and a sense of inner knowing, peace and purpose – and excellent healthy lunches. However the bliss fountain must eventually run dry so that the seeker can face their Ego in the stark wilderness of their inner landscape (reminiscent of Jesus facing the Devil in the desert). Bliss tends to be something of a narcotic anyway – it’s addictive, easily exploited and abused.
Very few seekers know about the authentic path to Enlightenment, even less tread upon it and almost none complete it.
Authentic spiritual seekers are extremely rare. In any spiritual community less than 1% truly seek Enlightenment. The other 99% seek psychological, social and material betterment. The true path to Enlightenment eschews material betterment because it aims for the “kingdom that is not of this world”, as Jesus so eloquently put it.
To become Enlightened, the Ego must fall away. The Ego is the false identity. It prevents a person from having a direct relationship with Consciousness and from appreciating their undivided connection with the whole of Existence.
Spiritual groups should be places where the Ego cannot get a toehold. Yet, spiritual communities are rife with mountain-high piles of Ego, so much so that members blatantly justify their Ego’s projections, fantasies and fears. Fights break out as Dominator Egos rise to the top of the power structure and Victim Egos sink to the bottom. False identification, that which prevents Enlightenment, is actually supported instead of tackled. In such communities, discomfort is misdiagnosed. The leaders claim that the pain is proof of a genuine spiritual process but in fact the suffering is caused by abuse and exploitation. Egos that get boosted in such spiritual groups develop a set of painful, destructive and frightening pathologies that are too awful to document even in a lad’s magazine.
Since fake spirituality has hijacked true spiritual concepts, and replaced them with untrue memes, the mainstream’s current understanding of Enlightenment is vague, confused and fundamentally flawed.
Spiritual teaching and learning should be grounded in experience. Instead, what is considered spiritual teaching today is based on hair-splitting textual analysis that has no basis in reality. This approach is so all pervasive today that it goes virtually unnoticed. The average spiritual seeker has a head full of empty words, ineffective principles and useless techniques with which they approach life and thereby waste their precious life-force energy. They also are ill-equipped to discern a true spiritual teaching from a false one. Fortunately, the proof of experience, especially the overwhelming and exceptionally good experiences that come from the Enlightenment Transmission, are irrefutable evidence of true spiritual teaching.
The problem with most spiritual teachings is the way that the spiritual teachings are conveyed. This has caused various reactions, the most obvious of which is the denial of the reality of spirituality’s most precious concepts and gifts. Long ago Western philosophers decried the existence of God, shouting “God is dead!” because they could not find the spirit of God in the actions of those who claimed to follow Him. More recently, the cry is “Enlightenment does not exist!” by those who have been oppressed, frustrated and abused by, fake spiritual teachers or their teachings.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, there is high degree of collusion between fake Enlightenment teachers and fake Enlightenment seekers: bogey yogis seek bogus gurus. Thus, for the most part they leave genuine spiritual seekers and genuine spiritual teachers alone.
If these so-called spiritual groups are not created to deliver Enlightenment then why do they exist? They exist to cater for every need, desire, kink and perversion under the sun. Unfortunately sincere spiritual seekers sometimes fall into these dens of iniquity and waste many years and much precious energy before they can extricate themselves. Occasionally a sincere spiritual seeker is pressured, flattered or blackmailed by his fake teacher or peers into becoming another fake teacher. Fake seekers need someone to not only justify their debauched activities but to declare them holy. Such groups have a vested interest in holding onto their ‘inmates’ and never letting them go free. They also must denounce competing spiritual teachings or absorb them in case their members jumps ship. Although they do all of these activities under the banner of peace and love they in fact using nothing but the most base, criminal methods to protect their turf. Fortunately fake spiritual teachers have no idea what a genuine spiritual teaching is – thus they cannot easily target, copy or subvert one.
A real spiritual teacher offers only Enlightenment - but that precious, priceless, unsurpassed gift goes unnoticed in the bazaar of the bizarre spiritual marketplace which is in fact a flea market that recycles failed, discarded and broken spiritual teachings and techniques.
Modern day faux spiritual seekers are so intent upon pursuing the full realization of their Ego’s fantasies and projections that they cannot understand that a spiritual teacher’s true purpose is to stop them doing precisely that. Ego-driven activities make a person crazy and prevents them reaching their true full potential.
Fake spiritual teachers condition their followers to become infantile, subservient and broken. A spiritual community should not become a venue that attempts to satisfy unmet needs and fantasies or to perpetuate brokenness.
A spiritual teacher is not your friend, lover, sex tool, father-mother figure, dirty uncle or agony aunt. The spiritual teacher has only one clear purpose: to get you Enlightened. As a spiritual seeker you must become conscious of the required rules of engagement that define the teacher-student relationship, agree to them and keep to your agreement.
The spiritual teacher-student relationship should be defined and clear – not vague and undefined. Anything other than adhering strictly to certain rules of conduct will delay and frustrate the realization of Enlightenment. The journey towards Enlightenment requires the accompaniment of someone who has been there before the seeker arrives.
An undisciplined spiritual seeker who does not get their unenlightened needs met will typically engage in covert and passive-aggressive attempts to get what they want. It is similar to how children sometimes behave towards their parents when they cannot get what they want. Such activity will cause discord and disharmony between the seeker and their teacher and the teaching community. It is one form of subversion by the Ego.
Another type of Ego-driven sabotage happens when the Ego feels under threat. In such cases the Ego simply denies the evidence brought to it by the inner and outer senses, the intuition and the Soul. Devoid now of true information, the Ego embarks on a campaign of disinformation using all of the tricks of distraction that it can muster including: conceptual hair-splitting, denial, evasion and distraction. In this way the Ego perpetually confuses the seeker and prevents him from accessing reality – and ultimately Enlightenment.
How the Ego does this and some of the tricks that it uses will be the topic of my online class entitled ‘Guru Gaming, Master Baiting and other Ego Ejection Delay Tactics’