Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Secrets, Lies, and Teachers

As a global society with internet news capabilities, information-gossip travels almost at light speed: village priests, city priests, a retired Pope, Zen masters, Heads of State, gurus from quasi-religions, all risk being unmasked if their personal behavior deviates from the holy and/or moral teachings they espouse. The tendency for those individuals' neurosis to erupt, in direct contradiction to their teachings, seems to be widespread.

At the innocent age of 21, my first spiritual teacher (of great stature and reputation by the way) invited me into his bed. I had thought he wanted to talk to me in private because I was "special" and ranked to get more in-depth teachings. When it turned out that a roll in the sack was what he was after, I ran away at top speed from this fellow. It took years to figure out how the moral precepts of his tradition, and his profound ability to articulate those teachings, stood in stark contrast to his personal fetishes.

For decades, I asked every guru I met how it could be that a person embodying the Teachings of Ages could at the same time be such a rascal. Finally, after thirty years of questioning, one wise man gave me the answer that settled my heart.

"Don't follow the teacher. Following the teachings. The teacher may go to hell for his behavior, so don't follow him. Follow the teachings."

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