Is it a conundrum or am I just confused again ... I can live with either assessment...
An old Zennie chum and I were batting things back and forth in email. He suggested that there was a bedrock social supposition that people who led spiritual gatherings had their shit together and for that reason it was enormously dispiriting when such leaders were caught stealing funds or literally screwing members of their flock.
My question was: If anyone actually did have their shit together, what need would there be for anything akin to a spiritual persuasion?
And if that question holds any water, then the generalized social appreciation of spiritual leaders seems to have been turned on its head and the axiom/presupposition might better be stated as, "Leaders of spiritual persuasions may be assumed NOT to have their shit together."
And if that is so, what does it say about any widespread social willingness to anoint or proclaim or follow spiritual leaders? If anyone were to seek the truth and yet anoint an ipso-facto hypocrite, what right could anyone claim to wail, "Hypocrite!" or "Charlatan!" or "Liar!?"
OK, OK ... before anyone sends a couple of well-armed true-believers to my house in order to set me straight, I will state for the record that the above qualifies merely as some whimsical noodling....
Unless, of course, anyone might like to think it over.
"If anyone actually did have their shit together, what need would there be for anything akin to a spiritual persuasion?"ReplyDelete
For that person none .Delete
However no matter how many times we intone a mantra about intrinsic Buddha Nature most people do not " have their shit together "...
So you are removing any cause for hope that things can be different.
That may not be the intention...but that is the result.
"So you are removing any cause for hope that things can be different."Delete
There are innumerable Dharma teachings. There are many antidotes to many different kinds of spiritual diseases. There are many words in the nondual teachings. But the root, the heart of all practices is included here, in simply sustaining the luminous nature of this present awareness.
If you search elsewhere for something better, a Buddha superior to this present awareness, you are deluding yourself. You are chained, entangled in the barbed wire of hope and fear.
So give it up!
Simply sustain present wakefulness.
The dualistic mind creates a lot of expectations — a lot of hope, a lot of fear. Whenever there is a dualistic mind, there is hope and fear. Hope is perfect, systematized pain. We tend to think that hope is not painful, but actually it’s a big pain. As for the pain of fear, that’s not something we need to explain.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
"And if that is so, what does it say about any widespread social willingness to anoint or proclaim or follow spiritual leaders? "ReplyDelete
Naïveté is the word, I believe.
So it was all bull the whole pile...thanks for nothing...:-)ReplyDelete
So you are removing any cause for hope that things can be different.ReplyDelete
That may not be the intention...but that is the result.
"So you are removing any cause for hope that things can be different. That may not be the intention...but that is the result."ReplyDelete
LOL ... it didn't work, did it? Obviously that makes me a complete failure ... not for the first time.
In the Granny Sweet-Talk sense, "hope springs eternal." Everyone hopes and hope inspires action so hope is a pretty good thing. Hoping for something "else," hope for something "different," hope for some ill-defined but insistent "relief." I don't know anyone who hasn't felt such things.
But then too, what happens to hope when action leads to experience? No one hopes of believes they can ride a bicycle after they have already learned to ride a bicycle. They know how to ride a bicycle so hoping and believing become superfluous ... not bad or good, just not necessary.
Pointing out that hope and belief have a limited and limiting shelf life is not the same as disdaining such things. It's just noticing ... and perhaps wondering a little what does not partake of such limited and limiting aspects.
Those are just words sir. Words that might have meaning for you, but as sustenance offered to those who are hungry it is just a painted cake.ReplyDelete
Saying to those in the throes of pain that things are just fine as they are and all they need do is somehow pay attention, might be true in the absolute sense,and for all I know that is where you might spend your time, but in the relative world it is cold and cruel counsel. Worse it is actually a kind of magical thinking.
But here you are, "anonymous," riding to the rescue, offering hope and kindness and relief... relief to someone 'else.' Very kind of you.ReplyDelete
You cannot carry on a conversation like this with someone who is fixated in the emotional pain body.... you will just end up going around in the circles created by her reactivity.Delete
How the hell do you know what s(he) is going through and it is a she?? With DUE respect WTF is wrong with you people?Delete
The only help I can bring is to suggest that those interested find good solid instruction from a teacher who does not confuse the means with the ends,ReplyDelete
and who will give the concerns of their students respect rather than flipping them off with word play.
There is some thread of teaching in Buddhism that might shed some light on this particular matter.ReplyDelete
It was expressed in the 9th century by the Ch'an teacher Huángbò Xīyùn (Japanese Obaku): "I didn't say there was no Zen. I said there were no Zen teachers."
Shakyamuni may be considered to have said something similar from a different perspective:
"...be lamps unto yourselves. Rely on yourselves, and do not rely on external help. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Seek salvation alone in the truth. Look not for assistance to any one besides yourselves."
I find that many (and I include myself in this at times) look for a person or persons to be the embodiment of some desired qualities be it deep insight, wisdom, goodness, kindness or something more mundane. Sometimes we think we find such folks but in one way or another we find them imperfect in some ways. Some turn out to be very imperfect.
Since some want to find "embodiments" they may become distraught, disoriented, despondent, angry, etc. when they learn otherwise. Others find it necessary to use excuse and / or denial and /or some form of "sagacious acceptance" and / or the old "See, I knew s/he was too good to be true" to avoid dealing with the problem(s) and the implications.
Perhaps good advise is to need to keep one's eye on the prize but don't forget to examine the desired prize, and motives, and the means. And don't forget to consider why and how some lose their way.
And some teachers turn out, when you give them your trust after testing, to do just the job you ask them to.Delete
Buddhism has many such.I personally have known three.
And no amount of citing the example of the baddies and ignoring the goodies will ever alter that.
A rejection of the authority of and necessity for, teachers is just another orthodoxy that simply leads to mini-Napoleons with their own private Zendos.
"...be lamps unto yourselves. Rely on yourselves, and do not rely on external help. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Seek salvation alone in the truth. Look not for assistance to any one besides yourselves."ReplyDelete
For me, this is the wisest of all teachings. My condition/situation in life is NOT contingent on what others do or not do, say or not say.
Seeking answers and thinking others have our answer is the lazy, childish way. It is hard to realize our alone-ness, but only we have the stuff it takes to live our own lives.
I have another excellent bit of wisdom which comes from a very wise and honest fellowship with decades of experience dealing with deluded folks. Though it is "God-centered" it still points to a truth. It is only within ourselves that the discord and unhappiness happens, and it is only within ourselves that the settling, acceptance and peace can happen.
"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed,
it is because I find some person, place, thing, situation --
some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me,
and I can find no serenity until I accept
that person, place, thing, or situation
as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake.
Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober;
unless I accept life completely on life's terms,
I cannot be happy.
I need to concentrate not so much
on what needs to be changed in the world
as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."
" To The SANGHA for Refuge I go "ReplyDelete
Said the same teacher who advised us to be lamps unto ourselves.
They are not mutually exclusive.
In fact both are necessary.
Re: Sangha & LampsDelete
I've always thought that since Gummata was more into talking about taking care of one's self as his final words of advice, that he considered it his best final advice.
Huangpo's student Linchi (Japanese Rinzai) repeated this message:
"O Followers of the Way, from olden times each of my predecessors had his own way of training his disciples. As to my way of leading people: all that they need is not to be deluded by others. (Be independent) and go on your way whenever you desire: have no hesitancy....Do you want to know who the Buddha or patriarch is? He is no other than the one who is, at this moment, right in front of me, listening to my talk on the Dharma. You have no faith in him and therefore you are in quest of someone else somewhere outside."
But, Whatever! Being a lamp, being independent doesn't necessarily mean going it alone, and becoming a loner but instead means being the final judge of the truth.
In agreeing with you, I'd like to point out that this little thread on this blog is like an ad hoc sangha. Yet as I focus on independence and personal responsibility, you wish to focus also on interdependence and they necessity of learning from and relying on others
Has anyone seen this movie: http://kumaremovie.comReplyDelete
Kumaré is a feature documentary film about the time filmmaker Vikram Gandhi impersonated a fake guru and built a following of real people. Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at SXSW 2011, Kumaré opened in theaters June 20, 2012, and is now available on demand via iTunes, Amazon Instant video and most cable providers.Delete
No. But I saw "The Love Guru" starring Mike Myers.
"Yet as I focus on independence and personal responsibility, you wish to focus also on interdependence and they necessity of learning from and relying on others."ReplyDelete
CGF Cookie -- I have a strong hunch that this perspective is a bit like talking about clarity and compassion. For conversational purposes, there is a distinction. For getting out of bed in the morning, such distinctions don't work. Ditto "independence" and "interdependence."
I've often noodled myself about the peculiar psychological composition of people who become recognized Zen teachers. It has occurred to me over he course of the last forty years that it doesn't seem to correlate with insight or compassion as much as ambition and the kind of organizational ability that CEO's and business executives show. I mean, they've got to want to, and they have to be able to deal with groups of people in a way that satisfies their job descriptions. Mostly they seem to be decent enough people, but I wonder sometimes if a random draft from the studentship at large might not produce just as effective a group of leaders.ReplyDelete
Kegetsu -- I can't remember in what context he said it, but the Dalai Lama once said, "It can't be helped." I have come to love the observation... and perhaps boosted a bit of its poignance with my own, "Just because you are indispensable to the universe does not mean the universe needs your help."ReplyDelete