For the past several years I have seen increasing levels of attacks on the whole concept of spiritual seeking and the guru/student paradigm which appears not to extend to other areas of seeking, such as for psychological help and professional psychotherapy, or seeking expertise in other areas, such as learning musical or artistic expression from a master.
Seeking truth in the physical and soft sciences is also exempt from the negativity towards spiritual seeking. You can seek for a lifetime, as did Einstein, for a general unification theory, or to design a space propulsion system for galactic exploration, but to seek to find yourself or to find God is seen as a delusion that opens you to exploitation by a class of charlatans.
Is seeking such as that of Freud and Jung for the essence of the heart and mind also considered delusional? Both sought their entire lives to understand both their own minds and hearts, as well as their patients’ so as to relieve their own pain and that of others.
Why is this? What caused this paradigm shift that this one kind of seeking is delusional, a form of mental illness that leaves you so weak and stupid that you cannot trust yourself by looking to others to find something within yourself that you have not yet found, whether truth, love, or an easing of the feeling you do not belong in this world?
If these seekers were to go to a psychotherapist for the same reason, would these naysayers still criticize their seeking as delusional and opening them to sexual, financial and other exploitations by greedy fraudulent psychotherapists?
Yet there is this common and apparently growing belief that all seeking in the area of personal truth, for love, to end some internal pain such as feeling alone or alienated is doomed to failure from the start.
This is such an absurd position to take: that all spiritual seeking from the beginning of time, that of the mystics throughout the ages, that of Christ and Buddha, that of Zen monks through the ages, that of all the Hindu mystics like Ramakrishna, the yogis along the Ganges, Milarepa in the Himalayas, are all delusional. The attitude is that all spiritual answers lie within the self and the way to access them is simply to feel the needs arise within oneself, let them flower and then watch them pass away into the beingness that contains everything.
Seeking drives will come. Just watch them expand, flower and then pass away. Don’t move. Stay in the silence and observe that everything comes and goes within you. Eventually you will realize you are this beingness itself and come to rest in complete peace and equanimity.
This attitude of passivity in many cases extends to the world. Life comes and goes, don’t fight the coming or going.
I have seen this attitude growing on Facebook. Someone writes a relative or a dear companion animal is very ill and likely dying, and these naysayers advise the person just to let the person or animal go. Any measures to prolong life are considered as fighting the will of the universe, which they consider must feel painful, so just witness the death and your grief from a place of abiding in beingness, stillness, peace.
I feel a profound anger towards this new paradigm and its proponents. To me it robs people of their passion for life, for finding what they feel is lacking, and ultimately it prevents them from having any profound spiritual awakening, for such an awakening requires passion and power to dive within the depths of one’s own consciousness, dive deeply into one’s own pain, or to seek God within or without, or to find love as one has only dreamed of and has not experienced. For when love comes to the spiritually mature, it is altogether a different experience than when it comes to a 16 year old or even a 30 year old accountant whose life has been numbers and credits.
Love when it comes to the spiritually mature seeker is utterly transformative, utterly beyond the understanding of someone who has not spent years looking into their heart and soul, for such a one becomes very sensitive to inner movements of consciousness, inner energies, and is receptive to internal explosions of self-realization and knowing the infinite.
This movement of passivity, that seeking itself is the problem, and just remaining still wherever you are, passively watching, absorbing, and then watching the movement pass away has had several modern proponents that teach this instant enlightenment of just stopping and watch the movements arise and pass away within you.
First is Jidda Krishnamurti who criticized the guru/chela relationship as personally disabling, turning the student into a slave to words and corrupt gurus. Second is Papaji who proclaimed you are already enlightened, no need to struggle to be yourself, because you already are. Third is Ramesh Balsekar. The entirety of his talks were about the pain of the “poor seeker,” and who stated the ultimate goal of spirituality was to come to some peace with oneself.
All three, but especially Papaji and Balsekar led to the development of neo-Advaita and the teachers of non-teaching, teachers of you don’t need teachers, but just to abide in your own presence.
To me, they together are preaching a false and incomplete doctrine of peace through passive watching and absorbing arising from within and from the world, and smothering the smoldering passion with an atmosphere that lacks oxygen. I feel they are robbing people of passionate expressions of love and ecstatic self-realizations that are possible if one is open to being grabbed by arising loneliness and starvation of the soul for something more than one has at the moment.
For me the passion was to find the “real” lying behind the appearance of the world. I was inspired by the stories of Milarepa and the Chinese Zen monks of a thousand years ago such as Joshu and Bassuii and their struggles to awaken to a truth beyond what is espoused all around us by parents, friends and society. I thought there must be more, and there is much, much more.
You are much, much more than this body, than your mind and the petty emotions that have followed you your entire life.
In everything I do, rather than to put your fires out, I want to stoke them. I want your smoldering passion to erupt into intense flames of love, intense seeking within, intense practice of meditation on your own sense of self until it grows into a solid sense of presence, of I Am, and until that explodes into a full Self-Realization of yourself as God or Goddess, as the divine other, finding intense love beyond anything you can imagine.
I want you to know you as I know you, as love itself, as energy itself, as presence itself, that when it fully knows itself is overcome by its own beauty and perceived infinite power. You are not your body; it is a pale expression of what you are.
When you have found this YOU, you are different. The world around you responds to you differently. You will find the world seeks you and desires to be in your presence. For you love is everywhere and in everything. Love seeks you; you no longer have to seek it. Whatever you want or need comes to you; you no longer have to seek it. There is a power in you that you feel emanating from deep within your gut, like a dynamo, a million watt generator flowing energy from your gut out into the world, and the world responds.
Your heart’s fire ignites the heart fire in others; your passion spreads to the world towards the eventual goal of teaching everyone to become their brother’s keeper and the shepherd of all life.
You mission is to burn brightly and not be smothered by those who urge you to just watch the passions of seeking arise within you, watched from a still place, to arise, flower and then burn out. I say no to this passive watching.
Instead dive deeply into your heart and feel your I-ness, find your heart’s core, your heart of your heart and their find your beloved, whoever that may be, whether God, or some external other. Then begins a journey so magical that few can even contemplate it.