Most spiritual "teachers" that you encounter, especially on Facebook, ar just plain full of shit, outwardly appearing self-confident con men using charisma, a glib tongue, a knowledge of "non-dual" concepts and philosophy, and an outsized personality built on narcissistic self-aggrandizement.
Both the narcissistic and sociopathic personalities believe in themselves on the surface because they have pumped themselves up through positive self talk and high energies, and offer a popular and overly simplistic understanding of the nature of Consciousness and existence, taking some of their words out of books by Ramana, or Nisargadatta, or Muktananda, or Nityananda, or Buddha, and twist them to fit their own level of understanding. This has created utter chaos in the spiritual marketplace because of so many sociopaths creating cults using the same words, but each wrapped around an entirely different message.
All of Facebook is nothing more than than a cattle car where people moo at each other and act as if they understood what the other perrson said, then offer rebuttals based on one line quotes from Ramana, Nisargadatta, Papaji, even Buddha or Jesus.
There is no depth of understanding on Facebook. Only people who love the terms non-dual, Consciousness, Absolute, Beingness, Now, Self or no-self, karma, mind or no-mind. They use only the simplest and most generic terms and pretend these cartoon-like simplifications can be twisted in a way of life and final understanding.
Facebook and other social media are empty of depth understanding of Self, the world,Consciousness, or God. There is only the exchange platitudes and one liners.
Even the terms "enlightenment" and "awakening" are meaningless, and yet seekers fall all over themselves to understand the term and feel obligated to pick a definition, and then freely offer that definition as their understanding and then defend that concept to the death.
There are so many bullshit ideas in the world of non-dual, such that the mind and ego must die before one is enlightened, without ever defining mind or ego. No one ever defines it before saying it must die, or else saying it does not exist.
I can say I have never experienced as ego. I have no idea of even how to look for it, because in my view and my definition of ego, it is a congeries of pre-conscious abilities and functions that have been developed since infancy, like the ability to learn a language, judge the relative motions of cars on the street in order to judge when to cross, the ability to accurately judge another's character, and the ability to accurately know one's own limits in any given situation. To me this is the "executive" functions of our existence, consistent with Freuds 1920s model, but also assumes most of these functions are not self-aware anymore. That is, the ability to judge the motions of cars or balls, and the ability to whack a ball with a golf club or bat occupies one's attention for a few years when growing up, or for a few years after taing up a sport, but after the skill is mastered, we o longer are aware of that function or skill. One can say we have no mind when it comes to this area of functioning because conscious attention is no longer needed.
BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE MIND IS DEAD, OR THE EGO IS DEAD, ONLY THAT THOSE FUNCTIONS ARE NOW SO SKILLED, CONSCIOUS AWARENESS OF THAT FUNCTIONING IS NO LONGER NEEDED. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS THE DEATH OF THE MIND OR OF THE EGO.
Yet we hear this every hour we are on facebook or other social media, that Ramana, Nisargdatta, whomever, had no ego, no mind, and totally livedelsewhere than this world in Sahaj Samadhi, or somewhere else, without body awareness, absorbed in bliss, etc.
You see, these words mean nothing to someone tryingto understand what no-mind, no-ego, absolute, emptiness, enlightenment, and awakening mean until you have experienced it. This is how the charlatans work. They just use these very abstract terms, often defined by other abstract terms, fooling most of the people some of the time with their word magic.
All the above is the spiritual marketplace with innately self-assured philosophers babbling nonsense, surrounded by people looking for some certainty and stability in their lives, and maybe the ending of painful memories, depression, grief, self-criticism, emptiness, feeling unloved and fearful of contact with others. But the charlatan teachers have this overwhelming self-confidence and project an energy field of positive energy around themselves that attract seekers because they appear to be knowers.
But a "real" teacher knows that all words, all concepts, are at best approximations, and can help you towards true freedom from bullshit only when they free you from over, more simplistic and deeper bullshit that you have gathered from books.
A "real" teacher knows that the terms "enlightenment," "awakening," "non-dual," "emptiness," etc. have thousands of different meanings and convey thousands of different states and experiences, or tens of thousands of teachers over the past 2,500 years.
The Buddhist goal of Nirvana, for example, is completely different from the Self-Realization of Ramana, or of Nisargadatta, which is completely different from the realization that all is Shakti of Jan Esmann, which is completely different from the incarnational spirituality of Christ, where man is God and God is man.
Try as you might, you cannot twist and distort these separate paths with differing ends, into one path with a common end point of enlightenment, one final truth that all great teachers share.
UNDERSTANDING THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF REAL FREEDOM. UNDERSTANDING THIS MEANS THERE ARE MANY PATHS, MANY DIFFERENT AWAKENINGS, MANY DIFFERENT ENLIGHTENMENTS, AND YOU ARE ALREADY WALKING ON YOUR PATH, AND IT IS YOUR PATH ALONE THAT IS IMPORTANT.
I do not mean you should not follow any teacher. Indeed you must follow teachers because you cannot see for yourself your own misconceptions, blockages, hangups, and habits that will free you to have a more free life and more sophisticated understandings.
I offer just one path to the exclusion of others: Realization of the Manifest Self within, a Self made of light, energies, sentience, and intelligence that is also God within. You and God are the same. Feel that, realize that Self within through Self-Inquiry, self-acceptance, self-love, devotion to others, to teacher, to animals, to your lover, and listening to sacred music.
I do not talk about the Absolute because the Absolute is entirely prior to Consciousness, it is there before consciousness both ontologically and also existentially, so nothing can be said about it in words. You can only be the Absolute, and you can only be the Absolute in relation to having realized the Manifest Self of the incarnated God in you. You are the Absolute when you can witness the Manifest Self and not be drawn into the Manifest Self. But being the Manifest Self is a more interesting, more alive, more energetic and loving place that being
in the witness. This is why I speak only about the Manifest Self.
Knowing you are God dwelling in a mortal body allows you to know you are both the Absolute, and also the Manifest Self. They are flip sides of existence/non-existence. I truly believe that this is the message that could save the world and mankind in this day and age where we experience ourselves as temporary incarnations of God, drenched in love for all sentient beings from a worm to cats, to other humans, each of us being a lamp onto ourselves, but also the good shepherd of earth, but also my brothers keeper for all sentient beings.