It is lonely being a spiritual teacher. Really, for a long, long time my only friend was Robert Adams, and he died in 1997. Since then I can truthfully say my only real friend has been Swami Shankarananda. We spent a lot of time together in the 1980s and have communicated with each other through to the present. Another friend of mine, not nearly as close as swami Shankarananda, is Swami Chetanananda, who is retiring at age 69 after being a spiritual teacher for 46 years. All three of us have spent most of our lives being a seeker, or realizer, and then a teacher. It is a lonely life.
Please watch the video exchange between three of Muktananda swamis, including Sw. Shankarananda and Sw. Chetanananda regarding the travails of being a teacher. It is located YouTube on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZrj283rUvo.
For me the problem is in my life, that I have so few people I can talk to. When you spend 50 years of your life studying one thing, whether it be an esoteric art form, like Myron Dyal, or physics like a long-lost friend of mine, Larry Wojanowski, you tend to get lost in the discipline and your only friends are those in the same discipline. But once you rise to being a teacher, almost all of your contacts disappear except with your students and the readers of your writings. There is very little contact with anyone who knows you and knows the things that you do. You are kind of stuck in a world of conventional thinking and wisdom, even among most of your students, and you--I--feel totally out of place there.
There are so few who have transcended their own minds and have been able to live in their hearts, and when you find someone who lives in their heart along with you, it is a rare, rare, day in space and time. And when that person is no longer present, loneliness catches up as does the void which gradually removes all excitement from life. This is why I emphasize relationship so much. My greatest awakenings have occurred in relationships, the opening of my heart, the opening to the divine within, the recognition of the soul or life force in another and then through that in myself. These are the awakenings that occur after the initial loss of the personal self and gaining the silent Void, the gaining of the new self which is life from the heart. The heart wants to love others, especially someone on your own wavelength that is been through all of the spiritual disciplines and come to rest in themselves, at least it is so with me.
That is why I love people that others call crazy or insane or broken. It is because they have access to deeper layers of self that “normal” people are never aware of. One woman I knew a long time ago, stated she wanted to be with someone would be with her while she explored her psychotic core, she wanted to go that deep within. How rare is that?
When I was practicing psychotherapy, I had the most beautiful patient have ever known, his name was Joel and he was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic. But he knew God almost in the same way I knew God. We spoke of such things that way from heart-to-heart and it was so refreshing to be in his world because it was so very different from that of normal” or conventionally “mature” people. It was a world where people felt each other in the world around them from their hearts, not their minds, or through the mind, it was a very strange and unconventional world. The world of the schizophrenic is nowhere near as stable, or as organized, or as uncluttered as those who are not psychotic. The conventional world is boring. Boring!
I find “madness” exciting. It is bottomless, it is endless, and it goes to their and my heart’s core. It reveals world’s that other people do not know or see, worlds of energies, of inexpressible feelings, unexpressible knowledge, and unexpressible potential both for good and for bad, for greatness and for failure.
Swami Chetanananda touches on that in the video, as people that are into spirituality are different, and they catch hell from those in the conventional world who do not understand do not see the, who are not able to join them in their specific madness. Brother Charles states it much more directly, his loneliness when he said, "When you are the teacher, there is no one you can play with."
Of course the world seems to be going mad now, but it is an ugly madness of Trump’s racism, jingoism, chauvinism, and of a vile. despotic temperament that seems to have grabbed at least a third of our country into the same evil mindset. But I am talking of a different kind of madness. Madness that sees the world very differently from others. A world where people feel themselves differently from conventional ways, and have unconventional dreams, and unconventional experiences which are difficult to share.
I have lived with a woman for 33 years. We shared spirituality with Robert until he died in 1997, and at that point she switched off from everything spiritual, so I have had no one close to talk to or share the void with, or the experience of the Lifeforce, or the arising of energies from within, a sense of the divine, a sense of wanting to be totally devotional and surrendered. So. We share a conventional life, seven lovely cats, and the students who have lived in this house. I brought them to the house to share a spiritual life, but they really cannot do it, they are caught up so much in the conventional world everyone else lives in. They see the world in those terms, and they cannot feel my world from their hearts.
This may sound awfully arrogant, like “who the hell does he think he is”; but it is true, I have so few that I can share my world with except through my writings, and our Satsang’s, and maybe an email give and take, such as with Steve Eckert and a few others. This is why I cannot even consider myself as being a teacher anymore, I can only share for my own experience and see who responds if any, and how they respond.
I know there are many out there like me, like Lee Werth, and old friends from the past, Myron Dyal, and many others. But at my age, and recently overcome physical handicap, I do not feel like traveling.