There’s this spiritual guru (who is known more for his other profession, though he prefers to be known more as a “spiritual person” — duh?) who wanted me to become a follower. Not that there is anything wrong with his wanting me to be one of his followers or students as I myself is always eager to continually grow and expand. He also appeared to be knowledgeable enough, charismatic, and thus, “followable”. And there was I, eager to learn more from a smooth-talking and good-looking spiritual teacher. I happily followed.
Initially, I thought that he and I share a lot of things in common, such as the deeper understanding of the “spiritual mysteries.” As I followed him, however, I realized that we are on a different level of understanding.
Through his teachings, one could discern that he has a very strong opinion about what spirituality is, or what it should be, and this did not sit well with me because of its presumptions:
It presumes that there is a spiritual reality and a non-spiritual reality, and these are two irreconcilable and incompatible worlds. This implies that there are spiritual people, like said guru and others who fall under the category of accepted “spiritual”, and then there are the “non-spiritual” ones who exhibit characteristics that fall outside the label of what is believed to be “spiritual”.
His continued reference on what is spiritual and what is not made him come across more of a moralist rather than an enlightened guru who knows what he is talking about. I was inspired to ask two questions:
Is his emphasis on what is spiritual and what is not an attempt to make people notice their lack of spirituality so they can get themselves more spiritual? Is it because he wants to get people to think and do more “spiritual” things rather than “nonspiritual” things? Certainly, these are very lofty intentions.
It also gives off the impression that people have to emulate his brand of spirituality wherein contained all the attributes considered “spiritual,” so that they can then be considered “spiritual”.
But the question we may be really interested in is, What is spiritual and what is not anyway?
In the highest context, the context of Non Dualism, Oneness and Non Separation (terms which are often referred to by so-called “spirituals” — which of course include above mentioned guru), as these identical terms exactly entail, there is no such thing as “spiritual” and “nonspiritual”. Rather, every thing and every one are spiritual. There are no higher level and lower level creations. No sinner and no saint.
Karma is non-existent — in the plane of Non Dualism. Everybody is saved, nobody is going to hell!
Oh, that’s bad news! It is surely unfair. What of the evil ones? Are they not going to pay for their sins?
It is certainly bad news to those who are selling salvation and expensive tickets to heaven. Their sales pitch will no longer appeal to the manipulated, frightened, guilt-ridden masses, and so they’ll run out of business.
It is also bad news to those who are hard to forgive others’ trespasses, and to those who absolve themselves from self-responsibility because they find it easier to blame the devil.
It is impossible to really grasp the understanding of Oneness while remaining in a dualistic mindset.
So I’m wondering how a spiritual guru can genuinely teach about Non Dualism, Non Separation, and Oneness if their emphasis lies in the differences, the divisions and separations. Their persistent talk of sin or karma, saint and sinner makes their teachings trite and boring.
While it’s surely a reality that expressions of dualism abound around us, dualistic teachings further the divide rather than bridge the gap to encourage compassion and reconciliation.
Moreover, in a non dualistic context, nobody can really do anything to get more spiritual than they already are. It is a matter of recognizing one’s inherent spirituality, and recognizing exactly that same thing in others. Period.
Aw, I noticed I have become critical of moralistic gurus which makes me judgmental myself! I really, really don’t want to judge, but I just can’t help expressing my observations, sometimes.