David Spero

Forgiving the Teacher, September 15, 2007

Attendee: That seems to be a difficult one for most people that I know. It’s like a very difficult one, especially “certain teachers,” who shall remain “nameless” — you know, who have committed actual criminal acts and still seem to have tremendous realization.

David: You see, another way to look at this — is — if you can forgive the inner person of the guru for being there and put up with the peripheral kind of issues that come up around teachers; you know, observing teachers’ preferences and the things that give them away as being a person: that they may get angry, they may be impatient, right; they may overeat, they may like sex a lot, or they may hate sex. Whatever the personal propensity of the teacher is, if the aspirant can know from the beginning there’s a person there, and forgive it, then that allows them to forgive their own ego, you see, and enter into real communion with the Divine aspect of the teacher

So it‘s a powerful technique of forgiveness because know one is going to ever get this stainless teacher that they think exists. They may look stainless from a distance, but when you get into the inner circles of these teachers you find out that they are not as stainless as one thinks — and nor should they be. This is what I’m saying: that this is an erroneous spiritual understanding from the beginning. It actually originates from Judeo-Christian-Islamic ideas of spirituality and their notions of perfection: notions of holiness and all that stuff, although certainly we see it in India and other countries.

Attendee: In a way, it seems to me, it’s kinda like a relief, because it’s like while I can still be realized and have those apparent imperfections too.

David: Oh, you will, not can!

Attendee: Well, I mean, it’s been presented, it’s like you have to be totally, you know, this way. You know, you can’t have any desires, and you can’t have this, and you can’t have that, otherwise there’s no way that you can ever get realized.

David: You see, instead of listening to, you know, and just accepting something like that when it’s spoken to you, it’s best to deconstruct it and seek out the angry person in back of that, who’s saying that. Who could be so angry and self-righteous, as if to say, you know, there is no person, there is no ego? That’s an angry, distorted mind functioning. So, life is full of tricks, live is full of risks, live is full of danger, everywhere, just crossing the street, so of course it’s going to be there when your sitting in front of a teacher. The key for the teacher is to dwell completely on Consciousness, dwell completely on the Absolute. That’s where the perfection is. But the aspirants won’t help but notice that there are preferences functioning in the enlightened one. There’s no question about that. Right? The jnani should not be ashamed that. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Certain great avatars, they’ve been attached to blankets and they’ve been attached to certain caves that they sit in. They’re attached to certain kinds of food. That’s all ego-based. It’s just that those desires no longer impinge upon the Self. The Self stays fully mastered in that individual; that there’s a Trans-individual Presence functioning in that Enlightened Being, which never goes away, which is omnipresent, eternal.

Attendee: My comment is that it sort of demonstrates a lack of compassion and love for the humanness to want your teachers to be perfect and pristine and not human, basically, and so it’s like that love of that quality that makes them human is that compassion for that. And then, the compassion for your own self, what makes your own self, human — and that’s so divine. I mean, it’s the Divine that makes, that creates the humanness too; the desires and everything.

David: But you can see how people can develop an overly fond fascination with the Impersonal; that That looks safe.

Attendee: Yea, it’s a rejection of human.

David: It’s a rejection of the human structure inside. And you know, many Indian saints will take on that posture of having eradicated most of their personality so that, you know; it’s a cultural thing; so that they can be recognized as that spiritual teacher; so that will feed that illusion. They’ll give the impression that the body doesn’t exist and the world doesn’t exist, desires don’t exist. They communicate that to feed the illusion of self-transcending grandiosity that they’ve attained this state of super grandiose spiritual realization, where desire is totally dead, or just about totally dead, in them — and that’s supposed to impress the listener. That’s supposed to impress the people who sit before him so that they can think more of him than just being a human being.

But if you understand what the Self is and if you expect someone is realized in It, then that should be enough to make you adore who they are in a spiritual sense, regardless of how they behave.

The Self should be felt as Shakti, as Power. And it’s the communion with that Power between the aspirant and the master that produces realization. That’s how It is passed on.

We can feel that Shakti now, yea?

That Shakti is completely outside of individuality. Please listen to what I’m saying. I said that the ego and the desire system continue to remain intact. They remain intact; desires and ego and personality, identification; all of that remains intact; perception. But that is not what the Divine is! The Divine is that which is most primal, most primordially present — in Awareness. The Divine is Awareness Itself, without name and without form. But It is extremely generous in it’s spirit, in that the human personality may be allowed to float within it.

And there may be times when Consciousness, because of great realization, may swallow the whole relative personality, for brief seconds or longer periods of duration, when the whole room will be seething in Blissful Current and Divine Light and it’s as if the personal body-mind and the ego and senses don’t exist; only That exists; and that is legitimate, and that is beautiful, and that is true.

But later on, a desire system will return. Typically, it returns. Typically, in human existence, it continues to function after realization: during realization, before realization, within realization; so that realization and non-realization merge. So that at some point nirvana and samsara climax together in the same intensity and in that fullness, then there is Absolute Perfection; when the transparency of Consciousness permeates the samsaric realm and when samara is itself liberation; not samsara as separate from nirvana, but samsara as a wave of the Nirvanic Bliss, the Para-Nirvanic Bliss.

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