By Scott Shaw
As I have often stated, for whatever karmic reason, I have walked the spiritual path for most of my life. And, I use the term, “Spiritual Path,” for lack of a better term. But, I am referring to those of us who have decided to make the evolution of human consciousness and tuning into and understanding of the great-beyond their primary focus.
As someone who has been on this road for a lot of years I have witnessed many things about people on the path. Perhaps most disconcerting is those who buy into their own bullshit. But, I’ll get into that in a moment.
People are drawn to spirituality for an untold number of reasons. Some enter the path at a young age and some much later. Most, when they decided to, “Get Spiritual,” find their pathway in organized religion—which is very pervasive and universally accepted in all cultures. So, it is easily at hand. Then, there are the more abstract realms of spiritually which call out to people like me. In either case, the person who has newly found the path is generally the most fervent about it.
I remember when I was a young boy of about eleven or twelve and I was sent to summer camp. One of my campmates was a young boy who used to love to make flavored toothpicks and chew on them. He brought his little bottle of liquid cinnamon spice and he would daily dip a few toothpicks into it to keep in his mouth throughout the day. Though this seemed a bit strange and bizarre to me, what was more curious about the boy was that he had already decided what he wanted to do with his life. He was going to be a minister. While most children of this age group have little idea of what they want to become, he had decided. Me, I wanted to grow up and be like Neil Young or Jimi Hendrix. In any case, he had set upon his path very early in life. Whether or not he ever became a minster, I don’t know. But, what I do know is that youth who enter the spiritual path possess a deep belief in the possibilities of what it has to offer.
In fact, this is not only true for youth but for others who enter the path at whatever stage of their life. Once upon the path, the first step is generally to seek out a teacher to guide you down the road to your ultimate end-goal. This is where the problems begin. I have seen it so many times. A person new to the path is full of anticipation, promises, and belief. Thus, they are quick to believe whatever they hear and are easily taken advantage of.
The reality is, when a person is new to the path they are full of exuberance. Belief equals exuberance. But, what comes next?
In this state of exuberance many desire to go out and spread this emotion to the world. They want others to be as full of joy as they are. Me too… When I was young I wanted to tell all my friends and family about what I was experiences and guide them to experience the same. This, even though most people do not desire to walk down this road.
As time progress, however, and a person’s knowledge becomes deeper, they generally no longer need to go out and spill it onto people who are not of the same mindset and do not desire to walk down the path. They simply become who they are and embrace their cosmic understandings in a more pure and personal space. But then, there are the others. Those, who as they get older decided that they have something unique to give. They have found their calling. They possess something; a deeper knowledge that others do not hold. Thus, they decide to become teachers. And, oh yeah, that usually equals them getting paid for what they teach or, at least, being provided with other various favors.
In formalized religious, there are generally schools that a person must attend to rise to the level of a teacher. On the spiritual path, this is generally not the case. So, anybody can go out there and claim that they have had a particular revelatory experienced and that experience is what makes them so all knowing and the one that other people should follow. But, their experience is generally not real. It is simply something that they have read about; something that they have projected as something deep and meaningful, or simply they have realized this is a good way to attract people to follow them to feed their pocketbooks and their ego.
Mostly, what I have seen is that the people who do this spout knowledge that they have read from books written by other people or have heard at lectures. But, whatever it is, their knowledge is based upon, “Borrowed knowledge.” It does not rise from a pure, personal source—though they will, of course, argue that this is not the case till the end of their days. These are the people who buy into their own bullshit.
Spirituality is an organic, uniquely individual space of consciousness. Even though two people may be following the same teachings, their interpretation and internal understandings are uniquely their own. People believe they need a teacher because people seek interaction and they seek affirmation that what they are thinking is okay. But, is what you are thinking, what you are thinking, or have you been guided to think that way? This is the ultimate understanding of consciousness. Are you, you? Or, are you the creation of someone else’s belief system?
Being you, you are free. That is nirvana. Being what someone else tells you to be is maya. That is illusion.
Here are a couple of simply rules so you don’t step into someone else’s bullshit.
Have you heard what they are saying before; from another source, perhaps said in a slightly different way?
Are they charging you for their knowledge? Knowledge is free. It doesn’t cost a dime.
Are they calling you, “My child, my loved-one, my dead-one?” If they are, they are projecting that they are more than you. No one is more than you. You are the source of your own spirituality and enlightenment. Be you. Not a student of someone who buys into their own bullshit.
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