The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Devotion Without Question

From 2018

Many people seek something to believe in. As such, they seek someone to believe in. Some find this in the form of interpersonal love: one person to another in one of those forever dreamed about relationships that last forever. Others turn to their desires towards higher ideals; love for a more spiritual something. But, sometimes these two get interchanged and that is where the problems begin.
As most people, from most cultures, are programmed into a mindset that places a high value on religion and, as such, religious teachers, some people are taken in by the words and the deeds of those purported to possess great spiritual knowledge.
In some cases, these are beings that have been dead for centuries. From this, their reputation of spiritual greatness has grown and though no one really knows what they actually said or actually did, their imagined image of perfection has become legendary.
From a psychological perspective, one can debate there are many problems with this process, none-the-less, those religious icons, themselves, can harm no one. It is those who are alive that cause the problems.
As has been so-well documented, a lot of spiritual teachers have claimed to live one lifestyle but have, instead, done just the opposite; especially in terms of their sexuality.  Now, if they just called out who and what they were, in this day and age, there would be little problem. They would not be a hypocrite as they were honest about their desires and their lifestyle. Thus, they lived what they preached. But, so few are like that. For some reason, so many of them want to pretend to live a celibate or monogamous life but then they fall far from their own projection. Some, when they are caught, ask for forgiveness, others deny; but a lie is a lie is a lie and so what are we left with? A spiritual teacher who lies about who and what they are. Thus, they are not a true spiritual teacher at all.
Now, I could speak about all those in the news. But, that is someone else’s research and revelations. So, I will talk about what I know and my experiences that pertain to this issue.
My whole life, I have been drawn to eastern spirituality. Thus, when I became a teenager, got a car, and could get out and around, I found my way to Swami Satchidanand’s Integral Yoga Institute, where I came to be a very active member and his soundman on the West Coast. For those of you who may not know, in the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s, he was one of those big-players in the Guru Game. He attracted thousands of people to his lectures and he had a large crew of direct disciples. Me, being one of them. All good… He also claimed to be celibate. But, was he?
In the later days of his life, there came to be a lot of accusations about him. But, let’s look at the facts. On the West Coast he owned and lived in this beautiful hilltop house in Montecito, California. One of the richest communities in California. I helped to put in the enclosed Jacuzzi into his house. He drove a beautiful 1957 fully restored Cadillac. You know the ones with the big fins. He was a pilot. But, more important and revealing was the fact that a beautiful, very expensively well-dressed, European woman lived with him in his house. Just her and him. His secretary, as she was called.  Let’s put the numbers to together on that one… What do you think was going on?
For me, I have always been a suspicious person. Due to my life experience(s), I generally don’t believe people until they are proven truthful and valid. Did I question his celibacy? Of course, I did. Did it bother me? Not really… That wasn’t why I was there. In fact, one of his other disciples, a South Asia man who knew him from India, would tell stories of woman in the guru’s presence. Did it bother him? I guess not. Did the other disciples have any questions about the relationship between the secretary and the guru? Nope, they just believed. They believed he was living what he preached. But, blind belief has led to so many problems. But, that’s another blog…
…Moreover, I have talked about this issue with Satchidananda in greater length in my books likes, Zen: Tales for the Journey.  If you’re interested…
But, this all goes to what you believe and why you believe it. It goes to what you want out of someone.
Does a person lying make them a liar? Yes, it does. Does lying make a person less of a spiritual being? Absolutely. Should a person lie? Never. Should a spiritual teacher lie? Of course not. For all a lie does is to create a world of liars where everyone who has believed you and believed what you said; you have made become part and parcel to your lie. Thus, they live their life, they believe what they believe, based upon your lie. And, that is just wrong.
The truth be told, of all of the celibate disciple who followed Gurudev, they were true to their craft.  True to the craft until they met someone and left the celibate fold. Me too. But, that’s okay. They/me were true to themselves. They took the training seriously. And, they did not lie about anything.
I am certain that most of the people who read this blog have not set their site on becoming a spiritual teacher. That’s good! But, wherever you find yourself in life, you must live in a space of truth. You must not deceive. You must not present the facts in a manner that only makes you look good; for the truth is the truth is the truth. There is no interpretation of it. There is no personalization of it. If you do that, all that makes you is a liar. And, no one likes a liar. For all they ultimately do is mess up the life of everyone they touch. Tell the truth.