Sometimes spiritual teachers and guides give the impression they have superbly succeeded in every area of their life whilst you and I are still struggling to move forward and get a handle on things.
In their photos and videos and books they seem so relaxed and overflowing with peace. They give the impression they’re in blissful control of their world; and understand everything.
It’s a pity really because then you and I feel like we’re not as good and clever and we’re not progressing nearly as well as we should be.
The truth is, of course, that everybody that’s ever walked on this planet has known good days and bad days, health and illness, wisdom and ignorance, successes and failures.
I believe we need to put things into a truer perspective.
Buddha had problems understanding women: so he set down 227 rules for men but a whopping 311 for women. He also taught that women couldn’t become self-realised (because they were women) but if they lived in service to men they could return next lifetime as a man. In his lifetime he was tortured by wealth and then by abject poverty before he found his superbly inspired “middle path”.
He is said to have died of mushroom poisoning.
Jesus, undoubtedly an extraordinary teacher of profound truths, lived a difficult life.
According to the Bible, he sometimes got angry and often sought solitude.
He had a terribly slow and torturous ending in his early 30’s.
Sai Baba, an amazing Teacher and Guide to millions, spent his last days in a wheelchair and died of liver, kidney and respiratory complications. His life was dogged by constant claims of trickery and sexual impropriety.
Yogananda died suddenly of congestive heart failure, aged just 58.
Ghandi was imprisoned three times and went on 17 hunger strikes, mostly to demand his beliefs were adhered to by other Indians. He lived a life of poverty but was constantly supported by wealthy backers. He forswore sexual relations but went on into his old age with what he called his “brahmacharya experiments,” during which naked young women would be asked to lie with him all night so that he could prove that he had mastered his physical urges.
He was assassinated in the streets.
Osho was only 59 when, ailing and in poor health for some years, he suddenly died, possibly also due to poisoning. He had been deported from the US for corrupting youth, The authorities confiscated his fleet of 93 Rolls Royces, the largest in the world.
Hardly any spiritual guides died of natural causes!
Very few died free of serious illness or pain – Krishnamurti dies of pancreatic cancer, the Bab (founder of Bahai) died by firing squad aged just 31 and his successor, Baha’u’llah suffered forty years of imprisonment, torture and exile.
So what are we to make of all those smiley and serene faces in the publicity?
Just that: publicity.
We can r-e-l-a-x and stop thinking we have to always be happy, serene, calm, blissed out and best friends with the entire world: nobody has achieved it yet.
It’s ok to have a few problems.
It’s normal to be challenged by obstacles.
It’s customary to have occasional illnesses and disease.
If we can just lift ourselves out of the negativity and doldrums of thinking we’re just useless, hopeless, no-good failures without a chance of any fulfillment or happiness – and instead achieve a modicum of peace, harmony, tolerance, love and balance in our lives…….then we’re doing well.
Just like Jesus and Buddha and Krishna and the Dalai Lama and suchlike.
Remember: no-one gets out of here unscathed and alive!
And just to stay alive has always been – and still is – a noble and honorable struggle.
Blessings and hugs,
Ps: please help me to spread my messages by sharing them with friends – thankyou!