Saturday, 21 August 2021

I'm a humble poet, not a guru

 My spiritual qualities started awakening at the age of sixteen, after I had a kundalini awakening. I started to naturally integrate certain mystical facets of my soul, cultivated in previous lifetimes. Naturally, I had the emotional need to communicate about my experiences. I was sixteen, and was suddenly utterly alienated from the mainstream human standard. At least in my generation, being born at the end of 1985, the social standard is that of social and physical aggression and intolerance. The American ghetto and thug culture is something that most youngsters aspire to, and indeed gang formation was becoming an increasing standard. If you would go out with your friends, that would almost unconditionally mean being confronted with violence. Needless to say, this put me in a vulnerable position, and a need to communicate about my transformations was only natural. I took to the Internet as a safe haven, and suddenly found that people were actually impressed with what I had to say. I confess that I was also spiritually gifted as a child, but had to suppress it in order to survive the social prejudice. After a lifetime of suppression, the appreciation that I suddenly received had therapeutic value to me. I even got invited twice to hold a talk in a gathering of people, which I could not quite do without the occasional stutter (I really was not very good). These things allowed me to heal my wounded self-image, but never entirely. The Tao cultivation of previous lifetimes taught me how to interface with the transcendental Tao and the principles of nature/the fabric of reality. This made Stillness the foundation of my mode of functioning and the essence of my identity; it is this where I could simply receive no understanding from anyone at all, also not from spiritual people and often enough led to persecution all in itself. This means that despite the fact I turned my attention to the spiritual public and away from the general mayhem, harmony with other people still only came under the condition of suppressing my mystical qualities and my natural state of being. However, I actually attained a (very) small degree of popularity, which washed away soon enough after I started upon a seven year journey through the East at the age of twenty-one.

It was a difficult journey, a journey in which I needed to learn what to do with my humble gift in a world full of resistance that can but (violently) discriminate against higher levels of consciousness, for there was a compassion in my heart that wanted to see if I could use my giftedness to make a humble contribution to the harmonization of our troubled planet. I ultimately realized I wanted to translate the Taoist mystical state of being into poetic stories, such as Lions of Virtue and Daughter of Xiu, seeking to create that feel of an ancient scripture, but in the form of a fictional tale. It seemed to me this was a non-obtrusive way, in which I did not need to put my own person in the forefront: its not about me but about the story, a story that hopefully moves your inner world into the direction of that special, mystical state of being. However, being a spiritual person I am somewhat aware of the mayhem of the world of spirituality. I walked a very unconventional path, not relying upon gurus, ashrams or temples, for which I received a lot of aggression from the traditionalists. Nonetheless, I met people on the road, people with stories. A woman told me she had been in an ashram (a spiritual community under the direction of a guru); she told me she had been physically and sexually abused for twenty years, and materially exploited. I once met a yogi, and he told me he had been invited by the yogis that run the famous kriya yoga school in Rishikesh, India. The way they phrased themselves was: come, join us as a teacher. We earn so much money. The yogi in question was not even a kriya yogi, yet was invited nonetheless simply because they deemed him a valuable asset. He really was a good yogi (and therefore declined their offer). An acquaintance of a friend stood in a large group of people, cheering on the infamous Sai Baba, a notorious pedophilic guru known to use magic tricks to convince people of his supposed divinity. As Sai Baba walked past him, he halted, looked upon him, and actually placed his hand between the young man's legs — in front of all the onlookers. These followers were so blinded by their guru-adoration that they would just continue to block countless of such transgressions from their minds. Christine A. Chandler of extibetanbuddhist.com wrote the book Enthralled about her misfortunate experience with abusive gurus in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Three other such books are Fallout (Tahlia Newland, AIA Publishing), Sex and Violence in Tibetan Buddhism (Mary Finnigan, Jorvik Press), and Buddha's Not Smiling (Erik D. Curren, SAB). As a spiritually gifted young man with a desire to add his two cents to the harmony of the world, I of course needed to have a really good look at what all of this meant to me. Obviously, I do not seek to assert myself as a guru or a highly divine being, I'm simply a spiritually gifted poet interested in writing verse, feeling my humble mystical talent adds a bit of an authentic dimension to my stories. In my books and on my website, I wish it were possible to not really write anything about myself at all, but realized my aspiration of  being a mystical verse novelist would not make sense to the reading public if I cannot create clarity about the source of my inspiration. I fear that people will seek to relate to me as if I am a guru, and this is something that I absolutely do not want! The traditions of the East demand that one is completely obedient to the guru, and give him your absolute trust and surrender. In China there is a saying: the master is always right. I absolutely distance myself from this attitude, for how can a wise and compassionate person demand such a thing? The theory is, is that through such surrender, the guru can guide you beyond your ignorance unto enlightenment. However, this approach is simply immoral in a world full of frauds and predators. How can a seeker distinguish between an authentic guru and an unauthentic one? This opens the floodgates of deception and abuse. It creates a complete vulnerability for people on that most meaningful of quests. Beautiful questions deserve beautiful answers, not rape, exploitation and violence. We must of course not overgeneralize, there are spiritual teachers with good intentions, but also with bad intentions. However, in this world a healthy measure of mistrust towards our fellow human beings is an absolute necessity, and no well-intended person should take that natural layer of protection away from you. Therefore may it be known that, should perhaps my humble communications again gain some form of momentum, that I am simply a humble poet with a spiritual giftedness. My pseudonym Aviilokín K'shi is based on an discarded character in one of my manuscripts, and should not be considered me trying to assume a divine identity. I wish you all a good journey on your Road.

I would like to refer you to the following excellent authors and teachers whom have a much deeper understanding of the Tao than myself: Daniel Reid, Master Wu, Mitchell Damo, Carl AbbotShi Heng Yi.

Recommended: The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity (Daniel Reid), The Complete Book of Chinese Health & Healing (Daniel Reid), Daoist Nei Gong (Mitchell Damo), Journey to the East (Geogre Thompson)

Aviilokín K'shi
www.aviilokinkshi.net




To balance the content of this article:

"This is the appropriate time to recommend Alex Berzin's book "The Guru/Disciple Relationship" which is an excellent explanation of appropriate behavior and cultural expectations. I would like to add a word of caution here: In fifty years in Dharma centers all over the world and in all Buddhist traditions,  I have met many western women who set out to seduce lamas on purpose, who gleefully set themselves up as a "dakini" and claim their own actions are "Crazy Wisdom". I also have seen many women who are mentally unstable claim they have been approached or entered into an improper relationship when it is blatantly not true. Lamas attend these centers to mitigate the harm, continue the emphasis on pure practice, and set up other dharma centers in the future. You should not see their presence at these centers as a validation of the erring lama's behavior, but as medicine in a sick situation.  Tibetans set out bowls of milk mixed with water for the Siberian geese who migrate thru,  twice a year. The geese are famous for somehow extracting the milk and leaving the water! Such a skill is worth having. "Take what you need and leave the rest." All these things have also happened in the Christian tradition, and I daresay everywhere in the world. The impediments of human nature are common to us all. So keep your eyes open and your own trip "clean, clear!" , as Lama Thubten Yeshe used to say."







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