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OfflineLearyfan
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How advanced should one be?
    #829434 - 08/20/02 04:38 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

How spiritually advanced does a person have to be in order for you to listen to his words? No human being can be perfect, so where do you draw the line on how flawed a person can be before you no longer listen to his words of wisdom? At what point do you call them a hipocrite?

Alan Watts had an alcohol problem. Does that mean that his spiritual teachings are meaningless?

Martin Luther King Jr. is said by some to have been an adulterer. Does it mean he can't lead people of all colors to racial equality, because he can't be faithful in marriage?

Do you ignore John Lilly's words because of his Ketamine addiction?

Do you forget what John Lennon taught you because you found out that he wasn't such a great father to Julian?

Do you forget what Timothy Leary had to say because he "cooperated" with the authorities about the people who broke him out of jail(BTW, NO arrests were made as a result of the info he gave, which tells you something about the quality of that info)

Do you write Jesus Christ off as a fake because he once asked the Lord why he hath forsaken him?

At some point, everyone who tries to teach others is a hipocrite. How perfect does one have to be in order to teach others about anything, much less spiritual enlightenment??



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Mp3 of the month: The Loose Enz - The Black Door



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Offlinemelonhead
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #829440 - 08/20/02 04:50 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

got to love Lennon


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InvisibleSwami
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Registered: 01/19/00
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #829499 - 08/20/02 06:04 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Good question, but feel it can be answered somewhat simplistically.

Do you forget what John Lennon taught you because you found out that he wasn't such a great father to Julian?
If John was writing a book on parenting, his child-rearing ability would definitely be relative (no pun intended) and make his directives suspect.

I have mentioned that I instruct in racquetball. Whether I am an adulterer or substance abuser is irrelevent to a prospective student. They are only interested in two things:

1. Do I have a superior knowledge and skillset?

2. If yes to 1, can I transmit that knowledge?

It is hard to have faith in the wisdom of one who spouts one thing and lives another, even though his words may contain truth.

Bottom line: I choose as teachers those whom I wish to emulate in the area of their expertise.



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The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #829525 - 08/20/02 06:41 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

The point is that people who seek truth are usually the most troubled people in this society. Our culture isn't designed for truth seekers - it's designed for the herd. The people who try and break out of the herd are the ones who are going to be the outcasts and feel the most pain/frustration etc in life. How they deal with that is completely seperate from the insight into life they can offer. That's just the way it is.

If you can be happy going to work for 50 years and being a selfish, egotistical asshole you will probably have no problems in life whatsoever. You will never have any drug problems and never be accused of being a hypocrite. You will lead a lot happier life staying with the herd.


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Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Anonymous

Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #829550 - 08/20/02 07:09 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Everyone at one point may be a teacher (whether they know it or not), and all of us are students (if we so choose). The best you can do is make a reasoned effort to find the lessons that others have to offer. Learn from the mistakes of others. As the saying goes... don't throw the baby out with the bath water.


Edited by Anonymous (08/20/02 07:11 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #829562 - 08/20/02 07:16 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

For me the question turns on the definition of "spiritually advanced". Whatever mysticism you have experienced, whatever visions you have seen, whatever prayers you have had answered, whatever deep truths you may possess; the crux of being spiritually advanced is the ability to love. If you cannot love others or are very poor at it you have very little to offer others in the way of "spiritual advancement". Love is the measure of all things.

How we treat others is the best measure of who we are.

Cheers,


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: ]
    #829643 - 08/20/02 07:57 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Mr. Mushroom said "how we treat others is the best measure of who we are".

I agree with that. I think when you're trying to decide how much stock to put in his(or any spiritual teachers) words, that's the measure, not the persons unfortunate self-destructive problems.

I think everyone in this thread had a really good answer for me, but Mr. Mushroom's quote answers my question best. I also like how Evolving reminded me of that old saying "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater".



What about ol' John Lennon, though? I've always thought of Lennon as a "spiritual ally". His words have provided a great deal of inpiration for me. However, he was a dead-beat dad when it came to Julian. Even when he realized what he had done, he still didn't live up to his responsiblities. Yet he is, and will always be one of my spiritual idols. What's your opinion on that?



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Mp3 of the month: The Loose Enz - The Black Door



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Offlinemirror_saw
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Registered: 08/16/02
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #829679 - 08/20/02 08:13 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

How spiritually advanced does a person have to be in order for you to listen to his words?

We ought not to be swayed by the authority of the writer, whether he be a great literary light or an insignificant person, but by the love of simple truth. We ought not to ask who is speaking, but mark what is said.

I won't tell you where the quote came from, it doesn't seem important.



Edited by mirror_saw (08/20/02 11:06 AM)


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: mirror_saw]
    #829844 - 08/20/02 09:30 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

That was cool mirror saw. Also, I thought it was brilliant how you didn't tell us who said it. Very appropriate.



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Mp3 of the month: The Loose Enz - The Black Door



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InvisibleSwami
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: mirror_saw]
    #829919 - 08/20/02 10:09 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Nice quote, but I only partially agree with it. Where I disagree is where someone has claimed to have blazed a path before us then sets out a methodology for us to follow in his wake, yet the claimant has yet to have blazed the path himself.

For example: I believe the author of "I'm OK - You're OK", a very popular self-help transactional anaylsis book from the '70's, committed suicide.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Anonymous

Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Swami]
    #829955 - 08/20/02 10:27 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

how can you even think about pursuing spiritual things when you haven't even understood the most basic fact of existence: no one is perfect. ...well, except Yoda.


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Offlinejonnyshaggs420
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: ]
    #829960 - 08/20/02 10:30 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

If you cannot love others or are very poor at it you have very little to offer others in the way of "spiritual advancement".

True. You cannot willingly contribute to another person if you do not have a love for people.


How we treat others is the best measure of who we are.

Only as far as our relationship to others is concerned. This is a hippy phrase at best.


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Vote Jonnyshaggs in the next election for GOD...Its the responsible choice


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InvisibleMystical_Craven
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Registered: 06/16/02
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #830148 - 08/20/02 11:51 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

I say: believe in the message, not the messenger.
I think a lot of people in this world have a hell of a lot of good ideals, regardless if they're able to follow them or not. I once knew a crackhead that was always preaching about never getting involved with any of the harder substances simply because of the high potential for addiction. He made a mistake by going down that road and found himself unable to come back, so he made it his life's mission to veer anyone he could away from the path he choose. Now, I'm not saying the same rules apply on the spiritual or intelectual front, but I do think the same ground work applies. Someone may not have a physical addiction to their way of life that they're not able to get away from, but that doesn't mean that they're unable to see that there's something wrong with their way of doing things. Sure I think it would make more of an impact on me if I was told some profound tidbit of spiritual enlightenment by someone that was living proof of that information, but even if they didn't practice what they preached I wouldn't just blow it off. People have this amazing way of becomming so wrapped up in their lives that they simply lose the will to ever change, and I accept that. I also accept that from time to time these very same people are shown something very valuable, but can't find much of a use for it in their own lifes...so they pass that information on to someone else that they think can get some use out of it.

But, as always, that is just my take on things.


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"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go..." T.S. Eliot


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Anonymous

Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #830657 - 08/20/02 04:23 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Yet he is, and will always be one of my spiritual idols. What's your opinion on that?

Can't comment on it without my bias getting in the way. I loved John. Even seeing the picture you posted makes me misty. I lived in New York just down the road from him. I attended the vigils, got my ugly mug on TV because of them and ate birthday cake with Yoko and Sean (his birthday Oct. 9th, same as John's)

Yet, John and I disagreed on a lot of things and as wise as he was he got trapped in the ego just like most people. I recognize the Truth he knew and know that he couldn't live it.

"Dear John,

Don't be hard on yourself, give yourself a break."

Isolation.

Cheers,


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: ]
    #830697 - 08/20/02 04:44 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

how can you even think about pursuing spiritual things when you haven't even understood the most basic fact of existence: no one is perfect. ...well, except Yoda.

Please don't tell me (or anyone else) what you think that I think, or what I have or have not understood! That practice is abused all too often on these boards. Speak only of what YOU know.

Then you compound assumption with the classical reading comprehension error - perfection was mentioned nowhere (nor even hinted at) in any of my posts.

Try to ACTUALLY respond to what was written.



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The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineEarth_Droid
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Swami]
    #830712 - 08/20/02 04:50 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

I think it depends on how intellectually advanced the individual is that is going to listen or not listen in the first place. Even if someone is spiritual or smart, there will be others who will not listen to them.


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Earth_Droid]
    #836240 - 08/22/02 03:52 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Can a therapist help you with your problems, if that person has similar problems?



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Mp3 of the month: The Loose Enz - The Black Door



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OfflineGrav
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Earth_Droid]
    #836337 - 08/22/02 04:40 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Earth_Droid,
that is the most disturbing picture ive seen on this board...


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #836479 - 08/22/02 05:40 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

I am a therapist. When I was going through a divorce, and was clinically depressed, initially with psychotic features ("I can't believe this is happening"; derealization), a co-worker sent his son to me who had just broken up with a girl, and who was himself clinically depressed. I explained my circumstances to be up-front and 'transparent,' and the guy said to me: 'You seem pretty fucked up by this divorce, but you also seem to be handling it well. I think I'll work with you.' And so, after a few weeks, his depression lifted; he bought a Harley Sportster; found a new girlfriend; and they rode off into the sunset. Meanwhile, my depression continued for another year or two.

As with shamanism, the psychotherapist is a psychopomp - a guide to other realms. [S]he is also, ideally, a "wounded healer," for without character that develops only after life is lived, and suffered; little compassion or insight can arise.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: How advanced should one be? [Re: Learyfan]
    #836898 - 08/22/02 08:43 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Can a therapist help you with your problems, if that person has similar problems?

I don't think there could be a specific calculus that would tell us when a therapist with problems could actually help someone else with similar problems. However, I think that it is very possible that one could. Markos helped.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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