In the West the concept of enlightenment always seems to go hand in hand with a little joke about being a Buddha on a lotus flower. Totally zenned out without a care in the world. No reactions, no needs, just love embodied. Buddha is like the ultimate chill guy. Unfortunately most of us will not likely achieve that state in this lifetime, nor are we meant to I think...I once heard someone say "spiritual people don't eat shrimp". Uh...what? There are all kinds of misconceptions about what "spiritual" people should and shouldn't be doing, feeling, thinking, etc...
It's easy to feel judgmental and jaded when we hear of a respected spiritual leader or mentor committing some sort of minor or major transgression (fill in the blank here with the thing you couldn't imagine someone spiritual doing) .
We think, "why would someone spiritual do that...maybe they're not so spiritual after all." Sure, they could be a slick snake-oil salesman: someone playing the role of a spiritual person who in actuality is more concerned with feeding their own egoic desire. But in many cases the person could just be like the rest of us; blown about occasionally by the whims of their ego at a given moment.
Aaron and I have learned that personality (or ego) development and spiritual (or soul/spirit) development are not necessarily mutually exclusive. When we share this with people this it makes intuitive sense to most (as it did when it was taught to us). However, facing the truth of that lesson can be a hard pill to swallow.Read More