As I worried might happen, over the course of the last few posts I started losing sight of my larger point.
If I'm losing sight of it, I worry that you -- my reader -- may also be losing sight of it. So, I think it best to slow down now and review.
I think Guru both realized God and engaged in unethical behavior.
It is this paradox that I'd like to explain. Actually, to be precise, I'm not trying to explain the paradox itself. Rather, I'm attempting to explain the reasons why I think such a paradox is possible. I'm suggesting an alternative view of Guru -- one that rejects each extreme end of the extant opinion spectrum.
Unlike his most ardent supporters, I don't believe Guru was born into this world free from all human foibles. Unlike his most strident detractors, I don't believe Guru was a fraud.
I'm suggesting a third way to think about Guru.
The emphasis here should be on the word suggesting. I'm doing my best to articulate how I think about Guru. I do so in the hopes that it will spur you, too, to think about these issues in a nuanced way and, hopefully, to share your own views either as comments to these posts or, better yet, in your own future writings.
So far, I've stated the ethical case. What Guru did to Suchatula and the others was unequivocally wrong.
I've suggested that ethical standards alone may not be sufficient to judge a person's spiritual development (a topic I'll try to expand upon shortly).
I've stated my view that rejection of the world isn't the goal of yoga, rather a state of non-attachment is the goal.
And finally, we've discussed the principle of gaining control of one's nature through acceptance rather than through rejection and repression.
In essence, I suppose, I'm arguing in a long-winded way that that there is no necessary or fundamental connection between one's actions and one's subjective consciousness. To be perfectly frank, I'm arguing that there is no connection -- per se -- between your spiritual development and whether or not you engage in sex.
Think of Arjuna. He found enlightenment by killing hundreds (if not thousands) of his relatives over a real estate dispute. Certainly, we can have sex.
To explain the paradox, however, two questions remain to be addressed.
First, what do we mean by God realization? In my next post, I'll explain how I think of the concept.
Second, how can a state of high occult development like God realization coexist with a state of emotional and sexual dysfunction? Doesn't God realization mean, by definition, perfection? I'm not so sure and I'll share my thoughts in a following post.
At the very least, I hope you'll find some of these ideas thought provoking. And if you think I'm wrong, tell me why. It is only through the clash of ideas -- a civil clash, please! -- that together we can move closer to a more synthetic and complete truth.
Above is another of my favorite photos of Anandamayi Ma. When you get the chance, check out this library of photos of the beloved Mother.