Inquiry: spiritual teachers shouldn’t have hangups

Statement: Spiritual teachers shouldn’t have hangups.

  1. Is it true?
    Yes, feels true. My instinctual reaction to it, when I see it, seems to tell me that it is true.
  2. Can I know for sure it is true?
    No, I cannot know that. Also, don’t know what is best for them, or me. Hangups may have some important functions.
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • How do I treat myself?
      As superior to these teachers, because I can see through their hangups.
    • How do I treat others?
      • I build a case against teachers I see as having hangups, and see others as my allies.
      • Attention goes right to what I perceive as the hangups of certain teachers. I keep track of and inventory their hangups. I collect them. I obsess about them. I weave stories around them. I build a case for why they are hangups, why they are blind to them, and the effects it has on them and their students.
      • For instance, Joel has a hangup about “integration”, putting it down while it seems a very useful pointer even in the context of realized selflessness. Bernadette Roberts, with her silly whiny hangup of “they should have told me” (as if they didn’t!). Genpo Roshi has lots of rigid fixed views, including those giving rise to arrogance. Saniel Bonder, wow, even more there, especially around him thinking that he needs approval and acknowledgment. And Andrew Cohen, what a nutcase. Even Ramana Maharshi, that junkie of the unmanifest. And Ken Wilber, with his silly and childish “the greens are out to get me” paranoia, and need to be seen as hip and cool. And MM, the head guy of a group I am involved in, he is stuck in a babysitting mentality towards his students, use blatantly inaccurate descriptions, and apply strategy of opaqueness and deception (officially pretending they do not have a head guru while they do, being deceptive about their past even if it is out there in several books, having several unwritten and hidden rules which can get you excommunicated if you transgress but never talking about the rules or the possibility of being excommunicated).
      • When I go into these stories, I feel separate from these teachers and their groups. There is an uncomfortable ambivalence there. I feel like an outsider, who sometimes still wants to learn from these teachers. I feel combative and rebellious, while also afraid of being exposed or excommunicated.
      • I also see myself on the side of those with, apparently, few or no hangups, such as Adyashanti and Byron Katie. They are on my side, my allies. But even here, there is a sense of separation because I know they would see through my own hangups around this. When I believe that thought, all the symptoms of a belief are there, so even as I am in the clutches of it I know I am acting out of blindness.
    • How do I experience it in my body?
      Contraction. A sense of hardening somewhere in the center of the head area. Tension and sense of hardness when I breathe.
    • When did I first have that belief?
      Probably after my initial awakening, when it became very clear how some teachers were coming from hangups (beliefs, identifications, fixed views.)
    • What do I get for holding onto that belief?
      I get to be right, to see through hangups of certain teachers, to be superior to them in certain ways. I also get a lot of stress, a sense of separation, of combat, a lot of internal argumentation and building a case. I don’t feel quite at home with these teachers and their groups. I feel like an outsider.
  4. Who am I without that belief?
    OK with them having hangups, and also not so sure about them being hangups. I see that the story of them being hangups, and the should around it, are only stories.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • Spiritual teachers should have hangups.
      Yes, when they have hangups that is their path, and also part of the path of their students. It gives them something to work with. And it gives their student something to work with, and also invites them to find their own authority. It can also help them explore and clarify the relationship between Big Mind and our human self.
    • I shouldn’t have hangups.
      The advice is for myself. When I believe others shouldn’t have hangups, the advice is for myself, and specifically about that particular belief.
    • I should have hangups.
      Yes, it is obviously part of my path now. Part of my experience. Part of the fuel for investigation and practice. Part of what makes me human.

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