Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
31st October 2008
Who is a spiritualist? A spiritualist is a man like any other. Who is an enlightened being? An enlightened being is spiritual, but not a spiritualist. The spiritualist masquerades as an enlightened being and does not realise that he is. He believes that he is enlightened and that is not his fault. It is nobody’s fault because his followers believe that the spiritualist is enlightened because he claims that he is, and their acceptance of the claim convinces him that he is. A spiritualist is a guru in the east and a guru is a spiritualist in the west. He claims to give enlightenment or offers techniques that if practised would render enlightenment. An enlightened being, on the other hand, does nothing of that sort. He simply lives.
An enlightened being neither believes nor behaves - he merely lives. A spiritualist believes and behaves, but does not live. An enlightened being realises that beliefs are illusory, while to the spiritualist beliefs are real and not illusory. An enlightened being realises that thinking, speaking and doing happen to him, while a spiritualist thinks that he thinks, speaks and does.
The reverence spiritualists command from ancient times to the present day is unflinching and undisputable. This is because man, educated and uneducated, believes the spiritualist has the power to make their worldly wishes come true. The men who are considered spiritualists, therefore, occupy a higher pedestal than do ordinary mortals, and rightfully so, for they are considered to be closely associated with God and His teachings. He is the broker to achieve God or Godhead.
The lure of Godhead and its benefits are an attraction hard to avoid. It is one attraction that is highly recommended to possess, though it is preached that attractions of the ego are to be controlled, curtailed or suppressed. Man needs to understand that it is the ego that desires and is attracted by spirituality and, therefore, like any other attraction of the ego, it is not to be over-indulged. But the spiritualists are ever quick to respond with their goods: the way to achieve God. They do not for a single moment point out to man that all attractions of the ego, including attaining God, are to be avoided. Man needs to understand that any attraction is the same as any other, including attaining God.
The spiritualists of the east have many names with superlative prefixes and postfixes. They are men who are well versed in ancient language and scripture in general. They are proficient in rendering commentaries on ancient scriptures, mythologies or practices. Their commentaries are taken as the truth even though the spiritualist might not have lived the times when the scriptures were written. His word is taken as the truth and never questioned or enquired into.
The fundamental message is to emphasise the presence of God, praise His character in eloquent terms and preach the techniques that would achieve God. Spiritualists coach and teach man to cultivate and possess Godly qualities. But does God have character or qualities? Man thinks He does because he believes that he has character and qualities. Man just wants to have qualities that God has, not realising that He does not have any, simply because He is not a man. Equally, man believes that godly qualities can only be taught by spiritualists and are required to reach God’s abode in heaven after death or to reach Godhead. The spiritualists are assumed to have attained God or Godhead.
Spiritualists are many and their methods and techniques too are as many as their names. Their choice of God is also varied because there are many Gods around and readily available. Therefore, every follower of a spiritualist embraces the God the spiritualist recommends and offers his alliance to Him and to the God he believes. The follower in turn recommends his chosen path, so to speak, to his friends and the propaganda machine is set in motion. The higher the number of followers the spiritualist has the greater his popularity-rating in the spiritual field. A high rating in any field results in sensationalism, and spirituality is not an exception. Sensationalism is the hallmark of any form of spiritualism.
Spiritualists are similar to a rock star. A rock star travels around the world with an entourage and so does a spiritualist; he always has an entourage. A rock star builds up sensationalism on stage and so does a spiritualist on stage. Sensationalism sweeps thousands who attend rock concerts; the same happens to thousands who attend the show of a spiritualist. A rock star has mansions to live in and a spiritualist calls his mansion a temple, which is nevertheless a mansion in proportion. A rock star makes millions by selling tickets to his show, and a spiritualist does the same, and people pay in return for the hope and promise of enlightenment - the mother of all shows. Sensationalism happens to the ego and not to the real self. The ego is false and so is sensationalism: it blinds reason and enquiry. This is meant to happen so that man may understand the illusory nature of sensationalism.
The spiritualist offers hope of a prosperous life and promises of enlightenment. Some also promise a healthy life without sickness, and who would not like this? Perfect bait and the net is cast, which catches men as a fishing-net catches fish. Understand that the mind is sick, for it dies every moment, and healthy every moment, for it is born every moment. Sickness and health are in the same moment. The moment cannot be recognised by the mind for the mind is not in life.
Death is sickness for that moment and rebirth is health for that same moment. In every moment of death new life is born within the dead, but it appears as death to the mind. The spiritualists do not understand this and therefore peddle promises of good health. Everything is good in life and nothing is bad, and it is duality that separates the good and bad as individual entities.
Spiritualists are varied in their approach, techniques and practices. They can be found everywhere. This creates the belief that there are many paths to God or Godhead. It is preached that every path is the right one to reach God and spiritualists are in agreement with one another, and they need to be if they preach that varied paths reach God. But they emphasise that their path is the real one. This is a contradiction to their agreement that all paths lead to God and, if it is true, then all paths would be real, but all cannot be real because real does not mean a variety - it means just one.
Spiritualists are the chief executive officers of spiritual business. Wherever there is hope and a promise it has to be business. Business means hope and promise. Spirituality is business too, for the spiritualists broker hope and promises. Man loves to achieve God but, instead of enquiring what makes the world illusory, he seeks ways of getting out of the illusory. The spiritualists are ever ready to help, but they only get man more into the illusion than out of it, not realising that their techniques would be illusory if the world were illusory. There is nothing wrong with spirituality being a business for, if it were wrong, then all business would be wrong, and God does not manifest anything that is or could be wrong. It is present so that man may understand that it is illusory and not real.
There can be nothing wrong with the world because God manifests it. All that needs to be understood is how this world and everything in it, including spiritualists and their spiritual techniques and discourses, and man and his mind, is manifested, and will continue to be manifested every moment. The enlightened have proclaimed that the world is illusory and hence spirituality too will be illusory, and needs to be.
Some spiritualists are easily identified. They have long hair, usually uncombed, and flowing beards, coloured clothes, usually saffron, ash splashed normally over the face or other parts of their uncovered body, a red dot over the forehead and beads by the dozen rotating over the fingers. He is seen from a mile away, easily identifiable at airports or railway stations for people coming to receive him. Different professionals have specific uniform such as doctors, lawyers, nurses, policeman, traffic wardens, doormen and baggage handlers - and the spiritualist has his.
The dress code of a spiritualist is that of prehistoric man. Primitive man had neither a hairdresser nor a fashion designer. Fashion sophisticates in every generation and has done so, but the spiritualist is stuck with primitive fashion. The spiritualist is a fashion model of primitive times; he is a symbol of fashion that prevailed. If a spiritualist dressed according to the fashion that prevailed, he would not be recognised as a spiritualist: he should be if his spirituality were real. This applies to any profession, for it is the clothes that maketh man’s profession and not the man himself.
Life is a continuous precision. The spiritualists do not find it so, and they should if they were spiritualists, because they preach that the world is not in peace and put forth efforts needed to be practised that will bring peace in the world. This suggests that life is not precise to them. The spiritualists have not understood that an individual is illusory and has to be if everything in life is energy. Therefore, the effort and the act brought about by effort have to be illusory and not real. Spiritualists have yet to understand that life is enlightened as it is and everything in this world swims in that enlightened state and nothing can be done to achieve enlightenment.
Spiritualists do not recognise that the entire world is a temple of God, and it has to be because the world is a manifestation of God, and so cannot be otherwise. Wherever you are, you are in the temple of God and in God. Oneness temple means that the whole world is a temple and not just in a specific place. If God is everywhere, who could man be? Understand that man is not; only God is. The spiritualists do not preach this for they have not realised the truth of the statement, and their speech and actions contradict it. They point to God as being away from man and that he has to practise to achieve God or be given a godly experience by the spiritualists.
The enlightened have proclaimed that the world is illusory. Man is yet to realise this and the spiritualists hinder this understanding by their protocols, regime and practice, for they have not understood either. Life has meant it to be so for it has to maintain its illusion. What better way could there be than by making the spiritualists preach that the world is illusory and dish out, at the same time, practices and beliefs, proclaiming that they will lead to enlightenment and God.
In order to practise man would require mind and time, and both are absent in life, and the present-day spiritualists have not understood this as yet.
Spiritual magazines make good business and are equivalent to any business magazine since both do the same job: print what the readers love to read. The stories of spirituality all point to man as a doer and time the essential factor. Man is not the doer nor is time present in life. Glorified stories about godhead that spiritualists are supposed to have experienced and are experiencing every day make good reading and make the reader long for such experiences, not realising that experiences are thoughts in the mind and not an actuality in life.
The magazines are overzealous to print these stories of spirituality because man hungers for them and they keep their business flourishing. If they were really concerned with spirituality, spiritual magazines should print that any form of spirituality would be illusory since the world is illusory, but they do not because they have not understood themselves. As yet, not a single spiritual magazine has published articles that explain that the world, man and mind are illusory. To publish that the world is illusory is not enough, for it does not change man in a qualitative way: he remains the same with or without the magazine.
Spiritual magazines print schedules of spiritual satsangs in which man is emphasised as being the doer, speaker and thinker as well. Man does not attend satsangs or discourses with a keenness to understand the world proclaimed to be illusory by the enlightened.
The spiritualists have yet to realise that neither mind nor thought exists in life. They have yet to realise that experiences are nothing but thoughts in the mind. They are yet to realise that action is an optical illusion. Spiritualists proclaim that the world is illusory, yet proclaim that their method or technique in achieving enlightenment is real. This is contradictory to the world being illusory.
Before man undertakes to do any spiritual technique, he should be sure whether he can. How could the ego, which is false, do that which is spiritual? To practise a spiritual act in order to realise that man is not the doer is illusory for, if man were really not the doer, how could he practise to realise that he is not? How could practice that is illusory achieve the reality that man is not the doer? Before you ask ‘what to do’ be sure whether you have done anything before. If everything happens in life, how can man do anything? Life is a singular movement and an action, spiritual or otherwise, cannot possibly exist. A spiritualist who has not understood is just like any other man who has not understood.
Life is light or energy; God is light or energy. God is everywhere and everything because everything is energy. Energy can neither be destroyed nor created. Life is, therefore, beginningless and endless - a singular movement of transforming energy. The transformation is spontaneous, uncontrollable and unpredictable and, therefore, life is without cause or effect, timeless and thoughtless.
Life reflects an optical and auditory illusion of light and sound that appears as the world in the waking state, only to disappear in the sleeping state, and appear once again more sophisticated. Beliefs cannot be the truth. Beliefs are personal opinion shared by more than one. Truth can never be known or experienced; only the false can be known and experienced, as thoughts and thoughts only. Spirituality is in every moment and as every moment, no matter how the moment may appear to be.
The moment is spiritual because it is timeless and thoughtless. Man cannot do anything that would be spiritual in a moment that is already spiritual. He cannot do anything in a moment as nothing is happening or happens in a moment except a spontaneous, aging process, which is a transforming process of energy. Life is a process of sophistication, which no mind can match. He who explains that the world, man and mind are illusory is spiritual and enlightened.
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2008