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Perspective on the Sex Scandals of Great Enlightened World Gurus

 

No one post could wrap up all the loose ends to our ongoing group exploration of sex scandals among the Enlightened. My contribution today aims to share one spiritual teacher’s perspective on a certain group of Enlightened men.

This cohort of world gurus uplifted millions, yet their personal reputations have been tarnished by scandal. Examples of these world teachers:

Were they spiritually Enlightened?

Definitely, according to my subjective assessment with aura reading. (Okay, Rose Rosetree profiles all of these gurus as Enlightened except for Yogi Amrit Desai.)

Objective reality informs us that each one suffered scandals that shook their spiritual community, sometimes scandals that broke laws and outraged the public.

How could that happen to even one Enlightened guru? And so many, so very many. Perhaps you can think of even more than those named above. You might name some in a comment below. This article is a kind of compassionate, questioning, In Memorium.

Because in today’s post, I’m going to share nine thoughts that help me to understand how it could be possible for someone in Enlightenment to get caught up in sex scandals or other notorious behaviors.

1. Enlightenment is a state of consciousness

Just that. Enlightenment is personal, how an individual lives in relationship to God while still maintaining a human identity.

I have written elsewhere about Enlightenment Profiling, and the criteria that I employ as an aura reader to learn what is going on with a person’s state of consciousness.

Many a crude, arrogant person calls himself “Enlightened” and others have no way to disprove it, not until they learn Stage Three Energy Literacy, where so they do aura reading so well that they can go all the way to comparing chakra databanks.

Sure, you can do this directly, find out for yourself. Use techniques of Aura Reading Through All Your Senses(R) or Skilled Empath Merge or any other accurate form of aura reading. Pay attention to the consciousness, not any other publicity put out by the guru or the Movement. You can find out for sure.

Personally, I have read auras of all the Great Enlightened World Gurus mentioned above. Maharishi, Satchitananda, Bhajan. To my perception,  definitely, each one had attained Enlightenment (except for Amrit Desai). Not an Osho-like pretense of sanctity but an authentic, magnificent of consciousness.

That state of consciousness being deeply personal, it does not show in behavior, clothing, or lifestyle. Among our blog community, look who has moved into Rose Rosetree’s personal Enlightenment Life List:

  1. Julie, delightfully shy, even among librarians; also outstandingly brainy, even among librarians
  2. Jill, who makes jewelry out of wool and walks around transforming people, bit by bit, through her darshan — most recently at gun shows
  3. Anita, a brilliant, highly respected psychiatrist at Yale
  4. Adam, healing through acupuncture, lighting up the entire continent of Australia
  5. Stephanie, a quirky creative textile artist with a laugh that could melt hearts of stone
  6. Pantelis, a humble and tender healer in New York
  7. Lara, about whose life I know pretty much nothing, except that I have read her aura from her photo and hello! She’s there… at the beginning of her journey within Householder Enlightenment.
  8. Stay tuned, blog readers, in 2013. A goodly number of my clients and students are oh-so-close to Enlightenment. Many will be added to the Enlightenment Life List this year, I suspect.

Each person’s singular version of Enlightenment is different, for these Blog-Buddies, for other Enlightened folks I know personally, for myself as I continue to learn during a protracted and delightful Orientation Phase of Householder Enlightenment.

Regardless of state of consciousness, of course, each human being is unique. That individual’s state of Enlightenment, though meeting certain general criteria, is still unique.

Enlightenment, for the Great Enlightened World Gurus, or for anyone? It’s a state of consciousness, not like wearing a badge that reads “Sheriff.” Or “I’ve got it made.”

2. Householder Enlightenment is different from Renunciate Enlightenment

The Great Enlightened World Gurus were all renunciates, swamis, yogis from a tradition that pretty much required celibacy. (Exception: Yogi Bhajan. He gave followers permission to marry. He, himself, turned out to have quite an extended definition of “marriage.”)

All these outstanding, charismatic teachers brought meditation and yoga from India to America and the world. (Exception: Sai Baba. The world came to him.) No exception, each of these Great Enlightened World Gurus taught householders.

Brave spiritual leaders, they made it possible for millions of householders to start growing spiritually with jet-propelled techniques for purifying consciousness.

They rocked our world, transformed consciousness almost beyond recognition… if you read auras and compare photographs of folks from the generation before the 1960’s, comparing that to folks living now, you’ll see what I mean. Even better, read auras of some who studied back in the day, and compare those photos to their photos now. (Of course, with full Energy Literacy, every photo is an aura photo.)

Granted, these gurus didn’t understand the concept of Householder Enlightenment versus Renunciate Enlightenment. This is what we at this blog, among others, are just starting to sort out.

To this teacher and writer, bringing Householder Enlightenment to the world is the leading edge of my work. My joy. My greatest curiosity. My deepest service.

For me, this was made possible only because of the great world guru who helped me, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. For others, like Shakta Kaur Khalsa, inspiration came from other great world gurus.

We spiritual teachers of today stand on their shoulders, just as those who come later will stand on ours.

3. Enlightenment does not confer omniscience

The Great Enlightened World Gurus didn’t understand the dangers of living a lifestyle in the mixed-up middle, part renunciate and part householder.

Furthermore, they didn’t necessarily understand that women were equal to men.

They didn’t know much about sex.

They hadn’t received coaching about how to deal with oversized fame, or thousands of groupies throwing themselves at them.

Often formed as renunciates in Asian ashrams, they were socially unprepared for Western culture, even less prepared for celebrity.

4. A reunciate needs either community or silence

What protects a renunciate, someone who aims for a life of simplicity and selflessness? Typically Indian monks either live in ashrams or they abide in seclusion.

Maharishi’s guru, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, for instance, meditated in silence for years before being promoted to his official duties as Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math.

Instead of seclusion or sacred community, these Great Enlightened World Gurus had to form communities of their own.

Difficult, isn’t it, for anyone to create a spiritual organization and keep it pure? (Personally, I have no desire to form an elaborate organization, just for this reason.) Organizations corrupt. Organizations about The Absolute tend to corrupt absolutely.

5. Creating organizations, dealing with groupies, can corrupt

Corrupt the behavior of an Enlightened person, that is. Not necessarily corrupt the consciousness of Enlightenment.

Even Paramahansa Yogananda couldn’t escape corruption, at least when it came to his organization. Yogananda, a predecessor to the cohort of Great Enlightened World Gurus, came to America in 1920. Magnificent Yogananda maintained an exemplary life as a reunciate.

Astoundingly incorruptible, Yogananda’s body was exhumed 20 days after his physical death. It hadn’t begun to physically decay.

Pure though Yogananda was, consider. He was kind of famous. Never did he have to deal with the degree of fame (and temptation) of the Great Enlightened World Gurus in the age of Time Magazine and TV interviews and flower children and full-out Kali Yuga.

And although he remained utterly pure to the end of his incarnation, what has happened to Yogananda’s beloved organization, the Self-Realization Fellowship? Not so pretty.

Sadly, the organizations of every one of the Great Enlightened World Gurus could, by now, be considered a cult. Even though I doubt that a single one of the Great Enlightened World Gurus ever intended to form a cult.

Gotta love Earth School, right? It’s an incredibly tricky place, where evolutionary challenges face us all. No person or organization is exempt. No exception for anyone whomsoever. None.

All the more reason to develop and use energy literacy, BTW….

6. The gurus had to carry their burdens as big authority figures

A guru within Hinduism is trained to run an ashram of other renunciates. He has skills and memories and beliefs from that formation.

The courageous Great Enlightened World Gurus went into householder life in a completely different culture, with pressures added by fame. (Exception travel-wise, Sai Baba: But again, the whole world came to him. And brought money.)

Part of their spiritual formation was that, in matters of leadership, they had to be authorities. Not unlike what Catholics created for their pope at the top, priests at the local level. Even if there was no training in how to be a leader in a completely different society, with different cultures and expectations and the pressures of mega-money and celebrity.

Further, the burden of supreme, infallible Authority Figure was exacerbated by the requirement that The Path, that particular type of meditation etc., had to serve all needs.

Related personal example: While in TM, I remember how it was considered a sign of weakness, and disloyal, to consult a psychotherapist or a healer or any expert for personal development. Nobody outside The Movement was allowed.

And that was just Movement pressures exerted on little me, a humble “Governor of the Age of Enlightenment.”

Imagine what it was like for these gurus to handle their sexual temptations, inner conflicts, etc. They had to be/seem/feel like Almighty Authority Figures.

Is it so hard to imagine that they were ill equipped, humanly, to handle personal challenges? Or to even interpret those challenges rationally?

7. Authority figures know some things, not others

Let’s shift context just a little to make this point about knowledge.

On a regular basis, I have new clients who are “positive” that a particular cord of attachment is the source of their problems. Or they “know for sure” that a energy cord attaches to an “energy vampire.” Or that it will supposedly help with cord-cutting if they tell me all their theories about their cord.

As human beings, these clients are authority figures, experts on their own lives. However, the clients I’m thinking of (quite understandably) lack knowledge of Energy Literacy. With no formal professional training at Energy Spirituality, they have only the most cursory and incomplete appreciation for any of the skill sets involved in this form of aura healing, which emphasizes permanent removal of emotional and subconscious STUFF, then filling up with what wakes up the soul.

Totally understandably, these authorities on their human lives, not having that different realm of expertise, seriously misinterpret the STUFF they have. Luckily, I’m there as an expert on this (not everything, but this!) So I can help to sort things out and help them.

Another example about knowledge: In my own human life, there is plenty of scope for serving as my own authority figure.

Yet there are also many things where I am clueless. When I have a human problem, I can be extremely clueless and need help from other human beings. It doesn’t matter, in this context, that I experience God living as me.

Like that great saying, “Heaven helps those who help themselves.”

Therefore, depending on the human problem, I seek help from time to time from other experts. Sure, this still happens after my moving into Enlightenment. Because human challenges do not necessarily vanish due to a state of consciousness.

And lucky me that I use my New Age Consumer smarts, my spiritual discernment with Energy Literacy, to find experts that I can trust.

Woe to the healer or teacher who can go to nobody! Imagine how much harder — and, weirdly, more lonely — for a Great Enlightened World Guru presumed to be perfect in every way!

8. Enlightened World Gurus had to handle craziness from society as well as followers

In “Goddesses and Angels,” Doreen Virtue recounts how she had to receive loads of energy work to remove astral-level debris caused by folks who attacked her line of work, were jealous of her, etc.

It’s the same thing for celebrities in any field.

And it surely was just the same for each of the Great Enlightened World Gurus.

Did they receive in their training, as renunciates, how to handle the slings and arrows of outrageous celebrity attackers or groupies? Doubt it.

9. Ultimately, each of the Great Enlightened World Gurus taught two lessons

First lesson was the claim to fame, the gorgeous technology or way to serve needs of their millions of followers. Guess what additional lesson each of these gurus wound up teaching, and teaching in the sticky way that Earth School does best?

Those sex scandals have allowed Movement members to re-think the need to follow a guru or cult leader.

Years ago, I remember talking to my friend GLADYS, a devout follower of Yogi Bhajan. Until sex scandals rocked that Movement. “I’ve graduated,” GLADYS told me.

This was a few years after I had graduated from TM. It was fascinating, watching this refugee from a different cult… do her own exiting.

GLADYS took her entire wardrobe of white clothing and used RIT dye to make her clothing colorful.

Did a great job, too! (That really impressed me, as every time I have tried dying anything more complicated than an Easter egg, it turned out to be a messy, weird-looking, splotchy mess.)

GLADYS went on to change the Kundalini Yoga name that had been given her by Yogi Bhajan. She reclaimed a life.

I have known her, off and on, for decades. GLADYS has not just graduated from Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. She has graduated from cults.

Same with me.

Besides GLADYS and me, millions of souls have needed to learn that same lesson. Without the sex scandals, many of us couldn’t have learned it.

In the words of some of you wise Blog-Buddies (from recent comments at previous posts on sex scandals of Enlightened World Gurus):

In the long view, from a spiritual perspective, there were no victims.

Blog-Buddies, I cried writing these words. Offered here is no smart-alec quick judgment, either pro or con.

I’m writing as someone who once loved my guru more than life itself, loved him more than anyone I have ever loved in this lifetime. At least in that way of utter devotion that some of us have known… on a path of heartfelt renunciation and service given without measure. (Not to worry. Other, more human loves have enriched my life as well, especially since leaving TM. But oh, I do know the unique kind of pain involved in spiritual trust gone wrong.)

And I’m writing from the other side, too, in a way. I have given my adult life to being a spiritual teacher, and plan to do so while I still breathe and think clearly — unless given some other assignment. For me this topic is very personal.

The essence of my perspective on the sex scandals of Great Enlightened World Gurus? It comes down to this:

Awakening into truth and a direct access to the Divine, each of us can have Enlightenment. We can each attain Householder Enlightenment.

It CAN be pure. It can be very real.

As millions of us non-celebrity folks awaken into Householder Enlightenment, it will be “Our own fault.” Yet we will be following in the footsteps of this world’s Greathearted, Doing Their Very Best, So Human, Gurus.

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  1. 1
    Suzanne says:

    Great post Rose. This really moved me. I love this part:

    Yet there are also many things where I am clueless. When I have a human problem, I can be extremely clueless and need help from other human beings. It doesn’t matter, in this context, that I experience God living as me.

    I feel like I understand enlightenment a lot better, reading this. As those of us who have had healing sessions with you know, your consciousness is beautiful, and you have so many amazing gifts and talents.

    But if your sink gets clogged, you are still going to need a plumber.

    Being clueless in so many ways myself, I like the thought that enlightenment can yet be in reach.

  2. 2
    Sylvia says:

    Thank you, Rose. There were so many beautiful points in this heartfelt post. I am gaining a better understanding of enlightenment and of the human need to get human help in areas outside of one’s specialty!

  3. 3
    Paige says:

    Rose, This post is so full of compassion and wisdom from you. It provided a perspective all of us missed. That in context the Guru’s were unprepared for some of the challenges they were confronted with and had no where to get counsel. How quickly judgements are formed without full knowledge of the circumstances and how something so seemingly completely “bad” can have a positive outcome.
    I was thinking God said “I am the alpha and the Omega”, God is it all, that means the darkness and the light, what would one be without the other;

  4. 4
    Mike says:

    Dear Rose

    Thanks for you response.
    Personally I am not there yet. So if you do not mind indulging me a little more, and then you are obviously at liberty to say “enough”.

    I am haunted by a comment I read in Eben Alexander’ book ‘Proof of Heaven’.
    Whilst experiencing non dual consciousness in a near death experience, the following is conveyed to him:
    “You are loved
    You have nothing to fear
    There is nothing you can do wrong.”

    It is this comment that haunts me (and requires much contemplation) and it is with this in mind (as a counterbalance), that I launch in again.

    Firstly I think Sai Baba is very different to the other gurus you mentioned. They were humans who became enlightened. They had to go out into the world. they had to contend with sudden celebrity from a human enlightened perspective. They by and large had sexual relationships with (?consenting) adults. So yes I accept the points you are making.

    However Sai Baba claimed to be an Avatar (the Supreme Being manifested on earth).

    As you say the world came to him. His alleged sexual offences were different to the other gurus. These involved under age boys, which began by rubbing oil on their genitals (his take would be to awaken their kundalini, another take was he was grooming). Please see this article that addresses this aspect:

    http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/genital-oiling-by-sathya-sai-baba/

    He is thus the only guru who really is in the same boat as Saville. Because of their celebrity it was very easy to sweep indiscretions under the carpet and Sai Baba had a huge following, including police officers and judges etc etc and thus they could (and no doubt did) both get away with sexual grooming and pedophillia.

    Your empath merge with Sai Baba describes him as “magnificent”. But you also comment on this blog that “God is not a rapist”. However his behaviour indicates criminality, not just an excusable indiscretion.

    So I still do not see how energy literacy can help me make informed choices in these contradictory matters.

    I agree with your point that the scandal’s are helping us to let go of the need for a guru. That certainly applies to me.

    Will this also relate to healers? When it comes to choosing a healer we need ‘consumer smarts’ just as much as with the guru issue.

    Thanks once again for allowing this topic to be aired.

  5. 5
    Jnana says:

    Perfectly put Rose, and perfectly understood.
    What more is there to say really?

    I salute all those who took part in this less than perfect dance, that the consciousness of humanity could be moved forward.
    Your pain has allowed those of us who follow a gentler path forward.

  6. 6
    Amy says:

    Hi Mike,

    When Rose talks about God not being a rapist she means that we have nothing to fear from God, God won’t suddenly take us over deleting all traces of our identity (unless that’s what you want I suppose!). It’s humans to be worried about!

  7. 7
    Linda Stone says:

    Dear Rose,
    This posting further elucidates for me the term “enlightenment”. It also brings me back to what you consistently tell your students. We all have self-authority. It says to me that we can learn and evolve with the help of gurus… , but they are just that. They are teachers. Ultimately, our relationship is with ourselves and our personal relationship with our god. We alone are responsible for our own personal actions or inactions. …. And… the law of karma it would seem, is the great equalizer.

  8. 8
    Jean says:

    Oh, Rose. Thank you so much for choosing to share this.

    If I may, big hug here….((((Rose))))

  9. 9
    Jean says:

    Just had to copy the following….

    “Jill, who makes jewelry out of wool and walks around transforming people, bit by bit, through her darshan — most recently at gun shows.”

    So smile inducing – as well as inspiring.

  10. 10
    Jill Erin says:

    Mike,

    The closest I ever came, in my life, to having a Guru was reading and following Ken Wilbur. To this day, his writings and teachings have a deep impact on all my thinking. He is an intellectual giant and I feel his works are well worth studying. You can find an excellent summary, with links to his theories, here: http://postmasculine.com/ken-wilber

    This young man’s experience with Ken mirrors my own. The rising, almost worshipful attitude and gratitude for all things Ken Wilbur, and then the wakening to the reality and the eventual downfall of Ken Wilbur – the man. But, his theories still stand, as far as I am concerned. He taught me how to move toward enlightenment in an Integrated manner – accepting and then transcending each stage of development of myself (and others) instead of denying and rejecting.

    The irony of his personal downfall, in spite of his tremendous intellect and, ultimately, ignoring his own theories is a tremendous lesson for me. I think you will find much to learn in reading what is at that link. The young man ends his article with the same caution that Rose gives, and I gave you. Ultimately, we are driven within, to find our own core and enlightened state. Then, we just do the best we can to live that state in the world.

  11. 11
    Jill Erin says:

    Mike,

    Regarding the statement, “You can do nothing wrong”, I believe that. In my personal belief system about our existence in this world, it is all about waking up to what we really are. When you wake up to that knowledge, you realize that, truly, nothing here matters, except waking up. I think that that is why there were Mystery Schools established to guide one into enlightenment. In these schools, I think, the emphasis was on instilling such a deep pattern of ethical behavior that when you attained that ultimate knowledge, you would not use that knowledge as an excuse for “bad” behavior. Again, my personal theory.

    Energy Literacy, as taught by Rose, helps you make wise personal decisions based on facts. What you do with the knowledge gained through Energetic Literacy is still a very personal judgement. In the case of Ken Wilbur, I can still judge the veracity of his teachings by the impact they have on my personal understanding and growth. I can judge whether to follow him to his bedroom based on the reading I do of him with my Energy Literacy skills, learned from Rose.

  12. 12
    Paige says:

    Mike, What has helped me with “you can do nothing wrong” is the concept of life contracts. If we contract to learn and experience different things in each life there has to be a volunteer to play the part of the perpetrator or a “perpetrator lifetime”.
    I love the book “Conversations with God” . It talks a lot about the concept of “right” and ‘wrong”.
    Also maybe the “You” being referred to in Eban’s book is the Real YOU, the divine you, not your personality or the human ego flawed you.

  13. 13
    Primmie says:

    I believe that sexual acting out always has its roots in childhood sexual abuse. I think that if a person is acting out sexually then they are not emotionally well, whether they are considered enlightened or not.

    I’m glad for all the people who had a shift in consciousness about not being victims. That’s wonderful. I don’t however ever condone sexual abuse because it might in fact teach someone something. There are lots of ways to learn about self authority. I think the best way is to have had a secure, loving childhood where you weren’t abused and you just carried with you that deep sense of contentment and self-esteem that was your birth rite.

    I don’t think people who have that sense of true self-love seek out dangerous gurus, nor, I imagine would you be likely to become a dangerous guru if you had it.

  14. 14
    Amanda says:

    Hi awesome Amy,

    Re comment 6 – well, God can take you over and delete all traces of your identity, and it’s very, very beautiful 🙂

    A scary idea for the identity, that’s for sure. I met someone recently who ran away from a monastery because he realised what he’d let himself in for! 😀

    Amanda

  15. 15
    Primmie says:

    I should clarify in my comment above that I think it’s ideal to have an abuse free childhood and that if children are protected then they won’t have to go through a long process of re-claiming their self-authority in adulthood. I wish more children had that experience. Hopefully these days people are more willing to out abusers and protect children.

    I’d hate to think that people used the idea of a life contract and the notion that everyone chooses their experiences as an excuse not to intervene when children are being harmed.

  16. 16
    Amy says:

    Haha, hi awesome and lovely Amanda, I see your point! I may be interpreting that wrong, is it a phrase more for people who are hesitant to use deeper (I originally typed deport) perception or meditate, more than what I was thinking?

    Loving how busy the blog is on this topic. Had an essay to due so my two cents were on the back burner there.

    I kinda still see enlightenment as you are still playing your perfect role here on Earth and if that role includes a major scandal that pushes the arch of history (and guru worship) along then that is your role to play. I’m sure Jesus would prefer not to be crucified in the normal sense of things, and it doesn’t do much for others’ perceptions of you if you were a sexually immoral guru but if that’s your role in history…

  17. 17
    Linda Stone says:

    Mike,

    You seem very well read and erudite. You don’t however seem to grasp the concept of energy literacy. You are on the blog of one of the most highly respected teachers of aura reading in the world. She has written the books, “Read People Deeper: Body Language+Face Reading+Auras” and ” Aura Reading Through All Your Senses.”

    I encourage you to read these books. I also encourage you to take some courses in energy literacy. Perhaps then you would then have a true understanding of how Rose obtains her information.

    Casting aspersions on her abilities as an aura reader and a healer without doing the research is unfair and quite frankly, arrogant. You sound like a spiritual seeker who has been disappointed. Welcome to a very large club.

    You have free will, and self-authority to choose what you will. It just sounds like to me that you do not have the information needed to make informed statements nor decisions regarding Rose Rosetree’s work.

  18. 18

    Thanks so much to all who have been commenting here.

    In particular, AMY, I agree so very much with your last paragraph at Comment 16.

    As for you, PAIGE, in recent comments you have just been blossoming!

  19. 19
    Paige says:

    Thank you so much Rose, that means so much to me.

  20. 20
    Mike says:

    Linda Stone

    By Rose allowing me to explore (on this blog) subjects that confuse and confound me, has demonstrated what a truly impressive, gutsy lady she is. She could have easily not posted any of my stuff and suggest we had a private conversation. But instead she chose to put it out for all to see.
    Nothing to hide or apologise for.
    Result = authenticity
    Respect!

  21. 21
    Anita says:

    Mike (and other Blog Buds),

    Comment #20… Agree. Have enjoyed this open forum. Such honesty from you and all others. Incredibly respectful, high-level conversation.

    I know it stretched me emotionally, spiritually, intellectually.

    Nothing to apologize for.

  22. 22
    Anita says:

    Hi Rose,

    Great post. Don’t know how much I can add, really.

    Being a Householder, not a Renunciate, I can tell you that I struggle daily with how to make ethically and spiritually “correct” choices in a very complex world. There are few situations in which I am presented with a clear “right” or “wrong” answer.

    I try to do my best to be of service, to do the right thing, while still also having to manage my own personal needs as a regular human being who needs food, rest, and friendship. Recently, there have been situations in which I found myself struggling to manage my all too human emotions. Even psychiatrists and the Enlightened are not above human matters – and human struggles!

  23. 23
    Anita says:

    I am definitely *not* omniscient. Or psychic.

    While I have never had to deal with the level of fame of the gurus on the Enlightenment List, I do deal with a level of responsibility as a physician who prescribes medications. I try to be appropriately mindful and aware of it, without letting it be a burden to me. Or becoming flippant or casual about it.

    I also find that I still very much need friendships more than ever – imperfect human relationships.

    The other thing that just occurred to me about this entire conversation is that individuals are evolving in consciousness (Householder Enlightenment), but so, too, is collective consciousness evolving in terms of group consciousness.

    Mike, you are raising really interesting questions about the behavior of individuals – but I think what you are really looking at is the impact these individuals had on collective consciousness, on group thought, on societal thinking and change. Society moved forward collectively in thought and behavior because of the behavior of a few, even if that behavior could be deemed “wrong” or ethically unsavory.

    I cringe when I think of how the psychiatrically ill used to be treated – in psychiatric institutions, with lobotomy (the inventor of lobotomy received a Nobel Prize; one of John F. Kennedy’s siblings was treated with a “therapeutic” lobotomy). We learned that lobotomy was not a great treatment, but we learned because some people got lobotomies. It’s horrific.

    Things are not perfect yet for the mentally ill – or for any of us, for that matter – but society is evolving and we are moving forward collectively.

    No longer, for example, is mental illness so stigmatized. Effective treatments are available. Even some celebrities now disclose struggles with mental illness – unheard of in the past.

  24. 24
    Anita says:

    Mike,

    I think you helped this entire blog community evolve collectively with this conversation.

    Look at the amazing-ness that came of all of this.
    Incredible.

  25. 25
    Amanda says:

    Linda Stone,

    “You sound like a spiritual seeker who has been disappointed. Welcome to a very large club.”

    Fabulous wake-up call! Thank you for that.

    Amanda

  26. 26
    Amanda says:

    Amy, I love your comment too.

    Real-life learning goes on!

    🙂

    Amanda

  27. 27
    Somebody Else says:

    Anita, thank you for writing this:

    “I also find that I still very much need friendships more than ever – imperfect human relationships.”

    I’ve been thinking a lot about what you wrote since I first read it a couple of days ago. As someone really struggling with this, it is helpful to me to know that my need for friendship won’t get in the way of enlightenment. Enlightenment doesn’t seem quite so far away, now. Thank you.

  28. 28
    Anita says:

    Hi Somebody Else,

    Comment #27… I’m moved that you found my comment helpful. I haven’t found that being Englightened has made me less human. If anything, I appreciate my friendships even more. I also appreciate all of my other experiences even more.

  29. 29
    Mike says:

    Dear all

    In my mind this discussion had come to an end after a good airing.

    It had obviously not finished with me!

    I was listening to a Rick Archer interviewing Guru Swami G (female American, her path is tantra).
    She is interview no 35 (out of 164) at BATGAP. I thought I had chosen this interview at random! Well into the interview she reveals that part of what lead to her sadhana and awakening was having been raped on “numerous occasions”! But NOT by gurus I hasten to point out.

    Anyway I then decided to check out her website:

    http://www.ashram-annex.com

    Half way down the home page on the right hand side she has a petition, calling for Nithyananda to be brought to justice for sex crimes!

    Below the petition is a quicktime bar where you can ‘listen’ to her very interesting view on the whole subject of guru sex scandals.

    Then if you click on the petition link there is a further video commentary by Swami G.

  30. 30

    MIKE, fascinating. Thank you.

  31. 31
    Amanda says:

    Hello all, I’m coming back to this set of posts having had the opportunity of sinking a little deeper into acceptance around this issue.

    There really are no victims. And if, as Rose so beautifully puts it, God didn’t make no junk, surely this also applies to both the sex drives of men and the emotional connections of women.

    Acceptance makes space for developing discernment, wisdom and plain wariness.

    What we’re really saying here is that the gurus were bad because they hurt women. But men and women are built differently and this story is played out in bilions of households all over the planet. Does that mean most men are by definition bad? Or is there something that needs to be accepted here?

    As a woman, seeing through my illusions of men to the rather more earthy and brutal (but really very truthful) reality is actually incredibly relaxing and takes all pressure off me to submit in any way.

    Education, education, education. Plus some communication, perhaps, and while we’re at it minus a whole slew of expectation 🙂

    Amanda

  32. 32

    AMANDA, wonderful that you have revisited an older topic here at the blog!

    All of us are growing so rapidly, it can be helpful to revisit blog conversations around themes that resonate for us.

    Sadly, I can’t take credit for “God don’t make no junk.” American slang! No credit allowed, any more than you can credit yourself for coining great British words like “Wingeing.”

    Did I spell that correctly? Conceptual onomatopoeia! Now that word isn’t an AMANDA triumph creation, is it? You could have created it, though. 😉

  33. 33

    More about the substance of your comment, seems that you have moved forward in your making contact with objective reality, based on less STUFF within you subjectively.

    Always helpful.

    Personally, here’s how I like to progress in my continuing education on big topics, like:

    * Men interacting with women
    * Spiritual authorities interacting with their students

    For me it is helpful to generalize as little as possible. Brutal? I don’t encounter a lot of brutal that way. Although I do bump into some chunks of compassion.

    AMANDA, you’re an aura reader with Stage Three Energy Literacy. When you can, you might do some research with photos at Facebook or wherever. Make sense?

    One particular relationship, at one time, when I choose to pay attention.

    That helps me much more.

  34. 34

    Small reminder to all you Blog-Buddies who go through this or other posts. We have a contest going currently. You can win an aura reading of the newsmaker of your choice…

    just by adding the largest number of comments between now and May 15, 20013.

    Details here:

    https://www.rose-rosetree.com/blog/2013/04/18/free-aura-reading-contest-for-sex-appeal/

  35. 35

    Our Blog-Buddy DAVID has written a fine article at his blog about Philip Goldberg’s book, “American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation. How Indian Spirituality Changed the West.”

    http://in2deep.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/american-veda/

    A useful perspective for anyone who has studied yoga or meditation.

  36. 36

    There is much that is laudable here, especially the critical view of guru cults and the explanations as to the pressures making gurus go off the rails. Though I do not doubt samadhi experiences, they do not prove to me the doctrines of liberation (that elusive state no one can describe, visualise or find an iota of real, properly tested, proof about).
    I am wondering, does this forum accept critical comments on your own standpoints, Rose, is it really an open forum. BTW, is Rose Rosetree a real name or an adopted one?
    Robert Priddy

  37. 37

    ROBERT PRIDDY, thank you so much for asking if my own personal blog is meant to be a forum for viewpoints that criticize them (or me).

    Not really.

    Nor is it appropriate here for you to make a personal inquiry about my name. BTW.

    You are welcome to add your own perspectives, or viewpoints, on topics under consideration at the blog, so long as you do just that.

    For example, your first paragraph was fine, ROBERT.

  38. 38
    Wendy Wywrot says:

    Dear Rose, i feel so much better about the ‘naughty’ gurus now. your explanation makes so much sense. they brought meditation to the West and yay for that ! and then they helped us to ‘graduate’ by behaving in ways that seemed out of integrity, so that we can grow up and not need a guru anymore. what a job they had to do ! 🙂 thanks Rose for explaining.

  39. 39
    SINDWA KANYIMBA says:

    From your article, I conclude that being enlightened does not make one to be more morally upright and does not build ethic. If so, its of no use and I see no need to pursue practices leading to enlightenment. Most of these gurus were meditators. This to me implies meditation does not make one a better person in society. Why the hype on the benefits of meditation since it does not confer high moral/ethical standards?

  40. 40

    SINDWA KANYIMBA, I’m creating a blog post in honor of this wonderful, provocative, rich question. Thank you for asking.

    Here’s the post you inspired: https://www.rose-rosetree.com/blog/2015/11/21/why-bother-enlightenment-personal-growth-sex-scandals/

    Check back there for answers.

  41. 41
    Dave Ryan says:

    Hello Rose,

    ran across your site today, I too am a past governor, 44 years still doing TM. I havent been in touch with the TM movement for 40 years.

    I actually just wrote a book on perception from life experience, meditation experience, etc. Its on amazon but going nowhere hidden deep under thousands of other published books on meditation.

    Couldn’t figure the right keywords to crack the exposure to TM’ers but I knew it was a joy to write for 2 years: value noted.

  42. 42
    Dave Ryan says:

    Wow after reading your thoughts on sex scandals of gurus, I felt your attachment and loss…as this site seems to be a projection of that realization.

  43. 43
    Dave Ryan says:

    Personally, I was lucky enough to draw knowledge from Maharishi which confirmed what I was already owned.

    I just needed the technique and i was grateful.

  44. 44
    Dave Ryan says:

    At a young age I had insight different from others. My connection was pure to whatever God was.

    To this day I have never needed any group or inspirational advanced lecture to stay on track or one pointed living a righteous lifestyle.

  45. 45
    Dave Ryan says:

    I am not tied to belief or habit. I touch within my intuitions and live through struggle in pre calm.

    I am not grounded or completely established but I am on the fringe with bits and pieces with some aroma of extreme clarity.

  46. 46
    Dave Ryan says:

    I could no longer live the American habit, and chose to live in southeast asia among happier simple minded people 6 years ago.

    Ive always sought peace, beauty, and righteous living. I am no monk or householder, but caught in some frustration between sharing, loving a woman or maintaining my freedom. There is always compromise.

  47. 47
    Dave Ryan says:

    The main reason I am writing to u is this: all belief or opinion is illusion. Even the truth spoken, sung or heard is illusion until its backed by experience of supreme clarity.

    I never felt the need for Maharishi to ever describe the experience of enlightenment.

    I already had it inside as a guide, sooner or later it will be stable as for everyone else: the same is true.

  48. 48
    Dave Ryan says:

    This I know… from direct experience…to talk about it is just silly.

    Too many seekers are seminar sitting their entire lives…eat right, meditate, sleep well and love unconditionally as your habit; you can do no better than that every day

    good Day

  49. 49

    Well, DAVE RYAN, thank you for sharing your perspective here. It’s not every day that an extensive first comment arrives from someone who self-describes as “on the fringe.”

    The style here, at this blog, is to break up excessively long comments in order to make them readable, adding space but not changing anything else.

  50. 50

    Perhaps one reason your book sales have been flat is not about figuring out the right keywords to “crack exposure.”

    I don’t know if anyone has told you this, but book-length writing is not necessarily the way to begin a writing career, and even if it were, it can take any professional writer longer than two years to write a book.

  51. 51

    For me, the process for writing and editing any full-length book has ranged from 3 1/2 to 8 1/2 years.

    And this is for someone who has been involved in writing since age nine; wrote the editorial for her high school yearbook; majored in English literature at college; and has spent years free-lancing articles, with a respectable number of newspaper and magazine credits.

    I’ve also worked in the book division affiliated with Prevention Magazine, contributing to “Fighting Disease.”

  52. 52

    Your gratuitous “analysis” of me in Comment 42 is as innacurate as it is presumptuous.

    Still it takes courage to serve as an Enlightenment Coach. It even takes courage to open up as you have here with such a highly personal first contribution to my blog.

    May you find the readership you deserve!

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