You Bastard!

I sometimes enjoy reading the comments on the websites of really solid spiritual teachers like Ram Dass. Other times, it drivesyou bastard me crazy because my silliness threshold is reached. Often when I do read them, there are several comments that go something like this: “Your teachings aren’t worth anything because when I didn’t listen to them very carefully and took only a snippet of them I found it didn’t work, so I am going to do exactly the opposite of whatever you suggest, you dirty bastard!” Most of the time I just feed sad for those people. They think they are open to new ideas, but in truth they are very closed.

Buddhism posits three basic personality types: greed, hatred, and delusion. In the realm of spiritual teachings and spiritual students, the greed type thinks “this is great, I wonder how I can get more of this. Maybe I can even get the teachings for free if I kiss up to the teacher or hack the website!” The delusional type says, “Oh I just love this person’s teachings because he was enlightened after studying for a week and a half – they must be the best teachings ever!” The hatred type thinks, “What does this clown know? They once got in a car accident and I heard they pass gas. No way can there be anything good here. My uncle Fred was a bastard just like this guy!”

When we come across a teaching or teacher we don’t like, we can just set it aside and move on. If we come to see we don’t like much of anything that anybody says, we might want to take a look inside ourselves for the source of the problem!

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