ROCK HOUND SP, NM—One of the reasons I don’t trust authority, why I don’t believe all the stories of people long dead, why I don’t take seriously the parroted comments or teachings of theoretical nondualists, is because—for the most part—they are not (or were not) transparent about their lives.
Wouldn’t it have been great to read the diary of Buddha, Mohammed, or Jesus?
“Today, I stubbed my toe, swore in anger, and took the Lord’s name in vain. Moments later, an earthquake destroyed the temple. Must be more mindful of my emotions.”
Wouldn’t that be awesome? Wouldn’t the diaries of any great leader, spiritual or otherwise, be of profound use to their followers, students, or historians?
Wouldn’t those diaries make the authors much more believable? Much more relate-able? Much more human?
Today—with the Internet and free blogs—there is only one reason for someone who proclaims themselves to be a spiritual authority not to have an online journal: They aren’t living authentically.
In other words, they are lying by omission. They aren’t walking their talk. They are deceiving their readers/students because they want to appear more spiritual than they actually are.
Think about it: Their personal self/story means nothing to them. Why not share it?
Many spiritual authorities have teaching websites that they call blogs, but few have authentic, personal blogs about their day-to-day life.
It is easy to put on a stage presence. It is easy to talk spirituality.
We all know how the mind works—how theories often become indistinguishable from truths—but isn’t it about time we start asking our spiritual teachers to demonstrate that they are more than just theory, more than just “words that make sense” and start asking them to share their personal lives so that we may see for ourselves how a truly advanced personality functions in this challenging world?
Wouldn’t you be more ready to take the advice of your pastor or priest if they posted an online diary about their challenges?
Wouldn’t you be more likely to take seriously a remark from a commenter critical of an online post who demonstrates that they live in harmony with what they are commenting about and are not just parroting something someone else said?
I strive to practice what I preach. This blog is about exactly that. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, I slip, backtrack, revise, and I forget things. So what? I’m human (sort of).
Personally, I don’t want to live my life as a hypocrite—or worse, die as one—so I strive for transparency in my blog. I don’t want to preach A while living B.
If you consider yourself a spiritual student or authority, even if you have no interest in becoming a teacher, I strongly urge you to start a blog, or if you have one, to intersperse your “teaching posts” with personal posts. You’ll be amazed at how humbling and eye opening the experience can be.
Become transparent. Show the world you walk your talk—and when you don’t, what went wrong. Show the world your flaws.
But the most powerful aspect about blogging about your personal life is that it throws your actions right back in your face. Personal blogging makes you very conscious of the difference between your theories… and your actions.
Personal blogging forces you to live true.
And to live true—isn’t that what a spiritual life is all about?
UPDATE: This post led to my own Journal Experiment, and follow-up excerpts from my personal journal.
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