Steele Creek Park, COE Camp, Whitney, TX—As I read Seth Godin’s article, Transparent or translucent?, it immediately struck me that transparency is a prevalent problem with spiritual leaders: To their fans and followers, they are almost exclusively translucent (glowing, larger than life) while remaining almost completely un-transparent (not open or revealing about their personal lives).
More below the break (huh?).
The Opaque Teachers
I’ve touched on this topic before (Why Don’t Enlightenment Teachers Blog?), but Godin’s last paragraph really hit home:
But the brands and experiences and legends that lead to stories and affection and connection–it would be better if they glowed instead.
The problem though, is that with any leader (spiritual, political, military or civilian hero), the person is the product. We aren’t buying some thing they are selling, we are, in essence, buying them. We are buying their life as a role model.
The public yearns for their heroes to glow: “Don’t give us the messy details about your personal life, give us the fantasy, your stage persona. We don’t want to see the ugly, real you.”
But I can’t/won’t do that. Unlike almost all the spiritual teachers out there, I simply refuse to only give you half the story. To just sit and glow and tell you what you want to hear.
Both Sides Of The Coin
I’ve got to be transparent. Not because I have any attachment to full disclosure, but because when I was a spiritual seeker, I wanted desperately to find someone who was authentic. Someone who demonstrated that they walked the talk—and didn’t just parrot it.
Translucent and transparent. It may not make me popular, but I hope it makes me real. I hope it makes me believable.
I hope it shows you that it is possible to be awake and still function in the world.
I hope it gives you hope.
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