N 131.– False Spiritual People
One day, Master Santiago travelled to Rosario driven by car by his friend Carlos Plus, staying by night at Pascual Agueci’s home, to deal with certain subjects with a group of Cafh’s Superiors. Soon after being present at such meeting, he got out visibly irritated: “¡Let’s go”, he said getting in the car. On the way, some few blocks later, turning to the back seat, he said to Pascual, also a very friendly contributor: –See Pascual, I do not come back any more to Earth, but if I should come back for a work, I won’t make it with saints, but with gunmen!–. In two different places, I have heard this story from these two friends.
Religions, Sects, Esoteric Orders, Congregations, Monasteries, Convents and Ashrams, clubs of friends, civilian groups, and modern society in general are full of false spiritual people that are patently showing an image over their own personality. This is a psychological phenomenon from the nights of the times. Jesus protested against hypocrites that occupied the best places in the Temple, displaying sumptuous attires and jewels. The Molière’s Tartuffe points out a character of the French bourgeoisie, repeated everywhere until our days. Farmers, workmen and poor persons living on their own world do not display such signs of simulation, but those who are in search of a position beyond their personal reality feign spirituality in relation to religion, literature, arts, and charities. Most Foundations establish by their regulations charities as a practice, but their function is to keep and protect economic assets. False spirituality has long history in unoccupied persons willing to be included in society; they live pending on what people would say.
Modern city life is externally demanding, not only as to clothes, cars and the street where these persons stay, but also on activities giving sensible mood benefits, and particularly an outstanding position. If these persons attend to poetry and painting programs, walk through art exposition salons, take part in lectures and group meetings, charity teas, visits to temples, and other frivolous activities of cultural tourism, they are considered very spiritual, understanding spirituality by a higher alternative than economic tasks.
Here is an ordinary type of spirituality related to culture and social competition. Its importance is lesser as to personal development because is superficial and does not go beyond the skin. It is an entertainment; it covers empty hours that need be filled with visible activities. In Buenos Aires, Kier Bookstore, specialized on this literature, ever has a big number of persons searching esoteric books and brochures displayed at the shop window and shelves. It is like a mind disease in vogue, which persists and grows up being promoted by radio and TV. Even there are international channels dedicated to spread spirituality by means of information, places, meditation forms, and preaching about prestigious sects. As in olden Roman days and their journeys to Greek and Egyptian temples, nowadays spiritual “tours” to famous temples are promoted. Even there are renovated excursions in the old style by the route to Santiago, on the North of Spain. Here, in Argentina, for certain date, the Late Correa calls to thousand pilgrims of the whole country to her grave. The Church arranges pilgrimages to Luján, Itatí in Corrientes, and other holy places. Needless to speak of Sundays in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican, with thousands of tourists and curious people everywhere, or journeys of the Pope abroad.
The most powerful and strongest sources of such type of spirituality come from heresies and deviations from great religions, far away from doctrine and traditions. Particularly in America, it is like a flood of new groups and sects disseminating with much vigor some idea about Jesus, Salvation, Paradise, Krishna, the Buddha, Kabbalah, or the end of the world. In our country, magazines offer the weekly horoscope according to diverse currents, and newspapers publicize commercially Peruvian healers, Brazilian sorceresses, fortunetellers, and several activities related to false spirituality. Likewise in Mendoza, hundreds of Yoga professors lead meetings, teach and grant diplomas for opening similar centers. Meanwhile, Churches, Synagogues and Mesquites are almost empty.
This range of activities mentioned above are closely relate to economic benefits. In North America, millionaire Pastors and good orators by TV and radio know quite well the preaching art. Alan Watts has written funny pages about these personalities, and one time he said: “One should not take a bath with the word water”. For a bath one needs water, and a spiritual person needs certain qualities, an authentic way of living, and a permanent vocation to express himself/herself entirely.
Many times we have said things about false spirituality, but nothing about true spirituality. As in previous Reflections, our sayings are supported by ideas that have been expressed or suggested by the Teachings, though they are not specifically dedicated to the subject. From the study of them, one can rather observe an emanation of some kind sprouting from ideas like the fragrance of the flower. Spirituality is poetry expressed by those persons who are integrally living, whatever be the level of their affections and things they are making.
It is easy to notice spirituality in a being because he is an arrow going directly from soul to soul, without any artifices; the inner contact is spontaneous, direct and fast, even when there were no words or relationship. It is a permanent, continuous emanation, without explanations, that such person possesses even being alone. Perhaps it is in silence and quietness when it is better manifest. Spirituality is rare in our present society overwhelmed by unsatisfied desires, competitions with neighbors to climb the scale of social positions, selfishness, and lack of attention, by the street, in business, work, and home. As soon as you have a passing meeting with a spiritual person, there is a sincere approach and an abstraction from the environment. As a spiritual being is walking by the street, he expresses a superior life that is touching his neighbors and giving them his qualities as a gift. Here is the key to spread the Renunciation Message, bringing about the wave by similarity with those who are similar to him.
Gandhi’s spirituality was recognized even by his enemies –the English. Experts of political defamation never could touch personal and civilian virtues of the Indian leader. Gandhi perfected himself gradually as the time passed by, though much earlier he displayed the integrity of his temperament tested by political fights for the freedom of his motherland, in prison, with fasts, through speeches, and in his relations with the people. On the thirties he went to the United Kingdom to confer with English politicians. After an invitation from the King for a tea at palace, Gandhi went wearing his simple pariah clothes, sandals, and a blanket. His courtesy was exquisite, though he was small, toothless, and not physically attractive. The King appeared wearing military gala uniform as Emperor of India and his chest covered over with medals. After this meeting, as he went out of palace, the English asked if he felt to have attended with scarce clothes, and the Master replied: “The King was wearing those clothes that I lacked”. Before such formidable dialectics, the newspapermen left. After the war, he granted independence to India, the English left, he was assassinated, and the world takes him as the best politician of the Modern Age. His work is the fruit of his spirituality. Today, India is a great nation, over its oppressive power –as great as India ever was.
And now another example because spirituality is so difficult, so subtle, –being variable, alternative and ever creative. Even if this method is not perfect, it helps the reader understanding and coming near by imitation.
Spiritual life is to embellish every hour of the day. I ever remember an elder woman, widow and mother of many children, and with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was staying alone at the family house, humbly, but with all those things she needed. Her garden was spacious and cared by herself, with many flowers… and roses climbing by the wall: cream-colored santa-rita flowers, a little snow-flake tree, and many flower pots on yards and within. The house was ever neat like her. He read romantic stories and made clothes for the family, and knitted pullovers and sweaters by machine. As he rested at her easy chair, was knitting with long needles small light blue and pinky jackets and socks for babies, and enveloped them with cellophane. As she had a pair of dozens, alone and slowly she went to Murialdo Church and left the bag with her offering into a donation basket by the gate. She did not get in, and came back in the same way to start a new kit of woven material. Her friends ever considered her a balanced woman that conveyed an exemplary spirituality. I knew her personally –she was my mother.
José González Muñoz