People have a natural inclination to make superheroes out of mere humans. In the United States, we throw around the titles of guru, wizard, and other titles all the time. Be wary of people putting you up on a pedestal!
I will never forget when I was teaching a group of people how to do lovingkindness meditation, as described in the My Words section in Meditating and Coming Across Colder Than Ice. During my journey of trying to explore the limits of mental abilities and investigations into psychic claims, I came across a group of practicing neopagans that were true believers in psychic phenomena. They were interested in my meditation practice. So, I taught them my practice of unconditional-love / lovingkindness meditation.
After I led them through a meditation session, one gentleman exclaimed with genuine surprise “My fever broke!” This surprise was shared by me on a few levels. One, I never claimed I could cure the sick. The other is that I hadn’t known I was meditating with someone who was sick!
From what everyone was saying, these people were experiencing positive results. Meditation made quite a strong impression on them! Since it was part of their religious practice to visualize images in their minds and they were open minded, it was particularly easy for this group of people to do well in this particular practice of meditation. This meditation practice included imagining a white loving light within oneself. Conjuring up such an image and focusing on it was quite easy for them.
This group often met at a particular person’s house. Let’s call her Sarah. It’s safe to say that if I had to pick one person who was the leader of this group, it would have been Sarah. However, there was no formal leader. At the same time, there was talk about forming a formal church.
During my visits, I inquired about psychic powers and other related powers that the Neopagans believed in. It turned out that the psychic powers were all things that could easily be explained away. As one of Sarah’s younger kids put it, “I was really hoping to see someone fly.” No flying and no scientifically measurable psychic powers like telekinesis were to be seen.
One time Sarah had her twelve year old daughter share a drawing that the daughter had made about me. It was a stick figure with seven colored circles on various parts of the stick figure’s body. There was also a purple ring on the stick figure’s forehead. Sarah said she hadn’t asked her daughter to make the drawing.
“But, look!”, Sarah said. “This chakra there on the picture is associated with the libido and it looks blocked!”, she says with a mischievous grin. “Out of the mouths of babes! I can help you with that.”
Now this is interesting, I thought to myself. A twelve year old did a chakra diagnosis on me and her mom says my libido needs to be unblocked. Awkward! I learned soon later that the mom wanted to have sex with me. I also learned that the purple ring on the forehead signified me as a spiritual leader. Other members also shared that they wanted me to lead them as part of their new church.
I graciously declined the honor of leading their church as well as having sexual intercourse with Sarah. Although I believed their sincerity, I knew that it would not be good to be a leader of something I did not believe in. Also, I’ve heard how cults can go sour quickly.
To be clear, it’s totally possible Sarah and the others believed in what they said. If one believes something strong enough, it is the reality that they are working from. Plus, there is real power in meditation. There are tangible gains to be had by practicing it. All that combined can be a powerful punch to the mind and boom! As a result, you might get requested to be the next spiritual leader.
With such power, comes great responsibility. Sometimes, the responsible thing is to say, “No, thank you.”