There is a book I was reading, its called A Crash Course in Enlightenment by Tijn Touber, who regularly writes articles for the monthly magazine Happinez. You’d be right to notice a few immediate spiritual red flags — crash course, enlightenment, journalist, hip magazine title — and to be honest it’s not a very good book. It does raise an interesting question though, what is the spiritual person like who has given up seeking?
He mentions a few people as examples of his ideal: Robert Muller (a high-ranking diplomat at the UN), Piero Ferrucci (a psychotherapist in the psychosynthesis movement), Aqeela Sherrills (an american specialising in bringing peace to neighbourhoods suffering with gang violence). All of whom seem successful, accomplished, people who bring consensus, health, and peace. This ends up being Tijn’s vision of what a person who has given up on seeking can contribute.
Tijn used to be a musician and was reasonably succesful, until one day he gave it all up and started searching for enlightenment. After fourteen years of searching (and interviews), he woke up one morning and thought, if I haven’t become enlightened by now I never will be, and he joined the ranks of those who hold ‘we are already enlightened’. He gave up meditation, seeking and abstinence. And instead of being disillusioned he started talking about his journey.
It seems to me he is not entirely wrong. The Zen Peacemakers founder Bernie Glassman was also an engaged buddhist who accomplished much, one can take one’s buddhism and do a lot of good. But I don’t think Tijn is entirely right either, in that he still seems very concerned with the world, not far on the path of letting go. I don’t think he has reached the point where his vibration will be helping lots of others just by his existing. Perhaps at his level his answer is right.
It is said that even a bad spiritual teacher is better than none at all.