How do the enlightened masters suppress all desire, aversion, and delusion, when these are part of all humans?
This is a great question. A lot of people get confused with this.
Suppression, for the most part, is not going to happen. That effort would require a ‘Mego’ or ego. Enlightened people, masters or not, don’t have enough ego left to suppress anything. For the good or bad.
Now desire, aversion, and delusion still occur. Enlightenment is not a state where human foils don’t occur. That in itself is a delusion, a major delusion! But perhaps it is better to say that it is a misunderstanding of what Enlightenment really is. There are a lot of projections about the Enlightened experience. Enlightenment is a very loaded, confusing word. But there is a real experience, and we can use the E word, or Awakening into our true nature to describe it.
Desire for an Awakened or Enlightened person usually comes from a different place that we are familiar with. Instead of the usual desirous “need”, it feels like an authentic inspiration with only a soft sense of motivation. It doesn’t feel “graspy” or like you will finally gain something you feel you are missing. Desires are usually full of excitement because they feel like you will get something from them like fame or power, wealth, attention, love. Instead, desire for an Awakened person is a simple movement, like a soft, clear, exhale.
Aversion is most often seen as aversion to body, or to money, or to relationship. These often show up as choices, rather than painful aversions, or options that seem uniquely right or intelligent for some Awakened persons, for some points in their lives. For example: a choice to remain celibate might seem like an aversion, or for many teachers, for instance, Ramana Maharshi, they decide to be unavailable to the needs of their body for a time, and we might call that an aversion to the body.
Delusion is rather common—frankly if you throw a dime in the air it will land on a spiritual teacher who is totally delusional. It’s so common because an Awakened person can use all this heightened or intensely effortless presence or energy to entrance themselves and others. It has immense power and charisma, perhaps similar to what we project on celebrity. It can used to kind of override common sense, and obvious clarity. In all this heightened energy an Awakened being can miss subtle pain bodies influencing their choices. For example, there are teachers who don’t pay their staff, or don’t treat them with respect, instead they use this energy to influence devotion. Or teachers use the charisma of this energy to sexually or otherwise overpower others using the stillness or presence to excuse violent or corrupt behavior. For others it can be simply the delusion of how Awake to true nature they really are.
It is much more rare to find teachers who are not delusional. To find them you have to look for how transparent, and clear their actions are, and their sense of integrity. It’s good to look at their sexual conduct, and financial accountability, and how they function in the world. But even then it can be hard to spot. Jesus is said to have angry rages at the drop of a hat, and to apparently throw expensive perfumes on his feet, and I feel like there was real integrity to those movements and to that teacher. So really you have to use your gut, and trust your own discernment of integrity. There are some teachers who have good integrity, and overall it’s good practice to not get lured into all that entrancing energy.
Are there enlightened people who don’t believe in reincarnation?
Good question! The answer has a lot to do with the word believe. There is not a lot of things an Awakened person leans to belief for. It becomes much less important than direct experience. But lets tackle this question head on…
No such thing as reincarnation?
An Awakened person sees through the illusion of time, as in completely seen through. When you see through time, ironically you sense many, if not all, the lifetimes you have lived. An Awakened person can see through the veil of separate self in most of its incarnations of self. For some Awakened persons its very clear, it feels much the way you would remember your prom or your favorite friend in grade 5. Its easy to recall those time periods.
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