One there was a great hatha yogi named Bikram Choudhury. He created an amazing exercise system, and people flocked to him. He began to imagine that he was a great spiritual leader, above ordinary morality, and used his followers for sex, and power, and money. His followers, equally blinded by ego, excused his actions to remain close to him. Eventually, he spiraled into self-destruction as accusations of rape and abuse flooded in, and he fled the country.
I do not know what really happened to him. But if we look at the list of endless men and women who have achieved power without grace, been corrupted by their own influence we can extract a central story:
Once upon a time there was a boy who simply wanted to be avoid pain and gain pleasure, like all of us. By working very hard he found a path with heart, and others asked him how they could walk it. And offered him both gems and fool’s gold to teach or display. The gems they scattered on the path, and he could gather them while walking on. The fool’s gold he would have to leave the path to gather.
He chose the fool’s gold of thinking that he was what they admired. It was never him. It was the path. He stepped off the path to gather the “gold”. It dissolved in his hands, and when he looked back…the path was gone.
There was another boy who wanted to avoid pain. He worked very hard, and created a path others coveted. They offered him gems and fool’s gold, but he knew that anything he had to gather by stepping off the path was not worth it.
Nothing: not abusive power, wealth beyond need, or sex without caring or respect could possibly be worth the cost. So he stayed on the path, even though it SEEMED that others were further along if they chased the fool’s gold, he knew that that was an illusion, that he had but one goal:
To walk the path opened by the child in his heart. And that, at the end of the path he would meet his elder self, who would ask: “what is true?” with only one meaningful answer: “love.”
And that nothing anyone could offer him would be worth stepping off the path, or forgetting the final destination.
Hungers are good when your belly is empty, but a disease once it is full.