Spiritual Adultery

When one considers adultery, it is usually in the carnal sense, such as in having an adulterous affair. There are other forms of adultery, i.e., psychic adultery and spiritual adultery. Our focus for today is on the latter two. Psychic adultery consists of using occult means to gain control and power over another. For instance, utilizing telepathy, or the ability to manipulate the thoughts of others, especially in an offensive way—implanting a thought of low self-worth or even driving someone to the point of suicide. Mara himself implants such dark thoughts within the unwary soul. Another is the foolish attempt to engage in mediumship, or desiring the communication with spirits. Specifically the use of the Ouija-Board. There are many sad accounts of the devastating results of using such an evil tool, because it opens the door to the portal of dark dimensions–inviting an evil spirit access to one’s mind and spirit. There was once such an unhappy occurrence within my own family. One of my cousins and his wife were engaging in spiritual mediumship—her father was a spiritualist minister. They were reading from a Book of Spirits and there actually manifested in their home an evil presence, they could even see its disembodied feet running across the floor. The spiritualist minister attempted an exorcism but within the ensuing days a tragic event occurred. My cousin and is wife were driving down the Highway on a snowy-slippery day when suddenly their car crossed the median head-on into a coming Tractor-trailer. She was thrown through the windshield as her leg was severed from her body. As her limp and dying body lay on the road her eyes were littered with glass. Soon after her death, my cousin went into a deep depression from which he never recovered. He became an alcoholic and later died very young.

The third kind is known as Spiritual Adultery. This is an exchange of higher spiritual principles (such as in Tathagata-garbha zen) for lower compensations, like a quick spiritual-fix through lesser religious beliefs. Such placing of hope and faith in a divinity will not guarantee positive outcomes, in fact it only creates more unwanted negative karma. It initiates numerous adulterous liaisons within many lesser bhumis. Every living and authentic spiritual tradition worth its salt ought to remain faithful to its original impulse, to the essence and substance of the Principle that it espouses, and to the direct aim that it pursues. In other words, preserving its identity by remaining in earnest during its spiritual quest. I once entered into spiritual adultery against the noble path of Unborn Mind Zen. It was in 2005 when I became enthralled with the deconstructive teachings of one Stephen Wolinsky, a disciple of Nisargadatta Maharaj. I have nothing against Nisargadatta, in fact his work is very insightful, such as his phrase, “I am nothing perceivable or conceivable.” Wolisnsky was taking his teachings to the extreme, so much in fact that it entered into the area of a very dark nihilism. I nearly succumbed to it if it hadn’t been for Tozen’s timely intervention, via throwing me out of his school for a period of time until I regained my proper spiritual-sense and path. Caveat Spiritus—let the spirit beware.

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