In every tradition, saints and poets speak of the soul’s search for the Beloved, the seeker’s yearning for the divine. This holy longing is a secret feeling with many disguises, leading us to pursue a higher union in spiritual practice, religious discipleship, even romantic embrace. It guides us to timeless wisdom and transcendent experiences. But it also can go awry if we misplace it onto food, alcohol, drugs, or sex. Or if we project it onto an authoritarian teacher, priest, guru, or roshi who abuses power. Thereby, we encounter darkness on the path. Many renowned teachers, past and present, have labored under these projections—and acted out their shadows in destructive ways, leaving their followers traumatized and lost.
Whether the abuse is sexual, financial, or emotional coercion, we feel the shock of betrayal, our innocence is lost, and our faith is shaken. The resulting spiritual disillusionment, Dr. Zweig suggests, does not take us off the path, but is a crucial part of the spiritual journey and can lead us through the narrow gate back toward the light.
The views expressed in this program are those of the presenter/s and do not necessarily represent the views of the Theosophical Society in America, its members or its affiliates.