The living tradition
Alexander Smit (1948 - 1998)
A good living tradition takes care that the story is told completely. In a living tradition there is at least one person who knows what it is all about to the very bottom. The one who knows can say it. Such a one will not create a new institute with followers and such. He watches over the living insight that makes itself known in someone. And, in the one that is awake there will be no conflict, but also no longing to give lessons or to disseminate something. One can assuredly say that if there is an urge to become a missionary in you, an urge to give lessons, or to express yourself in this area, it is in one hundred cases out of one hundred because you, out of your own insecurity, search for confirmation in your surroundings. Because, if you have realized what it is all about, then that means the end of every desire for recognition. People say: 'Then why do you talk?' What they don't know is that I simply could not open my mouth for the first year and a half. And that I received a definite assignment to do something. That is after all a difference, because you also have to be suitable to do it.
Do understand that self-realization happens often, but whether people have a talent for bringing it over, is another story. It is not so that if you have seen IT that means that you automatically become a spiritual master. No way! Spiritual masters are not made, they are born. Just as musicians are not really made; they are born. The talent is already there, and it is only by means of people who have an understanding of it is that talent is formed and brought out. But, it is always a talent. You can give a monkey piano lessons for as long as you want, it'll never become anything. A monkey remains a monkey. When Jaap van Zweden was still in the cradle his father said: 'This will become a very great violinist.' Not that it all happens by itself - he had to work for it very hard - but the interest, the dynamic, the natural longing was already there.
Self-realization is absolutely realizable for everyone, with no exceptions, but being a guru or a spiritual master is another story! Among all the people who came to Ramakrishna there was only one Vivekananda. He had the energy, everything that was needed to do what he did. There is only one Osho, one Jiddu Krishnamurti. There is not even any place for two Oshos; there is only one Buddha. Existence itself always creates one Buddha, one Krishnamurti, one Osho, one Mahavira, one Jesus. As soon as there is a need, a deep need in existence, then existence satisfies this longing. But according to the tradition there are never more than five top people in the world. When one dies you can expect that within ten or fifteen years another arises somewhere else. That is the self-restoring character of existence. There is also no question of wanting to be such a one. That is just as absurd as asking John Lennon if he wants to be John Lennon. He JUST IS John Lennon. Maybe other people want to be John Lennon, but John Lennon IS John Lennon. Spiritual masters are themselves surprised about their manifestation. One could say that every spiritual master is a 'a freak of nature'. It just came into being out of nature itself, a spontaneous response from existence itself. It is impossible to become something that you are not already. You can imitate, but that isn't it. You can try to set it in scene, it fails! Just as violin players and great singers are not made, spiritual masters are not made. If that ambition is there, it has to do with something else, at least in this area. Because, a good spiritual master does not want anything from you; he does not even want you to become enlightened, because from his point of view you have been that for ages. There is no panic on the side of the spiritual master of: 'Oh my God, that person must be helped because he has so many problems'. No, because then the spiritual master would act as if the student is right. That is absurd! No, the student must orient himself to that other, that is what he comes for. Not everyone comes for the same, I know that, but that doesn't matter at all. Old Chang says that also: 'You say that you want self-realization, but in reality you are looking for a situation where you find a bit of satisfaction, or you want something that makes you feel good'... Old Chang is aware of that. And of course that has also not escaped me in these seventeen years.
What do you do if you notice that?
You just let it happen?
Existence has a need for it. That is why things happen. What is not needed drops away. That is why in the economy and in the world of commercials artificial needs are planted, to sell things. It is different in nature. If there is a need in nature, then it happens. You could say that an event happens only when all the conditions are present. That is why things don't just happen. Which doesn't mean that you should fill it in with magical thinking and call out: 'Oh, thus 'it' has a meaning.' No, I don't mean it that way. I mean something can only happen when all the conditions that allow it to happen are present. Otherwise it cannot happen. It can be very complex, and it can be very simple. Whenever mankind sinks into darkness again, there arises an equal power that creates manifestations, such as people, to restore the balance. That is the self restoring balance. That is the natural strength of the order of things. It is no personal force! Remember that! I am only a very small mechanism, a little wheel in the great whole of existence. Just as you are. I cannot exist without you. In a certain sense I exist and find happiness in what I myself say because this all is. An Osho or a Krishnamurti can only exist because there is a deep longing for Truth. An Osho had to come because there were so many people with that longing. He could come because a sort of gap occurred in reality. All the conditions were present. The chance that an Osho will come now is much smaller. You have been through it and have either plucked its fruits or not. People have to wait a while now. Something like that does not just happen.
Understand well that existence is self-supportive. A Hitler can only exist if all the conditions for his manifestation are present. Fascism can only occur if all the conditions for fascism are present. This holds for all happenings. Becoming pregnant can also only happen if all the conditions are present. I know of no happening whatsoever that is not the result of the fact that all the conditions for it are present. That is also true for spiritual teachers and all the other chatterboxes. [.]
(From 'Het Onmiddellijke Zien' (The direct Seeing) by Alexander Smit (1948 - 1998): published by Altamira, 1999, pgs. 150 - 153, by permission of the Advaita Foundation.)
[selection by Belle Bruins]