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Spiritual Seduction

In the silent movie days, they used to call it "It," and if somebody had "It," you knew it—and make no mistake, usually so did they.

I was traveling in England with my friend, actor/director John Newland, who had sixty-five years of show business in his blood. We stopped in Glastonbury, a spiritual hot spot, where we met with a famous spiritual teacher in a tiny little dark pub. He entered like a rock star. The room seemed to light and glow. Was it his aura? I wondered. John leaned over and muttered, "He's certainly got a 'Big It: The phrase made it just a little harder to think we were all quite so spiritual.

Since then I have met a lot of spiritual people with a Big It. Maybe you have met a couple too. Rudolph Valentino, move over. I will give you soulful, meaningful looks and deep, burning eyes. I will give you smoky promises of union—with God, of course. They are just the stand-in, but they'll do in a pinch. Or a "spiritual" hug.

The Swoon Factor can get pretty high around some spiritual teachers. There is something pretty addicting about the Meaningful Glances and the Come Hither, Child embraces. I'm not saying it's sexual—all right, sometimes it is—more often it has more to do with Yearning. It's sort of a spiritual game of hard-to-get. You want me, you can't have me, God's got me, Om Mani Padme Om . . . which can sound an awful lot like na-na-na-na-na-na.

I'm not saying that the spiritual life is all smoke and mirrors, but I do think the boundaries get a little hazy I do think the hottest thing about some fire walks is the teachers. And this is where I get into trouble; I think of some of these spiritual Svengalis as spiritual gigolos. I have watched a lot of good people get separated from their good money to support them. Energy is seductive and spiritual adulation is no exception. Maybe I lived too long in Hollywood, where there were a lot of Big Its, but to me the sexual slips of the gurus seem less shocking than they do inevitable.

Noble spiritual seekers have the same Ravish Me, Master willingness as a starlet with a star director. Lots of gurus have a sweet tooth and they've also got a candy store.

Excerpted from God is No Laughing Matter – pg 176-7