I was talking with my class about this earlier today. Spirituality is between you and the creator. Any human being, even the most saintly among them is going to have imperfections. Don’t get me wrong, there are some damn good humans out there but each one of them has the same temptations and struggles that you do with your mind. The only difference is that exceptional humans bring a courage to life that allows them to conquer the vicissitudes of their minds and stay centered on a single path.
“It’s not the life that matters, it’s the courage you bring to it.” –Yogi Bhajan
The trouble is when we see someone great, we want to idolize them. We want to put them on a pedestal and make gods of them. The truth is, just like any deity, a god-like person is merely a symbol for what you too are capable of. But as we go through life, we meet people we look up to and it’s natural to project onto them an air of perfection. Thats where the danger comes in. If you put too much on a person, they’re gonna dissapoint you. In fact that is a universal rule about expectations. If you have expectations, especially about how another person should behave, you’re going to become frustrated when they don’t act as you expect. Think about the last time you got angry with someone. Chances are it’s because they didn’t act in the way that you expected them to.
If you remember that they are just a man or just a woman first, and that your experience of them is actually your projection, then you can appreciate them, even be inspired by them and hold them in high esteem.
This sounds like common sense, but it’s a trap that many including myself, have fallen into. It’s a byproduct of duality. We need contrast and since most of us beat ourselves up over our imagined shortcomings, which we know so well, we look outside for something better because our imperfections are so apparent to ourselves. Not idolizing those who inspire you comes when you like yourself a little bit; when you can forgive yourself your apparent shortcomings. It’s only in knowing yourself that you can have the courage to forgive the shortcomings of others– even your heroes.