On Spiritual Advices

avi's picture

Average: 4.7 (10 votes)

The following is an amateur translation from Hebrew of three paragraphs from the book "Truth is Bliss" (p. 135-136) by Shlomo Kalo. No translation can convey accurately the special meaning and energy of the original words by this great humble master:

Do not rush to give advices. Advice should be given only to someone who pleads it from you. And then you give him the advice with all humility.

Do not rush to use concepts you haven't experienced. There are books in which realization is described in all its specifications and details and yet the one describing it has never truly experienced it. And suddenly a void is opened wide in that book, some kind of a fathomless descent. Why? - the author of that book has read the scriptures, has understood more or less what it is about, and since all his being is far away from humility and truth - he conveys to the naive reader something he has never personally experienced. It is like a blind from birth that heard a lot about light from various sources and learned it by heart. He almost has an exact description of light without ever seeing light. And if he is irresponsible and reckless - he will take a stroll as if his eyes can see. Somewhere very soon he will stumble and break his neck.

There are spiritual concepts that shouldn't be used as long as you haven't experienced them like experiencing the drinking of tea. As long as you haven't experienced - leave them aside because the usage will drag you forcefully to the "I". In general, when someone gives advice to someone else without being asked specifically - all that he will convey to him is part of his "I". Perhaps with some decorations or without but this will not go beyond the narrow scope of the "I". Perhaps he sees his "I" as less corrupted than of the one who receives the advise against his will. In such a case, he will also not benefit.

AnotherYourself's picture

Yet you do not remain silent

Those who only see the "I" in others will only find the "I" in themselves.

You though, You are my brother, You are my sister, You are my friend, You are my teacher, You are my oracle, You are my healer, You are my path, You are my key that unlocks the door.

It is written in the story of Jesus that he couldn't heal and perform miracles in his home town due to the townspeople seeing him as just the carpenter's son and the child of Mary who was still with them. Though he spoke great words, he was still only that boy. He had to go outside the town to do his works because there was no belief or understanding that he was anything more than what they were.

There are many stories concerning the nature of faith and the power of belief in various religions and schools of thought. The mind has been confused by words such as the ones above to only look for great things in those who have been deemed great by others and who meet the qualifications that have been instilled in that mind. This is a tragedy, for we all are great beings with great abilities.

I believe in my brothers and my sisters. I know your great talents. Your weaknesses are only your illusions. They are not mine. I see beyond your masks. You can not hide from me. I know your magnificence.

I thank you for making me who I am. I thank you for your help along my journey. I thank you for being there to war with me when I needed strength. I thank you for cutting me at the knees when I needed humbling. I thank you for the tears. I thank you for the laughter. Thank you for now.

AnotherYourself | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 05:48
Phroggy's picture


Very nice indeed. Many years ago, I heard something that rang true and has shown itself to be true ever since. "If you're willing to see it, Truth can be found on the back of a cereal box."

The implication is that Truth isn't laying around 'out there' somewhere like some needle in a haystack that we have to find and correctly identify, it's found within, and only when there's the willingness to notice it. This is why when the student is ready the teacher appears, and we are always where we need to be, because our entire experience is created from the inside out. Our search for the right guru is our insitence that this isn't so.

As you beautifully imply, if it's war that stands between me and a greater realization of Truth, it's not time for some elevated Truth to show up..... it's time for war.

Phroggy | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 07:08
dank's picture

silence speaks

silence is the only thing, if can be termed so, left for you to remain in, compassionate silence devoid of illusory words, personal motives, hidden agendas, ego, just stillness.

dank | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 08:56
mbnarayana's picture

silence is the licence to

silence is the licence to god.Great sages were in great silence even for years.They lead their disciples through silence while in meditation

mbnarayana | Mon, 07/20/2009 - 05:48
Tania's picture


Beautiful! It is true.

The impressive sages I have encountered in my life indeed did not rush to vomit their advices and teachings on me. They were still, meditative. It was I who initiated the dialog and asked and pleaded and sweated.

So many preach with such a fake confidence things they have never experienced personally. What a terrible irresponsibility and selfishness!

Those who push to you their beliefs, teachings, opinions - look at their eyes - you will notice that they don't see you at all - it's not your welfare that they are interested in - it's the welfare of their ego they are interested, usually even they are not aware of this.

Remember - People who are barking their teachings in public or giving you in person their opinions without you explicitly asking them - they do not see you at all, you are just an instrument, a means for them to cultivate their ego.

Tania | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 07:25
Phroggy's picture


What would it take for you to forgive them and end your war?

Phroggy | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 10:40
Tania's picture

Why forgive them? thank them!

Why forgive them? we should thank them! why war? These true sages are willing to try to share their true wisdom when pressed hardly out of compassion although they would prefer to stay in their meditative stillness, although they have no self interest or motives whatsoever in doing so and although they know that words cannot convey the truth but only point to it and that most listeners or all will not make the effort to follow the pointer.

Tania | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 12:12
Phroggy's picture


I was referring to those who "vomit their advice, irresponsible and selfish, who use you to cultivate their ego." Such hurt inside of you. Almost everyone means well and intends good just like you.

As far as the sages, the ones who make you plead and sweat are manipulating you for your own good. We only listen to what we value; what we imagine is important and precious, which is why we don't listen to each other here. The sage does not need to leave his stillness to interact with the world. The interaction happens quite spontaneously and effortlessly and is enjoyed. He likely loves to talk about Truth and loves Truth which includes you. He doesn't see that anybody is in danger or that anything has gone wrong. He is, however, hoping that you don't expend effort to follow his pointers. He would prefer that you set mind aside and effortlessly listen with your whole being.

Phroggy | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 18:36
george's picture


Inspiring this text. Through the translation you can still sense the unique fragrance of words of the realized. None of us can really imitate this fragrance.

Thank you avi for the kind effort of translating and thus giving us the opportunity to enjoy some of this wisdom of shlomo kalo.

What he says applies also and mainly to ourselves, all of us, here in the comments and forums. We must, each of us, count to 10 each time we finish writing something and ask ourselves "Have I been completely pure and truthful in what I have just wrote? Is what I wrote based solely on my experience so that I could be 100% sure that I am not misleading anyone else? How much ego-motivation is hiding in what I wrote?" and only then hit the "save" button or not. Otherwise it is not spiritual at all what we do, on the contrary.

george | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 09:37
Phroggy's picture


Not one person here is actually in any danger at all of being influenced by another. It's a rare occurance that anybody even hears what another is saying, much less understands and takes it seriously. Folks see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. If they come to harm, it's not caused by careless words but their own thoughts about them. Say whatever you like, everybody is listening only to their own minds. "Pure" and "truthful" are delusions of dreamers. "Experience" is the experience of a dream and has no validity. It's arrogant to believe anyone can be led or misled.

Phroggy | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 10:52
george's picture


Words have influence and energy and spiritual novice can go astray by reading something that he is not yet capable of evaluating. It happened to all of us. Saying that everyone interprets things his own way is too sweeping and cannot serve as an excuse for not being mutually responsible.

Regarding the nihilistic conclusion from the illusion theory - you are now in the maya but you don't eat poison although you believe it is maya... the same applies to our attitude and responsibility towards others.

We cannot escape responsibility, not only because it practically means that our ego is controlling us and we haven't really grown up spiritually and not only because one who deceives others, deceives himself... we cannot escape responsibility mainly because of the spirit.

george | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 11:20
Omkaradatta's picture


What you call responsibility could also be termed 'karma', and the awakened are certainly outside that framework. They're operating on "response-ability" instead, the ability to respond to the needs of the moment.

The ordinary notion of responsibility is a dream. We can escape any and all self-made prisons, when we realize at last that they are all self-made. We are not bound by the outside world at all, but are free. This idea is sure to frighten many. Freedom is terrifying to most. The idea that you are God, that your destiny is entirely in your hands. Change your Self, and you've changed the world.

Simply let go.


Omkaradatta | Tue, 12/09/2008 - 20:38
shira's picture

Enormous gratitude and respect

I have enormous gratitude and respect to this divine teacher. He gives no discounts or compromises on truth and so it sometimes takes time to absorb and accept his messages, his words should never be taken lightly.

shira | Thu, 12/11/2008 - 15:02
mariposa's picture


There are so many self-appointed cows that desire to give their milk more than the calf wants to suck.

Poor souls, mistaking some neurological event with enlightenment, some understanding with realization, tricked by their minds, they think they arrived while apparently they haven't even started.

Lucky mind and ego, such an easy work they have this time with this dude, a classical trick, he is now completely entangled, no danger of realization.

mariposa | Sat, 01/24/2009 - 01:13
Omkaradatta's picture

Self-appointed cows

> There are so many self-appointed cows that desire to give
> their milk more than the calf wants to suck.

Having more milk available than wanted hardly hurts the calf any. It does give the calf a good excuse to egoically point out the perceived egoic faults of others. "Look at ME, *I* see that this fellow is being egoic!" ;-).

P.S. as there's no neurological event (to my knowledge) that brings (lasting) peace, contentment, joy and happiness, it seems strange that one could mistake such an event for Self-realization. There ARE other self-deceptions available, of course, such as redefining 'enlightenment' to mean whatever is the state of mind of the supposed realizer.

Some will just live on the brief memory of an 'experience' (after which is a return to 'business as usual' suffering-wise), but the memory is enough to deceive oneself. Awakening is not life based on memory, but life that's *non-based* on memory, present-focused and immediate.


Omkaradatta | Wed, 02/04/2009 - 05:03
anony17's picture

Thank You to the Original Poster...

Dear Avi,
I thank you for bringing such a beautiful translation forth. Please do share some more of this sometime...
Love and Blessings,

anony17 | Wed, 02/04/2009 - 08:43