– quoting Jed McKenna –
If vampires really walked the earth there would be teachers and classes where you could signed up if you wanted to become a vampire yourself, as, I suppose, some people would. If the teacher were a vampire himself, he might just bite everyone and swap fluids or whatever and presto change-o, they’re all vampires. But if the teacher were just a regular human and not really a vampire, then you might find him handling down specific rules for his students to follow: Don’t go out in the sunlight; Don’t eat garlic; Don’t drink holy water; Don’t drive wooden sticks through your heart, and so forth. And vampires wanabees would stand in line and pay their money to hear it. They would return to their lives and struggle to follow their teacher’s instructions in the hope that, by doing so, they would eventually achieve vampirehood.
But, as we all know, that’s not how to become a vampire, that’s how to play a fantasy. If you just want to be happy and acting like a vampire makes you happy, then super, that’s definitely the thing to do. But, if you want to become a vampire, then wearing black and getting your canines sharped isn’t going to do the trick.
Can we realize our Buddha nature by conducting ourselves in a Buddha-like manner?
Among the spiritual movement it is quite impressive to see amount of things people do to make believe they are the thing they hope to become. There’s no point in acting like someone who is already where you want to be, the point is to get there yourself and then pick up all the sagely characteristics free and easy.
The misconception about mimicking enlightenment as a way of becoming enlightened can be seen everywhere. If you want to be an enlightened guy -the thinking goes- act like an enlightened guy.
In many religions, it’s the belief that if you want to be Christ-like, then you should act more like Christ -as if the way to become something is by imitating it. If you want to be an enlightened person, the thinking go you should act like an enlightened person. Once you’re able to recognized this fallacy, you’ll be amazed by how common it is. There are many by-products of enlightenment, but cultivating them, no matter how devoutly, would never actually bring about enlightenment. It’s easy to look at an enlightened guy and say “Hey! He only eats rice. We must only eat rice if we wish to attain Nirvana!” But, of course, that’s not true.