Karma & the Immoral
You may have downloaded my 2008 Insight Magazine article,
Cult or Consciousness: A Global Ultimatium,
if you physically subscribed to my newsletter.
If you hadn’t, grab it here now.
Have you read it? Did you recognise
that some of the trends mentioned in that article
are now taking shape in the world, especially in the USA?
— And we are not yet done with this Paradigm —
This is Part Two of several installments … Big paradigm!
Voyager’s surprising capture of Pluto for NASA/JPL — A Heart! Who knew!
The Capricorn-Pluto Paradigm
—10 Years On—
Religious Leaders & Ethics
While the combination of Pluto and Capricorn frequencies has been driving us to find security through ethical and responsible behaviour, and quickly zapping us with the consequences when we don’t, we have been witness to a parade of revelations about people in power and public life.
It has not only been in the arenas of politics and business that unethical behaviour has been oozing up from the slimy depths. Religious institutions have been getting a whack from this, as well, even though the big public exposés regarding the Catholic Church really began during the previous Sagittarius-Pluto paradigm, which highlighted the religious (Sagittarian trait) significance of these horror stories. But it is this present paradigm where the consequences are being met, and in a very public way.
Firstly, the past horrendous abuse of young boys, and some girls, within the Christian Churches, even from decades ago, has been showing up more prominently during this Capricorn-Pluto era. And recently, Australian Cardinal George Pell‘s controversial case has been particularly shocking due to his high ranking in the Church. (2021 Note: Cardinal Pell has since been exonerated of his presumed sexual abused crimes, but has since become embroiled in the financial scandals of the Vatican.)
And secondly, this has not been restricted to Christians. I have witnessed the disgrace of one of the the Tibetan Lamas I had studied with for years, after it was revealed that he was leading an illicit quadruple life with several young women (‘consorts’) as well as his legal wife. (He had slipped himself up, by mistakenly sending an inappropriate text message to an unsuspecting nun!)
I had been stunned to hear of the scandals concerning this Buddhist teacher, and especially of his lack of regret. Even though I had not personally suffered any abuse at all, there were several women—each sworn to strict secrecy!—who had been engaging in sexual ‘Tantric Practices’ with this same Lama, each thinking she was the ‘chosen one’.
Young women can be impressionable, and are easily confused by male Authority (Capricorn reference) when in such company, especially in the uncharted waters of spiritual development, and spiritual ritual (Capricorn reference).
Some students have continued to support the Lama, while a number of his many centres have now been closed. And some of his centres’ Buddhist nuns have chosen to rejoin secular life. Who can blame them?
As for me, the sickening shock had caused me to shut anything Tibetan out of my life for several years—not that the Tibetans are to blame for this!—with Kuan Yin (a Chinese Deity) as my lifeline to the authentic Buddhist ideal. (Fortunately, I’ve had a number of ancient Buddhist lives in several other cultures to fall back on.)
And then there is the very public Sogyal Rinpoche case. After decades of sexual scandal, the once highly respected Tibetan Lama, best-selling author (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, 1992), and one-time film actor (‘Little Buddha’, 1993), has finally resigned from the Rigpa organisation he’d founded in 1979.
Here is a Tricycle article about the mass after-effect from Sogyal’s resignation, from a psychological point of view.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has publicly condemned Sogyal Rinpoche’s behaviour, on a number of occasions, and deeply regrets the effect this has been having on the reputation of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. Though, he has remarked that this type of abuse of spiritual power has been happening in many types of religious institutions around the world.
His Holiness has also reminded us that the Buddha had always stated that He was not to be ‘followed’, that we should not surrender to His Teachings or authority, but find our own way by questioning everything. The Buddha (and those who represent His Teachings) is merely a guide, a mentor, in our own pursuit of Enlightenment.
And in this context, we should not ultimately give away our spiritual power to any religious leader, despite especially the ancient traditions of the Tibetan Vajrayana, which I feel Western Dharma students have never been ready for—culturally, intellectually, or psychologically.
The Infallibility of Karma
In another, perhaps more fascinating, case in 2011—also during this Capricorn-Pluto era—a young 21-year-old Tibetan incarnate, Kalu Rinpoche, confessed before a group of his students, that he had been sexually abused at a monastery, by some of his monk teachers, when he was twelve years old. This was a shocking revelation for the Tibetan Buddhist community of the world.
But the reason this is such an interesting case is that we know who his previous incarnation had been: His Eminence Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, a high Tibetan Lama in the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
So I reasoned that for the present young Kalu Rinpoche to have attracted and suffered such abuse, and at a young age, there must have been some sort of a karmic cause for that in his previous life.
Karma is indeed infallible—but it is important to be aware that karma is not a ‘punishment’. Rather, it is a reflection of the conditions in one’s own mindstream and, hence, brain. This is a significant distinction. (More on this in my forthcoming book, You Will Reincarnate—read the Preface here on this site.)
The previous Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche had a Scottish translator for many years, who was a nun in the same Kagyu Tibetan tradition. As June Campbell, having returned to secular life, she wrote a book after Kyabje Kalu’s death, Traveller in Space: Gender, Identity and Tibetan Buddhism, in which she confessed that even though she had consented, she had been coerced into a sexual relationship with His Eminence under the guise of a spiritual Tantric Practice. She now recognises this for the abuse that it was.
And so, three years after the Capricorn-Pluto paradigm began, the young Kalu Rinpoche, the direct reincarnation of His Eminence Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, not only announced to a private group in France, but also announced to the world via a public YouTube video, that he had been sexually abused in the monastery as a child.
This took a great deal of courage for a young man to admit. And we have no way of knowing how much he may remember of his previous life, and how much he may regret its circumstances and its results. But it has certainly cemented his compassion for those who have suffered similar abuses.
More recently, there is also the case of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the head of the Shambhala organization in the U.S., and the son of controversial Tibetan Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa who had died in 1987 at the age of 48 due to liver failure from alcohol abuse. Sakyong Mipham is now married with three children, and has recognized that his long-term abuse of his power must change.
Below, is a video of two wonderful, highly respected female Buddhist teachers, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, the most senior Tibetan Buddhist nun in the world (made famous by the book, The Cave in the Snow, authored by Vickie MacKenzie) and Lama Tsultrim Allione (recognized as an emanation of Machig Labdrön from the 11th–12th centuries), Dharma teacher and author of many books focused on the empowerment of women in Buddhism (see especially her Women of Wisdom, and also her powerfully transformational book, Feeding Your Demons, which you may relate to if you have had a BigView session with me!).
We are blessed by their wisdom after having been asked to explain the scandals surrounding Sakyong Mipham. Their advice is worthwhile for anyone who has suffered any abuse by the power of another.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo (right) & Lama Tsultrim Allione (left): speaking about Shambhala’s Sakyong Mipham
As a Buddhist, when faced with these shocking dilemmas surrounding the ancient Tibetan Tantric practice of working with a consort to find Realisation, I return to the original Teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, who had never advocated such things. As we know, Siddhartha had left his wife and family to seek Enlightenment. And after He attracted many sincere followers, He eventually had to be persuaded, by those closest to him, to allow women to join his community, purely because He feared for their safety within a large gathering of ‘celebate’ men.
The Mind is a personal matter, and The Buddha taught that our attachments hold us back from full Realisation. So it would seem that a sexual consort is not going to help us bring about an independent mind of detachment and equanimity. If we depend on another for our Awakened Realisations, we are not fully Awake.
Also, from my understanding of astrological dynamics, I can see that sexual energy moves chi from the base of our chakra system upwards (how far it goes depends on our own clarity of Mind and Heart), and authentic Buddhist meditations are designed to bring the vast supplies of cosmic energy in through the crown and downwards into the Heart and body, to reprogram every cell with Enlightened thought.
All of the above-mentioned cases are tragic. And these are not isolated cases, depite there being many dedicated, ethical, and celibate monks and priests in both of these religious traditions.
And how much more of this abuse is going on in many other organisations, apart from the religious institutions, particularly social institutions of all kinds, not to mention the workplace—a big focus for Women’s Rights at present. (I have my own past stories to tell there, as do a great many women, globally! ‘#MeToo’.)
But it seems that no matter how long ago it had occurred, this current Capricorn-Pluto paradigm is the one that will dredge up the dirt and throw it in our faces. And, again, we’re only 61% of the way through this global transit.
This Pluto era is the time for us to find our inner discipline,
to create a reliable strength of character
that will see us through any challenge we may face in life.
In the NEXT INSTALLMENT, I’ll be covering the rise of Cults during this current Capricorn-Pluto Paradigm, and a bit more on Trump, which I suspect will be quite timely.