A transpersonal essay on my meeting with the Transpersonal Teacher who consumed my self.
transpersonal teacher: the book and its cover
"The transpersonal therapist or teacher", he went on, "can do nothing for another whilst he has any knowledge. Only when the self has been consumed can I know the path of you .. because only then can I be you" ..
You won't find Ryanto where the regular guru's and would be Transpersonal Teachers hang out .. but then .. he found me .. by a long and circuitous route .. and that call came more as a summons ..
As I looked at him, I saw a little man with an oriental appearance, buck teeth, balding head and deep black pools for eyes. It wasn't the loudly coloured shorts that covered the sticks that passed as legs which caught my eye, but the collar of the Roman Catholic Priest that he wore under his T-shirt.
With one deft move he took my legs out from under me .. and he didn't even touch me .. "You will know the Tao .. then you will know another .. but not before you know yourself"
During the time I knew him, Ryanto never gave homilies .. "one-liners" were his forte.
As I lay in a crumpled heap on the floor, the gentlest smile extended from him to me .. "Before you can run, first you must learn to crawl all over again .. "
Only now, years further on, do I understand this little man, the son of a Taoist Priest and a Yogini mother. Many times I thought I understood him .. but every time I thought I had something to hold on to, he would slip sideways, leaving me to hold on to the empty space where my idea of him was projected.
"There are many paths up the mountain" .. he would say .. "and the only way you will know them all is to become the mountain".
In one of his Darshans which passed as a University Transpersonal Psychology Lecture, he dressed me down in front of the other students ..
"Christopher .. If you want a degree which qualifies you as a well versed parrot, you will learn and memorise everything I have to teach you .. and you will be able to quote me all of the sacred texts .. "
My mouth dropped open and others in the room started to snicker .. I waited for what was to follow because I knew that this was another mask that he wore.
"The Jnani can never be a true Jnani true until he embraces Bhakti"
There was a stunned silence in the room .. but for me, the penny had dropped .. or rather it was as though I had been hit over the head with a whole bucket full of them .. none too gently ..
"The true teacher or therapist" .. he went on .. "can do nothing for another whilst he has any knowledge. Only when the self has been consumed can I know the path of you because only then can I be you" ..
Stunned silence gave way to empty stares .. slowly I nodded as a wave of understanding passed over me ..
"When I evaluate your final paper" .. he went on .. "I want to know what Christopher Wynter has to say. Anything else I can read in the books. The fact that you can quote what others have written tells me you have becomea know-it-all parrot. When I can feel the essence of your words mirrors the essence of the books, then I will know you have embraced the therapeutos .. the priest-healer .. the Jnani."
That was his introduction to Bhakti .. the application of Jnani .. firstly to what was left of my self ..
The following Sunday, I decided to check him out at the local RC church where, with another mask firmly in place, he was celebrating mass for those who did not know him.
"When Moses succeeded in climbing the mountain of his own ego, he was met with the Divine Flame, the essence of Being which he fell down and worshipped. Only then did he understand"
Ryanto's beady eyes spotted me trying to hide behind a pillar at the back of the congregation .. "There are only two commandments", he went on .. "God dwells in you as you .. see God in each other"
Ouch .. but he wasn't finished with me even then ...
"All of the other commandments were given because the people couldn't understand the first two". The congregation was starting to squirm at this time ..
"You can only see the view from the top of the mountain, but you cannot tell anyone else about it until youc an get off your elevated perch and speak in the language of the common people"
I watched the people leaving the church after the service. Most said very little and many had that far away look of someone who had just come back from a very deep meditation ..
But then, Ryanto had that effect on people .. he just kept changing the cover of the book ..