In retrospect, it seems sort of obvious that this Michael Roach story would take the turn it did. A Japanese girlfriend from long ago advised me that her family were "just Buddhists," never mind the crazy Aum Shin Rikyo cult.
The thing is, many practitioners, at a relatively small level of experience, get into thinking that what they're doing is going to have some rather grand results in terms of "universal enlightenment" or the "emerging Buddhism," or some utopian notions of re-making society or what-not. I too have had such notions from time to time in a time long ago. It's the kind of thing that makes one fodder for a spiritual huckster. These notions and wants encourage one to want to glue to a "teacher" one's notions of what they want their existence (and the existence of everyone they know) to be.
A guy with more cred than me once said "Everyday mind is the way."
You don't need to do anything special to find the path in which to go; it's right the heck in front of you. You don't need to go into the desert for a year, you just have to get yourself to work in the morning. Woody Allen said something to the effect of "Eighty percent of success is showing up." It's generally not a good idea to make one's case with a guy that ran off with his 19 year-old adopted step-daughter to be sure, but this was said before the auteur did that fateful deed.
I'm still planning to get back to writing about the story behind this post here. But one of the points behind that post is apropos for this post: everyday life is the Way, and doing something in everyday life can help transform the rest of your life, as long as it's not taken to extremes.
Here's a reference about which I'll post sometime in the future:
There's points here to which I'm very eager to respond, to say the least, especially the issue of "spirituality" and the martial arts, but, as I've said, I'll save that for another post.