A few days ago i had a unique experience of speaking directly with a person who actively engages in spreading slander of the worst kind. This experience was most educational for me, and i will share it here.
last week I shared on my facebook page an article which i have written and which was posted on Natha's web-portal www.nathayogacenter.dk. you can see the English version of the article here.
The article is entitled 'Health is a state of Mind' and describes the participation of Natha in Denmark's largest health fair - a truly marvelous event, which i had the good fortune of documenting.
Not long after I share the article on facebook, it was commented on. the comment came from a person whom i don't know and never talked to, but none the less he is one of my hundreds of 'facebook friends' (I am not very selective in confirming friend requests - you could have a profile named 'Hitler was right' and i would probably approve you as a friend).
I often get interesting comments on my posts, but this one was a whole other kind of interesting. This guy managed to jam a lot of meaning, emotion and suggestions into just 2 short words: 'Pedophile-joga!'.
I thought perhaps he was branding a new form of Yoga, but then i noticed another comment by the same person on my post: 'Sexual exploitation of children, intrusive in the "guru" etc etc' (google translation from the original language of the comment).
I do not want my facebook page to be a place for such discourse. A good name can take years to build and seconds to destroy. We should not be so casual about it. Its easy to spread rumors, but do we deserve anything less then the truth? and truth demands more then the phrase 'Pedophile-joga'. Such accusations should be backed up by proof - and most probably presented to the police and not on facebook. So, I proceeded to remove the comment from my wall.
My first emotional reaction was of anger - He is talking about Gregorian Bivolaru, my Spiritual Guide, a man i know and of whose innocence I am convinced - both due to my experience with him and because i actually investigated. Further more - Grieg was actually accused of many things - and of all those accusations none are true. But Pedophilia was never one of them!!! So, my anger was, i dare say, justified.
But then something happened. I realized that this person who posted these comments is also a human being, like me. Suddenly, despite being angry at his comments, I felt love for him. And so, I decided to send him a feedback - why I removed the comment.
You can see the feedback bellow (the first sentence was dictated as default from facebook, but i take full responsibility for all the typing errors - these are all mine):
I must say, my heart jumped with joy. I have seen the work of people who have spread such terrible and offensive slander, but this was the first time I actually had the chance to speak with such a person directly!
The more the conversation progressed, the more intense became my curiosity to understand this person - why does he do what he do?