In a recent facebook comment thread, a friend seemed to be attempting to invalidate psychological notions of maturity based on the idea that the "self" is, according to eastern philosophy, an illusory and impermanent process. This was connected to a discussion on unethical, immoral, or immature behavior on the part of spiritual teachers. I'm not quite sure I understood my friend's point accurately, but I have heard this argument being made before as a means to excuse bad behavior on the part of spiritual teachers. Many make appeals to "crazy wisdom" and how the teachers are just so far beyond us that we can't judge. In a nutshell, my response is "Bullocks!".
Issues of maturity are by definition features of this illusory process. They are relative questions about this relative world - not about the absolute. Relative knowledge is still important for living in the world. After all, a bomb is a fundamental illusion that will end your suffering pretty darn quick. Ethical considerations are not to be obviated by appeals to the empty illusory nature of existence. This is just fundamental compassion. In my book, an unethical teacher is expressing a profound lack of compassion and therefore is disproving their own spiritual realization. Yes, there can be crazy wisdom that escapes our relative ethics. At the same time, if a teacher consistently excuses unethical behavior as crazy wisdom, then someone else can roll the dice by studying with them. I dare to judge them as not worth my attention other than to warn others away.
Similarly, I believe that individuals could have very deep spiritual experiences and insights, and even be skilled at teaching others to reach this same point, and yet also be an untrustworthy jerk who will empty your bank account, abuse you emotionally and physically, and perhaps even place you in physical and psychological danger. I am a crazy wisdom skeptic. Crazy wisdom is still crazy.
As The Ken has said, "When you're on your own, you're on your own.". If a teacher chooses to step across the moral boundaries of their culture, then they are truly on their own. Maybe they are right and are breaking taboos that need to be broken. Or maybe they are just acting out their shadows and immaturity. In either case, I'm not inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. History will ultimately judge if their transgressions were worth it - or perhaps more to the point, their students and the families of their students will ultimately judge.