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Mama never told me I was the Street

by anonymous

There seems to be lurking, within some spiritual teachers, a dark side. Let’s just call it the “guru principle.” It’s that energy where you can tell a spiritual teacher really believes what he or she is saying. All the texts say that nonduality is not based in belief. It is about dispelling beliefs that make up the “self.” Teachers are fine, in a relative sense, like calling an apple an “apple” —even though it isn’t really a separate thing. But if the teacher believes he really IS a teacher, then that Guru persona seems like another form of “self (i.e. ego).

The new mask of ego? Pic Natalya Madolora

[Of course] this isn’t the case with all spiritual teachers. Some carry the light of wisdom without that serious, “I have the truth” look in their face, and they just want to be helpful —without wanting you to buy into their specialness. But sometimes, when listening to certain teachers [especially the ones who really believe that people should follow them or that enlightenment can only be gained through transmission within the presence of the teacher] it is downright eerie —as if the teacher has just put on a new mask of ego. He or she has gone from “ego-seeker” to “ego-teacher.” It’s pretty clever, but it’s ego all the way.

For some, the teachings that are most attractive today are the ones that do not make the teacher into a glorious, “greater-than-you”, superhuman figure. Who needs that anyway when we have comic books!

Luckily, many authors or teachers are aware of the fact that language never speaks absolute truth. But unfortunately some do not get this and that is ultimately their baggage. You have to buy completely into concepts of the teacher or lineage, wholesale, without question. You have to buy into the teacher persona him/herself and that’s asking too much when most just want to be free OF separation.

Some traditions have devotion to the guru as a main aspect of the message, and I respect that. I guess I can only speak for myself. I’m tired of buying into the guru persona, wherever it shows up. Yet nondual teachings are still helpful to me, to point out of ego traps. I want the cake without the icing, the teaching without the teacher persona.

Who do you believe? What are you buying?

Maybe the best thing a Guru can do is show me that he isn’t a Guru at all. Then I might be interested in what he is “selling.”


5 responses

  1. Comment Kick-Starter:

    So what do our readers think about this?

    Have you ever experienced this?

    What are your thoughts please?

    Sound off…

    August 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm

  2. mareninthesky

    Fantastic post yet again, so pure and down-to=earth!

    What a fresh breeze of non- elitist non- duality this is, many thanks!:)



    August 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm

  3. Alberto Martin

    There is some truth in that, I think, but one may lean too much into the other extreme: individualism, “I am my own judge”, “I want things easy and straight”, which is very democratic and very American. If the “persona” shows up, fine, keep away, though it is not always easy to tell (the important thing is the message, what is being said). On the other hand, ‘personality’ is a fact, and it is a vehicle. Devotion to the guru is a double-edge sword, but/and I am glad ‘anonymous’ respects that possibility. I do not see anything wrong with love (and respect) for a tradition, on the contrary. Alberto.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:51 am

    • Fred Jones

      Well put Alberto

      yes indeed “Devotion to the guru is a double-edge sword”.

      Your thoughts provide a great example of a well-balanced view with no extremes.

      August 24, 2010 at 4:48 pm

  4. Ezra

    You can sort of tell the teachers that get a kick out of everyone looking to them for wisdom. They seem to like playing teacher (even when they may say that “there is no teacher).

    Then, others, seem to have seen through that, and they appear humble, like they really just want to help.

    Good article, brings up good points.

    Also, I’ve noticed that some teachers are downright jealous of other teachers who are more popular. They disguise it as “so and so teacher is too dualistic or doesn’t have a clear message” but what it really seems to be about is basic human jealousy. How can a teacher guide someone out of these traps if the teacher is IN the trap?

    These are all good issues.



    August 25, 2010 at 7:14 am

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