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).
[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.”