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You be My Guru? (Audio)
March 7, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: I have an intense desire to find a guru who can kill my ego mind and
bring me to enlightenment. Can you be my guru? If not, why not?
A: By all means pursue your desire, but know that there are some pitfalls in
it. There are always pitfalls when we seek spiritual knowledge outside our
own inner silence. In time, your desire will lead you
inward, where the eternal truth lives.
Ego is just a concept,
a word to describe consciousness identified with the objects of perception.
Or, as the Buddhists say, "attached" to the objects of perception. The mind
itself will not become dead until we are dead. It
goes from being a tool of identified self (small "s") to being a tool of
unidentified Self (big "S"). What becomes dead in this life is
identification of our awareness as self with all that appears in time and
space. That is not death of the mind, or even of the
thought" we call ego.
We just come to know it for
what it is, through the increasing presence of abiding inner silence
(witness) cultivated in spiritual practices.
It is the illumination
of the mind in a divine outpouring, which then can awaken the unending joy
of Oneness in time and space. It is the same thing that has been
talked about by the sages of old, and modern ones too.
is the same experience. Only the words
it may be a little different.
Descriptions of "enlightenment"
may be colored by culture and language, but it is the same opening that
happens in everyone when the appropriate means are applied. AYP leads there
gradually. Some claim it can be instant. I agree that it can be instant,
once one is ripe (living deep in witness), but becoming ripe is not instant.
We can play a word game by claiming that our awakening is instant, but it is
only instant when we become ripe, which takes dedicated time in practices.
I am not a personal guru to anyone. If I become that, I cannot continue
in the role of a researcher and author on spiritual tools and their
practical application. My point of view is largely western science, and that
is what is driving my role in AYP, which is very much an "East meets West"
endeavor. The concept of personal guru is not attractive here, because it is
so much about personality cult. By now we are well familiar with the
pitfalls of that. It is not what a guru is in the ultimate sense. But in the
world, that is what gurudom is - personality cult.
has become so much about codependent
relationships, where the disciple needs the external guru, and the guru
needs the external disciple. Invariably this leads to a sense of entitlement
on both sides and a resulting instability and loss
of credibility. Then sacred knowledge suffers a setback.
that documenting a comprehensive and practical open source knowledge-base is
far more important. It will outlast all personalities, all scandals, and
reach many more people over the long term. With clear knowledge of human
spiritual transformation universally available, everyone can know how to
cultivate abiding inner silence and awaken the divine outpouring from within
themselves. Then we will have real change in the world, instead of so many
chasing after a few enlightened people in every generation. Even with many
enlightened people around, it will be up to each individual to apply tried
and true methods for their own benefit, and for the benefit of everyone.
Whatever you may find inspiring in me (or in anyone) is, in truth,
inspiring in you, and that is where your real guru is. If you are looking
for it in your own silent depths, you are looking in the right place. If you
are looking for it outside, and holding on to it outside, it will be
lacking. I do not control where your spiritual desire
(bhakti) goes. That is up to you. I can only encourage you to
internalize external inspirations and knowledge as you move ahead. We are
all rising from the same source, Oneness, so there is never any
question of an inner connection. I see it as a collective Oneness, rather
than an individual Oneness. So who can ever be an individual guru of
ultimate Oneness? No one. There is no such thing. There are only those who
can point us to the inner Oneness that we are. The
guru is in us. See Lesson 57 for more on this.
Which is not to say gurus
They are very important. Rightly utilized, they
are like stepping stones along our spiritual path.
Practical spiritual knowledge does not come out of a vacuum.
It has been accumulated over time.
desire (bhakti) is like a magnet, and knowledge
is drawn to us from our surroundings,
from everywhere, and
sometimes in the form of an
external guru. We can benefit greatly from that. However, it will not be
perfect. Those who assume a perfect external guru end up disappointed.
Either that, or in denial when the imperfections become known. It is the
seeker who creates this unfortunate
the expectation of perfection on the physical plane. It does not exist, even
among the enlightened. Perfection is an inner condition, not an outer one.
We may see perfection mirrored in life. But this is only
a reflection, subject to distortion at any time.
It is the nature of
life. This does not mean we cannot benefit from external
gurus. We certainly can. We must gain knowledge from somewhere to move
ahead. It is about separating the wheat of knowledge from the chaff of
worldly imperfections. It can be done. See Lesson
260 for more on this.
As I have always said in these lessons, it
is not about me, or any particular teacher. That is a key element in the
evolution of spiritual knowledge in the 21st century. We are moving away
from personality cults to direct individual experience of the essential
truth that is found within each of us. We are in an accelerating
transformation of human consciousness on the earth. Practical methods for
cultivating human spiritual transformation are emerging from the shadows of
the esoteric into the full light of day. That is what AYP is about. The
technology of the information age is playing a major role in this,
just as it is in many fields. So don't expect a traditional guru
relationship from AYP. Some find this disappointing. But, actually, you
should be relieved. It is all in your hands.
What genuine personal gurus have been about throughout history is taking
on the karma of their disciples. In other words, doing for others what they
could do for themselves if they had the determination and the means. It has
been a help in times of great need, but not enough to lift humanity out of
the darkness. Traditional gurudom continues to be a costly proposition for
both parties - a constant outflow from the guru and a constant dependency for
the disciple. To create a true spiritual paradigm shift, more self-directed
participation from everyone is needed, not more reliance on personal gurus.
An interesting phenomenon has been noticed in taking on the AYP
global work here in researcher/author mode. Taking on the karma of the world
as a researcher/author is pretty much the same as taking on the karma of a
single person. Little difference. Taking on the karma of the world plus the
karma of one individual person is about twice as much. So having 10 personal
disciples is a much larger task than working to spiritually empower humanity
by developing a baseline system of practices like AYP.
The only explanation I have for this is that each of us is a reflection of
the entire cosmos, like a hologram,
containing the whole. So taking on the karma of one person is like taking on
the karma of the cosmos. Taking on the karma of the world in an AYP way is
also taking on the karma of the cosmos, but it is not more than the karma of
one person. This is why I said earlier, if I
become your personal guru, I will not be able to do the AYP work anymore. It
is twice as much!
For me, creating
body of knowledge and the means to perpetuate it into the future is what it
is about. There is not room for personal gurudom in that. It isn't my thing
anyway. I am only a researcher and author - a technician. You are much more
than that, and I bow to you.
through our practices, we have the ability to leverage
vast flow of spiritual energy that
quicken the whole of global consciousness far more
spiritual power than any single guru
wield. The dynamic has changed. By the millions, spiritual practitioners
of every stripe are bringing humanity to the
tipping point, simply by their presence. It is the quiet revolution going on
within. It is stillness in action.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on the
practical utilization of spiritual desire, see the
Bhakti and Karma Yoga book.
For detailed instructions on building a
self-directed daily routine of practices, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga Book. Also see