Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Thing About Gurus

from Stormy Weather forum:

SWEDA isn't a realm for spiritual discussions and it doesn't promote "spiritual" disciplines or a "spiritual path." Spirituality as a word and even a concept is very much anathema to the SWEDA "method."

SWEDA does encourage and nurture an on-going dialogue with an animistic reality, however, and many would regard that as "spiritual," so in the end it comes down to words. At SWEDA, those who practice viewing their daily reality as an on-going dialogue with a conscious Universe see that it is as pragmatic an approach to existence as plumbing or carpentry. This is why the term "spiritual" seems to me to be a misnomer.

However, Doug Lain (of diet soap) is correct to the degree that reason is insufficient to a deeper experience of reality as I and others in the group perceive it. Reason depends on all reality being quantifiable and broken into parts. An animistic perception of reality does not allow us to separate ourselves from our environment, not even theoretically, much less practically.

As for knowings and universal truths; they exist, but by definition they must be corroborated by a person's own experience to be fully known: truth cannot be passed on or learned, it can only be embodied. A "guru" embodies truth, a "disciple" matches the guru and embodies the same truth him or herself, and so "owns" it.

The greatest challenge and potential for guru-disciple roles is for the disciple to experience the guru as his or her future self, and the guru to interact with the disciple as his own past self, an aspect of his being still being integrated and fully understood. There is then an implicit understanding and acceptance, both of equality and lack of equality, between the two parties. The guru is merely one who has, as mentioned above, gone further and deeper into his own unconscious, thereby making it conscious. He has cleared up space previously occupied by socially programmed patterns, a space that his (true) being can move into and occupy.

The guru's person is no more advanced than the disciple's or anyone else's; it is, on the contrary, reduced, and it is this reduction that allows a true(r) way of being to show through. Anyone who recognizes that, and manages not to fall for the allure of charisma and personality of the "guru," will eventually see that what they are seeing in the guru exists in themselves - and that they are only able to see it at all because it exists in themselves. At which time, the guru is no longer a guru, but merely a future point of reference by which the disciple, now student, can, if need be, check his own inner compass of knowing.

The sort of "knowings" or universal truths that are preached and practiced at SWEDA have nothing to do with inorganic beings or any other sort of occult realities, however. They don't pertain to anything that can't be confirmed (eventually) through direct action and experience.

For example: honesty is the only way to act responsibly in our lives, and dishonesty is therefore an invalid approach to any circumstances, under any and all circumstances.

This is an absolute truth that anyone who is honest with themselves will have to admit to, eventually and however much trial and error they insist upon before admitting it. It is only "spiritual" insofar as it seems idealistic or unrealistic to those who have practiced dishonest ways of being for most of their lives, in keeping with the social contract of enmeshment which says, among other things, that it is better to lie or distort our true natures than to hurt another person's feelings or give offense.

We have been trained from birth in dishonest ways of being, to the degree that the idea of practicing honesty at all times seems not only a rigorous and ascetic discipline, but an abstract, spiritual or "moral" path. But when put into practice, it quickly becomes apparent that honesty is, simply and logically, the only true way of being there is.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ive been reading The Revolution from Within by J Krishnamurti and you sound a lot like him. However he would disagree with yo u in that he sees gurus as just another form authority and the goal is to go beyond the conditioning of all forms of authority. He was a radical thinker. I dont agreewith everything he says but alot of the things he says makes sense. Wut do u think of krishnamurti

Jason Kephas said...

i haven't read enough Krishnamurti to comment, but he was certainly thought of as a guru. External authority may be necessary for most if not all of us, as a means to access inner authority, that of truth.

it is difficult, if not impossible, to recognize truth unless we first see it embodied in some form we can then aspire to matching.

otherwise it remains abstract and relative, an idea, rather than an actual knowing.

Anonymous said...

Seeing truth embodied in someone is one thing, but following a guru is a whle other thing.

Jason Kephas said...

a guru is to be followed, there is no other function of a guru (guru = leader). But there is a difference between following what a leader/guru says, and what s/he IS. Or rather, if there is a difference, then be sure and observe it, and stay with what you know.

Dennis said...

Nice vibes, good insight about truth and the importance of being earnst in all matters. This life is indeed a learning proposition. Thanks Aeolus. Dennis from Oregon

Anonymous said...

For the most part Jason, you've explained my perspective as to why I am reading HS again....slowly.