Friday, May 06, 2011

Pyjama Surfing

I'm writing a regular (monthly) column for the Spanish-language site, Pijama Surf - the first piece is on "Why We still Need Gurus."

The original English version of this piece is linked at the bottom of the article.


Anonymous said...

Powerful text! I recall having somewhat romantic, or at least passionate, dreams lately, with such uncanny a loveobject as Yahweh. I saw him as a giant man, made of light, hovering upon a city (Jerusalem, perhaps), angry and tormenting as always. But the mood was one of peculiar, monstrously humorous and masochistic awe, full of madness, despair and brilliance. This feeling of mine is not so much a search for a leader, though, I didn't feel any urge to obey anyone. But the father-figure in its most abhorring form was there. (The vision perhaps had a slight homosexual aspect in it, but that wasn't the main point. I'm a straight male.) I'm not saying this has to have to do with the collective situation, though, it might be my personal psychology. I've always felt my mother as both more strong an authority and more agonizing figure than my father.

But I think the point I'm trying to make (if there is one) is that the one who seduces (at least us males) is more often than is understood the father or the "wise old man" figure, than the woman. (Not talking about actual individuals here, of course, but forces inside the poor protagonist's own psyche.) I think this comes out in Jung's Red Book. The one he is most entranced by is not his Soul, but Philemon. And perhaps the "father-seducer" is an apt concept when discussing the ongoing collective maturation, or whatever it is, of our human species.

To hell with this narcissistic speculative introspection of mine. Looking forward to your future columns!

Anonymous said...

I'm really happy to see you blogging again! I hadn't checked in awhile. Made my day!

Jason Kephas said...

Did anyone else notice how my ID name was changed to "kibble" recently? Seems I have my very own hacker-stalker (possibly with the initials PC and a voice like Elvis).

Be warned that everything you see here may not be me!

WHO am I?

Anonymous said...

Personally I'd rather work with a shaman.

Anonymous said...

I am guru-less. I prefer it that way.

.* said...

After that, i think i'm in love with you. Justkidding!

Anonymous said...

"... it is almost unheard of for followers to surpass their guru in stature. What tends to happen, rather, is that at some point the guru is “exposed” in his humanness, and as a result loses his following, or a significant part of it."


You are certainly right that it tends to happen in most cases, but in the truly successful cases something entirely different happens: the Guru *is* the very archetype, a non-rivalrous model (!), of perfection for the disciples, see for example Jesus in Christianity, Mohammed in Islam, Moses in Judaism, Socrates in Stoicism. All the various philosophers, saints and prophets are non-rivalrous models of perfection, for example Abraham is the very model of philoxeny (good will toward strangers; hospitality) in Orthodoxy.

From a Platonic point of view, the various ideas of excellence, perfection, beauty etc. are the attributes of the true Guru, while the true Guru is not a human being (hence never a rival!) but Excellence, Perfection, Beauty etc. in Itself! (hence always THE model!)

(Divine) "Love" is here understood as the desire to become LIKE the model (as far as this is humanly possible)!

But of course, one man's ideal is another man's anathema.

And then there are human beings who TRULY embody the ideal;

a "father":

Jason Kephas said...

I presume the last sentence is meant ironically?

maybe not. : /