[Chapter 1 of this book is here. Following chapters will be posted on Wednesdays.]
Finding Your Guru And Why You Shouldn’t
As we enter to this time when the new energies are being introduced, many people may become confused about what they are perceiving and will seek information to help them understand what is happening. In many cases, that may mean seeking someone who is knowledgeable, who can help.
Are you one of those people who has felt that you need to find that one special teacher who can teach you in the mysteries of the universe and then show you how to make your life complete? If so, you are not alone.
In our quest for knowledge, peace and understanding it’s easy and it feels natural, to be drawn to a learned teacher for our answers. We all enjoy hearing wisdom from a master who seems to know all the answers and speaks with assurance. A person who has taught the wisdom of the ages to many. A teacher who is recommended by so many people.
So, what’s wrong with this? Actually there is nothing wrong with this, so long as we do it correctly. We absolutely should gain knowledge when and where we can find it. To do this, we must be open to the opportunity to learn something new whenever the opportunity presents itself. However, it has to be knowledge which is right for us.
What does that mean? It means that each of us can be presented knowledge from any source, but until we are ready to receive it and really understand the truth to it, it will only be words to us. If we then follow the teachings of another which are not right for us, all we may be doing is following an empty ceremonial function. It can not help us to grow.
We must always evaluate information from any outside source with some skepticism. Note that I said some skepticism, not be a skeptic. That means that we should see if the information is truly right for us. It may be right for the presenter, but may not be right for us. Possibly, some nugget of the teacher’s information is right for us, but the rest of the message may not be. Maybe the message is right for us, but the time is not. We may not yet be ready to receive it.
Skepticism is not really a good word because it has a negative connotation, and that is not what is meant. Think of healthy skepticism as being a healthy filter for you to receive the information you are prepared to receive.
If you look around, you will see some people who in their quest for knowledge eventually find their guru. This is the teacher who has progressed far along the path of self fulfillment and development. Meaning their own personal path, not the student’s.
So, what is wrong with this? Possibly nothing. If we give up our own seniority to the guru and allow him to control our actions, that is wrong. The world is full of those people who would tell us how to be, how to act and how to learn. (Gurus, politicians, teachers, religious leaders of various kinds, etc.) Many of these people may have the best intentions and offer good sound advice, but some will try to impose their truths on us and that is not a good thing for our own development.
We came to this Earth to live our unique lives and to learn from our experiences, good and bad. Having these experiences may often be painful, but that is part of the learning process. If all we seek to do is to eliminate the pain at all costs, we may not be learning and could be destined to repeat the painful lesson again later.
So, one might ask, how do we know when this is true? Only by learning how to look inside and eventually being able to know what is the truth for us. With time, we are able to discern these things with learning and meditation.
A guru may be very gifted and may tell us why we are living an experience. But it must be our own choice as to how to use the information. Just as a school teacher feeds us information, it is our responsibility to decide how that information is to be applied.
What I am saying is this. Do not start allowing any guru to direct your life. If you do you are applying his truths which may not be yours, or which you may not yet be ready to understand and apply.
Think of gurus as being teachers, not directors of your life. We need to be clear about this distinction, because a lot of people are not. Some people might say, “I know all this. Why do you have to tell me this?” I do, because too many people have joined cults and have given up their seniority to some cult leader who went on to destroy people’s lives.
Let me share a story with you to illustrate these points. I know of one individual, who I will call John, who called his guru every time his life started coming apart.
John had lived his life in such a way as to continually feed his own gratifications. He used people for the same reason. John was always talking ‘peace and love’. He would end every letter or other communication with the phrase ‘with peace, love and many blessings’. The problem was how he lived his life – his actions.
John was a well traveled professional photographer. He specialized in photographing women. Eventually, his wife left him because he was constantly having affairs with other women. This happened to occur at a time when he had started a new, different business which was wildly successful.
The ex-wife went to court and received a very large settlement. So, although he had a fantastic income, John remained in debt. The Internal Revenue Service then levied a very large back tax bill on John, which included penalties and which was accruing interest.
John was also receiving large amounts of money from business associates, who were providing money to invest in the business in specific ways. Although they asked John for an accounting, he always had an excuse for being unable to do so.
He was converting the money to personal use. He continued his old ways. While going with one woman, he would still cheat with another on the side. John hurt a lot of good people in many ways.
Yet, he seemed to be very spiritual. He meditated regularly. He studied spirituality. John found his guru who was providing him with the answers to the universe.
At one point, when John was in the process of loosing his new business, and his friends he had used, he brought his guru to stay with him for two months! I did not meet the guru, so I have no way of knowing if he was sincere, but that is not really the point. The point is that John was only looking for a way to alleviate his own pain.
John never understood that the pain he was experiencing was a direct result of how he was treating other people, and that he was using them. His actions never changed.
He evidently paid this guru to stay with him and to work on his pain. He took the guru with him everywhere he traveled. So, even if the guru offered the real truth to John’s pain, John never got it. He could not, or would not, change his behavior, which was the source of all his continuing problems. In other words, he didn’t own the results of his actions. Therefore, no matter what his guru said or did for him, the pain would return.
John had to find his truth, understand what he was doing and why he was doing it, before he could heal his own pain. John was looking for an external source to heal him and make his pain go away. He fooled a lot of people for a long time. He was probably fooling himself as well, which was why he is destined to keep repeating the same mistakes and living with the pain.
If we are experiencing a great deal of emotional pain, we need to look inward to come to understand the cause of that pain and how it came to be. Only then, can we take charge of our life and do the things necessary to make the needed changes in our behavior. That is when growth occurs. If a teacher can help with this process, then great! But the guru can’t do it for us. The teacher can only advise (hopefully correctly) and then we are responsible for our own growth and development.
This is one of the most important lessons we can learn. We have to walk our own path in each lifetime. When we abuse others, karma is created and must be discharged in a positive way. No guru can heal us, unless we are willing to assume responsibility for our own growth and take the necessary steps to heal ourselves.
End of Chapter 21
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