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    Thread: gurus and ufos

    1. #1
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      gurus and ufos

      For quite a while now I've been puzzling on why so many spiritual teachers appear on close examination to be con artists. This would make sense if the atheist skeptics are right and spiritual stuff is all BS. But its not all BS, a person can discover that. So what's going on?

      A theory I've played around with is that it has to do with motive, that there's something a little bit unnatural about attaining exceptional supernatural knowledge or psychic power, so that people who have done that are people who are willing to override their sense of natural development, or maybe they lack that somehow. This would be analogous to why billionaires are rarely very conscientious people: there's usually no way to acquire that kind of wealth except by extracting it from a lot of other people somewhat against their will.

      But now you guys have provided me with a much more direct explanation. Gurus all become gurus by pretending to be gurus. So they all acquire direct knowledge of something of the power of imagination, and of being. But its not fully in focus with the temporal reality of who they are, so to speak. And they don't want it to be in focus. That willingness to trump one reality with another imagined one is central to their approach. So they deprive themselves of much of their ability to tell reality from fantasy. Hence the fact-defying obsession with emotionally compelling phenomena and conspiracies. Over-riding the perception of facts with other, preferred imaginative facts was key to their attainment.

      To free themselves from this trap, they'd have to be willing to give up the whole idea of their attainment, their whole identity as gurus or sages, and start over again from the shattered remains that are left over, without pretense. And if they've rebranded their imagined reality as being beyond imagination itself, then that strut has to go also.

      I've been caught in this too, in a somewhat different or complimentary kind of way, and it has been a major problem in my life. So thanks for helping me out.

      As a very minor side note, which may also be a minor key to all this (E minor I believe), this also helps explain another UFO phenomena, the ridiculous posturing of rock stars:

      U.F.O. - Rock Bottom (1975) - YouTube

      They became what they are by pretending to be that. As the 70's turned into the 80's and 90's, many stars tried to overcome the pretentiousness by becoming all punk or ironic or minimalist. (Offspring and Curt Cobain are two among many possible examples.) But its just another kind of pretense, they can't escape. Others, unable to escape being parodies of themselves, just went all-in with parody. (Steel Panther and Jack Black are examples.) But they still don't escape the tragedy of being living jokes when in their heart of hearts they wanted to be serious musicians. Is this coming in the realm of spiritual growth? Gurus who hold their actions and teachings beyond criticism by marketing themselves as ironic gurus? It must be close if its not already here.

    2. #2
      Sleeping Dragon juroara's Avatar
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      Well, that's not entirely how I see it

      Hindu gurus are a bit special. The hindu culture believes everyone is a manifesation of the godhead Brahma. This means everyone is already divine whether or not they realize it. Now naturally its hard for humans to accept they are actually gods. But the hindu culture has worked around this by role-playing. You can just imagine that you are, kinda like trying on the idea-until you can accept it.

      There is actually a ritual or two floating around where a practitioner prepares themselves to be the embodiment of Shiva or one of the other major gods. Now it doesn't matter whether or not they believe they have become an avatar for a god. When the time comes they just imagine they are and go along with the flow. Its a way to realize and experience reality (differently).

      To an outsider who doesn't understand they already believe everyone is divine - then it looks like a load of bs.

      Now if you're talking about a buddhist guru pretending to be enlightened - now you've run into a problem. As that would be against the buddhist teaching.

    3. #3
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      I'm not sure it's appropriate for a guy named "Sageous" to post here, but:

      I wanted to respond to the OP for a couple of days but was unable to do so -- during that time, two phrases kept rolling through my mind about it:

      "I'd never join a club that would have me as a member."

      "... Those who can't; teach."

      Though I framed it in a different context than Groucho had originally intended, the first quote spoke the most truth to me: I truly believe that those enlightened individuals who have fully mastered their spiritual side, their higher Self, if you will, have little to no interest in sharing that wisdom with acolytes, and for that matter have no need for acolytes, or their material and reverential offerings, at all. Their spiritual attainment is based on a lifetime of personal introspection and focus aligned uniquely to their own spirit and being... much if not all of what they experienced in their enlightenment would be meaningless if they shared it with others, so why bother? Also, since enlightenment can only come to a soul who is ready on their own, no matter what they've been told or whose courses they bought, why bother sharing at all? It simply wouldn't make sense. In other words, I think "true" gurus would likely appear to be extremely selfish people with little interest in anyone else.

      So anyone calling himself a guru very likely is not a guru, at least in the recent description of the term. This goes for non-spiritual things as well: that real-estate "guru" selling you his "guaranteed" plan for success at 3am is likely not a terribly successful real-estate trader (if he were, there would be no need to do these commercials).

      The second phrase, spoken by annoyed students everywhere, signals my agreement with the OP, I think. Gurus need not only be charlatans (though I believe they often are); they may in fact also be well-intentioned people who want to make a difference, and they may even possess good working knowledge of their subject (or what it's believed to be, anyway), but in the end the best they can do is talk about enlightenment to people who want to hear about it. Unfortunately, this sort of arrangement is fraught with temptation, and many a guru forgets his core, begins to accept the fealty of his fawning students, and falls prey to believing his own lie.

      I found Juroara's post interesting, in that it didn't so much disagree with the OP as describe the way that the Hindu wisely religion learned to deal, over the millennia no doubt, with charlatans: One man cannot proclaim himself better than anyone else if we've all got God within us, right? Institutionalizing such a concept was an excellent plan, I think. Christianity found a similar way to curb false gurus, BTW, though evangelists have done much to erase the effort in recent centuries.
      NyxCC likes this.

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