What is the definition of Modern Day Gurus?
One who brings peace, solace, kindness? Like Mother Teresa? Or one who teaches hard lessons with the distant view of enlightenment? Or intellectual psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors?
After my visit to Ketut Liyer, (see previous post), I’ve researched the different angles that lead to the summit of ‘Guru-ism’. And it’s kind of like a boxing ring – though no-one’s fighting.
In corner number one, we introduce Louise Haye, Dr Wayne Dyer , Jerry and Esther Hicks and M. Scott Peck, vying for the title of, ‘Practical Ways to Spiritual Awareness’, for the busy human. Their books are packed full of affirmations, ways to deal with work related issues, parent related issues, broken relationship issues, insecurity issues.
And you know what? They are extraordinary. Each and every one of them. Mostly because, if you read a sentence and think, “That soooo doesn’t apply to me,” a couple of weeks later, you will notice, that it most assuredly applies to you. Hence the lesson – and the challenge of life. If you are not learning, it means you’re not living.
In corner number two, is Ekhart Tolle. ‘The Power of Now’ is, without debate, one of the great spiritual books of our time. One only knows this after reading it five, or ten times, over a good few years, before finally ‘getting’ it. His quiet release of knowledge embeds itself in your mind, until, blissfully, you know the meaning of ‘Presentness’, regardless of the practical problems of life.
In corner number three is the Dali Lama, Buddhism – serene images of orange clad monks carefully avoiding ants so as not to destroy any life. And Hinduism, with graceful rituals and blessings on nature and…everything. Rules bind both beliefs, however, and the intricacies of such rules are arduous, to say the least.
But, after seeing the Dali Lama in the flesh, none of it matters, his joyous energy radiates strength and goodwill to all inhabitants of the planet. And that is a sight to behold. And a feeling to cherish. Having knowledge of his path in life, and the trials he’s endured, not to mention his ability to deal with them, is the definition of inspiration.
In corner number four, we have the Indian Gurus. So numerous, it’s impossible to recount the ones of most importance in a blog. So let’s talk about some of the most controversial.
Sadhguru, the maker of ‘The Isha Foundation’, plagued with stories of slave labour and brainwashing. Yet, I dare you to watch his lectures and walk away with nothing. His analogies are worth if, if you gain nothing else.
And Osho, reportedly the king of mass orgies and sexual freedom. He dared to speak about what common society dares not. He didn’t believe in marriage, due to the conditions and rules automatically placed on such agreements, on unconditional love. He didn’t believe in such boundaries. He didn’t believe in living based on society driven, outdated ideas, made up by men driven by a desire to control – a ‘billion’ years ago. (Yet the brainwashing still sticks for many).
He advocated living life intensely, joyously, by one’s own rules…with compassion. How, or why, people have chosen to interpret his beliefs was none of his business, nor his concern. He advocated, simply, freedom of the Self.
To state something controversial, which, if you are in an unhappy, or happy, relationship, may offend. (This is, therefore a PG rated warning to stop reading now).
A friend of mine recently remarked, “Getting married is like putting a giant shackle on your genitals, so you can never explore new territories, simply because your partner needs entire control of you to suppress their own fear of being alone. Unconditional love means just that – love with no conditions. It does not equate to control or rules. And, if it does, it is not love.” The intention of the comment was not about the singular issue of sex, but about all rules we place on others, for the sake of our own perceived comfort.
Yes, cringe worthy bluntness. But worth pondering with regard to all relationships, from finances, to moral standings, economical restrictions, caste differences, cultural traditions – right down to the colour of ones skin. Atrocities have occurred from the very narrow views of singular humans. Think Hitler. Our world can be shaped before we realize we can think for ourselves. Put simply, the views of individuals that came before us have influenced millions who dared not to think for themselves.
The bottom line is to think for yourself, question everything, then live by what you, and only you believe.
So, what have I, fundamentally, learnt from such research? That we can take small parts of all experiences, to help us with our own. That if you are resisting, anything, you’re on the wrong path, and it’s easier than you think to switch to another, if you just stop thinking. That we don’t hold any power over other’s lives, and if we think we do, it’s nothing but illusionary self- preservation. That if you feel angry, offended, superior or ‘all knowing’ about another’s experience, you’re sure to learn the same one, and soon, else you wouldn’t feel any emotion about it at all.
You would simply feel…Present. With Life. Blissful. Free. Love. These feelings are the signs that point you in the right direction – for getting it right, for you.