Over on my "Let's add a new L-word to 'Who is the guru?' possibilities" post, William left a comment today:
I was listening to a talk on the topic of What is a Guru? by Alan Watts. You may well find it interesting. Here's the link that will bring you to the pertinent part of that talk. https://youtu.be/sAq2NY0Tjf8?t=1m54s
Since I enjoy reading Watts' books, saw him speak in person back in the 1960's, and like his audio recordings, I watched about half of the You Tube video today.
Here's the link William sent, which starts at about the two minute mark.
I resonate with almost everything I heard Watts say, agreeing that the only authority a guru, master, or other religious personage has flows from the devotees who choose to elevate that person to a position of spiritual leadership.
Otherwise, where could any authority come from?
There aren't qualifications for becoming a guru, as there are for professions such as medicine, law, engineering, and so on. Anyone can claim to be a spiritual adept. Usually it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find objective evidence that what the "guru" claims to know about the cosmos is actually true, and/or that the guru can do what he or she claims, supernaturally speaking.
So Buyer Beware is excellent advice for anyone looking to purchase some spiritual authority.
The world proves very much the opposite
S/HE who can give
the sweet Sound above the eyes is the Guru.
Posted by: 777 | July 20, 2015 at 06:56 PM
"""" guru" claims to know about the cosmos is actually true, and/or that the guru can do what he or she claims, supernaturally speaking. ""
This is the opposite also
Many Gurus know nothing more than what their own Master is giving Them on a need to know basis
Also and ALWAYS are the first , the Last
They claim greatly about their Master and nothing about themselves
Posted by: 777 | July 21, 2015 at 03:21 AM
They claim greatly about their Master and nothing about themselves...
the same way they encourage their disciples as well to make the same claims.
Posted by: Juan | July 21, 2015 at 10:33 AM
"... the only authority a guru, master, or other religious personage has flows from the devotees who choose to elevate that person to a position of spiritual leadership.
Otherwise, where could any authority come from?"
c'mon Brian, you're grasping at straws here, you know very well that each Sant Mat guru takes their authority from their predecessor.
You spent more time with Charan than most of us westerners and surely you remember his humility, he never claimed any kind of spiritual power. Yes, the devotees put him on a pedestal but thats their problem. He never wanted to be worshipped. Remember Charan Singh - The Way of Surrender.
Posted by: Jen | July 21, 2015 at 04:37 PM
Charan Singh and the Way of Surrender (The Enchanted Land Series / Film 5) (7:15)
Posted by: Jen | July 21, 2015 at 05:12 PM
Jen, that's my point. There was no evidence, no proof, no objective reason to believe that Charan Singh was "god in human form." The guru's devotees believed this on their own. They were the ones who gave the guru his spiritual authority.
Sure, he was appointed by his predecessor. But the same applies to the entire lineage of a succession of gurus. There is no reason for anyone to grant them spiritual authority. They don't take a god-realization exam, like a medical student takes before qualifying to become a physician.
It is all belief. It is all assumptions. If a guru's devotees stopped giving him or her spiritual authority, the guru would have nothing to make him or her a guru.
Posted by: Brian Hines | July 21, 2015 at 08:26 PM
Brian, . . anyone else you would have preferred ??
Take your time
Posted by: 777 | July 22, 2015 at 12:18 PM
777, I don't understand your question. If you mean, preferred a different guru, that doesn't make any sense. It's like asking if I would have preferred a different woman than my first wife. But I married her, not anyone else. How do I know what it would have been like to have married someone else?
Posted by: Brian Hines | July 22, 2015 at 12:31 PM
Brian, yes it is assumptions and belief and I would add projection and perhaps recognition.
Do we see in the Master a glimpse of who and what we really are, or who we want to be? Is he purely an example, a guide to what we can become? Are we attracted by his humility, kindness, patience, compassion and then those very attributes grow within us. So many questions I ask myself as to why I was attracted to this path of Sant Mat.
Then comes the battle with the mind which does not like discipline, adhering to the rules etc, its not easy. And so many doubts (and annoying religious type satsangis to contend with lol).
So becoming a recluse, observing the world and thinking that its getting more crazy, I find the best way to be is 'unknowing' and letting go, especially where beliefs are concerned. This is what I have in common with you and I appreciate your blog. Your walks in nature with the dog and moments of enlightenment :)
Posted by: Jen | July 22, 2015 at 04:02 PM
very close :
Posted by: 777 | July 30, 2015 at 05:53 AM