Tuesday, January 21, 2003
There are times I'm prone to delusions of grandeur. They usually come during periods of elation, like the one I'm in right now. It makes it easy for me to see how a big time guru can end up as one of the vanguard of the grandiose.
For how could you be a bigtime guru without being grandiose? They build ashrams all over the world, go wherever they like whenever they want, and have thousands of adoring devotees treating them like living deities.
Look at Amachi. She tours her international ashrams giving darshan to literally thousands of devotees, 90% of which are convinced she is the incarnation of the Divine Mother just because they can get a hug from her.
There's the infamous Adi Da. He bought himself an island near Fiji and took his whole community there. He's been accused of forced wife swapping and other kinds of whoopee and is becoming known for his bitterness at not having been recognized as the "World Teacher."
There's also Gurumayi, head of the SYDA Yoga organization, with ashrams large and small all over the US. Every Sunday her devotees chant the guru gita to her picture on tv via satellite. Perhaps teledarshan is the wave of the future.
But I honestly can't see how any party to any of this could ever take it very seriously.
Ken Wilber was convinced by the authentic voice of Da Free John. Then Da Free John became Adi Da and took to spinning off to his own island universe, forcing Wilber to publicly disapprove of his activities, only to do an about face a few years later. Wilber knew then what he knows now. Da knows himself as oneness, but in the context of a psychology that is predisposed to grandiosity... just like me.
It's a bit scary to see that I have these same tendencies myself. Not that I would *ever* want to be regarded as a living god. But I do get elated and sometimes catch myself starting to believe my own hype. My conviction about what I am saying doesn't waver, but my faith in what others are going to get from it varies greatly depending how elated I am.
I think it could be this elation that sets a life on the path to becoming a bigtime guru. Being surrounded by adoring devotees who lap up whatever yogaprop you give them while treating you like God would seem to offer a very slippery slope for a personality now lacking the need to keep up appearances. And instead of managing the sociopsychological circus that erupts around them, they usually pay it no mind at all. And as the pedestal gets built higher and higher, all that is left is the supposed greatness of the guru and the blessings they believe they bestow to their devotees, which in many cases is a big fat zero.
Because big time gurus do their devotees a tremendous disservice by allowing that pedestal to be built at all, for it conveys the impression that Self realization will entitle them to the same kind of life. Combined with the many ridiculous things that people believe about their bigtime guru's "powers," and you end up in a cyclone of occluding expectations obscuring just about everyone's awareness.
It's been exciting for me to finally get my thoughts down on "paper", but I need to be vigilant and ready to keep things in perspective. Outside of the friends that I have pushed here, I don't have many readers. But that still doesn't stop me from being somewhat grandiosely convinced that I'm right about these things and that others will find themselves in agreement.
Who knows? One day I might write a book and go on the satsang circuit, acquiring my own community and building centers as I get hailed as the latest new world teacher. But then it will be discovered that I like to dress as a cosmic gogo dancer and attend sexual fetish parties, bringing the whole thing down like those buildings we all remember. And when the dust finally settles and I get to see the true extent of the devastation, I hope I can laugh when I realize I fell into the same exact trap I had ranted about so many years ago in this weblog.