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Ego and Guru

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  • Jeff Belyea
    Recently, someone emailed with a question about the guru and ego. Because I ve mentioned several writers on these sites (GR and NDS) ...and for the joy of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 27, 2003
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      Recently, someone emailed
      with a question about the
      guru and ego. Because I've
      mentioned several writers
      on these sites (GR and NDS)
      ...and for the joy of
      espousing...I'm re-posting here:

      Hi ________ -

      Yes, the ego subsides but rises
      again, even in an enlightened one,
      as does the former personality --
      with its impatience, sarcasm and
      other, what we would call negative,
      characteristics.

      For those who have tasted the
      realization of enlightenment, the
      ego is at first both relieved that
      it did not expire as it feared, and
      excited with the new clarity of mind
      that enlightenment brings.

      And for a time the enlightened one
      is so awash with peace and love and
      pure joy that the ego and personality
      is softened and sweetened. The feeling
      of confidence and trust in what is
      seen as a benevolent universe once
      again, overrides the former fears and
      doubts. But over time, the ego begins
      its attempt to assert its role as
      master, as it had done before.

      This is a battle that the enlightened
      one sooner or later recognizes, and
      faces without any fear or doubt. The
      realization and enlightenment has become
      the core and center of their being,
      but...and a big but (if you'll pardon
      the expression) is the reality that
      the ego will rise again, as will old
      personality traits.

      Stabilizing in enlightenment, the
      sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi, takes some
      time and experience to mature. As I
      wrote, at first consciousness that
      has been "sweetened" as Mark in
      NDS writes. is absolutely crystal clear,
      and that clarity never leaves.

      However, if an enlightened one either
      does not recognize the wiles of the
      ego (St. Paul said in scripture that
      as long as we are alive, "the flesh
      (our ego and analyzing, critical mind)
      wars with the spirit (our enlightened
      identity) or dismisses what is
      happening, there is soon trouble afoot.

      As Bruce Morgen writes, when the ego
      rises, as it invariably will, the
      question is, will it rise as servant
      or master. Keeping the ego in the
      servant role is one of the great
      values of meditation and spiritual
      practice. The value of holy company,
      the company of seekers and enlightened
      ones is another way to stay in touch
      with our true home, our true Self,
      our Source, from which love and tenderness,
      caring and compassion flow.

      The other area that can create a
      dangerous pitfall is the mythologizing
      of masters, gurus, enlightened ones into
      these "perfect, sinless, impeccable,
      beyond error" beings. This is just not
      so. Enlightened Ones may speak to ideals,
      but to profess that they live them
      perfectly does not square with reality.

      If an enlightened one buys into
      this and begins to present as a
      supernatural being of perfection -
      exit stage left.

      One other "red flag" comes to mind.
      This is one Sarlo is very sharp to
      pick up (and sometimes too quick to
      attribute): the strong attachment
      to a model...at the exclusive of
      others. The old fundamentalist
      view of having an exclusive
      understanding of infallible truth.
      This is found in just about every
      tradition I've looked at, to my
      surprise. I thought it was
      peculiarly to the pop-cultural
      Christian, but there are tight-ass
      fundamentalist in the other major
      religions as well. This is the
      genesis of war and terrorism,
      in great part. One side is
      fighting the infidels on the
      other side, and each side
      uses propaganda to demonize
      their enemy.

      This attachment to a specific
      model even extends to the division
      between those who are comfortable
      with spiritual models and theistic
      language (as I am) and those who
      find spiritual trappings irrelevant.
      Truth is truth, words are words.
      Words cannot express the truth of
      spiritual awakening or nondual
      realization.

      When your guru goes sour, back away.
      If your resonance with their teaching
      is beautifully attuned, you will allow
      them their humanity and not lose sight
      of the fact that they are "qualified"
      guides to the door of realization. They
      can only bring you to the door. Any
      suggestion of supernatural powers, or
      emotional manipulation are, in my opinion,
      wiles of the ego.

      Osho is an example (reportedly) of a
      beautiful, clear mystic who, for a variety
      of reasons -- many more than I know, I'm sure,
      went sour and became manipulative and...
      well, you can read about him on a variety
      of sites. His early teachings were gorgeous
      and crystal clear.

      OK. I have rambled.

      Hopes this helps,

      Jeff
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