The Prejudice Against Gurus

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It’s true there are charlatans and egomaniacs in the guru biz. The media delights in dramatic stories of crazed followers doing odd and dangerous things, like that guy who had everyone drink the purple Kool-Aid, or those folks who committed mass suicide while wearing brand new Nikes when the Hale-Bopp comet whizzed by. We shake our heads at such ignorance and smugly reject the notion that people surrender themselves to anything at all.

In the West, we’re prejudiced against gurus. Here, ego reigns supreme, and the ego’s first tenet is ‘nobody knows better than me.’ Granted, there’s a lot to be said for how Americans distrust authority, question pomposity, and demand to ferret out the truth for ourselves. But by our closed-mindedness, we miss knowing about higher states of consciousness known to the East that aren’t necessarily promoted on our nightly menu of sexy sitcoms and reality TV.

I got broken open to all this by amazing human beings I met in India. Although I had been studying personal and spiritual growth for decades, nothing had prepared me for the shock of the energy phenomena in their presence. It was like I had taken psychedelic drugs when I hadn’t: the room began to swirl, the lights bending and warping. My breathing changed like it does when you’re having sex – gasping for air, tingling all over. My mind became blessedly silent – everything okay, perfect, just the way it is.

Okay, maybe you’re thinking it was something I ate, or a weird brain fugue or something. I can only explain it as these persons manifest at a higher frequency than we do, that in their presence, our bodies go haywire. It became irrefutable that there’s more going on than Western culture has given us a context for, and that higher levels of human development exist and are available.

The tradition in the East is to surrender to the Guru, and the media is quick to point out abuses. What isn’t shown is the advantage of surrendering one’s belief that ‘I already knows everything and no one can teach me anything.’ The benefit is immeasurable in one’s becoming teachable, of the ego humbling itself in the presence of something so far beyond it.

In the East, it’s believed that the Guru points the Way. We get confused because we think it’s about following another person’s weird dictates, like ‘give me all your money’ or ‘drink this potion’. Osho, a well-known guru, once explained it by saying, “Don’t look at my finger; look where I’m pointing.”

My experience is that absorbing the radiance of a person of higher frequency is in itself uplifting and healing. Sitting in the presence of an Awakened Being will do more for your spiritual growth than years of working on yourself.

© 2010 Catherine Auman

Catherine Auman, MFT is a spiritual psychotherapist based in Los Angeles, Calfornia. She has advanced training in both traditional and alternative methodologies based on ancient traditions and wisdom teachings. Visit her online at

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