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The victim attitude and gurus.

This is going to be another example of counter-intuition. Mainstream assumptions lead people to feel [there's really not much thinking going into it] that gurus are about people embracing a savior figure and that devotees [people who worship the Divine through a Guru/who are devoted to a Guru] flee from personal responsibility.
The entire topic of gurus is more-or-less taboo in Western culture. Guru worship/association is considered barbaric and akin to sacrificing individuality, supposedly Western civilization's greatest accomplishment!
The matter of gurus cannot be understood without a consideration of the victim attitude (the relationship between devotee and guru being assumed to be about a victim-savior relationship).

There are 2 kinds of victims and this (and the matter of gurus) is perfectly illustrated by this well-known saying:
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

The reality of the matter is that simultaneously everyone's a victim and no one is. The difference in one's life is that one can transcend being a victim. Therefore, one can simply embrace and accept the fact that there are forces which target you and feed on you; transcending this is about ALSO accepting that there are things one can do to deal with such things, things about one's life and about one's own attitudes or abilities.

The ant is a victim to life, being rather insignificant and an easy prey to larger insects mainly. The ant DEALS with this by living in colonies. The individual ant will remain 'victim' to it's inherent weaknesses for it's entire life but by living in colonies ants have become a species that thrives in practically every conditon and location on the planet. I.E. the ant is simultaneously a victim and victor. However, the ant that defies the need for the colony is quickly only victim... At the root of it's thriving status as victor always lies it's inherent vulnerability.
Does the ant whine and feel depressed about this? Why should it? The ant is victor. It's species is one of the most successful on the planet.

Ultimately, we are all victims of LIFE. The Universe is about sacrifice. The Universe sacrifices itself to itself and to each individual part of itself, i.e. to each lifeform that is part of the Universe. Each breath you take is a sacrifice of the Universe to you [and something some (spiritual) Teachers suggest might be constantly experienced consciously]. At the same time, each individual being is a sacrifice to the Universe, hence to other parts of the Universe i.e. other beings.

People with their mental abilities and capacity for 'consciousness' often have a hard time dealing with the dual nature of all of this. Are they victim or victor? How can one be both?
In the saying quoted above, the 'victim' is the person who gets fooled again and again and again... The victim is enjoying the drama of it all, embracing the victim side of reality at the expense of the victor side.
The 'victim' allows him- or herself to be fooled twice.
To be fooled is natural. The spider fools it's victim into it's web. The walking twig fools predators that it's not a bug. Fooling others and being fooled is simply part of life. There will always be those who would fool us, there will always be those who would feed on us.
The 'victim' is the one who is mesmerized by this aspect of it all, refusing to accept and deal with the dual nature of reality.

"Shame on me"; if you refuse to accept your responsibility and power in all of this, you play the victim but you are not a victim at all. The Universe demands our sacrifices, that's true, but do you pay your dues or are you a gambling addict?

Whether one is victim consciously or no [i.e. subconsciously] really doesn't matter much in as far as reacting for self-preservation is concerned. The ant isn't conscious about being part of the colony that's the basis for it's victorious life.
For people, however, being conscious about all of this can help in leap-frogging over future 'victim' issues.
There are endless things to play the victim over. It's not just other people, it's our parents, it's all people (i.e. culture), it's politics, it's fate, it's the universe at large,, but perhaps the ultimate threat is one's very own mind...
Our feelings betray us. Our conditionings lead us to self-destruction. We are victims to our minds, to our very own hearts, to our ego. At times, LIFE itself appears to be our enemy and all we can do is suffer it...

The victim attitude isn't about the magnitude or power of the perceived threat; it's about playing victim, whether it's about something small that only effects you or whether it's about assumptions that more-or-less all people share and wallow in. Almost every person on this planet is a victim to history, politics, disease; the list is endless. Right?
The answer is that the root cause of defeat lies in your own approach to life.
Another great saying in relation to all of this:
Whether you believe you can or that you can't, you're right
Why, you could be the victim of the victim attitude itself!
It's always up to you. You are a victim, of whatever, as long as you choose to stay that way.

There is one great matter in relation to all of this that also applies and that's the fact that you are reading this at all. Does this imply you're a victim, in need of being saved by reading this post on victims...?
The victim attitude involves seeking an outside force that might end the struggle: a savior. The person who 'gets fooled twice' is waiting for some outside happenstance or person to end the next threat. The victim is victim and can therefore not fend for him- or herself, so a savior is inherently required.
The victor, however, has accepted that salvation comes from within. Therefore, it does not come from others.
Therefore, it cannot come from a guru... Damn straight!

The Truth is, however, that a Guru [capital G] is aware of [i.e. Understands] the dual nature of the victim attitude. The Guru isn't going to feed the victim attitude by presenting Him- or Herself as a savior, thereby reinforcing and supporting the continuance of the victim attitude. At the same time, however, the act of actually sharing the insight of the dual nature of being a victim transcends this.
The 'victim' sees the Guru as someone who threatens the drama. The 'victor', however, might falsely assume that the Guru is part of the victim paradigm and seek only solutions that were found by him/herself.
This is obviously illusion; every word we've ever learned and most ideas that've ever found their way into our minds originated with others. The question is: did we make them our own? And how does that happen?
Answer: when we consider them.
When we consider an idea, we test it according to all we know, understand, and See [i.e. we hold it against our own wisdom].

The Guru, the capital G Teacher, doesn't play savior. Yet, the Guru has things to share. It is expected of the devotee that he or she consider what the Guru offers and go from there. What's commonly assumed in Western culture about the guru-devotee relationship is that this is, therefore, about BLIND devotion; the culture and tradition of it, however, is that the devotee is devoted to considering the great store of wisdom that the Guru has to offer. It does not imply some kind of stupid or insane ACCEPTANCE thereof. The Guru [i.e. capital G (spiritual) Teacher] strives for the devotee to become INTELLIGENT...

The traditional Guru-devotee relationship is therefore counter-intuitive to typical Westerners. Westerners assume it's about the victim paradigm, that the Guru undermines individuality, and that any Guru must be about some megalomaniac who's out to play savior to weak souls.
The Western taboo against such relationships is insane, as are all taboos, particularly as it (quite insanely) ignores the elephant in the room, being that even victors had their teachers. No one is born whole. On top of that, there are obviously so many people broken and what, then, are their options? If someone is clearly lacking in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom,, is the Western 'wisdom' then that they're doomed?
The Western attitude is actually the victim attitude: people are the victim of their culture (for one) and they either SOMEHOW transcend it or they don't BUT THEY SURE AS HELL DON'T TRANSCEND THEIR MADNESS BY EMBRACING THE TEACHINGS OF A GURU!

This is the Western taboo and obsession with itself. It is not obsession with individuality, it is the obsessive terror of even considering things that lie beyond one's own culture. Indeed, the masses and their collective culture are one of the greatest authorities of all and people suffering from the authoritarian trauma (which largely determines Western culture) are perhaps even more afraid of what others might think of their thoughts than that they're afraid of 'alien' considerations.
This, therefore, suggests that one necessarily has first transcended Western culture before it'll ever be able to accept ANY person's help and transcend the victim paradigm.

Like all counter-intuitive issues, therefore, the matter is quite ironic: in order to CELEBRATE one's individuality, supposedly what Western culture is about, one must transcend Western CULTURE's hangups about the routes that individual development is allowed to take.

Last edited by TheLivingShadow, 2/21/2012, 9:00 am

12/13/2011, 10:40 am Link to this post Send Email to TheLivingShadow   Send PM to TheLivingShadow Blog
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Transcending conditioning through a Guru

The culture has conditioned individuals and this conditioning determines the parameters of their life. Cultural norms determine, for one, what relationships are acceptable and desireable, as well as what people commonly experience.

These things undermine everything outside of the culture. As Einstein supposedly put it: the level of intelligence or thought that created a problem will not solve it: if the (limitations of) culture created suffering, it is not within the parameters of that culture that suffering can end.

The Guru is a way out of this conundrum. In accepting the Guru as source of knowledge/understanding/wisdom [or data/insight/maturity], one can transcend the limitations of one's own knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. The Guru-devotee relationship, then, lies outside the confines of the culture of the devotee, the source of the devotee's problems.
The Guru-devotee relationship is a relationship that inherently exceeds the culture's parameters and therefore also lies outside of what the culture finds tolerable, desireable, and [often] legal.

One's conditioning and experience are a constant force, pushing everyone within the confines of their culture. The Guru-devotee relationship is meant as an alternative because this constant force to live within cultural parameters is otherwise prevalent.
People who would seek knowledge, insight, and experience outside the realm of their culture find their very own mind and heart resisting their efforts. Ego is the matrix of activity of the ego-mind (separating one from the Divine) and to develop one's life beyond ego is to develop one's mind beyond the parameters of individual development that one's culture determines (acceptable, desireable, and legal).

The Guru-devotee relationship is accepted by an individual as a conscious or intuited necessity to undermine self-destructive tendencies that are the result of unconsciously received conditioning.
The devotee has accepted that he or she can fall back on the integrity of his or her Guru, as a person whom the individual has recognized as having already transcended the limitations the devotee is suffering from. The devotee recognizes his or her own innate inability to transcend issues he or she is hopeless to overcome within the parameters of his or her own (limitating) culture.

The Guru's opinions are the devotee's advice. When the Guru's opinions conflict with the individual's, this is cause for the devotee to reconsider his or her own opinions [see following definition of "to reconsider]. This consideration of the Guru's advice and opinions, the Teaching [the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of the Guru], is worship of the Guru. It is in effect worship of a level of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom which the devotee accepts as YET beyond his or her own grasp. The devotee accepts the call to reconsider his or her own opinions and supposed knowledge from the experience that he or she is unable to transcend the limitations of his or her own conditioning and ability to function (as a successful individual).
To "reconsider", in this sense, is meant literally: the cultural connotation of "to reconsider" is "to obey" or "to change one's mind" (as instructed); the literal meaning of "to reconsider", however, is simply to consider a matter AGAIN. People accept data, opinions, and experiences that the culture finds acceptable, desirable, and often mandatory in the course of their mainstream lives and conditioning. This happens unconsciously. The Guru's suggestions to reconsider, then, are really simply a call to take conscious responsibility for one's preferences, presumptions, and prejudices. The Guru points out [implied or directed] where and when a reconsideration of one's conditioning is appropriate. This makes the individual's preferences, prejudices, and presumptions conscious and offers the devotee the chance to assess that which has subconsciously ruled his or her life.
Reconsideration of one's subconscious attributes, then, is about taking responsibility for one's subconscious [but nontheless very real!] life and the Guru simply points out where this is necessary and appropriate.
It is never about obeying the Guru in accepting a new opinion or something; the Guru will likely suggest what which is based on logic, common sense, and fact,, often contrary to subconscious musings. The Guru suggests one let go of insane or obsessive attributes by considering the (lack of) logic, common sense, and fact that led to them. The individual/devotee can then (finally) accept the logic, data, and sense that he or she has never done [in compliance with the cultural mores] and make the necessary adjustments to his or her preference, prejudices, and presumptions.
The process is voluntary and one that the devotee enters into willingly and intelligently because he or she has recognized his or her need thereof, as well as his or her own inability to accomplish such without the help of the Guru.

A Guru, therefore, isn't accepted lightly, for the individual who enters into the Guru-devotee relationship would otherwise end up wasting a lot of time and effort if it turned out that the Guru isn't worthy thereof. The Guru, too, stands to waste time and effort and is demanding of the devotee even before acceptance into the relationship.

Traditionally the Guru-devotee relationship concerned spiritual matters especially. The principle, however, might be applied to all aspects of individual conditioning. Someone who has the knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and will to help another along to transcend the inherent limitations of existing conditioning, might be accepted as Guru.

In the end the relationship is an investment but only a risk in as much as all life and relationships might be considered as such. In truth, NOT transcending the limitations placed upon one by culture represents a risk, as well, and considering the atrocities commited by politics and other institutions that prey on people's ignorance, a far greater risk than any one person could ever pose, perhaps.

Last edited by TheLivingShadow, 2/21/2012, 9:12 am

12/13/2011, 1:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to TheLivingShadow   Send PM to TheLivingShadow Blog
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humanity and Gurus

The idea of gurus, or the Guru-devotee relationship is so reprehensible to the Westerner, in part, because of a number of false assumptions the Westerner has about life and people. A few big ones are:

- life (on this planet at this time) is okay
- people are innately evil
- most people are fairly conscious [of their lives, their minds, etc.]

[These might seem contradictory but that's part of the problem: most people's conditioning is inherently scizofrenic.]

There are some people who come to recognize that mainstream culture's flegmatic attitude towards life is inappropriate, untenable, self-destructive, and undermines human civilization. They look for knowledge, insight, and wisdom that surpasses what mainstream culture has to offer.
A very rare few actually transcend the culture within their very own minds enough to consider non-mainstream sources and opinions, including non-Western cultures. It may happen that they, then, come across teachings outside the mainstream that they find useful or inspirational.

In ancient Eastern cultures, the guru-devotee relationship was very common and well-respected. It was understood to greatly benefit the devotee and allow growth and development otherwise denied him or her. In short: it worked.

The Westerner might derisively assume that a healthy or mutually beneficial guru-devotee relationship is impossible, jaded as Westerners are about relationships and authorities of all kinds. The truth about the matter is that human beings are innately empathic and helpful towards one another. Westerners' experience and (lack of) understanding of relationships is that they're abusive and not to be trusted. This says everything about Westerners and Western culture but not necessarily anything about human beings or humanity. Western culture, however, is inherently opposed to humane values and therefore Westerners are largely ignorant of what it means to be human, of what human relationships can be about, let alone what a human(e) society might be like. All they know is the society and culture they have lived in all of their lives.

That a person who is NOT part of such a dehumanizing culture CAN in fact be trusted is in line with all of the serious [i.e. independent] research there exists on humanity and human psychology.
Human beings that DO NOT exibit empathy and support of one another [often not even of family or intimates], find it impossible to imagine truly human relationships, such as that of the guru-devotee relationship.
Unbeknownst to the Westerner, entering into a Guru-devotee relationship would offer the insight and experience to get why one might do so to begin with!

Inhuman life cannot offer the tools with which to reach a human life. The person detached from his or her own humanity cannot him- or herself attain/regain it. It would take a human being to offer the necessary understanding and wisdom, and even acceptance of the knowledge of it [i.e. reading the works of people like Charles Darwin, Peter Kropotkin, or Alice Miller] is unlikely. An inhumanly conditioned person can only hope to attain his or her own humanity after many decades of research, soul-searching, and discipline,, in defiance of all inhuman people, demands, and institutions pushing them in the opposite direction.

The Guru-devotee relationship might then be accepted because the gravity of one's condition or the inhumanity of life/society/culture is recognized or intuited.
It is possible because human nature is inherently capable of it and of (re)establishing itself in any individual. In the Guru-devotee relationship humanity is supported, fed, and stimulated in defiance of mainstrean inhuman conditioning and demands.

Last edited by TheLivingShadow, 12/13/2011, 2:29 pm

12/13/2011, 2:18 pm Link to this post Send Email to TheLivingShadow   Send PM to TheLivingShadow Blog
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(health) gurus, power-based authorities, and your attitudes

Mental health, (Health) Gurus, & Power-based Authorities
27:30 min. as i discuss the matter of your choices related to the power-based authorities in the world and how you can change your reality and life in short order by understanding the nature of competent-based authorities and your own attitude toward such people.
5/13/2012, 10:06 am Link to this post Send Email to TheDoctorIsInTheHouse   Send PM to TheDoctorIsInTheHouse Blog

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