When I stood at the arena at a Tony Robbins event and looked out over a 10,000 plus audience, I saw how eager folks are to know themselves, to rid themselves of emotional, financial, and physical hurts. I saw how delicate they are and how easily bruised. I saw how they (I was there too) turn to a leader who they believe has more information than they do.
I once sat in an Ashram in India with a few hundred eager souls desperate for spiritual upliftment. Together we watched a Guru named Sai Baba supposedly produce ash (Verbuti, sacred ash) from his hand, and people sat soaking up his presence—darsum they called it, that is being in the presence of a “holy” person.
Some thought they were in the presence of God.
I’m embarrassed to say this, but I attended numerous retreats with a channel named Ramtha. I thought he was the best show on the block, but soon, and much expense later I said, “Enough.” And quit.
To celebrate our freedom from the Ramtha experience, two friends and I went to Germany and visited Mother Meera, a silent Guru. The room was packed. One by one we went up to a beautiful young woman dressed in a colorful sari seated at the head of the room. We knelt down and touched her feet. She placed her hands on our heads, and supposedly removed “tangles.” (From the brain, not the hair.)
Remember how the movie and the book The Secret took the country by storm, became a best seller, then fizzled out?
The had a secret, but not a complete solution.
Last night I watched a documentary titled Enlighten Me about James Earl Ray, a “Spiritual Guru,” who touted himself as a “Spiritual Warrior” and whose sweat lodge killed three people and sent 18 more to the hospital.
And those people paid almost 10,000 dollars to do it!
The judge profoundly proclaimed his wonder of how consenting adults could lose their practical sense and allow themselves to be in harm’s way. On the other hand, he blamed James Earl Ray stating that when someone has the power to persuade, they also have a responsibility to protect those under their tutelage.
People in James Earl Ray’s audience broke boards with their bare hands—impressive, but where was their tremendous “breakthrough?”
Attendees to his retreats bungee jumped to get past their fears.
Participants fell backward into fellow participants hands trusting that those behind them would catch them.
And then some went into a sweat lodge and were cooked.
Haven’t we been taught that learning is hard, that it requires hard work and struggle both financially and physically?
And school time wasn’t enough; there was homework that you couldn’t possibly ignore out of fear of tomorrow’s reprimand. Embarrassment worked.
The long arm of education reached into the homes and forced parents to sit on their kids. We were taught to obey.
And then in college how many times have you struggled to stay awake during a droll lecture?
I just flashed on a memory. I was two or three-years-old, and was still put down for an afternoon nap. Lying there staring out the window I make a discovery.
“Mom,” I yelled. “the sky is moving!”
Remember when learning was fun?
Considering the conditioning we had, it is any wonder that people go to retreats and endure the trials because they believe that will push them through their “blocks” their phobias, their psychological injuries?
We believe a teacher knows more than we do.
The Native American’s built their sweat lodge from twigs, as did the “Spiritual Warriors.” The Native Americans, however, did not cover their sweat lodge with plastic and seal their people inside.
Why am I saying all this?
Do not give your power away.
Our animals know to protect their physical body. True, sometimes they overplay the protective mechanism and panic over trivial things.
We think they are trivial. The animal doesn’t.
As do people who will not leave their house.
Sometimes people get lost in perversion and neurosis.
But here we are with our big thinking brain, and we are trying to separate the reasonable fear from the unreasonable.
Caz of Y Travel writes: I was hit with panic and overwhelm just minutes before sitting down in the chair… As soon as I walked in and saw all the action (which was thrilling) and then the set up with the cameras, my stomach rolled, and the voice said, “I don’t think you’ve got what it takes for this big time”
On another blog Caz says It’s amazing how much the girls will whine about going on a hike and then completely fall in love with the experience ten steps in.
How often do we grumble and complain that something is hard or scary, and then having pushed through come out triumphant and ecstatic?
That is the reason people go to gurus.
Common sense is in our genes, but it gets eroded by the clamor of “authorities.”
Didn’t they teach us in schools that others know more than we do?
And to obey.
For a long while they even tried to control women by putting “Obey” in the wedding vows. Did that also apply to the man?
It isn’t easy is it, maneuvering the labyrinth of life?
We want to use our built-in common sense, yet, we must rely on people who know more than us. I don’t know how to fly an airplane—yet I want to fly in one. I don’t know how to fix my car, but I want to drive. I don’t know how to set a broken bone, but if I have one, I want somebody to know how to fix it.
We read to gather information from others who have studied, researched, or are just plain fun. They have packaged it for our benefit. Thus culture grows.
And aren’t we glad someone was smart enough to build the computer?
Technology, smartphones, televisions, rockets, jets, didn’t come from one individual. All of it was built up incrementally from others who studied, experimented and learned.
Did someone teach Michelangelo how to sculpt or did he spring fully blown upon the scene?
However, we distort and make small ourselves by venerating those who have mastered their craft or are the top of their game; Trump who made gobs of money, athletes, actors, we pay them the most. Now technology gurus are joining the fray.
We turn to coaches for sport’s training and for business acumen. We turn to psychiatrists for our mental health and doctors for our physical health. And people want to understand life. Dan Brown used two of life’s persistent questions as the basis of his book Origins, “Where did we come from, and where are we going?’
That’s the reason people throng to gurus, to retreats, to workshops, to channels, to churches, to understand and to know. People are in pain. World events and struggle have numbed people. Many have jobs they don’t like and relationships that are unfulfilling.
The “I’m not good enough,” syndrome raises its ugly head at EVERY workshop.
Some people scoff and laugh at specific disciplines and yet have one of their own just as restrictive.
To maneuver this labyrinth of life takes some share of wit.
You know what they say about being lost in the desert, gold wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans, but the guy with the water jug could save our life.
Remember that common sense gene? Or is it a gene? I don’t know, except I heard last night that People, all people, red, yellow, black or white have the genetic structure that is 99.9% the same with all other people.
We are all in this soup together.
You are good enough—you got born, a miracle in itself, you are maneuvering life.
*“What is REAL?” asked Rabbit one day, when they were lying by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.
*From From the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
”Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “when you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food an for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Tecumseh, Shawnee •