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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Another warning against 'gurus'

Although Robert Anton Wilson certainly had the ability to listen and to learn from others, he was scathing on the subject of elevating a teacher to the status of a guru.  Here is one saying attributed to him: "A disciple is just an asshole looking for a human being to attach itself to."

Here's a story from the New York Times about a Zen teacher who took advantage of his female followers. Here is a sentence:

In the council’s report on Jan. 11, the three members wrote of “Sasaki asking women to show him their breasts, as part of ‘answering’ a koan” — a Zen riddle — “or to demonstrate ‘non-attachment.’ ”

Apparently the teacher also was into groping.

The anecdotes about the Zen teacher are rather reminiscent of the stories about Isaac Asimov that emerged years after Asimov's death. Asimov was a favorite writer of mine,  particularly when I was a teenager.

I suspect Asimov would not get away with it now.  (He died in 1992). Interesting that science fiction fandom is more enlightened than the world of Zen Buddhism.

1 comment:

Neil_in_Chicago said...

Nasreddin was walking in the bazaar with a large group of followers. Whatever Nasreddin did, his followers immediately copied. Every few steps Nasreddin would stop and shake his hands in the air, touch his feet and jump up yelling "Hu Hu Hu!". So his followers would also stop and do exactly the same thing.
One of the merchants, who knew Nasreddin, quietly asked him: "What are you doing my old friend? Why are these people imitating you?"
"I have become a Sufi Sheikh," replied Nasreddin. "These are my Murids (spiritual seekers); I am helping them reach enlightenment!"
"How do you know when they reach enlightenment?"
"That's the easy part! Every morning I count them. The ones who have left - have reached enlightenment!"

(& by the way, for better or worse, Asimov's public lechery was no secret.)