– quoting Jed McKenna –

Those who know how to think need no teachers.
– Mahadma Gandhi – 

Truth has no teaching, requires no guru, and is not a spiritual pursuit.

That bears repeating: Truth requires no guru. A guru may be necessary to follow a teaching, but to make a journey we must cut everything away, gurus and teachings included. We can sit together, but we must travel alone. Giving oneself over to a teacher or a teaching or a Beloved Guru or whatever is all about staying asleep, not waking up. The first rule in this business is that you are on your own.

I am not a spiritual person and never was, and in my view, the search for truth is not a spiritual endeavor and never was. We don’t need a hundred experts to tell us what’s right behind us, we just need to turn around and look.

Remember, there’s nothing to know. Kill the guru. No head full of spiritual knowledge or wall full of spiritual books can ever be other than an anchor. A teacher can give a little direction now and then, but that’s all. All forward motion depends on release, not gain. Only that knowledge which destroys knowledge facilitates progress. Don’t seek external validation, be your own guru. Leave all the swami wannabes behind and represent your own interests.

If you want to understand this for yourself, you must first realize that you’re on your own, that you have no teachers or teaching to aid you, no friends or fellowship to comfort you. You must sort this out for yourself because your self is the thing to be sorted. You are on your own.

The spiritual community today

The community is pretty diverse. There’s no cohesion, no single guiding philosophy that unites them other than being outside the mainstream. There are currents of Buddhism and Hindu thought that run through it, but they don’t really form any sort of basis to it all. There’s a lot of metaphysical stuff, a lot of lifestyle stuff, all sort of healing modalities. So there’s really no single defining quality you could ascribe to the spiritual audience beyond certain independence of thought.

Can I help others in the same situation as me?

Wake up first. Wake up and then you can turn back and perhaps be of some use to others if you still have the urge. Wake up first or you’re just another fish in the ocean looking for water and all the compassion in the world is of absolutely no use to other victims around you. The simple fact is that you are of no use to anyone else if you’re in the same situation they are.

What about all the teachers and gurus that say that they become enlightened in an instant? 

They’re probably talking about the transformation brought on by a transcendental experience -a experience of mystic union or some variation of it. It’s powerful and can be massively transformative, but it’s not enlightenment. Enlightenment isn’t flashy and it doesn’t just occur like an epiphany. There’s no such thing as instant enlightenment any more than there’s such a thing as instant baby.

Something to consider the next time you hear the pop guru recount the moments of his glorious epiphany. “I was walking in the park, children were laughing, birds were singing, when all of a sudden…”