In March, I posted about Jody Razik's launch of Guruphiliac, a smart and damn funny blog that rakes all kinds of spiritual scammers leaders over the coals. Now, Douglas Rushkoff, in his new column for freak mag Arthur, uses Guruphiliac as a launch pad to take a high altitude look at some of the reasons we seek gurus and why it's important to be your own leader, and your own devotee. From the column:
The path of devotion offered by gurus is also a natural fit for those of us who are fed up with the relativistic haze of a world where there are no discernible rules, yet equally disillusioned by institutional religions that appear to have sold out to American consumerism. The guru offers absolutism. Certainty. A point of focus.Link to Rushkoff's column excerpt, Link to Guruphiliac
As one slick guru, chronicled on Guruphiliac explains on his website: "When you meet a master, you have two choices. Transform or walk away. You cannot be in his presence and remain the same." Uh, yeah. In other words, conform to his reality or scram. The guru is the starting place from which all other decisions are to be made. You start with the guru as the one perfect point in the universe, and from there everything else can fall into place. If the guru has instructed you to eat a certain food or do a certain practice, then - according to the logic of gurudom - everything else you have to do for this to happen is part of the perfection. Slowly but surely, surrender to the guru requires you to reject pretty much everything that doesn't fit whatever model of the world he's offering you.
But, honestly, that's what the devotee was after in the first place. An excuse to do or not do all that other confusing stuff in life like encounter people with different ideas, wrestle with the questions of existence, and accept that nobody really knows what happens when we die.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.