We are asleep, entranced by the mind’s narcissistic fascination with itself. Our existence is an endless labyrinth of experience, belief, conditioning and memories that continually reinforce each other, creating the illusion of an actual “me” that exists within the body/mind instrument, unique and separate from all else.
The voice inside your head that is constantly talking to itself is this “me.” If you listen carefully to what it is saying, you will realize that it is constantly talking about itself, its past, its future, its experiences, hopes and fears. It is always recreating and propping up the “myth of me.” It is very concerned with itself. Whether it is saying good or bad things about itself doesn’t matter. What does matter is to see its total obsession with itself. Most thinking is the “me” thinking about itself. Without a “me” to think about, there is silence.
This “me” has an agenda. Its agenda is for itself to survive and thrive, to maintain the “myth of me.” By thinking, it is constantly propping itself up as it struggles against the ruthless rules of reality. Some “mes” are very good at this. They learn quickly and play the game effectively. They become successful in life, happy, healthy, rich and famous. Then they realize they are going to die anyway. And so their search for a greater meaning for “me” begins
Other “mes” continue to struggle throughout life, often becoming tired, depressed and filled with despair. These “mes” may turn to New Age teachings, psychology, religion or spirituality to find greater meaning and significance in life. Their idea is to create a better “me” by getting rid of all the bad thoughts, beliefs and feelings and replacing them with a whole host of good thoughts, beliefs and feelings. They want to become a new and improved “me,” even an immortal “me!”
There are thousands of teachers and teachings in the world that will help the “me” to do just that. These teachers know what the “me’s” problem is. You have negative thoughts, you are too fat, you don’t believe in Jesus, you don’t know the law of attraction, you create your own bad karma, you need to reincarnate as soon as possible, you are only at stage 3 of the 7 stages of whatever, the hemispheres of your brain need to be synchronized, you haven’t studied the profound teachings of…, you need to link up with the Mother Ship, you don’t have enough algae in your diet, you need a new mantra, you need to change your name as it isn’t in harmony with your soul’s frequency vibration, you haven’t received initiation, you need colonic cleansing, your genes need rethreading, and on and on and on. And there are books, videos and tapes to support the new trance of the new “me.”
And then there is the True Guru.
The True Guru is just an annoying alarm clock, waking the “me” from its trance of obsession and separation.
The True Guru is not a teacher, although s/he may teach all sorts of nonsense. The True Guru is a disturbing influence in the life of a “me,” undermining everything the “me” believes and holds to be true. The True Guru especially undermines the “myth” of the separate “me.” The “me” often resents the True Guru, calling it disillusioning, negative and fatalistic, and yet the “me” is attracted to the Guru like a moth is to a candle flame.
Sometimes the True Guru appears in a kind and gentle form. This Guru is like an alarm clock that plays gentle, soothing music and has a snooze button. The “me” awakens slowly, going in and out of the dream of separation. Sometimes the “me” hits the snooze button and seems to go back into the dream. This may last for a few days or even a few years, but sooner or later, the dream of separation cannot maintain itself and the “me” returns to the Guru.
Sometimes the True Guru manifests in a ruthless form. This Guru is like a loud, clanging alarm clock that is just out of reach. The only way to shut this Guru up is to wake up now!
The True Guru in any guise is a threat to the “me’s” most cherished beliefs and assumptions. The True Guru sees through all beliefs and systems and so questions everything, including the very existence of a unique and separate “me.”
Werner Erhard says, “Most of our notions about the world come from a set of assumptions which we take for granted, and which, for the most part, we don’t examine or question. We bring these assumptions to the table as a given. They are so much a part of who we are that it is difficult for us to separate ourselves from them enough to be able to talk about them. We do not think these assumptions — we think from them.”
The True Guru exposes and deconstructs these notions and assumptions, even the notion and assumption of spirituality, which is just another prop for the “myth of me.” The main notion and assumption that is brought to the table and exposed is this assumption of a unique and separate “me,” which all of the other myths and assumptions are based upon.
The True Guru may appear ridiculous. S/he says and does just about anything to awaken the “me” from the dream of separation. And yet the True Guru has no agenda, teaching, or point of view. The Guru may be very inconsistent and constantly contradicting itself. This doesn’t bother the Guru in the least as Gurus are not concerned with being right or proving anything. This paradox and lack of a consistent teaching drives the “me” a little crazy. The Guru doesn’t make any sense to the “me’s” mind. And yet this is actually the cure for the “me’s” delusions and illusions about itself.
The “me” wants to understand the True Guru’s teaching. There is nothing to understand. The True Guru is simply resting in the complete obviousness of what is always present, always true and always available. This is called satsang. For the “me” to see this, it has to get over itself and be silent. If the “me” stays in satsang, it will awaken from the dream of separation
The good news—or bad news—is that the True Guru is always present and ringing loudly! The True Guru is This reality itself. This is It.
3 thoughts on “The True Guru Is Nothing but an Annoying Alarm Clock”
I was enjoying this piece, strolling along and nodding my head in agreement, then stubbed my toe on the big Werner Erhard rock and went tumbling ass over tea kettle. The name triggered “me” but the content seems sound. Maybe I need to check my”self” and heed his advice in regards to my opinion of a person I’ve never met or studied.
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Yes, Werner can be a button-pusher for many! And you are wise to contemplate what he said rather than just be triggered by his name. I am glad you enjoyed the essay!
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My assumptions about Erhard are formed primarily from my experience with people in Landmark and what I know of the Landmark business model. Est was before my time.