Social media advertising is awash with people selling their niche programmes. If your interest is entrepreneurship or marketing or a particular aspect of personal growth you will have been targeted to see the adverts for the programmes that match your interests. Watch one free webinar and with the current propensity for affiliate marketing you will have been introduced to half a dozen other programmes and the people who developed them. Each one a guru. Each one promising you success in life with their programme. And each programme is an introduction to a higher value programme. How many of these gurus have become your guru on your path to success and fortune?
As of 2000 years ago a new potential entered into human evolution. No, I’m not asking you to subscribe to any particular religion. The events of 2000 years ago changed the way we receive guidance. The guidance that until then had been available to humanity only from external sources: The Law given to Moses, Oracles, Sages and initiates, became available to us from within, from our own inner being, our own conscience. This is not a mere belief, through careful research it becomes clear that this is fact.
In the 21st century we have been “given the key to the door” – this faculty has matured – and we see how more and more people are finding their own unique path or way of doing things. I’ll list some examples: Tony Robbins, Louis Hay, Robert Kiyosaki, John Kehoe, Jon Penberthy, Ryan Eliason, Lisa Sasevich, Ted McGrath, Josh Turner, Byron Katie, Rock Thomas and the list goes on and on.
The tendency for the people who find their inner purpose is to assume that this is a teaching that is useful to all of humanity and, in time, to see it as something that can be monetised. The result is that we have more personal and business gurus in the world with a greater variety of teachings than ever before.
The mention of the word teaching brings to mind the origin of the word educate. The word educate probably stems from the Latin educãre or educere. One of the translations of educãre is ‘to bring up’, not as in bringing up a child, but as in bringing up one’s own thoughts on a matter. Educere means ‘to lead out’.
The concept of education therefore aligns with the idea that we have an inner wisdom or inner knowledge that is just bursting to come to the surface, given the right stimulus. Education is therefore not about cramming an empty vessel full of knowledge from outside, which is the understanding that most schools have of the concept of education based on other translations of educãre which are to mould or to train.
Following the teachings of the many gurus in the world today also stems from the concept that we are an empty vessel, at least as far as their field of knowledge goes, that needs to be filled with the knowledge they impart.
However, I propose that we are each our own guru; we each have our own inner wisdom to bring to the surface to enrich our own life. By following the other self-made gurus, we stifle the possibility of ‘bringing up’ or ‘leading out’ our inner guru. Most of the gurus have a story of personal hardship to tell which brought them to “the dark night of the soul” where they came into contact with their inner wisdom and so discovered their message, which has made them a guru. Our hope is that by “sitting at the feet” of these gurus we may spare ourselves the dark night of the soul experience. But by trying to avoid our own hardships we are denying ourselves the opportunity of reaching into our own inner wisdom. The journey the gurus took was long and arduous and part of their sales pitch is to tell us that they hope to spare us the same arduous journey. But our wisdom lies at the end of our journey and not in becoming a disciple of someone else’s journey; that belongs to the past of human evolution.
The hardest part of following our journey is ignoring the voices of the people who love us, who want to spare us from difficulty, from hardship. Their well-meaning advice leads us to believe that we are empty vessels needing to be filled with the knowledge of a teacher in order to be ‘successful’ in life. I say that we are each a deep well of infinite knowledge and wisdom with a personal path that will lead us to the water at the bottom of this well; knowledge and wisdom that is uniquely ours and uniquely designed for this particular lifetime we are living. Rather than seeking a guru we should seek a coach who understands that the individual’s path is long and arduous, but uniquely theirs. Someone who will encourage us to dig deeper rather than to try and fill us up with what is not ours. Someone who will hold us accountable and be there when times are dark and difficult, not to help us out of the darkness but to remind us that the darkness is the beginning of great things.
It may be tempting to jump at the enticing messages of successful gurus that are presented to us as often as we log into the world wide web of knowledge. Doing so prevents us reaching the guru that is our self, the guru waiting in suspense to be discovered when we turn inwards into ourselves and walk our own path. Your guru should be you.