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Gina came up with this term while working on the "L" if for Lies section of WKBK2.  I like.

An individual with Gurutitus is typically somebody with a damaged [[Bodily Ego]], somebody who has had a Connection Experience or two, and who , as a consequence of the powerful experiences, believes themselves to be a spiritual teacher superior in some way (or many ways) to the uninitiated (i.e. those without a significant or remembered connection experience).

Given the definition above, what do you think are some of the red flags, signs, and symptoms of an individual suffering from Gurutitus. Can you think of any examples from your own reading/experiences?


-- All you need is love...

I think I have been guilty in the past of falling into the trap of "Guritis", but maybe not so much from connection experiences.  Instead, I think I sort of put my self on a "spiritual pedestal" because of my knowledge of lightning path concepts.

The one situation that comes to mind regarding this is with my main yoga teacher. He is an amazing man, who is in his 70's, and has spent more than 50 years teaching and studying yoga. And as a matter of fact, he seems to live a very moral, admiral, honorable, and aligned life, and I consider him to be a role model.

But more than 10 years ago now -- when I was first meeting him -- I tended to "look down" on him in a spiritual sense, because he seemed sort of confused & conflicted regarding certain spiritual ideas, and a lot of what he said was draped in old energy ideology.

In this, and also several other similar situations, I believe I was arrogant and rude to teachers, thinking I knew more than they did because I knew "authentic spirituality", and they did not.

But I do believe I have changed quite a bit: the person I am now is much more respectful of others -- and teachers in particular -- even if some of what they say I would consider "wrong."

Additionally, I have sort of shifted my idea of what it means to be 'spiritual.' Previously, I considered myself 'spiritual' because I was interested in spiritual topics; in essence, I had an intellectual understanding of spirituality. Now, I tend to think spirituality means more like alignment, whereby living an aligned life is what it means to actually be spiritual. May the people of this world be free.

Don't feel bad. The only reason I didn't succumb to gurutitus over the years is because Gina kept it in check. Came close once or twice though....

-- All you need is love...

That is funny. Our spiritual teacher in India at the Nada School said the exact same thing.  He was explaining that the function of an authentic guru was to help you find your own inner guru.  And he went on to say that we shouldn't call him a guru "because his wife would kill him." May the people of this world be free.

Very funny term, I have to say. 🙂

Astonishingly, I have not experienced that. (yet) Or, to put it more exactly, I have not notice it to happen.

I say astonishingly, because it seems to me that most prerequisites are there for me to develop the symptoms.

The thing is, probably, that my self esteem was waaaay to low for most of my life, especially at the begining of my LP journey to develop the symptoms. If you don't think very highly of yourself, then you will not be able to summon the courage to presume you are in any way better than any of your peers. Even if you see clearly how flawed their position is, or assumptions are, and see that the consequences are bad for the person and for her followers, you will not act high and mighty, because you have fear. Here's an example from my life:

I was traveling through India, 9 years ago. I was 21, looked even younger, and got acquainted with the LP mere months prior to my journey. I was a total beginner in things spiritual. I mean... it was mere months before I started to meditate the first time in my life. Certainly not the seasoned veteran in this regard. However, I was having an elevated CQ for at least 2 years already (because I was doing a visualization that was quite similar to the GI) and soaked in all the LP ressources. Not only did I know alot through the LP, but I was actively trying to understand as much as possible, and the LP ressources just made sooooo much sense to me. I knew deep down, this must be it. This MUST be the Truth. It cannot be different, it just makes too much sense. With other words, I had no doubt whatsoever that the information provided by the LP is correct.

One day, I arrived at an ashram, where a Guru was teaching the people residing there. On the second day, he did a Satsang, and most of the people in the ashram came to participate. In contrast to the previous "guru" I met, he positioned the seats in a circle, and not in the western classroom style. I liked that alot. Psychologically, there is a huge difference. The circle was rather big, but he did it anyway.

So, people started to ask questions. And the guru started to answer. Unfortunately, his answers didn't exactly match my first impressions of him. I don't know if it was my heightened awareness or what, but in my eyes, even a blind man could see that he is sowing fear. People asked, he answered, and I could simply feel how their self esteem is being diminished with every word he said. I looked around, and was puzzled to see that everyone just nodded at the "deepness" of his sayings. I was getting furious. So I raised my hand, and asked if it is generally acceptable to debate. He was startled at that. He paused, didn't answer me, and asked me to say what I have to say. I clumsily tried to argue against what he was preaching. Unfortunately, at that time, I have not yet studied philosophy, so linguistic eloquence was not exactly my forte. To the contrary, I barely managed not to stammer too badly for the sentences to be understood. I have always been afraid to speak in public, and my pulse must have been around 200.

Now, due to my appearance, due to my being not very self confident, due to his position, etc. the guru answered almost annoyed at my remarks, which threatened his credibility. Afer I was finished, I sensed (and saw) the contempt on his face, and he was probably thinking: "you little green boy, do you really think you can stand against ME? I have 50 years of experience, and you mere months, do you think it is reasonable for you to QUESTION ME!?" (i had told him that I am new to spirituality on the first chat when I arrived in the evening of the previous day...)

This is the vibe I got off of him. He countered my arguments, I countered his, and then suddenly I felt guilty of interrupting the session. I stopped asking questions, or interrupting, soon after, because the fear in me was overwhelming. I couldn't stand my ground. I have already summoned all my courage to even open my mouth in the first place. That was gone, and I felt compelled to shut up.

Now, if you think about it. It was my opinion against his opinion. Our views were incompatible. I knew, I was right. And I knew he was wrong. But, of course, he knew he was right, and he knew I was wrong, from his point of view. It is a stalemate situation. So, in such a situation, it seems to me that gurutitis is elicited. It is easy to see who has the gurutitis, because one only needs to look at the aims, the intentions of the debating persons.

I remember clearly the intentions I had in my heart. They were good ones. I intended to stop the hurt, provide truth, and generally help those in need of help. I felt a very strong urge to do so. I felt a strong urge to serve.

So, the moral of the story is the following in my eyes: The best way to recognize if someone has gurutitis or not, is to question their intentions. If the intentions are "pure" - that is, if they aim at uplifting creation, gurutitis is impossible.

I write this, because in my opinion, gurutitis is possible even if the information the teacher provides is correct, and is generally aimed to uplift creation. But what makes the difference between gurutitis or not, is not the specific information that is provided, but rather the underlying intention in the specific moment. Does the identity of the guru crumble if the guru is not given right? Then it is likely that it is gurutitis. Upholding a picture of oneself seems to be a key point here. Does the teacher want to be seen in a certain way? Does his identity depend on the way others see him/her? What does he/she want to achieve by his/her statements? seem to be some key questions.

All good thoughts Aim. Sowing fear is a definite red flag. As is a weak Bodily Ego. Only an individual with a strong Bodily Ego can handle Connection to the point where they could sort things out sufficiently to enable them to teach.

I always look to the direction the teacher points in regards to Truth. If the teachers points at themselves and says "I'm the only/superior source of truth," that's a red flag. OTOH if the teacher points at the students and says "You are the source of truth. All you have to do is clear away the gunk and confusion, let me help with that" that's a green light.

As Ben says, the function of the authentic guru is to help you find your own inner guru.


I always look for pedestals and thrones as well. No self-respecting Bodhisattva would ever be caught dead sitting on a throne or standing on a pedestal.

-- All you need is love...

Ya, good points. I like the idea of observing the direction of Truth alot. It is a very fast way to figure it out how authentic the teacher is.

I wrote once to Michael the story of 10 avatars in India. Which I found at one time of my life so enlightening. This is a very old story and told in a dance form about 10 avatars. In hindu philosophy avatar is a full divine consciousness incarnating. But maybe it incarnates quite often? So, avatar means in this case an incarnation, which shows the next evolutionary step. Not a personal achievement, actually is not at all about humans. It is a next step for the earth in it's evolution. The first avatar was for example a giant fish. I think it was Vishnu. So, at one point in the evolution, clearly the fish was something most amazing.

Then there were others and the last avatar is called Kalki. Why the last I do not know from the story. I can only guess.

Nonetheless now, at the End of Times,  there are around 5 Kalki avatars in India, maybe even more by today. Definitely at least 4 of them have got Gurutitis. Or maybe even all 5 ;)?

A fully realized Kalki Avatar would not succumb to Gurititus, I think.  Here's the wiki page

From what I can tell, Kalki as the fifth and final avatar of Lord Vishu, or the tenth and final, is "the destroyer of filth." He is a "warrior priest" and "brilliant remover of darkness."

Note, his abode is Shambhala. I've always been drawn to that word Shambhala.

I wrote this poem Shambhala many years ago now

Shambhala Warriors

Also, my daughter and I are working on a comic entitled "Shambhala."


And of course, there's the song "Road to Shambhala," by Three Dog Night.

This Kalki Avatar bears resemblance to other figures you find in other religions who are supposed to come at the end of the world and clear away darkness and illusion, set things straight (i.e. return the dharma), and usher in a new age of utopia for all.


-- All you need is love...

One thing I wanted to mention regarding this topic was the issue of properly acknowledging the Lighting path concepts that we use in our own writings and when talking to others.

I have been studying at an online university, and one thing that has been emphasized so much is how to avoid plagiarism (which includes presenting other's ideas as one's own.)

The Lightning Path in particular introduces many completely novel ideas and conceptualizations, but has the pitfall of making the ideas very easy to grasp.

This is obviously a great thing, and after sufficient study, it becomes easy to really internalize and really "own" the ideas to the point that they just seem like common knowledge or completely obvious statements of reality.

When I went back and read my online exchanges with some professors I studied with in the past, I noticed that I was desperately trying to converse about spiritual type subjects with them, but continually used LP concepts to do it.

I wouldn't say I was trying to appropriate LP ideas as my own so much, but on the other hand, I definitely wasn't properly citing any of the concepts I was using either.

So now that I am learning how to function in a more formal academic context, I am trying to be more cognizant of the need to properly cite LP concepts. Obviously the citing the spirit wiki article i think is a good way to do this.

Secondly, I have been thinking about the topic of "Guruitis" on a practical level of how to best talk to people in various spiritual contexts. For example, this happens to me a lot in the yoga community, because I spent a lot of my time and energy at the yoga studio, and interact with various yoga teachers.

When I was younger, I was very put off with yoga teacher's "old energy" ideas, and was rude to them, trying to interject my own "new energy" perspective on things.

For example, my main teacher is an amazing guy who has devoted his entire life to yoga, and lives a very aligned and honorable existence... but he constantly talks about how "life is a gigantic school house to teach us", etc.

Anyway, I have learned how to converse with people "on their own level", without trying to constantly "upgrade their spiritual knowledge". Instead, I just sort of accept that they haven't been exposed to new energy spirituality in the way that I have, and they are doing their best to 'make sense of it all' [find the truth that we are all seeking] within the context of their knowledge and experience.

Plus I have learned to be more diplomatic and artful in my conversations, focusing on what we have in common and what I would consider the more aligned aspects of their thinking, and just sort of "loving them despite their flaws" as my dad would say.

I am starting to believe that our intellectual understanding of authentic spirituality leads us to a lived reality of it, which then supersedes our intellectual understanding. Along these lines, the main way that we can be authentic teachers is to live aligned lives, and inspire others by our example. Then when the opportunity presents itself, we can use the aligned concepts of the LP to start to orient other's thinking in the direction of authentic spirituality. May the people of this world be free.

I need to go soon, so just a very quick response here.

I'm a person who is quite bad at "accepting" stuff from teachers that has deleterious effects. It is one thing to have destructive concepts in your mind and merely apply it to yourself and perhaps your family, and quite another when you act as a teacher. A teacher has a "greater" responsibility to find and perpetuate truths than your average citizen. Greater in a sense that the effects of the teachings has a wider area of effect. Not only does a teacher affect opinions of more people, but due to his/her position, those teachings are more easily believed. Thus, I expect them to strive for truth and nothing but the truth. Otherwise, they simply fail their purpose and potentially do more damage than heal.

I, for my part, am quite shameless in questioning content and motives of preachings. That doesn't mean that I don't try to do it tactfully, I usually do, depending on the resistance, but I have a hard time sitting idle and accepting the spread of information/concepts that are sure to affect the students negatively.

Were I to be a teacher I'd feel like this: When I spread some information, and some students would tell me, hey! that's probably not true! I'd stop and think about it. If they are right, then I learned something new from them, which is perfect, since I am committed to the truth being a teacher. If they are wrong, then it is an excellent exercise to deepen my own understanding, and theirs too, by trying to explain it in a way that is intelligible for them.

Win-win I'd say. No matter who is right, every party profits from putting the - perhaps uncomfortable - questions. Thus, I feel it is not a bad thing to interfere.

I recently visited a convention for spirituality. I was quite shocked to see how spirituality is being twisted and directed onto unhealthy ways. So much so, that I felt compelled to leave after an hour. It was not the time and place to intervene, simply because I would have banged my head against a 5m thick wall made of granite. No sense in fighting where you cannot win. Thus, I agree with you, that it is not always appropriate to intervene.

Ben and Aim, I love both of your thoughts and reflections. I have a hard time posting my thoughts because the past 12 years, I have had to develop my oral communication talents when working with clients, and when I see you two put down in writing what I know a lot of learned/educated people try to say, but fail miserably because of their egos, their traditions (formal and informal training), I know that this Path that we are all choosing to be on in order to make meaningful change, makes me smile. Both of what you have said i.e., Ben seeing the need to assert when working in old energy environments in the past vs. present, and Aim, your understanding of what is all involved when teaching/mentoring, is something I have always struggled with.

What I mean is that when I was younger and an eager student, I either took what was being presented to me as "a truth". Or depending on who was telling me something, and whether I didn't trust them, I would react with negativity, skepticism, and mistrust. This binary approach to discord and higher learning has corrupted and  compromised me. And I would argue, the way our current formal institutions function, this has to be deliberate because those who think they know, don't know, or because they, the knowers, are so damaged and blocked, they can't see how their actions are suppressing the truth. Whichever, it's guruitis.

Because I truly believe it is our journey - all of us - that our purpose at this given moment in time, is always about getting to our highest spiritually self truths, and I apply this to no matter where ever it is that you are starting from, the more you know, the more things sometimes be uncomfortable. To address truth and to always push through the answers, in my experiences, has robbed me and or held me hostage for many years. I would either be complicit and comply, and/or I would be avoidant, and/or combative depending on my personal safety of the given experience. But is this what is really happening? Is this truth?

Learning to trust, accept, be kind and loving has helped me to be more understanding and patient, which has allowed me to see my truths and others better. My way is probably seen a feminine way, but will discuss this in another post - point is that my journey to my understanding of truth has forced me to be different, and being different has allowed me to see myself before, and make a choice to move or live differently. Blah blah blah...

One of the things I have learned as I have mastered my oral communication and therapy skills when working with clients, who by a binary worldview, are deemed "more sick" than me; when a client pushes through an old energy or an old truth with my assistance and teachings, and when their "aha" moment is expressed back to me with lots of gratefulness, it can be tricky. Because this experience can be very alluring and intoxicating, because hey, it proves that "I am worthy". But on the other hand, because I struggle with different levels of understanding, coping, and acceptance, and this in itself manifests in what I would argue in today's binary terms, "A First World Psychological Zeitgeist Disorder", it can also be demoralizing. What I mean is that, those who get their training and accept that what they are doing is the truth, have settled. So when an eager beaver comes along and says, "hey I don't believe you", the challenge causes an internal and external conflict for both parties. And it is in the push back of growth and growing that results in the pathologies that we all work hard to hide behind. Hence, why Mike and I came up with the term guruitis, because of our own, and what other's have expressed when sharing their worldviews (whether historically, multi-disciplinary, formal, informal, etc.) - we are all soft and squishy and it is A-OK! Learning to accept our soft squishy parts will assist with guruitis!

And to be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I struggle too, and have learned and am continuing to learn how to confront these struggles emotionally, psychologically, intellectually and spiritually, I am just saying -  that I can empathize how new learnings can create and or place one on a guru pedestal and develop guruitis. So I think whether one is struggling with momentary guruitis, it can be challenging, but that's a good thing. Not experiencing any discomfort or degenerative deteriorating effects of guruitis is fucked up!

I have a saying with clients, who when I know they are looking up to me and feeling safe and vulnerable, I tell them that "I see sick people, hence that is why I was able to help". I don't say this to be smart, arrogant, a guru. I say this because my term " I see sick people" is really a reflection of an old teaching "it takes one to know one". So when I am saying this to my clients, it's loaded term because in therapy, I am asking them to consider to view themselves differently because when I see them, I am refusing to see what I have been told or taught to see based on the thoughts at play in that given time, space, and place when working with a client. So by learning to see the potential in a client has taught me to see what they see and what they are hoping to see in order to get them to see themselves from where their potential of who they can truly be, is what my purpose is.

I think gururitis is the direct outcome of being trained to be sheeples. Formal academic/scientific inquiry is the pinnacle of our human understanding and when it comes to the spiritual aspect of us, well that is for our "downtime", you know our "personal endeavors" that we do in our "private spheres". And when we all buy into the story of our downtime or personal endeavors, we suppress truth. So when our "gurus" fail us because we see through their shit, we don't really have any way of challenging them, because if we do, we are either "radical", seen as "problematic" or "damaged", or some other dismissive understanding because the truth seekers who challenge the gurus are a threat to an established system. The System that has actively worked at creating a hierarchy of what a truth is, or what a truth can be, or it's potential truth, and or who can have access to these truths. If you can "build it they will come" is the model that supports guruitis. And let's be honest, gurus have profitted off their status whether it is economical, intellectual, geographical, cultural, spiritual, racial or gender/sexual etc., so it is important to examine why one would entertain let alone adopt guruitis. My advice, we have to challenge and we have to create the conditions in where we keep on challenging - ALWAYS!


when a client pushes through an old energy or an old truth with my assistance and teachings, and when their "aha" moment is expressed back to me with lots of gratefulness, it can be tricky. Because this experience can be very alluring and intoxicating, because hey, it proves that "I am worthy".

Yes, I can relate to that to a certain extent.

I don't know exactly why, but at a relative fragile age, precisely this kind of thing stopped radically for me.

I radically changed the sheer possibility of praise from external to internal. I really don't know why, but suddenly I noticed that I don't care about the praise of others. I felt/feel it vividly that external praise, in whichever form - so praise that comes from others - simply doesn't fulfil me. It went so far that even the most eloquent praises raised nothing inside of me, but dead-coldness. I didn't care whatsoever. In fact, I preferred not being praised at all, no matter my deed. Instead, what I craved for was internal praise. So, emotions that come from my higher self. Those were deeply fulfilling, and really what makes me "whole".

After a change like this, I assume the risk for gurutitis is minimal. It still exists, but the probability of appearance is waaaay lower than without this kind of change.

Again, I don't know exactly why this happened to me at around the age of 20. If I had to guess, it was probably because I felt so fed up with all the lies, hypocrisy, manipulation and (self) delusion that was going on in society, that I started to mistrust the genuinity of others. Because occasional praise is healthy from time to time, my [spwiki]PU[/spwiki] probably started to acquire its "fuel" internally. And really, nothing beats the "praise" that comes from inside. The more I live this way, the easier it is for me to discern whether the praise is internal or external. (Note that oftentimes, both kinds of praises happen simultaneously. If you help someone, and that person is greatful, she/he can express gratitude and praise you, while simultaneously your [spwiki]RMC[/spwiki] also doing the same, signifying you: now,there's a job well done!) However, it is possible to discern clearly between the source of the emotions. The one from the [spwiki]RMC[/spwiki] is filling you, while the external praise merely covers you like clothes.

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