Highly recommended read:..
Trickster and tricked
All gurus try to undermine their followers’ egos and expectations, so does it matter if the teacher is a real fraud?
..Here, then, is the greatest irony of Kumaré: what appears on the surface to be a debunking of gurus winds up underscoring the ongoing resilience of seeker spirituality. Placing Gandhi’s experiment within the sort of informed historical context that Gandhi himself was not willing (or able) to provide, Kumaré might be seen as a goofy, low-calorie echo of crazy 20th-century gurus such as Aleister Crowley, Gurdjieff and Rajneesh, all of them mystical tricksters who aggressively played with the expectations and projections of their students. With his shadowy past and constantly shifting set of personas, Gurdjieff regularly booby-trapped the teaching environment with unexpected and sometimes outrageous behavior. He believed that authentic awakening required ‘shocks’ (not unlike the Great Unveiling), and would reportedly hire aggressively annoying people to show up at spiritual gatherings just to push people’s buttons. Though all these men were spiritual authoritarians whose very real excesses (and duplicities) have led some to reject categorically the idea of the guru, they were also influential pioneers of the ‘spiritual but not religious’ sensibility that has become so widespread in the contemporary world. One of the reasons the trickster plays an important role in this evolving spiritual culture is that an important current in that culture uses scepticism, disenchantment, and even pranks as opportunities for liberation — the swords that slaughter the Buddhas you meet on the road. As Gandhi himself has said in interviews, ‘scepticism can be spiritual’. But that’s true only if scepticism frees us from assumptions and preconceptions rather than freezing us in some snide and mocking rationalist ideology. These days, such authentic scepticism might be as lacking in our world as authentic spirituality. (via Erik Davis - On-gurus)