The psychology of guruism

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:53 pm

MBFM comments on Beyond Guruism

mybrainisafleamarket said,
02.11.09 at 12:07 pm ·
Am convinced that guruism is BDSM power imbalance that is unconsciously enacted, unlike conscious kink in which all parties KNOW what they want, and are capable of sitting down before hand and negotiating expectations, limits, safewords, when a scene begins, and when it ends.

(note) I am not a member of the kink community, but have had some informative conversations with persons who self identify as such.

One of them read an account of what was going on in Cohens community and said, spontaneously, ‘This reads like a BDSM scene that is out of control’

Not only out of control, but unconscious.

But, IMO, my guess is guruism is a sort of spiritually rationalized kink and unconscious kink at that. It romanticises power imbalance, makes the fake intensity of power imbalance seem not only ’spiritual’ but the only way to be ’spiritual’.

Worse, you are forbidden to think or feel consciously about this very important matter. Ever notice that in this seekers scene, any attempt to discuss power is treated as sacrilige?

What I think is nefarious is that the gurus, especially the modern ones, trick you into letting them reformat your mind and emotions so that you relate to the guru and his or her belief system with the pre-modern mindset of a peasant, yet you are taught to retain your ability to earn money, build credit and function in a post modern, money based capitalist economy, which means you are a peasant to the guru but with the earning power of a first world citizen–yet you no longer know how to behave as a citizen in relation to the guru.

You’re behave and feel and think as a feudal peon in relation to the guru, but thats your secret kink, one you cannot even examine consciously.

Meanwhile, between visits to the guru, your body wears a business suit, carries a laptop and mobile phone and makes the right noises so you fit in at work in an office suite.

But this split identity, feudal peasant in relation to the guru, facade of modern worker at the office–is left unexamined. And to me, thats the shittiest outcome of the New Wage scene.

Not all gurus dress in Indian garb. Gurdy pioneered guru kink whilst dressed in Western clothing. But it was the same training in eroticizing the power imbalance and making spiritual kink unconscious so that it could not
be consciously examined and critiqued.

At least the conscious kink people all arrange for everyone to end the scene feeling satisfied–a much higher achievement than most New Age set ups.

1 Comment »

  1. mybrainisafleamarket said,

    11.03.09 at 5:52 pm

    I want to emphasize that guruism is as hazardous as it is, because it is BDSM power imbalance that is *unconsciously enacted”.

    What happens is that someone endured an expereince of ghastly attack and invasion when too young to have stable boundaries or in a situation (kidnapping, prison) where they were unable to fight off the invasion.

    Often, especially if someone is mind or body raped in childhood, the only way to get a sense of mastery is to identify with one’s abuser and split off one’s feeling of horror, hoplessness and powerlessness.

    And..often abusers revert to a childish charm and pathos in the midst of their attack and con the shattered victim, often a child or a regressed and disoriented adult, into *parenting* the perpetrator. This gives the victim a false feeling of agency and may account for why abusive gurus often manifest a strange sort of childish charm and pathos in the midst of, or in between their episodes of violence.

    The victims then go away, having disowned their actual experiences of vulnerability, disorientation and hopelessness. They may yearn for ways to get a sense of mastery without having to own and re-experience the horror that accompanied their disintegration.

    So this may be why so very many in the New Age scene are attracted to power but do not want to talk about power–they cant stand to be conscious of the very thing they want, because they dare not have enough awareness to risk remembering their actual experience of powerlessness.

    Two, this may be why anyone who tries to discuss victimization and abuse of leadership is often resented and shouted down in the New Age scene–that person trying to speak out is reminding the others of the very thing htey cannot stand to face–their own disowned and abused selves.

    They shout down witnesses so as to suppress thier own split off anguish.

    So, my hypothesis is that the New Age and Guru fetishist scene has a high proportion of persons who suffered abuse when too young to leave or defend themselves, and who have unconsciously disowned their pain and indignation and gained a sense of false empowerment by identifying with the superior power of the person who violated their trust and exploited actual power imbalance that always exists between adult and child.

    The New Age/Guru fetish scene claims to be liberating but can only re-enact the power abuses that so many endured and continue to endure, either in childhood or in vile social arrangements in which a few have vast power and most have little or none.

    Gurdjieff was a marginal figure in Tsarist Russia. All he could do was teach people how to be ass kissers and paranoics the way one had to do in order to survive in Old Russia.

    And the only thing Indian gurus can teach us is how to fawn and flatter like feudals in an ashram setting that is nothing more than a less tasteful re-enactment of a Rajah’s court.

    In such a set up, the guru and guru’s greedy relatives are the top of the heap. A few are trusted courtiers, the court ritualists, PR folk, lawyers and accountants. The rest are sudras–peons. And those who refuse to join the ashram or dissent, are the dalit untouchables whose villages are torched when the dalits make some social progress and refuse to be part of the Guru’s framework.

    By great contrast, the few people who do *not* get into danger when practicing BDSM kink are the ones who *are* conscious that they desire to play with power, submission, etc and the roles through which such imbalances and power exchanges are negotiated and then enacted.

    If you are conscious about your desires, you can own what you desire and then–crucial–decide you want the excitement but that you also want to stay alive, feel challenged without being permanently traumatized, and without having your social relationships disrupted and without having your physical and emotional vitality and finanances plundered.

    In short, if you are into conscious kink you can negotiate when to to submit , when to dominate, and when the scenario begins, how it continues and how it ends–and so that everyone emerges satisifed and without lingering trauma or psychological invasion by toxic shards from someone else’s troubled personality.

    The worst and most toxic gurus are the ones who have the mentality of pedophiles, but are clever enough to go after persons who are adults in calendar years, who are socially sophisticated and financially well fixed, but who, psychologically and emotionally are, in a core part of their beings, still children, owing to some kind of lingering trauma which they have split off from within themselves.

    A dangerous guru of this kind can identify, groom, and recruit these tramatized-children in adult bodies exactly the way more commonplace pedophiles go after children who are vulnerable.

    The pedophile who specializes in adult children does not break the laws that protect minors. And what assists this sophisticated sort of pedophile is that the very persons most vulnerable–traumatized children in adult bodies–hate it when warned they are vulnerable. They are easily flattered by being told they are strong, not weak.

    Anyone who tries to warn them away from a specialized pedophile who masquerades as a guru while targeting children in adult bodies is often

    Ordinary pedophiles do something similar–they con vulnerable children by flattering them, by make it seem that home is boring and dangerous and that the only way to have freedom and fun or protection is to hang out with the pedophile. Likewise any friends who try to warn about this are dismissed as spoilsports and kill joys.

    In a similar manner, anyone who warns about pedophile type gurus will be
    labelled as someone who is against freedom, who insults the adult autonomy of the seeker by implying the seeker is weak enough and stupid enough to *need* a warning.

    Here is an example of this..a small quotation from a much longer article by Jane O’Niel a former student of Andrew Cohen’s:

    “It’s clear to me in retrospect that in making my $2 Million and other donations to Andrew I was acting out some of the self-destructive issues that I had long been in therapy in to deal with. When I told my therapist about meeting Andrew, she warned me I that was vulnerable to potential brainwashing.

    ‘In contrast, when I revealed to Andrew the insecurity and anxiety I felt about the prospect of joining his community, he told me how intelligent and bright I was, and how fully capable I was of making a mature decision on my own.

    ‘Who was I going to listen to—someone who told me I was weak (my therapist), or someone who told me I was strong (Andrew)? At the time, the choice seemed clear, however misguided, and I left my therapist and fell deeply into the vortex of Andrew’s community—the amazing people, the happiness, the feeling of belonging.”


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