Their blind faith demonstrates one of the dangers of religion: the dissolution of the ego can, if accompanied by the dissolution of the critical intellect, can result in abject subjugation to another person’s ego, an ego that may have a hidden and unpalatable agenda'.
True. The potential for the traditional and legitimate teachings on guru-yoga to be abused and become cultish is great. Caveat emptor--in spades!
The guru-yoga teachings are designed for the ideal scenario where the teacher is fully enlightened. The fact that there can be ANY expectation of such a scenario is absolutely astounding to me. Evidently it is EXPECTED to happen on some sort of regular basis. But as we all know, in practice that scenario is actually very rare. So for most of us we must engage in a type of double-think. 99.99% of our teachers will NOT be fully enlightened, so how to see them as such?
My suggestion, and I support this with zero authoritative reference, is to see the teacher as a mixture of enlightened and unenlightened. So far so good. As long as they have lineage and the authority to teach, that's a reasonably safe bet. But enlightenment has an absolute quality to it, kinda like being "a little bit pregnant". So if we have a teacher with meager realization, that's still the realization of a Buddha, only it is covered in dross. So in the guru-yoga of seeing everything the teacher does as pure, we might choose to mentally distill out the dross and affirm the essential. It helps a lot to do this if you have confidence in the lineage. You can see see the person as being flawed, but the teachings as being perfect, thus overcoming your own samsaric mind's limitation of finding fault in everything--which is the point. And of course it is excellent training for when you do finally find a teacher that is fully enlightened. That makes thugs a lot easier.
I say all this with great hesitation. I'm not a Dharma teacher. What I've said is based on my own ignorance, and therefore a corruption of Dharma. Anybody that sees value in it should run it by their own lama for verification.
I very much agree SMJC, that the main thing is that we have to do work on our own side to see the guru purely. I also think people just want to relax and forget that it is not only a caveat emptor situation it remains that way every single minute. I hardly think that Trungpa was down playing that key aspect to the guru-disciple "situation" either. (I put the word "situation" in quotes because that word and the way Trungpa used it was such a great Trungpa trope, not my own)
Not only that, but the danger the guru presents seems key to enhancing a certain level of emptiness and not letting the disciple grasp at a saftey net and to stay on their toes instead. I think that take is probably directly from Trungpa. I know I have seen teachings galore on this point and it has helped me come to terms with my very difficult teacher/sangha "situation." Maybe even more importantly, the ultimate guru is within and that that is what we are supposed to be engaging with primarily, not with a hero or parental figure or Santa Claus in the external world who has this flawless reliable money back guarentee stamp on it.
I never met Trungpa and never even heard of him until he'd long been dead but among the many things it seems to me that Trungpa was trying to teach us via his behavior was simply: Don't rely on me, Trungpa the person, instead develop your insight into the sitations as they come and go in and around and through our relationship as catalyzed by guru-disciple. I am thinking about John Perks account which I recently read. Trungpa put John Perks through the grinder, and seemed in a certain way to have dumped John Perks towards the end of Perks' life, but in the end Trungpa said to Perks, "You and I are the same. Start your own lineage."
My own current probably delusional framework says it is not that the guru is only half enlightened, it is that his importance is just him being there at all. He is a sign as well as a catalyst of something that goes beyond me over here seeking teachings from an enlightened man out there. There is a whole non-dual ungraspable phenomena going on all around and within you when you approach the guru. Its hard work to achieve insight to glean teaching and realizations from the situations as they transpire and develop, be it from a half-enlghtened or a fully enlightned guru. It is up to us to recognize the qualities of what is being conveyed beyond just the sematics of what a teacher is saying, beyond just concepts and understanding, beyond some kind of good example a guru may or may not provide, and if we are doing our practice our insight will be deep enough to have a good shot at being succesful even if we cannot have a good, or meaningful relationship to our teacher in the conventional sense perhaps due to our own "faults" or the teacher's "faults"or both. I put the faults in quotes because I don't think that's accurate to say they are faults always.
I love Trungpa's pauses he makes. He knows how to cut the words and isn't afraid to just leave things hanging in mid discourse. For me that just puts me into a deep mediattive state everytime I listen to his talks which by the way are available in bails here: http://www.chronicleproject.com/CTRlibr ... brary.html
Also, I was wondering if there was any news about the 12th Trungpa lately. I can't find anything on internet that is less than 4 years old. CHeers!http://www.dharmawheel.net/posting.php? ... 0&p=172637