Neurology or Guru-ology?

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: Gakko Came From Venus
Publication date: forthcoming

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

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Neurology or Gurology?

Mark Alexander raises a good question when he asks if my critique
also applies to those Sant Mat gurus who touch their disciples on
the forehead in order to elicit inner sight or inner sound.

My answer is a straightforward: Yes.

Now having sat with a number of shabd yoga gurus and having
witnessed some of them "put" people into meditation (touch their
foreheads, the side of their heads, the back of their heads, etc.),
it appeared obvious to me that it was the disciple him/herself who
was generating whatever inner experience he/she perceived. No doubt,
the guru's touch caused certain chelas to get "excited." But this
excitement has much more to do with the expectations/longing/love of
the disciple for his guru ("wow my guru--the godman--just touched
me") than it does with the alleged "supercharging" of the physical

Mark rightly points out the parallel between "gurus touching third
eyes" and Christian preachers doing miracle or faith healings. As we
have seen repeatedly in the charismatic/evangelical communities, it
is the would-be Christian who are activating their "miraculous"

As I once mentioned to my philosophy class, I have never seen a guy
with no leg get a new leg from a miracle revival. Or, to use an
Indian example, I have never seen Sathya Sai Baba (who some claim to
be God) pull a nissan sentra out of his ear.... or the world's
largest diamond out of his nose. Even though it is alleged that Sai
Baba can produce many things out of thin air.

The evidence appears to strongly suggest that much of what we think
is "para" normal or "beyond" the human body is merely normal or
merely the body responding.

Now, this does not preclude the possibility that there may well be a
guru who can do amazing things..... It just means that we have yet
unearth an airtight empirical case to convince that such a
transpersonal thing has actually happened.

I think a little skepticism can go a very long way in helping us
clear out the weeds.... and if it turns out that there really is
something amazing going on... then the evidence will convince us.

Put bluntly, the gurus have a lot to account for.... and they have
done a truly poor job of it.....

As Woody Allen once stated (I am paraphrasing): I would believe in
God if a guy fell off the empire state building on his head.... or
if my uncle Ernie would pick up the dinner tab just once.....

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