I Saw My Guru Naked, part four in a series

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER
Publication date: February 1997

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.


How to feel angst without throwing up


How to love without being stupid


Or, do we (in ways not so subtle) wish to see our gurus in
romantic costume, dressed up by our own uninspected desires and

I must admit that seeing gurus unadorned can be quite a sight.

What might we see in the pantheon of shabd yoga masters if we went 
into their "dressing" rooms? What would strike our eye, or our ear,
or our heart, as odd, as unbecoming, as "human"?


Can we accept that humanness while at the same time not condoning

Can we love our guru while at the same instant critiquing him/her?

Can admire some features of the guru play while at the same moment
argue for a new scene?

Can we, in sum, be discriminating in our love?

Or, do we doom ourselves to the either/or arena of guru adoration?


Well, if we think that the guru is god we might find ourselves 
stuck in an ideological corner, a curve with no forward

And, yet, if the guru is merely human and merely represents the
common function of the normal woman/man, then why follow him/her?


My hunch is that in shabd yoga gurus we are looking for masters of
transcendence, those who have accessed realms that we have not.

But how to know?

MANIFESTED TRANSCENDENCE or empirical manifestations of mastery.

For example, if the guru claims to be "beyond" anger, let's see
how he reacts in the midst of an "anger provoking" situation.
That is, if I tend to get pissed when X happens, then let's
see how the guru reacts when X happens. 

Is his/her reaction the same?

If so, why?
If not, why?

If the guru claims to be "beyond" ego, let's see how he reacts in
the midst of an "ego buttressing" situation. That is, if I tend to
ego inflated when Y happens, then let's see how the guru reacts
when Y happens.

Is his/her reaction the same?

If so, why?
If not, why?

The fundamental point in all of this is for us to 
"see" transcendence, to "hear" transcendence, to "smell"

Manifested Transcendence suggests that if a guru claims ahimsa
then there will be nexus points by which such is exemplified.

Those nexus points or transparencies are the calling cards of a
spiritual teacher. They are, in essence, what makes a guru a guru.

But can a spiritual teacher have aspects of transcendence while at
the same time have aspects of boundedness?

obviously yes..... 

But there is tendency to sweep those points of boundedness away, as
if such humanness (or even weakness) could not exist alongside
points of transcendence.

Yea, Shiv Dayal Singh smoked a huqqa, but there was a higher purpose
to his puffing tobacco in a water pipe..... Smoking karmas away?

Yea, Pratap Singh used to beat-up satsangis with a stick if they
went to Rai Salig Ram satsang in the 1880s, but there was a
spiritual reason..... Beating karmas away?


Accept the guru as a human being and admire those features which
indicate transcendence..... criticize when necessary, follow when
impressed, discriminate when confused, and love the conditions
in order to be open unconditionally.

Perhaps we have this guru/disciple relationship all wrong.

Instead of having the guru hold the disciple to a high standard,
maybe it the disciple who should keep his guru on a tight leash.


The fictional Judas says to Jesus "I will kill you myself with my
bare hands if you are not the Messiah."

Jesus is the one who is scared of Judas, not the other way around.

The guru should be fearful of the disciples' wrath.

The guru should be shaking in his/her proverbial boots, lest
he be less than what they think.


The guru is nothing but the idealized version of our own quest for


The acceptance of a guru's highs and lows (and the clear demarcation
of both) is proportional to the honesty of the disciple.


The Naked Guru does not come in peace.


He comes in pieces.........


shattered images of what he is not............

but more accurately of what we are not...........


He is Cindy Crawford with Severe Acne.
He is Mel Gibson with No Head.
He is Einstein without Light.
He is Pipeline on a two foot mushy day.
He is Ramana Maharshi on Merv Griffin.
He is Faqir Chand at Burger King.
He is Jesus watching Melrose Place and wanting to be an Extra.
He is Buddha in the front row at a Jenny Craig meeting.
He is Kabir working the front counter at Target.............


The guru is a paradox.......
since no matter how much I may want to know him/her,
I will always be one inch away............


But in wanting that knowledge I am forced by the very
contextual interplay of the guru to confront the shadow
of what he/she re..... presents......

What is that?

I want Transcendence while at the same time I can't wait to
see Private Parts.

I saw my guru naked and it was me.


what is that "me"?

I haven't a clue.......

except that it appears to have more
tight streets than Venice,
more waves than the North Shore,
more hidden texts than the Vatican library,

and more detours than North Hollywood during a bank robbery.


Perhaps the reason a "living" guru is so necessary is because
he/she is so difficult to "rationalize" away..................

The good, bad, and the ugly are on display.

To know the difference between the three is the disciple's duty.


A naked guru is not pretty if what you love were his clothes.


A naked guru is gorgeous if what you love cannot be clothed.


I once saw a naked guru and it was most disturbing vision.


I can't get the sight out of my mind................

but that's not the problem................

the vision penetrated my heart..........

and my family has a history of heart troubles..........

i went to the doctor but he said he could do nothing for me.........

he said i must live with the pain.......

i said "yes, but i feel so disoriented by its palpitations....."

the doctor said, "live with it, since death is the only permanent
relief for such a condition."


The guru is a curse..............

he damages the heart,
while making the brain forget its contents................


I thought the world was a purposeful place

but when I saw the Naked Guru I saw only Chaos


There is only one thing worse than a Naked Guru.........

and that is a Dead one...........


Because when the guru dies, so does the dream.


The only thing left now is terror and angst.


Not good for a weak heart


Maybe that's what a guru is designed to do:

cause heart attacks
and make the brain go to mush

and yet..................

as Hafiz said so sweetly,

"I would sell my soul for just one more
glimpse of that black mole on his left cheek."

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.