Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Real Life Tao - Squawk, Squawk

As you've probably noticed, I have a real issue with self-anointed leaders, gurus and sages. I'm sure some people might suggest that my antipathy is born of envy; I wish I was in their shoes. If that's what you think, nothing I write likely will change your mind, so you might want to quit reading this post right now.

For the rest of you, allow me to explain my high level of animosity toward these self-identified soothsayers and beacons of Tao/God/whatever. The thing that gets me the most worked up is that, within the overall malarkey they present, there often is a kernel of truth, though this kernel is something they typically don't realize.

When they present to the public their revelations, epiphanies, secrets, intuitive knowledge or their knowledge borne from insight into their "vast" experiences, few will tell you that they came to know what they now know as a student of somebody else or from a book. This vital information was discovered by them and them alone.

Of course, now that they've unlocked the secret decoder ring of life, they want to pass on this glorious knowledge and information to you...often for a hefty price. Such selfless souls they are -- NOT!

Here's where the small kernel of truth comes in. The fact that they discovered/uncovered "whatever it is" in their own time at their own pace in their own way is the method that each of us can and does use as we wend our way through life. Revelations and epiphanies can't be transmitted from one individual to another. Yes, a person can certainly share the information, but the vital understanding of such must come from each of us as we experience life for ourselves.

Consequently, if the self-anointed one was as enlightened as they pretend to be, they would know this!! They would know that the best ANY of us can do is gently to nudge someone in a general direction; leading them by the hand from point A will not get them to point B. The life force doesn't work that way.

So, for me, this means one of two things. On the one hand, it means the self-anointed have less of a clue than most of the rest of us. They have delusions of grandeur and, while many will tell you that have moved far beyond ego, it's an utter crock! Their egos define everything about them. Far from leaving their ego behind, they've mounted it on a pedestal and fawn over it night and day.

On the other hand, it means they know the truth and they don't give a shit. They are out to get what they can get -- money, fame, power, popularity, influence, etc. It's all a big rigged game to them and, behind closed doors, they laugh at all the suckers they have duped with their glitzy light show. Such people put the huck in huckster.

There is nothing wrong with listening to the opinions of others. There is nothing wrong with seeking some guidance from time to time. And there is nothing wrong with being the student of a teacher. What is wrong, however, is when you completely turn yourself over to another person, when you adopt their path because they've convinced you that you will become lost without them.

Nobody knows the "secrets" of life. Nobody has the one recipe or prescription to make your life successful or meaningful. The ONLY person who has a chance of creating your path is YOU.

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.


  1. RT: You can stop now.
    You have won.
    Please don't spoil all your work by shooting at me.
    You may be right.
    I may be a complete fake.
    Who can say, for sure?
    I had no idea my comments would lead to this state of affairs.
    I am sorry.
    Take some time to calm down and prepare for your surgery.
    That is far more important than bothering with me.
    I wish you well.

  2. Crow,
    My gosh, your ego is even larger than I imagined. While I will not lie and state candidly that the title for this post DID reference your virtual identity, the vast majority of this post was NOT about you.

    As I wrote it, I was thinking about the Glenn Becks, Pat Robertsons, Tony Robbins and Rush Limbaughs of the world (to name a scant few). You know, groups like the Promise Keepers & the Moral Majority? One internet site also came to mind: Zen Habits.

    You need to get over yourself. While you may have provided the spark (owing to this past weekend), your influence in the overall world is minor compared with these charlatans.

  3. In reading over the above response to The Crow, I realized that my faithful copy editor (the Baroness) might point out that the second sentence in paragraph #1 may be a bit ambiguous. So, let me restate this.

    Does the title "Squawk, Squawk" reference The Crow's virtual identity? YES.

    Was this done purposely? YES.

    So, this post is written all about The Crow? NO.

    I have written on this topic many times before -- long before The Crow first visited my blog. It's a theme I have broached before AND will broach again.

    That said, The Crow did serve as the catalyst for this incarnation, but, if you read the body of the post, it's readily apparent it's about bigger fish. As far as I know, The Crow has not enriched himself by writing a bestseller, hosting retreats and conferences, appearing on TV on infomercials or making a big splash in the media.

    All he's done is left some comments on a few blogs -- as far as I know. In the overall scheme of things, that's no big deal and it doesn't match up with the vast majority of the post itself.

  4. You know, I think I would have throught this was specifically about our mutual blog-o-pal if it had said "Caw, Caw" instead "Squawk, Squawk."

    Editorially and faithfully yours...

  5. Baroness,
    That's a good point. So what kind of bird squawks?

  6. I think parrots squawk (at least mine certainly did.) I'm sure you can go somewhere with that.

    And actually, when I first read this post, Mantak Chia was who first came to my mind. I know he has many devotees and probably knows his Taoist stuff, but I find something creepy going on there.


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