When You’re Too Good for Your Guru
Question from a reader:
I think many of us fall into similar situations as this when we first come into our spiritual journey.
“I belong to a group in my town of mediums/healers/ghost hunters and we have all been friends for almost ten years. The leader of the group is a local medium and the one that brought us all together. I used to be really close to her and I considered her to be a second mom.
These past few years, I have noticed a dramatic change in her. She always takes over the conversation and everything is about her. I have come to her for private classes and alone time. We talk about my life and what lessons I want to learn for five minutes then she is asking me to help her organize her house! I still go to her classes even though I feel uncomfortable and don’t really learn anything.
Lately, I have caught her on three different occasions taking credit on certain things I received on investigations with our ghost hunting team. I still talk to her because she has helped me out in the past but it is getting harder and harder to be around her. She has gathered some more “followers” and they all seem to be in “awe” of her great mediumship abilities.
Have you ever encountered someone like this in your life? She also considers herself to be a mystic which I am not sure about that. Thank you!”
We meet people who we believe are so far ahead of ourselves and we tend to idolize them. I see it happen often with people who have mediumship capabilities and have created an aura of authority – those who are new to it tend to flock to them as though they have all the answers, not realizing that they are people just like everyone else, with flaws and shit that they have to work through.
We subject ourselves to a fangirl/groupie mentality and make these figures our personal gurus.
As you grow, you start to learn more about yourself and you tend to outgrow the fandom stage where you’re running around looking for a guru to give you all of the answers and you begin to find them within yourself.
When that happens you start to see the situation a little more clearly now that all the bright shiny newness has dulled down, and your eyes are no longer full of stars. You start to realize that this person is just a person, like everyone else, and they have flaws.
Part of it just comes with time – it takes a while to really get to know someone. You start to notice things that you overlooked before. And as I said above, it also takes time to get to know yourself, and how you view the world and the people around you changes along with that. That person is evolving, too – sometimes in good ways, sometimes in not-so-good ways.
Whether she has actually changed, or you have just come to see her for who she really is, it doesn’t matter.
It sounds like you’ve already realized that you’ve outgrown this person and this stage of your life. While it’s tough to let people go, sometimes you have to – or else they’ll hold you back. If you’re no longer learning anything from her, it’s probably time to move on. The longer you stick around, the more resentment will build up and eventually you’ll feel so repulsed that you just can’t do it anymore.
As far as being a mystic goes:
mys·ticˈmistik/noun1. a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.
Pretty much anyone who follows a spiritual path could be considered a Mystic. However, a lot of people put a lot of ego into that.
Interestingly, someone recently shared an article about a book called Spiritual Bypassing and what results from it in my Facebook group. The book basically discusses what happens when people misunderstand and oversimplify spiritual concepts, and instead of doing real work on themselves, engage in a sort of faux spirituality:
“Robert Masters points to a range of unhealthy traits that may arise from unfounded and non-guided spiritual training: Excessive detachment ability; One-sided focus on positive thinking; Fear of anger and artificial kindness; Neglect of emotions; Difficulty in setting limits; No interest in real psychotherapeutic work; An intellectual intelligence that is far ahead of the emotional and moral intelligence; Focus on the absolute rather than the relative and personal; Somewhat inflated ideas about their own cognitive level.
With the concept of bypassing, Masters describes how many so-called spiritual people are missing out on imperative psychological development. He compares it to being hoisted down to the mountaintop by a helicopter. We end up without a reliable or firm foundation. Our view is not deserved nor supported from within, but bought and achieved without the appropriate foundational work.”
This is what’s really going on with many people like the person you’ve described. I see this occur a lot with people who are relatively new to spirituality, but think they’ve mastered it all and immediately set out to become teachers themselves.
They often end up polluting the waters with bullshit. This is why discernment is so important.