I mentioned earlier that my first guru was coming to the USA for the first time in, I think, 15 years. I've never met her in person; we had an intense astral relationship that culminated in her "firing" me as a disciple because I wouldn't stop worshiping her as God. She finally said to me, "I'm not here for you to worship. I'm here to point you towards the Light. You will have to find God for yourself."
I know it sounds completely bonkers to talk about an "astral relationship" of any kind, but--if you're reading WiHW you just gotta roll with it. Anyway, after my initial shock and confusion upon being fired, I felt drawn to Kali as an iron shaving is drawn to a magnet, and I found in Kali everything I'd had in Guru X and more. She'd been right, though I hated to admit it: I needed to surrender to God and sink into Her infinite ocean, not just play on the shore, as much fun as that was.
Guru X (I don't name her or my current Teacher because people can get caught up in the messenger to the exclusion of the message--I know! I did it!)...Guru X has a rather interesting reputation. (She also doesn't like to be called a "guru" but for the sake of clarity I'm doing so here. Sorry, Ma :) ) A prominent Ex-Disciple of hers accuses her of being a channel for dark forces, some kind of soul-vampire whose career was fomented and stage-managed by a black magician (now deceased) who had an unhealthy interest in the younger Guru X. This Ex-Disciple, whom I've met and learned a lot from and hold in the highest esteem, believes that Guru X cursed him when he left her and that this curse shattered, for a time, his life and his very psyche. This guy is more than sane, by the way--if I told you his academic and literary accomplishments you'd expect him to have Sir before his name or a college or two named after him.
And I don't know what to think. I was just reading the web site for Guru X's visit, and an interview with her there weirdly paralleled my life since my own breakup with her--only, in my case, it's been very positive. She claims to bring people into the Divine Light so that they will grow closer to God and surrender to Her. That's happened. So that they will devote their lives and careers to God. That's happened. So that they will love their families more. That's happened. So that they will grow more tolerant and see that all spiritual paths lead to God. Even that's happened, and for me that's saying something. She says she wants to help people find the Divine Light within them, and that's happened. So...
we may not have a cause-and-effect relationship here that would withstand a double-blind study conducted in a vacuum, but Guru X seems to have taken a disillusioned spiritual seeker who was obsessed with what other people thought of him and who aspired to be nothing more than another dessicated intellectual wearing black and ordering the ratatouille--and turned him into yours truly: knight errant, angel consort, no spiritual giant but a lot more centered and happy than I've ever been. And at peace with many of the Big Questions that used to torment me back when my cosmology put me at the center of the cosmos.
I know there are manipulative and abusive self-proclaimed gurus. I know there's such a thing as black magic. I also know that needy people will project their fantasies and fears onto someone they perceive as spiritually powerful, and that these fantasies and fears, like all expectations, are resentments waiting to happen. One reason I love and respect the Ex-Disciple is that we're so much alike: grail knights lost in the 21st century, intellectuals who've had to face the hard truth that intellect can't lead one to ultimate reality (and the harder truth that there is an ultimate reality), amants who see God in every beloved and who thus have lived out the death of God...and we're both a tad dramatic. I don't know what happened between him and Guru X; I just know what happened between she and I and, more importantly, how utterly different I am afterwards.