Why are all gurus male?
This I’ve been wondering for a while now. I, just like many of us, have had the myth of the guru and have looked for one for a very long time. Sometimes I would find someone who vaguely resembled a guru I could learn from but after reading books by Thich Nhat Naahn, Dalai Lama, Osho and probably just anyone who is out there I began to find them lacking something. Their theories wouldn’t work for me. I have a character and a temper that doesn’t go hand in hand with the sit down and empty your mind. But most importantly: I am a woman! And they are men! And although we are all people, men and women are not equal and differ also in the way they act, react and live things (and life).
This summer I found myself reading this book, which is written by a Western man, about an Eastern philosophy (yoga), talking also about an Indian guru teaching in the US. It truly is written well and very deep in thought, otherwise I wouldn’t have read it… what I like is that it made me think a lot. That should be the premise of a book: to awaken questions.
What is the role of a guru? Why we look for a guru? Who is a guru? …
A guru should be a guide, a facilitator that aids you awaken the guru or God in you. A guru should not create dependency from his students. … Some weeks ago a girlfriend of mine mentioned she has a guru, and I did not say anything nor asked if her guru was male or female. But there was a certain pride in the way she said it, not to mention that anything that I could’ve said which clashed with her guru’s “truth” would’ve been marked as wrong. Why? Because I am not a guru, duh!
I wonder: Why-do-we-look-for-a-guru? …. When the real question is: do we look for a guru (= a person who will accompany us towards liberation, who aids us to recognise the God in us in order to become autonomous people) or for a parent? When I observe myself and others at the realm of a guru I can’t but see a child looking for a parent, usually a father that has been missing for one reason or another during ones childhood. Because we lacked that authority (the father represents “The Law”) and probably found ourselves having to take decisions at an age too young for that task, when we reach adulthood if we haven’t made peace within ourselves with that aspect we will look for that authority again and again and again.
But why many adults need an authority? … And why gurus need a following? … And what is so special about making yourself small in the eyes of a stranger to whom you give all the power? And how can you be so sure that he knows better than you do about your life?
My life has never brought me a guru, maybe because I didn’t need one. At the same time it brought into my life different women. I realise this just now as I’m writing it. In different moments of my life I had a woman by my side “guiding” me and helping me stay on track, or get back on track. Our lives crossed for a month or years. At times just for a day. But it was a woman an older woman who could understand me and aid me out of darkness by showing me the light in me, not outside nor inside of her. They were women who didn’t have a following of students but they were, in their way, teachers of life: a life they have lived intensely and fully. A life they sucked in and could tell a younger woman where to look to find what she needed.
I feel that when you haven’t had a chance to be a child when you were a child, subconsciously you will look to re-live your childness. I also think that if you have a guru or are looking for one, please stop and ask yourself why. Be honest with yourself. Sit down. Wait. Reflect. It’s ok to feel lost, to not know. Look at your life: if you made it till today it means you are well capable of taking your life into your own hands. Don’t give away your power. And especially you, Woman: a man cannot teach you how to live. He cannot teach you to govern your moods having never experienced your cycles.
Society lacks sage women, women philosophers, women thinkers, women doers, women healers, women Shamans. Growing up i missed hearing more women voices. And I mean voices that are not perfect, that tremble from excitement during a speech, that give you shivers. Voices that touch the hearts and have not been manipulated to fit into a man’s world/ideal of order.
Look around. Look around. Suppressing women’s voices we ended up living in a suppressed society. A society that tells you to control your emotions without teaching you about them nor how to use them. A society that tells you that form is everything: so we have a beautifully crafted vase only to find it empty. We have a perfection-driven society that doesn’t know anymore what health is and how precious it is. But we look for gurus everywhere. We look for fathers, more fathers! We are 40 years old, a successful career but still look for a father to tell us “you are not yet capable of deciding for your own life”. Take it back. Take back your power. Your own authority over yourself. Heal those wounds. Accept you haven’t had a father growing up but you made it anyway. And you made a pretty damn great job!