(In response to what Sahara just posted. Am sitting here head in my hands.)
IMO it appears that 'satsang teacher' is a toxic work environment for the teacher, along with those who get involved.
Indian psychiatrist Sudhir Kakkar visited a Rahasoami Beas ashram (entirely different belief system from Advaita,btw.)
In a nutshell, Kakkar wrote that the danger for any guru is that unlike psychotherapists, gurus receive only positive projections from their disciples.
This is an echo chamber for even the tiniest bit of narcissism a human being has.
And folks, we *all* have a bit of narcissism, healthy narcissism if we are fortunate.
Dr. Kakar ponders the hazards for the guru.
"We have, however, still to explore the other side of
the relationship: what happens to the guru who is
the recipient of such flattering projections?
Normally, for most of us, malignant projections
(people swearing at us, etc) are easier to handle
since they cause such severe discomfort, compelling
us to reject them by discriminating inside
between what belongs to us and the alien attributes
that have been projected onto us. This painful
motivation for repelling the invasion of self by
others does not exist when the projections are
narcissistic-ally gratifying, as they invariably
are in the case of the adoring followers. To be
consistently thought greater, more wonderful,
more intelligent than we are is a burden only
in the sense that we may feel impelled to be
greater, more wonderful, and more intelligent.
And indeed there is many a guru, including the
fictional one in R. K. Narayan's The Guide
who has become a guru because of the followers'
ascriptions of gurulike qualities to him.
More often, however, the guru simply accepts
these projections as belonging to himself and
enters into an unconscious collusion with the
followers--"I am uncannily sensitive, infinitely
wise, miraculously powerful: you are not."
--thus making the followers more stupid, more
infantile, and more powerless than they
actually are. Such unconscious transactions
between the Master and the followers are a common
occurrance in most mystical (groups)and were
also conspicuous in the Radhasomi Satsang:
By contrast, unlike gurus, psychotherapists get both positive and negative projections from counselees, so this enables the therapist to keep some perspective and it counters the adoration.
Now, what if a guru is already an ambitious narcissist at the start of his or her career then gets exposed to the toxic disorienting environment produced
by recruiting adoring disciples and discouraging and ejecting non adoring disciples?
We read the results every day on CEI message board.
Dr Kakar's account can be read here:
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/05/2019 06:25AM by corboy.