File under: The Siddhi of PR and The Art of Guruing
We've tried very hard to like Swami Nithyananda over the last year, mainly because we've found one of his devotees to be a stellar example of clarity in spite of all the guru worship. We were hoping (albeit unrealistically) that this person would be able to influence Nithyananda to make a more realistic presentation to his Western devotees, thereby avoiding the projection of occluding nonsense about self-realization that trails these guys like a cloud of L.A. smog. But as you can see from the photograph on the left, we were dead-dog-wrong.
Whaddya know! A guru playing God. And yet there's more. Nithyananda has launched a new PR initiative in the West called the Lifebliss Foundation. This would appear to be in response to the success of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living Foundation, making Nithyananda a kind of Sri Sri lite for the States. It's a savvy career move for a guru looking to move up into the ranks of the big-time.
With Nithyananda running around playing God on one hand, and offering himself up as an example of advanced humanity for neuroscience on the other, we've got all the makings of a self-realization occlusion clusterfuck. Instead of showing us that self-realization is normal and available to all, he's telling us that it will make us Gods with incredible mental powers.
Regardless of the fact that this is all par for the course for gurus in India, we're withdrawing our real, true guru designation in response to these unfortunate developments. If Nithyananda wants to shoot for the big-time, he'll get no help from us (outside of what little attention comes his way by this blog.)
There's another primetime space daddy in the hizzie, people. Let the hero-worship and miracle-mongering continue unabated! Welcome to another helping of mind sludge in the name of spirituality.