Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Blade Is Sharp

File under: Gurubusting

Lately we've been graced with the participation of a commenter who calls himself "David the Blade." Here he weighs in on our recent criticism of the seemingly self-inflated Eckhart Tolle:
I wouldn't quite let Tolle off the hook for self-mythologization. Don't be deceived by a warm, loving and apparently "humble" persona into thinking that self-mythologization, and sacro-mythic inflation are not present.

A person like Tolle who has had an experience like he has had, is almost inevitably going to become sacro-mythically inflated if he cannot properly contextualize his internal experience in a way that is **completely** free of narcissism and self-overestimation. However, almost every well-known teacher falls into a trap of inflated self-view born out of interpreting their experience sacro-mythically, as if they are some kind of special great light to the world. In other words, if his self-interpretation is sacro-mythical, some degree of narcissism and inflation seems to be almost inevitable.

Narcissism is not all mean and aggressive, and doesn't always have the appearance of being other-excluding. There is a loving, kind, joyous narcissism that is narcissism by the very fact of the bearer's inflated self-view arising, ultimately, from a tendancy to view oneself as the 'mythic' center of the world (or, as having a special connection to the mythic center of the world). This aspect of narcissism can fuse and lock into an inflated sacro-mythical self-image (as some kind of savior or bringer of light) around the time of enlightenment. It seems pretty clear to me that this has happened to Tolle. Witness his self-image as continuing the great work of J. Krishnamurti, one extremely sacro-mythically inflated dude. The people to whom this happens have no idea that they have become significantly inflated, and their followers are even further from seeing the reality of it. The traditions are typically no help in this regard, because they know nothing about it, only knowing the grosser, non-pietic forms of narcissism, and indeed, even their mythical founders were probably sacro-mythically inflated also. Or, at least, our images of them are sacro-mythically inflated.
We just learned a new word we're sure we're going to use a lot. Having been sacro-mythically inflated ourselves, we can really relate. Fortunately, we got that out of the way early and ended up just a jerk with a nice dog whose ass can neutralize any and all spiritual ignorance with just one poot.


At 11/03/2006 3:53 AM, Anonymous P. George Stewart said...

Isn't it an old cliche that asylums are full of people who think they are Jesus Christ? Hehe, maybe they all are :) (I know I am!)

Good little explanation, thanks for putting it up, and it introduces a good term, as you say.

At 11/03/2006 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is this reluctant master dude? another fake guru?
He doesnt (or at least his purported disciple) seem to bright...what's your take?

At 11/04/2006 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a quick look, looks like a common-or-garden guru-mytholigization engine, with the twist that 'our great real guru (unlike the other fake ones) is NOT selling himself' is a MAJOR element of selling hype. By the way, that last piece of hypocrisy is USUALLY an element of the selling-hype of ANY guru. Just in this website, it is a major and foremost tool rather than a minor one.

Also employing 'secret society' mythos as a promotional tool, example quote: "Only a competent master, from the lineage of the most secretly guarded ancient tradition of initiation, is permitted to reveal it to the 'chosen few' seekers directly under the supervison of the Divine."

You've hit the nail on the head yourself, anonymous: this "master" is anything but reluctant. Not too sure how bright or not he is himself, but to swallow the hypocrisy, you need a special blind-spot.

File under: "not worth filing"

-David "the blade"

At 11/04/2006 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how a person could become so expert on narcissism. Could it be he suffers from it himself. ET seems to me like one of the last teachers who should be criticized here. David should fall on his own blade.

At 11/05/2006 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"David the Blade":
anonymous, thanks for your response. No need to be angry with me and try to fight back on Tolle's side. There really is nothing to fight about.

But truth be told, I'm not actually that narcissistic. Probably somewhere around average. But if I were deeply narcissistic, all the better that would probably be for my insights, and it should be welcomed.

But I do have a good eye for it, even in its subtle forms. And an ability to pierce some veils other people can't.

I do believe I can pierce some veils ET (Eckhart Tolle) can't pierce right now, at least in some aspects of seeing ET himself. You see me as his enemy, in my perception, and expression, of his error. I see myself as his friend in that. If I knew him closely, there's a chance I'd get through to him. I believe he's smart, and principled, and he just might get it.

To what extent 'sacto-mythic inflation' is a narcissistic phenomenon is a matter of labelling ultimately, though it certainly follows narcissistic patterns. But sacro-mythic inflation (a term I have coined, which I should say in case it is sought elsewhere) is **DEAD REAL**, and "inflation" it certainly is. And inflation is deluded and occluding and negative. It really is a service to all aspiring teachers to help them not fall into that state.

We all need help from our friends. Perhaps I don't seem to be a help to ET right now, but how can I be? I can't get close to him and talk to him. This is a world, not a village. But I'm helping later Tolle-equivalent's that will arise in the future. As we as a species develop a good eye for these kinds of errors, and as our awareness of them spreads and percolates, there is a chance that certain future people will be spared falling into them.

But they probably won't be spared falling into the trap until the trap is seen and described. In the light of that, does it really seem wrong and hostile to describe the trap into which someone has fallen, in the non-flattering terms which are needed?

At 11/05/2006 4:59 PM, Blogger jody said...

does it really seem wrong and hostile to describe the trap into which someone has fallen, in the non-flattering terms which are needed?

That's going in the mission statement.

At 11/06/2006 8:10 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

"But if I were deeply narcissistic, all the better that would probably be for my insights, and it should be welcomed."

This David the blade seems to have proven the point this anonymouse was making. Maybe he should listen to hisself more carefully!

At 11/06/2006 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck said:
This David the blade seems to have proven the point this anonymouse was making. Maybe he should listen to hisself more carefully!

Have fun, Chuck, go for it! There's always time for a little extra-curricular fun! You and anonymous should call me all the n-words you want. :) If it helps you let off a bit of steam, I'm all for it!

At 11/07/2006 8:22 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Dear David the Blade,

Thanks for giving me permission to be myself, for giving me your blessing for my happiness. You are such an enlightened person and are so interested in "helping" ET. May I have your autograph?

At 11/07/2006 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, Chuck, I'm bleeding. :)

I wonder if E.T., when changing his first name from Ulrich to Eckhart (naming himself after 'Meister Eckhart'), was aware that 'Eckhart' makes much better PR than Ulrich?

And of course that the initials E.T. make for better PR than U.T.?

At 11/07/2006 6:04 PM, Anonymous durga said...

"And of course that the initials E.T. make for better PR than U.T.?"

UT makes great PR- Just think all the publicity he would have gotten with those initials, hook em horns!

At 11/08/2006 8:38 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

The Blade said, "Geez, Chuck, I'm bleeding. :)"

Try a nice urine poultice on those cuts, Blade. They'll heal up nicely!

At 11/09/2006 7:48 AM, Anonymous durga said...

I guess you are not a UT fan, Chick. I was trying to appeal to your Texas sensibilities.

At 11/09/2006 12:53 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

UT is for prissy pretty boys, Durga. I'm a North East Texas hornytoad!

PS I ain't a Chick.

At 11/09/2006 3:58 PM, Anonymous durga said...

Oops, chuck. it was a typo. I've never been to northeast Texas. So they read E. Tolle up in your neck of the woods?

At 6/08/2012 4:48 AM, Blogger Justin said...

This is an excellent post. I hope you don't mind, but I have inlcuded it in a post on my blog:


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