Sunday, August 26, 2018

Who Was History's First Guru?

I had promised another "deep" topic from my vacation: Who was the world's first true guru?

If the soul needs a guru in order to achieve enlightenment, how did the first guru get enlightened?

Could an "alien" guru have come to earth and initiated someone? If so, this doesn't really answer the question; it merely moves it off to some other planet! So even if this is a possibility, it isn't really more than a sidebar to the main question.

The heart of this deep and all but useless question has two parts: 1) Is the teaching that "we each need a guru in order to achieve enlightenment" a true teaching? and 2) if so, how then did the first guru achieve enlightenment?

Since I am not here to question the teaching of whether we need a guru, I am sticking with the second question. It's not that I am afraid of the first question. Instead, my summer vacation meanderings are purposely useless and thus oriented towards the second question.

The deeper heart of such questions revolves around the role of God in human history. In the prior blog in which we discussed the "soul of dirt" I shared that Paramhansa Yogananda taught that science would never find the "missing link" between, say, monkeys and, say, humans. I opined (entirely personal speculation) that, at a minimum, Yogananda was perhaps and in effect simply affirming the view that the human body (with its potential for transcendent consciousness) could never be the mere result of a mechanical process based on biological impulses such as the law of survival or procreation.

Yogananda's actual words were more straightforward and resemble the words of Genesis in the Bible stating matter of factly that God intervened into the process. But as he uncharacteristically failed to explain any further, we are left with what seems like just another dogmatic religious statement. It is natural (well, for me, at least) to want to bridge the gap between those apes we so uncomfortably resemble and our divine soul-self. A win-win or BOTH-AND, as it were, seems required.

Certainly, the common speculation that highly evolved beings from another planet arrived on earth and did some "experimentation" is not an unreasonable one, though it simply postpones the core question off unto some other planet.

Here are some interesting tidbits from Yogananda's teachings that may hint at how the first guru came of age:

  • Humanity enters into a high age of consciousness on the basis of a cycle of ages that requires a 12,000 year half cycle to go through each of four stages. The highest stage is called "Satya yuga" and in this age humanity is said, generally speaking, to "know" God and to perceive divine realities.
  • In such an age or in the consciousness of one who has achieved the equivalent of Satya Yuga consciousness, children can be conceived in a non-sexual manner (not unlike has been demonstrated with certain animal species which, though normally reproducing in a sexual manner, have shown instances of conception without sexual means.) This is done through the will center at the point between the eyebrows, Yogananda wrote. Though Yogananda was careful to avoid a definitive statement on the conception of Jesus by a virgin, he made it clear that this was possible though not a requirement for the conception of an avatar.
  • Souls are born on different planets according to their own spiritual development.

  • There are entire planets whose inhabitants are either highly evolved (spiritually) or the opposite. He stated that when or if the inhabitants of a planet's achieved complete identification with the highest consciousness (and possibly also the lowest), that planet might be dissolved.

  • Yogananda commented that there was some truth to the UFO sightings in the late 1940's or early 1950's.

  • Yogananda's famous life story, "Autobiography of a Yogi," gives multiple instances of physical reincarnation by enlightened souls. He endorsed the teaching of Jesus' physical resurrection also.

  • Yogananda made references in his writings that indicate he perceived that deities and other astral and causal beings are assigned certain executive functions in the creation, maintenance, and dissolution of the physical cosmos or parts thereof. Some of these functionaries are souls that have evolved to earn the role of serving in these functions in such a way as to suggest the functions are separate from the souls who are responsible for the functions. He wrote about angels, fairies, goblins, demons, and various astral entities commonly ascribed to earth wisdom or scriptures.
So, cherry picking from among some of the teachings of Yogananda's as listed above, let us consider the following:

1. Perhaps an enlightened being did come from another planet.

2. Why couldn't an astral entity (angel, e.g.) simply take human form on earth, perhaps during the highest age, and conceive the human race (whether asexually or sexually)?

3. According to the Bible (Adam and Eve) and other creation tales, the first humans were in fact enlightened (though evidently not liberated and thus not free from temptation). Though the Adam and Eve story is also clearly an allegory of the soul's fall from grace (higher consciousness) and while the appearance of prophets and messiah later in the Bible represent the appearance of the guru in human history, who is to say that at the inception of the human race there wasn't, in fact, the "antidote" to delusion: a true guru?  The story of the "Fall" necessitates a journey first away from God and then, like the story of the Prodigal Son, a return to God. This takes place in the context of time and space lest there be no recognizable human story. After all, it is also an axiom that the "guru (only) appears when the disciple (the soul) is ready (with eyes to see)."

4. Just as only a few humans in history were privileged to witness the resurrection of an avatar, the Theory of Relativity is no less true just because few have ever duplicated Einstein's equation, E=mc2. Either everything is a miracle, or nothing is a miracle! Why should ignorance be the standard for truth? What we know today would seem miraculous to those born even a few hundred years ago.

5. The necessity for some form of divine intervention might also symbolize that higher consciousness is NOT a product of the subconscious mind but a "bolt of lightning" of intuition, from the superconscious mind. How could sub-conscious forces produce a superconscious form (the human body)?

So whatever the actual mechanics of the explanation for the appearance of the human body AND the appearance of an enlightened soul (avatar/master), an extra-ordinary, a suprasensory event or cause surely must be required.

From a Super-duper, not sub-gum, Duff(er),

Swami Duffananda