I get so many comments from folks telling me I totally do not understand Advaita, spirituality in general, awakening, Robert or Ramana, Nisargadatta, or anything else for that matter.
So many people seem to know Robert better than I did and they tell me so.
But very few were with Robert, maybe none that comment here.
Yes, Robert was not of this world. Even his wife Nicole said that even after knowing him for 40 years, she expected a flying saucer to land some day and take him away, back to “his” world.
I can attest to that.
But you have to understand Robert was also human. He feared dentists. He spread rumors which constantly roiled his sangha. He played tricks on people, and lots of other things.
So many people have concepts about gurus, what they are like, what they should be like, what powers they have, etc. Every one of these images and concepts will prevent you from truly seeing and accepting the teacher for what he or she really is, and will prevent you, therefore, from seeing who you are, because the one discrimination begets the other.
Robert always denied he gave Shaktipat, but we could always feel the Shakti in his presence. The Shakti element was strong even as his body weakened. He always denied he did anything energetically with his students, but we all felt the energy from him and in us. To this day I still feel it as a presence within me.
Robert was a vessel for Shakti. It had its own will and way, he was not the doer and he knew it.
Some people think he could mind read them, that all gurus had that power. He could not.
Many people in the Ramana Ashram believed that Ramana could teleport, because after everyone left the hall, some might come back and see that he had disappeared, when he had still been there only seconds before.
Ganeshan, Ramana’s nephew and Editor of the Mountain Path, told me that many believed that, but did not know that there was a hidden trap door near the couch where he lay, through which he exited and went to his room.
So strong is the need in many to idealize and worship someone who can “save” them from suffering and even from death, that they do not see the guru clearly. So frightened are many that they need a savior to take away their human mortality and vulnerability.
Thus you find all the comments that Ed Muzika is all-too-human versus legends like Ramana or Robert, because they have to believe in a divine or demigod savior.
Even exceptionally brilliant people needed to worship gurus, such as Ken Wilber and his fixation on Da Free John, and oh so many on Osho or Ramana.
Guru worship starts from such an idealization viewpoint. One thinks of the guru as savior and God incarnate because one projects that salvation need into a guru or series of gurus.
Then you gradually get to know what the teacher is really like, and with that a progressive disillusionment of that need to idealize and project. If while Seeing the guru ever more clearly as both human and something else, by being with him or her, having projections and idealizations broken, and if then you still can accept and love your teacher, you will find you also see yourself ever more clearly, and accept yourself as he or she accepts you, and gradually you will love yourself as much or more than you ever loved the guru.
Truly, he or she is your mirror of how you see yourself, as well as of your Invisible.
Then one day your Self, drawn by your love and acceptance of both yourself and your teacher, will reveal itself totally to you. Not in the small bits and pieces you have grown used to by practicing self-inquiry, or self-abidance, or guru-bhakti, but in a full, complete revelation of tremendous power and magnitude.
This is not to say there is just one awakening, this is just one of many awakenings that await the diligent student of him or herself.
Even Robert had a final awakening just months before he died. I was not there with him in Sedona, but I was told this by Mary Skene, who moved to Sedona from LA, to be with him. The great Zen master Joshu, said he had 17 great awakenings and thousands of small ones. So you can never count your journey in life as completed no matter how finished you feel.
A true guru is an ordinary human being but in a most extraordinary way, and so are you if only you could stop to really investigate and to see yourself without judgment, condemnation, or excessive narcissism.
I see so many gurus in the current marketplace who appear so arrogant, self-centered and intellectual, and I can see why prospective students are wary of accepting any, and thus continue to worship some dead guru, such as Ramana, Nisargadatta, or Christ, but are then stuck in relationships where the idealisms and projections never collapse, except as life knocks that need out of them, rather than have a real relationship with a real person, where the deconstructions of your fantasies occur much more rapidly because of that relationship.
The same process holds true between human lovers. There is always a progressive disillusionment, narcissistic injuries, etc., and most such highly charged relationships break up before there is any real transformation. Then the search begins for a new lover, one who is not so imperfect as the last. But the process is the same as with the guru.
Eventually you see the teacher for who he or she really is, and by that time, you see yourself for who you really are, a process of becoming both progressively more human, and less human at the same time.