I don’t like it when somebody tries to pose as a guru. I don’t like the communications of gurus, I am not keen on their pretence that they have understood something and are now conveying it to those of lesser understanding. I have never clung to idols. Through my work I’ve had a chance to watch a couple of gurus quite closely. Thanks to my work I’ve coached their wives. I came to realise that the gap between ideology and reality can be immensely deep.
When I was sixteen a book that greatly appealed to me and influenced me was Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. I loved that book. It inspired me and I learned from it. Each and every subsequent book by Millman was a disappointment to me. The message which I gained from Way of the Peaceful Warrior was simple: “awareness – here and now”. Many years later Dan Millman came to the Czech Republic and I had the privilege of participating at a gala party, where I could chat to him. At that time I’d already had certain experience with motivational speakers, teachers, clerics, shamans and celebrities. Despite that I was very curious about Dan.
The seventy-year old Dan gathered around him a group of pretty girls, telling them about his sporting career. It annoyed me a bit. Then he started browsing in his mobile showing us pictures. In the photos there he was – a twenty-one year old good-looking young man performing unbelievable manoeuvres on gymnastic rings. I was looking at the old man, who had moulded me in my adolescent years so much. He was speaking about himself, showing us himself, he was totally and utterly obsessed with himself. “Dan,” I said a bit louder than I’d intended to. Dan who was flicking through images of his twenty-one year old self, which was met with regular “wows”, looked up… I tapped on the photo in the phone and said “Here and now.” Everybody laughed apart from Dan. He packed his phone up and departed for safer company.
I remembered this story quite recently. In which context did I recall it? Let’s learn from the others, let’s take inspiration from them, let’s be grateful for each creative thought and yet, let us be aware that it is we who have the power to be our own greatest teacher.