Bubba Free John – 1974

The Obsolete Guru

The Guru always looks to make himself obsolete. He does this not as the ordinary man makes himself obsolete by dying, but by sharing his functions. The human Guru does this in two directions: toward the sources of his work, and toward his devotees and disciples. At the level of the Ashram, a bit at a time, I give over my functions to others. Soon there are many, many people working in the Ashram who have a particular aspect of this function for which they are responsible, until at last the Teaching is completely given in the world, and is alive in many individuals, in writings, places of meditation, and so on. All the functions that were alive in the Guru eventually are given out and exist independently of that human individual who appears as Guru. At that point he is obsolete in his appearance. His functions then exist external to his individual appearance.

Just so, in the other direction, on the spiritual level, he is always looking to establish that open connection to the sources of Truth. He looks for all those functions to exist on their own and also through him. Ultimately, he looks toward the perfect connection, the Divine contact, to be perfectly operative in him, to completely dissolve his independence.

The secret of the Guru is like the secret of sadhana. The separative principle in the individual is there to be continually understood, continually purified, so that the connections are constant at every level of existence. The same is true in the Guru. The separative tendencies that even exist on the super-cosmic levels must be undone so that the channel is perfect. Then the God-influence in the world becomes direct. That is the significance of a Siddha-Guru. He maintains a connection from the Divine itself down into the world, so that influence can directly affect human beings who are still involved in the separative life to various degrees.

It is the responsibility of the Guru continually to dissolve, so that the connection is perfect, so that no matter who comes to him, no matter what level of enjoyment or realization his disciple or devotee has maintained, there is still more. It is one of the requirements of the job. That is why you see such individuals always curiously involved with other teachers or spiritual sources. The Guru is very paradoxical. He is always doing odd things. But generally, what he is up to is becoming obsolete.


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