When your guru turns out to have feet of clay

3 Jun

Sometimes, we all come across someone who seems to have a lot (if not all) of the answers we’re seeking.  We think we have found “it” and are about to become one of the truly enlightened people of this world.

And then…

Like a rain soaked hillside with poorly planned buildings on its side…

The entire neighborhood of our selected guru comes crashing down, swallowed in a sea of mud.

It happens.  More often than not, actually.  Personally, I’ve never heard of a guru that didn’t fail under pressure and deep examination.  There may be some out there, but I don’t know of who they are.

It’s not about religion or spirituality only either.  The one that I had begun to place on a pedestal today was an architect, but deeper research turns out numerous cases illustrating that the environment he is most concerned about is ultimately his own bank account.

Human greed.

That’s how great ideas become just one more way to kill more people faster and cheaper.

I don’t even know why I even think I might find someone else on this planet that sees the ideas of sustainable, peaceful, and balanced communities living in harmony with nature as possible…especially if its not going to earn them a fat paycheck.  With the Exogeny Center, we find lots of people interested…just not interested in doing much unless its going to enhance THEIR wallet.  That is not the point of the Center.  The point is everything from education to harmonious living, but no one would get rich from the project.

I’m a bit blue over discovering those feet of clay.  The tale he spun was so endearing, so appealing…I wanted it to be true.

Too bad it wasn’t.

So what does that mean?

It means its business as usual for us.  We’re  our own gurus, I suppose.  We have our vision, we share it when we can, we believe in the non-profit format, and we’re working on getting it off the ground and into at least a legal entity so we can move forward with the physical one.  It’s a big dream, but its being dreamed in a multi-phase format so that it can be realized in steps.

It’s all about sustainability, for people, for our heritage, and for our future.

It’s a fact of life, non-profits cannot function using just donations as their primary source of operating capital and hope to ever get the job done.  It’s just too hard to get those donations, and too many man-hours are spent obtaining them.  At some point, that non-profit has to start generating its own operating capital if its going to continue doing what it was intended to do.  Some people initially react as though that is wrong, but in reality, non-profits can make a “profit” to support themselves, just NOT to benefit particular individuals.  So, assuming that the Exogeny Center is up and running, and everything is working out the way it is supposed to on paper in the business plan…that money can support the multi-faceted approach the Center would be utilizing to make the world a much kinder, more enlightened, and safer place.  It can be used for purchasing land, supplies, paying wages, hiring more staff, expanding, etc. but it can’t be used to benefit the Board of Directors, its founders, etc.  They may be paid employees of the Center, but the pay should be reasonable for the position held, so for example…paying a half million dollars to each board member as their salary per year would NOT be reasonable.  Nor would hiring their spouses and offspring for a quarter of a million dollars each, and having them act as “consultants” or “advisors.”  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen with non-profits, even those with official legal status with the IRS, but its not supposed to, and it can certainly lead to criminal prosecution.

I don’t know if all so-called gurus start out filled with idealism and only time turns them into yet one more conniving and greedy celebrity or not.  I certainly hope that I am never faced with Exogeny being in the controlling hands of that ilk.  I am not sure I could actually live with being disappointed that way by myself anyhow.  It wouldn’t be much easier if it was a family member or friend who made that descent into the “Dark Side” (to borrow a phrase from that prophet of old, Yoda…)

To thine own self be true.

Don’t forget it.

Ever.

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