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Posted: 10/30/2009 | Leadership Comments
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True and lasting change often happens bit by bit, so we need to ask, why do we feel the need to seek extreme, hasty solutions to our pain? The workshops/retreats/seminars that focus on the participants leaving their own sense of self at the door do not help empower them to know or to be kind to themselves. Rather, building consciousness, knowing ourselves and taking actions is how we become truly empowered. Conversely, our cultural guru addiction causes us to believe that they know better, are better and, in turn, have more, and we want it, too! 


We all, including great teachers, have unfinished personal work left to do because this deep work is never complete. To be deeply integrated and to live a humble, authentic life is the job of all of us, if we choose to see what is there to be processed for one more round. In other words, it is important to keep challenging our own human wounded egos. I’m not implying that this is true about James Ray, but there is much information about certain narcissistic leaders who lead from disillusion. I don’t know how much deep work Ray has done with his ego, but certain traits lead me to believe he has further to go, as we all do.


I am pleased when I hear that people want to grow and better themselves and I think it’s wonderful when there are others whose life purpose is to help these people on that journey. Yet, we must remember that, whether we are teachers or students, we are all wounded human beings on the same journey. This is why, as leaders, it is important to continue to look at ourselves to understand why we are searching for outward glorification and acknowledgement. A trap we can all fall into from time to time. If we are unaware from where inside of us we are doing this, we will attract a certain kind of student, one who so desperately wants to look up to just about anybody. This is most likely because their particular childhood wounding either by their parents or society. 


In some circles, it seems difficult to see the leaders and teachers own their human-ness since they lack humility. Often, this is because the consumer wants super humans. These consumers want to buy a fantasy and the leader either easily falls into this trap or slowly gets sucked in, creating the illusion of what people want to buy. Tragically, this sometimes ends in the loss of life for the person seeking the status of being a super human.

Consider this: often true greatness is not splashy, but kind and humane.



       Posted: 11/3/2009 1:20:05 AM

Hi - I love a lot about what you say, particularly in terms of being wounded humans on the same journey. And I recognize very strongly the whole self-improvement seminar vibe - where we depersonalize ourselves for the sake of the guru. Parts of what you''re saying need more for me. I met James on a flight - he''s a good man and he''s tackled some deep material. He''s a complicated case, and if he is to be a student of his own work, then this tragedy proves that point. I do see him in the mold of the guru as you''re categorizing, but I also see him at the cutting edge at the same time - in terms of his approach to personal growth and the discovery of one''s destiny. I''ve done a number of sweatlodges, and they are excellent - but from what i hear, he clearly overdid it. There was no reason those people should have been in a position to come close to death. To me, there is no better sweatlodge, no better seminar than being in a committed relationship.
Michael Sherman - www.courageouslovingnation.com

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