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Chapter 8: Why Go to Others?

We have created experts and specialists because of our egos. And these are the kinds of gurus at whose feet you do not have to surrender. At the most, you just pay their fees. That’s all you have to do - this kind of guru will not make much difference. You go to such a guru because he becomes your servant, and then he tries to solve your problems and your difficulties without your surrender. Such gurus are multiplying in the world these days, but there is no lessening of people’s entanglements whatsoever.

There is an old story you may have heard. It is about five blind men who encountered an elephant. They were unable to see the elephant so they felt him with their hands. Whatever part of the elephant he felt, each blind man thought that was what the elephant was like. In blindness one cannot conceive the whole, and so these blind men each took one part to be the whole. One of them said the elephant was like a huge basket, another said he was like a pillar, and a third, who happened to grab the tail, said the elephant was like a rope. All five had different opinions.

A teacher in a small school had told this story to her pupils, but had not told them the five men were blind. She had only told them that five men were investigating an elephant. After she had related the story she asked the class to tell her what kind of men they were. It seemed obvious the students would say they were blind, but one child raised his hand and said, “They were specialists.”

All specialists are blind. In fact, to be a specialist one has to be blind. To concentrate on a single subject one has to set all else aside. One has to go deeper and deeper into one thing alone, at the expense of all other fields of inquiry.

The advice you receive from a specialist can never solve the difficulties or complexities of your life. His advice may bring you a little satisfaction, it may give you the impression something is being resolved, but the specialist cannot solve anything. You have to disentangle your whole life, not parts of it.

The whole can only be disentangled at the feet of a master. The master is a man whose entire life has been disentangled, but the specialist you expect to solve your difficulties is himself entangled. Western psychologists even investigate one another’s mutual problems. They have their own problems, and so one psychologist goes to another for help. They cannot even find the solution to their own problems. Even the greatest amongst them - Freud, Jung, Adler - suffer from their own complications, from their own diseases.

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