Without the Guru:
How I took my life back after thirty years
For 30 years Mike Finch gave his total allegiance, his energy, his devotion, his dreams, and his love to Guru Maharaji (the Lord of the Universe, Prem Rawat). He also gave Maharaji and his organizations two inheritances, a house, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. As Maharaji’s former chauffeur Mike was close to him personally; he lived as a renunciate in Maharaji’s ashrams, and was authorized to reveal Maharaji’s secret teachings. The book is a narrative of Mike’s time with Maharaji, and his struggle to surrender his life to Maharaji, and to achieve the liberation that Maharaji promised. It is a story of being confined within a rigid belief system, realizing it, and learning how to break out from it. It is a story of how he came to live, think, feel, behave, and love, without ‘the Guru’, meaning both Maharaji, as the actual guru in his life; and in a more general sense of learning to face oneself and the world without any intermediary or negotiator, of any kind, in between.
Recommended Oct 20, 2009
“Without The Guru” is a rare and fascinating inside look at the events, thought processes and secret “Knowledge” that compelled Dr. Finch to give everything of himself, his time, love, energy and wealth, to a child guru once revered by millions as the “Lord of the Universe.” One by one, with love and humor, Dr. Finch examines the inner and external influences that “logically” drove him to accept another human being as a divine incarnation of god and live accordingly for thirty years. Mostly, however, it is at once an objective and deeply personal story about forgiveness and the enduring strength of the human spirit. I highly recommend this book to anyone who may be searching for answers to life’s essential questions in the perceived truth and wisdom of others.
Essential reading Oct 19, 2009
I am presenting this review on behalf of Nik W of the UK:-
Without The Guru is essential reading for anyone who has been attracted to the belief that when it comes to spirituality, `teacher’ and `practice’ are one and the same. Dr Finch puts into stark relief the fatal error of judgment which results from the confusion of a valued spiritual practice with the personality of the teacher of that practice. In Dr Finch’s case the Guru to whom he chose to give so much was to many spectators especially incongruous, a child god who grew into a materialistic teenager, and today dresses in the deceptive garb of `international businessman’. But Dr Finch shows how the seduction lay not merely with the supposed charisma of the Guru, but with the central overriding theme of a belief in a powerful meditation being virtually `one and the same thing’ as his Guru. For Dr Finch, and perhaps many others, the Guru Trap was sprung in quiet contemplation, not in the hysteria of personality worship.
This is not a book about the evils of cults or the failures of New Age thinking; books such as My Life in Orange, The Spiritual Tourist and Serpent Rising have already blazed that trail. What Dr Finch has written is a unique memoir encompassing both meditation and practical philosophy, and how the thinking individual, when faced with the challenge to cherished beliefs, can move forward to a healthy and fulfilling life. A life that, at least for Dr Finch, appears to have become far richer and more fulfilling once he was able to put down the unnecessary burden of “The Guru”.
Whether the reader is long experienced in Yoga, meditation or other spiritual practice – with or without a Guru – or is about to take their very first steps on a philosophical journey, this book should be required reading.
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