My Father's Guru: A Journey Through Spirituality and Disillusion

My Father's Guru: A Journey Through Spirituality and DisillusionAs A Child Growing Up In The Hollywood Hills During The 1950s, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson Thought It Was Perfectly Normal That A Guru Named Paul Brunton Lived With His Family And Dictated Everything About Their Daily Rituals, From Their Diet To Their Travel Plans To His Parents Sex Life But In This Extraordinary Memoir, Masson Reflects On Just How Bizarre Everything About His Childhood Was Especially The Relationship Between His Father And The Elusive, Eminent Mystic He Revered And Supported For Years Writing With Candor And Charm, Masson Describes How His Father Became Convinced That Paul Brunton P.B To His Familiars Was A Living God Who Would Fill His Life With Enlightenment And Wonder As The Masson Family S Personal Guru, Brunton Freely Discussed His Life On Other Planets, Laid Down Strict Rules On Fasting And Meditation, And Warned Them All Of The Imminence Of World War III For Years, Young Jeffrey Was As Ardent A Disciple As His Father But With The Onset Of Adolescence, He Staged A Dramatic Revolt Against This Domestic Deity And Everything He Stood For.Filled With Absurdist Humor And Intimate Confessions, My Father S Guru Is The Spellbinding Coming Of Age Story Of One Of Our Most Brilliant Writers. This is remarkable tale about a childhood that would be impossbile to imagine were if not for Jeffrey Masson s writing skills and treasure of archival documents Who else in American grew up with a family guru well before the 1960s It is hard to believe that anyone, inlcuding his parents, could throw their lot into with a guru in this way But that really means that I can t quite imagine the feeling that someone else would hold such important secrets and knowledge Masson s acomplishment is portraying his father s guru really, the family guru in human terms that create some feeling of empathy about a man who really did, I think, exploit his family But I also felt the sense of outrage about the guru that came along with Masson s development of independent judgment in his college years.The afterword in the 2003 edition helps put some large
Terrific Many years ago when I first found my spiritual teacher she said to me one day Don t idealize me Peter, we all have feet of clay This excellent book exposes every clay foot, toe and toenail of Dr Paul Brunton and yet manages to do so with a certain amount of humour and respect for his spiritual qualities I doubt if there is anyone one knowledgeable on this subject than Jeffrey Masson who grew up with Doctor Paul Brunton living in his house as his own special spiritual adviser and family Guru.Paul Brunton s first book A Search In Secret India carried the profound honesty of a genuine seeker after spiritual knowledge in its pages even if the author s self granted Doctor title was a complete fraud Yet sometime after this publication Paul Brunton s ego must have gone through the process of inflation that Jung mentions, so that by the time the young Jeffrey Masson comes under his influence Brunton is constantly implying that he considers himself a Sage of two thousand incarnations I nearly didn t write a review for this book because to comment on every issue that interests me would run this review to 15 pages but I would just like to say that when I was training as a medium, four of us students did pump enough of our personal energy into a small table to make it dance around the room with us racing to keep up and to keep our fingers on top of the t
I picked up this book, not because I was interested in Paul Brunton I m not that kind of girl , but because I was intrigued by Jeffrey Masson After reading three of Jeffrey Masson s controversial books on psychology, I wanted know what inspired him to challenge one of the legends of our time Sigmund Freud This book not only answered that question, but several others I had not thought of asking.This book, unlike Masson s others, is a personal memoir It recounts the long, strange relationship Masson s family maintained with their guru , Paul Brunton For reasons that are not entirely clear, though tantalizingly hinted at, Masson s father adopted Brunton, inviting him into their home, and becoming his disciple Eventually every member of the family ended up walking Brunton s Path to Enlightenment Ultimately, the family s association with Brunton proved disastrous, involving financial loss, a precipitous move to Uruguay to avoid WWIII , and the permanent estrangement of Masson s uncle, Bernard Although having Brunton as a live in guru was not ultimately as harmful as joining the Moonies or following Jim Jones to South America, Masson does point out the similarities.In his Epilogue, Masson writes To see deep into the structure of one tyranny is to understand something basic about all forms of oppression It is totalitarian Like other authoritarian systems, it requires a suspension and suppression of critical questioning
This story of the author s relationship to the celebrated mystic Paul Brunton is a masterful treatment of the guru master phenomenon in Western culture As the author says, Brunton is not an egregious example of a false prophet, and his book is not an expos Rather it is the story of a clash between the romantic allure of Eastern mysticism and the inability of man to escape the imperfection of the human condition He concludes that all gurus promise access to a hidden reality if only you will follow their teaching and accept their authority, but you must always subordinate yourself to the guru Certain questions are off limits To ask is at best impolite, at worst apostasy Every doubt about the guru is a reflection of your own unworthiness Lik
An almost unbelievable true story Compelling. Interesting

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  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • My Father's Guru: A Journey Through Spirituality and Disillusion
  • Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
  • English
  • 11 June 2017
  • 9780345452801