(Although this is attributed to Jhannee on the basis of the opening remarks, some doubt is felt because of the very different manner of delivery. Jhannee is usually very sedate but this talk was given in a vivacious manner. My hands were used a lot and a noticeable mannerism was pointing with the index fingers, in the air.)

It has been suggested that I speak to you tonight on one of the topics in your book. Someone has requested information on the Guru-disciple relationship, and as this is considered my area, I shall speak.First, what is meant by Guru and disciple?

In the yogi tradition the guru is the person who leads the disciples into - what shall we call it? - the realization of the Self, the cosmic consciousness. The disciple, therefore, is someone who wishes to attain this level, and who agrees to follow the guru. He is supposed to be completely obedient to the guru's instructions. Obeying every command, implicitly believing his guru to be able to lead him safely to his goal.

Now, do you need a guru?

We feel this is the implied question in the original topic requested. Some people do, and some people don't.

There have been many instances of people attaining - let us call it self-realization, because that will cover a broad spectrum of the field. There have been many instances of people quite spontaneously achieving this, although 'achieving' is quite the wrong word, because 'achieving' implies that they were striving towards it, but they weren't. This experience has come to them. Many of these cases have been in your Western society, and to some very learned people. They have also come to people who were completely unlettered, having no knowledge of beliefs, doctrines or creeds taught in your society.On the other hand, there are people who have attained - I use the word deliberately - attained this goal by dint of many years of continuous striving. These people have been in the West as well as in the East. But it is in the East that you usually can see this attitude. It also occurs in the West, and I do not necessarily mean those people, who in recent years have started following the Eastern approach.So, it would appear that the guru is not strictly necessary. You can have one if you want. If you feel you need someone to hold your hand and lead you there, you will be attracted to those systems that endorse this belief and provide the wherewithal of that to occur. It may also be that you need to go through that type of approach for a certain period of time, perhaps it will lift you up one or two rungs of the ladder - and we will still mention that there is no direction. Never mind, you have these concepts and it is the only way we can get them across to you.

However, in the majority of cases the person is in some sort of belief system. This is determined at birth. If you are born in one place, you are more likely to follow one belief system. If you are born in another place, you will follow another belief system. We are pleased that these days it is not quite so clear cut as it used to be. We will be very pleased when boundaries between creeds have been eliminated. But at least it is mixing up in the world and you have a greater choice.Many people who have been dissatisfied with a creed have simply been born in the wrong religion for them in particular. If they have been born in some other area of the world, they would have kept the religion of that area.

We would make the point that if a guru were necessary to attain this self-realization, who helped the first guru to attain it? So, if the first leader, prototype, whatever, was able to attain the goal without a guru, it cannot be strictly necessary for everyone to have a guru. The original and basic aim - and I am stressing original and basic - of a religion is to guide its adherents to some form of realisation, ecstasy, that is attained by contact with Spirit. Not 'a spirit' - Spirit - the underlying spirit, that immense font, pool of knowledge and wisdom and understanding on which all men can draw, from which all men can draw.

Unfortunately, in nearly every case mankind has lost sight of it and has become attached to form and ritual, (mankind) has lost sight of the original purpose. And this is why we are trying to get you to look beyond, to get you to feel, to experience rather than to use words. Use the heart rather than the head. Use your head in every-day life, to operate correctly and successfully in your material world, but it is the heart that will give you the true wisdom to guide the head. And it is the heart that will contact Spirit, and bring Spirit through into your life. The heart is the gateway.

Now, I do not mean your physical heart, I hope you realize that. It is rather the etheric centre that corresponds to the heart in the physical body. Since you have the concept I will use the word 'chakra', it is only a word, use it if you wish. We have, in the past, given you exercises working on the chakras. They are there for those who would like to do this. What is in the heart is more important than worrying about these other forms and rituals. We try to give something for each person, these things will help, but it is what is in the heart that is absolutely necessary.

In my country, which is India, the guru-disciple relationship is so strongly emphasised, we like people to be interdependent. In you society you have much more independence. In my country we have an external part of religion, just as you have in yours. In both areas it is possible to find what you want in the religion. You can stay with the surface rituals and they may satisfy. You may dig deeper underneath until you reach your goal.

If you feel you WANT someone to guide you, if you feel you want set guide-lines and steps to follow, then you will adopt that faith. But if you are a freer spirit who has the feeling to experience more, you will adopt a freer approach.

I sometimes think you must be getting tired of us saying, whatever you want, is available to you. Nothing is hard and set and fast - unless you want it to be.

How do you know what is the right approach for you?By trying out whatever comes. Investigate it, you don't have to really go into it at first. Talk about it, you may read a book about it, attend a lecture, a service. If it attracts you, you may go into it a little further. If it doesn't you can back off and stay with what you have. If you stay with one approach, one religion, or sect or cult, from your childhood on, how do you know that that is the correct way for you? Look at others around you, until you find the one that your heart says is right. Even then you may look at others (religions) if you wish, but still remaining with the one that you feel is right for you. We do not preach absolute exclusivity. All roads will get some people there, if you enter in them effectively.

Now, we feel we may have strayed a little.

Is there any particular point which anyone wants clarified or discussed?

Gina: In development, we keep talking generally about persons, who want to get in contact with themselves, the rate at which they are developing as human beings. And contact with a guru is not necessarily some person, it may be a trigger or something that helps someone develop.

Jhannee: You are quite right to say that it can be a thing that helps you develop. The first thing, of course, is to wish to develop. Make your point again.

Gina: Well, what I thought I understood from what you've said so far is basically: once someone is in contact with themselves, then they go on to try to develop a bit more as a human being. They are aware that there is something more, and something they are trying to achieve, and its got nothing to do with society and what it expects. Once they've got to that stage, these ideas of following a guru is not blindly following another human being, obviously with exceptions such as Jesus, Buddha and that. Others are not that much further developed than what you are. And it's much better for someone who is trying to develop to look for a trigger here, and ideas there, which will open up the mind and help to develop that way. And not taking anyone, or what they say, in total blind faith. Because if you do that you are not thinking.

Jhannee: That is right. We have often told you: you must think for yourself, you must make your decisions. You are thinking quite clearly young lady. Does anyone else wish to make a point?

Jim: In the path of spiritual enlightenment we will leave both the physical and the etheric body. And, as I understand, we are here to more or less spiritualise that physical body while we are alive on this planet. It seems very, very, slow and arduous process to clarify one's experiences and to open up so as to benefit other people. I understand that there must be a simple way, which even a child could understand, a simple way of opening up to one's self. It appears to me that definitely our self is the hardest thing to overcome.

Jhannee: It seems a long time to you. The concept of time in your world is different to when you come here, when you leave your material body behind, when you cross over. Accept the instruments with which you are forced to work in the material world. There will be much more when you come here. Do not overly concern yourself too much with problems. Accept, and it will slip away more easily when you come here. It is not necessary to strive - just experience and be. Striving is implied in the theory of the guru-disciple relationship. It is not necessary. Some people like that and they can take it. Usually people like to have some sort of direction, some sort of form. And that is alright, but do not be stuck in it. That is just the beginning. Allow yourselves to outflow - we are getting into concepts for which we have much trouble finding words to express exactly what we mean. To many people, what we say will seem like the rambling of a mad person, it will have no sense to them. Try to feel what we are saying, try to let it by-pass the mind. Because you are in the material world, many people need a form when they start on the spiritual path. But there are many forms and underneath there is Spirit. Pay your material body enough attention to keep it healthy, to keep it presentable - if you are not presentable there will be some sort of adverse reaction towards you and this is not good, especially for a sensitive. And beyond that - just be. That is the only way we can express it, the experience. You will be able to disassociate yourself from your body during your material life. It occurs in a small degree when you sleep - you need this break from the denseness of your material body. You will be able to disassociate yourself from your dense material body at times. It will not be good to be in that state all the while. While you are in the material world you have to act in your world. Can you feel what I am trying to say to you?

Jim: Yes.

Gina: Yes.

Jhannee: Just feel it.

Gina: Every time you say 'just feel it' I always get the feeling of great peace and great love and great acceptance, just being there.

Jhannee: We are very pleased with that. It is what we want to do for you.

Jim: We, each one of us, are in essence spirit clothed in a dense physical body. If we are here to develop our spirit, it occurs to me that our physical personality seems to block out the communications with Spirit, or the growth that spirit has already made. It seems to be part of us, but then again, separate from us. And yet we exist forever in spirit, but in the dense physical body for only a short time. How does Spirit accord with that concept?

Jhannee: Treat life in your world as a game. Play that game to the fullest extent of your ability. But try to remember that there is Spirit underneath, there is something beyond this world. Whenever you meditate, or pray in some way, you get to a state of great peace and calmness.

Jim: Sometimes, not always.

Jhannee: Progress is made when you can hold that feeling all the time, no matter what you are doing, even when you are in circumstances which you dislike, or that trouble you. When you can hold that peace underneath it all, you are progressing.

Have I covered all the points you raised?

Jim: So far I am satisfied.

Jhannee: Sometimes we get carried along on one track and leave something out.

Gina: Can I say something? I am under the impression that the reason why we are here is because we've got things to learn and develop as human beings. It is good to know that there is a spirit. The reason why we're here is because earth happens to be the best situation whereby we can have those experiences, and hope, as a human being, that they work. And the most important thing why we're here is the interaction with other people. I don't know if this is right to put first the interaction with other people, when you've got people sitting in front of you. Development as a human being is the most important and the most important job that we play here. It is the interaction with other people. And when you look at interaction with other people you are looking at interaction with other spirits as it is, with people who are more highly developed than you are. Then you can - when you are in contact with yourself, you can say "Yes, they have got something more than I." That's the way whereby I might be able to get something from them, but not slavishly follow them. They might trigger something whereby you might develop as well. You learn to be compassionate to other people as well, they might be absolute bastards but you can have compassion for the fact that they've got so involved with the game that they can't see what it is any more.

Jhannee: Now you have raised so many points. We like your basic approach, and we like your idea that someone else can trigger something in you. Take from each person what you need.

Gina: Yes, but when you are here you are basically having a spiritual relationship anyway, because you are interacting with other people and they are other spirits and you are learning interaction between spirits. Essentially you are learning basic lessons and it just happens to be the best place to learn the basic lessons. That's the reason why we have bodies with two arms and two legs instead of four arms and three legs or whatever. This is a good place to learn it. And so essentially even though we are here we are still having and learning a spiritual relationship. I'd better shut up.

Jhannee: We are quite happy to let you carry on. This is part of your training. You don't realise you are being trained do you?

Gina: I'm just spouting my mouth off.

Jhannee: But WHERE is it coming from?

I think we have time for Jim to ask one brief question. The others can ask any time but because you don't come very often you can ask now.

Jim: How long does it take to peel off all the layers until you get to the essence, if you like to call it that?

Jhannee: No time at all and all eternity. If you can experience it immediately, it will happen immediately.

Jim: Yes, I've read that many times before. If you take the example of Jesus, his life is the initiation of each earth-bound spirit which will happen to everyone, and to my idea it can also happen exactly in one earthly experience without many incarnations to achieve it, without having to peel off all the layers to get to that point.

Jhannee: Please understand that you do not HAVE to reincarnate in this world. How do you peel off those layers?

Gina: Are we not doing it all the time as we develop as human beings and develop the higher emotions and the higher concepts. Aren't we doing that?

Jhannee: There is - you see we don't like this sort of idea of progress - this is one of your concepts.

Jim: There is a difference from our world to your world, I realise the difference.

Jhannee: And the difference of concepts. You have some progress of spirit in your material body. You also progress on this side. The ultimate is the merging back with Godness. Those people in your world you regard as avatars, Jesus, Buddha, so forth, there are many you do not know about. They come from that level just before the merging, and that is the true sacrifice they make - to come from that level back down to your world. Each brings, or tries to bring, into the world help for mankind at that point of time and this is why each one is different to the others. As people in the different areas and the different times have already in themselves different concepts and stages of development, we can bring through to you different material because your science has progressed at certain points. You (now) understand about radio waves, and so we can bring through to you something different to what the Avatars brought to people at their stage. You still want to know how?

Jim: I know the concept of divine energy and using our own selves as an amplifier, to the power of square and using it to develop mankind.

Jhannee: (pointing to my head) You are still using this instead of this (heart).

Jim: Yes, but if we use the physical mind to set this in motion, is this not the same as if we have in our heart the divine energy we can use? So basically, the concept is - how much spiritual love you have for your fellow man, so we can transmit the energy through our physical body. That would be already using the heart and mind. I understand the bit of the heart and the rational mind. The difficulty is the head mind and the heart mind.

Jhannee: It is the heart feeling, that state of peace that passes all understanding.

Jim: You have answered my question.

Jhannee: Thank you. I think we should leave it there.

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