This authority sets the ideal, which leads to chasing and chasing IS the factor that prevents enlightenment. Whether that is the authority of your own past experiences or the outside authority of a guru. Before all those who offer spiritual services for money start to yell at me, which happens too often when I speak on this topic, let me say I am not against receiving money for spiritual services, but I am just saying that if an organization starts to demand huge sums of money in order for you to continue your progress on the spiritual path, it is time to put up the red flag and do some serious thinking. A teacher, as I have pointed out in the article For Spiritual Growth can a Teacher or Guide Help , can be a source of great inspiration, great guidance and protection. Today, it is best if Gurus embrace this view and take on a role more of a friend, even as they continue to be teachers and guides. The teacher can thus help accelerate your spiritual growth. Authority of any kind when it comes to the mind, leads to pursuit and imitation. The true guru IS impersonal Intelligence and Awareness in action. I suggest all those interested in the topic of self mastery and Gurus read this article. That we must find the strength and courage to follow our heart and inner voice, which is how life speaks to us. How to Find Your True Guru The topic of Gurus and Swamis is another important topic that this scandal allows me to discuss, so I want to share some thoughts on it with you all. There is another subtle but important aspect of understanding the risks of authority when it comes to spiritual growth, and I will mention that briefly here and address it in more detail in a future article. Those are just recent scandals, and if you were to do a quick check you will find endless such events tied to religious organizations and spiritual authorities. Such was the case with the enlightenment of Nisargadatta Maharaj, which you will find here: We are after all just the One Consciousness, so from my divine aspect to yours, a warm and love filled Namaste.