Lazy Man’s Guide

Golas quote

I wonder how many people remember Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment? I think I bought my first copy when it was brand new, at the head shop on North Avenue in Grand Junction. I would have been 16. Over the years I’ve bought and given away so many copies I’ve lost track.

This passage has been particularly influential over the years in keeping me from turning myself into a spiritual teacher like so many of my friends.

Every person who allows others to treat him as a spiritual leader has the responsibility to ask himself: Out of all the perceptions available to me in the universe, why am I emphasizing the ignorance of my brothers? What am I doing in a role where this is real? What kind of standards am I conceiving, in which so many people are seen to be in suffering, while I am the enlightened one?

This approach is a necessary corollary of two main ideas. One, “We are equal beings.” And two, “There is nothing you need to do first in order to be enlightened.” Put the two ideas together, and it’s easy to see, “The state of mind that most needs enlightenment is the one that sees human beings as needing to be guided or enlightened.

  • The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment, by Thaddeus Golas (1971).
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