It amazes me that I never hooked the word "devotion" with "devotee" before. How stupid is that?
When you deliberately attune to a person, you can choose who it is. You can get to know the person, come to trust them, share life goals and patterns, attraction, love, share anything you wish to share, and begin devoting yourself to them. When you do this, you find that you feel much more lenient about your remaining differences, you become more selfless because of your devotion to another, and are much clearer about who the person is and how you relate to them. You know them intimately, down to their soul--flaws, virtues and all. But you already knew much of this. You devoted yourself to a known quantity and found previously unknown quality. You devoted yourself to a guru that you decided was qualified and trustworthy. This connection is no less than any other attunement, but it requires some devotion before attunement, which means consciously choosing to devote yourself and your attentions. With an actual guru or with an accidental attunement, the attunement happens first and makes devotion (or attempts at it) almost automatically follow, for better or worse.
Both connections, in the end (i.e. once attuned), ARE THE SAME, because whatever the trigger or association, what we are awakening is our own soul, and the soul can attune to anyone or anything by chance or by choice.
Devotion is easy when there is an internal drive already there, and there is always that drive because we all have and give love. And we all want things that tend to require attunement of some kind in some degree to possess. And in the devotion, we feel we not only possess it, but we give ourselves to it. For this reason, and this reason alone, we can attune to as many things as we wish. Devotion is a matter of attention and care, and the more we practice it, the more of reality we feel devoted to, even if that was not our initial objective. Devotion is a form of attentive love and it links us with our own souls. The act of devotion awakens the soul, and we feel more loving and attentive of everything. Gurus, for example, devote themselves to reality with love and understanding by paying mindful attention to everything and learning to care for it. Through this devotion, they are attuned to their own souls and the objects of their devotion in time, and it can be attuned to them more easily. That is how they so easily switch on that transmission with their devotees: they can will the attunement of another to divine realities, particularly if the other is receptive enough to receive the transmission.
The reason we feel this attunement is so rare and sought after is because we tend to only familiarize ourselves with the accidental kind. I have read that people usually only feel this attunement to a person once or twice in a lifetime. But when you think about it, this is often because we then spend so much time in attempted devotion to them and are mostly receptive to them rather than other attunements. We do not devote ourselves to reality in general or to self-discovery; we devote ourselves to one person. And even if it starts with one person, devotion done properly should lead to greater attunement with reality as well, followed by some level of devotion to it. But we do not understand devotion. Usually we grasp that which we are attuned to, and we try or wish to devote to it, we feel compelled to do so, but we run into our own (and others') obstacles to devotion, be they pathology or simple laziness or selfishness. And if it goes poorly, we feel distanced but still attuned, and feel helpless to do more than wait for this to accidentally happen again. We fail to devote ourselves to reality because we are waiting for another accidental attunement to incite us to do so. When it happens, this process starts over again, and we hope it has happier results.
But people tend only to have one or two gurus in their lives as well. These are chosen deliberately, attunement is guaranteed, and we hopefully devote ourselves successfully to them and to reality in such a way as to bring about greater awareness and attunement. But devotion itself attunes us to ourselves when properly exercised, because it stems from the soul. And the soul is precisely what we think we are attuning to in the guru. When we devote to that, we are faced with the reality that it is WE who possess this higher reality that we are so desperately seeking attunement with, and we integrate it within ourselves, attune to ourselves, and find that this part of us is the very thing we were grasping after. We no longer project this divine thing outwards and hope to seize it in others and devote only to those objects or people. Instead, we devote awareness itself and to what we choose, because we have the power of self-attunement, and devotion to reality runs on our own being. We devote ourselves to realities and people as they are and as we know them, not as objects of our attunement. The importance of attunement randomly happening diminishes in importance as we seek to attune ourselves. We no longer need to wait for accidental attunement like dormant needles in a compass waiting for a reading, and we no longer need to feel deprived by the blocked or unfulfilled devotion to such attunements. We no longer regret such failures, no longer consider these to be lost opportunities, because we can create successes at our own choosing.
Because while attunement isn't always a choice, it can be chosen. And devotion is always a choice, and we can choose what qualities, compulsions, perceptions, projections, realities or fantasies to base it on. The choice empowers us rather than those things we base it upon.
It is important to note that we don't cease being attuned to those we have attuned to. And we feel this burden when there is a block or a loss in relation to that connection or person. But when we realize the conscious and deliberate side of attunement, these connections stop defining our relationships. We can take an honest look at the people, but use the connection of attunements to bring energy and awareness to the choices we make and to the devotion we choose to practice in our lives. Bad relationships (unsuccessful devotion) with those who we have attuned to become instructive in the most energetic and aware ways, and we need no longer carry those memories with us as burdens. Instead they bring mindfulness to our lives and lend their aid to the directions that we choose for our lives. And by doing this, and practicing this, and realizing we have the power to attune ourselves through mindful devotion, we learn to let go the hold that we feel these attunements have over us.
[Ref from One Taste, Sept 15th entry: "The same thing, but on a higher level, seems to go on in authentic Guru Yoga. You, the devotee, project not merely your shadow but your own True Self onto the guru. You see the guru, but not yourself, as possessing the Divine Reality. And this is why the devotee is absolutely fascinated with the guru, drawn to the guru, wants always to be with the guru. You fall in love with your own True Self, as projected onto the figure of the guru."]