Tom answered a significant request, found a real problem and performed a real service for Thynes. In the process, he demonstrated that this checking on guides can be done and that there can be real problems. After all, our guides are just some of us taking a turn serving in the Cosmic Soup Kitchen and you know how hard competence and personal responsibility is to find in the general population. Then he explained how we can do it, request a check on our guides for ourselves, if we believe that our guides are not really paying attention. He did not do it on the basis that he was opening a request line for this service. He did it to teach us. Remember the bit, teach a man to fish and he eats for life, give a man a fish and he comes back tomorrow wanting grits and hush puppies to go with the new fish he now expects from you daily (or whatever you Yankies among us eat with fish).
A famous general, whose name I do not recall (sic transit gloria mundi), made an observation that you should never give an order (think for others) unless absolutely necessary and you are willing to give it as appropriate from then on. Tom took the risk of making a statement (giving an order) but cannot provide this service repeatedly when we need to and the goal is learn to do so ourselves, now we know that we can and how.
I know that many of the comments above were intended to be humorous. But in fact, many of us (all) really have been receiving information from guides for long periods, a lifetime, but we are adept in not noticing their input. A lot of things, feedback, are subtle and non verbal. It's like finding out that it is harder to cut against the grain of the wood than it is to cut with it. The lesson repeated until we catch on. They can teach you the right way to live with great subtlety or with the Georgia mule treatment of a sharp blow to the side of the head as they find necessary from your hard headedness and persistence in doing things the wrong way. This kind of thing is easier to get across than words and feedback is constant in our lives, especially when we do stupid things. Been there, done that. And as Tom has pointed out, guides vary in their approaches, including over time, just as we vary in the extent that we pay attention and hopefully learn to recognize more of their interaction. They are not fantastically superior beings than us and they serve more than one of us, normally. Tom has explained about this before in these forums. They are selected to be responsible and suitable for the job and relatively superior to those they guide. But as always, AUM has a large element of good enough to get along with within its functioning. But all in all, we are much more likely to not be paying attention to them than for them to not be paying attention to us. You might find a point of contact by paying attention to more than just trying for clear verbal contact in meditation. There is more than just this form of interaction.
Tom gave the title of our local head man as the big cheese as part of the humor in MBT. But he is not so local and has great responsibilities as described in MBT. We should all hope that he is doing his job because he stands between us and the bad actors that Tom has recently mentioned as well as the general smooth running of our little corner of Reality. And I have it on good authority (Tom) that he gained his position by major service and brilliant functioning.
Regarding guides manifesting themselves 'physically' in our lives. This is not likely to happen. With the great difficulty of establishing this semblance and keeping it a secret, available only to you, why should they. And some children are known to have invisible friends. There are however many who would be willing to for instance, send you a prayer cloth for a small, free will, contribution. And my dog does believe that it is his responsibility to let me know when it is time to get up, go to bed, and above all, cook food. My guides did give me an brief image once of a Bear, a Beaver and a Wolverine, as a way to think of them. As much in humor as anything. There is more than one way to guide someone and humor is certainly included.