Much is made, in our hyper-individuated Western culture, of “being one’s own teacher,” incognizant of the fact that we fundamentally can’t know what we don’t know; we don’t know where the path is really taking us at the level of direct experience, and we can’t perceive the deeper blocks in our own being.
Seekers are afraid of becoming limited by a “system,” or of falling under the influence of a false teacher — incognizant of the fact that if your intuition and good sense can’t steer you away from a false teacher, you absolutely cannot rely upon your intuition to guide you into the unknown territory of your own unconsciousness.
People misunderstand the real work of a spiritual teacher. It’s not to give you information about metaphysics or read your aura or help you fix your goofy relationships or realize “abundance.” All of that is superficial and basically irrelevant to your authentic awakening.
A teacher does three things:
- S/he prescribes and customizes the right spiritual practice to support each next step you take in your spiritual unfoldment. This s/he does through training in that art, and the expertise gained from having traveled the path ahead of you. S/he supports your practices on the “inner planes” in a way that you cannot do for yourself.
- Through the effect of the teacher’s elevated consciousness on your being, s/he directly catalyzes your spiritual unfoldment. This is real and it’s very powerful, and it’s beyond mind and language.
- But the most important thing a teacher does is to perceive and mirror to you the magnificence and unique gifts of your real being and potential — and to hold that steadfast in spite of your best and most sincere attempts to prove to both of you that you are something else. Your teacher can do this in a way that can only be authentic to someone who wants nothing from you except your absolute freedom.
In this, s/he navigates between the edges of what you want to know, from inside the narrowness of who believe yourself to be, and what s/he knows that you need to know in order to break free from the prison of that belief.