Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spiritual Teachers


It is true that some have not yet reached a level of mind (consciousness) in which their fully independent functioning is reliable. That is why there are spiritual teachers-- a calling which I have also received.

But it is absolutely crucial for a real spiritual teacher to love her students. A genuine spiritual teacher should never force her students, although she might strongly encourage them to boost their spirituality in showing them a more honorable Way of living. Still, any teaching that she gives to them should be given freely, as she has herself received it freely from the cosmic Mind. It is never appropriate for a spiritual teacher to "sell" or "vend" spirituality as if it were beans, and she a seller at a market. This degrades spirituality, making of it an "economic" commodity.

A genuine spiritual teacher will also never take advantage of students, supporting a negative selfesteem. Instead, she will always emphasize that each student is likely already doing her best, although there might be room for improvement. She will be free with her praise and positive reinforcement, encouraging and uplifting students.

She will never imply that those who do not understand, or "conform to the church," are damned forever. For Love never damns anyone, ever; if a person is condemned, it is by her own conscience. Love simply waits for her to outgrow deeply flawed and very negative selfesteem.

So, while people might, and often do, need some guidance, the spiritual teacher will always present it in Love, as a teaching or subteaching of Love. Love challenges us to change,and this is a good thing; so, the spiritual teacher must often challenge her students to improve their lives. But she never does so in a domineering, intrusive, invasive, or unloving manner. She presents the facts, often powerfully; but she then waits for the student's own conscience to change that student. As a teacher, she can accelerate, but never initiate, the spiritual growth of another adult.

Where she sees errors, especially those that might affect a group of other students, she will, and must, speak up. But she will always do so with Love and compassion, and she will always emphasize only the teachings and actions of Love-- kindness, goodness, service, friendship, other-centeredness, compassion, ahimsa (harmlessness or non-injury) and related qualities.

The spiritual teacher never "pushes the bird from the nest" prematurely, but always recognizes the God-given right for any individual, any adult, to make her own spiritual decisions. She holds the freedom of independent thinking as sacred, and would never do anything, even in giving needed guidance, to violate this basic freedom.

She would heartily recommend against the embrace of any kind of fundamentalist religion, never standing by in complacency and dismissing the religion as her student's "karma." For we are here, we are created, to aid and assist each other. And for a spiritual teacher voluntarily or silently to watch her student enter a fundamentalist mindset without objection would be like allowing a five-year-old to play with sharp razors in the name of "her freedom," or, worse, in the name of "karma."

No loving adult, in her right mind, would permit this; for she would be prohibited by Love acting through her heart.

The enlightened know that to love each other, and ourselves, is the very reason that we exist. She can never turn away from Love, even in the face of great karma. She does not believe in apathy; so, she is determined to reduce human and other suffering whenever and wherever she finds it. In a sad world such as ours, her work is cut out for her!

It is true that one must experience an "ego" before one can transcend it.
This has been pointed out several billion times in the history of
spirituality-- often, by people who are looking to justify or rationalize egobased behavior. The very job or calling of the spiritual teacher is to point people away from the illusionself or ego. So, while she is always acutely aware that egotranscendence does not occur in minutes, but usually requires years if not decades, the teacher is not here, does not exist, to make the ego comfortable. She does not present it as "the enemy," but as a teacher, here to guide us away from itself.

Re "accountability and responsibility," no, these are not evolved. They are intrinsic to every mind; even those which are very undeveloped do bear responsibility for any action in which they voluntarily participate.
Anything done deliberately, by any mind, generates this responsibility.
Even the most regressive and backwards minds do create karma, due to the fact that they are responsible for any behavior followed with intention.
This karma, and its egotranscendence is often discovered by the creation of egopain.

It is a spiritual error to expand the fine principles of Taoism into the complex and confusing "ultrataoism," which is a distortion that says that we have no control over anything, ever, at any time. If this were so, what would be the purpose of spiritual education? There would be none, and so, Jesus, the Buddha, and other great teachers would have totally wasted their time-- and everyone else's. While we do want to give up control, or the attempt to control, every situation, and allow the cosmic Mind to work through and within us, especially in life's most important matters, the universe is a "dance." It is like a chessgame, in which the cosmic Mind makes Its move, and then, we must make a move also, in response. God (Love) has arranged for this massive and complex "game" in order for us to grow and learn. Growing and learning could have no real meaning in a cosmos in which we did not make decisions or exercise a limited amount of selfcontrol.

We are not responsible for the actions or thoughts of other adults. We are not fully responsible for every activity within even our own bodies.
For, in a fair universe, We are responsible for only that which we can control. This means that we are responsible for our responses. (Easy:
"response" and "responsibility" both come from the same root.)

So, in final analysis, we are responsible for only our responses. If we can teach ourselves, or be taught, to respond in only Love to every contingency, then we have come to our "graduation" from the "school"" of earthly life.

It is true that, as you say, people who are stuck in cults or fundy religion are there due to their karma; I used to be one of them! But the true teacher never regards such benighted souls with apathy or complacence. Love moves her to reach out to them, to teach them.
Without Love, pure Taoism would create only "bumps on a log," waiting for things to occur, never initiating anything ever! This is an extreme, and the Way always moves us away from extremes, which can become virulently anti-spiritual (antiagapic, violating the principle of Love).

So, while cultivating trust in the interior cosmic Mind to care for all life, and for the totality of enlightenment towards all creatures, the enlightened does not see God (Love) as active outside of her, but inside her. Love lives and moves through her, and within her.

This is no attempt futilely to "add to God." You simply cannot "add" to the Infinite. Instead, the spiritual outreach of a teacher is like preparing a garden filled with beautiful flowers. Without care, the garden turns to weeds, and the flower-petals drop off. All you have is a patch of muck and mud. Caring for a student is like cooperating with Mind, with nature, not trying to "add to" It. A student can grow, like a flower, without nurturing; but a flower which receives care has many more petals, is more fragrant, and more beautiful.

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