WHISPERS FROM WITHIN
Take Me To Your Leader
There is nothing more significant for the spiritual seeker than finding his Teacher. Since the spiritual way of life is so foreign, it will be necessary to have a reliable guide. Having begun, it will soon be clear why real progress in living spiritually is dependent on it.
Our introduction to the spiritual life finds us somewhat leery of all this teacher business. Humanly, we've had far too many and heard of far too many horror stories about people being led astray by others. The entire human scene is filled with as many of these horrors as it is with successes. Since most of us get our information from the media which seems to thrive on the horrors more so than the successes, our footsteps in the early days of the spiritual experience are cautious, and rightfully so. How is it possible to really know what lurks in the heart of humankind? So many have ulterior motives which are no part of a spiritual work. So how are you and I to proceed?
It's counter-productive to blame others for any sidetracks we've taken. Viewed spiritually, that is rightfully, the actions of others are never personal. The impersonal nature of consciousness assures its state, human or spiritual, will determine our behavior. So if we, the un-illumined, happen to follow teachers still functioning from the human state, then we'll be subject to all the pitfalls which men perpetrate out of self-interest. And this is almost unlimited. Such teachers aren't mean people because they lead others astray. They're under the control of their undeveloped impersonal consciousness which causes their actions. When development progresses, these same teachers will either fall away or will alter their methods. They will not have changed in and of themselves. Their consciousness will have, and so their behavior will follow suit.
If we have been truly led to the spiritual life, instead of just casually introduced to it by someone, then we have the answer already. Since the entire wisdom of Spirit is in us, we must let IT do the same for us now in finding a teacher as IT did in nudging us into this way of life. You may think this easy, but it isn't. It's a major accomplishment to throw off the reasoning mind with all its logical conclusions and instead walk after an unfamiliar impulse which we're not even sure is real. It's frightening for a long time. But it need not be.
The fear gradually vanishes as we practice following that Something in us, and consciously noting the results. When we become thoroughly acquainted with our inner Intelligence, we learn to trust IT. And from our faith born of understanding, we'll turn naturally to IT in the search for our teacher.
The search will finally come down to an intuitive feeling of rightness in yourself. All preconceived notions about people must be left behind if the one who can be of spiritual help to you is to be found. Only the inner feeling of comfort, rest, or at-home-ness with another individual that you or I experience is the seal.
The function of all teachers is the same. Even in the world, teachers have been given the task of leading receptive minds through the maze of intellectual matter which must be mastered. The effectiveness of these teachers will be evident in the results they have with their students. Spiritual teachers too will be gauged by the degree of peace, harmony, and good which comes into the life of their students. But none of the outer good must overshadow the real function of the teacher. The teacher must be seen for what he is and the purpose for which he's been called. The only reason an outer teacher comes into our individual orbit is that he might lead us to our real Teacher. No amount of improvement in our outer life should result in placing a teacher on a pedestal as if to deify him.
It's a tremendous undertaking to become acquainted with and reliant upon something within ourselves. In the beginning, there seems to be a distinct feeling of dread at the idea of relying on some feeling in our soul. For so long, we've been accustomed to taking instruction from everyone and everything even while inwardly feeling quite contrary to that teaching. By and large, we've kept such inclinations buried within us and haven't dared mention them to anyone. Then too, our reasoning mind has been an even harder taskmaster. It's convinced us that no one in his right mind would follow the unworn trail. This could be very dangerous, the mind would tell us. And so, once again it has shown how foolish it would be for us to follow what we feel led to do. Now the question is, what's going to provide us with the necessary fortitude to brush aside these reasonable approaches and allow us to peaceably follow in our soul's instruction? Certainly no human being is going to be able to do this. No! What's needed is for us to realize that in spite of the mind's many horrific tales to the contrary, we must learn of the non-power of the mind. There can be no better way to do this than to march headlong into those instructions which the mind would have us abandon. This will prove if we have an inner loving intelligence in us. If so, we'll understand that the mind was able to hold us at bay because of our lack of firsthand knowledge of what this is in us that bids, this way, follow ME.
Here is where outer teachers enter. It isn't practical or even possible for us over night to turn completely from following the mind's commands, suggestions, etc., to walking after our own soul. High and mighty though it may sound, far be it from you and me to desert life long behavior. It will, as does everything else, require a gradual indoctrination into the realm of spirit. It will be our teacher's responsibility to provide the guidance, comfort, assurance, and support during those very trying times which we'll eventually face at some point. Dislodging from the comfortable, though dictatorial, grasp of the mind will not be easy or painless. Our teacher will be able to provide whatever we need. More especially will they provide the clear vision and undeterred, unmoved state of peace at the sight of the things we see as catastrophic. Their developed state of consciousness, which resists not evil, will become a literal life-line. We'll be able to reach out to them at any time day or night 365 days a year [they never take vacations] and quickly feel as though some one caught us by the hand just as we sank under the water, and a voice says, fear not, it is I.
The true spiritual teachers are impersonal. They realize the students led to them will find their measure of peace and contentment, and then be on their way. Teachers are more than happy that this be the case for otherwise a tendency to become dependent on the teacher develops, thereby prolonging the students continued inner journey. Spiritual teachers are sent among receptive individuals here and there to lead them through their dark nights of the soul. The student is shown that what he thought was his teacher is but a manifestation of the real TEACHER toward whom he is gradually being turned. Every worthy spiritual teacher walking the earth has as his hidden agenda, leading students back to the classroom of their real TEACHER which is their own CONSCIOUSNESS. In whatever way it can be accomplished, the teacher lovingly, patiently, longsufferingly, and willingly leads each student a step at a time. And when the student is ready to go further into his own consciousness, the teacher guides him there. He will continue until the student finally sees that he actually can receive instruction from GOD in himself, everyone's real TEACHER.
So teachers don't set out to establish themselves as somebody to be glorified. It's their pleasure to realize what their role is in GOD'S work. GOD has granted teachers the developed state of consciousness with which to be HIS earthly guides for leading others to HIM. Teachers, therefore, are the ones who are our blessed counselors along the path to our true LEADER, which is GOD, which is the CHRIST in us, which is our own CONSCIOUSNESS