We live in an age of polarising forces which are creating heightened global tensions and increasing civil unrest. Despite the euphoria surrounding the technological marvels of the age, more and more people are turning to spiritual teachings for inspiration and to make sense of what’s happening in the world.
The fundamental purpose of a spiritual teacher is to disturb the deeper resistance of the self through his words and presence. However, many people who are initially drawn to authentic spiritual teachings are not necessarily ready to be more responsible for life, and soon look elsewhere for something less real and confrontational.
There are thousands of spiritual teachers but only one truth. Teachings that attract millions of followers serve as a sweeping light onto the shadow of humanity, but tend to lack the immediacy to deal with the root cause of the human condition of unhappiness. People say that they want the truth, but most find it unpalatable when confronted with the responsibility of what it entails – which is to live what a teacher communicates if it’s the truth for them. What is of true value is lived as a way of life. Only in the living of the truth is the virtue extracted from experience as self-knowledge and retained as individual consciousness.
Any effective spiritual teaching that emerges in these times will, through necessity, be focussed on a more direct experience of reality. Spiritual power is direct knowledge of whatever needs to be known at any moment. It’s no longer necessary to meditate for hours or undergo extreme asceticism to find enlightenment. However, what hasn’t changed is the need to be present in the senses, which neutralises the errant thought processes and anxiety of mind, which is the scourge of the human race. All the great teachings throughout the ages have, in essence, been directed towards this fundamental practice of being more conscious and attentive in the body.
No-one can teach another the truth because it’s already known within the being behind the form, but has yet to be consciously realised. This is because the enlightenment centre is surrounded by the resistance of the past ignorance of self which separates an individual from their own spiritual knowledge. It’s therefore by the way of things that a spiritual teacher comes to reflect the truth at a particular point of time. As people gravitate to the orbit of his realised state of consciousness, they are divested to some degree of the burden of past. When the job’s done, they leave to serve life according to their lights and inspiration. In that sense we all contribute to the greater good.
So, how do you recognise the teacher who is right for you? One of the most reliable ways is to see that there’s no choice. At various stages in everyone’s life, events and circumstances occur which, in hindsight, are perceived to have been directed by the unconscious and not from any personal decision. The right teacher is always provided at the right time. It’s just a matter of being open to the wonder and mystery of life.