If we’re on some kind of spiritual journey, the value of a teaching cannot be underestimated. It can help us walk the path effectively, avoid side-roads, and keep on track – especially in a world ruled by the story of the ego. It will not mean the difference between waking up and not though. Just how smooth and quick the journey is.
Some will simply wake ‘spontaneously’, without a teaching or seeking. And it’s quite likely that these will increase as global consciousness rises. Already, young people are waking without the more common decades of the boomer seekers.
For most of us now though, there is a journey to take. What a teaching does is frame the journey and satisfy the mind. Offer confirmation and clarity. In the end though, we have to let go of any and all ideas and simply be. Surrender even the most exalted teachings.
Not to worry. When you let it go, then come back to it from a higher perspective, the higher teachings will remain valid. Just seen anew. ‘We are one’ becomes increasingly true at ever more profound values. ‘Creativity requires suffering’ does not.
If a teaching you follow is full of keeners that tell you this is the only way, they are themselves caught in a trap. No teaching is really “a way” in itself. And if everything is One, how can there only be one way? Even worse if the teacher themselves says this. (Jesus said in essence ‘I am That’, not ‘I am the only way’. Through me/That you shall know God.)
What is notable to see is how a teaching and it’s terminology can frame our experience. For example, when we begin to have transcendental experiences of silence, we may come to call that no-self, Self, space, fullness, emptiness, or oneness.
There will be the impulse to use the word that best matches our actual experience, but even the terminology itself will inform that. For example, if we think of it as emptiness and no-self, it will take a very strong experience of fullness before we consider framing our reality differently.
The language doesn’t matter though – it is only the colouring. But it points to the subtle value of a quality, open teaching where one is encouraged to find out for themselves but offers a time tested framework to build on.
There will always be keeners and absolutists because we all have things we believe. One of the most potent absolutists on the journey is ourselves. When we are convinced of a ‘truth’ or belief, we will see everything from how it aligns with our understanding. This is our story of our journey. The me that is wanting to awaken. Until something comes along to knock our conceptual framework off-kilter. The teacher, the challenge, the experience that’s gives us a perspective change.
This is one of the reasons I harp on perspective so much. First to see that we have one and that it informs our understanding of what is. And secondly to see that there is no one “right” perspective but rather a series of ways of seeing what is on the journey into wholeness.
No matter what our understanding or how deep our teaching, reality will never be what you expect or understand. That’s one of the ways you know it’s real. (laughs)