Any teaching can be a prison – for the teacher or the student.
Teachings are meant to be pointers, ways to guide the attention so that what it lands on flowers. A teacher may use ideas, metaphors, analogies, or stories. But if we come to take these pointers as absolute facts and “truth”, then we are using them to control. We are creating boundaries to growth.
Even the highest teaching of enlightenment can become dogma and thus point away from what it was intended. Today’s understanding of Vedanta, for example, illustrates that. The realizations of Unity are seen as intellectual arguments.
This does not mean you should avoid teachings. They can bring us context, direction, and give the mind a framework for our experience, a language to communicate with.
Just hold them lightly and allow knowledge to grow – not just in quantity but quality too.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used 2 core teachings on this subject from the Vedas.
1 – Knowledge is structured in consciousness
2 – Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness
In other words, our clarity of consciousness will determine the knowledge we can embody and the understanding that will flow from that. Also – as we move through the stages of development – toddler, teen, and so forth – our consciousness changes and thus so too what is true for us.
With the right approach, knowledge becomes a gift rather than a burden. But we have to be willing to let go of even our most precious understanding so that consciousness can shift and knowledge can rise again in the new context.