There’s a goofy idea some people have that awakening makes you a spiritual teacher. There can certainly be an impulse to share but teaching requires skill and a calling, not just wanting to tell the world.
Someone who gives talks (or whatever they call them) or writes isn’t a “spiritual teacher” in this context. A spiritual teacher in the strict sense of it is one who takes a responsibility to guide a student on their path.
They will work with you from spiritual levels – from the Self or our cosmic nature. This will be much less about your individuality or it’s needs.
It is a very serious responsibility to be a spiritual teacher as the effects are deep and profound. Yet if someone is a human in a body, there will be karma still unfolding. This leads to one of the deeper challenges of being a spiritual teacher.
Firstly, they become a focal point of students karma. They have to learn to be neutrally conscious of it and to process and clear what shows up quickly and efficiently. If instead they let it trigger their remaining shadows, they end up amplifying rather than resolving both the students and their own baggage. It is the dance all teachers go through.
Sharing their energetic baggage with students that have opened to them is messy and difficult karma. I’ve seen this play out several times, usually with rough results. This is also why it was one of the topics of the Sofia panel discussion. Most there knew recent examples of teachers who’ve become caught in their stuff. I’ve had to remove references to one from this site, someone I once highly regarded.
Another hazard is the spiritualized ego. There can be a fine line between students devotion and adulation. The teacher must be very clear on what the student is devoted to. It’s not about them as a person but the divine in them that enlivens the divine in you. Teachers can’t entirely control a students infatuation but it really doesn’t help if it goes to their head.
Further challenge can be rising subtle perception. Someone can become very awake before that comes on-line. But if they have no background or decent context, they can get mislead or caught by it. It’s not uncommon to confuse the “astral” with the divine, for example. Beings can show up and present themselves as divine but have other motivations. This is why I mentioned the feeling value during the panel – it’s not how they appear but the energy they carry that can inform you.
In some cases, beings can come bearing gifts – like abilities, charisma, and such to “help” you. But if it comes with a Faustian deal, it’s not divine. (we’re not talking about selling one’s soul here but rather one’s integrity and self-authority)
A spiritualized ego can even inflate subtle archetypes into one’s own imaginary “divine worlds”.
All of this stuff has a sticky quality too. That can lead us back into identification.
My recommendation is not to be in ANY rush to take on any special role like “teacher” or “guru” until things are deeply mature. And when you’re seeking a teacher, look for one who has moved past this stuff. It’s a drama you don’t want to be part of.
At the same time, every teacher is still a human. They will not be perfect. If we can recognize both their divinity and their humanity, just as they should be also, we will be better served.
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