It is very common to have an initial infatuation with a new teaching (relationship, etc), then come to see the warts. We’re all human.
At that point, we have a choice. We can toss the whole thing and look for something better. Or we can bring in discrimination and separate the wheat from the chaff. Perhaps there is a little too much chaff and it’s better to let it go. But perhaps there’s some good wheat there we can sow.
This is a big part of developing a mature relationship with anything, including a teaching. Moving beyond the infatuation or believer stage and culturing the strengths. Accepting the weaknesses while doing what we can to avoid amplifying them.
What we don’t want to do is fester for years about a bad breakup. Similarly, many modern teachers have broken away from their original teachers. It’s a good sign of healing when they can come to terms with that and can acknowledge their history.
But there’s also another more subtle and important layer to this. While it’s healthy to be skeptical, for the fine feelings to unfold there also has to be an openness. Many people who have been on the path for awhile have trashed expectations. It’s easy to become jaded. If we’re not careful, that can lead to a dismissive approach to one’s progress and to the path.
This can have the effect of squelching subtle experiences. That will further dampen conscious progress and can get us a bit stuck.
So while we want healthy discrimination, that doesn’t include angry dismissiveness and judgment – even the quiet kind. The fine feelings cannot thrive in that environment yet both are very common in spiritual forums.
I remember talking to Rick Archer when he first started what became Buddha at the Gas Pump. One of the reasons he began what was to be a local radio interview show was because long-term practitioners didn’t believe the change was finally happening. That many people where waking up.
The show also went on to break a lot of concepts of what awakening was supposed to look like, even for Rick. But the quality of the interviewees as representatives of spiritual awakening varies pretty widely – healthy discrimination required.
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