I resent the spiritual teachers and healing practitioners who have not truly or fully embodied spirituality. I resent those who have not integrated their physical, mental and emotional selves. They have not done sufficient inner work yet they go around carrying out their work as healers and teachers.
I consider these individuals the authority in the field of health, healing and spirituality. Yet some of them do not practice what they preach; some do not walk their talk. When I see this, I feel frustrated. Where’s the integrity? I resent it because rather than truly help humanity, they are even misleading the people. Some of them are driven not so much by a genuine desire to help but by their desire for monetary gains only. Their motives are tainted with hidden and unresolved self-serving, personality-level desires.
And because the “lost souls” who are in need of some help and guidance are quite gullible, they don’t know and can’t know any better. Being in such a vulnerable state, they are easily swayed, understandably, by whatever these charlatans are preaching. And I have encountered a lot of them since I came back to the Philippines.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that it’s only here in the Philippines were there are fake healers and spiritualists. I’ve had my fair share when I was living in the Bay Area (Northern California).
I’m only saying that I’ve attracted this situation even more so when I returned to the Philippines. I’ve encountered a lot more “fake” than “genuine” ones from the time I set foot in this country — from those who are teaching yoga, offering healing services, providing spiritual guidance and direction, giving spiritual/psychic/intuitive readings. I’ve encountered them whether I’m consulting with them for my own healing and spiritual guidance and direction, or I am exploring possibilities of collaborating with them for me to offer my services.
I know that we are all work-in-progress. I know that we all have our own issues, no matter how far along we’ve been on our path. There is no one who has no issues that they’re working through or lessons that they’re mastering.
But what doesn’t sit quite well with me is seeing these self-proclaimed teachers and masters who do not humble themselves to admit their non-infallibility. Or who don’t own up their own stuff or acknowledge their limitations, thus disregarding their humanness.
And this is one trait that I so admire in Doreen Virtue. She consistently tells her audience or students, “I am no different or more special than you. What I know, you also have the capability to know. I just happen to have gotten a little bit ahead of you. But you can also acquire or develop the same skills that I have.” And didn’t the Master Jesus himself convey the very same message?
John 14:12 NIV Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
And I’m so thankful that I was led to the book, “Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path” by Mariana Caplan which I only recently read. Her work was a huge help in addressing my issue of resentment of spiritual authority and how to make peace with it. I am getting clarity on what I am supposed to be learning from these experiences that I have attracted.
“There is an important distinction to be made between relative spiritual authorities and absolute authorities. Most spiritual teachers, even very good ones, are relative spiritual authorities. These individuals have gained deep understanding and can tremendously help others. They transmit the dharma, exemplify many important principles, and are skillful in helping their students deepen their inner wisdom. Though some relative authorities give powerful spiritual transmissions, they also suffer many of the same challenges as other human beings, including divorce, depression, illness, death of loved ones, and aging. Such teachers, and they are in the majority, will have human flaws that impact the quality of their transmission and teachings. More rare are absolute authorities who embody what they teach to an exemplary degree and have fully integrated the higher knowledge they have accessed. They are powerful people capable of strong transmission. Yet even if we should be lucky enough, or blessed enough, to encounter such rare individuals, we must still learn to be in healthy relationship with them, as even absolute spiritual authorities are still human. To learn to hold the polarity of the human and divine aspects of the teacher is one of the most important aspects of empowered discipleship.” (p. 243)
I totally get that these spiritual teachers and healing practitioners have, like you and me and the rest of humanity, very real human flaws and limitations. But it is their non-admission of such that disturbs me. Mariana Caplan further explained,
“It is difficult for many teachers to accept that their spiritual realization does not exempt them from the need for an ongoing investigation into their own psychological makeup, and it is surprisingly hard for many spiritual teachers to self-reflect on this subject. It is as if the teacher fears that acknowledging his or her psychological weaknesses will diminish his or her spiritual authority, whereas I believe the opposite is true: to take responsibility for knowing and tending to one’s psychological weaknesses and idiosyncrasies is a way of protecting one’s students from falling into unconscious traps of projection and mutual complicity.” (p. 246)
So she said it. She confirmed what I had been observing. It doesn’t make it less “wrong” though. But it helped me gain a different perspective.
I have learned that, rather than focus on the spiritual authority or teacher’s inability to own their flaws or incompetences, whether knowingly or consciously done or not, and be bothered by it or even resent it, what I need to focus on is developing my own ability to discern. As Mariana Caplan explained,
“It is our responsibility to become knowledgeable, conscious, discerning students of the spiritual path so that we will not miss out on the unique possibilities that can be gained from relating to spiritual teachers—and so that we avoid falling into the traps that many sincere spiritual practitioners have encountered. Above all, it is our spiritual maturity and capacity to make important distinctions within our own experience that will be our greatest protection and asset on the path.” (p, 250)
It is also our task to decide if we can work with this teacher regardless and in spite of the teacher’s own issues. Is the teacher qualified to work with us on the level on which we have agreed to work together?
Her writing also reminded me that what I need to aim for more is becoming “a lifelong spiritual student than aspiring to be a spiritual teacher. It is our studenthood that keeps us in integrity, and sometimes it is the good students who help sincere teachers become better ones by empowering them as teachers and helping them grow.”
I was also particularly struck by what Mariana Caplan wrote about what her yoga teacher Bahavani used to tell them,
“The last thing the world needs is another yoga teacher. What the world needs is a dedicated yoga student.”(p. 250)
Now if only all of us aspire to become lifelong, dedicated spiritual students instead of spiritual teachers.
But that is something I have no control over. I can pray for all of us to share the same aspiration. And what I can aim for and what I have more control over is my intention for myself.
So instead of focusing on how these spiritual teachers and authority are not embodying what they’re teaching, I’ll redirect my attention to how I can embody what I am learning from them, albeit intellectually at first. After all, the learning starts first from the intellect. And it takes a while for it to trickle down to every cell of our body.
And rather than be angry for their failures or weaknesses or inconsistencies or what they’re lacking, I will shift my energies to being grateful that I am being given the opportunity to practice spiritual discernment.
I am so mad I can’t speak. Fear of speaking up. Resentment of authority.
As I said in my earlier post, these causes of laryngitis that Louise Hay outlined in her book, “Heal Your Body A-Z: The Mental Cause for Physical Illness and the Way to Overcome Them” were not new news to me. They needed to be brought to my awareness. I’m not a masochist but I’m thankful for my experience of laryngitis because I needed to release all these blocked energies in my throat chakra. And thanks to the recent potent cosmic energies of the solar flares and eclipses. They have ushered the acceleration of the cleansing and purging of these energies that no longer serve me.
I am free to ask for what I want. It is safe to express myself. I am at peace.
These are the new thought patterns to address laryngitis that Louise Hay outlined in her book.
And I intend to stay true to my commitment to overcome my fear of speaking up and heal that wounding from childhood and past lives.
It is my moment and chance to be heard and to be seen. It is my right and I am claiming my freedom for self-expression. And I created this site to do no less than that. It is my safe and sacred space and haven. An oasis. Where I am free to express myself and be who I am. And I am offering the same feeling of safety and freedom to visitors and readers.
My next step now is to bring my realizations and my insights from the intellect level to every cell of my body. To embody what I am learning so that it becomes second nature. So that it becomes easier and easier for me to express myself, to assert myself, to feel safe and to be free. Not only to communicate and express myself but to be me and to be. I am setting that intention for myself, knowing that when I allow myself, I am likewise giving permission to others to be themselves.
Often I had wondered, if only we all let each other be, what a peaceful, harmonious and truly wonderful world this would be! 🙂
And I will continue to dream and to imagine.
And I invite you to join me as I align my intention and vision with the upcoming 12-12-12 and 12-21-12 cosmic energies and galactic alignment.
- Part 1 – What I Am Learning From Laryngitis
- Part 2 – The Need For Personal Space
- Part 3 – Defining Boundaries In the Filipino Setting
- Part 4 – The Filipino (Non-)concept of Space
- Part 5 – Sometimes the Way To Give a Gift Is To Receive It
- Part 6 – Giving Myself A Voice
- David Hawkins On The True Teacher (http://sophiaschildren.wordpress.com/)
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