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A skilled Theosophical Teacher?

Oct 09, 2005 04:19 AM
by M. Sufilight

Cogh cogh...and other kinds of noises...

Here are a few words on the highly skilled theosphical teachers as I picture them.

The following was taken from Idries Shah's book "Learning how to Learn", - and then rewritten slightly.
The use of the word "he" where the word "she" could have been used as well
has been done in order to make the sentences more easy to read.

- - - - - - -


Q: How should a theosophical teacher appear to the students, accordig to
the Theosophists?

A: This question, like so many others which assume that they 
can be usefully answered in a few words, reminds me of a story
about a philosophical joker. Someone asked him what his house was
like, basically. In reply he brought this man a brick, saying: 'It is
just a collection of these.' What the fool may do without realising
it is foolish, the wise man may have to do or say in order to
show how unthinking the question is.

How can you say what a teacher should look like? The most 
one can do is to make a few remarks about it.

What is so perplexing to conditioned attitudes about the Theosophists
is that, unlike teachers of other kinds, they refuse to stick to one
kind of appearence. As an example, if you go to see a skilled Theosophical teacher,
he may not look, talk or act like a mystical master at all. This is
because he says either: 'You can teach only by the method
indicated for each pupil, and you may have to teach by what
seems to him or her unlikely.'; or else because he says: 'There is a time
and a place and certain company. According to these, we will
teach. When it is a time to be serious, we will be serious. When it 
is a time to work through what looks like ordinary things, we
have to do so.'

So important is this that it can be said to go before all
others: In the sense that failure to kmnow this can prevent you
from learning more - and can leave you attached to the externals
of hypocrites. This includes, of course, unconscious hypocrites.

If the skilled Theosophical teachers are right in their claim that time affects
behaviour, and that personal appearence should change (and even temperament)
then obviously all the people who cultivate a reverend
appearence, and all those who aquire it, mistaking this for
spirituality, are wrong.

It is the unspoken contradiction which makes it almost impossible 
for people who want continuity and easily identifiable
teahcing figures, to accept the change in circumstances and
attitudes which the Theosophical Paths demands.

These people, of course, will not have thought it out like this.
All they know is that 'A holy man must seem holy to me'; or 'If
he always behaves in the same manner, or always exhorts me to the
same things, I believe he may be right'.

The other problem is, that the observer is confusing, as he is
bound to confuse without having understood, continuity and consistency
with reliability or truth. Because butter always tastes the
same when it looks the same, he expects a similar 'reliability' in
his spiritual Teacher. He is, of course, self-deceived in this

The genesis of the attitude adopted by the people of externals
is that inward drive is for finding tidiness, order. This is not
a spiritual activity, it is perhaps, rahter, a therapeutic one. Order
is essential for disordered people. Looking for it as a major factor
in 'esoteric' directions is the mistake.

In trying to make what - for them - is order out of what they
imagine to be the disorder of Theosophical teachings, they have to
oversimplify. They ignore parts of the teaching and succeed only in
creating an imitation of the Theosophical.

Because so many people desire order so strongly, you will find
more imitations than reality. One cannot blame anyone for this.
but pointing out facts can help.

- - -

People think that a teacher should display miracles and manifest
illumination. But the requirements in a Teacher is that he or she
should possess al that the disciple needs.

- - -

Theosophical initiates who have reached stages where strange things
happen in their vicinity, generally called miracles or wonders,
due to actions other than any attempt to impress, have to try to
compensate for this. Otherwise people are attracted to them or to
the Theosophists in general because of craving for wonders.

M. Sufilight with a smile and some rugrats making miracles and wonders...

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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