A true master or teacher cannot teach you anything ..
all he can do is remind you of what, on some level, you already know
The Master and the disciple
The only true master is your One-Self. The only true disciple is the your self who can perfectly reflect the brilliance of this master. This is self mastery. The true teacher who appears when the student is ready.
Searching for a teacher
When I first set out on my Spiritual Quest, I searched for a teacher, I searched for a master who would teach me to become Spiritual. I sought to become a disciple. I needed to be saved. I know that now.
I joined a number of Spiritual organizations, followed several Religions. I was a Lay Preacher and Youth Councilor with one group, until I started to ask too many questions and they asked me to leave. I read many books in my search for answers. Some resonated with me, some did not.
The questions I asked threatened the very fabric of all of the organizations and the people who ran them. I started to see that. So, I was led .. or pushed .. into a study of Transpersonal Psychology. Again I asked questions.
Meeting with a teacher
But here, in this group, there was one man .. and I will call him Paul, for that was his name .. who had a profound influence on my life. After 12 months of intensive study, there was an examination to write in order to be allowed to progress into the next stage of the course.
All sorts of fears started to come to the surface .. I hadn't studied enough .. would I say the right thing .. would I get it right .. I'm sure many here can relate to these fears. I sought Paul out for some advice .. and what he told me was to change my life forever.
We looked at the fears and the questions that were rising up in me. They all stemmed from a need for approval. They were reactions. I was living in the past. I was placing on the paper I had to write, all of the expectations that were placed on me as a child when I had to live up to the expectations of my parents that I would get it right, that I would get a "good mark" so they could tell (and impress) their friends I was progressing .. and justifying their own self-image as parents.
As I went deeper into the feelings coming out of my body, I found out that when I went to school, it was not necessarily for me, but for the image of my parents to be seen to have an intelligent child. So I had to do the right thing and I had to get it right. I had to ask questions to make sure I understood what the teacher wanted so I would give the answer exactly as the teacher wanted it so he would give me a good mark and my parents would be pleased with me.
But even more, if I didn't answer the questions according to the doctrine of my religious organization (which I had joined at the insistence of my parents) I would be an outcast (which I became) and so suffer my parents wrath and be accused of bring shame on the family.
I had transferred my parents onto my school teacher. I transferred my school teacher onto my Lecturers. I was living from past fears that were not even mine. I feared being an outcast from the course.
Emotions came to the surface as I remembered the pressure to perform and the disciplinary impositions that were placed on me when I did not. For me, the greatest wrath was the wrath of a mother whose expectations were not met. My father was a respected school master who, it turned out had taught several of my teachers. "Why aren't you like your father?" was a question so often asked of me.
As I worked through this stuff, Paul said gently to me "A true teacher cannot teach you anything .. all he can do is remind you of what, on some level, you already know".
He went on to explain to me that the true learning process was like polishing a gemstone. All of the qualities are already there.. hidden under a rough exterior which is not able to reflect the light because of layers of built up deposits. As these layers of deposits are carefully removed, the gem is finally revealed in all its brilliance.
The layers of deposits, he showed me were the expectations of others. Expectations that I would be seen to be a certain way. Every mask to present an image to meet the acceptance of some relative or teacher. Every mask hiding the essence of the stone underneath.
The Light was always there but up until that point, it reflected the masks and images that others wanted to see .. or to recognize from what they knew.
I was frightened. What if I removed the layers of built up detritus? I would be naked .. I would not stand inspection .. people would not recognize me, let alone accept me. I would not survive. Gradually, gently, Paul worked through these fears with me. I saw that every fear was not me .. nor was it mine.
The Nature of Memory
Somewhere in the midst of all of this, he explained the nature of memory and remembering. All knowing, all wisdom, all thought is contained within the light. It always was. How could I possibly access this information through the layers of other people expectations.
Paul challenged me to meditate on the nature of memory. He asked me to put aside my fears of not being good enough. He asked me to accept the possibility that, over the last 12 months, what I had perceived as my learning which I had been through, trying to get it right, was rather the polishing of a gemstone .. the tuning of a crystal in a radio receiver so that it could receive, reflect and translate whatever it resonated with
He asked me to forget about trying to remember and to accept that all the answers were already available to me. I learned that all of the questions that I had ever asked were because I did, on some level, know the answers, but that what I knew was unacceptable to me .. or rather, unacceptable to the masks for approval I was wearing.
I meditated. I allowed the possibility that I could "tune in" to a greater knowing than I had previously thought was accessible to me. I breathed - possibly for the first time in my life.
The next day I wrote the paper. I breathed. I saw the answers and what was supposed to be three hour paper was complete in 1 hour. There was nothing more to write. I was dux of the college.
Now when I have a question, I know that it is a rejection of my knowing. I enter the silence of my breath and allow the answer to become conscious .. I polish the stone a little more finely and a little more light can be absorbed and reflected.
If someone asks me a question for which I do not know the answer, I thank them for showing me a little dirt on the lens of my eye. Then with the breath, I remove a self perceived limitation.
As Paul said to me, the only true master is your Self. The only true disciple is the one who can perfectly reflect the brilliance of this master. The Student was ready and the perfect teacher had appeared