My Delicate Dilemma –
Do I risk my own soul journey by stepping
prematurely from being a student
into the role of spiritual teacher?
Just a short scrolling of Facebook, perusing the offerings from Sounds True, to find so many people emerging as self-proclaimed healers and teachers, promising that they have found what it takes to now show others the way to their soul.
But how do we…how do I?…hold the container of my inner work, keep it close to my heart, learn, mature, embody a teaching…and know when my soul is ready to take it out into the world?
In this a la carte world of spirituality there is no dearth of experts to show us the way. Just a look at history, at world teachings, wisdom teachings, it seems the moment we ‘discover it’ we have the desire to share it and spread the word. This makes sense and can range from a sincere heart desire to benefit others all the way to violent, oppressive proselytizing. It seems a never ending cycle, where too many teachers eventually reveal that they suffer from ego inflation and are brought down by their own unhealed wounds. Unfortunately, they bring down many of their followers in the process. So, in and of itself, this desire to teach doesn’t mean I’m ready to do it.
Most of us are not bad people with bad intentions so why is this so prevalent, what are we missing? Is this what arcane knowledge is really about…not that a particular teaching is secret, meant to be kept from the masses…but that its deepest teaching is that we need to be students, willing, for as long as it takes to remain in our inner tabernacle…our heart of hearts, to do the work to reconnect with Him…soul-by-soul? So…my delicate dilemma…
A lesson from our dreams –
How often are we in a dream desiring to share with someone, show someone something wonderful that we’ve found and our homework becomes to feel into how this special moment, this special connection is meant just for us, to feel the precious connection between us and the divine? It doesn’t need to be validated, shared, diluted in the outer world.
Yet, how often do we take that self same teaching and turn it on its head, thinking that because we love a particular teaching we must immediately take it out into the world…before we’ve truly made it our own, seen it all the way through…and perhaps aren’t yet ready or spiritually mature enough to do it…without damage to ourselves and others or at the very least (which feels to me like the very most) miss completely the miracle of our personal relationship with God?
Why are we so unwilling to remain a student, for as long as it takes to truly embody a teaching? Does it feel safer, less frightening to remain on the surface talking about the divine connection to others versus taking the time necessary to be in the divine connection? And, unfortunately, it is from that place many people declare themselves teachers. Talking about our inner work, is not the same as doing our work. It seems to give the teacher, the group and the individual the illusion that something is happening on the inside, when what is required at certain point, a very scary certain point, is to stop talking, to turn and go to the place where speech breaks and enter the depths, to listen, to feel it all, to stay…and to learn what it is the soul needs.
Just as an unwillingness to explore one’s desires may be fear based this rush to declare oneself a teacher feels fear based as well…but with the addition of a dangerous edge, because declaring prematurely risks damage to both one’s followers and oneself. The deeper we go in the role of teacher, the less we are able to be in the ‘don’t know’ mind, the less free we are to be students, which by its very nature is a place of ignorance; we don’t have to know…we’re still learning. So prematurely stepping in, we set ourselves up…a teacher is expected to know and in that place, ego and mind can have a strong hold to deliver the knowing…and we give away our precious student self.
Maybe it’s meant to be all backwards like this…maybe at the front end, where we are less willing to go to the depths, we feel safer to go out ‘teaching’ and yes, in a way are serving others. But all that outer focus, regardless that it’s wearing the cloak of spiritual teaching, doesn’t help the teacher deepen into their soul. In fact, the flurry of activity, the illusion of helping others, doing something…all the while the soul song is still not being heard. The mind, the ego are still in control, just a more worthy project. All this rush to teach may be necessary in the growth of a soul. We don’t know any better. We are childish in that we get excited and want to announce to the world what we’re doing, “look at me!” and in the process believe we have acquired a special knowledge, can bestow wisdom…wisdom we don’t even yet have. All this is done in the company of others, either projecting or being projected onto. We’re all moving, talking, so we think we’re accomplishing something…and the cycle continues.
Maybe it takes having gone a certain distance on the inner path, a certain soul maturity, to make this next, most difficult leg of the journey, that is, turn…and go inside. No flurry of activity, no ego getting fed, no illusion that we’re something we’re not…just finding our way along the pathless path.
Maybe it has to come later…later in life than we would like, later in lifetimes…after much of the outer is shed that one is no longer attracted by the prospect of being a teacher, of outer world recognition to where one desires only to be His student. That requires a turning inward, where truly hard, solitary work begins…His curriculum for the soul. There is no marked path on the inside; there are no outer world kudos, fans, groupies encouraging us on.
Can I accept that being His student is my calling, always has been…and it got confused with all the fears around what it meant to be successful, listening to the cries of the outer world for outer world expression, to be of service. Now…as my view is clarifying…can I declare…not that I am a teacher, a healer, but that I am a student, ‘Su alumna de siempre,’ His forever student, in His school, with His curriculum…of which I know little and will learn…from Him. Much of the outside world may know nothing of me, of this inner work I do…and that’s becoming so okay. I get to work in peace with Him as He works with my soul. I do carry the desire to work with others and their dreams, and love working with my dream clients, but more than that is my desire is to be a student of my own dreams and how He’s using them to call me home.
The confusing thing here, in all this becoming a teacher, is that we need teachers…and a lot of good can come out of it…and often times not. The collateral damage is usually the ‘teacher’ himself/herself (see Mother Theresa whose diaries share that she was spiritually dry, not feeling her own connection to God.) I don’t want my soul to be collateral damage. I don’t believe He does either.
Maybe…all along…when we discover Him, we are meant to first take it all the way through…and then, from that place (safer from our own ego, our mind, other’s projection, distortions, ego inflation) we can begin to share by embodying what it means to be connected to Him. Whether we have a following or not really doesn’t matter in this place. Maybe that is the litmus test…do we need a following, do we need to be looked at as teachers, sages, ones ‘who know’…or are we so saturated in love for Him that all else pales…and all we want is to be His student. Maybe the arcane teachings knew what they were doing, how to heal the planet…one by one…showing us the way home.
Mary Jo Heyen
Archetypal Dreamwork Practitioner
Dream sessions in person, via Skype or on the phone