Teaching & Prejudice

 

I notice how my conversation with my Waking Down friend brought up a number of prejudices I have. It helps me more clearly see where I am onesided, where I am stuck in just one particular view (or at least have typical center of gravity in just one).

One area is around teaching, especially in the area of spirituality, or of just being human – as we are.

Responsible teaching

My center of gravity is in seeing this as requiring very long and dedicated practice, within a solid tradition, and with very experienced teachers. Only through this – exemplified maybe best in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions – is it appropriate to teach.

This comes from my own (very limited) experiences of the incredibly complex and rich landscape of what it means to be human, on all levels from body through to the upper Fs (fulcrums) and the nondual. This is such a literally infinite landscape, and I have a profound respect for its fullness and richness, so teaching from anything less of a background seems – from one perspective – deeply irresponsible. At the very least, it requires a profound degree of receptivity and sincere humility.

The other side of it

And then there is the other side of it.

If all of humanity were to go by how I experience it, then just about nobody would be a teacher – with maybe a few exceptions. And this would be a great shame. It would leave the rest of humanity without a nourishment that is deeply needed and appreciated.

So out of compassion, even those with less clear realizations, with limited experiences (as we all have), with limited training (as we all have, even the most trained among us), are allowed by Life to teach.

Of course, the “compassion” part of that sentence is just a poetic and inaccurate expression. It is not really out of “compassion”, it is just out of the natural transcendence of Life – beyond and including any polarity, including that of good and bad teachers…!

Life’s natural and effortless allowance of more and less experienced teachers is a great boon to humanity, a great grace. Because even less experienced teachers is of great help and comfort to some, especially when they have even less experience in certain areas. They are helped along, into wider and more inclusive experiences and views. And even the limits of their teachers is a great help, because it throws them back onto their own experience, their own explorations, allowing some of their own insights to emerge and clarify.

So it is a blessing for us all – including myself – that Life is not as narrow as my own views.

I can honestly acknowledge the beauty of others teaching from (necessarily) limited experiences, although it would feel quite wrong to do it myself – without a long and thorough training.

I guess that is the discernment aspect of all this. Appreciate what is as it is, and yet choose a particular path for myself (which in this case probably means to not embark on that path).

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