My partner and I stayed at a hot springs place near Ashland for a couple of nights, and she overheard a stressful (to her) conversation one morning, a woman complaining about Gangaji’s followers and why they can’t see how she is no better than them. (Meaning that they already have everything they see in her.)
So she first turned it around for the woman speaking, and then applied it to herself. I can’t see how Gangaji is no better than me. First, it helped her see that the woman gave advice to herself. Then, it helped her find the truth of it for herself. And in this double insight, the stress went out of the situation.
This is a great way of working with the complaints of others. Find the turnaround. See how it applies to the person talking. (The advice is for themselves.) And then see how it applies to me. (The advice is really for me.)
And there is another turnaround here: People go to see Gangaji because they know, somewhere, that she is them. They know, somewhere, that what they see in her is what they know from themselves, they want to be reminded about this, so they go to see Gangaji.
That is of course the case with any teacher or idol. We seek their company, one way or another, because we know, somewhere, that everything we see in them is something we recognize from ourselves. Being with them is a way of finding it in ourselves, whether we are aware of that process or not.
Beyond just teachers and people we admire and look up to, it is true for anyone we experience attraction or aversion to. Our attention goes to them, because we know, somewhere, that what we see in them is something we have in ourselves. Getting familiar with it out there is a way of being familiar with it, and recognizing it, right here. It is a way of becoming familiar with our own fullness.
One way of working more consciously with this is to first visualize whomever we experience attraction or aversion to, then visualize ourselves as them (body-mind-action), and take the time to feel it, allow it to sink in, and feel the fullness of it.