Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the mind of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.
Charles Dickens - Hard times
I have always felt it to be a great privilege to do the job I do and I love it. I can't imagine doing anything else. However, this was not always the case.
I never imagined, all those years ago, that I would be a consultant and tutor in esoteric/spiritual studies, nor that I would travel to various countries in my capacity as a group leader and facilitator. Over the years I have taught hundreds of people and given countless consultations. In my former life, I thought I was on the path to be in social welfare and had undergone much training to do so.
Looking back this was all part of my training for what I do today.
I entered the world of spiritualism, mediumship and all matters psychic by default. Yes, I can, hand on heart, say that it was very possibly meant to be...even my astrology chart tells me so (all those signs in Pisces - it had to be my path!). Not that becoming on this path was a bolt from the blue - I had always been stimulated by anything to do with spiritual matters and new age philosophies. So, when I fell into the College of Psychic Studies (again by default) and began to build my skills as a psychic medium, it really did feel like a gift from the Universe. The classes, for me, were not a stepping stone to a career but were a place to meet like-minded people; a break from the isolation which is common amongst people who are drawn to the esoteric field. Thus began my journey towards becoming a spiritual teacher.
But what does that mean? Does it mean I am a teacher and I am spiritual or that I teach spiritual facts? Indeed, is there such a thing as a spiritual fact?
I believe that people who facilitate others on their path to personal enlightenment are born and not created, particularly when they work under the title of Teacher.
To teach is not just to fill the empty vessel with facts, but it is to guide the individual to ways of using those facts in an intelligent fashion.
I feel that a spiritual environment such as we might find at the College of Psychic Studies is imperative to the general well being of all that attend there: staff, tutors, participants et al. Not only that, but such an institution (which let’s face it, it is - and proudly so) can bring much light and meaning to its environment and with such a powerful platform can reach across the global village.
Throughout the years I have seen many changes in the field of understanding consciousness. I like that term, as this is essentially what a facilitator of a spiritual group does: they empower the seeker to a greater awareness, thereby raising the consciousness of the individual which subsequently expands the consciousness collectively. It goes without saying that the tutor/facilitator has to be able to grow their consciousness also. It is not about being the Urban Guru but about allowing the universe to flow through, mimicking the creative force and bringing forth a language from the universe that is real and workable.
However, I feel that the new age industry, in recent times, has become a miasmic whirlpool of spiritual platitudes that reel off the cuff and are akin to a style that could be used in dog training sessions. The spiritual platitudes have become a form of Prozac which can be taken when in need and several times daily!
A platitude nullifies the spirit into a soporific, trance-like state which co-exists in the physical world alongside the junk and minutiae that we attach ourselves to. We kid ourselves into thinking that we have all the insights necessary to deal with our stuff, yet we have put the mind and spirit into an ineffectual spiral which will take us no further than the portals of our underdeveloped personalities.
Many people who come to a development class or for a consultation do so because the time is right and they have possibly reached a hiatus in their life. That person is ready to move on; to grow, to bring forth their light, to understand the hidden depths of their life and the ways of the world in which they live.
We as teachers need to be mindful of this. We need to ask ourselves, am I growing too?
I wonder about this…the regurgitation of adages, affirmations and aphorisms merely engage the individual with their current state of being lost and often reinforce their ideas of desperation about being thrown into a life of chaos that has no meaning or purpose.
Having said that, not everyone who seeks is in a place of hostile futility. But whatever the conditions that bring one into the spiritual fold, progress should be organic and life changing.
It is not enough to confirm that the client or student has come to a point in life where “’y’know, guess what? You could really do with sorting out the place you are in!’’
It is my sense that spiritual adages (all at the same time) placate and then empower the ego into the victim archetype. So, instead of speaking to the whole person, the tutor is dealing with just an aspect.
If a seeker has no vision, no sense of passion, teaching aphorisms is not going to cultivate an inner desire that will, in turn, work as an effective tool for creating the life you want to live.
Teachers/Guides/Facilitators should be prepared to go in depth into their own wisdom of the Psyche, to do the work themselves or else be equally open to the path of spiritual Prozac themselves.
It is not enough to lead one to the door and then not encourage that soul to walk through it and ultimately offer tools and inspiration that will support the seeker on their journey to wholeness. Go deeper, ever deeper. Encourage the individual to trace their steps back to the source.
Sometimes we need to look at our own ethos, our own evolutionary trajectory. Everyone we meet, even those we teach or read for, are a mirror of where we are now, not who we are now.
Whilst it is good to capture the trends of the moment, what are we, as masters of our own life material, really saying?