Nebo D. Lukovich
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.” ― Alexandra K. Trenfor
People who present themselves to others as spiritually evolved have enormous responsibility over many lives. They are usually in a position to be giving various practical advice and offer spiritual leadership, so if they are impostors, that could ruin the lives of their followers. And their own lives also. Unfortunately, there are too many deceivers in this field today.
The danger of misleading spiritual guidance
The most obvious motive of these impostors for deceiving others is gaining material benefit, as “spirituality” has become huge business today. But there are certainly other reasons as well: they can temporarily satisfy their ego and vanity; they try to suppress their feeling of inferiority; or they are sometimes even split personalities.
Although their practical advice on dealing with numerous kinds of life situations can really be helpful occasionally, the subtle background of their instructions is flawed. Therefore, even if their directions were correct, people who listened to them would, at the deeper level, sense the fundamental inadequacy of their guidance and would often subconsciously undermine their own subsequent actions based on that guidance. The results are almost always unsatisfactory, sometimes even disastrous.
How to recognize genuine spiritual teachers?
Luckily, there are quite a lot of authentic spiritual leaders around. How do they behave? What are their recognizable traits?
Genuine spiritual teachers must be the best examples of their own preaching themselves. They ought to be genuinely benevolent, conscious beings, in contact with their True nature. Hence, their spiritual messages must be stemming from that inner Truth. They can impeccably point to the direction which is just right for us.
First, they are almost always calm and peaceful. In their daily life they are honest and humble. You can feel their benevolence and kindness, they simply radiate love. They don’t talk about themselves. They never boast about anything. They are not rude or unkind to people around them. When we are in their presence, we spontaneously become peaceful and confident.
If a person prefers to be our guide, and we know nothing about their everyday life style, we just have to calm down and feel their presence with our inner body. If we don’t feel an increasing and overwhelming inner peace or love, if we can’t relax in their presence even if they are seemingly kind to us, then they are not genuine, at least for us at that moment. We have to withdraw and find another teacher.
For example, you want to ask a spiritual teacher how to deal with a concrete problem. You are close to them and feel confident and peaceful in their presence. You feel their benevolence. That’s the sign for you to trust them. If you suddenly felt fear or anxiety in your belly while thinking of the issue itself, don’t retract. It was simply your pain, not some sensing of the teacher’s delusion. Go ahead and ask. Trust them, their directions will enable you to solve your problem.
However, don’t expect them to be absolutely perfect. If they were perfect, they couldn’t exist in this material world at all. They would apparently disappear from this material plane, as their frequency would be too high for it. Thus they all have some imperfections, some flaws that anchor them to this world of inertia and matter. Whether held on purpose or being simply neglected, these inadequacies are typically insignificant, almost unrecognizable in ordinary lives of those genuine people. They also have their inner struggles, but they are still completely honest and determined in their path.
We can definitely believe such people. Yet, the whole responsibility for our life lies upon us. They can only point to the ways in which we take that responsibility. Meanwhile, we shouldn’t forget that we are the best teachers to ourselves. All the right knowledge is within us and the external teachers and guides are simply manifestations of our inner Truth. We must be honest to ourselves and the world outside will be honest to us.