I have found it an interesting dynamic that some people are intimated when they meet me in the library. This happens whether it is a social meeting or for consulting.
First question they ask is, ‘how many of these books have you read?’ After my response, some people become very quiet and say, ‘I really don’t believe I know as much as you do and my questions are going to be too mundane for you.’
My come-back to these statements is, it doesn’t matter how much someone has read, it is about how one is carrying themselves through life that is the most important.
Through the years I’ve met many people who quickly point out about themselves, I’m an expert in the Qabalah, I’m a Theosophist, I’m an Alchemist and so on. They might follow with, I’ve been studying for twenty years or I was taught by the Grand Mucky Muck or I’m part of this Eastern lineage spanning thousands of years.
All of these experiences sound great, the questions are, is the individual putting what they’ve learned into practice? What is the purpose for all of one’s studying, is it merely the acquisition of knowledge or wisdom or are these regimes meant to lead an individual into a more balanced, healthy and loving life while here on our planet?
We all know that we have experiences (lessons?) throughout our life, aren’t these philosophical and spiritual regimes supposed to assist us in facing, working through, learning and processing our experiences? I believe they are tools for us to use in our life and just to be studying is not the end goal.
Perhaps it is a bit of ego that leads people to attach the title expert to themselves?
In my journeys I have met individuals who have claimed great knowledge yet they have a hard time functioning and being happy within their life. They might have the knowledge that we are the fifth root race of the hyperbolic extension of the 25,000 year cycle of the XXX, which is very interesting, but this knowledge has not helped them interact with people in social situations or kept them mindful of the necessity for a healthy body. I am merely stating my observation, I am not stating that every person who is aware of what root race we are, might act like this, but many do.
When I come across someone who states they don’t know anything about philosophy, but they appear to be living a balanced life; have a happy demeanor; are willing to give someone the shirt off their back without looking for something in return; doesn’t complain that the system is out to get them; they respect all different beliefs and you just feel good when you are around them; I believe they have ‘the goods.’
They didn’t need to read and study endless books on religion, philosophy or Spiritism, they live the philosophy that others study.
In my old building we would close during lunch time but I would stay and catch up with some work. One day a woman knocked at the door and I decided to see what she wanted. She told me she was from out of town, had limited time, and had heard that we had some interesting books.
She shared that she had come to Sedona to teach a weekend class on alchemy and some of her students were from out of state. She handed me her business card which stated she was an Alchemical Princess. I found this very interesting since I have never read this term, an Alchemical Princess, in any alchemical literature. Although I did not have a lot of time, I did want to pursue this.
As we walked into the library she explained that she was an expert in alchemy and she was teaching her advanced class. She stated her background was from having read and studied many ancient texts. She was just about to name some books as we reached the alchemical section in the World Research Foundation library. I told her that the books behind our chairs were alchemical books dating to the 1500s.
As she glanced at the titles and dates, she became very quiet. I asked her which of these texts she might have read and she replied none of them. She didn’t know that these books existed nor was she familiar with any of the famous alchemical authors.
I am not sharing this story to be critical but to prove a point. After having taken a few courses from some other people, this person was claiming to be an expert in a field that she wasn’t even familiar with. In my 45 plus years as a student, I have found this repeated very often in my travels. Just because someone makes claims does not mean that they have ‘the goods.’
I have shared the lectern with individuals with a high profile in spiritual, esoteric and philosophical areas who have written a LOT of books. When you interact with them on a personal level, you discover many of them talk and write a good story, but they don’t walk their talk. Of course, not all of them, but many well-known speakers who you would immediately recognize.
Now, what do I mean by not walking their talk? When I hear an individual lecture about love, peace, beauty and spiritual topics, I would assume, as we went out to lunch, that they would treat a waiter, waitress or cleaning person with respect and love just like they intimated in their lecture. If a lecturer teaches about prosperity consciousness, and then tells me that their business is not making it, and they are in big trouble with suppliers, and about to ‘stiff’ them, I believe, in my opinion, that this person does not walk their talk.
If a lecturer speaks to an audience about facing situations in life with grace and ease, providing magic keys in their book to help someone stay calm and not get upset, I personally expect them to use it themselves when they are confronted with difficulties.
Now I am not speaking about a random event that might suddenly befall someone. I am speaking of these 'teachers' I know who can’t face any situation without ‘their wheels coming off the tracks.’
All of this leads me back to my original statements regarding people who are living their lives in balance, harmony, love and beauty as a natural aspect of their journey in life. I place more credence and have more respect for someone living like this, than all of the so-called experts and ‘well-read’ teachers who don’t live what they espouse.
Don’t ever be intimidated because someone presents credentials or claims that they have all of the answers or that they have the secret knowledge. We are all students in the schoolroom and there are very few individuals who are physically here who are not learning on this plane. Reading the lives of even some of the great teachers shows you that they also had their lessons to learn. The truth of someone's philosophy is how they handle each situation.
Pythagoras, the philosopher who coined the word philosopher, which meant a lover of wisdom, had the following to say about learning. I’m paraphrasing here, ‘When I come across those I share with, I call them brother and sister. When I come across those who impart wisdom to me, I call them mother and father. When I come across those who depend upon me to help them grow, I call them son and daughter.’ At any time, the same person speaking several different sentences to us, can be our parent, sibling or child.
I enjoy sharing and learning from those people who demonstrate in their life, that they are healthy, loving, humorous, uplifting, generous and love rock and roll music from the 60s, then from the people who just talk or write about these things.
I am not saying that all the people who write books or teach courses on these subjects do not live their precepts, what I am saying is to observe, witness and intuit whether the individual walks the talk. Too often people fall in love with their ‘teacher’ and begin making excuses for the ‘teachers’ less than positive behavior. Personally, I hold anyone who states they are a ‘teacher’ to a higher standard than those who say they are a student.
Believe in yourself, trust yourself in what you know is right, and recognize that you are unique, special and are just as wise as some of the ‘teachers.’ Share your beautiful heart, open mind and humble spirit and you will be walking with the truly great ‘teachers’ of the past.
Thank you brothers and sisters for reading these lines.
With love, in love and through love to you.