A person says to me “Why take a teacher – the true teacher is within, is that not so?” And, of course, it is so. There is but one teacher, perhaps more accurately termed a guide, which ultimately can be found within. But the inner guide is most often hidden behind a doorway guarded sentry by our ego, our personality. The ego knows that the more we awaken to the understanding of the true teacher within, its stranglehold on our behavior, our thoughts and actions, lessens. Our personality and ego structure does not want to let go, thereby losing control. It’s very difficult, with our patterns and within our limitation of who we are and have been our entire lives, to access the inner teacher on our own. And so we take a teacher to help us with our blind spots, to tell us the truth of what they see in us. True guidance takes us past our own limitations, whereas our clinging ego must operate within the limitations of our current understanding. Our challenge and opportunity is to see clearly what amounts to true guidance on the one hand, and philosophical and spiritual ideas mixed with our desires on the other.
A guide isn’t necessarily an avatar or master, simply someone who takes on the intention of helping us move forward toward our own greater awakening. Someone with tools and skillful means who either sweet talks or tricks or keeps busy or knocks about our ego so the doorway to our new understanding is opened. A true guide will be as a Cupid, awakening in us the love interest. A true guide has keys to open the door, but we have to enter the palace. A true guide acts as a quickening agent that helps in the process of accessing the inner teacher. A teacher who is a true guide leads us to the True Guide.
So, yes, on the one hand, the only teacher is within. However, on the other, how do we gain access to that true teacher without the ego getting in the way, spinning the teachings so they are heard the way our ego personality wants them to be heard? Our experience has shown that a living teacher helps quicken the process of awakening, understanding, and accessing the true inner teacher. So we feel fortunate to be among those who have the opportunity to have a teacher/student relationship.
I’m sure there are other points of view. May we all find that which will best aid us in our awakening. Much Love to All.