Goodbye, Mr. Chips

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2022-12-28 07:00:00-05:00 No comments

This past week, while putting together my new office, I found I still owned a couple of books from a spiritual teacher whose work meant a great deal to me once upon a time. The work still does; the person does not. The person, I am not happy to say, has worn out their welcome by proving to be an increasingly reactionary character. (Note: I don't want to make this person into a target of anyone's ire, so I won't name them here. Dogpiling doesn't help anyone.)

"Reactionary" doesn't mean "cross-burner", though. It just means unwillingness to admit things have changed, and one's reactions against that change are unconstructive. When someone uses lines like "I'm kind of dumb" to deflect hard discussions of thorny issues — but exhibits plenty of intelligence for other things — that tells me they're not actually dumb, just disingenuous and avoidant. After hearing such things one too many times from this person, I gave up.

Again, I have to give credit where it's due. This person and their teachings got me to where I am now, and they came along at a time in my life when I really needed it. But the teachings are bigger than any one teacher.

I also feel any student's job with these teachings is to get the footing needed to learn on their own from primacy sources and personal experience, and not to remain beholden to the teacher perpetually. Perhaps it's the job of a spiritual teacher to render themselves irrelevant to you. Still, it would be nice if some of them didn't work so hard at it in all the wrong ways.

Tags: spiritual teachers spirituality