I’ve been in the teaching business for more than 20 years. Of the 20 years with the university, 10 I’ve also dedicated to the spiritual arts, to teaching cartomancy and Zen.
As it pertains to the work with spirituality, I come across this line every day: ‘I’m not a guru. I don’t have all the answers’.
What is presupposed in this statement is 1) that a guru is a conman, and 2) that when a guru says ‘it’s like this’, it’s arrogant.
But let me ask you this today:
In light of the meaning of the word guru, teacher, and in light of the fact that when you teach you teach from a core principle that often IS totalizing, what can we conclude?
We can conclude that what we find in the statement, ‘I’m not a guru. I don’t have all the answers ‘, is that there’s attachment to false detachment.
As long as you teach, and as long as your teaching is anchored in what can be termed a universal truth, then the simple fact is that you ARE a guru and you DO have all the answers.
As it pertains to the idea of not having all the answers, let me give myself as a concrete example.
In my teaching I teach from a core principle that rests on investigating into what is just and what is judicious. I don’t need moral philosophy to teach me the difference between right and wrong.
Think further: If you’re in a battle and the enemy retreats, you don’t immediately take the opportunity to stab the irritating army in the back. That wouldn’t be right.
In this sense, if I were to teach warfare where this kind of justice is concerned, I’d find that I DO have all the answers. What is just is just, in all situations. It’s not like justice is negotiable, so that settles it.
If justice, clarity, or compassion is a principle you build your arguments on, then all your answers will manifest that conviction. If your actions reflect that conviction, then it’s because you obviously have all the answers pertaining to your standpoint. You either know what you’re doing, or you don’t.Look at the Popes of the world. Don’t dismiss them on grounds of arrogance.
Teaching what you know with conviction is not arrogance. Defending the precious idea or principle against what doesn’t work is not arrogance. It is holding your ground without apology.
If you yourself teach, don’t be so quick with your guns, unless it’s your own false modesty you want to kill.
If you teach, teach. And if you know something essential of this totalizing character: ‘It is so,’ then say so.
Fearing that others might think of you as arrogant if you are strong on your position is almost as unfortunate as fearing your own total freedom; the freedom that does not have you attached in any way to any perception, object, idea, or projection.
Just teach, and if others call you a guru, say thank you.
Stay tuned for cartomantic activities via the Art of Reading newsletter. New: The Power of the Trumps now has a companion: The Power of the Pips, and the Marseille Foundation Course opens for registration on February 16. Check it all out on my website. You may have noticed also that I’m doing a series of essays entitled, ‘When the cards…’ that deconstructs what you normally think of your cards. Check with the tag deconstructed cards for more.