By Paul Ferrini
New paradigm spiritual teachers claim no authority over others.
They do not pretend to have the answers for others.
They speak only of their own experience.
They invite others to share in what they have learned from their experience, and to draw whatever conclusions they will.
They do not take responsibility for what others choose to see.
They do not preach. They do not try to fix.
They simply accept others as they are and encourage others to find their own truth.
They empower. They see the light in others and encourage it.
They do not close their eyes to the darkness, but they know it is ultimately of no significance.
When love is present, the darkness dissolves in its light.
They do not deny the darkness or go to battle against it. They know there is nothing wrong, no evil to oppose, no battles to fight. They just gently encourage the light. They know the light itself will heal all wounds.
New paradigm teachers do not try to heal others. They encourage others to heal themselves through self acceptance and self love. They model unconditional love by listening deeply and compassionately, without judging or trying to fix.
The old paradigm teacher wants to heal others and save the world. The new paradigm teacher knows that others are fine the way they are and the world is already redeemed. Why is this? Has the new paradigm teacher closed her eyes? Doesn't she see the suffering in the world, the environmental catastrophe, the endemic violence? Oh yes, she sees the struggle and the pain, but she has a different interpretation of them. She does not believe that people are guilty or that the world is doomed. She sees the vast call for love. She sees the universal cry for acceptance and understanding. And that is what she gives.
Not fixing. Not salvation. Not intellectual remedies for physical problems. Does she give food and medical supplies if they are needed?
Of course, but she remembers to whom she is giving them. She remembers the call and she answers it. She knows that food is helpful, but it is not the solution to the problem. It is not what is being asked for.
What is asked for is love. Love is the only food. Love is what she gives.
As soon as you see a problem that needs fixing, you have disempowered the person standing before you. Do not do this. Do not accept the pose of powerlessness. There are no victims in the world.
If you see a beggar, do not be taken in. Ask him instead "Why are you standing here begging on this street corner, Oh greatone?" Let him know that you see who he really is. Look into his eyes and see his divinity with your own, and then ask him how you can be of help.You see, powerlessness is a great disguise. Look behind the veil and say "I remember YOU, brother."
Do not just give the beggar money and walk on without acknowledging him. If you wish to give him money, do so. But do not pass by without acknowledging him. For it is not money he needs, but your love, your blessing, your acknowledgment.
You are not here to fix his life, but to honor him. If you can do this for him, I will do the same for you. For I am not here to fix you, but to call you to yourself Can you hear? I am speaking to you the same words you said to him: "I remember you, brother. I remember who you are. "
The new paradigm spiritual teacher is content to be a brother or a sister.
Content to be the friend. He has met the inner teacher and put all outer authorities aside.
And so he does not come to you offering help or asking for it. He comes to you as an equal partner. He treats you as he would like to be treated. And he treats the person next to you the same. There is no pecking order, no preferences. He does not ask you to follow him. He doesn't trade his knowledge for sexual favors. He does not judge you, isolate you or invalidate your experience. He remains always an equal brother or sister.
When he stands next to you, it is as though you stand next to me. For, in truth, all three of us stand together in that equality. And in that equality is the entire wayward world redeemed.
From: 'The silence of the heart' By Paul Ferrini
ISBN1-879159-16-2. Heartways Press. Highly recommended.