First published October 2017

There’s a tendency, I keep seeing it.

The tendency to need approval from an outside authority.

I see it in seekers who need a teacher’s recognition that they have reached a state of awakening, that they have arrived at the destination. And I see it in newly fledged spiritual teachers hanging on to a lineage to give them the status of being a spiritual teacher.

Whether you are a seeker or a teacher, you really do not need an external authority to confer your worthiness. In fact, it is an impediment to the realization of the only true authority there is … the truth that arises from your innermost being.

Yes, there are guidelines and signposts along the way. Yes, a teacher can support you in the unravelling of obstructions. Yes, bowing down to a master is devotion to the mystery. And yes, we all have something to learn from those who came before us.
But in the end, as Krishnamurti says “You have to be your own teacher and your own disciple. You have to question everything.”

Of course, this does not mean falling back into the arrogance of ego that thinks it knows best and is always right. It does not mean rejecting the wisdom of the ages, nor disrespecting those who pass on the light of awakeness through their teaching.


But it does mean not using their stature as a way to uphold your own. In the end, truth can only be discovered in the freshness of this moment. It can only be revealed in the tenderness of soul-splitting honesty. It is a matter between you and you, you and love, you and God. And even if truth reveals itself, you have to let this go too. It is an ongoing discovery not a static knowledge.

As Krishnamurti says, “To be free of all authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigor and passion. It is only in that state that one learns and observes. And for this a great deal of awareness is required, actual awareness of what is going on inside yourself, without correcting it or telling it what it should or should not be, because the moment you correct it you have established another authority, a censor.”

So, be a rebel, a revolutionary, be free of all authority (your own or anyone else’s) .. awakening is not an accolade that can be bestowed upon you. Throw away all approval, throw away all your teachers .. stand in the glorious nakedness of not knowing if you have arrived or not!

If I have anything to offer you as a “spiritual teacher”, it is this! Come, learn, absorb, listen, surrender … and then find out for yourself if it is true. If I have done my job well, you will listen to your innermost and you will need no external authority. Love’s intelligence will be the only teacher you need!

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