May 2, 1999
The True Student
The Question was: What qualities in the student show that he is ready?
I thought I’d make a few comments on this subject since the feeling of many in the new age community is that there is no difference between students and teachers or that such a relationship is misled. That is, many feel that if there is a student teacher relationship, it means that the student must experience the humiliation of being at a “lower level”. Since this seems disgusting to many, they instead teach that there are no teachers and no leaders, but all are teachers and leaders and all are students and followers.
Unfortunately, this is an illusionary concept that interrupts evolution as all illusion does. I have already written a major article on this, and it is the ﬁrst posting in the archives.
For those of you have not read this, I would suggest you do so in order to understand where we are coming from.
In addition to that, let us reexamine a true teaching situation: The Spanish teacher knows the language, teaching those who do not know. Does this have anything to do with belief systems?
Either the teacher knows Spanish (algebra or whatever) or he does not. Attaining a position of a true teacher has to do with the acquisition of knowledge, not belief.
Who wants to learn from a teacher who just has some nebulous belief system? A student willing to do so gets what he deserves.
In addition to there being true teachers, there are true students. The true student desires to acquire true knowledge, not a belief system. The productive student realizes that knowledge is useful and belief is illusionary. The true student tests the teacher and makes sure that the teacher is one who is capable of leading him or her to greater knowledge.
The efficient student (or one who is really learning) does not see himself as on a “lower level.” Instead, he sees himself as one who is progressing to a “higher level.”
3 May 1999
May the Truth be Revealed
I received several objections to my post concerning the true student. Here are some with my response
Objection: “I do not ﬁnd being a student to be humiliating.”
JJ Comment: I was pointing out that many (but not all) in the new age community follow the same trend of thought. Neither being a student or a teacher should be humiliating as we all go through cycles in both modes.
Objection: “Is it necessarily true that the ‘teacher’ will be more advanced than the ‘student’ in ALL areas of knowledge?”
JJ Comment: No. I have never taught or thought such a thing. A teacher, however, must have more knowledge than the student in the subject being taught, else both are wasting their time.
Objection: “Cannot each teach the other something? Cannot the Spanish speaker teach Spanish and the English speaker teach English and each be the others’ student and each the others’ teacher?”
JJ Comment: Of course we all have something to teach each other but if you go to a Spanish class to learn the language you do not go there with the idea of teaching the teacher a language he or she does not know. You go there to be a student. In each situation we are in the teaching (sending) mode or the student (receiving). Trying to do both at the same time is not productive.
Let me quote again the sentence that seems to be a problem to some: “Since this seems disgusting to many, they instead teach that there are no teachers and no leaders, but all are teachers and leaders and all are students and followers.”
“Either the teacher knows Spanish (algebra or whatever) or he does not. To attain a position of a true teacher has to do with the acquisition of knowledge, not belief.
“Who wants to learn from a teacher who just teaches some nebulous belief system? A student willing to subject himself gets what he deserves.”
Objection: “Here is where the issue of humiliation enters the picture. And it is not a matter of the student ‘feeling’ humiliated, but a matter of the teacher actually humiliating the student by insisting on being seen as an absolute authority.”
JJ Comment: On any given day there are millions of students attending some class being taught by a teacher who is sharing knowledge the students do not yet have. You rarely can find one that feels humiliated unless he is just not doing the work and fails his tests. A teacher has to be somewhat of an earned authority on what he is teaching or he will be useless. A good teacher is anything but a tyrant but shares what he knows with students who are attending the class through free will.
Objection: “It is disempowering of the individual to give away their power to a teacher by choosing to believe that the teacher has absolute truths of knowledge.”
JJ Comment: It is not disempowering to ﬁnd absolute truth in the writings of a teacher, a personal experience, or a book. If I teach that 2+2 = 4 and you ﬁnd out that is absolutely true, that gives you power to do math. It does not take away your power. Such a thought is illusion.
The teacher is only abusing his power if he teachers falsehoods and insists they be accepted as true.
Where many students do give away their power, is by blindly accepting a teacher as an authority and his statements as true, without ﬁrst testing them to make sure the teacher knows what he is talking about.
JJ Quote: “In addition to there being true teachers, there are true students. The true student desires to acquire true knowledge, not a belief system. The true student realizes that knowledge is useful and belief is often illusionary. The true student tests the teacher and makes sure that the teacher is one who is capable of leading him or her to greater knowledge.
“The wise student (or one who is really learning) does not see himself as on a ‘lower level’. Instead, he sees himself as one who is progressing to a ‘higher level’.”
Objection: “The trouble with many spiritual teachers is they set themselves up as an absolute authority that must be totally accepted.”
JJ Comment: That does happen, but I do not follow this course. All who study my teachings are free to question and choose to accept that part which they wish to incorporate in their lives and belief systems.
Objection: “It is a standard practice of the forces of darkness to use covert manipulation to lead those of the light astray into the darkness, by presenting just enough truth to get the innocent to follow them as authorities, and then mix their deceptive teachings of darkness with the teachings of light. A true teacher would warn the student of this possibility, and that the student should never fully trust a teacher.”
JJ Comment: On this point I agree and I have warned of this in numerous ways. The most potent warning was in my book, The Immortal, through the character of Philo. This presentation probably demonstrates the subtleties of deception better than just teaching it directly. I have received many positive letters commenting on this section of the book.
Objection: “If you meet the Buddha upon the road, kill him.”
JJ Comment: People think this is a cool statement, but when you think about it, it is stupid. Suppose the ﬁrst student of the Buddha killed him? The world would have missed a great light and the mission of Christ would not have been as successful as it was.
I believe the point of the original writer was that we should avoid any absolute authority outside of inner soul contact, but I would call this a bad choice of words.
When another great teacher incarnated after the Buddha, who was Jesus, they did crucify him. So do you think those who sentenced Jesus to death achieved greater enlightenment than those who sat at his feet and listened?
I don’t think so.
Objection: Do you claim to be a Buddha or a Christ?
JJ Response: I make no claims about myself. My actual teachings and the vibration they register with one’s soul is my only claim of authority.
Objection: “You need to place discernment above the acceptance of the authority of a teacher.”
JJ Response: Discernment is indeed an important point I continually stress. Those who read a small section of my writings may not see this, but those who read a larger amount will see it stressed continuously.
We will soon be presenting a number of keys that will assist students in discerning the truth.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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