In these days, people are quite liberal in all aspects of life. The measure is often the own ego “I want this, I hate that, I don´t care.” In parts, it is a liberation from all kinds of “authorities” in society and from dogmas and morals. In other parts, it is simply questionable, unhealthy and unsocial. However it is, it is a sign of this era.
Now, when we look back to the roots of spiritual traditions, then we see that the Gurus, masters, adepts, etc. were very authoritarian and the students had to submit completely. This is today in the Western World probably not comprehensible but in the past it was the standard. The authority of the master was given by his divine nature. So, it was not the human authority but the divine authority which was expressed through the master. In comparison to the master, the student was immature, undeveloped, raw matter, something which had to be formed and refined. The ego of the student had no meaning. It was seen as an obstacle. Due to this relationship between master and student, the student was able to receive all the treasures of the master like an empty cup while the master was able to give completely. An ego like we know it today from most people, has meant at least a half-filled cup which would has caused real problems in the spiritual training and development of the student. For this reason, the old masters have sorted out a lot and only a few students were accepted, - those with superior characteristics to listen.
When you are an artist, you prefer white paper instead of paper where someone has already painted something on it.
I want to add that the relationship between a master and his student was holy and built on absolute trust, on commitment, on love and on the dedication to high ideals which both shared.
The old times are gone. Today, we have many schools and secret societies with leaders which can be questionable in character refinement and motives. Thanks to our new era, spiritual teachers can be quite selfish without any real enlightenment. If such a teacher asks for any kind of blind submission, then it is high time to escape.
But not only “masters” are questionable. Many students are questionable too. The “promotion” of the ego in general in society had negative effects on the attitude of spiritual students. Today it is common to ask the ego what is nice, feasible, good or bad, instead of following a training system or a real teacher.
When the ego is in charge, then you cannot expect any real progress.
Imagine that you allow children to decide if they want to go to school or not. Do you think they will get up early in the morning and go to school every day? Probably not. And would they be able to learn well and to pass all exams? Probably not all. So, in conclusion, the own ego is not the best advisor, especially not when it is about training, development and progress. The ego is the best advisor for staying at home, on your couch, with nice junk food and a movie.
When we think about students at a university, then we see a high level of self-responsibility, of own will to work through the challenges and to pass successfully the exams.
This high and good level of own effort, of own motivation to go beyond all the ego limitations is surpassed by the serious, spiritual student who works for real mastery and self-mastery.
At the university already not a single professor cares if a student works or not and in creation it is absolutely your own “problem” if you work on your spiritual development or not. There is simply no one who feels any need to kick your butt or to motivate you to work on your progress. And so, it is all about self-efficacy. It is a main lesson to understand that you are responsible for yourself and no one else. This is the absolute basis for mastery in life and mastery on the spiritual path.
When you are on this path of self-efficacy, then you experience that the ego with all its desires, preferences and dislikes is real luxury, something which you do not need for success. Respectively, it is the negative aspect of the ego which is a big obstacle while the positive part is a great supportive power to reach your goals.
The personal deficiencies together with negative ego qualities keep you successfully from any real progress. And even if you meet a divine teacher, he couldn´t help you because your cup is already too full.
The principle of “you get what you ask for” is always in charge. It is the law of resonance which causes good and bad things to happen and so everyone of us gets what he or she really looks for. The coach potato gets tacos and salsa, and the serious seeker gets what he needs for progress.
I want to say here that it is not about judging anyone. One day, the couch potato will be a diligent student, and one time in the past, the diligent student of today was a couch potato. We just should understand these principles and their effects.
At the end, I want to describe my own attitude which can serve as an inspiration. I am “old school”, simply because I am an old soul and I have made all these formative experiences as a seeker, as a student, as a member of ancient traditions and as an initiate and teacher. I deeply appreciate the great experiences of true brotherhood, of true dedication towards highest ideals, of true, divine love between master and student. All the experiences in the spiritual context are most precious, divine in nature and eternal in the effects. It is the eternal chain of spiritual love and brotherhood which you enter. As a seeker, I am ready to whatever is needed for receiving hints, teachings, words of wisdom, finding a real master, getting real training, etc. I am ready for sacrifices of my comfort zone, of my darkness, of worldly things. I am ready to focus all my energies on the spiritual path. I am ready to be this empty cup, longing to be filled with the divine wisdom of my master. I am ready to listen, to do my best to understand my master, to understand his hidden aims and teachings. I am ready to trust my master completely. I am ready to balance all what he does for me as good as I can. There is nothing which could stop me from studying, from training, from receiving the teachings of my master. Total dedication. Real humbleness. True love. True appreciation. True devotion. I honor and worship the divine which expresses itself through my master. I love and honor my master as my best friend, as the one who offers me enlightenment and freedom. My master is the true authority, the true representative of God. My ego means nothing in comparison to him and his wisdom. My master is my savior. He resurrects me from the dead. He offers me eternal life. He gives me all I need to unfold my divine greatness. He is my great role model. My master knows me deeply. He truly cares for me. He loves me unconditionally. And he knows what is good and right for me.
In conclusion, it is very important to understand these things as they have effects. It is up to you which attitude you prefer and by making a choice, you decide over your progress. And in general, like always, all what is good supports you and all what is bad blocks you from progress. The wise seeker bundles all his positive qualities, abilities and powers to make efficient progress.
As I have said already, the times have changed and with this the characteristics of students and masters. In former times it was the standard to live together, to practice together, to spend the whole life together. Today, the connection is limited to some minutes or hours per month, to chatting or skype meetings or a coffee if possible. Additionally, students and masters have worldly duties, jobs, family, etc. The whole field of spiritual studies offers a great freedom of choice, so that seekers try this and that, and create their own approach and understanding. All different spiritual traditions are available and so it might be already a challenge to find out what individually fits.
In the end, we all must make our individual choices where we take full responsibility. When we understand the principles on which the spiritual development is based, then we can make conscious choices for our benefits. More is not possible. We can only try to gather all what is good and to stay on distance to all what is bad.