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Spiritual Journeys

Spiritual Teachers - Genuine vs. Bogus

Spiritual teachers seem to be everywhere these days. All too often people select one based on the wrong criteria. Because we live in such a deeply materialistic (ie, physically focused) society, we are susceptible to being severely misled when it comes to spiritual matters, as many people have little experience when it comes to these things.

It's one thing to be misled into thinking a low quality fast food restaurant will provide nutritious, wholesome good food. It's quite a different thing when it comes to what you "eat" for your spiritual life. In this aspect of one's life being misled can, in the worst case, send you over the edge into insanity. At the very least you will have wasted your time (and possibly lots of money), and delayed your spiritual growth for a period of time. (But then there are those who would say that you will have then learned a valuable lesson!)

In short, choose your spiritual teachers and guides very carefully. Question everything. Examine what is going on around you, and in yourself. Make sure you remain in some sort of control (bearing in mind that some genuine spiritual; paths involve surrender!). Above all, look to your intuition, your inner vision to guide. But be on the watch for your own weaknesses that can lead you astray.



Signs of a genuine spiritual teacher:

  • Pure humility; and this humility is not talked about, not faked, not self-affected
  • No ego
  • True spiritual teachers are often genuinely surprised that people think they have something to teach. Their first reaction is, "what do you people want? I don't know anything"
  • Won't accept money for their teachings. Will accept the means to live, but no payment in excess of that.


"...the best way to identify a spiritual fraud was to determine how aware he or she was on a physical level. Lack of awareness on a physical level was tantamount to no spiritual ability."
-- Tom Brown Jr., from The Science and Art of Tracking



Signs of a bogus spiritual teacher:

  • Self-aggrandizement
  • The presence of ego
  • Threats are made against them - a pure, true teacher doesn't attract that
  • Demands "blind faith" in their teachings, obedience
  • Display or have wealth (money and possessions)

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