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Dec 18

How to Spot a Fake Spiritual Teacher

Posted on Friday, December 18, 2009 in Theories

Maybe this topic is a little personal. I am not sure. It’s what’s on my mind. I have a mentor for like a day and then he got sick and died. I’m always feeling the pain of his lost that he didn’t take proper care of himself and I am left without guidance. He was going to teach me Chinese medicine and herbalism. A topic I find interesting and might eventually study. I’m an atheist but spiritual. I’ve been looking for an instructor ever since and I have found lots of fakes. Most of the time the people who claim to be teachers really aren’t. They just want your money. That’s the first sign of spotting a fake. If they want you to pay, they are probably not the real thing.

I don’t agree with Gurdjieff and his theory that if people want knowledge, they got to pay for it. Anyone who knew anything what they were talking about has always given it freely. I also don’t agree with the Fourth Way system – they teach their way is the only way. Any system of thought that teaches their path is the only path to enlightenment is a fake. There are many paths to the same end. Everyone needs to pick their own path that works for them. The Fourth Way system from the book I read sounded cool the first one-third of the book but then started sounding like a cult. Anyone who requests you give up control over yourself is a fake. Also, the thing to remember when seeking enlightenment that the system is a the means to the end – not the end. Most people who are rather spiritual or religious forget that and get so caught up with the religion or belief being the ends rather than the means, they get very lost and confused.

The idea of being an enlightened being is to be loving, kind, compassionate, and peaceful human being. You can walk the path on your own but some guidance is helpful. Another signal of a fake is that if they tell you what they teach you is to be kept a secret. Like, you have some hidden truth or something that sets you apart from everyone else. I went to a receiving the Tao ceremony before – first warning sign was that they wanted $20. Second sign of falsehood is that they wanted me to keep the details of the ceremony and the chant I learned a secret. Third warning sign of something being wrong was that they wanted me to come to meetings to “learn more” and pay more money. They were trying to make it felt like I belong but it just didn’t feel right. Trust your gut: if something doesn’t feel right, don’t go along with it.

My mentor wanted to teach to genuinely share knowledge and help me along my path. He wasn’t pushing an agenda on me. People who want to do that are really rare. Most people are after something. The thing with being spiritual, like the idea that the path is the means to the end – enlightenment – so is the mentor. The mentor should be there to help you – not use or manipulate you. The goal is to understand and be one with the world around you, figure out how to cope with the world as it is, and how to change it for the better.