Step Forty-Seven

I am teachable.

Step 47. Why Do I Need Teachers?
You will ask this question sooner or later and perhaps on many occasions. It is born of your expectations of yourself that you would ask this question. Yet, when you look carefully at your life, you will see that you have required instruction for everything that you have learned. Perhaps things that you felt inside yourself appeared to be created by you, but they, too, are the result of instruction. You have been prepared through relationships for everything that you have learned, whether it be a practical skill or a deeper insight. To realize this engenders great appreciation for relationships and a full affirmation of the power of contribution in the world.

If you were intending to honestly approach learning any skill, first you must recognize how much you do not know, then you must recognize how much you need to learn, and then you must seek the best form of instruction possible. This must apply to the reclamation of Knowledge. You must realize how little you know, how much you need to know and then receive the instruction that is provided. Is it a weakness to need a teacher? No. It is an honest recognition based upon an honest evaluation. If you realize how little you know and how much you need to know and the power of Knowledge itself, you will understand how obvious this is. How can you give to those who think they already have, when in reality they are poor? You cannot. And their poverty will be self-inflicted and self-maintained.

Why do you need a teacher? Because you need to learn. And you need to unlearn that which you have learned that is holding you back. In your two practice periods today, with your eyes closed in meditation, consider why you need a Teacher. Observe any thoughts that seem to indicate that you could do it on your own if you were smart enough or strong enough or met some other qualification. If these expectations arise, recognize them for what they are. They are an insistence that you remain ignorant by proclaiming yourself an adequate instructor. You cannot teach yourself what you do not know, and the attempt to do so merely recirculates old information and binds you closer to where you are now.

Therefore, in practice today recognize your need for true instruction and your resistance, if it is there, to the presence of true instruction which is available to you now.

Practice 47: Two 30-minute practice periods.

Here you will find the entire book free for download

Here you will find pointers for getting started if this is your first encounter with this practice: Taking the Steps to Knowledge.

December 25, 2012 Round One: I am indeed inclined to think I know more than I actually do and so do not need a teacher. I have also felt resistance to needing instruction. However, I try to stay aware of this resistance and remain cognizant of the fact that I have much to learn, that I know very little and cannot learn on my own. And this all fits in so well with feeling the humility it talks about in the last Step.

On the other hand, it is very easy to follow or be taken in by false teachers and led astray. Everything offered needs to be internalized to know whether it feels true or not.

This Step speaks to me since it seems to me that the teachers it talks about are our Spiritual Teachers, the Teachers that are always close by and only need to be sought out and addressed to receive the gifts they have to offer. The gifts of Knowledge. And what is most important for me is to realize that what I feel inside is not created by me but comes from instruction offered by my teachers, only I have to be open and willing to receive it.

August 17, 2014 Round Two: First practice – I need teachers because there is always something more to learn. I welcome teachers who are ahead of me on the path and can guide and instruct me. I recognize that I am teachable and willing to learn. I certainly do not harbor any illusions that I know it all and do not need a teacher. I am on a spiritual journey, I have only just started this journey, so it stands to reason that I know very little at this juncture along the way and need help. And it has nothing to do with not being smart enough, or strong enough, or lacking some other qualification. It just means that I am still progressing, and I could easily stray or lose my way as I go. I cannot get there on my own, I need someone to show me, someone who has been this way before and knows where they are going. This is natural.

I am learning humility here.

I need to be aware, however, of what it is I wish to learn and know more about. I am following the Way of Knowledge, so I wish to learn and know more about that. There are people both within and beyond this world who are wiser and more knowledgeable in this than I. Those are the people I wish to be my teachers.

Second practice – I cannot teach myself and there is no point in kidding myself that I can. However, I still find I feel a certain amount of resistance to following instructions and doing things “by the book.” I understand how this can look as though I am being self-willed and even arrogant. But I am not saying I will not follow instructions, that I am not willing to learn, that I think I am smart enough, know enough, to do it on my own. I think a certain amount of discernment is required. I am open to trying new things and learning new ways of doing things, but I also think that a dose of skepticism is healthy. I do not think it is good practice to fall for something hook, line, and sinker. I think it is good practice to internalize things to know whether it feels true or not.

Reclaiming Knowledge is not your ordinary, common-and-garden task by any stretch of the imagination, so I think it would be very naïve and futile to think I could manage without a teacher. Therefore, I do not think it is a weakness to need teachers. It is actually a strength, it empowers me to accept instruction from teachers who have been this way before and are a little, to say the least, more familiar with the terrain than I am.

I do not wish to tread water or recirculate old information that binds me, I wish to break new ground, gain greater wisdom, make my way closer to Knowledge, and for that I need teachers.

August 3, 2018 Round Three: I need Teachers because I do not know everything and cannot know on my own. I cannot teach myself, I need the contribution of others. When I realize how little I know, how much I have to learn and how I need to remain teachable, I recognize my need for Teachers and true instruction. I do not think I can go it alone. I do not think I have the wisdom, strength and capabilities to manage without some instruction. Still, I pay heed to the instruction I am receiving to gage how true it is for me. I often carry out my husband’s instructions, I yield to his instruction. He often knows more than I do. I do not discount his instruction merely because I do not wish to bend to his will. I have lost my stubborn, arrogant streak. I am willing to admit I may be wrong, that I do not know, that what I “thought,” “believed,” is not actually true. I know I need assistance, the input of others, and the prompting and instruction of my Teachers.

First 30-min practice - in greenhouse 5.01 - 5.31. Good practice. I want to remain teachable, so I need Teachers. I felt the presence of my Teachers.

Second 30-min practice - resting in the afternoon after listening to Hilary’s messages and replying - 16.20 - 16.50. I was thinking about the three male intrusions in my life and what Hilary suggested in her recording on this subject. I can see the connection between Pop and Volodya, but I don’t see the connection with Dad. What riles me about Pop and Volodya is their insensitivity. Yes, it makes me angry and I feel disdain for them. I do not want to communicate with them for I feel no respect. Their behaviour goes against the grain, it is not sensitive to the others around them. Mom dealt with it through amnesia every now and again. Valya dealt with it by getting cancer and dying. This is what I feel. These two men were such a burden on their wives that they had to find a way out. But Dad? I only felt a lack of respect, disdain toward him during his latter drinking days and then in recovery, when he chose Nancy over Mum. But that all worked out for the best of all involved. Still I lost my respect for Dad for a while and sometimes felt his lack of sensitivity. But I never felt about him the way I felt about Pop and now feel about Volodya. So is the third one really Dad? But I can think of no one else who aroused the same feelings. And what do these feelings mean? Are they reflecting something I don’t like in myself - do I feel I am insensitive and a know-all? I don’t. But why do I feel anger? I am seeking more clarity on this. Nothing came to in Stillness, expect that I remembered George, a friend in college. A friend of Nirit’s. He was definitely a know-all and insufferable. Pop was and Volodya is insufferable. But then I can be insufferable too - hehehe.


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