There is a massively misunderstood concept in a lot of New Age and New Thought thinking that comes to us by way of the Course in Miracles®. We teach what we want to learn. The notion that we are all “teachers” has turned alternative or non-traditional spirituality into a growth industry. Pick up any local alternative or healing publication in your area and you will see that is mainly a catalogue of therapists, healers, ministers and countless others who have hung a shingle hoping to make a viable living coaching, teaching and healing others.
Attend any Course in Miracles® study group or New Thought group and you will find at least one person who has set themselves up as a teacher or a self-styled guru of sorts who tries to impart wisdom to others. Many New Age and New Thought churches offer seminary training and other programs of licensure allowing others to set themselves up as teachers and whatnot. Regardless of the form it takes this is primarily an expression of the ego. The demiurgic delusion we share is reinforced by these often supercilious teachers, most who mean well, but none who really have any business teaching.
The ego loves to teach. This is how it keeps its delusion in tact. By spreading its sickness to as many other egos as it can it ensures that then tenuous frail web of its version of reality stays firm and that its life is prolonged beyond what is healthy and natural.
Yes, it is true – we are all teachers. But, we don’t teach by lecturing or sermonizing. We teach by the way we live our lives. In this way we are equally a student as we are a teacher. We learn by observing and interacting out there with all the other teacher-students we encounter. We are never any one’s superior in this regard. We are all equals. The mistakes I make teach. The successes I have teach. The way I love teaches. The way I hate teaches. My anger teaches; my compassion teaches. The way I eat teaches. My consumption teaches. Everything about me is a useful teaching aid and a lesson in and of itself to those around me. The same is true for you as well.
Doubtless there are those whose attainment makes them good mentors or gurus for various stages in our lives. But, these folks are rarer than we realize. We are often simply lured in by slick marketing and packaging. Just because someone changes their name or takes on an affectation of a culture different than the one they were born into doesn’t make them any more spiritual or enlightened than the rest of us. They are often just convinced of it and need us to be convinced of it too so they can experience the validation they are craving. The ego sets it self up as an expert. The expert is often blind to possibility because their specialized knowledge has narrowed their field of vision.
We teach what we want to learn has a deeper more subtle meaning than the ego allows for. In order for us to truly understand this we need to interact with others. Community is the basis for the true meaning of we teach what we want to learn. More on this I cannot say now. However, just because you have experienced a personal healing or gained some insight into yourself please do not take that to mean you should hang a shingle. The true teacher is often very silent and speaks only as a last resort when all other methods have failed.