A man can only attain knowledge with the help of those who possess it. This must be understood from the very beginning. One must learn from him who knows – G.I. Gurdjieff
‘Spirituality’ as a trendy lifestyle, is a display, always has been, always will be. It’s a control mechanism. At its core we find power hungry gurus, just like in any big business. They want control of your mind, your finances and your energetic system. No country or culture of the world is free from this deception.
The digital age certainly has its advantages. Now more than any time in our recent recorded history, we have access to unlimited amounts of information. We are also able to digitally connect with people in any corner of the world. What is lacking is our ability to discern what can be trusted or how to make use of it.
The recent wave of this deception is evident in new-age circles, so-called conscious communities, self-help platforms, bloggers publishing spells on getting rich or finding love, online courses in initiation in some shamanic tradition, often involving strange incantations and even stranger rituals, energy healing techniques channelled by special outer space beings, light workers and so on.
Countless books are published every year filled with new methods and secrets of life. Anyone it seems who has the ability to write a sentence or two is entitled to preach. And millions unconsciously consume this junk with the belief it will teach them all they need to know.
‘If you start out with junk data, you end up with junk wisdom’ – John Anthony West.
The plant medicine circle deception has spread like wild fire, spending a few months in some jungle entitles people to promote them in the West as the miracle cure for all. I’ve met many 20 something year old Maestro’s who claim they were given powers by a special teacher they spent a week with and they feel entitled to suddenly label themselves as beneficiary of special lineage and declare it’s their life purpose to share this with the West.
Anyone who has earnestly, honestly and thoroughly studied the plant medicine tradition will tell you that power plants throughout history were only consumed by healers and their apprentices and not the patients. The reason being, the plant mind is not a human mind, and learning the language of plants involves decades of training. To the uninitiated, this would lead to madness. I’ve certainly seen cases of delusion in people who after consuming the medicine a few times call themselves Jesus and Buddha, because the plants ‘clearly’ showed them they were. This millennia old tradition has been degraded by the spectacular generation of know-it-all ‘fast shamans’.
The DMT craze is a newer version of the counter culture experiments with LSD in the 60’s. Now the ‘credible’ Church Of Science and Progress is studying and trying to ‘map’ the unseen world and the beings that inhabit it by intravenously injecting DMT in people. I cannot foresee anything positive coming out of these experiments.
I’ve been on this path for almost 15 years now, by no means do I consider myself an expert of any special tradition, but I can say with a certain degree of confidence that over time, by traversing some challenging terrains, both in the inner and outer realms, I do have a unique perspective which may or may not be helpful for you.
Every culture at some point in time has had their own ‘Wisdom Tradition’. Specialised schools with rigorous training of would-be initiates that required decades or a lifetime of discipline. Pythagoras trained for twenty years before he opened his school, because a considerable period of observation and work on oneself is necessary before you can safely and effectively guide others. His disciples were divided into ‘learners’ and ‘listeners’ based on their potential and spent years studying themselves and the laws of creation.
Recently, I visited an indigenous elder who told me that when he reaches a certain degree of development, his elders will introduce him to deeper teachings of his culture. This is another way of saying that this process is continuous throughout life.
There is a belief that specialised schools conceal information. They are very secret, occult. They are full of strange ‘initiation ceremonies’. That is true for most ‘mainstream’ schools, the ones that usually have a large following, especially the ones that say someone superior will initiate you into the next level. These are the schools of despot gurus where they reign supreme and control and manipulate their disciples. In fact, horrific cases of abuse have taken place that have put off many people from finding a school or a teacher.
What is also fashionable these days is the belief that books and the internet can teach anyone who desires whatever they need to know. This mindset is dangerous. Theoretical knowledge is necessary when starting out, however in order to practice what is written requires the guidance of a teacher. This step cannot be bypassed if you want to do this properly.
A true master will always consider himself a student, because through teaching others, they themselves are also constantly learning. It’s a process of deepening the Understanding of the mysteries of the Self. It can take years of seeming disappointment to find the right person or to realise they were there all along, you yourself perhaps had not achieved the necessary development to appreciate their value.
There is a saying that the teacher will find the student when he is ready. This has been the absolute truth in my case. It happened after a considerable period of searching, of travelling over 115 countries and territories, familiarising myself with and learning different traditions. I literally had to fight with red tooth and claw for my life and to stay true to my intent. That was my commitment.
What I learned from my process is that the role of the teacher is not to preach or control their disciples, rather to set an example of how a person behaves when they reach a certain degree of development or a presence through years of practice.
No book or webinar can replace this step. They don’t teach any special tricks or magic or claim to give you their special powers, rather they work tirelessly to guide you to help you realise the power of your own magical abilities of self- transformation that are inherent in you.
This requires years of self- observation. Unless you are part of some elevated and uncontacted indigenous tribe, you must realise that you have been raised in an abnormal environment. Your mind is controlled and hypnotised by the media, other people’s opinions and impressions. There is generational and intergenerational trauma weaved into our psyche. Recognition of this fact requires a thorough analyses of the mental and emotional patterns that shape our reality.
Goenka often says during his discourses that it a process of a very intricate and delicate mental operation. Silence is necessary as well as periods in isolation under the expert guidance of someone who has successfully treaded this path. To do it alone will leave you insane.
This is a process of deep shadow work. Peeling layers of self-deception in ourselves and the society we are raised in. To call yourself a ‘light-being’ without shadow work means you are deluded and immature. This is the folly of the new-age gurus. We are light, true, but in reality, what is blocking the light is a thick goo of traumatic experiences and false impressions owing to the abnormal conditions we are brought up in.
The shamanic state of the dark night of the soul cannot be bypassed by chanting mantras, thinking positive, doing 200 hour yoga training, dangling crystals and memorising affirmations. It is a second by second, minute by minute process of being aware at all times of the internal and external influences that affect us.
As my good ol’ teacher puts it, ‘For all intents and purposes, this is the path of a madman.’ It requires superhuman effort to arrive at this state. It is extremely easy to fall through the cracks when there is no one around to keep an eye on you. The overwhelming majority fall into the abyss, because they literally cannot face the Gollum beast that exists within them.
It is so much easier surrounding yourself with other Gollums who think they are all light, who are blessed with special lineages from Orion, Pleiades or some unpronounceable fantastic galactic order.
I personally find ‘conscious community’ circles especially problematic. These circles seem to be swarming with people who are consumed with the disease of self-importance. Among them you may sometimes find those who call themselves ‘Custodians of Water’, who don’t flush toilets or take showers to save water, at the same time have no conscious awareness of their own emotional water and the toxicity it holds in the form of constant criticism and judgement of those who are not as ‘conscious’ as them. It will more profitable for yourself and others when you have a complete Understanding of the Elements within you before you declare yourself to be a ‘Custodian’ of infinitely larger bodies of creation.
I am so fed up with these deranged mindsets that I’ve often joked with my teacher about starting a counter culture community of ‘conscious Gollums’. It would be refreshing to show up in circles that admit, we are shit, we are deluded, we have no compassion, we have issues with being jealous, insecure, comparing ourselves to others and so on. Let’s consciously work on ourselves for a change, instead of proclaiming ourselves to be custodians of whatever is in fashion.
Legacies have been left behind by our ancient ancestors in different parts of the world that we see in ancient sites in Egypt, Central and South America, Middle, East and Central Asia, to name a few. I don’t believe for a second they were aliens or some superior race. Rather, these temples and monuments are the creations of a mind that achieved the highest degree of self-development possible for man that allowed them to create incredible pieces of art and architecture, that even to this day evoke a sense of absolute awe in you. No, we are not at the height of technological and scientific progress, rather at the height of destructive influence of the deranged psyches that control our planet.
Be clear, first and foremost about what you want to achieve on this path. Is it the highest possible development a man can achieve, the evolutionary process? Or follow the trendy trail, where most people end up. There is nothing intelligent about posting meme’s on social media of sayings of Rumi or Krishnamurti to show others how spiritual you are or repeat mantras of new a ‘ism’ that is trending every few seconds. If you are drawn to a system, follow it in its entirely, don’t dabble or mix traditions.
It’s all too easy to pass yourself off as shamans, conscious beings, light workers channelling strange disembodied beings, chanting tunes from languages that no one can understand , perform rituals for Mother Earth while wearing special gowns that belong to special schools of some mystery tradition. Being a charlatan is profitable in the material realm no doubt, but there is a price to be paid, and suffering will indeed soon follow.
Having said this, authentic mystery schools still exist, and have a very important place in our society. They certainly do not go about shamelessly advertising themselves as offering miraculous experiences. They simply do not appeal to the psyche of the masses. They don’t offer pills and potions for healing and transformation, rather teach discipline first and foremost. Most people are too lazy for this because our faulty conditioning wants to see results instantly.
I certainly have been the beneficiary of their teachings and I am deeply grateful to them. There is nothing secret or occult about them, as some outright dismiss them as such. They follow the mouth to ear tradition, as has been the tradition of real initiates of all orders, not because they are technologically illiterate.
There is a profound teaching in this practice in and of itself. They don’t write books or record weekly webinars, rather will ask you familiarize yourself with one or two books already written, that are free from subjective experiences. They don’t command secrecy, but rather ask their students only to share what they have learnt when they embody the teaching. Or have connected with the Light within.
They know they have not discovered anything new, but through their tireless work and effort, have become the worthy recipients and custodians of the Wisdom of the Ages, have acquired a process of Understanding what has already been written or learnt to decipher the symbolic language.
I rarely mention these schools to people I normally meet, because most people are morally degraded, if they were to attend these schools, they would either flat out dismiss them as being boring, irrelevant and out dated, or distort and degrade their method for their own material interests.
I know for certain, I will not teach or preach anything my teachers have shared with me, because I have not reached their degree of development as yet. I am still processing the Gollum in me.
One doesn’t necessarily need to travel far to find schools or teachers on this path. This was my process and that doesn’t mean it has to be the same or you. My temperament is different from yours, as is my cultural conditioning, my wounds and my trauma. What is important is a sincere desire, an intent, or a calling that comes from the core of your being, not your ego, for pathways to open that will lead you on the right path.
If you find yourself in the poor me mind set about not being able to afford such and such, not having the time, well, this is the Gollum in you. Best to recognize first and foremost that it exists, then put it aside for a moment and instead focus your intent on what you truly desire, hold this intent as the center of your gravity, then allow opportunities to avail themselves. I’ve never had much money, never thought I had the time either. Trust me I have complained and still do , but through my sheer and unquenchable desire for self-knowledge, pathways have opened in the least expected way.
This path, if treaded properly, is a path of pain, discomfort and seemingly insurmountable challenges that will constantly be thrown at you. What changes over time, if we have worked on ourselves, is the way we learn to cope with the challenges presented. This is the Path of a True Spiritual Warrior, and there is no room for a wishy washy dabbler.
It is often (not always) a solitary path, years and decades pass, thousands of kilometres of barren and treacherous terrain, and all of a sudden you might come across a soul or two who is in the same boat. Finding these connections is like finding a gold mine, they will be stronger and deeper than any blood ties and there are few and far in between.
There is no one but you that can initiate you into the mysteries of the Self. In order for that to take place, the guidance of a teacher is paramount. Someone who has walked the path and can handle the immense responsibility of being your guide.
These masters don’t flatter you with clichés like Love and Light, rather point to faculties in you that you have the potential to develop and the shadows that are preventing them from being realised. They will protect you and risk their own lives for you with all their might no matter where on the planet you are.
We don’t need more books and new methods and new teachings, this mindset is the disease of the West. There are still ancient systems and practices that are still valid, and always will be. What we need are teachers who have mastered and embodied their respective method and have the humility and integrity to share it.
I am not inspired by 16 year old children who have abandoned plastic because the media promotes their cause as the trendy thing to do. I am inspired by and in awe of my teachers that have a lifetime of experience of consciously and consistently working on themselves with courage and valour.
Do your part, work hard and diligently and when the time is right and with the effort you have put in, they will recognize it and find you and perhaps they already have!
Every Master knows the aphorism: Only help him who is not an idler.
I wish you a blessed journey.
About the Author
Lala is an adventurous Traveller, her conquests have spanned across 6 continents through 115 Countries and territories and counting, that she records through digital art and photography. She is a life long student of the mysteries of the Self, with training in Plant medicine, Energy Healing and Wisdom Tradition of Ancient Egypt.
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