22. May, 2019

Mountaintop gurus

I wouldn't take my car for a service to a mechanic who had never driven a car. I probably also wouldn't ask for relationship advice from someone who had never had a happy, successful relationship. This seems pretty stock standard, doesn't it?

So what happens when it comes to spirituality? It's strange how we adhere to the teachings of guru types who live isolated on some mountaintop, isn't it? Maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit... but seriously? Sure, they spout heaps of wisdom. There are a lot of their teachings that should be giving us pause for thought.

It occurred to me though, that it's easy to preach unconditional love and forgiveness and the like when you have minimal contact with humanity. It's easy to preach full stop when you don't have to actually live your lessons with any real depth. That led me to thinking that an isolated mountaintop is really no different from a townhouse or apartment that you use as a cocoon.

If we want to have any credibility as counsellors, coaches or spiritual leaders of any sort then we need to be living a day to day existence that puts us right in the thick of things. We need to experience life to its fullest so that we can gain wisdom and insight and not just spout what we read in the latest, popular self help book.

Advice is easy to give. We all do it and when we're on the outside of a situation and looking in, it's very simple to be able to see things with clarity. When we don't actually have the life experience, we don't give advice with thought to the consequences. We don't counsel with any level of empathy. And that right there is the source of any one of us becoming irritated by someone's resistance to our advice. The thing is they don't just have to deal with the advice, they need to deal with the changes in their own lives that come after putting the advice into action. They're the ones living their own day to day.

And that's what it's all about, isn't it? Not divine wisdom, but the ability to feel a situation because you have been burned before. So maybe we need to start taking a good look at our own lives and realise that we can't counsel people on things we don't understand. It comes down to knowing where our strengths lie and knowing where our true knowledge and understanding lies. From there, we can reach out a hand to others with less regard for what we see as wisdom and more regard for empathy. Is that not where true love lies?