students and the universality of light

raising my hand

I don’t know. I don’t understand.

I can’t see it. WTF does this mean?


I thought I knew.   I thought I understood.

I thought I could see it. What is the matter here?


I was wrong?  I am wrong?

I was mistaken?  I am mistaken?

I misunderstood. I am misunderstanding?


You know this. Don’t you?

You are sure about this. Aren’t you?

Am I ? I am surely confused!

Why is this so hard for me to see?




These questions assail us often. When we are children, we rely on those around us to “know” about the world. We have faith that what they teach us about it is correct. As we grow into ever enlarging spheres of interaction, we begin to realize that those around us share with us what they know, but that knowledge may not  always be accurate.

How you answer the questions asked in the poem above is determined by how you see yourself in relation to the knowledge that you seek and in relation to the teachers you are attempting to gain it from. The goal of genuine teachers should always be to assist the student to see the truth of something for themselves, whether it be an academic subject or simply the best way to perform a particular task.

When you enter a classroom you assume and take as an article of faith that the teacher knows a great deal about the subject you wish to study.  At least at first.  Take physics for example. When the teacher says E=mC2, there’s an element of faith involved if you are going to make progress.  As you begin to learn what the teacher is expounding you no longer have to have faith because you can “see” it for yourself.

In spiritual circles, humanity over all, has not yet reached the point where we can “see” spiritual truths for ourselves. Instead, we have relied on spiritual teachers to tell us the “truths” of our origin and purpose, give us rules for behavior, and put the craziness of the world into some sort of understandable order. In other words, we have had to take all these dogmas on faith.  It’s now time  for that to change. It’s now time to begin to see that the spiritual realm is no different than any other realm and that in order to make progress in understanding a spiritual subject we must have teachers that allow us to see things for ourselves.

It is time to begin to demand of our spiritual teachers the same accountability that we expect of teachers in any other area of learning.

Relying on faith as the only foundation of  spirituality has allowed the creation of  a polarity of such magnitude that two people looking at something as simple as a ham sandwich can see an instrument of  eternal torture and damnation or a snack.*  Something about that huge disparity should ring little bells in your head that maybe, just maybe,  this whole idea of spiritual teaching needs more investigation. That perhaps  it is time that  we create  a  new paradigm of responsibility for  spiritual learning.  A paradigm where we  no longer allow gurus, priests, and channelers to serve up their versions of  ” the truth,” on the blank check of our faith.

Thought of in this way, it is reasonable that we start to  demand that spiritual leaders teach their knowledge to us in ways that we can also begin say with conviction, “Hey, I see it now too!”


* my poem about that here

Thanks to szelee for permission to use this photo.  See his gorgeous photoblog  at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s