Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Difference Between True Teaching and Data Transfers

One of the big things that I have to work on with many students is the difference between true teaching and a data transfer. We're basically taught in Western Society that teaching is a situation where the teacher has something that we don't have. The teacher then gives us those things--facts, ideas, etc. Now, we have them and can consider ourselves smarter or more knowledgeable. But that's not really teaching. It's just a data transfer. It's treating each other like computers, and subsequently, it can make people mindlessly accept all kinds of crazy ideas because they have no discernment or real engagement around the process. We've also seen this on the spiritual path, which is why many of the new teachers that are waking up are so clear about not having anyone's truth.

In this interest, I'm writing to you today to help you learn about what true teaching--spiritual or otherwise--looks like so that you can fully embrace the path of the student in an empowered place.

No Answers Over Here, No Questions Really Either
I don't have anyone's answers. I don't really even have questions for them. All I am is what I am. It's a strikingly different way of teaching because it's simply happening through my being and through presence. It's not exactly an energy transfer, although my energy does naturally interconnect with students and pretty much anyone in the near vicinity. Because that's what all of our energy naturally does. It naturally wants to flow and to interconnect and to not hide behind the walls of ideas, limitations, and illusions. However, while there may be some energy transference that simply happens, I am as I am, and what I do as a teacher is to help you find the teacher and Truth already in you.

Nothing Better or Worse in Being a Teacher or Student
In society, there's this sense of hierarchy. Because people have been taught to believe that the teacher is the bringer of all things--whether it's all the math concepts they need in their calculus class or how to become enlightened--people have given up a lot of power to them. This has been reinforced in a lot of situations where to question a teacher in class is looked upon disapprovingly. And many immature teachers of many types and traditions would try to win an argument or reclaim their power over a student who does question something. This, of course, is terrible teaching, and it's not about true teaching anyway. We're back into the ego games and power struggles, and all anyone is learning is how to hurt each other. I remember that my favorite teachers were the ones who led discussions in class and helped students to think for themselves. That's where the teacher understands his or her role. That teacher understands that teaching is about helping a student make discerning choices and to elevate themselves to become a peer (although elevation isn't quite the right idea here, but honestly, that's how the thinking in most of those situations still goes. From the spiritual perspective, teacher and student are equal, and in many situations, those roles are fluid and not static).

Because the teacher isn't aiming to hold onto all this knowledge in a specific format or presentation. The best teachers know that there are any number of ways to present something or understand something. So they help the students get the tools to cull through all the information and data transfers thrown at them to make some sense from all of it.

Identifying Your Habits in Learning
Much of the spiritual path is a re-learning of how to learn. Many of you are used to just accepting things whole, and some of you got so sick of that methodology that you're completely cynical and unable to accept anything. Those two extremes are not helpful. If an expert starts explaining to me how wind power works, I'm going to accept most of what s/he says. Obviously, if I'm researching the subject, I'll go and find corroborating sources to verify this expert, but I'm not constantly doubting the data transfer. I'm also not believing everything either.

With that said, I encourage you to begin to identify the many situations when someone is offering a data transfer as well as what is coming with it. People send emotions and different frequencies of energy with different bits of information. Just ask someone their political feelings about abortion and then feel through all the stuff that gets sent over to you along with that information. If you've never really paid attention to this, it may be startling and unsettling what all comes in those transferences beyond words and information.

This is also why a true spiritual teacher spends a lot of time clearing out his/her issues. Because we know how much gets sent to others whenever anything gets said. I use this blog to offer a lot of information and data, but the way I'm using it is to help you ignite your own inner teacher. I'm hoping that the tools and techniques that I offer will help you to take ownership of your own spiritual path. I don't have your answers. No one does. Only you do. And you have to have some discernment here because I'm not talking about your answer to a trivia question on a game show tonight. I've got a lot of random knowledge, so maybe I do have that. But that's not what you're after. You're actually after Truth. You're after what's real and that space of profound inner connection that allows you to be in your fullness in this lifetime. And I don't have that. Nor does any other teacher. All I do is occasionally give your car a jumpstart so you can get the engine running; you still have to learn how it all works to keep it running smoothly


Your Inner Knowing At the Center of True Teaching
True teaching comes from the heart and the soul. True teaching comes from that place of having no real preference for a specific outcome, but it isn't a weak free-floating thing. It is very strong and clear about what is right or wrong. That's why we go so deep. We go into what's real and true, and when we connect there, we can see through immature subjectivity and objectivity that plagues this world's consciousness. Those things can be ideas like:

"It's okay to go to war over this because etc.,etc.,etc."

It's not okay to go to war. And the way people subvert the idea of "defending" themselves is one of the grossest abuses of the idea of self-defense. Someone attacking you in a dark alley requires defense. Another country with oil reserves who doesn't rule their country the way you want them to isn't a "self-defense" situation. So in all of this, I encourage you to develop more discernment around the things that you think you need to defend. I always say that we have to act strongly in the face of a clear and present danger (like being attacked in the alley), but most of our inner knowing will take us towards letting go of situations and pain and being in a space of loving neutrality.


Learning to Trust a True Teacher
And then at the other end of the spectrum, people have been so jaded by data transferers (Is that a word? Well it is now.) that they don't know what to do with a teacher. Because the teacher doesn't have your answers and doesn't just spew information into you like you're an empty vessel that needs to be filled up, you may feel disoriented in working with him or her. At times you may be like, "Well, he didn't answer my questions." Then after that, the teacher may guide you towards things that are uncomfortable or take you into deep spaces that make you feel naked and vulnerable. For most people, the trained ego response is to run away. You don't feel taken care of or protected.

Now, of course, those of you who have been reading my blogs for awhile will see where I'm going. So what is it that is feeling scared or not protected? The ego. And of course, there's a discernment you're going to have to learn how to make between where you're afraid because you're not supposed to go somewhere and where you're afraid because you feel out of your ego's sense of control. Sometimes fear comes up for us in a less than conscious way to tell us that we shouldn't do something. However, the more tuned in to our inner awareness/our intuition, the more that's not the case. From your own inner knowing, you'll also learn to sense how the teacher is actually creating a very safe space for you to be in this vulnerable unknown. Because vulnerability is where our true strength lies. All this armor that you're wearing, it's exhausting you. You've got to take it off, and a true teacher is going to help you learn how to do that.

Other Key Elements of True Teaching
Let's put up some bullets to help you identify teachers and data transfer people.

Teachers:
  • Give you tools to interpret information
  • Don't force you to accept their views
  • Help you to differentiate between opinion and fact
  • Teach you to become a better learner
  • Teach you to become your own teacher

Data Transfer People:
  • Just give you information
  • May expect you to accept everything wholesale
  • Often don't want to be challenged in their information or views
  • Are married to the ideas of right and wrong

I'm using teachers broadly; it's not just about spiritual teachers. And, in truth, anyone teaching something that they love--math, economics, art therapy--is already doing spiritual teaching of a certain order because there is love in their teaching. And of course, love is one of the greatest teachings of them all.
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