JdR Podcast 364
Aren't All Spiritual Teachers the Same?
Aren’t all spiritual teachers saying the same thing in different ways? Isn’t the need for a teacher actually disempowering? John describes how to discern what is true amongst our beliefs and assumptions and how the emotional need for closure keeps us from what's true.
"If you believe that all teachers are essentially the same, then you’re bound to that. As soon as you see a teacher, your experience will be that they are all essentially the same, which means that you won’t be able to tell the difference."
—John de Ruiter
With John de Ruiter from the November 1, 2019, Poleg Beach, Israel Event
Q: This is my first time coming here, and I felt as though I was in a tribe that speaks a foreign language that I don’t yet understand, you didn’t speak at all and someone else was speaking the entire time, I had my mind saying “what’s going on here?” I had expectations getting in the way. I realized I came here because I felt some calling I don’t feel I have an exact question I want to ask you. I feel there is something for me to experience here.
John: Then be here with a really deep listening within, that is free of all expectation, any of your ideas. It’s the really deep listening within that is you, able to know and able to see. Without the deep listening within, you’ll see through your ideas, your beliefs, your feeling, your emotions. You’ll be blind to everything that is just beneath that.
Q: Around the world there are many spiritual teachers, that I believe all speak the same core message in different terms, maybe different techniques. You’re saying just forget about the words and just feel beyond them?
John: You can have a deep listening within feeling that is beyond the words. You can also have a deep listening within the words, which means you are not listening to the words through your own ideas, through anything that you’ve learned before. That enables you from a very deep place within, to authentically weigh the words instead of it being your past and your learning that is weighing the words. If your past weighs the words, you can’t hear. All you hear is something in your past.
Q: Yes, I feel that’s what my mind tries to do; it tries to bring me to a place that I recognize.
John: Don’t conclude anything that you don’t directly know the truth of.
Q: Don’t conclude? What do you mean?
John: Don’t believe anything that you don’t know the truth of. It’s easy to draw conclusions. The emotional body is always pushing for closure. You hear something, if you don’t quite understand, the pressure from the emotional body is to bring closure to something that you’re not understanding, and the easiest way to artificially bring closure is to just draw a conclusion, believe something you don’t know, and emotionally you’ll have closure. But then you’ll have also introduced a belief into your body, into your mind, into your self, and that belief will hold for the rest of your life. The only thing that opens it is you being warmly okay in the midst of anything that, at a core level, is disturbing that belief.
Q: Be okay in the uncertainty?
John: Yes. You living, deeply, quietly, warmly, having no need of closure. It isn’t comfortable, but it’s real. It’s real and true to what is much deeper in you.
If you believe that all teachers are essentially the same, then you’re bound to that. As soon as you see a teacher, your experience will be that they are all essentially the same, which means that you won’t be able to tell the difference. Your belief that all teachers are all essentially the same covers up the differences: that which is essentially different.
Q: Isn’t the difference between the teachers the teacher would help someone to connect to their inner being, or maybe it’s called different terms in different places?
John: That assumes that all teachers are connected to their inner being. In your thinking, don’t build on assumptions. Such thinking will mislead your self.
Q: Why is that?
John: Because you’ll believe something that you only assume is true, instead of believing only what you actually know is true, which is the part that’s real. If you believe that all teachers tell you the truth, then you’ll believe what all teachers say.
Q: Maybe not every person who calls himself a teacher. They may use different terms and maybe different techniques that would help the people that get to them, to that specific person, reach or help them advance.
John: There are many levels to reality. There are different teachers at different levels. Amongst the teachers that are sincere, they will be at various different levels. As soon as you conclude that sincere teachers are essentially the same, then that’s true on only the level of sincerity. But the conclusion will blind you to being able to see how different sincere teachers are coming from different levels. So what they are bringing to you is of different levels.
Q: I am having trouble understanding why someone would feel that to evolve that they need to be close to you, or any specific teacher. Doesn’t that contradict a personal path? Is it not disempowering?
John: If it’s grounded in the self, yes.
Q: If it’s a need of the self?
John: Yes. If it is a direct response of being, no. The two are hugely different, but they can look the same. It’s a difference between being in love and doing everything you can to be close to that person, or you being really needy – not in love – really needy of love and attention and doing everything you can to be as close as you can to that person. Those two are completely different: in love, in a relationship, or being all needy of love, in a relationship.
Q: I can feel the difference in that for sure.
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