Excerpt About Student
This personal focusing of the universal and timeless teaching begins with recognizing the student as a unique individual with his own experience, his own history, his own issues, and his own will, and not simply as an object upon which a teaching can be applied. In most spiritual teachings, the personality is seen as a barrier, the problem, the devil that needs to be slain. Only then, it is believed, can realization occur. It is true that a seeker's personality or his history is a large part of his problem, but it is so only from the perspective of a consciousness that he still cannot relate to. According to his own perception, the experiences of the personality are real, solid, and of great import. Rejecting or ignoring the personality will only tighten the knots that imprison the student. Also, the issues and the conflicts of the personality are not haphazard or meaningless; they are not simply barriers to realization and liberation. They are related in specific ways to the states of realization themselves, to the states of being. To gain a more precise understanding of the situation, and to personalize the teaching, we need first to understand the personality and how it is related to the free reality, the being—what we call essence. Our true nature, our essence, what is real and unconditioned in the human being, does not exist in some mysterious realm, waiting for us to attack and slay the inimical ego, and then show up in glory. Our being, our essence, the divine within us, is connected to our personality in a very complex and intimate way.