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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Characteristics of a Real Teacher of Wisdom

 There are a few major characteristics of a real Teacher. He gives great value to simplicity, joy, love, enthusiasm, and beingness. His expressions are clear and simple and arranged according to the level of the student. He also expects simplicity and clarity from his students as far as their thoughts, words, and expressions are concerned.


A real Teacher creates an atmosphere of joy and love in which the assimilation of knowledge becomes possible. He is always enthused with his task and the subject he is teaching. This enables the student to absorb the Teaching. He always emphasizes the application of the Teaching through which transformation of the personality and the formation of a new beingness become possible.

A real Teacher is not glamored by the knowledge or social position of the student. Knowledge can be a recorded tape, and position can be the result of karma. No matter what the student knows and what his position is, the Teacher starts with the fundamentals of beingness.

The fundamentals of beingness are:

1. application of the Teaching to life
2. manifestation of certain virtues
3. overcoming habits
4. cultivating tolerance and understanding
5. choosing the most essential
6. manifesting joy
7. living in solemnity

After one has these fundamentals, his knowledge and position can be considered as assistances in his service for humanity. If the student is ready, he will look for these qualities in the Teacher, and he will gradually notice that besides these qualities, his Teacher has another quality: the ability to create crises and tensions within the student by putting his finger on the most sensitive points of his nature. If the student can bear such a tension, he will slowly become a co-worker of his Teacher, and his Teacher will give him more daring tasks to perform.

There is another quality of a real Teacher which can be known only by advanced students. This quality can be called by various names. You may call it "abundance" or "depth." This quality shows that the Teacher is not a shallow or one-faceted being, but that he is multidimensional and his depth cannot be reached. He is always able to open new windows and doors within your being and make you meet different sides of his own being. Also, when you begin to believe that you really know him, he makes you realize that you still do not know him.

A real Teacher encourages his student to strive and choose a field of service in which to apply his wisdom, knowledge, and attainments. Once the student creates his field of service, the Teacher slowly withdraws and lets the student cope with problems and their solutions.

A real Teacher does not create followers. Once the wings of his students grow, he lets them fly away. Co-workers can be created when the Teacher lets his students work independently in their own fields.

The real Teacher never looks at his students as if they were inferior to him. He looks at them as future heroes who will engage themselves in greater labor for humanity.

A real Teacher sees his own growth in an advancing student, and a good student sees in himself the growing beauty of the vision his Teacher awakened in him.

Striving toward vision keeps the student from using his knowledge as a means of exploitation.

The Teacher provides those steps for which the heart of the student is ready. In every age, the great Teachers built the ladders of ascent toward Infinity by Their own attainments and creativity. Each Teacher is the result of the accumulated energy of past achievements and a striving toward future vision.

In teaching students, the Teacher applies a spiral method. He emphasizes the fundamentals on higher and higher spirals, sometimes giving the impression that he is repeating them. But every spiral leads the students toward Infinity. The Teacher never gives the impression that the subjects he is teaching end with what he presents. He always makes the students realize that their true work starts beyond what he gives them. In every subject he opens the door toward Infinity. No subject is a dead end; no subject is used to encourage students to apply it for superficial interests of the finite, but each subject is a guide to Infinity.

Life after life those who persist in their striving find the right Teachers, and the right Teachers express gratitude for finding the right students.

Excerpted from Challenge for Discipleship By Torkom Saraydarian.

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