Perhaps the greatest gift any teacher can give is the gift of disillusionment.
If you’re looking to a teacher to show you what’s up, what’s real, you’re looking in the exact opposite direction of where any true teaching points to. What is true is not out there, ever, no matter how golden the words, how fine the robes, how magnificent the smiling eyes.
So when the teacher disappoints, shows his humanity, all that is being done is that those seemingly powerful, adored hands unfold to show you “This is life; it’s contradictions, it’s failure to provide the answers. This, what you see out here, is a failed promise. Always.”
And so you go back to the silence that quite naturally falls in the midst of utter disappointment. You give up. Good fortune is here in this moment of despair. Having nowhere to turn, no words of consolation, what’s left can be the way to go, or simply the way.
This state of misunderstanding is the gift. Outer authority is impeached because of its transparency. This Zen-like coup d’état creates the ideal circumstances for the new, the heretofore unseen, to be seen with unfiltered clarity. The lens is washed clean of refracted imperfections. Unclouded eyes reveal the brightest vision.
When the world loses its allure, what is just behind its provocative veil emerges. All teachers will spin you out onto the dance floor, disappear into the crowd, and leave with another. You’re on your own. Who are you now?
There is nowhere left to look but into this idea of a “you.” Is there a you if it’s no longer existing in relation to a teacher, a teaching, a lover or a friend? Loose the ties that bind and see what is left. No one is needed to describe this discovery. It neither requires nor lends itself to description. Words cannot express this. It blows the mind wide open, and renders it quaint, but thoroughly irrelevant.
Every disillusionment affords the opportunity for what the word implies–disengage from the illusion. Let there be a continual letting go of false expectations, based on a flawed premise: Me here; world out there. Feed me, world. And so you starve. That which is empty cannot fill the hungry belly. Phony is as phony does; and it takes one to know one.
There’s nowhere to go, no one to ask how to get there. It’s already here, in the seeing. It is the light with which you see that creates the gold in them thar hills.
5 thoughts on “Teacher, Illusion; Where’s the Gold?”
What to say . . . just appreciation for your truth telling.
As one who has had several teachers in this life, Colette, many thanks to you for this cogent reminder.
You had me at the opening line 🙂 Lovely post…
“Every disillusionment affords the opportunity for what the word implies–disengage from the illusion.”
So much gratitude for/to/about the it named Colette.
Thanks to all of you. Just to be clear, to disengage from the illusion does not mean to transcend the world. It persists, regardless of our attachment or non attachment. Perhaps the best way to put it is not to get hooked by a projection, and the interpretation that goes along with that, as if it were real and problematic, as if it could give or take away something from this presumed “you.” 🙂