Going through life we learn from parents, teachers, lecturers, educators, coaches, trainers, workshop leaders, religious leaders, partners, and children. Spiritual seekers often learn from gurus. But who is your spiritual authority? Who tells you what’s right and what’s wrong? What to believe and from whom? When to apply what you have learnt and why?
The good, the bad and the useless
As a child, we learn and believe our parents. As pupils, we learn from our teachers. Sadly, not all the teaching we receive is beneficial. When the teaching is received in the formative years of a child, it is often taken on before they gain the ability to decipher between good and bad. As we grow older, we hopefully become more and more equipped to differentiate between what of the learning and beliefs we want to believe and what we need to throw overboard.
Experience and perception
If you were to ask me what I believe after all that I’ve been through, I wouldn’t be able to give you a simple answer. The answer is continuously changing and adapting to the current experience. The personal experience comes from within my body and my perspective of the current reality based on my perception, which is based on my learning and experiences in the past.
What have you been encouraged to believe?
Luckily I haven’t been brought up with strong religious dogma. My parents were liberal in their religious thinking and early on my dad encouraged me to read spiritual books about the kabala, numerology, meditation, hypnosis and various eastern religions. With any of those he used to answer my question “Do you believe this?” with his permissive statement: “I see this as a possibility, an option of many.”
Admiration of teachers
Encouraged to read and learn more I followed the breadcrumbs from one book to the next, picking and choosing what resonated with me. I have fallen into the trap of admiration of teachers and gurus, believing their version of the story to be the one. And I have been disillusioned many times and thrown my admirations over board.
Claim your spiritual authority
Just the other day, a new friend of mine said something about ‘claiming spiritual authority’ and I suddenly felt alert. When speaking more about the topic, she explained that in relating teachings to personal experience and picking and choosing what related to the self I suddenly felt my process and experience to be understood. She spoke more about the process of owning your own spiritual authority. This concept makes sense to me and it ties in with owning our body, mind, emotions and our spirit. I like it.
The only answer to the question above is: “I am!”