The perfect teacher?

When the student is ready, the master will appear.

This saying is often quoted both by and to those who walk a spiritual path. All too frequently, it is said with the kind of supercilious air that implies that the listener is not yet ready… and further, that they are in the presence of one who already knows more than they ever will. The early stages of any path are littered with those who like to think they have walked much farther than anyone else.

The trouble with that is how it devalues a principle that is, in fact, true… though not necessarily in the way the seeker might think.

A few envisage a numinous being descending in glory to reveal the inner secrets of the universe to them alone. Many expect to simply meet a person or group who can guide them, or point them in the right direction. For most of us, though, it is not even that…it is a thought, a book, a glimpse into a moment that changes our view of the path we have chosen and sets us on our way. It can be the smallest thing and its magnitude is seldom immediately obvious because it is so different from anything we thought we expected.

The clue, though, is in the proverb; the master will appear. Not from out of nowhere, in a puff of smoke… when the student is ready, the guidance they need becomes visible to his eyes. It may always have been there, indeed, there is a teacher within, just waiting for the question, but without everything he has learned on his personal journey, the student is simply unable to see it for what it is.

There is one teacher we each experience every single day. It illustrates many of the most basic beliefs upon which we have founded our complex religions and our personal faiths. It may be from observing its ever-changing face that those beliefs arose in the heart of Man in the first place.

We have only to look at the planet we call home, in all its beauty and order, to see the origins of wonder. From the rising of the sun that chases away the shadows, to the seasons of the year that lead from youthful spring to sere winter…and on again to the rebirth of spring. From the harvesting of what was sown, to the precise perfection in the design of any living organism and its place in an endless, cycling chain. There is a perfect teacher there for all of us.

If you look at the incredible design of body, leaf or crystal, even at the most minute level…and then consider how everything we know works in harmony, feeding from, nourishing and reliant upon other links in the endless chain…apart, perhaps, from humankind’s behaviour…you cannot help but marvel at the scale and perfection of the design.

Accidents, mutations and evolution, say the scientists.


Am I suggesting that there is a bearded old guy on a throne somewhere, compass in hand, drawing up plans for creation? No. I don’t discount the scientific explanation at all. But I do see it as just that… an explanation of what is and most scientific explanations are little more than descriptions of the mechanics of the physcal world.  It doesn’t mean it is entirely correct… how can we, a species that is a mere blip on the face of evolutionary time, expect to fully understand the whole process of creation? Nor does it mean it is incorrect…as far as it goes. Accidents and mutations are certainly part of the evolving design….but that design is too vast for us to see in its entirety.

With the intricacy of the interwoven strands of the physical world before our eyes every day and the dance of the  heavens above us at night, little wonder that humankind percieved Intelligence behind the design. From there, it is but a short step to see the basis of beliefs such as reincarnation, karma and the survival of the soul played out upon the body of the earth. Nor is it difficult to see perfection in action.

It is worth considering. When the student is ready, the master will appear. Maybe all we have to do is open our eyes.


33 thoughts on “The perfect teacher?

  1. Sue, this is a wonderful insight and it is true. When the student is ready the master will appear doesn’t mean the master hasn’t been there the whole time but was merely waiting for the correct question to be asked. Personally I find religions hard to understand because they teach one thing in one place then the opposite somewhere else. I believe we are all created equal, no-one has the right to own another, no-one has the right to kill another. Yet we see this happen every day in every corner of civilisation. I love your posts so much as they offer a glimpse into what might come to be when we understand what has gone before.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Dave. There is always a master waiting… ready for that question. We can look without to the teachings all around us…or within to the deeper levels of our own being.

      The spiritual path takes many forms…as many as there are people. Religion, non-belief, philosophy or spirituality… whatever the need or choice, there is a path for each of us. Sadly, whatever path is chosen, there will always be those who profess one belief but act without regard to it. And yet others who profess no belief, yet are shining lights.
      The path is always a personal relationship between the soul and divinity… however we name or frame it.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Interesting reflection, and I love your exploration of that word appear. I’ve never looked at this saying that way, and to me it makes total sense – the wisdom/teacher/teaching etc – is all already there, and when we’re ready, we will simply see it, and then we might lose sight of it again too…but it never arrives nor leaves… Blessings, Harula x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There is always ‘a teacher’ … we don’t really have to go anywhere or look far. We do have to be open enough to see, though. And yes, sometimes it is no more than a fleeting glimpse… but that is all we may need. x

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Harulawordsthatserve – once you’ve really seen it, you can’t then un-see it. It’s not something ‘out there’. It’s within you; it is a part of who you, in your deepest self, are. Once you’ve seen it and know how to access it, you will always be able to do so.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. The hard part is that sometimes, if we feel we are a type of “teacher” by nature, that we cannot impart some of that life wisdom, those painful lessons learned to another. They have their own path, and we need to get out of their way and let them discover it for themselves. Great thoughts here, Sue.. ☺

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Came to reread as I yearn for the lesson of November’s events to appear. I hope its appearance will be gentle. I’m trying to recapture feelings of peace and safety that seem to have gone a-runner since our election results returned.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave a comment - we would love to hear from you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.