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 physical 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.


22 thoughts on “The perfect teacher?

  1. Hi, Sue! If there had been a “Love” button, I’d have hit that instead. 🙂

    I sure have experienced throughout a lifetime more than one’s fair share of those individuals who think themselves “numinous” leaders of us other poor unlightened souls. And yet my own “master” has appeared to me most often through nature, as you say; or in observing the purity of a child’s kindess; or in watching a movie I’ve already watched a dozen times; or in tripping over something obvious in my path; or in listening to the story of a man at the gym about why his body is covered in tattoos (in that case, as a tribute to a fiance who has passed away).

    Or in reading a blog post such as this from someone who is simply on the path like the rest of us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As someone who studied science, I wholeheartedly agree with your comment about how it only tells us how things work. People talk about how ‘The Big Bang’ (a misnomer, anyway, as there would have been no sound) started the Universe, and that explosion of the singularity proves that a superior intelligence does not exist. But I ask this question. What caused that singularity to explode?
    I was one who wanted a teacher to appear as if by magic, but now I see, like you, that we can learn so much more from looking around us at our wonderful world, and looking deeply inside ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is always one more question that can be asked… and to which we have no provable answer. I am glad about that… mystery allows exploration, where certainty closes the door 😉


  3. This holds true for everyone at any age. Babies let you know when they’re ready, and so do children. They stop to look and wonder. Adults loose much of that, unfortunately. I love how your words flow with truth and learning, all seasoned with hope. Best to you, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this. I’ve experienced this at times when I’ve read books and they do nothing for me but when I reread them, they seem like the author is writing to me alone because I’m ready for its message!


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