Worshipping False Gods,
by Karen Ann Berg-Raftakis
“But to you who are strong enough to bear it, I say you need no mediator between you and Me, for we are One already. If you can but know it, you can come direct and at once to Me in consciousness.” Joseph Benner, The Impersonal Life
I’ve noticed lately that there’s been a pattern in my life of holding strict preconceived notions of what genuine spiritual teachers should be. I’ve always believed they needed to be extremely knowledgeable and wise, patient, calm, kind, always loving and peaceful, unambitious and totally unconcerned with material things. Equating age with wisdom, I also felt that spiritual teachers should be much older than myself. Needless to say, I’ve had to re-examine these beliefs quite often over the years.
Years ago when I attended church, one evening at Bible Class I asked the pastor a couple of straightforward questions and he couldn’t answer them. It was soon apparent that on certain spiritual subjects I knew more than he did, which was fairly disconcerting. Another minister who I was very close to surprised me with the revelation that he struggled with alcohol addiction. “But he’s a minister, how could this be??” I naively thought to myself at the time. Yet another pastor I knew often displayed a disturbingly greedy side to his personality during his short tenure at the church. Years later, after joining a different spiritual organization, I became very impressed with a leader there but was soon left feeling quite disillusioned after her duplicity within the association was revealed.
Now in the last couple of years, I’ve noticed spiritual teachers going off on rants about other teachers or teachings and purposely starting arguments on Facebook and in other Internet forums. I’ve also observed highly respected leaders becoming very defensive with those who didn’t agree with them. All of this has provoked in me a certain level of distress and from time to time, I would think to myself, “Whatever happened to peace, love and understanding?” “How can these people who I’ve looked up to, who have provided me with so much spiritual comfort and wisdom over the years behave in this manner?” Fortunately, I think I’ve found the answer.
Joseph Benner, channeling the Divine in his book The Impersonal Life, states, “Wonder not at the sometimes wonderful words of Truth that come from mouths apparently unfit to speak them and comprehending not their meaning; nor at the fact that simple followers oftentimes awaken faster than and grow beyond their teachers. I Who dwell within both teacher and follower choose different conditions and provide different ways for the expression of My Attributes in each different Soul, fitting each into just the time and place where they can complement and help each other the best; thus uniting all into the most harmonious expression of My Idea possible under the circumstances.”
In other words, despite what we may think at the time, everything is perfect. Benner says that most of our disillusionment occurs so that we will turn within instead of without for Truth. I think this makes sense, after watching enough teachers and gurus fall off their pedestals the only one left to turn to is yourself. We’ve all heard time and time again that the Kingdom of Heaven is within, so why do we look without so much? It’s a shame we don’t trust ourselves more and the innate divine wisdom we all have. I think when we all begin to do this and stop “worshipping false Gods” then we will be much happier.