“You should do your own work, for I can teach only the way.” – Buddha
a. Something that can be seen or viewed, especially something of a remarkable or impressive nature.
b. A public performance or display, especially one on a large or lavish scale.
c. A regrettable public display, as of bad behavior: drank too much and made a spectacle of himself.
a. a pair of glasses for correcting defective vision Often (informal) shortened to specs
I can think of only two reasons why anyone would wear glasses. One reason is simply for show. Sporting a pair of stylish specs can make a person appear smart and seems to give off a certain air of intelligence. Take me for example. I’ve never needed prescription glasses, but that didn’t stop me from occasionally wearing a pair just for show when I was younger. One time I even went so far as to wear glasses without any lenses in them. (Don’t laugh. It was high school and I was just trying to be different. Ok, go ahead and laugh it up.) The point is that they got peoples attention and made me look and feel a little smarter and more distinguished.
The other reason why anyone would wear glasses is to help improve their vision. Millions of people wear prescription glasses. Bi-focals. Tri-focals. Reading glasses. Many who probably couldn’t see their own hands in front of their face without a pair. These people need glasses to do a variety of tasks from driving to reading. Good thing too or else many would be incapacitated without them.
The whole purpose of spectacles is to help the viewer see or focus on a desired object or that which one wants or needs to see. They magnify the subject so the eyes can see things more clearly. Likewise, is (or should be) the purpose of religion…to magnify. Not itself, but its Subject.
Religious and spiritual teachers are meant to point to and magnify the Truth. But it seems that many teachers and their followers have lost sight of this purpose and can’t or choose not to see beyond appearances to the Truth nor do they lead others to do the same. Religion and its teachers are not to be praised and worshiped above the Truth which they are meant to teach and represent.
When you look through the lens of religious ritual and moral dogma, what do you see? Can you see beyond the teacher? Do you see the truth? Is the truth being magnified through your teacher and their words and their works or are they simply putting on a show? If you can’t see through them to the Truth, then you’re simply not looking.
Many religious teachers and leaders do nothing more than make complete spectacles of themselves with all the pageantry they display and the fear-based doctrine they promote. They and their philosophies are more like shades. They darken the view. They seem more the focus than what the truth they proclaim. And you never see beyond them to the ‘real’ truth. But, you’ll know those who teach the Truth; because their message is clear and you can see right through them to that Truth.
But, how can you really tell? How do you distinguish the true teachers from the false? The best way to know is to remove them. Look beyond the teacher straight to what their teaching. Think. Test your beliefs. If they can’t stand up to truth, then they’re not real and are no longer worth your focus. Plain and simple. Ask yourself, “Is my religion or spiritual belief system simply for show? Does it to help me to see and understand the truth?” Are you in it for what you believe it can do for you or in it for the truth and your spiritual growth? These are important questions that must be asked if you are to grow stronger in mind and in Truth.
People often tend to confuse the religion with the Creator (the subject/the way). Religion is only meant to point to the way (the Truth – the subject of focus or that which is to be seen). The masses of followers tend to be more preoccupied with the messenger (the preacher/teacher) than they are with the message (the way). Its much like being more preoccupied with the brand, style, and cost of a pair of glasses than with the quality of vision.
Now, one thing I’d like to point out is that the teacher is not responsible for your spiritual growth…you are. You are responsible for what you do and do not know or understand about your Life, the Truth, and the universe and your place in it much like you are responsible for your physical vision. The glasses are merely there to serve as an aid to vision. They are not the eyes, but are there to assist the eyes. They are not the thing meant to be seen, but are there to help you see the thing meant to be seen. Just as your spiritual teacher is there to serve as an interpreter of Truth and motivate you to look within and pursue the truth that lies within you.
If you notice, all throughout history, the men and women who have made the greatest impact on the world have always spoken truths that were unpopular during their time. They were considered trouble makers and accused of spreading untruths to the masses by those people who only taught the same simple, meaningless doctrines meant to control and manipulate the people and boost their own status and fatten their own pockets. Where the people in power sought to control the masses, the ‘trouble makers’ meant to set them free. From Jesus to Malcom X, from Gandhi to Martin Luther King, from Joan of Arc to Saint Eudicia Heliopolis, these people were killed because they taught those things that didn’t sit too well with the powers that were of the time. They spoke the Truth and they spoke it loudly. They were killed to be silenced, but their deaths only made their voices louder than when they lived. These men and women pointed the way and opened the eyes of many to the Truth. They did not hide behind the darkness of dogma. Instead, they were clear and they were Truth-focused as we all should be.
Dare to be different. Dare to seek the truth. Follow God and not man. Going to church, reading spiritual works, and praying/begging for things is no substitute for actually getting to KNOW God/Truth. Your pastor, spiritual advisor, or web blogger (like myself) can only take you so far on your journey. At some point, you must take responsibility for your own spiritual path and know the Truth for yourself. Stop hiding behind the teacher. And teachers/preachers, stop hiding behind the pulpit. When it comes to choosing a path and a teacher, choose your prescription wisely. Because if you can’t see God, then you just can’t see. See and know for yourself. Allow the vision of Truth to show you all you need to see in this Life.
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