The teacher and the student. A private opinion on a general question

This topic is, I’d say, more important for me (as well as for those who teach others) than for you. Having written an article entitled "The teacher and the student", where, first of all, I demonstrated the conditions which characterize the relationship of the teacher and the student, and having received many questions related to this article, I decided to continue the topic. And since the questions were addressed mainly to me personally, I will actually continue to speculate on this topic from the perspective of my own experience.

In fact, before we discuss the idea of the relation between the teacher and the student, we need to understand the process that unites them. For me, the teacher is the one who provides knowledge, whereas the student is the one who receives it. But receiving knowledge is a process; and not everyone engaged in studying can effectively receive knowledge, in which case he can not be considered a student.

The teacher must always understand that every interaction is an attempt at development. It is then imposed upon the conditions of the space, which do not always allow this attempt to crystallize the problem. Because living in a social environment people don’t simply do something, they rather follow unconditionally the rhythm of life followed also by the millions of people around them.

When I, for example, was just beginning to define the relationship with those whom I taught, the environment in which people lived, was stable. That was a truly perfect condition for learning. I'm talking about the period of the Soviet Union, when life was constant. For me, and for almost a million people who tried to do something with themselves, the studying stood above the concept of social existence, since it carried the idea of the internal changing of this constant.

At that time even the most imperfect doctrine could be understood much more perfectly than, for example, today when more advanced knowledge can not be absorbed because of the imperfect construction of Man today, because his brain can not exist in a stable condition. First of all, this results from the fact that the social rhythm today is unstable and that the things, which distract people from themselves today, are thousands of times more. And when you consider that Man still has not found himself, then the progression of going astray increases geometrically.

How can Man be filled or engaged in a discipline of actions under such conditions of constant distraction? It is therefore quite natural that every teacher should present either the scheme of education he himself has undergone or his own method (if he has realized that the old scheme should not be inserted in this different reality.) And then again, everything depends on the space: when, where, how and whom we teach.

However, irrespective of the manner someone uses to teach someone else, in the beginning people always have to go through a lot of not qualitative, but quantitative work, which aims, first and foremost, to develop in man an attitude to knowledge, and does not aim to teach him. However, in regulated and constant living conditions (i. e. at a time when you can implement a tradition, or simply develop a constancy) the following is sufficient: "Do as I do! Do with me! Do better than me. "

In other words, we have a unique situation where the process of training stands higher than the knowledge that we use. Just imagine: not so long ago people did not even use the word "energy", which has now become extremely common, now everyone talks about "energy", although few understand what it is. It turns out that if you don’t create a more perfect discipline for the person than the one in which he lives, then you can change absolutely nothing!

And what’s important here is not so much knowledge. In a constant society, things would be easier, since "the enemy", so to speak, would be clear. Yet this is impossible in a chaotic society. It’s not simply impossible: the chaotic rhythm of existence today is a given, it’s what society has determined as the conditions of human existence. It’s a living process we call "survival" because living in an unnatural constancy of rhythm is always stressful. Then how can you teach people who can not understand the rhythm of development because they’re not ready to accept it on a purely physiological level?

Society has made man a consumer: a consumer of space, of interests, of ideas, and, most importantly, a consumer of himself. But how can a person, who spends all his life consuming, nurture himself?

Only twenty years ago people simply needed a different discipline of actions, better than the one they had had. Whereas now, things are different, because the gap between persistence and chaos is so great that people can not even compare the conditions, they have simply forgotten how to do it! They have became trivially unfocused. All this creates an entirely different discipline of life - or rather, lack thereof, and, most importantly, different values. So the external environment in which the interaction during teaching takes place should be taken into account.

All this has, incidentally, changed the attitude not only toward knowledge but also toward those who provide it. And that's fine. So people should not only accept the conditions under which the teacher-student relation is created, but should also understand that these conditions are bound to change. And they might prompt certain people to ask questions like what and how, and not prompt others.

For example, one of the trainees poses the following question: If a person practices correctly, he should strengthen himself, he should perfect his quality, he should become wiser, have a wider view of life and enhance the quality of his everyday life. After all, if the knowledge is authentic, you can use it everywhere. You can continue to improve your skills and learn more.

In fact, this question determines whether or not the trainee is capable of juxtaposing the process of learning with the process of destruction, which is very important. I have trainees who think about this, so I'm probably doing something right. But if there are people who do not consider this and do not even think about it, then I'm doing something wrong.

By the way, the answer here is pretty obvious to me. And it’s related to what I started with - when life was constant, I could take responsibility for the people I taught. Yet when the living conditions changed, I was faced with the fact that people could no longer live in a constant natural existence, unless they were taken away to a monastery for five or ten years, and were immured there.

But here’s what's interesting: this is where I made my first serious mistake in teaching people. The moment when the world started reshaping itself had no effect on my inner constancy - I was ready, however the people whom I taught were not ready yet. And I continued to act according to the same laws, in which I had begun. That is, I thought that the knowledge was so strong (for it had given me an understanding of the constant) that we would all reach this concept, and it will help us overcome the external circumstances.

However I did not take into account the power of this change that follows a very interesting concept. It is important for everyone, regardless of the society they live in. This concept is called "Pseudo-freedom". This very concept has in fact destroyed the idea of the interaction "teacher-student" in modern society.

Until the moment when the person acquires additional power, he can not say, "My actions bring forth results." Yet it’s one thing when you get this power, being in a stable society, and another - when you acquire it in an unstable society. It turns out that in an unstable society you must have not only the power but also an understanding of how to use it because the stable society provides you with a single direction, whereas an unstable society provides you with many directions.

In a stable society you can live - excuse my language but – even without a brain (as in Norway, for example). In an unstable society (such as Russia) one can not live without a brain, because mediocrity in an unstable society is tantamount to a destruction of this very same society. In an unstable society, people, even having reached a certain level, may tomorrow find themselves on the garbage heap, if the level of their power does not correspond to the level of their operation with this power.

Here some people ask the following question: how is it that people reach a certain level, a certain bar, and then they break the relationship and leave? In the conditions today, in which the teacher and the student interact, there are no prerequisites for regulating this bar. This bar is controlled by society and the egregore. This means that today teachers have largely limited teaching opportunities. You can not teach others how to swim if there is no water in the pool, even if there is a pool (for me, by the way, it’s more important that I develop myself, than to delude myself that I teach people). Therefore, the best thing that a teacher can do - if he has a product he is not ashamed of - is to sell it.

This helps to create, in the conditions of the contemporary world, a distancing from pseudo-students and pseudo-conditions when, as a result, the teacher owes nothing to others, and the students owe him nothing in return. There are simply certain regulations of the relations. At the very least, a buffer zone is created under the modern conditions of life.

This also creates, even in these conditions, a possibility for people to reach a level of relations where they can interact quite differently. Thus at least a bridge is created, allowing to keep the idea of the relation "teacher-student." What I mean is that anyone who teaches should create a certain formula of relations, he should understand it and take responsibility for it. It is clear that in such circumstances, people will be forced to ask themselves questions, and this is a mandatory condition of the modern world.

Often here lies the biggest challenge. In these circumstances a teacher can not to be a "family doctor", because people who live in uncontrolled conditions of existence can not even follow some basic advice. As a result, sooner or later, people who don’t understand what they are doing, and who do not take responsibility, leave angry, irritated and unsatisfied. And that's OK too. The only thing that can be said here is: if you have a good apple, but no teeth, then why blame the apple?

Here's another question - why is it that certain  people can not leave normally? Why do they use the same practices, the knowledge that they have received, even the same names and pictures, why do they copy the programs of the tours  I do, not considering the effort that has been created toward them?

Let me speculate on this for a bit. People who practice fall into several categories and I have identified these categories examining, over the course of  many years, millions of learners around the world.

The first category is the person who does the exercises he is shown. This person not only does not understand that it’s not about the exercises, but he does not understand as to why he does them. Such a person may attend for a single day, for example, coming to one workshop, for a week, once a year or periodically.

For me people from this category don’t even correspond to the first level. I can say that I know of people who have traveled with me once, for a single tour, and then right away they begin to conduct similar tours. I know people who have came once to a single seminar, and then they begin teaching Taoist alchemy. In general, they are entitled to do so, because what’s in their minds is: "I paid for it, I can do whatever I want!". It will be a problem for those who come to them. I say "It’s great if there are people who go to study under such coaches." They take them away from me, these people do not come to me and that's very good! Why would I need people who are willing to do something without understanding? It might be that certain categories of people simply like this man.

The second type of people includes the ones who attend classes on a regular basis. For me, these are not people who actually practice. For some reason they simply like to do it regularly. I believe it’s better to let them attend on a regular basis than to regularly do irregular things. It is way better to do regularly potentially useful things than useless things.

These people believe that they practice. This is their right, I am in no position to convince them otherwise. The problem with these people is that they bring the life experience they’ve accumulated in class. That is, they come to me, and I tell them: "You have to do so," and they as if respond: "I'll do as I see fit." Even if they do not say it explicitly, they still do things the way they understand them.

I can repeat a thousand times: "Lean on your foot!". But people do not know how to place their foot correctly and they continue to place it as they’re used to, yet they believe they’re leaning on their foot. Their experience in placing their foot incorrectly is a thousand times more than their experience with me in placing this foot correctly. Therefore these people continue to perceive what is being given to them as they have perceived everything else in the past. Even if you put on new clothes, this would not mean that there’s a new person underneath.

And, of course, if such a person starts teaching others, he does it just like a fool - according to his own understanding. I have passed through this myself. Today there’s a teacher of yoga and tai chi in almost every fitness center. It turns out that society has imposed its understanding of how things should be. Why would I have to fight this society?

Today it’s actually the rule that the people who teach are defined by something or someone, but do not represent the idea. I can not tell these people who, generally, have not yet begun to practice, "Why do you provide this?" Because they don’t really provide anything! This, again, is a problem of those who go to them. But somebody has to feed the flock, and someone has to work in the zoo! If society has contributed to the emergence of a large number of animals, then someone has to take care of them! And it’s better to let someone look after them or else they will simply roam the streets.

Here’s another question - how do I feel about the fact that people use the same names, labels, and so on? My answer is this: when we buy a book called "I Ching", or a textbook on physics or chemistry, do we not in fact assume what the book is about and how we should handle it?

There are certain automatic laws governing the energy processes. Everything has its meaning, and, of course, every sign, every word and every name has its meaning. According to the laws of knowledge every sign is a structure, and structure stands above the individual person. People today do not understand signs or sounds, so no matter how much we can discuss this issue, these characters will have their own life and function, and that's a given.

If a person uses certain knowledge, values, and symbols, and does so without understanding them, without navigation, he becomes a hostage of all this; this issue however cannot be adequately discussed here.

You can also add here the question of intellectual property, however there is too much input here too to easily determine our attitude to such matters. If you can not live in society honestly, you begin to live in it dishonestly. That's the law. And how can you even determine a relationship, if someone lives in it by dishonest rules?

The next type is the Instructor. This is in fact where the practitioner really begins. The instructor is a man who has already understood the navigation, therefore from this level onwards I develop an attitude toward those who have mastered a certain knowledge.

This is a man whose mission is primarily to instruct himself. This man does not simply do things, he actually tries to pay attention to what he does. So, naturally, there’s a certain attitude toward the instructor, because he takes this navigation from someone else.

The instructor, of course, can assume that he has a Teacher, because he has received the navigation from him, yet the teacher can not yet consider him his student. For me, the instructor is a man whom I start to observe. In fact often inner connections are formed with the instructors, that are part of the egregore of knowledge. At this point, if a person behaves badly with respect to the place where he has taken the navigation from, he blocks himself to further development. In this case, he no longer has the ability to make independent actions because the instructions do not yet allow him to do anything beyond these instructions.

The Instructor should coordinate all his activities because he should not act beyond the instructions. He must follow the rules, he is also the foundation of the system or the knowledge that he represents. For such a person the instructions are much more important than for the rest or for those who have provided them, because the instructions keep him within the boundaries of the tasks.

This forms the beginning of a fight against three issues. The first issue is one’s experience and personal reasons. The second issue is: Is this person capable of living in agreement with the society he dwells in. He should also understand that what he uses has been acquired from someone else. He already has all the necessary tools yet he cannot yet use them well and skillfully because he lacks the necessary experience.

This is the most important period of the teaching when the person creates not only his own fundamental support but also the fundament of the system he represents. From this point onwards the person attains the status of a student. For every teacher he is very valuable material – he’s already changed, yet he’s still empty, he can be filled, yet he does not yet possess the necessary power. So, of course, if such people leave and stop practicing, this is a grave loss, however that happens. There’s nothing I can do about it since the surrounding space is full of things that can pull people astray.

The departure of such people is useful for the teacher too. It allows the teacher to perfect his method of teaching for every true teacher never perceives himself as the last instance. I always tell people who practice with me: ‘If you find something better, go there!’. This is only natural. Even if someone knows less, he might be useful for you.

Yet we must understand here that once the trainee leaves, he always has the chance of coming back. However if you are an Instructor and you have gone studying somewhere else, going back would be ten times more difficult for you … We must understand why this is so.

The instructor is a person who has already reached the stage of knowing the method so if he leaves and goes somewhere else, he’s in fact breaking the method. He might temporarily achieve something, however he actually disrupts the method of the knowledge he’s been in. So he either has to leave and develop a separate method or he must follow the method that he’s been given. Or else he wont’ be able to develop himself neither here nor there, and if he starts teaching someone else, he’s actually destroying the idea of proportionate development of knowledge.

The instructor who breaks the method in fact breaks the scheme for development. This means that he himself decides that he’s already a master and can determine where to study by himself. Yet obviously the instructor cannot leave and continue to use the same knowledge not progressing in the method of studying.

At the same time if he leaves and attains more in his development, then the first person to be happy for him should be the one who has shown him the way toward development. This would be a proof that this person has been provided with the right method of teaching.

There cannot be many teachers – the teacher is the one who has taught you the navigation and the method. A person may, for example, study tai chi and then forget about it and move on to studying tango or Arab dances. He might say: ‘Arab dances are so much better than your tai chi!’

However if this person has comprehended the method and the navigation for doing well tai chi, he will continue studying the tango and the Arab dances from the perspective of this navigation. And the fact that he does not respect this knowledge will later bring about problems because he hasn’t actually understood the idea of growth.

In some cases you work hard on someone for 10 years or he works hard on himself, he studies something, however he’s not too happy … And then he goes somewhere else and all of a sudden everything works out for him. But let me say this – he probably simply did not hold on for the two days that were necessary for him to succeed in the first place! He will anyway, of course, use the results he has achieved in the previous place in the new one, however he will not have studied the method completely!

The attitude to the Instructor is always hard. In this case it’s likely that the person, who has essentially given up and does not recognize the teaching system but continues to use its knowledge, will draw energy problems upon himself.

The departure from the egregore of knowledge is a grave loss. However speculating with this is a very risky thing since one must never deprive people of the possibility to leave. This departure should simply be normal. If you go to the woods and continue, then help god! If a person is capable of enjoying something stolen, if he likes stealing and deceiving, this is his own problem because he’s actually lowering his own vibration and destroying himself. No matter if he’s good or bad, he’s simply destroying himself!

Question: Can a person, practicing within the limits of a certain system, leave and build his own scheme for existence, his own school, etc.? The thing is that if a person has become an instructor, then he has already accepted the navigation. It’s within him, it’s already built, so things are not that simple. Don’t forget that the society we live in does not let us build a normal scheme for development since we cannot demand things from people.

Of course, if the person leaves, slamming the door and saying ‘Go to hell!’ and then continues to use the same knowledge, he is simply narrow-minded. What can I say: ‘You’re not a good boy’?

Here we can  also speculate about the karma but unfortunately this is a very speculative topic. It requires an understanding of the physiology of karma. All our energy decisions with such an effort lead to a lowering of the vibration, and the lowering of the vibration affects even the physiological level.

However is it natural for the student to gemmate from the teacher or should he grow within the limits of the school? Let’s continue. After the instructor we get the master. The Master is a person who has attained the maximum conditions in his prenatal values. Therefore naturally the master has the right to do anything, he’s a Master after all! If I have defined him as a master, then from that point on the master is the to decide what to do.

I have to consider the imperfection of development, the imperfection of attitude and a lot of other conditions. Yet we cannot deprive the person from living – be it well – in his prenatal conditions. What’s most important here is that the master will in any case be more useful to the space. The problem of the master is that he is already incapable of following anyone, whatever he does he’s bound to act as a master or as a bull in a china shop.

I introduce the concept of the Student only after the master. The student is the person who has tried being a master and has quickly given up. The problem of the master is that you are bound to demonstrate everything you do. You cannot help but demonstrate it, you are a master after all! Your every action must be better than the actions of those who have come to study under you. Essentially, this is where the way of the soldier ends, and the master moves on to the so called ‘stage of the wizard’ where he continues to enjoy the idea of the master or to the stage of knowledge.

At this stage the person already feels the power, he understands it and wants to focus it, for he already enjoys the power. This is a very tough trial, because it requires that you develop the most open abilities. And if you choose the way of knowledge, then you have to start anew, because up until the moment you become a master, you have never started everything from the beginning.

Only after you become a master you will see where the beginning is. Because when you began you had an incorrect body and an incorrect positioning of the consciousness. Simply if you fell into the right hands, then you received the correct navigation. And only after one has gone through the state of the master, I can regard him as a student, because the one who has actually departed from the state of the master, becomes pure like a child. So the question of the interaction between the teacher and the student follows a complicated scheme, which is for me also not too trivial.

I don’t wish to touch upon some moral aspects because for every argument I give some people will come up with their own contra-arguments. To me moral is the private opinion of a private individual. I have a solid enough view of life and I don’t react primitively to the actions of certain people. Or else there’s always the danger of slipping to the question: ‘Whose fault is it?’

 One must keep on developing himself and perfecting his qualities. The more important question for me is: ‘What should I do?’ and this question requires from you real honesty. The really valuable thing is when you realize that knowledge stands above any teacher. But most importantly, that there is satisfaction in reaching the state of the student. And that nothing else can bring more satisfaction than being a student.

The only thing that can come after the student is the pot, the only thing that can come after the student is the process and sometimes this process is substituted by the teacher. But a true teacher is the one who continues to develop the student within himself...

 

07 april 2012

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