As a society we depend on labels to tell us what is in things, on things, about things and whether the sun will shine tomorrow. For the safety of our children, and the well-being of ourselves, labels serve as a very necessary short hand that allow us to move through life not having to read the fine print on every thing that passes under our inspection. However, we do need to remember that they are shorthand, not the full or even often the true story behind the labels. This is so prevalent that there have, in the past decade or so, come to pass many truth in labeling laws.
The difficulty there, of course, is that some of the spaces in our lives where we particularly need “truth” to be the veritable truth, those laws cannot enter nor would they be effective if they could. How do you label a mystical experience? “The sun was a beautiful rosy red, and the stars talked to me!?!” Careful, you’ll be labeled a druggy if you say that to too many of the wrong people. Or what about the fact that there are so many people out there willing to take the money of people honestly seeking spiritual truth and having no idea where to find it? You cannot always tell, in fact, there are people who sincerely believe what they are selling is sound truth whose work will in the end prove quite false.
All too often that ugly word, “cult” gets thrown around when a new idea comes to town and the “old guard” are threatened by a strange way of doing things. Some of the new ideas are great and will enhance one’s spiritual experience immeasurably and some are pure bunk. Did the Masters’ give us a way to tell when we were being led down the primrose path, or are we on our own on this trail?
Actually, both Y’shua and Buddha gave us some very wise teachings to help us tell when we were being led around by the nose. The Buddha’s caution was to stick to the teachings, the “Four Noble Truths” and the Eightfold Path” being primary but also his other teachings, if a new teacher came along and began to teach anything that went contrary to the basics, he was a charlatan. Y’shua spoke of the fruit of a teacher’s life, if the fruit was bad, the tree was bad, do not eat from that tree.
Many times if you find that someone you have leaned on as a teacher is lacking, you will be slammed with “Do Not Judge”, an understandable gambit, but be careful, choosing not to stay under the tutelage of one that does not live by the principles as a general rule is not condemning them to haedes, it is preserving your own integrity as a follower of the Great Ones. Attempt always to stay in balance and accuse seldom if at all, but do not choose to stay where Compassion is not honored as a way of life.