Throughout human history, there have been the avatars, mystics and spiritual teachers to enlighten humanity. These teachers have been seen as masters, way-showers and individuals who had attained enlightenment. Their message was clear; their teaching unfaltering in their perception of the human experience and the truth of the identity of those whom they taught. Yet, across the board, almost without fail, the student saw the teacher as the focus of their enlightenment, deifying them, worshipping them and surrendering to them. This is a case of mistaken identity.
A master’s intent is be a mirror in which to see yourself.
The master’s finger does not point to themselves—but to you.
Any manifestation of the divine is your self-reflection. The master is but the mirror for you to see yourself as the Dalai Lama indicated to the guard as the border during his escape. When asked if he was the Lord Buddha, he answered, “I believe I am like the moon shining upon the waters. I am just the man trying to do good, and when you see me, you see yourself.”
The spiritual teacher holds before you the promise of who you are.
Their attainment is your insurance that spiritual enlightenment is accessible.
Therefore, all the things you honor in those who you see as your spiritual teacher and their actions and attitudes you wish to emulate are in yourself. The master’s words and actions are to teach you who you are and reveal the hidden aspects of yourself, like the mother bird who pushes her fledglings out of the nest to fly. The master’s teaching does the same for you. Just because the master flies does not mean that you cannot soar to the heavens.