There is an old saying that “When the pupil is ready the Master will appear”.
And then there is another saying that says “It’s interesting to see which Master the pupil will choose”.
And a third saying that says “It is the duty of the pupil to outgrow the Master.”
Each of these sayings, gives us an insight to our journeys through life. We yearn sometimes for someone to show us the way and tell us exactly what needs to be done. At other times it is very interesting to see which lessons we choose to be taught by. And often enough we feel accomplishment when we feel we have matched or outgrown a particular learning or person who has been teaching us.
And yet, is this really still where we want to be or need to be as a modern humanity. Obviously part of us still needs these principles to be able to grow in the world.
And what a direct, if not confronting statement – by the Christ – is to say “when we are on our path we are just worthless slaves to being what we are told.” We are not there to grow, to achieve, to get thanks, to see the product of our work. We should just say “It is good that we could achieve that which we have been told to do.”
This is not a very popular kind of approach to our spirituality or our journey or our work in the current world. There must be a key somewhere for us in the teachings of the Christ. Is this where he finished with his teaching?
We have to say “No, it is not where he finished”. Further on in His own journey he said “I no longer call you slaves. I call you friends.” And what is the school of friendship. Even in “The Act of the Consecration of Man” we hear right in the central point of the transubstantiation, the transformation of substance of life. A relationship of free choice to relate to the Master as the helping guide. The Christ Being as our helping guide known in freedom.
But what is this idea of a guide, or a friend, as compared to a Master or a Teacher? The relationship of those statements in many ways has to change. We don’t need to outgrow friendships. We don’t need to choose. But if you want to know who your friends really are, make big mistakes. They are the ones who are still standing with you saying, “You are a fool, stop your behaviour.” I will stand here and mirror to you what it is that you are doing that might not be in your best benefit or the benefit of the community.
And this is a very different relationship to be able to allow a person in friendship to mirror and to guide. And so the Christ rightfully says if we are to learn on our modern path, we need friendship and not strict rules, not the rule of a Master over a slave or the relationship of teacher and a pupil beyond a certain point of our journey. Yes, a journey that at first may need that kind of relationship. But when we come to outgrow the teacher we need friendship, spiritual friendship. Not necessarily social friendship, but a spiritual friendship that is prepared to stand there and weather us. In many ways it is like the relationship that is mentioned or given in the marriage sacrament of The Christian Community. In the symbol of the ring we hear the ring rounds off the corners of life. This is what our true friends do. They wear us down into more rounded people rather than allowing us to exacerbate our extremes.
And so in these times we can grow from just being people who want to follow a law (that is far too easy); to be an individual. We can allow ourselves to step into new relationships, into friendships, into spiritual friendships where we are given a space, a space of guidance, but also a friendship with the Spiritual Beings. The spiritual being of The Christ who is there as a guide, not as a Master telling us this or that is the lawfulness of your destiny.
We begin to live in an exciting field. A field where we do feel the strictures of our destiny, of our karma, of the events that we need to meet and yet the guidance and the freedom to become transformative within true spiritual friendship.