There is an old parable that says if you meet Buddha on the road, kill him. However cryptic, the teaching warns that if you think you’ve made contact with your ultimate guru, you have great work ahead of you to integrate their qualities into yourself. You must ‘kill’ off your admiration for the teacher outside of yourself by learning to become your own expert.
Dreams, by their very nature, teach us to do this with ever increasing attention. Once we learn a few simple tools for decoding our symbolic language, we gain access to an inexhaustible wealth of inner wisdom. We begin to discover that both teacher and student live simultaneously on our insides, and seeking becomes an enterprise of interiority.
As this consciousness grows, your overall propensity for “othering” diminishes. The more Gestalt work you do, walking in the shoes of your dream characters, the greater your awareness grows for how much of reality is filtered through your projections. As usual, this awareness carries over to waking life. Where once you might have given up your yum to the impressive people around you, now you begin to see those same people as reflections of yourself. As my good friend likes to say, “I’m surrounded by experts…I guess that makes me an expert!”
Carl Jung never wanted there to be a ‘Jung Foundation’ to rehash his prodigious work. If anything, he might have agreed to a research facility which furthered his discoveries. He was himself a pioneer of the underworld who entered there at his private risk and faced numerous harrowing descents from which he almost didn’t return. Eventually, he had to make a painful break from his mentor, Sigmund Freud, when his discoveries became too daring and divergent.
At this current time in history, many people are experiencing what Jung did, which is a disillusionment regarding the merit of spiritual intermediaries. The hierarchical (or “vertical”) model, as exemplified by religious/spiritual institutions, has shown itself time and again to be less than honorable, eroding the trust of followers everywhere. As a result, a growing emphasis is being placed on “self-help.”
Astrologers have predicted this shift as being the effect of our entering the Age of Aquarius. The preceding Piscean period coincided with the rise of Christianity and was a time very much characterized by the vertical model. Aquarius, the water-bearer, constellated a new psychic dominant (or archetype) that put the urnership back into the hands of the individual. We are making a transit from fish-Christ to water-bearer, from saviour to save-your-self
However clumsy at first, (see: Law of Attracting a Wackload of Cash), a more direct relationship to Spirit is being forged, and the implications of this occurring on a global scale are terrific. If we individually turn our admiration inwards, to our dreams and intuitions for guidance, then we will see a collective dismantling of the top-heavy pyramids that function to disempower the people they claim to represent.
It isn’t that the role of teacher has been outphased, but rather that we are all teachers, and there is no end to the learning either. The horizontal model is more like a prayer circle, endless and ever-deepening. Everyone is at eye-level and we each get a turn with the talking stick. Because each of us possesses a golden piece of the great dream, everyone must come alive with sharing. If anyone is left out, we all feel the sadness of that missing.
A society of people who trust their own authority while remaining humble with wonder can bring an otherwise unimaginable dreamality into existence. What is the piece you bring?