In this article I want to discuss a topic that on its basis is simple but also difficult to understand and assimilate (or at least I found it hard enough).
Since childhood we get used to the idea that there is always a person who knows something more and we are the students who will learn from him. Indeed, someone is toilet train us, teaches us how to write and read, how to play a sport or a musical instrument or how to speak a foreign language. A teacher essentially transfers knowledge (a bunch of organised information) about a particular subject to someone else, in the same way that he himself learned that knowledge from someone else. This knowledge can lead to the acquisition of a skill or not.
How many of us have tried as children to learn something new and for whatever reason we did not continue it enough to take this knowledge and perhaps develop that particular skill?
But what happens when the field of knowledge is life itself, how we manage ourselves, situations, others, etc. ?
Who is our teacher then and on what knowledge we will base our life skills to live the life that we want?
The first teachers in our lives are our parents and the immediate environment in which we are being raised. We copy their behaviours, we learn from them what is considered to be good or bad, what is permitted and what is not, what is beneficial and what is harmful, how much to trust ourselves and how much others, what we can do and what we can not etc. So we consciously and unconsciously create a first internal handbook on how we can live our lives. Certainly, a great role is played by the temperament, the qualities of the individual for what exactly manual he will create; twins growing up in the same environment they will have different reactions to it and will write different chapters about it.
This manual contains information (opinions, ways, etc.) that we may agree on or not agree with but we likely use in our everyday life without realising it, like the grammar rules in our language that we do not think about but we apply them daily.
As we grow older and getting to know ourselves through our experiences, we begin to realise what is in our handbook and if we no longer agree with what it says we start to erase and write something else, a new information in its place. This can be done consciously or unconsciously and from that moment onward we can see that by rewriting our book we create and awaken the teacher within us.
This is the inner voice, the competent authority within us that in conjunction with our soul (deeper existence) it draws from our experiences the lessons that are personally useful for us and our lives.
For example, if we have learned from our various experiences that 'it is not good to fully trust people because they will betray you', then in our relationships we will always keep a part of us out of the relationship for fear of trusting the other completely and letting go.
In fact, every relationship, everything with which connect reflects our relationship with different parts of ourselves (which is not static). With whatever colours, shapes and scents we depict the external world, we use the same for some parts of the internal.
It Is a profound relief (for me it was at least) to realise that every action involves simultaneously a reaction. When someone listens to or helps someone does not just do it for the sake of the other-that may be the original motive-and also for his own benefit. Similarly, when one seems to 'take only' from others then he tries to fill in some empty space and at the same time he gives the opportunity to the other who mainly gives to find out for himself how much he gives, if he appreciates them and if he also wants to himself to take respectively.
Continuing these thoughts, we discover that a teacher in the sense of the person who shows us something new, can be anyone and anything around us precisely because it shows us another side of the world, another side of ourselves. We may not like this parts of us, we may not be accustomed to, we may feel uncomfortable about them and they may be conflicting with what is already written in our manual, but yet they are as true as any other part that we know of ourselves..
With all the new methods of self-exploration, personal development, self-search, healing etc I feel that we often forget that the main 'critic', teacher, priest, companion and supporter who filters his experiences for his benefit lives deep within us, can take any form and is capable of anything.