“No teacher of the spiritual life wishes to establish a mastery over other persons … He would not tamper with anyone’s independence. Indeed, none respect and cherish human independence mote than the spiritually experienced. … Whenever the initiate leaves his enclosed spiritual sphere and steps forth before the world, he must immediately take a third law into account. It is this: Adapt each one of your actions, and frame each one of your words in such a way that you infringe upon no one’s free-will.
“The recognition that all true teachers of the spiritual life are permeated through and through with this principle will convince all who follow the practical rules proffered to them that they need sacrifice none of their independence. … Originally all rules and teachings of spiritual science were expressed in a symbolic sign-language, some understanding of which must be acquired before its whole meaning and scope can be realized. This understanding is dependent on the first steps toward higher knowledge, and these steps result from the exact observation of such rules as they are given.” ~Rudolf Steiner
This is one way you can tell the true spiritual teacher from the phony, the cult leader. The true spiritual teacher tells you what you need to know to grow spiritually (note that it is not necessarily the same for each individual), but makes no effort to force you to follow that path. She may recommend that you eat certain foods and avoid others, but will not criticize or ostracize you for eating something you were advised to avoid. A real spiritual teacher may recommend that you dress in certain colors, for example, if you are a very materialistic type, he may advise that you avoid wearing red or orange and instead wear green, blue and purple. He will not, however, kick you out of the school because you show up in an orange jacket. Continue reading “Free Will in a Spiritual School”