Walking the spiritual path alone is an almost impossible task. Would one seek to scale Everest without a Sherpa? As with setting out to scale a huge mountain, one may prepare and train with some guidance here and there, but when it comes to actually ascending the mountain of spiritual life then it is necessary to have a guide.
At almost every turn on the spiritual path, there is a pitfall, a blind spot or a chance to somehow become veiled by one’s own tendencies that may shapeshift into a form that one doesn’t expect. When one sets off on the path it is not that one sets off from a point of perfect awareness and can simply dig up or discover one’s inherent distortions just like that. Rather one starts from a position that is already veiled and sunk in illusion and an overall misperception of the reality. To walk the spiritual path properly requires more than a realisation, but rather a complete transformation of the very fabric of one’s awareness and the body through which one perceives the creation.
The path requires an initial purity of awareness that has to be constantly expanded over time. One may connect with that purity within self through one’s natural mind or equanimous awareness which is at the very root of one’s being. Yet, in the presence of a qualified guide, this equanimous being finds a concrete voice and expression that comes to teach one through a human form.
It takes a great arrogance to try and walk the path alone. To qualify to be one’s own guide, one would already have to guarantee that one will see through not only all of the current distorted tendencies within one’s being but also to be able to actively discern when the same tendencies arise in a different form in the future. It is possible to use one’s inner guidance up to a point, but after a certain point that inner guidance has to precipitate the arrival of outer guidance.
Usually when one says that one doesn’t need a guide and one chooses to follow one’s own ‘inner-guru’ there is actually hidden there a fear of being made to face self directly without the censoring barrier of one’s self-protective mechanisms that will usually remain despite one’s sincerity and honesty to self. Because when one walks the path alone, one can always choose to see only what one wants to see about self. A lot of subconscious distortions are so deeply hidden that they are more or less completely invisible. So no matter how much one meditates, and how much one tries to see, there are certain things within that one will have unconsciously sealed and hidden from one’s own awareness in order not to face them. So, subconsciously one will always avoid the presence of the guide out of the subconscious fear of being really unravelled and unmasked.
When one first meets a guide, the guide will already perceive the aspects that one has hidden and buried within self. That is because these hidden unconscious aspects create a certain frequency and a certain tension in one’s being that is easily perceptible to the one that is in an equanimous state. So simply when one meets a guide, one is usually blind to a lot of aspects within self, whilst the guide sees one completely. Therefore, the guide’s job is to reveal one to oneself. However, this revealing must happen in an intelligent way that corresponds with one’s capabilities and evolutionary rhythm. If one is shown too much then one may lose balance (as often happens when people use psychedelic substances that also may reveal some of the hidden aspects of the unconscious, but usually roughly and chaotically). The work of the guide is to allow one to unravel one’s unconscious self in a safe and balanced way.
The guide does not just reveal one’s subconscious and deeply hidden tendencies to oneself, like a kind of super-psychologist, but they also reveal and transmit the real nature of the reality and omnipresent space-like being through the power of spiritual transmission. It is also possible to connect to the essence of one’s being through one’s own absorption and meditation, but in the presence of a real guide, the experience becomes natural and unforced due to the natural gravity and radiation of real spiritual presence. The guide is that presence embodied and shining through the physical form. Thus, in that presence, the space is shared and one can be taken in and absorbed into that space.
The guide is not just the one who points the way to somewhere that one can already go. It is the guide themselves that opens the door for one to begin the journey on a deeper level. Though everyone indeed shares the same natural being, it also true that not everyone experiences it in the same way. Therefore there will always remain a conditional and practical aspect to the process of realisation. There are points of danger on the spiritual path where one needs protection and there are points where one requires a blessing and permission to enter and ascend further.
The contemporary propaganda of this day and age often claims that everyone is equal and deserves equal access to everything, and this notion has also caught on in spiritual circles. There is a prevailing idea that everyone can be their own guide and live their own truth. But this has never been the true spiritual path. There is one truth and a whole science and art that emanates from that truth. This truth and these sciences are self-protected by the inherent purity of the self-being. There are doors within this creation that do not open unless one has purified one’s mind to a certain degree. If one is sincere on walking this path, one requires a guide to first of all reveal the illusion, the truth and then the wonders contained within when one starts to live beyond illusion in truth through a liberated and radiant consciousness.