Shared Responsibilities In The Process of Soul Development

01.05.2021

Written by: Nalan Özkan Lecerf

With Nico, we are sharing ‘soul development teachings’ since 2011. Let me explain first why I put the wording ‘soul development teaching’ into quotation marks: The word ‘spiritual’ has many associations nowadays and, according to us, it is often separating people labeling them ‘spiritual’ or ‘not spiritual’. I like more the wording ‘soul development’ since it is embracing everything that ‘touches’ or ‘effects the soul’. This is why we try ‘to be’ on Instagram with a wide range of topics.

Let’s go back to the trainings. In the first year I was more the translator of Nico. My soul development journey had started with EFT, Reiki, NLP and Silva Method, but thanks to him I entered the world of Hermetism, a much deeper teaching that my soul was hungry for. On one hand I tried to track the topics with a huge curiosity, on the other hand I was eager to translate them as much as I understood into Turkish. It was a difficult but also joyful period. In 2012, after ‘warming up’, I was taking part in creating a structure in the way we are sharing. So I was still translating, but backstage, additionally creating. In this phase of creation I was able to experience the notion of ‘receptivity’ we were sharing in our teachings very often. An embodied archetype was my muse and showing me the way. I could discriminate very clearly when I was ‘connecting’ to the universe and where my mind was interfering. That was an important point for me since I was a child who was looking to the world with its’ right brain, but later tried to survive with its’ left brain under certain circumstances (university, corporate life, etc.).

Then in 2015, our son Cihan was born and it happened: the hormonal changes turned everything upside down and I started to question everything. I was in a dark tunnel and couldn’t see the light for a very long time. This aforementioned archetype, my muse, was not accompanying me in the tunnel. When I look back now, I understand that it wasn’t her cutting off with me, it was me rejecting communicating with her. So, what does all this have to do with the heading (Shared Responsibilities In The Process of Soul Development)? Let’s continue to prepare the basement in order to be able to see the connections and get back to the teachings.

We had the chance to observe students in the teachings we gave or those we attended. We saw that some behavioural patterns were visible very often. Here are the ones we think are important:

  1. The student searching for the teacher’s (master) approval: Trying to have eye contact with the teacher all the time. Taking too much space by talking most of the time. Approving/praising the teacher all the time (if the teacher is a ‘master’ then of course the student is the ‘student of the master’). This list can go on and on, much deeper. But it is not our aim to dig psychological reasons.
  2. The wish of the student to hand over his/her individual process of development to the teacher: To approve immediately everything the teacher is saying, without filtering it in one’s own thought process. To expect that the teacher is commenting on dreams, experiences. To expect that the teacher is giving a decision on topics the student should give him or herself (“Should I participate into this training, master?”). It is possible to add more examples also here.
  3. The anger of the student towards the teacher: This anger can come up at any time during the teaching process. The trigger point is not answering the expectation the student has towards his/her teacher in terms of behaviour.

The ‘teacher-student’ relationship is very delicate and it has to be approached with sensitivity. Besides the teaching’s content the way it is shared and how the student approaches the process is also very important.

In his book called “Sufism: the transformation of the heart” Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee talks about this topic as below, but more emphasizing the responsibilities of the teacher (pages 100-101, McNaughton & Gunn 2012):

“[…] The teacher often carries the projection of the Higher Self of the wayfarer. Our Higher Self is something so awesome, so luminous and dynamic, that at the beginning it is very difficult to own it as a part of ourselves. Rather than acknowledging that we have this inner wisdom and guidance, it is easier to project it onto the teacher who is supposed to be full of wisdom and light. Through the projection, a previously unknown, unacknowledged part of ourselves becomes conscious, even if it appears to belong to somebody else. Projecting the Higher Self onto the teacher, the seeker is able to form a relationship with her divine light, as is often apparent in dreams in which the teacher images the Higher Self. Thus, through the relationship with the teacher, the seeker will be able to connect with and become familiar with the Self, without being overwhelmed by the true nature of her inner being.

The teacher relates not to the ego or the personality of the wayfarer, but to her desire for Truth. From the moment of meeting, the teacher inwardly recognizes the spiritual potential of the seeker and values it above all else. What is hidden from the consciousness of the seeker is apparent to the teacher, who, from his own lived experience, knows the importance of the heart’s longing. The teacher will instinctively keep the wayfarer’s inner attention focused on her highest aspiration, and hold this potential in trust until it is time for the wayfarer to step fully into her own light.

The projection of the Higher Self onto a teacher is an important part of the process of realizing our own inner divinity. But the inherent danger in this projection is that one gives to the teacher one’s spiritual authority and power. If the teacher figure is in any way attached to being a teacher then he or she may not want to give back the projection when the disciple is ready. This is what happens in a cult when the cult leader enjoys the position of being a spiritual leader and thus severely limits the development of his disciples. A true teacher is free from any attachment and, the moment he feels that a disciple has become too dependent, cuts the pattern of attachment, often throwing the disciple out of the group for a length of time. The disciple is then forced back upon herself, and has to find her own inner guidance.

[…] On the inward path any outer relationship is a limitation. […]”

Another result of our own experiences and contemplations is that the student also has to be aware of his/her own responsibilities. If the student will not discriminate him/herself from the teacher the soul development process will be cut. Therefore the whole training process has to be structured by the teacher taking all sensitivities in account. At the same time the student has to go into this dark tunnel and be ready to not just learn the knowledge shared but also to filter it through his/her own filter, to try to understand how this knowledge effects his/her own being with a discipline in self-observation, practice those, experience and to finish up with an authentic understanding of the knowledge given. Only a process which is owned also by the student can be seen as completed.

Under Hygeia’s umbrella we are seeking a ‘participatory approach’ with students who are ready to be in an active role in their development of body-soul-mind.

Image: A phoenix depicted in a book of legendary creatures by FJ Bertuch (1747–1822).

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