The teacher must be prepared to adjust and adapt accordingly. Yet also there is a definite plan (as opposed to a conversing style which is led nowhere in particular) and a beginning and an end; whilst also a consideration and an understanding for how it is being received.
A teacher is set apart from his subjects during that time of presentation. He may relax after the matter, but in the tradition of all leading teachers before him he must honor the task and compel himself to its proper execution rather than swing in and out of his service into familiarity and nonsense; for the confusion to the student annihilates the trust required for the egos involved to fully absorb that which is being brought before them.
A good teacher can never be too thorough. Remember that with the spiritual precepts, once a meaning and a concept has been comprehended by a man and taken to himself wholeheartedly, it has been won by him forever after. Therefore should we manage to truly assist another along his way to one pure truth comprehended, then we have offered a jewel for his garment of self which will burn with a brightness ever and anon.
It may be that it shall even come in an unexpected event. Our study which qualifies us daily, and our practice of delivery, is brought into place at that time so needed for that person who requires our participation in their learning, that then the title of 'teacher' has fairly been deserved with evident merit.
Without a clairvoyance it may be difficult to gauge our effectiveness during a presentation. It is usual for some - without particular criticism - to merely address their pupils as though they were completely naive to the subjects brought before them.
In the categories of ethics and Spiritual Science there are plateaus which are not dissimilar to the summit, but are nonetheless a succession to be won with a constant re-learning and a progressive engagement. So we find that once the origin-concept has been identified as a spiritual reality and experienced by the man, he may then have the key concept to go on and progressively comprehend its application within the more profound; for paradox and principle repeat within an ever-widening panorama of interpretation and use.
The call to teach is not distinct from the priesthood, but rather a follow-on from a soul which requires that he may share his revelations. He may draw upon those lifetimes in which he stood removed from the ordinary mind and became saturate with those inspirations which have entitled him now into an easier receiving than most.
The priest works in a differing way to the teacher. His responsibility is largely given to God, his effectiveness is borne by God and his inner reckonings are usually kept between himself and God, whereas the teacher is moved to go beyond himself and risk his opinion amongst others.
There is a need and a supplication to the darkness in spirit caused by that terrible ignorance which keeps a man from his insight, foresight and Christ-sight. (And all three terms have nothing to do with ordinary vision.) There comes a time when we may compare ourselves to those periods in which we have been without the splendid truths which now illuminate our wonderings and our innermost realities. The arid planes of material thinking, although with purpose, were simply not enough, and the heights which we score with conscious jubilation ever remind us of those who remain earthbound and without the joys of spirit.
In our knowledge we watch eternity unfold and may settle into a calmness which projects all success into that embracing future. We see the karmic interventions warp and weave their courses obliged by the dignity of Man, and we are prone to respect the hidden worlds and hidden causations which inspire the one life as it opens out before us. We sense our own strength, in particular in that pocket of our own timelessness; and we may impart those same inferences which offer this spiritual peace. No longer shall the will of a man tussle with his God to the point of exasperation (for both). When the knowledge has been happened upon and the square-set of esoterics received, then the man is inspired remarkably to peace.
The set task of preparing and conducting an instruction is specific to its purpose; it is not, for example, the same as the stand-up comic would script, for the action of laughter is brief, and whilst the knowledge goes in, it also goes out. The comprehension is sporadic and the distraction of the humour's effect counterbalances any fast and easy acceptance so won.
Our own teachers support us, just as theirs are ever with them at those times when we have assumed that desire to make the spiritual incarnate within the higher mind and consciousness of Man. We can go to them and draw from their wisdoms. We may search for their encouragement and pray that if worthy, our attending fellows shall be receptive to such enlightenment that shall provide them with their humanhood fully.
The teacher must trust in himself and in his worth. He can have confidence enough that the wisdoms on offer are of fine material. Whether or not they are opposed [by some] is irrelevant to his demeanor; it is rather decided at the outset as to whether or not they are true or false, worthy or unworthy and so forth. So he may not go about measuring his abilities by the evidence in the moment.
Certainly he must not enter into instruction, unsure of that which he presents. Surety is no guarantee of correctness, and yet it is essential that we assume our correctness that we may deliver it well. We do not address our students that we ourselves may learn - the action is completely different, and it is to be decided exactly what the role of the minute is. Of course we too may become 'student' at any time and return from that platform, but we should not confuse roles or come to cross-purposes.
Largely it is attitude. It is the attitude which we take upon ourselves in reverence to the wisdom and to the truth, and to our kindred lovers of that wisdom. It is a humility born from respecting our teachers and our relationship to them, with a patience commensurate with the distance there is. It is a love and a concern for the men whom we seek to teach. And it is a courage of sorts, for we are completely responsible in every way for that which we bring to them; be it correct or incorrect we are answerable as to its use and effect, and therefore vulnerable besides.
May it be said also that the joy of each and every exercise in the here and in the hereafter is also translated from pupil to teacher, and although this is not the underlying motivation of the Master it does empower his own furtherings also. So saying, should a man teach that which inspires demons it will be precisely that, and that he shall bring upon himself, and so learned he will become!
Opinions are a lesser assumption of authority but not without the same consequences provided. We are responsible for our opinions wherever they be accepted (and they travel far upon the ethers and they often produce shoots upon the stem of likemindedness), so that even the casual or careless point of view or the misappropriate conjecture put forth, then becomes intrinsic to the future. All of these, whether haphazard or pertinent, shall be accountable to he who offers it, and such consequence will be known by him as well.
Now to the practice. Obviously we must consider at first what it is that our students are familiar with. If there is ever a time in which we lead them away from their buoy of accepted lore, then we shall lose them to the deep. There is no question of that. We aim for men to consciously learn only that which their will and discrimination decides; even our attitude must restrain from the zealousness which could only be described as forceful if seen for what it is. The aspect of forcing is counter-productive and happens more often than realized, even amongst the best of us. The temptation rests in all teachers at all times, for it occasions our own frustrations when we desire to be apt in our delivery.
Tension will be lessened by agreement. A simple agreement between both about an observation or opinion will ease this tension; however it is often a misused tool when the forcefulness steals its way into the then relaxed conversant. The tensions between the two are not equal and the recipient is unawares and often coerced effectively in this manner. The teacher must honor his work enough that he need not rely on maneuvers which gain little or no advantage to the soul anyhows.
There is a premise we may work from in our initial formings of any presentation, namely that all men are ready to receive goodness. It comes naturally to them. (And not to all beings of the Cosmos.) This supposition will enable us to test the 'goodness' in what it is we wish to bring before them. For men will understandably recoil from concept pictures of conflict, disease, dispassion and corruption. The ego is guarded against harboring such considerations which are tainted with these upsets - complaint will win attention but not understanding.
So we weigh what it is we believe that we can offer them, we ask ourselves not generally, but specifically, exactly what it is that may be best received. And once decided we do not distract ourselves from that.
Upon the question of how the teacher may best manage the blows of criticism (which are assuredly directed right at him) and sustain his equilibrium maintaining his presence of self, unhurt or unhindered by those who express their contradictory opinions, we are equipped firstly by understanding what takes place when the teacher's authority is revoked.
Many teachers seek approval, working on common ground with long-tired ideas. They are 'safe' in their roles, yet if bringing nothing new to their pupils, are effectively one of them and no more. However, at any time there is the freedom of a pupil to refuse a teaching (in any circumstance) and so the teacher shall not be deemed teacher (at that time) if his authority upon the matter is refused.
This can and does happen at various stages because, let it be understood, that usually a teacher shall travel right up to the perimeter’s edge of their pupil's understanding and then travel that little bit further, so that in time it is somewhat inevitable that at that point the refusal shall be made. Then and quite rightly, does the pupil withdraw into his ego limits and resolves the issues brought to him, mollifying their consternations.
He may then, after a period (days or a lifetime) choose to return, should the work have affected him favorably. The 'time out' for consideration is necessary - imperative to one properly receiving and working through any given knowledge - and one would expect this time to be afforded, else it indicates that the pupil has long before been introduced to this wisdom or has in fact gone and 'tossed the ball'. So we may anticipate the quiet withdrawal; however and by contrast there may also be reactions to our teachings in which a hostility becomes manifest. This hostility is alarming to the teacher because foremostly, he has emptied his heart into his offerings and is 'exposed' to harsh comment uncannily for that time he has given. For it is the part package of the principle of authority that we are to be more vulnerable within our ego than the company which we are addressing. This is how it should be. If it were otherwise we would be forcible - if you get the point. Our armor is off, our pure self is apparent. A true teacher cannot put forth his work with deceptive tricks or enticements or deliveries untrue. What is given is of him. Unless this is so it is perverted.
It is no small wonder that the teacher is wounded by such contentious, quarrelsome, combative, belligerent and argumentative discourse, as may ensue by those who contest him and his own. If the reactions are noticeably hostile the cause lies usually within a deeper happening. The soul of the aggressor suffers the hatreds inflamed within his astral body, and the ego identifies with the pain of the soul and it is closed to consideration. The angry reactions result from past anger (elemental in nature, and therefore to be felt strongly the more reinforced that they are), and so by their ferocity alone the teacher can gauge that it is not merely a reaction of the moment which is directed at him. He is not the cause of the angst. He is however, responsible for the distress should he decide to further it.
Our responsibility is relinquished by rebuke, however in attitude we may care for our fellow men enough to seek the means to quell the argument, regardless of personal attack. However, to concede in such circumstances enforces the aggression; it does not allay the assertion put forward. As a teacher we are expected to stand firmly, there is no need for false concessions, for unless we are pressed to truly question our own correctness upon an issue, it is preferable to remain confident in our approach and tenacious in our terms.
If we are decided but given to the wounding, there is no great alleviance in the immediate. Those who are righteous do suffer, and then further on, they are rewarded for their strength. If there was a way to feel better and deflect the commoner's angst it would be to the disservice of them. It would be but an added aggression, which may be handled apart from us by another; this is possible and practiced often, but may not be maneuvered by ourselves to escape the onslaught.
It does not mean to say that one welcomes bad behavior or insults from another, nay, one is not required to put up with it, and the urge to flee is a sensible one. However, such an urge will come and then pass (providing the aggressor is tolerable) and the teacher will, in the long run, be fortified by such episodes. He shall be enstrengthened by unreasonableness, and can resist the argument with his inner constancy. In time, with practice, this is so.
Also, should he be remarkably put to question and alluded to as a liar upon such truths which are magnificent and most holy, he is further rewarded with the blessing of their reality which he has promulgated; (after death this comes) because every time a man defends the Heavens they are drawn ever closer to him.
As to the topic of speaking slowly and the important properties of annunciation, we find that the delivery of any presentation works upon the ethers carried in the voice. When we speak slowly we not only emphasize each single phrase and meaning, but we place our own intention into the delivery, and it is this which flows through to the hearers. In other words, if I slowly recited the verse of Humpty Dumpty it would still impress the listener with the aura of the intention alone. It also gives passage to time. Time as perceived, is quite irregular. When we perceive the slowing of activity, we are cautioned to an importance taking place, as crucial moments are experienced (relatively) slower. By sleight of tongue we can mimic this and impress with slowness. Do any thing with deliberate pause and the soul shall be impressed with that activity. It shall be noticed.
As to the local Church, if it is our express desire that we would wish to bring aspects of Christ into the bays and beyond, then we do so with the blessing of His Host. Philosophies corrupt because they tire. The initial spiritual precepts become diluted with use until they are untraceable, then only to be empowered anew by becoming reborn in the hearts of striving men.
One truth does not discount another - for a time, it may well hold preferred place that it may incarnate and work its way into the being of Mankind for all time. And it may be for this greater purpose that one intuitively knows that there is good cause for esoteric education, and that there is not the sustenance required for the soul of Man dispatched within the orthodoxy of today. And yes, you can remind them that even 'orthodoxy' changes.
If one's motive is to be disruptive for the sake of chaos then efforts shall be short-lived. If the intention comes from the love of Christ and of men, then unquestionably the Future needs you to help deliver her whole.
We, as fellow teachers, aspire to the uplifting of each and every man as he is entitled. May God speak through us, may Christ realize His vision by us and may we replicate their hopes for Men, becoming in eminence the luminaries that are required.
We ask for commensurate perception, that we may learn to interpret a man and his needs and be responsive with accuracy; we ask for perseverance that we may be undeterred by the unqualified and their vulgar remarks, withstanding their hurt upon ourselves and the bodies of angels (as fairies dying with the mortal's disbelief, as elementals are dissipated and devastated by our ignoring, as Charity is injured with every uncaring); we ask for prudence and discernment and the ability to ever take such time to learn anew, and to know when and how to be the teacher and when and how to be the student.