A good student will embrace the opportunity to surpass their teacher.  A good teacher will welcome the chance to become their pupil.  As this cycle perpetuates, I think the dogmatic labels of “teacher” and “student” will fall away, and the two will simply see each other as good friends.  (Which is why I think Buddha said he would reincarnate as “maitreya,” or friend)


12 thoughts on “Musings

  1. I wouldn’t want to lose the significance of recognizing that some teachers have extensive and superior knowledge, experience and abilities to offer guidance in the search for premature egalitarianism, though.

    “Spiritual friend” is only one type of 6 Buddhist teachers, and not appropriate for every phase or every student.

    Parents need to remain parents until their children are adults. Metaphor applies here, also.

    Best to you all,

    Sally Ember, Ed.D.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good point! I think my underlying premise is one that endorses utility (bounded by ethics) over dogma. So the connotation of “friend” is one that can both teach and learn alike, rather than be stuck in one role or the other due to the egoic desire to stay in the comfort zone. In my mind this plays out in the role of a parent, whose primary task is to prime their child to lead a fulfilling life, which ironically may mean barring them from instant gratification. At a certain point, however, this beneficial tyranny must give way to the child’s new station as an adult, and in this case, the parent continues being a “friend” by letting the bird fly free of the nest. Where definitive boundaries are sometimes useful, they must always bow before functionality guided by ethics.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Iron sharpens iron, as our good Lord says. However, I have always been of the disposition that humility is the best metric for talent. The one who is the most modest with his talents is the one who shall be most surprised when he accomplishes greatly – and the one who will give the happiest thanks.

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    • Not trying to be contrarian, but I would say humility is a subset of honesty, which is needed to employ effectiveness bounded by ethics. The contrasting example I would bring up is Muhammad Ali, who used a seeming lack of humility to off-balance his opponents. I think shit-talking has its place if one is TRULY humble and sees that it is merely a tool and not a qualifier of character.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are right – humility of the heart is what truly matters. It is easy to be falsely humble to gain a personal advantage while plotting and scheming in your heart. But putting on a face of bravado while humbly assessing the situation is part and parcel of a warrior’s trade.
        And again you are right – humility is directly connected to honesty. I hazard that you see this in an Eastern-philosophical light, while I see it in a Christian light (which when true to the source material, is neither Eastern nor Western, but squarely Middle Eastern), but humility is really just being honest with yourself, your failings, and what must be done to remedy those. Being humble is not trashing yourself, but accepting that you are in yourself, not all that hot stuff.
        I appreciate that you take the time to respond to everyone, Kent. It really warms the heart to have a debate like this. God bless you, and keep writing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • God Bless You, Ink Spiller! Nice to bandy words with a fellow contemplator! I’m interested in both Eastern and Western systems of thought, and the common thread I seem to see is that of the hero’s journey (to throw out all the glory, I like to refer to it as the Problem Solver’s journey), where Jesus, Buddha, or whoever shouldered their burden, demonstrated whatever enduring quality allows one to create order out of chaos (be it logic, humility, compassion, bravery, etc.) and came to a state of visceral harmony. I still believe this is a practical way to live life. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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