I believe when someone truly “empowers” you, that person is really just a friend who’s tricked you into empowering yourself. Maybe they have to assume the temporary title of teacher or guru in order to do so, but in my opinion, all that is just fluff. That’s why Buddha promised he’d return as “maitreya”—or friend—and not as the guy who teaches Rex Kwon Do.
Any time someone claims inherent superiority—either through overt or covert communication (like when they get bent out of shape and punish you for not calling them by a title or prostrating yourself before their feet)—I believe their interest is not in getting you to empower yourself, but to reinforce the idea that you need to continually rely on them for instruction, and consequently DE-power you.
“Bow to your Sensei. BOW TO YOUR SENSEI!”
—Rex the Douchebag
Musings, Volume 1, available on Amazon Kindle: Musings, Volume 1