“… The truth {is} always … in plain sight, available to all …” ~ Francis Lucille

altai mountains truth plain sight lucille

In this series we are exploring Francis Lucille’s work primarily through his book Eternity Now … and also through his teachings from other sources (e.g., his retreats, or posts from the old Stillness Speaks archives).

This part 4 continues the practical topic of real life questions that have to do with the right way to live … and the focus, in this post, is about the teacher’s role in, or value re, this right way of livinghe addresses questions related with: trust in teacher, secondhand advice, imposition vs understanding, what if you don’t have a teacher – how do you find one, .. and more …

in contrast, … the 3rd part explored this same topic with Francis’ answering questions like : how to live the right way and whether that comes out of the mind? … how to navigate maltreatment from another while ensuring that one is acting from wholeness? … how to remain equanimous in the middle of problematic interactions? … does one have to be a devotee and undertake worshipping? … and more …

Also, here’s a similar past post about Teacher and his/her role, or value, in the Self Inquiry Journey

Parts 1 & 2 offered a foundation to understanding Francis’ teachings … and for subsequent posts …

… the 1st part provided a summary of what Francis calls the “presence of this witnessing background” … it includes Francis’ remarks on Present Moment and the entire Foreword from Eternity Now … which offers a framework for the teachings in the book …

… the 2nd part is about Francis’ view on Love (or rather “universal” love) PLUS his awakening “story” – as expressed by himself

All text below (except for the blockquotes) is from the chapter titled You Are in Love with Love from Eternity Now … and is published here with his permission. The format is questions from satsang participants followed by Francis’ answers.

Teachers: Trust, 2nd Hand Advice, & Imposition vs Understanding

Question: If your teacher gives you advice about something in your life (which you don’t see) that needs to be changed, should you follow the advice out of trust in him, rather than because you, yourself, have seen and understood the problem?

Answer: A real teacher would not impose anything on you. He may make a suggestion, which you may well take into consideration and try to see what he sees, that you don’t see. If there is an immediate danger, for instance, and there is no time for reflection, you may have to act out of trust, out of faith, and postpone the intellectual understanding of the situation. But, your trust in your teacher, not in a person but in the ultimate reality he so beautifully represents, comes from higher intelligence, so that it can’t be said that your action doesn’t come from understanding.

Real understanding doesn’t necessarily mean rational understanding. When we are moved by love or by beauty, these emotions too, even if they sometimes appear to be irrational, come from higher intelligence. If there is no need for immediate action, it would be better to wait until your understanding is complete. On a pedagogical level, your teacher may suggest a different attitude in life which would be more harmonious, and there is no way for you to really be sure about it without trying.

Trust is inherent in any learning process. It enables the young bird to take off for the first time; …

bees teamwork trust teacher lucille

… the young child who doesn’t know how to swim to dive into the pool where his parent is waiting, ready to catch him; the violin student to try the new bow grip his teacher has just recommended. The bird trusts out of instinct; the child out of love; the violin student out of reason; and the truth-seeker out of supreme understanding, which encompasses instinct, love, and reason. Trying is part of the spiritual investigation in the same way as experimenting is part of the scientific inquiry. You follow the advice of your teacher, but you ultimately have to arrive at your own understanding.

Question: So it wouldn’t really be useful for anyone to follow secondhand advice. For example, someone may tell you that his teacher told him to be a vegetarian.

Regarding secondhand advice, you should always be concerned with possible distortions. However, you should remain open-minded, and be especially open to any direct suggestions coming from your own teacher. If your teacher makes a suggestion to you to become a vegetarian, for instance, you owe it to him to try this diet. After trying it for a while you will be able to make up your own mind based on your own experience. It is part of the unlearning process and it teaches you a lot about your old habits and beliefs. If you took a trip to an exotic country, the discoveries you’d make about yourself when in a new situation would be more important than the new landscapes you’d see and the new people you’d meet. The old habits become apparent. A change in diet is similar to a trip to an unknown country.

Question: In terms of the original question, your answer seems to be, except for emergencies, which are rare, there really is no imposition. Everything is based on understanding and allowing understanding to act.

Absolutely. However, there are circumstances in which following a suggestion from someone you respect and trust, and postponing any conclusion, may be the most direct path, because the understanding won’t be solely intellectual, but also based on experience, as illustrated by the example of the violin student. Instead of procrastinating and wondering whether following the advice would prove fruitful, he may try the grip and be immediately convinced.

Teacher: How to Find One

Question: What if you don’t have a teacher? How do you go about finding someone who will make those suggestions, to gain understanding, and to develop the right way of living?

Let’s first understand that the right way of living is not a collection of recipes or suggestions. Life is not like cooking, and books can’t really tell us how to handle our relationships with our spouse, our children, and so on.

The right way of living comes from a global understanding which potentially contains all the ingredients, all the know-how, that eventually will enable the disciple to be autonomous and live in joy and harmony.

This global understanding is potentially available to everyone, but only those who have reached the required maturity are open to it. When I was a newcomer to the spiritual path, a friend once took me to a metaphysical bookstore in the Latin Quarter of Paris. I was surprised to find a new bookstore at a location that was very familiar to me, since I used to walk down that street every day a few years before, when my interest for the ultimate truth was still dormant. I spent several years as a college student in this area and knew all the bookstores, or at least I thought I did. I was even more surprised when my friend told me that this inconspicuous shop had been there during all those years, adding that it was known to be visible only to truth-seekers. The truth, symbolized in this analogy by the bookstore, had always been in plain sight, available to all, but only the truth-lovers, because of their “oriented desire,” could recognize it.

autumn truth plain sight lucille

In the same way as the compass always indicates the direction of the North Pole, so do the truth-seeker’s mind and heart invariably point toward the ultimate. When truth-seekers find themselves spontaneously preoccupied most of the time with the ultimate truth, they should know that they are indeed fortunate, and that this sacred preoccupation comes from the divine. When they find themselves desiring to meet their teacher, the ultimate truth in human form, they should know that no power in all worlds could possibly prevent this encounter. When this desire becomes strong and steady, its strength and steadiness are signs that its fulfillment is imminent.

Your question was based on the assumption that the truth-seeker, as a personal entity, is the source of the desire for an instructor. From this vantage point, one can legitimately wonder whether one will ever meet such a rare and hard-to-find master, since, statistically speaking, the odds are not good.

Fortunately, your original assumption is questionable, since the ego could not possibly desire this encounter, any more than a deer could desire a face-off with a hunter. The desire for a teacher, which is, in fact, a form of desire for truth, comes from the absolute. It isn’t a thought emerging at random in the brain. This desire for grace comes from grace itself, and is a promise of fulfillment. When the student is ready, the teacher is present.

So there is no lack of teachers. If there were a lack of anything, it would be of serious students. Out of the pure perfection of the absolute, the so-called student and the so-called teacher arise exactly on time to participate, through their apparent learning and teaching, in the universal celebration.

Francis Lucille

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Stay tuned for more from Francis in this series … where we’ll continue to explore questions that matter …

And, again, here’s part 1part 2 … and part 3.

Like other, similar series (e.g., Rupert Spira’s views on our True Nature), this series is meant to just whet your appetite – give you a sense of Francis’ teachings … and if it draws you then we invite you to undertake a deeper exploration by purchasing his book Eternity Now.

All italicized Q&A text: From Eternity Now by Francis Lucille.
Images: (edited and logo added): Featured and 1) Altai mountains, Chuya ridge, by YURY7TARANIK, 2) Teamwork of bees bridge a gap of bee swarm by Viesinsh, 3) Autumn river by CaptureLight. All Purchased from depositphotos, for use only on our website/social channels (these images are not permitted to be shared separate from this post).


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