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Inner Authority: Why it might be necessary to choose a knowledgeable outside authority to help you find your own inner authority
Part 2 Series: Why do I need a spiritual teacher when the truth of my inner authority is in me?
I would like to pick up a quote from the first article of the series:
“When you are all by yourself in the wild terrain of consciousness, you are subject to chance and fortunate circumstances, and it may be questionable if you would ever come up with such profound techniques and knowledge to travel all the way in one lifetime. Maybe you don’t need to leave it up to a lightning striking you to find enlightenment. Perhaps you can find a guide who can show you the right turns on your journey within to reach that goal. The difficulty is to find such a teacher of self-mastery because things are not always as they seem”.
Why are we reacting to authority figures?
Many of us have not been lucky enough to really get to know positive authority figures. We had teachers in school who force-fed us useless knowledge and rewarded us with good grades when we memorized our lines or punished us with bad grades if we did not. Questioning the usefulness of the knowledge or the system led to criticism or exclusions, rather than meaningful discussion or practical debate.
From childhood on, we have learned that we have to deny our inner truth to please the authorities in our lives. This has led to unresolved inner conflicts within us. We need to face these conflicts in order to not reactively rebel or fall into resistance when we find positive leadership in our lives.
Other unconscious ways of reacting may come about through social programming. We have adapted ourselves to our environment to reject or condemn anything that does not conform to this norm.
Generational differences in dealing with authority
Interestingly enough, these two ways of reacting, adjusting to the status quo and rebelling, are very much in line with two different generations in our western society. One is the group of Millennials and the other, the more adjusted group of the Baby Boomers. The transitions, however, are fluid and there are many in each generation that are very different.
Nonetheless, there is some continuity in the age groups; yet generational differences are not a new phenomenon by any means. This tendency towards the rebellion of youth was already described in ancient times by Socrates and is still valid today. It is not a phenomenon of today’s youth, but of youth itself.
Renewing is a natural part of the evolution of human kind as well as the individual human being. Sometimes it starts out as rebellion if the stagnation is too strong to be easily transformed. Without transformation and change, evolution and growth beyond the known limits will not be possible. Motion is needed to bring about transformation.
My personal observation is that 50% of youth in general are very conscious and question old patterns in society, and the remaining 50% are following the mainstream, distracting themselves with more superficial amusements. However, when these young conscious rebels get older, a certain percentage adapts back to the mainstream mentality as soon as they have started families, and have established themselves in their professional careers. As a result, fewer social renewers are active in the older Millennial, Gen-X, or Baby Boomer generations; maybe only 10-20%. The rest fell asleep and adapted to the program dogma of society. These renewers are needed, as they bring new and more conscious ways of interacting in families and communities, spirituality, agriculture, science, and other areas of life, against established structures.
How older generations deal with authority
The Gen-X and Baby Boomer generations are more programmed to accept authority, but only authorities appropriate to the programming of the wider society. We also find this described in the scientific principle of “crab mentality” which means that if you can’t have it, neither can I. 
As a result, generally accepted norms and forms of authority will be defended, even if they are harmful.
This is pronounced in dogmatic religions, for example, when the village community gossips about outsiders who do not follow the dogma, even if these outsiders might be better representations of the core values of that religion, such as truthfulness, compassion, kindness, or generosity.
Harsh examples are the witch hunts of the Middle Ages where people, some of whom have done much good as healers or midwives, became victims of torture and cruel executions because they had not accepted the demanded dogma and authority.
Dealing with Authorities in the Millennial Generation
Those who rebelled against inappropriate authority in the middle ages, might perhaps be best compared to the more conscious people of the millennial age group today. More conscious Millennials tend to refuse to follow the old beliefs that have brought our society into the present situation of environmental and socio-economic crisis.
Rebellion is a good development that has led to an important questioning of the status quo that is destroying our environment. However, it is important to apply discernment to not rebel against helpful authority that may bring needed and unique knowledge that cannot commonly be found.
It is also important that true authority does not equate with authoritarian leadership or dogmatism. Healthy authority is a guidance, through guides chosen by us for their unique knowledge and integrity to give structure to a group so that the individuals in it can evolve without chaos.
How can we find healthy forms of spiritual authority?
While we must tear down old untrue norms that have been built over generations, we should not dismiss the wisdom passed down from timeless sources of rare spiritual traditions of true self-mastery. When this knowledge is lost, we do not have the probed and readily available means to wake up in a fast effective way.
We are entering an age where we no longer accept to be dominated by individual authorities who do not represent a higher truth that is in alignment with our own inner feeling for truth. We must learn to be our own authorities. But if we don’t find an underlying ground of oneness in this, we will create chaos instead of order because we cannot differentiate the beliefs of our unenlightened mind from the truth. We need access to a field of truth that is beyond our limited beliefs and knows what is in tune with the highest good of all. We need access to a truth that is beyond our imagination and knows the highest good for all in every given moment.
From old patterns to new awareness
When we find that oneness and act from there, we will know our part to play in this great divine orchestra, like a beautiful flock of birds that moves as one being. Finding this oneness will bring forth the highest potential in every moment, everywhere. We must learn to reconnect with this power of the one self, which is one with our most authentic expression. When we own this kind of authenticity, we express the highest order and healing for ourselves and everything we touch. All we do will be in sync with the greater wellbeing of the whole.
To find oneness, we must first learn to perceive our mental programming and make conscious discriminations for what is true. And to receive the knowledge to retrieve this form of oneness, we need a guide who knows the way. So, for a while, we may require the help of an outside authority that can show us the way, to lead us through the fog that obscures the unenlightened consciousness. A good teacher can give us knowledge and techniques that help us gain the inner clarity we would otherwise not easily discover.
When our lens is clear, and we’re more in our mastery, we’ve found our inner authority and can help others find theirs. This is the blessing of an ancient tradition, where knowledge is passed down from a living master to his or her students. And only when these students have found their own roots in the eternal field of truth should they pass it down further. This is the only way to prevent the distortion of the knowledge that has destroyed so many once powerful teachings of the old spiritual masters through misinterpretation. This continuance of living master to a student who is guided into his or her own mastery in one lifetime is the only true protection of the sacred for future generations.
The knowledge of Aaravindha Himadra and the Amartya-Tradition
I found this in the Amartya tradition, the Surah Parampara, and my teacher Aaravindha Himadra. This tradition has preserved knowledge of self-mastery for thousands of years in the Himalayas and protected it from dogmatism. The teachings Aaravindha is offering to the western world provide the most eloquent and direct way to self that I could find on this planet.
I am very grateful that I was able to overcome my rebellion against false authority and find a teacher I can accept as a healthy and nourishing source. We are one, so in the end, this outside source was me, all along.
If you liked this article, you may want to read part three of this series, where we speak about the benefits of having a spiritual teacher.