Richard Harvey—Psychotherapist, Author and Spiritual Teacher

Richard Harvey

connecting psychotherapy and spiritual growth for human awakening
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Receiving Spiritual Teaching

Spiritual teaching is not like any other kind of teaching. You do not accrue it, amass it, acquire it, shore it up in bundles or boxes or on shelves, until you have enough or make progress or complete it! Spiritual teaching is not even organized. When it is organized, it becomes religion and religion has little to do with spirituality or true spiritual teachings anymore. It has become the museum piece of spirituality in which everything spiritual is dead, musty, superficial, and merely for show.

Spiritual teachings are not here to be understood in the normal way. They are not to be heard and analyzed and considered, like propositions of physics or mathematics or literary criticism. Spiritual teachings are transpersonal communications from the deep unconscious, concerning matters beyond personality, intellect, analysis, and rationality. They are impersonal and expansive, leaning toward transcendent revelation and invoking the Divine.

You must receive spiritual teaching through your heart. It must stir you; it must give a spontaneous feeling of OM, of yes, an affirmative that takes over your entire being and moves through your heart like a breath of the purest air.

On the one hand, spiritual teaching and its transmission is an intensely personal matter. The spiritual teacher inspires trust, faith, and longing, passionate intensity and a feeling beyond your individual survival and your self-interest. Follow the teacher that you have found without question, not because you have abandoned your critical mental faculties, but because you gauge your involvement in the heart from your deep acceptance of life, reflected in your profound reception and following of the teaching which emanates from the teacher your heart has chosen.

On the other hand, spiritual teaching is an intensely impersonal matter. It has absolutely nothing to do with personality. The teacher who transmits the truth to you may be nothing like your idea of how a spiritual teacher should be and may not necessarily conform to your expectations at all, but he or she is nonetheless a blessing.

If you are fortunate enough to be receiving spiritual teaching, if words or deeds or some example of living, breathing existence is touching you in your soul and in your spirit, in the deepest recesses of yourself, then simply surrender, practice receiving in your heart, and understanding will come.

This article is an excerpt from Richard Harvey’s book Your Divine Opportunity.


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This article was published on this site in Februry 2024.

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