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6

 

They are prepared to accept nothing. They desire the truth, but they challenge everything. The age is characterized by extreme frankness.

 

The greatest visible social power among us is still example. To behold in another the realization of our ideals, is what impresses us most. The teacher that the age wants is a living example of what all may become. It is the power of the tried or experienced truth that we look for, not the mere utterance of the truth. The poets give us flashes of truth, but there are few poets who can lift us into the regions out of which their poetry springs. The poets are in contact with "the Muses who know all things," but they cannot bring us into their company. Therefore the only teacher that we can accept is one who has experienced God, or whatever we like to call the ultimate Reality. He must be one who has consciously bridged the gulf between time and eternity and can show others how to do like-wise.

 

The teacher we desire must have achieved complete self-mastery, and have reconciled and transcended the opposites that divide the life of man. He will seek nothing for himself, and will be unaffected by sex, money or fame. He would be child-like, yet wise; joyous, but profound; humble yet authoritative. A man, but having the gentleness of a woman.

 

In psychological terms a teacher is one who throws light upon the unconscious—he is a mediator between the conscious and unconscious mind. He is able to show how repressed energies may be released for creative purposes. He does this not by argument, but by mere association with himself.

 

That, indeed, is how a teacher is recognized. He enables us to discover ourselves, to help ourselves to understand ourselves by his presence, simply by our awareness of him. We get through him a change of heart. He has the power to transmit grace, kindle love, and bestow illumination. Above all he has abounding life. In him the idea has not only become thought as in philosophers or inspiration as in poets, but flesh and blood. He is a living work of art. In such a teacher God in the heart becomes conscious. He can, therefore,

 

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