In the “Christ In You” thread (on the second page, about two-thirds of the way down), I wrote, Virtually all Teachers in virtually all traditions insist that a seeker must have a Teacher.
Ruminating that idea today, this image arose:
In the final act of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, there is a scene which, if performed well, can be extremely moving, even gripping. Here's the action at that point in the story: In order to avoid having to marry someone she does not love, and to save herself for Romeo, Juliet conspires with a friar to take a potion that will put her into a death-like trance for several days. The friar agrees to inform Romeo of the plan so that when he hears of Juliet’s “death” he will know it is not real. However, the friar fails to inform Romeo, who on finding Juliet “dead”, kills himself; after which, when she awakens to find Romeo dead, Juliet kills herself.
Again, if performed well by convincing actors, this scene is tense, and everyone is unconsciously drawn deep into the story, especialy the audience, who almost want to jump out of their seats, and scream to Romeo, “It's just a potion! She's not really dead!”
Now, suppose that at that crucial moment, some stranger were to walk out onto the stage, and say to Romeo, in a voice loud enough for all to hear, “Excuse me, fellow, but you left your car lights on in the theater parking lot”.
What happens? Instantly, abruptly, everyone in the theater is jolted out of the story and back into the real world. Suddenly, unexpectedly, we are reminded who and what and where we are.
That’s what a Teacher does. A Teacher walks onto the stage of our life, and with just a look or a touch or a few words, interrupts the action just for a second, even a microsecond, but long enough so that -- even if just for an instant -- we see what’s what. And that changes everything.
And the Teacher doesn’t have to be (or I should say, seem to us to be) a physical person. It can be a dream, a vision, an audition, or a book. It can be by whatever technique or vehicle or method that God wills; for whatever the appearances, God alone is the Teacher, and God is limited by no thing.