1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

No man can teach another man January 2, 2009


According to the Sufi point of view there is only one teacher, and that teacher is God Himself. No man can teach another man. All one can do for another is to give him one’s own experience in order to help him to be successful. For instance if a person happens to know a road, he can tell another man that it is the road which leads to the place he wishes to find. The work of the spiritual teacher is like the work of Cupid. The work of Cupid is to bring two souls together; and so is the work of the spiritual teacher: to bring together the soul and God. But what is taught to the one who seeks after truth? Nothing is taught. He is only shown how he should learn from God. For no man can ever teach spirituality; it is God alone who teaches it.

Hazrat Inayath Khan “The Secret of Life”


21 Responses to “No man can teach another man”

  1. Thanks for explaining the philosophy of the Sufi saint, Axinia.

    But why should an entity called “God” teach man something? If a person who exists physically is not capable of being a teacher, then how can an imaginary entity called “God” be a teacher? And how will this imaginary entity teach? Surely, this kind of “teaching” then becomes organised as a “religion” that promotes stupid blind beliefs that take away the power of reason from man which make him more advanced than other animals and inculcates in him stupid blind beliefs which make him more dangerous and primitive than animals.

    If you want an example, take the fourth “possibly related post”. Here, an entity that claims to be the “agent of God” declares that cell phones are bad for the “soul”. I’ve heard that excessive cell phone usage may be bad for the body because of scientifically proven effects of radiation, but the Vatican declares that it is bad for the “soul”! Pray, whose “soul”? It all degrades to a business of controlling the “soul” and thereby, controlling the mind and with it, putting an end to reason and taking man back to the stone age.

  2. axinia Says:

    Raj, you always find an interesting perspective 🙂
    What God is …is soemthing each of us has to find out for oneself.
    If you would read something more by Sufis you will see that they are criticising all organised religions in the same way as you 🙂 there is really no contradiction!
    The saying is exactly opposing any organised religion because there are priests/brahmins/etc. between God and man there, which does not help at all.

    You ask –“And how will this imaginary entity “God” teach”? This is the question to be answered in the silence of meditation, by yourself and for yourself. If you really want to know how, you will find it out.

  3. You are right Axina, no man can ever teach another. At the best, he could guide and the learning happens from within, guided by nature or God, as you may want to put it. This concept may not relate to people if they are looking at it from a materialistic point of view. I guess materialism alone is not enough to be content in life. Spiritual elevation is equally required to feel complete. Does the spiritual experience vary based on age?

    Destination Infinity

  4. axinia Says:

    DI, great input!
    And intresting question about the age… I think, not really…I would say, it depends on the age of the soul, so to say… Some people are strong seekers from their childhood, another ones discover spirituatliy later one, when bieaten up by the “life”. It is all very personal.

    Even within one spiritual movement/practice (even not a religion!) you can see such a huge variety of experiences and states of people…amazing!

  5. Erwin Says:

    Totally agree . A great reminder , especially when sometimes we feel responsible and forget this and try to “teach ” others . I remember rebelling myself once and telling someone ,”please do not guru me ! ” I have always innately felt it wrong when someone tries to tell another what to do . I have always wondered about the audacity of it : how could anyone possibly presume they know the path another soul needs to tread ? I guess at most we may try to help another see a little more clearly or offer to help them connect with God , …

  6. axinia Says:

    thank you, Erwin!

    I know very well what you mean, it is good reminder for me as well. It took me a long time to learn how not “to guru” anybody, but just share my experiences and do not insist on any solution. I love to help people, but everyone has find his/her own way by himself/herself – even if it is full of pain and I know how to make it less painful…

  7. seshdotcom Says:

    Hi axinia what you said in the caption of the post is correct no man can teach another man.And it is a Good Post and it was a Superb point you brought out that it is the work of guru to bring soul and god together..visit my weblog http://www.seshdotcom.wordpress.com I write a Lot about Hindu Mythology and other Mythologies.visit my weblog and g

  8. swaps Says:

    Perhaps, ‘learning/teaching’ is the wrong term, since it involves mind. Say ‘realization’ and every extraneous things (religion) disappears.

    And so we have …

    There the eye goes not,
    Speech goes not, not the mind.
    We know not, we understand not
    How one would teach it.


  9. That’s fine, Axinia, one can meditate and find out what one wants of the imaginary entity called “God” by himself/herself. But apart from the mentally (and maybe physically) calming effect of meditation, how can one learn by meditation 😕 Learning involves the mind and by shutting off the mind, how will one learn? And what can meditation do to solve worldly problems 😕

  10. @Raj: You learn from a lot of things Raj. The books, lectures and experiences, all form conscious learning. But there is also a level of sub-conscious learning, which keeps happening irrespective of what you learn in the conscious level. You learn from the nature, for instance.

    Meditation opens up the mind for learning. It gives you much more clarity because the mind is in peace with your inner self (Which is termed as soul, here). Otherwise, the learning is based only on the external influences, which, if you are lucky, might elevate you or might mis-guide you, if you are not. Meditation helps you distinguish between the two. In general, it gives you much more clarity outside the external influences and helps you form a more balanced perspective. Axinia, correct me if I was wrong.

    “Mind is like a parachute, it works only when it is open”

    Destination Infinity

  11. axinia Says:

    thanks for your appreciation and link to your site – your blog is indeed interesting and I will take time to go through!

    @swaps, what a wonderful quote, thank, dear!

    @Raj, your question about “HOW” is a good one and I am happy to answer, although my answer might look not humble enough…
    You ask” Learning involves the mind and by shutting off the mind, how will one learn?” Human mind is not only thinking, but also consciousness. If you remember I mentioned several times that meditation is the stated of thoughtless AWARENESS, IT is indeed not easy to reach, but even when you experience it for the seconds you will experience what is knowledge without knowing. Hope you will get it one day, otherwise it makes no sense to explain what is the smell of snow to someone who has never seen it…

    Then you ask:
    ” And what can meditation do to solve worldly problems” – every mediating person changes the surrounding by simply being there. You know, people who know me in person, they say that being with me they have a feeling of being in a kind of a beautiful, happy fairy tale – their sorrows fade away, they are being loved and inspired…their life improves…etc. It makes me believe that if you have more people like that, the world will change on its own, just because the matter will become softer and gentler…That is what I can say out of my very personal experience.

    @Destination Infinity,
    I like your example with extremal and internal experience – it is so right!! thank you.

  12. […] With mind immersed in Love January 3, 2009 Filed under: Religion, how to, joy, love, meditation, personal, poem, poetry, spirituality, thoughts, world — axinia @ 10:00 pm Tags: expeirence, Kabir, love, Mother Mary, poetry, spirituality, wisdom, yoga This beautiful poem by Kabir seem to be the best answer to the discussion in the previous post “No man can teach another man“… […]

  13. seshdotcom Says:

    Hey axinia you want me to link to my site or you are just asking me whether you could link my blog to yours..Either way will be Good…

    • axinia Says:

      seshdotcom, thanks for your invitation for link sharing, but I am not practicing that.
      You can surely link to my blog if you like. But for me linking is a matter of friendship and quality – it takes some time till I deside to link to a new blog…sorry, that that is the way my blogging is.

  14. Axinia,

    It may be due to your unique personality 🙂 Since you believe in loving everyone, they would feel loved and inspired in your presence.

    I have a friend who is a real humourist. Even if one is not in a happy state of mind, in his company, they would forget their worries and start laughing because of his jovial nature as he constantly tries to make everyone laugh. He would be a real joker in any pack 😆

    Axinia and DI,

    When a person is sleeping, one is in a state of thoughtlessness. The only difference between sleeping and meditating would be that the body is at “natural rest” when sleeping (so the senses are not “aware”) and “forced rest” when meditating. Therefore, while meditating, one is both “thoughtless” and the senses are “aware” at the same time 😐 Just like sleeping is beneficial for physical and mental health, so is meditation 😐

    While meditation is definitely beneficial on a personal level, I find it difficult to believe that the problems of the world would disappear if more people start meditating 😦 Sure, there might be fewer incidents of road rage, anxiety attacks and high blood pressure, but apart from that the world would remain in the same sorry state 😐

  15. axinia Says:

    Raj, you explained it very well with sleeping and thoughtless awareness!
    As for the benefit of meditation on the collective level – we just have to try it out 🙂 I mean we can discuss it here whether it woudl help or not, but we will never know for sure untile some reasonably big part of the humanity tries it out! Why not? since other menthods never helped…lets try this one 🙂

  16. romain108 Says:

    Hi Axinia, Hi everybody !

    At the root of western culture, we also had a man who said that Science (threw which he meant the real and absolute knowledge ) cannot be taught. He said it in this manner:

    Virtue is knowledge

    Virtue cannot be thaught (since we see many good person who ends to have evil children)

    Therefore Science cannot be thaught

    His method was that of exposing the ignorance of people by showing inner contradictions. When you become aware of your own ignorance, you start to seek at a deep deep deep level, and finaly you get your realisation.
    He was a master of realisation !
    He has been killed two times: first he was poisoned by stupid, ignorant people, then secondly when his teatching have been misunderstood, partly because of Aristotle, a man who had never met him.
    His name was Socrates.

    Thanks for your blog and inspiration Axinia !

  17. axinia Says:

    romain108, thank for this intriguing comment!
    i can feel a philosopher behind…

  18. radha Says:

    the thing of “bringing together the soul and God” sounds very soft and gentle, like an artistic touch of somebody who knows what’s doing. This somebody can be the spiritual teacher and the realized soul who is understanding others well. Lov, r

  19. Axinia,

    Your optimism about humanity never ceases to amaze me! 😉 🙂

  20. axinia Says:

    glad to hear that, Raj 🙂
    an optimism has a magic to really influence…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s