This morning I woke up with the image of Teal Swan in mind. I am not a follower per se, nor have any connection with her personally. We are all connected to each other. The feeling I have about this momentary connection is that of an energy that has been created due to a particular episode. Today was no exception. There was in fact a reason that could negatively influence many people.
It's also an ongoing problem in society; creating 'idols' to debunk them later on.
I'm not a habit to write about anyone in particular or to examine someone's path in life. I don't intend to make it a habit either. In fact, this is the first time that I write about a specific person. Today it's for a good reason. Out of curiosity, the first and obvious step was to seek information online. I was neither shocked, nor surprised to find out that the third entry of the search was a blog post to slander Teal. I also found a Youtube video from a woman who took upon herself to 'warn' the world how dangerous it's to follow Teal Swan. There's not even the option of the benefit of the doubt.
It is true that it may be dangerous to listen to certain people. We listen to people all the time, people who claim to care. The same people that don't speak from the heart. It happens with family and friends. More often than not, those close to us want us to meet with failure. When it comes to listening to someone who's working to inspire others to improve their states of being, so as to enjoy a better life, or to criticise someone else with a corrosive message, I know who I am going to listen to. What others do and listen to is none of my concern.
How this self-proclaimed-Youtube-saviour associates Teal with certain terms is beyond me. There's no logic as to how one term after another can be related to her. But so it is how other people had the audacity to 'reveal' the truth about someone they never met in person. There is also a fact that I find alarming: I read terms such as "dangerous", "psychopath" or "sociopath" "possible cult leader" "narcissist" among many other pearls. How we speak of others says more about ourselves than about the people we are talking about.
Anyone who has a public presence no matter how small it is will be targeted by others. All that is required is to have an online profile and post information of any nature. The more successful one is, the more they'll be targeted. To slander someone because their beliefs conflict with our beliefs is a different matter, and even though today the intention today was to write on a different subject I cannot sit here and consider anything else than this blog post.
Only a week ago I received a very similar attack, with akin comments to the ones I read today about Teal from a woman I used to know years ago and from whom I had not heard from in 11 or 12 years. There were very powerful reasons not to be in touch with her. Years after I see that she has not yet managed to let go of our differences. What these critics do not realise in their blindness is that they have provided us with enough evidence to take legal action for defamation of character.
Criticism is one thing. Slander is something entirely different.
Whether we decide to follow this line of action or not is irrelevant now, but I believe it's time that we all back off, explore and deal with our own fears and begin to support and uplift each other. If humanity wants to have a future the only way we will achieve it is through cooperation and understanding that we are all connected.
It's unfortunate how prone the human being is to the morbid spectacle of the suffering in others. If the previous sentence is not clear enough, try this one: people do enjoy seeing others suffer. There will be no peace of heart for anyone as long as one human being is suffering.
I couldn't finish reading any the two 'articles', nor the video I was watching. I have no intention to poison myself with such derogatory messages, and the unhealthy energy behind.The first thing that stroke me was the low vibrational energy that they carry. The second, and one to which being a writer I always pay attention to is the language used, in these cases destructive and undermining. It seems to me that it's a matter of revenge. But revenge for what exactly?
I remember reading years ago a book length literary essay by Milan Kundera on Ernest Hemingway that really resonated with me, claiming that Hemingway, knowing of the importance of language and its message, he deliberate chose every word he wrote. Hemingway is not a writer I can say I enjoy reading, but I don't need to ruin the experience for anyone else. Being deliberate in our actions is something I have always admired in others. We might make mistakes, but what really matters is our intention to evolve and transcend our own human flaws through love or kindness in our actions.
Being deliberate alone is not enough is the intention behind is to destroy others.
There were also many entries from which I only took the highlights about Teal's life and truth, who and what she is. As far as I am concerned, she is the only one who knows her truth and the only one who has to live with it. The saying 'the truth shall set you free' does not relate to someone else's truth, but to someone's own truth. I already wrote about the subject in 'Seekers After Truth' if anyone is interested in reading it. Projecting negativity on others is only an excuse to validate their own beliefs whether they are right or not.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Whether one should express their opinions or not is debatable. Silence is golden. I have not personally met Teal and I may or may not have an opinion about her. What I see is a person who had and has the courage to speak her truth, share knowledge and doing her best to inspire others by exposing herself publicly. Public exposure of any kind makes us vulnerable. Through vulnerability one becomes stronger. That courage is much more than what most people can say for themselves.
Anyone can find the 'courage' to put someone else down. To use it in order to uplift others speaks volumes of that person.
Another warning comes because Teal teaches meditation. Meditation is a healthy practice. Some people do it, others don't. Other people choose to pray or to do exercise or eat their health away to their death or drown their sorrows in alcohol. The choices are endless. Meditation is a practice that can offer many benefits to someone. When anyone adopts a healthy practice is normal that they speak about it, or even recommend it to others. What a world this would be if we all have been raised on meditation, and love for the self and others.
Finally I went directly to the source and watched one of Teal's videos on shadow work. I had heard about it, but I was never curious enough. In order to decide whether to write this article or not, I had to see it for myself. What I heard speaks truth to me and in fact it's something I have been sharing publicly even before I heard of Teal. This is universal knowledge, and something that we either practice or not. At this point, one could question whether someone is original in their work or not. Universal truth has no owner. It belongs to no one and to everyone. Originality comes with the personal imprint one puts on the work. There are those who have experience, a direct connection with this source and choose to share it with the world. That's all. Everyone is a leader and a teacher.
At no point I had the intention to dip into Teal's life or scrutinise every episode that led her to where she is now. Our life's experiences are vehicles that transport us to where we are supposed to be. This includes every mistake we made, as well as embracing each one of these mistakes and the lessons they come with. Our past is not who or what we are. Identity is what we do here and now. Nothing else.
However, I wrote a blog entry about Teal's truth: 'The truth about Teal Swan', which might not be what one expects.
I also read that Teal shares knowledge and experiences that do not relate to this world. It's no surprise that sharing this kind of material attracts both, the right and the wrong kind of attention. Again, this is courage. My only position on this is that we all have a different message to deliver to the world. I prefer to focus on practical spirituality, and starting from the beginning take steps towards love and freedom. This is because I feel a strong call to deal with the problems of this world, here and now, and I believe that everything else is a distraction, but I do not disapprove of others sharing such messages. Everyone is at a different level of awareness and consciousness and what might work for one, might not work for another.
What is clear to me is that each of us will reach an indefinite amount of people, thus, everyone contributes to spread awareness, healing, consciousness or any other term they are familiar with. Others choose to spread and celebrate fear instead.
There's no heart in speaking fear.
What one has to consider when reading or following a spiritual leader is how they feel about their teachings following our intuition. The example I can give regarding this topic is one from personal experience.
Years ago a friend suggested that I attended Claudio Naranjo's retreat. I was also told that he was the best transformational teacher there was. At the time I couldn't afford it and decided not to go. The truth is that the fees were not that high considering what others charge. My decision changed a couple of days later. My intuition was telling me to go. I borrowed the entire amount from a very generous credit card. By the time the retreat was over and considering the results, I would have paid ten times what they asked for it.
I must also say that I went there not knowing who Claudio was. I have never been fascinated by any leaders, idols or public figures. It's a fascination that I cannot understand. Claudio was no exception. I went there for the experience. Experience was and is what made a difference. While most people were distracted by the image of Claudio as a public figure or spiritual teacher I was only interested in the process and the experience.
When meeting Claudio I didn't think much of him. As he began to speak my perception changed and so my attitude by the end of the last retreat. Today Claudio is someone a bow to, and so I do to every facilitator who works with him, as they were fundamental in directing me in the last steps of my personal transformation up to the moment in time. There's always room for more transformation. Such is the appreciation for this gift that I can only 'repay' it by continuing doing the same type of work with others. And yet, I cannot call myself a follower.
What it was most fascinating about Claudio's speech was that by talking to a group of people is that he has individual messages for everyone. When a message resonates with us, we can consider it as a little awakening. This is what we have to look for in a spiritual teacher. That part of their teachings that speaks of a truth that we have been looking for and could not articulate until that moment. If both Teal and Claudio have so many 'followers' is due to this truth and nothing else. We must also learn to separate from the image of the leader, until we realise that everyone is a leader.
The leaders we all have to worry about are the ones that ask for our vote year after year making empty promises they never deliver, promoting wars, causing death and devastation around the world and making sure the general population is concerned with finance, housing, illness and a long list of obstacles most people must face on daily basis. It seems easy enough to print money so as to lend it to consumers and create a debt that it will never be repaid, but for some unknown reason, it is not possible to print this money in order to create a society that provides for the needs of everyone.
One of the sad moments of the day came reading a piece by a man who claimed that he wasn't sure if he could trust Teal because she's a beautiful woman. I guess that if he perceived Teal as unattractive, her teachings would have more weight. She would be more believable. Physical appearance is definitely not the right scale to measure spirituality, nor a spiritual teacher. The comment is in itself misogynistic and shallow. There are many men who tremble before the image a beautiful woman, spiritual or not, which says more about a man's insecurities and patriarchal beliefs.
This is another example of the objectification of women. Nothing to do with the spiritual value or message of a person. A man who doesn't trust a spiritual woman because she's beautiful, won't trust any woman he views this way. Beauty is to be celebrated, not a reason to distrust. One of the basis of spirituality is to transcend the physical image, so as to deepen into the heart and soul of life and people; to create a true connection with others. It's time that the world begins to consider people as people. A person instead of a man or a woman.
On a final note. Whether Teal is for profit or not, is no one's business either. Under the current financial system everyone is entitled to make as much money as they want to or they can. My understanding of this statement is that the profits from her work will be destined to reach and help more people. There is nothing wrong with providing a comfortable life for ourselves. To question this from the comfort of our homes sitting in front of a computer might not be for the right reasons.
It's also time that the perception on money is changed, to stop seeing the rich and the successful as an excuse to see evil.
When we go to a book shop we might know the book we want to buy or not. We can choose to buy a new author at chance or to read one we already know. When we experience bad writing from an author, unless one is a literary critic, they wouldn't buy the same book again. In this case it is the same, if you don't like someone's teachings, move on; there are many other authors.
Obsessing with someone with the idea of bringing them down is more detrimental to you than it is to them. The consequences of such obsession is the energy they feed. Everyone is responsible for their actions, thoughts, beliefs, and of course, the consequences. Throwing the stone and hiding the hand does not work. The Universe is always watching.
No matter how many people one can put down, they'll never feel better. It's by uplifting others that we grow, developing inner strength and love. Your house won't look better because the neighbour's house has been burned to the ground. It's still the same house, but if you don't like where you live, one can always choose to renovate it. It would set your own world on fire, with the true spark of the heart.