Leading By Example

We remember the Baal Shem Tov, that genius of the spirit in the early eighteenth century in Poland, would not let his young men read certain spiritual texts until they were thirty-five. Some say that the man's task in the first half of his life is to become bonded to matter: to learn a craft, become friends with wood, earth, wind, or fire.

When Jung established a training centre in Zurich, he would not accept a person who was not already a success in some other career. It was a way of saying thirty-five or older.

[Robert Bly]
Iron John, p.60

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If a prisoner wants to free his companions in misfortune, he must first break out of his own chains. It's the only way to do it. You have to gain in strength to act appropriately.

The spiritual path begins with a period of retreat from the world, like a wounded deer looking for a solitary, peaceful spot to heal her wounds. Here, the wounds are those inflicted by ignorance.

To be able to help beings, there should no longer be any difference between what you teach and what you are. A beginner might feel an immense desire to help others, but generally doesn't ave sufficient spiritual maturity to be able to do so.

In the case of the lama I spent most time with, Khyentse Rinpoche, he spent some seventeen years in solitary retreat in his youth, interrupted only by visits to his teachers from time to time. Then, when he was thirty-five, his teacher told him, 'Now the time has come for you to transmit your knowledge and experience to others.'

[Matthieu Ricard]
The Monk and the Philosopher, p.154

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[...] I must point out that would-be teachers of my work must be trained to put the principles and procedures of its technique into practice in the use of themselves in their daily activities before they attempt to teach others to do likewise.

Herein lies the difference between the proposed training and all other forms of training. For students may take courses of training in medicine, physiology, theology, law, philosophy, or anything else without the matter of the use of themselves being called into question. But in the training for this teaching a considerable amount of work must be done on the students individually so that they may learn to use themselves satisfactorily, and it is only when they have reached a given standard in the use of themselves that they will be given the opportunity for practical teaching experience.

A training in the satisfactory direction of the use of his own mechanisms is essential to the medical man's personal equipment [...]

[F. Matthias Alexander]
The Use of the Self, p.88, 117

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