This oft-quoted line from Hamlet, spoken by Polonius to his son Laertes refers to the fact that the young man, who is embarking upon his journey to Paris, should take care of himself, in effect, behave himself and not get into trouble. This sage advice can be applied to any young person leaving home for college: do not follow blindly what others are doing, but think, take care of yourself, and be loyal to your own beliefs, ideals and moral values.
The same advice applies to anyone on the spiritual path.
There are many “gurus” who, while teaching essentially the same message, couch the teachings in different terms. However, there are all too many who seek devotees
and while they may have started off as well-intentioned, humble teachers, end up as cult leaders whose egos are stroked by their adoring disciples.
Why does this happen?
The answer is simple: suspended logic and blind adherence to the “wisdom” of the teacher.
It is essential as you negotiate your path, that you always remain sceptical, asking questions and listening to your own inner voice. Never think that someone else can be the one and only teacher who can lead you to enlightenment! Never stop questioning and thinking for yourself!
If the information that has been imparted sounds too outlandish and promises the moon, then listen to the warning bells. Do not give away your power, because it is you, as a “follower” who is empowering the teacher, feeding his ego and elevating him to a status that is “holy”.
It can be very disheartening and disappointing to discover your “guru” has feet of clay, so be true to yourself, think, be critical, ask questions and then make up your own mind, seek further, read, read, read and meditate, for the truth lies within you, and every single person can contribute to the wisdom you seek. Your inner work will reap great rewards as long as you stick to working hard at learning from a variety of sources: find your own truth, find what works and resonates with you. You do not need to dress in outlandish clothing or become a vegetarian. It does not make you more “spiritual”, but if you do and that is what your inner self prompts you to do, then do so. But don’t do it because it is what “everyone else is doing”. You are not “everyone else.” You are you, a unique fragment of Light and Love having a human experience.
And, no, don’t believe that because I wrote it either.