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Pseudo Enlightenment and the Unhealed Teacher/Coach/Healer

One of the most dangerous/amusing things about the path of spirituality, or personal development, is when someone gets a small glimpse of the light (read: wisdom). They are suddenly aware of something, usually about the universe or the world, and they feel as if the world has opened up for them. They get excited as they perceive this light, and they think that others have not perceived this, so they go excitedly telling others about this.

If they are able to contain it, they may allow this new found light to serve them in their own learning and allow this wisdom to sustain them. If they are not able to contain it, they will spend the rest of their personal growth path preaching to others. Spewing words they have read, but never really integrated. Never really understanding in REAL LIFE.

It is like saying they know places when they have never been there, and all they have done is read about these places.

There is a difference between enlightenment and enlightenment.

Pseudo enlighteners think they know what they are talking about because they have read and studied for a while, and they even believe that they have integrated the knowledge into their lives because it has even become part of their daily conversation. BUT they do not know how it applies to their own lives, or how they can actually walk the talk. The biggest blind spot in the entire personal development or new age/spirituality is the inability of teachers/coaches/practitioners to walk their talk. I even know a mindless mindfulness coach, extremely forgetful, mindlessly running their lives.

There is a big fear of being seen as a failure or being unsuccessful in the whole personal growth industry, so immature teachers and coaches put themselves on the pedestal and project an image that they are above everyone else. This was most amusing in the 90s and early 2000s, new age teachers/gurus market themselves as "walk-ins", ascended masters and whatever 'glamourous' titles they can get themselves. It was a circus.

There are still many leftovers from that era all over the internet. Charging exorbitant amounts (read: 5 figure sum) of money for a 'spiritual activation' because they believe they are the only ones ánointed to do this.

How do people get into this state where they believe they are these enlightened beings? It can happen when they have not developed psychologically. And how do people part with 4 or 5 figure amounts for a spiritual activation? Also, the lack of psychological maturity. In fact, most of them, both the teachers and the students would have unresolved baggage the size of their houses. They form a symbiotic relationship and both parties are kept in a locked partnership, and the blindspots never brought to light. Isn't this interesting?

Then we have the other spectrum of healers/teachers/coaches who over share everything. All over their social media feeds you will see what is going on intimately in their lives, from the fights they have with their spouse, to whatever is going on in such an intimate level that it reads like a reality TV. They call this authenticity. I call this attention-seeking and minimising actual healing. There is a difference between sharing the wisdom you have gained through your own pain with sharing daily updates of your fights.

With everything I have shared above, one of these pseudo enlighteners may get their hands on this piece of sharing and call me out and say that I am simply projecting my insecurities onto them. They need to know that not everything is a projection. 

This quote from Jeff Brown says it well:

"There is a big difference between projections and hard-earned wisdom. All too often, people are accused of projecting when they make bold statements about human behaviour. And sometimes this is true- our perspective can emanate from our own unresolved issues. We still have a chip on our shoulder, and that chip influences our view. But sometimes, our perspective is a reflection of what we have gleaned from our experiences. Sometimes we have learned a little something from all we have endured. So let's not turn everyone’s wisdom into a mirror projection game. Because sometimes we are actually seeing through the veils to a truth that demands expression. Sometimes our insights are fully grounded in reality" - Jeff Brown

So you might ask now, how do you choose the right teacher/coach/healer for yourself? Ask them, if they are in psychotherapy and how long have they been working on their own stuff in therapy. They can never help you effectively if they do not see their own shadow or have not allowed their blindspots to be brought to the light. They do not need to be perfect, but they certainly need to work on themselves on an ongoing basis.

Important Note: if they tell you they receive healing constantly, it is not the same thing as going to see an actual analyst or psychotherapist to work on their baggage. 

If they have never been on therapy and they are giving therapy/teaching/coaching/healing, turn around and RUN!


©2020 Shamala Tan

Let me know how I can assist you if you have any questions [email protected]
Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly level.

One of her success stories as an author is to being featured alongside New York’s bestsellers Sonia Choquette, Robert Allen, Arielle Ford, Marci Shimoff as well as Christine Kloser in the book Pebbles In The Pond.

Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.


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