I am new to this forum and have not the capacity to read the entire thread; I hope for your lenience.
Few points I would like to make:
dharma is blending in. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Eckart Tolle, Jack Kernfield etc. Not that they keep silent about their sources, but they don't publish them too prominently. For the sake of science, secularism, attracting a larger target group, I don't know. So many people get in contact with Dharma without even knowing.
Then there are the people who like the taste of it. Inspiring devotion becomes desiring devotion. It is so precious to have so manys texts accessible. I am so happy about the valuable translators' work and also that these texts have been made public.
In this degenerate time
, it is very difficult to find the qualified teacher. It is is too easy to encounter fake gurus. Both with the absence of a teacher or with the options to go with a teacher half-heartedly brings further challenges. In addition, this western culture bears the latent expectation to being held hands and being supported in literally all aspects in life. Longing, Impatience, self-denigration, many thoughts and emotions may come up.
Everyone, maybe even everything, one encounters can be a teacher. Pointing out instrucitons are for free everywhere, if one just is awake to the moment to hear them. Fascinating to see in particuliar which kind of wisdom can flow out of kids!
Also whatever emotion arises, look at the arising. Go deeper down to the source. How fast am I judging? How fast am I assuming to know the truth?
Yet I think the teacher is necessary for two things:
- to express the unexpressable, that hinge of that ultimate truth. The source is paradox and beyong common logic. I think that requires some personal , maybe metaphysical, transmission. and
- an experienced eye that challenges you further or shows your limits. That sees in you what you cannot see yourself and shows the way. That reacts intuitively and personally to the student and his karmic predisposition.
A text doesn't allow that interaction.
I'd say that without a teacher one cannot loosen ego's manifold graspings and disguises because one has to do that whilst
also having infinite compassion for that self. If not, one falls into craziness.
Just my two cents.