Sometimes spiritual teachers would never in a lifetime of 77 years call themselves spiritual teachers. Novelist Ayn Rand, for example.
People with petty minds criticize Ayn Rand because her own real life relationships seemed horribly messed up. Yet those who read her novels with an open mind find themselves feeling the kind of inspiration and uplifted spirits which many churches only hope to offer. Open-minded readers of Rand's novels find their lives improved immensely, certainly offering at least fertile ground for vastly improved relationships.
A novel which uplifts and inspires is a spiritual book. And the writer of such a book is a spiritual teacher. Wouldn't it be funny if reading Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" was like taking some kind of course in miracles? Sometimes reading a powerful fictional work can cause a major shift in mind and a major shift in mind could be called a miracle ... especially if it lifts a person out of darkness into light.
In the ancient Sanskrit language, "gu" (darkness) and "ru" (light) are combined to form "guru" (one who takes me from darkness into light). Certainly living in the presence of a true guru is beneficial to myself and all my relationships ... and I want to very much feel the presence of my guru. I can only imagine how it must have felt to know Jesus of Nazareth personally and live in his physical presence.
There are those who say, "Well, I don't need a special guru because everyone I come into contact with is teaching me all the time, even when I don't see the teaching." That's true, but it shouldn't be used as an excuse for not finding a fully enlightened teacher to help me speed up the process.
I swear by my life and my love of it I will make a dedication inside myself to find a teacher who can really take me all the way spiritually.
As with teachers, so with books. If reading "Atlas Shrugged" is like taking some kind of course in miracles, what if there exist even greater spiritual books which could expand my awareness a million times more?
What if I went to the library and said to the librarian, "Do you have any spiritual books that would thoroughly change the way I see everything ... as if I were reading some kind of course in miracles?" Yes, there are a handful of extremely advanced spiritual books around, books that cause great openings spiritually, and most libraries have at least one of them. This week I also dedicate myself to searching for some of the greatest spiritual books.
Any teachers, and any books, which help my movement from darkness into light will also, as a side benefit, improve all my relationships vastly. So I make firm my dedication by saying this many times over in my mind:
"My relationships as well as all other aspects of life are enhanced by spiritual teachers and spiritual books."
Also available free of charge online:
Course in Political Miracles