Even a false teacher will help you to know falsity. Do not worry too much about distinguishing. If you happen to be with a false teacher, be with him as wholeheartedly as possible. You will know, and when you know you will have grown, and then no other false teacher will be able to catch you.
And life is known only through experience. I cannot give you any criteria to judge whether someone is a false teacher or someone is a true one because all the criteria can be used by those false teachers also. And they have used all. And sometimes it happens – rather, it has happened more often than not – that you will find it difficult to judge a real teacher, because a real teacher will not bother about your criteria. But a false teacher will always move according to the criteria.
If the society says that a real teacher will be an ascetic one, then anyone can manage to be ascetic, it is not difficult. So anything can be managed. And a seeker is not even aware of himself, so how can he judge? But there is no need. If this is made a basic need – first to judge whether a teacher is real or not – then you will never proceed because this first thing cannot be fulfilled. You will remain where you are.
So I say move. If you happen to be with a false teacher, good: move with him; live with him. Whatsoever he teaches, try it. You will come to know through your own experience that the man was false. But do not go against him. There is no need. He has trained you for a particular thing. You have known something which is good to know – what falsity is. Now you will be more aware. So go on moving, go on moving!
Everything in life is a learning. Make everything a learning and do not try to be wise before experience; you cannot be. Experience will show you more. And the real search is not for a real teacher, the real search is for a “real seeker.” So you will become a real seeker through your search. And false or real, all teachers will help you.
Everyone helps if you are ready to take the help. So do not think of the other, whether the teacher is real or not. Your search must be real and authentic; that is all. If yours is a real, authentic search, no false teacher can deceive you. And if otherwise, there is no way. So remain authentic with your search. Those teachers will fall down by themselves.
From Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy, Discourse #4
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