I sometimes feel overwhelmed and confused whenever I go buy something.
In this world of marketing and commercialism, every product seems to be “the best”, “new and improved”, and “#1”.
But most of the time, it’s just hype and nothing is as it seems.
And I always thought that spiritual teachers were above this – that they be more honest, genuine, and serving.
Unfortunately, far too often the slick marketers has dressed in spiritual cloths and many spiritual teachers are out to sell their products than their message.
Even though they look genuine and their words are well-meaningful, the gift I got from them was nothing of spiritual worth.
So how can you tell a true spiritual teacher from a slick new age huckster?
And more importantly, what can you do to not get caught into their traps?
7 Ways to Recognize a New Age Huckster from a Spiritual Teacher
1. They Charge More Than Necessary
Now I believe that Spiritual Teachers should be paid for their teachings.
As with everyone, every man is worthy of their hire.
We cannot expect someone to trade valuable teachings for nothing just as a plumber should be traded for their service.
It is either paid in some form of money or in hard and sweat tears.
But when a spiritual teacher charges $10,000 to teach you about spiritual awakening, there could be something else they are awakening you toward.
And it’s definitely not towards the teachings itself.
If their reasoning for payment is not on par with what they are offering, you have the right to be wary.
One sincere student visited a famous guru known throughout the spiritual spheres.
When he got there, the guru asked for a fee as a gift to be blessed by the guru.
Alerted, the student says that he didn’t bring any money with him but is ready to endure any training necessary.
But the guru snorted at him to go home to his parents and get the money or he won’t teach.
When the student came back with the money, he sat down awaiting what mystery teachings the guru has in store for him.
Little did he realized that all the guru did was throw a mantra, sprinkle some speckle dusts, and that was it.
As they say, you will know a spiritual teacher by the fruits of their labor.
And apparently, this famous guru hasn’t the balance in his life to teach spiritual awakening.
So look out for overly high prices.
2. Everything is Relative with Them
Be wary of any spiritual teacher who uses relativity to justify their reasons.
Although it is true that most of what we know is relative, there is such a thing as objectivity.
Instead of thinking in terms of relativity and objectivity, think of it as truth and a higher truth.
A truth is what we think we know as truth.
This qualifies as “personal truth” or “my and your truth”.
But when everyone comes to the same conclusion, it is a higher truth.
It is a truth that no other truth comes after.
For example, the sun exists.
No matter how many perspectives there are, it is still there whether we believe in it or not.
Whether it is in the Earth realm, Astral realm, or Spiritual realm, it exists in all of them!
When the Mystics speak that “All is an illusion”, they do not mean that it is an illusion for me, but not for you.
Spirituality speaks of things that ARE, not as how we imagine them to be.
The Truth never changes, but it might change you.
A spiritual teacher can abuse the meaning of “Everything’s relative” to a point that it’s all your fault and never them, especially when their teachings are contradictory and they are caught in the corner.
Not only that, but a life lived only in perspectives is a path which goes nowhere because there wouldn’t be a path at all.
Of course, spiritual teachers can be wrong. And that’s okay.
Sometimes they may speak in parables and not the whole truth due to backlash. And that’s okay.
But when they use the “relative argument” for anything that is against them, turn the other way.
3. They Call Themselves a Master
The wise needs no title to his craft but the love of his spirit.
Grand names like Ascended Master, mythic and pagan deities, archangel, metatron, etc. are a red flag, especially if they have a “spiritual” ring to it.
What is even worse is if they had no training in a certain religion but dresses like a yogi or a spiritual master.
No, the clothes don’t make you spiritual. It’s only an appearance. And appearances are illusions.
They will usually act high and mighty and become hard to reach.
Once I met a “master” who keeps trying to prove that his powers were real.
He was always concerned about how he got his information and why he is proving it to you.
Oh a cricket in the background? This means that my energy is affecting the environment around me.
How do I know what I know? I just got a download from the Universe.
Have some discernment.
A true spiritual teacher has nothing to prove.
This man is battling within himself because he wanted everyone to believe he has power.
But the only power he possesses is the ability to deceive himself.
As the poetry of Zen Master Ryokan says:
“I don’t regard my life
Inside the brushwood gate
there is a moon;
there are flowers.”
In other words, let yourself BE.
That is the embodiment of real mastery.
4. A Dark Vibe
This is it. You will know it when you feel it.
You see the spiritual teacher and you hear them speak all spiritual, but you feel a little strange.
He has a dark vibe. No, I don’t mean an evil or sinister satanic vibe.
It’s like there is no light in them. Hollow. An absence of soul or genuineness.
Or there is a feeling that his energy is everywhere, uncontrolled and chaotic.
I once participated in an energy school, but it felt strange the moment I entered.
The people say they were “love and light”, but people were constantly one-upping each other with their extravagant use of spiritual words.
The teacher was concerned with ego, fear, and proving his teachings.
In fact, there was over 8 whole lessons about egos but nothing about how to overcome them.
And going through his teachings, I realized that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
He’s just milking the dollar signs and giving people biology lessons from free youtube videos, only vaguely does he describe any energy work in his lessons.
So listen to your intuition and your gut feelings as they are usually right from the start.
5. They hold the only Light of Truth
They are teachers who believe themselves reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
The teachers who tell you they are the absolute truth.
And the ones who claim to be the only one who can take you to the light.
Here is a reality check: no one can do it for you.
A spiritual path is one where you must do it yourself.
They can lead you to the right path.
They can help you with facts or true principles much like a scientist pointing out what happens if one does this or that.
But they cannot take you there.
Everything depends on you.
We say that the only true master is the master within.
But it is also true that we will require to seek a spiritual teacher before we get there.
Because the road is rough and full of illusions.
The man who thinks he can find it alone is apt to fall.
But to seek it in the wrong hands will lead him far from his spiritual journey than were he to do it alone.
Also, be wary of the teacher who is coming from some traditional ancient lineage where you can’t actually trace.
Such teachers will praise his gurus and make you worship them in some form instead of learning the actual teachings since the focus is on the lineage and not on the lesson.
6. Spiritual New Age Illusion
Make the Principle of Cause and Effect your priority.
Many of you were better before you listened to these gurus.
Then afterwards, you feel unbalanced.
You are full of fear and depression.
The new age gurus are hard to detect because they slip right under your subconscious radar.
They feed you all positivity and generally make you feel good.
No, they don’t make you think.
No, they don’t make you aware.
No, they don’t make you awake.
But these gurus are great at making you feel good.
To tell you what you want to hear.
And give you an imagination ride where all the reptilians and galactic federation will save you from ascension!
The problem with short term feel good solutions is that the root problem doesn’t go away. It’s just a distraction.
Generally they prey for those who desperately needs healing, those who are dissatisfied with the religion they grew up in, those who are looking for the weird conspiracies, and those who are in a depressed moment in time.
The new age gurus will leave you confused, starved, and chained.
7. Obsession with a Lesson
Is the teacher all about enlightenment this or enlightenment that but doesn’t give you one step to get there?
They praise the “third eye” as the only thing that will help you with “spiritual success.”
It could be an obsession with awakening, ascension, out of body experience, ayahuasca, enlightenment, bliss, or whatever state they praise as the be all and end all.
Most likely, it is just their fantasy and they either have never experience it or they have a short experience but never really understand it.
We shall call these teachers as ‘those who are lost but thinks he is leading‘.
How to not get caught in their traps
1. Never be infatuated with the teacher
No, I don’t mean in a romantic sense.
When we discover someone new and they appear awesome, we tend to take sides.
Are there confusion and people placing the teacher on a pedestal?
Do you see a division between the pupils and the ex-pupils, where one of them defends without reason?
Be clear in mind and think for yourself.
Also, there is a difference between respect for the teacher and infatuated with the teacher.
Don’t be infatuated, still have respect where respect is earned.
2. Test thy teacher
A teacher should not go against their own teachings.
That is what you should be testing.
Once an old man came to the Buddha and cursed him.
The Buddha replied to the old man and asks “If I were to bring you a gift tomorrow morning all wrapped up in a beautiful box would you accept it?”
The old man replies “Absolutely not, I would take nothing from the likes of you!”.
“Ah ha” the Buddha replies “Well if I were to offer you this gift and you were to refuse then who would this gift belong to?”.
“It would still belong to you of course” answers the old man.
“And so the same goes with your anger, when I choose not to accept your gift of anger , does it not then remain your own?”
What happened is that the Buddha was true to his teachings and, thus, the teachings proved to be true.
If they are true to themselves, there should be nothing to fear.
Step on their egos a bit and see whether they react in fear and anguish or whether they are still true to themselves.
3. Check your Fears
Most of the time, we attract those false teachers into our lives.
Because of our fear, we take desperate measures.
Out of fear, we don’t pay attention to which spiritual teachers have our best interest.
Wolves can smell fear and desperation and they will seek to fill that void at the cost of your sanity.
Keep your desires in check.
Because our desires are so powerful that we throw out serenity for anything that fills the void of that desire.
If you don’t look within yourself, other people will get you to look into theirs.
4. Reach out to them
It doesn’t matter if the spiritual teacher is popular, the head of a temple, or a “spiritual celebrity”.
If you can’t reach out to them, they are not real.
A true spiritual teacher recognizes the divinity in all of us and treat us with compassion.
Now this doesn’t apply to the hidden masters as they are hidden for a purpose.
And this also doesn’t mean that the spiritual teacher should travel long-distance to the student.
But if a spiritual teacher can be seen or met, they should have no problem with allowing you to reach out to them.
5. Is it the Message or the Product?
Is everything about the message or the product line?
Do you feel that you have to buy a bunch of products, including their up-sells, from them?
Look to see if the spiritual teacher has books after books, which are just rehash of the same book.
And see if their books are 70% promotion and 30% rehash information.
Even if it is about the message, it has to be a message that is genuine and not gibberish.
Stay clear of strange spiritual languages.
For example, “The mind is an ingredient of cosmic destiny” or “Greatness imparts reality to deep marvel”.
Not even I understand this magnificent language that imparts no cosmic meaning!
It could of been said better by philosophers, mystics, and ancient masters alike.
There is NO reason why a message wrapped in flimflam should be made spiritual or profound.
Now Don’t Get Me Wrong
I’m not a true master. Or even be labeled a Spiritual Teacher.
I still have lots to learn and will forever be learning.
And I know that spiritual teachers have to eat and live.
But if the spiritual teacher speaks like a marketer and acts like a marketer, then he is likely a marketer who knows exactly how to play on your emotional hot buttons, preconceptions and wishful hopes.
I’ve almost been caught in their nests many many times as this is widespread in the spiritual community.
I give my humble thanks to the intuition that guide me toward the right path.
And for the new age hucksters, they could mean well.
But if a person is not in a position to help, they can only make it worse.
Real teachers are all around you though they may not advertise themselves.
Have discernment and see the world as it is rather than by the trappings of the spiritual illusions.