Welcome back for the second half of my interview with Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of the Omega Institute.
Elizabeth by Elizabeth Lesser
You give new meaning to the expression "go with the flow." Should we be able to fix ourselves, by ourselves? And what is the role of the teacher or guide? Is that just one more crutch so that we avoid taking the responsibility to fix ourselves?
People don't think
twice about having someone help them fix their computer or car, or they don't
question going to the doctor when they feel bad, or to the gym when they want a
trainer to help them get strong or lose weight. But when it comes to
psychological or spiritual help, there's a general squeamishness. There's a
cultural bias against paying someone to help us figure out things like
relationships, purpose, feelings, grief. But there's this idea that we should
be able to figure these things ourselves, or ask a friend, or just take a brisk
walk and get over it!
There is nothing wrong with getting expert help when dealing with life's difficult challenges. It is not a sign of weakness or a lack of responsibility. In fact, I think it's the wise choice to seek help when we need it. Therapists, healers, coaches, counselors, spiritual guides can be a godsend when the going gets tough (and in all of our lives we go through challenging phases and stages.) Of course, it's important to find someone who is kind and genuine and skillful--someone who knows when you have learned what you came to learn and helps you move on.
Good point. You talk about "spiritual activism" in your book. What is it and how does one practice it?