The following is an excerpt from an interview with Mooji for my upcoming book Transformative Relationships: Paradoxes and Dilemmas, in which Mooji discusses how he sees the motivation of some of his students to teach. Mooji further explores the question of the motivation to teach (and other topics) in another interview I recently did with him, which can be watched on Mooji TV.
Amir: How do you work with students who have been with you for some time and come to a place of real seeing? Do you have any students sharing satsang in your name? What is your feeling about this?
Mooji: It’s a good question. At the moment there are six or seven people in different parts of the world sharing what they feel they have grasped through my pointings. I didn’t ask them to do this. They themselves wrote saying that people were asking them questions and they found that the answers were flowing naturally, as if it were I myself responding through them. So I watched some of their exchanges and said, ‘You may carry on, but beware of any urge to label yourself as a guru or master so that your understanding is not polluted by ego.’
After your first awakening experience or profound insight, it’s easy to think, ‘I’ve done it!’ And if you have any arrogance or a cunning mind, your mind quickly believes that its discipleship is over. There are still many seekers who believe themselves to be awake, whereas in fact they are still steeped in delusion. They overlook the signs that expose that personal identity is still alive. Then by the time they realize the mistake, they are already in a role that may feel impossible to get out of without embarrassment or shame. It’s so important to take time to mature, and to continue to burn the remnants of the egoic identity, which can linger on and are the last shadows to leave. Therefore, I urge: Continue your inquiry while remaining at the Master’s feet.
Some students have gone on to become teachers and help others to develop spiritually, but I have not found anyone to guide seekers with the unsparing light and power of Self-inquiry in the way that destroys the ego instantly.
The true sharing has no doing or doer behind it, so I don’t even know if I will call it sharing. One finds that there is no particular identity to be; identity becomes very superficial and is replaced by a spontaneous, intuitive presence. Whether one speaks with a cat or the baker or someone from satsang, what is shared is always appropriate because it is the spirit that is interacting with varying forms as life. It always functions in perfect timing and takes care of those who love Truth. What I try to protect beings from is any tendency to want to teach at a premature stage in their development, though they may feel within themselves that they are quite ready. This is also the work of the Master, to pull the reins on this galloping tendency to rush forward when you should still be sitting in solitude at the Master’s feet, marinating in presence. Sometimes a seeker or student, having experienced what they feel is a profound insight, then feels that they are somehow qualified to be guiding others. They may even have an urge to set up their own independent group. This is such a huge mistake because it often comes from ego, though it may not be obvious to them in the beginning. If someone wants to do their own thing and separate from the main sangha, this is most suspect. Stay inside the main body of the sangha, and then gradually, as you grow in maturity, everything starts unfolding naturally. But you yourself must first be fully cooked.
Amir: Do you feel the ones sharing from their experience should be considered masters, or gurus?
Mooji: No. It is quite something to become an established teacher or master in the truest sense. No one can make themself into a master, or even a true disciple. Only the Supreme Self, as grace, can do this. And it works from the inside out.
You see I have a very high regard for the term ‘master’ or ‘guru’. Perhaps this is from my experience of meeting Papaji. It is the one merged in God—egoless and effortlessly free, but the term has been tainted by religious dogma, skepticism and people’s general social conditioning. A lot of people in the west have negative ideas about the term ‘guru’. I think it’s partly because there have been a lot of bad examples of people who have called themselves gurus but are observed to not be moving in the spirit of Truth, although it may not always be so blatant. They are not really endorsed by the spirit, and so at some point they hit a plateau and don’t move any further. This can so easily happen when beings start sharing prematurely.
Amir: Can you tell me more how this premature sharing can happen?
Mooji: In the beginning it feels like something supports and even encourages these new gatherings, and people may come and ask questions. Though it feels like an outpouring from the Self, it’s often tainted by arrogance and self-importance. Although the Self is never not there, its expression here gets mixed with determination, egoic tendencies and wishful thinking. It’s like the start of a new relationship founded on fanciful ground: at the beginning everything is wonderful and you’re convinced that heaven has sent you an angel. Then out of nowhere, the clouds come and you’re left standing in a shower of acid rain. If people are not spiritually mature to share in this way, then at a certain point they will run out of power. It is like they are running on rechargeable batteries and have to go and charge up again and again. But when you have really crossed over and are cured of delusion, you are plugged into the powerhouse itself—everything is flowing directly and smoothly from the inexhaustible source.
If one’s mind is not fully merged with the source, then after a while their battery runs empty, and though they keep talking about spirituality, it carries an uninspiringly worldly vibration.
Sensing these possible pitfalls, this is often why many seekers talk of chopping off heads or smashing ego. But there is not any real need for this. It is enough to understand and follow my pointings implicitly, which painlessly guide you into the recognition of the timeless Self.
Amir: So do you feel it’s better for people to not share at all?
Mooji: I don’t want to say that people should not share. In fact, I encourage spontaneous sharing. But it is important that people are aware that it really takes time to mature into a universal teacher. There has to be consistency in them—not a practiced or contrived one, but one that is the evidence of an effortless and complete awakening. There is no space in the Real for stored up concepts or complicated spirituality. Like this, the obvious becomes obvious.