I did not realize that my first teacher was a teacher. I just thought that he was a rather peculiar, but good friend. It wasn’t until years later that I realized my friend was no ordinary friend, but a powerful and wise teacher, a maverick first class.
Going through the Fun da Mentals
By the time I was 18 I had been through most of the steps that are required for becoming a teacher. But I didn’t realize it yet. I had mostly moved out of the rebel and had begun to search for what? I did not yet know. I had already met a few bogus teachers and gotten out of their clutches. But I have to admit I had also missed a few real hot teachers. But the first one I paid attention to was an Irishman who joined my honours program as an exchange student at university. In retrospect I know he turned up because I was ready to start being a finder of answers.
He would often tell me classic short stories and tales and then watch me to see how I would react to them. Most of the time the stories would just pass over my head. But there was one story in particular that stuck, the story went as follows:
The Avatar and the Tea Cup Deep in the mountains of Japan there lived an ancient Zen Master. Of all the teachers of Zen he was known as the simplest and wisest of all the sages...
Sound familiar? After telling me that story my friend quoted Mark Twain’s statement:
"Most great people succeed in spite of their education."
He had a beaming grin on his face when he said it. I wasn’t too clear what he was driving at. I had done very well at school and at University. However I was feeling frustrated and disillusioned about my talent. I felt that the lecturers weren’t telling me enough. And most of my fellow students were only interested in showing off their talent and how clever they were but not in truly learning about more.
Anyway I forgot about his adventure stories. My first teacher went back to Ireland and I graduated and went out into the real world, which I found I was totally ill equipped to deal with. A year out of university I started to understand what my friend and teacher, Finbar, had been trying to tell me. Most of the things I thought I knew had nothing to do with the life I really wanted. I wanted a simple lifestyle of happiness and fulfillment. And I had been educated to be self-important, complicated and egotistical???
A Hot Teachers Humble Beginnings
So for the past decade I have worked at un-educating or de-programming myself. Emptying my cup so to speak. I reached a point where I thought I had gotten rid of most of the attitudes and destructive programmings that I had been given. But I was unsure what to do next. I had tossed everything I thought I knew, but didn’t know what to put in its place. It was then, as if by magic, that Finbar, my first teacher, strolled back into my life. He was working with a dream theater touring company in my town and he phoned me up for a drink.
So we met at the pub the next day. Finbar seemed to know exactly what to say. Every time I thought of something I wanted to ask him he would answer it, as if he was reading my mind. At some point we started to get onto what the next level of commitment was along the path of enchanted learning. My first teacher then produced two movies from his jacket pocket, as if by magic.
The one was the movie the 'Peaceful Warrior' and the other was 'Field of Dreams.' Finbar told me to watch both movies. Over the next few days I watch those movies about seven or eight times each. About a week later I realized that the next thing for me to do was to begin teaching. And by teaching I don’t mean dictating and pontificating. I mean offering people the signposts pointing the way towards their own freedom.
Taking the Initiative Becoming an Adventure Quest Guide
I tried to get hold of Finbar to tell him of my choice. But his theatre tour had already moved on to another city. I didn’t see him again for at least two years. By which stage I had become a teacher. I had committed to learning all the time. I understood that the more I truly know the less I actually know. So I am passing on this story as one of my teacher gifts to you.