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The spiritual counsellor who takes personal advantage of the dependence placed upon him or of the trust shown in him, thereby renders himself unfit for such a high position. Therefore in his dealings with disciples it is best for him to maintain an independence in practical affairs and worldly relationship as well as a cool detachment in social contact and personal intercourse. It is inevitable that the disciples should feel hurt at such impersonality and such objectivity, but therein lies a protection both for themselves and for the teacher until such time as they are more developed, better balanced, more controlled, and farther seeing. Then and then only is it possible for the teacher to revise the relationship and make it not only a warmer one but even a more personal one, with safety to both sides. Disciples who are not well-balanced and are somewhat neurotic often try to get the teacher personally involved in their lives. For they want to be set free from the need of developing themselves, the duty of improving their characters, the burden of accepting their responsibilities, and the painfulness of working out emotional problems which are merely the result of their own egoism. If the teacher succumbs to their appeals, then they remain unevolved and the relationship itself remains unpracticable. But if he firmly resists them he may, by such resistance, force a change in their attitude and consequently an increase in their wisdom. In doing so however he courts misunderstanding on the part of his disciples, who may first become bewildered and later resentful. Affection may turn to anger for a time, and the disciple may even withdraw altogether. If they are so foolish as to do this their development will not only be stopped but also, what is worse, set back for months or years.

-- Notebooks Category 1: Overview of the Quest > Chapter 6: Student-Teacher > # 582

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