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Spiritual Teachers – the Good, the Bad, and the Possesed


Spiritual teachers affect the lives of thousands, or even millions, of people. How and in what ways isn’t normally a topic of conversation. But, as we specialise in looking at the effects of one energy on another, we’re often asked how the energy of a particular spiritual teacher  impacts on the enquirer’s life or spiritual well-being.

This may seem odd to some, but spiritual teachers aren’t any different to any other part of the environment. They radiate certain forms of energy that have observable effects on others energies, with predictable consequences. Obviously, different people respond in different ways to the same energy, but that energy still has its own stable qualities, irrespective of who’s receiving it.

So we thought it might be helpful to describe the energenic effects of the basic kinds of spiritual teacher on their followers. We’ve included one or two examples for each of the categories of spiritual teacher below. Incidentally, although Energy Awareness practitioners tend to be fairly relaxed about energenic observations, we appreciate that many people have strong feelings and opinions about their or others’ spiritual teachers. Therefore, to mitigate any unintended irritation, we’ve only referred to deceased ‘gurus,’ as classic examples of the different types of spiritual teacher.

Of course, many gurus include two or more of the typical energy configurations of spiritual teachers so, as always, reality is more complex than simple categorisations. But, hopefully, this will give you a sense of the various kinds of spiritual teacher. And how they may, or may not, fulfil their particular role in your life.

We touch on some ‘big’ topics in this blog post, necessarily briefly, so feel free to post your questions and comments below.

What Makes A ‘Spiritual Teacher?’

Every genuine spiritual teacher always shows one important energenic characteristic:

This is a flow of energy from their crown chakra (at the fontanelle) to, at least one of, their mouth chakras (there are seven). This empowering energy, mana, descends from their sky chakra (the apex of the human energy field – as high as you can reach with your hands above your head) to their crown – or from some point in-between these two chakras. This descent of the spirit, followed by the transmission of this mana through their teachings, is the sina qua non of all genuine spiritual teachers. Their words act as vehicles for their manas, providing others with the means of causing their own consciousness to ascend.

However, eloquence about spiritual matters doesn’t always result from a descent of the spirit, i.e. not all spiritual talk is truly empowering. Indeed some is positively harmful. So let’s look at the five, basic, types of spiritual teacher. Or, at least, those who appear to be spiritual teachers:


It’s worth bearing in mind that, generally speaking, spiritual teachers are rarely aware of why they have the ability they have. It may have come to them in a ‘flash,’ through a revelatory experience; it may have dawned slowly over a long period of time; or it may be the result of disciplined practices that naturally lead a practitioner to eventually become a spiritual teacher. But, the underlying energenics are rarely understood, which also means that the potential liabilities of being a ‘spiritual teacher’ – such as, for example, the karmic connections between the spiritual teacher and his followers – are also rarely understood, or even recognised at all.

Being a teacher – which necessarily implies having students – places certain energenic requirements on the spiritual teacher, that not all can fulfil. Just because you have unusual awareness or insights of a spiritual nature, doesn’t mean you can automatically, effectively, help others experience equivalent awareness or insights, i.e. teach. Having a personal competency doesn’t always translate into being able to transfer it to others effectively.

However, for effective communication of personal understanding, perhaps no-one is so well-qualified as the first category of spiritual teacher . . .

The Philosopher

The characteristic energy that drives the Philosopher spiritual teacher rises from his 1st chakra up to his 6th chakra, where it generates new observations, concepts and ideas for new projects.

The Philosopher depends on his knowledge and intelligence. He is very comfortable with the world of the mind, and easily arrives at interesting  observations and insightful connections. He’s good at explaining why something is the way it is. And, in the case of problems, offering solutions. The Philosopher can be very helpful for making sense of a troubled area of your life.

The Philosopher’s potential weakness is that of being unable to see if his advice really is resonant with his followers’ needs – his ideas do not necessarily apply to any particular individual’s circumstances or needs. For his teachings to be complete, the descent of his manas (spiritual awareness) would have to match the arising of his conceptual insights – which would be unusual. However, for many, finding a spiritual teacher who happens to be a philosopher with whom they feel resonant, can be a source of great comfort.

Jiddu Krishnamurti is a well-known example of a spiritual teacher with the energenic nature of a Philosopher.

The Charismatic

The energy of the Charismatic teacher rises from his 2nd chakra to his 6th chakra, enabling him to recognise what people want to hear, and deliver it – he is in essence a ‘seducer,’ but, hopefully, in a positive sense. The Charismatic is the ‘movie star’-style of spiritual teacher. He depends on his overall presentation – an impressive visual image and/or well-modulated voice, carefully prepared surroundings, and teachings that are often ‘re-packaged’ rather than being products of his own awareness.

For a Charismatic, the medium really is the message. He can be very effective when presenting information or advice in ways that ‘make sense’ or influence people to make positive changes in their lives. However, the danger for the Charismatic is that of  identifying with the image he’s created – i.e. buying into his own myth, which leads to self-aggrandisement rather than empowerment.

Learning how to influence others can be a valuable skill. But abusing that skill, wittingly or unwittingly, leads to considerable harm to the student. Whereas people may not believe, or be interested in, the Philosopher, and so simply ‘walk away’ – the Charismatic makes strong connections with others’ emotions and so ‘ties people in.’ If he is a genuine spiritual teacher, this can be all to the good. If he isn’t, it can be highly destructive.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) is a typical example of a Charismatic (and a Channel – see below).

The Channel

The energy of the Channel enters his 6th chakra then flows to his mouth before manifesting through speaking or writing. A Channel’s words aren’t, essentially, his own – but they may be heavily influenced by his knowledge, beliefs or psychological state. They derive from his connection with an entity or spirit.

The quality of the Channel’s words – in terms of their impact on others – is determined by (i) the nature of the entity or spirit with which he’s formed a connection and (ii) how well grounded, or connected with the earth, the Channel’s 6th chakra happens to be.

Many modern spiritual teachers are Channels, communicating ideas received from external sources through their 6th chakra. Unfortunately, being a mouthpiece – not unlike a human telephone with the additional ‘static’ of the Channel’s subconscious on the ‘line’ – is not necessarily conducive to developing one’s own (or others’) higher awareness. Rather than developing your own awareness, it’s all too easy to lapse into a dependent relationship with the words or ‘voice’ that come to you.

If the words or voice are products of an energy-descending (weakening) connection with a spirit or entity, the Channel can have a powerfully destructive influence on others who are vulnerable to the same energy. Although not considered a spiritual teacher, Adolf Hitler is a well-known example of someone completely in the grip of an entity, a grounded negative Channel and a Charismatic. His entity-charged words had tangible real-world effects and inspired [ripened] a nation’s homicidal tendencies [karmas].

A famous healer, Edgar Cayce, is a great example of a grounded positive Channel – his results spoke for themselves – with a strong spirit (as opposed to an ‘entity’) connection.

Franklin Jones (Adi Da) was a spiritual teacher who depended on his ability to channel, (he was also a Charismatic and Energizer). This ability resulted from a possession experience that left him with an insatiable appetite – courtesy of the spirit with which he formed a weakening connection – for drugs and sex.

Channeling, in its most devastating form, is not unlike a ‘pact with the devil’ insofar as it can take over your operating system. Of course, it’s usually associated with more benign and much more low-key manifestations. But the underlying dynamic – a controlling connection between the frontal lobes of the spiritual teacher’s brain and an external entity or spirit – is always the same.

The Energiser

The Energiser has opened one or another of his chakras in such a way that he can consciously influence someone else’s energy. Common examples include:

  • Masters of internal martial arts – 3rd chakra
  • Powerful healers – 4th chakra
  • Shaktipat yogis – 6th chakra

An Energiser makes an impression on people by causing them to feel something – often, a sensation of warmth or energy traveling up their spine. What people often fail to realise is that this sense of energy can lead to good, bad, or, no results. The feeling itself only shows that the spiritual teacher is an Energiser. It doesn’t necessarily mean that this experience will lead to higher awareness or any other higher energy fortune.

Becoming an Energiser can be a trap for the unwary.  When an Energiser uses any of the horizontal chakras – i.e. the 1st to 6th chakras – on their own, to energise someone, they willOne of the famous and effective Spiritual Teachers generate new karmas (life challenges) for themselves and the recipient.  Only the 7th chakra, which is oriented upwards, towards the sky chakra, rather than forwards into the world, generates energy for others (and oneself) that is non-karmic in nature.

Apart from the karmic liabilities for the [lower chakra] Energiser, the recipients of his talent will also incur new karmas due to their picking up some of their teacher’s [foreign] energy. For example, like the Charismatic (see above), a 6th chakra Energiser tends to ‘grab onto’ his followers’ energy bodies and minds, disabling them in terms of their autonomy and their ability to think for themselves. A (relatively rare) 7th chakra Energiser has the opposite effect, releasing those (who are receptive) from stresses in the chakras his energy affects.

Albert Rudolph (Rudi) was a 6th chakra Energiser. Bhagawan Nityananda was a great 7th chakra Energiser.

The Preceptor

The Preceptor gives empowerments (‘seals’) through which a resonant spiritual practitioner can receive manas that descend from above their head into their energy body. Then, through effective cultivation practices, these higher-potential forms of the student’s own energy transform his life and consciousness into higher energy states. So the Preceptor acts as a catalyst for the student’s development of his own energy body, leaving the student self-responsible for his further progress, albeit supporting his practice until the flow of his mana. from above, is both strong and stable.

The Preceptor’s own empowering energy (baraka), which causes manas to descend in others, appears through years of practice devoted to communion with the Spirit in one form or another. This results in the opening of a channel from the Preceptor’s heart chakra to his sky chakra.

Strictly speaking, a Preceptor is the only truly transformative spiritual teacher out of all the above categories. This is because real, stable, change in anyone depends on their receiving empowerments from above, and then using the correct practices to develop these empowerments within their life. They are thus initiated into a Way of life that leads to non-dependent communion with the Spirit in one form or another.

Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro was a well-known Tibetan Buddhist Preceptor. Shirdi Sai Baba was a famous Indian exemplar.

If you sincerely wish for higher awareness – as opposed to just belonging to a group with appealing beliefs or a satisfying social structure – you will eventually receive the opportunity to establish a connection with a Preceptor. Your own intent, or resonance with higher awareness, will naturally generate this opportunity in your life.

However, generating an opportunity then acting on it are two separate things – just as being given a piano then learning to play it aren’t the same. A Preceptor’s baraka is inherently challenging – it directly opposes people’s normal karmic tendencies to make energy-descending or awareness-weakening choices – and so awakens a periodic sense of unease or inner conflict in the ‘spiritual warrior.’

To the degree it is accepted, this catalyst (baraka) will empower you to enter ever-deeper into the ascending stream of consciousness from your heart to your sky chakra. The ascent of such a Way for your life is akin to the struggles of a salmon swimming upstream – a sustained effort is required. But the potential rewards are both profound and liberating from the repetitious conditions and experiences of a life driven by the karmic commitments and desires of the lower, or horizontal, chakras.

Recognising Your Spiritual Teacher

An effective spiritual teacher for you is one who strengthens your heart chakra and your crown – your spirit and your life. Without these two resonances, their energy is of little benefit to your spiritual development, no matter how much they may appeal to your mind, your feelings, desires or popular sentiment. Only the ascending resonance of your heart makes a real difference. Everything else is a time-consuming distraction from a liberating Way.

Many people yearn for a spiritual teacher who will provide them with the means to cultivate their own higher awareness. But wishing for such a teacher is not enough. Only acting with the sincere intent to receive the guidance that you need will bring, to you, the ultimate fortune of higher awareness. Constantly bearing this in mind, you will achieve your goal.


An empowerment that you can use for recognising an effective spiritual teacher for you is practised in the Living With Energy Awareness Training. It is also included in the online, Entry Path.

Energenic feedback about the influence, on your energy, of any spiritual teachers you are considering working with, is also available through Decisions Decisions.

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