Does Mixing of Different Spiritual Teachings Affects Our Progress?
As spiritual teachings today are so broad and easily available, it is not uncommon for people to mix different things from different sources. Sometimes in life, people feel that they have learned everything that they could from the teachings they were practicing, and want to move onto something else. Sometimes they feel they have ‘overgrown’ it, feeling that they need something more engaging, or just something different. And there are many people who practice aspects of various teachings at the same time, feeling like not wanting to let go of the old teachings for one reason or another, though at the same time wanting to try out new ones, or perhaps they were never truly dedicated to only one system of teachings.
I noticed that there are many who take only those things from various teachings that they find agreeable, and ignoring other things that might be directly related to those aspects that they have chose to use (because a technique of development is rarely a stand-alone thing). It seems that in a lot of cases, what they decide to choose and what they decide to reject is based on their perception of truth and reality, the perception that is often stemming from the belief system that forms the base against which other teachings are measured and judged. Unless the feeling of knowing a real truth is coming from a higher part of ourselves, such as from the soul or the Being, the person could be easily misled by their own egos and waste a lot of time not making any real progress.
Every genuine spiritual teaching is a system of development which includes various aspects that have to be applied internally in order to arrive to proper results. Just one technique from a teaching might yield some results, but it would not be a complete thing, it would not lead towards the spiritual goals that the teachings have laid out. For example, someone can take a mindfulness technique from Buddhism, sacred mantra chanting or tantric work from Hinduism, a ritual work from ceremonial magic, some psychological work from Gurdjieff system, a few things from Samael Aun Weor, etc., and incorporate all of that in their daily life, but what would they be hoping to achieve? Perhaps their goals are not so lofty, and they just want to experience some spirituality or improvement of their energy level, which is fine. However, for those who are serious with inner development, it would be good to reflect if such incorporation of aspects of many teachings is taking them closer to attainment of permanent states of peace and happiness, of experiences and knowledge of reality, of becoming not just a better person, but a different person. It is these qualities that should be the real measure of how we are doing in the work, whether we are going where we want to go, and if the teachings we have chosen are good for us at all.
Choosing the right teachings may not be the easiest thing for most people; one should always choose only that which their heart tells them that is good for them. And if they are not yet ready for delving into one teaching alone, it is fine to prepare oneself by taking only those things that one resonates with (though it is advisable to do this under supervision of someone who knows about it). However, there are many people who refuse to delve into a system of spiritual development because of fear, even though mentally and spiritually they are well-prepared to take it up. There are also many of those who fear that by choosing just one teaching they will be missing on other systems that they feel could help them, and so they go on and try to take more than one work at the same time, resulting in becoming scattered and not doing any of the work properly.
Each genuine teaching have its own atmosphere, its lineage of awakened people, its flavor, and working within such scope brings more substantial structure to one’s work, as well as different qualities that aid the work, such as steadfastness and strength, because one works within an atmosphere in which there are many others who work as well, each contributing something of their higher energy to it, simply by being part of that system of teachings.
I believe it is much better to take just one teaching and do your best to see if it will bring about higher qualities within you, rather than to sit on the fence and practice many things from different systems. Even though each of the genuine system that can bring deep spiritual transformation is endowed with the same spiritual principles, they are also each unique.
HDP, March 2021.