The Messenger vs The Message
From spiritual leaders, Presidents, to celebrities, society looks to them for sense of direction and many of us follow them. And while leaders are important and necessary for any structure or organization, there seems to be a blindfold we put over ourselves along with entitlement to judge. This phenomenon is greatly attributed to an overall misplacement of value on messengers over the message.
Throughout history, we have learned and evolved through words of wisdom of many greats. From philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Confucius, and even Einstein amongst countless others. Religions have formed around figures like Jesus Christ, Buddha, & Muhammad with icons that surfaced through religion such as Martin Luther, Gandhi, Krishna and so on. And the moment their name is attached to their words of wisdom, there is an immediate and unconditional validation of the content especially by those who already revere them or follow them.
We even see this with celebrity memes on the internet where some, if not most, are not even actually stated by the name that it is attached to, but is created by those who know that it will make it more acceptable or convincing by doing so.
Let’s try the reverse here for example:
We can immediately feel the difference in the impact.
Now, while I cannot dismiss the value of that impact for its positive effect, we are also able to observe an underlying phenomena that is deeply rooted and perpetuating some of the most detrimental impact in our world today, especially in religion. Which is that the messenger is worshipped over the message and its essence. And there is a tendency within our thinking that once we associate ourselves to the messenger, there is a notion that we are also associating with the message itself and that is not so AT ALL.
When we look at the teachings of Christ or Buddha as an example, we see that their intent was not to start a religion, but for the followers to “become” the teachings by fully owning it, digesting it, living it, and ultimately embodying it.
Even when we look at the term “Christian”, it means “little Christ”. Religion often refers to us as “children of God” and yet when we say that we are “God”, there is a harsh criticism if not regarded as an abomination thus completely blind to their own severe contradiction and irony. So much so that it created a deep separation and dualism which completely takes away from the very essence of the Masters’ message to unify. This is evident mostly in the way followers attack and judge others for not following their “one True God”, history bloodied with war in the name of religion, and even being used for political and controlling leverage.
Your association with the messenger does not bring their message come to life. Only your own embodiment can…
Furthermore, along with this blindness to the essence of the message, it also promotes a codependent model where we worship and revere the leader and simply become the followers creating a sense of separation that we can never be like them thus keeping ourselves in the sense of guilt or remorse of our shortcomings and unattainable perfection (which is a false sense of humility or humbleness) and even jealousy.
Jesus came to demonstrate the essence to show (or remind) us who we are, what we are made of, and where we are from. He has stated that you shall do the things I have done and even greater things. That the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you. That YOU are the temple.
This codependency is justified when it comes to a “perfect God” and seemingly stable, but look at what it does when it comes to leaders around us. We feel that it is ok to judge and scrutinize leaders when they are not affiliated with the right religion or faction, when they cuss, drink, smoke, doesn’t practice yoga, don’t meditate or pray enough, style of their diet (that they are not vegan or vegetarian), the amount of knowledge or lack thereof, etc.
Judgment is a projection of our own insecurities or lack of trust in our own inherent greatness needing someone else to be better than us.
Yes, leaders are held at a higher level of accountability. But not for qualifying themselves to whatever criteria we deem are fit for leaders, but for their ability to demonstrate empathy and to inspire, an ongoing awareness of their own alignment, and their pursuit to pioneer the way ahead of the rest to effectively share and teach to others. A leader’s job has never been about pleasing the followers, but to demonstrate and act from their authenticity in the position of whatever category they are leading in to effectively maintain the team or a body.
When we are aligned with the fundamental understanding of what a leader is, then there will be no need for guru-dom or guru-ship where blind followers are often created. Instead, we hold them in a place of respect for what they are demonstrating for us to be inspired by and for facilitating a better function for the body or the team.
People will say “well, they are setting an example for us to follow” and yes, that is so. But what good is an example if it is contrived or masked over? And what makes us think that their flaws, shortcomings, or even their vulnerability is also not part of an important example?
We force leaders to hide their true colors because the precedent has already been set with no room for imperfections. Then we wonder why politicians are fake, why it is ok to drag celebrities down for their mistakes, and why it is ok for us to ask for their perfection when we don’t even know what that actually means.
When we return the focus on the embodiment of the message, our own alignment (which by the way is not like anybody else), and ultimately remembering our very own sense of Divinity that we are ALL a derivative of the Source Creator, then we will be able to embrace the essence of any message for how it inspires and directs us, not for where it came from. And this will allow us to observe and work with leaders in its appropriate context.
If you have your own eyes, ears, and hearts open, you will begin to see that the Universe is ALWAYS speaking to you through every available channel and does not require a validated messenger to do so.
Thank you for allowing me to share my observation with you. Although this is just an aspect of a bigger picture, I hope and trust that this added value to you.