It is a mistake to assume that great spiritual teachers are speaking at the level understood by their followers. Few beginners would be foolish enough to assume they could take Einstein literally. Instead, they would assume that they had only the barest outline of an understanding and would spend the rest of their lives growing into the teaching.


When Jesus says “I am the only way” it is understandable that some assume Jesus is speaking from the same ego centered consciousness with which they are hearing him. So they hear the words to say something like, “you must become a Christian or you cannot be saved.” Beginners have no way of knowing the depth of compassion from which such words might be spoken. They have not studied enough to realize that in the “I am” sayings of Jesus refer not to his own ego, but to the Divine Wisdom described in Proverbs. They do not know that “I am” is the divine name. So they have no way of realizing that Jesus is referring to the Wisdom that knits the cosmos together not to a church that has yet to be formed or a Bible that had yet to be written. He is speaking not as you or I might speak, but from the depths of our one common life. Which is why he also said, “What you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” He is saying, “only in loving from the heart of things, as I am, can you find true life.”


Do not assume great teachers are speaking at the level of your current comprehension. Perhaps they are inviting you to a depth of living and loving you do not yet know.