The Two Models

Are you or your family, team, or organization looking to a teacher, coach, counselor, expert, or even a so-called “thought leader” for guidance? Are you looking for a methodology to live by? No worries. At your disposal are two practical choices or models. And, to be clear, there are only two.

Model 1:

This model seeks to cure the conditioned insecurity and desperation of a human being, psyche, or seemingly separate self. It encourages the use or understanding of values, principles, beliefs, theories, mantras, attitudes, cultures, communication, leadership skills, research, and strategies. By adhering to these values, beliefs, strategies, and the like, a separate self can supposedly overcome insecurity and, thus, improve itself, feel better, find mental health, realize its purpose, succeed, or become great. This is the widespread personal-development model.

Model 2:

This model questions the very nature of a separate self. It starts with fundamental inquiries, such as: “Who are you?” Or, “Are you truly a separate person?” By turning this conditioned insecurity and desperation inward, a separate self is robbed of its tendency to seek. This model is impartial to feelings or comfort; coping is not considered. In this model, the seeking mind dissolves directly into its source. This is the extremely rare self-exploration, self-realization, or self-inquiry model.

There is no mixing these models. Model 1 is a model of addition and veiling. Model 2 is a model of subtraction and enlightening. It is important to note, however, that sometimes, teachers of self-exploration (model 2) will make concessions or offer apparent strategies to separate selves. A concession, however, will not encourage the further seeking encouraged in model 1. A concession—e.g., “Make the choice that best exemplifies love”—will spin the seeker round in place toward home. Once there, the seeker will then realize that he or she was always home to begin with.

What’s more, while model 1 comes in many shapes and sizes depending on the intellect and charisma of the teacher or group leader, a hallmark of this model is the promotion of further training or the marketing of more and more stuff to do. (Additional programs or certifications are an example of this). Model 1 requires this upselling to stay afloat. In fact, this journey of addition and veiling will directly reflect the innocent confusion and subsequent circular path of the group leader—more ideas, more exercises, more stories, more skills and beliefs to acquire, more means through which to cope, more aggrandizing the personal. All in a never-ending attempt to find success, passion, happiness, or love in the material world.

On the contrary, model 2 will initially appear mundane or a bit “out there” to a seeker. The same questions will be asked over and over again. Norms will be challenged. The nature of experience cherished. The primary belief, “I am a separate self,” denied. In model 2, seeking in the material world is a nonstarter because, for the most part, the teacher is not a seeker. And when seeking does crop up, it is promptly flagged and faced. This model is not reflective of a personal journey. It’s not about positivity, high states of mind, good feelings, or success. It’s not about “come to me because I know better than you.” Model 2 represents a mutual and pathless journey back to source. One shared between teacher and student. A journey absent of hierarchy. In fact, in model 2, a student is only a student for a very short time.

I suppose that what I’m suggesting today comes down to this:

Before you buy into your conditioned impulse to seek, and thus turn to purveyors of model 1, check in with experience.

The personal-development model is prevalent. It’s practically the only game in town. But let’s be frank. How are you, your family, team, organization, or the world faring under this model?

Sure, the separate self craves distraction and entertainment. It needs to cope. It adores temporary satisfaction or relief. Yet, tension keeps returning. Personal development is not working for you or for anyone. And if it was going to work with even a hint of consistency, that would have happened by now. Isn’t it finally time to stop seeking a newfangled version of the same tried-and-untrue model?

Instead, call off the search. Simply hold still for a moment. Is there really a need to cope or fix? Can the true Self even be broken? Can who you are actually become greater, a better leader, more resilient, or secure? Exactly how far away is passion, purpose, and peace?

The time has come to stop looking to experts who are more confused than you; to advice that conceals the truth that a seeker is made of what he or she seeks. Yes, you are indeed ready to discount any suggestion that promotes following feelings outward—or seeking. You’ve exhausted all objective options. The mind can only fold inward. Everything you hold dear is found precisely where you are.

Are you looking to a teacher, coach, counselor, expert, or even a so-called “thought leader” for guidance? This can be found, for a short while, in model 2.

Are you looking for answers or a methodology to live by? This cannot be found in either model. And model 2 will be crystal clear about that.

Be great? Follow someone else’s ideas or beliefs? Personally develop?

Not anymore.

Just be. And you’re home.