Reader Question: How Do We Know Our True Path? by John Cali

One of our readers recently asked us that question. Here’s his full question, which I’ve edited slightly:

“How do we know our true path? Our true spiritual teacher? Or who to follow?”

Here’s Spirit’s response.


This is a good question, one we’ve been asked many times over the years.

You’re probably aware of the recent controversies surrounding some of your religious and spiritual teachers — or gurus, as you sometimes call them. Particularly those whose gatherings have not turned out well. (Spirit is referring to the James Arthur Ray sweat lodge ceremony where three people died.)

While we see nothing wrong with following the wisdom of others, especially your highly evolved spiritual leaders, it is of no benefit to you — ever — to replace your own inner wisdom with their wisdom.

There is no right or wrong here. But for each of you there is no higher or better authority than your own inner guidance.

As far as we’re concerned there is only one valid criterion for deciding to follow a particular teacher or guru: Do they encourage you to follow your own spiritual path, and not theirs?

Any teachers who encourage, or coerce, you to rely on them at the cost of denying your own inner wisdom, your own path, are false teachers. True teachers only want you to get to the point where you do not need them.

The only purpose of any teacher is to show you how to find your own path, to become your own teacher. As we said, there is no higher teacher for you than you. There is no higher path for you than the one you have chosen.

Use your teachers only to get clear on what spiritual path is best for you — a path you, not they, have chosen. There is nothing to seek, nothing to find, nowhere to go — except within.

The purpose of any teacher is to show you exactly that — it’s all there within you.


What are your thoughts? Please share with us below.

We welcome your comments and thoughtful opinions, whether you agree or disagree with us. Please keep your comments polite and relevant to the topic of this article. If needed, we’ll edit for clarity. Also, we’ll delete anything we consider inappropriate.

6 Responses

  1. Micki

    Hi John,

    Whatever feels right for you, can’t be wrong, you and Spirit have advocated that and it works for me.
    Thank you again for a wonderful post…take care and have a beautiful weekend. love and hugs, Micki

  2. Ron

    It’s a funny thing about teachers or gurus or whatever is chosen to call them. Well maybe funny is not the right word but you know what I mean. Once one has decided to follow or participate with one for any length of time it is like putting on a set of blinders. The ability to make rational decisions decreases proportionally to the amount of time spent with one.
    I have seen thousands of well educated, well meaning, mostly rich because of the fees extracted monthly, very decent and loving not to mention courageoius people follow such a purported teacher regardless of his mental illnesses simply because ” the lower cannot see the higher”. What a load of crap. Right now I can see a mountain outside my window and know quite well that it is not a valley and that it is much higher than where I am. It’s not any different.
    On the other hand different folks tend to like different strokes. This one which I followed for many years took to giving any paid up member (no pun intended) who showed up at his residence in the first hundred on Valentine’s Day a most spiritual blow-job. At least he was not secretive or esoteric about it and 99.9 percent of his students were of legal age of majority.

  3. John Cali

    Thank you, Sarah, for your comments. We deeply appreciate your kind words.


  4. Eric

    I like Spirit’s comments, but they didn’t answer the question “how do we know our true path?”. I.e., when we look within, how do we recognize our own true path?

    In my experience, if I find a path that has a feeling of profound peace and joy then that’s my true path.

    If, during my daily activities, I find myself upset to any degree then I know I’ve made a mistake somewhere along the way and it’s time to look within again.

    • John Cali

      Thank you for your comments. I agree with you — your feelings of peace and joy tell you you’re on the path that is right for you. Spirit has said that many times over the years, though, as you pointed out, they did not mention it this week.

      However, most of the folks who’ve been following us for a while almost automatically use that guideline for everything — finding their true path, finding a relationship, etc.

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