Aug 13, 2019

Her Tealness Wants You To Respect Her Authoritah!

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Respect my authoritah!!! Teal Swan and Eric Cartman


Several weeks ago Andey Fellowes asked, "Is Teal Swan Unravelling?" His concerns are well-founded. Her videos seem to be increasingly petulant, even hostile. And it's not just her critics she's angry with. We're used to that. Increasingly, it's her own followers she's not so subtly complaining about. In the "Ask Teal" video that sounded the alarm for Andey, teal huffed and pouted her way through a litany of grievances about the perils of being a "spiritual teacher" in the "information age."

According to teal, "teacher hopping" is all about the "ego" of those who dare to pick and choose from the YouTube smorgasbord of ideas. (A "spiritual teacher" complaining about sharing that stage is somehow not about ego at all.) Without a trace of irony, she complains about her followers plagiarizing from her, an odd complaint from a woman who's been caught lifting content word for word, from a multitude of sources. But how dare her followers take the ideas she stole and go on to become teachers themselves!


“One does not repay a teacher well by remaining a pupil.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo

"Poor is the pupil who does not transcend his master." ~ Leonardo da Vinci


A mere two weeks later comes another "Ask Teal" gripe fest. So what social ill has her so troubled that she must vent her spleen about it for a full half hour?

At this point in history hierarchy is one of those concepts that has been thrown into the waste bin of "bad things". Now, as we all know, if we throw something into the bin of "bad things", we tend to swing the pendulum all the way to the side where we won't acknowledge something, we won't look at it and we don't become conscious in the ways we need to around it. By swinging the pendulum, we also become out of alignment to the opposite extreme.



It is an odd sort of pendulum that needs to be pushed from one side to the other, disappears from sight, and doesn't "align" opposite extremes. Odder still is the notion that the world has dispensed with hierarchical systems. But it doesn't take long to discern that the reason teal is so concerned about the end of hierarchy in the world, is that she's feeling threatened about her own position at the top of one.

I personally get a front-row seat to how deep this wound around hierarchy is with people. Why? Because I cannot attend a workshop and meet people, without somebody offering to give me a healing or without somebody offering to be my friend because of how good they'd be at seeing my shadows where other people don't. Because that simply makes them feel as if they're on equal ground or superior to me. Not a day goes by without someone telling me that they're definitely not a fan, you know, not like a "fan" fan, "but I do respect your work", because they want me to know that I should definitely not consider myself above them. Not a day goes by that I don't get an email or message that says: "You're not my god, I see you as a person just like the rest of us." So as to pull me off my pedestal. Not a day goes by that someone doesn't show up late or leave early in order to send the message that they have higher priorities than me. So I get the message that they do not regard me as a bigger deal than they are. And all of these comments are from people who really do like me.

In other words, if anyone tells her that they see her as an equal, that is an attack, an attempt to belittle her. It's not the first time she's said something like this. As I noted here, she's expressed  some ambivalence about "the sacrifice of the guru image" and revealed that her "ego" was tweaked when followers tried to give her "motherly advice." It seems her ambivalence has given way to certainty that she belongs on a "pedestal," with "fans" who see her as a "bigger deal" than they are, possibly even as their "god."



Hierarchy, Should We Accept It?


According to teal, this video may be very "triggering." It's full of "dirty words" like "superiority" and "authority." So after years of posting graphic descriptions of infanticide, necrophilia, rape, and sex trafficking without trigger warnings, this is the video that gets one?! How is a discussion on hierarchy more triggering than stories about being chained in a pit or sewn into a corpse? Who could possibly find this subject triggering? Turns out, it's Blake. Now why would teal's right hand man be triggered by a video, in which she's slapping down anyone who thinks they're her equal?

Is teal pulling rank on the members of her inner circle? She sure is putting her followers in their places. She softens the hard edges of this message by claiming that everyone's place is on their own pedestal, just not in her field of endeavor, where she is numero uno.

Every person has a different pedestal waiting for them. For example, when it comes to the consciousness field, I may be on the top pedestal in that field.

Oh, "may" she. Funny, because I would have placed a lot of other people above her, in that particular "hierarchy." A mere two weeks before, she was complaining that Oprah was the most "spiritually influential" person, other than the pope. Here she's doing her own impression of Oprah: You get a new pedestal, you get a new pedestal, you get a new pedestal...

Since posting this video, teal has been predictably memeing the key phrases and ideas, which has led to a number of inscrutable Instagram posts. Note that two of them use the same photograph, which shows her face prominently in the foreground and the much smaller audience members closest to her in the background facing in the opposite direction. No one is looking at her. They're focused on each other. The visual effect of that snapshot in time is that she is not so much "superior" as out of step and isolated.



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This one was my favorite, as one person after another confessed that they had no idea what she was talking about.



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“This is so cool. He goes right up to the point of being... like, confusing.”Invisible Boy, Mystery Men


In teal's conception, it's not enough to love doing something and bring your own distinctive style to it, you must be "superior" at it, you must be venerated for it, and it must be on your turf, not hers.


If you ain't first, you're last.


A goodly chunk of this video is devoted the brain pretzeling idea that it is only those who do not accept subordination to their superiors, in their jobs and day to day lives, who are initiating all the "power plays." According to teal, if you're not willing to accept the superior position of your betters, it is you who's "obsessed" with power and your uppity behavior "makes you look like an idiot." (Insert derisive smirk here.)

Pity the poor clod who thinks he can give Laird Hamilton advice on wax for his board, says teal. (Full disclosure: I had no idea who Laird Hamilton was before watching this video, as I have no interest in the world of professional surfing. Good thing I never happened upon him and failed to give him the adulation he is due. I would have made such a fool of myself.)

It is thinly veiled, but the message teal is giving to her followers is clear. If you think you can give her advice or help her to heal, if you dare think that you are her equal in anything to do with spirituality or self-help, "you look like an idiot."

The problem with hierarchy is not inequality or power imbalance, according to teal. In fact, power imbalance is normal, and the pursuit of equality is just silly. The problem is that the people with all the power just aren't showing enough love for their lessers ("things"), you know, like black people. Yes. She really went there.

The thing that you've got to accept is that equality is not a reality in a physically manifested dimension. Anytime that there is separation that occurs, Power is not divided in the same way or equally. It is fragmented. We do not need to spend our life fighting for equality or fighting against hierarchy or against superiority or against authority. Instead we need to focus on three very distinctive things. The first is love. If somebody who is in a position of authority will focus on love, this means they will take all things as a part of them self. This means by definition, They cannot create pain in that other thing, without creating pain in themselves. For example, the whites were in a position of superiority in the world. And it was something that they took of course. However, if whites were able to take blacks as a part of themselves, slavery would never have occurred. So in this circumstance, superiority and authority were not actually the problem. The problem was the lack of capacity on behalf of the white race, to take the black race as a part of itself.

Yes, among the many things that teal has not gotten the memo on, is that there is no such thing as "race" and that the only people who talk about the superiority of the "white race" are white supremacists. That she would reach for this example now, when tensions over racism are at a fever pitch, in this country, shows that she is either entirely tone-deaf or courting controversy and drama deliberately. Again.

In one of the strangest moments, in this video, teal describes the "dangers" of not recognizing superiority, by turning her attention to the animal kingdom. Now, I will admit that I thought I knew where she was going with this. I expected her to point out that in nature, deferring to the leader and moving with the pack (or herd, or school) could make the difference between being safe and getting killed by a predator. I was horribly, horribly wrong.

Imagine that there is a fish that's swimming around in the sea somewhere and he refuses to acknowledge that anyone could possibly be above him in any way. Could not be superior to him in any way, whether it's swimming or whether it's power or size or whatever... So he's in the water with a shark... If this fish is unwilling to accept that it's a fish and the shark is a shark and that implies certain superiority, this fish is going to end up dead. In the human world there are many painful consequences that will come as a result of refusing to see and acknowledged hierarchy.

So here teal describes your "superior," not as a good leader who keeps you safe, but as an apex predator who can kill you. And then she compares that scenario to the dangers of not acknowledging superiority in the "human world." What kind of humans are we talking about? It's a chilling thought, when you consider that this whole video is transparently about the fact that she does not want her "superiority" challenged. So is teal admitting that she's a shark?

A few short weeks ago, she described herself as poison.

If I was a drug, what side effects would I have? The answer is disreality. Um, the closest that I think you can get to this is Datura, which is not a shamanic medicine, which, you know, hardly anybody should be doing at all.

It is not strictly true that Datura (aka. jimsonweed,  devil's weed, hell's bells...) is never used as a visionary plant, but it is known to be extremely dangerous and is used with tremendous caution, skill, and rarity. But consider that of all the psychotropic plants teal could have compared herself to, she picked the one that is best known for its ability to kill you.

She makes one statement, in this video, that is absolutely true. Those of us she calls "haters" don't see ourselves that way at all.

Well, they don't consider themselves a hater, they consider themselves to be saving everyone else for me...

Yes, we see ourselves as sounding an alarm about a dangerous situation. As I've been saying since I first began blogging about teal, way back in 2013, someone had to bell the cat, so I did. And we may be entering a precarious time. She is signaling that she is very frustrated with the current trajectory of her "career" as a "spiritual teacher." Her followers are looking to other teachers, not solely focused on her for guidance. They're not acknowledging that she is superior to them.

When cult leaders, and she is one, start to lose their grip on power, they typically turn on the followers. They blame them for their own failings, because pathologically narcissistic people are incapable of taking personal responsibility for their failings. For instance, Warren Jeffs turned his anger at being incarcerated on the members of his FLDS sect, placing his own jailhouse restrictions on all but a handpicked few loyalists, disallowing sex and making them live on a diet of beans and toast. Jim Jones, whose final act teal has defended as an attempt at "helping people," helped them join him in death, with his infamous distribution of cyanide laced Flavor Aid.

It is particularly concerning when we consider that teal deliberately targeted a "market" of psychologically vulnerable and suicidal people. What happens if her frustration continues to grow and she increasingly turns her ire on them? I shudder to think. So, yes, this "hater" is sounding an alarm, once again.

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