Any Teaching or Practice Can Be Beneficial and Detrimental - Teal Swan Articles - Teal Swan Jump to content

Any Teaching or Practice Can Be Beneficial and Detrimental

People have a very hard time expanding wide enough to be able to hold dichotomy.  Essentially, in order to avoid cognitive dissonance, people tend to globalize and see things as all bad or all good.  They want one answer or one cure for all situations. But it is critical if you are on the path of awareness to understand that all things can heal and all things can also damage.  This means that any teaching or practice can be beneficial and it can also be detrimental depending on the circumstance.

There is an old wiccan principal, that which can poison can also heal and nothing can heal without also being able to poison.  So you can understand what I mean by this, I’m going to give you some examples.

Take the teaching “you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”.  This teaching is super beneficial for people who are paralyzed by the overwhelm of the “how” of reaching their goals.  However, this teaching is super detrimental for people who do not like the pressure of having to make the right decisions based on big picture awareness…  People who would prefer to follow the whims of their emotions. It can cause them to justify ignoring red flags and to justify getting into shark infested water until by the time they realize it is sharky water, it’s too late to turn around.

Affirmations and gratitude lists can be a really good tool for decreasing stress, improving your personal mentality and frequency and developing awareness of the positive polarity of your life.  They can also be methods of coping with situations that need to be changed instead of coped with, methods of lying to oneself and methods of avoidance and escapism and denial.

The universal truth “There is no death” can help both people afraid of death and people who have lost a loved one to not fear ended-ness and to feel connection even when someone is no longer physically with us.  It can also cause someone pain when they are grappling with the fact that in the physical dimension, death absolutely is a reality and so their feelings of loss are valid.  This truth can make people stuck and unable to work through their grief because if there is no death, they shouldn’t be feeling grief and something must be wrong or unevolved with them to not be able to feel the reality of ‘no loss’.  It can also remove some of the fear about death and someone might use that comfort to justify committing suicide.

Meditation is one of the most powerful tools available to humans.  There are so many beneficial things it can do, the list would be five miles long.  But let’s condense this list to say that it can be an especially powerful way to become aware and present.  But meditation can also be a method of unawareness, suppression, resistance and escapism. For example, some people use it to escape the physical dimension because they perceived it to be unevolved and think it should be transcended.  This is the opposite of presence. Some people use it to suppress their emotions. Any time they feel a strong negative emotion, instead of listening to it so as to becoming aware of the personal truth underneath it, they simply ‘meditate it away’.  Some people use meditation as an addiction to avoid facing the wounding that they have.

One person may have reached the point in their personal growth process, where they are ready to let go of identity and begin to actualize the concept of oneness.  Another person, who was enmeshed in childhood and never found their authenticity and never felt a solid core, might become unhealthier if they did the same things as the first person in this scenario.  He or she would benefit better by developing healthy boundaries and a core.

Shadow work can be used as a tool of self-love.  It can help you to develop intimacy with and awareness of and acceptance for parts of yourself that you suppressed, denied and disowned.   It can also be used as a tool of self-hate. You can use to try to become aware of parts of yourself so that you can fix them into changing, thereby sending yourself the message from the inside that you are bad as you are.

‘Mind creates reality’ is a powerful concept that teaches you the power of your mind and also empowers you relative to a reality that most people feel powerless to.  It can also be a fast track to causing pain, being ignorant and justifying denial. It can serve as a justification to slip into a narcissistic bubble. A person can speak the truth about reality and someone can use this concept as an excuse to deny it because “if they don’t choose to see it, it doesn’t exist”.  This can also be a way of causing extreme pain to someone suffering by essentially blaming them for whatever painful thing happened in their life.

The teaching “choose yourself, even when others refuse to… because choosing yourself is self-love and self-love is self-care” can be something that people use to stop their codependency patterns, make the right choices for themselves and get out of abusive situations.  It can also be something that people use to justify their narcissism and fail to take others as a part of themselves and enhance separation and a fend for yourself attitude within the human race.

So often when someone is contesting one of my quotes or is taking issues with one of my teachings or is suffering as a result of doing one of my processes, it is because they have taken something I have said out of context or found a scenario in which “that which heals can poison” or they are applying one of my teachings or processes to a situation that requires a different one.  The misapplication of a teaching or technique is a serious problem in any field.

You get the point.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that the fact that if any teaching or practice can be beneficial or detrimental, teaching to a group is difficult.  Also, it blows the door open for people to be using the wrong concepts and practices for them at a given time or the right concepts at the wrong time or in the wrong circumstances.  It can be compared to trying to nail something in with a screwdriver or trying to use an axe in a situation that requires tender loving care.

The level of awareness you need to have to be able to clearly and objectively see what teaching or practice is right in any given situation and at any given time is far beyond most people.  The reason that “follow your feelings” isn’t a fail-safe answer is because you will feel better in several situations that are the opposite of good for you. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Why Follow Your Joy Doesn’t Always Work.  Also, some things that are very right for you, do not feel great. For example, removing a thorn from your foot feels like crap in the short term.

The safest thing you can do is to be aware that right and wrong are not unchanging commandments.  Whether something is right or wrong varies from situation to situation. Be aware of the potential healing and the potential poison of any given concept, teaching or practice.  Therefore, relative to anything, you can ask yourself, in what situations or ways could this be detrimental and in what situations or ways could this be beneficial?


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