The Best Rejection: A New Path, A New Direction, and The Real You

The Best Rejection: A New Path, A New Direction, and The Real You

A true teacher does not inculcate students to replicate the teacher, but instead inspires students to discover their own greatness and bring it forth. It is said, “A true teacher makes himself progressively more unnecessary.”

The word “education” derives from the Latin educare, “to draw forth from within.” In many ways modern education, by contrast, seeks to “pound in from without.” Certainly we can learn facts and glean guidance from experts. What we do with those facts and guidance is an inside job, the results of which create results unique to ourselves in all the universe.

When composer George Gershwin was developing his career, he contacted his esteemed role model Maurice Ravel and asked if Ravel would take him on as a student. Ravel, familiar with Gershwin’s work, rejected him, replying, “Why become a second-rate Ravel when you are already a first-rate Gershwin?”

A friend of mine was studying with a brilliant Shaman in New Mexico. One day she asked him, “How can I be more like you?” He replied, “The way to be more like me is to be more like you.” The message was that the shaman’s talents sprang from tapping into his authentic self and letting it shine. The student’s talents would spring from her allowing her authentic self to shine.

Find And Walk Your Own Path

Emerson said, “Imitation is suicide.” You can follow in someone else’s footsteps, but then you must find and walk your own path. My mentor said, “The student should strive to devour the teacher.” A student should absorb all that the teacher has to offer, and then go beyond the teacher. To simply replicate a teacher’s method or material is an insult to the teacher and the student.

I am always excited to hear when one of my students takes what I have taught her, adds to it, and develops her own unique curriculum incorporating my teachings with her own insights. I take it as a compliment if a student goes beyond what I have taught. I have sought to stand on the shoulders of my teachers, and I seek for my students to stand on mine.

G.U.R.U.: “Gee, you are you.”

The word “guru” is spelled. G.U.R.U.: “Gee, you are you.” The same God that guides a guru, guides you. Ram Dass’s guru Neem Karoli Baba told him, “Guru, God, and Self are one.” This could be the meditation of a lifetime! God lives in all equally. Some people realize this more than others, which qualifies them to be a guru. If they truly know this, they direct you to the God within you.

 Get The Latest From InnerSelf

Gurus sit beside a river giving or selling water. The limited guru tells you, “I am the source of water. If you want more, come back and get it from me.” The unlimited guru takes you by the hand and guides you to the river so you can draw it forth in infinite supply for yourself.

God does not live only in an exterior person. Those who believe they are God and others are not have missed the point. Those who believe that God lives in others but not themselves have also missed the point. To know God is to know the God in everyone.

Dare to be Yourself

A woman once wrote to me to ask me to certify her to teach a course based on one of my books. “Which book would you like to teach?” I asked her. “Dare to be Yourself,” she replied. I told her, “I cannot certify you to be yourself or to teach others to be themselves. Your real certification to teach the course is to be yourself. You teach by model far more than words.”

I have learned a great deal about humility by watching the spiritual guide Bashar coach his students. Bashar never accepts credit for a student’s insight or advancement. He always reflects a compliment and gives credit to the student. When a student tells him, “Thank you for giving me a powerful insight,” Bashar replies, “Thank you for opening to recognize the insight.” Or the student reports, “You really touched my heart.” Bashar answers, “You were open and ready to touch your own heart.” Teachers who empower their students, rather than taking students’ power unto themselves, are true teachers.

Rejection Is A Redirection

If you are rejected by a teacher, employer, or lover, rejoice. You have most likely given your power away to that entity—an unhealthy act. Any time you believe someone can give you what you cannot give yourself, you disempower yourself. The person who rejected you is redirecting you, either to another place that is better for you, or to the ultimate teacher, employer, or lover—yourself.

George Gershwin went on to become one of the most popular and beloved composers of the twentieth century. He achieved this status without studying with Ravel, who, in rejecting Gershwin from leaning on him and inspiring Gershwin to follow his own course, turned out to be the best teacher Gershwin ever had.

*subtitles by InnerSelf
©2018 by Alan Cohen. All Rights Reserved.

Book by this Author

A Course in Miracles Made Easy: Mastering the Journey from Fear to Love
by Alan Cohen.

A Course in Miracles Made EasyA Course in Miracles Made Easy is the Rosetta stone that will render the Course in Miracles understandable and relatable; and, most importantly, generate practical, healing results in the lives of students. This unique reader-friendly guide will serve longtime students of the Course, as well as those seeking to acquaint themselves with the program.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book

About The Author

Alan CohenAlan Cohen is the author of many inspirational books including A Course in Miracles Made Easy and of the newly-released Spirit Means Business. Join Alan for his life-changing Holistic Life Coach Training beginning September 1, 2020. For information on this program and Alan’s books, videos, audios, online courses, retreats, and other inspirational events and materials, visit

Watch Alan Cohen videos (interviews and more)

More books by Alan Cohen

{amazonWS:searchindex=Books;keywords=Alan Cohen;maxresults=3}


follow InnerSelf on


 Get The Latest By Email



The Day Of Reckoning Has Come For The GOP
by Robert Jennings,
The Republican party is no longer a pro-America political party. It is an illegitimate pseudo-political party full of radicals and reactionaries whose stated goal is to disrupt, destabilize, and…
Why Donald Trump Could Be History's Biggest Loser
by Robert Jennings,
Updated July 2, 20020 - This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, of people will die…
Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice.
A Change Is Gonna Come...
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
(May 30, 2020) As I watch the news on the events in Philadephia and other cities in the country, my heart aches for what is transpiring. I know that this is part of the greater change that is taking…
A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I have several ways that I use to clear the darkness from my mind when I find it has crept in. One is gardening, or spending time in nature. The other is silence. Another way is reading. And one that…