It is natural for children to look to a father or mother to guide them and we all have to do this with our parents and then later with teachers or mentors of various kinds. There is a long tradition of this in spiritual circles and no shortage of those claiming to have the knowledge their followers are looking for. This knowledge is often referred to as ‘enlightenment’. As I said it is natural that we do this it is also to be expected that if people are looking for this knowledge or ‘enlightenment’ then there will be many who will claim to have this knowledge. There are many areas of life where teachers are invaluable and this may be true to a certain extent in spiritual areas. Ultimately though there is a problem and teachers in spiritual areas may knowingly or not misguide their followers. The reason for this is that it is not possible to know beforehand if a spiritual teacher knows what he or she claims to know. Naturally we look for clues as to whether the teachers claims are true or not. Unfortunately all of these clues require belief and it seems to be true that if we are looking for something then we have a vested interest in believing things to be true that may not be true. Also a teacher is also unable to know that he or she is actually enlightened without believing it is so. Teachers may also look for clues as to whether they know or not but as with followers this is always dependent on belief and all beliefs will always be suspect. My assumptions are that all beings are inherently perfect – what I mean by this is that all beings are born with consciousness and consciousness is unchangeable and perfect. The only real problem we could ever have is to believe something that is not true. There is nothing about consciousness that requires belief and beliefs have nothing to do with consciousness. Our starting point should be to trust this knowledge - that we have consciousness and nothing we or anyone else could ever do can change this. There are no graduations of consciousness there is just natural pure perfect consciousness and we all have it. The reason we suffer is that we believe things to be true that are not. Ultimately this is something we all have to find out for ourselves, no one can really teach this because all teachings require beliefs and beliefs are actually the problem. Childhood's end is the point where we become responsible for our own beliefs and do not look to others to correct them.