On October 27, 2018, I was part of a panel discussion at the Science and Nonduality Conference on the topic of Ethics and Spiritual Teaching along with Jac O’KeeffeCaverly Morgan and Rick Archer. The video is now published and I invite you to watch it (below).

Re-posted with permission from Rick Archer is his summary of the topics discussed in the panel video from 482. Panel Discussions on Ethics and Spiritual Teaching.

  • Questioning whether higher consciousness and ethical behavior are tightly correlated.
  • The founding of the Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers.
  • The attempt to formulate a code of ethics that might apply universally in the contemporary spiritual community and enliven an understanding of what may or may not be appropriate, giving students greater confidence in their own discernment and discrimination.
  • Ancient traditions held the teacher beyond reproach and students surrendered their own will. This may have worked in monastic settings but generally does not work today.
  • Preventative support so we’re not busy doing cleanup.
  • Power hierarchies should not be an essential part of spiritual development and can lead to abuses.
  • Spiritual awakening does not necessarily qualify a person to offer advice on relationships, finances, etc.
  • Ethical training of some sort is integral to most honored traditions.
  • The issue of sexism and patriarchy in spiritual organizations.
  • Entering the teaching profession prematurely.
  • All too often, when teachers are challenged on their behavior, they ignore the challenger or become defensive.
  • How do we offer the possibility for redemption and atonement?
  • Moving away from a culture of competition to one of cooperation.
  • The importance of humility.
  • The importance of teachers not identifying with their role and thinking that students’ devotion is about them.
  • South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” as a model.



Left to right: Rick Archer, Jac O’Keeffe, Craig Holliday, and Caverly Morgan during the panel discussion.