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Mentoring has been upheld as a duty of successful people who claim responsibility for the future. Under the premise that the future, as we foresee it, can only be assured, if those who inherit are prepared to accept the baton, then leaders mentor. Disciples or mentees, by the same token, stand up and commit to inherit responsiblity for the future.
Every religion has its disciples and it is they who have brought forward the age old teachings that have manifested into modern religions followers practice today. Only by preserving and transferring the original intent of the mentor, can a teaching be carried forward in its purest form. These are principles that most will agree upon regardless of religious differences. In most every religion, new well intentioned leaders have emerged who profess to understand the teachings best and branch into what are essentially new sects originating from former teachings and beliefs. These new sects, while having origins in the original teachings, are not always understood to actually be new and different religions by the followers. The debates will probably continue on into eternity as to which sects are adhering to the correct teachings. The mystery and the beauty in religion is that it is free, it can be profound and mutually elusive, and can only be owned by the practitioner in full, regardless of what anyone may tell you.
Each individual has the opportunity to discern, based on 'exclusively' personal experience, the religious teaching of their choice. Individuals do so by hearing and adopting the philosophy of a mentor, then practicing based on their desired level of ability and desire for reward, whatever form that may be in a respective practice. Each ones experience is unique and as rich as they choose for it to be. Once an individual has accepted a mentor and not all religious adherents do so, then they usually make a lifetime commitment to live by the teachings, in an ideal world. The difference between mentored practice and isolated practice is probably within the growth and advancement stages, when an individual may question their reality as they experience the unknown. A dilemma on the other hand is that some followers, as history has shown, can confuse their religious path by following a charismatic person rather than living by the teaching, losing sight of the purpose for having a mentor which is to guide one in how to achieve the most out of the experience.
While this generic commentary is presented here from the aspect of religions, it can be equally applicable in many roads in life, where one accepts a mentor. A corporate mentor may lead one down a path of destruction or to the heights of success, if one chooses to blindly follow that mentor. A school teacher who decides to break tradition and go down a ground breaking path can make or break an entire class. At some point in the process, the follower must make their own way, cut the umbilical cord, own the teachings and begin to lead others, ideally based on an inner reformation. Then and only then, does the mentoring process become successful.
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