07/24/2013 06:45 pm ET Updated Sep 23, 2013

Are You a Follower? Look Here Instead

As some of you may know, many of the topics that I talk about each week touch on the innate principles of mind, consciousness, and thought. As you also may know (and I've mentioned this before), a man named Sydney Banks is largely credited with uncovering these three principles and revealing how an understanding of them can lead to a more loving and dynamic life.

What many of you don't know is that Syd didn't care about taking credit for this finding. He didn't care if people quoted him or if they used a specific blueprint to explain his firm belief that mental health rests within every human being -- if only they could grasp that their thinking alone was responsible for their perceptions and how they felt.

In brief, Syd did not want people to follow him. He wanted to point us in an inside-out direction and let each of us take it from there -- in our own way.

This comparison might seem like a reach to some, but, to me, Jesus Christ lived and guided others in a similar fashion. For thousands of years, throngs of people all over the world have worshiped Jesus Christ and hung on the words he spoke and the things he did. In my opinion, however, that's not what Jesus intended. His aim was to spark the spirit that everyone already owned deep inside. In truth, Jesus was revealing how natural it was to lead each other toward understanding, resilience, and love -- and how foreign (and dangerous) it was to follow.

My simple message is that if you're inspired by the teachings of another person, that's perfectly okay. But please stop paying homage, or stop asking others to pay homage, to him or her. Plus, if you're a teacher, coach, cleric, or self-help professional and, like many today, you believe that the road to success is paved by creating a horde of disciples -- a "tribe" who adopt your personal theories and techniques, you need to look in a different direction, too. This exact misunderstanding has contributed to the formation of cults, brainwashing, and sordid and sundry human atrocities.

Sure, go ahead and learn about (or read books by) Syd Banks or outstanding humanitarians such as Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela -- but never follow. Look closely and you'll see that this is exactly what these true leaders warned against. The last thing they ever intended was to thwart anyone's free will or instincts. Rather, they asked you to look inside for answers. They knew that wisdom could only be found there.