It may be useless to mention, but you never know ....
What a lot of courage it takes for anyone to seek out the true teacher. Everyone, I imagine, seeks out role models and saints and sinners as a means of informing their lives. Some of them are wondrously accomplished. Some are phenomenally and grotesquely evil. Some are somewhere in the middle, with good points and bad.
But good, bad or indifferent, what is it that counts after all the praises and damnations are expended? When all is said and done, there is nothing anyone can do about their role models, their saints, their sinners. Really, there is nothing that can be done. It can't be helped, no matter how glowing the hosannas or dark the damnations. Following in or sidestepping their heroism or heinousness ... who would not be thankful?
But it's not what our teachers do or have done, say or have said, that amounts to a hill of beans. No one wants to live a second-hand life. No one can live a second-hand life. Relying on heroes and villains is like building sand castles in the face of an incoming tide. They simply cannot stand ... or if they do, we are the worse for it.
But it takes so much courage, I sometimes think. To take up the baton of our 'true teachers' and discover in our every breath the true teacher.
It's hard. It takes nerve. It takes effort.
But what other choice is there?