The Hidden Sphere
(of Artistic Concerns) Cecil Orion Touchon

When the master teaches the students hardly notice his wandering around.
The next best teacher is one that the students admire and imitate.
After this is the teacher that imposes his authority upon the students,
forcing them to become what he believes they should be.
The worst is one for whom teaching is only a job.
His lack of interest causes the students to feel cheated.

The transmission from the master to the student
is as delicate as a gossamer thread.
If the proper relationship is not established
the deepest  teachings will not be passed on. (1)

The master is subtle in his teaching method.
With his harmonious presence and intuitive clarity,
He reveals to his students the nature of their own hearts.(2)
He nourishes them as they establish themselves
in the creative harmony.(3)


 (1)  There is a delicacy in friendship, in all kinds of relationship; there is delicacy in meeting people. If that delicate thread is damaged or moved out of place something goes wrong. There is no more delicate machinery than the spirit of man... What happens, very often unconsciously, is that there are friends who are very devoted to each other, and then there is something in the machinery that goes wrong. Perhaps neither of them knows this, but unconsciously the spirit of their friendship is destroyed; and it is most difficult to mend it. Then there is no joy of friendship any more. Friendship lasts only as long as that delicate thread exists, as long as the machinery is in proper order.

Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Tuning of the Spirit

   (2) Teaching cannot be repeated in its most valuable moments - when we succeed in touching a students innermost core and strike a spiritual light.... The tone, the rhythm, the sequence of words, place and time, the mood of the students, and all of the other circumstances which make for a vital atmosphere cannot be reproduced; yet it is the ineffable which helps form a climate of creativity. My teaching was intuitive finding. My own emotion gave me the power which produced the studentís readiness to learn. To teach out of inner enthusiasm is the opposite of a mere pre-planned method of instruction.
 My best students are those who found new ways through their own intuition. Mere outward imitation and repetition of my procedure is without sparking power. Yet I am well aware that my teaching did not always embody something new; it was also a revival of what had been the fundamentals for artists of the past.

Johannes Itten, Design and Form - The Basic Course at the Bauhaus, 1964

  (3)  There are three faculties which the teacher considers essential to develop in the disciple: deepening the sympathy, showing the way to harmony, and awakening the spirit of beauty. One often sees that without being taught any particular formula, or receiving any particular lesson on these three subjects, the soul of a sincere disciple will grow under the guidance of the right teacher like a plant which is carefully reared and watered every day and every month and every year. And without knowing it himself he will begin to show these three qualities, the ever-growing sympathy, the harmonizing quality increasing every day more and more, and the expression and understanding and appreciation of beauty in all its forms. 

Hazrat Inayat Khan, Four Kinds of Discipleship


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copyright 2000 Cecil Touchon all rights reserved