A mystery school, a spiritual path, is not the path of a soldier. Here, orders are prohibited. Here, only intelligence is appealed to. The decision is always on your part.
It is only the phony masters who give you orders, because they cannot satisfy your intelligence. An authentic master is perfectly capable of satisfying your intelligence and then leaving it up to you. It is your life, and the final decision has to be made not by anyone else other than you. You have to take the responsibility on your own shoulders. So there are no orders as far as true masters are concerned.
You have also asked about guidelines. People have been told such nonsense for centuries – as if spirituality is a kind of geography, so that maps are given to you, guidelines are provided to you: follow the right guidelines and you will reach the goal.
Alas, things are not so cheap. There are no maps in existence, no solid guidelines either, because each individual is so unique that what may be a guideline for one may prove a distraction for another; what may be medicine to one may prove poison to another. Individuals are so different. And if a master cannot understand the difference of individuals, their unique qualities, talents, genius, then who is going to understand? No general guidelines can be provided. The master simply goes on dropping all kinds of hints. Remember my word hints – not guidelines. You have to choose whatever suits you, and you have to experiment to see whether it is workable for you or not. If it works, go deeper into it; if it does not work, don’t feel guilty. You have not committed any sin; you have simply failed in an experiment.
With a master, life becomes a scientific experiment. It is no longer a question of heaven and hell, punishment and reward. It is a question of exploration. And each individual has to explore in his own way. There are no golden rules. This is the only golden rule there is. There is no superhighway with milestones telling you how far you are from the goal. In spiritual exploration, you have to walk and create your path by your walking; there is no ready-made path so that you have simply to walk on it.
And my feeling is that this is tremendously blissful and ecstatic. You are not like railway trains. Running on rails, you cannot run into the jungles, into the mountains, anywhere you like. The railway train is a prisoner. But a river is not a prisoner. It also travels long. It may have come thousands of miles from the Himalayas, and it finally reaches to the ocean – with no map, with no guidelines, with no guides, and nobody on the way to whom the river can inquire, “Which way am I to go now?” – because each step is a crossroad. But strangely enough, every river reaches to the ocean with great freedom, finding its own path.