Q: Spiritual teachers say, "Let everything be as it is without trying or hoping to change anything." Then they talk about the world being in need of transformation. Is this a clue that they are all crazy, self deluded, or fraudulent? Do you see what I mean?
A: Another possibility is that the spiritual teachers have a flexibility of consciousness that allows them to see things from many different perspectives, and also even to see different levels of truth that are true simultaneously. It is possible for two opposite things to both be true, either as complimentary truths or as truths that operate on different levels of reality. I wrote some more about this in these blog posts:
And there is a much more thorough exploration of different levels of truth in this excellent piece by Timothy Conway:
So it is possible to generally allow things to be just as they are, and at times to also work to change or transform the world. These two perspectives complement each other, and most of our problems arise when we hold on too tightly to one perspective or the other. The real gift of any spiritual teaching is when it points us to the part of the truth that we are overlooking or ignoring. Most often, this is the truth that you can allow everything to be just as it is. But sometimes someone gets stuck in the view that everything is perfect, and they need to be pointed back to the possibility of changing the world for the better. As a Zen master once put it, "Everything is perfect, and there is always room for improvement!"