If a man insists on asking for the attentions of a personal teacher before he is sufficiently prepared to benefit by them, then his rash importunity will be punished. For he will find a false teacher, a guide to untruth and darkness rather than to reality and light. Enough work should have been done on himself and by himself in mental and emotional discipline, in moral striving, in intellectual preparation, and in meditational practice to justify his request for instruction. Otherwise he may be really actuated by egoistic ambitions which are secretly hiding beneath his spiritual aspirations, or he may be too unbalanced emotionally to accept in his heart the serene impersonal wisdom even when it is proffered him.
-- Notebooks Category 1: Overview of the Quest > Chapter 6: Student-Teacher > # 681