There can be, and often is, a certain paradox that comes with seeking the perfect teacher, or a person who is believed to be enlightened. The opposite result is more likely to happen: the seeker doesn’t find what they are expecting to find.
Seeking the perfect teacher is strictly an external endeavor even though it begins within the seeker. The benefit of seeking externally presupposes certain things, foremost, that finding the right teacher will, in some measure, relieve one of what they presently find difficult to endure and understand. The expectations are certainly great on the part of the seeker along with what the seeker expects the teacher to be like.
The deeper problem with such seeking, which can become paradoxical, and often is, is that the ‘right teacher’ is the seeker’s alter ego. To a large measure, the sense of an alter ego is due to the seeker’s projections, attributing to the teacher the seeker’s own ideas of the accomplished teacher. The outcome of this is never to anything specific because the seeker has no real knowledge and may even lack the capacity to awaken. The relationship with the ‘right teacher’ just becomes more intense, expansive, and personal—a kind of spiritual puppy love. But in this growing aura of intensity and adoration nothing is specific as to what is actually to be sought for. What the seeker knows is what he does not know. And more it seems that is alter ego knows although the seeker has no definitive knowledge of what the teacher may actually know.
In the example of Siddhartha, he did not seek the right teacher although he studied with various teachers. His seeking was totally directed, inwardly, to the very fount of reality. He was seeking final gnosis or insight whereby one realizes, first hand, the true, unchanging substance of reality which is not affected by temporal fluctuations. By accomplishing awakening, thus becoming ‘Buddha’, comes the additional realization that one suffers by clinging to what is ever changing and finite; which is endlessly this way. More exactly, we are blindly clinging to our own projections, which are never other than temporal and inadequate. By such intense clinging we completely lose sight of the increate which we are both profoundly and intrinsically. It is only by recognizing the increate Buddha-nature first hand that we are truly fulfilled.
On the other hand, the typical seeker remains unfulfilled. Too soon, the world of this kind of seeker falls apart when he finds that his precious teacher—his alter ego—has betrayed his expectations of him. One day eventually comes, when after twenty years with the perfect teacher, he realizes that he was just a tool of the organization (I received an email a few years ago from such a person). Back to what I said earlier, the seeker painfully realizes that what he knows is what he does not know. Had the seeker first looked inwardly, not relying on any one teacher, he would have been much better off. In my own case, I used teachers to facilitate my own inward seeking. It paid off, because the clue I received from Bishop Nippo was priceless. Subsequently, I knew what to look for and gave my life over to finding it.