Without using interfering tactics, how can we help others to come awake to themselves? I know someone who drives me crazy, and I want to help him by sharing the truths I am learning.
One of the most difficult aspects of our work is learning to bear the unpleasant manifestations of people around us. But this can also help us grow quickly. If by interfering tactics you mean, "make someone see the light," it is impossible. But if we will do our work, which often requires waiting out our own unpleasantness before speaking, then not only can we lend someone a helpful word or action, but they will see that we are behaving differently. This willingness on our part to inwardly accept the weight of our own burdens first is really the best invitation to others to become interested in this Work.
Is there a way we can know we are ready to teach others? I have tried and found I normally make things worse. How do I find the balance between the urge to help and when to be quiet?
It is the essence of our lives that determines the relationships we have with others. Teaching is a lot simpler than we imagine. For instance, what do we teach others when we are angry or anxious? What do we teach others when they see us afraid of some news? This is one level of teaching. On the other hand, there are natural times when (and this is important to note) someone you know will actually ask you for some insight or help. Then not only is it natural, but necessary, that you give what "water" you can to ease their thirst. Under no circumstances should you try to teach others anything they haven't asked for. This kind of teaching comes from the wrong parts of ourselves and is a secret act of aggression and arrogance. Learn to taste the difference. The Truth will take care of the rest.
What mistake can there be in presenting a few truths to others with the hope that the ideas will help them with their spiritual development? Must they be "receptive"?
There are laws that govern all things, including our own development as well as that of others. Sometimes the most difficult, yet most true, thing we can do in the moment is to let others learn what is true for themselves. Sometimes we attempt to "help others" because we are unconsciously trying to change them according to our own ideas of what they should be like. When we do this, it not only creates resistance in the person we address, but it keeps us asleep to our own interior and misguided ambitions. We must all learn to be awake around others so that we can learn to feel whether or not what that person asks is arising from a genuine wish to know.
With all the demands on my time in day-to-day life, I find it difficult to do much beyond what meets the needs of my family. How crucial is it that I dedicate some time to helping spread the truth to other people?
It is so important that we do our correct part to help spread the Light, but this need not be a "big thing." And as long as we remain considerate of others, and what may be their wish to be left alone, how we do our work can be as simple as the following: Maybe make an effort to elevate the table talk at a meal to include a right idea you heard or are interested in, or don't pick up a negative comment someone throws at you. The point is to be active in putting the Truth first. Everything you do to help or encourage someone else along the way strengthens and encourages both of you. Of this there is no doubt. All things good come to those for whom the good is all things.