A spiritual teacher shows you the awakened state—as if he or she possessed your wealth. It is as though someone else possesses your own belongings, and you are asking him or her to give them back to you. That is what it is, in fact! But one has to go through the kind of ritual of receiving something from the outside. Transmission does not mean that the teacher is imparting his knowledge or her discovery to you—that would be impossible. Even Buddha could not do so.
From “Transmission” in Meditation in Action by Chögyam Trungpa, page 31