I was good friends with this guy once. Until be became spiritual.
He had found these new philosophies. Everything that he was reading suddenly made sense. For the first time, he was introduced to concepts such as consciousness, karma, ego, materialism and such like.
He told me that he understood that he had worked through all of his karma, his ego was destroyed and through his (obviously) enlightened state that he now was only responsible for himself, for having the burden of ‘other people’ effected his vibration.
He gave up his six-figure business. An influential marketing company in London with some very high-end clients. He didn’t sell it, oh no, he literally shut it down and laid off his staff in the process. Money was now seen as evil. Not long after this, he applied for bankruptcy, and this was all done deliberately to throw away the shackles of society. Or so he told me.
I remember sitting with him in his designer barn-converted home as he was telling me about his poverty, that he was down to his last £10,000. To him, this was loose change. Everything is relative – I consider myself skint when I have a tenner left, but there you go.
But what he also told me next was the most shocking.
Not only was he fully prepared to make his family homeless through his bankruptcy and that he was going to divorce his wife, but that he now ‘saw’ his two children differently. In his eyes, he was not responsible for them, nor should he had ever been. The ‘other people’ he spoke of earlier included his immediate family. According to him, his children were entities in their own right and that he was on his own path. He left them all with his financial mess, had no ongoing contact with his kids and was never to be seen again.
Like a spiritual Super Dad.
I’ve tried tracked him down since then, learned that he immediately moved to Peru (as one often does from the UK), married a top spiritual author at the time and they both changed their names to some way out Alien sounding something-or-other.
Sadly, you can’t make shit up.
Without judging the guy, this whole scenario reeked of a midlife crisis.
The thing was, that the entire process was so meticulously thought out. Perhaps he was simply fed up with the pressure and stress of his marketing agency and wanted a way out – and to him, his newfound spirituality was the key and an excuse for all of it. And this may be a part of the problem.
To empathise with him, my friend did seem legit when he was going through all of these mad thought processes. He was having one epiphany after the other and the deeper he went, the more uncomfortable with his life he became. Although his situation also smells of him stashing some serious cash away in an exotic location to start life anew, I don’t believe that was his motivation. He was pretty genuine in his own belief when he was telling me that he had gotten rid of his ego – no matter how ironic that statement actually is.
Over the years I’ve met many people who have suddenly ‘found’ spirituality. Whether its been an epiphany like my ironic friend, through books or some other media and have gone on to binge whatever they can find to satisfy their newfound thirst for knowledge, like most other people finding a new TV series on Netflix on a Sunday afternoon.
In these moments, all of the boxes in the brain are being ticked all at once. Things start making sense, a lot of sense, and the newly initiated can get a bit over-excited.
MIND VERSES HEART
My friend above is a classic example of someone discovering new information, ancient knowledge, and spiritual teachings logically, but not feeling them.
Obviously I cannot speak for him but everything he was telling me about his new way of being was all coming from the mind. He understood the concepts perfectly in his head. It’s just that his heart, the true center of the experience, was nowhere to be seen, or felt and was reflected with him bailing on his wife and kids.
I get where he was coming from. Yes, we are all indeed individual entities and we are all on our own individual paths. To embody this understanding fully would assist us in seeing feeling the whole situation holistically. We still have our responsibilities, we choose whether to bring children into this world or not and our paths entwine with each other, bringing colour to our lives, connection, lessons, and love.
To understand this concept through the mind only, can make us see that others, in this case, his own kids, were holding him back spiritually. He turned the situation into a ‘them and me’ scenario. Polarity, rather than unity which would manifest when the heart is involved.
THE JUDGEMENT OF RELIGIONS
We can see this in religions and the judgment carried by some openly religious people. I have always thought it strange that in my own experience at least, some religious people are the worst in going against the teachings that they profess to follow.
The way religions judge homosexuals, how they often treat the poor and homeless, all go against the teaching that they spurt out each sermon.
Of course, church groups of every faith does some excellent work with these marginalised people, and I am only speaking about a few in the grand scheme of things, but it demonstrates how understanding teachings logically, is completely different than embodying it with a fully connected heart.
We can all regularly attend church, a temple, mosque, synagog or wherever but this doesn’t automatically make us ‘religious’ if what we understand is in the head only. It simply means that we may spend a few hours (or more) a week in these places. And it means even less if we are a cold hearted asshole the rest of the time.
We can be religious or spiritual without even ever picking up a book of faith. Think of the person who may consider themselves an atheist and has never read any spiritual teachings in their life, but are naturally compassionate, emphatic, loving or just an all-round fucking nice person. Again, the difference between head and heart.