I’d like you to know that feeling lonely on your spiritual path is completely natural. It shouldn’t let you turn back from the journey, because it’s a sign that you’re on the right track. Just know that it’s only temporary, it’s one of those things you have to face once, and you’ll be over it once and for all.
However, loneliness can be difficult at times, so I’d like to provide you with some insights about why it happens and how to deal with it. For explanation, let me return to one of my favorite analogies, that of climbing a mountain as a symbol for the spiritual journey. The valley represents the start-point, the ordinary egoic state, while the peak is the symbol of the highest peak of consciousness.
Most people live in the valley, and that’s where you start from, as well. You’re living amongst the masses in your ordinary life until something happens. Perhaps you encounter a crisis, or you hear a calling to explore other dimensions of life, a possibility of another kind of way of living. Maybe you’ve never even looked up before, you’ve never even noticed the mountain. The valley exists only in relation to the mountain, so you’ve probably weren’t aware of the fact that you’re living in a valley, on a basic, materialistic and egoistic state of consciousness.
But once you look up, you start wondering what’s up there, and also start wandering to get there. In the valley, life is relatively comfortable, because people got used to suffering, to their life stories, to their dysfunctional habits, and with time they identified with them. But you realize that this so-called normal life doesn’t serve you anymore, and you go on searching for something else.
Once you start your spiritual journey, most people will think that something is wrong with you. They will label you as weird, they will assume you’re taking drugs, or that you went totally crazy. But deep down in your heart you will know that they are the crazy ones, they are the ones conditioned by culture and society, they are the ones living in illusion.
The masses hate individuals, because individuals make them question their worldviews, give them a possibility to see that maybe they are living in a big lie. So the crowd wants to quiet the rebels, to disregard them, to ostracize them. They want to live in denial, they want to keep their twisted values, they want to keep the illusion alive.
If you rebel against society, the same thing will happen to you. Your friends may turn away from you, your family members will worry about you, and your partner might want to break up with you. No matter how carefully you try to explain them your situation, most won’t understand what’s happening to you. That’s why I suggest to keep your spiritual progress to yourself, but especially to resist trying to convert anybody to your beliefs, because you’ll only alienate them more.
You can’t take anybody with you to this journey, it has to be their own independent choice. Also, you can’t expect anybody to take you to the top of the mountain, you have to go alone. Be prepared that you’ll be more alone than you’ve ever been. And know that this is good, because this is the only way to meet yourself, everybody else is a distraction.
On the spiritual path you’re essentially going within yourself, and there’s nobody else there except for you. The whole journey is about exploring your aloneness, and the end of the journey is when you realize that you’re truly, essentially, undeniably alone in this world. There’s literally nothing else in existence besides you, the whole existence stems from you.
Yet this feeling of aloneness won’t be the same as loneliness. In loneliness, you’re missing something or someone to be whole. But this feeling of ultimate aloneness is the experience of wholeness itself. Nothing is as fulfilling as becoming one with everything.
Some people will suggest to search for like-minded friends or join spiritual groups. I’m not totally against that, but you have to be very careful not to be distracted from facing your aloneness. If you’re an introvert, this won’t be too hard for you, as you naturally enjoy your own company. But for the more extrovert types I would advise to be totally alone for a while, and to share their experiences only with a journal at most.
But don’t misunderstand my words, I’m not saying to become a hermit, to go to a cave and live like a monk. Keep your social life, but separate it from your spiritual life. Being on the spiritual journey is not a lifestyle, it’s a way of life, and there’s a big difference. Externally you can meet others, but internally you can only ever meet yourself.
Most people live an external life, forgetting about their inner world. But don’t swing to the other extreme, don’t become a recluse, leave space for your friends and family too. Look inwards, but also look outwards occasionally, have both a rich spiritual and rich social life at the same time.
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