That’s how it showed itself to me, the search for freedom. It can also present itself as the search for truth, God, nirvana, enlightenment, awareness. It has many, many names.
Knowing what I know now I would never recommend anyone to get into serious seeking. Because if you do your whole world will shatter. The only ones I’d recommend it to are those who are so fed up with the world, or so intent on knowing the truth, or God etc, that they don’t care whether they live or die.
The world as you know it is the price for freedom.
It will cost you your deepest most cherished dreams (this includes all spiritual dreams and ideals). It will cost you your most cherished beliefs. It will cost you some relationships. (Warning! Do not build a new, more spiritual world. It’s still the same world, just in a different clothing.)
Freedom costs everything you are.
Who’d want that? Well, some crazy people do. When I realized what it would cost me I wanted to get off the train! But by then the train was moving full steam ahead and all I could do was to put down my luggage and be on with it. There is a point of no return on the spiritual path. When that point is you won’t know until it’s too late.
Spirituality means realizing, in a very tangible IN-YOUR-FACE sort of way, that you don’t have any control. That you are powerless even regarding the most obvious and simple details of yourself, maybe especially those. Anybody noticed? You don’t have any control of yourself. If you think you do, it’s most likely imaginary.
You can’t control yourself. You can’t control others. You cant control the world. You can only let them be free.
This is a painful process. There may be fear, terror even. The fear may be nameless or there may be scary things happening on the outside that will teach you (in no uncertain terms) that you are not in charge. The severity (and it can be severely severe) of the situation depends on how much you have been holding on to untruth, how much you have been holding on to the image you have of yourself. It also depends on how willing you are to let go of that image.
In short, it depends on how much resistance you put up.
You see, spiritual search is not about getting what you want. It’s not about being happy. Although that is what attracts most people to the spiritual field. Spiritual search is about loosing everything. The quest of getting what you want belongs to the world. Period. Being focused on getting what you want is worldly. Nothing wrong with that at all but it’s important to know what is what.
That is why the new age movement is worldly and many religions too. New Age says: “If I think positive thoughts and raise my vibration I will get what I want.” Religion says: “If I am good and do what God wants, God will reward me and give me what I want.” And you are stuck in the endless game of trying to get happiness.
If you want to be worldly, be worldly. If you want to be religious, decide if you want the worldly strain or the spiritual one.
If you want to be spiritual, be ready to loose everything and be very comfortable with not getting what you want.
Of course to stay completely in the world will not prove to be much better than going on a spiritual path. You will be mercilessly tossed in the worldly merry-go-round. If you stay in the world your only hope is doing your duty with a thankful heart and doing right by yourself and others and, most importantly, giving up the attachment to specific results of your actions. You can build a fairly happy life on that. (It’s not as easy as it sounds, though.)
It’s all up to you and how much you want to see the truth of you really are, how the world really is. Or, let me rephrase that: It’s not really up to you. If you embark on a serious spiritual journey eventually it’s not you who decide. It’s something else, much deeper in you, that will pull you and push you.
Of course, there are great benefits to enlightenment. You will know the truth of who you are. You gain complete relaxation. You loose all shame, guilt etc. You won’t feel the need to hide anything about yourself and nothing – nothing - can hurt you. You will feel like your most natural self in every situation.
And you gain access to bliss whenever you want. That can be fun to play with. Apart from that, no I definitely don’t recommend spiritual search. In my early days, just as I had gotten on the train, I would recommend spirituality to people. But not now.
If you’re already on board, relax, sit back and let life unfold. Because it is also the most rewarding (and the most paradoxical) life experience you can have. If you don’t mind loosing everything!
With the greatest love imaginable to all the bodies in this world, and to all the starved souls, trying to get heard.