What are you doing this for? Turning ‘spiritual’ I mean. Do you really think you become spiritual when all it is about is going to a workshop so that you can come home and fix your husband, your mother, your wife, your in-laws? What if they never change? Would you still like to put in this effort and wind up with them?
What makes you say you are on a ‘spiritual path’? Because you have a guru? Because you know of so many techniques? Because you have seen grand visions? Because you have read so many books? But what about those times when you have to take a leap of faith and quit your job for nothing in hand? What about those times when you sit in a cafe and bitch about someone with your friends? What about those times when the contradictions between your behavior and words are exposed? What about those times when your mother in law is throwing an anger tantrum because the child in her is afraid of the stranger she sees in you?Why are those times shoved into the darkness? Where is all your spiritual knowledge then? Where is your grand guru? Why are you afraid of asking the tough question to yourself then –
Who are you really doing this for?
What are you doing this for?
What mask is this, under brand Spirituality? Is it a trip to be good enough? Or is it a herd mentality just because one of your friends went to a Vipassana course? Or is it a need to be special? Or worse still, to become a savior of the world? Who are you really trying to change? What makes you think you are the one ‘in charge’? Or is it just a trip to find similar minded people and connect deeper? Is this thirst a mask for hiding your self-hatred? Or is this wannabe-spiritual a trip to self-importance?
Time to ask the tough questions.
Years ago similar questions were asked to me by someone I am tempted to call my guru. I had set off on this so-called spiritual quest to have a sane relationship with my mother, with the intention of changing her. That day when I was questioned thus, I learnt a very important lesson – to ask your self the toughest question that you are afraid of being asked. To be ruthlessly candid with yourself. For this is the highest act of true compassion I have ever known in this journey. And so, every once in a while, I stop and rest in this pool of self-interrogation. Yes it brings me tears sometimes because some ‘ideas’ are so grand and beautiful, that it is painful to let go of them. However, the transparent, neutral clarity it leaves me with is worth the stop.
You might also want to read a beautiful article by Aalif, The Buddha Mask, that talks about the many masks we wear under the disguise of spirituality, and how we can bust them.