“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ~ Dalai Lama
There is a certain selective mentality among the spiritual community that in order to be free from one’s past conditioning, one must, as Poonja would say, “only travel with those in the same boat...going in the same direction.”
What I find challenging about this point of view is that it comes off as not only severely limiting with whom I associate with, but moreover, it takes on a sense of ultimate authority over what is considered ‘the right way’ of living. Ignorance breeds arrogance.
What I also recognize within this hard-nosed mentality is a desire to completely cast out one’s past in order to make way for a ‘new life’; to abandon ship of old friendships and environments to more agreeable, greener pastures. The thing is, there is only One boat, and we are all in this together. Happiness will not come from the abolition of the past, but its reconciliation. It’s crowded here, and if I happen to be bumping shoulders with someone, what better way to start a dialogue?
I realize this may come off as grand-standing, but it is more an acknowledgement; a confession. I too harbour these traits of being 'uber-spiritual' or moral-police to the world from time to time. Instead of suppressing it, it's time to rock the boat baby.
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again