I prefer to be alone — most of the time. It’s not that I’m anti-social. I AM simply choosing with whom I socialize. It may appear ‘choosy’ by society’s standards — snobbish, aloof, weird, strange, name it. So be it.
I don’t care much for small talks anyway. I have a low tolerance level for shallow conversations. I have no patience for superficial interactions.
I used to engage in those — when I was enmeshed in, lured by the modern world.
Not anymore — thankfully.
I prefer soulful interactions. Those that are mentally stimulating. Emotionally nurturing. Spiritually nourishing. Philosophical. Mystical. Deep.
I prefer to talk about life. Not other people’s lives. Life. Mystery. Spirituality.
So, unless such preferences are satisfied, I’d much rather be by myself. I AM happy being by myself.
But, as is part of the human experience, there are times that I want and long for some soulful company.
I have discovered, though, that taking the path less travelled — which comes with much solitary time — can be lonely. Very lonely.
Oh, I get that I can be alone yet not lonely. I totally, completely get that. That’s not what I’m referring to.
I’m talking about something else. Something deeper.
I’m guessing many of us can relate to the feeling of loneliness and isolation having chosen to tread the conscious path. Not that many, though, admit it openly and publicly — especially in the online world, as Grace so courageously and admirably ‘confessed’ in her post, which inspired me to write this — only the beginning of more ‘confessions’ from me, I suspect.
And I have been feeling this loneliness for a long time. A very, very long time.
“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.”
— M. Scott Peck, M.D., The Road Less Traveled
There was a time, though, when I was in the company of like-mindeds. To be speaking the same language and have ‘normal’ conversations considered otherwise by society — it was such a joy! It was so refreshing to not have to explain words and terminologies that relate to consciousness, awareness, spirituality, growth, etc. I was completing my M.A. in Consciousness and Transformative Studies at JFKU in Northern California at the time — the best years of my life, thus far.
I was enrolled in a class where we studied the work of Ken Wilber, a leading philosopher and proponent of the integral movement. The concept of altitude is part of Ken Wilber’s integral approach to development in consciousness and culture. It indicates the degree of development with regard to the number of perspectives, complexity and consciousness.
The more complex and the more perspectives an individual or culture can cultivate, the more developed their worldview becomes. Each degree of development is represented by and follows the natural color of the rainbow. It starts with infrared, continuing to magenta, red, amber, orange, green, teal, turquoise, and with indigo to violet representing the colors with the highest degree of development.
In one of my papers for the class, I described my experience and feeling of disconnectedness from my country’s (the Philippines) culture — one of the reasons why I uprooted myself with the intention of starting a new life in the U.S.
My professor wrote a comment, “From an integral perspective, many cultures are still amber/orange while you are moving towards teal through green as the altitudes of Wilber may describe the worldview.”
I later learned that only less than 2% of the entire population is in the teal level.
Less than 2%!
(Sorry, I can’t recall or find my source for this information in time for the publishing of this post. I’m also suspecting that after even much deeper inner work in recent years, I may already be at the teal level by now — a level reached by even fewer cultures. Sure, I also know that as I move into another level, so does the rest. But when will we catch up with each other?)
Where and how could I find the like-minded, kindred spirits that I have been searching and longing for — the ones who are at the same level as I am? Those who truly, totally, fully, completely, truthfully get me…
And I’m saying that with nary a tinge of arrogance or superiority. I wish I could find the exact words to accurately describe this feeling of disconnectedness, isolation and loneliness. It is gut-wrenching. Heart-breaking. Deep. Real. Very real.
And this loneliness is neither fear-based nor is it stemming from emptiness or disconnection from Source. In fact, that’s where the irony of it all lies.
As I deepen my spirituality, as I strengthen my connection to Source, as I come closer to my Divinity, the more distant I feel from the rest of humanity. The majority, at least.
And now that I’m back in my country of origin — initially, with some reluctance and now with even greater resistance (I’ve been back for four years), — this feeling of loneliness and isolation has become even so much more pronounced. To the point that I’m almost on the verge of giving up on the idea, the vision, the dream, the hope of one day being amongst my tribe.
It is moments and episodes like now, though, that I’m having difficulty bringing such words of wisdom that I get intellectually, down to every cell of my being.
Such words cannot take out the reality in my experience of isolation. Such words of wisdom cannot negate the truthfulness of my state of loneliness. I also do not want to diminish what I’m experiencing by simply telling myself things like, “Count your blessings,” “Focus on what’s there rather than what isn’t.”
Oh, countless are the times when I have articulated those words and similar reminders — to myself and to others. Such words — though profound and truthful as they may be — during moments like this sound fluffy to me.
And for now, no words can take away the pain of my loneliness. This pain needs to be heard. To be listened to.
And just for now, the pain of my loneliness does not need to be spoken to. More than anything, and more than ever, it needs to speak through.
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