Spiritual Withdrawal

Rite of Passage

Some type of separation or seclusion is, for some of us, a necessary rite of passage. When we see through the self-confirmatory nature of human interaction, we can decide to refrain from participating in it for some time. One must learn to tolerate and live with silence before one is ready to talk the talk of the angels. For a few people, the silence remains in the form of seclusion. For all, it remains internally and is regarded as precious. It, sometimes, requires the silence of withdrawal to spiritually work through some inner milestones. What other people think about this is only of concern because of our love for others and our compassion for their inability to understand what we may be doing. However, the focus is not on what others think of us but on how we can fulfil our spiritual potential and help the world. There can be a transitory conflict between spiritual evolution and the pull towards that which is conventional, acceptable, and normal human behaviour. The world, as ignorant as it is, accepts very little deviation from its ridiculous and unfounded ideas of normalcy.

As the underlying motives of typical human behaviour become clearer to us, we can be shocked and disconcerted by the selfish, inconsiderate, disingenuous, and harmful intentions of routine, daily interaction. All of this is not apparent to the average man or woman who is engrossed in life without much awareness. We can become rather dismissive of all human interaction and find it stupid, pointless, and destructive. Our tolerance even for fundamental, polite niceties which are considered crucial in customary, day-to-day convention can become rather thin. We may withdraw from mainstream behaviour in order to go within and metamorphose into something else more real and good. We all know of the introverted artist, the isolated mystic, and the unsociable philosopher who have withdrawn from traditional, societal communication.

Nonpersonal, Intelligent Love

We may wonder if we are on the right track because, for a while, we may seem less loving than we were before. It helps to remind ourselves of the shallowness of most normal love and that we are seeking something better. At least, in solitude and withdrawal, one is offering a more sincere, albeit, silent and unconventional love of a nonpersonal, intelligent nature. There is no need to doubt the worth of our developing capacity to radiate a quiet, unpretentious energy field. Our goal of true, spiritual love is concerned with neither niceness nor prevailing behaviour patterns. It is a radical transition. This transformation occurs step by step. Mostly, it is the unexplainable and deeply welcomed grace of God. It has its own timing and evolution. We keep offering up everything which is not in accord with the desired goodness we seek. And we are kind to ourselves, allowing as much solitude as needed, knowing that our worth to the world is growing daily in a precious and uncommon manner.

Withdrawing creates an environment for the diminishing of the ego. The person loses interest in the normal worldly goings-on. One will have little or no interest in the media and will, probably, actively avoid it because of its negative impact on one’s consciousness. In some cases, one can go for years without knowing even the most basic information about world affairs. One keeps going forward until, quite surprisingly, one realises that the valley has been passed. One has to wait until the ego has dissolved enough for the Light to take up residence within one’s being to the extent that is required for that individual, at that time, in their evolution.

Solitary Confinement

The period of isolation may be deceptive in appearance. A person can live an, apparently, solitary lifestyle but the mind is full of interaction and busy noise. That is not solitude. It is a crowd. On the other hand, one can live the appearance of a normal life but, unbeknown to onlookers, be transgressing through a self-imposed solitary confinement. In my own case, my most intensive period of isolation was during my late twenties. However, this was totally unknown to anyone at the time. How was this possible, particularly given that I had two young children and was married? My young family had moved countries from Australia to England. My Australian relatives and friends would have assumed I was living a normal life in England but they just didn’t happen to hear much about it. This was a good arrangement because, certainly, one doesn’t want to worry people unnecessarily. I deliberately kept to myself during my three years in England because I was involved in this inner work. My husband worked long hours in a demanding CEO position and spent many weeks travelling abroad and was not aware of what I was doing.

My days were spent in the company of two very little children. As we communicated quite naturally in a telepathic manner, as many mothers do with their little children, there was little need for speech. It was silence, indeed. The solitary period had started before moving to England and continued for a year after our return to Australia. Then, all of a sudden, life took one of those unexpected and totally transforming turns and the children and I happily threw ourselves into the busy life of a lively community when the children started school. I was back in the bustling marketplace after returning from the hermitage caves. By now, however, the solitude had taken up permanent residence within my being.

The Love of Devotion is the result of several decades of spiritual work. It began the day I first opened the metaphysical door and stepped into a world which, although only minimally understood at the time, was strongly desired. Metaphysics is concerned with the ultimate, primary, inner aspects of existence. It does not see life in material terms but sees life in terms of thought and it has a strong emphasis on healing. Everyone’s greatest need is for the healing and wholeness which spiritual awareness brings. However, we are often reluctant to commit to it. We, eventually, must come to the realisation that the purpose of our life is to align with our spiritual nature. Try as we do to find other options, there are no viable alternatives which will withstand the inevitable consequences of misplaced loyalties and loves. It is the way for us to find our soul-home. 

As students of life, we seek both relief from suffering and growth of happiness. Deeply considering uplifting ideas raises our consciousness from the realm of the material problem into the powerful and harmonious realm of the spiritual. It is what a dedicated spiritual practice is all about. We give up our own ideas, hurts, fears, and grudges and concede to the Greater. We expand and we heal. It becomes apparent that it would be impossible to feel alone as we are intimately connected to a thriving life-force. It is everything, yet, it is nothing. It grows silently and steadily. We are already it and It is already us. We continue to go forward with our spiritual practices and these practices increasingly envelop us in loveliness. We come out the other side as a transparent being; nameless but with the mark of God. 

This edition of The Love of Devotion includes quotes, at the end of each chapter, which were in the original edition and were meaningful to me at the time of writing.

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