Withdrawal from Conventional Life

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 often 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 frequently harmful intentions of routine, daily interaction. All of this is not apparent to the average man or woman who is engrossed in accustomed life without much awareness. After discovering this, 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. Then, for a period, 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 We all know of the introverted artist, the solitary mystic, and the unsociable philosopher who have withdrawn from traditional, societal communication.

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 to demonstrate 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 not in accord with the desired goodness we seek. And we are kind to ourself, allowing as much solitude as needed, knowing that our worth to the world is growing daily in a precious and uncommon manner.

The withdrawal creates an environment for the, mostly, involuntary 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 realizes that the valley has been passed and a lightness and freedom comes back into one’s being. One has to wait until the Greater Forces have dissolved the ego enough for the precious Light to take up residence within one’s being to the extent that is required for that individual at that time in their evolution.

We continue to go forward with our spiritual practices and these practices increasingly envelop us in loveliness. Eventually, we come out the other end of our withdrawal with a renewed interest in other people and a rekindled desire for participation in life. To most people we seem more or less the same, except that we are more direct and honest and we may seem a little disinterested in normal things. However, inside we are totally different. Driven by God’s unconditional love, we have a great deal more strength, courage, wisdom, and equanimity. We come out the other side as a transparent being, nameless but with the mark of God. One could wish for nothing more.

DesignThis article is from The Love of Devotion 

10 Replies to “Withdrawal from Conventional Life”

  1. I have been reading about the early life of Muhammad the Founder of The Muslim religion and I notice with interest how he was not interested in normal social interaction. He withdrew constantly (from a very early age) even clearing a cave in the hillside above Mecca to avoid the normal crowds while he meditated and had his quiet time. He was so strongly on the spiritual path that he lost interest in running his family business and finances, asking his wife to take charge of this once again as she had done before they were married. He was becoming increasingly able to communicate with his God and to identify his true calling. But he needed the stillness to do so. Many around him thought him very strange. Of course he too had to re-engage with his society when he was ready to undertake his mission.

    While I am a dedicated spiritual student, I feel that the lessons I have to learn still require me to interact frequently with many people and even large groups. These are lessons I need to learn that I would avoid if I was simply to withdraw from society. However I value my quiet meditation and praying time which I set aside every day. It is during these times of stillness that it is possible for me to center myself and find the harmony within. I often wonder if I am making any progress at all until a comment from someone else shows me that I am on the right path and opportunities to help others are presented more frequently.
    Thank you for a beautifully written article which explains the challenges of the spiritual path so clearly.

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  2. I am somewhat “shy” about writing publicly for a while now. It seems that from once being an extrovert person, I became the withdrawn mystic or at least an introverted person in the eyes of others. I don t like big discussions, as interesting they may be in some ways. My contribution, at this time, is so very quiet and unseen. But it is there, it exists. On a certain level, interaction with people is based on accustomed and silently accepted principles. Even if one stands up or provokes a strong reaction, he or she is valuable – although not as comfortable as the always so nice one – for the mode of being in the human world and its functioning. A whole different thing is it to leave all these modes/ways for spiritual evolution. It does not belong to the world s system. It takes away human identity such as “cherished, mechanistic or religious beliefs and attitudes” (Dr David R Hawkins) and leaves you in the realm of Spirit where you have your true identity. The love I radiate now is far different from the love before. Although it seems to people that I withdraw from them and give less to them, actually it is a drawing toward God and so a very different quality of giving (offering). Seeing the true identity of others, uplifts and helps them far more and is beyond what the human realm is able to offer.

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  3. I like to add a passage from Dr. David Hawkins, that I quoted partially : ” Another source of hesitation when doing spiritual work occurs because there seems to be a transitory conflict between customary social attitudes and the work of spiritual evolution. For example, one may feel guilt over abandoning cherished, mechanistic or religious convictions or good – person programming held to be ideals. To move through these source of conflict, it is useful to remember that the spiritual journey requires the relinquishing of all beliefs and attitudes in order to create space for ‘Reality to shine forth’.” David Hawkins , ” The Eye of the I “, pg 107

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  4. I really resonated to this piece, Donna, as in “this sounds familiar!” Thanks. (Just catching up on emails!) xo

    ________________________________

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  5. Donna, how do you know ?!? It feels that the way lights up one step at a time and when I hesitate, not knowing whether and how to make the next step and I pause, quivering, your posts come, always on time to reassure me I’m on the right path. It is dark, still very dark, but these flickers of light are sometimes all we need to keep lifting our feet.
    Thank you!

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