Spiritual Stereotypes

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be here with you all today, sharing insights on various topics from a metaphysical perspective. I hope you all are faring well. I have been en route travelling hence my late post, kindly excuse me.

Today’s topic is one that drives home with many, especially those of us who have been either lifelong practitioners of some spiritual practices, or at least long time practitioners. I must say this topic was inspired by an incident that occurred a few days back, however before I begin to describe what happened, I felt I give a brief background of my University days. During my sophomore year I was involved in quite a lot of stage acting and as such would have regular rehearsals with other students in our drama group. During this time I was known as the “court jester” as I would always make everyone laugh.

In fact whenever we had meetings, the coordinator would specifically tell me, right after reading the agenda, “Please we have a lot to cover today, don’t make us laugh”. As soon as I replied, the entire crew would reel in laughter. Why am I recalling all of this? So fast forward a couple of years, we all graduate and fate takes every one of us to various parts of the world. I keep in contact with some of my friends from University days and some from my drama group. Somehow or the other many of them also follow my posts on Facebook and my blog, and a few have written to share their sincere appreciation of my blogs and writing. However there was more that they didn’t share, and a few days back I got to know.

So my friend posts a video, which is funny and I comment with a remark. She replies back saying “This is the you that I know. For a while I felt you had become cold because of your religion, since you hardly crack jokes like you used to. I am happy you are still the same person”. I was somewhat surprised and it did trigger a lot of thoughts. First and foremost, back while we were on campus, she and many of my friends who cared to know, were all aware of my faith, religion and practices, so it is not as if they just found out. The question is, what has changed? I decided to look deeply and some thoughts began to fall into place.

First theory: I must have unconsciously passed across an air of being “too spiritual” and probably because my timeline is full of blogs of spiritual subject matters, my friend felt I was no longer the funny guy she knew.

Second theory: She must have assumed that I was overly spiritual because I didn’t keep much contact and also due to the nature of my posts after we graduated.

Third theory: I must have unknowingly become a boring guy and lost all sense of humour because I wanted to come across as a grave student of spirituality.

Fourth theory: Spiritual life has taken its toll on me, and the effects are people see me as boring.

To be fair and unbiased I decided to look at each theory that I had jotted down, with as little bias as possible. In all fairness to her observation I must say that often times many people who follow some spiritual practice usually become “too serious” for their colleagues and it comes as a natural stereotype that most religious people are fanatical about their practice. The first theory might hold some weight, considering the fact that I did keep little contact with my friends from campus days and it is not surprising if they felt that way. The second theory might also hold some weight because my timeline is covered in practically just esoteric/spiritual posts and a few occasional comic posts. Thus it is natural for someone to once again assume that I had become too serious to share a joke. The third theory is one that I’ll like to probably harp on a little bit. Even though I know for certain that it doesn’t describe me, it does actually describe some spiritual practitioners. In our quest to look the part or to be serious students of spiritual life, sometimes we tend to become too strict for our counterparts and as such help them solidify their stereotypes about spiritually inclined people being fanatical. In my case I think what happened was that as soon as I graduated from campus,  I “forgot” to connect more. While on campus I was a lot more conscious of my interaction as the last image I wanted to portray was that I was a recluse because of my religion.

I made friends and people connected with me on various levels not even worrying about what I didn’t eat or what I didn’t do. With time I guess because a large percentage of those around me share the same faith and beliefs, I have probably lost touch with my jovial side. The fourth theory is true for a lot of spiritual practitioners and to an extent true for me. Let me explain. When we live in a spiritual community we come across many people from different walks of life. As such we have to be careful how we interact with others due to differences in our backgrounds and above all keeping in mind the rules and regulation in that community. For someone who is sanguine in temperament, jokes and being chatty is a normal attribute. The general mood of most spiritual communities is that everyone should be Melancholic (emotionally sensitive  and perfectionist introverts), and as such many people either hide their true nature or try to repress it while putting up the “required or expected mood”. In simpler words, people live a double life. One, they show in the spiritual community and another in a setting they feel more comfortable.

I have had personal experiences where I have shared jokes with people but instead of having a laugh, it rubbed them the wrong way. That been said, many spiritual practitioners then take the defensive and as such try to become or adapt the “mood” that is expected. The result is shallow and many people either get fried out or just abandon the process after a while. It is of little wonder why many people do not feel at ease in most spiritual gathering because they feel they cannot be themselves. Now should we allow the fake mood of such a place affect our real temperament and stop of us from being real? No. For how can we claim to be on a path of personal relationship with God or the Supreme, if our actions are all superficial and impersonal?

That been said, to all my friends who were with me during my campus days or who do not share the same spiritual path as I do, I want to say a few words.

“I have changed positively since we last connected or spoke and I am trying to be a better person. I have made considerable progress in my realization of the absolute truth and as such my circle of friends has been influenced. This much has changed about me. However I am still the loving, joke cracking and fun to be with person that you all know, and nothing can change that. If you ever feel the need to connect with me on a personal level, share a joke or catch up on campus days, please feel free to send me a message. I look forward to it.”

Till next week, do share, like and follow for more.

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