Spiritual Individuation ( a precis )

Colours blind the eye.

Sounds deafen the ear.

Flavours numb the taste.

Thoughts weaken the mind.

Desires wither the heart.
The Master observes the world

but trusts his inner vision.

He allows things to come and go.

His heart is open as the sky.
From the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
I know many of us with a predisposition towards the spiritual life can suffer tremendously as we precariously tread our path. There is in us all, our own rendition of spirituality. A unique and innate seed that seeks expression and fulfilment through our experience of life itself. My own was through the discovery that I am empathic.
I am no expert on anyone’s life as we all are different. Each of us growing from a distinct DNA in our own individual habitat of physical, psychological and emotional environments.

However, in the hope of helping others, I wish to communicate briefly my experience thus far.
After many years of reflection, meditation and various numinous experiences in my life I found that actually I knew my truth all along, I just needed to discover it. My truth was ingrained in my heart from the very beginning. I suspect it took awhile to discover as my truth was not of my culture and thus many of my spiritual experiences were alien to me as they were to my peers.

This is where the idea of spiritual individuation came from.
The term ” individuation ” was coined by Carl Jung, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. His theory was that in order for humans to become the best version themselves we had to allow ourselves to be authentic. That is to seek to express in ourselves and in life our intuitive true nature. The problem with this is it can often be at odds with our culture, peers the society we are born into.
Although I never used to think that being empathic was a gift ( due to its initially confusing and draining properties ) , I now know that it was indeed. One which, once understood, has been pivotal in helping me find myself and for me, my true relationship with the world around me.
So to all you fellow strugglers, whatsoever pain or challenges you may face, rest assured that you are more than you perceive yourself to be. You are more than your current problems, more than your fears for the future and more than the hurts of your past. If you can carry on pursuing your heartfelt path, in my experience, you will find peace and equanimity.

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A Conflict of Interest? 

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

― Jiddu Krishnamurti

Society largely considers what is normal by the agreed consensus of the majority. However there are many individuals ( myself included) who by virtue of their natural predilections and personal interpretation of the world around us will never be ‘ normal’. This is by no means saying these people aren’t valuable, quite the contrary in fact. They may have a certain quality in their perspective which can infuse us with inspiration and reflect a deep, contrasting insight into the nature of reality. 

These souls may be labeled occasionally as autistic, mentally ill, over sensitive, eccentric or simply ‘different’.  Indeed being empathic ( energetically sensitive) I feel that many of us find growing up and maturing in the outside world something of a unique challenge. 

At an early age we may discover that we are different from our peers and often our parents. 

The constant emphasis when at school and by others on the physical, percievable, allegedly concrete world felt as if most people only lived in a 2D reality. Their world seemed to have little depth, a linear monologue of an existence. 

Through many conversations that I have had with others with similar experiences it seems we have much in common when it comes to living our lives and the challenges we face. For example, having been born into a society which operates on a model that is the antithesis of what we feel to be right.  This can lead to :

  – subsequent feelings of loneliness and alienation which may lead to social withdrawal, addictive behaviors ( in order to numb our sensitivity), mental disorder or feeling that we have to wear a socially acceptable mask in order to fit in. 

If we do this however we compromise our ability to individuate and fully bloom into complete self actualization.  This may leave us feeling unfulfilled and frustrated. 

  – having to constantly assert our needs to others as most people presume that our needs must be similar to theirs ( in terms of space, down time, opportunity to be creative etc) 

  – finding oneself in constant conflict with others and institutions that prioritize materialism and egotism

  – having the desire for honest, open, loving human contact but mostly having to compromise due to the apparent lack of individuals who are unable to form relationships that do not involve some degree of attachment and / or dependence. 

 To summarise, in my opinion I feel it is important to remember:

  • Every individual has a unique history and a unique physiological / psychological make up
  • Therefore everyone has their own potential to fulfil ( whether or not it is in line with society’s expectations)
  • As a society we should encourage everyone to fulfil that potential.
  • Not to be quick to judge others and readily put people into boxed categories, for this can easily become harmful. 

Namaste 💜

In This Moment………….. 

I love to read by candlelight. 

As dusk falls outside, a chill breeze passes through the house. 

The candle flame flickers in response, instilling life to the dark shadows around me.

I take a moment to enjoy the serenity of  silence that only night time can bring.

The sensual, earthy aroma that accompanies early Autumn has filled my house, bringing with it a multitude of memories infused with bittersweet emotions. It feels as if there is no demarcation between inside or outside. Both worlds are incorporated into a seamless, unified reality of which I too are intimately connected. 
A deep tranquillity settles within my heart and soul. 

It seems that this very moment will last forever . When all worlds become one an eternal stillness is created within which any sense of duality is lost.
Through the open window I see the black velvet of the night sky peppered with small pinpricks of light. Moonlight highlights misshapen clouds as they scud silently across the horizon. Her silver phosphorescence cast upon the landscape as if to lovingly caress her nocturnal kith and kindred. 

I draw comfort from the sight, the same stars and constellations that were there at my birth and have been with me throughout my life. They continue to provide an exquisitely beautiful backdrop to so much of my life, both past and present. 
Out to the porch overlooking my ramshackle garden, my ears are met with the distant mewling of fox cubs. The occasional solitary hoot of an owl adds testament to the incoming night.

A single pipistrelle darts around the street lamp seeking to snare those insects drawn to its fluorescent light. 

A small field mouse scurries through the undergrowth, halting only to sense for any nearby predators that might be hidden amongst the shadows.
I remain as one with the Earth and with eternity. There has never been any separation between myself and the universe. For I feel that deep inside myself I have borne witness to this world since the beginning of time. 

It feels that all of my ancestral memories are within me. There is no physical recall of events, just a deep and soulful knowledge. 

There is no fear of the future for this has always been so and will be forever.

Empath Problems 

Living the life of ( what is largely described as) an empath is a very challenging experience to say the very least. After all trying to exist and live a ‘normal’ human existence is frequently fraught with anxiety, stress, drama and perceived obstacles. 
So it is not surprising that those of us who share a predisposition to being energetically sensitive have more than the average person to contend with. 

Whether or not we agree with the term ’empath’ many of us indeed share similar proclivities. There are going to be variables depending on individuals however many ( including myself) experience the following :

  – a tendency to pick up on the emotional states of others ( and sometimes confuse them as our own) 

  – a tendency to pick up on Earth / Nature energies 

  – an extreme sensitivity to whatsoever is in the energetic field of our vicinity, including spirits, ghosts and paranormal entities 

  – we may take on physiological and psychological aspects of those to whom we are close to 

  – numinous spiritual occurrences, for example Advaitic, Kundalini et al episodes 

  – moving in and out of anothers dreams. 

This list certainly is not exhaustive nor exclusive but it gives us an idea of what ‘ normal’ can be like for the empathic on a day to day basis. 

Before we discover and understand our ‘ energetic sensitivity’ we are largely at the mercy of whatever situation we find ourselves in. This can leave ourselves prone to intense uncontrolled emotions, questioning our sanity as well as feelings of isolation and loneliness ( due to not being able to confide our feelings to those around us). This is when being empathic can feel like a curse. 

However it is possible to embrace these abilities and to enjoy the rich depths of insight and sensuality open to us. 

The first step is to understand what being empathic is. 

The next is to find what works for us to enable the individual to maintain balance and reign in some of these disparate energies. Some find grounding, shielding and meditation helps. 

We do though need to bear in mind that we need to be loving and compassionate to ourselves. The fact that on our journey so far we have encountered many, many challenges, possibly more than most others. And this is often without the advantage of peer support due to the uniqueness of our predilection for sensitivity. 
Namaste ( “I bow to the divine in you” – Hinduism) 

  –

The Grove 


I have on many occasions happened upon sites that seem to have their own, shall we say, ‘ anima loci’ and associated energy. It is reputed that Nature Spirits too have a different, subtle but intense energy. It is then not particularly surprising that energetically sensitive individuals ( e.g. empaths) are more prone to sensing their presence. 
There were many there, just out of sight, obscured from my vision by their different vibration. They were able to manifest if they so desired, enabled even more so due to the liminal and numinous nature of the site. 

A canopy of leaves from the large cluster of fir trees prevented the daylight from revealing much of the ruinous stone circle and its environs. This added further more to the air of mystery and secrecy around me. Any ceremonial or magical activity was securely cloistered from the outside world by the tight knit plantation of trees and dense undergrowth surrounding the stones that remained. 

I sensed many ethereal eyes watching me from under the cover of the bushes, trees and foliage as I sat on a nearby log. The air around me felt heavy with anticipation as if I had in some way interrupted some sacred liturgy. 

The moist sandstone hewn stones covered in moss and lichen appeared to subtly emanate a low green phosphoresence again adding to the apparent preternaturalness of the occasion. 

 The overhanging branches of the trees met the verdant amorphous scrub rising up from bog strewn soil as if to encapsulate all within in a further act of concealment. 

A small winged creature skittered across the pond a little off to my left in my peripheral vision. I was uncertain as to what creature it may have been but its action was determinedly avoidant. 

The slim lower branches of the trees were entwined with gorse, holly and ferns forming an almost impenetrable mesh in the undergrowth around the stones themselves. I swear that I could see hundreds of small faces in amongst the leaves, some wizened and grotesque whilst some appeared young and vibrant. 

Feeling distinctly awkward, a little anxious and somewhat unnerved I stood up to leave by the way I came. The pathway between the trees was up ahead, strange fluorescent blue lights seemed to be emanating from behind them as if each one were hiding a wisp like spirit within their trunks. They lined either side of the track like surreptitious phantoms silently awaiting the arrival ( or departure) of a very important guest. 

Thankfully as I walked towards them their cerulean glow seemed to dissipate the closer I become. 

Still having the sensation on the back of my shoulders and head of watchful eyes burning into them, I briskly left the grove into a comparatively sunnier and thus lighter atmosphere of a nearby glade. Whatsoever esoteric event was taking place that afternoon I would never know and perhaps it’s best that way. Some things are best hidden from the tender eyes and minds of mortals.

Thou Art That.. 

Although to others I appear as simply yet another human being amongst millions of other human beings. The expectation from them is that I too operate and act from a similar perspective. In that I will to some extent seek personal, ego related goals. That I will endeavour to make myself secure by the acquisition of material wealth. That I will have similar external interests involving media driven activities of which I am assumed to have a shared predilection. 

This is the hard part, as I by and large do not. 

Living within a society that lives out and expects individuals to adhere to an anthropocentric ideology  is, for me, completely unnatural. 

My empathic spiritual journey has now led to perceptual changes in the way that I experience the world around me. 

I am as one with the Earth. 

My human body forms the flimsiest demarcation of my soul, for my soul too is at one with the Universe. 

Out in the forest the feeling is intensified. 

In the wilderness, the air in my lungs once expelled becomes one with the wind. The breeze then wraps itself around my human form, caressing my hair and skin. Evaporating the thin sheen of sweat on my brow, which had once been part of one of the great oceans. Although the presence of blood, bone and sinew are to be found within me, they too are only borrowed. One day, upon my passing, I will again return to the Earth from whence I came and from which I have never truly been separated. 

Even in my humanity I can sense the other. 

The autonomic consciousness of the bee as it almost preturnaturally carries out its duties to ensure the survival of his hive. 

The feral mind of the fox, raw and unencumbered by a superego seeks to satiate his hunger. 

The various parts of the dense undergrowth, clearings and landscape that give rise to their own genius loci. That speak subtly of sublime nature spirits, evocations, spiritual communion and desperate entreaties to the ‘other’ world. For in these places the veil between the worlds is barely perceptible. One can easily visit other dimensions and planes of existence simply by being present. 

I have no wish to return to my previous experience of life as a simple, egoic human. Indeed I feel that I could not if I wished to. 

So if you see me around, please feel free to say hello as I have much to discuss and desire to hear of your thoughts. You will recognise me by my eyes, they have all the elements of the Earth therein. 

Tough Love……….? 

Equanimity can be hard for most people in life but especially more so for individuals with strongly empathic traits. The reason being is that we are so sensitive to the energies of other living and none living entities that even the smallest energetic ripple from another source can on some days be enough to unbalance us. 

Our own emotions can be so amplified at times that our effect on others ( for me anyway) can be intense. I have known occasions when I have been in an highly emotive state that I have felt like an affective nuclear reactor influencing other people’s moods and cognitions around me. 

But more often than not it is the emotions of others that can so effect our day to day lives. 

Fortunately for myself through practicing meditation and mindfulness I am usually aware of the how my mind can try and fool me and send me on fools errands in seeking happiness or avoiding discomfort. 

According to Buddhist psychology emotional attachment to the sense world results from mental and physical feelings. 

When we experience pleasure, we seek more. If we do not attain more then craving can develop. 

When we experience discomfort in situations we then we seek to avoid them causing aversion. 

When we experience neutral phenomena we tend to ignore them. 

Thus what we encounter in our day to day lives can cause disturb our emotional balance. 

I wish I had been aware of this in my youth instead of being carried away by the depths of my passions to feel the great highs and lows of existence. Even the low points had addictive properties by virtue of their ability to utterly consume me into another state of profoundly sensual reality. 

As empathic individuals living in Western society however provides us with another challenge. That being trying to exist and survive in a community that promotes greed and the consumption of material things. The media, peers, friends and acquaintances are seemingly infected by ego driven lives e.g. having the latest mobile phone, wide-screen television, fashionable clothes et al. 

It is my belief that this lifestyle is much to blame for many people’s, let alone empaths, unhappiness and feelings of isolation. 

If there is one element of truth we can learn from this, as hard as it may be, it is that it is not what happens to us that can cause the most pain. It is our response. If we have developed a deeper understanding of ourselves then this can be somewhat mitigated against.