The Quiet Way

There comes a time when you find that you are losing interest in the world around you. You find it harder and harder to find common ground with others. You have little interest in social gatherings, and when you are with friends and family you find it hard to be interested in what interests them. You find yourself listening more, and sharing less. This is a natural part of the process of detaching from the world.

A true spiritual path is a quiet sinking inward. As your mind grows quieter you lose interest in the clamoring world. You want your life in the world to be simple so that you don’t have to think too much about it. People fall away, or your relationships transform into simpler arrangements. You happily spend a lot more time alone, or with simpler creatures – children, animals, nature; those who know how to just “be”. When you do have to be with others you still take an interest in them, but not in what they find interesting. Some people will be drawn to your peace; others will be repelled by it.

At first some students experience this detaching from the world with alarm. It is contrary to the world’s thinking to lose interest in the world as you grow more spiritual – you’re supposed to want to “fix” it, or “correct” it, or “save” it, not leave it. And it is very threatening to the ego when you withdraw from its world. But it comes so naturally you will not be able to help yourself. You find yourself longing for more and more quiet, solitude, and simplicity.

Do not confuse this natural withdrawing from the world, though, with thinking that you “should” withdraw, or with hating the world. Natural detachment comes when your values shift toward God, and the world has less meaning for you. “Should” implies that you think that you have to sacrifice what still has meaning for you, and hating the world means that you still believe in it, though you don’t like it. Detachment comes because you are indifferent to the world because you recognize it is not your reality, and you cannot force this.

Comments

Chris Cade said…
This post very much describes what I've been experiencing in the last 6-12 months. And in such simple ways, too.

For example, I used to enjoy movies with lots of action and raunchy humor. Nowadays, I find myself drawn to family movies, typically rated PG and occasionally PG-13.

Also, I very much enjoy playing with my 1 1/2 year old son. We have so much fun together... it's a simple joyful fun that I, to date, do not remember experiencing with my peer group of friends.

Fortunately, I never felt the alarm that many people feel during this transition. I think partly because I've always had an extremely logical mind... so each step I take, my mind is balancing with my experience.

The end result is that my mind and ego accept what is going on - because there is a logic and rhythm to it.

-Chris
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Joanna said…
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Joanna said…
I don't find myself withdrawing from the world as much as I find myself being more mindful of simple things like nature, green grass and laughter. I believe that the Course is set up to bring us closer to our brothers and sisters on earth and not to take us away from them. I don't watch television. I gave that up before starting the course and I don't listen to much radio. I don't look at that as a withdrawal as much as the desire to filter what kinds of things I chose to be exposed to.

I am more compassionate and empathetic. Yes, I am drawing closer to God, but God is everything and part of all people. Isn't the Course set up to bring us closer to one another? It is set up to help clear out the fear and detachment that we feel. So if that is the Course, then pulling away from society is not the intention as much as forgiving society and accepting the part we can play in healing.

Joanna
Brother Gi said…
I also often experience this natural withdrawing that you talk about. For me it seems to come in waves, like a tide gently flowing in and out. Some times I will draw further inward, like you describe, and then the tide will slowly turn and I will start giving forth again - be it through creativity, speaking with people, teaching, or blogging like I am doing now.

I think ACIM does eventually lead to a unity with our brothers and sisters as Joanna said, and for many that might be symbolically reflected as being close to the images of them that they see. For others it might be experienced more as images in the mind, even if they find themselves alone in a cave.

Ultimately how each person experiences the awakening may differ, but it is good to know that our brothers and sisters do sometimes go through the same experiences as us.

This kind of withdrawing can be difficult to handle, sometimes.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts :).

In Peace,
Brother Gi
jerryo said…
I think I see where it hinges..when the World is seen as useless..it falls quiet.

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