Recently I met an old friend whom i had not seen in 4 years. Back then he had been travelling the world as a Juggler, Musician, a free spirit that was looking for – and finding – projects to help less priviledged people than him, or at least put a smile on their faces. He was getting inspiration at hippie-gatherings, filling himself with New Age philosophies like a sponge sucking up water.
He seemed happy, strong, free.
Now that our paths crossed again, he was still trying to bring people together by making music, he was offering spiritual and physiological healing, he was basically still believing in the same things.
But he also seemed unhappy, unfree in his mind, out of energy yet full of doubt.
I had gone through a very similar change.
Just a few years ago, I was single, travelling the world, meeting beautiful people everywhere, enjoying wonderful festivals, trying to help people in circus projects and by offering massage, advice, energy healing and so on.
Then I met my wife and everything changed.
Suddenly my main purpose was to help her settle in the country I live in and to eventually help bringing her daughter here as well.
I had chosen a path of responsibility for my family over the freedom of a traveller.
Maybe I thought this would be easy, definitely that it would be a chance to grow, but reality punched me right in the face. Suddenly I had to deal with complicated beaurocracy, suddenly my money was gone, I had debts to pay, I was responsible for a mom being seperated from her daughter by 7000km.
As I write this I have managed to cope with a few of these problems, but most of them still remain.
Try, for example, to find an appartment for three in Berlin with only one verifiable income that is just high enough to not be entitled to any government help.
And I have heard similar stories from so many friends, I can’t even count them. just a few years ago, they had been free spirits, beautiful fairies, but now many of them felt powerless and dissatisfied trying to cope with everyday problems. Sickness in the family, loss, money problems, responsibilities about which they were not sure they could handle them.
And then I see the younger ones going through the very same spiritual awakenings we had experienced some years ago.
What do we make of this?
Is it that maybe in the past we had freed ourselves from all expectation and let the magic happen?
Were we free from responsibility and just drifting? Looking for our place in the universe?
Were the ideals we believed in all wrong? Did we not want to change the world, make it a better place?
I can’t speak for my friend, but in my case it seems very obvious that the troubles I am having are with the very fabric of the society I was born into. If I want to unite my family, the laws of my country directly force me to obey the rules of civilisation. In order to be allowed to bring a foreign child here, I need to have a certain size of appartment and a certain income.
I find myself thinking about money and how to make more of it all the time.
And very often I find that I am hating myself for that.
And for still working for the same global company I have dreamed of leaving behind me for such a long time.
There I was, a younger man, full of ideals, trying to change the world, or at least live a different life than my parents.
Here I am, a little older, a little more experienced, asking myself if I should give up these ideals and give in to neccessity. Overwhelmed by reality.
Or maybe just by one specific reality?
Lets be honest. Did we really think, when we set out to change our perception and therefore our lives, that society would not fight back? Did we think it would be that easy?
Did we think that, when we had our spiritual awakenings, that our lifes would now be blissful forever?
Or, at the time, did we maybe just see all the possibilities through a shopping window? Did we really believe, all those beautiful things would be free? We could gain them without effort?
Maybe now we have to find the key to the shop and then, through endurance and sometimes sacrifice, earn the things we want one by one… .
Sure, sometimes it seems that the people who give in to the rules of civilisation are getting the things they want much more easily. They seem to have no problem housing and feeding their partners and children, they drive fancy cars, live in nice houses, go on exotic vacations. Selling their self-responsibility to their governments, their freedom to their companies.
Isn’t it comfortable to see the road in front of you? Especially if it is a well-paved highway?
Then again.. if you can see the road in front of you, how can it be yours? Somebody else paved it. The faster it is, the more people have walked it before you.
What if we carve it ourselves? Sometimes through solid rock? What if we decide to put in the effort? What amazing beings might we become? And then, what if others follow?
How about we do so? How about we lead the way… ?