Well, it is Christmas Eve 2020 and I finally get a chance to write an article (albeit very short) for this website. I’m also able to take the chance to update the site with details about the videos I’ve been posting through November and December. You can view them under “Watch” in the menu above. But what I really want to take the chance to do is reflect on some of the challenges that are involved with making my own small contribution to the field of modern spirituality. They are challenges, but they are also opportunities and I really hope to emphasise that I see them in a positive light. By reflecting on them and discussing them here, I also hope to share something of my personal situation and what I am hoping for of the future.
I think the biggest challenge at present is the fact that I simply do not have the time I would like and need to be able to dedicate myself fully to what I call my ‘spiritual work’. This includes preparing and putting out there all the videos, writings and books on spirituality that I have in various stages of planning and completion. It also includes all the supportive work for this, which means all the administrative work, editing, post-production, website maintenance, research and design activities. As a one-person outfit, it falls to me alone to do all of this and to find the time for it.
There is a lot of exciting work on the horizon and many projects are in preparation. First, there is a serious work on spiritual development being prepared, which discusses and outlines the mechanics of consciousness transformation in the human being. It will give people interested in their own personal transformation and development of higher consciousness a robust approach to this and a way of navigating the various (and sometimes conflicting) ideas and teachings about it from the last 150 years. Second, there is also a big work I’m doing which focuses specifically on methodology and methodological issues. Third, there are works that I’m planning that aim to address various prominent social and economic issues of the day, as well as issues in the philosophy of science. In addition, I’m also working on developing a critique of modern spirituality, which is something that is seriously lacking and most needful: a healthy, robust ‘critique’ can have the effect of improving and bringing much-needed change in this area in a way that is not negative or undermining. There are also many other projects and supportive works in motion.
All of this will take a lot of time to produce and I know this because I have always been working on my ‘spiritual work’ whilst doing other things, like paid work. I recognised long ago that this will most likely have to be a labour of love and that I would not be able to earn any kind of living from this work, needing instead to earn my keep by participating in the labour market like everyone else, doing a regular job and doing ‘spiritual work’ on the side. And I’ve been happy to do that all these years. At the same time, I do recognise that this does mean things take longer to prepare and that there is a price to pay in terms of reduced time for this work. So I do apologise to readers and people interested in the subjects and themes I’m writing and speaking about. I am working on being able to dedicate more time and resources to this work in the future.
The other aspect of life that eats into this work is, well, life itself – I mean, personal life and the many events, distractions, disruptions and difficulties that present themselves day to day, week to week and through the year. Ongoing, personal, family ‘stuff’. And then, one has to add things like major social disruptions (ahem – did someone mention ‘coronavirus’?), which we are all affected by. Indeed, I am surprised and amazed that I am able to do any spiritual work at all.
I would like to make it clear that I do in fact see all this stuff of life as a part of my own personal spiritual work, and certainly it gives me a never ending supply of tasks and ‘new business’, so it is not the case that I would rather avoid it. It is instead only another big factor that does have an impact on how much time I can spend on, say, writing or preparing a video. This is something that any individual creative person needs to face as a regular, daily challenge, and if you the reader are also someone who has many projects to progress that rely solely on you, then you will readily understand how difficult it can be to find a point of balance here.
A third factor that I’m aware of is opportunity. I don’t lack motivation, creativity, inspiration and practical competence to do my work, but I see that opportunity is sometimes lacking. What I mean by opportunity is the ‘set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something’, and by ‘something’ I mean that which would help to take my work to the next level. I do recognise that if I am to make a genuine contribution to modern spirituality that involves, for example, creating useful, valuable and meaningful work along the lines I mentioned above – and work that will, if even in only some small way, help advance human spirituality – then it will require a different set of circumstances that can make this possible. I’m not sure yet what those circumstances are or could be, but I do know that with the current set of circumstances I have and that I am working under, it will only mean that work proceeds very slowly, if at all.
These challenges of time, life and opportunity are very acute for me as I know, on the one hand, that the work I am doing has an enormous value potential – any work that has at its core the spirit and consciousness of humanity, and the transformation of this, has profound implications for our future – but that also it has real value only if it becomes realisable and available for people to capitalise on that value.
Yet, as I suggested at the beginning of this article, I do also see these challenges in a very positive light. Not only do they bring me personal work and chances to see my own shadow sides, but they allow me to appreciate to ever greater degrees the work that others are doing, and the challenges that others face in their fields. In our time, it is not easy to meet with fortuitous time and opportunity.
Although I know that the work I am doing is immensely valuable, I also recognise that it does not follow from this that it is in anyway important to anyone else. Value and importance are not necessarily connected, and the history of culture is replete with many examples of things being both enormously over- as well as underestimated in terms of their importance in their time, independent of any value they actually had. And so I also have learned to not have any expectations that this work I am doing will be attractive to others. In that regard, that has to do largely with many, many factors that are well outside my orbit of influence.
So as this calendar year draws to an end, and as I look back at many personal difficulties this year, including massive disruption to my PhD project (due to COVID) and the deaths of loved ones very close to me (not due to COVID), I look forward to what 2021 brings in terms of challenges to time, life and opportunity as it pertains to my spiritual work. Whatever happens, I am hoping to write a little more, post a little more, and present more work on this most amazing and inspiring subject that is the development and transformation of human consciousness.