Whatever our individual experiences it is likely that we will be in a heightened state of consciousness and sensitivity. I strongly recommend you do not squeeze your itinerary so you feel you have to rush back into your usual pattern of work and general lifestyle. This is a crucial moment. So often I have witnessed profound change (in myself and others) only to see fear come and rob us of our new understanding and orientation.
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Recall the original purpose and intention of your pilgrimage. If this was (for instance) to ‘come closer to God', then don’t be surprised if anything and everything that could get in the way of that high invocation is removed from your life, or at least challenged!
Essentially, we are all on the journey of rediscovery of our Essential Nature or spiritual reality. We are opening up to the knowledge of Higher Worlds. Remember that we have collectively been asleep a long, long time. While change can happen in the twinkling of an eye, it is often experienced as a slow and painful process. The challenge to our new’ perspective is fear. The extent to which we hold onto this new way of looking is measured by how far we are prepared to hold onto our truth in the face of opposition, often from those who profess to love us. Christ was crucified for exactly this.
Your inner changes may not be so dramatic. Alternatively, those around you may likewise be engaged in inner work and so, far from feeling threatened by you, may welcome your shift with open arms and hearts. In this event you are blessed indeed. However, it would be well to remember that these significant others may not have spent a month or more walking an ancient spiritual path surrounded by the silence of nature. Take time to integrate back into your life and nurture yourself. Build up a network of fellow pilgrims who can empathise with how you might be feeling and can actively support you.
Know that change is always seen as threat within consensus society. Know also that if you try and change another to your new viewpoint you can aggravate the sense of loss and alienation felt by that other. This is all part of the journey and grist for the mill. Ultimately you can only be responsible for your own actions and reactions. You cannot be responsible for the responses and experiences of others. One should be aware, however, that they may well have an investment in keeping you the same so that you don’t challenge them to change!
We have been asleep a long time and alarm bells are ringing for young and old alike, but there are signs that we are waking up. We have imprisoned ourselves within the narrow confines of our own minds. And yet the words of Christopher Frye from A Sleep of Prisoners exhorts us to break free of these self imposed limitations:
Thank God our time is now When wrong comes up to face us everywhere Never to leave us till we take The longest stride of soul, folk ever took.
Affairs are now soul sized.
The enterprise is exploration into God.
Where are you making for?
It takes so many thousand years to wake, But will you wake, for pity's sake.