Why do We Slip Up Exactly When We Think We’ve Grown?

“I got sick with something…Suddenly. Bacteria seem to have multiplied wherever they possibly could – in the throat, the urinary tract, God knows where else they may be thriving as we speak. I also got a fungal infection, and I’m just waiting for a virus to finish me off,” said a client who had been coming to see me for a while.

“The burden of guilt is too heavy – that’s how you’ve attracted the bacteria. There’s too much grunge as well, opening the door to the fungus. If you feel worthless, you’ll attract viruses, too.”

“That’s not true,” he was fighting his corner, gesticulating awkwardly, as if to ward off my words.

I’d known the man for just over a year. I supported him through rough times, but he would casually reject discipline, trying to take charge of the game that required no lead at all. He did work on himself, and I was fostering his growth, which his intelligence gave an additional boost to, making it exceptionally fast. He was enjoying the results of his growth immensely, when the first major temptation ambushed him.

From a predominantly material world he stepped into a spiritual life, briefly experiencing a special high-frequency atmosphere. He couldn’t possibly know what happened to him, but he refused to listen to me. He felt the power, and was demonstrating it arrogantly. A wealthy man, he could have everything money could buy, trapped in the illusion of a more rapid growth. That was his first major temptation, and the first gate to trip over on anyone’s journey to self-improvement.

He lorded over his employees, dispensing “brainpower and wisdom” left, right and centre. He wanted them to follow his lead unquestionably. A failure to identify or comply with what he had in mind would be punished with arrogance. Deep down, he probably felt guilty about it, but his ego wouldn’t let him come to his senses and pull himself out of that condition. He was harsh on the people closest to him, especially those who had the same flaws he had. He was trying to escape his weaknesses, insisting he had overcome them all, and interpreting his haughtiness as tough love. To say that the truth must be known was never enough for him; he always had a little tag to attach – “At any price.” The more he purportedly “improved” himself, the harsher he became, and the realisation that he was actually getting increasingly worthless escaped him completely.

Then came false independence. He maintained he knew everything there was to know, and that he needed no one. I think at that point he no longer wanted a teacher. As he put it, “All I would have to do is to listen to rebuke and warnings,” clearly trying to hide the expanding feeling of inadequacy. The truth was he needed someone to confront him, to tell him he’s wrong.

And that’s what put me in the cross hairs.

I was always available to him, contrary to his self-concept. Consequently, the value of my company and what I had to give to him dwindled rapidly.

A mad race began for facts about spirituality. It wasn’t the quality that he cared about, but rather a good experience. Still quite green, he was unable to discern value, to make a distinction between a fake façade and a true value. Any new sensation in his search amplified judgment. Not long after I sensed that he came to think he had become a great teacher. Once he said to me:

“You don’t practice what you preach. You have flaws, and you don’t hide them. How can you speak about your mistakes if you are a guru?”

“I’m not a guru, I’m just an ordinary man.”

“If you are a man with flaws, you can’t teach others, and your worth is non-existent. Perhaps I could teach you something…” he said, smiling. It did sound like a joke, but we both knew it wasn’t.

“Do you really think I would be here, on Earth, if I were the immaculate light? We are here, on Earth, precisely because we have a lot to learn, conquer and finish. Saints are an invented category, and someone’s spirituality is gauged against whether they can understand what happens to them, and conquer the situations they may come across in life. Wisdom is not a lack of temptations and lessons! Wisdom is to recognise and overcome them, to learn the moral of each new story. That’s a testing site for the art of living. We can only improve ourselves if we face problems, temptations and obstacles upfront.”

“Don’t defend yourself. I’ve met a woman who’s a living light, all smiles and love. Her teacher is a living saint.”

“I don’t know a single living saint, so I don’t feel comfortable talking about the man, but I know the woman you are talking about. She lives under controlled conditions, and her social status makes it possible for her. As far as I know, every time she left her comfort zone she suffered a breakdown. It’s a real word. I don’t understand the teaching that requires controlled conditions for an epiphany, abandoning us every time we face a real life.”

“Now you are being ridiculous!” he said, repeating the peculiar hand gestures.

“Imagine the same woman, with another surname, and without her money and the teacher she pays so generously, living in another city, where no one knows her. Picture her in a place where she’s unable to live off the image others have created for her. Could she survive if she relied only on what she had within? Would you survive if you have to rely only on what you have within, what you have learnt and created inside?”

A face flushed red and an awkward silence were my answers. Later on, he tried to humiliate me with a question he had prepared an answer to.

“How would you describe yourself? Who are you?”

“I’m just a soul in search of peace, serenity and joy in every thought or act. I’m a soul facing directly anything life may throw as a lesson, in order to overcome the heritage and the path taken, whose thoughts and actions deserve every blessing from the Source, respected, loved and aspired to.”

“Aren’t you a teacher, a doctor, or whatever?” clearly disappointed by my answer, he wanted to get out of me the one he had expected, something to let him judge me.

“I am what you are, it’s just that I searched a bit longer for the answers to the questions my life is woven from. I also climbed the spiritual vertical a bit longer, and I share my experiences only because someone might find them useful as a signpost, guidance or just help on their journey.”

We are a manifestation of what we believe in. Anything that we think we are makes us who we are, and that can change at any point. We are what we believe we are.

A lot of negative beliefs create an energy fissure in your being. To seal the fissure, the universe sends us a disease to make us aware of it.

Behind the disease are the negative programmes we’ve been carrying inside. Once we release them, we can make a change in our life. The more programmes we release, the freer and open to new blessings our mind will be. When we experience the change, we’ll be healed.

Shortly after our conversation, my friend was diagnosed with hepatitis B virus. If he keeps up the old ways, I’m sure there’s another negative programme in store for him to curb his ego. The odds are it’s going to be a neurological disorder. It was my duty to warn him and offer some guidelines, but if someone doesn’t want to swallow the chewed, I can’t do it for them. To put it simply, it’s not my life, and that bite is not for me.