The solitary hero and the false prophets
“Alone” and “lonely” sound similar but they are not. “Alone” means to be in fact on your own (i.e. physically, empirically there is nobody but you in a given time and space). “Lonely,” however, implies feeling you are on your own even though you may be with people. While solitude has to do with the outer world, loneliness refers to our inner core.
A simple truth is applicable to both: “as within so without.” You do not attract what you want but who you are. “Friends,” the TV series, is the epitome of a world that glorifies the annihilation of the self by the dependence on others. Yet, despite all that noise around, these characters (like many of us) cannot fill the void inside. Hence, they are not in mutually enriching interdependence but in a situation of need. What do they need from each other? Validation.
It is not strange that the wise agree on this point. On the day of the festival of the unleavened bread, a Jesus surrounded by people told his disciples “all of you will desert me.” (Matthew 26:31; Mark 14:27 NLT). Similarly, Rumi tells us “each single prophet who served God alone stood firm against the whole world on his own.” (Rumi, The Masnavi, Book Two, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, 23).
There are different kinds of love. Romantic love is but a single example. For instance, Disney has started exploring with films like Frozen the love between brothers, sisters, siblings. With time, in particular in the West, it has lost its essence and it has been disguised as the necessary requisite to be defined as a person: if and only if somebody else loves us, we are worth it—the “I” defined by the “other.”
When we go back to the Scriptures, the “love” Jesus talks about is the prime example of what I call Love. The very well-known phrase “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39 NLT) is usually interpreted as giving pre-eminence to the “other” part of the equation. However, paraphrasing RuPaul here “How can you love somebody else if you cannot love yourself?” It all starts with you. Note I do not refer here to the love to God, Allah, the Universe, the Source, the Eternal, the One, the Many (like in every post, the name we use here is irrelevant. It is just a man-made label for communication. Therefore, I use them interchangeably).
Why does it start with you? There is just one reason. Because we cannot give what we do not have, at least not freely. Unsurprisingly, there is what we have nowadays, conditional love, pseudo love or fake love—it just has the appearance of love. Hence, the previous reference to “Friends.”
We are living challenging times. Often, challenging times bring problems as well as opportunities. In chaos, there is as much darkness as there is light. Undoubtedly, there is a proliferation of “false prophets.” Disguised as empaths, gurus, motivational speakers and others, in most cases these people prey on the vulnerable and good-hearted. More than ever we are being asked to trust our connection between our inner core and God, Allah, the Universe, the Source, the Eternal, the One, the Many.
Whoever wants to help you should seek your best even if it means to leave you walking your path alone. If there is any condition attached to their care and help, there is a clear indication they are not acting out of love. Evidently, the condition may be financial. However, there may be more sophisticated and refined ways for these false prophets. Remember your time, attention, company and energy are too precious.
If someone or something is jeopardizing your peace of mind because there is a condition for them to stay with you (in whatever capacity), that is not love. Love has nothing to do with fear because “… perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not experienced […] perfect love.” (1 John 4:18 NLT) It is as simple as profound: “only from the heart can you touch the sky.” (Rumi)
As hard as it may seem, sometimes walking alone the path is not as taxing as walking with someone who appears to be sharing our load but, in reality, they are the load itself. Sometimes you have to be the solitary hero in your own story.
Christ Consciousness. 6: Vision, leadership and peace
Monday 28th June 2021
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez