Two of my heroes, who greatly influenced my methodologies and even the name of this brand itself, have not had the impact they deserved to have.
I am not making judgements about their happiness, or about them fulfilling their potential. But I think what they have to say deserves to be heard by more people, and it hasn’t.
I think a few factors play into this. One of life’s saddest paradoxes is that artists are not typically born marketers. If you’re good at the art, you’re often not good at letting people know about the art. You can’t have it all, it seems. And so you end up with the people who have value but can’t share it, and people who effectively share very little value.
But the other aspect, which I think doesn’t help, is that both of them don’t have a universal enough view. They preach the wisdom of Judaism, of God. And yes, they package it very well, with fancy book covers and explanations about how God is not actually who you think He is, etc.
But my encounter with both of them has been, that they have great value, to a point, and then to complete their pitch and idea, to really get the full benefit and buy-in you need to take a leap. A leap from where your own intuition ends and “that’s just the way it is” begins.
I’m not a fan. After being raised in a cult and having my thoughts and feelings dictated to me for years, I’m deathly allergic to things that don’t resonate with my own body. I’m the ultimate subjectivist.
What I loved about my Vipassana meditation retreat is they said “try us out for 10 days, then you can either stay or leave”. And then they provided me with a tangible, physiological set of life changing tools and experiences.
Many cults make similar offers “just try us out and decide for yourself,” they say. “You can leave at any time.” It doesn’t play out that way though. You can’t just leave at any time, someone will follow up, just to say hi, just to see how you’re doing. Because they care. Because they are concerned for your spiritual wellbeing.
I don’t want anyone to care, it’s far safer that way.
Any system of personal growth should be completely hands off. It should present a set of ideas that others can either resonate with or walk away from. And no part of it should require people to suspend their own judgement, their own understanding of themselves or the world, even for a second.
There are times in my work with clients where we reach the end of an emotional cliff. You can let go of an old way of being, but it’s all you know. What lies on the other side? No one knows. Will you die? It feels like it.
And I invite my clients to cross their hands over their chest, turn around, and drop backwards off the end of the cliff. I tell them in my own experience, that there’s a new better thing lying on the other side. But that I can’t promise that for them, and I certainly can’t tell them what it is. The choices is theirs, the difficult decision to die for personal growth.
The entire process is theirs. The choice to jump. The choice to fall. The choice to see what’s on the other side, or at the bottom, or maybe while hurtling towards the ground they’ll learn to fly.
You want to know The Secret to Ultimate TruthTM? No one knows what’s good for you as well as you do.
Don’t trust me. Trust yourself.