I’m back in India in the middle of a new trip and many interrogations roam my head: why return here? Why not visit one of the other million countries that I still have to discover?
My first answer is not a very logical one, but it's the main reason of my return: I had the feeling that I needed to return to India. I can't quite explain this, but if I listened to my heart it wanted to come here again, to learn from it's people, eat its foods and see it's landscapes once more.
In 2015 we spent 2 weeks in a friend's house in Kerala after a chance encounter in an Indian train. It's truly incredible what chance encounters can lead you to if you are sincerely open about interacting with people.
This same friend, Krishna, organised a trip this year all over India, the trip is based on three personalities: Gandhi, Buddha and Sri Ramana Maharashi. The idea was to think about and learn from Gandhi’s concept of non-violence, Buddha’s renunciation and meditation principles and Sri Ramana’s concept of the self.
“The world is not different from the mind. The universe, the cosmos, is not different from the mind, and the mind is not different from the heart. The heart, you see, sits at the self, it’s the self itself. The world is not, the universe is not, the cosmos is not different from the mind. And the mind is not apart from the heart. So in the heart the whole story comes to an end.”
I am not one to skip the opportunity of travelling a far away country with local friends and learning about such enriching concepts.
I think this trip also comes at a great time for me personally, a time when I am realising that these kind of concepts are dearly missed in the western world. I believe that a greater spiritual education would be of great help to us westerners. Western society is in some sense forgetting basic principles of interactions with others and with one’s own self and exchanging them for a society of achievement and individualism, were monetary interests govern all conduct.
“The crisis of love does not derive from too many others as much as from the erosion of the Other. This erosion is occurring in all spheres of life; its corollary is the mounting narcissification of the Self. In fact, the vanishing of the Other is a dramatic process - even though, fatefully enough, it largely escapes notice. “
– Byung Chul Han, The Agony of Eros
My concept of spirituality is not linked to any supernatural entities or concepts. My spirituality is related to my personal search for happiness through the exploration of my self.