One of the most common experiences on the spiritual path is a sensation of isolation and loneliness. This experience of isolation grows larger the more awakened we are, and can be illusory or a real experience based on having experiences and understandings that not many other people in the world have.

All over the world people are experiencing small or large manifestations of spiritual awakening. Initially these can be very isolating. One of the funniest things that I have found in my practice is that people with actually manifested psychic abilities or who are going through considerable spiritual awakenings will often consider the experience (at least at first and maybe for a considerable period of time after) negative, difficult, and isolating while people without psychic abilities (or with very mild psychic abilities) or who are not going through a significant spiritual awakening will loudly proclaim these experiences and do things like go up to people in grocery stores and say that their dead aunt is there, or will speak about their Kundalini awakening even though they do not know what one is. It is just the way of the world, and an interesting phenomena… people with actual psychic abilities and spiritual awakenings will often find them really isolating, especially if they are intense or significant experiences resulting in a much different understanding and view of society than what is commonly accepted as consensual reality.

In the beginning, when you are just waking up, the isolation is self-created and is also a construct of a society that does not really talk about such things. Most of us who are sensitive, psychic, or able to see beyond the cultural norm experience trauma in our lives because we think, feel, or see differently and more deeply than most people. We question things that nobody else would even think to. We are told that our experiences are not real, that there are no colors around people or that there is no way we can feel sad because the person next to us is sad. And that the feelings, these sensitivities, our experiences are not appropriate. This creates trauma patterns in which we self-isolate, feeling as if we are the only sensitive or the only person having spiritual or energetic experiences because we have been traumatized (at typically an early age) and told that our experiences, sight, feelings, and abilities are in some way not okay.

But there are millions of people “waking up”, in the beginning stages or intermediate stages of questioning. There are millions of people who notice that they are more sensitive, notice more, or see more than the general population does. There are millions of people drawn to spiritual practices, meditation, yoga, shamanism, tarot, herbalism, reiki, and healing practices because they are waking up. Many of these people will eventually find communities of like minds and begin to see that although larger society doesn’t talk about these experiences that there are many others with similar experiences that they can chat with, get advice from, and feel a communal bond with. Much of the isolation for these people will begin to alleviate or even disappear with this discovery… as the beginning and even intermediate “awakened” person finds their tribe of people who are on the same wavelength as they are. This is especially true if they can work through the and clear the initial experience of the teacher, parent, adult, or child that initially traumatized them and told them that their experiences were not valid, or were wrong to see/feel/sense.

But there is a point where spiritual experiences are isolating. It is no longer an illusion, nor self-created. It simply is. Most people, even those beginning to awaken, or who have been for a short or even long period of time, are still on the surface levels of reality. They are still participating in illusions, in their wounds, and in the giant play that we all externally participate in in this world. As I have talked about before, most books, teachers, gurus, and information out there is for the 90 percent (or so) of people who are in beginning stages.

As we go beyond this 90 percent, our experiences cause us to become isolated. We begin to have experiences that are so far off the cultural norm that they cannot be talked about. There are certain spiritual doors that begin to open that once gone through create understanding levels and experiences that are rarely talked about. This is because most people are still engaged in illusion, in control patterns, and in self-creation. Many spiritual experiences are beyond words as well. Anything beyond what is culturally accepted as consensual reality beyond a certain point (even in spiritual circles) is too scary for us to consider unless we have had the direct experience or are at a stage of being especially open and have worked through our traumas and control issues. But typically anything beyond this 90 percent point needs to be experienced to be believed. Anything beyond this point is too far off from consensual reality to be assimilated easily and there is a cognitive dissonance, meaning that people who have not experienced it themselves will not be able to process the information and will do anything to return to their current state of thinking to preserve safety, control, and their own cosmologies.

This very real experience of isolation is difficult. But it is important to know that even if you are not in the 90 percent who is in the beginner stage and are actually beginning to awaken out of the script, the plays, and the understandings of the dominant 90 percent that you have company. If you are in the 90-98 percentile (intermediate to beginning advanced for simplicity and clarity), or are even in the 90 percent but are beginning to question things and are ready to move on, there are still plenty of people in this category. They do not populate that chat rooms, they do not need to give advice, they have lost some of that seeker mentality and the incessant need to prove themselves so they are typically a bit more difficult to find. They know that their experiences are far off the cultural norm so they are frightened to talk or they keep their mouths shut to not be thought insane.

And there are also teachers in the 95-100 percent category. There are enlightened people throughout this world. You simply will not find them if you are not ready for them. Let me put this more simply. There is of little use for someone who is just beginning their spiritual journey to find works by Krishnamurti or Ramana Maharshi. They will first find Oprah, Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Michael Harner and Alberto Villoldo, and then move on to Adyashanti and Mooji before they move on to Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi, Muktananda, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Gopi Krishna… and then they may move on to source materials from various biblical and spiritual texts before they lose the need for others and their teachings to influence their lives and be part of their cosmologies.

Real spiritual experiences are isolating. But for most of us we can find communities. Even if we are in the 99 percent, or even 100 percent, we can find someone of a different culture or relationship to the divine to teach us, to guide us, to be friends with us. When we are ready to open our belief systems, to move forward, to release in an authentic and true way that is when the appropriate teacher, book, or understanding will come our way to take us from 40 to 42 percent, or 99 to 100 percent, or even 100 to 0 percent. We just may find ourselves needing to share (or not share) with others who have not had the same experiences in a different way, in a way they may understand. We can have spiritual experiences that are isolating and take us far away from the cultural norm and simultaneously experience oneness, have friends and lovers and partners and family (even when they are part of the norm), go to yoga, PTA meetings, work, and the grocery store and find teachers and guides to help us understand and build skills to work with what we are experiencing. We just need to be open and ready to move on from where we are. We have to be okay with going beyond that 90 percent, beyond the chat rooms and the meetups and the spiritual communities and the books that are immersed and do not wish to divert from the cultural norms of “okay” spiritual experience and the surface levels of external reality.