The great fun of traveling is to see things differently, ’round the edges of our path, and sometimes to bring those differences into our own lives. Those changes may be welcomed by our companions, or questioned, or downright rejected. This leads to a new set of challenges, which offer a chance to see it all, even more clearly, but not necessarily without pain or even grief. Here’s more from one of my favourite teachers, Ram Dass (here’s the original posting):
Your understanding of what the universe is all about changes as you proceed further along the path towards enlightenment. As your vantage point or perspective changes, you begin to understand more and more of “how it is.” With this greater understanding comes greater compassion… an acceptance of “how it is”… an ability to see the divine plan in everything, even in your failings and failings of others.
In the course of your journey it is most likely that your day-to-day companions or friends may change. Some may fall away as your interest in the Spirit pulls you from the worldly interest which brought or kept you together, but new friends who share your current interests will appear.
Of course, some of your existing relationships will move easily into this new domain and the relationship will become deeper and calmer… coming to exist in the eternal present.
This transition as traveling companions is a delicate and troubling matter. To find that someone whom you assumed shared all your values and interests over many years has no interest whatsoever in enlightenment or in becoming more conscious or coming into the Spirit is a shock. You want to share this “trip” with them in the same way as you shared others in the past.
That desire to proselytize, to turn him on, to show him, to bring him to the light… is a reflection of your lack of wisdom. For only some people can hear. Only some can awaken in this lifetime. It’s a little like seeing a friend drowning and being unable to catch his hand. You want so badly to do something. But in truth you can only BE… be as straight and as open and as HERE as you can be… and if your friend can hear, he will hear.
And if he cannot hear, he will turn away from you. No blame.
What is important is that you get your house in order at each stage of the journey so that you can proceed. “If some day it be given to you to pass into the inner temple, you must leave no enemies behind.” – de Lubicz
This getting straight not only applies to people but to things as well, such as favorite music, disliked foods, special treats, avoided places, all your toys, etc. Everything must be rerun through your compassion machine. You must revisit, at least in meditation, all your old attachments and re-see them in the light of the Spirit.
As you do, they fall away…unless, of course, the attachment to them is so strong that you are not able yet to re-see them with pure compassion. To stumble in that way on the path merely indicates the work yet to be done. Thus it gives direction to your sadhana, which is to work on those desires that cause you to stumble, by bringing them into the light of mantra or the witness until they fall away on their own.
– Excerpt from Be Here Now by Ram Dass