Q: Why do most people who reach enlightenment live in isolation?
A: Wouldn’t you live in isolation too if you didn’t live out of fear? People are drawn together by the similarities in their consciousness; people hang out with like-minded people.
When someone is more identified with the watcher, though, they have less in common with most people, so there is less of a pull. They may find themselves dwelling more in solitude, or not then. 70% of enlightened people live away from people. So this does not mean that all enlightened people are isolated, or that just because you’re a hermit you are enlightened! It’s just a tendency.
Q: How do they pay their bills though?
A: If you step back at it, aren’t bills like a karmic debt, in a way of speaking? Your mortgage, your student loans, your car loan, your credit card debt, your taxes, etc., all stem from you wanting something, do they not?
Well, what happens if your karma is running out, and you don’t find yourself wanting anything? You would probably have a lot fewer bills, right? So in a way, most enlightened people have “downsized.”
Q: Why do we feel stressed?
A: We feel stressed when we know that we should be doing one thing, while partaking in another, usually out of fear. So instead of living out of the truth that we are, we are making choices, and therefore living, out of fear. This is felt as “stress.”
Usually we keep this fear hidden from ourselves and find justifications for our actions rather than looking at how we are reacting out of fear. If you want to know what you fear, if you are not aware of what you are afraid of, try this exercise. Imagine yourself living your life completely in a state of no fear. Picture your day from beginning to end, living in no fear. What would you do differently? Why? Write down what you would do differently if you had no fear, and then write down why you don’t live like this.
This exercise will help you get closer to how you are living in fear and stress. Be patient, practice this every day, especially when you feel stress.
At first, your ego will run in circles out of fear. It will justify its fearful actions rather than let you observe them. This is normal. Practice watching your ego’s rationalizations.
Eventually you will feel what it is like to live with no fear, so that you can identify how you are living in fear and watch your fear instead of living out of it. This will bring you peace and eliminate stress.