I was a professional football (soccer) player for 12 months between 2010/2011. My whole life had been geared to becoming a footballer, and I had succeeded by the age of 18. Within 12 months it had gone, and although I had a couple of injury issues, it was completely my responsibility. I didn’t have the mental strength to handle the various different pressures.
I remember at the age of 17 pulling out of a match before the game saying I was ill, because I didn’t believe in myself enough to participate in the game. I didn’t want to let the team, my family and myself down. I also said I was injured a few times in the middle of a matches so that I could be substituted.
At the age of 19 I was released at the end of my contract. I expected it, but it was also a big tear to my ego. The pain, suffering and loss of identity drove me to start my own heath and fitness business and devouring personal development books. Everything my ego had decided I was, I wasn’t anymore, and consuming information was temporarily filling a void. It wasn’t football that allowed me to avoid myself, it was knowledge and business. Constantly working and reading gave me a superficial sense of meaning, but it worked at the time and gave me a tremendous foundation to build on.
At some point early on, I read ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, which is a little bit cliché nowadays, but it completely shifted the way I thought about reality. It’s an investment book evolved around a myth. But I got more from it than that. Rather than reality being linear and predictable, I realised that there was an entirely different world out there to experience and it was available to anyone with the vision, drive and creativity.
From Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I went on a property investment course and learnt how to invest in Real Estate. Over the last 7 years I have bought and sold millions of pounds worth of property and it has given me the financial foundation to invest in other asset classes and take risks in other business ventures.
Far more importantly than business was the inner, psychological and spiritual development that took place in my life. Through my mid to late twenties I found that the ultimate journey one can take is the journey to Selfhood, the process of individuation. It seems amusing now because I ‘unknow’ that to be illusory, but it made the dream a wonderful playground. This is my ongoing personal myth. In the dream-state we all have our own myth, but essentially, that is all it is.
My path led me to the study of spiritual traditions from the world over, consciousness research, history, entrepreneurship, esotericism/occultism, psychology, holistic well being and healing modalities, mental models, philosophy and shamanism. I have also took part in numerous plant medicine/psychedelic ceremonies. In terms of consciousness expansion, I don’t think anything comes close to psychedelics as a technology. However, these things are not the answer for a meaningful life, the study and embodiment of them was my way of trying to find that meaning.
I’ve had a number of apparent experiences in life that could be considered ‘enlightenment’ but they have generally been fleeting in time. I now recognise the apparent happening of reality as a dream, with nobody ‘doing’ anything. I heard it said well by Tony Parsons – ‘All there is, is nothing apparently happening’. This cannot be understood by the mind, so please don’t waste too much time trying.
“Beyond the rightness or wrongness of things there is a field, I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi
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