As a result of my deepening interest in truthful ideas, quite a few of my friends feel I have gone off the deep end, and I have noticed a growing separation between us as I work more and more for my own spiritual freedom. It is not that I don't care for them, but rather I am becoming less concerned about the things that have always driven all of us. My fear is they will eventually want to have nothing to do with me. Is it normal for friendships to pass as people change their life and level? Is this what Christ meant when he said, "Let the dead bury their dead"?
Yes, quite often old friends will fall away as you work on changing your interior relationship and begin seeing more about this life and its true purpose. Think of the company that a caterpillar keeps and then, as it is transformed, how its new friends have wings and inhabit the sky. Letting go of those who want to remain earthbound is at least in part the true inner meaning of this passage of Christ's that you have cited.
Because I see it as counterproductive to my spiritual work, I have recently stopped sharing my negative states with a person near and dear to me, a friend who is also a practicing psychotherapist. Now he seems threatened by this new action on my part. He sees "sharing one's feelings" as the way to achieve and maintain intimacy. I don't feel that I can go back to the relationship the way it was. Can you comment on this?
Congratulations! Through your inner work, you have stumbled onto a great discovery. Your sensing and understanding of this change in relationship is accurate. This person needs to feed on your weaknesses in order to feel strong. By your refusing to supply the food (of negative concerns), the creature feeding suddenly shows itself. Don't be afraid to see all of this and its implications. The change that must occur as a result of your choice not to be in a conspiracy of woes will be the dawning of a new and higher consciousness within yourself.
How do we find others who are also searching for their true selves? At times the search causes us to leave former friends behind -- not because we are better, but because we are different.
Here is a highly encouraging thought: The study of Truth leads us to those relationships that are beneficial to the Truth we are studying. It could be said that as you grow in your love of Truth/God, your newly emerging nature is a law unto itself that naturally repels what is dissimilar to it and likewise attracts what is helpful, healthy, and loving. In short, while it is good to find others who are interested in the Truth as a part of our own free will, the search for others who are embracing their true nature is ultimately directed by our own wish for the Truth.
I am having trouble understanding how to leave relationships with my friends and family alone. It seems that the changes I feel are affecting them, but neither they nor I understand some of these changes. It is an extremely confusing time for everyone in my life. Can you help me ease this effect?
The Truth asks us to give it its way in our lives. The relationships established before the dawning of any such light within us are naturally going to be put through necessary changes by the inclusion of this new understanding as it dawns within us. Try to understand that we live in a world of which we see only a tiny, tiny part. But even in those small glimpses of our physical reality can we see hints of the celestial one. What happens to the creatures living in any environment when that environment is changed? Some naturally stay, some must leave, and most importantly, as it concerns our work, new creatures are attracted. Continue with your work. Be willing to let the chips fall where they may with all of your relationships. Be kind, but above all, be true. The rest will take care of itself.
At times it seems to me that the more I realize about the awesome nature of spiritual love, the more loneliness I feel in my current human relationships. I long to share my discoveries with others, but who do I turn to?
A certain kind of loneliness, of feeling ourselves all alone, is a necessary portion of the path to the higher life. This sense of being alone comes out of realizing what are the inherent limitations in our actual relationships in this life, combined with a growing spiritual longing to commune with others in a deep and meaningful way. Go through this. We easily forget that there is a God, a Great Intelligence that guides the steps of anyone willing to put Him/Truth before all else. This same Intelligence will lead you to new relationships, inner and outer ones, in which not only will you be able to express the love you feel for the Truth, but this same love will fill you as well.