Why spiritual quotes suck (until they don’t).

‘You already have everything you need.’


‘You don’t have to find yourself, because it is who you are.’


‘Trying to find happiness is the only thing that gets in the way of being happy.’

I’m sure you know those quotes.

And, like me, you’ve probably tasted them on your lips many times, read them out loud, tried to understand them or act on them, and found that they didn’t do anything for you.

‘You already have everything you need’ just doesn’t sound true when you go bankrupt or your spouse decides to get out of your life.

‘You don’t have to find yourself, because it is who you are’ is nothing more than an insult, when you have been feeling like shit for many years.

And ‘Trying to find happiness is the only thing that gets in the way of being happy’ might start you on a journey to NOT find happiness, but how do you do that?

All these statements are deeply true, really, but as long as you’re married to the intellect, as long as your thinking leads the way in everything you do, they sound like oversimplified advertising headlines aimed at deeply naïve people.

These quotes are not to be understood by the mind, because, in a way, they are a threat to the mind, to the perfectly cultivated idea of who you are.

They have to be seen, to be realized, to be experienced.

And until they land within you as part of a deeper knowing, as a simple recognition (‘Oh, fuck, okay, duh’), they’ll just come across as shallow and unrealistic spiritual drivel.

I’m aware of the fact that this post states the obvious (‘you only see it when you see it’) and in that way just might add more frustration to your already frustrated state of mind, but let me tell you this:

I’ve been reading this kind of statements for years and years and years without ever being touched by them.

I obsessively tried to ‘get’ spirituality, oneness, wholeness, and the recognition of our true nature, and never succeeded.

Until I did, at least enough.

Until it was SO blatantly obvious, that I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it before.

This wasn’t a personal accomplishment or reward for all my suffering, although it’s really easy for me to pour it into a story and it feels good to look at it that way.

But of course it just happened.

One day, these realizations just knocked on my door and I let them in.

It just happened, and it will keep happening to many searching and non-searching beings.

And when it does (and maybe it already has, by the way), you’ll be scratching your head and laugh sheepishly, liberated, unburdened, maybe even slightly embarrassed, and you’ll realize

‘I DO have everything I need!’

(Photo by @thomaskinto, for Unsplash)

You have a gift.

You have a gift.

Full circle.

Full circle.

Beautifully sad.

Beautifully sad.