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Traditional and the Individual

Yesterday afternoon I had a chat with a young Indian studying engineering in Germany. I know him just via the web, we came into contact because we have the same spiritual teacher.
After a few ping-pongs he came out telling: “I am under heavy pressure to go back (to India) and get married to some girl of their choice” (his parents). “I would be happy if they leave me alone…” It is quite strange for us here in the West, though still very common in the East that not the individual but the family decides. He was fearing the decision of his parents, because he considered them to be people not interested in his spiritual way. It turned out that he just had thoughts about their attitude and didn’t know it exactly.
I told him:
“I am sure that when they feel that you are trying to understand them, it might be a chance that they also feel what your inner need is.”
He didn’t want to speak to them fearing their interference.
I replied: “
Don’t expect that your parents follow what you think, if they are not involved in the process.”
There came an excursion about monkhood, and then the deeper point: “
How do I meet someone spiritual? (here in the West) All my friends drink and are not at all thinking about spirituality I am the only vegetarian, non drinker, I drive them crazy, they drive me crazy.”
It is really hard in our Western value system, considering ourselves to be modern and open-minded, to find a friend and a way, where one’s inner priorities don’t get compromised through the mainstream-pressure. I could just tell him some experiences and how I handled this situation in my life. He will have to find his solution.

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