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Careers, Inner Journeys and Unknown Continents

A few days ago I got a Christmas-letter with an end-of-the-year review of an old class-mate. He has done an extraordinary career, being since some years the head of Munich airport (Germany’s best airport manager 2007). In our youth we had done some bicycle tours through Germany – to Frankfort, Hamburg and Munich – and in later years he had been in responsible positions at the respective airports. A strange preview of destiny. In spite of his management career he remained somehow very normal, authentic and humorous.

I haven’t seen him the last 11 years, I have rarely been at the annual class meetings, since youth I have felt strangely not at home in this world we had shared in your youth. While a number of my class-mates had done quite a professional career and are well established in different niches of mainstream society (doctors, university professors, lawyers, consultants…), my focus had always more been on exploring the inner realms – though not neglecting having a sound footing in a bread-giving profession which I like. I had felt somehow speechless in mainstream social contexts and their ways of associating – concerts, holiday tours, parties, arts, and the like.

Over the last years I increasingly broke the silence about the inner journey – which also reflected in outer journeys, like regular tours to India for seminars with my spiritual teacher. I noticed that by now an inner ground had grown on which I can express myself much more freely and explain about inner processes and give an understanding. To this had greatly contributed the work with the monthly newsletters about the wisdom teachings, which found an expression in the public talks on Meditation – Experiment and Experience given during the last months.

And so when I replied to the mail of my old friend, I wrote to him much more about what had been going on on my spiritual path than I would have done some years ago. In his letter he had mentioned a famous German sculptor, whom he had visited and who will make a sculpture for Munich airport. The sculptor told him about 2500 kinds of steel, having different qualities. I told my friend that very similarly you develop a sensorium for subtle dimensions, when you work with it over the years, a sensibility which is not possible to convey to someone else who hasn’t developed the related inner instruments.

It is fascinating to observe how these inner tools – called anahkaranas in the East – develop over the years. It is nothing spectacular, just a way of dealing in a clear way with situations, a deeper way of perceiving. It is just the same way a scientist or an artist develops his skills over the years – only that the field of investigation are the inner realms. For those who don’t know them, they remain an unknown continent.

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Blue landscape with Bernese Alps. Some paths lead into far away worlds. It says that Eskimos have 20 different expressions for snow – a subtle differentiation coming from a more refined perception.

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