Recently I had what I have come to call a run of “caterpillar days” — my to-do list was thwarted by the universe: a client refused a session; my computer’s hard drive died; my one day off was spent at the North Shore Mall’s Apple Store; family challenges rose to the surface and my inner responses followed (anger, blame, frustration, guilt, sadness — all unspoken and distracting).
My psyche defaulted to the “I cut myself off from the source” mode, followed by the “my life will now turn to crap” mode — punishment for “breaking school rules”. Fortunately, I caught myself and saw those days for what they were — caterpillar days in a striving towards butterfly-hood.
Truthfully, before my “school” tenure similar days would have triggered a similar response. But my sin would have been nebulous and the “greater/higher power” would have been un-definable. “School” provides me clarity for the crimes: leaving “the source”; researching “school” on the evil internet; breaking the “code of silence”; reaching out to others AND (most egregious) writing and posting my super-secret esoteric “school” — i.e. cult – experience for all that care to read it.
Now that I know the insane context (history, lineage, or lack thereof) that “school” desperately scrambles to hide, I can recognize the insanity of these damning thoughts — punishment for the crimes of independent thinking and inquiry. In reality, my caterpillar days simply point to some life things that need tending — things having nothing to do with “school’s” wrath and hell fire. They beg the questions: why so distracted and what do I need to address? They say to me, “Hey, you need a day at the beach.”
How many of us ex-students experience the sense that “school”, in it’s highly evolved capacity, can lurk above judging caterpillar days? How many of us hear “school” voices saying, “I told you this would happen”– damning us to meaningless lives of scrambling, crawling and consuming until death.
In my last conversation with Robert, he told me essentially that my husband would continue trying to “control” me in the future. “These things don’t happen in isolation,” he promised me. Of course, the obvious irony here is that this is a standard line, fed to students whose spouses have started to whittle away at the induced “school” stupor. It is an attempt to control via fear.
When that didn’t work, he changed his tactic. “I am trying to put myself in your husband’s shoes,” he said. I remember – at the time – having the thought, “Well how hard can it be to understand my husband’s legitimate worries about my emotional morass and our dwindling finances? ” But, again, I was to intimidated to voice this question.
I was furious when learning later that Robert’s three marriages were all arranged via “school”. This knowledge did throw light on his utter lack of empathy. He has never had to explain the unexplainable to his wives – the ever-growing time commitment and expenses. He has never had to lie to the person who has been lying next to him night after night. I finally understood that his lack of compassion for my husband, extended to my marriage, which was inconvenient for “school”.
In reality, my departure only strengthened my marriage and vastly improved my life. My husband has not tried to control my time as promised. And I have come to honor and trust my own judgment and make my own decisions – ultimately reclaiming responsibility for my life. Since then, doors have opened for me without the frantic and exhausting scramble prescribed by “school” in “principle”. Most notably, my struggle with employment and money is over.
After almost two years of following “school’s help” in finding work, I decided to take the opposite tack. I relaxed, regrouped and focused on work that felt meaningful and right; positions that call on my natural aptitude. Within two months after leaving school I found work that I love. I now earn a decent salary and was recently nominated and awarded a prize for my efforts. I can honestly say that my days feel joyful, meaningful and purposeful.
School often paints departing infidels as angry and disgruntled “ex-students”, who somehow “failed” the program. Again, my experience has proven exactly the opposite to be true. Angry, yes! I am wrathful at the deception and manipulation of this fake “school”. Disgruntled, no. I have never been clearer in my life about what I want and who I am. I am filled with gratitude for having my life back — mostly to my husband for pushing me to see the truth of the mysterious Tuesday/Thursday thing. My decision to leave school is proving to be one of my most successful and important decisions. I am a stronger woman, now, and my well-honed bullshit detector quickly sounds sirens when encountering the “cleverly insincere”.
I have spoken with many former “students” and they do miss their friends. But if King Robert himself, called us each personally and invited any of us back, I feel certain that none would accept. In fact, fairly recently, eleven of the “angry and disgruntled” reunited at the Cheesecake factory. We shared stories, complained, gossiped, laughed our asses off, showed pictures of new babies, talked about babies to come, discussed books, movies, new esoteric and spiritual explorations, compared ludicrous stories from our “school” days, talked about new jobs and (God forbid!) exchanged emails and phone numbers in unadulterated, unmonitored and chaotic conversation.
We toasted to our real freedom. Without school, the “disgruntled” are living joyful and meaningful lives. We have more money, energy and time and we own our thoughts, emotions and actions. We decide when to change a job, see our spouses, take our children to the playground, etc. We are awake to the value innate in each moment; the smallest things hold priceless meaning, after having given this time away to “school”.
For those of you who are still in and wondering what is this thing called “school”, I can tell you that it is not the institution hued to a higher calling in pursuit of truth that it claims to be; its roots are deeply entrenched and clinging to deception and greed. I want to implore you to reclaim your life. You will not learn the truth of “school” if you are in “school” for its evolved leaders take great pains to keep the truth from you. The gift of freedom that “school” whispers came to me when I left. I learned the truth and experienced a stark contrast between letting an esoteric prison dictate my choices and the freedom that followed when I decided that if I was going to fuck up my life, I’d rather do it on my own terms, thank you very much. My striving towards butterfly-hood continues, always will, but now I am free to explore, stumble and bumble in my own perfectly imperfect way.
Sometimes – these days more often than not — I hit the mark.
Essence Friends, thanks for reading, and here’s to your freedom. Please share your stories in having left “school”. Perhaps some current students will find this blog and decide to set themselves free.
P.S. Cult confessions will continue but not in this book/chapter format. Much more to say … I hope you will stay tuned and chime in.