The path to spiritual heroism – part 1

Photo by Luc Viatour

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Some take painkillers, anti-inflammatories, sedatives, painkillers, or opioids. Others take anxiolytics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, or stimulants.

Some drink, smoke and eat everything they want in large quantities. Many consume “controlled” substances in a completely uncontrolled way.

Others say they prefer the “natural” route and consume weed, THC edibles, ayahuasca, or hallucinogenic mushrooms. A growing number of people catch toads from the Sonora desert to extract their poison and, once dried, smoke it to access altered states of consciousness. Another group is very aware of research related to using micro-dosing psychedelics for therapeutic purposes.

Many have safe and unsafe sex; they get laid consciously and unconsciously. Sober and drunk. Alone or accompanied. Physically or only mentally.

People do all that to deal with suffering, although none of that solves it permanently.

The healthy way

Some eat healthy, exercise, and practice yoga and mindfulness. They make room to spend quality time with their loved ones. They escape to Europe, Canada, the Caribbean, or to a cabin in the woods.

They go hiking, camping, climbing, or biking. Many play soccer, basketball, baseball, or tennis. Boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, or mixed martial arts may also be on their menu.

They cook on the weekends while having several glasses of wine. They watch the Superbowl, the Champions League, the Grand Prix, the Olympics, the World Cup, the Oscars, and the Grammys.

They take the dog to the park or just stay home to read books with their cats.

They visit the doctor frequently. They take vitamins, glucosamine, chondroitin, magnesium, turmeric, or omega-3 capsules.

They eat delicious dishes from gourmet cuisine. They eat street tacos, food truck gyros, Chinese, seafood, or BBQ burgers.

But none of that solves the problem of suffering permanently.

The path through content consumption

Some consume intangible things like Netflix series. Witty tweets or an infinity of toxic tweets. They ingest (for hours) idiotic Tik Tok videos, IG stories of their crushes, and Facebook videos of animals doing funny things. They spend all day watching streams of people playing video games, listening to controversial podcasts, and consuming plenty of political and ideological content in the form of memes.

Some go to book fairs, buy designer toys, visit rare vinyl stores, get expensive sneaker collaborations, and independent graphic novels. Others attend underground music events by urban collectives and watch art performances.

They devour books by Nietzsche, Hegel, Freud, Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Žižek, Fromm, Frankl, and Bauman. They get hooked on social media for hours to engage in neverending intellectual arguments.

But none of that solves the problem of suffering permanently.

The esoteric way

Some buy quartzes, magic candles, essential oils, triquetras, books on angels, magical herbs, expensive grimoires, and minerals. Others learn to read the Tarot, the runes, the pendulum, and the oracles, while others indulge in astrology.

Many get tattoos of Ganesha, the Buddha, the Hindu Om, or the mantra of compassion in Tibetan characters. Some buy statues of Shiva, Christ, Santa Muerte, or Archangel Michael. In addition, they have a collection of Buddhist Malas, meditation cushions, mandalas, Tibetan bowls, and incense of various aromas.

Some pray to Kali, others to the Virgin Mary. Still others to the wrathful deities and the fierce dakinis. Some practice white magic, others do black magic, and others do not distinguish one from the other and simply practice tantra.

Many read books by Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hahn, the Dalai Lama, Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, Yogananda, Nisargadatta, or Sri Aurobindo. As a result, some become Jainists, Muslims, Hindus, or Vedantists, and others become Buddhists.

But none of that solves permanently the fundamental problem of suffering.

The path to Spiritual Heroism

So what solves it?


Constant spiritual practice.

And how is it practiced?

Cultivating honesty, right action, wisdom, and meditation.

Those who practice once a week slightly lessen their suffering. Whoever practices three times a week experiences peace of mind several times a month. Whoever examines his soul in detail, makes self-examinations, meditates, and strives to be a better person every day, achieves a peace that is present almost all the time.

Some try harder and read the sacred scriptures daily. They meditate for several hours per day and become disciples of authentic, realized spiritual masters. They diligently strengthen their spiritual commitments. As a result, they accumulate wisdom, generosity, and merit.

Their spiritual awakening is just around the corner.

And when it finally happens, it marks the beginning of the end of their suffering in an inexorable and lasting way.

Those who have already verified the sacred quality of their being manage to enter the Stream that will lead them to total liberation.

And whoever achieves such liberation never suffers again. Such a person can also help others stop suffering permanently.

Such a being becomes the hero incarnate.

To be continued.

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