More accurate would be to say, Africa travel gives me a quicker and deeper spiritual understanding of life than say driving down Route 66 in the USA.
I had a reader ask me if read "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho:
"The Alchemist details the journey of a young Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago." Adventure
The desire to find a higher spiritual understanding is the number one goal of humans on planet earth. Each country I enter is permeated and populated with groups of people trying to find the path to righteousness.
There are always two paths, can you choose the best path that gives you pride?
Here in Africa, the average person sits around singing religions songs if they are Christian or praying in public if they are Islamic. The first things travelers to Togo do is go try to discover Voodoo, searching for something magical.
I call this "the search for God," it is also the search for the meaning of life, when I use the words, "The Search for God," instantly 50 percent of readers become angry, because as a child, their family often forced them, and tortured them, imbued a sense of guilt so deep, that today they hold a resentment that is almost dangerous.
It is tempting to avoid their anger at God, which is displaced anger at their parents, then pointed at God. Often people are angry at all the people in the Church they was forced to attend, saying things like,
"They are all a bunch of hypocrites."
Lome, Togo West Africa --- Saturday, January 22, 2011
We are tested in life
Married for 50 years?
Boot Camp in the Military
Two a Day American Football Practice
Working a 90 Hour Work Week
What is West Africa to me; it is a personal and profound spiritual test. However, for my Mother and Father to go to work everyday in a Factory they may have hated, can be a more severe test of spiritual fitness. Please do not glamorize or romanticize travel, this is not a spiritual test as great as some of you have experienced.
I recovered or put alcoholism in remission, this was my ultimate spiritual test, and when I die sober, I will know I passed. Each day, one day at a time I prove I can stay on good spiritual grounds. I do not have the luxury of petty lies.
What is a spiritual test?
It is a challenge to our soul, it is when we come to fork in the road, one way is easy, and the other path is difficult. Everyday there is a choice, do I take the path that is easy, or do I take the path that will make me a better person?
I recently became very angry with the Cote d’Ivoire women in my life, this was a spiritual test. Whey was I angry, that is simple, I am scare to death I might get hurt, that she could make me feel enough and break my heart.
My Mother in her great wisdom wrote an e-mail saying something like try to leave good terms, and she did leave. On the other hand, did I push her away because I was too afraid? The spiritual test comes when I am tempted to take the easy way to avoid pain.
(I may travel to see her again this coming week, there is always a test, Oops…)
I am sad when people lie, just a small simple little spiritual test. I know many travel writers and Blogger who 24 / 7 fail the spiritual test and misrepresent travel, they romanticize and glamorize travel to make themselves seem like great people. This is to failure of the spiritual test.
I could tell you that all Africans are wonderful people and paint a picture of how they have this simple and profound acceptance of life. This is a lie, Africa is primitive, it is too bull apes fighting for territory, I am daily involved in a macho challenge where I can have a choice, I can go hide within the cocoon with the other white people, drive a car to avoid jerks in public transport, eat in only nice restaurants, because there is always away to avoid temptations.
I choose to travel in Africa, where there is way of avoiding reality.
Traveling at street level is where travel is a spiritual experience, to wallow in the mud with the locals, to understand their daily toils. To feel what is like to have some big African person push you aside in line, to feel weak, to feel vulnerable, and not become the same. I see many whites here in Africa who will ignore me; they have horrible manners, worst than any African I have ever met in my life. The failed, they did not become more loveable, they took and evil path, they are so afraid of people, they ignore me and run.
It would be so much easier if I stopped saying hello to people, however, I will persist in saying hello. I am always happy, African people usually say hello back, I can feel it, they are excited to say hello back, as suddenly then think.
"Hello White Man., thanks for saying Hello."
When a person gives me love back, I know I am carrying around with me good spiritual juice. When I write something that is raw and honest, and a person becomes radically angry, I have also spread some good spiritual juice, it just helping them to understand from a different side of the same coin.
We each need a people who are capable of entering our brain, touch our souls and try to hurt us, not with malice, but a person challenge is needed daily. Moreover, if every day we meet these challenges and we do not become bad people we are doing well. Yes, we fall, but we get back up, and we get right back on the good path.
When I become angry, I am afraid; I must sit down and talk to myself. I am extremely strict here; if I lose my personal battle for spiritual progress it deadly dangerous for me. If I lose too often, I will eventually become so resentful and angry I could take the easy solution to pain.
"Drink a Beer."
I am one beer away from suicide.
Nobody has every made me angry, I was angry and they said something that opened the wound. If I react badly, with bad form, then I am walking on the wrong path.
Africa or India gives a person many challenges; there is a constant frustration when dealing with people who never stop. India is worst than Africa, but Africans are stronger and will push a man to his limits. I have many men here try to dominate me, women have it easier, and Africa is much simpler place for women than men.
However, when another man comes toe to toe with you, tells you to give him money. This separates the men from the boys, the easy path is to just give him some money and walk away with your tail between your legs. The other good spiritual path is to stay calm, smile, and deal with the situation head on, no walking away or avoiding their glare. Look the man in the eyes and say,
But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.' Whatever is more (is leading you away from the correct spiritual path.)
Living on top of a mountain in with monks is not being a good person, living in complete chaos, surrounded by evil people and remaining a good person is proof of spiritual fitness.
I can travel in Africa or India with ease, yes, I become frustrated, and often write about how angry and frustrated I was or am. However, 95 percent of the time, I handled the situation correctly, I seldom write about my victories, which is normal. There is nothing for me to learn from, I did the right thing, and there is no reward for being a good person.
When I explain a challenging situation, when I write in this online diary, I am trying to find the path, each day I must try again to stay on the path. Can you go one day without a lie, can you state the truth simply, without misrepresenting something?
Alternatively, when the boss asks you a question, do you tell him or her what they want to hear? This robs you of your personal pride, you are less afterwards, not more powerful.
I invite men to come to Africa, there is macho challenge that can make you weak, or make you into a man.
Can you make up your mind, that is the question, can your yes be yes, and can your no be no, or are you going to always be a maybe?
Does Travel in Africa give me a Spiritual Understanding of the Life