Kamal was totally lost. His father had died. His job over. His relationship gone. He felt adrift, depressed, broken.
He was so lost he wandered the world trying to find his way back.
Twenty years later he wrote the novel about what happened “Rebirth.”
The novel is about how he discovered for himself the ancient art of the pilgrimage. How to be a wanderer.
How to be lost in a world with too much GPS raining down.
Would a pilgrimage, a wandering, solve his problems?
I read Kamal’s book. The book comes out today. I had him on my podcast (also out today). I wanted to find out how even in our daily lives we can go on a pilgrimage.
Even if I’m in a cubicle, can I break free, can I become a wanderer.
From what I can gather from reading the book, “Rebirth,” and talking with Kamal, a pilgrimage has several parts:
A) Seeking an answer
Something happened. Something confusing. Something that wasn’t in the plan.
You have to get off the regular path. Try a new one. Try one that takes a bit of courage and discipline. To meet stranger along the way
B) It takes time
I’m not a believer that you have to go to a far location.
But take time for yourself each day to do something you’ve never done before. Think about things you never thought about before.
Find the places in your life that you never looked before. They are there every day. The pilgrimage awaits.
Do a dare you never would have dared to before.
Maybe some people find life easy. I don’t.
Life is filled with worries about money, about relationships, about (for me) kids, about decisions, about the people who hate you, who annoy you, who scare you. Anxieties, regrets.
Every pilgrimage begins with the struggle. And every journey is a struggle.
The struggle doesn’t stop. It just changes. It changes into one where you are lost to one where you have vision.
Where the struggle is not being trapped in the vision of others but for the unique impact that you want to create.
D) Benefits of a pilgrimage:
- You see more clearly: Everything you see on a pilgrimage is different from “normal life”. Enjoy them. Learn from it. Even a single day, a single meeting, can be a pilgrimage. What is your takeaway from it.
- You meet people. I like to pretend everyone has a fortune cookie to give me. A little bit stale, a little bit crunchy, with a folded message inside. Read it.
- There’s an end. We’ve made pilgrimages too easy. We can go to a museum and see 2000 works of art.
It used to be that people would travel a 1000 miles to see one painting hanging up in a chapel. Then you can really appreciate what you see.
The more you appreciate the people, the things, the emotions around you, the more you are a pilgrim.
Come back changed. A pilgrim doesn’t just fly a plane from LA to NY. A pilgrim changes because of the journey. You do that by using your senses: listen more, see more, taste more, observe more.
The convenience of modern society comes at a price. It’s too difficult now to be a pilgrim because everything is two taps away on our phone.
There is an “otherness” to being disconnected for a bit. To search. To wander.
And finally, to give up looking. To surrender to the results.
It’s freeing to give up, even for a few minutes, everything you ever knew. To become a Wanderer.
To look around and see everything as if it were new.
“Rebirth,” by Kamal Ravikant, got me thinking about these things. He went on his pilgrimage. He met people. He went on an adventure, a journey, and reading his book showed me how.
I need to leave. To struggle. To find an answer.
And then to completely give up all hope of ever finding one. To find again the beauty of being completely lost.
If I get lost enough, maybe I can find something worth looking for.
- Years ago, I learned from Kamal you can self-publish your own book and it doesn’t have to be 200 pages. It can be 10 pages, it can be 40 pages. You can write a short book, right now and have it published in a week. It’s possible. I’ve seen it. Hear how Kamal did it [6:20]
- Kamal says, “If you want to learn life lessons, but want to do it really quickly go…” do this (listen at [15:42]
- “Everyone’s interesting,” Kamal says. He explains how to make the most interesting parts of you come alive [23:00]
- “What should someone do when it feels like everything’s falling apart?” Kamal’s told me how to deal with fear and how to move forward [24:30]
- Kamal talked to a monk. He asked him, “How do you find peace?” The monk said, “Easy question, huh?” “If I’m going to ask a question, that’s the question,” Kamal said. The monk gave him three answers. And I didn’t understand. I kept asking, “What do you mean? What does that mean?” He kept explaining, and I learned the number one philosophy for a peaceful life. Kamal lives by this rule. I struggle with it. You can try it. Hear it [48:40]
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(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)