The time worn bell throws it’s heavy notes across the center of the city. It is 7:00pm and the shops are already closed. The manikins, standing in the darkened windows, pose in alluring positions. They tease the people on the street into wanting what they can no longer access. The cities of Switzerland close down just as the cities in other countries begin to wake up. Except for a few tourists, the street is almost empty. “This is a ghost town,” Blake says as we turn the corner. “Where do they all go at night?” We’re still trying to answer the question.
Three days ago, we took the train from Zermatt to Basel. We walked through the veteran streets of the city, past the beautiful Munster Cathedral to the wall overlooking the Rhine River. Below, people casually floated with their brightly colored dry bags with the current. It was a sight to behold. We took the ferry across to the other side. I placed my hand in the water; it was warm to the touch. In the texture of the water, I could feel centuries worth of attachment the people here have to the river. It is like the lifeblood of the place.
The workshop here was one of my favorites that I have ever held. The venue cast a warmth across the audience, creating a cozy intimacy that is hard to achieve with an audience of hundreds. It felt like we were working together to push the boundaries of thought forward. However, it turns out that I have opposition here as well. One of the “Anti- Tealers” bought a ticket to the event. I was working with a very sweet young woman who was so polite and timid that the whole audience (including me) fell instantly in love with her. But in the middle of the work I was doing with her, this Anti-Tealer got up out of his seat and came through the audience and past both bodyguards to pull her off of the stage and out the door away from my influence. He then proceeded to try to convince her that I was a cult leader who was controlling the minds of everyone in the crowd (sheep). It shocked the whole crowd, including me. I was dumbfounded and sent some men out after her to ensure that she was safe. Some things, you just can’t prepare for. Of all the people who did not deserve that kind of circumstance, it was this woman. I finished the event in a high vibration, but felt rather low afterwards. For whatever reason, I have managed to become one of the most controversial people in this field. I am often treated less like a spiritual teacher and more like a revolutionary. It upset me that none of us could read this man’s energy right enough to stop the act before it occurred. He was convinced that he was saving her from my harmful influence, and so his intention as he stepped towards the stage looked benevolent and yet, it sent chills through the audience and chills through me. Even I found it confusing. To realize his genuine feeling towards me was not comforting. It was triggering. I find it very hard to care so much about people and to hear that people think that I am harming others instead of helping them. It makes me doubt myself sometimes. For a while, I was convinced that people were only capable of distrusting me or opposing me if they have never seen me in person or in action. But slowly, it is becoming obvious that a person can still distrust and oppose me even if they do meet me in person or see me in action. I am not going to be able to convince some people that I am the good guy.
Thanks to Blake today, I had a thought that ironically the people who are the most controlled by me, are those who “hate” me. People, who are concerned that I am a dangerous cult leader, do not trust people to not be misled by me. For this reason, they run around trying to rescue people from me. And those who project this kind of distrust onto other people do not really trust themselves. A person who trusts himself or herself, is not really concerned with being misled or with figures who could potentially mislead others. They trust themselves to discern and to choose right for themselves. They trust in their own sovereignty. We only rally and push against what we feel powerless to. Those who hate me and who spend their time pushing against me do not fully trust themselves or others to not be controlled by me. But in the pushing against me, they are controlled. I occupy their thoughts and lives perhaps more so than I occupy the thoughts and lives of those who love me. Their lives are ironically consumed… by me.
I feel called around the world by a sense of purpose and mission. When I am working with people like I do on stage, the rest of the world melts away. I am in the zone; the hours go by in minutes. When I am writing my books, or doing interviews, I am in heaven. But I find the rest of this job very difficult. I was not designed for this current world. I could not be designed for this world and change it at the same time. My career/purpose rides on the fact that I am so unusually sensitive and multidimensionally aware. But to be as open and sensitive as I am, things need to be a certain way. Someone described me like light once. Light is powerful enough to penetrate into the darkest recesses; it has a force and strength that is almost miraculous. But there is a frailty to light. The people, who are nearest to me, must recognize and be able to hold space for this extreme duality. They must not forget either aspect of me. This duality is the most difficult part about being close to me on a personal level. If I eat certain foods, I get very sick. If I am in crowds for too long, I will faint. Under too much pressure, I tend to emotionally shatter and have breakdowns. There are very serious drawbacks to the gifts I came into this life with. Travel is SO difficult with the sensitivities that I have. A few times on this tour, I have been reduced to tears, wondering if I am capable of doing this job. You never see those moments in Instagram photos though. The world has the impression that I am “living it up” every moment of the day. It’s not that I’m deliberately deceiving people, it’s that no one feels like grabbing a camera or letting someone take a picture of them when they are hurting. The thought simply doesn’t occur.
I despise being “difficult” to deal with or putting people out or being a burden. The event coordinator for this trip to Switzerland, who was absolutely wonderful, confessed that when he first saw that I require security guards for events, he thought he was in for a serious Diva. Only after seeing the opposition that I attract, did he realize that I actually do genuinely need it. But it made my stomach sink... Ready for Teal’s shadow moment? I feel a great deal of shame for needing what I need in order to feel good and perform. I feel shame that I am so sensitive when it is obvious that my sensitivities are seen as a drawback or as an imposition to others. In some ways I feel absolutely custom designed for this role in the world. In other ways, I feel like I am not capable of what it requires. My abilities can feel much more like a handicap sometimes than they feel like a gift.
On that note, the Swiss are trying to kill me (I say this with a joking tone). The Swiss people are so identified with their chocolate that they give you chocolate everywhere you go. I cannot eat sugar, despite having a serious sweet tooth. Sugar is a neurotoxin that affects the nervous system and immune system. If I eat it, I begin to deteriorate. I was able to reduce my seizures significantly by stopping my sugar consumption 10 years ago. But it took the Swiss exactly one minute to convince me to eat their chocolate. I now feel like chocolate is chasing me around, popping up around every corner. They give you chocolate when you check into the hotel, when you check out of the hotel, when you've finished a meal, to say thank you, to apologize etc. I say “no thank you” and think I’m safe and then I open the door to my hotel room and… low and behold… more chocolate… this time on my pillow. And every Swiss person I have met is convinced they know which is “the best chocolate”. I am a food lover. I find it impossible to turn down a try of ‘the best chocolate’. But after a week here, I'm realizing that I have had about twenty little tries of ‘the best chocolate’ according to each new Swiss person who has offered it to me since landing here. And now, my glands are swollen. Lesson learned… again.
And guess what? The Swiss actually do have the best chocolate. I thought this already before coming here. But after coming here, I am 100% convinced. They have figured out a way to temper chocolate that causes the crystals in the chocolate to form so finely, that it has an unparalleled smoothness against the tongue. And the quality of their dairy products here, when added to the superiority of their chocolate making process, create a result that boggles the senses.
After visiting various towns in Switzerland, I am beginning to think that there is more cohesion to the culture of this country than there is in other places. The dominant positive and negative vibrations in the various cities seem to be similar or the same. But because I have not seen ALL of Switzerland, and for the sake of this blog, I am going to say that this energy diagnosis is about Basel, Switzerland. Remember that in making an energetic diagnosis of a city and its people, I am forced to generalize and make sweeping statements about people. This can offend people who don’t already understand that there are exceptions to every rule.
The dominant negative vibration of Basel Switzerland is: IMPERSONALITY. The people of this city lack the willingness to get emotionally close, expressive and open. It is a judgmental collective consciousness. Most do not penetrate the internal world of the person that is in front of them. It is very hard to get the people here to make eye contact. On an emotional level, these particular Swiss are a bit like emotional germaphobes. They do not want to get their hands dirty in the messy, uncontrollable emotional aspect of another person. It would be easy to live here if you were a surfacey person, who wanted to preserve your own personal sense of peace. The Swiss have managed to avoid war; they are famous for it around the world, which is a very good thing. It gives the impression that there is something transcendental about the Swiss. But behind this achievement, there is a real shadow aspect here that I did not recognize until I took this trip… This tendency for the Swiss people to avoid ‘getting their hands dirty’ for the sake of their own personal sense of peace reflects out into the way the country deals with things. The message is, “I like you just fine, but you’re on your own”. The vibration in this city and country is the exact opposite of the vibration in a place like the Middle East, where conflict, though messy, is embraced and the people are full of conviction. Places where people have conviction to the degree that there is a willingness to die for what is ‘right’; as well as an over involvement in the affairs of others coupled with the willingness to fight like hell for their neighbor. Preserving your own personal sense of peace means that you need to live (to a certain degree) in a personal bubble built for one. This is a painful state that most are so accustomed to; they do not even recognize it as painful anymore.
One of the most jarring things about Europe is how the cultures and languages of each country and city and region are so different from place to place. Some of the countries are so small that you can drive an hour and be in an entirely different world. And some of the warmest, most passionately exotic cultures are right next door to the most chilly, mentally driven and harsh cultures. The dominant positive vibration in Basel is: STANDARDS. A standard is something considered to be a basis of comparison. The people here have high standards both for themselves and for others. This calls the people here to succeed. What I love about the Swiss in Basel is that the vibration of standards has a different feel to it here than it does in other places that also value standards. In places that have high standards, standards are usually attached to class or status. For example, the collective consciousness of London also boasts high standards. But those standards relate to the ego’s need to feel superior. One has high standards mostly because not having high standards decreases your social positioning there. In Basel Switzerland, the vibration of standards is more pure and less tainted by ego. It is more that the people here have a deeply ingrained need to perfect whatever it is that they are doing for the sake of personal satisfaction. It is more similar to the way an Olympic athlete will spend hours perfecting their routine for the sake of seeing how far they can actually push the envelope. They will not settle for anything less than they think they are capable of. This way of being lingers in the craftsmanship of the entire city. It is ironic because one of the negative aspects of the collective consciousness here is that it is judgmental. And yet, the flip side of judgment is that it is the necessary pre-condition for high standards. So, the dominant positive vibration of the city is birthed from one of the negative aspects of the city. A standard is after all used as a basis for judgment.
The people here are ‘on point’. There is punctuality to them as well as a drive to produce something of quality. This is ironic as the Swiss are famous for their clock making; as well as their ridiculously useful knives. If I needed an efficiency expert that was intrinsically motivated towards accomplishment, I would hire a Swiss person. There is nothing sloppy about them. It feels like everything in their world, must be perfectly executed and only then are they satisfied enough to relax and laugh like the rest of Europe. They have very, very high standards.
Switzerland is the most affluent country I’ve ever seen. During the workshop, I tried to make a comparison involving money and poverty. This comparison is one I use because it is easy to relate to for most people on earth. But I stared out at a crowd that was absolutely unmoved by it. They did not relate to my analogy at all, because money is simply not a struggle for people here. “Wrong country” I said, and the whole group erupted with laughter. But I felt totally stunned. It is difficult from my perspective to fathom how the human race could be so fragmented that one country could be so affluent while another is starving.
Our next stop is Vienna, Austria, where I am speaking to a group of people within the UN. I cannot believe how far I have stepped outside my ‘every day life’. I was warned about this at the very beginning of my international career. I was told that it would start to feel like I was living two different lives; one as a public figure, the other as another ‘normal’ person within the world. I had no idea how right that would be. Right now, while I’m on tour, I live a life that most people could never even imagine with cameras and stages and dinners and business meetings and constant travel. When I’m at home, the movement simply stops. I cook dinner, I go jogging, I put my son to bed. I do things nearly everyone does. I feel like two different people sometimes. Looking up at the twilight sky, I feel a sense of contentment arise within me. Thinking about this blog that I am writing, I am happy that I can write these words that no spiritual figure would have been able to write in years past. The world is ready to be able to relate to a spiritual teacher instead of hold them on a pedestal as an emblem of a state they wish they could reach. Spiritual teachers remind me of carrots on a stick, urging people to perfect themselves. This traditional relationship with a spiritual teacher separates a person from their own divinity and it makes spiritual practice impractical. Perhaps some people have the time and space in their lives for impractical spirituality, but I do not. Life within the modern world is just too demanding for that. I would rather people see that those of us who walk the earth as teachers, have struggles of our own. We may be the teachers of others, but we are all students of life. No one has enough authority over this world to avoid the law of attraction and therefore the lessons that life brings our way. And the bell tolls once again.