ivory

Rant: You need friends

127 posts in this topic

I see a lot of people on this forum who seem to believe that the need for friends is transcended once you achieve a certain level of consciousness. Those same people complain of meaninglessness and varying degrees of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and other maladies. Many here are less happy than the average person believing that they are somehow becoming more and more conscious. How does that make any sense? The idea that you will transcend the need for friends is a common misconception in spiritual circles. And I think it's time that someone shed light on the bullshit.

Beware of the man who has no friends. Beware of the man who says you don't need any.

Look, if you don't have friends, you have a problem. It's pretty common for people on the spiritual path to check out and give up social interactions all together thinking they are pursuing a path of personal growth. All you are doing is being reckless. For fuck's sake, take care of your lives. We have needs, and one of them happens to be relationship. Furthermore, the most growth you will encounter will be in some form of relationship. Just ask yourself, what are your biggest fears? I am willing to bet, it has something to do with another. Rejection, abandonment, criticism, vulnerability, conflict, etc. Stop avoiding the areas in which you need to grow.

Friends are good for many reasons. They serve as playmates, friends, lovers, sources of new information and opportunity, and. In other words, the improve the quality of life, and some may even say they make life worth living. I happen to agree. If you want to be unhappy or struggle with mental health issues, not having friends is a great way to accomplish that: DANGER and DEMENTIA.

I hear this all the time, "I have lost interest in other people because they don't care about self-actualization and non-duality". Guess what, part of self-actualizing is learning to be content with what you got. That's part of maturing. Accept and adapt bitches. It is possible to be spiritually mature and connect with less conscious people... within reason. In fact, if you were really mature, you'd be proficient interacting with the plebs.

Now, there are three categories of friends: Non-salvageable, salvageable, and ideal.

Non-salvageable friends are those that mistreat you, belittle you, violate your trust, and make you feel shitty about yourself most of the time. Get rid of them as quick as possible.

Salvable friends are those you don't necessarily jive with but that aren't bad to have around. You may have known them since high school or for a long period of time but seem to be drifting apart for various reasons. Perhaps they're into religion, money, sex, validation, fame, or have other low-consciousness interests. They're not bad people, but they aren't helping us get to where we are headed. If you do not have an ideal set of friends yet then it's a good idea to keep these ones around until you do. Don't burn bridges simply because you think you are evolved.

Ideal friends are those you deem healthy, interesting, admirable, nurturing, or some combination thereof. I want to make it clear that you will rarely find folks who's lives revolve around self-development or non-duality. You are going to have to lower the bar a little. What you are looking for is friends who take interest in: psychology, philosophy, yoga, art, traveling, exploring, meditation, social justice, health, politics, nature, reading, documentaries, podcasts. These are the friends who will nurture you, help you grow, and lead to fulfillment. If your social circle does not look like this, then you need to get out there and make some new friends. Trust me, it's worth it.

 

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It's not about transcending the need for friends. 

It's about transcending neediness. 

Both are very different. 

 


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@Preety_India Thanks for chiming in. I certainly agree. I might elaborate by saying, though, that you can't transcend neediness unless your needs are met.

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@ivory you can transcend neediness even when your needs are not met by practicing self love. 

It's exactly when your needs aren't met that it's time to focus on the neediness shadow and start practicing it 

 

 


 INFJ-T loner... .shy girl..@marcel :x.............My name is Hannu. I'm reserved and shy and introverted and sensitive girl. Please be careful about how you talk to me. Only responds to respectful vibes. ✿۞✿•.¸¸.•*`*•✿✿۞✿✿•.¸¸.•*`*•.•✿☼۞۞☼✿•.•*`*•.¸¸.•✿✿۞✿✿

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You don’t need anyone in this life.  You can have friends.  But you don’t need them.

 

I have cut out all my friends and quite frankly I feel better.

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@Preety_India You lost me there. When your needs aren't met it's time to get off your ass and take responsibility. 

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@ivory  okay tell me what do you mean by taking responsibility? In what sense. 

Also what I meant is that when your needs aren't met, it's time for self reflection and if you think you are struggling with neediness, that's where you need to practice transcendence. 

Can you elaborate on your point please? 

 


 INFJ-T loner... .shy girl..@marcel :x.............My name is Hannu. I'm reserved and shy and introverted and sensitive girl. Please be careful about how you talk to me. Only responds to respectful vibes. ✿۞✿•.¸¸.•*`*•✿✿۞✿✿•.¸¸.•*`*•.•✿☼۞۞☼✿•.•*`*•.¸¸.•✿✿۞✿✿

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Bit of a paradox - you come from needing as a part of desiring something better than what is. You need this and that. There are means to means but none of these are means to ends, ends that we falsely believe are on the other side of the seeking. 

The idea of needing friends is leading us astray for that simple reason, that we make a need out of it. As a reaction, to desperately detach, we create a new need that is "not needing friends" , which in itself is another need. And, then there were two.. 

There is a transcendence of needs.

Transcending the need to have friends doesn't mean that you "can't" or "shouldn't" have friends (!with exclamation marks!) - it is about the preception of there being a need per se. So this applies to how we relate to any kind of need.

Detaching from the need to have friends allows you to be free to socialize without having the original pathological deficiency need hanging over you as a dark brooding shadow, or dictation how you feel or respond to certain stimulation.

On the other side, of attachment-detachment, "things" dont need to be. And therefore "things" are free to be. Without attachment. Without any preconcieved notion as to how that "thing" should or shouldn't be.

If, and only if, there still is an underlying need so fundamental that it surpasses the layer where we create or exacerbated false needs, you have complete freedom to fulfill these without them being the center of your being.

Such fundamental and actual needs are far, far less than we think. And fulfilling such requires far, far less from us.

So, transcending attachments/needs is a means to operate from "being" / being-cognition. 

The self-actualization/-transcendece journey itself comes from a need/needs. So the need to self-actualize needs to be transcended in order to... Paradox.

Easy to get stuck/lost here, when all we can do to get there is to let go. So that we can see that "it" was here (availiable) all along, but we make ourselves too busy with getting distracted creating the very thing that we are trying too hard to avoid. 

Edited by Eph75

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@Eph75 exactly, this is what I meant. So beautifully written. Thanks. 

 

 


 INFJ-T loner... .shy girl..@marcel :x.............My name is Hannu. I'm reserved and shy and introverted and sensitive girl. Please be careful about how you talk to me. Only responds to respectful vibes. ✿۞✿•.¸¸.•*`*•✿✿۞✿✿•.¸¸.•*`*•.•✿☼۞۞☼✿•.•*`*•.¸¸.•✿✿۞✿✿

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1 minute ago, Preety_India said:

Can you elaborate on your point please? 

I think there is some disconnect. Neediness and having needs are two different things. We need food, shelter, clothing, relationships, etc. All I am saying is that we are responsible for ensuring that our needs are met.

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@ivory of course we have to be responsible. 

Some people have something called neediness. An excessive needy display in order to gain affection by whatever means. This actually comes from a place of lack or absence of self love or lack of self worth /self esteem. 

Hope you get my point now. 

 


 INFJ-T loner... .shy girl..@marcel :x.............My name is Hannu. I'm reserved and shy and introverted and sensitive girl. Please be careful about how you talk to me. Only responds to respectful vibes. ✿۞✿•.¸¸.•*`*•✿✿۞✿✿•.¸¸.•*`*•.•✿☼۞۞☼✿•.•*`*•.¸¸.•✿✿۞✿✿

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17 minutes ago, ivory said:

@Thestarguitarist14 This post was written just for you. You may feel good now, but beware, isolation will come back to haunt you.

Ha, this happened months ago.  
 

You know what I have been able to do in a spiritual level?  Make peace with isolation, make peace with existential loneliness (I don’t really get lonely most of the time), and have a loving and healing relationship with...myself.

That is far more valuable than most friendships today that are extremely surface level and usually people who just get together, get fucked up and talk about bullshit.  

When I do actually meet someone that I would desire a friendship with (rare), now it’s just icing on the cake.  
 

You mention needs.  You can meet your own needs.

Edited by Thestarguitarist14

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@Eph75 I get what you are saying but I think interpret the word "need" a bit differently. I equate needs to things necessary for survival and a basic level of mental health. If you cut out the mental health part of the equation, I might agree with you. We have very few needs, but man, life can really suck when you're dealing with depression, anxiety, and confusion.

 

@Preety_India I get your point, and I agree. Neediness is an unhealthy dynamic.

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3 minutes ago, Thestarguitarist14 said:

That is far more valuable than most friendships today that are extremely surface level and usually people who just get together, get fucked up and talk about bullshit.  

Authentic friendships are much more healthy and fulfilling. And they aren't as elusive as you might think. I admit, they are difficult to find if you are young or live in a conservative or crime-ridden area.

3 minutes ago, Thestarguitarist14 said:

When I do actually meet someone that I would desire a friendship with (rare), now it’s just icing on the cake.  

Just out of curiosity, what kind of qualities might that rare friend have? And why live a mediocre life when you can have one that's more fulfilling?

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1 minute ago, ivory said:

Authentic friendships are much more healthy and fulfilling. And they aren't as elusive as you might think. I admit, they are difficult to find if you are young or live in a conservative or crime-ridden area.

You see how that is just an attachment?  Relationships with others be it platonic or romantic are always filled with turmoil.  This is what Buddhism preaches.

 

2 minutes ago, ivory said:

Just out of curiosity, what kind of qualities might that rare friend have? And why live a mediocre life when you can have one that's more fulfilling?

First off, not having any friends does not equate to a mediocre life.  If you have friends who don’t understand you and won’t be there for you, that is the mediocre life.

 

But, loyalty, compassion, empathy, integrity, trustworthiness, respect and understanding are some good and rare qualities in a friend.

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33 minutes ago, ivory said:

@Thestarguitarist14 This post was written just for you. You may feel good now, but beware, isolation will come back to haunt you.

Nice to know who it was directed at!

I find the replies interesting. 

and I know a few others who will chime in with similar sentiments.

I think there's a lot of parallels between these sentiments, and what a monks (buddha) attitude to the path is. A very masculine path like buddhism advocates celibacy, living in a cave and very rigorous discipline to achieve enlightenment. Compare that to the opposite path which is tantra, whereby you can have sex, get drunk, live a luxurious life, but do it consciously. Tantra is a path which balances the femininity and masculine aspects of self, while the buddhist path follows just the masculine part, no mind/no self, but it misses love.

Buddhism was way more popular in the earlier days, because with buddhism it seemed wiser. Don't get attached to anything because everything is conditional. Tantra though, that's a scary path because it advocates indulging in life and therefore getting attached to things.

But there were limitations to the buddhist approach, and that is it missed out on integration with life. And also it missed out on love - it just fixated on no mind. No mind is peaceful, but you miss out on being the heart of experience, rather than just the observer. You may be a peaceful observer, but you miss out on feeling and being all of the wonderful experiences you can have in life. Its honestly unfulfilling to be in an adviata vedanta no mind state all the time, its just pure emptiness and the craving for love will eventually come. 

And I think a lot of people on here have been hurt by friends or ex friends, just like how the buddha was hurt by an unfulfilled life, and so to combat it, the approach seems to be to not rely on friends for a source of happiness. Its conditional so therefore don't fixate on it. Now that may seem effective, but just like how the buddhist approach has limitations, so does this approach. To really enjoy friends, you need to get a bit intimate and close to them. Which is scary because you're fixating your source on something that's transient and conditional, it seems better to just be a buddha and keep detached. But if you keep detached, you can't get into the heart of your friends, you can't get intimate with them, you can't get super close to them. And you'll just be empty, like the buddha himself. Devoid of love.

There needs to be a balancing between getting attached to them to feel their love, but also not too attached that you go through heaps of suffering - a balance like what the tantra path is. And honestly, as you go deeper into spirituality, what you end up finding is there is no real balance, because they are one thing - No Mind, Love, 2 sides of the same coin, and you can have the best of both worlds - to be attached, but to not go through hell if you loose those attachments. 

And I think that's what some people on here miss when they approach friends.

 

And I'm saying this as someone who was raped in high school, bullied badly the years before that, and swore an oath to never get attached to humans ever again. And its been about 5 years now of doing that, I've dodged a lot of friendship issues through this approach. All the drama and getting sucked into bullshit, but I felt empty inside, and only 6 months ago did I really see the true value in human connection when I hit a point in my path where I couldn't tell the difference between a good person and a bad person, as they seemed to blur together. And as I've started hanging out with people more, there really is value in getting intimate with people. It really fills up that emptiness. 

Edited by electroBeam

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@ivory Yes, and yet the mental health part of it is so tightly interweaved with how we percieve that basic survival need, that when experiencing it, or maybe rather, from that position, when we are "subjected to" it, there is no separation as there is such a strong feedback loop happening here.

We're the ones feeding back into it and the trancendence becomes the ending of, or greatly reducing of, that feedback so that the basic need can be seen for what it actually is, and in a sense, the de-horning the beast once percieved. 

So we're talking about the same thing but from two different outlook-points. 

--

OT: And yes, we all do interpret "needs" differently, more or less so, that's natural. Developmental growth is linked to how we percieve, how we make sense, how we make meaning and with it the content and meaning of words change to better help describe and understand the increased complexity in which the world is possible to be percieved. So the trick is not to get hinged up on definitions of words but to stretch into getting a glimps of what's being conveyed through words, and what complexity there is therein that is passing us by. 

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3 minutes ago, electroBeam said:

I think there's a lot of parallels between these sentiments, and what a monks (buddha) attitude to the path is. A very masculine path like buddhism advocates celibacy, living in a cave and very rigorous discipline to achieve enlightenment

Actually, in most (not all) monasteries you will notice that they are highly community oriented. They recognize relationships as valuable resources and essential parts of the human experience. 

3 minutes ago, electroBeam said:

And I think a lot of people on here have been hurt by friends or ex friends, just like how the buddha was hurt by an unfulfilled life, and so to combat it, the approach seems to be to not rely on friends for a source of happiness. Its conditional so therefore don't fixate on it

People do it for a number of reasons. I've noticed a few common traps, some of which I fell victim to. Some avoid the challenges a relationship brings. Others pretend to renounce relationships as a means of denying their inability to connect with others. Others are simply reckless and neglect relationships because they believe they're a distraction from enlightenment. All of them have sever mental health consequences.

4 minutes ago, electroBeam said:

And as I've started hanging out with people more, there really is value in getting intimate with people. It really fills up that emptiness. 

Good for you. Glad to hear that you're coming around.

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