Written by Philipp Ritzler
In my early twenties I found myself stuck when trying to choose a life path to follow. I was looking for a direction that would lead me to fulfilment – but not just a superficial fulfilment, one that would satisfy my ego rather than my soul, or one that I would always question deep inside. I was seeking out a future that could bear a true and lasting sense of meaning and purpose.
Enjoyment, relationships, career – all these were available to me. So many optional paths to take. But what then is “fulfilment”? Is it one of those things that society offers – wealth, romantic love, social status, respectability, fame? How confusing!
Around me, everyone I was closely related to at school was already embarking on their own journeys. During our teenage years we shared similar circumstances of which we were yearning to break out – but into what? What would adulthood mean to us? The educational system didn’t prepare us for knowing how to live and how to follow our destiny.
I was left to answer all these difficult questions by myself. But on what ground should I base these life-changing decisions? How could I orient myself? How do I choose what to become? I didn’t even know what fulfilling my destiny would feel like.
Luckily, even before we get to choose, life throws things at us, making us move forward and barely giving us the time to step out and wonder where we’re actually going. And even if we do stop to look at our life from a distance, we often prefer to simply return to the stream of our experience and not to think about tomorrow. Not knowing how to translate the inner visions that we find in our peak experiences, we let them go and move on. So I began entering the stream of life, while deep down continuing to struggle.
Slowly, I came to realize that I got so much sucked into the “what?” and the “how?” that I forgot my “why?” Why would I choose any of those paths? Why was I even so hungry to find one? Why was there a fire inside that could not find its channel of expression?
I was blessed to understand that I would not choose my life path merely to build toward security or to become a proper and distinguished member of society. What was driving and nagging me was a far deeper wish: the longing to contribute beauty to this planet, to bring to light all of life’s hidden gems that are already shining around us without being noticed. I wished to communicate with life rather than get something from it. I wished to give myself to it.
It was at that time that my spiritual journey began, almost by accident. I happened to attend a talk by Shai’s student, who explained how to reach psychedelic states of consciousness without drugs. I was stunned! Prior to this talk, I had had a few valuable psychedelic experiences, but it had been obvious to me that they could never substitute or establish a complete and lasting journey of life.
Now, through this talk, I understood that I could contact and become one with this explosive life-force through spirituality. This realization was meaningful also in relation to my questions about the future: When I learned that I could be one with life right now, all these constructs of “future-fulfilment” evaporated. Now I knew that I could live in the present, fully connected to life right now.
Driven to learn more about this life inside us, I began to attend Shai’s sharing with the world. His words enabled me to discover so many things that I had never heard before. No other influential figure in my life had ever told me these things. More than anything else, I learned that true fulfilment is union: Being one with life, not halved; being one with the life that is inside us, the life that we are. This insight relieved me of all the fake drives, all those drives shaped by insecurity and mental images. I could finally land in the now and be content.
But, even then, there was still some longing left: the longing to interact with the world; a burning inside me to express in a way that was not shaped by thought or shame. Fortunately, this was also the point when Shai taught the wisdom of the chakra personality types.
Discovering the seven chakra personality types
When I had learned about the Chakras in my earlier years, they were presented as seven vehicles, seven faculties in us longing to be expressed. Their important teaching had been that life has several dimensions that need to be fully realized and lived. Holistic health and peace of mind, I learned, were to be found through opening to all those different dimensions.
As human beings we inherently yearn to fulfil all those layers of life: security and joy, success and love, expression, wisdom and transcendence. So often, because we want to experience them all, we feel like we are missing something when we are focusing only on one of them.
This was where the perspective of the chakra types entered my world. It helped me to build my own pyramid of needs and wishes and to wisely prioritize. It made me see that while I yearned for things like success and wisdom that seemed tremendously important to my “alter ego,” these were only secondary to my deeper being. Yes, they could be added to my life’s experience, but they were very, very far from the center of my soul.
Here I had to admit: More than anything else, my soul longed for the now, for feeling and unrestricted experience, adventure and sensation. Thus, my chakra type – the sacral chakra type, or the “Artist” – showed me where I could place my heart of hearts, where my central source of energy and drive really is.
But most importantly, it showed me that it was perfectly fine to live this way. What a relief that was! It was tremendous for me to understand that even though society highlights certain goals in life, it is perfectly fine to experience my fulfilment through something that most others would consider as secondary or not important at all.
While I could see and respect other people’s drives and directions, I could finally see my own drives and motivations as distant from theirs. I was finally able to shamelessly indulge in my constitution. I was able to joyfully allow myself to contact my life’s mission as it was rooted in the deeper layers of my second chakra type: the vast fields and regions of feeling, enjoyment, artistic expression, and unrestricted dive into the moment.
Being able to place these qualities as my highest destinations and farthest horizon enabled me to come into contact with my gifts as well. Gifts are those things we share with the world when we are in tune with ourselves, with the depths of our inner world. I learned that my greatest conflict with myself – my shame for my childlike nature that is full of excitement and happiness and disinclined to long-term goals – was actually a finger pointing at my truest inner world. Yes, this is the way life flows through me and animates me. This is the most authentic version of myself.
This was the beginning of the journey into myself, into my real individuality. I no longer needed to direct the way life throbbed inside me according to any mental image. I could fall into this life. Confining ourselves into a “personality type” might sound like limiting ourselves. But it is actually the very opposite: I have come to realize it as a source of tremendous freedom – the freedom to live my life and to grow organically from it. There is a great freedom in being one with your natural design.
And while I could enjoy my own personal flavour, I could also begin to enjoy everyone else’s tastes and flavours. I learned that every human soul has its way and that there is no general or absolute “human fulfilment.” We are not following one pattern of fulfilment. We do not share essentially the same inner values or calling. But we can unite with our own values and calling and and from them, enjoy looking at others around us who pursue their very own natural drives. Seeing how many “types” are needed in this world, and to what a degree they do not oppose but complete one another, was a perception that has changed my life forever.
Now it was possible to also look at the other dimensions of life – those that meant so much to others around me – with a happy and appreciating heart. It became easy to generously include them in my life as well. One way to include other dimensions of life is, of course, through people I love who are an embodiment of these very qualities. But I find these other dimensions everywhere, appearing as abstract teachers such as life lessons that I can grow from. When I open myself to these dimensions, I get in touch with even deeper happiness and a sense of completeness inside. I can find the embodiment of all seven chakras, dancing their unified, happy, and undisturbed dance deep inside my soul.
I would like to conclude this article with a tremendous gratitude to all those amazing “zen masters” who are alive inside me, as my inner teacher, and outside me, present within everyone around. And I would like to thank my teacher and friend, Shai, who brought this important understanding to the world. This understanding has brought so much joy and freedom into my life’s path, helping me to become a good-hearted and generous human being, who serves the world, loves this life and acts from a place deep within that knows and feels the “why.”