There’s a notion I’ve been seeing within spiritual circles that I’ve wanted to speak on for a while now that I find misleading, if not damaging, in its inaccuracy – and that is the idea that a speedy awakening naturally makes one a better, more qualified teacher.

I see this particularly in twin flame coach marketing, with emphasis placed on how many/few months or years it took someone to reach union. I understand this because everyone who is starting a healing journey wants quick results – because exponential growth is exhausting, because time still appears linear when you’re at the beginning of your awakening, and because everyone (understandably) wants to get the hard part over with and reach nirvana as quickly as possible. And as coaches we naturally want to appeal to the desires of our potential clients.

I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers, but I can’t help but unpack the math here.

The problem with this logic is that speed is only half of the equation – the other half is density. What much of gnosticism states and what I understand to be true is that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction, meaning that the more negative programming a soul has chosen to transmute in this lifetime, the greater their capacity for bliss. This doesn’t mean we should seek out pain for its own sake or for the sake of a greater ascension, but it does mean that we owe it to ourselves to factor in quantity, that calculating ascension by linear time alone leaves out two crucial (and inextricable) factors: a) how much trauma/conditioning one is alchemizing and b) the altitude of one’s final destination.

And I have seen for myself in my own experiences of ceremony that the darker it gets, the deeper one goes into hell, then the lighter one becomes, the higher one then shoots up into heaven. The most difficult ceremonies always produce the greatest transformations.

Let’s look at it this way: If we’re both moving homes, and it takes you one day to move while it takes me a full week, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re faster at packing than I am – it may mean that you’re moving a studio apartment and I’m moving a 3-bedroom house.

I’m not saying this is true of myself or of anyone else, but I am saying that to boast about the amount of linear time it took you to achieve your results is to inherently omit the full picture.

At some point in my journey I stopped feeling ashamed of my past and realized that the fact that just a few scant years ago I was a pickup artist in NYC hooking up with rocker dudes, that I spent my 20s working as a pro-domme and ended up spending $25k bailing a man out of jail who would later go on to strangle me while I was financially supporting him, that I was in a toxic BDSM relationship with Hollywood’s worst feminist hypocrite, that I kickstarted my trauma healing literally under the wing of the author of The Game Neil Strauss (no offense Neil, I love you and I’m eternally grateful), that all of that is actually not a point of shame and rather instead a testament to my abilities in alchemy.

So I’m not interested in how enlightened you are claiming to be. I am interested in what you’ve overcome. Tell me about your darkest moments, the shame you moved through, the suicidal ideations, the horrible decisions you once thought were a good idea. Tell me how you were called to change, how it broke you open, how finally looking in the mirror and finding a way to fall in love with yourself was the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Anyone born into enough luck can find themselves dropped off in a spiritual community carrying a hefty suitcase of privilege and take on the mantles of the teachings they encounter there with relative ease. I want to see the traces of your damage on you. I want to look at you and know how far you traveled.

Nor am I really interested in comparing the velocity of my journey to anyone else’s because ultimately the quickest route for me is to follow my own heart. I care about the speed of my journey not because I wish to feel superior to anybody but merely because while my soul is infinite, my human body IS on linear time, at least somewhat, and I want to be happy in a way that manifests itself in physical sustainability as soon as possible, which requires setting up certain systems to run smoothly. And because I like hacking problems and solving puzzles and sure, it’s always fun giving myself a time to beat. But ultimately, I care that my future is sustainable more than I care that it arrives quickly.

And I also care about the fact that in bragging about how quickly a journey reached completion, one is unconsciously admitting they only understand half the equation.

This is a gap in understanding that I find to be a problem, and I think it’s unethical for a teacher to imply that speed alone intrinsically makes one better at navigating the path.

Someone arriving sooner than you doesn’t mean they actually moved their density more quickly than you. It could just be that they took on less in this lifetime to transmute.

And if they’re bragging about it, it’s likely that they lack an understanding of the energetic systems they’re working within, which might mean they haven’t actually moved very much at all.