Mat is a 49 year old, self professed hermit who sees the best in everything. Originally from England, he chased his dreams through academics, computer science, software development, through creative arts, interesting hobbies and now finds himself as a creative photographer.
You would think he would know what he wants to do by now. But life has taken him on an interesting journey through all manner of unique experiences to the point where we find him now. Enlightened??? Maybe. That’s for you to decide. But enjoy the many ramblings of a carefree, happy soul on yet another interesting diversion along the path.
Mat’s Spontaneous Awakening & Ego Death (Short Version)
Some time in 2014, Mat was “lucky enough” to be under so much stress running his own business, raising a family, struggling to pay his mortgage, losing a ton of really close relatives in quick succession, regretting almost every life decision, miserable inside but putting on a brave face for friends and family, paralyzed with inactivity because of the overwhelming stress from so many directions. Insomnia. Tiredness. Depression. And the final straw was having his best friend diagnosed with brain cancer.
So how can that be “lucky” I hear you say?
Well lucky because it brought about an incredible transformation. His mind, his ego, just couldn’t handle the truth of his situation and quite literally, blew a fuse.
Mat experienced a beautiful “spontaneous spiritual awakening” and subsequent “ego death.”
The spiritual awakening experience instantly removed all stress and fear and left Mat with an overwhelming and infinite sense of inner peace, knowing that “everything will be OK.”
The subsequent years with a silent mind and watching as the ego tried to return, have given Mat tremendous insight into how the mind works, how it evolved the way it did, how it keeps us trapped by stories and prevents us from being truly happy.
It is now his mission to give others the opportunity to experience this inner peace and life with a quiet mind. He teaches people how to be mindful, how to meditate, and how to truly be happy.
You can read the details of his roller coaster ride, train wreck and beautiful rebirth in this full length post – “My Ego Death & Spontaneous Spiritual Awakening”. It details what brought about the stress and how it manifested. It describes the full spiritual awakening experience and ego death. You’ll hear about life with a silent mind and how the ego started to reveal itself again. You won’t believe how cunningly devious the mind can be, but you might be able to relate.
About the name – Gregarious Hermit
As many of you smart people will be quick to point out, a “gregarious hermit” is a bit of an oxymoron. The “moron” part might be quite appropriate. But there’s a certain comedic duality to calling something two extremes that can’t exist at the same time.
A “Hermit”, someone who shelters themselves away from other people and society can’t possibly be “Gregarious”. Someone who engages fully with social situations. A social butterfly. But in that duality there is the nature of spirit, that we can be all things at the same time. A singularity. It defies logic.
My wife was the person that first started calling me the gregarious hermit. Left on my own, I much prefer the silence of my own company. And why not? I’m a nice guy after all.
Buuuuuut. On those occasions where I am dragged into a social situation, I love talking with people. Finding out what makes them tick. Trying to tease out some interesting story. And generally having a good time.
So, an outgoing extrovert who loves being on his own.
Why the Blog? Why now?
Over my many lifetimes of existence, I have come to certain realizations that make me happy no matter what. It has brought great peace and clarity to my existence even in times of great hardship and inner struggle.
Right now, the world seems to be going through a frantic transition with daily stories of apocalyptic turmoil. Water shortages. Wildfires. Locusts. Famines. Pandemics. Riots. Wars. What a mess.
With the current pandemic affecting most people either through illness, unemployment or forced staying in your home, a lot of people seem to be reaching a mental breaking point.
A real mental health crisis.
Much of what I have learned can help easily deal with the stress and anxiety. So if I can help just one person with the information I share, then it seems worthwhile to me.