“I was always interested in spirituality, philosophy and metaphysics even before I embarked on my BA in Philosophy and Applied Mathematics in NUIG in 1987. Having had many transpersonal experiences since I was a child, I was driven to seek out what I now know to be my first love – to discover the true nature of reality.
I have also had, and continue to have, a very successful career in property and real estate. After my BA I succumbed to the draw of the family property business and opportunity to work alongside my father (friend, hero and mentor). Despite completing the three-year BA degree, I started again on a four-year BSc degree in Surveying (Trinity College) and Diploma in Property Economics (DIT). After graduating I started working with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) one of the largest commercial firms in the country and embarked on my two-year APC to become chartered. At the same time, I completed the property arbitration exams and qualified as a property arbitrator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Ireland (CIArb). Then after two years training, I was eligible to sit the Society of Chartered Surveyors APC qualifying then as the first Chartered Surveyor (GP) in Galway. I then took over the role of commercial property director in the family business.
It has been an interesting journey which some might say has reflected a dichotomy where I have lived the life of a business professional as a chartered surveyor, property arbitrator and investor while at the same time living a life of spiritual reflection, study and teaching. To be honest, it is a dichotomy that was recently explained to me by my friend Derek Murray (lead guitarist in the Stunning). He said, “I play in a band but that’s not who I am it’s what I do!” Similarly, I practice as a chartered surveyor, property expert and property arbitrator. I invest in property and manage a number of businesses but that is what I do, not who I am. I also study, write and teach about the true nature of reality and spirituality but that is what I do, not who I am. Many of us fall into the trap (as I will discuss in depth later) of becoming the roles they play as opposed to being themselves. It is not what you do that defines you it is who you are. I am an individual part of a greater whole that is being expressed in many ways and through the many roles I play.
So how might you ask is a known business professional qualified to speak about the true nature of reality? Just like my property career, I have studied and experienced the subject for many years, I have academic qualifications to support me and humbly ask that you read on and judge my authority on the subject at the end of the book.
While my property career was progressing, I continued to study many subjects on my journey to determine the true nature of reality. Among the subjects I studied and qualified in were cellular energy healing, reiki, seichem, integrated energy therapy, psychic development, consciousness, spirituality, vedic astrology, advaita vedanta and meditation. All of this culminated in my publishing my first book The Secret of Life and presenting it in seminar format all over the world between 2006 and 2008. Since then, so much has happened to me and the world around me that it’s a challenge to know where to start.
I have changed and the world around me has followed suit. The changes to us both have been profound, challenging, dramatic and I believe have had an underlying evolutionary essence to it all. What I mean by this is I believe that the journey of life is a journey encompassing an evolutionary path towards growth and ultimately Self- realisation and that today humankind is in the midst of a major shift in our collective evolutionary journey.
In 2006, when I first launched The Secret of Life, the material world was a world of abundance for very many of us in the western world. While the undeveloped parts of the world continued to struggle profoundly, we were becoming more and more affluent. Financial abundance perceived at the time to represent success, fuelled further growth and expansion of our personal income, domestic and international economies.
Our financial stability and abundance fuelled further growth in business development and in our careers. We had the time and resources to allow us to explore the meaning of life, but this was secondary to the drive for growth, expansion and opulence. There seemed no end to the growth and expansion and just like the economic depressions of the past and the historically proven cyclical nature of the markets we missed the signs and before we knew it a global financial crash was upon us.
The international financial crash fuelled by the Lehman brothers fall, began a catalyst of events adversely affecting the international markets. Highlighting the fickle nature of what was widely held as a financially secure base, we were thrown into a cauldron of uncertainty, eradicating confidence and trust and fuelling a pandemic of global fear.
The international financial market crash in 2008 was accompanied in Ireland by a property crash which decimated the Irish economy adversely affecting almost everyone in the country. It has now been acknowledged as the worst property crash in global history surpassing the 1992 property crash in Japan. Almost overnight (and certainly before anyone was able to sell up) property values were decimated falling by between 50% and 75% across the various sectors. In the years up to the crash Ireland had become a haven of property owners and investors. Many people stepped onto the property ladder at the entry level of investment encouraged by aggressive bankers, institutional lending policies and lack of governance by the state regulators. Now, the Irish property market was deemed a toxic market domestically and internationally.
The Irish economy was in free-fall and on the border of bankruptcy which resulted in a decision rightly or wrongly for the Irish government to buy all of the property loans and assets from the banks. The idea was for the government to establish a property agency called the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) and for it to buy all the loan books from the banks and then to manage the massive portfolio of assets. The strategy was to return the loans to performing loans working with the original borrowers or repossessing the assets from the borrower. In this way they would maximise the property’s value over time, sell the revived asset redeeming the original loan finance. An alternative was to sell the asset loan to a cash rich international property fund.
In late 2009, NAMA launched a tender for all of the property valuation firms in the country to be appointed to four panels for the four provinces of Connaught, Munster, Ulster and Leinster. With little or no other property-based activity I realized the value and importance of the contract. I prepared our tender, but my father and principle of the business had died in June, and I must admit I was worried about the effect of the absence of his experience and qualifications might have on our submission. We were however successful and appointed as valuers to NAMA for the Connaught region in November 2009 along with two Dublin firms. When awarded the contract we were the only Connaught based firm appointed as valuation and asset advisors to NAMA. The contract lasted until 2012 and contributed to our ability to trade our way successfully through the crisis. When all of the other property firms in Connaught were scaling down to bare essentials we were recruiting and expanding with a team of seventeen people working on the NAMA contract alone.
We worked closely with NAMA in valuing the property asset loans but there was another division in NAMA that was actively managing the assets for disposal which we were not involved with. Most of the asset loans were then sold to international property funds. The financial, emotional, mental and physical effects of this period affected much of the population with an explosion of unprecedented mental illness and depression. Affecting all members of the population it began to show a greater presence in the middle aged as a result of a combination of over stimulation of the intellect and mental pressure with global financial, economic and property crashes.
The financial pressure, stress and austerity measures from that period undoubtedly triggered the wide scale emergence of mental illness and depression throughout the country. Today, the markets have stabilized but mental illness and depression are continuing to rise. Quite simply, our brains have not been able to cope with the added pressure modern civilization and living has demanded. The speed of life has escalated to such a degree that it is proving a challenge for many to contain and manage the pressure. Drive, ambition and intellectual stimulation from the material world have compromised our ability to relax and rehabilitate, to nurture our relationships, to express our creativity, to contemplate the meaning in our lives, to consider our purpose, personal identity and legacy.
I believe that our evolution as a species has been capitulated at the intellectual level with us becoming addicted to the intoxicating effect of modern technology. Caught in a mental spiral we continue to seek out the next technological infatuation to fuel our need to be inspired mentally. Simply put, we are more concerned with the latest technologies than we are for our relationships, emotions or spiritual beliefs. Our obsession with the mentally focused attributes of the developing world have led us to place greater value on our mental experiences over our physical, emotional or spiritual ones. The personalized Ego takes precedence over our physical health, metal wellbeing, emotional state and spirituality. Personal ambition, pride, success, power and control all outweigh our appreciation for health and wellness beyond the confines of the mind.
Fuelled initially by the pressure of the mental demands in the emerging modern world in recent times the disease has spread to our youth. A large proportion of our youth are being prescribed anti- depressants and anxiety-based medicine like Xanax. While they may not be faced with the mental pressure the older generations experienced, they have faced an even greater mental adversity that has developed through social media and other mentally focused demands from modern technology.
The speed of life has escalated to such a degree that it has proven a challenge for this next generation to take a pause. The seriousness of this situation is understood when you consider that this is the next generation of leaders who will be burdened with the duty of the development of the world. How they perform will determine our global reality picture. Mental illness and depression stunts creativity, frustrates sound reasoning and impairs the ability to make proper choices all of which are required for the betterment of humanity.
Just as we were beginning to find a position of stability in our financial and economic lives, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged adversely affecting us all in the most profound ways. With the financial and property crash we began to question our security in life. The mental illness pandemic has threatened our ability to make the ‘right’ choices and we now are beginning to question our personal security, democratic rights and freedom of choice in terms of the very fabric of our society.
This Virus and ensuing pandemic had a detrimental effect not just on personal health but on global systems and democracy. It divided society and fuelled feelings of mistrust and fear. Conspiracy theories were ripe with widespread condemnation of the measures imposed by the respective governing bodies. Some studies have uncovered flaws in the decision making and reasoning by authorities as devoid of sufficient factual validity. Countries like Sweden remained open uncompromising businesses and the local economy and experienced no surge in mortality rates, yet their policies were ignored by the rest of the world.
Instead, most of the world’s authorities insisted on orders restricting movement and forcing vaccine compliance. The daily issue of the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths regardless of any other underlying medical issues has been deemed by many to be political propaganda instilling fear into the masses in order to ensure compliance with the vaccine inoculation policy. Of interest in this context is the number of deaths in relation to previous years as an indicator of the true measure of the pandemic. In most of the developed countries the mortality rates have not increased substantially and more importantly not to the level that would warrant or constitute an appropriate need for lockdown.
I believe this pandemic and our reaction to it politically and socially has undermined the global confidence in systems of societal governance. By this, I mean we are beginning to question the validity and effectiveness and justice of the global systems of governance that determine how society operates. This could prove to be the biggest challenge the human race has faced with widespread adverse effects in multiple areas of society and living. It is becoming a catalyst for social reflection and questioning of our global societal systems of law, order and governance. This is then spilling over into the areas of health, justice, equality, ecology, sexuality, religion and spirituality with many questioning the validity of our current mindset.
Could this also be a catalyst for spiritual change? What if this was all a part of a greater plan to bring the world back into balance. We are today more out of balance than ever before which is why it is easy to accept the challenges being brought against the effectiveness of our current social systems. Politics, economics, science, sexuality, health, ecology, justice, religion and spirituality are all being questioned and challenged as to their true nature of reality.
What is ensuing is possibly a natural rebalance as part of the evolutionary journey of us all? If this is true, then we need to me mindful and not fearful of the coming change. We should embrace and express our intuition and courage and evolve as we are meant to evolve. Forcing intellectually fuelled manmade rules and systems will never succeed if contrary to nature’s plan.
My first book, The Secret of Life was about my journey towards learning the true nature of reality. I explored and learned what is real about me and the world around me. Its theme was the search for the true nature of reality which is what has always intrigued and driven and impassioned me.
In 2006 when I wrote The Secret of Life, I was blessed living an abundant life. I was physically healthy, emotionally content, financially well off, had a beautiful wife and three small healthy children, was successful in my property career and enjoyed the time space and affordability to grow in my personal and spiritual development. I had studied for several years preceding the writing of the book and met many influential teachers and guides along the way. What transpired in the emergence of The Secret of Life was a roadmap for personal and spiritual development contained in the 12 Stages to Personal Enlightenment – the core teaching in the book. Supported by my own personal experiences and endorsed by some of the greatest personal development teachers of the time, I can honestly say I thought I knew it all. Without knowing it my Ego had gotten the better of me and the inevitable rebalance was to come. The only struggle I thought I had was that I wanted to focus more on my spiritual teaching career over my property career. I was soon to discover how insignificant a struggle this was in the context of what I was about to experience.
My father really loved my mother, my brothers and I and had always reassured us of our financial stability but with the Irish property market crash in 2008 I suddenly found myself in debt by €5 million. Then in 2009 my personal stability was knocked irreparably by his sudden death. I remember in early 2009 before he died, saying to him, “Dad, what if this property depression continues for another year or more?” to which he replied, “It couldn’t, if it did the country would be bankrupt.” Little did he know the country was in fact bankrupt! When he died, I had no time for grieving as I took over the family property business amidst the worst property crash in world history my whole life as I knew it was about to change.
My successful property career was under threat and my business, home and possessions being threatened by the banks. After a few years probably in around 2013 the struggle began to take its toll. My physical body was drained from the constant battle to survive in the business in one of the toughest property climates for decades. My emotional part was overwhelmed with grief for the death of my father. My mental health crashed culminating in 2018 becoming suicidal and being committed to a mental health hospital for almost 3 months. My spiritual Self was muted in the black surrounding cloud.
Interestingly, I would say however that throughout the entire dilapidating experience I remained spiritually connected and in touch with the flame, albeit obscured, of my inner Self. I have been blessed to recognise the awareness of Self beyond the Ego Self which is the direct access to ‘God’ that we all strive for, and I believe this is what saved me from total collapse.
What I have learned is that it really is true. We are meant to live life fully and enjoy the experience in its entirety every moment of every day. It is a playground, a place for our immature spirits to experience the physical plane in a physical world that we co-create and which we continue to create in every moment. We are fully responsible for the creation of our personal worlds and the world at large. It is a masterpiece of creation, and it is only because we forget that we are the creators that we end up unhappy or discontent.
Because we are so stuck in our determination of the physical reality we perceive of life through the physical senses and so see the physical world as all there is. We allow some of the other senses to emerge, the mental and emotional but instead of allowing them to develop naturally we cloud them with our own judgements forcing them into a predetermined physical reality. We begin to over intellectualize our life, our personality, our given situation. When we have emotions, we intellectualize them and rather than experience the intellect or emotions in their own way we marginalize their effect by insisting on defining their position and our understanding of them.
What has emerged is an imbalance. We are beings made up of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual layers of the Self. What has occurred is a diversion of our evolutionary development whereby having evolved dramatically at the physical level we have now become ensnared in the evolution of the intellectual aspects of the Self. This is to the detriment of the other aspects of the Self’s evolution. What has happened with the amazing technological discoveries of the last few decades is that we have become intoxicated with the over stimulation of the intellect. The addictive focus on the intellect has meant that we have stunted the natural evolution of our other deeper profound states of being – the emotional and most especially the spiritual.
We are experiencing what many describe as a paradigm shift in the evolution of the consciousness of the human species. On this journey so far, we have evolved from a very low instinctual intellectual base to one of mental reasoning and then realization of Self-consciousness. Now the next stage in the evolution of our consciousness is towards awareness which is the substratum that underlies all of existence.
In conjunction with this imbalance and paradigm shift, humanity is experiencing a global breakdown of systems across the world. Breakdowns are being noticed in all areas including health and health systems, politics, religion, economics, international finance, world hunger, weather and climate change, ecology etc.
While it may seem like a series of continuous disasters in all these areas, what is happening in the world is in fact a natural rebalancing. We as individual members of humanity can choose to ignore and disengage with the rebalancing process or embrace and welcome the shift and change with it. I believe that the former will suffer the latter will rejoice.
In this book I will share what I have learned and experienced so that I might impart some of what I have learned on my journey and in so doing help you to realize the truth and majesty of the changes that are before us all. Thereafter, I hope you reach the destination that is the awakened state of conscious awareness. In this way you will become rebalanced yourself in correlation with the rebalancing of the world around us and in tune with the latest evolutionary journey we are all embarking upon.
My own journey has encompassed a series of awakenings throughout my life since the age of seven. Preceding all the awakenings has been some element of turmoil which is mostly mental. I implore you to explore your challenges with the lens of the transpersonal beyond the individual personality or Ego, separating your intellectual Self from the situation and seeing the correct vision of the true nature of the challenge. Moreover, do not lament at such challenges. They are not signs of weakness but signs that you are strong enough to face the true nature of your reality and advanced enough to see the inevitable transformation through.
In The True Nature Of our Reality, in many areas I have tried to support commentaries with appropriate referencing. However, I have taken the liberty to present my theories and opinions as just that – personal opinions based on my studies and experiences. In many cases most especially regarding abstract spiritual commentaries there is no supportive referencing because it encompasses my personal experience. By way of explanation, some of the chapters in the book are experiential because I want to share my views and beliefs to enable you to have a measure of the understanding, comfort and enlightenment that I have experienced. The ideas and theories in some of the other chapters were intellectually acquired while studying on my MSc and so are written in more academic language with extensive references.
I hope you enjoy The True Nature of Our Reality and get a taste at least of the enlightenment I have experienced on this special journey.”
‘The True Nature of our Reality’ by Ronan Rooney is published by Book Hub Publishing and is available to purchase from www.bookhubpublishing.com