The myth of conformity
I cannot speak for everyone, but from most of what I have seen in life it does seem to me that certain assumptions are made, especially in our teenage years, that do not fulfill in later years as we walk through this life. One of these assumptions concerns definitions of 'normality'.
I have met people who seem to glide through life - yet nothing 'touches' them very much. They glide only 'half-living'. I have met people whose sensitivity,compassion and empathea is such that they struggle daily to make 'sense' out of this irrationality of humanity that populates the world. (I have sometimes, more often than I care to think about,felt I was totally crazy,especially when I was younger. I could go into a room and it 'screamed at me' with the memories of events that had happened there - events with which I had neither connection nor prior knowledge. When 'public speaking' often I would be transfixed by just one person in the congregation and the pain inside them assaulted my senses like a steam roller going over me). There are, after all, few Gandhis who have transmuted the pain that surrounds them and penetrates their soul with something resembling constructive action.
I know quite a few who are spiritually gifted and whose gifts were in their earlier life a cause for massive disorientation and discomfort to them. I have read about many who fall into this category. Children and adults. Rich and poor.
This is especially so of very gifted 'spiritual' persons.Their search for some workable definition of 'normality' can often seem like a crazed avalanche of conflicting and tumbling metaphors, or searches through weird or obscure old concepts/doctrines - trying to make something fit their usually childhood indoctrinated belief systems or emotional responses.Their concepts of love are not really theirs - but something taken into themselves in the formative years. In later life, as these concepts break down,fall away, they are left with a vacuum - and yet they know in themselves the irresistible force of lovingness that streams through their being and begs recognition. Such are the Shamans, the healers, the 'spirititual facilitators'. .
You talk of fear and arrogance as though you have the monopoly :) Welcome to the club.Find me someone who is not full of fear and arrogance. Oh yes, there are some - but you will usually find that such as there are have discovered some 'out of this world' methodologyas a means to exist within it or have withdrawn into a cocoon of some form of self-indulgence or escape. Some have bungled the equation .
It depends where you stand what you see, huh?
It depends where you stand, in relation to yourself, what you are willing to see.
If you wish to see the fear and arrogance that are the emotional reactions and fight/flightresponses of the amygdala, then that is all you will see. If you wish to see the spiritual you that is beyond this physical/emotional entity - then that is what you will see. Simply look behind the 'metaphors of experiencing', for hiding behind/within every life experience is a blessing of self-awareness.
You have craved 'societal normality' whilst completely knowing that you were not being true to yourself. I believe you know just how very gifted you are...and would have preferred not to have been 'blessed/cursed' with such gifts. Fighting against 'what is' (that is to say refusing to accept the reality of who you are and the reality of the experiences that come to you as a result of this), is a recipe for a difficult and traumatic life.
In your search for answers I humbly beg of you not to seek answers in the experiences of others, as wonderful as they may have been and are. Your uniqueness, your individual preciousness marginalises the experiences of others.
You have not lived their life, nor they yours, and consequently have not been subjected to the individualised aspects of lovingness that transcend mere coincidence.
The age of the experience of authority (doctrine/ritual/membership/conformity/control) is past...we are now in the age of the authority of experience - your own experience. That is the ruler of your insights. That is the king of your consciousness, that is electricity of enlightenment. Just plug yourself in...to yourself :)