Most Spirituality Is Mental Masturbation

Reviewed & fact-checked
I had my first ‘spiritual awakening’ around the age of 16.

It was a potent combination of my first sexual experiences and experimenting with ‘plant medicines’. (Except that back then, we just called them plain old ‘psychedelic drugs’)

I started meditating, doing yoga and studying Tantra. And (showing my ‘remember when we didn’t have the internet’ age here), reading all the books in the ‘100’ section at the local library:

Psychology. Metaphysics. Spirituality. Philosophy. Shamanism. Astrology. Daoism. Tarot. Chaos Magic. Numerology. #allthethings

Imagine a dark, dusty, cobwebbed, backroom ‘Occult’ section of a pre-millenium bookshop. That’s where you’d find me. Filling my insatiable thirst for spiritual knowledge.

This was a whole new world of possibility. Especially after a pretty average middle-class suburban upbringing.

It didn’t feel like ‘learning’. Not in the usual sense. It was more a ‘remembering’ – an awakening of wisdom that already existed inside of me.

New Age spirituality became my main jam. Channeled entities, past-life regression, chakras, crystals, Pleiadiens and alien intelligences. You name it.

I was the quintessential Spiritual Dude.

woman on phone at night

And then…

In my early thirties , something drastic happened.

I abandoned the world I’d known living on the East Coast of Australia and moved to Alice Springs. The Central Australian desert.

(For those unfamiliar with Australian geography, Alice Springs is almost dead-centre in the middle of Australia. It’s also hundreds of kilometers from the nearest town. It’s about as end-of-the-world as you’re likely to get in this country)

The thing about the desert is that it has this unique way of stripping you down to the bone:

Every falsity, every distraction. Every little piece that’s not really YOU, gets blasted away.

It’s brutal, raw, and beautiful.

There’s a reason they call it The Heartland:

It brings you back to centre.

Apocalyptic sunsets from the top of Mt. Gillen. Alice Springs, 2009.
Through that process – the stripping away of everything I thought I was, I found myself.

And I found the deepest and most profound sense of spirituality I’d ever experienced.

Except that it was NOTHING like what I thought it was.

It was all so stupidly simple:


Be in your body.

Feel ALL the feels.


And just be a fricking human.

It slowly dawned on me that most of what I thought was spirituality, was actually distraction. Just noise in my head.

I didn’t need crystals, or channeling, or laws of attraction. I didn’t need to worry about ‘evolving’ or becoming an ‘ascended, enlightened being’. Or any of the psuedo-spiritual crutches I’d relied on.

It was all mental masturbation.

Because ‘Spirituality’ had become a newer, shinier, mental prison. More compelling than the ‘go to school and get a 9-5 job’ mental prison I’d escaped from.

But a mental prison nonetheless.

One that kept me disconnected from ME. And the direct experience of MY truth.

It was also a huge ego trap:

I got to construct a false hierarchy of ‘enlightenment’. Then I got to judge others for where I placed them on that spectrum.

But that had kept me locked in isolation. (Oh the irony, for now connection has become core to who I am).

Now, my spirituality doesn’t look like most other people’s:

‘Achieving enlightenment’ is no longer at the top of my ‘to do’ list. It’s no longer on the list at all.

Chasing enlightenment had been about escaping the painful mess of being a human on Starship Earth.

Simplifying Spirituality

So now the most spiritual thing I can do is just be a perfectly fallible human. Whatever that looks like.

The ‘deepest’, most ‘profound’ experiences I have aren’t sitting on mountain tops with crystals clearing my chakras.

They’re found in embracing my humaness, and the humaness of others. Relating.> Experiencing connection. Intimacy. And the magic created when two consciousnesses in carbon suits bump up against each other.

So that’s my focus these days:

Staying connected to the simplicity of my truth. Nurturing relationship with self, and relationship with others. Minus the noise, distraction, and mental masturbation.

And supporting others to do the same.

It’s how Practical Intimacy was born.

It’s funny that despite my youthful objections to western capitalism, starting a business has been one of my most rewarding spiritual pursuits. (like a lot of spiritual peeps, I was running a pretty compelling ‘money is the root of all evil’ story)

But 7 years in, doing what feels like ‘the reason I’m here’, has opened me in ways I never expected.

We’re not about ‘twin flames’ or manifesting your ‘perfect’ partner,… or creating magical unicorn relationships where you never argue.

We ARE about practical, actionable ways to navigate the complexities of human relating.

Creating deeper connections, more fulfilling intimacy, and totally amaze-balls relationships.

Because that’s where it’s at.

After all the searching and wandering in the desert… it’s what has REALLY bought me home to ME.

And it’s all the spirituality this reformed new-age hippy needs.

Reece Stockhausen has made improving men's lives and relationships both his passion, and his career. With over 25 years experience in the Personal Development industry, and 8 years coaching both men and couples, he writes no-BS advice blogs on all things relationships, sexuality, and personal development.

Apply for a free, no-obligation online men's coaching call to discover how he can best support you.

Get your sex life back with the couple’s complete guide to initiating sex and reigniting desire in a long-term relationship.

Take The Quiz & Discover Your Unique Intimacy Profile

which intimacy style are you?

Which Of The 6 Intimacy Types Are You?

Take the two-minute intimacy quiz and discover how you can have more intimacy and deeper connection in your relationship.

connected couple with conscious relationship
couple identifying what their intimacy style is


Practical Intimacy

Online Relationship, Intimacy & Empowerment Coaching for men, women, and couples. Create a kick-ass life, and a relationship that rocks.

© 2024 Practical Intimacy Pty Ltd. | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions