In a conversation with Srila Prabhupada, George talks about how his chanting is alienating him from those closest to him. I find this fascinating since it’s from 1973, and it’s so rare to hear George’s perspective on his personal life around this time.
George: There is one sort of problem in a way, that I found when chanting all the time, and that was that I start being able to relate less and less to all the people I know. I mean then it’s, there’s only times when I see people like Çyämasundara or just a few people. Then, that’s okay, but most of the other people… I suddenly found myself on such a different level that it’s hard to relate and then it’s like it feels as though it’s a point where I have a decision of either slowing down and pulling back towards those people in order to try and pull them with me, or maybe if, because I’m not ready to go, or just cutting the thing off and just going completely. You know what I mean? Just in day to day things. The more and more, the buildup…
Prabhupäda: Material management.
George: But the buildup of the mantra and the effect is so subtle in a way that there’s that point where I just can’t relate any more to anybody. Maybe you don’t have that experience.
Çyämasundara: He says that when he chants he becomes spiritualized so that it’s difficult to relate with his business associates, colleagues.
George: But not even that, to my friends, even to my wife. I mean to anybody. You know, it’s…
Çyämasundara: And it’s sometimes difficult to see…
Prabhupäda: But your wife is very favorable. She is nice girl.
George: Yes, she is an angel. In a way she’s okay.
Prabhupäda: If wife is favorable then that is a great advantage.
George: But you see what happens is, this is also what Terry was saying yesterday, is that… You know, like if I’m not into it too deeply then I’ll come down to begin a day and I’ll be quite, say, do this, okay, and off we go to do… But the days, the periods when I’m so deeply into that, chanting all the time, then when I finish chanting, I come down, I’m like Rävaëa. (Prabhupäda laughs) You know, I come down and I’m not smiling and I’m not particularly happy because I’m saying, “Do that! Get that! Why is this!” You know? There’s like there is more urgency involved. The realization that everybody is wasting their time and everybody is doing mundane things which are, and you know, just having a little bit of mundane fun.
Çyämasundara: But when you were chanting you wrote the song and it’s proven by people’s purchasing all those songs that they want to hear that.
George: Hm. But the problem is this, where to find a balance. Because obviously I know where I benefit by doing that. But I’m benefiting so much that suddenly I find I’m out on a limb, and it’s hard to be able to pull those people with you. You know, there’s a point where suddenly I’m not going to be… I’m not going to know them any more. [x]