I am a traveller, searching for a spiritual truth, and that’s why I’ve found myself in Glasgow, I’m trying to investigate the spiritual truth for myself, I don’t belong to any religion, I used to be part of the Bahai Faith, but recently I’ve stepped back to follow my own path.

Friday-26th-feb_03
Image Courtesy of Pawel Kmiec

I’ve been to Denmark, Malta, all over the United States cos I’m originally from Los Angeles. When I started busking in Los Angeles, I was homeless and very lost and confused in my life, still on a path of investigation but much more lost, basically just confused.

In LA they kind of put you on a pedestal, and treat you almost like an idol, like a famous person and it fed my ego quite a bit, but I realised one day, all that didn’t matter, and all I really wanted to know in this life, was my truth. Once I had my truth to work from that point on. I realised to do that, I had to leave LA, to embrace understanding, I could learn from my experiences in various cities around the world.

I left LA nearly a year ago in May, I’m 22, I’ve been in Scotland for two months, off and on between Edinburgh and Glasgow for the entire time. I got a flight from Denmark to London, and then London to Manchester and finally Edinburgh, and back and forth.

Glasgow to me is just a city, it’s what it is, it stands for itself, you can try to read things about it, but it’s only when you actually get to the city, then you know what it’s all about.

All cities are so varied to each other, Glasgow is so different. In the United States city to city there are differences, but not to drastic, mostly environmental and political, social differences but most things are pretty consistent.

When you go from Denmark to Glasgow, it’s quite a difference, I think the main thing I noticed is people just walk right through the lights here. In Denmark no one would ever do that. Everybody would wait because things function differently, the environment looks different, people act different, they dress different.

I wish Scotland would stop doing that (walking through the lights), and would do something about the light problem, I heard the other day that three people got hit by a bus, and one’s maybe died. That would never happen in Copenhagen because no one walks across the street until the lights turn green.

I’ve always had that, what am I really trying to do with my life, and it always comes down to a very simple kind of root focus. Trying to understand my spiritual truth first and once I know that, that’s what I stand on, and standing from there I don’t have to look very far into the future.

Everything just kind of unrolls naturally from that point on. Of course I always ask questions about the future, but the future is not the present, the present is what’s important to me, so I try my best not to dwell on it.

I think the future gives us anxiety and the past gives us depression, so I think at this point, I’m honestly just going to continue doing what I’ve been been doing, which is just looking for my spiritual truth and try to share whatever that is with anyone I come across, see how it affects them and what I can learn.

In LA I left behind essentially the possibility of fame, I was getting close to it, and that’s what I wanted at the time. There were a lot of people putting me in a particular direction, but I felt that this cloud of depression was filling me quickly, and no matter how much I tried to stand on my truth it wasn’t happening there for me.

I realised at that point, fame wasn’t really what I was looking for, and it never really will be something I’m looking for. Neither is money, those are the two big things that Americans strive their whole life in the pursuit of, fame and money, and possibly a perfect sexual mate.

I’ve let go of those things, and every step I’ve let go, I feel a bit better, a bit more connected to the truth that I’m trying to embrace.

Jamal – Sauchiehall Street

Article in collaboration with Glasgow Street Life https://www.facebook.com/GlaStreetlife/ )