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Friday, July 13, 2012

Why I am Leaving Hong Kong: The Lowdown

Central, HK Island, seen from across Victoria Harbour

One of the wisest and most perceptive women I ever knew once said something I'll never forget. She said that people don't grow when they are too comfortable. In fact this message was relayed to the spiritual group I was in at the time, by the group teacher Tracy. Jessica  had phoned her from a city several hundred kilometres away and told Tracey that the group was getting too settled and that Tracy needed to "Stir up the dust!" Jessica didn't need to be present to know that because she was the most powerful clairvoyant I have ever known. More than once she rang me personally to inform me about issues that were going on in my own life and to give me feedback about my 'consciousnesss field', including what I needed to do to rectify the problem. She was always right.

I can assure you that it was tough being in that group. Expectations were extraordinarily high. You either did what was expected of you, or you were shown the door! There is no hiding stuff from Spirit. In its essence the mind is transparent. 'God' and certain spiritual entities can see everything - and some people can see most of it too! It's only human beings that hide things from themselves, and from each other.

There's a reason why I mention these things. I've been living in Hong Kong now for eight years. It's hard to believe it's been so long! During this time I have continued to write and speak as futurist and as a person involved in the consciousness movement. What's more I have also held down a full-time job throughout those eight years - as high school teacher in Hong Kong's public education system. It's a pretty good job by most measures. The workload is not that heavy and the pay is excellent, probably the best in the world for a public high school job. If I earned this amount of money in Australia (given the low tax rate in HK), I would be well into the top ten percent of wage earners. My school here has been wonderful. I particular the teachers, administrators and students are simply 'lovely' (to use HK vernacular).

So I almost get it all here. A good income, great work relations and low stress.

 Discovery Bay

So why am I leaving?

I am leaving because it is too comfortable. I could certainly do this for the next 15 years and then retire. But it would be too easy.

I also had a 'vision'.

About two months ago I awoke in the early hours of the morning, in the pitch black of night, and a clear image came into my mind's eye. It was a map of Australia. The map was dark, but the coastal outline of Australia was clear. On the map there were four bright red dots. One was in far north Queensland, around the location of the city of Cairns. The other three were all situated very close to Melbourne in the far south-east corner of the continent. Then a song began playing in my head. It was part of the song 'Funky Town', originally sung in the late 70s by a band called Lips Inc (if I recall correctly). Specifically, the line that played in my head was the following:

Gotta make a move to a town that's right for me
Gotta keep me movin' keep me groovin' with some energy

There was no need for me to analyse what I had seen and heard. After years of working with my spiritual intuition (what I call Integrated Intelligence), I have learned to allow certain knowings to settle immediately in my mind without needing to process the information in linear, sequential fashion. It's actually a clairvoyant process, quite literally. 'Clairvoyant' means 'clear seeing.'

I was being told that it was time for me to move on. Hong Kong was no longer the right town for me. Australia, my home country, was beckoning. The red dots referred to places that were suitable for me to visit or live.

When visions are this powerful you don't forget them. In the old days, when I first started developing my Integrated Intelligence, I used to write down important dreams and visions. Now I rarely do. I don't need to anymore because the connection between the 'rational' and 'intuitive' parts of my mind is well developed (I do make an exception when I have a long and profound dream, where I know I won't be able to remember it all the next day).

But did I follow my spiritual guidance? Actually, I dithered! I was feeling so comfortable with my life in Hong Kong, that I was really reluctant to leave.

Then I got a kick in the pants. One day at school the principal called me into his office and said the school would not renew my contract. This is perfectly the schools prerogative after a standard two-year contract is complete. To be honest, I was shocked, as I had always gotten on well with the principal and everyone else.

But this kick in the pants made me act. I looked at my situation more carefully, and realised that my guidance was correct. It was time for me to leave Hong Kong. Bizarrely, as soon as I moved to this committed position, the new principal of my school (it is changing leaders right now) called me into the office and asked me to stay on at the school, saying she thought I was a good teacher. While that did make me feel better, I knew that I needed to make a break for it. I thanked her and told her I was leaving.

It's fascinating that the old principal had decided to let me go. If he had not done this, I might have stayed. So even though I felt bad about the initial 'rejection', it was actually a blessing in disguise. It was the universe's way of tapping me on the shoulder and getting me to move along.

The truth is that, just as my vision had suggested, Hong Kong does not quite have the right "energy" for me. It is a peaceful and well organised city. But on the downside it is very conservative and materialistic. The education system encourages repetition and an adherence to the 'one correct answer'. It's also a very hectic place, where people work long hours. Across the wider city it is difficult to find people who are committed to the kinds of ideas that I am. It's not the right fit for me.

 Peak hour at Admiralty Station, HK Island

Still, I will miss Hong Kong. I have lived in beautiful Discovery Bay on Lantau Island for the past few years,. The ocean and the hills are just minutes away from my apartment. Hong Kong also has a vibrant nightlife, great transpiration systems, and is exceedingly efficient. Efficiency and comfort are the order of the day. But these things do not encourage 'growth'. The actually promote stagnation of the spirit.

Halloween in the Lan Kwai Fong bar area

Yet the bottom line is that I feel that I have knowledge and skills that cannot be readily used here. All of us are given certain gifts by God. I know what mine are. Living here I am a bit like the Biblical son who buries his talents (coins) in the ground, believing that his father will be proud of him when he later shows him that he hasn't lost any of it.

I am not doing the work that I am meant to be doing.

Thank you Hong Kong. I will miss you!




  1. I have the same feelings with my life at the moment,not that I have to move cities,just that I have to find my life's calling.

  2. Best wishes on your move. Will be excited to hear where you land and the new circumstances.

  3. Daz, you might find that becoming increasingly present to the moment fills the void that you interpret as having not found your calling. Just a thought.

    And thanks, Larry. I hope I will be excited too! At the moment its mostly hard work dealing with logistics!

    1. I don't have a void in my life,I just want to find some way to make a living that is more meaningful than being a forklift driving slave who needs the money to pay back the mortgage.

    2. Fair enough, Daz. As I mentioned in my book, there can be quite a long period of retraining these days if you want to change careers - or even income streams. Good luck with it, thogh.

  4. Good luck on the move, Marcus! Do you have a particular date in mind? These photos of Honk Kong are great, by the way.

    1. Yes, i do have a particular date. Yesterday! I closed the front door to my HK apartment for the last time about six hours ago. I am writing this from a coffee shop in my hotel in Bangkok, where I am having a holiday!

  5. Great decision, Marcus. I particularly liked the gratitude, when it's easy sometimes to feel very frustrated and negative towards HK. The place can feel very oppressive, uncreative and life-denying.

    Actually, leaving a place when it's time to go is very much like leaving a relationship; the right way is just to move on with blessings and gratitude. Thanks for modelling this for all of us who need to make changes in our lives.

    1. I don't feel any genuine negativity towards HK, Simon. A few things annoyed me, most notably the lack of human communication in public spaces - exacerbated by mobile phone obsession - which I found alienating. But I am at peace with it. I am not lying when I say I will miss HK