Spiritual Seekers: Antevasin

We for the most part are spiritual seekers. We seek our own truth, we seek the universal truth, we escape in moments, take a back seat in meetings, and look around, wondering what became of the collective consciousness or the wisdom of the Universe.

Reading Eat, Love & Pray by Elisabeth Gilbert we came across a word at page 203: “Antevasin”.

Ms. Gilbert describes it as follows:

So I saw it during my last week at the Ashram, I was reading through an old text about Yoga, when I found a description of ancient spiritual seekers. A Sanskrit word appeared in the paragrpah: ANTEVASIN. It means, ‘one who lives at the border.’ In ancient times this was a literal description. It indicated a person who had left the bustling center of worldly life to go live at the edge of the forest where the spiritual masters dwelled. The antevasin was not of the villagers anymore-not a householder with a conventional life. But neither was he yet a transcendent-not one of those sages who live deep in the unexplored woods, fully realized. The antevasin was an in-betweener. he was a border-dweller. He lived in sight of both worlds, but he looked toward the unknown. And he was a scholar.”

I never knew this word before I read it in Ms. Gilbert’s book.

Dictionary.com has no results for antevasin, but superflat.typepad.com does; yet, about.com doesn’t and most of the other top search engines keep coming back to Ms. Gilbert’s book.

So, suppose instead of focusing on the word itself, Antevasin, we instead go back to what it is? Spiritual Seeking.

In seeking spiritualy, there are those things that fit, those that don’t, some which may fit later and those that grow too small, but the commonality, is the persistant truth.

Today I came across some new search results on the Mayan Prophecies, the end of the world as we know it as of 12-21-12; the reversal of 1 and 2, the combination, 3, 3 and 3. The Law of Time website sheds yet more viewpoints on collective consciousness. I am perplexed again and again, as to how heralded universal truths, the Law of Attraction, doctrines of religion and indisputable points of Science seem to fold in over one another, and repeat like mantras.

So for today, I am satisfied with this word: antevasin. Simply, spiritual seeking needs no explanation does it? Yet, it’s nice to have company on the journey.



24 thoughts on “Spiritual Seekers: Antevasin

  1. I loved reading this…. I feel this way and can wonder if my mid-point positioning can be ultimately non-effective to anyone other than myself. I am still carrying through with living this life as I see fit, figuring no one else is a better judge of what could be “right” for me in my course. THis written passage gave me a sense of meaning….. meaning for my desire to live in between the two worlds – never too connected to one or the other – but still totally present in both – in THE life we all share. I feel this way about my profession as well as my personal life, and reading this coated ALL of it with a feeling of “all is right in the universe” and I thank you for that.

  2. “Mid-Point Positioning”. How appropriate. Perhaps that is what I do when I seem to be on the fence, one between the spiritual world and one between the everday materialistic world. In essence, perhaps that inhibits spiritual growth, perceiving two worlds. Not sure, I’m still evolving. There are definitely days when spirituality is closer within me, I don’t have to reach or remember to live it. Other days I need to hit myself in the head with a brick.

  3. A beautiful entry. Everyone is a Spiritual Seeker whether they believe so or not. The soul wants nothing more than to live its greatest dream of itself, that is the only job of the soul. Which makes the process of life purely divine. We spend so much time trying to discover ourselves when there is nothing to discover, our birthright is to create. So let us move forward not discovering but creating who we are in each moment and hopefull choosing to come from the love that we truly are rather than the fear our minds create. Dream grand and beautiful dreams for yourself, the Universe will do the rest. Namaste.

  4. Vicki, thank you for stopping by: you make an extremely profound satement:

    “The soul wants nothng more than to live its greatest dream of itself, that is the only job of the soul.”

    We saw your comment many hours ago and are still quieted by the profound realization.

  5. I also encountered antevasin in Gilbert’s book for the first time. I loved the book, and loved the word, which I felt described me, but more in the sense of “one that lives on the border”, than in that of spiritual seeker. I inhabit many borders, especially that between reality and fantasy. I liked the word so much that I adopted it as a screen name on an Italian chat I frequent,I’m invariably asked about the meaning of the word, and sometimes get a few chuckles because vasin in Italian means chamber pot. 🙂 My first time on this site, very interesting.

  6. Rosaria:

    Very interesting. Not only do I remain troubled spelling the word, but also pronouncing it. Yet, I love it, it is such a wide open word.

    Chamber pot?

    do tell.


  7. Soul doesn’t dream, it is we who dream. Soul doesn’t seek us, we seek the soul and thats why since pre-historic period there has always been a quest to know, a quest to seek.

    Which means before we seek and create; we need to have a purpose….

  8. found the word in a book borrowed for xmas reading – it is so descriptive of where I am – struggling to blend both material and spiritual worlds which is so often an oxymoron

    first time using blogs

  9. {{hugs}} SE

    If it weren’t for the recent comments, my attention would not have been drawn to your post. Ding-a-ling me, I missed it back in 2007 and have lived clueless ever since.

    One of the reasons we find it difficult to integrate both worlds (and that, I assume, is the goal…)

    is because it is impossible to integrate both truth and illusion. We seek truth but are still beguiled by illusion.

    In the depths of our Soul, (which many mention and write about but few realize and reveal), we ~know~ all of our illusions aren’t real. So we seek.


    “I know I am a Soul but know not what one is.”

  10. hello Barbara, greetings!

    Isn’t it a wonderful word? I found it by accident also, to me, it described the indescribable, something you feel that can’t be contained in words.

  11. Exactly! And until we understand the mirroring quality, we tend to get confused and distracted.

    I’d like to bring something to light, that the story clearly reveals but is veiled. Pretending to be something it isn’t.

    The story mentions the “spiritual masters who live in the woods”, “who live in deep in the woods fully realized”.

    Ok, so I understand the “Zen” getting away from it all. You ~know~ I do. Been there, done that and isn’t not pleasant. Jesus went out into the desert and so did Mohammed. They got away from it all, too.

    How much love for our world do the ‘so called’ masters possess, if they’ve turned their back on it and left it? How embracing is that attitude?

    Of WHAT possible use is it to be a FULLY realized Master that has nothing to do, no associations with, WHERE that Light of realization is most needed?

    What “I” call it, is Abandonment and “I” call those ‘masters’ pretenders.

    A Master’s purpose is to Serve. Because ONLY a Master Truly knows how. The reason a Master Serves, is to uplift Humanity…ALL of it.

    The pretenders are off in the forest learning HOW to be a Master. They are not Masters.

    The Masters in the making, are those of us “living on the border” because That’s the only place where Unity can be achieved.

    Finding ourselves “stand on the border” is THE place to Be!

  12. Sue:

    You have hit upon perhaps my most challenging spiritual struggle, may as well bring it to light!

    I don’t know, I don’t know if maybe the masters did the best they could in their climate. Who is to know?

    I do believe that we cannot judge unless we walk within another’s shoes.

    I also believe it is ok for us to want “Masters” that are always available for us.

    Such a long story, no? One we could talk about for hours, I am sure.


  13. rofl…we are making a quantum shift, a shift of ages. The ~key~ to understanding is the “border”. It is an idea that separates, a dividing line. And because it exists, is represents an idea of duality/polarity…which makes it one of our illusions.

    All of our realities based on ideas of separation, all our realities that contain ideas of separation, are all illusions.

    In order for an idea to be coming from a Spiritual plane of activity, from a “higher” dimensional state, the idea will be one of Unity. Inclusiveness rather then exclusiveness.

    This is the ~shift~, from greatest separation we re-orient ourselves to start back toward Unity. Cosmic out-breathe, followed by in-breathe.

    BIG SMILE for me! I’ve been waiting decades to “do” my job and the time I have been waiting for is HERE!

    Discernment is not Judgment. It is one of the things we learn on “the path”. I can say “it is” without saying or implying “it is good” or “it is bad”.

    I recommend the movie “The Invention of Lying” because it really isn’t so much about lying as it is about being gullible. And gullibility is one of our issues.

    It isn’t one of the issues we want to face, however,
    we’ve got a lot of emotional attachments to our pride. We’d rather save our pride and see ourselves as victims of liars.

    I simply ask: which perspective is most empowering for an individual?

    As long as we’re going to draw lines of separation, dividing Humanity, does it really matter what part we choose? Part is still part; it is not Whole. Top half, bottom half, half is still half.

  14. Ah Sue, “it is”, without it being good or bad. Amazing. I am not familiar with the movie you mentioned, it’s mainstream, easy to find?

    Make sure we continue this line of discussion on the new SE site!

  15. The movie wasn’t heavily advertised but is relatively easy to find, both to rent or to buy. I think some of the premium channels are now starting to show it, too.

    Here’s the link to netflix for it:


    A lot of our questions comes from being confused about “meaning”. This is simply a matter of interpretation and understanding. As we become able to understand, we do.

    The capacity for abstract thought hasn’t been around that long, just a few hundred years. Even now, not all of us in the US are literate, much less across our whole world.

    Masters withdrew/withdraw because there was/is no desire to know what they know and have to share. It is an intense loneliness and therefor, Merciful, that they “depart” for other realms.

    ~Now~ we have shifted. And Masters are returning.

    No more separations, between peoples or planes of awareness. It simply might take a while for all of us to catch on the rules of the game have changed.

  16. I too, am on the border. I first became aware of it when I read Seat of the Soul, by Gary Zukav. I am a Seeker, but I cannot let go of all that I have been up to the point of my enlightenment. I think I am one of those transitional individuals that is caught between two worlds. I can see the spiritual realm, and I long to be there; but I can’t let go of the materialistic one to get to it, and quite frankly, I’m afraid if I do manage to go there, I won’t be able to get back!!

  17. Antevasion, for me, describes someone who is balanced: mind, body, spirit.

    Let’s not forget that we are constructed this way to experience many dimensions of life. To ignore an aspect of our spirituality is like ignoring a part of the food pyramid. So I would go further to say, that it is destined for all to follow an Antevasion lifestyle.

    A word is a word. We become so defined by labels, and we forget to actually understand what it means. Although Antevasion means the balance (hence living on the edge) of worlds, it doesn’t necessarily mean material and spiritual world, nor it is not as easy as living like a child divided between divorced parents.

    An Antevasion enjoys worldy pleasures because he or she understands how they came to be- from within. Antevasions also understand that life is an independent journey, (hence why they renounce “family life”) that need space to unfold. It doesn’t mean they don’t believe in family, but they are not controlled by their blood line- instead they follow their hearts, which is aligned with the stars. This journey doesn’t have to be around the world, it can take place as close as in your own body. They also understand that there is something that connects each and everyone of us, so they seek to find the truth. (Un)fortunately, what they find is unexplainable (I believe it’s the way God intended it to be), but can only be seen and felt, which brings me back to enjoying worldly pleasures.

    By now I may have spun your mind around too many times. Hey, I’m no writer. 🙂 But I will say that I am also on a path to peace within. And as I become more balanced, I see and live life differently. An antevasion is about balance- yes, but it is also about fulfillment. I’ve been to church, I’ve made money, and experience a great deal of adventure, yet incomparable to the manner in which I experience now. I am fulfilled within which makes everything I experience in the “material” world such a marvelous one.

    Peace Love Light

  18. Namasthe.
    New to this forum.

    Found…in the search for meaning and definition of this beautiful word.

    Could someone who may possibly see something that I don’t, please explain how it is possible to go in search of a…truthful path. In search of an “independent journey” yet not be looked at as selfish by those that love them?

    Thank you.

  19. Thank you,
    I simply question the ‘search’ for truth.

    Isn’t the ‘truth’ always there?
    If your truth and my truth are different…does that make truth somewhat…subjective?

    Of course we are all independent….thankfully.
    And thank you for your answer.


  20. Ah, isn’t the truth always there?

    Interesting question, extremely.

    If one imagines truth as “pure”, then yes, arguably the truth is ever present. If one images truth as a product of perception, it is still always there, but malleable.

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