About Torstein Schiøtz Worren

Life is a curious thing. When I was a year and a half old I climed up the kitchen drawers and poured two cups of boiling hot coffee over myself, something that defined my life and how I saw myself because of the scars. I thought I was ugly and unattractive well into my thirties. I spent years abroad and saw the world from many different perspectives, yet I always came back to the timid and quiet Norwegian society that feels so much like home. I excelled through intelligence, but was confused about how I couldn’t find my place in the world without discomfort and how insecure I felt about people in general. I learned to keep a lot of my judgements to myself, yet on the inside I was superior and arrogant. Without really questioning it, I followed the flow into a career and the life that is expected, but up ahead it felt empty no matter how ”successful” I was.

Life would bring me out of balance when I was about 30, and all of a sudden I became aware I was no longer content with this version of myself that hardly did anything of real value to other people. Deep within arose a longing for this life to be about something meaningful and of some sort of value to the world. Because of some friends who had already begun to move from something more holistic in themselves I became exposed to alternative views of the world from those I’d grown up with and taken for granted behind justifications of their superiority. Overnight, life became a mystery to be explored, and I, the person, a complicated web of chaotic thoughts, emotions and impulses.

I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and for a few years I kept on being a bureaucrat while battling my own personality and my perpetual patterns of anger and annoyance, the need to be right, the need to be acknowledged and seen as ”someone,” always at war with my surroundings in order to appear better than I felt inside. When enough fear had been let go of, I quit my job and soon after found myself in a situation, doing yoga in Thailand, where the love I was experiencing in one moment was obviously so much greater than myself – so, knowing that, how could I possibly go on as before? Instinctively I gave away my life to the source of that love and asked to be a tool for that rather than living for myself only. And life responded by lifting me up to the highest peaks and crushing me down to the lowest depths in the next year and a half. The person, so shaped by his own insecurity camouflaged as superiority, needed to be humbled at every crossroad. Everything I clung to, every belief about life and spirituality, has needed to be seen for what it is and the pain of its death. All has gone on the altar I didn’t know existed inside.

As more and more of the meaning of my life disappeared, the longing for freedom burned stronger. I yearned to be free from everything that held me tight and defined my life. Freedom and fearlessness became my guiding concepts leading me to challenge everything in myself that was in the way for whatever I wanted to express. I was inspired by all spiritual traditions, yet following only what felt true to my own heart regardless of what others said.

And when life finally came apart, and I saw through the whole game I’d been a part of – that I’d been chasing an idea – what remained of a meaning to my life disappeared. The apathy that came with it was total and I knew of no way out. For there was no way neither forwards nor backwards. My person just couldn’t deal with the insight. But a glimmer of trust shone through the days, and little by little the person shed the layers of resistance to life as it now appeared and learned to live with it. And as the pain fell away, something else was learning to move in the open space.

Spirituality fell away, meaning fell away, stories fell away, hope and fear fell away, direction and the need to be seen as anyone fell away… I was only becoming more and more anonymous, more and more ordinary. I know I am no one in particular, that I don’t understand, that the world and life lives itself as it does, egos playing until shocked into silence at the edge of its own man-made destruction. Yet life goes on, because sometimes a look means more than a long life of praise. Love is so endless it can be explored in a new way every single day. And best of all, there are always people who have had enough of themselves and are ripe for honesty rather than comfortable lies. What else to do than to be there for those that need it more than oneself does?

I could not lie anymore
so I started to call my dog "God."

First he looked

then he started smiling, then he even

I kept at it: now he doesn't even

I am wondering if this
might work on


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Only I can undertake the journey that brings the soul home