Writing of my spiritual journey is kind of like telling you about my vivid dream last night. It sure seemed real, it was a helluva ride, I was right there in the thick of things, all kinds of interesting, fun and sometimes bizarre characters came and went, and, after I awakened and it was all over, my flashback memory of the dream sure made it feel important, loaded with meaning and purpose
As I write this a couple of years later, I’m not absolutely sure if any of it really happened, and only vaguely remember who it happened to.
I know that sounds a little crazy, so let me explain…
Deep in my gut, for as long as I could remember, there was an undefined, gnawing feeling of alienation and unfulfillment, coupled with a deep dissatisfaction with the adult human world as it operated – its pretend morality, approved standards, acceptable goals and expected rewards. I didn’t seem to belong here. None of the things that were supposed to make me happy ever did so in fulfilling depth, or for any satisfying length of time.
Freedom seemed to be the goal, and Truth the answer I sought so badly. I didn’t really grasp what it was I wanted to be free from, or what the Truth might be that I was seeking. Nevertheless, the beckoning of these two words resonated deep inside and relentlessly hammered me as far back as I could remember. Sometimes the hammer strikes seemed like distant echoes; other times they were right in my face.
Half-heartedly attempting to fit into the world, being as rebellious as I would let myself get away with while still playing the socially acceptable game, I bounced through a number of degrees, careers and intimate relationships.
Of course, they were all great experiences with great people. It’s just that now I realize I was the one who didn’t really show up for them completely. The best I could do at the time was to act out from my concocted persona, wearing the costume named ‘Robert’ and acting out my own sloppily written, scripted role. In other words, my deeper real self rarely showed its face, try as I might. And, I began to see that everyone else was doing the same thing in varying degrees. Everyone acting out their personal script, deathly afraid of showing their true, simple, honest self for fear of being shamed, embarrassed and all the rest.
I’d taken a wandering path familiar to many others. Years of self-improvement books and practices; study of philosophy, psychology and human development; study and practice of several religions (traditional to esoteric). All this preparation was helpful in one way or another, especially the time I spent intensely studying personal health care (Natural Hygiene) and putting this knowledge into practice. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I now see that I was laying a solid foundation for what was to come. I was tuning up my body and mind for unknown future challenges. All of this study and practice greatly helped to reorient my thinking and lifestyle practices in a more positive direction. In addition, there was regular meditation, fasting and yogic practices… on it went.
Nevertheless, as interesting and relatively helpful as these efforts were at the time, I always noticed that the same old gnawing feeling was still there. Something was fundamentally lacking, something still felt off. All my study and devotion to ‘spiritual’ practices delivered knowledge and altered state experiences by the truckload. But I couldn’t tell if any of them were truly helping me make any real forward progress toward permanently waking up from the dream… from the gnawing, unfulfilled, insubstantial feeling inside. My desire for Freedom and Truth continued to hammer away inside me.
Which direction was Home?
I made up the ongoing internal story (belief) that I was making lots of progress, especially something called ‘spiritual’ progress. My consciousness was expanding… I was getting closer and closer to the spiritual goal.
Or was I? Secretly not being exactly sure what this final spiritual goal was (Enlightenment? Mystical Union with the Cosmos? God-Realization? Permanently Blissed Out? Living Happily Ever After? Maybe at least some Very Good Tantric Sex?), I just kept winging it, pretending to myself that I was on top of things and confidently piloting my own ship. Hmmm… Just a bit more meditation each day, and some tweaking of my diet ought to do it… just a little more purification, a little more light, a little more practiced serenity…
Along the way thrilling mystical experiences, altered states of consciousness and out-of-body events came… and went. I recall how easily I got quite attached to those experiences, and gave them great meaning, importance and purpose. Surely they were very important, yes?
Then came the 4 years of over-the-top, intense Kundalini awakening and activity, which was extremely shattering and transformative.
Something was now changing inside in a big way. This Kundalini power inside me had complete control. Huge, rapid and literally stunning internal changes seemed to have a mind and direction of their own, irrespective of what I wanted to do or where I thought I was going.
There was the time of falling into the Abyss, the Void. Unimaginable darkness and disconnection from Life all around me. The carefully knitted psychological fabric that gave me my sense of substance and continuity, my sense of self, was ripping apart from all sides. My thick shell of ego was cracking and splintering in every direction. The wall of separation that was always there was now giving way. Layers were peeling off spontaneously, and I felt to be on a roller-coaster ride over which I had absolutely no control. It was alternatingly exhilarating and terrifying. The bottom was dropping out and there was no place for firm footing about anything. Nothing seemed to make sense. Absolutely no references anymore, internal or external. Real or imagined. Nothing to hold on to. Those were seriously scary times….
This overpowering, disruptive and relentless Kundalini process continued on for many months. Sanity, and sometimes survival itself seemed in doubt.
Eventually the bulk of this fracturing, purging and rewiring ‘process’ was over… but I came to see that even after all of this, still there was more hidden in the dark corners. Several core but false beliefs about who and what I believed I was showed their terrifying (and now desperate) faces. All along they had been hiding under these many layers of junk.
On it went for another couple of years.
My ‘ego-self,’ piece by piece, continued to be extracted, examined, dissected and thrown into the bonfire. More spontaneous episodes of darkness and the void, then ecstatic periods, followed by a brief day or two of calmness, neutrality, detachment. Forays into majestic archetypal realms followed by plunges into strange worlds of instinctive, purely primitive awareness. Very, very bizarre stuff.
Interestingly, especially toward the end of the Kundalini process (at the time I had absolutely no idea I was near any sort of ‘end’ of this Process), I noticed that the bigger shifts inside my consciousness were occurring in direct proportion to the degree that I was getting more and more disconnected and disillusioned with the whole spiritual game of seeking I was playing. Or perhaps it is better to say that the momentous shifts themselves were progressively undermining my lifelong desire of seeking freedom and truth. The Kundalini process was hollowing me out, changing me from a solid block of dense ego material to a fragile little piece of sponge, full of holes and voids. There felt to be less and less of the previous ‘me’ remaining. When I looked into a mirror, it seemed like hardly anything reflected back.
Soon after this, one fine morning, while simply sitting on a sofa, something immense fractured inside my consciousness. The remaining flimsy sponge-like framework of ‘me’ buckled, disintegrated, crashed down. Suddenly, the central perceptive point of my awareness, that small focal point in my head from which ‘I’ perceived everything else… just dropped away. There was no longer a distinct focal point of awareness, a ‘Me’ perceiving ‘Everything Else’; there was only unbroken Wholeness in every direction. The constant feeling of separateness instantly and utterly disappeared. The curtains all around me fell, as that was the visual metaphor that appeared before my mind’s eye. My physical eyes seemed to be opening for the first time.
In a sudden dumbfounding moment I realized it was all over. No more spiritual questions nagging me. No more unfulfilled gnawing feeling inside. No more relentless urge for seeking freedom, truth or anything else.
All of it – suddenly, completely and finally – gone.
The process was Done.
Years of reintegration and acclimation followed. Indeed, it continues now in very unexpected ways. I suppose there really is no end to this journey, but something very surprising and apparently permanent has most definitely occurred. There has been a clean break from any sense of my old egoic self. None of that old ‘self’ seems real. I have been turned inside-out; or maybe it’s upside-down. The memories of the previous persona called Robert have drastically changed… they have lost all emotional charge and meaning; in fact they have mostly disappeared. And what remains continues to fade more each day.
The differences in my perception and understanding of my Being and of Life itself since that Change are profound, yet daily life feels perfectly ordinary. A sense of contentment and concordance always pervades my perception. It may shift from the foreground to the background and back again, yet it always there, usually dominating my inner landscape. The sense of time passing and imposed time pressure have disappeared from my awareness. My attitudes about everything have spontaneously changed without me trying to do so. The knee-jerk habit to judge and interpret actions and events, of myself and others, has ceased. Whatever people are thinking or doing is exactly what they are capable of thinking or doing at that moment. I seem incapable of worrying about anything. Regret no longer occurs. It is clear that at all times whatever is happening is right; is correct… for me and for everyone else. All is, exactly as it can be. Perfection exists. And yet, change is constant.
I may run the gamut, as we all do, from happy to sad, delighted to irritated, passively observant to actively engaged. Humanness still happens. The only difference is that these movements of consciousness run unimpeded, without internal monitoring, judgment or overt control. The old boss, my Internal Supervisor within, was fired; he no longer works here.
My general state seems to be spontaneously getting ever more even and balanced, with spontaneous spikes of intensity along the way for the fun and thrill of it. Life courses through me in fascinating ways, ‘using’ whatever talents and abilities I may possess in order to create each new movement of creativity, action, or perhaps non-action. Actually, it no longer feels as if I ‘do’ anything. Everything is being done through me. Sometimes I laugh to myself as I notice that I feel like a marionette… a puppet that apparently still has ‘free will.’ I never know what may come next, and whatever does is delightful and satisfying.
Above all it is crystal clear that I, Robert, am not running this show. And that I never have, which is the punchline of the inside joke.
There is much more to say about these changes. Much to say about how life operates now, and perhaps I will write about it sometime.
Life rolls on. Having gone through this process and this change, it is easy to see where others are currently located in their own journey, and what small nudge they might need to take their next step. I am happy to assist anyone who may be going through their own intense enlightening process. And, as part of the journey, I am happy to help you get the basics in order – healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, healthy thinking, personal power, personal sovereignty, deep questioning.