5/7. Today I'm sharing about one of my favourite topics: the alchemy of enlightenment and what it means to go beyond duality. Of course this topic is endlessly deep, and thus not easy to describe in words, but I have given it a try anyway.
"Ultimately all spiritual paths lead to the same point: the marriage of light and dark. True metaphysical alchemy isn’t about turning black into white; what happens in the merging of light and darkness is that a third reality, a new perspective emerges – a reality in which light and darkness can co-exist in harmony, without having the charge, tension or polarization that they previously had. They are allowed and accepted to such an extent that they are no longer opposites, but rather two qualities that dance with each other, coming together and falling apart naturally, always expanding. As they dance together, they birth a new quality, which is clear energy. In other words, light and dark become neutral; they no longer carry the elements of “good” and “bad” attached to them. Darkness might exist in the form of feelings, such as a surge of sadness or anger, but it is no longer perceived as evil. Integrated darkness is no longer demonized or placed in opposition to light.
~ Everything beautiful can be twisted, but anything tainted can be transformed into something beautiful. ~
What causes pain is never darkness itself, but the separation from it. Pain is caused by our separation from our own aspects. Pain is a part within our psyche calling for our attention. Separation is the deepest illusion in this universe, and therefore it causes the deepest emotional pain. However, once we allow ourselves to reconnect with our own darkness (in other words, acknowledge it and accept that it is part of us, without judging it), all the pain is released from that aspect or experience. It doesn’t mean that this darkness then becomes light, but it becomes beautiful and meaningful – darkness becomes the shadow that gives your light its depth, and makes your light shine with even more brightness. At the moment of integration, you realize that all of us have elements of light and dark within us, and that darkness is something natural. You realize that darkness isn’t evil. This is the essence of spiritual alchemy..."
Dear friends, today I will post an excerpt from the chapter called 'it's all about Integration'. Some of you are very familiar with the concept of integration, and for others it's a new idea (although I bet all of you instinctively know the concept, even if you've never given it a name until now). If you're consciously walking the spiritual path, 'integration' will eventually become unavoidable, which is why I write about it extensively in this book.
~ Integration is synchronizing your past, present and future into one point of presence called I am here. ~
"Somewhere in the midst of all the chaos, you enter the next stage of awakening, where the reconnection of all your parts takes place. You thought it was about piecing your life back together, but it’s really about piecing all of you together. It’s so very human to see the small picture: your human self is doing whatever it can to heal, improve, save, protect or embellish the life of the human without being aware of the context or realizing what is really happening. It’s as if the human was so busy rearranging the furniture that it doesn’t notice how the plumbing is being redone, how the walls are in the process of being ripped down and the electricity is being rewired. And now the human is all covered up in dust and frustrated, because it doesn’t understand why the walls shake, why the lights keep flickering and why it’s so noisy. When you enter this phase of your awakening, it’s not enough to decorate your life a bit or to apply cosmetic changes to your human self; integration is about going to the core of you. You are literally, chemically, rewiring yourself. When we reconstruct a house, we accept all the mess, because we know that it’s temporary and we understand its necessity – what if you could apply that level of nonchalance to your inner reconstruction?
You’ll know that you’re entering this phase of your awakening, when you start to become conscious of your ‘shadow-self’ – the basement within the house of the ‘I am’.
The moment you consciously choose enlightenment (and you might have done that in a previous lifetime), you also choose integration: The integration of your Soul and all the scattered aspects of all your human lifetimes into one whole, embodied, multi-dimensional consciousness. Integration means welcoming all the lost, separated and polarized parts back home to your core (the Soul), until one day you realize that you’re not just white or black, but you are all the shades of the spectrum, just like everyone else, too. Other words for integration are shadow work, or healing. It is healing at the deepest level (as opposed to relieving, suppressing or eliminating merely the symptoms of imbalance). Integration is the most natural and effective way to heal on all levels: physical, emotional and mental. Unlike the methods of processing that are common in some approaches of psychotherapy, integration is not at all intellectual. Anybody who is healing themselves at the deepest levels – whether their wounds are physical or emotional – is doing integration, even if they are not consciously on a spiritual path or even if they don’t call it ‘integration’. In awakening, however, integration is inevitable. In addition to integrating your wounded aspects, in awakening specifically, you also integrate your divinity. Thus, it can be said that integration is truly the doorway to enlightenment.
Your shadow aspects are not some random ghosts haunting you, although it may feel that way because much like ghosts, your past will be catching up with you. Your past will come into your dreams at night, and flood into your memories during the day, until you give it some attention. When this happens, know that your past is only knocking on your door because it wants to be integrated. You don’t need to go digging for your past, because that will mess with the natural process of integration (and make your life more difficult) – just don’t ignore it when it naturally rises to the surface. Your current incarnation then becomes the anchor, the Holy Grail, and the home of all your experiences and facets. In other words, your ‘body of consciousness’ (that composite of your body, mind and spirit) becomes the vessel in which the alchemy of integration takes place. Awakening is not about you, the human aspect, returning home to your Soul/spirit/divinity, but rather it is about Soul returning to you, the ascendee (a term coined by master Tobias), and thus creating a new home in the here and now.
~ Your true Self isn’t higher, it’s underground. ~
Here goes excerpt 3/7. Today's glimpse into my upcoming book is taken from the chapter titled 'the Freedom of Self-Love'. As always, comments are welcome.
~ All spiritual paths eventually lead to self-love. ~
"Sometimes when we fall in love with someone, we are really falling in love with a lost part of ourselves that becomes visible to us through another person or through our connection with that person. This is especially the case with relationships that are very karmic, intense and challenging. One of the reasons why break-ups are so painful, is that we feel as if we have lost a part of ourselves. Yet from the wider perspective, you can never lose something that is truly yours. You can only lose sight of it. So if you feel that deep longing for a soulmate, consider if this is perhaps in fact an intense longing to be present with your authentic Self.
In contemporary spiritual literature, there is much controversy about the topic of self-love. As I see it, it’s not a choice between loving yourself versus loving other people and being loved by others. It’s a choice between exploring self-love versus not exploring it on a conscious level. Your self-love is never, ever away from the love that you can give to or receive from others – if it is, we are not talking about love. If you don’t know where to start regarding self-love, know that your Soul is the manifestation of pure self-love. Your Soul loves you without any limitations, so if you feel clueless in this area, ask Soul directly to show you what self- love feels like. Here are some other suggestions to help you explore self-love in practice:
~ Self-love is freedom at the deepest level. ~
Today's excerpt is from the chapter titled 'The Role of Life in Awakening'. If you didn't read the overview of the book yet, and would like to, click here. Enjoy and feel free to comment!
~ Your human life is the biggest distraction to your enlightenment - but it’s also the key. ~
"The question that all seekers sooner or later face is: ‘If I let go of the mind’s attempt to control my spiritual journey, then what is controlling this experience? What then determines my choices, and what do I need to focus on if I’m committed to my enlightenment?’ Personally, I have driven myself to the verge of madness with all these questions — until I realized that I don’t need to know where I’m going or how I’m going to get there. I don’t need to use any techniques, and I don’t even need to understand the science behind enlightenment. However, because the human always needs to focus on something, I found two practices to focus on to keep the mind out of my Soul’s way whilst allowing the unfolding of my awareness:
1. The first one is relaxation: Do whatever you can to relax mentally, emotionally and physically (but especially mentally). As profane and simple as it sounds, relaxing allows you to expand and open up to other dimensions of yourself and to release the mental hypnosis of mass consciousness. The mind will violently resist this act of relaxing, because (much like a soldier) it’s programmed to stay vigilant and tense. With time and practice, the mind will release its Chronic Stress Syndrome and adapt to this new state of balance and calm.
2. In addition to practising the art of relaxing, I have learned to assume that everything that happens in my life serves my enlightenment. For example, if I’m feeling hurt or anxious or stressed, that is my opportunity to apply my awareness to my everyday life. The more I bring these two dimensions of myself together (i.e. the more I allow my aware self and my human self to inhabit the same space), the more I’m allowing my embodied enlightenment. You don’t have to travel to other dimensions to connect with Spirit – instead the connection happens naturally as you bring your presence and awareness to whatever situation you are in. When you ground your spirituality like this, the artificial line between inner and outer experiences, between the spiritual and the mundane, becomes obsolete; you realize that your life is the only method you need to “practice” on the path to self-realization.
~ Be where you are with your awareness, and what you need will come to you. ~
If you are ready to be an embodied consciousness right now (not ready to get there, but ready to be there) follow the key of your life and be present with your experiences. See your life as a canvas, and all your experiences as raw material for you to create art with. Your so-called problems and challenges are like particularly delicious colours of oil paint, and now you can apply your consciousness (your skill of painting) to create an art piece.
Once you have stepped onto your awakening path consciously, every single experience you encounter will bring you closer to the realization of enlightenment. Basically, your choice of enlightenment + staying alive = self-realization. The quicker you accept this fact, the easier it will be – because then challenges become meaningful nuisances rather than pointless obstacles that need to be overcome. Like an artist, you will come to view those challenges as additional colours that enrich your palette."
As promised, I will share an excerpt from the upcoming book. Just a small note that if this book finds its way to you (which I hope it will), you might not resonate or agree with all of the content, since it includes my personal views which are quite spiritually radical. This is fine - you don't need to agree with all of the content to find parts of it useful. The book is in service to you, the reader, and my wish (as the author) is that one part or other supports you, either by providing clarity, inspiration or by offering a perspective that you might not have thought of before. So with that, enjoy the following excerpt, which was taken from the chapter titled 'the Fine Print of Awakening'.
"Awakening is synchronistically orchestrated elegant chaos."
"Nearly all humans live their life chasing the same ultimate goal: to feel better. In fact, most people going through spiritual awakening have stepped onto this path in the hope of finding happiness. However, what we must understand is that every human is a multitude of aspects, each with their own agenda. For example, your mind and your heart tend to have very different ideas about how to secure happiness. This is one of the reasons why we have difficulties making choices – because it’s not just one ‘us’ making the choice. To complicate matters further, we are to a large extent unconscious of these various aspects and their agendas. Until we start to awaken.
This is when things start to get particularly complex: We are becoming aware of the many different voices within us, all of them with different needs. We certainly are aware of the ego, which is our human identity and driven by the mind. Happiness, as defined by the ego, is a state of comfort and security and is usually created by the avoidance of unpleasant truths. Unlike true fulfilment, this superficial and fleeting satisfaction is nothing but a defence mechanism, a method to escape feeling our feelings. It’s almost comical how terrified humans are of their own feelings! The reason why this kind of artificial or illusory wellbeing is incompatible with awakening is that in awakening you start to open up (awaken) to all parts within you – not just the ones approved of by the ego.
Wanting to feel good is natural and healthy, however, the quickest way to feeling authentically “good” is allowing ourselves to feel whatever we are feeling in the moment, even (and especially) the unpleasant feelings. Being at ease with yourself is the natural result of awakening, but it certainly won’t make your ego happy! The free master isn’t continuously high on happiness; the free master doesn’t care whether they are happy or not in this moment, because they see a bigger picture, a deeper truth, a reality that extends beyond the physical world, and therefore can open their heart fully to life, no matter what is going on. The free master doesn’t fear losing anything, because they have realized that they exist beyond happiness, beyond loss, they exist no matter what. Awakening is about freedom, sovereignty, empowerment, integration and mastery, and it is so much bigger than mere human satisfaction.
It is important to discuss this distinction between temporary happiness and real fulfilment, since a great many people turn to spirituality in an attempt to fill the void within them or to distract themselves from their own darkness. Yet embodied, real-life spirituality isn’t about filling this inner void with happiness; it’s about exploring the void, and exposing it to the light of your consciousness.
In awakening, you don’t become “happy” – you release or integrate the things that have hindered you from living in your natural state of ease and grace. In awakening you will see that the answer doesn’t lie in gaining more energy (more power, more money, more success, more attention, etc.) but in gaining more clarity. True peace comes from having the clarity to discern the essential things in life from the inessential, from the self-love necessary to choose the essential, and from the courage to let go of the inessential. If you are looking for a shortcut to fulfilment – that is the shortcut (alternatively, you could practice Buddhism for about one hundred lifetimes). Just make sure to read the fine print before you open that Pandora’s box called awakening."
With this book, I hope to lift the veils of mystery around embodied spirituality and modern mastery. What happens to our minds, hearts and bodies when we allow the alchemical process of self-realization? How does it affect our lives and relationships, and how can we navigate through the dark night of the soul into the dawn of enlightenment? Whilst each path is singular and personal, there are certain tools that I have found helpful on this bizarre adventure. I share these observations, insights, and inspirations, together with in-depth interviews with eight awakened humans, from various cultures, who are walking their paths of self-realization while navigating through modern life. Above all, the purpose of this book is to support the reader in connecting with their inner voice of wisdom and mastery.
For the next week, I will publish a daily extract from the book on this blog, so that you can get a taste of it. Can't wait to share this creation with my readers!
~ The wider you open your eyes, the clearer you see the shadows. And the harder you look at the shadows, the lighter they become. ~
Getting Real About Enlightenment, published by Erik Istrup Publishing, will come out in August 2017: