For most people, spiritual awakening is synonymous with ego death.
What is ego death?
The ego death experience is a process in which your ego continues to shed more layers of false control so you can gradually embody your true self – the limitless Source Energy that has the power to be, do and create anything it desires. It entails waking up in, and/or out of the dream, dissolving all perceived limitations, and allowing yourself to be a channel for Source to work through.
This post focuses on ego dissolution which from what I know, is a later “stage” of this process, as well as life after ego death.
You can awaken in the dream at any time.
From what I’ve witnessed, most wake up after a system failure of some sort – that is, you experience some type of crisis in one or more of the four major areas (purpose/career, love, health or spiritual expression) in life where all your values, beliefs and habits no longer support you and where you want to go.
As you question everything that has led you to this point, the external pressure combined with the internal turmoil force you to dive deeper into your soul for answers and a new way of being.
From there on, it becomes a glorious, and at times exquisitely painful journey of letting go, and coming to the integrity of your wholeness.
It is essential for me to add this reminder that whether you are fully immersed in this dream called life, awake in the dream, experiencing self-enlightenment, or somewhere else, it is the perfect place for you to be.
You can always choose to continue your evolution, but it does not take away any of your intrinsic and unconditional perfection which is the essence of you.
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Waking Out of the Dream
For the longest time, I was awake in the dream, and couldn’t be happier with where I was. I vaguely knew about the “out of the dream” state, yet had no desire to be anything other than what I was.
One day out of nowhere, I was booted from the Matrix.
You hear such tales from those who have just completed ten days of Vippasana in India, or are communing with the divine on the top of Machu Picchu in Peru, yet mine occurred in my living room in New York one morning as I was mindlessly watching the cars driving by Time Square.
Looking back, though I may have scribbled notes here and there, it feels impossible for me to accurately describe what took place exactly.
It felt like my entire reality collapsed in one single moment that stretched into an eternity.
Just like in an ayahuasca ceremony, the moment slowed down as my past, present and future merged into one moment of Now. The Now then crumbled into Nothingness piece by piece at an alarming rate. Glimpses of my former life from both the unawake and awake states flashed before my eyes, and slowly dissolved into oblivion one by one.
All identities I ever took on melted into Nothingness.
I tried hard to remember what led me to this point. Prior to this, I went through an intense period of surrendering, and an urge to expand even more. I didn’t know what I was searching, but I trusted I was being guided, and it wasn’t up to me to know.
Honestly, none of it was relevant, or mattered.
Reality and dream, matter and energy, manifested and unmanifested…everything simply became One, and returned to Nothingness along with the idea of self – the “I.”
The Ultimate Ego Death
Up until that moment, I still identified with the “I” as a conscious creator, yet even that had to be let go of.
The formless state of being brought on laser clarity. I was able to see no matter how conscious I believed I was, even all that was made up as part of the dream I was in.
It was as if all this time, I was watching a play where not only I was the director and viewer, but also an actor who played the “I.”
The play was so engaging that the viewer completely forgot she was outside of the play, and solely identified with the actor who took on the storyline of someone who woke up in the dream, transformed past blockages, and became a mentor to guide others.
Suddenly due to the system failure, everything shut down, the actor ceased to exist, and for the first time, the “I” outside of the play woke up, and realized she was watching herself playing a role the entire time.
Of course, the “I” outside of the play then had to laugh at the idea of “I” because there has never been an “I;” there is only formless Source Energy that is ever becoming, and returning to Emptiness.
Suddenly, the form, or identity of a conscious creator that I embodied for years seemed restricting for the first time.
Through the clarity, I also realized just how precisely and brilliantly every mechanism in the Matrix is designed to perpetuate the dream so its actors hardly question the validity of our seamless make-believe dream state.
But if you look close enough which almost always means a spiritual awakening, you may start to notice the patterns and invisible universal laws that are governing the system, and this is when this game called life becomes more fun once you figure out the “rules.”
I tried holding onto everything I knew and everything I was out of instinct, but I may as well be attempting to catch water with my fingers. The process was ruthlessly destructive as it eradicated every ounce of knowing I believed I had.
It felt like the ultimate death of my humanity (and a DMT experience), and the only thing I could do was weeping for what I believed to be lost.
All was lost. It was a beautiful dream, but I was still in a human body. I swinged back and forth between “I” and “no I,” and had no idea what awaited me or how I could ever lead a “normal” life after this.
The question that many who crossed this gate before me asked rose:
What Is the Point of All This?
There is none.
But that is not equivalent to having no consequences, or cause and effect for as long as we are in the human bodies in this time-space dimension.
Truthfully, there is never any point in anything, or in any of the previous steps of spiritual awakening.
However, the ego feels the need to assign a goal or meaning for each step so you could feel like you are working towards something even in the process of ego death.
Although everyone’s spiritual awakening journey is unique and there is no linear path, the common foci during the initial steps are usually healing and releasing past conditioning, tapping into authenticity, and installing empowering patterns and habits. Slowly, you will feel called to truly learn to trust life as you are discovering your soul mission, passions and gifts, and embodying the conscious creator within. Later on, deliberate creation and surrendering become more effortless which lead to greater degrees of freedom, joy and fulfillment. Many choose to stop here, and all these pit stops are beautiful places to be.
I should also add that the entire hero’s journey of waking up is one epic process of letting go.
Waking up ignites an unstoppable wild fire within that strips away all pretence, and burns away everything that you are not – you are not any thing.
Eventually, life may invite you to completely surrender the idea of “I” and return to the formless state where radiant Nothingness awaits.
Sometimes, it means physical death for those whose time has come to transition, but more often than not, it is just another place in awakening where you no longer need to squeeze yourself into any form, including the form of “an awakened soul” or “a creator” if you choose not to. In other words, you can be whatever you choose to be.
The Infinite Beyond
A long month of what felt like depression followed after I woke out of the dream. Nothing helped, and I wasn’t expecting it to. I was forced to let go of any residual energy pattern from my “previous life.”
Physically, everything appeared the same. My laptop was still solid, my relationships were still there, and I still could not fly in or out of the Matrix like Neo. My days went on as if nothing happened with everyone playing out their role in the play in the most convincing way.
I gained deeper understanding of Oneness. For as long as I identified myself as a person, even as an awakened one, I never experienced true Oneness because the label of being a person separated me from all.
For a while, I dwelled in Oneness and saw myself – the true essence of Emptiness in everything, and everyone.
I also experienced myself as pure Consciousness for prolonged periods of time, something I was only able to accomplish during plant medicine ceremonies or long meditations. It felt liberating, and strange at times to have a body and mind without identifying with either.
Slowly, I became aware that even though I let go of all form, I could still choose to take on any form, concept or idea to be, do and create whatever inspiration gifted me except this time around, I no longer feel any attachment to any identity, or result.
Rather than being the conscious creator who was co-creating with Source, Source is here to work through me just like It is working through you so It could experience Itself through our senses.
Freedom to take on any form, freedom to choose, and freedom to be anything, isn’t this what Consciousness is?
There is zero goal in this part (or any part) of the journey called life, but the journey itself is the goal. This. Moment. Is. The. Goal. It has always been so. And you can always choose any thing, form or identity that sets your soul on fire in this infinite playground called life.
Wherever you are, know that you have the power to call in whatever is aligned with what feels most joyous and right to you.
For an instant I was so near death:
That I could almost reach out and touch the stars.
I was in that place where there is no time,
Hanging in heaven, or exiled in eternity.
Had I wished, I could have pushed my hand
Out and up through the roof of the world
And escaped forever from a lifetime of tomorrows.
For a million years that did not age the face of time,
My life rested against stillness
–Until all was still–
And even the room became a universe
Where nothing was too big
And a microcosm where nothing was too small. ~ Graham Hancock
Originally posted on Wake Up World.