Lights in the Dream
My experiences in the past year and a half, which revealed that the ego (personal thought system) had fallen away a while ago and involved what I call The Break, where my consciousness shifted upward, have been humbling. They revealed to me that I was both naïve and arrogant about the spiritual path I am on. I was naïve about this mind. All the difficulty I’ve encountered is nothing inherent to the path, but rather to the limits of this mind. And I was arrogant in thinking I knew the way ahead. Oh, I knew there was a shift up ahead. It came a couple of years earlier than I sensed, but it didn’t come as a surprise. The nature of the shift came as a surprise, though. I had no idea that the mind’s shift to Spirit would be like this.
What is the nature of the shift? An entire life, both an internal consciousness and the external expression of it, fell away. So far my mind has been dealing more with the shock of what happened—internally far more than externally—than it has been aware of what this new consciousness is. But that is slowly changing. I have new experiences all the time that are so new I am not ready to share them. But I can say that basically my mind was corrected. It was ego-centered, serving the ego (personal thought system) and the self. Now it is properly aligned with Spirit. It does not serve Spirit, because Spirit and Mind are the same. Mind, as it is—so when it is not incorrectly serving ego and the self—is the Awareness (Consciousness, Perception) of Truth. Spirit is the experience, or expression, of the Awareness of Truth.
I am well aware that my labels differ from other teachers. I have been reading Bernadette Roberts, and she defines “self” as “consciousness”, which is very different from my definition! But each teacher chooses symbols (words) that resonate with them and expresses their unique way of experiencing Truth.
Previously I shared that I read Ms. Roberts’ The Experience of No-Self, which I found difficult to understand. What I took away from it was how idiosyncratic each individual’s path is. Recently I read The Path to No-Self, which she wrote years later. I found it to be much clearer. It deals with what she calls the “unitive” stage, which follows the ego falling away, the result being one’s awareness of Oneness with God (Truth). It precedes the self (consciousness) falling away, and she considers this stage to be, in essence, the “death” of the self (consciousness). If you are going to read these I recommend The Path… before The Experience… I am now reading What is the Self? in which she shares what she learned about the self (consciousness) after it fell away.
In the latter I have found a lot to validate my experiences of the past few years. For example, that the falling of the ego is discovered in retrospect rather than at the time. I don’t think that for me there was a single moment when it fell away, but that it had been dripping away from my mind slowly and reached empty around August of 2014. But I only realized it was gone four years later, and it is with this realization that I have been dealing. She also said that, contrary to popular belief, the ego dropping and one uniting with Truth (which she calls “the divine”) is not a wholly joyous experience because it is so shattering and leads to years of acclimation. I have just started acclimating.
If I understand her correctly, I am in the initial, transformational stage of what she called the unitive state. I find it interesting that while there is an overall arc to these stages, we do not all walk that arc in the same sequence of steps. Some things she discovered in the unitive stage I learned long ago. Some of her pre-unitive experiences I have yet to have.
Ms. Roberts felt an essential signal of the unitive stage was an initial “dark night of the spirit”. As a contemplative, she joined with God (Truth) initially through the ego, so when the ego fell away so did her connection to God, leaving a horrifying void. Eventually, though, she (as well as other contemplatives she studied) learned that the void was God. I however, have never had a dark night. (Well, okay, about a year and a half ago I had literally one very dark, vicious night of doubt—the lowest point on my path. I hit bottom and then simply rose out of it because, after all, I really do know Truth is true). What I did experience for those four years was a barren place in me, but I never lost my awareness of Truth. That emptiness eventually gave way to a wonderful, delicious Spaciousness—the equivalent of the contemplative learning the void is God after all.
I’ve pondered this difference and I think it is because, as a student of A Course in Miracles, I learned to sort myself out from the ego from the start. I learned to grow my awareness of Truth, identifying my resistance to this as the ego. The result was that I had parallel spiritual paths: My true one and one the ego made for me. So often I found I had ideas or values that had to be discarded along the way because they did not line up with my actual path. (For example, discovering I still had a projected idea in the future of me as a “peaceful person”). So when the ego fell I did not lose Truth; instead I lost that other path totally, and this is what I felt as a barren, arid place within, until I discovered it was actually Spaciousness.
I suspect, but I am not certain as it is not my experience, that the experience of the contemplative is similar and that what falls for them are concepts and beliefs, but that beneath an egoic construct of God true awareness of God does grow so that they, too, lose only a parallel, inauthentic path—but one that was primary to them where it was secondary to me. But I could be wrong. I could have a dark night of the spirit ahead of me—but I don’t sense this.
I am struck by these different spiritual paths! We all live in a great Undoing (the moment of the idea-of-not-Truth/the-undoing-of-the-idea-of-not-Truth unfolding as time), the outcome inevitable, each of us playing our part, whether we become aware of Truth or not. Those who do become aware are what ACIM calls “teachers of God” and what I call the “manifest undoers”. ACIM points out there are thousands of paths for teachers of God/manifest undoers, each path an expression of the Undoing (Atonement in ACIM) in the form of the dawning of Truth on our minds to varying degrees. This is how Light comes into the “dream”, or the pseudo-reality in which we seem to live.
If you are reading this, the Light has come to your mind. You are a teacher of God/manifest undoer. How does the Light express Itself in you? What is your part to play? I enjoy helping you grow your awareness of Truth and find your part in the Undoing, whether you are a reader only or you also become a client. Every part is a part of the inevitable outcome. Every part will be what it will be, and if my part is to help you with yours, then I am grateful.