“The secret of life is to die before you die”, said Eckhart Tolle. When I first heard this quote in my early thirties, I thought, “Well, I am ahead in the game of life because I have already done death!” While my near death experience some years prior was highly mystical and confirmation of my deep inner knowing that we never truly die, I wasn’t fully grasping what Tolle meant at the time that I read his words, and I am still unraveling how my physical death and resurrection in my late teens correlates to the many spiritual deaths that I have traversed since.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready, the teacher disappears.” ~ Lao Tzu
There is a scientific field called resurrection biology. The aim is to revive formerly extinct organisms through the methods of cloning, genetic editing and other emerging routes. Critics of this mode of scientific re-creation posit that we do not have the right environment and supply of habitable natural lands currently to support these creatures, and to bring them back would actually be a detriment to them and us.
Similarly, once a human has crossed a threshold in spiritual evolution, it is nearly impossible to thrive in their previous consciousness. The old ways of doing and being don’t feel good anymore. They no longer nourish us, and more often than not, are highly toxic to our systems. The inner landscape can no longer support energy and life that is not a match to our new level of awareness.
I took a year off of writing (unintentionally) to complete a major life cycle/lesson. Looking back, I realize that there were three significant turning points to get me here:
The first was a breakdown I had prior to my wedding in 2008, when I brought up and released most of my ego identification and attachments surrounding the relationship with my Dad. The second was after my separation and subsequent divorce in 2012, except this time it was my ego story surrounding my relationship to both parents and the societal expectations on the concept of marriage. Each time involved the releasing of who I thought I should have been as a child, who I thought I should be at that particular now moment, and who I thought I should have been becoming in reference to what I perceived parental and societal preferences were . No matter who you are on planet earth, this is something pretty much everyone has in common; we grow up trying to please our parents and the world with little to no thought to find out who we truly are nor the desire to deeply please ourselves.
The third and final turning point was the ending of my most recent long-term relationship. We had broken up before a planned trip to Colorado for my sister’s wedding. I had contemplated not even going because I was unsure as to whether I would even be able to hold it together during the ceremony, and wondered if I would be more of a burden than support. Something in my soul urged me to go and take the time to process all of this. For most of the almost 9 hour drive, I re-listened to the Power of Now book on CD with fresh ears. The last 100 miles or so, as I began to twist and turn up the mountain roads, there was an unusual amount of bloody carcasses from animals who met their last earthly moment on one of the many asphalt curves. The volume of dead flesh and blood felt ominous. As if it were a foreshadowing of something to come.
Almost as soon as I arrived and transferred the contents of my vehicle to the cozy cabin that would be my refuge for the next couple of days, the tears began to flow. So many tears verging on hyperventilation gave way eventually to deep guttural sounds from places and spaces that in no way could have only sprung from my current situation. “What is this?” I thought to myself. The things coming up were not only the last remnants of parental how to be’s, but all of the how to be’s from the whole of life. It was so retroactive, it felt beyond this life, possibly, and most likely extending to past lives and perhaps even the current entirety of collective consciousness. Everything the world has told me about what it means to be successful in love and life. All that I have learned on how to do love and life right… I let it all wash away through my tears…through the acceptance, grace and release to God. Between crying/releasing for a few hours at a time, and napping for a few hours, and then back again, the night of ego death commenced at dawn when I finally felt that everything had finally left my body.
“That was an exorcism”, I told myself the next day. I was exhausted, but immediately felt better upon waking. All of it had been transmuted and shifted to an all-encompassing calmness in my nervous system. Once the sun fully rose in the sky, I started on a walk through the charming little mountain town I had landed in. I was slowly coming back to my center of gravity. I decided afterwards to visit a nearby mineral springs before the wedding ceremony for a little rejuvenation in the healing waters. As I found my happy place against the smoothed stone ledges in the main pool, I closed my eyes and allowed the newfound feeling of pure peace to permeate my being. As I felt into my physical body, I noticed that the integration of this feeling of peace was lightening my body vibration to the point where I felt like I was almost levitating above the pool. I opened my eyes, and suddenly the world looked different to me. The sky was the most brilliant blue, and I noticed that as I focused on it, I could see geometry in the sky. I looked down and around and everything appeared to be glowing and showing their energetic bodies. Did the world actually change, or did I change so much that I am seeing the world anew?
At that moment, I felt the presence of a crowd of people. I realized quickly that it was not the other hot mineral springs guests, but something else. I looked back to the sky and it felt like there was a large group of beings clapping for me and celebrating in the sky. It felt very similar energy to when I stepped onstage to receive my Masters degree and the crowd clapped and cheered with a congratulatory vibe. “What did I just graduate from?” I thought. My ego immediately interjected, “Do NOT tell other humans this happened to you, they will think you are crazy”, but I quickly told my ego voice that I loved her, but to politely stuff it. Don’t mess with me.. Not today. This was way too cool not to share. In the next moment, an intense feeling of pure love and supportive energy emanated from the pores of the earth, sky, and waters of the mineral pool. I had successfully risen from yet another layer of ego death. And, it felt So. Damn. Good.
“Death is a stripping away of all that is not you.” ~Eckhart Tolle
I now understood that when Tolle spoke of death, he was mostly referring to the minor and major ego deaths we experience throughout our lives as humans. It’s funny, because the deeper you get into spirituality and reading different religious texts and writings, you come to see that they are all essentially saying the same thing. Maybe this is the cosmic joke? Something that was right under our nose all along, but we couldn’t see it until we removed enough of the layers to make it come into focus. With each ego death, I understand more that these are universal truths that I have carried with me all along. They have just been buried from some forty odd years of cultural conditioning and programming. I fully comprehend now why I have always felt uncomfortable with life and society as it is has been constructed and programmed into the mass population. I have always felt that society and the governments that run them were backwards and cruel. On the one hand, we say “In God We Trust”, and on the other, we go to other countries and murder men, women and children. This type of hypocrisy has never sat well with me, even as a small child I was aware of my feeling of general unease with the world.
“The goal of a mystic is direct communication with God.” ~ Yehuda Berg
But, now it all makes sense. The Bible was never meant to be taken literally. Religious men of the past, drunk on ego, created this misnomer in an effort to control their followers. They wanted to direct them to devote their resources and spiritual essence to the church for empire building and top down power…much like the men and women who run our governments today. We are not horrible sinners doomed to a life of misery and Hell unless we submit all of our spiritual essence to the church and their old bearded judgmental version of God.
Someone I follow (Jessica Delmar) recently likened our spiritual Source (or God, or Universal life force, or whatever you want to call it) as a large mountain. The pieces that eventually crumble off the mountain are still part of the original mountain, but they are now labeled rocks, or boulders. We are the rocks. Jesus was a boulder because he cultivated a more intense and powerful energetic signature of the original God/Source mountain. But, we all have this potential to expand from rocks to boulders and beyond. Yes, you heard me right.
“Nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” ~Luke 17:21
I now understand the concept of Hell as allowing yourself to be controlled by your ego attachments, or some call it your past story. Your story is created (just as it was for me and everyone else), by taking on the beliefs of others in your immediate family, social circle, and society-at-large. For example, “I am not good enough unless I am married with 2.5 children. Or, “I’m worthless unless I choose to do something for work that is respected by society and will make me lots of money, like being a Doctor, Lawyer or in finance.”
Discovering Heaven is the process of gradually releasing these stories and attachments. Even though our natural instinct is to avoid painful situations, can’t you admit that you always feel better when you have overcome an obstacle by letting out all of the emotional energy surrounding it? This is our glimpse of Heaven. This is pure grace. And, I’m sure you already know this on some level if you are still with me here.
“When we seek comfort before transformation, we’ll never be truly at ease. On the other hand, when becoming like God is our sole objective, we’ll find ultimate peace.” ~Yehuda Berg
Once you get into a meditation practice, you gradually come to these revelations. You experience the two voices inside of you. The voice of the Story or Ego or dare I say, Devil Consciousness tells you everything that is awful and wrong with you and your life and justifies you staying in your comfort zone and continuing with addictions and self-sabotage. The voice of the Witness or your Higher Self or Christ Consciousness just listens at first. Then eventually this voice will ask, “Is this really true?”. Eventually this voice becomes the primary voice.
It really is that simple. Simple, but not easy. This inner voice shift takes a lot of accepting and releasing of your ego. I’m not going to minimize the inner work that is typically involved. But, once you get a taste of Heaven, the whole world opens up for you and excitement for every new layer of the process replaces fear. Remember:
Ego attachment = Constriction = Hell
Ego acceptance + emotional release = Expansion = Heaven
You will feel this in your body, and might consider using this as guidance to alert you as to the source of your pain or pleasure in each now moment.
One final concept I feel the need to elaborate on is that of duality. Under this umbrella term are the ideas of good/bad, pure/evil, light/dark, etc. Understand that without darkness, we would not know lightness. We would have no idea of joy without sorrow or pain without pleasure. This is the anomaly of our desire to learn and expand on earth. We actually need to experience both sides of the coin to rediscover our God selves, or our rock role within the greater context of the God/Source mountain.
The spiritual journey is not about suppressing or shaming our ego desires and decrees, it’s about accepting and lovingly releasing them when the time comes. Once you accept and love something or someone, unconditionally you take it as a part of yourself. As you take something or someone as a part of yourself, you become concerned with their best interests in addition to your own. Paradoxically, as you do this, you grant this other you the freedom to leave if necessary. Because you understand that if it’s in their best interest to leave, then it is in yours to let them. You can’t hurt this other part of yourself without hurting yourself too. This applies with your own ego, friends, family, lovers, everyone. For more on the origination of this concept, watch the following video from Teal Swan.
My spiritual life so far can be summed up in another basic figure:
Ego (darkness) + acceptance + release = integration = Higher Self Expansion (lightness) = Joy = Closer to God/Source
So, what has this major life cycle ending taught me about relationships? The topic and surrounding dilemmas that prompted the start of this trilogy of blog posts in 2016 and led to taking a year off of writing to conclude almost exactly three years later has taught me so much. I have learned that we are all rocks from the original majestic God/Source mountain. That every person you relate with is another God/you. If we cannot become aware of, accept and integrate the ego to allow the God self the space necessary to be revealed, our relationships will feel like pressure constricting us versus freedom expanding us. When we are stuck in the repeating ego stories of the relationship, there is no room for movement or growth.
As a global society, we are moving towards conscious relationships as the new standard. And, all conscious relationships are based on inner game. How do you develop inner game? You go inside…often. Every day. Multiple times a day. Meditate. Find out what makes your Higher Self happy, and feel at peace. Discern between ego desires and higher level desires, and learn to create resolution between them. Take people you are in a relationship with as a part of yourself (because in essence, they are). We are all rocks from the mountain. Look for their best interests, as well as your own, and see if you can create a win-win. And, if not, understand that life is ephemeral and not all relationships were meant to last. This doesn’t minimize their absolute value, or make them any less beautiful or reduce their power to transform us. All relationships are purposeful. Every relationship ending and subsequent ego death resurrects a renewed life purpose within us. Try to welcome it as an opportunity when it arrives..
“When love first happens, the individuals are giving each other energy unconsciously and both people feel buoyant and elated. That's the incredible high we call being ‘in love.’ Unfortunately, once they expect this feeling to come from another person, they cut themselves off from the energy in the universe and begin to rely even more on the energy from each other--only now there doesn’t seem to be enough and so they stop giving each other energy and fall back into their dramas in an attempt to control each other and force the other’s energy their way.” ~James Redfield from the Celestine Prophecy
The only thing meant to last forever is your connection with yourself. Which also happens to be your connection with all that is, which some people call God, Source or the Universe. Your mission when you agreed to come here was to expand into pure love. You may have forgotten this. Today, I felt the need to remind you, and myself, who is also a part of you..
When the teacher disappears, the student becomes the teacher.
If you would like to read the other installments of this trilogy, they are available here (Part I) and here (Part II). Enjoy. I am excited to be at completion with this and am brimming with new ideas! Stay tuned.