I went to a session with Adyashanti at the Science and Nonduality Conference tonight, and he talked – among other things – about coming full circle.
First, we start out in the ordinary dream state, believing most of our thoughts without question, or even noticing what we are doing.
Then, there may be a shift out of this, a transcendent state where what we are – being, Spirit, awareness – recognizes itself. This can happen any time, and – as Adya pointed out – is free, it doesn’t cost anything. For me, it happened out of the blue a winter night when I was sixteen, walking along a gravel road under the stars. This is the honeymoon, and it often leaves a lot untouched and unresolved at our human level, although we may not notice it at first.
Following this, there is a return, the process comes full circle. There is a return to our human self, so this can be more fully included and aligned with all as Spirit. Our wounds surface to be resolved. The parts of us still aligned with a confused worldview surface to align more closely with reality. And this process, as Adya says, costs everything. It costs us all of our identification, all of our habitual ways of living in the world. This is how Spirit recognizing itself can life more fully through this human self. It’s a clearing out of our human self, a reorganization at all levels, a realignment in the different corners and hideaways left untouched during the initial transcendent phase.
In the words of Evelyn Underhill, the first transcendent phase may be called illumination, and the second may be experienced as a dark night of the soul.
And, as Adya also mentioned, it doesn’t have to happen this way. There are always exceptions. It’s what seems to happen for many – including me, which is why I write about it here! – and it’s impossible to say how it will unfold in any particular case.