A very general map of the awakening process goes through four phases.
I’ll focus on the third one here – the healing and embodiment phase – since it’s the one most relevant to me and the one I find it most interesting these days.
First, we live and operate within and from separation consciousness. We take ourselves to be inherently separate and an individual, and may be curious about something more or have glimpses of it but that’s about it.
Then, there is a more clear noticing of what we are. What we are notices itself. We find ourselves as capacity for the world as it appears to us, and what our experiences – all of them – happen within and as.
Within this awakening, parts of our human self still operating from separation consciousness come to the surface to join in with the awakening. They come with an invitation for us – the awakeness – to notice these too as awakeness and the divine.
I’ll say more about this below.
This is a more stable awakening where issues surfacing are more readily notices as who and what we are, and a flavor of the divine.
We have a more intentional relationship with them, and have more skills and experience in how to create a fruitful relationship and invite them to notice themselves as the divine, wake up, and find healing.
PHASE THREE IN MORE DETAIL
I’ll write a few more words about phase three here since it’s the phase that currently interests me the most.
As usual, there is a lot to say about this.
In some cases, it’s as if the “lid” is taken off our unresolved issues and trauma and a huge amount of them surface at once or in rapid succession. This can be experienced as a particular form of dark night. I tend to think of it as a dark night of trauma.
If this happens, we can feel completely overwhelmed, desperate, and brought to our knees, and it really helps to have someone help us through this phase. Just knowing that others have gone through it can be of great help. For me, that’s what helped me more than any techniques or particular insights.
Other times, the unresolved issues and traumas come up in a more “normal” fashion and more as a result of triggers in daily life.
We are invited to shift our relationship to what surfaces. Our habitual response may be to avoid it one way or another – through distractions, pretending it’s not there, compulsively trying to fix it, attempting to transcend it, and so on.
The invitation is to reorient to meet what comes up, get to know it, and listen to what it has to say and how it experiences me and the world.
See it comes from an impulse to protect this separate self, and that it’s innocent and comes from love. Find love for it.
See it’s part of me as a human being and it makes more sense to get to know it and embrace it than pretend it’s not here. Find the genuine gifts in partnering it with it.
Recognize it as what I am. As happening within and as what I am. As – if I resonate with any of those labels – consciousness, or the divine, or a flavor of the divine.
From here, these parts of us have a better chance to heal. They have better conditions for resolving themselves, healing, and aligning with oneness.
Why does this “phase three” process happen?
It’s part of the overall process of aligning more consciously with reality. We may notice generally how all happens within and as what we are, so the next step is to notice specifically that each of these parts of us – still operating from within separation consciousness – also are who and what we are, and expressions of love. They are, if we want to see it that way, a flavor of the divine.
It’s an important part of the awakening itself. And it’s also an important part of embodiment, of living from the awakening.
When we still have parts of us operating form separation consciousness, we tend to be hijacked by them when they are triggered and we – as a human being in the world – tend to operate from them, or perhaps in reaction to them.
So reorienting towards them, and perhaps inviting in some healing for them, helps us live from the awakening in more situations in life. In the situations that previously would have triggered these issues and, to some extent, hijacked us, we can now relate to the situation and what they trigger in us, if anything, in a more conscious way.
Why do we have these bubbles of separation consciousness in our system?
They are emotional issues formed when we operated from separation consciousness, so they reflect and live within separation consciousness.
Some or many of them are in our system even within a general awakening.
One way to look at it is that these parts of us are beings. Suffering beings still caught in delusion, painful stories, and separation consciousness. They come up because they want to be liberated from their suffering. They come to us as devotees seeking a guru.
And that’s our opportunity to support them, guide them, be a good friend or guru to them, and invite them to wake up and align more consciously with reality.
MORE MESSY THAN THIS
When it comes to these phases, reality is often more messy. It looks a little different for each of us, and sometimes a lot different. The phases get mixed up. The sequence may be a little different. We may not be distinguish the phases until we have been through it.
The idea of phases is just an overlay of thought over the complexity and mystery of life. It’s not by any means inherent in life or the processes we go through.
And what I call phase three here is equally an aspect or facet of the process and it’s a part of our process from the beginning of noticing what we are.
HOW WAS & IS ALL THIS FOR ME?
I won’t go through the whole story since I have written about it elsewhere. I am currently mostly in the third phase, and have been for a few years now, which is why this is the one most interesting to me.
In the beginning, I had the “lid taken off” experience which was the most difficult thing I have every experienced. I felt completely overwhelmed, desperate, could hardly sleep, and couldn’t find much solace or ability to deal with it in any constructive fashion.
I did know someone (BMS) who had gone through it himself, and talking to him gave me some comfort and sense that I could get through it. (Although it felt like it would go on forever and that there was no way out or through.) I also went for long walks in the forests, and listened to Adyashanti.
I am still mostly in phase three – with some elements of phase one and perhaps four – but it’s mostly more calm. Things come up in a slightly more normal way, although it’s still a parade of one thing after another coming up to be seen, felt, listened to, loved, and so on.
I am not always so good at it. But I do have the intention, and I ask for help with some of the more challenging bubbles of separation / old emotional issues.
I also find that it’s difficult to have a good sense of to what extent these bubbles are resolved. I can test it out through triggering myself, as far as that’s possible. And channeling Vortex Healing for it gives me a sense of what’s left.
And yet, I don’t know for certain and I don’t really need to know. Life will show me.
I mostly just need to pay attention to what life brings up for me.
We can have some awakening in our system and recognize what we are all as happening within and as what we are.
And yet, when issues come up in us – formed from separation consciousness and still operating from separation consciousness – we may temporarily “forget”.
The noticing of oneness may go into the background and separation consciousness – within the issue and in how we react to it – comes into the foreground.