I thought I would write a few words about the initial opening or awakening that happened relatively early on in me – aka this human being’s – life. For context, I have added some short notes on what went on before and after.
First, some background
Before school age, I had flashbacks to the time between lives. It would often happen when sunshine was filtered through moving leaves. It was a memory of a formless world made up of consciousness and golden light and love, and an infinite sense of being home. I had not labels for this. And although this was alive here and now during these moments, I had a longing in my heart through my childhood.
In elementary school, we had one class on Friday about Christianity. This quickly made me into an atheist although I didn’t know anyone else who were. (My parents were and are open-minded agnostics.) I thought Christianity – as presented in those classes – seemed stupid. Why would you believe what other people told you to believe? Why would you believe something you can’t check out for yourself?
During elementary and middle school, I was very interested in parapsychology – ghosts, ESP, UFOs and so on.
Age fifteen, something happened that was deeply puzzling to myself and others. It felt like “I” was removed far from all content of experience, from my human self and the wider world. Later, I realized that the center of gravity of what I seemed to be had moved into observering. This lasted for about a year. Before this happened, I had experienced the not uncommon teenage angst and stress, and also social anxiety.
Then the awakening
Age sixteen, I walked up the dark gravel road to the house under a dark sky full of stars and a wind blowing through it. From one moment to the next, everything opened up. Everything without exception was revealed as God. Any sense of me or I was seen as a local and temporary appearance of God.
Everything – the stars, sky, wind, gravel road, houses, this human self, thoughts, feelings – is awakeness, love, and consciousness. Everything is the play of God. Everything is God even if it looks like something else to most humans.
On the one hand, this was shocking and completely surprising. After all, at my human level I had very little interest in religions or spirituality. On the other hand, this was more familiar to me than anything else. It was like finally coming home after several years of having forgotten it.
Why did it happen at that moment?
Who knows. I suspect the previous year – of having been absorbed into or as the “I” or observer – prepared the ground. And the night sky, the stars, and the wind reminded me of the infinite and that’s what woke up to itself in that moment.
This didn’t go away. It lasted. And in the years since, I have learned to be more familiar with it.
For the next few years, several things happened.
There was a sense of huge energies running through my system. It felt like high voltage running through regular housing wires.
I started seeing energies – first around leaves on a tree against the blue sky and later around everything. I also discovered I could sense what was going on in the system of others and invite in healing for it.
I had a huge amount of insights, often non-stop during the day and when waking up during the night. I filled several notebooks. (Similar to this blog.)
I had a lot of inspiration for music and art. Compositions and art came to me ready-made and I did my best to translate it into something physical.
Since I had nobody in my life even remotely interested in this, I kept it to myself. I wrote. And I looked for others who had discovered the same. I read a lot of books, and saw that some Christian mystics and others seemed to write from the same discovery although often slightly obscured by tradition and perhaps other things.
I did find two who recognized it in me right away – my friend BH and the then-wife of Jes Bertelsen HB. (I just noticed that their initials are reversals of each other.) They recognized it by looking at my energy system, as I tend to recognize it in others.
The intensity mellowed out over the next ten years or so and it all became more familiar and normal.
And then what went on after, what some call the life within God
From age 24 and on, I lived at a Zen center for a few years, then moved and worked with sustainability, and I had some years without much involvement with spirituality (apart from passion for sustainability). Then, the interest came back and along with it a more clear and peaceful shift in the awakening.
This was followed by several challenging years – aka a dark night of the soul – with loss of health, loss of ability to work, loss of marriage (which was very good), loss of house and money, loss of (some) friends, and a lot of old trauma surfacing.
And no, the awakening didn’t clear out all human hangups and emotional issues, and it also didn’t clear out all identifications. I still had and have hangups, emotional issues, and trauma, although I suspect a lot of charge in much of it has been released. There are still identifications here. And yet, all of this is recognized as the divine and expressions of the divine.
The awakening itself as an awakening out of taking ourselves as an I or me or human being, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot left to be cleared up. It’s an ongoing process of clarification, healing, maturing, learning to life from it, and supporting the different parts of me still living from separation consciousness to align with reality.
Am I special to have had this happen? Since it’s the divine waking up to itself as all there is, it’s just what we are and what everything is waking up to itself. It “forgot” itself locally and temporarily and then noticed again. That’s not really special at all. Also, it’s not the human self waking up. It’s reality waking up out of taking itself as exclusively that human self. At the same time, it’s true that it doesn’t happen through all humans but that’s also of the play of the divine. As someone said, it’s the divine playing hide-and-seek with itself. Nothing is wrong. One is not inherently better or worse than the other.
What’s the most baffling thing in all of this? That anything exists at all. That there is an existence – a divine – that can play this game with and within itself.
I rarely talk about the initial awakening so it feels good to finally write it here.
And yes, I still remember the spot I stood on on the gravel road when the initial awakening happened, and the date give or take a few days. (It happened between Christmas and New Year.)
A note on perspective: I chose to write this mostly from the perspective of my human self. I could have written it more from the view of the divine or Big Mind and may do that later.
And a synchronicity: I had written “view” in the previous sentence with quotation marks around it since Big Mind doesn’t really have a view. It has all and no views. I decided to remove the quotation marks to not confuse the reader unnecessarily, and thought to myself “Big Mind doesn’t really have a view”. As I did this, the lyrics of the song I was listening to said:
You know well what I’ve been through
Living there without a view
– from Moonshine by Caravan Palace