Some awakening shifts happen without any conscious preparation. We may not have done any spiritual practice. We may not know anything about awakening. We may not have any interest in spirituality or religion.
That’s what happened in my case when I was in my mid-teens. I was an atheist. I saw spirituality and religion as a crutch for people who couldn’t face life more directly. (Which is not wrong, in many cases.) I was passionate about science. (Ecology, Universe Story, systems views.) And earlier in my childhood and teens, I had a strong interest in parapsychology.
As I have mentioned in other articles, for one year, there was a sense of the world – all content of experience including this human self – being infinitely far away. I later realized that this was a kind of spontaneous observer-observe split. There was identification as an observer, and everything else was observed and far away.
At the end of this year, there was an equally spontaneous and unexpected shift into oneness and an experience of all of existence as God. Spirit forms itself into everything, including this human self and anything associated with it. And Spirit sometimes takes itself to most fundamentally be this human self, and sometimes and in some places wakes up to itself as Spirit and everything as Spirit.
HOW WE CAN PREPARE FOR AWAKENING SHIFTS
Awakening shifts are always somewhat surprising and unexpected.
And yet, we can be prepared for them in different ways.
We may have some kind of story-level understanding of it. We may be familiar with the map, which helps us when we are in the terrain.
We may have had glimpses of it or shifts where the veils were thinner. We may have a sense of it through some forms of inquiry.
We may have done preparatory practices. These can help our system deal with the shift energetically. They can help us, and different parts of us, be somewhat “pre-aligned” with a conscious noticing of oneness. And they can help us live from it more easily.
We may know teachers who can guide us through the process before and after the shift.
And we may be in a community of people who can support us in the process.
And so on.
WHEN WE ARE NOT PREPARED: SOME UPSIDES AND DOWNSIDES
So what happens when we are not prepared. In my case, none of the preparations mentioned above was in my life. I had no interest in spirituality. I had done no practice. There was no internet where I could find information. I had no one around me who understood. There was nothing about this in the local library.
Although Spirit recognized all as itself, there was also loneliness at a human level. This human self was alone in this, with nobody around who understood and nobody who was even remotely interested if I tried – with some care – to talk about it.
Also, there was an experience of huge amounts of energy running through my system. Even at the time, I thought of it as high voltage running through regular housing wires. This was intense and challenging for a few years.
And although Spirit noticed itself as all there is, and everything was one and inherently complete, I also knew there was more to clarify and deepen and that my human self needed a lot of reorganization to align with this more conscious noticing of oneness. (My human self was a mess and still is, in many ways.) There was inner guidance here, but no guidance or support from others who were familiar with the terrain and the process.
There are upsides, and some of the downsides are also upsides.
Being unprepared and without any support helped me explore it on my own. I had to rely on my inner guidance. I had to find my own way within this.
Not knowing any traditions until years later helped me explore this terrain free of traditions.
Also, it made it very clear that this was direct noticing and not anything I had heard or read. (As if thoughts could in any way mimick the intensity of this direct noticing of all as Spirit.)
A NOTE ABOUT WORDS
The way I write about this here is with the benefit of hindsight and decades of exploring this through my own practice, with some guidance from others, and reading to see how others talk about it.
At the time, the way I expressed it in my journal was much more simple and with more pathos and emotion. And yet, the essence is the same.
A NOTE ABOUT THE HUMAN SELF IN THIS CONTEXT
Also, I should mention that although Spirit recognized itself as all there is, and the essence of that noticing didn’t go away, that’s just a beginning of a new process of clarification, deepening, and especially inviting more of this human self to realign with a more conscious noticing of all as Spirit. This is an ongoing process. And, to be honest, at a human level I am a little embarrassed that this process isn’t further along. That may partly be because this human self was completely unprepared for this shift and I have spent a lot of time just getting familiar with the terrain and the process.
The benefits of awakening shifts before knowing anything about it
- know it’s not from books
- The benefits and drawbacks of awakening shifts that happen before we know anything about awakening
Benefits and drawbacks of unprepared awakening shifts
- In the sense that has done no predatory practices, to get the system ready
- May not know anything about it, may have no interest in spirituality/religion
- In my case, atheist with some interest in parapsychology, saw spirituality/religion as a crutch for people who couldn’t face life as it is
- Fresh, new, uncontaminated by ideas about what it is and how it should be
- More obvious it’s noticed, not from ideas
- Alone at human level, can be confusing/disorienting at human level
- System may not be prepared as it would be with preliminary practices
- System is obviously ready, otherwise it wouldn’t happen, but may not be prepared in that sense