Finding myself as consciousness

Finding myself as consciousness seems a kind of default.

As a child, I remembered the time between lives. I was consciousness, everything was consciousness. All was light. There was a sense of being profoundly at home. At a visceral level, it was and is home.

Later in childhood, I had moments of oneness with the universe. I experienced myself as the universe, locally expressed as this boy. Carl Sagan’s Cosmos (“We are the eyes, ears, thoughts, and feelings of the Universe. We are the Universe bringing itself into consciousness”), along with being out in nature and seeing the stars, were part of triggering it.

Then, there was the shift into kind of finding myself as consciousness. The world, including anything that had to do with this human self, seemed very distant and far away. This happened for a year when I was fifteen. (I say “kind of” since the viewpoint is from something separate from the world.)

And then, there was the shift into oneness. Into all as the divine, or as I would say now, all as consciousness. My world is consciousness. The consciousness I am forms itself into all of it.

There are times when my nature as consciousness is more strongly in the foreground, for instance, when I do meditation, inquiry, or just notice. (And also at times when my body struggles, as it did when it had a septic shock a couple of years ago.) Other times, it goes more into the background, for instance when I am focused on an activity or if I get caught up in parts of me still caught up in separation consciousness. Even then, bringing my nature into the foreground is just an intentional noticing away.

Unsurprisingly, there are still (many?) parts of this psyche that operate from separation consciousness. They were formed within separation consciousness and haven’t quite caught up with the more global noticing of my nature. My psyche mimicked what it saw other humans do, and created these patterns and dynamics for itself. These parts of me inevitably color my perception, choices, and life. And sometimes, I as a whole get caught up in them and take myself to be these parts of me, forgetting all the rest of the infinite richness and what it all happens within and as.

All of that is OK. It’s natural. It comes from an innocent place and a – understandable and often misguided – wish to take care of this human self. Even the occasional struggle with it is natural and OK. Even that is ultimately innocent. (Even if the consequences can be painful.)

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My early longing: a longing to return home to the divine

As a child, and I remember this best at elementary school age, I had a longing. I would wake up in the morning, feel this longing, and not know what it was for. I had my favorite food – cornflakes or bread with strawberry jam, I read my favorite comics (Carl Barks’ Donald Duck stories), I read my favorite books (Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes, Hardy Boys, Famous Five), I spent time with my parents, I played with friends, and nothing did it. Nothing helped alleviate the longing.

When the awakening happened age sixteen, I finally understood what the longing was for. The longing was for coming home – to all as the divine. To recognize all, without exception, as the divine and the play and unfolding and exploration of the divine.

I imagine the longing had a more human element as well. I longed for a deeper and more real relationship with my parents. But a large part of the longing, perhaps fueled by this more human longing, was for coming home.

This longing was fulfilled, and is being fulfilled. It’s a process. Returning home is something we don’t need to since we are always here. And it’s also an ongoing unfolding process and exploration.

There are two ways to talk about this. One is that the longing is to return home to what I am – as capacity for the world as it appears to me, as what all my experiences happen within and as. The other is that this is a longing for a return to the divine, a return to recognizing all – without exceptions – as the divine and the unfolding and play of the divine. The first is what I call the small or psychological interpretation of awakening, and the second the big or spiritual interpretation of awakening. The awakening itself is the same, it’s just how we talk about it that’s different.


Everyone on a spiritual path has a slightly different essential motivation or carrot. It can be love, or truth, or something else. (Wanting to escape suffering is a surface motivation, and there is a more real and essential motivation there as well.)

For me, it’s coming home.

In childhood, before school age, I had flashbacks and memories of how it was before incarnation. An infinite golden translucent light. Infinite love. Profound sense of being home. All as Spirit, wisdom, and love. All beings as formless. Formless beings as guides and expressions of this infinite wisdom and love. (And for me, some slight identification which was recognized as an artifact and not having any absolute or final reality or truth.)

In my childhood, I had a deep sense of longing. I would often wake up feeling it very strongly, and nothing seemed to satisfy it. I would go to my parents, play with friends, have strawberry jam sandwich with hot cocoa (my favorite thing), read Carl Barks stories, and nothing even touched it. I couldn’t figure out what it was about.

During elementary school, I became a die-hard atheist on my own accord. Christianity made absolutely no sense to me and seemed a crock, or a crutch for weak minded people. I did have an interest in parapsychology and read quite a bit about it.

When I was 15, the world withdrew and appeared very distant and as a dream. Much later, I realize that identification was most likely drawn into the “witness”. This lasted for about a year.

And when I was 16, everything without exception was revealed as Spirit (consciousness, love, intelligence). It was Spirit awakening to itself as everything, as the whole universe, and expressed through this tiny and young human form. Here too, there was some slight remaining identification, which was clearly an artifact and without any final or absolute reality. This was very strong for several years, and never went away. I couldn’t find many who seemed to

I couldn’t find many who seemed to live or talk from this. The closest I eventually found, after many years, was Adyashanti and Ramana Maharshi. They both live(d) and speak/spoke from this. Meister Eckhart did too, although intentionally clothed by necessity in Christian language.

At some point in this opening or awakening, I realized that this is what the earlier longing was about. I had longed for home, and this was home. Of course, this home was and is always here. We can never get away from it. But we don’t always notice it. In this opening or initial awakening, home was revealed as always here and what I am and everything is.

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Welcome home

When I welcome home whatever experience is here, I notice it happens in different ways.

There is a welcome in a very ordinary way. You are welcome here. You are welcome here as you are.

There is a welcome through noticing and allowing. And there is a welcome when I notice the experience is already allowed. It’s already allowed by life, awareness, presence. It’s already welcome, already home.

And there is a welcome through presence recognizing all as itself. The experience – as presence – is already welcome, already allowed, already home.

What type of experience can be welcomed in this way? Any experience, and especially those I tend to perceive as uncomfortable or unwanted. It can be an emotion, a state, pain, discomfort, cravings, or uncomfortable experiences of who I am (identities) or what the world is.

And how do I welcome it? Often, I say silently to the experience you are welcome here. And I repeat it quietly and gently a few times until I feel it, and then a few times more. Through this, I may also notice that the experience is already allowed. It’s already welcome, and already home. And I may notice that it’s all presence. The experience is presence. It’s happening within and as the presence that’s already here. And as presence, it’s also already allowed, already welcome, and already home.

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Welcome home

This came up in a conversation with a client today.

When we welcome shunned parts of our experience, it’s a welcome home.

We can support this welcome through ho’oponopono, I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you. Or saying things like thank you for protecting me, thank you for your love for me. (We ask for forgiveness for how we have treated these shunned parts of our experience, we love them since they are us, and we thank them for still being around and for showing us these dynamics. Also, these parts are here to protect us, and they come from love in a very real sense.)

What I was reminded of with this client today is another phrase: Welcome home. And even, welcome to the family. We welcome the shunned part home. We welcome it to our internal family.

Emotions = Sensations + Stories

What’s the difference between emotions and sensations?

Sensations are just sensations. Physical sensations in the body.

These sensations can have stories associated with them. And these stories give meaning to the sensations.

The stories sometimes create what we call emotions, and they tell us they are emotions.

Without stories associated with sensations, it’s easy and simple to feel and rest with the sensations. They seem neutral, and even friendly or mildly interesting.

With stories associated with the sensations, it can sometimes seem scary to feel them. We avoid feeling them, because we think something unpleasant or even terrible will happen if we do.

That’s why a simple exploration can be very helpful. When I separate out the associated images, words, and sensations, I get to see what’s there and how my experience is created by my own mind. In this case, I get to see how the emotions is created, what stories created the emotions (in my current situation, and perhaps in the past), and what stories I have about the emotions and what they mean.

All of this helps loosen the sense of reality it may initially have. It makes it easier to feel the sensation component of the emotion, and feel it as sensations. And that means I don’t have to try to escape it anymore (through compulsively going into thoughts, distracting myself, reacting). It’s OK to feel it.

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Spirituality as escape, and coming home

Spirituality can be an escape, and it can be a way home. Often, and for a while, it may be both.

Spirituality can be an escape. The stories of spirituality may be held as true, in a attempt to find a sense of safety. Spirituality can be an attempt to protect who we take ourselves to be. Mind innocently identifies as a being, there is fear, and this brings us to try to hold onto spiritual ideas to find safety for this being. There is also a sense of lack, we try to hold onto spiritual ideas to fill up the hole in us. It’s all innocent, it all comes from love, and it’s all slightly misguided.

Spirituality can also be our way “home“. It can be our way home as who we are, in the sense of finding healing and a sense of wholeness as a human being in the world. And it can be our way home as what we are, in the sense of what we are noticing itself and becoming a more conscious context for our human life. This coming home often happens through finding and living from love, clarity and authenticity.

I see both of these in myself, and I also see that the way through is to be as authentic as possible, meet the fear with love, and inquire into my stories creating fear and a sense of having to find safety through spirituality or anything else. Also, what do I fear about living from love, clarity and authenticity, and what do I find when I look into this?

Some spiritual ideas it can be helpful to look at:

Awareness. Consciousness. Love. God. Spirit. Christ. Enlightenment. A future stable state. (Can I find any of these, outside of words, images, sensations?)

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Returning home

Some ways I return home….

By experiencing what’s here, especially in sensations. Opening to sensations and whatever beliefs may say it’s uncomfortable, dangerous.

By living from what’s true for me now. Asking myself what do I want in this moment. Admitting it to myself. Finding the courage to live from it.

By finding what’s more true for me than an image or thought mind temporarily identifies with.

By holding satsang with wounded, confused, hurt parts of my psyche. Welcoming them, thanking them, seeing their love for me, asking how they would like me to be with them, asking them what they really are, finding love for them.

By giving what’s here over to the divine, to Christ. Giving these beliefs, this wound, this confusion, this situation, this life, this identified mind, over to the divine.

By reality noticing itself. Awakeness (presence, love) noticing all – the whole field of experience – as awakeness (presence, love).

Returning home

When there is a global recognition of the nature of reality, a recognition by the field of experience as a whole, it’s a step in returning home. And this is just the first step of a journey that may well be without end. More of who I am join this journey, there is an exploration and invitation to become more familiar with how to live from this as a human being in the world, the nature of reality keeps revealing new layers of itself to itself, and there is an increased familiarity with the nature of illusion as well which also keeps revealing new layers of itself.

This more thorough realization and living of the initial recognition is aided by the recognition and realization of the nature of illusion.

And more of who I am join this journey by surfacing with a wish for liberation and a return to rest and home. These aspects of my psyche, these subpersonalities, may have been formed within the previous worldview of the appearance of a me that needs protecting, and still operate within this worldview. These wish to return home as well, and seek the light of the global field of awakeness to do so. And they may return home through being met in satsang.

As Pamela Wilson says, they used to protect me. Now, the invite me – as a human being in the world – to become a sage.


A small biographical tidbit which illustrates a more universal dynamic.

As a child, I would often wake up in the morning with a deep longing. And I would get up and eat a strawberry jam sandwich (my favorite), be with my parents, read Donald Duck comics, and do other things to try to still or satisfy the longing, but nothing worked.

Then, as there was the initial (Ground+soul level) awakening in my mid-teens, I realized that this was what I had longed for. I knew – somewhere in the background – that this is what I am, and longed intensely for it. I was finally home, and finally, I knew what home was.

Welcoming the orphans back


Life invites us to welcome our orphans back, all the contents of our experience we resist, push away, disown, tell ourselves are not there, try to escape.

Whenever any of these are triggered, whether it is pain, emotions, qualities about ourselves that don’t fit with our conscious self-image, or something else, we are invited to welcome them back, to be with them in a wholehearted and heartfelt way, as we would with lost children or vulnerable animals. They are orphans seeking a home, and we are the only one who can give them that home.

It seems that there area few main ways these orphans come up in our lives, knocking at the door wanting to be let in…

One is whenever there is a friction between stories of how life is and should be, when life shows up differently from how our stories tells us it should be. This triggers resistance, emotions, memories, scenarios and so on…. all things that come out of certain beliefs and identities that are at odds with the world, which they all are. Life shows me my knots, and I typically resist seeing them and welcoming them with open arms.

Another is whenever there is a reduced ability to resist, through illness, stress, altered states or something else. I find that when I am sick, or even just off one way or another, these orphans stand knocking at the door. My usual defenses are lowered or fall away, and now they are there right in front of me.

Finally, we can actively go out and look for these orphans. They have been left out in the cold long enough, so it is time to welcome them back into the warmth. This can happen through different practices such as meditation, or in an even more active way, as I am discovering now, through breathwork. We can also sift through our memories to find the knots, and also our scenarios about the future. Or, we can just notice where our mind goes on its own, because it naturally goes to our knots. Whenever there is a distraction, or day dream, or obsessing about something, there is typically a knot right there. A knot is a combination of a belief and its effects, including emotions, and this is where the orphans are.

If I don’t feel at home, there is a good chance there are a lot of these orphans in my life… experiences such as emotions, memories, scenarios, and more that want to be let into the house. My own feeling of not being quite at home, not quite at ease, feeling separate, those all come from these orphans who are not quite welcomed home, who are not quite at ease, who are disowned and separate.

Feeling at home

There are many ways to feel at home, and I notice how I cycle through many of the over the course of a day, or even hours, or minutes, or even seconds.

The first one is the feeling at home as defined by the personality, or rather our belief system. It happens when life conform with what my personality likes, and what my belief system tells me is OK or desirable. This happens when there is peace and quiet around me, when I have a good cup of tea, am with friends, watch a good movie, travel somewhere interesting, am healthy, and so on. This level is very much dependent on circumstances.

The second is feeling at home as a human being, in the wholeness of myself as a human being, embracing body and mind. This is the centaur level and it happens when I relax into who I am as a human being, and also when I am in nature, do Breema, or am engaged in another body/mind activity (or am in the flow of its after effects). This level is a little less dependent on external circumstances.

The third, feeling at home as soul… alive presence, luminous emptiness, luminous blackness, alive presence in the heart area (indwelling god). This level is far less dependent on external circumstances, although it is still dependent on content, as described above, and this content comes and goes on its own.

The fourth, noticing that I am already home as spirit… as void, awake void, awake void and form as no other than awake void. This is not dependent on circumstances at all, apart from noticing it. It is what is already and always here and now, independent of circumstances.

When beliefs are triggered, for instance by life showing up quite differently from what my beliefs tells me is desirable, there is often a rapid cascade… the spirit level may cloud up, the soul level is not noticed anymore, I don’t experience the wholeness of myself as that which embraces body and mind, and even the personality is not much happy.

My attention is wrapped up in the small world of the story, the drama of life not corresponding to the story, and the deepening sense of a split between I (as the belief or the one having the belief) and Other (life showing up differently).

That is why it is easier for all of these levels to be present and be noticed when (a) beliefs are temporarily not triggered or (b) beliefs have fallen away, even if it is around just one issue.

Sounds from home

Sometimes my longing for home comes up more strongly than other times, such as today, sparked by an article in the Observer, Arctic Magic, about yoik and also Adjagas.

Yes, this is the physical original home, my birth place (not home as who I am, the fullness of this individual, nor home as what I am, as Spirit)…

So in terms of music reminding me of home, here is one of my favorite Norwegian music videos (sweetly and charmingly human and innocent) , and a good song as well.

I’d Rather Dance with You, Kings of Convenience. Their other videos are also worth a look and listen: Misread, Failure, Cayman Islands.

And other music from Norway I often (or sometimes, with the ones further down the list) listen to…

Mari Boine
– Sami traditional song woven into contemporary music.

Jaga Jazzist – experimental jazz (a friend of mine played in this one a while back.)

Jan Garbarek – experimental jazz.

Salvatore, ambient punk band with a classmate and friend of mine from high school (myspace).

Röyksopp – ambient, electronic.

Bel Canto – ambient, electronic (myspace).

Remind Me from Röyksopp (a great way of showing interconnectedness, this one at the mid-range of the holarchy.)

Eple from Röyksopp (this one giving a taste of the seamlessness of the world, again at the mid-range.)