I have been reading The Triune Self: Confessions of a Ruthless Seeker by Mike Snider and love it as I loved the two talks he gave on request from Adyashanti.
He is clear. He follows his own path. He is unfraid to call out what he sees as bullshit often found in nondual and spiritual communities.
In general, I feel a deep resonance with what he talks and writes about and his process, and he has been unfailingly kind and wise in the few interactions I have had with him.
At the same time, there is one thing I am curious about. He says that his nature recognizing itself – AKA awakening – didn’t change who he is in the world. (This is based on memory since it’s a few weeks since I read it, and my memory is not so good these days due to CFS and post-covid brain.)
Why does he emphasize this point? And does awakening lead to a transformation of our human self and life in the world or not?
AWAKENING IS ITS OWN THING
It’s true that awakening doesn’t neccesarily lead to an immediate transformation at the human level.
Oneness recognizing itself doesn’t depend on anything in particular within the content of experience. It doesn’t require our human self or life to be any particular way. (Apart from having the basic psychological makeup to allow for awakening.)
And the noticing itself doesn’t neccesarily transform our human self or life in the world. At least not right away.
AWAKENING AND TRANSFORMATION
And it’s also not the full picture.
In my experience, there is an ongoing and lifelong process of transformation that happens at many levels and in many areas.
One is transformation in perception. This is a shift from oneness viscerally taking itself as something within itself (this human self and ideas about this human self) to noticing itself to viscerally finding itself as oneness to different layers of its nature (oneness, love, capacity etc.) revealing itself to itself in new ways.
An aspect of this is transformation of identity, of what oneness viscerally takes itself to be.
And then there is the transformation of our human self – of our psychology and life in the world.
Many parts of our psyche were formed within and still operate from separation consciousness and these will inevitably color our perception and life in the world. If they are not actively triggered, they still color our perception and life. And if they are triggered, oneness may get more strongly caught up in them and more obviously perceive and live from them.
That’s inherently uncomfortable. And it gets even more uncomfortable when the oneness we are recognizes itself.
And it seems that awakening sets in motion a process of transforming our human self so more of it is gradually more aligned with oneness recognizing itself.
Some of that transformation may happen through various practices before our nature recognizes itself. Some may happen in the moment the recognition happens. And in many or most cases (?), most of that transformation happens after and within oneness recognizing itself.
We may intentionally support that process through various practices and our attention, receptivity, and sincerity.
And, in my experience, most of it happens through unprocessed psychological material surfacing on its own. Often, as a trickle. And sometimes, uninvited and to an extent that can be overwhelming, disorienting, and scary to our human self. (When that happens, we may label it as a kind of dark night.) This may be triggered or amplified by life events and loss – of willpower, health, friends, family, belongings, status, reputation, and so on.
This process happens whether we consciously want it or not, and it often happens in ways that our personality doesn’t like. It’s happens by necessity in that way since it’s a process of our old patterns and conditioning wearing off and something different and more authentic emerging instead. And then that may be worn off so something new and more authentic can emerge. And so on.
WHY THE EMPHASIS ON THE FIRST?
So why did Mike Snider emphasize that his human life didn’t change?
There may be several reasons.
One is that his life didn’t change to any significant degree. Perhaps his life already is relatively authentic and loving? (It seems that way.)
Another may be that he wants to emphasize that awakening is not about getting anything or getting anything from it. It’s about our nature noticing itself, not really about any secondary transformations. If it happens, fine. But it’s secondary and a side-effect.
THE VALIDITY IN BOTH
That’s true. And it’s especially true, in my experience, that a too strong focus on getting something out of it distracts from a simple noticing of our nature and living from that noticing.
At the same time, the transformation does happen and it’s important. Our human life is important. How we live our life is important. It’s important for our human self. And it’s important for others.Read More