Why did the awakening shift happen when I was sixteen?
I am not sure. I hadn’t done any of the things that often go before such a shift. I had no interest in spirituality. I had done no spiritual practice.
What was happening was an unusual amount of teenage angst. It may have been strong enough so my system needed another way to deal with it, and that was where my system went most easily.
At my human level, and in my psyche, it got to be too much. So my system shifted from being identified with all of that to releasing identification with it and found itself as its more fundamental nature. As consciousness. As the consciousness all our experiences happen within and as. As the oneness all of it and the world to us happens within and as.
In that particular case, that was the safety value. And the stress and overwhelm at the human level were strong enough to propel my system into the awakening shift in a relatively strong and lasting way.
That’s the simple story, and it’s not quite as simple as that.
One year earlier, there had been another shift. A shift from the usual separation consciousness to a simple observer and observed duality. On January 1st, I experienced a fog coming in, as if I had cotton in my head. It was as if the world, including my human self and anything to do with my human self, was far away. Very far away. And “I” was the one observing it all. I went to my doctor and many specialists, and nobody could find anything wrong. It was quite distressing, and it really did feel as if something had gone very wrong.
And after almost exactly one year, between Christmas and New Year, there was another shift. This time into oneness. Into finding myself and any and all experiences as consciousness. Or, as I thought of it at the time, of God revealed as all without exceptions. God was this human self as it was everything. God was even the impulse to temporarily take itself as this human self, and then suddenly and out of the blue remember itself as all.
It’s not a glorious story. It’s messy and human. There is absolutely nothing there my human self can take credit for. And it seems to be one way our nature notices itself, or the divine remembers itself as all.