What is life all about? Why are we here? Why do we have different religions, why do we believe in God? We have been asking these questions for thousands of years. Each culture has its own rituals and traditions that they call spiritual enlightenment. It can be a religious experience, it can also be a state of being reached after years of journey with meditations and similar practices. We want to have the answers because we want to know why we are here. What is the purpose of all this?
Thankfully for us, with the help of neuroscience, we are now able to see what happens to our brains when we reach enlightenment. One of the most thorough researches made on this subject was done by a neuroscientist named Andrew Newberg. In his book “How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain” doctor Newberg demonstrates the scientific data with the help of MRI’s and brain scans along with surveys gathered online from nearly 5000 people.
Enlightenment has different meanings for Eastern and Western civilizations. Eastern civilizations are more concerned with big Enlightenment (which is the end of the journey where you reach a state that permanently changes your being) and Western civilizations are more small enlightenment oriented, meaning, little experiences that eventually take you to the big change, the big transformation.
According to Andrew Newberg there are 5 steps that prepare us to our journey to Enlightenment. The first one is The Desire to change. Of course all of us would say yes if we were asked if we wanted to change or not. But once this becomes our reality, we can then truly say we are ready to take this step. To make this easier, we can take notes and write down what we want from change and what it means to us.
The second step is to be Prepared for the Change. This means we need to be mentally and emotionally ready to change and be determined for it. If we are not OK with it we can not be ready. This process takes a lot of thinking and preparation. We can get help from meditation or yoga, practices that help us be in the present moment and that give us certain kind of spiritual awareness.
The third step is Creating a Ritual for it. This can again be by meditation or prayer. When we get into the habit of this ritual, we slowly start to rewire our brains into accepting and welcoming this transformation. It helps us get rid of our anxiety for future and for the present moment. It also helps us think clearer.
During the 4th step, we Surrender to the Experience. If we are there, then we are already more than half way ready for our spiritual transformation. We feel a sudden drop in ourselves like almost as if we are losing ourselves and our worries. In this step we will still have doubts and many more questions to answer, but we will also be ready to accept whatever answer comes our way.
The last step in getting ready for our transformation is being able to Reflect on Ourselves. This is a level of consciousness where we can go back to who we are and think about and feel what this experience really means to us.
But if we put all of this under a microscope, or in an MRI so to speak in our case, what really happens to us along the way? How does our brain react to all of this? Are there really changes that are visible to us? Does our brain really undergo a series transformations that eventually take us to the big state of Enlightenment?
The MRI’s and brain scans show that our brains really do go through a series of changes.
1. A sense of intensity
The area in our brain that is called the limbic system looks less red and more blue, green and yellow in a normal state. When the activity increases so does the blood flow to that area. When we experience spiritual enlightenment, our limbic system suddenly receives more blood flow and under a scan it lights up with red. This also shows an increase in dopamine. Dopamine facilitates the understanding of greater reality. It gives us a sense of fulfillment.
2. Feeling of clarity
This experience affects our thalamus. In our brain it is placed towards the back with two circular areas side by side. In a normal state, both sides appear similar and equal. However, when we reach a state of mind where we experience a feeling of clarity as if we are looking at life itself from inside out, one side of our thalamus becomes much more active than the other one.
3. Sense of unity
This is the feeling of unity. The feeling of being one with the Universe and being one with the greatest creative force in the Universe. The area affected in our brain when we reach this state is our Parietal lobe. It is in the very back of the brain. Scientists discovered when people reach a deep state of consciousness during a spiritual practice like speaking in tongues, or when they meditate or pray, there is a sudden decrease of activity in this region.
4. Feeling of surrender
This is when we feel we surrender ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally to our experience. Whether it is a religious experience or a non religious experience. The state of Enlightenment does not mean becoming religious. In fact there are quite a lot of people who do not practice any religion and who do not believe in an omniscient or omnipresent God, but they still experience a spiritual enlightenment. Because the true Enlightenment is not connected to any God or religion. It is a Universal feeling. During this state our past, present and future do not bother us anymore. We fully surrender ourselves to the answers that we found. This causes changes in our frontal lobe. The scans and pictures show that the activity in this region of our brain completely melts away. It disappears.
This is the last stage of Enlightenment. During this stage we see a decrease both in the frontal and back lobes of our brains. These areas become completely blue in the pictures. Here, we are capable of remembering ourselves, and reflecting back onto ourselves and who we really are and what we do and how this experience has changed us.
The fact is, every single person who reaches Enlightenment have one thing in common: They’re lives have changed for the better completely. They are transformed and they look at everything from a different dimension where there is no fear or anxiety or worry. We finally find ourselves completely in peace with the truth and with the Universe. We become one and the same.
What does it really mean to awaken? It is fair to say that awakening is a journey from limitation to freedom – from unconscious to conscious.
Whether you intentionally choose to take this journey or an unexpected experience propels you onto the path, once you start, there is no turning back. It is true that the journey might be quite arduous at times, but no matter how long or challenging, the extraordinary destination far exceeds any bumps and bruises along the way.
The end result of Full Awakening is freedom from personal suffering, clarity of mind, boundless joy, inner peace and the ability to live an incredibly fulfilling life. The awakened state holds everything we have ever desired, and so much more.
There are 5 Stages of Awakening, and when you understand each stage, and where you are on the journey, you can recognize the sign posts along the way, and the possible pitfalls to avoid.
Please use the following guide as a way to navigate the stages of awakening, but keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different. There is no right or wrong way to wake up. Like art, it is all beautiful and perfect.
Stage 1 of Awakening: The Stage of the False-self
Subtle awareness of “something more” begins to grow.
In Stage 1 of Awakening, we are most asleep, and we do not even know that we are asleep. We are entrenched in mass consciousness and going through the motions of life, generally following the rules of culture and laws of the land.
We don’t usually question reality or seek answers beyond what is necessary for survival and maintenance of a lifestyle.
Our identities define us and we live within the construct of religion, culture and/or society.
We may even play the part of victim or perpetrator.
Unconscious programming runs us, and, as a result, we see the world in black and white – good and bad. We likely process a rigid model of the world according to our specific programing.
Because there is a great desire to fit in and be accepted, in this stage, it is common to sacrifice our needs and compromise our values in order to receive approval and be included in our desired community, be that family, culture, business, religion, etc…
Self-worth is likely conditional and attached to identity or the roles we play, or there may be other means of proving that we are worthy.
Because the ego generally runs the show, we likely believe we are the ego, with little or no awareness that there is a greater part of us.
In stage one, happiness is based on externals, therefore, in order to feel happy, we try to control reality; other people, places and experiences.
Although we attempt to control our lives, for both happiness and security, it is more than likely that our emotions rule, and our actions and reactions are based on our moment to moment feelings.
We make no connection between our thoughts/beliefs and our experiences in reality, and, therefore, we have no direct ability to consciously create our reality.
Despite our unconscious nature, the first signs of awakening happen during this stage; a “flash feeling” that there is something more, or an inkling of doubt that makes us uncertain about life or reality.
Stage 2 of Awakening – The Stage of Questioning
The doubts experienced in stage one begin to turn into meaningful questions. The first signs of movement from unconscious to conscious are experienced.
In Stage 2 of Awakening, we experience a growing discomfort in our lives. There is a feeling that something is wrong or missing. We begin to question mass consciousness and the validity of rules, beliefs and laws. Things that used to bring us comfort like religion or traditions are no longer satisfying and the places that we once found answers no longer provide relief.
We question our identity but we still hold on to it because we must continue to prove our worth, and we don’t yet know ourselves outside of our human identity. As we question the roles we play, we may feel lost, and even betrayed by others or life in general.
We may even blame religion, family, culture, government or the world for our problems, or maybe we blame specific people for our dysfunctions. As we shift responsibility onto others, we feel powerless over our lives; not yet realizing that in order to take back our power, we must take responsibility. In this stage, we might move from victim to survivor, but we are likely still blaming others and feeling powerless.
We begin to ask, “Who am I? Why am I here?”
Although we are searching for answers, we still hold on to certain limiting beliefs that keep us enslaved in the reality we have known. When we attempt to challenge these beliefs, fear brings us back, keeping us asleep a little longer.
In our discomfort with reality, and our search for answers, we may experience a great deal of confusion, overwhelm, anxiety and even depression. We “keep up” with our lives but we are secretly just “going through the motions.”
As we experience a variety of challenges designed to help us wake up, tolerable discomfort turns into pain and suffering. As our disempowering beliefs are demonstrated in real life situations and relationships, we get our first glimpse of the unconscious programs running our lives, but our desire to fit in and be accepted is likely stronger than any desires to free ourselves. Although this is the beginning of our internal programs breaking down, we are still trying to prove our worth by demonstrating our importance and seeking approval for our efforts.
We begin to understand that happiness cannot be found in the outside world, but we are still playing the game – seeking happiness in other people, places and experiences.
In this stage, there can be a great deal of emotional triggers. We may even experience trauma or remember past trauma. Emotions are generally very strong, and we may feel most fragile or vulnerable. What we do not yet realize is that our issues are coming to the surface to be healed and released.
Even though we are beginning to see the world in a whole new light, we may still possess black and white thinking – maybe more than ever. We are not ready to take responsibility for our lives and, therefore, we make little or no connection between our thoughts and our experiences in reality.
As the outside world no longer satisfies our hunger, the journey inward is about to begin.
Stage 3 of Awakening – The Stage of Introspection
Immense personal/spiritual growth and the start of conscious evolution through self-discovery.
In Stage 3 of Awakening, we begin a journey of introspection. In Stage 2, we rebelled against the external world with little or no success in relieving our pain, suffering or discomfort, so now we retreat as we begin to seek answers inside ourselves.
We start to disentangle from mass consciousness, releasing many limiting beliefs that were programmed into us by asleep parents, teachers, culture, society, religion and media. As we release these beliefs, we may experience both grief and relief. If we spent a life time imprisoned in beliefs that caused emotional suffering, physical hardship and lost happiness, we may grieve for the life we never had, and at the same time, we may feel great relief as we break free from limitation.
As we recognize how asleep we have been, we can clearly see that most people we know are still asleep. We try to wake them up, but our attempts are seen as judgmental and, therefore, met with deaf ears.
Not surprisingly, with our eyes wide open, it is common to experience greater judgment of other people (friends and strangers alike), society and the world. Others may feel our judgment and defensively respond with their own judgment of us. We are seen as different, weird and maybe even crazy. Sooner or later, we decide to keep our growing awareness to ourselves; maybe rationalizing that it’s better to be silent than be judged. At this point, we don’t have a lot of hope that others will wake up.
We are still focused on everything that is wrong in our lives, and in the world, but, at the same time, we have resistance to letting go. The process of letting go is often “the work” in this stage, and, as we learn to let go, Stage 3 is where we may leave unsatisfying jobs, intimate relationships, families, friendships, religions, organizations and any disempowering ways of life. We may disentangle from roles we played, reject our past identity, and there may even be a total withdrawal from society.
Our former model of the world is failing and we no longer see the world in black and white or good and bad. There may be a growing sense that we are all connected, but at the same time we may feel completely disconnected from every other human being. In many ways, we are faced with the dichotomy of life and existence.
The most common attribute of stage three is loneliness. In a sea of billions of people, you may feel like you are the only one awake; no one understands you, and there is no one with whom to connect. At this point, you might begin to question “the questioning” – why did you ever begin this journey? What’s the point of waking up, if you must be alone and lonely? After all, you might have been unhappy when you were asleep but at least you had friends, family and people who cared about you. Now, there is no one. You consider “going back.” You wish you could forget about everything you now know just so you can be part of a family or community. You yearn for “normalcy” in order to fit in with others, but you also know that it is too late. You cannot forget what you have remembered, and despite your loneliness and your desire to fit in, you wouldn’t go back or undo your path even if you could.
Issues of worthiness often surface in this stage, because the ways, in which, we once proved worth no longer work or are no longer available because we left the job or situation that once made us feel worthy. We may still try to seek approval, acceptance or appreciation or get other emotional needs met by those still in our lives, but it doesn’t fulfill us, as it once did, and we are left feeling empty – forced to deal with feelings of unworthiness on our own.
Our desire to fit in and be accepted is slowly being drowned out by our desire to be free and awake.
In the quest for answers and relief from emotional pain, we may embark on some sort of spiritual practice such as meditation, yoga or mindfulness. If we are not using the practice to avoid something, its purpose is likely to get us somewhere, accomplish something or wake up.
In stage three, we may experience the first real sense of power, but, if the ego claims this power, we may have challenging and humbling experiences.
By now, we may be able to see the connection between our thoughts/beliefs and the creation of our reality, and, as a result, we try to control our thoughts, but it is a difficult process because old programs are still running.
We no longer look outside ourselves for happiness, but maybe we don’t yet know how to find it within. Peace and freedom may also take precedence over happiness.
Stage three is often the longest stage and almost always the most challenging, but it is also the most important in terms of awakening.
This stage is marked by the swing between resistance and letting go, with moments of clarity and enlightenment, but they don’t last. It is very common to have multiple experiences of awakening in this stage and even to believe that each one is the final awakening; only to find yourself back in “reality”, hours, days or weeks later. With each experience of awakening, the sense of your higher self grows stronger. You are unknowingly making room for this real self to emerge in your consciousness and integrate in your life.
In stage three, it is common to experience a fear of losing oneself, and you may struggle to maintain a sense of self, but ultimately, toward the end of this stage, an ego-death is inevitable. When the ego loses hold, there is often a realization that there is no point or purpose to life. This can be liberating, like a breath of fresh air, or it can be devastating, resulting in hopelessness and despair. Without point or purpose, we no longer know how to live our lives, and nothing is ever the same.
There is a foreboding sense that awakening will cost you everything, yet, at the same time, there is a greater sense that something inside you is waking up.
Stage 4 of Awakening – The Stage of Resolution
Spiritual awakening is effortlessly experienced in everyday life.
Stage 4 of Awakening is the stage of resolution where your true self has finally overshadowed your false self or ego self. The struggle that you experienced in the first three stages is over and you experience a deep peace and knowing of who you really are, and you are no longer seeking answers. This is fondly known as the Eckart Tolle Stage.
All your beliefs have been overhauled in the past two stages, and the beliefs that remain support harmony and balance. You have mastered the art of letting go, and surrendering to a higher power. You also experience and have access to the inner power you possess, without ego control.
Doubt has been replaced with faith and trust. You are able to see and understand your life in such a way that your past and present all makes sense. You have forgiven everyone for everything, including yourself.
Unconscious programming has been replaced with consciousness, and there are no emotional or mental prisons holding you captive.
You take responsibility for your entire life, no longer blaming anyone for anything. As you have freed yourself, you have freed all the people who have ever been effected by your judgment and expectations.
You are no longer trying to prove your worth. You now know and own your intrinsic worth, and, as a result, you experience unconditional self-love.
Although you might still be alone on your journey, you experience a deep and profound connection to all of life and the sense of loneliness has likely faded into all oneness. The need and desire for the old paradigm of relationships has shifted and you no longer yearn to fit in or be “normal.” You allow yourself to be exactly who you are, without needing approval or acceptance from anyone. You no longer have a need to change anyone or help those you love wake up, and you are pleasantly surprised that some people you know are actually awakening. All your relationships improve, and the new people who come into your life are better aligned with who you are.
In this stage, you integrate your insights and develop greater understanding for the journey you have been on. You may teach, mentor or share, but not because you feel you have to, or because you need to, but only because it brings you joy, and you are guided to do so. You may have a compelling desire to support others on their journey or you may have no inclination whatsoever. If you take the role of teacher, mentor, healer or coach, you do not take responsibility for others, but rather you empower them to empower themselves. You don’t take anything personally, and another’s behavior has little, or no, effect on you.
During stage four, it is common to have some sort of spiritual practice, such as meditation, yoga or mindfulness, but not because you are trying to get somewhere or accomplish something (as in the previous stage), but rather because it feels good to you, and it is a natural expression of your life.
You may also experience increased intuition and the ability to access infinite intelligence, as if, you have a direct line to unlimited information.
This stage is marked by living in the moment.
You have made peace with the realization that there is no purpose or point to life, and, as a result, it is effortless to live in the present moment. Your love for life and all living beings overflows unconditionally with gratitude and appreciation as a common state of being.
The concepts of good and bad have dissolved, and, yet, you have the full knowing that inside everyone and everything is love.
You take stock of yourself, realizing that you are still you. You are free from ego-control, and no “authentic parts” have been lost in the journey to awakening. Your personality may be quite the same, but you are likely more easy-going and light-hearted.
Either you have found a livelihood that is aligned with who you are, or you have made peace with your present day livelihood.
There is really no thought of happiness because you no longer need anything to make you happy. You have realized that the secret to happiness is living in the moment and it is now easy to be present at all times.
You have learned how to master your thoughts and beliefs, but, surprisingly, you may have no desire to change anything in your life.
Although you likely experience a full range of emotions, emotions no longer rule you or control your choices or relationships.
Your higher self has integrated in your body, and you live your life as this real self.
You are finally conscious and awake, and grateful that your past “asleep-self” had the courage and tenacity to make this journey. It was worth it – a million times over.
Stage 5 of Awakening – The Stage of Conscious Creation
The ability to consciously create one’s life from the awake state.
Many people arrive at stage four and mistakenly believe it is the final stage of awakening, but it is actually a bridge to an even greater experience of awakening.
In Stage 5 of awakening, you experience, and deepen, all the attributes of stage four, but you also step into your power as conscious creator.
Although there is no pre-ordained point or purpose to life, you now understand that the point and purpose of life can be anything that you choose, and you integrate this understanding by consciously choosing the purpose of your life, because that is the point. Work and play merge into one, and you experience peace and fulfillment equally in both.
You no longer do anything out of obligation or need, but, instead, you are guided through inspiration and pure desire.
You experience a direct connection to all of life, and you are inspired to create in a whole new manner. Through intuitive connection with Infinite Intelligence, you might develop new paradigms of community building, teaching or leadership.
At this stage, you have the ability to attract relationships and form communities that support the betterment of humanity.
Since you have mastered your thoughts and beliefs, you can now consciously create the life you desire; living in the moment, while also creating for the future.
In pure connection with Prime Creator, you are channel of expression in all you do.
Whatever stage you might now be experiencing, you cannot get it wrong and there are no tests to pass. Awakening is simply a natural process, just like the caterpillar that awakens as the butterfly.
A common question is, how long does each stage take? The time we spend in each stage is not predetermined, but we can move through a stage quicker and easier when we utilize a mindfulness practice of letting go. Letting go is truly the secret of awakening.
As more and more people awaken, a threshold of awakening will be experienced, and the masses will awaken in a much a different paradigm than those of us who have already awakened or who are awakening now. The stages of awakening will be less defined and maybe even disappear altogether.
No matter where you are on your journey to awakening, you are exactly where you need to be.
in love, grace & gratitude,
About the Author:
As a Transpersonal Life Coach for over 18 years, Nanice coaches people all over the world to live their dreams, bridging the gap from imagination to realization. Her expertise lies in the areas of conscious manifestation and spiritual awakening. As a Theta Healer and Master Neuro Linguistic Practitioner, Nanice specializes in helping people make quantum jumps from where they are to where they want to be. By using powerful and proven manifestation techniques, she can teach you how to tap into the power of the Universe and create the life you desire. Nanice’s very unique coaching style is often referred to as the “Nanice Effect.”
This article was originally featured on nanice.com and has been republished with permission from the author.
Over the past few years, smartphones have become an integral part of life for people in most developed and developing countries. People are spending more and more time using their smart phones as its technological versatility is increasing every day. You can now read books, take photos, watch TV shows and videos, play games, maintain contact with people, and more – all through a simple 5-inch device that sits comfortably in your pocket. And amid all this people are forgetting the potentially negative impact it might be having on their lives.
Recently, researchers at the University of California have found that exposure to a smart phone screen is negatively related to the quality of sleep one experiences. In this peer-reviewed study that appeared in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) One journal on November 9, 2016, people were asked to download an Android app that record and transmit screen-on time in the background. All the voluntary participants of this study were chosen from University of California’s concurrent Health eHeart study and thus had sensors on them that gathered sleep data. This data was then used in correlation with the screen-on time metrics to determine the pattern over a 30-day period.
It was found that on average, people had their phone’s screen on for about 1 hour and 29 minutes each day. Younger people, females and Hispanic and Black ethnicities significantly digressed from this number and had more screen on-time. The peak usage of smart phones was in the evenings, between 6 and 9 p.m.
With this data in hand, it was determined that the more people use their smartphone screens, the lesser they slept, it was more difficult for them to sleep, and the quality of their sleep was severely degraded. These effects were particularly pronounced in people who used their smartphones close to bedtime.
Now the question arises that how do smartphone screens alter the way we sleep? Well, the answer to this lies in a small molecule that the body secretes to induce sleep – melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in our brain and is tasked with maintaining our sleep-wake cycle. It is sort of like our body’s very own clock. During the day, the pineal gland is hard at work, synthesizing melatonin. And as night falls, it begins secreting it into our bloodstream which induces that drowsy feeling that helps us go to sleep. The secretion continues during our sleep and stops when it is time for us to wake up. Therefore adequate melatonin production and secretion is necessary for a good night’s sleep.
An important factor with melatonin’s efficacy is the color of light the body is exposed to throughout the day. Naturally, the body’s melatonin mechanism is evolved with respect to light and dark. Your body uses blue wavelength light from the sun to trigger melatonin production and then takes its lower levels at night to cue melatonin’s release in the blood stream. One can easily infer from this that any sort of artificial light can throw this system out of whack. That is true but all artificial lights don’t disturb the melatonin system on the same scale. The blue light that is emitted by LED lights, smartphone and laptop screens is far more disruptive in this regard because it tricks the body into thinking that it is not currently night as yet. Thus the release of melatonin is delayed or interrupted and our body’s natural clock is unsettled.
How detrimental is this? Studies have shown that melatonin deficiency and the ensuing decline in sleep quality can lead to such problems as obesity, depression, diabetes, heart diseases, and even cancer. And this should come as no surprise because sleep, along with a good diet and exercise, are considered as pillars for maintaining one’s health. Sleep is the time when your body winds down and does repair work on all the wear and tear that takes place during the day. It is sort of a planned maintenance and any interference to it is severally harmful in the long run. You wouldn’t want to drive an ill-maintained car then why should you condone such a thing with your body?
Conclusively, while it is close to impossible to completely give up smartphone use in today’s day and age, one can still work to curtail its harmful effects on sleep. Smartphone usage should be reduced after nightfall, blue light filters should be employed on the screen, and bedtime usage should be effectively avoided. And for added protection one can also wear filtering goggles that work to eliminate ambient blue light. With these steps you can aid your body in getting the proper rest it deserves and ensure your optimal health in the process.
If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can conceive yourself. Not conceive, but feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world, not as someone here on sufferance, on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.
So in this idea, then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality. Not God in a politically kingly sense, but God in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you’re all that, only you’re pretending you’re not….
While our individual experiences may differ based on our own perceptions, beliefs and ideals, among the ‘awakened ones’ there is a commonality that can’t be denied.
An awakening to understanding that was once clouded by the smoke and mirrors of society and the puppet masters who pull the strings.
What may have started for you as a ringing in the ears or seeing repeating numbers patterns commonly known as synchronicities, has now catapulted you into a full-fledge explorative journey through the pathways of your own consciousness.
Some will have travelled the underworld, navigating the unconscious, others will have trekked the upper realms of spirit, or simply explored conscious thought process, but all of us in our essential quest, are seeking to activate what Carl G. Jung coined the ‘super conscious’ by means of exploring the three hemispheres, three worlds, or what is more commonly understood as the ‘three paths of shamanism’.
Upon activation and awakening, each of us begin our journey to solidify and unite the unconscious, allowing it to feed our conscious minds as we expand our awareness, forging an awakening of cataclysmic magnitude.
No matter your religion, ethnicity or race, beliefs or values, each of us essentially arrive at the few common realizations and this is how we can confirm and know for sure that what we are experiencing is real and verifiable.
Bouts of bliss, euphoric moments of sheer happiness and joy. You may have felt so light you couldn’t speak you were smiling so much! Whether you astral projected or experienced an overwhelming feeling and knowing that you just can’t explain. A love for all things will have penetrated your being and deepened or ignited your understanding that “we are all one”.
A sense of belonging, a reconnection and care for all living things will have emerged as you reached the realm of upper clarity, dwelling in the true sense of self– the ‘I am presence’ of everything.
2. “You are consciousness observing itself”
In one way or another you will have experienced the feeling in knowing that you are not just your mind or your body, a clarity will have struck you like a bolt of lightning illuminating a deeper wisdom within. Understanding will have sprouted like a seed that has been planted, that you are everything in existence, and at the same time you are nothing. You are every star, planet, moon and galaxy. You are every tree, plant, animal and equally so, every human being.
You are consciousness manifesting itself in billions of different ways, shapes and forms and you have discovered the beauty in knowing that this life is an experience to be had, not a punishment to be served. However, once we see this light of life, we also begin to take note of its shadow. The realization and knowing that in this world…..
3. There is a puppet master
Many awaken, to see not only the light but the shadow of the light. To the un-illuminated or enlightened, there is a ruling elite or oligarchy that sets the path and steers the course of the masses. These few, who are set to rule and watch over the many all the while feeding their own selfish desires.
Some awaken and fall into this fear, this trap, and so I urge you to fear not. Do not fall into the shadows of the light. With understanding and knowledge comes responsibility, so explore, understand and empower others with the knowledge you have obtained. Choose to spread love, not fear, choose to empower, not oppress.
by LJ Vanier,
Update: July 25: Do You Have a Spiritual Awakening Story? We’d love to hear it! Leave your comments below or email us at:
Originally published here at isoulscience.com July 24, 2016
Intuition… an unexplained feeling, often defined as gut feeling, a source of knowledge that can not be logically explained but you know it’s true. All of us are born with it. In fact according to Carl Jung, intuition is one of the four basic functions of the human brain. Intuition is a unique form of communication we have within ourselves and with ourselves.
When the subconscious mind passes information to the conscious mind for example, this is a form of inner communication that enables us to see and feel things differently and notice things we can not explain by logic. Once we channel into this special form of inner communication, or communication with our Higher Selves, we can benefit from it in many ways.
First and foremost, it helps us uncover hidden knowledge about ourselves, about other people around us and about places and situations. When we are truly in touch with our Higher Selves we have more self-protection and awareness. It helps us relax and live with less stress, less fear, less anxiety. It helps us make better decisions, make better choices, better plans. It keeps us in the present moment but gives us warnings or signs for the future. So how can we strengthen this natural ability and learn to live with it by being in an awaken state of mind?
It is not as hard you think and with a bit of practice, anyone can improve and strengthen their intuition. Here are 10 things you can do to improve your intuition.
- Meditation helps us become more aware with our subconscious mind and clear our head from clutter. There are a lot of different types of meditation. For this one, practicing Mindfulness Meditation is the most beneficial. Its focus is to keep us in the present moment by making us pay closer attention to our bodies and our surroundings. It is a good way to learn to recognize our 5 senses. It teaches us to better handle our problems and opens doors to find solutions for these problems. It helps us also recognize the positive things about ourselves.
- Engage in creative activities. Music, reading, writing, painting or any other hobby that enables us to use the left side of our brain, helps improve our intuition. Both hemispheres of our brains actually work together but, when we improve our creative skills we also improve our perception and recognition skills such as recognizing faces, emotions and little things that are easily missed by an ordinary eye. All of these are gifts we can use to improve our intuitive skills as well. Once we are aware of what the left side and the right side of the brain do to our thinking and feeling, we learn to tell the difference in a given situation if the information our subconscious is passing us is coming from left or the right side. Meaning, are we thinking or are we feeling a certain thing? With more practice, you can easily tell the difference between thinking and feeling.
- Become comfortable with how you feel. When you have a gut feeling about something, someone or some place, listen to it. Analyze it. Figure out where this is coming from. Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Does it cause fear? Whatever it is, learn to face your fears and become comfortable with your feelings. Allowing fear dominate your mind will only cause blockage in your progress.
- Trust your feelings. Learn to recognize your feelings as a different form of communication and information. For example do you get flash images about certain situations? Do not dismiss these flash images. They mean something. Figuring out the message is your mission. Pay attention to your initial feeling when you meet someone or when you go to a place. Each situation is full of signs and symbols. Nothing is coincidental. It only takes a trained mind’s eye to see and interpret these signs and symbols. In order to achieve this you have to learn to trust your feelings.
- Spend more time in nature. Nature is a gateway to our Higher Selves. It has a unique way of grounding us and making us feel complete, at ease and relaxed. All these things are necessary to get in touch with our intuitive side.
- Listen to your body. Our bodies give us many signs. Not just feelings but we feel physical symptoms as well when something does not feel right. Or the complete opposite, we see improvements in our physical conditions when something is going right. Listen to what your body is telling you. For this, a Body Scan Meditation can be very helpful. By just allowing yourself 10 minutes at any time during the day, you can practice this special kind of meditation and get better at recognizing your physical symptoms and work towards eliminating them from your life.
- Analyze people more often and pay attention to how you feel around them. It is not visible to an untrained eye, but each of us have an aura. The reason why we feel a certain way around certain people is their vibrations. We are all made from energy, just like everything else in the universe. Each frequency corresponds to a certain vibration that can be detected by certain colors. Even though we can’t really see it, we feel it. That’s why some people make us feel at home and relaxed right from the start and some people don’t. Trust your first judgement.
- Pay attention to your dreams. Dreams are messages given to us by our subconscious mind. When we can’t notice certain things about ourselves and others, when we try to suppress certain feelings in our daily lives, our subconscious mind does not stop taking notes. It gives us messages and answers in our dreams. Take note of your dreams and try to figure out what they mean. Get a good dream interpretation dictionary but also instead of taking these interpretations literally, apply them to your own reality.
- Learn to detach yourself from situations. If you want to be more in tune with your intuitive side, you need to learn how to become detached from situations and how they make you feel. It sort of sounds cold and perhaps selfish but think of it this way: In order to come to an objective conclusion, you need to let go of your fears, your subjectivity and your feelings. Perhaps you find yourself in a situation that reminds you of a past experience. If you dive into this new situation with the frame of mind and state of heart that past experience had put you in, you will be clouding your judgement and you won’t be able to see things clearly and objectively. This requires complete honesty with yourself and is not an easy thing to do sometimes. But with meditation, you can certainly make faster progress.
- Keep a journal of events. Take notes every time you notice and feel something and watch the progress and see if you were right or wrong with your guess or your gut feeling. When you find out you were wrong, try to analyze if maybe you were not paying attention to your feelings but instead you were acting upon your thinking. A journal will help you see the details you would otherwise forget in time. It is a great tool to learn from your experiences and strengthen your intuition.
Originally published here at isoulscience.com July 5, 2016
Have you lost touch with your intuition? Find out the strongest signs here.
Today, it is clear for almost every spiritual seeker that we live in the era of awakening. However, what is the spiritual awakening is most misinterpreted.
Many people think that awakening and enlightenment is the same, it’s a single-time event: it’s happening for once and you are done!. On the contrary, the truth is that enlightenment is a process that is actually a series of awakenings. Let’s take a look to the three most important turning points during awakening.
Awakening from Identification
Every waking moment of our life fits a personal history with our own Self in its focus. Our life can only be interpreted within the framework of that history. The reason for that is that we identify with the voice of the Ego, the narrator of our own story, so closely that our personal history becomes the foundation of our entire life.
What does this identification mean? It means that we identify with a form (e. g. our name) that originally did not belong to us (we are all born without a name), but through identification this specific form has become a part of our existence.
A closer look at that personal history will, reveal that our internal story consists of a fabric of experiences and thoughts. Thoughts that explain our experiences, thoughts that we believe and with which we identified, thoughts that will thus provide the foundations of our self-determination.
Our personal history keeps us under its spell, in a hypnotic state in which all our attention is devoted to the inner voice and story it tells. In this way we give up our alertness, the world passes by us, because we only concentrate on the elements of reality that appear to confirm our personal history. We therefore lose our grip on the deeper dimensions of life. The deeper dimensions are present in our life, but we lose contact with them because of our lack of alertness.
The question may arise in us whether we are really identical with our own personal history, or perhaps we are more than that? Everybody has some vague suspicion that our personal history does not reflect reality, we are in fact at a deeper level than that.
When everything is apparently all right in our personal history, we achieve our goals, we are happy, and the vague suspicion vanishes entirely in us, and our identification with our personal history becomes more powerful. There are, however, moments in our life when nothing appears to succeed, so we are unhappy and we suffer. The suspicion then reinforces in us, and we tend to believe that we are more than the cluster of thoughts that constitute our personal history. We realize that we are more than mere thoughts.
If we become aware and conscious of our own personal history that we are telling ourselves, we have a chance to wake up from the hypnotic spell of our personal history. This is the first major turning point in the process of awakening.
2. Awakening from Ego
When the Consciousness identifies with a form, the Ego appears. The Ego always means some sort of an identification, self-determination (I am a man, I am a father, I am an Englishman, I am Christian etc.) The Ego therefore rests upon our identification with things that are important for us ego.
The Ego is the central figure of our personal history, based upon the past and looking into the future. The components of the Ego are thoughts, emotions, memories (with which the person identifies as “my story”), fixed unconscious roles and collective identifications (nationality, religion, etc.). Most people completely identify with these components of the Ego, and for them no self “outside” of this exists.
The identification of the Ego with things (object, the person’s own body, way of thinking) creates the link of the individual to various things. The Ego (and thus the spiritually unconscious person) experiences his/her existence through the possession of various objects. The satisfaction provided by the sense of possession is, however, short, so the individual usually carries on the pursuit for new objects. There is a powerful motivation behind this activity of the individual, a psychological demand to obtain more, the unconscious sense of “not yet enough,” and this feeling surfaces in a want for more. This want is a more powerful driving force for the Ego than the desire to possess. The uneasy feelings, recklessness, boredom, stress and dissatisfaction are all largely the products of the dissatisfied longing for more.
The thoughts such as “it’s mine,” “I want it,” “I need it,” “it is not enough,” belong to the structure of the Ego. The content of the Ego changes with time; it is replaced with new contents. No content is, however, able to lastingly satisfy the Ego as long as the structure of the Ego remains in its place. The individual keeps looking for something different, something that promises a greater satisfaction, making the sense of self of the individual more complete.
The Ego intends to elevate the forms (including its own form) to eternity, which is impossible. This intention of the Ego will be the source of all sufferings, because its world of forms and shapes shall collapse like a sandcastle after a while, until death snatches away the last of the forms: its body from it. It came empty-handed from Nothing, and that is how it is going to return there. The only treasure it could take along with it is its wakefulness, but the Ego considers that worthless in the world of forms and shapes, as it was not a means of increasing the power the Ego
The Ego is not bad, it is simply unconscious. Ego is the deepest dream of the Consciousness. If an individual is able to notice and observe the functions of the Ego, he or she will be able to transcend it. In that case, the individual who has been looking for a more complete perception of the self will recognize that it has always been there, but the functions of the Ego—identification with objects and thoughts—has pushed it into the background. One of the ways of transcending the Ego is not reacting wholeheartedly to the ever-changing kaleidoscope of thoughts and emotions, but concentrating on the alert consciousness in the background instead.
In most people, the term “consciousness” identifies with that socially conditioned Ego. At a number of people this identification is so powerful that they are unaware that their life is governed by a socially conditioned mind.
Those who are able to go beyond that identification with the mind recognize this state of being socially conditioned, and are also able to leave the social conditioning behind. Such a person will not identify with the mind but, increasingly, with the Consciousness. The
Alertness shall, therefore, control the mind to an increasing extent and will be manifested through the tranquilized mind
When our identification with a form ceases, a new space is generated between us and the form and we are able to see and recognize that we are not identical with that form. With the dissolution of the identification, the Ego also disappears. This is the second major turning point in the process of awakening.
3. Awakening in Alertness
The gateway leading us to the deeper dimensions of Life is Alertness, which appears as a result of the release of our attention from the hypnotic state of listening to our personal story. The new Alertness enables us to learn about ourselves without identifying with our thoughts and emotions.
What we first experience in this new, alert state beyond our thoughts and emotions is the completeness of existence. In that state all fragmentation disappears from our life, we recognize the inner spaciousness of our existence, our inner happiness and tranqulity. We feel at home in our own skin, and we realize that our alert consciousness is free from all kinds of thoughts and emotions.
In that state of Consciousness an entirely new dimension of existence opens up for us, showing us Existence from a completely new perspective. The unity behind the controversies is revealed in front of our eyes, and we no longer insist on looking on the sunny side of life, as we are able to discover beauty on the dark side, too.
We accept life as it is, and it is not done under pressure, since that acceptance is the result of our complete freedom. The freedom is, in turn, a fruit of our escape from the world of Shapes and Forms. We have understood and experienced the process of awakening. The time has come for us to take control over our mind whenever it is required by the circumstances. When we do not need the work of the mind directly, let us give it some rest.
Everything will be quiet and peaceful in us. We are beyond all good and evil, we are a mere Consciousness that does not analyze or judge, only contemplates. We realize that the same contemplating soul lives in everybody, so the differences between human beings are only superficial, and deep inside we are all the same. Experiencing that unity will bring us the ecstasy of Life, the perfect joy of Existence.
This video includes some of the best insights from great minds like Russell Brand, David Lynch, Masaru Emoto and John Hagelin, who lead you down the rabbit hole, as you embark on a journey of self exploration, expanded consciousness and unity consciousness.
When you watch this you will understand how we are literally all connected to each other and will know without a shadow of a doubt that our thoughts do indeed create our reality. Get ready to have your mind blown!
“Karma has no menu, you get served what you deserve”. I am sure you’ve heard this before, among other phrases. The word karma has become so common in our vocabulary that we seem to accept it as a normal functioning part of reality. For instance, when someone is rude to another and then immediately following walks into a pole, we don’t hesitate to point out that “they had what was coming to them”. This is the understanding of day-to-day karma, as we have accepted. As every action has an equal and opposite reaction, we have adopted this understanding and called it karma, but this to me, is not the true meaning of karma.
Now, on the other hand there is a karma that many have adopted, that firmly rests upon the belief of reincarnation. As I am sure that many of you are well aware of this fact, I will keep it light. The basis of this doctrine to put it plainly, is that as we incarnate from lifetime to lifetime we gather “karma points” good and bad for past actions.
Each lifetime you live, you will be paying off karmic deeds, as well as reaping the benefits of good karma (either in this lifetime or a previous) until all karma has been settled and you will no longer need to reincarnate.
Now I don’t know about you, but something just doesn’t sit right with me about all of this.
What are the two best ways to control a population? Fear and Guilt
When we insinuate that karma translates to deed, we instil an automatic emotional reaction which usually transgress as guilt or unworthiness. Karma, is not to be equated with guilt. Karma is to be equated with action. I can’t help but refuse the idea that we are here on this earth until we finally “get it right”, or pay off some kind of debt. We are here to learn, to grow and to experience life as a soul incarnate, in the divine creation of human existence. We are here because we choose to be here, no guilt, no strings attached.
So what is karma then?
Recently, I was thinking. And in this thinking… I started thinking… about over thinking…. and I came to the realization that over thinking, while many understand is the “art of creating problems that were never there to begin with” I saw more clearly that lack of trust, was the true cause and that lack trust initiates over thinking, which becomes the sole”cause of action” or karma.
When we are unable to let go of control, we cause our own misfortunes, we create unnatural expectations and veer from our own path. When we learn to trust however, we form a basis of guided action, which winds our sails, and allows for the natural progression and evolution of the mind, body, heart, and soul.
When we act out of emotional response, exhibit impatience or lack of acceptance, we are only hurting ourselves and we move farther away from our higher self and deeper into the darkness or un-illuminated layers which mask the light within us.
Think of yourself as a lamp shade. Each time you lash out against someone, rush into things without thinking, or try to eagerly make plans without listening to your inner voice, you are really only hurting yourself and adding another shade or false mask over your energetic body. All of these actions make the light bulb inside of you harder to see. Each shade you add over yourself dims your light inside, and this is why peeling back the layers or masks of your ego is so important.
In Daoism, it is taught that if one is to clear themselves of all karma one must take the middle path, and in the words of Alan Watts “shoot and shoot quickly, before the devil knows what you’ve done”. Now, what this is referring to is alchemy– turning the lead into gold and following the real yellow brick road. This is real karma, in its truest understanding.
What does this mean?
Scientifically speaking, we are the microcosm of the macrocosm in the universe. As above, so below, and as within, so without.We are the miniature representation, that possesses the characteristics and qualities of the larger macrocosm. This includes our physical body, as it exists within the larger whole of its system.
Essentially, your soul is the point of singularity, that is found within a black hole or a star and the sun is just black hole reversed.
An un-enlightened or un-illuminated person is just that, an inside out star. When we clear our “karma” what we are attempting, is to clear all stagnant energy and turn the light inside out to shine brightly for all to see. “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious”- Carl Jung.
In order to accomplish, it takes the de-layering of emotional and psychological conditioning of the mind as well as deep introspection, (knowing yourself) which can be namely achieved through prolonged meditation as well as occulted rituals and rights of passage. (This may be why in freemasonry the initiates are shown to draw a circle using a compass.) Karma can then be viewed as layers of energy that are formed in your mind radiating in your energetic body and to break through you must first peel back the layers of yourself.
When you can forgive yourself and understand that your words and actions are created by the level of conscious awareness that you exist in, you have taken the first step towards karmic freedom. Freeing yourself of karma then becomes the simple act of healing yourself and allowing your light to shine through.
3. You Are Free
Indoctrination, no matter how widespread or vast, need to be seen as such– originally presented as doctrines of truth, that can later become lost in translation. Namely, because of the lack of direct experience of the soul. While I can’t refute the position of reincarnation as I strongly see it as a truth myself, I can however point out that there is no need to keep a karma score. Guilt will only become a hinderance in your spiritual evolution, as it takes a great deal of acceptance when peeling back the layers of your black hole, to reach your light.
You are a star, you are free, it’s time to shine.
by LJ Vanier,
Originally published here at isoulscience.com by LJ Vanier March 21, 2016
“What you are seeking is seeking you” – Rumi
I knew that I always liked this quote, without really knowing why. To be honest, for the longest time I never really understood what it meant. Then, everything changed.
1. Discovering the Light
In Daosim, it is believed that the journey to enlightenment starts by turning the eyes inside out and there is an african proverb that states “when there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot touch you”. As we have all learned by now, the way that view the world around us, is a projection of our inner world, and so our quest for happiness, enlightenment and satisfaction lies primarily upon filling our selves with light and love in order to then radiate it into the world.
Sadly however, as a defence mechanism, we seek to avoid the inner work of illuminating the shadows in our minds and neglect doing what is necessary, to reach an enlightened state. New age spirituality for instance, relies too heavily on focusing on the love and light aspect; when we seek out, search for, or try to attain this light we are essentially chasing our own tails. That is what Rumi is portraying when he makes this statement. We become like dogs and cats spinning around in circles, all the while missing the point. Rumi, I feel had a very good sense of humour.
The point being, we are the light because we are awareness and when we can increase our awareness, we expand our consciousness. That is, we make the unseen-seen and bring unconscious thought forward into a consciously understandable level.
You see, awareness is like a field of energy, “awareness is in your whole being, awareness of itself is like a light inside, do not imagine in as the sort of light you see, light and awareness is one of the same thing” – Mai Agate Valjataga.
2.Reconnecting to Unity Consciousness
All is one. We are all one. We are all connected and every man and woman is your brother and your sister. This isn’t religious, this is science.
While there are many interpretations of unity consciousness, and many perceptions to be had. Today I will give you a glimpse of mine own. I am not asking that you believe it, I am not telling you to take it as the “gospel”. What I am going to tell is that this is my perception. This is what I saw when I found the light, when I projected out of my body and into the universe and this is what resonates with me.
The universe, is sexual. The universe is playful. The universe is God. My physical body is the projection of my creator because I am just a cell in its body. I see that the planets are also cells, and we are cells within those same cells. My aura is my protoplasm and my body is the nucleus.The entire universe is creation at all moments, cell multiplication and death. I see the big bang as the moment the sperm entered the egg. I see the milky way as the semen of the gods, and I see that I am a universe. Because I am capable of creating life, and I am part of creation, I am also a god. When we create life we are creating a universe of cells, with their own unique consciousness, no matter how small.
I see that my soul is a spark in the night sky, a star, and when I leave my physical body and ascend into the heavens, I will shine bright for all to see. You and me.
“Every human being knows everything as all that is needed to know is contained in the memory of their cells and the zero point quantum field. The only problem is they have yet to discover how to read that field”- Mai Agate Valjataga,Kreet Rosin Excerpt from Your Every Feeling Creates You
3.The Immortal Foundation of the Soul
It was once believed, that a person cannot be truly considered a soul incarnate until it possesses pure and genuine compassion for others. I find this to be extremely poetic. Compassion, while it sounds like a simple and common word. It isn’t always easy to attain and uphold a higher perspective. To put your ego aside and elevate yourself to a level of understanding which sees every being as child. That is to say, we are all infants in the universe and to rise above and “take the high road” as they call it, takes an enlightened mind. A soul who has found the light within, and makes the conscious choice to be righteous in judgement, righteous in understanding and righteous love.
Righteousness, to me doesn’t me being right. It means showing love, compassion and understanding, no matter what you think is right.
by LJ Vanier,
This article 3 Truths That Come to Light When You Expand Your Consciousness was originally published here at isoulscience.com March 8, 2016 and since has been featured on thespiritscience.net. For permission to republish please contact directly.
Enlightenment is not a remote state of Consciousness that we need to achieve some time in the future, but it is the very heart of our nature. Enlightenment is our true, inner nature. Unfortunately, during our spiritual search, most of us have been alienated from it; so much so, that we have even forgotten about it. It is, however, permanently present in our life, but we simply disregard it. Our attention is always engaged by something, something that we need to deal with, so we very rarely take the trouble of looking into ourself.
Still, if we were able to concentrate our attention on ourselves, that brief moment of alert Consciousness would be enough for us to recognize that the alert Consciousness, free of emotions and thoughts is our true inner nature. In the state of alert Consciousness thoughts will no longer keep our attention in captivity, and we may experience silence. In the alert silence we recognize the following truths:
- We experienced the nature of desires, the constant variability of the world of shapes and forms, where nothing is lasting, everything is dialectical, changeable. We is able to abandon its desires and ambitions.
- We wake up from the hypnotic spell of our personal history. We no longer believe in what we have firmly regarded as our own personal history. This experience may lead us to the point of questioning the truth of what we believed to be true in connection with ourselves.
- When we wake up from the sleep of personal identity we recognize that we are the free space of Consciousness. We are not identical with the shapes and forms appearing in this space, but we are the space itself, the space that enables the forms and shapes to appear and that keeps the forms and shapes alive.
- Our internal development therefore does not only depend on our life experience; it depends much more on our ability to divert our attention from the outside world to our internal world. Are we able to turn away from the patterns of Mind, programmed by our Egos, and is there a deep desire to know the true answer to the question ”Who am I?”
- Real self-control is not born in us out of suppression, but out of the recognition and understanding of the meaning of Life. That kind of self-control will liberate our Consciousness from the state of identification with the world of Shapes and Forms. It will create a space between us and the functions of the Mind, and in that space the ability of seeing and understanding will be born.
- We are able to recognize the basically dual nature of existence, the fact that happiness is rooted in unhappiness, shall our inner freedom enable us to say yes with pleasure to the things that are happening to us.
- At present, the program of our internal expectations have already been dissolved, and we no longer identify with our expectations of the other people.
- We are now aware that oure sufferings are in fact our helpers and they may accelerate the process through which the Consciousness wakes up in the body we formerly and mistakenly considered our own
- We shall readily accept anything and everything the moment brings to us, let it be joy or sorrow, because we will be fully aware that all these are parts of the same game.
- Everything created for us by others is transitory, but what we create for ourselves will be lasting and permanent.
- Everybody must find himself or herself what he or she is looking for.
- Enlightenment is us, we ourselves.
About the author:
Frank M. Wanderer Ph.D is a professor of psychology, a consciousness researcher and writer. Frank is the author of the books „The Revolution of Consciousness: Deconditioning the Programmed Mind