It’s Just a Phase

How not to end up in a spiritual niche or dead end after spiritual awakening.

Whatever your perspective of the moment, it’s just a phase, if you let it be. This applies to the insights and experiences you enjoy as well as the ones you don’t.

For those of you reflexively intoning that you are totally indifferent and have no more preferences, that you don’t judge experiences to be good or bad, enjoyable or tedious — I will oh so gently and lovingly invite you to get a grip on your own reality. While it’s true that after spiritual enlightenment the big, clunky machinery of preference is wiped out, the very subtle, quiet and nearly undetectable mechanics remain. While there are those who truly are indifferent — just as enthusiastic to eat a wood fired pizza or a plate of pigeon guano — I am quite certain they are not reading this blog.

Let’s look at a few of the experiences that people tend to have post awakening, and how they can arrest their development by getting fixated.

Loss of the personal “I”

This is huge and can take quite some time to adjust to. However, you might fail to adjust to it, and instead get trapped like a piece of existential lint in the bellybutton of No Self. People can fixate ever so subtly on the absence of a personal self for a lifetime.

Noticing the world is populated by automatons

You wake up and realize that most people, if not everyone, around you is a zombie — totally asleep and plugged into the Matrix. You go through a period of feeling misanthropic, anti-social. You feel you have nothing in common with people, you are an outsider. You might fail to adjust to it and live the rest of your life feeling out of step, out of place with everyone in the Mugglesphere.

The cessation of normal emotions

You stop experiencing “normal human emotions” in response to life situations, like excitement, happiness, sadness, worry, feeling “hurt” (as in, you hurt my feelings). You subtly fixate on this inability to have normal emotional responses, assume it is permanent and fail to adjust.

What happens naturally is that you notice these changes, and you might freak out for a while. That freak out might be pretty subtle or include a full on gnashing of teeth, complaining to everyone who will listen, searching out books and blogs to confirm your experience, etc. After this is adjustment. This is where you get a grip, let the freak out phase subside, and adjust. Adjustment is not the same as resigning to something, it’s not passive. It’s a period of incredible growth, as you take in this new perspective and let it be like an elevator that takes you to a whole new level of being in the world. You expand around it, not contract around it.

If you fail to move into the full adjustment phase and get stuck in noticing or freaking out, or if you arrest your adjustment by moving into passivity or resignation, the phase will become a feature of “you”, of your life, of your experience.

Imagine installing a flashy Broadway style sign on top of your front door: Now Featuring…NO SELF!  With the hit songs Can’t Get It Up (emotionally null remix) and No One Understands Me (Sleepwalker ballad of the year)

This also applies to experiences or conditions that are generally considered positive, like the onset of siddhis or unusual abilities, or the experience of various bliss states. You notice, you freak out (that freak out might not be gnashing of teeth in this case, but freaking out on the positive side), and then you either adjust/grow/expand or you get a cheap 30 year mortgage on a nice cottage in your particular Spiritual Grotto.

Let it be a phase, or else you’ll end up with a feature.

If you haven’t read this companion post, please read it now. If you already have…it’s worth a second go!

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    • Lilith says:

      I’m glad you found value in this. Glad to see you on the email list, Jesus!

  1. Emily says:

    I just experienced the finding of “no self” within the past few days– right after it happened it was incredibly jarring and I experienced this intense sense of boredom and the usual wondering what the point of me being here even was. However now I seem to be lapsing back into a normal “human” state– I do have emotions, I have fears, I have joy, sadness, and I do have thoughts, but I definitely had the experience of realizing that none of it is real and in the back of “my” “mind” I know that. I am wondering– are there people who “hop over the fence” so to speak and then integrate the information so that they have that new frame of reference, but essentially nothing changes so that they live “human” lives as before? I have noticed an “upgrade” definitely in terms of increased synchronicity, I seem to be stumbling on information and walking into opportunities with zero effort from me.

    • Emily says:

      It’s like the “light” of enlightenment went on but I very quickly transitioned/realized that for whatever reason I need to be able to “play” the “game” and do it well

  2. Hocus Focus says:

    Thank you for this site. It is very difficult to try to communicate this whole.. thing .. by using words, sometimes I’m afraid that I have lost my capability to speak or remember words. I also pardon my English.

    I started my spiritual journey about six years ago by reading various spiritual books, and practiced meditation and yoga. Few years ago I had the period of enlightenment, heightened energy and oneness, but it fade away. Last year something started to crawl into my consciousness. My sketch book is full of sentences like “I have no self” or “”I” do not exist”. Feels like I was secretly transported in to another dimension, which looks like the old place, but it isn’t. A coulisse; something is wrong but you can’t quite put your finger on it. The place is full of paradoxes and koans. At the same time full of miracles and wonders, and at the same time is is empty. I feel like I could have everything, but I want nothing.

    I am on medication, I have seen psychiatrists and psychologists and various blood tests are taken. I’m labelled as depressed and anxious, which I probably am, but at the same time something is crucially different. I consider myself a little bit eccentric/artistically orientated, but quite rational person, and this is NOT the first explanation for me to consider.

    I live in a small Northern Europe country, so it is not very likely to find people who would share this. I tried to join in to a yoga class, but quite soon it became obvious that these people do not have same kind of experiences, and the teacher knew nothing about the subject.

    I feel totally lost, alone and abandoned. I ended up living almost alone and isolated, my senses are extremely sensitive and heavy chronic fatigue bugs me 24/7. Do you have any idea, if fatigue is something common with this? I literally have no energy or will power to drag my body from place to place. I also have no idea how to filter all the information my brain seems to receive, it almost crushes me.

    Before this gets too dark, I want to tell that there are quirky little skills that came along. I can do mirror writing and remember 120 decimals of Pi from beginning to end and vice versa. Probably could remember more. This is really odd, because in my old life I literally did not remember ANY numbers. Also my verbal and artistical skills increased. Anyway..

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Alice says:

    Found your blog after a sudden awakening. It helped me much in dealing with emptiness and disorientation. Thank you

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