Author Archives: Calwen

A little lantern on the path

  1. The anomaly of suffering is a clear signal that this mind-made reality is failing to fulfill the deep longing for peace, happiness, and harmony embedded in all life forms.
  2. What we consider to be our reality is simply an arbitrary projection of our limited individual and collective state of consciousness.
  3. Our individual and collective state of consciousness is currently driven by a compulsive and unconscious identification to the processes of the mind. The illusion of separation it induces is the main cause of suffering.
  4. Spiritual awakening is the process through which our true nature, the true self, becomes aware of itself as the only permanent and ever-present source of meaning, peace, and happiness, dissolving in the process the illusions of the non-self.
  5. In opposition to the non-self, which is a product of thoughts, the true self manifests itself as pure presence and pure awareness. It is not limited and individualized but “shared” by everyone and everything as a unified field of pure consciousness.
  6. The true self cannot be known by anything else other than itself hence spiritual awakening can only be achieved by the subjugation of all forms of identification to the compulsive mental processes through reasonable self-inquiry and direct experience.
  7. Spiritual awakening is a rebirth to a virgin and pristine state of consciousness which must be stabilized and integrated with the substance of our experience. The embodiment particularities are bound to the color of the personality.
  8. The direct result of the individual and collective awakening to reality is an influx of true compassion, progressively resulting in a complete change of paradigm and a great alleviation of fear and suffering.
  9. The complete three steps process that goes from the sleeping state of complete identification to the mind to the awakening of the true self to itself followed by the final stabilization in a form is clearly illustrated by the following Zen teaching:

” At the first level on the path, he saw mountains as mountains and rivers as rivers. On the second level of the path, he saw that mountains are not mountains and rivers are not rivers. And at a third level, he saw once again mountains were mountains and rivers were rivers.”


Spiritual awakening, then what ?

No, experiencing a spiritual awakening will not grant you the ability to conjure elves or fairies to assist with household chores such as washing dishes or cooking. Your landlord or bank will remain indifferent to your newly discovered consciousness, and they will continue to expect timely payments for rent or mortgages. In essence, you will not be able to evade your human nature or the obligations of daily life.

I won’t delve into my interpretation of spiritual awakening in this article, as I’ve already explored that topic in previous articles.

Upon experiencing a spiritual awakening, the core of your identity elevates to a higher or deeper level, depending on your perspective. This signifies that you are not solely identified to your transient persona; rather, you recognize that you are essentially the universal presence in manifestation.

Seemingly mundane aspects of life become enchanting. You discover your ability to make a positive impact through your actions and words, and you grasp the true meaning of empowerment. Daily routines transform into playgrounds of enjoyment, as you come to understand that you are life in action.

You start to perceive others as extensions of yourself, becoming aware of the flow of energies, the contagious nature of your enthusiasm, and your genuine ability to channel beauty and harmony in the present moment.

As I write these lines, I acknowledge that this may seem like an intricate and convoluted reinvention of a natural process inherent in nature. Regrettably, humans have strayed so far off course that we must rediscover our path through peculiar thought patterns and algorithms, as exemplified in this blog.

Contrary to the aloof demeanor many spiritual teachers portray, spiritual awakening doesn’t eliminate the need to confront your humanity daily; it merely alters the experience for the better, benefiting all and everything.

To gauge the authenticity of a spiritual teacher or self-proclaimed guru, don’t just listen to their eloquent words. Instead, consult their friends, speak with their spouse, and observe their behavior in the world. Are they living from the heart or ensnared by a concealed ego?

It’s crucial to acknowledge that maintaining a consistent spiritual practice is essential for keeping your vision and heart aligned. Regularly reconnecting with the source is a vital aspect of this process.

A global spiritual awakening will take time, but once established, it will fundamentally change the world and the routines of its inhabitants. As a unified humanity, our objectives and aspirations will shift, fear will substantially diminish, and the potential of this new humanity will be limitless. It is our hope that, as we approach the end of this civilization, this transformation occurs sooner rather than later.


Start from a Blank Page

identity-795260_960_720Spiritual awakening is not about gaining more knowledge, it is on the contrary about unlearning everything the mind has defined for you and starting from a blank page.

Conditioning is a powerful thing. You suddenly appeared in a world. You were given a name and you started developing a sense of self associated with that sound. They taught you moral principles, maybe you were given a religious education to take you even further away from what you are, you learned right from wrong and you developed a value system. You now have more or less defined boundaries, you are an individual clearly separated from the rest of the world but you forgot what you essentially are.

After all, the story could end here, “…and the non-self-lived happily ever after”, but direct experience shows that this is never the case. What is impermanent is subject to the cycles of birth and death, of pain and pleasure. What is impermanent comes and goes in space and time, it is relative and limited and it is the nature of duality. The non-self quest for peace and happiness is doomed from the start as the non-self is an impermanent state of consciousness, it has no reality. The non-self, the ego is not an entity, it is just a thought in consciousness, nothing else.

pen with hand. color from tungsten lamp

If you are looking to re-discover your essence you must start from a blank page and erase everything that has been written on it since you appeared in this world. When all words, ideas, and concepts have dissolved all that is left is a blank page and you, object-less presence, is the nature of the page.

What you decide to write on it is up to you, but once you know you are the page, you are in a safe place, and you are established in Presence, your own pure presence.

Starting from a blank page is to stop taking your current reality for granted and to stop letting the mind define it for you. The deconstruction of the reality elaborated by the mind is an important step toward spiritual awakening. It is what Christ indicated in his parable “…and no one puts new wine into old wineskins…”


From Seeking to Awakening

Embarking on my spiritual journey, I never imagined awakening to be such a straightforward process. My mind was cluttered with vivid misconceptions, preventing me from recognizing that what I sought was already within me— that I was already there.

Overwhelmed by excitement, my mind was too preoccupied to acknowledge the presence of my unchanging nature. It seemed too simple, contradicting the narrative my mind had constructed around spiritual awakening.

I’m uncertain if my past self would have even desired to awaken, especially upon realizing that it wouldn’t happen to the “him” but would rather involve its dissolution.

566b5b5681716Before awakening, one often believes that it is the “individual”, which existence is not questioned,  that is going to awaken. This, however, is an illusion. What truly awakens is the presence in which mental activity takes place, this is an essential key to spiritual awakening.

In the early stages of seeking, the mind operates on a “horizontal” and dualistic level, focused on the world of objects, forms, and labels. Questions such as, “Which spiritual strategies and techniques should I use?”, “Should I focus on my chakras?”, “How often should I meditate?”, “Will mantras help me awaken?”, or “Should I wear amethyst for positive energy?” reveal an emphasis on the mental realm.

While there may not be a permanent individual within, there is a tangible combination of substance, energy, and consciousness that forms our personality. This personality serves as the instrument through which Presence operates, either consciously or unconsciously. Transfiguration is the process of fine-tuning and optimizing this personality after awakening.

It would be neither wise nor accurate to dismiss the role of the mind in awakening. While it can be a valuable tool, it must serve the partially awakened presence, rather than dominate the process for its own benefit.

Interestingly, the mind is also a manifestation of Presence, but as it manifests, Presence seems to lose sight of itself. Therefore, the ability to initially observe and control one’s mental activity is a crucial first step toward awakening, with meditation being a helpful tool in this regard.

There’s no single formula for what triggers awakening, as experiences tend to be diverse, personal, and often abstract. However, I can confidently say that a strong desire for truth, fueled by an open heart and selfless intent, can undoubtedly accelerate the process.


“Cogito ergo sum”? Not really!

The mind serves as a remarkable instrument for referencing, connecting, assessing, measuring, labeling, categorizing, and understanding. It enables us to formulate thoughts, express them through words, manipulate mental substance, create images, comprehend the world around us, and adapt and engage with our environment.

However, the mind becomes problematic when it obscures our true nature and assumes control. When mental activity entirely fills our conscious space, the illusion is complete, giving rise to the non-self.

For many, the mind is regarded as the pinnacle of human consciousness. This assumption is made by the mind itself, failing to recognize that it is merely a substratum and an emanation of pure consciousness or Presence.

René Descartes’ famous statement, “Cogito Ergo Sum,” exemplifies the executive decision made by a mind disconnected from its source of pure awareness. “Being” is not equivalent to “thinking”; rather, “thinking” is a manifestation of “being.” The compulsion to link our sense of self to the mind and its fluctuating activity is the primary cause of suffering, as it generates the grand illusion of separateness.

Mental activity does not inherently indicate consciousness. While one may presume the potential “to be,” true beingness remains unattainable until the mind is recognized as an impermanent manifestation of the true self.

Many educational systems are founded on the narrow perspective that the mind is the ultimate conscious principle in humans and that mind development is the best and sole path to personal achievement. This approach exacerbates the issue, reinforcing the illusion of separateness and its ensuing adverse consequences.

What Spiritual Awakening is

Much has been discussed and will continue to be explored about spiritual awakening; however, its simplicity is often overlooked. Contrary to popular belief, spiritual awakening is not a sudden, magical event that transports one to a realm of light, peace, and happiness, disconnected from everyday reality. This notion is merely a fantasy conjured by the mind.

In essence, spiritual awakening involves the realization that you are more than just a limited, ever-changing individual defined by a name, traditions, culture, past, and a specific personality. Rather, you are the enduring field of awareness within which this transient individual seems to exist, alongside the rest of the world. This field of awareness, where all experiences arise and subside, is referred to as Presence, representing your true self and essential nature, and serves as the primary focus of this blog.

Spiritual awakening is often mistaken for the acquisition of increasing layers of spiritual knowledge and practice. In reality, it is about shedding these layers and letting go. It involves ceasing the “horizontal” search within the realm of thoughts and recognizing that what you seek, your true self, is present here and now, not just as a person, body, mind, or emotion, but fundamentally as pure presence.

Awakening is a revelation of a new perspective, a shift in the focal point of consciousness. Although it doesn’t instantaneously transform one’s personality, it does alleviate many fears and anxieties associated with identifying solely with the impermanent non-self. The establishment of peace and happiness is a gradual process that unfolds naturally as this newfound vision is embodied and integrated within the individual.

Spiritual awakening is not an accomplishment akin to constructing a house. When it occurs, there is nothing left but pure presence. Awakening transpires when the layers of accumulated mental constructs collapse, allowing one to step out of the river of impermanence and embrace their true, unadorned nature as pure presence. It is at this juncture that the real post-awakening work begins, a topic that I describe in other articles on this blog.

Spiritual awakening is a temporary milestone. The embodiment of this newfound perspective after awakening is an ongoing process that unfolds over time. As such, awakening does not inherently signify a person of good character. The process of embodiment is unpredictable, as it is influenced by the individual’s personality, areas of least resistance, openness of the heart, and the mental, emotional, and physical experiences that comprise their history.


The Nature of the Ego

The ego, or non-self, represents a localized crystallization of consciousness, characterized by self-awareness and a sense of identity. The mind, with its dualistic and discriminating nature, is the primary force driving the development of the ego.

In spiritual contexts, the ego is often viewed as an adversary that must be vanquished at all costs. However, it is crucial to recognize that the ego is not inherently negative; it only appears so in this world because the majority of people are governed by their minds, thereby manifesting negative aspects associated with a separatist perspective.

Essentially, the ego serves as a lens or focal point through which the infinite becomes finite, allowing the formless Presence to manifest itself as a personality with distinct attributes. Prior to awakening, Presence seems to “disappear to itself” in this process, identifying with the non-self. After awakening, Presence progressively begins to consciously manifest itself through an increasingly transparent and transformed personality.

Understanding the energetic process behind the formation of the ego is vital, as it is a natural occurrence that enables the infinite to manifest itself in the realm of forms.

Consider the analogy of using a magnifying glass under the sun to ignite a piece of paper: to generate significant heat, the focus point must be narrowed until it becomes minuscule. This concept can be applied to human creative expression. Identity is essentially a concentration of consciousness on a particular set of characteristics with which it can identify. Self-awareness emerges from this focus. You become what you believe you are. The clearer this definition, the more confidence and impact you will possess as an individual. You will become similar to that very hot little dot of focused light under the magnifying glass.

As awakening unfolds, the relatively stable yet temporary point in consciousness to which we have long identified, the ego, will eventually begin to dissolve. This stage can be challenging and is often referred to as the “dark night of the soul.” The biblical parable of the old wineskins alludes to this enigmatic process: “No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matt 9:17; Mk 2:22; Lk 5:37-39)


Identity and Spiritual Awakening

The question of identity and identification is central to spiritual awakening. There is often a misunderstanding that one must eradicate the ego and the impermanent sense of identity for the true self to awaken.

Many spiritual teachers assert that “you are not your ego, but rather the formless consciousness.” This idea is intended to facilitate the dissolution of the ego, but it does not entirely capture the reality that emerges after awakening. Once awakened, one’s perspective shifts, and the above statement transforms into “I recognize myself as formless consciousness, but I am also this temporary ego.” but It is first necessary to detach from the impermanent, limited identity to awaken to the all-encompassing nature of the true self.

Following awakening, it becomes apparent that everything can be embraced, included, and integrated, with nothing excluded. This is the nature of true love in action. Although the path to awakening may initially seem to introduce a new form of duality, it is ultimately temporary, leading to the “collapse of the witness” – the reintegration of all pairs of opposites and the return to oneness.

It is also important to consider that Individuation, or the development of a separate, defined self, is a crucial step in the evolution of consciousness. Infinite consciousness experiments with a limited aspect of itself by cultivating self-consciousness, and focusing consciousness through the mind and identity is part of this process.

While consciousness strives to awaken from the most psychologically mature and ripen egos, it is essential to remember that in many others, the “involutive” process of individuation is still at work. In a sense, establishing oneself as a self-conscious individual also constitutes a form of awakening. Hence both growing and dissolving our sense of identity are necessary stages in the evolution of consciousness.

A significant misconception is that after a spiritual awakening, identity is no longer required and the ego is merely an obstacle or an unnecessary fiction. This viewpoint is often expressed in pseudo-Advaita circles by individuals who have experienced partial awakening but lack an understanding of embodiment principles.

Although identification with an impermanent identity may be an impediment on the path to awakening, it becomes a blessing on the journey to embodiment of a refreshed persona. Now that you know you are not solely the ego, you can embrace it again and utilize the personality’s lines of least resistance as channels for manifestation. The key difference is that you now recognize yourself as the infinite manifesting through a limited form, allowing your light to penetrate thoughts, emotions, and ultimately the physical cells of your body – the essence of true embodiment.

The gradual process of the infinite, self-aware consciousness manifesting through a limited form is referred to as “transfiguration” in Christian imagery, or “the Word made flesh.”


Practising Presence

Although I have written about this topic before, I believe that my message is not redundant. My goal is not to entertain or provide food for thought through essays, but rather to create bridges between the impermanent and the permanent.

Words are my chosen medium, as I have no other choice. However, the essence of my message is beyond the words themselves, beyond the thoughts they provoke. My message about Presence – what remains after the sound has faded and the thoughts have vanished. When the mind becomes still, what is left is you – Presence itself.

While the mind can conceptualize Presence, it can never truly experience it. Presence can only be felt by Presence. For those of you who have some understanding of programming concepts, we could use the analogy of a recursive function calling itself from itself.

To delve further into the workings of consciousness, how does it shift from “Me, John Doe, I think of Presence” to “I am Presence”? The answer is simple: when the mind stops its activity, and when one relinquishes their identification with labels and forms, all that remains is Presence. The challenge lies in becoming aware of the dictates of the mind, of its grip on what it decides to show you and slowly regaining control of the content of your conscious space.

Presence is also known as Awareness or Consciousness, it is pure Awareness or Consciousness in its unadulterated state – before it has been shaped by mind activity and the labeling process.

This pure, transparent Presence is what some refer to as “God”, although the term has been so overused and misused throughout history that it is not always a useful term. However, it is important to mention it here to connect certain dots.

Presence is the clear conscious space in which objects, sensations, thoughts, and emotions arise. Like a dream that exists in and is made of the consciousness of the dreamer, the world exists in Presence and is made of Presence.

If there is one dreamer and the world is the dream, then one has the power to awaken within the dream. Awakening within the dream is called lucid dreaming, while in waking life, it is called spiritual awakening.

However, it is important to note that the awakening of Presence is only half of the story. This realization is just the beginning. Once one is clearly established in their permanent self, their impermanent identity and personality will slowly start to align with that newfound clarity. Every personality has its unique characteristics and flaws, and spiritual awakening does not brutally alter any of that. Rather, it provides a new perspective that can over time manifest through the personality as correct vision, and compassion, resulting in the correct action.

Finally, it is important to remember that Presence, pure consciousness, does not exclude anything – it embraces all, as it is the source of all. In some spiritual circles, the ego is seen as the enemy, or there is a belief that there is “nothing to do” because there is “no person”. However, such claims are made by spiritualized egos. In Presence, the permanent and impermanent are essentially one, united in Love.

From someone to no one, from no one to someone – I am complete.


Group Consciousness & Presence

Few spiritual approaches delve into the effects of personal awakening on the collective human experience and its direct consequences on the tangible reality we inhabit, which we refer to as the world. The focus of this little article is on the cultivation of group consciousness in relation to personal awakening.


By drawing a parallel, group consciousness can be likened to family consciousness. In a nurturing family, the connection among siblings arises from the shared understanding/vision that they have the same parents and are therefore brothers and sisters.

The boundaries we set for the family circle are nevertheless entirely arbitrary and complete mental constructs:  “My brother and I have the same parents, so we are family members,”  “My neighbor and I don’t have the same parents, so we are not family members.” It becomes an inclusion/exclusion game governed by our dualistic mental perceptions.

The key insight is that when individuals discover shared origins with others, their perspective shifts, and as their perspective shifts, so does how they feel towards each other, which in turn will influence how they will behave.

Nationalism is another form of group consciousness where the boundaries extend beyond the family circle to encompass the nation. Individuals with a shared history, traditions, and culture form a bond. Nevertheless, Nationalism is not true group consciousness again as it is a mental construct based on arbitrary parameters and is most of the time exclusive.

Group consciousness is still largely underdeveloped on our planet. Feelings of belonging (family, nation) continue to be driven by biological instincts and unconscious cultural impulses. What we currently experience are clusters of egos, making “compulsive mass consciousness” a more appropriate expression.

Authentic group consciousness is very rare; it will only emerge after the mind’s dominance has subsided, after the realization that our fundamental nature is “made of” pure consciousness, or Presence, which is boundless and common to all beings and everything.

If group consciousness appears to be lacking in an “awakened individual,” it is likely that we are dealing with a spiritualized ego masquerading as an awakened being.

Group consciousness truly embodies vision and compassion, it manifests as spontaneous action for the collective good.


Look at the ants and bees, can’t you see how their activity is unified and purposeful? Even a child can grasp the concept of group consciousness simply by watching the behavior of these small creatures.

What it would like to live in a world put in motion by true group consciousness:

  1. Goods would be produced for the benefit of all, not out of greed as is currently the case. No more planned obsolescence or convoluted marketing strategies.
  2. Technology would be accessible to everyone, with engineers collaborating to create durable and resilient products. The results of innovation would be shared not patented.
  3. Resources will be distributed based on geographical needs rather than hoarded by a minority at the expense of the majority.
  4. Cooperation will naturally occur between individuals and nations.
  5. The necessity to work for a living will be replaced by people pursuing their passions and fulfilling their unique purposes.
  6. Travel will flourish, with individuals from different regions sharing their cultural distinctions, knowledge, and life experiences.
  7. The concept of “family” will evolve, with individuals increasingly recognizing one another as brothers and sisters united in a global family.
  8. Compassion will become an innate trait, manifesting as joy, enthusiasm, and humor.
  9. Religions will be shed like empty shells, as everything is seen as a manifestation of the One Life.

Every time you envision a better world, you lend it substance, making it more tangible and hastening its manifestation. Conversely, every time you dismiss an idea as utopian, you hinder its manifestation, resulting in a world that reflects your limited beliefs.

You will become what you think you are, don’t let the mind define that for you.