Monthly Archives: February 2017

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)