Transcript of OnionUnlimited podcast episode 066
HELLO AND WELCOME TO EPISODE 66 OF ONIONUNLIMITED—THE PODCAST. I’m your host, Daniel Torridon and in this episode, I’ll be discussing the subject of spiritual awakening, ascension, and enlightenment.
So, have you ever felt things suddenly “click”? Everything falls into place—a moment when it all makes sense? This mental clarity may be the start of a spiritual awakening that sets you on a path of ascension leading to spiritual enlightenment. Often, these vivid realisations stay with us for life, motivating and inspiring profound changes as we follow our spiritual path.
The journey of spiritual ascension can be a difficult one, a painful one. Spiritual ascension begins with spiritual awakening which involves shedding our old perception of Self—even the way we view “reality”—experiencing a kind of rebirth. It’s a complete paradigm shift involving our thinking, feelings, and actions. Spiritual awakening starts us on a journey that leads to spiritual enlightenment. This journey may be quite different from person to person, but today I’m going to cover some of the things I’ve learned from my own experience.
Spiritual awakening is a subjective experience in which our ego transcends the ordinary, finite sense of Self to encompass a wider, infinite sense of truth or reality. This experience of Wholeness is often perceived as a direct connection or merging with an unlimited and Universal Consciousness, that which I call Source—some may say “God”.
Many people speak about their moment of spiritual awakening in terms of receiving an “upgrade” or being “rebooted” to a much higher spiritual frequency. Someone like me, with a Christian background, may think of it as being “born again”. As a Jehovah’s Witness, I initially thought of it as being “anointed”, but now I realise that what I experienced in 2004 was just the beginning of my spiritual ascension—a path I’m still travelling 18 years later.
August 6th, 2004 was the day of my awakening—the day I was reborn or “born again”. It’s when I realised that ego, my sense of “Self” was just an illusion, that I was One with something much higher than just this human body and brain. I, Me, this Consciousness, was all there was. It’s when I realised I Am God or as I now think of it, an instance of Source. I am the Mind that arises from Source. There is only me, and you and I are the very same Consciousness. As the Beatles sang in I Am the Walrus, “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together” or as Jesus put it, “that all of them may be One, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us.” This realisation of ivine Oneness is fundamental to spiritual awakening and completely changes the way you view yourself and others—even “reality” itself—it certainly was that way for me.
For many, their spiritual awakening is marked by a sudden epiphany, an wakening of Mind. It may come as a result of spiritual practice such as meditation or deep spiritual thought, or it may occur spontaneously, possibly triggered by trauma or some other life-changing event. Either way, it’s like a light bulb goes off in your brain giving you a new perspective that helps you to understand in a way you never have before. You literally “change your mind”. For me, it came after reading and meditating on Romans chapter 6.
As a Jehovah’s Witness, I had always read verse 7—”For he who has died has been acquitted from [his] sin[s]”—in isolation and understood it to refer to unrighteous persons receiving an earthly resurrection into paradise. As verse 23 reads, “the wages sin pays is death”, but Romans 6 is not referring to people who are dead, at least not literally. It’s referring to Christians who have been “baptized into [Christ’s] death” (verse 3) and are still living on earth. This idea of being “baptised” into a person is also found in 1 Corinthians 10:1, 2 where the apostle Paul wrote: “our forefathers [the Israelites that left Egypt]… all passed through the sea and all got baptized into Moses by means of… the sea.” Effectively, the Israelites as a group of people, a congregation of several millions of individuals, shared the same experience—baptism via the waters of the Red sea—and became One in the eyes of God, One with each other and One with a mediator, in this case, Moses.
Baptism into Christ, and in particular into Christ’s death, is a similar process. The Bible tells us that as individuals we stand as accused sinners before God, deserving of death—and indeed, literal death would liberate us from our sins, but that’s not much benefit to the pardoned sinner who would now be… well… dead! Resurrection into a paradise is the “solution” offered by Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I realised early on that this made no sense at all. If you pay for your sins by means of your death and then get resurrected back to the same condition as you were before—a human on earth—it would be like cancelling the payment. You’d be in debt again. Ironically, that was always the argument Jehovah’s Witnesses used for saying Jesus couldn’t return in the flesh. The only way to pay for your sins permanently would be to stay dead as a human, and then it dawned on me—that’s exactly what the Bible tells us happened to Jesus! He died as a human sacrifice for our sins and was resurrected, but not as a human. 1 Peter 3:18 explains: “Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous [person] for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.” Ultimately, it’s Christ’s death, not ours, that pays for our sins—but how?
Returning to Romans chapter 6 and the concept of being “baptised into Christ and his death”, this is essentially an invitation to “piggyback” off Jesus’ death as a human and his resurrection as a spirit, a way to become One with him and experience death and resurrection while still alive—and in doing so to be acquitted of one’s sins before God.
Let me read Romans 6:2-7 in context and see if it makes more sense now: “Seeing that we died with reference to sin, how shall we keep on living any longer in it? Or do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him through our baptism into his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised up from the dead through the glory of the Father, we also should likewise walk in a newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall certainly also be [united with him in the likeness] of his resurrection; because we know that our old personality was impaled with [him], that our sinful body might be made inactive, that we should no longer go on being slaves to sin. For he who has died has been acquitted from [his] sin.”
Baptism into Christ is basically about Oneness with Christ, and Oneness means having the same experiences. Jesus, though perfect and therefore not deserving of death, died as if he were a sinner. This equates to the Christian, by their association with Christ, also “dying”. Death, as we have seen, means acquittal of sins. For the Christian, their sins are acquitted through their symbolic “death” into Christ—while still living. Jesus was raised as a Spirit—his true nature—Christians are “born again” of the Holy pirit and raised in Christ to a new life. They are, according to scripture, “the walking dead”, dead to their old personality, now walking in a “newness of life”, with a “new personality”.
This notion of spiritual death and resurrection, while still alive is not limited to Christianity. What we’re talking about here is “ego death”, the surrendering of Self and a merging into the Whole, the obliteration of one’s very identity as an individual in exchange for a new existence in which we are all the Same—as each other and ultimately as God. This shift in perception profoundly affects a person, Christian or otherwise. A spiritual awakening this intense is often accompanied by a noticeable change of personality. Our base, animal instincts give way to our Higher Self, our Spirit self, and it can appear to observers that we’ve been swapped out for an entirely new person. Friends and family might say, “You’re just not yourself!” or “Where have you taken my father/mother/son/or daughter?” In reality, you have finally found your true Self. This is the real you, the spiritual you, the Divine you!
The expression “new personality” from a Biblical perspective describes the very personality of God inhabiting a person when they are born again of the Holy Spirit. Of course, this is a very narrow definition that relates to a Christian becoming… well… Christian, or in the case of a Jehovah’s Witness “anointed”, but this experience is not limited to a Christian rebirth. Anyone who undergoes a spiritual awakening will find the experience so vivid that it changes them forever. Those close to the person may no longer recognise them as the person they used to be. It’s like the old you has died. Friends and family, in an attempt to explain what’s happening to you, may even say as they did about Jesus after he was anointed and started acting like the Messiah, “He has gone out of his mind!”—Mark 3:21.
So, the path of spiritual ascension begins by shedding your Self. It involves a kind of death and rebirth—a rejection of old habits and patterns that may be limiting, even toxic. This is where I got the idea for OnionUnlimited—a peeling away of the layers of ego to reveal your True Nature within. It’s a complete transformation of Mind and personality that sets you on a path to Enlightenment. You begin walking in a “newness of life”, a path of spiritual ascension.
A true spiritual awakening runs deep. It’s not just the mind and the outer personality that is affected, but your very Spirit, your Soul, the inner you. You may feel, as did I, that an energy source has been awakened within you. It can be smooth and subtle or, as with me, it can be explosive. A Christian might refer to it as being “filled with the Holy pirit”. For me, it felt like the very hand of God was resting upon me. This feeling of being possessed—in a good way—by an energy force working within me lasted about two months, after which it settled down. During the most intense periods, I could do nothing except think deeply about spiritual things—about God, the Universe, life, death, heaven—which was exhausting. I barely slept for two months. I certainly couldn’t have carried on like that on a day-to-day basis, but I didn’t need to. The initial burst of energy was sufficiently powerful enough that when it finally quietened down I knew I could never doubt it. I knew, without a doubt, that I was “born again” or spiritually awakened on August 6th, 2004, and 18 years later I’m still convinced of it. It’s just that these days I don’t think of it so narrowly as a purely “Christian” experience.
What Christians call the “Holy Spirit”, this spiritual energy that fills the human body, is known by various terms in different spiritual cultures:
- In Chinese philosophy, it is called “Chi”—referring to the force that makes up and binds together all things in the Universe.
- In Sanskrit, we have the word Prana which translates as “life force energy,” “vital energy,” “breath of life,” “spirit-energy,” or “vital principle”,
- In Hinduism, we have a wonderful concept known as Kundalini which I’m going to speak about now.
Kundalini is a form of ivine energy believed to lie dormant at the base of the spine in the Root Chakra. The Sanskrit word “chakra” translates as “wheel” or “disk” and it refers to a spiritual energy point within the human body, of which there are seven along your spine and up through your neck to the crown of your head. The Root Chakra is said to provide you with a base or foundation for life. It helps you feel grounded. It’s responsible for your sense of security and stability. When the Root Chakra is activated your entire worldview shifts under your feet. You start to question everything, even “reality” itself.
Kundalini awakening is fairly common in the spiritual world, but in Western society it’s considered rare due to our less spiritual, more materialistic, outlook. It’s often depicted as a coiled serpent in deep sleep at the base of the spine. When it’s awakened, the serpent uncoils and travels up the spine. As it travels upwards, the Kundalini proceeds through each of the seven chakras until it finally reaches the Crown Chakra. The Crown Chakra is all about spiritual connection and transformation. It lifts and inspires you, connecting you to the Divine. This chakra gives you a sense of your own Divinity, the awareness that you are a Soul in a human body. This ultimate destination is known as Realisation of the Absolute. It’s a journey of self-discovery, a path to becoming a god—”like one of us” as was said of Adam and Eve when they dared to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—a path to Enlightenment.
It is said once Kundalini awakens, life will never be the same. Your entire system, mind, body, and spirit go through a massive energetic shift causing you to approach life in a very different way. Some of the benefits of a Kundalini awakening can be:
- Feelings of contentment, even euphoria.
- Enhanced psychic abilities.
- More compassion and empathy.
- Increased creativity
- and increased spiritual connection.
When I experienced my spiritual awakening in 2004 I felt all of these things. The experience itself was overall very positive, but for some, it can feel more like a bad drug trip, or even a psychotic break. It can result in altered sleep cycles, disturbing changes in identity, or severe depression. This discrepancy has led many Westerners to fear the coiled serpent resting in their spine, ready to strike. The awakening that is experienced when the dormant Kundalini is activated can be “good” or “bad” but these labels only relate to how you—or others—perceive it. It can be uncomfortable but it can also feel like you’re being filled with Spirit and Light. It can appear you’re having a mental breakdown but in reality, you’re just “dying” in order to rise anew—like the phoenix from the flame.
As the Kundalini travels from the Root to the Crown Chakra it can manifest itself by a number of symptoms:
- It can feel like electricity circulating the body, a kind of tingly feeling like a shiver.
- It can feel hot or cold, especially as it passes each chakra.
- It can feel really painful—your back or neck may hurt.
- You may experience headaches, migraines, or a sense of pressure inside your skull.
- Your nervous system can become hypersensitive to light, sound, and touch,
- or you can find your sleep patterns change—either not sleeping or sleeping more than usual.
- You may feel very emotional—repressed feelings may surface causing you to relive past traumatic events.
- You may experience panic attacks.
- You may even struggle to distinguish what is real from what is imagined and feel like you’re going crazy.
On the other hand, you may feel as did I:
- A spiritual connection with the Divine that transcends the ego.
- Content, blissful, connected to everything in the Universe.
- You may be incredibly happy, euphoric even—I was.
- You may experience deep empathy and compassion for humanity—you genuinely start to feel for others as if they are you.
- Your senses may be heightened—for example, things may look more colourful and vivid.
- You may realise you have extrasensory gifts—I did.
- You may feel no longer controlled by physical desires, being much more focused on the spiritual,
- and, undoubtedly, you will experience a sense of just “knowing”—everything now makes sense—you begin to understand the nature of Mind and how it influences reality.
While discussing symptoms of Kundalini awakening I just want to take a moment to mention a few things you may experience that might seem particularly “odd”, especially to those closest to you. These are all things I have experienced, which resulted in my dad suspecting I had Bipolar Disorder. He suggested I go to the doctor, which I did, and I was put on medication to dull my “symptoms”, but on reflection, I think this was a mistake. I’ve since learned that I was never actually diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, only “signs of hypomania and depression”, which is entirely different. My medical records include an initial prescription for antipsychotics and antidepressants with the word “Bipolar” and a question mark handwritten by my doctor at the time. Did I have Bipolar? Or was it just an intense spiritual awakening?
The following are the Kundalini “symptoms” that can be confused with a mental health issue:
- Alternating feelings of psychosis or hypomania with the complete opposite—chronic fatigue, depression, and lack of motivation.
- Frequent vivid or lucid dreams—in particular dreams about snakes.
- Feeling that you remember past life experiences.
- Developing a “Savior Complex” or expressing feelings of grandiosity.
- Out-of-body experiences where you connect with your Higher Self
- and synchronicity, where you keep seeing patterns or numbers that appear to have hidden meaning.
Let me break each of these symptoms down and explain how they related to my spiritual awakening:
Mania and depression. I have spent much of my life suffering from depression. It was triggered by sexual abuse as a child and continued through my twenties and thirties. Around the age of 30, I began to seriously question my true nature. At 34 years old I had my spiritual awakening and identified as “born again” or “anointed”. This was accompanied by a shift from depression to bliss, even euphoria—a sense that I finally understood the nature of reality, and my Self. Of course, to outsiders, it looked like there was something seriously wrong with me, mentally I mean, but this is not uncommon. Jesus’ family thought he’d lost the plot and gone crazy. There’s a thin line I think between Spirituality and psychosis. The two states may even not be mutually exclusive. The problem is, that the Western world, for the most part, is not ready to accept that we are One and the Same as God, instances of the Divine Mind. Start speaking this way and you get prescribed medication to “fix” you—but what if the tablets actually suppress something truly special? What if meds block true Spirituality, much as Religion—the “opium of the masses” does?
Dreams. I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, more so in recent years, and snakes have often featured in my dreams. As a young child, I had a recurring dream of a sidewinder snake moving across a desert. Interestingly, my little sister, who I was very close to, shared the same dream. I imagined my dreams would get less vivid as I got older, but they haven’t—quite the opposite! I dream almost every night. I have lucid dreams now where I know I’m dreaming and I can dictate the direction of the dream. I often dream of numbers, usually delivered to me by my dead mother. For me, my dream world feels as real as my waking life. It’s where I go to find answers, if only subconsciously, and I find it as spiritually uplifting as meditation.
Past lives. I have a strong sense that I’ve been here before. This is not the first time I’ve had, as French philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once said, “a human experience.” I feel I’ve been here six, maybe seven times before. I remember one of my past lives—that of American poet and recluse Emily Dickinson. Actually, it’s more of a feeling than a memory. I feel like I was, I am, her and this is reflected in my poetry which seems to flow from somewhere outside of myself. My poetry is uncannily similar to Emily Dickinson’s, even down to the repeated use of em dashes.
Grandiosity next. Thinking you’re a famous poet is one thing. Believing you’re God is another. Yet that is what those who experience spiritual awakenings are often quick to conclude. “Feelings of grandiosity” are often attributed to mental illness, but what if it’s not that? What if it’s simply the realisation that you are, indeed, God? When I first woke in 2004 I felt compelled to write a book entitled—I Am God. I felt like I was channelling a Higher Being—God if you will—but that it was at the same time Me, and I’m not alone. American author Neale Donald Walsch has written an entire series of books entitled Conversations With God in which he presents the idea that Existence is essentially non-dual in nature. At the highest level, there is no separation between anything, and there is only One of us; there is only God, and everything is God. What’s more, 2.3 billion people in the world are happy to accept that a Jewish carpenter who lived 2000 years ago was the very embodiment of God himself, and many Indians, particularly Hindus, believe God can be manifest in people. I Am God is really not such a radical idea and it’s not nearly as “grandiose” as it first seems.
Out-of-body experiences. For me, this tends to happen when I’m laying down with my eyes closed looking forward to falling asleep and dreaming. Sometimes I get a sudden feeling that I don’t exist as an individual, that I am outside of my body, even outside of Space and Time. For a moment that seems like an eternity, my sense of what is “real” falls away and I feel like I’m everything—and nothing. This is often followed by a sense of being pulled back into my body as my thought processes return to “normal”,
[and finally,] Synchronicity. This refers to “meaningful coincidences”. For me, this happens in the form of numbers. I see patterns of numbers being repeated over and over. This is explained by those with psychic abilities as divine guidance from angels or even the Universe itself. I often see the number 1, repeated as 111 or four 1’s. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve looked at the clock and it’s 1:11 or 11:11. This “angel number” as it’s known has a powerful energy signature. It means the angels, or a spirit guide, or even your own Mind in the spirit plane, is telling you now is a great time for manifesting your dreams.
Other numbers that are always popping up for me include:
- 18—a sign that I’m on the right track spiritually. I saw this a lot when I was in the process of exiting Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- 24 — this means life is about to change massively, that it might be scary, but everything will be okay. After seeing this for several months my marriage ended and I was disfellowshipped from Jehovah’s Witnesses!
- 45—A number I began to see in my dreams after I left Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is usually a sign that it’s a time for new beginnings.
- and 259—One that I keep seeing these days. It means I should maintain a positive attitude in regards to the life changes I’m currently undergoing.
Crazy as it may sound, I think most people will admit to seeing patterns of numbers that keep appearing in their lives. Most will notice the patterns and think, “That’s weird!” without paying any more attention to it. To express to someone else that this is happening and they think it has an underlying meaning is, well, just not what we do in the Western world. These are the kind of things we “don’t believe in”, lest others think we’re losing our mind, but if we listen—truly listen—to our inner voice, we kind of just “know” there’s a reason for these patterns, the numbers. They feel like messages.
If I wasn’t on medication to keep my anxiety levels low, I think these experiences—the dreams, the recounting of past lives, the sense of Oneness with God, the out-of-body moments, the synchronicitous messages—would be more frequent and much, much more vivid. The medications I’m on suppress my spirituality, I have no doubt about it, and I don’t like it. They dull my creativity. They make me sleep an inordinate amount of time and leave me feeling somewhat numb most of the time, but it is what it is. The only reason I’ve chosen to remain on my meds, for now at least, is that they lessen the anxiety and depression I experience due to the trauma of having been disfellowshipped by Jehovah’s Witnesses and being shunned by my family and friends. The trade-off for a calm mind it seems is that my spirituality is hampered.
Like I say, for me, the experience of spiritual awakening was, overall, a great one. It was like I received a massive cosmic “download” of information. My newfound path involved becoming less judgemental and more tolerant. Really, the only “bad” thing about my spiritual awakening has been the way I’ve been treated by those closest to me. The problem is, Jehovah’s Witnesses love to judge. They exist within a toxic environment where a sense of “us-and-them” is perpetuated as a control mechanism. Focusing on how others fall short of their impossibly high standards is how individual Witnesses get their sense of self-worth. I lived this way for 34 years. Then, overnight, I changed. I thought that was a good thing. I felt I had become more Christlike in my outlook, but that’s not how cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses work. My Jehovah’s Witness family and friends couldn’t understand the changes that were occurring in me. The way I spoke was no longer like a JW. I appeared more mystical. Some even said I was possessed by Satan! At the very least they thought I was having a mental breakdown—anything to make it sit right with their worldview which I was now deviating from.
I said I was “anointed”. They said I was “apostate”. I said I was filled with the Holy Spirit. They said it was the “spirit of the Devil”, and when they disfellowshipped me and mandated that my family and friends shun me I eventually caved in under the pressure. At first, I continued to pursue my new path of spiritual ascension apart from the religion of my birth, but over time I found the losses I sustained—particularly in terms of relationships—were just too painful. After 3 years of being shunned, I felt I could no longer face not having my parents in my life, and the thought of my children eventually getting baptised as Jehovah’s Witnesses and shunning me as they got older was too much to bear. So I capitulated. I suppressed my spiritual feelings and returned to my religion, and I stayed that way for 10 years until 2019.
The thing is, once Kundalini awakening begins you can’t stop it. You can try to hold it back, as I did, but at some point, the coiled serpent will rise again. In fact, Kundalini awakening usually doesn’t happen in one session. It can do, but more often it’s a journey that progresses over time—and we have to allow it, even encourage it. The energy that travels from the Root Chakra to the Crown often comes in bursts, like small sparks compared to a single lightning bolt. I allowed fear—the fear of losing that which I loved—to hold my ascension back. When I faced consequences I wasn’t prepared for I tried to put the snake back in the box, so to speak, but that’s not how spiritual awakenings work!
There were moments between 2009 and 2019 when the spiritual energy within me tried to break free. I experienced those small bursts of energy which reminded me Religion wasn’t good for me and that my path was a higher one. It is said that along its path, Kundalini energy “pierces through” each chakra until it reaches the Crown Chakra, and I often felt that was happening to me, but just as spiritual practices such as meditation and yoga can encourage the progress of Kundalini energy toward the Crown Chakra, so too neglecting these things can slow it down, and subscribing to a non-spiritual cult such as Jehovah’s Witnesses all but stops it in its tracks! So for 10 years I was experiencing this pushing and pulling. Sometimes I would allow my innate spiritual energy to gain some traction, but then I would fear losing my family, friends, and livelihood, so I would actively suppress my spirituality in order to “fit in” with my religious life, a life to which my family, friends and reputation were inextricably linked, and you know what?—I kind of succeeded, but I was miserable. I was depressed, unmotivated, lacking energy. I felt like I was pretending. This affected my mental health terribly, even my physical health. I suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for about 4 years, during which time I could barely walk. I felt like a fraud, a fake, an imposter.
Many ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to a feeling they call “cognitive dissonance”. This is where what you feel inside, your true values and beliefs, don’t match your actions. You pretend for the sake of a peaceful life, but what you experience is anything but peaceful. You can try to keep living like that—many do, I did for over a decade—but eventually, the Universe has a way of getting what it wants. When your Kundalini awakens there is only one possible outcome—the process has to be completed—and so the Universe will do what it must to bring that about. Something will happen that acts as a catalyst for your spiritual ascension to get underway again, and that’s what happened to me.
In fact, speaking from an enlightened perspective, the process of scension isn’t so much about Time as it is about Alignment. Time is an illusion as much as Ego is and Ascension will take as long as it needs to in temporal terms. What truly matters is that you align what you know with what you do. Knowing the Truth about who you are and living that Truth are two very different things. We may experience an awakened state and realise, as Alan Watts titled his book The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, but that state doesn’t “stick” unless we have fully purified our ego, deconstructed the illusion of Self, and integrated this Wisdom into our human experience.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin mentioned earlier said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Spiritual ascension involves not just realising this Truth but living as if we truly believe it—not just thinking we are gods—or God—but acting as if we are. This “spiritual integration” as I like to call it, is the bridge between Awakening and Ascension. It involves taking positive steps to progress from a place of visceral “knowing” to a place of Wisdom, of Absolute Belief, and only then, through the action of living our true nature can we truly become it. This is the journey from spiritual awakening to spiritual ascension leading us to total Enlightenment.
The serpent lay dormant in me throughout my childhood and into my early twenties when it began to stir. Awakening occurred almost instantaneously in August 2004, but integration took much longer due to me being in a cult. It wasn’t until April 2021, when I eventually let go of my religion and the hope of a relationship with my children, that I finally “released the brakes” so to speak and allowed myself to walk my true path. For me, the stumbling block has always been my attachment to relationships—my children, my dad, and even myself (my sense of ego, the feeling that I had a reputation to uphold). Once I was able to remove these attachments, Enlightenment was finally within my grasp.
Without wishing to repeat things I’ve discussed in previous podcasts, 2019 was the year when my spiritual ascension, which had been stifled for a decade, finally gained some traction again. It came as a result of certain people that came into my life, people that started me down a path of spiritual inquiry again, a path of learning and teaching, which I’ve discovered is my purpose in life. I came across certain books and spiritual teachers that got me questioning the religious framework I was merely existing in, and eventually, I felt I was bursting at the seams with spiritual energy again.
There were several times I seriously considered leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses, but each time the fear of losing my children kicked in and I pulled back, but ultimately things transpired that resulted in me exiting Jehovah’s Witnesses. If you’ve listened to my previous podcasts you’ll know my exit was messy and resulted in me losing everything—my marriage, my children, my dad, my sister, my friends, my home, my business, my possessions, my health, even my reputation—and finding myself in what can only be described as a spiritual wilderness—and you know what? Painful as all that was, it was totally necessary. I had to lose everything and find myself completely alone before my spiritual ascension could continue, and continue it has. After an initial period where I tried desperately to return to my religion and restore my relationships, I finally surrendered in April 2021 and accepted my spiritual fate. This past year or so has been painful insofar as missing those I love, but it’s also been the most spiritually fulfilling. No longer am I stifled by Religion. I’ve been able to walk my spiritual path and discover Who I Am and what I am here for—my purpose if you will. Yes, I have lost much—I’ve lost everything!—but I’ve also gained what I’ve spent my life looking for.
The thing is, attachments perpetuate the illusion of ego. It’s your house, your car, your husband or wife, your children, your job, your money, your clothes and so on. Spiritual awakening allows us to see that nothing truly belongs to us. The house we spend a lifetime paying for will, in a hundred years’ time, “belong” to someone else—at best your grandchildren, at worst a total stranger. The same is true of relationships. You marry “until death does us part”, and in this life, death will come to us all sooner or later, and as for our reputation—try as we may to leave a lasting impression, in 100, 200, 500 years’ time there will be no memory of us. We really are that unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Yet we stake our corner of “reality” and hold on tightly to it, deluding ourselves that our place in the world is permanent, and while ever we think this way we will never progress along the path to spiritual ascension. We will continually be held back by our attachment to the physical world with its illusory possessions and relationships, thinking of ourselves as an individual who owns stuff, who is tied to people, and in doing so we miss out on attaining that which is real—the understanding of our true nature.
Removing these blocks—purifying our ego—can be psychologically painful depending on how attached we are to our current “reality”. Beliefs, identifications, attachments, relationships, desires—they all have to go. You have to let go of everything you think you are. You have to learn to “die” well. In this way, you “clear the forest”, creating a spiritual wilderness, a clear landscape through which you can forge your new path. Loss and solitude are the two most important things needed for spiritual ascension. Without them, you will forever be stuck in this material world, ignorant of your true nature, or worse, awakened but held back by physical things. Let go—that’s what I learned to do—and painful as it was, I don’t regret it.
I don’t claim to have all the answers. I certainly can’t show you what your spiritual path is. I’m still learning and moving forward on my own path day by day, but there are things I know now that I can honestly say I believe to be true. This is completely different to when I was a Jehovah’s Witness “accepting” what I was being told was “the truth” by a governing body of religious—but spiritually unenlightened—men. I can’t prove what I know to be true, but I don’t have to. The knowledge I have attained thus far is for me, and me alone. It may be that certain things I share with you will resonate with you, but your path is entirely different to mine, and that’s as it should be. As a spiritual teacher, I say only that the answers you seek are within you. I can concur with the Buddha when he said, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
When you take the time to do this you will realise of your own volition that you are God, the “I Am”, an instance of Source Mind—because this much is true. You will come to know that you are not merely your body or brain. Those things are simply vehicles to navigate this low-frequency, physical world. You are Mind, Consciousness, the Many and the One. Not only will you know who you are, but also what you are here to do—your purpose. For me, it’s teaching and creating. Ultimately, it’s to walk the path to total Enlightenment.
And so to the ultimate goal. Enlightenment. This is total ego death from which there is no return. You don’t experience it and then revert to your previous understanding of “reality”. Enlightenment is such a rare but intense experience that the notion of Self completely dissolves and all you’re left with is a sense of Unity with the Whole, and this becomes your new reality. This state of Englightenment is called by many names: Oneness, Moksha, non-dual awareness, Buddhahood even. It’s when you not only know your true nature but you feel it—you live it—intensely. In the case of Moksha, you experience freedom from suffering while still a human, but permanent Moksha is only attained after death. This level of spiritual awareness—of total Enlightenment—can occur spontaneously or as the result of years of spiritual discipline. However it happens, it feels like you are nothing and everything all at the same time. It transcends thought and even the Mind itself. The ego is finally obliterated and all that remains is Pure Awareness. The serpent has awoken. The phoenix has arisen. You are God, the Ultimate Reality.
Thanks for joining me again. Bye for now!