The 2020s: A Decade of Healing, Wholeness, and Empowerment

A few weeks ago it came to me in a flash that the 2020s are the “Decade of Healing, Wholeness, and Empowerment.” With this insight came the knowing that there is unprecedented energetic and spiritual support available at this time for humans to remember who we really are, to heal ourselves, and to heal the natural world. Since then I have observed that this support is so powerful, in fact, that even people who have not been inclined toward spiritual practices are having unexpected awakening experiences.

Indeed, this seems to be a time of spiritual surprises. More and more of my clients are experiencing a dramatic expansion of consciousness and an acceleration of ego death, which can be quite unsettling, as well as other signs – usually some kind of crisis – that deep healing is occurring or is ready to occur for them on a soul level. In addition, many people are reporting “symptoms” that are actually collective in nature, for instance powerful emotions or thoughts that do not seem to be their own.

Since I am able to calibrate where these emotions, thoughts, and other issues are coming from within the field of being, I can reassure people that they are not going insane and help them to discover the golden opportunity that is being presented. In most cases, they are accessing domains of collective consciousness with which they are in resonance, and this link gives them a unique opportunity to heal something in themselves that is usually quite subtle while also contributing to the healing of other people, nature, and the planet – for there are direct correspondences between all of these.

Recently I have gone further in exploring the general principle that all instances of physical, emotional, and mental turbulence have their origin in realms of our own consciousness that we have not yet recognized as ourselves. In particular, I have been seeing improvements in the mental health of coaching clients, and these shifts seem to be connected with the fundamentally spiritual work that we are engaged in. This work involves becoming familiar with the levels and aspects of individual and collective being, bringing the enlightened self into the foreground, noticing where issues are active within the extended system of self, and integrating all of these into a whole, awakened person.

What I have witnessed so far suggests that the need for conventional therapies decreases as the integration of insights at the level of one’s enlightened self resolves the basic, existential confusions that lead to problematic behaviors. Although the most recent observations relate primarily to the mental and emotional health of coaching clients, I have also been seeing indications that physical health improves as we untangle the true nature of being and develop a much more spiritually accurate concept of the self.

So what is it that we are untangling? What would be a more accurate concept of the self? And what is the golden opportunity that is being offered by the healing crises and puzzling symptoms that people are experiencing? We are being invited, collectively, into the double realization that (a) the self that appears to be disconnected from life, the divine, and other human beings is a fictitious idea, sustained mainly by the flimsy evidence of fragmented perception, and (b) all that we experience is our Self, which is the one Self of every being and every thing. As we all share the same Self, there is nothing that could ever be other than us or outside of us. The crises and various symptoms are, by and large, spiritual in nature, and they are encouraging us to recognize this inviolable wholeness. They are a loud knocking on the door of our awareness, attempts to call our attention to components of ourselves that we have regarded as other, which are essential to our well-being and which now need to be integrated into our awareness of who we are.

Since it is all-embracing, the realization of our profound wholeness is for everyone, not only people who meditate, pray, or practice yoga. The key to widespread healing is wholeness, and the result of wholeness is individual and collective empowerment. When we are healed and in our power we will repair society, Earth’s ecosystems, and the world as a living, breathing superorganism of consciousness. But first, as the wave of collective awakening rises further and sweeps the planet, the majority of people are likely to be caught by surprise, and they will need loving assistance in order to comprehend what has happened. This is, therefore, a decade for healers, spiritual teachers, and all who have already awakened to refine their gifts and show up generously in support of healing, wholeness, and empowerment for all.

Please join Yanni Maniates and Jeff Vander Clute on February 22, 2020 for an online journey of “Accessing Your Full Potential for Healing and Empowerment.” We will explore the themes in this article, experience meditations and transmissions, and learn a method for working with the enlightened self to initiate healing in the roots of being.

Top Ten Beloved Books

A few months ago I was invited to create a list of the ten books that have most influenced my spiritual journey for The No BS Book Club. As it felt important to be thorough, I discerned the list over a period of several weeks and then spent the better part of five days re-reading portions of the books, reconnecting with their transmissions of consciousness, and becoming the books in order to share their essence as well as how they supported my evolution at critical points in my life.


The process of becoming a book was a revelation, and I will share more about that in a future post on Letters from The Enlightenment Zone – after the list has gone live for the book club. For now I invite you to enjoy the descriptions and stories below as a special preview for our cherished subscribers.

  1. God Speaks: The Theme of Creation and Its Purpose
    By Meher Baba

Soon after I began exploring and mapping realms and levels of consciousness, a friend recommended God Speaks. This book is the result of decades of enlightened investigation by Meher Baba into how reality works, and how the human soul evolves on the journey back to its source. The utterly unique feature of God Speaks is a set of detailed charts that portray the mechanisms of evolution from the perspective of an avatar. The book also offers a comprehensive explanation of how the “original whim” of God to know through experience initiates a process of involution into matter, and evolution through a multitude of incarnations, paths, planes, roles, and states to a state that is “Beyond the Beyond” and yet ultimately enriched by the sum of human experience. In this profound and ultra-coherent cosmology, God takes a journey, or so it seems, and we are all divine incarnations along the way. Through the power and coherence of Meher Baba’s transmission, God Speaks activates deeper dimensions of the human being so that we might all come to realize the “I Am God” state in human form. When the student is ready, this book offers a clear pathway to God-realization.

  1. I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
    By Nisargadatta Maharaj, Sudhaker S. Dikshit (editor), Maurice Frydman (translator)

I Am That is a compilation of conversations between Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and his students, in which Nisargadatta speaks with a lucidity that is almost shocking in its depth and directness. Reading and rereading passages from this book refined the subtler powers of mind and being, and provided me with an expanding taste of nonduality. The book offers a path of self-realization through repeatedly emphasizing the recognition that one can be neither the objects of perception nor any conceivable identity in the mind. The true self is beyond the mind altogether, and the way to realize this true self is through direct self-knowing rather than through activity, experience, or knowledge of things. From I Am That, I learned to peel away innumerable layers of experience, knowledge, and identity as a way to know directly what I am. Whilst God Speaks provides a path that builds up to God-realization, I Am That removes every illusion to reveal one’s true nature, as it is primordially. As this book is also a transmission of enlightened consciousness, behind the words there is a kind of frequency that entrains the reader into an ever-more-awakened state. After reading both God Speaks and I Am That, you will have a richer appreciation of the approaches to spiritual realization.

  1. A Course in Miracles: The Text
    By Dr. Helen Schucman (scribe)

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is a channeled work that offers a highly effective path to nondual spirituality through the power of forgiveness. At a time when my identities and ways of being had largely fallen to pieces, I purchased a volume of ACIM that combined the Text, Workbook for Students, and Manual for Teachers into a hefty 1333-page tome. My mind was reasonably intelligent, and also fairly arrogant, and I seemed to require this substantial body of wisdom, rigorous and relentless in its logic, to exhaust my mental processes, dissolve my judgments, and unify the shards of being as I surrendered in forgiveness. ACIM was also one of the first channeled works I had read, and I delighted in both the beauty and the potency of the language. I found it helpful that the words and concepts had their roots in Christianity, and yet the Christian feel is a reason why ACIM will not be an on-ramp for everyone. Nevertheless, the teachings are fundamentally nondual, and as such ACIM can lead one into the mystical territory at the heart of all religions and spiritual paths.

  1. A Course in Miracles: Workbook for Students
    By Dr. Helen Schucman (scribe)

The Workbook for Students provides a rigorous 365-day journey for practicing the principles of A Course in Miracles. Students are encouraged to study one lesson each day for a whole year. Many students of ACIM work through the lessons more than once, and some study the Workbook year after year. Somehow I knew that this was the way of liberation for me, and I devoted myself to a full year of spiritual study and practice. In retrospect I see that ACIM created a strong foundation for the journey that was still to come. At the end of the year I read, in the Epilogue, that “[t]his course is a beginning, not an end” and “[n]o more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them.” From that point on, an inner guide would be my companion on the path, and that has indeed been my experience. Although ACIM has receded over the years as my spiritual reference, I am deeply grateful for the initiation and launchpad that it provided during the initial phase of my spiritual journey.

  1. Siddhartha
    By Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha found me two years after I completed the Workbook for Students. By then I had read quite a few spiritual classics, but this book touched a deeper longing in my soul to go all the way on the journey of enlightenment. The overall vibration of this story is in the range of peace on the Hawkins Scale of Consciousness – at least as I calibrate such things – and peace was my prevailing experience while reading Siddhartha. At that point I was in one of my renunciation periods, and I related to the protagonist’s swings between solitude and engagement with the world. Although I knew the true nature of phenomena to be illusory, in my rejection of money and human foibles, for instance, I had yet to see the whole of my life and being as a beautiful, unique expression of divinity. That enlightenment comes after one embraces life in its totality is the profound teaching of Siddhartha. By the end of the book, the consciousness transmission has entered the enlightened range, and Siddhartha’s final awakening by the river is conveyed with a power that can lift ripe souls into that same territory.

  1. The Experience of No-Self: A Contemplative Journey
    By Bernadette Roberts

The Experience of No-Self came to my attention in a dharma talk by Adyashanti. What I love about this book are the detailed descriptions of the author’s mystical experiences of dissolving into the emptiness of existence and of the complete ending of self-consciousness, in which the truth is revealed. Bernadette Roberts “came upon a permanent state in which there was no self, no higher self, true self, or anything that could be called a self” and discovered, experientially, that beyond union with God there is THAT which the personal self and the personal God both dissolve into – God beyond union, neither personal nor impersonal. Roberts’ discovery that what truly is abides beyond all notions of self, including the true self of union with God, strengthened my resolve to continue with my own radical investigations. Another aspect of The Experience of No-Self which continues to resonate deeply is the intimate connection between Roberts’ experiences and her immersions in the natural world. Though not the intended focus of the book, one of my biggest takeaways is that nature is a spiritual teacher that will carry us beyond ourselves and into the unknown splendor of our true nature.

  1. The Precious Treasury of the Way of Abiding
    By Longchen Rabjam

The approaches to true nature are many and varied. For some, the pinnacle path includes the teachings of Longchenpa, a 14th century manifestation of wisdom whose works are revered for their clarity and directness. The Precious Treasury of the Way of Abiding is the final book in The Seven Treasuries of Longchenpa, and it is one of the most delicious, and most potent, treatises of enlightened mind that I have encountered. On the first page, Longchenpa goes straight to the heart, stating that “the consummate meaning of the heart essence is that of ineffability, openness, spontaneous presence, and oneness.” Thereupon he begins to unfold with exactitude each key insight and its implications, leading one to the decisive experience. The language is pristine, poetic, and skillful. In my experience The Precious Treasury of the Way of Abiding operates simultaneously on two levels: with great precision, the words surgically free the reader from the tangle of concepts, of cause and effect, while the direct transmission underneath the words opens a “trap door” to enlightenment. Stay with this book, allow the profound meaning to be revealed, and you will be rewarded.

  1. The Autobiography of a Yogi
    By Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda is one of the most important spiritual figures of the 20th century. His work bridged East and West, and introduced millions to meditation and the path of God-realization. Yogananda’s autobiography recounts a life filled with mystical encounters and remarkable accomplishments. To read it is to enter a world in which miracles are ordinary occurrences and communion with the Divine follows naturally from the principles of yogic sciences. The book is replete with instances of people who bilocate, levitate, live without food or sleep, or demonstrate resurrection. I was inspired, and humbled, to discover that such abilities and possibilities can actually exist in the world. And yet these intimations of a greater reality are secondary: The real objective is union with God, and this possibility is available to everyone. The Autobiography of a Yogi introduces a method, Kriya Yoga, that steadily opens the practitioner to the limitlessness that transcends mortality. Through Yogananda, Kriya Yoga emerged from secrecy as a gift to humanity, to support our upliftment from patterns of self-destruction into the light of self-realization. The Autobiography of a Yogi is a magical read, an empowering revelation, and a treasure for the ages.

  1. The Way of Mastery ~ Part III: The Way of Knowing
    By Shanti Christo Foundation

The Way of Mastery is a series of three volumes channeled from Jeshua. There are essential resonances between these books and A Course in Miracles, which is channeled from Jesus. In my experience, The Way of Mastery takes one further into the enlightenment process. In The Way of Knowing, Jeshua offers “the very rock bottom, most fundamental core” in Lesson 33: There Is Only God and You Are That. He poses the question, “Would you be willing to simply be God?” and follows up with “There is only God. [Y]ou have received information only from your Self—God. … Jeshua ben Joseph has been a guise, a disguise, chosen of me, to present myself to you because you have required it.” Thereafter this teaching acknowledges its own limitation and offers an invitation: “[T]he final step, beyond even The Way of Knowing, is to release resistance to creation itself, and learn to show up as God in individuated form.” To live our true nature, in original playfulness as the ultimate One, we “simply give up being identified as a separate self still struggling to know the truth.” The Way of Mastery will lead us toward this end, to the very threshold of God-realization.

  1. Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior
    By David R. Hawkins

Power vs. Force is in some ways the most pivotal book that I have read. The thesis is that there is a method for knowing the relative truth of any idea, substance, or system, and we can choose to live according to what calibrates most highly. This discovery opens a path by which we can become more conscious and we support the awakening of many others. The book shares a framework for understanding consciousness – the Hawkins Scale of Consciousness – which describes the levels of consciousness that humans tend to express. Applying a form of kinesiology to yes-no questions, Dr. Hawkins discovered that many people are capable of calibrating these levels with accuracy. Once enough people are using their ability to discern truth and live with greater awareness, the stage is set for a radical reinvention of human society. The most significant contribution of Power vs. Force to my life is that it inspired me to discover “Resonance Mapping,” which is the method I use for calibrating truth and consciousness. Through calibrating the resonance of nearly every decision, I have cultivated the discipline of choosing only the options that calibrate most highly. The outcome, for me, has been a profound experience of flow and a clear, joyful spiritual unfoldment. In my heart I know that this is a possibility for each and every one of us. Power vs. Force provides a means by which we can choose higher consciousness and, together, create an enlightened world.

Editor’s note: This list first appeared on Jeff’s website. Image source: PXHERE.com.

A transmission of Perfect Love

Love is the primordial force that draws all of creation together and maintains the great web of relationship. This Love is experienced in countless ways from the cohesion of subatomic particles to human interconnections to the gravity that supports the vast galaxies in a spiral dance.

One could say that Love is like the in-breath of Spirit, gathering and commingling the elements of Creation in the lungs of God. One could equally say that Love is like the out-breath of Spirit, expelling its very self as substance into the world of form and matter, for the great activity of the One includes the entirety of possibilities.

It is the out-breath into appearances of difference and diversity that facilitates the beautiful possibility of the in-breath, of the return and certain homecoming of self-realization. In the breath, Divinity comes to play and experience all aspects of unity through all possible arrangements, and this journey deepens and answers the Original Wish to be fulfilled.

The greater Love in its perfection, Perfect Love, stands above all ideas of Love, beyond the conditional and even unconditional forms of Love, and holds the experiences of a seeming separation equally with the triumphant return to Oneness.

The invitation to all beings who would know themselves truly is to be whole enough to allow the sum total of experience, and thereby discover that they are the all of it, for they are, you are, and we are Love Itself.

Releasing all of the limitations that have been placed on Love, and ourselves, through conceptualization, come to rest in the bliss of being Perfect Love. And, finally, in this state of acceptance and awakeness, live as this Perfect Love, just as you are right now.

Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash.

What is enlightenment?

For years I have been collecting definitions of enlightenment and calibrating their degree of truth using the siddhi of Resonance Mapping. While many of the definitions resonated very highly for truth, none of them ever felt sufficiently whole to me. A whole definition transmits the realization energetically and directly at the level of awakened consciousness. A whole definition, when written from that same consciousness, is like a beneficial program that enters the mind of the recipient and initiates an operating system upgrade. In this case, the whole human being receives the “enlightened human OS.”

So I meditated, and meditated some more, on what would be a most comprehensive and utterly clear definition that would uplift people wherever they are on their journey of realization. Finally, on my birthday in Varanasi, India, near the banks of the river Ganges, the following articulation came together and clicked into its final form with a resonance of “Not Representable.” Thus what you are about to read is a transmission of enlightenment itself, rather than a representation or a talking about enlightenment. The words are simply the crystalline vehicle for opening the heart and mind. The transmission will do the rest over time.

Abiding Silent Certitude

The first awakening of enlightenment
privileges the devotion to silence,
which lifts away ignorance.

The second awakening of enlightenment
expands the direct knowing of Unity expressed as forms.

The third awakening of enlightenment
establishes agreement between the form level of experience
and pure awareness.

The fourth awakening of enlightenment
encourages straying children of totality toward their true nature
while knowing that all manifestations
conceal a subtler substrate on which form rests.

Enlightened service,
offered in ways appropriate for each occasion,
undoes fear and liberates Being itself
into pure all-encompassing bliss.

The enlightenment revelation
builds to the release of all negation,
including the subtlest doubt sustaining the shattered mind
that perceives separation.

Enlightened presence
graces in silence and in the certitude
that all is abidingly well.

Enlightened embodiment
is that which is revealed when enlightened presence emanates
from every manifestation
of the entire Cycle of World-Play.

Varanasi, India, 21 November 2019

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Ten steps to becoming the New Human

The New Human is the Divine Human

While visiting Geneva, Switzerland in the summer of 1996, I came across a new book by Luc Ferry titled L’homme-dieu ou le sens de la vie (Man-God or the Meaning of Life). It was a joy to read, in a language that I had fallen in love with, such lucid insights into how the apparent retreat from the divine in modern society can instead be understood as a process of discovering the sacredness in the human. The one and only line that I have remembered ever since states that we are now collectively living a double process in which the human is being divinized and the divine is being humanized. More than 20 years later, it has finally become clear to me that there are practical steps we can take to reorient our lives in order to engage consciously with the process of becoming the divine human, and thereby accelerate an unprecedented evolution of homo sapiens.

Step 1: Prepare to become the New Human

We recognize that a species-level transformation is underway, which we can choose to participate in consciously. This evolution is not primarily an evolution of human biology; rather it is an evolution of consciousness and perception, and numerous physical and spiritual adaptations will follow. When we make the deep decision and offer our full “Yes” to participate willingly and gratefully in this comprehensive transformation, the process is sure to go more smoothly for us and be rather more enjoyable than the alternative.

Step 2: Open to discover new capacities, and allow them to be expressed.

New abilities are awakened and revealed progressively as we move through this evolutionary process. For example, we might find that our intuition becomes more active, or we might discover a talent for energy healing. Abilities that we have developed previously may become more powerful. Many “superpowers” are actually quite ordinary for the New Human. It is important to accept and appreciate the gifts that awaken in us as completely natural ingredients of who we are.

Step 3: Develop intuitive capacities for knowing and discernment.

As our previously latent abilities become expressed, we need to develop and strengthen them through regular practice. In particular, it is essential to cultivate our intuitive capacities to “know the unknowable” (that which is beyond rational understanding) and to make wise decisions that take into account both our mental understandings and supra-rational knowing. This enables us to unite the head, heart, gut, and soul, and we become whole human beings in the process.

Step 4: Make peace a priority in every aspect of our life.

As we progress and become more whole, we access and live from more of ourselves. This includes using our new “powers” and acting from an integrated head-heart-gut-soul. Living this wholeness requires that we build peace with and within ourselves, first and foremost. This peacebuilding then extends naturally to making peace with others and with the world around us. We learn to recognize the often-subtle movements of “againstness” in our own minds, and make the choice to love the other.

Step 5: Open to the possibility of a deeper nature.

The New Human has profound roots that tap into the purest waters of our true nature, which is Divinity. As long as we assume that our being is limited to the ego or to the personal sense of self, we are accessing perhaps 2% of the vastness that we are. The antidote to this situation is to become curious about how much more there is to discover. Life delights in our curiosity and responds to questions such as “Who am I?” by showing us more of who and what we are. And there is always infinitely more to explore.

Step 6: Live from the heart of Life.

To live from the heart of Life is to live from our heart center while being connected and aligned with Mother Nature, the planet, other human beings, and indeed all beings and the cosmos itself. As we become more skilled at considering the well-being of all when making large and small decisions, we continue to deepen our roots and realize that, in fact, we are All. The truth of oneness becomes self-evident through our own lived experience. We become naturally more loving and over time the world showers upon us the very love that we co-create.

Step 7: Practice functioning beyond ego.

Even though our realization of oneness may be far from perfect, we find that we are increasingly able to operate through an expanded sense of self in ways that benefit the whole of Life. “Navigating the Death and Transfiguration of the Ego” offers a description of the stages and indications of where we may be in the process of shifting from fear-based patterns of behavior to post-egoic, supercreative, and ultimately enlightened consciousness. This new way of being takes practice and time to become established; but since it is where we are going as a species, our success is assured.

Step 8: Harmonize with Nature.

The way is clear for us to live in a manner that does no harm, that creates and co-creates beauty, and that compassionately addresses the challenges and realities of a world that is waking up from a long slumber of forgetfulness. We are not alone in this endeavor. A new species is being birthed, and we have the full support of Life. A primary way to amplify and spread the new, more enlightened state of being is to harmonize actively with Nature. Where can we add beauty? Where can we bring healing? How may we be of service to Mother Earth? The New Human delights in serving the true and the good, of which Nature is the perfect manifestation.

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
—Rabindranath Tagore

Step 9: Know and experience ourselves as infinite beings.

We are infinite beings. This is the truth that we are remembering, and the experience of being finite and separated from God, from Life, and from one another is the dream that we are now waking up from. We are invited to hold firm in our knowing that, despite all appearances to the contrary, we are inseparable from the Infinite. As we hold this true conviction, and live in wholeness, our experience confirms what has always been the case. At this point it is especially important to pay attention to the small signs of the New Human, for the energy of our noticing feeds the process of manifesting our divine nature.

Step 10: Be aware of and practice divine creatorship.

The more we come to know who and what we are in truth, the more we discover that we have the power to create a world that works for all. Indeed, this becomes our primary responsibility on this Earth walk. We take care of one another and the whole of Life with a generosity of spirit, and we continue the journey of awakening through supporting others – without needing to convince or convert them – in remembering who they are as well. As enlightened activity spreads, the ills of society, which seemed insurmountable before, are addressed more quickly than we imagined possible. The new species is aware of its divinity. We are supercreative. We can and will heal and regenerate the planet. The New Human has arrived.

Photo by Aydın Kiraz from Pexels

Navigating the death and transfiguration of the ego

Please note that this article has been revised multiple times since it was originally published. The most recent version is here on the author’s website. Thank you!


The following description of the process of ego death and transfiguration came through in an inspired way during long road trips across the desert southwest of the United States. The resultant framework can be held lightly and need not be the last word. Nevertheless, the stages and indications can help one to see where they are in the process, have a sense of the good things to come, and relax into the process.

A working definition of ego

There are many definitions of ego. Here’s one that resonates highly for both truth and usefulness:

Ego is the habitual pattern of labeling phenomena as “wrong” and repeatedly responding to that misperception and misidentification of what is actually the case. What is actually the case is infinite life unfolding and learning through successive forms and all possible experiences.

Ego is thus a feedback loop of negativity seeking to strengthen its own imaginary status as a negative-energy pattern through ever more negation. At the same time, the ego is seeking on a deeper level to be released from the unsatisfactory state of life-denying that it has made for itself.

The ego process conjures and attempts to maintain a sense of reality based on wrongness, which forms a weak identity and worldview that needs constant protection since it is itself what’s the matter, so to speak. The attempt to maintain an imaginary self and worldview through continued negation and judgment results in exhaustion, and eventually the ego ceases to function. It is at this point, when the ego has thoroughly burned itself out, that the ego’s deepest desire is finally granted.

An alternative, and much gentler, way is for the ego to choose to surrender to a new way of being, in which a vaster sense of identity and vaster capabilities are available. Such a surrender can happen at any time.

Importantly, we are not labeling the ego as wrong. We can see it as a stage of development, with its own beauty. And as a stage of development it also has inherent limitations, which homo sapiens is discovering rather painfully. The next evolution of human is emerging now and a defining feature of this new species is that it will operate beyond ego. In the meantime, we would do well to understand the process of evolving beyond ego so that we can navigate this transformation with as much grace as possible.

Here are a few key egoic patterns to keep in mind:

  • Attachment and aversion
  • Condemnation/judgment
  • Reactivity: a spectrum of passivity to aggression/violence
  • Defensiveness and overidentification (with small ideas)

These patterns will resolve into the following post-egoic characteristics:

  • Openness, willingness
  • Discernment
  • Right, aligned responsiveness
  • Generosity

Five stages of ego death and transfiguration

Let’s explore five stages of ego death and transfiguration that give an overall sense of the journey from ego- and fear-based living to post-egoic being. Although the stages are presented in a linear fashion for clarity, they overlap and people tend to experience moving back and forth among them. Nevertheless, over time there is a shift from experiencing confusion and fear to knowing clarity and peace.

Stage 1: Initiation (disruption!)

  • Life stops making sense. (stage 1.0-2.9)
  • Confusion (stage 1.0-2.4)
  • Apparent chaos (stage 1.1-3.6)
  • Sense of meaninglessness and futility (stage 1.2-3.1)
  • One may find themselves considering suicide, or daydreaming of not being in the world, as a way out of the uncertainty, confusion, and despair. (stage 1.1-4.1)
  • What used to be motivating no longer seems to work. (stage 1.2-3.3)
  • Frequent fear, anxiety, dread, despair, sleeplessness, and/or existential terror, often for no apparent reason (stage 1.2-4.9)

Stage 2: Sense of not belonging

  • Feelings of not fitting into the world, of being between worlds, of not belonging (stage 2.0-4.2)
  • Inability to cope with the extreme uncertainty (stage 2.4-3.7)
  • Work can become difficult at this stage. (stage 2.4-3.9)
  • Feelings of profound pointlessness and demotivation can be very strong. (stage 2.7-3.7)
  • Loss of appetite (stage 2.7-4.2)
  • Dawning insight: “You are not your thoughts.” (stage 2.8)

Stage 3: Glimmers of a new way of being

  • Starting to see the light of a new way of being, although it might not make sense yet, e.g. financially or in other traditional ways (stage 3.0-4.4)
  • The limit of conventional Western psychology (stage 3.1-3.4)
  • Spiritual exhaustion, often accompanied by illness (stage 3.1-4.4)
  • Oscillation between highs of love, joy, and gratitude and lows of fear and panic (stage 3.4-4.4)
  • A sense of no longer being in the personality arises and grows stronger (stage 3.6-)

Stage 4: Lightening of the heavy burden of being someone

  • A lightening of a burden one didn’t know was there! (stage 4.0-)
  • Patterns of defensiveness and reactivity are noticeably diminished. (stage 4.1-)
  • Dawning perception of beauty in everything (stage 4.2)
  • Perceiving the perfection of circumstances on a consistent basis (stage 4.7-)
  • Growing clarity and an ability to know intuitively what to do / where to go (stage 4.8-)

Stage 5: Consolidation of the new way of being

  • A new and more powerful motivation arises: actual inspiration. (stage 5.1-5.4)
  • Consistent appreciation and seeing beauty in all are integrally established patterns of the new way of being. (stage 5.2-)
  • One begins to know and experience the true nature of Love. (stage 5.7)
  • A prevailing sense of inner peace is present and will continue to deepen long after the egoic patterns have been transmuted and forgotten. (stage 5.9-)

Summary and a call to engage

The process of ego death and transfiguration into a lighter way of being is natural and completely aligned with the next phase of human evolution. In a real sense, whatever species is to follow homo sapiens will be discovered on the other side of this transformation. It is, therefore, well worth exploring where you are on the path of becoming post-egoic. If you find yourself in one of the more challenging stages, know that there is a growing number of people who have been through this transformation and who can support you on your evolutionary journey. If you have navigated the passage already, then please consider helping others who are currently in the midst of this species-level upgrade.

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Satsang for Collective Illumination

The range of spiritual practices is as vast and beautifully diverse as the cultures and sacred traditions that enrich the human family. Meditation, prayer, yoga, mantra recitation, conscious movement and exercise, and even sports can all help us to encounter the profound dimension of life and develop our spiritual nature.

The fruits of sustained spiritual practice include greater self-awareness, expanded capacity to give and receive love, reverence for all of life, healing of conflict and division, and, ultimately, peace on Earth. These benefits are realized over time as we engage with heart and dedication, and as we are transformed through the practices that are right for us. Moreover, as the Maharishi Effect and the Intention Experiments have shown, the benefits of spiritual practice can be amplified to the scale of societies, and even the whole planet, when we connect and harmonize our individual practices.

At The Enlightenment Zone, we are exploring new ways of practicing together that are made possible by telepresence technologies such as the Zoom video meeting platform. Our website and social media channels enable individuals to connect with one another and with peer-to-peer programs that use telepresence to access and help spread the enlightened consciousness that is quietly sweeping the planet. Two such programs are “Virtual Satsangs: Journeys into the Heart of Awakening” and “Living in God-Realization,” hosted by Yanni Maniates and Jeff Vander Clute. These regular online gatherings connect people from around the world using the power of Zoom and, most foundationally, the spiritual practice of satsang.

The word satsang derives from the Sanskrit words sat and sangha, which mean truth and company or association, respectively. The traditional form of satsang consists of a group of people who gather physically to associate with the true and the good by engaging in a spiritual inquiry led by a teacher or master. Satsang typically includes meditation, a discourse, and a period during which the teacher answers questions posed by the students. In the powerful field that satsang creates, participants often experience epiphanies and awakenings, and, in some cases, receive direct transmissions of consciousness and energy.

The Enlightenment Zone is building on the traditional practice of satsang – with an emphasis on experience and transmission – while innovating in at least two dimensions: (1) creating a field of liberating energy and consciousness that powerfully blesses each participant and the planet through telepresence; and (2) calling forth the spiritual mastery inherent in each individual so that they can become a co-teacher, with their peers, and offer their unique gifts into the collective. Thus far in our explorations, we have discovered that satsang and telepresence are completely compatible, and that groups of empowered peers can reliably become collective expressions of loving, awakened consciousness.

We have also found that great wisdom and light emerge through each individual, and that every participant contributes to the group’s ability to embody truth and goodness. While some people may be, or may appear to be, more advanced in certain ways (though generally not in all ways), everyone is learning and evolving, and the collective presence is on its own journey of awakening and embodiment as well. Therefore, to create the conditions for collective awakening, we have found it helpful to consider that we are all teaching and learning from one another simultaneously, that each of us is supporting the awakening of one another and the collective as a whole, and that each of us has the potential to be a leader, teacher, and spiritual master who is capable of embodying the light for the benefit of all beings.

A spiritual practice is an ongoing adventure. We practice, we deepen, and we discover new territories of inquiry and possibility. So it is with satsang. Through engaging with forms of practice that have existed for millennia, and innovating in ways that are appropriate to the times, we are discovering how to grow awakened collectives that can eventually coalesce into an awakened humanity. Thus satsang is a practice which, sustained and magnified, may finally enable us to realize the comprehensive healing and peace that we know in our heart of hearts to be the inevitable promise of humanity.

The Enlightenment Zone is an online destination for exploring our true nature where every offering has been created to transmit awakened consciousness and energy. To learn more about the Virtual Satsangs and Living in God-Realization explorations, including a schedule of upcoming events, please visit the Courses section of www.enlightenment.zone.