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There is this paradox that we all live with concerning language. As soon as you translate experience into words, you have substantially altered the experience. In essence, you have destroyed experience and created something new: a story. Most of the goals and desires that we formulate for ourselves end up as a narrative: we tell ourselves a story of what desirable looks like for us, and we set about to ‘make’ our desires come true. Our entire culture is based upon the fulfillment of our wishes and dreams. However, our wishes and dreams are by their very nature unreal, fabricated by the mind. We often discover that the distance between our dreams and our lived experience is so vast that we find ourselves disappointed, upset, and even angry; so, we set about to creating new goals. This is especially pernicious and problematic when one’s ego seizes upon a ‘spiritual’ goal and places it on a to-do list. 

One example of this is surrender to God or to one’s Higher Power. This is, undeniably, a good idea. We are not in control of so much of what happens around us, and our illusion that we can influence events, other people, and the general course of History creates intense suffering. What happens, however, is that a good idea becomes the next Spiritual Goal. The ego takes over and applies Material World understandings to God consciousness. The same person who makes lists of future accomplishments for her profession, housing and entertainment needs, perfect partner characteristics, and so on, decides that ‘surrendering to God’ is number one on the Spiritual List. This is an impossible undertaking, since the very act of placing a concept like surrendering or letting go on a list of things to accomplish destroys the goal itself. 

When any aspect of ‘spirituality’ becomes a goal or a challenge for the ‘seeker’, the game is lost. The very moment one decides that one ‘wants’ a spiritual experience, one has missed the point completely and enters into ego territory where everything is a commodity and desire destroys the potential experience. As soon as you start seeking what we all already have, you are wandering far from what you say you want. Looking for God or for spirit in any form is futile; God and spirit are accessible through your state of mind, not the state of your desires. Spirit shows up when you prepare yourself to receive it, or when you are given the grace to perceive it. You don’t ‘find’ Spirit; you become aware of its presence and allow it to work through you. This is as much the case with those who ‘hunt ghosts’ as for those who ‘hunt God’. Whatever it is that you try to track down will evade and elude you; whatever you are ready to receive will find you. Your intentions and your state of awareness matter–your desires and needs do not. 

Serious meditators, psychonauts, healers, channelers, mediums, and shamans enter into trance states with the goal of arranging a spiritual meeting with another. For this to happen, their sense of self is often erased, leading to what some call ‘ego loss’ or ‘ego death’. This state facilitates communication with a higher power, but it not a goal in itself, unless one makes it so. Ego loss becomes the goal when one doesn’t have a larger purpose for their practice, such as learning to surrender to situations and people over whom we have no control. When ‘ego death’ becomes a goal in and of itself, the ego has–ironically–taken over and made a spiritual state into a challenge. The ego loves challenges and competitions; especially ‘spiritual’ challenges, because the ego’s desires can hide behind the cloak of a ‘higher purpose’. This is why spiritual leaders can become criminal despots or moral disasters: think gurus who lead their flock to commit suicide (Jonestown) or priests who molest and abuse children who trust them. Although these are extreme examples, anyone who enjoys the window dressing of spirituality and makes a show of their enlightenment has fallen into the same trap. 

My epiphany of late is simply this: there is nothing to seek and nothing to find. There is much to accept and to embrace. And yes, you have to voluntarily place yourself into a state of grace in order to receive the gifts of a multifaceted and multidimensional reality that includes everything that people seek: ghosts, God, aliens, Oneness. This requires an alteration in perception. Your stories, your drama, your upsets, your grudges, your ambitions, and even your intellect and critical thinking skills will all block you from the experience of a complex and ultimately incomprehensible reality. Do not attempt to understand or explain Ultimate Reality. If you do, you will fall into the trap that consumes me on a regular basis: the idea that one can explain and convince others to believe the existence of what we call the ‘paranormal’. 

What is, after all, the paranormal? The paranormal is what the ego, what the individual self, cannot explain or make sense of with our current scientific or philosophical paradigms. The paranormal is that space where we hit the wall, where our language breaks down, where we can no longer make reality intelligible for ourselves, much less for anyone else. It’s that space where we live. It’s who we are, but are afraid to admit it. For nothing is stranger than the fact that we exist and perceive ourselves to exist in isolation from everything and everyone else. There is no journey; simply a remembering of something ineffable that we always seem to forget. 

–Kirsten A. Thorne

When the Guru Vanishes

What then?

It’s pretty annoying to realize that I have spent hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of hours working on something that has no answer. I don’t wish to complain, but when the ultimate goal of the ‘spiritual’ search is for that goal to implode and destroy itself, I feel like I was swindled or the butt of a massive joke. 

Seriously, folks. This blog was all about that. I thought that I would end up with something true and evidential. I believed with great sincerity that Kirsten A. Thorne would be the person who revealed what is reasonable to believe in based on science, philosophy, religion, quantum physics, and various types of psychology, from transpersonal to abnormal. I looked at university programs and doctoral programs in Scotland, scouring catalogs for courses and degrees that would confer respectability to the search for immortality. Of course, I spent a great deal of time hanging out at churches and talking to priests. I also interviewed gurus and all kinds of spiritual leaders. Of course, there was always the ‘ghost hunting’ and everything that came with paranormal investigating. When you hit one wall after another, you eventually give up on finding the Holy Grail. Everything, as it turns out, is paranormal. When your entire reality is revealed as spiritual and eternal, what is there to look for?

I read hundreds of ‘trip reports’ from people’s psychedelic experiences. I scoured the literature for fantastic meditation stories. I have read so many damn ‘spiritual’ and New Age books that I am sick to death of the topic. I’m happy that a snake swallowed you in your last Ayahuasca journey or that you visited the Lower Realms during a shamanic drumming circle, but what does any of that mean for anyone besides you? And that is where we all get stuck. It’s great that individuals end up feeling enlightened or finding their personal answers. I’m happy for all of us that have managed that, however we arrived at that point. But part of me keeps thinking how narcissistic the spiritual path seems when it always points back to you. 

I’m starting to think that there is only one real purpose to the ‘spiritual’ experience, and that’s to connect you to others and your natural habitat in such a way that you show up more and care more. It’s so you call in sick less to work and are a better friend. It’s about less wallowing in your depression and anxiety and more creative relationships. It’s about making decisions based on love, not fear. 

As far as ‘finding’ God, the Holy Spirit, Buddha, Jesus, ghosts, UFOs, aliens (I don’t mean to say that all these categories are equal), or whatever other wild, paranormal phenom out there, those spirits ARE RIGHT HERE, in your current reality, in your universe, and don’t require any searching. It may require some intense discipline and dedication, but all things spiritual are built into the very structure of the material. There is no separation. There is no ‘place’ to look, and no particular practice to follow. Be a Catholic or take mushrooms and go to Burning Man. You will eventually end up coming to the same conclusions (that comment should outrage some of you, I’m guessing). 

Whatever you do, make sure you do it with love and respect. What else can I possibly say?

–Kirsten A. Thorne

How to Give Up

shallow focus photography of multicolored floral decor

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

I won’t list all the tragedies. We know them too well. We are quiet as we struggle to live with mass murder on a weekly basis. What can we say? What can we do? Whom can we blame? We are tired of looking for reasons, sick to death of the political arguments, exhausted from listening to the news, from the endless social media posts, the photos, the interviews, the grieving, the candles, the prayers, the stuffed animals, the crosses, the funerals, the waiting for the next massacre. It will come. It always does, these days. What does it mean to surrender? Simply this: know when you can do something, and know when there is nothing to do but accept the reality of our and your circumstances. Once your limitations become clear, do what you can and let the rest go. I won’t pretend the God has some ‘plan’ in place here, or that all this death has ‘meaning’ that we simply can’t comprehend. I don’t think God is a personal force, some being that intervenes or doesn’t based on some code that I can’t figure out. I don’t know what God is, but I do know that our circumstances are ours to fight, to struggle with, or to accept, no matter how awful. Surrendering is not about passivity or blind acceptance of situations and events that you could do something about if you had the strength or will; it’s about realizing that there are some scenarios where you have zero ability to influence the outcome or change the consequences. When confronted with situations that you didn’t have a hand in creating and can’t change, let go. Stop trying to fix things, change things, or influence their inevitable path. That giving in is not giving up. Surrendering means that you have the energy to comfort survivors, to work on a PAC, to write poetry, to publish an article, or to simply reflect into the world the peace that you hope will infuse our sad, troubled, little planet. –Kirsten A. Thorne

IMG_7879So . . . Let’s start with a confession. It hurts that my readers have made it clear that they don’t want to read about human rights or social justice issues. My last post on the kids separated from their families at the southern border was the least popular post I have ever written. I lost quite a few Facebook friends due to my eagerness to raise awareness on the issue, which for me had nothing to do with politics; it was about the human spirit and how we, as a nation, were attempting to crush it. It’s painful to lose friends and readers over a situation that desperately requires our compassion, our action, and our sustained interest. However . . . it’s also true that Soulbank was always about the paranormal, the survival of consciousness, alternate realities, and all things that we can’t explain. It’s easier to think about the afterlife than to deal with the harsh realities of this one.

Confession #2: I lost myself in the spirit world, and it’s time to come back to the material world. Paranormal investigators, intense meditators, religious devotees, gurus, and spiritual enthusiasts of all stripes tend to go out into the ether as a way of avoiding the sometimes crushing misery of ordinary consciousness and everyday reality. Think about it: when you’re busy contacting the dead, you are turning away from the living. The dead are so much easier to handle, since they rarely talk back, can’t hit you, fire you, bully you, or betray you. They mostly just breathe into your recorder and knock on walls. You can, under normal circumstances, walk away from them with zero consequences until your next investigation. I often used investigations, research into the paranormal, meditation and other spiritual practices as a way to keep the brutality of the ‘real’ world at bay.

I didn’t want to spend more time than absolutely necessary interacting with people and attempting to figure out what they needed, so that I could be helpful and self sacrificial. As a people pleaser, the real world was very draining and confusing. I rarely asked myself what I needed to be happy, or thought much about my future. Heading out into the spirit worlds, I was not required to ‘read’ other people and their infinitely changing desires and drives; ghosts and spirits do not ask such work of us. All we have to do is ask them lots of questions and wait for the answers. That is much easier to do than calibrate a living person’s energy and intentions and then mold ourselves accordingly. The materially challenged do not ask us to work so hard. We are in control on an investigation; we decide what to say, when to say it, what counts as meaningful interaction, what to take seriously, what to discard, and how to interpret reality. It’s a power trip to chase down entities.

Secret: I don’t like most people. I find them at best confusing, at worst, threatening. However, I am improving my real people skills; I investigate the material world now, as if I were chasing ghosts in an old mental hospital. After all, people are just ghosts with a body and better communication skills (usually). I really, truly, want to connect with my fellow humans on a deeper and more meaningful level. I want to understand what makes people tick, what they love, what they enjoy, what fascinates them–without falling in the trap of trying to make people happy. That rarely works.

In other words, I want to investigate these days because I miss my friends, both the ones I know, and the ones I haven’t met yet. I want human contact: deep conversation, laughter, shared confidences, and building a web of connections so that none of has to feel alone. “Likes” on FB posts or stats on a blog are not real signs of affection or interest. If anyone wants to go exploring, bowling, see a movie, or just have a long conversation about something fascinating at your local coffee shop, hey–you know where to find me. I’m right here . . .

Kirsten

There is hope.

I am sitting in Starbucks and scrolling through Facebook. The news is horrible and gets worse every day. I turn away from the feed, from the news, from all forms of media long enough to get my bearings. I have been nauseous and dealing with anxiety, mostly due to the belief that I have to do something to change the situations of, for example, the kids in detention centers. Over the last couple of weeks, I have signed up for two volunteer organizations that work with displaced kids. I have called my representatives and joined the Democratic clubs around my area. And guess what? Absolutely nothing has happened. No one has contacted me from any of the organizations with whom I enlisted. I have learned three lessons from this experience of total frustration and impotence when it comes to changing the fundamental realities of our country at the moment:

1. Change does not happen quickly. Even when we feel that a situation has to be remedied RIGHT NOW, the wheels of justice turn slowly. It might take months or years to see the kind of reform we feel should happen immediately. That means that we need to be patient, resilient, and PERSISTENT. The news cycle moves quickly, but we must not fall into the trap of forgetting what matters just because social media has moved on to the next horror. By the way, did you all know that thousands of people died in Puerto Rico in the last hurricane? Did you all know that many people are still in danger due to lack of electricity and resources? Nobody cares anymore, because that is no longer a current news story. Make sure that your compassion HAS NO TIME LIMITS.

2. You are probably unable to alter the fundamental nature and consequences of racism, provincialism, sexism, intolerance, and all manner of behavior that has fear as its motivating force.

3. HOWEVER: You can recognize and release YOUR racism, provincialism, sexism, intolerance and fear. In fact, if you don’t this first, you’re of no use to anyone else.

I know. YOU are not any of those things. I get it. I used to proclaim the same thing. Then I realized that fear motivates me to behave in destructive ways towards myself and others. I had the opportunity in my classroom to see my prejudices in action: I ignored far too often the autistic students because I couldn’t ‘deal’ with them. I blamed my students for laziness when they arrived late, only to discover that some of them were taking three busses to get to Pierce and had to walk their siblings to school in the morning. My intolerances show up on a regular basis. My false assumptions about reality pop up in ugly, self destructive ways every day. I am in the process of releasing these emotions and thoughts that serve no one. It’s extremely hard to do: it’s easier to hate Trump supporters and unfriend people who disagree with you, to label all conservatives as heartless assholes, than to look deep into your soul and ask how you are part of the problem. Does your anger prevent you from taking any action at all? Does your anxiety and fear paralyze you, so that calling your congressional representative is impossible, because you’ve convinced yourself that it wouldn’t make any difference? Do you get sick to your stomach and not sleep due to your outrage, only to find that you’re too exhausted the next day to sign up as a volunteer for the kids?

If you are allowing your emotions to rule you and your hatred to dominate the conversation, you are not helping. The kids in the camps don’t need your outrage. They need your action.

Another trap I fall into is believing that working on myself is ‘selfish’ and a waste of time when people are suffering out in the world. This is a false belief. You can’t do anything when you’re sick with horror. I had stopped meditating and connecting with Spirit, thinking that I had to take action in the world, or I was useless. Of course, this attitude kept me running in circles. I accomplished nothing when I was in DO SOMETHING NOW mode. My energy was frantic, uncontrolled, chaotic, and the Universe responded with NOTHING. The energy you bring to an issue, any issue, will be reflected back to you for better or for worse. Change yourself before you change the world, because until you do, you will fail to help anyone else. When anxiety and fear motivate your social justice efforts, you will be thwarted every, single, time. Yesterday, I decided to get back to meditation and prayer. I felt such an intense surge of energy rush through my body that I spent most of the night wide awake. But today, something has shifted. I feel different.

My guilt, fear, panic, depression, and hopelessness were paralyzing me. Nothing good can happen for anyone when I give in to these emotions and to negative thoughts about the shitty state of the world. I have no choice but to let all of that go and approach the problem from a state of grace and love. How do you do that? Spend time in prayer and/or meditation every day and completely let go of your thoughts and emotions surrounding the issue that is gnawing at your soul. Stop believing that your anger and upset are in any way useful or necessary. Let all of it go.

Then, go to this link and fill out the papers to be a volunteer: https://supportkind.org/
Or, call/contact your local representative: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
Here’s another good organization: https://asylumadvocacy.org/get-involved/
Or, if you are willing to foster a child separated from his/her parents, go here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/children/foster-care.cfm

DO SOMETHING. But for the love of God, make sure that any action you take is from a place of love and compassion. Your demons will not angels make.

–Kirsten A. Thorne


Dear Readers, (in case any are left)
I apologize for the extensive delay in posting. After I declared that there was no spiritual path, I was not sure how to follow up. After all, the entire point of this blog site was to address issues of a spiritual nature, and Soulbank in many ways WAS an important part of my spiritual path. So why would I declare that all of this was an illusion?

I spent the better part of the last 20 years deeply engaged in questions related to life after death and survival of some form of consciousness, in addition to reading everything that I could get my hands on that was in any way related to paranormal phenomena, mostly what we call spirits or ghosts. What I needed was some kind of direct experience of God, the universe, the Goddess, the cosmos, whatever you wish to call that which transcends human experience and yet somehow produced it. As you all know, I experienced a sudden memory of my death from a heroin overdose as Mary, a foster child who died in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. That memory kicked off a strange series of events in my life. My emotions bubbled to the surface, and I was overwhelmed with traumatic memories from not only Mary’s life, but my current one. I had no idea that the bizarre physical, emotional, and perceptual symptoms were due to a recognized phenomenon: spiritual awakening, or spiritual emergence. It was a total transformation, one that continues on unabated (although not nearly so intense) to this day. I can only describe it as a completely unexpected trip to my subconscious mind, where I met God and assorted spirits and guides. Was it real? It was at least as real as my everyday life. If you wish to call our day-to-day existence an illusion, then I would say it was MORE real than said illusion. It’s very difficult to explain the process to someone who has not experienced it. I was not seeking this out, because I didn’t even know what it was. The process shocked and surprised me precisely because it was utterly unpredictable and was orchestrated by some force far greater than me; it was so awe inspiring and humbling that all I could do was bow down to it and give up.

I still wake up at 3:00 AM feeling like I’m about to crawl out of my skin and overwhelmed with energies that I can barely comprehend. I stretch, jog in place, pray, fall to my knees, and wait for the spiritual episode to run its course. I am something like a conduit now for cosmic energies. I don’t know to what end or for what purpose this is happening to me. It started on June 26th, 2017, and rolls forward.

With that in mind, what I would like to do is revise my statements in the last post. I don’t think that there is no such thing as a spiritual path; I think that most humans cannot understand said path. I certainly do not know why this is happening to me, or where I will go with the cosmic downloads of energy, visions, mood swings, and my new perspectives. All I can say is this: I take more action now for the people I love, and the people I love number far higher than before. I feel intense empathy for the plight of human beings and our planet. I want to do something, no matter how small, to ease our collective sufferings and to celebrate our accomplishments and our innate beauty and promise. I am showing up and ready to work for something better. I want to create small spaces for peace and beauty that perhaps, one day, will grow larger and affect more and more of us.

I have become a beginner and am starting over. The journey begins with the small hope that you are all still out there, that you care, that you want to help me raise the collective vibration; I still love to talk to ghosts and read about where memories are stored in the brain, and figure out how time was created, and whether or not space actually exists; I remain curious, dazzled by life, and ready to research any fascinating topic. The difference is, I no longer feel agonized in the process, because I found out that I’m eternal and the Universe loves me. Even if that statement makes you want to roll your eyes, consider that it might possibly be true. I can’t convince you of that; all I can do is ask that you go find the way–however you choose to do it–to answer the question yourself.

This site is no longer about proving anything to anyone; it’s about creating a community of curious seekers and adventurers who are dedicated to enjoying this human experience. Much love to you all,

Kirsten

I decided to read some old diaries, from years back. I had expectations: I would see how much I had evolved over the last year, how truly different I had become after all of my spiritual experiences, and I would feel compassion for the Kirsten of yesterday, pre-Spiritual Awakening. Perhaps, I pondered, I could hold a ceremony for that poor woman shredded by anxiety and beaten down by depression; a ‘soul healing’ for who I used to be.

I read avidly, looking for all the signs that I had, indeed, achieved Enlightenment. The more I read, the more my spirits fell. Something’s wrong. I did not see much difference. I poured over diary after diary, hoping that I would see how much I had transformed. I didn’t see it. Instead, I saw that I was the same. THE SAME. After a year of dazzling and shocking revelations, wild visions, intense talks with God and the Universe, countless hours of meditation, regular experiences in states of altered consciousness, a total spiritual breakdown, trance states, taking to the dead, reading people’s minds, channeling, you freakin’ name it, nothing fundamental was different about me.

I read back through Soulbank, hoping that I would see evidence of my progress there. Nope. What I wrote in 2009 followed the same–or similar– themes as now. I poured over everything I wrote over the last year, looking for huge shifts in my Ascension Process. Nope. I had revelations, forgot about them, had them again; I would swear something was new and shocking, but actually it was an understanding I had arrived at years prior. This was something similar to my Nine Churches in Six Years journey, which led me from the Catholic Church to the Episcopal Church to community churches to something called New Thought. I arrived at the end where I had started out: confused. Angry. “Why,” I thought, “am I not getting anywhere?”

I ask the same question now: “WHY am I not getting anywhere?” The answer is quite plain and simple: there is nowhere to go. There is no final, spiritual destination. There is no correct path, no best way to Get There. There is, actually, no path at all. I always thought that a moment would come when you knew that you had arrived: you were happy, almost all the time, and everything–all the Big Mysteries–would be solved. You would have found peace and radiate love. Children and animals would naturally gravitate towards you, because they sensed that you contained a Buddha or Jesus-like radiance. Dammit. I was gonna be HOLY.

I started reading about monks who had spent 20 years meditating and found that they were still angry, judgmental, fearful, and confused. Sometimes they were happy and calm; sometimes they hated everything and everybody. That made no sense to me–isn’t the point of all these experiences that we come to peace with ourselves and our God? And isn’t that peace that ‘surpasses all understanding’ supposed to be permanent? What’s going on here?

I myself was very judgmental for quite some time regarding paranormal investigating. It was a pseudo science, it was pointless, it was providing no solid evidence for life after death, and so on. At some point over the last year, it hit me: just as there is no right way to figure out reality and God and the Universe and the nature of consciousness, there is no WRONG way to figure it all out, either. If the Ghost Radar and weird audio are leading you somewhere you want and need to go, then that is just as valid as attending Mass, meditating for hours, praying, chanting, spinning, or eating strange berries that make you see serpents in the clouds. Who was I, or anyone, to judge what method was best for finding yourself or discovering the secrets of the Cosmos?

Last January, I went through hell. I had traumatic memories surface, I had odd and scary thoughts that I couldn’t control, I experienced emotions that terrified me and made no sense. I truly thought that I was losing my mind. I felt energy run through my body like I was some kind of live wire or mega-charged battery. I couldn’t sleep, I felt dizzy and spacey, and I was sure that I was losing my grip on reality. I dutifully trundled off to therapy, meditated, prayed, and attended support groups for such things as Spiritual Emergencies, Kundalini rising, Spiritual Awakenings, Ascension, Light Workers, and so on and so forth. I howled at the moon and found my spirit animal. I took classes on mediumship. I pondered becoming a shaman (HA! Nobody should want to be a shaman) or at least, a spiritual guide for the nether worlds of the soul. I meditated until I entered trances and had visions. It faded away after school started in February and used up all my energy.

But my research had just begun. What had I gone through? I read thousands of pages on Kundalini openings, yoga, and other spiritual practices that scared the crap out of me–they had dire warnings about Kundalini energy making people insane or suicidal. That, of course, kicked off my anxiety. Then, I found out that menopause has the SAME SYMPTOM LIST. Yup. Perhaps everything that I experienced and labeled as deep, spiritual transformations was simply the result of hormones dropping and rising precipitously and messing with my neurotransmitters. That realization was quite sobering and more than a tad depressing. Was any of what I experienced real in any sense at all?

There are many articles that link menopause to spiritual enlightenment or Kundalini rising. For those of you who don’t know, Kundalini energy is supposedly stored at the base of your spine and rises up through the seven chakras. At least, I THINK that there are seven chakras. If you block the rising energy, it will negatively affect one of your chakras and cause physical symptoms. It is often experienced as heat spreading up the torso. If you have ever had a hot flash, assuming you’re a woman of a certain age, that’s EXACTLY what Kundalini energy is supposed to feel like. “Menopause is Enlightenment,” one website affirms. If this is Enlightenment, it kind of sucks.

I couldn’t, of course, figure out whether or not menopause was the Ultimate Cause of the difficult emotions and upsetting thoughts that plagued me for several weeks. In fact, nothing really explained it to my satisfaction: too many life situations could have caused it, and the explanations ran the gamut from psychological issues to hormonal imbalance to spiritual emergence. In the end, there was no way to define or pigeon hole it; it was weird, it was unexpected, it was inexplicable. However, I did learn one thing: the thoughts, feelings, and crazy energies were NOT the problem. My reaction to them was the problem. I panicked; I freaked out; I spent endless hours online trying to figure out what was ‘wrong’ with me.

As usual, anxiety was the villain in my story. It always is. It always has been. I could have chosen to simply let it go, observe it all, find it curious but pay it no undue attention. My need to label it, to find a box to stick it in, created pain and confusion. It has taken me a very long time to figure this out, but here it is: you don’t need to label every experience or rank it as desirable or terrible. Spirituality is a very vague concept, indeed. Everything we do and are is ‘spiritual’, if you believe that there is more to us than meat. All roads lead to Rome, if you have a sincere desire to learn and commit yourself to loving yourself and others as part of your search. Stay off the Internet. Trust me, it leads nowhere. Even therapy was mostly unhelpful, as every individual has her own take on what it is you are experiencing, and that could end up confusing or upsetting you. Don’t let other people define the experiences you are having–and don’t worry that you don’t know if your lightheadedness is the start of an Out of Body Experience or just PMS. Any experience can be interpreted as spiritual, physical, or psychological. You can convince yourself that you are going crazy in a thousand ways–that’s how anxiety works.

There is no Path. There is no destination. There is nowhere that you are supposed to end up, spiritually speaking. You are already where you need to be. You are already spiritually developed and have been since birth. The mere fact of your existence and your conscious experience is enough to prove that you ARE the mystery and the answer to the mystery. There is nothing you are missing, need to find, or have to track down. Sometimes, we remember who we really are and think that we’ll never lose that revelation. Then we forget. Life is a cycle of remembering our divinity and falling back asleep. There is no achievement, just an awareness.

I don’t even call any of this a Spiritual Awakening anymore. It’s more like a Remembering and a Forgetting. The fact that I remembered some extraordinary events from another lifetime does not mean anything in and of itself. What mattered is how I reacted and responded to the memories flooding back into my consciousness from past lives and this life. The physical effects of this old reality coming back online were quite real and often astounding–I was frequently distracted by my visions and new perceptions. But  it was simply my body adjusting to the realignment of energies flowing through me. That energy might be called Kundalini or perhaps simply Spirit; in any case, we all experience this to one degree or another during transformative moments.

Spirit doesn’t change who you are. It reminds you who you are. Spirit wakes you up; it doesn’t ‘choose’ you, or confer special powers to you. You might change your circumstances, but you’re still who you always were. That’s the moment of realization: the search leads you back to yourself. The Path goes from Point A to Point A. It’s both liberating and depressing: liberating because you can engage in any spiritual practice you choose without worrying that it’s not the ‘right’ one, and depressing if you were hoping that you would be a different person after all the Experiences die down. Nope. You are always you. Always have been, always will be.

Understanding that the Universe loves you for who you are right now, is cause for celebration. That is the true spiritual epiphany.