Recently we looked at what it would be like if spirituality came with warning labels, and many of these symptoms are a result of our egoic sense of self crumbling and falling apart. This can lead to some very rocky times for us, but there are things we can ease the process and lessen our suffering in the process.
Sometimes it’s fun to talk about spirituality, non-duality, consciousness, awareness, and all that other fun stuff. There’s certainly value in that. On the other hand, spirituality, like many other things in life, is very experiential and so there are certainly times when we will experience first-hand the destruction of our egoic conditioning, attachments, and illusions.
In those times, you may find yourself feeling like you’re going crazy(!) to say the least… You may find that what you had held as valuable is being ripped away and you can feel yourself feeling like you’ve been gutted. You have no idea what’s going on, who you are, or what to do from here. Resist? Surrender? Take action? Fix? Allow? Change? Assist? Let go? Visualize? Pray? Think positively? Do nothing? Be with it? Feel gratitude?
You know how they talk about “losing yourself to find yourself” or “dying before you die only to find that there is no death?” It is when we are actually in the midst of this so-called death that some sort of guide is of most real-life benefit. One book that serves as just such a guide is You’re Not Going Crazy… You’re Just Waking Up!: The Five Stages of the Soul Transformation Process by Michael Mirdad. It’s like an owners manual to spiritual awakening.
In the preface of the book, the author shares some common things that people say that are often a sign of this soul transformation process in action. Examples from the book include:
As is described in the book, “It’s as though your psyche is a chalice, or cup, that needs to be emptied of old toxic materials so that it can be re-filled with the fresh waters of life, or new opportunities to live life with more love, peace, and purpose. In other words, it’s letting your “old” self die so that your “new” self can be born.” (Page 4)
There is a gap that we must cross between our old life and our new life which involves surrendering our old energies and way of being in this world. If we don’t take the “leap of faith” and surrender to this process, we’ll more than likely just recreate our old life by attempting to force the broken pieces back together which actually just delays the inevitable change that you really need to make and you’ll force yourself to repeat the process. On the other hand, if you learn how to move through the deconstruction stages of the journey properly, you’ll open yourself up to making it through to the other side and rebuilding a new life in a much better place.
It’s not a long book at all at only 90 pages, but that’s one of the beautiful things about it. It’s not meant to be read and added to your mental collection of spiritual knowledge and then tossed onto your shelf. Instead, it’s designed to be a hands-on guide that you slowly work through over and over as more and more of your ego and your life crumbles right before your very eyes.
To be honest, I’ve been resisting a great deal of this process, focusing on the crazy stuff that’s been happening, and in many ways trying to control my own life/awakening. You know… basic ego stuff.
One of the most eye-opening things that I’ve been getting from this book is how and WHY I’ve been repeating the same sorts of breakdown experiences without fully getting to the “other side” and fully healing that issue.
Another thing is seeing how that no, I’m not really going crazy. This is all a process being initiated by my soul and no matter how scary and crazy this experience is for me (aka the more I resist it), it’s all very much okay. Not only is it okay, but what I find myself losing what isn’t actually all that valuable and I wind up discovering what’s REALLY important. It’s like I’m letting go of my tendency to go kicking and screaming to the freedom and joy that my soul is actually leading me directly towards…
Although this process can’t actually be avoided, the degree of suffering we create for ourselves can be minimized. Becoming more conscious is kinda like going into labor: When the process begins, there’s really no stopping it. It’s simply a matter of how well you have developed your ability to surrender and go with the flow.
Regardless of how long you’ve been on any spiritual path or not, if you find yourself feeling like your life is totally falling apart or going to pieces as if your life is being dismantled, if you find yourself feeling empty and lost, in shock or depressed at the tremendous loss of something that felt really important to you, or if you find yourself feeling completely and utterly disoriented now that you have no idea what to do next or where to go from here, this is a phenomenally useful book.
These issues don’t even have to be the result of any sort of spiritual crisis. They can even result from something as ordinary as the loss of a job, the breakup with a loved one, or just somehow hitting rock bottom in any avenue of life, and this book helps is an excellent support along the way.
The rebuilding process doesn’t necessarily imply the rebuilding into our fully awakened or enlightened state. This isn’t just about getting to a final state called “the enlightened life.” How many times has it felt like much of your life has come tumbling down? This process is something that we experience over and over in our lives. It’s just part of life.
Even if you’re not currently in any sort of breakdown, there’s a good chance that someday you will. In the meantime, there are some really helpful things you can do to prepare in advance for what is to come, learn what to do when the transformation strikes, and even things like what to tell your friends so that they can best support you in the process.
If this book sounds like it’d be helpful to you, I’d definitely recommend buying this book. It’s one of the few books I’ve found that are geared to those times when we’re IN IT, when it feels like our life is going to hell in a handbasket and we’ve got no interest in abstract theory or any that jazz.