Integration vs Growth

Integration vs Growth

Tom has posted a great Adyashanti quote from earlier this year on Spiritual Awakening. I raised a point there I would like to repeat here – the importance of understanding the 2 aspects of the awakening process – intergation and deepening.

Throughout our growth cycles we see these 2 aspects taking place. After any step of growth there is integration, then a new place of balance. Then along comes something to disrupt and prepare us for the next step of growth. Typically an opening, an expansion or a deepening in this context. But it may arrive in just about any form. Whatever is needed to initiate change, perhaps even get us unstuck.

If we look closely at the Adyashanti quote on Tom’s blog or at our own experience, we can see the process of change has these 2 aspects.  In this context, after the first awakening.

1) There is overcoming the ego shrapnel/ deliverance and integrating the deep silence and bliss so they are unshakable in the vagaries of life. Then it is fully established. Many fall back into the mind for a bit but this is an opportunity to see what is there and clear all the old habit forms that no longer serve.

2) There is the moving forward of Being, clearing and integrating the heart, then lower ‘me’ and identity values. This is the forward step.

How people step through these stages of awakening varies widely. Satyam Nadeen talks about the rough deliverance he had, awakening in prison. Byron Katie in a half way house. On the flip side, Lorne had no deliverance and no BBQ. The experience largely depends on what has come before, the support network we have, and our own unique senario. Life has a way of simply working it out. Whatever the situation, it is not a barrier.

But it is very important to understand there is more and see the growth process, as distinct from the integration. Some traditions do not recognize there is more. Awakening is the end, the goal. But there is no end. Human potential has NO upper limit. Others, like Advaita, Zen and Tantra recognize a Unity beyond simple awakening.  It’s not like you have to do anything to get there. But you do have to allow the process to unfold. This is much easier if you know it’s there.

Understand that each teachers awakening experience will be reflected in their teaching. Everyone’s process will be a little different but if they understand the broad pattern, it will be more supportive of your own path. Adyashanti had a very big first awakening with lots of Unity, even with the toilet (laughs). He then fell back a bit and integrated the experience. Eckhart Tolle suffered, then awoke. He comes without tradition so lacks some of the context but also some of the baggage. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi followed a traditional devotional path in India but brought considerable context to the table. Others see thier awakeness through inquiry, observing presence, or simply through the natural process of human development.

Whatever value you find in whichever teachers, if we know there is more, we will allow for the deeper values to emerge. When fully established, the silence, freedom and bliss of first awakening is mighty fine. But it pales in comparison to Realization and Unity.

That process of allowing continues as the growth brings the inner Oneness out into the world. That prepares the ground for the second waking, from the illusion of creation. This is full Oneness. And this process repeats the above, with the integration aspect and the deepening.

The process to second waking has taken a long time until now. Often longer than there was time for. But many things point to it taking less time. The fastest I’d heard of before was 3 months and that was someone with a long and deep history. This week, I saw 3 days. Certainly an exception, but it points to what is now. For most of us, some integration time and some deepening time is nessesary and that’s a very good thing. If we see the process, we can support others through it.

In any case, do your housework. All of it is much easier if you are not still carrying the trash around.


Last Updated on April 27, 2018 by

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  1. Lil Knowledge Kitten

    You said: “Maharishi Mahesh Yogi followed a traditional devotional path in India but brought considerable context to the table.”

    I appreciate much of your article, but I feel this begs for clarification. Not sure what you mean. Transcendental Meditation is all about transcending all thought and context and experiencing pure awareness, and over time, naturally and spontaneously living that “non-contextual” unified, blissful pure awareness in the midst of daily activity.

    Maharishi was devoted to his teacher, but the TM program is more karma yoga than bhakti yoga.

  2. Davidya

    Thanks for the comment, LKK

    On Maharishi- he had a very devotional take on the path. Some of his writing, like “Love and God”, and his admiration of Trotacacharya deeply reflects this. But because he came from a tradition, he brought the Vedic context. He clearly taught of the process of awakening and the typical stages that occur.

    In the example, I was speaking about the teacher and the worldview they bring, not the technique. He placed the process in a framework or context so that peoples experience was understandable. But his experience was that of an Indian monk, not a Western Karma yogi, so there’s more variability than the framework suggested. Some of the more recent awake Westerners have helped with that issue.

    Because Tolle does not have that context, he has a much simpler approach. But when people actually start waking up, having context and confirmation of experience is very valuable.

    Maharishi spoke of TM as a Raja Yoga. This of course was relative to the inclusion of Yoga asanas and other aspects of Patanjali’s 8 limbs. But many Westerners are indeed Karma Yogis and TM is a good preparation.

    Just remember that no technique will take you through the door. TM will take you to the door of the Transcendent but it is you who transcends. You must step off the technique. In the same way, you cannot awaken with any idea, technique, or process. That is all mind and awakening is beyond mind, as you suggest. We ‘become’ or rather realize we always were the Transcendent. Transcendent no more.

    It is also worth observing that your good comment is all concepts. “spontaneously living that “non-contextual” unified, blissful pure awareness…” It sounds almost quoted. This is NOTHING to do with the actual experience. Believe me, all of your ideas about enlightenment are WRONG, as they are simply that – ideas. Enlightenment is beyond ideas. Indeed, the ideas of it are often then last barrier to being it.

    You need the ideas to help structure your path but at a certain point you have to leave them, and all your experiences, behind. Otherwise, you will remain ripe for awakening but unplucked by Being. Self awakens to Itself, the individual has nothing to do with it.

    If you feel some resistance to these statements, it’s worth asking yourself what is resisting. What is behind this feeling? That is where the answer lies, underneath. Beyond the ideas and feelings.

  3. Davidya

    Someone sent me a quote from Maharishi today.
    “In this path of the Divine as it is the case in any other path of knowledge, the importance of the Master is the greatest. If you get a good Master, it takes you quickly, if not – keep on going slowly, slowly and there is no end to it….

    I know what a surrender to a Master is, because I have been through that. Once the surrender is done the work of spiritual quest is done. It does not need anything more to be done. You see, to meditate and transcend and get to the being and come out and with this practice bringing the mind out to the field of outer gross life is one way of achieving cosmic consciousness. The path of surrender is another way.”

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