As we progress down the spiritual path, there is an interesting phenomena that occurs. While being deepens, the person become more shallow. In a way, we could say the person devolves as spirit evolves.

The easiest way to explain this is to use a concept from Transactional Analysis. They speak of 3 aspects of the person – the mature Adult, the controller or Parent, and  the Child.

Some talk about finding their “inner child“. One side of this is the freedom and openness of innocence, but the child I refer to is the fear driven primitive.

Although it may be bastardizing TA, the idea is that we can think of the ego as the controlling Parent and the identity as the fearful Child.

As we awaken, the controller is exposed and falls away, followed by the various “shrapnel” we have around that. Concepts, beliefs, and so on that have kept us trapped in an idea of being an individual. The ego is a concept, built of concepts.

The ego is energized by emotions such as fear, anger, shame and so forth. With nothing to land on, these are seen more clearly and released.

As this clears off, the divine heart begins to open and the deeper identity is felt and seen. Kind of a deeper version of ego. For many it feels like a nest of primitive fears and needs. A deep grip in the gut. Soon, we wake from the identity of other into oneness. The division of “inside ” and “outside” fall away. Then a series of related core beliefs and needs dissolve with time.

Many talk of peeling the layers of an onion. For many, emotional clearing begins well before waking. The work is already well underway. After waking, seeing is much easier but we may be surprised by what holding is still there. We may feel like we reach the core of the onion, only to find another set of layers.

In some ways, we could say the process does not have an end. (scary thought) But as we clear each layer, the load gets lighter and the vision gets broader. Peace and then happiness begin to show up. The experience of the person becomes less and less prominent until it is overshadowed by bliss and love.

At the same time, this needy gripping continues to show it’s face in places you didn’t know you had. But it’s importance is less and less, so the effects become increasingly minor.

It can be a little like progressing backwards through the layers of holding and fear into original innocence. A devolving of the person into innocent surrender.

Then the inner child that remains becomes the Adult of all.

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  1. Ben

    Thank you Davidya!

    Perfect timing once again.

    You wrote…
    “After waking, seeing is much easier but we may be surprised by what holding is still there.”

    The last 2 weeks, I have been going through what I would describe as my inner emotions acting like a spoiled child. It seems like every little thing that comes up in day to day life that aren’t to my liking results in emotions of extreme anger, fear, or just plain crying jags. I haven’t felt nor experienced those emotions since I was a little kid. I haven’t cried like a spoiled brat that didn’t get his way for decades. I mean it is really shocking to see and experience.

    There is a watching of all this at the same time. I am so raw and turbulent inside that all I can do is basic conversation to keep all of the poison from launching out on whoever is in the vicinity.

    My personality feels so impersonal, shallow, and distant. Deep down, I know there is nothing I can do, and at the same time my emotional and gut level self wants to reach out and get its way holding onto everything that makes it feel safe, special, and thinks it wants out of life.

    The upside, if I can say there is one, is that I am seeing how absolutely deluded I have been in the areas of my life where I thought I was so wonderful and grand.

    I am not saying that I am really this horrible person who thought he was great. The thought stream that has been puffing me up about how good I am at work was really seen clearly the past couple of days. That is an area where I really had a lot of personal investment seen through from a more truthful and balanced perspective.

    It does feel like devolving and I have not gotten to the innocent surrender place with an open spiritual heart, so this is challenging to experience. It is amazing how deeply all this was buried.

    I appreciate the timing of this post, because I am at a point that I cannot trust any of my decision making, urges, or even trust that I am seeing anything clearly.

    It helps to know this is part of the process. I am reading Adya’s book “The End of your World” which has helped as well to be with this and not trying to fix it. To let the emotions be the indicator of what was believed and invested in from the “thought based self” without trying to fix them.

    Thank you for the post. It really helped just when I needed it.

    Deep Bow!

  2. Davidya

    Hi Ben
    Thanks for sharing. Glad it spoke to you.

    Sometimes, it can be like popping a cork. We create an open space and all the garbage bubbles up to the surface to be seen. But as you observe, it’s OK. It’s on the way out. When it clears, the previously unseen burden will be lifted.

    When it comes up, just step back into the observer more deeply. The key is to just allow the experience but not engage it. Not invest in it. Just let it be seen and leave.

    If the observer is being a bit overshadowed, the inquiry process can be useful. Teachers like Gangaji and Neelam use this. The simple question – who is having this experience? This can take you out of it and into the observer. Another question they might ask is something like Where does this arise from? OR What is underneath it?

    I’ve talked about that before. If we follow the “negative” emotions back, they all come back to fear, and then silence or bliss.

    Part of what’s happening for you is the clearing, but there is also the dynamic of the trickster. The ego not wanting to be seen. It knows if the drama is seen clearly it ends. So it throws up all sorts of distractions, even pretending to be “spiritual”. Eventually we realize that only the witness is me, all the stories of what’s right and wrong are just the ego’s dramas. Including both sides of the inner debate. (laughs)

    You’re also in a place where you’re loosing trust in the story but the silence is not quite deep enough, or is a little overshadowed by the drama. That’s good too. Much easier to let it go if we don’t believe it.

    You may find you need extra rest or sleep when lots is moving out. Or perhaps some sugar or chocolate. (laughs)

    I’ve been surprised several times by how deep the pit is. But it does get quite a bit easier when the observer deepens and gets less and less caught. Then it’s almost like traffic noise. Especially after the bliss is flowing.

    The open heart comes a little later for most people. When enough has cleared and the witness is solid, then the heart has the confidence to stand undefended.

    Surrender is at first just in brief moments. Like in forgiveness. Including the single moment it takes to awaken. But that too deepens, the deeper we see whats really going on. (laughs)

  3. Ben

    Thank you Davidya!

    That is encouraging and helpful. I am dropping back in the observer or just noticing the consciousness as primary and changeless. It is easier after the initial awakening experiences.

    The raging emotions do pass, and when they are arising they are so forceful at times, it is really all consuming. The analogy would a tug of war of identification between thought and awareness. Lately, thought was winning. I woke up and 3 a.m. this morning with another round of fear based emotion.

    This morning, I sat down with the thoughts to see what was really the core issue and again it was fear that I would not get what I wanted and lose what I had. The desire to “fix” and influence things was all about control. I did not act on them.

    Seeing that helped a lot. About 30 min. later my body started shaking, and I was wondering if I would pass out. It felt like a small volcano of energy released, and then I was able to easily rest in awareness. I drank a bunch of water. I don’t know why that helped the feeling of passing out, but it did.

    It seems like I go through these strong emotional rages, then physical body shakes, followed by either the peace of awareness or love and blissfulness.

    I am starting to get somewhat used to this, and I am grateful for the guidance and light shining on the process as natural;otherwise, I know from past behavior I would be in confusion and attempt to wrestle control back creating an even bigger mess.

    I can’t do that anymore. I don’t want to at my core.

    Thanks so much!

  4. Davidya

    Hi Ben
    Yes, as the letting go deepens, the drama can seem to get larger. But rest assured this is all about it leaving. Not everyone experiences it this way. For some it is quiet and slow. For some, it builds to a point where there is a big release and for some, it is a whole series of modest releases.

    There is another aspect here as well. There can be the recognition and release of fear, but there can also be the simply confronting of fear. Where fear becomes seen and there is, in effect, fear of fear. We’re seeing the resistance but may not yet be ready to allow it fully. So it cycles back and we chip a little more off it.

    When there is a big letting go or release, energy begins to move differently in the body. This can cause various sensations or responses. I’m in the process of writing a longer multi-part article on the energy system. Suffice to say, the benefits of this clearing will soon become apparent.

    When aspects of the ego fall away, there is often some emotional drama involved. I differentiate this from the identity. There is the core identity and its fear grip, this drives the emotional needs which in turn drives the concept of being separate or ego.

    There is also another duality in this process. When you are looking at the thoughts, you describe the need for control and the fear of being lost. You also mention the struggle of thoughts vs awareness. This is the ego speaking, the mental construct.

    It depends on how your ego story is written but it sounds like you may also be tackling some of the deeper part of that, the core identity. It has a quality of being gripping and of fear without concepts. It is primal, gut based. It’s hard to know without some closer discussion, but I get this impression. You may want to see if when there is fear, it gut gripping fear or ‘just’ emotional fear.

    A friend of mine went through something like this awhile back and another friend is experiencing it now. How long it takes varies widely. Genpo Roshi talked of 2 years, although it sounds like he didn’t have an understanding of it so struggled. Adyashanti spoke of 2 weeks of fear without cause. In his conversation with Loch Kelly, they described it as the BBQ. Mine was mercifully short but a few things came up here and there afterward.

    I can tell you that this can be a normal part of the process but you’re coming to a place where that won’t be necessary. Any challenges that arise will be easier because you will know. As the covers fall away, what is here becomes much clearer. And the fear will end.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. It is a very personal process yet it gradually becomes apparent there is no person. 😉

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