There is an aspect of the waking process, the way of growth of consciousness, that is important to understand. That experiences all turn to dust.
One aspect of this is the simple fact that experiences are temporary and of the moment. As soon as the experience is past, it is a memory. It is the past. And when memory becomes part of a story, it is always revisionist. Subject to change.
Any attempt to hold the experience is just manipulating a memory and it soon morphs into a story about a memory rather than an actual experience. If instead we release the experience, we become open for something related to return.
On several occasions I’ve talked about the cycle of growth and development. Balance, disintegration, growth, integration, and repeat. What might be called “spiritual experiences” tend to take place in the growth stage. This is why it is often called expansion, opening and other such words.
But there is another aspect to this cycle that is not as obvious and may be confusing when it’s being experienced. Within any given stage is other cycles. A growth stage includes it’s own cycle of disintegration, growth and reintegration.
What we may experience is that the opening itself kicks up some dust or creates a space into which old dramas, karma, or resistance rushes. We go from a great vision or happiness into a murky fog.
The net result is that we may experience what can seem like devolution after what seemed like great experiences. A nice clear step forward, followed by a shadowing or reduced clarity. This increases the contrast and perception of what seems ‘lost’.
Sometimes, our life may even seem to be dominated by larger cycles of clarity and shadow.
This is a natural part of the process and indicates it’s working. It’s happening. This is why we release experiences that arise – both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. And it’s why we don’t give any of it too much heed. It’s not the experiences that are important in and of themselves but rather the process that is occurring.
This is not to say we should expect things to get cloudy if we have a sunny day. Only that we should not be surprised.
If we have a particularly large swing in either direction, we may feel a need for some extra rest. If so, take it. It can help move into integration more quickly. To clear the clouds that have arisen.
It’s all part of the process…
But what is the integration we are trying to move into and why are we trying to move into it more quickly?
Isn’t that just an illusion too?
I wrote this to touch on a point that had come up in other comments and offline. The process of purification and how every grand experience will come to an end. When there is a goal to achieve something and it seems to be reached, it can be very difficult when it begins to fade. We may grasp at it. A story is born.
If we understand the process, it will play more smoothly. The difficult periods will move more quickly.
This is not to get somewhere faster but rather to travel with greater ease. Learning that ease is a big part of learning to surrender to what is. And that in turn will aid in waking.
Integration is the completion of a cycle of growth. If we look at a typcial waking for example, there is dissolution of the small self, the actual switch, the experience of it, the further clearing and adaptation to the new perspective, and then the deeper integration of the change.
Some people have a fairly complete shift, but many have more of a process to become fully integrated. What’s the difference between a switch and integration?
For Self realization, the switch is often accompanied by a sense of freedom or liberation and peace. But full integration is established Sat Chit Ananda, absolute bliss consciousness. Never overshadowed.
It’s similar for the later stages. (in case you are unfamiliar I’m more Vedantic, describing ‘enlightenment’ as a series of states of consciousness into total oneness.)
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