In each step on the spiritual journey, the cycle of growth arises. From a point of balance comes disintegration, growth, integration, and repeat.
Throughout the disintegration, growth and reintegration period we’re in a process of transformation. This can happen on many fronts at once. We resolve an old emotional resistance, have a friend move away, get promoted, and have an unexpected inner experience. All of these can shift our point of balance and require processing.
The really big changes, like a new stage of development, can completely change our sense of who we are and what is real. Those aspects of our sense of self, roles in the world, and what is now true all have to be processed – by the mind, emotions, and body.
Changes can begin before the shift, with the shift, after it, or all of the above. They can come because of the shift itself or other things that changed too, shifts begetting shifts. An emotional release can lead to a new insight which leads to an opening which leads to a shift…
Much of this realignment will happen in the background. We may just find a need for more rest or activity, or certain foods or people. Some realignment will be much more conscious, bringing us experiences, circumstances, and more to see and process.
Even if we have an understanding of the stages, how and when they’ll show up has nothing to do with us, our expectations or concepts. The process has a life of its own that we gradually discover is our true life; the life underlying the field of action. The life we’re really living under the dramas and circumstances.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” — John Lennon, Betty Talmadge, Thomas La Mance, Margaret Millar, William Gaddis, Lily Tomlin, and probably originating with Allen Saunders. 🙂
It’s been said that it takes 12 years to mature into enlightenment but there is much variation. It depends on where we start, how much baggage we have to unload, how readily we cooperate with the process, what other challenges we face, and lots of life’s vagaries. Adyashanti has said it can take up to 10 years for the first shift to become clear. But for some, it is only disrupted a bit by the winding down of the ego shrapnel post-awakening. Yet every stage will vary for each person.
With a little time in Unity, we’ll get very used to this. It can be a nearly continual process of realignment. Everything we experience we become, adding to the “aggregate” as the Brahma Sutra put it. We become pro’s at letting go and realignment and make speedy progress into greater fullness.
And then Brahman comes along and changes the rules. 🙂