Self-awareness is the measurement of evolution in individuated consciousness. Spiritual transformation has to do with that evolutionary progression and the ever-increasing holistic awareness that results.
The word “transformation” gets bastardized and misused. If we are considering the spiritual level, pre-awakened experience is ego-centric whereas post-awaking experience is trans ego-centric. So, the evolutionary journey is from dogma (rules and regulations that define illusory reality) to the experience of true reality (one source).
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Progressing through the evolutionary cycle requires a dismantling of egoic illusion and the revelation of true reality as one consciousness, one source. This begins to unfold and become increasingly more substantiated. This is not a theoretical journey. The increasing holistic experience of true reality systematically dismantles virtual illusion. That is the transformation, and the measure is increasing holistic awareness characterized by the expanded experience of the truth of oneness, the interconnectedness of all and everything.
Wiki says “spiritual transformation is understood within the context of an individual’s meaning system, especially in relation to concepts of the sacred…” 1 Looking at the apparent “norms” of 21st Century life, one might question how much is still considered sacred in our world today, especially in mainstream media. Increasingly, it seems that anything goes and that nothing is sacred. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing dead bodies on the ground!
This reveals a mass meaning system that minimizes the sacred. In other cultures, the sacred is still revered, for instance in Bali where shrines abound and rituals occur throughout the day. Here in America the primary rituals seem to center on entertainment, political arguments, and partying! While this makes our spiritual journey more challenging, it also makes the contrast more obvious. There’s little doubt which path a person is on, just notice their behaviors, which reveal their meaning system.
We’re programmed to become obedient consumers, rather than empowered creators. Those who’ve broken out of that mold have had to defy the “system” and make their own way, always encountering resistance from those more invested in preserving the status quo.
Taking our own personal spiritual transformation seriously requires becoming more consciously familiar with our personal meaning system. We all have one and, unquestioned, it will work to limit our progress.
Interestingly, reality is officially defined this way: “the state of things as they are, rather than as they are imagined to be.” 2 Does that sound valid? It actually sounds like a talking point for the pre-awakened state of egoic illusion!
The way things are is not necessarily reality! All of us experience reality in subjective terms. We’ve learned that the old phrase “you’ll believe it when you see it” is more accurately stated this way: “You’ll see it when you believe it.” This phenomenon has been demonstrated and proven in a host of ways.
Truman Capote’s 1966 non-fiction novel, In Cold Blood, has been hailed as a definitive work and it achieved commercial success, but critics have complained that his “true” account is flawed. One reviewer wrote, “Capote has, in short, achieved a work of art. He has told exceedingly well a tale of high terror in his own way. But, despite the brilliance of his self-publicizing efforts, he has made both a tactical and a moral error that will hurt him in the short run. By insisting that ‘every word’ of his book is true he has made himself vulnerable to those readers who are prepared to examine seriously such a sweeping claim.” 3
The “sweeping claim” we are examining, in this post and several more to follow, is the fundamental concept of a “truth” that is precisely the same for everyone. This exposes a paradox. Truth is true, before and beyond individual translation. But our experience of that truth is always going to be subjective. I’m reminded once again of Aristotle’s famous statement: “I know one thing: that I know nothing.” It seems humility was a central part of his reality!
There is nothing wrong with turning our own reality into a work of art, especially one that chronicles our journey of spiritual transformation, but let’s avoid the dogmatic pitfall of claiming that whatever we are experiencing is the “only way” and that others should follow the exact same path. Yes, all of us are currently encountering the same transformational impulse in consciousness but we all respond in our own ways and create our own life stories. Certainly, any authentic journey of genuine awakening and transformation is characterized by respect for our fellow travelers!
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