I was walking with a friend a few days ago and our conversation turned to the subject of self-awareness. As we talked it became clear that, despite the fact he was serious and intentional about his spiritual growth, he had no idea why growth in self-awareness was so important for someone wanting to experience a true spiritual transformation.
Here is the life altering spiritual insight I shared with him that day.
First, I reminded him that spiritual transformation does not have to come from a profound, life altering, spiritual experience. It is not a spiritual growth achievement reserved only for those who are highly evolved spiritual masters.
Spiritual transformation simply means changing the way we think, feel and behave.
Sometimes we have transformational experiences that “are” life altering, but most often, they simply represent one more step on our spiritual journey.
A spiritual transformation means:
a) – our self-identity has become less attached to our primitive egos wants, fears, and our destructive need for vertical “power-over” others
b) – we are more aligned with our observing consciousness and the spiritual ideals of connectedness, cooperation, and becoming.
c) – we have moved closer to a self-identity that is found in a deeper part of ourselves….in our dreams…in the quiet voice of our soul speaking to us from the depths of our heart.
d) – we have shifted from our primitive ego consciousness, where our spirituality is connected to religious beliefs, to that of a more authentic spirituality in which we are more intimately connected by our observing consciousness with the rest of creation.
“So how does a true transformation in consciousness from local primitive ego to a more evolved or enlightened consciousness happen?” he asked.
I told him, “the answer is so simple and intuitive, that most of us tend to miss the profound spiritual insight hidden inside the simple act of becoming self-aware.
I shared with him that despite years of study, it wasn’t until I read a remarkable little article on spiritual transformation by Thomas Agosin that I really began to understand the spiritual power of self-awareness……how the simple act of paying attention to our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors could so effortlessly awaken our consciousness to authentic spiritual growth and true spiritual transformation.
Here’s how I explained it to him.
When we intentionally pay attention to our thoughts and feelings, our self-identity automatically shifts from who we “think” we are to who we “really” are.
The simple act of actually observing our feelings, thoughts, and emotions allows us to see, in that moment, who we “really” are and what needs to change, or be dropped, so we can better align with our deeper spiritual ideals, and become the spiritual person we want to become.
The act of self-observing allows us to step back from our ego-self so we can shift from the sense that I “am” my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, to a new perspective that allows us to understand we are simply “having” those thoughts feelings and behaviors.
And they are constantly changing!
In other words, they are not who we “are”…..they are simply transient emotional, mental, and physical responses that change from moment to moment depending on the various outside stimuli we encounter.
Our previous life-long experience of “self”, as an ego being carried around in a human body, gives way to the reality that our only constant sense of “self” is, and always has been, our pure observing consciousness.
We will begin to see the world though the lens of our pure observing consciousness, not through the lens of our feelings, behaviors, and thoughts.
Self-awareness lets us experience, first hand, that we are “not” our thoughts and feelings……who we “are” is the ageless, unchanging observer!
Over time, this reality has the power to change your life.
For example, you will come to realize that your pure observing consciousness is the same pure observing consciousness that others experience, and because the creation of all form is first preceded by pure consciousness you will soon begin to feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility for the forms “you” are creating.
When the realization awakens in you that “your” observing consciousness is the same as the observing Consciousness of the Creator, you will begin to “recognize” that who you “are” is transcendent and holy……that you truly “are” a Co-Creator “working with” the Initiating Consciousness through the amazing, never ending evolutionary process that is creating our universe.