My life after the final spiritual awakening (Part-I): Embracing the Imperfection
Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Note to my readers: This is one of my earlier observations that I wrote when I had my final spiritual awakening after I broke through 1000 LOC (level of consciousness). When I wrote this report (back in July 2015), I had no intention to publish it on any media. I wrote this on my digital journal, primarily to observe my own life situations after my final spiritual awakening. This report is kind of dated now, and I am going to publish an entire new article based on my Post LOC 1000 life experience soon since I have already spent 3+ years in “Sahaja” state. But dated or not, I believe this report may come in handy to those who went to 1000 LOC (level of consciousness) recently by receiving RASA spiritual transmission (Shaktipat).
After receiving many RASA Shaktipat transmissions over the course of one year from Ramaji, I finally achieved 1000 LOC (level of consciousness), somewhere in the middle of January, 2015. LOC 1000 was my final spiritual awakening and I believe it was what Ramana Maharsi called it as “Sahaja Samadhi” or natural state.
Starting from that day, over the course of more than 6 months, I had observed and evaluated my behavior very closely. There were changes that I immediately noticed, but most of the changes weren’t noticeable till I faced big events like breaking up with my past girlfriend (which was emotionally draining) or accepting a very stressful project at my office. But some things didn’t change, at least not immediately, even after my ego death. Read on, and you’ll understand what I mean.
Also Note: I usually define enlightenment as permanently losing or subduing the “I”-thought or ego.
Things that have changed since I reached 1000 LOC (level of consciousness)
I feel Rest in a restless world
Before ego death, I used to feel this weird restlessness. I felt like I was living in a world governed by chaos theory. I am just a random guy born in a random country in a world full of random people. This world seemed very random and restless. I mean one moment there is nothing going on and the next moment Tsunami arrives. People are running behind random objects (be it money, fame, beauty or God) as if these objects are the last thing they need to make themselves happy.
The chaotic randomness of this world sometime drove me crazy. “This world is imperfect. I am imperfect too. I wish I were somewhere else. "I wish I were someone else” - this thought has dominated my psyche for all my life. Irony is: I never knew where this “somewhere else” that I so wanted to belong to. This restlessness lead me to seek comfort in many things: sometime I sought comfort into materialism and all sorts of pleasure, sometime I sought comfort into knowledge and sometime into spirituality.
When “I” thought finally gave up on me and caved in, like how a mouse looks for a way out when he got a hungry cat running after him, I finally found my rest. I finally found where I belong to. When I found my True Self, I found peace. With this being-ness, I realize I don’t need to make this world a perfect place, nor I need to escape from it. I can leave this apparent world as it is and still be happy.
The desire to transcend this world has stopped stone-cold
After the ego death event; my quest for truth, enlightenment, liberation, perfection, freedom, nirvana, afterlife, God/god and transcendence came to complete halt. It stopped stone-cold, like it never happened in the first place. No more looking for answer in books, audiobooks, YouTube videos, and seminar, etc. No more trying to be someone else or something else. Happiness, peace, freedom, nirvana is in my nature. It’s me. I don’t need spending my whole life trying to find something that belongs to me, all along.
My body feels more natural and integrated
I think one of the central messages of Ramana’s teaching was this: Ego-mind tends to identity itself with body so deeply that we think we are our body. For some reason, I thought, breaking identification with this body would result in total disregard of this body. Many sages in the India, which I believe to be totally egoless, are ascetic. They wander around almost naked like they give a damn about their body. But as it turned out, my concerns were mostly unfounded.
Now that my ego is out of the picture, my relationship with my body has totally changed. Now, my body feels more natural and lighter. All the bodily experience feels seamless. This proves that embodied human experience is possible even though there is no ego. Removing identification with body doesn’t equate forcing the body into penance.
My ego-death changed the way I look at my body. But that doesn’t mean I started to ignore my body. I don’t go to a gym, but I do take care for my body. I try eating healthily, restrict bad carbs and sleep at least 7 hours a day. I avoid junk food as much as I can. I am very much into intermittent fasting and usually fast for about 2or 3 days in a week. I just don’t consider this body as my REAL identity like I used to do.
My judgmental attitude is gone! Poof!! Vanished!!!
I used to have a very serious judgmental attitude toward others. My outside behavior was very educated, but inside behavior was pretty ugly: In my head, I used to swear and curse other people all the time. I was judgmental to everyone: my peers, my friends, my parents, my siblings, the government, the political parties, the people who level up an entire forest for commercial purpose and worst of all, I was unnecessarily harsh to myself.
I have missed many opportunities in my life because of this nagging voice in my head. I never took any risk; not because I feared being failure, but I feared being judged by none other than my own small self. My life was miserable because of this hyena like inner critic.
After ego death, this judgmental attitude stopped almost instantly. It vanished, like it never existed. It is exhilarating to be able to live my life, however it is at the moment, without judging someone criticizing every step along the way. The fear of being judged is no more. Now it has been replaced by a sense of gratitude and equanimity.
People are not perfect, so am I. I have not been tasked to judge other people behavior. I also don’t need being overtly critical to my past mistakes. I can’t change my past, so what I can do is to make the best out of the present moment and hope for a better future.
My life is now totally spontaneous
With the demise of judgmental attitude, my life has become totally spontaneous. When I said my life is totally spontaneous, I didn't mean I lived my life like there's no tomorrow. I don't wake up in the middle of the night and decided to run around my neighborhood half-naked. What I mean by being spontaneous is that I feel incredibly less constrained when I do, feel, act and think. There is no voice in my head to tell me what I should do or don’t do. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulder.
I used to be a control freak and somewhat perfectionist. As you may guess, both of these habits were probably born out of my fear of failure. I realized that, as much as I hated admitting, I was NOT in control of everything happening around me. Heck, if I don’t have control over most biological functions of my body, such heart beating, respiration, digestive system, etc., how am I supposed to extort control over others? I didn’t want to accept I have no control over other in a relationship and I ended up being heartbroken.
When you understand you have almost no control over others, you will start to appreciate your life as it is. This alone removes many bodily stresses from your system. Life will become much more bearable this way. As long as you live, there will always be various kinds of limitation imposed upon you. Some of these limitations are bound by physical law, i.e. you can’t just fly like superman or go around killing innocent people, but most of your constraints are metal and illusory. Without ego’s intrusions; it will become much clearer to you when it’s time to accept your limitations or go beyond them.
Things that haven’t changed, yet, even after my final spiritual awakening and ego death
I do not act like a saint most of the time
I am not a monk living in monastery. I am just a regular guy with a regular job and have all sorts of problems any regular guy faces in modern urban living. Therefore, I don’t look or act like a saint or monk at all. Even though my identification with my ego ceased to exist; I am pretty sure if someone slaps on my one cheek, I won’t offer my other cheek like a saintly saint person. I am just a regular guy with a regular life who happens to be living in a natural state of beingness.
I am still prone to emotional outburst and anger from time to time. I curse and swear too. For example: I live in one of the most traffic congested cities in the world. During summer, the temperature raises up to 100 Fahrenheit. Therefore, it is common for me to curse and swear when I am stuck at traffic on my way to office.But my anger doesn’t affect my state of beingness any more than cloud affects the blue sky. Anger comes and goes on the backdrop of silence and stillness. Hey, I lost my ego, not my sweat glands, did I?
The world didn’t change (or at least it didn’t change for me, anyway) after enlightenment (1000 level of consciousness)
Before ego death; if you are used to live in an old, rusted, imperfect world, there’s a high probability that you will not find any change in that imperfect world after your ego death. I had a misconception that after enlightenment, the world will appear “perfect”. I was dead wrong. The world remained as it is. Before enlightenment, I had a manipulative boss, some rowdy colleagues and a stressful job. After enlightenment, I found I had the same manipulative boss and rowdy colleagues. The job is as stressful as it ever was. Nothing changed!
The world doesn’t change whether you got enlightenment or not. It’s your relationship to the world that changes. I still deal with these people days in and day outs. But I am much more accepting to them now. Here’s a thing: I can’t find any “any flaw” in their behavior. Somehow, I find perfectness in their imperfection. This is really hard for me to describe how that is even possible, so I am quoting Ramaji from his book “1000”:
“The mechanism that was seeing flaws, that created long lists of imperfect things, that yearned to change the way things are, that launched itself upon a quest for the deepest depth and the highest high, has been disabled. It is dead. It does not work."
"As a result, you are looking now at exactly the same world. The world has not changed from what it was. It is the same world. It is exactly the same world. Nothing has changed."
"What is different now is that your "flaw finder" machine has stopped. This flaw finding machine is called the mind.”
Things that I didn’t anticipated, but they happened anyway
I ended up being heartbroken, but I moved on like a Boss!
The results in my relationship area are kind of mixed bag. Things didn't exactly turn out to be exactly the way I had expected. My relationship with my parents and colleagues, for example, were improved immediately after I had lost my small self. I have many negative emotions embedded inside me when it comes to my relationship with my parents. After ego death, they were resolved almost automatically. I realized my parents did the best they could to support me and I have become a lot more appreciative for their effort. That's a big plus for me because I had lots of issues in this area.
But my intimate relationship took a bite just after I found my true self. I had a sort of on and off relationship with a beautiful girl. I was madly, deeply in love with this girl but the relationship was going nowhere. A funny thing is, despite knowing this, I was holding onto this relationship like a drawing man holds on a life jacket. I never had the courage or will to end that relationship because I was too afraid to be alone. But, after my "enlightenment", it occurred to me that it was time for me to let her go. And eventually I did let her go, but not in a way I would have expected. I ended up having a big fight with her and the relation ended in a bitter terms. In the end, I was able to overcome my fear of being alone. I was glad I met with her. I learned and grew a lot since we started dating, but our paths were never meant to be same.
However, the desire to form an intimate relationship is still there. But there is a change. I lost the craving for this desire. The stickiness of this desire has been transformed. My “self-esteem” no longer depends upon the fact that I don’t have someone special in my life. My True Self, which is my only Self, is the source of all happiness. I am okay if there is someone special for me. I am equally okay if that’s not the case. My relationship status will not change my imperturbability.
What it feels like to be in Natural State or Sahaja Samadhi
My guru Ramaji once said to me that when one person goes to 1000 LOC (level of consciousness)., he establishes in Natural state or Sahaja Samadhi. This is the natural state of your being when the ego gets fully dismantled and dissolved. According to Ramana Maharsi, in sahaja samdhi or natural state,
"..... you have samadhana [steadiness] and you remain calm and composed even while you are active. You realize you are moved by the deeper real Self within. You have no worries, no anxieties, no cares, for you come to realize there is nothing belonging to you. You know everything is done by something with which you are in conscious union."
(Be as you are, chapter 14, page 93)
When I experience the natural state for the first time, I realize what it means to be "moved by the deeper real Self within" and to experience things as it is. When I am in this state, I feel as if I was the embodiment of utterly indestructible peace. Nothing, I repeat, nothing will overshadow this peace.
Ever since I have started abiding in the natural state, I have relinquished my attempt to control my experience. Everything that happens to me, whether they are good, bad or worse, I accept them as it is. Because I know I don't have much control over anything. I can't even predict what's going to be my next thought, how's I am supposed to control every thought, emotion, sensation, belief, perception that's happening on moment by moment?
Every moment, my brain is feeding on millions of data through five senses and then reinterpreting according those data according its own view. How am I going to control that? It is insane to think one person is able to control these processes as he wishes. This is not possible. Instead, I invite my experiences as it is without trying to control anything. If there's a need to act, it also arises spontaneously in my being.
In doing so, I save all those mental energy that otherwise I would have wasted just by getting anxious over things that's happening to me.
Let me give an example. I don't think it's an original example, but nonetheless, it is easier to explain direct experiencing this way. Let's say, you start with each day with a limited, fixed mental energy. Let's say, the equivalent of this energy is 1000. You have 1,000 units of energy to spend on any and all kinds of mental task. If that's the case, will it make sense if you deplete most of your mental energy on worrying over your experience that you have little to no control with? Of course not. You rather use this energy to do the productive tasks. In Natural state or Sahaja, I find it easier to accept my present experience as it is. When I feel sad, then I feel sad without denying the sadness within me. I don’t censor myself. I don’t try to act all buff and tough, I don’t try to force myself to go through my sad experience while grinding my teeth. When I feel down, I am down. But when there is a spontaneous desire arising within my heart to respond to my stressful situation; I dust off my fallen body and take action. There’s no hesitation, and there’s no looking back.
When my life is going ok, I recognize my life is OK and go on with my life.
When my life is going perfect, I recognize that too. I enjoy my happy moment and go with the flow without wanting to hold onto or extend these moments. My happy moments come and go on its own accord.
When my life gets fucked up really bad, I don’t try to deny, change my present moment. I recognize my problems and do whatever I can to improve my situations. However, I never go nuts trying to mentally get over my worse moments. I know, despite my diligent effort, there is no way for me to tell when my bad times will over. I recognize that bad moments, just like happy moments, come and go all the time. My bad times, too, will pass.
Ever since I started accepting my experiences just the way it is, I have enjoyed a couple of nice side effects:
I stopped being obsessed about figuring everything out.
I have become adept at dealing with the unknown.
Less anxiety and stress. I used to have chronic anxiety problem. This problem has vanished ever since I started experiencing things directly.
I feel as if my heart is being wide open. I feel my heart is more capable of giving and receiving love.
I have become a lot more appreciative.
I feel connected with my reality (whatever it is). I am actually starting liking this ordinary, messy life of mine.
So, what’s end result? The end result is the serenity prayer!
I have learned to embrace my imperfection, made peace with my past mistakes and achieve the capability to live in the present moment. Most importantly, I have learned to be happy, despite having flaws and have learned to get in touch with my own fundamental pure being, without getting lost in the myriad of my own desires and aspirations. The future is still as uncertain as it ever was, but it doesn’t scare me anymore.
Have you ever heard about serenity prayer? The original prayer was authored Reinhold Niebuhr. I think this is a more contemporary version of the original (emphasizes are mine):
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time
When the ego or “I”-thought finally got lost in the Absolute, I realized I always had this serenity, courage and wisdom inside me, all along. Since then, my life resembles a lot like serenity prayer.
To me, Enlightenment means embracing human experience as it is. That means embracing all those beautiful, happy, sensual moments as well as embracing all those sad, ugly, hopeless moments. It means embracing life as it is with all of its grandeur and decay.
To me, Enlightenment means becoming human, again.