Why “self realization” is not an “altered state”

As the movement toward clarity, awareness and consciousness gains a wave of momentum (again) I have noticed an old well worn path presenting itself anew.  

The equation with awareness to being ‘altered.’  

Now, I know it can feel like that sometimes. As we clear pathways and connect to something both bigger than us and at the same time, more intimate within us, we start to feel a kind of “high”.  The tendency is then to use that feeling of “highness” as a litmus test to seek out specific practices, events or modalities.   But I might suggest that this has the potential to lead us astray.  

The truth is our normal, everyday state of being IS a form of “high”.  It is resting in the the eternal bliss. We are divine beings having a human experience.  And within this truth lies another truth, when we honestly experience this natural expanded state (enlightenment?) we understand just how normal and accessible it is and the processes which externally seek to create a “high” suddenly feel forced, unnecessary and potentially misleading.  

We do not require any kind of hallucinogen or psychedelic experience in order to connect us to our consciousness.  In fact, it gets complicated when using pathways created somewhat artificially as we can mistake the end result for the personal journey. And make no mistake, the journey to aligned living is filled with both valleys and peaks, is challenging, requires commitment and time as well as guidance and community.  In other words:  there is no fast track without consequences.   

To be clear, in a ceremonial setting we may naturally enter an altered state with the guidance of someone who understands how to both open and close that space (this is both RARE and critical). And we may use tools to assist this process.  However, we do so in order to receive information that then gets translated into our day to day life.  It there is no translation, if we simply hop from experience to experience looking for the next cool thing, becoming dependent on external tools,  and go back to same old same old afterwards, we miss the point of integration.  

And without integration, there is no forward progress either individually or collectively.  And without progress we repeat the same patterns over and over again, perhaps moving forward nonetheless, but at a pace that creates more suffering, distraction and difficulty along the way.  

Sound familiar?

Self realization is not a psychedelic trip (not at all to dismiss psychedelics)

We’ve been down this road before.  

You know that feeling when you just know for sure what you need to do?  Perhaps you have clarity around how to resolve a situation at work?  Or maybe you suddenly have insight into a change you need to make in your schedule? And you just … KNOW.   Its as clear as day. Obvious as the nose in front of your face. Like its been there all along and you are finally seeing it.  

Thats the quality of self realization.  Its been there all along.  Its not new.  Its not even an “aha”.  Its more of an “oooooh.”  And rather than high/super/buzzed/powerful, you feel solid, comfortable, at peace, calm, ready and wonderfully happy.   

I believe we all have our own path, and our paths are as beautifully varied, colorful, non-linear  and complex as we are.  And we also need to share our paths, to look out for each other and to offer our perspective. 

Today I offer you mine.

Peace
Jeneen

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