What the BLEEP is Spiritual Awakening?

For the past thirty years I have been in pursuit of the truth. It has been a journey that started me from a charismatic Christian background and ventured me through various Religious Denominations, Eastern and Egyptian Philosophy, Paganism and a bookshelf worth of ancient texts. The path has been riddled with frustration and confusion and many a times I have found myself in a dead-end, having to backtrack my way to anything that remotely made sense.

Over the last few years I was heavily invested in Advaita Vedanta, the ancient philosophy of non-duality and the teachings of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. I was fascinated how what I learned from his teachings, tied not only into everything else I already knew, but was on par with modern science. I have moved from what is known as the progressive path to enlightenment to the direct or pathless path.

And then the lights came on…

Yet, although I understood and absorbed the information conceptually, I was still missing something. I was meditating daily, pushing forward and focusing on the spiritual task at hand. I was balancing chakra energy and making an effort to adhere to the rigid spiritual practice that I have become accustomed to over the years. But I was still suffering and it felt like I had reached yet another plateau, despite the fact that I was now also a qualified spiritual teacher.

It was one evening, just before midnight that I felt it. I was down and out, emotionally, spiritually and financially. I was homeless at the time, sleeping among the dunes in Gordon’s Bay outside Cape Town in South Africa. I was laying in a hole that I have dug to serve as a bed, with very little to cover me and my deaf dog, Rambo sleeping in-between my legs. I felt utterly defeated, heartbroken and depressed. I was shivering from the cold while I was looking up at the stars in the night skies.

I realized for the first time, “I cannot die.”

Somewhere among the dunes I could hear people’s voices, and the thought came into my mind, “If I fall asleep now, they might find me here and kill me. I would not even know what has hit me and I would just be dead.” I tried to imagine what it would be like to just instantly “not be” anymore. And then the lights came on…

Not any physical light, but for the first time in 30 years of searching I finally understood it, not from a conceptual place, but from somewhere deep within me. At that moment I just let go of everything. All the ideas about awakening, the mountain of spiritual knowledge I collected and all the spiritual voodoo that goes along with it. In that very moment I realized for the first time, “I cannot die.”

my true self that cannot be moved or touched…

I was not this body laying in the sand, somewhere in the dunes. I was not this mind that kept running endless patterns of thought and dragging my feelings and emotions along with it. I was the one behind it all. The one who is ever-present, the witness of all of the doings of this character that I call Chris. A character that is no more than an idea in my head, a character that will end when this body eventually ends, and all that will remain is my true self that cannot be moved or touched. The eternal “I AM”.

What I experienced next was something that I cannot express in words. There was a sudden calmness that came over me that kept escalating into a feeling of immense bliss. All my depressive thoughts and fears were gone. Even the fear of death was non-existent in my mind. I felt such happiness that I had to sit up and just look at my surroundings. It was like I had just been born. Everything around me was beautiful, filled with love and wonder as if I was looking upon them for the very first time.

For the first time I could see things as they really are.

For the next ten days I felt such intense love for everything and everyone around me. I saw myself in everyone. I was everyone and everything was me. Then slowly the feeling of bliss subsided, although since then it has always been within my reach. Religious texts and scripts suddenly stood out with a shining new meaning. For the first time I could see things as they really are.

We often think of spiritual awakening or enlightenment as a destination or something we can acquire. The ego convinces us that if we only try hard enough or meditate more that one day we will reach it. This is a lie. We are being deceived by something that we made ourselves, something that does not really exist, but we believe to be us.

You have constructed your personality from these ideas and thoughts and you have convinced yourself that this is the real you.

Spiritual awakening is nothing more than a realisation that you are not this temporary body and mind. The body is nothing more than a vehicle for the mind, an accumulation of the food you have eaten, and the mind nothing more than an accumulation of the thoughts, memories and ideas that you have collected. You have constructed your personality from these ideas and thoughts and you have convinced yourself that this is the real you.

Nothing that belongs to you can be you. The body-mind construct that you have created believing that it is you, is commonly know as the Ego or the Egoic Self. It is nothing more than a veil covering your true self. When we incarnated into these bodies we had to forget who we are, because your true self is boundless and infinite. It is not possible to manifest the infinite, the boundless into a finite and limited container such as the mind and body. For that reason we forget who we are and believe that we are the temporary bodies and minds.

blasphemy would be in considering that you are apart from God

You are an unlimited being, one with God. Jesus said in John 15:5 , “I am the vine, you are the branches.” You are an extension of God, of Source, of the universe. It cannot be considered blasphemous to say that you are one with God. In my humble opinion the blasphemy would be in considering that you are apart from God, for you would in essence be suggesting that God has a limit where He stops and you begin.

The Ego sees itself as separate from everyone and everything. It hates being diminished and has the constant need to inflate itself by acquiring more stuff, more knowledge, by belonging to this and that group, always striving to make itself superior to others. It attaches itself to material things and it always needs more as it comes from a place of lack by default. More money, more possessions, more overseas trips trying to reach the infinite destination of happiness by finite means. Never realizing that you are the happiness, love and fulfillment that you seek for.

You are the unborn, the undying. You have always been and you will always be. You are the timeless that resonates in perfect happiness, perfect peace and perfect love because such is the nature of God, and such is the nature of you.

PS: For Spitual coaching and Advice you may visit me at Ananda Wellness on Facebook



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Chris du Toit

Chris du Toit

English and Afrikaans Writer and Poet