Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Transformation
Allowing the Transformation Consciousness Brings
As you find yourself experiencing new qualities and forms of consciousness, it is important to allow them to transform you, instead of the ego getting fortified. For if you express what comes forward automatically and impulsively, what you will end up with is simply a bigger, new and improved ego self. We are always faced with these two possibilities: Depending on how we approach our awakening to new realms, we can either expand our ego self or be transformed to express a whole new level of existence. Transformation requires that we learn how to meet and invite this alchemical process through being with and understanding experience. This will allow it to express its own intelligent unfolding.
The Power of Divine Eros, pg. 72
Becoming Unrecognizable to Ourselves
A point does come during the inner journey when our transformation is so profound that we are unrecognizable to ourselves. It’s not that we don’t recognize what is happening; it’s that we realize that what is happening is not familiar. This can be disconcerting, but it is also freeing. We are no longer an extension of how we felt, what we did, how we behaved. Sometimes the change is so fundamental that we don’t just feel like a different person—we don’t remember ourselves as a person at all! We experience ourselves as just a mass of light that has taken the shape of a person for a while. There is an indescribable freedom when you can say, “I recognize my original nature . . . this timeless light.”
The Unfolding Now, pg. 170
Human Beings Typically Live in a State of Arrested Development
Our sense of self is transformed when it attains its essential nature, the ontological presence that is pure Being. No amount of psychological growth work is sufficient to bring this about because the psychological realm, as it is known in ordinary experience, is a distorted and incomplete experience of our interiority, since it is out of contact with Being. Psychological observation and processing are necessary for the work of transformation, but if this transformation is to become truly spiritual, we need access to the dimension of Being. Human beings typically live in a state of arrested development in which the psychological domain rules our consciousness. Reaching the fullness of our potential entails resuming our development, which leads beyond the psychological to the realm of Being or spirit.
Facets of Unity, pg. ix
Initiation of the Process of Inner Transformation
The moment essence is recognized as one's being and experienced as such, a radical transformation occurs. One's life will never be the same. Although the transformation can be total, it is usually partial. Nevertheless, it is a radical transformation: the person knows for the first time what being is and that it is his true nature. As we saw at the beginning in this chapter, this discovery initiates the process of inner transformation. This transformation is both in the mind and on the essential dimension. The mind and personality are clarified steadily, and objectivity becomes more and more complete. Essence transubstantiates into its various aspects and dimensions. Life is no longer the exclusive domain of the personality. As essence unfolds and expands, it exposes deeper and more basic sectors of the personality, bringing about knowledge and objectivity. And these in turn allow essence to displace the personality on more and more dimensions. The discovery of essence is the beginning of the true life. Essence, as we have seen, is not a state experienced once and then always experienced in the same way afterward. Essence is rich and endless in its aspects, qualities, dimensions, capacities, and possibilities. All of this richness starts unfolding, bringing surprise, delight, beauty, value, and fulfillment.
Patterns in the Outflowing of Forms
Transformation does not occur in a progression from the past to the present to the future, which is how we usually think of it and experience it.
The change, instead, is more of an outflow: The forms just appear, they arise out of nowhere. The source of our experience is not the past as our mind understands it, but some mysterious immediacy of the moment. So the movement is from no form to the presence of form, from nothing to something, and it is instantaneous. Our eyes see a constancy of forms, but our actual experience is of an ever-fresh arising of those forms in an unfolding now. And perceived changes are simply the patterns in the outflowing of the forms. When we experience things as an outflow in this way—as consciousness continuously flowing out and bringing forth different forms of experience—then the sense of time is gone.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 175
Perceiving the Whole Cosmic Show
And if you go further, you realize that you are connected with and in fact are
everything. That's what we call universal consciousness. You are the universe. The universe is a robe that you wear. The whole universe is the Logos, the word. The universe is a beautiful harmony of everything as one being in constant transformation, one being in a constant state of resurrection. Even further you realize that you are the mystery from which all that comes. You can perceive the whole show, not just your personal show but the whole cosmic show, as something emerging and happening now. Not only do you emerge and transform, but the whole universe emerges and transforms. That state of transformation and change includes life and death and everything in between. All of this wonder is revealed through knowing who you are.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 214
The Developmental Side of Transformation
The other side of the transformation of individual consciousness is its development. Our consciousness is not only clarified, but it is actually a growing organism. It’s an organism that evolves. Its capacity for experience, feeling, and responsiveness, and its perceptual capacities keep developing and maturing. And the various qualities, forms, and dimensions of true nature are instrumental in developing those capacities and faculties that we need not only for further realization but also for the expression of the realization we already have attained. The process of transformation is a maturing of individual consciousness that expands the capacities we already have and also develops new faculties that we never had, or had only in a germinal way. Our capacity for discriminating intelligence develops. This is not just the usual human intelligence, but one that becomes an objective guidance that can discriminate and know our experience directly and immediately; it makes connections that our usual intellect cannot. This discriminating intelligence also gives us the capacity to articulate our experience in a precise and alive way. These capacities to both understand experience and communicate it—which most people either don’t have or have to a limited degree—begin to develop as the individual consciousness develops. The same goes for our relational capacity, our ability to interact with and be responsive to others and the world. And our capacity to act can also expand—in its freedom, spontaneity, intelligence, and effectiveness. So our capacities to discern, to relate, and to act can all develop and evolve in unimaginable ways.
The Alchemy of Freedom, pg. 112
The Kenotic Side of Transformation
The process of the transformation of individual consciousness has two sides: the kenotic side and the developmental side. Kenotic means a clarification of consciousness, an emptying of the structures, rigidities, and identifications that support and constitute the sense of self. Much of the transformation that is needed is the clarification of the individual consciousness, which is occluded by all kinds of beliefs and ideas and worldviews, all kinds of delusions and concepts and reifications that don’t completely disappear just because we are enlightened or awakened to true nature.
The Alchemy of Freedom, pg. 111
There is No End to Awakening which Means that there is No End to Transformation
When we recognize the gap between our awakening and its expression in our life, we appreciate the importance of transformation. Awakening is the discovery of the truth of what we are and what reality is. Transformation means the clarification and development of the organ, the instrument, so that it has enough lenses, enough limbs, to express and live that realization. We are all at various stages of this transformation, and because true nature is endless mystery, there is no end to the awakening, which means there is no end to the transformation. It’s not as if one day we will be completely transformed and then we are done. For that to happen would mean that there would be nothing new to discover; but there is always something new to discover. And when we discover true nature in a different way, how does it get expressed? Even if there is no issue obstructing its expression, we might not have the instrument through which to communicate it or express it or live it. Developing the appropriate instrument of expression will need some work and some practice. That is one reason why practice continues before enlightenment and after enlightenment.
The Alchemy of Freedom, pg. 116
Transformation Depends on Many Factors
The process of transformation, both the kenosis and the development of individual consciousness, depends on many factors. The factors have a lot to do with our history, our capacity to be present in mind, heart, and body, our commitment and sincerity to the truth. Transformation also depends on how we work with obscurations, issues, and structures. There are different methods, and some of them are effective in certain ways but not in others. And transformation also depends on the potency of the realization—its power to impact our consciousness—because the realization itself, or the awakening itself, has various degrees of eruption and intensity. In all of this, essential presence is the elixir, the red sulfur, that both awakens and transforms. It clarifies and develops the individual consciousness, the mind, and the heart. It matures the capacity for action. It ripens our faculties and imbues them with all the qualities we need to live and express our realization.
The Alchemy of Freedom, pg. 114
Transformation is Dependent on Real Understanding
Searching for understanding, trying to seek out or resolve issues, pursuing states and trying to grasp them—all these activities are built on a lack of clarity about what understanding is. We often think that understanding is information in our minds. You may have information in your mind, but that is not what I call understanding. True understanding has to do with transformation. If there is no transformation at the moment of understanding, then there is no real understanding. Without transformation, understanding is just a mental activity, part of the seeking activity.
True understanding that arises on its own is simply your own essence touching your mind, or being in contact with the situation. The actual contact of Being with any situation, or with any part of your mind, is understanding. Insight or understanding are nothing but your being eating your experience, metabolizing it, including your inner experience. This is the process of transformation itself. Being comes into contact with a part of your personality, or with an experience, and in that contact between Being and that part of the personality or the experience, the experience or part of personality is absorbed into Being. That absorption is not just a mental thing, it is a real experience of transformation, a metamorphosis. And this metamorphosis, which is itself understanding, never leads to weakness, deficiency, or impoverishment. It always leads to greater capacity, greater strength, and greater maturity. What is maturity, if not the complete absorption and metabolization of your experience?
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 28
Understanding Spiritual Transformation
Until we directly experience spiritual transformation, we do not truly understand that this transformation involves such radical changes in our experience of ourselves and our world that it is not a matter of becoming a transformed individual; we recognize, rather, that the reality that is realized is something that cannot be limited by such notions as "individual" and "world." The very principles and categories of experience that we take to be incontrovertible truths are transformed. What goes through a radical transformation is specifically our view of what truly exists, and the mode of this existence. In other words, spiritual liberation is a matter of one's experience and perception moving to another dimension of existence that has its own perspective, and further, of this dimension becoming the centre and foundation of experience.
Facets of Unity, pg. ix
When One's Consciousness Becomes Completely Permeable to Essential Presence
The transformation through which the inner journey takes the soul is not a change of her character, but a self-realization of true nature. This means one's field of consciousness ceases to be configured by ego structures, and becomes completely permeable to essential presence. One's identity ceases to be determined by one's history and becomes simple abiding in true nature. One's identity shifts dimensions, leaving that of historical content and abiding in timeless presence.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 193
You Have to Work at Being a Truly Mature Human Being
If you are interested in becoming a truly mature human being, you must conduct yourself according to the highest values you know, all the time. It is part of being a mature human being to put in the effort of conducting yourself thusly. If you believe that the integration of your realization should just happen by itself or that it should be easy, you are not understanding what life is all about and you are behaving like an infant. To become a gracious, generous, respectful, loving, kind, and clear human being, you have to work at it. It is not going to simply happen. God is not going to do it for you. You have to put effort into it, minute by minute; otherwise you will not transform.