About

Hi and welcome.

Introductions are awkward. 

We don’t know each other, and first impressions are so loaded and tricky, aren’t they? I don’t know exactly what to say here, or how to begin telling you what I want to share. I know there are some proper formats for things like this, but I often feel like those formats are confining, which makes the writing feel inauthentic. So, please bear with me as I fumble through this first bit here.

I’ll start by warning you that I’m not a writer, and have absolutely no story-telling skills. Truth is, I never enjoyed writing for an audience, nor understood its art form, and I have a visceral resistance to learning how to become better at it. I can offer a bunch of excuses or explanations for why that is, but ultimately, they don’t change the truth of the matter. 

I write and maintain this site because I feel compelled to do it – to share some bits and pieces of this process, some insights that can be reduced to language, some philosophical discoveries or realizations that might serve as guideposts or markers to those who find themselves in the same terrain. 

Writing about these subjects and publishing the writing has forced me to wrestle with a bunch of my own internal stuff – my own issues of vanity, privacy, persecutory concerns, inadequacies of all kinds, as well as questions surrounding the commercialization and democratization of mysticism, of which I am generally not a fan. I am one part iconoclastic heretic, while another part is strictly orthodox, so my feelings about this are confusing. None of this compulsion was especially pleasant for me, (except perhaps the vanity part), but answering the inner call to do it, and to keep doing it, and then working with the emotional consequences of hitting publish are part and parcel of how all of this works. So, you know… 

Perhaps some bits of what I share can provide validation to those who are going through various similar experiences. The darkness is very lonely and scary, and knowing someone else has been there (and survived it) helps. Alternatively, perhaps what I have to say triggers some discomfort, or anger, or other negative feelings in you. In my view, those things are salutary, ultimately leading towards greater consciousness and resolution, albeit indirectly. Either way, if what I write is helpful to someone, then it’s served a variety of purposes, and so about that I would be glad.

A bit about contradictions in the content. If you read through some of the posts and pages, you might come across philosophical positions or perspectives that are contradictory in nature – I appear to be holding one truth in one post, and its opposite in another. (For instance, my position on sex and pleasure in some posts versus the work of eradicating desire entirely in other posts; that’s just one example, but there are plenty of others). That’s not an oversight. The entire mystical process isn’t just profoundly paradoxical, but it’s an insane complicated labyrinthian mess of absolute contradictions.

The instructions, if you can call them that, are relative to where along the road of development one is standing at any given the moment. All throughout the depths, truths are folded up on themselves, often in coil-like  or s-shaped structures. And the process of discovering them – traveling along the coil and untangling the knots – means holding truths very lightly, letting them go easily, accepting the opposite truths, and nimbly moving in various directions, as needed. The same can be said of the virtue cultivation process at large. Just when you think you’re going in one solid direction, everything turns around, and you’re meant to travel the other way. This swinging back and forth dynamic is inherent to the entirety of advanced mysticism. 

Looking at it all from a flattened perspective makes little sense. Wherever you happen to pick up the process, you find two arrows pointing in opposite directions, and those directions can’t (and shouldn’t) be reconciled from a single point of awareness. It’s not intended that way. I don’t seek to recreate the dynamic here intentionally, but this experience shows up again and again throughout the work, and so writing about any of it will entail contradictions.

Working with paradox generally serves a variety of ends, such as creating space inside of consciousness for lots of nuance, breaking attachments to any sacred cows and releasing the fears they hold in place, but primarily it stretches the capacity of the mind to hold various layers of depth simultaneously. It allows the conscious mind to begin perceiving different levels of meaning, which are often at odds with each other, which is crucial to some stages of the work. 

The essence of my intent here is to offer some broad practical context and directions, some descriptions of common knots and threads, some solid or stable positions to ground and orient the rest of it, trusting that each person finds and hears whatever they need in the writings. The posts are not a theoretical treatise, and do not aim towards intellectual nor philosophical cohesion for an observer. They aren’t intended to be understood merely intellectually from the outside. 

For the most part, the subjects I cover here, and the approaches I take to them, come from extensive raw experience with transformation and healing, not from traditional study. I have almost no formal academic background in philosophy or theology. The things I write about resemble a variety of traditions and practices, but all come from an essential universal practical place. They represent some of the places I was forced to go, the understandings I’ve gleaned and have been able to articulate, and the work product of many years of transforming fear and pain. If it works, and the soul demands it, and I can articulate it in words, then I write about it. If it doesn’t work, if its false teachings wrapped in beautiful words, I don’t bother with it (except maybe to explain why it’s wrong.).   

All of the mystical references in the posts and in the reading list are things I found after concluding various stages of personal work. I was guided towards them, and allowed to discover them, only after going through the work myself. For most of my time in the darkness, I was metaphorically in the dark as well, prevented from reading or learning about any of this stuff intellectually. I had very little prior understanding of the depth or gravity of mysticism.

For instance, I came upon the Pathwork Lectures (one of my new favorites), only very recently, after having actually traveled through precisely the same territory for years and years. It’s one of the ways I can attest to the accuracy of the content of the lectures, because I’ve been to those places personally, having been led there organically from within, discovering all of that ground myself first. That’s how it ought to be done. Personal experience first, intellectual validation after.

A bit about the organization of the content. Because there are various levels or stages of advancement here, all of which follow almost no discernable linear path, it’s quite complicated to organize the content for presentation to an audience of unpredictable levels of experience. So, I’ve embraced the mess (or I’m just lazy, hard to decipher.). 

The Toltec Wisdom tabs at the top cover some very early introductory material. The Kundalini Awakening tabs cover the next-ish part of the process. The Reading List is split into two pages for the same reason; one is introductory level material, the second is more intermediate level stuff. The blog posts are in relative chronological development order (the oldest posts are the earliest stages, building on each other). However, they venture into really deep (post-kundalini) monastic level material in the more recent sections. 

Additional content is available on the Wisdom of Sophia Facebook page (link in the sidebar). There you will find memes with more discussion and perspectives, as well as various quotes and things of interest. All of the memes from the front page are also available on Instragram (@from.here.to.love). Finally, you are welcome to connect with me personally on Facebook if you wish, there I share additional daily insights as they arise (with a bunch of more recent narcissistic abuse focused information).

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Below is my ever-growing short background story on how I got here:

Years ago, in a land far far away, I was living a rather normal but deeply unsatisfying life. Then one day, pretty much out of the blue, I began experiencing something incredible. (The descriptions of this part were stupendous and unbelievable, and so so exhilirating when they first occurred. But now, after years spent embedded in the spiritual community, they are pretty standard fare, so I can’t drum up the same level of enthusiasm in relaying them.) Basically, sitting in a park, under a tree, I was listening to some podcasts, and then poof! Magically, they did something to me, something I still can’t quite explain with words. It was like a very intense and spontaneous flood of amazing began. What followed was an entire week spent in divine love and joy, with incredible insights into universal wisdom and truth.

After coming back down to earth, it felt as if something opened for me that could no longer be closed. Everything was different; and I could no longer go back to the life I was living. I felt compelled to follow this calling to something I didn’t fully understand or appreciate at the time. The prevailing feeling wasn’t that I had discovered something new (which technically I had, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on what), but that I had finally finally found what I had been yearning for all along. Suddenly, like an incredible cascade, all the events of my life (the good, and especially the bad) made absolute sense, and I knew that I had found the thing my soul was longing for all along. I couldn’t name it, but I could feel it answer that longing. What that “thing” was exactly was yet to be determined, but I was certain I had found my first clue.

And so off I went on my journey of discovery. Um, I should clarify here – I didn’t exactly “go on a journey of discovery” the way other people use that phrase. I uprooted my entire life, discarded absolutely everything and everyone else, and dedicated myself full time, day and night, to spiritual work. I was able to hold on to my day job for a while, but pretty soon that went away also. Some people called this extreme, some called it insane, but I didn’t care. I knew what was real and true for me, and I knew that I wouldn’t be happy unless I pursued it fully; so, to everyone’s utter dismay, disapproval, blah blah, that’s exactly what I did.

As I began to devour all the various esoteric and spiritual traditions (all of the authentic ones basically teach the same things in different ways), a feeling of knowing guided me at every turn. I investigated and implemented one practice after another, trying them on, as it were, to see what would be most effective. There was a ferocious momentum moving me inward, like I’d forget to eat or sleep sometimes. But the discoveries were bursting forward, coming to conscious awareness with almost no effort and each one thrilled and excited me every day. With each step, the inner knowing told me, in no uncertain terms, which practices and tools to keep and which to discard. I knew what was true, I knew what was fluff, I knew what was the distortion of true teachings by malicious actors, I just didn’t know how I knew any of it. It was all so familiar to me, like second nature. I felt like I had been doing precisely this work for millions of years. A lot of the time, it felt like I was merely catching my mind up to what my soul or my feelings knew inside and out. “Fish, meet water.” Just like that. And so this whole initial period moved very quickly and with great intensity.  

This kind of work went on for a year or so, before I hit a wall and needed someone to take me inward on a deeper level. I was ready for more, and I found a teacher, and embarked on an equally intense year-long apprenticeship in shamanism, with significant inner clearing work. There were a lot of daily mystical events throughout that time. They are called different things in different traditions. Recounting them now feels unimportant to me at this point in the story. It was towards the end of the apprenticeship that I started to experience the symptoms of a full-blown kundalini awakening, which is when I really began meaningfully connecting with my own internal guidance system.

There were a lot of significant internal changes at the time, and I spent some time navigating the kundalini process, learning its language, and understanding how to work with the involuntary inner forces. There were incredible states of altered consciousness, wild mystical events, as well as very intense and challenging periods of healing. I also encountered multiple twin flames, studied sacred sexuality (across the various traditions), and learned a great deal about the spiritual principles governing those dynamics.

Towards the second half of 2016 things took a very very different turn. I didn’t know what was happening at the time, but I began undergoing a mystical purification process (both very very painful and scary). It happens in the depths of a horrific unrelenting darkness, with very serious material consequences. A coercive and terrifying force took over, sending me, carrying me, into hell and then purgatory, destroying all the parts of me I had ever known. I was taken on a live sentient tour, not all that different from what Dante described (though I only found out about his writings much much later.). There is an experiencing part of consciousness that not only watches or witnesses this process, but feels it at one’s very core, and is required to participate in the digestion process. 

I spent close to a year falling deeper and deeper into a really painful bottomless pit, before it started turning around. There’s too much detail here to describe, but there is a distinct thing I want to mention. The entire thing of it feels like you’re in a series of nested cages, one inside the other, with great expanses of destruction in between. You can’t see the contours of the cage normally, but each one comes into view just as you’re being pushed out of it into the ever-deepening abyss below. I don’t know how many cages there are exactly, but the experiences of falling out of them, being mechanically pushed out of them, or having them dissolve or crumble around you, are very real and significant.

I spent a long long time in that state of consciousness without any reprieve. Then just as I thought I was coming up out of hell itself, I was plunged into the throes of an unbelievable and surreal spiritual warfare – full of destructions, afflictions, temptations, purgations, and all kinds of mystical fire, which surprisingly carry out a variety of incredible functions. You remember the story of Buddha and Mara, with the army of demons and arrows? Just like that, almost exactly. (I didn’t know that story, or that that was even a thing until I was in the midst of it.).

This warfare part lasted for about the next three years, as a daily debilitating situation. Its goal is ultimately purification, by attack and subsequent illumination of the vulnerability, but it is gruesome and very very painful. What results is the actual experiential cultivation of faith, courage, fortitude, prudence, and virtue (in the balanced equilibrium sense), the healing of all the deep wounds and attachments that manifest as “sin,” the attainment peace and neutrality in the emotional body, an eradication of all kinds of desire and the subtle egoic passions, but also the liberated expression and purification of all the negative aspects, so that they are balanced inside the personality. As part of that process, I have experienced and cleared the soul-level trauma of innumerable past lives (hundreds of them), covering the ground on just about every kind of human suffering one can imagine.

There are many poetic descriptions of this process, none of which come close to the pain and terror this actually entails. I have no beautiful mystical poetry to offer here. There is no way to sugar coat any of this. The truth is that basically I haven’t stopped crying for four years. It’s kind of amazing that my eyes haven’t fallen out of my head, really! I cry for hours at a time, everyday. (It’s not by choice, obviously.). You know how in the Psalms, David (the purported author) says that his bed and couch are drenched in tears? That’s a real thing. Everything is drenched in tears… Bringing the pain to awareness, discovering it fully, and allowing it to come out, in tears, is the way the impurities (the woundings and traumas in the soul) get digested through the body. If I resist the process, or don’t do my end of the discovery work, I am subjected to immediate unbearable pain, which makes resistance impossible. The coercive element is significant.

As you can probably imagine, I’ve been functionally and physically disabled for the duration, often unable to get out of bed for days at a time. Don’t ask about the day-to-day stuff of it, because it’s been nothing short of horrific. I’ve been forced into severe poverty and ascetism, which have their own lessons to teach, of course, but they are still very hard to endure. And while I’ve made peace with most of it now, it’s still been objectively catastrophically awful. The good news is that I’ve found my way through all of it, (with lots of divine help and guidance), and I have some new healing modalities and discoveries to share. The bad news is… well, I’ve already told you the bad news.

Currently, I live a mostly monastic lifestyle, continuing to dedicate all of my waking hours (and sometimes sleeping hours) to mystical work. It is a very slow, difficult, complicated, and tedious ascension from the darkness, but I am almost fully functional and back on my feet again. The work is much more subtle now, and I’m able to handle being human again, mostly. Pre-pandemic, I was even able to hold down a part-time job in a busy commercial kitchen, which, in our world, is the ultimate sign of recovery, right? 🙂 (I did have to cry a lot in the bathroom, but was still able to finish my shifts and fulfill all of my duties without a problem.).

When I’m able, I dedicate my free time to working with others who are undergoing parts of this process. Combining all of the teachings, traditions, experiences and tools I’ve gathered, I help other people understand what’s happening to them, and what they are supposed to do about it. By offering the mystical frameworks, spiritual education, and philosophical context, people are able find their bearings, and make grounded sense of their own experiences. The validation, sense of direction, and greater meaning help to reduce much of the fear and suffering. I also teach the mystical awareness tools and practices that help navigate these waters, so that with courage and surrender, they can lean safely into the process, and by moving in concert with it, their experiences and transformational work go a lot more smoothly and easily.

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I think that covers most of what I wanted to say here. It’s a lot, I know.

Anyway, if you’d like to reach me directly, you can either leave a message on the Contact tab, or email me at fromheretolove@gmail.com. I do my best to respond as often as possible. 

Thanks for visiting and reading. My best wishes and blessings for your travels.

 

-Angela Sophia

8 Comments

  1. Roc O'Connor, SJ
    July 12, 2015 @ 2:03 pm

    It’s good to read about another traveler. I’ve read some in the list of your teachers and admire then (especially PC). My own teachers would include also philosophers Gadder, Ricoeur, and Macmurray; spiritual writers Dom Sebastian Moore, Keating, Gillick, and Rolheiser; scripture scholar, Sandra Schneiders; Bill W. and Dr. Bob of the Twelve Steps; and the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola.
    I look forward to conversations, Angela. –roc,sj

    • Angela
      July 13, 2015 @ 6:11 am

      Hi Roc,

      Thanks so much for visiting and for sharing your list of teachers. I’m always very interested in new ways of looking at these questions. I’ll be sure to check them out.

  2. Orly Costo
    February 5, 2018 @ 11:10 pm

    Happy to find your Blog through a mutual friend. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Angela
      February 6, 2018 @ 6:21 am

      Welcome Orly! Thanks for visiting.

  3. John Backman
    May 22, 2019 @ 9:10 am

    Dear Angela,

    Events in my life led me to Google “mystic” and “intense” this morning, and your website popped up. I am so glad you’ve shared these experiences; while our paths our different, some of your observations ring so true and deep to me. At one point, for example, you speak of the near-total absence of social support for deep inner experience; I feel that every day. Like you, I appreciate reading of someone else’s journey and realizing that maybe I’m not alone or insane either!

    So, thank you. And if I may take issue with one small detail: as a longtime writer myself, I’m captivated by your writing. It’s very good indeed.

    • Angela
      May 22, 2019 @ 10:06 am

      Hi John. Thank you so much. I am sincerely moved by your kind words. It appears to me that the path of the mystic includes isolation and abandonment, by design unfortunately (along with all the hardships and personal struggles that entails). The pain of it is built into the journey, and this archetypal story is repeated in many many mystical accounts. Even, it seems, the company of other mystics doesn’t do much to alleviate the pain, although the validation of experience helps. You are not alone nor insane. 🙂

      I found resonance especially in the story of Zarathustra, when he comes down the mountain, so so excited to share his discoveries with the world. He meets a saint in the forest who tries to discourage him. The saint says “don’t bother. they’ll just laugh at you.” Zarathustra dismisses the saint as a cynic, certain that everyone will be eager to receive his wisdom. But the saint is right – the villagers laugh Zarathustra out of the city, and he is forced to befriend a corpse as his only friend in the world…

      Emotionally, it’s right on target!

  4. Andrew Garley
    July 26, 2019 @ 7:36 pm

    Hi Angela, Connecting and saying hello.
    For 6 Years, everything taken, destroyed.
    The death of the ego is or can be painful, but lots of lessons too.
    I have studied for 31 years, had students and did a lot years ago.
    This time, things are different. From Past lessons.
    I won’t bore you with details as each person’s path is different for differing reasons.
    I have been worried, I would either end up in hospital or worse.
    I found your site, and I read the articles on the Kundalini slowly taking in the info…
    I wanted to share with you as I read your words, I smiled, It was like I was reading my own work, I had an idea of a blog a long time ago, your use of the words made me smile again.
    I wanted to just say thank you x
    It has helped me, I have been doing inner work.
    By finding your work, has given me a focus.
    I have been grounded to focus on the task in hand.
    I will read some more articles in Time.
    Kind regards Andrew.

    • Angela Sophia
      July 26, 2019 @ 7:47 pm

      Thank you Andrew. I’m so glad to hear that you found it helpful. Best wishes for the road ahead.