On becoming a mystic…

I have something to tell you. It’s not going to be easy, but I will do my best.

Since the end of last year, I’ve been undergoing a profound (mostly unbelievable) spiritual and psychological transformation. It is something that spontaneously began happening to me, not something I chose or initiated. I’ve been keeping the details of this process private; only sharing discretely with close friends and family. Talking about this intensely personal and sacred experience publicly feels very vulnerable for me. I come from a community of skeptics, atheists, and people who cringe and ridicule anything that’s even remotely “woo woo.” I used to be one of them. In my estimation, openly disclosing this opens me to judgment, concern, criticism, and fervent disbelief. Despite all of that, the time has come for me to begin owning this aspect of my life in a public forum. It’s hard. 

I’ve been undergoing something known in spiritual circles as a kundalini awakening. The closest concept we have for someone experiencing this phenomenon is a mystic. That’s what appears to be happening to me. Kundalini (a term derived from ancient Indian scriptures) is understood as life force spiritual energy. We all have it – it’s what makes us, and all other sentient beings, alive. In some circumstances, this energy can begin to “awaken.” From a conceptual perspective, once it awakens, its main purpose is to burn through all aspects of ego and conditioning, eradicating the false self, bringing the person into complete authenticity and spiritual alignment, theoretically culminating in enlightenment. It is, for the most part, a life-long process, at times slow moving, at times extremely intense, and often a powerful combination of bliss and pain.

The symptoms of this experience vary tremendously from person to person. For me, it began with spontaneous trance states, psychic phenomenon, very high states of consciousness, physical pain and contortions (known as “kriyas”), intense surges of spiritual energy, tremendous psychological and emotional upheavals, states of divine love and bliss, insights into universal wisdom, and interactions with divinity. The symptoms were most intense at the outset, but still continue today, fluctuating each day from very subtle to extremely challenging.

For the first few months I was very nervous. The symptoms were debilitating, and left me unable to function at all. I spent several weeks on my living room floor, unable to walk, eat, sleep, or interact with other people. I didn’t have the words to describe any of what was happening to me or why, and I became fairly certain that I was losing my mind. On one hand, it was clear to me that what was happening was a mystical thing, all of the substance fit into the spiritual frameworks I understood, on the other, it could just as well be the onset of schizophrenic psychosis. I didn’t know anything about mysticism, I had no background or education in it academically, and I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined it could be so earth-shattering. It literally shakes you apart, breaking you open, entirely. The only comfort was a quiet intuitive knowing inside, asking me to trust this process, and to allow it to unfold. The energy is extremely intelligent and communicates in unusual ways. It demands different forms of surrender (physical, psychological, emotional) which is, at times, difficult to comprehend or access. Once it awakens, there is generally no way to stop it or reverse it; it takes you over, and will run its own course, however long is necessary. 

There is, historically, a lot of secrecy and mystery surrounding these rare awakenings. It is believed that these events are so sacred, so deeply personal, so impossible to convey or comprehend, that they must not be talked about. There are no social or cultural reference points for this particular experience. The mystical traditions of most religions (kabbalah, sufism, gnosticism, etc.) offer theoretical guidance and descriptions of this phenomenon, there are volumes of mystical poetry describing these states, but for our present social consciousness, there isn’t much applicable practical instruction on what to do once the energy awakens. I consider myself very lucky that up till now my awakening came on in relatively shorts bursts of intensity. For others, this energy has wreaked consistent unrelenting havoc, and caused years of incredible suffering.

After fruitlessly searching for teachers or gurus that could provide support, I found a small group (on facebook, of all places) of people all over the world going through different stages of a similar awakening. It was a great relief for me to find comfort and belonging among them; and to know that I’m not crazy (or if I am crazy, then at least I’m in good loving company). Among this group of people I met a wonderful man, who has become my best friend and partner. The energy joined us in an unexpected spiritual union, pushing us to explore and navigate parts of this process together. We are being taught about true unconditional love, acceptance, healing, the incredible complexities of romantic attachment, sacred sexuality, and spiritual growth. 

I will continue to share details, experiences, knowledge, and wisdom as this process continues to unfold for me. I welcome any questions in the comments or through private messages. Please understand that I hold these experiences as sacred; it is incredibly difficult to discuss these things publicly. I don’t need any pats on the back for my courage, just compassion on your part, if you wish to engage with me on this subject. While I’m happy to answer any questions I can, I reserve the right not to respond to any messages that are negative in tone or intention.

Sending you all lots of love and gratitude. Thank you for reading.