Nov
28

Spiritual awakening process: “I feel like a zombie!” (Ask Maria)

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Spiritual Awakening is a Death and Rebirth Process and it can be very painful

I don’t even know what exactly to write. Found your website just recently.

At the age of 23 I was crossing thru kind of a life crisis that caused me to begin to search something more than this so called earthly encultured life.

It was like a lightning in my mind – DAMN, SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE, THERE MUST BE SOMETHING MORE THAN THIS GARBAGE LIFE.

After that I began to meditate in an effort to silent the mind.

In fact I don’t know where it came from, it was like an intuition, because never before had I read anything about meditation and HOW to practice it.

Nearly after a month of practicing I felt that some new energy (kind of not of this world) entered my heart and began to posses my mind sending me some new impulses about new kind of behaviors that were completely strange to me.

With time it began to intensely change my personality, all that was happening with the support of some altered states of consciousness, it’s hard to describe but they were entering my consciousness spontaneously and leaving the same way.

The states lasted nearly 6-8 months.

Then one day I woke up and felt myself like a zombie, I was dead inside, and at the beginning it was VERY FRIGHTENING AND SHOCKING.

After that I have crossed through great amount of suffering, darkness and hopelessness changing with the states of some unearthly gladness and joy.

I don’t know if you can believe me but now the process from the beginning to this day has lasted almost 7 damn years.

During the period I cried (tears) nearly 2500 times (still can’t believe how can that be real).

Now my human identity is almost completely broken – no desires, wishes, hopes, dreams, I mean – NO SENSE OF LIFE AT ALL AND NO SENSE OF CONCEPTUAL SELF.

Just the rest of conscious and subconscious pain.

There is only present moment without images, thoughts about it and so on.

In fact it sometimes happens but its energy is almost empty and I don’t believe anything my mind is telling me.

Now I realize that all the world existed only in my imagination, there is nothing to hold on to or believe in now, and it frightens my dying ego, the idea that I’ll lose everything and not get anything worth as the exchange.

Besides my memory becoming weaker and weaker with each day I intuitively feel that in the future there will come a moment when I won’t even remember what was happening just an hour ago.

What makes the fear stronger is the fact that I feel like I haven’t even tried a lot of earthly things when I was in a normal state of consciousness and now I must die in the name of the unknown for me (now unknown) reason.

I would wish to fall in love with someone, to have children, just simply live, but the reality is 7 years (and God knows how many more) of total loneliness, disconnectedness and hopelessness.

So that was my story.

If you can write me something supportive I’d appreciate it.

Thanks!

p.s. I was reading your topic about spiritual transformation crisis nearly 30 minutes ago and it caused me to cry for 20 minutes because it was like it was about me.

Thanks a lot. Thank you that you are Love.

Peace from Ukraine!”

My Reply:

Ah, the ‘search’ that began it all.

That’s what a life crisis does, we begin to question our existence and what this life is really about.

Or, you may have had the natural inclination to ask the deeper questions all your life and thus experience it differently from others, i.e you don’t live a ‘normal life’, a life like “everybody else”.

I don’t know what specifically happened to you when you were 23 but what matters is where you’re at now and how you can move on in your life to the next level of your existence. 

First I want to reassure you that your experiences are not unusual at all.

The spiritual awakening process is as I’ve said many times before, it’s not a path of Love and Light (exclusively).

It’s a death and rebirth process so you’re dying to your old self, to the false self.

Here’s a few articles that can be helpful to you:

The Ego Will Keep Re-creating Itself Until We Embrace Being Nothing On a Deep Level of Being 

Spiritual Growing Pain 

When you come upon Truth, the ego will fight

The Ego Needs Fear In Order To Live 

Or actually, here’s a link to some of my articles about ego death, it’s easier because I have written so many articles about this it’s impossible to find only a few that would be helpful:

MariaErving.com/?s=ego+death 

They can help you understand the process you’re in right now.

Moving on, ..

The Search for the True and Real

Your seeking began with the realization that there must be something more to this life and it brought to you the tool of meditation quite spontaneously and this is how it happens many times with many people.

Something is brought to our attention that will help us further on our path.

It can be a book, teaching, person, website etc, or it can be a spontaneous happening in your being (or a profound new insight) that completely takes you by surprise. 

I have had instances in my life when I have for example been physically drawn to my knees in prayer position saying things that I had no idea even existed until after it happened to me and I did some research on it.

That “something” overtook my body and showed me, physically, what to do.

I have to think really hard in order to remember all the things that has happened to me in the past but I remember one time I was in my living-room when I lived in Norway and suddenly this power took over me and pushed me down on my knees and prayed through me.

It sounds weird, but that’s what it felt like.

It was like I was being prayed, the prayer was prayed through me, and it happened spontaneously, completely out of the blue as I was just walking and minding my own business (watering the plants or whatever I was doing) when I was suddenly brought to my knees in prayer position.

Other things you can experience is that you feel the sudden urge to chant things but you don’t know what the words mean, it has just happens spontaneously. 

So yes, that’s what it can be like when having been taken over by Truth (not that it has to).

Truth, Life, the universe showed you that meditation is a way for you to further your progress in the awakening process and you obeyed it and then doors opened for you because of that.

Doors that are opened with the power and guidance of Truth can be, and usually are, extremely frightening to the ego, but not at all to the Self that you really are. 

Who is afraid? That is the question I want you to ask yourself. 

To whom is this frightening?

And who is it that feels like a zombie..?

Here’s a few of my articles that can be helpful to you:

mariaerving.com/who-am-i

mariaerving.com/self-awareness-questions

mariaerving.com/about-self-inquiry

mariaerving.com/about-self-inquiry-2

mariaerving.com/ask-questions-the-ego-avoids

mariaerving.com/waking-up-to-truth

And here’s a link to articles about fear to help you understand what it is and how the ego uses it to keep you in the old (lower) level of consciousness:

MariaErving.com/?s=fear

Awakening Changes You As You Drop The Garment Of The False Self

You’re describing that with the meditation practice came a change in your personality and that’s normal too.

You will change in many ways, and you will change many times, and many times the ego will recreate itself and then die again and manage to come alive again and so on.

More about that in the article below:

“Awakening can be inconsistent (we go back and forth) for a while until the remnants of the ego that there is left to deal with has been cleaned out”:

mariaerving.com/fear-takes-us-back-duality

“Arriving at “I don’t know” can be terrifying for the ego. Life opens up when we realize on a deep, fundamental level that we don’t know anything. When our mind has been cleared of concepts and belief-systems and ideas.
In the beginning the ego keeps recreating itself, it wants to be somebody in order to have an identity to hold on to.
“I am ____”. Insert whatever description or label you want, good or bad; to the ego it doesn’t make that much of a difference as long as it can be somebody”:

mariaerving.com/not-knowing

In essence, what this all means is that the quicker you let yourself (the ego) die, the faster you’re liberated from your suffering, which in essence is nothing but the ego; because ego is fear

But the resistance can be very strong, in fact many people never cross this threshold because they are so identified with their fear that even if they are presented with answers, help and even support they don’t take it.

They don’t do the work or implement what has been suggested because they so strongly believe that their fear is real, that it belongs to them, that it is them, and all their efforts are focused on how to get rid of the suffering and not on what is causing the suffering in the first place. 

The surrendering process can take years (but it doesn’t have to) because it’s an ongoing process and each time you surrender to the process of awakening (the death and rebirth process), a little bit of darkness is been dispelled and a little more light has been able to lit up within you.

And then, when you see things more clearly, it gets easier and easier, and as you progress in your spiritual growth you will ultimately come to live a life of instant, constant surrender.

A place where you live from where there’s not even a question about it anymore because surrender is natural to you and this allows you to live a life of inner peace and peacefulness.

But through the fire you must go. There’s no way you can avoid this, you can only resits it or give yourself over to it. 

Moving on, ..

Feeling like a zombie

You describe yourself as having come to the phase where there’s no life at all, no aliveness, no oomph in your life, no inspiration, no motivation, nothing but perhaps a deep yearning for a normal life, a life that everybody else seems to have and enjoy.

And this even if a ‘normal life’ per se is not in itself desirable as the programmed world that is deeply asleep is not much attractive to someone who has seen Truth, but nevertheless, we look for a way out and a so called normal life seems pretty amazing compared to what you’re going through right now.

Am I right?

Believe me, I’ve been there too, I know how it feels. 

There were times in my process when I cursed the day I ever started the spiritual journey in the first place.

All I wanted was a life that I could enjoy, and I saw the world around me enjoy it but I, for some reason unbeknown to me, was not able to be a part of it.

I felt doomed, hindered, and blocked, as I’m sure you feel too.

I wanted to do normal things like everybody else, I wanted to enjoy, laugh, have friends, and so on.

But I couldn’t, I felt completely blocked from having a life ‘like everybody else’.

I even thought God (when I had the belief in a god) was punishing me for something I had done in my previous life so there were many times when I sat on my couch, crying my eyes out because of this curse of awakening that had been put upon me, that I hadn’t asked for or even wanted.

I felt like a victim, I felt utterly powerless and as if life had no meaning at all.

I felt as if I was being pushed around and bullied and even hated for some reason (by life/god) and that I was doomed to suffer and never be able to have a life that I could enjoy and find meaningful.

Recognize yourself in any of this?

I’m pretty sure you do because this is what most people go through, if not all, who are in the awakening process.

But it’s a phase, let that encourage you. It’s not going to last forever, but it can last a long time, it depends on the time it takes for you to fully surrender to the process. 

You will go through all kinds of emotional turmoil

There will be times when you feel deep sadness and hopelessness, depression and even despair.

Other times you will feel angry, pissed off, and even furious because you perceive yourself as being pushed around by an unseen force that you sometimes see as evil or even a sadistic god of some kind.

But then one day you realize that you need to wave your white flag of surrender simply because you’re exhausted, you can’t take it anymore, and the moment there is a sincere surrender, there’s also relief, and there’s peace, and even joy.

Relief and peace always comes immediately, and joy follows shortly after when you realize how easy it was to let go and that you didn’t lose anything by doing so. 

All you had to do was to surrender.

You wrote:

“Now my human identity is almost completely broken – no desires, wishes, hopes, dreams, I mean – NO SENSE OF LIFE AT ALL AND NO SENSE OF CONCEPTUAL SELF.”

Good, I see you’re progressing nicely. 

There will be nothing left in ‘the end’ but there still is something left, and that something is the resistance to the remaining of what needs to be let go of.

The need to be somebody.

That somebody is your ego, and when that is let go of, or the need to have an identity, something else comes and takes over and then you find out who you really are, your true identity (or nature).

You are life itself, you are consciousness, and yes, you are a human being too and with that comes the human experience of course, the ups and downs of life, the challenges, the joys, the whatever it is, but how exactly that is going to span out for you no one can predict.

You might have a family, kids etc, as you expressed your wish to have in this life, but you might also perhaps not have those experiences too.

My point is that we don’t know, but after your awakening is done those concerns won’t come up for you anymore because now you want what life wants.

So if there’s kids to be coming into your life, they will, but if not, they won’t, and for you personally, it won’t matter. 

Having said that; all our true desires are meant to come true because those are things that life wants to experience through us and as us.

There are things that we have been born to do and what those things are for you personally will be shown to you as you allow life to come through you more and more. 

Our desires can, when looked into deeply, be about something else than what we think

Your desire for having kids and a family might not be about that, it might be about feeling togetherness, connectedness and ordinariness/normality and this is merely the way your ego mind thinks it’s going to be able to have those things.

This is of course something only you can know.

All I can say is that if a family-life is in your future then it will be there for you to enjoy, but if you essentially look for the things I just mentioned, such as connectedness, closeness with other human beings etc, then those might come to you in a different way, but it will ultimately be pleasing to you in whatever way or form they come.

You wrote:

“Besides my memory becoming weaker and weaker with each day I intuitively feel that in the future there will come a moment when I won’t even remember what was happening just an hour ago.

What makes the fear stronger is the fact that I feel like I haven’t even tried a lot of earthly things when I was in a normal state of consciousness and now I must die in the name of the unknown for me (now unknown) reason.”

Don’t worry about your memory becoming weaker, you’ll learn how to live with it and you also come to realize that memory is not as important as it wants to make us believe it is.

And the fear you have around this is about the story your ego makes about it when it imagines that ‘soon you won’t be able to remember what happened an hour ago’.

You don’t know this, it’s a story in your head and even if this would happen you would be in a different place within yourself that would make it possible for you to handle it so there’s nothing to worry about.

Right now you can remember fine, right? Or are you really suffering because of this? If so let me know and I’ll address it in a different way.

I just suspect that you’re fine and that the suffering comes from you believing in the scary stories your ego voice is telling you.

You won’t lose anything of value, remember this. Only that which is false. 

You will always remember things when you need to remember them (they will pop up in your mind automatically) and the memories will come back when you need them but sometimes they won’t but it won’t bother you.

Sometimes it can be embarrassing to not remember for example your best friends name as you speak to them but when/if that happens it’s an opportunity for you to discover more about yourself.

Truth is that life is a never-ending transformational journey and there will always and continuously be more to discover and experience.  

I would say don’t worry about anything.

I’m telling you this, hoping you will really take this one sentence all in into your whole being and consciousness:

Don’t worry about a thing.

There is nothing to worry about.

Nothing at all.

I promise you – you have nothing to worry about.

Live well in this moment, cry and rant when you’re pissed and angry at this process, cry the ugly-cry a thousand times more if you have to, but when you’re done, get yourself back up again, smile and never wallow.

Do the work that is in front of you; the things that Life puts on your path, do them until you feel you’re done (with the the specific tool or teaching), and then let them go.

Don’t get stuck in concepts, ideas and belief-systems (however “true” they seem), but use them or parts of them for as long as you need to but always in the end let go, let go, let go.

Never hold on to anything, not to joy and bliss, nor to your misery and suffering.

Allow yourself to become stripped and more and more naked.

Lose yourself to win Life and never worry.

This process that you’re in right now was not your conscious choice, remember that.

Life made this happen for you, in you, to you. And it has your back. 

Life/Truth has your back, it was Life that started this for you and will take you all the way, so let it.

Surrender, trust, and enjoy the trip because one day even all the 2500+ ugly cries you have had will be remembered with profound fondness and love, I promise you that.

Beyond all this that you’re currently going through is your real life and it may not look like a life you thought you wanted, but it will be better than the life you thought you wanted for yourself. 

Let yourself wake up to it.

The zombie is not you, that’s merely the shell of your former self, the false self that you took yourself to be for such a long time before this process finally started to happen in your life.

Aliveness will soon be felt again as you ask, and continue to ask, until the answer explodes within you:

“So if I’m not this (the zombie), who/what am I then?“.

awakening process resistance

The ego resists the awakening process but you are not the ego. Pay attention to the voice inside of you who resists and even resents seeing the beauty and perfection of your process. 

♥♥♥

During times of distress and darkness it’s also a good thing to remind yourself of what you do have.

Remember I told you that there was a time in my life too when I cried a lot and felt outside of anything that could even resemble of having a normal life?

What helped me through the dark times was the power that we all have and are able to use and that is the ability to choose our attitudes.

I had one friend and that was my neighbor and she could not relate to anything that I was going through but my God how I appreciated having her in my life.

In my mind and heart I called her an angel on this earth that had been sent to keep me company in times when I felt completely isolated and cut off from the world.

My point is that if you have someone in your life and even if they can’t ‘get you’, please appreciate them.

They are blessings and angels on this earth, appointed especially for you, so let them know they matter to you.

And not only was I friend-less, I was also living on welfare so I had never any money to do anything “fun”.

There were times when I was miserable, having no one to turn to, but I was also blessed as you can read in this very old article of mine (see link at the end of this article) where I wrote:

(italic added here for you to consider and ponder on): 

  • Do you have your basic human needs met? Do you have food on the table and shelter?

I felt gratitude for these things, maybe you can too.

I blessed the food that I had, even if there has been times when all I had to eat was potatoes and mayo.

At one point I also lived in a small caravan with a hole in the roof in the middle of the winter but I cried tears of gratitude and blessfulness (is that a word or did I just invent it?) many times while living there in spite of it.

Because I felt deeply grateful to have something I could call “my home”.

Maybe you have a home that you can be grateful for too? 

  • Maybe you have just enough to survive. 

I lived on welfare and hated it, but I found gratitude in knowing that at least I had that, because many people don’t even have a roof over their head.

Maybe you can find gratitude in your heart over the fact that you have a clean, warm bed to sleep in at night? (I’m of course only assuming that you have that). 

  • Maybe you feel isolated from the world, but maybe that’s your biggest blessing.

And for me it was, actually one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever received in my life.

I don’t know how I would have been able to function in the world, living a “normal life”, while going through the awakening process at the same time.

It was definitely a blessing for me to be isolated during those challenging years.

Maybe you can see this being a blessing in your life too? 

  • Maybe you have all the time in the world to explore spirituality to the fullest, completely undisturbed from outside influences. 

I had this. Maybe you have it too?

  • Maybe you are blessed with time in abundance to read, meditate, walk in nature, to go within and discover the true nature of who you really are without any distractions. 

And this I had too. How about you, do you have it as well?

How do you use the time you have at hand (that you are blessed with)? 

  • Maybe all you have is just enough, materially, but your inner life is rich, or could be. Attitude is something we can choose. 

This is what my life was, it was ‘just enough’ materially, but I was inwardly richer than most.

Use your ability to choose; that’s our human superpower 

We can choose our attitude and we can choose our perspective.

I could have wallowed in self-pity (and at times I did that too) and so can you (and I’m not saying you are).

You can choose to wallow or you can choose to see with your spiritual eyes on what’s going on on the surface of what your ego *thinks* is going on and its constant wrong-making of life. 

Regardless of how we think and feel about something, the ‘something’ is still going to be as it is, because it is right now in that way.

The next moment it might change, but right now it is like this (=whatever your personal situation looks like).

What are you going to do about it; use it to your advantage and growth, or curse it, resent it and thus block yourself from the blessings it has?

I know it can be hard when you feel totally lifeless and emptied out but try as much as you can to keep your spirit high and keep trusting that all is unfolding perfectly, because it is.

So again, don’t worry about a thing, and shift your focus by recognizing what you do have in the midst of having nothing.  

Here’s the link to the old article that I took the snippet from:

Facing Challenges

Spiritual Teacher Maria Erving

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Categories : Awakening

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