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Image by Christiaan Huynen


“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,

but by making the darkness conscious.” Carl Jung

In popular culture "enlightenment" is most often portrayed as a state of inner peace, personified by a cross-legged hippie balancing on a mountain top. The reality is far less picturesque. It has to be said that most people do not reach an awakened state in their lifetimes, and this is fine. The universe does not think in terms of a human life-span, as we do. Certainly the process involved with awakening is the most unpleasant human experience imaginable.


It is impossible to attain inner peace without first acknowledging and confronting the darkest fears and unpleasantries that can exist. For this reason, when it does happens it sends people into a state of deep paranoia, fear and despair. Sadly, because we have no real knowledge or teaching accessible to the general populous and so when this occurs in a person, they have little to no idea what is happening to them. They will likely seek counsel in either medicine or organised religion, both of which have the power to further alienate the person and their very real experience. 

Religion will cry possession and medicine will cry insanity. What follows is suicide intervention, pharmaceutical treatment for depression and a diagnosis of schizophrenia or simply good old fashioned "nervous breakdown". However...if a person has the correct tools, he or she will be more than able to 'navigate the void'.

Enlightenment is like accidentally falling out of the matrix. It is taking the red pill. It is realising that one is connected to every part of the universe: the collective consciousness. Einstein, our favourite maverick scientist, spent most of his professional career on the hunt for a formula that explained this very notion. Stephen Hawking went on to prove that time is not linear. We widely acknowledge in modern science that everything is vibrational and that energy cannot be created, only moved. When a person reaches enlightenment they do not only know and understand these concepts but feel and live them.

Humans are accustomed to living life through a very structured and limited set of lenses, so when these are obliterated it is a terrifying experience that puts a man or woman through the biggest test they can ever face; mentally, physically and spiritually. The human brain has had no practice in seeing and feeling everything in the world at once. It is no surprise then, that the experience can be isolating and daunting. It is an experience that even most therapists are ill-equipped to handle, which adds compound confusion to the waking person. 

Seeking counsel in somebody who can completely empathise with the situation is very valuable, but it can be done on one's own. It's easy to overlook how exhausting this process is on the body, so make sure you can get plenty of rest. Quality sleep promotes the regrowth and repair of cells, but also holds space for dreaming and cognitive defragmentation, all of which are vital.

Exercises to help:

  • Rest

  • Therapy

  • Meditation

  • Socialising

  • Introspection

  • Journalling

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