Nico’s hybrid way to spiritual enlightenment – trauma release and unconditional love
Wednesday last week I woke up with no mind activity – it was only the silence that filled up my entire bedroom. The incessant stream of thoughts had suddenly stopped. I really had to force myself to ‘think thoughts’. I really had to put in an effort to relate to something in the world of form. The thinking has replaced itself by ‘ beingness’ – an entity existing on such a fundamental level of our perception of reality that it’s so easy to be overlooked. It’s a very subtle feeling running on the background of your experience, it just IS, and it’s more existential/true than experiencing unconditional love. Awareness might be a more precise word, even though words lack tremendous accuracy to make this experience understandable. When I connected to this beingness, I could not think simultaneously. I could just dissolve my perception with this ‘isness’. It felt safe, peaceful and pleasant. It felt as though I had just taken off a tight shoe. I knew this was the start of my enlightenment process.
Note that the following content can sound very abstract. Even though this material isn’t palpable, it is very real. You can only understand the material by experiencing/living it, not by understanding/conceptualising/intellectualising it. As a matter of fact, as soon as the mind takes over, you’re lost. Nonetheless, the mechanics of both the ego and enlightenment I am sharing here can help you to search in the right direction. Therefore, use this article as a pointer.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the mind is a very intelligent entity. It can compare, judge, calculate, label, categorise, recognise and more. It has served humanity loyally from the dawn of civilisation. However, we got enslaved by our minds. The mind possesses the intrinsic capacity to suppress the full experience of the moment in the here and now. The mind suppresses us to see things as they truly are. We as human beings live in a conceptualised reality, which is constructed by our minds. When a thought, concept, insight, image or sound hits our perceptual field, we ‘think it into existence’ – it is this thought that builds up heat in so many different ways. We associate the construct we have in our minds with actual reality. To illustrate, as we have labelled a dog for ‘a dog’, we think we now know what a dog is, which is not true at all. Likewise, language creates a reality in our mind, which often can be far from the true reality. We perceive the past as well as the future as being real, but in fact, it’s just recalled or forecasted by our mind. Future or past are just thought forms, ingeniously coloured and decorated by our imagination and own perception.
The ego can be replaced by ‘identity’, ‘false-self’ or ‘lower-self’, or the person you think you are currently. It is certainly not related to egotistical behaviour – behaviour that only serves the one who is taking action. If I were to ask you: ‘’can you describe yourself in three words?’’ What would you answer? The personality you (sub)consciously relate to is your ego. The ego is the identity you have accumulated over the years, like you have been building up your entire body by drinking, eating, breathing – you are literally a piece of planet earth. Children are enlightened beings, as they see things for what they are – they don’t see through the rubbish we are fed with throughout the years. Their worldview is not clogged by limitations, opinions, visions, dogma, scriptures or anything.
As we mature, our ego becomes more defined, more fine-tuned, more precise. As we get older, we get to know the nitty-gritty details of our behaviour. One of the ‘rules-of-existence’ of the ego is that it protects itself – it grows, especially when it’s under attack. When I was a subnational athlete, I was constantly searching for an affirmation of that self-image and I was repelling every image that painted a picture of me being anything else. The image of being an athlete was underpinned by heavy workouts, good food, sleep, etc. My identity of being an athlete caused me to make certain decisions in life, and thereby, it determined my feelings, emotional state, thoughts, and actions. Based on our ego, which can be compared to an analytical framework in science, we – mostly unknowingly – judge ourselves and the world around us. Whenever we would be egoless, we would only be doing what we wanted to do at that moment, not taking care of the factor time, and not taking care of our agenda’s. Just like children. Tabula rasa, carte blanche. Likewise, cats are zen-masters. Self-realisation is simply the loss of ego – it implies that we wake up to our true self, which is also called ‘spiritual liberation’, the liberation from the illusory 3D-world that appears to be real right now.
Notice that the mind and the ego are interrelated. To my knowledge, the mind serves the ego. When the ego has identified with an archetype personality, the mind creates feelings and thoughts (and judgements) related to that identification. All the judgements, comparisons, the labelling happens to be in function of perpetuating/preserving that personality archetype. Humans happen to have such a strong desire for identification – the ego is highly afraid to die. Therefore, ego-deaths are described as being highly terrifying.
A fundamental law of developmental psychology is that we move towards pleasure and walk away from pain. Similarly, a personality – an ego – is formed in the direction of getting love, attention, and compliments, and it moves away from trauma, which often comprises of feelings like anguish, anxiety, sadness, loss, hatred, violence, pain, distrust etc.
If mama and papa gave love/attention/affection/compliments to their child only if it got good grades in school, chances are that the child will do its very best at school. Equivalently, if papa and mama only gave love/attention/affection/compliments to the child when it showed sophisticated manners, the child will probably (over)develop that trait.
Overcompensation. An ego tends to overcompensate for unwanted labels. If a child felt ‘not seen’ or had the impression of being unwanted in childhood, the child will overcompensate to extraordinary be seen, in the way it thinks is an effective way. So, depending on the belief structure of the child, it will form its personality towards receiving love, attention, compliments etc. For this case, some children tend to show unique behaviour to get attention/love, whereas other children tend to talk about problems to get attention/love. If a child doesn’t feel good enough, it tends to be perfectionistic or highly ambitious. If a child feels unaccepted by being perceived by others as weak, it tends to create an image of itself of being strong. If a child feels unworthy, it will create a new self-image of which it hopes to be perceived by others as worthy. All these new self-images are created to avoid an initial pain – a pain that is generally caused by a feeling of not fitting in, of being unaccepted by others. If you feel not accepted by others, it’s hard to accept yourself. These new self-images are overcompensation mechanisms, masks, and will sooner or later cause inner friction/ inner separation/ or personal imbalances, which will later cause suffering like depression, obsession, inner compulsion, self-hatred, stress-related issues etc. I can say from my own experience that EVERY chunk of life should be processed, embraced, accepted, fully digested, or else personal imbalances will appear which will later hit you in your face. Psychologist Carl Yung stated, both woolly and accurately at the same time: ‘‘that which one can’t or doesn’t want to face in him or herself will eventually show up in the form of destiny.’’
My hybrid way to enlightenment: unconditional love and trauma release
There exist countless methods to reach enlightenment, and I have probably studied only a small percentage of them. Though, the common thread of nearly all of the ways I have studied is to get rid of the ego. Highly simplified, Eckhart Tolle preaches to live in the moment, Jesus was all about love, Buddha was about non-attachment – all are methods to diminish the power of the roots of the ego.
Unconditional love. When you are in a state of unconditional love, there is no extra love to gain because you are already saturated, implying that you can remain effortless/still for the time being. As mentioned previously under the heading ‘developmental psychology’, we develop a personality which is, according to our own belief system, worthy of being loved. The driver of developing a personality – an ego – will vanish when there is unconditional love available. There is no need to act, to behave, to think, or to feel anything, and therefore, the ego ceases to exist. A boundary condition should be that an individual is far beyond a life-threatening situation, that is to say, that the basic needs should be met abundantly.
How to get to a state of experiencing unconditional love? I acknowledge the law of attraction as a fine method to find yourself overflowing of love as you walk the path. Follow your heart, your excitement, your bliss, your intuition, and you will be guided towards your destination. You will get what you exude. Connect with people to whom you feel vibrationally connected, to whom you feel a deep comfort or trust as if you have already known them for ages. The same holds for projects, studies etc. – only pick what resonates with you. By matching up your vibratory state with the vibratory states of the external world, you will increase your vibration, which inherently increases the amount of love you feel being submerged in.
Trauma release. Since traumas are a factor to move away from when forming a personality (ego), the release of trauma removes a perpetuating factor of the ego. When an individual doesn’t possess any trauma – whether existing in the form of prenatal, post-natal, or from previous lives – the ego ceases to exist, as the awareness of an individual will be pulled to the ‘here and now’. The ego does neither understand nor like the present moment because presence (present moment awareness) doesn’t need the ego to be existing.
How to release trauma? At first, face your own insecurities, fears and problems. Although this is straight forward, it can be painful. It takes courage to look deep inside the mirror without any make-up. It requires honesty, integrity and truthfulness. Clean up your conscience. Second, visit a clairvoyant or (spiritual) healer, to get rid of trauma inflicted either prenatally or in past lives. In any case, you have to connect to your inner child – be vulnerable, be smart, and be small. It’s okay. The earlier you fully embrace your inner child, the earlier you can mature anchored/grounded.
In conclusion, an ego will cease to exist when the driving forces of an ego are removed. Since an ego moves towards love, inserting unconditional love will gently force the ego to stop searching, and the mind will react accordingly with stillness. As traumas are the propelling force for an ego to be opposed to, removing trauma will cease this runaway. Both ways will force awareness to be in the present moment – which is called presence – thereby knocking off the existence of the ego. Then, the amount of ‘presence energy’ starts to rise within, enabling you to experience the lightening up of everything being consciousness itself. This is where the word ‘enlightenment’ originates from.