Death and Rebirth –
The Awakening Dawns
By Doc Roberts, PhD.
Recently I experienced an unexpected and unprecedented paradigm shift. This was my ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ (with a capital D). It not only ripped my very life apart right to the core and all that I knew, but actually culminated in my actual physical death. I remember taking my last breath.
A couple of weeks later, to my great surprise (and everyone else in the hospital) I returned! While happy to be back, I was not the same person any longer. I felt truly reborn into a totally new life. Not only did I not feel like the same person, but even more, I literally had to re-familiarize myself with the life I had entered into. It was as if I had been handed a script in a play and had to learn my new character. No longer was I the Doc Roberts I once was.
At first, I was totally disoriented. It was as though the once familiar strategies, attachments and goals I once knew no longer held any validity. I had lost interest in my array of spiritual books all the retreats, workshops and talks I once attended. What had happened to me?
For the first few months, I found myself sitting on my deck sipping green tea and listening to the birds in my yard. I really did not care any longer about all those things I once did. If not for the occasional voices coming from the house – “Dad, we’re hungry” – I would have just continued to enjoy my ever expansive Silence.
I did not realize what had happened though I knew something monumental had occurred. It was only in finding the “company of the Awakened” that I began to understand and accept this transition. Like entering a new country for the first time, I had to get my bearings in this new terrain. The guidance I received from these special individuals was critical to my own unfolding.
They listened and simply remarked, “This is Brahman”. Awakened and one with Divine Presence, your old life is no longer. Well, it certainly was not what I thought Enlightenment was supposed to be. Pure Awareness, so simple, so clear and unbounded now shines its light through this body. Brahman is an indescribable, direct experience of Truth. The absolute, pure consciousness that pervades all existence is now experienced as your own being.
The more I talk with people, the more I realize individuals everywhere are going through these “dark nights of the soul” accompanied by upheavals and all manner of challenges. The purpose — to experience Awakening, even if temporarily. What I know now is that turbulent feelings escalate as Awakening dawns. The mind, once having been in control and in charge of the show that is your life, loses its grip and dominance. This is quite often unsettling, even shocking to the system.
While deeply grateful for my dark night of the soul, I think once is enough. I am sure you will agree.