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Deeksha: An Evolutionary Perspective

by Kiara Windrider

A great tide of change is sweeping across the planet. As in nature, this tide does not follow a linear path. High tide is followed by a low tide, as night follows day. Dark Ages and Golden Ages follow each other, and each out-breath of Creation is followed by an in-breath, where all Creation returns to Source.

We are experiencing on Earth a massive environmental and human crisis, a reflection of the collective shadow of an unenlightened humanity. What does this mean from an evolutionary perspective? Are we evolving or devolving? We can focus on the global crisis as the end product of long centuries of human ignorance, arrogance, and greed, the final chapter of an Age of Darkness. We are certainly de-evolving from this perspective, despite all the seeming advances of modern civilization. However, the same global crisis can also be seen as a reflection of a much bigger cyclical process, a pro-evolutionary process directed by a vast and benign intelligence whose goal is to create a new species of humanity far beyond our current consciousness and capabilities.

Sri Bhagavan, an avatar in India, insists that we will shortly be entering a Golden Age, following an unprecedented process of mass enlightenment which will take place sometime in the next few years. When people ask me to define this, my definitions always change according to the context. What does ‘enlightenment’ mean in an evolutionary context?

I do not see enlightenment as merely an individual phenomenon. The ‘deeksha’, which is an avenue for enlightenment offered by Sri Bhagavan, is an evolutionary cosmic energy whose purpose is to work with the biological intelligence inherent within our DNA in order to create a new species of humanity. It comes from a vast avataric consciousness which interfaces with the collective consciousness of humanity, whose purpose is to activate a possibility that has not existed in the human species before. Enlightenment is not just a spiritual awakening that affects individual human lives, but a genetic and cellular shift that affects our entire species and its role in the planetary and galactic ecosystems.

Whether it is a response to the crisis of our times, or whether the global crisis itself is only a reflection of a larger evolutionary cycle, I believe that we are going through a mutation in the human species that will enable us not only to survive the current crisis but to actualize our full divine potential.

We can choose our perceptions. If we see the global crisis only as a planetary threat of extinction arising from centuries of misguided human karma, we are obviously in a pretty messy situation, and won’t survive very long. If we also see this as a necessary aspect of a larger awakening, a far more hopeful picture arises. What does this mean in practical terms?

I remember once as a child watching in awe as a crane operator used a huge wrecking ball to demolish an old building. He would swing the ball way out to one side, and then it would swing back with great force to bring down the walls. Evolution is like that too. Nature is trying to program us with new information and create a new earth. But for this to happen, the foundations of the old self, or the old earth, need to first collapse.

How does this relate to enlightenment through the deeksha process? Too often when people receive a deeksha, their expectations of enlightenment as being equivalent to states of bliss or cosmic highs get in the way of a fuller experience of ‘oneness’, which by definition transcends the duality between light and dark. The dark night of the soul then follows in order to shatter these expectations and create room for greater expansion and oneness.

Whenever I give deekshas to people, I warn them beforehand that they are likely to experience manifestations of their shadow self, and possibly a ‘dark night of the soul’, as an integral part of the expansion process. I tell them they could experience great states of cosmic union, heart-opening and joy, but this could be followed by a time when they feel adrift and alone in a desolate world of spiritual dryness and emotional deadness. In this state nothing seems to make sense anymore, and even the connection with divinity feels forever broken. We must not expect the process of enlightenment to be just bliss and light. ‘Endarkenment’ is equally an aspect of awakening consciousness.

This is well understood in a country like India, which is perhaps why enlightenment happens so much easier for many Indians. For many Westerners, however, who are conditioned to perceive the world as light vs. dark, or good vs. bad, and who expect that enlightenment will mean an instant end to all psychological suffering, this idea that enlightenment can have its ‘dark’ aspects can be a little more troublesome, and leads to many unfulfilled expectations.

There is a model that was developed by John Lilly, one of the early pioneers of the ‘consciousness movement’ in California. He spoke of a scale of consciousness with a baseline of zero, and which went up to +1, +2, and +3 representing increasingly ‘higher’ states of super-consciousness. Below the line, there is -1, -2, and -3, representing correspondingly ‘lower’ states of un-consciousness. The interesting discovery he made was that in the process of awakening, consciousness did not move up in a linear fashion from -3 up through 0 up to +3. Rather, after going up from 0 to +1, it would drop down to -1, and only then go up to +2. Then it would drop down to -2, and then suddenly move straight up to +3! The greatest heights followed the greatest lows.

Like the ebb and flow of a rising tide, we must expect that any infusion of the light will be followed by an equal or even stronger experience of the dark. Sri Bhagavan speaks about the need to explore the ‘ugliness’ of the mind as a prelude to enlightenment. For each person, this shadow may come up in a different way. For those who have struggled with loneliness, this may show up as feeling very isolated and vulnerable. For those who have control issues in their lives, this may show up as a greater need to control others or their own experience. For those who have experienced trauma around money or self-worth, this may show up as financial contraction or survival fears. And so on.

Just like the water in a well is connected at the underground level with the water-table of an entire region, we may even go past the personal unconscious, and experience aspects of the collective unconscious that need to be brought forward, acknowledged, and healed. In his 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus was able to acknowledge and heal his personal shadows. During his ‘descent into hell’ in the course of his crucifixion, he was able to acknowledge and heal aspects of the collective shadow. If we are aligned with the awakening of humanity into the Golden Age, we too will be called upon to do likewise.

It is crucial that people understand this within the deeksha community, and create support networks with each other, to enable people to go through this ‘dark night’ when it comes up. It is only when we have this support network in place that the deeper experiences of oneness can safely happen. What is being challenged here is the very idea of a separate ego-self, which is ingrained very deeply in most of us. We will likely go through a phase when our very sense of meaning or purpose in life is confronted, when we flounder in existential emptiness, and when even our sense of connection with the divine seemingly disappears. It is a great purging, and the purpose is to take us down to the very pits of hell. From here, suddenly, the light of grace can illuminate all the dark corners and take us equally powerfully to the highest heavens. Having surrendered to death, we discover the fullness of life.

To the extent that we are aware of this process, to that extent we can embrace it. Realize there is nothing you can DO to get through it, except just to be aware of the bigger picture, and let it happen. In our fear of the dark side, or if we imagine that we are somehow ‘losing’ our enlightenment, many people try to hang on to a peak experience, which inevitably plunges them deeper into the pit. If we embrace our pit experience, paradoxically, we soon find our way out into a greater embrace of the unified state where we are attached to neither dark nor light, but experience ourselves beyond either, and therefore as all!

Many people are conditioned by ideas of ‘instant’ enlightenment. Yes, the deeksha greatly accelerates this process, but nevertheless it is a process, and takes time to unfold. Don’t expect to live in states of perpetual bliss, at least not at first, and don’t expect to become an overnight saint. This is not realistic, and is a denial of the dark side. The dark side is not to be feared but acknowledged, and in this acknowledgement a deep healing becomes possible.

Similarly in the global context, humanity has been on a path towards light for a very long time. But in the process, we have denied the darkness inherent in what Sri Bhagavan refers to as the ‘ancient mind’, or the collective ‘thoughtsphere’ of humanity. This denial has led to what George Orwell so pertinently referred to as ‘doublespeak’ where lies become ‘truth’, slavery becomes ‘freedom’ and war becomes ‘peace’. In our persistence of this denial, humanity has become a cancer upon the Earth. If we are to awaken, and if the Earth is to be healed, these denials have to be brought to light. I believe we are collectively going through a dark night of the planetary soul. All of this needs to be seen and embraced so that we can emerge from the deep hell of our own creation into a heaven on Earth.

We must get beyond the deeksha fad of ‘instant enlightenment’ into a deeper spiritual maturity. I believe that this work must go hand in hand with a deeper psychological understanding of the shadow, and we must learn the basic skills for dealing with this. It is too easy to put on an ‘enlightened’ mask when our own stuff comes up or when we are being put through the dark night of the soul. We must learn that it is safe to navigate through the darkness and open to its gifts of light. For those who are giving deekshas to people, these things must be clearly pointed out so that people don’t feel like they have failed or fallen from grace when these things inevitably happen.

Human consciousness is intimately connected with the Earth’s consciousness. As more and more people make their passage through the dark wildness of their souls and emerge into the unified light, we will at some point reach a critical mass where a collective enlightenment can happen, hundredth monkey style. It is possible that at this point the ‘ancient mind’ will itself dissolve. As this happens, it could well lead the way to a physical heaven on Earth as well.

However, before this happens, and as part of the clearing process, there could well be some cataclysmic events on Earth. Many predict that this could happen very soon. The extent of this will depend on how much we have managed to transmute the disowned aspects of ourselves. In preparation for this, we might find ourselves going through valleys of deep darkness, much of which will not even be our own. We might also find ourselves anchoring realms of immense light through our own bodies and into the body of Earth. When these things happen, let us keep the big picture in mind, and realize that we are being used in divine service in ways that our minds could never comprehend