Quite some time ago, I wrote about the importance of understanding projections in a blog post called: Understanding Your Projections and How They Block Your Spiritual Growth. In short, projections are our ideas about other people and how the world should act or interact with us. The term creates the idea that something is being projected out from us onto others. However, we also have our own projections about ourselves and how we choose to present ourselves to others and the responses we want to receive based on our identities. This projection ranges from the clothing we choose to create a specific illusion of who we are to the different traits we profess to have, i.e believing we are humble, loving, mean, intellectual, kind, tough, sweet, open, closed, and a whole variety of other things. In essence, our very lives are projections of all kinds of ideas, and when awakening knocks on your door, the whole house sometimes falls down.

And this is a good thing. Because when the ideas you have about yourself and others drop away, you begin to see yourself and life as they are. This is what I mean in the title of this spirituality post. Seeing life without your projections layered on top can be startling, reassuring, upsetting, or a whole number of other feelings depending on how much you’re still functioning from the ego self. To your inner self, this is just seeing life as it is, which is neither good nor bad albeit life will still be full of pain and pleasure. The part of you labeling things has pretty much gone away.

Only Useful Labels Remain

If someone drops a hammer on your foot, you probably will feel pain. Labeling this as a painful situation is accurate. It doesn’t mean that it’s a good or bad occurrence. It simply creates an appropriate way of explaining what arose.

The hammer fell on my foot. I felt pain.

End of story.

The old ego would go into its storyification of the process, so the person who dropped it is labelled as an idiot. You’re in agony, and so on and so on. The perpetuation of this story may grow from there as your ego decides to avoid similar incidents, chooses to never speak to that persona gain, and creates defense mechanisms on top of defense mechanisms. This is the state of most of the world. Everyone is trying to defend against every kind of uncertainty and discomfort, so all we end up doing is perpetuating pain and suffering in our attempts to avoid things we don’t want. Then awakening arises, and you see through all these illusions. The lies and veils of illusion drop away, and you start to see things as they are.

This is a most unsettling thing for many people, and usually it’s very unsettling for the people around you who are used to living in lies and listening to your lies. Becoming a truth-teller is not appreciated by most of society, so as you are starting to see the truth, you will also be learning how to tell the truth and not be afraid of the consequences.

Startling Revelations Abound

Seeing life as it is brings about a transitional time of startling revelations. The ego-self still functioning in you will be both in awe and terrified by the reality that you’ve concocted. It depends on how far afield you’ve been living from the truth. If you’ve been truly in pursuit of your heart and an honest life, awakening may not be quite so overwhelming. The change in direction for you may feel minimal. Conversely, if all you’ve cared about is money and appearances, you may feel like your world has imploded as you see the dismal state of your loveless and unhappy life. A dramatic change in your physical circumstances may be on the way. And there are still many more ways that awakening arises, and we all have different levels of ease and challenge as we go depending on what we are called to do. Hence, I like to remind people that there is no one way that any of us awaken or any particular path that we may take.

So as revelations percolate and pop up, it’s important to find compassion for yourself and for others. Don’t rush to change life; life is flowing as it should. But be very aware of what you’ve co-created in your life and listen to the calling within you if it is time for change.

The Ego Lens Gets Washed Clean

I like to remind people who read this blog that we are not in the business of ego destruction. We are in the business of letting it be washed clean. The conscious ego that is clean of distorted ideas and projections on the world is simply a clear lens that sees life. It helps us to interpret things effectively. For instance, all the red taillights just flashed on in front of me. That means I should step on my brakes to slow down because the red taillights mean the cars ahead of me are slowing down. See? That’s the ego and the mind working in tandem to create a healthy outcome. However, some of you may be awash in so much awakened energy that a new kind of spiritual projection overtakes you. Suddenly, you have the rose colored glasses, and everything is so beautiful and vast that you can’t focus. If this is you, don’t drive. Please don’t let friends who are initially awakening drive cars.


Seriously though, many people get very ungrounded, and because we are so used to projecting our own selves onto others, we start to see this beautiful light within us shined upon everyone. So the pile of rotting garbage in the neighbor’s lawn and the beautiful dancing two year-old in your living room all shine with light. This is not far from the truth as love resides within us all, but releasing projections of how we want to see the world allows us to see the light within all as well as how consciousness is expressing itself in this moment. A murderer has just as much light in him or her as any of us, but in the clarity of the awakened state, we can also see that this person is violently dangerous and requires a certain level of healing and rehabilitation. That is clear spiritual seeing in action.

No Naivete Left

Naivete is a function of an ignorant ego. Either it does not know and understand itself or it chooses to remain actively ignorant in some way. In any event, the ego self is committed to an idea about how life should be as opposed to seeing how things actually proceed. Many people are very naive about war, for example. They seem to think that war actually resolves disputes, but in truth in perpetuates pain and suffering for generations. I am pretty sure that we have not recovered from World War II. So much death and atrocity was committed, witnessed, and felt, and it was not addressed with anything other than a little counseling, a lot of alcohol and other substances, and a whole lot of silence. That scarring in that generation got passed on through unhealthy habits created to deal with the pain and suffering. Adults pass it to their children. Children pass them on to their friends, and a whole chain of pain and suffering is interlinked around us.

No, war does not solve anything. It just creates death and pain until one side is either wiped out or has lost their will to fight. This is not how peace is achieved, and in the clear space of awakening, you will see that.

You will see many things, and in that seeing, you will lose more and more naivete about a great deal of how life operates. It is both an amazing and terrifying place–terrifying in the sense that we have the capability to inflict so much pain. We have to honor and acknowledge that capacity; if we do not, then we are residing in a place of ignorance and naivete once more.

Layers of Illusions Wash Away

As I’ve mentioned before, illusion gets unraveled in layers. It seems to be how most of us can best integrate the truth and love and beauty of ourselves. Most of us can’t handle the bright light at full power, so after an initial blast, many of us seem to turn it down before gradually turning it back up. And the beauty of it is that our own inner intelligence figures this out for us, so there isn’t much thinking that needs to go into it. We simply return to the pure intention and aspiration to see life clearly and to live from the awakened oneness within us. In so doing (and it’s hardly a doing at all), the light within continues to join with the light all around. More and more of ourselves and hidden darknesses get illuminated. We see more clearly. We release old wounds that have been binding and blinding us, and in so releasing, we see even more clearly what is going on around us.

Because we cannot behave appropriately with life if we cannot even see it, and people are very much deceived, deluded, and blinded right now. This is the problem many of you feel when you awakened. This is probably part of why you got online and went searching on the topic of spiritual awakening to land you at this blog. You wanted to find someone who knows the truth because you are mostly surrounded by people who don’t know the truth, who think they know it but actually don’t, or who don’t even give a shit about the truth. So you came here. Well, the truth is that you are seeing clearly. Life is a mess. Life is gorgeous. Life is simple. It’s not a hard path, but the spiritual path will challenge you. You have everything you’ll ever require within you, but you’re still going to need some help. This is how it is.

Continuing to Trust What You See

At first, you may not trust what you see. Some things will seem too beautiful, and you will wonder how you never saw them before. Some things will seem so horrible, and you’ll wonder how you could have participated or collaborated in certain kinds of horror, such as the horror of greed and trying to take people’s money from them. As I said before, you will see many things, and then there will be moments where action is required so that you can align with the truth you feel and see. This is natural. It doesn’t mean changing others, but you will have an influence on others. For instance, if you leave a circle of friends who just want to drink wine and gossip, that effect will be felt. Or you may decide to donate money to a charity that you’d always wanted to support but to which you had never donated. You may change how you run corporate meetings to do a better job of letting others feel heard. There are so many ways that this may manifest that I cannot count them all, but I can tell you that making these changes is immensely rewarding. We don’t change because we want this carrot on a stick, but nonetheless, we still feel that wonderful gift of living in greater integrity. It’s freer. Easier. More loving. More natural, and you’ll wonder at some point why you never could see all of this in the first place.


I'm a spiritual teacher who helps people find freedom from suffering.

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