Lately, I’ve been emphasizing the intensity that goes on after a spiritual awakening. A true spiritual awakening is like a spark that ignites a fire that takes over a person. If totally embraced, a person can be burned down to nothing. This “nothingness” scares the crap out of the ego, but to the true self, this is spiritual freedom. This is liberation. This is the ability to fully live all of life.

Truly, becoming a nobody is not high on most people’s lists. Most people want safety, and being nobody doesn’t sound safe at all. No, what most spiritual seekers want is safety and the assurances of safety coming from doing all this spiritual work. But I can’t give that assurance because safety is an illusion. In no other place than the awakened fire is it more fully illuminated that our interests and perception of safety runs counter to our best interests. When the fire ignites, people want out. They think they are being harmed when this pain is transforming them. But this is the exact right place to be.

On that note, allow me to offer some more thoughts about the pain of transformation and why any serious spiritual person has to learn to stand in the flame.

Breaking Out of an Ego Prison

The ego is a creature of habit. It focuses people on both the things that a person needs and the things they need to avoid. Then the ego ignores the rest. This form of self-imposed limitation tends to block out a lot, and the unconscious ego tends to mislabel a lot of things as well. So it’ll let it in some things that are unhealthy, and it’ll block out some things that are healthy. All of this goes on without anyone realizing it because they are so invested in their egos–they think that the ego is who they are, and they believe everything their ego tells them to think and feel.

Because of the many levels of attachment people have to their egos, breaking out of the ego prison is not easy. Most people have two hands clenched on the prison door bars while God is trying to drag them out of the cell. This depth of attachment to one’s identity means that most people do not go anywhere on their spiritual paths. They are constantly hoping that life and freedom will both fit within their prison cell.

What does that mean?

For example, someone wants to find a job they love, but their ego beliefs limit them to only working in technology as a computer engineer. Again and again, that’s the only area they look in, and none of those jobs ever feels right. If this person has a calling to be a diplomat or a mediator, their ego may have a fear of being in situations of conflict that blocks out the possibility of a career in mediation. This fear is a wall in the prison cell, and while God is trying to drag this person out of the cell and through the fear, the person clutches on. They want a comfortable job, but comfort is defined by the ego. The discomfort of working with other people in situations of conflict is also ego caused. So the ego has completely limited what the person can do. This diplomacy calling cannot fit in the ego prison cell. The ego is too small and does not allow for that possibility, and yet many people will keep hoping that somehow they can have all of life go according to their ego beliefs and without triggering any of their ego fears.

Ultimately in this scenario, until the ego fears are confronted, the reality of a different type of job is entirely beyond the person’s “abilities” because they can’t even acknowledge those abilities reside within them.

Surrendering to the Intensity of Spiritual Transformation

However, many people do learn to let go of beliefs and to stop trying to fit reality into their old ideas. That doesn’t mean the intensity of awakening necessarily goes down. Often, through surrender, the intensity goes up. Since the person is no longer resisting, more of their energy gets added to the fire. That raises the heat a few thousand degrees, and that intensity is most needed. Most core issues and certainly the deepest primal instincts will not burn up in the initial fires of awakening. The initial fires that often span years generally burn down over-growth in the woods of the soul. The tougher trees and hard rocks are usually left over, and they’re the ones that need more heat to burn up.

Honestly, choosing to go into intensity or even more intensity is a hard one. Our primal animal bodies scream at us that pain is bad. The human animal is trained to want to run out of just about anything that hurts, and so choosing to step in deeper into the awakened fire is a profound and powerful choice.

When to Intensify a Spiritual Awakening

Becoming One with the Sacred Flame

The goal in all of this is not to get out of the fire. The intent is to become one with it.

In becoming one with the Divine fire, we surrender our whole selves to God. It’s a bold move. It’s one that few people are willing to do, and it’s completely different than what most people think this is. Many people think that surrender involves God doing everything for them. That’s not it. That’s not surrender.

No, surrendering our full selves to union with the Divine flame is a loss of ego and a gaining back of all of our innate abilities. All the false beliefs that cut us off from different abilities and possibilities are gone. We find immense freedom to choose and to act in anyway we want, but at the same time, we are deeply aware of how the Divine moves. We know what this Divine flow is like. We’ve been burned to a crisp and beyond that, and so all we are left with is a profound level of clarity about the Divine and the reality of life on Earth. From that clarity, we take action or not in accordance with the Divine intelligence. This way of living can often ignite many lives and situations around us and spark transformation in other. So ultimately, this spiritual transformation is not a gift enjoyed solely by the individual, but is shared by all.

More Encouragement to Burn in the Divine Fire

For some more thoughts on what it means to “burn” in spiritual fire, you may enjoy these blog posts.

Burning up in the Fire of Divine Grace

Becoming a Phoenix Rising After Your Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual Sweats and the Icky Sticky of Burning out an Issue


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

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