Going deeper spiritually is actually a tricky topic. Because how does one go deeper when we’re already here now, and there is nowhere to go?
Yet, is the present moment really where our attention is focused? Even when our minds are calm, have we really plumbed the depths of the unconscious world? Or are all kinds of subtle ego filters quietly at work even now in this present moment?
Rarely have we fully drawn up everything that is down in our unconscious self, and so long as old beliefs, family core wounds, ancestral habits, primitive desires, and primal drives are left untended to, they are constantly filtering the present moment and influencing our actions.
So, we are not present a lot of the time even when we think we are.
I should add that this blog post is aimed for those of you well past dealing with obvious pains, dealing with self-numbing tendencies, and addressing issues you are only blind to because you are not looking for them. This post is meant to help those of you ready to drop beyond the obvious and known.
If you want to get individual support from me to go spiritually deeper, you can click the link below to learn more about my online classes.
Ignorance sucks. Ignorance allows us to believe things are one way when they’re not. If you live in a swamp and have no concept that a mountain even exists, then your ego can make you believe that you’re living at the highest point in the world. It’s only when a person becomes conscious of the existence of the mountain that the ignorance gets exposed.
Understanding the power of ignorance is important particularly when you self-evaluate yourself. Most people’s self-evaluations of their spiritual progress are grossly over-stated. Why? Because they don’t know what they don’t know.
Simply recognizing and accepting that there may be a lot about yourself that you don’t know is an act of humility, and that humility is a vital tool in being able to go spiritually deeper. Without it, you’re likely to convince yourself of basically anything your ego wants to believe.
Sinking Below the Conscious Level
It may seem that knowing something you are ignorant about would require a lot of external help or something semi-magical, but it doesn’t. Finding neutral third-parties and talking to friends and family to find blindspots are useful steps. But if you’ve gotten to a phase of your spiritual path that you’re ready to go deeper still, I’m going to assume that you’ve done that, and you have a reasonable grasp of doing inner work. Also, at a certain point, a lot of people in the external world haven’t gone deep enough to be helpful. It’s like wanting to climb a mountain. If everyone else only knows about hiking–including many healers and teachers–then the advice and reflections you get from them are no longer as helpful as they once were when you were first learning to “hike,” e.g. learning to do spiritual inner work.
(If you don’t know how to do what I’m saying, haven’t done the above, and/or are new to inner work, please head over to my “Starting Out” section to read my posts about inner work, mapping the ego, meditation, etc.)
Actually the advice to go deeper is very simple:
Pay closer attention to yourself.
Practicing inner work and inquiring into yourself “sharpens” your abilities to perceive. Human beings are amazingly perceptive animals, and when we no longer want to believe our ego stories and aren’t distorting or numbing ourselves with substances and other distractions, then we can bring these amazing powers of perception even more fully onto ourselves. That tends to show us more things we haven’t noticed, and we can realize many things.
Exploring Areas Outside Your Comfort Zone
I want to be clear that pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone purely for the sake of doing it and because you read it on a blog somewhere is not inherently effective. Some people actually push too much, although that pushing is rarely where they are truly uncomfortable.
For example, the expert swimmer keeps pushing her boundaries by swimming further and further and by choosing more challenging swims. But even though there is a challenge in this, this is an activity with which she is already comfortable. Dealing with her emotional father issues…well, this is another story.
With that said, if you are truly paying attention to yourself, then you become more and more aware of what you are avoiding. You can go further by investigating these parts of yourself with which you aren’t comfortable. Lots of people hide in their mind, and they can go spiritually deeper by moving into the heart space or the body space. The example above is a woman hiding in her body space to avoid her heart space.
Actually, come to think of it, check your heart space as a default place to go deeper at. There are a lot of levels of wounding as well as deeper depths of loving kindness. It’s hard to go too wrong by investigating there.
Intensifying Energy After Awakening
I want to emphasize that this isn’t where 99% of the people reading this post are at. You probably can skip over this paragraph.
For that small percentage who are ready, you’ve probably done most if not all of the following:
- Resolved old wounds that you knew about and that you didn’t
- Discovered and let go of a lot of your ego, allowing yourself to arrive at deeper states of peace (many of which you also had no idea of their existence)
- Learned how to listen to what your energy is saying and learned to do what it tells you
- Gotten greater clarity, deeper ability to love and share kindness, greater humility, and a variety of other such qualities that arise spontaneously on their own
- Are still being energetically moved and evolved by the awakened energy anyway
That last one is the key because when we want to intensify energy, we want to support the direction of that inner energy river. If it is moving you towards certain social situations, then amplifying the energy takes you further in that direction. If it is moving towards deeper primitive processes from human being ancestry, then intensification takes you there. And, of course, intensifying energy typically means you are surrendering any free time and space you have to be able to properly understand and integrate the latest stuff being pulled up form your inner depths and possibly applied to your everyday actions.
Surrender More Fully
Very few people surrender very deeply. It starts as more of “Well, I’m here. So now what?”
Or it’s like, “I’m failing miserably. I give up!”
There are, of course, many variations, but a lot of initial and subsequent “surrenders” still come with ego expectations. To go deeper in surrender is to notice your more subtle expectations.
Past that, you can practice surrendering from this space of understanding:
“I don’t know what I don’t know. But I surrender anyway.”
This is a statement of humility and an appreciation of ignorance. It’s a powerful way to come to surrender particularly for those of you who have cleared out a lot of stuff. When you feel like there’s no more to do–especially when you feel this way–come back to this humble statement. Open yourself to the moment and surrender to it. See what arises.
Doing More Is not More
Many people confuse doing more spiritual practices as going deeper. It isn’t.
Actually, doing more has most people going round in circles and exhausting themselves. The common statement from these types of people is that they feel like they aren’t making any progress. They’re right!
One of the beautiful things about working one-on-one with people is that I can help my students to really understand what spiritual progress is. If you want to know how to go deeper, you have to know what progress thinks, feels, sounds, and maybe even tastes like. 🙂 Once you do, it’s not hard to know if you are progressing, although the need to evaluate progress changes or disappears the deeper you dissolve into the now (because like I said at the beginning, where is there to go?).
In general, understanding what spiritual progress is helps you to understand the spiritual paradox of needing to do inner work and having no where to go. And it also helps you to understand that doing lots of spiritual practices just for the sake of doing them doesn’t equate to any kind of progress. Sometimes, it leads to people giving up entirely on the spiritual path.
Moving Into Unknown Inner Experiences
One of the true signs of inner progress is not knowing what you feel like at times. This is very frightening to the ego. The ego is used to its little swamp-world, and dragging yourself onto dry land feels odd at first. Just think what it is like to get out of a body of water that you’d lived your whole life in, and now you feel the evaporation of the water from your skin; the feeling of sunlight and heat is much stronger on your body; and you’re not sucking up swamp water from time to time when you breathe wrong. It’s a brand new experience, and many people dive right back into the swamp after arriving here. The ego shouts, “This is wrong! This can’t be progress. I don’t like this. It’s not safe!” It’ll make all kinds of threats, and so right at the doorway of a new depth, the person retreats.
Going deeper in this scenario is staying in the unknown. Breathe into it. Let yourself get familiar with this new world inside of you. As you acclimate, new levels of understand and new perceptions of deeper work are revealed to you. Then you do those things. And this cycle can repeat many times as you move further and further away from the original swamp and into even newer inner “terrain.”
Going Spiritually Deeper Brings What it Brings
Lastly, you can’t have expectations of what going spiritually deeper should look like this time around or any time around. Expectations come from the ego, and the ego bases those expectations from experiences that happened in the past. Instead, you surrender again. You stay open to the unknown. You pay attention to your inner world. You move through unfamiliar territory, or you go deeper into very familiar territory as many of you will drop to new levels of grappling with a core issue like the search for validation or the fear of loneliness or scarcity fears or some other core issue. Core issues are multi-layered. Learning to work through deeper layers of belief, emotion, physical sensation, and subtle energy is key to going deeper into these beasts living in the depths of the unconsciousness so that you can fully release them.
But as scary as the unconscious world may seem, it is truly empowering to go deeper and dissolve away all these powerful issues. Eventually, you can even begin to grapple with some of the most primitive and primal programs inside of you. The freedom we can then discover in so doing is mind-blowing.