THE BLOG

What Is Spiritual Transformation?

03/18/2011 09:20 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Bring everything up to the surface. Accept your humanity, your animality. Whatsoever is there, accept it without any condemnation. Acceptance is transformation, because through acceptance awareness becomes possible.
--Osho

On the path of transformation, no one can bypass the inevitable descent into the psychic ocean in search of the essential self. This stage of the journey requires a leap of faith into uncharted territory -- getting acquainted with the parts of you that you have forgotten, ignored or rejected. Since many around us are out of touch with their own depths and have never experienced the qualities of this Self, they can't in any shape or form mirror that Self back to us. When a certain essential quality is not seen in us or as us, we tend to lose contact with it and are not even aware that it exists.

As a consequence of this lost connection, we build our lives, unconsciously, around finding ways to avoid this reckoning. Due to this avoidance, we become collectors of ideas, beliefs, concepts, experiences and strategies which only form the reality of the ego/personality and nothing else. In time, we begin to believe this is who we are.

We need to dive into this ocean, not to avoid it. We need to feel it. If you believe that the integration of your realization should just happen by itself, or that it should be easy, then you're missing the point. Without transformation from the emotional depths of your being, you are not permeable to essential presence. If transformation is to become truly spiritual, then the realm of emotion is what awaits you.

To subject your emotional nature to critical analysis unleashes its transformative powers. When you feel, see and question this principal part of you, you begin to wonder if there is desire, doubt, hate, anger, lust, fear or anything else that holds you prisoner. Are you really any of this? You will find that once you touch the bottom of an issue or conflict within your psyche that you discover that it actually doesn't exist, and its existence was an illusion.

Therefore, it is here, in this realm, that you gain true understanding and insight, which is simply your own essence touching your mind. From this, a deep sense of openness, expansion and spaciousness begins to emerge for the journey. It requires the reclaiming of our capacity for depth and emotion because essence wants to experience everything in its totality.

Transformation is not about rising above or transcending, it's about moving through what is and a lot of what isn't pleasant. In fact, it's very difficult. It's painful, and one can understand why so many avoid it in the first place. We can do meditations, apply techniques and feel great. However, this state won't last unless we actually confront the deficiencies, the pain and the watery depths and walk through it. It is not a simple process, nor a short or easy one. A mind lost in vague and diffuse state cannot be a searchlight, and therefore is unable to see the hidden contents clearly enough to acquire full knowledge about them.

Spiritual transformation has to do with actualizing potential. It needs to be done while we are in the world. Experiencing essence is not that difficult because you can get a taste of it while meditating or via other methods and modalities. But to truly own your essence -- to experience it as who you really are and to behave accordingly -- requires moving through the barriers and inner terrains of your psyche. It means learning to make your inner understanding the source of your external actions in the world.

Finally, when you courageously and persistently seek this mysterious self, it will eventually, in its own time, yield and display its secrets to you. Until then, the road calls you forth, and forth you must go, for the path will end only when you have found the answer to question, "Who am I?"