My Spiritual Awakening
What happens when you wake up one day and discover who you are and where you are from? For me that discovery is so overwhelmingly powerful that you are unable to shake it off as happenstance, coincidence or nothingness. You immediately realize you’re in the midst of a transformation you never consciously initiated. Your will had nothing to do with it. The decision was made for you by a power far greater than yourself. I also realized in that moment I would never be the same. I could not go back to who I was. There was something greater than me leading me to another space. Another square I was to stand on leaving the old me behind.
This has been my experience over the last six years of my life. It’s just now I have completely crossed the threshold into new spiritual space that I am able to see clearly what happened to me and how. I have been blessed beyond my understanding with a knowing and connection to all things in all places in all times that is not from this world. That sounds really strange to those of you that may not be in this space. I get it. I was there too. Like many people I am a believer but not religious. Indeed, I too am a flawed creature with a life full of successes and failures. I attended a Catholic high school and have been to every kind of church one could think of. All of those things can be good for the soul in proper context. I learned about this God guy too. All my life I’ve been told about His power but never had a real understanding of how to reach Him. I just thought I did. I thought I knew what love was too. I had no clue until now. Besides, what’s love got to do with it?
We all learn what the world can teach us at varying stages of our lives. We take in the information and continue to march. Our spiritual and religious journey is part of what makes us who we are. Until it doesn’t. At least for me that was the case. As I left my parents home I realized that religion is tainted. Colored by narratives, greed, selfishness and the lack of knowledge of all things. But I also knew there was something more I needed to know. More that I needed to understand. Something the church could not give me. They could not give what they do not have. So I marched on always wondering “Who am I and where did I come from?” “What is my purpose in this life?”. Those are all questions I have asked myself the entirety of my journey until very recently. Then, three years ago, the answers to every question I ever had in this world were given to me. Clear answers that were in-depth and detailed.
Those that know me understand that the human mind is something I am extremely fascinated with. How the mind works is a journey I began in college amplified by my love of the game of poker. That might sound strange to you. What would poker have to do with my awakening you might ask? Well, as a former professional poker player I can tell you that all things involving the mind are extremely important to a successful player. But even before that I was reading books on Einstein and following Stephen Hawking on and off since college. Although I never considerd myself to be particularly smart or brilliant I learned over time that I had a natural gift for problem solving. Thus, my career in computers.
In 2019, a breakout year for me as a poker player, something changed. I had an experience in a large tournament that forced me to dig deeper into my own being. I am notorious for my endurance and cunning as a player. I am a tournament player and tournaments are not only complex but they also require a great deal of endurance and focus. Being a former Marine staying up long hours and fighting through sleep deprivation is something I was trained to do. It was never out of the ordinary for me. In one particular tournament I took sixteenth place out of 1388 entries. While proud to have run as deep into the tournament as I did I was disappointed I didn’t make the Final Table. During that tournament it was like I knew every thought of every opponent in every hand. I was able to predict the outcome of scenarios that had not even played out. The accuracy of those calculations was scary and out of the ordinary. No human is supposed to have that kind of insight especially over a two day period of time. Professional athletes refer to it as being “in the zone”. This place was so far beyond my normal I immediately went home and ran to Google. I needed to understand what happened to me. Why was I playing above everyone else so much so that it looked distorted to me?
My curiosity led me to a book called Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. As I began to parse the pages I quickly surmised I was in a different space. A different plane and it came to me naturally. I had short moments in this space my entire competitive life but nothing like I had just experienced. As I read on I realized that I could learn to enter this space with a little work. But more importantly I realized there is a higher state of existence each human is capable of reaching we never tune into. Mostly because we are unaware and have not developed our spirit self enough to exist in that space consistently. That experience was the beginning of my awakening. I became obsessed with knowing more on the topic. How does my mind work? How does my mind work optimally? Over the next couple of years I would discover this phenomenon with the help of science and Quantum Physics. I came to learn there are higher levels of existence and that I had reached into that space unknowingly. I was about to embark on the dig of my life.
As I continued in my journey I would notice things in myself that, at the time, I considered out of the ordinary. My feelings for animals was one of those things I could not explain. My dog Candy had died three years prior. I never wanted her but got her for my daughters. As I looked back at this experience after having read Flow I recognized her purpose even more. I needed her. I just didn’t know it. During the twelve years of her time with us she became a creature I loved and cared for deeply. That wasn’t supposed to happen. I couldn’t remain indifferent to her. She forced me to learn to love her. I had no choice but to give in. It would be a decade later that I realized her purpose in my life through other animals. I gravitate to them. Something I never did ever in my life. Candy’s life would be one of many clues that would lead me to the Truth.
There have been many out of this world instances I have experienced since then. Experiences I can now understand deeply as I was still blind to my own ability to connect at a higher level at those times in my life. Again, these experiences, in retrospect were awe inspiring as I began to grow in my knowing, empathy and compassion for all things. Physics forced me to dig deeper into my own existence in places I never associated with spirituality. It was science after all. What the hell does that have to do with spirituality?
Science and spirituality go hand in hand. One cannot exist without the other. Religion provides us clues to get us to the Truth. Once we arrive in that truth we become connected to the Source. The Source of all things at all times in all places. God is a small word that fails miserably to describe the magnificence of the Source. Finally, I arrived at my destination. The realization that I am connected to all things. It was the pain I had experienced in my life that stopped the Source from being able to reach me that kept me in the dark. Incapable of receiving the love of all love as much as a human can on this planet. There is a greater knowing. There is a greater empathy. There is an infinitely greater love that is pure and untainted available to us even on this earth. But in order to receive that love we must be willing to give up everything. Every anchor we thought was true in this life must be discarded. What we live is not reality. Our journey is not real. This place, earth, is a place for learning and growth nothing more. Real life exists beyond this realm. The moment you discover this truth and understand it deeply will be life changing. You will immediately become you 2.0 as everything will be downloaded into your spirit beyond your understanding. You will be filled beyond words. You will become whole for the first time in your life.
While I cannot get you there I can tell you that the same clues I was able to identify are there for us all at varying stages of our lives. Some of us will get there sooner than others. It’s up to you to put together the pieces of your spiritual puzzle. Just get there. Remember, the only thing we can take from this place is love.