“Knowledge of man is the beginning of wholeness, but knowledge of God is perfect wholeness. Therefore, as it seems, it is the greatest of all disciplines to know oneself; for a man knows himself, he knows God.”
Clement of Alexandria
Should you kill the ego? Destroy it? Annihilate it? The truth is, the ego is not the enemy, but can become an important ally in your journey of spiritual growth.
Having chosen death over exile, Socrates’ last words were: “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I don’t fully agree. Socrates’ words are saturated with truth but they’re harsh. It may be presumptuous to alter the dying statement of one of the world’s greatest philosophers, but I will anyway. “The unexamined life is not lived fully.”
Wave. /weɪv/. Noun: 1. a long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore.
August 2020. I tilt my birthday card back and forth. Waves, formidable and frozen behind plastic, shift, ever-so-slightly. They’re foreboding and grandiose, captured at their peak, foam overlapping seabed before the inevitable crash.
The human impulse to seek truth is like a plant’s impulse to grow towards the sun. It’s innate, part of our DNA. But what represents the sun? What are we instinctively drawn towards? It’s our true nature, the Self residing not in the sky, but in the soul.
The word petrichor is as beautiful as nature itself. It combines the Greek petra (stone) and īchōr, which in Greek mythology is the “ethereal fluid that makes the blood of Gods immortal.” Petrichor describes the sweet scent of freshly fallen rain, a smell somehow grounding and expansive.
As clouds gather before a storm, there’s tension in the sky and tension in our bones, as if we’re intuitively hardwired to sense an incoming downpour. After a storm, the air changes. The clouds clear. Petrichor fills the air, and we’re hardwired to enjoy the sweet scent of relief.
The memory resurfaced. Days-gone-by illuminated my consciousness, beckoning me to leave the present and return to the past. “I miss that time,” I thought, as I remembered a lucid summer from two years ago, a time when I felt vibrantly alive.
I’m content with where I’m at, mentally, spiritually, and creatively, but the summer of 2018 had a different quality to it. I had a powerful spiritual awakening and a huge upgrade in my reality. I’d uncovered parts of myself I didn’t know existed, including levels of creativity never before experienced, and a vitality and aliveness which had me bouncing out of bed each day, eager to get to work on my business, to explore, to adventure.
An adventure it was; those summer months felt like learning how to live again, from a different place. My receptivity was wide open, I’d stumbled across a deeper reality, and I’d never felt more awake, more connected to myself, my spirituality, the universe surrounding me. I was seeing everything with fresh eyes, as if for the first time.
Such highs are common throughout the awakening process, but they aren’t ever-lasting. Since then I’ve continued to grow and develop, with similar moments of aliveness coming and going, with plenty of shadow work thrown in for good measure. Spiritual growth is circular, and although I feel the ways I’ve grown, there’s a certain quality about these months I can’t shake.