Welcome to the end of your spiritual search …
If you’re familiar with our website at all, you’ll know that it’s all about the spiritual journey.
Using the archetype of the lone wolf choosing to walk her own path and seeking a true home (hence why our website is called ‘lonerwolf’), we’ve offered innumerable spiritual resources for lost souls and spiritual seekers.
But there comes a point when the spiritual search ends.
Yes, we continue evolving and changing – that’s the nature of life. But eventually, something within us shifts at the deepest level, and our desire to seek for Oneness, Wholeness, and Enlightenment ceases. Poof! It vanishes. It’s gone. Hey presto!
“Why?” you may ask.
The answer is that, suddenly, we come to realize that all we’ve been seeking is already here.
Our True Nature is always and forever within reach.
It’s as if the veil has been torn from our eyes, the mirror of our minds has become wiped clean, and the doors of perception have been finally opened.
And this, my friend, is the end of the spiritual search. It’s the end of the exhausting seeking, searching, longing, pining, prostrating, and praying for something that is already always here.
It’s the end of identification with the ego or “me,” and the beginning of understanding at the deepest level that we are Life itself playing out in innumerable ways and forms.
Isn’t that beautiful?
Table of contents
- What is My True Nature?
- Why Enlightenment is a Joke (That isn’t Funny!)
- 7 Ways to Awaken to Your True Nature
What is My True Nature?
Perhaps a better question is “what isn’t my True Nature?”
There are innumerable names from endless traditions that point to what our True Nature is. It has been called Brahman, Tao, Buddha-nature, Christ Consciousness, Self, Allah, the Absolute, Non-Dual Awareness, the Holy Spirit, Spirit, God, Goddess, Satchitananda, Oneness – just to name a few.
Our True Nature is often described as infinite, boundless, pure, all-pervading, serene, silent, and unconditionally loving. It is the space from which everything arises and returns, and has no beginning or end. We call it the Sacred Wild as it manifests as both form and formlessness, and is ultimately indefinable and unknowable to the mind which tries to limit it through mental constructs. It is the very essence of inner peace and freedom.
Why Enlightenment is a Joke (That isn’t Funny!)
For many people, what drives them to continue their spiritual search is the promise of enlightenment. After we undergo a spiritual awakening, and perhaps a kundalini awakening, and have done a lot of inner work, we’ll eventually be able to earn enlightenment, right?
Well that’s the (unfunny) joke.
Enlightenment is a big juicy carrot dangled in front of the ravenous mind that believes itself to be broken and missing something. In other words, enlightenment is a story created by the ego that feels separate from the Divine. It doesn’t exist.
The frustrating reality is that when we strive to become enlightened, we are perpetuating our suffering and exhausting spiritual search. We believe that the deficient “me” here is going to eventually get to a perfect and ideal “enlightened” future state. It’s a spiritual treadmill.
The more we seek, the more we reinforce the separate self, the ego. The more the ego is reinforced, the more we seek. And so continues the cycle of unhappiness and desperation.
Can you see how this can be exhausting?
Enlightenment doesn’t exist because there is no “me” to become enlightened.
How can “I” become enlightened when the “I” is just a mental story to begin with – the very story the entire spiritual journey is set out to dismantle!?
The whole point of the spiritual journey isn’t to reinforce this small and separate ego, but to untangle this contracted “me” energy, make space in the mind, and allow us to taste the Truth of Who We Really Are: Our True Nature.
Author and teacher Scott Kiloby puts this another way:
There are many spiritual methods and belief systems that promise future fulfillment, happiness, money or other success. If you look closely, the whole idea that you can gain something from spirituality is based on a false premise, which is that there is a separate “you” that lacks something … As long as you seek enlightenment, enlightenment is unavailable. In seeking, you act from the false concept that you are a separate self that lacks something. It is that very concept that creates the need for a search. Enlightenment is the realization that there is no separate “you” to gain anything personally from life. There is only life and you are THAT. No separation. In that realization, your entire resistance to what is vanishes and the deepest truth of spirituality is revealed.
7 Ways to Awaken to Your True Nature
Firstly, it’s crucial to understand one thing. Awakening to your True Nature, reconnecting with your Soul, however you want to put it, doesn’t happen by ‘your’ doing. It happens by grace. It arrives when it arrives.
This reminds me of the old biblical verse (Eph 2:8) – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
With that being said, although you can’t control when the shell cracks, when the seed falls, and when the bud blooms, you can create a good atmosphere that encourages this blossoming.
Here are seven ways to awaken to your True Nature:
1. Understand that everything you need is already here
It is here. It is in you, it is in me, it is in all life, both sentient and insentient. It is everywhere. As long as you are searching for it, it cannot be found because you assume that it is someplace else.– Gangaji
“All the answers are within.” I know this sounds cliche, but there’s a reason why it’s a common saying. Pair this with a gratitude practice, and you’ll be stepping outside of the endless game of seeking, striving, and consuming that is a cornerstone of spiritual materialism. Instead, you will gradually deepen into an appreciation of the beauty of what Is and the wisdom that is always accessible within you.
2. Simplify, purge, and make space
We carry so much clutter in our lives. Any type of mess is a weight on the mind (which causes the mind to become hyperactive). Clutter can be what we externally possess or agree to or, alternatively, what we internally carry. Examples of external clutter may include excessive belongings, too many unnecessary commitments, and disorderly social engagements. Internal clutter can include, for example, unexamined beliefs, ideals, desires, and traumas. I’m not saying that you should sell everything, cut ties with everyone, and go live in a nunnery or monastery. Instead, just try to make as much space as you can in all areas of life. Practice non-attachment. Do this at your own pace with self-love. Making space allows what’s important to grow and flourish.
Psychotherapist Robert Johnson echoes this sentiment, writing,
To ‘create space’ is both to allow realisation of our inherent higher Self to occur, and to allow existence to ‘send’ desired things our way. In this sense ‘creating space’ is a metaphor for Self-realization … When we do not create space, when we are too present in our ego-self and its chronic tensions and mistrust of existence, there is no room inside for creation to occur.
3. Be sincere and committed to a mature spiritual practice
Your spiritual practice won’t “earn” you awakening or self-realization of your True Nature, but it will help to make the garden of your being fertile (if that makes sense). As Bonnie Glass-Coffin Ph.D. and don OscarMiro-Quesada write:
For it is difficult to remain awake to our true nature, even after we have glimpsed it. The ego fights mightily against our enlightenment. That is why spiritual practice is so important.
This is why practices such as meditation, inner work, and soul work are so vital. They help to make internal (and external) space, undo inner knots and contractions, and relax our inner selves. They help us to experience spiritual maturity.
4. Learn to trust your own inner authority
There’s another main reason why we chose the wolf as the symbol of this website (and the spiritual journey). The wolf symbolizes self-sovereignty and trust in one’s own inner authority. Without this trust, it’s too easy to give away our power to limiting belief systems, gurus, teachers, and others who would have us buy into their worldview. Indeed, it’s too easy to go astray when we have no inner fire, no inner sense of our own divine sovereignty.
Spiritual teacher, Jeff Foster, echoes this, pointing out that eventually, we have no choice but to trust our own inner authority (so better now than later!):
All your preconceived notions of “enlightenment” will shatter into a million pieces; your happy ideas of “spiritual awakening” will not survive this, oh no! You will be forced into a face-to-face encounter with life, without the comfort of Mummy and Daddy, without the shield of belief, without the protection of ego, without the seeming security of fixed reference points. Even your most beloved spiritual gurus and philosophers will no longer be of any use. The raw pleasure and the pain of it, unfiltered, at last! No longer numb, you will be as softly vulnerable as you were in the beginning, before you knew right and wrong, good and bad, God and the devil. At first, this will be terrifying, this total reliance on inner authority, on your gut, on your belly, on your intestines, this absolute openness to experience, this honoring of yourself; but you will learn to trust the path of no path at all, and you will make your nest in the warm bosom of insecurity. And everything will be held in the most profound silence. Oh yes, for sure, there will be heartbreak! Yet there will be joy, too, the likes of which you’ve only ever dreamed about!”
Trusting your inner authority doesn’t mean becoming an egomaniac or denying all help/guidance from outside sources. No. Instead, it means honoring your innate, bone-deep wisdom that is outside of the realm of mind altogether.
5. Be aware of the ego’s tricks, ploys, and scams
There’s no need to demonize the ego, but it is a tricksy fella. It will do all it can to convince us that if only we align our chakras a little bit more, awaken our kundalini, or clear all past karma will we then become enlightened. If that doesn’t make it hard enough, we’ll also have other ego’s confirming these delusions around us – and that’s why practicing spiritual discernment is so crucial. Without being mindful and being able to see clearly through our own delusion (learn more about ‘makyo‘), it’s easy to get trapped in the sticky spider web of cosmic la-la land.
Remember that awakening to our True Nature (what is known as Moksha, Illumination, Enlightenment) is not something “achieved” by the individual self, the me.
6. Explore the nature of the “I”
To awaken to our True Nature we need to be able to distinguish what is actually true to begin with. In other words, we need to actually have direct experience of the transparent/transient nature of the ego and the unchanging presence beneath that.
Perhaps the simplest way to do this is via self-inquiry, or asking the question “Who am I?” This can be done either in meditation or in contemplation. Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharshi popularized this technique which has been adopted and taught in many meditation circles and spiritual fields.
So, who are you? What within you isn’t subject to birth, change, and decay? I’ll leave that to you to discover. :) Feel free to check out the book ‘Who Am I?’ for more guidance.
7. It’s simple
After reading all of this you might be thinking, “geez, this is all so complex.”
Don’t worry. It’s not. But it seems that way!
Our minds have a way of complicating things; creating stories and obstacles that don’t really exist – making a mountain out of a molehill. Believing that we must “earn” our way to freedom.
As spiritual teacher Unmani writes,
After searching for fulfilment or enlightenment for years, to be told that I am already fulfilled and enlightened seems to be too easy. ‘Surely it must be something more, something very spiritual.’ Enlightened people should act a certain way and look a certain way. They should be vegetarian and not smoke or drink. Enlightened people are people who have attained a special spiritual state after years or lifetimes of meditation and self-enquiry. They have dissolved all their karmic knots and opened all their chakras. This shows in their compassion and their aura of unconditional love for mankind … Why would Life be anything but easy? There is just the assumption that it has to be difficult because in the play, when I want to achieve something, it seems that I need to work hard at it. The nature of Life is not difficult. Look at a flower; does it work really hard to be a flower? Does it need to hold the image of ‘flower’ in order to be a flower? What is being pointed to here is simply Life recognising itself. Life being Life. Flower being flower. It’s so easy that it’s already all just happening by itself!
In other words, this is it. You are it. You are already that which you seek. You don’t need to pretend to be something or someone special. What you’re looking for isn’t in a future ideal state. Everything is here already. Why wouldn’t it be?
When we orient ourselves toward this simplicity, we find the truth. We discover a doorway of awakening. We learn that simplicity is truth. We understand that simplicity is clear, pure, and untainted while complexity is of the mind which is convoluted, dramatic, and stressful. The mind believes everything must be a super tricky game. This gives the mind the illusion that it’s “achieving” something special while preoccupying itself. But what you are seeking for is that which you already are, and what you already are can’t be achieved!
So move toward simplicity. And figure out what that means to you.
Awakening to your True Nature is both an end and beginning. It’s the end of the spiritual search but the beginning of freedom. And ultimately, that’s all we’re searching for at the end of the day. At the heart of every lone wolf walking the inner quest is the longing to reunite with that which we truly are.
Has this article sparked any new insights or discoveries within you? If so, you’re welcome to share below in the comments. And if you have any other insights or discoveries that you want to share, I’d love to hear them too!