On Saturday, we lost a Grail brother to cancer.  His name is Michael Krouskop .  He left behind a son.  He was an amazing father.   It was April 2011 when I last saw Michael.  We were both participating in a Grail weekend in Pescadero, CA.  I remember being outside with Michael on the deck.  He had just completed his rite, and he had asked me and my good friend Doug to join him in the hot tub.  I am always honored when a man asks me to spend time with him after a rite.  The energy is so crisp and clean and palpable.  We were on the deck, and Michael just started telling a few jokes and we were laughing loud and hard.

I can’t imagine what it is like to find out you have cancer in January, and then to be gone ten short months later in October.  Life is so fragile.  It is tenuous at best.  I just want to kiss the people that I love.  Yesterday was the day I heard the news.  I often do some writing on the weekend, and I was having a bit of writers’ block.  I even asked a friend to suggest something for me to write.  Then all this poured out of me in about 30 minutes.  I am not sure how this ties in with the loss of Michael, but it does.  That I do know.  I don’t even remember writing it.  Here you go.

Looking back through my life, I can identify 8 phases or stages of development as it pertains to achieving clarity.  I don’t know if everyone goes through these steps one by one, or some people skip a step here and there.  I present these as a guideline, or a set of markers, for someone to gauge where they are at, and where they are going.

1 – Budding Awareness.

There comes a time when we feel that something doesn’t ring true.  For all of our life, we have been given information.  We have been told how to behave, how to function in society, and what to believe.  The key phrase for this phase is “things aren’t what they seem.”  Another way to put it is “the story I have been told does not ring true.”   During this phase, there is a spark of excitement.  It is our true nature to be free of all false notions and beliefs, and during this phase, we begin the process of returning to our true nature, and that is very stimulating.  The degree of our desire and curiosity from this point forward will determine just how fast we move to the ultimate clarity and freedom which awaits us all.

2 – The Noise.

Once the excitement dies down, we return to our current state of being.  While our awareness has expanded to notice things are not what they seem, and perhaps the way we have been experiencing our whole life is shifting, our awareness in other areas also increases.  Most noticeably, it starts to get a bit louder in our head.  Throughout this whole process, we will be butting heads with our ego.  We are not out to kill the ego, for we need the ego to survive.  Rather, we are going to learn to tame the ego, quiet the ego, and understand all the complexities of the ego.  Your greater awareness triggers a danger signal to the ego.  In order for the ego to survive and thrive, it prefers us to stay asleep, with little awareness, and little desire and curiosity about another way of being.  The increase in the volume is a key component of the process, for it serves to amplify our desire and curiosity to find an alternative way to be in this world.  Essentially we have begun a civil war inside our being, and it ravens for a solution.

3 – Recognize the Dynamic

We don’t like the noise.  It is naturally opposing to our true nature.  Therefore, the noise drives us to define the noise and understand why there is the noise.  It drives us to find a way to quiet the noise.  The noise points us to recognize that there is a dynamic which we must understand in order silence the noise.  This dynamic is the relationship between the false self and the true self.  It is the dynamic between the actor in the play, and the observer of the play.  As long as we think we are the actor, there will be noise.  This recognition is at first quite shocking.  Lives are lived with the false belief that we are one, when in fact, we are two.  This recognition is fundamental to our health, our prosperity, and our clarity.

4.  Be the Observer.

Not until we begin to experience ourselves truly as the observer will there be any true peace in our lives.  For many, the practice of meditation allows for the experience of oneself as observer.  Until we can sit in our truth as the observer of everything, we will always be struggling to honor the demands and the desires of the actor, of the ego.  You can’t eat enough, have sex enough, make enough money, have enough of anything to achieve peace and clarity and serenity.  There is always more, or another, or something more interesting, yet a shinier piece, and on and on it goes.  This is the stage where one begins in earnest to understand the nature of his or her being.  With this stage, curiosity and desire for the ultimate awakening are bolstered.  Exuberance explodes from within.  Power is discovered in the silence.  Life is starting to feel more real.  You are beginning to experience yourself as the center.

5 – Energy and Intuition Emerge

This new framework is like a crack in the cosmic egg.  There is a whole new realm of awareness that is descending up you.  Life begins to make sense in a different way.  The old way of being simply won’t’ do.  Life begins to be experienced in terms of energy and intuition.  It is kind of like you have been given a new operating system.  It’s an upgrade which makes the old ways of operating a bit obsolete.  It’s like you recognize that floppy disks no longer serve any purpose.  Somebody walks into your life, and you feel who they are, rather than taking any stock in their resume.  That little voice, when it does speak to you in the form of intuition, you are better equipped to recognize it and trust it and act in alignment with it.  It takes some getting used to, but it works much better.

6.  Synchronicity.

This is the beginning of the period of miracles and perfect divine timing.   As we continue to open to a new world which we don’t fully understand, the act of staying open, of surrendering, of letting go, creates a space for what looks like extraordinary events.  You think of someone, and then they call you on the phone.  You need $200 and somehow it shows up unexpectedly.  A friend delivers the perfect book for you to read.  You may not see angels like I did, but you will have your own experiences that serve to strengthen you and make you more solid in this new way of being in the world.  Old wounds begin to lighten and heal.  Life becomes a more relaxed experience.  Your opinions don’t seem so important.  In fact, you wonder why you even have opinions since everything seems to be working out A-OK without any tampering on your part.  The magic of life makes itself present.

7.  Supreme Clarity

Something happens.  It happens.  It may be big and bold and beautiful, as I shared about my beach experience.  Or it may be subtle, without much fanfare.  It may be called Samadhi.  It may be a final recognition of complete awakening.  Regardless, you know something happened.   You know that a big something happened.  You know you will never be the same.   It may feel like divinity.  It may feel like grace.  Words fail to convey the significance of a lifetime’s work coming to fruition.  One begins for the first time to feel his or her true nature devoid of ego’s constant tampering.

8.  Abiding Awareness

Having a moment is not full awakening.  Once your ego gets a whiff of what is happening, it will, hand in hand with Maya, the goddess of illusion, begin to tempt you and work to lure you back to sleep.  This is the step that will make you crazy.  You will be riddled with questions and self-doubt.  Hold strong.  This is the time to focus all your energy on the task at hand.  Stay the course.  I have seen so many get to this point, and then stop, thinking they have finished.  If only it were that easy.

Once the awareness is abiding, then supreme clarity is ever present.  There will be no need to change the world.  There will be no need to change anyone.  The world will appear as the perfect creation that it is.  The need to fix anything will evaporate in the wisdom of your true nature.  This is a period of great transition and adjustment.  One cannot prepare for the impact of the blinding clarity.  Learning how to function in the world after achieving this state takes time.  Be gentle with yourself and experience the spaciousness of it all.  It is a time for patience.  It is a time to let the mud settle so that the water may remain clear.

About the Author

Jay Cradeur Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.