I don’t see anyone mentioning this so I will call out the elephant in the room. I have been seeing it since awakening made its rise and it is this; there are two ego’s. I noticed when I felt myself drop off the deep end of the pool of consciousness that there was this tightly focused awareness of self and then there was another form of ego, a kind of “superego” which was just the opposite of its counterpart. This form of ego was more broad, seemed much more mature, and unlike the small ego, which was like a genie in a bottle in its own cramped space, not much bothered this larger ego. It also felt more mature, more emotionally capable, and it could glimpse the larger things without being bowled over. Two egos? But who talks about there being two egos?

Concurrent with this awareness was also the awareness that the powers of the mind, more specifically the brain, were now more obvious to me. I felt the force of awareness of each part of this awakened consciousness in my body: I felt a concrete, linear, rational feeling energy on the right side of my body. I referred to it as “the man.” On the left side of my body I felt something completely different. I felt a presence in the energy in my body that was fluid, nonlinear, holistic, and emotionally intelligent. I began referring to this as “the woman.” It felt like a classic yin-yang situation. I felt this all the time, it was as if a bright light was shown down into my consciousness and into my physiology to highlight a quality I had not paid that much attention to. This was before I even knew what on earth had happened to me. i didn’t know that this was even called kundalini. I worried for a bit that I might have something wrong with me, like a brain tumor or something. Luckily, this concern didn’t last for long, but the awareness of how different everything was at that crossing over period in my life helped to provide clues into the nature of this phenomenon.

In those early days, I was free to simply observe. I noticed that whatever this thing was, it had an automatic quality to it. What I mean is that I was aware that I was caught up in a force that was now moving me along with or without my direct participation. There were concerns of possession, I will admit this was true…but this was also short-lived, thankfully. I was curious, eager to understand what on earth was happening to me. It was as if I had somehow crossed over some line of psychological inertia whereby I now had developed some kind of force in consciousness that was now running on automatic. One of these forces in the eddies and flows of my day to day was how I noticed how these two forces, the “man” and “woman” were beginning to merge together in a kind of union. I didn’t just feel this as a force in consciousness but I could feel it as a force in my body. My left and right side of my body had twin forces running in them that were now beginning to merge in the center line of my body, right along what felt was my spine. When they did this, it was when I wasn’t holding them back. They just did this naturally. It was a new novel effect I had never experienced before. When they merged together I would go into ecstasy. Imagine my surprise. It felt orgasmic and it felt like two forces were making love inside my consciousness.Instead of physical sex, this was a higher order version of what I knew in the physical. It felt extra-dimensional, tied to here and now but took me entirely out of it all at the same time. It was in these states where I felt a new consciousness emerge, it felt like another order of magnitude beyond what I had known. It also shared qualities with states I had known before all of this took place. Inspiration was one of them. As an artist, I had brushed up against this state before, it was the firestone that all artists seek and find it oddly elusive sometimes. Artists “seek” inspiration…..and we do whatever we can to find it, since it is the fuel that helps to bring forth new creations. In my new state I saw how two forces in my body and mind were merging to create a new synthesis, a new mind…..the Metamind. This fueled intense creative output and also personal transformation that was natural and happened automatically while at the same time to the degree that I allowed it to happen.

This Metamind was like turning a cosmic key in a cosmic lock. Each unlocked each other and fueled a new form of awareness. When this happened, I felt like I could also unlock knowing about just about anything. I had a lot of trouble with this notion at first. One side of my mind knew that what was happening was correct and completely on the mark while the other was skeptical. As time wore on, these experiences began to pile up. I took notes hoping to make sense of what was happening to me. Part of it felt impossible, another part said. “not so fast….hold on….watch….just you watch….” Over time, years, in fact, I would find that many of these experiences where I felt like I was reading the “secrets” of the universe had an odd habit of showing up in other writings. If I was trained on something in physics, there were theories that spelled out a large part of what I had seen earlier. How was this even possible?

All through this was the awareness that there was this left and right side in my body and awareness that was involved. I felt two kinds of awareness of self, two ego’s. I knew this was the case only because I felt it in such an obvious way. I began to consider that what I was experiencing was based in my physiology. I considered that these twins were connected to the two brains that we each have, two hemispheres that develop along two different lines to form the processing engine that we call the brain. We think of it as a whole, but there are two joined by a large cluster of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. Was what I was feeling on the right side of my body, this flowing nonlinear form of my consciousness which I called the “woman” commensurate with the left hemisphere? Was this solid, concrete, and rational feeling part on my right side, the “man” the left hemisphere both reflecting themselves in a brighter or more obvious way in my awareness and my physiology? What’s more, when these two merged together, they created what I called back then “the child” and this, I would later discover was what the ancients called cosmic consciousness. My first realization that other people knew and wrote about this state was when I read the gnostic texts of early Christianity. It was an epiphany, a welcomed one, in which I finally realized that yes, there were people who had experienced this and I wasn’t just going around the bend. They spoke of the “left and the right” in a curiously similar way as I had experienced it. They spoke of the place of union within us, the bridal chamber, where the two become one. Somewhere, though, in the centuries that followed, this knowledge was lost, along with the keys to how to unlock it as the power of the tide of Orthodoxy took over the Christian world. That, though, is another story best saved for another time.

Was much of this being fueled by the fact that we have two brains? Was this man and woman the two hemispheres and how differently they develop in order to handle the broad range of possibility that we each have in consciousness? I sensed that this was entirely on the mark and I wondered if there was anyone out there who had done any work in the world of neuroanatomy that might provide clues. I didn’t have to look very far. I found a TED Talk by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor who described how she had a stroke in the left brain one morning while getting ready for work. Having her left hemisphere shut down through hemorrhaging in her brain meant that the right brain was now running the show (mostly). What she experienced was very telling. She came away with the clear sense that she had begun to experience samadhi, which is the bliss that is encountered when we experience cosmic consciousness. She further described how she observed that it was the left brain that was like a linear processor while the right brain was a parallel processor, able to handle vast flows of information all at once. It was her right brain that provided her with the awareness of how everything is connected, a common awareness of nonduality and cosmic consciousness.

I was aware that how we use our brains that the left brain acts as if it is running the show. I saw this as common to all people of the earth, it was just how we have all developed, a tendency that has been in place for a very long time. What happens when you shut down that part of your mind so that your other mind can begin to express itself? Much like how women have been sidelined in our world, there was a microcosm of this happening inside each one of us. Was the left masculine serving to hold back the flood-tide of awareness that we think of as the feminine side of our consciousness? A few years later I remember reading a paper about how scientists had found that the left brain served as a brake against the right brain. Bingo. So the process of enlightenment was in large part an effort to quiet the mind so that the left brain, which deals with language and process based tasks and linear logic, is not as active. And as often happens when we are lucky, the right brain hums to life as its own capacities are felt perhaps for the first time in a meaningful and substantive way.

Is it any wonder, then, that the Hindu describe kundalini as “kundalinishakti”? Is it any wonder that in Hindu iconography this new form of being is illustrated as a man and woman split down the middle? It was all the same thing I had been experiencing, too, with the man and woman, and the birth of a new form of mind which I called the child. The early Christians called it Christ and at least at one time people were learning how to BE Christs. Similarly, there are other cultures that also describe this same phenomenon, all using their own cultural lenses with which to understand it.

In my experience, I kept receiving the admonishment not to read about what I was experiencing. I know this may sound strange at first, but this is just what happened. Except for nibbling around the edges of this topic and wanting very much to understand what had happened to me, there was this still voice within that told me to pay attention, to watch and observe it directly without seeing what others had to say about it. Only after a number of years after I had uncovered these early Christian texts on the subject did the voice within say it was okay to begin researching more widely. This was itself part of my own inner development and was part of a task which was part of a very long story that had to do with other lifetimes (involving how early texts were hidden away from view and from those who might destroy them). But as I began to search more widely, I found that so much of the literature is speaking to this left/right paradigm in fueling cosmic consciousness. For as new as it may seem to many of us, this has been something that has been experienced by many people down through time. Many wrote about it and when you understand the phenomenon well enough yourself, you can pick them out quite easily. Plato created a myth about the separation of the sexes where we once were both male and female, an echo of this primordial awareness of the two-in-one that we each are inside. And perhaps it is because of this twin nature that we each have that we have been so fascinated with the Other, the opposite polarity of our own sex (not for all, but for many of us), keeping us always seeking that other “part” of ourselves with which we are less acquainted with.

I found in my own development that there was a point where the left brained awareness of ego was beginning to become a problem. I had experienced the oft-described “contractions” of consciousness that is tied to the ego-mind. I saw how it was a literal bottle-neck in my awareness, and as time went on, the forces of a larger awareness began to push hard against how centrally installed this “little” ego awareness was in my consciousness. After a period of about two years, I kept coming up against a solid and hard resistance within myself that felt instinctive and hard to work with. What gives? Over time, and during an extended dark night of the soul that lasted about five very intense months, I found that I reached a point where the force of awakening finally disengaged this little ego from its front and center arrangement in my consciousness. This took time and happened through repeated rises of the energy which would come for me, bowling me over each time. I described it was feeling like the energy had become a 600 lb gorilla that would glower in the corner of the room, launching itself onto me until it wrestled me to the ground. Each time, I would resist this force, not even aware why I was even doing so. I was embarrassed; I was about as unsurrendered a person as there could be. Why was I resisting so much? Why couldn’t I just let go? It was what I knew, what I was familiar with. It was how I was raised. It was how everyone who I knew was. This thing, this mad gorilla, was trying to break me and turn me into something else.

Slowly, in steps, each time our gorilla came for me, I slowly softened. Maybe it was only after feeling like I had just been attacked and pinned did I finally cry uncle. But at the end of each of these “attacks” I began to see how the face of this force would completely change to my mind. Instead of being a threat, it became a bubbling and effusive force that would look out through its mysterious eyes and smile at me, still very much lying on top of me, but looking at me now with wonder and joy as I was also feeling the same. So it was in this way that I gave up the small ego. It was done piecemeal. I gradually got the memo and began to welcome the wrestling matches that would take place in silence. Eventually, I no longer even got attacked. It never was an attack. I was just seeing it all the wrong way. Over this time period, I learned that all I needed to do was to allow this new force in awareness to simply be. All of this was like one long tutorial, taught over and over until I learned to let go. And the day came, a very definite moment, when I finally got it. When I did, a curious thing happened; all thoughts ceased and it was like I had punched through a layer of atmosphere that was dense and I was free. I felt for the first time an enduring silence in the mind. With it came a peace and a presence. I had felt both of these things before, in fact I had felt them hundreds, perhaps thousands of times right from the beginning of awakening, but I always did so as a visitor. I could visit those places but my old habituated consciousness would win over in the end, sending me back to where I had been before. Awake, full of energy, intense and alive, but still in an old mode of being all at the same time. This was a process.

What took place once this silence emerged or was given space to exist in a more consistent way, was itself a bit of a challenge. I still had to be in the world and use old modes of focus just to get through my day in a way that would keep me anchored in my physical life. I learned to balance and to use different modes of consciousness like a child would learn to use its body to walk or to learn to talk. I felt like I was learning how to be a new human all over again. I found that I could be very forgetful. I might forget from one moment to the next what I had only moments before been thinking about. While this might not seem strange to you, this was happening all the time to me. I would go through self-checkout at the market and forget that I had just seconds before gotten cash back from the machine. It was left, a twenty dollar bill spit out by the machine, for the next person in line to notice it was there. But at the same time it was this lack of focus that also allowed me access to a field of being that was remarkable and felt like freedom. This process of learning to balance these tow states was itself gradual as I felt my way around things. What I found so hard to believe was how events would conspire to keep me in the flow of things. I had trouble focusing, I would forget about meetings, but they always worked out. Someone would call to cancel because something came up, or something else in my life would put me at just the right place at just the right time. It all looked so accidental and purposeful all at once. It is hard to explain how many times I had blanked on something only to have things work out perfectly. After a while it was hard to see how this was all working just by accident. It felt and looked like there was some force alive in the physical, a kind of conscious thread whose material I was unaware of being there that would look out after me as I floated in a kind of inner space of the numinous, as if time itself had been cancelled and I simply was there….unthinking, unable sometimes to think in the old way sometimes unable to navigate in the old ways that I had before. Someone might call out of the blue asking for an appointment at the studio minutes before I realized, I already had an appointment that was going to happen in minutes. Yes, I began to rely heavily on my calendar on my phone to write it all down to prompt me, but even this was hard to do sometimes because of how quickly I would shift into no-time and no-thought. I know that this all sounds hard to imagine, but it was my world for a good while. And yet everything worked out. I hardly ever wound up in a situation where I was able to completely forget something, not without the poking and prodding from the universe itself. It was like tumbling and falling from a great height only to land always on my feet. No one caught on to just how “out there” I was. Krishnamurti described this as his “declutched” state where he could not access normal thought and often felt lost in this new state of mind. It is a necessary step along the way to reaching a larger synthesis of mind and being where nothing is set aside, discounted or left behind. This is the path to being a fuller being here on earth and we have been wrestling with this for a long time. This relates, I think, to how we can develop these two powers of mid and learn organically how to balance the two, which is itself a process we call embodiment.

All through this, though, was the awareness of the two focuses in my mind, my brain. I had this incredibly large and diffuse awareness of ego that I sensed was from the right brain while there was this incredibly cramped quarters of the ego that was in my left brain. When I entered into that left-brained ego, it was like putting on blinders. I seemed to see everything in such microscopic detail that I completely lost the wave of cosmic mind. On the other hand, when I was so “out there” with my right-brained ego, I was swimming in a vast sea.

I have come to see these two forms of awareness and focus to be just that, two focuses. My job has been to marry them, not toss them out completely. The next stage has been to marry them so that there is no difference between the two. I see them as being like two parts of a cone of being; one side of the cone comes to a point for laser-like focus, and then its expands outward to where its widest point becomes the narrowest point of the other focus or hemisphere, the right brain. From there, this cone expands outward, perhaps to infinity. It doesn’t have the laser focus and relies on that part of the brain to make sense of some of what it is seeing and experiencing. But in the same way, the left brain is completely unable to grasp the larger more broader realm that the right brain seem so adept at. One is a particle, one is a wave. One is masculine, one is feminine. Neither can do much alone, both achieve a new synthesis when brought into harmony with the other.

So all of this talk of the ego being an illusion is to me beside the point. So many who want to say that it isn’t real and for us to just chuck it out. I find all of it hilarious and sad. This is the left brain at work. It sounds pretty impressive, after all, so many teachers have prescribed doing this for ages. But all of them have been men and when I hear those men talk I hear a voice that shows no sign of being all that aware of the bigger picture that the inner “feminine” brings to all of us, regardless of our physical sex. The way that they explain it, describe it, it is all very logic-driven and it also lacks substance in the bigger picture. There is talk of “who is the “I” that is experiencing this?” It is all to me like one big tail-chasing game. The “I” is here for a purpose, use it and understand it better, then perhaps you will see that this is not merely an anomaly. When I see these men speaking about this “I” that is pure illusion, I also find that most of them have not had a single experience with a past life. In fact, the reality of a past life itself would disprove such notions as severely limited because it shows how the “I” persists from lifetime to lifetime and that while we are the universe, we are also given awareness of the “I” in order to allow us to look out with our own perspective and turn of mind on that universe, the all. And why would these need to be contradictory or mutually exclusive? There is the doer and there is the knower. There is the part that is at rest and the part that changes and transforms and works with the stuff of this world in order to work through its own stuff. To me, this talk of no “I” is a clever way of bypassing the work that you are here to do. And who knows, really, perhaps resting on the cosmic sandbar of the belief in no “I” might be a necessary step in people’s evolution before stepping out into the great ocean of consciousness where both I and All are commensurate with one another, a paradox to be embraced, two focuses to be fused into a new Metamind of great wisdom and understanding….compassion, even.

A while back I wrote this piece called, “I Cannot Ride That Neoadvaita Train” in which I linked to a wonderful video of a woman in India who pointed out how useless it is to try and make the kinds of distinctions so many teachers, all male, make about this issue with the “I.” I found it incredibly refreshing and meshing with my experience through all of this. Why toss it out, why not work with it? Please show me a single person who has gotten ride of ego. Name me one. I will wait. “That is because of how pernicious our consciousness is in the production of a false-self!” they explain. But perhaps it is only because we have always had this “I” because it serves a unique purpose here in our development. Is it all that there is? No. It is a part. But we are a whole of parts working as one and yet we are still also those parts. Small ego, big ego, emotional self, mental or intellectual self, the body, the light body, all make up the “koshas” which are aspects of our whole being. All can be seen as parts by the rational mind, but they all work together as a whole. And isn’t every single atom in the universe like this? Each goes to make up larger parts than themselves, creating or adding to what we see as the seemingly infinite physical cosmos where galaxies swirl in the distant reaches of space? And yet, we also know and can sense how all of this is also connected, delicately wedded together in a masterful creation that isn’t just our desire to project upon it or to imagine that it is so, but that it offers up its secrets to reveal how complex and amazing all of creation is in how it is indeed connected and engaged in a cooperative experiment that is our world. And this world is all energy, and all of this is itself a play of how energy recreates a world some call illusion but that my wise inner feminine knows is creation. It is creation because at every point we see these sacred-two at work inside the atom as “matched pairs” as the physicists theorize, as the opposites which are present at every dimensional level of our existence from small to large. This is also at work in your body in your two brains and it also informs your relationships, especially the intimate ones. Why do we accept it as fact in our world but a fallacy in our consciousness? Is consciousness itself not energy, too?

Further, without seeing the usefulness and need for the “I” I insist that it may not even be possible to get to the place where you can supercede your own local awareness to get to that place where you can see all of this for what it is. Yes, there have been great teachers, but they were all human, and while they all climbed great mountains within themselves, they only climbed so far. They seemed to have gone far by normal standards, but there is much more beyond what they might have thought were the highest heights that still remains to be mastered. I am reminded of how the earliest memory tied to my life today was how I came to choose my parents. I wasn’t physical yet. It is perhaps one of the greatest gifts I gave myself, which was the ability to remember this event. I was a point of awareness that had no physical body. I was buoyant and free, floating above the Ponderosa pines that were planted in near rows like a cathedral there in Northern Florida. I saw the two people who would be my parents lying on a blanket on the forest floor. This memory is the most vivid and crisp of any memory that I have to date. It exists, it seems, both in my brain and in my mind, something recalled from the past and from before my body was itself alive. It is one of many proofs that the “I” is no illusion or some kind of mistake in our cognition. It is not some aberration, but is instead a very natural part of consciousness despite what form that consciousness might take. While I was given proofs like this, it seems that the world of others are waiting for the day when this comes into view for them.

This “I” is composed of two ends of a very larger, perhaps infinite spectrum of awareness that we call ego. One is ego and one is superego. It is the same part of ego that teachers have pointed out are the parts of us that continue to exist even when we reach such lofty states as cosmic mind. Taisen Deshimaru the Zen master pointed out that as we touch cosmic mind that there is still a higher order form of “I” that is always there. There is always the awareness of self through all of this, even when swimming in this sea of the All, there is always the self.

Swami Rama who was a man who developed a high level of consciousness has explained that without ego you would be forced to feel and experience everything in your local environment like a giant rush of water. Your senses would be swept away as your nonlocal consciousness would be aware of everything taking place around you from the atoms in the air to your neighbor stubbing their toe. The ego, he explained, serves as an important filter that you need while in the body. His many talks have been preserved on Youtube where you can find them. I found in his talks the awareness of how useless it is to try and rid oneself of ego, but to learn how to work with it differently, in what I consider a more natural and organic way. His life itself is a fascinating one and it is all preserved online if you wish to look.

As I walked up the road at dusk in 2008 on May 17th, I found myself suddenly without that filter, or without much of it in place. In that instant I was aware of every single thing down to the smallest detail from the mist in the field, the leaves on the trees, to the eddies in the water flowing in the creek below. What’s more, I was aware of the atoms in the stones and the life swimming in that creek. It had the effect of unbalancing me, making me feel like the water from a fire hose was flowing through a garden hose. It taught me one thing and initiated another; I needed the ego but I needed a new awareness of what ego can do for us as physical creatures here on earth. Ego was part of it, but it is not the whole story.

Ego can make us feel very small, but it can also show us how to be larger, how to grow, and a better way to be. The way we are now in general as a species reflects mostly the small ego, and this is a problem if you want to know more. There waits for you a new synthesis of mind that is as much about the spin of electrons as it does the duality and unity of the self. It is all-in-one in my experience, and it waits for everyone for when they get to that place. Kundalini is not a goddess, it is a fusion of our polarities. That alone is what lends potency to the experience, for those two poles are each powerless without the other because they are two-in-one. It is the addition of the right brain, that expansive side of us, the feminine goddess side, that seems to activate kundalini. It is only this way because we are only using one side up until that time comes when kundalini activates. yes there seems to be the addition of “her” but it is in her union with her compliment that moves the cosmic force we call kundalini so that our energy body is transformed. We need both sides of the brain to make full sense of this. And yes, it is the feminine aspect in consciousness that is the larger more expansive one, but what she lacks, the more masculine part has. The masculine has made itself small so it can show to the feminine side that which it needs in order to create. She alone cannot do it no matter how hard she tries. Nor can the masculine, either. He might think that he can, but it always winds up dry and lifeless, like those men who talk about ego and about a great may other things that hold people in the hypnosis of the trap of rational thought. You need both. The two walk hand in hand, and the more aware you are of this, the more aware you are of your fuller nature as a being on this earth. Yes, you can leave ego alone and experience something majestic. You can learn to leave it alone so that you are not a slave to it. This is not the same as destroying ego. You remove the dependence upon that part of you that is ego. It can become like one tool in a toolbox, one tool among many. Pull it out when you need to, use it, it can be very useful and even helpful for some things, but a screw driver does not do the job of a wrench. Ego, then, is like the screw driver that is constantly being pulled out of the toolbox each time. You can let it be, you can use a wrench instead. And when you do use the ego, you have two parts to it that correspond to how each of the hemispheres of the brain have developed seemingly separately but are made to work together to help form a new synthesis of mind. Two ego forms can merge and work together peacefully and in context with a larger whole. All ego death is, is losing the reliance on ego. Ego does not go forever away. You must learn to work with it but not be its slave, that is all.