The Void Stage of Consciousness
Exercises and Practical Advise
Many teachers do not discuss the Void stage of Consciousness on the Journey of Awakening. This is understandable as it may intimidate and even frighten those new to the spiritual path. Since it is part of the path, I feel it’s important to put all the cards on the table. This way you can be prepared for something that may come as quite a shock.
As in all of the higher stages of Consciousness, meditation is very important. By this I mean spending as much time as possible in silence and stillness. By this time and all the higher stages, meditation happens by itself. We just need to make the time to be in silence and stillness and allow it to happen. Allowing is also very important. Hopefully after you are aware of the importance of this process, you will not resist it. It is entirely for your benefit.
Another thing you might like to do is fast. Since the purpose of this stage of Consciousness is a very thorough cleansing of your Consciousness, you might as well also cleanse your physical body while it’s happening. I recommend fasting on water for a week or at least three days. A few times a day add lemon juice, cayenne pepper and Grade B organic maple syrup to a glass of water. This is known as the Master Cleanse. It’s not necessary but there are several reasons for doing this. One is while you are not in deep meditation, your interest in food and everything else will be non-existent. Life will have completely lost all its meaning. All colors will appear as a drab grey. It will appear as if life has been sucked out of life. I know, not very appealing to say the least. But it’s helpful to know this ahead of time. In some ways it is like depression but different as all negative feelings are also gone. There is simply nothing. So you might as well use this time to fast. Because of the complete lack of interest in all aspects of life you used to be interested in, it will be easier to spend more time in meditation. What else are you going to do? You’re not drawn to do anything else. You have certain responsibilities and demands of living in the world. But even many of these you have let go of by this time. Other than these unavoidable responsibilities, you deepen in silence and stillness into this Void. You settle in and surrender to it.
I’m not saying the Void stage is easy for anyone. It certainly wasn’t for me, at least in the beginning. Believe it or not, when you stop resisting it, you will come to love the deep Silence and Stillness you find here. I think what people call the Dark Night of the Soul is actually just this. Like all things, the negative experience comes entirely from resistance to this stage. Without resistance, it is exquisitely beautiful. It is much easier if you understand what it is, what to expect and the beneficial reasons for it.
I had the unfortunate experience of reading one spiritual teacher’s advice about the Void stage a few weeks before I opened to it for the first time. Yes, it can happen a number of times on the journey. Reading his description made it far more challenging. He actually suggested ways of avoiding it completely and remaining in the far more pleasant stage of Bliss. He said if you didn’t do that within a certain amount of time you would be stuck in the Void stage. Yes, he was recommending resistance. He clearly had no idea what he was talking about and had never experienced it, but I didn’t realize this at the time.
Since my sole goal and purpose was discovering Truth whatever it turned out to be, I let my preferences go for the more pleasant stage I had been gloriously living in and fully entered the Void stage anyway. My approach is always: if it’s happening there is a good reason for it even if I don’t know what that reason is. I trust the Universe. To be sure it was not pleasant. Gone were the experiences of Bliss and Divine Love I had been living in. What took their place was nothing, lots and lots of nothing. When I wasn’t meditating and entering deeper and deeper into this nothing, life was completely meaningless. As an artist I was keenly aware of the beauty that surrounded me. All that was gone. No beauty, no meaning, no life as anything I had experienced before. All vitality, beauty and meaning in life had vanished.
In A Course In Miracles it says life has no meaning other than what we give it. We create meaning through our stories. When all stories are gone, as they are in the Void, there is no meaning. It is a direct experience of what A Course In Miracles is saying.
As I entered deeper into this Void, I became aware that the only thing that was clearly here was Consciousness itself. What was also here was deep Silence and Stillness that accompanied this Pure Consciousness. I could not be aware of this absence of everything if awareness was not here. And this is what I call emerging through the dark tunnel into the Light. If you don’t enter the dark tunnel of the Void, you can’t emerge into the Light of Oneness. It is this very realization that even in complete nothingness, Consciousness is still here that brings you to the state of True Oneness.
Intellectual understanding of these stages cannot help us very much. We must experience them directly. Then the realization is undeniable. It permeates and transforms every aspect of our life and our sense of self. Without the Void stage the full experience that everything is Consciousness alone is not possible. Plus there is no greater experience of Silence and Stillness.
Our strong desire for Truth above everything else allows us to move through the Void stage fully no matter what is experienced or what is not experienced. In the higher stages of Consciousness, we don’t attain the next level, we sink into it. We surrender to it. It reveals itself. We are no longer the individual separate doer. Something Else is shedding this obstacle bit by bit. We simply surrender to that Something Else. And that Something Else turns out to be Consciousness, which is just one word for it. What it really is is you. It’s the Big You, the True Self. It’s the end of your search. All the rest of the revelations happen for you without your doing anything.
So the Void stage is totally worth going through. Don’t be frightened or confused. Nothing true can be lost. Consciousness includes all things and is all things. Bliss and Divine Love are not lost. They are simply included in the infinite expanse of all-pervading Consciousness, as is this necessary cleansing experience of the Void.
The next stage of Consciousness: True Oneness. Enjoy the Bliss.
Individual Sessions with Me
If you feel it is helpful, as some have, to have an individual session with me during this stage, here is a link to sign up for an individual session. If you do not live in or near Sedona, sessions are available through the Internet. Click here to find out about individual sessions.