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Ascending and Descending Spirituality

Mar 06, 2023

Video Summary:

I was at a spiritual retreat given by the spiritual teacher, Adyashanti about five years ago. Somehow when you're in retreat, the spiritual truths get in at a deeper level. Somewhere around day three or four Adyashanti spoke about all spiritual teachings being either ascending or descending in nature.

Adyashanti describes the ascending energy as awakening energy. It ascends out from us. In a spiritual awakening, we’re breaking out of our box, moving beyond the veil, and awakening to life as it is. So it's the ascending energy of opening the upper chakras and that goes out and up.

The descending energy is what Adyashanti calls embodiment. After you have a spiritual awakening, you can allow the awakened awareness of the descending energy back into your life, into your body, into your being, and into your humanness. I sometimes call this process integration (or embodiment).

We are often drawn more toward the ascending awakening energy because it feels liberating and transcendent. We have an awakening, epiphany, or vision, which allows something to open, break free, and see through an illusion. It's a very powerful energy that feels expansive and euphoric.

It feels like, “Wow, this is more important than anything else. My human struggles don't really mean much to me right now. My marriage may be in the toilet, but I'm expanded and one with everything so all is good.” Staying in this euphoric aspect of awakening is when spiritual bypassing can arise.

The embodiment or descending energy tends to be more emotional and vulnerable. When we allow the higher vibration that we awakened into our body, it vibrates and activates emotional issues and static energy so we can be liberated from it. Your whole body's going to literally vibrate at a different level.

And that really knocks the rust off the pipes. It can shake free sadness, grief, fear, and trauma. As we vibrate at a high level, there's no longer room for the lower vibrational energy. The higher vibration heals it and sets it free. And that can feel really vulnerable, painful, and scary.

So there's a tendency to pat those feelings back down. We might say we don't need to be dealing with these things right now. Let's go back to being awakened where it's all euphoric again. We'll just hang out there and be one with the cosmos.

But I think the true value of spirituality is allowing both the ascending and descending energies, the spiritual and the human. Joseph Campbell talked about the hero's journey where the hero would go on a journey, experience something important, and then bring the value of it back to her people.

In vision quest in the Native American culture, you seek your vision, and then come back and share it to make the people stronger. So with both these, there's ascending and descending spirituality. You bring your new-found awareness back into your life and share it with your people in the form of service.

What do you think?

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