HAVE YOU FALLEN FOR THE ‘FAKE & AWAKE’ MYTH?

What happens when Crown Chakra Escapism meets Root Chakra Deprivation … Sue Hunt explains how to break the Root/Crown binary on the way to Integrated Being

Transitory Nature Root/Crown binary Sue Hunt Numinous Books

Her crown chakra is lit
I’ve found my teacher! (said after taking one, three-day online course with them)
With so many students, they must be legit—I’m in

“Spiritual success” is often equated with divine powers, psychic downloads, and awakenings that are all related to our upper energy centers and are thought to demonstrate a high level of spiritual prowess. The Root/Crown binary pushes many seekers to chase this sellable vision of “spiritual evolution,” and to disassociate with our Root issues in order to pursue this dream of spiritual success.

Even the phrase “We are spiritual beings living a human experience,” used as commonplace vernacular nowadays, attempts to create hierarchy within our own self-understanding. We set off chasing the spiritual carrot while devaluing our lived human experience—even while many long-standing ancient teachings actually state that this human incarnation is not meant to be bypassed or seen intellectually as “less than.”

Chasing this “Fake and Awake” way of life looks exactly as it sounds: we chase prescriptive end goals of happiness, peace, and fulfillment, while ignoring the real, moment-by-moment work that produces these states not as achievable aims, but as byproducts of dealing with the intense, transformative work of looking at our Root issues.

Packaged in phrases and concepts like “activation,” “law of attraction,” and “manifestation,” this Fake and Awake Myth implies that we can somehow leap-frog over the messy, uncomfortable work of being human to reach a static, elevated state of perfection.

We especially see this in our modern “guru” archetypes. Our vision of a “spiritually advanced” teacher often conjures an image of a being cloaked in white, covered in mala beads, and preaching about vegetarianism while countless students gather at their feet. This person is seen as “evolved,” with an open crown chakra that can “stream truth.”

Many of us approach our gurus, life coaches, and self-help experts with an insatiable hole of Root Deprivation—coming to them to uncover a missing sense of purpose or to manifest “abundance.” As a result, we often bypass these teachers’ humanity and relationship to their own “Root,” and the extreme effort and years of hardship that went into cultivating clarity within.

Whether through gurus and teachers, or programs promising quick-fix intuitive downloads, we often end up chasing an extractive version of Crown energy—seeking to get some of that authenticity for ourselves. But true Crown energy is about cultivating a pure state of receptivity, opening ourselves to be stripped of the meta-dialogue that creates obstacles so that we can dissolve and disintegrate Karma. In this model, there is “nothing” (pure consciousness) to gain and “everything” (egoic thoughts) to lose.

Trying to “get something” from these spiritual teachings and practices only reinforces our Root Deprivation and blocks our ability to connect with the pure receptivity of an integrated Crown.

Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood carry water.

This brilliant Zen saying asks us to come down from the podium and remember that spiritual growth, in its most realized form, is a never-ending process with legs out in the world. Why don’t we hear about the Buddhist master who reached enlightenment and decided to remain a farmer, and would not accept gold for his teachings?

When we dress up our spiritual seeking with a shiny pink bow, we keep asking for “more” and chasing the next “high”—instead of choosing to resiliently engage with the daily, behind-the-scenes work of our lives on a moment-by-moment basis. When we view the movements of our lives here on Earth as the teachings themselves, we no longer need to label parts of human life as “less spiritual,” and our work needs no pedestal.

We realize that spiritual development can spring from inner simplicity that discerns rather than dissociates, and we open ourselves to having our misperceptions removed, rather than trying desperately to seek enlightenment through engaging with yet more spiritual tools and teachings.

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PERSONAL INQUIRY PRACTICE: ROOT DEPRIVATION + CROWN ESCAPISM

Interrogating how the Root/Crown binary shows up for us means noticing where we are obsessed with an over-intellectualized version of spirituality that seeks enlightenment as “success.” In tandem, it means looking at how we seek to fill our Root Deprivation hole from a more superficial outside force rather than our own organic, loving, and integral attention and self-respect.

The stuff of our lives, as they are right now, is precisely where we can access stable, objective Root energy—the ground of our being. To access this stable energy, and move towards giving and receiving with greater awareness, begin by turning your attention to how the Money/Sex/Power Root Deprivation Trinity shows up for you.

Start by exploring the realms of Money/Sex/Power in your own life:

Money + Root Deprivation

Within the Root/Crown binary, money is a relatively taboo topic—viewed as either the root of all “evil,” or as a necessary resource that gives us greater freedom and power. Within non-binary worldview, by contrast, money contains a neutral charge and is often an extension of how we run prana and circulate energy. When we examine our unchecked Root Deprivation, we can envision money as simply part of a cyclical energy flow.

Free write all of your associations with money. Let it be a stream of consciousness to allow your psyche to make the big overarching connections. Reflect back upon this stream of consciousness to find a pattern, noticing your personal definitions, cages, and strings attached to money. These patterns are your projected frequency around money.

 

Sex + Root Deprivation

Within the Root/Crown binary, sex energy is limited to a body-specific desire and physical act. In non-binary worldview, sex energy moves beyond the physical to connect us to the initiatory spark of all creation. Root Deprivation arises when we reduce this energy to the physical act, craving sex acts to bring us “back into our bodies,” and expecting others to receive us when we haven’t first cultivated the capacity to receive ourselves.

Free write about your usage and understanding of sex energy—making it a stream of consciousness to allow your psyche to make the big overarching connections. Reflect back upon this stream of consciousness to find a pattern, noticing your personal definitions, cages, and strings attached around sex. These patterns are your projected frequency around sex.

Power + Root Deprivation

Within the Root/Crown binary, power often becomes entangled with both money and sex, and with heteropatriarchal, hierarchical societal models where we either maintain power “over” others through domination, or “under” others through martyrdom and victimhood complexes. In non-binary worldview, we maintain awareness of our underlying motivations and are able to catch ourselves when we’re tempted to seek “energetic returns” from the power positions we take. Root Deprivation arises in this realm when we find ourselves using others to bolster our own influence.

In this free-writing exercise please explore all of the places you feel Powerful and Powerless. Dig into the circumstances around each of these feelings and notice any personal patterns that emerge within the embodied feelings of Powerful and Powerless. Tap into your personal and professional life to bring these lived moments into your conscious awareness.

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ROOT/CROWN ESCAPISM CHECKLIST

Alongside our investigation of Root Deprivation, we must also work to examine escapist versions of Crown energy that prevent us from dealing with our actual Root issues, making us unavailable to a purer form of Crown receptivity. Take an inventory of the Crown Escapism Archetypes listed below, noticing which might arise in your personality aspects, and pair this section with a review of the Fake and Awake myth above.

1) The Intellectual: Over intellectualizes EVERYTHING—emotions, easy decisions, relationship dynamics—and beats interpersonal situations to death by continually “discussing” them in their own mind or with others. Strokes the ego by being the smartest and most well-spoken in a situation. Lots of lip service and very little action.

2) The Seeker: Reads every book on the market, name drops, uses big spiritual words, and likes to cite all of the study programs and teachers they follow. Quotes lots of fancy “texts” with very little embodied experience or nuanced understanding, hiding avoidance of personal messiness within the well-adorned identity of being “on the path.”

3) The Commercial Mystic: Looks the part with flowy clothes and tattoos of spiritual iconography. Art-directs picture-perfect “rituals” and uber spiritual gatherings for social media. Signs up for expensive manifestation courses, claims to be constantly “tapped in,” and frames each Root-deprived side-hustle as another “epic download.”

4) The Skeptic: Always questions, in search of hard and fast “facts” that are rooted in the finite predictability of the material world. Needs over-simplifications and straightforward definitions. Has difficulty mobilizing creative energy and trusting parts of themselves beyond logic. Ignores the emotional and spiritual layers of life, lacks the levity of playfulness, and is quite pessimistic in outlook.

You might find it quite embarrassing to identify with any of these archetypes out loud. But the more clearly we commit to seeing these tendencies within ourselves, the more we can both tend the Root Deprivation that lurks beneath and access a receptive Crown. In its most potent form, aligned Crown energy is completely action-less: we can’t “do” Crown energy. And simply noticing where we attempt this helps us get closer to this action-less, purely receptive state.

And here we are, at the threshold of breaking the Root/Crown binary and priming the internal structure for receptivity. Hold on love; your life and your imprint on others and society is about to do a dramatic about-face into a space of service from a deep well of self-fulfillment. By stopping the grasping and learning how to hold the frequency of receptivity in the realms of Money/Sex/Power, you are on the path towards becoming an Integrated Being.

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Transitory Nature: Breaking Binaries for Integrated Being by Sue Hunt is out now with Numinous Books. Get your copy HERE.

SPIRITUAL SHROOMING: MY UNLIKELY AWAKENING

Strung out on repressed feelings, a health crisis and mental break became an unexpected awakening for Meg Hartley, care of some spiritual shrooming…

how i lost all my fucks meg hartley ruby warrington the numinous spiritual shrooms mushroom tripping

“During my four-day break with the mundane, I connected to a bigger part of myself, which also happened to feel like an infinitely more stable part of myself”—Meg Hartley 

When I was 19, I wasn’t in a good place. I had lost my mother to suicide four years prior, and my once-successful “smashing down” of feelings had relentlessly resurfaced into every part of my consciousness.

I usually avoided the pain by staying busy all day, then intoxicated into the evening via copious amounts of marijuana or whatever else was floating around the dorms: ‘shrooms, ecstasy, and lots and lots of cheap alcohol.

But late at night, when I’d try my hardest to sleep and fail miserably, I couldn’t hide from the pain. I had taken to scratching at my skin until it bled because it hurt less than the storm that wailed inside. It was like there was so much unprocessed pain my mind didn’t know where to start. Agonizing thoughts just whipped around in my head, out of control and going nowhere.

I’d soon learn about meditation and mindfulness, which gave me a life raft to embrace during these times. But before then, I’d go home to Alaska for summer break and have a four-day experience a psychologist called a “mental break” and a philosophy teacher called “a preview to awakening.”

But to me, it simply felt like a very long dream that showed me true happiness was a real possibility … even for me, which seemed impossible at the time. This set the scene for my subsequent spiritual exploration and gave me a reason to commit to my emotional healing.

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The year was 2002. My first year of philosophy classes in college had finally given form and texture to vague spiritual ideas I’d always had intuitive knowings about. The ideas that this life is an illusion, that humanity is currently experiencing a shift in consciousness, and that we’re each here to learn specific things, were presented by different religions and philosophers from all over the world.

This deja vu sense of remembering (that my teacher said was normal, but which sure felt like magic to me!) combined with all the partying left me ungrounded, spacey, and generally disinterested in “mundane” everyday life. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I also had a B12 deficiency that was hitting mental health symptom levels. In addition to this, there was a cyst growing on my pineal gland, which is known to augment spiritual experiences.

And so, not yet privy to the drawbacks of being ungrounded, and unaware of this explosive combination brewing in my brain, I celebrated my return home by eating yet more ‘shrooms with a dear friend.

The experience of taking psilocybin is different for everyone, but in my experimental days it was something that I regarded with reverence––like a really fun church. During every trip, the idea of “God” or a benevolent bigger something, seemed obvious and present to me. There was silliness and hilarity, but also times where I would leave my friends to go sit with my favorite tree for hours, my head filled with streaming thoughts that were ontological in nature- the answers to all of life’s big questions, more ideas I’d later study in ancient texts.

And this time, for four days after the mushroom trip ought to have ended, my thoughts remained consistently in the ontological realm––a far cry from my daily headscape at the time, which was mostly centered around losing my v-card and being “too fat.” 

In stark contrast, everything I encountered had meaning on top of meaning, and life felt so beautiful that I cried happy tears. From the inside, the experience felt like a blissful and meditative state where therapeutic dreams met real life. Colors became more vibrant as I released dark twisted pains from deep within like a long and satisfying belch.

how i lost all my fucks meg hartley ruby warrington the numinous spiritual shrooms mushroom tripping
Meg with a handmade lithograph about her experience

Of course, it’s not “normal” to weep from joy at the sight of a mountain that’s there every damn day, or to stare at everyday items babbling about “the language of the Universe” and “signs.”

Everyone in my world thought I had lost my marbles. When I finally noticed this reaction in others, I very suddenly snapped out of it, shocked at their concern and upset about making an ass of myself. That clouded my vision of the experience, as social acceptance was the form of surrender I was most familiar with at the time. But I now look back on it as being as helpful as it was hugely bizarre: the juice was totally worth the squeeze (it can be freeing sometimes to have people think you’re a little nuts, anyhoo!) 

I was immediately changed, and the depression didn’t return for many years (not until my B12 levels hit a fantastic new low and a whole new set of challenges revealed themselves). It was like I had been dusted from the inside out, I felt clear and centered in a way that I had never experienced. I carried on with the drug experimentation for a couple more years and nothing like that happened again- something that brought both great relief and a fleeting sense of disappointment.

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During my four-day break with the mundane, I connected to a bigger part of myself, which also happened to feel like an infinitely more stable part of myself.

And that connection––and many times just the memory of that connection—brought a cherished light into the darkest nights of my soul. It also provided the motivation for my subsequent spiritual and emotional journeys: remembering that mental landscape, and knowing that if I stayed on the spiritual path then that sense of peace and connectedness would eventually feel like home.

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Meg Hartley is an Alaskan artist and writer happily replanted in wonderfully weird Portland, Oregon. She loves really great trees, cashew ice “cream”, mysticism, and is totally obsessed with mindfulness. Her new book is called How I Lost All My Fucksa one-month experience that will have you losing all yours! Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.