The Instant of Transformation

Jan 14, 2023 | Virtues of the Heart

It’s always now.

High up on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome is the masterpiece fresco by Michelangelo. In one section–perhaps the most replicated painting of all time–is the image of God stretching out his hand just about to touch Adam, the first human. This was Michelangelo’s depiction of the moment of creation as part of a larger story of the Book of Genesis, which is depicted on the ceiling.

This image is a powerful metaphor for what I call the instant of transformation. It is an instant where we become aware of our self as the observer, our true nature, Sovereign Integral, Soul, Higher Self, or Spirit; it does not really matter what we call it. The experiential event in the moment reveals the understanding; it does not require words or names.

In this instant, there is awareness and an opportunity to make a choice. It is a doorway. The instant can come and go for many of us over and over throughout our daily routines. Mostly it is ignored, or we are too distracted by an endless array of inner and outer sensory input to fully integrate it.

For me, it was a gradual shift in my ability to recognize the ‘instant,’ in which I could choose to be drawn into my mind/thoughts or be the presence, observing what is happening in my inner and outer world.

I purposely call this an ‘instant’ rather than a ‘moment’ because it is so fleeting and easily dismissed.

This instant can happen anytime and is triggered by my interactions with my Universe/Life/Reality.

This is how it happens

I am in the world; I’m going about my business of life; I take in sensory information from the world (through my five senses).

Something triggers a shift in consciousness; it could be while walking in nature, looking at the sky, sitting quietly, looking into the eyes of a child, looking at a beautiful flower, driving my car, having an intimate moment with my mate, or many other situations. The shift is a feeling of love, being connected to everyone, the earth, and the universe. It can be described in many ways, but the essence is the same; it is a blissful feeling of connecting to our essential self.

For an instant, we step off the treadmill of our ego-mind identification and unconscious patterns. It is an instant of illumination and connection. We have all experienced this.

The challenge of momentum

We have many distractions in our lives with the news media, social media, and social, religious, and cultural pressures that compete for our attention. All while we are trying to survive in a world where these challenges seem to be speeding up daily. We put our heads down and do the best we can to survive another day. This leaves little time to pause, reflect, step back or create space for something new to emerge. The path of least resistance is to stay the course on the treadmill of our familiar patterns.

While the instant can and will happen in the midst of all these distractions, it is almost always not noticed.

Stepping off the treadmill

To catch the instant, we need to become present enough to notice what is going on in our life (in our heads) at any given moment. It can start with taking one slow breath and relaxing into a few seconds of calm awareness.

We can go further by shifting our state of mind to stop fighting life, embrace life, allow life to flow, love life, reclaim our position as a co-creator with the Universe and bring love into this life, in this body, at this time. In other words, change our inner perspective, not the outside world. We all have the power and free will to do that.

Speaking for myself here, I know this is not easy to do for more than a few minutes if I’m lucky, let alone hours, days, or even weeks. In my most lucid moments, I understand intellectually what to do, yet, I find it challenging to maintain this inner calm for extended periods of time.

The Instant

The answer for me came as an insight or knowing, seeing clearly and feeling it in my being.

I began to notice many times in my life when a shift happened, and I was presented with a choice. A choice to stay on the treadmill or connect with my higher self.

That choice came and went in an ‘instant.’ Looking back, I had missed it most of my life. I had to be very alert and present in the moment to even be aware of the instant and what was happening so, I could recognize the power it held!

In this instant, I can be drawn back into my ego-thought patterns or let that go and know myself as the Presence or Observer. In other words, take back the driver’s seat of my life.

To me, it is a magical ‘instant’ where I can choose to be who I AM right now! It is the point of power.

The ‘instant’ has to be noticed, though! I have to be conscious enough to notice it! It comes fast; it does not come in words but in awareness or feelings. Even if I notice it, I can be drawn back into my mind of resistance, control, rejection, judgment, fear, and my ego-mind familiarity.

But I have taught myself to recognize, catch it and pause when this happens! That is a big step for me! In that instant, I can choose, I can stop, I can shift my consciousness and extent it. I make a choice to allow my higher self to have a voice and guide my next step. This is a collaboration of body, mind, and spirit, which moves me toward Wholeness.

The choice in the instant is to stay on the treadmill identified as a human animal consciousness or know that I AM not that, I am the consciousness that everything is happening in.

I have been working with this lately and making the choice more often. Noticing the ‘instant’ has been a wonderful discovery for me. Noticing this was key for me, but I had to experience it. It is the fork in the road, the nexus towards the Sovereign Integral state of consciousness. Recognition of the instant, pausing, and knowing I have a choice leads me on a higher path every time.

Extending the instant with the six heart virtues

In the instant, a choice is possible, I am present, and my conceptual thinking does not interfere with my experience. Then, I can extend the instant:

I take breath
I allow the instant to unfold
I notice what is happening mentally, emotionally, and physically
I am still and spacious
I listen and sense
I open up to my inner intuitive voice.
I sense what virtue wants to come through me in this moment.

It could be Appreciation; it could be one, some, or all of the virtues.

This act of opening my heart by activating the virtues creates a connection to the higher levels of consciousness. This allows me to co-create with a new sense of creativity and higher intelligence. My doing in the world of form becomes conscious doing.

I am a work in progress and far from an expert, but I often benefit from these mini-choices in beautiful ways.

In the Sovereign Integral Paper by Jame Mahu, he states it this way:

“Whatever choices we make, our first can be the act of embodying the Sovereign Integral consciousness. To give it equal weight in decisions and to live it with a similar intensity as we allow the body-ego to live.” Pg 237

“It is not domination, it is collaboration, always listening to each perspective within us (body, ego, Sovereign, Integral) and considering what needs expression and attention in any particular moment. This is how one lives in the third-dimension as a Sovereign Integral* consciousness. It is a conscious, shared experience and expression for all aspects of our total selfhood, riveted in the infinite moment.” Pg 79

This is the power of choice made in an instant of conscious alertness to what is happening in me; it is a reset of who I AM. It is stepping out of the pattern of ego-mind deception.

Here’s to the instant…

* Sovereign Integral is the highest state a human can achieve. The term Sovereign is a reframing and naming of the term Soul and its historical meaning. Integral is the network in which we all exist beyond this reality. Both are, for the most part, not understood and thus vacant from our consciousness at this time.

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