I am not enlightened, and yet, I am no longer "normal." Since you are reading this, I suspect you probably feel the same. Somewhere between the normal, Solid level of consciousness and the transparent, Ethereal level of enlightenment, lies a very fluid, Liquid level of awareness.
Just ahead lies a beautiful glen, a large clearing in the forests of the Soul. This glen is with you wherever you are, it lies just behind your mind, just behind your thoughts, just behind your emotions. This is sacred ground, the source of your true nature. Before proceeding, you must leave your beliefs, your opinions and your Solid ideals behind, for those are the traits of the Ego and the Ego has no business here. In the center of this glen lies a still, mirror lake, a lake that all your thoughts, emotions and dreams arise from. Gaze down into this lake, into the image that stares back in fascination. See the reflection of your true face in all its natural brilliance...
Are you a "Liquid?" Do you experience the following symptoms?
- When you see a tree, do you see living, breathing life, an integral part of something so much more?
- When you feel the breeze, do you experience it as a lover, caressing your skin in a show of intimacy?
- Do you see thoughts arise in your mind, glisten for a moment, then splash silently back into nothingness?
And the most important question of all...
Solid people rarely see the subtle. Ethereal people always do. And the Liquids? Liquids constantly flow back and forth between the two extremes. Like the tides of the ocean, they rise and fall according to their own nature. Sometimes experiencing the Solid, sometimes experiencing the Ethereal.
At times we'll see It. At times we won't. Back and forth we go. Sometimes caught up in our minds, our little story. At other times it's almost as if we didn't exist, a "transparent eyeball" (as Emerson so aptly described), that looks out upon a world where boundaries fade and the words of Man are nothing more than moving air.
See this still and lonely lake. It's waters reflect the sky. Below the surface, nothing can be seen, and yet from its depths the entire Universe arises. Can you see this lake that lies behind your thoughts? Can you see the peaceful glen that lies behind your mind? Where do your emotions begin? What is the source of all your thoughts? Watch them arise and you'll soon find what you have never lost.
Many people, when they first start to experience the Liquid state, think that they are Enlightened. They think that they have achieved the realm of the Ethereals. They tell the world they are Awake, they teach, they write, they get a distant "I see God" look in their eyes - they mislead. It isn't intentional. They just don't understand. There is a simple test though, the test of Constant Consciousness...
Sleep. The night closes in around me. Thoughts arise from the stillness, I watch them and the simple act of seeing them causes them to fade. Dreams arise, and I watch these. Sometimes I'll play with them, flying through the trees, walking on the rings of Saturn, chatting with the Buddha. Like the thoughts, the dreams gently fade back into the Stillness, the Emptiness. All is silent, no thoughts, no dreams, no ego story - but an aliveness just the same. I watch this Emptiness too, I am this Emptiness. Without thoughts, there is no time here, only this moment, only this Awareness. Gradually, the world starts to form again, my chest softly rises as my body solidifies out of the Nothingness. I hear the sparrows outside my window and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin...
Constant Consciousness. The sign of the Ethereals. They are aware even in the depths of deep dreamless sleep. They are always aware. They are not fooled by the mind, they do not "forget" their True Face as we Liquids are so apt to do. They don't get caught up in a world of meaning and beliefs and ideals. Awareness during deep, dreamless sleep. I have only
experienced it once. But then, I am not enlightened.
The awareness of the Liquid is always in flux, always shifting between two viewpoints, between that of the Solid and that of the Ethereal. Seeing the homeless man approach, his eyes fixed steadily upon you, you feel your body cringe, not wanting to be bothered, not wanting to hear a tale of woe. But suddenly a shift occurs, the compassion arises and the feeling of oneness envelops you. Though you can't afford it, your hand reaches into your pocket for some change...
There is nothing wrong with being Liquid. Once you become comfortable with its dynamic nature, it can be almost magical. Everything has its normal, solid perspective, and at the same time everything is imbued with a spark of the Divine: Awareness becomes clear and filled with intuition, music takes on a movement and life of its own, and the rain dances happily to the symphony of the Gods.
The Solid "You" melts. The story gradually fades, and the Awareness that sees out your eyes, that sees out everyone's eyes, crystallizes. The drives, goals, and motivations of Man seem at once both silly and necessary. All Life acts in accordance to its nature. All is as it should be. All is well. On the lips of your True Face, a smile radiates.
Wayne Wirs is the photographer and author of Fading Toward Enlightenment - Life between the Ego and the Ethereal. For more information about Wayne, his writings or his photography, please visit