Breaking Out of the Cocoon

What is the cocoon that we live in? Why break out of it?

Individual consciousness begins life by growing a cocoon. Group consciousness forms from connected individuals. Group cocoons are fluid and dynamic, constantly morphing and reforming. Each cocoon is like a womb after birth, which continues to nurture the process of growth and emergence into Life.

The true function of our cocoon is to help us integrate individual consciousness into physical existence, where we create and interact. What some call our “spirit” (and other names) actually births into physical existence and learns to “wire into it” throughout life progression.

However, while our integration is occurring, another process is at play. The consciousness that lives all of life, including each of us, is working to break through and trasform our cocoons of individual identities to plug our awareness into the Whole – while retaining individuality.

Within our cocoons, we have “experiences” – ephemeral stimuli that lead us to conclusions about our lives and all life. We formulate a worldview according to how well this view serves us, whether it fits into the bigger picture or not. What we do – our mannerisms, ways of engaging, and verbal constructs – gradually solidify with age. That which served us well – we kept, that which didn’t agree with us – we discarded. Note that we do not always keep the mannerisms that help us to become more relational, open, flexible, and resilient. Sometimes we keep that which reinforces the beliefs that life is cruel, unfair, boring, and generally filled with “idiots who surround us.” Such individuals typically use sarcasm, speak with an air of superiority, and have a fairly rigid perspective on existence.

Experiences are individual, relative, and fleeting. No matter how powerful the stimulus, the cocoon is like a mirror that reflects back to us our interpretation of life. Because the cocoon changes, how we view life through its lenses and filters also evolves.

We need this cocoon up to a point. However, a time comes when we recognize that there is something beyond it. I’ve met a number of people who hit this stage. They feel that something about their perspective on life is being distorted. It’s like a kind of an itch that tells us how what we have crystallized as our view of life is incomplete.

Those who tend to rely on the mind a lot (like I had a tendency to do) become entangled by reasoning about existence. Because my mind works so fluidly with logical constructs, I tended to rely on my mind exclusively. I also used my intuitive abilities to read people and situations to protect and position myself where I wanted to be. It took my teacher several years to get me to see beyond the mind and my need to feel “safe through superiority.” Now, the mind and flash intuition – which have both become even more honed – are just tools, and not my identity.

What lies beyond the mind? We all have a sense of what that is during moments when we feel at peace, connected, at ease, inspired, and creative. These times, even if they are brief, are bleedthroughs of the One Life reminding us of who we really are.

After a time, we begin to yearn for life beyond the cocoon. We crave a relationship with life that is authentic and creative in every moment, and not just during a few sporadic bursts. Then, the journey of breaking the cocoon begins.

This journey eventually leads us to people who challenge our world view and seem to live and model an altogether different way of relationship – to everything. Such people may irritate us, frustrate us, or even make us downright angry at a very fundamental level. However, some of us will keep coming back to these characters to take another look. Others will flat out reject their presence as crazy.

Those that do come back know that there is some connection. This connection is not just via words. In reality, there is a sharing of circuitry that is going on. Such a living model of an opened cocoon will introduce his or her guests to a direct feeling, which is palpable of life beyond the cocoon. The living model does this simply by being alive, and not through any maneuvering, manipulation, or psychoanalysis. It takes time to truly understand such a relationship, and it took me years even after breaking through my cocoon to understand what my teacher truly did for me.

What lies beyond the cocoon? What does it mean to break through it? Unfortunately, many people say that they have broken through, but I can clearly see when they have not – just by interacting with them for a moment. This is very obvious and even visible. Some become very adept at living and interpret that as a breakthrough. But, being fluid at handling people, influential, wealthy, and charismatic are not indicators of enlightenment. For most in possession of these faculties, it’s just a matter of making a very functional cocoon. Many people are caught in this way of thinking and delay true opening by enjoying the fruits of their accomplishments. It is a stage that eventually feels unfulfilling.

At first the cocoon weakens and opens only slightly. In Phases of Human Evolution As Awareness, I talk more about this. However, that post is a bit outdated and does not describe the later phases enough – at the time I didn’t believe I would go any further. Still, that post does provide some insight into the process of shifting one’s perspective from the individual to the Whole.

One thing that seems clear is that we must heal the cocoon before we can break through it. We don’t need to heal it completely, but just enough to become available to the opening process. Whatever we don’t heal prior to opening will need to be healed after.

Every seed must sprout by breaking through the earth to greet the rays of the Sun. When it is ready, nothing can stop it.

2 thoughts on “Breaking Out of the Cocoon”

  1. A cocoon is one thing I never imagined as containing our real selves. I always saw life as levels of consciousness, as in awareness of life and how it all intertwines. While this can be taken as a feeling of superiority, especially by the person who has a high level of consciousness, really, IMO, the higher your consciousness, the more you know there is no such thing as superiority. Whether we are a bacteria, a butterfly, or a whale, we know we are all equal. Each one of us is on a journey, and we are all at that point in our journeys that corresponds to our level of consciosness.
    Can this be seen as being in a cocoon? I don’t see why not. After all, that is how you are seeing it. And each one of us is different, with our own beliefs and experiences. Yet we are all equal, for we are where we need to be. We just have different ways of expressing ourselves. IMO that is a good thing, because we do not all have to be the same to be where we are. As many living beings as there are, there are that many ways to journey. No one is left out. No one is superior to another. No one is lesser than another. Everyone will get to the end when they get there. There is no need to hate.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Of course all life has value and is precious 🙂

      In Eastern philosophy, a “cocoon” would be the Ego. The Ego is a mechanism- a process – that appears to be universal in humanity, perhaps as an evolutionary stage or a “level of consciousness.” The Ego does limit consciousness to make it function. One teacher called everything the “Play of Consciousness” – Mukhtananda.

      Who we are is found by breaking through and dissolving the cocoon of the Ego. This changes what we see as “I” dramatically.

      Although the Ego emerges to help a person grow, it also results in a self-centered perspective of a person – a shell that also skews how we perceive life. Not necessarily in a negative way, but in the sense that everything is always compared to oneself, and as being inside or outside.

      Breaking through the shell of the Ego process may be seen as a transformation, which can happen to a person of any background, religion, etc. It can and will at some point happen to all as we outgrow that way of relating to life. But even at this point, there are degrees. It turns out to be possible to relegate the Ego to being a tool of sorts, and then the tool is not one’s identity.

      When it is active, the Ego tends to see the world as “outside” itself, which also introduces dynamics of fear and loneliness and needing happiness to be caused by something or someone.

      I don’t see any superiority as a real thing. I do see people in my everyday life trying to one-up each other or to dominate situations or shrink back. Humbleness, kindness – are often seen as a weakness. These dynamics operate when someone is afraid because one feels separate and attackable. True vulnerability is actually very strong.

      The Ego has been equated to separation. Teachers also speak of this separation as an “illusion,” but it’s a wired-in illusion that is difficult to go past. It’s so hardwired that transcending it typically requires some help….Although a few here and there were already born without an ego or transcended it on their own.

      After the shell dissolves, fear ceases to drive.

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