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The Emergence of an Awakened WE Beyond Gender

The most important and ®evolutionary aspect of the Awakened Life Project is our shared experiment in the creation of a new human culture based on two essential revelations and insights that are really two sides of one spiritual coin.

First and foremost is the Awakening to the fundamental eternal ground of unity – the radical discovery that in the deepest and most fundamental sense we human beings, and indeed the entire universe, is all already ONE.

Secondly, if our soul longs not only to be free from the world but to embrace and transform the world, then what comes surging up from the revelation of prior unity and profound peace is the Awakening to the Creative Principle. This revelation shifts our relationship to our individuated embodied selves as participants in a Cosmic Process of Divine Evolution that is unfolding through time.

Awakening to eternal unity lies at the core of all authentic spiritual teachings, traditions and collectives. But in an evolutionary or tantric interpretation of spiritual liberation waking up to that ultimate truth, and becoming deeply grounded in it, is not the endpoint of the spiritual journey. If who we are as Spirit is both Transcendent and Immanent, if Nirvana and Samsara are ultimately ONE and the same, then this world, and indeed the entire Universe, is actually an extension of our own body. This Awakening is the beginning of a new adventure of being human.

Once we have deeply seen beyond the illusion of being a separate self or ego that is created by the unexamined assumption that all we are is our body, mind, emotions and historical personality, once we WAKE UP and recognize that we are a spiritual being having a unique human experience, then comes the question of how we actually GROW UP and live that truth in our own lives.

When we enter into this very interesting and challenging territory the fuel of spiritual experience and revelation propels us on the journey of transformation. That is when we begin to step out of, and beyond, the status quo of how things have been, both in ourselves and in the surrounding culture.

GROWING UP spiritually is far more challenging and significant than merely WAKING UP. Waking up can happen in a flash of insight, spontaneously through the kiss of grace or as the result of sincere spiritual practice. Waking up is immediate, always revealing our already free and whole true nature here and now. 

Growing up is an evolutionary process that unfolds in time. It begins when we are compelled from within to actualize our deepest insight as walking, talking human beings. We discover an awakened egoless passion and inner obligation to express that it is possible to be the change that we want to see in our world.

Then there are some of us for whom even that is not enough. The path of our individual awakening, as significant as it may be, eventually points toward something much bigger than our own personal liberation and we may become compelled by the evolutionary potential of pursuing that journey of transformation in a collective context.

For those of us who have chosen to engage in such an evolutionary experiment many deep questions come alive with a sense of limitless incandescent possiblity. How does the truth of unity or non-duality manifest in the world of duality and difference? What would a 21st century expression of an authentic human spiritual culture that is embracing every aspect of our human experience look like? And what would life be like if men and women knew, before thought, that they are One and the same Spirit shining through masculine and feminine forms of the Divine?

These are some of the questions that are at the core of our shared experiment in creating a new culture. The committed collective of co-creators that make up the Awakened Life Family is an international group consisting of mostly Portuguese, then British, American, German, Dutch, Colombian, Austrian and Danish, and we also span a wide range of ages. Recently we experienced a collective breakthrough that has landed us in an unprecedented new universe of unlimited potential.

Over the course of the last 4-5 years the core of our transformational work has been in the form of monthly men’s and women’s groups. While we share all the other aspects of our lives together we have found it very effective and powerful to build stable incubators of an awakened male culture and an awakened female culture separately. In these forums we have not only built deep trust and transparency between men and men and women and women, we have also been able make significant inroads into confronting and deconstructing male and female psychological and cultural conditioning that separates and limits us.

Recently it became clear that sufficient trust and maturity had been created in these groups to now bring the womens and mens groups together in shared inquiry and communion to explore the higher potentials of a liberated relationship beyond inherited gender roles and conditionings.

We had no doubt this was going to be a powerful and exciting gathering but none of us could have imagined or predicted what actually did emerge when we sat down in a huge circle together...and with some people also joining us by skype...

Simply put it was an explosion of consciousness, a spontaneous outpouring of radiant love and an irresistible cascade of evolutionary passion to venture into the unknown together. Every woman and every man spoke with deep authenticity and poignant vulnerability about the experience and significance of our shared purpose. And in that ecstatic surrender in which One Source sang One Song (or UniVerse) through the collective, the apparent space between us vibrated with a conscious presence that catapulted us all far beyond what we would usually consider to be “ourselves”.

What emerged was a collective merging into an Awakened “WE” that effortlessly transcended and included our individuality. Indeed, many of us gave voice to how utterly natural and spontaneous was the bubbling emergence that was erupting between us and, at the same time, we were all aware that this was only happening because of the committed spiritual work we had been engaged in together over a sustained period of time.

As more and more individuals contributed to the interconnected tapestry that was being woven between us there was the tacit understanding that we were, and are, all part of a process, spiraling upward, within a much larger cosmic process, that is LOVE itself. 

After this explosive meeting we descended upon the kitchen to help ourselves to a delicious vegetarian lunch consisting of all the various food items that everyone had brought with them. Animated conversation, laughter and ecstatic communion with each other and the children and animals was a pure celebration of the sheer joy of being alive and being together.

Then in the afternoon we divided into two smaller groups so that we could engage with more focus into the question: “What is the significance and potential of an awakened culture between men and women?”

What was immediately apparent was the overwhelmingly obvious fact that on the most essential level there was no difference between us as women and men at all! One Self was looking out from all our eyes. Many expressed how they had never experienced such ease of being and total trust in the company of the opposite gender, even with people they hardly knew personally or had not even met before. From that radically free and open space we could embrace our embodiment as women and men and explore so many of the conditioned impulses, patterns and defense mechanisms that habitually divide us and limit our authentic expression.

Topics of exploration included women being transparent about their anger and fear in relationship to domination and sexual objectification by men and men being transparent about their anger and fear in relationship to the manipulation and rejection of women. Because we were grounded in the open space of the Awakened WE, we could voice these volatile emotional patterns, that have been etched in our psyche through centuries of cultural programming, with raw vulnerability without descending into identification with them. 

Transcending either the tendency to be too intellectually abstract or too emotionally personal, we were able to listen deeply to each other free from reactivity or judgement. As we built on each other's contributions, the Awakened WE field deepened and expanded with ever more refined understanding, volcanic passion and energetic release.

This meant that we could be fearless in exposing our deepest fears, wounds and challenges as women and men living in the 21st century when the cultural framework of patriarchy is no longer serving any of us. And, at the same time as we were casting off our chains, we could give voice to our intuitive premonitions of the possible as we leaned into this emerging new cultural matrix that was literally becoming conscious before our eyes.

A revolutionary potential for profound spiritual, psychological, emotional and physical wholeness, healing and mutual love in our relationships shimmers with the promise of something so glorious that our joy and wonder are simply uncontainable.

Where can we go from here? The possibilities seem limitless and far beyond the reach of anything we can grasp with the mind. While we have all been through many changes during our involvement together, what exploded between us on that day is a change that has changed everything...and it is on the move!

We are still individual "subjects" but now the "intersubjective" Awakened WE has awoken to itself and is reconfiguring our entire cultural matrix and our innate sense of who we really are as human beings. 

Peter Bampton

If you would like to experience a deep immersion in these potentials for human transformation, consider joining us the Evolutionary Awakening Retreat.




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About the project

The Awakened Life Project is situated in a beautiful and wild ecological reserve in the mountains Central Portugal. We offer volunteer programs, courses, events and retreats to support the liberation of the human spirit in a context of evolutionary emergence and communion with the ecological web of life.


Quinta da Mizarela
3305-031 Benfeita
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