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The 'Flowering' of Consciousness
an extract from 'Becoming Conscous, The Enneagram's Forgotten Passageway' by Joseph Benton Howell PhD
Many spiritual seekers are curious about 'becoming conscious', 'awakening' or 'reaching enlightenment'; they wonder when will that be and what will they feel?  Some expect a huge shift in their reality, or a sudden new perception of their world.  This piece from the above book describes a beautiful and gradual process, metaphorically akin to the life-cycle of a blooming flower.  The author's book investigates the journey of awakening with the aid of the spiritual tool, the Enneagram.
 
"Flowers bloom by sunlight as well as by moonlight.  To the conscious eye, the blooming flower is as beautful at night as by day.  The following stages of consciousness are depicted as the blooming of a flower and the progression of the day.  These stages are not always experienced in this order. Generally, however there is first an experience of realising self in its deepest form, before the expansion of conscousness intothe perception of others and the earth.
 
Stages of flowering:
 
The Dawn of Consciousness.  The small green bud appears on the stem.  "I am tired of this suffering; I am not my life's story".
 
The Early Morning of Conscousness.  The small green bud enlarges and has fullness.  "I am a much deeper being than my personality.  I am essence; I choose to live out of this essence.  I am not separate from others; I am not my own source; I am not the past or the future; I am the present and as essence part of all essence".
 
The Late Morning of Consciousness.  The bud bursts forth; the first petals can barely be seen.  "I am connected to all and all is connected to the One True Source; my self-made concepts of me and "my story", no longer stand alone - they have meaning only as they are part of the grand connection to the One True Source and its story".
 
The Noon of Conscousness.  The bud opens; the petals' colour is rich; the petals are extending.  "The One True Source lives Its purpose in me.  My awareness expands to knowing and feeling the life force inside me.  I know it is the same life force inside all life.  I align with it, and with the totality of all life force".
 
The Early Afternoon of Consciousness.  The petals grow and expose even deeper richer color.  "I am remembering my purpose and how it is part of the great story; my purpose connects me to others in ways that let me see their essence.  I speak to their essence.  I am connected to the Earth and hear her speak."
 
The late Afternoon of Consciousness.  The stamen and pistil grow and reflect the sunlght.  Their pollen floats in the air.  "The great story, the holy mystery is unfolding; I bloom in all my facets including in my masculine and in my feminine.  I take action to help others and the Earth".
 
The Twilight of Consciousness. The pollen is visited by bees; the nectar is readied for the birds.  "My awakening bids others to also awaken; my wisdom is freely given; I receive others' wisdom.  The bouquet of love does not know selfishness or violence".
 
Evening Time - the Moon Appears.  The flower is full and open.  t shines in the moonlight.  "In the darkness I can see what would have caused me to stumble.  Now I see with new eyes and hear with new ears.  I am stirred to action beyond my old boundaries.  In this light, there is 'no darkness at all'; I move in love".
 
Night Time - the Stars Appear.  The flower sways in the gentle breeze of stllnes.  its petals begin to wilt ever so slightly.  "I am ready to return to the Source whenever it is time.  I am part of allknowing; I am full and free and happy; the great mystery unfolds in every present moment.  I am ready for tomorrow's dawning"."