(Elephant/zebra photo by my sister, Donna Ozarko on her recent trip to Namibia.)
The past several months have been dedicated to a profound inward journey. A journey of ruthless self discovery that revealed to me all of who I once thought I was—and all of who I now know as someone from the past. No crevice, crack or corner of my life remained unturned. All layers of past identity were stripped away, leaving me naked, disoriented, and with no sense of the “I” that I have always known myself to be.
I was nothing.
…or so I thought.
As I continued to shed the illusion of who I once believed myself to be, what remained was more powerful than anything I’ve ever known: I am.
For the past few years, I’ve been feeling increasingly in the world, but not of it. I’ve been able to disengage from civilization to a significant degree, yet I was still trapped in the confines of conditioned beliefs about what it meant to be human. I knew myself to be a human being having spiritual experiences, but I didn’t know—viscerally—that I was so much more.
I now know—intimately, viscerally the Signal‚ the Soul, the Force—the so much more of the “I” that I am.
I am not “my” body. I am essence embodied. I am an expression of infinite life force sourced from a greater whole animating a mortal, fleshy, water bag—with a miraculous intelligence of its own granted—and a finite water bag nonetheless. Without the body, there is no expression of essence in a physical world. Without the Soul however, there is no life.
The I am that I am is the Soul. It is not the mortal, fleshy, water bag. “Deb Ozarko” is a finite expression of Soul in matter. I am is not. This is a massive paradigm shift that has liberated me from all worries about any future, as well as all attachment to the trappings of being a culturally conditioned human: jobs, relationships, money, consumption, civilization, identity, and mortality.
This is not what we are taught in our patriarchal, Newtonian world of “physical matter as God”, doing, doing, doing, and Soul-separation.
With the reclamation of the deeper truth of I am, I’m no longer of this world anymore. I’m completely detached, and yet still able to move through the world as an observer to my life without attachment to my physicality. It’s a liberating way to live.
My days are now all about being, and from there, doing flows with ease. Effort and struggle are now things of the past.
I am is who and what I am, and I am can change, moment by moment. I am the Creator of my experiences, my perceptions, my life, and my world. I am a blank slate with every breath I take. Living as I am, the possibilities are endless. So I ask myself: how can I be the greatest expression of essence embodied: breath by breath, moment by moment?
In the past, my life was defined by squeezing my essence through an identity that mapped to a physical world—a strategy—a distraction. I now live in a void, with no identity to confine me to physical matter—and no interest in seeking to replace it with another. I can now fully relax into being the immortal energy that I am with complete trust in the unfolding of … everything. It is not compatible with anything I’ve been taught about living in this world as a human. There is great freedom in this.
My life is now about living in the eternal now, allowing who I am to present moment by moment with no need for a “what else”. Quite honestly, I’m not interested in a “what else” anymore anyways.
As Louise LeBrun—the brilliant catalyst for my profound transformation—wrote to me in a recent email: “For myself, it became evident that the more my physical/matter/identity self was overtaken by my Self (the Soul), I lost interest in all things connected to consumption. Consumption at all logical levels. Consumption of “stuff”. Consumption of the ideas and thoughts of others. Consumption of the attainment of some externally driven destination of some kind. It all just left me. The moment became the Life in flow. And then this moment. And then this one. Letting go of all striving and attaining—and all things external to my own inner cues. Stillness. Silence. The inner dialogue stopped.”
Living this way—in the eternal now—means that all objectives, outcomes, goals, and external referencing disappear because it is all attached to identity—and to a future. In the eternal now, there is no identity. The layers of identity that define physical existence disappear, and what remains is the Soul—the very essence of the I am that I am.
The simplicity of it all is astounding. The complexity of what “we” normalize in our world is lunacy. The cultural training to separate us from the Soul is absurd.
With this profound transformation, I now find civilization—and the entire human world for that matter—boring. I have lost all interest in the world “out there”. I’m indifferent to the drama, stories and minutia of the content that drive this ridiculous world. The only voice I give credence to is that which lives inside of me—the voice of the Soul.
So now what? Because this is uncharted territory, I remain wide open to whatever presents itself. What I’ve discovered so far is that if there is no “what else” in life, then meaning—along with “identity”—are defined moment by moment. There is no future orientation anymore. Every moment is a blank canvas.
Despite my increasing disinterest in “what else” and “what is”, my life is filled with the simple joy of being. I go to bed each night filled with a sense of profound peace. I wake up in the morning, grateful for another moment of existence to create and discover more of I am. I feel attached to, obligated to and propelled by nothing. Initially disorienting (as a recovering perpetual “doer”), it is now what I know as a deep truth that has been with me all along.
I am also mindful that I have no longing. I have no sense of being pulled into tomorrow, or drawn away from the very moment I’m in. Every day feels more peaceful. I notice. This is truly a life of the Soul—a spiritual being living a human experience. I know—viscerally—that my world is the only place I want to be. I no longer have a sense of impending doom, even in the recognition that collectively we are well past the point of no return. I know the Arctic is terminally ill. I know the Great Barrier Reef will soon be gone. I know the oceans contain more plastic than life. I know global nuclear war is more than an imminent possibility. I know that collective consciousness has chosen extinction for all. It is what it is and all I can do is live my life and continue to increasingly know my Self as Soul animating mortal matter. And so I choose my life moment-by-moment now. Does this mean that I no longer care? Not at all. In fact, my caring has deepened. The difference now is that I have no attachment. It’s a profoundly sacred place to stand.
My life is exceedingly simple. Other than the basics: food (for people and animals), shelter and water, I’m uninterested in consumption. This includes the consumption of technology, travelling, “stuff”, videos, media, social media, audio, books, news, ideas, beliefs, opinions, advice, etc., etc. etc. I own no tv, cellphone, stereo or any other technological distraction other than my old laptop to aid in my writing. I am completely uninterested in civilization. My life now is all about whatever moves me in the moment.
My partner and I spend very little money in our household. We live from savings, withdrawn investments (from a time when we still believed in a future), occasional hand-picked graphic design work, and seasonal farmers markets that sustain our simple lifestyle. It’s enjoyable, free of obligation, and quite frankly, fun—the way we have been meant to live all along.
We are truly living lives of presence in our home. There is no future orientation to seduce us or pull us away from the eternal now anymore. I couldn’t live this way if I was still trapped in the scarcity consciousness that comes from belief in a future, or if I held myself hostage to civilization in any way outside of our basic needs. I have chosen mindfully to create a world that is no longer connected to either.
When living a life with no future orientation and a remembrance of I am, the illusion of the dominant “reality” is nothing short of insane.
As I let go of my identification with species homo sapien and fully claim the I am that I am, I know that I’m here to live through, and witness the end of our species. Despite the destructive manner that humans are bringing life to a rapid end, species come and go all the time. If we think about this from a Soul perspective, what an incredible opportunity to redirect curiosity and discovery toward something other than sustaining the dominant paradigm of separation. When we resist what is, or we try to fix, change, or make things better, paradoxically, we are still defending the paradigm of separation. We can change strategies, such as moving from fossil fuels to electric, or consuming less plastic, or reverting to permaculture, or changing our consumptive behaviors, but in the end, we are still merely sustaining what we know—albeit this time, swathed in green. Elisabeth Kübler Ross called this “bargaining” in her model of the stages of grief. Bargaining will not transform our world.
Reclamation of the Soul will transform our own world.
One of the biggest challenges during my recent deep dive exploration/revelation of Self was letting go of the “hero” strategy that has guided my entire life. My value and my contributions to society and the world have all been tied to being a hero for animals and the Earth. Anything less was not enough. I knew nothing else, and didn’t allow myself to know anything else either. Part of letting go of the pull of the “inner activist” was the release of all aspects of identity that fed off the hero persona. It was not an easy transformation. Everything I’ve ever known about contributing and “making a difference” in the world meant effort: rescuing, resisting, fixing, saving, teaching, coaching, guiding, changing, defending, protecting, serving, inspiring … doing, doing, doing—patriarchy cloaked in “selflessness”—all of it. Like so many others on this planet, I was taught to believe that being was not enough; that doing—and the more the better—was the only recipe for change.
The hero/activist strategy/identity was so deeply interwoven into my being that my sense of worth, value, and meaning were all sourced from how much I “served the world”.
In my activist identity, I had myself so convinced of my role as a “hero” to “change the world” and make it a kinder, more compassionate place. The efforts I went to create the more beautiful world I believed was possible were exhausting and ultimately, discouraging. I now know that it is impossible to shift collective consciousness, particularly against the will of a collective trapped in an immovable inertia of their own making.
I also now know that my activism was always meant to be personal. It was about creating the beautiful world for myself with choices and actions that aligned with the Soul. It meant unplugging from everything I was conditioned to believe, and delving deep into my essence to become a living expression of just that.
I have never been able to change others. I have always been able to evolve and transform myself however. When I show up fully and completely for my Self and my own life, I show up for the world.
In reclaiming my essence, I now know that this is more than enough because I choose who I am in every new moment. In this ever-changing choice, I create my own reality. My reality is based on the foundation of peace and compassion. I choose essence over all else. I choose to not live as a victim to this world. I choose to stay true to the Soul, knowing that the I am that I am, is the Soul. My body is merely the conduit for expression in a world of matter, and the “I” that I authentically am is so much more.
We are all so much more than what we’ve been conditioned to believe ourselves to be.
We were not born to this world to breed ourselves into oblivion while working meaningless jobs as the biosphere collapses from our distracted indifference. We didn’t choose to leave the bliss of “the void” to become a tiny, irrelevant piece of dust in a massive universe for nothing. We’re here for impact. We’re here to shape the world in some way. We actually live in a beautiful world when we know that we’re here to create it from the essence of who we are rather than just tolerate it, save it, change it, or fix it from the conditioned illusion of what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. We are all a piece of the grand universal puzzle, and the piece of the puzzle that each of us is, in some way defines the puzzle.
There are many personal “truths”, and I believe there is only one Truth that is absolute: Separation is an illusion. I believe that the closer our personal truths align with the absolute Truth, the closer we are to living from the Soul.
We are all aspects of one another. When I live from my deepest authentic Self, I am a mirror for others to remember that within their own Selves. I’m learning—beyond the conditioning that tells me otherwise—that this is enough.
As I shed the story I’ve been taught about what it means to be human, I see clearly how my “worth” is in my being. It is not in my doing. My worth is in my willingness to be more: to grow, expand, evolve, and become more whole. It’s not in saving, fixing, rescuing, and inspiring. It’s in being all of the I am that I am. Nothing else required. This is not what we’re taught in our culture. We’re taught that we’re not worthy unless we’re in service to others at the expense of ourselves. Unless we’re the savior or the hero, we’re nothing. This is total rubbish.
I’m no longer interested in what others have to say, nor am I interested in the drama of the human experience. I know my continually evolving truth and that is all that matters. I know that I’m powerless to change the outcome of anything in the world “out there”. I’m not powerless to evolve my Self however. And that is where my passion now lies: in becoming a greater and greater living expression of the very essence of who I am. I’m no longer concerned about the fate of humanity, or of all life for that matter. This has been a massive shift for me—a profound letting go. I know this to only be a concern if I believe that I am my body. But I’m not. I am the Source energy animating my body, as is the case for all things living.
Does this mean that I’ve I given up on the world? Absolutely! I say this with remorseless conviction. I hold no belief or connection to the dominant paradigm of separation—the illusion. Other than create and choose in my own life, I’m powerless to do anything about the world “out there”. In owning my powerlessness, I have claimed my deepest power—the Soul.
The human collective has chosen. In choosing separation from the Soul, they will not stop polluting, desecrating and destroying the natural world; nor will they stop slaughtering, torturing, exploiting, domesticating, imprisoning, trapping, fishing, hunting, skinning, testing on, and eating animals; nor will they stop raping, violating, and killing each other. Mindless, habituated choices and voracious consumption will continue to prevail. As humans continue to recklessly breed themselves with no thought for tomorrow, the problems on this planet will only become worse. Just as I’m powerless to stop the tsunami wave as it hurtles toward the shore, I’m powerless to stop the wave of ignorance as it swallows the planet whole. I have let go of the world, and in this, despair is no longer a dominant factor in my life. Seeing the world through the eyes of the Soul detaches me from the illusion—the lie that humanity believes to be real. It is not my story. It is not my choice. It is not my reality. I choose life: compassion, veganism, love, and simplicity.
When we live our lives as embodied expressions of essence, we no longer need to rescue, save, or serve. We just need to live. And this is more than enough because it is aligned with the Soul—the autonomous expression of a greater whole in an interconnected world. It is no longer a life of mindless consumption, distraction and separation.
Let me be perfectly clear about living a life of being: it is not about new age spiritual bypassing or magical thinking that deludes me into believing that sitting on my heinie while chanting, ohm’ing, meditating, or affirming my days away will make for a better world. It is also not about denying or ignoring the dire reality created by a collective hell-bent on self-destruction. It is not a passive state. It is activated presence. It’s about deep self exploration, painful self revelation and transformative personal evolution that exposes the deepest essence of my being so that I can be a living expression of the ever expanding Soul in a physical world. It’s about allowing—not guilting, shaming or forcing—doing to organically emerge from there.
As a species, we are designed for evolution and growth. The more we become living expressions of the Soul, the better our lives become, and the better the world becomes. We begin to touch lives—not by trying to touch lives—rather by simply being our Selves and living the truth of our essential nature.
I’m now officially retired: from civilization, from worry, struggle and fear, and from all strategies and identities that feed into this exhausting human nonsense. There is no more, “now what?” in my life. My creation now is about discovering how to live in the face of the perpetual now with no future orientation, because it’s not about the world “out there” anymore, it’s all about me. Ironically, it has been all along. Only now, I know.
To wind things down, I share these final thoughts:
Perhaps living in the now as a “being” rather than a “doing” is what ancient cultures knew before they were desecrated by white men. In other words, living for life’s sake. Non-human animals who have not been domesticated or mutated by humans intimately know well how to live this way.
Maybe the purpose of life has always been to simply live for life’s sake—just because we’ve been blessed with the gift of life in a physical world. Maybe our purpose is not even about evolution. Perhaps our “purpose” is to remember what we are and from there, evolution and growth is a natural byproduct that comes to us with great ease. Evolution is no longer a “purpose” that requires effort and work as we are taught to believe in our civilization.
Perhaps simply being a living expression of the Soul is doing far more than I’ve been conditioned to believe in our patriarchal world of “no rest”. Perhaps this is The Great Secret that has been under my nose all along.
Maybe everything we’ve been told about “finding our purpose” or “living from purpose” is rubbish and yet another distraction from the Soul. Perhaps it is just another strategy to give us the illusion of self worth in our Soul deprived world. In other words, if we believe we are living from a sense of purpose, we can allow ourselves to feel worthy in our humanity. If we are still “searching” for a sense of purpose, it will remain elusive until we realize that our “worth” is in simply becoming the living expression of the essence of who we already are.
If we no longer buy into any of the stories we’ve been taught, and if we eliminate all of the strategies we’ve employed throughout our lives, the need for purpose vanishes. We remember that we are here to live and experience the fullness of our mortality through the immortal energy that animates our temporary physical existence. Perhaps our one and only “purpose” in a human incarnation is to experience life through the eyes of the Soul and allow the unique energetic Signal that each of us is, an opportunity to experience the delicious luxury of being in a world of matter. And yes, it is a delicious luxury when we live as the unique expression of the I am that each and every one of us is.
When we let it all go, we’re left with just living and creating … moment by moment by moment …
Perhaps the meaning of life has been that simple all along.