How to Self Realize and be naturally Present


This is the fifth blog in the series “Meditation & Magic Mushrooms,” and provides a variation of the Meditation & Magic Mushroom method to help you self realize. That is to realize, and live in that realization, that you are pure awareness. This method is called Transcendental Self Inquiry.

This blog also shares a perspective on the structure of human consciousness and the ego, their collective role in spiritual awakening and healing, and how self realization takes place. With self realization comes profound spiritual healing and presence happens naturally thereafter (without meditation).

The blog series “Meditation & Magic Mushrooms” provides essential knowledge and methods to spiritually awaken, spiritually heal, and to self realize.

  1. Meditation & Magic Mushrooms Overview
  2. How to Meditate for Presence and Rituals
  3. How to Safely Meditate with Magic Mushrooms
  4. My Expanded Consciousness Experiences
  5. How to Self Realize and be naturally Present
  6. The Medical Benefits of Psilocybin Magic Mushrooms
  7. Spiritual Awakening & Spiritual Healing
  8. The Archeology of Meditation & Magic Mushrooms
  9. The Birds & Bees of Psychedelics

Consciousness as Expandable & Movable Awareness

Who am I…? I am pure awareness is all I am.

Our real awareness, in the earthly realm, arises from presence. This awareness is both individuated and identity-less, and attentive to everything that arises through the body-mind in space-time. That is, I am aware of my body’s senses associated with the internal-external arisings, my feelings and thoughts, and my deep arising intuitions. However, none of these arisings or my physical body or my ego-mind is I, only the awareness of these arisings is who I am.

When I die, that awareness retracts from presence and I return as awareness, beyond objective reality, to our infinite-eternal loving creator via the death process. Here/there I will undergo a life review where my karmic imprint will be assessed.

We know we are present when we are the awareness of our breath and one, ideally two, of our senses—sight, sound, feel of breeze, smell of flowers, etc.—all melt-merge into a singular awareness. Silence naturally arises in the space of presence. In presence I am aware of the arisings of thoughts, feelings (including emotions), my five senses, and the body my awareness is housed within. All my life and interpersonal experiences come to my awareness through these mind-body arisings.

Through numerous profound ritual experiences and on three occasions by spontaneous grace, via head trauma and a near-death experience, I have come to understand that my awareness can expand, move, and contract within and beyond objective reality. This provides awareness of other “hologram experiences” beyond the confines of my body-mind in space-time (Earth’s realm). I have described some of my experiences in my last blog [Meditation & Magic Mushrooms (Blog #4): Expanded Consciousness Experiences].

Depending upon the experience of expanded consciousness, we can be the awareness of ourselves as “individuated pure consciousness,” or “Unity awareness or pure Consciousness”. Each expanded perspective of awareness is associated with certain attributes or qualities. For example, as Unity awareness I have profound feelings of being the sum totality of everything, like the metacosmic void or the universe. It feels intensely-profoundly that “I am everything, and everything is I” and I feel this deep in my core beyond words. Dimensions of eternity and infinity imbue my awareness, as that awareness is literally stretched to those perspectives-feelings—I am the entire universe and it is I (the whole show) and I am (as awareness) beyond time—eternal.

During Unity experiences my awareness is typically imbued with heart-mind blowing feelings of infinite, indescribable bliss-love felt deep in my core. From Unity I am aware that everything I am is love (beyond words), and that I emanate from that love. Everything in the universe is created from this love in its purest form. This Unity perspective on awareness is heart-mind blowing—and utterly indescribable.

In experiences of the higher self the perspective is individuated awareness, but with a strong sense of connection to/as Unity. In such experiences I have most commonly been awareness inhabiting a Buddha-like apparition/entity beyond objective reality. In this plane of awareness I am this Buddha-like entity, and it is I. I feel incredibly profound things as that awareness. This higher self experience has always been associated with the awareness of my heart chakra and other chakras being opened—imbuing my awareness with mind-shatteringly intense-profound feelings of indescribable love, of being healed, and of being forgiven or being the forgiveness of myself and others.

In other higher self experiences I have simply been my body’s “energy field/network” with the opening of one or more chakra(s), without any recognizable form.

These higher self perspectives can oscillate/interchange with the awareness of Unity. This oscillation in awareness during expanded consciousness is where my sense of connection with love, infinity, and eternity seeps into my higher self awareness. But it is not felt to the same degree as pure Unity awareness. In presence I know intuitively I am eternal, infinite, and I am love—but it is not the same as in Unity or higher self awareness beyond objective reality.

Another interpretation is there is an obscuration of pure Consciousness’ infinite love from my awareness in presence. In addition to pure consciousness spanning a space-time vortex, then by me personally and collectively, as a human and male. I’m skirting on the fringes of subjects like karma, dualities, archetypes, and patriarchy, as I try to understand other aspects of who I am. Those ancient sun god religion priesthood ritual methods came in rather handy I think!

Our Ego Is the Cause of Suffering

Moving back to our earthly existence, we have two windows or perspectives on earthly awareness: awareness emanating presence and the ego mind in fictional time. The difference between presence and ego represents a vast yet subtle divide in awareness. The ego—counterfeit awareness synthesized in fictional time, meaning in past and future thoughts—forms while we are young infants. Think back on your life and ask yourself, “What are my first memories and how old was I?” This is when the ego began to hijack our awareness on life. Life after life this happens until we awaken to this ego-karmic trap. This is what self realization is all about.

Simplistically speaking, the ego filters all internal-external arisings through our memory/emotion regulation brain centers. The ego obscures presence by promoting incessant thinking, feeling-emotions, speaking, doing, attaching, etc., and promoting its sense of identity. Before long we do not “consciously” know we are awareness in presence anymore. Instead, we become the identity and the external curiosity created by our ego, our learned dualistic-archetypally propelled behaviors, all the while acting out our conditioning (linked to our childhood). Guy Finley in his book The Secret of Letting Go gives a great account of the ego and how it works to hijack our consciousness and keep us from awakening. This was the last book I read before self realization.

I wondered for some time about the evolutionary advantage of the ego—because we’ve all got one. In historic-evolutionary times child mortality rates were very high, and children were subject to all manner of abuse, cruelty, and suffering within families, extended families, tribes, and by external causes, like disease, famine, war, the fate of their parents and siblings, etc. The child’s biological remit is to survive. The ego soaks up these early-life traumas and develops a memory and emotional judgment associated with these and other traumatic life events. Future similar traumatic/abusive events trigger a survival, fight-flight, strong emotional response that likely improves the child’s odds of survival or helps the child deal with the trauma until they can escape it.

Without some kind of education about proper emotional responses, an education that can happen from good parenting, a wide family network, socializing, or tribal upbringing, we retain those child-like emotional responses into our adulthood. This includes the underlying unconscious beliefs/assumptions formed in infancy and their triggers. I don’t think any adult is immune from this, and you’ll always see adult-infantile emotional responses when a person endures a strong emotional triggering. In this regard the ego is the root cause of, or synonymous with, our suffering and that which we cause.

During the post-childhood life we tend to unconsciously attract similar experiences or relationships (as in early life) that mirror the things we need to see, and which need to be healed or transformed. These effectively replicate the childhood trauma/context/emotion, so we can see it again. In this regard the ego creates a future opportunity for healing through traumatic life/relationship experiences—if we dare to look inside and ask—What does My difficult emotion teach Me about Me? (as opposed to examining the difficult event itself or the other person and excluding any self-examination).

Fortunately, the child, whose species prime directive is to survive, was gifted an inbuilt, self-healing capability triggered by transcendental self inquiry. Our species’ biological need to survive and our self-healing capabilities are all linked to promote the evolution of human consciousness to our higher self. The ego is our doorway to spiritual awakening and spiritual healing.

With self realization we jettison all the negative emotions associated with life’s important traumas. We find instant forgiveness toward all those who have hurt us and ourselves (for co-creating this), and let go of the negative charge we associate with those people, situations, or ourselves.

However, self realization does not remove our underlying emotional responses or their underlying beliefs, assumptions, or triggers. That, I’m afraid, is our work after self realization (with awareness in presence)! Perhaps during the profound experience of ego death/rebirth we can annihilate this old conditioning, or our attachment to it. Intuitively I sense this is what happens, but I have not yet experienced this annihilating spiritual process.

I remind you of these perspectives on awareness (pure consciousness) and their shared traits, so you know there is more to your sense of self, or your perceived self-identity. It is only through separating our real self-awareness in presence from the dominating synthetic ego-mind awareness in fictional time that we can ultimately see and know who we really are.

You can’t create this separation with the cognitive mind from presence (with great effect) because the moment you self-inquire you break presence. This is why we have to “get out of our minds” and force that separation in our awareness, and then conduct self inquiry.

What Is Self Realization?

Self realization is coming to the heartfelt realization that “I am” awareness.

This awareness is identity-less and witnessed from a number of perspectives. That is as awareness in presence, or as the higher self and/or Unity awareness beyond body-mind in space-time, within and beyond objective reality. Higher self and/or Unity awareness occurs via grace (i.e., a miracle) or during sacred rituals (i.e., supplemented meditation). All of these perspectives of awareness have the same origin—pure Consciousness—and are interconnected as Unity and its individuated forms or perspectives (presence, higher self).

Therefore, pure Consciousness imbues and is immanent in all life, is interconnected with and transcendent of all things, and is the non-physical out of which the physical arises.

Conceptually we can present the different perspectives on pure awareness or pure Consciousness as: Presence, Higher Self, Unity, which i believe is synonymous with Christianity’s “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost”, which is synonymous with Hindu’s Atman / Brahman. (ignore the order of the words).

This “real self-awareness” is without identity other than “I am.” This “I am-ness” is felt profoundly in our core and is impressed into our consciousness during the self realization experience. You then know who you really are! For me, upon this self realization I was rapture for an eternity beyond objective reality!

The consequence or gift of self realization is innate presence—and living in that awareness thereafter. But the ego still exists—albeit in a different/subordinate role (mostly!). In presence silence naturally arises, so we need not contrive to be silent. In the silence of presence there is no ego, just the awareness of silence and all arisings. Ego-mind arisings may happen during presence, like invisible phantoms coming up in front of our awareness, but we understand these are not us and that we have been distracted from presence. When this happens, we simply return to breath, merge back into presence, and maybe smile!

Conducting Transcendental Self Inquiry

The single most important question we can ever ask ourselves on this multi-karmic life adventure is “Who am I . . . ?”
A simple question with a paradoxical answer.

This is best asked when we’re out of our ‘ego minds’—as the higher self beyond objective reality.

At some stage in our innumerable incarnations as our spirit we all have to come to understand who we really are as pure Consciousness—through the gift of life(s). This paradoxical question underpins the very meaning of life and is answered and comprehended as our higher self, soul, Holy Ghost, Atman, etc.!

I call this method “Transcendental Self Inquiry (TSI).


  1. Set ritual intentions to self inquire in the months and weeks beforehand.
  2. Practice mantra meditation (I am; “I” on inspiration, “am” on expiration)
  3. Conduct a fire ceremony before your Meditation & Magic Mushroom ritual.
  4. Reaffirm your ritual intentions before the transmuting flames in deep presence.
  5. Use the Meditation & Magic Mushrooms method to expand your awareness, beyond the ego mind.
  6. During your Ritual Meditation use your “I am” mantra—until you break on through to the other side!

Seriously—it’s that simple—everything is placed on autopilot, and the experience naturally arises. Pure Consciousness awaits us all (before death).

KNOW THE MEDITATION & MAGIC MUSHROOM METHOD: Before reading this section I refer you to Blog #3 in the Meditation & Magic Mushroom series. This blog describes the base Meditation & Magic Mushrooms method and, most importantly, the health, safety, and legal cautions, which you must thoroughly review and adhere to please (see section “Taking Responsibility for Your Practice”).

SETTING RITUAL INTENTIONS: The following ritual intention is similar to that which I used for my self inquiry ritual. Rehearse this intention, in your own words, in the weeks and months beforehand. Finally affirm this intention at your fire ceremony before your Meditation & Magic Mushroom ritual.

Dear pure Consciousness, the love in my life,

Please help me come to you so that I may heal in your presence and witness your bliss-love in Unity awareness.

Please help me understand Who am I as pure Consciousness.

Please help me ask, “Who am I?” and answer, “I am,” in your presence—and feel this deeply within.

Please help me return to earthly life afterwards so that I may be innately present and live in that awareness forevermore.

Please help me then transform my old conditioning, so I no longer cause suffering.

Please help me be of service to other people, to all life, and to our beloved Mother Earth.

Thank you.

MEDITATION MANTRA: Our ritual intention “informs” pure Consciousness of our wish/intent to self realize and heal. The question “Who am I?” naturally arose in my awareness once I had exited out of space-time and entered “beyond objective reality.” I was using the mantra “I am” for this meditation because it represented the answer to the question. “I am” was embedded in my consciousness in Unity awareness six months previously on the winter solstice 2014—when I witnessed the birth of the universe from the metacosmic void. Whilst the question naturally arose, I as my higher self “consciously and silently” replied, “I am.” Everything was automatically choreographed by pure Consciousness for me. You can read the section; “Transcendental Self Realization” in Blog #4 for my self realization experience.

Whilst I don’t normally promote the use of a mantra during meditation, I recommend you start practicing mantra meditation in the final two weeks before conducting TSI—“I” upon inspiration, “am” upon expiration slowly and deliberately. After each of these mantra practice meditations say an offering prayer to pure Consciousness and communicate your wish and intent to self realize. For example, your prayer could address those who suffer or cause suffering of all kinds (a different kind of suffering each day) and your desire that this suffering may end. Communicate your wish to self realize and dedicate your efforts to the evolution of the collective human consciousness.

If you wish to do anything for humanity—self realize—and you will profoundly impact the collective consciousness for all.

IMPORTANT REALITY CHECK: You can’t just jump into conducting transcendental self inquiry as your first transcendental experience. We must all work up to this experience, prepare our being, through consciousness awakening, opening chakras, healing, engaging in learning/reeducation relating to our emotional responses, etc., and creating grace. Only then may we receive this self realization.

It took me two and half years, or ten times of conducting Meditation & Magic Mushrooms Ritual Meditations to experience self realization. I meditated every day, read many important books en route, wrote a book (Discovering Ritual Meditation), and gave up my old life.

I communicated with single-minded intent my wish to pure Consciousness for spiritual healing, and with each experience pure Consciousness revealed a little bit more. I came to know I was loved, was love, and emanated from love, and I knew there were obstructions to the flow of my feminine energy (and still are). During this time I loved and lost (and used the mirror it afforded me as an opportunity to evolve), and i rejoined with my mother, sister, and a brother after many decades of absence from each others lives. I am now reconnected with all of my dispersed family, and I know we love each other. I went an adult lifetime without knowing that.

In the last few years I have experienced some of the best (indigenous) and worst (gringo) of humanity – providing a yin & yang or sweet & sour experience. I live in a lush and sacred valley inhabited for eons by locals, who have been robbed slowly over recent times. It is rich in magnetic energies and overlooks the ancient capital of the Mayan highland priesthood capital across the lake, which is why i came here. This “disconnected” gringo community, or i should say enclave, owns most of the best growing land, and complains about more than they ever do for the locals. Jaibalito is one of the most impoverished (yet culturally rich) and its children amongst the most malnourished in Guatemala, and few gringos do anything to collaborate to help that situation. Yet they are quite happy to attack and criticize those who try to help and integrate.

This context ensured furtive experiences rich in important things i needed to see about me.  I had strong emotional responses to extreme provocations, and saw how i responded to violent people. I’ve witnessed people blatantly lying and manipulating, slandering me professionally and personally, and I’ve witnessed different forms of violence used against me. Mostly done from their coward-like vantage point of behind my back. In response i  was able to see me as a man, as my conditioning, as masculine energy, as the collective male (culturally, consciousness), and see the role of patriarchy in me, in others, and in the world more generally. I witnessed my consciousness beyond objective reality over/within/connected to an infinite abyss of human suffering – and I was it, and it was I – and with that came important self-realizations and a path to change. Consciousness showed(shows) me that which i need to see and transform. You escape nothing after self-realization!

This journey also had good consequences, and ensured i connected with our local indigenous community. In twelve months we have planted 4,000 treelings (cypress, pine, aliso) to help reforest our valley and prepare for climate change. We’ve also planted 200 fruit trees and set up a vivero to grow new fruit trees (without purchasing) from seeds, branches, tubers, and through grafting (my garden). I/we connected with the local police and a newly opened school with the teenagers from our village to help reforest Jaibalito, and work to improve food security in the village. We will connect the river 1km up the valley with the village and improve water supply during the rainy season. My focus is in helping the village to prepare for climate change by ensuring/improving water, food, and energy supply and security (cheaply, using natural sustainable resources).


During these last five years I’ve had to look closely at myself, trying to understand who am I and why do things happen for me in life the way they do – across life. This for me wasn’t an easy time, but it was an incredibly rich experience of revelation, healing, transformation, and awakening. I’m eternally grateful for what has transpired, but be under no illusion this was an easy journey. Far from it, it’s the most arduous journey I ever undertook. Here I am five years on from being initiated in the Mankind Project (as “Fierydragon”) where I bore witness to many good men whose lives had been ripped apart by early-life abuse and trauma—I had no idea the journey this warrior initiation would spark!

When the time was right, the play of consciousness saw fit to place Guy Finley (through his book), Mooji (through a YouTube video), and a plant medicine mystic on my metaphorical doorstep. During the final three months before the summer solstice 2015 things began to crystallize, in no short thanks to my mystic friend.

To be honest until I watched Mooji I had not known of Advaita’s self inquiry/self realization method! I watched the vacant looks of Mooji’s followers and realized they hadn’t a clue either, and that Mooji’s method was trying to achieve awareness separation and self inquiry from presence. In that moment I realized this separation would be best experienced as the higher self beyond objective reality. Setting appropriate ritual intentions (set in presence) was the key to directing this experience/outcome. Somehow I knew that.

Within six hours of watching Mooji for the first time I self realized using my Transcendental Self Inquiry method.

Presence & Transformation

The key message I wish to impart here is that self realization isn’t the end of spiritual endeavor—it’s a new beginning, after which the real work of transformation begins.

The consequence of the self realization experience is our brains are remapped to support innate presence as we live out our daily life. For me, with presence comes a peaceful-serene inner silence, and I am simply aware of my sensory-body-mind arisings, intuitions, and breath. My body’s crown chakra/third eye buzzes 24/7. My mind is no longer incessantly active and thinking, scheming, planning, or involved in its obsessions, the way it once was. For the first three months I bathed in a blissful and serene state, soaking up the simple joy of being present in a beautiful garden in front of a captivating volcanic-lake vista. After this I began to more actively engage life, people, and work—but I did not return to the Western world treadmill of benevolent enslavement (at least not yet!).

One and a half years later innate presence is my reality. My chakras still buzz 24/7, with my ego-mind intermittently and temporarily superimposing itself in front of my silent awareness. This is happening as I work, do other activities, and when I am strongly emotionally triggered. When I realize I have lost presence, I simply return to breath and my sensory arisings, like the sounds of birds or the breeze, and I am immediately present—often accompanied by an inner smile.

I do things while present, like reading, researching, writing, gardening—in silence. In fact I came to realize the reasons I’ve always enjoyed so-called dangerous activities, like motorbike riding and racing, snowboarding, diving, whitewater kayaking, is because I am present when doing these activities. They demand it.

The post self realization experience is going to be different for every one of us because we all have different early-life experiences, which we have carried forward into life. This carrying forward manifests as our behaviors, the big decisions we’ve taken or failed to take, the relationships we find ourselves in or out of, and the suffering we have caused others and ourselves en route.

In essence with our newfound awareness in presence together with the “play-of-consciousness” we come to see and know our old conditioning. This conditioning is mirrored or triggered for us via our interactions, friendships, relationships, life-context, and situations. We literally have a light shone on our lives moment-by-moment, interaction-by-interaction, situation-by-situation, and we come to see who we are. Do you like what or who you see? We then have a choice—consciously transform old conditioning or keep repeating the causes of our suffering (and that which we cause) until we transform. Given what I have observed in my life I think these repetitions subsequently escalate until we learn, heal, and transform those aspects of our manifest being, which need to be transformed. So, in the end we really have no choice—we have to do the work.

The post self realization experience feels like an adult puberty witnessed from presence, rather than from within emotions, severe triggering aside. Assisting us is a newfound repertoire of benevolent spiritual qualities, which become naturally available to us or manifest from presence. These include loving-kindness, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, equanimity, and inner peace and joy. These come via the rays of loving light emanating pure Consciousness into our being and mind (if not obscured) from beyond it all.

Before or after conducting self inquiry and asking, “Who am I?” the next best question we can ask ourselves on this transformation journey is;

What does this difficult situation or relationship and its triggered emotion(s) teach me about me?

Invariably, we have to revisit our childhood, understand how we took on beliefs and assumptions, and comprehend how these no longer serve us. This is done with loving kindness, compassion, and forgiveness/acceptance of the dualities that we manifest and those who trigger those for us. While I really don’t have all the answers here, I do understand that we transform the negative aspects of our dualistic behaviors by marrying them with their positive counterparts, for example, anger with love for the self and the other person. We get there by understanding that we all suffer, we are all consciousness behind our conditioning, and we forgive, accept and let go of our judgment about the other person and ourselves. We learn to cultivate empathy and compassion for both parties and try to understand how we came to be in a much broader sense.

Educating/reeducating myself about my emotional responses, understanding the influence of dualistic and archetypal behaviors on me, and of the collective influences like karma and patriarchy are the frontiers I’m staring at. How we transform our conditioning using spiritual principles is a door I’m knocking on right now.

Life is a hallway of mirrors and emotional triggers for us to see ourselves—and sooner or later we all have to look inside. Self realization helps us do this along with the realization that we must do the work—or a little more Shiva comes our way!

Over the next two blogs we’re going to explore the Medical Benefits of Psilocybin Magic Mushrooms and then Spiritual Awakening & Spiritual Healing. Sign up for my blog and have these delivered direct to your inbox.

Please ask if you have a question, provide a comment if so invoked, and i hope this is of use to you in refinding presence. If you’d like to discuss Coaching then contact me via the contact form. Thank you.

Carlton Brown
Author of: Discovering Ritual Meditation: Transcendental Healing and Self-Realization
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