"Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." John 12:24

"When we deny the urge toward transformative death it can only manifest covertly through unconscious projection." Uniting Sex, Self and Spirit, by Genia Pauli Haddon.

"Whoever has studied the history of magic knows very well that in all epochs it has been said that all great initiates remain dead for three days and resurrect on the third day." gnosis-usa.com

The best definitions for stages of growth in consciousness that I have found are Egg...Caterpillar...Pupae...Butterfly. This perfectly describes the stages, implications and profundity of metamorphosis. As well as a rebirth, we also have to start seeing metamorphosis as a process of progressive death...the caterpillar dies to its eggness, the pupa dies to its caterpillarness, the butterfly dies to its pupaeness.


There are four main types of down-cycle events in metamorphosis that need to be clearly understood to prevent unnecessary suffering and secondary backlash:

These four types of down-cycle could variously be associated with what the mystics call the Dark Night of the Soul. They are unavoidable, as the "living death" must occur for resurrection of the "spiritual" bodymind. All must enter the Dark Night, perhaps many times during the cyclical process of evolution. "He who is not twice born will not ascend to the Kingdom of Heaven."

The deeper one goes into a die-off, the greater the resurrection. Similarly the more one "allows" the influx of spirit phase during the heart expansion, the deeper one goes into the die-off. The die-off is either acute or chronic depending on the person and phase of awakening. It happens after the Influx of Spirit, as the flesh transmutes there is a die-off of the conventional conditioned structures. For every influx of spirit, there is an accompanying catabolic breakdown of the former pupael body or die-off. Only those people that have the kundi flow up the spine, and the experience of extreme bliss/influx or massive "opening" events are going to die-off. Die-offs are distinct periods of catabolic breakdown in which there is no operative ego, other than that which is sufficient to drag one off to the bathroom when appropriate.

By the die-off I am not meaning a near death experience. It feels more like a bacterial infection is consuming one's body, but there are no bacterial type symptoms or smells. A die-off is mostly blissful, but at points there can be extreme pain as well. There is a hyper awareness of all the damaged parts of the body...it's like the damaged parts are being eaten. There is slight nausea, but it's mostly a case of not being able to get out of bed, for the three or more days. All one can do to make it to the bathroom and drink water. This is the body bottoming out so it's not a highly conscious condition. One doesn't get subtle level insights, the mind is in a mild hallucinated state and not available for normal egoic function. There is internal music, voices, sounds, lights, coupled with a pervasive sense of Grace. When the die-off is over we feel a new lease on life, much moreso than a simple recovery from illness.

In the degree of holiness of experience I have found that a die-off is the runnerup to the Inner-conjunction. Mainly because it is the cessation of “doing” and the enforced relinquishment of the dominance of the ego. Eventually this is willingly chosen because any division between bodymind-soul becomes increasingly obvious and painful. My intuition is that the ego cannot handle love, and in actuality the ego loves fear. Eventually this is penetrated and seen as self-defeating. For the love that we give is the love that we are, and the love that we are is that which we can receive from others.

Die-offs can be acute (in bed for 3-6 days) or chronic (walking die-offs). During my two awakenings I had several walking die-offs and 3 acute die-offs. The first of my Dark Nights was the implosion event several weeks after my spontaneous awakening in Dec 1988. This peak of the down-cycle was one night of extreme panic; electrical and energetically intense as the blissful spontaneous awakening had been. Similarly the energy was pouring up my spine threatening to blow my head off, but I was in terror not bliss. This Dark Night was accompanied by a walking die-off, where there was some catabolic action of the immune system but I was not forced into bed rest.

The second die-off was a month after attending an Alex Grey workshop in November 1999...this was a 4 day somatic collapse and more emotional than electrical and mostly spent in bed. It was accompanied by intense grounding, fatigue and heart expansion.

The third was November 2000 after 3 months of the main influx phase of fire and heart expansion after being in my initiators presence...and this was atomic and cellular, an almost complete collapse of normal faculties for 6 days. The sensation of the body eating itself was so apparent in this die-off that it was this experience that made me realize the role of the immune system in metamorphosis. Ego is suspended, there are mild hallucinations of voice and image, often blissful and a holy sensation, sometimes incredibly painful as the transmutation is working on a particularly congested or damaged part of the body. For me this was the right side of my face and head which felt as though it was being dissolved by acid for a day.

Seems to me that after experiences of radical expansion and extreme euphoria, we tend to compare the difference between where we were in mystic revelry and the condition most of us live in—it is then that extreme cathartic anguish occurs as we mourn the sorry state of our collective human condition. This is one of the hyperbolic curves that occur during the first stages of the alchemy, especially if the realization is around ones family situation. After time I suppose our compassion takes on a lighter air as our own physicality loses its dross and heavy nature and our faith becomes unconditional...ie: detached from worldly appearances. The evolution of faith probably goes from blind faith, to informed faith, to unconditional faith. But it's doubtful that any of us can proceed in this development without periods of the obscuring or loss of faith, for we have to die to our former stage of faith to move onto the next.

Usually what bought us to this impasse is the pull of the heart and psychic intuition and profound spiritual illuminations. So to be plunged into space where we can no longer rely on our conditioning, and Spiritual illumination seems to have left us can constitute an extended period of dark night--usually about 5 years as the body recovers from the extreme chemistry of the peak. This is the period in which spiritual practice, sangha and 'listening' to Spirit for understanding, meaning and direction is most important.

We feel as sense of loss during the exhaustion phase when we have lost our "magic" and extrasensory abilities and are back down, perhaps even more mortal than we were prior to our awakening. We all have to come down. This loss feels like losing oneself, ones lover, ones muse, ones God. The difference is shocking and if we do not work manually to rejuice ourselves then life feels like it's not really worth living. What was given to us by Grace, must now be won by discipline and hard work.

November-December is the most pronounced die-off time. It has to do with the earths movement round the sun, ie: just prior to solstice and the gravitational forces of the earth turning into the bend of the elliptic and changing direction. However there is no die-off during prior to the summer solstice due to a hormonal mix based on growth rather than senescence. The more thoroughly we die-off the more refined our intellectual achievement is the next year--around Easter is my peak of the year for intellect, and again in July with the maximum prana flow that happens then. If you find yourself really peaking in energy and psi during July chances are you will have a die-off in November especially if it is triggered by a transcendental dream or significant event in relationship.

The video “The Naked Truth” by The International Research and Education Society on google video is exceptional. It shows the mythic similarity of the main religions and how the elements of the story are based on sun worship and the suns progression through the zodiac. This is probably the most healing and informative film document out there. They say the aspect of the traditions that talk of a 3 day death/resurrection, is actually when the sun stays 3 days at the same point at the lowest part of the sundial during winter solstice…ie: the belly of the fish of Jonah. It just so happens that the dieoff often constitutes 3 days also. The perennial story goes: The son of the Sun-God, gave up his blood so that we sinners could be absolved of our sins so we would no longer feel guilty...with a free conscience this would ensure that the sun (light) would indeed rise again tomorrow. Thus we keep the sun, earth and planets in their orbits by sacrificing the Golden Child.


We can see that the deeper one goes into a die-off, the greater the resurrection. Similarly the more one "allows" the influx of spirit phase during the heart expansion, the deeper one goes into the die-off. If we voluntarily help to wipe the slate clean we naturally ascend to higher levels. However if we adopt staunch adherence to our existing stage of consciousness we grow no further. The "secret" to metamorphosis is that we can stimulate the up-phase by going down first, for the cycles follow each other as sure as night and day.

I have a suspicion that the body can be triggered/assisted into catabolic states through the use of circumstance and herbs etc... however only if the cycle is ripe. My theory is that you can actually prompt an "influx" stage by putting oneself through a constructed die-off stage. The idea being that the more our cup is emptied the more that spirit can enter and transmute us. This might be very useful for people in chronic depression, or in limbo etc...Instead of always trying to prop themselves up and get higher, they should instead descend into a "holy resting pupael condition" and then a natural resurgence of spirit will arise after they have "emptied," that is been purged of their former self.

For example time spent in a cave fasting...soaking in mudpools, in some sort of pressure suit, buried in the sand, or in various forms of sensory deprivation and stillness conditions could prepare the bodymind for the influx of light...by providing rest and repolarizing the nervous system. This is what I think the ancients knew with their various cave-womb type rituals.

The die-off phase was traditionally performed in a cave. "Visit the interior of the earth; through purification thou will find the hidden stone." Interesting that the Philosophers Stone (White Powder of Gold/Iridium and Rhodium) is called the "hidden stone," because monoatomic elements cannot be assayed for they do not form chemical or crystalline bonds with other elements or even between each other, hence the name monoatomic.

I feel that this "die-off" phase can be enhanced if undergone in a cave in which a pool/tub of volcanic hot clay becames the "bed" in which the 3-5 day die-off occurs. Obviously the clay-pool would have to be heated either by natural thermal means or some other means. The death position of feet crossed and hands crossed over the chest also facilitates the process. I also think that the ideal die-off cave should have a spinal shower. The spinal shower...a 3"wide column of warm water that you let fall on head/neck/spine while sitting under it in trace state. The spinal shower is the best form of psycho-somatic healing I have found...it is the number one rebirther/balancer for the nervous system.

During my acute phase of heart expansion in 2000, I was called to be outside walking around all day. This way in being exposed to the ground and the open sky I felt my Soul/Muse to be more intensely with me, helping and guiding me through the extreme chemistry. I followed my instinct in this, and perhaps the ancients followed their instincts in being drawn into caves, as being more than mere symbols of the womb, during their die-off periods. It could be that melatonin and the darkness is a prominent agent in the die-off process.

Rock, whether it be through electromagnetics, gravitation, proximity to the resonance of large masses of elements in crystalline bond, conveyance of earth energy or what...has an effect of "grounding." Such grounding is necessary for the Solar Heart to open more fully. I have personal experience of mediating on iron rich rock in vertical formations...not only did I reach a deeper state of connection (satori) on the rocks, when I walked away from doing this one day, I had such severe grounding occur that I could barely walk along the ground. This ultra grounding is assocated with an increase in nitric oxide metabolism and can accompany both the massive heart expansion stage and a die-off. Suggesting an extreme parasympathetic overdrive.

Being in a cave during the die-off may facilitate such perfect grounding that the catabolic cycle is magnified and so the Heart expansion phase may occur with less friction and with greater ease and intensity. I learnt to lie down with my spine on the ground during the acute heart expansion for this reason...to ease the tension from the Heart's extreme need for grounding. And of course to be horizonal during periods when the blood vessels are blown wide open, and blood pressure is low means that the brain still gets its adequate share of blood supply.


  1. Relax into the down-cycle--Allow.
  2. Make yourself comfortable without suppressing symptoms, running away or propping yourself up with stimulants.
  3. A die-off is a free radical storm--take mega doses of antioxidants for protection. Also take support supplements that feed the thyroid (kelp, nettle leaf), the adrenals (licorice, Vitamin C), the nerves (Vitamin Bs, Calm Formula-1) and the hormones (ginseng, gotu kola).
  4. Drink at least 10 glasses of water a day, and take a bath to rehydrate. The body has a huge demand for water during a die-off.

Get someone to juice vegetables for you and drink water. If you are in the full on wammy die-off, your immune system is essentially dismantling the body and all you can do is hangout in bed, then don't eat much of anything. It's best not to eat while the body is in catabolic breakdown mode, or digestion will draw energy away from the transmutation of the flesh and your resurrection will not be as complete. You will create toxicity and tissue damage if you work against the nature break-down cycle.

Giving up is the first stage of really living. Until we give up we have been trying to live from the concept of self, instead of Self—that is "my" will not "Thine". It is often the case with human action, that what we bring about through our efforts, turns out the very opposite of what we intended, partly because of our own internal blockages (ego). The die-off is the most extreme experience of nature stepping in to help us move beyond the known to the vast reaches of a mystic perception of the universe.

It is rather cool when the only thing left is surrrender, that is why I love dieoff periods for, they are so holy in their consumption of one. The deeper the surrender to the living-death the more we can actually incarnate.

back to Ego death

Continue to Depression