Perceptions of the word
Awakening is a word often used in the spiritual discussion, and a word I have experienced to be very valuable to understand. The word alone explains something very significant about the nature of our world, and the way to get in touch with the reality that transcends it.
I have realized that many people understand awakening as awakening to more awareness and consciousness in the world and daily life. It’s about becoming mindful and present in the moment, realizing that there is much more to life than what our senses perceive. It is about becoming a more spiritually aware person, digging into clairvoyance and exposing the cruel conspiracies going on at governmental levels. It is about awakening from the daily routine-slumber that most people experience life through.
In my understanding though, there is also a much deeper level to awakening than merely awakening from our mindless routines and precomputed convictions. Even though this can be a major change in life and increase its quality tremendously, awakening in the deepest sense of the word marks an even more fundamental and complete change. It does not just bring colors to the movie on the screen, but takes you out of the cinema to experience real life with your own eyes. If life is a dream, awaking must be the ultimate enlightenment.
For an awakening to happen there must first have been sleep, and if we are about to wake up, we must in fact be dreaming now, not just slumbering in unawareness but actually dreaming. Just like in our dreams at night, but on a much “larger” scale.
To grasp that idea, it will be helpful to reflect upon what characterizes our dreams at night. Luckily, a lot of progress was made in that area a hundred years ago by an Austrian gentleman, and that will serve us well in understanding the workings of our perceived reality. The first aspect worth mentioning about dreams is, that most of us are not the slightest aware that we are actually dreaming while doing it. Everything in the dream seems completely real to us, the people, the things, whatever happens, no matter how crazy it may seem when we wake up. We are completely caught up in the dream until we slowly start to wake up in the morning. The second important aspect is that even though we may see thousands of people and living beings in the dream, it is all going on in our own mind and all we see is just projections from our unconscious mind. There is always just one dreamer dreaming it all up, perceiving the whole thing through the perspective of one person. This is indeed very interesting!
Try to think about it; how can we possibly know that the life we experience now is not very much the same? That we are actually dreaming even though everything seems exceptionally real to us now. I believe it is. The only major difference is that what we now wake up to is not merely another body with a personality, needs and a daily life. What we are about to wake up to is the absolute reality of oneness with God, our Source, perfect love and peace. We will wake up from this dream of separation, change, loss, scarcity and reenter the reality we never left. We will give up the tininess and fragility of the body and enter the abundance of our grand, untouchable Self.
Unwillingness to awaken
Awakening is a long process in time, and has basically been going on since before the big bang. This is not because we have a long distance to travel, but because the mind by no means is motivated to leave individuality and suffering. The mind finds safety in the dream of separation because it has convinced itself that what lies beyond it is much worse. No one is held back in his/her development by anything but his/her own many defenses towards release, which become very evident through the awakening process.
The mind’s defenses and unwillingness to exchange illusions for love and peace is something I have written about many times on this blog. This is because I believe that our own will is the only break and speed button on the vessel towards truth. The only thing that will help us stop postponing our happiness and peace is starting to work with the block to peace in our minds.
Since the mind does not want to give up illusions, fear becomes a normal reaction when their foundation starts to tremble. The thought that life is a dream we eventually will wake up from, can be extremely scary and weird to the mind, which has desperately searched for exile in the dream and remembers nothing of the beauty and fullness of its loving alternative. To the not yet awakened mind, the dream-perspective will most often feel like an attack, because it threatens to take away the meaningfulness from the reality we think we are dependent on, and confronts us with a part of our mind we have pleasantly suppressed. This may also bring a feeling of depression because it takes away the meaning of this world without the person being open to experience the value and joy of absolute reality. It leaves a great emptiness since the person gives up drinking the usual, well-known sewer-water without grabbing the good wine instead.
The cause of the resistance to awakening lies with the cause of the dream itself – the ego thought-system. Our mind, the one mind, is in itself abstract but has the ability to choose, which is its only real ability. What it believes and chooses determines what it becomes. All of the illusion of the dream we now perceive is made from the mind’s choice to believe in the ego thought; that we could, and thereafter did, separate from our Source, God. Following this thought came a chain reaction, based on fear of the punishment from God, resulting in the mind creating the hiding place we now experience and call the universe.
Most people are identified with the story the ego is telling, and the last thing the ego wants is to lose the mind’s belief in it. The reason for this is that the ego is nothing in itself and exists only because of the mind’s belief in it. If this belief was withdrawn the ego would disappear into nothing. The most important thing for the ego is therefore to keep the mind mindless, with no recollection of its true reality as one with God. As long as the mind is caught up in the dream, unconsciously frightened of the punishment of God and the running away from the guilt in the sub-conscious mind, the ego is safe. Therefore, it wants everything to stay as it is, because any movement away from deep sleep is a threat to its existence. Here lies the deepest resistance for most people to really dig deep into their minds, really forgive, really choose love, truly awaken, because this will be answered by a deep unconscious fear.
The joy of truth
Awakening from the dream, and realizing its hollowness could indeed be the happiest thing in the world. It could fill the mind with the greatest joy, the deepest peace, and a love that echoes God. In fact, it will. Fear and resistance can only hold the omnipresent siege of truth for a while, and slowly, step by step, the mind will give up its belief in the ego. All fear comes from misinterpretation, and as the mind gets in touch with the Holy Spirit’s mindset the experience of awakening changes from a walk into flames, to a walk out of them.
The Holy Spirit remembers truth, remembers our reality, and knows therefore that what we will awaken to is the greatest joy. The Holy Spirit does not believe that we are separated from God, but believes that we fell asleep into a dream of separation and an angry God. It knows that in reality we are still one with our Source, and that has never changed. We are one with the Source and all the beings that now share the dream with us. One in timelessness, in joy, in peace, and in love. God only loves us and has never noticed the evil sins we dreamt we committed. Therefore the mind that believes in the Holy Spirit’s thought-system does not fear to awaken. It recalls the enormous joy and abundance or reality, and therefore walks towards it with nothing but willingness and anticipation.
The road to awakening
As mentioned earlier there are different levels of awakening and different layers one usually goes through. Very freely one can say that: Firstly one must realize that one’s presumptions about life are not necessarily correct, that there might be more to life than what appears to the senses. Thereafter one must awaken more deeply from the slumber, starting to integrate and understand the deeper, spiritual concepts of life and love. Here one starts to work with the divine inspiration, start to heal one’s mind actively by the accepting that he/she must chose again. Finally thereafter comes the path to full awakening (enlightenment), dissolving every last bit of belief in the ego-thought-system.
Many people believe that awakening/enlightenment is something that happens when the soul has learned everything, when it through countless lives, experiences, suffering, and cultivation has finally made everything right. In some sense this is correct. As mentioned, awaking normally takes a long time. The pace, though, is wholly determined by the mind’s decision to stop believing the ego-thought-system. The process of awakening is the process of choosing once again, away from the belief in the ego-thought that made up the whole dream. It’s all happening in the mind, by our will and decision, either consciously or subconsciously. This is the process that is going on at all the levels of awakening even though not necessarily.
The longest part of the journey is really coming to the place where one realizes that one has to make a change inside oneself. For eons, people try the find salvation outside themselves through rituals, killing enemies, martyrdom, but always manage to avoid looking inwards. But at some point everything has been tried, there are no more roads to go, attempts to make, and one must just humbly bow down and ask the divine for help to find a better way. This is usually the way people start walking the exciting road of awakening consciously.
The awakened life
In ‘A Course in Miracles’ it is said that the only obvious change in an awakened person is that he/she smiles more often. This resembles the zen-buddhist saying “before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water”. This means of course that awakening is an inner process with an inner result. Awakening doesn’t necessarily mean that one’s outer life changes, but one’s perceptions and feelings towards it will indeed. It will be a life of love, joy and unshakable peace, a life where one can take everything with a twinkle in the eye, even hanging on a cross getting crucified, as our good old friend did.
The great universal awakening
Awakening is a universal thing. Since we are all part of the same mind, we are all a part of the process, no matter what planet we are born on. As I see it there is a great universal awakening plan going on all under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. All beings that are starting to wake up and free themselves from the shadow on the wall are more or less consciously working on this enormous plan. And one day we will all wake up, returning home to the changeless peace of our fathers, and this world will dissolve to the nothingness from where it came. We will once again be in truth, in joy and in limitless, timeless love.