Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Awakening ain't what it's cracked up to be (so let's all take a chill pill, huh?)

Dear reader,

I have said before that this blog is “not as advertised.” This is the truth, but not due to any intent to mislead on my part. When I said that, I was merely referring to the philosophical bugaboo that some of us humans like to dress up in civilized clothes and domesticate for our own uses: the fact that nothing is what it appears to be. It’s a nice conversation piece, a curiosity, sometimes a way to prove that we are in on a deeper level of understanding of how things are. We wink about it, or we glance at it suspiciously, but we don’t normally apprehend the true meaning of it. It’s another notion in the great marketplace of notions, all competing for our belief. I obviously don’t want to play that game here, and to the extent that it gets exposed to me, I will cease to participate in it.

I’m not sure who said it – maybe J. Krishnamurti, probably Anthony de Mello – but to paraphrase the quote: “Before you can wake up, you must accept the fact that you do not want to wake up.”

I don’t know how true that is, but not wanting to wake up is indeed our default setting. It’s our comfort zone. Which can go a long way toward explaining why awakening is so often triggered by pain and suffering and pointlessness. These push us beyond our comfort zone and get us asking the questions that drive our journey.

It’s become clear to me – quite suddenly – that there are, after all, two kinds of awakening: awakening within the dream, and awakening from the dream. In the former, there is an experience that we may quite appropriately label as an awakening event or process. Something that used to hold us back gets resolved; we reach a new plateau in spiritual development; we let go of old beliefs and adopt new ones; a realization that used to be theoretical begins to come alive in us; we encounter a revolutionary new perspective or teaching that expands our worldview in unprecedented ways; our senses are opened to a new level; we perceive whole realms we didn’t know existed; we feel more aware and empowered. We may even experience a more or less dramatic change in the quality of our experience of earthly life as a result. This kind of awakening is not to be confused with the other. They are of different types altogether and cannot be put in the same category.

The second type of awakening is the one we’re mostly all avoiding. It’s in our nature to avoid it, given that it means the end of absolutely all comfort zones, safety lines, and guarantees from the perspective of the self we think we are. The only guarantee I’ve heard about it is that once you start, there really is no going back. This blog has not been about this second type of awakening – no matter how much anyone would like to believe that it has been – and there is no way that I am going to pretend to be your trustworthy guide to it. Quite simply, that would be impossible and would only be a counterfeit belonging to the first category. It is a solitary journey; I cannot hold your hand or travel it with you, as nice as that would be. Besides, I’m not even awake myself.

This blog was never my creation in the first place. I cannot presume to know its purpose, nor can I presume to know the purpose of anything at all. Well, actually, I can, but that would be a comforting lie. Awakening from the dream, as opposed to awakening within it, is a purely destructive process. It is the real meaning of the burning phoenix. Nothing of who you believed you were remains after the fact. It all has to go. The reason is because the underlying assumption of your entire subjective identity, the deep unconscious belief upon which all other beliefs rest, is false. But you are not to blame. Your senses, after all, seem to tell you the complete opposite of the truth in every moment.

Didn’t it ever occur to you why you never really found the true and lasting peace, assurance, power, abundance, and joy you were seeking? Even after all the awakenings, all the seeking, all the work? It’s because the same dream you’ve been dreaming all along is still your reality. It’s set up that way so that your only option, sooner or later, is to wake up from it. But hey, there’s no need to panic. Everything happens in its own time. You are not going to be punished from on high for not being awake. In light of the truth, that would be a ridiculous notion. So breathe easy. Do whatever you would do in any case. Wrongness, fortunately, is an optical illusion. Or so I gather. (grin)

What I would recommend for someone who is interested in this second awakening is a small book called Butterflies Are Free to Fly. I must warn you, do take heed of the warning in its pages. There is a point of no return along the way. The author will let you know. His words are not idle in this respect. My experience has borne this out, so do proceed past that point, if you decide to, with utmost self-honesty.

Your awakening phase, when it does show up, will not arrive by accident. A premature awakening is impossible. There is nothing shameful or less-than in being a dream-dweller, none whatsoever. You are what you are, a perfect creator’s perfect creation, no matter what you think you’ve earned as far as credits or demerits, no matter your perceived progress or lack thereof.

My gratitude, kinship, and respect go out to you, first for being just what you are. The fact that you are reading this is great, but that comes a far distant second. The words I write are not my own. I have not manifested you, and you have not manifested me. We exist as dream characters with no substantial existence of our own at all. The one who does exist, our infinite source, exists behind us players in the story. It's got our back more than we'll ever know. So no worries. Really.

Thanks for coming by. I hope I didn’t scare you too much. (wink) I will be back.

Your brother,

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