What Does it Mean to Be “Really” Awake?

They say this is the age of awakening. People everywhere are awakening to the hunger for knowledge. Now more than ever, we feel it.

There is more to life than what we have been living. There is more to life than a 9-5 job. Beyond our perception there are worlds and realities that exist, and we hunger for this knowledge. Yet, not all knowledge is true knowledge. In this age of the Internet, there is a lot of disinformation out there.

This might not be such a bad thing as it pushes us to strengthen our discernment muscle. In a time of grand deception, it is of utmost importance to be discerning. If our discernment is not sharp and present, we might think we are awake but actually we are just asleep, dreaming to be awake. So what does it mean to be really awake?

“Contrary to popular beliefs, this awakened state is not a constant feeling of “bliss” or ecstasy (even though there can be peak experiences like that), nor is it a “feeling” of love or happiness. It really transcends anything we usually experience in ordinary consciousness states that are related to emotions and feelings. Ultimately, it transcends the duality of pain and pleasure, happiness and suffering. There is a deeper, silent contentment, a grounded calmness and sense of peace, not depending on any external circumstances… a sense of slowing down and simplifying.

It’s a place of true freedom. Thoughts may still come and try to attach themselves, but it becomes easier to detach from them – to release from believing in them or identifying with them. This sense of detachmment is, however, not an intellectual form of dissociating, but an embodied recognition of one’s true nature in contrast to the illusion of thought (and who we “think” we are).

One recognizes that the mind is just a tool, a servant, but not be looked upon as the master/guide. It’s not about demonizing the intellect either, for it needs to go through its own transmutation to become an instrument for the Divine, accessing higher knowledge (Gnosis). We can also still “use” it in practical ways to live out our daily routines, since we didn’t just “check out” of our existence here on Earth; on the contrary, we are more involved with reality – more fully-embracing of life – and whatever this dance may bring in full conscious participation with the rhythms of life, we will participate in…without attachment and will-full doing. ” ~ Bernhard Guenther

Awakening to Inner Worlds

The world is created from the inside out. The primal movement starts within and moves outward to create this magnanimous thing called life. The inner world of man are infinite; the world of thought, the world of emotions, the world of dreams, and the world that we are sure exists, but do not know what that is. Then there is the breath, where everything connects, where all worlds begin and all worlds end.

Our inner world determines what we co-create in our outer world. This is the reason we as a species need to become familiar with and masters of our inner world. On one level war, poverty, abuse that we see on the global scale is a projection of what is going on in our inner world.

Inner World – Outer Reality

As each person awakens to their inner world, begins the inner work and healing and takes responsibility for what they co-create, we will see a shift in the outer world. It starts within and it starts with each person.

Doing the inner work involves many things and is unique to each person as we all have different lessons to learn and our own unique soul purpose and path. To look at it in an objective way, awakening to our inner world means, self-observation and a sincere self-inquiry based on self-observation.

Why am I thinking this? What is beneath this thought? Where is the thought originating from? What emotions do these thoughts bring up? What wounds are beneath these emotions? It is work, some say it is ‘the great work’ as it is not easy. It requires deep vigilance and at the same time a deep surrender.

And as we enquire and get to the root of things, we begin healing. We begin to feel the root cause of our suffering and as we begin to feel, we begin to heal. A wise man once said, feeling is healing. As we begin healing, we begin to take responsibility for all that we co-create with our higher selves, with each other and the larger forces of life.

“In right knowledge the study of man must proceed on parallel lines with the study of the world, and the study of the world must run parallel with the study of man.” ~ Gurdjieff

Awakening to the Outer World

We know the movement of our inner landscape determines what we co-create on the outside. Though, that is not it.

“Everything is within” can be a spiritual bypass. Inner and outer world are deeply and intricately connected, like the lover and the beloved. Just being aware of the inner world is not enough, even though it is an extremely vital part of awakening, it is incomplete without us awakening to what’s going on in the outer world.

This is because awakening also means an impeccable ability of an individual to respond to the world around. How do you respond to the world? To the events that take place in the world?

How do you respond on a day to day basis, to your loved ones, to animals and to yourself? How do you respond to the suffering of the world? Do you judge it or run away from it? Do you intellectually analyse it? Or are you actually able to give your undivided presence to the aching world?

Once we realise, how deeply our inner and outer worlds are connected, we can begin to take radical self-responsibility without playing the blame and shame game. We start to get grounded and show up authentically for ourselves and the world.

“True spirituality is not a high, not a rush, not an altered state. It has been fine to romance it for a while, but our times call for something far more real, grounded, and responsible; something radically alive and naturally integral; something that shakes us to our very core until we stop treating spiritual deepening as something to dabble in here and there.

Authentic spirituality is not some little flicker or buzz of knowingness, not a psychedelic blast-through or a mellow hanging-out on some exalted plane of consciousness, not a bubble of immunity, but a vast fire of liberation, an exquisitely fitting crucible and sanctuary, providing both heat and light for the healing and awakening we need.” ~ Robert Augustus Masters

Spiritual Bypassing

The Main Ingredient: A Relentless Commitment to Truth

“For only in the search for truth could my soul be stilled and the flame within be quenched.” ~ Thoth

This is the secret. A secret once known will flip the world upside down. A secret once known will ground our soul into our bodies. Many are waking up, and it is truly a beautiful thing to witness and experience. Everyone’s path is unique and different depending on each person’s wounds, lessons, abilities and gifts.

These are unique to each person as we all have different potentials and purposes. There is one thing that unites us, and that is the objective Truth. In times of grand and utter chaos, the only thing that has grounded me is a question I have asked myself ‘what is the truth’, ‘I want to know the truth’ for we suffer when we are far from the truth and when we give into illusions. The moment the truth is known, all suffering ceases, and we feel we have come home to ourselves, to the truth.

Even on the spiritual journey and in the spiritual community, it is easy to get lost in the games of ego. Awakening is not just about yoga, going to festivals and meditating, these are beautiful aspects of it but on a deeper level, awakening is about waking up to the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we have been living, individually and collectively.

And as the wise once said, the lies we tell ourselves are the hardest to detect and this is where things can get tricky and if we are sincere enough in our quest and yearning to awaken, this is exactly where things start to get real. And isn’t that what our soul truly yearns for – to be real, to be authentic and to be true?

Once a relentless commitment to the objective truth is born and strengthened within us, the fire within us ignites. It requires great courage because our first commitment is to the truth. The journey then moves beyond.

It’s not about me or you, it’s about the Truth and this is when we begin to truly come into service to something larger than our ego. This is when we truly start to come home and humble, for the truth will destroy all lies within and all that will be left is the eternal truth and our tendency to shine.

Once we commit to nothing but the truth, our world starts to break down and break open. And in this breaking down and breaking open, the true light enters our heart and for the first time we experience true love which is based on knowledge and truth.

“Love is not a behaviour, an attitude, a mannerism. It is not etiquette. It is not convention. Love may express itself in many different ways—softly or forcibly. Love can appear meek. Love can appear strong. Love can challenge you. Love can criticise you. Love can expose your illusions, your fantasies and your self-deception. Love is not what people really mean when they talk about love, in nearly all circumstances. Real love emanates from Knowledge. It, in essence, is the expression of Knowledge. Only Knowledge can take you there. Knowledge can bring two people from opposite ends of the world together for a greater purpose. That is the power of the Great Love. And the Great Love is what the world needs now. ~ Marshall V. Summers

Image Source

La medecine de la tortue vendu valeur by Caroline Maniere

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