This is the second part of an articles series that talk about “How to Awaken to Self” – if you’ve landed directly on this page without reading the introductory article, I suggest you to read it now – click here.
First of all what is Awakening? What state of being are we referring to when we awaken to the Self? Adyashanti helps us with this answer:”…enlightment is simply a return to our natural state of existence, therefore to an non artificial state, that requires no effort or discipline in order to be maintained and that is not increased by manipulation of the mind or body: in other words, a completely natural and spontaneous state.”
If awakening is just a natural state of being, it means that until we’re asleep in our consciousness we’re in an unnatural state, artificially created by our ego. The main characteristic of the ego is controlling and manipulating ourselves, others and reality through thought processes and the body. For example now we are reading these words, probably we’re doing it quickly or distractedly, following the words with our eyes, and hearing them at the same time as a voice in our mind while reading. Lets dwell here for a moment and sincerely try to ask ourselves “what is inside of me that is reading these words in this moment?”, “while reading am I listening also to my body, can I hear the buzzing of my pc, of the road or of my washing machine?”, “am I reading these words with anxiety, or maybe am I comparing them to my beliefs, or maybe even am I commenting them while reading?”
If while reading these words (or any other article or book provided it doesn’t contain too much negativity) we cannot feel an increase of space of the present moment, of inner peace, of bliss or of expanded awareness, it’s because we’re identified in the controller and the manipulator. Maybe our mind is chasing the awakening state and therefore is trying to absorb everything as quickly as possible keeping us living in the future, or we’re reading every word slowly and at the same time we have a sort of demand of rationally understanding at all costs, of wanting to awaken (impossible for the ego because he cannot wake up or transform himself). The problem is that probbaly we’re using the controller and the manipulator inside of us to change our reality, and we don’t know how to exit this vortex of thoughts that keep us in the chains of matrix. Now we can logically deduce that it’s not possible to reach a natural state of being (awakening) through control and manipulation.
We face the same problem when we meditate: the mind is trying to control itself with exercises, mantras, visualizations, by following the breath, etc., but how can the ego control itself? Obviously practicing for a period of time some meditation techniques bring relaxation and even mystical experiences, but according to Adyashanti those do not represent awakening, and unfortunately may easily become an obstruction to enlightment.
What about all of those exercises (some are mentioned in this website) that use the mind to achieve certain results? We shouldn’t practice them? The exercsies are ok, but it depends why you’re doing them. If you want to resolve a trauma, that’s ok, but if we want to awaken to our Self we need to give up all that is connected to the surface of our Being. Concentrating for example on the light for healing purposes or to purify the subtle bodies is ok, but in terms of awakening, concentrating on light means controlling the experience, or maybe as someone would rather say, we’re creating our reality. Also in this case creating reality is ok, but we’re not trying here to create reality, but to SEE it.
If we are asleep with our eyes open convinced that we’re seeing reality, when in truth we’re looking at it through the eye’s of our ego, wouldn’t it be better to first see the reality with our spirit, and then create? This said, I don’ t want to state that we cannot create for example the life of our dreams thrugh dedication and passion in our job, even if we’re not yet awakened. I would only like to emphasize how important is putting as our first priority our own awakening in comparison to other priorities, that usually we give more importance to in life.
Frequently we think that for Awakening to manifest we need time, hours a day to meditate, a Master, etc., and certainly those who have this are advantaged, but only if they have the right attitude towards the awakening process. An important step to let go of control and manipulation is to allow that all is as is. How much time do we have to have every day to allow such a thing?
Here are some questions that could help us in this:
- am I accepting my financial situation in this moment or am I judging/denying/resisting it?
- am I accepting my body or am I judging/denying/resisting it?
- am I accepting my partner/kids/parents in this moment or am I judging/denying/resisting them?
- am I accepting the political situation in my country or am I judging/denying/resisting it?
- am I accepting injustice/sufferings in my life or am I judging/denying/resisting them?
Accepting doesn’t mean being remissive, to surrender or to sacrifice ourselves – this is a reaction of the ego who will never understand what does “allow all that is as is” mean. Accepting means giving up our ideas about the world, about ourselves and about others and is about being here and now in peace. We need to accept our impotence of being unable to change the world as we believe is right, giving up in this way our idea of omnipotence of our ego. That is how we stop nourishing the worlds astral body with negative energy and we reduce our own suffering and burden, but most of all we reduce the power of the controller and of the manipulator inside of us.
What would happen if we let go of our wanting to change something at all costs?
Also in this case I don’t want to say that there isn’t anything to change in our world, because we can certainly notice bad attitudes almost everywhere, but according to you, can the change be made more efficiently through our ego or through our Higher Self?
If we believe we can do it better through the Force of our Spirit, then we have to commit daily in knowing Him, and one of the mandatory steps to realize the Self is to let go of ego control and manipulation.