Excerpts From Awakening True
Realizing the Core Principles of Genuine Spiritual Awakening
Awakening is not a morphing of what you actually are but of the perceiving of that. In waking up you see all as is rather than as is not. You now imagine yourself and the world to be specific things; that will collapse, with clear realization of what is showing up instead.
This is a seeing of simple isness, oneness, as the core and totality of all as well as the seeing the empty illusion that says you are a separate self, a “me”. Ultimately it is realized that even oneness is as empty of inherent reality as the “I” that is assumed to be the controlling entity of the body. This might seem to make no sense now, but it will.
Permanent transformative spiritual awakening is the spontaneous non-volitional (it happens without our conscious “doing”) surrender of our deeply-assumed-to-be-valid-and-true view of and beliefs about ourselves and our world. This can be shocking and overwhelming; revelatory and exciting. It is undeniable, unforgettable and irreversible. Spiritual teacher Adyashanti says it all: “It is the end of your world”.
How can this be?
You and what you call the world are not what it is imagined you and it actually are. There is no separate "you" and no separate "it". You and it are a single unified appearance.
The clear seeing and recognition of this is awakening. It may include many other things as well, yet the heart of it is the irrefutable experience of the realization of seamless continuity coupled with the absolute knowing that the “me” is imaginary. This is legitimate and authentic awakening. It's crucial to understand that both are required; if the recognition of either of these two fundamentals is absent then full awakening is also absent.
Awakening is permanent and on-going. It feels experiential and is, yet there is a great deal of depth and “moreness” to it. Once it happens, that's it. It can only expand, never contract. It can seem to contract, via thinking about it, and certainly we can re-believe any thoughts that appear, but awakening is always in place awaiting further open attention via the dissolving of untrue thinking.
Awakening is the ultimate lens cleaner.
How is it definitively determined that one has awakened rather than simply had powerful experiences labeled “spiritual”? This is the acid test:
If there is continued belief and investment in the false idea of a separate self or lack of realization of wholeness, awakening has not happened.
Awakening dissolves automatic and unexamined thoughts, changing all experience.
Before waking up, thoughts are believed and beliefs go unexamined; we arrange our entire lives around a closed feedback loop: current thoughts say that previous thoughts are legitimate. After, thoughts and beliefs are seen for what they are: ideas that show up with a little or a lot of attention and attachment but no serious scrutiny. With this, the decks are cleared of so much extraneous junk that lightness and freedom begin to break through. We have no idea what a heavy burden all of this is until it starts dissipating. Awakening begins that process and it continues indefinitely. What a relief! We end up in true gratitude, which means we end up wanting that which actually appears rather than what we imagined would appear.
Intellectualizing is an addiction and we are addicts.
Intellectualizing puts much of our life energy into thinking, ideas, fantasy, beliefs, past and future, sapping our ability to experience anything other. It will sink the possibility of awakening faster than anything else and more easily. How? “Thinking about” is the antithesis of looking, of open inquiry, which can happen only when intellectualizing does not.
It takes attention to see this, and resolve to curtail it. Just stop, many times in an hour, and ask “Am I intellectualizing, giving attention to thinking about? Reliving a past, imagining a future, daydreaming, focusing on thoughts?” The answer usually will be yes. Good to see this! It's not bad or wrong, just not what works here.
Direct non-intellectual experience is the name of the game. Not “thinking about”, not imagining or believing.
Wholeness never left, how could it? It's what we are. And since there never was an individual “I”, only an expanded and believed thought about one, all that's needed is to see that. Both of these seem tricky and odd, or even untrue, until they show up. Ludicrous to have seen them any other way once they do.
When we have not seen through the myth of a separate self we think it is what we are: a single and isolated part, and this muddy lens warps our every view.
Without experiencing spontaneous wholeness we don't know what anything actually is.
If either of these two is missing we remain in relative ignorance. With both fully and powerfully realized we begin to see clearly. And often the appearance of one triggers the other as they are ultimately the same, i.e., wholeness means there cannot be a separate self. This is not theoretical. Wholeness means the idea of a separate “me” is just that, an idea. It cannot manifest as an actual reality, an actual thing other than a thought.
Be on fire.
Look, in order to see.
Keep looking. And then look some more.
It takes what it takes, this awakening thing, and the biggest stimulator of that is a burning desire for freedom. Best advice: Be fully on fire to awaken. Want it more than wanting to stay in denial, more than the familiarity of slipping back into conceptualizing and suffering. If you don't, attention and commitment to thinking will kick back in and thoughts will tell their pretty or ugly and always beguiling stories; they'll take center stage and opportunity will dry up like a puddle in summer.
The alternative to this burning is doing what's always been done in the hope that waking up will show. And it might, no way to know.
If there is not complete honesty in this looking the life juice of it can drain away. This process feeds off of honesty as much as it feeds off of desire for without it nothing can be seen as it is, only as we think it is; only as we wish it to be or have imagined it to be. This is delusion. This is the insanity of unconsciousness.
Expectations: Regardless of what you think this awakening thing to be, it isn't. No matter how you imagine it, you will be wrong. Even if it shows up in an anticipated form it won't be what was anticipated. Waking up is always, simply and spontaneously, as it is. Buying into expectations is the purchase of a false and fantasized fulfillment.
Fear: On a deep level we already sense that there is some sort of singularity or wholeness in life and that the personal self is a fantasy. Yet we've lived almost our entire lives in ignorance of these, so looking now with clear eyes might feel threatening of the status quo and fear can easily appear, we back off and status quo continues. This can change.
Intellectualizing is a way of avoiding fear and the unknown. It is also used to “prove” we are right about something. And even when it's not, intellectualizing for most of us is simply the most frequently appearing and difficult hurdle to awakening. It is the default setting for many, as well as potentially showing up in a bombastic or overblown form when fear is present.
"Looking" is the cornerstone, the foundation, of encouraged spiritual awakening. Looking is a specific way to ponder, with attention and without attachment to thoughts that show up. It's the opposite of believing that thoughts are probably true and reflective of an objective and measurable reality. They are not. Looking can reveal this. This is a technique, a practice, wherein there is investigation and questioning of viewpoints, thoughts, ideas and beliefs. It is learning to be a master detective with one's interior as the explored territory. When looking is successful "seeing" arrives; this is experiential and non-intellectual, an abrupt or slow-growing permanent living insight.
Keep looking, and then look some more. This is the heart and center of it.
Theory never trumps experience and it's all theory until experience shows up.
This might be said to be the bottom line. To theorize awakening can smother it dead before it even has a chance. This is crucial to understand and put into practice. Theories and thinking about awakening will perhaps fuel desire for it but will not, cannot, make it happen.
Theories are simply longer and more detailed versions of thoughts and ideas, and when they get attention, focused looking gets nothing. Theories are complex, looking is simple. Look deeply, wait and then sit with what shows up.
This is all about curiosity, intention and intuition. Add fire and there's ignition.
Arouse your curiosity, hone your attention, allow your intuition. Meld these with your burning desire and awakening is but a breath away. Be open, be sensitive, be honest and determined and then fan the flames. It can happen.
Whatever shows up, if it is awakening you'll know. And if it isn't, you'll know that too. Perfect.