I Want to Wake Up – But Just Not Yet!
The Truth about Awakening
If you are radically honest with yourself for a moment, have all your efforts to unearth Awakening and Self-Realization really paid off? Despite your daily meditations, retreats, bodywork, readings or whatever else you have been dedicating yourself to, have you experienced Awakening, temporarily or permanently?
My Calling first revealed itself early in my childhood. Not that I knew what Calling was at that time, but I do remember having an inner prompting, an understanding that dawned in my awareness regarding wanting to live to my potential, to be fully alive and awake. With Calling, as I now know, there is always a focus within as well as a way to serve outwardly. This idea of realizing my human potential captivated me.
After that initial awareness, I began to notice certain patterns in my life that kept appearing, reminding me of this initial calling. As I got older, I began studying any teachings that I could find, ancient as well as new, to develop my understanding.
I quite naturally devoured every book I could use to uncover the hidden truths about the nature of human possibility. There was one term that kept showing up. This word, along with its various synonyms, was ‘Enlightenment’. Ah, I thought, a true mystery!
I read autobiographies and ancient religious and spiritual texts, attended numerous satsangs and talks, and began my own process of spiritual unfolding. Gradually I began to see that there was something more real, more true, behind the normal, everyday life that most people experience.
Yet no matter what I did in my own process of seeking, the realization of the Self, of my oneness with all that is, with awakening to the Truth, always escaped me. I had been a devout seeker since my childhood. Why was this state of Self-realization, of Awakening, so illusive after all these years? Why is it so obvious to the spiritual masters, and yet somehow missed by the rest of us?
What blocks Awakening?
Throughout my years of study, I have learned all I could from the many awakened spiritual teachers I have followed. They quite commonly used the phrase, “you are already awake!” I thought to myself, if that is true, then why am I not experiencing it? Why don’t I know this?
So why isn’t it easy to awaken, to realize the Self?
Self-realization – knowing your own true nature – is the Truth that transcends all ego-illusions. This is the mystery of human potential revealed. This wisdom of spiritual liberation contained within the various traditions and teachings throughout the history of humankind, is readily available, as are the various techniques aimed at spiritual realization.
So what is the block? The primary deterrent to true Self-realization is quite simple. As a result of ego-distorted misinterpretations of spiritual truths, we continually look in the wrong places. Though this Truth is simple and always present, the ego-mind quite brilliantly takes hold of this truth, re-interpreting and re-directing the attention to more self-serving goals.
The underlying belief held often subconsciously is that if you awaken, your \life will no longer remain within your comfort zone and most likely, even be completely disrupted. You will no longer be in control. Deep down there is the belief that you will somehow lose your desires, your lifestyle and even your ambition.
There is of course truth to this, but not in the way it is often believed. Ego-mind views only its own conditioned desires. From this perspective, anything that will interrupt the normal flow is a threat. Survival being the primary mission of the ego-mind, it quite naturally creates a diversion instead to maintain the status quo.
The actual shift that occurs with true awakening, with self-realization, is from ego-based controlled living, to the universal life, Divine Presence, living through us. This state of Awakening quite naturally brings about a subtle shift from ego-generated illusion to that which is Real.
However, the ego-mind’s interpretation is like a death sentence. Life is going to fall apart! I know that for some people, this may sound like good news, however the ego-mind interprets this quite differently. Conditioned mind likes running the show and have everything “on course”.
Now, to trace this stance of resistance, if you truly search your heart, you will most likely discover a “not yet” residing deep within you. This “not yet”, perhaps on the fringe of consciousness, is quite natural. The fear is that awakening will literally destroy your life. So even though you want it, at the same time, part of you doesn’t.
This “not yet” is simply nothing other than a resistance to what is. Ego-mind functions by resisting what is. Thriving on conflict, the ego-mind always keeps life in motion. Driven by ego-mind, we are usually caught in an endless loop, caught in the past and thinking the future will be better than the present.
Most people know no other way. Ego-based living is simply the way it is. Yet, in the ancient texts and new age thought, there continuously emerges a new understanding that often breaks through the veil of illusion created by ego-mind. Once discovered, the yearning for Truth ignites.
The only way ego-mind (or I like to call it conditioned mind also) can resist the inherent destiny to awaken is to create a hidden disclaimer. Yes, awakening is what life is all about, so let’s focus to “getting there”! Secretly driven by this reasoning Awakening becomes a future goal – a ‘Not Yet’. A brilliant strategy of the ego, the inevitable Awakening is made into some future event. Welcome to the ranks of the perpetual seeker.
The truth is, as the spiritual masters have said, we are already awake. Yet, being focused to ego-based delusions, driven and preoccupied with fears of survival, awakening must take a backseat. Always present, yet never noticed due to the continual ever-changing nature of reality, we seek awakening everywhere, but where it is.
While there is no specific “strategy” that can help (or really any spiritual techniques either), inquiring into this “not yet” can totally reveal, if you stick with it, the truth behind the ego-illusion. There is no such thing as “not yet”, or future or past for that matter. Eternal Divine presence is always right now.
The ‘Finders’ know that it is the actual act of seeking that keeps one from the realization of Self. Wanting, seeking, meditating, buying the next book, always on the run, seeking this mystery keeps us in this habitual loop.
Are you ready to awaken? Are you ready to stop seeking? Are you ready to stop inflating your ego with all the devout spiritual acts you perform? The truth is, there is nothing in awakening for the ego. So the real question before you is – do you really want to awaken or feel proud to be a seeker?
Awakening is always present, always now, always simple. It is the most natural state of pure awareness. It dawns when you stop seeking it – what an ironic twist! Life in the state of awakening also remains just as it is, yet is totally different, liberated, vibrating in tune with Divine flow.
A common experience of those who awakening has blessed is to initially say, wait, this is it! Nothing has changed. I have been here all along. Yes, this is the experience for it is life itself and your true essence which hasn’t gone anywhere. It has always been here, every moment of your life, more in background behind all your seeking and busyness.
Unfortunately, there is nothing I can offer to you to create this sacred opening. I can say, “Not yet” holds the key. Examine this gently without a goal to get somewhere. As you do, you will find that you can drop into silence, the source of awakening. Next time, when you find yourself seeking again, let it go, drop into the present and become the Finder of Awakening that you already are.
Blessings and Gratitude.