Awakened or not – no, it’s not that clear cut

 

Talking about awakening in either/or terms can be useful. There is some truth to it, and it makes it simple and highlights the differences.

But there are important nuances and grey zones which either/or tends to gloss over.

We can have intuitions. Glimpses which are never completely forgotten. Periods of genuine awakening followed by returning veils. A genuine noticing of what we are with some thin veils covering. Or a genuine awakening within which there is temporary confusion and getting caught up in beliefs, emotions and habitual patterns.

In any case, if there is a genuine and apparently stable awakening, it is always filtered and expressed through a human self. One that is not quite healed, and more or less mature, experienced, and skilled in the different areas of life.

As Byron Katie says, a stable awakening is a story about the future. And we are really awake or not to whatever thought comes up here and now.

Which is why I am slightly puzzled that teachers at our local group (Center of Sacred Sciences) tends to talk about awakening as an either/or situation without acknowledging the inevitable grey zones.

Yes, there may be a clear recognition  of what is. Yes, it may seem relatively stable over time. But there is more going on. There is a lifelong process of allowing our human self soak in it, allowing it to heal, realign, and mature within it. And there will be periods where wounds are triggered causing identification with habitual viewpoints, identities, and reactive emotions.

This is why I was happy to see that one of the teachers at the Center did acknowledge this recently. Here is what he wrote in an addition to his account of awakening.

I acknowledge that I’ve seen Pure Consciousness to be the only True Reality, and I’ve awoken from the belief that I’m a separate self. But, I also need to acknowledge that it seems like there are times of “temporary insanity” when old, conditioned patterns aren’t seen through, and actions arise out of old habits of self-centered conditioning. The more honesty I have about all of this, then freedom from these patterns seems easier to attain.

Note: Veils = identification as an “I”, and getting caught up in and identifying with/as beliefs, emotions, habitual patterns.

Note2: Where people are at in this process is relatively easy to see in their auras. With Joel, the senior teacher at the Center, there is a seasoned clarity and self-awareness throughout the aura. With the teacher who wrote the paragraph above, there is the same clarity and self-awareness throughout the aura, although it is just a tiny bit “dulled”. It needs more time to clarify completely. (I noticed this when they sat next to each other at an event last summer). Looking at the energy systems of the other students, it is interesting to see the varying degrees of self-awareness throughout their auras. Most often, there is more awareness in the space around the body (going out a few feet), and less self-awareness further out (5-15 feet). For some, the self-awareness stretches out further, even infinitely, although – again – often slightly dulled. There are still some thin veils there.

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  • stable awakening, a story about the future
    • awake, not awake, stable awakening
      • too coarse, gloss over sliding transitions + co-existence of noticing and confusion
    • byron katie – awake to a story or not, much more accurate, precise
    • fred, good example
      • noticed clearly
      • yet still caught up in some stories
      • an ongoing process before and within awakening
        • exploring, clarifying, inquiry
        • explore how to live from it, learn skills
        • heal, mature as human being in the world
    • in general
      • whether believe or not
      • can confine oneself (emotions, thoughts, actions) through habitual stories, not questioned/explored thoroughly
      • see that in some spiritual teachers – seem a little stale, predictable, confined in their teachings

………….

When we talk about awakening in either/or terms,

…….

Which is why I sometimes find it odd when our local group (Center of Sacred Sciences) pronounce some students as “awakened”

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…….
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draft….

Talking about awakening in either/or terms can be useful. It makes it simple. Clear cut. We get to highlight the differences.

But it can also be misleading since there are large grey areas here.

We can have intuitions. Glimpses. Periods of genuine awakening followed by veils coming back. A clear and genuine noticing of what we are, with some thin veils covering. Genuine awakening within which there is confusion and getting caught up in beliefs, emotions and habitual patterns.

And if there is a genuine and apparently stable awakening, it is always filtered and expressed through a human self that is not quite healed in certain areas, at varying levels of maturity in the different areas of life, and with varying degrees of experience in different areas of practice and life. For instance, when areas that are not quite healed are triggered, temporary confusion and identification with stories and emotions may take over.

As Byron Katie says, a stable awakening is a story about the future. And we are not “awakened” or not in a general sense, but to a story. When there is identification with/as a story, we are not awakened to that story. And when we recognize it clearly as just a story, an object in awareness, a guide of practical, temporary, and limited function only, we are – perhaps – awakened to that story.

So a stable awakening is a story about the future. And awakening is a story about the present.

Useful in a limited way. But it still glosses over a great deal of what may be going on.

Which is why I sometimes find it odd when our local group (Center of Sacred Sciences) talks about awakening as an either/or thing, and also when they pronounce some students as suddenly  “awakened” without acknowledging the many grey zones.

Yes, there may be a clear recognition there of what is. Yes, it may seem relatively stable over time. But there is more going on. There is still a lifelong process of allowing our human self soak in it, allowing it to heal, realign, and mature within it. And there will be periods where wounds are triggered causing identification with habitual viewpoints, identities, and reactive emotions. There are still habitual patterns created within confusion and identification, and with receptivity and intention these may weaken and wear off within the awakening. But there is no guarantee that either of these happen. It is all about continued receptivity, intention, inquiry, and practice.

Trigger: One of the teachers at the Center acknowledging this in an addition to his account of awakening.

I acknowledge that I’ve seen Pure Consciousness to be the only True Reality, and I’ve awoken from the belief that I’m a separate self. But, I also need to acknowledge that it seems like there are times of “temporary insanity” when old, conditioned patterns aren’t seen through, and actions arise out of old habits of self-centered conditioning. The more honesty I have about all of this, then freedom from these patterns seems easier to attain.

Note: Veils = identification as an “I”, getting caught up in and identifying with/as beliefs, emotions, habitual patterns.

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