I keep returning to this topic.
What we are can awaken to itself and all is recognized as the play of awareness, as emptiness in the form of awakeness and it’s play of form. Everything is happening on it’s own.
At the same time, this human self is here and there may be many parts of this human self that’s still not aligned with reality. From it’s previous life within identification as an I, it has wounds, beliefs, stored trauma and more. And the movement is for all of these parts to come to awareness and align with reality. These parts – these voices or subpersonalities – still live partly within confusion, and seek clarity. They wish to be liberated from their suffering.
This can play itself out in several ways.
What we are may continue to recognize itself, these parts surface, and they are seen as just the play of awareness. This in itself may help them align with reality, but it may not be completely sufficient.
What we are may continue to recognize itself, these parts surface, and there is a recognition that these parts seek clarity, resolution and liberation from suffering. So they are met as we would meet any being who suffers and seek clarity. We meet it with whatever wisdom and kindness is here. We listen to it and how it experiences its world. We hold space for it’s suffering and allow it to flow through. We invite it to inquire into its beliefs about the world and find what’s more true.
Sometimes, there may be a fading of the overall clarity and a reidentification as a separate I. This allows these parts to surface and really be taken seriously because there is no escape. When they surface, they fill our whole world and the only way “out” is through. The only way out is to feel the feelings. Listen to the stories of confusion and inquire into them to find what’s more true. Meet these suffering parts of us, these suffering beings, with love. So this fading is really in itself an expression of love. For some of us, it’s what’s needed for these suffering human parts to find liberation from their suffering.
I suspect that the first of these three won’t last. It’s very understandable if it happens. The suffering parts are recognized as just the play of awakeness. It’s all fine as it is. And yet, the movement seems to be towards a fuller embodiment of the awakening, and that happens through an ongoing healing, maturing and alignment with reality of our human body/psyche. And this healing, maturing and alignment can only happen through a willing and intentional participation in the process. Some of it will happen naturally, but there is also a need for consciously joining with the process.
The second may require a dose of maturity. What we are is awake to itself, and intentionally joins with the process of reorganizing our human self in a deep and profound way.
The third is probably quite common. There is a real initial awakening, and it fades so more of our human self can heal, mature and align with reality. The fading gives us no other way out, which is a blessing even if it may not initially appear as one. As there is a conscious recognition of and joining with this process, the belief that awakening is preferable may also erode and perhaps fall away. The fading is not a mistake and nothing went “wrong”. It’s just another expression of love. It’s a natural process.
Note: Most spiritual practices invite our human self to heal, mature and align more with reality, so in that sense they do some – or much – of this work prior to any awakening.
Note 2: The initial awakening – what we are recognizing itself – can happen in a flash and at any time. Nothing is really required. And when I write “awareness” it includes more than that. First, there is experience, and when I look I find that experience is the play of awareness, it’s what happens within and as awareness. When I look at awareness, it happens within/as ….. something it’s difficult to point to with words, but capacity, emptiness, void etc. is often used.
Note 3: What surfaces are usually tied to unresolved things from the past, so the stories surfacing are either explicitly about the past, or indirectly about the past and projected into the future or present. A part of me is still stuck there and attention is drawn to it as an invitation for it to release – through feeling the feelings and writing down and inquire into the beliefs behind it. I can understand more of what happened, why I did what I did based on beliefs I had at the time, and what I would do differently now.
Note 4: I find a beauty in the ongoing process of it all. It can always be more clear. There is always more surfacing to heal, mature and align with reality. So both the “up” part of clarity and the “down” part of our human self maturing is an ongoing process, free of any end point.
Note 5: Some folks seem resistant to acknowledging that our human self undergoes a process of healing, maturing and aligning within awakening, or after a nonabiding awakening. I wonder why that is? In the case of Joel (CSS), I almost get the impression that he is concerned that such an acknowledgment will cause people to misunderstand the nature of awakening. To me, it seems that a fuller picture can only be helpful. For instance, emphasizing that it’s an ongoing process helps keep the focus here and now instead on images or fantasies about a “goal” somewhere out there in the future (although that can be helpful too, when it’s recognized as a projection and what’s projected is found to be here).
Note 6: Seeing these surfacing bubbles of confusion as beings can be very helpful, which is why approaches such as active imagination, voice dialog and the Big Mind process have been developed, and it happens naturally through dreams, fascination with stories, and also when we put our own subpersonalities on people in our lives. It’s also helpful in exploring how we relate to them. If a friend comes to me with her confusion and suffering, how would I like to respond? How would it look if I respond from whatever wisdom and kindness is available to me?
So, for instance, if I stay in my own clarity – and recognize that what’s happening for the other being is just the play of awareness – without doing anything else, would that be very helpful or kind? Wouldn’t it be more helpful to meet the being, to invite a situation where that being is more likely to find resolution and clarity? And if that’s the case, how would it be to do the same for the suffering beings surfacing within me?
Note 7: Who – in my mind – exemplify these three? Some nondual folks exemplify the first approach. Byron Katie exemplify the second. And I – and probably many more – exemplify the third.
Note 8: The Big Mind process is an approach that explicitly meet these confused parts, and help them align more with reality so they can find liberation from their suffering. The Work does the same, when I answer from the place where the belief is held.
Note 9: When thoughts surface I really believe, meeting it as a friend can feel – at first – as going against the grain. There is identification with the thought and it’s viewpoint, so it doesn’t appear as an “other” to meet.
- what and who we are
- what awakens to itself – all recognized as God, God’s will etc.
- who we are still have parts that are not aligned with reality – wounds, beliefs, stored trauma etc.
- the voice of who we are may not quite reach what we are
- so what we are covers itself up to allow the voice of who we are to be heard
- may feel like it’s going backwards, but it’s just the divine returning for itself so more can align with reality
- goes from transcendence (reality notices itself, what it is) to the process of embodiment, more of the human more aligned with reality – ongoing process
- sun and flashlight
- head awakening, transcendent, sun
- may overlook what still wants to align with reality, the parts of the human/animal still out of alignment with reality, smaller light – flashlight
- so the sun may fade so the flashlights become visible
- (smaller voices, don’t reach up)
I keep returning to this topic. It gives my thoughts some reassurance about what’s happening, and there is also more to see here.
It’s also possible that for these parts to surface and be met in this way, there must be a fading of overall clarity and
If we see these suffering parts of us as suffering beings, which they in some ways are, it’s is perhaps similar to meeting a suffering being and staying in our own clarity without offering any real assistance.
The healing, maturing and aligning of our human self is an ongoing process. And it’s the same with clarity, it can always be more clear. So both the “up” part of clarity and the “down” part of our human self maturing is ongoing, free of any end point.