We all have images of the divine, and we relate to them in different ways. We can recognize them as images, or we operate from them without noticing what’s happening. We can use these images to comfort or scare ourselves or we dismiss them as fantasies. We may think they reflect something out there or use them as a mirror for what’s here now.
The most obvious images are the ones we know from the different religions. God is a blue boy, an old man with a beard, a fertile woman, and so on. Sometimes, we recognize these as metaphors and images and as reflecting what’s here now. Other times, we take them more literally.
Images of the divine in the awakening process
In an awakening process, we also have these images.
Our images may be of awakening and Spirit as something particular. For instance, we may imagine awakening will solve our challenges and discomfort. And we may imagine Spirit or the divine as what we at a personal level like (peace, joy, insights, clarity) and not so much the rest (discomfort, illness, confusion, challenges). We may even know it’s not like that, and still cling to some of these images – almost without noticing – as a kind of comfort and promise of something better in the future.
The awakening process is, among other things, a process of continued disillusionment.
One of these disillusionments is recognizing we are holding onto hopeful images of awakening and the divine, that we hold onto them for comfort and to avoid what’s here now, that this doesn’t work in the long run, and that there is a way that’s kinder and more aligned with reality.
How do we work with this?
A good start is recognizing the images we have and partially operate from. For instance, that awakening means that we arrive at a place without discomfort, challenges, and unpleasantness. And that although Spirit is all, it’s not so much the discomfort, pain, and suffering.
I using these examples since this is something I am looking at for myself these days.
Just by looking at those images, we may see that they don’t quite make sense. For instance, if Spirit is all, then it’s ALL – including what I at a personal human level don’t enjoy so much. Including what’s here right now that my personality doesn’t like.
How would it be to embrace all of what’s here as the divine?
Can I say YES to it as it is?
Also, how would it be to intentionally change my images to include all?
And what do I find when I examine these images, for instance through Living Inquiries?
Wait a minute, are you saying you recognize all as the divine and don’t at the same time?
Yes. I can easily recognize all my experience as happening within and as what I am. It’s all happening within and as this awakeness.
At the same time, parts of my personality sometimes struggle with my experience – with certain scary thoughts and sensations, and the life situations triggering these. And this is supported by the images mentioned above, which are sometimes conscious and sometimes less so.
It’s part of the messiness of being human and the embodiment process.