Why are there so many ideas & misconceptions about awakening?

Why are there so many ideas and misconceptions about awakening?

One reason is that it’s relatively rare. If it was more common, there would also be more general clarity about what it is and isn’t.

It’s also because it’s intangible, and that gives room for a wide range of different ideas about it.

Among a few, there is perhaps some vested interest in perpetuating some of the myths around it.

Mainly, when we operate from separation consciousness and are interested in awakening, we tend to put our dreams and fantasies onto it. We imagine or hope it will give us what we imagine we, as a separate self, need: a state of bliss, freedom from challenges, elevated status, being saved, extraordinary abilities, and so on.

Since I have written about the other ones in other articles, I’ll focus on its intangible nature here.

The intangible nature of awakening

If we have a physical object, we can use our senses to explore it. We see, touch, taste, use a microscope or other tools, and so on. In most cases, it’s something we can all see and explore, and we can share photos, videos, and so on to share our experiences with others. It’s tangible.

If we have a psychological phenomenon, it’s immediately more intangible. It may still be something we can experience, study, do research on, and so on, but its intangible nature makes it more difficult. It opens for more speculation, fantasies, and difficulties in sharing what we find and checking what others find. It’s not impossible, just more nebulous by nature.

When it comes to awakening, it’s even more intangible. Awakening is not even a typical psychological dynamic like a thought, emotion, attachment pattern, or developmental phase. It’s finding ourselves as capacity for the world as it appears to us, as what our experiences – and all phenomena – happens within and as.

With physical things, there may be different opinions, views, experiences, and so on. Blind people touching different parts of an elephant will report different things. With psychological phenomena, the variation of experiences, findings, and ideas and interpretations about it is even wider since it’s more intangible. And when it comes to awakening, it’s even more intangible and apparently open for interpretations and ideas.

I say apparently because this is true only in a certain sense. The wild diversity is only true if we approach it and try to understand awakening within thought. Here, just about anything (apparently) goes since it’s not grounded in direct realization.

If it is grounded in direct realization, it becomes simpler. What we find is universal. Although we may express it using slightly different words, it all points to the same. And if it’s realized here, we tend to immediately recognize it when it’s recognized and expressed over there, through someone else.

DRAFT

Why are there so many ideas and misconceptions about awakening?

One reason is because it’s intangible.

If we have a physical object, we can use our senses to explore it. We see, touch, taste, use a microscope or other tools, and so on. In most cases, it’s something we can all see and explore, and we can share photos, videos, and so on to share our experiences with others. It’s tangible.

If we have a psychological phenomenon, it’s immediately more intangible. It may still be something we can experience, study, do research on, and so on, but its intangible nature makes it more difficult. It opens for more speculation, fantasies, and difficulties in sharing what we find and checking what others find. It’s not impossible, just more nebulous by nature.

When it comes to awakening, it’s even more intangible. Awakening is not even a typical psychological dynamic like a thought, emotion, attachment pattern, or developmental phase. It’s finding ourselves as capacity for the world as it appears to us, as what our experiences – and all phenomena – happens within and as.

With physical things, there may be different opinions, views, experiences, and so on. Blind people touching different parts of an elephant will report different things. With psychological phenomena, the variation of experiences, findings, and ideas and interpretations about it is even wider since it’s more intangible. And when it comes to awakening, it’s even more intangible and apparently open for interpretations and ideas.

I say apparently because this is true only in a certain sense. The wild diversity is only true if we approach it and try to understand awakening within thought. Here, just about anything (apparently) goes since it’s not grounded in direct realization.

If it is grounded in direct realization, it becomes simpler. What we find is universal. Although we may express it using slightly different words, it all points to the same. And if it’s realized here, we tend to immediately recognize it when it’s recognized and expressed over there, from someone else.

A fuller picture

So why are there so many ideas and misconceptions about awakening?

I chose to focus on its intangible nature here, and how that gives room for a wide range of different ideas about it.

There is, of course, more to this question. I’ll mention it briefly here without going into detail.

It’s also because it’s relatively rare. If it was more common, there would also be more general clarity about what it is and isn’t.

Among a few, there is perhaps some vested interest in perpetuating some of the myths around it.

Mainly, when we operate from separation consciousness and are interested in awakening, we tend to put our dreams and fantasies onto it. We imagine or hope it will give us what we imagine we, as a separate self, need: a state of bliss, freedom from challenges, elevated status, being saved, extraordinary abilities, and so on.

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