Awakening doesn’t have anything to do with spirituality or religion

This is true in one sense, and not another.

AWAKENING DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH SPIRITUALITY OR RELIGION

Awakening doesn’t depend on spirituality or religion. It’s what we already are noticing itself.

It’s about noticing what we are to ourselves in our own first-person experience, and then see how it is to live from this noticing.

For me, I find my nature more fundamentally is capacity for the world as it appears to me, for all the content of my experience. My nature, or “I”, am what all my experiences – of this human self and the wider world – happen within and as.

Noticing this doesn’t require or depend on any spirituality or religion. It’s something that will, in some cases, happen naturally. It’s already here. It’s about noticing what’s here.

AWAKENING DOES HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH SPIRITUALITY OR RELIGION

At the same time, awakening does obviously have something to do with spirituality and religion.

Some aspects of spirituality and religion reflect insights from awakening and the life that happens naturally within awakening. Although most or nearly all of it is partially obscured by culture and tradition, and the assumptions and misconceptions of people who were more focused on philosophy than immediate noticing.

Some aspects of spirituality and religion are aimed at helping us mimic living from noticing what we are. This can include guidelines for living, and it often includes heart-centered practices.

Some aspects of spirituality and religion are pointers and practices inviting us to notice for ourselves what we are and our more fundamental nature.

HELPFUL DISTINCTION

For me, this is a helpful – although perhaps very obvious – distinction.

Awakening itself doesn’t have anything to do with spirituality, religion, or anything within culture. It’s more fundamental than that.

Also, the pointers and practices within spirituality and religion are not awakening. At most, they only invite us to discover it for ourselves. In this context, they don’t have more value than a sign pointing us in a certain direction.

And certain aspects of spirituality and religion do reflect awakening and point to awakening.

WHAT IF WE WISH TO NOTICE FOR OURSELVES?

What’s the practical side of this? What if we want to explore what we are in our own first-person experience?

Does that require spirituality or religion?

The answer may be yes and no.

Sometimes, what we are spontaneously notices itself without any previous conscious interest or guidance. (That’s what happened in my case as an atheist teenager with no interest in these things.)

Sometimes, we may find helpful practical pointers that work well in themselves. For instance, Headless experiments, the Big Mind process, and Living Inquiries. These may rest on or be inspired by certain spiritual traditions or religions, but as an explorer, we don’t need to even know about that for it to work.

And sometimes, we may choose to get involved in a spiritual or religious group and tradition for the additional support this gives us. If we do, it can be especially helpful to remember that awakening – in itself – doesn’t depend on spirituality or religion. It’s simpler and more immediate than that.

DRAFT

AWAKENING DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH SPIRITUALITY OR RELIGION

There is some truth to that statement, although it’s not the whole picture.

Yes, awakening doesn’t require or depend on spirituality or religion.

It’s about finding what we already are in our own first-person experience.

When I explore what I am in my experience, I find I am ultimately capacity for the world as it appears to me. I am what my world, all my experiences, happen within and as. And there isn’t any “I” there even if I often use that word to make it sound a bit more conventional and approachable.

This is how it is independent of any spirituality or religion. Even if there was no spirituality or religion, it would be this way and people would happen upon this discovery.

Life would still notice this aspect of itself through humans and perhaps other beings in the universe.

And awakening is also connected with spirituality and religion.

Many aspects of spirituality and religion reflect this discovery. Or, at the very least, a noticing of what we are partly obscured by unquestioned assumptions. Some forms of spirituality and religion are aimed at guiding us to mimic living from this noticing even if we don’t yet notice. And some elements within some forms of spirituality and many religions are aimed at guiding us to notice it for ourselves.

……

AWAKENING DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH SPIRITUALITY OR RELIGION

We can see this in two ways.

Awakening doesn’t depend on spirituality or religion. It’s what we already are noticing itself.

It’s about what we are to ourselves in our own first-person experience.

Also, the pointers and practices from spirituality and religion may be aimed at setting the stage for awakening, or for mimicking the effects of awakening in our life. And in themselves, they are not awakening. The words cannot capture it at all, only point to certain things.

…..

Although most or nearly all of it is also partially obscured by assumptions and beliefs, either from the originator or more often from later followers.

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