What Spiritual Awakening Reveals by Adyashanti

Reply Sun 8 May, 2016 04:48 pm
...but with the dawning of the awakening, this whole world begins to collapse. It's as if we lose the whole world as we knew it, and we lose our whole sense of self as we knew it...and at that moment, whether that moment is just a glimpse or that moment is something more sustained, at that moment we realize suddenly and with incredible clarity that what we are is in no way limited to who we thought we were and it's very difficult to define actually what we realize ourself to be in these moments of awakening. Many people describe it in many ways. Some would awaken to realize that they are awareness itself. Some would say that they are consciousness itself. I often say you wake up and realize that you are spirit...and all things and all beings are spirit as well. But with each of these descriptions, the mind creates another image. The mind creates another idea of what this ultimate truth or ultimate reality must be. And as soon as these images are created, they distort perception once again.

So in truth it's really impossible to describe exactly what the true nature of reality is, except to say it's not at all what we think it is. It's not what we've been taught it is and certainly we ourselves are nothing we could ever imagine ourselves to be because what we are is literally beyond all imagination, what we are is that which is watching, watching us pretending to be a separate person, a separate being. What we are is that which is continually partaking of all experience. What we really are is that which is awake to each and every instant, each and every moment, each and every experience. In awakening, what's revealed to us is that we are not a thing or a person, or an entity, that what we are is that which manifests as all things, all experiences, all personalities. We are that which dreams the whole world into existence.

From a mind held in a conventional view, with conventional ideas, this sort of notion is fanciful. It almost seems completely unreasonable and to such a mind, you can never convince such a mind that maybe what they perceive is literally being dictated by what they think because a human mind in a human body is very much like a computer. We all know there's computer games that are based on virtual reality, which means you programmed the computer that literally creates a whole world...and then if you are in the game, you go and you play the game in that world and that world has certain rules of how it's run and how it's not run, how things happen and how they don't happen, and what the goals of that world are, what the purpose of that world is, and what meaning of that world is, but that whole world is a virtual reality.

And in the same way, as human beings we get programmed, this is called our conditioning, or in the East, they might call it our karma, and this conditioning is literally that our systems are programmed, our minds are programmed, our bodies are programed, our senses and our perceptions are literally programmed, and part of that programing creates a virtual reality. It literally creates the world that we tend to see and perceive and it certainly creates the interpretation we make about what we see and what we perceive.

And so sadly most people, the vast majority of humanity will live their whole lives in a virtual reality. They'll live their whole life basically from a reality that's created from their own imagination. They will think the world is good, or the world is bad, or people should be like this, or people shouldn't be like this, or such and such shouldn't have happened and all the ways that our minds judge the world and condemn the world, and point fingers and grasp at it and push it away, all the ways that our mind gets caught in dualistic ideas like love and hate and anger and jealousy and pushing and pulling, all these ways that the mind gets caught and fixated, are not only mental fixations, are not only thoughts, but these thoughts and these beliefs literally give rise to perceptions. They color the way we see things.

And so very quickly in our lives as we grow up, we're literally taught to perceive our self as being separate from others. We're taught that we are essentially and in the deepest realm of our self that we are different from the world, that we and the world are two different things, that our neighbour, our parent, our friend, or even our dog or our cat are essentially something other than what we are. Well, on the surface of things, there is an obvious difference between a human being and a cat, or a parent and a child, a mother and a daughter, on the surfaces of things, there are certainly differences and yet these differences obscure an underlying reality, an underlying reality which is really what gives birth to the spiritual longing because this underlying reality always functions within us of an intuition or longing for connectivity, for union, to heal this imaginary split.

It's very important to understand that this split between oneself and others, oneself and the world, is purely imaginary. It's being perceived only because our minds have been taught to perceive that way. Our thinking along lines in which colors our perception but there are times, there are moments, when this whole virtual reality almost cracks, like an egg cracking, and a light comes through that crack, and at that moment when consciousness opens to something else. It's as if our spirit, our consciousness escapes this false confinement of virtual reality, of a virtual self and a virtual world, and at once recognizes and awakens to, or perhaps more accurately, literally remembers because this is what spiritual awakening is. It's really a remembering...
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