The footprints we leave danced in that awareness change the face of the earth, as all footprints do. Yet these create a path toward the freedom that is our birthright and the freedom from which they come.
As we know ourselves in the fullness of this light, all tendencies of separation and disconnection that have been born from forgetting or not knowing dissolve. The discipline to that service is a dance enabling an integrating force and undivided awareness through manifestation.
In part one of this series, we discussed the desire for permanence. Here we will focus on another aspect of being and becoming as it pertains to many of us who aspire toward greater realization.
Sudden vs. Gradual Awakening
Depending on where identity lies, there are many ways we can experience or speak about "step by step" or gradual and sudden awakenings. There is a fundamental difference between "trying to become" awakened and "awakening," waking up to itself. Trying to become awakened feeds the notion that there is a "someone" separate from the awareness and that there is something other to become. In that light, it obfuscates what we already are and what essentially need only be unveiled.
"Awakening," as a term of manifestation, is a process, and in time, gradual. Yet, everything happens now. Process is what we see when we look backward. There is nothing but this... now. What appears to be gradual is the realization of that fact in time.
Realization in time enables an integrated and consciously-embodied awareness through each arising condition. Life in all of its infinitely diverse and challenging conditions is an invitation to remembering ever deeper, less conditionally, and more consciously, what we already and always are.
There is much that has been mythologized in the consciousness-raising cultures and satsang communities about "sudden awakenings." Sudden awakenings may provide people with awareness "that can never be reversed," but when there are wounds, habits and thought patterns that have not been investigated or faced with the light of that awareness, and they are triggered in moment to moment embodiment through new arising conditions in life, and there is no understanding of the mechanism involved and how to recognize what is triggered before it takes hold, the "mechanism" can run amok and the same reactivity can occur and shadow material can play out.
An awakened awareness will not believe or hold onto it for long, because generally there is no sense of separate identity needing to defend itself but may still react in such a way that does not reflect a fully-integrated and embodied understanding. Disconnection from the body (as opposed to dis-identification with it) and lack of grounding in the heart can also limit presence relationally and even perpetuate levels of dissociation. We have heard of so-called gurus that know self and transmit that knowing quite profoundly and also abuse their power and work out their sexual expression, shadow material or whatever, for example, with devotees. Perhaps you have heard about the "stink of enlightenment" and the subtle or not-so-subtle ego that can be created and unquestioned through taking on the role of teacher or guru.
In the "satsangs" I have been to people often want to know that moment that triggered awakening, as if to have a map of how to find it themselves. Many teachers have had experiences and answers about these sudden event horizons that seem to me to so often concretize a notion of "who" has awakened, and through that, mythologizes them and also "awakening."
I sense that the aspiration for truth and realization is innate -- but if we feel that what we aspire toward is other than who we are, we end up reinforcing our illusions of separation from it. The agendas and strategies to achieve awakening, fueled by our insecurities and feelings of lack and unworthiness, point us ever more directly to themselves and our sense of division with what is always and already here while at the same time obscuring awareness that is prior to these conditions. Yet every moment awareness can wake up to itself (or the beliefs that are obscuring awareness awakened to itself can be seen for what they are and relax). The unveiling of that awareness can appear through any condition or activity and also through practice, grace, prayers, intention, and purpose, which are essentially seeded by truth consciousness itself, or that moving towards it (self-)realization.
In the next blog, I will discuss "seeking," its inherence, beauty and pitfalls. Please feel free to enter into discussion and leave comments. I will reply here.
For more by Ellen Davis, click here.
For more on the spirit, click here.
© Ellen Davis, all rights reserved
Follow Ellen Davis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sunyalila