Spiritual Awakenings, Enlightenment and the Kitchen Sink

Spiritual awareness often begins at the point where our inner thoughts reflectively seek meaning in the external world of our drama. This search empowers the transformation of unconscious perception into awakened vision.
09/17/2012 10:53 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2012
young woman standing jumping...
young woman standing jumping...

Spiritual awareness often begins at the point where our inner thoughts reflectively seek meaning in the external world of our drama. This search empowers the transformation of unconscious perception into awakened vision. Such clarity creates the understanding that we are always, consciously or unconsciously, choosing and co-creating our existence.

Most people tend to live their lives as though sleepwalking through a fog bank. They grope for direction and meaning while frequently and painfully stubbing their toes on the potholes of life's dramas. Life appears to happen randomly, and from these beliefs, it is easy to see ourselves as the victim of circumstance. As a result, one tends to live their life in a state of reaction rather than response. Life from this perspective can, at times, seem like a constant barrage of painful experiences, each of which seemingly validates that we are not in control of our own destiny. It becomes easy to imagine unforeseen forces that plot against the joy we most want.

Life from this challenging perspective tends to run its course until the day enough pain and negativity stacks up and, like the last straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back, the sleepwalker wakes up and declares "Enough... That is it... NO, I'm not taking this anymore. I'm done with this." Any number of infinite life lessons around the subjects of romance, parents, siblings, children, money, career, health, home, responsibility, recovery, you name it, can trigger the opportunity for an awakening and spiritual breakthrough.

In truth, the declaration of "NO" begins our first baby step in getting clear about what we do not want to create so that we become clearer about what we DO want to create. This moment of truth prompts a courageous stand from which one resolves to face what may be their greatest fear. Regardless of what instigates the declaration, it appears that this courageous stand opens a momentary space of grace from which the proverbial sleepwalker's head now pops up out of the fogbank of emotional pain and suffering.

With the head now above the fogbank, and looking beyond, the sleepwalker can now see with clearer vision. They sense, with great excitement, new possibilities. Pain and suffering has been replaced by peace and insight. To the ego, (our fearfully-attached part of consciousness), such moments of awakening signal that suffering will soon be released and that with this, a wise new vision will soon take place. Attentive to its job, the ego quickly shifts into high gear in order to neutralize such an awareness, for its life literally depends on it. The neutralizing is accomplished through redirecting attention back at the original unresolved fear that eventually prompted the awakening. Once consciousness is turned, the tactic is to replay the fearful experience over and over again until attachment and suffering reoccurs. Does this sound familiar?

Not to blame, the ego is doing its job of self-preservation, for it knows once full awareness or enlightenment is achieved, it ceases to exist. So, prepared for such moments, the ego has strategically projected our deepest fears (not being loved or finding love, failing, not being successful, etc.) into the future. The ego, which has harvested all of our prior fearful thoughts, words and actions, has placed them there. These future fears are at the command of ego and they await its order to release, collide with and obliterate our newly-awakened insight. Our collected fears sit waiting, a metaphorical kitchen sink that is clogged with our drama.

At the time of our new awareness, choice has sparked a new sense of peace and joyful perception. With this, the ego now calls for the release of our fears, and like a mighty slingshot, the drama-filled kitchen sink is now launched back toward us at warp speed. Quickly, the fearful and attached part of the mind reacts and redirects our attention. We were once at peace, in the moment, and our head above the drama (fog bank); however, now our attention is turned to a concern, and an object is moving at us from a distance. As it draws nearer we sense its high rate of speed and a pending danger. As it gets ever closer it appears to be on a collision course with our head, which now rests just safely above the fog bank. As it draws even closer, we finally recognize that it is a kitchen sink, and we prepare for impact.

As the kitchen sink approaches closer and closer, so also does our survival center alarm: "Danger: Kitchen sink coming toward head at warp speed. Prepare to duck." As it reaches the point of impact, we instinctively duck. Instantly, we notice we are alive and that our head, which once rested peacefully above the fog bank, is now back (body and all) in the same drama and suffering of the past.

Again, our life slips back into a familiar and unpleasant groove, and our life situation reaches another prompting point of change. Our lessons learned have reduced our suffering, and we are more quick to declare, "No, I'm really, really done with this situation, this time." Again, instantaneously, we find our head has popped out of the fog bank of emotional pain and suffering. The view is as we remembered: peaceful, full of hope and possibilities.

Our mind becomes momentarily distracted by the memory of the kitchen sink, its possible return and the experience of dropping back into the fog bank.

We begin to recall that at the fearful moment the kitchen sink almost hit us that we had ducked. We also vividly remember that at the moment we ducked we dropped back down into the fog bank and returned to suffering. Inwardly, we courageously commit that we will not duck if the sink comes again.

As the thought of this conviction passes, the sink in fact does reappear and rapidly approaches on course with our head. Just before impact and true to our commitment, we do not duck; instead, we blink. In a nanosecond, we again find ourselves back in the fog bank of our drama and suffering.

The groove of our drama now seems deeper and more painful, yet our awareness is now peaked and accompanied by a resolve to end the suffering as quickly as possible. We will no longer allow our drama to chain the freedom that lifts our perspective. As our life situation boils again to another point of clarity we again proclaim, "No, I'm really, really, really done with this... this time."

Again, as if by a miracle, we find our head above turmoil and glimpse an even greater beauty and peace than we had prior seen or experienced. As we bathe in the experience of this moment, we again become mindful of our once-projected fears, now coming back on us in a collision course with our present time awareness. As the kitchen sink materializes, once more it draws ever nearer and in a reflective pause, we recall in clarity that the act of ducking and blinking (avoiding the confrontation of our fear) immediately returned us back to the fog bank of drama and suffering.

With lessons learned we now draw from an even deeper courage and conviction. We vow to ourselves that we will not duck or blink in the face of fear, even if it means losing our life. We confirm in a valiant surrender that if the kitchen sink were to strike us and literally take our head off, we will not even flinch. As quickly as this thought passes, the sink appears out of nowhere and is clearly on a direct course of impact with our head. Firmly we hold to our faith and resolve, and just at the moment of pending impact, we watch as the sink just vaporizes. We now understand that our fears were only but an illusion.

Instantly, we now discover that our entire body has popped out of the fog bank. With our greatest fear now faced, our breakthrough realized and an even greater vision of possibilities on the horizon, we more fully own our courage and triumphantly declare: "I take full responsibility for my co-creativity and from this moment forward I WILL choose to create from what I lovingly want to experience."

Ultimately, it is our courage to face our greatest fears and choose another way, is what empowers us to claim our hero within, and with this journey ever forward toward breakthrough realizations that reveal the kingdom of enlightenment within. Onward, courageous heroes.

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