(I know it is impossible for a person to get enlightened, because it is Awakeness that comes to see that the person is an illusion. Nevertheless , I will talk about ‘enlightened persons’ because the language would otherwise become unreadable.)
So as a person wakes up step by step, it seems to be a succession of disappointments at first. If I may be so bold as to state that ” ‘I’ am a person that is waking up” , I can say that it isn’t what I imagined it to be. Not even close.
So what did I expect it to be?
Bliss , wisdom, unwavering happiness, unperturbable calm and a sense of unconditional love for All that Is. Some mystical state. From the moment of waking up in the morning , until bedtime. Possibly even with psychic abilities.
Now the above is certainly possible, but being enlightened is not a predefined state that will be the same with every ‘person’. In contrast , Awakeness (‘our’ true nature) itself can be described and is always the same: calm , equanimous, empty yet full , timeless and untouched by whatever happens.
There is only one Awakeness , a single consciousness that experiences this world through all these different persons. Each person has extensive programming in the form of character , beliefs , opinions , wants and needs and so forth. This programming can be seen as a filter through which Awakeness experiences the reality of that person. This programming remains active when Awakeness recognizes itself through a person and sees it is an illusion. So any addictions, bad habits , prejudices and the likes will be there while awakening. The only differences is that they are seen as ‘not mine’ , just being observed. Unskilful behaviour will be recognized as such and this recognition will in time probably erode the bad programming, but this may or may not happen.
So this is a major disappointment in itself , but what is recognized here that it is not even my disappointment (Me being Awakeness). The disappointment comes from expectations what Enlightenment should be like and guess what – it’s nothing like that.
There are more disappointments, depending on the area where the waking up is taking place, see the paragraphs below.
Full awakening can occur in a flash for anyone or it can be a slow process, there are no rules. This flash happened to me for a few moments some time ago. I was at a party and I suddenly could see that this body was not me , there were no persons at all , nobody was doing anything ( it’s all just happening , like a chemical reaction just happens) and everything was part of the same singular process. After that Seeing I fell back into the person and started seeking again.
For me ,right now it is a slow process of elimination – learning what I am not. Basically a Neti Neti process.
The easiest for me at this stage is having the sense that I am not this body, nor am I in this body. I can watch these fingers moving across the keyboard and it’s easy to ‘imagine’ that these hands are not mine, nor are they controlled by me. (again, ‘me’ is Awakeness.) I can scan this body and determine that there isn’t a Dennis in it anywhere. To strengthen this , I practice ‘looking through the body instead of AS the body’. The difference is that I (Awakeness) look at this world THROUGH the body, it is like a sensing device that enables me to experience this person’s life. This is in contrast to the ‘normal’ mode , where we feel like we are looking FROM the body because we identify with it.
Since you are not your body , who is breathing?
In my flash awakening it was clear that there were no persons at all. If you could imaging getting stranded on a uninhabited planet filled with moving puppets that are not alive but just executing programs, you might get the idea. This was a knowing that was not intellectual , but a direct seeing. No amount of thinking can produce this.
So if there are no persons whatsoever , who is doing anything – because the world kept moving on as it did, it didn’t stop. So this is an area where ‘I’ from this experience remember that there are no persons, but it’s not my experience right now. The Knowing isn’t here now but I try to accept what was seen as truth even though my current experience seems to indicate otherwise. In accepting this non-doership as truth comes disappointment: I never did anything, it was just happening.
Result: I never accomplished anything. All the things I thought I accomplished, just happened. These things are important for Ego, to provide self worth and confidence. It feels disappointing to say the least , to let that go. BUT – there’s a more pleasant side to this. I never messed anything up either , or was defeated or whatever – it didn’t happen to me and it was done by no-one. That’s nice. But these things too are building blocks of Ego. The same goes for victimhood. Whatever happens in life, if it’s just happening and nobody is doing anything , to whom is it happening? There are no persons. So victimhood can be dropped too. That feels tricky though , especially for me now.
Decisions fit right in here too. We often feel good about good decisions we made and regretful of bad decisions we made. But in fact , deciding just happens but the person claims these and says ‘I decided that’. So none of that, too.
When doing manual tasks, observe your hands for as long as you can. Are you really deciding all these minute movements? Driving a car is a good example.
Our true nature is Awakeness. (This is not the ultimate truth but let’s stick to this intermediate truth for now). Awakeness is not obscure or mythical, it is the everyday attention you are using throughout the day. You use it to Google , look at things , read , feel, hear etc. It is the feeling that says ‘I exist’. We are so used to it that we don’t really notice it anymore. It is a field of awake presence, or Awakeness. It is not an entity. When we remain aware of this I Am feeling, we are in fact waking up.
Can you find a boundary to the I Am feeling?
Is the I Am feeling contained by the body , or is the body contained by the I Am feeling?
Did you ever check where thoughts come from? They just pop up , don’t they. When you speak, can you see where the words are coming from? It feels like they are just flowing , arising from nothing – which is true. Your thoughts aren’t yours , you are not thinking. The problem is that humans are programmed to blindly believe thoughts, but when they are consciously observed and checked, they are often incorrect and not correlating to actual truth. What’s worse , thoughts are often about other thoughts, making the waters even more murky.
How often did you have thoughts about a person or yourself only to discover that you were completely wrong? Try to be critical towards thoughts, especially the ones that make you feel bad like self-criticizing. Are they based on truth or fantasy?
Isn’t a decision just another thought, arising from emptiness?
So what am I learning?
There are no rules. No should’s or must’s. While waking up the role of the person diminishes and the viewpoint of experiencing is more and more from the I Am feeling, the Witness. Everything continues the same way – taxes , bad behavior , bad relationships , everything ‘you’ were doing might continue as it was, just seen from a different viewpoint : not Me , not Mine. Life quality may ‘improve’ as a result of awakening, or it may not. Awakeness does not hold judgments.
I’m just watching.
The trick is to keep these viewpoints side by side, the viewpoint of the Person and Awakeness. Find a balance. Neither excludes the other.
So the trick I was told by Fred Davis is this:
Know you are Awakeness and life is a play, but live as if you don’t know that.