The post-awakening clearing process – provided there is one, which we can never assume – is built around our ability and willingness to remain alert to this present arising. In the Old Testament story of the Exodus, the fleeing Hebrew hordes received their bread, their “manna from heaven” strictly on a day-to-day basis. There was no storing anything up for tomorrow. Enlightenment is like that as well. Do you recognize that the world you are experiencing is the way that You are presenting Yourself to Yourself in this apparent moment?
If you do, you’re Consciously Awake now, and only now. Outside of our the dream state, there is only now: no yesterday, no tomorrow, and That which wakes up is neither in nor of the dream. Trying to hitch a ride on some past experiencing of truth that the unit/character underwent is like trying to eat yesterday’s manna. No matter how ornately we set the table, ultimately the experience is empty. The emperor may be wearing new clothes, but he hath no lunch!
Frankly, over any appreciable length of time, few of us are able or willing to quit looking for Awakeness long enough to accept that we are Awakeness, that the seeker is the sought. How do I know this? Because I earn much of my living helping people reverse their attention. I live in the trenches, folks. I see the slide from Conscious Awakeness to confused unconsciousness every day in those who are engaged in the hazardous, post-awakening, clearing process.
Furthermore, it may be comforting if I report that I certainly wasn’t able or willing to quit looking or accept.
Granted, in a weird sort of way, it’s a fairly high quality problem to have, because it means you’ve already had an awakening experience. Yet the number of us who drop or turn our backs on those invitations is far, far higher than the number of those who alertly continue the journey afterward. A great many of these awakenings occur without benefit of a teacher, and they’re not even really recognized for what they are.
Want some odds? Okay, here’s a number yanked out of nowhere, but I bet it’s closer to right than wrong. Call it a thousand to one. Yep. 1,000/1. Within Nonduality that number is probably closer to a 100/1 to one. Within this teaching I would make an educated guess that it’s more like 20/1. Why are the odds so poor? Lack of followup.
Most often we have no teacher. Sometimes we have a teacher, but not all teachers have had an authentic awakening. We can have a teacher who’s had an authentic awakening, but who is now teaching from memory, which is pretty common. Even a teacher who is presently awake but not particularly clear may not know how to aid the freshly awakened.
Always remember that I am using language here, and that the words are no more than true-ish. My advice is to be stillness and know truth for yourself, but until then you’re stuck with me, and within the dream I am stuck with language.
In short, we wake up only to go back to sleep in fairly short order. I did it, and I know loads and loads of others who have also done so, some of whom have since returned to reclaim their True Nature as Conscious Awakeness, though many more have not. And don’t get too comfortable with your own experience’s longevity, if you have some. I’ve had new clients come to me who were bright for years and then fell back into the dream for still more years. I can’t say that this phenomenon is wholly unavoidable, but I can say that within the construct of the dream we have enormous influence over that natural tendency.
We can be alert. Or, more properly, we can use our attention to be Alertness. We can live in inquiry, which is what I do. Living like Socrates in I-Don’t-Know-Land is the way to freedom. Precious few of us (if any – I know of none) wake up to find ourselves in boundless clarity. So we have to come back to it over and over again, until the journey becomes such a part of us that the journey itself become the destination.
Coming back to reclaim your True Nature after a long perceived loss of it is a good thing to do, but it’s a flawed “good thing” to do. Back when I was reeling through life as an arrogant drunk, I would time and again find myself crashing out of a perfectly good life and landing in a really ugly ditch. I would then haul myself out of the ugly ditch, scrape up some marginal means to start over, work hard as hell and dream big dreams. Before long I would see steadily progressive improvement and then finally I’d find myself experiencing a reasonable amount of prosperity.
In fact, I was so good at pulling myself out of ditches, that I held that ability up as a really wonderful talent. And it sort of is, but it’s an innately flawed talent. Being able to pull yourself out of ditches is simply the wrong talent to have. The talent you want to have is that of avoiding ditches to begin with! It only took me a mere 47 years to learn that. Even so, I was lucky. Many people, maybe even most people who ended up in some of the ditches I found myself in died in them.
And many many people who ignore or turn away from the invitation to clear that waking up will not make it back to the altar within the same human lifetime. Them’s the facts, folks.
Awakeness, on a localized level, will be experienced as the so-called individual’s attention. After an awakening experience – yes, even the loud, glittering ones – we will almost always fall back into believing habitual, omnipresent, reflexive conditioning – meaning we again begin to believe the thoughts that declare we are a Susan or a Bob, and that Oneness begins right at the outer edge of our skin. Once that happens, our default automated pattern is to believe that relativity – meaning the world as the unconscious know it – is Susan’s or Bob’s dream, and we just can’t get it right, but if we can only wake up again surely then we finally will. Soon, by God! This is pure ignorance playing out as a story of future. Again.
Goodbye you tricky old hamster wheel! Hello tricky new hamster wheel!
Self-Realization is something of a two step process. First we recognize True Nature, and then we gradually come to accept it, until there is rock solid conviction that we have seen the truth and it is us! That’s the theory. In my experience, which is becoming quite considerable, that’s not how it usually plays out. Here’s a common way it plays out.
First we recognize True Nature, and then we blindly, effortlessly, habitually go back to sleep so that the unit/character is once again safe and solid – and right. Given the proper conditions, I pinky swear to you that it is not particularly difficult to recognize True Nature. I help people do it several times a week and have been doing so for years, often in under an hour. We then spend the remainder of our time in orientation, which will increase the likelihood that we will accept the invitation – this time!
I call it The Living Method, and I got a lot of bristle-back in the early days due to my employing the word “method” instead of path. We’d all been told that a method can’t work, and that information was bogus, which is why so many of us were still asleep after 20 or 30 or 40 years on the spiritual “path.” If it takes that long and it still ain’t got you home, have you thought of perhaps finding another path? Find a path where people are waking up and give it a try.
There are a number of qualified-by-being-presently-awake teachers out there who are wonderful people who can share bliss and shakti with you, but who couldn’t teach their way out of a paper bag. What is their actual teaching, not their cosmic experiencing? Be Alertness.
This Living Method in some ways is not unlike The Sufi Method, The Zen Method, The Kabbalah Method, The Christian Mystic Method, or the Advaita Method and a whole bunch of other methods. These other methods don’t refer to themselves as “methods”. Heavens no. They blissfully, unconsciously refer to themselves as paths, which automatically grants you the story of that future gain that the unit-character wanted to find to begin with.
Don’t trouble me with enlightenment! I get to remain a seeker, just like all of my friends, who are also seekers! Oh joy! What a splendid lifestyle that has absolutely nothing to do with living as Awakeness.
Be Alertness instead.
Now, no path – or method – is foolproof. In fact, fools slip through our nets all the time! I was such a fool until I wasn’t. We are all such holy fools until we aren’t. We have heard a lot about there not being anything personal about awakening. What we have not heard a lot about is that there is nothing personal about not awakening either. Awakeness is ready to see through the personal story, or it is not. And to some degree the same is true about post-awakening.
The chief difference is that an initial awakening (there may be any number of them) is an open appeal to try something out experientially. It’s a solicitation from Awakeness to Awakeness to tell Itself the truth through a given unit if It’s ready. The invitation includes a sample of what’s available, sort of like a sample of a new detergent you might find in the mailbox. We don’t have any control over whether we receive such a sample of not; if we’re on the list, we’re on the list, and we get the sample. If we’re not, we’re not, and we don’t. Yet we do, within the construct of the dream, have a heck of a lot of influence about whether we use it or not.
For at least the last 6,000 years, if not longer, we have been expending nearly all of our efforts on trying to get on the list for the new detergent that we so desperately want to arrive in our mailbox. We have read, sat, prayed, chanted, colored and branded ourselves. We have sung, danced, bowed, made obeisance and sacrifices, and anything else we could do that we thought might influence the One Detergent Giver. We have spent extraordinary sums of money, endless amounts of time, and traveled to the ends of the earth in our quests. We have bargained and pouted and threatened. Nothing has worked.
By the time most of us get near the end of our journey, we will do virtually anything in order to receive this detergent. We will do almost anything except the one thing that just might work. We will not open the damn mailbox to see if there is a sample already in there!
I, Awakeness, operating through and with the persistent, identifiable, but centerless patterns we refer to as “Fred” has developed a continually sharpening method of tricking people into checking their mail. This post is part of that method. “I hope it helped,” said the little man who isn’t really there to the other characters who don’t exist either.
I’d recommend you watch this video ASAP.
I’ve already had a report on someone awakening from it.
Many more can and will do the same.
Write me about it when you do.
And then, for goodness sakes, come to satsang!
I Understand All This Intellectually,
It’s Just Not My Experience
November 26, 2016 @ 3:45 pm
Thanks, Fred. “This is how I’m presenting myself to myself in this moment” is a very helpful reminder. There is only this and there is only Me and there is only now.
November 26, 2016 @ 3:48 pm
You betcha! See you for Sunday Satsang!
Barb St James
November 28, 2016 @ 10:03 pm
Thank you, wonderfully expressed with words. Now off to the video…
November 28, 2016 @ 10:21 pm
Thank you, Barb!