by Frank M. Wanderer
from TheMindUnleashed Website
Many people think that awakening and enlightenment is the same, it's a single-time event:
On the contrary, the truth is that enlightenment is a process that is actually a series of awakenings.
Let's take a look to the three most important turning points during awakening.
Our life can only be
interpreted within the framework of that history. The reason for
that is that we identify with the voice of the Ego, the narrator of
our own story, so closely that our personal history becomes the
foundation of our entire life.
Our personal history keeps us under its spell, in a hypnotic state in which all our attention is devoted to the inner voice and story it tells.
In this way we give up our alertness, the world passes by us, because we only concentrate on the elements of reality that appear to confirm our personal history. We therefore lose our grip on the deeper dimensions of life.
The deeper dimensions are
present in our life, but we lose contact with them because of our
lack of alertness.
Everybody has some vague
suspicion that our personal history does not reflect reality, we are
in fact at a deeper level than that.
There are, however, moments in our life when nothing appears to succeed, so we are unhappy and we suffer.
The suspicion then
reinforces in us, and we tend to believe that we are more than the
cluster of thoughts that constitute our personal history. We realize
that we are more than mere thoughts.
This is the first major turning point in the process of awakening.
The Ego always means some sort of an identification, self-determination,
The Ego therefore rests upon our identification with things that are important for us ego. The Ego is the central figure of our personal history, based upon the past and looking into the future.
The components of the Ego are,
Most people completely
identify with these components of the Ego, and for them no self
"outside" of this exists.
The satisfaction provided by the sense of possession is, however, short, so the individual usually carries on the pursuit for new objects.
There is a powerful motivation behind this activity of the individual, a psychological demand to obtain more, the unconscious sense of "not yet enough," and this feeling surfaces in a want for more. This want is a more powerful driving force for the Ego than the desire to possess.
The uneasy feelings,
recklessness, boredom, stress and dissatisfaction are all largely
the products of the dissatisfied longing for more.
...belong to the structure of the Ego.
The content of the Ego changes with time; it is replaced with new contents. No content is, however, able to lastingly satisfy the Ego as long as the structure of the Ego remains in its place.
The individual keeps
looking for something different, something that promises a greater
satisfaction, making the sense of self of the individual more
This intention of the Ego will be the source of all sufferings, because its world of forms and shapes shall collapse like a sandcastle after a while, until death snatches away the last of the forms:
It came empty-handed from Nothing, and that is how it is going to return there.
The only treasure it
could take along with it is its wakefulness, but the Ego
considers that worthless in the world of forms and shapes, as it was
not a means of increasing the power the Ego
If an individual is able to notice and observe the functions of the Ego, he or she will be able to transcend it. In that case, the individual who has been looking for a more complete perception of the self will recognize that it has always been there, but the functions of the Ego - identification with objects and thoughts - has pushed it into the background.
One of the ways of
transcending the Ego is not reacting wholeheartedly to the
ever-changing kaleidoscope of thoughts and emotions, but
concentrating on the alert consciousness in the background instead.
The Alertness shall,
therefore, control the mind to an increasing extent and will be
manifested through the tranquilized mind
With the dissolution of the identification, the Ego also disappears.
This is the second major turning point in the process of awakening.
The new Alertness enables
us to learn about ourselves without identifying with our thoughts
We feel at home in our
own skin, and we realize that our alert consciousness is free from
all kinds of thoughts and emotions.
The unity behind the
controversies is revealed in front of our eyes, and we no longer
insist on looking on the sunny side of life, as we are able to
discover beauty on the dark side, too.
We have understood and experienced the process of awakening.
The time has come for us
to take control over our mind whenever it is required by the
circumstances. When we do not need the work of the mind directly,
let us give it some rest.
We are beyond all good and evil, we are a mere Consciousness that does not analyze or judge, only contemplates. We realize that the same contemplating soul lives in everybody, so the differences between human beings are only superficial, and deep inside we are all the same.
Experiencing that unity
will bring us the ecstasy of Life, the perfect joy of Existence.