“You’d have loved this guy”, she told me enthusiastically…
“He was so awake…”
“He was telling me all about how the government deceives us and gets us to do things… and how it’s all about money and power!”..
I listened to my good friend as she said this.
She had had a wonderful time on the retreat and had come back enthused.
But the ‘awakening’ she was speaking of bore no resemblance to what I was talking of then I used that word.
And this was not the first time I had come across this rather uncomfortable incongruity between the thinking of another person and my own.
What is Awakening anyway?
Awakening means many things to many people…
But there is some congruence in the way it is used.
It is used to point to a waking up out of some sort of slumber,
It could be the person who wakes up and says, ‘I am never going to drink again! Why did I ever even do that…”
Or the person who realised their partner has been taking them for a ride…
Or any number of similar situations where suddenly
A lightbulb switches on…
A shift in one’s being occurs.
And the situation is never ever seen quite the same again.
The Spiritual Connotation of Awakening
For me, Spiritual Awakening has a further connotation.
For me, spiritual connotation is where one awakens, not from one belief to another.
But from the belief system itself.
Into a world where beliefs are seen to be just that….
The thoughts and ideas that create a conceptual world.
And it is the waking up from that conceptual overlay into the direct experience of what is actually happening this moment,
That constitutes Spiritual Awakening.
We can argue until the cows come home about what spiritual awakening is….
Quoting this tradition and that…
This teacher and that….
This concept and that….
But this shift from unconsciously living in the land where the content of thoughts is king….
To a land where direct experience shines through..
And that it changes one’s world is undeniable.
And for me is what Spiritual Awakening is all about.
In many ways this shift may just be the start of one’s awakening process.
But it seems to be the insight from which all else proceeds.