IIt is not until you awaken and become fully present that you will realize that you have not been present. It is not until you awaken that you will realize you have been asleep, dreaming that you are awake.
~ Leonard Jacobson ~.
We burst forth from the womb awake and ready to apprize life as our own minds and bodies experience it. From that moment on the world around us tries to put us to sleep.
We live in an illusionary world with false perceptions of who we are. From the time we are born we are programmed with the thoughts and expectations of our parents, our teachers, our religious leaders and even our friends to become what they want us to be and we grow up to believe that their perceptions of how they view life are how we should view life as well. Any attempt that we make to view life from a perspective that deviates from what society calls its “norms” is rigorously beaten out of us so that we do not call into question and disturb the illusory world that others have created for themselves. We are taught to be quiet so as not to wake anyone else up from their self imposed dream.
In time we begin to look outward and not inward to understand who we are. We become a name, a sex, a race, a job, a credit score, a cipher in the societal equation. Our lives become regulated by subservience to arbitrarily imposed rules of behavior and we act not from the dictates of who we truly are, but from the expectations of what society wants us to be. We do not think about life, we just follow our programming. We become the label that is placed on us by others and we go to live in a generically labeled box, not empowered by the label, but limited by it. That which we truly are seems to have no real value in the supposed scheme of things and we curl up in the box and go to sleep, perhaps never to awaken again.
The essential nature of this Reality is revealed in a stunning, timeless moment of "Realization" or spiritual awakening: "Wonder of wonders! This very enlightenment is the nature of all beings, and yet they are unhappyfor lack of it!"
If we are fortunate, at some spontaneous moment of realization, we may see the beyond the illusion. We may have a moment when we are free from our programmed patterns of thought and behavior and see the truth that these thoughts and behaviors are the boundaries and limitations that have kidnapped us away from our true nature and being.
For some this realization of the truth will become a permanent awakening. But, for most there will moments of awareness of this truth, but like one awakened in the night, they will turn over and go back to sleep and that truth will seem like some dream. The struggle is to resist the urge to go back into this sleep and to strive to truly know which is the dream and which is the reality.
This awakening process is not an end in itself, it is but a stage in the evolution of your spirit and divine nature. This awakening may take a lifetime or perhaps even many lifetimes to complete and there will be many temptations to allow yourself to fall asleep again. Many times you will fall asleep again, but if an effort is made these moments will come and go much quicker and with less and less frequency and in time you will be able to fully awaken to a state of being where you may know your true self in union with all Creation.
The spiritual journey does not consist of arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one’s own ignorance concerning oneself and life, and the gradual growth of that understanding which begins the spiritual awakening. The finding of God is a coming to one' self.
~ Aldous Huxley ~.