I taught a class online last night called “Insights into Awakening”. I am not an expert on awakening. As far as I know, no one is. I would say that it as an emerging phenomenon world wide. I would say it is a new frontier. We are all still exploring and learning as we go. But raising your hand to teach something gives you a front row seat as a student. You teach what you need to learn. So this article is an attempt to gain insight into my “Insights on Awakening”.
Awakening vs Enlightenment, Realization, or Salvation?
Awakening is bit different then past spiritual traditions. Enlightenment, realization, and salvation, have all required that one be set apart. They have all required a belief system, a practice, a set of guidelines and traditions. There is usually a way to dress, dietary restrictions, a restriction on bad behaviours, a standard of good behaviours, etc. In these traditions one is required to fit in or be an outcast. Life and all its pleasures are seen as the enemy of one’s chosen path.
Awakening does not require a belief system. It does not see life as an enemy. One can dress, eat, and pursue pleasure, to suit ones unique sense of self. It does not require that we be perfect. It graciously lets us walk our path and watches as we learn and grow along the way. It allows us to embrace and integrate our humanity. It allows for individuality and originality of form and expression.
Yet awakening is not anarchy. It is not anything goes, It has a way. A quiet set of internal principles that guide it’s navigation of the world. It is the arrival of the spirit of the law which allows for the falling away of the letter of the law. It is the harvest of the fruit of the spirit. It is the birth and growing up from within ones heart of the qualities of love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You see, in the end you will only know them by their fruits. The outer form may deceive us, but the internal guiding principles of an individual, though invisible, have an unmistakeable signature. It is a tone that one can hear. A vibration that one can feel, A beauty that the awakened eye can see.
Perhaps then this is the future. We can tip our hat to the collective ships of religion and thank them for the cargo of values they have delivered. But we have reached the shore. Our feet are standing on the promised land. We no longer need to be sequestered and held captive by separate sea faring vessels. We no longer need to insist on exclusivity and superiority. We no longer need to engage in warfare on the open sea. Let’s put an end to this oppression, destruction, and death in the name of all that’s holy. It’s time to come home to the land we all share and partake and be nourished by the universal values that are our birth right.
You see awakening contains enlightenment, realization, and salvation. But it allows the blossoming of these from within our unique and fully human lives. We are born again but not into someone else’s mold. We are born into who we truly are!