• Marma

My Spiritual Journey — 24— Back to the “Real” World

Recently, I have come across several writings and essays, which got me thinking about what it meant to “awaken”, to become “enlightened” and what you’re supposed to “do” (or not do) about it.

In my own essays, I am often torn between “understanding”, knowing, how this Universe works, what is “God”, and the disconnect with our own “reality”, right here, right now. While I may have understood many things, my life is still as mundane as anyone’s life is.

I wake up, usually tired, dress up my daughter while my wife prepare breakfast, eat breakfast, go to work, send emails, type up documents, discuss politics with my colleagues over lunch, come home, play with my daughter, help prepare supper, eat supper, prepare my daughter for bed, put her to bed, clean up, spend some time with my wife (unless both of us are too tired), go to sleep, repeat.

For many, this is totally fine. For others, it’s depressing. But there is a “special” kind of depression which is linked to an awakening, and what I call a “spiritual hang-over”. While through an awakening, you can get a “glimpse” at what God is, feel like you are a part of the all, you’re often thrown back into your existence, in your limited body and mind. Except for immortal yogis living off of Prana (the light or pure energy), even the most advanced spiritual teacher takes a shit like the rest of us, and it’s just as smelly as well. Of course, you can try to “escape” that reality where your body aches, your boss breathes down your neck, you’re worried about money and paying the bills and your neighbour is annoying, by entering transcendental states like “Samadhi” in Kriya Yoga (a form of transcendental meditation), but until you die and your spirit leaves your body, you are tied to the highs and lows of the “material” 3D world.

Arguably the hardest thing to achieve, is not the process of awakening or reaching a transcendental state, it is finding a balance, meaning, purpose and a way to reconcile a simple truth like “we are one” with your daily life in the material/physical world.

Some spiritual teachings try to bring God’s attributes into the material world. This translates into ideas such as: “there is nothing you need to do, you just need to be, beingness”, or some nihilistic and self-bashing rhetoric like “we know nothing, the mind is too limited to understand anything, the ego and the ‘I’ does not exist”. It can even go as far as saying that nothing exists. That all of this world is just an illusion. That you do not exist, you only think that you exist.

Of course, there is some truth to those ideas, but they do not help us in any way. Basically, these teachings, without saying so, try to replicate the attributes of God all the while recognizing that we are limited and cannot know everything. God, indeed, just IS. It is pure beingness. God doesn’t “do” anything, God just IS. And we are, of course, one “part” of God, and our ultimate destination is to go back to God, so we may as well become “God” here and now I guess… So… Let’s stop “doing”, and let’s just “be”, whatever that means. And if you read books like “Autobiography of a Yogi”, you will find that this is exactly what the Buddha or Babaji have done (some call them “ascended masters”). But even in this book, one ascended master confesses in a cave, to his pupil: “one day, the time when yogis will live alone in a cave will be over, and they will come down from the mountain to walk among men”. Ascended masters have been instrumental in preserving the knowledge of God, the “link” to God, but their state of “beingness”, perfect stillness for days on end in a meditative state, was never to be a “model” for all of humanity! First, understand the contradiction between trying to “be” like God, while at the same time recognizing the limitations coming from our mind, body and ego self. Some spiritual teachers encourage people to “transcend” all of these, to undergo an “ego death”, to silence the mind. And this can be useful, up to a point. Like I said, until you die, you are irrevocably tied to this “reality”. Escaping into an inner state of bliss for several decades in some remote temple while waiting for death doesn’t sound like a tempting alternative to the “mundane” routine many of us are in.

The reason I am convinced that escaping into a state of “Samadhi” (a higher state of consciousness/awareness, as it is called by yogic schools) is not what is “expected” of us, is because at present, we are all “ascending” gradually as a collective. Reaching a state of perfect stillness and becoming like “God” is basically a way to “jump” into the future. It is the same as “jumping” ahead to the “happy end” moment in a movie because you have discovered that time is an illusion, and that you are simultaneously existing as the “hero” struggling in the present timeline, and as a fully fledged “God” at the very end of the movie. So if you can do it, why not? Because at this specific time, the aim is to manifest this sort of “transcendence” as a collective. And so the Yogis are meant to walk among ordinary men simply because it is time that their teachings are heard and applied by all. Reaching a higher state of consciousness is instrumental in behaving or acting in accordance with that higher state of consciousness.

To give you an idea of what I mean, think of the following. Imagine if your stomach cells were at war with your liver cells. What would be the use for them to reach a “higher state of consciousness”? It would be to “see” themselves as the one original stem cell which has subdivided into becoming all of them. It is to understand at a very deep level that they are all “one”, they all come from “one” and help them overcome their “differences”, accept their differences, understand that they are part of a global organism and behave as such. If our cells could reach a state of Samadhi, they would think of themselves as a stem cell, or their “God”, the cell which “created” them and from which all cells stem from. But the aim, the objective, is not for them to become that stem cell, it is to reach a more fundamental understanding of who they are and on that basis what they should be doing.

So the real objective is not to just be, it is to do what you are.

That is the way our cells function: they know they are all one, at the core, they also know who they are, and thus, they can be what they are and in the process, do what they are. So for all those who claim that you don’t have to do anything, it’s not quite true. Indeed, you will end up doing nothing if that is who you are. Perhaps the fundamental nature of some of us is to just be blissed out masters, for one reason or another. But it certainly is not a “model” to follow or impose on others. In the end, to do what you are allows much more freedom then this injunction to do nothing or to just “be”. It is all encompassing and harnesses the power of meditation (or doing nothing) for introspection and knowing thy self in order to manifest it in action.

Once you know who you are, and you “act out” what you are, you may feel that indeed, life is much smoother. Since you don’t try to “swim against the current” (do/be something/someone you are not), it can almost seem as if indeed you are “doing nothing”, since things happen seamlessly and easily. There are no more struggles, life just flows around you, and you have the impression you are just observing it when in fact, you’re doing plenty. But since you’re so aligned with who you are, those “things” you do come so naturally that it’s like being carried by the current.

An awakening is thus not at all a strategy to “exit” this dimension, this world, but rather to learn to “go with the flow”, enjoy the ride, while going deep within, for instance through meditation and introspection, to find out who you are, to do what comes as natural to you, and then let go, do not expect any result other than knowing that all is as it should be and things are “taken care of”. It is the same idea as doing things “consciously”, really living the moment you are in, and doing what you are in that moment. Don’t forget, whatever that is may seem completely “mundane”, like cleaning the toilet, watching the clouds drift by, or typing up a seemingly unimportant document which will go directly into the paper shredder when it arrives to it’s destination. Do not try to make “sense” of all of this. It is like a hydrogen atom trying to understand why he bumped into this other hydrogen atom, and then into this next one… From the point of view of a star, which represents what that hydrogen atom will be a part of in the future, every single ordinary event happening to that hydrogen atom was completely perfect as it lead to his becoming a part of that star. To give you another example, it is as if at age 52 you happen to be standing, by pure “coincidence”, at exactly the right place and the right time to pull a kid that turned out to be a future Einstein out of the way of a hurdling car. Understand that every single event in your life lead you to be there at exactly that time and place. It is the same as trying to predict where a certain asteroid will be 20 years into the future: a small change in one variable, and your predictions 20 years later will be off by a million kilometers. God/Source/Creator is that type of being that it can juggle and deal with making sure that what can happen, does, even with the existence of free will. All it takes are small, seemingly insignificant “nudges” from time to time…

To finish, I would like to underline a few basic truths, some of the only ones which are not susceptible to change, in my understanding, to help you see through some of the spiritual and esoteric teaching:

  1. The only reason we have the impression of existing as separate from Source/Creator/God is because you cannot BE and EXPERIENCE everything at the same time. This is extremely important to understand. If all is vibrations and energy, then trying to experience being everything is the same as experiencing nothing. As in EVERYTHING there are all experiences and their counter experiences. There is past, present and future, everything that ever was, is and will be, and especially what could have been! For instance, a Planet moving one way around the Sun, and that same Planet moving the other way (like two “mirror” images). A metaphoric example to understand why experiencing everything at the same time is the same as experiencing nothing can be illustrated like this: to experience being born while dying, to experience eating your favourite food while vomiting after a hang over, to experience making love for the first time while sitting on the toilet having diarrhea… Those experiences kind of “cancel” themselves out. Going back to vibrations, it’s like trying to listen to a song and the same song with a reverse phase: both cancel each other out, and there is just silence or nothing. This is why God/Source/Creator just IS and does/experiences nothing: because God can’t. It would amount to nothing anyway, which is why this world exists. The relative world, which is an “illusion”, is there for God to experience all that he/she/it IS.

  2. There is only one rule: God/Source/Creator cannot be anything less than what he/she/it already is. This might seem a bit “vague”, but you can express it in many other ways. For instance, you could say that the only force in the Universe is the attraction that the future exerts on the past. Yet another way: all that can happen will happen. It is simply that the Universe will inevitably continue to evolve. It cannot “stop”. This is why no matter what happens, we humans will inevitably manifest something which is greater than the sum of our parts, just like hydrogen atoms inevitably fused to create a star, or amino acids and proteins inevitably “locked” together to form a living cell. It is unavoidable and inescapable, just like the force of gravity. God/Source/Creator sits outside of time, which means whatever an “ultimate” future looks like, it already exists. And we are just here to experience the “movie”, the story leading to that “ultimate” end. The whole point of this article is to be able to live your life with more serenity, knowing that there is no obligation to suffer in the process. Being yourself is basically like choosing to take the highway instead of trying to plough through the fields to get to the same destination: while both paths lead to the same “ultimate” destination, one of them is going to be a bumpy ride.

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