Thursday, 21 April 2011
There is no awakening. There is no enlightenment. There is what is. Labels of awakening and enlightenment are another playful game of life, looking wonderingly at itself in all that is. Whether one "awakens" before "physical death" is a concept that gives the apparently unfolding story and its outcomes deep meaning. Whatever it is that seems to happen, awakening or lila, samsara or enlightenment, bliss or sorrow, is just as it should be, and are all the mind's labels "after" the fact. A spiritual journey is fun, engaging, intense and interesting. Those stories of reincarnation and karma are particularly fascinating stories the ego tells itself to keep itself going. If reincarnation "is," who cares...the new personality doesn't remember the last one, past life regressions aside. The story can be as interesting, and as long - thousands of years - as you like; it can include such things as telepathy, remote viewing, alien control, chakra energy centres, transcendant bliss, and suicidal depression if ordinary day-to-day living just isn't doing it for you. The mind will do a lot to make sense of life, bring in the concept of karma, of heaven and hell, of the last second of life being a pinpoint of infinity, where the final decision is made...so many belief systems, so little "time".
All the answers to all the questions about life and death, birth and rebirth, samsara and awakening are "right", or "wrong". Conflicting answers can co-exist simultaneously, but the mind can't handle the co-existence of antithetical concepts, and so attempts to pigeonhole reality, to force it to make sense within narrow parameters. It is possible that the need for it to make sense can seemingly just fly away.
Some seekers have a very narrow definition of what "awakening" or "enlightenment" is. It is this. You are there. You are it already, your mind just can't believe it. It's not joy or bliss or tears or gratitude; it's this, whatever flavour and quality "this" seems to have. You deserve it, you are it, and in the unfolding story in relative reality, when the outcomes aren't the goal, it seems the goals become attainable. There is no goal. And in that concept, all goals become possible, because they are possible, especially in the absence of stultifying concepts.
If you seem to be going through a rough patch, and your mind is roving and spinning and trying to make sense of everything (a friend of mine calls it "washing machine mind"), don't worry. This isn't necessarily bad, although very uncomfortable. Perhaps it's an idea to relax, and hang in there - it's worth it. In the ever-changing, endless, timelees moment that is "this", all you have to do is nothing and everything changes anyway. It doesn't matter whether "you" "awaken" or not. The perfect expression is already you. If that expression is an ego that believes that it's separate from the rest of reality and is in pain because of this, that's a perfect expression as well. You are perfect. Whatever is happening is just as it must be. If you resist this, the resistance is perfect. Nothing is excluded. Here is the perfect playground for existence, right here, right now, always, even if it's negative, which balances out all that boring bliss stuff. If at all possible, try to enjoy it!
Bill Murray's character Phil asks a pertinent question at the beginning of this clip from Groundhog Day, one of the best films of all time and a fabulous analogy to seeking enlightenment. He is just beginning to sense what's important, at least to his character...after many failed attempts, he finally realises what his purpose is: live, and love, in a nutshell. Enjoy.