Saturday, May 20, 2017

To 'Awaken' What does it mean?

Several times, the word 'awake' is mentioned in the Bible. It is also mentioned in The Koran and it is frequently mentioned in New Age philosophy; but what does it mean to awaken? We all know what it means to sleep (we spend a third of our life in this unconscious state) but why use metaphorical language when it confuses such an important matter? We can surely be more articulate and explain ourselves properly, using appropriate words in the English language.



What does it mean to be 'enlightened'? There is so much talk about it - but very little meaningful explanation available! It is concerning that the instantaneous moments of mind expansion so often described by spiritual teachers would be described as 'psychotic' episodes by doctors. Can one become enlightened through navel gazing? I think not! If anything an 'enlightened' state is one of awareness, where we are keenly aware of what is happening, where we take action for needs of others in a non self serving way.


The word 'conscious' is also used in a new age context, but all creatures are conscious - unless they are unconscious, comatose or dead - but conscious of what? Most people speaking about consciousness are business people making money from a spurious philosophy. These teachers rarely speak of values, such as justice, compassion, caring, generosity, truth and peace. Practising these spiritual values is what it means to be conscious of something greater than ourselves and the need to make money.

The word 'aware' is sometimes used instead of 'awake' 'enlightened' or 'conscious' but why so many double meaning words to describe something so simple? There are many promises offered by becoming 'awake', 'aware', 'conscious' and 'enlightened' and much money made from self-promotion.

This common process Is the result of education improving our knowledge, which leads us to greater understanding and towards psychological maturity which is the object of the process described about, with so many names and with so many best selling books to its credit. Maturity is not a self-absorbed state, but one that includes responsibility that can be shared to the advancement of the self, others and the world at large, including other species which share this finite and unique planet with us. Take for instance, a basic and common emotion - fear - it exists to keep us safe, to prevent harm to others and ourselves andloved ones. Take this away, and we are around impetuous, dangerous people. Psychopaths have no feelings, no fear.
We must question in order to move forward and create a better world that these common words imply and help us to achieve something of any lasting value. For some, questioning might result in a new life path as a result. Our society offers us so many opportunities for new ideas, new learning, new growth. It is possible to find peace of mind and contentment, to find time to challenge the accepted norms, about politics, religion, etc., and take action to relieve suffering for those most in need. Realising our potentials as an intelligent, caring and educated person can develop new talents and abilities. We can be thankful and know that we are far more richly blessed than billions of others who are alive today and who have none of our taken for granted, options.

The suggested process of maturity is very different for each person. As a young person, whether child or teenager, self-centredness is part of our way of being. However, selfishness as an adult has adverse consequences. Across the world, in third world countries, they see the wasteful lifestyle of those in the rich west and are justifiably hurt that they have so little, while we have so much. The comparison is enormous, and those who are mature have a conscience that others have not yet developed.
We might ask those who are considered 'spiritual' what this process entails. Often the result is an increased sensitivity to the suffering of others and a marked campaign for justice for those who are oppressed or suffering without support. For some this process is a consideration of whether there is a god and what religious beliefs are believable and what are indoctrination. Everyone is entitled to their personal belief and no-one should be co-erced to believe what they are told.

For some, it might mean letting go of a long held resentment and finding forgiveness after many years of bitterness. For others, is the realisation that we don't have all the answers and we don't even know what questions to ask. Therefore we need to embark upon a search. We might suddently realise that adulthood is not as we we led to believe it would be whilst growing up, so there is an awakening to reality, to complexity and it might not be what he hoped it would be. This involves a re-assessment of our assumptions and expectations. 'Awakening', 'consciousness', 'enlightenment' are euphemisms for facing reality and making a re-evaluation that might result in a shock when we suddenly learn who we are, how we relate to others, and what responsibilities we have for ourselves, others, and our planet.

For me, it means to be more aware my own requirement for tranquility and contentment. When I look across the planet, I see how humanity has grown in numbers and how consumerism has taken place at the expense of pollution and of other species that have just as much right to live in their habitat. We do not know just how much other species are suffering due to human selfishness and ignorance. Toxity of soil, sea and sky is due to mankind. Our 'consciousness' should include an understanding that we are responsible for the future wellbeing of all life on our planet and that global warming is the greatest threat to life on our planet.

Humanity has contributed to the huge suffering of other species over the millennia. When my time comes to leave this life, I will think about the species that have been tortured and mercilessly used and those that have become extinct - and I will grieve! I will be leaving a truly incredible and unique planet that has such beauty and magnificence and I will be immensely sad that this was not fully recognised by the billions of people who inhabit the planet and are using up its precious finite resources.

Not being 'awake', 'aware'. 'conscious' or 'enlightened' has immensely serious repercussions!

I give myself the title of 'lightworker' because the 'light' allows something material to be examined and hence the 'light' is seen as possessing qualities of 'goodness'. However, since the earliest times, the light has always been discussed in terms of its opposite, 'the dark', where harm can take place without consequence.

In ancient Egypt, Osiris, the beneficial god of vegetation is opposed by Set, who takes his life. Ishtar, the Sumerian goddess, went in search of her angry sister, Ereshkigal who pledged to hang Ishtar's dead body upon a meat hook. In the time of Jesus, the Essenes wrote about the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness who were at war and would herald the end of the world. Modern times cannot change this battle between good and evil! It takes place within us - do we resist or give in to temptation? Do we consider the needs of others before our own or do we only think of ourselves?

Is 'the light' always good and is 'the dark' always evil? The answer to this question is not absolute. The light is neutral, neither good nor bad. The light can destroy and the dark can be a place of gestation and growth. We need discernment! If we do not admit that something exists, we cannot examine it! How can we change or improve it?

It is the hallmark of the lightworker to challenge the darkness and where the darkness has allowed evil to take place, the result must be transformed - good must be created from evil. We need to make something good come from something bad, to transform a negative into a positive experience.

'Awakening' means to learn about the nature of good and evil in ourselves, in others and in our world and how the two are differentiated. When we know what is moral, has ethics and boundaries, we must do what is right. This is spiritual maturity.

'Consciousness' has an understanding of the suffering of others. Even the very poorest of people on our planet are aware of the greed and waste of the western world and how we are contributing to the pollution and ravaging of our precious planet's finite resources. The plight of animals is a testament to the lack of consciousness of humanity throughout the ages. This is also spiritual maturity.

So many spiritual practitioners deny that darkness or evil exists in our world - and these are the people who do very little to change it! Such people live in darkness. Living in the 'light' means no longer speaking in riddles! It means being transparent, being truthful and being real!

Those who intend to debunk the 'New Age' no longer use the word 'heart' because this is an organ which pumps blood around the body! We use the words 'caring', 'compassion', 'understanding' and 'kindness' instead. And we no longer use the word 'head' when speaking about our ability to think and take decisions. We use the word 'intellect' when we describe our thinking capacities. Therefore, those who are truly enlightened, aware, awake and conscious use words which are in the English language dictionary, such as honesty, generosity, peace, justice, co-operation, equality, etc.

The Universe is a big place, full, we are reliably informed, with a great deal of dark matter. We know very little about it, with the exception of its amazing mysteries, size and quandaries, such as when theories turn upside down and teach us what we thought is entirely incorrect.

The light will always be in conflict with the darkness, as without darkness, there can be no light and vica versa. Those who use the darkness gain power by hiding and causing chaos, and do so because they are self-serving and their lives and those around them are blighted by competition, jealousy, betrayal, greed, malice and other types of evil.

However, I don't want to know about what you think makes you special, and, may I say it, superior to other people who have no had your 'unusual' experiences. I want to know about what you are doing to create a better world, to relieve suffering, and to care for others who are not as fortunate as yourself, whether of the human or animal species, either now or in years to come. Text by Racine

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