The Loneliness of Being Awake

awakeToday is Monday, October 14, 2013.

“Now that I am no longer sleeping, I cannot pretend any more to fit where I no longer belong.”

Waking up is hard to do.  You could write a song with those lyrics.  I wonder… how would it play on the Billboard charts?  Probably not that well.  Why?  Because, well… waking up is hard to do.

The late Anthony de Mello wrote, “Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep.  They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up.”  Actually, a lot of spiritual teachers say this.

Here’s more from de Mello.

“Wake up!  Stop playing with your toys.

“Most people tell you they want to get out of kindergarten, but don’t believe them.  Don’t believe them!  All they want you to do is to mend their broken toys.  ‘Give me back my wife.  Give me back my job. Give me back my money.  Give me back my reputation, my success.’  This is what they want; they want their toys replaced.  That’s all.  Even the best psychologist will tell you that, that people don’t really want to be cured.  What they want is relief; a cure is painful.

“Waking up is unpleasant, you know.  You are nice and comfortable in bed.  It is irritating to be woken up.”

It’s also lonely, confusing, and downright scary!  It’s lonely because so few people are awake, and there aren’t many people you can talk to about the situation.  Some people freeze up when we bring up spiritual topics, or they tell us we need to lighten up. Other friends, uncomfortable with some of the things we are doing and saying may start to ridicule us, unconsciously bringing to bear social pressure to conform to the norm.

Of course we are never alone, but it feels that way sometimes. Occasionally waking up spiritually will cost us some friendships, because awakened people no longer enjoy some of the pastimes they used to, such as drinking and mindless gaming, watching endless amounts of TV and movies with gratuitous violence, explicit sex, and offensive language.  Our friends may tell us that we’re no fun to hang out with anymore, and we wonder, sometimes, whether we’re maybe going crazy.

“I’ve lost some longtime friends because of this but have made many, many new ones,” writes one blogger.  “Once the ego is released, you no longer worry about conformity and peer pressure.”

Waking up is confusing because our lives are suddenly filled with little synchronicities that we used to think were just coincidences.  Now we know they’re not, but we realize that many of them are little puzzles to be figured out.  What’s Divine Spirit trying to tell me now?  What am I supposed to learn from this situation?  Nothing is really spelled out for us.  We have to do the work for ourselves.  We can have plenty of help, but in the end, the work is ours to do.  Our cards have been dealt to us because we said, “Hit me.”  How we play the hand is our choice, and ours, alone.

Awakened people have spiritual experiences that sometimes seem a bit scary.  They may see strange lights and sometimes see and speak with people they know are no longer living.  They have vivid dreams that seem more real in some ways than the waking world we normally inhabit.  They have inexplicable nudges to do things (or refrain from doing things) that turn out to be very wise advice, indeed.  They get information and gain insights intuitively.  A few people have out-of-body experiences in which they are told their life purpose and shown what they need to accomplish.   It’s hard to admit that you’re doing something new because you had a dream that showed you what to do, or that you talked to some Beings of Light while you were out cold on an operating table.

Paul Twitchell, the founder of Eckankar, often wrote that human beings are like machines.  What he meant was that most people let their physical, mental and emotional bodies control their lives, rather than gaining control as Soul.  It’s like the illustration – you can no longer neatly and effortlessly “plug into” the system.  (The illustration for today depicts this very well.)  Now you have to think for yourself, and make your own choices.  Although your life may seem out of control to other people, in reality it is just whizzing by at a pace that few other people can understand or cope with.

Transpersonal psychologist Gini Grey writes, “At some point in time we each begin to awaken to who we really are, beyond the physical, beyond the conditioning and programming, and beyond the many games we play as humans on this ever evolving planet. We chose to come here, knowing we would lose ourselves in the density of unconscious, knowing we would play and struggle with limitation and control, and also knowing that the challenges, suffering and insights we experience would support us to awaken from this illusion of separation.”

Now that you are unplugged, what’s next?  You decide.  🙂

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Loneliness of Being Awake

  1. Kris B

    WOW. Every morning I wake my son by opening his door and flipping on the light. I don’t even look in the room. I open the door a few inches as I walk by and reach around and flip the light. I don’t tell him to wake up nor startle him. I just turn on the light as I walk by heading to the other children’s rooms. Last week at midnight when my husband went to bed, he stopped by the room and checked on open vent in the room. He turned on the light for a brief second. 20 minutes later, our son came into the room fully dressed wondering why we weren’t awake and getting ready for the day. He was awake – but alone.

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