When we're at the bottom we have to get past the materialist-rationalist model that we are taught - aka this is the world as it is - a solid reality that we are born into as sentient mammals, we live, we die - that's it folks! - Make the most of it while you're here!
Getting past the five sense reality barrier
A number of reflections or experiences will get you past this:
- near death experiences
- paranormal experiences
- experiencing the power of the mind to heal or create our own reality
- or simply a thought - hey! what if what I perceive is like a PC which is limited by what is inputted from the keyboard, webcam, microphone etc. Maybe what I experience is only a fraction of what there is.
Now just in case we make this leap there are a couple of quagmires or sand traps set up to block further realisation or simply to get us to doubt it.
This is called the control trap - it is set up to keep you distracted by keeping you busy chasing achievement, money, jobs and education to pay your bills, put your children through school, pay for that mega-expensive marriage your family said you had to have and doing all that stay on the right side of the law, pay your taxes and be a good dutiful citizen. That should be enough to keep you way too busy to find time to escape the suffering and stress of it all. But in case you do start to this trap has built in fail safes called, wars, economic depression, racial and religious hatred etc. Its basic premise is that if you don't achieve in life you will be a failure, which leads to guilt and low self-worth.
This trap is far more insidious. It seduces you with comfort. Spend your life watching movies, drinking at the cafe, holidaying at the trendy five star resort or in vogue destination, buying the new fashions, going to the latest rock concert, partying, yachting on the Riviera etc. Its basic premise is that if you are not happy, not one of the beautiful people, you're a failure, which leads to guilt and low self-worth. There is all sorts of "help" available to tell you what you need to do to be and stay happy. Actually a certain amount of restlessness and feeling that something is amiss is an indication that you're tossing in you're sleep and have the potential to wake up.
The two traps interact and overlap.
The two traps interact and overlap.
The escape path requires us to realise the nature of the two traps, we can't keep elements of them out of our lives all together unless we want to live in a cave but we can chose not to identify with them. Observe them but don't buy-in to the traps. This doesn't mean you have to give up you job or sailing on the Riviera etc, its not what you do in this world that matters, its how you identify and react to it. Anything can be used for exercises in present moment mindfulness, compassion and treating all as yourself. We start by saying "I love you" and extending it in our minds to include ourselves, those we obviously love, everyone else and everything else. See the suffering of those trapped in the traps and develop compassion for all of them. This isn't about pity, its about understanding that the "them" is you. You can do this by mentally putting yourself in their shoes, feel what their suffering might be and its burden on them, breathe that it and breathe out love. If this is difficult because you don't like the person, animal or thing that you are focusing this on just remember that they aren't how they have defined themselves either. We are vibration, existing in a field of energy with no boundaries.
Getting past the ego/self barrier
- Don't seek it, do it ... don't waste a lifetime following what others tell about how to awaken (including this blog post), at best these can only be hints, direct experience is the only way. Our default state is awake to our oneness - to wake up let go of your identifications.
- Understand what leading edge quantum theorists and other thinkers are saying: we are all one and start living your life on the premise that that is true.
- Live in the present moment, practicing mindfulness in everything. One pointed meditation and brainwave entrainment may help but should be seen as optional tools, many other ways are possible.
- Be willing to let go of all your identifications: the reflection in the mirror, your body and its state, your past story of upbringing and life experiences, your goals and desires (as something that exist in the future)...
It may help to envision that these identifications are just layers of clothing that cover the naked awareness of oneness. Or imagine that oneness has divided itself, within the context of this world, in to different characters so it can play out a game for the purpose of experiencing itself. Its sort of like a sim earth virtual game that can be played multiple times until the player, the one consciousness, works out what variables are necessary for all the characters in the game to realise its only a game and finish the game the way it way meant to be finished - recreating paradise with the power of collective mind.
Levels of understanding beyond that
There are most probably levels to this that I am either not aware of or as yet only dimly guess at. Something immeasurable, infinite and incorruptible...who knows. Getting past the barriers and starting the journey is a good place to start.