A friend of mine* just wrote a book called Simple Awakening, about his (mostly blissful) passage into inner silence and stillness. I’ve read parts of it, and it’s very good.
But he’s a guy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Smileyface.
My awakening journey has been, and still is, to say the least, complex. This is not the same as complicated, btw. I know without practicing Facebook that there’s a relationship status called “It’s Complicated,” meaning “it would take too long to explain.” Ditto with my experience of awakening that has been unfolding for at least 46 years, since I was first visited by the Presence of the Presence, aged 18 (it had been visiting since childhood, I guess, but this major awakening went on for days and changed the course of my life). Yes, my awakening has been complicated. Three steps forward, 4 back, 10 forward, 32 sideways, one big step forward… and that’s just a spatial description. Put that into time. Print out that equation in terms of the three brains: my instinctual physical life, my emotional life, my conceptual life. All of which have been the three-ringed circus for the show: my actual spiritual evolution which is different from all these, yet performs within them as realms of experience where I am tested.
Because although awakening comes from higher consciousness and is not something you “do,” it also is. To some extent we experience having “free will,” and within that reality, we make choices. Otherwise, you might as well run the whole thing as a digital video game. The difference between digital and analog (real life) is that digital repeats itself over and over until reprogrammed. Analog unfolds unpredictably, fractally, spontaneously, always now. Real awakening while in human form in the physical world has to be analog. It can be invited or avoided.
And this is the real sport I have found myself engaged in: the appearance of free-will-choice as so-called-me, navigating not one, but millions of moments of choice: Take this path back around the familiar loop of my neural pathways (which might appear as resentment, pain, limiting belief, anxiety, endless grief––all of which, of course, I can justify); or this other path that goes… well, I can’t see where it goes. It’s the invisible pathway that appears when I let go of the old habit or even addiction to suffering and cultural or relational security. Like a car driving at night, my personal headlights can only show me a few yards ahead on the road, when I would like to see the whole vista of where I am going. The inner choice to awaken, or to continually invite the Infinite Invisible (God) to take over my life, is often like driving at night without even the benefit of headlights. It’s not smooth. I drive off the road again and again, and yet there is the road, right where I am. This is the complicated version of awakening, as it “prints out” into the human life of relationships, places, things, health, money, the human drama.
Yet complex is more than––and different from––complicated. Scientists uncovering the real secrets of nature (that is measuring the real chaotic movement of matter and energy, not in a controlled laboratory experiment, but in the actual spontaneous life of plants, stars, yeast growing on your skin, even traffic patterns) use the word complexity. Complexity Science is a Thing; it’s the 3rd great scientific revolution of the last few centuries, in fact. In nature, things expand and express themselves exponentially, through fractal scaling, which is to say, the same pattern bursts forth from nothing in the tiny sprig of a cauliflower as in the whole cauliflower, at different scales.
For some reason, my life experience has been scaled up to great complexity. My core limiting belief, or Personal Addictive Theme, as I call it in my work, is “I’m Too Much.” And just as, if you believe you are not enough, you will never have enough, and the outer world will never be enough, my experience has been at the other end of some invisible spectrum of the human game. I want to say, without exaggeration, that it has been explosive, implosive, at times experientially apocalyptic (imagine this line with exaggeration!). Death would have been easier than many of the initiatory experiences I have gone through.
And, I don’t even know where to begin in terms of the vast amount of information that has streamed through my consciousness. It is a popular new meme that the number of information bytes we modern folk take in per day is more than a medieval farmer would have processed in a lifetime. Somehow, even without being hooked up to social media, I find myself wired to process more in an hour than modern folk process in a day––or something like that, you get the point. And if this sounds like bragging, you try it!