I would rather be the taunted "King of Fools" and enter the gates of heaven, than be a reasonable and righteous man who rots in hell. Thus, I have begun my journey home, moving far away from being the contrived person I once thought I must become....
I am reminded of an old tale about a fish who swam throughout all the world's oceans and seas, peering into every nook and cranny, searching everywhere for the fabled "waters of life." But the fish was unable to find the hidden "waters" that it had been swimming in along, and finally gave up the search in despair. Like the fish, we are constantly "swimming" in something that gives us life, but that we—due to our own self-induced lack of awareness, and with the inherent powerlessness and limitations that accompany it—fail to notice or acknowledge, even though we are completely immersed in it all the time. Thus, the so-called "waters of life" remain unseen and a mystery to us, although not really hidden at all. Fortunately, for myself I choose to recognize that I am indeed surrounded by the fabled "waters of life," and that I do not need to go looking for them, because I am in them always, whether I allow myself to notice this fact, or not. Moreover, I can actually do something about my present situation, and do it to the extent that I am motivated to do so.
But how do I recover any lost awareness and power, and where did it go when I lost it? And what is this "power" I speak of? Although the answers to these kinds of questions are basically simple and easily put, getting to the place where you can truly see and feel this simplicity might well involve a long, frustrating and seemingly complicated learning process. So if you want to achieve a bounty of results in this lifetime it is best to get started right away, and do so by earnestly choosing to recover what you have lost, and then, once the process has begun and you are shaking in your boots with fear, continue to do whatever it takes to move forward and succeed. I initiated such an awareness recovery process for myself many years ago and continue to reap the increasing benefits from my decision every day. As you read on, I briefly share some of what has been learned, tidbits that can serve to bring about the answers to the questions posed earlier, but that reveal themselves in their own time and way, not yours or mine. So, then, why should you consider getting involved in something like this? Let me share a little story that may help to answer such a question:
|The Little Kitten|
|Several years ago (circa 1999) a three or four week old kitten was
brought into the house. My friend Audrey (a house-mate) found it in a
next-door neighbor's yard. The family was away on a two-week vacation
in Mexico, and she found the kitten when she went to feed their six-month
old puppies. Apparently one of the puppies had been playing with the
kitten, as its fur was matted and grimy as though it had been wetted
with saliva and then rolled in loose dirt. Audrey gave the little kitten
a bath and wrapped it up in a fluffy towel to keep it warm and safe.
It purred and soon fell asleep.
The kitten slept very soundly that evening, hardly stirring at all. Then about one o'clock in the morning a tortured scream instantly awakened everyone in the house. Rich (another house-mate) was the first to reach the little kitten and see it lying stretched out on the kitchen floor, some two or three feet away from the fluffy towel that had been its soft little bed. Reaching down, Rich immediately scooped up the outstretched kitten, holding it in his hands, trying to comfort it. But this was only a temporary measure, because after a short period of deathly rest an intense spasm would wrench its tiny body, jolting it with searing pain. With each excruciating round of contractions the tiny kitten would cry out, its front paws clutching at Rich, digging into his skin, as the little kitten's glistening eyes filled with tears, confusion, and a pleading for help.
Its hind quarters seemed mostly paralyzed. As Rich tenderly caressed it, he could feel that the rib cage on one side of its body seemed to be crushed inward slightly, probably by the puppies having some "innocent" fun. Rich sobbed, and with tears dripping from his face he was moved to voice that he felt powerless to help the tiny companion cupped gently in his hands. The kitten was obviously nearing death. With each round of spasms the kitten's life force ebbed yet another noticeable bit. We could hear that its tiny lungs were filling with fluid, its breathing ever more shallow and labored. We all felt so weak and powerless, sadly unable to prevent or alter the kitten's suffering and bewilderment at the events swiftly overtaking us all.
But as utterly helpless as we all felt, we, nonetheless, each instinctively knew that we once had the innate ability and omnipotent majesty to inspire and alter the kind of outer reality conditions that were now causing us such anguish, transforming such horrible misfortunes as if by magic. But putting our attention and hands on the dying kitten did nothing to stop or hinder what was happening, no matter how much we desired it to be free of its impending fate. The most we could do was give it some sense of companionship and comfort. How agonizing it was for us to know and remember how it felt to have the power to be magical and have physical reality immediately and miraculously respond to our word, only to now find ourselves absolutely powerless to do what was in our hearts, confronted by what seemed to be a hostile outer reality that was implacable and basically unalterable. Why had we become so weak and timid, burdened with a diminished life force that could no longer respond in magnificent and miraculous ways?
Recovering one's awareness and personal power, so that life can be joyously magical again, without the need for greedy manipulation or the rampant misery, sickness, and death that appears to always accompany the earthly experience, is an integral part of what I consider to be awareness work. The whole process can be outlined in the following simple looking but often extremely difficult to achieve steps:
Delving into and making practical everyday use of the often judged to be unknowable aspects of consciousness might seem like I am going after an impossible dream, or that I am some sort of crackpot spouting ideas suitable only for a lunatic fringe. If you subscribe to these kinds of ideas you will have automatically excluded yourself from any of the possibilities I suggest and routinely enjoy for myself. To many people the task of actually getting down to the business of resolving their part in everything that is not liked or that is horrifying seems overwhelming, and nothing short of an impossible task. Perhaps this is because it may seem as though "there is just too much to ever understand, let alone resolve and release." People of this bent often prefer to forget all about the mess that envelops them, instead preferring to lift out and pretend that everything is wonderful, while they gradually wither and die, maybe secretly hoping that after death they will have some kind of permanent rest. But resolving all that is troubling us does not need to be impossible or overwhelming, as long as we move ahead in bite-sized steps, chewing each one thoroughly before digesting it and going on to the next. Moreover, life does not have to stop while we are becoming more aware. Life will go on, day by day, no matter what we do, but it can easily become ever better and more joyous if we incrementally resolve the things that haunt us as we recover our lost love, joy, and vitality.
So, what do you have to lose by becoming more aware? Nothing that I can see. The worst that can happen is that you will remain the same, rotting and dying in the "normal" earthly way. On the other hand, what if learning to understand and use what I call the mechanics of consciousness allows you to alter your life for the better, regaining at least some of what you have lost, so that your life experience moves more closely to one of endless magic and joy? To this end, every step I take on my awareness journey further enables me to more easily and clearly remember and feel the ancient times when I did live in a more magical and powerful way, and how I gradually lost those abilities due to my own ignorance and lack of awareness about how living energy interacts. Step by little unaware step I gradually lost myself, until I was in the relatively powerless condition that surrounds me on Earth today. What has happened to us all can be likened to putting a live frog in tepid water and then slowly turning up the heat until it is finally boiled to death without ever realizing what went wrong or why. As long as the change in temperature is gradual enough it tends to go unnoticed, until it is too late—or, in my case, nearly too late.
To begin undoing the unpleasant aspects of the reality I had created for myself meant finally taking the time to genuinely look at, feel, and begin to understand how and why the living energy that was me interacts and creates the way it does. Doing this allowed me to begin observing and comprehending why all my heretofore wonderful mental logic and valued accumulation of social, religious, and scientific imprinting was not going to save me from myself, and that, in fact, all this intellectual prowess I valued so much was the source of my trouble. All this mental stuff was actually tightening the noose around my neck, strangling and suffocating what life force I still had remaining. Thus, it became clear that I needed to act, and probably very quickly, before I had lost yet more critical awareness and power. Otherwise, I realized, I might not ever be able to recover myself. So, instead of just complaining and wallowing in my former troubles I set about finding a way to get my mind and the limitations it imposed out of the way, at least enough so that that I could actually begin to observe the underlying mechanics of what was happening, as well as why it was happening. Once I had enthusiastically jumped into dealing with myself it soon became quite apparent how the predominant and easy to spot beliefs I held were governing my everyday life. They dictated how I reacted and interacted with everything. As I began to undo parts of some of my most obvious belief systems it was not too long before I realized that what I was observing as my extensive collection of intertwined ideas about life were, in fact, mere vestiges of much deeper and more powerful primal choices, which, up till now, had been systematically obscured and made invisible by the overriding layers of solidified mental garbage. Moreover, I was beginning to recognize the effect these subterranean layers of matted mentality had in producing the very experiences of weakness, misery, illness, powerlessness, and death that I desperately wanted gone and forever out of my life.
Once my awareness ball was rolling, I decided that I wanted to work all the way back to my zero starting point, if such a thing was possible. This meant recognizing and resolving all the mental attitudes, judgmental ideas, and beliefs that were held within my mental apparatus, including what was still in denial, whatever the extent of that might be, so that I could essentially start life over again without any past mistakes influencing and ruining my reality. This simplistic, almost accidental, but heartfelt choice to personally know, love, and resolve all of myself quickly unleashed a process that I could never have imagined possible, and that initiated a journey back into the forgotten and otherwise "unknowable" mysteries of my life. Without knowing exactly what I was doing, I had stumbled upon a key that swiftly unlocked and set free some ancient forces within me, setting me awash with a motivating intent determined to fully recover all of my lost awareness and power. Thus, by enthusiastically choosing to love and know how living energy interacts and then deal with whatever I observed, such as the myths, beliefs, religious ideas, and scientific notions that I had been making into some kind of truth, the doors to the unknowable finally began to swing wide open for me.
Before long I had evolved several simple "awareness tools" that really worked, at which time, I reasoned, I could begin the process of actually undoing the tangled mental causes behind the manifest experiences that I hated, and that seemed to unavoidably surround me no matter where I went or what I did. Finally, I had a way that allowed me to actually see and feel many of the unresolved issues, misunderstandings, and rigidified choices that had accumulated over eons of ignorantly conceived lifetimes, and now truly do something constructive about it. As I was more and more able to comprehend the mechanics behind my reality, I was more and more able to initiate new choices and changes that brought about yet another round of awareness and personal power recovery, which, in turn, again accelerated my awareness progress immensely.
Ask yourself, is it time for me to choose a new lifestyle and begin an awareness recovery mission, or do I want to keep myself comfortably numb and dead? If the answer is "yes, I want to reawaken," when will you be willing to begin earnestly doing so? Or will you procrastinate, contentedly waiting for some vague and distant tomorrow that will never actually arrive? Making a one way or another choice that forever dramatically alters your life will probably never get any easier by putting it off, since the longer you wait the more judgments you will inevitably make about life, further rigidifying and causing to be lost more and more of yourself with every passing day. As more and more of your remaining vitality is squandered there will be a commensurate loss of awareness, making it ever more difficult to prevent or resolve anything not liked.
But decreasing awareness and power may be what you really want and enjoy, in which case you may already be on the right path for you, although why you would want such an outcome is unfathomable to me. Many people seem to actually enjoy finding ways to be gloomy, sick, and dead. I know of family members that seem to love this kind of lifestyle, miserable and tormenting as it is. The upshot here is this: We all have free choice as to what kind of reality we want and that pleasures us, and it would be very unloving of me to interfere with another person's choice, no matter how dreary, ugly, or painful it may appear to me. I am not here to try and sell you on the idea of awareness work; only offer it an a possible alternative.