- On December 1, 2017
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Awakening or self recognition entails a profound shift of identity from being a finite, separate self to infinite awareness. This realization belongs to no one and refers to no one. It is the liberation from personal identity. When this happens, we realize that no story or image can possibly define or confine us. We are emptied of who we thought we were. Who we really are is quite literally inconceivable. The initial phase of this unfolding recognition is marked by a sense of tremendous freedom and spaciousness.
As the process of awakening deepens, it typically drops down from the head and begins to penetrate into the depths of the conditioned body-mind, transforming subtle physical and energetic dimensions. The emotional and instinctual levels of the body awaken from their trance states and discover that their true nature is also pure, self-luminous consciousness. As this happens, the inner felt-sense of the body opens up, lines up, and lights up.
Jean Klein would often say that our body is our nearest environment. As we intimately explore this environment with the light of our true nature, our body feels less like a dense, solid object and more like a lively field of vibration. The boundary between inside and outside softens and eventually dissolves. While we know what the concept of an external world refers to, it actually becomes harder and harder to find such a world in our direct experience. Are we just a “skin-encapsulated ego” as Alan Watts so eloquently wrote years ago, or are we in fact inextricably linked to and made of the same substance as everything? Just as we are not who we think we are, we are also not who we commonly feel and sense that we are. Awakening the body-mind brings us to our uncommon senses.
The body and by extension the so-called world come alive in a new way. We feel ourselves tapped into a profound current of life that animates everything – people, animals, trees and even rocks. This brings a natural sense of aliveness, wonder, and intimacy. We experience this naturally as small children, taking delight in the smallest discoveries. We can return to this way of experiencing life as adults, this time knowingly, with profound gratitude for the whole of life and for the simplicity of Being.