Today’s question is just this: What is an awaken(ed/ing) soul? Disclaimer: while many of my blog posts will have research and verified conclusive evidence to support my claims, this one will have nothing more than “my own meandering experience” as evidence. Let the reader be ware! (edit: I do cite a small case study I did with about 10 people – but the rest is opinion)
Let us first examine the difference between the words”awakened” and “awakening”.
“Awakened” implies the process or event of awakening happened in the past. There is a sense of conclusiveness, of finality. “Awakened” describes the present moment, now, as living in the wake of the awakening process or event. Of the future, it speaks that we may also experience the wake of awakening – the latent effects of awakening.
The word “awakening”, on the other hand, implies that the process or event is ongoing; continuous; ever-unfolding. “awakening” means that something is happening in the present – the now moment. Of the future, it also speaks that we may experience the wake of awakening, but only if the “awakening” stops! If it doesn’t stop, then we won’t be experiencing the wake of awakening, we will be experiencing the awakening itself!
I conducted a small, informal survey of about 10 people in a yoga community, in a group of self-proclaimed empaths. I asked if they had always been this way, or if they had an “awakening moment”. The results? 25% said they had an awakening moment, while the other 75% claimed they had always been that way.
So what does that say about the difference between “awakened” and “awakening”?
It means that for some people, an awakening moment is a very real thing. It can be extremely useful in understanding our growth and building our unique life story in in that it orients our present selves to a past experience of self via memory. It’s something that we can tell people about to express our individuality and validate out life experience. This can be useful only in that we see how far we’ve come, and we can help others to work through similar situations that we’ve been through ourselves. This is the true value of experience-based mentoring.
My experience has been one of gradual awakening. I’ve had some incredible energetic moments through yoga, music, sex, and other consciousness expanding experiences, but I choose to view them as punctuation in my awakening story, not the story itself.
In truth, the past experience of self doesn’t really exist; only the memory exists. You cannot show me evidence that the past exists! You can show me a recording, or a photograph, but that only proves that the past once existed, as a now moment. This does not prove that the past exists now, and it is an important distinction to make. Memories can be so emotionally powerful that many people mistake a memory of who they were for who they are today. What is really happening is that who they are today (and their true potential) is drowned out by the emotional echo of a memory. You may say “Can’t it be both?”. Kind of…you can keep certain qualities that you like, and take on new qualities as well. This will get us into a debate about identity and how we define identity, which is another blog post entirely!
But be careful! It’s a trap!
Have you figured it out yet? I hope to give you a koan to chew on that may spark further growth experiences, if you want it.
An awakening moment is only useful if we use it to acknowledge how far we’ve come, or if we use it to help others in a similar situation. The trap lies in too often orienting your present self with the awakening moment in the past. If your attachment to your story of awakening overshadows growth opportunities in the present, then you’ve missed the point!
All this is coming from the perspective of my own love for growth and development. If you value, say, approval and comfort over growth and development, then by all means, cling to your story. Tell it to yourself over and over again, and maybe you’ll be able to drown out the valid parts of yourself that are now asking for your attention to take you on further journeys of growth and development. It’s ok if this isn’t for you. The conscious life is a hard road to travel! Many people just find it more preferable to go on lying to themselves. But as always, what you tell yourself about your reality – what you want believe – plays a big part in the reality you find yourself in (or, create!).
To awaken to anything implies that, before the awakening moment, we were asleep. I like to use the term “Unconscious”. Consciousness can see unconsciousness, but unconsciousness by definition cannot possibly see consciousness.
But we can see what is directly in front of us. We can experience how we feel, even if it’s a feeling of numbness. Let’s tune into the present moment now and let it tell us where we are, and, based on what we want to create in our lives, how to get to our next destination!
Maybe unconsciousness and consciousness can experience each other energetically in cosmically sexual growth situations. Maybe real learning is just a process of our unconscious patterns and beliefs coming to the bedroom to make love with our conscious selves. For someone like me who appreciates this growth process, it’s an orgasmic experience!