The Importance of Awakening
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
So far I have tried to give you my best overview about what spirituality entails and I have paved some ground to get to start together this journey. In this post I would like to stress in a more detailed way why awakening represents a fundamental step to improve your individual life and to make possible a real social (r)evolution.
With the risk of being repetitive, awakening or spirituality should not be held as a philosophical entertainment, it does not represent a new belief system and it is not an attempt to theorized reality through some modeling or experiments. Through awakening you will directly become conscious about specific truths you might not currently be aware of concerning you as a being and the reality you are living in. Becoming directly conscious means that these truths stand by themselves, they do not need to be proved by science or any other branches of knowledge, they are not attained through perceptions. Simply they are directly available to “you” if you open up to new possibilities how to relate to reality. Think about this for a moment: if whatever I am pointing to is explained by something else, that would not be an absolute realization. Explaining the origin of the Universe with the Big Bang do not really answer the question "how could something come out of nothing": whatever science will discover to have existed before the Big Bang it will have to be explained as well by finding its cause. True awakening, however, will allow you to answer definitely to such a question (and many others) with no need to perform experiments and with no previous knowledge of physics or math.
It is likely that what you consider yourself to be is a physical biological entity made out of bones, muscle, atoms, molecule, mind, you name it. The aim of awakening is to expand this narrow view on which you are so strongly attached to reveal that this interpretation is ultimately limited and relative to your current level of consciousness. As long as your understanding about who you are stays at a such low level of consciousness, you are trapped. As long as you do not become directly conscious that whatever you think to be is not equal to being, you will conduct your life as a puppet pushed here and there by many forces of which you are not aware of. The world of beliefs and assumptions you probably find yourself bound to right now has literally infinite layers of complexity that need to be unrevealed to get a more comprehensive understanding of reality.
The reason why modern society is so dominated by injustice, inequality, suffering, arrogance, corruption, ignorance is because each of us, as individual, are conducting our life at a really low level of consciousness. I am not referring to the fact that there might be a general insufficient level of education within society (even though this represents definitely an important aspect of the problem). I am referring to the fact that, regardless how many PhD's and Masters you have obtained, it is likely that your level of consciousness is extremely low. The reason why it is so is because you never questioned reality at the metaphysical level, you never bothered stopping for a second asking whether what you think to be is actually what you are, you never questioned your perceptions of reality, you never questioned the materialistic model everyone is so attached to.
The reason why our society is not where it should be considering how far we have gone with the scientific and technological progresses is because each of us, as individual, has invested zero time in increasing our consciousness.
This lack of interest for consciousness has a specific reason to be: survival. Increasing your consciousness means to put an end to whoever you currently think to be. An increase in consciousness will reveal the illusion of you being nothing else than a conceptual entity that has no substance at all, an entity that will fight with any means to survive. Your inner voice that is now running “inside” your head ready to judge, deny and dismiss what has been said here, is what prevents an increase in consciousness. Whatever you think to be represents the worst enemy in elevating to an higher level of understanding. This conceptual self, what you consider to be you, can also be called the ego. However, by using the term ego I do not mean the selfish entity that is referred to indicate a negative aspect of your own personality. By using ego I mean, you as totality, as whatever you think to be.
All the emotions, perceptions, feelings, thoughts, the concept of being a body or a mind, memories, your personal history, your past, your family, your culture, your beliefs, your ideology, your tradition is all ego, it is all a conceptual activity. And since your own existence, at this level of consciousness, only aims to personal survival there is no space for an individual and social evolution.
Living your life at a low level of consciousness means to live a life ruled by the ego and it is not the place to stand to live a conscious life. I am not saying it is not a nice and comfy place, (for some people it is) but it is what makes our society, from politics to economy, from religion to science, so messed up and not willing to undertake a real change. Living a life identifying yourself with the ego means living a life dominated by fear and a need for survival. The ego is by definition the identification in being someone or something. You might consider yourself to be a socialist, a democratic, a Christian, a Muslim, a scientist, an atheist, a human, a body, a mind, an Italian, an asshole, a genius, an athletes and so on. Giving yourself an identity, you need to protect it at any cost because your own existence relies on that assumption. Anyone or anything threatening whatever you decided to identify with will be feared and fought through blaming, judging, reacting, moralizing, mocking, revenge, manipulation, violence.
I want to point out that having a self-image is not bad per se, but the identification with it is the root of all our problems. The nature of your true self is infinite and it can take any shape it wants but when "you", the conceptual self, decide to identify and stick on a specific one, suffering will be inevitable. It is like walking at the city center and someone hands over you a flier. You keep it for a while and then it is likely you are going to trash it. No big deal. But if instead someone hands you over a 1000 euro, a sense of ownership and identification will arise. The sense of self identifies and imagines to be someone rich or lucky and it will try anything it can to keep this reality as it is. Identification is something that we do, not something that we are, and therefore we can "undo" it.
All individual and social conflicts arise through identifying yourself with something or someone. The urge to keep your identity alive, to protect your survival needs and personal agenda are fear-based, fear of losing whatever conceptual story you have told to yourself. I would like to invite you to become conscious in your daily life how your identification leads to conflicts.
The risk in living such an unconscious life resides also in the fact that the culture and the society you live in will use these identifications to make you actively responsible in creating whatever idea of society they have in mind. And since the people that are running countries and hold most of the power are highly unconscious, you will be responsible for creating an unconscious society. Simply look at the case of how Cambridge Analytica has contributed to the win of Trump’s election and Brexit: they were collecting personal information about private citizens (with their consensus) through different surveys and they were explicitly using social media to manipulate people to vote one candidate over the other accordingly to their personal preferences. In other words, they were taking advantage of people’s identification in being either this or that to unconsciously make them be part of their own selfish interest.
If you identify yourself to be someone and something and you are not aware you are doing so, other unconscious ego might use your identification to accomplish whatever they have in mind.
Awakening will show you that any identification you are currently holding as your true nature is false because in reality there is no-self. When I say no-self I do not mean it with a negative and nihilistic connotation. No-self means that the sense of self does not correspond to an absolute entity and it is therefore relative! Through increasing your consciousness, it will be clear that any identification is only one out infinite and it is totally up to you which form you want to take. You are that which has no form and no substance and for this reason it can take any form it wants. This wide open condition was present when you were born, but then through cultural conditioning has been shaped and forgotten. Unfortunately we fail to see that this infinite potential was, is and will be always present and that it represents the groundless ground to become anything you want.
Importantly, the choice in identifying yourself with this or that and the actions that will be undertaken accordingly to that choice should not be guided by the distinctions of what is good or bad, right or wrong. Morality is also (that you like it or not) a relative system within society that humans have invented for their own interest in being able to live together and it does not correspond to an absolute feature of reality: each culture and tradition has its own ethical system that might vary enormously among different countries. Your choice should instead be based on consciousness because it is the only absolute reality existing (even though you might not be aware of right now) that goes beyond humans and anything else.
As you might understand this is a fundamental truth to become aware of because without an absolute self to hold on there is nothing that can bind you, there is nothing to be protected and defended, there is no fear in losing an identity. By standing from such a position the individual and the collective ego cannot anymore use you to accomplish any unconscious plan, you are not anymore available to support devilry. Becoming more and more conscious you will finally acquire complete control over your personal and social decisions and you will become more responsible in changing the reality around you.
You will see along your journey that the level of consciousness that can be reached has no end. It will constantly change and evolve towards a more comprehensive understanding that will put upside-down whatever you currently think to be and whatever truth you are holding about reality. Awakening implies a radical shift in consciousness and will push you inevitably to make a difference also within society through your own personal transformation.
A conscious society cannot be built without an increase in consciousness at the individual level.
As you might foresee, unconscious egos will not like this transformation. The culture you live in, the people around you, your close friends and family might not accept such a radical change. Unconscious people will start to fight you in many ways. They will produce antibodies against you. This is one of the price you need to pay in increasing your consciousness in a society that, regardless its technological and scientific achievements, still lives in the dark age regarding this matter.
To conclude, awakening and the spiritual journey has nothing to do with spirits and New Age beliefs as many people believe. It rather represents a powerful tool to make you access to something that goes beyond the so called physical reality. It will affect in a tangible way your own existence as an individual and as a member of the society you live in.
Thanks for reading and see you next week!