Enlightenment is a destructive process.
It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier.
Enlightenment is the
crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing
through the facade of pretense. It’s the
complete eradication of everything we
imagined to be true.
~Adyashanti

Make no bones about it, awakening is not a walk in the park. It is a ride through hell. It is the tearing down of all of your cherished beliefs and everything you thought about yourself. There is no way around this. In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, they had to enter into the Mirkwood Forest to get to their destination. There was no other way for them. It was not a walk in the park. Likewise, we must enter the shadowlands, and come face to face with our shadows. It is there that our false ideas of who we are are shattered. It is there that all of our false beliefs are destroyed. We must face these false notions and see them for what they are. This is the only way to heal, to become whole again, to live in integrity.

My good friend, Julie Anne gave a good description of this process in Enlightenment. It is a complete surrender, a process of brutal self honesty. It is a path of complete acceptance of the truth, no matter how difficult it is to bear. I still remember it vividly.

We go through life with so many false notions – of the world, of spirituality and of ourselves. We build up masks and we believe the facades. It’s all a charade. It is all based upon illusions and deceit. We deceive ourselves at every moment, and the world also deceives us at every moment. We live in perpetual cognitive dissonance, justifying the most absurd things in our minds. We constantly lie to ourselves… and we believe it.

To awaken to the truth that you seek, you must tear down the lies.

But we are too attached to the lies. We want to hold on to the illusions and to become enlightened at the same time. That is not possible. But there are hundreds of phony gurus and “spiritual teachers” that will tell you it is. They offer you processes to become happy, fulfilled, calm, find your soulmate, be positive, get the right job, make lots of money, balance the chakras, become healthy and whatever else you may be desiring. This has nothing to do with awakening. This is only polishing the ego. They all lead you right back into the matrix. You may even be lucky enough to get a golden cage, but it is still a cage, and you remain imprisoned in slavery. This is the road that most people choose to follow. This road is well traveled by the herd.

The Road to Truth and Freedom

It takes courage, discernment and self honesty to walk the Siddhartha road to truth and freedom. Not many people have that. We have been weakened by the onslaught of programming since our childhood. Most people want to remain in the herd, as they find comfort in the company of other deluded souls. It takes a certain individual to break free of the herd. The Siddhartha road is not easy. It is a treacherous road that will shatter every part of your existence. No, it takes a certain type of person to walk that road; a person that is willing to give up everything to find his true Self.

My story was one that took me through so many paths to nowhere; detours, dead ends and off of cliffs. I had to eventually be dragged, kicking and screaming through the abyss by Grace herself, for me to awaken. It was simply my time.

Now the strange thing about this, is that worse things have happened to me before, so why did this hit me so hard? I believe because it was supposed to, for me to transform. I took everything much harder, than I ever did before. Also, everything came crashing down at once. In the past, I was strong, and I kept my sense of self, of who I thought I was. But this time, my sense of self, who I thought I was, gave up. I stopped trying to be strong. I just collapsed.

Yes, I remember it well. My entire life story collapsed overnight. My girlfriend of five years ran off with another man. And she lived across the street. So every morning I would look out the window to see his van, just to rub it in. I kept saying, “There must be a purpose for this.” My health collapsed, my business collapsed, and those that I thought were my friends were not. I was alone. I tried to be in denial, grabbing straws as I was being dragged down into the abyss. My world around me collapsed, but so did my self-worth, self-esteem and my false ego. I felt unloved and abandoned. My life story shattered.

In the Depths of Darkness

I was left in this darkness for some time; four months. In that time, I was slowly being dismantled, as I had to face the hard cold facts. I had to be brutally honest with myself. Eventually, I came to the point of realizing that I hated my broken body, I hated the world, I hated myself, and I really hated god. Yes, I was very angry at him. He abandoned me. I felt the entire world abandoned me. It wasn’t fair. I threw out everything spiritual in my house. I was facing my darkness with brutal honesty. I sat with that for a while. Imagine the despair of seeing what lies hidden behind your persona, behind the lies you tell yourself daily.

And then a very powerful voice spoke to me. From where this voice came from, I do not know. It said, “Just surrender to the suffering.” That was it. So I thought about it. I realized that I was not accepting what was happening to me. I was fighting it. I was trying to push away the suffering, but it was obviously not working. So I followed the message, and surrendered to the suffering, that which is.

This continued for two weeks, right through Christmas. I felt so rejected, so abandoned, so alone. The pain of being stripped naked in the frigid cold, with no hope in sight. But I accepted what was happening. I was no longer trying to push it away. The suffering felt endless, yet I endured it. I don’t even know how to explain it. And then on the morning of January 1, 2004, I woke up. Not to a new year, but a new life. The suffering was gone, all was forgiven, and I was at peace. A peace that I had never known before. That which I thought I was no longer existed. My false perception of Self vanished. I remember the singing of the birds, the sun entering through the window, and everything around me was seen in a new light – a light of awe and amazement. My mind had ceased its chatter, I was experiencing a very deep peace.

And then it started – wave after wave of revelations, of deep knowings. I began to awaken to who I Am. I became acutely aware that I Am eternal and sovereign. Each wave awakened me more to my deepest Self. Each wave also shattered the illusions and deceptions of the world. As I awakened, my eyes saw a very different world. All the pieces fell into place. Someday I will describe the many revelations that flooded over me. I have already written much about it.

Divine Connection

The largest wave came a couple of weeks into this. I was meditating, and I went so deep, following the river of life to the depths of my Being. I was empty, but then from this emptiness, a powerful divine love sprang forth, inundating my entire mind and body. This love is unconditional. It spread out from me everywhere. All of the bugs, the lizards, the birds, the plants, the trees, everything was inundated with this love. I could not tell where I ended and the other Beings began. We were all intrinsically connected with this love; and yet my individual Self remained. I was not the bugs, the birds or the plants, but the connection was so deep, that I felt they were as if a part of me. There was simultaneously separation and no separation. It is not easy to describe, but this divine love is nothing like the love of this world.

But when you do awaken, and you do see the world with new eyes, you soon realize that no one else is seeing the same thing. I tried to tell a few people what had happened to me, but no one believed me. They thought that perhaps I cracked under the pressure of suffering and had gone crazy. No one wanted to hear anything I said, as it exposed their false beliefs. So I remained quiet for eight years.

“I awoke, only to find the rest of the world still sleeping.” ~Leonardo daVinci

How can I possibly explain something so deep, beyond the mind, where people have no concepts or understanding? What I woke up to I call Knowings, as opposed to knowledge. Knowledge comes from outside of the Self, either from the world, or from “up above”. Knowings are who you are. It is not new information, but rather an awakening to your true Self. Someone who has not awakened to his true Self has a difficult time understanding. They believe it is just knowledge, a different set of beliefs. Therefore people say things like, “That is your idea of Truth. It’s different from mine.” or “There is no absolute Truth, only relative truths.” They think they are only my beliefs. It is quite pointless to explain this to people, because all they know is beliefs. So I remain alone, with but a few friends that have experienced their own dark night of the soul, and awakened to their true Self, if sometimes only a glimmer. That is all it takes for one to see that their is a deep consciousness separate from the vast majority of people.

On the Road to the Self

When one decides to take the Siddhartha road to the Self, he soon realizes he is alone on that road. The herd is going in the opposite direction. One must be prepared for that, to find comfort in being alone, not understood by others.

I cannot take any credit for my awakening. I was dragged, kicking and screaming, grasping straws. No, I take no credit. It was by Grace alone.

“Grace is within you. Grace is your Self. Grace is not something to be acquired from others. If it is external, it is useless. All that is necessary is to know its existence is in you. You are never out of its operation.” ~Ramana Maharshi

As Eckhart Tolle has stated, you don’t have to wait for the dark night of the soul to dismantle your false notions, your false self, your life story. You can consciously take that road. But it demands courage, discernment, and a brutal honesty of yourself. The mind is a very tricky opponent, and will deceive you at every step, as your awakening is the end of its control over you. But it can be done. Nisargadatta Maharaj did it. You must simply allow Grace to act within you.

“As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.” ~Eckhart Tolle

So the choice rests with each of you. No one can do this for you. All I, or anyone else, can offer you are sign posts, pointing in the direction. But you, and you alone, must take that road. It does little good to read my writings and not act upon them, to not take that road yourself. Otherwise, you are only hanging out at the signposts, believing that you have already arrived at the destination.

This road is not for the timid or the faint of heart. Not at all. But there is no other road. No one will simply wave a magical wand over you. It is a road of destruction and the question is, “How much are you willing to give up? How much can you endure?” Because on this road, you must give up everything. Every piece of you will shatter. Can you endure that? As the great Bhaktivinode Thakur has written, “You must die to live.” So how serious are you? How much do you want it? How much will you pay for it?

By Greg Calise

Originally appeared on riverbankoftruth.com

We become all those things we suppress.

Whatever makes you feel shy, you hide it deep within yourself, in the unconscious. This goes deeper into your being, circulates inside your blood and guides you from behind the scenes.

If you want to suppress something, suppress something beautiful. Never suppress something that you are ashamed of, for anything you suppress goes deeper and anything you express will evaporate in the sky.

So, what makes you be ashamed, express it so that you finish with it. What is beautiful, keep it as a treasure in you so it continues to affect your life.

However, we do the opposite. What is beautiful, we express it. In fact, we express it too much. We express more than it is there. You keep saying “I love, I love, I love” and you may not mean it that much.

You always suppress anger, hate, jealousy, possessiveness, and slowly find that you have become everything you have suppressed. And then, deep guilt appears.

You don’t have to be ashamed of anything. Everything is perfect as it is. There can be no more perfect world than this one. This moment is the highlight of the whole existence. Nothing can be more perfect, so just relax and enjoy it.

Open your doors in the sun, in the air, and in the sky. Then, a new fresh air will always pass through you, new rays of the sun will always permeate you. Allow the flow of existence to penetrate you. Never be a dead end road. Otherwise, only death and dust are gathered. Just give up every perception of shame and never judge anything.

Osho / espadozero.blogspot.com

Use the power of gratitude and create miracles in your life.

Our mind is our most powerful weapon. Our thoughts determine our future.

You may not understand it now but there will definitely be events in your life that prove it!

Many times we think about our problems constantly and end up in an unbearable overthinking that doesn’t let us calm down.

Our unpaid bills, our health, poor working conditions, make us anxious, and we are filling our minds with negativity and fear.

You will have noticed that as you think negatively everything goes wrong. Bills are always more, relationships with others are getting worse and your life is in a dead end!

But what would you do if you knew how to change them all? If you put the magic and power of gratitude into your life everything will change!

Surely there will be a small light in the “dark place” you are locked in.

For this light you should be grateful… for the smallest, insignificant, what you have so far ignored.

When you don’t appreciate what you already have, the air you breathe, your health, your job, your friends, your family, the food you have every day at your table and much more, you will not be given more…

Say THANK YOU for what you have without asking for more. Live with gratitude and you will slowly see how your life will change magically.

Get away from you negative people and unpleasant situations and hold tight everything that makes you shout THANK YOU.

By Eirini Aggelidi, awakengr.com

In a distant city once a poor farmer lived. He was working on the farm with his children, lived by it. Once an accident happened, and the younger son lost his one hand. The farmer was not deeply disappointed and responded to all those who came to support him from time to time “maybe it’s for good.”

After years, a great war erupted. A warrant was given to all the healthy and diligent men of the city to present and prepare for war. But the farmer’s son, due to the lack of one hand, wasn’t considered fit to serve his country. All the able-bodied men were killed in the battle, while he, despite the loss of his hand, continued to live and enjoy life.

When I read this story years ago, I confess that within me has changed. And, to a certain extent, my own way with which I previously perceived things. I was taught something important: whatever happens in life, even if it hurts and disappoints in the beginning, in the end, it’s realized that the purpose was always good and beneficial.

Many people feel deeply disappointed and wounded when things in life are not directed to the way they wanted. They experience a personal frustration that leads to an ocean of complaints as well as endless sorrow.

For example, we miss the opportunity for a job promotion, we feel that our relationship is leading to a more serious commitment split or a sudden illness hinders our plans for the future. In the case of relationships, we must, in particular, be prepared for any negative outcome because we are not alone.

Disappointment creates a vicious circle of negative thoughts, an inexorable emotional state that creates guilt on how we should have behaved to prevent a negative outcome.

In fact, when we experience disappointment, it always hides the desire of life to make us wiser. Through a temporary sense of frustration, we are called upon to strengthen, take stock of all the values and priorities we have in our lives and realize that things don’t always go in the direction we would like. And this isn’t necessarily bad.

If, for example, I am madly in love with a person solely because he’s beautiful outside and not given me the opportunity to conclude an erotic relationship, then I may have escaped from my greatest mental pain to connect with a person who might not have been internally good or worthy of me.

It’s important to reinforce the inner belief towards ourselves that we can cope with every situation in life. The mental empowerment to oneself if it’s not feasible to be achieved by the individual himself, it’s advisable to be helped by a specialist.

The obstacles we encounter in this life do not come to discourage us, but to empower us and give us valuable life lessons. Let’s let them teach us.

To find a mountain path all by oneself gives a greater feeling of strength than to take a path that is shown.” ~Karen Horney

Find the nearest mirror. Look deeply into it. There, hidden within that fabulously flawed human being staring back at you, is the greatest teacher you will never know.

Yes. It’s yourself. And yes, you will never really know it.

The famous inscription at the Temple of Delphi, “Know Thyself,” is ultimately unattainable. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to obtain it. Enlightenment is equally unattainable, but there’s nothing wrong with striving for it. Self-improvement is still healthy regardless of the fact that you will never be perfect. Socrates’ dictum still stands: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Examining your own life is always going to begin with your interpretation of it. So it behooves you to align your interpretation of it with reality. Easier said than done. Because examining the self is a tricky proposition. The Self is an elusive mystery. It’s masks all the way down perceiving illusions all the way up.

The trickiest part is that only you can experience these masks and illusions. Nobody else can experience them for you. They are subjective. Your experience of them will always be primary to anyone’s interpretation of them. Not even the best shrink in the world can know them as well as you can.

That’s what makes self-examination, and the self-realization that comes from it, so important. Therapists are, at best, guides. Self-therapy is what a therapist directs you towards anyway. So, you might as well make that attempt to begin with. A therapist is good for keeping you on track and preventing you from getting stuck, but there’s nothing saying you cannot learn strategies to do it yourself.

There’s nothing saying you cannot be your own greatest teacher. The autodidact inside you is calling.

Learn your own nature by learning about Mother Nature:

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” ~Rumi

The most powerful way to hear the “voice that doesn’t use words” is through solitude and meditation. Out away from the things of man, where No-mind is free to remind you that you are a force of nature first and a human being second.

This is perhaps the most powerful strategy for teaching your Self to yourself. Solitude and meditation teach a particular flavor of humility that gets you over your own ego (codependence) and puts you in touch with the interconnectedness of all things (interdependence). It teaches you how not to take yourself too seriously. When you unbecome yourself, you become everything. You’re free to experience interdependence despite culturally conditioned codependence.

Allowing Nature to become your teacher cuts the uninitiated ego out of the equation and then sneaks in the initiated ego, which utilizes Soul as a tool to leverage a heightened state of awareness. From this heightened state comes the deep interdependent realization that everything is connected to everything else.

In this heightened state of eco-melting your third eye opens, your crown chakra blooms in full flutter, and your oneness with all things becomes paramount. You are suddenly out of your own way. You are free to learn what you must learn. You are free to become what you must become.

The cure for the pain is in the pain:

“Doctors study medicine. Teachers study education. Healers study darkness.” ~Mark Lundy

Just as you are your greatest teacher, you are also your greatest healer. Know thyself and heal thyself are reciprocal properties. Mother Nature teaches you this first. Pain teaches you this second.

Pain is inevitable. It’s a part of life. Avoiding pain just causes more pain. Ignoring or repressing pain just causes unnecessary suffering. Although pain is inevitable, unnecessary suffering is avoidable.

As long as you’re able to learn from the pain, it can be a steppingstone. Seen in this way, pain can be an initiation into wisdom (a sacred wound), and a flourishing into Eudaimonia. Which can be quite pleasurable.

Growth is painful (think: exercise and endurance training). Change is even more painful (think: puberty and vicissitude). But being stuck is arguably the greatest pain of all (think: the unnecessary suffering of unhealthy and inauthentic living).

Pain is a guide, a powerful teacher. And if you can gain the capacity to recognize the guideposts and learn the lessons that Pain provides, you will be more adept at adapting and more likely to grow into a healthier version of yourself.

The Daemonic and the Demonic:

“To learn to creatively live with the daemonic or be violently devoured by it. We will decide our own destiny. Let us choose wisely.” ~Stephen Diamond

The daemonic is the hidden genius within you: your latent creativity. The demonic is the hidden shadow within you: your repressed darkness. Ignore them at your own peril.

The daemon harbors vital knowledge and deep numen. It is your genius loci, your inspiring force, your attendant spirit, your guiding power. It is the quintessential teacher inside you.

It dwells in the fire of your passions, in your love and your anger, in your longing and your jealousy, in your happiness and your sadness. If you conform to your cultural conditioning and ignore or suppress its presence, these passions will eventually transform from a daemonic passion into a demonic rage, with potentially devastating results.

Hence the importance of reconciling the shadow. You do this by making the darkness conscious. By paying attention to your deepest wounds. Becoming curious with your deep wounds is honoring them with your attention. If you’re able to honor your wounds, then you will be more likely to reconcile your demons.

It’s not so much that you’ll suffer less but that you’ll suffer better. You will become healthier in the ways that you suffer. And with the demon as your diamond-backed ally, you add a streak of fierceness to your teaching/learning that can be revolutionary.

Have a good sense of humor about your own fallibility:

“Life is a matter of oscillation. Life is vibration. The question is: how are you going to interpret that. Is it tremble, tremble, tremble; or is it laugh, laugh, laugh?” ~Alan Watts

Laughter is the best medicine. It’s salve for the soul. Laughter reduces pain, forms deep social bonds, fosters brain connectivity, acts as an effective antidepressant, and protects the heart. Besides all these scientific benefits, laughter is flat out enjoyable.

It usually happens when you are having fun. But it is also a vital tool to use in the face of tragedy, fallibility, and mortality.

Nothing is more powerful and courageous than laughter in the face of that which seeks to destroy you. Allow your humor to shine even as your soul is breaking under the heavy weight of cosmic nihilism. Allow it to blaze through the cracks of having fallen apart and come back together again. As Charlie Chaplin said, “Smile, though your heart is aching.”

Embrace the fact that you are a stumbling naked ape, fumbling over your barely evolved brain. You’re an anxious mammal with a mortal coil. You’re an insatiable beast with improbable reach. You might imagine that you are a mature, evolved being who is above baser animal instincts, but you’re not.

When it comes down to it, you represent a laughably young species attempting to evolve on an extremely old planet which is hurtling through an unfathomably ancient universe. In the grand scheme of things, you are a member of a floundering baby of a species.

Having a good sense of humor is embracing your own fallibility. It’s accepting that you are prone to mistakes; that you are imperfect, and always will be. It’s injecting a little humility into your human-biased disposition.

Mastering the self is mastering humility and humor. It’s embracing absurdity in a heroic sense. One is both humbled and empowered by a good sense of humor. The shadow’s “gold” and the “secret elixir” are then more easily excavated, and brought forth to others, despite the absurd experience of being a creature torn between spirit and flesh, mortality and eternity, tragedy and comedy.

If, as Karl Frei said, “Attitude is the difference between ordeal and adventure,” then having a good sense of humor is the ideal attitude to have, as your own greatest teacher, going on the greatest adventure you will ever experience: the hero’s journey.

Original source: themindunleashed.com

About the Author

Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide-awake view of the modern world.