At least in my own experience, I have heard a number of people express to me how happy they are that they have “woken up”. But there are still plenty of people out there who either haven’t heard this phrase, or have and just don’t know what it really means for them. If you find yourself asking, “Am I awake?” this article might help you discover the truth of that answer for yourself.
So how do you do it? How do you wake up? Are you awake already? The honest truth is that it is a very personal process for everyone. Many times people find themselves waking up after experiencing trauma or an otherwise particularly difficult life situation. Other times a person might just have an epiphany of sorts, or wake up one day and realize that this has happened to them. It’s a mysterious business waking up, but once it has happened, there is a real sense that something in life is different.
In many religions and spiritual philosophies, in one way or another, there is a strong idea about a veil which separates the reality of humans from the reality of the divine. Although the deeper implications of this truth have been lost to the world at large, there still exists even in the prominent religions, a sense that being a good person, persisting through difficulties, calling on the creator and other similar practices are the way to divine union. But what exactly is divine union? And what does it have to do with being awake?
These are the types of questions a person who is waking up might be asking themselves or others. In many traditional spiritual images, union with the divine is often pictured as two separate entities, usually one of them is kneeling or bowing before the other, and the other is bedecked roundabout with luminosity, halos or another type of spiritual light. The way these images have been projected and interpreted by mainstream society however, are far different from the intent of many of their origins.
In times past, ancient societies knew that each human being was imbued with a divine animating force and that force was a part of, and one with all things. It was also well known that the initial trial of the human being, was to recognize that his body was not ultimately his spirit. Pythagoras and other Greek mystics as well as Buddha, Zoroaster and Jesus all taught that the body is a vehicle of expression for the spirit which lives within. Jesus said “I have no will save to do the will of him that sent me.” In those times, images that represented the body or the personal vehicle submitting to the higher spirit by bowing before it were representative of the idea that the self-conscious aspect of man is ultimately subservient to the higher and more divine aspect within man, that which animates him and gives him movement and function.
This divine spirit then, is inside each and every human being alive on this planet today. What we commonly refer to as ego, is the same as what the ancients referred to as self-consciousness. When a person believes that she of herself is responsible for doing everything that must be done in life, life itself can become very overwhelming. Or that person can become anxious, insecure, self-absorbed, high strung, obsessive, workaholic or any number of idiosyncratic traits many of us experience in life at one time or another.
The most basic recognition for awakening then, is to realize that your soul is actually the driving force behind your life and all the lives on the planet, plant, animal or otherwise. This soul is a part of every other soul and a part of all things in the universe. You will still find this type of idea in the traditional Native American philosophies found in many parts of North and South America. This is also the idea behind “God’s children” as is taught in many Christian or Abrahamic based religious philosophies, since the child is that which comes from the parent and is therefore a part of the parent although it is also separate. Knowing and understanding this basic concept is one of the most powerful forces behind awakening.
The recognition that there is a soul inside of us, which is part of the universal soul helps us to realize not only that we are part of everyone else, but that everything we do has an impact on not just our life, but the lives of everyone around us. Another great realization that comes from this knowledge, is knowing that the source of all power exists inside of YOU. This powerful force is given to each of us with a purpose and a mission that is to be expressed through the life that you live. When we connect with this divine source and recognize that our life has its own unique purpose, we can then become able to more fully express our own personal mission in life.
In order to awaken to this reality, we must first recognize the difference between the divine soul within and the vehicle of expression that carries your name, your habits, your faults and your talents. This vehicle, like a car, can get us where we want to go, but without understanding that there is ultimately a soul driving the vehicle, we remain asleep at the wheel. Almost anyone can relate to what kinds of problems a person has who is asleep at the wheel, so waking up in its very basic sense is about recognizing the greater forces behind the events of your life. Once you have awakened to this truth, you can then begin to learn how those forces work and how to use them to create more peace and fulfillment in your own life and the lives of those around you.
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