The Pill

The Pill

Over on Beyond Happiness, Kaushik asked:
“The question: What is the red pill of awakening?

I can now see why I’ve lived in the “dualistic” mind for most of my life. Let’s call this the first obstacle. Once we realize that the mind-stuff is delusion, why don’t we instantly awaken? What is the resistance? (Let’s call this the second obstacle of awakening).

I’m not looking for the usual answers. Yes, it’s the tricks of the ego, and expectations of awakening, and beliefs and desires, the meaning of awakening, attachment to practice, trying to achieve awakening, and the rest. You might say the journey is necessarily a meander, and what we need will manifest at the right time. Fair enough. But not good enough.

What I’m exploring is this: what transcends all of this instantly?

It seems that Consciousness would delight if we awakened. Once we see the delusion, and the intention is there, why does it take time and space?”

Firstly, it’s good to have some experience of Self within, of our true nature. Thus we have a sense of a ‘target’. This is why I recommend effortless meditation.

The second obstacle you mention I call the core identity. It has the quality of gripping in the gut and typically remains sub-conscious until well after awakening. This seems to be a catch-22. But the release of the identity leads to the second awakening or unity so it’s clearly not necessary yet.

We don’t awaken when we realize the mind is illusion because it’s the mind that has realized that. It is not the mind that wakes up. It may seem I am my concepts. This is of course identification. If we are in it, we can’t see we are. Tricky stuff.

Understand that the mind is a habit machine. Even after a realization, it still regurgitates it’s story. The core identity or holding, the source of the resistance, is still present driving the drama. Also note that the sub-conscious mind operates much faster than conscious mind, making it tricky to out-maneuver. But because it runs from habit, we can see the patterns. Once fully seen, they can be cleared.

We also don’t awaken (necessarily) with soul awakening. When we realize we are that inner transcendent silence. We realize our inner connection with source and may thereafter feel as a detached witness. But at the same time, the ego maintains it’s story. So we remain both ego and Self in some value. Close but no cigar.

Not to downplay such realizations though. Many of us will have a whole series of realizations on our journey. A few are key markers but each do contribute.

Why does it take time and space? It doesn’t. It simply appears to occur that way. Understand that the world exists as a way for Self to discover itself. Without qualities, how can it be known? Time and space arise from the process of experience. Without a process, the mechanism cannot be seen. Thus awakening seems to occur in time and space so the process can be known. Without that, I could not answer your question. It would have simply happened, as it does for some.

So to your main question. The red pill? In a word, surrender.

That is the key to ‘instant’ enlightenment. It is the mechanism of awakening. It is only when we fully surrender, even for just a moment, that we shift from being a person experiencing Self to being Self experiencing a person. This is awakening.

From what I’ve seen, this is MUCH easier to do around the awake. It’s not necessary but easier. They can also confirm the new experience as well. When we’re in the world of the not awake, there is no pattern to emulate except in occasional deep meditations. Around the very awake, the sense of Self is much stronger, so we can “mirror” being much more easily and are also more confident to surrender to it.

By comparison, you may have experienced the benefits of group meditation or intention. Just remember, it’s all about the group. There is no person here so any idea of “doing it myself” or “I will awaken” is bogus. Awakening has nothing to do with a me. The Me is the illusion to wake from.

I know some people who have ‘popped’ by themselves, but it’s much more common on a conference call with a group or on a retreat. I’ve been on retreats where 2/3 of the people were awake. Almost everyone who wasn’t already, was within a couple of days. Even people you’d never dream as being “ready”.  All they had to do is let go into what was felt palpably.

Partly, this speaks to our time, that it has become much easier. It once took months of long meditation to experience what is routine now.

Consciousness more than delights when one awakens. For the Self, it’s like awakening further. This is where “popping” comes from. You feel yourself ‘popping’ larger when someone awakens. In a group, there is often a wave of laughter and crying for joy. Sometimes, love flows in astonishing ways.

You cannot awaken through the mind, with any technique or teaching or understanding. They can bring you to the door but it’s you that has to step through. But the stepping is not something you do. It’s the stopping of doing. It’s the divine surrender. It’s the allowing so deeply, it’s more like you fall through the door. Just fully let go and allow it to be as it is. No conditions. Awareness Now, as you mentioned. Thats it.

Remember that you already are That. It is only a matter of letting go of any ideas that make you not that. Or think they do. Some people describe it like remembering. The Self remembering Itself through you.

For many people, awakening is a surprise. It’s completely natural and normal. As we are that, we may be astonished we missed it.

You may have heard all of this before. But sometimes, it can just be a different hearing. I used to equate surrender with blind faith. But one day, I heard it differently…

Then the journey can really begin.

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  1. Kaushik

    Hi Davidya,

    Thanks, this does shed some light.

    You say effortless meditation. Falling back on Awareness Now seems to work for me.

    My tendency is towards intellectualism and analysis, so to counterbalance that, I’ve decided to rely only on direct experience, and use others’ words only as a guide. In that respect, the second awakening is not something I have any experience with. I’ll know when I know.

    Similarly, I don’t think I have any experience with soul awakening. For the last few months I have felt detached and apathetic. The ego is still active. Perhaps that’s soul awakening. I don’t know.

    “Me is the illusion to wake up from.” That’s a powerful pointer. Thanks.

    You say surrender. It could be love/allowing/acceptance/gratitude/release. Release and gratitude seem the easiest to understand (for me). Do you mean something different by surrender?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer comprehensively.

  2. Davidya

    Hi Kaushik
    First, I write from we, to we. The post is inclusive so any reader might follow. If your practice gives you experience of silent awareness, that’s fine. Not everyone can just practice awareness – they have to know what it is first. That was the point.

    I also have a strong intellectual orientation. They call it the gyan path in India. Direct experience is useful in any path. You may also find value in balancing with heart practices. The heart is a more direct route than the head and it also needs some release on the path. Gratitude is great there.

    No, thats not soul awakening. My tradition doesn’t mention it but it was my experience. Some, like Genpo talk about it. Don’t know how typical it is. I guess a good example would be the blinding white flash that precedes perceptual access to higher “worlds”. Some people have it by itself. Some have it with awakening and may even equate it with awakening (it’s unrelated) and for some the shift is more gradual so no flash and no noted milepost. Soul awakening seems to be the same. It may be distinct, it may not. At some point we know that I am That but the ego is still there. A key sign is being aware even in deep sleep.

    The few words you use here sound a little like some of the mental attachments and drivers have fallen away but the energy drivers behind them are still at play. Thus we could say the voice of the person quiets but the voice of the one has not stepped in. It’s pretty common on the path.

    Surrender is interesting. Not something we have much experience with in the west. I use the word allowing a lot. It’s more comfortable for many.

    Yes, I would say I mean something different.
    Release we could say is the act of letting go. If it’s complete, Surrender is the result. When we are not longer releasing. Releasing is still doing.

    Gratitude is a more refined emotion we may experience when we release, but it is an experience, not a surrender. Love is the fullness we surrender into.

    You see? It is the complete absence of doing.

  3. Kaushik

    Hi Davidya,

    We to we is good. I was just expressing appreciation.

    What do you mean by heart ‘practices’? I’ve read through your Heart category. I’m curious if you have pointers to actual practices.

    Your evaluation of my progress is correct. Resistance is falling away, including the resistance to that which I can’t understand intellectually. The apathy and detachment are highly uncomfortable–is this common?

    You say your tradition–what is that?

    I’m Indian; surrender is not uncomfortable, it’s just that I don’t comprehend it. Your distinctions of Release/Surrender/Gratitude are useful. I can understand: release leads to surrender when the doing is done.

    Sedona works beautifully for releasing; and I’m exploring EFT after finding the link on your site.


  4. Davidya

    While each of us has a dominant path, such as the intellect, heart or action, the process of awakening has 3 dominant phases. The first is the path of action and perception into non-action and awakening. The second is the path of the heart in God Realization, the third is the intellectual realization of Oneness. So while we may be dominant in one area, we need all the pieces to complete the puzzle.

    Because we make obvious progress in our dominant path, we tend to favour it, sometimes to the exclusion of other parts. The heart may seem to have no place in the world of the intellect. Because heart development is a refinement that can start well before awakening, it’s good to include it and can make the rest much smoother.

    By ‘heart practices’ I mean things that will clear and culture the heart. I explored EFT but didn’t find it was what I needed but my research helped several friends immensely. I’ve heard very good things about Sedona. Isha’s facets are dynamite too. I found the meditation itself cleared a lot of baggage but the stuff that was still being actively held needed to be seen. I explored a few things but the big trick for me was the gratitude rock idea. Simply culturing gratitude changed the tone just enough that there would be moments of openness where I was able see, forgive and release massive holdings. Supporting that was community – going on a few retreats, to discussion groups and attending a ‘new thought’ church.

    Oh, this is odd. I responded to your comment back on Beyond Happiness, mentioning I would respond to your question with a post. That comment seems to have vanished. Hmm – seems it didn’t save correctly. You were right there, my original instruction came out of the Vedantic tradition. One of the Shankaracharya’s has had a dominant influence on a couple of lives. It’s been the most useful in supporting my path but I depend on quality translations that are not always available.

    When the attachment to control and things being a certain way falls off, some of what has been driving you falls away too. But if the deeper stuff is not clear yet, it can lead to a bit of a barren patch. You have lost some of one but not gained the benefits of the new yet, sitting in a transition.

    The detachment is the stepping back, the sense of no longer being involved. That’s the good part. The apathy can be a combination of things. The deeper clarity and bliss is not there yet. And in some ways the tamasic drag of the ego that has been there all along can become conscious. So that aspect may seem new but it’s more that it is now conscious so seems to be worse.

    The discomfort is very common. Some use the analogy of the ‘time in the desert’. Another good reason for heart work, to clear the fog as quickly as possible. A chance for a retreat or some such would be good, or the presence of the awake. And the discomfort can be used to drive you through that.

    There is a somewhat similar period that can occur after awakening if the refinement is not there yet. The detachment is more complete but the richness of Buddhahood has not yet dawned. But it is only transitional. When the benefits arrive, before or after, you will be awestruck. The mind simply cannot comprehend how vast and rich it is, just outside the box.

    Ah, Indian. In the west, we are very skilled at self reliance and independence, an important part of stepping out. But when the time comes to step back in again, we have no clue. Indian culture is rich with the stepping in, although they’ve lost some of that connection with their enamor of the west.

    The key in your comment about surrender is “comprehend”. This is the mind speaking. The mind cannot understand not doing, only doing. But it can see a process to that point, as you observed. Like any practice, the mind can bring us close, but no further…

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

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