Tom Stine recently wrote a piece on being “Half Awake”, To Be Half-Awake (and Half-Asleep). While there has been an awakening or Self Realization, vestiges of a ‘me’ remain.
Adyashanti says it is quite common to “fall back” for a while. The awakening is there, but mind tries to take control. As well, there are various old habit formations that must be seen and cleared. Some may be there as long as we’re embodied. Similarly, Satyam Nadeen talks of “deliverance”, the process of clearing post-awakening.
Adya also mentions how when we create an open space, our karma – what remains to be seen – rushes in to be processed.
However, all of this is about completion of what is called Self Realization, Cosmic Consciousness or Sat Chit Ananda. The internal unity.
In the post, Tom makes reference to “the One consciousness that exists everywhere and is everything, is your natural state.” and “abiding non-dual awakening”. The everywhere and everything or non-dual part is another dynamic at play. In other words, there are 2 concurrent streams here – the winding down of the me into greater awakeness, and the deepening of the awakeness into oneness. This second stream is important to recognize. One does not become fully awake nor have a full perception of reality in Self Realization, even though it can seem to be for a time.
Aspects of the me can continue well into deeper realizations. It is the nature of being human. Awakening is not a tidy process.
I also thought it was interesting that Tom talked of “This psychological sense of self…has a certain weightiness, a certain momentum or inertia…” This describes it well, but also describes an aspect of what’s happening more deeply. Momentum and inertia are words that can be used to define rajas and tamas, 2 of the 3 gunas and 2 of the 3 forms of maya – the illusion and the covering.
Tom suggests there are some who are “fully” enlightened. I would consider this a relative term. In fact, only an avatar – someone born awake like Krisna – would be capable of being fully enlightened. It is the nature of being human and having a body and person that there is always more that can be polished, more than can be refined.
For example, I’ve heard a couple of teachers talk of Lesha Avidya or ‘Faint Remains of Ignorance’. How it is necessary to retain some ignorance to be able to relate to the student and teach. Or to have a devotional relationship with a teacher or God. Some small separation is necessary for flow. In total oneness, there is only silence.
I know a fair number who are “half awake”. And some more who are more so. But it is always relative. Degrees of depth.
I can also observe other values Tom does not touch on. There is the continuing clearing out of the vestiges of a ‘me’ he describes.
There is the increasing awakeness of the heart – which is highly astonishing. Greater refinement, openness and trust. All encompassing Love.
And there is the increasing depth of oneness as more and more is cleared and integrates with that first internal oneness. The environment, other people, memories, and so forth.
It is an amazing and profound journey. Not always easy, as Tom observes. But as Lorne and Lucia emphasize, we should not expect difficulties. Our attention gets more powerful after awakening. What we expect can have a large bearing on our experience of the journey. This is the story of the identity, the ideas of what should be. What I need to do or be like. What needs to be. This too falls away and greatly smooths the process. Then even if there is some bumps, it’s just background noise. What remains is love and bliss, peace and freedom. The rest is just making some noise on the way out. Goodbye!