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4.3. Perspective and resistance

Back to the question I asked:

What exactly is a «spiritual awakening»?

In the mentioned clip, Osho says, freely cited: «Whatever you do in your life, whether you laugh or cry, try to look at yourself from the outside, from a higher level of consciousness».

What does he mean?

It is not a question of entering into or evoking another, unknown, «higher» form of consciousness.

Consciousness is and will be consciousness, and you have, and are consciousness; it is the same.

You have what you need. You know what it's like to be alive.

What is needed is to change perspective, to look at yourself from a distance, from a position «outside yourself».

That is called metacognition, thinking about thinking and being conscious of one's own consciousness.

How is it possible?

Another enlightened person of our time is John Butler, an organic farmer in England, an old, friendly man. He explains how humans expand throughout life; our insights become more profound, and our perspectives widen. Gradually we see and understand more.

You can watch the video here if you like: If more to life than meets the eye (unintentional ASMR).

You recognise it in yourself, how you developed from childhood to adolescence to adult to old. Maybe you are not there yet, but it is never too early or too late to become aware of your growth, says Butler.

And what says you should stop evolving?

What will stop you from going even deeper, looking even bigger at things, learning more, understanding more?

You are free to look up from your navel, calm your thoughts about your traumas and disorders, put away roles, ambitions and plans, and move away from the herd so you can focus your attention on what is more important than anything else, which also is all you have; yourself.

That is how you grow, by removing everything that holds you to the «normalcy», i.e. everything that you are not conscious of that keeps you connected to your place, your herd, your things, your «importance», and the notion you fight so hard to maintain about who and what you are; your Ego.

Let go of all this. Silence your mind, stop thinking about the past and the future and simply be present.

Here and now.

See, listen, smell, taste and touch things. Feel, sense, be.

Just be without making it anything. Exist without fixing, using the past as a shield, or planning anything for the future.

There is nothing you must do.
I remember reading about a Zen master who was asked whether, in his old age, he still practised Zen. He said that he did, and when asked what he did, he said, «When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm tired, I sleep.» The questioner said that didn't sound difficult: doesn't everyone do that? The master replied that the difference was that he wasn't distracted when he did these things: the difference is not in what you do but in what you don't do.
Unknown sourceBe vigilant, aware, observant, sensitive, even more sensitive, open.

You have to practice, maybe for years.

Then, in a modest moment, you sense that there is something other there than what you know.

It is an intuitive experience with the same quality as all the other intuitive experiences I listed earlier.

Such is the subjective experience of expanding and breaking through.

It will be different for every individual. Some feel others know.

The range of intuitive experiences is vast and without sharp dividing lines.

Personally, I'm primarily a «claircognisant» because my injury from childhood made me suppress my emotions, but opened to an extreme degree to the cognitive and intuitive. You will experience a different mix based on your life.

To grow, you need to remove what holds you in place.

You spend most of your life constructing yourself, increasing your reputation in the group, gaining things and status, defending yourself and yours – and first and foremost, your self-image, your belief in yourself.

Lay down the defence.

Give up protecting yourself from the pain of old traumas and lost aspirations.

Just let it be.

Be who you are.

Leave what you are not, do not want, or feel is not suitable for you.

Or, if you are of the more temperamental type; say it (or something significantly juicier in northern Norwegian dialect) to everything that stands in the way, throw it away with force, as Jesus overturned benches and destroyed the marketplace in the middle of the temple in Jerusalem. That parable from the Bible means just that, in my opinion.

To awaken spiritually and be enlightened is nothing more than to allow your perspective to continue to grow and your insight to become ever more profound and authentic.

Your mental, emotional and spiritual growth has been going on from the first moment, just as your body grows and changes.

Throughout life, you begin to discover connections. You begin to see signs, and recognise things in culture, stories and daily life that indicate that others are also on the trail of this mysterious, more excellent.

You must be open and curious. You have to become like a child again. That is also in the Bible.

I don't know other religious scriptures well enough, but I'm sure they all say the same thing, only in a different form.

So, on a sunny or rainy day – probably when you try the least, think about nothing and don't struggle with anything – it can suddenly happen that you experience something new, a different quality than you have experienced before.

It feels like you know something for sure. You experience a love you did not know existed. Clarity, silence, lightness, simplicity, joy, trembling, desire, beauty, inner peace.

It might last a few seconds.

Light is often also involved in one way or another, so the term «enlightened» refers to two things: physical, visible light – and a person who has received knowledge.

How physical light comes into the story actually has its explanation. You experience for a moment what is beyond, the collective domain where all knowledge simply is, which I will come back to repeatedly.

All light at once, for example, is perceived as intense white, we know that. All sounds at once become white noise; we know that too. All emotions, sensory impressions, thoughts and memories at once become ... an experience of total ecstasy, absolute bliss, says Osho and other gurus who claim to have «been there» while they were still among the rest of us.

After such an experience, it is difficult not to believe.

This collective reality is what we call Heaven, Nirvana, Paradise, Brahman, Tao, etc., and what I call the Source, the Pattern, the Hereafter, the Behind, the Other Side, etc.

This «Behind» contains all knowledge, everything that was and ever will be thought, and everything that so far has been experienced and through it has become knowledge.

In «Heaven», you know everything. It is experienced as intensely white, conflict-free and fantastic to be in this position, i.e. when you experience life from this perspective. Everything is available immediately in abstract form.

But the very experience of this whole enormous mental construction as something more than an abstraction – that takes time, for time was one of the very first interpretations and experiences. Time is thus included in all subsequent, higher emergent interpretations and experiences, just as space and the speed of light are.

What I just said can't be understood at this stage in the book. I will explain this in detail later. Just take it in for now.

The experience of being in knowledge is so fundamentally different from everyday life and has such authority and «wholeness» over it that you can not forget it.

But this experience is, as it was and is for me, not present in you constantly; it comes and goes in pretty brief glimpses, sort of breaks through from time to time – when you allow it to happen.

You have access to it.

Awakening, being enlightened, and receiving true knowledge – is like seeing flashes of light through the dense foliage of a forest.

Go towards the light, and you will finally come out in a clearing where everything is open and bright, but then you are either dead, or you have become a guru who masters meditation to the fullest.

It is a long way getting there but surprisingly short at the same time.

I understand this must be so, partly because there are people who tell about their experiences, partly because my knowledge says it is so.

I myself have experienced «total bliss» only for short moments.

What are these flashes?

I call them «the signs along the path»; you find them in art, nature, people, everything. It's a way of looking at things; you must be able to distinguish between Ego and truth.

When you first get a grip on it, it happens increasingly often; you see more and more.

It's like cycling. Once you have cracked the code of keeping the balance, it comes naturally.

To get started on «the way back», as it is often called, you must want it, want to grow further.

You must have the courage to do it, the guts to look at your childhood traumas and delusions.

You have to push against the wall that prevents you from continuing to grow, your habits, all the material and social things you believe in so firmly and surely, the thoughts that go in the usual way, the things that hurt you, the things that you fear.

You are going through, or rather diving into, or even more correctly; you must integrate what hurts.

You must defy the fear, look at the pain, understand it, own it, and finally love it.

Then you will discover that it is not your fault. It never was.

You were harmed by others or by circumstances.

You experienced something difficult or painful, probably in childhood, that you did not understand, could not explain.

Even if your childhood was «perfect», you are «hurt», but you do not think like that and don't see it.

Back then, the only explanation you could think of when something stressful happened was that it must have been you who was the cause. The evil that happened was your fault, your mind tells you. The existential pain you feel is your creation, your belief.

You feel ashamed. You fear that others will understand it and expose you.

You make yourself small and scared.

But when you finally, after many years, dare or are forced to think and feel the hurt, deeply examine yourself, observe yourself from a mental position outside your frightened Ego – then you will understand, now that you are an adult and know more, that what happened was inflicted on you by others.

When you understand something, you will no longer spend energy on it and no longer focus on it.

What was a trauma is now understood and is «normalised», something you know for sure and take for granted, something harmless.

What happens now is that you begin to discover the authentic person behind it, behind the wounds, the person who only wants to be happy and free.

That doesn't sound easy to achieve.

Is it so concrete and at the same time so difficult?

What if you never experienced any significant trauma and are mostly happy with things?

How can you then become «enlightened»?

That is a good question because the vast majority of us are not ready for this in the life we now live.

To anticipate a little: There will be more lives, but don't let that statement disturb you right now.

Many of us cannot see ourselves from the outside to any great extent. They are what they are, in a role without deeper self-reflection. All mental power deals with the outside world and the immediate inner reactions.

A first prerequisite is thus a significant ability for metacognition, as already mentioned. Here you can read more on Wikipedia about this term: Metacognition - Wikipedia2.

Metacognition can also be understood by taking a trip to the movie theatre.

You sit there with your popcorn and look up at the screen.

You look ahead in the hall, but the pictures come from the film projector behind you.

What you experience is a play of light and shadow, but the film itself is somewhere else.

In our idealistic worldview, your authentic self sends out the images. You see them and begin to experience much more than what the pictures technically show. You interpret them; you add your private understanding; you immerse yourself in the story on the silver screen.

In our idealistic worldview, you are the projector, the audience and the screen – all at the same time. To be enlightened is to understand this.

To be truly enlightened, transcend, means to see this whole situation, with projector, hall, screen, your Ego and everything, from a position outside of everything.

You are the cinema engineer who puts on one film after another.

The «big picture» is not easy to discover. Most of us are audience members, not machinists. In reality, we are all machinists.

Another prerequisite seems to be that you must experience something that forces you to penetrate. If you feel too comfortable, nothing will happen. If you think you can handle life, nothing will happen.

When it is at its darkest, on the other hand, you are most sensitive to light.

Suffering is the gate.

The road goes through the pain, the eye of the needle.

The Bible mixes a camel into this story.

Now, two thousand years later, we should forget about the camel. It was dragged into the story so that people at the time would understand how difficult it is to become enlightened.

Today we mostly do not deal with camels, but it still is, and will always be, challenging to get through the eye of the needle, but it is possible because many have done so – figuratively.

You, too, have these abilities and can come to true, higher insight and wake up spiritually. But probably you are too scared, have too much to defend, too much to fix, too much to hold dear that you don't want to lose.

You fight against it because it hurts too much.

«Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,» sings Janis Joplin.

I believe she was enlightened.

Bob Marley, Jim Morrison and many other musicians as well.

There are enlightened people in large numbers within the blues, within art in general.

Listen to their lyrics.

People who «see» and «know» have access to a source.

Isn't it amazing!?
I love three things, I then say. I love a dream of love I once had, I love you, and I love this patch of earth.

And which do you love the most?

The dream.
Knut Hamsun in «Pan»