|Will I Awaken?|
|Written by Gina Lake|
|Friday, 06 August 2010 10:16|
Here's a question I often receive, and what follows is the answer I commonly give:
I want to awaken. Will I awaken in this lifetime?
Before awakening, people experience a longing to awaken, which comes from deep within them when it's time to awaken. This longing can easily turn into a desire on the part of the ego to be special and to transcend suffering. Awakening, then, becomes one more desire for the ego to suffer over. So this time of wanting to awaken prior to awakening can actually be quite painful, as all desires are.
The problem with desire is that it comes from a sense of lack, since you can only desire something you believe you lack. If you believe you lack something, then you are believing a lie; you are caught in ego identification, in believing that you are the limited self. This belief, itself, is the problem because it makes seeing the truth—that you are not limited, that you are, in fact, already awake—more difficult.
Awakening is the permanent (as opposed to temporary) realization of this truth. But this truth can be realized in any moment temporarily. Whenever you drop into the experience of the present moment and out of your mind, you experience awakeness—the state you long for—if only briefly. The only thing that can draw you out of this state and back into the experience of lack is an egoic thought—a thought about yourself, who you think you are, your life, or life in general. All of your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and about life create a sense of self and a story about life, which take you away from real life and the real experience of life in the present moment. When you are involved in this alternative reality instead of reality, you are, in essence, asleep to your true nature; you don't experience awakeness. You aren't awake to reality, but to the false reality.
The beauty is that you don't have to have an awakening to experience awakeness; you only have to drop out of absorption in your thoughts about yourself and your life into the Now. The more time you spend awake in the moment, the more likely the shift called awakening will happen. The foundation for this shift is prepared by being in the moment and becoming very familiar with what that's like and by falling in love with being in the moment. Then, when this shift happens, it will be very natural and not so surprising.
When there isn't an adequate foundation for or prior experience with awakeness, the shift of awakening can be disorienting and disruptive to one's life. When the ground hasn't been adequately prepared for the shift of awakening, it can be difficult to remain in the awake state, and the ego often re-constellates and regains power. This is one reason many are confused about whether they have had an awakening or not and what awakening is. Quite a few people have awakenings, but far fewer remain awake even after experiencing this shift because either the ground hasn't been adequately prepared to stay awake or the circumstances in their lives aren't supportive to remaining awake or both.
There's no way of knowing if you will awaken in this lifetime or not, although a deep longing for awakening points to that possibility and even probability. It's not up to you when this momentous shift takes place. However, if awakening is part of your soul's plan, you can, because you have free will, either choose to cooperate with that plan or interfere with or slow it down. So when you awaken is somewhat up to you, although your free will doesn't ultimately determine it. Someone can want, with all his or her heart, to awaken and perform practices that support that, but if it isn't time yet, awakening won't happen until it is time. Nevertheless, someone for whom awakening is primary is very likely to awaken because that intensity of desire for it and the willingness to make it a priority tend to indicate the soul's intention to awaken.