A seemingly strange thing happens when you wake up to Truth: The mind gets turned way down. If you can imagine your ongoing mental noise like a stereo, awakening arrives and turns the volume down by about 80 to 90%. Many of us are not even aware of how much chatter has been going on until this occurs.
From the True position as the witnessing consciousness, we can withdraw from the remaining thought-energy. This is a safe place, for here the mind is no longer suffocating in its own projections. Personally I admit there are still some crumbs of attention I give the mind over its longest-standing patterns. It is on me to continue to pull back the interest in these patterns, because interest is precisely what such patterns rely on.
Let us be clear that what we really are is never “people with bad patterns.” However, we can imagine this, and become so hyper-focused on these stories that they come to seem very real.
But upon awakening, you will discover a pristine emptiness, perhaps overlaid with a kind of negligible background noise. I am so grateful for this, and my God, I wish I could share with you the glory of this emptiness beyond the marks on this screen.
But, you must go there yourself. I recommend this for everyone.
It appears to be rare that one experiences “total enlightenment” in one fell swoop, but what a beautiful thing that must be. A realized master may act as a kind of energetic “guillotine” for the mind, but in spontaneous or “unprepared” awakening, this is unlikely. I suppose sometimes God is so powerful and merciful that our delusions are destroyed all at once, but that is not what happened for me.
If you are reading this, my guess is that that is not your situation either, and that is fine—as long as you do not cower to the mind. After a deep spiritual realization, it will try every trick in the book to get you to go back to the old regime of thinking, acting, and being. Even if you do appear “go back,” it is my steadfast belief that once realization occurs, its pull is too strong, too bright. Our minds really do not stand a chance against it.
Once you have begun to awaken spiritually, or have taken any passing interest in it, please follow it. Do not give up. Believe me when I say that your mind cannot exist without You. It is secondary to You, and you can become its master.
Even after awakening, the egoic identity is a pernicious and sneaky shadow. It is like a dark vapor inhabiting the being. It will creep into every remaining possible crevasse until we step fully into our light. Even then, we are watchful of it. The egoic mind will use every single weapon it has to get you to back down, and in these times, the mind seems very formidable.
Have no fear: It is not, and there will be a day when your mind bows to You, and I say with a true heart that such a day could not come soon enough.
Immediately after the click, the world is experienced differently. We become much less concerned with the past and the future as we come to see that they do not exist outside of the mind that holds onto them. There may be a stillness inside that we do not know what to do with. (The advice here? Don’t do anything!) For me, it almost felt like an unwelcome entity, because my entire life I had been habituated to instability and ceaseless mental movement. The vast majority of us are conditioned in a similar way.
This brings me to this notion of “disorienting silence,” and my urge to say that there is nothing wrong with a silent or simple mind. We have a tendency to revere overactive minds, believing this is synonymous with intelligence. On the contrary, a mind at rest is more functional and operational. A still mind—one that is not chasing its tail trying to get somewhere or find all the answers—is capable of reflecting the world more accurately, and seeing itself for what it is.
And it is important not to imagine peace on Earth as some ongoing Utopian bliss phase. True peace is the ability to sit and see clearly what is real. It is nothing glamorous, but so simple that the conditioned mind cannot access it. It simply is what it is, and must be realized here and now.
For someone who is used to being totally consumed by a babbling thought-stream (as most of us are), this kind of silence can be downright frightening.
So it went for me: The initial bliss passed (if you are having spiritual highs, they too will pass) and was replaced by a foreign silence. Much too soon, I started one of my first blogs. I knew intuitively that something significant had occurred. I was burning to share that significant thing, even though I didn’t know what it was. The unconscious ego immediately latched onto this “now I am a writer” story, and I was sucked into delusions of becoming “something great.” This can also happen. The egoic mind is equipped with many mechanisms to stay rooted in the being, and awakening really is a big deal. But for a time, our job is to reject the stories of the mind and continue to get humble before God.
I started many blogs prematurely. I was trying to piece it together, why there seemed to be a sudden (if inarticulable) understanding of humanity on a wider scale than ever before. Prior to the click it was all “oh what’s wrong with us; why are we doing this to each other and the Earth?” I was both dramatic and confused. I myself did not know who I was then (and it feels right to say that this is true of almost everyone). I spent much time locked away in private judgment of others. I was doing all kinds of things I didn’t approve of, and I could not explain why.
Realization opens the floodgates to a whole new kind of wisdom which circles back around to become very basic: You are here. You are Truth. Handle life as it comes. Be silent. Understandings about the nature of mind and consciousness will come later. These things should not be striven for solely on an intellectual level.
Another thing that happened: Everything felt “meaningless,” which, to the conditioned mind, may sound like a very poor state to exist in. Really, it’s just that the mind ceased to label everything so automatically. The material world was simply there without an accompanying narrative, or additional inferences about what any “type of person/object” meant. It is hard to appreciate this state from a state of inner chatter, and the mind is heavily conditioned to take what it sees and infer false meanings from it.
If you do spontaneously awaken, which can happen to anyone anytime, by the way, please take your time before sharing anything about it. I am only just now feeling confident in my abilities to responsibly discuss the nature of Truth and the profundity of awakening. By God’s grace, my being has become sufficiently “detangled” to know when I am speaking as the True “I” or if I am telling an ego-story. It usually takes a great deal of time, energy, and grace to know this difference.
It may be like this: God shows up in front of your face, says see Me? and then pushes you off of a cliff. A process of refining occurs, and it may truly feel that psychologically, you are an infant again, trying to learn how to interact with the conditioned world.
Yes, it can be stark and perplexing, but in time you will come to see how truly blessed you are. We can then dwell in the silence of God, for it is utterly perfect.