I’ve traveled to the four corners of the Earth to meet with spiritual masters, enlightened sages, kings and queens and all manner of magician, witch and esoteric practitioner of the various spiritual arts. I walked the path as a Jnani for over two decades with all that implies and can say without a doubt that I know myself, the Self, and my connection with the greater nature and family around me. That being said, still, I’ve no idea what this term awakening feels like or implies.
By way of answering the question, I can say that for the longest time, for as long as I can remember really, I had always felt that everyone around me was absolutely, certifiably nuts. This includes my parents, teachers, friends, commentators on the nightly news – everyone. I wrote poetry as a young lad, odes to the fear and anxiety I witnessed around me. Diatribes against the false education that we were all being subjected to. Education which would have us believe that we are separated by our cultures and skin colors. Education that would have us understand the need for war and civil overlords. Education that divided God and man and created so many sets and subsets of rules with which we might bide with one another for supremacy and control over this and that.
Yes, for the longest time, I felt everybody around me to be crazy. And I didn’t know what to do. This feeling led to a lot of anxiety and strife because I often rebelled against indoctrination. I didn’t know what else to do except run. Retreat into myself. Be Silent. And I didn’t talk, for the longest time, to anyone. Oh, of course, I towed the line in school and at family get togethers. I learned the arts of acting and entertainment early on. But I got into a lot of trouble, too. I just could not, would not accept the standard call to life, not in the way it was being introduced to me anyway.
And so by the time I was old enough, seventeen and old enough to begin to carve out my own path, I set out into the world to discover the truth of this existence of ours. That path led me through forests and deserts and high into the Himalaya. My path showed me all manner of experience, and yet, did I awaken? I can’t say that I did. I feel the same today as I did at sixteen. The only difference, I think, is that I don’t really suppose anybody to be crazy anymore. Everything appears to be precisely as it must be, in the greater scheme of things. Everything is actually kinda fine, just as it is. I’m not sure when I made that particular shift though. I just recall at some point that my relationship with myself, with my ego self, turned. I became Silent to it as well. And when I prayed, or communed, there was no longer any inner chatter, nor any intentional chatter directed towards anything I supposed to be apart from myself. I went totally quiet. I recall one day soon after, standing outside the Mother Temple in silent prayer, in a small hamlet I would come to call my second home, some words my master said to me. He was the only one I’d ever met that could hear me, even through the deafening Silence. “It’s okay, guy. Open up. Speak everything and anything at all.” And I submitted to those words and opened up my mind, beginning to use it again with a new and different sense and perspective.
And even today, many years later, it is the same. I don’t know what it means to be awakened or asleep, though I am familiar with the vast array of memes and stories and philosophies for sure. I only know that once upon a time I thought this life was a big bloody mess with too many inconsistencies and seemingly chaos run amok like a false God and I myself was the only sane person as far as the eye could see. And though I did go through a spell of fear and deep loneliness at the consideration that I must walk through life in Silence. But at the turning point, upon emerging from the Silent place to embrace a life of joy, I did find that, as I am that I am, we are all as we are, and that is not so different at all. And in truth, in fact, everything and everyone is absolutely fine as it is. We can parse that at many levels surely. But that’s where the illusion plays, isn’t it.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.