The Correct Vision of Awakening - Part Two

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There are two evolutionary processes that run parallel: awakening and surrender. Awakening refers to the actualization of our higher being, while surrender represents the process of our merging with the source of creation. Sometimes one is more emphasized than the other, but they are fully interconnected. The more the soul is awakened, the more she can surrender; the more she has surrendered, the more profoundly she can meet the light of her pure subjectivity.

There are three dimensions of our existence that need to be awakened for our soul to be complete: consciousness, heart and being. These three centers have different functions, and yet they deeply influence one another until they are fully integrated and unified into one self. Consciousness is the light of cognition and perception that, when awakened, becomes conscious of itself. On the lower level, it is conscious of itself as me, and on the higher level as the unity of me and I am. Heart is the feeling center of our existence through which the light of love is realized and the doorway to the divine open. On the lower level, the heart is the feeling center of our human, psychological identity; on the higher level, it is the feeling center of the soul. However, for that to be realized, the deepest dimension of the human heart – pure me of the heart – must merge with the I am of the heart. Being is the portal to the source. When that doorway is fully open, it leads to realization of the absolute. However, it cannot serve as a true portal for the soul to transcend unless it is first embodied and awakens as an essential aspect of our identity and body of the soul. This threefold description is a simplified model of the soul’s awakening.

The next subject is how the evolution of our human identity, our psychological self, ties in to the awakening of our higher being. It is of the utmost importance to understand this matter. The human self is our lower self; the soul is our higher self. The fact that the human is our lower self does not mean that there is something essentially wrong with our human identity; it simply has a valid but lower place in the hierarchy of our existence. Our limitation is not that we are human, but that we are human without a soul.

In our terminology, the soul is who we are in the universal context, our higher being who lives in the natural state of wholeness and freedom. Although the soul must absorb our human me, she exists on a much deeper plane of reality. The nature of the soul is difficult to explain because her existence is paradoxical: she is neither personal nor impersonal but is born in the exact meeting place of these dimensions. She is individual and has unique characteristics, and yet her essence is universal. While her consciousness and intelligence are in the process of never-ending evolution, when realized she is already a perfect reflection of the beloved. She is present from the place of absence. She is living her individual existence from the natural samadhi in the source of creation and unity with the manifested world. Her essence is love, her nature is clarity, her abiding place is the unbroken rest in the heart of god.

Coming back to the subject of how our human self is seen in the context of the soul’s awakening, we must understand that without the human, without our me, the soul cannot awaken and it cannot come into existence. One may ask: If the soul is eternal, why does she need to come into existence at all? The soul is eternal within the future, not the past. When the soul is realized, it is that eternal substance which is realized, but this does not mean that she existed before. Our past is mere unconsciousness, the absence of soul. Moreover, the lower self cannot become the higher self by any kind of spiritual exercise, self-enquiry or artificial practices. One simply cannot become who one is not. Rather, the process of awakening begins when the light of I am enters our existence, which most commonly happens through initiation by a human teacher. Me must then begin to develop the correct relationship of practice and surrender with that impersonal energy. I am is both a doorway for me to reality and the substance through which the identity as the soul can become established.

What those who experience any kind of spiritual shift which is real – not just a spaced-out state of consciousness that debilitates the function of me – are really experiencing is an opening to the energy of I am. However, for that shift to constitute an actual awakening, me has to merge with I am. When it is embodied, that state becomes real; it becomes who we are. The problem then is that our human self is complex, with its many psychological layers, and as such the merging of me with I am may or may not transform our human reality as a whole. For instance, one can have realized the soul very deeply and yet still have some serious psychological issues on the human level.

Our psychological reality has its purpose; the idea is not to get rid of it or to dissolve it entirely, but more to align it and integrate with the higher intention of the soul. Some level of imperfection on the human level often needs to be accepted as a part of our human maturation, which involves gathering various experiences and fulfilling some of the root desires. This should not be confused with indulging in our lower human tendencies. The human has to work diligently towards his maturity and accelerate the process of healing and purification with his total devotion to the light of the soul. It is the supremacy of our soul and her empowerment that sooner or later transform all the elements in our psychological existence that are not in harmony with our light, love and intelligence. The spiritual journey is not just the pursuit of awakening various inner states. It is a journey towards wholeness, towards becoming a complete divine being, free and yet totally natural, universally ordinary.