One sign of a developing sense of spiritual awakening is that it will draw you to be alone. This is in order that you commune with the ALL ONE. This could be by taking a walk in nature or by sitting in your room (Whole of the Moon—The Waterboys) .
The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted the other. Osho
Aloneness differs from loneliness. There is an epidemic of loneliness in the world. This loneliness at its heart is the loneliness of the soul cut off from its Source. Solve that and you go a long way to solving this epidemic.
Aloneness is your connection to All-One-ness. It is time you take to Tune into the Infinite (Book—In Tune with the Infinite – Ralph Waldo Trine). It is a time when you move from the distraction of the outer world to explore the Presence within.
You learn to be in the world but not of the world.
Alone into the Unknown
Aloneness is time for the Timeless and the eternal within. In Ireland we call this Tír na nÓg time. It is where you enter the Land of the Forever Young. Do not take this literally. Tir na nOg is an experience beyond time and not a place you go too.
Most hierarchical religions do not actively promote the exploration of aloneness. They tend to actively promote belief. Aloneness is symbolic of going into the unknown and into the desert before reaching the Promised Land.
The Promised Land is not a place to be conquered by armies and solidified by displacing other people. The Promised Land is a corner in the heart, or it is any environment that has been mythologically spiritualized. – Joseph Campbell, “Thou Art That,” p. 36
Access to the power of aloneness or ALL-ONE-ness allows for the power of renewal. It is a great re-SOURCE-fulness. You become renewed from Source energy.
Accessing this power, like the power of silence is an essential skill if you are to live a life of meaning and purpose. This paradoxical power will overcome those times when you feel lonely.
I wish that when you are lonely and in darkness that I could show you the astonishing light of your own being—Hafiz.
The Challenge of Aloneness
I think some people and maybe many people feel a sense of shame at being seen to be alone. I know I have felt that way when I would spend time at office parties. This was especially the case around Christmas.
I had not yet learned how to tune into the real Christmas Presence.
As you progress along this journey of spiritual awakening, you will love the time you get to spend alone. You get to fill the well. You go to the fountain of living water. (Poem–The Fountain–Denise Levertov)
The Fountain” by Denise Levertov.
Don’t say, don’t say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts.
I have seen
the fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes
found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.
The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched-but not because
she grudged the water,
only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were
Don’t say, don’t say there is no water.
The fountain is there among it’s scalloped
grey and green stones,
it is still there and always there
with it’s quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,
up and out through the rock.
by Denise Levertov.
Aloneness and Connection
Aloneness and loneliness are connected.
When you feel lonely, you can feel empty inside. When you enter the state of aloneness you do feel empty inside. At least to begin with. However, there is a vast difference between the two.
Loneliness is a heightened experience of separation arising from identification with the personal sense of self. Aloneness is a heightened communion with the True Self. This is the emptiness that leads to fulfillment. (Poem—Presents–Norman MacCaig)
The spiritual seeker moves into a different emotional and feeling relationship to their inner state and the sense of personal self.
You have a direct relationship with life and move to having life live through you. You align with the reason you are here. You are here to have revealed through you the reality of sacred unity—yoga. This sacred unity is who you are.
The Paradox of Aloneness
Aloneness means you are living a rather strange paradox.
You will be alone for the sake of love. This appears illogical. However, if you are not in love with being alone with yourself, then your love will be dependent and attract the energy of co-dependency. I suspect this has been the experience of many of us.
Without the ability to be alone, you live a second-hand life. You will always look for personal validation from without. You may, as some do, find fortune and fame and still feel lonely and inauthentic.
Fame is foolish, it is pointless, meaningless. Even if the whole world knows you, how does it make you richer? How does it make your life more blissful? How does it help you to be more understanding, to be more aware? To be more alert, to be more alive? ― Osho, The Buddha Said…: Meeting the Challenge of Life’s Difficulties
This was the case with Elvis Presley who struggled to be true to how the Call to Adventure was coming through him (Book—The Seeker King—A Spiritual Biography of Elvis Presley)
It’s not how much you have that makes people look up to you, it’s who you are. – Elvis Presley
A sign that you are on the path of spiritual awakening is how comfortable you feel with the experience of not knowing. You commit to the Quest to KNOW and be KNOWN through.
Not knowing connects you to the 1st sign of spiritual awakening that is the journey into trust and real faith. Distinguish this from belief. Belief is where you say you know but have had no direct experience of what you claim to believe in.
One might declare, as so many do, “I believe in God.” This differs from the mystic who KNOWS and can declare, “I and the Father are One.” They make this declaration from the grace experience of being KNOWN through.
What need to believe when you KNOW – Jeddu Krishnamurti
Before you can move into KNOWING that which is beyond belief you have to move into the desert of unknowing.
This is the real journey of faith and trust. You will not make the journey unless you have a real longing to KNOW God rather than believe in and about, or not believe in or about God.
We have billions of believers when what the world needs NOW is KNOWERS. When you KNOW union with the Divine, you cannot create the world we see with our eyes.
With mystical revelation which is KNOWING you live in the world but you are not of the world. However, you are in love with the world as an expression of the Divine.
When most people declare, I believe in God” what they are saying is, “I ascent to accepting there is a Creator outside myself.” This is more a belief “About the possibility of God.”
Belief IN God is a mystical experience beyond belief inviting you to live life IN union with the Divine as your everyday experience. He wasn’t inviting you to believe about him.
Most people are uncomfortable with not knowing. This is especially the case with political leaders. They want answers and they want answers NOW. They are less comfortable with the quest for insight.
Insight is not knowledge. Insight is insider KNOWING. It arises from within. This is the experience of true education.
Education is not the filling of a pale but the lighting of a fire—W. B. Yeats
We gain knowledge through study. Insight is revelation. It is not something gained. It is NO-THING that you are gifted. It is the Universe KNOWING itself through you and as you. It gives you insight through your willingness to be comfortable being empty of knowledge.
Cloud of Unknowing
The universes which are amenable to the intellect can never satisfy the instincts of the heart. ― Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing
Not knowing requires real humility and patience. Not knowing is part of the practice of self-surrender or self-emptying. KNOWING happens by grace. You are not in control. It is always a gift.
When it happens, if it happens and why it happens is a mystery.
See how much easier it is to live as a believer in God. At least you are in control even if your belief has no foundation through direct personal and transpersonal experience.
Not knowing is the prelude to becoming a mystic.
The mystic is the individual who has been graced a direct revelation of that to which the word God points.
The mystic is not a believer but a KNOWER. However, the mystic has moved through, and is required to move beyond the Cloud of Unknowing (Book The Cloud of Unknowing – )
This kind of KNOWING is a real university education because it gives you an insight into the reality of the Universe. This kind of KNOWING transforms your world view.
Leaving the Matrix
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Practicing being comfortable with not knowing begins to weaken the hold that the collective consciousness (The Matrix) has on you. There will come a time when you break free of the Matrix and your view of reality changes.
You get a glimpse of the spiritual awakening experience. You have revealed to you who and why you are. You are The One.
Between the conscious and the unconscious, the mind has put up a swing
by Kabir – English version by Robert Bly
Between the conscious and the unconscious, the mind has put up a swing:
all earth creatures, even the supernovas, sway between these two trees,
and it never winds down.
Angels, animals, humans, insects by the million, also the wheeling sun and moon;
ages go by, and it goes on.
Everything is swinging: heaven, earth, water, fire,
and the secret one slowly growing a body.
Kabir saw that for fifteen seconds, and it made him a servant for life.
This is beyond knowledge ‘about’ anything. It can only be KNOWN by way of grace.
This is the real challenge.
How much do you really want to KNOW? What is most likely to draw you into this Cloud of Unknowing is your wish to overcome personal suffering in some form?
Most suffering is self-inflicted through identification with the overthinking personal mind. Suffering is not a punishment, even if it feels this way. It is a call to go beyond the limits of duality. You take the red pill and you venture into the wonderland of Presence (Movie – The Matrix)
With a deepening sense of spiritual connection, you feel grateful for being part of Love’s forever becoming. You can hardly believe you are part of something so glorious. In fact, it is no longer a belief.
To begin with, there is the need to practice the attitude of gratitude before it becomes your way of being in the world. This is because of the toxic never enough cultural conditioning that is so much a part of everyday living in the Western world. From morning to night, it bombards you with conditioning that assures you that you are never enough.
As you progress on the journey of spiritual awakening, gratitude becomes more about what you can gift the world rather than what you can grab from the world. You allow your life to unfold from within and you flow out from the centre. You are living a profound paradox. This is the paradox of self-emptying through which Creation pours into you.
It is the giving sense rather than getting; being rather than attaining. In this consciousness there is not condemnation, judgement, hatred, or fear, but rather a continuous feeling of love and forgiveness—Joel Goldsmith—The Infinite Way.
The Challenge of Gratitude
To begin with, the practice of gratitude may well feel inauthentic. This was my experience. Gratitude is a muscle you have not used, and that needs exercise.
Most people do not engage with the disciplined practice of gratitude. It is not something this Western culture invites you to explore and expand into. There is no practice of intentionality. Gratitude, if it happens, it happens involuntarily. Then it is on to the next thing that tells us we are lacking in something.
When you are making progress on the spiritual journey into awakening gratitude is not just a feel-good experience in response to getting what you want. It becomes a way of being and acting in the world. This takes commitment and the effort of remembrance and the paradox of self-emptying.
Gratitude becomes a way of being thankful for the gift of being a Co-Creator with Love. If you have not known this as a direct experience of being One with Creation then as the poet Goethe declares in his poem The Holy Longing
…. And if you have not experienced this
To die and so to grow, you
Are only a troubled guest on this dark earth.
This is an ongoing sharing of 21 signs of the Progressive Spiritual Awakening Process. I will update this article as follows
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