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There is a crack spreading across the globe, breaking our world in two. A crack in time and a split in consciousness. Can you feel it?
There was a time when the evolution of consciousness expanded in slow spiral loops: the old sliding into the new, almost imperceptibly. Not so anymore; we're living in an age of threshold − an age of drastic, dramatic changes that shake the world and fracture the collective consciousness of humanity. And I'm not just referring to the technological revolution or the political climate. No, those are superficial manifestations of the real change that's taking place.
Awakening is a quantum leap
I'm talking about awakening. In the past, awakening was a rare exception to the rule − a mysterious phenomenon experienced by a few eccentric individuals. In this age of quantum change, awakening is touching all of humanity (although not everyone is aware of its effects). The split in consciousness is a split between old and new. This rift is dividing the Earth into different strata, each with their own perception of reality: the part of humanity that chooses to hold onto the old (meaning the mental, linear, duality-based reality) and the emerging new species of conscious humans who are choosing the new (a perspective beyond duality). We see it in politics, business, entertainment, culture, the environment, in family structuring and relationships, and especially in spirituality: a constant push and pull between tradition and innovation, between structure and creativity, between control and freedom.
Of course there has been innovation with each new generation evolving and pushing the limits of the old. Yet it's different this time around; now there is a contrast so stark between old and new that it affects every aspect of life. We are forced to choose our position on a daily basis: "do I buy into duality today, or am I ready to expand?" Just by being alive at this time, each one of us is choosing − in each moment − whether or not to be aware.
Change goes new
On the surface we see a lot of polarization taking place, and that can be overwhelming if we don't see the bigger picture. Humanity as a whole, and especially those of us choosing awakening and self-realization, are experiencing quantum change. In the past, new meant a new version of the old: There was generally a sense of continuity, predictability or linearity to the nature of change; effect followed cause in a certain pattern. Well, the nature of change is changing now! Awakening means change beyond what we know, understand or control. When enough individuals allow their awakening, it causes a cascade of quantum change on a global level, which is then reflected as new innovations or old structures breaking down.
Awakening and self-realization have been the deepest passions in my life. I define 'awakening' as breaking the limits of who my mind thinks I am. For me awakening has very little to do with external things, like practicing meditation or yoga. Those are tools that might help create a safe space in which to allow the natural, organic unfolding of awakening to take place. Awakening is hardcore dedication to see reality clearly; it's an unquenchable thirst to know my true self, no matter what. It's releasing every belief, perspective and identification that is not authentic, natural or free.
"I define awakening as breaking the limits of who my mind thinks I am; it's an unquenchable thirst to know my true self, no matter what."
Awakening is a tumultuous phase where the individual frees herself/himself from the societal, mental and biological conditioning, and steps into self-responsibility (also called 'sovereignty'). This phase rarely, if ever, happens without resistance. Resistance to the new is conditioned into the old, so until you release the old, everything within you still operating from an old program will resist the new. Ironic, right? So instead of jumping into the new in one bold leap, the awakening human usually gets stuck in a plethora of distractions and diversions.
Oh, how I loved playing those games. I held on to every defense mechanism, right until the walls protecting my precious ego crumbled into pieces, until each reference point dissolved before my eyes, until my mind was turned upside down and my emotions inside out. Awakening is the most humbling, intense and terrifying experience before it becomes the most freeing experience: It's humiliating, because you see all the lies you've told yourself. It's terrifying, because our old sense-of-self is dying and you have no idea what's waiting for you on the other side.
The freedom of choice
That thrilling moment right there is really a threshold, an opportunity to choose something different; to go beyond and open up to the unknown. What might seem like hitting rock-bottom − or worse, finding yourself in a dark bottomless void − is actually what I call the Break Point. The Break Point is an opportunity to make a choice and allow the change that you've been praying for. There are always several options available (after all, we are beings of free will). The options are basically to
1) remain stuck and distract yourself
2) go crazy
3) cross over
4) go beyond the mind...
I chose the first 3 options countless (life)times over and over again, before I was finally ready to try the last option: To go beyond the mind, into the undefined new; to break the rules of what I'm supposed to believe to be real; to release everything that I'm expected to hold onto, including a defined identity and fixed, limiting belief systems. Really it was a matter of having exhausted all the other options, having drained all of my inner resistance (and trust me, there was a lot), and used up every excuse I could think of to justify my resistance. I didn't let go of the old in a heroic act of bravery; I let go because I had tried everything else for a long time!
'The new' arrives one breath at a time
But here's the thing: Choosing 'new' is not a one-time choice. 'The old' is our default function; filtering our natural wisdom through the anxious, dualistic, easily influenced mind is how we have been programmed. That old program is the automatic mode, because it's wired into our nervous system. Choosing to perceive ourselves and reality through our sovereign, free perspective rather than the default perspective feels like going against our instincts, because even those instincts are connected to the old program (the limited consciousness). 'The new' that I'm talking about, is a new way of being and sensing, a new consciousness. It's not a new version of the old. It's not even a new program or a new set of belief systems; it's not reprogramming our thoughts or finding new ways to deal with the old. It's a kind of radical inner peace that surpasses any understanding, as Kim Eng has described it.
In other words, going beyond the mind means choosing to be in a state that is constantly new, constantly unfolding more of itself, constantly changing expression and form − it's the state of being liberally alive! The old mental programs and patterns dissolve gradually and naturally when we persistently continue to choose awareness, openness and peace throughout the moments of our daily life. While the meditation cushion is a great place to start, real transformation takes place in our relationships, in the kitchen or when we're stuck in traffic. That's the 'real' of realization.
"Awakening breaks all the rules."
Awakening breaks all the rules that you have known before. It breaks the rules of how to perceive and organise reality. It breaks the rules of how you relate to your thoughts and emotions; it breaks the rules of who you thought you were and could be, how to live your life, and how to deal with pain. It breaks the rules of right and wrong...
The mind is built on rules and patterns. So once you stop following all the rules and you stop believing in your thoughts, the mind experiences a kind of "break down". It has nothing to hold onto, nothing to give it direction, or to contain its duality. The mind loses its old purpose and clashes against its own limitations. This is usually experienced by the awakening human as anxiety, existential fear and obsessive self-doubt. The mind will do anything to stay in control, because control means survival from the mind's perspective. Sooner or later, however, your connection to your own wisdom will become so clear and true that control becomes a nuisance rather than a necessity, and you fall headfirst back into your free Self.
Just remember: You're not going crazy, you're just breaking the rules of how to perceive yourself and reality. It might be terrifying, confusing and humiliating right now, but it's all perfect - it's real and divine, and it's perfect.
You're on the right path, even if you can't see the path right now.