For some time now, throughout the Western Dharmic channels, there’s been frequent talk about “awakening”, as if that represents some critical experience, and in a way it certainly does. Imagine the alternative of spending one’s whole time in dreamland, never realizing one is fast asleep! Imagine a whole planet of such sleep-walkers! For proof that ignorance is not bliss, we need only look at the current state of Earth. Nevertheless, amid all the claims about illumination, not much is heard about staying awake, because it is actually still quite rare to thoroughly disentangle from the matrix and stabilize in the “open eyes” state.
Moreover, those who are actually awake don’t think of themselves as awake. They don’t think of themselves as anything in particular, nothing special. They have ceased experiencing themselves as separate entities from the whole. The wave is not other than the ocean. They don’t go on about “their” experiences. Notions of “me & mine” no longer apply. Truly, they never do, except as a reflection of ignorance.
Ignorance consists of forming and maintaining views, positions, beliefs, judgments, and self-images based on insufficient information. The fact is, we don’t know who or what we really are. The resulting confusion yields a state of mistaken identity, in which consciousness imagines it is this single time-bound carbon unit exclusively, and thus ignorance is reinforced in the delusion.
This is why the wise in such matters suggest, as an initial preparatory step, bringing one’s whole attention to this immediate moment, and cease living in the past or future. Although this in itself is nearly impossible for most humans, due to runaway thought-streams and engrained habit patterns, Help is always available, especially if we are sincerely dissatisfied enough with living from anything less than the truth. Here in dreamland, the illusion is formidable. Our will and efforts alone can only take us so far, and can even turn into further obstacles themselves. In the midst of our ignorance, only love lights the way onward. In the midst of our failures, love triumphs anew. Ignorance ends when there is nothing that remains of us but love.