Have you ever had a dream so vivid, intense and graphic that you woke up from your dream and wondered which life and experience was the real one? What you thought you were living before or what you just experienced in your dream? The world is awakening and what we once thought was the real world more and more people are realizing was part of the dream.
What if you woke up one day and realized the world and your life was not what you thought it was?
What if you awoke and saw that what you had experienced in your life up until then was only something that you had imagined?
In reality, your eyes had been mostly closed and your senses mostly shut off. And what if, with eyes finally opened and senses fully turned on and alive, you realized all you thought you knew was just the filtered, diluted, obscured and misunderstood opinion and interpretation of another passed down to you?
What if what you thought you believed was just a worldview and belief system that was unconsciously transmitted and programmed into you before you even had a choice or could count?
What if what you thought was real was just a tiny, narrow, contracted perspective of something bigger than you thought possible?
What if you realized that you had spent your entire life’s experience fixated on one single point of an infinite spectrum of a puzzle that had no end and that you had been conditioned, since youth, to deny, reject or exclude everything else that wasn’t that point? And further to declare that nothing besides that point existed and everything else was “wrong” except that single frame of reference?
With eyes wide open, the shock of the scene leaves you completely paralyzed with total awe and astonishment. Totally overcome with wonder a whole new world opens. Like Aladdin taking Jazmyn on a magic carpet ride.
A Whole New World
All of the sudden the colors are so much more brilliant, dazzling and scintillating than ever. White is the purest white you have ever seen. Red is the deepest, most fiery brilliance you have ever conceived. Green is more soothing, vivacious, and enlivening than ever! Blue is the deepest, most authentic and invigorating you have ever experienced! And what you used to think was a rainbow paled in comparison to the intensity and variety of colors, hues, patterns and shapes that were always present but you couldn’t see.
The orgasmic pleasure you once basked in biting into a piece of chocolate cake or a juicy hamburger with all the fixings or being with the ones you love could not hold a candle to how delicious it felt just to BE in this new space.
Flying like a majestic bird, swimming like a graceful fish you experience a grace and ease of movement like never before. And the sounds, the noise, the music the most beautiful and exquisite your senses have ever experienced. You realize what you have experienced in life up until now isn’t “wrong,” or “bad” but only a single point of reference that you unknowingly imprisoned yourself in.
You have been seeing through a glass darkly the whole time and now the glasses are removed, the lights turned on. This does not diminish what you have known as your world up to this point but has enhanced and added to it more than you thought possible. You have no intention of attacking or defaming the smaller version world you knew, but loving it to its innate largeness again.
Can You Fall Back Asleep Once You Are Awake?
Have you ever tried to fall back asleep once you have been awakened in the morning? Have you ever tried to fake sleep?
I remember two distinct instances when I deliberately tried to fool my parents into believing that I was sleeping.
One was to get out of doing dishes I had forgotten about until it was late and I was tired. The other was when I didn’t want to get up in the morning and deliver the newspapers before school. Somehow I tried to convince my parents that I didn’t hear their repeated screams or was totally numb to their continual physical shaking.
Let’s just say I wasn’t very good at fake sleeping. And I am just as lousy at falling back asleep in the morning once I have woken up.
I still am! How can I ever just go back to sleep?
When You Get a New Prescription You Don’t Go Back to the Old
What would you do if you were me in this situation? Could you just close your eyes and pretend like you didn’t see or experience anything? Could you go back to sleep and just convince yourself it doesn’t fit in with what you already know and reject it? Could you just go back to business as usual, status quo, cruise control living conforming to cultural, religious and societal pressures because nobody would believe you anyways? Would you retreat to the comfort of your normal, predictable, unexciting existence?
Could you just act like you never saw it, felt it or experienced it and live the rest of your life fake sleeping? Could you just suppose that you had been ‘deceived,’ ‘mistaken,’ ‘confused,’ ‘misguided,’ or just hallucinating it?
Would you just ‘shut down’ and live the rest of your life in isolation estranged from your peers because you are afraid of how you would be perceived?
Would you just hide or bury this knowledge the rest of your life because it is more comfortable to fit in with everybody around you? Could you just live on a superficial, unconscious, shallow level taking care to filter everything you say, do and radiate to others because they aren’t ready for it or don’t understand it? Could you GO BACK to what life used to be like??
After you have tasted Breyers or Haagen Daas ice cream can you really be content with value mart ice cream the rest of your life?
Whether a singular spontaneous incident or a series of progressive drip-fed experiences or even this nagging unsettled feeling, longing, hunger, void, sense of emptiness or wanting more, the outcome is the same. You realize all that you thought was real was just part of a dream and the real world has just begun to be unfolded to you. This nagging, this urge for more, this feeling of “being out of place” or “not fitting in” that you may be experiencing on some level is not imaginary. This restless stirring you feel inside that you may have smothered or ignored for years can no longer be ignored.
My Personal Awakening & Dark Night of the Soul
When I personally began to “awake” and grasp the breadth and implications of my experiences, epiphanies, heightened states of consciousness and the magnitude of what I had been feeling and drawn to for years I thought I just made it all up.
I thought I was fabricating it from thin air.
I was first in complete SHOCK, then outright DENIAL for weeks and months.
Then there was this intense pain of trying to RECONCILE the world of my dreams and the real world as I had been taught it was.
How could I make all these things I had been learning, felt, seen and experienced fit into the paradigm I was raised in? I obsessed about it for several years. How can I make this work and fit? Deep down I knew the answer before I asked it.
Thinking I was alone and suffering in silence with this new information was excruciating at times. Then there was a period of depression before I realized my only choice was to live the rest of my life in silent pain or to reach the point of full acceptance.
Had I been dreaming, asleep and unconscious this whole time? How could I have imagined a world so small, contracted and diminutive? How could I have ever conceived of myself as so helpless and limited? How could I ever just go back to the blandness and plainness of what I used to think was sweet? How could I ever just resign myself to retreating back to a life, a career, a religion, a belief system I had totally outgrown? It felt like trying to be excited going back to third grade again.
Even if no other soul ever confirmed, validated, listened to or gave credence to what I felt, knew and had experienced how could I ever discount it, ignore it or not embrace it?
This blog post is less about the details of mine or any awakening experience more me ruminating out loud how to engage with a world where you just don’t fit in anymore?
Who Am I Now That Everything I Knew Has Changed?
I look back at my times as a youth with my siblings and parents and it all seems like a figment of my imagination.
All of my life I perceived through a lens that said I was:
- Worthy if I lived up to others expectations, made them proud, and accumulated more accolades and accomplishments.
- Was a diligent missionary in Asia for two years, literally giving my heart and soul to my faith.
- Proud of being a “straight arrow”, fasting every single Sunday for years, memorizing hundreds of passages and having a greater command of the scriptures than anyone I knew.
I look back at that zealous, and passionate yet self-righteous man and wonder who he was. I seemed so undeviating and so bent on “saving” or “converting” others. I literally spent years poring over hundreds of books and texts seeking understanding, greater knowledge and attempting to piece this whole thing together. Trite Sunday School answers were never enough. Something felt missing. In the process I accumulated thousands of pages of study journals examining every possible question and source I could all in effort to support, defend and reinforce the paradigm I had been raised in. I believed my way was the “one and only true way” and all others were, of course, false or inferior. I was often so serious, somber and sober-minded all the time. I believed that life was about some destination or measure of righteousness or checklist of achievements.
All that mattered was to be “faithful,” “endure to the end” and make my mark on the world. I loved that young man. Man did I love him! Could I really let him go? I simply couldn’t live in two worlds with all that I had experienced. Nothing fit anymore. I felt like no one understood. Could I just go through the motions?
The intense pain led me to a precipice….And.
I simply had to let him go. It was absolutely excruciating.
I had to throw everything I thought I knew out and start over.
I had to sift through, sort, evaluate and examine everything I thought I knew again.
And from this broader perspective a new more empowered, more joyous and more “on fire” me began to emerge.
From the ashes of the pain, grief and loneliness and hunger for more I felt inside a sleeping giant had truly been awakened. I realized it was much less of me seeking something different, better or not fitting of the mold I had inherited but more of something truly seeking me. But it took years of discontent before I seemed finally ready to truly surrender and listen.
Have I Been Deceived???
People in my old circles say:
“You have been deceived!”
“That is impossible!”
“It doesn’t fit with my own worldview so it can’t be legitimate!”
“He must be doing something ‘wrong’ or hiding something or lying.”
“You can’t really be that happy on the outside–it is impossible.”
“I can’t believe someone as strong as you lost their faith.”
Yet all of these seem like programmed fear-based responses from others who unknowingly often justify their own unhappiness or limitations.
In truth nothing real is ever lost. I had in fact begun to finally understand and awaken to the miracle of what real faith is.
I realized that to deny this experience is to deny myself.
The fruits of love, peace, joy, and kindness that have come as a result of my awakening are unmistakable.
There is deeper compassion, less and less inclination to stand in judgment, less and less proclivity to fix or try to change another. More internal peace and rivers of love that flow spontaneously. It does not make me better or holier than another but quite aware of the holiness in all and through all things and people which I mistakenly tried to “fix” for so long.
I thought I was alive but now I’m bursting at the seams with passion, purpose and drive. I thought I was happy and content but now I see how much I cut myself off from its pure and greater flow the majority of the time. It is not normal to live a life in servitude to any belief(s) that do not make you feel ALIVE just because it is tradition, all you have ever known or culturally popular and acceptable.
I realize how asleep and unconscious I have been for so many years.
Can I really just go back to sleep? Even if it brought ridicule, scorn, judgment and estrangement from the masses the rest of my life, could I really just go back to who I was?
I Will Speak My Truth & Stay Awake FOR YOU
Wherever you are in your own journey of understanding, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
You no longer have to suffer in silence.
You no longer have to worry about being accepted, popular or mainstream.
Wherever you stand today in relationship to all you have ever known, trust your own experience, feelings and higher wisdom over every other person or belief system.
The world needs enlightened beings like you now more than ever. It needs people who are ALIVE, whose souls are ignited with a flame of love that knows no filter or pre-requisite conditions! The world need people who no longer just “go through the motions” following the herd of popular opinion or dogma.
The world needs YOU—all of you—and not the mask you wear, not the title you hold–the real, authentic, infinite YOU.
You ARE NOT ALONE! There is a safe place, away from any others expectations and opinions, where you can begin to heal.