Spiritual Awakening & the Mind

I spoke to a dear friend this morning. I called to connect with him. To hear his voice. To schmooze and ponder. He said something that really registered with me. He said that “we are all on the spectrum.” Please understand I am in no way diminishing the daily struggles of anyone who lives with those actual challenges. It was a great analogy to help put into perspective all the individual quirkiness, peculiarities, and idiosyncrasies we all seem to have. To help me better understand how we all process life so differently. And more importantly to give perspective to all the stories that go on in each of our heads about the lives we live.

I like the term mishegoss. It is a Yiddish word that comes from the word meshuga, which means crazy. Meshuga: crazy. Mishegoss: craziness or idiosyncrasy. We all have our own version of mishegoss. This so very individualized way of processing life helps me to have a greater need for understanding and compassion when it comes to people who clearly don’t think like me.

It made me appreciate how our brains are like attorneys, searching the world for evidence that we are right. That our point of view, what ever our mind is conjuring is correct and absolute. And that those thoughts are righteous thoughts. It almost doesn’t matter what we’re thinking about.  For most people, if those thoughts originate in their heads, they must be right.

They could be about people of Color. Jews. Gun owner. Gun hater. Muslims. Christians. Pro-abortion. Anti-abortion.   Democrats. Republicans. It doesn’t matter. There is no room for relationship. For Kindness. For understanding. For compassion. Just the need to be right. If you have a compelling need to be right, there is no room for anyone else with a different opinion. There is no room to move into relationship and understanding.

So, what distinguishes a person that has experienced a spiritual awakening?

First and foremost, they are able to distance themselves from what ever the conversation is going on in their head. Being spiritual awakened doesn’t necessarily mean that conversation will stop. It just creates some distance. A moment of pause to check in with oneself to see if there is any validity to what is being dispensed by one’s own mind.

There is a realization that the mind is an amazing tool. It serves us well when it comes to living in the empirical world. The mind is great at the precision of science. It can measure, weight, calculate and compute.

The mind does not necessarily serve its owner well when it comes to much else. The mind can often confuse how we process the emotions of life, including but not limited to love, hate, fear and change. The mind seems to have a mind of its own. Often repeating itself without pause. Telling us a story that might or might not be true. Often creating confusion and misunderstanding. We are not our stories. They ultimately don’t define who we are. They help to inform us of our past and the work we need to do to heal.

The mind and the ego live hand in hand. We need our ego’s. Without an ego we would not to be able to locate ourselves in space time. Our ego grounds us in the present moment. It is also the perpetrator of everything else that goes wrong in our lives. It tells us stories that are usually not grounded in any reality. But compel to believe them anyway. Our egos create the structures of separation. It creates of feeling if being less than or better than. It makes us see ourselves separate from each others, from life and especially from God. The ego projects its domination over our lives through the projections of our very own mind. What a paradox.

A person with some degree of spiritual awakening has a mind that is often at rest. When not in use, it is like a marble resting at the bottom of a bowl. When needed for what ever reason that marble spins around the inside of the bowl until no longer needed. There is little to no “mind chatter”. That incessant noise in our heads always telling us something. There is just quiet.

There is little to no sense of separation form the world at large. There is a deep, embodied, and profound sense that all life arises from the mystery of life. There is no need to live a life of separation and duality. Life is experienced from the perspective of everything being one. Life and God do not live outside of ourselves. They are us. There is a deep visceral sense of the inter-connectedness of the very foundation of life. From that perspective it is easy to let go of the need to be right. There is no right or wrong. There is only God. The best question to ask in any given situation is what is causing us to feel separate and how do we move back into relationship.

Being spiritually awake does not make you special. Nor does it put in in the front of any proverbial line. It also does not excuse you from experiencing the many discomforts, inconveniences, or traumas of life. It does not resolve your egoic dilemmas. Being spiritual awake does help you live in the present moment. Any maybe most importantly it opens you to aligning your life, your being with the grace and illumination that is bestowed on every single person by the mystery that live everything. Being spiritually awake helps us bring our unique expression forward into the world ignited by this very special gift.

There is so much more to say. I am feeling the need to stop here.

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