Re-Inhabiting Your Life
Awakening is a falling away of all thoughts, an unveiling of everything and nothing, as part of the one being. Re-inhabiting your life is about living and thinking from that perspective.
You can experience a falling away of thought in a number of different situations, these include dreamless sleep, deep laughter, and even sneezing. Unfortunately you can't do much else while laughing or sneezing. For most people, day to day life without thinking seems unimaginable, yet at the same time, they inhabit the greater reality from which thought and life arises.
Thought filters reality in a way that makes you believe you're separate from everything else, and it traps you into an isolated sense of identity. It's a dream state that leads to suffering.
Language expresses limiting perceptions. By language I mean any spoken or written symbols that represent some aspect of reality, or imagination, with the intention of communicating meaning.
Every language - spoken, symbolic, or numeric - is based on the assumption of separation.
It's important to understand that language conveys information from an unawakened perspective, from a perspective that does not recognise the flowing oneness of reality, or the stillness beyond the movement of consciousness. This is not easy to convey to anyone who believes that thinking will bring them to truth. Thought will just keep them seeking.
Language names the forms and functions that you perceive. They might be inanimate, animate, or imaginary. Whenever you name something or learn the name of something do it with the awareness that it's not really a separate thing.
Nothing needs to have any meaning. You only need to have a meaning of life if you're living from a perspective of separation. The greater your need for meaning the greater is your separation from reality which manifests as inner or outer conflict and disappointment. If you're acting from a perspective of inner peace, contentment, and gratitude then you really don't need meaning because the idea of separation has little or no hold on you.
The concept of meaning stems from the limiting perception of linear cause and effect. How did this come about? What will this lead to? What does this represent? How is this thing linked to the other thing? Everything has an infinite number of causes from all directions, not just what you perceive to be the cause.
Float along this stream of infinite causes and effects and navigate the flow by not grasping at things. Notice reality revealing to you an order that you never imagined possible.
You are not doing anything. Anything that you do is simply a part of the transformative process of reality coming into being. There is no 'doer' - someone doing something. The doer is a misperception that arises the moment you first perceive yourself to be a separate entity, then you perceive yourself as someone who can do something, and finally you see yourself as having a personal will.
If you see yourself as a doer then do everything as an offering, as something that you're offering to the world, to another person, to the community, or to use a religious concept, to God. This doesn't mean doing anything and everything that others want you to do. There's an intellectual trap that would have you believe that you can do anything you like, because ultimately you're not doing anything. Falling into that trap can easily turn your life into a nightmare. If you truly see that you're not doing anything then there's a greater harmony in your experience of whatever arises.
All thought reflects a perception of separation. As soon as you label a thing then it becomes separated from everything else. Perception itself implies a perceiver and a thing perceived. The essence of duality is that everything must be different from everything else, and no two things, no matter how similar, can be exactly the same. Duality - separation - is a misperception, but not an illusion.
Thought is real to the extent that you know it to be a part of your reality, it's unreal to the extent that it would have you believe that it can reach truth, and it's completely false when it pretends to be the real you. When thought pretends to be the real you, it becomes your ego, and then you live in a kind of dream state, not fully asleep, but not fully awake.
Your thoughts are the root of form. People, animals and plants appear, grow and die. Some never take seed, some die young, some die old. See your thoughts in the same way, water them with your attention and they grow, withdraw your attention and they disappear. Then see them like clouds, forming and dissipating, each perfect in its shapeless form, yet without independent existence.
Life is like a dream. How far do you travel in your dreams at night? Obviously you don't go anywhere. Your body is at rest, for all practical intents and purposes it is still, but your consciousness is divided into all the characters and dreamscapes. When you wake up what happens to the version of you that was the dream character. It dissolves into the oneness of your awakening. The dream character doesn't survive the awakening, you awaken, and the dream character awakens into you. In the same way your ego doesn't survive spiritual awakening. It awakens into stillness, and like the dream character, your ego dissolves into the greater reality.
In a lucid dream you know that you're dreaming, and you know that your body is asleep. You're awake within your dream, and you seem to have some freedom to affect your dream. A person who is simply dreaming has no knowledge that they're dreaming and no sense of influence over their dream. You, as pure awareness, are dreaming a life, and within your life you are either awake or sleep. Even if awakening happens in your life, the ego can draw you back into the sleep of suffering.
Conditioned thoughts cause suffering. These are your repetitive, habitual, dysfunctional and unconscious thought patterns. As you begin to recognise your conditioned thoughts some will fall away just by being noticed, while others might continue insisting that you give them your attention and become absorbed into them. See them for what they are. If you can't ignore them then go through them with the greatest possible clarity. With each arising they will have less and less energy to attract your attention. The deeper the conditioned thoughts the stronger they call you, and the longer they might take to subside.
Conditioned thinking is so powerful that even those that express awakening most fully can be caught by thought and thrown into emotional turmoil. The difference is that they know what is happening and they can recover quickly, and without clinging to the dysfunctional thoughts. You must be able to recognise and notice your conditioned thoughts arising before they catch you.
Opposition strengthens the ego. Your small self, your ego, feels strongest and most alive when it opposes something. At the group level the ego is strongest against and opposing group. And of course the worst expression of the ego's divisive nature is war.
You can oppose things without becoming absorbed in egoic struggles. See through opposition and notice your ability to change the focus of your attention, remember that opposition is natural to the extent that everything exists in a state of difference from everything else, but only from the perspective of the ego.
Emotions reveal your relationship with reality. An emotion is the mental equivalent of an instinctive physical response. If you see a breath-taking landscape then you might feel at one with it. If you hear a petty argument between nearby people you might feel like moving away from it.
Ultimately you experience emotions based on your own thoughts about life. These emotions can continue even when the thoughts are no longer present. So regardless of whether your thoughts are positive or negative they can trigger emotions in a self-perpetuating cycle. And when the thoughts subside you can be left with an emotional experience that is either heavenly or hellish.
Some people might believe that awakening is about detaching psychologically from their emotions, or from others, or from life's problems. Psychological detachment is a way of shutting down. Transcending emotion is not rejecting emotion. It is experiencing emotion - if it arises - from an awakened perspective, one that knows you to be an integral part of whatever form reality is taking in the moment.
Life is relationship. From the perspective of a personal self you are in relationship with everyone and everything else. Your centre is defined by the word I, and all your relationships are measured against this sense of self. From the perspective of awakening, you are everyone, and everything, and there is no separation. To be divided against your self is to be deeply asleep, so the only way to relate to everyone and everything else is to treat them as you would treat yourself. To do this you must at least love yourself, or know yourself as love.
When you re-inhabit your life your eyes continue to see everyone and everything as separate, but you know it all to be your own self.