I used to participate in social forum threads discussing spiritual subjects. Unfortunately I tend to piss off the serious ones, so I no longer hang out there. However, I do continue to read the discussions and today I came across this quote regarding ‘awakening’ experiences:
If you experience awakening as a “profound experience,” and contrary to "ordinary experience," how can you be "awakened"? Would an 'awakened' mind differentiate between a profound and an ordinary state of mind? If you discriminate between a time of ‘awakening’ and a time of ‘not awakened,’ then are you not simply making an egoic interpretation rooted in time?
“This really brings up the 'readiness' question, big time. How can we survive an encounter with something so profound and contrary to our ordinary experience that we can hardly remember it when we 'wake up' from 'the dream.' the profound experience of awakening or “being exposed to your truth.”
How can there be a 'before' and an 'after' to absolute truth?
The ego makes dualistic contrasts, such as before and after or ordinary and profound, and this is commensurate with its capacity and need to judge. More likely your "profound experience" is simply egoic mind hoping that the neurochemical imbalances, experienced from hours of meditative trance, are the Big Shebang. We have learned that for this 'awakening' to occur we need to cook our soup with many years of sacrificial practice, mixed with the stock of spiritual-religious ideology. This is the usual paradigm of awakening and we expect to be removed from ‘ordinary’ consciousness to a realm of ‘profound’ consciousness as reward for all our hard work. If you expect it, be assured your experience will be 'profound' but it will most likely not be any ego-free, timeless truth.
Notice the blatant dualism in the interpretation. This seems to be the time-trap that many aspirants fall into. As if there were a dualistic interpretation to what is what is true in all situations at all times. “Who” is it that makes the contrast between ordinary and awakened? Can I know myself as awakened and still remember (memory-time) myself as ordinary? Or does my ordinary self disappear to become a new profound self? Is there an integration or a transcendence or merely just a transformation?
Can I slim down my obese ego through the right spiritual diet?
But for absolute truth to be true, it must be absolutely true all the time, since there can be no such thing as part-time truth to what is absolute. So how can there be a “time” when truth is not true? Can absolute truth be 'ordinary' one moment and 'profound' the next?
Many would contend that truth is always true, yet we just don’t know it... yet.
But how could that be? For truth to be true, it must always be known as true, otherwise it’s not truth. For absolute truth to be true it must be known always and immediately and there can never be a time when it is not known. To say that there is a time when truth is not known, or that we are unaware of truth, is to deny such a thing as absolute truth. You can’t deny it, otherwise how could it be true. Absolute truth is true all the time, no matter what you do to deny it, since it can't be denied.
Notice how the serious spirtualists apply the paradigm of relative truth to what is absolute. There are many relative truths I may not be aware of, but I can never NOT be aware of absolute truth, otherwise it could not exist as absolute, which means 'true' in all circumstances, at all times. Therefore, the Many is as much an absolute truth as the One. So why do you only seek only the One by denying the Many?
“I once was lost, but now am found.” Obviously, you were never lost and there is nothing to find. So then, what are you looking for and who is looking? Is it the ordinary “you” seeking the new, improved and more profound “you”? Nope, its just “you.” There is no 'ordinary' before or 'profound' after.
I recall the neurochemical whiz-bangs I got, many years ago, after several days of 6 hour zazen and some robed 'master' slapping a whisk broom across my shoulders. Wow! That was no ordinary experience. In fact, I thought it was pretty damn “profound”! All I needed was the right ideology through which to make sense and that was spoon fed to me from the start.
Many would argue that the concepts used are merely "fingers pointing to the moon." Subsequently, I too, point to the moon, but only to inform that there is nothing to point to, because there is no moon (“Good night, moon”).
Of course, most folks don’t like me tinkerin’ with their profound experiences. Wouldn’t want the awakened ones to ever doubt their “truth.” However, if you really want “awakening” then let doubt be your guide and fill your mind. Because doubt is the absolute truth and you will never know a more profound and infinite experience. It must be, because you know it NOW and you will know it always. Doubt is one thing you will never be without.
When you no longer seek to be surprised by profound moments of truth, you will be surprised by the ordinary ones. Ooops, HA! Just had one there…Ooops, there goes another. Ah, what the heck, might as well keep it going!