When I was on the uphill part of my journey, chasing to see this elusive ‘awareness’ that all the spiritual books were talking about, I was focused only on that. I did not have any thoughts about how life would unfold after finding it.
It was a bit like when I was one of the women in the birth-preparation class, pregnant with my first child. We were all totally focused on the birth process. This was the big goal to reach. We did not think much about what life would be afterwards.
Then there was a newborn to take care of. Sleepless nights; much responsibility for a little baby but no experience yet; difficulties with nursing; the body healing from the ordeal of pregnancy and birth; an onslaught of well-meant but annoying advice from nearly everyone. And in my case, there was a sudden, severe onset of rheumatoid arthritis on top of it all.
Similar on the spiritual journey. On the uphill part, I was focused to find consciousness, awareness. Focused to find that place which Nisargadatta Maharaj was talking about in his book I Am That.
Somehow I did not worry about how life would unfold after finding that. I thought since the spiritual teachings which I read told repeatedly how important it was to wake up to awareness, I assumed that somehow this must be it. After reaching that goal, then somehow everything would fall in line and life would be wonderful or whatever.
Yeah…. , dream on!
On the one hand, life did become more wonderful with little miracles and synchronicities. Or I was in a mental place where I would notice synchronicities more.
But on the other hand, there was a good deal of integration to be done. More lessons and more tests.
The lessons were about the relationship between consciousness and the material world. Now that I knew that I was awareness, what did it mean to live that in everyday life? It was pointed out to me that the way how I treat others comes back to me (Golden Rule).
The tests revolved around topics such as: How calm could I stay in the middle of challenging circumstances? How well could I manage my thoughts and stay away from anger and grief regarding past disappointments?
To sum it up, awakening to the fact that we are awareness which is beyond the body and the mind, which embraces as well as permeates everything, and which is the only constant in a world of ever changing things, – this is important. Yes, very important. But it is not the end of the journey. It is more like an important milestone.
It is like a shift in perception, like that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around. Or that the earth is round and not flat. And after this shift in perception, a new part on the journey starts. Like believing that the earth is round and not flat did enable people to not fear to fall off the edge of the earth when they went out too far (- old maps said about the edge of the flat earth , ‘here be dragons’). Instead they could sail out far and discover new continents.
Likewise, a new chapter in life started for me after awakening.