Are you awake or not? Here are some important questions to find out if you are. And if you are awake, to what extent?
Think You Are Awake?
Awakening is not the only goal. Awakening is part of your spiritual journey. To awaken is to embark on a life-long journey of discovery. It’s a step-by-step increase in awareness. This is a bit of a loaded question. Do you really want to know?
Being aware and awakened is not a matter of intelligence. There are several smart people in the world, but sadly not all the smart ones have awakened. So, the misuse of people and the environment. The world needs more people are awakening.
What Does Awake Really Mean?
Being awakened is a measure of awareness. People who are aware are not always articulate. Nor are they always people with resources or social standing. However, the bandwidth of our awareness is a good measure. Our ability to perceive is key to awareness. It is more accurate than assessing intelligence or social skills.
So, don’t think you are awake because you are educated. Formal education is institutionalized learning. Your level of Intellectual knowledge has nothing to do with the bandwidth of awareness.
Awareness is an interesting commodity of consciousness. It fluctuates depending on the clarity of our thinking and perception. Several factors affect awareness and clarity of thought. Our level of rest affects awareness. Drugs alter awareness, either to diminish, distort, or expand it. The clarity of awareness shows up in our ability to observe. There are three categories we can look at to measure if someone is aware and thus awakened.
The first one is our awareness during sleep or dreaming states of consciousness. The second is our awareness of our breathing. And the last thing is our curiosity about the unknown. So, we are assessing our awareness in the three basic states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, and sleeping. Here we go.
Awakened, Let’s Find Out
If you think you are awake the following self-assessment will help you find out. It will illuminate your level of awareness.
Curiosity About the Unknown
Many people are afraid of the concept. If you ask, do you really want to know? They will tell you no. They would rather not know. So, the fact that you are reading this is a good sign. It means about may be awakened to some extent. Good for you! Awareness in this context is not about intellectual prowess. This is about the desire to go beyond boundaries and social conventions. There aren’t any questions for this category. Fan your curiosity. Keep reading and researching.
Many people live out their days on auto-pilot. Most people are content to remain plugged into the cultural narrative. The ego is fully in control and the programming of commercialism runs their lives.
Your Dream Experiences
Our dreams are one of the barometers that tell us about the bandwidth of our awareness. Do you dream, and if you do, can you remember them?
Are you aware you are dreaming? Do you dream but don’t remember them? If this sounds like your experience, then you haven’t fully awakened. This is a sure sign you have room to grow. But, don’t worry, The dream state is the first and easiest place to expand awareness. Are you awake enough to want more awareness?
Questions About Breathing
Can you observe your breath without interfering with it?
Learning to observe without interfering is an important skill in both “inner work”, as well as, in our perception. There are two simple but powerful exercises to expand your awareness and control of breath. These are the following processes on active and seated mindfulness meditation. It will not take your mind long to learn to observe your breath. As you learn to observe your breath you are building the skill of observation. This is an important element when you take the next step toward observing thoughts and feelings. Please practice and enjoy these mindfulness exercises:
- Throughout the day gently remind yourself to… stay present.
- Observe your body, your breath in the present moment.
- Eventually, the goal is to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
- Take time to think before speaking or acting.
Seated Mindful Meditation
- Sit comfortably upright with the head floating above the shoulders, hands resting in the lap.
- The spine should be straight but not strained.
- Close the eyes.
- Bring your awareness to your posture and breath.
- When your mind interrupts, gently bring your awareness back to your posture and breath.
- Don’t force it. Don’t judge yourself.
- If you can’t observe your breath without interfering, then just focus on your posture.
- Ignore external distractions. When they occur, gently bring your awareness back to your posture and breathing.
- Write down your experience. We tend to miss the incremental growth if we don’t see the subtle changes when we go from a hyperactive mind to calmer states of simple awareness.
Questions About The Transcendent
Have you ever “experienced” being aware of the gap between the three basic states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, or sleeping? If you have, this is a good sign. If you haven’t don’t worry. This is something you can gain.
In case you didn’t know, the three default states of consciousness are upheld by a deeper level of pure awareness. People who are “awake” and “aware” will notice these gaps, the spaces as they transition from one state of consciousness to another. The regular practice of the Japa Meditation technique, you will become very familiar with this 4th state of consciousness. This transcendent state characterized as being restful-alertness.
Remember, the degree to which you are aware has NOTHING to do with your belief in any particular set of religious beliefs. Mythology has nothing to do with awareness, or consciousness or spiritual exploration. So, can you relate to this experience? Do you Think you awake?
Everyone can grow and learn. Using processes we call spiritual technologies will enable you to expand your awareness. What are Spiritual Technologies?
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They are processes that can change or expand our awareness. Some of them are also doorways to higher states of consciousness. In short, spiritual technologies are methods of change. These processes result from eons of research by cultures around the world. Using these tools is what we call spiritual exploration.
These tools stand up to the test of science. That’s because they are repeatable. Several produce measurable changes in our physiology. It’s important to realize what spiritual exploration is not.
Spiritual exploration does not involve belief in a religion. This means they are available to anyone that can follow a process. It’s like baking a cake. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. One simple way is to divide them into four primary groups. You could list some of these tools in more than one group.
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Healing Practices
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools. However, analytical processes are vital to the spiritual quest. This is because their use enhances our reasoning ability. This helps us to think more clearly. This helps us avoid many of the common obstacles. The two tools in this group are Logical Reasoning and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice. It’s especially helpful for those new to the spiritual path. We come back to review them regularly. This keeps them fresh in our minds.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning. This article summarizes logic. It shows how people misuse logic to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the logical axioms, ties everything together.
Comparative Analysis is another valuable analytical tool. This is a systematic approach to research based on the scientific model. It is a method that compares ideas and beliefs from different worldviews.
This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews. Here we also learn why it is so important to use emotional checks. It helps us research with the least amount of bias and prejudice.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. Modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others was and remains a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate profile of our personality. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will lead you to an understanding of the source of your personal power.
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration. The practice of meditation is now common knowledge. Both seated and moving meditation bring many health and wellness benefits.
Seated meditation is the heart of many spiritual practices. Meditation is a range of mental tools for exploring consciousness. It has everything from Mindfulness Meditation through Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). And also includes more advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is action together with a heightened level of awareness. So, this includes a range of activities involving the mind-body connection. Using these modalities helps improve our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. It also includes Forest Bathing. techniques for grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This group is a mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group of processes starts with the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation. It also includes lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory. Another important tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows. This is your best coach. It also includes exercises like automatic writing. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first spiritual technology. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures. It serves as evidence to the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but all use essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a key element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey. A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
This is one of the ancient technologies that people have tried to rename or rebrand. They do this to make the Shamanic Journey more marketable. So, some people know it as guided meditation or creative visualization.
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet from Indonesia, or Reiki, and Shiatsu from Japan. Vedic medicine is also available, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. Then they find it is an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
Many people are happy to remain immersed in commercialism and hypnotized by capitalism. They want to stay asleep. So, do you think you are awake? Do you really want to know?
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia