The Three Stages of Awakening

This week, let’s take last week’s article,, one step further. To wake up to your true nature (as revealed last week), here, as I see it, are the three necessary stages: Stage 1: Recognizing who or what you are not. Stage 2: Recognizing who or what you are. Stage 3: Living it.

Now, for most, stages 1 and 2 are fairly obvious. It’s stage 3 that’s a bit unclear. So let’s review 1 and 2 on our way to 3: living a more peaceful, free, happy, generous—or awakened—life.

Stage 1. Recognizing who or what you are not.

From the moment you were born, you were programmed by well-meaning parents, teachers, and coaches (who’ve been programmed themselves) that who you are is a separate or personal entity. Your name, your body, your mind, even your soul. It’s all about you. You’re a bona-fide individual; isolated and distinct. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s also suggested that you are imperfect, less than whole, with only a finite amount of time on a finite planet containing a finite amount of resources. Thus, you must do this and that, chase this and that, obtain this and that, hoard this and that in order to become a better individual. In order to become complete. In order to find the awareness, peace, freedom, and happiness that echo seemingly in the back of your mind.

As a young person, however, it all feels off. You don’t sense separation, lack, or life span. You actually see one vast canvas, call it Love, with no distinctions, shortages, or boundaries. But, again, you’re told that the elders and experts who are focusing on some vague material world know better, so you fall for it. Until, that is, you don’t. You half listen when they tell you to merge with or acquire objects, substances, better states of mind, strategies, techniques, and relationships. All in the suggested quest to know yourself and be more secure. Then one day, you’ve truly had enough. Something’s definitely not right. You’re not a limited body and mind (an object) who can be satisfied through objective experience. There can’t be limits. While still somewhat confusing at times, this liberating recognition initiates the journey. You’re on your way home.

Stage 2. Recognizing who or what you are.

So, then, if you’re not a finite body and mind, who or what are you? You start to receive clues. You look out to this sort of divvied-up world and, rather than see distinctions, separateness, time or space, you see Love once more. You experience yourself in everyone and everything. The face of God, infinite or unlimited Consciousness, is everywhere you look. What does this mean? What is your experience telling you? Where is it taking you? The answer is: They are not qualities, states, or feelings to seek—you actually are the Awareness, Peace, Freedom, and Happiness that’s been echoing in the back of your mind. You are a download of the One Being that all human beings share. Jesus said: “I and my Father are One.” And it falls into place. You are a refraction of this One Being, of God’s infinite Being, of Consciousness. It is through the download of you, the image of you, that God knows itself in the world.

Stage 3. Living it.

Now the challenge. Prior to stage 1, virtually every thought in your head has revolved around a false sense of self and a natural yearning to calm this desperate activity. “How am I feeling? What time is my meeting? How do I look? How can I improve my life? How do I relieve this tension? How do I survive?” All fortifying the idea of a personal you; deepening roots that do not exist.

Therefore, you must be patient. This idea of a personal you, who you are not, will reappear. And when it does, it’s essential that you cut this false sense of self some slack. Sure, the recognition of 1 and 2, the insight, was instantaneous. Yet, the aftereffects will be slow to seep from the background to the foreground of everyday life. You might, for example, take things personally. You might overreact. You might fall for the lure of old habits. It’s all okay. Stages 1 and 2 will not bring immunity to struggles and suffering. In fact, when the bar gets raised, challenges often seem greater; the tests more severe. You will, however, start to welcome these tests as opportunities to rise above and, no matter your current feelings and experience, share these recognitions with a programmed culture and world. Then, as the separate self continues to wither—more readily turning its back on the needling and impulses of substances, activities, relationships, and the acquisition of things as a means to cope—harmony, compassion, and resilience will become even more the rule. From the perspective of the One Being you truly are, integrity is automatic; morality a cinch. Those who have forgotten will begin to take notice. As you see yourself in them, they wonderfully see themselves in you. Far and wide, you are now reflecting your very true nature. You are home. We are home. The Awakening’s at hand.

Thank you for reading, Garret