I have never met anyone who simply “woke up” one day, and never suffered again – however much we love to believe that story, about ourselves and others.
I have never met anyone – teacher or student – who “discovered who they really were” and never, ever forgot it again, even in the midst of physical pain or the beautiful mess of intimate human relationship.
I spent years after my so-called ‘awakening’ (experience, or non-experience, or whatever I used to call it) meeting all of the unmet human stuff, the untested conditioning, the childhood pain, the pain of all humanity, the unloved waves in the ocean of life, the feelings of failure and doubt and self-importance and arrogance and impotence and the need-to-be-perfect and the need-to-be-right, the forms that had been repressed or ignored or buried for at least a quarter of a century.
Finally, in the absence of the urge to escape life, in the recognition that all was ultimately allowed in what I am, the human stuff was allowed to breathe and express and sing and dissolve in its own time. The personal purges itself in the impersonal fire of life, in the furnace of not-knowing, until it becomes absurd to even speak of the impersonal as distinct from the personal… or to even speak of ‘my awakening’ at all!
Liberation may be the end of a belief in a separate ‘I’, but really, my friends, this is just the beginning of the adventure, however much we want to think of it as some kind of ‘end point’. It takes tremendous courage to drop the story of your own awakening, to be a child of life again, to admit that you really do not know a damn thing, and never did.