A Selection of True Awakening Experiences Part II

comments 57
Christ / Reflections

I happened upon Barbara’s site a few weeks ago when she was mulling over the idea of a second round of Awakening Experiences, and told her I would like to participate.  Then I promptly disappeared into the marrow of my life for a few weeks.  She pinged me with a reminder last week sometime and asked if I was still willing, and wondered if I would take February 2nd.  I chuckled at her unsolicited selection, because it seemed the perfect day for a bit of contemplation—it being the last day of my fortieth year.   And Barbara of course, wouldn’t have had any previous knowledge of this timing.

There’s a quote from A Course of Love that at least partly summarizes my feelings at the present time.  “The challenge now is in creation rather than accomplishment.  With peace, accomplishment is achieved in the only place where it makes any sense to desire it. With your accomplishment comes the freedom and the challenge of creation. Creation becomes the new frontier, the occupation of those too young to rest, too interested in living still to welcome the peace of dying. Those who could not change the world one iota through their constant effort, in peace create the world anew.”  (C:6.17)

The processes at work in my inner life have often been fueled by the question of how best to invest my time in this world.  This question stretches back to my days in elementary school, when teachers singled me out for special studies.  It appeared I had some potential.  I was sent to the library when I finished my coursework to delve into things, but I had no idea what I was to delve into exactly.  I just wanted to read spy novels.  The Cardinal in the Kremlin, to my fourteen year old mind, was astounding.  I had no idea what the potential was that I supposedly possessed, or what I was to do with it, and this unknowing was difficult to bear.

Uncertainty is a strange and tugging satellite in our lives—a little uncomfortable in its waning, quite painful in its waxing, but always a generator of transformative tides.  When I graduated from high school I sat on a stage next to the principal, and the Bishop, and when it was my turn I gave a speech.  I wrote it alone at my bedroom desk the week before, surrounded by posters of triumphant soccer players.  It was all about looking past the pursuits of the world, to the richness of living with meaning and depth, even if it meant looking past the treasures the world wished us to crave.  Our hearts are always rampant when we give them a chance to speak uninhibited, at any age, but I was not entirely prepared for the follow-through.

I changed majors once in college, and nearly dropped out to work on a ranch in Montana.  Instead, I met my future wife, finished school, and moved a few thousand miles across the country.  I took a writing class my senior year in college as an elective—a bit of an odd choice for an engineer—and loved it.  I wrote half a novel that year but my confidence and my enthusiasm fizzled.  I felt inadequate about the whole thing.  I still didn’t know who I was or what I was doing.  I eventually got a job and some days it hurt like a sonuvabitch!  Not the work, but the echoes of my uncertain state.  The way I failed to find it meaningful.  The way so many interactions were permeated with disconnection and dissembling.

Realizing there was really no need for me to feel so uncertain or forlorn, I used the immediate present of my life as the vehicle for learning to be at peace.  These decisions to turn around and face our difficulties are moments of grace.  I could have run for the hills again.  Over the decade that followed I slowly grew into myself, and set my fears down one by one.  Eventually, I looked up and realized I could be at peace with myself, and with the world.  I think that is really what awakening is.  It’s the moment you realize you can be at peace with what is.  Then you find yourself in the position of the quote above.  You don’t need to cultivate anymore modalities, practices or insights to be at peace.  Peace has been established.  Peace is rising to the point of over-flowing.  This is the moment when we activate our true potential I think.  We discover we’re in love with the whole thing.

Sometime—I can’t say exactly when—I began to move with greater certainty.  I began to write again, and I started this blog.  I made wonderful connections here with others who were walking in this direction.  My creative acts began to feel like endeavors of authenticity, and little by little they seemed to find their way closer to the mark.  Meaning began to flow back and forth through more and more channels.  This mark I speak of is the certainty that moments taken to collaborate with the river of meaning present in our own hearts give rise to vehicles of expression that ripple through the world.  Whether small or large in their external recognition, it matters not.  Our authenticity pumps the bellows of the world nonetheless, and fuels its creative fire.  One day we look up from engaging freely in what love, and we discover we are in dialogue with the world itself.

This is the new frontier.  The frontier of creation.

This is the movement that takes place in eternity, but twinkles still in time.  Awakening isn’t a state, but the giving of our answer to the cosmic role call.  Yes, I am here.  Yes, I love.  Yes, I desire to share even more deeply in the discovery of what that means.  Yes…  Yes, I would lose myself over and over into this creative flux, knowing that what we gain is everything, is meaning, is one another.  So this is where I find myself these days– drifting along, one step at a time, slowly expanding the conversation that my life has become.

Kimberly is up tomorrow.

57 Comments

  1. A very Happy Birthday, my fellow Aquarian. Mine is next week. I raise a glass to you.

    I also think this has been the call for myself as well. Less worry over saving the planet or others and realizing I just need to get on with the business of being myself. That this IS the gift we have to contribute. For some that gift will lead to enormous shifts, such as Mandela simply being himself. For some of us our being ourselves, authentically may only effect a very small corner of the planet, but it is as sacred as the rest of the whole. If we are all connected then one of us awakening to our best selves, heals a bit of the whole. Caroline Myss asked this question (And I am seriously, seriously paraphrasing here), “Could you be happy knowing your awakening was meant to only be witnessed by those in your neighborhood? Could you feel your life complete, if you knew your authenticity no matter how big or small was enough.” She was talking about our dismissal of our unique beauty because of a lack of fame or fortune which this culture craves.

    Yes, to just be the most me I have ever been. Like waking from a dream, I am realize that is the whole enchilada….

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you, Noelle. I shall raise a glass to you as well in the days ahead.

      The question from Caroline is a good one. I think to be at peace we certainly must discover that our meaning is not quantifiable in terms of what the world chooses to sponsor at any given moment. I’m sure there is purpose made of the chaotic fanning of flames that our world displays, but I think that holiness is an opportunist in this regard, weaving healing out of whatever events are chaotic madness throws out across the firmament. But the deeper meaning, the quiet meaning within each of us… that’s what it seems it’s all for… just getting back to that, and losing the addition to images…

      Have a lovely weekend, Noelle.
      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes losing the “addiction” to see me “help the world “and see me “make wrong over there” instead being with that we are indeed all if “it ” as well as “nothing” in the grander illusion. Funny how posts will come back when someone else gets the same message we are getting TEHE

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “I just wanted to read spy novels” 🙂
    Happy upcoming birthday, Michael!
    I am glad your journey lead you to sharing your words here on this blog, because your creativity is a wonderful music, it just makes my heart sing. Your writing has almost changed my judgements about engineers too. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Kristina, for the birthday wishes and such heart-singing sentiments!

      I’m glad to have changed your perception of the mathematically-inclined among us. I feel at times as though I drift through worlds. We are all so much more than the labels that stick to us. Engineering is interesting because it proves there is a certain logic to the world, and it requires many to apply that logic in concert to affect the desired outcomes. You can apply this or that principle to fashioning the imaginal aspects of a thing, and then build it tangibly, and discover that yes… the world really does reliably hew to these abstractions of motion, force and energy.

      My wife got me a Buckminster Fuller poetry volume for my birthday, and I always crack up when I see where the ramification of these tendencies has led us… as in…

      “…men are known as being six feet tall
      because that is their tactile limit;
      they are not known by how far we can hear them,
      e.g. as a one half mile man
      and only to dogs are men known
      by their gigantic olfactoral dimensions…”

      You see what I mean, I trust…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for that quote, Michael, great one. 🙂
        In fact I find it very interesting to witness how you see these ‘things’ – motion, energy, dimensions, energy, space-time – from behind the ‘eye of an engineer’. In so many ways, I believe the rigorous training in science can give one quite an open mind to search for more.
        I am really looking forward to exploring more on here. Checked out ACIM, by the way, and although it looks intimidating to me, I am prepping myself to read it and ACOL, I had read the second hand accounts of it, but not the original.
        Thank you again for all the goodness and inspiration, and have another great year. 🙂
        Kristina

        Liked by 3 people

        • Hi Kristina,

          I loved what you said about the way science can give one an open mind to search for more, and I agree wholeheartedly. I have often started an article that I haven’t brought myself to publish, which is about the way the dedication of science to discover novel ways of explaining experience could be applied to a much broader spectrum of phenomena. I’ve felt many times that the barriers between what we call science and what we call religion just stem from closemindedness, and often in our time scientists are quite unwilling to ask the sorts of creative questions about life, that they ask about its components… For instance, I read Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, and felt that he could have done far, far better in hypothesizing alternate “Gods” that may possibly exist. He could have out-Godded the God people by asking the types of open-ended questions he would ask in science that lead to true insights… Instead, he set up a straw man to toy with. He focused on suggesting any belief not backed by materialism was juvenile. I thought for a scientist it was quite a juvenile argument, and not at all in keeping with the tools he’d developed in other areas of inquiry…

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Birthday Michael!

    Maybe you are now creating mini Spy novels with your poetry and Hafiz sometimes takes the role of double agent. I enjoyed learning a bit more about your history and who you are being right now.

    Blessings, Linda

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Advanced Research Technology says

    Two lines:
    Creation rather than accomplishment…
    Awakening isn’t a state, but the giving of our answer to the cosmic role call…
    These two struck time.

    Happy Birthday

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you very much, ART. These are beautiful themes to me, because they both speak of participation in that which is ongoing, rather than a quest for some ultimate condition that we acquire. Hope you have a great weekend, and I appreciate the birthday wishes.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  5. … or did I know… Happy Birthday for tomorrow dear Michael and thank you so much for saying YES to the cosmic call to discover yourself within ALL life and pursuing the peace and depth of your creative richness… even though it has ‘meant looking past the treasure the world wishes us to crave’. Here’s to awakening one heart at a time… to create the new frontier maybe? Barbara x

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Barbara! Yes, undoubtedly you knew! Such a joy setting out across this new frontier, with open and creative hearts such as yours to greet us along the way.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for sharing more of your story, Michael.
    I like the ACOL quote. This is a reminder for me about where I am, too. Thanks for sharing it.
    Finding peace with the world and with oneself, that is the task. I can relate to that and also to the fact that everyday life provides plenty of training opportunities for finding inner peace.
    And after peace comes the challenge of creation. You are mastering that gracefully here. I am having a much harder time with that, often struggling with my resistance to the inner voice. I thought finding inner peace was all that was required. Blog, youtube video, etc were not mentioned in the fine print! Why do I have to do that? But the ACOL quote reminds me that it is mentioned somewhere in the fine print.
    Wishing you a happy birthday tomorrow,
    Karin

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Karin,

      Thank you for the kind words. It is so nice to share the experience of this journey with one another. Creating can seem more challenging I think, because it strikes me that it requires a certain engagement that reveals us to ourselves. I mean, we can’t experience peace when we are afraid, but we can mistake peace for a withdrawal from the frontiers of our own journeys sometimes I think. Peace can become a safe place to hide out almost, if that makes any sense. Or to say it another way, peace is sort of like the baseline to which we return, but the act of living and embodying what we feel arising within us is a much more active challenge. It requires an extension– a leap out into the open. We find out if our peace was a protective nook, or truly the discovery of our point of contact with all that is, and the product of dissolving our separateness.

      Of course the challenging thing is none of us are given the same fine print. So we can’t read another’s and hope to understand ourselves any better. It is truly an entry into the unknown. I think that is why participation in creation is so beautiful and powerful.

      Thank you for the birthday wishes!
      Creation!
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What a beautiful piece of writing. I wish I could say I’d been that enlightened when finishing high school, but we all have our own journey and our own pace… I love what you say about the journey of awakening as being the discovery of peace within ourself and also peace with the world. I’m slowly discovering more and more of that peace, and what a beautiful feeling it is. So glad we’re all here making connections saying Yes to our creativity, Yes to the Universe, Yes to life.

    Bleated Happy Birthday and wishing you a wonderful year of more such Yesses.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Julia,

      Your absolutely right– our own journey in our own pace and timing… It is indeed a beautiful feeling to discover the way peace is continuously arising within us, nourishing the entirety of our existence, affording us such a rich gift of life… Thank you for the birthday wishes, and I do indeed look forward to many more Yesses to come!

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Michael,

    I wanted to reply to your passage written above. What gives me joy to respond to is this,

    “You don’t need to cultivate anymore modalities, practices or insights to be at peace. Peace has been established. Peace is rising to the point of over-flowing. This is the moment when we activate our true potential I think. We discover we’re in love with the whole thing.”

    Amazingly whenever I reached the place of not needing anymore modalities, I was given a ton, and given “the responsibility” to experiencing joy in learning more, anyways. 😉 “That beginner’s mind is not only something that you cultivate, but it cultivates you.” <—That's what's been shown to me! & I'm having a great time, while being infinitely ignorant! I'm going deeper and deeper into not knowing anything, and it's taking me to knowledge – this is completely independent of "it" serving anyone else, but I suppose I am shown that it does from time to time, aid others, like handing someone the scissors or the glue, or the potatoes chips and chocolate ice cream.

    I LOVE that you wrote on this topic, especially that you did it AGAIN. You are an inspiration.

    Love & Peace,
    Ka

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you again, Ka!

      I think we are saying and experiencing something similar to be honest. Peace is fundamental, and must be tasted before we can enter the seas of the unknown and discover what lies there for us. I don’t think the stabilization of peace is an end to anything, but a beginning in a way. We are freed of that pursuit. But the process of creative discovery deepens and takes on new dimensions I think. As you say, it never ends…

      It is kind of the difference between venturing out onto the playground knowing you are loved, knowing your father or mother is standing by to watch, versus venturing out onto the playground uncertain of whether it is a safe place to be. With peace inside of us, there is an ultimate safety that is realized, and we are freed to explore the vastness of it all! With one another!

      Much Love!
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  9. A belated Happy Birthday Michael, yes our awakening takes us all upon many different routes, but it all comes back to our finding ourselves, Often we have to lose ourselves in order to find ourselves again.. To enjoy ourselves, laugh at ourselves, and stop judging ourselves..
    So many masks we have learnt to put over our real selves over the years, often for protection that we hide behind..

    Loved reading this Michael and I hope you had a splendiferous Birthday Awakening.. 🙂
    Blessings Sue

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you very much, Sue! It was indeed splediferous!

      We do have to lose a few things along the way, to make room for what we’ve been given. I agree completely. Peace becomes a warm and stable fire at our center I feel. In the beginning we have to travel many miles just to come in from the the cold places we wander to feel the heat. Then we learn to carry it with us. Eventually, even when a strange and harrowing wind blows, the embers stay hot at the center, and the gentle flames return when the storm has passed. Then we realize it’s just who we are! We carry it wherever we go…

      Much Love,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    “Those who could not change the world one iota through their constant effort, in peace create the world anew.” I love this quote from ACOL. I can just imagine you sitting in the library as a kid wondering what exactly it was you were supposed to do. And then again, at graduation. You keep showing up. You keep showing up with your authentic Self and creating the world anew. It is so good to have you here on the planet, Michael.
    Birthday blessings,
    Mary

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Mary. I feel likewise about your being here on this planet right now… I think regardless of where we think we are, or what we think we are doing, the full heart of a being at peace transcends location. The moments of grace we find on a forest trail, on a crowded crosswalk, or in the silence of our kitchen table dreaming away into the evening, all impact this movement we call creation that lives inside of us.

      Thank you for the birthday blessings. I hope you have a great weekend. I’m going to be gearing up here shortly for a round of snow removal! We’ve been lucky this year to have had such a mild winter so far in this regard, so it will be fun to play outside in it for a little while… Pump a few atrophied muscles…!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, David! It’s a celebration of so much and so many, and the way they conspire to provide each of us with a path to freedom…

      Much Love
      Michael

      Like

  11. Happy birthday to the little prince of the universe. Always filled with such humble insight and when I read, often have moments, many of them in fact that makes me realize we are never alone in this world for we ride the magic invisible threaded rug of the universe, zooming in and out of mirth and bestowing the joyous sound of twinkling laughter to those below who find it hard to believe that anything good exists. You my friend, twinkle like stars in your sentences and you spread love from the bottomless chasm to all. You are our gift indeed. Happy days my friend, truly and always, K

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, Kim! Our friendship is one of the great gifts of the last year. In friendship we truly discover what you have described– that it is truly with others that we share in moments of insight and inspiration, and that unity truly links us all. I am humbled by your words, and look forward to sharing many moments of joy in the days ahead. What a journey, this twirling movement through time and space! And such a joy to share it with a twinkling field of resonating souls!

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Annette,

      Yes, it is difficult to do, particularly while we remain convinced that the achievement of this “state” is in some way the product of some effort on our part. I suppose in a way it is, but really it is the product of choosing peace ahead of other things we tend to cling to. The hard part is all the time we spend negotiating with the parts of ourselves that see in this choice a looming fall. They’re trying to protect us I think, since we fell once before into this mode of seeing called separateness, and once you have the experience of unexpected difficulty, it is hard to convince yourself every subsequent choice won’t bring another. And we prove this to ourselves all the time! It’s hard to see that what we did somehow, was make a choice for difficulty, however naively, and that it can be simple to make a different choice. So, I empathize fully with your statement, but also wish to keep the open doorway in view, for the both of us…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m glad I read your post after I attempted to write this early morning. I would have written, instead, “what he said, minus the special studies and engineering. ” Heart grateful to have access to one who can disguise the wordless experiences thusly. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, M. I’m glad instead we got to read the story through your own eyes. It makes for a fuller experience. How would I know what I was truly feeling without the resonance of others that have contributed to it, and guided it just so? Maybe this is part of the gift we are to one another– the holding of presence that keeps us from floundering along. The companionship of other light-carrying eyes.

      Wishing you a great and glorious day!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah, it seems I have missed the birthday party Michael – belated best wishes my friend – and this is due to my phone and hence internet having been down for a solid twelve days, only to return this morning. The entire village has been out, though it at least afforded me time for some reading beyond the computer, something I find myself doing far too much than is healthier for my eyes, I suspect, of late. An interesting read, and I thank you for the glimpse Michael. And now, to your next post, and to the unread ninety three borne of others beyond that . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Hariod!

      It is hard to imagine being without Internet for twelve days, though it is equally difficult imagining you inhabiting the media black-out with anything but your usual contrarian aplomb. I do hope you enjoy catching up. And I see I have a post to look forward to catching up to on your own page. Wishing you a great week ahead…

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was certainly contrarian with the ISP when they told me, after service had been resumed on the twelfth day, that they had no obligation to rebate me for downtime. It seems to have worked, and I now have the princely sum of £15 credited to my account – oh, how to spend it? On the upside, I had time to read an Ian McEwan novel that had been in the queue for far too long. And once again on the downside, that reminded me of how far I have to go to be 1/100th. of the writer that he is. What an undulating life we do lead Michael.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s funny, Hariod. I had wondered when I read about this incident if you would be reimbursed for the service outage. I’m glad you were. Seems only fair…

          And I know exactly what you mean about reading good writers and being reminded how far one has to go in the craft of writing. I read my first novel by Don DeLillo late last year, (White Noise), and now am reading Underworld. When I read books by such accomplished writers I have to turn that voice constantly in the background, whispering, how the hell do they do this!?

          But I’m in good company.
          And it’s good to practice and develop.
          And what undulating lives we lead, indeed!

          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: More awakening unfolds | Not Just Sassy on the Inside

  15. Reblogged this on Angel Frequency and commented:
    Micheal this resonates with me SO MUCH as ! I too had stopped blogging when Barbara “through a friend “was requesting us to participate in her awakening experiences part Ii I found the courage to write again wrote my part. Seeing your post here I recognize the peace that has come with full self expression and stillness at the same time. What a journey as we ride these waves of peace. Thank you for your authentic expression here as we are all in this together and embracing it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Robyn. Yes we’re all in this together for sure, perhaps in ways we don’t even realize! It is great when something comes back around and brings us meaning in a new way, which it sounds like perhaps your rediscovery of Barbara’s series has done. Wishing you much peace on the journey, and the joy of full-hearted expression!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

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