Many people who are in the early stages of the awakening process are no longer sure of their outer purpose.
Even the few people who awaken suddenly, dramatically, and seemingly irreversibly go through a process in which the new state of consciousness gradually “infuses” and completely changes everything they do, becoming integrated into their lives.
Instead of getting lost in your thoughts, when you are awake, recognize yourself as being aware of it. Thinking is then no longer a self-serving autonomous activity that takes possession of you and takes charge of your life. Consciousness takes over from thinking. Instead of being in charge of your life, the mind becomes the servant of consciousness. To be conscious is to be consciously connected with universal intelligence. Another word for it is Presence: consciousness without thoughts.
The beginning of the awakening process is an act of grace. You cannot let it happen, nor can you prepare yourself for it or collect credits for it. There is no neat sequence of logical steps leading there, even if the mind would love it. You don’t have to be worthy of it first. It may come to the sinner rather than to the saint, but it need not. That is why Jesus dealt with all kinds of people and not just the decent ones.
You can do nothing to awaken. What you are always doing is the ego trying to awaken or add enlightenment to itself as its most precious possession, thereby making itself more important and greater. Then instead of awakening, you add the concept of awakening to your mind, or the mental image of what an awakened or enlightened person is like, and you try to live by that image. Living in an image you have of yourself or that other people have of you is false living – another unconscious role of the ego.
The most important goal in life
So if you can’t do anything about awakening, whether it’s already happened or hasn’t happened yet, how can it be the main purpose of your life? Doesn’t a goal presuppose you can do something about it?
Only the first awakening, the first glimpse of consciousness without thinking, takes place by grace, without your doing anything. If you find this article incomprehensible or gibberish, it hasn’t happened to you yet. But if something in you reacts to it, if you somehow recognize the truth in it, that means that the awakening has begun. Once that is the case, it is irreversible, although it can be slowed down by the ego.
For some, reading A New Earth will begin the awakening. For other people, its function is to show them that the awakening has already begun and to intensify and accelerate the process. Another function of A New Earth is to help people recognize the ego within themselves as it tries to regain power and obscure the nascent consciousness again.
For some people, the awakening comes when they suddenly become aware of the kinds of thoughts they usually think, especially persistent negative thoughts that they may have identified with all their lives. Suddenly there comes a consciousness that sees thought without being a part of it.
The relationship between consciousness and thinking
What is the relationship between consciousness and thinking? Consciousness is the space in which thought exists when that space has become aware of itself.
Once you’ve had a glimpse of consciousness or Presence, you know it firsthand. Then it is no longer a concept in your head. You can then consciously choose to be present instead of surrendering to useless thinking. You can invite Presence to come into your life, that is, make space. With the grace of awakening comes responsibility. You can try to carry on as if nothing happened, or you can understand the meaning and recognize the budding of awareness as the most important thing that can happen to you. Opening yourself to the emerging consciousness and bringing its light into the world then becomes the main goal of your life.
“I want to know the mind of God,” Einstein said. “The rest is detail.” What is the mind of God? Awareness. What does it mean to know the mind of God? That you are aware. What are the details? Your outer purpose and outer events.
So while you may still be waiting for something important to happen in your life, the most important thing that can happen to a human being has already happened to you: the beginning of the separation of thought and awareness.
Many people who are in the early stages of the awakening process are no longer sure of their outer purpose. What drives the world no longer drives them. Seeing the madness of our civilization so clearly, they feel a little alienated from the surrounding culture. Some have the feeling that they live in a no man’s land between two worlds. They are no longer controlled by the ego, but the nascent consciousness has not yet been fully integrated into their lives. The inner and outer purposes have not yet united.