12 Reasons to Not Awaken
There are so many articles online about why you should awaken, but so few that examine why you shouldn’t. This forms part of the “welcome the good, ignore the bad” narrative formed by the hijacking of the spiritual/New Age by the positivist pop-psychology movement and leads to awakening having some kind of mythical superhuman status.
Well, I’m here to give this narrative a dose of reality. I want to make it very clear to people that awakening is not something you do because you want to be superhuman/not feel pain anymore (if anything being conscious hurts more, at least for a while), or discover latent psychic ability. It’s not an escape.
It’s a last resort.
Only when you have had enough of the lies, when you have suffered and bled and are prepared to sacrifice everything for the truth, up to and including your own sense of self … only then are you ready.
So with that in mind, here are twelve reasons not to awaken prematurely:
- Why do you want to awaken: You have to know that answer. If you don’t, it can lead to years of pain and frustration chasing a mythical holy grail. It is naieve to think that if you can just awaken, that everything will be alright (I know, I’ve done it) or that you can numb yourself to whatever pain you’re experiencing. The answer usually comes when the cost of not awakening is too high in terms of pain and disconnection with self.
- Realism: For most people, having an ecstatic experience like say, Eckart Tolle is simply not realistic. From the people I’ve spoken to, whether the experience was gentle or not, it was all too brief, over in a matter of hours or even minutes. Then the real work begins. In other words, wanting to awaken for the sake of feeling that omnipotent, prescient moment is not a good enough reason and you shouldn’t expect a mind-blowing experience.
- Friends and family: You are likely to lose friends and/or family, or at least change the way they see you. Some will look at you differently, they may think you have changed for the worse because they are still assessing you based on what the ego thinks is important. Be prepared to dissapoint a lot of people in some way.
- Loss of resonation: You may find that other people no longer include you in things, or no longer want you around. They may be aware consciously, but on some level, they know that you are different, that you are no longer “one of them”, an effect especially relevant to your identification with causes, groups and organisations. Be prepared to redefine your relationships and what you need/want from them and for the loneliness and disconnect you may experience in the interim.
- Your world is never the same: Once you cross that threshold, there is no turning back. Everything changes. Viewpoints and beliefs you hold will be exposed under a magnifying glass for what they are. Be prepared to challenge what you hold sacred and question things you thought were truth and especially, be prepared to admit that you were wrong about a lot of things. The experience will be quite humbling.
- Realisation of humanity: You will start to understand just how limited and primitive most people and structures are. Beautiful, yes! Yet so primitive. You will understand that while people can (and do) change, society, politics, religion, finite resources and all the other things that cause people suffering largely won’t as they are controlled by people still firmly rooted in ego. This realisation can be very depressing until you come to terms with it.
- Sense of entitlement/superhero phase: You may develop a sense of entitlement that others may not share since they are unable to see things as you do. This is a kind of last ditch attempt by ego to derail your enlightenment by convincing you that you are special, that only you can do this. You may find yourself identifying with being an angel, indigo child or even god (e.g David Icke). This sort of thinking can lead to you being alienated or ridiculed very easily. You are special, but not because you are conscious. You are special because you are unique and so is your Path.
- Post-awakening alignment is very rocky for most people as they seek to redefine their core values in accordance with their new perception of themselves. You have to be prepared to question everything about yourself, including any cows that you hold sacred. You have to be prepared to forgo labels you normally attach to yourself, like being a “leader” or “empathetic” and just accept that you are who you are.
- It’s not what you think it is: Most people, pre-awakening, have an image of what they think it will be like. The reality is that not only is the experience unique to each of us, but that it invariably never matches up to our imagination because our pre-conscious (ie ego) mind cannot conceieve of a world without itself.
- Loss of enjoyment: As you change, things (and people) that you used to enjoy may no longer resonate with you. Be prepared for some things to increasingly feel trivial and unimportant. Examples include sports, video games, love of celebrities etc. You will regain these interests if they’re aligned with your Path, but if it’s not essential to you, be prepared to cut it loose. Remember that enlightenment isn’t about adding to who you are, but subtracting what you are not (placeholder link to What is Enlightenment?).
- Dillusionment: Some people, especially those who believe “Twenty signs you’re awakening” type stuff online, will believe that their senses will get sharper, that they will see glowing beings/auras or get psychic powers etc. This is yet more New Age nonsense leading people astray. You will get what you need for your Path. If your Path doesn’t require psychic development or reading auras guess what? You aren’t getting it, not without a lot of effort.
- Dark Night: A very few (un)lucky spirits will undergo a process of internal transformation of self known as the Dark Night (placeholder link to Dark Night of the Soul: Memoirs of a Survivor). This is the most soul destroying experience I’ve ever had and to give you a frame of reference I spent a year with major clinical depression. If you, or anyone you know are going through one, please contact me. I am very empathetic to anyone undergoing this journey.
At the end of the day there are no words adequate enough to describe the changes you will undergo, so there is no way I or anyone can adequately prepare you for what happens. All I can do is make you aware of the difficult choices and sacrifices you have to make for the sake of the truth.
If you have any comments, queries or suggestions, please leave them below.