Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Paradox of Awakening

"Awakening is beyond time and is more a state of realization that we can come to that is the nature of who we always were."

A recent "thought" occurred to me that paradox is very important on the spiritual path.  Our brain has two hemispheres, right and left.  The left hemisphere is where most logic and reasoning takes place and the right hemisphere is where most creative and holistic thinking takes place.  My theory that I would like to propose is that ego lives primarily in the left-brain and that a move "mind to heart" on the spiritual path is a movement from left-brained to right-brained thinking.  In this theory, I propose that paradox is a tool that we can use to help confuse the left-brain and encourage right-brain function.

In no way does this theory minimize the ethereal, spiritual side to life but actually makes spirituality more exciting.  I view right-brain functioning as the physical tool that our consciousnesses uses to enter material form.  In other words, this is a physical correlation to our "spiritual body."  In the west, we are so used to using logic and reasoning and have a strong ego identity.  We need extra help to learn how to think in a more integrated way.  In this way, the entire brain is used, yet, to us Westerners, integrated thinking may feel more right-brained since we participated in left-brained thinking for so long.

With paradox, two contradictory statements exist at the same time.  I have described this in other posts as learning the ability to think in two or more planes.  In each plane, the statement is true.  With paradox, my theory is that this encourages right-brain function as this location would be the "glue" where these statements are held together.

Moving on from a physical mapping from spirituality to the brain, I see paradox as sort of "short-circuiting" our rational mind, which has an effect of turning it off.  Paradox is extremely important, because I believe that consciousness or "being more conscious" consists of living the paradox.

In a previous podcast, I explored the paradox of awakening in which I stated these two truths, which I feel are important or vital to being more conscious.  First, I relax my identification with mental, egoic structures.  Second, I embrace all aspects of awareness as me.  There are two paradoxes in these statements.  The first paradox is that "I am nothing, yet I am everything."  Both of these statements are true, because the first "I" is ego.  This means that the ego does not exist.  The second "I" is awareness or consciousness which is everything and encompasses ego.  The second paradox is that "There is no 'I' but 'I' must realize that 'I' encompass the 'I'."  A way of restating the second paradox is that "'I' am awareness."  If I am awareness, then there is no "I" in the first place.

The last paradox I will explore is the misconception of a time-based component of awakening.  If I am thinking that awakening was rooted or will be rooted in time, in other words, is an event that happens in time, then I am not talking about awakening but an experience.  If an experience is rooted in time, then it is subject to duality.  Time is a mental construct that is part of the world of form.  Awakening is beyond time and is more a state of realization that we can come to that is the nature of who we always were.  The paradox here is that, awakening in the world of form does appear to have a time-based component in that maybe there is a definite point at which we awaken.  However, in order for this awakening to occur, we must not think of it as being a future event or subject to time at all.  That it is a realization of our true nature.

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