Integrated awakening enables us to truly live as one, to be connected, consciously and lovingly with everyone and everything around us.
Our Need To Live More Consciously
There has been a great wave of awakening around the world. The renaissance of spirituality has reached all corners of the globe. It is common knowledge that if we are to heal ourselves or the world, we must live more consciously.
Why then, if we’re meditating more, if we are having more ‘awakened’ realisations and experiences… Why is there still a rift between our inner experience and our shared reality?
A Fractured World Experience
When we look at the world around us, we see so much that is fractured and dislocated. There is great division internally, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. When you look at your own life you might see this playing itself out between yourself and your loved ones, or in relationships. It can impact your sense of reality, and what you see happening in the world. And when we observe the world as a whole, there are a lot of conflicts, a lot of imbalance.
This is why awakening or ‘enlightenment’ is not enough!
This might sound strange because for aeons spiritual teachers have told us that enlightenment is enough, that enlightenment is what we need. Enlightenment is our highest attainment, it is the end goal.
What Is Our Approach To Enlightenment?
Perhaps it’s not so much that enlightenment, in its truest sense, is not enough, but rather our perception about it and the way we approach it is somewhat constricted. This is, in most regards, in direct contrast to the true nature of our self and existence.
In my own life, I have directly observed this contrast. I have witnessed the approach to self-realisation as being a somewhat internalised and isolated process. And, I am profoundly blessed with my life experience, despite great challenges. I’ve faced the same human challenges as most people do. I really want to emphasise this, I am very, very human, I definitely have lived a very human life.
I have also had a very contrasting experience. Despite the appearance of divisions, I have lived consciously in a direct state of interconnection with everything. I have come to see and understand this is our most natural state.
The Ultimate Goal Of Awakening
This is what integrated awakening and enlightenment invite – not an escape to a transcendent realm, or to be dissolved, or to be in one’s own internalised field – but rather, to live fully, consciously in every moment in relation to every other thing.
To know the self and awakening as this whole field of existence; this is always happening.
This Is The Ultimate Goal Of Awakening
A Core Message Of Enlightenment:
Why is it then that we tend to approach awakening in a reductionist manner? The primary approach has been to remove ourselves from the world we’ve been living in. The motivation is largely to escape suffering or to get to a better realm.
Even if it’s temporary. We are taught to withdraw ourselves; go sit in a temple or on a meditation cushion and close our eyes and withdraw and internalise. Which of course is absolutely essential initially, in order to engage a more aware state. And to take a breather from all the conditions, from all the chaos and noise.
Struggle – Or Reconnect With Our Inner Source?
One of the reasons we’re struggling with the world is that we’ve been pulled so far out of our centre. We have become entangled in distorted perceptions, we’re projecting externally as if reality is somehow out there, or something better is over there, tomorrow, or somewhere in the future.
So, the remedy for that is to reconnect with our essential self, our inner source. However, if we prolong that – or think it is the end goal, we create an experience that is dominantly internalised and somewhat isolated. It’s as if we exist in a bubble.
I think a lot of spiritual practitioners would recognise this, that yes, you can occupy a greater state of centredness and calm and perhaps more witnessing and awareness. And yet somehow you still feel disconnected or dissonant with the world, still fractured, somehow isolated. Or as if you’re in your own bubble and you wish everyone else would join you in that bubble.
Or that the bubble (the wonder of enlightenment) is really in some other dimension. And so it’s still largely abstract. The sense of this enlightened self is somewhat ephemeral, ungrounded. It’s often still perceived to be an ultimate realm that lies beyond the body, the mind and this world.
Awakening, In Itself, Is Not Enough
Awakening, in itself, keeps our focus on our own individual self, on our own spiritual journey. This has been the dominant focus of self-realisation – it’s been about awakening primarily for ourselves.
This is also why the quest for enlightenment in itself is not enough. This approach doesn’t knit us back together. It leaves us in the split between the abstract essence of ‘Self’ and the mess of our world.
Enlightenment, To Integrate Wholly And Fully
What enlightenment really asks of us is to use our ‘awakening’ moments to be fully present, to integrate wholly and fully into our lived experience again.
Whilst a reconnection to our ‘true self’ is fundamental to healing, change, and balance, it most often leaves us without the deepest integration we wish for.
Integrated awakening is much more than just ‘me’, the individual.
Integrated Awakening – A Journey To Be At One With The Whole
Integrated awakening enables us to truly live in oneness, to be connected, consciously and lovingly with everyone and everything around us.
Integrated Awakening Is A Worldly Perspective
Integrated awakening is more than just a journey of personal discovery. The true quest and invitation is for us to liberate ourselves – to step beyond our individual self. Integrated awakening offers us the opportunity to be reconnected and reunited with ourselves as part of the whole, and to the whole as intrinsically relevant.
Integrated awakening engages us more fully, to be in the world, together with our lived experience of deep connections.
Integrated awakening is not just about an understanding that we are one with the whole, but a way to live and act upon this truth in the world.
This is the difference between the focus on the individual self as an awakening, compared to the integration of this awakening in relationship with all. Integrated awakening equals holistic enlightenment.
Connected With Everyone And Everything Around Us
If we really look into our motivation to awaken, we see something different. It shows us awakening to ourselves, or for ourselves, is not enough in itself. Deep in our hearts, we want to awaken because we want to be connected. We want to live in harmony with everyone and everything. We want to live fully, joyfully, freely.
The real invitation of awakening is for us to integrate with every aspect of life; to be dynamically engaged at every level, to being part of the whole, not to just have our internal focus on ‘me’, the individual, but rather to consciously engage and participate again as “we” – to know that our awakening is in relation to, and with all of creation.
This is the process of being interconnected with everything. This is the ultimate goal of awakening: to restore our most natural state in relation to all existence.