Why do we become Conscious?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I sat asking this question to myself, for even if you awaken spiritually, and become fully conscious, it is not sufficient to satisfy our mind. It wants to know why we are conscious too.

Given that my mind is the instrument I use to talk to my soul, it is a circular question – effectively becoming equivalent to my mind asking why it has done something. It is similar to you picking up a cup absent-mindedly and wondering, why you picked it up.

Upon pondering this further, we come to the realization that if we have ‘woken up’, we must have been asleep. And if we had been asleep, our minds must have been working in the background, and thus we must have lived a dream until now. Therefore, our entire life until now was a dream. And we merely awoke.

What woke us? Was it an alarm of sorts? Yes – but the alarm was inside you – the voice of your soul. Your soul is the alarm that keeps ringing for 2 hours, while you keep pressing the snooze button trying to go back to sleep. Ah, isn’t sleep wonderful? Society’s job is to keep you asleep. Society is your personal sandman, built by you to keep you asleep.

Then what woke you up now, and not earlier? Well, for some of us, it takes time to listen to our soul alarm, some of us are deeper sleepers. Some of us are too tired to hear the alarm, and prefer to ignore it and remain asleep. Some of us are in pain, similar to being caught in a fire and suffocating to death, but have no energy to get up and get out of the fire – in short to wake up. So, we have remained asleep until now, remained unconscious so to speak.

Why did we fall asleep then? Perhaps we arrived from a long journey, from another plane. Time is relative – on this plane, we may sleep for hours at night; but from an existential perspective, we have slept for lifetimes. Circumstances have changed around us, civilizations may have risen and fallen and yet we slept through it all. Such was our exhaustion, lethargy and the compelling nature of our circumstances. Perhaps our mind, body and soul were too injured in our journey to this plane and needed to recover. Unconsciousness was the only way it could gain rest. And rested it has, for eons.

Waking for us, becoming spiritually conscious, has thus been a struggle similar to waking up from sleep. We resist it at first, happy in our dreams. Until we begin to feel our body tossing about on our bed. But we roll over and go back to sleep. We prefer our dreams to the reality that awaits upon awakening. But soon, our dreams turn into nightmares, we suffer. There is no escape from this suffering, the nightmare seems to have no end.

That is when we realize there is no way to end this suffering, this nightmare, except by waking up. Sleep seems to be a poor choice to the light streaming through our windows from the sunlight of our soul. Our soul urges us to wake up and we finally listen to our alarm, gratefully this time and wake up.

Once fully awake, we wonder- how anyone could ever have fallen asleep when a beautiful morning is beckoning us from outside. We wonder how we never heard the birds chirping before, caught up in the mists of our unconscious state. We look around us and see our world still asleep – we try to wake our peers but realize only a few stir.

We write blogs, give sermons, conduct seminars on awakening, yet no one seems to want to awaken. Everyone is able to hear your words, but they seem to be present physically and mentally and absent spiritually. All you are able to do is hope that something of what you said has penetrated their dreams.

Why? The only thing you can hope for… as an awake, conscious person is to help others realize they are sleeping when their nightmares begin. For all of us have uncomfortable dreams, even the best of us. Those who don’t realize it is a dream suffer, those who do quickly jump up on the bed and glance around wide-eyed. We realize we cannot make others conscious, only help them know they are dreaming when ‘they’ decide it is time for them to wake up.

We realize consciousness was our solitary journey – everyone wakes up at different times. Our waking is not in our control, our sleeping was not in our control either. We can only wait for others to join us, as we plod to our spiritual kitchen and get ourselves a cup of coffee.

Will we fall asleep again? Very possibly, for we may get tired being awake forever. Thus, we realize consciousness is not a goal, but an interval for us to enjoy before we gratefully embrace sleep again at the start of the next leg of our spiritual journey to the nothingness we came from.

Why I Choose to Be Homeless

Photo by Nicolas Häns on Unsplash

It started with a few questions…

  • If home is a refuge, why does it induce fear as we leave it?
  • If having a home creates fear, is it worth having one?
  • Does having a home hold within it the fear of homelessness?

You love home. You are born into one, nurtured and loved. You are fed, watered, and bathed. You start exploring your world — leaving your cradle when no one stops you. you go into places forbidden holding someone’s hand. You explore new frontiers but make sure you know the way back. The hand you hold is your way home.

You grow, make friends, leave your mother’s hand at the nursery, breaking her heart and expanding your own. You play, talk, laugh, giggle, spew kid-wisdom…but every half hour or so, you glance around. You need to see the hand that held you. You find instead another hand that leads you to your mother. Your teacher becomes your way home.

You enter the world of pimples and acne. You no longer care for your teacher’s hand. You roam lanes, splash through puddles. You lose yourself in a book. Every now and then, you feel hungry. You open your lunchbox. Your lunchbox becomes your way home. When school ends, you run out to your bus. The bus becomes your way home.

You like a boy or a girl. Something inside you stirs. You feel …happy. You find a new way home.

You enter adulthood and enjoy its newfound power. You spend, exhilarated. You drink, uninhibited. After dark, you make a daily phone call. Your phone becomes your way home.

You move cities, you advance at work. You have few friends, but a lot of space. You begin searching for something you know not. You seek it in your dates’ eyes, you seek it in your ever-increasing hobbies. You seek it in your boss’ approval, in your colleagues’ acceptance. You continue your search.

You realize you are searching in the wrong places.

You no longer have any idea what you are searching for.

You decide to create what you need. You marry. You buy a house. You nurture a family. You have your own ‘home’ now. But building a home doesn’t help. You continue your search, in secret.

You find yourself lost. You live in a wonderful home, but there is no longer a home inside you.

You pursue a life of travel, of solitary adventure. You purchase a trailer, you hit the grassiest paths. You encounter stars, tents and friends. You find warmth, fear, courage and boredom. None of these lead you home.

You return from your travels, seeking comfort as the prodigal spouse, parent and child. You are welcomed with tears dripping down furrowed cheeks, but none of those tears wash you home.

You rest. You unwind. You give up. You surrender. You make the best of what you have.

You no longer care about finding home. Your search falls silent.

You realize you had never been given a home; you had been born homeless.

Your lunchbox had never led you home, nor the hand that once held you. You had never found home in that special boy or girl. It was you who had made them your home.

You had never lost your way, for your home lay within.

You find your way home. But this time, you choose to remain homeless.

I had a home and lost it.

I found my way back, but this time around, chose to be homeless.