AwakeningBy Anurag Shantam
(With R. J. Doucette)
The Circle IllustrationI have used this illustration for years in my teaching, for it is the simplest, most succinct visual representation both of human consciousness, and the teaching of awakening. Its very simplicity makes it difficult for many people to grasp as they study it through layer after layer of ego complexity, beliefs, and confusion. As one awakens, life itself becomes more and more simple.
At your center there are three of you, seemingly adrift in an uncaring, meaningless existence. These three parts each feel incomplete, and search where the ego directs, for relationships with other beings that hold the promise of completion, of wholeness.The relationships that exist within, are mirrored without. For instance, if the inner God condemns, blames and judges Soul for being lazy, a hopeless dreamer, weak, helpless and needy, then that inner God, encountering another Soul, will judge that Soul in similar ways. Soul herself, accustomed to receiving these judgments within, will expect and receive, these same judgments from the Gods she encounters without. Same with Spirit. If the inner God condemns the inner Spirit for not being serious enough, for being a failure, a coward, or for not working hard enough, these same judgments will be expected and received whenever Spirit encounters Gods without. Until the veils are cleared, whatever the dysfunctional ego relationships patterned within, will continuously be encountered without.
In each center you will feel incomplete. In each center you will be seeking outside that which you sense will make you whole again. Spirit is seeking outside for a loving playmate (Soul), and a protecting, mentoring father (God). Soul is seeking outside for a trusting, intimate companion (Spirit) to care for, nurture and love. She is also seeking a strong protective father (God) to take care of her. God is seeking a son (Spirit) to mentor and teach, someone from whom to receive admiration and respect. He is also seeking a helpless daughter (Soul) to be the protective guardian of.
This is why we compartmentalize our friends in the world. Some people are the friends of God – those who are serious. Notice when you entertain, how you include some friends and exclude others. If God is socializing, he tends to disdain the lightness and frivolity of Spirit’s friends, as well as the spacey helplessness of Soul’s companions. Just as your Soul and Spirit will tend to exclude God’s friends when socializing, knowing that to include that heavy, serious energy will dampen the party, replacing fun with serious discussion at best, arguments at worst.
Each part also has a distorted relationship with existence – each seeing existence through an uncaring veil of indifference (the Mother / Serpent veil), and mis-interpreting the veil as existence. Existence is not indifferent. The Mother / Serpent veil is indifference itself. When your consciousness is caught in this veil and you feel as though you do not care about anything or anyone, you are experiencing the truth of the veil, not the truth of existence.Each center is a lens through which a fragmented consciousness looks into the world. What it sees is determined by which part is looking, as well as the distortion produced by the lens (veil) itself. As long as the veils exist, you are not seeing reality. You are instead seeing the ego distortions, or projections onto reality. As the veils lift, you begin to see reality. With the lifting of the pain / fear veils, you begin to see your personal reality more clearly. Your small human universe begins to come into focus. You begin to understand and bring into balance your human desires, needs and relationships. But you will lack the ability to see the larger picture clearly – to grasp your place in the universe – your relationship with existence. That comes with the awakening of God, and the dissolving of the Mother / Serpent veil – after which you become existence itself. You will not necessarily understand ‘the meaning of it all’, for there is no meaning to understand. Having transcended all duality, you will be totally in the now, where there is no meaning – only life, experience, and flow. To search for the meaning of life requires that you become separate from life.
As the veils lift, the fragmented parts begin to merge back into one consciousness. First, Soul and Spirit merge into Soul-Spirit consciousness – into one innocence – one that is both tender, loving, and connected, and playful and adventurous. Soul and Spirit are where you are human, and you must first be human before you can be divine. The human plane is a very small, very personal universe. You are taught that you should care about the suffering of the world (Soul), and that you should be interested and engaged in bettering the world (Spirit). But these shoulds only serve the ego veils, causing guilt in Soul, and failure in Spirit. All Soul and Spirit really care about are those near and dear to them, and all caring for beings not immediately known at this human level is simply ego pretense.It is not until you begin awakening God will there be genuine interest in a larger universe. God used to be the steward of the earth, before ego darkness began to blind and control Him. Awakened, with no prodding from ego’s shoulds, God naturally becomes more concerned with the whole – more aware of the thoughtless damage unconsciously being done to the earth in everyday life. While watching over the personal aspect of life (Soul and Spirit), God increasingly becomes more impersonal in seeing and interacting with a larger universe. With the dissolving of the anger veil, He slips out of the world of good and evil, no longer fighting for good or perpetrating evil. More and more He becomes an impersonal observer of the ego madness of the world of good and evil. He becomes more and more harmless.
With God’s awakening, and the awareness of Soul and Spirit that He has returned to His senses, Soul’s love once again begins to flow to God. She realizes that He is once again taking care of her, and she is drawn towards His increasing light. Spirit realizes he has been trusting the Gods of others, when the one God who deserves his trust and respect, is the God within. And so, Spirit and Soul begin to merge back into God.
As Soul’s love permeates God, His cold hardness begins to soften, and warmth and compassion begin emerging. As Spirit’s trust merges Spirit back into God, God once again begins to be just and fair, His seriousness mellowed by Spirit’s playfulness. This allows God to once again enjoy life – to enjoy His creation. No more separate or conflicted, He is once again the creative, good and blessing God who entered the garden.