Guidance and self realization

Only by probing within, and seeking the very source of who and what you are, will you arrive at the mental, emotional and spiritual mastery that true self-knowing brings.

by Jim Dreaver — 

The key to understanding awakening is realizing that it is an inner journey. Only by probing within, and seeking the very source of who and what you are, will you arrive at the mental, emotional and spiritual mastery that true self-knowing brings.

One essential requirement for successfully undertaking this journey is your willingness to face yourself honestly, to examine closely who and what you think you are. If you are not prepared to look deeply into this “self” you have imagined yourself to be, awakening will continue to elude you. You will carry on in the belief that whatever you are looking for — happiness, validation, approval, success — lies somewhere outside of you.

However, something else will accelerate your quest for self-realization. That something is guidance. Rumi says, “Whoever enters the Way without a guide will take a hundred years to travel a two-day journey.” You can awaken on your own, but it doesn’t happen very often, mainly because the tendency to seek answers outside ourselves is so deeply rooted. Clear, objective guidance from someone who is already awake will ensure that you receive accurate directions about the process of self-inquiry, and how to persist when blocks or obstacles arise, as they will.

First, let us discuss the doing. This involves learning the art of bringing a heightened awareness to every moment, and welcoming your experiences — both in your inner and outer environments — without judgment or resistance. This practice of presence is your ability to simply accept, or to allow things to be as they are.

Such acceptance requires an emotional vulnerability. However, it does not mean you become a doormat and allow people to walk on you. By all means, you make changes where they are needed or desired and you retain the ability to say “no” to unwanted experiences. But inwardly, you resist nothing. Awakening is a state of psychological and emotional freedom. It manifests in non-resistance to life and acceptance of life’s ever-changing conditions and circumstances.

Practice the art of being awake, aware and at ease in the moment. Honor the past, keep an eye on the future, but live in the present. This practice alone will do a lot to end conflict and stop fear in its tracks.

To unlock the secret of awakening and understand why it persists in remaining a “secret,” you must realize that behind every form of personal angst lies some kind of story — conscious or unconscious. You have to see that the story is just that, a story. It may or may not have some basis in reality, but it is only one way of seeing things.

Any story you believe hinders your ability to be present. Ultimate freedom lies in understanding that the mechanism that produces the story maintains resistance and perpetuates conflict, fear and suffering within you. In short, you’ve got to see through the very storyteller itself that forms the basis of your self-identity.

You have to see that the world inside your head, the world of I, me and mine, is an illusion. It is a fabrication, a story you have spent a lifetime making up and believing. By inwardly examining your personal stories — your thoughts, beliefs, reactions and ideas about yourself — you begin to realize that these things are always changing.

The more you see this, the more quickly the internal drama falls away. You begin to know yourself as the consciousness, the awareness that sees and experiences reality, including the stories you tell yourself. As your head clears and your heart opens, you awaken to the true beauty and meaning of life. The mind, which includes all your thoughts and all your stories, is no longer a distraction, but a powerful ally. Your life purpose becomes clear, and love guides you in everything you do.


Jim Dreaver is a native of New Zealand and a former chiropractor. His most recent book, The Way of Harmony (Avon), is a guide to dealing with relationships, work and daily life in a conscious way.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 4, August/September 2006.

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