*Video at the end of the article*
In non-dual spiritual traditions the ultimate goal of the path of awakening is to become completely free of the mind – to see the present-moment reality without the lens of memories, mental constructs, stories, and interpretations.
The ultimate goal is to step out of separation and into unity, to share one common reality. However close our interpretations sometimes are to each other, they will never be the same. Our interpretations of reality cause separation.
To Share the Whole World with the Whole World
We love sharing our interpretation of reality with similar minded individuals. We are delighted to find people that share our world view. And we seek the company of people with an interpretation of reality similar to ours.
Listening to music, enjoying nature, and discussing existence becomes pleasurable when shared with similar minded people. The consensus gives us a sense of unity and being right. But if we are prisoners of the conditioned mind, this sense of unity among similar minded people can reinforce the separation from the others.
Imagine sharing the whole world with the whole world. This is the natural state of being for anyone free from seeing things through the mind. We can glimpse it when looking at a piece of art, listening to music, reading a poem, and listening to a speaker. Anything created from a place of no-mind invites you to see it the way it is.
A Happy Dream or Awakening?
Our interpretations can also cause happiness. Life is great when we interpret everything in a positive way. If we believe that the universe is conspiring to help us in every way possible – this is called pronoia, the opposite of paranoia – we are destined for happiness. This, to live a happy life, is a goal of its own. It’s like having a good dream (instead of a nightmare). Many people would be more than content with this. Others just have to see how deep the rabbit-hole goes, and go beyond the dream altogether.
To wake up is to see past the conditioned mind entirely; to go beyond the duality of good and bad, into another domain of experiencing reality. This is true awakening, the ultimate spiritual goal. This is our natural state. It is always right here, right now, though unrecognized.
To wake up from the mind-determined state means letting go of labels – letting go of right and wrong, pain and pleasure. It means seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary and vice versa. The mind falls away, and with it the compulsive comparison of what is to what could be. The filter between your awareness and reality is removed, opening for true intimacy with what is.
The mind cannot conceptualize this awakened state. It is a state of pure experiencing, free from stories. It involves a complete dissolution of the self, your ego, your stories, your self-image, and all you have ever known. The price of Truth is everything. Yet some of us cannot want anything but Truth – either because only the undistorted, pure experience of reality will satisfy our inner longing, or because we realize that liberating ourselves from the mind is the ultimate cessation of separation and suffering.
The conditioned mind works like a computer program distorting our experience of reality. Freeing the mind means loosening its grip on our experience, waking up from the matrix. We choose the red pill because we long to merge back into the One ocean of Awareness, to return home to the place we never left, to move from separation to Unity.
Related reading: Become Free by Finding Purpose outside of You
Everything Exists Within Awareness
There is no reality independent from an observer. The awareness, or consciousness, of the observer (or observers) contains all that exists. The basis of this reasoning is direct experience. If you suggest that something exists outside of awareness, that something is a mental construct within awareness. You have never experienced anything outside of your awareness, nor will you ever do that. No one have, no one will, by definition.
The whole universe exists within awareness. It is impossible to have direct knowledge of anything outside of your awareness. This is not meant to be interpreted in a mystical and spiritual way – it is true.
Your awareness and other people’s awareness is the same awareness. This is why we are all One when we become free from mind – we meet both ourselves and others, instead of mental constructs. We are all Awareness.
The biggest mental construct is that the universe would exist without us self-aware beings to perceive it. We are the universe.
Being enlightened is the direct knowing of the fundamental nature of Awareness, without any distortion from the labels and stories that we call beliefs.
Related reading: Insights Into Awareness and the Nature of Reality
The Mind Is a Tool
Your belief system is a construct of the mind. The belief that lack can exist is the root cause of human suffering. Likewise, a set of highly functional beliefs will bring happiness. Elevating your point of view above beliefs altogether allows you to see that a belief is just one part of a whole – a whole which you now see clearly.
Because the mind cannot fathom what happens when it lets go of the need to be in control, it imagines it to be total chaos. This is not true. Nature has some good examples: rain falls, trees grow, animals feed their young – all this without any beliefs or conditioning.
Freed from the mind’s grip, one can still use mental constructs as tools. One does not, however, have to live in them, project them onto every experience, or see the world through their lens.
The last idea to disappear is usually the concept of “me” as a separate being. This is a deep-seated thought, reinforced since birth. We start exploring our new surroundings, and labeling things as either “me”, or “not me”. It is the human condition. Its fundamental beauty will not be lost after awakening.
The process of becoming enlightened may happen in the blink of an eye, or take several lifetimes. Some wake up smiling, shouting “carpe diem” – others struggle a lot along the way. The subconscious mind can keep holding on to beliefs without telling the conscious mind. This can induce some sort of cognitive dissonance – a dark night of the soul, perhaps. The only way out is through. Keep going.
If you are content with a happy life, do that. If you desire to see what is beyond, you will. It is not more than happy – it is more basic, more peaceful.
You are already and always enlightened, mind or no-mind. Recognize your freedom.
Love x Peace