Roughly half of alleged seekers are deluded by the belief they are already awake, yet are unable to glean the Truth of this poem, despite it not being veiled but explicit. Identified with ideas & concepts, hypnotized by ego’s seductive mantra “my truth,” their minds ignore/rant against the facts…
Inspired by the countless Facebook posts and comments we encounter in which individuals profess how “awake” they are, or describing how their life has changed since they “awoke” so many years ago, etc., we wrote the poem to shed light on the matter:
“I AM AWAKE!”
“Behold! I am awake!”
Is the belief our mind will fake,
To avoid efforts we’ve yet to make,
The journeys we’ve yet to take,
And our karma still at stake.
“But I question everything!”
Our mind keeps loudly singing,
Monkey turds it keeps a-flinging.
Warning bells they keep a-ringing;
Our conscience keeps a-stinging.
“My truth is of my choosing!”
The mind is itself excusing,
(The Truth is too confusing).
Thus that which we are using,
Proves so utterly seducing.
Mind dislikes Truth intruding.
It prefers ego-colluding,
Though thoughts be self-deluding.
“Leave me be with all this brooding!”
Mind refuses to be defeated,
Be dethroned from where it’s seated,
(Have its ego-lords deleted),
So its refrains are just repeated,
“My truth is not depleted!”
Mind craves/haves/eats its cake.
Facing Truth just makes it ache.
Endless theories it will bake,
Than admit the self’s mistake.
So it cries, “I AM AWAKE!”
We were rather taken aback by the number of “likes” poem received. Especially given some of the memes we had ironically framed it in, specifically designed to be attractive to ego. Images which self-styled “seekers” and “lightworkers” would immediately want to identify with (see themselves as). For instance, the “warrior of light” archetype:
You can view other variations on this meme throughout this article or in the album on our Facebook Page, “I Am Awake” Memes.
The whole point of juxtaposing the poem’s essential Truth against the ironic ego-affirming image/title was to instill the reader with a sense of instability, to have their conscience pricked and their foundations rattled…to make them observe themselves and comprehend that as they identify with the words in quotation marks (the voice of ego-mind) they are essentially proving to themselves they are asleep.
Surely it could not be the case that all the “likes” these ironic and provocative memes were receiving represented individuals who were applauding their disillusionment. After a moment or two considering the likelihood of such a scenario, it dawned on me: perhaps they really do think they’re awake. Not only that, perhaps they saw the words “I AM AWAKE,” registered the image they wanted to identify with, put two-and-two together, clicked “like” and moved on to the next post. More than likely, they did not even read the poem. Had they done so they would have recognized the irony. Or would they? Was it possible they were oblivious to the meaning of the poem, and completely numb to the ironic juxtaposition of the exercise? Were they immune to the cathartic interactive experience we had offered them? Had we instead given them an affirmation of their own mystic pride?
The ego-mind has a veritable limitless bag of tricks on hand; an endless stream of arguments, justifications, and rationalizations available to it; and the rock-solid guarantee that it will grab hold of its beliefs hungrily and dig in its heels like a terrier does a juicy bone. The facts, sadly, are not its to possess. They are the sole dominion of consciousness and the Being, and for that the ego-mind will double-down on its own hubris–in cases of mysticism and matters if esotericism, mystic pride–and go so far to assert that it is “awake.” Not only thinking it knows, but believing itself to be the authority on knowledge itself. It will even profess and pronounce itself as a formidable adversary and caretaker of genuine gnosis (since the best defence is a good offence). Sadly, these very beliefs and behaviours are the instruments by which ego-mind engineers our hypnosis and ignorance. These are the facts, no matter how much the ego-mind denies them or protests them (as it most surely will).
To remain in objective observation of the mind’s subjective machinations, reactions, protestations and declarations is the first step toward someday escaping its tyrannical hold over us. However, ego-mind is much more clever and subtle than to show its hand to us so readily. Often, we remain oblivious to the powerful influence the subconscious has over us—not just our conscious thoughts but our awareness (or lack thereof). We must do more than simply observe what our mind is thinking, what the voices in our mind are saying, but what we are receiving and how our mind is filtering, interpreting, processing and embellishing (altering) the impressions we are receiving in any given moment.
Impressions as Food
What we receive into our mind—impressions—are every bit as much food for us as what we take into our bodies. And, like anything else we consume, the flavour and nutritional value is not governed merely by the food, but also by how it is dressed up—the condiments, sauces, toppings, spices, garnishes, presentations, pairings, et al. which we bring to the dinner plate. Consider the global fascination with hot beverages as a prime example of what we are referring to.
Our consumption of hot beverages depends greatly on how much (if any) sweetener and whitener we use and what kind (sugar, honey, agave, stevia, low-fat milk, full-fat milk, cream, almond milk, Bailey’s et al). These embellishments are of our own choosing, and are arguably completely superfluous to the hot beverage we are consuming. After years of experience consuming hot beverages, we have grown accustomed to enjoying them a certain way, and we apply our embellishments according to taste.
That said, we
often embellish our hot beverages automatically, mechanically and unconsciously. We have prepared our coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc. so many times, we’re on autopilot. Our brains know exactly what to do, when to do it, and we can prepare our tea/coffee/etc. blindfolded. Likewise, because we are so accustomed to taking our hot beverage a certain way—the way we like it—we drink it just as unconsciously—mechanically, automatically—scarfing down breakfast, shuffling kids off to school, driving to work, typing at work, the list goes on. Very rarely we do we actually indulge in the drinking of a hot beverage like all the advertisements on television depict (a man/woman stopping everything they are doing to completely savour the aroma and experience of the moment, holding the mug in both hands, closing their eyes and being completely present to the experience as if this was their very first and possibly final ever cup of coffee/tea). No, we very rarely do that.
This is because our minds are altering the experience for us, based—in this case—on experience; and, with whatever additional embellishments it is throwing into the mix, which could be regarding the future, or memories from the past, some fantasy it dreamt the night before, any number of things. These embellishments effectively hypnotize our consciousness and prevent us from experiencing the facts of the moment directly. The mind has replaced the actual experience of the moment with an automated recording of past experiences of similar moments, and then distracts us with other things. The result is we think we are having our coffee/tea/hot chocolate. But the reality is just that: we only think we are having a coffee/tea/hot chocolate. In fact, we are performing an act mechanically according to expectations based on attachments to past experiences.
Some people go to certain coffee shops believing they have “the best coffee” or that they know “just how I like it.” Practically speaking, no two cups of coffee are ever the same. We believe they are because we are relating every subsequent cup from a certain coffee shop to the first experience we had there (which exists only in our head). Rather than suffer the reality that a visit may result in a terrible cup of coffee, we imagine our idealized cup of coffee every time we visit our favourite purveyor of coffee, and insist they are “the best.”
Alternatively, perhaps we are never satisfied with any cup of coffee we have. Perhaps there is some idealized cup of coffee which exists only in our fantasy. Such individuals are likewise never actually experiencing the cup of coffee they are drinking, no matter how delicious it may be. It is not “the perfect cup,” (which exists only in their head) and therefore cannot measure up and will not be enjoyed. Their perverse enjoyment comes from the judgment and condemnation of what is, after all, just a humble cup of coffee, although they are convinced that it is “the worst.”
Staying with our metaphor for a moment longer, consider all the different ways to drink espresso. Recognize that each has its own unique name, often is served in its own unique cup—do not ignore the significance of altering the vessel to facilitate drinking in an impression—and most significantly has a unique formula consisting of various ingredients added to it. All these myriad types of gourmet coffee have espresso at their heart, yet in some cases you would never know it, especially when you start factoring in things like added sweeteners, whip cream, sprinkles, et al. In the end, the espresso is all but lost. It’s there, of course, but if someone asks us what we are drinking, we do not say “espresso,” we say “cappuccino, latte, mocha, etc.” In this metaphor, espresso represents the objective truth of an impression…the pure, unadulterated, unfiltered experience without embellishment. The Truth, plain and simple.
So what do we do? Do we stop drinking speciality coffees altogether!? We need not do anything so rash. We simply need to observe ourselves. Stay conscious. Be present. And recognize the objective truth of the moment…that we are not drinking espresso straight up; we’re drinking a sweet, frothy, creamy, chocolatey version of espresso. Let us recognize what version of espresso we are drinking, what makes it so, and take it in that way, consciously, knowing full well what we are drinking, embellishments and all. This process is called transformation of impressions.
Transformation of Impressions
When we take in experience observing ourselves—our thoughts, our emotions, our physical sensations—we can be conscious to some degree of how our mind, heart and body are affecting our experience. When we stay present and pay attention to the impressions we take in, along with what’s being added to them, we can have some conscious knowledge of the pure impression, just as we would become conscious of the espresso in our mocha-latte. Otherwise, we drink unconsciously, oblivious to the espresso, hypnotized by “what we like…what we want/add according to taste” and remain oblivious to the facts. We remain trapped in the illusionary experience the mind fabricates for us in the moment instead of stepping outside of it, awakening momentarily and experiencing reality using our free consciousness.
Another way to say this is giving the moment over to our consciousness. The mind will still intervene: our tastes, habits, desires, biases, etc. will still be added according to whatever it is we are accustomed to liking or hating (because the ego cares not if it is indulging our cravings or aversions) but we consume the impression embellishments and all, consciously.
Now, the real importance of this process comes into play when we begin to see the egos behind our mind’s interventions and embellishments. We experience an impression and the mind says “I hate this, this sucks.” Transforming the impression implies that rather than identifying with the mind’s comment “I hate this, this sucks,” we instead observe the experience and the comment and recognize what it is inside us which caused the mind to say “I hate this, this sucks.” Fear? Anger? Pride? Impatience? Intolerance? Unmet expectations? What was the source of the mind’s reaction to the impression? Such depth of perception in the moment will take some time and much practice. They first key is to observe ourselves.
The second key is to remember our Selves. When we say “give experience over to our consciousness” we must try to understand what the consciousness is, and to whom it belongs. Consciousness is a medium of experiential knowledge—gnosis. It is bi-directional meaning it is capable of expression (the masculine, positive aspect) as well as reception (the feminine, negative aspect…SJW’s please note: negative is used here in the quantitative sense, not qualitative sense). It is this masculine and feminine relationship of consciousness which “creates reality” and which trips up all the New Agers and self-helpers “manifesting their desires” who only hear “I CREATE MY REALITY!” Sounds awfully similar to “I AM AWAKE!” does it not? As an aside, the masculine/feminine, expressive/receptive nature of consciousness relates directly to a much higher/deeper understanding of Tantra. However, we can’t get into that just now.
Consciousness is easily understandable as a wi-fi signal in a coffee shop (a place of business which is yielding a tremendous wealth of allegories today). You connect to said signal. But it isn’t yours. Your device is able to send and receive data over wi-fi but the router is not yours. Nor is the Internet, the knowledge which the wi-fi signal carries and makes available if you have the correct device, browser, password, etc. So who does the router and the wi-fi signal belong to? The owner of the coffee shop, of course. And it is a shared wi-fi signal. It doesn’t belong to you as such, but you are allowed to use it whenever you are seated in the coffee shop and drinking coffee. Do we not think of our favourite coffee shop as “ours”? It is only ours if we frequent it…if we dial into its frequency.
The coffee shop owner is our Innermost Being. The coffee shop is our Monad, the vehicle our Being uses to travel from lifetime to lifetime. The wi-fi signal is the consciousness. It comes from the router, the Divine Soul, and it sends and receives information. We won’t keep digging deeper into this metaphor any further because invariably we will bump up against the actual consciousness when it comes time to drink coffee and not surf the web. Speaking of which, as we drink our coffee in our coffee shop, not only does our experience reflect on the truth of the underlying espresso, but no doubt also on the owner or the Barrista who prepared it for us.
In other words, observing our self as we drink our coffee keeps us present and connected to the contents of the impression (coffee cup). Remembering our Innermost Barrista reminds us who prepared this fine impression (beverage) for us, and who is deserving of our thanks and praise (tip). The coffee shop is the Owner’s/Barrista’s after all. His and Hers (imagine the coffee shop is owned by a husband and wife duo, analogous to our Innermost Father and Divine Mother). Thus, the transformation of the impression is complete…we are conscious and aware of all the facts.
In the vernacular of the Gnosis of Master Samael Aun Weor, this introduces another term called The Key of SOL: subject-object-location. Who is experiencing? What is being experienced? Where are we experiencing it? We may get into that topic deeper at a later date, but for now, here are links for further exploration: on The Transformation of Impressions a related free online course on The Transformation of Energy, and The Key of SOL.
So what does all this have to do with reading poetry?
If, dear reader, you have been reading this article with your heart and not merely your head—that is, if you have been present and transforming the impressions of these words as you’ve been reading them—then you should have a rudimentary feel for what went wrong for so many people who misunderstood and misinterpreted our poem / meme. How many? The results are in…
Roughly 50% of respondents actually thought the poem was either affirming or denying their belief that they are awake. Whereas that is not the case at all. By now it is clear the poem was an exercise in self-observation and objective self-analysis. It is precisely the mind, the “I” which interferes with our direct experience of reality and puts our consciousness to sleep. The mind, our “I,” cannot awaken. Nor is there anything which can objectively be called “my truth” other than outright falsehood…opinion. Hypnosis and ignorance. As we have seen, the mind ignores and rants. We become identified with the mind’s rants; that process of identifying with our mind and our “I” hypnotizes us and produces our ignorance.
Now, the mind of many mystics will protest and state that they have had life-altering experiences, that they see the world in a whole new way, that they question everything! Surely they must be awake. Questioning is related to awakening alright: it is only the first step. The question which matters is “how am I still asleep?”
When one is truly awake, one no longer questions, one simply observes, explores consciously, and in time, one knows. Not because “I know everything!” That is mystic pride. That too is a kind of sleep. The one who is awake knows that they know nothing; that anything and everything they may know is given unto them to know, or it is not. And what they do not know is a function of their continued slumber, beliefs they continue to fake, efforts they have yet to make, journeys they have yet to take, and karma that’s still at stake.
To be awake is to be conscious. To be awakening has its symptoms and signs in the mental and emotional bodies, but these are only symptoms and side-effects… created by ego-mind to be misinterpreted and misconstrued by the infra-conscious mind itself (which proclaims “I am awake!”), they can form the very trap which keeps us entangled in The Matrix of our sleep…the ego-mind itself.
Keep observing yourself. Watch your own mind: the conscious, subconscious, and INFRAconscious mind (that is the mind which comments on the mind…the voices in your head which so cleverly try to convince you that you are them by judging and condemning the other voices in your head…”I can see my mind questioning EVERYTHING! I must be awake!” It is divide and conquer in the microcosm. See our article The Conspiracy of Conspiracies for an in depth exploration of this phenomenon).
For an in-depth analysis of how DOUBT (question everything) in particular is used by the ego-mind to keep us asleep, watch our video on the Hard Truth about Belief.
To be truly awake means to be a Buddha. A Master. It means one knows “God’s will” moment to moment and has discernment between the machinations of ego-mind and the Still Soft Voice of the heart. And just as there are levels and levels of the process of awakening, there are levels and levels of being awake (levels of Mastery).
These are the facts. 100% verifiable by anyone who puts in the effort and applies infinite patience to KNOW THEMSELVES.
We are not here to humiliate or insult. We are simply here to ask (rhetorically, for only you can answer this for yourself, hopefully by first consulting your conscience): do you truly feel, deep down intuitively in the Essence of your Being, that you have earned the right to go around proclaiming yourself to be awake? Or, do you simply and rightly mean that you have begun the long and difficult process of awakening?…the slow and arduous process of psychological death (death of the false self) which is what hypnotizes the consciousness and puts us to sleep?
One of the signs of greater levels of awakening is the development of RADICAL HUMILITY. “I am not qualified. I am nothing…insignificant…helpless and hapless without the REAL Master, my Beloved Innermost Essence.” To verify this fact for yourself, perform the guided meditation in our latest video.
If you are in fact an awakened Buddha, a Master, then we are preaching to the choir and we apologize for our insolence. Either way, peace be with you, brothers and sisters.