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Being awakened, does not imply being perfect or even being morally superior to anyone. Being awake is just to say that the angst is not held back anymore. It finds an expression in multiple forms and one of them is the articulation of itself with a calmness that doesn't betray any impatience to give into it.
Being awake is a quality of being that allows for no distortion between experience and its being processed as a plot which needs decisions and actor behaviour choices to be made. The lack of distortion means that there is minimum noise between deciding and acting upon it. This lack of noise could be seen as a kind of auto-pilot state too.
The surface of knowledge offers an immediacy that can offer either a jolt, or a soothing bird song, whatever might be needed. This immediate offering is sufficient for awakening.
Being awake is not an idea that conveys individualistic achievement or freedom that is attained. It is not an attribute to celebrate and gloat on. Rather, it is about accessing the awakened state which resides within us on in parallel. So, is adventure supposed to be about discovering a parallel embedded within us? The adventure is about doing nothing. The parallel is the emergent narrative that contributes to the flow of events and intervenes only when absolutely necessary.
If you do nothing and have no social,or personal crutches to feel you are comfortable, and if you feel fine, you might be awake. We don't choose a stronger word of affirmation here and don't insist that you would, in fact, be awake because as a corollary of the idea of self-validation, no one else can ever know. If you think that you are awake, you might well be. The delusional act involved in claiming to ‘be’ and not really ‘being’ is a risk inherent to the process. A risk that we write off easily! We do know that feeling balanced and okay without having any reason for such a feeling is often a sign that the story is more elaborate than it seems.
What we know at that point is the fact that the story doesn't need actors, the actors need the story.
For each actor, the flow of character and acting is continuous but it is abrupt. It is like a riot. Actors in a riot do perpetuate mayhem but why and to what extent is the collective damage to the landscape - they are unaware of that. The plot of the riot only unravels later. For actors who actually get to see the whole product of what they act in, the connection between their immersive experience of acting and the gloss and continuity of the final output never add up together. All actors carry an unknown guilt of somehow being a part of a scam. But what is the scam? That, they never know.
So, when actors discover that there is actually a story that governs the general flow of acting that they perform and that the story actually is the meta-narrative that contextualises the placement of each instance of the acting, they perceive the need for the story.
The actors need the story.
As an actor, you can choose to disengage from every story that you assume that you are a part of then you deal with the anxiety of doing random performance for free in an under-documented and under-credited fashion. When this anxiety subsides, awakening might happen.
When you do wake up, does the shock of the state of the parallel make you want to go back to sleep?
The surface of awakening is absence. And you yourself are absent from the possibility to sense the absence. It is like a door without a handle. Sure it is there. But it does not want to be opened. The awakened absence does not want to be felt. It is a state of the equation which is not balanced but then it does not know that.
The puzzle might not be complete, the cat might not be in the bag, but the itch for closure has become absent and so everything comfortably lies in incompletion forever. Being awake definitely does not mean that there's no more unfinished business but it does mean that unfinished business can comfortably remain unfinished without any repercussions.
To leave the world as it is and to remain unbothered with any project of change is being awake to the larger rhythms at play. Why should we be caught up in the rhythms near at hand? The entire universe is our responsibility to understand. We cannot conveniently understand just the world in our vicinity and just read the patterns they contain. If we are familiar with the rhythms operating at the scale of the universe, then we will never claim reverence for the subtle wave-transition that we are offsetting by our actions. Fatalism is not the point. Respect is the point. The universe with its layers and layers of overlapping rhythms needs to be respected enough so as not be messed with. With a complex system like that, you cannot go and tell it that you by your own actions are going to change it. Like you cannot tell a mountain that you are going to move it by kicking it hard. There is, of course, no harm in saying that. But then, we are not trying to minimise damage. We are penalising you for toeing along with the world blindly.
As a sign of being awake, look for hesitation.
Any potential action which claims to have a powerful impact on the world should breed hesitation in the system.
The clarity of being sensitive to the cosmic balance is the clarity of minimums. There is nothing to think about, there is nothing to do. The task at hand is learning to stand still. A bicycle that needs to move in order to be balanced on two wheels. It is not balanced when it is still. It needs the inconsequential distraction of movement to allow it to be stable. This is the space for learning. How is balance to be attained in stillness? Where is the room for trials? How are strategies to be tried out?
The room for figuring out still-balance strategies is located in a dreamworld. Because the practice room is in a dream world, the floor can be soft. If you fall often, your bones still will not hurt. Trying new possibilities, having room for failure and being thick-skinned - all go hand in hand. There is no one future that we are trying to transition through to. Whatever we get is good enough.
How alert should the awakened state be? How much information gets registered in the state? How does being awake help in filtering experience in a finer way? Is being awake just a way to decorate our persona? Is time fast enough to witness the continuity of an awakened experience?
The world is too bright. There is a glare. Beyond a point, is a pair of anti-glare glasses necessary? Do the surfaces of the world offer too much glare to be able to gauge a differentiation in tone and colour? We always wear special glasses; every moment has an appropriate lens to be worn. How else do we discern surfaces which want to offer a closer look from the ones which wants to disappear?