How to Start Our Journey of Realization – Part 1

“He who knows God as the Life of the life, the Eye of the eye, the Ear of the ear, the Mind of the mind, he indeed comprehends fully the Cause of all causes”, (Sukla Yajur Veda, Brihadaranyuaka Upanishad 4.4.24, UPP).  

“To realize the highest Absolute as one’s very own and to constantly feel that this realization is not something you have actually achieved, but something you eternally are – that is called realization….”Sri Chinmoy , Samadhi and Siddhi.  

Realization or, what some would call, enlightenment is a rocky and challenging journey.  Why?  Because the journey entails us to not only become one with Spirit, but also to realize we are Spirit.  This realization involves dismantling the world as we have come to know and are completely comfortable with.  Dismantling, first, involves stripping ourselves of all beliefs, thoughts, knowledge and understandings about life. These are the things we have been told, guided and conditioned to be and have learned to be dependent upon to give us our frame of reference.  They are the way we make sense and understand the world. 

Here are a few examples of these limiting beliefs:   We must suffer and sacrifice in order to move ahead in life.  There is good and evil in the world.  Only trust your priest/politician/school teacher.  The more money you have the better off you are.  Disease is a common plight we must live with.  We must live with pain and discomfort especially the older we get.  Poverty is a natural occurrence.  What you see, hear, taste, smell and feel are real.  Some people are lucky.  Physical beauty is important.  

Secondly we have to give up our identity.  We identify ourselves by how we look in life:  race; culture; gender; tall; short; skinny; fat; in-shape and out-of-shape. We identify ourselves by the things we do:  I donate; volunteer; tend my garden; vote; love to cook; do this job; run; have this position; and earn this amount of money.   We identify ourselves by our mental attributes:  smart; average; stable; good; nervous; assertive; aggressive; lazy; a “go-getter”; and passive.  We identify ourselves by our association with others:  I am Catholic; Democrat; wife; retiree; husband; divorcee; grandparent; a member of…and better than… 

Thirdly, we must eliminate a lot of the noise in our lives.  We are told what to think, believe and like.  We are bombarded by music, television, books, movies, and newspaper articles that constantly feed us messages about who we are, what we should strive to be, how to do it and what is important.  The noise is so loud and constant that we begin to run these messages over and over in our heads.  We quote ideas that are not our own as truth.  We take on illness because we identify with the symptoms stated in a television commercial.  We define love from what we hear from songs or what we have read from books.  We become immune to the most tragic circumstances because, “That’s life!”, as told  to us by experts.  We are overwhelmed by the noise.  We are not allowed to think for ourselves.  


Copyright © 2009 by Shirlyn Wright

Note:  “How to Start Our Journey of Realization – Part 2” will appear on July 10, 2009.