There are different ways of being awake. We are physically awake when are senses are open to what is around us, and we can make conscious decisions. We are mentally awake when we are conscious of ourselves and our motivations. We are also mentally awake when we are not responding mechanically to what happens in our life but knowing the various feelings and thoughts we are having, make a choice to do the right thing.
For example, imagine a person coming home from work tired and upset and taking a drink or two to settle down. The alcohol or other drug has put him or her to sleep a little bit. Another person in the house, child or adult, says something annoying, and soon a shouting match is taking place, people are getting hurt emotionally and/or physically. Then the person comes into a better state of consciousness and begins to feel ashamed and wants to apologize. He or she might say: “I’m sorry, I did not know what I was saying – or doing.”
This better state of consciousness is a way of being awake. In the mentally awake state of mind the world looks very different. It is as if the beast that was released from the basement of the person’s character has been put to sleep, and the person is awake to his or her higher self.
We may have noticed that we can say or do negative things when we are spiritually asleep. We might say harsh and cruel things to a person we love. We might physically injure one of our own children. We might be unfaithful to our spouse. All of this because we were asleep.
Our better nature – also called our higher self – is much more patient, understanding and caring than our lower self.
We all have this lower part of ourselves, and when it is dominant it puts our higher self to sleep. The implication is that if we want to improve the quality of our life and our behavior, a very basic task is to wake up. When we see ourselves acting in some negative way we can say to ourselves, “I must be asleep.” If we act dishonestly, out of fear or anger, jealousy or greed, we can say: “Sorry, I must have been asleep.”
The task this week is to become aware of any negative mood you might get into. When it happens, you say to yourself: “I am being negative, I must be asleep”. Then you pinch yourself spiritually, or do whatever you can to wake up.
Next meeting share as much as you are comfortable sharing about any experience you might have of waking up as a way of deepening your spirituality.