A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake.
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There may be no other event in our earthly life that is so difficult, takes so long and yet is so important as waking up. People just seem to resist it with all their adamancy.
"No. I don't want to wake up. I'm just fine the way I am. Let me turn over, pull up the blanket of ignorance and sleep for another decade or so."
Life is so much easier if you don't wake up, get up, face the cruelties and beauties of real life, handle and sort the discoveries, reason out the dust and ashes, and experience the inspirations that come from the horrifying realization that you don't know who you are, or anything else for that matter and that for all of your life you've been fooling yourself and being fooled by some sort of dream world. If you wake up you have to face the fact that things are not what they have seemed to be.
But what a glorious and exhilarating experience it is when you finally accomplish it. Knowing that you can and must let your old self die, like a seed going into the ground from a dead and rotten apple, to create a new tree. "Put off the old man" as the Bible says, drop the old apple and let it die. "There is a time to be born."
It is an amazing experience to see reality as it is, without the covers. Two things happen. First, you have to learn how to live in a new way, on a new path with no sign posts, you have to accept an adventure, with all of it's perils, but with also all of it's splendor. And second you have to see how everything you thought you knew and thought you knew how to do has to be discarded because it was useless. Nothing disappears except that which did not appear in the first place. But what remains now has new dimensions and new meanings. The floor still has to be swept, but the broom is no longer just a broom. What it is is invisible and indescribable.
The face in the mirror is the same face, in various guises, that you have worn all your life. But is it really your face? Or is it just a mask?
The best part of dying and waking up is the joy. It may take years to do but somehow, at some point along the trail, you come to know that the arrival will be happiness, a deeper happiness than has ever been experienced by you or anyone else, because it will be yours.
I'm still on that trail myself, still clutching my security blanket, still sucking my metaphysical thumb. But I have faith that I will get there, I believe that I will. And someday I will drop my belief on the ground like an old dead apple and let understanding grow instead.
DB Vagabond Journeys
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