“We are all born with being veiled in obscurity…restoring being to its true dominion and sovereignty is what spiritual awakening makes possible.”   ~ Adyashanti

obscurity, being, awakening

Read this introduction to The Three Orienting Ideas, the second chapter of The Way of Liberation, Adyashanti’s guide to spiritual awakening. The Way of Liberation is available as a free download from Free Spiritual Ebooks. All text taken from the book is italicized. 

If you missed them, our previous posts on The Way of Liberation are Guide to Spiritual Awakening and Foundation for Living our True Nature.

Adyashanti explores the Question of Being and shows how the False Self and the Dream State obscure awakening to Being.

The Question of Being

Adyashanti explores the mystery and importance of Being..

“Within each of our forms lies the existential mystery of being. Apart from one’s physical appearance, personality, gender, history, occupation, hopes and dreams, comings and goings, there lies an eerie silence, an abyss of stillness charged with an etheric presence.”

We are all born with being veiled in obscurity. We may recognize the transparency of being shining in the eyes of an infant, but such being is not conscious of itself. It is veiled in an absence of self-awareness. Infants live in a magical world of unconscious being, while adults live in a world of egocentric separation and denial of being. Rectifying and restoring being to its true dominion and sovereignty is what spiritual awakening makes possible.”

“The question of being is everything. Nothing could be more important or consequential—nothing where the stakes run so high. To remain unconscious of being is to remain asleep to our own reality and therefore asleep to Reality at large. The choice is simple: awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep.”

What is this endlessly sleeping self? A false self? How is it overcome?


The False Self

Adyashanti insists that the false self is the greatest barrier to realizing our true identity as Universal Being. This falseness is the insidious but pervasive way we understand our day to day self.

“The false self grows out of unconscious being. It is a fragmented amalgam of many selves tenuously bound together by a façade of normalcy. It is a divided house built upon an imaginary foundation, a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”

“…the false self is essentially a psychological process occurring in the mind that organizes, translates, and makes sense (or in many cases nonsense) of all incoming data from the senses….it produces a sense of self…{which} then pervades consciousness as a sort of perfume that causes the mind to mistake what is actually a psychological process for being an actual separate entity called one’s self.”

Of course, developing a sense of self is critical for survival. It provides a sense of autonomy which seem crucial for navigating our way through life. But, this autonomous self is really an illusion,  “once true autonomy is developed, the self is no longer needed”

“At the core of the false self is a void of deficiency derived from an essential turning away from one’s own divinity, either out of natural development, despair, or simply by succumbing to the trance of the world…the false self orbits around this vacuous abyss at its core, in silent terror of its nameless, faceless threat of oblivion.”

This false self poses a challenging paradox. It is both the barrier and the doorway through which we must pass through on our way to discovering authentic Being.

“As you pass through the void of self, the identification with self dies, either temporarily or permanently, and you are revealed (reborn) to be a presence…Presence is not subject to birth or death; it is not of the world of ‘things.’ It is the light and radiance of consciousness in which entire worlds arise and pass away.” 

dream state

The Dream State

The dream state is our perpetually busy, thinking mind. It keeps us separate and ignorant of our true selves, our authentic conscious presence. Adyashanti paints a dim picture of our busy-ness and distractions, recognizing that a myriad of individual and collective dream states have nothing to do with universal being — who we really are. He calls this the human condition.

“The greatest dream that we can have is to forget that we are dreaming. Lost in our mind’s imagined world of judgments, beliefs, and opinions, we are literally caught in a waking dream. …But no matter what the current status of your dream may be, it will all come to an end someday when you least expect it. Suddenly the plot of your life will change or end altogether, and you will find yourself disoriented and wondering what happened and where it all went.”

“We are so busy and obsessed with our restless thinking about everything and everyone that we have mistaken our thinking about everything and everyone for everything and everyone. This tendency to take our thoughts to be real is what keeps the dream state intact and keeps us trapped within its domain of unconsciousness and strife.”

“…imagine a world of billions of people. Each one of them has innumerable ideas, beliefs, and opinions that they believe to be true…They are all walking around seeing the same outside world, but inwardly they each live in a different world, in a different waking dream….Is it any wonder we have trouble getting along?”

What will wake us up form our dream states? In the next installment of this series, Adyashanti present the core practices of meditation, inquiry and contemplation.

Stay tuned…. the final post from The Way of Awakening, Core Practices is coming soon. Check out Adyashanti’s Teacher’s Page for more details about his writings, videos and teachings.

Images (edited and logos added): 1 and Featured) Clouds by Marvball  2) Lake-woman by Mysticartdesign  3) Fantasy by kellepics.  All images are Public Domain CC0 1.0.


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