The path to Enlightenment: How do we awaken?

“The Buddha taught that the unenlightened human being lives in a state that may be compared to sleep or to a dream. Through the clear light of wisdom, and completely unaided, the Buddha is the one who has awakened from that dream to the true nature of existence. Guided by compassion, the Buddha is the one who has sought to share his understanding of the path to awakening with all beings who wish to follow in his footsteps.”

Ajahn Jayasaro

Many people think that the word Buddha is the name of the founder of the religion. However, the word Buddha is meant to explain the goal of someone on a personal search for the answer to the most important question of all time – how to stop human suffering?

Buddha means the awakened one. And that could be you.

The Matrix

Have you seen the movie the Matrix? The movie intertwines many spiritual themes, one of them is the idea that all we see is not the final reality, rather a reality with limited rules designed by machines. In the movie, Neo (the main character) is meant to save the world and so he embarks on a journey of awakening from his sleep.

While doing so, he begins to learn the harsh reality of the world, and how people are asleep within it. On the journey he also learns about how his consciousness is the most powerful tool he possesses.

We all live in a Matrix built by many variables or limiting conditions. These are symbolic of the Media, the fearful collective unconscious, outdated stereotypes, family beliefs, and environmental limitations. These variables work together, they create the lens we use to see the world, they also create the filter that limits our minds.

That’s why some people believe that they are not worthy of love, while others believe that they need to have the best car in order to be happy. Some are anxious about having a child because that’s what’s expected from a successful marriage. Thus with all those expectations and desires, humanity blinds itself from the truth. Nothing outside of yourself can make you happy.

So how does one become free? That’s the million dollar question.  To get out of the matrix, to attain enlightenment, or to awaken, one has to become conscious. In other words, they have to be willing to face the unknown.

One can only know what’s beyond the false reality by actually going there and, by piercing through the veil of unconsciousness. This is a painful destructive process, a process that the body does everything to resist.

What can be really surprising about it, is that even if you guarantee that there won’t be any suffering on the “other side”, many won’t even bother to think more about the journey. The sense of comfort that comes from the fragile condition that most people exist in has a great power over their decision making.People are driven to stay away from the unknown.  If it was not so, we would all be already awakened, don´t you think?

Awakening from the illusion

Buddha woke up from the matrix without the use of drugs or external inputs. He’s the one who pushed himself to the limit, eager to put an ending to human suffering. The difference between him and everyone else that promises a way out of misery, is that he didn’t look for this answer in the material, external world.

He knew it was only an illusion. He didn’t offer it at the fair price of $9.99 at a limited price only either. The teachings of the Buddha are free for all, and they only require that you look into yourself.

He quieted his mind to the point where he could hear his inner wisdom, and when it happened, his lens and his filters vanished. He saw things for what they really were. He didn’t see a poor man nor a wealthy man, he saw a man. He wasn’t impressed by material gifts, but rather with love and care (who cares for a sick one, cares for me). 

He wasn’t the only awakened being in history, but was one who decided to teach the way to peace of mind. In this state, nothing disturbs us because we know that we’re all one, which means that the truth of who we are is immaterial.

I believe the awakened ones see the world exactly like quantum physics explains it. Where a huge mass of atoms are guided by an unknown force that organizes and reorganizes these atoms to form things, people, animals, nature and much more.

The force runs through all things and creates unity. It’s difficult to understand because our brain finds it difficult to really picture ideas of infinity and eternity. These are not concepts we can really understand.

The path  requires great desire, discipline, and persistence. Start with baby steps, and keep in mind that once you take the red pill, you can never go back.

“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”