i really don’t know of a better way to word it right now. for most of my life, i was a quiet and reclusive kid with a few friends (who, in hindsight, were very co-codependent with me and were the type that are ‘joined at the hip’ and therefore pretty unhealthy all-around. ) at age 34, last year, i started to feel something. i read more and more online, and studied about something called dissociation. it clicked. i had, for years, been dissociating as a way to placate myself, to nurse myself (seriously; dissociation is akin to drugging yourself with relaxing drugs in a form which comes from your own chemical makeup rather than taking something external.) i had suffered severe fatigue, to the point of calling off of work and secluding myself at home, for fear that if i drove someplace, my energy would conk out and either leave me stranded someplace or put me as a driver risk. well, not anymore. once i really felt this dissociative happening, i went about wanting to stop it, and to be more with-it and present in life. it is working mostly; it can happen when i get stressed out in an un-escapable situation, like an angry person in close quarters or some other external stress… BUT it is getting ebtter, and i honestly see myself as more self-contained, no longer dependent on others (though their company is nice; but i don’t feel needy anymore like i most-definitely used-to.) anyone have similar happenings? i feel like i have awoken from a dream, in a way; i recently drove out pretty far, to a place that i had pushed myself in pre-awakening state to drive… and the surroundings were ALIEN. like i was in a strange city… then, i saw a restaurant which distinct look and remembered that i was in the right place… then, last week, i re-drove out to the same place and remembered everything from that previous drive! i feel like a new person in a lot of ways, and my behavior is somewhat shocking to a few people (in a good way, to the person that i have thusly discussed it withsort of a pleasant surprise to others.)
I don’t think I have awoken yet, but I certainly see the doors that will lead me to the place where I will finally be awake. The first time I realized there was more to the world than what I had experienced so far in my life, it was during a psychedelic trip. After that, I felt somewhat more open to certain ideas and wanted to learn more about life, love, self-development, etc. I am stuck in an infinite loop of addictive and energy sucking behavior but I am trying to get out of it and as soon as I am, I know I will be on the path to awakening.
Nobody really “wakes up.” The term you’re looking for should actually be “discover a new belief system.” That’s really what happens. You’re never done “waking up.” New information is bombarding us all of the time, and we need to constantly be absorbing and analyzing new information, ideas, possibilities, and beliefs. That’s why I believe the term “wake up” isn’t the right one to use. You’ve just discovered a new belief system. The world still requires your logic and reasoning, and your willingness to accept that you will still be wrong about many things.
If you mean awakening in the Buddhist sense, then about 15 years ago. It means seeing things as they really are for the first time, the universe from beginning to end and your place in it during all that time. It doesn’t result in a belief system unless you want it to. By this I mean that it is possible to reinterpret what happened to you in terms of belief, depending on your own particular circumstances. If you are lucky, you have the change to become the individual you were always meant to be, and then get on with the rest of your life in any way you see fit. For me it was waiting for retirement, then spending the time exploring what happened to me in a way that could be communicated to others.
My big misconception was thinking of awakening as a single thing. There are many awakenings. For me the first one was the hardest to attain and also the most dramatic and terrifying. But I’ve continued to have moments of awakening past the first, and I’ve grown to think of it more as a cycle of initiation. I open up to a new level of awareness, then live with it until it becomes comfortable and then constricting, and then a new level becomes available so long as I don’t drag my feet. This process is probably endless, or culminates in your reunion with the godhead, the source of existence, whatever that may be.
Age 12 completely clean and sober, never smoked or experimented with anything yet. I was searching out the “group” I wanted to be a part of. It was definately the stoners that I found most attractive and interesting. Had tried several times to get high on weed and it just wasn’t happening. This was all under the supervision of my trusted older brother. So finally in 1973 I was at the stove cooking scrambled eggs on a beautiful summer day in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri when my brother came into the kitchen and handed me a tiny little sliver of a thing that was barely even visable with my eyes and said “you want to get high?”. It was 1/4 hit of 4-way window pane. I looked at it and said, your kidding right? This little thing isn’t going to do anything. He said oh yeah it will. Here take this money and walk to Quick Trip (yes that was the real name) and buy me a Snicker bar and by the time you get back you will feel it.
So I pop this tiny brownish clearish little substance under my tongue and off I went for a walk to Quick Trip. I get about half way back and I am in the middle of a field and I see a feather and I pick it up. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. All the beauty in me around me, and all the beauty and wonder that has ever been or ever will be was in me, around me and I was no longer me. I had found my “group” and the group was the universe. That day I became “One”, no longer individual but an intregal part of All. I was Awake! And it was beautiful.
In the middle of the field I pick up the feather and I floated home to my parents house on a Saturday afternoon. With my father, mother, older brother, younger sister and our St. Bernard in front of the T.V. watching W.C. Fields in black and white play pool. You older folks may know this classic comedy. I first entered through the garage to the side door and knocked on the door with the feather. Wondering why no one heard me knocking with the feather, I entered the house and asked. Did no one hear me knocking with my feather? They just all looked at me a little strange while my older brother grinned. I take my seat on the floor and started laughing at W.C. Fields on T.V. and then got into a playful wrestling match with the most lovable St. Bernard on this planet.
Now, my brother signals me to go into his room. We start talking and relating like never before and it was beautiful. Then he starts playing music for me. Asking me what I liked and didn’t like. Jimmy Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane (later Starship), Black Sabbath, Janice Joplin, The Doors, Deep Purple, The Doobie Brothers, Alice Cooper, and of course Pink Floyd. I loved it all and it was beautiful. Beauty, Oneness, Contectedness, and Love are the only words to describe the best day of my life. There really are no words. But, I woke up that day, and I am now 55 years old and WE are beautiful, we are one, we are love. We are here to learn love.
I can’t say that have a specific event in my life that I felt that I “woke up”, but wow I feel so awake, and it’s a fairly new thing to me. I have for the last two months felt an increadible satisfaction with my life, which I’ve had a hard time with before. I used to feel anxious over what I could do better everyday, why my life was much worse than everybody elses, why I was here and not there etc. What I believe I’ve accomplished to get to this stage of “satisfation” is that I’ve started to stop caring too much what others think of me. Also seeing it as that the world doesn’t revolve around me, but around me together with everybody else actually made me wake up from being an insecure, seeking young soul to a fulfilled, accepting and warm person. I finally saw everything so clearly. So to answer your question – I had my first awakening when I was 21 and I hope there are more to come.
I think I really awoke when I was 26, having really terrible social anxiety I distanced myself from everyone and just got consumed in playing games and watching tv. I guess it has been a gradual awakining when I figured out my path for the future. My personal philosphy to find your path is to think of a goal larger than life itself something worthy of dovoting your life too(something to help others is best). You will find that the universe will start providing opportunties as you start to look for the paths to get yourself there.