Let’s do a quick overview from naiveté to enlightenment, shall we?
In 5 easy steps:
- You are comfortable, innocent, and young – and this is a shallow, and tenuous, conditional, and temporary avoidance of pain.
- When change happens, you feel sadness as the familiar goes, and fear as the unfamiliar approaches. All changes, all people feel this. Bigger fear when you resist death, losses, and undesirable events. Now you feel nervous, anxious, fidgety, restless and concerned. This unsuccessful avoidance of suffering is the beginning of dis-ease.
- Resisting sadness and fear is your attempt to return to innocence and comfort. You also try to affect your circumstance to achieve what you want, and avoid what you don’t want. You believe you are separate from your situation — (a distinct ego) — having thoughts and not wanting the feelings — especially the pain of sadness and fear. This struggle is actually the root cause of your pain. The ego is your collection of thoughts and beliefs. Different from that is your sense of being conscious, we can call it — “I am”. Thoughts and ego and pain are what — “you have”. There is a huge difference, my friend. Think about the difference between “being” and “having”. Struggle is about the having part. Let us also say, that what is meant by “I” will be just this ambient consciousness, not the collection of thoughts and feelings. Silence is consciousness without the noise. It is always present between the sounds.
- Huge progress here — this step works out from the vantage point of the “I” consciousness, which witnesses, and goes with the flow. You now acknowledge the source of all sadness and fear, as coming from how all changes feel. Relinquishing the struggle to avoid or affect your situation, means your identification (ego) with it lessens, and looking and listening increases. You see pain all around, as constant and ordinary. Pain therefore decreases. You are shifting your vantage point from ego to the witnessing consciousness.
- Compassion is the depth of sadness that is common. Empathy helps you gain greater gentleness. Compassion leads to enlightenment. This is because you are based now in your ambient consciousness, rather than the struggling ego. This “I” is a universal consciousness, and gives you great understanding and a lot less personal pain. You no longer struggle; therefore you no longer have pain. You do witness the pain and struggle of others however. Now with compassion and wisdom.