Hide and Seek: The Power of Awareness
All the great philosophical and spiritual paths converge upon a profound quest – experiencing and understanding the true nature of reality. Whether it is called enlightenment, realization, remembrance, illumination, revelation or recognition, these paths endure because they possess the transformative power to expand our awareness, our capacity to love, and our fearlessness.
These various paths, though diverse in their approaches, share a fundamental commonality: The kind teachers of these paths begin by acknowledging our suffering and meeting us where we are in our human experience.
In Buddha’s teachings, the Four Noble Truths commence with the recognition of suffering as an inherent aspect of life. This acknowledgment paves the way for the Eightfold Path, a guide to alleviating suffering and attaining enlightenment.
Christianity, on the other hand, commences with the concept of sin, acknowledging the imperfections and moral struggles of humanity. Redemption and salvation follow as a means to address and transcend these challenges.
In Eastern spiritual traditions, there is an emphasis on ignorance as the starting point. This recognition of our lack of understanding and awareness forms the foundation for the journey toward enlightenment and Self-realization.
What unites these paths is the understanding that genuine awakening and transformation stem from a deep recognition of the human condition, with all its complexities and challenges. By acknowledging our starting point and embracing the path of growth and Self-discovery, we can find common ground in the pursuit of higher consciousness, peace of mind and fulfillment.
Referring to our expedition through life, my teacher often reiterated, “It is simple, but not easy.” The journey is a cycle of hiding, forgetting, suffering and remembering. We hide our true Self, we forget who we essentially are, we endure suffering to stimulate our return to recognition, and then we reveal what was hidden and forgotten.
In the pages that follow, we examine why and what we have hidden and forgotten. We delve into the profound reasons for our suffering and we explore the experience and understanding that allows us to end suffering and reveal what was forgotten.
Clearing away the veils of misperception can facilitate the process of remembering who we are. By understanding our suffering, by nurturing peace of mind, and by recognizing our essential Self, we gain access to the depths within us and expand happiness. It is my sincere hope that the knowledge shared in the chapters ahead will make the journey of life more manageable, less burdensome, and ultimately, more peaceful.