by Adyashanti: There is no easy road to enlightenment…
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.
Make no bones about it, awakening is not a walk in the park. It is a ride through hell. It is the tearing down of all of your cherished beliefs and everything you thought about yourself. There is no way around this. In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, they had to enter into the Mirkwood Forest to get to their destination. There was no other way for them. It was not a walk in the park. Likewise, we must enter the shadowlands, and come face to face with our shadows. It is there that our false ideas of who we are are shattered. It is there that all of our false beliefs are destroyed. We must face these false notions and see them for what they are. This is the only way to heal, to become whole again, to live in integrity.
My good friend, Julie Anne gave a good description of this process in Enlightenment. It is a complete surrender, a process of brutal self honesty. It is a path of complete acceptance of the truth, no matter how difficult it is to bear. I still remember it vividly.
We go through life with so many false notions – of the world, of spirituality and of ourselves. We build up masks and we believe the facades. It’s all a charade. It is all based upon illusions and deceit. We deceive ourselves at every moment, and the world also deceives us at every moment. We live in perpetual cognitive dissonance, justifying the most absurd things in our minds. We constantly lie to ourselves…. and we believe it.
To awaken to the truth that you seek, you must tear down the lies.
But we are too attached to the lies. We want to hold on to the illusions and to become enlightened at the same time. That is not possible. But there are hundreds of phony gurus and “spiritual teachers” that will tell you it is. They offer you processes to become happy, fulfilled, calm, find your soulmate, be positive, get the right job, make lots of money, balance the chakras, become healthy and whatever else you may be desiring. This has nothing to do with awakening. This is only polishing the ego. They all lead you right back into the matrix. You may even be lucky enough to get a golden cage, but it is still a cage, and you remain imprisoned in slavery. This is the road that most people choose to follow. This road is well traveled by the herd.
The road to truth and freedom
It takes courage, discernment and self honesty to walk the Siddhartha road to truth and freedom. Not many people have that. We have been weakened by the onslaught of programming since our childhood. Most people want to remain in the herd, as they find comfort in the company of other deluded souls. It takes a certain individual to break free of the herd. The Siddhartha road is not easy. It is a treacherous road that will shatter every part of your existence. No, it takes a certain type of person to walk that road; a person that is willing to give up everything to find his true Self.
My story was one that took me through so many paths to nowhere; detours, dead ends and off of cliffs. I had to eventually be dragged, kicking and screaming through the abyss by Grace herself, for me to awaken. It was simply my time.
Now the strange thing about this, is that worse things have happened to me before, so why did this hit me so hard? I believe because it was supposed to, for me to transform. I took everything much harder, than I ever did before. Also, everything came crashing down at once. In the past, I was strong, and I kept my sense of self, of who I thought I was. But this time, my sense of self, who I thought I was, gave up. I stopped trying to be strong. I just collapsed.