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By Heather C. Williams, H.W.,M.

  “Waking up is possible only for those who seek it and want it, for those who are ready to struggle with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently in order to attain it.” ~ Ouspensky, p.156  In Search of the Miraculous

There have been 255 mass shootings in the US so far in 2019. The recent mass murders in Texas and Ohio are fueled by ideology, not mental illness. And, even if they were all caused by mental illness, the question remains, “Why do we make guns so readily available to citizens in a country where mental disease is so rampant?” No matter which way we slice this pie, if we don’t restrict the availability of guns, we will experience the ever increasing loss of innocent lives, PERIOD. But right now, what can we do?

WE MUST CHANGE OUR CONSCIOUSNESS! It is a false sense of identity that creates this kind of hell on earth and this can only begin with each individual sincerely asking three questions to get started on The Journey of Waking Up.

QUESTION #1: WHO AM I?  Stop and ask yourself – WHO AM I? This is the first step toward recovery of any kind. Stop. Breathe. Quietly and sincerely ask yourself: WHO AM I? If you are a young person around the age of 20, you might be getting ready to leave your parents and begin your life as an adult. When I was 23, I graduated from UW-Oshkosh and I was dismayed and filled with a strange kind of WONDER that I had no idea who I am. (PS: This was about 50 years ago. Pursuing the answer to this question guided my life in profoundly valuable ways.) This question (WHO AM I?) is one of the most fundamental, powerful questions you can ask yourself at any age. No one can answer this question for you. You must ask and listen to your deeper self. The deeper, Essential Self is formlessly living within you through all the material changes of height and weight, zip code, hair styles and more. Gurdjieff was a wise teacher who said, “Everyone is asleep to who they really are. We all must wake up!” We all need to learn and practice tools to help us wake up to our True Identity as Consciousness.

QUESTION #2: WHO ARE YOU? We look at people around us and see them as “OTHER”; as forms separate from us. We sometimes react to them. I have learned to stop and ask myself: Am I reacting OR can I create a new response here? I want to be a creator, not a reactor. Let’s agree that domestic terrorism is forcing us to look at how we see others. These mass murders are forcing us to see the truth that there is no “OTHER”; no outside force, no immigrants killing us, no devil doing this to us. We are doing it to ourselves. It is our fear of the ‘OTHER’ that is killing us. Think of someone you react to. Visualize this person standing before you and ask them: WHO ARE YOU? What role are you playing in my life? What am I to learn from you?

QUESTION #3:  WHO ARE WE? We believe we are physical human beings, but this is our limited ego-self. We are more than ego. We are individuations of One Infinite Mind; we are Consciousness, the ability to think and govern thought; but we don’t know much about this. As a society, we face huge problems (climate change, gun violence, etc.) with little understanding of how to work together to solve these problems. Systems theorists describe what is happening today in society as a “chaos point”. A system in chaos is far from equilibrium and tries to right itself by going backward to the old patterns. This is why we see reactionary movements everywhere in society right now. What can we do? We start with asking good questions. WHO AM I? WHO ARE YOU? WHO ARE WE? Barbara Marx Hubbard says, “Our job today is to write a new story of humanity on the fabric of our own daily lives.” Thane Walker, my Teacher said: “Waking up is a process of first experiencing a dis-location to the core of you, in order to re-locate your TRUE SELF.”  If you are feeling a bit dis-located and maybe anxious about things, please know it is part of The Journey of Waking Up. Remember to ask the three questions!

Heather C. Williams, H.W.,M. Artist, Author of Drawing as a Sacred Activity, High Watch Mentor in The Prosperos School of Ontology, retired middle school ART and Special Education teacher.

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