By Heather C. Williams, H.W., M.
I do not know how you handle your daily email. I have a desktop computer, a portable computer and a cell phone. For some time, I managed my email messages on all three machines several times a day. Checking, deleting, writing and responding on three machines! It took lots of time and energy. It was TOO MUCH! Finally, I woke up to the unnecessary habitual stress of this. I removed the email function from the phone and the desktop. It is now much better dealing with emails on only one computer. This, to me, could be an example of WAKING UP.
What does it mean to “WAKE UP”? Well, every morning you wake up, right? The truth is that whether you think of this or not, every morning you enter a brand new day with unknown possibilities. Few people are prepared (mentally and emotionally) to be open to the new day with its unknown something. Most people enter the new day thinking of the same old habits, problems, tasks, routines…unless we consciously remember, “Hey, this is a brand new day!” and we take charge and BE open to something new.
The teacher, Gurdjieff, tells the WAKING UP story like this: Most individual humans live their whole lives completely unaware of their true potential. They are asleep to their true identity as Consciousness or Awareness and believe themselves to be limited, physical, material beings in a physical, material world that is separate from them. It is as if most humans live in the basement of a four story home completely unaware of the three stories that exist above. The basement can be viewed as “sleep”. Each of us, to some degree, is asleep to our True Identity. We stumble around in the basement of our consciousness, playing the victim, “poor me”; blaming others for our situation; unaware of our true potential that is just upstairs in our higher consciousness…available to us as we begin to practice THE WORK.
THE WORK begins with curiosity. Good questions include: Why is this happening? What is causing this problem? Do I have to have another drink? And the best and deepest question to ask yourself is: WHO AM I? Answer: I am not my mother; I am not my father. I am not anyone but me. But WHO AM I? What is my purpose for BEING here in this life?
Are you ready to begin the WORK of stepping out of the basement of your life? Are you ready to let go of old conditioning, habits, patterns? Are you ready to create solutions? Are you ready to explore the foundational spiritual teachings of all humanity – all of which begin with the simple phrase: KNOW THYSELF? You will need tools and thankfully there are tools.
I learned valuable tools in The Prosperos School of Ontology. (Ontology stands for the science of BEING.) I am a High Watch Mentor in this school, and one cool thing I learned is how to use my personal problems and stories as signals to wake up, explore the patterns of my unconscious mind and to solve the problems. I think you’ll agree we live in a “word-built world” where pretty much everything we see or sense is defined verbally. Word-tracking is a great tool to begin “Straight Thinking in the Abstract”. Let’s explore a few words.
SELF OBSERVATION = The essential tool to Know Thyself is simple self-observation. “Buddha calls it watching. Krishna calls it meditation. Jesus calls it witnessing. Mister Gurdjieff calls it self-observation. Unless I come to know myself, I am driven by habits which I do not see and over which I have no control; I am a machine, a robot moving in circles. I imagine I am conscious because my eyes are open, but habit is unconscious. Inside I am asleep.” ~ Red Hawk, in his book Self Observation. The word ‘observe’ comes from the Latin word observare and means to ‘attend to, or, to look towards’.
ATTENTION = The dictionary defines the word attention as “the mental faculty of considering or taking notice of something”. The original Latin word “attend” means to “BE PRESENT”. To be present and paying attention is to BE AWARE. When you pay attention you are present as AWARENESS. In other words your identity is awareness.
IDENTITY = The word identity comes from the Latin word ‘idem’ which means “same”. My Teacher, Thane, taught me to “learn to live back and forth between matter space and mind space.” Matter space identity refers to the local, physical, ego self. But there is more to me and more to you than our ego self. Mind space identity refers to our True Identity as MIND or CONSCIOUSNESS or AWARENESS. THE WORK helps you begin to free yourself from old unconscious patterns, false beliefs, habitual interpretations of the ego and to BE PRESENT as MIND or CONSCIOUSNESS or AWARENESS.
PROBLEM = The word problem comes from the Greek word ‘problema’ which is made up of two words; ‘ballein’ = to throw, plus ‘pro’ = before. So a problem is something that is thrown before you for you to deal with. Well, let’s play ball and create solutions!
Every single person, myself included, has unique individual problems. Some people stay in the basement and complain or blame others for their problems. Some are getting curious, searching, wondering, “Is this all there is?” Your questions are like keys that will open the door to your higher potential. Today all of us together, as ONE HUMANITY, face huge global problems. To solve these problems we must WAKE UP to our True Identity as Consciousness. Consciousness is how we are all connected and able to work together to solve these huge problems which include: climate change, poverty, migration and refugees, toxic chemicals in our food and water, gun violence, gender equality, wars and more. We have within us the ability to solve our problems but to create solutions to these problems – we must WAKE UP!
If you are interested to learn more about The Mysterious Journey of Waking Up, Heather offers free monthly online ZOOM TALKS, free personal meet-ups at the Common Ground Cafe in Middleton as well as many classes (drawing, painting and Prosperos tools). Heather is the author of Drawing as a Sacred Activity. Her website has free drawing lessons, links to her talks, registration for classes and more: www.drawingtogether.com