Oct
31

Beliefs, Opinions and Realizations

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I think there’s a misconception going on regarding what it means to not believe in God anymore from a perspective of spiritual awakening so today when I was out walking I got inspired to write about the difference between beliefs, opinions and realizations.

Some would perhaps argue it’s not the same but from my perspective it is so I will use the belief in Santa Claus as one of the examples in this article. (A belief is a belief).

Once a belief-system is crumbled, it can’t be reversed. (It can be changed and molded, but however it changes it’s still a belief and beliefs are not true so they are irrelevant).

Like for example, even if you wanted to, once you have realized that there is no Santa you can’t go back into believing that again.

The mind can briefly go back to a long-held belief in a weak moment (like the belief in God or Astrology etc), similar to the drug addict that gets a relapse, but with our spiritual growth we learn how to recognize those moments and with time we no longer get caught in old ways of thinking and believing.

We see that it’s just the mind feeling more comfortable being in the same old same old (habits/habitual thinking) and find it’s more safe ‘over there’ in the old because it’s familiar.

When that is seen the seeing gets deeper and deeper until there’s no going back anymore. 

With the process of spiritual awakening none of the things we go through are a conscious choice. 

It’s basically life dragging us through it whether we like it or not. (Some call it Grace).

It’s not like we one day decide not to believe in God anymore, or angels or whatever.

It’s not like we have a to-do list and look at it in the morning going “Okay, lets see, today I have meeting with Ken, and then the dinner at Margaret and Greg’s place, and oh yes, have to remember to buy milk, .. and lets see, oh! I almost forgot, have to let go of God today too”.

It’s not like that.

And it’s not like many Christians seem to believe, that someone who doesn’t believe anymore is somehow angry or disappointed with God so he/she decided to not believe anymore.

That’s not what awakening is about at all.

There might be a lot of frustration, anger, sadness and so on (but absolutely not necessarily as you can have an all loving relationship as well that for example many priests that has had a huge awakening to Truth can attest to) while in the process (leading up to the final let go), but once the revelations hits you, it has no base in those emotions at all.

Again; you’re not angry at Santa either now are you? No, probably not.

You just realized that Santa is not real, and even if you have been disappointed for not getting the new doll you wanted when you were a little girl and instead got socks, that was not the reason you stopped believing.

It’s not like it’s a revenge, like you think “I don’t like you anymore so I’m not gonna believe in you”.

Either you believe in something or you don’t.

If you only let go of God because you’re angry, then you still carry a belief, but now your belief is “There is a God but I don’t like him”, whereas with spiritual awakening to Truth is the absence of God completely. (Like “Holy crap, there is no God! Wow. It doesn’t exist”)

There’s nothing there.

Just like there’s nothing there when it comes to Santa.

It’s just simply not there anymore, so there are no feelings or emotions involved in it whatsoever.

There is nothing to be against, so you don’t go from one group or community to another where they believe differently and then rally for those belief instead of your previous ones.

The belief is not there, and that’s all there is to it. Poof! Gone. End of story.

Some may call themselves atheist, which is totally fine by me, but I personally don’t like labels at all. I don’t want to label myself as being anything particular.

I’m for female power and would like to see more female leaders in the world and so forth, but I don’t want to call myself a feminist either.

I don’t even like the label of being called ‘spiritual’!

It’s limiting. And it has so many concepts attached to it, whatever the label is.

And usually it has some kind of against-ness attached to it; like atheists are against God (they are not against God, that’s not what being an atheist means) or that feminists hate men and all that nonsense.

So when we realize there is no Santa we don’t join a club called “non-believers of Santa”, we just let the beliefs go and that’s that. Or more accurate would be to say that we embrace the realization and the letting go is not something we do, it simply happens

When all beliefs are stripped away, that’s where we discover Truth.

And it has no name or description or label.

A belief system is an idea (or thought pattern) that has been accepted as true but it doesn’t make something true just because millions of people believe the same thing.

And an opinion is a point of view that is open for change.

It’s open for discussion, and we change our opinions all the time (if we’re not rigid in our thinking) while beliefs are very set and concrete.

It’s not easy to have an open discussion or conversation with someone who firmly believe what they believe. It’s like talking to a wall.

All beliefs are illusions, and if we look below and beyond them, that’s when we open ourselves up to the deeper truth, and that can only happen if we question our thoughts (of course an awakening can also suddenly happen to someone even whiteout them having done anything), and when we are open to having our opinions challenged.

That takes some curiosity. Not only towards life but also towards other people and their way of being and thinking. Openness.

Opinions doesn’t need to be defended, and if there is a need to defend them rest assure that that’s a belief and not an opinion.

Opinions should not be threatening to anyone as it’s just someone else’s point of view. It’s neither right or wrong – it’s just a point of view. A different perspective.

That’s all it is. Nothing scary. 

What you think of this article for example is only your opinion and I don’t mind your opinion, it doesn’t threat my point of view and it’s certainly not threatening to my realizations.

I know what I know, and I also know that I can’t ‘make’ anyone know (and I’m not interested in that either) – it’s not teachable.

It’s a discovery each an everyone has to make for themselves.

So it can’t be pushed onto others, it can only be pointed towards and the pointing can only be received if someone wants to receive it. 

That’s what my articles are about – I want only for you to look for yourself (within yourself), but if you don’t, then that’s perfectly fine with me.

I’m not out to save the world or anything like that. I’m not on any kind of mission.

Holding on to a belief-system for dear life closes people down and their perception gets very narrow as they will only see through their already set of beliefs and if someone wants to do that, it’s fine with me. 

Opinions will always be there.

We prefer this over that, we like this and not that and so forth, we may have opinions about politics and fashion and what not, but the moment we think that our way of looking and seeing things is the right way – that’s when we are stuck in a belief system and that’s what hurts humanity, that’s what keeps us closed and alienated from each other.

That doesn’t mean we should like everybody and talk with everybody (some people we should stay the hell away from) and sing Kumbaya with each other around a campfire ‘yes’-ing each other and agreeing with everyone and respecting others opinions.

I don’t personally respect all opinions – some opinions are just plain crazy to me, like people who think it’s okay to beat children or torture animals. That doesn’t mean I’m going to do all I can to make you convert to my opinions.

It simply means we can voice our opinions and we should (that’s my opinion), even if it’s uncomfortable and even if we risk of losing friends and supporters, because what it all boils down to is that we are of no good use in this world if we are not true to who we are. 

And who we are doesn’t need any beliefs systems to hold on to and feel safe in.

So be opinionated – be curious – stay open-minded!

A realization is like an aha-moment, or sometimes it’s a huge revelation and sometimes it sneaks up on you where you one day just suddenly realize that something is not believed in anymore.

A realization is not a belief system and it’s not an opinion.

Once you have seen you can’t un-see, once you have an inner recognition of Truth, you are not able to share it, talk directly about it or build altars around it.

You can’t give it away, sell it or teach it to people.

An opinion can be adopted and then evolve into a belief – if someone charismatic has an opinion about something then someone who seeks the truth may start to think alike (have the same opinions) and if that opinion then is cultivated and groomed and never questioned it develops into a belief and there you have the perfect recipe for religious cults and other belief systems where other human beings are being worshipped and put on a pedestal. 

When you have a genuine opening to truth or an awakening experience, that is when you realize that what you have discovered is not something to believe in or even have opinions about – because it’s beyond all that – it stands by itself and can’t be put into a neat box called this or that.

A realization can’t be created or chosen (decided for) – you can chose an opinion and you can chose (to some very small extent as much of it is programmed since childhood and from our close environments/influences etc) your beliefs, but a realization is something completely different.

It just crushes all those other things and sets you free, it liberates you from more than you could even know you were carrying around with you in your mind.

So many concepts are attached to beliefs but once they are seen for what they really are it becomes impossible to ever take any beliefs seriously again. 

Halloween

Moahahahaha..!! 🙂

 

Just play with that thought for a moment; “what if nothing I believe is really true..?”

When we don’t fully believe in anything we are open to all kinds of possibilities and points of views. This is when it gets interesting too.

When we don’t have our full investment in a belief, we are free to explore life more deeply.

If we are offended because our beliefs are being challenged and we start to defend them, then we shut ourselves out from the delight that it is to learn and discover new things and seeing things from different perspectives.

Belief systems like religion says that God is the creator of all good and if someone takes credit for their own doing (which by the way doesn’t mean boasting about anything) it’s called “pride”.

That to me is devaluing yourself and it’s also false humility to say “oh, no, it’s all God, all glory to God” and that also makes me wonder how you would react if I punched you in the face and said “it was God, he made me do it”, because lets face it, the biblical God is not very benevolent, so then what’s the difference?

We can’t take credit for the good we do, but we should definitely feel shame and blame for the bad things we do? That’s really self-denying and devaluing of yourself.

Putting yourself down basically.

And when “bad” things happen, then it’s all your fault; your “vibration” wasn’t high and positive enough, you weren’t visualizing the right way or clearly enough, or you think “it’s all Karma”, or that there’s a God somewhere in the heaven punishing you for not being good enough.

Pure and utter nonsense!

Read the rest here: 

Truth Doesn’t Need Belief

 

Spiritual Teacher Maria Erving

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Comments

  1. anonymous says:

    Dear Maria,

    Recently I have found your blog, and I have really enjoyed reading it. It is eye-opening. I feel something within me shaken by your words..like everything I “thought” I had known is false. Is the “truth” the same for everyone? Does it feel the same for everyone? What does it feel like? I always thought it would perhaps be perceived differently for everyone because each individual’s experiences are different.
    it really shook me when you say that beliefs are false, I find this intriguing. I felt that I had uncovered some truth, that life was supposed to be fully experienced, all emotions and feelings, not suppressing anything. Just lived, through all experiences, ups and downs, joy and sorrow. The way we live before we learn any religious or “spiritual” doctrine. This realization brought great peace to me, and it’s funny because a deep inner joy/peace that I had been searching for had come over me. I feel something calm in my heart, a feeling of joy/calmness/expansiveness (sorry, there are not any words I can find to clearly describe it) even amidst great pain. As if there is some current to life? There is something that is just life? It supports and flows, but it just seems to be, like a river. To trust in it. I don’t like to think that I believe in gods or a god, but perhaps I still do? This realization scares me…I say I want to know the truth, but perhaps a part of me still does not?
    How does one know truth? I felt I had known it but after reading here I feel like there is nothing. It’s almost a sorrowful feeling.

  2. Maria Erving says:

    It is the same Truth yes, but it can’t be described with words.

    It’s beyond everything we might have thought it was.

    We might have had ideas about how we thought it would be but then we realize that none of the ideas where even close to reality.

    Truth is what’s left when beliefs and ideas has been let go of, and all the letting go first begins with us letting go (of what can be let go of, such as maybe addictions, unhealthy relationships etc) and then life itself takes care of the remnants (which are belief-systems and ideas etc) when all has been let go of and It does the rest.

    Then we suddenly realize we are life.

    And life has nothing to do with beliefs, and the realization hits you that all beliefs are false.

    That doesn’t make anything wrong though. Illusion is just illusion, and awakening is awakening from that, so the one (the person) who did all the letting go is also being let go of, but that is done ‘to us’. (Some call it ‘by grace’).

    It’s very difficult to explain, and I don’t even think it’s possible.

    Truth is not a belief, so you can’t build anything around it (a new religion etc) because there’s nothing to ‘own’ or hold on to. And nothing to teach or sell.

    Which may sound weird and maybe even awful (that there’s nothing to hold on to), but it’s really not.

    It’s liberating (beliefs are like crutches) and it can be weird in the sense that you see clearly what level of consciousness the majority of the world is on and why things are out of whack with reality.

    Because the truth is really obvious (it’s not “hidden”), but it’s cluttered by all the beliefs we hold.

    It can be weird in the sense that you can hear people (Gurus/spiritual teachers) talk about God and such when you see so clearly the duality in that – that it’s simply beliefs and that there is no God.

    All this is freeing, because in the core of reality there is no beliefs that holds it all together. Life stands by itself, and we are it.

    Life should definitely be fully experienced and all feelings and thoughts are to be seen as they are. There’s no hiding, no manipulating, none of those things.

    There’s definitely a part in us that in this process resists and gets scared, and that’s the ego, so it’s ‘normal’ to feel that. (At times it will kick and scream and you might even have severe spiritual temper tantrums).

    And there can be sorrow too, and anger etc.

    It’s part of the process.

    There’s the part of you (the ego) who thinks he/she knows things about life and when we realize that we don’t, that part of us do not like it at all.

    It literally threatens its existence. (Sometimes called ego death).

    The ego (the person we think we are) can never know the truth, and that’s what ‘it’ realizes along the path to awakening and that can make the ego scared shitless as well as furious and sad to the point of deep existential depression and crisis, because in the end, the ego will not be the one that ‘becomes awakened’, and the ego will at some point come to that realization.

    As long as the ego is not taking ownership of the awakening that is, that happens a lot and it often happens when the person has a spiritual experience and then thinks that that’s the Great Awakening, when in reality it was just an experience and not the whole thing at all. (http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-versus-being-awakened)

    But as long as we keep wanting the Truth (and not get stuck in a memory of a spiritual experience that happened once in the past), the truth will show itself and this happens naturally as you always stay true to what is true for you right now and you go with life and you listen to what it wants to show you.

    In that regard the process is very personal/unique and the experiences are different depending on our own journey which obviously differs from other people, but in many ways its also very similar as the ego is the ego, but some has more ego structure to get crumbled.

    Not all people have addiction issues to work out for example, and not all people go through trauma that has to do with death in the family and so on. Not all people have deep rooted beliefs like religious beliefs for example (or new age beliefs) that they might have been carrying around for many decades etc.

    Some people’s ego are stronger than others etc. (A strong ego resists more).

    We all have our own path to go, but once Truth is realized you will know it’s the same for everyone.

    Life opens up for new insights and revelations as you follow what is true for you right now and not so much trying to understand what the truth is because the mind never can anyway. (Even if it wants to).

    As the awakening deepens the less we know and we come to realize that we don’t really know anything. And that’s what it is ‘in the end’. (Not that there’s a finish line to any of this).

    That we don’t know, and that’s a really liberating thing if that makes sense:)

    Here’s a few of my other articles that came to mind that might be helpful or interesting to read: (Some might be for members only as I don’t remember them all).

    http://mariaerving.com/feelings-come-and-go

    http://mariaerving.com/no-resistance-to-feelings

    http://mariaerving.com/the-ego-will-keep-re-creating-itself-until-we-realize-who-we-are

    http://mariaerving.com/back-to-ego-consciousness-spiritual-awakening

    http://mariaerving.com/feelings-come-and-go

    http://mariaerving.com/from-person-to-presence

    http://mariaerving.com/ego-panics-1

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-from-the-false-self

  3. anonymous says:

    Thank you Maria for your response, it is very thoughtful and helpful, thank you. 🙂

    Just a few more questions for you, when one realizes the truth, or awakens, would this person still have desires? How would they feel most of the time? Can we ever feel/know “truth” at times but have it go away?

    Do you still feel that it is good for people to follow their intuition/heart? For instance, we can say that one person reads what someone else wrote, but the information doesn’t feel true for this individual (there’s an internal disagreement.) But for the author it is the truth, and he insists that it is so, that he has awakened, that the truth he writes of is “it”. What would the truth be? (sorry if this doesn’t make sense!)

  4. Maria Erving says:

    Yes, you still have desires and preferences but the difference is that it’s more like life desires through you. (You want what life wants and that can be something totally new that you didn’t desire for yourself before).

    It’s more relaxed and the feeling of not caring so much if they come true or not.

    It’s not like the ego’s desires where it wants what it wants and will do anything to get it.

    Motivation to attain or get things or experiences actually diminishes or goes away completely.

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-ambition/

    It’s more about moving from inspiration, and when not inspired it becomes almost impossible to move, even if we want to (that’s the ego who feels threatened if we don’t always ‘do something’).

    Preferences will also still be there, and I know that in many spiritual circles desires (and preferences) are seen as ‘un-spiritual’, but that too we wake up from.

    It’s just an idea (belief), because life always wants to live – it’s not a stagnant place to live from, it’s always moving, even at times when it seems like nothing happens, life is still moving.

    So yes, we still prefer this over that.

    http://mariaerving.com/preferences-likes-and-dis-likes-are-not-the-same-as-desires-spiritual-misconceptions/

    Life will still go on, it’s not an end place where we live from blissfully ever after.

    That’s a myth 🙂

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-not-the-end-of-path/

    My view on this whole spiritual awakening process is that it is a process and then it deepens and as it deepens (which can take years and years) it deepens into enlightenment, and that is a maturing process.

    And I’m not ‘done’ yet – just to clarify that:) And I don’t have a desire to become anything either, it has never been a goal of mine. I didn’t chose this and I have no control of any of this. (http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-was-not-my-choice)

    The last sentence you wrote is exactly what I mean when I say that Truth can’t be given or taught etc to other people and that all people have their own path to go, so whatever resonates with you at this time in your life, that is what you should follow (follow your intuition and what is real and true for you), and don’t take anyones word for as “the Truth”, because as I said, it’s not a belief-system that someone can simply accept to be true.

    What you don’t feel resonate today might resonate later, one should always go with ones own heart, definately.

    And someone who insists on knowing the Truth does not really have a clue at all.

    It can’t be pushed on anyone and no one can own it and make it their own (so no one can write about it, only point towards it, which is in the direction of everyones own heart, and the heart knows the truth), so there’s nothing left to do for every individual but to inquire into it themselves (http://mariaerving.com/inquire-into-stillness) and then the realization happens when it happens.

    Someone who insists on knowing the truth is someone that has had their ego awakened (there’s a lot of spiritualized ego’s out there who have had a spiritual experience and then think that that’s It).

    Always follow only what is true for you and that commitment to Truth will respond to that. http://mariaerving.com/what-it-means-to-serve-truth

  5. anonymous says:

    So the “truth” for someone can change over time? Let’s say that at one point someone is unable to know something (it is too dark for this person, brings up too many difficult feelings that he feels unable to deal with), but later on, when he is ready, the information could ring true?

    The “comprehension” of truth/enlightenment is different for everyone? It comes through in different ways? (according to experiences, belief systems, resonance to information, cultural influence, etc.) This would be why certain information evokes awakening in one person and not the other? Why the author’s experience may be “truth” for him but not for a reader?

    Can an awakened person still have intimate romantic relationships or relationships with their family and children? Still live “in the world” and have “active lives”? (Not just meditation or sitting and observing. Sometiems it seems that spiritually awakened people become recluses or no longer have any “close” relationships with other people.)

    To me much of what you describe as “spiritual awakening” seems like surrender and acceptance to life, just a really natural state, no longer trying to force everything, letting things be and acting on the moment’s inspiration. Much like how young children live. Just free, not consumed by thoughts and agendas, free and light, feeling whatever is in this moment.

    Sorry if I repeat myself in writing you so many questions, it’s just that there are so many. My mind is just trying to understand, even though it will never be able to. 🙂

  6. anonymous says:

    Can awakened people have different opinions about various topics? Such as how awakening happens/what is is/feels like?

  7. Maria Erving says:

    No, it doesn’t change. I think it has even been called the changeless and unborn which can never die.

    Such-ness, or Is-ness.

    It Is. That’s what you can say about it really. And it’s the same for all.

    What I meant was that as that which is not true is let go of, then that which is true can reveal itself, so what is true for you right now (which is not the same as the Truth) is what you should relentlessly follow and then when Truth reveals itself you will know without a doubt that that is it.

    And then you can’t share what that is with anyone – lol! 🙂

    Because it’s indescribable.

    Enlightenment is a maturing process that the deepening of awakening moves towards, and it has nothing to do with belief-systems, information/knowledge, cultural influences or anything.

    Whatever an author attempts to write about the truth is not the truth – because it simply can’t be described, at all.

    Of course someone who is awakened can have relationships and families and so on. (Life will still go on: http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-not-the-end-of-path/)

    Some people might have very active lives while others might sit in a cave meditating all day long, one can never know how life will move and in what direction.

    But you will want what life wants, whatever that might be for you.

    It is a natural state yes, it’s like life is living you and you just go with it.

    The surrendering into that flow is part of the process and when that part is done with so to speak there’s only life living itself as and through you.

    Yes, children are not as programmed as adults are, that’s why I believe it’s important to always encourage children to think for themselves.

    No worries at all, I love a good conversation so ask away:)

    I will log out soon for today but have a look at the links I have shared with you and comment on them too as much as you like and I’ll reply when I can:)

  8. Maria Erving says:

    Just saw your other comment.

    Yes, you will still have opinions about things. You will still feel anger and sadness when you see other human beings or animals suffer. You will still prefer sunshine over rain or the other way around. You will still live out your humanness.

    The awakening can happen in many ways yes, it can happen to someone who has never even been interested in any kind of spirituality at all just as it can happen to someone who has meditated for decades.

    No one can know how or when, it just happens. (And we can’t ‘make’ it happen).

  9. anonymous says:

    Thank you Maria for answering. I write to you because I feel that you are speaking the truth, there is a sense of calmness I feel from you (and it’s in your eyes).

    This reply will be especially long, more and more questions come, so if you are willing to read all of it, a very big thank you 🙂

    Right now I am still “focusing on something to manifest in the future”, a longtime desire that I have wished to pursue, to have happen. For a years I have been really attached to the outcome, and this has caused me a lot of suffering because it hasn’t been attained yet. (Especially because I haven’t been “disciplined” enough to keep with the “daily action” that is supposed to help it become real..) But focusing so much on this distant desire has caused a growing discontent with life now. There has been so much time when I haven’t really been “here”. I feel regretful for having “wasted” so much time. Recently I find myself more interested in just enjoying day to day life, today, here and now, etc. My ego still wants to experience this desire, so I continue to regularly do the things that I think will “bring me” to this desire. Of course attachment remains, but less so than before as it becomes more important to me just to enjoy and experience real, physical life, and to not be so consumed by desire or a specific outcome all the time. I just wish it would leave me, that I could let it go, but I still hang on to it. There is so much resistance. Why won’t it just die? :/ Or maybe I’m approaching this completely wrong? I have been pushing down fears and avoiding reality for so long, now it’s hitting me in the face, very forcefully, and there’s no choice but to confront it and keep trying to “manifest” things that I think I need.

    I’m afraid that if I drop this desire, suddenly I will just do nothing, lay in bed all day, live with hopelessness and no motivation or curiosity. Nothing will carry me through to live or do anything at all but observe. (Of course to the mind this is frightening!) This “painful” and “hopeless” emptiness will be there (or come back..), and that I will become a recluse who can never experience intense joy or be able to connect the same way with people again :/

    Over the past 5 or 6 years I have gone through cycles of being drawn to manifesting/law of attraction/mainstream spirituality, and the truth as you speak of it. During this time I have read a few other accounts of people who state to have experienced what you have, and whenever I read this, a part of me becomes so incredibly scared and resistant, it is the worst feeling, words cannot describe it. I have found myself wanting to accept the “truth”, that there is nothing, no “me” or “higher self”, no pervading spirit in nature or all things, attachment is suffering, you must “die” before you physically die, etc. I become too afraid of the “truth” so I run away from it, every time, it is too much to take in from where I am. But the people who write about it say that it’s so freeing, it’s true “bliss”, etc. I don’t know why I am repeatedly drawn to this information, but then pulled away. The suffering can be intense enough for me with the pursuit of my “desires”. I wonder if I will ever ‘awaken’, if the “me” will end up dying in this life. On one hand I want to (ironic since “I” is mind!), on the other I am incredibly scared and feel that if this happened life there would be no more caring about anything and that this would bring a state of despair/emptiness.

    I have been feeling increasingly better/more accepting since I have been learning that one should predominantly feel joy in life, trust the universe, act on personal desires and go with the flow, etc. I have been feeling happier, my mood has been better, I feel like people and events “respond” to me in a more “positive” way. I feel more of a sense of joy/peace from within. But I am still always searching for more information, validation of thoughts and beliefs.

    Can ‘awakening’ occur after physical death? Or can it only happen during a lifetime? (this is really mystical/mainstream spiritual, but just curious.)

    Are there some awakened people who smile a lot? Sincere smiles, feeling filled up with joy in their heart, not “fake smiles”. Just a feeling of contentment that naturally comes through. A bounce in the step while walking. Do they tend to “attract” more “positive” people and events to them? (without trying to)

    is there any part of the world with a high concentration of awakened people? How rare are they?

    So that’s why there was this feeling of joy and flow as a child 🙂 No pushing, just here and now, a feeling of underlying joy and acceptance, but it wasn’t the feeling of having to “give something up”. Before learning that one should do this or that, life should be like this or that, believe in this, etc. Do adults tend to experience time going quicker because they are not in the present?

    Is there any one who is a teacher of mainstream spirituality/achieving goals/LOA who knows the truth, but just explains it in these false terms?

    Do awakened people have goals? To pursue something but not be attached to the outcome, more for enjoyment or just feeling drawn to do so? They may do things everyday that could help this goal become real, but they do these things because they feel drawn to, not in order to attain a specific outcome. Can someone who is awakened still have his desires “manifested” into his life, but not because he was pushing towards them? Could they be financially wealthy, or just enjoy material things, even if this would not be seen as conventionally “spiritual”? Do they still feel attached to loved ones, saddened if something perceived as bad happened to them? (sorry, I could not read the article you linked to)

    I am getting the feeling that learning about “spirituality” often takes people further from awakening than bringing them to it (but maybe this is not so, as it could bring one to the point of complete surrender and realisation that life just is.) It’s as if striving more and more, learning more and more, just puts people in more confusion than just living oblivious to any of this “spiritual” information. Just living and accepting life as it is, doing what can be done today, accepting the ups and downs in life, etc. (maybe this would just be “normal” living? or “non-spiritual” living?) would be closer to the awakened state than that of the average “seeker”.

  10. anonymous says:

    For some reason what you write about awakening and truth doesn’t scare me as much as similar information did in the past. It still scares and startles me, but not as much as before.

  11. anonymous says:

    I feel there are so many scary and endlessly dark places inside of me, they are so frightening to uncover, but even though I feel more joy/peace, they are still there. I have been actively trying to uncover more of them over the past few months, and every time I feel another, I come out feeling “stronger” than before (a quiet strength, more of an unwavering feeling, this is perhaps more mainstream spiritual). I still fear so much though, I have so much fear that everything will fall apart, that the feeling of peace/acceptance will not last. I fear so much falling into utter despair, pain, and darkness again. Having to go through more of those cycles of suffering and release. My mind plays a lot of tricks, it is good at persuading, sometimes I feel that it’s best for me to stay away from the “truth” as you speak of and go on living from a “lighter” place, keeping world views, keeping “hope and trust”, etc.

    Do awakened people still have these deep feelings of pain/suffering within them?

  12. anonymous says:

    I’m afraid that something will push me to “awakening” and everything in “my life/identity” will fall apart. That I will no longer “desire” or “prefer” anything, that there will be no more “joy” and “excitement” in life (ego tricks, I understand). It’s almost as if it feels better to hold on, to keep looking outside to validate what my “heart” tells me (is my “heart” just wishful thinking? How do I know it is true/truth?)

  13. Maria Erving says:

    What you’re describing is not unusual at all and it can be helpful to know that others has had similar fears and thoughts etc too.

    Not me personally though when it comes to the truth as I have always been committed to it (which doesn’t mean it has always been easy, far from it), but many share the same fear of it as you do. (They fear they will lose something, but all you ever lose is that which is not Truth).

    But know that there’s a part of you that truly wants it (and you expressed it yourself), and will eventually get it (realize/awaken to it) too, no matter how much you resist. Life always gets what it wants. (And you are life).

    Belief systems can be abruptly crushed (a sudden awakening experience which usually is very liberating and blissful), or it can be a subtle and slow process as well where the stripping off of what is not true and real happens gradually.

    (Like for example the concept of law of attraction and other new age stuff that the ego likes, they all fall away, sometimes in a sudden realization and sometimes the awakening from concepts and spiritual ideas is gradual).

    Have a look at my archives (it’s in the sidebar) and go back to 2009 and read some of my articles from back then and then the newer ones to see how my process has evolved over the years.

    Maybe you can relate to the things I have been through and see if you can recognise your own processes in my writings over the years.

    Fear is usually always part of the process for everyone, and I mean the terrorising and agonising kind of fear. (It’s not going to be like that forever though, it’s only a part of the process. Most important is to not shun away from any of it).

    I also invite you to become a member of my site. (http://mariaerving.com/membership)

    Then you’ll have access to all my articles and you can use my Ask Maria-service too where you can submit questions and topic requests to me. (http://mariaerving.com/ask-maria)

    Or you can schedule a session with me (on Skype) and we can have a deeper talk about all the things that you are going through and experiencing right now as it is much easier to speak directly with someone who has a lot of questions. (http://mariaerving.com/sessions)

    Here’s a few articles that I think you might find helpful:

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-from-the-false-self/

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-growing-pain/

    http://mariaerving.com/the-ego-will-keep-re-creating-itself-until-we-realize-who-we-are/

    http://mariaerving.com/ego-resists-light/

    http://mariaerving.com/keep-looking-within/

    http://mariaerving.com/how-do-i-avoid-being-swept-away-by-ego/

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-has-nothing-to-do-with-pleasing-the-mind/

    http://mariaerving.com/maria-erving-background-and-bio/

    http://mariaerving.com/still-looking-for-happiness/

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening/

    http://mariaerving.com/fear-of-having-to-go-back-to-illusion/

    http://mariaerving.com/back-to-ego-consciousness-spiritual-awakening/

    http://mariaerving.com/spiritual-awakening-and-feeling-lost/

    http://mariaerving.com/with-spiritual-development-fear-and-worry-disappears/

  14. Maria Erving says:

    I would like to add one more thing as well that came to mind and that is to ask all those questions you have when you meditate and sit in stillness just being alone.

    To maybe actually take a day or two away from all the information-seeking online and in books and so on and instead spend some time alone, maybe go for long walks in nature in stillness etc without any distractions at all. (Focus on yourself and not other people and their processes or where they might be).

    Ask the questions within and see what comes up.

    As cliche’ as it sounds, the answers are all within you already. (Knowledge/information comes from the outside, wisdom/insights from within).

    “What is the truth?”, “What is real?” , “Who is afraid, and who wants to know what is truly real?”, and so on.

    Ask them in a way as if you kind of dropped them into consciousness and then you ‘wait’ for the answers (you’re attentive rather than seeking and looking) rather than trying to hear them if that makes sense.

    You listen without trying to listen.

    http://mariaerving.com/who-am-i

    http://mariaerving.com/inquire-into-stillness

    http://mariaerving.com/self-awareness-questions

    If you decide to do this then feel very welcome to report back and share what you found:)

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My intent is to have people think independently, feel deeply and honestly, and move into a higher knowing of themselves.