How to “Integrate” an Awakening Into Your LifePosted: April 10, 2012
A lot of times, it seems that people on the spiritual path have had an awakening into the illusory nature of the “you” but struggle to integrate the realization into their everyday lives.
A look into an etymology dictionary reveals that “to integrate” is derived from the Latin “integratus” meaning “to make whole”. It implies an un-wholeness which somehow can be corrected or, alternatively, a wholeness that can be brought about. Hence, the underlying assumption of “integration” is a sense of incompleteness.
By the same token, when spiritual seekers seek to “integrate” their realization into their lives they implicitly assume that their current way of experiencing or state of mind could be “fuller” or “higher”, or in other words, more complete somehow. The notion of incompleteness, obviously, can only arise if there is an opposing notion of completeness. The “complete” mind-state that is sought, usually, is either some idealized state of the permanent blissed-out kind or some previous experience that the seeker would like to enter into perpetually.
As long as there is the notion of incompleteness, there will be a seeker struggling for its own idea of completeness. And so what happens is that the seekers realization most often just shifts the seeking for realization to the seeking for integration. One goal to struggle for is simply replaced by the next.
What is fundamentally misunderstood by the seeker is not that his or her mind-state or way of experiencing lacks completeness but the realization does. If the realization of the illusory nature of the “you” was complete, then no particular mind-state or experience would be sought after because all phenomena would be seen as equally valid manifestations of the One, of that which is all there is.
It is then realized that there never was an incompleteness, only the idea of a “complete” state or “complete” way of experiencing created the illusion that there ever was incompleteness.
Once there are no more preferences for certain experiences, the seeker for completeness collapses and what remains is non-conditional intimacy with whatever (yes, whatever!) is experienced in awareness moment-by-moment. “Being, here, now” becomes naturally available.
It is in such surrender to whatever “is” that liberation is found.
“What we are looking for is what is looking.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi