I wrote yesterday about waking up. The waking up I was referring to is awareness…awareness of myself and what I am thinking and feeling, of my life and how it has impacted me. I was referring to my awareness of all that is going on around me right now…observing, noticing, sensing. Living in the moment. Consciousness. In the words of yesterday’s blog, those who are asleep are those who are not aware. These are people living primarily in their own heads. They are thinking and feeling, but they assume that what they think and feel is real. If I see a person agitated, my thought might be that this person is agitated at me because I didn’t prepare his eggs just right. This may seem reality, but the person may be agitated because he had a poor night’s sleep and has a big project ahead today. What the person is really agitated about is real. What I am thinking is fantasy, something I am making up in my own head.
An awake person is one who knows that they only know what they know. I cannot accurately know what another person is feeling or thinking unless they tell me. I might guess and my guess may be close to the truth, but it is still my guess. I might ask them the reason for their agitation. If they tell me their eggs are too hard, I can fix that. If it is the loss of sleep and a big day ahead, I can offer to assist them. But I cannot change their feelings. Over that I am helpless. Awake persons know that they cannot control others, only themselves.
I don’t know exactly what sparked these thoughts. I was thinking about the phrase “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Yesterday I suggested that for some people to wake up, it takes an event that is really dramatic. I think this phrase is referring to the ego. Recovering people often talk about the ego as that part of me that thinks only of me. My feelings are important, more so than anyone else’s. My agenda usurps anyone else’s agenda. My idea about the causes and effects of things are the accurate ideas. What I believe to be real is real. We have words to describe such people. Egotistical, narcissistic, self-centered, drama queen (or king) are a few.
The Buddha sat under a tree one day, as the story goes, and he “woke up”. He woke up out of his dream state that he realized he’d been in since the day he was born. Buddhism, the religion that his followers created after him, is about waking up, seeing life as life is, stepping away from the fantasy world I have created.
“The bigger they are” refers to the bigness of the dream, how deeply have we bought into the dream are creating. A good thing to notice is how angry we get when someone disagrees with us. Very angry…BIG! A little annoyed…not so big. Not annoyed…awake.
“The harder they fall” refers to the bigness of what it takes for a person to let go of their mistaken beliefs. If you ask people in recovery from any kind of addiction, they can tell you stories about big falls. But they are not alone.
One thing I know is that when it comes to waking up, a hard fall can be the best thing that can happen.