“This discovery I’m talking about is traditionally referred to as spiritual awakening, because one awakens from the dream of separation created by the egoic mind.
We realize—often quite suddenly—that our sense of self, which has been formed and constructed out of our ideas, beliefs, and images, is not really who we are. It doesn’t define us; it has no center.The ego may exist as a series of passing thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions, but in and of itself it has no identity.
Ultimately all of the images we have about ourselves and the world turn out to be nothing but a resistance to things as they are. What we call ego is simply the mechanism our mind uses to resist life as it is. In that way, ego isn’t a thing as much as it is a verb. It is the resistance to what is. It is the pushing away or pulling toward.
This momentum, this grasping and rejecting, is what forms a sense of a self that is distinct, or separate, from the world around us. But with the dawn of awakening, this outside world begins to collapse. Once we lose our sense of self, it’s as if we have lost the whole world as we knew it.
At that moment—whether that moment is just a glimpse or something more sustained—we suddenly realize with incredible clarity that what we truly are is in no way limited to the small sense of self that we thought we were.
Awakening to truth or reality is something that is very hard to talk about because it is transcendent of speech. It is helpful, nevertheless, to work with some sort of a guidepost. The simplest thing one can say about the experiential knowledge of awakening is that it is a shift in one’s perception. This is the heart of awakening.
There is a shift in perception from seeing oneself as an isolated individual to seeing oneself, if we have a sense of self at all after this shift, as something much more universal—everything and everyone and everywhere at the same time.”
From book: THE END OF YOUR WORLD (by Adyashanti)