Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Waking from Sleep

I’ve finished reading Waking From Sleep, and it’s a great book.  Presenting lots of different awakening experiences from all walks of life, Percy Bysse Shelley is quoted in there, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Henry David Thoreau, Jill Bolte-Taylor, are just some of the examples of people who have been able to see beyond the narrow world-view we are presented with, to have a deep insight into the richness and 'oneness' of everything.

The author, Stephen Taylor, describes two different common experiences, one, which he has abbreviated to the ISLE state, is an intensification and stillness of life energy.  As it suggests, this is a low key experience, often brought about through meditation or quiet periods of solitude.  His high intensity awakening experiences are the more volatile kind, such as with raising kundalini energy.

The author describes his own mild awakening experiences and the routes he took in order to facilitate them.  He explores different reasons for ‘waking up’ at the end of book, and discusses how it might benefit us from an evolutionary perspective.  And he quotes a native Sioux Indian.  ‘We believe that land and people are one.  We believe that only people with an integral relationship to the land can survive.’  And he notes that some contemporary indigenous peoples such as the U’wa people of Colombia or the Kaiowa of Brazil have threatened to commit collective suicide if their land is taken from them.  One Aboriginal elder said:  ‘unless whiteman learns to enter the dreaming of the countryside, the plants, and animals before he uses or eats them, he will become sick and insane and destroy himself’.

It does seem to me that in these times where we are so dependent upon materialism to the point where we’ve forgotten where we truly begin and end, where we place great value upon meaningless things and place self-interest above our fellow human being, that we are in urgent need of change.  There is a beautiful force at the heart of everything, of this I am sure.  And we do need to pursue ways in which to ‘wake up’ to become balanced again, remind ourselves of our place in this wonderful universe.

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