This is a trick question.
At first glance, you might think I’m asking what the meaning of the word awakening is.
But that’s not the question. WHAT is awakening, is the question.
It's an inquiry of the WHAT or the WHO that we assume awakens, or gets enlightened.
Initially you might think… Well yes, it is the person, the me who awakens.
But as you explore deeper into what or who this “me” is, there is no real answer to the question Who am I, or What am I (the well known self-enquiry question)
Asking WHAT awakens is likened to a Zen koan.
To try and answer WHAT awakens and realize
There is no one who awakens.
It doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. It’s happening all over the planet. But no one awakens. Here we go again with the paradox.
The automatic assumption is there is a person, a someone, who awakens.
And this assumption builds upon itself in a linear fashion
- Thinking enlightenment is something the person can GET
- Learning how to get it
- Taking steps towards it
All of this linear thinking comes from the ASSUMPTION that there is a person who can "wake up".
As I write this I remember the Four Agreements by Don Miquel Luis.
Two of which come to mind:
- Don’t make assumptions
- Don’t take anything personally
The initial response to the question, who is awakening, is usually ME, inferring that there is somebody who becomes enlightened.
This is the assumption.
“Don’t make assumptions”
- Question the assumptions made about who you are.
- Question who or what awakens.
DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
Another one of the Four Agreements.
Going deeper into what is meant by personal, you arrive at realizing there was never a separate person to take anything personally in the first place.
Our identification with thinking we are a separate person leads to taking things personally. When you realize there is no reality to being a person separate from anything, then there is nothing to take personally.
If your brain hurts contemplating that - yay! That’s a good thing. Let it blow up.
When the sense of a separate you, as a person, drops away or collapses, all that is left is no thing, not a solid separate thing, which is simultaneously then everything.
A person doesn’t awaken.
Enlightenment doesn’t happen for a person.
The personal identification with the me-self collapses and what’s seen, is what has always been.
The amazing paradoxical thing is you become free to express yourself as you are in every moment.
The quirky human character authentically expresses the energy that flows through the body without a personal me-based neediness to be someone or get something.
You are unique, but that uniqueness is no longer owned by you.
And it’s totally free.