Learning to awaken

Recently, I've been pondering whether we can connect to our inner teachers at an early age, or if it's a sign of maturity. I suspect the early connection is maintained by those of us who show signs of being intuitive, creative or wise beyond our years. For most of us, it comes after several other stages of development. What follows is one of the ways I picture the benefits of relying on our inner teachers occurring within one of my many taxonomies.

Stage One: Any of us with a painful childhood that included some history of abuse will enter adulthood "living in the past". What happened to us becomes WHAT IS the focus of our lives, the direction we face and the basis for the stories we tell about ourselves. All other facets of living are SO WHAT! and kept in denial.

Stage Two: Any of us who have conquered our insecurities, found the courage to move forward and set achievable goals, will find ourselves "living in the future". What we're looking forward to becomes WHAT IS the significance of our lives, our reason for living and our optimism about unforeseen changes. Our burdensome past has been dismissed as SO WHAT. It's behind us now, forgotten & forgiven We let it go in order to move on.

Stage Three: Any of us who have found our forecasts, plans and goals to seem arrogant, controlling and conceited, will find ourselves "living in the now moment". What each moment brings is WHAT IS in need of our full attention, revealing to us what to do next and rewarding us for being immersed in the experience. Our anticipated future has joined our burdensome past as equally insignificant -- SO WHAT! We are in a flow of good fortune with reliable feelings as our guide.

It's as this stage that inner teachers will likely join our party. We are in tune with their timeless world enough to relate and utilize their insights. We feel the same way about time, history and forecast futures as our inner teachers. Our devotion to the now moment puts our trust in the right place and our sights set where they belong. We are open to learning from what happens, rather than making big productions out of "jumping to conclusions about illusions". As we receive and process this inner education, one more change comes over outlook on life.

Stage Four: Any of us who have found a bounty of comforts, answers, guidance and freedoms within, will find ourselves "living in our consciousness". What comes to our feelings, imagination, inspirations and intuitions is WHAT IS our sense of living fully and awakened. What goes on outside our minds appears real like dreams seem. Yet appearances merely tempt, mislead and distract us unless we regard them as SO WHAT!

When living inside our consciousness, we get a sense of Meister Eckhart's recommendation to "become indifferent". We grasp the significance of the recurring advice in the Christian Gospels: "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known". We realize the distinction between mere perceiving and true knowledge that A Course in Miracles emphasized repeatedly.

We may share the Toltec worldview about positions for our assemblage point that Carlos Casteneda introduced to us. We might get the sense to stop indulging, acquire impeccability, display controlled folly, demonstrate sobriety and come from a place of "no pity". With our second attention, we then acquire silent knowledge.

If we were initiates of the classical Greek philosophers (lovers of Sophia- goddess of wisdom) we would have been searching for a way out of Plato's cave where we had been gazing at shadows on the wall thinking that was reality. We would say we had obtained gnosis by knowing what is real in the light of truth and what is an illusion of reality in darkness.

In other words, our inner teachers are archetypal, outside of any particular culture, free to teach us universal truths regardless of our particular frames of reference.

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