THE “AWARENESS” TRAP!
It’s sad to see so many contemporary spiritual teachers still trying to convince people that they are ‘pure awareness’. That only the Absolute is really really real; that the relative is an illusion and the separate self is a problem to be solved through rigorous investigation.
Why do we divide awareness from all that she illuminates? Why do we divide the sunlight from all that it falls upon? Why do we divide our beautiful humanity from our divinity, creating impossible, inhuman goals and ideals of perfection?
Oh, friends, don’t you see, our messy, imperfect, vulnerable, fragile humanity is NONE OTHER than the dance of the Absolute! Our joy, our pain, our boredom, our excitement, our doubts, our fears, our desires and our longings, our play and our passion are very very precious children in the eyes of the beloved, deeply worthy and never mistakes or stains on the ‘pure perfection of perfect awareness’.
You are awareness, yes, but you are also deeply human, original and wonderful and weird and full of feeling! You are imperfect, vulnerable, a mess, sometimes. You have doubts and you are limited in your organismic nature. You don’t have all the answers. You get it wrong sometimes. You have healthy shame, which is humility! You are willing to admit that you feel small sometimes, and need help sometimes, and you have deeply human needs; willing to let your heart be touched by another, willing to drop the facade and let yourself be seen, naked, open; willing to cry, laugh, make mistakes, fall to the ground in exhaustion or awe or sheer wonder. And celebrate it all. And bow to it all.
Being ‘awareness’ is easy, and yet soon becomes just another protection. “I am awareness” is the greatest place to hide from our human challenges, interpersonal intimacy, and healthy shame.
Being fully human – that takes fucking courage.
Teachers, leaders, gurus, never make awareness into the new god. Never make our humanness less than our divinity. There is no ‘less than’ in the heart. We were not born into sin, only exquisite vulnerability. There is no shame in feeling shame, and there is greatness in our tender human hearts. And such power in our tenderness.
– Jeff Foster