How is life after self-realization?

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runstrails
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How is life after self-realization?

Post by runstrails » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:20 am

Many of us are aware of our true nature. I call this self-realization. For some it's the end of the road and for others it's the beginning.

I'm curious about what life is like after self-realization. Very few books/teachers address this. And it might be useful to our newly inquiring forum members to discuss this issue.

I'll start:

Life is peaceful most of all (compared to before). When major catastrophes happen (and they do with regularity), there are some initial strong reactions--but mostly there is a level-headedness and things are taken in stride. Similarly when 'good' things happen--the 'high' that used to be is more like a feeling of peace/contentment now.

Everyday is an opportunity to be yourself. The sense of doership decreases daily(especially when life is super busy and there is no time for rumination). Self-referential thoughts decrease (and oddly are often replaced by interesting songs!).

Doubts come and go. But they are not as intense and even when they arise, I now know that before long inquiry will set them to rest. I would say knowledge is 'firm'.

Insights come too--but rarely at the speed during the manic seeking days.

Overall, there is a feeling of 'there is not much to do', 'nowhere to go'. Everything is ordinary but there is an underlying pervasive sense of 'knowing a secret'...the most important secret of all. I say secret because I rarely talk about self-realization with real-world people. I'm in their world and then there is this whole other realization that transcends that world. It's a great feeling, to be your self :D.

I'd love to hear from you too.

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Psychoslice
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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by Psychoslice » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:11 am

Life is the same, but now it all feels bran new, just like when I was a child.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:14 am

I like your list 'trails :D

I'd add - questions and answers sit with the same ease.
Like an awareness that all questions are multiple answerable, for whatever differing reasons we just choose a over b sometimes, c over d --- none are 'the' answer, all are 'an' answer.

We get into trouble from others who don't understand this :lol: >>>> refer back to your list.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by Phil2 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:51 am

runstrails wrote:
I'm curious about what life is like after self-realization. Very few books/teachers address this. And it might be useful to our newly inquiring forum members to discuss this issue.
Before enlightenment chop wood carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood carry water.

:)
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by Onceler » Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:11 pm

The horse is in front of the cart. That cranky, squeaky wheel that was off center and causing a bump is now rolling smoothly. Not sure where we're going, but that last storm cleared and the sky is fresh this morning.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:07 pm

There is of course a long list of issues that have changed and reasons that they did so. If I bundle them all up and offer a short version, it comes down to a paradigm shift in perspective. Instead of always looking out on the world, I can now look in on it. Within that greater perspective I stopped blaming others and outside influences for my pain and suffering. I now recognize that I choose, either through intention, or by past conditioning, how I react/respond to issues that arise. That makes all of life's challenges much more manageable.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by Onceler » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:30 am

Flow, or old joy. I didn't know it was gone until it came back today . I skidded into a bad patch in August. We moved into a new house. I Lost my mother and mother in law within two weeks of each other. My youngest daughter left for Argentina the morning after her second grandmother died, my other daughter left for college week later. Empty house, empty heart.

I wasn't devastated, just empty....grief is such a physical thing, it hits the body hard. I've had an assortment of illnesses and injuries, the most interesting was falling out of a tree with a running chainsaw (no doubt my mom pulled some strings and saved my ass, as I landed on my feet and my ladder caught the heavy limb, bending like a spoon and keeping it from hitting me).

Had a good day today. It was the perfect Autumn day....I worked in the garden all day, went to get some apples at a local farm, ate good food. I felt the old joy rise a little throughout the day, but it never completely caught my attention. Then, tonight I was sitting on the couch talking to my wife and it moved back into my body, displacing some lingering sorrow. It feels very subtle and physical, a kind of satisfied feeling that is not quite peace, not quite joy. Just old joy. It's timeless and what's uncovered when fear and suffering begin to leave....as these leave ever so slowly (one step away, two back), it seems they are replaced in equal measure by old joy.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by karmarider » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:59 am

Good stuff.

There is sanity. I can't imagine what circumstances would lead me to suffer emotionally, though I am not 100% certain that I am completely free of suffering. I can still experience grief and compassion in a an accepting way. I don't think I can experience regret, remorse, boredom or guilt; or it's been a long time since I have experienced these and I don't remember them much. I don't think I can experience lack or worry either, but I am not 100% certain of these.

I prefer to be alone. It's hard to be with other people for more than a few hours at a time. I prefer quiet.

The ego is still alive, but I regard it as a stranger within me.

I can talk to people who are awakening but find it very difficult to explain this to people who have no experience with awakening. I don't seem to have the skill or patience to explain it.

A recent realization is that my world appears in consciousness. Not the other way around as I had thought until recently.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by runstrails » Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:57 am

Onceler wrote: I've had an assortment of illnesses and injuries, the most interesting was falling out of a tree with a running chainsaw (no doubt my mom pulled some strings and saved my ass, as I landed on my feet and my ladder caught the heavy limb, bending like a spoon and keeping it from hitting me).
Wow! Glad you're here to tell the tale, Onceler.
Onceler wrote: It feels very subtle and physical, a kind of satisfied feeling that is not quite peace, not quite joy. Just old joy.
Yeah, hard to describe--old joy is good. I call it a sense of well-being or bliss or peace. Amazing that our vocabulary does not have a word for it....it should be one of the most important words.

Recently, I'm having some challenges at work and like Onceler and Karmarider describe....I can see them for what they are. Not good, not bad....just what's going on. I've also injured my knee and so I've not been able to run (at my usual level for a week). Usually this would be all doom and gloom for me (I'm so addicted to running that even a few days off can really affect me--now, I'm just going with the flow.
karmarider wrote: A recent realization is that my world appears in consciousness.
Agreed. And this consciousness is untouched by anything happening in your world. And to me, that is peace/joy.

I like this quote by Sam Harris (courtesy Gary Weber's blog): "In fact, we can directly experience that consciousness is never improved or harmed by what it knows. Making this discovery, again and again, is the basis of spiritual life."

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by Onceler » Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:20 pm

Nice, Runstrails. I like the Harris quote. I hope your knee gets better quickly. I haven't run since May and the tree incident re injured my healing knee......I know the runners need to run, it really seems crucial, and I really missed running in the last few months.

My other word for that feeling state is flow, but it doesn't quite capture, as it implies movement. Old joy can flow, but it feels more still.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by Enlightened2B » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:06 pm

karmarider wrote:Good stuff.

There is sanity. I can't imagine what circumstances would lead me to suffer emotionally, though I am not 100% certain that I am completely free of suffering. I can still experience grief and compassion in a an accepting way. I don't think I can experience regret, remorse, boredom or guilt; or it's been a long time since I have experienced these and I don't remember them much. I don't think I can experience lack or worry either, but I am not 100% certain of these.

I prefer to be alone. It's hard to be with other people for more than a few hours at a time. I prefer quiet.
I wonder if the bolded part above is due to the fact that you spend your time largely alone (which I enjoy as well and there is nothing at all wrong with). However, it's a lot easier to be present or aligned with your nature when you are less immersed in the physical world, such as a monk or someone living on a mountain. For me, I'm in my 30's, and I am fully immersed with life. I'm dating, attend a lot of social events, dealing with health issues, do some traveling, and developing new careers for myself. Because of all that, it brings up an array of emotions that occur in my life that range from happiness to sadness at different points of my experience and I am learning to embrace it all.

I no longer believe that awakening is about not feeling remorse, regret, or guilt, but instead awakening is about feeling all of that and embracing it all with absolute love in understanding that it is all part of our experience in being a human being . Granted, I understand that you're not implying suppressing those emotions from reading your past posts, but I think the undertone with many is that awakening leads to less of those particular emotions which I say.....is wholly dependent on your experience. If you choose to be alone more often, then chances are, you will have a lesser degree of those emotions with less interaction with other people. However, the more immersed with life and people, chances are those emotions will be triggered more often. That's part of the human experience. I still feel remorse, regret and definitely boredom! And I love it all! Because that's what we are here to experience. It's one thing if fear is running your life and you're projecting that fear onto your own experience (which is also perfectly ok). It's another thing if life is operating from love. Life can still be approached with love and still embrace all of the emotions expressed above. That's been my experience. Knowing, underneath each emotion is unconditional love.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by runstrails » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:46 pm

E2B wrote: It's one thing if fear is running your life and you're projecting that fear onto your own experience (which is also perfectly ok). It's another thing if life is operating from love. Life can still be approached with love and still embrace all of the emotions expressed above.
Seems like you're making a preference for love over fear. Similarly, I would say that trying to decrease emotions like anger, jealousy, hatred etc is a perfectly reasonable thing to do to avoid suffering and actually it happens as a consequence of awakening (even while living a full live). When you realize your true nature and realize that you don't need anything to complete you, then these emotions/desires hook you less and less.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by Enlightened2B » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:26 pm

runstrails wrote:
E2B wrote: It's one thing if fear is running your life and you're projecting that fear onto your own experience (which is also perfectly ok). It's another thing if life is operating from love. Life can still be approached with love and still embrace all of the emotions expressed above.
Seems like you're making a preference for love over fear. Similarly, I would say that trying to decrease emotions like anger, jealousy, hatred etc is a perfectly reasonable thing to do to avoid suffering and actually it happens as a consequence of awakening (even while living a full live). When you realize your true nature and realize that you don't need anything to complete you, then these emotions/desires hook you less and less.
Love and fear are one in the same in that love underlies fear as I see it. Fear is just a clouding of what love really is. So, I don't see it as choosing one over the other. However, I think everyone is different. Awakening is not a static, one sized fits all event as far I'm concerned. I'm not even certain what awakening is anymore, since there seems to be such a plethora of definitions for it. Yet, it seems we're trying it in a box here and I don't think that's possible, since awakening can be distinguished in such a variety of meanings to different people. It also really depends on so many factors including conditioning and most of all what you are doing with your life as far interacting with life itself. So, if we say that in the supposed awakening process, 'this is supposed to happen as opposed to this'., then we're basically generalizing. A person who awakens and doesn't leave their house will likely not have nearly as many emotions triggered off in their life as opposed to someone who is interacting with life on some level. I don't believe in trying to decrease any emotions. On the other hand, integrating them can provide a better experience, so that we are not projecting them outwards. Integrating them means embracing them and allowing them to be in the light of Presence.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by runstrails » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:53 pm

E2B: A person who awakens and doesn't leave their house will likely not have nearly as many emotions triggered off in their life as opposed to someone who is interacting with life on some level.
I don't think this is true especially if one has a firm self-realization. It does take time and effort though.

I think there is a general misunderstanding that decreasing desires (which are a main source of emotions) or simplifying your life means living a less full life. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Gandhi said: "Renounce and enjoy!". Here renounce refers to renouncing the fruits of your actions, or your desires.
BTW, I've made a total generalization above :wink:.

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Re: How is life after self-realization?

Post by Enlightened2B » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:15 pm

runstrails wrote: I don't think this is true especially if one has a firm self-realization. It does take time and effort though.
Do you mean that if one has this self realization, they go through life with not a single worry anymore or nothing bothers them? I don't really think that's what you're saying because that would ultimately make them a robot :) . Then again, I'm not sure what you're implying.

My definition of awakening is a bit different I suppose than yours. I would no doubt agree with you that certain emotions (perceived negative ones such as anger) certainly arise much less with a glimpse now of the bigger picture for me personally, but that doesn't mean anger or sadness don't still arise ever. Of course they do! I have no problem with them arising too nor do I see any reason to suppress them or invalidate them. They have just as much of a place in our experience as positive emotions. I see what they are and allow them to be there. What is more important to me....is checking them every so often to see if I am operating out of love or fear and to see what I am projecting outwards. Is the anger that is arising something I am projecting out or am I projecting more from a place of understanding and love? Fear is when we act out in a state of forgetting who we are. Love is when we outwardly act in a state of who we actually are. No human emotion is a problem in and of itself. Awakening is that which allows you to realize that you are not just....any emotion/mind/body in particular (like the majority of the materialistic world believes). But, all merely is part of something greater. Emotions are part of the great 'Isness/I AM' which is this human body which is part of a greater AMness which is part of an even greater one. All of it merely is just a play in unconditional love at its core.

There are people who have had the most profound NDE's that come back to their body and still have very strong human emotions. Just see Nanci Danison. She's suffered greatly in returning to her body with physical ailments for years after her experience.

Ultimately, I think you and I are saying the same thing, but from slightly different perspectives. It's all good though. :)

That's my take for now.

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