What awakens?

“The memory of your Ancient Home, though seemingly blotted out by your current experience, is there nonetheless. It shines like the sun beyond the clouds. And though you live in a very cloudy world where this sun seems to barely shine through, it is there nonetheless…There is a lifeline to your Ancient Home. It is kept alive by Knowledge within you. You can deny religion. You can deny God. You can claim that you are an animal only. You can create a very firm belief regarding these things. But Knowledge is still within you.” —Heaven & Hell (January 29, 2008)


photos by D. Longobardi

What awakens you? asked a Facebook friend. Social media seems driven by the need to share what inspires, in the hopes–you never know–a flicker of inspiration catches fire and leads to …the thing that has your name on it that is calling for you to awaken.

On those mornings you struggle with getting up, keep this thought in mind — I am awakening to the work of a human being. Why then am I annoyed that I am going to do what I’m made for, the very things for which I was put into this world? Or was I made for this, to snuggle under the covers and keep warm? It’s so pleasurable. Were you then made for pleasure? In short, to be coddled or to exert yourself?” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.1, tip o’th’hat to Spiritual Enlightenment on Facebook

Many things awaken in me enough seeing and knowing to move me to action: the achievement of others, the failure of others, my own failures and discoveries, crisis, necessity, pain.
It’s not unusual to awaken in the morning with an insight or a resolution settled while the body was resting.
I recall a similar question a friend once asked, paraphrased here:
Have you ever had a memory of heaven?

D. Longobardi photo

Yes! As soon as I heard the question, immediately came to mind a time when I woke up one morning strikingly impressed with a sense of a Something Beyond. Then I recalled the possibility of not one, but perhaps two, or perhaps many more of these moments, if memories can be measured like earthquakes, some not registering on the Richter scale.

It was as if to awaken to this greeting*, inaudibly, invisibly, but palpably:
We wish for you all to receive the joy that awaits you.
In our world, there is joy.
There are very few in this world who can contain the joy that we feel.
We are not bound by what cannot succeed.
We are not hopeless.
We are not alone.
                                 —Secret of Heaven 3
The first of these rare moments, when the light of day seemed to convey a message, has always felt like my very earliest memory. A sense of feeling young enough to be swaddled, because secure, comfortably restrained yet awakening to the world outside as if for the first time. A prompt from without: what is that? Awakened but returning to sleep yet never to forget. Blessed and cursed forever to receive the gift of ever-renewable confidence (it is a brand new day each and every morning) and a whiff of smug with that sense of security and trust in the abiding sense of the message felt but not verbalized, like a sleeping virus planted to be put on alert–awakened–at a later time.
What awakens remembering, to combine my friends’ two questions.
Shock of the new or devastating loss can wake the sleeping. Or rather, prime the sleeping prior to awakening.
Each of those rare times, awakening was a discovery of a sense of greatness and magnitude. So I would include one more time, while awake already but allowed a glimpse of the truth on account of maybe it was important to know.
Sometimes at any hour a thought might occur that gives pause as if to wonder, where did that come from?
The push/pull of necessity and desire, those things awaken, I would say.
What struck me most, though, on having an immediate answer to my friend’s question about a remembrance was a small dismay: If that was my go-to memory, is that what I was looking for on encountering the New Message from God? It would take a thorough inventory of these moments indelibly imprinted–though somewhat buried–in mind to realize: oh my goodness, these moments come all the time in this encounter! And another thing: that the earlier occasions were functional, as if to implant a recognition but no substitute for recognition, finally. vol_one