What started as a method for quiet contemplation hit the post-modern mainstream and transformed into something hip and cool. And like most things hip and cool, what it really is, is nauseous and difficult to watch.
Behind the epiphanic veil of awareness is a blind-folded zeal of over-confidence. Because you know who else thinks they have great awareness? People who start cults. And psychopaths.
What we’ve gotten wrong about awareness is that it’s this unique-only-to-me feeling of enlightenment. Awareness is the opposite of that. It’s exposure to the dumb piece of shit we’ve been all our lives. Again and again.
The hard-to-watch side of awareness is that it makes us amaze-balls confident. Now that we know ourselves, we believe we won’t do or say dumb stuff anymore. Of course, by the natural order of events, we go on to do more dumb crap and everything comes crashing down once again. You would think this would make us less confident. It doesn’t. Guess who just became more aware!
(Also, now’s a good time to tell you since I am aware of all this stuff about awareness, I am cooler than all you suckers)
When you strip it down to its basics, awareness is knowledge. The scope of this knowledge extends a little beyond everyday decisions. It helps us plan, empathize, and be a decent person overall. That’s about it. Like knowledge, awareness is forgotten, misused, and sometimes plain useless.
The post-industrial motto that knowledge is power almost destroyed half the world. We are falling into the same trap with awareness. Awareness is a bottomless spiral. The farther down the spiral you fall, the greater the fears it echoes.
It’s an exhausting repetition of the spiral you thought you had grown beyond. The deeper you go down the spiral you go, the farther you get away from the surface. That’s the real problem. Because now you have forgotten the fundamentals.
You may become a deep thinker and, give me a moment while I reach out for the vomit bag, say things like – internal bliss and getting in touch with my soul until reality punches you in the face.
Reality is power. It’s always been.
Awareness, like knowledge, helps us become better at dealing with reality, never transcend or overpower it. What works best with reality are the fundamentals. Of listening to the person in front of you. Of caring without expectation. Of forgiving yourself for doing stupid things. Again and again. The fundamental awareness we need is this: you can be both flawed and beautiful at the same time.
But know also that thyself is bullshitting you all the time. That thyself is neither unique nor superior. And that it has no clue about the future. Thyself is a delusional freak constantly finding surprising things about itself.
Stay true to thyself, and never spout that truth like a universal belief. Despite it all acknowledge that thyself is trying hard to become better.
Finding thyself is the greatest adventure you can take on. On this adventure, you have no choice but to enjoy the journey: to remember the fundamentals. Because another truth: Your destination will never arrive.