had to add.... (start of a responce)

I had to add this to my journal. It's so well thought out and beautifully written.... and I think this person deserves praise for it. I will responce better when I have more then 3 minutes to get to class, but I had to let him know that I read it and appreciated it. . . .

Input: I am interested, intrigued... I read your entry twice. Still I don't know. Are you awake just because you label yourself that way? How do you know that you're awake? Or more so, how is it that those who are awake can claim to know if you are awake or not? You say that anyone can become awake if they only try, if they are only willing... well, how come then those of you who say you are awake cling together? Shouldn't you help those who are on the border of being awake? Don't take that the wrong way, I'm not trying to "affront you" (for lack of a better way to say it)... but I'm truly curious.

Response: First of all, this is great. Input lets me refine my own thought process…see where I may have made a wrong turn. So no worries…

I’d like to start by pointing out why I’ve always had trouble with the term “awake”. You are perceiving it as something which puts one apart from others, somehow elevating them. I’m trying to show that this isn’t the case. This is why I changed it to being “willing”. But maybe we can stay with “awake” for a moment.

How do you know if you are awake?
At the risk of sounding corny, I’m going to say you just do. How do you know when you are in love…or if you are physically awake? It’s just a mental state…nothing more. As I stated, it has nothing to do with actually being something. It’s more of a process. If I were to say that I feel good, would you ask how I know I feel good? One day you take a deep breath and let it out, and realize that something feels different. You are aware of a discomfort, a sort of weight being placed on you. At this point you have two options, you can ignore it and call yourself crazy, or you can confront it. When you choose the second option you take a step away from everything you know. You have accepted the possibility that there is a problem with the essence of reality itself, and what’s more, you have afforded yourself the power to alter reality in order to alleviate the problem. If this goal sounds lofty, its because it is. It’s a struggle that no one will win. But the fact that you struggle, that you suffer for this, makes you awake…so to speak. You choose to be awake.

Are you awake because you have labeled yourself as such?
I don’t know. To be honest, after thinking about this so much, I don’t know if I’m even awake. I just know I’m on to something…whether I’m a part of it or not seems irrelevant at this point. But it seems to me that my first response also answers this question to a point.

You say that anyone can become awake if they only try, if they are only willing... well, how come then those of you who say you are awake cling together? Shouldn't you help those who are on the border of being awake?
At this point it becomes important to redefine the term “awake” and to rename it all together. I’ve been observing my friends, and I’ve been thinking about character and ego…people’s needs and desires. I speak about being a challenger, and awake…all these terms that somehow endear a form of suffering…and be sure that suffering is all it is. And as I see confusion, I also see understanding in the basics. I’ve had two friends tell me they are trees and want nothing more than that. Upon realizing that my father was visiting, my one friend actually asked to meet him so he could say that he was a tree and proud. I hadn’t really realized what I was doing until he said that…I mean I knew that people were feeling belittled…but not to that degree.
I think that everyone is fully awake…or capable of being awake…or has been awake at least once. I believe it is the natural state of the mind to seek something outside of itself. But the truth is that once you take that step, once you turn to the darkness and open your eyes wide you see something terrifying. And at this point you must be willing. Most aren’t…nor should they be. Maybe they are sane, full of a will to be happy…something the rest of us lack…or lost… But they turn inward, finding solace in family, in God, in a job and a home…in everything that is right and wholesome in this world. Then there are a few, who feel they need to move through the darkness. They take that step into the unknown and in doing so they cut themselves loose…they become the “willing” and the lost.

I’m seeing a mistake I made. Anyone can be willing. But only the willing can be a challenger, and not everyone who is willing is in fact a challenger. Some get lost…and stay lost. A challenger fights his way through…and eventually home.

Should we be spreading this? Spreading what? Pain? This isn’t fun. It isn’t something that you have to try. Its something inside you that either exists or doesn’t, a desire to push beyond what this society, these people, these text books and MTV have laid out before you; its the drive to follow a path that will not be easy despite yourself. There I go again, romanticizing it. But you see…I have to…I have to make myself believe that I haven’t wasted my time…because I’ve given too much to this.

I suppose that in the end, none of this will matter. Whether we are all awake, whether you were willing, whether I was a challenger. These things affect nothing of the universe…the will of man does not extend that far…at least not yet. But what is life to you? What are you doing here? If you can answer that question, you don’t need these words…you don’t need to look through the darkness. You are blessed….

I suppose what it eventually comes down to is a sort of hope. A belief that you have power in this world. And that your mind and will, your soul and desire are enough to mold reality. Whether that reality is the world…or just your world…it doesn’t matter…as long as you think you can…as long as you feel you must…as long as you are willing to pay the price…

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