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Awakening by Geoffrey Carlitz

I used to think that God was "out there", perfect, all-knowing, the "source" of all that is, the One who created me. And I was a separate person, suffering, tortured, conflicted, and yearning for release. My relationships with other people seemed to exaggerate my separateness. So I courted a relationship with God, through prayer and meditation, in hopes that He would lead me along a path to liberation and wholeness. So He lead me along a path: there were many gurus, teachers, and spiritual practices, all leading me to the realization of non-duality, that God was not out there and I was not separate, that I am Him and He is me, that there is only ONE, and that I am already THAT and always have been THAT, that THIS is IT!

In this prayer I describe how this realization came to me:

Oh Lord,

My Lord,

My very Own,

My Self,

How can it be...?

I know I owe my life to "You",

But still I think of "me".

I know You are the Only ONE,

but still I'm on the run!

Where can I go?

What can I do?

It always comes back to You!

So why do I even try in so many ways

to escape Your gaze?

All the while I know You're there,

patiently waiting for me

to open my eyes and "see"

my own Real Face

in your eyes

reflected back to me.

In that Face I know I'll see...

my emptiness and purity.

In that Face I know I'll see...

my formlessness and totality.

In that Face I know I'll see...

my timelessness and Eternity.

In that Face I know I'll see...

Only YOU...

Not me.

Problem is "me" keeps coming back insisting that I still have to navigate this world of duality and the non-dual "ONE" can't help me. But then again whatever "I" decide to do it ends up being one with the ONE any way. So it doesn't matter what I end up doing, whether I think it's me doing it or the ONE doing it or no one doing it, it all comes to the same end: THIS....THIS IS IT! "Doing" just happens!

So I tell myself "just do your best... whatever way you choose to go, you can't go wrong".

"Me" is just a convenient illusion anyway. Me or not me it's still ends up being THIS.... this indescribable, ever-present, unfolding mystery!

And paradoxically "me" still seems to need an on-going relationship with God. As long as I'm operating as a separate person in the world I need Him by my side. He comforts "me"...even though I know there really is no He and there really is no me.

Non-duality is "not" a comfort to "me".... it's the end of me! In reality there "is" no me... but I don't seem to live in reality. I seem to live in a dream: "A Dream of Me". I want to wake up and I don't want to wake up... that's the dilemma. 

So I'll keep watching your videos, Emerson. And I'll keep attending your Sunday Zoom meetings. 

Thank you, Emerson, for giving me a place to go where waking up is encouraged, where being awake is the norm, where being awake is actually happening...

Geoffrey Carlitz

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