Metaphorically, to express the journey in a linear way, enlightenment and ego-centric stands at the opposing sides of the pole, with common similarities in nature but vast differences in experience. To begin with, before the meaning of the journey came to my understanding, I am one with the ego, identified totally with it without me even questioning or realizing that potentially there is a way out of that space. I am one with it, so to speak. Due to a certain conditioning that is beyond my knowledge, a tiny wise idea pops up in my space showing me the possibility of freedom from this dis-ease, which, in the beginning, was not perceived as a dis-ease at all – for there is no questioning why I was suffering, or rather, I was not even aware I was suffering, taking it for granted as part and parcel of life.
With that tiny light of possibility shined upon me, I begin to be more and more aware of the identification with the self or ego. The wise idea slowly grows in me, showing me glimpses of the possibility of detaching from the ego. Slowly, but surely, developing the skill of observing, I learned to observe impartially with acceptance, thus experiencing the ego rather than being the ego. From being the experience I am now being the observer of the experience.
The journey slowly took on a phase where I see the potential of moving out entirely from the ego into a space that is free from ego. Throughout the journey, the experience is all about observing and understanding the presence of ego, and in doing so the ego is undone. Awareness is key. With awareness, unawareness is replaced. Seeing the contrast of these two experiences, the wise part of me inclines towards awareness, which over time becomes my nature. In the past unawareness was my nature. From the egoic space of unwareness, the mind inclines towards the wisdom space of awareness. Each moment of undoing the ego, is a moment of wakefulness, awakening from the dream state of ignorance.
Momentum naturally increases as the interest towards wakeful state grows. At this point, the experience seems to convey the ego is opposing my journey. It is like the analogy of a stream. When I am looking towards the flow of the stream I am flowing with it. When I turn and look against the flow, the current seems to be against me. Such is the way of contrast. In fact, the perception of the ego opposing begins when the step of observing mind is taken, but it only grows in intensity when the journey gets closer to the other pole, liken the gush of the stream gets stronger from the origin. Thus when I finally arrived closer to the the gateless gate of freedom, awaiting there is the illusion of the stronghold of ego, in the final phase of crossing. This is exactly the metaphor of Siddhartha facing the retinue of Mara prior to his enlightenment.
Being aware it is just a conjuring of the mind, I continued developing wakefulness until arriving at the other shore where I am one with what is there. To say “I am one with” is incorrect as “I am” only exist in the egoic state.
At the end pole of enlightenment, there is one with what is – unidentified. At the end pole of the ego, there is one with what is – identified. At the beginning of one end there is a tiny mad idea, at the beginning of the other end there is a tiny wise idea.Closer to enlightenment, ego is seen as a threat; closer to ego, enlightenment is seen as a threat. Each has awareness and unawareness opposing each other. On one end, the “I” is created; on the other the “I” is uncreated. One is manifested, the other unmanifested. The world is conditioned. Enlightenment is unconditioned.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.