As we travel down the yellow brick road toward the Emerald City of knowledge we may be asking ourselves “what does this all mean?” There are many terms bantered about regarding those seeking and obtaining knowledge and just as many thoughts about the definitions of these terms. I am going to present what my definitions are; these may or may not be the same as yours. All is perception.
Conscious is a label many have given themselves. This represents an awareness. In my opinion it is the first step, not the destination. To be conscious of a thing is to have a knowing it exists. This does not mean we understand why it exists or the ramifications of it. The term does not have an indication of action regarding the knowing. It is a statement of awareness. An individual may be conscious that there are forces beyond what the average person is aware of. This does not indicate that there is much of a difference than the one who knows and the one who does not know if there is no growth beyond this point. I have encountered a few individuals in the “conscious community” who tend to indicate that the goal is to be conscious. Perhaps this is true as it is a first step, but some fail to mention that this is just the beginning. I have also noticed at this point in development there is at times a cross over from the mainstream, usually in the form of religious type indoctrination, or to the other end of the spectrum, possessing an overt sexual aspect. Both of these ends of the spectrum tend to target women. And as in the more mainstream of this society, both tend to exploit women. This is not to say that all those who teach to bring others into the realm of consciousness fall into these categories, but there are enough to make it very noticeable. As one does become conscious it is important to keep this in mind and be alert to those who would exploit a person’s desire to obtain knowledge.
Then there is the term “enlightened” which many have given themselves. This, to me, means obtaining an understanding (or overstanding, or innerstanding) of the knowledge that one is conscious of. Here again, this does not indicate action. One can comprehend an idea or situation with full clarity yet take no action regarding this comprehension. There are also those with-in the “enlightened community” who present this comprehension as the goal, yet it is just another brick in the road. My observation of this state of knowledge is there are those who develop an air of arrogance. This is indicated by those who are quick to point out that others are not where they are because they do not practice this or that or conform to how they perceive enlightenment to be. I once was privy to a conversation between two enlightened individuals, who for over an hour argued about the correct way to meditate in order to reach a certain level. Each of these individuals knew they were right and the other, though not necessarily wrong, had not yet reached their level. This once again brings to mind organized religion, where there are those who try to prove they are more Christian, Muslim, or Jewish than the next. This is a trap one must be mindful of as they become enlightened.
The next term I would like to address is to be awake. This may, at first, seem to be the first step, but to me it is the third. One can still be a little drowsy yet be conscious and even enlightened to a degree. But once one is aware and then understands, that is when one becomes truly awake. It is at this stage we not only see but also fully comprehend the world around us and beyond. To me this is where the work really begins. For when we are fully awake it is then we have to make a decision. To go back to sleep and forget all we have learned, to remain drowsy yet conscious and enlightened, or to remain awake and continue on the yellow brick road. And once the decision to continue on is reached, we become aware that the Emerald City is not our final goal but just another level on our path. When one is fully awake and comprehends with full clarity, acting upon that knowledge, it is then the knowing occurs. The knowing that there is no end and the knowing that there is no beginning, that they are one in the same. There is no right way or wrong way, for each has their own way, their own destination, and their own destiny.