If we are not in the state of awakening and enlightenment, then we are still in the state of slumber and drowsiness. This awakening is not that we wake up from our sleep and aware from our dormant state. It is very difficult for the soul to wake up from its deep slumber without the guidance of Truth. Buddha in Sanskrit means the awakened one and it describes a person who has come to the understanding of the Truth and reality of life. It is to wake up from the delusions of the transient world of illusions.
We can look at the meaning of being awakened from two points of view. Firstly, being awakened means to be conscious or aware of what is going on around us. If we are wide awake, then no thieves would dare to steal the treasures from within us. Being awakened also means realization that is to understand the real and true purpose of life. When we come to this realization, we can put together and manifest fully the precious divine qualities in us. Unfortunately this is not easy to achieve because most of the time we are still lost and trapped by the colorful world around us. Our basic senses, like what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think, often deprive us of our peace of mind. This is akin to our precious treasures being stolen without us realizing it.
Secondly, to be awakened is to come to the realization of ones True Self. He makes sure that whatever he says, acts, and thinks are faultless. He maintains tranquility in his sensual organs. He gives convenience to others. He makes no distinction between himself and others. He conveys the Truth to others so that all, including himself; can become Buddhas. He vows to save the world out of his mercifulness.
If we are not awakened then we will find it very hard to let go of attachments and do not know how to untie entanglements. Many people would do anything to acquire what they desire to the extent of jeopardizing their own integrity and morality. They may act unscrupulously and ruthlessly to fulfill their innermost desires induced by the six senses. Such unrighteous behavior of mankind is a consequence of the attachment to the myriad worldly objects. The attachment to the temporal world will give rise to all obstacles and entanglements.
What do we mean by obstacles? The path of Truth is originally bright and smooth. It is because we choose to act in opposition to our conscience that our heart is then fill with guilt and remorse. The path thus becomes rough, narrow and full of pains and sorrows. We were originally a liberated soul that was free from troubles and worries. It was due to the attachment to the physical world that we became blinded and confused. We then cannot be the master of our destiny unless we are awakened to the Truth of life and its purpose. Fate will then determine our lives but if we are awakened then we can change our fate by knowing how to let go of attachment and untie the entanglement that can suffocate us to death.
The saddest thing of all is that we have been entangled in the worldly realm for too long that we are used to living in such manner and considered it as normal for human to live, grow old, fall sick and then die. We are confused and lost and our sense of spiritual awareness may not be deep enough to help us out of this misery. Sufferings become normal and thus we live in this world helplessly and lack the courage and wisdom to find a way to free ourselves from all these entanglements. Fortunately there are people who are awakened to this misery and search for the Truth to end this suffering.
We all wish to live a meaningful and fulfilling life that will end up with the attainment of eternal life like the previous Saints and Sages who managed to transcend the cycle of birth and death. To achieve this, we must firstly recognize that the worldly realm is not our real home and the physical body is not our true self, it is the false self. We know very well that one day we will all die. There will be a time when this body is no longer usable. When our time is up, we need to leave our body and everything we possess behind. Therefore, this body and this world are actually not ours and thus cannot be depended on but however, we need this body to save the true self, meaning using the false self to save the true self.
In the teachings of Tao of Heaven, we say that an awakened lives in the adulterated society, yet he is not tainted by emotions and desires. He devotes himself to the spreading of Tao to the world, transforming Hell into Heaven. He points out Tao of Heaven to those who are lost so that they can also realize their True Selves. He acts according to Tao. He will correct all his bad habits, perform good deeds, speak only of the Truth, practise only Tao, take only what he justly deserves, think of only righteous thoughts, be honest, and have an everlasting reputation by establishing his virtues. He takes ferrying those who are predestined to encounter Tao of Heaven as his mission. He vows to save the world out of his mercifulness and spread benevolence, justice, virtues and the truth.
This is the advice from my Heavenly Teacher JiGong, Everybody can become Sheng-Xian (saints and worthies); everybody can become Xian-Fo (angels, immortals and buddhas). It only depends on whether the person has aspiration or not. So long as one has aspiration, one can cultivate no matter if one lives as a commoner or leaves home and lives as a priest, a monk or a nun. For those who have aspiration, although they live at home, they would regard their wives or husbands as friends and their children as companions. The worldly affairs cannot pollute them and conjugal love cannot bind them. They take the Spirit and Life as the vital, and take Truth and Virtue as the honorable. They borrow the worldly and common way to cultivate the transcendent and uncommon way. For those who lack aspiration, they cannot see through the reality behind the worldly affairs; they focus on the unreal but slight the real, and they do not realize that Spirit and Life and Birth and Death are a great matter indeed.
Author: T.A Chew
T.A Chew was told that in order to save the True Self (soul), we need the False Self (body) and only human can be awakened. Upon initiation of Tao, he realized that it is very important to restore his True Self and overcome emotions and desires. Website: http://www.white-sun.com