Alertness is, not identical with being awake, since being awake is only one dimension of Alertness. It is the outermost dimension of Alertness, its surface only.
Three dimensions of Alertness may be identified. The surface, that is, the outermost dimension of Alertness is when the focus of attention is open the widest. Being Alert then means that now, in this very moment, with our eyes closed (or open) you pay attention to the processes of your inner world (bodily sensations, the stream of your thoughts, the shifting of your emotions), and the external world surrounding you (noises, scents etc. from the direct world around you). In such an instant you only focus your attention on what takes place in that very moment.
From the aspect of another, deeper dimension of Alertness it is a quality of your consciousness when you cease to evaluate, qualify and control the experience affecting you at that particular moment (disregard the functions of the mind) and, at the same time, you give up all your desires to control events. You have no expectations in connection with the given moment, you accept what is taking place, without making judgments, what is wrong and what is right for you.
The deepest dimension of Alertness is a state of Consciousness the most important characteristic feature of which is the presence of the observing Consciousness, the capability of Sight. In this state of the Consciousness we, as an external spectator, view what is happening inside and around us, and we do not allow these events to take us with them, to affect us deeper. There is a virtual space between you as the contemplating Consciousness and the experiences affecting you. This space enables you to avoid identification with your experience and to look at that experience as an external spectator. Alertness is, at the same time, Presence, which means that your are not only aware of your current actions, but you are also aware of yourself. It is only possible to talk about real Alertness when all three dimensions are present at the same time.
Life Lessons about Alertness
- The first gift of your conscious alertness is when you discover, that instead of you, the deep-programs of your conditioned mind are living your life.
Whether you like it or not, these thoughts come and go, your mind is in constant motion. These patterns strive to be self-sustaining, and they generate the work of mind. The result is the cobweb of thoughts with which you identify and that is how you live your life. The fixed patterns of your mind are individual, since they reflect the expectations of the particular environment in which you have been brought up.
The expectations usually influence you unconsciously, almost like automatic deep programs of the mind. As these in-depth conditioning have become a part of your mind in the course of your upbringing, a particular situation or person immediately activates them. You automatically put on the mask appropriate for the particular situation, tailored to the expectations of the situation or person.
When you see and recognize how your fixed mental patterns work, the energy supply they receive gradually dries up, since the energy that formerly supplied these patterns now supply the emergence of the deeper dimensions of Alertness in you. In this way, conditioned mental patterns gradually lose their power and they vanish. As a result, the work of the mind that might have appeared chaotic to you before become increasingly transparent.
- The alertness is the door opening to our original life status, to the Oneness.
In our days it seems that identification with the forms and shapes becomes more and more superficial at an increasing number of people. In these people something from the deeper dimensions of Alertness appears to emerge.
With the appearance of the deeper dimensions of Alertness, a gap is generated in you between the world of forms and shapes and the world without these, that is between ”I am this and that” and ”I am.”
- Beware! The awakened consciousness is dangerous, because it can destroy your dreams of spiritual growth in a moment.
How deep you sleep may depend on how realistic you find your dreams, how much you identify with your identity embedded in your personal history. The less alert you are, and the deeper you submerge into your dreams, the more isolated, solitary and individualistic you will become.
Every sleeper–including you–has a separate world, only those who exist in the state of Alertness have a common, shared reality. All those different and separate worlds are created by the mind, which generates the state of separateness: the Ego, which appears as the focus of our identification with our thoughts and emotions.
Thus everybody has a separate identity, personal history, individual world view and methods of action. Sometimes suffering alarms you from your sleep, but then you hasten to return to it, and start a new dream, a new objective in life, new ideals, passion, ambition that confirms your connection with your identity, rooted in your personal history.
- The alertness is a blazing fire inside you, which consumes the world of isolation around you.
In your present, individual state of consciousness you identify with the thoughts and emotions that appear in your mind, so you believe that you are a separate, illusionary person, an Ego. Living as an Ego in this world, you attempt to stabilize your illusionary sense of self.
Passing time will, however, prove you wrong, since the illusionary self is just a shape and as such is subordinate to the eternal law of the world of shapes and forms.
The law is that of the law of change which stipulates that in that world, the world of shapes and forms, it is not possible to stabilize anything, as everything is in the process of constant changes. Your thoughts and emotions keep changing, and so does their centre, the Ego, with them.
- The moment of the awakened consciousness is The Now, which is innocent from the memories of the past and from the expectations of the future.
If you are alert, only the here and now exist for you, and you may discover the quiet Presence behind the illusionary and constantly changing small Ego, the ”I am” which in turn you may recognize as your real and unchanging Self.
This state of consciousness is characterized by deep silence and tranquility. When you submerge into this quietness, the duality between you and the world ceases to exist, and in that Presence you are amalgamated into one unity with the universe.
That is how the emphasis is shifted from ”I am this and that,” that is, from the forms and shapes to ”I am,” that is, to the existence free of forms and shapes. Alertness thus becomes a form of existence for you.
- Awake from the stupor of the identification of your thoughts and desires, and then in the motionless space of Consciousness the insane, forever changing world will be tamed into a wonderful game.
In that state of Consciousness you are free of any thoughts and the identification with those thoughts. There are no judgments, categorization; you no longer struggle with emotions and thoughts.
Now you experience yourself as the space of Alertness, Consciousness, and by the grace of the power of Sight you are able to see what is happening in that space. You, as an eyewitness, contemplate the work of your mind as thoughts and emotions manifest in it, stay there for a while, and then vanish.
They do the dance of the forms and shapes in the space of Consciousness that in fact you are yourself.
- If you seek happiness outside of yourself, you only find momentary satisfaction. Happiness is the joy of Existence itself, the conscious presence.
You no longer meditate, you merely Exist. You do not stay in life, but in Existence. Staying in the Existence is recognized by seeing that the world is a Oneness.
You do not identify yourself as an individual separated from the other creatures, but you see all the creatures of the world in yourself, and you discover yourself in every other creature in the world. You recognize that identification of the immortal creature that you are with the body and mind is not a part of a devilish plot. It is, instead, a station in the evolution of the Consciousness.
The purpose is that you should recognize yourself through your own experience; you should wake up from the dream of forms and shapes. That is how a human being is able to return to their real self.
Learn more>> Frank M. Wanderer: The Flames of Alertness: Discover the Power of Consciousness!
(C) Frank M. Wanderer, 2013-2015
About the author:
Frank M. Wanderer Ph.D is a professor of psychology, a consciousness researcher and writer. Frank is the author of the books “The Revolution of Consciousness: Deconditioning the Programmed Mind “, “The Biggest Obstacle to Enlightenment: How to Escape from the Prison of Mind Games?” and several books on consciousness. With a lifelong interest in the mystery of human existence, Frank’s work is to help others wake up from identification with our personal history and the illusory world of the forms and shapes, and to find our identity in what he calls “the Miracle”, the mystery of the Consciousness.