The Most Important Realization On The Path Towards Awakening
by Bernhard Guenther, June 10, 2022
“If a man could understand all the horror of the lives of ordinary people who are turning around in a circle of insignificant interests and insignificant aims, if he could understand what they are losing, he would understand that there can only be one thing that is serious for him – to escape from the general law [matrix forces], to be free. What can be serious for a man in prison who is condemned to death? Only one thing: How to save himself, how to escape: nothing else is serious.”
Over the past three years, more people have become aware of the evil in our world. There is a paradox and silver lining. The ongoing attempted enslavement of humanity based on a faux “pandemic”, the Great Reset, and anti-divine socialist/Neo-Marxist Woke ideologies has triggered an “awakening” in many people who started to question the status quo of official consensus reality.
It forced many of us to focus on what truly matters and get our priorities straight. At the same time, many people have disintegrated under the pressure and bought the lies and deception; they were sucked even more into the claws of the matrix. Hence, the “splitting of humanity.” We are also in a mental health crisis of staggering proportions. Suicides and the use of psychiatric soul-numbing pharmaceutical drugs (opiates, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressants) have skyrocketed.
We have come face to face with the “horror of the situation,” without rose-colored glasses, facing reality as it is, not as we like, hope, or want it to be.
This disillusionment is a necessary and inevitable stage in the process of awakening.
But the real disillusionment that leads to a true Awakening [not an external information-based intellectual “awakening”] and way out of the matrix occurs when we realize the “terror of the situation,” as Gurdjieff called it.
The embodied recognition of the terror of the situation results from facing yourself, the inner journey to “know thyself”, study yourself, and engage in sincere inner work to make the darkness conscious within yourself.
It requires ongoing in-depth psychological, somatic, trauma, shadow, and spiritual/esoteric work. It is far from easy but uncomfortable, confronting, and messy. The ego and wounded self want to avoid it, coming up with all kinds of unconscious resistance resulting in excuses and justifications along with unconscious trauma responses, projections, and interferences to distract you from the work and the necessary descent into the depth of your Being. It is far more tempting to project our pain, anger, and fear externally instead of looking within.
Hence, the real work requires the attitude of a warrior: will, determination, self-responsibility, sincerity, courage, and 100% commitment. Any weakness and blind spot will become a significant hindrance on the path and be used by adverse forces to target and tempt the seeker away from the truth of his Being, keeping him chained in Plato’s cave, distracted by the shadows on the world stage.
The more sincere you are with this internal inquiry (which is an ongoing process), the more you will realize that most of “your” thoughts, feelings, beliefs, desires, wants, needs, etc. are not your own but have been conditioned or inserted “externally”.
The “I” who you think you are, the personality mask you identify with, is made up of these programs, memories, biological drives, wounds, traumas, and experiences (we judge as “good” or “bad”); accumulated over lifetimes, embedded into your DNA ancestrally, and influenced by the collective consciousness. It consists of social, cultural, parental, educational, and media conditioning programs. None of this is “you”.
Many of your desires, feelings, attachments, and behaviors can also be expressions of unconscious trauma responses from childhood wounding, lack of self-worth, and unconscious shame, resulting in trying to fill an empty hole within yourself via external means. But it is a bottomless hole. Any desire you have that is externally directed to make you “happy” is an unconscious drive to seek the truth of your Being, the Kingdom within.
“Every phenomenon arises from a field of energies: every thought, every feeling, every movement of the body is the manifestation of a specific energy, and in the lopsided human being one energy is constantly swelling up to swamp the other. This endless pitching and tossing between mind, feeling, and body produces a fluctuating series of impulses, each of which deceptively asserts itself as ‘me’: as one desire replaces another, there can be no continuity of intention, no true wish, only the chaotic pattern of contradiction in which we all live, in which the ego has the illusion of will power and independence. Gurdjieff calls this ‘the terror of the situation’.
– Peter Brook
At the same time, we are also influenced by the forces of nature and conscious forces from the higher and lower realms. We are subjected to the suggestions of occult hostile forces of the vital world, but we also receive insights, creative and inspirational impulses from Spirit, the Higher Self, and Divine forces, which also manifest as thoughts. Creative, sensitive people, writers, artists, and musicians get their ideas from these lower/higher realms.
We all receive a mixture of these impressions/thoughts from the whole range of lower to the higher realm depending on many factors. We are transducers of higher realms and we are the battleground of various forces acting through us. Based on our level of Being [soul embodiment], our intentions and aspirations in life can either be guided by the lower nature, or we can choose to align them with our higher nature and the Divine. The direction we bring out awareness towards determines which realm we tune into. As long as we live on the surface of ego-personality, the majority of this will be unconscious and mechanical.
There is nothing wrong with “desire”; only our attachments to desires result in unnecessary suffering. We also never question where our desires/goals/aims in life come from, to begin with; that’s also why most of the New Age manifestation techniques based on the distorted and superficial idea of the “law of attraction” to “manifest your desires” fail or can actually create more suffering even if your “desire” is manifested.
It can create more “Gordian Knots,” as it is called in Esoteric Science, resulting in more karmic entanglements and suffering based on involuntary mechanical movement in the “wilderness” of the matrix. Hence the saying “be careful what you wish for” or want to “manifest,” for there is always a price to pay based on the law of cause and effect and the law of agreement.
Many people suffer because they follow desires, aims, and goals that are not “their own,” but have been programmed into them or are unconscious trauma responses. Many highly successful people are driven by these unconscious drives trying to fill a deep empty hole within themselves. They still suffer internally while trying to mask their pain through external means, busyness, distractions, and addictions. We will never ever find true joy, freedom, fulfillment, or happiness as long as we are only externally oriented. Moreover, you will still remain a slave even if you strive towards sovereignty externally.
“Without self-knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.”
I’ve come face to face with the “terror of the situation” within myself many times. It is truly terrifying to see and experience it as a witness locking at “me” [my personality] and observing all the mechanical behaviors, feelings, actions, thoughts, desires, and impulses that are entirely automated and happen without any “free will” involved – all of which the personality identifies with as its “own.” It is even more terrifying to witness that none of that is my “true self”. I realized that I was living a “lie.” The majority of people are sleepwalking, dreaming to be awake.
I also had to admit that I was asleep in ways I wasn’t fully aware of. Before we can engage in the awakening process, we must admit to ourselves and truly “see” how we are asleep, acting mechanically, regardless of how aware we think we are of the external manifestation of the matrix. This realization is facing the “terror of the situation.” It results in an internal collapse and disillusionment.
I have also realized that many desires and goals I had when I was younger [and tried to manifest via Tony Robbins-style “goal setting”, visualization, or New Age manifestation techniques] were based on childhood wounding, insecurity, and social/cultural conditioning.
Thankfully [in retropsect], the Divine graced me with tough Grace, ripped everything away I thought I wanted and pulled the rug out under me several times. My wounded ego and personality didn’t like it at all as I was screaming and kicking resting the necessary disillusionment. I suffered because I was attached to and identified with my goals and desires that were not even aligned with the real “I”. God had a different plan for me, and I had no choice but to surrender to the higher Will in the ongoing process of surrender.
Over the years, as I dove deeper into my process, I also uncovered all kinds of suppressed parts, exiles, traumatized soul fragments, the imprisoned inner child, and many protective layers and “armor” that covered up trauma, wounds, and shadow aspects going back lifetimes. All these parts I also mistook for the “true self.”
One example of facing the “terror of the situation” was many years ago, in the late 90s, when I was first getting into Jungian Shadow work and started to make more efforts to observe myself. I realized that I was acting out parts of my father and mother that I actually externally despised and hated in them. In other words, I realized I had traits that I hated the most in my parents and others – deep in my shadow, and I was not aware of it but acting them out mechanically and unconsciously.
I also projected these shadow traits onto others but did not see them in myself. It was a visceral “enlightening” experience of disillusionment and facing my shadow that I’ll never forget. At that moment, I also experienced my true Self, the impartial witness. For a brief moment, the real “I” made its appearance, still, eternal, embodied, non-reactive, and grounded in joy (Ananda) that didn’t depend on anything external in my life. It laid the foundation and aim for the ongoing work.
Once you face “the terror of the situation” within yourself and the automated mechanical nature of many of your feelings, actions, and behaviors where there is no “free will,” you will also see this robotic mechanical behavior in others. You will notice that most people are unconscious automatons driven by unconscious trauma and wounding, conditioning, and programming. You see how people suffer, but they don’t know that they are suffering as their pain is masked up and suppressed, shoved deep into the unconscious, and hardened in the body-mind. Billions of people are sleepwalking, dreaming of being awake.
At the same time, you don’t look down at them anymore, for you can see the same mechanical nature, shadow, and trauma responses within yourself. You will have deeper and more authentic access to compassion and empathy but without blind compassion. You learn to make boundaries and become more selective and discerning about who you let enter your life. But you also realize the true “horror of the situation” and how far away we are from any “collective awakening”.
You also realize the futility of looking for any significant change externally – a new system, any new -ism, or any political, social, institutional changes – all of it is useless as long as it is coming from people who are not aware of the true nature of their Being but live mechanically and automate under the influence of the “General Law” [the esoteric description of the matrix forces.]
It’s a humbling experience. It is dark, disturbing, yet liberating and enlightening at the same time. It’s impossible to put it into the limited constructs of language and words. Once you cross that threshold and start to “see the unseen”, there is no turning back to your “normal” life. At that moment you really took the “red pill”. It will prioritize what truly matters in your life. You won’t waste time and energy anymore on the trivialities of official mainstream cult-ure and you cannot relate to the goals, pleasures, and desires you had in the past. You realize that they were stemming from your conditioned personality.
It is the starting point of the process of individuation where you will also need to face isolation, loneliness, and alienation as part of the process to escape the sleepwalking consensus state of humanity. This phase of alienation and isolation are lessons to test the sincerity of the seeker. They have been symbolized in many esoteric metaphors of “crossing the moat-threshold” to “enter the Kingdom” with guardians providing riddles and tests for the soul that wishes to find and realize itself and leave the “wilderness” of the matrix.
Many people tend to get stuck in this stage. The alienation and loneliness can make people become hardened, cynical, and nihilistic, and they tend to blame the world for their misery in a victim mentality. They get caught in doom & gloom, negativity, and self-pity, and they resist the necessary [internal] death-rebirth process to individuate.
This resistance and inability to face oneself can also tempt the seeker to go back to “the wilderness of the matrix” as it was symbolized in the first Matrix film when the character Cypher decided to take “the blue pill” to go back to the illusion of the matrix. He made a deal with Agent Smith [symbolizing a Faustian Packt with the Devil] who granted him all the materialistic riches, fame, and popularity that consensus people cherish, worship and are tempted by as well.
Individuation is a necessary stage before we can embark on deeper spiritual/esoteric work to spiritualize our being. Embarking on the process of Individuation is “taking the red pill” from an esoteric perspective. Another very common trap of skipping the process of individuation results in spiritual bypassing when the wounded ego tries to take on a spiritual identity, believing itself to be “better” or “special” [I’m a “star seed”, “lightworker”, etc.]. It can also be an unconscious trauma response.
This archetypal journey of awakening [including the traps and dangers], the necessity of disillusionment, the descent and ascent, and facing the “terror of the situation” has been described in various esoteric traditions such as “Gnosis” by Mouravieff:
“When man goes in search of the Way [out of the matrix], it generally signifies that something within him has collapsed. Interior collapse leads to certain consequences. Man starts to see things in a different light. Two diametrically opposed effects can result. If man is sufficiently strong and impartial, he will not lower his eyes before implacable reality. He will have the courage to face things directly, and to accept the constatations which are imposed on him, no matter how disagreeable they are. This signifies that he has firmly started on the track which leads to the path of Access to the Way.
On the other hand, if the man is weak, this experience will weaken him even more. The law is explicit: ‘To whosoever hath, to him shall be given. But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.’ If man does not accept his situation and, in particular, his inner state as it appears to him, thanks to brief illuminations from the consciousness of the real ‘I’— if he is obstinate against all evidence, justifying his Personality by protecting himself behind logic, legitimacy and justice, he will then turn his back on the path of Access, and thrust himself further into the wilderness [of the matrix]. Nobody can reach the path of Access to the Way, without first passing through an interior bankruptcy; a moral collapse [disillusionment].
Economy of energies too is a must, as the walk to and on the Way demands their total mobilization. Any unjustified expenditure can lead in the end to failure. We must always keep this in mind. In general, the reaction of those around towards someone who begins to search for the Way is negative. This negative attitude is the result of the action of the General Law [matrix forces], which, as we know, tends to keep man in his place. Not being able to do this directly by the action of Illusion, the General Law, when it loses its dominion over the man who ‘moves’, acts indirectly by the mediation of those around him [The “Agent Smith Syndrome”].
It is a classic situation. From his side, after having passed through moral bankruptcy, he who seeks the Way becomes different from men who continue to live within the limits permitted by the General Law, and thus take mirages for reality. Due to this, he will feel himself more and more isolated [necessary process of alienation/isolation]. The centre of gravity of his interest will progressively turn to esoteric work, which will end by absorbing him completely. The ‘World’ will be hostile to him, because its own purposes are different; it is not in his interest to provoke this tendency, and even less to keep it alive. The day will come — if he remains in the same milieu — where, apart from rare exceptions he will be openly or secretly hated.
If we ponder this in depth, we shall understand that psychologically this hostile attitude of the ‘World’ towards someone who carries on esoteric work is not only a normal phenomenon but is so to speak, a necessary one. If he who lives in the wilderness — and is satisfied to be there, were to approve of the attitude of one who walks on the track, it would be equivalent to recognizing his own bankruptcy. That is why the ‘World’ considers the latter as a failure. The more he progresses with his work, the more he becomes an object of hate. That is why it is said that: ‘no prophet is acceptable in his own country’ and why ‘the prophet is despised in his country, among his close relations and in his own house.‘
That indication is precise and leaves no room for doubt. He who wants to start esoteric studies is invited to think it over twice, and weigh it all, before he rushes to cross the moat-threshold. We repeat that it will not be possible for him to return to exterior life and to find his place, his pleasures and his satisfaction there as in the past.
It follows that he will become more and more of a stranger to his surroundings; that he will lose more and more interest in exterior life, in which only yesterday he participated fully. The appearance of things, and especially of beings, undergoes a deep change in his eyes. He will one day be surprised to constate that certain faces which only yesterday he found very beautiful now reveal to him marks of bestiality behind their features: not all, but many of them!
However, as well as the difficulties which are the first results of his evolution, such a man will receive comforting impressions, especially in his human relations. He will be surprised to perceive one day that certain faces which only yesterday appeared to him ordinary, today shine in his eyes with a bright beauty. It is because his sight, sharpened by esoteric work, has acquired the faculty of penetrating beyond the external crust. It is amongst these brighter beings that he will find his new friends. Their society will welcome him as one of their own. He will be understood among them, and their community of common aims and interests will be a stimulus and a help for all.“
– Boris Mouravieff, Gnosis
Many people don’t have what it takes to “cross the threshold” nor the warrior attitude to commit to The Work and hence try to go back to their “old life” – they keep living “in-between” lives and can’t let go. Some of us may need a few more lifetimes or experience more suffering until our soul is ripe [grown enough] to fully “answer the call”. As it is written, “many are called, few choose to answer the call.” There is no judgment about that for there are many different levels of being within humanity and there won’t be a collective awakening anytime soon. The answer to the call is a full embodied YES that lays no conditions on how the process will unfold for it is in God’s hands.
Grounded humility is necessary to surrender to the Divine and to realize the truth of your Being. Facing the “terror of the situation” within yourself lays the foundation for the Great Work to escape the matrix, and transform yourself and the world. It’s the passage and threshold to unite with the Divine and spiritualize your Being, bringing the soul “to the front” via soul embodiment and living in the real “I”.
This is the descent necessary for the ascent, collectively and personally. It’s a long and oftentimes difficult but necessary process over many lifetimes during this Time of Transition as part of the evolution of consciousness.
The only way out is in and through.
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