Forced Awakened: The uninspiring story of accidental enlightenment
I can still taste the plastic from the breathing tube they removed from my esophagus as the nurses wheeled me back into the surgery recovery room.
It was here after four hours of donor nephrectomy (kidney donation) to supply my left kidney to my then ailing 65 year old father, that I breathed for what felt like the first time.
As I lay motionless I became hyper aware of my body, breath and space within time and space. As the heart monitor rhythmically and rapidly relayed my current biological condition I realized my respiration and whatever was contained in the ether, prana, oxygen (or whatever you want to call it) had sustained me throughout the surgery and would be vital to returning optimal health as soon as possible.
For the next hour I thoroughly and completely inhaled and exhaled until that beeping heart monitor fell to less than half it's original beats per minute.
I have no words or anyway I can relate the euphoria of existence that day (and I've done some pretty exciting shit) even did naked acro yoga with a playboy bunny in a Balinese bungalow once, ok twice, but nothing and I do mean nothing, compares to the ecstasy of laying in that hospital bed nearly six years ago.
What I can share with you is that it was a powerful enough experience to instantaneously change the direction and satisfaction of my life. I came to understand who and what I was for the first time. Human. A creature of divine origin. And in that simplistic realization I found the joy and happiness that has molded my current relationships, goals, lifestyle, and career choices.
The majority of my attitudes, beliefs and actions have much of their origin in what and how I felt that day. I'm not sure if that makes me ignorant or intelligent, I suppose time will tell. Yet I'm comforted by the unshakable faith in myself as a vessel of the absolute and I'm oddly absolutely sure of that.
Waking wasn't easy. I like to think only because I'm so stubborn and hard headed that in order for me to get the message I literally needed to be incapacitated and have one of my most vital organs removed.
That was the only way to get me to feel. Which is exactly what religious or enlightening or awakening experiences are. They are intense feelings. Moments of clarity that permit the transference of direct knowledge. Of knowing. Of understanding. Of realization.
I stumbled upon truth. And I'm not afraid to admit it.
It wasn't the entire truth. But it was a hint of it. It doesn't make me special. But the experience was.
Or at least I think it was because we apparently all don't get to have these ultra spiritual and super clairvoyant instances of interconnectedness and belonging to cosmic love.
We thirst for it. Human history is filled with those that go through extreme extents to secure just a glimpse of it. And yet it's 26 year old me that accidentally slips into the stream of super consciousness. Really?
As if the Universe didn't know I would be woefully inadequate to communicate the most profound human experience?
Jesus. (If you're up there.) At least send a poet. Or somebody that can write.
Somebody that can make more of the meaning of it all.
Instead there's this terrible text awkwardly advocating readers to believe in themselves.
It's sorta sad. Time to grow up Wongi, or whatever you're calling yourself these days. I mean who do you think you are? Some messiah because of a not entirely uncommon response to anesthesia.
Tell me that's not why you quit your six figure job and instead teach yoga? Tell me that's not why you moved to California and travel the world and won't settle for mediocre love or life?
Tell me you're not that easily disillusioned or unREAListic??
But I am. That's how I was able to remain sleepy for all those years.
So what's different about me now?
I'm not sure how you calculate consciousness? Perhaps by enjoyment, enthusiasm and creativity in life.
And in those areas I'm having a much better and easier time, although the intensity from that initial introduction has diminished, the residual awareness has not.
That's not to say it didn't take me a while to adjust.
At first I could hardly be social because I had become so mindful of the triviality of the material world.
Imagine the highest high you've ever been on times infinity. Like you just orgasmed in God or something.
How do you go back to office work like processing tax credits?
Maybe some could. I could NOT.
Having come to understand my true value, normality was no longer an option.
I'll never know why I got a glimpse into what has been referred to as nirvana, samadhi, moksha, heaven, or any other superlative given to oneness.
But I know I trust it more than anything I've ever seen, read, heard, done or thought.
Because it happened. What I felt was real.
Even if it was by accident.
It's paradoxical because I didn't do anything exceptional.
No particular discipline was demonstrated. No unprecedented sacrifice made.
I just got lucky. The spiritual equivalent of hitting the lottery I suppose.
For a long time, I felt compelled d to do something with this information. That my realization came with conscious responsibility to 'save the planet' or be a superman. That there was something great I was meant to do with this insight, my vision into the previously imperceptible.
And the greatest thing that I could possibly do was to create the conditions by which you too could feel like I felt.
I'm such a narcissistic fuck. Wongi, you're not awakened. You're mistaken.
And you've really lost it if you think that you can lead others into light from darkness.
You can't even lead your cat on a walk.
Madness. Genius. Where's the line?
Awake. Asleep. Who decides?
What if the entire discussion about consciousness is just non-senseness.
And we're not spiritually enlightened we're just spiritually confused.
The birds, trees and ocean don't talk to you. Neither do your Bumble matches.
Clearly he is not the chosen one.
But if he really has touched the highest of the most high and still doesn't have answers, who does?
If he's traveled where most won't go and still knows that he does not know, then, whoa.
Enlightenment isn't any great achievement.
It's just a return.
It's not a perpetual enhanced state of consciousness or permanent sensational physiological perturbation but a glimpse of possibility materialized.
Just a drop of divinity. A puff of purity.
Any more than that and you'd be way too awake. Like you'd been in Vegas with a blonde stripper named Courtney, two rolled hundred dollar bills and two too many extended nights on your American Express.
In other words I have a pretty high tolerance and yet just a cunt hair of truth was enough to dissolve twenty six years of habits and education and inspire me for the rest of my days.
Don't believe me. Forget how I felt.
It's not important.
What is valid and vital is that my experience is more real to me than it is to you and that yours is more real to you than it is to me.
You don't become conscious. You are conscious. There's no higher consciousness than being conscious of consciousness.
Sure, degree might vary, but you're either awake or dreaming. Where and when else can your nowness be?
Except here with me, even if accidentally.
Wongi is the co-founder of Human Elements, holistic health coach and controversial author. For more visit www.theHu.co