Awakening to the True Self

I call the painting “Awakening to the True Self“. It represents many years of fumbling and falling and getting back up as I travel along on the spiritual journey, traversing the liminal space between the old and new stories. For me, it encapsulates reality via the Christian mystical tradition. As we die to the illusion of separation born of the evolutionary development of egoic consciousness we can feel as if we’re losing everything, getting smaller and smaller. But what ends up happening is that we awaken to the truth of what and therefore who we, and everyone and everything else, truly is and has been all along. We awaken to the Mystery, God as Being.

It was inspired by Ilia’s kind reply to my question in Theistic Evolution: A New Religious Story, and also by a scene from the third Indiana Jones movie in which the hero stands on one side of an abyss in desperate longing to get to the other side in order to obtain the Holy Grail and save a life. When he finally takes the first step, the step of faith, low and behold, rather than fall to his death, his foot meets a bridge, hidden in plain sight, that had been there the entire time. This painting represents that awakening. It’s not that we’re separate and need to become one. We are one and simply need to awaken to it by letting go of illusion.

It’s both so simple it’s hard to convey and yet so radical that everything is changing in ways I hadn’t anticipated from the perspective of the separate self. This is a symbolic expression of letting go that illusory separate self with its judgements, commentaries and interpretations in order to awaken to reality as it actually is.

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Articles by Ilia

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