• The Ugliness (and Hidden Beauty) of Real Awakening

    Article by Gary Z. McGee

    In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow—and that is likely to hurt.

    ~ Wei Wu Wei

    The path toward true awakening is painful and bumpy. It’s not pretty. In fact, it can be downright ugly. There are egoic pitfalls. There are soul-snaring brambles. There are existential knots. The way is never clear, until it is. An even then, it usually turns out to be an illusion.

    The path is not soft and sweet but jagged and elusive. It is not artificially blissful but authentically painful. The joy of discovery on the one side is deep and can be genuinely ecstatic, but the agony on the other side cuts to the soul and can be devastatingly dismal.

    Real awakening is both a reckoning and a wrecking, both an expansion and an annihilation. It is not pretend reconciliation. Authentic awakening is painfully transcendent. It grips the soul by the throat and doesn’t let go. Infinity casts its hook, and you’re taken—hook, line, and sinker—into Growth.

    The key is to remain flexible and circumspect. The secret is to somehow find comfort within the discomfort. Easier said than done, sure. But as Spinoza said, “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”


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