Awake Joy is a guide to the Heart and is designed to be your companion throughout your journey to Self-discovery. Therefore, it emphasizes significant transitions to encourage deeper awareness, rather than residing in any sense of arrival. If you can decipher from this section your current reference point, you will have at hand the awareness that leads to a deeper surrender that will ultimately happen anyway! The awareness of your current reference point means that you are already beyond it, since you are aware of the point. The direction is always toward that which is aware. A point of reference is a general indicator to move beyond.
As an example of using a reference point, I might ask someone for directions to a certain address. That person might first ask, if I know where the Post Office is, if my search address is nearby. I am not looking for the Post Office, but the reference point is helpful in orienting. Likewise, I am not directing you to the reference points below. They are meant for general orientation. You might first review in more depth certain sections of this book and then proceed by investigating for yourself within that area.
The analogy that I am going to apply is a multi-layered chocolate cake. I further expand the nature of the bottom layers in Part I: The Dream and Part II: The Eyewitness. I develop the top layers in Part III: The Pure Being and Part IV: The Heart. Each dimension is parallel to the one above it and all exist simultaneously.
The body reference point is the bottom layer. I am the time-based ego and I am identified with the dream of form. I am not aware that I am dreaming and that my world is the mental image that I am projecting. My attention is on you and I am not conscious that this focus is to primarily enhance or protect myself. My identity is my body and I am unconscious of being. This layer is the battlefield of conflict and I am the sufferer. I am also an illusion. As the ego-body, I believe that this is the only dimension and I am not conscious of the layers above me.
The eyewitness reference point is the next layer and I am the self-observer. The eyewitness is a study of me, my form, and my interactions with my world; the study of the false. I am still the ego, but I am progressing toward freedom of this state of consciousness. I continue to look out at you, but I am primarily interested in “me” for the broader purpose of self-understanding. I study my personal consciousness as the subject of my world. “I am the body” idea is at the forefront and I predominantly attend my inner objects of thought, physical sensation, mental images and emotions. I am becoming conscious of my personal suffering and how it perpetuates.
The “I am” reference point is a layer that is beyond “you and me.” I am conscious of my being and I am attending the space around my objects in the world, as well as my inner space beyond my thoughts, mental images, emotions and body. My abode is the inner body, but I am not yet free of form. I enjoy a beautiful feeling of connectivity with all being and appreciate oneness within the world of experience. In unity consciousness, you and I are one, and I am at one with all that I experience. I sometimes get lost in time fixation and therefore, I still identify with thoughts, but I can release them when I become aware of it.
Detachment is not a reference point, but it is a marker. It is a thin layer of icing that is applied before adding the next cake layer. Formlessness dynamically disconnects from the body and I am no longer identified with the idea of “me.” I am now consciously awake to the dream of form and the world is unreal. This shift is a universal transition and allows the bliss of Awake Joy to vibrantly emerge. The icing bestows the mystical phenomena that are commonly associated with awakening.
“I am the witness only” reference point is formlessness and I have no form. My being has transitioned to the Pure Being. I am the primal sense of being-consciousness-bliss and the substratum of form. I have surrendered conflict and I am now the playground of peace. I release subtle layers of the intellect and transmute the illusion of collective suffering. If thoughts are present, I have no sense that they speak in any real way and thus personal suffering is impossible. I am also conscious that the layers below me are unreal. I am not aware that duality persists. In other words, two subtle reference points endure. I am not conscious that I am still a reference point and that I will be eliminated.
“Pure I” has no reference point whatsoever and I am the final layer of our cake. “Pure I” is Self-realization and the fulfillment of non-duality. Not one word that I could say would be true.
The Heart is full embodiment and I am Awake Life. The bad news is that we are not going to take this cake and eat it. The good news is that we are going to give it all away by serving it. The chocolate cake is not ready to selflessly serve without the fudge frosting! The frosting is the art of awake living.
The purpose of this chart of reference points is to assist your current perception. Once perceived, it is not calling for mental interpretation. Instead, we release the perception to open to the essential Essence to which they point. Interpretation will lead to analysis and theorization, which will conceal and sabotage the purpose of the charting. Throughout all of these transitions, the Pure Awareness that I am never changes. Whether I seem to take on form or not, in every case, I am the Eternal Now that is Life. I no longer differentiate between any of my dimensions and I am fully integrated as the Totality.
Katie Davis is author of Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment and she will be offering “AWAKE Right NOW!” Satsang and Intensive with Sundance Burke, author of Free Spirit: A Guide to Enlightened Being April 18–20 in Chicago as well as in Dallas, Sedona, Flagstaff, Boulder and Toronto. More information and register by April 1 to save at www.katiedavis.org or at the door. Contact event sponsors Charlie or Maggie Wilkins of One Heart Teachings, who also offer Living in the Power of Now in Chicago, at (847) 780‑4116, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.