Updated: May 8, 2020
An early version of this post was written on March 6, 2017.
Updated again to fix formatting issues: May 8, 2020
This post focuses on how inquiry can shift from pre-awakening to post-awakening; from questioning “Who (or what) am I” (and similar questions, such as “Who is asking the question?”) to “What conditioned patterns remain of the character that has yet been seen through?” (Jim Dreaver calls these residues.)
The first line of inquiry comes from the perspective of a seeker and is associated with the pre-awakening phase of spiritual awakening. It is during this phase that a person is driven to wake up, but has not yet seen that awakening does not involve the character waking up, but instead seeing that the character is an illusion. For many people, this phase can be a long and somewhat arduous journey. However, it doesn’t have to be. It is actually very easy to wake up. But that’s for another post at another time.
When awakening occurs, what is realized is that we are not who we think we are. We are not the character we have been identified with for so long; and that includes the character’s name, the various roles the character has and currently plays, the stories that surround and give credence to the reality of the character, and the memories that provide the substrate that the character has existed for as long as we can remember.