36 On the Levels of Awareness VI


The sixth level of awareness is what is called the realm of "gods".
In China it was called the heavens of the false immortals.

It is the realm of those who are caught up in their fleeting joys.
It is the realm of people who think they are happy, who live an easy material life, or have found sentimental love with a partner, or have family.
These people believe themselves to be fulfilled, and so fall to a deep sleep of their own delusions.

When things are good in the present, people will tend to lose their sense of time.
This is not the same as the state of timelessness that emerges in real awareness.
In real awareness, you are clearly aware that time exists, but you also realize that you are not trapped within time, but exist in the eternal present.

In the state of "false immortality", you lose the fundamental awareness that all things are always changing.
You come to believe that everything is perfect, and become surprised when things stop being perfect, when things begin to change and you fall away from your state of perfection.

People who live solely for their own fleeting pleasures or joys are lost in the realm of godhood.
It is a perception of immortality.

For these people, so long as things are going well for them, it is very difficult to cultivate genuine spirituality.
But when things begin to change, and they must confront the shocks of change and loss, it is very opportune for them to enter meditation.

Even meditators sometimes slip into this realm, especially adepts who come to believe that they have obtained enlightenment.
They view enlightenment as a state of perfection or infallibility.
Or they believe they are now beyond emotions or pain.
It is a most difficult moment for these adepts when they are confronted with their mistake, and some become hopelessly trapped in this state, incapable of returning to meditation because to do so would be to admit your error and return to the very first step.