Back to my question about first steps. Sounds like reading Vedanta and the like is a good entry point.
Sure, reading, pondering, absorbing can prepare the ground, but that's still scratching the surface, as the thinking mind is just the veneer of the heart. It takes a wholehearted recognition to create any real impact. Another way to put this is that to find (or be found by) truth we first need to recognize the truth about one's false life on an emotional gut level.
So you need an emotional response as well.
A response that shakes us to our roots.
And what might that look like?
Repentance and contrition might describe this state, but they just open the door to deeper possibilities. Feeling the utter helplessness of being bound to our usual ego-mind would eliminate all pretense and open the door to what's behind the scenes, that motive force pushing us through life in order to awaken through us, in order that self can discover that Self alone is.
And do you think we could actually function in the world in that state of mind?
I imagine it has its degree of intensity that we could not only adjust to but that could enhance our daily functioning as life would be more immediate and not a second-hand experience.
Still, it sounds like this would be extremely disorienting.
I suppose so, according to how ready one is to let go of their virtual world. As the walls of this xerox copy of a world fall, what would be revealed but more aliveness and significance, more beauty and connectedness to what truth might be, to what we are when we stop fixating on our shadow.
A first step might be a willingness to withstand the shock of recognizing our present state, our status quo.
You mean our daily state of ignorance?
Our usual state of operating on autopilot, living a xerox copy of life, a life of pretense thinking we know who and what we truly are.
Seems overwhelming, like this would drastically upset our apple cart.
Which is why there could be different responses like general paralysis, over-analysis, impulsive actions--all ways that keep avoiding the potential of real inner change.
Still it sounds painful.
If so it would be confronting the pain that's always there under the surface.
A pain based on what?
A plexus of fear and trembling the ego-mind utilizes to maintain itself, to make us retreat should we approach it. Like ink from an octopus, it's designed as a protective barrier to keep from being exposed.
Exposed as what?
Exposed as a fraud, as a hostage holder to our dazed state of consciousness. On the other hand, if this confronting doesn’t result in a sigh of relief, in a joyful enterprise, then something could be amiss.
Like indulgence in one’s own negativity—a further trick or self-deception that keeps us frozen in our tracks.