I’d like to Awaken, but I don’t want to lose my interests or friends.

As long as you are setting conditions on Awakening or Enlightenment, it will not happen. What you are saying are really conflicting statements.  “I’d like to Awaken, but…”, as soon as there is a “but” in there…what you are really saying is I don’t want to Awaken.  You are saying – I have these attachments and I don’t want to let go.  What if letting go was the only way to Awaken?

Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you.  Also, the unknown is often scary for people, but there can be no assurances given.  You have to be willing to take the chance…come what may.  Otherwise, fear will always stop you at the edge of the cliff…unwilling to jump into the void.

With awakening, could you lose all interest in everything? No.  I know some people following this path have fallen into this trap.  It is possible to lose all interest in everything…and feel like doing nothing and speaking to no one, but that is an ego thing.  Most specifically…dis-ego, the opposite of egotistical while still being ego driven.  For it is the ego that needs a purpose or meaning in order to feel like doing something.  But think of a young child (whose ego has not fully developed) and doesn’t know much (naturally has the beginner’s mind)…and you will see someone interested in everything.  The opposite side of ego (dis-ego, as I called it) is just as much a trap and illusion as the ego.

Could you lose interest in some or all of the things you currently do?  Yes.  Could you lose interest in hanging out with some or all of your friends that you have? Yes.  Could all your friends and interests stay the same?  Yes.  There is really no way to know ahead of time what the future might be “post-Awakening”.  If you let go, could things change?  Yes, they could…but letting go does not mean that they will change.

Who is this “I” that would like to Awaken?  Who is this “I” that doesn’t want to lose things?  Who is this “I” that has interests and friends?  This fear and worry is just the personal “me”…the ego.  This is one of its tricks.  Turn back, it says, or you might lose things you hold precious.  This argument is ridiculous, of course, because if you did indeed lose interest in hobbies or friends…you would not see it as much of a loss at that time.  If values and interests change, they you still will be doing what is of interest to you…but they are just different interests.  So you are looking at this from the point of view of prior to Awakening with your current interests and saying you fear what you might lose.

This is like a child who is interested in catching bugs, but fears becoming an adult because it may mean losing interest in catching bugs.  I don’t know of anyone who feels they have lost something in “out growing” the past-time of bug catching (as most do).  But unlike growing up, we can block Awakening…we can stop it from happening.  We can keep it at bay so we don’t “grow out of” our current interests and friends.

Of course, the same hobbies and friends may still be of interest post-Awakening…but no one knows for sure.  Instead of worrying about what might happen, just be still, be quiet, be present…and inquire “who/what am I?”  Awaken…and then see what happens.  Regardless of what happens, you won’t feel you lost anything…nor that you gained anything.  So the worry is unfounded.

Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you.  Cease trying to remain what you are.  Cease trying to control what you become.  You are like a caterpillar that says he would like to be a butterfly, but doesn’t want to change and perhaps loose interest in crawling.  Or he doesn’t want to enter the cocoon without guarantees of coming out as a certain kind of butterfly.  Let go of who you think you are.  Let go of who you think you were.  Let go of who you think you might become.

When you fear losing something, that is attachment.  The fear of losing your attachments (to interests and friends) is what keeps you bound.

If you want Freedom, then you must let everything go.  Some things may drop away without the tether, but many things will remain as they are.

You can not place any conditions on outcomes, because that means you are not willing to let go.  This could be frightening for many, but the question is whether you are willing to let go anyways.

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Modern-day house-holder yogi and lover of what-is; living in peace, contentment, and joy.