The more we intend to uncover the parts of us complicit in creating self-defeating patterns such as addictive behaviors and codependent relationships -- and how we're always dragged down by this unconscious proclivity -- the more liberating discoveries we will make. It's a law: Ask to see the truth (of yourself) -- then do what you must to be granted that revelation -- and all that has been hidden (from you) will be revealed. This same idea is stated in the New Testament: "Knock, and the door shall be opened to you." Revelation follows your intention to know the truth of yourself, as surely as morning light follows the darkest night. How can we be sure this principle has the power to help solve the mystery of our negative patterns and bring an end to unconscious suffering? Because if being unaware of ourselves helps create and sustain our attachments, then there can only be one true prescription to remediate this pain: we must become aware. As Frank Herbert states so simply, so elegantly in his classic book, Dune: "The sleeper must awaken."
The problem is none of us really believe that we are asleep; even though the evidence reflected by our continuing suffering tells a different story. The truth is -- as told by all those who have awakened -- we live in a world of dreams; we slumber in the subtle psycho/spiritual realms within us, seeing shadows and calling them real.
Sure, we are awake enough in the physical world; we have the awareness required to interact with everyday life -- and even to learn challenging new skills -- but this level of awareness holds no authority over what now holds us captive. To understand why this superficial level of awareness is powerless to release us from our present prison-like experience of life, we refer to one of the greatest and oldest spiritual maxims of all. When it comes to the secret forces responsible for creating our reality, the inner determines the outer.
Real spiritual exercises are designed to help awaken us to what's taking place within us as it's happening; they are designed to help shed light into the workings of our interior life. To this end, they serve a single purpose: to bring us into a higher level of self-awareness where -- because of the intention established by that exercise being practiced -- we're able to see what's unfolding within us as it takes place in that moment. Our new relationship with this higher awareness has the power to change everything.
For instance, where before we used to fall, by default, into unconscious agreement with habitual mechanical reactions -- literally depending on them to define us, and then to tell us our possibilities -- now, in our awakened state, we're able to detect and then negate this whole dark operation before it gets started!
Simply put, the more awake (we are), the less we ache. The celestial intelligence within this higher self-awareness is all the power we need to be free because... it's impossible for this wisdom to act against itself. Standing in its living light we cannot be deceived. We see that we are neither the weakness we feel, nor are we the one in contempt of ourselves for its power over us. Whatever our pain a moment before was just because we had been asleep to ourselves, that's all. And now we choose to be awake!
In that same instant old fears fall away. Doubts disappear. Pains born of past regrets lose their hold over us. This light shatters whatever had chained us, as surely as dawn dispels the fearful shadows cast by a full moon at night.