Awakening Apollo
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The Practical Work of Awakening

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Awakening is an art first of all because we must be emotional and inspired about our efforts. It may come as a surprise to discover that one must be taught not only to awaken, but to want to awaken and to maintain the desire to make efforts. Awakening is also an art in that we must have a flexible attitude toward making effort. The same effort to be present will not work in all circumstances. Sometimes we must struggle internally with imagination, at other times we must try to sustain presence while performing a particularly difficult task. Our efforts must change as circumstances change, because the lower self would prefer that we repeat the same effort endlessly and imagine that we are being present. At the same time, the more efforts we make to be present, the more our Higher Self will enter our life and provide us with the inspiration and renewed desire to make new efforts.

There are many references in esoteric literature to the idea of "leaving the world" or "controlling the passions" or "becoming a recluse." Real internal work does not involve a literal enactment of these representations. The inner meaning of this idea is to learn to separate from the host of thoughts and distractions that comprise the imaginary internal world of the lower self and to promote efforts to be present in any and all circumstances. This is where the real struggle takes place, in each unassuming second, and this is what the lower self will do anything and everything to avoid. When we understand the nature of this struggle, then we begin to understand the urgency of making regular efforts and of seeking guidance and support from others making similar efforts.